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Why There Is (And Should Be) No Legal Right To Transgender Protections

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Transgenderism is when a person considers themselves to internally be the opposite sex of their physical body. They mentally “self-identify” in contradiction to the physical fact of their body sex. Transgender law advocates insist that self-identified “transgenders” be given legal right to have unfettered access to all public facilities currently reserved for one sex or the other (male and female restrooms, lockers, showers, women’s shelters, etc.) Obama has recently decreed that all schools that do not fully adopt transgender protections and policies will face the revocation of federal funding.

Usually, when a person believes they are something in contradiction to the physical facts (such as believing one is Napoleon, or believing one is a horse), we call that view delusional, because it is a persistent belief held in contradiction to physical facts. Believing that one is a “female” trapped in a male’s body is to consider female-ness something other than what it is, which is a designation based on physical facts. A man can have personality traits that are more in line with what are generally considered the personality traits of females, but having such personality traits doesn’t in fact make them a female “trapped” in a man’s body; it just makes them a man with some personality/psychological traits that are more generally considered to be that of females.

Should men (or women) be free to exhibit personality traits that are more in line with the opposite sex? Should they be allowed to dress like the opposite sex? Certainly. No one is arguing against that. However, should such people have the right to be legally accepted as actually being the opposite sex, for all legal intents and purposes? Should public institutions be forced to view them as the sex they personally identify with by allowing them full legal access to public facilities of the opposite sex?

This boils down to a simple question: should self-identifying personality traits that contradict physical facts be enforceable in the public sector as if those personality traits were physical facts? If a man self-identifies as a woman, should they be given access to all female-specific services and facilities? Should they be able to fill out employment forms and government forms, such as the census, as the opposite sex? Should public-funded school sports teams be required to allow men into women’s sports because they self-identify as women?

Logically, where does the right to self-identify in contradiction to physical facts end? Can I self-identify as a different race? A different age? Can I self-identify as having skills I physically do not have, as having talent I do not possess? Should the law force everyone to accept whatever anyone self-identifies as, regardless of what the physical facts are?

The reason transgenderism is not, and should not be, a legally protected right is because it is a set of personality/psychological traits where a person subjectively, mentally sees him- or herself as something they physically are not, or perhaps because they wish to display a personality that is somewhat in contradiction to social norms concerning gender. Society cannot legally enforce individual personality traits as if those traits represented physical reality or else chaos will ensue. Actual law must be grounded in physical reality, not in individual conceptions of self or individual personality traits. Society cannot, and should not, force everyone to treat such personality traits as if those personality traits represent physical reality. If a 40 year old man “sees himself” as a 4 year old child, am I legally bound to treat him as such? If a stranger insists they are my child or my parent, should such a personality trait have legal force?

These are not “slippery slope arguments”, these are the logical entailments of giving personality/psychological traits (that are in contradiction to physical facts) the full support and force of law. It is outright insanity. It is not a “civil rights” issue at all; it is attempting to break down any valid meaning to any law or right whatsoever if people can simply “self-identify” in contradiction to physical facts.

381 Replies to “Why There Is (And Should Be) No Legal Right To Transgender Protections

  1. 1
    homerj1 says:

    Yep.

    If Bruce Jenner is a female then Karen Carpenter was fat, and you would have been a bigoted hater to tell her otherwise.

  2. 2
    Dean_from_Ohio says:

    Exactly. As someone has pointed out here recently, there is no right to a wrong. The Big Lie of gender ideology is of the same source as the Big Lie of Communism described by Solzhenitsyn. Both are lies about human nature, and both end in despair and death, not at the hand of truth tellers, but from running around on the sharp rocks of reality and from the folly of idolatry.

    Solzhenitsyn learned much in prison camp, and soon so may we. The enforcers of Big Lies are full totalitarians, because their power and violated consciences demand the Big Lie be upheld. I hope another hundred million do not have to die, and another gulag be filled with twenty millions of slave laborers, or a great nation reduced to servitude at the feet of a brutal elite, before this generation sees the Big Lie for what it is.

  3. 3

    Here’s another logical ramification of this issue: if I commit a crime, can I later self-identify as someone else? A different age, race and sex? How can anyone convict me of a crime if I later self-identify as someone other than who committed the crime?

    Does that sound silly and extreme? I posit that it is absolutely the logical entailment of transgender protections based on the legitimizing of “self-identifications”, which is giving the force of law to self-identifications in contradiction to physical facts.

    The madness of this kind of policy is clearly evident using simple logic. The actual negative consequences are easily discernible (as I pointed out in the other thread where women and girls are put in greater physical jeopardy and immediate, greater fear). The supposed “benefit” is supposedly nothing more than alleviating the supposed discomfort of 0.3% of the population. Note: not alleviating real crime or violence, but mental discomfort vs the real, physical endangerment of millions of women and girls due to policies that can put predators in very close proximity and reduce warning time to practically nil.

    So, why would any sound, reasonable person not be able to think out this simple logic and understand these simple, foreseeable consequences? The answer is twofold: some do understand the consequences, and those consequences are exactly what they are pursuing; some do not because they are blinded by the the emotional rhetoric that attempts to paint this out as a “civil rights” issue.

  4. 4

    Dean_from_Ohio:

    I assume that Obama and many of the others in public office who are behind this are capable of understanding the simple logic and the easily-recognized consequences. The logical conclusion is that they are deliberately pursuing these consequences.

    The question on the table is: why? You hit the nail on the head, and KF has been patiently explaining the “why”; the problem is that it’s too big for many to even want to try and grasp. It’s also too hard to accept that most of how you feel about things has been carefully manipulated by decades of deliberate social programming.

    Today, it is not only considered acceptable, but a right to not be confronted with “trigger” terms and concepts that invade your “safe space” to protect and nurse your bubbled concept of self and world. It is considered “hate-speech” and “bigotry” to use terminology that triggers any negative reaction in the minds of any individual or to use terminology that accurately describes the reality, such as “illegal alien”.

    There is a big lie going on. That big lie is being sold because it promises some sort of path to global “justice” or “equality” or “saving the planet”. It promotes feelings and sentiment over reason, and seeks to protect such sentiment with force of law, and turn the idea of “rights” into whatever the government says and allows.

    Already many here have swallowed this lie hook, line and sinker and to open their eyes would be far too devastating to their sense of self.

  5. 5
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #3:

    The madness of this kind of policy is clearly evident using simple logic.

    I ask this again here: Are laws decided on the basis of whether or not there are negative consequences? Is the bar a law must pass that it does not put women and girls into greater physical jeopardy)?

    EDIT:

    And if you think that laws should be judge on whether or not “women and girls are put in greater physical jeopardy and immediate, greater fear” then what do you think of laws that force folks like this (http://www.oddee.com/item_98038.aspx) into women’s bathrooms and locker rooms?

    Delusional, right?

  6. 6
    hrun0815 says:

    Re OP:

    I’m not certain I understand? Aren’t that bathroom laws so many are up in arms against a “Legal Right To Transgender Protections”?

  7. 7

    hrun0815 said:

    I’m not certain I understand? Aren’t that bathroom laws so many are up in arms against a “Legal Right To Transgender Protections”?

    If it is your opinion that a president and unelected bureaucrats at the DoE have the final say on what rights US citizens have and do not have, you do not understand our system of government.

    Obama and the bureaucrats at the DoE can set policy that can fund or defund based upon that policy, but they cannot change or establish what our legal rights are. Until that policy change withstands what are sure to be court challenges that go to the supreme court, nothing has been decided. Currently, there are contradictory rulings on the matter in various district and state courts.

    Are laws decided on the basis of whether or not there are negative consequences? Is the bar a law must pass that it does not put women and girls into greater physical jeopardy)?

    I’m not sure what you are asking me. Actual laws are passed regardless of whether or not they make any rational sense or whether or not they put people in danger or serve the greater good or not.

    If you’re asking me what is the criteria that should be examined before passing a law or establishing policy, I say that the first and foremost criteria is that the law correspond to physical facts first and should never elevate any personal, subjective sense of self-identity to the status of being protected and enforced by law as if that self-identity was reality – regardless of whether or not anyone is made to feel uncomfortable or put in harm’s way.

  8. 8
    Dean_from_Ohio says:

    William J Murray – thanks for the response! Indeed they do understand, but their beliefs make their current course of action appear most attractive. In this they deceive themselves, and have been deceived.

    As Ravi Zacharias says, the problem is not the absence of evidence but the suppression of it.

  9. 9
    mike1962 says:

    Well, I’ve always considered myself a lesbian trapped in a man’s body. So according to the SJWs I have the right to use women’s restrooms. 😀

    Okie dokie!

  10. 10

    hrun continues:

    And if you think that laws should be judge on whether or not “women and girls are put in greater physical jeopardy and immediate, greater fear” then what do you think of laws that force folks like this (http://www.oddee.com/item_98038.aspx) into women’s bathrooms and locker rooms?

    I think that no law is perfect, nor can any law be sufficiently written to account for every possible situation. I think that what transexuals and transgenders who entirely look like the opposite sex should do is what they have been doing and what has been working just fine: use the bathroom of the opposite sex discreetly, and yes, in violation of policy and law, or simply avoid using public facilities.

    Also, such people should bear the burden for their own personal decisions and not expect society to uproot itself to legally endorse their decision to transform themselves, or to establish onerous policies that endanger millions of people for the sake of their personal, self-identifying decisions.

    If an individual wants to transform themselves into something that falls between the cracks of current law due to some personal, self-identification mentality, that doesn’t mean we must change current law to accommodate them.

  11. 11
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #10:

    Thanks for your honest answer. I guess we could continue explorer boundary cases, but I am getting the gist of what you believe is right.

    Now, if this is what you believe, then why is it not ok to actually afford the people in the link to actually do what they are doing without having to break the law? Would you support the laws if they would strike the provision ‘according to the sex they are assigned at birth’ in lieu of something like ‘according to the sex the are outwardly presenting as’?

  12. 12
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #7:

    If it is your opinion that a president and unelected bureaucrats at the DoE have the final say on what rights US citizens have and do not have, you do not understand our system of government.

    Obama and the bureaucrats at the DoE can set policy that can fund or defund based upon that policy, but they cannot change or establish what our legal rights are. Until that policy change withstands what are sure to be court challenges that go to the supreme court, nothing has been decided. Currently, there are contradictory rulings on the matter in various district and state courts.

    Fair enough. However, if I understand things correctly than due to the policies and no direct laws contradicting them (as in NC), currently in at least some states transgender do have the right to use the bathroom of the gender they self-identify with.

    I’m not sure what you are asking me. Actual laws are passed regardless of whether or not they make any rational sense or whether or not they put people in danger or serve the greater good or not.

    Yes, that is exactly my question. Because for me and my (irrational) moral understanding some things should be made into law even if they do have negative consequences and do not serve the greater good.

    For example, I believe that torture is morally wrong and SHOULD NOT be made legale even if if could be shown that not torturing has negative consequences.

    If you’re asking me what is the criteria that should be examined before passing a law or establishing policy, I say that the first and foremost criteria is that the law correspond to physical facts first and should never elevate any personal, subjective sense of self-identity to the status of being protected and enforced by law as if that self-identity was reality – regardless of whether or not anyone is made to feel uncomfortable or put in harm’s way.

    That is a very oddly specific and in many cases insignificant aspect that you feel is the ‘first and foremost criteria’ which should be evaluated when passing new laws or policy.

    I would have thought that your ‘first and foremost’ criteria (based on your previous post) would be something like ‘morally sound’, ‘according to natural law’, or ‘does not negatively impact society’?

  13. 13
    inquisitor says:

    WJM

    If you’re asking me what is the criteria that should be examined before passing a law or establishing policy, I say that the first and foremost criteria is that the law correspond to physical facts first and should never elevate any personal, subjective sense of self-identity to the status of being protected and enforced by law as if that self-identity was reality – regardless of whether or not anyone is made to feel uncomfortable or put in harm’s way.

    To play the devil’s advocate, could this not mean that laws protecting freedom of religion violate your criteria? There are very many religions that are protected by law. Surely you are not suggesting that they are all based on physical facts.

  14. 14
    velikovskys says:

    Wjm:
    Usually, when a person believes they are something in contradiction to the physical facts (such as believing one is Napoleon, or believing one is a horse), we call that view delusional, because it is a persistent belief held in contradiction to physical facts. Believing that one is a “female” trapped in a male’s body is to consider female-ness something other than what it is, which is a designation based on physical facts.

    “Gender Identity Disorder in Twins: A Review of the Case Report Literature

    Gunter Heylens, MDcorrespondenceemail, Griet De Cuypere, MD, PhD, Kenneth J. Zucker, PhD, Cleo Schelfaut, MD, Els Elaut, MSc, Heidi Vanden Bossche, MSc, Elfride De Baere, MD, PhD, Guy T’Sjoen, MD, PhD
    Article has an altmetric score of 44

    Introduction

    The etiology of gender identity disorder (GID) remains largely unknown. In recent literature, increased attention has been attributed to possible biological factors in addition to psychological variables.”

    Biological factors are physical facts

  15. 15

    hrun asks:

    Now, if this is what you believe, then why is it not ok to actually afford the people in the link to actually do what they are doing without having to break the law? Would you support the laws if they would strike the provision ‘according to the sex they are assigned at birth’ in lieu of something like ‘according to the sex the are outwardly presenting as’?

    No, I would not. The law cannot accommodate every instance of personal self-identification nor should it try to; it must be based on physical facts and upon as little subjective evaluation as possible. The system as it existed before worked as well any law can be expected to work for as many as can rationally be expected.

    Perhaps there can be a law where full post-op transsexuals can be medically determined to be, for all intents and purposes, a member of the opposite sex. The problem is that this sort of appraisal runs counter to the idea of “gender fluidity” and that there are no “real” gender norms. So, what you are left with as the only substantiating biological fact is the gender at birth.

  16. 16

    velikovskys,

    A biological condition that makes you identify with or act more like the opposite sex doesn’t make you the opposite sex; it makes someone of one sex who acts like or identifies with a member of the opposite sex.

    Schizophrenia is also a condition caused by biology, and is treatable. Just because a biological conditions makes a person think they are Napoleon, or a horse, or a woman trapped in a man’s body doesn’t mean that the law should accommodate a biologically-caused perception that is contrary to the physical facts.

  17. 17

    inquisitor said:

    To play the devil’s advocate, could this not mean that laws protecting freedom of religion violate your criteria? There are very many religions that are protected by law. Surely you are not suggesting that they are all based on physical facts.

    Transgenders have the same freedom of belief as anyone else. Freedom of belief does not translate into some imagined right that law and society treat you as if your beliefs are true – especially not if they contradict known physical facts.

  18. 18
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #15:

    I agree on the problem of gender-fluid. However, I would say that if a transgendered is undergoing transition to the point that they are outwardly the opposite sex and are able to get their sex changed in their documentation, I see absolutely no reason why they shouldn’t be legally allowed in the bathroom of their current sex. To me the ‘sex at birth’ stipulation just seems vindictive and cruel with no apparent redeeming attributes.

  19. 19

    hrun said:

    I would have thought that your ‘first and foremost’ criteria (based on your previous post) would be something like ‘morally sound’, ‘according to natural law’, or ‘does not negatively impact society’?

    Explaining the basis for a just system of law is not the same thing as establishing criteria for passing laws within such a system.

  20. 20
    ppolish says:

    Mind over matter. If your mind says boy and your privates say girl – you’re a boy.

  21. 21
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #19:

    It’s very hard to not answer with sarcasm.

    Are you trying to argue that there could be a ‘just system of law’ that ensures any given law is ‘morally sound’, ‘according to natural law’, or ‘does not negatively impact society’ yet it does not establish that laws ‘correspond to physical facts first’?

  22. 22
    inquisitor says:

    WJM: “Transgenders have the same freedom of belief as anyone else. Freedom of belief does not translate into some imagined right that law and society treat you as if your beliefs are true – especially not if they contradict known physical facts.”

    I agree, but laws have been passed that protect your freedom of belief, even if your belief is not supported by fact. Don’t get me wrong, I fully support those laws. But if a transgendered truly believes that they are different than their biological sex, how is that belief any different than a religion that has no factual basis?

  23. 23
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #22:

    inquisitor, I would think that protecting the right of having such a belief is different from protecting rights based on such beliefs.

  24. 24
    mike1962 says:

    inquisitor: how is that belief any different than a religion that has no factual basis?

    You can believe and anything you want. You do not necessarily have the right to act on those beliefs contrary to law. For example, if you live in the USA, you do not have the right to practice exorcisms leading to injury or death, practice polygamy, own slaves, sell yourself into slavery, sacrifice live chickens or cats, etc.

  25. 25
    Eugen says:

    These new laws are great…I feel 65 years old. I demand a right to collect government pension, or else I’m calling everyone age-phobe! 😀

  26. 26
    Aleta says:

    wjm writes,

    Freedom of belief does not translate into some imagined right that law and society treat you as if your beliefs are true.

    And Inquisitor makes a good related point: if you have a religious belief that same-sex marriage is immoral, according to the quote above you are free to believe that but society doesn’t need to treat you as if that belief were true.

    And, from the thread that kf recently closed, the bigger question is how do we know that moral beliefs that we firmly believe are just obviously, naturally true, such as same-sex marriage is wrong, or that a person’s sexual identity can never be anything other than the genitally-based sex at birth, won’t in fact be seen in the future (by our culture or others) as not only wrong, but in fact unjust, discriminatory, and/or prejudiced?

  27. 27

    hrun continues:

    I see absolutely no reason why they shouldn’t be legally allowed in the bathroom of their current sex. To me the ‘sex at birth’ stipulation just seems vindictive and cruel with no apparent redeeming attributes.

    Physical facts are neither cruel nor vindictive. Bringing emotion into an argument about what laws should and should not be is the first step to abandoning reason and logic.

    If we base the public facility laws on “appearance”, then we are (1) endorsing a static view of what it means to “appear” to be woman or a man in society, which is unacceptable to leftists, and (2) we are entering the realm of subjective assessments, which we don’t want to be the criteria for law enforcement.

    Then, there is the case of those who have used surgery and hormonal/testosterone therapy to appear to be the opposite sex; however, even this doesn’t factually make them members of the opposite sex because of several physical reasons, not the least of which is the DNA.

    Is it cruel and vindictive to pass a law that makes its discernment based on the only true, identifying indicator (in by far most actual cases) of the actual sex of the individual in question (the sex at birth)? Of course not; the law is neutral, based on the best documentation of physical fact and provides for the reasonable expectation of privacy and modesty for by far most individuals out in public.

    It’s like saying that a policy where one must be a certain age or pass a certain physical in order to proceed is unnecessarily cruel or vindictive against those who are not that age, or are not physically capable, but imagine themselves to be or cosmetically alter themselves to appear to be. There is no cruelty or vindictiveness necessarily involved.

    But, because we have been conditioned to consider our empathy and sentiment as more important than physical facts and logic, we pity these poor individuals that do not conform to the norm and find themselves in these kind of awkward and uncomfortable situations and wish to grant them consideration or relief from their sense of “exclusion”.

    That is when we, as a society, agree to politely look the other way when a transgender discreetly uses the rest room of the opposite sex, or when we as individuals smile and extend them our friendship based on the merit of their character and not their non-conformist habits/cosmetics. But we simply cannot be expected to make laws in defiance of physical facts and despite problematic consequences of putting millions of others at risk because we empathize with their hurt feelings or due to the sentiment of wanting them to “feel” included in the mainstream.

    This is why sentiment and empathy are not good considerations when it comes to the law, and it is exactly why totalitarians employ such tactics.

  28. 28
    vividbleau says:

    Aleta and Inquisitor

    Evidently the other thread is closed so I am posting my reply here.

    “I support Inquisitor in his questioning”

    The question Inquisitor asks only makes sense to the moral relativists, or should we now use newspeak and say “moral fluid”. It is brought up all the time as if it is somehow an objection that because we may not be able to agree on what these objective morals are that means they do not exist. That is flat out bad logic.

    However I will answer Inquisitor and you…..unlike the moral fluids (they were moral then an immoral now) it is immoral now and it was immoral then!

    Vivid

  29. 29

    Aleta said:

    And Inquisitor makes a good related point: if you have a religious belief that same-sex marriage is immoral, according to the quote above you are free to believe that but society doesn’t need to treat you as if that belief were true.

    I agree. However, the framework of laws must be based on something, and they must be rationally applied. Laws are necessarily moral in nature – in fact, they are formalizations of oughts and ought-nots. Our society in the USA is founded upon the concept of natural moral law, and as far as I can tell, that is the most sound basis for a system of laws.

    And, from the thread that kf recently closed, the bigger question is how do we know that moral beliefs that we firmly believe are just obviously, naturally true, such as same-sex marriage is wrong, or that a person’s sexual identity can never be anything other than the genitally-based sex at birth, won’t in fact be seen in the future (by our culture or others) as not only wrong, but in fact unjust, discriminatory, and/or prejudiced?

    You can make that argument about anything, winding up with nothing but anarchy of thought. Even your comment above is a mish-mash of competing terminologies and phrases.

    We must do the best we can with what we have to work with now. We certainly cannot make laws now based upon what some of us think future generations might think in the future. Or, I guess that may be what leftist idealists do. We realists just try to do the best we can with what we actually have.

  30. 30
    Aleta says:

    Yes, but others have thought that about their beliefs at other times, and we now say they were wrong.

    So the question is how do you know that you are the person that knows what is absolutely moral correct this time, even though all those other people were wrong, even though they believed they were right just as much as you believe you are right?

    I claim you can’t really know that.

    It seems obviously, unequivocally clear to you now that certain things are immoral, but many other human beings have thought the same things about things you now would say are not immoral. How are you, in this time or place, privileged with, finally, the correct beliefs?

  31. 31

    Inquisitor asks:

    I agree, but laws have been passed that protect your freedom of belief, even if your belief is not supported by fact. Don’t get me wrong, I fully support those laws. But if a transgendered truly believes that they are different than their biological sex, how is that belief any different than a religion that has no factual basis?

    As I said, they are free to believe whatever they want. That doesn’t mean the state is compelled to acquiesce to their beliefs as if those beliefs are true. Let’s look at it this way: if a religious person believes they should not have to pay for food or water, or if a religious person believes that all weapons should be turned into plowshares, should the government pass such laws because 0.3% of the population share those beliefs?

    Of course not. They are free to believe as they wish; what they do not have is a right to legally force everyone else to act as if their beliefs are true.

    You are under no legal obligation to act as if some other person’s individual, idiosyncratic religious beliefs are true.

  32. 32
    Aleta says:

    wjm writes,

    We must do the best we can with what we have to work with now.

    I agree. That is why we are discussing these issues. When enough people come to accept same-sec marriage and gender identity issues, then our laws will change to reflect that, and what will be considered moral will, in general, have changed.

  33. 33
    vividbleau says:

    Hrun

    I want to follow up with our conversation from the other thread that KF closed. I think its consistent with the topic of this thread as well hopefully WJM will agree.

    One of your criteria regarding how a persons sex is determined was consistency and verification on their drivers license . My objection to that was

    Vivid “But we are told that “gender identity” is fluid, it can change day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment, this standard would deprive those whose gender fluidity is not consistent their rights….one could have a gender identity change driving from the DMV parking lot”

    Your response was

    “Yup. It still woudln’t work for everybody. But I would reckon that it would work for more people than it does now. And it should alleviate the fears of StephenB, WJM, KF, and others about men sneaking into women’s locker rooms under flimsy pretext to molest or rape them.”

    I will let WJM, KF and SB speak for themselves but I don’t think so…just a guess.

    But getting back to your point…not would it only not work for everybody but you and I know that this will never happen. The LBGTQ community would go crazy if they had to show some form of identification. It goes against the very idea of gender fluidity which is being advocated. Besides what is the next step bathroom police? Are we going to have to show our IDs to go to the bathroom?

    This is how crazy and insane this whole thing is. FUBAR

    Vivid

  34. 34
    inquisitor says:

    Hrun: “inquisitor, I would think that protecting the right of having such a belief is different from protecting rights based on such beliefs.”

    Very true. But when we protect the freedom of religion, it goes beyond just the right to believe it. It has impacts on society (tax base) and other accommodations.

  35. 35
    inquisitor says:

    WJM: “Physical facts are neither cruel nor vindictive. Bringing emotion into an argument about what laws should and should not be is the first step to abandoning reason and logic.”

    I think that we can all generally agree about this. Although, a person born with a physical disability might disagree that physical facts are not cruel.

    But, since you claim that “Bringing emotion into an argument about what laws should and should not be is the first step to abandoning reason and logic.” (which I agree with), can we assume that you agree with us that KF has abandoned all reason and logic when he rants on about these changes leading us over the cliff to a broken back?

  36. 36

    Aleta said:

    Yes, but others have thought that about their beliefs at other times, and we now say they were wrong.

    Yes, humans err in all things, and are flawed in their observations and interpretations. Thanks, Captain.

    So the question is how do you know that you are the person that knows what is absolutely moral correct this time, even though all those other people were wrong, even though they believed they were right just as much as you believe you are right?

    You do the best you can with what you have available. What do you have to offer us, Aleta? Subjective morality, where there is no actual right or wrong and laws and morals are based on empathy and sentiment? Just because something is hard and cannot be absolutely understood and is subject to error and flawed interpretation (you know, like science and everything else under the sun) doesn’t mean you throw your hands up and say “it’s all subjective, whatever.”

    Subjective morality is a non-starter both for morality and as a basis for law. Empathy and sentiment are not the basis for a sound legal system but are rather a recipe for totalitarian manipulation.

    I claim you can’t really know that.

    Doesn’t matter if you can or cannot; it’s the only sound basis for morality and law. Period. We all act as if we can, whether we call ourselves moral subjectivists or objectivists.

    It seems obviously, unequivocally clear to you now that certain things are immoral, but many other human beings have thought the same things about things you now would say are not immoral. How are you, in this time or place, privileged with, finally, the correct beliefs?

    Morality based upon the concept of natural law is hardly unique to this time and place. Again, moral objectivism is all we have to work with, because no one can even act as if moral subjectivism is true (unless one is a sociopath). Whether there is actually an objective basis for morality or not, we must act as if there is, and laws must be ordered as if there is, otherwise all you have is anarchy and chaos moving through an ocean of sentiment and might-makes-right manipulations.

    The best we can do is begin with self-evidently true moral statements, then from there move forward, whether or not morality is actually an objective commodity.

  37. 37
    vividbleau says:

    Interesting

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-g.....us-belief/

    This will go over well I’m sure.

    Vivid

  38. 38
    StephenB says:

    hrun

    For example, I believe that torture is morally wrong and SHOULD NOT be made legale even if if could be shown that not torturing has negative consequences.

    How do you reconcile your two contradictory positions:

    [a] There is no such thing as objective morality or an objective standard for should/should not.

    [b} We should not torture. It is not moral.

  39. 39

    inquisitor said:

    But, since you claim that “Bringing emotion into an argument about what laws should and should not be is the first step to abandoning reason and logic.” (which I agree with), can we assume that you agree with us that KF has abandoned all reason and logic when he rants on about these changes leading us over the cliff to a broken back?

    No, that would not be a valid assumption.

  40. 40
    inquisitor says:

    Vivid: “However I will answer Inquisitor and you…..unlike the moral fluids (they were moral then an immoral now) it is immoral now and it was immoral then!”

    Thank you for your response. But that wasn’t the question. The question is, how do you know that in 500 years people won’t look back on some of the morals of today and conclude that they were absurd and nihilistic.

    I realize that my child sacrifice example was an extreme that, for some bizarre reason pushed KF over the edge, but it was made to make a point. There were cultures who firmly believed that child sacrifice was not only morally acceptable, but morally imperative. By today’s standard, I don’t think that anyone would consider it a moral practice.

    But let’s take something that is equally emotional, but not as clear-cut. There were many cultures that participated in ritual cannibalism. Eating the flesh of a deceased love one. From our current standards, we are repulsed by the idea, but can we really categorize it as immoral? I would argue, no. Your thoughts?

  41. 41
    Aleta says:

    re wjm at 36:

    I understand, from a conversation quite a long time ago, wjm’s view that we need to act as if we believe in objective moral laws even if we don’t know for sure whether they actually exist or not. (I don’t know whether he would agree that this is an accurate description of his views or not.)

    And I agree with him when he says,

    You do the best you can with what you have available.

    So when he says,

    What do you have to offer us, Aleta?

    I will offer this:

    I believe, strongly, that some people have inborn attractions to the same sex, and that some have an inborn sense of being born the wrong gender. These are biologically-based parts of their nature, and interact with their nurture (including various levels of their cultural surroundings) in just as complex a way as heterosexuality functions in the majority of people.

    We (the generic “normal” person) did not choose to feel attracted to the opposite sex, and did not choose to feel a gender identity consistent with the biological sex we were born with. These are just part of our biological nature that are presented to us as we grow up.

    So my moral belief is that all people, irrespective of their sexual or gender orientation, deserve the same consideration. We are all people trying to be the best, truest self we can, and all of us have a moral responsibility to help others with this task, just as we would hope they would support us.

    Therefore, as a moral choice, I support same-sex marriage and transgender accommodations.

    Of course, this general belief does not extend universally to all traits of all people (because nothing is absolute): I don’t have a moral obligation to help a psychopath realize his true self, and such people do exist.

    That is why I agree with wjm when he says, “You do the best you can with what you have available.” That is all we can do: act, and speak, so at to best represent our values, morals, emotions, rational understanding and arguments, etc. as best we can.

  42. 42
    Aleta says:

    Inquisitor writes,

    I realize that my child sacrifice example was an extreme that, for some bizarre reason pushed KF over the edge.

    FWIW, going over the edge is one of kf’s favorite metaphors.

    More seriously, your cannibalism example is a good one: there is a scene in Heart of Darkness where some natives working quite cooperatively with the white traders are appalled that they are not allowed to eat some natives who attack them and are killed.

  43. 43
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #33:

    But getting back to your point…not would it only not work for everybody but you and I know that this will never happen. The LBGTQ community would go crazy if they had to show some form of identification. It goes against the very idea of gender fluidity which is being advocated. Besides what is the next step bathroom police? Are we going to have to show our IDs to go to the bathroom?

    I don’t know? But either way, I don’t think you were asking me for what the LBGT community would support, but what I would. There it is.

    HR: And it should alleviate the fears of StephenB, WJM, KF, and others about men sneaking into women’s locker rooms under flimsy pretext to molest or rape them.

    VB: I will let WJM, KF and SB speak for themselves but I don’t think so…just a guess.

    Would it work for you? And why do you think would it not work for them? It seems the at least WJM think that the folks who have finished female-male transition should not go to the women’s room. So if this was the criteria then the outcome is exactly what WJM supports.

    That being said, I also secretly think that StephenB and KF wouldn’t. But it is very hard for me to get clear answers from them so I will likely never know. 🙂

    Besides what is the next step bathroom police?

    Well, StephenB already claimed there is a right of ‘feeling comfortable’ and didn’t object about my suggestion of a ‘comfort police’. So I would say, yes. That’s on the horizon.

    But joking aside, I think that this, just like all the other culture-war stuff will simply blow over by the next election cycle when republicans realize it’s not an election winner anymore. Especially since it turns out that evangelicals actually don’t even care about this stuff all that much (considering how much they supported Trump over Cruz).

    So, just like SSM is now by-and-large accepted law of the land and barely registers in the media and elections anymore, so will this topic fade away into cultural acceptance (at least that’s what I would predict).

  44. 44
    vividbleau says:

    Inquisitor

    “By today’s standard, I don’t think that anyone would consider it a moral practice.”

    What does “today’s standard” have to do with whether it was moral then?

    To your question just because one finds an action repulsive does not make it immoral.

    Vivid

  45. 45
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #36:

    Just because something is hard […] doesn’t mean you throw your hands up and say “it’s all subjective, whatever.”

    And that’s why exactly zero people (other than maybe some psychopaths) actually do this.

    The best we can do is begin with self-evidently true moral statements, then from there move forward, whether or not morality is actually an objective commodity.

    Actually, no. The best we can do is accept human equality and recognize the importance of empathy to shape our morality.

  46. 46
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #38:

    If by now you don’t understand how come subjectivists use the term ‘should’ in the context of morality then I don’t think I can help you any further. This has been explained too many times to count.

    I don’t expect you to subscribe to my position. Not in the least. But it would be nice if you at least would make an effort to understand it so the same questions don’t have to be answered over and over again.

  47. 47

    inquisitor said:

    Thank you for your response. But that wasn’t the question. The question is, how do you know that in 500 years people won’t look back on some of the morals of today and conclude that they were absurd and nihilistic.

    What kind of argument is this? Did you and Aleta go to the same post-modernist “modes of debate” seminar? Are we going to base what we do now according to what we imagine people might think 500 years from now?

    I realize that my child sacrifice example was an extreme that, for some bizarre reason pushed KF over the edge, but it was made to make a point. There were cultures who firmly believed that child sacrifice was not only morally acceptable, but morally imperative. By today’s standard, I don’t think that anyone would consider it a moral practice.

    If people throughout time disagree on whether or not A=A, or that the earth orbits the sun, or what the value of Pi is, are those things therefore subjective in nature and simply the province of custom, sentiment and social variances?

    But let’s take something that is equally emotional, but not as clear-cut. There were many cultures that participated in ritual cannibalism. Eating the flesh of a deceased love one. From our current standards, we are repulsed by the idea, but can we really categorize it as immoral? I would argue, no. Your thoughts?

    Because there may be things that are not clear-cut doesn’t change the fact that some things are. No, not every moral rule is clear-cut, just as not all scientific research offers clear-cut answers or ironclad, absolute effects. Understandings of moral rules are often betrayed by the flawed, erroneous and often corrupted perception of humans, just as everything else under the sun is.

    It seems like those who object to moral objectivism object on the grounds that it – like anything else in the universe – cannot be perfectly and absolutely known by any and every human being that ever walked the earth, and seem to think that because some moral rules are general, or are conditional, or are just hard to figure out and people disagree, this factually must mean that morality is entirely subjective.

    By that standard, everything is entirely subjective and we’re all solipsists.

  48. 48
    vividbleau says:

    Hrun

    “I don’t know? But either way, I don’t think you were asking me for what the LBGT community would support, but what I would. There it is.”

    You forgot the Q in LGBTQ.

    “Would it work for you? And why do you think would it not work for them?

    The first thing that comes to mind is “no” because it is unworkable.

    Vivid

  49. 49
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #48:

    You forgot the Q in LGBTQ.

    I’m not well-versed in these abbreviations. I first wrote LGTB.

    The first thing that comes to mind is “no” because it is unworkable.

    How so? In that such a provision is impossible to exist or that if it existed it would not work? Considering that the NC regulation now essentially demands a birth-certificate I would think that just requiring a standard government ID for bathroom use would be a bit more workable.

    Anyway, this is really not that important. I entirely agree that requiring any form of ID is not a reasonable solution for public bathroom usage and I am relatively satisfied if things play out the way I expect them to play out.

  50. 50

    Aleta said:

    I believe, strongly, that some people have inborn attractions to the same sex, and that some have an inborn sense of being born the wrong gender. These are biologically-based parts of their nature, and interact with their nurture (including various levels of their cultural surroundings) in just as complex a way as heterosexuality functions in the majority of people.

    I agree with all of the above.

    We (the generic “normal” person) did not choose to feel attracted to the opposite sex, and did not choose to feel a gender identity consistent with the biological sex we were born with. These are just part of our biological nature that are presented to us as we grow up.

    I’ll accept the above arguendo.

    So my moral belief is that all people, irrespective of their sexual or gender orientation, deserve the same consideration. We are all people trying to be the best, truest self we can, and all of us have a moral responsibility to help others with this task, just as we would hope they would support us.

    This is a form of moral objectivism – believing that we all have the same moral task in principle. As I said before, whether or not moral objectivism is true, we all act as if it is true, even if we call ourselves moral subjectivists.

    However, I will accept that these are your religious or metaphysical beliefs, and you are entitled to have them. I don’t share them, however.

    Therefore, as a moral choice, I support same-sex marriage and transgender accommodations.

