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Thinking More Deeply About Causation

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I put up a post on MindMatters today about the stock market with a provocative title – “Everyone Can Beat the Market”. It’s not actually about the stock market, but that was the area I was thinking about at the time. It was, in fact, a piece on thinking about causation.

Most people (including experts) tend to have a one-level view of causation. That is, they have a static idea of what the subject matter is, and then they look to see how the pieces bounce around within that static structure. That more or less works for physics. It totally fails everywhere else.

The fact is, in every social interaction, effects become causes of future happenings. Not only that, the effects modify not only the things modeled, but also the static structure that the model assumes. Imagine, for instance, if a gravity experiment actually changed gravity permanently.

A great illustration of this is a cartoon from XKCD.

Romance Drama Cartoon

The problem being described here isn’t just that people are complicated, it’s that the effects change the structure of the game itself. That’s why modeling it is so hard.

This has dramatic effects in everyday life that we don’t even recognize, because our faulty analogy of human causation with physical causation has programmed us not to recognize them.

In the article, I point out that the effects of investing decisions actually effect the market itself. We tend to think of the market as a static structure, but it’s not. The members of the market, the legal rules they utilize, the social rules they utilize, the relationships between the players – all of these things are subject to change.

Take WeWork for instance. It never actually made it to be a part of the market, but it’s failure to materialize will change the decision-making of the market and the precursors to the market for a long time. This means that it will be a *different* market than before. The typical decision-making will be different than before. The risk/reward analysis will be different than before, etc.

While this isn’t meant to focus on politics, I wanted to point out another way that this manifests. In the 2016 election, everybody said, “you have to choose one, so choose the lesser of two evils” (or at least that’s what my friends said). I decided to vote for no one, because no one met my minimum standard. Now, by myself, that does nothing. However, imagine that a large group of people had voted for no one. Do you think that this would be a phenomena that the pollsters would miss? While it is true that I would have failed to effect change of the outcome of 2016, if a large group did it, it could mean the change of the outcome of every election afterwards, as the powers-that-be who run candidates realize that they actually have to appeal to us, and not just run a “not-as-bad-as-that-guy” campaign. The popular mindset says that *this* present outcome is the only thing that matters. But that’s because they all view the game as static.

When you realize that the game itself changes based on your participation, you look at every decision you make differently.

This is why I don’t care about 99% of what psychology or sociology says. Nearly the whole field is chasing mathematical models, not recognizing that the choices you make changes the model itself.

73 Replies to “Thinking More Deeply About Causation

  1. 1
    johnnyb says:

    I also don’t want this to be about gay marriage, but one thing I wanted to point out is that one of the outcomes of the gay marriage normalization is that teenagers no longer can have deep relationships which don’t risk turning sexual.

    The claim was that “this won’t affect your marriage”. That was true. It does, however, effect the environment that the next generation grows up in. It changes how people look at each other, and their likelihood to establish deep friendships. The sociologists failed to see this because they looked at the effects as merely being just like now, but with gay people also getting married.

    Perhaps the sum of changes are for the better (again, that’s not my point either way). My point is merely that this sort of analysis – where you analyze how the effects change the model altogether, is rarely done and/or taken seriously.

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    JB, a key point is that we can have self-moved, morally governed creatures, whose very rationality is deeply pervaded by that structure. In that context, issues of memory, affect, knowledge (and its cousin, opinion taken for knowledge) and understanding (or misunderstanding), with feed-back and gated feed forward are all relevant. And BTW, it won’t affect your marriage was about as true as many notorious policy selling propositions of recent decades. What was shifted was the perceived . . . as opposed to actual . . . legitimate nature of marriage, thus of sexual identity and context of child upbringing, also this was an attempt to further entrench in a central social phenomenon the discarding of the vision that we have a creation order, morally governed nature that is manifest to the eye of sound reason as built in natural law that transcends state power and which built-in law thus sets the context for the civil peace of justice — due balance of rights, freedoms, responsibilities. This means the state has become a God-substitute, an idol. We have lost our way and opened the door to outright nihilistic will to power. We will need reformation to recover from the cascading civilisation-level damage in progress. KF

    PS: There are higher-order models that learn and evolve their structures in path-dependent ways. The problem, of course, is that once lags, memory and feedback are involved, all sorts of instabilities walk in the door.

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS that includes the digital computer.

  4. 4
    Axel says:

    Yes, we see that all panning out, don’t we ? Very perceptive, if I may say so, KF. The march to nihilism, ironically including ‘wokeism’ !

  5. 5
    Pater Kimbridge says:

    What caused you to think about causation? Your free will?

  6. 6
    Truthfreedom says:

    @5 Pater Kimbridge: ‘What caused you to think about causation? Your free will?’

    ‘You’ is an ‘outdated’ pronoun. ‘People’ are just DNA having the illusion ‘it’ is people. Lol.

    Meanwhile, in the real world…

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    It could just be me, but in an article that is entitled ‘Thinking More Deeply About Causation’ on an ID website, I sort of expected that the fact Darwinists deny the reality of Agent causality altogether should have been more explicitly mentioned somewhere in your article. IMHO, that is the main and fatal flaw within Darwinian reasoning that needs to be hammered home time and time again..

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

    Do You Like SETI? Fine, Then Let’s Dump Methodological Naturalism – Paul Nelson – September 24, 2014
    Excerpt: “Epistemology — how we know — and ontology — what exists — are both affected by methodological naturalism (MN). If we say, “We cannot know that a mind caused x,” laying down an epistemological boundary defined by MN, then our ontology comprising real causes for x won’t include minds.
    MN entails an ontology in which minds are the consequence of physics, and thus, can only be placeholders for a more detailed causal account in which physics is the only (ultimate) actor. You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed (the illusion of) you of that event after the fact.
    “That’s crazy,” you reply, “I certainly did write my email.” Okay, then — to what does the pronoun “I” in that sentence refer?
    Your personal agency; your mind. Are you supernatural?,,,
    You are certainly an intelligent cause, however, and your intelligence does not collapse into physics. (If it does collapse — i.e., can be reduced without explanatory loss — we haven’t the faintest idea how, which amounts to the same thing.) To explain the effects you bring about in the world — such as your email, a real pattern — we must refer to you as a unique agent.,,,
    some feature of “intelligence” must be irreducible to physics, because otherwise we’re back to physics versus physics, and there’s nothing for SETI to look for.”,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....90071.html

    As well, it could just be me again, but in an article entitled ‘Thinking More Deeply About Causation’ on an ID website that mentions problems in ‘modeling’, the fact that mathematical axioms, computer models, and even the computers themselves, are all the result of human decisions, should have also been more explicitly mentioned in your article.

    Algorithmic Information Theory, Free Will and the Turing Test – Douglas S. Robertson
    Excerpt: Chaitin’s Algorithmic Information Theory shows that information is conserved under formal mathematical operations and, equivalently, under computer operations. This conservation law puts a new perspective on many familiar problems related to artificial intelligence. For example, the famous “Turing test” for artificial intelligence could be defeated by simply asking for a new axiom in mathematics. Human mathematicians are able to create axioms, but a computer program cannot do this without violating information conservation. Creating new axioms and free will are shown to be different aspects of the same phenomena: the creation of new information.
    http://cires.colorado.edu/~dou...../info8.pdf

    – Greg Coppola to Tucker: “algorithms don’t “write themselves”
    Excerpt: “Basically, any software launch reflects to outcome of thousands of human decisions. If you made different human decisions you would get a different result. And so, if you see a resulting end product that seems to encode a bias of one sort or another, there must have been that bias in the process that produced the end result. Because, like I say, different human decisions that went into the process would produce a completely different result.”,,, “In my experience, as algorithms get more complicated and more advanced, that only means that they have more human decisions going into them. So there is actually more opportunities for human beings to influence the final product.”,,, “If people aren’t able to think critically about all the information that they are being given, especially if there is this kind of illusion that maybe somehow technology exists in a world that is completely apart from humans. That somehow you can create a computer that will think for itself and be free of any human biases, then people can be easily misled or manipulated.”
    – Google Insider, Greg Coppola, Talks Political Bias at Google On Tucker Carlson
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uu5-VQuFU_g

    Recognising Top-Down Causation – George Ellis
    Excerpt: Causation: The nature of causation is highly contested territory, and I will take a pragmatic view:
    Definition 1: Causal Effect If making a change in a quantity X results in a reliable demonstrable change in a quantity Y in a given context, then X has a causal effect on Y.
    Example: I press the key labelled “A” on my computer keyboard; the letter “A” appears on my computer screen.,,,
    Definition 2: Existence If Y is a physical entity made up of ordinary matter, and X is some kind of entity that has a demonstrable causal effect on Y as per Definition 1, then we must acknowledge that X also exists (even if it is not made up of such matter).,,,
    Causal Efficacy of Non Physical entities:
    Both the program and the data are non-physical entities, indeed so is all software. A program is not a physical thing you can point to, but by Definition 2 it certainly exists. You can point to a CD or flashdrive where it is stored, but that is not the thing in itself: it is a medium in which it is stored.
    The program itself is an abstract entity, shaped by abstract logic. Is the software “nothing but” its realisation through a specific set of stored electronic states in the computer memory banks? No it is not because it is the precise pattern in those states that matters: a higher level relation that is not apparent at the scale of the electrons themselves. It’s a relational thing (and if you get the relations between the symbols wrong, so you have a syntax error, it will all come to a grinding halt). This abstract nature of software is realised in the concept of virtual machines, which occur at every level in the computer hierarchy except the bottom one [17]. But this tower of virtual machines causes physical effects in the real world, for example when a computer controls a robot in an assembly line to create physical artefacts.,,,
    <b<The mind is not a physical entity, but it certainly is causally effective: proof is the existence of the computer on which you are reading this text. It could not exist if it had not been designed and manufactured according to someone’s plans, thereby proving the causal efficacy of thoughts, which like computer programs and data are not physical entities.
    http://fqxi.org/data/essay-con.....s_2012.pdf

    As to this comment from your article:

    When you realize that the game itself changes based on your participation, you look at every decision you make differently.

