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US AG Barr on the importance of religious liberty

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Here (as updated):

Money clip:

The imperative of protecting religious freedom was not just a nod in the direction of piety. It reflects the framers’ belief that religion was indispensable to sustaining our free system of government . . . ”

Food for thought. END

F/N, U/D: Prepared text, found. I think he mostly read the speech, let us clip and discuss below.

PS: First, a different view on political spectra (than where one sat in the French legislature 200 years ago or thereabouts):

U/d b for clarity, nb Nil

Next, Aquinas on law, as summarised:

Third, Schaeffer’s line of despair analysis, as adjusted and extended:

Let’s add on straight vs spin

726 Replies to “US AG Barr on the importance of religious liberty

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    US AG Barr on the importance of religious liberty

  2. 2
    Seversky says:

    I hope AG Barr meant that the Founders intended that citizens should be free to hold whatever beliefs or non-beliefs that they chose, not that the government should endorse one particular faith over all others.

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, watch. Also, watch the part that speaks to secularist militancy and lawfare, with its likely implications and consequences. KF

    PS: I see there is an extension with clips samples and comments beyond what, min 37 or so, which is not part of the speech. The speech is a landmark and we need the transcript.

  4. 4
    hazel says:

    Yes, we need to protect religious liberty. Protecting religious liberty is indispensable to sustaining our free system of government, but that is different than saying religion itself is indispensable to sustaining our free system of government. Those with no religion have exactly the same rights to have their beliefs protected as those with religious beliefs.

    I’m not sure Barr is a very good representative of “sustaining our free system of government” these days. Do you really want UD to take on this political discussion?

  5. 5
    hazel says:

    From the Washington Post:

    “In Friday, in a closed-door speech at the University of Notre Dame, Attorney General William P. Barr talked at length about a “campaign to destroy the traditional moral order.”

    The alleged perpetrator of this campaign?

    “Militant secularists,” who insist upon keeping government institutions free from the influence of any faith or creed.

    To be clear: This was not merely an affirmation — delivered by a devout Catholic, while visiting a Catholic university — of how privately taught religious values can contribute to character development or stronger communities.

    No. This appeared to be a tacit endorsement of theocracy.

    As a non-militant “secularist”, I protest.

    link

  6. 6
    Belfast says:

    @hazel@4
    “ Protecting religious liberty is indispensable to sustaining our free system of government, but that is different than saying religion itself is indispensable to sustaining our free system of government.”
    Do you think this statement makes sense?

  7. 7
    Belfast says:

    @Hazel@5
    Between the evidence of what Barr said and your interpretation of the evidence, and your exposition of the evidence, and your explanation of the evidence there are gaps which you have filled in with your post.
    It won’t do, you know.

  8. 8
    BobRyan says:

    The 1st Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
    The purpose was to prevent Congress from declaring any one religion, be it Roman Catholic, Protestant, Quaker, etc., from becoming an official religion of the United States. There’s a difference between theology and religion, which the founders understood. Theology is the root of religions. Judaism is a theology with various movements, Conservative, Chabad, etc. Each movement is considered a distinct religion. Did Attorney-General Barr say he calls on Congress to declare Roman Catholicism to be the official religion of the United States?

  9. 9
    polistra says:

    Speeches are meaningless noise. Trump’s executive orders on this subject are carefully crafted to change nothing. He orders federal agencies to THINK about religious freedom, if they feel like it. Bureaucrats don’t feel like thinking about religious freedom, so they won’t. The executive orders don’t require any ACTIONS at all.

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, it is evident you have not listened to the speech. The WaPo and other sources of like ilk are NOT responsible, reliable sources on this sort of matter; similar to Wikipedia or the like. I suggest that you actually listen to it. And your use of theocracy as an insinuation is not only far from the mark of what he actually said (and gave significant examples of) but it reflects precisely one aspect of the problem of radical secularist imposition and militancy under false colour of law that is now beginning to improperly impose on freedom of conscience and religion, association, expression and publication. We are in very dangerous territory as a civilisation. I would suggest that the pivotal issue is the grounding of moral government, thus law and civil government; there is a world of difference between a consensus of ethical theism and theocracy, which lies far beyond even what the US Constitution actually forbids, establishment of a federal level state church [to the point of imposing itself as final law on it, Congress has no jurisdiction to pass such a law], much less what is encouraged: free exercise of religion. Barr, in effect argues that the pendulum of self correction has been damaged or smashed and that consequences flow therefrom. Consequences we see in several alarming trends that manifest how moral self-government has been eroded, which is the ruin of liberty through licence and libertinism. We are at a sobering pass as a civilisation and shouting accusations of theocracy at expressions of concern is not helpful. KF

    PS, the speech text would be helpful.

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:

    Found the prepared text: https://www.justice.gov/opa/speech/attorney-general-william-p-barr-delivers-remarks-law-school-and-de-nicola-center-ethics

    Clip 1, core theses on foundations of responsible freedom:

    From the Founding Era onward, there was strong consensus about the centrality of religious liberty in the United States.

    The imperative of protecting religious freedom was not just a nod in the direction of piety. It reflects the Framers’ belief that religion was indispensable to sustaining our free system of government.

    In his renowned 1785 pamphlet, “Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments,” James Madison described religious liberty as “a right towards men” but “a duty towards the Creator,” and a “duty….precedent both in order of time and degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society.”

    It has been over 230 years since that small group of colonial lawyers led a Revolution and launched what they viewed as a great experiment, establishing a society fundamentally different than those that had gone before.

    They crafted a magnificent Charter of Freedom – the United States Constitution – which provides for limited government, while leaving “the People” broadly at liberty to pursue our lives both as individuals and through free associations.

    This quantum leap in liberty has been the mainspring of unprecedented human progress, not only for Americans, but for people around the world.

    In the 20th century, our form of free society faced a severe test.

    There had always been the question whether a democracy so solicitous of individual freedom could stand up against a regimented totalitarian state.

    That question was answered with a resounding “yes” as the United States stood up against and defeated, first fascism, and then communism.

    But in the 21st century, we face an entirely different kind of challenge.

    The challenge we face is precisely what the Founding Fathers foresaw would be our supreme test as a free society.

    They never though the main danger to the Republic came from external foes. The central question was whether, over the long haul, we could handle freedom. The question was whether the citizens in such a free society could maintain the moral discipline and virtue necessary for the survival of free institutions.

    By and large, the Founding generation’s view of human nature was drawn from the Classical Christian tradition.

    These practical Statesmen understood that individuals, while having the potential for great good, also had the capacity for great evil.

    Men are subject to powerful passions and appetites, and, if unrestrained, are capable of ruthlessly riding roughshod over their neighbors and the community at large.

    No society can exist without some means for restraining individual rapacity.

    But, if you rely on the coercive power of government to impose restraints, this will inevitably lead to a government that is too controlling, and you will end up with no liberty, just tyranny.

    On the other hand, unless you have some effective restraint, you end up with something equally dangerous – licentiousness – the unbridled pursuit of personal appetites at the expense of the common good. This is just another form of tyranny – where the individual is enslaved by his appetites, and the possibility of any healthy community life crumbles.

    Edmund Burke summed up this point in his typically colorful language:

    “Men are qualified for civil liberty, in exact proportion to their disposition to put chains upon their appetites….Society cannot exits unless a controlling power be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things that men intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”

    So the Founders decided to take a gamble. They called it a great experiment.

    They would leave “the People” broad liberty, limit the coercive power of the government, and place their trust in self-discipline and virtue of the American people.

    In the words of Madison, “We have staked our future on the ability of each of us to govern ourselves…”

    This is really what was meant by “self-government.” It did not mean primarily the mechanics by which we select a representative legislative body. It referred to the capacity of each individual to restrain and govern themselves.

    But what was the source of this internal controlling power? In a free Republic those restraints could not be handed down from above by philosopher kings.

    Instead, social order must flow up from the people themselves – freely obeying the dictates of inwardly-possessed and commonly-shared moral values. And to control willful human beings, with and infinite capacity to rationalize, those moral values must rest on authority independent of men’s will – they must flow from a transcendent Supreme Being.

    In short, in the Framers’ view, free government was only suitable and sustainable for a religious people – a people who recognized that there was a transcendent moral order antecedent to both the state and manmade law and who had the discipline to control themselves according to those enduring principles.

    As John Adams put it: “We have no government armed with the power which is capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.”

    KF

  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I add to the OP three infographics that I think will help our thinking. Let me also link a recent post (still at top of current threads) that discusses linked issues i/l/o Carroll’s ill-founded claim that in this scientific era somehow we all know there is no God: https://uncommondescent.com/atheism/sean-carroll-nowadays-when-a-more-scientific-worldview-has-triumphed-and-everyone-knows-that-god-doesnt-exist-really/ That, too is relevant. KF

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    Hazel states,

    Yes, we need to protect religious liberty. Protecting religious liberty is indispensable to sustaining our free system of government, but that is different than saying religion itself is indispensable to sustaining our free system of government. Those with no religion have exactly the same rights to have their beliefs protected as those with religious beliefs.

    Really??? And just where do you think the rights of atheists to be atheists comes from? It certainly does not come from your atheism.

    Atheism is completely amoral and it is simply ludicrous for you to presuppose that any moral foundation for a nation, that guarantees the liberty of its peoples, including the freedom of atheists to be atheists, can be built upon anything within your atheism. Many atheists in the 20th century rose to power, most often through explicit violence, and tried to set up their nations along lines that were to be atheistic utopias. Nations that were totally free from any influence from religion, i.e. free from ‘the opiate of the masses’. These Marxist ‘experiments’ into atheistic utopias had unimaginably horrid results. Stalin ended up killing more of his own people than he lost in the entirety of WWII. Mao surpassed even Stalin in his cruelty towards his own people. Upwards of 100 million Chinese slaughtered. Likewise, here in America, abortion is the leading cause of death in America. Upwards to 60 million unborn babies have been slaughtered due to atheistic influences that brought about Roe v Wade. Might it be too obvious to suggest that a nation that slaughters its own children at such a ‘industrial scale’ cannot long survive, much less thrive, as a nation?

    And yet here you sit Hazel, in the face of such unmitigated horror perpetrated at the hands of atheists, pretending as if religion is of no real consequence for a nation.

    Bottom line, atheists, in securing their ‘moral right’ to be atheists, are just as dependent on God for that moral foundation as everybody else is. i.e. Like Van Til’s spoiled brat, they must sit in God’s lap even to be able to reach up and slap God’s face.

    The Brat Who Slapped Her Father’s Face
    Once while Van Til was a youth traveling on a train in Holland, he noticed a father with his young daughter sitting in his lap. Apparently, the father urged his daughter to do something when she suddenly slapped her father in the face. Van Til’s application? The girl’s behavior illustrates rebels who live in God’s world and who are supported by God’s common grace (Ps. 24:1). They sit, as it were, on the lap of God, and it is precisely because they sit on God’s lap that they are able to deliver the slap of ingratitude. Thus unbelievers who toot their own independence and autonomy are only able to do so as they are supported by God Himself (Jn. 19:10 -11). Their denial of God is His affirmation. Atheism does not invalidate theism, but proves it because atheism is only possible given the premise of theism. As the atheist Nikita Khrushchev once described the Soviet Union, In Russia, thank God, there is no God.
    https://chalcedon.edu/magazine/van-tils-illustrations

  14. 14
    hazel says:

    kf writes, “Hazel, it is evident you have not listened to the speech.”

    Completely true, and I’m not about to watch an hour long video of Barr talking about these things.

    ba writes, “And just where do you think the rights of atheists to be atheists comes from? ”

    From our Constitution.

  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, there is a linked transcript. I note, a Constitution may affirm that certain rights are so but it lieth not in man to create fundamental rights. That is in fact one of the key points in the speech. it is sad that we have reached a point of such polarisation that we are unwilling to even entertain a presentation even as we resort to knocking over a patent strawman caricature. Not even when that is pointed out. KF

  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I continue clipping:

    As Father John Courtney Murray observed, the American tenet was not that:

    “Free government is inevitable, only that it is possible, and that its possibility can be realized only when the people as a whole are inwardly governed by the recognized imperatives of the universal moral order.”

    How does religion promote the moral discipline and virtue needed to support free government?

    First, it gives us the right rules to live by. The Founding generation were Christians. They believed that the Judeo-Christian moral system corresponds to the true nature of man. Those moral precepts start with the Two Great Commandments – to Love God with your whole heart, soul and mind; and to Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself.

    But they also include the guidance of Natural Law – a real, transcendent moral order which flows from God’s eternal law – the Divine wisdom by which the whole Creation is ordered. The eternal law is impressed upon, and reflected in, all created things.

    From the nature of things we can, through reason, experience, discern standards of right and wrong that exist independent of human will.

    Modern secularists dismiss this idea of morality as other worldly-superstition imposed by a kill-joy clergy.

    These are serious considerations, not to be lightly dismissed or ignored.

    KF

  17. 17
    hazel says:

    A line from another article” ” It takes some serious chutzpah for the guy driving the Trump sycophant train to complain about moral relativism.”

    The biggest example of a complete lack of morals is the man Barr is working diligently to support and to protect from investigation: Trump. The hypocrisy meter buries the needle and explodes on this one.

  18. 18
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Let me lay out Cicero on such matters, as a convenient point of reference:

    > —Marcus [in de Legibus, introductory remarks,. C1 BC]: . . . the subject of our present discussion . . . comprehends the universal principles of equity and law. In such a discussion therefore on the great moral law of nature, the practice of the civil law can occupy but an insignificant and subordinate station. For according to our idea, we shall have to explain the true nature of moral justice, which is congenial and correspondent [36]with the true nature of man.

    [–> Note, how justice and our built in nature as a morally governed class of creatures are highlighted; thus framing the natural law frame: recognising built-in law that we do not create nor can we repeal, which then frames a sound understanding of justice. Without such an anchor, law inevitably reduces to the sort of ruthless, nihilistic might- and- manipulation- make- “right,”- “truth,”- “knowledge,”- “law”- and- “justice”- etc power struggle and chaos Plato warned against in The Laws Bk X.]

    We shall have to examine those principles of legislation by which all political states should be governed. And last of all, shall we have to speak of those laws and customs which are framed for the use and convenience of particular peoples, which regulate the civic and municipal affairs of the citizens, and which are known by the title of civil laws.

    Quintus [his real-life brother]. —You take a noble view of the subject, my brother, and go to the fountain–head of moral truth, in order to throw light on the whole science of jurisprudence: while those who confine their legal studies to the civil law too often grow less familiar with the arts of justice than with those of litigation.

    Marcus. —Your observation, my Quintus, is not quite correct. It is not so much the science of law that produces litigation, as the ignorance of it, (potius ignoratio juris litigiosa est quam scientia) . . . . With respect to the true principle of justice, many learned men have maintained that it springs from Law. I hardly know if their opinion be not correct, at least, according to their own definition; for “Law (say they) is the highest reason, implanted in nature, which prescribes those things which ought to be done, and forbids the contrary.” This, they think, is apparent from the converse of the proposition; because this same reason, when it [37]is confirmed and established in men’s minds, is the law of all their actions.

    They therefore conceive that the voice of conscience is a law, that moral prudence is a law, whose operation is to urge us to good actions, and restrain us from evil ones. They think, too, that the Greek name for law (NOMOS), which is derived from NEMO, to distribute, implies the very nature of the thing, that is, to give every man his due. [–> this implies a definition of justice as the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities] For my part, I imagine that the moral essence of law is better expressed by its Latin name, (lex), which conveys the idea of selection or discrimination. According to the Greeks, therefore, the name of law implies an equitable distribution of goods: according to the Romans, an equitable discrimination between good and evil.

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

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, ad hominem. I suggest there is more than one side to the story you put up to try to disqualify and dismiss. I request that we renew focus on the civilisation-level subject on the table and lay aside agit prop, biased media amplification and lawfare. (On this, I speak as one who lived through a foolish, needless civil war and saw first hand how it played out in the media etc.) KF

  20. 20
    bornagain77 says:

    as to: “From our Constitution.” in response to question of ““And just where do you think the rights of atheists to be atheists comes from? ”

    LOL, so words written a piece of paper guarantee your moral right to liberty? LOL,,, Really??? What if that piece of paper were destroyed? Would your moral right to liberty still exist?

    Government is not the source of our rights
    March 10, 2018
    Jefferson begins the Declaration by discussing natural rights. Jefferson places the origin of natural rights in the “Laws of Nature of Nature’s God,” as well as being self-evident. Natural rights spring from very nature of man. These right are “unalienable,” meaning that they can be neither taken nor given away. Any government action attempting to infringe such rights would be by its very nature illegitimate. These rights exist, not according to which group you categorize yourself, but belong instead to each individual. Jefferson makes clear that natural rights are not a gift of government, to be arbitrarily modified or expunged by the stroke of a pen or will of a tyrant, but instead belong solely to each sovereign individual.

    In describing natural rights, Jefferson first writes that “all men are created equal.” This equality is not one of result, in which material benefits might be confiscated and redistributed, but one in which no individual enjoys any rights-based advantage over their neighbors due to heredity, and all are held equal before the law. Specifically, Jefferson describes the broad categories of natural rights as including “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Not the right to total happiness, but to pursue happiness. Not the right to liberty to be free from want, but the liberty to be free from government coercion. Not the right to a life to which one feels entitled, but the right to live your life as you see fit according to the dictates of your own conscience and within the bounds of the rights of your neighbors to the same. These are negative rights. They do not describe what one is owed by the government or society; they describe our right to be left alone.

    The source and operation of our natural rights thus have vast implications for what constitutes good and legitimate government. As Jefferson writes, the entire purpose of government is to protect the preexisting natural rights of individuals. Governments are not founded in order to create new rights and arbitrarily dispense benefits upon preferred groups, but to secure rights that existed before governments were ever created. It is the people, therefore, who give the government its power, without which it would be powerless, and without which it cannot legitimately act. Jefferson writes that when and if an established government fails to protect our natural rights, its only legitimate function, it is the right of the people to abolish it, and establish new government to achieve these ends.

    These ideas were, and continue to be, nothing short of revolutionary.

    But that is not how the Progressives of the early 20th century, who continue to exert influence upon American politics from beyond the grave, saw things. For the Progressives, the natural rights theories of the Founders were incompatible impediments to the government driven “progress” they wished to achieve.,,,
    https://pacificlegal.org/government-is-not-the-source-of-our-rights/

  21. 21
    hazel says:

    The Constitution guarantees my legal rights.

  22. 22
    hazel says:

    kf writes, “I suggest there is more than one side to the story”

    Yes there is. Barr is telling one side of the story, which is a side that I disagree with strongly. You can quote all the people you want to that agree with Barr, including dead Romans, but I stand on the other side of the story, as well as denounce Barr for being a hypocrite: if he really had the moral foundation he claims should be adhered to, he would resign and denounce Trump in a heartbeat.

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, In the speech focal to this thread, Mr Barr is not engaging the current controversies over our civilisation’s moral foundations; I already gave enough for you to pause and recognise that there are other sides to the story now being stirred up in ways that will not pass calmer muster; likely, at the foot of the cliff when this generation needlessly shatters our civilisation’s inheritance of sound liberty. I have asked that we focus the issues, which are pivotal and need to be thought through. And your dismissive reaction about a classic voice on the subject, Cicero c 50 BC –whose historical impact is not in doubt — as though he were merely agreeing with Barr [rather than the other way around!!!!] speaks volumes. Not in favour of the side you obviously are taking. KF

  24. 24
    bornagain77 says:

    I did not ask you if the constitution guarantees your legal rights. I asked you if your moral right to liberty would still exist if that piece of paper were destroyed?. Simple question. The answer is also simple. The answer is YES!,, your moral right to liberty would still exist since your moral right to liberty is not arbitrarily given to you by any piece of paper, or by any man, or by any government, but is a right that is endowed upon you by your Creator, i.e. endowed upon you by God! That is a ‘self evident truth’. A truth that our founding fathers thought well worth fighting and dying for. A self evident truth that, in this day of increased government intrusion into our personal lives, many on the right and especially on the so called progressive left, would do very well to remember.

    To wit this upcoming documentary

    No Safe Spaces: Dennis Prager – Teaser
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtwujTfcgaA

  25. 25
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N:Let me lay out now, my own 101 on these issues:

    >> normally responsive people will at least grudgingly respect the following summary of 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 (thus, warranted and objective) moral truths; not just optional opinions.

    So also, it is not only possible to

    (a) be in demonstrable moral error, but also

    (b) there is hope that such moral errors can be corrected by appealing to manifestly sound core principles of the natural moral law. Thus,

    (c) we can now see that a core of law is built into moral government of our responsible, rational freedom (through our known, inescapable duties to truth, right reason, prudence [including, warrant], sound conscience, neighbourliness [thus, the golden rule], fairness & justice, etc). On these, 

    (d) we may frame just civil law as comporting with that built-in law of our morally governed nature, towards upholding and defending the civil peace of justice through sound government.

    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. Expanding slightly: our rational, responsible intelligent behaviour is inescapably under the moral government of known duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc. Thus, we find morally rooted law built into our morally governed nature, even for our intellectual life. Thus, too, the civil law extends what is already built in, to our social circumstances, turning on issues of prudence, justice and mutual duties; if it is to be legitimate. Notice, this is itself a theory on what law is or at least should be. And yes, all of this is fraught with implications for the roots of reality.)

    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-understanding 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. In short, nihilistic will to power untempered by the primacy of justice is its own refutation in any type of state. Where, justice is the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities. 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.

    (NB: This is a requisite of accountability for justice, and the suggestion or implication of some views across time, that government can reasonably be unaccountable to the governed, is its own refutation, reflecting — again — nihilistic will to power; which is automatically absurd. This truth involves the issue that finite, fallible, morally struggling men acting as civil authorities in the face of changing times and situations as well as in the face of the tendency of power to corrupt, need to be open to remonstrance and reformation — or if they become resistant to reasonable appeal, there must be effective means of replacement. Hence, the principle that the general election is an insitutionalised regular solemn assembly of the people for audit and reform or if needs be replacement of government gone bad. But this is by no means an endorsement of the notion that a manipulated mob bent on a march of folly has a right to do as it pleases.)

    12] Twelfth, the attempt to deny or dismiss such a general framework of moral governance invariably lands in shipwreck of incoherence and absurdity. As, has been seen in outline. 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.

    F/N2: Likewise, as Ben Mines summarises from Leibniz, maximal goodness, wisdom and power are arguably mutually, inextricably entangled once we understand/accept that the good implies an evident proper end or purpose:

    Leibniz has given an argument to show that omniscience and moral perfection [–> also, omnipotence] are mutually inclusive: all freely willed action strives towards some goal; all goals are the pursuit of some good entertained by the agent; [ –> real or imagined?] the scope and quality of entertainable goods is dependent on knowledge; the maximisation of knowledge perfects an agent’s judgment of the good. An evil being therefore lacks perfect knowledge; and lacking perfect knowledge, is not omniscient; and lacking omniscience, cannot be omnipotent since there will be some actions it lacks the knowledge to perform. The proposition, It is possible that a maximally great but evil being exists is therefore broadly incoherent. A being cannot be both evil and maximally great.

     F/N3: This principle of built-in moral government under known law also applies directly to gospel ethics, discipleship and evangelism. For, example, it means that “sin” is not merely an oppressive invention of priestcraft designed to bring us under theocratic tyranny — which, is the exact implication of many objections to gospel ethics today. Instead, sin is in the first instance willful moral error, defiance therefore of the inherently good and utterly wise Creator who made us, gave us responsible freedom, commanded us to live by love and truth, and gave us sound conscience as a witness. Therefore, too, we have real guilt against the law of our nature, the law of our creator, not just mere painful emotions to deal with. It is in this context that the gospel is good news: in his love, our creator has made a way for us to be forgiven, rescued and transformed.>>

    KF

  26. 26
    hazel says:

    kf writes,

    Mr Barr is not engaging the current controversies over our civilisation’s moral foundations; I already gave enough for you to pause and recognise that there are other sides to the story now being stirred up in ways that will not pass calmer muster; likely, at the foot of the cliff when this generation needlessly shatters our civilisation’s inheritance of sound liberty.

    Sure, he is engaging current controversies, and so are you. What good is your philosophy of moral foundations if you can’t look at moral corruption in the face and say, “No”?

  27. 27
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, you keep on pushing irrelevant talking points on which there is plainly more than one side of the story. That is not helpful; especially in a situation where we know that the political system and media system as well as the academy are malfunctioning seriously, leading to serious manipulation and warped perspectives — not least, on the roots of law and government, rights, justice, law and more . . . where in 40+ years, 800+ million unborn posterity have been slaughtered, the direct backdrop for what is going on as we saw with the slander attacks against US Supreme Court nominees. And, more could be said, much more, as we see shocking, increasingly routine violations of due process in Congress as well as elsewhere. Where, I have already pointed out that fatal disaffection is setting in and that in the leading state of our civilisation. Contrary to such, I highlighted something that opens up genuine reform. If we are to move to genuine reform, we are going to have to pay serious attention to those things. As far as the debates on current media amplified polarisation and worse, UD is not a proper venue for such and I suggest you carry them elsewhere. Do you or do you not have a sound basis for law, rights and justice — a Constitution is not that basis, nor is the implied legal positivism a sound basis. That is why Cicero, last lion of the old roman republic [who literally paid with his head for his stance] is highly relevant — not merely some Roman who agrees with Barr [which reverses the temporal chain]; and yes, rise of Empire, a lifelong dictatorship with successive dictators in chain (often with assassinations etc), resulted from the failure of the Roman republic. The failure of the Roman Republic and that of the Athenian Democracy are replete with lessons for the dynamics playing out in our civilisation today. Grim lessons. Those who refuse to learn the sound lessons of history doom themselves to repeat its worst chapters. KF

  28. 28
    john_a_designer says:

    Let me try to simplify the issue here.

    Members of PETA believe that other sentient creatures have rights on par with human rights and everyone is obligated to respect those rights. So am I obligated kowtow to PETA’s agenda because that’s their belief and opinion? Am obligated to accept their beliefs because they believe everyone is obligated to accept their beliefs? Am I obligated to not offend them because I disagree with their beliefs?

    This is the kind of nonsense you start running into when moral relativists and subjectivists start basing the idea of rights (human and otherwise) on personal beliefs and opinions. Yes you have the right to believe in nonsense but I’m not obligated to believe your nonsense. Moral obligations, especially when it comes to human rights, must be universal and binding, but how can anyone’s personal opinions and beliefs be universal and binding?

    That’s something Hazel does not understand or refuses to understand, which means that either she is ignorant or willfully ignorant.

  29. 29
    hazel says:

    Neither, JAD. But the issue here for me is that Barr is a flaming hypocrite for making these arguments and also supporting Trump, and his philosophy isn’t worth a nickel in the real world if he can espouse this philosophy and still act like he does.

  30. 30
    ET says:

    LoL! hazel thinks that the US Constitution protects all atheists. And hazel doesn’t know jack about President Trump.

  31. 31
    ET says:

    hazel:

    But the issue here for me is that Barr is a flaming hypocrite for making these arguments and also supporting Trump,…

    Cuz you say so? Really?

    Grow up, hazel

  32. 32
    bornagain77 says:

    Funny, an atheist with no real moral foundation, and who finds unrestricted and widespread abortion to be just fine and dandy, lecturing others on how morally reprehensible she imagines President Trump to be.

    Hypocrisy of the Left’s Morality
    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2019/01/11/hypocrisy_on_morality_139144.html

  33. 33
    hazel says:

    to JAD, ET, kf, and Barr (although he’s not here): Do you think Trump is morally defensible?

  34. 34
    kairosfocus says:

    H, irrelevant to the focal issue. I know, I know, you are desperate not to discuss the focal issue and to pretend that we do not recognise that a certain current occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is a sinner like the rest of us, in need of repentance, forgiveness and transformation by grace. We can guess why, just as we can guess why in a previous thread, objectors have been so absent now that Carroll has let the cat out of the bag yet again on atheistical presumption. KF

  35. 35
    hazel says:

    No, Trump is not a “sinner like the rest of us.” That statement itself is a deflection from acknowledging how egregiously immoral he is.

  36. 36
    bornagain77 says:

    And, as an atheist with no moral foundation, just Who’s morality are you appealing to in order to label abortionists, oops I mean Trump, “egregiously immoral”?

  37. 37
    john_a_designer says:

    Frankly, it’s a waste of time to engage moral subjectivists who cannot refute the argument that moral subjectivism is self-refuting. (Duh! Of course they can’t. They don’t understand why.)

    Morality is useless unless there is some kind of real and binding interpersonal moral obligations. Obligations are not subjective personal preferences. For example, we are obligated to tell the truth whether it advances our self-interest or not. Obligations also demand that there is some kind of interpersonal moral standard which more than one person MUST admit is the right, correct and true standard. The materialist atheist has no reason to accept such a standard. So what reason would anyone have to believe that he (or she) is able to treat others honestly and fairly? How, for example, can you have an honest and fair discussion on-line about morality if you don’t feel you have a personal obligation to be truthful? I don’t see how you can or ever could.

    https://uncommondescent.com/atheism/sean-carroll-nowadays-when-a-more-scientific-worldview-has-triumphed-and-everyone-knows-that-god-doesnt-exist-really/#comment-685058

  38. 38
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, there you go again. Perhaps the phrase total depravity means little to you. That is what “sinner” means: guilty, through and through in word, thought and deed, with deeper roots. Where, I am pretty sure you have never lived through a cultural civil war (up till now) so you haven’t a clue as to how depraved media, offices and systems of justice can be, nor what show trials look like. Meanwhile, you continue to try to divert a thread that goes to the root bedrock questions that open up the way to reform. Duly noted. We can safely draw a conclusion, that you have no cogent, substantial answer on the merits. KF

  39. 39
    hazel says:

    I know you guys don’t think my opinions have any weight, but I’m not talking about me, I’m talking about you. You’re the ones who believe in objective morals: what would you do in if you were in Bill Barr’s position? Would Trump’s profound immorality (from your viewpoint, not mine) cause you to resign and speak up, or would you continue working for him? What would your conscience say?

  40. 40
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Let’s return to a cogent case:

    violations of . . . [built-in] moral laws have bad, real-world consequences for man and society. We many not pay the price immediately, but over time the harm is real.

    Religion helps promote moral discipline within society. Because man is fallen, we don’t automatically conform ourselves to moral rules even when we know they are good for us.

    But religion helps teach, train, and habituate people to want what is good. It does not do this primarily by formal laws – that is, through coercion. It does this through moral education and by informing society’s informal rules – its customs and traditions which reflect the wisdom and experience of the ages.

    In other words, religion helps frame moral culture within society that instills and reinforces moral discipline.

    Giving a sketch:

    over the past 50 years religion has been under increasing attack.

    On the one hand, we have seen the steady erosion of our traditional Judeo-Christian moral system and a comprehensive effort to drive it from the public square.

    On the other hand, we see the growing ascendancy of secularism and the doctrine of moral relativism.

    By any honest assessment, the consequences of this moral upheaval have been grim.

    Virtually every measure of social pathology continues to gain ground.

    In 1965, the illegitimacy rate was eight percent. In 1992, when I was last Attorney General, it was 25 percent. Today it is over 40 percent. In many of our large urban areas, it is around 70 percent.

    Along with the wreckage of the family, we are see record levels of depression and mental illness, dispirited young people, soaring suicide rates, increasing numbers of angry and alienated young males, an increase in senseless violence, and a deadly drug epidemic.

    As you all know, over 70,000 people die a year from drug overdoses. That is more causalities in a year than we experienced during the entire Vietnam War.

    I will not dwell on all the bitter results of new secular age. Suffice it to say that the campaign to destroy the traditional moral order has brought with it immense suffering, wreckage, and misery. And yet, the forces secularism, ignoring these tragic results, press on with even greater militancy.

    Some pointed remarks on trends:

    We are told we are living in a post-Christian era. But what has replaced the Judeo-Christian moral system? What is it that can fill the spiritual void in the hearts of the individual person? And, what is a system of values that can sustain human social life?

    The fact is that no secular creed has emerged capable of performing the role of religion.

    Scholarship suggests that religion has been integral to the development and thriving of homo sapiens since we emerged roughly 50,000 years ago. It is just for the past few hundred years we have experimented in living without religion.

    We hear much today about our humane values. But, in the final analysis, what undergirds these values? What commands our adherence to them?

    What we call values today is really nothing more than mere sentimentality, still drawing on the vapor trails of Christianity.

    In short, a crumbling cliff’s edge.

    KF

  41. 41
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, you know full well that commentary on current political shenanigans, stunts and rapscallions is not within UD’s remit. You have already been notified as to that. What is, is something far more relevant to a real solution. Something you refuse to face. Where, at the worst, Mr Barr is here making serious admissions against interest out of a sense of duty to truth; even as Jefferson et al did when they penned the US DoI. Yes, Jefferson was a hopelessly indebted slave owner, which did not change the force of what he raised with the other drafters and signatories. And we are all deeply in their debt. We owe such thanks, not sneering dismissal. KF

  42. 42
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Mr Barr continues his searing, agonised indictment of our civilisation and the dangers we are running (of plunging over the edge into the abyss):

    Now, there have been times and places where the traditional moral order has been shaken.

    In the past, societies – like the human body – seem to have a self-healing mechanism – a self-correcting mechanism that gets things back on course if things go too far.

    The consequences of moral chaos become too pressing. The opinion of decent people rebels. They coalesce and rally against obvious excess. Periods of moral entrenchment follow periods of excess.

    This is the idea of the pendulum. We have all thought that after a while the “pendulum will swing back.”

    But today we face something different that may mean that we cannot count on the pendulum swinging back.

    First is the force, fervor, and comprehensiveness of the assault on religion we are experiencing today. This is not decay; it is organized destruction. Secularists, and their allies among the “progressives,” have marshalled all the force of mass communications, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia in an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values.

    These instruments are used not only to affirmatively promote secular orthodoxy, but also drown out and silence opposing voices, and to attack viciously and hold up to ridicule any dissenters.

    One of the ironies, as some have observed, is that the secular project has itself become a religion, pursued with religious fervor. It is taking on all the trappings of a religion – including inquisitions and excommunication.

    Those who defy the creed risk a figurative burning at the stake – social, educational, and professional ostracism and exclusion waged through lawsuits and savage social-media campaigns.

    The pervasiveness and power of our high-tech popular culture fuels apostasy in another way. It provides an unprecedented degree of distraction.

    In short, the river mullet has swum desperately to the top, and tells us a crocodile lurks below.

    Will we listen?

    Will we heed his hint that only profound reformation can save us now, or will we insist on sailing out with that sweet south wing. Heedless, that it may be a sign that a storm lurks just over the northern horizon.

    KF

  43. 43
    hazel says:

    I know you never want to discuss specifics: it’s just philosophy all the way down for you. You can be that way if you wish, but I care about actual details and actual situations. We have nothing to discuss, but you posted the speech and the text, and if I want to focus on some specifics that you don’t want to, I can.

  44. 44
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: He keeps on going, dragged along by the force of the issue and the desperation of the hour:

    Part of the human condition is that there are big questions that should stare us in the face. Are we created or are we purely material accidents? Does our life have any meaning or purpose? But, as Blaise Pascal observed, instead of grappling with these questions, humans can be easily distracted from thinking about the “final things.”

    Indeed, we now live in the age of distraction where we can envelop ourselves in a world of digital stimulation and universal connectivity. And we have almost limitless ways of indulging all our physical appetites.

    There is another modern phenomenon that suppresses society’s self-corrective mechanisms – that make it harder for society to restore itself.

    In the past, when societies are threatened by moral chaos, the overall social costs of licentiousness and irresponsible personal conduct becomes so high that society ultimately recoils and reevaluates the path they are on.

    But today – in the face of all the increasing pathologies – instead of addressing the underlying cause, we have the State in the role of Alleviator of Bad Consequences. We call on the State to mitigate the social costs of personal misconduct and irresponsibility.

    So the reaction to growing illegitimacy is not sexual responsibility, but abortion.

    The reaction to drug addiction is safe injection sites.

    The solution to the breakdown of the family is for the State to set itself up as the ersatz husband for single mothers and the ersatz father to their children.

    The call comes for more and more social programs to deal with the wreckage. While we think we are solving problems, we are underwriting them.

    We start with an untrammeled freedom and we end up as dependents of a coercive state on whom we depend.

    Interestingly, this idea of the State as the alleviator of bad consequences has given rise to a new moral system that goes hand-in-hand with the secularization of society. It can be called the system of “macro-morality.” It is in some ways an inversion of Christian morality.

    Christianity teaches a micro-morality. We transform the world by focusing on our own personal morality and transformation.

    The new secular religion teaches macro-morality. One’s morality is not gauged by their private conduct, but rather on their commitment to political causes and collective action to address social problems.

    This system allows us to not worry so much about the strictures on our private lives, while we find salvation on the picket line. We can signal our finely tuned moral sensibilities by demonstrating for this cause or that.

    KF

  45. 45
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, first, you full well know UD’s limits, that’s why you are treading that rhetorical line of red herrings and ad hominems. You also refuse to engage precisely why world roots and how they build up to cultural systems and agendas are central; cf 25 above. The persistence in distractive rhetoric tells us all we need to know. No substantial answer. KF

  46. 46
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: More, laying out what is going on:

    A third phenomenon which makes it difficult for the pendulum to swing back is the way law is being used as a battering ram to break down traditional moral values and to establish moral relativism as a new orthodoxy.

    Law is being used as weapon in a couple of ways.

    First, either through legislation but more frequently through judicial interpretation, secularists have been continually seeking to eliminate laws that reflect traditional moral norms.

    At first, this involved rolling back laws that prohibited certain kinds of conduct. Thus, the watershed decision legalizing abortion. And since then, the legalization of euthanasia. The list goes on.

    More recently, we have seen the law used aggressively to force religious people and entities to subscribe to practices and policies that are antithetical to their faith.

    The problem is not that religion is being forced on others. The problem is that irreligion and secular values are being forced on people of faith.

    This reminds me of how some Roman emperors could not leave their loyal Christian subjects in peace but would mandate that they violate their conscience by offering religious sacrifice to the Emperor as a God.

    Similarly, militant secularists today do not have a live and let live spirit — they are not content to leave religious people alone to practice their faith. Instead they seem to take a delight in compelling people to violate their conscience.

    For example, the last Administration sought to force religious employers, including Catholic religious orders, to violate their sincerely held religious views by funding contraceptive and abortifacient coverage in their health plans. Similarly, California has sought to require pro-life pregnancy centers to provide notices of abortion rights.

    This refusal to accommodate the free exercise of religion is relatively recent. Just 25 years ago, there was broad consensus in our society that our laws should accommodate religious belief.

    In 1993 Congress passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act – RFRA. The purpose of the statute was to promote maximum accommodation to religion when the government adopted broad policies that could impinge on religious practice.

    At the time, RFRA was not controversial: it was introduced by Chuck Schumer with 170 cosponsors in the House, and was introduced by Ted Kennedy and Orrin Hatch with 59 additional cosponsors in the Senate. It passed by voice vote in the House and by a vote of 97-3 in the Senate.

    Recently, as the process of secularization has accelerated, RFRA has come under assault, and the idea of religious accommodation has fallen out of favor.

    Because this Administration firmly supports accommodation of religion, the battleground has shifted to the states. Some state governments are now attempting to compel religious individuals and entities to subscribe to practices, or to espouse viewpoints, that are incompatible with their religion.

    Ground zero for these attacks on religion are the schools. To me, this is the most serious challenge to religious liberty.

    He–AG of the USA–elaborates:

    For anyone who has a religious faith, by far the most important part of exercising that faith is the teaching of that religion to our children. The passing on of the faith. There is no greater gift we can give our children and no greater expression of love.

    For the government to interfere in that process is a monstrous invasion of religious liberty.

    Yet here is where the battle is being joined, and I see the secularists are attacking on three fronts.

    Specifically:

    The first front relates to the content of public school curriculum. Many states are adopting curriculum that is incompatible with traditional religious principles according to which parents are attempting to raise their children. They often do so without any opt out for religious families . . . . Indeed, in some cases, the schools may not even warn parents about lessons they plan to teach on controversial subjects relating to sexual behavior and relationships.

    This puts parents who dissent from the secular orthodoxy to a difficult choice: Try to scrape together the money for private school or home schooling, or allow their children to be inculcated with messages that they fundamentally reject.

    A second axis of attack in the realm of education are state policies designed to starve religious schools of generally available funds and encouraging students to choose secular options. Montana, for example, created a program that provided tax credits to those who donated to a scholarship program that underprivileged students could use to attend private school. The point of the program was to provide greater parental and student choice in education and to provide better educations to needy youth.

    But Montana expressly excluded religiously-affiliated private schools from the program. And when that exclusion was challenged in court by parents who wanted to use the scholarships to attend a nondenominational Christian school, the Montana Supreme Court required the State to eliminate the program rather than allow parents to use scholarships for religious schools.