    So, here is the problem with your scenario: it in principle establishes that society and law must support by force of law whatever any individual considers their “best pursuit of their true self”. Was Dahmer pursuing his idea of his best self? Can anyone who murders or steals or masturbates in public or hurls feces at children or beats women or destroys public and private property call it their pursuit of their true self? Who defines what a valid “true” self is, or what “best pursuit” of that end should entail?

    So, logically, your position endorses elimination of law altogether and embracing true anarchy as people define for themselves what their “true self” is, how to “best” pursue it, and that is the only way law can accommodate such a vast assortment of individual freedoms based on individual perspectives and identity definitions.

    Of course, this general belief does not extend universally to all traits of all people (because nothing is absolute): I don’t have a moral obligation to help a psychopath realize his true self, and such people do exist.

    Why not? Why does your moral obligation to the biological-and-nurture complex nature of individuals end at those you label “psychopaths”? Isn’t that just another term of exclusion, like “pervert”, meant to isolate and individual and exclude them because of something they “did not chooose”?

    Do you see how your framework is entirely self-defeating and fails with just a few moments of logical analyisis? Here you are not extending your moral obligation to some small subset of people who did not choose to be the way they are, even though you have just said that is exactly what people are morally obligated to do.

    That is why I agree with wjm when he says, “You do the best you can with what you have available.” That is all we can do: act, and speak, so at to best represent our values, morals, emotions, rational understanding and arguments, etc. as best we can.

    Yes, and when one’s position has been shown to be fatally flawed and self-contradictory, they should abandon it and develop a new one.

  51. 51
    vividbleau says:

    Aeta RE 41

    After reading 41 I could not help but think of Friedrich Nietzsche who concerning “moral fluids ( relativists) wrote,“You have your way, I have my way. As for the right way, it does not exist.”

    This sums up perfectly your position. Although I would rephrase it to read “You have your way, I have my way. As for the right way it does not exist unless we’re talking about my way”

    Vivid

  52. 52

    hrun0815:

    How so? In that such a provision is impossible to exist or that if it existed it would not work? Considering that the NC regulation now essentially demands a birth-certificate I would think that just requiring a standard government ID for bathroom use would be a bit more workable.

    Nobody is going to be checking birth certificates at public restrooms and facilities. You do understand this, right?

  53. 53
    vividbleau says:

    Aleta

    “because nothing is absolute): ”

    OMG!!!!

    Vivid

  54. 54
    inquisitor says:

    Aleta: “FWIW, going over the edge is one of kf’s favorite metaphors.”

    I certainly hope that he is not lying at the bottom, broken backed.

  55. 55
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #52:

    Nobody is going to be checking birth certificates at public restrooms and facilities. You do understand this, right?

    Yes, WJM, I do understand that. If you read the rest of my exchange with vividbleau then you’d be aware that I know that. The insistence on ‘gender assigned at birth’ is simply a non-starter since there is no practical way to control for this.

    I already laid out in #43 what I think actually will happen:

    But joking aside, I think that this, just like all the other culture-war stuff will simply blow over by the next election cycle when republicans realize it’s not an election winner anymore. Especially since it turns out that evangelicals actually don’t even care about this stuff all that much (considering how much they supported Trump over Cruz).

    So, just like SSM is now by-and-large accepted law of the land and barely registers in the media and elections anymore, so will this topic fade away into cultural acceptance (at least that’s what I would predict).

  56. 56

    hrun said:

    Actually, no. The best we can do is accept human equality and recognize the importance of empathy to shape our morality.

    There is no reason for “we” to “accept human equality” under a subjectivist perspective. The idea of “human equality” is a metaphysical perspective rooted in natural law (or some religious views). Why on earth would a subjectivist consider all humans “equal” in the first place, and who are you to say what any particular subjectivist should consider important?

    (an aside to inquisitor: remember, there’s a difference between establishing a sound basis for a legal system, and what are necessary criteria for adding or subtracting laws to/from that system)

    Also, under moral subjectivism, there’s no reason “we” should consider empathy important at all; it’s up to the individual to determine what is important to them when considering what determines for them what is morally good and evil.

    If you want to argue as if you are actually a moral subjectivist, you must learn how to properly phrase and characterize your comments. It’s not our job to figure out the “moral subjectivist” interpretation you should have employed; it’s your job to clearly indicate the subjectiveness of your argument and points. To do that means to avoid using phrasings and terminology that make it sound as if you are making claims about what all people should do – you know, stop using “we” and “us” as if your subjectivist views apply to others.

    Go ahead and try it for a few posts to see how it reads.

  57. 57
    hrun0815 says:

    There is no reason for “we” to “accept human equality” under a subjectivist perspective. The idea of “human equality” is a metaphysical perspective rooted in natural law (or some religious views).

    The idea of human equality is deeply rooted in our ability to recognize other human beings as such and feeling empathy.

    Also, under moral subjectivism, there’s no reason “we” should consider empathy important at all; it’s up to the individual to determine what is important to them when considering what determines for them what is morally good and evil.

    Whether we should or should not consider empathy is important is irrelevant, fortunately. Human beings do FEEL empathy as a part of their biological make-up. It happens at different times as children develop, but I can assure you that human beings start feeling empathy with or without any understanding of why the SHOULD feel empathy.

    If you want to argue as if you are actually a moral subjectivist, you must learn how to properly phrase and characterize your comments. It’s not our job to figure out the “moral subjectivist” interpretation you should have employed; it’s your job to clearly indicate the subjectiveness of your argument and points. To do that means to avoid using phrasings and terminology that make it sound as if you are making claims about what all people should do – you know, stop using “we” and “us” as if your subjectivist views apply to others.

    Even that turns out not to be true, WJM. I had the some point when I replied to StephenB. It is actually only when talking with people like you where this becomes important. I have countless conversations about morals and it never is a hinderance that I use the terminology that I use. And if you, rather than trying to score points or catch people in a contradiction, where to understand what a moral subjectivists means when he talks about what people should do, then all of these discussions would be a lot more productive.

  58. 58
    inquisitor says:

    WJM: “Understandings of moral rules are often betrayed by the flawed, erroneous and often corrupted perception of humans, just as everything else under the sun is.”

    No, Understandings of moral rules are established by the flawed, erroneous and often corrupted perception of humans, just as everything else under the sun is.

    The idea that morality is man made and not objectively dictated is scary. It can result in some very destructive things that are not sustainable in a society. But all of history supports it. You can bury your head in the sand and yell “it’s objective. It’s objective. Might and manipulation make right. We are heading over the cliff to a broken back”. Or we can discuss and debate with an open mind to create a society that is long lasting and provides the greatest amount of protection to everyone, even those on the fringe.

  59. 59

    hrun said:

    The idea of human equality is deeply rooted in our ability to recognize other human beings as such and feeling empathy.

    Or: The idea of human non-equality is deeply rooted our ability to recognize other human beings dissimilar to us as “the other” and feeling fear, distrust and hatred towards them. Or, we just recognize they are weaker than us (physically or mentally) which gives us moral license (subjectively speaking) to treat them as though they are not our equals.

    You’re not thinking like a moral subjectivist, hrun. You’re arguing as if there are human traits that are proper foundations for morality, and others which are not.

    Whether we should or should not consider empathy is important is irrelevant, fortunately. Human beings do FEEL empathy as a part of their biological make-up.

    Humans feel a lot of things they use in their moral judgements. Like fear, hatred, disgust, etc. As a principled subjectivist, you are bound to support any such human traits and feelings that anyone in particular might use as the basis of their moral bearings.

    It happens at different times as children develop, but I can assure you that human beings start feeling empathy with or without any understanding of why the SHOULD feel empathy.

    They start feeling all sorts of things at early ages, none of which means that is what any individual should use to base their morality on. Not if you’re actually arguing for moral subjectivism, anyway.

  60. 60
    StephenB says:

    hrun

    Well, StephenB already claimed there is a right of ‘feeling comfortable’ and didn’t object about my suggestion of a ‘comfort police’. So I would say, yes. That’s on the horizon.

    Would you please tell me where I said there is a right of feeling comfortable since it is obviously the very opposite of my position? I have referred to alleged or supposed right to comfort, but I have never said that any such right exists. I am sure that any context in which I used that word made the point evident. So, please tell me where I said it, with full context.

  61. 61

    inquisitor said:

    Or we can discuss and debate with an open mind to create a society that is long lasting and provides the greatest amount of protection to everyone, even those on the fringe.

    A long lasting society built up on the firm bedrock of subjective, irrational sentiment!

    A society that embraces moral subjectivism offers protection to no one.

  62. 62
    inquisitor says:

    WJM: “There is no reason for “we” to “accept human equality” under a subjectivist perspective.”

    And since people are completely free to not “accept human equality”‘ under an objectivist perspective, and frequently demonstrate this freedom, where is the benefit to an objectivist perspective?

    “Also, under moral subjectivism, there’s no reason “we” should consider empathy important at all;”

    And under moral objectivism we are free to ignore the importance of empathy, as history has also clearly demonstrated.

    I always find it amazing that a world with self evident objective morality operates exactly like one with subjective morality.

  63. 63
    StephenB says:

    hrun

    If by now you don’t understand how subjectivists use the term ‘should’ in the context of morality then I don’t think I can help you any further. This has been explained too many times to count.

    It has never been explained in a rational manner. I am asking you to do that.

    I don’t expect you to subscribe to my position. Not in the least. But it would be nice if you at least would make an effort to understand it so the same questions don’t have to be answered over and over again.

    As I understand your position, when you say something is immoral, you mean that you don’t like it. So my question is very simple: Why do you say some act is immoral, which means objectively wrong, when you really mean that you just don’t like it? So, for you, morality changes with preferences,

    Immoral: violating moral principles; not conforming to the patterns of conduct usually accepted or established as consistent with principles of personal and social ethics.

  64. 64
    inquisitor says:

    WJM: “A long lasting society built up on the firm bedrock of subjective, irrational sentiment!”

    Didn’t you recently argue against the use of derogatory terms? Tsk tsk.

  65. 65
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #60:

    First you suggest that the laws are about a ‘special right not be be uncomfortable:

    Transgenders are asking for a special right not to be uncomfortable.

    Then you say if such a law is indeed in effect then the right to feel comfortable is taken away from a woman in her own bathroom.

    If a transgender man is given the right to cause a woman to be uncomfortable in her own bathroom, then obviously she no longer has a right not to be comfortable, since it has been take away from her.

    I interpret this exchange to mean that even for you there is no distinction between a right “not to be uncomfortable” and a right “to be comfortable”.

    But if you like I can follow your distinction:

    Well, StephenB already claimed there is a right of ‘not feeling uncomfortable’ and didn’t object about my suggestion of a ‘comfort police’. So I would say, yes. That’s on the horizon.

  66. 66
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #63:

    It has never been explained in a rational manner. I am asking you to do that.

    And how do you expect me to do that? It has been made clear by man that my understanding of morals is completely irrational. And now you are asking me to explain in a rational way how I use the word ‘should’ in when I discuss morality?

    As I understand your position, when you say something is immoral, you mean that you don’t like it. […]

    Yes. I know that StephenB. That’s why I don’t really see the point in trying to explain it again because the difference between ‘I don’t like it’ and ‘I think it is morally wrong’ has been explained before just as well.

    And I know that know some smartie-pants will jump up (probably Eugen) and complain that I use the word ‘wrong’ and then ask me to explain the contradiction because only objectivists can use the words right and wrong. And round and round it goes.

    Unproductive.

  67. 67

    inquisitor said:

    And since people are completely free to not “accept human equality”‘ under an objectivist perspective, and frequently demonstrate this freedom, where is the benefit to an objectivist perspective?

    Well, for one thing it allows you to make moral arguments without being hypocritical.

    I always find it amazing that a world with self evident objective morality operates exactly like one with subjective morality.

    Except for the fact that nobody acts like a moral subjectivist or argues as if moral subjectivism is actually true. A fully delusional (subjective) world cannot be discerned from a objectively-existent world, either. That doesn’t mean the world is actually a delusion, nor does it mean anyone actually acts like a solipsist even when they insist they are one.

    Didn’t you recently argue against the use of derogatory terms? Tsk tsk.

    Nope.

  68. 68
    inquisitor says:

    StephenB: As I understand your position, when you say something is immoral, you mean that you don’t like it. So my question is very simple: Why do you say it is immoral, which means objectively wrong, when you really mean that you don’t like it?”

    You object to the redefinition of “marriage”, but you are perfectly willing to redefine “immoral” when it suits your purpose. Let me refresh your memory:

    Immoral: “Morally wrong, or outside society’s standards of acceptable, honest, and moral behaviour”

  69. 69
    Aleta says:

    Full quote of 58, by Inquisitor:

    WJM: “Understandings of moral rules are often betrayed by the flawed, erroneous and often corrupted perception of humans, just as everything else under the sun is.”

    No, Understandings of moral rules are established by the flawed, erroneous and often corrupted perception of humans, just as everything else under the sun is.

    The idea that morality is man made and not objectively dictated is scary. It can result in some very destructive things that are not sustainable in a society. But all of history supports it. You can bury your head in the sand and yell “it’s objective. It’s objective. Might and manipulation make right. We are heading over the cliff to a broken back”. Or we can discuss and debate with an open mind to create a society that is long lasting and provides the greatest amount of protection to everyone, even those on the fringe.

    This is excellent.

    I find it a bit ironic that so many people here strongly advocate for the reality of free will, and yet protest those who say that ultimately we have to choose what we think is morally right, based on our own best judgment, and try to act accordingly.

    There are no objective morals. There are aspects of our humanity so deeply a part of our human nature that they surface in almost all cultures and all people, but ultimately we, collectively, have to make a moral world: we have to exercise the freedom provided us by our ability to make the best choices we can for ourselves. We cannot avoid this responsibility, as every action is a choice.

    I realize, of course, that what I am doing here is presenting, and making the case for, the particular choices I have made. I am not (as vivid erroneously accused me of in 51) saying that my way of looking at this is the right way, but it is my right way, and I’d like others to at least know how I feel with the hopes that I might possibly have an influence on some.

    I also know that others can make the same statement about themselves: everyone here is making the case for the views they hold, and trying to be persuasive about them.

    I am not persuaded by those who believe in objective or absolute moral standards, although I think my perspective has been broadened by engaging in discussions about this, and I am definitely not persuaded by the arguments against same-sex marriage and gender identity issues presented here, but I understand both my positions and other positions better for having been a part of these discussions.

    But we’re all in the same boat, in my opinion, each making moral choices as best we see fit: the difference is that some of us more fully embrace the part of Inquisitor’s post bolded above.

  70. 70
    inquisitor says:

    WJM: “Except for the fact that nobody acts like a moral subjectivist…”

    Since you have repeatedly demonstrated that you have no concept what a moral subjectivist is, this assertion has little value.

    Everybody, objectivist or subjectivist, acts on moral beliefs that are equally ingrained and deeply held. The fact that I think they are subjective will not make it any easier for me to steal or kill lie than it will for you, being an objectivist.

  71. 71

    hrun said:

    And I know that know some smartie-pants will jump up (probably Eugen) and complain that I use the word ‘wrong’ and then ask me to explain the contradiction because only objectivists can use the words right and wrong. And round and round it goes.

    Unproductive.

    It’s unproductive because you refuse to qualify your commentary and phrase it in a way that makes the subjectivist value of your statements clear. You use terms like “we should” and “us” as if your personal moral outlook applies to others when, under subjectivism, it doesn’t.

    Do you not understand the difference between saying a thing is wrong, and saying you prefer not to do a thing? It’s the difference between saying that eating chocolate ice cream is wrong, and saying that you prefer not to eat chocolate ice cream. They do not mean the same thing. One has obvious objectivist implications; the other is couched in subjectivist terminology.

    That you and others refuse to word your posts and characterize your argument with subjectivist terminology and qualifiers indicates to the rest of us that you realize how hollow and weak and nonsensical your argument sound without the implied weight of objectivism.

    Go ahead, make a few posts where your arguments and statements are clearly subjectivist in nature and see how they read. I double-dog dare you. Be sure and allow for the right of other to subjectively determine their own morality as well and see how far your argument gets.

  72. 72
    velikovskys says:

    Wjm:
    A biological condition that makes you identify with or act more like the opposite sex doesn’t make you the opposite sex; it makes someone of one sex who acts like or identifies with a member of the opposite sex.

    The condition does not make you identify with a particular sex, it makes you more physically like the a particular sex, that makes it more likely to identify with that particular sex. As Zach pointed out in an earlier thread about 1 in a thousand births has an ambiguous sex, Gender is not binary in nature, Hermaphroditism

    Schizophrenia is also a condition caused by biology,

    Varying conditions is the present understanding

    and is treatable.

    To a point

    Just because a biological conditions makes a person think they are Napoleon, or a horse,

    Yes delusions are one symptom ,of course we know they are not Napoleon because Napoleon is long dead and we know they are Homo sapiens not horses

    or a woman trapped in a man’s body

    That we do not know if gender is not binary. And since no amount of homones will make you appear to be Napoleon or a horse, whereas we know hormone treatments can cause male aspects in women and the reverse you seem to be making a category error by equating the two.

    doesn’t mean that the law should accommodate a biologically-caused perception that is contrary to the physical facts.

    it actually is a perception of a biological condition, thought to be the same as you experience.

  73. 73
    Robert Byers says:

    Amen . its up to god. Then its up to the people to decide.
    No animals ever had a transgender problem.
    our souls are put into the bodies we have. The bodies are male or female. There might be interference in the body system leading to malfunction. YET never to genes or essence of the opposite sex.
    I also suspect its mostly males who imagine they are females because the male is more juiced up to be a male and more likely to have malfunction.

  74. 74
    inquisitor says:

    WJM: ” You use terms like “we should” and “us” as if your personal moral outlook applies to others when, under subjectivism, it doesn’t.”

    Of course it doesn’t. But that doesn’t mean that a subjectivist doesn’t think it should. It’s an easy concept. I believe that cats should run free. I believe that everyone else should agree with me. Big surprise, not everyone believes the same thing.

  75. 75

    Aleta said:

    I find it a bit ironic that so many people here strongly advocate for the reality of free will, and yet protest those who say that ultimately we have to choose what we think is morally right, based on our own best judgment, and try to act accordingly.

    Nobody is protesting any such thing. More mish-mashed pairings of words and concepts on your part.

    We have the free will to will whatever wish, even if nonsensical; that will and the capacity to act upon that will is confined to actual, objective limitations (which are innately required for free will to have any definitional meaning).

    Just because there are (arguendo) objectively true moral rules does not mean you are not free to choose otherwise; but as with any free will choice, you cannot escape the consequences of those choices. Just because you can will yourself to fly off a cliff side doesn’t mean that the choice to physically attempt it will result in anything other than a crash to the bottom of that cliff. Physical laws have consequences regardless of your application of free will; so too, in theory, do moral laws.

    There are no objective morals.

    And yet you argue as if there are.

    There are aspects of our humanity so deeply a part of our human nature that they surface in almost all cultures and all people, but ultimately we, collectively, have to make a moral world: we have to exercise the freedom provided us by our ability to make the best choices we can for ourselves. We cannot avoid this responsibility, as every action is a choice.

    Under subjectivism, “we” are certainly not “obligated” to make the “best” choices we can; we are necessitated by fact, however, to make choices. We can avoid the responsibility, however, by insisting or believing that we have no real choice in the matter.

    I realize, of course, that what I am doing here is presenting, and making the case for, the particular choices I have made. I am not (as vivid erroneously accused me of in 51) saying that my way of looking at this is the right way, but it is my right way, and I’d like others to at least know how I feel with the hopes that I might possibly have an influence on some.

    Why would you want to have an influence on others? Why not just leave them to their own individual assessment of right and wrong, instead of attempting to sway them into agreement with you? It seems to me that under your supposed paradigm of helping others to find and pursue their best, true selves, the last thing you’d want to do is influence them into your way of thinking.

    Are you blind to the pattern of self-contradiction you’re presenting in your posts?

    I also know that others can make the same statement about themselves: everyone here is making the case for the views they hold, and trying to be persuasive about them.

    Yes, but from the objective perspective, we are not merely trying to influence others to be more like us (a rather petty ambition, if I may say so), but rather are trying to understand and help others understand a concept of morality that is rationally sound and justifies how people must act and argue in the real world, without which all we can have is the anarchy of subjective sentiment which more often than not ends up providing the self-contradictory, conceptual mish-mash of responses you’ve presented so far.

  76. 76
    StephenB says:

    SB: “If a transgender man is given the right to cause a woman to be uncomfortable in her own bathroom, then obviously she no longer has a right not to be comfortable, since it has been take away from her.”

    hrun

    I interpret this exchange to mean that even for you there is no distinction between a right “not to be uncomfortable” and a right “to be comfortable”.

    There is no distinction. However, that has nothing to do with your claim that I said such a right exists. I didn’t. It doesn’t. The meaning of my statement is this: If the law “gives” to transgenders a non-existent right to comfort, then equality demands that the same “right” should given to nontransgenders, yet the same people that presume to give it to transgenders also take it away from nontransgenders by refusing to consider their comfort as well. I hope that clears up the matter.

  77. 77
    Aleta says:

    I think William’s point is that we must act as if we think morals are objective even if we know they are subjective.

    I can partially buy this from a certain philosophical, existential point of view. The idea is sort of Kantian: that whenever we make a moral judgment we necessarily universalize it. We offer it as an objective standard that we might desire others to also adopt. Any time we say “x is wrong” we are making a statement about a position that we would like, or at least be willing for, every human being to adopt

    But that doesn’t mean that the moral standard is actually objective in the sense of existing independent from human beings. What it means is that we, through our collective actions, create a set of standards that have some “objective” reality by being embedded in the culture.

    It is part of human nature to make judgments: it is a necessary part of being communicative social animals. We can’t talk to each other about our expectations for each other’s behavior without using the language of right and wrong, good and bad. In that sense, we have to talk as if we are moral objectivists even if, through understanding mankind from a comparative perspective, we know we are not.

    I know wjm won’t agree with most (all?) of what I’ve said here, but these are thoughts prompted by his position that we have to act as if we believe in objective morals even if we don’t actually know whether they exist or not.

  78. 78
    StephenB says:

    Inquisitor:

    Immoral: “Morally wrong, or outside society’s standards of acceptable, honest, and moral behaviour”

    My definition is more complete:

    Immoral: violating moral principles; not conforming to the patterns of conduct usually accepted or established as consistent with principles of personal and social ethics.

    Thus, I did not, as you had hoped, changed the definition.

  79. 79
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #71:

    WJM, I don’t know what to tell you other than what I told StephenB. I understand what you think about moral subjectivism. You made it pretty clear. And you also made it pretty clear that none of the arguments or explanation thus far have any in any way changed your mind. How would they. I believe you posted realitively early in the last thread that you know subjectivism is irrational.

    Do you not understand the difference between saying a thing is wrong, and saying you prefer not to do a thing?

    I’ll try one last (maybe) time: Yes, I and others do understand that and we agree. There is a difference. When we I say something is morally wrong then I mean ‘I believe it is wrong for everybody’. I acknowledge the fact that nobody might share this belief and that at different times and places this belief would be looked at in horror. And I accept the fact that when there are moral disagreements they can sometimes be resolved by convincing the counterparty of your belief, but often they can not.

  80. 80

    inquisitor said:

    Since you have repeatedly demonstrated that you have no concept what a moral subjectivist is, this assertion has little value.

    Well, other than the fact that I spent years as a practicing moral subjectivist (not just a lip-service one) and actually had books promoting true moral subjectivism published (Anarchic Harmony, Unconditional Freedom), and wrote some that were too extreme for even anarchist publishers, like “The Right to Kill” …. okay. I dn’t know anything about it, I guess.

    Everybody, objectivist or subjectivist, acts on moral beliefs that are equally ingrained and deeply held. The fact that I think they are subjective will not make it any easier for me to steal or kill lie than it will for you, being an objectivist.

    The part where the rubber hits the hypocrite is not where people act on their own individual, supposedly subjective moral views when nobody else is involved, inquisitor. It’s where you are willing to impose those views on others (via law or personal intervention) and make arguments that others should adopt your moral views which renders you a lip-service moral subjectivist.

    If you were a logically-consistent moral subjectivist, it wouldn’t matter to you how transgenders were treated by law or by others because it’s all a matter of subjective preference or biological/nurture orientation anyway acting however it happens to act out in the world. So what? If you’re a subjectivist, what do you care?

    It’s like being outraged over people eating chocolate ice cream when you don’t like it. So what? Do you want to pass laws over all your personal preferences? Do you want to convince others to like the same things you like?

    You and others here are pretend moral subjectivists, deluding yourselves because you dislike what the idea of objective morality necessarily indicates.

  81. 81
    inquisitor says:

    StephenB: “My definition is more complete:
    Immoral: violating moral principles; not conforming to the patterns of conduct usually accepted or established as consistent with principles of personal and social ethics.”

    But your original definition was:
    “immoral, which means OBJECTIVELY WRONG, “

    Forgive me if I suggest that these are not the same. Not in the same ballpark. Not in the same county. Not in the same country. Not on the same continent.

    Did I make my point clear? Or was I too subtle? 🙂

  82. 82
    StephenB says:

    Inquisitor:

    Everybody, objectivist or subjectivist, acts on moral beliefs that are equally ingrained and deeply held. The fact that I think they are subjective will not make it any easier for me to steal or kill lie than it will for you, being an objectivist.

    On the contrary. It is easy, for the sake of convenience, to revise a changing moral code that you created for yourself, but it is impossible to revise an unchanging moral code that was established by someone else.

  83. 83
    inquisitor says:

    WJM: “Well, other than the fact that I spent years as a practicing moral subjectivist (not just a lip-service one) and actually had books promoting true moral subjectivism published (Anarchic Harmony, Unconditional Freedom),..

    The fact that you think that subjectivists believe in anarchy speaks volumes (as KF soul say). I would argue that you were on the extreme nihilistic fringe of moral subjectivism. Which explains why you don’t understand it.

  84. 84
    StephenB says:

    Inquisitor:

    Forgive me if I suggest that these are not the same.

    Not in the same ballpark. Not in the same county. Not in the same country. Not on the same continent.

    Did I make my point clear? Or was I too subtle? 🙂

    In case you didn’t know, naked pronouns like “these” are kind of hard to follow standing out there all by themselves. Is that what you mean by “subtle?” Perhaps a better phrase would be “hopelessly vague.” Please try again.

  85. 85
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #76:

    If the law “gives” to transgenders a non-existent right to comfort, […]

    I think I understand better. So you do not believe that current regulation (except in a few states such as NC) give ‘a right to comfort’ for transgendered people.

    What I do not understand is that in numerous exchanges you said that transgendered are ‘demanding a right for comfort’. The rules and regulations however do not actually deal with comfort– they deal with access to the bathroom according to gender identity. So why do you not write that transgendered are ‘demanding a right for bathroom access according to gender identity’ and instead replace it with ‘comfort’?

    PS: I want to make sure that we use the term ‘right’ here in the same way. From all your writing in this context I assume ‘right’ to mean in a legal sense– how else would we be talking about people demanding a right, giving a right, or taking a right away.

  86. 86
    Aleta says:

    Yes to 83.

  87. 87
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #80:

    It’s where you are willing to impose those views on others (via law or personal intervention) and make arguments that others should adopt your moral views which renders you a lip-service moral subjectivist.

    Speaking for myself, as a moral subjectivist, I retain the option to impose these views on others where I believe it is warranted.

    How would you, as an objectivist, deal with this situation?

    If you were a logically-consistent moral subjectivist, it wouldn’t matter to you how transgenders were treated by law or by others […]

    Argh. Seriously? How often did a moral subjectivist in the two mongo threads explain that for many (all?) of us moral understanding is driven by empathy?

    You and others here are pretend moral subjectivists, deluding yourselves because you dislike what the idea of objective morality necessarily indicates.

    You know, seeing this post makes me wonder if we shouldn’t go back to square one and make clear what we all mean when we talk about moral subjectivists and moral objectivists.

  88. 88
    vividbleau says:

    Inquisitor

    “I would argue that you were on the extreme nihilistic fringe of moral subjectivism. Which explains why you don’t understand it.”

    Or he was on the extreme nihilistic fringe because he DID understand moral subjectivism.

    Vivid

  89. 89
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #76:

    Another question to clarify your position: I think that this whole discussion about the ‘right for comfort’ started off when we asked you to explain what ‘rights’ are taken away by the new regulations that allow transgender to use the bathroom according to your self-identified gender?

    I believe you explained that the ‘right for comfort’ is given to the transgendered and taken away from the rest in this scenarios. How does this not establish that you believe there is indeed such a right for comfort.

    For example in this exchange:

    Hrun: StephenB, you claim that transgendered are GIVEN THE RIGHT to not be uncomfortable and the non-trangendered are NOT GIVEN THIS RIGHT.

    StephenB: And I am right.

  90. 90
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #88:

    Or he was on the extreme nihilistic fringe because he DID understand moral subjectivism.

    That’s why maybe it might be in order to clarify what we actually mean when we talk about moral subjectivism and objectivism.

  91. 91
    StephenB says:

    hrun

    What I do not understand is that in numerous exchanges you said that transgendered are ‘demanding a right for comfort’.

    Right.

    So why do you not write that transgendered are ‘demanding a right for bathroom access according to gender identity’ and instead replace it with ‘comfort’?

    Let’s work our way back:

    “I am a man, but I want access to use the women’s restroom.

    Why?

    Because men’s restrooms make me feel uncomfortable. So having access to them is not enough.

    Why do they make you feel uncomfortable?

    Because I identify as a female. That is why I need access to the women’s restroom.

    Why is that our problem?

    Because I have a right not to be uncomfortable.

    Where does this right come from?

    It is a basic human right.

    Do the women in the restrooms that you visit have that same right?

    No, It belongs to transgenders alone. It doesn’t matter if nontransgender women are made to feel uncomfortable when I visit their restroom. They have no similar rights to comfort.

    Well, if it belongs to transgenders alone, then it is not a basic right because basic rights apply to everyone. Indeed, it is not a right at all.

    Silence

    The rules and regulations however do not actually deal with comfort– they deal with access to the bathroom according to gender identity.

    The rules and regulations are based on the principle that transgenders have a basic right not to feel uncomfortable, just as the rules and regulations concerning a four-way stop sign are based on the principle that life should be protected. The difference is that the former principle is not real while the latter principle is. The reasons for the rules and regulations are not identical to the rules and regulations themselves. It is the reason for the regulation that justifies the regulation.

  92. 92
    Aleta says:

    I find it very unconvincing (as well as other less-than-favorable qualities) when someone (in this case vivid) thinks he “really understands” someone else’s position (in this case, Inquisitor’s) better and more truly than the person himself does.

    The belief that moral subjectivism is equivalent to nihilism is the black-and-white, slippery precipice, over-the-cliff perspective which totally ignores any human nuance. It is an ivory tower strawman that might have its home with some philosophers, but is not relevant to the vast majority of human beings who believe as we who are representing this view do.

  93. 93
    vividbleau says:

    Aleta

    I find it very unconvincing (as well as other less-than-favorable qualities) when someone (in this case vivid) thinks he “really understands” someone else’s position (in this case, Inquisitor’s) better and more truly than the person himself does.”

    And I find it not only unconvincing but incoherent and self refuting when someone affirms absolutes all the while denying them.

    Vivid

  94. 94
    StephenB says:

    Hrun: StephenB, you claim that transgendered are “GIVEN THE RIGHT to not be uncomfortable and the non-trangendered are NOT GIVEN THIS RIGHT.”

    StephenB: “And I am right.”

    Yes, its just a matter of not using the word “alleged” or “supposed” or “invented” each time out. In effect, the government is trying to “give” transgenders an (alleged) right, i.e., a right (to comfort) that doesn’t really exist.

  95. 95
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #91:

    StephenB, I am getting more confused. The exchange in this thread started with #60:

    Would you please tell me where I said there is a right of feeling comfortable since it is obviously the very opposite of my position?

    I cite where I think you said this in #65. You reply in #76:

    However, that has nothing to do with your claim that I said such a right exists. I didn’t.

    Ok. So be it. Then, in #91 you explain to me that access to a bathroom according to your self-identified gender is indeed a ‘right not to be uncomfortable’ that is not afforded to non-transgendered.

    So which one is it? Is bathroom access according to your selfidentified gender a ‘right not to be uncomfortable or is it not’?

    The rules and regulations are based on the principle that transgenders have a basic right not to feel uncomfortable, just as the rules and regulations concerning a four-way stop sign are based on the principle that life should be protected. The reasons for the rules and regulations are not identical to the rules and regulations themselves. It is the reason for the regulation that justifies the regulation.

    Where can you show that this is what the law is actually based on? All legal and popular analysis of the laws I have seen argue that it is ‘based on the principle of equality’ and not ‘based on the principle of comfort’.

    But either way, since the laws are enacted, and you argue that they are based on a right for comfort, doesn’t this mean that indeed you believe that comfort is a right that legally exists?

  96. 96
    Eugen says:

    Atheists are getting away with so much in this and related threads. They want to eat their cake and have it. In a formal debate this wouldn’t be allowed. It’s the nature of this forum (and not a fault by any means) that moderator is also discussant so he has no time to remove himself from participating and fully moderate the discussion.

    It would be interesting if one or more atheists get the chance to write a post and form their argument or position. Hopefully the post would be concise and the best possible argument they can provide. Maybe they can pick one writer who is most eloquent. This way everybody, including themselves will get to know where they stand.

  97. 97
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #94:

    Yes, its just a matter of not using the word “alleged” or “supposed” or “invented” each time out. In effect, the government is trying to “give” transgenders an (alleged) right, i.e., a right (to comfort) that doesn’t really exist.

    StephenB, but here you are switching from a legal definition for a right (a right is what the law establishes you have) to some metaphysical definition of a right (people do or do not have a right, irrespective of whether it is legal or not).

    If that is the context in which you use the word, then your whole argument doesn’t make much sense. The whole thread you have consistently argued about rights being given and taken away. How does this even make sense when not using ‘right’ in the legal sense?

  98. 98
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #96:

    Eugen, the last two big threads generally had discussions between moral subjectivists and moral objectivists. Not between atheists and another group. You may remember that at least two of the moral subjectivists believe in god (and I believe are christian).

    But yes, atheists are getting away with so much and non-atheists are not. 😉

  99. 99
    Eugen says:

    Hrun, Yes I kind of remember. There were so many comments. Maybe it would be better to say “between moral subjectivists and moral objectivists”. It’s up to forum owner to allow suggestion in #96. It would be interesting.

  100. 100
    inquisitor says:

    StephenB: “In case you didn’t know, naked pronouns like “these” are kind of hard to follow standing out there all by themselves.”

    Fine. I will spell it out. You originally said that immoral means “OBJECTIVELY WRONG“. Not open for discussion. Not subjective.

    I responded that the actual definition of immoral was : “Morally wrong, or outside society’s standards of acceptable, honest, and moral behaviour”. Clearly dictated by society, not objectively dictated.

    Then you did a comple 180 and stated that immoral was defined as: “violating moral principles; not conforming to the patterns of conduct usually accepted or established as consistent with principles of personal and social ethics”

    Essentially the same as what I said. And completely opposite to your original claim of OBJECTIVELY WRONG.

    Do you want me to use smaller words so that you can keep up?

  101. 101
    vividbleau says:

    Aleta

    “I find it very unconvincing (as well as other less-than-favorable qualities) when someone (in this case vivid) thinks he “really understands” someone else’s position (in this case, Inquisitor’s) better and more truly than the person himself does.”

    I find it very unconvincing (as well as less than favorable qualities) when someone (in this case Aleta) ) thinks she “really understands” someone else’s position ( in this case WJM) better and more truly than the person himself does.

    Vivid

  102. 102
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #99:

    Don’t sweat it, Eugen. I have the suspicion that the majority of moral objectivists do not believe a moral subjectivist can truly believe a christian (nor actually exist).

  103. 103
    inquisitor says:

    Vivid: “Or he was on the extreme nihilistic fringe because he DID understand moral subjectivism.”

    By that logic, the Westborro Babtist church, the KKK, the Salem witch hunters, the conquistadors and KF best understand Christianity. Do you really want to go down that road?

  104. 104
    vividbleau says:

    Inquisitor RE 103

    Go for it.

    Ideas have consequences they go where they go I can’t help that the destination is a place you don’t like.

