Epigenetics Intelligent Design

Closing in on how early life stress changes epigenetic markers

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The good news from this mouse study is that if epigenetic stress is recognized, it can be reversed. That means, presumably, that it won’t be passed on:

In a study published March 15 in Nature Neuroscience, researchers found that early-life stress in mice induces epigenetic changes in a particular type of neuron, which in turn make the animals more prone to stress later in life. Using a drug that inhibits an enzyme that adds epigenetic marks to histones, they also show that the latent effects of early-life stress can be reversed.

“It is a wonderful paper because it is really advancing our ability to understand how events that happen early in life leave enduring signatures in the brain so that they influence what we do as adults,” says Tallie Z. Baram, a child neurologist and developmental neurobiologist at the University of California, Irvine, who wasn’t involved with the study.

Asher Jones, “Early-Life Stress Exerts Long-Lasting Effects Via Epigenome” at The Scientist

All the more reason to blow clear of Darwinian determinism about genetics.

The paper is open access.

See also: Epigenetic change: Lamarck, wake up, you’re wanted in the conference room!

210 Replies to “Closing in on how early life stress changes epigenetic markers

  1. 1
    Steve Alten2 says:

    I know that this is off topic but I think it is important to bring up.

    Right-wing lawyer Sidney Powell is claiming in a new court filing that reasonable people wouldn’t have believed as fact her assertions of fraud after the 2020 presidential election.

    I guess that is one way to defend yourself: “No sane person should take me seriously.

    But she wasn’t saying this back in the day.

    It’s a good thing that nobody here expended thousands of words making similar arguments. 🙂

  2. 2
    Seversky says:

    “ Right-wing lawyer Sidney Powell is claiming in a new court filing that reasonable people wouldn’t have believed as fact her assertions of fraud after the 2020 presidential election.”

    So she was tacitly but knowingly appealing to unreasonable people?

  3. 3
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Seversky “ So she was tacitly but knowingly appealing to unreasonable people?

    It appears so. Good thing that nobody here was singing her tune of Dominion voting systems, Benford’s law, suitcases of ballots, mail-in ballots, out of state voters, deceased voters, and the statistical improbability of after-hour vote swings. 🙂

  4. 4
    polistra says:

    Reversing an epigenetic change may sound like a form of repair, but it’s likely to do the opposite. Learning happens for a reason, in short-term memory or in the super-long term epigenes. If one particular stress happens to the current generation in its current location, given the current conditions of weather and predators, the same stress is likely to continue for a couple more generations.

    This also applies to the more abstract types of predators, like demonic rulers in human cultures. Bad rulers are DYNASTIC. A generation that adjusts its epigenes to survive psychopathic monsters (as found in the 1400s and the 2000s) will pass on a USEFUL adaptation to the next generation who must survive the sons and daughters of the current monsters.

  5. 5
    jerry says:

    Does homosexuality have a genetic or epigenetic origin? If epigenetic, does this mean it can be reversed?

    Could we be headed back to two sets of pronouns with the right therapy?

  6. 6
    AaronS1978 says:

    It appears that it’s both, Very likely in epigenetic trigger for homosexuality twin studies point to that as well as multiple other studies are starting to show and epigenetic marker that goes with homosexuality

    And much like many of the conditions that you cannot say that there’s possibly something wrong with them well it turns out that there is a possible issue and abnormality

  7. 7
    Seversky says:

    Since homosexuality is no longer considered a disorder, does it matter?

  8. 8
    Concealed Citizen says:

    Seversky: Since homosexuality is no longer considered a disorder

    Hehe, well, by whom? Some consensus of the biased? Okay. But at least be clear what you’re saying.

  9. 9
    asauber says:

    “Seversky: Since homosexuality is no longer considered a disorder

    Hehe, well, by whom?”

    Sev’s Betters.

    Andrew

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    As to: “Since homosexuality is no longer considered a disorder, does it matter?”

    Well, for young people who want to overcome any homosexual desires they may be having, and become a husband and/or a wife, and even have a family with children, I’m pretty sure that it matters very much for them to know that they are not completely helpless victims of their genes, i.e. to know that they are not ‘born that way’,

    Born gay or transgender: Little evidence to support innate trait, Wednesday, August 24, 2016
    Excerpt: “a report finds scarce scientific evidence to conclude that gay and transgender people are “born that way. The 143-page paper, published this week in The New Atlantis journal, combs through hundreds of studies in search of a causal, biological explanation for sexual orientation and gender identity, but comes up empty. “The belief that sexual orientation is an innate, biologically fixed human property — that people are ‘born that way’ — is not supported by scientific evidence,” says the report, written by a psychiatrist and a biostatistician at Johns Hopkins University. “Likewise, the belief that gender identity is an innate, fixed human property independent of biological sex — so that a person might be a ‘man trapped in a woman’s body’ or a ‘woman trapped in a man’s body’ — is not supported by scientific evidence,””
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....-evidence/

    There’s no evidence that a single ‘gay gene’ exists – Aug. 2019
    Excerpt: First reported at a genetics conference in 2018, the study found five genetic variants associated with having a same-sex sexual partner (SN: 10/20/18). But those variants, called SNPs, don’t predict people’s sexual behavior, researchers report in the Aug. 30 Science.
    “There is no ‘gay gene’ that determines whether someone has same-sex partners,” says Andrea Ganna, a geneticist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the University of Helsinki.
    https://www.sciencenews.org/article/no-evidence-that-gay-gene-exists

    And, obviously, It is also important for them, (and for the rest of us), to know that we have an unexpectedly high level of control over the genetic expressions of our material bodies, and therefore we have a unexpectedly high level of control over any unwanted sexual desires that we may be having.

    Networks of Genes Respond to Social Experiences – October 13, 2013
    Excerpt: It is extremely surprising how networks of hundreds of genes respond immediately to human interactions and thoughts, despite the fact that actions of humans are eight orders of magnitude larger than molecular genetic events. But, it is, perhaps, more remarkable that networks of genes respond rapidly to social experiences. Previous posts have discussed the immediate neuroplasticity that occurs in widespread circuits with very complex detailed genetic production of new proteins, including motors, tubules, receptors, and neurotransmitters. The immune system does the same with cytokines, receptors, and antibodies.
    It is subjective mind and perception that changes genes, not just external situations.
    http://jonlieffmd.com/blog/net.....xperiences

    By the way, having ‘top down’ control of the genetic expressions of our material bodies also falsifies the Darwinian claim that we are completely helpless victims of our genes. That we are helpless ‘Meat robots’, as Jerry Coyne termed us.

    “You are robots made out of meat. Which is what I am going to try to convince you of today”
    – Jerry Coyne – Darwinist and militant atheist
    – No, You’re Not a Robot Made Out of Meat (Science Uprising 02) – video
    https://youtu.be/rQo6SWjwQIk?list=PLR8eQzfCOiS1OmYcqv_yQSpje4p7rAE7-&t=20

    Of supplemental note. Here are testimonies of deeply homosexual people who overcame their homosexuality, thus proving that the belief that it is impossible to overcome homosexual desires is a myth.

    Such Were Some Of You – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKSFPdyH8x4
    “Such Were Some of You” (A Documentary) was inspired by the passage in 1st Corinthians 6:11 that declares that in Jesus’ day there was a population who had been so transformed by their relationship with Him that they were no longer “same-sex attracted” or at the very least, actively homosexual. They had found such a measure of healing from the brokenness and strongholds associated with what we now call homosexuality that they no longer considered themselves homosexual, nor did they act in that way. “Such Were Some of You” features interviews with a “cloud of present-day witnesses” who testify to the same life-transforming power of Jesus Christ. They describe the development of their same-sex attractions, what the gay lifestyle was like, what their conversion process was like, and the various ways that Jesus has brought healing to their broken places. “Such Were Some of You” lays out the facts about healing homosexual confusion and rejoices in the reality that Jesus Christ can heal anyone from anything while providing grace for the journey.

    Extended Interviews with 29 former homosexuals who are now Christians

    GUESTS – THE EXTENDED INTERVIEWS – videos – Extended Interviews with 29 former homosexuals who are now Christians
    http://suchweresomeofyou.org/

    It simply is not true that people are completely helpless over their sexual desires. Obviously we do exercise some level of sexual restraint and do not give into every sexual impulse that comes along. And thank God for that! 🙂 . It is part of what makes us humans, not animals

    Verse

    1 Corinthians 6: 11
    And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

  11. 11
    Viola Lee says:

    Well, the homosexual people I know (some closely), certainly feel they were born that way, and think that those of you who think there is something wrong with them, or that they can be “fixed”, are pretty heartless, putting your prejudices above your humanity.

    And I will once again point out that homosexual feelings based on the same mix of love, affection, companionship along with sexual attraction as heterosexuals have for the opposite sex.

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    People harbor false beliefs all the time. For example, Darwinian evolution is a deeply held false belief of many people right here on UD. Yet, as the references I cited make clear, there simply is no scientific evidence to support the belief that homosexual people are ‘born that way’: It is a myth, even a lie, that simply has no basis in reality as far as the scientific evidence itself can tell us.

  13. 13
    Viola Lee says:

    Baloney.

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    Oh goody, science denial at it finest.

    i.e. I personally don’t like the findings therefore I choose not to believe them.

    To repeat,

    Born gay or transgender: Little evidence to support innate trait, Wednesday, August 24, 2016
    Excerpt: “a report finds scarce scientific evidence to conclude that gay and transgender people are “born that way. The 143-page paper, published this week in The New Atlantis journal, combs through hundreds of studies in search of a causal, biological explanation for sexual orientation and gender identity, but comes up empty. “The belief that sexual orientation is an innate, biologically fixed human property — that people are ‘born that way’ — is not supported by scientific evidence,” says the report, written by a psychiatrist and a biostatistician at Johns Hopkins University. “Likewise, the belief that gender identity is an innate, fixed human property independent of biological sex — so that a person might be a ‘man trapped in a woman’s body’ or a ‘woman trapped in a man’s body’ — is not supported by scientific evidence,””
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....-evidence/

    There’s no evidence that a single ‘gay gene’ exists – Aug. 2019
    Excerpt: First reported at a genetics conference in 2018, the study found five genetic variants associated with having a same-sex sexual partner (SN: 10/20/18). But those variants, called SNPs, don’t predict people’s sexual behavior, researchers report in the Aug. 30 Science.
    “There is no ‘gay gene’ that determines whether someone has same-sex partners,” says Andrea Ganna, a geneticist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the University of Helsinki.
    https://www.sciencenews.org/article/no-evidence-that-gay-gene-exists

  15. 15
    jerry says:

    Darwinian evolution is a deeply held false belief of many people

    Some of them are extremely smart. So it shows how superficial the knowledge is amongst the very intelligent even when it’s the basis for their theories of the world.

    Matt Ridley is an interesting writer with a PhD in biology. He writes about science topics as well as other things. He has written a book on innovation that I am currently reading. In it he assumes evolution or natural selection is true.

    He had a couple podcasts last June with Naval Ravikant who is also considered a brilliant thinker and who is deeply supportive of natural selection as the basis for his worldview.

    Holding beliefs in natural selection does not interfere with how they view the world works. So they accept it. My guess is that both would be extremely shaken to know that their understanding is baseless.

    Aside: Ridley believes that freedom is the basis for innovation but does not understand the uniqueness of England and how freedom essentially arose only there. (And to a lesser extent in Holland)

    Back to epigenetics. It seems they have only scratched the surface of it so far. Especially if it can be reversed with a treatment such as described in the video. .

  16. 16
    Seversky says:

    Asauber/9

    “Seversky: Since homosexuality is no longer considered a disorder

    Hehe, well, by whom?”

    Sev’s Betters.

    Actually, yes, by our betters.

    Out of DSM: Depathologizing Homosexuality

    Jack Drescher

    Abstract

    In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) removed the diagnosis of “homosexuality” from the second edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). This resulted after comparing competing theories, those that pathologized homosexuality and those that viewed it as normal. In an effort to explain how that decision came about, this paper reviews some historical scientific theories and arguments that first led to the placement of homosexuality in DSM-I and DSM-II as well as alternative theories that eventually led to its removal from DSM III and subsequent editions of the manual. The paper concludes with a discussion of the sociocultural aftermath of that 1973 decision.

    […]

    8. Conclusions

    APA’s 1973 diagnostic revision was the beginning of the end of organized medicine’s official participation in the social stigmatization of homosexuality. Similar shifts gradually took place in the international mental health community as well. In 1990, the World Health Organization removed homosexuality per se from the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) [64]. As a consequence, debates about homosexuality gradually shifted away from medicine and psychiatry and into the moral and political realms as religious, governmental, military, media, and educational institutions were deprived of medical or scientific rationalization for discrimination.

    As a result, cultural attitudes about homosexuality changed in the US and other countries as those who accepted scientific authority on such matters gradually came to accept the normalizing view. For if homosexuality was no longer considered an illness, and if one did not literally accept biblical prohibitions against it, and if gay people are able and prepared to function as productive citizens, then what is wrong with being gay? Additionally, if there is nothing wrong with being gay, what moral and legal principles should the larger society endorse in helping gay people openly live their lives?

    […]

    Most importantly, in medicine, psychiatry, and other mental health professions, removing the diagnosis from the DSM led to an important shift from asking questions about “what causes homosexuality?” and “how can we treat it?” to focusing instead on the health and mental health needs of LGBT patient populations

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    Hmm, Seversky, all of the sudden, is into psychological studies?

    But why does Seversky not listen to these psychologists?

    “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”
    – Viktor Frankl – Man’s Search for Meaning – 1946 – Austrian psychiatrist, Auschwitz survivor
    https://www.travelerstoday.com/articles/8798/20140215/book-happiness-written-man-who-suffered.htm

    Hmm, and Darwinian materialism just so happens to deny that there is any real meaning and purpose to life.

    “Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear — and these are basically Darwin’s views. There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end of me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either. What an unintelligible idea.”
    – William Provine – 1994

    No wonder atheists have such problems with their mental health, and live significantly shorter lives, and commit suicide at a much greater rate, than people who believe in God.

    As Professor Andrew Sims, former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, states, “The advantageous effect of religious belief and spirituality on mental and physical health is one of the best-kept secrets in psychiatry and medicine generally.”,,, “In the majority of studies, religious involvement is correlated with well-being, happiness and life satisfaction; hope and optimism; purpose and meaning in life;,,”

    “I maintain that whatever else faith may be, it cannot be a delusion.
    The advantageous effect of religious belief and spirituality on mental and physical health is one of the best-kept secrets in psychiatry and medicine generally. If the findings of the huge volume of research on this topic had gone in the opposite direction and it had been found that religion damages your mental health, it would have been front-page news in every newspaper in the land.”
    – Professor Andrew Sims former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – Is Faith Delusion?: Why religion is good for your health – preface
    “In the majority of studies, religious involvement is correlated with well-being, happiness and life satisfaction; hope and optimism; purpose and meaning in life; higher self-esteem; better adaptation to bereavement; greater social support and less loneliness; lower rates of depression and faster recovery from depression; lower rates of suicide and fewer positive attitudes towards suicide; less anxiety; less psychosis and fewer psychotic tendencies; lower rates of alcohol and drug use and abuse; less delinquency and criminal activity; greater marital stability and satisfaction… We concluded that for the vast majority of people the apparent benefits of devout belief and practice probably outweigh the risks.”
    – Professor Andrew Sims former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – Is Faith Delusion?: Why religion is good for your health – page 100
    https://books.google.com/books?id=PREdCgAAQBAJ&pg=PA100#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Study: Religiously affiliated people lived “9.45 and 5.64 years longer…”
    July 1, 2018
    Excerpt: Self-reported religious service attendance has been linked with longevity. However, previous work has largely relied on self-report data and volunteer samples. Here, mention of a religious affiliation in obituaries was analyzed as an alternative measure of religiosity. In two samples (N = 505 from Des Moines, IA, and N = 1,096 from 42 U.S. cities), the religiously affiliated lived 9.45 and 5.64 years longer, respectively, than the nonreligiously affiliated. Additionally, social integration and volunteerism partially mediated the religion–longevity relation.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/study-religiously-affiliated-people-lived-religiously-affiliated-lived-9-45-and-5-64-years-longer/

    Can Religion Extend Your Life? – By Chuck Dinerstein — June 16, 2018
    Excerpt: The researcher’s regression analysis suggested that the effect of volunteering and participation accounted for 20% or 1 year of the impact, while religious affiliation accounted for the remaining four years or 80%.
    https://www.acsh.org/news/2018/06/16/can-religion-extend-your-life-13092

    “Concerning suicide rates, this is the one indicator of societal health in which religious nations fare much better than secular nations. According to the 2003 World Health Organization’s report on international male suicides rates (which compared 100 countries), of the top ten nations with the highest male suicide rates, all but one (Sri Lanka) are strongly irreligious nations with high levels of atheism. It is interesting to note, however, that of the top remaining nine nations leading the world in male suicide rates, all are former Soviet/Communist nations, such as Belarus, Ukraine, and Latvia. Of the bottom ten nations with the lowest male suicide rates, all are highly religious nations with statistically insignificant levels of organic atheism.”[3]
    https://www.conservapedia.com/Atheism_and_suicide

    it is also interesting to note that learning and reading about the afterlife and/or about Near Death Experiences is ‘generally quite successful not only in reducing suicidal thoughts but also in preventing the deed altogether”.,,,

    Knowledge of the afterlife deters suicide. Lessons From the Light by Kenneth Ring and Evelyn Elsaesser p.257-258:
    As far as I know, the first clinician to make use of NDE material in this context was a New York psychologist named John McDonagh. In 1979, he presented a paper at a psychological convention that described his success with several suicidal patients using a device he called “NDE bibliotherapy.” His “technique” was actually little more than having his patients read some relevant passages from Raymond Moody’s book, Reflections on Life after Life, after which the therapist and his patient would discuss its implications for the latter’s own situation. McDonagh reports that such an approach was generally quite successful not only in reducing suicidal thoughts but also in preventing the deed altogether.,,,
    Since McDonagh’s pioneering efforts, other clinicians knowledgeable about the NDE who have had the opportunity to counsel suicidal patients have also reported similar success. Perhaps the most notable of these therapists is Bruce Greyson, a psychiatrist now at the University of Virginia, whose specialty as a clinician has been suicidology. He is also the author of a classic paper on NDEs and suicide which the specialist may wish to consult for its therapeutic implications. (14)
    Quite apart from the clinicians who have developed this form of what we might call “NDE-assisted therapy,” I can draw upon my own personal experience here to provide additional evidence of how the NDE has helped to deter suicide. The following case,,,
    http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/201.....lains.html

    Verse:

    Proverbs 8: 33- 36
    Listen to instruction and be wise;
    do not ignore it.
    Blessed is the man who listens to me,
    watching daily at my doors,
    waiting at the posts of my doorway.
    For whoever finds me finds life
    and obtains the favor of the LORD.
    But he who fails to find me harms himself;
    all who hate me love death.”

  18. 18
    Concealed Citizen says:

    Maybe homosexuality is a “sin” and/or mental disorder, maybe it isn’t (I couldn’t care less), but let’s not pretend that some psychobabble “consensus” is any sort of determinant.

    “Science” + politics = politics.

  19. 19
    EDTA says:

    Oh, here we go again on everybody’s favorite topic: homosexuality. Well, if we can’t agree whether it is inborn, perhaps it will be less controversial that it is an evolutionarily maladaptive trait, i.e., a trait that is not favored by evolution.