    It justified this action by pointing to a provision in Montana’s State Constitution commonly referred to as a “Blaine Amendment.” Blaine Amendments were passed at a time of rampant anti-Catholic animus in this country, and typically disqualify religious institutions from receiving any direct or indirect payments from a State’s funds.

    The case is now in the Supreme Court, and we filed a brief explaining why Montana’s Blaine Amendment violates the First Amendment.

    A third kind of assault on religious freedom in education have been recent efforts to use state laws to force religious schools to adhere to secular orthodoxy. For example, right here in Indiana, a teacher sued the Catholic Archbishop of Indianapolis for directing the Catholic schools within his diocese that they could not employ teachers in same-sex marriages because the example of those same-sex marriages would undermine the schools’ teaching on the Catholic view of marriage and complementarity between the sexes.

    This lawsuit clearly infringes the First Amendment rights of the Archdiocese, by interfering both with its expressive association and with its church autonomy. The Department of Justice filed a statement of interest in the state court making these points, and we hope that the state court will soon dismiss the case.

    Taken together, these cases paint a disturbing picture. We see the state requiring local public schools to insert themselves into contentious social debates, without regard for the religious views of their students or parents. In effect, these states are requiring local communities to make their public schools inhospitable to families with traditional religious values; those families are implicitly told that they should conform or leave.

    At the same time, pressure is placed on religious schools to abandon their religious convictions. Simply because of their religious character, they are starved of funds – students who would otherwise choose to attend them are told they may only receive scholarships if they turn their sights elsewhere.

    Simultaneously, they are threatened in tort – and, eventually, will undoubtedly be threatened with denial of accreditation – if they adhere to their religious character. If these measures are successful, those with religious convictions will become still more marginalized.

    The river mullet is squealing out a warning.

    KF

  47. 47
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: He gets personal:

    I do not mean to suggest that there is no hope for moral renewal in our country.

    But we cannot sit back and just hope the pendulum is going to swing back toward sanity.

    As Catholics, we are committed to the Judeo-Christian values that have made this country great.

    And we know that the first thing we have to do to promote renewal is to ensure that we are putting our principles into practice in our own personal private lives.

    We understand that only by transforming ourselves can we transform the world beyond ourselves.

    This is tough work. It is hard to resist the constant seductions of our contemporary society. This is where we need grace, prayer, and the help of our church.

    Beyond this, we must place greater emphasis on the moral education of our children.

    Education is not vocational training. It is leading our children to the recognition that there is truth and helping them develop the facilities to discern and love the truth and the discipline to live by it.

    We cannot have a moral renaissance unless we succeed in passing to the next generation our faith and values in full vigor.

    The times are hostile to this. Public agencies – including public schools – are becoming secularized and increasingly are actively promoting moral relativism.

    If ever there was a need for a resurgence of Catholic education – and more generally religiously affiliated schools – it is today.

    I think we should do all we can to promote and support authentic Catholic education at all levels.

    Finally, as lawyers, we should be particularly active in the struggle that is being waged against religion on the legal plane.

    We must be vigilant to resist efforts by the forces of secularization to drive religious viewpoints from the public square and to impinge upon the free exercise of our faith.

    I can assure you that, as long as I am Attorney General, the Department of Justice will be at the forefront of this effort– ready to fight for the most cherished of our liberties – the freedom to live according to our faith.

    Now, ask yourselves how disciples of cultural marxist Saul Alinsky would counter-attack. Resemblance to current events is no coincidence.

    KF

  48. 48
    hazel says:

    lol. I know absolutely nothing about Saul Alinsky, but he certainly seems to be a bogeyman.

  49. 49
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel,

    You are again dismissive before you know facts. Let’s simply note a bit from his notorious rules for radicals:

    1. “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” . . . .

    3. “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy. Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. (This happens all the time. Watch how many organizations under attack are blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address.)

    4. “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”

    5. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.” . . . .

    13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. [NB: Notice the evil counsel to find a way to attack the man, not the issue. The easiest way to do that, is to use the trifecta stratagem: distract, distort, demonise.] In conflict tactics there are certain rules that [should be regarded] as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and ‘frozen.’…

    “…any target can always say, ‘Why do you center on me when there are others to blame as well?’ When your ‘freeze the target,’ you disregard these [rational but distracting] arguments…. Then, as you zero in and freeze your target and carry out your attack, all the ‘others’ come out of the woodwork very soon. They become visible by their support of the target…’

    “One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other.”

    More could be said, that’s enough for our purposes.

    The issues are on the table.

    KF

  50. 50
    ET says:

    hazel- What has Trump done that is morally unacceptable?

  51. 51
    hazel says:

    Lie repeatedly, for one. Circumvent is oath to uphold the Constitution. Assault women.

  52. 52
    kairosfocus says:

    ET (& Hazel), enough has been said on and about Mr Trump (who was a notorious playboy and media darling for decades, but is now chief target of the 24/7 1984 style hate because for some reason he seems to want to be a Cyrus-like figure) for now. That said, he may be as guilty as many others in the utterly depraved elites of our civilisation, exposed by the abortion holocaust. An emerging media expose i/l/o the rules just above, however, should give pause to anyone willing to attend to the spin infograf I will shortly add to the OP — extend the same to how such would cover ID and a few warning bells should be ringing. Likewise, I note that those who have rock solid cases do not play kangaroo court games with procedures. The persistent distractions show refusal to engage an existential menace to a civilisation heedlessly dancing on a crumbling cliff’s edge. That speaks volumes. KF

  53. 53
    ET says:

    Evidence, please. You do understand that your say-so is meaningless, right?

  54. 54
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, not for UD. That debate can be had elsewhere. The emerging expose is enough to give pause, for the sober-minded. It also lends strong support to the persistent complaints regarding bias, spin and worse targetting ID. Meanwhile, we have a sobering declaration by Mr Barr that some seem desperate not to examine. That should tell us just what we should be looking at. KF

  55. 55
    Ed George says:

    The argument against secularization still comes down to “my religion’s stance is the one that legislators should listen to”. And not only “my religion” but “my interpretation” of that religion. When there are Christian and Jewish denominations that support pro-choice, doctor assisted suicide and same sex marriage, others that take no stand on these, and others that are vehemently opposed, who are the legislators supposed to listen to?

  56. 56
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    “The problem is not that religion is being forced on others. The problem is that irreligion and secular values are being forced on people of faith.”
    – AG Barr

    Triple BINGO!

  57. 57
    hazel says:

    kf writes, “chief target of the 24/7 1984 style hate ”

    The other side of the story is that he is being a target because he has abused his office for personal and political gain, and people with moral scruples (remember those) are finally saying enough is enough and coming forward. Seeing that as “hate” misrepresents the situation.

  58. 58
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, you would be better advised to actually engage the substantial issues, which have to do with the roots of reality in a world with responsibly, rationally free, minded creatures. Try 25 above. Your alternative for a necessary being world root is _____ and it can adequately found moral government starting with our intellectual life as ______ KF

  59. 59
    Ed George says:

    BA77

    Triple BINGO!

    How so? What “irreligion” is being forced on you?

  60. 60
    ET says:

    hazel:

    The other side of the story is that he is being a target because he has abused his office for personal and political gain, and people with moral scruples (remember those) are finally saying enough is enough and coming forward.

    Bill Clinton. Joe Biden. Most politicians that have ever existed fit that description.

  61. 61
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    What “irreligion” is being forced on you?

    Just this:

    In other words, religion is compatible with modern evolutionary biology (and indeed all of modern science) if the religion is effectively indistinguishable from atheism.

    The frequently made assertion that modern biology and the assumptions of the Judaeo-Christian tradition are fully compatible is false.

    Evolution is the greatest engine of atheism ever invented.

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

    As the creationists claim, belief in modern evolution makes atheists of people. One can have a religious view that is compatible with evolution only if the religious view is indistinguishable from atheism

    ‘Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear … There are no gods, no purposes, no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end for me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning to life, and no free will for humans, either.’

    1- Academe January 1987 pp.51-52 †

    2-Evolutionary Progress (1988) p. 65 †

    3- “Evolution: Free will and punishment and meaning in life” 1998 Darwin Day Keynote Address 1 2 †

    4- No Free Will (1999) p.123

    5- Provine, W.B., Origins Research 16(1), p.9, 1994.

  62. 62
    Ed George says:

    KF

    October 15, 2019 at 2:05 pm
    EG, you would be better advised to actually engage the substantial issues.

    What I mentioned is the substantial issue. If you are going to discard secularism you have to pick and choose from the hundreds (if not thousands) of religious moral teachings to base your civilization on. To me, secularization with protection to allow people to follow their flavour of faith, as long as it does not impinge on others, is the best compromise possible.

  63. 63
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, you make many confident manner claims as though you have warranted such and would confidently justify in a court of law. Meanwhile, those carrying out investigations and reports are using known agit prop tactics and are warping procedures in ways that set extremely dangerous precedents. Going into an elaborate discussion is not for UD [and I have several more serious matters on my plate] but I can tell you that too much of what I am seeing is too close to how my native land went over the cliff 40 years ago. Now, it looks like our civilisation is going over the cliff, in a context where

    WORLDVIEW + POLICY/CULTURE AGENDA = IDEOLOGY
    IDEOLOGY + POWER = REGIME.

    We have someone who has to handle the mess reporting to us some very sobering things that clearly run against class interests.

    It is time to deal seriously or stand exposed as an enabler.

    KF

  64. 64
    Ed George says:

    ET@61, which one of these are you being forced to believe?

  65. 65
    ET says:

    Ed @ 64 That is what is being pushed on the kids of the world, Ed.

  66. 66
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, you were already answered substantially but seemingly never took it seriously. Let me clip:

    Carroll clip thread, 68 kairosfocus October 5, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    EG, did you notice, that our context above is logic of being rather than any particular tradition? That should be a first clue as to where your thought errs. That you imagine that the small-g gods of paganism come even close to a necessary being root of reality is a second clue; where, to adequately account for morally governed, rational, responsible creatures, such a NB-WR will need to be inherently good and utterly wise as well as having power to be a source and sustainer of worlds. (And yes, echoing OP, this leads to the thought-bridge from logic of being [ontology], world roots and the like to philosophical and systematic theology.) From that point, your knock over the strawman caricature rhetoric is predictable and utterly fallacious. You would be well advised to think again, starting from logic of being and implications of how even our intellectual life is undeniably governed by duties to truth, right reason, sound conscience, prudence, justice etc. In that context you might find it useful to ponder why — as the repeatedly linked in this thread notes — we have a framework of law that pivots on our morally governed nature. It would then help you to ponder why it is that the foundational Christian teachings specifically endorse core elements of such thought as sound. For example, Paul of Tarsus, Rom 2: “14 When Gentiles, who do not have the Law [since it was given only to Jews], do [c]instinctively the things the Law requires [guided only by their conscience], they are a law to themselves, though they do not have the Law. 15 They show that the [d]essential requirements of the Law are written in their hearts; and their conscience [their sense of right and wrong, their moral choices] bearing witne.ss and their thoughts alternately accusing or perhaps defending them.” Indeed, in Ch 13, we may also see: “8 . . . he who [unselfishly] loves his neighbor has fulfilled the [essence of the] law [relating to one’s fellowman]. 9 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 statement: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor [it never hurts anyone]. Therefore [unselfish] love is the fulfillment of the Law.” This, in fact, was historically significant through Canon Hooker and Locke, in setting the context for modern liberty and democratic self-government. KF

    PS: Do I need to explicitly add, regarding the central tainting evil of our time [under false colour of law], that for manifest reasons, the acceptable death-rate for holocaust is zero, not a further million slaughtered globally per WEEK? (Other things follow per the logic of “like unto this . . .” and “how much more . . .” but of course until our compass-sense is fixed and crooked yardsticks are exposed by self-evident plumb lines, we literally cannot think straight.)

    You were already advised.

    KF

  67. 67
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    To me, secularization with protection to allow people to follow their flavour of faith, as long as it does not impinge on others, is the best compromise possible.

    Except for the fact that “non-religious values” is an oxymoron. And that is what a secular society seeks/ is governed by

  68. 68
    kairosfocus says:

    ET & EG, what is being pushed? EG already must know the clip that captions the previous thread, with its off the scale arrogance of imposition and utter want of warrant:

    Sean Carroll: “Nowadays, when a more scientific worldview has triumphed and everyone knows that God doesn’t exist . . . ” — really?

    Answered as linked, this is the top current thread here at UD.

    Notice how the ever hovering objectors had very little to say given this cat out of the bag moment.

    KF

  69. 69
    Ed George says:

    KF

    EG, you were already answered substantially but seemingly never took it seriously. Let me clip:

    With respect, none of that was an answer to my question. You are on record as being opposed to secularism. You must have an idea of what is to replace it. Correct me if I am wrong, but I suspect this would be a system based on your Christian values. But as I mentioned, there is not a single set of Christian values. Or Muslim, Jewish or Hindu values for that matter. You are on record as being opposed to pro-choice, same sex marriage and doctor assisted suicide, which is your right. Nobody is forcing you to have an abortion, enter into a same sex marriage or avail yourself of doctor assisted suicide. But if you were to impose these on civilization you would be denying others practices that they believe are consistent with their religious values. How is this different than what you think (erroneously, in my mind) secularism is imposing on you?

  70. 70
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, your attempted dismissal simply digs in deeper. The issue is about logic of being and roots of reality, issues of ontology and broader metaphysics, thus worldviews analysis that frames the idea of God and onward systematic theology. Those are not commonly studied subjects, though some elements of worldviews should be. The very attempt to put a Thor or a Venus or even a Zeus into the same category as a necessary and maximally great, inherently good and wise being, the source of worlds is a major conceptual blunder. It just is, please re-think. Going further, confusing the self-evident moral government of our intellectual lives as a core premise of natural law — notice my cite from Cicero? — with “values” is a further categorical error. I suggest you need to work through 25 above. Let me add, that the founders of Christian thought endorsed key premises of the core natural law, which makes a lot of good sense — we are talking here, principles such as soundness in thinking, truth, prudence, justice, neighbour love that does no harm. Such core morality governs even our thinking and arguing, as 25 above lays out in steps of thought. The problem isn’t their thinking but ours; which has been tainted through legal positivism, relativism and subjectivism, with onward issues of amorality and undermining of mind through evolutionary materialistic scientism. And given issues of law, that comes out in government, policy, community and civilisation. KF

  71. 71
    bornagain77 says:

    E G sees no persecution of Christianity in America. E G has been living in a cave. A brief google search reveals,,,

    Little Sisters Back in Court
    Liberal AGs and judges won’t leave the nuns alone on ObamaCare.
    By The Editorial Board
    Jan. 18, 2019 7:12 pm ET
    One of the sorriest episodes of the Obama Presidency was the assault on the Little Sisters of the Poor for resisting ObamaCare’s contraception mandate. The sisters had to go all the way to the Supreme Court to protect their religious liberty. But anyone who thinks they are home-free underestimates the cultural imperialism of today’s American left.,,,
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/little-sisters-back-in-court-11547856751

    Colo. baker sued a third time (after his initial supreme court victory), for refusal to make cake signifying gender transition
    https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/colo-baker-sued-a-third-time-for-refusal-to-make-cake-signifying-gender-transition-17456

    Christian florist: My longtime customer was a friend, then he sued me over his gay wedding
    Barronelle Stutzman, Oct. 10, 2019
    My gay friends and customers deserve a floral designer who can make their weddings a success. Because of my faith, I can’t be that person.
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/10/08/supreme-court-florist-gay-marriage-religious-freedom-column/3866964002/

    20 states back transgender student in lawsuit against Florida school’s bathroom policy
    A coalition of 20 states led by New York is backing a transgender student in Florida who’s suing his school for discrimination.
    The case now before the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, stems from the lawsuit 18-year-old Drew Adams brought challenging the St. Johns County School Board’s policy of prohibiting transgender students from using restrooms that correspond with their gender identify.
    https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/432184-20-states-back-transgender-student-in-lawsuit-against-florida

    Regular Christians Are No Longer Welcome in American Culture
    Some of the faithful have paid unexpected prices for their beliefs lately: the teacher in New Jersey suspended for giving a student a Bible; the football coach in Washington placed on leave for saying a prayer on the field at the end of a game; the fire chief in Atlanta fired for self-publishing a book defending Christian moral teaching; the Marine court-martialed for pasting a Bible verse above her desk; and other examples of the new intolerance. Anti-Christian activists hurl smears like “bigot” and “hater” at Americans who hold traditional beliefs about marriage and accuse anti-abortion Christians of waging a supposed “war on women.”
    Some Christian institutions face pressure to conform to secularist ideology—or else. Flagship evangelical schools like Gordon College in Massachusetts and Kings College in New York have had their accreditation questioned. Some secularists argue that Christian schools don’t deserve accreditation, period. Activists have targeted home-schooling for being a Christian thing; atheist Richard Dawkins and others have even called it tantamount to child abuse. Student groups like InterVarsity have been kicked off campuses. Christian charities, including adoption agencies, Catholic hospitals and crisis pregnancy centers have become objects of attack.
    https://time.com/4385755/faith-in-america/

    etc.. etc.. etc…

    And that was just a quick google search

    Books have been written on the subject that are far more exhaustive. For example this recent book:

    DARK AGENDA: The War to Destroy Christian America
    by David Horowitz | Mar 5, 2019 – video
    https://www.amazon.com/DARK-AGENDA-Destroy-Christian-America/dp/163006114X/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=war+on+christianity+in+america&qid=1571177098&sr=8-2

    David Horowitz on The Eric Metaxas Show
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlJ64FUxWg8

    David Horowitz Reveals The Dark Agenda To DESTROY Christian America | Huckabee – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=223LKOfI5Zw

  72. 72
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: For convenience, let me lay it out again:

    >> normally responsive people will at least grudgingly respect the following summary of 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 (thus, warranted and objective) moral truths; not just optional opinions.

    So also, it is not only possible to

    (a) be in demonstrable moral error, but also

    (b) there is hope that such moral errors can be corrected by appealing to manifestly sound core principles of the natural moral law. Thus,

    (c) we can now see that a core of law is built into moral government of our responsible, rational freedom (through our known, inescapable duties to truth, right reason, prudence [including, warrant], sound conscience, neighbourliness [thus, the golden rule], fairness & justice, etc). On these, 

    (d) we may frame just civil law as comporting with that built-in law of our morally governed nature, towards upholding and defending the civil peace of justice through sound government.

    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. Expanding slightly: our rational, responsible intelligent behaviour is inescapably under the moral government of known duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc. Thus, we find morally rooted law built into our morally governed nature, even for our intellectual life. Thus, too, the civil law extends what is already built in, to our social circumstances, turning on issues of prudence, justice and mutual duties; if it is to be legitimate. Notice, this is itself a theory on what law is or at least should be. And yes, all of this is fraught with implications for the roots of reality.)

    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-understanding 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. In short, nihilistic will to power untempered by the primacy of justice is its own refutation in any type of state. Where, justice is the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities. 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.

    (NB: This is a requisite of accountability for justice, and the suggestion or implication of some views across time, that government can reasonably be unaccountable to the governed, is its own refutation, reflecting — again — nihilistic will to power; which is automatically absurd. This truth involves the issue that finite, fallible, morally struggling men acting as civil authorities in the face of changing times and situations as well as in the face of the tendency of power to corrupt, need to be open to remonstrance and reformation — or if they become resistant to reasonable appeal, there must be effective means of replacement. Hence, the principle that the general election is an insitutionalised regular solemn assembly of the people for audit and reform or if needs be replacement of government gone bad. But this is by no means an endorsement of the notion that a manipulated mob bent on a march of folly has a right to do as it pleases.)

    12] Twelfth, the attempt to deny or dismiss such a general framework of moral governance invariably lands in shipwreck of incoherence and absurdity. As, has been seen in outline. 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.

    F/N2: Likewise, as Ben Mines summarises from Leibniz, maximal goodness, wisdom and power are arguably mutually, inextricably entangled once we understand/accept that the good implies an evident proper end or purpose:

    Leibniz has given an argument to show that omniscience and moral perfection [–> also, omnipotence] are mutually inclusive: all freely willed action strives towards some goal; all goals are the pursuit of some good entertained by the agent; [ –> real or imagined?] the scope and quality of entertainable goods is dependent on knowledge; the maximisation of knowledge perfects an agent’s judgment of the good. An evil being therefore lacks perfect knowledge; and lacking perfect knowledge, is not omniscient; and lacking omniscience, cannot be omnipotent since there will be some actions it lacks the knowledge to perform. The proposition, It is possible that a maximally great but evil being exists is therefore broadly incoherent. A being cannot be both evil and maximally great.

     F/N3: This principle of built-in moral government under known law also applies directly to gospel ethics, discipleship and evangelism. For, example, it means that “sin” is not merely an oppressive invention of priestcraft designed to bring us under theocratic tyranny — which, is the exact implication of many objections to gospel ethics today. Instead, sin is in the first instance willful moral error, defiance therefore of the inherently good and utterly wise Creator who made us, gave us responsible freedom, commanded us to live by love and truth, and gave us sound conscience as a witness. Therefore, too, we have real guilt against the law of our nature, the law of our creator, not just mere painful emotions to deal with. It is in this context that the gospel is good news: in his love, our creator has made a way for us to be forgiven, rescued and transformed.>>

    EG, that’s what you need to engage, the actual issue not a cartoonish caricature.

    KF

  73. 73
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, the AG of the USA has put the issue on the table, but of course that has been used to try to dodge some soberingly serious issues. Do we understand why Syria and Egypt fell so easily to the armies of Islam, leading to 1400 years of dhimmitude? Fatal disaffection. Those are the matches that are being heedlessly, foolishly trifled with. Ignorance: chilling, sobering sound lessons of history are being forgotten or deliberately warped in too many cases. If someone wants to try another tangent gallop on this, ponder why we don’t have the balanced understanding of say the democides of C20. Don’t even tough the ongoing holocaust of living posterity in the womb, at a further million victims per week. KF

  74. 74
    hazel says:

    I’m much more concerned about the current slaughters in Syria today than I am about what happened 1400 years ago. Of course my opinion doesn’t count, but do you think that what has happened is immoral? (Addressed to everyone.)

  75. 75
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, tangent again. I should note, particularly for the ME, events of 800 – 1400 or 2000 or more years ago have strong immediate presence and impact. However, my point is one on lessons of world history. There had been centuries of conflict between the Romans and the “Persians” [the latter had quite a succession], indeed when Julius Caesar was assassinated in the Senate, on his agenda was a campaign in the E, which may just have shifted the onward course of history. By 628 the eastern romans [Byzantines] defeated the Persians but were in mutual exhaustion geostrategically. The rough handling of Syrians and Egyptians by the Imperial centre led to disaffection and that is why the Arabs were able to defeat those two pivotal zones so easily. Consequences have followed for 1400 years. Even Columbus’ voyages to the W happened in 1492 because after 700 years of pushback, the Iberians finally defeated the last Muslim kingdom in 1491. The Islamic expansion reached Spain by 711, was 150 mi from Paris, 732 at Tours. Coming forward, in 1581, the disaffected Dutch rose up against Philip II of Spain. In 1775, the disaffected British colonists rose up against George III of Hanover. In 1861, that was a part of the secession. I am pointing out that the hinterlands of the USA today are being disaffected, with serious potential consequences. BTW, this connects to why the US, a Federal Republic [not a unitary democracy], has an Electoral College; cf. that which elected the Holy Roman Emperors and issues in the Westphalia settlements of 1648. Those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to relive its worst chapters. KF

    PS: You seem determined to go beyond the ambit of UD. I simply will not do so regardless of further attempts, that is part of my duty to the blog as a contributor. I have said sufficient above for a reasonable person; especially on a distractive tangent in the midst of agit prop operations. As one who has a sense of history and strategy, I have sufficiently warned on the fire being played with for a prudent person. My concern remains what is happening to our civilisation, to which Mr Barr has pointed, with some courage and against his class interests. (It would be much easier for him to go along with the obvious elite agendas. )

  76. 76
  77. 77
    Mimus says:

    What is the “ambit of UD” if it includes this speech by the US AG but not the moral failings of the US president and the actions of the admin he represents?

  78. 78
    Ed George says:

    KF

    F/N A journalist confesses https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/10/paul-craig-roberts/journalists-are-prostitutes/ KF

    This is an excellent description of Fox News.

  79. 79
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77@ 71

    E G sees no persecution of Christianity in America.

    and

    Regular Christians Are No Longer Welcome in American Culture

    Of the 535 members of Congress only one has admitted to being atheist this century.

    The chances of an atheist being elected President or to any public office in many parts of the United States are in the “snowball in hell” range.

    Christian radio and TV shows draw huge audiences.

    Prosperity gospelers grow rich and powerful on the money they elicit from their congregations.

    Christian evangelical leaders are welcomed at the White House where they fall over themselves to fawn over President Trump, even going so far as to make the blasphemous claim that he was chosen by God.

    The survey of high school biology teachers I have cited before found that a small but significant percentage openly taught Christian creationism in clear breach of their contractual and constitutional obligations.

    Many Christians, blithely ignoring their own ninth commandment, continue to promote the outrageous lie that prayer was banned in public schools by the Supreme Court in 1962 and 1963. What the Court actually did was uphold the religious freedom clause of the First Amendment by preventing Christian public schools from compelling members of other faiths or no faith at all to attend their religious observances.

    A couple of surveys on atheism revealed as follows:

    Public opinion survey of the 1980s:
    In her book, “The Last Taboo,” Author Wendy Kaminer referred to an unidentified survey published in the 1980’s. It showed that almost 70% of Americans agreed that freedom of religion applies “to all religious groups, regardless of how extreme their ideas are.” But only 26% agreed that Atheists should be given freedom of speech to ridicule religion and God, “no matter who might be offended.” 71% believed that Atheists “who preach against God and religion” should not be permitted to rent or otherwise use civic auditoriums i.e. lecture halls that are supported by general taxation.

    and

    University of Minnesota study of 2006:
    University of Minnesota researchers conducted a nationwide telephone survey of over 2,000 households in early 2006. 4 They found that:

    “…Americans rate atheists below Muslims, recent immigrants, gays and lesbians and other minority groups in ‘sharing their vision of American society.’ Atheists are also the minority group most Americans are least willing to allow their children to marry.”

    So, far from being victimized and driven from the public square, what some Christians are actually complaining about is the loss of a small portion of the excessive privileges they had come to regard as rights, such as the fact that voices other than just theirs are now being heard in the public square.

  80. 80
    Seversky says:

    Hazel@ 74

    I’m much more concerned about the current slaughters in Syria today than I am about what happened 1400 years ago. Of course my opinion doesn’t count, but do you think that what has happened is immoral? (Addressed to everyone.)

    To call it immoral is to put it mildly. For “Cadet Bonespurs” to abandon an ally who has suffered 11,000 killed fighting alongside us against the evil of ISIS is outrageous. To also complain about the amount of money, arms and equipment we provided as if it were worth more than the blood spilled and the lives lost by the Kurds, reveals someone utterly without loyalty, principles or honor. To cap it all with an astonishingly irrelevant complaint that the Kurds did not help us in Normandy simply confirms the view that the Oval Office is occupied by an amoral narcissist with disturbingly authoritarian tendencies and there are a lot of Christians who are just fine with it.

  81. 81
    ET says:

    What are “secular values” if not just a select version of existing religious values that are generally agreed upon by many atheists?

    So all you gain in a secular society is the “power” of rejecting the religious values that you disagree with.

  82. 82
    Ed George says:

    Seversjy@78, very good points. The big change I have seen over the last few decades is the open questioning of previously unquestioned Christian teachings and values. Things like pre-marital sex, homosexuality, contraceptives, sex for pleasure, abortion and doctor assisted suicide. If it were just atheists doing the questioning, it would barely register. I think what rankles people the most is that most of this questioning is combining from within the Christian fold.

  83. 83
    ET says:

    A society that enables teenagers to have babies is a society that doesn’t have a grasp on responsibility. That is why the same sad society turns to abortion, which is nothing more than sanctioned murder.

    Pathetic, really. It shows that society cannot think beyond its contrived need of sexual pleasure.

  84. 84
    hazel says:

    Teenage births have declined substantially ET.

    And Ed makes a key point: many of the progressive changes in society that he mentioned have been led by Christians Also, as Sev pointed out, virtually all elected reps in the country are religious people. The conservative cry about the decline of our society that is prevalent here is a sectarian division in Christianity and other religions, not primarily one between religious people and atheists.

  85. 85
    bornagain77 says:

    Hmm Seversky, who is probably the most hostile anti-Christian on UD, (though the competition has been fierce), acts like atheists are the persecuted minority. Yet, the majority of Christians regularly get their rights to religious freedom trampled on by the minority of atheists in American jurisprudence, and always to the detriment of the nation as a whole. For instance, when in Engel v. Vitale. in 1962, the Supreme court removed prayer from American public schools, despite prayers being said in schools, without incident for 172 years prior to that, the phrase ‘separation of church and state’ was, once again, lifted out of context by supreme court justice Hugo Black, who was an anti-catholic racist bigot, from one of Jefferson’s letters, and twisted 180 degrees from what Jefferson’s original intent was for the phrase ‘separation of church and state’, and was then used to create, whole clothe, an interpretation for the first amendment of the constitution that simply is not in the Constitution. An erroneous interpretation that now is basically taken to mean ‘freedom FROM religion’ instead of ‘freedom OF religion’ as the text in the constitution actually originally intended.

    Hugo Black and the real history of “the wall of separation between church and state” – 2011
    Excerpt: So how does this invocation of “wall of separation between church and state” become Supreme Court doctrine, extending from a casual phrase by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to an obscure comment in an 1878 Supreme Court ruling on bigamy to a pervasive doctrine of anti-religious censorship in the public square in the 21st century?
    Here’s how:
    On August 11, 1921 Fr. James Coyle, a Roman Catholic priest in Birmingham, Alabama, was shot to death on the porch of his rectory by E.R. Stephensen, a local Ku Klux Klansman. Fr. Coyle had just performed a wedding between Stephensen’s daughter and her Puerto Rican husband.
    Stephenson was defended by five lawyers, four of whom were Klan members. The fifth lawyer who volunteered to defend Stephenson was Hugo Black, a prominent local attorney. Despite the fact that the Catholic priest was unarmed and the murder was committed in public in front of witnesses, Stephensen was acquitted of murder based on “self-defense”and “temporary insanity”.
    Defense attorney Black joined the Ku Klux Klan after the trial. In the Klan, Black was a Kladd of the Klavern, which was an initiator of new Klansmen.
    From The Volokh Conspiracy:
    … Black was head of new members for the largest Klan cell in the South. New members of the KKK had to pledge their allegiance to the “eternal separation of Church and State.”… Separation was a crucial part of the KKK’s jurisprudential agenda. It was included in the Klansman’s Creed…
    Several years later, Black ran for U.S. Senate from Alabama. He barnstormed the state, campaigning on a virulent anti-Catholic platform and demanding “a wall of separation between church and state”. His strongest support came from his Klan base, and he gave many anti-Catholic “wall of separation” speeches to Klan meetings across Alabama.
    Black, a Democrat, won the Alabama senate seat in 1926, defeating his Republican opponent with 80.9 % of the vote. He easily won re-election in 1932, with 86.3 % of the vote. He was a staunch defender of FDR’s New Deal and of Roosevelt’s court-packing plan.
    In 1937 Roosevelt appointed Black to the Supreme Court. Despite controversy about his Klan history, Black was easily confirmed. He quickly acquired a reputation for idiosyncratic interpretation of the Constitution.
    In 1947, Justice Hugo Black wrote the majority opinion in Everson v. Board of Education, the landmark Establishment Clause Supreme Court decision that barred use of tax revenues to transport children to religious (Catholic) schools.
    Justice Black wrote:
    No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect ‘a wall of separation between Church and State.'” 330 U.S. 1, 15-16 [emphasis mine]
    In 1962, Justice Hugo Black wrote the majority opinion in Engel v. Vitale, the landmark Establishment Clause Supreme Court decision that outlawed prayer in public schools.
    Justice Black wrote:
    The petitioners contend among other things that the state laws requiring or permitting use of the Regents’ prayer must be struck down as a violation of the Establishment Clause because that prayer was composed by governmental officials as a part of a governmental program to further religious beliefs. For this reason, petitioners argue, the State’s use of the Regents’ prayer in its public school system breaches the constitutional wall of separation between Church and State. We agree with that contention since we think that the constitutional prohibition against laws respecting an establishment of religion must at least mean that in this country it is no part of the business of government to compose official prayers for any group of the American people to recite as a part of a religious program carried on by government. [emphasis mine]
    Justice Hugo Black began his political career in the wake of his successful defense of a Klansman who murdered a Catholic priest. The modern application of the non-Constitutional doctrine “a wall of separation between church and state” derives from Black, a former Kladd of the Klavern of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan, who used his Klan base to secure a Senate seat and ultimately an appointment on the Supreme Court.
    The phrase “a wall of separation between church and state” played little role in jurisprudence until the mid-20th century. The doctrine has long played a large cultural role, preserved by pervasive anti-Catholic bigotry through organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan, and became a ‘Constitutional principle’ through the jurisprudence of an anti-Catholic bigot. It is used today to suppress prayer and religious expression in all public schools in the United States.
    Why is it that discussions of the “separation of church and state” don’t generally include the cultural and political history of the “doctrine”? Why is the central role that “separation” played in the political and judicial rise of Justice Black– the father of modern Establishment Clause jurisprudence– never seems to show up in New York Times Op-Ed columns or NPR’s “All Things Considered”? Ever see a press release by Americans United for Separation of Church and State note the fact that “an eternal separation of church and state” was a part of the KKK’s jurisprudential agenda and the Klansmen’s Creed, and that one of those Klansmen jurists wrote the Supreme Court opinions establishing “separation of church and state” as the law under which we live?
    http://egnorance.blogspot.com/.....ll-of.html

    Charlie Daniels: Separation of Church & State Is Not About ‘Religion’; It’s a Battle Against Christianity By Charlie Daniels | September 18, 2017
    Excerpt: Many people think there is a section in the Constitution, or somewhere in the federal papers that demands separation of church and state, but there is no such terminology.
    The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
    Separation of church and state is part of a letter written by Thomas Jefferson, whose original intent was far from what the enemies of public displays of religion would have you believe.
    https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/charlie-daniels/charlie-daniels-separation-church-state-not-about-religion-its-battle

    And the result of this legal sleight of hand, by the anti-Catholic racist bigot Hugo Black, that gave atheists far too much sway in American courts, has been devastating for America as a whole,

    The Devastating Effects When Prayer Was Removed From School in America in 1962-63 – David Barton – video
    (excerpted from Barton’s “America’s Godly Heritage’ lecture)
    https://youtu.be/1No–GpdqCY

    So there you go Seversky, ‘separation of church and state’ is just another atheistic lie, much like Darwinian evolution is an atheistic lie, that has had severely detrimental effects on America as a whole.

    If you had any integrity as an atheist you should be ashamed that atheistic, anti-catholic, lies have done this travesty to America, but alas, from my years of dealing with you, you have no integrity as far as I can tell, so I’m pretty sure that you are happy that the lies of your atheism have done this.

    Psalm 101:7
    No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence.

  86. 86
    Ed George says:

    BA77

    Yet, the majority of Christians regularly get their rights to religious freedom trampled on by the minority of atheists in American jurisprudence, and always to the detriment of the nation as a whole.

    Since 3.1% of Americans are atheists and 75% are Christians, the Christians must be a gullible lot. The fact is, none of the progressive changes that many here despise could have occurred without support and advocacy by other Christians. Increased secularism of society, pro-choice, doctor assisted suicide, same sex marriage, removal of prayer from school, teaching of evolution, sex education, access to contraceptives, keeping pregnant teens in their schools, etc, have all occurred with the support of millions of Christians.

  87. 87
    bornagain77 says:

    Whatever EG, gullible or not, deception is deception,

  88. 88
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel
    Just gotta love it when these self righteous folks lecture Christians about morality. The same people that are just fine and dandy with ripping babies from the womb want to lecture me and others about morality a concept that is nothing more to them but “I prefer that this doesn’t happen” That ultimately logically espouse might makes right. Sickening really.

    “Of course my opinion doesn’t count, but do you think that what has happened is immoral? (Addressed to everyone.)”

    Hazel you mean immoral in the objective sense. That it is immoral objectively whether one thinks it is or not. That moral standards exist independently of what one thinks it is moral or not? Without knowing what you mean by immoral I can’t at this time give you an answer but I will when you get back to me.

    Vivid

  89. 89
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel re 21
    No Hazel the constitution does not guarantee your rights. What guarantees your rights is a consistent enactment of the recognition and acceptance of the presuppositional truth of this basic principle which gave rise to the Constitution

    “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…..

    Do you accept self evident truths? Do you recognize that to the framers rights do not come from men or woman, Governments or society but from the Creator, that this was the bedrock upon which the Constitution rests?Sheesh this is basic civics
    Vivid

  90. 90
    kairosfocus says:

    Vivid,

    you ask a truly pivotal question. It would be interesting to see the response on self-evident truths.

    Without such, rational discussion is lost.

    Mimus,

    Barr gave an analysis pivoting on natural law towards reformation, the political shenanigans and stunts of the various scallawags, rapscallions and worse cross over into partisan polarisation and politicking.

    Hazel,

    Projection. The US media have become truly rotten and a material factor in the rising fatal disaffection. It seems, further, that media fakery is a serious problem internationally, as confessed.

    Kindly note the straight vs spin framework recently added as a F/N to OP.

    Seversky,

    I find American short-termism and selective isolationism troubling as public sentiment of many in the leading maritime power. But then, failure to soundly educate in geostrategic facts and issues is yet another media failing.

    A measure of this is, what event occurred 318 years, less one day before Sept 11, 2001 and why is it memorialised in a Constellation? Why then was that date chosen for the notorious attacks which precipitated the current rounds of global fighting? What is the onward geostrategic significance given Islamist views on eschatology?

    The matters at stake go far, far beyond party X vs party Y or debates over murky deep state swamps and their resident lurking dragons. I will note, that the current inhabitant of No 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is raising the matter of sanctions, in the context that incursion into Syria, necessarily was limited in scope and focus, as in ISIS as triggered by the earlier ill-advised withdrawal from Iraq and refusal to hit them when they surged — I recall thinking at the time that a squadron of A10’s would have stopped what happened with the carving out of the Islamic State and announcement of a caliphate; in a few hours or days. What were you saying when Yazidi women were being taken as sex slaves? What do you have to say on how virgin women — and frankly girls down to it seems 9 – 12 — condemned by kangaroo courts are routinely treated by guards in Iran on the night before their execution [often, on trumped up charges]? (Don’t know about it? It was reported but certainly not made a top priority 24/7 news of the day piece. Same, for the BBC report on the annual abortions rate for the world.)

    The onward issues over Turkey, NATO and its long term status are ticklish. Though, Turkey does have a reasonable right to defend itself in the face of longstanding uprising.

    *********

    Notice the now predictable persistent evasion of core issues by frequent objectors; in this and prior threads.

    That tells us volumes on where the balance on merits lies.

    KF

  91. 91
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: A textbook discussion on subjectivism and relativism will help:

    Excerpted chapter summary, on Subjectivism, Relativism, and Emotivism, in Doing Ethics 3rd Edn, by Lewis Vaughn, W W Norton, 2012. [Also see here and here.] Clipping:

    . . . Subjective relativism is the view that an action is morally right if one approves of it. A person’s approval makes the action right. This doctrine (as well as cultural relativism) is in stark contrast to moral objectivism, the view that some moral principles are valid for everyone.. Subjective relativism, though, has some troubling implications. It implies that each person is morally infallible and that individuals can never have a genuine moral disagreement

    Cultural relativism is the view that an action is morally right if one’s culture approves of it. The argument for this doctrine is based on the diversity of moral judgments among cultures: because people’s judgments about right and wrong differ from culture to culture, right and wrong must be relative to culture, and there are no objective moral principles. This argument is defective, however, because the diversity of moral views does not imply that morality is relative to cultures. In addition, the alleged diversity of basic moral standards among cultures may be only apparent, not real. Societies whose moral judgments conflict may be differing not over moral principles but over nonmoral facts.

    Some think that tolerance is entailed by cultural relativism. But there is no necessary connection between tolerance and the doctrine. Indeed, the cultural relativist cannot consistently advocate tolerance while maintaining his relativist standpoint. To advocate tolerance is to advocate an objective moral value. But if tolerance is an objective moral value, then cultural relativism must be false, because it says that there are no objective moral values.

    Like subjective relativism, cultural relativism has some disturbing consequences. It implies that cultures are morally infallible, that social reformers can never be morally right, that moral disagreements between individuals in the same culture amount to arguments over whether they disagree with their culture, that other cultures cannot be legitimately criticized, and that moral progress is impossible.