    This principle actually, contrary to your claim that “(static models) more or less works for physics”, has somewhat, played out in physics recently with the resent experimental realization of the ‘Wigner’s friend’ thought experiment:

    More Than One Reality Exists (in Quantum Physics) By Mindy Weisberger – March 20, 2019
    Excerpt: “measurement results,, must be understood relative to the observer who performed the measurement”.
    https://www.livescience.com/65029-dueling-reality-photons.html

    Experimental test of local observer-independence – 2019
    Excerpt: The scientific method relies on facts, established through repeated measurements and agreed upon universally, independently of who observed them. In quantum mechanics, the objectivity of observations is not so clear, most dramatically exposed in Eugene Wigner’s eponymous thought experiment where two observers can experience seemingly different realities. The question whether these realities can be reconciled in an observer-independent way has long remained inaccessible to empirical investigation, until recent no-go-theorems constructed an extended Wigner’s friend scenario with four observers that allows us to put it to the test. In a state-of-the-art 6-photon experiment, we realise this extended Wigner’s friend scenario, experimentally violating the associated Bell-type inequality by 5 standard deviations. If one holds fast to the assumptions of locality and free-choice, this result implies that quantum theory should be interpreted in an observer-dependent way.
    https://arxiv.org/pdf/1902.05080.pdf

    This finding directly contradicts the ‘Darwinian model’ of a “world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else.”

    The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics – Steven Weinberg – January 19, 2017
    Excerpt: The instrumentalist approach,, (the) wave function,, is merely an instrument that provides predictions of the probabilities of various outcomes when measurements are made.,,
    In the instrumentalist approach,,, humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level. According to Eugene Wigner, a pioneer of quantum mechanics, “it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness.”11
    Thus the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else. It is not that we object to thinking about humans. Rather, we want to understand the relation of humans to nature, not just assuming the character of this relation by incorporating it in what we suppose are nature’s fundamental laws, but rather by deduction from laws that make no explicit reference to humans. We may in the end have to give up this goal,,,
    Some physicists who adopt an instrumentalist approach argue that the probabilities we infer from the wave function are objective probabilities, independent of whether humans are making a measurement. I don’t find this tenable. In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure, such as the spin in one or another direction. Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,
    http://quantum.phys.unm.edu/46.....inberg.pdf

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    Thus your realization “that the game itself changes based on your participation”, as far as physics is concerned, has far deeper implications than you apparently realized in your article.

    Of primary overriding concern for us personally, the implications of it all play out like this,,,, although free will is often thought of as allowing someone to choose between a veritable infinity of options,,,

    Scientists build a machine to generate quantum superposition of possible futures – APRIL 9, 2019
    Excerpt: “When we think about the future, we are confronted by a vast array of possibilities,” explains Assistant Professor Mile Gu of NTU Singapore, who led development of the quantum algorithm that underpins the prototype “These possibilities grow exponentially as we go deeper into the future. For instance, even if we have only two possibilities to choose from each minute, in less than half an hour there are 14 million possible futures. In less than a day, the number exceeds the number of atoms in the universe.
    https://phys.org/news/2019-04-scientists-machine-quantum-superposition-futures.html

    ,,, in a theistic view of reality that veritable infinity of options all boils down to just two options. Eternal life with God, or Eternal life without God.

    C.S. Lewis stated the situation for people as such: “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell.”

    “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell.”
    – C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

    Moreover, in order to support the physical reality of heaven and hell, I can appeal directly to two of our most powerful and precisely tested theories ever in the history of science. Special Relativity and General Relativity respectfully. As the following video shows, with General Relativity we find an ‘infinitely destructive’ eternity associated with it. And with Special Relativity we find an extremely orderly eternity associated with it:

    Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity, General Relativity and Christianity – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4QDy1Soolo

    “But why was the big bang so precisely organized (1 in 10^10^123), whereas the big crunch (or the singularities in black holes) would be expected to be totally chaotic? It would appear that this question can be phrased in terms of the behaviour of the WEYL part of the space-time curvature at space-time singularities. What we appear to find is that there is a constraint WEYL = 0 (or something very like this) at initial space-time singularities-but not at final singularities-and this seems to be what confines the Creator’s choice to this very tiny region of phase space.”
    Roger Penrose – How Special Was The Big Bang?

    The destructive power of black holes is illustrated rather dramatically in the following quote by Kip Thorne:

    “Einstein’s equation predicts that, as the astronaut reaches the singularity (of the black-hole), the tidal forces grow infinitely strong, and their chaotic oscillations become infinitely rapid. The astronaut dies and the atoms which his body is made become infinitely and chaotically distorted and mixed-and then, at the moment when everything becomes infinite (the tidal strengths, the oscillation frequencies, the distortions, and the mixing), spacetime ceases to exist.”
    Kip S. Thorne – “Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy” pg. 476
    Kip Thorne and Charles Misner, and John Wheeler wrote Gravitation (1973), considered a definitive textbook on general relativity.

    Again, the implications for individual humans, to put it mildly, are fairly drastic. We, with either our acceptance or rejection of God and what He has done for us through Jesus Christ on the cross, are choosing between eternal life with God or eternal death separated from God:

    Verse:

    Deuteronomy 30:19-20
    This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

    Because of such dire consequences for our eternal souls, I plead with any atheists who may be reading this to seriously reconsider their stubborn refusal to accept God, and to now choose God, even eternal life with God, instead of choosing eternal death separated from God. Not to sound cliche, but that decision is, by far, the single most important decision that you will ever make in your entire life.

    Turin Shroud Hologram Reveals The Words “The Lamb” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Tmka1l8GAQ

    Matthew 23:33
    …. How will you escape the judgment of hell?

    Jewel – Who Will Save Your Soul? (Official Music Video)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wBDDAZkNtk

  9. 9
    jerry says:

    When I was in graduate school I was introduced to a very complicated statistical technique called LISREL which analyzed the statistical correlation between several interrelated items. While the usual aphorism is

    correlation does not mean causation

    when this technique is applied to several interrelated factors causation can be teased out from the relationships.

  10. 10
    Ed George says:

    JB

    I also don’t want this to be about gay marriage, but one thing I wanted to point out is that one of the outcomes of the gay marriage normalization is that teenagers no longer can have deep relationships which don’t risk turning sexual.

    How has SSM changed this? There were always homosexuals, and there always will be. The only difference is that the stigma associated with same sex attraction has decreased. Surely that is a good thing.

  11. 11
    Silver Asiatic says:

    EG

    How has SSM changed this? There were always homosexuals, and there always will be. The only difference is that the stigma associated with same sex attraction has decreased. Surely that is a good thing.

    The OP here is touching on several things that are relevant to your response.

    First, it is focused on how a change in the environment is not limited to the thing directly changed. Just shifting to evolution for a moment, this is a key critique of evolutionary scenarios that attempt to be predictive. A change in one organism or species cause changes in the entire environment, not merely with the two competing species.

    But back to SSM and society, acceptance of same-sex marriage is one direct change, but it also affects society in other ways.

    First, a greater tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality changes attitudes among people, and eventually changes social relationships.
    The article cited talks about how boys are having a more difficult time binding with friends. The authors fail to understand that this breakdown in friendships is caused by the public’s greater acceptance of homosexuality, and not from an opposition to it. They recommend more tolerance, but that’s exactly what’s causing boys to fail to bond.

    Homosexuality is a violation of trust that must be inherent in the relationships among boys and men.

    That’s the key point. It violates trust. If a close friendship between boys can become sexualized, then there is a danger. If there was no (or extremely limited) possibility of such a thing, there would be closer friendships. When I was a kid, there was virtually zero possibility of homosexuality among boys, and I grew up in a neighborhood of big families with lots of kids – we were constantly playing sports and games in groups of boys. “Gay” was not a term in our lexicon, and not just the term, but the concept did not register. There was a lot of trust.

    But more to the point of the OP — you state that “the only difference” (pre-SSM to post-SSM) is that the stigma is gone. But the thing here is that we can’t restrict or limit the actual change that will occur when one part of the environment changes. Yes, we could say “the only difference for gay people” is that there is less stigma for them. Ok, but what about the rest of society?

    A huge change would be a greater acceptance of SSM itself. When people are more willing to accept a concept that they previously rejected, then this changes their views on other things. The change may be positive or it may be negative.

    The attitude of the public is not static.
    We might say “there has always been hatred of gays, now however, more people are accepting so that the overall population of gay-opposition is reduced”.

    But new generations are rising and growing up. They add to the numbers of either acceptance or opposition to homosexuality.

    One area of research I like to look into on my own is the rise of ultra-right wing nationalism (alt right) among the young generations. At one time, this was something almost unheard of. Now, there are dozens of ‘neo-Nazi” (so to speak), fascist, nationalist, alt-right sites, videos and groups that attract thousands of teen and Gen Z participants.

    In other words, it’s a huge reaction against moral liberalism, and SSM and gay rights are a very clear and visible target for these groups.

    So, it’s not just a one-way street. For some people (myself included) acceptance of SSM is not a good thing.

  12. 12
    Ed George says:

    SA

    First, a greater tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality changes attitudes among people, and eventually changes social relationships.

    I agree. Things have improved greatly since the time I was a teen.

    The article cited talks about how boys are having a more difficult time binding with friends. The authors fail to understand that this breakdown in friendships is caused by the public’s greater acceptance of homosexuality, and not from an opposition to it. They recommend more tolerance, but that’s exactly what’s causing boys to fail to bond.

    So, you are recommending less tolerance? When I was young, any boy who was slightly effeminate (not actually an indication of homosexuality, but that is a different story), were often bullied and beaten up by other teens. I would rather not go back to those days.

    Homosexuality is a violation of trust that must be inherent in the relationships among boys and men.

    You give teens no credit for empathy and rationality. In my experience, modern teens are far more mature than I was at that age.

    If a close friendship between boys can become sexualized, then there is a danger.

    Relationships between boys could always become sexualized. As can relationships between girls and relationships between boys and girls. How has SSM changed this?

    When I was a kid, there was virtually zero possibility of homosexuality among boys,

    Then you lived with your head firmly planted in the sand.

    Yes, we could say “the only difference for gay people” is that there is less stigma for them. Ok, but what about the rest of society?