  20. 20
    ET says:

    seversky:

    So she was tacitly but knowingly appealing to unreasonable people?

    So she was appealing to democrats. Weird.

  21. 21
    ET says:

    Biology says that the anus is part of the EXCRETORY system. So those who use it for something it was not intended for obviously have a mental disorder.

  22. 22
    JVL says:

    ET: Biology says that the anus is part of the EXCRETORY system. So those who use it for something it was not intended for obviously have a mental disorder.

    So, oral sex is wrong as well. And masturbation.

  23. 23
    ET says:

    JVL:

    So, oral sex is wrong as well. And masturbation.

    That doesn’t follow.

  24. 24
    JVL says:

    ET: That doesn’t follow.

    What are mouths and hands intended to be used for?

  25. 25
    ET says:

    Make your case and stop being such an infant.

  26. 26
    asauber says:

    “Actually, yes, by our betters.”

    Sev,

    Not ours. Not mine. Yours.

    Andrew

  27. 27
    asauber says:

    So how did we go from a “sociopathic personality disturbance” to where we are now?

    “gay activists”

    Andrew

  28. 28
    JVL says:

    ET: Make your case and stop being such an infant.

    You said anus’s should not be used for sexual purposes because that’s not what they were intended to be used for. So, that makes oral sex and masturbation off limits because hands and mouths were also not intended to be used for sexual purposes.

  29. 29
    asauber says:

    And how did we get from protecting human life in the womb to where we are now?

    “abortion activists”

    Just another tribe forcing their beliefs on everyone else, even if it kills them.

    Andrew

  30. 30
    ET says:

    What a clueless ass, you are, JVL.

    So, that makes oral sex and masturbation off limits because hands and mouths were also not intended to be used for sexual purposes.

    That doesn’t follow..

    Also I said that the anus was part of the excretory system. And YOU don’t have any clue about biology or anatomy. Hands are used to feel, touch, caress, grasp= a multitude of functions. Mouths also have a multitude of functions.

    You are clearly just a desperate and clueless ass.

  31. 31
    Viola Lee says:

    So, ET, to be clear:

    1) are oral sex and masturbation OK?

    2. Is oral sex OK between unmarried people?

    3. Mouths have many functions. Giving sexual pleasure is one of them – true?

  32. 32
    JVL says:

    From Wikipedia:

    In animal anatomy, a cloaca /klo??e?k?/ kloh-AY-k? (plural cloacae /klo??e?si/ kloh-AY-see or /klo??e?ki/ kloh-AY-kee) is the posterior orifice that serves as the only opening for the digestive, reproductive, and urinary tracts (if present) of many vertebrate animals. All amphibians, reptiles, birds, and a few mammals (monotremes, tenrecs, golden moles, and marsupial moles) have this orifice, from which they excrete both urine and feces; this is in contrast to most placental mammals, which have two or three separate orifices for evacuation. Excretory openings with analogous purpose in some invertebrates are also sometimes referred to as cloacae. Mating through the cloaca is known as cloacal copulation, commonly referred to as cloacal kiss.

    Good thing those animals can have anal sex without fear of having a mental disorder.

  33. 33
    EDTA says:

    It’s a good thing we are so much higher than the other animals, more dignified, and so on, so nothing that the lower animals do will be thought to apply to humans! Oh wait…

    (Yes, that was sarcastic. You will not find me taking any cues to human morality from the rest of the animal kingdom. This is one of those major worldview differences between theists and non-theists that we should be discussing. And why belief or non-belief in evolution matters so much.)

  34. 34

    Responding to the totally off topic Sidney Powell comment.

    US libel Law demands that a distinction be made between facts and opinions. Solely creationism can explain the difference. It is because you require the 2 fundamental catefories of creator and creation to validate both concepts of opinion and fact, each in their own right.

    While It is categorically a factual issue whether Dominion voting systems manipulated the vote, Sidney Powell was just expressing a personal opinion that she liked the odds of it being true that Dominion voting systems manipulated the votes. I also believe Dominion systems manipulated the vote.

  35. 35

    Seeing Democrats, this whole idea that everyone are just regular people, despite our differences, is thrown out the window. So now I’m also a skeptic about homosexuality.

    You have differences of opinion, such as, I like this, you like that. Those are regular differences.

    Then also you have differences because people use a totally different idea of what an opinion is. Those are not regular differences.

    And I speculate that the last is what is happening much with Democrats, homosexuals, atheists, materialists. They have a totally different idea of what an opinion is, what an emotion is, what a choice is.

    materialists:
    choice = to figure out the best or most appropiate option
    opinion = anything that is made up in the mind
    emotion = some electrochemistry in the brain that can be identified as fact

    creationists:
    choice = for the subjective spirit to make on of alternative futures the present
    opinion = a statement that is formed by choice, and expresses what it is that makes a choice
    emotion = choices are made out of emotion, and can only be identified with a chosen opinion

    I think you could investigate it sociologically. Interview people, and then I imagine you would find Democrats, homosexuals, atheists, are more likely to talk about making choices in terms of figuring out the best opinion Conservatives would be more likely to talk about choices as being expression of emotion and personal character.

  36. 36
    Steve Alten2 says:

    I have never understood the rationality of people who think that they can dictate how consenting adults engage in sex with each other. Or can dictate that consenting adults can’t enjoy the benefits, and obligations, of marriage just because they are of the same sex. That two men engage in anal sex does not have any impact on anybody else. That two women can get married does not have any impact on my marriage.

  37. 37
    JVL says:

    Steve Alten2: I have never understood the rationality of people who think that they can dictate how consenting adults engage in sex with each other. Or can dictate that consenting adults can’t enjoy the benefits, and obligations, of marriage just because they are of the same sex. That two men engage in anal sex does not have any impact on anybody else. That two women can get married does not have any impact on my marriage.

    Is there a Steve Alten1?

    You don’t understand because you don’t think there is some deity who designed you for a particular purpose who will take offence because you’re bending their design parameters.

    Let’s recapitulate:

    ET thinks anal sex is bad because the (human) anus was designed purely to evacuate waste products from the body. Clearly he’s horrified and appalled by the notion that someone might get small particles of faeces on their penis. This doesn’t affect him or his spouse at all but he spends lots of time arguing against it for some reason.

    Clearly nature and biology have lots of examples of animals who engage in all kinds of sexual practices and attractions. And many species use the same orifice for sex and for waste removal. So THE DESIGNER clearly thought that was okay, at least sometimes.

    Mouths and hands/fingers are touted as being multi-functional which, I guess, means it’s okay if they are used in sexual . . . experiences? Not reproduction clearly. Can women engage in scissoring? No hands, no mouths. It’s getting a bit fuzzy now: does the community think that all sex must be purely for the purpose of recreation or can there be a bit of fun involved? Is it okay to masturbate? Is it a sin? What harm does it do? Could it not be argued that some men might alleviate some of their sexual tension by masturbating instead of accosting women in public?

    I suspect I will be accused of pandering in sexual perversities on this forum but, let’s be honest, these are real issues for millions of people on this planet. To shut down discussions of these issues is tantamount to putting your fingers in your ears and chanting LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU.

    IF your world view is viable and you want it taken seriously then you should be able to address common, pertinent concerns aside from just saying: that’s weird and I’m not talking about it. Denying the wide and vast range of human behaviour is denialism; the more you restrict and limit your responses the fewer and fewer people you will entice to listen to your view.

  38. 38
    Steve Alten2 says:

    JVL “Is there a Steve Alten1?”

    I don’t know. But there is a Steve Alten somewhere on WordPress as it would not let me sign in with my name. I assume that is because there is a relatively famous author named Steve Alten. He wrote the Meg series of books, one of which was made into a movie.

    Is it okay to masturbate? Is it a sin? What harm does it do? Could it not be argued that some men might alleviate some of their sexual tension by masturbating instead of accosting women in public?”

    I also read somewhere that some European countries teach children in school that it is OK to masturbate. The same countries have much lower teen pregnancy rates than the US. This may not be causative but I do like the idea of destigmatizing sex. Teens are going to have sex. Why not make sure that they have accurate information that isn’t weighted down by puritanical ideas. good decisions depend on accurate information.

  39. 39
    JVL says:

    Steve Alten4375: I also read somewhere that some European countries teach children in school that it is OK to masturbate. The same countries have much lower teen pregnancy rates than the US. This may not be causative but I do like the idea of destigmatizing sex. Teens are going to have sex. Why not make sure that they have accurate information that isn’t weighted down by puritanical ideas. good decisions depend on accurate information.

    OMG, next thing you know you’ll be advocating sex outside of marriage and fetishes. You’ll probably be kicked off shortly.

  40. 40
    Concealed Citizen says:

    ET: Biology says that the anus is part of the EXCRETORY system.

    Um, well, yeah, but, “biology says” that for some people, the anus/rectum is useful for sexual pleasure. (And not just homosexual sex, but hetero sex too. )

    Now what?

  41. 41
    Steve Alten2 says:

    JVL “ OMG, next thing you know you’ll be advocating sex outside of marriage and fetishes. You’ll probably be kicked off shortly.

    I would not advocate for extramarital sex, but that is still a personal decision. If you are talking about pre-marital sex, I am a huge advocate. But, again, it is a personal decision.

    And don’t underestimate the power of fetishes. 🙂

  42. 42
    JVL says:

    Concealed Citizen: Um, well, yeah, but, “biology says” that for some people, the anus/rectum is useful for sexual pleasure. (And not just homosexual sex, but hetero sex too. )

    You’re clearly a deviant weird-o. I bet you believe in ‘climate change’ and a universal basic wage as well.

  43. 43
    Steve Alten2 says:

    JVL “ You’re clearly a deviant weird-o. I bet you believe in ‘climate change’ and a universal basic wage as well.

    And it is only a slippery slope to universal health care. Oh the horror.

  44. 44
    JVL says:

    Steve Alten0.000003: And it is only a slippery slope to universal health care. Oh the horror.

    I’m getting your firing squad arranged as we speak.

  45. 45
    Concealed Citizen says:

    JVL: You’re clearly a deviant weird-o. I bet you believe in ‘climate change’ and a universal basic wage as well.

    Humor (?) aside, I’m libertarianish. As for climate change, it is real to a minor extent, the solution with regards to human involvement is new generation nuclear, esp GEN4, but the economic forecasts of climate alarmism are complete B.S. Thumbs down on the UBI.

  46. 46
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    JVL
    Clearly nature and biology have lots of examples of animals who engage in all kinds of sexual practices and attractions. And many species use the same orifice for sex and for waste removal. So THE DESIGNER clearly thought that was okay, at least sometimes.

    My friend , you (and all human beings ) were created as a king of creation but you look for leading examples from…animals ,and you also think that you are smart. Very strange.

  47. 47
    JVL says:

    Concealed Citizen: Humor (?) aside, I’m libertarianish. As for climate change, it is real to a minor extent, the solution with regards to human involvement is new generation nuclear, esp GEN4, but the economic forecasts of climate alarmism are complete B.S. Thumbs down on the UBI.

    It was all meant to be humourish. Thanks for not going postal on my comment. I’m happy to disagree with you on some issues. As long as it’s civil.

  48. 48
    EDTA says:

    A lot to respond to, mostly JVL and SA2…

    >That two women can get married does not have any impact on my marriage.

    Unless a man’s wife runs off with another woman, which she might not have done if it weren’t an option. I know a guy that happened to. Societal support for marriage in general is at a low point, as evidenced by marriage stats (which are not at an all-time low, but still low enough that nobody’s is safe), and how marriage isn’t much more now than “extreme dating”.

    In other words, a single occurrence of a same-sex marriage does not directly affect your marriage in a measurable way. But that’s the wrong way to look at it. We should be looking at the general climate around marriage.

    >…there is some deity who designed you for a particular purpose who will take offence because you’re bending their design parameters.

    Very charitably put. Thank you, JVL.

    >Clearly nature and biology have lots of examples of animals who engage in all kinds of sexual practices and attractions. And many species use the same orifice for sex and for waste removal. So THE DESIGNER clearly thought that was okay, at least sometimes.

    See my comment above about being glad I don’t take cues on human morality from the rest of the animal kingdom. And why evolution as a larger belief system matters more than people think.

    > Could it not be argued that some men might alleviate some of their sexual tension by masturbating instead of accosting women in public?

    I’m pretty sure that it would not reduce the occurrence of men accosting women in public. Men’s sex drives are pretty intense. Since the sexual revolution, they have been encouraged to let those drives loose, and they sure do. Makes all the #MeToo stuff look pretty silly, as men can’t be openly sexual and not harass anyone too. Which is it? Show some self-control? No, that’s puritanical! But…see the confusion and hypocrisy?

    > To shut down discussions of these issues

    Who’s shutting down discussion?

    >IF your world view is viable and you want it taken seriously then you should be able to address
    common, pertinent concerns

    We express a viable worldview here all the time. In depth too. (Some are more patient about it than others. 😎 But we do address these things directly. Worldview/metaphysical issues drive the practical/ordinary issues, not the other way around. Too many people decide what they think about sexuality, etc., and then pick the metaphysics that don’t conflict. Wrong way!

    > Denying the wide and vast range of human behaviour is denialism; the more you restrict and limit your responses the fewer and fewer people you will entice to listen to your view.

    Ah, water down the message to make it more palatable! Hmm. Some can do that; I find it difficult. If that means few listen, then so be it. I’d rather be right than popular.

    >Teens are going to have sex. Why not make sure that they have accurate information that isn’t weighted down by puritanical ideas. good decisions depend on accurate information.

    Well, post-sexual revolution they are going to yes. We stopped teaching any sort of self-control 3+ generations ago, so nobody should be surprised that it’s ingrained now. Self-control is good in many areas of life, has really good outcomes for people compared with those who were never taught any. But so goes our world…storm the capitol anyone?

  49. 49
    EDTA says:

    >Clearly nature and biology have lots of examples of animals who engage in all kinds of sexual practices and attractions.

    To further elaborate on the above, this reasoning is what permits men to accost women in public. Men are just following their instincts, like all the rest of the animals. I.e., they’re behaving more like animals when they do the accosting.

    Would anyone like to rethink the idea of taking cues from the rest of the animal kingdom when it comes to human morality?

  50. 50
    Steve Alten2 says:

    EDTA ” Unless a man’s wife runs off with another woman, which she might not have done if it weren’t an option.”

    Let’s assume that the woman is white and ran off with a black man? If inter-racial marriage weren’t legal she might not do so. By your logic we should not allow inter-racial marriage because of the temptation it places on same race couples.

    We stopped teaching any sort of self-control 3+ generations ago, so nobody should be surprised that it’s ingrained now. Self-control is good in many areas of life, has really good outcomes for people compared with those who were never taught any.“

    Where did you grow up? Self control is still being taught. Children are still taught that the only 100% effective birth control and STD prevention is abstinence. But what is wrong with also talking about masturbation and the different options for birth control? As I mentioned, you can’t make good decisions without accurate information.

    I had sex before marriage, and am not ashamed of it. It was always consensual and we always used two forms of birth control (pill and condom). Before I got married my future wife and I also lived together for over a year before we got married. We are now going into our 40th year of marriage. I don’t see why I should feel guilty about any of this.

  51. 51
    Steve Alten2 says:

    EDTA “ Would anyone like to rethink the idea of taking cues from the rest of the animal kingdom when it comes to human morality?“

    I agree that we should strive to rise above our basic animal instincts. But what is the rationale for homosexual attraction being classified as immoral whereas opposite sex attraction is not?

  52. 52
    EDTA says:

    SA2,
    >I agree that we should strive to rise above our basic animal instincts.

    So do you reject the sexual revolution? It teaches that we need to let certain animal instincts run more free. That’s the opposite of rising above them and reigning them in.

    >But what is the rationale for homosexual attraction being classified as immoral whereas opposite sex attraction is not?

    Christianity.

    >Let’s assume that the woman is white and ran off with a black man?

    That’s still breaking up a marriage. Has nothing to do with inter-racial anything. I was referring to the expanding of people’s options into immoral ones. Of course I don’t expect we’ll reach agreement on what things are immoral and which aren’t…which is why the metaphysical things are more important to discuss first.

  53. 53
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, CC et al, climate change caught my eye. Are you aware that climate is essentially a 33 year moving average of weather day by day so by definition must change? That, we are in an ice age (witnessed by the ice-coverage), and are in multiple millennia recession from the last ice peak? That it takes a lot to keep us out of the ice planet attractor? That, there is a legitimate scientific debate as to contributory factors and relative strengths? That properly, epistemically on the nature of induction logic, science is never “settled”? That science, politics and policy are a highly unstable mix? And more? KF

  54. 54
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL & SA2, it seems you are trying to ride various hobby horses into various threads at UD. That is trollish conduct. It seems you have hostility to the idea that as responsible, rational creatures, we have built in regulation and behavioural limits that stabilise society and human thriving. Right now the misanthropic, anti civilisational experiment is in progress, complete with witch hunts and reichstag fire tactics. We shall see how you like being under lawless ideologically driven oligarchy should the radical agendas gain the extraordinary, unaccountable power they so patently crave. Something tells me that if they succeed in the short term, we will only manage to repeat the history of various radical revolutions since 1789. Not something any sane person wishes. KF

  55. 55
    Steve Alten2 says:

    EDTA “So do you reject the sexual revolution? It teaches that we need to let certain animal instincts run more free. That’s the opposite of rising above them and reigning them in.”

    It depends on what you mean by “sexual revolution”. I am in favour of removing consensual sex between adults from the authority of regulators. I am in favour of the easy availability of birth control. I am in favour of comprehensive sex education. I am in favour of not locking up or castrating homosexuals. I am in favour of women and men being allowed to enjoy sex outside of marriage without guilt.

    Christianity.”

    Thank you for being honest.

    That’s still breaking up a marriage. Has nothing to do with inter-racial anything.”

    You are suggesting that things that can provide temptation should be illegal. I am pretty sure that is not what you are intending to say.

    “I was referring to the expanding of people’s options into immoral ones. Of course I don’t expect we’ll reach agreement on what things are immoral and which aren’t…which is why the metaphysical things are more important to discuss first.”

    But are we expanding a person’s options into immoral ones? It is barely mentioned in the Bible and it is associated with killing homosexuals. I am sure that you are not advocating this. Even Jesus never said anything about homosexuals, one way or the other. How do you know that he believed that it was a sin, or that they shouldn’t be allowed to marry?

  56. 56
    Concealed Citizen says:

    Steve Alten2: Even Jesus never said anything about homosexuals, one way or the other.

    While he didn’t single them out, he used the word “pornea” which to a Jew would have included homosexuality and any other unlawful sexual practice. (Mat 15:19, Mark 7:21)

  57. 57
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Kairosfocus “JVL & SA2, it seems you are trying to ride various hobby horses into various threads at UD. That is trollish conduct.

    We are trolls because we join a conversation that was started by others (Jerry and AaronS1978)?

    It seems you have hostility to the idea that as responsible, rational creatures, we have built in regulation and behavioural limits that stabilise society and human thriving.”

    Yet you have not been able to prove that they are “built in” as opposed to societally derived and propagated. For example, for centuries society had determined that homosexuality was unacceptable and punished it with death, castration and jail. Society has now seen that there was no sound justification for these beliefs and punishments.

    Right now the misanthropic, anti civilisational experiment is in progress, complete with witch hunts and reichstag fire tactics. “

    Civilization has always been an ongoing series of experiments. And that is not going to change. What witch hunts are you talking about? All I have read about is a couple florists and bakers being sued for denying services to homosexuals. Personally, I think that is a reasonable protest. Analogous to blacks in the sixties suing business owners for denying them service. Nobody has said that the florists or bakers must believe that homosexuality is moral, just that they can’t deny them the services that they provide to everyone else.