    Emotivism is the view that moral utterances are neither true nor false but are expressions of emotions or attitudes. It leads to the conclusion that people can disagree only in attitude, not in beliefs. People cannot disagree over the moral facts, because there are no moral facts. Emotivism also implies that presenting reasons in support of a moral utterance is a matter of offering nonmoral facts that can influence someone’s attitude. It seems that any nonmoral facts will do, as long as they affect attitudes. Perhaps the most far-reaching implication of emotivism is that nothing is actually good or bad. There simply are no properties of goodness and badness. There is only the expression of favorable or unfavorable emotions or attitudes toward something.

    KF

  92. 92
  93. 93
    kairosfocus says:

    They are free to mock, of far greater moment is the issue of warrant for such views in a world where our intellectual capacities are morally governed, pointing to roots of morality at founds of reality.

  94. 94
    hazel says:

    kf writes, “It would be interesting to see the response on self-evident truths.”

    Here’s a response, for the record:

    I have discussed this extensively here and other times and places. I know what I think and am comfortable with my beliefs. I know what you all think, I know that and why you think I’m wrong, and I know why I think you are wrong.

    I know that discussing this again in this venue would lead to the same type of discussion, with the same results, so it’s not worth my time to do that anymore.

    So, if you are someone who just flat-out rejects anything I might have to say that involves morals, value judgments, truth, etc. because of this issue, then you can ignore anything I have to say.

    If I feel like commenting on something, and all you can do is protest about objective and self-evident truths, please note the above: I’m not going to go over that issue anymore.

  95. 95
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    Since 3.1% of Americans are atheists and 75% are Christians, …

    The % for atheists is wrong, Ed.

    The fact is, none of the progressive changes that many here despise could have occurred without support and advocacy by other Christians

    The fact is you have been proven to be a liar, Ed.

    Increased secularism of society, pro-choice, doctor assisted suicide, same sex marriage, removal of prayer from school, teaching of evolution, sex education, access to contraceptives, keeping pregnant teens in their schools, etc, have all occurred with the support of millions of Christians.

    So you say but can not demonstrate.

    So given your propensity for lying why should anyone believe you?

  96. 96
    ET says:

    hazel:

    Teenage births have declined substantially ET.

    They are still happening, hazel. And now there is a TV show helping to enable the problem.

    And Ed makes a key point: many of the progressive changes in society that he mentioned have been led by Christians.

    Saying it doesn’t make it so.

    Also, as Sev pointed out, virtually all elected reps in the country are religious people.

    That is also incorrect. Anyone can make a bald-faced claim. It’s their actions that really show who they are. And most liberals do not seem to be of the Christian faith.

    The conservative cry about the decline of our society that is prevalent here is a sectarian division in Christianity and other religions, not primarily one between religious people and atheists.

    A “sectarian division in Christianity” is made up of non-Christians, ie people who don’t know what Christianity entails..

  97. 97
    john_a_designer says:

    “Progressive” values are progressive according to whom? What makes so-called progressive values better than tried and true traditional ones?

  98. 98
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, self evident truth has but little to do with beliefs or opinions. They have to do with first points of reason, starting with the triple first principles of reason pivoting on the principle of distinct identity. A self evident truth is so, it is seen as such by one able to understand, and it is seen as necessarily so on pain of patent absurdity [of various forms] on the attempted denial. Without them, we cannot get started with reasoning. KF

  99. 99
    bornagain77 says:

    John_a_designer, I think J. Budziszewski nails the so called “Progressive” values on the head in this following article.

    THE REVENGE OF CONSCIENCE by J. Budziszewski – June 1998
    Excerpt: The pattern is repeated in the house of death. First we were to approve of killing unborn babies, then babies in process of birth; next came newborns with physical defects, now newborns in perfect health. Nobel-prize laureate James Watson proposes that parents of newborns be granted a grace period during which they may have their babies killed, and in 1994 a committee of the American Medical Association proposed harvesting organs from some sick babies even before they die. First we were to approve of suicide, then to approve of assisting it. Now we are to approve of a requirement to assist it, for, as Ernest van den Haag has argued, it is “unwarranted” for doctors not to kill patients who seek death. First we were to approve of killing the sick and unconscious, then of killing the conscious and consenting. Now we are to approve of killing the conscious and protesting, for in the United States, doctors starved and dehydrated stroke patient Marjorie Nighbert to death despite her pleading “I’m hungry,” “I’m thirsty,” “Please feed me,” and “I want food.” Such cases are only to be expected when food and water are now often classified as optional treatments rather than humane care; we have not long to go before joining the Netherlands, where involuntary euthanasia is common.
    https://www.firstthings.com/article/1998/06/the-revenge-of-conscience

    i.e. They are not “Progressive” values at all but are in fact slowly degenerating values. Much like the urban legend of a frog being killed by slowly bringing the water to a boil

    How to Boil a Frog – MARCH 14, 2019
    https://operationpeaceout.com/index.php/2019/03/14/how-to-boil-a-frog/

  100. 100
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel
    “If I feel like commenting on something, and all you can do is protest about objective and self-evident truths, please note the above: I’m not going to go over that issue anymore.”

    I just talked with Adam Schiff and this is what Hazel said.

    My feelings about things trump having to rationally justify my positions. To insist that I have to put forth a rational argument to my interlocutors is so out of bounds and unfair. Besides its all Trumps fault.

    Vivid

  101. 101
    kairosfocus says:

    Vivid, things are at a sad pass when satire is hard to tell from sober reality. KF

    PS: I wonder if some folks have ever put themselves in the shoes of someone unjustly slandered in a context where it causes material damage, not just offence. Especially in a context where one is robbed of redress.

  102. 102
    john_a_designer says:

    BA77 @ #99,

    I’m interested is what so-called progressives think. Again the questions are:

    “Progressive” values are progressive according to whom? What makes so-called progressive values better than tried and true traditional values?

    Why when I ask questions like that all I here is crickets?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zWS52fBtSE

    It goes on for hours and hours and hours…

  103. 103
    vividbleau says:

    JAD
    “Progressive values are progressive according to whom? What makes so-called progressive values better than tried and true traditional values?”

    Just importantly to say something is progressing is to say they are moving forward, the obvious question is moving forward from where? Whats the starting point?

    Vivid

  104. 104
    kairosfocus says:

    more importantly, the end point — clearly, over the cliff

  105. 105
    vividbleau says:

    KF,
    This is the state of affairs we now find ourselves in. I want to share something that is pertinent to the OP regarding religious freedom. Someone I know very well is being forced today to participate in something that violates their religious freedom under threat of losing their job. Sadly thats all I can say because in todays world if I am more specific some SJW could track down the who,whats and wherefores resulting in this person losing the means of their livelihood . We are living in a very strange and dangerous time as it relates to religious freedom contrary to what the skeptics assert.

    That this person has to deny their religious beliefs, say something they think is a lie all because this person needs to keep their job. Welcome to progressive America and the so called tolerant left.

    Vivid

  106. 106
    kairosfocus says:

    Vivid, The startpoint is a Christian civilisation that was subjected to radical secularisation through hyperskepticism, speculative ideologies and evolutionary materialistic scientism as Schaeffer in part summarised. This led to nihilistic collapse of rationality and responsibility. Thus the grave spin-out we see today. Now, there is aggressive agit prop, street theatre with media amplification and lawfare. Now, beginning to manifest as kangaroo court show trials with judges doing as they see fit on process, law and rulings. Accusation, smear and pile on then media trumpet tactics are obvious — and note the playing out expose of CNN through a real whistleblower. That is we see emerging censorship, imposition of the perverse in the place of the sound and fatal disaffection. I suspect they want a measure of crisis and chaos, the threat of anarchy that opens up political messianism and oligarchy. It is going to blow up instead, at likely horrific cost. What we need to fight for is a sound alternative that turns back before the civilisation goes over the brink. KF

  107. 107
    vividbleau says:

    KF re 106

    You are spot on.

    Vivid

  108. 108
    john_a_designer says:

    Re: 103,104,

    I’m just looking for what kind standard they use to decide what is good/ bad, better, best for society as a whole… simple question. Why do none of them have an answer?

  109. 109
    kairosfocus says:

    Vivid, may God grant courage. What you describe has a name in law, constructive dismissal. It is an actionable tort. Those playing with such matches of oppression need to wake up fast, before you get a flashover into explosive disaffection. Democracy is inherently unstable, needs stabilisation from the culture, but these are perverting the moral frame. Loss of democratic freedom is liable to end in some truly ugly things. It is time to stop now and turn back through sound, peaceful reformation. The natural law framework I identify and principles in US DoI 2nd para offer a way forward. But if media imposition, censorship and suppression get much worse, boom. We do NOT want to go there, no sane person does. KF

  110. 110
    vividbleau says:

    JAD
    “Why do none of them have an answer?”

    I would disagree they have answered, the standard they use is that which they personally prefer.

    Vivid

  111. 111
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD, because there is an answer, recognising our moral government starting with our intelligence. But that points to world roots that bridge is and ought. That requires a very familiar world root necessary being as source of worlds. There, they are desperate not to go and have no answer. See 25 above and the previous thread: https://uncommondescent.com/atheism/sean-carroll-nowadays-when-a-more-scientific-worldview-has-triumphed-and-everyone-knows-that-god-doesnt-exist-really/ which is still top of current posts . . . and UD is subject to perpetual hostile scrutiny. Notice how they obviously cannot answer to it on the merits. Notice, they tried to attack the man, Barr, rather than address the issue in this thread. Notice, they cannot handle self evidence as key to framing a rational approach. And more. KF

  112. 112
    vividbleau says:

    KF
    “It is an actionable tort”

    This person cannot afford a lawyer nor the loss of income that would result in adjudicating things in court and then there is the issue of the Judge. Sad

    Vivid

  113. 113
    kairosfocus says:

    Vivid, that is untenable, relativism and subjectivism fail. Raw imposition by might and manipulation — currently being tried — is absurd and extremely destructive. KF

  114. 114
    kairosfocus says:

    Vivid, there are public interest law firms that can take up such cases. These days, looks like count on going to the US Supreme Court. Which we can see is the flashpoint of recent pushes as we can see from Kavanaugh 1 and 2. Notice, I am highlighting legal positivism as a key error, opening up nihilism under colour of law. Reform back to a sounder foundation of law and government informed by principles of core natural law is the clear answer. Something that should have been manifest after WW2. KF

  115. 115
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: For the third time in this thread:

    >> normally responsive people will at least grudgingly respect the following summary of 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 (thus, warranted and objective) moral truths; not just optional opinions.

    So also, it is not only possible to

    (a) be in demonstrable moral error, but also

    (b) there is hope that such moral errors can be corrected by appealing to manifestly sound core principles of the natural moral law. Thus,

    (c) we can now see that a core of law is built into moral government of our responsible, rational freedom (through our known, inescapable duties to truth, right reason, prudence [including, warrant], sound conscience, neighbourliness [thus, the golden rule], fairness & justice, etc). On these, 

    (d) we may frame just civil law as comporting with that built-in law of our morally governed nature, towards upholding and defending the civil peace of justice through sound government.

    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. Expanding slightly: our rational, responsible intelligent behaviour is inescapably under the moral government of known duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc. Thus, we find morally rooted law built into our morally governed nature, even for our intellectual life. Thus, too, the civil law extends what is already built in, to our social circumstances, turning on issues of prudence, justice and mutual duties; if it is to be legitimate. Notice, this is itself a theory on what law is or at least should be. And yes, all of this is fraught with implications for the roots of reality.)

    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-understanding 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. In short, nihilistic will to power untempered by the primacy of justice is its own refutation in any type of state. Where, justice is the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities. 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.

    (NB: This is a requisite of accountability for justice, and the suggestion or implication of some views across time, that government can reasonably be unaccountable to the governed, is its own refutation, reflecting — again — nihilistic will to power; which is automatically absurd. This truth involves the issue that finite, fallible, morally struggling men acting as civil authorities in the face of changing times and situations as well as in the face of the tendency of power to corrupt, need to be open to remonstrance and reformation — or if they become resistant to reasonable appeal, there must be effective means of replacement. Hence, the principle that the general election is an insitutionalised regular solemn assembly of the people for audit and reform or if needs be replacement of government gone bad. But this is by no means an endorsement of the notion that a manipulated mob bent on a march of folly has a right to do as it pleases.)

    12] Twelfth, the attempt to deny or dismiss such a general framework of moral governance invariably lands in shipwreck of incoherence and absurdity. As, has been seen in outline. 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.

    F/N2: Likewise, as Ben Mines summarises from Leibniz, maximal goodness, wisdom and power are arguably mutually, inextricably entangled once we understand/accept that the good implies an evident proper end or purpose:

    Leibniz has given an argument to show that omniscience and moral perfection [–> also, omnipotence] are mutually inclusive: all freely willed action strives towards some goal; all goals are the pursuit of some good entertained by the agent; [ –> real or imagined?] the scope and quality of entertainable goods is dependent on knowledge; the maximisation of knowledge perfects an agent’s judgment of the good. An evil being therefore lacks perfect knowledge; and lacking perfect knowledge, is not omniscient; and lacking omniscience, cannot be omnipotent since there will be some actions it lacks the knowledge to perform. The proposition, It is possible that a maximally great but evil being exists is therefore broadly incoherent. A being cannot be both evil and maximally great.

     F/N3: This principle of built-in moral government under known law also applies directly to gospel ethics, discipleship and evangelism. For, example, it means that “sin” is not merely an oppressive invention of priestcraft designed to bring us under theocratic tyranny — which, is the exact implication of many objections to gospel ethics today. Instead, sin is in the first instance willful moral error, defiance therefore of the inherently good and utterly wise Creator who made us, gave us responsible freedom, commanded us to live by love and truth, and gave us sound conscience as a witness. Therefore, too, we have real guilt against the law of our nature, the law of our creator, not just mere painful emotions to deal with. It is in this context that the gospel is good news: in his love, our creator has made a way for us to be forgiven, rescued and transformed.>>

    KF

  116. 116
    kairosfocus says:

    Notice: >>(d) we may frame just civil law as comporting with that built-in law of our morally governed nature, towards upholding and defending the civil peace of justice through sound government.>> Compare Aquinas as summarised in a slide in the OP.

  117. 117
    hazel says:

    I apologize for using the word “progressive”, as it, as well as “traditional”, dichotomizes a situation with mere labels that don’t address any specifics. Some examples:

    1. At some times and places, it was traditional to own slaves, but I’m sure we all consider it progress that is no longer the case.

    2. 100 years ago it was traditional that women didn’t vote in the US. Now almost all (but not all!) believe it is progress that is no longer the case.

    3. Skipping over many other examples, it has been traditional that marriage has been between one man and one woman in the US (with some exceptions among some religious sects), but now same-sex marriage is legal. I consider that progress, but lots of people, including most participants here, don’t.

    So whether something is “progressive” or not, and whether that is good or not, depends on both the details of a situation, and the perspective of the person. So just labeling something progressive (as I did) or traditional or other similar labels really doesn’t advance a discussion.

  118. 118
  119. 119
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, progress depends on from where, to where. In particular, progress that undermines our built in, naturally evident, morally governed order of being is progress to ruin. Especially when it inverts good and evil, truth and error, perversity and soundness. KF

  120. 120
  121. 121
    Ed George says:

    Hazel, good point. I would consider it progress that his sands can no longer legally hit and rape their wives, something that was “traditional” for centuries. I also consider it progress that homosexuals are no longer jailed, castrated and denied employment, something that was traditional for centuries. I also consider it progress that we give our children accurate and non judgemental knowledge about sex rather than the traditional ignorance that was common for centuries.

  122. 122
    kairosfocus says:

    Notice, the persistent tangents pulling away from the focal issues?

  123. 123
    Ed George says:

    KF

    Notice, the persistent tangents pulling away from the focal issues?

    You mean the tangents of the historic religious freedoms that society no longer accepts? Like the freedom to refuse service to homosexuals that society no longer allows? Like the freedom to strike your wife that society has taken away? Like the freedom to rape your wife that society has taken away? Like the freedom to force raped teens to proceed with the pregnancy that society has taken away? Like the freedom to deny a marriage licence to a couple because you are religiously opposed to the legal union? Like the freedom to deny access to contraceptives to people who want them? Like the freedom to withhold factual information from people (sex education)? Like the freedom to deny employment to someone because of their sexual orientation or religious beliefs? I think these are all focal to the OP.

  124. 124
    ET says:

    hazel:

    1. At some times and places, it was traditional to own slaves, but I’m sure we all consider it progress that is no longer the case.

    Right. Now we just have overflowing prisons.

    2. 100 years ago it was traditional that women didn’t vote in the US. Now almost all (but not all!) believe it is progress that is no longer the case.

    We clearly need better standards than “18 and older as long as you are not in prison”.

    3. Skipping over many other examples, it has been traditional that marriage has been between one man and one woman in the US (with some exceptions among some religious sects), but now same-sex marriage is legal. I consider that progress, but lots of people, including most participants here, don’t.

    It’s progress, alright. Just not in the way you think it is. Marriage is now free to progress into the Twilight Zone and reach the Outer Limits. Marriage will be a farce before too long.

  125. 125
    ET says:

    Ed and hazel are one-trick ponies. Go to North Korea or China- both atheistic countries- and see how your life fares there.

    Ed acts as if every man beat and raped his wife. Ed acts as if all teens are raped. Ed says that life begins at conception and yet Ed is OK with the taking of that life as long as it’s a shared life. It isn’t murder if it’s a shared life.

    Abortion is the worst sin mankind can commit. You loser enablers who moan about minutia are sickening and pathetic.

    And if parents have been lying to kids about getting pregnant then that is on them, not society. The information has always been readily available- at least since the 60’s, anyway.

  126. 126
    john_a_designer says:

    The natural law or natural moral law tradition, which William Barr referred to in his speech, has under-girded civil law, morality and human rights in the west since ancient times. We see it early on in both Greek (e.g. Plato) and Roman culture (e.g. Cicero) but for the 1700 years it’s been shaped predominantly by the so called Judeo-Christian ethic.

    For example, in its article about natural law theory Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy describes Aquinas’ view of natural law as follows:

    “The precepts of the natural law are binding by nature: no beings could share our human nature yet fail to be bound by the precepts of the natural law. This is so because these precepts direct us toward the good as such…

    [Furthermore, the] precepts of the natural law are also knowable by nature. All human beings possess a basic knowledge of the principles of the natural law (ST IaIIae 94, 4). This knowledge is exhibited in our intrinsic directedness toward the various goods that the natural law enjoins us to pursue, and we can make this implicit awareness explicit and propositional through reflection on practice.

    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/natural-law-ethics/

    Of course, this doesn’t mean everyone readily acknowledges the moral truth that is revealed to them naturally. Paul forewarns us that by their unrighteousness people suppress the truth (Roman 1:18-22.)

    Nevertheless, natural moral law is the only sufficient basis for binding interpersonal obligations and universal human rights. Moral relativism and subjectivism are not. How is somebody else’s beliefs and opinions on morality binding on me? Earlier I cited the example of animal rights. A lot of people have strong beliefs about the rights of animals to the point they want everyone to become a vegetarian. Am I obligated to become a vegetarian because that’s what you believe is moral? I think not.

    Another example, which has come up in the discussion, is the current debate about same sex marriage.

    For example, we can list a few things that are essentially or self-evidently true about marriage, from a natural moral law perspective.

    *1. Man-woman marriage (MWM) is essentially natural. Same-sex marriage (SSM) is not. Two men cannot make a baby. Two women cannot make a baby. MWM is therefore the natural basis for the family. It cannot be claimed that SSM is, in any sense, essentially natural.

    *2. Historically and traditionally MWM has always been recognized as marriage. No such history or tradition for SSM, prior to the mid-20th century, exists.

    *3. MWM is not the result of a redefinition. SSM obviously is.

    *4. Only MWM can be said to be God-given. There is no straight forward theological argument that SSM is God given.

    *5. The purpose of MWM was not/is not to oppress gays or gay couples. It is a legal fiction to claim that it is or was.

    *6. SSM is (it cannot be otherwise) the result of legal fiat; MWM clearly is not.

    *7. SSM must resort to legal coercion. MWM has always had a broad unforced consensus.

  127. 127
    john_a_designer says:

    Or, to state my point more succinctly: Human made-up moral opinions cannot be the basis for interpersonal moral obligation or universal human rights because there is no objective way to determine whose made-up opinion is right and who is wrong. That requires some kind of transcendent standard.

    If everyone recognized this fact I think we would still be okay. The problem is that the secular progressive left treats the latest moral fad or trend as if it was a moral absolute and moral progress. That’s because we are hard wired to think that way. In other words, what good is morality if there is no such thing a morally binding obligation?

  128. 128
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD (& attn EG et al),

    I note, there is an historical exemplar: Nero Caesar, after he kicked his pregnant wife to death in a drunken rage it seems castrated and “married” a 9 y/o boy who resembled her (and later “married” another man). The details and context in Suetonius’ lives of the Caesars are beyond shocking. Rom 1 has serious context, between Nero and Caligula.

    (Try this, vv 26 – 27: “exchanged the natural [sexual] function for that which is unnatural [a function contrary to nature] . . .” Then note the cascade of “progress” to ruin from v 28: “since they did not see fit to acknowledge God or consider Him worth knowing [as their Creator], God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do things which are improper and repulsive, 29 until they were filled (permeated, saturated) with every kind of unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice and mean-spiritedness. They are gossips [spreading rumors], 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors [of new forms] of evil, disobedient and disrespectful to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful [without pity] . . . ” On this last, ask the ghosts of 800+million victims of the holocaust of our living posterity in the womb carried out under false colours of law. Not to mention the further million per week.)

    The Scriptures clearly endorse that a core of law is inbuilt, testified to by conscience and manifest to reason governed by sound conscience, as Rom 1, 2 and 13 highlight. It also clearly warns that minds that reject the testimony of the world without and of conscience guarded reason within become debased, warped, even reprobate and lose ability to think straight. That is why reasoning about natural law will always be challenging, there is a lot of clever but warped and debased thought and advocacy out there. Some of it quite learned.

    Thus, the need for plumb line, self evident test cases to sort out crooked yardsticks.

    So, too, manifestly the notion that the Bible teaches arbitrary divine commands that we can then see as an imposition of priestcraft and freely dismiss in a “scientific” age where we are so “enlightened” that — in Carroll’s cat out of the bag words “everyone knows that God doesn’t exist” — is a strawman caricature. Indeed, it goes further, it is arrogant imposition of manifest falsehood. For, questioning or disagreeing with evolutionary materialistic scientism is not to be equated with Dawkins’ notorious, telling quartet: ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked.

    (And how does an advocate of evolutionary materialistic scientism actually bridge the IS-OUGHT gap and find a world root level IS that sufficiently founds the good so we may objectively discern the evil, the error, the false and know we ought to shun such? Starting with, grounding duties to truth, right reason, prudence, sound conscience, neighbourliness, fairness and justice, etc? The implication of this thread and the previous — given the silence, distraction and ad hominem strawman tactics of such objectors as show up — is the objectors have no cogent, substantial answer. The balance on the merits is plain.)

    Going further, we see in thread after thread an obsession with introducing homosexualism, imposition under colour of law of so-called “same sex marriage” and the like. This points inadvertently to the real problem: if one makes a crooked yardstick his or her standard of
    straight, accurate and upright, then what is genuinely such cannot pass the test of conformity to crookedness. Hence, the obvious intent of agit prop operators to use propaganda and lawfare to nihilistically pervert the framework of laws as established by state power. That is how we come to a place where — this is the central case, from which the others flow — under false colour of law a million more of our living posterity in the womb are killed every week; mostly for the capital crime of being inconvenient.

    How do we deal with such? By putting up a plumb line that is naturally straight and upright.

    You have provided a summary of such regarding the manifest roots of marriage, literally a law written into our genes by way of XY and XX chromosomes and linked biological development, let me give an example of natural law reasoning from a classic source:

    Matt 19:3 And Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” [–> a current issue and debate in Jewish law, theology and social thought]

    4 He replied, “Have you never read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female [–> naturally evident creation order rooted in the inherently good, utterly wise creator-God], 5 and said, ‘For this reason [–> note, fulfillment of such naturally evident creation order purpose is reasonable] a man shall leave his father and mother [–> family of origin showing requisites of nurture, and identifying the chain of reproduction] and shall be joined inseparably to his wife [–> a successive generation of family], and the two shall become one flesh’?

    6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.” [–> a stricture that puts divorce on the defensive, how much more so, that which flies in the face of sound creation order manifest in our genes and bodies. This is a fortiori logic in action.]

    7 The Pharisees said to Him, “Why then did Moses command us to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

    8 He said to them, “Because your hearts were hard and stubborn [–> the diagnosis: hardness of heart, implying ameliorative regulation of social evils towards sound reformation and minimisation of the evil] Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. [AMP]

    Immediately, it is false that the Bible is devoid of relevant legal reasoning that uses the natural law, setting a powerful precedent or even a paradigm. It also shows how civil law must cope with established evils, and so may be imperfect but responsible. And, we also see here a case of how scriptural teaching and natural law evident to reason intersect and mutually support, providing a context for both amelioration and sound reform. Which provides for genuine progress that does not go over the cliff.

    This utterly contrasts with the utter absurdities of relativism and subjectivism — which is what objectors would substitute:

    Excerpted chapter summary, on Subjectivism, Relativism, and Emotivism, in Doing Ethics 3rd Edn, by Lewis Vaughn, W W Norton, 2012. [Also see here and here.] Clipping:

    . . . Subjective relativism is the view that an action is morally right if one approves of it. A person’s approval makes the action right. This doctrine (as well as cultural relativism) is in stark contrast to moral objectivism, the view that some moral principles are valid for everyone.. Subjective relativism, though, has some troubling implications. It implies that each person is morally infallible and that individuals can never have a genuine moral disagreement

    Cultural relativism is the view that an action is morally right if one’s culture approves of it. The argument for this doctrine is based on the diversity of moral judgments among cultures: because people’s judgments about right and wrong differ from culture to culture, right and wrong must be relative to culture, and there are no objective moral principles. This argument is defective, however, because the diversity of moral views does not imply that morality is relative to cultures. In addition, the alleged diversity of basic moral standards among cultures may be only apparent, not real. Societies whose moral judgments conflict may be differing not over moral principles but over nonmoral facts.

    Some think that tolerance is entailed by cultural relativism. But there is no necessary connection between tolerance and the doctrine. Indeed, the cultural relativist cannot consistently advocate tolerance while maintaining his relativist standpoint. To advocate tolerance is to advocate an objective moral value. But if tolerance is an objective moral value, then cultural relativism must be false, because it says that there are no objective moral values.

    Like subjective relativism, cultural relativism has some disturbing consequences. It implies that cultures are morally infallible, that social reformers can never be morally right, that moral disagreements between individuals in the same culture amount to arguments over whether they disagree with their culture, that other cultures cannot be legitimately criticized, and that moral progress is impossible.

    Emotivism is the view that moral utterances are neither true nor false but are expressions of emotions or attitudes. It leads to the conclusion that people can disagree only in attitude, not in beliefs. People cannot disagree over the moral facts, because there are no moral facts. Emotivism also implies that presenting reasons in support of a moral utterance is a matter of offering nonmoral facts that can influence someone’s attitude. It seems that any nonmoral facts will do, as long as they affect attitudes. Perhaps the most far-reaching implication of emotivism is that nothing is actually good or bad. There simply are no properties of goodness and badness. There is only the expression of favorable or unfavorable emotions or attitudes toward something.

    Of course, objectors routinely studiously ignore this and hasten to the latest list of their claimed triumphs. This manifests the clear unreasonableness and nihilistic trends warned against by Plato 2350+ years ago — again, something such have studiously ignored, year after year here at UD:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Remember, these lessons were paid for through the self-ruin of Athenian democracy.

    My fear is, we are living through the collapse of liberty and self government through constitutional democracy in our time, through absurd radical agendas that will take us over the cliff of fatal disaffection.

    KF

  129. 129
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD, let’s deepen: where does rational argument gain compelling power, the sense that we . . . em, ah, um . . . OUGHT to heed its progress from start points to conclusions? Is it not, then, manifest that our intelligence is in material part governed by duties to truth, right reason, sound conscience, prudence [so, warrant, thence knowledge], fairness, justice etc? What happens were we to dismiss and disregard such duties? For example, what if we held them to be delusions of a jumped up ape with too many spare neurons for its own good, a manifestation of GIGO? (Then, is the level 2 perception not subject to the same dismissal, etc in an infinite regress? Do we not, then, need self-evident first principles?) Then, what sort of roots of reality must be in place for there to be a world with rational, responsible, significantly free creatures? KF

  130. 130
    john_a_designer says:

    Secular progressivism has one overarching purpose and goal: to demonize and vilify anybody who believes in, follows or defends what are now derided as traditional moral values. For example:

    Family — once a beautiful joint enterprise of people overcoming differences between the sexes to support each other and their children — came to symbolize weakness, not joy. For far too many feminists, marriage is a patriarchal ploy, and love itself is manipulative. Kate Millett, author of the 1970 feminist classic Sexual Politics, wrote:

    “The concept of romantic love affords a means of emotional manipulation which the male is free to exploit. . . . Romantic love also obscures the realities of female status and the burden of economic dependency.”

    The birth-control pill, which permanently broke the link between sex and children, has irreparably changed our mores, too. Prior to the Pill, casual sex could not be quite so casual because sex usually meant the possibility of children. Men and women knew this and acted accordingly. Without any link between sex and having children, marriage’s ability to keep spouses together to nurture any resulting children became weaker.

    Childless sex and a casual approach to sex and relationships do more than fuel the #MeToo movement. They make it more difficult for women and men, especially those who do not engage in casual sex, to form families. They are the ones who have higher demands in relationships. Those who see one path to family through lifelong marriage are in a minority and will find it harder to compete in the relationship market.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/01/settle-down-lean-in-unhelpful-advice-to-young-women/

    Of course, abortion exists because birth control is not 100% reliable.

    And furthermore, the truth is the push to legalize “same sex marriage” was never motivated by the belief that marriage is something good, rather it is nothing more than a cynical tactic used by activists as a way to further undermine society’s moral foundations. Foundations that secular progressives see as obsolete and oppressive.

    Tragically most people on my side of the issue have been either asleep or spineless when trying to counter the leftist agenda.

  131. 131
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD: There is a term: misanthrope. It was used to describe those responsible for the French Reign of Terror. Tell me why it should not be used to describe those who sneer like that about love and marriage. KF

  132. 132
    Ed George says:

    JaD

    *1. Man-woman marriage (MWM) is essentially natural. Same-sex marriage (SSM) is not. Two men cannot make a baby. Two women cannot make a baby. MWM is therefore the natural basis for the family. It cannot be claimed that SSM is, in any sense, essentially natural.

    A sterile couple cannot make a baby. Elderly couples cannot make babies. By this argument, these couples should also be denied marriage?

    *2. Historically and traditionally MWM has always been recognized as marriage. No such history or tradition for SSM, prior to the mid-20th century, exists.

    Historically and traditionally women have been subservient to men. It was not until the 20th century that this changed. Just because we have always done it this way is not an argument for maintaining the status quo.

    *3. MWM is not the result of a redefinition. SSM obviously is.

    Removing the word “obey” from the woman’s vow was a redefinition of marriage.

    *4. Only MWM can be said to be God-given. There is no straight forward theological argument that SSM is God given.

    Marriage is not restricted to theists. And even many theists accept SSM. There are several Christian denominations that will preside over SSM.

    *5. The purpose of MWM was not/is not to oppress gays or gay couples. It is a legal fiction to claim that it is or was.

    I have not suggested that it was.

    *6. SSM is (it cannot be otherwise) the result of legal fiat; MWM clearly is not.

    Yes, it is a legal decision. Marriage is a legal contract. In many jurisdictions it took legal intervention to allow inter-racial and inter-faith marriage. I don’t see anyone arguing that these are not marriages.

    *7. SSM must resort to legal coercion. MWM has always had a broad unforced consensus.

    As the vast majority of people in the US now support SSM, where does the coercion come into play? To the best of my knowledge, no church has been legally required to preside over a SSM.

    Frankly, I don’t see what the issue is. If two people love each other, and as long as they are of legal age and sound mind, I have not heard any compelling argument why they should’t be allowed to get married. The argument that it weakens marriage is nonsense. My marriage is as strong now as it was before SSM became legal.

  133. 133
    john_a_designer says:

    All of America’s founding fathers, whether they were Deists or Christians, were guided by the idea that moral truth, which was the basis of civil law and human rights, was transcendent or “providential,” therefore, objective and binding. They were also quite cautious of democracy– especially direct democracy. They saw the danger of subversive “factions” illegitimately seizing power and destabilizing the government. That is one of the reasons they designed so-called checks and balances in the constitution so it would be difficult to seize or monopolize power.

    For example, Kevin Williamson who writes for The National Review points out:

    John Adams hated democracy and he feared what was known in the language of the time as ‘passion.’ Adams’s famous assessment: ‘I do not say that democracy has been more pernicious on the whole, and in the long run, than monarchy or aristocracy. Democracy has never been and never can be so durable as aristocracy or monarchy; but while it lasts, it is more bloody than either.’ Democracy, he wrote, ‘never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy. It is not true, in fact, and nowhere appears in history. Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty.’

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2016/03/donald-trump-populist-demagogue-john-adams-anticipated/

    Adams goes on to warn us,

    [that] no government [is] capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. Oaths in this country are as yet universally considered as sacred obligations. That which you have taken, and so solemnly repeated on that venerable ground, is an ample pledge of your sincerity and devotion to your country and its government.

    The difference between then and now? The majority of people living in America at the time believed that moral values and obligations were grounded in a transcendent moral standard (an eternal self-existing Creator and Lawgiver– God.) Today we live in a society dominated by moral subjectivism and relativism. What value are so-called human rights if they have no grounding in something eternal and transcendent. If morals are only very transient human inventions then they carry no real interpersonal obligations. Without real interpersonal moral obligations there is no such thing as a right. There is certainly no possibility that human rights are universal and timeless.

  134. 134
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    A sterile couple cannot make a baby. Elderly couples cannot make babies. By this argument, these couples should also be denied marriage?

    OK

    If two people love each other, and as long as they are of legal age and sound mind, I have not heard any compelling argument why they should’t be allowed to get married.

    Why limit it to two people? And why limit it to people?

    The argument that it weakens marriage is nonsense.

    Perhaps in your very limited mind

    My marriage is as strong now as it was before SSM became legal.

    The institution of marriage, Ed. Not any particular marriage.

    As I said, you have a very limited mind.

  135. 135
    Ed George says:

    Monopolizing conversations? Feelings of entitlement? Inability to admit error? Belittling others? These are all classic signs of narcissistic personality disorder.

    KF, do these symptoms remind you of one of the frequent commenters here?

  136. 136
  137. 137
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, you put up a cluster of irrelevancies that were part of the talking points used to lead us into inversion of darkness and light. Fail, en bloc. Start with, how do you ground reasoned discussion apart from undeniable duties to truth, right reason, prudence, sound conscience, justice etc? And if our intellectual lives are morally governed, where does that point. KF

  138. 138
    kairosfocus says:

    Heartlander, great catch:

    Laura Hollis: In contemporary American parlance, “theocracy” is inevitably used in the context of a threat — as in “So-and-so wants us to live in a theocracy!” So when I saw it popping up all over the Twitterverse last week, I was curious: What now?

    Turns out it originated right here at Notre Dame. United States Attorney General William Barr spoke at Notre Dame Law School on Oct. 11. Right on cue, all the unhappy warriors who see Gileads bubbling up in every American small town raced to warn us of our impending doom. Also as per usual, in their screeds were seeds of the very things Barr described.

    It wasn’t just fringe groups like RefuseFascism.org, which proclaimed in a headline, “At Notre Dame, William Barr Lays Out a Christian Fascist Nightmare.” Or even LGBTQ Nation, which accused the Trump administration of wanting to “tear down” the separation of church and state. (The headline read “2 Trump officials said the U.S. should be run as a Christian theocracy.”) The Nation’s headline cried, “William Barr is Neck-Deep in Extremist Catholic Institutions” and writer Joan Walsh described Barr as “a paranoid right-wing Catholic ideologue who won’t respect the separation of church and state.” She mocked the Catholic men’s service group Knights of Columbus (of which Barr has been a member) as “a patriarchal cosplay group.” Walsh’s distaste for Catholicism is matched only by her evident loathing of evangelicals. She writes: “(I)t’s worth noting that Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney were all also raised Catholic — but Pence and Pompeo went one better than Barr and joined the official GOP denomination, White Evangelical Protestantism … I couldn’t wish these guys better company to spend time with in hell.” . . . . The Washington Post asked in a headline, “Is This Barr’s Cry for Help?” and author Catherine Rampell dutifully repeated the trope that Barr’s speech was “a tacit endorsement of theocracy.” Columnist Paul Krugman at The New York Times perhaps took it furthest: “God is Now Trump’s Co-Conspirator,” read his headline. (To his credit — I think — he was speaking tongue-in-cheek and hypothesized that Barr’s speech was less about establishing a theocracy and more about providing a smoke screen against Trump’s impeachment by rallying the anti-secularist troops.)

    Misanthropes.

    They have told us beforehand. All we need to do is to turn back the turnabout accusation to see their intent. We would be suicidal fools to allow such misanthropy and slander to succeed.

    Hollis is apt:

    But Barr’s primary concern is for the protection of the Free Exercise clause, not the Establishment Clause, as the full text of his remarks makes clear. In other words, the attorney general endeavors to protect the right of the American citizen to practice his or her religion without undue government interference. He is not asserting — explicitly or implicitly — that the government should make Christianity (much less Catholicism) the “official religion” of the United States. Claims to the contrary are ignorant, deceitful or both.

    Not to mention ahistorical.

    Barr’s speech was peppered with quotes from philosophers and America’s founders alike. John Adams’ statement about the necessity of a moral citizenry is particularly well known: “We have no Government armed with Power capable of contending with human Passions unbridled by … morality and Religion. … Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

    Yes, a morally well founded people and state is not a tyranny.

    Her conclusion is telling:

    a free country comprised of citizens with strong moral values grounded in (for example) Judeo-Christian belief is not a theocracy. If, as we so often hear, it is not the job of the government to “legislate morality,” then morals, values and principles must have some other source. Our government should be protecting citizens whose lives are a reflection of their religious beliefs and practices. The U.S. Constitution requires it. The stability of our country and our culture depend upon it.

    All William Barr did was acknowledge it.

    The misanthropy is exposed.

    KF

  139. 139
    hazel says:

    The question is not whether people have the right to any religious beliefs they wish. The question is whether laws that the general populace believe should exist, through the legislative process, should allow exceptions because they conflict with someone’s religious beliefs.

    Your freedom to act based on your religious beliefs does not give you the right to expect others to act on those same beliefs even if they don’t accept. Of course, if you and others can persuade the general populace, though the democratic legislative process, to adopt laws that embody your beliefs, that is fine.

    But I don’t think one can argue that one’s religious beliefs are being discriminated against just because they aren’t in fact embodied in law.

    Example: some people have religious beliefs against interracial marriage. The law has no such prohibition. Obviously, one can choose to not marry a person of another race, or not associate with mixed race couples, or any other legal and freely chosen acts, but they can’t refuse to follow a law just because it involves an interracial couple.

    There are important distinctions here, and specific cases need to be looked at one-by-one

  140. 140
    john_a_designer says:

    I grew up in the 1960’s (graduated from high school in 1969.) The view of the secular progressive left at the time (during the so-called sexual revolution) was that traditional institutions like marriage and the family were not only obsolete but totally superfluous and that everyone should tolerate “free love.” Of course, a little beneath the surface of this so-called tolerance was a contempt for people who still believed in traditional values.

    So why has the agenda changed? Why is the left now in favor of marriage? It isn’t. It still is motivated by the same contempt. The purpose of SSM is to undermine traditional values and beliefs by subverting them. Anyone who knows a little bit of history knows that’s the truth. But then, truth is another thing that secular progressives have a problem with.

    As the following quote illustrates how modern 20th century man abandoned the idea of truth and replaced it with power (might makes right.)

    Before his untimely death in November 1963, C. S. Lewis intended to write the story of a fictional character named Ezekiel Bulver, a boy who learned by listening carefully to his parents quarrel that “refutation is no necessary part of argument.” Bulver’s unique insight was that he could avoid the rigorous demands of intellectual life by simply asserting that his opponent was wrong and then following that assertion with an ad hominem attack as supporting evidence. That, Lewis tells us, was “how Bulver became one of the makers of the Twentieth Century.”

    Refutation requires engagement with ideas, and a striving to understand the truth. From it arise norms of civility, good faith among interlocutors, and a willingness to consider the merits of different arguments. It is easier to denounce without disputation, to assume someone is wrong without bothering to discover whether they are wrong or demonstrating how they are wrong.