    What about it? Society can no longer jail people for being gay. Society can no longer deny employment to someone for being gay. Society can no longer deny shelter to someone for being gay. Society can no longer persecute someone for being gay. The only downside I see is for people who want to be able to do these sorts of things.

    In other words, it’s a huge reaction against moral liberalism, and SSM and gay rights are a very clear and visible target for these groups.

    As are blacks and Mexicans and muslims and interracial couples. Should we take away their rights because white nationalism is on the rise? Shouldn’t we be addressing the nut-jobs who blame everyone else for their own failings?

  13. 13
    Ed George says:

    Getting back to the OP, you don’t have to look further than recent news to see that decisions can be responsible for unforeseen events down the road. Trump orders the killing of an Iranian general. Tensions in the mid-east increase. Iran launches missiles at some bases. Tensions increase further. A Ukrainian airliner filled with Canadians gets shot down.

  14. 14
    ET says:

    Ed:

    A Ukrainian airliner filled with Canadians gets shot down.

    It wasn’t filled with Canadians. And reports have it that most weren’t native to Canada. And the cause of it being shot down was pure Iranian ignorance and stupidity.

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    I could swear that Ed George spends far more time on this website trying to defend homosexuality than he does trying to defend Darwinian evolution. In fact, other than offering lip service, I don’t think he has ever offered a robust defense of Darwinian evolution when challenged directly. His repeated refusal to engage with UprightBiped in a forthright manner comes to mind.

    But regardless of that question, where exactly does Ed George, an anti-Christian, get his morality from? He has rejected God and with that he has rejected objective morality altogether. His Darwinian worldview is completely amoral, even anti-moral. Yet, he wants to ‘steal’ morality from Christianity and uphold the objective moral principle of tolerance, (about as far as you can be from ‘survival of the fittest’ morality), in order to try to say that homosexuality is not immoral.

    Sorry E.G., especially as an atheist, you certainly just don’t get to pick and choose which objective moral principles from Christianity that you want to accept and which ones you want to reject.

    Like Pete Buttigieg , you just don’t get to make up your own Christianity:

    Pete Buttigieg doesn’t get to make up his own Christianity
    Excerpt: Mr. Buttigieg’s ridicule of the vice president’s religious convictions has persisted, in spite of the fact that Mr. Pence has done nothing but show grace and respect at every turn. “I hold Mayor Buttigieg in the highest personal regard,” said Mr. Pence. “I see him as a dedicated public servant and patriot.” There is no record of Mr. Pence ever insulting Mr. Buttigieg or returning his mockery with similar derision. Mr. Pence has shown remarkable restraint and nothing but civility and a generous spirit of true tolerance.
    While our vice president may find it politically imprudent to respond to such provocations, some of us see less reason to remain so circumspect. Presumptuous as it might be to offer a response on behalf of our vice president, I am going to venture a try.,,,
    Mr. Buttigieg, has it ever occurred to you, that the “Mike Pences of the world” don’t have a problem with “who you are,” but rather we just disagree with what you do? We believe human identity is much more than the sum total of someone’s sexual inclinations. In fact, the “creator” whom you so boldly reference makes this pretty clear.
    There is no place in His entire biblical narrative where He defines us by our desires. All of us, however, are known by our choices. We are made in His image, we have moral awareness and moral culpability. We can and should choose to not do some things we may be inclined to do. God help us if we don’t. One’s appetite for porn, polyamory, and any other heterosexual or homosexual act does not define you. Your decision as to whether or not you satiate such an appetite does.
    You see, Mr. Mayor, this is a matter of your proclivities, not your personhood. What you don’t seem to understand is that when it comes to your personal peccadillos, most all of the “Mike Pences of the world” really don’t want to know. Your sexual appetites are your business. The thing about obedient and faithful Christians is this; we consider someone else’s private life to be just that — Private. Please stop telling us what kind of sex you like. We don’t want to know. If you want us to stay out of your bedroom, please shut the door. Stop opening it up and forcing us to applaud and celebrate.
    Before I close, Mr. Buttigieg, I have to point out one more thing. Surely you are aware you just implicitly admitted you agree with all of us “Mike Pences of the world” and you, too, think sexual behavior is, indeed, a moral issue? Otherwise, why include your derogatory remarks about porn stars and those who engage in their services? Why do you disparage them? By your own logic, isn’t “your quarrel, sir, with their creator” and not them? How is it that you blame others for their sexual behavior but you hold yourself guiltless before your own sex tribunal and morality police?
    Oh, I can hear your reply before you even open your mouth, Mr. Buttigieg. It is as predictable as the sunrise. “You’re missing the point” you say. “This is not about sex. It is about marriage.” Well, aside from the transparent incongruity of this claim, let’s cut to the chase and close with this: What gives you the right to redefine a sacrament of the church? You don’t get to make up your own Christianity. You also don’t get to make up your own Jesus, and in case you missed it, He is explicitly clear on His definition of marriage: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
    No, our quarrel really isn’t with your creator, sir. Our quarrel is with you.
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/apr/14/pete-buttigieg-doesnt-get-to-make-up-his-own-chris/

  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, this thread is about multiple input, multiple output, structurally changing non-linear systems with feedback and memory, thus the potential for cascading instabilities. Things where everything affects everything else, with lags marking propagation patterns and raising questions of settling down vs instabilities leading to oscillations and saturations at limits and maybe going over the cliff. . Absent strong stabilising forces, such systems are likely to be fragile, and it is precisely stabilising influences that are being undermined. KF

    PS: Someone above needs to distinguish mechanical causation and intelligent, significantly free, responsible, morally governed decision.

  17. 17
    Silver Asiatic says:

    EG

    I agree. Things have improved greatly since the time I was a teen.

    But your personal views do not reflect the totality of the population. I was responding to your comment that “the only difference” between pre and post SSM is that there is less stigmatizing, but there are a lot more differences that that. Many people do not think that things have improved.

    When I was young, any boy who was slightly effeminate (not actually an indication of homosexuality, but that is a different story), were often bullied and beaten up by other teens. I would rather not go back to those days.

    Violence or accepting gay marriage are not the only two options society has to choose from. They’re just two extremes.

    You give teens no credit for empathy and rationality. In my experience, modern teens are far more mature than I was at that age.

    I teach teens and know what they are going through. The article posted indicated that they have several problems that have increased since former times.

    Society can no longer jail people for being gay. Society can no longer deny employment to someone for being gay. Society can no longer deny shelter to someone for being gay. Society can no longer persecute someone for being gay. The only downside I see is for people who want to be able to do these sorts of things.

    Ok, well at least you recognize that there is a bigger change than merely an elimination of stigma. What happens, however, is that people who oppose SSM become stigmatized. Why should that be ok? They can also be persecuted, denied employment and face legal charges for opposing SSM. You may fully agree with that, but you neglected to say initially that SSM has a big impact on those people. They will be persecuted for what they believe.

    As are blacks and Mexicans and muslims and interracial couples. Should we take away their rights because white nationalism is on the rise?

    We take away certain rights from people who oppose SSM, so that’s what happens. If white nationalism continues to grow and eventually gains political dominance in a culture, then rights for various people will be taken away. Muslim nationalism already takes away rights from gays in some countries. Israel takes away some rights for non-Jews. America could do similar sorts of things, as is now happening against those who oppose SSM for example.

    Shouldn’t we be addressing the nut-jobs who blame everyone else for their own failings?

    My concern is that we won’t make any progress in such matters if, for example, we begin by considering people who disagree with us to be “nut jobs” and also that we misjudge their motives. But just to repeat, more importantly, I was trying to show that you under-represented the overall effect to our society that SSM has.
    Yes, some people like it. But there’s also a negative aspect for many people.

  18. 18
    kairosfocus says:

    Econometrics may be a useful start point context for thinking about such systems.

  19. 19
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    Agreed. That’s why I was trying to point out that radical social changes can disrupt social order and have some terrible reactions that were not anticipated.
    When I see some young people very happily running towards fascism, knowing that boomers can no longer frighten them with stories about Hitler, then I realize that all of that moral capital of the past has been burned up, and the kids know it.
    If kids perceive that the adult world has a corrupt moral order then they’ll try to overthrow that somehow, no matter how impulsively they do it.
    Gay marriage is an extremely radical change, for society, in America imposed at the Federal level, and such a thing can cause extreme counter reactions.

  20. 20
    Ed George says:

    Joke

    It wasn’t filled with Canadians.

    138 Canadian citizens, landed immigrants, or on student visas.

    And reports have it that most weren’t native to Canada.

    So, US citizens who weren’t native to the US are second class citizens. You really are a piece of….

    And the cause of it being shot down was pure Iranian ignorance and stupidity.

    This OP is about decisions having unintended consequences. Are you suggesting that if Trump didn’t kill the Iranian general that Iran still would have shot down the plane? Why?

    KF

    Folks, this thread is about multiple input, multiple output, structurally changing non-linear systems with feedback and memory, thus the potential for cascading instabilities.

    I agree. Who would have predicted that killing an Iranian general could result in the downing of a commercial jet? That seems like the ultimate example of what you are talking about.

    Or, who could have predicted that the acceptance of SSM would result in ultra right-wing Nazi type crazies targeting LGBTQ people for attacks?

    Both are the result of unintended consequences. But should we have prevented these triggering actions because of 20/20 hind sight on the consequences? Should we have prevented emancipation because it resulted in the civil war? Should we have prevented the civil rights movement because the subsequent violence.

  21. 21
    Silver Asiatic says:

    EG

    But should we have prevented these triggering actions because of 20/20 hind sight on the consequences?

    We should have prevented the triggering actions because they are morally wrong and not because we wanted to avoid reactions. But the reactions just help us realize how radical the change is.

  22. 22
    Ed George says:

    SA

    We should have prevented the triggering actions because they are morally wrong and not because we wanted to avoid reactions. But the reactions just help us realize how radical the change is.

    So, correct me if I am wrong. Are you suggesting that we should have avoided all efforts to acknowledge and accept homosexuality? We should not have prevented employment or housing discrimination based on homosexuality? We should not have stopped jailing people for homosexuality? Or stopped imposing castration (or chemical castration) for homosexuals?