    Maybe an experience that I am aware of will make my point clearer. I have a blind friend who has a guide dog. She frequently has a problem getting a taxi. She arranges for one and when they pull up, they slow down and then pull away without stopping. On one event, she was with a friend who recorded the licence number. She sued the driver for refusing to provide her the service because she was blind. In court the driver used a freedom of religion defence. Apparently, in some muslims sects dogs are considered to be impure and unclean. The judge denied this defence stating that the blind person’s rights in this respect superseded the driver’s religious rights.

    We shall see how you like being under lawless ideologically driven oligarchy should the radical agendas gain the extraordinary, unaccountable power they so patently crave.”

    Somehow I don’t see how allowing same sex marriage will lead to a lawless ideologically driven oligarchy

    Something tells me that if they succeed in the short term, we will only manage to repeat the history of various radical revolutions since 1789. Not something any sane person wishes. KF”

    Again, I don’t see how same sex marriage is going to lead to radical revolutions.

    It has become obvious to me that you believe that anything that you don’t agree with will inevitably lead to the downfall of civilization.

  58. 58
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Concealed Citizen “While he didn’t single them out, he used the word “pornea” which to a Jew would have included homosexuality and any other unlawful sexual practice. (Mat 15:19, Mark 7:21)”

    Thank you for pointing me to these. The English translation, only mentions sexual immorality, but it doesn’t provide any details. I don’t think that anyone here is arguing that sexual activities can’t be immoral. For example, I would argue that rape, pedophilia and extra-marital affairs are immoral. But I should also point out that this wasn’t always the case. Up until quite recently a wife could not charge her husband with rape.

  59. 59
    Viola Lee says:

    KF writes, “JVL & SA2, it seems you are trying to ride various hobby horses into various threads at UD.”

    Steve answered in 57, but I’ll add two cents. First, Jerry brought the topic up at #5., and BA, asauber, ET, and others have contributed. I respectfully suggest that you just don’t read the thread if the subject is so distasteful to you.

  60. 60
    Viola Lee says:

    Steve writes, ” For example, for centuries society had determined that homosexuality was unacceptable and punished it with death, castration and jail.”

    Not necessarily true. Some societies have accepted homosexual relations in various way rather than castigating them.

    And this is relevant,

    Culturally invariable properties of male homosexuality: tentative conclusions from cross-cultural research
    F L Whitam
    PMID: 6882205 DOI: 10.1007/BF01542072
    Abstract
    While the behavior of homosexuals in some aspects is subject to cultural variability, this analysis explores the equally important question of cultural invariability. Based on several years of field work in homosexual communities in the United States, Guatemala, Brazil, and the Philippines, six tentative conclusions about cultural invariability are offered: (1) homosexual persons appear in all societies; (2) the percentage of homosexuals in all societies seems to be about the same and remains stable over time; (3) social norms do not impede or facilitate the emergence of homosexual orientation; (4) homosexual subcultures appear in all societies, given sufficient aggregates of people; (5) homosexuals in different societies tend to resemble each other with respect to certain behavioral interests and occupational choices; and (6) all societies produce similar continua from overtly masculine to overtly feminine homosexuals. Implications for this interpretation of homosexuality include the notion that homosexuality is not created by social structural arrangements but is rather a fundamental form of human sexuality acted out in different cultural settings.

    Culturally invariable properties of male homosexuality: tentative conclusions from cross-cultural research

  61. 61
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Viola Lee “Not necessarily true. Some societies have accepted homosexual relations in various way rather than castigating them.”

    You are correct. This was my English-western bias showing through. Historically, many Native American cultures were far more accepting of homosexuality and transgendered than their European invaders were.

    Thank you for the link to that article. It was very informative, although not at all surprising. I think that some have the fear that by accepting homosexuality and transgendered that we will suddenly see a surge in homosexuals and transgendered, and that our civilization will crumble through a lack of reproduction. That is such a ludicrous threat that it wouldn’t be worth addressing but for the fact there are people who believe this.

    I understand that seeing two men kiss makes some people uncomfortable. And, I must admit, that it also makes me feel uncomfortable. But I am smart enough to realize that this is my problem, not theirs.

    The other fear-mongering often used is that children raised by same sex couples are at a serious disadvantage. Again, the actual data does not support this.

    We conclude that there is a clear consensus in the social science literature indicating that American children living within same-sex parent households fare just, as well as those children residing within different-sex parent households over a wide array of well-being measures: academic performance, cognitive development, social development, psychological health, early sexual activity, and substance abuse. Our assessment of the literature is based on credible and methodologically sound studies that compare well-being outcomes of children residing within same-sex and different-sex parent families. Differences that exist in child well-being are largely due to socioeconomic circumstances and family stability.
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11113-014-9329-6

  62. 62
    Viola Lee says:

    The last line is crucial, because some many kids, no matter what the sexual orientation of their parents, have unstable families (divorce, single parent (usually moms), blended families, alcohol and other substance abuse problems) and poverty from various causes. Studies which just look at same-sex parent families and don’t look at comparable hetero-families don’t give us good data.

  63. 63
    Concealed Citizen says:

    SA2: I understand that seeing two men kiss makes some people uncomfortable.

    Well, personally (and I’m no prude), I don’t care about the genders involved, it’s kind of cringy no matter what the sexual configuration, and more reflects a lack of respect for people in public. I don’t care what consenting adults do, but keep the sex and other personal bodily things in private. I would guess that 99.997% of people in the world would agree with that. Does it make it “right” or “wrong”? Well, no, not in any objective morality sort of way. But if a person is interested in an efficient, maximally content state of social affairs, I would think he/she/it would understand and act accordingly. I don’t piss in the street, even though I want to sometimes. I at least go behind a tree out of view. Respect.

    But, I would be wrong.

  64. 64
    Viola Lee says:

    I tend to agree. Sometimes I see people (usually young) passionately kissing in public and my feeling is “get a room”. But sometimes I see, for instance, a middle aged couple, not particularly fit and of average looks, and I think about how they have sex, and I think about that’s it’s just not my business what that looks like or what they do. So sometimes I wonder if people who have a sense of disgust about same-sex sex apply the same criteria to their feeling about similar imaginings of hetero-sex sex.

    Also, and I think this has been confirmed by studies, people have much less discomfort watching two women kiss than they do two men. I have thoughts about that, but I think I’ll keep those to myself.

  65. 65
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Concealed Citizen, I think that the cringe-worthyness would depend on the situation and duration of the kiss. For example, I don’t think that anyone would cringe at a women getting off a plane giving a short kiss to a man waiting at the baggage carousel for her. The same may not be true for the exact same situation if the two people were men.

    Then again, is anyone meeting anyone else at baggage carousels these days?

    Viola Lee “Also, and I think this has been confirmed by studies, people have much less discomfort watching two women kiss than they do two men. I have thoughts about that, but I think I’ll keep those to myself.”

    Personally, I have never understood why anyone would want to kiss a man, or do anything else with a man. I’m just glad that there are some that do. 🙂

  66. 66
    Concealed Citizen says:

    Steve Alten2: I don’t think that anyone would cringe at a women getting off a plane giving a short kiss to a man waiting at the baggage carousel for her. The same may not be true for the exact same situation if the two people were men.

    Good point. I would never mind social “pecks” between any configuration of genders (or species for that matter.) (The French do it all day long, and they seem okay. 😀 ) Those aren’t sexual kisses. They don’t irk me personally. I wonder what a poll would reveal.

    But I could be wrong.

  67. 67
    bornagain77 says:

    as to “Even Jesus never said anything about homosexuals, one way or the other.”

    Well, there is that bit where He said the day of Judgement would be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah than Capernaum

    Matthew 11:23-24
    And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.”

    Matthew 10:15
    Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.

    Luke 10:12
    I say to you, it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city.

    Source: https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Sodom-And-Gomorrah

    Of related note: Archeology has confirmed the existence of Sodom and Gomorrah and that they suffered a fiery destruction and were never rebuilt afterwards, just as the Bible said and predicted.

    Q&A: The Bible and Archaeology (Conversation with Joel Kramer) – Sodom and Gomorrah – 11:22 min. mark
    https://youtu.be/ZqTjpCrsGFE?t=682

  68. 68
    EDTA says:

    >It has become obvious to me that you believe that anything that you don’t agree with will inevitably lead to the downfall of civilization.

    It’s not things I disagree with, it’s things that tend to precede downfalls*, and the cause/effect relationships among them. Most people don’t even care where civilization is headed, as long as they have their basic needs met, and plenty of entertainment/fun/pleasure–because that’s what they seem to prioritize. Start talking about civilization, and most people’s eyes glaze over because it’s too abstract. But the price of all the good things is eternal vigilance, and I’m thankful for those who are vigilant–and wise enough to be vigilant about the right things.

    *For the record, I don’t think open homosexuality is a _cause_ of downfalls, but more a symptom of the whole web of causes and effects.

  69. 69
    Steve Alten2 says:

    EDTA ” It’s not things I disagree with, it’s things that tend to precede downfalls*, and the cause/effect relationships among them. ”

    My apologies if you thought my comment was referring to you. It was aimed at Kairosfocus who tends to see everything that does not conform to his personal world view as leading, inevitably, to disaster. This in spite of all evidence to the contrary.

    But the price of all the good things is eternal vigilance, and I’m thankful for those who are vigilant–and wise enough to be vigilant about the right things.“

    I agree. But the “right things” can also require fighting for change. Back in the 60s men were jailed for simply being homosexual. Thankfully that is no longer the case. When I was in high school there were kids that openly bragged about “gay bashing”. That is no longer the case.

    A small percentage of the population, for reasons beyond their control, are sexually attracted to others of the same sex. This has been the case throughout all of recorded history. I just haven’t seen any legitimate justification for denying them the opportunities that the rest of us enjoy. Be open about their relationships. Get married. Raise children.

  70. 70
    kairosfocus says:

    This is not merely about distaste, but that the pattern of tangents into toxic distractors [with seriously misinformed commentry, as I long since linked] is manifestly counter productive.

    I suggest that there be a general refraining from such distractions.

  71. 71

    The personal opinions of people who do not comprehend intellectually what a personal opinion is, are bad.

    Their personal opinions lack guidance from the intellectual level. Meaning their personal opinions are much more decided at a lower, instinctive level.

    At the more intellectual level, people generally dislike homosexuality, including homosexuals themselves. They commonly have internal conflicts.

    First teach people what a personal opinion is, meaning to teach creationism, and have people pay dedicated attention to subjective issues, as in religion, then we’ll see what homosexuality is left after that.

    Like Evelyn Waugh Brideshead Revisited. Where homosexuality ended up as secondary fun to heterosexual serious love.

  72. 72
    Viola Lee says:

    MN writes, “At the more intellectual level, people generally dislike homosexuality, including homosexuals themselves. They commonly have internal conflicts.”

    False, I believe. Do you have a source for that claim?

    What is true is that homosexuals have “internal conflicts” because of the negative judgments of those around them: they are taught to feel shame, and that they are abnormal, as demonstrated clearly by, for instance, people like KF and others here.

  73. 73

    VL Your ideas about it is of no interest to me, because you use a different and wrong understanding of what a personal opinion is.

  74. 74
    Steve Alten2 says:

    MN “ At the more intellectual level, people generally dislike homosexuality, including homosexuals themselves. They commonly have internal conflicts.

    I think you might have it backwards. It is at the more intellectual level that people are generally accepting of homosexuality. And I echo Viola Lee’s comment that homosexuals have internal conflicts because of the negative judgment of others. This is supported by the fact that homosexual teen suicide rates have significantly declined at the same time that acceptance of homosexuality has increased.

  75. 75

    At the basic instinct level sexuality can go in any direction, including animals, minors, family members, inanimate objects.

    Only the ideas of creationists about it are of interest. Materialists only understand about things that are forced, not decisionmaking processes.

  76. 76
    Viola Lee says:

    MN, I am not a materialist. I believe strongly that choice is a primary aspect of our nature.

  77. 77

    Yeah, choice as being some kind of cultural fantasy, not as a reality of physics.

  78. 78
    Viola Lee says:

    That doesn’t make sense, MN, and I don’t know why you think you understand what I mean, but I’m not going to try to pursue it, I don’t think.

  79. 79
    EDTA says:

    SA2,
    >But the “right things” can also require fighting for change.

    Yes, and there are many changes that need to be fought for. But I think our priorities are wrong at times. Someone in Germany in the early ’30s might have been fighting for women’s rights too (or some other high-level cause), but they should have been fighting for civilization itself. We are fighting for rights for various groups today. But if we collapse, as I think we could, all the gains of minorities, feminists, etc., could disappear overnight. You may be underestimating how thin the veneer of civilization really is, and how we can be back to the laws of the jungle overnight if we are not careful for the fundamentals on which civilization rests _first_ and foremost.

  80. 80
    EDTA says:

    mohammadnursyamsu @ 71,
    >Their personal opinions lack guidance from the intellectual level. Meaning their personal opinions are much more decided at a lower, instinctive level.

    I have had similar concerns. Detractors seem to reject the words of folks like KF without actually engaging him at his level, point-by-point. Rather, they reject the ideas in sweeping generalities that never get down to details and points. Glad you brought that out.

  81. 81
    Viola Lee says:

    I have engaged KF point by point a number of times, on a number of issues. He doesn’t engage back: he repeats and repeats, and dismisses any ideas not consistent with his as “evolutionary materialistic scientism and its fellow travellers”, and making sweeping generalizations about how therefore civilization is going to hell in a handbasket, rather than addressing the specific points that people have made in reply to him. That’s the way it looks to me.

  82. 82
    EDTA says:

    SA2 @ 74 + Viola,
    > It is at the more intellectual level that people are generally accepting of homosexuality.

    I have to question that, because people here are disagreeing with it, and asserting its immorality, for intellectual reasons. (It might be argued that we have intellectualized our gut feelings, but that argument would cut the other way too.)

    > And I echo Viola Lee’s comment that homosexuals have internal conflicts because of the negative judgment of others.

    Just having an internal conflict is not a sure sign that it is caused by people outside. It may feel that way, and is sure is convenient to blame those outside, particularly in an age when everything is “society’s fault”. (Yet another example of societal breakdown, btw.) Yes, the APA and experts everywhere say that it’s everyone else’s fault, too, because that’s what’s in vogue right now.

    But one can also have internal conflicts just because something is wrong internally. I also carry at least one maladaptive trait (an evolution term everyone here should be familiar with). But I don’t blame society for the problems it causes me nor do I seek to make an institution around it–despite the fact that society could (if it wanted to) bend to accommodate me.

  83. 83
    Steve Alten2 says:

    EDTA “ But I think our priorities are wrong at times. Someone in Germany in the early ’30s might have been fighting for women’s rights too (or some other high-level cause), but they should have been fighting for civilization itself.”

    But isn’t it possible to do both? I can fight for homosexual rights at the same time I fight against racial discrimination.

    ” You may be underestimating how thin the veneer of civilization really is, and how we can be back to the laws of the jungle overnight if we are not careful for the fundamentals on which civilization rests _first_ and foremost.”

    It is what these fundamentals are that is being fought for. Accepting homosexuals as welcome and productive members of society, enjoying all of the benefits and subject to the same obligations as the rest of us, conforms to these fundamentals. Equality of opportunity, respect for others, pursuit of happiness, etc.

  84. 84
    Steve Alten2 says:

    EDTA “ It might be argued that we have intellectualized our gut feelings, but that argument would cut the other way too.“

    I’m not sure that this is the case, at least not for me. If I were to intellectualize my gut feeling with respect to male homosexuality I would probably find a way to justify opposing it. But, there may be other issues where I very well might be intellectualize for my gut feeling.

    Just having an internal conflict is not a sure sign that it is caused by people outside.“

    Agreed. I’m sure we all know people who blame government or big business for all of their failings.

    But one can also have internal conflicts just because something is wrong internally.“

    I agree with this as well. But we are talking about homosexuality. There are some irrefutable facts. 1) Homosexuality has been with us for all recorded history and there is no indication that this will change. 2) Same sex attraction manifests itself at a very early age. 3) This is not something a person can simply flip a switch and change it.

    We don’t know if homosexuality is something that some are “born” with, or if it arises early in development, but given the stigma associated with it over the centuries we can be fairly certain that it is not something that someone chooses for themselves.

    So, the way I see it society has two choices.

    1) Continue to marginalized homosexuals and not allow them to be full members of society or

    2) Accept them as they are and welcome them into society, extending them the same benefits that the rest of us enjoy.

    I choose the latter.

    But let’s take a hypothetical. Let’s assume that homosexuality is due epigenetic effects during fetal development. If this were proven the case, should society invest in research to develop prenatal treatments to short-circuit these epigenetic effects?

  85. 85
    EDTA says:

    SA2,
    >But isn’t it possible to do both? I can fight for homosexual rights at the same time I fight against racial discrimination.

    Perhaps we’re disagreeing on what the fundamentals are, but it looks to me as if we are neglecting some of the fundamentals while we focus on high-level issues.

    >Equality of opportunity, respect for others, pursuit of happiness, etc.

    Yes, we definitely have different ideas of what fundamentals are. Those are noble next goals of a society that has the fundamentals well under control. Good goals, but not fundamental enough to keep us from falling into an authoritarian/totalitarian state. The fundamentals are more abstract than these things, and so the media never talks about them; people’s eyes would glaze over and they would flip to some more entertaining show instead.

    >There are some irrefutable facts. 1) Homosexuality has been with us for all recorded history and there is no indication that this will change.

    Just like there is no indication that sexual harassment will ever go away, or even diminish more than a little–and that when under extreme societal pressure. I predict that homophobia won’t go away either. (Hey, all three are natural, instinctual things, right? We can’t welcome people to the sexual revolution in all its glory, and then tell them to overcome some things that come naturally, but not others. The sexual revolution is all about letting the instincts loose.)

    > 2) Same sex attraction manifests itself at a very early age.

    That’s one I can’t personally confirm, as I know people who went gay who gave no indication of it at an early age. But I also can’t disagree, as my sample size is too small.

    > 3) This is not something a person can simply flip a switch and change it.

    Same for my maladaptive trait. No chance of ever fixing it permanently. But I am still obligated to fight it, which I do.

    We can either give in to our personal challenges, or fight them. Right now, our society is in a state where it says to everyone, “You were born that way, so go with it. Be who you are. And everyone else is wrong if they make you feel bad for it, so get your blame game on!”

  86. 86
    Viola Lee says:

    EDTA, what do you think the fundamentals are, if not such things as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, liberty and justice for all, all men are created equal, etc.?

  87. 87
    Seversky says:

    For what it’s worth, as a Trekkie, I start from the Vulcan premise of “Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations”.

    Applying Vulcan logic, in the case of a Creator of infinite knowledge and infinite power, nothing would exist but by its will since it would always have the power to change that which displeased it. It would also know exactly how one of its creations would behave and, being omnipresent, would also know its future with the same certainty.

    Thus it would be illogical for this Creator to penalize one of its creatures for behaving in ways it was designed to behave and allowed to behave. The Creator would have the power to modify the creature so it behaved differently or, at the very least, try to reason with the creature and explain the reasoning behind the Creator’s displeasure. Harming or killing creatures for being as they were created to be and their Creator knew they would be appears to be both irrational and malevolent.