    Vivid

  105. 105
    inquisitor says:

    Vivid: “And I find it not only unconvincing but incoherent and self refuting when someone affirms absolutes all the while denying them.”

    Please don’t resort to the stupid “self-referentially incoherent” talking points made by those far less intelligent than you. You are far more intelligent than that.

  106. 106
    vividbleau says:

    Inquisitor RE 105

    That was not directed at you sorry I did not make that clear.

    Vivid

  107. 107
    inquisitor says:

    Vivid: “Ideas have consequences…”

    “And I find it not only unconvincing but incoherent and self refuting…”

    If you start talking paranoid nonsense like “heading over a cliff towards a broken back”, I am going to look for a priest to exorcise that evil spirit from you.

    A little off topic, but has anybody wondered about the similarity between KF’s obsession with breaking your back falling off a cliff and the movie Broke Back Mountain? Where is Freud when we need him?

  108. 108
    inquisitor says:

    Vivid: “That was not directed at you sorry I did not make that clear.”

    I apologize for jumping to the conclusion. I should probably also apologize for my subsequent comment. But I think you have enough of a sense of humour to appreciate it.

  109. 109
    vividbleau says:

    Inquisitor

    We all need to show a sense of humor kudos 🙂 And yes I do.

    Vivid

  110. 110
    hrun0815 says:

    StephenB, I am sorry that I falsely attributed to you that ‘a right of comfort’ actually exists, since it is “obviously the very opposite of [your] position”. I don’t profess to understand all the explanations given by you, but I believe you that in many cases is might have been a matter of expedient writing and leaving out qualifiers.

    I think we now agree on the fact that ‘a right of comfort doesn’t exist’. Therefore, the ‘a right of comfort’ can not be the basis for a law since it does not exist. From this clearly follows that the bathroom laws ‘do not give transgendered any right of comfort’ nor do they ‘take away the right of comfort from the non-transgendered’.

    The last thing that then really puzzles me is the exchange that started it all:

    hrun in #722:

    tell us what special rights were gained by these tiny minorities that are not equally open to everybody else?

    StephenB in #730:

    You don’t understand the nature of a right. It is impossible to grant a right to one person or group without taking away a right from another person or group.

    hrun in $744:

    I ask you AGAIN: what special rights were gained by these tiny minorities that are not equally open to everybody else?

    Stephen in #745:

    You have already been told @737. The transgender insists on the right not to be uncomfortable. Those on whom they intrude are not afforded the same right.

    Which rights were granted to one group and which were taken away from another?

  111. 111
    inquisitor says:

    Vivid, I suspect you and I (and Hrun and StephenB and WJM) have far more in common than we would like to admit. Where we differ is in where we think we obtain those fundamental morals we all have.

  112. 112
    Aleta says:

    vivid writes,

    I find it very unconvincing (as well as less than favorable qualities) when someone (in this case Aleta) ) thinks she “really understands” someone else’s position ( in this case WJM) better and more truly than the person himself does.

    I’m sorry if I implied that I “really understand” wjm’s position better than he himself. I think he has a genuine, well-thought out position that is, among other things, an important part of his intellectual history, and I’ve found it interesting and educational to consider his views. For him, moral subjectivism was, I think, at the bottom of the precipice, perhaps.

    My point was that his experience, and his conclusion from it, while valid for him, is not universally valid for others of us. There is a difference between William’s personal perspective and a blanket claim that all subjective moralists are effectively nihilists if they were just honest with themselves

  113. 113
    vividbleau says:

    Inquisitor RE 111

    Agreed but don’t know about Hrun 🙂

    Vivid

  114. 114
    inquisitor says:

    Hrun: “StephenB, I am sorry that I falsely attributed to you that ‘a right of comfort’ actually exists, since it is “obviously the very opposite of [your] position”.”

    Vivid: “Inquisitor RE 105. That was not directed at you sorry I did not make that clear.”

    Inquisitor: “I apologize for jumping to the conclusion. I should probably also apologize for my subsequent comment.”

    KF: “I apologize to Inquisitor for making false accusations about his intentions”

    OK, that last one was just a fantasy. But with the group hug going on here, I thought that the impossible might happen. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  115. 115
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #113:

    Damn it. I just wanted to write the same thing about vivid.

    What’s interesting to me is that even this common ground, rather then acting as a potential bridge leading to increased understanding, is used as a way to increase the divide.

    Re #114: I wish this forum had a ‘like’ button.

  116. 116
    inquisitor says:

    Aleta: “I’m sorry if I implied that I “really understand” wjm’s position better than he himself.”

    Apparently Aleta wants to be part of the group hug. Well, the more the merrier. WJM?

  117. 117
    StephenB says:

    hrun

    So which one is it? Is bathroom access according to your selfidentified gender a ‘right not to be uncomfortable or is it not’?

    You are confusing the “why” (claims about comfort rights), which is not really a right, with the “what” (access,) which is a conditional right. When a man claims the right of access to a woman’s rest room, he has to give a reason. His reason is that he believes, falsely, that he has a right to be comfortable. The why always justifies the what.

    SB” The rules and regulations are based on the principle that transgenders have a basic right not to feel uncomfortable, just as the rules and regulations concerning a four-way stop sign are based on the principle that life should be protected. The reasons for the rules and regulations are not identical to the rules and regulations themselves. It is the reason for the regulation that justifies the regulation.

    Where can you show that this is what the law is actually based on?

    Reread my mythical conversation with a transgender @91 and it will become clear to you. Notice where the justification shows up in the process.

    All legal and popular analysis of the laws I have seen argue that it is ‘based on the principle of equality’ and not ‘based on the principle of comfort’

    It has nothing to do with equality. As I indicated, transgenders don’t think nontransgenders are entitled to the same rights. Thus, it has nothing to do with equal rights. It’s all about special rights.
    .

    But either way, since the laws are enacted, and you argue that they are based on a right for comfort, doesn’t this mean that indeed you believe that comfort is a right that legally exists?

    No. They are based on a so-called “right” that doesn’t exist, which means that the law has no rational basis.

  118. 118
    inquisitor says:

    Hrun: “Damn it. I just wanted to write the same thing about vivid.
    What’s interesting to me is that even this common ground, rather then acting as a potential bridge leading to increased understanding, is used as a way to increase the divide.”

    But Vivid did put a happy face at the end of his/her comment. That should be worth a hug.

    All we need is KF to opologize to someone and we can bring civilization back from the brink. I really am not looking forward to a broken back. I already have a metal rod bolted to it.

  119. 119
    Aleta says:

    Hey, I wrote my post before I saw all the others: I wasn’t just getting on the bandwagon! 🙂

  120. 120
    inquisitor says:

    Aleta: “Hey, I wrote my post before I saw all the others: I wasn’t just getting on the bandwagon! :-)”

    Do you have a problem with bandwagons?

  121. 121
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #117:

    I presciently answered to your post #117 in #110.

  122. 122
    Aleta says:

    I am a subjective bandwagonist: it’s a bandwagon only if you think it is.

  123. 123
    vividbleau says:

    Aleta RE 119

    Are you referring to an objective bandwagon or a subjective one ?

    Hrun quite a feat getting out a response to a post faster than you 🙂 I see Aleta beat me to the punchline.

    Ok now we’re getting silly.

    Vivid

  124. 124
    inquisitor says:

    No, It is the morals of the people on the objective bandwagon that are subjective. Relatively speaking.

  125. 125
    StephenB says:

    Hrun

    StephenB, I am sorry that I falsely attributed to you that ‘a right of comfort’ actually exists, since it is “obviously the very opposite of [your] position”. I don’t profess to understand all the explanations given by you, but I believe you that in many cases is might have been a matter of expedient writing and leaving out qualifiers.

    Thank you. I appreciate it

    I think we now agree on the fact that ‘a right of comfort doesn’t exist’. Therefore, the ‘a right of comfort’ can not be the basis for a law since it does not exist.

    To be sure, the right to comfort cannot be the basis of a just law, because a just law must be grounded in rights that really do exist. However, that doesn’t prevent someone from claiming that such a right does exist and then basing an unjust law on that claimed right. Indeed, an unjust law can be passed with no rational justification at all. A tyrannical government, for example, can simply decree that all transgenders will be shot at sunrise. If the transgenders protest, the tyrant can simply say, “the law is the law. Get over it.” That, by the way, is what happens when objective morality is abandoned.

    From this clearly follows that the bathroom laws ‘do not give transgendered any right of comfort’ nor do they ‘take away the right of comfort from the non-transgendered’

    .

    It follows that the bathroom laws give transgendered the claimed right of comfort (though it doesn’t exist) and withholds that same claimed right from nontransgenders. Thus, there is no equality. The law protects only one side in the conflict.

    Hrun

    tell us what special rights were gained by these tiny minorities that are not equally open to everybody else?

    The claimed right of transgenders (for comfort) is withheld from nontrasngenders. Thus, the former are assumed to have a special right, one that is unavailable to everyone else.

  126. 126
    Eugen says:

    It’s a rainbow bandwagon. Sorry, I’m not jumping on that one

  127. 127
    inquisitor says:

    Eugen: “It’s a rainbow bandwagon. Sorry, I’m not jumping on that one.”

    You are just a bandwagonophobic.

  128. 128
    Eugen says:

    No Inqusitor just practical. If I drop my cell phone on that bandwagon I wouldn’t dare to bend over and pick it up. There goes $600

  129. 129
    inquisitor says:

    Eugen: “No Inqusitor just practical. If I drop my cell phone on that bandwagon I wouldn’t dare to bend over and pick it up.”

    You flatter yourself. What makes you think that anyone would be interested in your backside? But if I were KF, I would be keeping my back to a wall. They have been stalking his backside for years. 🙂

  130. 130
    vividbleau says:

    Eugen RE 128

    Uncool IMO

    Vivid

  131. 131
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #125:

    Ok, we made some progress I think. I now understand that sometimes you used “right” in different contexts (legal vs. acutal), that rights can be the basis for a law or they can be given by a law or they can be non-existent but claimed, and that sometimes you left out qualifiers for rights like (assumed rights, claimed rights, non-existent rights). So far so good.

    Let’s get back to the question. I asked:

    tell us what special rights were gained by these tiny minorities that are not equally open to everybody else?

    To this you clarified answer is:

    The claimed right of transgenders (for comfort) is withheld from nontrasngenders. Thus, the former are assumed to have a special right, one that is unavailable to everyone else.

    So you are saying that transgenders were given the claimed, but non-existent right of comfort while it is withheld from everybody else.

    If we go back to your original explanation:

    You don’t understand the nature of a right. It is impossible to grant a right to one person or group without taking away a right from another person or group.

    It seems pretty clear to me that here you are not talking about ‘claimed, but non-existent rights’ that are granted or taken away. You are clearly talking about actual rights that are granted and taken away, right? So, in this case (bathroom access according to self-identified gender), is there any real, actually-existent right that is granted to a minority? And correspondingly, is there a real, actually-existent right that is taken away from another?

  132. 132
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #128:

    Eugen, I would like to assume that you are joking, but in light of your previous use of transgender, feminist, beta-male, and now homosexual as the punch-line to your insults/jokes, I would say that this is simply a pattern and not light-hearted banter.

    To each their own, I guess.

  133. 133
    StephenB says:

    hrun

    It seems pretty clear to me that here you are not talking about ‘claimed, but non-existent rights’ that are granted or taken away.

    Either an existent or a non-existent right can be claimed. But only an existent right can be legitimately claimed. Example: The right to life exists and can be legitimately claimed. The right to a free car doesn’t exist, and although it can be claimed, it cannot be legitimately claimed.

    You are clearly talking about actual rights that are granted and taken away, right? So, in this case (bathroom access according to self-identified gender), is there any real, actually-existent right that is granted to a minority?

    Even a non-legitimate, non-existent, claimed right by one party, if taken seriously and enforced, will take away a right from someone else. If, for example, I claim the right to be fanned and fed grapes while I sit on my beach chair, and if my claim is taken seriously, it is going to cost another person the right to spend his time somewhere else.

    So, in this case (bathroom access according to self-identified gender), is there any real, actually-existent right that is granted to a minority?

    No. It is a non-existent right that is unjustly claimed as a legitimate right. If it is taken seriously and enforced, it will take away someone else’s right. In this case, women lose their traditional (and legitimate) right to kick men out of their designated rest room.

    Any time a person or group claims a right, legitimate or illegitimate, just or unjust, reasonable or unreasonable, real or unreal, it will, if enforced, take away someone else’s right.

    Again, I cannot emphasize the point too strongly. You cannot just start passing all kinds of rights around and think that freedom is being advanced. On the contrary, freedom is maximized when only the basic human rights are acknowledged and protected (life, Free express, free assembly, due process etc.) Arbitrarily granted rights, or rights made up, will compromise or take away more essential rights.

  134. 134
    Eugen says:

    Hrun, there was nothing personal, just practical. We have to insist on learning what’s right and wrong and then do what’s right. We don’t have much time allocated in this reality so pick wisely.

    “What shadows we are, and what shadows we pursue!”

    –Edmund Burke

  135. 135
    kairosfocus says:

    Inquisitor,

    On observing your behaviour above, I find it necessary to point out that you are now proceeding to demonisation and using the notorious agit prop techniques of the cultural marxist nihilists to cruelly mock, personalise and polarise rather than actually address the substantial matters with civlity, on the merits:

    I, 103: >>By that logic, the Westborro Babtist church, the KKK, the Salem witch hunters, the conquistadors and KF best understand Christianity. Do you really want to go down that road?>>

    You know what you just did, and you know that there was cause to say stop, take a walk-back and on refusal of such, after almost 900 comments in which comparisons to the KKK, accusations of bigotry (thus hate) and the like were routinely made and not corrected, I concluded it is time for a serious time-out.

    Here, FTR, is my remark to Aleta when s/he tried to back up your attempt to insinuate that principled objection to homosexualisation of marriage under false colour of law is comparable to the backward morality of Meso-America c 500 years ago. As in, an obvious allusion to the Aztecs and their praxis of aggressive war to obtain captives for human sacrifices. (And no, sliding over to conquistadores will not get you off the hook. Indeed, it was the very first man ordained a priest in the New World — and a former conquistadore, De Las Casas, who publicly exposed the conquistadores for their crimes in contradiction to principles of the Christian faith and morality. Yes, he went on to make a suggestion that history shows was then twisted into a trade based on kidnapping and hereditary enslavement under cruel conditions of chattel slavery, something he likely could not have anticipated and on track record would have opposed with vigour. FYI, in foundation documents of the Christian faith you pretend to understand, this is what is written — yes, I now plead, “it stands written . . . ” — about such in 1 Tim 1: “8 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers [–> others render, in effect kidnappers into slavery],[b –> “That is, those who take someone captive in order to sell him into slavery”] liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound[c] doctrine, 11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.” [ESV] That is a real list of the comparably bad, from a much weightier pen than you will ever wield. I suggest that you ponder this text before ill-advisedly projecting further that I do not understand the core moral teachings of the Christian faith.)

    I also observed that Aleta [forgive, I am forced to do this reference because of the context . . . ], a far more genteel commenter, also tried to suggest that objection to the abuse of law and manipulation of the public to impose extreme radical relativist/subjectivist nominalism upon marriage — we determine by might and manipulation under colour of law what we want words like ‘marriage’ and ‘sex,’ ‘gender,’ ‘equality’ and ‘rights’ etc to mean, in short . . . which is nihilism — is so backwards that it is now to be compared to how slavery was allegedly deemed acceptable 100 years ago:

    Inquisitor used an unusual comparison [–> to the backward morality manifest in Meso-America 500 years ago] that carries precisely the connotation implied; we all know about Orwellian doublespeak so don’t bother to pretend otherwise.

    Further to this, you will see that after nearly 900 comments NONE of those associated with the side that has consistently accused us of bigotry etc has pulled back even after being cautioned.

    Also, look at the outrageous comparison you just made — in a context where 100 years past after centuries of struggle once a democracy was possible, slavery had already been abolished — do you not see that it is beyond reasonable thinking and civil conduct to compare principled objection to a questionable and highly controversial move under law with a reformation that was fought for on manifest principles of the very same natural moral law that make what is being done now under colour of law highly questionable?

    It seems that the exact dangers pointed out by George in the [video embedded in the] OP are being carried through. In that context, we have to take implications very seriously.

    Where on your talking points more than enough has been said on the nihilistic import of playing legalistic and policy power games with what are now abracadabra words controlled by elites driven by inherently self-falsifying and amoral evolutionary materialism and its fellow travellers. 59, 509 or 5009 years are not going to change the complementarity of the human sexes or the substantial commitment required to sustain sound and stable child nurture and communities that support sound families.

    Nor will it ever be the case that one can claim from others the duty to uphold you in wrong — not on pain of jobs, not on pain of robbing us of our children, not on pain of robbing us of a clear conscience. To have a right, you must first be in the right, and to try to manipulate moral government into power and manipulation games is nihilism, pure and simple, as Plato warned against 2350 years ago.

    The juggernaut that thinks it can tinker, use power and manipulation to get its way will crash our civilisation, at the price of much blood and tears; but the obvious intent is to push an increasingly bizarre agenda without limit. Until it crashes, hard and ruinously.

    In your intemperate rage, you have now gone to a thread that I have not been significantly involved in to make all sorts of outrageous accusations as I just excerpted on having woken up for a moment and deciding to pass back here, having first dealt with local developments. It is fair comment to observe that you have improperly put yourself in the position of definitive judgement on my character, my understanding of the Christian faith, and apparently much more.

    Do you not see that this is the worst kind of scapegoating, stereotyping, smearing through guilt by invidious and utterly unwarranted association, denigration and demonising?

    For the thought-crime of holding to the same foundational first principles of the natural moral law that instantly show why murder of innocents under any excuse, robbing people of their freedom through a kidnapping based slave trade and imposing on them a racism backed hereditary enslavement is indefensible?

    Do you not see that, contrary to what you imagine, such tactics by you and others — sustained for hundreds of comments across several threads, despite many correctives and pleas to be civil and reasonable — are the very strongest proof that the position being supported by smearing those who question it obviously cannot stand on its own merits?

    if a position can only thrive by demonising its questioners and challengers, it is patently unprincipled, uncivil and nihilistic.

    Further to this, we are considering something that is being imposed under colour of law on a foundational institution of civil society. One that is equally plainly antagonistic to the informed principled, conscience based views of many thoughtful persons. Persons, whose arguments have been insistently dismissed as bigotry empty of evidence, principle and reasoning. Driven by hate in short.

    This is utterly improper.

    Something has gone wrong here, Inquisitor, and you need to very carefully consider your ways.

    For, you have let some very dangerous cats out of the bag.

    And it should be evident to the reasonable and responsible mind that the injection of nihilism into law, policy, media and education etc, the warping of foundational stabilising institutions such as marriage and family, and the rolling out of a heedless juggernaut of an agenda that rolls on and on heedless of concerns, are not good signs for our civilisation.

    In such a context, it is entirely in order to warn about the need to heed the signs of our times, about the potential of marches of folly, the dynamics of divide, polarise and ruin, and the telling example and a case study on democratic governance manipulated into ruinous march of folly in Ac 27 that has been so consistently responded to with studious silence.

    KF

  136. 136
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #133:

    Thanks again for further attempting to clarify. You say:

    It is a non-existent right that is unjustly claimed as a legitimate right. If it is taken seriously and enforced, it will take away someone else’s right.

    If an unjustly claimed right is taken seriously and enforced, does that not mean it now exists as a right? If not, how would you, in practice enforce a non-existent right?

    So I guess you see where this is going: You say that the non-existent right is ‘the right for comfort’ which we now agree simply does not exist. However, you also say that only once it exists as a serious and enforceable right does it take away someone else right. However, since we both agree that the right of comfort does not exist, this situation (where this right is taken away from somebody else) also can not exist.

    So I fear we are still in a situation where either the right of comfort does not exist OR where the right of comfort can be taken away from some and given to others. From your explanation it does not appear possible for both of those statements to be true.

    Again, I cannot emphasize the point too strongly. You cannot just start passing all kinds of rights around and think that freedom is being advanced. On the contrary, freedom is maximized when only the basic human rights are acknowledged and protected (life, Free express, free assembly, due process etc.) Arbitrarily granted rights, or rights made up, will compromise or take away more essential rights.

    Yes, I understand that this is your philosophy. But I would submit that it would carry significantly more weight if you could show that your understanding of rights (for every granted right to one group a different right is taken away from another) pertains to existing rights and not to imaginary, non-existent rights. You know that from my point of view there is really no downside in granting and taking away a dozen non-existent imaginary rights from random people before breakfast every day. Unless, of course doing so turns them into existing rights, but that would mean that the right of comfort exists– which it doesn’t.

    As an aside: I have the strong suspicion that much of the confusion comes from how you use the term ‘right’. Maybe if you were to preface things by ‘legal right’ when you are talking about a right that is granted by law or government and ‘natural right’ when you talk about rights that you think people inherently are endowed with.

  137. 137
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #135:

    So I guess KF is not into joining our hug-fest. 🙂

  138. 138
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: It seems necessary to lay out again, Plato’s warning, written in c 360 BC in a broken-backed Athens a generation after the collapse of Athenian democracy through hubris:

    Ath. . . .[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.

    We can hardly say that we have not been warned in good time of the matches we are playing with. KF

  139. 139
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #134:

    Hrun, there was nothing personal …

    No worries, Eugen: I grew up with ‘sticks and stones …’ and words on the internet have even less power than IRL.

    We have to insist on learning what’s right and wrong and then do what’s right.

    We do? Well, good luck with that. Maybe by looking at your own behavior you will learn something and ultimately do what’s right. We’ll see if you succeed, I guess.

  140. 140
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #138 and #141:

    KF, if you actually do want to continue the conversation, how come you shut the other thread down? Will you do the same to this one?

  141. 141
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N2: Likewise, let us note Locke’s alternative, in a document and context that set the foundation for modern liberty and constitutional democracy by citing the judicious [Anglican Canon Richard] Hooker”:

    [2nd Treatise on Civil Gov’t, Ch 2 sec. 5:] . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [This directly echoes St. Paul in Rom 2: “14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them . . . “ and 13: “9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law . . . “ Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8:] as namely, That because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like . . . ] [Eccl. Polity ,preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8, p.80, cf. here. Emphasis added.] [Augmented citation, Locke, Second Treatise on Civil Government, Ch 2 Sect. 5. ]

    Yes, Hooker uses the Golden rule and connects it directly to the manifestly evident first core principles of the natural moral law that we find inescapable governing us as creatures under the rule not of blind force or programmed instinct but responsible, rational freedom, the force of OUGHT. KF

  142. 142
    kairosfocus says:

    HR, I have spoken correctively here for record. You and your ilk are now accountable before the truth, and should consider carefully your ways. You know full well, also that it is after nearly 900 comments worth of responding step by step in a context of all sorts of unretracted accusations of bigotry, hate, cowardice, invidious comparison with the KKK and the like and a final move utterly beyond the pale that I said it is time to walk back some intemperate things. Only to be met with further abusive conduct that is of the order I just corrected for record that I said, enough is enough it is time to draw terminus and make it clear that there is a breach of civil discourse through constructive disengagement by illegitimate tactics of demonisation, coming from your ilk. The same scriptures that I has been implicitly seeking to undermine and suggest that his interlocutors do not understand say this: warn a divisive person once twice, three times and after than have nothing to do with him. Persistent demonisation, scapegoating, stereotyping, invidious comparison, refusal to heed reasonable response and the like are utterly divisive and uncivil tactics, HR, as you full well know. There is indeed a breach, but you need to think vary carefully about the constructive responsibility for that breach. Just ask yourself, would you go into someone’s living room and speak to him in the presence of family and friends as has now become routine among your ilk? What would happen, and why would it be fully justified? Good night. KF

  143. 143
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #142:

    I guess that answers neither of my questions, but I cannot be sure.

  144. 144
    inquisitor says:

    Hrun: “So I guess KF is not into joining our hug-fest. :)”

    I guess not. He is too busy playing the aggrieved martyr.

    But, maybe he will finally answer my question.

    No. Maybe not. That would require honesty.

  145. 145
    vividbleau says:

    KF RE 135

    I, 103: >>By that logic, the Westborro Babtist church, the KKK, the Salem witch hunters, the conquistadors and KF best understand Christianity. Do you really want to go down that road?>>

    KF this was really aimed at me although you were mentioned, as you can see my response was not to take offense rather to challenge Inquisitor to ” go for it” I would note also that one of the reasons I did not take offense was because I don’t think Inq meant to be offensive.

    You and I agree that ideas have consequences and I recognize that you personally have had to live through the consequences and have encountered slurs against you for the stand you have taken. Probably more than I know and what I do know does not paint a pretty picture. You have been through a lot.

    However since it was my comments that precipitated Inq’s response I feel it my duty to point out my own personal experience with Inq. There is not one time that Inq has called me a bigot, hater or besmirched my character in anyway and we have had some spirited discussions on very contentious issues.

    Now your experiences may be different so I cannot speak for you I can only speak for myself.

    The reason I told Inq “to go for it “is that if I am going to challenge others to take their worldview to their logical conclusion it is incumbent on me to apply that same standard to myself. I am more than willing to engage the KKK or Westborough, etc, etc, as it relates to my worldview. Both groups are repugnant and bring dishonor to the name of Christ. The KKK are anti Semitic , how incoherent is that? To espouse a savior that is Jewish and claim they are Christians. That’s insane. Anyway I digress.

    KF you and I go way back to the ARN days. I hope you know that you have my utmost respect and admiration.

    Vivid

  146. 146
    vividbleau says:

    Inquisitor RE 144

    KF may be a lot of things but dishonest he is not.

    Vivid

  147. 147
    kairosfocus says:

    Vivid, I got back up for a moment. The onward sustained attitude of disrespect, denigration and intransigence in the teeth of reasons to reconsider speaks for itself. Notice the list I cited and responded above is an exercise in utterly uncivil invidious association which is a form of personal attack, and on my correction the reaction was to double down. That speaks volumes as to what is going on and where the problem is coming from. I and others of like ilk need to recognise that “he hit back first” is not an excuse for turnabout accusation and projection of false and slanderous accusation. Remember, too, that it is across several threads of discussion and in the case of the specific thread after nearly 900 comments and much opportunity to correct the attitudes that are still on display that I have acted. Attitudes and tactics that are literally straight out of the Alinsky playbook for cultural marxist, nihilistic agit prop, which pivots on divisiveness, slander and accusation to poison and polarise then domineer, rather than to responsibly, rationally and civilly discuss and come to a reasonable conclusion. Where, also, the record will bear out that repeatedly the flash-point for doubling down, turnabout accusation and attempted triggering of a crocodile death roll in the swamp, has been that I have for many years identified a habitual pattern on the part of evolutionary materialist and fellow traveller activists of distraction, distortion and denigration which is intended to cloud, confuse, poison and polarise the atmosphere for discussion, frustrating sensible conclusions. I have spoken for record, and that record will speak for itself. Good night again, KF

  148. 148
    StephenB says:

    hrun

    As an aside: I have the strong suspicion that much of the confusion comes from how you use the term ‘right’. Maybe if you were to preface things by ‘legal right’ when you are talking about a right that is granted by law or government and ‘natural right’ when you talk about rights that you think people inherently are endowed with.

    Yes, perhaps that could help at times. I will be on the alert for that.

    If an unjustly claimed right is taken seriously and enforced, does that not mean it now exists as a right?

    It doesn’t exist as a legitimate right, but it does exist as an illegitimate claimed right with legal consequences, which means it can be enforced.

    So I guess you see where this is going: You say that the non-existent right is ‘the right for comfort’ which we now agree simply does not exist.

    Right. It doesn’t exist as a legitimate right. Claiming it as a right and even enforcing same does not change its status.

    However, you also say that only once it exists as a serious and enforceable right does it take away someone else right. However, since we both agree that the right of comfort does not exist, this situation (where this right is taken away from somebody else) also can not exist.

    Recall that we are discussing two illegitimate rights (the unreal comfort standard granted to the transgender, and the same unreal comfort standard not granted to the nonstransgender, (as opposed to being taken away) and one legitimate right being taken away, (the right of the non-transgender woman to kick a man out of her restroom).

    So I fear we are still in a situation where either the right of comfort does not exist OR where the right of comfort can be taken away from some and given to others. From your explanation it does not appear possible for both of those statements to be true.

    Again, we must make the distinction between an unreal legal right (comfort) not being granted to the nontransgender, and a real legal right being taken away (protection from potential sexual abusers and predators).

    SB: Again, I cannot emphasize the point too strongly. You cannot just start passing all kinds of rights around and think that freedom is being advanced. On the contrary, freedom is maximized when only the basic human rights are acknowledged and protected (life, Free express, free assembly, due process etc.) Arbitrarily granted rights, or rights made up, will compromise or take away more essential rights.

    Yes, I understand that this is your philosophy. But I would submit that it would carry significantly more weight if you could show that your understanding of rights (for every granted right to one group a different right is taken away from another) pertains to existing rights and not to imaginary, non-existent rights.

    The phenomenon of an enforced law on behalf of one group or person taking a right away from another group or person is inextricably tied to its enforcement. Whenever you enforce any right, real or imagined, it is going to adversely affect those to whom it is directed against. All laws are directed against one person or group for the sake of another person or group. I think my philosophy is safe (and sound) until someone can show me why this is not so.

    You know that from my point of view there is really no downside in granting and taking away a dozen non-existent imaginary rights from random people before breakfast every day.

    Well, I have provided at least ten examples to show that a law always produces a down side, and you have provided no examples to the contrary. Under the circumstances, it would seem that my argument is much stronger.

    Unless, of course doing so turns them into existing rights, but that would mean that the right of comfort exists– which it doesn’t.

    As you probably suspect by now, there is no way for an illegitimate legal right to morph into a legitimate legal right. However, an illegitimate right can be treated as a legitimate legal right, producing the inevitable downside to whom it is being directed against.

  149. 149

    inquisitor said:

    The fact that you think that subjectivists believe in anarchy speaks volumes (as KF soul say). I would argue that you were on the extreme nihilistic fringe of moral subjectivism. Which explains why you don’t understand it.

    Another problem you and other “subjectivism” advocates have here is not being able to follow an argument. I never said subjectivists believe in anarchism. Certainly, people here that call themselves moral subjectivists do not. The problem is that moral anarchism is the necessary logical entailment of logically consistent moral subjectivism.

    Claiming that moral subjectivism doesn’t necessarily logically entail moral anarchism is not showing it or making a case that it does not. Claiming that you “are” a moral subjectivist and that you “are not” a moral anarchist (or a moral solipsist) does not make the case. Anyone can claim to be a logically consistent X while espousing things that contradict X like Aleta has done twice now. Claiming it doesn’t show it.

    If you actually believe that morality is a matter of subjective personal preferences, then your reactions to and behavior with regards to moral situations would mirror that of other things which you consider matters of subjective preference, like preferences of music or fashion. You do not, Aleta does not, nobody here does.

    Only sociopaths act like moral subjectivists. You and Aleta and Hrun want to be able to claim to be moral subjectivists without actually having to act or react like one, and without having to make arguments and word your arguments as if you were one. That’s called being hypocrites.

    If you were true (logically-consistent) moral subjectivists, it would not matter to you how others treated transgenders, just as it would not matter to you that others disliked music you personally enjoy. You certainly wouldn’t be interested in the folly of trying to convince others to have the same personal, subjective moral preferences you happen to have. That’s just not the way the category of “subjective” preferences works in real life.

    So your claim that you are “moral subjectivists” is hilariously, hypocritically absurd. You might fancy yourselves that, but you certainly are not that. You could not live a day as a logically-consistent moral subjectivists. None of you could.

  150. 150

    Aleta said:

    My point was that his experience, and his conclusion from it, while valid for him, is not universally valid for others of us. There is a difference between William’s personal perspective and a blanket claim that all subjective moralists are effectively nihilists if they were just honest with themselves

    Then it is a good thing I never made such a claim. My actual position is that people who claim to be moral subjectivists are not practicing, logically-consistent moral subjectivists; if they were, they would behave and argue (with regard to moral incidents and questions) in a manner comparable to anything else they hold to be matters of subjective preference. They do not; no one does.

    IOW, they (including you, hrun, inquisitor) are hypocrites, claiming to be moral subjectivists, claiming moral subjectivism is true, while acting and arguing as if moral objectivism is true. IOW, they are willing to argue that other moral preferences are wrong and continue to characterize them as such, they are willing to intervene in the affairs of others when others are engaging in some activity they personally react to strongly enough, and they are willing to force their personal moral preferences on others via force of law.

    This is not how a logically-consistent subjectivist behaves or talks in matters they truly believe are, in fact, matters of subjective personal preference.

  151. 151

    IOW, Aleta, if you, inquisitor and hrun were logically consistent with the logical entailments of your professed belief, you would act and argue entirely differently than you actually do.

  152. 152

    Aleta said:

    I find it very unconvincing (as well as other less-than-favorable qualities) when someone (in this case vivid) thinks he “really understands” someone else’s position (in this case, Inquisitor’s) better and more truly than the person himself does.

    It seems truly difficult for you to actually follow an argument. I haven’t said or implied that I understand inquisitor’s position better than he does; my claim is that I understand the logical entailments of moral subjectivism better than he does, better than you do, and better than hrun does.

    Do you understand what a logical entailment is? It is a necessary aspect or conclusion. Just because you, inquisitor and hrun claim to be “moral subjectivists” doesn’t mean you actually act as if you are one, or structure your arguments appropriately wrt to moral subjectivism. In fact, you do not.

    Inquisitor, you and hrun are free to make your case, then, about how your terminology, phrasings and behavior in the world is more comparable to such activities with regard to commodities you also believe are matters of personal preference than they are comparable to commodities you believe are matters of objective fact.

    Begin here: in the real world, people do not advocate that that things they hold to be matters of personal preference should carry the weight of law. They do not claim that people who have different personal preferences are “wrong” (except in jest or flippantly). They do not care if other people elsewhere are indulging in personal preferences they do not care for, or even that personally disgust them.

    Now, reconcile your actual behavior in the real world, and your actual terminology, with your supposed “moral subjectivism”. Make your case how your words and behaviors wrt morality corresponds to your words and behaviors wrt other subjective matters of personal preference.

    “You don’t understand” is not an argument; it’s an evasion of one. Explain it, then. And please pay attention to what I’m actually asking you to elaborate on – don’t go down rabbit holes or respond to a straw man.

    The belief that moral subjectivism is equivalent to nihilism is the black-and-white, slippery precipice, over-the-cliff perspective which totally ignores any human nuance.

    Where did I say it was the equivalent of nihilism?

    It is an ivory tower strawman that might have its home with some philosophers, but is not relevant to the vast majority of human beings who believe as we who are representing this view do.

    Unless you can show me where in this argument I have drawn an equivalence between moral subjectivism and nihilism, who is it that is attacking a straw man?

    Reiterating over and over that others “do not understand” your moral subjectivism, or claiming that some imagined “vast majority” of moral subjectivists have some “nuanced”, complex version of “moral subjectivism” that grants you relief from the “black and white” argument I have provided about what moral subjectivism logically entails, does nothing whatsoever to rationally explain how your real world behavior and arguments/phrasings/terminologies here can be justifiably extracted from your premise that morality is subjective in nature.

    In short, it is my position that in the real world, you, hrun and inquisitor do not act nor argue as if morality is a subjective commodity like flavor or music; you act and argue as if morality is an objective commodity that, at least in some things, everyone should agree on and, at least in some things, you are willing to impose on others by advocating for force of law.

    Now, instead of saying “you don’t understand”, make your case that you actually behave and talk like a moral subjectivist.

  153. 153

    inquisitor said:

    Apparently Aleta wants to be part of the group hug. Well, the more the merrier. WJM?

    Not as long as you’re on Brokeback Mountain.

  154. 154

    Eugen @96 said:

    Atheists are getting away with so much in this and related threads. They want to eat their cake and have it. In a formal debate this wouldn’t be allowed. It’s the nature of this forum (and not a fault by any means) that moderator is also discussant so he has no time to remove himself from participating and fully moderate the discussion.

    It would be interesting if one or more atheists get the chance to write a post and form their argument or position. Hopefully the post would be concise and the best possible argument they can provide. Maybe they can pick one writer who is most eloquent. This way everybody, including themselves will get to know where they stand.