  23. 23
    Ed George says:

    SA

    Many people do not think that things have improved.

    Do they have concrete examples? Or is it just the “END IS NIGH” knee jerk reaction to change?

    I teach teens and know what they are going through. The article posted indicated that they have several problems that have increased since former times.

    Kids today have several challenges that we did not have growing up. The internet, social media, both parents working, alergies, easy access to porn, etc. Dealing with the fact that your friend Johnny has two fathers is minor compared to all the others.

    What happens, however, is that people who oppose SSM become stigmatized.

    Having your views questioned is not the same as being stigmatized.

    They can also be persecuted, denied employment and face legal charges for opposing SSM.

    Yes, if their employment involves providing services to the public (eg., county clerk, florist, baker, hotel owner, etc) they can face consequences for denying these services to same sex couples. As they can for denying these services to interracial couples, interfaith couples, people of different race or religion.

  24. 24
    PavelU says:

    This upcoming scientific meeting will show how Darwinian macroevolution works:

    https://royalsociety.org/science-events-and-lectures/2020/02/dynamics-biology/

  25. 25
    ET says:

    Ed the loser:

    138 Canadian citizens, landed immigrants, or on student visas.

    Reference please. All I can find is 63 Canadians, most of which were Iranians.

    So, US citizens who weren’t native to the US are second class citizens.

    That doesn’t follow from what you are responding to. Clearly YOU really are a piece of…

    This OP is about decisions having unintended consequences.

    Yes, and obviously you don’t know what that means

    Are you suggesting that if Trump didn’t kill the Iranian general that Iran still would have shot down the plane?

    What does an Iranian general being killed in IRAQ have to do with Iran shooting down a jetliner taking off from its airport?

    Do tell, or admit that you are just an ignorant piece of….

  26. 26
    ET says:

    Same sex marriages goes against nature. It goes against evolution. It goes against survival of then fittest. It is deviant and perverse. That is why Acartia Eddie favors it.

    By enabling deviant, unnatural and perverse lifestyles, we are ruining society. Cause and effect

  27. 27
    bornagain77 says:

    PavelU claims that

    This upcoming scientific meeting will show how Darwinian macroevolution works:

    Yet in the flyer they themselves admitted that,,

    “The challenge we now face, which this meeting will address, is to extract mechanistic understanding from the dynamics we measure.”

    So, far from ‘finally’ explaining “how Darwinian macroevolution works”, they instead honestly admitted that they currently do not have a “mechanistic understanding from the dynamics we measure.”

    In short, they honestly admitted that they have no real clue “how Darwinian macroevolution works.”

    Sure, they have ‘hope’ that a “mechanistic understanding” might, ‘someday’, be forthcoming, but excuse me if I, realistically, think that this ‘Darwinian hope’ that they have in finally achieving a “mechanistic understanding” of biology is severely misplaced:

    For example,

    HOW BIOLOGISTS LOST SIGHT OF THE MEANING OF LIFE — AND ARE NOW STARING IT IN THE FACE – Stephen L. Talbott – May 2012
    Excerpt: “If you think air traffic controllers have a tough job guiding planes into major airports or across a crowded continental airspace, consider the challenge facing a human cell trying to position its proteins”. A given cell, he notes, may make more than 10,000 different proteins, and typically contains more than a billion protein molecules at any one time. “Somehow a cell must get all its proteins to their correct destinations — and equally important, keep these molecules out of the wrong places”. And further: “It’s almost as if every mRNA [an intermediate between a gene and a corresponding protein] coming out of the nucleus knows where it’s going” (Travis 2011),,,
    Further, the billion protein molecules in a cell are virtually all capable of interacting with each other to one degree or another; they are subject to getting misfolded or “all balled up with one another”; they are critically modified through the attachment or detachment of molecular subunits, often in rapid order and with immediate implications for changing function; they can wind up inside large-capacity “transport vehicles” headed in any number of directions; they can be sidetracked by diverse processes of degradation and recycling… and so on without end. Yet the coherence of the whole is maintained.
    The question is indeed, then, “How does the organism meaningfully dispose of all its molecules, getting them to the right places and into the right interactions?”
    The same sort of question can be asked of cells, for example in the growing embryo, where literal streams of cells are flowing to their appointed places, differentiating themselves into different types as they go, and adjusting themselves to all sorts of unpredictable perturbations — even to the degree of responding appropriately when a lab technician excises a clump of them from one location in a young embryo and puts them in another, where they may proceed to adapt themselves in an entirely different and proper way to the new environment. It is hard to quibble with the immediate impression that form (which is more idea-like than thing-like) is primary, and the material particulars subsidiary.
    Two systems biologists, one from the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Germany and one from Harvard Medical School, frame one part of the problem this way:
    “The human body is formed by trillions of individual cells. These cells work together with remarkable precision, first forming an adult organism out of a single fertilized egg, and then keeping the organism alive and functional for decades. To achieve this precision, one would assume that each individual cell reacts in a reliable, reproducible way to a given input, faithfully executing the required task. However, a growing number of studies investigating cellular processes on the level of single cells revealed large heterogeneity even among genetically identical cells of the same cell type. (Loewer and Lahav 2011)”,,,
    And then we hear that all this meaningful activity is, somehow, meaningless or a product of meaninglessness. This, I believe, is the real issue troubling the majority of the American populace when they are asked about their belief in evolution. They see one thing and then are told, more or less directly, that they are really seeing its denial. Yet no one has ever explained to them how you get meaning from meaninglessness — a difficult enough task once you realize that we cannot articulate any knowledge of the world at all except in the language of meaning.,,,
    http://www.netfuture.org/2012/May1012_184.html#2

    Genes and Organisms: Improvising the Dance of Life – Stephen L. Talbott – Nov. 10, 2015
    Excerpt: The performances of countless cells in your body are redirected and coordinated as part of a global narrative for which no localized controller exists. This redirection and coordination includes a unique choreography of gene expression in each individual cell. Hundreds or thousands of DNA sequences move (or are moved) within vast numbers of cell nuclei, and are subjected to extraordinarily nuanced, locally modulated chemical activity so as to contribute appropriately to bodily requirements that are nowhere codified — least of all in those DNA sequences.,,,
    DNA in its larger matrix
    You may recall from my earlier article, “Getting Over the Code Delusion” (Talbott 2010), that packing DNA into a typical cell nucleus is like packing about 24 miles of very thin, double-stranded string into a tennis ball, with the string cut up (in the normal human case) into 46 pieces, corresponding to our 46 chromosomes.
    To locate a protein-coding gene of typical size within all that DNA is like homing in on a one-half-inch stretch within those 24 miles. Or, rather, two relevant half-inch stretches located on different pieces of string, since we typically have two copies of any given gene. Except that sometimes one copy differs from the other and one version is not supposed to be expressed, or one version needs to be expressed more than the other, or the product of one needs to be modified relative to the other. So part of the job may be to distinguish one of those half-inch stretches from the other. “Decisions” everywhere, it seems.
    But no such decisions are made in a vacuum. As it happens, the chromosome does not consist of a naked DNA double helix. Our DNA, rather, is bound up with a massive, intricate, and dynamic protein-RNA-small molecule complex (called chromatin) that is as fully “informative” for the cell as the DNA sequence itself — and, you might say, much more active and directive.,,,
    the cell, by managing the shifting patterns of the chromatin infrastructure within which DNA is embedded, brings our chromosomes into movement on widely varying scales. These include large looping movements that put particular genes into connection with essential regulatory sequences and with other, related genes (that is, with other one-half inch stretches of our “24 miles of string in a tennis ball”).,,,
    A gene is not in any case the kind of rigidly defined entity one might hope to calculate with. As a functional unit appropriate to current circumstances, it must be cobbled together by the cell according to the needs of the moment. There is no neatly predefined path to follow once the cell has located the “right” half inch or so of string, or once it has done whatever is necessary to bring that locus into proper relation with other chromosomal loci participating in the same “dance”.
    One issue has to do with the fact that there are two strands in the DNA double helix and, starting from any particular point, it is possible to transcibe either of two DNA sequences in either of two directions: “forward” along one strand, or “backward” along the other. This yields two completely different products. One of them is very likely not even a protein-coding RNA, and yet it may still play a vital role in gene expression and in cellular processes more generally.
    And even when the cell would proceed in one particular direction, it must “choose” the exact point in the genetic sequence at which to begin. Different starting points can yield functionally distinct results. “Many studies focusing on single genes have shown that the choice of a specific transcription start site has critical roles during development and cell differentiation, and aberrations in . . . transcription start site use lead to various diseases including cancer, neuropsychiatric disorders, and developmental disorders”.8,,,
    The (protein) enzyme that transcribes DNA into RNA is RNA polymerase12. The enzyme certainly does not work alone, however, and its task is by no means cut-and-dried. To begin with, its critical interactions with various elements of the pre-initiation complex help determine whether and exactly where transcription will begin, if it is to begin at all. Then, after those “decisions” have been made, RNA polymerase moves along the double helix transcribing the sequence of genetic “letters” into the complementary sequence of an RNA.
    Throughout this productive journey, which is called elongation, the RNA polymerase still keeps good and necessary company. Certain co-activators modify it during its transit of a genetic locus, and these modifications not only enable transcription elongation to begin, but also provide binding sites for yet other proteins that will cooperate throughout the transcription journey.,,,
    Finally — and mirroring all the possibilities surrounding initiation of gene transcription — there are the issues relating to its termination. Again, they are far too many to mention here. Transcription may conclude at a more or less canonical terminus, or at an alternative terminus, or it may proceed altogether past the gene locus, even to the point of overlapping what, by usual definitions, would be regarded as a separate gene farther “downstream”. The cell has great flexibility in determining what, on any given occasion, counts as a gene, or transcriptional unit.
    The last part of the transcribed gene is generally non-protein-coding, but nevertheless contains great significance. Examining this region in a single gene, a research team recently identified “at least 35 distinct regulatory elements” to which other molecules can bind.13 Further regulatory potentials arise from yet more binding sites on the customized “tail” that the cell adds to the RNA immediately upon conclusion of its transcription.
    Proteins and other molecules that bind to the various regulatory elements of the non-protein-coding portion of the transcript do so in a context-sensitive manner, where cell and tissue type, phase of the cell cycle, developmental stage, location of the RNA within the cell, and environmental factors, both intra- and extra-cellular, may all play a role. These converging influences can change the stability of the RNA, change its localization within the cell, and change the efficiency of its translation into protein, among other possibilities.,,,
    What is generally considered the post-transcriptional modulation of gene expression actually begins during transcription proper. A prime example has to do with what happens partly as a result of the pauses during elongation.
    Cells don’t just passively accept the RNAs that emerge from the transcription process, but rather “snip and stitch” them via an elaborate procedure known as RNA splicing. It happens that the cutting out and knitting together of selected pieces typically begins before the RNA is fully transcribed, and the rhythm of pauses during elongation has an important influence upon which pieces form the mature transcript.
    This splicing operation, which is applied to nearly all human RNAs, is performed by the spliceosome, consisting of a few non-protein-coding RNAs and over 300 cooperating proteins, and is hardly less exacting in its requirements than, say, brain surgery.
    For the vast majority of human genes the operation can be performed in different ways, yielding distinct proteins (called isoforms) from a single RNA derived from a single DNA sequence. This is called alternative splicing, and it would be hard to find anything in human development, disease etiology, or normal functioning that is not dependent in one way or another on the effectiveness of this liberty the cell takes with its gene products.
    But RNA splicing is hardly the end of it. Through RNA editing the cell can add, delete, or substitute individual “letters” of the RNA sequence.15 Or, leaving the letters in place, the cell can chemically modify them in any of over one hundred different ways.16 ,,,
    Eventually, a protein-coding RNA needs to be translated into protein. This happens by means of large molecular complexes called “ribosomes”. Just as with gene transcription, there are many associated factors that must work together to bring about the initiation of translation, many that cooperate with the ribosome during translation, and yet others that play a role in modifying, localizing, or otherwise regulating the newly produced protein.
    The overall picture of gene expression is one of unsurveyable complexity in the service of remarkably effective living processes.,,,
    A decisive problem for the classical view of DNA is that “as cells differentiate and respond to stimuli in the human body, over one million different proteins are likely to be produced from less than 25,000 genes”.30 Functionally, in other words, you might say that we have over a million genes.,,,
    http://www.natureinstitute.org.....nes_29.htm