    I am as startled instinctively as others here when I see two men kissing but, like others here, I believe the problem is in me. I am just human, not a god nor even a Vulcan. Clearly, others feel the same so one of the awkward questions it raises is why holy texts such as the Bible would include prohibitions against something like homosexuality.

    The Christian God is presumed to be all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving and present at all times and in all places, He is presumed to have created this entire unimaginably vast Universe and everything within it so why should such a being be bothered by what two consenting human adults get up to in the privacy of their own bedroom? If He doesn’t like it He shouldn’t be looking. The more fundamental question is why would such a deity create beings that were able to behave in ways that would displease it?

    The free will defense simply does not work in the case of an omniscient Creator because, as the story of Peter’s triple denial of knowing Jesus illustrates, there can be no free will in the case of such a Creator. He was warned specifically in advance what he would do yet that is what happened. He could do nothing about it.

    In fact, it makes no sense at all for such a Creator to object to homosexual behavior. What makes more sense is that whoever wrote those passages in the Bible was giving their expression to the sadly all-too-human prejudice and bigotry that we can assume existed then as now.

    It has been argued here that atheists cannot build and live by a coherent “worldview”. Leaving aside whether such a concept has any useful meaning, the reality is that we are all ignorant in most areas and to varying degrees, so any views we take are liable to be ill-founded, inconsistent and even contradictory. We should be humbled by that ignorance but all too often we are not.

    This is as true for Christians as anyone else. The Bible is riddled with inconsistencies, discrepancies and contradictions. For example, why would an all-loving God command Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac as a test of Abraham’s faith when He would have known exactly what was in the man’s heart? That smacks of cruelty not compassion. It also makes the Bible sound like what you would expect of something authored by fallible human beings. In practice a Christian can only build a coherent “worldview” based on the Bible’s teachings by ignoring a lot of it.

    This is not to say there are not many genuinely good Christians in the sense that they try to actually live according to Christ’s example rather than just pay lip-service to it. There are. They exercise their own judgement concerning Biblical – especially Old Testament – proscriptions rather than slavishly following some supposedly literalist interpretation of the texts. They note the contradiction between the death penalty that is supposed to be meted out to homosexuals or adulterers or even disrespectful children and Romans 12:19

    Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

    They may even recognize the contradiction between Romans 12:19 and the concept of an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omnipresent Creator.

    Being atheist is actually a lot easier since you don’t get sucked into a swamp of apologetics.

  88. 88
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Viola Lee @86, I would also like to know what EDTA is referring to when he is talking about the fundamentals. I would think that any society that confirms to the goals that you and I have listed could not be authoritarian.

  89. 89

    Materialism, post-modernism, socialism, wokes, nazism, communism, racism, lbgtqp.

    Supposedly it’s all the same error of fact obsessed people who are clueless about subjectivity, on the intellectual level.

    It’s a simple problem, with a simple solution. The solution being to teach creationism. Because the concept of subjectivity is an inherently creationist concept.

    1. Creator / chooses / spiritual / opinion
    2. Creation / chosen / material / fact

    Category 1 is the subjective category, category 2 is the objective category.

    There is no doubt about it that amendment 1 of the US constitution has a big role in the success of the USA. If freedom of opinion is so important, than so too must the concept of opinion be very important for success. And the concept of opinion, is an inherently creationist concept.

    The nazi’s asserted that personal character is a matter of biological fact. But creationism says personal character belongs in the subjective category, because choices are made out of personal character.

    It is just very obvious. When people are clueless about subjectivity, then they don’t pay dedicated attention to subjective issues. Then their emotions turn to shit, and people become hysterical 24/7. They make bad personal opinions, from their bad emotions. Then they make politics from their bad personal opinions.

  90. 90
    EDTA says:

    Viola,
    >EDTA, what do you think the fundamentals are, if not such things as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, liberty and justice for all, all men are created equal, etc.?

    Those are fundamental rights, which the founders argued were God-given, and which are ebbing away to one degree or another. (Note that the “pursuit of happiness” originally meant self-determination, not the pursuit of pleasure or the emotion of happiness–although self-determination can lead to happiness. The pursuit of pleasure is one thing we don’t see decreasing…)

    The true fundamentals include such things as moral unity. Human beings will never be 100% in moral agreement with each other; one instead has to speak of which way we are trending, and I think it’s clear this one is trending down. We disagree today over extremely fundamental aspects of life, such as sexuality and abortion.

    Cultural unity brings people together to celebrate/enjoy/relate-to the same things. In this area, diversity is on the rise, which means people have less to relate to in others. Sociologists have determined that it is innate with people that trust declines where cultural diversity increases, because we need similar culture in order to form trust. They have also measured that trust is in decline, which is also a decline in moral unity.

    Closely related to this is political unity, or unity in matters of how government is to be run, its extent, its purpose, and so on. I don’t expect much disagreement that political unity is in decline–possibly at the lowest level since the Civil War. (Not that we’ll be having another one soon. Too many things prevent it today.)

    Another fundamental is whether we share any common vision for our own future. This has died along with political unity, and along the same lines. Groups now want the nation to go in very different directions, and they cannot be reconciled.

    Another fundamental is social capital. This is the amount of investment we have in each other. It’s what holds us together in times of trouble, and keeps us together, defending each other and so on. This is dying too. It’s built up by strong marriages, where all the members come immediately to each other’s aid. It’s built up by institutions that unify us and encourage us to pull in the same direction to reach higher goals than we could separately. It’s destroyed by divorce, abortion, quick sex that only focuses on the dopamine rush each party obtains, pleasure-seeking as its own goal, isolation at home with our televisions and smart phones, and so on. (Yes, we volunteer still, just not at the same rates as we once did.)

    Today, our culture can change more rapidly than at any time in human history. Things unthinkable 100 years ago can now happen in less than a generation. Rapid cultural change means nobody is thinking about it before it happens. The ability of things to change so rapidly represents instability. I realize stability in a bad area of our culture would be a bad thing. But instability is risky merely because it means uncontrolled change is more possible.

    The decline in these things means we are heading towards disintegration, i.e., no longer being a strong, integral whole, compared with, say, 100 years ago. (No I don’t want to go back in time; there were other problems then. But instability and division weren’t among them.)

    The above things can cause a nation to collapse, and allow the worst elements to take over. Instability looks like opportunity to psychopathic leaders; they welcome it, because they can promise to restore order, and we know what happens next. And women’s rights and all the other gains you’ve made over the last 50 years, etc., etc., can disappear overnight as the strongest and most brutal take over. This is why ignoring the real fundamentals means everything else is on shaky ground.

    I mentioned that these are rather abstract and intertwined. I hope I’ve articulated them well enough to get the idea across. May I encourage you all to focus on these things too, and help slow the decline?

  91. 91
    ET says:

    When Christians were persecuted did they go around committing suicide? What about the Jewish people? Vegetarians were ostracized but I don’t remember any uptick in their suicides.

    Do criminals have internal conflicts because of the way society treats them?

  92. 92
    Steve Alten2 says:

    EDTA “ I mentioned that these are rather abstract and intertwined. I hope I’ve articulated them well enough to get the idea across.”

    I think you have articulated it quite well. It will take me some time to digest it all before I can respond in detail. But just a couple points.

    The true fundamentals include such things as moral unity.“

    I don’t think anyone disagrees with this. What is being contested is what moral values are fundamental to the thriving of our society, and what ones are based more on cultural and/or religious inertia than on what is necessary to approach the goals that we previously listed.

    I think that it is safe to say that there is moral unity on things like killing, stealing and lying. It is easy to demonstrate that society cannot approach the goals that we previously listed if either of these was widespread in society.

    However it would be more difficult, if not impossible, to demonstrate that these goals are more difficult to achieve if we accept homosexuality, same sex marriage and premarital sex. I would argue that resistance to these has more to do with cultural/religious inertia than it does with their impact on achieving the goals.

    Sociologists have determined that it is innate with people that trust declines where cultural diversity increases, because we need similar culture in order to form trust.”

    Do you have some references. I would very much like to read some of this. My personal experience has been the exact opposite. Keep in mind, I am only talking about my personal experience, not about broad spectrum sociology. Over the last 15 years I have had the luck to travel extensively for work. This has resulted in interactions with numerous cultures. These cultures have shown me that we have far more in common than we differ. This has resulted in an increased level of trust with me.

    I will try to respond in more detail later as I think your points are important.

  93. 93
    EDTA says:

    Here’s one survey study on diversity and trust:
    https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev-polisci-052918-020708

    The effect of diversity would be mitigated if we were still assimilating people like we did 100 years ago, but those day are also over, and celebration of differences is emphasized now.

    Another one:
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0147596715000980

    Results out there are mixed, of course, because it’s a highly charged issue.

  94. 94
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, SA2 et al, I note for record:

    For record, let us note regarding the moral inversion being widely advanced under questionable colours of claimed rights (so, fairness/justice), seemingly established science and law/policy . . . and note, implicit appeals to our built-in first duties of reason:

    1] Contrary to widely promoted narratives of recent decades, sexual orientation/identity and associated habits and behaviours etc (found in three main culturally stamped patterns, the modern Western, the Greek, the Melanesian) are not credibly genetically determined. (Note here also.)

    2] Linked, as a key 2012 Lancet Article admitted against interest and with buried leads, a commonly associated sexual practice (now widely promoted esp. through the addictive, morally undermining porn plague) is a major at-risk factor for exposure to HIV/AIDS, thus, other diseases. The obvious vector is, tissue damage and the potential for infections crossing into the blood stream.

    3] The further linked notion that laws and deeply embedded cultural institutions such as marriage may be freely redefined under colour of law is open to serious challenge and given the critical stabilising and nurturing role of marriage, is liable to have damaging civilisational impact.

    4] The emergence of scapegoating and targetting of those who, for principled reasons refuse to go along with the moral inversion agenda by accusing such of bigotry is not healthy for civilisation. Those who go down that line would be well advised to ponder the fallacy of the closed, often hostile mind and the linked challenge of addressing cognitive dissonance by projection to the despised other, joined to the crooked yardstick effect. Particularly, ponder that what is straight cannot conform to crookedness and that there are naturally straight, upright plumb lines for law and its inescapable tie to duties to justice thus built in moral government coeval with our humanity.

    I trust these will be enough to help some at least to ponder where we are taking our civilisation on current line of drift. I trust, the thread can now return to its due focus. KF

    PS: EDTA, as one who lived through a 4th gen in the shadows civil war, actually the USA has drifted into an ongoing 4th gen civil war since about 2016 or 17. As there is a spectrum of operations in such a struggle, it is hard to specify start date. Already, you have seen a neo-marxist, McFaul colour/culture revolution, manipulated election (theme colour black), and are currently going through a close analogue to the Reichstag fire incident and aftermath.

  95. 95
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky:

    The following fallacious argument caught my eye:

    The free will defense simply does not work in the case of an omniscient Creator because, as the story of Peter’s triple denial of knowing Jesus illustrates, there can be no free will in the case of such a Creator. He was warned specifically in advance what he would do yet that is what happened. He could do nothing about it.

    The free will defence is not a theodicy, and establishes beyond reasonable dispute that the theistic set, rightly understood is coherent. The augmentation with a clarifying proposition demonstrates that.

    Thus, instead of trying to prove to those who are likely to be hyperskeptical, that God exists despite their raft of objections, the free will defence sets up and thoroughly grounds the following framework argument, as COHERENT:

    1. God exists
    2. God is omnipotent – all powerful
    [Clarification:
    Implicit, incorrect claim:
    (2a) if he exists, God is omnipotent and so capable of — but obviously does not eliminate — evil
    Replace with:
    2b: “A good, omnipotent God will eliminate evil as far as he can without either losing a greater good or bringing about a greater evil.”]
    3. God is omniscient – all-knowing
    4. God is omni-benevolent – all-good
    5. God created the world
    [Augment:
    5a: “God created a world (potentially) containing evil; and has a good reason for doing so.” Propositions 1, 2b, 3, 4, and 5a are plainly consistent, and entail 6.]
    _______________________
    6. The world contains evil

    The coherence as clarified and augmented is manifest and the deductive form argument against God from evil fails. Of course, there is a book length discussion of associated details, and there is good reason to set aside inductive form atheistical arguments also.

    Let us note in the wider context, Boethius as highlighted by WmAD:

    In his Consolation of Philosophy, Boethius states the following paradox: “If God exists, whence evil? But whence good, if God does not exist?” Boethius contrasts the problem that evil poses for theism with the problem that good poses for atheism. The problem of good does not receive nearly as much attention as the problem evil, but it is the more basic problem. That’s because evil always presupposes a good that has been subverted. All our words for evil make this plain: the New Testament word for sin (Greek hamartia) presupposes a target that’s been missed; deviation presupposes a way (Latin via) from which we’ve departed; injustice presupposes justice; etc. So let’s ask, who’s got the worse problem, the theist or the atheist? Start with the theist. God is the source of all being and purpose. Given God’s existence, what sense does it make to deny God’s goodness? None . . . . The problem of evil still confronts theists, though not as a logical or philosophical problem, but instead as a psychological and existential one [as was addressed above] . . . .

    The problem of good as it faces the atheist is this: nature, which is nuts-and-bolts reality for the atheist, has no values and thus can offer no grounding for good and evil. As nineteenth century freethinker Robert Green Ingersoll used to say, “In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments. There are consequences.” More recently, Richard Dawkins made the same point: “The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference.” [“Prepared Remarks for the Dembski-Hitchens Debate,” Uncommon Descent Blog, Nov 22, 2010]

    Of course, the greater good in question is freedom and virtues stemming from it, including freedom to be truly rational and to exert love, pivot of the virtues. Abuse of freedom does not turn freedom into a bad. Where, just to argue, you assume and appeal to rational, responsible freedom and inextricably entangled first duties constituting built in law coeval with our humanity. Your known evolutionary materialistic scientism is in fact readily shown to be incompatible with rational, responsible freedom and is self-defeating. Let’s start with 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.]

    That you still try to cling to the deductive form, problem of evil argument fifty years after it decisively failed shows just how intellectually impoverished the associated atheism is.

    KF

  96. 96
    Steve Alten2 says:

    EDTA, thank you for the links at 93.

  97. 97
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Kairosfocus, I note for record:

    1] Contrary to widely promoted narratives of recent decades, sexual orientation/identity and associated habits and behaviours etc (found in three main culturally stamped patterns, the modern Western, the Greek, the Melanesian) are not credibly genetically determined. (Note here also.)”

    Although this has been widely disputed.
    https://www.wthrockmorton.com/tag/neil-whitehead/
    As well Whitehead holds no qualifications in genetics or neuroscience or psychology and has been demonstrated to misrepresent the work of real scientists on the subject.

    2] Linked, as a key 2012 Lancet Article admitted against interest and with buried leads, a commonly associated sexual practice (now widely promoted esp. through the addictive, morally undermining porn plague) is a major at-risk factor for exposure to HIV/AIDS, thus, other diseases. The obvious vector is, tissue damage and the potential for infections crossing into the blood stream.

    I get it. You do not like anal sex. Nobody is forcing you to have it. But homosexuality is not only about anal sex, any more that heterosexuality is only about intercourse. STDs cannot be transmitted between two monogamous individuals unless one of the already had one. Regardless, are you aware of how many dangerous diseases can be transmitted through conventional sex, or kissing, or hand shaking, or breathing? Living has risks. We all balance these risks in our every day activities.

    3] The further linked notion that laws and deeply embedded cultural institutions such as marriage may be freely redefined under colour of law is open to serious challenge and given the critical stabilising and nurturing role of marriage, is liable to have damaging civilisational impact”

    The marriage we have today (ignoring SSM) is legally different than it was 20 years ago, which was legally different than it was 100 years ago, and so on. 20 years ago it was not illegal for a husband to legally have sex with his wife against her will. 100 years ago a husband was legally allowed to use corporal punishment on his wife. I doubt very much if you have any issue with the previous legal changes to marriage. You opposition to the most recent change is rooted in your personal worldview, a worldview that the majority of the western world do not share.

    Marriage is a legal contract as defined by government. Various religious organizations expand on this with non-binding requirements, but they are still based on the legal requirements. Extending marriage to same sex couples does not change anything for those who wish to be married according to their religious beliefs. Unsupported fear-mongering does not change this.

    4] The emergence of scapegoating and targetting of those who, for principled reasons refuse to go along with the moral inversion agenda by accusing such of bigotry is not healthy for civilisation.

    When principled reasons are based on faulty principles, they should be challenged. As we did for segregation, prohibitions on inter-racial marriages, and many other actions based on faulty principles. Centring out (public shaming) of individuals who falsely use a freedom of religion argument to deny services to a specific group is a time-honoured approach to challenging bigotry. I would think that religious people would support the public shaming of those mis-using the very important right of freedom of religion. Individuals that mis-use the freedom of religion defence undermine this right in the public’s eye.

  98. 98
    Viola Lee says:

    KF writes, ” I trust, the thread can now return to its due focus.”

    Uh, the thread has never been about the OP, so there is nothing to return to.

    Also, KF writes, “I trust these will be enough to help some at least to ponder where we are taking our civilisation on current line of drift.”

    To the extent that that appears to be your main focus, the fact that some of us think that more broadly recognizing diversity in many things, including sexuality, is a good thing, not a bad thing, is on “due focus”: it’s just in disagreement with you about the matter.

  99. 99
    jerry says:

    return to its due focus

    At #5 I introduced the question of whether homosexuality was epigenetic or not and if it was epigenetic could it be reversed. A question in complete sync with the OP.

    In return a few took off on the never ending, never to be resolved question of homosexuality in society. It’s not the first thread for which this same thing has happened. The interesting question is why?

  100. 100
    Viola Lee says:

    I think the question of whether homosexuality can be reversed is central to the question of how we are to accept it: notice that Aaron mentioned it as an abnormality in the next post.

    Why does it keep coming up? For one, it is an important subject in society today related to several common issues here: are there objective moral standards, for one, and is civilization in danger (some of us think yes, but for diametrically different reasons and in different directions.)

    And last, KF, who seems to be a driving force in these posts and discussions, thinks it’s a “sewer” topic, which some us feel we need to defend. His continued efforts to table it as a subject just feeds its continual reappearance, I think.

    Just a few reasons.

  101. 101
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Jerry “ At #5 I introduced the question of whether homosexuality was epigenetic or not and if it was epigenetic could it be reversed. A question in complete sync with the OP.“

    Epigenetic effects often take hold during development, either in-utero or in the first few months. Once in place, however, they tend to be irreversible for life. If homosexuality acts like this, then reversing it is obviously not possible. This opens a question I touched on earlier. If epigenetic action shortly after birth causes homosexuality, and we could develop a “vaccine” against it, should society provide this “vaccine” as part of a child’s vaccine regimen? And, if it is caused by epigenetic action in-utero, and we could provide pregnant women a medication that would prevent it, should we?

  102. 102
    jerry says:

    Epigenetic effects often take hold during development, either in-utero or in the first few months. Once in place, however, they tend to be irreversible for life.

    This seems like a researchable observation. The OP described one such epigenetic trait and its reversal. Are there others?

    One start would be identifying epigenetic introductions, what led to them, how permanent are they, for how many generations are they passed on, how susceptible they are to reversal?

    All questions in line with OP.