    Good idea. If any moral subjectivist wants to write up a post on what their moral subjectivism means and entails wrt behavior and arguments, and hopefully explain a few things asked of them in this thread, I’d be happy to host it in a new thread. Instead of reiterating “you don’t understand”, ‘splain it to us, Lucy.

  155. 155

    hrun said:

    Speaking for myself, as a moral subjectivist, I retain the option to impose these views on others where I believe it is warranted.

    Saying you can draw a 4-sided triangle is not the same as demonstrating it. Just saying ‘you believe it is warranted” does not explain how “imposing personal moral views on others” is warranted from the premise of moral subjectivity. You might as well be saying “because I can, when I feel like it, I will impose my personal preferences on others.”

    Is that what you are actually trying to say?

    Argh. Seriously? How often did a moral subjectivist in the two mongo threads explain that for many (all?) of us moral understanding is driven by empathy?

    No matter how often you make the same non-sequitur, it is still irrelevant to the argument. Personal preferences are driven by all sorts of sentiment and emotions; does that mean you care whether or not other people act the same way you do wrt something you have a personal preference about? You act as if empathy entitles you to act as if your personal preferences can be extended to other people and how they act out their personal preferences. Does it? If so, how so?

    You know, seeing this post makes me wonder if we shouldn’t go back to square one and make clear what we all mean when we talk about moral subjectivists and moral objectivists.

    Yes, indeed. Tell us what you mean by “moral subjectivism” and, while you are at it, explain how that premise justifies the forms your argument takes and justifies how you act in the real world wrt morality, especially in the case of intervening in the affairs of others and advocating for laws based upon your moral views.

  156. 156
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #148:

    Right. It doesn’t exist as a legitimate right. Claiming it as a right and even enforcing same does not change its status.

    StephenB, do you understand my confusion? You make two contradictory claims:

    1) The right of comfort does not exist.
    2) The right of comfort was gained by a minority and given up by a majority.

    When I follow up and ask: Hey, StephenB, how do you square this contradiction you say: Well, the right that was gained and lost was a non-existent right. And then you start adding more adjectives to right. To square this confusion you talk about legitimate right, enforced right, existent right, non-existent right, …

    We are literally having a conversation where you talk about somebody has gained rights, but these rights are non-existent. Ok, I get that, they just THINK they have gained that right (but actually didn’t). But then you claim that when this non-existent right is ‘taken seriously and enforced’ then it’s actually a real right that can be gained and lost. But still, a ‘real right that can be gained and lost’ IS STILL ‘an illegitemate, non-existent right’.

    Recall that we are discussing two illegitimate rights (the unreal comfort standard granted to the transgender, and the same unreal comfort standard not granted to the nonstransgender, (as opposed to being taken away) and one legitimate right being taken away, (the right of the non-transgender woman to kick a man out of her restroom).

    But that’s not the same thing as you claimed previously. For quite a large number of posts you talked about the right of comfort being lost (or not afforded) to non-transgender women. Only in the last couple of posts did you talk about the supposedly legitimate right of ‘kicking men out of restrooms’. By the way, is this a legal right or a natural, inherent right that can be gained or lost?

    By the way: If now you claim that the right of women is directly tied to the action they are allowed to perform (kicking people out of restrooms) and not their feeling of a situation (being comfortable) how did you come to the decision that the law for transgendered is not about the action (going to the restroom according to their self-identified gender) but about their feeling (being uncomfortable)?

    The phenomenon of an enforced law on behalf of one group or person taking a right away from another group or person is inextricably tied to its enforcement. Whenever you enforce any right, real or imagined, it is going to adversely affect those to whom it is directed against. All laws are directed against one person or group for the sake of another person or group. I think my philosophy is safe (and sound) until someone can show me why this is not so.

    Yes. I understand that’s what you claim. However, you may realize that this statement has absolutely no meaning if by the rights that are gained and lost you also includes imagery, non-real rights.

    Well, I have provided at least ten examples to show that a law always produces a down side, and you have provided no examples to the contrary. Under the circumstances, it would seem that my argument is much stronger.

    StephenB, saying that ‘a law always produces a down side’ is not actually the same as claiming that ‘for every right given to one group another group loses a right’ and that is significantly different from ‘for every existent or non-existent right given to one group another group loses a real or non-existent right’.

    Of course the final form is trivially true and has nothing to do with minorities or majorities. It is true if a right is given to everyone as well: If right A is gained by you, then the right to have not-right A extended to you is lost.

    Surely, you want your statement about rights (the one that I don’t understand) to be more meaningful than that.

  157. 157

    I’ve already broken down this statement from Aleta, but let me show once again exactly how inconsistent it is, both internally and wrt moral subjectivism:

    I believe, strongly, that some people have inborn attractions to the same sex, and that some have an inborn sense of being born the wrong gender.

    Similarly, one could make the case that people are “born with” all sorts of inborn proclivities and biological predilections.

    These are biologically-based parts of their nature, and interact with their nurture (including various levels of their cultural surroundings) in just as complex a way as heterosexuality functions in the majority of people.

    Again, this can be said about any aspect of human personality and behavior.

    We (the generic “normal” person) did not choose to feel attracted to the opposite sex, and did not choose to feel a gender identity consistent with the biological sex we were born with. These are just part of our biological nature that are presented to us as we grow up.

    In the same sense, there is no aspect of the biological states of our birth or our initial nurturing environment that anyone on Earth chose (arguendo).

    So my moral belief is that all people, irrespective of their sexual or gender orientation, deserve the same consideration.

    However, if other people by biologically predisposition and by nurture develop the moral belief that people do not deserve “the same consideration”, then that too, by physical fact, is morally equivalent (just as valid) as Aleta’s perspective here.

    We are all people trying to be the best, truest self we can,

    Under her subjectivist premise, Aleta has no right to make such claims about “we”, only herself.

    …and all of us have a moral responsibility to help others with this task, just as we would hope they would support us.

    This is not a logically justifiable statement from the premise Aleta herself outlined above. Each of us will behave as we happen to behave, and think about that behavior whatever biological predispostion + nuture has developed in us. There is no universal “responsibility” to help others in any task, nor any warrant for the hope that would support us. She is projecting her personal morality as if it applies to others which is not derivable from moral subjectivism.

    Therefore, as a moral choice, I support same-sex marriage and transgender accommodations.

    If she supports a thing because, as she has outlined, it is a matter of their biological predisposition + nurture (and, btw, what the heck isn’t a matter of biology + nurture under her premise?), then she must also support those who, because of their biology + nurture, behead homosexuals and transgenders. She must, as a matter of logical entailment from her stated premise, support anything anyone does or thinks that is the result of “biology + nuture”.

    Of course, this general belief does not extend universally to all traits of all people (because nothing is absolute): I don’t have a moral obligation to help a psychopath realize his true self, and such people do exist.

    IOW, she’s only going to extend the logical entailments of her moral premise so far as she is comfortable extending it. Why bother with the premise at all? She’s going to support what she feels like supporting, and be against what she feels like being against. Period. The offered premise is irrelevant if one doesn’t accept the logical entailments of the premise.

  158. 158

    Stephenb:

    One of the problems I consistently run into with moral subjectivists (and materialists and atheists) is that they have a serious problem understanding complex abstract thought. I mean, this problem is pretty obvious in this thread, but I think what you are trying to explain to hrun is just over his head. He reads and understands things far too literally for this kind of argument.

    Right now, I’m imagining hrun responding: “Nothing goes over my head! My reflexes are too fast. I would catch it.”

  159. 159
    inquisitor says:

    I guess Just Trudeau doesn’t read UD.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/.....-1.3584419

  160. 160
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #155:

    Saying you can draw a 4-sided triangle is not the same as demonstrating it. Just saying ‘you believe it is warranted” does not explain how “imposing personal moral views on others” is warranted from the premise of moral subjectivity.

    WJM, do you realize that you can do stuff without being warranted?

    You might as well be saying “because I can, when I feel like it, I will impose my personal preferences on others.”

    Yes. There are many things that I MIGHT say, but I don’t. In fact, I tried to be very clear on what I said. Nowhere did it include the question of whether I can or can not do something.

    True, if I can not do something I won’t do it. That is true for you as well. But just because I CAN do something is not how I chose to do something. Same for you again.

    The question how I justify for myself how I morally act was also explained to you.

    Personal preferences are driven by all sorts of sentiment and emotions; does that mean you care whether or not other people act the same way you do wrt something you have a personal preference about?

    Yes, it does. It has to do with the golden rule and empathy. Do you know what empathy even is? It means that if you observe and know of people treated a certain way, that you naturally share part of their emotions as a consequence of what happened. So, for example, when I see somebody being hit, I experience part of the pain they are experiencing as a consequence of being hit.

    So yes. I do care.

    ou act as if empathy entitles you to act as if your personal preferences can be extended to other people and how they act out their personal preferences. Does it? If so, how so?

    No. Exactly the opposite. Moral objectivists feel an entitlement to extend their view of morality on others. I feel no such entitlement. Yet, case by case, I make the decision if whether or not I will either attempt to convince somebody that my moral understanding is correct, simply ignore it, or forcibly deal with it.

    Yes, indeed. Tell us what you mean by “moral subjectivism” and, while you are at it, explain how that premise justifies the forms your argument takes and justifies how you act in the real world wrt morality, especially in the case of intervening in the affairs of others and advocating for laws based upon your moral views.

    I explained my views. These views make me a moral subjectivist. You disagree and claim that I am not a moral subjectivist but rather a deluded objectivists. So I think it would be up to you to explain.

    And there is nothing (i.e. no external authority) that justifies anything that I do. Only I ultimately justify my actions. Same as you. You have a view of the world and you justify for yourself what actions you take. They are based on what each of us think is right or wrong.

    One of the problems I consistently run into with moral subjectivists (and materialists and atheists) is that they have a serious problem understanding complex abstract thought. I mean, this problem is pretty obvious in this thread, but I think what you are trying to explain to hrun is just over his head. He reads and understands things far too literally for this kind of argument.

    Yes, yes, WJM. and by being irrational and failing to understand complex abstract thought it is the very same subjectivist, materialist, atheists that are responsible for ending rational debate.

  161. 161
    Seversky says:

    It seems to me that the only difference between moral subjectivists and moral objectivists is that the objectivists are trying to annexe the moral high ground by asserting unwarranted claims of authority for their opinions based on ill-defined notions of truth and objectivity.

    They also persist in arguing a false dichotomy between subjectivity and objectivity where moral beliefs are concerned. As was pointed out some time back, there is a middle ground of socially negotiated and constructed moralities by what is known is inter-subjective agreement and based on common human interests. Granted, they lack the comforting certainty of some absolute moral scale against which all behaviors can be measured. On the other hand, we worked them out for ourselves, they weren’t dictated to or imposed on us by someone or something else. If we make mistakes and there are bad outcomes then it falls to us to make changes. We don’t have to go to cap-in-hand someone else to ask what we should do because we are too dumb to try and work it out for ourselves.

    As for the argument that under subjectivism a psychopath who argues that he is justified in committing his crimes because it gives him pleasure is just as right as those who condemn him simply ignores the logical extension of that position. He may well believe it but all the other people in society who would strongly prefer that they and their families and friends should not be among his victims believe that he is wrong. And if we assume that the normal members of society vastly outnumber the psychopaths, guess which view, guess whose desires and interests prevail?

  162. 162
    Aleta says:

    Good post, Seversky.

    wjm claims that the logical consequence of moral subjectivity is nihilism. What he doesn’t take into account is that people are much more complex (and human) than just being logical consequence machines. We care for each other, for instance, not because there is a logical reason to do so, but because it’s part of the emotional nature of human beings.

  163. 163
    inquisitor says:

    WJM: “Another problem you and other “subjectivism” advocates have here is not being able to follow an argument. I never said subjectivists believe in anarchism.”

    I apologize. I obviously jumped to that mistaken impression. It might have had to do with your statements below:

    “You can make that argument about anything, winding up with nothing but anarchy of thought.”

    “Whether there is actually an objective basis for morality or not, we must act as if there is, and laws must be ordered as if there is, otherwise all you have is anarchy and chaos moving through an ocean of sentiment and might-makes-right manipulations.”

    “So, logically, your position endorses elimination of law altogether and embracing true anarchy as people define for themselves what their “true self” is, how to “best” pursue it,”

    “Yes, but from the objective perspective, we are not merely trying to influence others to be more like us (a rather petty ambition, if I may say so), but rather are trying to understand and help others understand a concept of morality that is rationally sound and justifies how people must act and argue in the real world, without which all we can have is the anarchy of subjective sentiment…”

    “Well, other than the fact that I spent years as a practicing moral subjectivist (not just a lip-service one) and actually had books promoting true moral subjectivism published (Anarchic Harmony,…”

  164. 164
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #151:

    IOW, Aleta, if you, inquisitor and hrun were logically consistent with the logical entailments of your professed belief, you would act and argue entirely differently than you actually do.

    Yes. That is your professed opinion and I guess that is fine. At some point you are convinced to the point that there is really no way to sway you. The thing that is just so puzzling tome is that rather than taking the answers we give to questions or criticisms and examine them, they are simply disregard and the same assertions are made again and again.

    Let’s take one of the particularly egregious one to me: ‘subjectivists have to believe that might makes right’ or ‘subjectivist chose their actions based on what they can do’. It has been said many times that none of the subjectivists here believe that might makes right and explained why. For me neither my empathy nor the golden rule allows for might to make right. And empathy and the golden rule specifically preclude me from doing something just because I can.

    so, let’s take an actual example:

    I’m on a train right now and there’s an annoying kid next to me with a pretty cool cell phone. I CAN punch the kid in the face and take his cellphone. Subjectivists are supposed to believe that might makes right and should do act as they please.

    Yet, I have empathy. If I were to punch the kid in the face I would share his feelings of pain, loss, and bewilderment. Furthermore, the golden rule means that since I do not wish for other people to punch me in the face and take my cell phone (however much they’d like to) I will do the same.

    Do you realize that nowhere here have I assumed any kind of objectivity of morals? It is actually completely irrelevant if my morals are true or not nor if they are shared by anybody else but me. Still, I do not act according to ‘might makes right’ nor do I do something simply because I can. In short, it is not a necessary entailment of moral subjectivism to act like a sociopath.

    So, if you wish you can address this specific case. Was anything I did here irrational? Was it necessary for me to assume or know that my morality is TRUE for everybody, everywhere, at every time? Did I need to use complex abstract thought even though I don’t understand it and that therefore goes over my head? I would say ‘no’ on all accounts.

  165. 165
    Aleta says:

    Good research at 163, Inquisitor.

    My guess is wjm is going to say that, no, we don’t believe in anarchism, but if we were logical consistent, we would.

    My reply, given above in 162, is that human beings are not just logical consequence machines: our morality arises from emotions and other aspects of our human, biological nature. We apply our rationality to exercising our entire human nature, but logic itself is not, nor should not be, our only foundation.

  166. 166

    hrun said:

    WJM, do you realize that you can do stuff without being warranted?

    Yes, but you said where I believe it is warranted”. I’ve challenged you to explain how you think it is “warranted” wrt your premise of a subjective morality.

    he question how I justify for myself how I morally act was also explained to you.

    No, hrun. You have described your views. Descriptions are not rational explanations. Such as, your description that it is because of empathy that you are free to intervene. But, why do you think empathy gives you special license to interfere in the behavior of others whereas other emotions or sentiment involved in other personal preference reactions do not? You have described empathy as your rationale; you have not explained why empathy gives you that special authority.

    Yes, it does. It has to do with the golden rule and empathy. Do you know what empathy even is? It means that if you observe and know of people treated a certain way, that you naturally share part of their emotions as a consequence of what happened. So, for example, when I see somebody being hit, I experience part of the pain they are experiencing as a consequence of being hit.

    Because you empathetically feel what others experience is not an explanation for why that empathetic experience gives you special license or authority to intervene in the personal, subjectively moral interactions of others, when other such shared sentiments do not.

    Yes, hrun, I understand what empathy is; what I don’t understand is your reasoning why empathy, which is one particular emotion or sentiment, grants you special license or authority to intervene in the subjective moral behavior of others beyond what is granted by other subjective emotions or sentiments which occur with other subjective preferences.

    Exactly the opposite. Moral objectivists feel an entitlement to extend their view of morality on others. I feel no such entitlement. Yet, case by case, I make the decision if whether or not I will either attempt to convince somebody that my moral understanding is correct, simply ignore it, or forcibly deal with it.

    So, that’s not “exactly the opposite”. That’s “the same thing” but you’re just insisting it’s not. Both you and the moral objectivist will behave exactly the same way – ignore where you consider it appropriate, discuss where you consider it appropriate, and physically intervene where you consider it appropriate. The question, then, is not one of differences of behavior, but rather which premise (objective or subjective morality) rationally justifies (or warrants) that behavior.

    You have indicated above, I believe, that “empathy” is what warrants, or justifies, interventionist behaviors under your subjectivist premise. I’m challenging you: how so? What is it about “empathy” that it, instead of, oh, hate, or greedy self-interest, or maliciousness, or a cool assessment of self-interested value return, gives you special license to intervene in the affairs of others, or try to change their mind about something, or advocate for laws that coincide with your personal feelings on a moral matter?

    So I think it would be up to you to explain.

    No, hrun, because you have not explained your views, you have only described. I have challenged your descriptions of how your morality works by asking you to explain the reasoning that justifies your behavior via your premise. You seem to think “empathy” is the key to that justification, but you have yet to explain – rationally – how empathy can rationally justify interventions under moral subjectivism.

    And there is nothing (i.e. no external authority) that justifies anything that I do. Only I ultimately justify my actions. Same as you.

    This is where your problem with abstract thought gets you into trouble; you are confusing your premise and your metaphysical views for reality. You may beleive that there is no external authority, and that it is only the individual that ultimately “justifies” their own actions, but that doesn’t make it true. The best we can do is presume each case arguendo and follow the logic to the entailments of those premises.

    If, ultimately, you are the sole justifier for your moral behavior, and there is no external authority, then your moral view can be summed up: You do what you feel like doing (where you physically can) and justify it however you feel like justifying it.

    IOW, “Because you feel like it & because you can.”

    Which is the only valid form of moral subjectivism, which is the equivalent of moral anarchism and moral solipsism.

    You have a view of the world and you justify for yourself what actions you take. They are based on what each of us think is right or wrong.

    Just because we all act and think and feel subjectively does not mean that everything we interact with or perceive is subjective in nature. You don’t seem to be able to grasp this point. Just because I subjectively perceive and consider a brick wall doesn’t mean the brick wall itself is nothing more than my subjective experience. Just because we are limited to subjective interpretations doesn’t mean everything we are interpreting (via sensory experience) is itself subjective in nature.

    We all experience moral sensations of right and wrong (unless you’re a sociopath). That they are not identical doesn’t mean that what we are experiencing is not objectively existent. So, neither you nor I know whether or not our morality experience is of a subjective or an objective commodity. We cannot know.

    The question is, which do we choose to believe – that morality is a subjective experience of an objectively existent commodity, or that it is an entirely subjective experience? At that is the point of the argument and my challenges – the premise of a subjective morality fails to explain how people act and argue, and it fails as a basis for any rational, just system of laws.

    It fails out of the gate because under your view such a system is nothing more than personal, subjective sentiment and emotion which boils down to “because I feel like it, because I can”, which is individually self-justified however anyone sees fit, and so cannot serve as a sound or just rational basis for anything, much less a social system of law.

  167. 167

    Aleta said:

    wjm claims that the logical consequence of moral subjectivity is nihilism.

    Where did I claim that, Aleta?

    What he doesn’t take into account is that people are much more complex (and human) than just being logical consequence machines. We care for each other, for instance, not because there is a logical reason to do so, but because it’s part of the emotional nature of human beings.

    Hate and prejudice are also part of the emotional nature of human beings. So?

    Claiming “complexity” doesn’t explain or justify your views, which have been challenged.

  168. 168

    inquisitor said:

    I apologize. I obviously jumped to that mistaken impression.

    Yes, because you and others here apparently cannot distinguish between an argument concerning the logical entailments of a premise, and claiming that someone believes a thing because those are the logical entailments.

    When, in fact, I’ve been making the explicit case that you, Aleta and hrun do not believe in the logical entailments of moral subjectivism, because you would find them as morally unacceptable and as unpalatable as any other sane person. Thus my argument that you guys are not logically-consistent moral subjectivists.

    Which I guess Aleta has just admitted to, since her defense seems to be that “humans are not entirely logical machines”.

    If you are admitting that your moral structure is not logically consistent, then we have reached and agreement in our debate.

  169. 169
    Aleta says:

    wjm at 149

    The problem is that moral anarchism is the necessary logical entailment of logically consistent moral subjectivism.

    So I will correct my statement:

    “wjm claims that the logical consequence of moral subjectivity is moral anarchism.”

    There, is that better?

  170. 170
    inquisitor says:

    KF: “Here, FTR, is my remark to Aleta when s/he tried to back up your attempt to insinuate that principled objection to homosexualisation of marriage under false colour of law is comparable to the backward morality of Meso-America c 500 years ago.”

    Your repeated lies about what my purpose was in raising the issue of child sacrifices speaks more about you than it does about me. Especially that you continue to state the same lie after I made an attempt to clarify my point, and after Aleta also tried to clarify it. The fact that nobody supported your ridiculous claim about my intentions should have been a hint that you might have been in error.

    KF, it’s impossible to reason with you when your emotions get out of control like this. Calm Down, stop being so hysterical, and try to think rationally.

    When you have calmed down, I am willing to accept your apology.

  171. 171

    Aleta said:

    My guess is wjm is going to say that, no, we don’t believe in anarchism, but if we were logical consistent, we would.

    Moral anarchism. You believe in taste, music and gender anarchism, do you not? Everybody being free to express and experience their personal preferences in food, music and gender as they wish, correct?

    If morality is subjective like those things (arguendo), then why wouldn’t you be moral anarchists? Isn’t that exactly what you described, Aleta, everyone pursuing their own biology + nurture, subjective moral development as they see fit?

    Except, you know, where you feel personally uncomfortable with it. That’s where you draw the line with moral anarchism.

  172. 172

    Altea said:

    My reply, given above in 162, is that human beings are not just logical consequence machines: our morality arises from emotions and other aspects of our human, biological nature. We apply our rationality to exercising our entire human nature, but logic itself is not, nor should not be, our only foundation.

    Logic is not a foundation for anything, except perhaps proper reasoning. It is either accepted as the valid arbiter of justifiable inferences and conclusions which extend from a foundation (a premise), or one admits their view is logically inconsistent and not justifiable.

    I guess when your position cannot be logically justified, abandoning logic is the only recourse if you want to hang on to your view. And so post-modernism eats the advances of the Enlightenment.

  173. 173

    Aleta said:

    There, is that better?

    You have yet to show where I equated moral subjectivism with nihilism. You’ve made the claim twice now. Where did this occur?

  174. 174
    Aleta says:

    I amended the statement to say “moral anarchism” rather than “nihilism”. Did you see that?

    “wjm claims that the logical consequence of moral subjectivity is moral anarchism.”

    This is a true statement about your position, is it not?

  175. 175

    Aleta said:

    This is a true statement about your position, is it not?

    What difference does it make since, under your worldview, we’re not required to be logically consistent?

  176. 176

    Aleta said:

    Good research at 163, Inquisitor.

    If his intent was to attempt to justify his blatant error through quote mining, I agree.

    My guess is wjm is going to say that, no, we don’t believe in anarchism, but if we were logical consistent, we would.

    No, that’s not a guess, Aleta. That’s you understanding the nature of my argument and trying to give cover to your compatriot’s use of quote-mines as he attempts to cover up his inability to comprehend an abstract argument about logical entailments vs actual belief.

  177. 177
    Aleta says:

    wjm, I am trying to accurately understand your position, and I have changed “nihilism” to “moral anarchism.”

    So is this statement true?

    “wjm claims that the logical consequence of moral subjectivity is moral anarchism.”

  178. 178

    Me: “Please show how your beliefs, actions and arguments are logically derivable (justifiable, warranted) from your premise.”

    Aleta: “Nyahh! Don’t have to because humans aren’t logical!”

    Me: “Please explain how moral subjectivism justifies moral interventions in the behavior of others or the making of personal moral views into law based on empathy.”

    Hrun: “It justifies it because I feel like it does. There, I’ve explained my views.”

    Me: “Please explain what you mean by “moral subjectivism” and how that premise endorses/justifies your interventionist behaviors and use of objectivist terminology in argument.”

    Inquisitor: “Man, that KF, what a head case, eh? AmIRite?”

  179. 179

    Aleta said:

    wjm, I am trying to accurately understand your position, and I have changed “nihilism” to “moral anarchism.”

    I know. I’m pointing out the irony.

  180. 180
    Aleta says:

    Are you going to answer my question?

  181. 181
    inquisitor says:

    WJM:

    Aleta said: “wjm claims that the logical consequence of moral subjectivity is nihilism.”

    WJM responds: “Where did I claim that, Aleta?”

    WJM is correct. I don’t remember WJM saying this. You might be confusing this with KF. He is often making that link.

  182. 182
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #178:

    Please explain how moral subjectivism justifies moral interventions in the behavior of others or the making of personal moral views into law based on empathy.

    Moral subjectivism does not justify an action. Moral subjectivism refers to the belief that there is no universally true morality. How would either moral subjectivism or objectivism justify something?

    Just because you believe an action is objectively morally true does not justify moral intervention. You can use your morals that you believe to be objectively true to justify intervention.

    If you like you can pick out any situation and we can examine how you and I justify intervention in that case using our morals.

  183. 183

    Aleta asks:

    Are you going to answer my question?

    I’ve actually already answered that question several times over. Yes, a logical entailment of moral subjectivism is moral anarchism, whether the self-described “moral subjectivist” realizes it or not. The principle of “because I feel like it, because I can” = moral anarchism.

    Now, are you going to answer questions I’ve posed to you throughout this thread that you’ve left unanswered? Are you going to respond to challenges I’ve made concerning several of your posts and the logic (or lack of) therein?

    Here’s the problem, Aleta. If you’re going to say that your “moral subjectivism” doesn’t have to be logically reconcilable with your behavior, terminology or phrasings in an argument, we literally have nothing to argue about, nor do we have a medium through which to argue. You are perfectly free to have and hold irrational beliefs and cling to them even if the are logically unsound.

    You can describe your view, as you have done. I can point out the self-contradictions and logical inconsistencies, which I have done. You can then say it is not required that your views be logical, and you are right. Argument over.

  184. 184
    Aleta says:

    at 149, wjm said,

    The problem is that moral anarchism is the necessary logical entailment of logically consistent moral subjectivism.

    I have changed my claim about his beliefs to say “moral anarchism” rather than “nihilism”. Other than that, the quote above clearly states what he believes, it seems. I don’t know why he is unwilling to acknowledge this.

  185. 185
    Aleta says:

    Thanks, William – we now have that cleared up.

  186. 186
    Brent says:

    hrun @876 in old thread (not necessarily trying to continue here, but thought I should say something. Do with this what you wish),

    I’m not trolling you. And I’m not arguing that 0=50. If you want it in a nutshell, I am saying that losing $50 does not always equal harm. Of course, that must be true, for the fact is there are many scenarios where someone loses $50 and we would not say they are harmed; i.e., one knows they will likely be fined $50 for violating some ordinance but they choose to take the chance, not caring when they indeed are fined. I’m not saying the two scenarios are equal, just that it is obviously true that losing $50 isn’t always equal to being harmed. The question is if the scenario I outlined actually caused harm.

    Let me try to paint the picture more clearly. How is it that someone can be harmed when they never ever experience any ill effects from losing something? In the scenario this is the case. So lets make the case more vivid and sudden. Someone takes $50 from some dude who has no descendants, no living relatives, and who is a 100% complete loner. This loner can be either rich or poor. Perhaps it is his last $50 even. He doesn’t know yet he was robbed. Three seconds after he is robbed, he suddenly has a heart attack and dies. How is it that he was harmed if he never had even a fleeting moment of ill effect from losing $50?

  187. 187
    kairosfocus says:

    Inquisitor, it is demonstrable that you are the one who has repeatedly spoken in disregard to the truth, in hope of profiting by what you have said or suggested being taken as true. Good day. KF

  188. 188
    inquisitor says:

    KF: “Inquisitor, it is demonstrable that you are the one who has repeatedly spoken in disregard to the truth, in hope of profiting by what you have said or suggested being taken as true. Good day. KF”

    The fact that nobody agrees with your mischaracterization of me speaks sad volumes. Sad volumes indeed. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  189. 189

    inquisitor said:

    The fact that nobody agrees with your mischaracterization of me speaks sad volumes. Sad volumes indeed. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

    inquisitor apparently establishes facts the same way he establishes a moral ought: if he feels like it, it is so.

  190. 190
    hrun0815 says:

    Re#186:

    Brent, we specifically looked up the definition of harm. I would like to point out two aspects of the definition:

    1) It includes ‘losing in value’ which is why I pointed out the x-50 =! x. It is in fact less than x which means that it lost in value.

    2) It does not include any threshold which I pointed out by the fact that you can certainly agree that at some point the repeated taking away for $50 from BG results in the poor guy being bankrupt.

    I really, really, really do not understand why it is so important to you that taking away a small amount of money causes no harm? You example about the $50 fails just as well. People take the risk of losing $50 for many reasons, but that does not mean that it does not harm them.

  191. 191
    inquisitor says:

    WJM: “inquisitor apparently establishes facts the same way he establishes a moral ought: if he feels like it, it is so.”

    So, are you claiming that I have intentionally lied at any time during this thread, or previously? Because that is what KF is accusing me of. There is no doubt that I have misinterpreted what others have said (as we all do). And when I have done so, I have apologized.

    This started when KF accused me of equating the opposition to SSM with child sacrifices. Even when I pointed out that this was not the case, he continued to make the same claim. In my books, that is called a blatant, outright lie in an attempt to discredit a person. I consider you to be an honest person. You have read my comments about child sacrifices in Mesoamerica and the context around which I made it Did you ever think that I was trying to equate that to the opposition of SSM?

  192. 192
    Aleta says:

    to kf, re your new post. Do you seriously think anyone is going to read that rehash of things you’ve copy-and-pasted innumerable times before, miscellaneous quotes, and hyperbolic, overblown rhetoric. Seriously?

  193. 193
    News says:

    inquisitor at 103, you write

    By that logic, the Westborro Babtist church, the KKK, the Salem witch hunters, the conquistadors and KF best understand Christianity. Do you really want to go down that road?

    No, and not only that, you are in violation of our local interpretation of Godwin’s law:

    Godwin’s Law violation: The first party to imply that his discussion partners are comparable to Hitler, a current celebrity mass murderer, the KKK, or any similar entity is deemed to have both lost the argument and terminated his role in the discussion.

    We generally try to avoid offering discussion services to such folk, as they have the effect of discouraging others.

    Goodbye, and happily, there are blogs only a few doors down from us where that sort of thing is welcome. Feel free to tell your story to a crowd of sympathizers.

    General note: We are similarly unreceptive to the practice of unlicensed psychiatry on unconsenting members of the public. Aside from being discourteous and a violation of privacy, it is an imposition on everyone’s time and patience.

  194. 194
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #193:

    Thanks for pointing this out, News. So you mean like implying that your discussion partner’s actions are responsible for a holocaust worse than the one committed by Nazi Germany? Or that atheists, subjectivists, materialists are comparable to Nazis?

    I have a fun idea: Why don’t you go ahead and type ‘nazi’ or ‘holocaust’ or ‘fascist’ into the search box in KF’s thread and see who is the first (and second, and third, and fourth) party who compares somebody to Nazis?

  195. 195
    Aleta says:

    And you don’t ban kairosfocus for the steady stream of extreme accusations that he hurls at people he doesn’t agree with.

    Why not?

  196. 196
    Eugen says:

    You are guests here hrun etc

    Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi

  197. 197
    Aleta says:

    I see. kf gets his own rules. Thanks for the explanation, Eugen.

  198. 198

    hrun said:

    If you like you can pick out any situation and we can examine how you and I justify intervention in that case using our morals.

    I already know how you justify your interventions: you feel like intervening. Nothing needs to be added to that clear and concise explanation.

  199. 199
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #196:

    I see, Eugen. So Goodwin’s Law violation should be amended to:

    Godwin’s Law violation: The first party to imply that his discussion partners are comparable to Hitler, a current celebrity mass murderer, the KKK, or any similar entity is deemed to have both lost the argument and terminated his role in the discussion. — Unless of course they are honorable OP authors like KF or WJM.

    Also, of course, there are mohammadnursyamsu, Andre, … But anyway, nobody ever expected consistency here.

  200. 200
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #198:

    WJM:

    Please explain how moral subjectivism justifies moral interventions in the behavior of others or the making of personal moral views into law based on empathy.

    Hrun:

    Moral subjectivism does not justify an action. […] How would either moral subjectivism or objectivism justify something?

    […]

    If you like you can pick out any situation and we can examine how you and I justify intervention in that case using our morals.

    WJM:

    I already know how you justify your interventions: you feel like intervening. Nothing needs to be added to that clear and concise explanation.

    How can you stuff your fingers into both of your ears and type at the same time?

  201. 201
    StephenB says:

    hrun

    StephenB, do you understand my confusion?

    Yes, I think so. Among other things, [a] You don’t understand the difference between a principle and its application. [b] You don’t understand that the same truth can be expressed in different ways. [c] You don’t understand the difference between the “why” and the “what.”

    You make two contradictory claims:

    No, I do not. Your confusion will be resolved when you try to produce either a legitimate or illegitimate law (take your choice) that doesn’t compromise or take away a right from the party that it is aimed against. Recall that you have not even tried to produce a counter example. I will interpret that omission to mean that you are tacitly conceding the point.

  202. 202
    vividbleau says:

    RE 193

    Oh boy I am really going to get into trouble now. News I was his discussion partner.

    “Godwin’s Law violation: The first party to imply that his discussion partners are comparable to Hitler, a current celebrity mass murderer, the KKK, or any similar entity is deemed to have both lost the argument and terminated his role in the discussion.”

    I have already stated that the KKK, Westborough comment was a continuation of a discussion Inquisitor and I had been having about “logical consequences of ideas” I was his DISCUSSION partner. He was not comparing me to the KKK, etc!!!! I do agree that he should have left KF out of it.

    Vivid

  203. 203
    vividbleau says:

    News see 145

    Vivid

  204. 204

    And you don’t ban kairosfocus for the steady stream of extreme accusations that he hurls at people he doesn’t agree with.

    Why not?

    ….

    I see. kf gets his own rules. Thanks for the explanation, Eugen.

    You may not believe this, but you conceptualization of kf’s posts, what they mean, and the spirit in which they are presented is entirely erroneous. It’s really too bad you don’t take him seriously enough to actually pay cose attention to him, follow his links, etc. Inquisitor and others (like you, apparently) think they understand his posts because they think they understand him, but they do not – not at all.

    Instead of understanding the conceptual, historical and cautionary narrative kf consistently provides in pretty close to full and annotated context, inquisitor and others are simply triggered by his use of certain words and phrases and then feel justified in making comparisons and drawing conclusions based on those reactions. Then they just start baiting him, and he patiently responds in a rather scholarly and very measured way.

    Inquisitor thinks he understands arguments, but he doesn’t.

    Much like inquisitor thought I had made an argument against using incendiary language, when I had done no such thing; he didn’t understand the context of that post nor did he apparently read my pointed corrections within that thread when someone (perhaps he) made the same mistaken assertion as to the nature of my argument.

    Much like inquisitor did, yet again, when he thought I was accusing him of believing in moral anarchism, and then quote-mined several lines where I had used the term anarchism in close proximity to the words moral relativism/relativist as if that alone supported his conclusion that I had accused him of believing in moral anarchism.

    Even you were able to see that he was mistaken about what case I was making. I’m telling you now, you are mistaken about the kind of case kf makes. And the primary reason you and others of your ilk constantly misunderstand kf and some other posters here is because you have abandoned adherence to logic and reason and the principle of charitable interpretation in favor of emotional evaluations and sentimental judgments.

