Intelligent Design

Quote of the Day

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“The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exist.”

― Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

Think about this the next time a progressive tells you that a man who says he is a woman is in fact a woman, or that there are 50+ genders. Think about it and be very afraid. Scratch a progressive and you will find a fascist underneath.

22 Replies to “Quote of the Day

  1. 1
    john_a_designer says:

    Contemporary secular progressives are typically moral and epistemological subjectivists who try to first co-opt and then exploit the concept of universal human rights. By definition a universal human right is something that every human being is obligated to respect. Therefore, reason tells us that it must have some basis in objective fact. How then am I obligated to respect a so-called right that I know has been made up whole cloth by some moral subjectivist?

  2. 2
    Seversky says:

    It’s a good quote but I would express it a little differently: ““The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not just the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but any who are prepared to make their own critical evaluation and judgement subservient to some alleged Supreme Truth such as the Thoughts of Chairman Mao, Marxism-Leninism, whatever Supreme Leader thinks at any given time, the Qu’ran or the Bible”.

  3. 3
    Seversky says:

    The requirement for universal human rights is that they should be recognized as the entitlement of all, regardless of age, sex, ethnicity, religion or non-belief or age. I do not see that it does me any harm for another individual to hold themselves as essentially female or even non-gender even though their sex assigned at birth was male. But I do see harm being done to such individuals, apparently on the grounds of a visceral objection to their behavior. Stereotyping and scapegoating of such individuals and groups is what causes them harm.

    In my view, there is no factual basis for any moral judgements. Such beliefs cannot be supported or rejected by an appeal to facts except through an illicit attempt to bridge the is/ought gap.

  4. 4
    Truthfreedom says:

    Seversky

    The requirement for universal human rights is that they should be recognized as the entitlement of all, regardless of age, sex, ethnicity, religion or non-belief or age. I do not see that it does me any harm for another individual to hold themselves as essentially female or even non-gender even though their sex assigned at birth was male. But I do see harm being done to such individuals, apparently on the grounds of a visceral objection to their behavior. Stereotyping and scapegoating of such individuals and groups is what causes them harm.

    In my view, there is no factual basis for any moral judgements. Such beliefs cannot be supported or rejected by an appeal to facts except through an illicit attempt to bridge the is/ought gap.

    And? Why should people care about the result of some random chemical reactions and neuronal firings?
    It is your opinion, the product of a mindless process= Evolution, nothing specially valuable or interesting or important (according to materialism).
    Does it have size or something? Is it bigger than mine, for example? Should we use a scale?

  5. 5
    john_a_designer says:

    The problem we are facing today is that those pushing a social justice or secular-progressive agenda: transgenderism, same sex marriage, identity politics and wokeness etc. start with morally subjectivist or morally relativist assumptions.

    Some years ago, on another website, I had this exchange with an interlocutor who responded to a question in an OP similar to what we’re discussing here.

    Here’s an answer to your question… There is nothing “essentially true” about marriage. Marriage is what we agree it is (or what most of us agree it is.)

    There is no “essential truth” about anything.

    I replied:

    It is self-refuting to say there is ”no ‘essential truth’ about anything.” Didn’t you notice that you’re making an essential [indeed universal] truth claim about truth. Furthermore it takes the legs out from under every argument you have been making. Why should I even consider an argument that’s not true?

    This is why I have given up trying to argue with moral subjectivists. They don’t understand the irrationality of their argument. Logic 101 says you can’t prove anything deductively unless you begin with a factually true or self-evidently true premise. Again, the premise there is “no ‘essential truth’ about anything,” is self-refuting, which is basically the argument the subjectivist is making. All the subjectivist has are moral opinions he believes are true for him. However, no-one else is obligated to accept his or her moral opinions. The subjectivist is then left with a “morality” that has no moral obligation. What value is such a moral system? The answer is obvious: zero value.

  6. 6
    EDTA says:

    It seems like we go ’round and ’round this issue, but let’s do it again because it’s important.

    Sev @ 3,

    >In my view, there is no factual basis for any moral judgements.
    >Stereotyping and scapegoating of such individuals and groups is what causes them harm.

    If there is no factual basis for any moral judgements, then it cannot be said that stereotyping, scapegoating and harming are wrong. If I am missing something here, please explain your position further.

  7. 7
    BobRyan says:

    It is a ridiculous argument to claim something that is not scientifically provable to displace what is provable. Women who believe they are men, may very well believe it to be true, but that does not mean that woman is biologically a man. Testosterone produces more calcium than estrogen, which means men have stronger and thicker bones than women. This is one of hundreds of biological differences between the two.
    We are not dealing with people who have legitimate scientific beliefs, but of legitimate psychological issues. Those who believe they are meant to be the opposite sex have been seriously abused as children. For boys, there is always a dominant mother figure in their lives who have treated them as girls. They also have been at the receiving end of male family members who have raped them.
    The thoughts of suicide, as well as attempts, remain the same before and after surgery. Surgery gives both men and women six months of euphoria, then the depression returns to the same state as it was. There is no actual benefit to surgery, but they have been told something physical will solve something psychological.