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/.....lture-wars

  141. 141
    Ed George says:

    Hazel, I think you have hit the nail on the head.

    Would the people who support a baker’s or florist’s religious rights to not provide a same sex couple their services also support the same people using religious freedom arguments to deny their service to inter-racial couples, inter-faith couples, Muslim couples, Hindu couples, elderly couples, sterile couples, black couples?

  142. 142
    hazel says:

    re 140: JAD, I graduated about the same time you did, and was part of the counterculture movement at the time. I have been married for almost 50 years, and feel strongly that marriage is an extremely beneficial state for multiple reasons, although I also know that some people don’t feel that way. But speaking for at least my friends from that time, many of whom I have kept in touch with, your statement that the institution of marriage is in general met with contempt is quite false.

    In fact, it is because of my strong support of the value of marriage to people and society that I believe that same-sex couples should have equal access to it if they wish. Yes, SSM goes against traditional values, but it does so out of great respect for the value of marriage, not because of contempt for it.

    I support large numbers of traditional values (honesty, respect for others, being responsible for one’s actions, fidelity to one’s spouse, etc.). There are others that some people think are traditional that I don’t support (various things about women’s roles and behavior, for instance). And last, there are some traditional values that I adhere to that are not supported by the law, such as the use of alcohol.

    So, as I said before, just labeling something traditional isn’t really useful, as all of us, I think, support some traditional values and not others, and all of us would like to see some things change, either in people’s attitudes and possibly embodied in law.

  143. 143
    ET says:

    hazel:

    Example: some people have religious beliefs against interracial marriage.

    Which religion has that?

  144. 144
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    Would the people who support a baker’s or florist’s religious rights to not provide a same sex couple their services also support the same people using religious freedom arguments to deny their service to inter-racial couples, inter-faith couples, Muslim couples, Hindu couples, elderly couples, sterile couples, black couples?

    And I would strongly support people going to another baker. That’s the beauty of it. You can even start a “go fund me” page to start your own bakery that will rival and beat the close-minded bakers.

    Or you can whine about it.

  145. 145
    hazel says:

    ET, just recently I saw a story about a woman whose refused service to an interracial couple because of her Christian beliefs. Of course, there is a very wide range of Christian beliefs so we really can’t generalize to any one set, as various Christina sects, of which there are many, have different beliefs. For instance, quite a few Christians support same-sex marriage, although I think in a previous post you might have dismissed them as “not true Christians.”

  146. 146
    ET says:

    hazel- Hearsay is not evidence. That woman made it all up as there isn’t any such thing in any of what Jesus taught. There isn’t anything is Christianity that forbids or disagrees with interracial marriage.

    Same sex marriage definitely is NOT part of what Jesus taught.

  147. 147
    hazel says:

    Deciding what is really Christian, or what Jesus said and what that means, is a subject for within the Christian community: that’s a sectarian issue that is not pertinent to me. My point is that when people talk about “religious beliefs” there is a very wide diversity that falls in that category, both among sects and individual people, and, that support for “traditional” and “progressive” values (as inadequate as those words are) is also widespread and varied among religious groups.

  148. 148
    bornagain77 says:

    Hazel, instead of you predictably trying to trash Christianity day in and day out, perhaps you should take a moment and look at all the good that it has brought into the world?

    21 Positive Contributions Christianity Has Made Through the Centuries By D. James Kennedy (excerpted from “What if Jesus Had Never Been Born?”)
    (1) Hospitals, which essentially began during the Middle Ages.
    (2) Universities, which also began during the Middle Ages. In addition, most of the world’s greatest universities were started for Christian purposes.
    (3) Literacy and education for the masses.
    (4) Capitalism and free enterprise.
    (5) Representative government, particularly as it has been seen in the American experiment.
    (6) The separation of political powers.
    (7) Civil liberties.
    (8) The abolition of slavery, both in antiquity and in more modern times.
    (9) Modern science.
    (10) The discovery of the New World by Columbus.
    (11) The elevation of women.
    (12) Benevolence and charity; the good Samaritan ethic.
    (13) Higher standards of justice.
    (14) The elevation of common man.
    (15) The condemnation of adultery, homosexuality, and other sexual perversions. This has helped to preserve the human race, and it has spared many from heartache.
    (16) High regard for human life.
    (17) The civilizing of many barbarian and primitive cultures.
    (18) The codifying and setting to writing of many of the world’s languages.
    (19) Greater development of art and music. The inspiration for the greatest works of art.
    (20) The countless changed lives transformed from liabilities into assets to society because of the gospel.
    (21) The eternal salvation of countless souls.
    https://verticallivingministries.com/tag/benefits-of-christianity-to-society/

    What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?: The Impact of Jesus in the World – D. James Kennedy – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjVfEFD3v3Q

    Only eighteen years after the Pilgrims landed in the New World, Harvard College, the first of the Ivy League schools, was established for the sake of educating the clergy and raising up a Christian academic institution to meet the needs of perpetuating the Christian faith. All of the Ivy League schools were established by Christians for the sake of advancing Christianity and meeting the academic needs of the New World. No better summary of this effort can be offered than the one provided by the founders themselves:,,,
    https://christianheritagefellowship.com/the-christian-founding-of-harvard/

    The History of Christian Education in America
    Excerpt: The first colleges in America were founded by Christians and approximately 106 out of the first 108 colleges were Christian colleges. In fact, Harvard University, which is considered today as one of the leading universities in America and the world was founded by Christians. One of the original precepts of the then Harvard College stated that students should be instructed in knowing God and that Christ is the only foundation of all “sound knowledge and learning.”
    http://www.ehow.com/about_6544.....erica.html

    Atheism’s Myth of a Christian Dark Ages Is Unbelievable – Mike Keas – January 22, 2019
    Excerpt: Atheist biologist Jerry Coyne once wrote, “Had there been no Christianity, if after the fall of Rome atheism had pervaded the Western world, science would have developed earlier and be far more advanced than it is now.” Did Christianity really drag the West into an anti-scientific “Dark Ages,” a period said to stretch from the fall of Rome to 1450 AD? In my new book, “Unbelievable: 7 Myths About the History and Future of Science and Religion,” I show why this and other anti-Christian myths crash and burn against the facts of history.,,,
    The University — A Christian Invention
    The institution in which most scholars investigated natural motion is also noteworthy — the university. This Christian invention began with the University of Bologna in 1088, followed by Paris and Oxford before 1200 and more than fifty others by 1450.,,,
    The Dark Ages Myth
    Contrary to the Dark Ages myth, medieval European Christians cultivated the idea of “laws of nature,” a logic friendly to science, the science of motion, human dissection, vision-light theories, mathematical analysis of nature, and the superiority of reason and observational experience (sometimes even experiment) over authority in the task of explaining nature.
    Medieval trailblazers also invented self-governing universities, eyeglasses, towering cathedrals with stained glass, and much, much more. Although labeling any age with a single descriptor is problematic, the so-called Dark Ages would be far better labeled an “Age of Illumination” or even an “Age of Reason.”
    https://evolutionnews.org/2019/01/atheisms-myth-of-a-christian-dark-ages-is-unbelievable/
    Michael N. Keas is Lecturer in the History and Philosophy of Science at Biola University and a Fellow of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture

    The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success – by Rodney Stark – September 26, 2006 (Rodney Stark is a sociologist and historian of religion at Baylor University)
    Excerpt of review: Stark argues, Europe’s primacy in economic, political, and social progress was due to its embrace of Christianity, which opened a space for reason and hence science-driven technology. Emphasizing the connection between medieval scholasticism, with its notion of theological progress–the logical science of thinking one’s way closer to God–and Renaissance capitalism, Stark maintains that Christianity alone embraced reason and logic, and this gave Christian regions a tactical advantage in developing commerce.
    – amazon description

    The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism and Western Success – Reviewed by WILLIAM GRIMESJAN. 22, 2006
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01.....ml?mcubz=3

    What Does The World Look Like Without Christianity? – Larry Taunton – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xs_Enln-E2A

    The Devastating Effects When Prayer Was Removed From School in America in 1962-63 – David Barton – video
    (excerpted from Barton’s “America’s Godly Heritage’ lecture)
    https://youtu.be/1No–GpdqCY

    Bruce Charlton’s Miscellany – October 2011
    Excerpt: I had discovered that over the same period of the twentieth century that the US had risen to scientific eminence it had undergone a significant Christian revival. ,,,The point I put to (Richard) Dawkins was that the USA was simultaneously by-far the most dominant scientific nation in the world (I knew this from various scientometic studies I was doing at the time) and by-far the most religious (Christian) nation in the world. How, I asked, could this be – if Christianity was culturally inimical to science?
    http://charltonteaching.blogsp.....-wife.html
    .

    As well personally, I know my own personal life has gotten a lot better since I became a Christian.

  149. 149
    ET says:

    Yes, hazel, people will invent all types of excuses and religion seems to be a favorite crutch. By the way, the odds are against Jesus being a Caucasian. So you can just bring up that fact to any alleged Christian arguing against interracial marriages. Be sure to get their response on video.

  150. 150
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, I find it interesting given the exposed misanthropy, that your focus is on religion, and on characterising the religious by aberrant demonstrably erroneous views. The pivotal issue is moral government starting with our minds, as has been repeatedly highlighted and argued. Moral government is a characteristic of freedom, and it calls for examination of world roots. These are philosophical, but highly relevant issues, pointing to a world root that is inherently, utterly good. Yes, that is recognisable and in our civilisation, identified — for good reason — with God, an inherently good, utterly wise, maximally great necessary being . . . and these are philosophical not religious characteristics; though they do feed into systematic theology. In this light as I pointed out, moral government includes duties to the civil peace of justice as well as duties to sound reason and truth. These lead to the intelligible law of our morally governed nature, i.e. to the natural law (which has been studied in our civilisation for about 2500 years). It turns out that the judaeo-christian tradition endorses the core of it. As Aquinas and others back to Paul of Tarsus took pains to point out, this is not turning on arbitrary impositions. It has also had enormous, massively positive impact on history and government, as say the 1st two paras of the US DoI directly report. Why then do you consistently side-step this, which is in fact also highlighted in Barr’s speech and in the onward correction to the emotive, misanthropic reactions we see. All of this is very telling about our peril. KF

  151. 151
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, Jesus was a semite, not a nordic. KF

    PS: 30 years ago, in letters to the Editor in response to those twisting theology in racist ways in South Africa, I pointed out this, which is in a bronze plaque at the foot of Mars Hill, Athens, traditional site of Paul’s Areopagus discourse:

    Ac 17:22 So Paul, standing in the center of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I observe [with every turn I make throughout the city] that you are very religious and devout in all respects. 23 Now as I was going along and carefully looking at your objects of worship, I came to an altar with this inscription: ‘TO AN [d]UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you already worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who created the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He [e]served by human hands, as though He needed anything, because it is He who gives to all [people] life and breath and all things. 26 And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands and territories. 27 This was so that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grasp for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. 28 For in Him we live and move and exist [that is, in Him we actually have our being], as even some of [f]your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’

    There is no sound basis for racism in the Christian faith. Period.

    BTW, we don’t get to define or redefine the Christian faith, that was done 2,000 years ago by Jesus and his apostles, recorded well within eyewitness lifetime then handed down as precious scripture at cost of martyrdom. For shame!

  152. 152
    hazel says:

    ba, I don’t see me “trashing Christianity”. I am not a Christian and don’t have Christian beliefs. Also, as I am saying, I have beliefs that some Christians also have, and some don’t. Neither of those things is “trashing” Christianity. I do argue against some positions, but not because some Christians hold them, but because I think they should not be embodied in law. And last, my feelings about the inappropriateness of giving religious beliefs some special dispensation in respect to the law applies to all religions, but because Christianity is the major religion in the US, most issues involve Christian beliefs.

    But disagreeing about some aspects of Christian religious belief is not “trashing” it. My life is surrounded by people close to me as well as less close to me that are Christians, or members of other religions, that go to church, that follow various beliefs, etc., and that’s all just fine with me. My feelings about them depend very little, if at all, on their religious beliefs.

    You say your life has become much better since you became a Christian, and that is good. I now lots of people who feel their religion makes their life better. I know lots who have abandoned religion and feel their lives are better for that. I support people finding a path that makes their lives better.

  153. 153
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, that is precisely what you have indulged above, look at the pattern of your rhetoric. KF

  154. 154
    hazel says:

    kf writes, “Why then do you consistently side-step this …”

    One reminder: see post 94 above.

    P.S. I’m not sure who is being a misanthrope, but certainly not me.???

  155. 155
    Ed George says:

    ET

    And I would strongly support people going to another baker. That’s the beauty of it. You can even start a “go fund me” page to start your own bakery that will rival and beat the close-minded bakers.

    The black students could have avoided the Woolworth’s diner. Rosa Parks could have sat in the back of the bus. But they chose not to, and the rest is history. Are you suggesting that they were just whiners?

  156. 156
    bornagain77 says:

    Hazel, since as an atheist you have no possible objective moral basis that you can appeal to, (in fact Darwinian Materialism is completely amoral in its basis), and since you grew up in a culture with its moorings laid in Judeo-Christian ethics, you are far more Christian in your objective moral basis than you realize or will ever care to admit:

    Tom Holland: Why I was wrong about Christianity – 2016
    It took me a long time to realise my morals are not Greek or Roman, but thoroughly, and proudly, Christian.
    Excerpt: The longer I spent immersed in the study of classical antiquity, the more alien and unsettling I came to find it. The values of Leonidas, whose people had practised a peculiarly murderous form of eugenics, and trained their young to kill uppity Untermenschen by night, were nothing that I recognised as my own; nor were those of Caesar, who was reported to have killed a million Gauls and enslaved a million more. It was not just the extremes of callousness that I came to find shocking, but the lack of a sense that the poor or the weak might have any intrinsic value. As such, the founding conviction of the Enlightenment – that it owed nothing to the faith into which most of its greatest figures had been born – increasingly came to seem to me unsustainable.
    “Every sensible man,” Voltaire wrote, “every honourable man, must hold the Christian sect in horror.” Rather than acknowledge that his ethical principles might owe anything to Christianity, he preferred to derive them from a range of other sources – not just classical literature, but Chinese philosophy and his own powers of reason. Yet Voltaire, in his concern for the weak and ­oppressed, was marked more enduringly by the stamp of biblical ethics than he cared to admit. His defiance of the Christian God, in a paradox that was certainly not unique to him, drew on motivations that were, in part at least, recognisably Christian.
    “We preach Christ crucified,” St Paul declared, “unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness.” He was right. Nothing could have run more counter to the most profoundly held assumptions of Paul’s contemporaries – Jews, or Greeks, or Romans. The notion that a god might have suffered torture and death on a cross was so shocking as to appear repulsive. Familiarity with the biblical narrative of the Crucifixion has dulled our sense of just how completely novel a deity Christ was. In the ancient world, it was the role of gods who laid claim to ruling the universe to uphold its order by inflicting punishment – not to suffer it themselves.
    Today, even as belief in God fades across the West, the countries that were once collectively known as Christendom continue to bear the stamp of the two-millennia-old revolution that Christianity represents. It is the principal reason why, by and large, most of us who live in post-Christian societies still take for granted that it is nobler to suffer than to inflict suffering. It is why we generally assume that every human life is of equal value. In my morals and ethics, I have learned to accept that I am not Greek or Roman at all, but thoroughly and proudly Christian.
    https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/religion/2016/09/tom-holland-why-i-was-wrong-about-christianity?fbclid=IwAR0QqBmBxdpkHh_iiXlJX-UbwShtej-wnB721Z1eULApM6fuxSUzSjnBJA8

  157. 157
    ET says:

    No Ed. I am saying that YOU are a whiner. I am saying that YOU were wrong about Darwin and ran away from the discussion when I proved that you lied. YOU couldn’t admit that you were wrong. You always just leave the discussion. And you always feel entitled to post your easily refuted pap, regardless.

    And now you want to compare a whiner like yourself to the brave people who fought the injustices of the world. Pathetic, even for you.

  158. 158
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, you have consistently ducked the issue of grounding rights claims. There can be no right to demand another to taint conscience by enabling evil. To justly claim a right, one must first manifestly, demonstrably be in the right. Which is precisely what is absent in these pounce on and bully christians, robbing them of livelihood, innocent reputation and life savings cases. Apparently, you don’t understand the issue of provoking widespread disaffection. Just keep on going, when there is a blow up issuing in loss of liberty the consequences will be plain but very hard to reverse absent the sort of long bloody struggle that we already had. KF

  159. 159
    Ed George says:

    Hazel@152, I agree. I go to church every year because my wife is Christian. We often have dinner with Christian friends and hold hands before dinner and say grace. They know that I am not Christian but have never judged me on this. They, in my mind, lead their lives as true Christians. I must add that they also support SSM. But the treatment I get here, from people who claim to be Christian, is very un-Christian.

    I used to converse with a devout Christian (Nic) over on Cornelius Hunter’s blog when he allowed commenters. We disagreed on many things, including SSM, but we had great respect for each other and had great discussions. But there were a couple other commenters (some idiot named Joe and another named Louis) who constantly berated Nic for The crime of being civil to a non-Christian. This, sadly, is the same behaviour I see here.

  160. 160
    Ed George says:

    ET

    I am saying that YOU were wrong about Darwin and ran away from the discussion when I proved that you lied.

    Actually, I stopped commenting because you were doing an excellent job making my point for me.

  161. 161
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel
    Your ignorance about American Government is astounding.

    “The question is not whether people have the right to any religious beliefs they wish. The question is whether laws that the general populace believe should exist, through the legislative process, should allow exceptions because they conflict with someone’s religious beliefs.”

    No that is not the question you are describing a democracy which the founders recognized as nothing short of tyranny . ( see John Adams) We are a Democratic Republic not a democracy! The question about these things is not determined by legislative tyranny rather by our Constitution. Laws must be constitutional.Sheesh

    Vivid

  162. 162
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    Actually, I stopped commenting because you were doing an excellent job making my point for me.

    Only if your point was that you are either a liar, someone who cannot read for comprehension or that you are just a moron. 😛

  163. 163
    hazel says:

    But the question as to whether laws are constitutional is determined by the judicial branch of the government. The process of creating laws goes through the elected reps in Congress, but questions about whether they are constitutional ultimately go to the Supreme Court.

    Do you agree with the above, Vivid?

  164. 164
    vividbleau says:

    EG
    “Would the people who support a baker’s or florist’s religious rights to not provide a same sex couple their services also support the same people using religious freedom arguments to deny their service to inter-racial couples, inter-faith couples, Muslim couples, Hindu couples, elderly couples, sterile couples, black couples?”

    Excellent question Ed, I mean that. I think the key word here is “service” what to you do you mean by service.
    For instance if a florist is operating a commercial enterprise open to the public with floral arrangements and flowers that anyone can buy is that a service by your definition? Not a trick question I promise.
    Vivid

  165. 165
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel
    Yes
    Vivid

  166. 166
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    But the treatment I get here, from people who claim to be Christian, is very un-Christian.

    It is very deserved, Ed.

    But there were a couple other commenters who constantly berated Nic for The crime of being civil to a non-Christian.

    Liar. You are a pathetic little person screaming for attention like an infant.

    But thank you for proving that you are a sock of William spearshake/ acartia bogart/ one of the most dishonest people around.

  167. 167
    hazel says:

    re 165: Vivid, if you agree with what I wrote at 165, what do you disagree about in what you quoted from me from 139?

    What do you disagree about in this: ““The question is not whether people have the right to any religious beliefs they wish. The question is whether laws that the general populace believe should exist, through the legislative process, should allow exceptions because they conflict with someone’s religious beliefs.”

  168. 168
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel
    Fair point I was wrong I apologize

    Vivid

  169. 169
    hazel says:

    Thanks, Vivid. Communication, both writing and reading, in quick short bursts as people do in a forum like this can certainly not be clear sometimes, so I appreciate your taking a second look at what I wrote.

  170. 170
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel
    You do recognize your question was different in 167 in contrast to how you presented it in 165.
    .
    Vivid

  171. 171
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel
    Final point I stand by my post in 168
    Vivid

  172. 172
    Ed George says:

    Vivid

    For instance if a florist is operating a commercial enterprise open to the public with floral arrangements and flowers that anyone can buy is that a service by your definition? Not a trick question I promise.

    Yes.

    I agree that people who provide services can set certain conditions on that service. “No shirt, no shoes, no service”. I think we all would agree with that. But what if it were “no veil, no service”? Or “no blacks served”? Or “no flashing your boobs, no service”? Again, I think that we all agree that these would all be unacceptable restrictions on service.

    Many here would argue that refusing to produce a wedding cake or a floral arrangement or a marriage licence for a SSM due to religious reasons would be acceptable. And that in a big city, they could get these services elsewhere. This is true, but if they were in a small town, this could not be done without great inconvenience. An inconvenience that you or I didn’t have to go through.

  173. 173
    Ed George says:

    ET

    Only if your point was that you are either a liar, someone who cannot read for comprehension or that you are just a moron.

    Narcissistic personality disorder

    Monopolizing conversations? Feelings of entitlement? Inability to admit error? Belittling others? These are all classic signs of narcissistic personality disorder.

  174. 174
    hazel says:

    re 170. Yes, they were not saying the same thing. 163 was just a general statement about my understanding of our government.

  175. 175
    vividbleau says:

    EG
    “I agree that people who provide services can set certain conditions on that service. “”

    And there is the rub.
    My libertarian streak in me leans toward allowing commercial enterprises to do whatever they want and let the market decide but I don’t think capitalist left to themselves is in the public interest.
    The small city example is a good point however it does remind me of the argument about abortion and we have gone from safe legal and rare to we now entertaining a discussion about what to do with the baby if it’s born alive.
    We agree that certain conditions can apply to service so where are those limits. Should a Christian baker be forced to attend a SSM marriage if it violates his or her religious beliefs. Should that baker be required to depict SSM sexual practices on a cake they do not offer to the general public?

    I’m not sure about the boobs example LOL

    Vivid

  176. 176
    hazel says:

    re 172: First, Ed, I’m sure there are laws that govern what different kinds of commercial businesses can and can not restrict. Discrimination laws govern refusing to serve a black person, for instance, but I think businesses have more leeway, maybe a lot, in setting conditions that don’t have to do with those anti-discrimination laws, such as “no shirt, no shoes, no service” or “no food or drinks allowed”, for instance.

  177. 177
    kairosfocus says:

    Vivid & Hazel, currently, in this region, we have a case with Commonwealth-wide implications where a judge has ignored explicit Constitutional provisions (three whole sections worth!) to issue a judicial writ to legislature regarding needed amendment as perceived; which obviously would also be public record so the democratic process of debate on possible amendment would start. Instead, he has proceeded to effectively unilaterally rewrite a constitution that went through extensive consultation, legislature, referendum and Her Majesty’s Privy Council [which is a Commonwealth institution] with a major focus on the precise point he effectively rewrote; the democratic intent and meaning of wording are not in doubt. nor can one say that say the EU Human Rights rulings determine that the relevant provision is unjustifiable (this is an OT so also under EU law); in the UK NI has a similar provision, as opposed to England, Scotland and Wales. Judges are independent, unelected and generally not accountable to the public in the Commonwealth. Fair comment, this judicial rewrite thus tells the public that Constitutional, Parliamentary Democracy is all but dead and in its place we have a new class of philosopher-kings able to rule by decree as they will, the High Court judges. This is emergent judicial tyranny, and it points straight to fatal disaffection. I am now seeing public complaint that “many” justices have gone rogue as campaigning activists so there is now loss of confidence in the credibility of courts. That is the fire we are playing with. In remedy, it has been suggested that such must be made accountable, by an impeachment for contempt of Constitution, parliament and people. We are at a sad pass and governance is in serious danger of collapse. One element of restoration of soundness will have to be that law is not plastic and defined on whatever some holder of rule-issuing power may decree but is objectively duty-bound and accountable to fundamental principles of truth, right reason, prudence, sound conscience [the phrase is “shocks the conscience” in our jurisdictions], justice and equity, etc. That is, legal positivism is tantamount to legal nihilism, and we must return to core natural law principles. If we do not, the dynamics of the repeller pole and the vortex of tyranny [cf OP] will take over; the question then would be who is to become dictator. A question I shudder to ask as I contemplate the failure of the Roman res publica by the 40’s BC leading to dictatorship and to a point where it took to the 1600’s AD before we could again begin to move towards democratic freedom, with the Glorious Revolution and Locke building on the reformers from Duplessis-Mornay et al to Rutherford in Lex Rex. We here swim in deep shark-infested waters. KF

  178. 178
    kairosfocus says:

    PS, let the last lion of the Roman res publica roar, a roaring that cost him his head, literally:

    —Marcus [in de Legibus, introductory remarks,. C1 BC, being Cicero himself]: . . . the subject of our present discussion . . . comprehends the universal principles of equity and law. In such a discussion therefore on the great moral law of nature, the practice of the civil law can occupy but an insignificant and subordinate station. For according to our idea, we shall have to explain the true nature of moral justice, which is congenial and correspondent [36]with the true nature of man.

    [–> Note, how justice and our built in nature as a morally governed class of creatures are highlighted; thus framing the natural law frame: recognising built-in law that we do not create nor can we repeal, which then frames a sound understanding of justice. Without such an anchor, law inevitably reduces to the sort of ruthless, nihilistic might- and- manipulation- make- “right,”- “truth,”- “knowledge,”- “law”- and- “justice”- etc power struggle and chaos Plato warned against in The Laws Bk X.]

    We shall have to examine those principles of legislation by which all political states should be governed. And last of all, shall we have to speak of those laws and customs which are framed for the use and convenience of particular peoples, which regulate the civic and municipal affairs of the citizens, and which are known by the title of civil laws.

    Quintus [his real-life brother]. —You take a noble view of the subject, my brother, and go to the fountain–head of moral truth, in order to throw light on the whole science of jurisprudence: while those who confine their legal studies to the civil law too often grow less familiar with the arts of justice than with those of litigation.

    Marcus. —Your observation, my Quintus, is not quite correct. It is not so much the science of law that produces litigation, as the ignorance of it, (potius ignoratio juris litigiosa est quam scientia) . . . . With respect to the true principle of justice, many learned men have maintained that it springs from Law. I hardly know if their opinion be not correct, at least, according to their own definition; for “Law (say they) is the highest reason, implanted in nature, which prescribes those things which ought to be done, and forbids the contrary.” This, they think, is apparent from the converse of the proposition; because this same reason, when it [37]is confirmed and established in men’s minds, is the law of all their actions.

    They therefore conceive that the voice of conscience is a law, that moral prudence is a law, whose operation is to urge us to good actions, and restrain us from evil ones. They think, too, that the Greek name for law (NOMOS), which is derived from NEMO, to distribute, implies the very nature of the thing, that is, to give every man his due. [–> this implies a definition of justice as the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities] For my part, I imagine that the moral essence of law is better expressed by its Latin name, (lex), which conveys the idea of selection or discrimination. According to the Greeks, therefore, the name of law implies an equitable distribution of goods: according to the Romans, an equitable discrimination between good and evil.

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

    These questions are pivotal:

    WORLDVIEW + CULTURAL AGENDA = IDEOLOGY

    IDEOLOGY + POWER = REGIME

    REGIME + VOYAGE OF FOLLY = Ac 27 SHIPWRECK

  179. 179
    kairosfocus says:

    Vivid, notice this florists case: consider what is being done by imposition under false colours of claimed fundamental rights without warrant that the right is in the right, requiring in part that such claims are compatible with well established rights — rights must all be so together. I contend, we are seeing imposition and bullying under false colour of law through language games that subvert the meanings of rights, freedoms, duties and justice. This will not end well. KF

  180. 180
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, do you acknowledge that one’s right to innocent reputation, to a legitimately good name, is truly fundamental? With this, the presumption of innocence (until guilt is substantially grounded)? Do you recognise that unjust damage to good name can destroy livelihood and impose bankruptcy as well as social ruin, for no justifiable reason? Do you not see that tort in defamation — for cause — is designed to protect and defend that right to innocent reputation? Do you then understand why show trials and media lynchings leading to rape of reputation by accusation and pile on without due process and proper defence are exceedingly dangerous and utterly unjust? Do you recognise that such rights properly take precedence over saying whatever one wants, airing one’s opinions and accusatory views without adequate warrant? Do you then understand the fires that are being played with here? KF

  181. 181
    bornagain77 says:

    It is the height of hypocrisy that people who have no possible basis for objective morality, i.e. Atheists, feel free to lecture others with an objective moral basis, i.e. Christians, on how those people should practice their objective morality.

    It is self evident in this thread, and elsewhere, that Atheists, although they will never honestly admit it, believe in objective morality and are often times the ones who are the most morally intolerant, (‘raging moralists’ as Dr. Craig said of Richard Dawkins), in spite of the fact that they have no possible basis for objective morality. The prominent example in this thread of atheists believing in objective morality, (and yet having no way to ground that objective morality), is that the atheists want to hold that it is always morally wrong for a Christian florist or Baker to refuse to service a Gay wedding. In other words, the atheistic mindset on this thread holds that it is basically ‘sinful’ for a Christian florist or Baker to hold to his moral convictions and refuse to help ‘celebrate’ a Gay wedding.

    Besides the fact that atheists themselves must presuppose objective morality to be true in order for them to even be able to make their moral argument(s) in the first place, and that moral presupposition, that they must necessarily take, in and of itself refutes their own atheistic worldview,,,

    “Yet our common moral knowledge is as real as arithmetic, and probably just as plain. Paradoxically, maddeningly, we appeal to it even to justify wrongdoing; rationalization is the homage paid by sin to guilty knowledge.”
    – J. Budziszewski, What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide

    Premise 1: If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist.
    Premise 2: Objective moral values and duties do exist.
    Conclusion: Therefore, God exists.
    The Moral Argument – drcraigvideos – video
    https://youtu.be/OxiAikEk2vU?t=276

    ,,,, Besides that self refuting position that atheists themselves are forced to take on this thread, I can also appeal to scientific evidence itself in order to substantiate the reality of objective morality.

    For example, although Darwinian atheists cannot even explain the origin of a single gene and/or protein, it is found that the genetic responses of humans are Intelligently Designed in a very sophisticated way so as to differentiate between pleasure seeking “hedonic” moral happiness and “noble purpose” moral happiness: As the following paper states, there are hidden costs of purely hedonic well-being.,, “At the cellular level, our bodies appear to respond better to a different kind of well-being, one based on a sense of connectedness and purpose.”

    Human Cells Respond in Healthy, Unhealthy Ways to Different Kinds of Happiness – July 29, 2013
    Excerpt: Human bodies recognize at the molecular level that not all happiness is created equal, responding in ways that can help or hinder physical health,,,
    The sense of well-being derived from “a noble purpose” may provide cellular health benefits, whereas “simple self-gratification” may have negative effects, despite an overall perceived sense of happiness, researchers found.,,,
    But if all happiness is created equal, and equally opposite to ill-being, then patterns of gene expression should be the same regardless of hedonic or eudaimonic well-being. Not so, found the researchers.
    Eudaimonic well-being was, indeed, associated with a significant decrease in the stress-related CTRA gene expression profile. In contrast, hedonic well-being was associated with a significant increase in the CTRA profile. Their genomics-based analyses, the authors reported, reveal the hidden costs of purely hedonic well-being.,,
    “We can make ourselves happy through simple pleasures, but those ‘empty calories’ don’t help us broaden our awareness or build our capacity in ways that benefit us physically,” she said. “At the cellular level, our bodies appear to respond better to a different kind of well-being, one based on a sense of connectedness and purpose.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....161952.htm

    As well, it is now found that atheists suffer physically and mentally as a result of forsaking the objective reality of morality in general and from forsaking God in particular. Professor Andrew Sims former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists states that ‘The advantageous effect of religious belief and spirituality on mental and physical health is one of the best-kept secrets in psychiatry and medicine generally.’,,, lower rates of depression and faster recovery from depression; lower rates of suicide and fewer positive attitudes towards suicide; less anxiety; less psychosis and fewer psychotic tendencies; lower rates of alcohol and drug use and abuse; less delinquency and criminal activity; greater marital stability and satisfaction…

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

    And the following meta-analysis of studies found that Active religious involvement increased the chance of living longer by some 29%, and participation in public religious practices, such as church attendance, increased the chance of living longer by 43%.

    Atheism and health
    A meta-analysis of all studies, both published and unpublished, relating to religious involvement and longevity was carried out in 2000. Forty-two studies were included, involving some 126,000 subjects. Active religious involvement increased the chance of living longer by some 29%, and participation in public religious practices, such as church attendance, increased the chance of living longer by 43%.[4][5]
    http://www.conservapedia.com/Atheism_and_health

    Can attending church really help you live longer? This study says yes – June 1, 2017
    Excerpt: Specifically, the study says those middle-aged adults who go to church, synagogues, mosques or other houses of worship reduce their mortality risk by 55%. The Plos One journal published the “Church Attendance, Allostatic Load and Mortality in Middle Aged Adults” study May 16.
    “For those who did not attend church at all, they were twice as likely to die prematurely than those who did who attended church at some point over the last year,” Bruce said.
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/06/02/can-attending-church-really-help-you-live-longer-study-says-yes/364375001/

    Thus, besides the fact that atheists must presuppose objective morality to be true in order for them even to be able to put forth a coherent moral argument in the first place, the devastating effects on atheists own lives, both mentally and physically, when they forsake objective morality in general, and forsake God in particular, testifies to the reality of objective morality.

    But what of objective morality? An atheist, (if he ever inclined to be rigorously honest with himself and others), might honestly ask, “OK, I agree that objective morality must necessarily exist, but so what? That still does not mean that I have to be a Christian! I can still base my objective morality on some other Theistic worldview!”

    And herein the necessity of Jesus’s atoning sacrifice becomes apparent.

    God’s criteria for meeting His standard of objective morality is moral perfection. And yet no finite human can possibly meet that absolute standard of moral perfection. All other religions have man trying to work his way to moral perfection. Only Christianity deals with the situation honestly and admits that the moral perfection required by God, whilst a noble goal, is unattainable by mere human effort alone and that we are all in desperate need of God’s grace.

    As Frank Turek points out at the 41:00 minute mark of the following video, despite what is commonly believed, of someone being ‘good enough’ to go to heaven, in reality both Mother Teresa and Hitler fall short of the moral perfection required to meet the perfection of God’s objective moral code

    Top Ten Reasons We Know the New Testament is True – Frank Turek – video – November 2011
    (41:00 minute mark –
    http://saddleback.com/mc/m/5e22f/

    Thus humans find themselves in quite a moral dilemma. People intuitively know that objectively moral exists, (as atheists on this very thread give witness to when they try to make moral arguments), and yet we have no way, by our own finite efforts, of reaching the moral perfection that the existence of objective morality in itself entails. The only way we can possibly be morally perfect in God;’s eyes is if God himself somehow imparts that moral perfection onto us. And that is exactly what God has done through Jesus Christ:

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

    The technical term for what God has done for us through Jesus Christ is called ‘propitiation’:

    Falling Plates (the grace of propitiation) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGlx11BxF24

    An atheist might further honestly object, (again if he were ever inclined to be rigorously honest with himself and others), “But why doesn’t God just forgive us? Why did God go to all the trouble of dying a horrid death on a cross? He is God after all!”

    In response to that particular question, I think the following article hits the nail squarely on the head. Specifically, “With the Incarnation, the reality of evil is absorbed into the deity, not dissolved into thin air, because God freely tastes the bitterness of the medicine as wounded healer, not distant doctor. Further, given the drastic nature of this solution, we begin to recognize that God takes the problem of evil more seriously than we could ever have taken it ourselves. ,,,

    The Problem of Evil by Benjamin D. Wiker – April 2009
    Excerpt: We still want to cry, Job-like, to those inscrutable depths, “Who are you to orchestrate everything around us puny and pitiable creatures, leaving us shuddering in the darkness, ignorant, blasted, and buffeted? It‘s all well and good to say, ‘Trust me! It‘ll all be made right in the end,‘ while you float unscathed above it all. Grinding poverty, hunger, thirst, frustration, rejection, toil, death of our loved ones, blood-sweating anxiety, excruciating pain, humiliation, torture, and finally a twisted and miserable annihilation — that‘s the meal we‘re served! You‘d sing a different tune if you were one of us and got a taste of your own medicine.”
    What could we say against these depths if the answer we received was not an argument but an incarnation, a full and free submission by God to the very evils about which we complain? This submission would be a kind of token, a sign that evil is very real indeed, bringing the incarnate God blood-sweating anxiety, excruciating pain, humiliation, torture, and finally a twisted and miserable annihilation on the cross. As real as such evil is, however, the resurrection reveals that it is somehow mysteriously comprehended within the divine plan.
    With the Incarnation, the reality of evil is absorbed into the deity, not dissolved into thin air, because God freely tastes the bitterness of the medicine as wounded healer, not distant doctor. Further, given the drastic nature of this solution, we begin to recognize that God takes the problem of evil more seriously than we could ever have taken it ourselves. ,,,
    http://www.crisismagazine.com/.....em-of-evil

    Verse:

    1 John 2:2
    And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

  182. 182
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    Narcissistic personality disorder

    Ed George admits it has narcissistic personality disorder. It cannot admit it was wrong, which is very often. It feels entitled to post its useless drivel. And its very existence belittles humans.

    And thank you, Ed, for proving that you are a sock of William spearshake/ acartia bogart/ one of the most dishonest people around.

  183. 183
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, UD is not a site about the warrant for the Christian faith (though worldviews issues are material to all the matters that regularly come up and this includes that the roots of a world with morally governed rational creatures credibly will be in an inherently good utterly wise creator God), but I happen to be a convinced Christian. I have sufficient concern that I now point you to warrant for that faith. KF

  184. 184
    Ed George says:

    VB

    Should a Christian baker be forced to attend a SSM marriage if it violates his or her religious beliefs.

    My understanding is that the issue is just baking a cake, not attending the wedding. He may be required to deliver the cake, but that is not the same as attending the service.

    Should that baker be required to depict SSM sexual practices on a cake they do not offer to the general public?

    No. But they also wouldn’t be required to depict opposite sex sexual practices. Has this every been an issue?

    I agree that the issue revolves around the line between religious freedom and anti-discrimination. In the past, people used religious freedom as an argument against inter-racial marriage, but that didn’t pass muster. But in spite of this, it is my understanding that any church can still refuse to conduct a wedding service for an inter-racial couple. And I would support their right to do this, even though I personally think that they are being racist.

    Many states have laws that prevent businesses from discriminating based on race, gender, religion and sexual orientation in the delivery of their services. The baker and florist fall under these laws. Providing a service is not the same as condoning the practice. For example, JW’s do not believe in transfusions or transplants. But an emergency room doctor who happens to be a JW cannot refuse to provide transfusions on religious grounds.

  185. 185
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    In the past, people used religious freedom as an argument against inter-racial marriage,…

    Seeing there isn’t any such thing methinks you are lying again, as usual.

    . But in spite of this, it is my understanding that any church can still refuse to conduct a wedding service for an inter-racial couple.

    You have the “understanding” of an infant.

    Same sex marriage is not only a contradiction in terms it goes against nature. And that means it is nothing but a mental illness that needs to be treated and not condoned.

  186. 186
    john_a_designer says:

    Following up on KF’s post @ #179,

    The case of Barronelle Stutzman is a clear case of a state government (the state of Washington) coercing one of its citizens to do something that morally violates their conscience and their religious convictions. This is clearly violates Mrs. Stutzman’s first amendment rights.

    Here are details of her case from ADF whose lawyers are representing her on both the state and federal level.

    Barronelle Stutzman, the sole owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington, has served and employed people who identify as LGBT for her entire career. Despite this, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Washington Attorney General claim that she is guilty of unlawful discrimination when she acted consistent with her faith and declined to use her creative skills to celebrate the same-sex ceremony of her longtime customer, Robert Ingersoll…

    After hearing about Barronelle’s decision in the news, the Washington State attorney general decided to take matters into his own hands, and sued her. The ACLU followed closely behind. Both lawsuits attack not only her business, but Barronelle personally.

    Alliance Defending Freedom asked the court to dismiss the attorney general’s lawsuit, and filed a countersuit against him. They also asked the court to protect Barronelle from personal attacks from the ACLU and the state, and restrict the lawsuits to her business, Arlene’s Flowers.

    The court ruled against Barronelle and ordered her to pay penalties and attorneys’ fees.

    ADF petitioned the Washington Supreme Court to take up Barronelle’s case, and, in March 2016, the court agreed. Oral arguments were heard on November 15, 2016 at Bellevue College.

    In February 2017, the Washington Supreme Court concluded that the government can force her—and, by extension, other creative professionals—to create artistic expression and participate in events with which they disagree.