  205. 205
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #201:

    No, I do not. Your confusion will be resolved when you try to produce either a legitimate or illegitimate law (take your choice) that doesn’t compromise or take away a right from the party that it is aimed against. Recall that you have not even tried to produce a counter example. I will interpret that omission to mean that you are tacitly conceding the point.

    I guess I do. I wrote in #156 that if you allow for the gain and loss of imaginary or illegitimate or non-existent rights then absolutely your statement is always true– and trivially so:

    Group A gains right Y.
    Group B loses right for group A not to have right Y.

    or

    Group A gains right Y.
    Group A loses right not to have right Y.

    So if this the extent to which your statement that ‘I don’t understand rights’ refers then I absolutely concede the point? And I also concede that I don’t understand ‘rights’– at least not in the same sense as you do.

  206. 206
    vividbleau says:

    WJM RE 204

    Amen

    Vivid

  207. 207

    BTW, Aleta, if there is one set of rules for the regulars here, and another for dissenters, so what? You have one set of rules for those you agree with ([cue theme music from “Frozen”]: the moral obligation to help them achieve their truest version of their nature/nurture self) and another for those you disagree with (like, you know, psychopaths), whom you are (as you say) under no moral obligation to help.

    But, it’s not like you’re going to actually respond to these inconsistencies no matter how often I point them out, because, gosh darn it, logic ain’t everything!

  208. 208
    Aleta says:

    wjm writes,

    Then they just start baiting him, and he [kf] patiently responds in a rather scholarly and very measured way.

    I’m afraid my irony meter just broke. To call kf’s posts “measured and scholarly” is just incomprehensible.

    For example, here’s the first paragraph from a post today:

    On observing your behaviour above, I find it necessary to point out that you are now proceeding to demonisation and using the notorious agit prop techniques of the cultural marxist nihilists to cruelly mock, personalise and polarise rather than actually address the substantial matters with civlity, on the merits:

    Measured?

    Scholarly?

  209. 209

    Aleta said:

    I’m afraid my irony meter just broke.

    It’s so sad that you think that quote makes your case.

  210. 210
    Brent says:

    hrun, how is it that you disregard my direct question as well as my explanation as to why loss isn’t always harm? Harm sometimes is characterized by loss of value. Loss of value does not always result in harm.

    Why have you not answered me?

  211. 211
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: 240 years ago today, by order of the US Congress:

    __________________

    >>May 1776 [over the name of John Hancock, first signer
    of the US Declaration of Independence]:
    In times of impending
    calamity and distress; when the liberties of America are imminently
    endangered by the secret machinations and open assaults of an insidious
    and vindictive administration, it becomes the indispensable duty of
    these hitherto free and happy colonies, with true penitence of heart,
    and the most reverent devotion, publickly to acknowledge the over
    ruling providence of God; to confess and deplore our offences against
    him; and to supplicate his interposition for averting the threatened
    danger, and prospering our strenuous efforts in the cause of freedom,
    virtue, and posterity.. . . Desirous, at the same time, to have people
    of all ranks and degrees duly impressed with a solemn sense of God’s
    superintending providence, and of their duty, devoutly to rely, in all
    their lawful enterprizes, on his aid and direction, Do earnestly
    recommend, that Friday, the Seventeenth day of May next, be observed by
    the said colonies as a day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer; that we
    may, with united hearts, confess and bewail our manifold sins and
    transgressions, and, by a sincere repentance and amendment of life,
    appease his righteous displeasure, and, through the merits and
    mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain his pardon and forgiveness; humbly
    imploring his assistance to frustrate the cruel purposes of our
    unnatural enemies; . . . that it may please the Lord of Hosts, the God
    of Armies, to animate our officers and soldiers with invincible
    fortitude, to guard and protect them in the day of battle, and to crown
    the continental arms, by sea and land, with victory and success:
    Earnestly beseeching him to bless our civil rulers, and the
    representatives of the people, in their several assemblies and
    conventions; to preserve and strengthen their union, to inspire them
    with an ardent, disinterested love of their country; to give wisdom and
    stability to their counsels; and direct them to the most efficacious
    measures for establishing the rights of America on the most honourable
    and permanent basis
    —That he would be graciously pleased to bless
    all his people in these colonies with health and plenty, and grant that
    a spirit of incorruptible patriotism, and of pure undefiled religion,
    may universally prevail; and this continent be speedily restored to the
    blessings of peace and liberty, and enabled to transmit them inviolate
    to the latest posterity. And it is recommended to Christians of all
    denominations, to assemble for public worship, and abstain from servile
    labour on the said day.>>
    __________________

    Yes, this is the Congress calling the incipient nation to covenantal, penitent prayer. This, is nationhood and eventually government under God with all the struggles entailed and all the flaws. But, it is with fixed purpose to move forward to the good. KF

    PS: WJM, thanks. Kindly note today’s date and of what this is the 240th anniversary; theologically, the spiritual birthday of the USA. I remain of the view that democracy is ever fragile and unstable and that it can only be sustained by citizens of a sort of spirit as just outlined. That spirit is being despised and driven out all over our civilisation and we have now come to the sort of ridge line watershed with double mutually polarised slippery slopes leading to ruin that I have pointed out.

    PPS: Aleta, here are the neo-marxist agitator Alinsky’s rules 5 and 13, which I for cause summarised and identified as at work:

    5] “Ridicule [–> cruel mockery in this context] is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.

    13] “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

    PPPS: Vivid, that was an exercise in invidious, behind the back association. In the further context of what has been going on it is quite revealing.

  212. 212
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #210:

    Brent, you asked in #186:

    How is it that someone can be harmed when they never ever experience any ill effects from losing something?

    Which I actually addressed in both of my posts. ‘Experiencing ill effects’ is not an exclusive precondition of harm. A loss in value can be harm just as well. And this is not tied to a threshold value.

    That is the point about things like the increased risks due to exposure to harmful things like UV rays or asbesotos. You can have countless exposures to either without ‘experiencing ill effects’. Yet, our common understanding of harm still labels such exposures harmful.

  213. 213
    vividbleau says:

    Aleta RE 208

    Is Keith Ablow

    Measured?

    Scholarly?

    http://www.theblaze.com/contri.....n-america/

    Vivid

  214. 214
    vividbleau says:

    StephenB

    In light of your back and forth with Hrun I thought you might like this article. Pay particular attention to the middle aged girls response to the transgender person.

    http://www.theblaze.com/storie.....istration/

    Vivid

  215. 215
    hrun0815 says:

    Re #213:

    America may no longer be a country worth dying for in a war against extremists if we simultaneously, psychologically abuse millions upon millions of our children by insisting that they go to the bathroom beside adults who are physically of the opposite gender. Why would a country that does that have any moral standing, whatsoever? Why would our enemies not point to that reality and mock us for criticizing darkness in their own cultures? Really, what could be worse than the Department of Education commanding schools to let anatomic boys use the girls’ locker rooms and restrooms?

    I wouldn’t call this measured or scholarly, no.

  216. 216
    StephenB says:

    WJM, @158 you write,

    One of the problems I consistently run into with moral subjectivists (and materialists and atheists) is that they have a serious problem understanding complex abstract thought. I mean, this problem is pretty obvious in this thread, but I think what you are trying to explain to hrun is just over his head. He reads and understands things far too literally for this kind of argument.

    Yes, I agree. The ability to reason in the abstract seems to be the main problem. Here is my abbreviated analysis:

    Normal people recognize that truth is the destination of intellectual activity and reason is the vehicle by which the journey is made. They sense the intellectual gap between where they are and where they need to be, and they are willing to invest the necessary intellectual exertion to get there– to move away from their feelings and in the direction of the truth.

    Subjectivsts, on the other hand, do not recognize any intellectual gap between what is and what could be. For them, there is no destination called truth, so there is no use for reason as the vehicle that could take them there. From their perspective, truth should be making the journey in their direction, twisting and bending itself until it finally conforms to their personal biases.

    Thus, reason’s true function, which is to lead the mind to truth, is downgraded to the role rationalizing made up truths. In the end, the faculty of reason becomes weak and flabby from a lack of intellectual exertion. The end result is a failure to recognize basic literary devices such as generalized principles, intellectual categories, and descriptive metaphors. I wouldn’t be surprised if hrun responds by saying, “How can reason be a vehicle? Does it have four wheels?”

  217. 217
    StephenB says:

    vivid

    StephenB

    In light of your back and forth with Hrun I thought you might like this article. Pay particular attention to the middle aged girls response to the transgender person.

    Vivid, yes. Any fair minded person would understand that this law militates against non-transgenders, especially non-transgender women.

  218. 218
    vividbleau says:

    Hrun

    “I wouldn’t call this measured or scholarly, no.”

    I was hoping to hear from Aleta but since WJMs beat down of the subjectivists position maybe she is licking her wounds. Then again she might just have other things to do.

    Obviously I am not surprised by your response however I was trying to make a subtle point ,not to get your agreement. Like KF others are sounding the alarm and the bells are ringing very loudly. He sounds very much like KF.

    Vivid

  219. 219
    Aleta says:

    The fall down the slippery slope continues: the president of Mexico, a predominately Catholic country, proposes legalizing same-sex marriage.

    http://www.businessinsider.com.....age-2016-5

    He (a moral objectivist, as a Catholic, I imagine) appears to agree with me:

    Peña Nieto said he would seek to reform Article 4 of the constitution to clearly reflect the Supreme Court opinion “to recognize as a human right that people can enter into marriage without any kind of discrimination.”

    “That is, for marriages to be carried out without discrimination on the basis of ethnicity or nationality, of disabilities, of social or health conditions, of religion, of gender or sexual preference,” he added.

  220. 220
    Eugen says:

    Interesting how el presidente sounds lot like some liberal Anglo Saxon elitist …maybe he was promised mucho pesos to jump on the rainbow bandwagon…I wonder if they will setup referendum for that issue? Probably not.

  221. 221
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Where the accusation mentality can end up:

    http://spartacus-educational.com/RUSshow.htm

    . . . and why it is important to stand up now before the demonisation tactic utterly runs out of all control. Those who ignore, dismiss or neglect the lessons of history that were bought hard with blood and tears, doom themselves to pay much the same coin again and again. KF

    PS: Aleta, the issue is first not what any individuals, classes, states, leaders, church officials etc may say or do, it is first what are the manifestly evident first principles of the natural moral law. And for the Christian faith, no one can now actually redefine the core Christian faith or shake its guarantee of truth, the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, with 500 eyewitnesses, with life transforming power that has changed the lives of millions. One can only become faithless, turning way from truth and right.

    PPS: Some disturbing listening: http://www.scifiwright.com/201.....earance-2/

  222. 222
    kairosfocus says:

    PPPS: The show trials:

    The show trials that took place in Stalin’sUSSR had a very specific purpose for Stalin. The show trials were not held in secret but were, as their title suggests, in the open with foreign journalists invited and were there to prove to those in the USSR who were interested that ‘enemies of the state’ still existed despite the ‘Red Terror’ and that state leaders such as Stalin were at risk. There is little doubt that those who faced a show trial were going to be found guilty and they served the main purpose of Stalin – to get rid of anyone who might be a potential rival to him as leader . . . .

    Leon Trotsky was another case. Few would have questioned the intellectual qualities of Trotsky and as a member of the Bolshevik Old Guard, he did represent a threat to ‘the Boss’ as did anyone, Stalin believed, who was associated with Trotsky. To be labelled a ‘Trotskyite’ at the time of Stalin’s tenure in charge of the USSR invariably brought with it imprisonment and death. However, Stalin did not feel in sufficient control of the USSR to simply allow the NKVD to round up ‘enemies of the state’ and have a second version of the ‘Red Terror’. He needed an excuse to justify what was to happen. Kirov played a vital part in this – he was murdered on December 1st 1934 by Leonid Nikolayev. Historians are divided as to the extent Stalin played in this. Some believe that he effectively organised it while others believe that supporters of Trotsky made up the ‘evidence’ to discredit Stalin. Whatever the case, Stalin asked the Politburo for a purge of the party to rid it of those who were, in Stalin’s mind, betraying the November 1917 Revolution. The Politburo agreed with Stalin.

    The NKVD was handed a list of those who were now labelled ‘enemies of the state’ – effectively the Bolshevik Party’s Old Guard – for example, Kamenev, Zinoviev and Bukharin. Anyone associated with these men was also under suspicion. They were put on trial at heavily manipulated show trials where the verdict was never in doubt. The show trials had to prove their guilt preferably with a very public admission of betraying the revolution and therefore the people.

    The first people arrested were known supporters of Trotsky who at this time was living on an island off the coast of Turkey. While he was safe for the time being, his supporters were not. Very few survived long enough in a NKVD prison to make a public admission of guilt. However, signed confessions were considered useful tools as well. Why should men sign a confession knowing that it was probably nonsense and knowing that such a signing was almost like signing their own execution warrant. Those who survived the NKVD prisons – and very few did – later wrote about the brutal regime they faced. Cells would be windowless and a very strong electric light bulb – which prisoners could not turn on or off – was left permanently on. NKVD guards ensured prisoners were sleep deprived and exhausted when it came to their interrogation. A promise of better treatment was made to ensure the swift signature of a confession. However, the NKVD also wanted the names of anyone else associated with the ‘crimes’ of the man who had just signed his own death warrant. In his book ‘Darkness at Noon’ the author Arthur Koestler states his belief that prisoners actually signed confessions knowing that it would lead to their deaths but that death was better than the life they were leading while in a cell. If psychological torture did not work on a prisoner, then the NKVD turned to his family [–> to try to save them from torture or death (and too often they were killed or sent to the Gulag anyway); yes, that is how hellish these matches can get]. In June 1934, Stalin signed a decree that held the family of a prisoner as guilty as he was and that the family (directed of course against the Old Guard) was guilty in its own right. This law stated that children over the age of 12 could be executed for the crimes of their father. Others faced the prospect of a sentence in the brutal gulags that were being built across the USSR.

    There were some prisoners who would not play along with the dangerous game played by the NKVD. A different approach was needed. The one the NKVD adopted was to get a prisoner to confess to crimes and to sign the required confession in return for a document that guaranteed their lives. If all else failed then the victim was simply told that he would be executed without the formality of a trial.

    The show trials became just that – a show.

    More grim reading: http://art-bin.com/art/amosc_preeng.html

  223. 223
    Seversky says:

    So let me get this straight, allowing transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice will lead inevitably to a ruthless and brutal Stalinist dictatorship? And we don’t see this because we cannot reason in the abstract in the way that WJM and StephenB can?

  224. 224
    Brent says:

    hrun @212,

    That is the point about things like the increased risks due to exposure to harmful things like UV rays or asbesotos. You can have countless exposures to either without ‘experiencing ill effects’. Yet, our common understanding of harm still labels such exposures harmful.

    Wrong as wrong can be. Yes, we say exposure is harmful because of a high likelihood that actual (in these cases physical) harm will be the result. BUT, we can only make that determination based on experience of the number of ACTUAL instances where exposure over time caused ACTUAL harm. In other words, we make the general assumption that exposure IS harm ONLY because there has been an investigation into ACTUAL harm as a result. It is not that any exposure in any degree actually IS harmful, but that since it often is the case that actual harm results we say, for expediency and to keep potential victims completely sobered (rightly in my opinion), that exposure is harmful.

    So, with that. If I am exposed to asbestos every day of my life for 90 years and upon my death multiple autopsies determine that, surprisingly, my exposure to asbestos didn’t effect my health in any way, was I harmed by asbestos?

    Apparently you say yes.

  225. 225
    Brent says:

    Seversky @223,

    Your ability to prove KF’s points is impressive.

  226. 226
    Andre says:

    Seversky

    Do you have kids? A daughter? How would you feel if your nine year old daughter shares a bathroom with a transgender? Can you say with absolute certainty that he is not a disguised sexual predator? How does one test genetically if someone really is a transgender? How do we do that?

    What biological tests exist today to ascertain if someone is transgender? Can you name one? We do have biological tests to differentiate male from female but for transgenderism? What do we have?

  227. 227
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky,

    radical relativism/subjectivism, extreme nominalism that turns key words into policy putty in the hands of the powerful and agenda driven [‘right’ ‘equal’ ‘truth’ ‘law’ ‘justice’ ‘value’ ‘sex’ ‘gender’ ‘marriage’ ‘child abuse’ ‘discrimination’ ‘tolerance’ and many more come to mind . . . ], discarding of objective moral governance, nihilism and ruthless lawfare are the issue.

    And the worldviews that lead to such.

    Stalin was not unique [we cannot merely dismiss him as an isolated madman], the far too long list of atheistical and post Christian dictators with similar lists of victims and tactics is a horrific feature of the century just past that led to over 100 millions murdered by such states. It is not for nothing that Plato warned us 2350 years ago.

    The pivotal point is, that we must recognise such lawlessness for what it is and address it from the worldview roots. But instead, we have begun to recklessly run down the same lines, on much the same worldview and cultural/policy agenda grounds.

    Remember, just in the USA there is already an in progress holocaust of the innocent unborn that is mounting to 60 millions; under false colour of law, dehumanisation of the child in the womb and manipulation of ‘rights’ ‘choice’ and the like. Globally in the same period since the turn of the 70’s, we are likely looking at many hundreds of millions.

    The corruption of law, institutions, language, thought, and conscience to sustain such under false colour of law is a huge red warning flag on the matches we are playing with and where our civilisation is clearly recklessly headed.

    KF

    PS: FYI though it is nowadays almost always sneered at as a fallacy, the slippery slope dynamic is a real issue. It becomes a real concern once one establishes a wedge/initiation point that triggers a slide and a cumulative positive feedback or chain reaction process that with relevantly high likelihood — and that is a balance of probability x impact i/l/o reasonable ability to control the process. Including, what happens when good governance is undermined through injection of amorality, polarisation and nihilism] triggers a slide that can go out of control. Where, history is a very good source for such justifications.

    PPS: And the notion that history is little more than victors’ propaganda is insane. Sound history was bought and paid for in blood and tears. Those who ignore, dismiss or neglect its lessons doom themselves to pay much the same coin, over and over again.

  228. 228
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Part of my point is that democracy is inherently unstable and exists in tension with a cumulative trend to oligarchy — and possibly autocracy if one figure emerges who dominates the oligarchy. A constitutional, responsibly free and sustainable democracy is critically dependent on a worldviews and institutional framework — cf the seven mountains cultural high ground model — that sustains good governance across time. That frame is palpably being drastically undermined in our time. KF

    PS: That is why I believe we need to teach the general public on how Athens fell and on what modern framers of democracy did to stabilise democracies. Freedom is now fading into license and domineering through critical mass mob mentality, divide and rule tactics [a pattern deliberately injected by cultural marxist activists], and that is a big red warning flag.

  229. 229
    kairosfocus says:

    Aleta

    I think I should respond to:

    192 Aleta May 17, 2016 at 9:46 am

    to kf, re your new post. Do you seriously think anyone is going to read that rehash of things you’ve copy-and-pasted innumerable times before, miscellaneous quotes, and hyperbolic, overblown rhetoric. Seriously?

    . . . which was evidently written to dismiss this summary on the fall of Athens as a lesson on the inherent instability of democracies and by extension the dangerous trends in our own civilisation today. While, conveniently rhetoricaly skewering me.

    First, you seem to have forgotten that you are the one who made the invidious comparison between support of race based chattel slavery and the principled natural moral law based objection to the radical agenda of homosexualisation of marriage under false colour of law through agit prop and lawfare.

    I pointed out to you that in fact it is exactly reliance on manifestly evident core principles of the natural moral law and on the Judaeo Christian tradition which respects it, that the kidnapping based slave trade then the institution itself were broken. Further, those same principles point to the dangers inherent in reducing marriage to nominalism and might/manipulation makes ‘right’ manipulation of public opinion and law alike; which are the basis for the current agendas.

    Of course, such a principle of action has its proper, ugly name: nihilism.

    Further to this, I have in recent days (based on not only study but on direct experience of such activism that materially helped to ruin my homeland) spoken to the challenge of cultural marxism and its agit prop tactics, how people are swept up in marches of folly, how others are enmeshed in front groups, some becoming activist enablers of agendas. Where, behind the scenes you have strategic level planners and backers of agendas, who are often quite ruthless and willing to twist law into a weapon regardless of consequences for democracy, which is inherently unstable as a system of government.

    It can be fully justified that such agendas have been at work, and are at work.

    And yes, such agendas patently use powerful social psychology based manipulative tactics that can colloquially be termed ‘brainwashing’ or ‘mind control.’

    Such terms are ugly, but they are unfortunately fact based.

    Now, you in effect dismissed what I put up yesterday as a pastiche of often used, ill-considered and irrelevant clips from here and there, of no account.

    I think that is unfair and materially false.

    For instance, the first clip is this, from Wiki (for convenience), which puts the matter of the fall of Athens in a nutshell — that he may run who reads it:

    [The Delian League] . . . founded in 477 BC, was an association of Greek city-states . . . under the leadership of Athens, whose purpose was to continue fighting the Persian Empire after the Greek victory in the Battle of Plataea at the end of the Second Persian invasion of Greece. The League’s modern name derives from its official meeting place, the island of Delos, where congresses were held in the temple and where the treasury stood until, in a symbolic gesture, Pericles moved it to Athens in 454 BC [–> that is, the League was now effectively an Empire].

    Shortly after its inception, Athens began to use the League’s navy for its own purposes. [–> what does this already tell us about the challenge of good governance for entangling alliances, out of control international or regional bodies, or even parliaments or cabinets and the like? NATO, the late Warsaw Pact, EU, UN, even FIFA etc?] This behavior frequently led to conflict between Athens and the less powerful members of the League. By 431 BC, Athens’ heavy-handed control of the Delian League prompted the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War; the League was dissolved upon the war’s conclusion in 404 BC under the direction of Lysander, the Spartan commander. [Wikipedia, for convenience]

    My point was and is — in the teeth of repeated dismissal of concerns that we are in a situation of factionalism and mutual polarisation leading to a watershed effect of being ever more wedged apart, leading to a march of folly and ruin — that the fall of the first great democratic polity has lessons for us today. Lessons that are so vital that we need to routinely learn them in school.

    Namely — and I have taken the time to develop a set of infographics that illustrate the dynamics — that democracies are inherently unstable, prone to either rushing onward toward anarchy and snapping back to oligarchy and tyranny, or else simply sliding down into the same. Where, the history of Athens is particularly relevant. For which I took time to excerpt Thucydides and to clip again a useful Wiki summary, to outline the history. (The invitation is obviously to explore further.)

    Nor is this an idiosyncratic view of some idle spermologos picking up scraps of half understood learning in the marketplace of ideas. (And yes the echo of the attitude of the academics in Athens c 50 AD per Ac 17 is intended.)

    As I summarised (having cited Cicero, Burke and Luke’s study in Ac 27) regarding the American founders:

    The repeated, hard-bought lesson of history that democratic opinions can become marches of folly to ruin, was so stringent that the founders of the first modern constitutional democratic republic, the Americans, were emphatic that they founded a republic not a democracy, and put in place many checks and balances to restrain the dangerous tendency of democracies to deteriorate into marches of folly and/or mob rule leading to ruin.

    I then went on to Tytler, both the common misattributed remarks on voting for largess from the treasury and this more authentic remark:

    It is not, perhaps, unreasonable to conclude, that a pure and perfect democracy is a thing not attainable by man, constituted as he is of contending elements of vice and virtue, and ever mainly influenced by the predominant principle of self-interest. It may, indeed, be confidently asserted, that there never was that government called a republic, which was not ultimately ruled by a single will, and, therefore, (however bold may seem the paradox,) virtually and substantially a monarchy. [Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee, Alexander Fraser (1854). Universal History: From the Creation of the World to the Beginning of the Eighteenth Century, Vol. I. Petridge and Company. p. 216.]

    That is why I could freely conclude: ” . . . there is a longstanding concern about the inherent instability and vulnerability of democracies that need to be kept in control through an educated, concerned, public spirited, virtue minded public.”

    I have argued also therein, that: ” . . . a democracy is inherently unstable and was only feasible when, from 1400 – 1700, the printing press was invented, the Bible — bulwark of liberty and recognition of equality as made in God’s image and as responsible, rational, morally governed creatures — was put in the hands of the ordinary man, and there arose a regular, responsible, free press. Also, the theology and philosophy of liberty and self government had to be worked out and communicated to the people . . . . Such changes took generations, and it is no surprise that as these ideas and supports became more and more established, democracy, the central importance of liberty, abolition of the kidnapping based slave trade and then the institution it supported and other important reforms were able to move ahead. Often, carried on the wings of revival.”

    It is in that context that I cited the oh so tiresome call of the Congress to prayer and penitence and covenant of nationhood under God of May 17, 1776 (as I clipped in this thread at 211); which happened to be exactly 240 years ago yesterday.

    Yes, there are some clips as well that are cites I have frequently used at UD. These are also quite relevant, including the US DoI of two months after that act of covenant as just pointed to.

    If I am hyperbolic and overblown, it seems I am in fairly good company in being concerned that democracy is inherently unstable and must be carefully guarded to keep it sustainable.

    And, it would seem that I have abundant company in concern that our civilisation is in serious danger, of which it is largely heedless.

    Where, it is a strong mark of marches of folly that those caught up routinely become angry towards those who point out the unwelcome concerns and facts. Where it is ever so tempting to attack the man rather than deal with the issue. Where, to attack the man, the easiest dirty trick in the book is to project “he hit back first” turnabout accusations, and to denigrate his character.

    Finally, I again point out to you that in your own reference to slavery and failure to see the actual connexions of the natural moral law in regards to its abolition, you inadvertently underscored my concern that another commenter had made a seriously invidious association by trying to connect the concerns of Christians today to the practices of Meso America 500 years past, to the Westboro Baptists and to the KKK, etc.

    It is fair comment to say that these are out of order, and it is further fair comment to say that your ilk has not walked back from such.

    As it seems there is an undercurrent of anti-Christian animus in far too much of current debates, I will close off by drawing to your attention four highly relevant foundational teachings on Christian morality that speak to all of these things:

    Rom 2:14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them [–> note the reference to conscience and to the manifestly evident first principles of natural law, which will next be outlined]

    Rom 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. [–> this is one of the contexts of reference for Hooker’s 1594+ remarks cited by Locke c 1690 in founding principles of law and justice for freedom and what would become modern democracy starting with the US DoI 1776]

    1 Cor 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous[b] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,[c: The two Greek terms translated by this phrase refer to the passive and active partners in consensual homosexual acts] 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

    1 Tim 1:8 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers,[b: That is, those who [kidnap and] take someone captive in order to sell him into slavery] liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound[c] doctrine, 11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted. [ESV]

    KF

  230. 230

    hrun challenges me to address a specific example:

    I’m on a train right now and there’s an annoying kid next to me with a pretty cool cell phone. I CAN punch the kid in the face and take his cellphone. Subjectivists are supposed to believe that might makes right and should do act as they please.

    Yet, I have empathy. If I were to punch the kid in the face I would share his feelings of pain, loss, and bewilderment. Furthermore, the golden rule means that since I do not wish for other people to punch me in the face and take my cell phone (however much they’d like to) I will do the same.

    Do you realize that nowhere here have I assumed any kind of objectivity of morals? It is actually completely irrelevant if my morals are true or not nor if they are shared by anybody else but me. Still, I do not act according to ‘might makes right’ nor do I do something simply because I can. In short, it is not a necessary entailment of moral subjectivism to act like a sociopath.

    So, if you wish you can address this specific case. Was anything I did here irrational? Was it necessary for me to assume or know that my morality is TRUE for everybody, everywhere, at every time? Did I need to use complex abstract thought even though I don’t understand it and that therefore goes over my head? I would say ‘no’ on all accounts.

    As I respond to this, try and understand another aspect of abstract reasoning: when I assert what your principle of moral subjectivism entails for other people, I am not asserting that it is something you personally endorse.

    First, let’s address this overly simplistic concept of what “might makes right” means. No, hrun, it doesn’t mean that one applies physical might in every case to solve a conflict or to impose one’s preferences on others. The fact that your example and description thereof of the “might makes right” option has such a superficial idea of MMR makes clear why higher-abstract arguments are lost on you.

    “Might Makes Right” refers to using whatever means are at one’s disposal that best serves one’s own self interest and has the best opportunity to deliver a personally desired end. This can mean physical might, the might of a majority, or use of cunning tactics like emotional pleading or media manipulation. In every case, it is some form of “strength”, and not a presumed valid arbiter of right and wrong, that determines what is considered “right”.

    Next, you say that you have not referred to any objective morality, yet one of the things you have referred to in your moral decision is “the Golden Rule”. Under subjectivism, all this can be is a personally held behavioral maxim, not a binding or objective “rule” that everyone must follow. IOW, all it can be is a maxim that describes your own feelings about how you prefer to behave.

    So that maxim, the empathy you describe, and your annoyance are all nothing more than competing personal emotions and feelings. Your entire process can be summed up in the following: you ultimately did what you felt like doing, even though there were competing feelings, and via your moral subjectivism, what you did was necessarily right because you did what you felt like doing.

    You seem to think that just because you did not do X (not hit the boy in the mouth) it is somehow different in nature than if you did do X (hit the boy in the mouth). This is where your abstract reasoning fails you; under moral subjectivism, both are entirely, unequivocally the same thing. Both would be entirely morally “right” and made so by virtue of the person doing it feeling like doing it and because they can do whatever it is they did.

    Yes, hrun, you did what you did because you felt like it, because you could. You could restrain yourself, you felt like restraining yourself, so you did in order to serve your own self-interest of not feeling the empathetic pain you would inflict upon yourself. Under your worldview and stated principles, a person with a less developed empathy has the perfect moral right to smash the little bugger in the face if he felt like it, because he could.

    You don’t seem to realize that the principle of moral subjectivism that you advocate authorizes any and all behavior by anyone as absolutely moral as anyone else, as long as they are doing what they feel like doing, because there is no objective standard by which to judge any behavior as moral or immoral.

    Whether or not “what you did” was irrational with respect to your premise depends upon how you attempt to logically justify what you did from the premise of moral subjectivism. If you say that what you did is rationally justified because moral subjectivism necessarily implies that you are free to do whatever you feel like (limited by what you can) in any given situation, then your behavior is 100% rationally justified by your premise.

    As I have said before, the hypocrisy is evident not where a self-identified “moral subjectivist” justifies their own behavior, but rather where they attempt to justify their moral interventions and lawmaking.

    In short, it is not a necessary entailment of moral subjectivism to act like a sociopath.

    I didn’t say it was. I said that the only people that can act as if moral subjectivism is true are sociopaths. Being able to construct an example where behavior logically consistent with moral subjectivism does not appear to be the behavior of a sociopath (IOW, acting on empathy, which sociopaths lack) is irrelevant to that point, but I don’t expect you to understand that.

    You ask:

    Was it necessary for me to assume or know that my morality is TRUE for everybody, everywhere, at every time?

    The example you constructed doesn’t even include what I have repeatedly explained where such (unrecognized) assumptions are necessary: when a self-described “moral subjectivist” intervenes in the behavior of others or attempts to pass or advocates for laws that reflect their personal, subjective moral feelings.

    You have cherry-picked a convenient scenario you think supports your views; the person seeking truth via internal reflection and external (debate) challenges attempts to deliberately undermine their own position by inventing or seeking out the most difficult questions and criticism to put their views and their reasoning to the test.

    Have you ever seen those “what would you do” shows on TV, where they invent and act out moral dilemmas in some public place to see what people will do? Invent a moral dilemma for yourself where you must intervene in order to protect a child in a situation where no law is actually being broken (so you don’t have that to fall back on) from what you consider to be a potentially bad situation.

    Then ask yourself, how does your moral subjectivism justify your intervening in the moral affairs of others? How is that justification in principle any different than the justification of the person you perceive as doing the immoral thing? If someone “feels” justified in going over and knocking a plate of food off of another diner’s table because they personally find that food disgusting, is that perfectly okay because they felt like doing so?

    Your moral worldview principle endorses all acts as morally equivalent as long as the person feels like it, and justifies all acts as moral goods as long as the person feels like it is justified. That doesn’t mean you endorse such behavior and justification, it just means that if you were a logically-consistent moral subjectivist, you would endorse any and all behaviors and justifications by anyone as factually moral in nature.

  231. 231
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, of course, consistency is also tossed out the window — even as such will often try to skewer others as hypocrites. KF

  232. 232

    kf note: Aleta will take the time negatively characterize you and your posts; she will take the time to quote you in order to attempt to justify a broad negative characterization; she will take the time applaud her compatriots when they quote-mine in order to support an already corrected mistake; she will even take the time to describe her views and complain when one of her compatriots gets banned.

    What she steadfastedly refuses to do is respond to and rationally defend/rebut any number of specific questions and challenges regarding her descriptions of her views or the expressed, more detailed views of, say, hrun. She’s left a large number of criticisms, direct questions and points without any response.

    I will say this for hrun: he appears to at least put up an effort to stay on point, offer responses, and respond to challenges. Whether or not they are good, they’re still at least in the ballpark of what is being argued and debated. Regardless of his debate skills, he at least is willing to try.

    Aleta, it seems, will do anything except stay on point and specifically, directly address points and challenges.

  233. 233
    daveS says:

    KF,

    WJM, of course, consistency is also tossed out the window — even as such will often try to skewer others as hypocrites. KF

    This brings up an issue which I was considering posting about earlier. First, I don’t know if WJM himself claims that he acts in a logically consistent fashion, or even that his system of morality is logically consistent.

    But I’m guessing at least some on the objective morality side do believe that their systems of morality are logically consistent.

    If that’s true, how does one establish that fact rigorously?

  234. 234
    kairosfocus says:

    DS,

    The issue of coherence applies to the core of morality.

    That is to manifestly evident first principles of the natural moral law. Which entails mutuality, common recognition of moral governance, and the like. In short, something much like this extended cite of Hooker used by Locke in grounding what would become modern liberty and constitutional democracy:

    . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s
    hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have
    any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to
    satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of
    my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a
    natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection.

    From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as
    ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for
    direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [Hooker then continues,
    citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8:] as namely,
    That because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That
    since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must
    ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence
    and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like . . . ] [Eccl.
    Polity
    ,preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8, p.80, cf. here.
    Emphasis added.]

    Do you find such incoherent, if so where and why?

    Likewise, for my own summary here [–> oopsie, the list proper is here: http://www.uncommondescent.com.....al-truths/ . Especially, as this listing is in material part built up on the premise of avoiding absurdities.

    I add, of course, the struggle to move from IS to more consistently conform to OUGHT, is ever a challenge to us as finite, fallible morally patently fallen and ever struggling (at best), and too often blind and wrong-hearted. To be human is in a sense to be hypocritical, ever in struggle to live up to what we know deep down we ought to.

    KF

  235. 235
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS,

    The issue of coherence applies to the core of morality.

    Maybe so, however logical consistency is a tall order.

    Do you find such incoherent, if so where and why?

    No, but my question is whether one can show rigorously that this system is logically consistent, not whether I’m clever enough to deduce a contradiction from it, if that’s possible.

    For a mathematical analogy, I don’t find ZFC incoherent, but…, well, you know the rest.

  236. 236

    DaveS said:

    This brings up an issue which I was considering posting about earlier. First, I don’t know if WJM himself claims that he acts in a logically consistent fashion, or even that his system of morality is logically consistent.

    But I’m guessing at least some on the objective morality side do believe that their systems of morality are logically consistent.

    If that’s true, how does one establish that fact rigorously?

    KF’s argument is more about the internal logical consistency of a worldview containing a moral system, and my arguments are more about whether or not one’s behaviors, terminology and arguments are rationally consistent with their moral premise.

    The answer depends on what you mean by “fact”, and what you mean by “rigorously”. I don’t claim it is a “fact” that I behave consistently with my moral premise; I don’t claim I’ve pursued that goal “rigorously” (whatever that means), only vigorously. I believe my behavior, terminology and argument is consistent with my moral premises, if not entirely consistent with my understanding of right and wrong (yes, I do bad things now and then).

  237. 237
    kairosfocus says:

    DS,

    the issue is, not can you raise a challenge in the abstract but can you find a fatal incoherence in the specific? [try here, a list of 12 specific principles: http://www.uncommondescent.com.....al-truths/ ]

    I would suggest that something of no great size logically, built on a few core commitments then articulated from there on the premise of avoiding the absurd will be coherent. (As opposed to, we may find ourselves in real settings where our only option is the least bad choice, the relative good. For instance that is how I am a committed democrat.)