  8. 8
    News says:

    The transgender push is perhaps best seen as a war on nature. That is, most progressive causes are wars on traditional civilization or perennial beliefs. But once progressives have obliterated all that, what is there to destroy? Well, nature.

    To the extent that humans are primates, we live in a sexually bifurcated world. The fact that some people are unhappy with their natural sexual endowments doesn’t change the way the system, left to itself, operates. Also,. sometimes the system blunders and produces hermaphrodites. But that fact only points up more clearly how it is supposed to operate. So the transgender push is ideal for testing the frontiers of what progressivism can do in an all out war on nature.

    Prediction: Along the present path, one casualty will be science. Scientists will be expected to affirm statements that make no sense, as proof of their loyalty to progressive politics. Over time, as the field widens and the number of demanded affirmations grows, facts will come to be the enemy.

    In the affected areas, science will come to consist largely of inventing sciencey-sounding propaganda in support of key progressive causes, alongside suppression of knowledge of inconvenient facts-and of the persons who know and talk about them.

    We shall see.

  9. 9
    Barry Arrington says:

    Sev writes:

    The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not just the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but any who are prepared to make their own critical evaluation and judgement subservient to some alleged Supreme Truth . . .

    Then, in the very next comment, he announces a Supreme Truth he expects us all to live by:

    The requirement for universal human rights is that they should be recognized as the entitlement of all, regardless of age, sex, ethnicity, religion or non-belief or age.

    You really couldn’t make this up.
    Note that I do not disagree with the Supreme Truth announced by Sev. One can trace the principle of human equality right back to the Bible (yeah, the same Bible Sev dismissed in the previous comment). For a right to be a right at all it must be universally applicable to all.
    My point is that Sev demonstrates for the 1, 398,263rd time that no sane person really believes materialism or the ethical entailments of that metaphysical view are true. Materialists always announce their grand materialist view only to smuggle Judeo-Christian values back in when they hope no one is looking. Sev’s back-to-back comments are not unique. They are just jarring in their spacial and temporal proximity.

  10. 10
    Seversky says:

    Barry Arrington@ 9

    Sev writes:

    The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not just the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but any who are prepared to make their own critical evaluation and judgement subservient to some alleged Supreme Truth . . .

    Then, in the very next comment, he announces a Supreme Truth he expects us all to live by:

    The requirement for universal human rights is that they should be recognized as the entitlement of all, regardless of age, sex, ethnicity, religion or non-belief or age.

    I set out a definition of what is meant by “universal human right”. I did not say that thought of it as some sort of Supreme Truth that I expected everyone to live by, although I agree with you that it entails the notion of a universal obligation to respect it, except in certain specific situations.

    My point is that Sev demonstrates for the 1, 398,263rd time that no sane person really believes materialism or the ethical entailments of that metaphysical view are true. Materialists always announce their grand materialist view only to smuggle Judeo-Christian values back in when they hope no one is looking. Sev’s back-to-back comments are not unique. They are just jarring in their spacial and temporal proximity.

    Materialism or physicalism are metaphysical positions on the nature of what is. They are prevented by the unbridgeable is/ought gap from entailing any particular moral or ethical prescriptions, although that does stop people from trying. Nonetheless, absent any legitimate material basis for morality, all that remains is intersubjective agreement on preserving what are the common interests of all human beings.

  11. 11
    Barry Arrington says:

    Sev writes:

    I did not say that thought of it as some sort of Supreme Truth that I expected everyone to live by, although I agree with you that it entails the notion of a universal obligation to respect it . . .

    As I often admonish our materialist friends, when your metaphysics make you say screamingly stupid things — like this — you should check your metaphysics.

  12. 12
    Truthfreedom says:

    As I often admonish our materialist friends, when your metaphysics make you say screamingly stupid things — like this — you should check your metaphysics.

    I have noticed they violate the LOI and the LNC most of the time. It baffles me.

  13. 13
    john_a_designer says:

    Does simply believing something is “a right” make it a right?

    For example, PETA claims that animals have rights. They explicitly argue that “animals are not ours to use—for food, clothing, entertainment, or experimentation.” Moral subjectivists argue that any kind of rights even so-called human rights are something that we invent. But how am I obligated to adhere something someone else has invented? The point is that for any kind of moral obligation to be binding it has to be based on more that human belief or opinion. In other words, universal human rights need something that transcend human belief and opinion. If no transcendent basis exists then there is no basis for universal human rights– they simply don’t exist.

    https://www.peta.org/about-peta/faq/what-do-you-mean-by-animal-rights/

  14. 14
    Barry Arrington says:

    Sev:

    absent any legitimate material basis for morality, all that remains is intersubjective agreement

    JAD:

    universal human rights need something that transcend human belief and opinion. If no transcendent basis exists then there is no basis for universal human rights– they simply don’t exist.