    In July 2017, ADF petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to take up Barronelle’s case. In June 2018, the Court sent the case back to the Washington Supreme Court, after vacating that court’s decision and instructing it to reconsider her lawsuit in light of the decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

    In June 2019, the Washington Supreme Court ruled against Barronelle a second time. ADF attorneys have once again asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take her case.

    https://adflegal.org/detailspages/client-stories-details/barronelle-stutzman

    PS: Take a look at some of the other cases ADF is representing (see related client stories.) Clearly there is an anti-religious animus in our culture which has led directly to religious persecution on part of municipal, state and federal government. Those are the FACTS.

    BTW the cases represented by ADF aren’t the only cases of religious persecution which are out there.

    See the following:

    https://firstliberty.org/cases/kleins/

  187. 187
    Ed George says:

    ET

    Ed George:

    In the past, people used religious freedom as an argument against inter-racial marriage,…

    Seeing there isn’t any such thing methinks you are lying again, as usual.

    Loving vs Virginia

    In June, 1958, two residents of Virginia, Mildred Jeter, a Negro woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, were married in the District of Columbia pursuant to its laws. Shortly after their marriage, the Lovings returned to Virginia and established their marital abode in Caroline County. At the October Term, 1958, of the Circuit Court [p3] of Caroline County, a grand jury issued an indictment charging the Lovings with violating Virginia’s ban on interracial marriages. On January 6, 1959, the Lovings pleaded guilty to the charge, and were sentenced to one year in jail; however, the trial judge suspended the sentence for a period of 25 years on the condition that the Lovings leave the State and not return to Virginia together for 25 years. He stated in an opinion that:

    Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And, but for the interference with his arrangement, there would be no cause for such marriage. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix. [Judge Leon M. Bazile, January 6, 1959]

    And recently in Mississippi

    LaKambria Welch claims her brother and his fiancée had been in contact with the owner of Boone’s Camp Event Hall making wedding arrangements for about a week when, suddenly, the owner of the Booneville, Miss., business sent them a message: They would not be allowed to get married at the venue after all “because of (the venue’s) beliefs.”

    When Welch learned that her brother, who is black, would not be allowed to rent Boone’s Camp to marry his fiancée, who is a white woman, she said she drove to the venue herself and asked why. There, she filmed what she says is an encounter with a woman who works for Boone’s Camp (video below).

    “First of all, we don’t do gay weddings or mixed race, because of our Christian race—I mean, our Christian belief,” the woman, believed to be owner Donna Russell, tells Welch in the video.

  188. 188
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, you are continuing the pattern of tainted tangents. That tells us, loud and clear, that you have no cogent answer on the substantial issues from OP on. I add, given the wider context of outrageous and even hatefully slanderous accusations being made, that speaks and not in your favour or that of your ilk. KF

  189. 189
    ET says:

    LoL! @ Ed George! There isn’t anything in Christianity that supports the judge’s personal opinion. As I posted above:

    Yes, hazel, people will invent all types of excuses and religion seems to be a favorite crutch. By the way, the odds are against Jesus being a Caucasian. So you can just bring up that fact to any alleged Christian arguing against interracial marriages. Be sure to get their response on video.

    Those people are inventing religious beliefs. But you don’t care about that. All you want to do is spew your nonsense because you think that you are entitled to it.

  190. 190
    Ed George says:

    ET

    LoL! @ Ed George! There isn’t anything in Christianity that supports the judge’s personal opinion. As I posted above:

    This is not about what Christianity says, it is about people using religious freedom to discriminate. And people have argued religious freedom to justify many forms of discrimination.

  191. 191
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    And people have argued religious freedom to justify many forms of discrimination.

    So what? Those people are inventing religious beliefs. But you don’t care about that. All you want to do is spew your nonsense because you think that you are entitled to it.

  192. 192
    hazel says:

    re 184: Good post, Ed. Thought you could use a supportive response! 🙂

  193. 193
    john_a_designer says:

    I remember just a few years ago some time prior to Obergefell v. Hodges decision being in an online debate with an SSM supporter who reassured me that there was no intention on the parts of SSM advocates to infringe on anyone’s religious freedom. I was sceptical then and it turns out I was almost right. It’s a lot worse than I imagined– far worse!

    Last week, presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke went on national television and called for eliminating the tax-exempt status for any church or religious institution in America that does not recognize same-sex marriage. O’Rourke’s proposal was met by cheers and thunderous applause from the audience.

    Our Founding Fathers included an Establishment Clause in the Bill of Rights to ensure the separation of church and state, preventing future demagogues in government from endorsing a state religion or providing favoritism to some religious sects over others.

    However, this is exactly what O’Rourke and the left are proposing and embracing: conditioning tax-exempt status to religious institutions based on their support for same-sex marriage while revoking the tax exemption for religious institutions that support a traditional view of marriage.

    Make no mistake: this is a chilling attempt to subvert the constitutional rights of Americans of faith in order to social-engineer our places of worship.

    https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/sen-thom-tillis-democrats-threaten-our-freedom-of-religion-and-separation-of-church-and-state

    As I suspected the “good intentions” of the secular progressive left are completely disingenuous and dishonest. And as Tillis points out Beto is not alone. As I have said here before moral relativists and subjectivists have no basis for moral obligation, because there is no absolute Truth there is no moral truth. So it shouldn’t surprise us then that they have a problem telling the truth. Of course, like everything else they do have ways to rationalize their dishonesty like, “I am not an absolutist and my position is still evolving.”

    Again, SSM was never about gay rights or marriage. It was deceitful a way to discriminate against and persecute religious people. That’s all it has ever been about. And it’s only beginning.

  194. 194
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD, I wonder if EG and Hazel et al understand what piling on in the context of outrageous accusations manifests? As in, enabling behaviour. Duly noted: enabling of blatant bigotry verging into outright hate. Especially as, at the same time they are unable to engage the substantial, sober points. KF

  195. 195
    hazel says:

    O’Rourke has been fairly uniformly criticized by other Democrats for this and other recent proposals, FWIW. His proposal was out of line, and was not at all supported by virtually anyone, I don’t think.

  196. 196
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, EG et al,

    I draw attention to my remark at 151 above:

    PS: 30 years ago, in letters to the Editor in response to those twisting theology in racist ways in South Africa, I pointed out this, which is in a bronze plaque at the foot of Mars Hill, Athens, traditional site of Paul’s Areopagus discourse:

    Ac 17:22 So Paul, standing in the center of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I observe [with every turn I make throughout the city] that you are very religious and devout in all respects. 23 Now as I was going along and carefully looking at your objects of worship, I came to an altar with this inscription: ‘TO AN [d]UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you already worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who created the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He [e]served by human hands, as though He needed anything, because it is He who gives to all [people] life and breath and all things. 26 And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands and territories. 27 This was so that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grasp for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. 28 For in Him we live and move and exist [that is, in Him we actually have our being], as even some of [f]your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’

    There is no sound basis for racism in the Christian faith. Period.

    BTW, we don’t get to define or redefine the Christian faith, that was done 2,000 years ago by Jesus and his apostles, recorded well within eyewitness lifetime then handed down as precious scripture at cost of martyrdom. For shame!

    I expect that henceforth, you will duly recognise the distinction between what is core and what is aberrant and typically marginal.

    Furthermore, sexually related activity is morally freighted, one’s skin tone, nose and facial features, hair colour and texture etc are not. There are many good and principled reasons to understand that heterosexuality is built into the marital bond, and that distortions of such under colour of law constitute a damaging aberration fraught with damaging consequences. The evident pretence otherwise backed up by ugly threats and acts under colour of law speak. Especially, given the rise and consequences of legal positivism, which obviously invites impositions under colour of law.

    I repeat, you would be well advised to understand the signalling effect of piling on behaviour.

    KF

  197. 197
    Ed George says:

    Hazel

    re 184: Good post, Ed. Thought you could use a supportive response! ????

    Thank you. The need of some to demean and belittle anyone who disagrees with them is a clear example of narcissistic personality disorder. They are deserving of our sympathy.

    Religious freedoms have to do with the freedom of a person to live his/her life according to whatever religious beliefs they have, as long as doing so does no harm to others. They do not allow a person to enforce his/her beliefs on others. There are two incontrovertible facts:

    1) SSM is legal.
    2) Businesses providing services to the public are legally obliged to not deny these services based on race, religion, gender or sexual orientation of the potential customer.

    By denying these services to same sex couples they are breaking the law. As such, there may be legal consequences. Whether or not a person agrees with the law is not relevant to the potential consequences.

    With regard to JaD’s example of the threat of removing tax free status from churches who do not support SSM, I think that it would be almost impossible to get through congress and the senate. This being said, tax free status is not a religious right, it is something that churches have been granted because of the important work that they often do. Two of the conditions of their charitable status are:

    1) No substantial part of the organization’s activity may be the attempt to influence legislation
    2) The organization cannot intervene in political campaigns

    Many churches and religious organizations bend these rules almost to the breaking point. And, as such, the IRS is well within its mandate to revoke the charitable status of these churches and organizations. But, again, this wold be a very hard sell. Even the Westboro Baptist Church has retained its tax-free status.

  198. 198
    hazel says:

    Very good, clear, specific points, Ed.

  199. 199
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: By their ads shall ye know them? Ponder the likelihood that the just past US President would have been similarly depicted, and what that would have been taken to be revealing. Something is dangerously wrong and about to go out of control, as has been warned against over and over again. I add, notice the reactions. Turn back from the cliff’s edge before it is too late. KF

  200. 200
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    The need of some to demean and belittle anyone who disagrees with them…

    That you think that is what is happening is proof of Ed’s narcissistic personality disorder.

    It has NOTHING to do with mere disagreement, Ed. It has everything to do with the fact that you pretended to be an ID supporter even though you are a well known anti-ID and anti-science troll. And then you continually post easily refuted trope.

  201. 201
    ET says:

    Businesses that deny services to anyone are subject to the pains of capitalism. If these businesses are supported then that is the will of the people.

  202. 202
    kairosfocus says:

    Re-CENTRING:

    I again draw attention to the core, substantial issue being distracted from.

    >> normally responsive people will at least grudgingly respect the following summary of 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 (thus, warranted and objective) moral truths; not just optional opinions.

    So also, it is not only possible to

    (a) be in demonstrable moral error, but also

    (b) there is hope that such moral errors can be corrected by appealing to manifestly sound core principles of the natural moral law. Thus,

    (c) we can now see that a core of law is built into moral government of our responsible, rational freedom (through our known, inescapable duties to truth, right reason, prudence [including, warrant], sound conscience, neighbourliness [thus, the golden rule], fairness & justice, etc). On these, 

    (d) we may frame just civil law as comporting with that built-in law of our morally governed nature, towards upholding and defending the civil peace of justice through sound government.

    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. Expanding slightly: our rational, responsible intelligent behaviour is inescapably under the moral government of known duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc. Thus, we find morally rooted law built into our morally governed nature, even for our intellectual life. Thus, too, the civil law extends what is already built in, to our social circumstances, turning on issues of prudence, justice and mutual duties; if it is to be legitimate. Notice, this is itself a theory on what law is or at least should be. And yes, all of this is fraught with implications for the roots of reality.)

    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-understanding 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. In short, nihilistic will to power untempered by the primacy of justice is its own refutation in any type of state. Where, justice is the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities. 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.

    (NB: This is a requisite of accountability for justice, and the suggestion or implication of some views across time, that government can reasonably be unaccountable to the governed, is its own refutation, reflecting — again — nihilistic will to power; which is automatically absurd. This truth involves the issue that finite, fallible, morally struggling men acting as civil authorities in the face of changing times and situations as well as in the face of the tendency of power to corrupt, need to be open to remonstrance and reformation — or if they become resistant to reasonable appeal, there must be effective means of replacement. Hence, the principle that the general election is an insitutionalised regular solemn assembly of the people for audit and reform or if needs be replacement of government gone bad. But this is by no means an endorsement of the notion that a manipulated mob bent on a march of folly has a right to do as it pleases.)

    12] Twelfth, the attempt to deny or dismiss such a general framework of moral governance invariably lands in shipwreck of incoherence and absurdity. As, has been seen in outline. 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.

    F/N2: Likewise, as Ben Mines summarises from Leibniz, maximal goodness, wisdom and power are arguably mutually, inextricably entangled once we understand/accept that the good implies an evident proper end or purpose:

    Leibniz has given an argument to show that omniscience and moral perfection [–> also, omnipotence] are mutually inclusive: all freely willed action strives towards some goal; all goals are the pursuit of some good entertained by the agent; [ –> real or imagined?] the scope and quality of entertainable goods is dependent on knowledge; the maximisation of knowledge perfects an agent’s judgment of the good. An evil being therefore lacks perfect knowledge; and lacking perfect knowledge, is not omniscient; and lacking omniscience, cannot be omnipotent since there will be some actions it lacks the knowledge to perform. The proposition, It is possible that a maximally great but evil being exists is therefore broadly incoherent. A being cannot be both evil and maximally great.

     F/N3: This principle of built-in moral government under known law also applies directly to gospel ethics, discipleship and evangelism. For, example, it means that “sin” is not merely an oppressive invention of priestcraft designed to bring us under theocratic tyranny — which, is the exact implication of many objections to gospel ethics today. Instead, sin is in the first instance willful moral error, defiance therefore of the inherently good and utterly wise Creator who made us, gave us responsible freedom, commanded us to live by love and truth, and gave us sound conscience as a witness. Therefore, too, we have real guilt against the law of our nature, the law of our creator, not just mere painful emotions to deal with. It is in this context that the gospel is good news: in his love, our creator has made a way for us to be forgiven, rescued and transformed.>>

    KF

  203. 203
    Ed George says:

    ET

    Businesses that deny services to anyone are subject to the pains of capitalism. If these businesses are supported then that is the will of the people.

    The will of the people is that SSM is OK and that businesses cannot deny services based on race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.

  204. 204
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, you are back on your obsessions. FYI, there is no such thing as what you abbreviate; there is only a twisted fiction under false colour of law. Aided and abetted by the nihilism implicit in legal positivism. Meanwhile, you continue to duck what is central, and central to the needed reform of our civilisation. Noted, as a further manifestation of what is wrong. KF

  205. 205
    kairosfocus says:

    I again re-centre:

    >> normally responsive people will at least grudgingly respect the following summary of 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 (thus, warranted and objective) moral truths; not just optional opinions.

    So also, it is not only possible to

    (a) be in demonstrable moral error, but also

    (b) there is hope that such moral errors can be corrected by appealing to manifestly sound core principles of the natural moral law. Thus,

    (c) we can now see that a core of law is built into moral government of our responsible, rational freedom (through our known, inescapable duties to truth, right reason, prudence [including, warrant], sound conscience, neighbourliness [thus, the golden rule], fairness & justice, etc). On these, 

    (d) we may frame just civil law as comporting with that built-in law of our morally governed nature, towards upholding and defending the civil peace of justice through sound government.

    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. Expanding slightly: our rational, responsible intelligent behaviour is inescapably under the moral government of known duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc. Thus, we find morally rooted law built into our morally governed nature, even for our intellectual life. Thus, too, the civil law extends what is already built in, to our social circumstances, turning on issues of prudence, justice and mutual duties; if it is to be legitimate. Notice, this is itself a theory on what law is or at least should be. And yes, all of this is fraught with implications for the roots of reality.)

    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-understanding 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. In short, nihilistic will to power untempered by the primacy of justice is its own refutation in any type of state. Where, justice is the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities. 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.

    (NB: This is a requisite of accountability for justice, and the suggestion or implication of some views across time, that government can reasonably be unaccountable to the governed, is its own refutation, reflecting — again — nihilistic will to power; which is automatically absurd. This truth involves the issue that finite, fallible, morally struggling men acting as civil authorities in the face of changing times and situations as well as in the face of the tendency of power to corrupt, need to be open to remonstrance and reformation — or if they become resistant to reasonable appeal, there must be effective means of replacement. Hence, the principle that the general election is an insitutionalised regular solemn assembly of the people for audit and reform or if needs be replacement of government gone bad. But this is by no means an endorsement of the notion that a manipulated mob bent on a march of folly has a right to do as it pleases.)

    12] Twelfth, the attempt to deny or dismiss such a general framework of moral governance invariably lands in shipwreck of incoherence and absurdity. As, has been seen in outline. 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.

    F/N2: Likewise, as Ben Mines summarises from Leibniz, maximal goodness, wisdom and power are arguably mutually, inextricably entangled once we understand/accept that the good implies an evident proper end or purpose:

    Leibniz has given an argument to show that omniscience and moral perfection [–> also, omnipotence] are mutually inclusive: all freely willed action strives towards some goal; all goals are the pursuit of some good entertained by the agent; [ –> real or imagined?] the scope and quality of entertainable goods is dependent on knowledge; the maximisation of knowledge perfects an agent’s judgment of the good. An evil being therefore lacks perfect knowledge; and lacking perfect knowledge, is not omniscient; and lacking omniscience, cannot be omnipotent since there will be some actions it lacks the knowledge to perform. The proposition, It is possible that a maximally great but evil being exists is therefore broadly incoherent. A being cannot be both evil and maximally great.

     F/N3: This principle of built-in moral government under known law also applies directly to gospel ethics, discipleship and evangelism. For, example, it means that “sin” is not merely an oppressive invention of priestcraft designed to bring us under theocratic tyranny — which, is the exact implication of many objections to gospel ethics today. Instead, sin is in the first instance willful moral error, defiance therefore of the inherently good and utterly wise Creator who made us, gave us responsible freedom, commanded us to live by love and truth, and gave us sound conscience as a witness. Therefore, too, we have real guilt against the law of our nature, the law of our creator, not just mere painful emotions to deal with. It is in this context that the gospel is good news: in his love, our creator has made a way for us to be forgiven, rescued and transformed.>>

    KF

  206. 206
    Ed George says:

    KF

    FYI, there is no such thing as what you abbreviate;

    The legal system and the majority of the population, including a significant percentage of Christians, disagree with you.

    there is only a twisted fiction under false colour of law.

    And supportedunder the full force of law and the majority of the population, most of whom are not homosexual. Society is judged by how we treat our minorities and the weakest amongst us. Since the 60s the judgment has only gotten more favourable.

    Aided and abetted by the nihilism implicit in legal positivism.

    No, aided and abetted by those who realize that sexual orientation is not a sickness and that we can’t continue to marginalize homosexuals in our society because of something written in an ancient text.

  207. 207
    hazel says:

    lol. Kf has copy-and-pasted the same 2200 word post five times in this thread. What in the world does he think he is accomplishing???

  208. 208
    john_a_designer says:

    You’re going way overboard here KF. Neither Ed nor Hazel are interested or capable of comprehending what you are trying to argue. (You should know that by now.)

    You are trying to convince them that there must be a foundation for moral values, civil law and human rights. I agree. Do they? We don’t know because they won’t say.

    The point that I am trying to make is actually very simple. As moral relativists/ subjectivists they don’t have any basis to make any kind of argument which involves moral obligation. For example, on what basis do they have to say that discrimination is wrong? From a moral relativist POV there are no moral absolutes so how can discrimination be wrong? Because that’s their belief and opinion?

    If that’s their position then all they are doing is trying to cram their beliefs down everyone’s throats which is a form of coercion. Frankly it’s time to tell them to move on to something else or go someplace else.

    They are engaging in what students of C.S. Lewis have termed as Bulverism– which sounds a lot like something else I am tempted to say, but I digress.

    See my comment at #140.

    Refutation requires engagement with ideas, and a striving to understand the truth. From it arise norms of civility, good faith among interlocutors, and a willingness to consider the merits of different arguments. It is easier to denounce without disputation, to assume someone is wrong without bothering to discover whether they are wrong or demonstrating how they are wrong. Refutation requires engagement with ideas, and a striving to understand the truth. From it arise norms of civility, good faith among interlocutors, and a willingness to consider the merits of different arguments. It is easier to denounce without disputation, to assume someone is wrong without bothering to discover whether they are wrong or demonstrating how they are wrong.

    https://uncommondescent.com/religion/us-ag-barr-on-the-importance-of-religious-liberty/#comment-686118

  209. 209
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel (& attn EG), I again refocus, as you seem determined to avoid what is absolutely pivotal, not only to a mere thread but to helping a civilisation that is obviously losing its way to turn back to sounder ground:

    >> normally responsive people will at least grudgingly respect the following summary of 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 (thus, warranted and objective) moral truths; not just optional opinions.

    So also, it is not only possible to

    (a) be in demonstrable moral error, but also

    (b) there is hope that such moral errors can be corrected by appealing to manifestly sound core principles of the natural moral law. Thus,

    (c) we can now see that a core of law is built into moral government of our responsible, rational freedom (through our known, inescapable duties to truth, right reason, prudence [including, warrant], sound conscience, neighbourliness [thus, the golden rule], fairness & justice, etc). On these, 

    (d) we may frame just civil law as comporting with that built-in law of our morally governed nature, towards upholding and defending the civil peace of justice through sound government.

    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. Expanding slightly: our rational, responsible intelligent behaviour is inescapably under the moral government of known duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc. Thus, we find morally rooted law built into our morally governed nature, even for our intellectual life. Thus, too, the civil law extends what is already built in, to our social circumstances, turning on issues of prudence, justice and mutual duties; if it is to be legitimate. Notice, this is itself a theory on what law is or at least should be. And yes, all of this is fraught with implications for the roots of reality.)

    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-understanding 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. In short, nihilistic will to power untempered by the primacy of justice is its own refutation in any type of state. Where, justice is the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities. 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.

    (NB: This is a requisite of accountability for justice, and the suggestion or implication of some views across time, that government can reasonably be unaccountable to the governed, is its own refutation, reflecting — again — nihilistic will to power; which is automatically absurd. This truth involves the issue that finite, fallible, morally struggling men acting as civil authorities in the face of changing times and situations as well as in the face of the tendency of power to corrupt, need to be open to remonstrance and reformation — or if they become resistant to reasonable appeal, there must be effective means of replacement. Hence, the principle that the general election is an insitutionalised regular solemn assembly of the people for audit and reform or if needs be replacement of government gone bad. But this is by no means an endorsement of the notion that a manipulated mob bent on a march of folly has a right to do as it pleases.)

    12] Twelfth, the attempt to deny or dismiss such a general framework of moral governance invariably lands in shipwreck of incoherence and absurdity. As, has been seen in outline. 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.

    F/N2: Likewise, as Ben Mines summarises from Leibniz, maximal goodness, wisdom and power are arguably mutually, inextricably entangled once we understand/accept that the good implies an evident proper end or purpose:

    Leibniz has given an argument to show that omniscience and moral perfection [–> also, omnipotence] are mutually inclusive: all freely willed action strives towards some goal; all goals are the pursuit of some good entertained by the agent; [ –> real or imagined?] the scope and quality of entertainable goods is dependent on knowledge; the maximisation of knowledge perfects an agent’s judgment of the good. An evil being therefore lacks perfect knowledge; and lacking perfect knowledge, is not omniscient; and lacking omniscience, cannot be omnipotent since there will be some actions it lacks the knowledge to perform. The proposition, It is possible that a maximally great but evil being exists is therefore broadly incoherent. A being cannot be both evil and maximally great.

     F/N3: This principle of built-in moral government under known law also applies directly to gospel ethics, discipleship and evangelism. For, example, it means that “sin” is not merely an oppressive invention of priestcraft designed to bring us under theocratic tyranny — which, is the exact implication of many objections to gospel ethics today. Instead, sin is in the first instance willful moral error, defiance therefore of the inherently good and utterly wise Creator who made us, gave us responsible freedom, commanded us to live by love and truth, and gave us sound conscience as a witness. Therefore, too, we have real guilt against the law of our nature, the law of our creator, not just mere painful emotions to deal with. It is in this context that the gospel is good news: in his love, our creator has made a way for us to be forgiven, rescued and transformed.>>

    KF

  210. 210
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD,

    EG and Hazel are both highly educated; ability to understand is not the issue. The pivot of the twelve points is that they are self-evident, plumb line truths. They are accessible and in fact are implicit in the attempts these objectors are using when they argue. The problem is, these truths point where they would not go, exposing current shibboleths and conventional wisdom as so many crooked yardsticks posed as though they were proper standards.

    Let’s highlight no 1 as put up several times to refocus the thread in the teeth of stubborn insistence on distractions and even dragging it down into the sewer. Okay, let’s not elaborate on that, but instead — on second thought, the first three:

    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. Expanding slightly: our rational, responsible intelligent behaviour is inescapably under the moral government of known duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc. Thus, we find morally rooted law built into our morally governed nature, even for our intellectual life. Thus, too, the civil law extends what is already built in, to our social circumstances, turning on issues of prudence, justice and mutual duties; if it is to be legitimate. Notice, this is itself a theory on what law is or at least should be. And yes, all of this is fraught with implications for the roots of reality.)

    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.

    Such is already heavily loaded with relevant implications and onwards we can fully justify Cicero’s key point on law. Namely:

    With respect to the true principle of justice, many learned men have maintained that it springs from Law. I hardly know if their opinion be not correct, at least, according to their own definition; for “Law (say they) is the highest reason, implanted in nature, which prescribes those things which ought to be done, and forbids the contrary.” This, they think, is apparent from the converse of the proposition; because this same reason, when it [37]is confirmed and established in men’s minds, is the law of all their actions.

    They therefore conceive that the voice of conscience is a law, that moral prudence is a law, whose operation is to urge us to good actions, and restrain us from evil ones. They think, too, that the Greek name for law (NOMOS), which is derived from NEMO, to distribute, implies the very nature of the thing, that is, to give every man his due. [–> this implies a definition of justice as the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities]

    Such principles re-open the door to sound reformation.

    KF

  211. 211
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, there are laws we never made and have no power to amend. And rightly so, these start from first principles of right reason and embrace the core of law and justice. Decrees under colour of law contrary to such are inherently unjust and ruinous. As we are seeing. KF

  212. 212
    Ed George says:

    KF

    EG, there are laws we never made and have no power to amend.

    We have made laws around marriage for centuries. In its basic form, it is a contract between two people. I can take an on-line course that gives me the legal right to preside over a legally binding wedding. I have attended several weddings that used this. And the couples are just as married as any couple who is married by a priest or a minister.

  213. 213
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, word games and you know it. This has already been pointed out in detail, so I just briefly note it and point out that the attempt to redefine marriage away from the complementarity of the two opposite sexes — and now to rob “sex” of its meaning — is Orwellian double think under colour of law backed up by bullying and worse. Also, marriage is a COVENANT not a contract, that too is a positivist error opening up ruinous manipulation. Mr C-entity Smith, how many fingers is this || + ||. KF

  214. 214
    hazel says:

    kf writes, “EG and Hazel are both highly educated; ability to understand is not the issue.” This is true about me. I understand what kf is saying, and have for months. In fact I’m sure the post he’s now made six times in this thread has been posted multiple times before. In fact, I discussed some of this back on the “Logic and Principles 10 thread (link), as well as others, I’m sure. I understand kf’s perspective.

  215. 215
    Ed George says:

    KF

    EG, word games and you know it.

    Word games that have the power of law behind them.

    I have a serious question of you. Do you consider a wedding presided over by an atheist officiate a true marriage?

  216. 216
    Ed George says:

    KF

    EG and Hazel are both highly educated; ability to understand is not the issue.

    Thank you for the compliment. Yes, I am highly educated, and understand everything you write. There is no need to repeat it multiple times. 🙂 But understanding and accepting are not the same thing. I don’t mean to be critical, but you seem to feel that if we understand what you are saying, we must accept what you are saying as gospel. You don’t seem to allow for honest disagreement.

  217. 217
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    The will of the people is that SSM is OK and that businesses cannot deny services based on race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.

    Then those businesses that don’t follow should go bankrupt without any customers. OR the will of the people says they side with the business by giving them more business.

  218. 218
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    Word games that have the power of law behind them.

    The power of law is only as strong as the ability to enforce it. And in this country, I don’t know about yours, the lawless are winning.

  219. 219
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    Society is judged by how we treat our minorities and the weakest amongst us.

    That means any society that allows abortions at the rate we do must be a sad and pathetic society. Who is more weak and vulnerable than the unborn?

  220. 220
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    No, aided and abetted by those who realize that sexual orientation is not a sickness…

    It could be

    …and that we can’t continue to marginalize homosexuals in our society because of something written in an ancient text.

    We can if we go by what Darwin wrote. Or is that also ancient text?

  221. 221
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, you know better as you know what the complementarity of two distinct sexes multiplied by requisites of child nurture are all about. Those, I add, are indeed written in ancient text — our genes; where truth is told by soundness not either age or novelty: Winston, what is II + II. Further, you evidently cannot cogently deny that our reason itself is morally governed, so moral government is undeniably part of rational nature and so requires addressing cogently in a unified manner at reality-root. That is the only point that IS and OUGHT can be fused. KF

  222. 222
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, what is self-evident is self evident. And its cumulative force shows us much of why our civilisation has gone so horribly, so bloodily astray . . . our guilt of the blood of 800+ million of our living posterity in the womb since the 70’s utterly rebukes us as the true dark age. We have inherited much from those who would instantly acknowledge the cumulative force of the above, and we are squandering it as we speak, refusing to acknowledge that we are dancing heedlessly on a crumbling cliff’s edge. What is II + II, Winston? What is law, Hazel, and why does sound law have compelling force beyond the threat or use of force by state officers? Why did Cicero recognise it c 50 BC, and why was it as relevant then as now? What happens when fatal disaffection sets in, for cause? Why are we so deaf to hard bought, sound lessons of history paid for in blood and tears? Y’know, I understand why Russian youths go back to the old battlefields of 70 years past and dig up the bones, Russian and German alike, not only bringing closure to families after 70 years but also physically handling, indelibly learning what history cost. KF

  223. 223
    Ed George says:

    KF

    EG, you know better as you know what the complementarity of two distinct sexes multiplied by requisites of child nurture are all about.

    By this logic, sterile couples, couples who don’t want children and elderly couples should also be denied marriage.

    Further, you evidently cannot cogently deny that our reason itself is morally governed,

    Of course our reason isn’t morally governed. Reason is amoral. It leads to the most logical conclusion regardless of the moral consequences.

    That is the only point that IS and OUGHT can be fused.

    IS and OUGHT are not, and never have been, fused. I think that society OUGHT to accept same sex marriage because it harms nobody, promotes loving commitment and Provides wellness and happiness to a sector of society that has been denied it for no rational reason. Everything I think others OUGHT to do is based on reason and logic, not some transcendental objective directive.

  224. 224
    hazel says:

    I agree with Ed about why SSM ought to be supported.

  225. 225
    mike1962 says:

    Ed George: IS and OUGHT are not, and never have been, fused. I think that society OUGHT to accept same sex marriage because it harms nobody, promotes loving commitment and Provides wellness and happiness to a sector of society that has been denied it for no rational reason. Everything I think others OUGHT to do is based on reason and logic, not some transcendental objective directive.

    Well, not quite. Everything you think others ought to do is based on reason, logic, and non-rational assumptions and/or emotion. Your statement assumes that homosexuality harms nobody, that “loving commitments” between homosexuals is a good thing, and that homosexuals should be well and happy. Maybe, maybe not. But those are assumptions themselves are not borne of reason and logic. They are subjective starting points.

    The following statement is equally “rational”: “IS and OUGHT are not, and never have been, fused. I think that society OUGHT to ban same sex marriage because I am revolted and offended by homosexuality, homosexuality leads to revolting things like Gay Pride parades, and homosexuals are not worthy of wellness and happiness. Everything I think others OUGHT to do is based on reason and logic, not some transcendental objective directive.”

  226. 226
    kairosfocus says:

    EG,

    you have made the error of simply dismissing the evidence that first IS and OUGHT are inevitably intertwined in our rational activity thus our lives; manifest in persistent refusal to engage the core issues in the thread above. Second, you ignore the linked question, that if we ignore such moral government or reduce it to delusion, credibility of mindedness itself is undermined. Such forces us to ask, how can the IS-OUGHT gap be bridged, and Hume’s guillotine shows is there is only place where this can be, on pain of ungrounded ought. Namely, the root of reality.

    Along the way, this carries with it the so-called Euthyphro dilemma, which requires that the world root IS be simultaneously and inextricably an adequate ground of OUGHT. That is, it must be inherently good.

    Instead of seeing this as an allegedly unsolvable dilemma, we see it as a specification: the root of reality and source of worlds must be an independent (=> necessary) being. One that is powerful enough to be a world-source, must be inherently good (and so utterly wise). Such is already a familiar profile. We will build on this but first, why a necessary being?

    We readily note, that no-thing is non-being. Were there ever utter non-being (as such can have no causal capability) that would forever obtain. That is, if a world now is, something always was, something that is a requisite for any world to be, in effect, part of the framework for any actual or possible world. The issue is of what nature. Causal circularity is a begging of the question of a world from non being. Infinite regress cannot be traversed in successive stages. That forces us to accept necessary, world framework beings as a mode of existence that complements contingent ones such as we are. For simple answer, no world is possible without two-ness in it, etc. All of this has been discussed at sufficient length here at UD as aspects of logic of being. Of such necessary beings, we here seek an adequate world-root for a world involving responsible, rational, significantly free, morally governed creatures.

    We may freely put up alternative candidates: ________ ; such being subject to comparative difficulties analysis across factual adequacy, coherence and balanced explanatory power. Over months and years here at UD, frequent objectors have been rather reluctant to propose and defend alternatives. For example, physicalist or more broadly naturalistic, evolutionary materialist models cannot account for functionally specific, complex organisation and/or associated information. They cannot account for the credible freedom required for rationality [which cannot be reduced to dynamic-stochastic processes on a GIGO-limited computational substrate, including brains]. They cannot account for moral government, which includes our reasoning again. Indeed, we may readily show such models to be self-referentially incoherent. That’s a point Haldane long since highlighted in outline:

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

    Similarly, pantheistic and panentheistic models cannot account for the distinction between good and evil. They struggle with human significance, and more.

    Polytheisms and henotheisms do not adequately account for the world root. Above, failure to address this led to suggesting small-g gods as somehow parallel with a necessary being world root. We also already have on the table a chain of reasoning on self evident truths that points to a core, natural, built-in law framework that obtains for any rational creature. Even if there are superhuman beings, they too are under the natural law.

    In part, such reflects the fact that all major worldview families and options face difficulties (hence, comparative difficulties). But, when a worldview is self-referentially incoherent, the flaw is fatal.

    We now come back to the central question. For this, we may freely answer that after centuries of debates, there is just one serious candidate for a necessary being world root. As Cicero documents [and others beyond him up to Aristotle and Plato], this is antecedent to the rise of the Christian faith tradition in our civilisation. Similarly, this is a philosophical inference to grand, worldview level core explanatory context, it is not dogmatic decree. That is, if you doubt, put up a serious alternative ______ and justify i/l/o comparative difficulties, factual adequacy _____ , coherence _______ , explanatory power _____ . Easier said than done. (Fair comment, over the years, typically dodged by objectors.)

    Likewise, a serious candidate necessary being is either impossible of being [as a square circle is] or else exists in all possible worlds as part of the framework for a world to be. Thus, it is present in this actual world.

    Serious Candidate, World Root Being No 1: the inherently good and utterly wise creator God, a necessary and maximally great being; one worthy of loyalty and of the responsible, reasonable service of doing the good that accords with our evident nature (which is morally governed from mind to society).

    By maximally great, of course we imply the compossible cluster of great-making properties or attributes to the point just short of incoherence. That is, attributes are mutually balanced, mutually consistent, mutually compatible, without gaps.

    Such a world root is simultaneously powerful to maximal possible degree, is eternal [as a necessary being], is essentially good and utterly wise so will not act or speak contrary to the good, is capable of being source and sustainer of worlds. That is, we answer Euthyphro, as the good is non-arbitrary, is reasonable, is wise, all in balance, fusing IS and OUGHT in the root of all possible worlds. Such is ontologically different from the small-g superhuman beings posed as deities, such as Thor or Zeus or Venus etc.

    In this context, law is inherent, built-in into being responsible, rational, volitional, significantly free. Such law starts with the moral government of our rationality through known duties:

    “. . . to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc. Thus, we find morally rooted law built into our morally governed nature, even for our intellectual life. Thus, too, the civil law extends what is already built in, to our social circumstances, turning on issues of prudence, justice and mutual duties; if it is to be legitimate. Notice, this is itself a theory on what law is or at least should be. And yes, all of this is fraught with implications for the roots of reality.”

    Thus, we have a framework for civil law as well as a context to appreciate the powerful four-point synthesis drawn up by the most famous dumb ox who has filled the world with his bellowing, Yes, the angelic doctor, St Thomas Aquinas, crown jewel of medieval thought, as he further elaborated the Christian Synthesis of what came down from Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, and beyond, from the River Valley Civilisations empowered by the agriculture revolution. And in so elaborating, he used the arguably Hebraic invention of alphabetic script, the transformative simplified system of writing that would empower the printing revolution::

    0: the divine root of reality (including of morally governed creatures) so also of law pivoting on justice, prudence and reason.

    1: the eternal, infinite lawlike order of reality in the mind of God that goes beyond what any finite being can grasp but is the wellspring of sound thought, prudence, justice, law as expressing “highest reason” focussed on good governance, just order and civil government that properly protects the civil peace of justice.

    2: such law as he reveals to us through Messiah, prophets and apostles, which was recorded in scripture and passed down as sacred writings safeguarded at fearsome cost.

    3: such law as is naturally evident to us and understood through sound, responsible, wise, prudent reasoning, starting with the already noted prime duties “to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc.” This is law that we discover or can discover and should acknowledge; we neither invented it nor can we amend it. Obviously, we grow in our understanding and are subject to correction i/l/o sound principles and plumb line self evident first truths. (I dare add, this extends to academic disciplines such as major aspects of the one that studies the logic of structure and quantity, Mathematics. Yes, this involves a much broader, richer view of law as ordering principles that should guide conduct.)

    4: human laws, within communities, in treaties, in legislation passed by governing bodies, in rulings of formal and informal judges, in agreements,in regulations by competent authority, in by-laws, implicit in established due process praxis [cf. here both Erskine May and Robert’s Rules of Order etc . . . both synthesising anglophone parliamentary praxis as hammered out across centuries], or even in customs and living traditions such as the corpus of common law or the line that has come down to us through Corpus Juris Civilis, etc.These references, of course, enfold the main bodies of local, national and international law that are current. Such laws are inevitably imperfect and incomplete so should provide for prudent governance, reform, correction of excess and of error or arbitrariness. Where, no such law purporting to amend or repeal and replace what is built into our being or the fabric of reality can have any true legitimacy. Of course, in imperfect societies having to deal with the hardness of men’s hearts, this will include ameliorative regulation of evils that must be open to sound reform as society becomes more willing to recognise and do the right. This implies, that radical relativism, subjectivism, emotivism etc are errors to be repudiated, e.g. consider the implication that a minority or individual calling for reform is “wrong” i.e. reform is a matter of might and manipulation making ‘right,’ ‘rights,’ ‘truth,’ ‘warrant,’ ‘knowledge,’ ‘justice’ etc. Reduction to the absurdity of nihilism.

    We can then cross this with the cube of political possibilities and spectrum in the OP above, so we can better understand modern Constitutional Democratic polities, their roots [including the breakthroughs from c 1430 with Gutenberg to 1787 September 17th] and the dangers we now needlessly, too often heedlessly, trifle with.

    Typical educated people in past generations understood such (or were at least open to it), but now we have been deliberately cut off from the roots of our civilisation and have been crippled and — on evidence of reaction to Mr Barr — we have been willfully poisoned in our thought also.

    Do we begin to understand the perils of the crumbling cliff’s edge we dance on so recklessly?

    KF

    PS: I again draw attention to a very specific bit of natural law reasoning found in the gospels, which is being so studiously ignored in the rush to pretend that we may freely redefine marriage, family, sex and sexuality apart from the naturally evident creation order written into our XX and XY chromosomes as well as the requisites of biologically driven sound child nurture and development:

    Matt 19:3 And Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” [–> a current issue and debate in Jewish law, theology and social thought]

    4 He replied, “Have you never read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female [–> naturally evident creation order rooted in the inherently good, utterly wise creator-God], 5 and said, ‘For this reason [–> note, fulfillment of such naturally evident creation order purpose is reasonable] a man shall leave his father and mother [–> family of origin showing requisites of nurture, and identifying the chain of reproduction] and shall be joined inseparably to his wife [–> a successive generation of family], and the two shall become one flesh’?

    6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.” [–> a stricture that puts divorce on the defensive, how much more so, that which flies in the face of sound creation order manifest in our genes and bodies. This is a fortiori logic in action. Notice, this argument pattern can cogently reason “how much more” and “just as that, this too” etc. Where, yes, core principles of reason are principles of sound law.]