  103. 103
    kairosfocus says:

    SA2, first, there are two relevant Whiteheads and in fact the summary is well founded; as is the summary of three culturally associated patterns. NAMBLA for example exemplifies the onward agenda to push the classical Greek pattern. To see how bad it was, note that the discussion on love in The Republic is about taste in boys, pardon me. The Sambia [a pseudonym] are known, as are other cases of that order and region. You can doubtless find patterns such as the extra effeminates and the hyper masculine warrior types in Germany in past decades. And so forth down into forms of “alternative” behaviour. The consistent result is, destructive to society as we are beginning to see; the consistent pushing on of the alphabet agenda is asking for a comeback that will not be pleasant. Attempts to find a so-called gay gene have all foundered, much for the reasons they gave; though the report on later undermining of widely headlined claims was given nowhere near the exposure that the claims were. It is reasonable to see that sexual habits require enough genetic inputs to establish behavioural possibilities and societal opportunities, beyond, cultural influences, circumstances, family relationships and one’s choices shape habituation, INCLUDING in various heterosexual forms, some of which are destructive. Beyond, our civilisation’s dominant elites are currently hell-bent on breaking institutions that are natural centres of independence, family, church etc are obvious. Further to such, the onward agendas addressed in the second linked should give pause, likewise the health issues admitted via buried lead in Lancet. Our civilisation’s elites have betrayed us in many ways and there will be hell to pay, in blood and tears. I stand by my links, which were put up for record to show that the fashionable talking point agendas above, for cause, are ill-founded. KF

  104. 104
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, it seems that simply to keep the blog at a level of profitable discussion, it is wise to keep away from topics that will be used to pull the matter off topic into fashionable but ill advised agendas. This thread has a useful OP but has in significant part been side tracked needlessly. KF

  105. 105
    EDTA says:

    Given KF’s points and links above, you have another opportunity to provide deep intellectual refutations to our points. Go.

    >And, if it is caused by epigenetic action in-utero, and we could provide pregnant women a medication that would prevent it, should we?

    If it represented a simple, reliable means to make them happier people (and independent of societal opinion), then progressive thinking would say do it!, no question.

    > But homosexuality is not only about anal sex,…

    But that does seem to be the salient thing that separates it from all other male/male relationships.

    >You opposition to the most recent change is rooted in your personal worldview, a worldview that the majority of the western world do not share.

    That doesn’t make it wrong. The majority can be wrong, as they have been in recent history. I’m not a cultural relativist.

    >Marriage is a legal contract as defined by government.

    God defined it first, and the legal defns have sprung from that, and then veered from there.
    But gov’t over religion? Now that is antithetical to the founding principles of the US! No, if the gov’t cnotradicts God, then gov’t is in the wrong.

    >Extending marriage to same sex couples does not change anything for those who wish to be married according to their religious beliefs.

    Answered above and in one of KF’s links.

  106. 106
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Jerry “ This seems like a researchable observation. The OP described one such epigenetic trait and its reversal. Are there others?“

    I suspect that there could be.

    But I would be interested in your response to my question if we should use such techniques, either in-utero or in early childhood, to prevent homosexuality?

    In spite of Kairosfocus’ hatred of homosexuality, thus question is in line with OP.

  107. 107
    EDTA says:

    And continued discussion continues to reveal extremely deep societal division…

  108. 108
    Viola Lee says:

    True. Earlier you made arguments for the value of unity. The problem with that is, among other things, whose views are we going to unify around? And how are we going to govern ourselves so there is room for diversity in those areas where we are not unified?

  109. 109
    jerry says:

    But I would be interested in your response to my question if we should use such techniques, either in-utero or in early childhood, to prevent homosexuality?

    Why are you interested in my response? It’s irrelevant to the OP what I believe.

    I would be curious as to what causes various such traits and the safety of reversing them. Various tendencies in humans are often due to neuron connections and can be cultivated and eliminated. These are often called habits and sometimes addictions.

    So we know some very significant things can be reversed. The OP indicates that some epigenetic characteristics can be reversed.

    Can gene expression be reversed?

    Could habits be developed which are neurological that overcome an epigenetic characteristic?

    These are all interesting questions.

    I’m mainly interested in the science discussed here. Last week, Kf made an aside comment that has set me off getting books on innovation. He referred to TRIZ and I had never heard of it. I now have a book on TRIZ and am a third way through Matt Ridley’s book on innovation.

    I found this an invaluable site for C19 which led me to what I consider the most authoritative sites on the internet on it. You generally don’t get bad science on UD, except from several of the commenters.

  110. 110
    Viola Lee says:

    KF closed all the old thread on duties to use right reason, etc, so I’ll post this here, as it relates to EDTA’s posts on unity vs diversity, and on the ongoing topics of moral standards and the decay of civilization..

    So here’s a question: is it moral or immoral, by KF’s oft-cited “seven inescapable first duties of reason” (truth, right reason, prudence, sound conscience, to neighbour; fairness and justice) to make it against the law to give water to people standing in line to vote, as Georgia just did?

    I say that is profoundly immoral, and is an example of the ways our democracy and civilization are being threatened. Is this an issue upon which we can agree, or not? If not, can someone explain to me what possible justification the Georgia legislature could have for this?

  111. 111
    Steve Alten2 says:

    EDTA “ Given KF’s points and links above, you have another opportunity to provide deep intellectual refutations to our points. Go.“

    Myself and others have responded in great detail to Kairosfocus’ anti-homosexual opinions to no avail. I don’t really see much point in continuing this. Especially after his most recent anti-homosexual rant equating homosexuality with pedophilia. Some prejudices simply aren’t worth giving air to.

    If it represented a simple, reliable means to make them happier people (and independent of societal opinion), then progressive thinking would say do it!, no question.“

    I consider myself to be a fairly progressive thinker but I wouldn’t advocate for this. Anymore than I would advocate for aborting a Downs Syndrome child.

    But that does seem to be the salient thing that separates it from all other male/male relationships.

    Intercourse is what separates married opposite sex couples from all there other opposite sex interactions. The sex is not the defining part of who they are. It is not even the defining part of their relationship with there partner. I think we are placing too much importance on what consenting adults do with their naughty-bits.

    That doesn’t make it wrong.

    No, but repeating his worldview without objective evidence, relying on unsupported fear-mongering and easily refuted pseudo-science articles isn’t the best way to advocate for his view.

    God defined it first, and the legal defns have sprung from that, and then veered from there.

    With respect, that is a matter of faith rather than fact.

    But gov’t over religion? Now that is antithetical to the founding principles of the US! No, if the gov’t cnotradicts God, then gov’t is in the wrong.

    Freedom of religion isn’t absolute. In early colonial America the minimum age of marriage was 12 for a female and 13 for a male. And the churches followed these rules. As the years went by, most states increased the age to 18. I am not aware of many churches violating these rules, and when they were, the marriage was not recognized by the state . When inter-racial marriage was illegal in many states I am not aware of many churches using their freedom of religion to marry inter-racial couples. Although, to be fair, I am aware that the Catholic Church fought for legalizing inter-racial marriages. This being said, I believe that a church can still refuse to preside over any marriage.

    With respect to SSM, all the government has said is that they are legal. As such, JP’s, as government employees, cannot refuse to preside over a marriage of a same sex couple. But churches can still refuse to do so.

  112. 112
    EDTA says:

    Viola,
    >The problem with that is…whose views are we going to unify around? And how are we going to govern ourselves so there is room for diversity in those areas where we are not unified?

    My personal opinion is that there is no strategy or guideline to follow to bring us back to unity like we once had in the US, i.e., no practical/voluntary/democratic means of getting it back. I don’t think it will come back except perhaps through some sort of collapse, and that will be a hellish, enforced unity, which is not the kind I want.

    But, I will continue to articulate the evidences for theism and Christianity, and hope for the best.

  113. 113
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Jerry “ Why are you interested in my response? It’s irrelevant to the OP what I believe.

    You are obviously not obliged to answer but I do believe that it is relevant to the OP. The research is about using clinical means to reverse the effects of epigenetics on phenotype. The application of this type of research obviously have some significant ethical and moral implications.

  114. 114
    Viola Lee says:

    EDTA writes, “My personal opinion is that there is no strategy or guideline to follow to bring us back to unity … But, I will continue to articulate the evidences for theism and Christianity, and hope for the best.”

    And that is what we should all do, even when we disagree: make our best case for what we think is important and hope to influence others. This has been my point about “objective standards” all along: that each one of us makes choices about where we stand on issues, and then, to various degrees depending on their importance, try to live our lives to best help make the world reflect what we think it should be.

    So I and appreciate and respect EDTA’s approach even though I disagree with him on significant issues.

  115. 115
    jerry says:

    KF closed all the old thread on duties to use right reason

    He left open another thread on “right reason” and I have commented on it on Friday and just left a comment.

    https://uncommondescent.com/laws/should-we-recognise-that-laws-of-nature-extend-to-laws-of-our-human-nature-which-would-then-frame-civil-law/#comment-726967

    No reason to comment on homosexuality here except that it might be epigenetic.

    but I do believe that it is relevant to the OP

    I don’t believe it is relevant except if it has an epigenetic origin and if it is reversible. That is what the OP is about.

  116. 116
    Viola Lee says:

    Thanks. I didn’t remember/find that thread. I posted my comment there. However, I’m guessing no one is going to respond, perhaps.

  117. 117
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Jerry “ He left open another thread on “right reason” and I have commented on it on Friday and just left a comment. No reason to comment on homosexuality here except that it might be epigenetic.“

    Except that Kairosfocus will not allow discussions on homosexuality in the linked thread, even though it is directly on topic for that thread.

    There is a theory that epigenetics may be linked to same sex attraction. If this proves to be true, and if the research in this paper is correct, it might be possible to prevent the expression of same sex attraction, or reverse it. This raises ethical and moral issues, and not just for same sex attraction. What if some behaviours that make it difficult for people in society also have an epigenetic trigger. Perhaps things like OCD, or ADHD, or Tourette’s, or extreme shyness. If treatment can prevent these before being expressed, is that ethical or morally acceptable? These traits, including same sex attraction, are very closely linked to our personality. By preventing them, or reversing them, have we changed who they are?

  118. 118
    jerry says:

    it might be possible to prevent the expression of same sex attraction, or reverse it.

    This is just what I said above. Is it a researchable topic? I doubt we are anywhere near answering it.

    The debate will take place when such treatments become available, if they ever will. Right now it is pure supposition and the potential permutations are nearly endless. There is nothing specific to debate now.

  119. 119
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Jerry, with respect, isn’t the best time to discuss the application of a possible new technology, before it has been realized? As has often been said, once the Genie is out of the bottle…

  120. 120
    jerry says:

    the best time to discuss the application of a possible new technology, before it has been realized?

    It would be the first time in the history of mankind it has been done. Nearly ever technology ever developed has gone through several iterations before it’s fully applied. Some of it for effectiveness and safety before it becomes widely available.

    You seem to want to discuss speculations on the effects of speculations. There are so many unknown unknowns.

  121. 121
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Jerry, I am not talking about putting a moratorium on research. What I am talking about is simultaneously discussing the implications on society of the possible applications of the research. This is being done all of the time. Universities and research institutes have committees that do nothing but do this. Why are you so resistant to it?

  122. 122
    count of crisco says:

    SA

    Jerry, I am not talking about putting a moratorium on research. What I am talking about is simultaneously discussing the implications on society of the possible applications of the research.

    Sounds reasonable to me.

  123. 123
    jerry says:

    Why are you so resistant to it?

    Because no one has a clue what they are talking about. Especially anyone who comments on this site. I said it’s best speculation on speculations.

    The interesting question is why are you so aggressive in trying to get opinions on a subject few if any in the world know anything about.

  124. 124
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Jerry @ 123, Wow! All I have done is stated that the implications of applying the research described in the OP casts some ethical and moral questions. You either agree or disagree.

  125. 125
    Seversky says:

    EDTA/112

    My personal opinion is that there is no strategy or guideline to follow to bring us back to unity like we once had in the US, i.e., no practical/voluntary/democratic means of getting it back.

    When was this golden age of unity?

  126. 126
    Seversky says:

    Steve Alten2/117

    There is a theory that epigenetics may be linked to same sex attraction. If this proves to be true, and if the research in this paper is correct, it might be possible to prevent the expression of same sex attraction, or reverse it.

    It might be possible and it would be a topic worthy of further investigation from a scientific perspective. From an ethical perspective, however, if there is no disorder then there is no need for any treatment.

  127. 127
    Viola Lee says:

    Sev asks, “When was this golden age of unity?”

    I thought of that. Except perhaps during the World Wars you might be hard pressed to find unity encompassing blacks, Hispanics, Jews, women, Chinese, poor people, gay people, etc. I’m wondering what era EDTA is thinking of?

  128. 128
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Viola Lee “ I thought of that. Except perhaps during the World Wars you might be hard pressed to find unity encompassing blacks,…

    Except there wasn’t even unity here. Blacks were not incorporated into all units until Korea and Vietnam. During WWII they were largely limited to non-combat duties. To say nothing of the fact that homosexuals were not wanted.

    And I am pretty sure that Japanese Americans moved to internment camps in the US were not in unity with the rest of the country.

  129. 129
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, SA2 et al, it is clear that you do not recognise the distance between genes, other molecular level phenomena and rational, responsible, significantly free behaviour. If you argue for molecular determinism or even exceedingly strong influence, you are undermining the rationality and duties that you appeal to in your own arguments, starting with self-referentiality. That was Haldane’s point long since, and it is why Crick’s astonishing hypothesis falls apart. Beyond, I simply point to the issue of enshrining a crooked yardstick: what is straight will never conform to crookedness and is liable to be rejected, e.g. it is excluded from the oh so broad minded scope of tolerance, which refuses to attend to plumb lines that are naturally straight and upright. Isaiah long since spoke to such moral inversion in his famous woes, calling darkness light and light darkness. His analysis pointed to the fatal disaffection, spreading corruption of justice, addictive behaviour and inability to stand in the day of battle that come from it. Fatal disaffection. So far as I can see, there is not even a willingness to recognise an in progress 4th gen civil war, now at the stage of a Reichstag fire incident. I do have a better hope than for 1933, but that is hope, I could be wrong and the USA can plunge as the cliff’s edge crumbles underfoot. KF

  130. 130
    jerry says:

    Wow! All I have done is stated that the implications of applying the research described in the OP casts some ethical and moral questions. You either agree or disagree.

    You haven’t a clue about any of this. Only that some unknown procedure with some unknown effects may be discovered. Yet you want a pronouncement on these hypothetical situations for which you or no one else knows anything about.

    Are you prepared to force or deny ahead of time the availability of unknown treatments with unknown effects? Such a discussion is at best irresponsible. That is “Wow.”

    We have seen how immorality plays out with C19. If you want to discuss morality here is something that is front snd center here and now that we know a lot about and could be used as a framework on how to look at something based on morality. We have specifics not hypothetical hypotheticals.

    By the way I am definitely not pushing for such a discussion here. It has already been done on others threads.

  131. 131

    Unity can only be achieved by the spirit. The national spirit, in this case the American spirit, is based in the emotions of people. People invest in the national feeling, and the national spirit then chooses what people do.

    Choices are made out of emotion, and emotions can only be identified with a chosen opinion.

    There is the formal unity of decisionmaking processes, in the system of elections and government . And the informal unity of a portion of the decisionmaking processes of individuals being devoted to the national spirit.

    Any national spirit is usually childlike. It exists next to the mainline mature spirit of the individual.

    Obviously, it helps to have basic understanding of emotions and personal opinion in order to be able to foster a national spirit. Emotions and personal opinion are inherently creationist concepts.

  132. 132
    Viola Lee says:

    re 129, KF writes, “VL, SA2 et al, it is clear that you do not recognise the distance between genes, other molecular level phenomena and rational, responsible, significantly free behaviour. If you argue for molecular determinism or even exceedingly strong influence, you are undermining the rationality and duties that you appeal to in your own arguments” (The rest is just repetitive rhetoric.)

    There are limits to what we can freely will. We are a complex biological organism in which billions of biochemical things happen all the time that are outside of our conscious awareness, much less control. When a girl starts puberty, she doesn’t freely choose to start growing breasts and body hair, and she doesn’t freely choose to start having sexual feelings, including the experience in some girls that those feelings are stimulated by other girls. Surely, KF, you recognize this difference “between genes, other molecular level phenomena and rational, responsible, significantly free behaviour”, and so do I.

    For all of us, what we freely choose takes places in the context of aspects of ourselves that we can not freely choose. I understand that difference.

  133. 133
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Jerry “You haven’t a clue about any of this. Only that some unknown procedure with some unknown effects may be discovered. Yet you want a pronouncement on these hypothetical situations for which you or no one else knows anything about.”

    I know a little about ethics committees at research institutes. And, yes, they do look at the ethical implications of applications that can be developed from the research long before the possible applications are known. It seldom stops the research but it gives government science advisors a head’s up. Forewarned is forearmed.

    Are you prepared to force or deny ahead of time the availability of unknown treatments with unknown effects? Such a discussion is at best irresponsible. That is “Wow.””

    Where did I suggest this? Most lines of research have both positive and negative implications. Only the negligent would not not look at the possibilities long before any practical applications are realized. For example, research into clinical applications of epigenetics could have morally acceptable applications such as reducing the risk of certain types of cancer, but they could also have morally “questionable” applications. It is the latter that need discussion long before we extend research into these areas. As the OP is about the possibility of reversing epigenetic effects, this type of discussion is very relevant. Where do we draw the line?

    The more we look, the more we see that epigenetics appears to play a far bigger role in biology that previously believed. What I am interested in, if you are interested, is the epigenetic roles in the development of the CNS and subsequent behaviour. This paper gives a good high-level overview.
    https://www.pnas.org/content/112/22/6789

    We have seen how immorality plays out with C19. If you want to discuss morality here is something that is front snd center here and now that we know a lot about and could be used as a framework on how to look at something based on morality. We have specifics not hypothetical hypotheticals.”

    But this OP is about epigenetics and the research into reversing its effect. I would rather not go off topic.

    By the way I am definitely not pushing for such a discussion here. It has already been done on others threads.”

    If you are not interested in discussing the ethical applications of the research described in the OP, I can’t force you.

  134. 134
    jerry says:

    If you are not interested in discussing the ethical applications of the research described in the OP, I can’t force you.

    What ethical applications? There aren’t any specific ethical questions.

    Let’s take a simple example. Suppose it is shown that homosexuality in woman and men is epigenetic. Then what?

    Suppose it is shown that this epigenetic effect takes place during pregnancy. Then what?

    Suppose ti is shown that this epigenetic effect takes place as a result of diet. Then what?

    Suppose it is shown the epigenetic effect because of diet can be avoided. Then what?

    We are just down one of a thousand possible paths that could be possible. So are we to comment on each possible path?

    It’s a game that leads nowhere until there are specifics being discussed.

    Aside: the last place I would trust to have an honest discussion of this is at an ethics committee.

    Aside2: If a specific diet was identified as the source of the epigenetic cause of homosexuality during pregnancy and changing it had no adverse effects, then I would support the diet that did not cause this effect. But my guess is that it would not be that simple.

    But this OP is about epigenetics and the research into reversing its effect. I would rather not go off topic.

    I find this comment ironic after #1.

  135. 135
    ET says:

    JVL:

    Good thing those animals can have anal sex without fear of having a mental disorder.

    If you want to compare homosexuals with ignorant, uneducated animals, that is on you

  136. 136
    ET says:

    CC:

    Um, well, yeah, but, “biology says” that for some people, the anus/rectum is useful for sexual pleasure. (And not just homosexual sex, but hetero sex too. )

    Wrong. Only the mentally unstable say that the anus is useful for sex. Biology does not say that.