  28. 28
    bornagain77 says:

    Ed George rightly wants us to feel compassion for the discrimination and abuse that homosexuals have suffered in the past. Yet, why does Ed George not also want us to feel compassion for the unborn babies who are currently being torn limb from limb in their mother’s womb?

    WATCH: Fox host cries as former abortionist describes late-term abortion
    ‘I really looked at that pile of body parts on the side of the table, and I didn’t see her wonderful right to choose.’
    Thu Feb 28, 2019
    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/fox-host-cries-as-former-abortionist-describes-late-term-abortion

    Ed George, if he were consistent in his morality, should be much more upset with the current widespread practice of late-term dismemberment abortions on unborn humans than he is about past injustices against homosexuals. After all, dismemberment abortions are far more inhumane and are currently happening right now this very day in America (and across the world).

    In short, Ed George, (an anti-Christian who has no objective moral basis within his atheistic worldview in the first place), is using the objective morality of Christianity, (i.e. equality among men), in a very hypocritical and selective fashion just so in order to further his so-called ‘progressive agenda’. A ‘progressive agenda’ which is basically just a secular humanistic, anti-Christian, agenda. In short, Ed George is sawing off the objective moral branch that he himself happens to be sitting on.

    If Ed George were as truly compassionate for his fellow humans as he tries to pretend to be, he would instantly drop his Atheistic worldview in a New York minute and become a Christian since his Atheistic worldview has been responsible for far more misery for man than any other worldview in history has been.

    Atheism’s Body Count – Ideology and Human Suffering
    Atheism’s Murder Rate: More than 250 Million Dead in the Past Century
    Excerpt: Rather than providing the utopia of idealism, it has produced a body count second to none. With recent documents uncovered for the Maoist and Stalinist regimes, it now seems the high end of estimates of 250 million dead (between 1900-1987) are closer to the mark. The Stalinist Purges produced 61 million dead and Mao’s Cultural Revolution produced 70 million casualties. These murders are all upon their own people! This number does not include the countless dead in their wars of outward aggression waged in the name of the purity of atheism’s world view. China invades its peaceful, but religious neighbor, Tibet; supports N. Korea in its war against its southern neighbor and in its merciless oppression of its own people; and Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge kill up to 6 million with Chinese support. All of these actions done “in the name of the people” to create a better world.
    —- Atheism’s Tendency Towards Totalitarianism Rather Than Freedom
    What is so strange and odd that in spite of their outward rejection of religion and all its superstitions, they feel compelled to set up cults of personality and worship of the State and its leaders that is so totalitarian that the leaders are not satisfied with mere outward obedience; rather they insist on total mind control and control of thoughts, ideas and beliefs. They institute Gulags and “re-education” centers to indoctrinate anyone who even would dare question any action or declaration of the “Dear Leader.” Even the Spanish Inquisition cannot compare to the ruthlessness and methodical efficiency of these programs conducted on so massive a scale. While proclaiming freedom to the masses, they institute the most methodical efforts to completely eliminate freedom from the people, and they do so all “on behalf” of the proletariat. A completely ordered and totally unfree totalitarian State is routinely set up in place of religion, because it is obviously so profoundly better society. It is also strange that Stalin was a seminarian who rejected Christianity and went on to set up himself as an object of worship. It seems that impulse to religious devotion is present in all, whether that be in traditional forms or secular inventions.,,
    https://www.scholarscorner.com/atheisms-body-count-ideology-and-human-suffering/

    Moreover and to repeat, as an atheist Ed George simply has no moral basis to object to the unmitigated atrocities performed by atheists on their fellow human beings,

    While the desire to see justice on this earth is understandable, and the desire laudable, the lack of justice actually points more to the existence of God. Why? Because of our innate sense of injustice when things go wrong. Why in a universe of chance and accident, where morals are the mere fictions of weak willed and weak minded men, deceived by superstitions, should banal ideas of “justice” stand in the way of the success of the Supermen, who possess superior intellect and who are not bound by the trifling morals of lesser men?

    Thus Ed George, once again, is found to be severely inconsistent in his reasoning. He wants moral justice for all, yet he rejects Christianity which is the only worldview that has proven itself capable of potentially reaching that perfect moral end.

    ,,,Just Ask Martin Luther King

    “It’s Hard to Be a Christian”
    Author: King, Martin Luther, Jr.
    Date: February 5, 1956
    https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/king-papers/documents/its-hard-be-christian

  29. 29
    Silver Asiatic says:

    EG

    Do they have concrete examples?

    I’ll just quote ET’s response:

    By enabling deviant, unnatural and perverse lifestyles, we are ruining society. Cause and effect.

    People believe that things are getting worse simply because something that is morally wrong is being enabled and honored as a social and moral good. That’s the definition of perversion.

    The internet, social media, both parents working, alergies, easy access to porn, etc. Dealing with the fact that your friend Johnny has two fathers is minor compared to all the others.

    You’re telling Johnny that his concerns are not as important as yours. But there’s no reason to think that the imagined rights of his two fathers have any importance at all.

    Having your views questioned is not the same as being stigmatized.

    Some homosexuals would disagree with this, and changes in laws and employment policies are not merely a matter of having views questioned. It’s a radical change in culture and society that leads to persecution of people.

  30. 30
    Ed George says:

    SA

    I’ll just quote ET’s response:

    Never a sound strategy.

    People believe that things are getting worse simply because something that is morally wrong is being enabled and honored as a social and moral good. That’s the definition of perversion.

    That SSM is morally wrong is your subjective opinion. The majority of people disagree with you.

    You’re telling Johnny that his concerns are not as important as yours.

    Johnny’s only concerns are the intolerance that the other kids pick up from their intolerant parents.

    Some homosexuals would disagree with this, and changes in laws and employment policies are not merely a matter of having views questioned. It’s a radical change in culture and society that leads to persecution of people.

    No, it results in prosecution of people if they break the law.

  31. 31
    Silver Asiatic says:

    EG

    So, correct me if I am wrong. Are you suggesting that we should have avoided all efforts to acknowledge and accept homosexuality? We should not have prevented employment or housing discrimination based on homosexuality? We should not have stopped jailing people for homosexuality? Or stopped imposing castration (or chemical castration) for homosexuals?

    If you read BA77’s (and KF’s and many others) many posts on this topic you will see that it is impossible to arrive at a shared understanding of moral norms within the context of materialist evolution.

    I don’t think any of the evolutionists here accept that point. No arguments are ever provided and none of the evolutionists are brave enough to admit what their own philosophy requires from them.

    So, discussing morals and what “we” should do about whatever topic, within our society is as mindless as evolution itself. It’s pointless. We cannot even get you to accept the consequences of your own worldview. How could we talk in detail about moral norms in society and what “we should do” about whatever issue it may be, whether repressing vice, ensuring safety, creating order and stability or providing an environment that supports the meaning and destiny of human life?

    You don’t have any grounds for moral outrage, and I think that’s the point. Persecution of one group of people is no better or worse than the same with another. Evolution does not care about such things. Materialism is not a philosophy that requires anyone to be nice to anyone else.
    The great materialist leaders of the past understood that. Might makes right.
    Today’s neo-Nazis simply take that philosophy seriously and direct it towards right-wing interests.
    The only response that leftist-materialists can make to that is to call them nutcases.
    But there’s really no argument. Fascists want something. If they have to torture or even kill people to get it – then why not?
    I just understand the consistency of that view.
    “If we are strong enough, we can kill our enemies”.
    That’s materialist evolution.

  32. 32
    ET says:

    Acartia Ed, piece of …

    Never a sound strategy.

    It is very sound strategy when responding to your ignorant trope.

    That SSM is morally wrong is your subjective opinion.

    Wrong again. It goes against nature. It goes against evolution. It is deviant and perverse.