    7 The Pharisees said to Him, “Why then did Moses command us to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

    8 He said to them, “Because your hearts were hard and stubborn [–> the diagnosis: hardness of heart, implying ameliorative regulation of social evils towards sound reformation and minimisation of the evil] Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. [AMP]

  227. 227
    bornagain77 says:

    EG, a Darwinian atheist, claims that his reason for supporting homosexual marriage is,

    “based on reason and logic, not some transcendental objective directive.”

    And just what are his reason and logic?

    because it harms nobody, promotes loving commitment and Provides wellness and happiness to a sector of society that has been denied it for no rational reason.

    HUH??? You got to be kidding me right? Every one of those reasons, that was supposedly deduced solely from EG’s reason and logic without reference to any objective moral standard, are in fact based on the transcendent moral standard of loving your neighbor as yourself,

    “harms nobody”??? What is the exact reason I should care that it supposedly “harms nobody”? That ‘reason’ that EG put forth screams the objective moral standard of ‘love thy neighbor as thyself’!

    “promotes loving commitment”??? What is the exact reason I should care that it supposedly “promotes loving commitment”? That ‘reason’ that EG put forth screams the objective moral standard of ‘love thy neighbor as thyself’!

    “Provides wellness and happiness to a sector of society that has been denied it”??? What is the exact reason I should care that it supposedly “Provides wellness and happiness to a sector of society that has been denied it”? That ‘reason’ that EG put forth screams the objective moral standard of ‘love thy neighbor as thyself’!

    Apparently, since he did not even question his moral presupposition of loving your neighbor as you love yourself that provided the basis for his reason and logic, to EG it must be self evidently true that one OUGHT to love his neighbor as himself. EG whether he realizes it or not, in fact, just argued that Christianity must be self evidently true!

    Yet EG, especially as a Darwinian materialist who’s worldview is completely amoral, i.e. a worldview of ‘pitiless indifference’,,,

    “The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
    – Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

    ,,, Yet EG, especially as a Darwinian materialist who’s worldview is completely amoral, it is not self evidently true, much less reasonable or logical, that anyone OUGHT to love his neighbor as he does himself. As Jordan Peterson pointed out, “What is irrational about me getting exactly what I want from every one of you whenever I want it at every possible second?…There’s nothing irrational about it. It’s pure naked self-interest.”,,, “Why not every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost? It’s a perfectly coherent philosophy, and it’s actually one that you can institute in the world with a fair bit of material success if you want to do it.’

    The Problem With Atheism According To A Secular Psychologist – July 2017
    Excerpt:
    2) When Selfish Behaviour is Rational
    Psych Professor Jordan Peterson nails the problem with modern Atheism when he says:
    “What is irrational about me getting exactly what I want from every one of you whenever I want it at every possible second?…There’s nothing irrational about it. It’s pure naked self-interest.”
    He continues:
    “Why not every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost? It’s a perfectly coherent philosophy, and it’s actually one that you can institute in the world with a fair bit of material success if you want to do it.’
    It’s an interesting point. And it’s relatively easy to find real life cases of this principle.,,,
    http://akosbalogh.com/2017/07/.....chologist/

    I guess EG wants to have his cake and to eat it to. i.e. EG wants the objective moral standard of ‘loving your neighbor as yourself’ only if and when he can try to use it to undermine the worldview, i.e. Christianity, from whence that objective moral standard comes from. As should be needless to say, there is nothing reasonable nor logical in EG’s approach. His argument is a blatantly self refuting argument.

    Moreover, to make it even more devastating to EG’s Darwinian worldview, Darwinian materialism cannot even ground the ‘reason and logic’ that EG falsely claimed that he used to derive the objective moral standard of ‘loving your neighbor as you love yourself’.

    Perhaps if you are going to claim that your beliefs are based solely on reason and logic, (and not on emotion or on objective moral standards), it might be good for you to have a worldview that can provide a foundation for reason and logic in the first place?

    Atheistic Materialists deny the existence of their own free will. In doing so, they undermine any claim that they are making logical coherent arguments to begin with:

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

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

    As CS Lewis stated, “Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God.”

    “Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It’s like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can’t trust my own thinking, of course I can’t trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God.”
    – C.S. Lewis (from, The Case for Christianity)

    And as Egnor stated of the incompatibility Atheistic naturalism and logic, “logic — is neither material nor natural. Logic, after all, doesn’t exist “in the space-time continuum” and isn’t described by physics. What is the location of modus ponens? How much does Gödel’s incompleteness theorem weigh? What is the physics of non-contradiction? How many millimeters long is Clark’s argument for naturalism? Ironically the very logic that Clark employs to argue for naturalism is outside of any naturalistic frame.”

    Naturalism and Self-Refutation – Michael Egnor – January 31, 2018
    Excerpt: the very framework of Clark’s argument — logic — is neither material nor natural. Logic, after all, doesn’t exist “in the space-time continuum” and isn’t described by physics. What is the location of modus ponens? How much does Gödel’s incompleteness theorem weigh? What is the physics of non-contradiction? How many millimeters long is Clark’s argument for naturalism? Ironically the very logic that Clark employs to argue for naturalism is outside of any naturalistic frame.
    The strength of Clark’s defense of naturalism is that it is an attempt to present naturalism’s tenets clearly and logically. That is its weakness as well, because it exposes naturalism to scrutiny, and naturalism cannot withstand even minimal scrutiny. Even to define naturalism is to refute it.
    – per evolution news

    As should be self evident, logic itself can only be based in Theism,

    Is God Real? Evidence from the Laws of Logic – J. Warner Wallace
    Excerpt: All rational discussions (even those about the existence or non-existence of God) require the prior foundation of logical absolutes. You’d have a hard time making sense of any conversation if the Laws of Logic weren’t available to guide the discussion and provide rational boundaries. Here are three of the most important Laws of Logic you and I use every day:,,,
    (1) The Objective Laws of Logic Exist
    We cannot deny the Laws of Logic exist. In fact, any reasonable or logical argument against the existence of these laws requires their existence in the first place.
    The Objective Laws of Logic Are Conceptual Laws
    These laws are not physical; they are conceptual. They cannot be seen under a microscope or weighed on a scale. They are abstract laws guiding logical, immaterial thought processes.
    The Objective Laws of Logic Are Transcendent
    The laws transcend location, culture and time. If we go forward or backward a million years, the laws of logic would still exist and apply, regardless of culture or geographic location.
    The Objective Laws of Logic Pre-Existed Mankind
    The transcendent and timeless nature of logical laws indicates they precede our existence or ability to recognize them. Even before humans were able to understand the law of non-contradiction, “A” could not have been “Non-A”. The Laws of Logic were discovered by humans, not created by humans.
    (2) All Conceptual Laws Reflect the Mind of a Law Giver
    All laws require law givers, including conceptual laws. We know this from our common experience in the world in which we live. The laws governing our society and culture, for example, are the result and reflection of minds. But more importantly, the conceptual Laws of Logic govern rational thought processes, and for this reason, they require the existence of a mind.
    (3) The Best and Most Reasonable Explanation for the Kind of Mind Necessary for the Existence of the Transcendent, Objective, Conceptual Laws of Logic is God
    The lawgiver capable of producing the immaterial, transcendent laws preceding our existence must also be an immaterial, transcendent and pre-existent mind. This description fits what we commonly think of when we think of a Creator God.,,,
    https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/is-god-real-evidence-from-the-laws-of-logic/

    Moreover, Christianity, in John 1:1, makes a very specific claim as to ‘divine reasoning’ and/or logic preceding the material universe itself:

    Verse and quotes:

    John 1:1
    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”

    What is the Logos?
    Logos is a Greek word literally translated as “word, speech, or utterance.” However, in Greek philosophy, Logos refers to divine reason or the power that puts sense into the world making order instead of chaos.,,,
    In the Gospel of John, John writes “In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). John appealed to his readers by saying in essence, “You’ve been thinking, talking, and writing about the Word (divine reason) for centuries and now I will tell you who He is.”
    https://www.compellingtruth.org/what-is-the-Logos.html

    ‘the Word’ in John1:1 is translated from ‘Logos’ in Greek. Logos is also the root word from which we derive our modern word logic
    http://etymonline.com/?term=logic

    Of supplemental note, as to EG’s false claim that the homosexual lifestyle ‘harms nobody”. I beg to differ, for example,

    How prevalent is child molestation among homosexuals?
    The Gay Report, published by homosexual researchers Jay and Young in 1979, revealed that 73 percent of homosexuals surveyed had at some time had sex with boys 16 to 19 years of age or younger.5 (5. K. Jay and A. Young, The Gay Report (New York: Summit Books, 1979), p. 275. )
    Although homosexuals account for less than two percent of the population. they constitute about a third of child molesters.6 (6. K. Freund and R.I. Watson, “The Proportions of Heterosexual and Homosexual Pedophiles Among Sex Offenders Against Children: An Exploratory Study,” Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy 18 (Spring 1992): 3443, cited in “The Problem of Pedophilia,” op. cit. Also, K. Freund and R.I. Watson, “Pedophilia and Heterosexuality vs. Homosexuality,” Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy 10 (Fall 1984): 197, cited in NARTH Fact Sheet. ) Further, as noted by the Encino, Calif.-based National Association for research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), “since homosexual pedophiles victimize far more children than do heterosexual pedophiles, it is estimated that approximately 80 percent or pedophile victims are boys who have been molested by adultmales.7 (7. Thomas Schmidt, Straight and Narrow? Compassion and Clarity in the Homosexuality Debate (Downers Grove, IU.: Intervarsity Press), p. 114, cited in “The Problem of Pedophilia, op. cit., p. 2. )
    A nationwide investigation of child molestation in the Boy Scouts from 1971 to 1991 revealed that more than 2,000 boys reported molestations by adult Scout leaders. (Note: The Scouts, who have 150,000 Scoutmasters and assistant Scoutmasters, ban hundreds of men each year from scouting out of concern that they might abuse boys.)8 (8. Patrick Boyle, Scout’s Honor (Rocklin, Calif.: Prima Publishing, 1994), p. 3l6. )
    A study of Canadian pedophiles has shown that 30 percent of those studied admitted to having engaged In homosexual acts as adults, and 91 percent of the molesters of non-familial boys admitted to no lifetime sexual contact other than homosexual.9 (9. W. L. Marshall, et al., “Early onset and deviant sexuality in child molesters,” Journal of interpersonal Violence 6 (1991): 323-336, cited in “Pedophilia: The Part of Homosexuality They Don’t Want You to see,” Colorado for Family Values Report, Vol. 14, March 1994. )
    Judith A. Reisman, Ph.D., and Charles B. Johnson, Ph.D., conducted a content study of the personal ads in the Advocate, the national gay and lesbian newsmagazine and discovered that “chickens,” a common term for underage boys sought for sex, were widely solicited. Many of the advertisements in the magazine solicited boys and teens from within a larger pool of prostitution ads.10 (10. Judith A. Reisman, Ph.D., “A Content Analysis of ‘The Advocate,”‘ unpublished manuscript p. 18, quoted in “Pedophilia: The Part of Homosexuality They Don’t WantYou to See,” ibid. ) The authors also note a statement from a book review by homosexual activist Larry Kramer that the work, “like much canonized male homosexual literature, involves sexually predatory white men on the prowl for dark-skinned boys to gratify them.11 (11. From “Lany Kramer’s Reading List,” The Advocate, January 24, 1995, p. 99, cited in “Status Report,” The Reisman & Johnson Report of Partner Solicitation Characteristics as a Reflection of More Sexual Orientation and the Threat to Children, First Principles Press, January l995.)
    In a 1985 study of the rates of molestation among homosexual pederasts compared to heterosexu1 pedophiles, Dr. Paul Cameron found the following:
    153 pederasts had sexually molested 22,981 boys over an average period of 22 years.
    224 pedophiles had molested 4,435 girls over an average period of 18 years.
    The average pederast molested an average of 150 boys, and each heterosexual pedophile molested an average of 20 girls, a ratio of 7.5 to one. 12 (12. Dr. Paul Cameron, “Homosexual Molestation of Children/Sexual Interaction of Teacher and Pupil,” Psychological Reports 57 (1985): 1227-1236.)
    http://www.emaso.com/links/ext.....istics.htm

    Of course, gay activists and their allies in the fake news media, are in full denial mode over these stats. But the link between homosexuality and pedophilia is real none-the-less.

    Of further note to EG’s false claim that it ‘harms nobody”

    High school graduation rates among children of same-sex households – 2013
    Excerpt: Children living with gay and lesbian families in 2006 were about 65 % as likely to graduate compared to children living in opposite sex marriage families. Daughters of same-sex parents do considerably worse than sons.
    http://link.springer.com/artic.....13-9220-y/

    That Study Showing Kids With Same-Sex Parents Fare Better? Yeah, the Media Left a Few Details Out. – July 2014
    http://dailysignal.com/2014/07.....t-details/

    Adults Raised by Gay Couples Speak Out Against Gay ‘Marriage’ in Federal Court
    By Lauretta Brown | January 23, 2015
    Excerpt: “I wasn’t surrounded by average heterosexual couples,” she says in her court brief. “Dad’s partners slept and ate in our home, and they took me along to meeting places in the LGBT communities. I was exposed to overt sexual activities like sodomy, nudity, pornography, group sex, sadomasochism and the ilk.”
    “There was no guarantee that any of my Dad’s partners would be around for long, and yet I often had to obey them,” she said. “My rights and innocence were violated.”
    “As children, we are not allowed to express our disagreement, pain and confusion,” Stefanowicz explained. “Most adult children from gay households do not feel safe or free to publicly express their stories and life-long challenges; they fear losing professional licenses, not obtaining employment in their chosen field, being cut off from some family members or losing whatever relationship they have with their gay parent(s). Some gay parents have threatened to leave no inheritance, if the children don’t accept their parent’s partner du jour.”
    “I grew up with a parent and her partner[s] in an atmosphere in which gay ideology was used as a tool of repression, retribution and abuse,” B.N. Klein wrote of her experience with a lesbian mother. “I have seen that children in gay households often become props to be publicly displayed to prove that gay families are just like heterosexual ones.”
    Klein said she was taught that “some Jews and most Christians were stupid and hated gays and were violent,” and that homosexuals were “much more creative and artistic” because they were not repressed and were naturally more ‘feeling.’”
    “At the same time I was given the message that if I did not agree (which I did not), I was stupid and damned to a life of punishing hostility from my mother and her partner,” she recounts. “They did this with the encouragement of all their gay friends in the community and they were like a cheering squad. I was only allowed out of my room to go to school. This could go on for weeks.”
    “I was supposed to hate everyone based on what they thought of my mother and her partner,” said Klein. “People’s accomplishments did not matter, their personal struggles did not matter, and their own histories were of no consequence. The only thing that mattered was what they thought of gays.”
    Robert Oscar Lopez who was also raised by a lesbian mother and her partner, had a different experience which he described as the “best possible conditions for a child raised by a same-sex couple.”
    “Had I been formally studied by same-sex parenting ‘experts’ in 1985, I would have confirmed their rosiest estimations of LGBT family life,” Lopez wrote, but then went on to argue against same-sex marriage saying that, “behind these facades of a happy ‘outcome’ lay many problems.”
    He describes experiencing a great deal of sexual confusion due to the lack of a father figure in his life. He turned to a life of prostitution with older men as a teenager.,,,
    https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/lauretta-brown/adults-raised-gay-couples-speak-out-against-gay-marriage-federal-court

  228. 228
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I note Arthur Holmes, in his Ethics:

    However we may define the good, however well we may calculate consequences, to whatever extent we may or may not desire certain consequences, none of this of itself implies any obligation of command. That something is or will be does not imply that we ought to seek it. We can never derive an “ought” from a premised “is” unless the ought is somehow already contained in the premise . . . .

    R. M. Hare . . . raises the same point. Most theories, he argues, simply fail to account for the ought that commands us: subjectivism reduces imperatives to statements about subjective states, egoism and utilitarianism reduce them to statements about consequences, emotivism simply rejects them because they are not empirically verifiable, and determinism reduces them to causes rather than commands . . . .

    Elizabeth Anscombe’s point is well made. We have a problem introducing the ought into ethics unless, as she argues, we are morally obligated by law – not a socially imposed law, ultimately, but divine law . . . . This is precisely the problem with modern ethical theory in the West . . . it has lost the binding force of divine commandments . . . . [However] If we admit that we all equally have the right to be treated as persons, then it follows that we have the duty to respect one another accordingly. Rights bring correlative duties: my rights . . . imply that you ought to respect these rights.

    In short, we do understand that we are bound under moral obligations. Consequently, only such worldviews as properly found such are truly viable. Regardless, of the balance of ideological opinions and power.

    That is why we need to take the IS-OUGHT gap very seriously.

    KF

  229. 229
    ET says:

    hazel:

    I agree with Ed about why SSM ought to be supported.

    You’re both whacko’s. Same sex marriage makes as much sense as being able to marry your pet, your sister, your son, your daughter, someone who is already married- well where does it stop and why?

  230. 230
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    By this logic, sterile couples, couples who don’t want children and elderly couples should also be denied marriage.

    OK. But even that misses the point, as usual. Only men and women can procreate. That would mean that only men and women can marry regardless of their individual ability to do so.

    Ed is clearly incapable of thought.

    Reason is amoral. It leads to the most logical conclusion regardless of the moral consequences.

    Any examples in which reason lead to an amoral logical conclusion?

    I think that society OUGHT to accept same sex marriage because it harms nobody,

    Your inability to think is becoming legendary.

  231. 231
    hazel says:

    ET, I assume you know amoral immoral. Reason shows us that 15 + 17 = 32, which is amoral. Reason helps us determine that it is likely that statins lower cholesterol, which is amoral. Those are some examples.

  232. 232
    ET says:

    hazel:

    Reason shows us that 15 + 17 = 32, which is amoral.

    In what way?

    : having or showing no concern about whether behavior is morally right or wrong

  233. 233
    john_a_designer says:

    There is no reason for the state to be involved affirming and approving romantic relationships if that is all they are. Here is a quote from an article he wrote in 2013, before the 2015 SCOTUS ruling on SSM. (Quote is from a NRO article by J. Lopez.)

    Government is not in the business of affirming our love. Rather, it leaves consenting adults free to live and love as they choose. Contrary to what some say, there is [or was] no ban on same-sex marriage. Nothing about it is illegal. In all 50 states, two people of the same sex may choose to live together, choose to join a religious community that blesses their relationship, and choose a workplace offering joint benefits. There is nothing illegal about this.

    What is at issue is whether the government will recognize such relationships as marriages—and then force every citizen, house of worship, and business to do so as well. At issue is whether policy will coerce and compel others to recognize and affirm same-sex relationships as marriages. All Americans have the freedom to live as they choose, but they do not have the right to redefine marriage for everyone else.

    (emphasis added, comment in brackets is mine)

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/.....jean-lopez

    Let me highlight: “At issue is whether policy will coerce and compel others to recognize and affirm same-sex relationships as marriages…”

    Now almost seven year later that is exactly what we are seeing state governments (CA, OR & WA) on the west (or “left”) coast doing. See my post above @ #186.

    https://uncommondescent.com/religion/us-ag-barr-on-the-importance-of-religious-liberty/#comment-686176

    Those are examples of not only religious discrimination they are examples of outright religious persecution.

  234. 234
    hazel says:

    Hmmm, ET: quoting from your post:
    5 + 17 = 32 certainly has “no concern about whether behavior is morally right or wrong,” wouldn’t you say?

  235. 235
    ET says:

    hazel- It has absolutely nothing to do with morality. It has nothing to do with behavior. So saying it is amoral is just gibberish.

    CONTEXT is important:

    Reason is amoral. It leads to the most logical conclusion regardless of the moral consequences.

    Looking for examples of reason that led to an immoral consequence.

  236. 236
    hazel says:

    Good point, ET, as 15 + 17 is not about behaviour.
    How about reason tells me that if it’s past 7 am I can walk down to get the newspaper because it’s usually there by that time.

    That is about behavior, but it’s amoral.

  237. 237
    ET says:

    CONTEXT hazel. You keep ignoring the context.

    Looking for examples of reason that led to an immoral consequence.

  238. 238
    hazel says:

    Hmmm, in 230 you wrote, ET, “Any examples in which reason lead to an amoral logical conclusion?”, but now you write immoral. I think this conversation is confused. Which do you mean?

  239. 239
    ET says:

    Learn how to follow a discussion, hazel.

    Looking for examples of reason that led to an immoral consequence.

    If there aren’t any then what Ed said is just moar gibberish

  240. 240
    hazel says:

    But Ed said amoral, not immoral. But I’m off for a while, and will let this drop,

  241. 241
    Ed George says:

    EG

    Reason is amoral. It leads to the most logical conclusion regardless of the moral consequences.

    .
    Hazel

    Reason shows us that 15 + 17 = 32, which is amoral.

    ET

    In what way?

    : having or showing no concern about whether behavior is morally right or wrong

    Hazel

    5 + 17 = 32 certainly has “no concern about whether behavior is morally right or wrong,” wouldn’t you say?

    ET

    hazel- It has absolutely nothing to do with morality. It has nothing to do with behavior. So saying it is amoral is just gibberish.

    Hazel

    How about reason tells me that if it’s past 7 am I can walk down to get the newspaper because it’s usually there by that time.

    That is about behavior, but it’s amoral.

    ET

    CONTEXT hazel. You keep ignoring the context.

    Looking for examples of reason that led to an immoral consequence.

    Hazel

    Hmmm, in 230 you wrote, ET, “Any examples in which reason lead to an amoral logical conclusion?”, but now you write immoral. I think this conversation is confused. Which do you mean?

    ET

    Learn how to follow a discussion, hazel.

    Looking for examples of reason that led to an immoral consequence.

    If there aren’t any then what Ed said is just moar gibberish

    Except that I never said that reason would lead to immoral consequences. I just said that reason leads to logical conclusion, regardless of moral consequences.

    Learn how to follow a discussion, ET. CONTEXT ET. You keep ignoring the context.

    But I am willing to play your games. Agriculture has shown that we can “improve” a species by selective breeding. Reasoning led to the logical conclusion that we could “improve” the human species by selective breeding (aka eugenics). This was logical reasoning that led to an immoral consequence.

  242. 242
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, the process of reasoning — as you apparently refuse to acknowledge — is morally governed. I remind, yet again:

    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. Expanding slightly: our rational, responsible intelligent behaviour is inescapably under the moral government of known duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc. Thus, we find morally rooted law built into our morally governed nature, even for our intellectual life. Thus, too, the civil law extends what is already built in, to our social circumstances, turning on issues of prudence, justice and mutual duties; if it is to be legitimate. Notice, this is itself a theory on what law is or at least should be. And yes, all of this is fraught with implications for the roots of reality.)

    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.

    KF

  243. 243
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    Except that I never said that reason would lead to immoral consequences.

    I never said otherwise.

    I just said that reason leads to logical conclusion, regardless of moral consequences.

    And you have failed to support that claim. And eugenics is more than just selective breeding.

  244. 244
    ET says:

    My point is if logic and reasoning does not or cannot lead to an immoral outcome then Ed’s words are meaningless, as usual.

  245. 245
    Ed George says:

    ET

    My point is if logic and reasoning does not or cannot lead to an immoral outcome then Ed’s words are meaningless, as usual.

    Eugenics were the result of logic and reasoning. Are you suggesting that it is moral?

  246. 246
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    Eugenics were the result of logic and reasoning.

    Your opinion is meaningless, Ed. And all you have is your opinion.

  247. 247
    bornagain77 says:

    Why is the truthfulness of 15 + 17 = 32 not to be considered a morally good thing?

    If 15 + 17 = 32 is to be considered amoral then why is insisting that 2+2=5 to be considered immoral?

    Moreover, for a Darwinian materialist to reference mathematics to try to support his amoral Darwinian worldview is absurd, even immoral.

    Mathematics is immaterial. In other words, materialism cannot possibly ground mathematics. Thus it is a lie, i.e. it is immoral, for a Darwinian materialist to presuppose that mathematics can remotely support his amoral materialistic worldview.

    An Interview with David Berlinski – Jonathan Witt
    Berlinski: There is no argument against religion that is not also an argument against mathematics. Mathematicians are capable of grasping a world of objects that lies beyond space and time….
    Interviewer:… Come again(?) …
    Berlinski: No need to come again: I got to where I was going the first time. The number four, after all, did not come into existence at a particular time, and it is not going to go out of existence at another time. It is neither here nor there. Nonetheless we are in some sense able to grasp the number by a faculty of our minds. Mathematical intuition is utterly mysterious. So for that matter is the fact that mathematical objects such as a Lie Group or a differentiable manifold have the power to interact with elementary particles or accelerating forces. But these are precisely the claims that theologians have always made as well – that human beings are capable by an exercise of their devotional abilities to come to some understanding of the deity; and the deity, although beyond space and time, is capable of interacting with material objects.
    http://tofspot.blogspot.com/20.....-here.html

    Moreover, via Godel, mathematics is shown to be incomplete. Thus mathematics itself is dependent on something other than itself in order to derive the morally good truthfulness therein. In other words, God is required in order to ground the truthfulness of mathematics itself. And that is certainly a morally good thing.

    A BIBLICAL VIEW OF MATHEMATICS
    Vern Poythress – Doctorate in theology, PhD in Mathematics (Harvard)
    15. Implications of Gödel’s proof
    B. Metaphysical problems of anti-theistic mathematics: unity and plurality
    Excerpt: Because of the above difficulties, anti-theistic philosophy of mathematics is condemned to oscillate, much as we have done in our argument, between the poles of a priori knowledge and a posteriori knowledge. Why? It will not acknowledge the true God, wise Creator of both the human mind with its mathematical intuition and the external world with its mathematical properties. In sections 22-23 we shall see how the Biblical view furnishes us with a real solution to the problem of “knowing” that 2 + 2 = 4 and knowing that S is true.
    http://www.frame-poythress.org.....thematics/

    Taking God Out of the Equation – Biblical Worldview – by Ron Tagliapietra – January 1, 2012
    Excerpt: Kurt Gödel (1906–1978) proved that no logical systems (if they include the counting numbers) can have all three of the following properties.
    1. Validity … all conclusions are reached by valid reasoning.
    2. Consistency … no conclusions contradict any other conclusions.
    3. Completeness … all statements made in the system are either true or false.
    The details filled a book, but the basic concept was simple and elegant. He (Godel) summed it up this way: “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove.” For this reason, his proof is also called the Incompleteness Theorem.
    Kurt Gödel had dropped a bomb on the foundations of mathematics. Math could not play the role of God as infinite and autonomous. It was shocking, though, that logic could prove that mathematics could not be its own ultimate foundation.
    Christians should not have been surprised. The first two conditions are true about math: it is valid and consistent. But only God fulfills the third condition. Only He is complete and therefore self-dependent (autonomous). God alone is “all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28), “the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13). God is the ultimate authority (Hebrews 6:13), and in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3).
    http://www.answersingenesis.or...../equation#

  248. 248
    bornagain77 says:

    correction:

    “Eugenics were the result of (the faulty) logic and reasoning (of the amoral, and false, Darwinian worldview).”

    There all better.

  249. 249
    john_a_designer says:

    EG @ 223:

    “I think that society OUGHT to accept same sex marriage because it harms nobody…”

    Really?

    Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of “Sweet Cakes by Melissa,” [are] devout Christians, [who] hold to a biblical definition of marriage. Because of their religious convictions, they declined to design and create a custom cake to celebrate a same-sex marriage, only to have the State of Oregon punish them with a $135,000 penalty…

    https://firstliberty.org/cases/kleins/

    Being force to pay 135,000 fine and being forced out business caused no harm to the Kleins?

    Barronelle Stutzman, the sole owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington, has served and employed people who identify as LGBT for her entire career. Despite this, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Washington Attorney General claim that she is guilty of unlawful discrimination when she acted consistent with her faith and declined to use her creative skills to celebrate the same-sex ceremony of her longtime customer, Robert Ingersoll…

    After hearing about Barronelle’s decision in the news, the Washington State attorney general decided to take matters into his own hands, and sued her. The ACLU followed closely behind. Both lawsuits attack not only her business, but Barronelle personally.

    The court ruled against Barronelle and ordered her to pay penalties and attorneys’ fees.

    https://adflegal.org/detailspages/client-stories-details/barronelle-stutzman

    Being forced to pay penalties and attorney’s fees caused no harm to Barronelle?

    Jack Phillips, a Colorado native and cake artist, opened Masterpiece Cakeshop in 1993 and has served the community of Lakewood, Colorado for more than 20 years. In his years of business, Jack has been a part of major milestone events for many in the community. He’s watched families grow from young couples requesting wedding cakes to parents ordering graduation cakes for their children…

    In July 2012, two men came into Jack’s cakeshop requesting a custom wedding cake celebrating their same-sex marriage. In a very brief exchange, Jack politely declined the request, saying that he could not design cakes for same-sex weddings, but offering to design them custom cakes for other occasions or to sell them anything else in his shop…

    an administrative law judge ruled against Jack in December 2013, saying that designing and creating cakes for same-sex wedding ceremonies are not speech protected by the First Amendment. The commission ordered Jack and his staff to either violate Jack’s faith by designing custom wedding cakes that celebrate same-sex marriages or stop designing all wedding cakes, which was approximately 40% of Jack’s business…

    https://adflegal.org/detailspages/client-stories-details/jack-phillips

    Fortunately in this case the U.S. Supreme court ruled against the Colorado court. The other cases still have appeals pending.

    Nevertheless, losing 40% of your business and paying legal bills is not without great personal cost. If you think otherwise, why not give it a try?

    Clearly, Ed is not from this planet.

  250. 250
    bornagain77 says:

    JAD of related note to EG’s false claim that the homosexual lifestyle ‘harms nobody”.

    Adults Raised by Gay Couples Speak Out Against Gay ‘Marriage’ in Federal Court
    By Lauretta Brown | January 23, 2015
    Excerpt: “I wasn’t surrounded by average heterosexual couples,” she says in her court brief. “Dad’s partners slept and ate in our home, and they took me along to meeting places in the LGBT communities. I was exposed to overt sexual activities like sodomy, nudity, pornography, group sex, sadomasochism and the ilk.”
    “There was no guarantee that any of my Dad’s partners would be around for long, and yet I often had to obey them,” she said. “My rights and innocence were violated.”
    “As children, we are not allowed to express our disagreement, pain and confusion,” Stefanowicz explained. “Most adult children from gay households do not feel safe or free to publicly express their stories and life-long challenges; they fear losing professional licenses, not obtaining employment in their chosen field, being cut off from some family members or losing whatever relationship they have with their gay parent(s). Some gay parents have threatened to leave no inheritance, if the children don’t accept their parent’s partner du jour.”
    “I grew up with a parent and her partner[s] in an atmosphere in which gay ideology was used as a tool of repression, retribution and abuse,” B.N. Klein wrote of her experience with a lesbian mother. “I have seen that children in gay households often become props to be publicly displayed to prove that gay families are just like heterosexual ones.”
    Klein said she was taught that “some Jews and most Christians were stupid and hated gays and were violent,” and that homosexuals were “much more creative and artistic” because they were not repressed and were naturally more ‘feeling.’”
    “At the same time I was given the message that if I did not agree (which I did not), I was stupid and damned to a life of punishing hostility from my mother and her partner,” she recounts. “They did this with the encouragement of all their gay friends in the community and they were like a cheering squad. I was only allowed out of my room to go to school. This could go on for weeks.”
    “I was supposed to hate everyone based on what they thought of my mother and her partner,” said Klein. “People’s accomplishments did not matter, their personal struggles did not matter, and their own histories were of no consequence. The only thing that mattered was what they thought of gays.”
    Robert Oscar Lopez who was also raised by a lesbian mother and her partner, had a different experience which he described as the “best possible conditions for a child raised by a same-sex couple.”
    “Had I been formally studied by same-sex parenting ‘experts’ in 1985, I would have confirmed their rosiest estimations of LGBT family life,” Lopez wrote, but then went on to argue against same-sex marriage saying that, “behind these facades of a happy ‘outcome’ lay many problems.”
    He describes experiencing a great deal of sexual confusion due to the lack of a father figure in his life. He turned to a life of prostitution with older men as a teenager.,,,
    https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/lauretta-brown/adults-raised-gay-couples-speak-out-against-gay-marriage-federal-court

    The Story of Moira Greyland (Guest Post)
    Katy / July 23, 2015
    Excerpt: Naturally my perspective is very uncomfortable to the liberal people I was raised with: I am “allowed” to be a victim of molestation by both parents, and “allowed” to be a victim of rather hideous violence. I am, incredibly, NOT ALLOWED to blame their homosexuality for their absolute willingness to accept all sex at all times between all people.
    But that is not going to slow me down one bit. I am going to keep right on speaking out. I have been silent for entirely too long. Gay “marriage” is nothing but a way to make children over in the image of their “parents” and in ten to thirty years, the survivors will speak out.
    In the meantime, I will.
    Moira Greyland
    https://askthebigot.com/2015/07/23/the-story-of-moira-greyland-guest-post/

    How prevalent is child molestation among homosexuals?
    The Gay Report, published by homosexual researchers Jay and Young in 1979, revealed that 73 percent of homosexuals surveyed had at some time had sex with boys 16 to 19 years of age or younger.5 (5. K. Jay and A. Young, The Gay Report (New York: Summit Books, 1979), p. 275. )
    Although homosexuals account for less than two percent of the population. they constitute about a third of child molesters.6 (6. K. Freund and R.I. Watson, “The Proportions of Heterosexual and Homosexual Pedophiles Among Sex Offenders Against Children: An Exploratory Study,” Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy 18 (Spring 1992): 3443, cited in “The Problem of Pedophilia,” op. cit. Also, K. Freund and R.I. Watson, “Pedophilia and Heterosexuality vs. Homosexuality,” Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy 10 (Fall 1984): 197, cited in NARTH Fact Sheet. ) Further, as noted by the Encino, Calif.-based National Association for research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), “since homosexual pedophiles victimize far more children than do heterosexual pedophiles, it is estimated that approximately 80 percent or pedophile victims are boys who have been molested by adultmales.7 (7. Thomas Schmidt, Straight and Narrow? Compassion and Clarity in the Homosexuality Debate (Downers Grove, IU.: Intervarsity Press), p. 114, cited in “The Problem of Pedophilia, op. cit., p. 2. )
    A nationwide investigation of child molestation in the Boy Scouts from 1971 to 1991 revealed that more than 2,000 boys reported molestations by adult Scout leaders. (Note: The Scouts, who have 150,000 Scoutmasters and assistant Scoutmasters, ban hundreds of men each year from scouting out of concern that they might abuse boys.)8 (8. Patrick Boyle, Scout’s Honor (Rocklin, Calif.: Prima Publishing, 1994), p. 3l6. )
    A study of Canadian pedophiles has shown that 30 percent of those studied admitted to having engaged In homosexual acts as adults, and 91 percent of the molesters of non-familial boys admitted to no lifetime sexual contact other than homosexual.9 (9. W. L. Marshall, et al., “Early onset and deviant sexuality in child molesters,” Journal of interpersonal Violence 6 (1991): 323-336, cited in “Pedophilia: The Part of Homosexuality They Don’t Want You to see,” Colorado for Family Values Report, Vol. 14, March 1994. )
    Judith A. Reisman, Ph.D., and Charles B. Johnson, Ph.D., conducted a content study of the personal ads in the Advocate, the national gay and lesbian newsmagazine and discovered that “chickens,” a common term for underage boys sought for sex, were widely solicited. Many of the advertisements in the magazine solicited boys and teens from within a larger pool of prostitution ads.10 (10. Judith A. Reisman, Ph.D., “A Content Analysis of ‘The Advocate,”‘ unpublished manuscript p. 18, quoted in “Pedophilia: The Part of Homosexuality They Don’t WantYou to See,” ibid. ) The authors also note a statement from a book review by homosexual activist Larry Kramer that the work, “like much canonized male homosexual literature, involves sexually predatory white men on the prowl for dark-skinned boys to gratify them.11 (11. From “Lany Kramer’s Reading List,” The Advocate, January 24, 1995, p. 99, cited in “Status Report,” The Reisman & Johnson Report of Partner Solicitation Characteristics as a Reflection of More Sexual Orientation and the Threat to Children, First Principles Press, January l995.)
    In a 1985 study of the rates of molestation among homosexual pederasts compared to heterosexu1 pedophiles, Dr. Paul Cameron found the following:
    153 pederasts had sexually molested 22,981 boys over an average period of 22 years.
    224 pedophiles had molested 4,435 girls over an average period of 18 years.
    The average pederast molested an average of 150 boys, and each heterosexual pedophile molested an average of 20 girls, a ratio of 7.5 to one. 12 (12. Dr. Paul Cameron, “Homosexual Molestation of Children/Sexual Interaction of Teacher and Pupil,” Psychological Reports 57 (1985): 1227-1236.)
    per emaso

    High school graduation rates among children of same-sex households – 2013
    Excerpt: Children living with gay and lesbian families in 2006 were about 65 % as likely to graduate compared to children living in opposite sex marriage families. Daughters of same-sex parents do considerably worse than sons.
    per springer

    That Study Showing Kids With Same-Sex Parents Fare Better? Yeah, the Media Left a Few Details Out. – July 2014
    http://dailysignal.com/2014/07.....t-details/

    as to:

    Clearly, Ed is not from this planet.

    I hear even the aliens don’t want to claim him

  251. 251
    kairosfocus says:

    Moira Greyland, the last closet.

  252. 252
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, I remind you on the moral government of rationality:

    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. Expanding slightly: our rational, responsible intelligent behaviour is inescapably under the moral government of known duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc. Thus, we find morally rooted law built into our morally governed nature, even for our intellectual life. Thus, too, the civil law extends what is already built in, to our social circumstances, turning on issues of prudence, justice and mutual duties; if it is to be legitimate. Notice, this is itself a theory on what law is or at least should be. And yes, all of this is fraught with implications for the roots of reality.)

    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.

    Your unresponsiveness to such is itself revealing — and a warning.

    KF

  253. 253
    hazel says:

    A warning? About what? With what consequences? Are you going to boot Ed off because of what he chooses to post? I am pretty sure that Ed probably agrees a lot with what I wrote in #94, and has no interest in your extremely repetitious philosophical concerns or claims.

  254. 254
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel
    Since you brought up 94 it is important to note that KF was referring to my post in 89 where I asked you a question which you declined to answer. I also asked you a question in 88 which you refused to answer. Not withstanding your dispute with KF I would sincerely like an answer to the questions
    I posed in 89

    “No Hazel the constitution does not guarantee your rights. What guarantees your rights is a consistent enactment of the recognition and acceptance of the presuppositional truth of this basic principle which gave rise to the Constitution

    “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…..

    Do you accept self evident truths? Do you recognize that to the framers rights do not come from men or woman, Governments or society but from the Creator, that this was the bedrock upon which the Constitution rests?

    Vivid

  255. 255
    hazel says:

    Vivid, what I wrote at 94 applies to your questions at 88 and 89 also.

  256. 256
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel

    No it does not apply at all to my question. You say
    “I have discussed this extensively here and other times and places. I know what I think and am comfortable with my beliefs”

    Fine I’m sure you have ,so if you have done so so extensively in the past with the others ,you surely must know WHAT YOU THINK by now. So based on what you think how would you answer my questions ? I am not asking for a defense of why you think the way you do rather I am asking ,based on what you do think ,what are your conclusions?

    Vivid

  257. 257
    hazel says:

    “I know that discussing this again in this venue would lead to the same type of discussion, with the same results, so it’s not worth my time to do that anymore.”

    I’m pretty sure that you have paid enough attention to past discussions to know their general nature.

  258. 258
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel
    Actually I don’t know what you think regarding self evident truths and the self evident truth espoused in the Declaration regarding rights I mean what is so hard about 1) YES I’do accept that self evident truth or 2) No I don’t accept that there are self evident truths so I don’t think that is a self evident truth. You are then free to add I have discussed the whys and wherefores for my position in other threads and am not going to do so again. Is that to hard?
    We can then discuss your claim that the Constitution guarantees your rights.

    Vivid

  259. 259
    hazel says:

    The Constitution legally guarantees my rights, and our government and society accepts that. That’s sufficient for me.

  260. 260

    translation: “I will scrutinize my opponents, but will not submit my arguments to scrutiny”

  261. 261
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, kindly look at the grammar. EG’s behaviour is the warning. As in, a warning sign. KF

  262. 262
    hazel says:

    I see. I misunderstood.

  263. 263
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel
    Thanks for answering a question I did not ask. Now could you answer the questions I did ask?

    Vivid

  264. 264
    hazel says:

    re 260: No, UB, I’m not going to scrutinize kf’s philosophical beliefs any more, either, or those of others who believe similar things. I am bowing out of such discussions.

  265. 265
    hazel says:

    re 263: No, I’m not, and I think I’ve made it sufficiently clear what my general decision about discussing such questions is.