  137. 137
    ET says:

    JVL:

    Clearly he’s horrified and appalled by the notion that someone might get small particles of faeces on their penis.

    Clearly you are a cowardly pathological liar.

  138. 138
    JVL says:

    ET: Wrong. Only the mentally unstable say that the anus is useful for sex. Biology does not say that.

    I know a very sensible, dependable member of her local community who prefers anal sex. ET is clearly an anal-phobe; the whole idea scares the poop out of him.

    Clearly you are a cowardly pathological liar.

    Clearly you care way too much about what consenting adults get on with in where you can’t see. Why is that do you think? Did someone in the military get a bit too chummy with you? Or has some old book told you what to think? Why do you care so much to rail against something that doesn’t affect you in the slightest? Hating something is caring about it you know.

  139. 139
    EDTA says:

    JVL,
    > Or has some old book told you what to think?
    The truth is always timeless. Or as Margaret Thatcher put it, “The truth is always the same old thing.” There’s no use trying to denigrate the Bible as an “old book” or any other other myriad comments thrown at it. We see right through it.

  140. 140
    EDTA says:

    It is interesting above to see the comments about “no golden age of unity” quickly turn to the mistreated minorities in each era. We can always think of such exceptions. And each minority will tend to look at the question from their own personal or in-group perspective.

    I propose that unity be looked at a little differently. The unity of a nation has to be measured on many _levels_, because different crises call for different kinds of unity:

    – If attacked militarily, how unified would we be in going to war? Or would we acquiesce and surrender? Would any attempt at self-defense be met with overwhelming protests to stop any response? Would people boycott the military in some fashion and guarantee defeat? Would the type and degree of response be agreed upon?

    – In an economic crisis, how much help would go out to the poor? Would that help depend on how close people were to us culturally and politically? How likely are we to favor the same political solution to a problem as our neighbors, and would we support it? Would we be willing to skip welfare payments so others could get those welfare payments? Would people volunteer to help the homeless, or let them suffer? Would the rich forego income to keep their companies afloat, or grab the cash and run?

    – At a cultural level: If a straight or gay marriage was in crisis, what would be our response? Would it vary by which kind it was? Would we step in and try to get them to counseling/reconciliation? Or would the response be, “well, that’s too bad”?

    All these things and more are forms of unity (or the lack thereof), which add up to our national strength. They’re very related to social capital.

    As such, they’re hard to measure. But I think it could be approached from a sociological standpoint by sampling pairs of people, and asking, “In this situation, would you pitch in with, or sacrifice for, or be in agreement with, or support this other person? Or turn your back on them?” Ask this question for common and extreme situations, over many random pairs from the population as a whole.* Each person would know the race/political beliefs/religious beliefs/etc. of the other person, i.e. ,be fully aware of who they might be helping. Tally up the totals, and measure over time, possibly weighting the more serious situations (calls to war, economic depressions, e.g.) more heavily.

    Based on this, I would say that 1930-1950 was probably our peak, although 1900-1930 wasn’t bad. Monotonically downhill since the 50s. We were extremely unified in fighting WWII, and making the greatest sacrifices of all (lives and money–sustaining ourselves at Depression-levels of poverty until after the war). We have not had a similar-magnitude war since that time, but after 9/11, the US was split 50/50 on whether there should even be any response at all! And of course, remember Viet Nam. Today the division is sufficient to cause some seriously consider a coup.

    (*This means that minorities would be represented proportional to their % of the population. So a very tiny but mistreated minority would not have a large effect on national unity. However, if their mistreatment caused a response in the larger population, then unity would take a larger hit. All statistical measures of national sociological things have this problem. But we’re going for a total measure of unity here. And if the majority pulled together in a crisis, the minority would hopefully be carried through.)

  141. 141
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, you need to ponder the buried lead public health facts documented in my comment above, as err, ahm, um . . . a public health issue:

    2] Linked, as a key 2012 Lancet Article admitted against interest and with buried leads, a commonly associated sexual practice (now widely promoted esp. through the addictive, morally undermining porn plague) is a major at-risk factor for exposure to HIV/AIDS, thus, other diseases. The obvious vector is, tissue damage and the potential for infections crossing into the blood stream.

    Beyond, you will note that many solid (and too often, sadly neglected) truths are found in rather old books. That one tells truth or correctness by the clock is a common progressivist, year zero reset fallacy. One that forgets that the lessons of sound history were bought with blood and tears; those who neglect, dismiss or reject such, doom themselves to pay the same coin over and over and over again. KF

    PS: Linked, the point of a self-evident truth is, its universal jurisdiction. That is, it transcends subjectivity, culture, geography and the tyranny of either locked in, unwarranted traditions [such as cultural marxism, radical secularism and linked evolutionary materialistic ideologies] or empty headed, year zero fashion-flitting.

  142. 142
    EDTA says:

    – I should have mentioned philosophical/religious unity also. People who worship together (or attend Dawkins speeches together I suppose) are less likely to start fighting each other. (I said less likely; it still happens.) But when people differ on such fundamental things as whether there is a God, which affects things like whether it’s OK to kill human fetuses, it’s hard to have blind trust there. You simply don’t know what the other person is capable of doing, because there is no adequate common moral foundation.

  143. 143
    Steve Alten2 says:

    EDTA, very good synopsis. I would only raise one caveat. Comparing WWII era to Vietnam era is complicated. Yes, during WWII there appeared to be greater unity than during Vietnam era. But is the extent of this difference real, or perceived? He who wins, writes the story.

    Before WWII there was no unity about going to war, even though the war had been raging for a couple years. It took an attack on American soul by a foreign power to galvanize this unity. It was also complicated by the fact that we were just coming out of the depression. With Vietnam, there was no attack. Add to this the unprecedented level of uncensored media access to the battlefield, complicated by the draft, and it is no wonder that there was no unity.

    For 9/11, we were attacked on our own soil, and I think there was unity around the idea of punishing those who planned and implemented the attack. The lack of unity on how to respond was complicated by the fact that it wasn’t the official act of a foreign power, as was the case with Pearl Harbor.

  144. 144
    JVL says:

    EDTA: The truth is always timeless. Or as Margaret Thatcher put it, “The truth is always the same old thing.” There’s no use trying to denigrate the Bible as an “old book” or any other other myriad comments thrown at it. We see right through it.

    Okay, then come up with a reason you find 2000 year old arguments relevant and compelling.

  145. 145
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: Beyond, you will note that many solid (and too often, sadly neglected) truths are found in rather old books. That one tells truth or correctness by the clock is a common progressivist, year zero reset fallacy. One that forgets that the lessons of sound history were bought with blood and tears; those who neglect, dismiss or reject such, doom themselves to pay the same coin over and over and over again.

    Math truths are always true. Physics truths are pretty strong and might still apply forever in a limited sense. Chemistry . . . probably also universal unless we discover the rules of physics change for certain regions and certain times.

    You claim (and reverently think) you have a handle on some other universal truths. Despite the fact that many of us have asked you to defend some of those beliefs you always just end up asserting they are true. Based on some old books which you find compelling. BUT, if the rest of use don’t have the same compulsion to accept your precepts as givens then . . .

    How do we move forward? Given that some of us are not going to just accept that you are correct?

  146. 146
    Concealed Citizen says:

    ET: Wrong. Only the mentally unstable say that the anus is useful for sex. Biology does not say that.

    Gawd. Hehe, this is about the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen on UD.

    “Biology” speaks! At it hates anal sex! And those who disagree are “mentally unstable.”

    “Biology” is a human study of bioforms without any moral judgement. Lots of human bioforms like anal sex. “Biology” recognizes this dispassionately. No scientific evidence that those who like anal sex, whether male or female, are any more “mentally unstable” as a group than any other group.

    If you’re going to objectively argue against anal sex, you’ll have to do better than that. Your non-rational, religious commitments are not scientific/biological evidence.

  147. 147
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    JVL
    You claim (and reverently think) you have a handle on some other universal truths. Despite the fact that many of us have asked you to defend some of those beliefs you always just end up asserting they are true.

    Okay, then come up with a reason you find 2000 year old arguments relevant and compelling.

    I have bad news for you : reason alone is helpless in finding the Truth. God set a trap for the “smart” ones and the only way to end this vicious circle is to became fool.
    PS: this advice is not from my intelligence it’s plagiarized from an 2000 year “old” book . 🙂

  148. 148
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, you used loaded language to insidiously dismiss a straightforward philosophical case. In so doing, yet again you have demonstrated how Ciceronian first duties of reason are inescapable and so self-evident. To underscore the point, consider what would happen for cause to those who are habitually untruthful, fallacious, imprudent, fail to soundly warrant claims, show a benumbed or dead conscience [sociopathy, high machiavellian tendencies], dehumanise and abuse others, are unfair and unjust. I trust the point is clear enough, and why I am led to conclude that objectors [who invariably appeal to what they would dismiss] simply inadvertently further demonstrate the force of the point. KF

  149. 149
    kairosfocus says:

    CC, it is interesting that you too are failing to address the tellingly buried lead in the Lancet article as linked:

    2] Linked, as a key 2012 Lancet Article admitted against interest and with buried leads, a commonly associated sexual practice (now widely promoted esp. through the addictive, morally undermining porn plague) is a major at-risk factor for exposure to HIV/AIDS, thus, other diseases. The obvious vector is, tissue damage and the potential for infections crossing into the blood stream.

    ET has a serious point on abuse of bodily organs. KF

  150. 150
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Translation of Kairosfocus at 148:
    Those who have the audacity of not accepting the truth of my assertions is further proof that they are wrong. “

  151. 151
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Kairosfocus @149, I already addressed this.

  152. 152
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, you do not tell the truth by the clock, that is a blatant and ill-advised fallacy that dooms those duped to repeat the worst chapters of history again and again. There are a great many 2 – 3,000+ year old arguments as documented that are absolutely valid. That starts with core Mathematics as a classic case, e.g. group fingers on one hand into a 2 and a 3 then unify: || + ||| –> V, using classic Roman symbols that directly echo the use of the hand. Indeed, this demonstrates the nature and universality of self evident truths. KF

    PS: I am not unaware that your underlying intent is to dismiss the historical witness of the 500 at the core of the Christian view, by making a cheap belittling shot at 500 who faced dungeon, fire, sword and worse for their testimony to what they had seen and heard. The attitude is itself revealing, including your response to unwelcome historical/forensic evidence. As to why I take it seriously, and many others, here on in context is a 101; though a thread now in a toxic death roll is not a proper context to discuss such in any profitable fashion, I simply note for record. Of course, all of this is the pattern of successive tangents led away to ad hom laced strawmen, which makes me wonder what about the OP is so unwelcome that every toxic distraction is being dredged up to pull attention away from it. Apparently, that’s because it speaks to epigenetic influences and comments: “All the more reason to blow clear of Darwinian determinism about genetics.”

  153. 153
    kairosfocus says:

    SA2, strawman, and you manage to rely on the duties to truth and right reason to give that fallacy any rhetorical traction. In short, you are trying to gaslight away the fact demonstrated repeatedly that you and other objectors to first duties of reason cannot escape appealing to them. Which was the pivot of my point as to why these pervade our reasoning and are inescapable, so self evidently true. KF

    PS: For record for those needing a reminder of what you are so clearly desperate to dismiss:

    We can readily identify at least seven inescapable first duties of reason. “Inescapable,” as they are so antecedent to reasoning that even the objector implicitly appeals to them; i.e. they are self-evident. Namely, duties, to truth, to right reason, to prudence, to sound conscience, to neighbour; so also, to fairness and justice etc. Of course, there is a linked but not equivalent pattern: bounded, error-prone rationality often tied to ill will and stubbornness or even closed mindedness; that’s why the study of right reason has a sub-study on fallacies and errors. That we seek to evade duties or may make errors does not overthrow the first duties of reason, which instead help us to detect and correct errors, as well as to expose our follies. Such built-in . . . thus, universal . . . law is not invented by parliaments, kings or courts, nor can these principles and duties be abolished by such; they are recognised, often implicitly as an indelible part of our evident nature. Hence, “natural law,” coeval with our humanity, famously phrased in terms of “self-evident . . . rights . . . endowed by our Creator” in the US Declaration of Independence, 1776. (Cf. Cicero in De Legibus, c. 50 BC.) Indeed, it is on this framework that we can set out to soundly understand and duly balance rights, freedoms and duties; which is justice, the pivot of law. The legitimate main task of government, then, is to uphold and defend the civil peace of justice through sound community order reflecting the built in, intelligible law of our nature. Where, as my right implies your duty a true right is a binding moral claim to be respected in life, liberty, honestly aquired property, innocent reputation etc. To so justly claim a right, one must therefore demonstrably be in the right. Likewise, Aristotle long since anticipated Pilate’s cynical “what is truth?”: truth says of what is, that it is; and of what is not, that it is not. [Metaphysics, 1011b, C4 BC.] Simple in concept, but hard to establish on the ground; hence — in key part — the duties to right reason, prudence, fairness etc. Thus, too, we may compose sound civil law informed by that built-in law of our responsibly, rationally free morally governed nature; from such, we may identify what is unsound or false thus to be reformed or replaced even though enacted under the colour and solemn ceremonies of law. The first duties, also, are a framework for understanding and articulating the corpus of built-in law of our morally governed nature, antecedent to civil laws and manifest our roots in the Supreme Law-giver, the inherently good, utterly wise and just creator-God, the necessary (so, eternal), maximally great being at the root of reality.

    That is the classical, truth and justice anchored argument you don’t want on the table. That reaction may itself be telling us a lot more than you are willing to openly admit.

  154. 154
    kairosfocus says:

    SA2, the lesson is established above and beyond our hedonism or whatever may induce to such. Let’s just say, that there are many red flag issues attaching to such acts that a public health warning should be given, on the evidence. KF

  155. 155
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Kairosfocus, this is a thread about epigenetics and the possibility of reversing their effects. It would be appreciated if you would refrain from toxic distractions.

  156. 156
    kairosfocus says:

    Data, those who have made a crooked yardstick their standard of straightness, accuracy and uprightness will reject and even find absurd what is genuinely such. Even, a plumb line. KF

  157. 157
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, today, I pulled up a book on boat building that contains a passage on using slices of cones to give frameworks to part of the bottom of certain boats. After attempts to produce lines to an apex, one can identify such a cone. For years, the passage puzzled me so when I had to go wait in line at the bank, I took it along to puzzle again. With help of a handy flower pot, it began to make sense as one technique for capturing a curve in, in effect, a family of related ogives. (This is similar to certain nose cones and projectiles. I think this can go over into sigmoids too, covering some forms of flare) Now, the thought strikes, that getting to aha can be a long ride and that may be of help to you as you contemplate what seems absurd. KF

    PS: Now I think of it http://forum.woodenboat.com/sh.....Projection

  158. 158
    kairosfocus says:

    SA2, a cheap turnabout projection without warrant on your part, inviting inference to cognitive dissonance and projection. Thence, confession by projection. KF

  159. 159
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Kairosfocus “ Data, those who have made a crooked yardstick their standard of straightness, accuracy and uprightness will reject and even find absurd what is genuinely such. Even, a plumb line. KF

    And by fiat you declare your opinion to be the plumb line.

  160. 160
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Kairosfocus “ SA2, a cheap turnabout projection…

    Nope. Just pointing out an obvious hypocrisy that is easily confirmed by reading through any of your threads. Or, if you prefer, sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander.

  161. 161
    EDTA says:

    JVL @ 144,
    >Okay, then come up with a reason you find 2000 year old arguments relevant and compelling.

    I don’t evaluate arguments by their age. Maybe I’m misunderstanding you, but logic hasn’t changed…ever. Maybe you are referring to historical claims and the evidence for them? I could see doubting those the older they got, but I don’t personally do that either.

    It is more difficult to evaluate historical claims the farther back they go, and 2000 years is a long time. So one has to evaluate what we have, the written record and its claims, the archaeological record, and whether such things as are recorded accord internally within reasonable limits. The Bible makes it through all those tests in my opinion and based on my study of it. I know others reject it for various reasons, but I have not found them compelling.

    Does that answer your question?

  162. 162
    Concealed Citizen says:

    KF @ 149,

    Your reasoning powers are so dumb it’s not worth a retort. Haha. Hahaha.

    But I’ll do it anyway…

    To use your “logic”, God hates motorcycles. (Which have far higher of a death rate than any kind of sex. Period. And skydiving too! Oh! Oh Lordy, PLEASE!)

    Okay, “God”, I’ll go ahead and sell my sinful crotch-rocket lest I be smitten.

  163. 163
    kairosfocus says:

    CC,

    Resort to belittling personalities duly noted as a strong sign of a weak case on your part.

    Let’s mark up:

    >>Your reasoning powers>>

    1: In your opening words, to gain rhetorical traction, you appeal to duty to right reason, and by extension warrant (so, prudence) thence truth.

    2: This illustrates, yet again how inescapable the relevant first duties of reason are. Inescapable, antecedent to and pervading acts of reason, so a first truth, and undeniable (also unprovable as attempted proof will already embed). So, self-evident.

    >> are so dumb it’s not worth a retort. Haha. Hahaha.>>

    3: Lost in the laugh, when already you have inadvertently managed to demonstrate the inescapability in question, literally in your opening words.

    >>But I’ll do it anyway… To use your “logic”, God hates motorcycles.>>

    4: Resort to a strawman case.

    5: The actual argument in question is not a blind appeal to divine command. This is already a strawman, tainted with an ad hominem.

    >> (Which have far higher of a death rate>>

    6: So, riding motorcycles may well be imprudent, and would call for careful regulation, starting with licencing and family regulation of youngsters likely to do foolish things. However, anticipating where you are headed, riding motorcycles is not a vector for a spreading debilitating or fatal disease.

    7: The Lancet, buried lead facts establish that certain kinds of sexual conduct are medically abusive, disease-spreading and account for a statistically significant disproportionate spreading of disease.

    8: That immediately grounds a public health interest in the behaviour, comparable to that in smoking, alcohol abuse and drugs abuse.

    >> than any kind of sex.>>

    9: Sex is short for sexual intercourse, the act of marriage with its context of procreation and renewal of the conjugal bond, linked to family stability.

    10: It is in the obvious interest of the community, public health and the state to promote such stable relationships, and to recognise the radical distinction between an act conducive to life and one conducive to disease, including fatal disease. Not to mention, notoriously medically damaging. The latter is patently intrinsically disordered, conducive to damage, exposure to serious pathogens [playing with a biological sewage outfall] and to disease.

    11: In addition, discouragement of promiscuity, bad sexual habits, infidelity and destabilisation of marriage etc are further obviously tied to the thriving of human communities. There is a huge difference between freedom under law [including built in law] and licence. The latter is a chaotic counterfeit of liberty.

    >>Period. And skydiving too! Oh! Oh Lordy, PLEASE!)>>

    12: Again, skydiving would be an appropriate target for public health and linked public policy. However, yet again, not connected to a pandemic.

    >>Okay, “God”, I’ll go ahead and sell my sinful crotch-rocket lest I be smitten.>>

    13: You will observe, that you have substituted a context that is not present in the actual argument regarding self-evident first duties of reason pivoting on truth and justice, setting up and knocking over a strawman caricature. A sure sign of a weak case and of failure to address the duty of right reason appropriately.