  33. 33
    Silver Asiatic says:

    EG

    That SSM is morally wrong is your subjective opinion. The majority of people disagree with you.

    If you’re saying that “majority rules” in our society, then that really has nothing to do with finding the truth.

    Johnny’s only concerns are the intolerance that the other kids pick up from their intolerant parents.

    Kids often understand this issue better than adults. They instinctively know that homosexuality is perverted. Adults are trying to tell them otherwise but it doesn’t always work.

    No, it results in prosecution of people if they break the law.

    I was not talking about “prosecution” but “persecution”, which is similar to stigmatizing.

  34. 34
    Ed George says:

    SA

    I was not talking about “prosecution” but “persecution”, which is similar to stigmatizing.

    And how has SSM resulted in persecution?

  35. 35
    Silver Asiatic says:

    EG

    And how has SSM resulted in persecution?

    People feel they have been persecuted, victimized, harrassed and stigmatized. People are slurred with the term “homophobic” which may be a form of hate-speech.

    Here’s a sad story:

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/student-found-dead-after-viral-video-of-him-leading-protest-against-drag-queen-event-for-kids

    Gavin’s unpopular stand against same-sex “marriage” and transgenderism [is] all the more admirable because of the backlash he endured.
    “Drag queen protester Wilson Gavin’s suicide exposes horrors of online abuse,” blared a headline at The Australian, noting that he had received “a barrage of social media abuse” after the library drag queen story time video went viral.

  36. 36
    Silver Asiatic says:

    “Drag queens are not for kids.”

    I’d think that would be obvious, but young Gavin Wilson suffered a “barrage” of on-line hostility for saying it.

  37. 37
    Pater Kimbridge says:

    ET said:
    “…By enabling deviant, unnatural and perverse lifestyles, we are ruining society….”

    I have news for you. For thousands of years, every generation has found something about the next generation’s behavior that they find abhorrent, and that they think will “ruin society”.

    And yet, society is still here.

    It may not be YOUR ideal society, but it’s not my ideal society either. Wanting everyone to think like you do, now THAT’s fascism.

  38. 38
    Axel says:

    So lawfulness is fascism, and ‘anything goes’ is freedom. Yes, we are famiiar with that line of thinking, and have seen the remorseless degeneration of our country and the world at large, since the marginalisation of the Christian faith ; in the UK, notably, in the morning assemblies in the schools.

    ‘I have news for you. For thousands of years, every generation has found something about the next generation’s behavior that they find abhorrent, and that they think will “ruin society”.

    And I have news for you. Sodomy has been pretty anathema to every generation throughout the major religions across the globe. Yes, the Greeks were an exception. So what ? Even they gave it the ‘bum’s rush’, so to speak, many, many centuries ago – in favour of Christianity.

  39. 39
    ET says:

    Pater K:

    I have news for you.

    Very doubtful

    For thousands of years, every generation has found something about the next generation’s behavior that they find abhorrent, and that they think will “ruin society”.

    Your hearsay just proves that you are clueless

    Wanting everyone to think like you do, …

    You must be a desperate troll. I never said, implied nor thought that everyone should think like me.

  40. 40
  41. 41
    Silver Asiatic says:

    PK – in my case I’m not blaming the younger generation. I think nobody has been more manipulated by social engineering and I am also very sympathetic with some of the extreme reactions that come out from that whether from left or right wing.

  42. 42
    ET says:

    Strange that Pater K’s reference doesn’t support his claim

  43. 43
    Ed George says:

    PK@40, interesting set of quotes. Only someone who has a serious reading comprehension problem (or other pathology) would deny that this demonstrates your point at 37.

  44. 44
    ET says:

    It is VERY telling that neither Pater nor Acartia Eddie can actually make a case.

    First quote from Pater’s reference:

    “[Young people] are high-minded because they have not yet been humbled by life, nor have they experienced the force of circumstances.

    They think they know everything, and are always quite sure about it.”

    That just says what everyone already knew. That kids think they know better than everyone.

    But guess what? Those kids grow up and smarten up, or pay the consequences.

    That doesn’t support what Pater claimed:

    For thousands of years, every generation has found something about the next generation’s behavior that they find abhorrent, and that they think will “ruin society”.

    And it definitely doesn’t have anything to do with what I said that prompted Pater’s limbic response.

    By enabling deviant, unnatural and perverse lifestyles, we are ruining society

    2nd quote:

    “The beardless youth… does not foresee what is useful, squandering his money.”

    Also true. Also irrelevant with respect to what I said.

    “Our sires’ age was worse than our grandsires’. We, their sons, are more worthless than they; so in our turn we shall give the world a progeny yet more corrupt.”

    Seems to be about right.

    Society has been slowly degrading for quite some time. Science and technology advance regardless.

    All Pater did was demonstrate that the youth of any given generation have ALWAYs thought more highly of themselves than warranted. And the older generations, having lived through such a period, are all too keen to point out.

    And none of it has anything to do with By enabling deviant, unnatural and perverse lifestyles, we are ruining society.

    Neither Pater nor Acartia Eddie will ever demonstrate otherwise.

  45. 45
    Silver Asiatic says:

    From the page of quotes:

    “Parents themselves were often the cause of many difficulties. They frequently failed in their obvious duty to teach self-control and discipline to their own children.”
    Problems of Young People, Leeds Mercury
    1938

    Adults who teach children that aberrant sexual desires are normal and should be acted upon are the cause of many difficulties. They are failing to teach self-control and discipline to children.

  46. 46
    ET says:

    Yes, society is still here. And a lot worse for the wear than it should be.

    Congratulations…

  47. 47
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Every generation of adults think that kids make mistakes and need to learn how to grow up and mature correctly — yes, wow. Big news there.

  48. 48
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, been busy. Nope, targetting a General of Terrorism [as opposed to Infantry, Artillery or Panzertruppen] on the battleground only a few miles from his last move (on foreign soil he hoped to turn into a province of the new Persian empire), an attack on an Embassy, as he met with his local proxies did not simply and directly cause the trigger-happy shoot-down of a commercial aircraft as it climbed out of Tehran airport. Where, BTW, there was once a special forces raid by the UK to try to kill General Rommel at his headquarters. There is an obvious chain of poor command and control tied to possession of highly destructive weapons, not only surface to air but surface to surface rockets. An airliner has transponders that inform active radars of just what it is, something went drastically wrong with Iranian command and control. The thought that this same regime has for decades sought long range ballistic missiles and the nukes to put on them, is sobering. But, frankly, adequate rocket science and guidance system design stuff are literally free for a download; Iran has a petroleum industry. One could probably hack a store-bought microwave oven to design a proximity fuse. Besides, you can simply buy a lot, especially with US$ 150 billion of funds paid as though all was well once a terrorist regime signed a peace- in- our- time deal. The real problem is an irresponsible, aggressive regime driven by a global conquest ideology, consult the Black Flag Army Hadith and find out where Khorasan is if you doubt me on this; and, the people of Iran braving militia bullets on the streets are saying just that, that the irresponsible regime’s leaders need to step down. KF

  49. 49
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, we don’t even know what Nazi is an abbreviation for, or where Mussolini came from ideologically. The story of Hugo Junkers should be known by heart by every intelligent 12 year old. We have been systematically dumbed down to the point where imitators of the brown shirts and black shirts imagine they are anti-fascist. Don’t get me started on the idolatry of nietzschean superman idolatrous political messianism. KF

  50. 50
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, on the breakdown triggered by evolutionary materialism as dominant ideology, we need to start from Plato:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I find it interesting how the usual run of objectors will consistently duck the matter.

    KF

  51. 51
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF yes, it’s a strange conflict among youthful activists where the anti-fascist groups encounter openly pro-fascist groups, but both use the same techniques and both subscribe to the same underlying materialist philosophy. They only differ in some specifics on governing society but both want to attain control and then maintain power using “whatever works” and sadly that may come to violence in the end.
    Neither is using a reason-based process, although there is some logic and consistency to it.
    “If we have enough force, we can crush our enemies and then live the way we want”. That’s basically what it’s all about. That does make sense in an evolutionary context, but it’s very destructive of human life.
    People join extremist movements like that when they feel that nobody is listening to them and that dialogue and calm reasoning is useless. Blame for that goes to society’s leaders (especially in academics) where unpopular opinions are shut down and there’s not a sincere attempt to understand or give good arguments to the opposition.

  52. 52
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF – very good points. Evolutionary materialism is nihilistic and amoral.
    Occasionally, prominent evolutionists will admit this.
    But, in general, that point is avoided and evolutionists continue to act as if they can claim moral standards or distinctions. They give an expectation that everyone should just agree with certain matters of outrage: “So, you’re in favor of slavery?!”
    But all of that outrage is just stealing values from Christian culture and trying to apply them to a nihilistic, amoral system.
    It makes no sense.

  53. 53
    Seversky says:

    Evolutionary materialism, if by that you mean the scientific theory of evolution in biology which treats the living world as physical phenomena, is neither nihilistic – it does not advocate any particular political ideology – nor is it amoral, except in the sense that it is a theory about what is that does not commit the naturalistic fallacy of trying to derive ought from is.

    What surprises me is that ID/Creationists pretend that evolutionists or atheists are unable to form moral judgments. Although, thinking about it, I shouldn’t be. ID/Creationists have such a low opinion of humanity – even though it is supposed to be the pinnacle of God’s creation – that they think we cannot know moral from immoral unless God tells us. They would not know by themselves that it is wrong to kidnap, rape and murder a child unless God told them. Without that, apparently, if they saw something like that happening right before their eyes, they would just scratch their heads in bemusement and wonder what they should do.

    What is even more alarming is that they hand over all responsibility for morals to their God. Whatever He says goes. Without question. Even though nowhere does He give any kind of detailed rationale for any of His moral edicts. So, if a Christian were convinced that their God had appeared to them and told them to sacrifice their child as a demonstration of their faith, they would do it. Without question. That’s not morality. That’s the Nazi defense of “I was just following orders”.

    As for this laughable accusation that atheists are somehow “stealing” moral principles from Christians, it may come as surprise to you to learn that Christianity does not hold any copyright on them and did not originate all of them. The Golden Rule, for example, or its equivalent can be found in other faiths and cultures, some of which pre-date Christianity. Should we accuse Christians of appropriating that principle from other cultures and then claiming it as their own?