  266. 266
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel
    “No, I’m not, and I think I’ve made it sufficiently clear what my general decision about discussing such questions is.”
    I accepted your preconditions Hazel so your excuse for not answering my questions does not hold water. I am not asking for a discussion I am asking for 1) Yes as framed in 258 or 2) No as framed in 258.

    Vivid

  267. 267
    Ed George says:

    Hazel

    I am pretty sure that Ed probably agrees a lot with what I wrote in #94, and has no interest in your extremely repetitious philosophical concerns or claims.

    Yes, I agree with what you said at 94. To better explain why I don’t respond to things like this, I tend to avoid responding to anyone who starts off with declarations that there are ??? self-evident truths, and then lists things that are not self-evident. Things like “we are inescapably under moral governance”, or that “to close the gap between IS and OUGHT we need a necessary being”. These are not self-evident truths, they are opinions. But by declaring them as self-evident truths he is announcing that any argument that calls into question these “truths” is a false argument. Life is too short to put any effort into responding to such comments.

  268. 268
    hazel says:

    Nope. My response is at 259. I’m not engaging in philosophical discussions about the topic of which you ask questions.

  269. 269
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel
    “I’m not engaging in philosophical discussions about the topic of which you ask questions.”

    So I’m not allowed to respond to a topic and ask questions about a topic THAT YOU BROUGHT UP!! Re 21

    Vivid

  270. 270
    hazel says:

    You’re obviously allowed to post whatever you want to, but I (just as anyone does) get to decide how I want to respond. I brought up the Constitution and its relationship to my legal rights at 21, and I’ve stated my basic thoughts about that at 259. You are asking further philosophical questions that I don’t want to get involved in discussing.

  271. 271
    hazel says:

    re 267: Agreed, Ed.

  272. 272
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel
    I would prefer to think that your not intellectually dishonest so I will patiently pursue another tact. You wrote
    “I’m pretty sure that you have paid enough attention to past discussions to know their general nature.”

    Did these general discussions include discussions about self evident truths?

    Vivid

  273. 273
    hazel says:

    Yes. If you look back at all of kf’s Principles and Logic threads, as well as others, you’ll see that comes up all the time. See his post 25 on this thread, which he has posted five other times on this thread, and numerous times in the past. Also posts by Barry frequently, or usually, pertain. I’m pretty sure you look at UD enough that you know this.

  274. 274
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel
    Did you participate in any of these discussions and if so did you agree with Barry’s and KFs position regarding self evident truths?

    Vivid

  275. 275
    hazel says:

    I copied kf’s frequently posted sentence “The first self evident moral truth is that we are inescapably under the government of ought.” into the Google search bar at the top of the sidebar and got 35 hits over the last three years or so. Looks like there has been lots of opportunities for discussion just from him.

  276. 276
    john_a_designer says:

    Personal opinions are not arguments, therefore, prove nothing. So why waste everyone’s time?

    Logical deductive arguments begin with FACTS which are either (1) self-evidently true, or (2) very probably true via in valid inductive reasoning. That’s logic 101. (Logic is a branch of philosophy.)

    The proposition, “Personal opinions are not arguments, therefore, prove nothing,” is self-evidently true. You can believe your opinions all you want but that doesn’t obligate me to believe your opinion is valid or true. This becomes serious when we are discussing or debating morality or human rights because what we are talking about is OBLIGATION. (Ethics and morality BTW is another branch of philosophy.)

  277. 277
    hazel says:

    Yes, Vivid I participated in some of them, although I have no idea which ones. You’ll have to investigate the past threads if you want to know more, because I’m not discussing the subject anymore.

  278. 278
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel re 275
    Lovely ,so back to my question
    “Did you participate in any of these discussions and if so did you agree with Barry’s and KFs position regarding self evident truths?”

    Vivid

  279. 279
    hazel says:

    Looks like I posted 277 while Vivid was writing 278.

  280. 280
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel
    “Vivid I participated in some of them, although I have no idea which ones.”
    But you have confirmed by your own words that the discussions you participated in included self evident truths. So I ask again did you agree with Barry’s and KFs position regarding self evident truths?

    Vivid

  281. 281
    hazel says:

    No, they included the discussion of the topic of self-evident truths, and claims about the topic, but I didn’t say they “included self-evident truths”. And I answer once again that I am not discussing that any more. Go read the threads if you want to explore the past.

  282. 282
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel
    “No, they included the discussion of the topic of self-evident truths, and claims about the topic, but I didn’t say they “included self-evident truths”.

    So they included the discussion of the topic of self evident truths and claims about the topic ( self evident truths) but the discussions did not include self evident truths!! ROTFL

    Vivid

  283. 283
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel
    Did you agree with KFs and Barry’s claims about the topic of self evident truths?

    Vivid

  284. 284
    hazel says:

    You are certainly being persistent, Vivid. I am not answering that question.

  285. 285
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel
    Since the reasons you gave me re 94 for your refusal to answer simple yes or no answers is not in play, that too is a lie. So what is the real reason?

    Vivid

  286. 286
    hazel says:

    I’m not sure what sentence “that” refers to in “that too is a lie”, but 94 certainly explains why I won’t answer.
    Once a discussion gets to claims of “lies” and “real reasons” it’s probably time for it to end.

  287. 287
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel
    So what do you call the persistent and repeatable invocation of a reason for not answering a question that simply is not true?

    Vivid

  288. 288
    hazel says:

    I do not know why you think what I wrote in 94 is not true. It makes a clear statement that I am not going to get in discussions about certain topics anymore here at UD. Your questions pertain to one of the topics I’m not going to engage in. Simple and straightforward.

  289. 289
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel
    You keep repeating reasons that are not truthful, I have already made this clear, I am not looking for a discussion about anything let me repeat from266

    “I am not asking for a discussion I am asking for 1) Yes as framed in 258 or 2) No as framed in 258.”

    Vivid

  290. 290
    hazel says:

    And asking those questions are step one in a discussion about a topic I am not going to address, and answering them would be step 2.

  291. 291
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel
    The only way a discussion could proceed would be by your acquiescence. I’m not going to pursue any discussion about self evidence and will admonish anyone who does. Are you saying you can’t control yourself if somebody else jumps in?

    Vivid

  292. 292
    Ed George says:

    Hazel, it looks like you have your own private stalker. 🙂

  293. 293

    .
    Hazel, you made a claim about the truth of something. Someone respectfully challenged your statement. You immediately went on defense and refused (in several forms) to address the challenge. When directly asked to respond to the challenge, you directly refused to do so. As you might imagine, the people here all have parents, and siblings, and spouses, and children, and friends, and acquaintances, with which they have interacted with over many years. It is a strain to understand why you think your actions here would go unnoticed, as if no one would have any significant interpersonal experience with the dynamic of someone simply refusing to acknowledge their errors (because doing so would negatively impact their chosen position on some matter).

    The same applies to your subsequent tactic of trying to line up reasons to justify your refusal to answer the challenge. But, don’t you worry Hazel, you go right on ahead — sell it like someone else or something else is the issue — your audience (Ed?) will simply not care that you are being patently dishonest about it.

    By the way Hazel, since you will no longer engage in any subject that has philosophical arms and legs, does that mean you will finally engage in the science and physical evidence surrounding design detection? If so, I look forward to it.

  294. 294
    hazel says:

    Vivid, I appear to be controlling myself now. And I seriously your admonishments would have much weight.

  295. 295
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel,

    FYI, everyone has a worldview, which implies metaphysical commitments and associated finitely remote points of belief that cannot be further warranted, on pain of infinite regress or circularity. Self evidence is separate from that, for example error exists, E is undeniably true as for example its attempted denial ~E implies it is error to assert E; oops.

    We see || + ||| = ||||| as a similar case.

    There are many others.

    Here is a classic, from Epictetus in his Discourses, early C2:

    DISCOURSES CHAPTER XXV

    How is logic necessary?

    When someone in [Epictetus’] audience said, Convince me that logic is necessary, he answered: Do you wish me to demonstrate this to you?—Yes.—Well, then, must I use a demonstrative argument?—And when the questioner had agreed to that, Epictetus asked him. How, then, will you know if I impose upon you?—As the man had no answer to give, Epictetus said: Do you see how you yourself admit that all this instruction is necessary, if, without it, you cannot so much as know whether it is necessary or not?

    That is the force of a SET in action in a classic case, showing the general validity of logic. We have also looked at specific first principles of reason tied to distinct identity, to the logic of being as an answer to the weak inquiry form principle of sufficient reason, and more. Labelling this dismissively as XYZ’s philosophy does not make the force of the points go away.

    Now, above, I have pointed to a string of SET’s about moral government [starting with, that of our rational faculties] and it is quite evident that we cannot successfully deny them on pain of immediate absurdity. Let me refresh our memories:

    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. Expanding slightly: our rational, responsible intelligent behaviour is inescapably under the moral government of known duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc. Thus, we find morally rooted law built into our morally governed nature, even for our intellectual life. Thus, too, the civil law extends what is already built in, to our social circumstances, turning on issues of prudence, justice and mutual duties; if it is to be legitimate. Notice, this is itself a theory on what law is or at least should be. And yes, all of this is fraught with implications for the roots of reality.)

    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.

    One may evade addressing these manifest realities, but that does not change their individual or cumulative force.

    And yes, they lead to serious questions as to the root of reality and source of worlds that can sustain a world with such creatures in it.

    Specifically, we need a finitely remote, inherently and utterly good independently existing root of being. For reasons outlined above that can be elaborated. Where, as a serious candidate necessary being, the inherently good and utterly wise creator God, a maximally great and necessary being, is either impossible of being [similar to a square circle] or else will be actual. Those who dismiss God generally do not have a good reason to hold God impossible or to hold that God is not a serious candidate NB, especially after Plantinga’s free will defense.

    One may put up any alternative one wishes _________ but then that is open to comparative difficulties on factual adequacy ______ , coherence _______ and explanatory power and balance ____ .

    Where, of course, SET’s, individually and collectively can never suffice to constitute a worldview. There is no self-evidentist worldview.

    The reality of moral government as a key aspect of responsible, rational freedom is thus truly pivotal.

    KF

  296. 296
    kairosfocus says:

    EG,

    Pardon, but your mere denial and composition of a strawman caricature only reveal inattention. A long time ago now, we looked at logic of being and source of reality, completely separate from addressing the IS-OUGHT gap or even the gap between appearance and reality that was so aptly answered by F H Bradley over a century past.

    As has been tabulated [and repetition by way of review or reminder or briefing does not alter the force of a point, it may however lead to exposure of desperation to evade its force . . .] we may consider non-being, that which has no existence, no-thing. By contrast, there are entities such as those having some sort of discussion here. Beings that exist or may exist must be possible of being, where, manifestly — self-evidently — a world is.

    Of such possible beings, there are two obvious modes, illustrated by a fire. Fires are contingent on the fire tetrahedron, they are causally dependent on heat, fuel, oxidiser and combustion chain reaction. We, too, composite entities, depend on particular arrangements [highly organised functional information rich] of already existing entities in a going concern world. We , like fires, are contingent inasmuch as there are possible states of affairs under which we would not or could exist. This also identifies what possible worlds are, arrangements of states of affairs that may be laid out as grand conjunctions of descriptive propositions, feasible of actualisation. Which includes, the propositions must be compossible.

    Now, there are other possible beings, which are present in every possible world and are framework for such a world to exist. For instance, to have distinct identity from neighbouring world W’, PW W has some aspect A that is distinct from W’ and is a part of W so we may see W = {A|~A}. The dichotomy is empty, A is a simple unit, ~A is a complex and distinct one. We thus see that any possible world must embed core structure and quantity, involving 0, 1, 2. Direct application of the logic of the von Neumann construction etc implies that N, Z, Q, R, R* and C and C* are necessary and framework to any possible world, further implying abstract spaces and in common properties that account for the power of Mathematics that has been remarked on with wonder. R* of course is the hyperreals.

    Let me add, take some hyperinteger H and use 1/x as a catapult function. 1/H = h is a hyperreal closer to 0 in the continuum R* than any 1/n where n is a natural counting number reachable from 0 in +1 increments. This shows the continuity and of course h is an infinitesimal, a start point for Calculus etc. The handwaving in school and College Math about “infinity” has convinced me that the truly relevant domains are R* and C* with of course extensions such as vector spaces, tensor systems etc. From any – H in Z* we may ascend -H+1, then +2, +3 etc to any +k, but then we see [-H +k+1] etc, as though we had only just started the sequence from 0. we cannot exhaust the counting number succession 0,1,2, 3 . . . in finite +1 or similar increments. From -H we cannot descend to any finite neighbourhood of 0. Transfinite spans cannot be traversed in finite stage, cumulative, successive steps. We cannot soundly claim there was an actually infinite temporal causal succession of stages [for convenience, think of “years”] to now.

    Numbers and ordering structures like this exemplify necessary, world framework beings.

    Going further, ponder that no-thing, non-being can have no causal powers. So, were there ever utter non-being, no reality, such would forever obtain. Therefore if a world is, something always was, an independent thus necessary being with causal adequacy for worlds that are or may be. This, we readily identify as a necessary being world root.

    Such is not non-being, as that cannot cause being. Nor is it a closed causal circle as that would require not-yet-being to cause itself. Likewise, time has been taken across 4 years now here at UD to justify that such a root cannot be an infinite regress of causal-temporal stages of some quasi-physical world. For, given R* as the relevant domain of quantity (with Z* as integer and hyper-integer mileposts) we cannot actually traverse a transfinite span in finite stage successive steps. We can only have an actual succession that is finite. So the root reality is finitely remote and not an onward infinite regress of temporal-causal stages.

    In this context, we see that this world has in it intelligent, morally governed, responsible, rational creatures who, to reason, must operate on both sides of the IS-OUGHT gap. That is how we see that the world root must be adequate to bear the awesome weight of OUGHT not just that of IS.

    This is a serious case, and if you reject it, it is only reasonable and responsible that you lay out reasons and an alternative, addressing comparative difficulties. Complaints that you have seen such or aspects before and dismiss them or do not wish to argue the matter do not suffice.

    KF

  297. 297
    kairosfocus says:

    UB and Vivid, we here see the way we have come to the sad pass we are at as a civilisation. KF

  298. 298
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, BTW, what is amoral, properly is the blindly mechanical and/or blindly stochastic. So soon as choice comes in, freedom, responsibility, decision and reasoned inference come in. Those are governed morally. So, while the process of computation on a substrate is dynamic-stochastic, the organisation, programming, input shaping and output interpretation are all morally governed under the self-evident duties of responsible rationality as listed and explained. Where, if you object to this, you directly imply that I am in error and there is an ought-not regarding such errors. In short, if one in effect asks to prove that moral government is inevitable s/he ends up needing said moral government just to take up the discussion. It is literally unprovable as it is the antecedent to freely rational reasoning and decision. Trying to challenge it only shows how one is forced to rely on what one tries to challenge. That’s exactly what we expect of self-evident first principles of responsible rationality. And of course this is a worldview first plausibles issue. KF

  299. 299
    Seversky says:

    1] The first self evident moral truth is that we are inescapably under the government of ought.

    I would argue that this is neither self-evident nor moral nor true.

    Evidence is not a simple concept, as a reading of the article on that subject at the Stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy website should make clear. Broadly, it can be defined as data that can be adduced in support of the truth of a specific claim or explanation.

    The claim or explanation must be capable of being true or false. Under the correspondence theory of truth, a claim can only be true or false if it is about some aspect of the observable, natural world. The extent to which it may be true or false is the extent to which, on investigation, it can be found to correspond to what it purports to describe or explain. Moral claims are not about what is – the observable nature of objective reality – but about what the claimant believes should be the case, so they stand on the far side of the notoriously unbridgeable is/ought gap. By the correspondence theory, they are neither true nor false.

    The claim at 1 is not a moral claim. It does not argue that we should be subject to moral governance but that we are “inescapably under the government of ought”. Since it is a claim about what is we can look for data which would tend to verify or falsify it. We observe that in most if not all human societies they observe rules of behavior which are beneficial to the functioning of that society. While there are some similarities there are also differences spread over time and space. Furthermore, we observe that there are individuals and even groups that flout the ethical, moral and legal norms of their society, often with impunity. We have glaring examples of that in the current US administration.

    Such observations tend to undermine any claim that we are “inescapably under the government of ought” and certainly that such a claim is “self-evident”, whatever that may mean.

    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.

    This is too vague. Yes, we observe people deciding what is right or wrong, but what that means is very much context-dependent. We also observe them disagreeing in the strongest possible terms over what is right and wrong. If we envisage conscience as some sort of metaphorical moral compass, its reliability seems to be questionable since it appears to point in several different directions at the same time. It makes more sense to envisage conscience as a learned sense of guilt over breaches of ethical and moral norms which can cause observable distress or harm to ourselves or others.

    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

    As we have all seen, the debate over the nature of free will is ongoing and vigorous and that debate, of itself, is evidence against any one position being self-evidently true.

  300. 300
    Seversky says:

    Furthermore, as to the grandiose claim in the Declaration of Independence

    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 we might agree with the sentiments, we note that, in practice, these rights were not immediately granted to slaves or women. African-Americans had to wait until 1868 for the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment and women until 1920 and the adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment for a statutory guarantee of those rights. And these rights were not withheld because of some oversight, it was because at the time the DoI was drafted there were strong objections to them from influential quarters that persisted for many years. For those people it was clearly not self-evident.

  301. 301
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky

    In your argument you fall afoul of precisely the challenge shown in the first cluster of three SET’s that govern our responsible rationality:

    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. Expanding slightly: our rational, responsible intelligent behaviour is inescapably under the moral government of known duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc. Thus, we find morally rooted law built into our morally governed nature, even for our intellectual life. Thus, too, the civil law extends what is already built in, to our social circumstances, turning on issues of prudence, justice and mutual duties; if it is to be legitimate. Notice, this is itself a theory on what law is or at least should be. And yes, all of this is fraught with implications for the roots of reality.)

    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.

    That is the way of self-evident first principles.

    Later, DV, details.

    KF

    PS: Perhaps, you have overlooked my remarks in this and earlier threads on ameliorative regulation towards reform in the face of entrenched evils under colour of law that reflect endarkened minds and hardened hearts. The US founders had the courage to declare principles to be so, that they were not able to fully live up to; launching the challenge that would in the end prevail, though at awful, needless cost. Our problem today, is that we are stubbornly working to overthrow what was won at fearsome cost.

  302. 302
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: I note from Stephen McDowell (2003):

    America’s Founding Fathers are seen by some people today as unjust and hypocrites, for while they talked of liberty and equality, they at the same time were enslaving hundreds of thousands of Africans. Some allege that the Founders bear most of the blame for the evils of slavery. Consequently, many today have little respect for the Founders and turn their ear from listening to anything they may have to say. And, in their view, to speak of America as founded as a Christian nation is unthinkable (for how could a Christian nation tolerate slavery?) . . . .

    America’s Founders were predominantly Christians and had a Biblical worldview. If that was so, some say, how could they allow slavery, for isn’t slavery sin? As the Bible reveals to man what is sin, we need to examine what it has to say about slavery . . . .

    The Bible teaches that slavery, in one form or another (including spiritual, mental, and physical), is always the fruit of disobedience to God and His law/word. (This is not to say that the enslavement of any one person, or group of people, is due to their sin, for many have been enslaved unjustly, like Joseph and numerous Christians throughout history.) Personal and civil liberty is the result of applying the truth of the Scriptures. As a person or nation more fully applies the principles of Christianity, there will be increasing freedom in every realm of life. Sanctification for a person, or nation, is a gradual process. The fruit of changed thinking and action, which comes from rooting sin out of our lives, may take time to see. This certainly applies historically in removing slavery from the Christian world . . . .

    Some people suggest today that all early Americans must have been despicable to allow such an evil as slavery. They say early America should be judged as evil and sinful, and anything they have to say should be discounted. But if we were to judge modern America by this same standard, it would be far more wicked – we are not merely enslaving people, but we are murdering tens of millions of innocent unborn children through abortion. These people claim that they would not have allowed slavery if they were alive then. They would speak out and take any measures necessary. But where is their outcry and action to end slavery in the Sudan today? (And slavery there is much worse than that in early America.)

    Some say we should not listen to the Founders of America because they owned slaves, or at least allowed slavery to exist in the society. However, if we were to cut ourselves off from the history of nations that had slavery in the past we would have to have nothing to do with any people because almost every society has had slavery, including African Americans, for many African societies sold slaves to the Europeans; and up to ten percent of blacks in America owned slaves . . . . [Moreover] after independence the American Founders actually took steps to end slavery. Some could have done more, but as a whole they probably did more than any group of national leaders up until that time in history to deal with the evil of slavery. They took steps toward liberty for the enslaved and believed that the gradual march of liberty would continue, ultimately resulting in the complete death of slavery. The ideas they infused in the foundational civil documents upon which America was founded – such as Creator endowed rights and the equality of all men before the law – eventually prevailed and slavery was abolished. But not without great difficulty because the generations that followed failed to carry out the gradual abolition of slavery in America.

    Where, I have recently learned that a former Minister of Govt in my native land, an independent historical researcher, has identified that on abolition in the British Empire in the 1830’s [after 50 years of struggle], about 1/4 of all slaves held there were held by black or “coloured” owners. Wasn’t there some stuff on black slave ship captains and/or crew too? Plantation-oriented, chattel slavery is much bigger than a simple black-white race issue.

  303. 303
    kairosfocus says:

    PPPS: A SET is true, is seen as such, as necessarily such by those in a position to understand, and so holds on pain of patent absurdity on the attempted denial. Absurdities are of various kinds but are all of such import that what is absurd is manifestly ruinous. No one claimed that self evidence is simple to understand in its full depth, though we all understand that , as I noted, “objectors” [to the idea that our reasoning is inescapably morally governed] are caught up in the point that, such moral government 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.” KF

  304. 304
    Ed George says:

    Seversky@299 and 300, thank you. You presented this better than I could have.

    I would tend to concede to KF that we all have, for lack of better words, a sense of morality. But when we unpack this “sense” it comes down to a set of rules that we each have that we feel we should follow. And, due to the inherently selfish nature of humans, we feel others should (OUGHT) follow as well. But you don’t have to look any further than this thread to discover that we done all have the same moral values.

    Where I believe KF goes off the rails is to make the leap from the apparently universal existence of a moral sense, in spite of its complete lack of consistency over space and time, to conclude that the moral values that he has are objectively derived. We don’t have to go any further than the Ten Commandments to know this is not the case. Thou shall not steal and thou shall not lie (bare false witness), for example. Anyone who has had kids knows that these values must be taught and repeatedly reinforced.

    I guess it could be argued that not lying or stealing are objectively necessary for a society to thrive, and I would probably agree with this. But KF is not arguing for it as objective societal values, he is arguing for it as objective human value. you only have to take a brief look at history to find plenty of examples of societies of people lying to and stealing from other societies of people, and thriving.

  305. 305
    Ed George says:

    KF

    The US founders had the courage to declare principles to be so, that they were not able to fully live up to;

    What was stopping them from freeing the slaves that they owned? If they truly believed that these principles applied to all humans, surely they would have set the example.

  306. 306
    ET says:

    seversky:

    Evidence is not a simple concept, …

    Do you even know what evidence is, seversky? I doubt it as your position doesn’t have any and yet you would rather die trying to defend it rather than giving it up.

    Under the correspondence theory of truth, a claim can only be true or false if it is about some aspect of the observable, natural world.

    And materialism’s claims have been false.

  307. 307
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    you only have to take a brief look at history to find plenty of examples of societies of people lying to and stealing from other societies of people, and thriving.

    List those examples, then, Ed. Are those lying and stealing societies still around and thriving?

  308. 308
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    What was stopping them from freeing the slaves that they owned?

    Most likely economics, Ed. That and the fact that others would just scoop up those freed slaves.

  309. 309
    hazel says:

    Good work, Sev and Ed. I especially like Ed’s remark about where kf goes too far.

  310. 310
    ET says:

    What work? Just spewing nonsense doesn’t mean anything, hazel.

  311. 311
    hazel says:

    Vivid, at 283 you wrote,

    Hazel
    Did you agree with KFs and Barry’s claims about the topic of self evident truths?

    I answered that question at 94 when I replied to kf’s interest in a response about self-evident truths:

    I know what I think and am comfortable with my beliefs. I know what you all think, I know that and why you think I’m wrong, and I know why I think you are wrong.

  312. 312
    Ed George says:

    EG

    What was stopping them from freeing the slaves that they owned?

    ET

    Most likely economics, Ed. That and the fact that others would just scoop up those freed slaves.

    I guess that makes sense. Then, if they were honest, the DoI should have been written as follows.

    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, unless it puts an economic stress on the person restricting these rights from others.

  313. 313
    hazel says:

    lol: or if they are women, or homosexual.

    More seriously, our Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence, are wonderful and important documents. But they were a product of their times, and if we believe, as I do, that we can evaluate and revise and still stay true to the ideals embodied in those documents, we should both make relevant changes (as we have done in regards to such things as slavery, women’s right, and same-sex marriage) and be understanding when judging what we see as weaknesses that were reflective of the times the documents were written.

  314. 314
    ET says:

    John Adams did not own any slaves. Samuel Adams did not own any slaves. They had major roles in the writing of the DoI. They opposed slavery and hoped their words would convince the others.

  315. 315
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky (et al),

    You have already been corrected regarding the core matters at stake, as time permits I comment more specifically.

    >>I would argue that this is neither self-evident nor moral nor true.>>

    1: Already demonstrated and your objection would saw off the branch on which we all must sit. Notice, the note:

    “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.”

    2: In short, you made a dismissive assertion that pivots on what it would push away. Fail.

    >>Evidence is not a simple concept, as a reading of the article on that subject at the Stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy website should make clear. >>

    3: Strawman, no one claimed the contrary. However, there are particular relevant cases as just seen. Fail, again.

    >>Broadly, it can be defined as data that can be adduced in support of the truth of a specific claim or explanation.>>

    4: A bit simplistic, but again not a point at issue. Evidence also includes chains of reasoning and more.

    >>The claim or explanation must be capable of being true or false. >>

    5: Propositions are truth/falsity bearers, where truth accurately describes aspects of reality. Further, realities may be concrete or abstract.

    >>Under the correspondence theory of truth, a claim can only be true or false if it is about some aspect of the observable, natural world. >>

    6: Smuggling in the materialistic view. Nope, truths may be about concrete observables AND abstract entities. I have often cited Ari in Metaphysics 1011b, best summary I have seen: truth says of what is, that it is, and of what is not that it is not. What is, reality, can be concrete or abstract. Is it true that there are infinitely many distinct reals, and that this transfinite value exceeds the transfinite value that denotes the cardinality of the natural counting numbers? Is it true that given H above we can have h = 1/H, closer to 0 than 1/n for any natural counting number reachable in +1 increments from 0? (It would be helpful to check how arguments affect maths, as a ready cross check for absurdities.)

    >>The extent to which it may be true or false is the extent to which, on investigation, it can be found to correspond to what it purports to describe or explain.>>

    7: Core error carried forward, leading to fruit of the poison tree.

    >> Moral claims are not about what is – the observable nature of objective reality – but about what the claimant believes should be the case, so they stand on the far side of the notoriously unbridgeable is/ought gap.>>

    8: A claim regarding what ought to be or ought to be done be done may describe truth about that aspect of reality. Fail, further fruit of the poison tree.

    >>By the correspondence theory, they are neither true nor false.>>

    9: Fruit of the poison tree.

    >>The claim at 1 is not a moral claim. It does not argue that we should be subject to moral governance but that we are “inescapably under the government of ought”. >>

    10: As shown, the entire rational process is in fact governed by moral duties to truth, right reason, prudence, sound conscience, justice etc. Indeed, the very pattern of making objections carries that direct entailment. This is inescapable truth, it is as regards moral matters, it is a moral truth, it is self evident. Fail yet again, fruit of the poison tree.

    >>Since it is a claim about what is we can look for data which would tend to verify or falsify it.>>

    11: It is a claim about what is and about what ought to be. In rational process we cannot escape operating on both sides of the notorious gap, leading to the need to fuse them in the root of reality.

    >> We observe that in most if not all human societies they observe rules of behavior which are beneficial to the functioning of that society. >>

    12: In short, responsible rational freedom faces the challenge of ought not just that of is.

    >>While there are some similarities there are also differences spread over time and space.>>

    13: Name a significant, substantial domain of thought and life where error, ignorance, confusion or deliberate wrongdoing are impossible.

    >>Furthermore, we observe that there are individuals and even groups that flout the ethical, moral and legal norms of their society, often with impunity. We have glaring examples of that in the current US administration.>>

    14: Error and wrongdoing are real.

    15: And, in the case of the US, it is clear there is a through and through pattern of evil in all major centres of power. That’s why you are in low kinetic, 4th generation civil war, majoring on agit prop, street theatre, media distortion and amplification, lawfare to inflict injustice under false colour of law. If you don’t wake up bigtime ant turn back from the cliff’s edge you will plunge into the abyss, the high kinetic abyss similar to 1861.

    >>Such observations tend to undermine any claim that we are “inescapably under the government of ought”>>

    16: That we do wrong obviates the premise that we didn’t ought to do it? Nonsense.

    >> and certainly that such a claim is “self-evident”, whatever that may mean.>>

    17: Inadvertently, you have managed to exemplify precisely why those first three points are so necessary.

    18: The absurdities you plunged into in attempts to deny and dismiss simply illustrate the force of the third aspect. As a reminder:

    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. Expanding slightly: our rational, responsible intelligent behaviour is inescapably under the moral government of known duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc. Thus, we find morally rooted law built into our morally governed nature, even for our intellectual life. Thus, too, the civil law extends what is already built in, to our social circumstances, turning on issues of prudence, justice and mutual duties; if it is to be legitimate. Notice, this is itself a theory on what law is or at least should be. And yes, all of this is fraught with implications for the roots of reality.)

    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.

    KF

  316. 316
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: A quick reminder on subjectivism and relativism about morality and where they end up:

    Excerpted chapter summary, on Subjectivism, Relativism, and Emotivism, in Doing Ethics 3rd Edn, by Lewis Vaughn, W W Norton, 2012. [Also see here and here.] Clipping:

    . . . Subjective relativism is the view that an action is morally right if one approves of it. A person’s approval makes the action right. This doctrine (as well as cultural relativism) is in stark contrast to moral objectivism, the view that some moral principles are valid for everyone.. Subjective relativism, though, has some troubling implications. It implies that each person is morally infallible and that individuals can never have a genuine moral disagreement

    Cultural relativism is the view that an action is morally right if one’s culture approves of it. The argument for this doctrine is based on the diversity of moral judgments among cultures: because people’s judgments about right and wrong differ from culture to culture, right and wrong must be relative to culture, and there are no objective moral principles. This argument is defective, however, because the diversity of moral views does not imply that morality is relative to cultures. In addition, the alleged diversity of basic moral standards among cultures may be only apparent, not real. Societies whose moral judgments conflict may be differing not over moral principles but over nonmoral facts.

    Some think that tolerance is entailed by cultural relativism. But there is no necessary connection between tolerance and the doctrine. Indeed, the cultural relativist cannot consistently advocate tolerance while maintaining his relativist standpoint. To advocate tolerance is to advocate an objective moral value. But if tolerance is an objective moral value, then cultural relativism must be false, because it says that there are no objective moral values.

    Like subjective relativism, cultural relativism has some disturbing consequences. It implies that cultures are morally infallible, that social reformers can never be morally right, that moral disagreements between individuals in the same culture amount to arguments over whether they disagree with their culture, that other cultures cannot be legitimately criticized, and that moral progress is impossible.

    Emotivism is the view that moral utterances are neither true nor false but are expressions of emotions or attitudes. It leads to the conclusion that people can disagree only in attitude, not in beliefs. People cannot disagree over the moral facts, because there are no moral facts. Emotivism also implies that presenting reasons in support of a moral utterance is a matter of offering nonmoral facts that can influence someone’s attitude. It seems that any nonmoral facts will do, as long as they affect attitudes. Perhaps the most far-reaching implication of emotivism is that nothing is actually good or bad. There simply are no properties of goodness and badness. There is only the expression of favorable or unfavorable emotions or attitudes toward something.

  317. 317
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: A useful discussion on objective moral truth, by Nathan Liddell, part 1 :

    https://thedailyapologist.com/the-moral-argument-part-1-do-objective-moral-truths-exist/

    . . . First, what is meant by objective? President John Adams once said, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”[2] This is essentially what it means to say morals are objective. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, objective, in the sense in which the MA uses it, means: “not dependent on the mind for existence; actual.”[3] Its synonyms are actual, real, empirical, verifiable, existing, or manifest. In other words, objective truths are mind-independent facts of reality—facts that are true regardless of the feelings or opinions of any person. For example, Earth is the third planet from the Sun. Since the Copernican revolution, science has demonstrated this to be a fact beyond dispute. Mercury and Venus are closer to the Sun than Earth, and Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are farther away. This is true regardless of what anyone thinks or feels about it. By contrast, the word subjective means “Based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions” and its synonyms are personal, personalized, individual, internal, emotional, instinctive, intuitive, and impressionistic.”[4] According to the MA, moral truths are not subjective. Whether killing the innocent, for example, is right or wrong is not a matter of personal opinion or feeling. Moral duties and obligations are not determined by the feelings of individuals or groups. Instead, the facts of external reality make murder wrong and bind moral obligations.

    Second, what is meant by moral? A moral truth is a truth concerning good and bad, right and wrong, ought and ought not. A moral truth claim is a statement like it is “wrong to torture a child” or “it is right to save a life.” These are the kind of truth claims with which the MA is concerned.

    Third, what is meant by truth? Truth is that which corresponds to the facts of reality.[5] To say it more simply, to tell the truth is to tell it like it is.

    Having these definitions in mind, premise two may be summarized as saying: regardless of what anybody thinks about it, some things really are right and/or wrong. This particular view of morality is called Moral Realism. Pojman and Fieser give this definition: “Moral facts exist and are part of the fabric of the universe; they exist independently of our thoughts about them.”[6]

    Part 2 adds:

    https://thedailyapologist.com/the-moral-argument-part-2-why-should-we-believe-objective-moral-truths-exist/

    . . . But is this right? Do objective moral truths exist as a part of reality? Answering this question is as simple as filling in the following blanks:

    It is always wrong/bad/immoral for anyone to _________________.
    It is always right/good/moral for anyone to _________________.

    If there are answers to put in these blanks, then objective moral truths exist. The MA argues that there are such answers. For example, it is always wrong for anyone to torture a baby for fun. This fact is obvious and indisputable. Similarly, it is always right to feed the hungry. Again, this fact is obvious and indisputable. Consequently, it is argued that premise two is obvious and indisputable. The shared moral experience of life demonstrates it.

    Several objections are raised against premise two. Among them are 1. Moral Nihilism which says there is no good or bad really. Torturing a child and feeding the hungry are morally neutral acts, neither good nor bad[2]; 2. Moral Skepticism which holds that we just cannot know whether these actions are right or wrong;[3] 3. Moral Relativism which claims that actions like these are determined to be right or wrong by the opinions or feelings of individuals or groups.[4] According to this view, moral facts are subjective, not objective.

    As William Lane Craig notes, however, these positions do not match with our shared moral experience. He writes:[5]

    My claim is that we are justified in believing (2) on the ground of our moral experience unless and until we have a defeater of that experience, just as we are justified in believing that there is a world of physical objects around us on the ground of our sense experience unless and until we have a defeater of that experience. Such a defeater would have to show not merely that our moral experience is fallible or defeasible but that it is utterly unreliable, that we may apprehend no objective moral values or duties whatsoever. Our moral experience is so powerful, however, that such a defeater would have to be incredibly powerful in order to overcome our experience, just as our sense experience is so powerful that a defeater of my belief in the world of physical objects I perceive would have to be incredibly powerful in order for me to believe that I have no good reason to think that I am not a brain in a vat of chemicals or a body lying in the Matrix.

    Consequently, many, if not most, atheists will agree with premise two. (They may take one of several positions such as Atheistic Moral Realism, Moral Naturalism, or Atheistic Moral Platonism.) Atheist Louise Antony holds, “…any argument for moral scepticism will be based on premises which are less obvious than the existence of objective moral values and duties themselves, that is than (2) itself.”[6] To deny premise two then is to reject shared moral experience and to hold a position that is less obvious than premise two. For these reasons, premise two should be accepted as true.

    The attempt to imply or suggest that perceptions of moral truths are delusional, opens up the abyss of grand delusion, my point 3.

  318. 318
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel
    “ I know why I think you are wrong.”

    Wrong about what?

    Vivid

  319. 319
    hazel says:

    kf referred to your question about self-evident truths at 89, and added “Without such, rational discussion is lost.” kf posts interminably about his views on this subject: for instance, he has re-posted #25 six or more times on this thread alone.

    My reply was addressed to kf, and it said in part, “I know what you all think, I know that and why you think I’m wrong, and I know why I think you are wrong.” It should be clear that I was referring to self-evident truths. (P.S. the “you all” above refers to various others that make similar arguments, but on this thread it has been kf making his points.)

  320. 320
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, are or are not the law of identity, excluded middle and non contradiction self evident? KF

    PS: Try, St Paul, “1 Cor 14: 7 Yet even lifeless things, whether flute or harp, when producing a sound, if they do not produce distinct [musical] tones, how will anyone [listening] know what is piped or played? 8 And if the [war] bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle? ” (See the Epictetus-level problem?)

    PPS: It seems it took that many replays to get the evasion games to partially stop. You then went on to endorse a failed rebuttal; it’s your move again, please.

  321. 321
    hazel says:

    kf, another part of 94 said,

    I know that discussing this again in this venue would lead to the same type of discussion, with the same results, so it’s not worth my time to do that anymore. … I’m not going to go over that issue anymore.

  322. 322
    hazel says:

    Also, kf, we (many of us) had a long, multi-thread discussion about the nature of math about a year ago: it was that subject that brought me here. My thoughts on that are out there in the past someplace, FWIW.

  323. 323
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel
    “It should be clear that I was referring to self evident truths”

    Clear, you can’t be serious but you are so muddled in your thinking you actually are being serious.
    Have you forgotten about this exchange on this very subject you claim you have been so clear about?

    October 19, 2019 at 5:19 pm
    Hazel
    “Vivid I participated in some of them, although I have no idea which ones.”
    But you have confirmed by your own words that the discussions you participated in included self evident truths….

    Vivid

    And your reply was NO and followed it up with a bunch of word salad that so confusing I could not make heads or tails of it. If anyone else can please enlighten me.
    281

    Hazel
    October 19, 2019 at 5:27 pm
    No,
    they included the discussion of the topic of self-evident truths, and claims about the topic, but I didn’t say they “included self-evident truths”. And I answer once again that I am not discussing that any more. Go read the threads if you want to explore the past.

    “Clear” yeh right.

    Vivid

  324. 324
    hazel says:

    Vivid, I’m not sure what your purpose is???
    You wrote,

    “Vivid I participated in some of them, although I have no idea which ones.”
    But you have confirmed by your own words that the discussions you participated in included self evident truths….”

    I don’t see what the issue is here: I don’t remember the names of the many threads that I have posted on, either briefly or extensively, that have dealt with the topic of self-evident truths

    And I don’t understand, and didn’t at the time, your objection to 281.

    But to try to be clear: 94 was in response to kf’s request for a response about self-evident truths, and I explained that I wasn’t going to discuss that topic anymore.

    Surely that is clear?

  325. 325
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel
    Just a straight answer to a simple question, unlike you my purpose was stated quite clearly in # 89
    Vividbleau
    October 15, 2019 at 11:01 pm
    Hazel re 21
    No Hazel the constitution does not guarantee your rights. What guarantees your rights is a consistent enactment of the recognition and acceptance of the presuppositional truth of this basic principle which gave rise to the Constitution

    “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…..

    Do you accept self evident truths? Do you recognize that to the framers rights do not come from men or woman, Governments or society but from the Creator, that this was the bedrock upon which the Constitution rests?Sheesh this is basic civics
    Vivid

    Clear enough?

    Vivid

  326. 326
    hazel says:

    That was perfectly clear at the time, Vivid, as it is now.

    Then kf wrote,

    You ask a truly pivotal question. It would be interesting to see the response on self-evident truths. Without such, rational discussion is lost.

    And then I responded to kf and said I wasn’t going to discuss that topic anymore.

    Why are we still going over this, I wonder?