    14: Similarly, failure to address the buried lead issue acknowledged against obvious agenda, in Lancet:

    2] Linked, as a key 2012 Lancet Article admitted against interest and with buried leads, a commonly associated sexual practice (now widely promoted esp. through the addictive, morally undermining porn plague) is a major at-risk factor for exposure to HIV/AIDS, thus, other diseases. The obvious vector is, tissue damage and the potential for infections crossing into the blood stream.

    15: FYI, I again show (a slightly updated) summary:

    We can readily identify at least seven inescapable first duties of reason. “Inescapable,” as they are so antecedent to reasoning that even the objector implicitly appeals to them; i.e. they are self-evident. Namely, duties, to truth, to right reason, to prudence, to sound conscience, to neighbour; so also, to fairness and justice etc. Perhaps, a negative form will help, for cause we find to be at best hopelessly error-riddled, those who are habitually untruthful, fallacious, imprudent, fail to soundly warrant claims, show a benumbed or dead conscience [sociopathy, high machiavellian tendencies], dehumanise and abuse others, are unfair and unjust. At worst, such are utterly dangerous, destructive,or even ruthlessly, demonically lawless. Of course, there is a linked but not equivalent pattern: bounded, error-prone rationality often tied to ill will and stubbornness or even closed mindedness; that’s why the study of right reason has a sub-study on fallacies and errors. That we seek to evade duties or may make errors does not overthrow the first duties of reason, which instead help us to detect and correct errors, as well as to expose our follies. Such built-in . . . thus, universal . . . law is not invented by parliaments, kings or courts, nor can these principles and duties be abolished by such; they are recognised, often implicitly as an indelible part of our evident nature. Hence, “natural law,” coeval with our humanity, famously phrased in terms of “self-evident . . . rights . . . endowed by our Creator” in the US Declaration of Independence, 1776. (Cf. Cicero in De Legibus, c. 50 BC.) Indeed, it is on this framework that we can set out to soundly understand and duly balance rights, freedoms and duties; which is justice, the pivot of law. The legitimate main task of government, then, is to uphold and defend the civil peace of justice through sound community order reflecting the built in, intelligible law of our nature. Where, as my right implies your duty a true right is a binding moral claim to be respected in life, liberty, honestly aquired property, innocent reputation etc. To so justly claim a right, one must therefore demonstrably be in the right. Likewise, Aristotle long since anticipated Pilate’s cynical “what is truth?”: truth says of what is, that it is; and of what is not, that it is not. [Metaphysics, 1011b, C4 BC.] Simple in concept, but hard to establish on the ground; hence — in key part — the duties to right reason, prudence, fairness etc. Thus, too, we may compose sound civil law informed by that built-in law of our responsibly, rationally free morally governed nature; from such, we may identify what is unsound or false thus to be reformed or replaced even though enacted under the colour and solemn ceremonies of law. The first duties, also, are a framework for understanding and articulating the corpus of built-in law of our morally governed nature, antecedent to civil laws and manifest our roots in the Supreme Law-giver, the inherently good, utterly wise and just creator-God, the necessary (so, eternal), maximally great being at the root of reality.

    KF

  164. 164
    kairosfocus says:

    SA2, it obviously has escaped you that for cause I don’t give 50c for opinions [whether mine or that of anyone else], and that I emphasise duty to truth, right reason and warrant as a key aspect of prudence. “Opinion,” is not equal to a self-evident, inescapable, undeniable truth; we do have a duty to recognise such truths in forming well warranted, reliable and credibly truthful beliefs, starting with say || + ||| –> V, using the Roman notation reminiscent of the spread out fingers of a hand. In the case of your argument, by trying to dismiss self evident truths as dubious opinion, you tried to gain rhetorical traction by appealing to duties to truth, right reason and warrant under fallacious circumstances. This of course inadvertently exemplifies how the seven Ciceronian first duties of reason are in fact as advertised: inescapable, so the objection defeats itself by trying to deny the undeniable, contradicting and falsifying itself. Your doubling down on a turnabout false projection by now falsely accusing me of hypocrisy in pointing out the fallacies involved, further underscores the point. On the main topic from the OP, epigenetics is significant but dna and molecular biology of the cell are a long, winding way from genetic determinism and/or overwhelming molecular biology influence on reasoning, choice and [want of] significant freedom. Indeed, such would prove only too much: reduction of mind to a dynamic-stochastic, gigo-limited, inherently non rational computing substrate. Cause-effect chains shaping gigo-limited computations are worlds apart from rational, insightful, free inference. KF

  165. 165
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: A reminder from 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 [–>taking in DNA, epigenetics and matters of computer organisation, programming and dynamic-stochastic processes] 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.]

  166. 166
  167. 167
    ET says:

    Earth to CC- Unfortunately for you I don’t have any “non-rational religious commitments”. Try again.

  168. 168
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    On topic:
    Life stress make epigenetic changes starting with our conception and influence our mental and physical health our entire life.
    A powerful medicine against stress :”Lord and Master of my life, the spirit of idleness(apathy), of the care of many, of the urge to dominate and of useless speech do not give it to me, and the spirit of purity ,of the humble thought ,of patience and love give it to me to your servant. So, Lord, allow me to see my sins and not to condemn my brother, as you are blessed forever and ever. Amen.”(St. Ephrem The Syrian)

  169. 169
    JVL says:

    ET: Earth to CC- Unfortunately for you I don’t have any “non-rational religious commitments”. Try again.

    Do you have any rational religious commitments? 🙂

    Seriously, you say you’re not religious but many of your views parallel those of religious adherents so it’s not surprising that people make that mistake.

  170. 170
    Concealed Citizen says:

    ET: Earth to CC- I don’t have any “non-rational religious commitments”.

    Incoherent statement. Religion is non-rational by definition.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

  171. 171
    Concealed Citizen says:

    CC: Resort to belittling personalities duly noted as a strong sign of a weak case on your part.

    Um, no, that’s not all I did. I gave a specific example case that makes your “reasonable” look stupid (because it is.)

    Why don’t you just come clean and say, “I’m a Roman Catholic, and everything I say is founded in Roman Catholic dogma, because the Church says so”? Everyone already knows it. It would be honest. Your non-rational blathering persuades nobody who isn’t already a member of the Roman Catholic racket.

  172. 172
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Concealed Citizen “ Um, no, that’s not all I did. I gave a specific example case that makes your “reasonable” look stupid (because it is.)

    Ouch.

  173. 173
    Concealed Citizen says:

    Sorry to be so harsh. Sometimes my WWE seeps out. I’m sure KF is a swell dude in real life.

  174. 174
    kairosfocus says:

    CC [attn SA2]: Spinning the wheels in the mud puddle, spattering mud while gaining no effective traction. The fail at outset on your part as I marked up in 163 amply illustrates the point that even objectors — to gain rhetorical/persuasive traction — consistently appeal to said first duties of reason. In fact, your poor logic talking point continues to be not only a strawman caricature but is also an implicit appeal to our duties to right reason. The relevant logic is, that certain things are first givens of reasoning, which are so core and so pervasive that they are inescapable, even by objectors . . . as you again cannot but exemplify. Indeed, they are so core that they cannot be proven either, the attempt to prove also embeds the first duties, starting with why set out to prove. Such are antecedent to argument and pervade arguments, as you continue to inadvertently demonstrate as you continue to try to belittle. Duties, to truth, to right reason, to warrant and broader prudence, etc are inescapably bound up in our rationality. Inescapable, so on pain of grand delusion [which is self-referentially absurd] undeniably true, so too self-evident. Further, as duties, of moral character, reflective of our moral government attested to by voice of sound conscience [which is also a focus of duty]. KF

    PS: Note to self, never buy a second hand car or knowledge claim from this man, as he dismisses duties to truth, right reason, prudence, sound conscience, neighbour, fairness, justice etc. (See the point?)

  175. 175
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, being religious is not a form of intellectual leprosy. KF

    PS: It is fairly easy to show that every worldview traces to a set of first plausibles which include many unproven faith-commitments; SET’s and incorrigible notions etc, will never amount to sufficiency to loft a full orbed worldview. The issue, then, is not whether we live by faith, but which, why, and whether we are open to comparative difficulties analysis.

  176. 176
    ET says:

    CC:

    Religion is non-rational by definition.

    That is your irrational opinion. However, I am not religious, so you lose, twice,

  177. 177
    ET says:

    JVL:

    Seriously, you say you’re not religious but many of your views parallel those of religious adherents…

    That is your irrational opinion.

  178. 178
    kairosfocus says:

    CC & ET:

    I followed up, CC 170:

    ET: Earth to CC- I don’t have any “non-rational religious commitments”.

    [CC:] Incoherent statement. Religion is non-rational by definition.

    That is an astonishing piece of contempt. Do you intend to suggest that say a Pascal, or an Aquinas or an Augustine among many others were riddled with non-/irr-rationality? [The subtext begs to be inferred.]

    First, rational-ITY is not equal to rational-ISM. The latter is the worlddview/ideological notion that essentially a priori, rejects the possibility, credibility and actuality of revelation. The former, is:

    [Merriam-Webster’s: rationality noun
    Save Word

    To save this word, you’ll need to log in.
    Log In
    ra·?tio·?nal·?i·?ty | \ ?ra-sh?-?na-l?-t?
    \
    plural rationalities
    Definition of rationality

    1 : the quality or state of being rational
    2 : the quality or state of being agreeable to reason : reasonableness
    3 : a rational opinion, belief, or practice —usually used in plural

    That is, a rational person habitually pursues right reason, which pivots on self-evident first principles of logic, exercises due prudence, is open to sensible argument and evidence, but filters on responsible criteria of warrant, is careful in addressing risk and uncertainty etc, in short exhibits various intellectual virtues.

    Nothing in that precludes being an adherent of ethical theistic worldviews or their institutional expression. And there is a huge body of evidence on that. Fanaticism and corruption, lawless oligarchy and the like are reflective of the moral and intellectual hazards of being human, not consequences of being religious as such. That is part of why radically secular ideologies have racked up the track record they did since 1789.

    As for revelation, once God is a serious candidate necessary being [which is undeniable], then we must reckon with what it means to be an inherently good, utterly wise source/creator and sustainer of worlds, especially worlds containing rationally communicative creatures. Namely, that it is not improbable that God would communicate with such creatures, and in the course of time, written record of such would be made. Such would naturally reflect the character of its source, and would provide significant authenticating aspects.

    Of course, perhaps you or those who you look to have actually provided good reason to hold that God is not a serious candidate necessary being _____ and/or that he is impossible of being as a square circle is ________ . I suspect those blanks will be rather harder to fill than to imply or assume or even to embed in education, media and key cultural institutions.

    I suggest, some rethinking is advisable on your part, especially as per logic of being [an aspect of ontology] a serious candidate necessary being will either be impossible of being or actual. The latter, reflecting that such a being would be present in any world feasible of instantiation, so being part of the framework for such a world, and obviously this includes for our actual world. A possible world, in turn, being in the first instance a sufficiently complete description of how this or another world is or could be.

    I think, some rethinking on your part, is in order.

    KF

  179. 179
    jerry says:

    A discussion on religion and mental health.

    Religion and Mental Health: What Is the Link?

    Exploring the scientific evidence surrounding religion and mental health.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/talking-about-men/201712/religion-and-mental-health-what-is-the-link

    Questions come up because there is a correlation between religious belief and better mental health. Is this due to those with better mental health choosing religion or belief in religion helps one’s mental health? Or could both be true?

    Has the natural progression gone in our diverse society from there are various religious beliefs, let’s not talk about religion in anything so as to not offend people? To we do not talk about religion in anything leading people not to take religion seriously? To taking religion less seriously leading to lack of religious belief?

    Will those with mental health problems then gravitate much quicker to lack of religious beliefs?

    This was covered in detail by BA77 in #17

    Then there is the thesis

    DOES LIBERALISM CAUSE MENTAL ILLNESS?

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2020/04/does-liberalism-cause-mental-illness.php

    It does seem that the more liberal commenters here fail to react to arguments of evidence and logic. UD is only a microcosm of the world but is it indicative of the wider world?

    Aside: we have gone from the effects of epigenetics and how to change them to religious beliefs. Off topic?

  180. 180
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Kairosfocus “ CC [attn SA2]: Spinning the wheels in the mud puddle, …

    Well, ain’t you loquacious.

    Getting back to your lancet article, I noticed that you did not address my response. Not surprising. Yes, anal sex can be a means of transmitting disease. As can intercourse, oral sex kissing, hand holding, eating and breathing.

    The type of sexual activity is not the problem. Multiple partners is. Many gay couples are monogamous. As such, their HIV risks are no higher than that of celibate priests.

    The dangerous behaviour is not the anal sex, or heterosexual sex, it is promiscuity.

  181. 181
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Jerry@179, I don’t thing you will get much argument that people who are actively religious (ie, attend church, mosque, etc) are happier on average than others. But is it the faith or the social interactions that is most important? I suspect it is a combination of the two. But a positive outcome of a belief is not proof that the belief is based on fact.

    With regard to liberals and mental illness, they may have a higher recorded incidence of it simply because they might be more likely to seek help for a perceived mental illness than a conservative is. Just food for thought.

  182. 182
    jerry says:

    But a positive outcome of a belief is not proof that the belief is based on fact.

    Never said it was.

    There are thousands of different religious beliefs. Not all can be true beliefs.

    But proof that there is no God or a high probability that there is no God or only a slight probability that there is no God has no basis in rational thought. To use an expression commonly used here recently, such a conclusion has no basis in right reasoning.

    Hence any conclusion that all religions are meaningless is a baseless conclusion. But as I said every religions cannot be based on true beliefs.

    To mock or even just disdain a belief in God by another is an example of extreme ignorance and poor reasoning skills.

    Aside: if a belief is wrong but has a positive outcome, then is it wrong to have such a belief. Especially if there is no valid argument that the belief is wrong but just someone’s false opinion.

  183. 183
    Viola Lee says:

    Back at 80, EDTA wrote, “Detractors seem to reject the words of folks like KF without actually engaging him at his level, point-by-point. Rather, they reject the ideas in sweeping generalities that never get down to details and points.”

    I responded at 81, “I have engaged KF point by point a number of times, on a number of issues. He doesn’t engage back: he repeats and repeats, and dismisses any ideas not consistent with his”

    Post 180 by Steve is an example, where he points out that the type of sex practice, be it hetero or homosexual, is not the issue, promiscuity is. Monogamous couples of either type are similarly free from sexually transmitted disease, and lesbian couples, I believe, less prone to sexually transmitted diseases than heterosexual couples.

    This is an example of engaging him “point-by-point” with specific details.

    Similarly, back at 132, I wrote,

    re 129, KF writes, “VL, SA2 et al, it is clear that you do not recognise the distance between genes, other molecular level phenomena and rational, responsible, significantly free behaviour. If you argue for molecular determinism or even exceedingly strong influence, you are undermining the rationality and duties that you appeal to in your own arguments” (The rest is just repetitive rhetoric.)

    There are limits to what we can freely will. We are a complex biological organism in which billions of biochemical things happen all the time that are outside of our conscious awareness, much less control. When a girl starts puberty, she doesn’t freely choose to start growing breasts and body hair, and she doesn’t freely choose to start having sexual feelings, including the experience in some girls that those feelings are stimulated by other girls. Surely, KF, you recognize this difference “between genes, other molecular level phenomena and rational, responsible, significantly free behaviour”, and so do I.

    For all of us, what we freely choose takes places in the context of aspects of ourselves that we can not freely choose. I understand that difference.

    I know KF is busy, and posts long pieces on various threads, but he did not respond engage to these points.

    I’d been wanting to respond to EDTA’s point for a few days, and today I had some time and Steve’s post seemed like an appropriate prompt for my thoughts. People do respond to KF’s points, but often rather than re-responding to specifics, he just re-posts broad generalizations and dire warnings about the state of civilization.

  184. 184
    kairosfocus says:

    SA2, has it registered that enough has been said, including a point by point response on attempts to draw analogies to riding motor bicycles? Abuse of various bits and pieces of anatomy is problematic, promiscuity in a day of dozens of sexually transmissible diseases, is ill advised. Even kissing is a question when some diseases can be spread orally too, not helped by the incidence of various mouth based sexual acts in a context of promiscuity. Hand holding or shaking, if you didn’t notice, is being actively discouraged, breathing is filtered through face masks and there have been long term public health measures in regards to foods, food preparation and consumption, especially where restaurants are involved. None of such successfully answer to the buried lead admitted in the Lancet article. KF

    PS: The claims commonly made about lack of promiscuity are dubious in a day when any sexual contact easily involves a decade of onward sexual networks, but that is just an opening to go more and more into what is best left as unmentionable.

  185. 185
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, we could roll the tape any number of times that will show that I have substantially engaged you and others. I should note that too often a dismissive argument on your part has not constituted actual warrant for the dismissal, leading to good reason to point to the yet unrefuted argument. The currently playing out political chaos in the US amounting to a Reichstag fire incident stage of a 4th gen civil war in the shadows substantiates on one front. The reason to hold that we saw a good enough benford law distribution on one decade rather than several as a mere matter of empirical fact is another. As a third, it is clear that there is no good reason to truncate the span of numbers we consider at R, and once R* is on the table it is crystal clear as to why it becomes impossible to traverse a transfinite span in finite stage steps; which drastically undercuts worldviews that seem to demand that the causal-temporal succession we see from day to day or the comparable, extends to an actual past without limit — an implicitly transfinite past. Similarly, it is manifest that once we have a distinct possible world W, we can use distinction from a near neighbour W’ to develop N,Z,Q,R,C,R* etc, and it is reasonable to hold that Mathematics as a discipline studies a substance of structure and quantity that in core parts is antecedent to axiomatisations. And more. KF

  186. 186
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Viola Lee, does anything Kairosfocus said at 185 above make any sense to you? The only thing I recognize is Kairosfocus’ faulty insistence that Benford’s is an effective tool for identifying possible election fraud, in spite of mathematicians saying that it isn’t.

  187. 187
    Viola Lee says:

    Yes, Steve, a bit, but it don’t think “engaged” means exactly the same thing to KF as it does to me. For instance, quoting Cicero, Plato, or Acts from the Bible dozens of times isn’t my idea of engagement. I never have understood the “Reichstag fire incident”, which seems to imply that the Jan 6 storming of the capitol was contrived, and the Benton thing was about the claim of electoral fraud. I didn’t participate too much in those other than to point out that all the electoral fraud stuff was not born out in court (and now Sidney Powell herself says in court documents that no reasonable person would have believed her).

    The R R* stuff refers to the argument about an infinite past. KF did engage in that discussion, to my mind, and we just disagreed about some substantials issues. The possible worlds part refers, I think, to the nature of mathematics and to what extent, if any, it exists apart from the abstract concepts developed by human beings. Here he and I have different philosophical perspectives. He could have also mentioned the recent topic, of which the subthread on this post is concerned, as to whether there are objective moral standards–one plumb line by which the crookedness of all others can be measured.

    But I am referring more to how he engages: continually throwing repetitive rhetoric into posts rather than staying focused on specific points. For instance, you wrote a simple sentence at 180

    “The type of sexual activity is not the problem. Multiple partners is. Many gay couples are monogamous. As such, their HIV risks are no higher than that of celibate priests.”

    KF replied at 184, (as a P.S.), “PS: The claims commonly made about lack of promiscuity are dubious in a day when any sexual contact easily involves a decade of onward sexual networks, but that is just an opening to go more and more into what is best left as unmentionable.”

    Notice, he didn’t respond to your point, which was not about whether people are promiscuous or not, but about the fact that sex practices of all sorts are quite safe, from a disease standpoint, in a monogamous relationship in which multiple partners is not part of the situations. Also, the first part of his response is about all these other things that can be dangerous, but that is just a deflection from the point that you made.