    And before the inevitable accusations of Christian-bashing, let me say that I am certain that there are very many fine Christians who live the life exemplified by Jesus in the Bible. They work with the poor, the dispossessed, the homeless, the hopeless, the sick and the dying. They do so without much recognition or recompense and without complaint. It is a tragedy then that some of the most prominent so-called Christian figures here in the US have abandoned the principles of their faith in pursuit of wealth and political power. They excuse the bigotry, hypocrisy and corruption of those in power and utterly fail to hold them to the moral standards they claim to espouse. If the theory of evolution is tarnished by its association with the eugenics movement then how much more is US Christianity tarnished by its toleration of those who do not deserve it.

    You are, of course, free to ignore the injunction against throwing stones unless you are without sin and attack evolution or materialism or atheism or agnosticism on moral grounds but, if you do so, expect to be answered in kind.

  54. 54
    ET says:

    seversky:

    Evolutionary materialism, if by that you mean the scientific theory of evolution in biology…

    There isn’t any scientific theory of evolution.

    ID/Creationists have such a low opinion of humanity – even though it is supposed to be the pinnacle of God’s creation – that they think we cannot know moral from immoral unless God tells us.

    That is total loser nonsense. We wouldn’t be here without a guiding intelligence.

    They would not know by themselves that it is wrong to kidnap, rape and murder a child unless God told them.

    If your position is correct the those would all be perfectly acceptable. But then again, given materialism we wouldn’t exist. And yes, it is ALWAYS nice to know the rules.

    As for this laughable accusation that atheists are somehow “stealing” moral principles from Christians,

    Riding the coattails of existing moral peoples.

    , it may come as surprise to you to learn that Christianity does not hold any copyright on them and did not originate all of them.

    Religious people did. Those who understood there was a higher power to answer to.

  55. 55
    Truthfreedom says:

    @54 ET: ‘If your position is correct the those would all be perfectly acceptable. But then again, given materialism we wouldn’t exist. And yes, it is ALWAYS nice to know the rules’.

    Having in ‘mind’ (pun intended) than according to atheistic materialism ‘we’ in fact do not exist…

    It is some very very strange thing what they believe, something like ‘there is only particles having the illusion they are “people”. Particles have illusions!

    And they say the Bible is weird!

  56. 56
    EDTA says:

    Sev @ 53,

    >Even though nowhere does He give any kind of detailed rationale for any of His moral edicts.

    If God has a rationale (which I assume He does), could finite beings such as ourselves fully comprehend it? There’s no reason to think we could. Only grasping what we can, we have to do the best we can. (Being finite sucks.)

    And no mere human ethicist has much of a foundation for their proposals either. What human ethicist has put forth a system that isn’t completely subjective anyway? What ethicist has a system that people are logically and arguably compelled to acknowledge and follow? I haven’t encountered one yet.

    >So, if a Christian were convinced that their God had appeared to them and told
    >them to sacrifice their child as a demonstration of their faith, they would do it.
    >That’s not morality. That’s the Nazi defense of “I was just following orders”.

    Not a great example, because such a command would contradict other more well-established instructions, and I’d reject it myself because of that more solid basis, perhaps questioning my own perceptions first. Hasn’t happened to me, so not too worried.

    >If the theory of evolution is tarnished by its association with the eugenics
    >movement then how much more is US Christianity tarnished by its toleration of
    >those who do not deserve it.

    Yes, both sides get a more-or-less-deserved tarnishing from guilty associations. But evolution/eugenics is a human invention, i.e., its origins are totally mundane. And they to some extent originated with those who hated or at least disbelieved God. They don’t have any excuse for their bad outcomes.

    Because Christianity has a supernatural origin, there are two things to consider: 1) the human implementation of it, and 2) God’s ideal of it. For 1), yes, we get all the well-deserved blame. For 2), the ideal also gets an _unfair_ tarnishing (because people don’t understand this distinction), but in the ideal, remains untarnished. Our job is to keep struggling towards the ideal.

  57. 57
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Seversky

    Evolutionary materialism, if by that you mean the scientific theory of evolution in biology which treats the living world as physical phenomena, is neither nihilistic – it does not advocate any particular political ideology – nor is it amoral, except in the sense that it is a theory about what is that does not commit the naturalistic fallacy of trying to derive ought from is.

    Nihilism is not a political ideology. By evolutionary materialism I mean a philosophy, worldview or proposal. It’s a viewpoint that is proclaimed and defended. It’s a version of atheism. It is nihilistic and amoral. It is the world created by the Blind Watchmaker. Purposeless, indifferent, mindless, without goal or direction. Humanity is “just one more species in a world that cared nothing for us”. There is no reason or need for human life to exist. There is no true good or evil. Lawrence Krauss says: “We’re just a bit of pollution…. If you got rid of us…the universe would be largely the same. We’re completely irrelevant.” That’s nihilism. There is no human nature and no standards of moral behavior. That is what amoral nihilism is.
    You deny that this worldview is nihilistic and amoral but that’s just an assertion.

    What surprises me is that ID/Creationists pretend that evolutionists or atheists are unable to form moral judgments.

    No, we don’t say that. Moral judgements are unnecessary in the evolutionist and atheistic world, but people can form various judgements. A person can establish a personal moral standard that justifies murder or rape. That’s unnecessary really, but it’s a form of relativism and atheists can do that. A certain action can be declared morally good and another to be evil.

    Although, thinking about it, I shouldn’t be. ID/Creationists have such a low opinion of humanity – even though it is supposed to be the pinnacle of God’s creation – that they think we cannot know moral from immoral unless God tells us. They would not know by themselves that it is wrong to kidnap, rape and murder a child unless God told them.

    People kidnap, rape and murder children every day. Either they do not know or do not care that these are immoral acts. In either case, atheistic-materialism cannot give a compelling reason why murderers and rapists shouldn’t do such things. If, however, God forbids them and there is justice and recompense for evil actions, that is a lot different.

    Without that, apparently, if they saw something like that happening right before their eyes, they would just scratch their heads in bemusement and wonder what they should do.

    Without a design for life, humanity would not exist. But even in the atheistic model, people today avoid taking responsibility for evil that occurs around them. People avoid risking their life to stop some sorts of evil. In evolutionary-atheistic terms, there is good reason to avoid risking one’s life to prevent or stop a murder or rape. Individuals themselves can increase their reproductive success by doing things that are harmful to others.

    What is even more alarming is that they hand over all responsibility for morals to their God. Whatever He says goes. Without question. Even though nowhere does He give any kind of detailed rationale for any of His moral edicts.

    It’s a strange argument, not only for turning the conversation away from nihilistic amorality, but because you’re presenting a dilemma that is hard to understand.
    First, you’re talking about human beings who rely on God to teach them the causes and purposes of creation and of their own lives. That same, relatively ignorant and powerless human, stands in judgement of God when He says something. So the human person is going to tell God that He got it wrong? Wouldn’t it be better to understand the fulness of the plan first before rendering a judgement on it?
    I suppose some of this does make sense in a strange way because the same human will insist that his own moral code is “better” than what God designed. He’ll follow his own rules faithfully, but will reject God’s rules. However, the same human does not know why the world or even himself was created. His own personal morality may have disasterous effects on the whole of creation.

    So, if a Christian were convinced that their God had appeared to them and told them to sacrifice their child as a demonstration of their faith, they would do it. Without question. That’s not morality. That’s the Nazi defense of “I was just following orders”.

    Adherence to a moral code is what morality is. A person who designs their own morality, obeys their own self. So, the atheist sets himself up as god of his own life – creating moral rules and then following his own commands. So, if the atheist commands himself to rape someone, he will do it. And that’s “just following orders”. He’s telling himself what to do, and justifying it by his own moral rules.

    The Golden Rule, for example, or its equivalent can be found in other faiths and cultures, some of which pre-date Christianity.

    The point is that nihilism contributes nothing to those moral norms. Any and every kind of moral rule within atheism comes from somewhere else, and can be selected from any number of codes. Any behavior can be justified, including pedophilia, cannibalism, human sacrifice, torture. My point was that often, atheists act as if religious-derived moral norms are so obviously correct that we should be outraged or ashamed that there is a conflict with them. But that is contradictory in an amoral system such as evolutionary-materialist-atheism is.

    I did not perceive your critique as Christian bashing, so I appreciate that. I did not intend to bash evolutionists, but rather look for some clarity. As I said, some evolutionists admit the amoral nature of their worldview, but only rarely bring that to the forefront. It’s a contradiction to express moral outrage from within a system that tolerates any and all behaviors as neither good nor evil.

    You are, of course, free to ignore the injunction against throwing stones unless you are without sin and attack evolution or materialism or atheism or agnosticism on moral grounds but, if you do so, expect to be answered in kind.

    Jesus was saying we should not throw stones at individuals, since they may actually have less guilt than the stone-throwers have, even though they appear to be in sin. The same does not hold true for “belief systems” themselves, but if you’re saying that we should analyze the philosophy for what it really is, and not judge it unfairly — then yes, agreed.

    If you’re saying that “every philosophy has flaws and weaknesses, and mine has this one we’ve been discussing” — that’s at least admitting the reality of what we’re looking at.
    But to proclaim that there is no meaning, purpose, direction and that there is no ultimate good and evil, only the survival and extinction of species — that has a big impact. Plus, to say all of that and then also proclaim that there is an obvious and understandable moral standard in that worldview is to be contradictory.
    That’s the problem I was getting at.