    Otherwise, Locke has somewhat to say in his Essay on Human Understanding, Intro Sec 5:

    Men have reason to be well satisfied with what God hath thought fit for them, since he hath given them (as St. Peter says [NB: i.e. 2 Pet 1:2 – 4]) pana pros zoen kaieusebeian, whatsoever is necessary for the conveniences of life and information of virtue; and has put within the reach of their discovery, the comfortable provision for this life, and the way that leads to a better. How short soever their knowledge may come of an universal or perfect comprehension of whatsoever is, it yet secures their great concernments [Prov 1: 1 – 7], that they have light enough to lead them to the knowledge of their Maker, and the sight of their own duties [cf Rom 1 – 2 & 13, Ac 17, Jn 3:19 – 21, Eph 4:17 – 24, Isaiah 5:18 & 20 – 21, Jer. 2:13, Titus 2:11 – 14 etc, etc]. Men may find matter sufficient to busy their heads, and employ their hands with variety, delight, and satisfaction, if they will not boldly quarrel with their own constitution, and throw away the blessings their hands are filled with, because they are not big enough to grasp everything . . . It will be no excuse to an idle and untoward servant [Matt 24:42 – 51], who would not attend his business by candle light, to plead that he had not broad sunshine. The Candle that is set up in us [Prov 20:27] shines bright enough for all our purposes . . . If we will disbelieve everything, because we cannot certainly know all things, we shall do muchwhat as wisely as he who would not use his legs, but sit still and perish, because he had no wings to fly. [Text references added to document the sources of Locke’s allusions and citations.]

    KF

    PS: Re Maths, my concern is that the claim that there is an infinite number of finite successive counting sets is not right; instead we should take endlessness of succession with the next member is the order type of the collection so far as a key part of what infinite means seriously.

  238. 238
    kairosfocus says:

    Notice the difference in tone, focus and substance?

  239. 239
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS,

    the issue is, not can you raise a challenge in the abstract but can you find a fatal incoherence in the specific?

    Again, that’s not my job. If someone claims that their system is logically consistent, then the burden is on them to demonstrate so.

    PS: Re Maths, my concern is that the claim that there is an infinite number of finite successive counting sets is not right; instead we should take endlessness of succession with the next member is the order type of the collection so far as a key part of what infinite means seriously.

    Well, I think you are free to work in that sort of mathematical system. I’m not sure what that tells us about the physical universe, though, which is not required to bend to our choice of metaphysics.

  240. 240
    daveS says:

    WJM,

    KF’s argument is more about the internal logical consistency of a worldview containing a moral system, and my arguments are more about whether or not one’s behaviors, terminology and arguments are rationally consistent with their moral premise.

    Yes, thanks for pointing out that distinction. My question is directed at the issue of internal consistency of one’s moral theory.

  241. 241
    kairosfocus says:

    DS,

    again, note the twelve core principles I articulated to 07, on the premise that they cumulatively build a system and each is articulated on the denial of that principle at once ends in absurdity hot water.

    It seems to me that unless there is a gross error in the outline, such will be coherent, naturally so. This renders an objection but you have not proved coherence strained and even possibly hyperskeptical.

    I hold it morally certain per how they are put together and on a whole history of experience that the following hold and are a coherent (but acknowledged quite challenging) whole:

    1] The first self evident moral truth is that we are inescapably under the government of ought.

    (This is manifest in even your implication in your question, challenge and argument, that we are in the wrong and there is something to be avoided about that. That is, you imply we OUGHT to do and say the right. Not even you can escape this truth.

    Patent absurdity on attempted denial.)

    2] Second self evident truth, we discern that some things are right and others are wrong by a compass-sense we term conscience which guides our thought. (You were depending on a sense of guilt/ urgency to be right not wrong on our part to win your point. See what would happen should conscience be deadened or dismissed universally?)

    3] Third, were this sense of conscience and linked sense that we can make responsibly free, rational decisions to be a delusion, we would at once descend into a status of grand delusion in which there is no good ground for confidence in our self-understanding. That is, we look at an infinite regress of Plato’s cave worlds: once such a principle of grand global delusion is injected, there is no firewall so the perception of level one delusion is subject to the same issue, and this level two perception too, ad infinitum; landing in patent absurdity.

    4] Fourth, we are objectively under obligation of OUGHT. That is, despite any particular person’s (or group’s or august council’s or majority’s) wishes or claims to the contrary, such obligation credibly holds to moral certainty. That is it would be irresponsible, foolish and unwise for us to act and try to live otherwise.

    5] Fifth, this cumulative framework of moral government under OUGHT is the basis for the manifest core principles of the natural moral law under which we find ourselves obligated to the right the good, the true etc. Where also, patently, we struggle to live up to what we acknowledge or imply we ought to do.

    6] Sixth, this means we live in a world in which being under core, generally understood principles of natural moral law is coherent and factually adequate, thus calling for a world in which OUGHT is properly grounded at root level. (Thus worldviews that can soundly meet this test are the only truly viable ones. if a worldview does not have in it a world-root level IS that can simultaneously ground OUGHT, it fails decisively.*)

    7] Seventh, in light of the above, even the weakest and most voiceless of us thus has a natural right to life, liberty, the pursuit of fulfillment of one’s sense of what s/he ought to be (“happiness”). This includes the young child, the unborn and more. (We see here the concept that rights are binding moral expectations of others to provide respect in regards to us because of our inherent status as human beings, members of the community of valuable neighbours. Where also who is my neighbour was forever answered by the parable of the Good Samaritan. Likewise, there can be no right to demand of or compel my neighbour that s/he upholds me and enables me in the wrong — including under false colour of law through lawfare. To justly claim a right, one must first be in the right. )

    8] Eighth, like unto the seventh, such may only be circumscribed or limited for good cause. Such as, reciprocal obligation to cherish and not harm neighbour of equal, equally valuable nature in community and in the wider world of the common brotherhood of humanity.

    9] Ninth, this is the context in which it becomes self evidently wrong, wicked and evil to kidnap, sexually torture and murder a young child or the like as concrete cases in point that show that might and/or manipulation do not make ‘right,’ ‘truth,’ ‘worth,’ ‘justice,’ ‘fairness,’ ‘law’ etc. That is, anything that expresses or implies the nihilist’s credo is morally absurd.

    10] Tenth, this entails that in civil society with government, justice is a principal task of legitimate government. Thus also,

    11] Eleventh, that government is and ought to be subject to audit, reformation and if necessary replacement should it fail sufficiently badly and incorrigibly.

    12] Twelfth, the attempt to deny or dismiss such a general framework of moral governance invariably lands in shipwreck of incoherence and absurdity. But that does not mean that the attempt is not going to be made, so there is a mutual obligation of frank and fair correction and restraint of evil.

    That is, one would be irresponsible to act as though one can dismiss such.

    Now, can you show my acting on moral certainty to be in the wrong?

    If not, it is clear where the balance on merits lies.

    KF

  242. 242
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS,

    again, note the twelve core principles I articulated to 07, on the premise that they cumulatively build a system and each is articulated on the denial of that principle at once ends in absurdity hot water.

    It seems to me that unless there is a gross error in the outline, such will be coherent, naturally so. This renders an objection but you have not proved coherence strained and even possibly hyperskeptical.

    Sure, I haven’t proved anything. But many things that seem to be true in fact aren’t.

    Now, can you show my acting on moral certainty to be in the wrong?

    No, but that’s not my objective. I’m just trying to get clear about these claims of logical consistency of moral theories.

    If the claim is just that one can be morally certain that a moral theory is logically consistent, then perhaps that’s possible[*], but it introduces some subjectivity into the matter.

    * I say perhaps it’s possible, but the use of “moral certainty” in this context strikes me as a bit strange. Can we be morally certain that ZFC is consistent? Or that the Goldbach Conjecture is true?

  243. 243
    vividbleau says:

    WJM

    “Kf note: Aleta will take the time negatively characterize you and your posts; she will take the time to quote you in order to attempt to justify a broad negative characterization; she will take the time applaud her compatriots when they quote-mine in order to support an already corrected mistake; she will even take the time to describe her views and complain when one of her compatriots gets banned.

    What she steadfastedly refuses to do is respond to and rationally defend/rebut any number of specific questions and challenges regarding her descriptions of her views or the expressed, more detailed views of, say, hrun. She’s left a large number of criticisms, direct questions and points without any response.”

    No Aeleta has not covered herself in glory on this thread, she has left the field but she will be back on another thread I am sure. Then we will have a repeat of her incoherent babble as if this thread never happened.

    My advice to you , KF, SB and other regulars is to refer her back to here where she cowardly left the battle, bloody and beaten, only to resurface as if nothing has happened. I can hear it now ” Oh you know William we’ve been through this before” LOL

    Vivid

  244. 244
    kairosfocus says:

    Vivid:

    Maybe it is time for me to cross-post here the update to 870 in the previous thread, which will give a lot of context to what has happened:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-607076

    I, I have already told you that morals are not merely matters of
    opinion. You have been directed tot he OP which discusses the roots of
    morals and are again directed thereto. The practices in question were
    patently wrong, being based on murder; deliberate shedding of innocent
    blood with no just cause or excuse. These practices were imposed
    through offensive warfare, and were an expression of the nihilist
    absurdity, might makes ‘right.’ Likewise, the repeated attempt embedded
    in your line of argument, to suggest that morals are merely matters of
    opinion. I suggest that you would find this on the objectivity of morals helpful, also this in reply to 07 on self evident moral truths.
    As to the notion that the twisting of marriage contrary to the order
    manifest in nature through manipulation of law and institutions of
    state and law, is to become so triumphant that principled objection to it is to be regarded as of
    the same order as the barbarities of idolatrous human sacrifice that
    ripped the beating hearts of living victims out of their chests to
    present to the sun imagined a god, that is itself a monstrous outrage
    by implication of the boat you would push us into. It inadvertently
    lets a very big cat out of the bag. Indeed, it
    underscores the point of the concerns and exposes the nihilistic
    mentality of the agenda we now confront. KF

    F/N May 18: This refers to I at 867 above:

    If the Mesoamerican morals were so wrong, and those of
    other cultures throughout history that we disagree with, how do you
    know that your morals are the correct ones?
    Is it not more likely
    that humans in 500 years will look back at your morals (eg.
    homosexuality and SSM are immoral) and think that those were absurd and
    nihilistic?”

    It is a sad necessity to have to be so explicit in showing the true state of affairs, but I think I have little choice.

    KF

  245. 245
    Phinehas says:

    HR:

    Which I actually addressed in both of my posts. ‘Experiencing ill effects’ is not an exclusive precondition of harm. A loss in value can be harm just as well. And this is not tied to a threshold value.

    Under your strict “loss of value” paradigm, wouldn’t the man who gives $50 to charity be harmed just as much as the one who had $50 stolen from his wallet?

  246. 246
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, It is clear that you have no actual particular cause to dismiss the coherence of the moral framework in question but seem to want room to distance yourself from it and its implications. In response, first, the principles in order are cumulative each built on the other. Second, they are each pointed out as self evident on grounds that the attempted denial of each in turn lands one in instant patent absurdities [which BTW are here broader than logical contradictions]; skeletal outlines being given in most cases. To this you do not seem to have any reply. That tells us all a lot on the actual balance on the merits: there is no good reason that you seem prepared to defend in public that the individual items are incoherent or false, and you evidently cannot find incoherence in the cumulative set as cumulative from 1 to 12. But you wish to insert the selectively hyperskeptical principle if I can doubt I can dismiss or at least distance myself. Very well, we leave the worldviews level choice to comparative difficulties, starting with the incoherence of selective hyperskepticism, and the evident balance on comparative difficulties. On those terms manifestly evident first principles of the natural moral law are clearly ahead of the game and can be responsibly treated as morally certain. Which is what is needed. KF

  247. 247
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS, It is clear that you have no actual particular cause to dismiss the coherence of the moral framework in question but seem to want room to distance yourself from it and its implications.

    There’s no need to start speculating about my motives. I just think it’s worth investigating whether we can know any particular moral theory is logically consistent.

    To this you do not seem to have any reply. That tells us all a lot on the actual balance on the merits: there is no good reason that you seem prepared to defend in public that the individual items are incoherent or false, and you evidently cannot find incoherence in the cumulative set as cumulative from 1 to 12.

    Yes, as I have stated several times, I’m not defending anything here; rather I’m asking you (or anyone) to demonstrate the logical consistency of their moral theory (or the 12 principles you have listed).

    The fact that I have not pointed out any incoherence does not prove they are logically consistent.

    But you wish to insert the selectively hyperskeptical principle if I can doubt I can dismiss or at least distance myself.

    Pardon, but you cannot know my wishes, and I’m not trying to dismiss anything.

    Edit:

    On those terms manifestly evident first principles of the natural moral law are clearly ahead of the game and can be responsibly treated as morally certain. Which is what is needed.

    And if the standard here is moral certainty, which is inherently subjective, then as I said above, perhaps that standard can be met wrt the logical consistency question.

  248. 248
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, the same again. You omit the basic fact that truths must all be so together, a key point of a coherent world: on distinct identity the triple first principles obtain and so no x is both A and not-A, and so too no two truths x and y can be such that y = NOT-x. In this context, each of the 12 being in turn directly credibly true on grounds of patent absurdities on attempted denial, they are immediately credibly coherent. Next, it so happens that the principles are in fact linked together in a chain so they are mutually supportive and relevant, in fact framing the basis for moral principles in governance. KF

  249. 249
    daveS says:

    KF,

    Is it therefore the case that these 12 principles are absolutely certain to be logically consistent?

    Edit: On a second reading, as you use the word “credibly” a couple of times as an adverb, I’m guessing you are still referring to moral certainty, rather than absolute certainty.

  250. 250
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, not even Mathematics can deliver absolute certainty, post Godel. For cause, I am certain enough to confidently put the weight of my soul on the line on these principles, and would put the future of our civilisation too. KF

  251. 251
    daveS says:

    KF,

    I would agree that absolute certainty is too much to ask in certain domains, including morality (if that’s an accurate paraphrase of your position).

    I know this is not a math thread, but Gödel’s theorems don’t apply to all formal systems, so I am open to the possibility that we can have absolute certainty regarding some mathematical/logical propositions.

  252. 252

    Dave S.

    “how does one establish that fact rigorously?”

    WJM “I don’t claim I’ve pursued that goal “rigorously” (whatever that means), only vigorously.”

    I think St. Anselm of Canterbury lends some insight. from his Proslogion. As a theist, for him, God is:

    “….a being than which none greater can be imagined.”

    If this had been a part of a moral argument for God’s existence, and not an ontological argument, it might read:

    “….a morally great being than which none greater can be imagined.”

    It seems to me that when judging the morality of others, even materialists in their minds, refer to an imagined morally great being, and if that being is not themselves (it often is), then it is an abstract ideal of moral greatness.

    Consider for example, Richard Dawkins’ denunciation of the God of the bible in his book “The God Delusion.” In that screed he means to say that the God of the bible cannot be the morally great being that he imagines, based either on his own self-referential ideal of morality, or on some sense of morality he derives outside of himself (although I can’t imagine what that might be), and that is a reason to reject theism.

    So for materialists, the morally objective reference is in the imagination, even though, ultimately, they do subjectively what the theist CAN do objectively by basing morality in God’s character.

    Since the materialist does not believe in this God, the theists’ basis for morality is seen as just as subjective as their own. And that is the point at which the question is begged.

    The vigorous argument of the theist can find support in a number of places: the Golden Rule, the Ten Commandments, the law of love in 1 Corinthians 13, the “fruit of the Spirit” in Galatians 5. The materialist may object that these are religious rules, and therefore, not objective; yet many of them are employed by the materialist him/herself, which is perhaps why Paul stated in Galatians 5: “Against these things there is no law.” IOW, there can be no real objection.

    But what of “a morally great being than which none greater can be imagined?” What are we getting at?

    I suggest several things:

    Perfect in truthfulness
    Perfect in faithfulness
    Perect in judgment
    Perfect in love

    There is a word, which synthesizes all of these and other moral qualities. We call it “holiness.”

    Whether one believes that such a being exists or not, these are some of the qualities that the thoughtful person imagines regarding morality; and for theists, such a being does in fact exist; which renders morality more vigorously objective than with non-belief., because, with the exception of the Golden Rule, it is entirely non-self-referrential.

  253. 253
    vividbleau says:

    DaveS

    “I know this is not a math thread, but Gödel’s theorems don’t apply to all formal systems, so I am open to the possibility that we can have absolute certainty regarding some mathematical/logical propositions.”

    Hi Dave I am just going to jump in and out so as to allow your conversation with KF to continue without to many distractions. Isn’t math just symbolic logic? If so wouldn’t Godels theorems apply?

    Vivid

  254. 254
    daveS says:

    vividbleau,

    Yes, what I meant more precisely was that while they always apply, some formal systems don’t satisfy the hypotheses of the incompleteness theorems, so the conclusions do not follow. And that furthermore, there are formal systems which are provably complete and consistent.

  255. 255
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, things of the relevantly sufficient complexity. And Math is the logic of structure and quantity. KF

  256. 256
    daveS says:

    KF,

    Eh? I’m not sure what you’re saying.

  257. 257
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, I have said enough on a tangential matter. The core matter currently being discussed is that it is credible (on pain of absurdity on attempted denial) that the moral principles advanced are so case by case, also that they are structurally related, and so they are coherent. Going back to the matter in the main, the core point is that it is absurd to impose men on girls in their bathrooms, showers and locker rooms. More broadly, it is utterly wrong to push people into a position where they are forced to uphold wrongs in the name of these being ‘rights’ created under color of law and/or by manipulation of our moral vision. In the end such will eat the heart out of any community or culture, and we should take warning here from one reason why Islam advanced so rapidly in its early decades in Syria and in Egypt, capturing a pivotal land bridge for its 100 year advance to the W: not only the mutual exhaustion of the Byzantines and the Persians through their conflicts, but also that the people in these strategic provinces were disaffected by how Byzantium treated them over their theological disputes. Similar disaffection would play a like role in Spain. Whether or no we pay attention to history, the IslamISTS do so. KF

  258. 258
    clown fish says:

    Going back to the matter in the main, the core point is that it is absurd to impose men on girls in their bathrooms, showers and locker rooms.”

    Canada has just introduced a transgender protection bill. What do you think of it?

  259. 259
    Seversky says:

    Andre @ 226

    How would you feel if your nine year old daughter shares a bathroom with a transgender? Can you say with absolute certainty that he is not a disguised sexual predator? How does one test genetically if someone really is a transgender? How do we do that?

    A sexual predator could – and always has been able to – disguise himself as a woman if he was so disposed and enter a bathroom in search of prey. Would it make any difference whether the convenience was gender-specific or gender-neutral?

    Is there any evidence to suggest that there is a higher number of sexual predators amongst transgenders compared with the general population?

    If a transgender feels herself to be a woman trapped in a man’s body, is she likely to have any sexual interest in young girls at all?

    What biological tests exist today to ascertain if someone is transgender? Can you name one? We do have biological tests to differentiate male from female but for transgenderism? What do we have?

    Nothing, as far as I know but so what? If someone feels they were assigned to the wrong sex at birth and should be the opposite, where does it harm me or anyone else to let them change?

  260. 260
    clown fish says:

    S, my point exactly. Presumably trans have been using women’s bathrooms (and men’s) for many years. What is the danger in allowing them to do it legally?

  261. 261
    Eugen says:

    Fish clown

    You mention Canada. Are you familiar with what vast majority of average people care about?

    http://angusreid.org/federal-issues/

    I don’t see people worried about toilets. Toilets are only on Trudeau’s and Obama’s mind, rather toilets are in their mind. They are from your species of clowns except they are humans. As usual the issue is forced on people by whining social justice warriors.

  262. 262
    Andre says:

    Seversky

    Nothing, as far as I know but so what? If someone feels they were assigned to the wrong sex at birth and should be the opposite, where does it harm me or anyone else to let them change?

    So by that rationale of yours, when someone feels that Christians/atheists/homosexuals/Jews/Transgenders are an abomination and should be subjected to concentration camps torture and certain death what is the harm in allowing them to do so legally?

  263. 263
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky: Kindly reflect on the discussions that have been had on this across a few threads. Particularly, ponder the significance of removing the protective right to call out immediately as a man presents himself in a bathroom, locker room or shower for girls in a situation where seconds may well count. Multiply by the grooming effects of manipulation of law and education systems in ways that undermine the protective instinct of modesty, through what is frankly lawfare. Moreover think of the corrosive effect on law and institutions of undermining further the principle that to claim a right (which implies duties of others to render support) one must first manifestly be in the right lest one demand of others that they uphold or enable one in the wrong, tainting them. Think about the implications for all sorts of things including rationality, ability to know and to choose as well as for liberty and justice, of the ever more pervasive notion and implicit assumption that in effect our thoughts, feelings and behaviours are programmed by genes and/or by conditioning such that we are more like PCs or robots to be flushed and reprogrammed rather than responsibly free and rational, morally governed creatures; where core moral principles are objective and binding, forming a manifestly evident corpus of framework principles of the natural moral law that guide individuals, families, communities, institutions and the state alike. Consider what sort of precedents are being set for law and administration. Ponder the particular import of such when this includes forcing children into such. Include the potentially manipulable dynamics of opinion cascades and the implications for polarisation, alienation and slippery slopes (which are not automatically to be regarded as fallacious arguments). There is more but this is core. KF

    PS: A classical ethical teaching on such matters in the Western tradition of moral thought is this from Jesus:

    Mark 9:42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,[g: Greek to stumble; also verses 43, 45, 47] it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. 43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell,[h] to the unquenchable fire.[i] 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ 49 For everyone will be salted with fire.[j] 50 Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.” [ESV]

  264. 264

    clown fish:

    S, my point exactly. Presumably trans have been using women’s bathrooms (and men’s) for many years. What is the danger in allowing them to do it legally?

    You mean besides the erosion of the principle that laws should not be based upon individual self-conceptions that defy physical facts in the first place? If that principle is too abstract for you to understand the danger eroding it represents, the let’s try something less complicated and abstract.

    The problem is not the transgenders that, as you say, have for years been discreetly been using the public restrooms that most closely match their gender appearance. Society has been politely looking the other way about that situation for decades if not longer. Only the ideological provocateurs are trying to make this a case about bigotry against transgenders. The problem has nothing whatsoever to do with transgenders per se, even though they are the ones the law is supposedly intended to protect.

    The problem is that the laws as written have vast unintended consequences that drastically alter, for no good reason, both a fundamental social norm and put millions of women and children at risk. Because these laws cover all public gender-based facilities, and because they set forth absolutely no criteria for identifying or proving “transgenderism”, any person of either gender, regardless of what they look like and whether or not they have been convicted of being a sexual predator, have the right to use the gender-based public facility of their choice.

    This means any male can freely enter and use any public or publicly-funded facilities for females, including restrooms, showers, lockers, etc. and have access to what are currently women-only shelters, homes, etc.

    Think about what this means: a male predator now has the right to enter and use women’s restrooms, showers and locker facilities and doesn’t have to look or dress like a woman. Women no longer have the right to expect females only (or, at least what appear to be females) in their facilities; if a man (or group of men) enters, they can no longer shout them out or call for help based upon that. The men have a right to be in there. Boys have a right to be in the same room girls are undressing and showering in any grade.

    This puts predators in very close proximity legally, drastically reducing the time any woman or girl has to react, shout in defense or call for help; they cannot do so upon seeing them or if they try to enter, they must wait until they act against them, which in most cases is too late. This puts millions of women and girls at much greater risk in public and in schools not from transgenders, but from male predators abusing the law to their advantage.

  265. 265

    Seversky said:

    A sexual predator could – and always has been able to – disguise himself as a woman if he was so disposed and enter a bathroom in search of prey. Would it make any difference whether the convenience was gender-specific or gender-neutral?

    What makes a difference is the law makes it much, much easier for any male predator with absolutely no “disguise” prep to gain access to females in compromising locations and puts them virtually in direct contact with them before the female can do anything about it, like shout or call for help.

    Is there any evidence to suggest that there is a higher number of sexual predators amongst transgenders compared with the general population?

    Are you deliberately mischaracterizing Andre’s post? This is typical of leftist agit propaganda – make it seem as if people are basing their objection on something other than what they are actually objecting to so that they appear to be making a claim they are not. Whether or not transgenders represent a higher proportion of predators than any other group is 100% irrelevant to the actual problem gender-neutral facility laws exacerbate: giving male predators easy, free access to vulnerable females in compromising locations and taking away their rightful capacity to react immediately upon sight of a man to protect themselves in such facilities.

    If a transgender feels herself to be a woman trapped in a man’s body, is she likely to have any sexual interest in young girls at all?

    Typical leftist tactic: make the debate about something it is not about because they cannot defend what it is actually about.

  266. 266
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, are you sure that many of the consequences of this imposition are UN-intended; given an evident socio-cultural and policy agenda now often termed “social justice”? Pardon a thought; though of course in doubt, charity must prevail and there are such things as blind marches of folly. KF

  267. 267
    clown fish says:

    Canada just introduced transgender legislation with all party support. I think it was unanimous, but I could be wrong about it. The only opposition I have seen is coming from rev Charles McVety, Canada’s equivalent of Falwell or Swagart.

  268. 268

    CF responds:

    Canada just introduced transgender legislation with all party support. I think it was unanimous, but I could be wrong about it. The only opposition I have seen is coming from rev Charles McVety, Canada’s equivalent of Falwell or Swagart.

    Typical liberal mentality and response. Avoid addressing the argument and logic therein and write something as if apparent popularity or support makes a salient rebuttal.

    Here’s a Huffpost article from which several meaningful points can be drawn:

    A troubling new poll has found that the majority of Americans are not on board with letting transgender individuals use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

    Note the writer’s use of the term “troubling”; why is it “troubling”? Why isn’t it “encouraging”? Note the not-so-subtle way this article is telling readers how to feel about the results of this poll.

    According to the poll conducted by CBS News, 59 percent of Americans believe that transgender individuals should use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender they were assigned at birth, while 26 percent are comfortable with self-determination when it comes to choosing which bathroom to use.

    So by far most Americans are against this policy. The article continues:

    Legislation has since been passed in other parts of the country in an effort to counter institutionalized discrimination against the transgender community.

    Note how the the poll is framed contextually by the implication that the fundamental issue driving the poll numbers is discriminatory attitudes towards transgenders. As I have pointed out previously, “transgender discrimination” has nothing to do with it.

    HuffPost continues:

    While the American public’s response to this CBS poll shows how much work we have left to do when it comes to education about transgender lives, experiences and rights, the trans community is gaining more and more visibility.

    The clear implication here is that it is ignorance which accounts for the data revealed by the poll, so if you don’t want to be identified as “ignorant”, you must be in favor of so-called “transgender anti-discrimination laws” … no matter what they actually say; no matter the actual consequences; no matter how many it puts at risk; no matter how it affects families in public; no matter if it is entirely based on an ambiguous, impossible-to-identify, impossible to prove mental construct with no basis in physical facts that can be used to make facility use determinations and judgements.

  269. 269
    clown fish says:

    WJM: “Typical liberal mentality and response. Avoid addressing the argument and logic therein and write something as if apparent popularity or support makes a salient rebuttal.”

    Sorry, I must have given the wrong impression. I was not intending my comment as any type of rebuttal. I only provided it for information purposes. I have not read the legislation so I have no comment on it. When I get around to reading it, I will comment on it more substantively.

  270. 270
    john_a_designer says:

    Larry Taunton of the Fixed Point Foundation writes: “Tolerance is not the same thing as acceptance, and acceptance is not the same thing as an endorsement.”

    Notice that the secular-progressive-left’s latest push for transgender rights is demanding something that nobody else has, or has ever had: universal affirmation and acceptance. Of course they cannot achieve that without some kind of yet to be discovered thought control or brain washing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that that is going to discourage them from trying with some type of coercive re-education. If that sounds a bit too Orwellian it isn’t, because it’s already happening. 1984 it appears has arrived a few decades late. If you think I’m exaggerating just wait a few more years.

    This of course all goes to underscore that their so-called push for equal rights is all a sham. Granting universal affirmation and approval to some obscure minority is hardly equal when that kind of affirmation and approval cannot possibly be extended to everyone else. Is anyone in the main stream media expressing any concern about the fact that people with traditional values are being marginalized and persecuted? Why is there no concern for the feelings and beliefs of people who sincerely embrace traditional values?

    Like several others commenting here I am not opposed to accommodating people who identify as transgender. Provide separate single use bathrooms and locker rooms. That shows respect for their rights as well as everyone else’s. That’s how true tolerance is defined.

  271. 271

    KF said:

    WJM, are you sure that many of the consequences of this imposition are UN-intended; given an evident socio-cultural and policy agenda now often termed “social justice”? Pardon a thought; though of course in doubt, charity must prevail and there are such things as blind marches of folly.

    I should say “have consequences well-meaning supporters and defenders haven’t thought through.”

  272. 272
    vividbleau says:

    John RE 270

    “Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that that is going to discourage them from trying with some type of coercive re-education. If that sounds a bit too Orwellian it isn’t, because it’s already happening. 1984 it appears has arrived a few decades late. If you think I’m exaggerating just wait a few more years.”

    Coercive re-education is already happening with the Orwellian titles like LGBTQ safe training space. At the threat of one losing their job they must attend, smile, nod in assent and most certainly not object. Basically they have to bend over and ask for ” oh that feels so good, more please”

    There is a lot of talk about the issue of access for predators however the real problem is that this whole thing is INSANE! The idea that someone is that which they “identify” is so incredibly off the charts crazy that one is left speechless.

    As to Orwell we have not only arrived but we have been here for awhile. I am probably older than most but if one were to go back in time say 30 years and warn the progressive types that their moral relativism (fluidity) would lead to men and boys being able to use girls bathrooms and showers they would scream “Oh you are being to extreme that will never happen” These same folk take KF to task for what they label “his extreme prognostications” As you wrote

    “You think I am exaggerating just wait for a few more years” Indeed.

    One last note. I have been studying Islam because I want to be more informed. One of the interesting things that I have found is how Islam views the West. They do not make a distinction between the West and Christianity, they are the same. One of the strongest arguments they make is that from a moral perspective their faith is far superior to Christianity (The West). They look and see this moral decadence and it confirms their belief that the West is dying as a culture and Islam will be its successor.

    Vivid

  273. 273
    Andre says:

    Vivid

    Islam taking over is a done deal.

  274. 274
    john_a_designer says:

    vividbleau,

    Thank you for your comments.

    I think contemporary Islamists may be right in connecting the present moral decline of western civilization with Christianity. While surveys vary it has been estimated by sociologists that there are upwards of 60 million self-identified protestant evangelicals in the US. Why aren’t they having more of an influence? How can small group of fanatical activists so completely subvert American society and culture? Clearly the church and its leadership has been AWOL for the last couple of decades. In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew Christ told his followers in Ch. 5,

    14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

    In other words it is our responsibility to be a moral influence on society. If as Christians we are not, there is clearly something very wrong.

    Aren’t our laws based on morality? Where does morality come from? Actually, I see the fundamental question, at least for the present discussion, as who defines our rights? The government? The Supreme Court? “The people?” According to Thomas Jefferson our rights come from the Creator. In the Declaration of Independence, he wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    While Jefferson did not accept what, at the time, were the traditional doctrines and beliefs of orthodox Christianity (he leaned towards Deism and/or Unitarianism) he did accept the idea that there was a transcendent intelligent Being who created the universe and who provides the foundation for mankind’s moral nature and human rights.

    For example, in a letter to John Adams dated April 11, 1823, Jefferson wrote:

    I hold (without appeal to revelation) that when we take a view of the Universe, in its parts general or particular, it is impossible for the human mind not to perceive and feel a conviction of design, consummate skill, and indefinite power in every atom of its composition… The movements of the heavenly bodies, so exactly held in their course by the balance of centrifugal and centripetal forces, the structure of our earth itself, with its distribution of lands, waters and atmosphere, animal and vegetable bodies, examined in all their minutest particles, insects mere atoms of life, yet as perfectly organised as man or mammoth, the mineral substances, their generation and uses, it is impossible, I say, for the human mind not to believe that there is, in all this, design, cause and effect, up to an ultimate cause…

    This is what he meant by Nature’s God. Today we would say that Jefferson clearly believed in intelligent design. But his beliefs about God did not end there. Elsewhere he writes: [C]an the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever . . . .” – Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVIII

    So clearly, Jefferson conceived of God not as just some disinterested designer or creator but also as the transcendent law giver—whose moral laws provide a true and objective foundation for moral obligations, justice and human rights.

    The problem with so-called rights like the right to same sex marriage, or transgender rights is that no how, no way can it be argued that it comes from God. SSM is a blatantly a human creation which in its present form was “created” whole cloth by the secular-progressive left 50-60 years ago. The same can be said of “transgender rights.”

    My point is that these human created human rights cannot be absolute, universal or morally obligatory. However, the secular-progressive left clearly think that they are. They can only come to that conclusion by co-opting Judeo-Christian truth and doctrine, or presuming that they are god or gods.

    There is no basis on a secular (or an ontologically naturalistic) worldview for absolute, objective or universal human rights. Only Judeo-Christian theism provides such a basis. So when the secular progressive begins claiming– or even implying– that the so-called rights that he has invented are absolute and universal, he is coopting moral claims that are not logically justifiable on his world view. There are other ways secularists coopt Judeo-Christian thinking but without a solid ontological, epistemological or moral foundation he has no place to even begin.

  275. 275
    vividbleau says:

    John

    “Why aren’t they having more of an influence? ”

    Because they have no power or position in the dominant drivers of culture the media, the arts and education. All the aforementioned are dominated by “moral relativists” and have been since the 70’s. Truly the most damaging institution has been our educational complex from K1 to our Universities. Schools are nothing more than indoctrination camps. When we look at our Universities many espouse outright fascist positions all under the guise of “tolerance”

    “Where does morality come from”?

    In the US from the tyranny of the majority, enforced by the state ,which has been deemed moral by 9 people ( currently 8).

    As to Thomas Jefferson, most grade school, high school or college students would not be able to identify the form of our Government. Most would answer ” we are a democracy” WRONG. Pure democracies lead to tyranny.

    Vivid

  276. 276
    vividbleau says:

    Andre RE 273

    The West neither has the will nor the philosophical foundations to resist Islam, the lack of will being directly tied to its foundation.

    Some form of tyranny is coming, we are already in a state of soft tryanny and it only takes a very small step to slip into hard tryanny. Certainly Sharia falls in the latter category.

    Vivid

  277. 277
    clown fish says:

    Vividbleu: “One of the strongest arguments they make is that from a moral perspective their faith is far superior to Christianity…”

    But, to be honest, doesn’t every faith believe this?

  278. 278
    zeroseven says:

    Apocalyptic fantasies are actually quite seductive aren’t they.

  279. 279
    vividbleau says:

    Clown RE 277

    Not necessarily.

    Vivid

  280. 280
    clown fish says:

    Vividbleu: “Not necessarily.”

    Do you have examples?

    Is there really any person in the world who doesn’t think that their faith is morally superior to others? If I thought that religion B was morally superior to religion A, why would I stick with religion A? Wouldn’t that be irrational?

  281. 281
    Eugen says:

    John a designer

    Atheists have a message for us:

    “It’s 2016, we know more than God!”

  282. 282
    kairosfocus says:

    Notice the smokescreening and tangential topic diversion?

    F/N: For those failing to recognise that worldviews — the proper way to analyse what is so often caricatured as religion (used as a dirty, contempt laced dismissive word) — can be analysed on comparative difficulties and foundational concerns cf here. And if threat assessment is the problem the inherent instability of democracies has been of concern for 2400 years and geostrategic issues are also relevant.

  283. 283
    clown fish says:

    KairosFocus: “Notice the smokescreening and tangential topic diversion?”

    WTF?

    Are you suggesting that the faith you believe in is not morally superior to Islam? Or Judaism? Or Hindu? Or Buddhism? Or the FSM? If not, why do you follow it? Does that seem rational to you?