    This is an example of what I mean by “not engaging.”

  188. 188
    jerry says:

    does anything Kairosfocus said at 185 above make any sense to you?

    Why don’t you ask for a point by point clarification. For example,

    I should note that too often a dismissive argument on your part has not constituted actual warrant for the dismissal, leading to good reason to point to the yet unrefuted argument.

    I don’t know the specifics but Kf says one or more of his arguments were not not actually refuted so they are left standing. Why not ask which ones. And then go from there.

    This might be a good start for understanding the comment.

  189. 189
    jerry says:

    and now Sidney Powell herself says in court documents that no reasonable person would have believed her

    Did she say this?

  190. 190
    Viola Lee says:

    Her lawyers did. There have been numerous news stories about this quoting the documents.

  191. 191
    jerry says:

    Her lawyers did. There have been numerous news stories about this quoting the documents.

    Did they? Did the news stories portray the legal documents accurately? Or are they fake news?

    Does she still believe her claims? Did she claim them as facts?

    Again far from epigenetic characteristics and their reversal.

  192. 192
    Steve Alten2 says:

    These are the words from the filing

    Given the highly charged and political context of the statements, it is clear that Powell was describing the facts on which she based the lawsuits she filed in support of President Trump,

    Indeed, Plaintiffs themselves characterize the statements at issue as ‘wild accusations’ and ‘outlandish claims.’ They are repeatedly labelled ‘inherently improbable’ and even ‘impossible.’ Such characterizations of the allegedly defamatory statements further support Defendants’ position that reasonable people would not accept such statements as fact but view them only as claims that await testing by the courts through the adversary process.

  193. 193
    jerry says:

    Repeating part of your statement

    Such characterizations of the allegedly defamatory statements further support Defendants’ position that reasonable people would not accept such statements as fact but view them only as claims that await testing by the courts through the adversary process.

    This shows that these were not facts asserted but opinions made to be determined in a court ptoceeding. Apparently this is a major legal distinction.

    Dominion is asserting no reasonable person would believe them and that Powell was not making claims of fact.

    They should thus welcome an investigation.

  194. 194
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Haha. Beat you to it. 🙂

  195. 195
    Viola Lee says:

    Dominion does welcome an investigation: notice they are the ones suing Powell and others. They are the ones asking for an investigation.

  196. 196
    Steve Alten2 says:

    And if Powell can’t support the claims she made, she will be found guilty.

  197. 197
    Viola Lee says:

    Possibly. If she can prove that she herself was not a reasonable person, and believed the unsubstantiated statements she was making, she might not be. But if it can be shown that she knew what she was saying was false, and she was saying those things for political purposes anyway, then she might be held liable for the damage she caused. My 2 cents, but IANAL.

  198. 198
    jerry says:

    she will be found guilty.

    This is a defamation suit and certain things are necessary. One can not be found guilty for having an opinion? Has Dominion arguing that no reasonable person could believe Powell was stating a fact reinforce she was stating an opinion? If it is a statement of an opinion and not a statement of fact can there be grounds for a defamation action.

    Falsity – Defamation law will only consider statements defamatory if they are, in fact, false. A true statement is not considered defamation. Additionally, because of their nature, statements of opinion are not considered false because they are subjective to the speaker.

    So what seems to many as an admission of guilt is just a legal argument that what she was stating was an opinion. There is a lot more in the Powell pleading than the narrative offered by the press and we will have to wait to see what happens.

    The main part of the pleading was to change the venue to Colorado.

  199. 199
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Jerry “ Has Dominion arguing that no reasonable person could believe Powell was stating a fact reinforce she was stating an opinion?

    Isn’t it Powell’s lawyer that is saying this, not Dominion?

  200. 200
    Viola Lee says:

    Jerry quotes, ” Defamation law will only consider statements defamatory if they are, in fact, false. A true statement is not considered defamation.”

    This is the part that would open up an investigation as to whether what Powell was saying was true or not, although her “unreasonable person” defense seems to imply that she (or at least her lawyers) knew they were false.

    I understand the opinion vs fact distinction, but I wonder if that gets Powell of the hook. If I go around saying “It’s my opinion that you’ve been embezzling from the bank” when I know that is not true, and that my intention is to absolve some one else of wrongdoing by accusing you, does the fact that I’ve stated an “opinion” enough to excuse me from legal liability?

  201. 201
    Steve Alten2 says:

    I also agree that “the no reasonable person” defence is a long shot at best as the evidence is clear that a lot of people believed the claims. And there is no doubt that these claims have caused significant financial damage to Dominion.

    What I am not sure about is who has the burden of proof. Is the burden of proof on Powell to demonstrate that her claims are correct? Or on Dominion to demonstrate that they are false?

    And i don’t think that a person’s belief in the accuracy of claims is a defence for defamation.

    To prove prima facie defamation, a plaintiff must show four things: 1) a false statement purporting to be fact; 2) publication or communication of that statement to a third person; 3) fault amounting to at least negligence; and 4) damages, or some harm caused to the person or entity who is the subject of the statement.

    Viola Lee “ My 2 cents, but IANAL.

    Don’t say “anal”, some people get upset when that word is mentioned. 🙂

  202. 202
    Viola Lee says:

    Hmmmm. I’ll have to analyze that statement!

  203. 203
    Seversky says:

    Distinguishing Between Statements of Fact and Opinion
    In general, facts are statements that can be proven true or false; by contrast, opinions are matters of belief or ideas that cannot be proven one way or the other. For example, “Chris is a thief” can be proven false by showing that throughout his entire life Chris never stole anything. Compare that statement with “Chris is a complete moron.” The latter is an opinion (or, technically, “a pure opinion”), as what constitutes a moron is a subjective view that varies with the person: one person’s moron is not necessarily the next person’s moron. Put another way, there would be no way to prove that Chris is not a moron. If a statement is a “pure opinion,” it cannot be the basis for a defamation claim.

    Of course, it is not always easy to determine whether a statement is a pure opinion. As we noted above, opinions that imply false underlying facts will not be protected. For example, stating that “Chris is insane” could be both a fact and an opinion. It could mean Chris has been diagnosed with psychosis and needs to be hospitalized in a mental institution; this could be proven false. It could also mean that Chris has wacky ideas that one doesn’t agree with, which is an opinion. In determining which meaning the statement should be given, courts often rely on context and common-sense logic (or to phrase it in legalese, the “totality of circumstances” of the publication). For example, if one called Chris insane in a forum post as part of a heated argument over politics, the statement would likely be interpreted as an opinion.

  204. 204
    Seversky says:

    Steve Alten2/201

    What I am not sure about is who has the burden of proof. Is the burden of proof on Powell to demonstrate that her claims are correct? Or on Dominion to demonstrate that they are false?

    IANAL either (nor is it a reference to sexual practices) but, as I see it, Dominion will have to present evidence to the court that they have been harmed by Powell’s comments which any reasonable person would have taken as statements of fact. The best defense against a charge of defamation is evidence that the claims complained about are true. The next best defense is that the statements were legitimate expressions of opinion which any reasonable person would have taken as such. That Powell is defending on the grounds of a permissible expression of opinion suggests she is unable to prove the statements were true. The problem for that strategy is that she claimed to have evidence – or that there existed evidence – to support her allegations of electoral fraud. That implies that she believed she was making statements of fact – capable of being proven true or false – at that time.

  205. 205
    Steve Alten2 says:

    Seversky “ IANAL either (nor is it a reference to sexual practices)

    Those who have dealt with lawyers may disagree with you. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  206. 206
    Concealed Citizen says:

    And still, after WJM has pulled down KF’s pants over and over, the fact remains, that KF’s “philosophy” has nothing to say beyond:

    1. People accept premises.
    2. They reason from them (sometimes better than others.)
    3. People are self-interested.
    4. People make commitments to premises. (The premises differ amongst humans quite a bit.)
    5. They feel “guilty” when they violate those commitments. I.e, violate their “duty” to said premises.
    6. Some people have no guilt (feeling of “duty”) at all. (Sociopaths.)

    Nothing about KF’s “philosophy” (no matter how many times he uses the term “duty” and no matter how many times, by golly, he wishes his word salad were rational or persuasive or informative to the human condition) it’s not the least bit controversial, nor does it point to some transcendent morality.

    Moreover, he has shown himself a coward over and over, because when people put strong questions to his nonsense, he attacks character and deflects. As if the issues have be resolved. They haven’t. It’s just pure cowardice on KF’s part to squarely address the issues.

    Massive fail, KF. Pitiful. Truly pitiful. Again, you should just come clean and admit you’re driven by Roman Catholic dogma. That would be honest. And you might reclaim some respect. Maybe.

  207. 207
    kairosfocus says:

    CC [attn VL et al, & Jerry],

    No, there is a world of difference between the subjectivity, group think, institutional relativism etc of people accept X and that in order to reason and argue with plausibility [even to ourselves] — i.e. find rhetorical traction — they find themselves inescapably appealing to certain duties X. In short, it seems the all too pervasive cult of relativism, subjectivism and emotivism [with its many self-referential fallacies] is acting as a crooked yardstick here. Of course, that was directly addressed many times but crooked yardsticks are self-reinforcing, indeed some can be led to reject naturally straight and upright plumb lines.

    The core challenge I have put on the table, is that when we reason and argue or even quarrel, there are some observable invariants that give rhetorical traction or plausibility or perceived credibility. Perhaps it is old fashioned now to look for invariants and to highlight them as pivots of thought and analysis — laws of a focal area of analysis — but I cannot help being a trained scientist looking for key intelligible patterns. It is in that context that Cicero tickled an itch and forced me to think, for years actually.

    That prudence is a law was easy to see, given that warrant is a key facet of prudence. Where also, knowledge is best seen as a weak sense claim (as we commonly speak of knowledge where the claims are defeatable, e.g. in science): warranted, credibly true [and so, reliable] belief. That automatically points to duty to truth as accurate description of reality and to right reason involving logical soundness and cautions as closely tied first duties. That is, built-in laws.

    For over forty years, the case of Epictetus [for years, I couldn’t recall the name] tickled away, eventually bringing out the significance of inescapability:

    DISCOURSES
    CHAPTER XXV

    How is logic necessary?

    When someone in [Epictetus’] audience said, Convince me that logic is necessary, he answered: Do you wish me to demonstrate this to you?—Yes.—Well, then, must I use a demonstrative argument?—And when the questioner had agreed to that, Epictetus asked him. How, then, will you know if I impose upon you?—As the man had no answer to give, Epictetus said: Do you see how you yourself admit that all this instruction is necessary, if, without it, you cannot so much as know whether it is necessary or not? [Notice, inescapable, thus self evidently true and antecedent to the inferential reasoning that provides deductive proofs and frameworks, including axiomatic systems and propositional calculus etc. Cf J. C. Wright]

    Inescapable entities antecedent to specific attempts to reason and as priors of warrant can be readily recognised as first truths, self evident by virtue of inescapability. That is, the attempt to hyperskeptically demand proof of truth [on pain of dismissal] or that to try to prove both inescapably use them points to truth on pain of self-defeating self-reference. So, first truths of duty, built in law coeval with our humanity i.e. responsible, rational freedom.

    Then, duty to voice of conscience resonates. Conscience can be distorted or can be suppressed so, sound conscience. Where, that voice is there, umpire-like in reasoning, thinking, doing. Pervasive, a clue. Bingo, if it is delusional, a pervasive mental phenomenon is delusional. So, on pain of grand delusion, sound conscience is indeed a first principle. One can escape it but only by warping or stifling it, plainly a self-inflicted serious damage to the right functioning of mind. And, even so, the testimony remains.

    Similarly, his “law is . . . highest reason” [the the dropped out in my reflections] prompted me to tie law with right reason pivoting on self evident first truths starting with distinct identity. Which, you will readily see I for cause hold as exceedingly powerful. That A is itself i/l/o its core characteristics that are constitutive and distinguish it from near neighbour A’ thus all that is ~A, not only brings non-contradiction and excluded middle in but is a bridge to logic of being. Thus, for example, I used it to develop a drawing out of core math that answers to Wigner’s wonder on the utility of mathematics.

    Looking at the other pivot, justice is best seen as due balance of rights, freedoms, responsibilities. Where, rights are binding morally rooted claims on others, they are legitimate duty claims that bind the other. So, it is but a step to see that one cannot legitimately bind another to do, say or uphold wrong or evil. That is, rights claims pivot on being in the right. Freedoms are of course close concomitants of rights. To exert right Y, one must be free to do y1, y2, y3, etc, regulated by one’s own duties to the other of like rational, significantly free responsible nature. Thus, obviously, duty to neighbour who is as oneself.

    Cicero was right, and that corpus of core, built-in law coeval with our humanity clearly connects to our thriving as a social, cultural, community-based species with civilisation as main historical means to promote same. So, we have a frame of natural law which embeds duties of responsible reason. The seven have been highlighted through discussion, but this is not exhaustive so, etc.

    Where, as repeatedly highlighted, even objectors cannot evade their force. For striking example, CC, I clip your latest attempt to taint and dismiss me [not just to somehow overturn arguments without appealing to first duties]. Notice, the highlighted appeals to the very principles you would discard:

    Pitiful [–> claimed failure of right reason and prudence, leading to unjust argument]. Truly pitiful. Again, you should just come clean [–> appeal to allegedly failed duty to truth, in fact a wholly unjustified slander, to be dealt with in a moment] and admit [–> confess, confess, confess Mr Smith, to what? the truth or at least the partyline presented as counterfeit] you’re driven by Roman Catholic dogma. [–> claimed fallacies of improper appeal to authority, with hints of Spanish Inquisition etc doubtless lurking, this in the teeth of open acknowledgement of my debt to a chain of thinkers: Cicero et al down to Locke and Blackstone, with a key text in Cicero cited ever so many times] That would be honest [–> appeal to duty to conscience, right reason, truth, prudence, fairness, neighbour . . . you are lying to deceive is directly implied]. And you might reclaim some respect. Maybe. [–> demanding ceding of moral high ground, again appeal to conscience, however, warped]

    This set of assertions directly demonstrates my point about inescapability, pointing to self-evidence. CC, you cannot be ignorant of that by now so, this is confession by projection to the despised other by way of resolving your own cognitive dissonance. You cannot but appeal to the duties you are desperate not to acknowledge so you have tried to project guilt to me.

    Go look in a mirror.

    Also, it is high time that you please stop speaking with disregard to truth and constructing narratives that project accusations of dishonesty in ignorance of basic facts. You are dealing with someone who has put life and career on the line more than once over issues of truth and right. Where, in fact, I am anything but a Roman Catholic, though I have come to recognise that that Church is a remaining voice in our civilisation speaking up for built in law coeval with our nature. Here, I find that the distorted way such thought is presented fails to deal with Cicero and others antecedent to Aquinas. As to the notion that I am reciting indoctrination from Catechism, far from it. I did go to a Jesuit High School, and came to respect the priests as thinkers and as men; but, there simply was no catechising, especially on natural law. Frankly, I first learned of Aquinas by seeing a place called Aquinas Centre.

    In short, your narrative is grossly false to basic facts of my life.

    I have quite explicitly shown the actual intellectual roots of/sparks for the argument I have made, from Cicero’s opening thoughts in his De Legibus, which became accessible to me by way of web search, leading to eye-opening reading, e.g.:

    —Marcus [in de Legibus, introductory remarks,. C1 BC, being Cicero himself]: . . . we shall have to explain the true nature of moral justice, which is congenial and correspondent [36]with the true nature of man [–> we are seeing the root vision of natural law, coeval with our humanity] . . . . With respect to the true principle of justice, many learned men have maintained that it springs from Law. I hardly know if their opinion be not correct, at least, according to their own definition; for . “Law (say they) is the highest reason, implanted in nature, which prescribes those things which ought to be done, and forbids the contrary” . . . .

    They therefore conceive that the voice of conscience is a law, that moral prudence is a law [–> a key remark] , whose operation is to urge us to good actions, and restrain us from evil ones . . . . According to the Greeks, therefore, the name of law implies an equitable distribution of goods: according to the Romans [–> esp. Cicero, speaking as a leading statesman], an equitable discrimination between good and evil.

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

    [–> this points to the wellsprings of reality, the only place where is and ought can be bridged; bridged, through the inherently good utterly wise, maximally great necessary being, the creator God, which adequately answers the Euthyphro dilemma and Hume’s guillotine argument surprise on seeing reasoning is-is then suddenly a leap to ought-ought. IS and OUGHT are fused from the root]

    This indeed is the true energy of nature, the very soul and essence of wisdom, the test of virtue and vice.

    The far better known parallel text in On The Republic, I only recently ran across. That should itself have been a clue to you. I have given my sources, pointed to chains of reflection, compressed years of thought to outline how I came to where I stand. And I am fully prepared to live up to my name and its regimental tie-in on this hill, in the teeth of an anticivilisational, manifestly misanthropic trend.

    Had you accused me of being a defender of Western Civilisation, I would proudly plead guilty as charged. And consider it an honour to be guilty of that crime in the eyes of year zero reset, ill advised radicalism yet again determined to mutiny and sail the ship of state as they please. Never mind, that as recently as the turn of the 90’s such radicalism was yet again exposed for its bloody failure.

    KF

  208. 208

    Kairosfocus. More of your outrageous dumping on subjectivity and emotions.

    I have paid attention to the issue of subjectivity, for years. The ideas of emotions and subjective opinion, are inherently creationist concepts. Materialism provides no room for emotions and subjectivity, at all. Materialism only validates facts, not subjective opinions.

    I presented the basic logic of creationism with the creationist conceptual scheme.

    What is ok is, disagreement on what the basic logic of creating something is. What is not ok is, people disregarding what the basic logic of creationism is. What I see is, you disregard the basic logic of creationism, with your dumping on subjectivity and emotion in general.

  209. 209
    William J Murray says:

    About the Sidney Powell thing;

    There is a legal difference between a “claim of fact” and a claim that available evidence would support a conclusion. The filing distinguishes between these two different legal things because the “defamation” case can only be supported if Powell made a claim of fact, and was not expressing an opinion that available evidence clearly and overwhelmingly supports the conclusion that Dominion committed widespread voter fraud.

    IOW, her attorneys rightfully make the case (for dismissing the defamation suit) that no reasonable person would think that Powell was making a claim of fact, but that any reasonable person would hold that Powell was expressing her professional opinion (however strongly) that the available evidence will prove, in court, and to any other reasonable person, that conclusion.

    From the document in question:

    The Complaint comes nowhere close to meeting this daunting standard. It alleges no facts which, if proven by clear and convincing evidence, would show that Sidney Powell knew her statements were false (assuming that they were indeed false, which Defendants dispute). Nor have Plaintiffs alleged any facts showing that Powell “in fact entertained serious doubts as to the truth of h[er] publication.” In fact, she believed the allegations then and she believes them now.

    This is another case of fake news and lack of due diligence.

  210. 210
    Bob O'H says:

    Just in case anyone is interested, the US DOMINION, INC. v. POWELL documents are here.

    FWIW, from the lawyers I’ve been following on twitter, I’ve got the impression that “actual malice” is the key issue that Dominion have to address to win, i.e. that a statement was made “with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not”. My guess is that Dominion’s lawyers will argue that reckless disregard would include making the statements without having evidence to back them up, after being asked repeatedly for the evidence. I’ve no idea (not being a lawyer) if this would be good enough.

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