  58. 58
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, we both know that evolutionary materialistic scientism is an ideology that often dresses up in the lab coat. However, the worldview core of it was old in Plato’s day. Where, BTW, why the Christianity bashing? PLATO was a pagan Greek Scholar c 400 BC, as in 400+ years before Paul spoke before the Areopagus; the concerns I have put on the table clearly stand antecedent to considerations of the Christian faith and the inevitably mixed, feet of clay performance of Christianity influenced cultures. Where, the issue here is world-root level start points and the prime challenge of bridging IS and OUGHT. We are all by now familiar with the Lewontin summary and should know the US National Science Teacher’s Association attempt to write it into the definition of science and school curricula. Materialism is just what Plato pointed out long since, utterly relativistic, without any world-root level bridge that joins IS and OUGHT, so it invites nihilism and power-driven factions. Which we saw play out again and again since 1789 and especially since 1917. We can add that as reason is inescapably morally governed by duty to truth, to right reason, to prudence, to sound conscience, to fairness and justice etc, such an ideology is also corrupting of reason; yet another way it will undermine not only science but our whole civilisation. For that matter, it has no sound basis for a responsible, rational, significantly free mind, thus undermining its own credibility as a claimed rational, responsible view. Then, to top all of this off, the scientism in effect claims a monopoly on credible knowledge for this same ideologically driven “science,” which would discredit proper comparative difficulties analysis. We could go on and on but that is more than enough to utterly indict this domineering ideology that haunts our civilisation, to its manifest detriment. KF

  59. 59
    kairosfocus says:

    PS, that you likewise wish to equate design thought and “Creationists” speaks volumes about the concerns just again summarised. You have been here at UD for many years, so you full well know or should acknowledge the manifest distinction, but clearly seek a rhetorical club by erecting a strawman caricature to bash. That is unfair, unjust, imprudent, improper use of reason and disregarding of duty to truth. I would point a newbie to the UD Weak Argument correctives [under the resources tab at the head of this and every UD page . . . ], but you are anything but a newbie; you must know the well warranted corrections to that invidious conflation but choose to resort to irresponsible rhetoric. That’s sad and sadly revealing.

  60. 60
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: You have also been here when we have looked at moral yardstick 1, the kidnapped, sexually defiled, murdered child, which is self-evidently a case of what ought not to be done. Self evident as one can only deny that by immediate reduction to utter absurdity. That’s why so many over the years have tried instead to evade or distract. In your latest, you seem to imagine that the Euthyphro dilemma, so called, is not answered by the issue that there is but one serious answer to the fusion of is and ought, the inherently good and utterly wise creator God, a necessary and maximally great being, worthy of our responsible, reasonable service that does the good that accords with our manifest nature. A view that is endorsed by scripture, which nowhere casts sound reason [= wisdom] in opposition to the teachings and principles of the utterly wise and inherently good creator-God. Just the opposite, Solomon — a man far wiser than you and me put together — speaks as to how the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. James the Just warns against a ruinous worldliness posing as wisdom and Paul does much the same, pausing to point out our moral incoherence where we consistently fail to live up to what we expect others to accord to us. He also points out that core morality is bound up in recognising and respecting neighbour as self, drawing out that he who loves neighbour will do him or her no harm, which actually implies the decalogue. Jesus, of course famously summed up his core moral teaching in the most famous sermon in history by quoting the neighbour-love principle from Moses. So, no, Ethical Theism in the Hebraic-Christian tradition is NOT an expression of blind following of arbitrary decrees. Thou shalt do no harm implies thou shalt not rob thy neighbour of property, innocent reputation, wife or life. And more.

  61. 61
    kairosfocus says:

    PPPS, as you have raised evolution as a scientific, thus empirically grounded explanation, I need to point to the heart of the living cell. That has coded digital, algorithmic information strings and associated execution machinery as has been shown since 1953. It is plain that such is a linguistic manifestation, in effect the machine code of the cell. Empirically, language has but one observed source, language using intelligence. This is backed by the complex, functionally specific organisation well beyond 500 – 1,000 bits. It is utterly incredible on the gamut of the observed cosmos that such could arise by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity. Thus, we have a strong sign of design staring at us, driven by research that won multiple Nobel prizes. That so many refuse to face this plain matter of fact, simply shows how deeply embedded the a priori ideology of evolutionary materialistic scientism is in our time. If you deny, kindly show us an actually observed case of such linguistic FSCO/I arising by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity without intelligently directed configuration: ______

  62. 62
    Truthfreedom says:


    “Why One-Third Of Biologists Now Question Darwinism”

    Dedicated Neo-Darwinists often say ‘no serious scientists disagree’ with Darwinism, or ‘only creationists have problems.’ These contentions are increasingly disproven.

    While Christians have long challenged Charles Darwin’s theory of undirected evolution, few appreciate the true extent of the challenge beyond the church. Current estimates are that approximately one-third of professional academic biologists who do not believe in intelligent design find Darwin’s theory is inadequate to describe all of the complexity in biology.
    https://thefederalist.com/2019/04/16/one-third-biologists-now-question-darwinism/

  63. 63
    Bob O'H says:

    Truthfreedom – the link doesn’t give the source of the one thirds statistic. I know you didn’t write that piece, but do you know the orirgins of that statistic? Depending on the details, that could either be seen as too high, or as way too low.

  64. 64
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    BTW, why the Christianity bashing? PLATO was a pagan Greek Scholar c 400 BC, as in 400+ years before Paul spoke before the Areopagus; the concerns I have put on the table clearly stand antecedent to considerations of the Christian faith and the inevitably mixed, feet of clay performance of Christianity influenced cultures.

    I introduced Christianity into the topic unnecessarily so he was just responding to that. I should have said that atheism is amoral and if it has any morality it must come from other sources.
    You mentioned 1789 and 1917 and those moments show what can happen when “bashing” moves beyond calls for the elimination of religion, to actions directed towards that purpose. That’s a very big concern.

  65. 65
    Silver Asiatic says:

    the link doesn’t give the source of the one thirds statistic

    It quotes Behe as the source and he says it’s a guestimate based on his research and/or anecdotal data.

  66. 66
    Axel says:

    Or perhaps one-third of biologists now confess to questioning Darwinism …. ? Having perhaps lost the will, the requisite fitness, to survive ?

  67. 67
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Axel

    Evolution depends entirely on “the will to survive” but there’s no explanation for where that came from. The first life forms had it. They wanted to live and not merely be chemicals. This is explained as like a snowflake or soap bubble continues to exist in it’s form until it melts or breaks. But no, the will to survive fights against decay like that.
    Supposedly, blind, mindless chemical combinations created a will to survive, even when there is no reason, purpose or benefit to living. Bacteria must have the will to survive, but are they really a lot better of alive than just being inert chemicals?
    It’s just another one of the many illogical proposals of evolutionism.

  68. 68
    Ed George says:

    It quotes Behe as the source and he says it’s a guestimate based on his research and/or anecdotal data.

    Or wishful thinking.

  69. 69
    ET says:

    The question is what serious biologist doesn’t question the untestable claims of Darwinian/ neo-Darwinian/ evolution by means of blind and mindless processes? Or do they all still believe that their wishful thinking and promissory notes is how science is conducted?

  70. 70

    .
    Ed at 68,

    Since your ability to engage in physical evidence withers so thoroughly at examples from biology that exemplify Behe’s concept of irreducible complexity, perhaps you show a little more respect.

    No, of course not — a silly thought, I understand — but just imagine how much more compelling you would be if you weren’t relegated to merely sniping at intellectual opponents from the sidelines.

  71. 71
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, if you were to look at 61 above in context and respond on merits, you might see reasons why a significant minority of bioscience people would have serious doubts about the reigning orthodoxy, ideologically imposed evolutionary materialistic scientism.. Perhaps, you may care to give a response that rises above strawman caricatures. KF

  72. 72
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks,

    As I think about cause, I am led to ponder a current discussion that echoes Plato on the self-moved, ensouled agent with genuine freedom. Without endorsing wider context, John C Wright draws out a key point that we may ponder as a nugget drawn from a stream-bed:

    Men have souls [–> that which gives us self-moved, responsible, rational freedom].

    Once one accepts that premise, one must accept the conclusions that follow from it: creatures with souls are not evolved from slime, since spirit, being simple and eternal, cannot be brought into being by matter, which is compound, subject to change and decay, nor brought into being by any blind natural process; therefore, instead, spirit must be created in a divine image, with the faculties of reason and conscience and creativity. Living spirits like man hence are responsible each man for his own action, hence by right are worthy of the fruits each man of his own labor. Since this right comes not from the state, it should not in justice be abrogated by the state, for the right to property is sacrosanct, and, by the same logic, so too are all rights to life and liberty and to the freedom of the conscience. [–> I add, echoing the US DoI of 1776: the state enters, with the consent of the governed, as a common means to safeguard the civil peace of justice; that due balance of rights, freedoms and duties in community which cannot be reliably pursued otherwise — in which context, it has a legitimate power of moderate, prudent taxation as a cost-effective means to fund the defence and reasonable enhancement of the common good.]

    Nor can a created being overstep the authority created into him by his creator, that is, Man cannot play God; which means he cannot slay innocent children in the womb nor murder the sick and elderly and useless gobblers of bread, nor breed men like dogsbreeders breeding dogs, nor commit suicide oneself, not even the slow suicide of addiction to self-destructive substances and ideas.

    If man is created by divinity, it is not in his choice to demean and trample the image of God in himself nor his neighbor: modesty, honesty, humility, patience, prudence and temperance become sacrosanct.

    Even such seemingly unrelated matters, such as the low dirt of modern speech, the crass ugliness of modern art, the vainglorious ignorance of modern schooling, become offenses against this divine image seen in man . . . .

    If men have souls, what does skin hue matter?

    It is that lost vision that is the context for the present endarkening of our civilisation, in which what we imagine is light is instead such darkness that we often imagine that light is darkness, accusing him who is Reason Himself and Goodness Himself of being an arbitrary would-be cosmological tyrant. That is why something as out of kilter as Euthyphro’s dilemma could even seem plausible. That seeming plausibility is a diagnostic sign of our soul-sickness.

    KF

  73. 73
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Sniping at the sidelines means that you’ve been taken out of the game.
    Now, some will say that “all ID does is snipe at the sidelines”, but we disagree.
    We are where the real game of life is being played out. Without ID, there are just the lies of evolutionists, unchallenged.
    It’s some strong percentage of biologists who question Darwinists, if not a third precisely. Behe was reflecting on his professional experience.
    Every biologist should question Darwinism. As a concept, it simply doesn’t work and anyone who cannot see that has been brainwashed by popular opinion or peer-pressure.

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