  284. 284
    vividbleau says:

    Clown RE 280

    Hmmm Clown have you heard of the 10 commandments delivered to Moses a Jew, embraced by Christians? Christianity does not claim a moral superiority as it relates to Judaism. The disagreement between the two revolve around the nature of God and the coming of the Messiah. Me thinks maybe your the irrational one.

    Vivid

  285. 285
    clown fish says:

    Vividbleu, fair enough. I will concede that Christianity doesn’t consider itself morally superior to Judaism. I will concede the fact that Christian culture has always treated the Jewish culture as having a morality equal to that of Christianity.

    But that only removes one faith from the list. Are all of the others or equal morality to Christianity?

  286. 286
    kairosfocus says:

    Observe the OP focus vs the tangents.

  287. 287
    clown fish says:

    Observe the fact that I was not the one who brought up moral superiority. If you have a problem, it is with Vividbleu. Please take it up with him.

    If you do not want to take part in the little side discussion that Vividbleu and I are engaged in, feel free to keep quiet.

  288. 288
    vividbleau says:

    Clown RE 285

    “But that only removes one faith from the list. ”

    So what? I said ” not necessarily” I only need to give one example.

    Do you have any substantive rebuttals to the OP?

    Vivid

  289. 289
    vividbleau says:

    Clown

    I must add that I think it’s incompatible with Christianiy for a Christian to think they are morally superior to anyone.

    Vivid

  290. 290
    clown fish says:

    Vividbleu: “So what? I said ” not necessarily” I only need to give one example.”

    I was being sarcastic. And I apologize, you didn’t deserve it. But am I correct in saying that you do not believe that Christianity is morally superior to Judaism?

    The reason I ask is that it is the new covenant that adds the “judge not lest you be judged” concept. Do you not consider that morally superior to the Old Testament punishments?

    Is there nothing about Christianity that you consider morally superior to Judaism?

  291. 291
    kairosfocus says:

    Clown, IslamISM (Mahdist 12th Imam or Muslim Brotherhood forms) is a significant global geostrategic threat and has a successor ideology. But even that is off on a tangent to the OP. KF

  292. 292
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, a point of note. Degree of intentional, knowing involvement on the agit prop scale is a significant issue. KF

  293. 293
    clown fish says:

    Vividbleu: “I must add that I think it’s incompatible with Christianiy for a Christian to think they are morally superior to anyone.”

    I would agree that it is incompatible with Christianity for a Christian to act as if they are morally superior to anyone. But I would also argue that it is not possible to not think that.

    If you thought that the Christian world view was not morally superior, how can you distinguish between your faith and others? Surely it is not because Christians have better holidays, or that the cross makes better jewelry than the Star of David.

  294. 294
    vividbleau says:

    Clown

    “I was being sarcastic. And I apologize, you didn’t deserve it. ”

    Thank you for that.

    “But am I correct in saying that you do not believe that Christianity is morally superior to Judaism?”

    I think Christ is the Messiah they do not, I do not think they are immoral because they don’t, I think they are wrong. They think I’m wrong.

    “The reason I ask is that it is the new covenant that adds the “judge not lest you be judged” concept.Do you not consider that morally superior to the Old Testament punishments?”

    Well I disagree that “judge not lest you be judged” is a prohibition against judgement, after all is that not a judgement? What Christ is saying is that every time you judge another you are judging yourself. That is why I stated that I think it is incompatible with Christianity for a Christian to think they are morally superior to anyone.

    Think about this Clown the only people that Chrit ripped into we’re the self righteous religious people. He never condemned sinners and in fact scandalized the religious community because that’s who He hung around with. Christ when He said I came for the sick not the healthy I believe He meant that if you think your morally ok I can’t help you but if you don’t think you are I came for you.

    Vivid

  295. 295
    clown fish says:

    KairosFocus: “Clown, IslamISM (Mahdist 12th Imam or Muslim Brotherhood forms) is a significant global geostrategic threat and has a successor.”

    With respect, Vividbleu and I are not talking about Islamic fundamentalism. We are just debating whether you can have a faith and not think that it is morally superior to other faiths. You are certainly welcome to participate in the discussion, but if you are going to drag it down to a stupid absolutist level that we are not talking about, we would simply prefer that you opt out.

  296. 296
    vividbleau says:

    Clown RE 293

    “If you thought that the Christian world view was not morally superior, how can you distinguish between your faith and others? Surely it is not because Christians have better holidays, or that the cross makes better jewelry than the Star of David.”

    Do you want to have a serious discussion or not? Your choice.

    Vivid

  297. 297
    clown fish says:

    Vividbleu, of course I want a serious discussion. I am not suggesting that a Christian thinks that the morality of other religions is wrong, or evil, but I am saying that they think that theirs is superior to others.

    And I am not meaning this as a criticism of Christianity or any other faith. Just that it is the nature of the beast.

    We even see this within a faith. I don’t know what form of Christianity you follow, but some prohibit birth control, others prohibit dancing. Catholics think that they are morally superior to Babtists. Babtists think that they are morally superior to Mormons.

    Maybe “superior” is the sticking point. But I think that you would agree that you think that your faith is the most rationally consistent one.

  298. 298
    vividbleau says:

    Clown

    “Maybe “superior” is the sticking point. But I think that you would agree that you think that your faith is the most rationally consistent one.”

    I believe Chritianity is true and where other world views conflict with Christianity they are are not true. Remember all world views have difficulties including Christianity. Which world view best conforms to what I know about myself and the world that exists. Most importantly can I live consistent with the implications of my world view. Yes I do think it is the most rationally consistent one but that is not to say it is without difficulties.

    I also readily admit that I may be wrong but I like Dennis Pragers saying that clarity is more important that agreement. In this case calrity is this, someone is wrong, either the theist, the atheist, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Christianity or any other type of worldview one can think of.

    Vivid

  299. 299
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Morality is an issue of our being responsibly and rationally significantly free; thus we are governed by principles and moral insight [starting with conscience] not blind chance and/or mechanical necessity.

    And inasmuch as we live in community, justice enters, first as a moral issue then as a civil one: the civil peace of justice.

    It is in this context that the objectivity of morality is a material question, as opposed to the various views that boil down to some species or other of might and manipulation make ‘right’ ‘truth’ ‘worth’ ‘justice’ ‘meaning’ etc.

    Nihilism, in short.

    The very antithesis of justice and the civil peace of justice.

    Where, the point of objectivity of morality is that we can have actual stable moral knowledge and stable principles as a part of that knowledge.

    We are not locked up to might and manipulation or blind following of rules. And, in this it is to be noted that ethical theism, in general has long embraced these principles, which are in fact embedded in religious traditions that reflect this. No, it is not a matter of arbitrary rules enforced by blind following of religious authorities — a suggestion that is all too commonly made by atheistical objectors and fellow travellers.

    It is this which is pivotal in the focal transgenderism debates addressed in the OP, turning on whether or no there are manifestly evident, consciously sensed and rationally apprehensible core principles of the natural moral law.

    Such principles do exist (as I have just linked on) and not least they entail that a right can only be properly asserted when one is manifestly in the right. For, otherwise one taints others by demanding and asserting that they have a duty to uphold one in and support the wrong.

    That is in addition to the unjustified demand for a practice enforced under colour of law that unduly exposes women and girls to risks and also effects grooming by undermining modesty.

    So, there is utterly no need to be off on tangents with lurking suggestions that erect and knock over strawman caricatures.

    Instead, there are principles that are open for discussion, which are connected to justice.

    Those, we should focus and address.

    KF

  300. 300
    clown fish says:

    Vividbleu, thank you for being honest. I am not trying to be critical of faith. But it seems to me that nobody would accept a faith unless it worked for them, and unless they thought it was the best explanation for their moral views. Whether or not that faith is “true” is secondary

  301. 301
    vividbleau says:

    Clown
    “But it seems to me that nobody would accept a faith unless it worked for them, and unless they thought it was the best explanation for their moral views. Whether or not that faith is “true” is secondary”

    I don’t accept Christianity because it ” works for me” and I don’t accept Christianity because I think it is the best explanation for my” moral views” It is not secondary that it is true, it is PRIMARY ( numero uno )that I think it to be so. I would encourage you to reread 298, focus on the 2nd paragraph. You will find I did not say ” it was because it ” worked for me” or that it was he best explanation for my “moral views”

    I get the distinct impression that KF is not happy with this conversation and he does have a point since it is off topic. Since it is and he is a moderator I will respect his wishes. It is unfortunate since I think we were covering important ground.

    Vivid

  302. 302
    Aleta says:

    This is William Murray’s post, not kf’s. I don’t think you need to worry about whether he is happy or not.

  303. 303
    clown fish says:

    KairosFocus: “So, there is utterly no need to be off on tangents with lurking suggestions that erect and knock over strawman caricatures.”

    Well, since nobody is doing this, your little diatribe is a waste of my scroll-wheel.

    Vividbleu and I had a little sidebar discussion. It was of interest to the two of us. If you want to join in the discussion, you are welcome. But if all you are going to do is cast aspersions on me and my intentions, your sermons are a waste of your time and mine, because they are of no interest to me.

  304. 304
    vividbleau says:

    Clown

    FTR you have been very respectful towards me and I very much appreciate that.

    Vivid

  305. 305
    clown fish says:

    Vividbleu, I did not want to give the impression that you are Christian because it is convenient for you. My point is simply that everyone of faith thinks that their faith is the “right” one. I am sure that you have very good reasons for your Christian beliefs. As do those with Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Shinto and wickan beliefs. All I am saying is that everybody, regardless of their faith, thinks that their choice is morally superior to those who chose otherwise. If they thought otherwise, wouldn’t their views be incoherent?

  306. 306
    clown fish says:

    Vividbleu: “FTR you have been very respectful towards me and I very much appreciate that.”

    My feelings as well. I like that we can fundamentally disagree but still discuss our differences in a civil fashion. Others should take notice and act like mature humans.

  307. 307
    kairosfocus says:

    Aleta, First, it seems to me that you need to attend to the documentation I provided at 244 above. Second, it is quite evident that there is a rhetorical game afoot, of distractions and toxic tangents pivoting on reframing to poison the well. It is entirely in order for me to point this out. KF

  308. 308
    kairosfocus says:

    CF (Attn Vivid):

    One of the key principles of rhetoric is framing, and when there is a persistent attempt to reframe a focus of discussion into here a debate about the insinuated arrogance and bigotry of the Judaeo-Christian faith tradition, some response is appropriate.

    First, Vivid is right, the issue of the Judaeo Christian tradition within the worldview of ethical theism is not superiority nor is it faith understood as an emotional commitment of belief in a world in which the Kantian ugly gulch between the inner phenomenal world and the outer world of things in themselves is presumed to rule the roost.

    First, as F H Bradley pointed out in the 1890’s in Appearance and Reality, there is an inherent self referential incoherence in this view; the claim or implication that we cannot know about the external world is in fact implicitly a knowledge claim about that world. If it were true it itself could not be known, so it is error to imagine it true. A safer view is Josiah Royce’s premise that error undeniably exists, and thus we have a point of certain knowledge and truth, which then instantly undermines any general scheme of thought that would reduce truth and knowledge to opinions and views and might or manipulation make ‘right.’

    Truth, of course, from Aristotle in Metaphysics 1011b, speaks to that which says of what is, that it is; and of what is not, that it is not.

    Faith in the relevant sense also is inescapably a part of any serious worldview, as I discussed in the already linked. In a nutshell, if one accepts A then we may ask why so.

    B.

    But then, why B.

    C.

    Thence D etc. So, we face

    [1] an infinite regress (impossible), or

    [2] circularity at some level that is in effect question-begging, or

    [3] a finitely remote set of first plausibles, held at world foundational level, and which are held as a live option in the face of comparative difficulties across factual adequacy, coherence and balanced explanatory power and elegant simplicity.

    In short, all men live by faith, the issue is, is it a reasonable and responsible faith, so it is self referentially foolish to sneer at faith, properly understood.

    Going on, the issue is not that the Judaeo-Christian tradition arrogantly imagines itself to be superior (notice the subtle totalising metanarrative you have swallowed in dismissing the Faith without a serious discussion of the worldview foundations issues regarding truth and ethics?) but as Vivid pointed out, that it is credibly true.

    Truth, soundly understood, gets short shrift in a day when William G Perry’s agenda of educational progress dominates the academic scene, but that dismissal of truth and tendentious redefinition is itself a futility.

    Reframing the Christian faith as arrogant and bigoted towards other views may make for persuasive rhetoric, but it is in fact a fundamentally dishonest manipulative device.

    The proper question is not motives and attitudes — a classic example of subjectivist or radical relativist well poisoning projection (and often, doubling down) — but instead, truth.

    First, is the gospel true?

    If so, that is already decisive.

    And credibly, it is true.

    That is decisive.

    Going further, the Judaeo-Christian ethical tradition is not merely a matter of oh God wills it that settles it. The Euthryphro dilemma fails.

    The decisive point is, first, that there are such things as manifestly evident, credibly TRUE core principles of the natural moral law, as has been repeatedly outlined and discussed but studiously ignored in the rush to reframe. Moral truths that are credibly so, on pain of patent absurdity on the attempt to deny.

    Thence we face the IS-OUGHT gap and see that there is but one level where it can be resolved, world roots. For which, the only serious candidate is the inherently good creator God, a necessary and maximally great being, worthy of our respect, trust, loyalty and the reasonable service of doing the good in accord with our evident nature. If you doubt this, your job is to provide a cogent alternative: __________ .The persistent absence of which (for a long time) is a strong sign that there is not one.

    Passive aggressive evasion and reframing with well-poisoning does not answer to truth. But it may be all too revealing as to attitude and motive on the part of those who (despite repeated correction and request to do better) insist on trying to reframe the issue.

    Coming back to the core matter for the thread set in the OP, the relevant consideration is that to claim a right under justice, one is implying that one is manifestly in the right and is owed duties of care to support being in the right. Where, manifestly might and manipulation do not and cannot make wrong transmute into right — though they can impose a nihilistic oppression of the right that lacks power to defend itself; injustice, in one word . . . Dressing itself in the robes of justice, no less.There is therefore no such thing as a right that is rooted in being in the wrong. For, that is a demand that others enable one in wrong, and so taint themselves.

    Which is utterly monstrous, not merely absurd.

    In this case, it is highly dubious that transgenders as they are called have a right to impose themselves on women and girls in public or public school restrooms, locker rooms and showers etc. On many very reasonable and even obvious grounds that have been pointed out again and again.

    It is time to wake up and see what is going on with our civilisation.

    And no it is not empty neurotic apocalypticism.

    Which insinuation echoes tellingly to me of when I was once denounced on national radio [having pointed out the risks that were being run in a townhall meeting, where the tape was a pivotal bit of evidence in the subsequent deaths by Government negligence forensic inquiry] as obsessed with visions of destruction. Only problem — as just implied — what I warned of happened and more than happened.

    Those who would wish away the perils of our time need to realise that for 2400 years it has been well known that democracy is inherently unstable and prone to manipulated, mob mentality marches of ruinous folly. That is why I took time to point out the fate of Athens (the first great democracy in our civilisation) and to post a series of video lectures on that hard bought lesson of history, providing rich details.

    Democracy to be sustainable has to be stabilised, and it is entirely in order to point out that when the stabilising factors are being willfully undermined we are headed for the cliffs.

    KF

  309. 309
    daveS says:

    KF,

    [1] an infinite regress (impossible)

    Er, impossible?

  310. 310
    Aleta says:

    [4] We don’t, and can’t, know.

  311. 311
    Seversky says:

    Andre @ 262

    So by that rationale of yours, when someone feels that Christians/atheists/homosexuals/Jews/Transgenders are an abomination and should be subjected to concentration camps torture and certain death what is the harm in allowing them to do so legally?

    The constraint on any individual freedom when living in a society is the possibility of causing harm to others. For someone living alone on a desert island, injunctions against theft or murder are simply irrelevant since there is nothing to steal and no one to kill. But if you live with others, since the vast majority of people would prefer not to be killed or have their property stolen, you come to a mutually beneficial agreement that such behavior is prohibited and that any transgressors will face approved sanctions. That’s mostly all you need as the basis for morality and law.

  312. 312
    Seversky says:

    kairosfocus @ 263

    Seversky: Kindly reflect on the discussions that have been had on this across a few threads. Particularly, ponder the significance of removing the protective right to call out immediately as a man presents himself in a bathroom, locker room or shower for girls in a situation where seconds may well count.

    I don’t see that allowing transgenders to use the bathroom of their choice in any way prevents someone calling for help if they feel threatened or need assistance. And, as I wrote before, is a man who self-identifies as a woman likely to have any interest in women or girls?

    The slippery slope argument is a form of fear-mongering. You are implying that allowing transgenders to use the bathroom of their choice is a sign of the decadence of Western civilization which will inevitably lead to its eventual collapse unless remedial action is taken. I suspect what we now think of as Western civilization will eventually disappear. Just how is a different matter, but I don’t think it will have much to do with allowing transgenders to use the bathroom of their choice. What I do believe is that, regardless of what we think or believe, the world of 3016 will be as different from now as today’s world is different from the world of 1016. How many great states and empires have come and gone in just one millennium?

  313. 313
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, this is an exercise carried out by finite and fallible humans. An infinite regress of warrant is inherently and patently impossible for such a creature. Not least at any arbitrarily large finite k of the regress k, k+1 etc would act in the face of the remaining endlessness just as if it were0, 1, 2 etc. KF

  314. 314
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky, you and I both know how seconds count there. KF

    PS: It is fashionable to dismiss snowballing or avalanche or epidemic spreading or social spiral of silencing or march of folly or legal/administrative precedent cascade and metastasis or unintended consequence type effects nowadays as fallacious. But in fact they are commonplace: physically and in socio-cultural, legal/administrative and economic contexts . . . initiation events and circumstances with cumulative positive feedback effects that can with certainty or sufficient likelihood x impact pass the precautionary threshold are a well known reality. And, so is lawfare — an intentional act of usurpation of the sword of justice to impose a damaging policy agenda on targets.

  315. 315
    kairosfocus says:

    Aleta: ???????? KF

  316. 316
    clown fish says:

    Vividbleu: “I think Christ is the Messiah they do not, I do not think they are immoral because they don’t, I think they are wrong. They think I’m wrong.”

    I am not talking about whether any religion is immoral. But for any issue, it is possible for there to be more than one moral position. Surely every individual must think that one of these moral positions is superior to the others. And different individuals might disagree on which one it is.

    I will provide an example which will, hopefully, bring this discussion more in-line with the OP. In the Judeo-Christian faiths, homosexuality is considered to be a sin. A moral position. Hinduism does not consider homosexuality to be a sin. Another moral position. In this respect, do you not think that the Judeo-Christian position is morally superior to the Hindu position? And wouldn’t a Hindu think that his position is morally superior to that of the Judeo-Christian faiths?

    I am not trying to insinuate that christianity (or any religion) is bigoted and arrogant. I am just arguing that for anyone to believe in any faith, they must consider the faith of their choice to be morally superior, for whatever reason(s), to the others available to them. Keep in mind, I am not talking about anyone acting in a superior fashion, although there are examples of that in all religions. I am talking about the motivation, possibly subconscious, for someone to select one religion over another.

    Think about this Clown …”

    I really should have though twice before picking Clown Fish as my posting name. 🙂

  317. 317
    Aleta says:

    In a nutshell, if one accepts A then we may ask why so.

    B.

    But then, why B.

    C.

    Thence D etc. So, we face

    [1] an infinite regress (impossible), or

    [2] circularity at some level that is in effect question-begging, or

    [3] a finitely remote set of first plausibles, held at world foundational level, and which are held as a live option in the face of comparative difficulties across factual adequacy, coherence and balanced explanatory power and elegant simplicity.

    [4] At some point in the chain we understand that right now we don’t know the next cause, and that we will get, at some point, to the point where we can’t know the next cause, because of the limitations of our nature and ability to experience the world.

  318. 318
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS, this is an exercise carried out by finite and fallible humans. An infinite regress of warrant is inherently and patently impossible for such a creature.

    Ok, I thought you were referring the general case of infinite regresses of propositions … P3 -> P2 -> P1.

    Not least at any arbitrarily large finite k of the regress k, k+1 etc would act in the face of the remaining endlessness just as if it were0, 1, 2 etc. KF

    I’m not quite clear what this means, but I would be interested in pursuing this line of discussion in the other thread if you so desire.

  319. 319
    kairosfocus says:

    Aleta, that is a statement of faith, in fact a promissory note. The immediate problem with such fideistic IOUs is that they are question-begging [trust US to deliver in future . . . ], i.e. an instance of the second fork. In short the actual alternatives that are feasible are 2 and 3. 3 is what happens when you use comparative difficulties to avoid question-begging. KF

  320. 320
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, we have been down the line over and over, chained warrant to K faces onward endless warrant compounded by our finitude and fallibility. KF

  321. 321
    kairosfocus says:

    CF, you first need to address the pivotal issue of foundational, worldview level touchstone decisive truth, as was discussed in 308. The reframe and taint rhetorical game becomes a smokescreening and deflection tactic. KF

  322. 322
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS, we have been down the line over and over, chained warrant to K faces onward endless warrant compounded by our finitude and fallibility. KF

    Well, I don’t recall ever getting into warrant and fallibility in those discussions. The sticking points were coming to terms on rather clear-cut mathematical concepts such as order types, as well as simply understanding what is purported to occur in the thought experiment(s).

  323. 323
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, endless chaining . . . where endlessness is to be taken seriously. Warrant — much broader than mathematical proof — compounds the issue. This is a philosophical challenge. KF

  324. 324
    clown fish says:

    KairosFocus: “CF, you first need to address the pivotal issue of foundational, worldview level touchstone decisive truth, as was discussed in 308.”

    Irrelevant with regard to my discussion with Vividbleu. All we are talking about is whether a person with a certain faith (any faith, even if it is not religious) believes, either consciously or subconsciously, that the moral positions of their faith are superior to the moral positions of other faiths. I argue that not only is this basic human nature, but that it is an essential element of any faith.

    The reframe and taint rhetorical game becomes a smokescreening and deflection tactic. KF”

    Unjustly and inaccurately attributing intentions to others is an extremely weak form of argument. Not to mention being counter to the desire for civil discourse. If you continue to do so, I will simply refuse to respond to you and limit my discussion to those who demonstrate an ability to show a modicum of respect towards those they disagree with.

  325. 325
    kairosfocus says:

    CF, you are dealing with a worldview level question and the foundational issue always comes before any argument that depends on it. 2 + 2 = 4 is an instance of self evident truth. It is not a matter of opinion where any view is as good as another, e.g. 2 + 2 = 6. Once foundational truth is established, it takes proper precedence in our thought and action if we are wise; that is being rational, it is not being arrogant. And that point holds just as much for core reality, core morality and core theology or philosophy as for core mathematics — and if you wish to deny existence of core knowable truths for such, that is a serious claim that requires warrant — a burden which I confidently assert you cannot meet. Where, in addition to dealing with the tangential suggestions clearly meant to paint the Christian faith in unfavourable colours, you have to deal with manifestly evident core principles of the natural moral law. Including that before one may properly assert a right, one must manifestly be in the right lest s/he demands to impose on others that they enable, approve of or participate in wrongs. That is, “respect for others” cannot properly extend to implicitly demanding enabling or approving or participating in wrong . . . a matter that very specifically holds for those seeking to use lawfare to impose on Christians and others who stand by the historic natural law. Likewise, for radical subjectivism or relativism and associated extreme nominalism that wrenches key terms (right, wrong, truth, meaning, value, natural law, marriage, sex male, female etc) into abracadabra words whose meaning is changed at whim of might and manipulation . . . i.e. nihilism. Which concerns are very much on the table in the case in the OP and linked matters. KF

  326. 326
    clown fish says:

    KairosFocus: “that is being rational, it is not being arrogant…”

    Where have I suggested that anyone is being arrogant?

    And that point holds just as much for core reality, core morality and core theology or philosophy as for core mathematics — and if you wish to deny existence of core knowable truths for such, that is a serious claim that requires warrant — a burden which I confidently assert you cannot meet.”

    It is not my burden to meet. The burden of proof is on those who are asserting that something exists.

    Where, in addition to dealing with the tangential suggestions clearly meant to paint the Christian faith in unfavourable colours…”

    Again with the false accusations of my intent, even though I have clearly explained what they are. I will try once more to explain what Vividbleu and I were honestly and fairly discussing, without false accusations of intent on either side. I am simply saying that anyone who follows a faith, whether it be religious or otherwise, must consciously or subconsciously feel that the moral positions of their faith are superior to the moral positions of another. I am not claiming that a person is saying, or thinking, that the positions of the other faiths are immoral or bigoted.

    I will demonstrate this with a simple example:

    Fact 1) Judeo-Christian faith believes that homosexuality is a sin.

    Fact 2) Hindu faith does not believe that homosexuality is a sin.

    Fact 3) Many North American Indian faiths do not consider homosexuality a sin. In some, homosexuals are even afforded special status in the community.

    Given these facts (if it makes you more comfortable to call them assumptions rather than facts, go right ahead), answer these two questions as honestly as you can.

    Question 1) Do you believe that the Christian position on homosexuality is superior to those of Hindu and Native faiths?
    Question 2) Do you think that a Hindu or a Native North American might think that the position of their faith on homosexuality is superior to the Christian one?

  327. 327
    kairosfocus says:

    CF, nope at worldview level everyone has a burden of warrant on comparative difficulties [one that for instance evolutionary materialism and its fellow travellers cannot meet, never mind the aura of dominance projected by dressing it up in the lab coat], and in fact you have been given links already that take you to reasonable 101 level discussions. I repeat, truth comes first and grounds onward argument, it is not a matter of totting up opinions and saying see there is no agreement so there is no basis for grounding claims — that is an irrelevancy as e.g. we know to undeniable certainty that error exists, so both truth and error exist and knowable truth exists, leading to the need to ground claims. You obviously have not taken such seriously enough to respond substantially, and the suggestions in your remarks (and the wider contexts of the intent of those who argue using those sort of points) are clear enough. It remains the case that when a novel right such as is in the OP is put forth, it needs to be shown that there is a manifest being in the right, which has plainly not been met. KF

  328. 328
    clown fish says:

    KairosFocus: “CF, nope at worldview level everyone has a burden of warrant on comparative difficulties [one that for instance evolutionary materialism and its fellow travellers cannot meet, never mind the aura of dominance projected by dressing it up in the lab coat], and in fact you have been given links already that take you to reasonable 101 level discussions.”

    What does any of this have to do with my argument that regardless of the faith we believe in, we consciously or subconsciously believe that its moral positions are superior to those of other faiths?

    If you disagree with this, make your point. Or answer my previous question:

    Fact 1) Judeo-Christian faith believes that homosexuality is a sin.

    Fact 2) Hindu faith does not believe that homosexuality is a sin.

    Fact 3) Many North American Indian faiths do not consider homosexuality a sin. In some, homosexuals are even afforded special status in the community.

    Given these facts (if it makes you more comfortable to call them assumptions rather than facts, go right ahead), answer these two questions as honestly as you can.

    Question 1) Do you believe that the Christian position on homosexuality is superior to those of Hindu and Native faiths?
    Question 2) Do you think that a Hindu or a Native North American might think that the position of their faith on homosexuality is superior to the Christian one?

  329. 329
    clown fish says:

    KairosFocus: “ It remains the case that when a novel right such as is in the OP is put forth, it needs to be shown that there is a manifest being in the right, which has plainly not been met. KF”

    Outside of civil disobedience, do you think that it is OK for someone to knowingly break the law? And for government to know about this and do nothing about it?

  330. 330
    kairosfocus says:

    CF, Enough has been said in the main. What is law? What is its nature and purpose? Is it possible for things to be established under colour of law that are in fact wrongful? What is wrong or evil, apart from the privation, frustration, wrenching out of purpose of the good? Who then is responsible for instituting injustice and evil and giving it false colour of law? How does one judge such, apart from the manifestly evident core principles of the natural moral law, once one can see that might and manipulation make ‘right’ etc is a nihilistic monstrosity? Failing such a higher and rationally intelligible law, on what basis apart from nihilism, and imposition of power overtly or by manipulation, do we have for reform? Do you understand the matches that have been carelessly tossed into play in our civilisation in recent times, and what is a now highly likely outcome? KF

  331. 331
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Just as a reminder, what I am talking of in a Judaeo-Christian frame of thought, pointing to the evident core principles of the natural moral law:

    normally responsive people will at
    least grudgingly respect the following summary of such core, conscience
    attested morality from the pen of Paul:

    Rom 2:14 For when
    Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires,
    they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law.
    15 They
    show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their
    conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or
    even excuse them . . . . 

    Rom 13:8 Owe no
    one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another
    has fulfilled the law. 9 For
    the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder,
    You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment,
    are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
    10 Love
    does no wrong [NIV, “harm”] to a neighbor; therefore love is the
    fulfilling of the law. [ESV]

    Where, John Locke, in grounding modern
    liberty and what would become democratic self-government of a free
    people premised on upholding the civil peace of justice, in Ch 2 Sec. 5
    of his second treatise on civil Government [c. 1690] cites “the
    judicious [Anglican canon, Richard] Hooker” from his classic
    Ecclesiastical Polity of 1594 on,  as he explains how the
    principles of neighbour-love are inscribed in our hearts, becoming
    evident to the eye of common good sense and reasonableness:

    . . . if I cannot but wish to receive
    good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his
    own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein
    satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is
    undoubtedly in other men . . . my
    desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as
    possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward
    fully the like affection.
    From
    which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as
    ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for
    direction of life no man is ignorant
    . . . [Hooker
    then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8
    and alluding to Justinian’s synthesis of Roman Law in Corpus Juris
    Civilis that also brings these same thoughts to bear:] as namely, That because we would take no harm, we
    must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing
    extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our
    dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain,
    with such-like . . . ] [Eccl. Polity,preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8,
    p.80, cf. here.
    Emphasis added.]

    We may elaborate on Paul,
    Locke, Hooker and Aristotle, laying out several manifestly evident and
    historically widely acknowledged core moral principles for which the
    attempted denial is instantly and patently absurd for most people —
    that is, they are arguably self-evident moral truths. For
    instance
    :

    1] The first self evident moral truth is that we are inescapably under the
    government of ought
    .

    (This is manifest in even an objector’s implication in the questions,
    challenges and arguments that s/he would advance, that we are in the
    wrong and there is something to be avoided about that. That is, even
    the objector inadvertently implies that we OUGHT to do, think, aim for
    and say the right. Not even the hyperskeptical objector can escape this
    truth. Patent absurdity on attempted denial.)

    2] Second self evident truth, we
    discern that some things are right and others are wrong by a
    compass-sense we term conscience which guides our thought.

    (Again, objectors depend on a sense of guilt/ urgency to be right not
    wrong on our part to give their points persuasive force. See what would
    be undermined should conscience be deadened or dismissed universally?
    Sawing off the branch on which we all must sit.)

    3] Third, were this sense of
    conscience and linked sense that we can make responsibly free, rational
    decisions to be a delusion, we would at once descend into a status of
    grand delusion in which there is no good ground for confidence in our
    self-understanding
    . That is, we look at an infinite regress of Plato’s
    cave worlds: once such a principle of grand global delusion is
    injected, there is no firewall so the perception of level one delusion
    is subject to the same issue, and this level two perception too, ad
    infinitum; landing in patent absurdity.

    4] Fourth, we are objectively
    under obligation of OUGHT
    . That is, despite any
    particular person’s (or group’s or august council’s or majority’s)
    wishes or claims to the contrary, such obligation credibly holds to
    moral certainty
    . That is, it would be irresponsible, foolish
    and unwise for us to act and try to live otherwise
    .

    5] Fifth, this cumulative
    framework of moral government under OUGHT is the basis for the manifest
    core principles of the natural moral law under which we find ourselves
    obligated to the right the good, the true etc
    . Where also,
    patently, we struggle to live
    up to what we acknowledge or imply we ought to do
    .

    6] Sixth, this means we live in
    a world in which being under core, generally understood principles of
    natural moral law is coherent and factually adequate, thus calling for
    a world in which OUGHT is properly grounded at root level
    .
    (Thus worldviews that can soundly meet this test are the only truly
    viable ones. if a worldview does not have in it a world-root level IS
    that can simultaneously ground OUGHT, it fails decisively.*)

    7] Seventh, in light of the above, even
    the weakest and most voiceless of us thus has a natural right to life,
    liberty, the pursuit of fulfillment of one’s sense of what s/he ought
    to be (“happiness”)
    . This includes the young child, the
    unborn and more. (We see here the concept that rights are binding moral
    expectations of others to provide respect in regards to us because of
    our inherent status as human beings, members of the community of
    valuable neighbours. Where also who is my neighbour was forever
    answered by the parable of the Good Samaritan. Likewise, there can be no right to demand of
    or compel my neighbour that s/he upholds me and enables me in the wrong

    — including under false colour of law through lawfare. To justly claim a right, one must
    first be in the right
    .)

    8] Eighth, like unto the seventh, such
    may only be circumscribed or limited for good cause. Such as,
    reciprocal obligation to cherish and not harm neighbour of equal,
    equally valuable nature in community and in the wider world of the
    common brotherhood of humanity
    .

    9] Ninth, this is the context in which it becomes self evidently wrong,
    wicked and evil to kidnap, sexually torture and murder a young child or
    the like
    as concrete cases in point that show that might and/or manipulation do not
    make ‘right,’ ‘truth,’ ‘worth,’ ‘justice,’ ‘fairness,’ ‘law’ etc
    .
    That is, anything that
    expresses or implies the nihilist’s credo is morally absurd
    .

    10] Tenth, this entails that
    in civil society with government, justice is a principal task of
    legitimate government
    . Thus also,

    11] Eleventh, that government
    is and ought to be subject to audit, reformation and if necessary
    replacement should it fail sufficiently badly and incorrigibly
    .

    12] Twelfth, the attempt to
    deny or dismiss such a general framework of moral governance invariably
    lands in shipwreck of incoherence and absurdity
    . But that
    does not mean that the attempt is not going to be made, so there is a mutual obligation of
    frank and fair correction and restraint of evil
    .
    _________________

    * F/N: After centuries of debates
    and assessment of alternatives per comparative difficulties, there is
    in fact just one serious candidate to be such a grounding IS: the
    inherently good creator God, a necessary and maximally great being
    worthy of ultimate loyalty and the reasonable responsible service of
    doing the good in accord with our manifestly evident nature
    . (And
    instantly, such generic ethical theism answers also to the
    accusation oh this is “religion”; that term being used as a dirty word
    — no, this is philosophy. If you doubt this,
    simply put forth a different candidate that meets the required criteria
    and passes the comparative difficulties test: _________ . Likewise, an
    inherently good, maximally great being will not be arbitrary or
    deceitful etc, that is why such is fully worthy of ultimate loyalty and
    the reasonable, responsible service of doing the good in accord with
    our manifestly evident nature. As a serious candidate necessary being,
    such would be eternal and embedded in the frame for a world to exist at
    all. Thus such a candidate is either impossible as a square circle is
    impossible due to mutual ruin of core characteristics, or else it is
    actual. For simple instance no world is possible without two-ness in
    it, a necessary basis for distinct identity inter alia.

    These are start points, in a context where for instance evil can be recognised as the privation, frustration, wrenching out of purpose of the good.

    KF

  332. 332
    clown fish says:

    KairosFocus, does that mean that you won’t answer any of my questions? Here, let me repeat them:

    Question 1) Do you believe that the Christian position on homosexuality is superior to those of Hindu and Native faiths?

    Question 2) Do you think that a Hindu or a Native North American might think that the position of their faith on homosexuality is superior to the Christian one?
    Question 3) Outside of civil disobedience, do you think that it is OK for someone to knowingly break the law? And for government to know about this and do nothing about it?

    These are not complicated questions, and can be answered with a yes or no.I can’t answer the first question because it is asking what you believe and I would never presume to speak for you. But here are my answers to the other two.

    2) Yes

    3) No and No.

    The last one is directly relevant to this OP.

  333. 333
    Eugen says:

    ClownFish, you really are obsessed with homosexuality. Just like Effigy and Inquisitor were. Hmmm?

  334. 334
    clown fish says:

    Eugen: “ClownFish, you really are obsessed with homosexuality. Just like Effigy and Inquisitor were. Hmmm?”