    Yep. Which is why, as I have already said, no sane person acts as if materialism is true.

  15. 15
    Silver Asiatic says:

    A denial of transcendent values not only denies universal norms, but as the OP indicates, it denies

    the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought)

    So, even engagements in discussion and argument about moral norms is a pointless exercise in that worldview.

    Seversky says:

    Materialism or physicalism are metaphysical positions on the nature of what is.

    “What is”, in that view, is what exists today. There is no past and no future. We cannot kick the past or future the way we kick a stone. Past and future are immaterial concepts. Rational discussion is a comparison and deliberation about universal, immaterial concepts. They are not “what is” in the materialist sense. Communication about abstract ideas, including how humans should live a moral life, already violate the concept of materialism.

    Nonetheless, absent any legitimate material basis for morality, all that remains is intersubjective agreement on preserving what are the common interests of all human beings.

    That does seem to be mostly correct.. However, the term “”intersubjective agreement on preserving” is not correct. On a material basis, there is no need for “agreement” and there is no reason to “preserve common interests of all human beings”.
    If all humans have that common interest, then there’s nothing to debate. We will all pursue our interests.
    Squirrels do not seek to preserve their common interests. They hunt for food and reproduce. In fact, in materialism, they don’t have “interests”. Evolution just makes them do what they do.
    All organisms in the materialist view are the same. The only interests and purpose they could have is to survive and reproduce, but even that is not an interest that needs to be preserved. Whatever behaviors happen is simply “what is”.

    In the materialist view, there’s nothing to debate and no reason for gaining understanding. Truth and falsehood are interchangeable, having the same existential value. All of a materialist’s proposals can be refuted and this will have no ultimate meaning.

  16. 16
    Ed George says:

    Sev

    Nonetheless, absent any legitimate material basis for morality, all that remains is intersubjective agreement on preserving what are the common interests of all human beings.

    Which quite nicely explains the variability in moral values over time and between cultures. I think that we would all love to have moral values provided to us by an all knowing being with our best interests at heart, but until one of them comes along, we will just have to do the best we can.

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    as to: “Which quite nicely explains the variability in moral values over time and between cultures.”

    And without an objective moral basis to judge by, exactly how does one go about deciding whether certain cultures were and are living up to certain objective moral standards? For instance the standard of loving your neighbor as yourself?

    As a moral relativist, who believes that objective moral standards do not exist, you simply have no objective moral standard to judge by to say whether any particular culture is any better or worse than any other particular culture.

    Without an objective moral standard to judge by you simply have no basis whatsoever for declaring that Hitler’s ethics, which were more or less directly based on Darwinian ideology (R. Weikart), to be any worse or better than any other culture.

    It is all relative, Que será, será!

  18. 18
    john_a_designer says:

    Human rights has a history. For example, the belief about human rights throughout history of western civilization is that our rights are based or “grounded” in some kind of transcendent standard. For example, Plato (429?–347 B.C.) and Cicero (106-43 B.C.) argued that the transcendent standard was some kind of vague and abstract transcendent good– “the Good.” On the other hand, early Jewish and Christian thinkers thought that this so-called transcendent Good was itself grounded in the being and goodness of God. This is the historical basis of western civilization’s tradition of universal human rights and of democracy for which the FACT of human rights is absolutely essential. How, for example, can you have a democracy if its citizens aren’t afforded equal rights regardless of race, creed or class?

    What is the atheistic-materialistic history of human rights? Aside from Marxist communism I can think of no such history. Frankly, Marxist communism has contributed nothing to history of human rights it has only undermined it. What difference does any of this make? It is an historical FACT that our concept of universal human rights did not grow out of a belief that they are totally subjective or relativistic.

    Of course, we have to agree with at least one thing that’s logically true about atheistic materialism. It provides absolutely no basis for any kind transcendent standard. However furthermore, there is no evidence of any kind that our concept of human rights could have ever evolved in an historical milieu which was morally subjectivist and relativistic. By the way, this is not because moral relativism and subjectivism did not exist historically. Indeed, we can cite several examples from ancient history alone.

  19. 19
    Barry Arrington says:

    Ed George
    Materialists are good at assuming their conclusion. Dealing with evidence? Not so much.

  20. 20
    Ed George says:

    Good thing I’m not a materialist.

  21. 21
    Barry Arrington says:

    You’re not? Great. You must have been hanging around them here too long, because you sure do argue like the do, most prominently by assuming your conclusions.

  22. 22
    john_a_designer says:

    Is there such a thing as an honest atheist? If there is they haven’t shown up here at UD.

    Historically, there have been a few atheists who have made some honest comments. For example, Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), said at the conclusion of his book, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, “What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.”

    Later he took back what he had said in Tractatus because he recognized that most of his logical claims were logically self-refuting. However, from what I have seen from our regular interlocutors he was basically right. World views like atheistic materialism can inform us very little about purpose and meaning, morality and ethics or epistemology. It would be better for them (they would make more sense logically) if they stayed silent.

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