    Hmmm, commenting about homosexuality on a thread about transgendered. What a novel concept.

  335. 335
    Phinehas says:

    clown fish:

    The theme of Hebrews is how Christianity is “better” in some regards. You should give it a read if you are interested.

    This is much different than saying that a Christian is better than any other person. As Paul points out in Romans, “There is no difference. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

    I do think it might be your use of the word “superior” that is problematic.

    As Jesus said during the Sermon on the Mount, “Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor.” This is the opposite of a “superior” approach. The words and example of Jesus strongly emphasize the importance of humility.

  336. 336
    clown fish says:

    Phinehas, I admit that my wording may have caused confusion. I am not saying that Christians (or Hindus, etc.) think that they are personally superior to those of another faith. I am just saying that when people adopt a faith, they do so because they believe that the assemblage of moral positions that their faith proclaims is superior to the assemblage proclaimed by other faiths. If they didn’t then they might as well have flipped a coin to make their choice.

    Whether or not the person can live up to the Morals supported by their faith is something completely different.

  337. 337
    vividbleau says:

    Clown

    Since everyone seems to be responding I guess I can as well. This really has been my first opportunity all day , have been slammed at work going full bore .

    I would answer your question this way. If truth is superior to falsehood ,yes. Do you think truth is superior to falsehood?

    Vivid

  338. 338
    clown fish says:

    Vividbleu: “Do you think truth is superior to falsehood?”

    I would say that is a given.

  339. 339
    Eugen says:

    Not expert on this Fish but I think Christian moral demands are high. How much we comply is different story. We all struggle with our sins…

    “The mind commands the body and is instantly obeyed. The mind commands itself and meets resistance.”
    — Augustine of Hippo

  340. 340
    clown fish says:

    Eugen: “Not expert on this Fish but I think Christian morals demands are high. How much we comply is different story. We all struggle with our sins…”

    I am not suggesting otherwise. I am only saying that we all, regardless of our faith, think that the assemblage of morals espoused by our faith is superior to those of other faiths.

    To be completely honest, I didn’t think that this would be controversial. Regardless of our faith, don’t we think that ours is superior (more closely aligning to the truth) than others? If not, why are you Christian and not Muslim, Hindu, Buddist, or Jewish? Assuming, of course, that you are Christian.

  341. 341
    kairosfocus says:

    CF,

    Pardon some reflections.

    The issue is not undue controversy but persistent rhetorical reframing on your part that becomes, with all due respect, fallacious.

    Notice how, above, you consistently substitute individual or collective opinion for warranted truth?

    (The issue would then be whose might and manipulation prevails, and you are obviously in the lists in favour of the radically relativist, nominalist politically correct “progressivist” views of our day that are keyed to lab coat clad evolutionary materialistic scientism and its fellow travellers.)

    I instantly point to the nihilistic implications of such might and manipulation make ‘right’ etc. Yes, a commonplace since Plato trumpeted his warning in The Laws Bk X, 2350 years ago; or at least, such should be a commonplace. (What, you never heard of such before? From one of the top ten thinkers of our civilisation? H’mm, what does that tell us about how dumbed down we have collectively become by being cut off from a true and fair view of the history of key ideas connected to pivotal institutions and issues in our civilisation — the famous seven mountain commanding heights of community life?)

    Likewise, I will again point out that evolutionary materialistic scientism is inherently and irretrievably self-falsifying and lacks a world root level IS capable of bearing the weight of OUGHT. Insofar as its fellow travellers seek to conform to this yardstick, they also will fall under the same problem of measuring truth and right by a yardstick that is based on falsity.

    Modelling theory and the logic of implication tell us that a false framework may yield correct results in some cases but will also yield false ones. At crucial points, if we are judging based on imposed falsity we will reject the truth that cuts across such falsity. That would be typical for cases where the truth is somewhat abstract or else where we are dealing with consequences that are not yet realised. (Thus BTW the tendency to dismiss slippery slope cascades of consequences as fallacy without serious examination. Typically, based on being ever so wise in one’s own eyes. Machiavelli warned of the consequences in his remark on political hectic fever. Political disorders, like that fever, are at the first fairly easy to cure but hard to diagnose to the satisfaction of all; but when at length the course of the complaint is manifest to all, it is far too late to cure. That is, the body politic is now unavoidably headed for a crash with reality at the foot of a slippery slope. For want of a nail, the shoe was lost, so the horse, the man and the day of battle in turn; and so the cause was lost. For want of something seemingly so trivial as a nail in a shoe for the horse of just one crucial man carrying a decisive message at a critical point in a battle.)

    Truth is far harder and unflinching in its demands: it says of what is that it is, and of what is not, that it is not.

    And in cases where truth is not obvious, sound knowledge becomes pivotal. That is, well warranted, credibly true belief. Yes, yet another point where the much despised faith surfaces in reasoning and knowledge. Hence BTW the importance of worldview level analysis in grounding our understanding of ourselves and our world. And the discipline to move beyond rhetorical talking points to warrant anchored at world root level. FYI, debate is that dark art that makes the worse appear the better case and the better the worse, therein supported by rhetoric, the art of persuasion — not sound grounding. Where also, in an age where every man does what is right in his own eyes, it is all too easy for us to be caught up in agendas where we neither discern the goals nor the likely consequences. And it is then quite natural to seek out those who flatter and tickle our ears with what is popular, what we want to hear and imagine is so for we wish it so.

    Such . . . sadly . . . is the context of our day — yes, yet another reason to be concerned over marches of folly.

    A day in which by contrast a sound person would instead consistently seek to anchor things connected to the civil peace of justice — an inescapably moral context: in the community there is an order that duly balances rights, freedoms and responsibilities in pursuit of the long term good for one and all — to sound, foundational premises. Licence (the self-centred abuse of freedom that refuses to strike the due balance) and lawfare (usurpation of the sword of justice to impose agendas on targets under colour of law) are enemies of the civil peace of justice.

    So, no, to divert focus to a clash of opinions on topics of controversy and jump to or rhetorically suggest the implied conclusion that there is no underlying objective basis for decision is a dangerously flawed approach.

    Instead, go to the roots.

    Are we inescapably governed by OUGHT — yes, even in argument we are forced to understand that we are impelled by the oughtness of truth and avoidance of error and falsity. In the which the guiding impulse is provided by the voice of conscience. Which is a major mental faculty, and which raises the point that to infer or imply that conscience on the whole is delusional about this central message then grand delusion stands let loose in our world of reasoned thought, undermining credibility of mind. In short, we must accept the testimony of conscience on this pivotal matter on pain of absurdity.

    We live in a world in which we credibly are responsibly and rationally free, morally governed and so under the rule of OUGHT. The rule of evident core principles of a moral law of our nature. So also, a world in which at world-root level (the bridge cannot be effected at any subsequent level) there must be an IS capable of sustaining the weight of OUGHT. And after centuries of debates, it is clear that there is only one serious candidate: the inherently good creator God, a necessary and maximally great being worthy of our respect, loyalty and the reasonable service of doing the good in accord with our evident nature.

    If you would doubt or dismiss this, simply provide a viable alternative: ___________________ (Predictably, you cannot.)

    In that context, we can make sense of evil and of sometimes seemingly strange or unappealingly constraining moral rules in that further light. Namely, evil is the privation, frustration, wrenching out of proper end of what is good by nature of creation. So, we may discern the good and right from the bad and evil by its perverse tendencies that will also strongly tend to undermine the good ends that are evident to a reasonable mind. Often, such will not be instantly obvious, it sets up a seemingly attractive but slippery slope that leads to a hard crash with reality.

    That is the context of Kant’s categorical imperative: evils use other persons as means to our ends, frustrating or wrenching out of course their proper fulfillment of their natural and good ends. Likewise, evils parasite off the general good, i.e. they profit from being the exception not the rule. Were lying and cheating or thievery and murder to become the rule, damage and harm would spread across the whole community, breaking it down.

    This also obtains for the sexual order of our being.

    It is quite evident that maleness and femaleness are complementary and are connected inherently to reproduction. Where, sound upbringing of children requires stable, committed families based on lifetime covenant of man and wife, mother and father. Where, families and clans come together in communities to further stabilise and protect this central end of humanity through the civil peace of justice.

    When sexual attitudes, thoughts, expressions and behaviours are wrenched out of this context and are twisted away from such ends, it brings ever increasing privation to these ends. That holds for general sexual promiscuity, it holds for the porn plague, it holds for the divorce game, it holds for mass abortion, it holds for the attempts to warp our understanding of the proper use of sex organs under false colour of law and love, it holds for attmpts to warp the definition of marriage under colour of law, it holds for the latest agenda item, to warp sense of sexual identity itself, equally under false colour of law.

    Nor, can it be fairly, responsibly argued that “my genes MADE me do it.” (That claim, under false colours of science, and spread far and wide by the media and education systems, has done much harm.)

    So, it is time to re-think; lest we find ourselves so far down mutually opposed slippery slopes that a hard crash with reality becomes inevitable.

    And frankly, I have my doubts that such a crash can now be averted. Too many institutions have become too warped and manipulating.

    But maybe we can soften the impact somewhat.

    Maybe.

    KF

  342. 342
    daveS says:

    KF,

    From the FYI-FTR:

    Nor, can it be fairly, responsibly argued that “my genes MADE me do it.” (That claim, under false colours of science, and spread far and wide by the media and education systems, has done much harm.)

    This seems to me to be somewhat opposed to the notion, which I gather you hold, that transgender people are doing something wrong and/or are mentally ill in view of the fact that they are “disobeying” their genes and other physical aspects of their bodies.

  343. 343
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, the linked book lays out a considerable case with evidence regarding sexuality and the degree to which such is genetically (or hormonally etc) stamped beyond our ability to control; drawing on a significant body of evidence that the idea that one is under genetic compulsion beyond responsible choice is ill-founded. I do not think mental illness is properly a primary descriptive, though it is clear that enmeshing, habituating patterns of behaviour are far easier to enter into than to get out of; cf. the 12 step life recovery approach. (Such may then be a proper focus of helping professions, never mind PC codes that are being imposed.) Yes, yet another slippery, dangerous slope. I suggest that the clothes one wears and the apparent sexual identity one projects to the public by trying to appear male or female are patently linked to choices made day by day starting with what one puts on from the clothes closet. (And yes, I am aware of the unusual underwear choices made by some who otherwise dress conventionally; including as a possible borderline case a certain justly famed Englishman, WSC.) Likewise, if one goes to the extreme of surgical and/or chemical alteration of one’s body, that too is an act of choice. We need to look very carefully at where we are heading as a civilisation. KF

  344. 344
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS, the linked book lays out a considerable case with evidence regarding sexuality and the degree to which such is genetically (or hormonally etc) stamped beyond our ability to control; drawing on a significant body of evidence that the idea that one is under genetic compulsion beyond responsible choice is ill-founded.

    Yes, that was what I thought you believed. Do you agree with the following: While one’s physical body does not determine one’s gender identity, one should choose the gender identity which “matches” one’s physical body (exceptional cases such as intersex aside).

    Edit:

    (And yes, I am aware of the unusual underwear choices made by some who otherwise dress conventionally; including as a possible borderline case a certain justly famed Englishman, WSC.)

    I don’t know who WSC is, but anyway that might be TMI for this venue.

  345. 345
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, I think gender as commonly used in contexts such as this is rather too ideologically loaded. I normally speak to sexuality as an aspect of personal identity; logically leading to appropriate sexually tied roles under the core principles of the natural moral law. And people with unusual medical conditions should be recognised as such and treated with dignity. KF

    PS: The W is for Winston, yes that one. And the circumstance is at the time of his marriage.

  346. 346
    Mung says:

    I am only saying that we all, regardless of our faith, think that the assemblage of morals espoused by our faith is superior to those of other faiths.

    To be completely honest, I didn’t think that this would be controversial.

    Of course it’s going to be controversial. There’s no reason to think that the prohibition against murder in Judaism is somehow better or worse than the prohibition against murder in Christianity or Islam, and vice versa.

    Who exactly is claiming moral superiority?

  347. 347
    Mung says:

    By the way, in the Christian tradition at least the moral law is part of nature and has nothing to do with the Christian faith. Do yes, again, the claim is controversial.

  348. 348
    clown fish says:

    KairosFocus: “Notice how, above, you consistently substitute individual or collective opinion for warranted truth?”

    Since my personal side discussion with Vividbleu was all about individual and collective opinion; 100% about opinion; absolute about opinion; exclusively about opinion, how can I possibly be substituting it for warranted truth. Or are you suggesting that I can’t have a personal opinion about what you claim to be a “warranted truth”. It’s nice to know that you are the thought police here.

    Really, if you want to contribute substantively to this discussion, you really have to pay attention to the words being written.

    The issue is not undue controversy but persistent rhetorical reframing on your part that becomes, with all due respect, fallacious.”

    I have already pointed out, twice, why my comments have not been persistent rhetorical reframing. My little side discussion with Vividbleu may be off topic, but there are two clear facts in play. 1) I wasn’t the one who started the off topic discussion. 2) If our little discussion is off topic, which I have clearly stated that it is, what exactly am I persistently reframing?

    Given the accusational tone of your first two paragraphs, can you give me any reason why the rest of your huge post is worth reading?

  349. 349
    clown fish says:

    Mung: “Of course it’s going to be controversial. There’s no reason to think that the prohibition against murder in Judaism is somehow better or worse than the prohibition against murder in Christianity or Islam, and vice versa.”

    What about the prohibition against taking the Lord’s name in vain, or of having no graven images? These are part of the moral assemblage of Judeo-Christian faiths, but not in all faiths. Homosexuality is a sin in some, not in all. Not eating pork is part of the moral assemblage in some but not others.

    Who exactly is claiming moral superiority?”

    I never said that anyone is claiming this. I am saying that people think this. Because of its connotation with racism, superiority may be an emotionally charged word, but how else would you term it. You could take the PC approach and say that individuals think that the moral assemblage of their faith is better aligned with truth (natural law, whatever) than others, but how is that any different than saying that they think it is superior?

  350. 350
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS, I think gender as commonly used in contexts such as this is rather too ideologically loaded. I normally speak to sexuality as an aspect of personal identity; logically leading to appropriate sexually tied roles under the core principles of the natural moral law.

    Are you then in agreement with:

    While one’s physical body does not determine one’s sexuality, one should choose the sexuality which “matches” one’s physical body (exceptional cases such as intersex aside).

  351. 351
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, one should respond appropriately to one’s sex and to relevant moral governance. KF

  352. 352
    kairosfocus says:

    CF, I observe you consistently shifting focus to opinion clashes. I noted and responded to that i/l/o the wider context of ongoing history of ideas in our time. I also note that the Judaeo-Christian framework of thought explicitly endorses the relevance of manifestly evident core principles of the natural moral law; indeed specifically identifying the properly functioning conscience and the sense of oughtness it points to as a key guide, a candle within. Also, to the significance of morally freighted wisdom as opposed to simplicity, folly and committed willful evil. KF

  353. 353
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Let us lay out the core Christian moral teaching in the words of its founder, to make clear exactly what we discuss here — let us see if this comes across as arrogant and arbitrary imposition or as a humbling but all too familiar challenge:

    _________________

    >>Matthew 5-7English Standard Version (ESV)
    The Sermon on the Mount

    5 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
    The Beatitudes

    2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

    3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

    5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

    6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

    7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

    8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

    9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons[a] of God.

    10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
    Salt and Light

    13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

    14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that[b] they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
    Christ Came to Fulfill the Law

    17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
    Anger

    21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother[c] will be liable to judgment; whoever insults[d] his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell[e] of fire. 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.[f]
    Lust

    27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
    Divorce

    31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
    Oaths

    33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ 34 But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.[g]
    Retaliation

    38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic,[h] let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.
    Love Your Enemies

    43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers,[i] what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
    Giving to the Needy

    6 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

    2 “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
    The Lord’s Prayer

    5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

    7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 Pray then like this:

    “Our Father in heaven,
    hallowed be your name.[j]
    10
    Your kingdom come,
    your will be done,[k]
    on earth as it is in heaven.
    11
    Give us this day our daily bread,[l]
    12
    and forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
    13
    And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.[m]

    14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
    Fasting

    16 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
    Lay Up Treasures in Heaven

    19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[n] destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

    22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

    24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.[o]
    Do Not Be Anxious

    25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[p] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

    34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
    Judging Others

    7 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

    6 “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.
    Ask, and It Will Be Given

    7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
    The Golden Rule

    12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

    13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy[q] that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
    A Tree and Its Fruit

    15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
    I Never Knew You

    21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
    Build Your House on the Rock

    24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
    The Authority of Jesus

    28 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.
    Footnotes:

    Matthew 5:9 Greek huioi; see Preface
    Matthew 5:16 Or house. 16Let your light so shine before others that
    Matthew 5:22 Some manuscripts insert without cause
    Matthew 5:22 Greek says Raca to (a term of abuse)
    Matthew 5:22 Greek Gehenna; also verses 29, 30
    Matthew 5:26 Greek kodrantes, Roman copper coin (Latin quadrans) worth about 1/64 of a denarius (which was a day’s wage for a laborer)
    Matthew 5:37 Or the evil one
    Matthew 5:40 Greek chiton, a long garment worn under the cloak next to the skin
    Matthew 5:47 Or brothers and sisters. The plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) refers to siblings in a family. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, adelphoi may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters
    Matthew 6:9 Or Let your name be kept holy, or Let your name be treated with reverence
    Matthew 6:10 Or Let your kingdom come, let your will be done
    Matthew 6:11 Or our bread for tomorrow
    Matthew 6:13 Or the evil one; some manuscripts add For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen
    Matthew 6:19 Or worm; also verse 20
    Matthew 6:24 Greek mammon, a Semitic word for money or possessions
    Matthew 6:27 Or a single cubit to his stature; a cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters
    Matthew 7:13 Some manuscripts For the way is wide and easy

    English Standard Version (ESV)

    The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.>>
    _________________

    KF

  354. 354
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS, one should respond appropriately to one’s sex and to relevant moral governance. KF

    Hm. I expected that you would forthrightly agree (or perhaps disagree) with the statement I posted in #350.

    Maybe I misread your position. If a genetically/physically male person identifies/dresses/presents as a female person, and does so discreetly without demanding any “special rights” and so forth, is that ok?

  355. 355
    Mung says:

    clown fish:

    What about the prohibition against taking the Lord’s name in vain, or of having no graven images?

    What about them?

    These are part of the moral assemblage of Judeo-Christian faiths, but not in all faiths.

    So?

    “Who exactly is claiming moral superiority?”

    I never said that anyone is claiming this. I am saying that people think this.

    So they think it but don’t say it. You’re a mind reader then.

  356. 356
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, is it appropriate for a man to go about projecting himself as if he were a woman? What onward implications of this are becoming evident as we speak? KF

  357. 357
    kairosfocus says:

    CF, heard of outrageous arrogance [= hubris] manifested as lese majeste? Now ponder such as directed against God, and particularly in the form of misusing his name. KF

  358. 358
    clown fish says:

    KairosFocus: “CF, I observe you consistently shifting focus to opinion clashes.”

    I have not shifted my focus at all. My discussion with Vividbleu was always about opinion. It did not attempt, at any time, to address truth in any fashion. The fact that you have refused to accept this and chose rather to make an accusation that is clearly and evidently false to anyone reading along, does not speak well for you.

  359. 359
    clown fish says:

    KairosFocus: CF, heard of outrageous arrogance [= hubris] manifested as lese majeste? Now ponder such as directed against God, and particularly in the form of misusing his name. KF”

    Do you make it a habit to intentionally misrepresent what other people are saying, or do you reserve this privilege for those who you disagree with?

    Please read my comments carefully. I never said anything about whether taking the Lord’s name in vain was good or bad. I simply said that not all faiths have this restriction. Which is patently true. This is one of the assemblage of moral values which, I presume, you feel is better than that of other faiths that do not have it. I am not making a statement of judgement, just a proposal that I think is blatantly obvious. Faiths are different. There has to be some rational reason for an individual to select one over another.

  360. 360
    kairosfocus says:

    CF, first kindly cf the focus of the OP and what you have been raising. Then note that insofar as there is relevance, you have consistently focussed on divergent opinions as opposed to evident core principles of the natural law. Third, I pointed the issue of lese majeste to show a much broader context of the importance and moral significance of respect for majesty; this is the broader context in which there is a clear link to much broader principles of honour to whom honour is due and indeed to what honour is due. In short, respect for God is not an arbitrary or isolated demand, it is a part of much broader principles of respect and honour. I find it strange indeed that I would have to spell out such. I add, the context of reasons for worldview choice, that for the priority of truth and that for response to evident truth of the gospel were already given as links, however you passed by such in silence. KF

  361. 361
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS, is it appropriate for a man to go about projecting himself as if he were a woman? What onward implications of this are becoming evident as we speak? KF

    I don’t find anything about “genetically” male people presenting themselves as women (in itself) inappropriate.

    Onward implications? Such as?

    Naturally, issues will arise as people become more aware of this phenomenon, but it’s not new by any means.

  362. 362
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, Observe OP and other contexts. KF

  363. 363
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS, Observe OP and other contexts. KF

    Well, the OP and other contexts don’t indicate to me there’s anything wrong with a genetically male person presenting as a female person, in itself.

  364. 364
    clown fish says:

    KairosFocus: “. In short, respect for God is not an arbitrary or isolated demand, it is a part of much broader principles of respect and honour.”

    Which is fine for your faith. And I respect that. But not all faiths have that demand. Are they wrong?

    Christians, Jews and Muslims believe that homosexuality is a sin. Hindu and American Indians do not. Do you believe that their position on this is equal to the Christian, Jewish and Muslim position?

    You have failed to explain to me how the individual selection of faith does not boil down to a choice of the one that conforms best to how the individual perceives the world. How he thinks it fits in with what he perceives to be true. Which one he perceives to have a superior assemblage of morals.

  365. 365
    kairosfocus says:

    CF, the point is quite clear: honour to whom or what honour is due (rather than raillery or gross disrespect — if abroad do you stand in respect for another country’s anthem?), an important and patently legitimate premise of civility. Enough on yet another tangent. KF

  366. 366
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Notice, how CF and others have consistently ducked addressing the framework of analysis that draws out the in-common core of the natural moral law. That is a clue that we need to highlight it. And for that let us use Hooker as cited by Locke and then draw out some principles step by step. This is what is in substantial unity or should be — and it is where it points:

    _______________

    >>John Locke, in grounding modern liberty and what would become democratic self-government of a free people premised on upholding the civil peace of justice, in Ch 2 Sec. 5 of his second treatise on civil Government [c. 1690] cites “the judicious [Anglican canon, Richard] Hooker” from his classic Ecclesiastical Polity of 1594 on, as he explains how the principles of neighbour-love are inscribed in our hearts, becoming evident to the eye of common good sense and reasonableness:

    . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8 and alluding to Justinian’s synthesis of Roman Law in Corpus Juris Civilis that also brings these same thoughts to bear:] as namely, That because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like . . . ] [Eccl. Polity,preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8, p.80, cf. here. Emphasis added.]

    We may elaborate on Paul, Locke, Hooker and Aristotle, laying out several manifestly evident and historically widely acknowledged core moral principles for which the attempted denial is instantly and patently absurd for most people — that is, they are arguably self-evident moral truths. For instance:

    1] The first self evident moral truth is that we are inescapably under the government of ought.

    (This is manifest in even an objector’s implication in the questions, challenges and arguments that s/he would advance, that we are in the wrong and there is something to be avoided about that. That is, even the objector inadvertently implies that we OUGHT to do, think, aim for and say the right. Not even the hyperskeptical objector can escape this truth. Patent absurdity on attempted denial.)

    2] Second self evident truth, we discern that some things are right and others are wrong by a compass-sense we term conscience which guides our thought. (Again, objectors depend on a sense of guilt/ urgency to be right not wrong on our part to give their points persuasive force. See what would be undermined should conscience be deadened or dismissed universally? Sawing off the branch on which we all must sit.)

    3] Third, were this sense of conscience and linked sense that we can make responsibly free, rational decisions to be a delusion, we would at once descend into a status of grand delusion in which there is no good ground for confidence in our self-understanding. That is, we look at an infinite regress of Plato’s cave worlds: once such a principle of grand global delusion is injected, there is no firewall so the perception of level one delusion is subject to the same issue, and this level two perception too, ad infinitum; landing in patent absurdity.

    4] Fourth, we are objectively under obligation of OUGHT. That is, despite any particular person’s (or group’s or august council’s or majority’s) wishes or claims to the contrary, such obligation credibly holds to moral certainty. That is, it would be irresponsible, foolish and unwise for us to act and try to live otherwise.

    5] Fifth, this cumulative framework of moral government under OUGHT is the basis for the manifest core principles of the natural moral law under which we find ourselves obligated to the right the good, the true etc. Where also, patently, we struggle to live up to what we acknowledge or imply we ought to do.

    6] Sixth, this means we live in a world in which being under core, generally understood principles of natural moral law is coherent and factually adequate, thus calling for a world in which OUGHT is properly grounded at root level. (Thus worldviews that can soundly meet this test are the only truly viable ones. if a worldview does not have in it a world-root level IS that can simultaneously ground OUGHT, it fails decisively.*)

    7] Seventh, in light of the above, even the weakest and most voiceless of us thus has a natural right to life, liberty, the pursuit of fulfillment of one’s sense of what s/he ought to be (“happiness”). This includes the young child, the unborn and more. (We see here the concept that rights are binding moral expectations of others to provide respect in regards to us because of our inherent status as human beings, members of the community of valuable neighbours. Where also who is my neighbour was forever answered by the parable of the Good Samaritan. Likewise, there can be no right to demand of or compel my neighbour that s/he upholds me and enables me in the wrong — including under false colour of law through lawfare. To justly claim a right, one must first be in the right.)

    8] Eighth, like unto the seventh, such may only be circumscribed or limited for good cause. Such as, reciprocal obligation to cherish and not harm neighbour of equal, equally valuable nature in community and in the wider world of the common brotherhood of humanity.

    9] Ninth, this is the context in which it becomes self evidently wrong, wicked and evil to kidnap, sexually torture and murder a young child or the like as concrete cases in point that show that might and/or manipulation do not make ‘right,’ ‘truth,’ ‘worth,’ ‘justice,’ ‘fairness,’ ‘law’ etc. That is, anything that expresses or implies the nihilist’s credo is morally absurd.

    10] Tenth, this entails that in civil society with government, justice is a principal task of legitimate government. Thus also,

    11] Eleventh, that government is and ought to be subject to audit, reformation and if necessary replacement should it fail sufficiently badly and incorrigibly.

    12] Twelfth, the attempt to deny or dismiss such a general framework of moral governance invariably lands in shipwreck of incoherence and absurdity. But that does not mean that the attempt is not going to be made, so there is a mutual obligation of frank and fair correction and restraint of evil.
    _________________

    * F/N: After centuries of debates and assessment of alternatives per comparative difficulties, there is in fact just one serious candidate to be such a grounding IS: the inherently good creator God, a necessary and maximally great being worthy of ultimate loyalty and the reasonable responsible service of doing the good in accord with our manifestly evident nature. (And instantly, such generic ethical theism answers also to the accusation oh this is “religion”; that term being used as a dirty word — no, this is philosophy. If you doubt this, simply put forth a different candidate that meets the required criteria and passes the comparative difficulties test: _________ . Likewise, an inherently good, maximally great being will not be arbitrary or deceitful etc, that is why such is fully worthy of ultimate loyalty and the reasonable, responsible service of doing the good in accord with our manifestly evident nature. As a serious candidate necessary being, such would be eternal and embedded in the frame for a world to exist at all. Thus such a candidate is either impossible as a square circle is impossible due to mutual ruin of core characteristics, or else it is actual. For simple instance no world is possible without two-ness in it, a necessary basis for distinct identity inter alia.>>
    ________________

    This is a case of looking for what is being constantly smoke-screened off and evaded by determined opponents, as that is obviously what they do not wish to face.

    Which is revealing.

    Especially, as we bring the OP back to focus — the latest radical progressivist agenda item being pushed under name of equal rights (as in if you object you can only be an X-phobe and bigot) — and highlight point 7:

    even the weakest and most voiceless of us thus has a natural right to life, liberty, the pursuit of fulfillment of one’s sense of what s/he ought to be (“happiness”). This includes the young child, the unborn and more. (We see here the concept that rights are binding moral expectations of others to provide respect in regards to us because of our inherent status as human beings, members of the community of valuable neighbours. Where also who is my neighbour was forever answered by the parable of the Good Samaritan. Likewise, there can be no right to demand of or compel my neighbour that s/he upholds me and enables me in the wrong — including under false colour of law through lawfare. To justly claim a right, one must first be in the right.

    KF

  367. 367
    daveS says:

    KF,

    Speaking of ducking 🙂 is there a yes/no answer to:

    If a genetically/physically male person identifies/dresses/presents as a female person, and does so discreetly without demanding any “special rights” and so forth, is that ok?

  368. 368
    clown fish says:

    KairosFocus: “CF, the point is quite clear: honour to whom or what honour is due (rather than raillery or gross disrespect …”

    Except that is not the point I was making. I did not, at any time, suggest that anyone disrespect other faiths. Or their moral positions. My point is very clear. The fact that you can’t understand it, or chose not to, is, frankly, unbelievable.

    But I have noticed that, although you have responded to my comments that were not directed at you, you have completely avoided my questions that were directed at you @328 and 329. Repeated at 332. That is very telling.

  369. 369
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, as you know, that is not what is happening. And, consider impact on family, cumulated. KF

  370. 370
    kairosfocus says:

    CF, again, the focal issue for the thread is clear. In a wider context available to all, you have tried to focus an issue you labelled as unique to the Judaeo-Christian tradition; which I showed is actually an example of a much broader and general principle of civil society — honor to whom (and what) honour is due, quite often protected by actual laws such as those of lese majeste. The attempt to single out fails, and the distractive effect of repeated tangents while what is central is not squarely faced, is noted. KF

  371. 371
    daveS says:

    KF,

    DS, as you know, that is not what is happening. And, consider impact on family, cumulated. KF

    That is what is happening with the two transgender people I know of, as far as one can tell.

    Feel free to consider it as a hypothetical if you prefer. If a genetically/physically male person identifies/dresses/presents as a female person, and does so discreetly without demanding any “special rights” and so forth, is that ok?

    Recall that you have just accused some of the posters here of “ducking” certain issues.

  372. 372
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, the attritional crumbling of the core moral consensus of our civilisation has been going on a long time on many fronts. Including anecdotal cases that add up like grains of sand in a pile. The material problem is not one or two grains, it is the large scale pattern. And that problem is the eating out of the moral core of our civilisation which is now giving increasing free play to further and further radical — and often implicitly nihilist (might/manipulation make ‘right’) — pushes. The answer to such is to address the core: hold the pinning distractions without over-committing effort, focus strength at the decisive point instead of allowing it to be critically undermined. Where the point is, a clear distraction game so the core needs focus. Right now it looks to me like only after things crash hard will there be a willingness to rethink, but the likelihood is that the crash will break the back of our civilisation in a geostrategically dangerous age. An utter march of folly, and I suggest those who are sober minded will find the example of the Peloponnesian war all too relevant . . . ponder the course of the ill-founded and poorly executed expedition to Sicily and what it cost Athens as the wrong decisions were made over and over in an overconfident atmosphere. I suspect posterity will rise up in their grief and call our generation, for cause, accursed. KF

  373. 373
    Mung says:

    daveS,

    Are lies any less lies when sweetly whispered?

  374. 374
    Mung says:

    Let’s not forget how the killing of millions have been sugar-coated, because as we all know:

    A Spoonful Of Sugar

  375. 375
    daveS says:

    Mung,

    daveS,

    Are lies any less lies when sweetly whispered?

    No. Do you think my transgender acquaintances are lying in some way?

  376. 376
    clown fish says:

    KairosFocus: “In a wider context available to all, you have tried to focus an issue you labelled as unique to the Judaeo-Christian tradition…”

    Your intentional, or blatantly ignorant, misrepresentation of my comments is really becoming tiresome. Are you really so dense that you are incapable of reading what I write in the context in which it is written? Or do you have some paranoid guilt over your own faith that sees every comment that mentions Christianity as an attack on Christianity?

    At no point have I made any judgment, positive or negative, about Christianity or any other faith. All I have tried to do is examine the rationale for individuals selecting one faith over another. The fact that you are reading nefarious intentions into my words speaks volumes. And not to your favour.

  377. 377
    kairosfocus says:

    CF,

    you know or should know the wider rhetorical context of the relativist objection that there is disagreement on moral items; meant to undermine the point that there is general, generally understood moral truth . . . in the words of the sophists Plato addresses in The Laws, Bk X, “the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them.”

    I have a perfect right to point to that wider context and correct the radical relativists’ view, whether or no you explicitly speak of it.

    You also know or should know that a focal issue in this thread is that the manifestly evident core principles of the natural law are such that “no man is ignorant” as Hooker put it in the historically important clip I have cited from Locke. I have spoken to that context.

    Let me cite Locke’s quote in his 2nd essay on civil gov’t again:

    . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [[Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8:] as namely, That because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like . . . ] [[Eccl. Polity,preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8, p.80]

    In the case of a point you have repeatedly brought up, I have pointed out that there is a very widely recognised principle of civil society, that honour should be given to whom or what honour is due (even to the point of actual laws of lese majeste that bear or have had relevant penalties) which is relevant to the Judaeo-Christian principle of solemn respect for God and his name; not least as dread eternal judge and ultimate Lord of all worlds. (In which context laws on contempt of court or of judges or of parliaments or of national symbols including rulers as living symbols are a very relevant point.)

    That is, the Judaeo-Christian principle is not exceptional or in dis-harmony with the general moral governance of humanity. Instead, it fits right in. A point that you have seemed rather hesitant to acknowledge as relevant to the repeated attempt to suggest that there is a sharp difference between the Judaeo-Christian teaching here and the practices of other religious traditions.

    And that is at minimum a reasonable point of balancing.

    KF

  378. 378
    clown fish says:

    KairosFocus: “you know or should know the wider rhetorical context of the relativist objection that there is disagreement on moral items;”

    There is disagreement on moral items even amongst objectivists. So what?

    …meant to undermine the point that there is general, generally understood moral truth …”

    My comments in this thread had nothing to do with the existence of moral truth. How many times do I have to repeat this? You are flogging a dead horse.

    I have a perfect right to point to that wider context and correct the radical relativists’ view, whether or no you explicitly speak of it.”

    And you have the right to try explain to me the dangers of smoking. But it would not make any sense since I have never smoked and never been a proponent of it.

    That is, the Judaeo-Christian principle is not exceptional or in dis-harmony with the general moral governance of humanity. Instead, it fits right in.”

    Have I claimed otherwise? All I have proposed is that people pick one faith over another because they believe that the moral assemblage of one better fits their perception of truth.

  379. 379
    kairosfocus says:

    CF, I have spoken to the wider context, and it seems clear that my point stands; including the point that there are core, manifestly evident moral truths — which you have never directly and cogently addressed, nor others who might have been expected to. I note as well that the premise of truth (pace Wm G Perry et al) and the touchstone truth claim of the Christian faith, Jesus of Nazareth and his passion including his resurrection witnessed by the 500 [which grounds the specific moral authority of that tradition], have also not been directly faced. KF

  380. 380
    Mung says:

    daveS:

    Do you think my transgender acquaintances are lying in some way?

    Have you asked them to submit to a polygraph? Do you agree that how is different from what? It seems to me you are confused about that.

    Do you think that as long as science teachers teach in a psychologically pleasing manner that water does not consist of hydrogen and oxygen that what they teach ought to be acceptable? How science is taught ought to take precedence over what is taught. Right?

  381. 381
    daveS says:

    Mung,

    Have you asked them to submit to a polygraph?

    No.

    Do you agree that how is different from what? It seems to me you are confused about that.

    Could you elaborate? I honestly don’t know what you’re getting at.

    Do you think that as long as science teachers teach in a psychologically pleasing manner that water does not consist of hydrogen and oxygen that what they teach ought to be acceptable? How science is taught ought to take precedence over what is taught. Right?

    Wrong.

    I guess you’re drawing an analogy here, but I think it’s safe to say humans are much more complex than water molecules.

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