  327. 327
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel
    “Why are we still going over this, I wonder?“

    OMG I’m in the looking glass. Don’t have time to say anything more at the moment.
    Vivid

  328. 328
    kairosfocus says:

    Vivid, it is clear that Hazel’s move is a pass. Self evident truths, as St Paul knew, are at the core of rational communication, pivoting on distinct identity. That is also at the core of logic and mathematics, indeed I outlined how the key number systems emerge from it. Going further, SET’s clearly include moral issues, including that said rationality undeniably is morally governed by duties to truth, right reason, prudence, sound conscience, fairness, justice etc. We saw how Seversky tried to confine reality to the empirical-material but failed, and should have been aware that reality contains abstracta. The root problem is, that in our rationality we must be significantly free and responsible, i.e. morally governed. So our intellectual capacities operate on both sides of the IS-OUGHT gap, pointing to the need for unity which post Hume can only be seen in the world root. The big challenge for those who reject God as root of reality, is that he is the only serious candidate reality root that can bridge is and ought, and he is also a serious candidate necessary being. So, God either is impossible of being (a challenge today’s atheists are at a loss to propose a cogent answer to) or is actual, there being no good reason to hold that God would not be an independent, eternal being framework to worlds. That is, atheism is in big worldviews comparative difficulties trouble. That is part of why Carroll’s cat out of the bag assertion is so out of line and so telling. KF

  329. 329
    hazel says:

    kf writes, “it is clear that Hazel’s move is a pass.”

    Yes, kf, that is exactly what I’ve been saying. What part of “I’m not going to go over that issue anymore” is hard to understand?

  330. 330
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, unfortunately, a “pass” on this subject itself has consequences. KF

  331. 331
    hazel says:

    What kind of consequences, kf?

  332. 332
    Ed George says:

    VB, UB, KF, ET, ten yard penalty for piling on.

  333. 333
    vividbleau says:

    EG
    Ought we not be piling on if in fact that’s what we’re doing?
    Vivid

  334. 334
    hazel says:

    Roughing the passer?

  335. 335
    hazel says:

    Oh you can pile on, Vivid, but there will be consequences! 10 yards! 🙂

  336. 336
    Ed George says:

    VB

    Ought we not be piling on if in fact that’s what we’re doing?

    I saw what you did there. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  337. 337
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel
    Roughing the passer and piling on are 15 yd penalties . Trying to be funny here
    Vivid

  338. 338
    hazel says:

    I’m not up on my football penalties, I’m afraid.

  339. 339
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel
    If it’s any consolation EG got the penalty yardage for piling on wrong as well

    Vivid

  340. 340
    Ed George says:

    VB

    If it’s any consolation EG got the penalty yardage for piling on wrong as well

    I’m a hockey fan.

  341. 341
    vividbleau says:

    Hazel
    “Roughing the passer?”

    Just got the joke, very funny got me laughing.

    Vivid

  342. 342
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, while I only distantly have an idea regarding the American version of Football, the consequences have to do with the exposed cracked foundations in your worldview thinking, its rational structure. And yes, we all have worldviews, the question is how well thought through, These frameworks for perceiving, explaining, connecting together and living with reality have profound consequences for how we live, how soundly we think, what we value, why, how sound our sense of right and wrong is, and more. Collectively, they can make or break a civilisation. Where, today’s dominant evolutionary materialistic scientism and fellow travellers are inescapably incoherent, self-falsified, unsound. Such will impose crooked yardsticks which lead us to reject what is genuinely straight, accurate, upright. Worse, they can lead us to reject the force of plumb line, self evident truths. In this metaphor, such are naturally upright and straight. KF

  343. 343
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky, cont’d:

    >>Yes, we observe people deciding what is right or wrong, but what that means is very much context-dependent.>>

    1: Notice the actual argument: “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.) ”

    2: This compass sense is a matter of common observation. that is not “vague” at all, and notice how I adjust Cicero, “sound conscience,” i.e. I am aware of the warped conscience, endarkened mind, hardened heart as well as the possibility of error.

    3: This is why I point to several known duties as already discussed, to truth, to right reason, to prudence, to sound conscience, to fairness and justice. We may err but these are the guiding principles that we cannot effectively deny.

    4: the specifics are of course context sensitive, human thought, speech and behaviour are extremely complex.

    >>We also observe them disagreeing in the strongest possible terms over what is right and wrong.>>

    5:Thus the need for self evident first principles, including of course that error exists. Disagreement and error are not disproofs of what is true to actual reality, or to our being able to reliably apprehend it, though we know in part, think in part, understand in part, chose in part, act in part.

    6: We have already seen that relativism, subjectivism and emotivism collapse.

    >> If we envisage conscience as some sort of metaphorical moral compass, its reliability seems to be questionable>>

    7: To see the error, simply rephrase: “If we envisage conscience [–> MIND] as some sort of metaphorical moral compass, its reliability seems to be questionable”

    8: Conscience is of course a function of mind, which speaks to the moral dimension.

    >> since it appears to point in several different directions at the same time. >>

    9: Ditto, same error.

    >>It makes more sense to envisage conscience as a learned sense of guilt over breaches of ethical and moral norms which can cause observable distress or harm to ourselves or others.>>

    10: Cart before horse. Communities influence conscience but conscience is antecedent to community, it is an in-built function of mind through which we become existentially aware of duties.

    ____________

    More, later.

    KF

  344. 344
    kairosfocus says:

    PS, lest we forget, point 1 again:

    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. Expanding slightly: our rational, responsible intelligent behaviour is inescapably under the moral government of known duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc. Thus, we find morally rooted law built into our morally governed nature, even for our intellectual life. Thus, too, the civil law extends what is already built in, to our social circumstances, turning on issues of prudence, justice and mutual duties; if it is to be legitimate. Notice, this is itself a theory on what law is or at least should be. And yes, all of this is fraught with implications for the roots of reality.)

    Notice, how this is subtly present in your remarks Sev, and how it instantly reduces your case to self-referential absurdity.

  345. 345
    hazel says:

    Darn, I had forgotten that: thanks for the reminder! 🙂

    Also, re 342, as I have said above, I am comfortable and confident about my worldview, and am not concerned about your belief that it is contributing to the collapse of civilization. Your dire concerns about what you see as the consequences of my not wanting to discuss your worldview anymore are your problem, but not mine.

  346. 346
    ET says:

    hazel:

    Also, re 342, as I have said above, I am comfortable and confident about my worldview,…

    What is your worldview, hazel? It seems that you are so comfortable and confident that you are afraid to discuss it.

  347. 347
    hazel says:

    Previously stated: “I know what you all think, I know that and why you think I’m wrong, and I know why I think you are wrong. I know that discussing this again in this venue would lead to the same type of discussion, with the same results, so it’s not worth my time to do that anymore.

  348. 348
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, we have a right of prudential inference. It is obvious you struggle with self evident truth, which is absolutely pivotal and is actually diagnostic. KF

  349. 349
    hazel says:

    I’m not struggling, kf.

    I’m not sure what you mean to imply by saying “we have a right of prudential inference.” Of course you have the right to consider these matters and make the most prudent inference for yourself as to their details, as do I. We infer differ things. Such is life: people have been disagreeing about core philosophical points for millennia.

  350. 350
    ET says:

    So now hazel thinks she is a physic, too. Fantastic…

  351. 351
    Ed George says:

    KF

    It is obvious you struggle with self evident truth, which is absolutely pivotal and is actually diagnostic. KF

    Not accepting your self-evident truths as being self-evident is not struggling. If something is self-evident, it does not need to be demonstrated or explained. The fact that you have to explain why your claimed SETs are self-evident is proof that they are not self-evident. They are things that you have concluded to be true based on your examination. The problem is, these conclusions are dependent on assumptions that have not been proven beyond any reasonable doubt.

  352. 352
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    If something is self-evident, it does not need to be demonstrated or explained.

    That doesn’t follow. There are many ignorant people, some willfully so, that need demonstrations and explanations.

    The fact that you have to explain why your claimed SETs are self-evident is proof that they are not self-evident.

    Only to the willfully ignorant.

  353. 353
    Ed George says:

    ET

    That doesn’t follow.

    Then your argument is with the dictionary.

  354. 354
    ET says:

    Ed George is a quote-mining fool. And guess what? Acartia bogart and William spearshake are also quote-mining fools

  355. 355
    ET says:

    2 + 2 = 4 is self-evident and yet there are teachers teaching kids that very thing! Maybe those teachers need a dictionary, eh, Ed?

  356. 356
    john_a_designer says:

    Once again, people on my side are letting themselves get played by interlocutors who are neither honest, transparent nor rational. How can you have an intellectually honest discussion or debate with people who are not obligated to be ethically honest or ethical in any sense? Please, KF et al. STOP the pandering and enabling. You cannot reason with irrational incorrigibility and smug self-righteousness. Moral subjectivism is not a viable alternative to any theory of morality; it is nothing more than ego-centrism and smug self-righteousness. It’s not only selfish it’s irrational and stupid. Only fool would believe such nonsense.

    Again, you are not going the change the “minds” of people who are incorrigibly irrational, ignorant and self-righteous. Please stop trying to do so.

  357. 357
    hazel says:

    JAD writes, “You cannot reason with irrational incorrigibility and smug self-righteousness.”

    This is one of the reasons I’ve bowed out of these types of discussions.

  358. 358
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD, we remember the onlookers, who need to see the reality for themselves. Many cannot believe that what is so is so, if only reported. they imagine, made up strawmen, conspiracist theorising, etc. KF

  359. 359
    ET says:

    hazel:

    This is one of the reasons I’ve bowed out of these types of discussions.

    I don’t think that means what you think it means.

  360. 360
    kairosfocus says:

    EG [attn Hazel, Sev et al],

    I first note that ET is right to point to || + || –> |||| (thus the principle, before remarking dismissively, check the case of Mathematics) and remind you of Epictetus, early C2 AD, when challenged regarding the necessity of logic:

    DISCOURSES CHAPTER XXV

    How is logic necessary?

    When someone in [Epictetus’] audience said, Convince me that logic is necessary, he answered: Do you wish me to demonstrate this to you?—Yes.—Well, then, must I use a demonstrative argument?—And when the questioner had agreed to that, Epictetus asked him. How, then, will you know if I impose upon you?—As the man had no answer to give, Epictetus said: Do you see how you yourself admit that all this instruction is necessary, if, without it, you cannot so much as know whether it is necessary or not?

    So, yes, sometimes it is necessary to demonstrate that a plumb line is real and acts as promised, to correct crooked yardstick-warped thinking, or simply to help build experience, understanding, intuitive insight and confidence. Here, Epictetus does a reduction to absurdity exercise, and the interlocutor comes to a point of being instructed on how first principle level truths operate. Obviously, this is not a proof, as this is antecedent to proof. Likewise, as was pointed out to you yesterday, St Paul was fully aware of how this acts with communication and reasoning or instruction ,”1 Cor 14: 7 Yet even lifeless things, whether flute or harp, when producing a sound, if they do not produce distinct [musical] tones, how will anyone [listening] know what is piped or played? 8 And if the [war] bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle?”

    Notice, warrant by way of leading the reader to insight, that all acts of significant intelligent thought and communication pivot on distinct identity, which carries the immediate corollaries, LoI, LNC, LEM. these are literally unprovable for to discuss or to try to prove implicitly relies on same. To try to deny, insofar as one says that in clear enough ways to allow recognition of a specific message is to rely absurdly on what one would doubt or dismiss or pretend is not credible.

    In short, Self-Evident Truth is a manifest, absolutely foundational reality.

    Just so, the attempts above to sow doubt, dismiss, evade etc all rely on the inescapably known duties ofd responsible, significantly free reason. Sufficient to show that to object to such moral truths is absurd.

    Lastly, self-evident is not synonymous with obvious, or worse, obvious to one and all.

    KF

  361. 361
    Ed George says:

    KF

    I first note that ET is right to point to || + || –> ||||

    I have not denied the existence of SETs. All I have said is that some of your claims of SETs are dependent on assumptions that are not proven. As such, they cannot be SETs. For example, your claim that we are inescapably under moral governance. Yes, we all have something that we refer to as a sense of morality. But the source of this “sense” and the values that populate it are up for debate. Some say it is objectively derived (God) and others say it is subjectively derived.

    If it were subjectively derived we would expect moral values to vary within a society, between societies, and over time. This is exactly what we see. If it is subjectively derived we would expect some societies to thrive and last a long time and others to be short lived. Again, this is exactly what we see.

    If it is subjectively derived we would expect to see changes over time in what society holds as its moral values. And it is exactly these changes that you are so upset about.

    You arguments about this inevitably boil down to your fears over the consequences to a society of moral values that are subjectively derived; your oft repeated might and manipulation make right. However, you conveniently leave out the concepts of cooperation, shared self-interest and the ability, although not infallible, to predict consequences of actions.

  362. 362
    hazel says:

    Excellent comments, Ed.

  363. 363
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, the relevant SETs depend only on having understanding rooted in experience and honesty to admit its force. Indeed, there you go again, just as was noted:

    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. Expanding slightly: our rational, responsible intelligent behaviour is inescapably under the moral government of known duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc. Thus, we find morally rooted law built into our morally governed nature, even for our intellectual life. Thus, too, the civil law extends what is already built in, to our social circumstances, turning on issues of prudence, justice and mutual duties; if it is to be legitimate. Notice, this is itself a theory on what law is or at least should be. And yes, all of this is fraught with implications for the roots of reality.)

    KF

  364. 364
    hazel says:

    Ed, do you sometimes get the sense that kf doesn’t even read what you write, much less think about it?

  365. 365
    vividbleau says:

    JAD re 356

    I feel you brother LOL however I don’t engage people on this site with any illusions that I am going to change anyone’s mind rather only to expose to any onlookers their total lack of intellectual honesty and truthfulness.

    Let’s take Hazel since I have been having back and forth with her, separate from any conversation she may be having with KF. Ive done my best to document the post numbers hopefully they are all right but I am working off of my notes.

    She starts out with a claim at 12 stating that the constitution guarantees her rights. She then follows up with self moralizing preaching about other people even though she would probably not be for any law that restricts the right of late term and even after birth botched abortions. I dont know this to be a fact however getting anything out of Hazel is a lost cause. Based on my back and forth Ithink ET is right, I don’t think Hazel knows what Hazel thinks, to put it another way she is pretty muddled in her thinking as I will demonstrate. For instance in our back and forth she contradicted herself at least three times (273,281,what I call her word salad post in 281 and 319) Im still waiting for someone to make any sense out of that one LOL and is a perfect example of how incoherent, contradictory and muddled her thinking can be.

    That icon of virtue is also untruthful ( I am being generous here). For the purposes of our back and forth I repeatedly pointed out that her objections to answering my questions were unfounded (256,266,285,289,and 291) and she continued to repeat that untrue reason three times (265,268,270) after it being pointed out to her that those reasons were untrue.

    She also likes to answer questions that have not been asked (259) but wont answer questions that are asked , at least five times by my account.

    To top it off she ends in what I can only think is someone who is delusional ( or just a troll haven’t figured it out yet) with the comment that basically says “I am in a state of wonderment”

    Its been fun.

    Vivid

  366. 366
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, I will get around to point by point responses, I have only highlighted the obvious about argument. Notice, even for Seversky, I am taking time to break into parts, I have a RW to deal with with juggled emergencies just now. And BTW your own comment implies knowledge of and appeal to the same oughts. Just as a refresher, the starting triplet again:

    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. Expanding slightly: our rational, responsible intelligent behaviour is inescapably under the moral government of known duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc. Thus, we find morally rooted law built into our morally governed nature, even for our intellectual life. Thus, too, the civil law extends what is already built in, to our social circumstances, turning on issues of prudence, justice and mutual duties; if it is to be legitimate. Notice, this is itself a theory on what law is or at least should be. And yes, all of this is fraught with implications for the roots of reality.)

    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.

    These things are unavoidable.

    KF

  367. 367
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    If it were subjectively derived we would expect moral values to vary within a society, between societies, and over time.

    Just because some morals may be subjectively derived does not mean there aren’t objective morals. After all those subjective derivations had to come from something.

    That there are some laws that are universal says that there are objective morals.

  368. 368
    Ed George says:

    Hazel

    Ed, do you sometimes get the sense that kf doesn’t even read what you write, much less think about it?

    Only on days that end in a “y”. 🙂

    But seriously, I get the feeling that we are not speaking the same language. His responses do nothing to address my points (as you have seen) and I assume that he doesn’t think that mine address his. I have performed operational audits of foreign companies using translators and have never had as much difficulty having a meaningful discussion as I do with KF.

  369. 369
    vividbleau says:

    She starts out with a claim at 12

    Actually 14 not 12

    Vivid

  370. 370
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, turnabout projection. And, yet again, you imply directly what you try to dismiss, it is that inescapable:

    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. Expanding slightly: our rational, responsible intelligent behaviour is inescapably under the moral government of known duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc. Thus, we find morally rooted law built into our morally governed nature, even for our intellectual life. Thus, too, the civil law extends what is already built in, to our social circumstances, turning on issues of prudence, justice and mutual duties; if it is to be legitimate. Notice, this is itself a theory on what law is or at least should be. And yes, all of this is fraught with implications for the roots of reality.)

    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.

    KF

    PS: On some key matters, you are in the queue for after I finish the point by point on Seversky. Note, Hazel and you seem to have endorsed his attempted point by point dismissal, which has already been shown a failure. But at least he tried to make a case on some research. Notice, his pivotal worldviews loaded error in addressing truth, evidence, moral truth.

  371. 371
    hazel says:

    Vivid writes to JAD,

    I don’t engage people on this site with any illusions that I am going to change anyone’s mind rather only to expose to any onlookers their total lack of intellectual honesty and truthfulness.

    Well, I’m glad he’s stated his preconceptions and goals clearly, although I think I had already reached that conclusion. If our paths cross again, I’ll remember this and avoid him.

  372. 372
    Ed George says:

    KF

    EG, turnabout projection.

    If it was turnabout projection you are admitting that your comments are projection. 🙂

    Note, Hazel and you seem to have endorsed his attempted point by point dismissal, which has already been shown a failure.

    I hope you realize that you declaring failure does not mean it was a failure. That is simply your opinion, as are most of your claims, including many of the things you claim to be SETs. You still have not addressed the FACT that all of human history fits a subjective nature of moral values rather than an objective one. To make history fit an objective regime you have to do some pretty fancy dancing.

  373. 373
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, more turnabout projection on your part. In showing stubborn refusal to acknowledge self evident truth and demonstration of absurdity resulting from that refusal, you are manifestly clinging to crooked yardsticks as standards of straight, accurate, upright. Meanwhile the plumb line has spoken. KF

    PS: just as a reminder, on the utter failure of subjectivism and relativism:

    Excerpted chapter summary, on Subjectivism, Relativism, and Emotivism, in Doing Ethics 3rd Edn, by Lewis Vaughn, W W Norton, 2012. [Also see here and here.] Clipping:

    . . . Subjective relativism is the view that an action is morally right if one approves of it. A person’s approval makes the action right. This doctrine (as well as cultural relativism) is in stark contrast to moral objectivism, the view that some moral principles are valid for everyone.. Subjective relativism, though, has some troubling implications. It implies that each person is morally infallible and that individuals can never have a genuine moral disagreement

    Cultural relativism is the view that an action is morally right if one’s culture approves of it. The argument for this doctrine is based on the diversity of moral judgments among cultures: because people’s judgments about right and wrong differ from culture to culture, right and wrong must be relative to culture, and there are no objective moral principles. This argument is defective, however, because the diversity of moral views does not imply that morality is relative to cultures. In addition, the alleged diversity of basic moral standards among cultures may be only apparent, not real. Societies whose moral judgments conflict may be differing not over moral principles but over nonmoral facts.

    Some think that tolerance is entailed by cultural relativism. But there is no necessary connection between tolerance and the doctrine. Indeed, the cultural relativist cannot consistently advocate tolerance while maintaining his relativist standpoint. To advocate tolerance is to advocate an objective moral value. But if tolerance is an objective moral value, then cultural relativism must be false, because it says that there are no objective moral values.

    Like subjective relativism, cultural relativism has some disturbing consequences. It implies that cultures are morally infallible, that social reformers can never be morally right, that moral disagreements between individuals in the same culture amount to arguments over whether they disagree with their culture, that other cultures cannot be legitimately criticized, and that moral progress is impossible.

    Emotivism is the view that moral utterances are neither true nor false but are expressions of emotions or attitudes. It leads to the conclusion that people can disagree only in attitude, not in beliefs. People cannot disagree over the moral facts, because there are no moral facts. Emotivism also implies that presenting reasons in support of a moral utterance is a matter of offering nonmoral facts that can influence someone’s attitude. It seems that any nonmoral facts will do, as long as they affect attitudes. Perhaps the most far-reaching implication of emotivism is that nothing is actually good or bad. There simply are no properties of goodness and badness. There is only the expression of favorable or unfavorable emotions or attitudes toward something.

    PPS: We also notice, yet again, how you are using what you try to deny, in order to try to persuade — demonstrating yet again just how inescapably self-evident these principles are:

    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. Expanding slightly: our rational, responsible intelligent behaviour is inescapably under the moral government of known duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc. Thus, we find morally rooted law built into our morally governed nature, even for our intellectual life. Thus, too, the civil law extends what is already built in, to our social circumstances, turning on issues of prudence, justice and mutual duties; if it is to be legitimate. Notice, this is itself a theory on what law is or at least should be. And yes, all of this is fraught with implications for the roots of reality.)

    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.

    In short, once we have genuine power of responsible, reasonable choice — prerequisites of credibility of mind — then immediately we face the government of ought. And if one denies that freedom, s/he undermines his or her own rationality. But of course, some will always try to have their cake and eat it.

    PPPS: Kurt Schlichter, excerpted: >>“gaslighting,” the straight-faced denial of what’s happening right in front of you that tries to leverage your politeness and deference to convince you . . . You’re . . . crazy for noticing.>> One of the uglier agit prop and trollish stunts. if he were a modern agit prop or trollish operator, Epictetus’ interlocutor would say, but you are using logic to try to prove it. That’s just what YOU say, so there. Nyah nyah nyah na na!

  374. 374
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    You still have not addressed the FACT that all of human history fits a subjective nature of moral values rather than an objective one.

    It has been addressed. Your willful ignorance is neither an argument nor a refutation.

    Humans can take something that is objective and make it subjective

  375. 375
    Ed George says:

    ET

    Humans can take something that is objective and make it subjective

    Well, that’s convenient if you want to take all the evidence demonstrating that moral values are subjective and declaring that they are objective.

  376. 376
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky,

    Though fairly brief, this one is perhaps the most telling on what is wrong: >>As we have all seen, the debate over the nature of free will is ongoing and vigorous and that debate, of itself, is evidence against any one position being self-evidently true.>>

    1: We by your own admission, have a debate, not merely a meaningless, random and/or mechanically determined spewing of noises imagined to be freely responsible, meaningful communications, or actual symbolic representation as actual text.

    2: See the self-referentiality, already? Yes, you are sawing off the branch on which we all must sit including yourself. Already, reduced to absurdity, fail.

    3: More interestingly, you imagine that disagreement disproves self-evidence. Nope, not in a world where people may misunderstand or for emotional, psychological, social or ideological or even prudential reasons, might cling to the manifestly absurd.

    4: Notice, the first thing is that one must have adequate experience and general understanding to understand what is being asserted in a SET. It is those who are so equipped (generally, the practical criterion for ordinary things like 2 + 3 = 5 or error exists would be the intelligent 12 year old or for more technical matters, having enough of a 101 to understand the matters at stake) who can respond to what may be objectively self-evident but then subjectivity of the individual affects ability to access it.

    5: In the case of moral government of our rational life, I think the 12 year old is more relevant. Surely, someone able to read a typical newspaper will appreciate enough of:

    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. Expanding slightly: our rational, responsible intelligent behaviour is inescapably under the moral government of known duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc. Thus, we find morally rooted law built into our morally governed nature, even for our intellectual life. Thus, too, the civil law extends what is already built in, to our social circumstances, turning on issues of prudence, justice and mutual duties; if it is to be legitimate. Notice, this is itself a theory on what law is or at least should be. And yes, all of this is fraught with implications for the roots of reality.)

    6: In that context, we cannot but notice that you=r own dismissal rests on said knowledge of those duties. Thus, to moral government of rationality.

    7: Extending, the fact of disagreement and debate pivots on a tacit understanding that these duties obtain. You are in the position of Epictetus’ interlocutor.

    8: Turning to the absurdity problem, the rejection of a SET is immediately, manifestly absurd in one way or another. Obvious for basic Arithmetic facts.

    9: For moral issues, it is often harder to admit the absurdity, such as that it is self evidently wrong to torture and kill innocent babies for pleasure. But a moment’s reflection shows what is now exposed in those who evade or even dare to deny the point, their nihilism is exposed, some would think in terms of criminal insanity. Which is automatically absurd to the point of being a red warning flag.

    10: Now, let us look again at SET 3 in the list:

    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.

    11: Here, we see the effect of pervasiveness of moral government, i.e. there are no firewalls in the mind, so if something this ubiquitous is delusional, we indict the mind, which is self referential and destroys credibility to make a case.

    12: And once grand delusion is injected as a principle, even the level one perception is then subject to the same question, due to the self-reference. So, off we go in an infinite regress of delusions, blatant absurdity.

    This is enough to show how the objections collapse, actually inadvertently illustrating the force of the point.

    KF

  377. 377
    kairosfocus says:

    EG,

    Your turn now, from 304 above:

    >>Seversky @ 299 and 300, thank you. You presented this better than I could have.>>

    1: Endorsement so it was proper to first show the errors in Seversky.

    >>I would tend to concede to KF that we all have, for lack of better words, a sense of morality.>>

    2: In short, you accept that we perceive moral government but embark on some species or another of relativism, subjectivism and emotivism, leading to the delusion problem.

    >> But when we unpack this “sense” it comes down to a set of rules that we each have that we feel we should follow>>

    3: That is, you recognise that oughtness reflects moral government under principles. Let me therefore remind you of SET 1:

    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. Expanding slightly: our rational, responsible intelligent behaviour is inescapably under the moral government of known duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc. Thus, we find morally rooted law built into our morally governed nature, even for our intellectual life. Thus, too, the civil law extends what is already built in, to our social circumstances, turning on issues of prudence, justice and mutual duties; if it is to be legitimate. Notice, this is itself a theory on what law is or at least should be. And yes, all of this is fraught with implications for the roots of reality.)

    >>. And, due to the inherently selfish nature of humans, we feel others should (OUGHT) follow as well.>>

    4: Error of attribution on improper motives. But ironically, you acknowledge that we are morally governed and struggle to do the right we know we should. But ought is always not the same as is, that is the very point.

    >> But you don’t have to look any further than this thread to discover that we done all have the same moral values.>>

    5: Disagreement in a context where error exists and where people may cling to absurdities for various reasons, does not show that moral or other SET’s do not exist, just that some will cling to crooked yardsticks in the face of the testimony of the plumb line right in front of them.

    6: At this point, you have actually implicitly acknowledged the material points, and your case is built on appeal to the said duties of responsible reason. We see this right away as we notice:

    >>Where I believe KF goes off the rails>>

    7: Precisely the point noted above under SET 1: “even the objector inadvertently implies that we OUGHT to do, think, aim for and say the right.”

    >> is to make the leap from the apparently universal existence of a moral sense, in spite of its complete lack of consistency over space and time,>>

    8: Error of appealing to mere disagreement as if that were disproof. Never mind that it is actually notorious that there is far more consensus than those who promote relat5ivism and subjectivism wish to suggest.

    >> to conclude that the moral values that he has are objectively derived.>>

    9: This is a projection, that I am trying to impose my own personal values, in context of such being attributed to selfishness. that is itself ill advised and can easily become uncivil.

    10: The “derived” is a further turnabout attempt. Nope, known duties to truth, right reason, prudence, sound conscience, justice etc are ANTECEDENT to any stated argument and govern how it works. try to make an argument that does not expect such commitments and you will see the inescapability.

    >>We don’t have to go any further than the Ten Commandments to know this is not the case. Thou shall not steal and thou shall not lie (bare false witness), for example. Anyone who has had kids knows that these values must be taught and repeatedly reinforced.>>

    11: And kids do not have to be taught that II + III –> IIIII?

    12: Notice, one needs to have a basis of adequate experience and understanding to address a SET. that may be acquired informally or through formal education but must be present in adequate degree.

    >>I guess it could be argued that not lying or stealing are objectively necessary for a society to thrive, and I would probably agree with this. But KF is not arguing for it as objective societal values, he is arguing for it as objective human value.>>

    13: Notice, the shifting of subjects that now has set up and proceeds to knock over a strawman. The duties on the table are not the decalogue, but instead duties of responsible reason, specifically, how such is governed by known duty to truth, right reason, prudence, sound conscience, justice, etc.

    14: All the while, EG, you are implying that I am in error and I ought to correct such, i.e. these duties are again inescapable.

    >>you only have to take a brief look at history to find plenty of examples of societies of people lying to and stealing from other societies of people, and thriving.>>

    15: That oppression and injustice work for a time is notorious, if they didn’t such would not be a problem.

    16: And again, the appeal to said duties is the pivot of your argument. Fail, not just because I say so — as you have tried to project — but on clear evidence once examined.

    KF

  378. 378
    kairosfocus says:

    EG,

    Re, 305: >>What was stopping them from freeing the slaves that they owned? If they truly believed that these principles applied to all humans, surely they would have set the example.>>

    I already pointed out hopeless indebtedness. You will also find that there were in fact manumissions.

    KF

  379. 379
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, 309:

    >>Good work, Sev and Ed. I especially like Ed’s remark about where kf goes too far.>>

    Endorsement, again, so I was right to focus on first Seversky then EG.

    Both, manifestly, fail.

    KF

  380. 380
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    Well, that’s convenient if you want to take all the evidence demonstrating that moral values are subjective and declaring that they are objective.

    Well, that’s convenient if you want to ignore what people do. Even subjective morals had to come from something, Ed.

  381. 381
    kairosfocus says:

    EG,

    Back to you in 351:

    >>Not accepting your self-evident truths as being self-evident is not struggling.>>

    1: Of course, people, being free are free to reject what is indeed self evident, though they are then not free to avert the direct consequence of manifest absurdity.

    2: In this case, your own argument pivots on our known, inescapable duties of right reason, i.e., again you implicitly appeal to what you wish to persuade us to reject:

    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. Expanding slightly: our rational, responsible intelligent behaviour is inescapably under the moral government of known duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc. Thus, we find morally rooted law built into our morally governed nature, even for our intellectual life. Thus, too, the civil law extends what is already built in, to our social circumstances, turning on issues of prudence, justice and mutual duties; if it is to be legitimate. Notice, this is itself a theory on what law is or at least should be. And yes, all of this is fraught with implications for the roots of reality.)

    3: This pattern only reinforces the point that these principles are inescapable.

    >>If something is self-evident, it does not need to be demonstrated or explained. >>

    4: Simply false. As ET pointed out, 2 + 2 = 4 does have to be explained, taught, shown, demonstrated, corrected etc till we get it and the like reliably correct. Self evidence has to be understood and we have to have a level of experience and background knowledge to understand it.

    >>The fact that you have to explain why your claimed SETs are self-evident is proof that they are not self-evident. >>

    5: Error carried forward, and indeed it echoes Seversky’s similar errors.

    >>They are things that you have concluded to be true based on your examination.>>

    6: To understand, one needs to at minimum inspect or experience, nuh? You here try to turn a condition of knowledge into an objection to being knowledge. This will not end well.

    >>The problem is, these conclusions are dependent on assumptions>>

    7: You here try a turnabout, setting up a strawman to then attack suggested assumptions. Meanwhile the very process of your objection pivots on the implicit knowledge that we are governed by said duties.

    >> that have not been proven beyond any reasonable doubt.>>

    8: Proofs of course, depend on a network of SET’s of various kinds, including of course the triple first principles of reason which cannot be proved as they are implicit in any attempt to prove.

    9: Just so, the first duties of right reason are implicit in any argument, discussion, thinking exercise etc and so are unprovable. The attempted proof implicitly uses what it would demonstrate — these are warranted as true by virtue of that inescapability on pain of absurdities such as we are seeing in these objections. Thus, we see their self-evidence.

    10: That is what you do not wish to acknowledge, likely because that then opens up an onward set of issues, such as:

    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 [–> yes many will disagree, but cannot escape the absurdities of such disagreement], 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. [–> this is where it is going, moral government is objective and frames built in law] Where also, patently, we struggle to live up to what we acknowledge or imply we ought to do. [–> yes this was there all along, but was of course conveniently ignored, and when I focussed on a narrower set it was smuggled back in as though it were part of an overturning objection]

    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-understanding 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.* [–> Suspicion, this is the ideological problem, moral government points to a root of such that is part of the source of reality])

    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.

    KF

  382. 382
    Ed George says:

    KF

    2: In short, you accept that we perceive moral government…

    No. Please don’t tell me what I mean. That is very annoying. I assert that we all have something that we call a “sense of morality”. And, like other senses, our perception of them is subjective. I like the taste of brussel sprouts, my wife hates them.

    3: That is, you recognise that oughtness reflects moral government under principles.

    Subjective principles. I think that homosexuals deserve our acceptance, you don’t.

    4: Error of attribution on improper motives.

    Bovine excrement. Unless you can provide proof that humans are not, inherently, selfish. Young children are a perfect display of our inherent nature. The fact that we can rise above this is testament to our reasoning abilities.

    5: Disagreement in a context where error exists and where people may cling to absurdities for various reasons, does not show that moral or other SET’s do not exist,

    I agree. One disagreement is an anomaly, two is coincidence, but hundreds of thousands is compelling evidence.

    I would respond to the rest of your numbered points (as if numbering them gives them more credence) but they are just rehashing the same tired theme.

  383. 383
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    Please don’t tell me what I mean. That is very annoying.

    Then stop doing it.

    I assert that we all have something that we call a “sense of morality”.

    And that is only because there is an objective morality.

    And, like other senses, our perception of them is subjective.

    That is only because of who we are

    I think that homosexuals deserve our acceptance, you don’t.

    Stop telling KF what he thinks, Ed. Accepting homosexuality and redefining marriage to allow SSM are two different things. Only a desperate loser would conflate the two.

    Unless you can provide proof that humans are not, inherently, selfish.

    Bovine excrement.

    Young children are a perfect display of our inherent nature.

    My kids were never selfish. Perhaps your parenting is the problem, Ed.

  384. 384
    kairosfocus says:

    EG,

    you simply cling to errors at this point and have begun to suggest vulgarities etc.

    Basic English:

    perceive (p??si?v)
    vb
    1. to become aware of (something) through the senses, esp the sight; recognize or observe
    2. (tr; may take a clause as object) to come to comprehend; grasp
    [C13: from Old French perçoivre, from Latin percipere seize entirely, from per- (thoroughly) + capere to grasp]
    per?ceivable adj
    per?ceiva?bility n
    per?ceivably adv
    per?ceiver n
    Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

    The issue is whether that perception is merely subjective and delusional or objective, having warrant to make it credible that it is reflective of reality. If the former, grand delusion enters and the whole of rational life is corrupted and discredited including your own. Instantly. This is the absurdity issue in action.

    The usual tactic of course is to use the suggestion of delusion to attack but not to recognise that one has grabbed a double edge sword without a handle and has fatally wounded one’s own credibility. Often, it is done by dressing up in a lab coat or the like.

    In response, I yet again point out first duties of reason and how they are so self referential that either we accept them or rationality is at an end:

    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. Expanding slightly: our rational, responsible intelligent behaviour is inescapably under the moral government of known duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc. Thus, we find morally rooted law built into our morally governed nature, even for our intellectual life. Thus, too, the civil law extends what is already built in, to our social circumstances, turning on issues of prudence, justice and mutual duties; if it is to be legitimate. Notice, this is itself a theory on what law is or at least should be. And yes, all of this is fraught with implications for the roots of reality.)

    Inescapably true, so true. Antecedent to demonstrations, but requiring a base of experience and insight to understand and acknowledge.

    KF

  385. 385
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, with homosexualisation of our civilisation — an evident obsession on your part — it is obvious that if you cannot address self evident duties of reason, much less implications of unselfish neighbour love in the decalogue, you will not understand the natural law written into our chromosomes and manifest in our bodies and biological development, which ground what marriage is as in-built law that we do not invent nor can we change as we wish. We can pretend, but only to the severe damage of societies that go down such roads. As is already massively evident but is of course denied by those who hope to gain from the chaos. KF

    PS: It also seems that you confuse value of person with blind enabling of ruinous behaviour. Precisely because I value persons, there are ruinous behaviours, habits and the like which I cannot approve or enable.

  386. 386
    hazel says:

    We disagree about what constitutes “ruinous behavior”. You can disapprove or refuse to enable homosexual behaviors, including getting married, if you wish, but I choose to support them because I value those people as complete human beings, deserving of, dare I say it, the pursuit of happiness that is appropriate to their natures.

  387. 387
    ET says:

    hazel:

    You can disapprove or refuse to enable homosexual behaviors, including getting married, if you wish, but I choose to support them because I value those people as complete human beings, deserving of, dare I say it, the pursuit of happiness that is appropriate to their natures.

    And yet their actions are purely unnatural, deviant and perverse. Perhaps hazel would have us free all of the criminals that are currently in prison so they too can pursue their happiness that is appropriate to their natures.

  388. 388
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, your own arguments reflect part of the ruin. In this case, of the understanding of sex, sexual identity, linked morality and protective institutions such as marriage and family, thence law, Constitutions, institutions of justice and law enforcement, then rights and justice; also the education and moral formation of the young. Those ill advised changes lead to progressively warped behaviours and policy then to unintended but in part long since warned against consequences. Whether or not you happen to agree or disagree is immaterial, those who will increasingly face the consequences will one day for cause curse our generation and its follies. But also, underneath all your arguments we see the same prime duties of right reason being appealed to and showing themselves as inescapable. What you refuse to acknowledge is in fact everywhere present. KF.

  389. 389
    hazel says:

    kf writes, “those who will increasingly face the consequences will one day for cause curse our generation and its follies.”

    Well, we won’t be around to see if that is true or not, but I am much more concerned about many other things they may curse about: same-sex marriage is not one of them.

  390. 390
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, recall that the above includes grooming of children under false colours of library reading times. To see the force of my point I challenge you to read Moira Greyland’s The Last Closet — warning, tough read. Understand, that that is an IDEOLOGY that was at work. And already in my region, I am seeing judges presuming to amend Constitutions from the bench. When something as manifest as sex and its roots in XX vs XY chromosomes can be manipulated as we see, wrenching law and all sorts of other things, that is a warning that the nihilists are trying to seize power. I will append Plato’s warning on the consequences. KF

    PS: That Bible-thumping fundy redneck yahoo — NOT — Plato warned our civilisation, 2350+ years ago:

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

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

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

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

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

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

  391. 391
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: His other warning, in the parable of the ship of state:

    It is not too hard to figure out that our civilisation is in deep trouble and is most likely headed for shipwreck. (And of course, that sort of concern is dismissed as “apocalyptic,” or neurotic pessimism that refuses to pause and smell the roses.)

    Plato’s Socrates spoke to this sort of situation, long since, in the ship of state parable in The Republic, Bk VI:

    >>[Soc.] I perceive, I said, that you are vastly amused at having plunged me into such a hopeless discussion; but now hear the parable, and then you will be still more amused at the meagreness of my imagination: for the manner in which the best men are treated in their own States is so grievous that no single thing on earth is comparable to it; and therefore, if I am to plead their cause, I must have recourse to fiction, and put together a figure made up of many things, like the fabulous unions of goats and stags which are found in pictures.

    Imagine then a fleet or a ship in which there is a captain [–> often interpreted, ship’s owner] who is taller and stronger than any of the crew, but he is a little deaf and has a similar infirmity in sight, and his knowledge of navigation is not much better. [= The people own the community and in the mass are overwhelmingly strong, but are ill equipped on the whole to guide, guard and lead it]

    The sailors are quarrelling with one another about the steering – every one is of opinion that he has a right to steer [= selfish ambition to rule and dominate], though he has never learned the art of navigation and cannot tell who taught him or when he learned, and will further assert that it cannot be taught, and they are ready to cut in pieces any one who says the contrary. They throng about the captain, begging and praying him to commit the helm to them [–> kubernetes, steersman, from which both cybernetics and government come in English]; and if at any time they do not prevail, but others are preferred to them, they kill the others or throw them overboard [ = ruthless contest for domination of the community], and having first chained up the noble captain’s senses with drink or some narcotic drug [ = manipulation and befuddlement, cf. the parable of the cave], they mutiny and take possession of the ship and make free with the stores; thus, eating and drinking, they proceed on their voyage in such a manner as might be expected of them [–> Cf here Luke’s subtle case study in Ac 27].

    Him who is their partisan and cleverly aids them in their plot for getting the ship out of the captain’s hands into their own whether by force or persuasion [–> Nihilistic will to power on the premise of might and manipulation making ‘right’ ‘truth’ ‘justice’ ‘rights’ etc], they compliment with the name of sailor, pilot, able seaman, and abuse the other sort of man, whom they call a good-for-nothing; but that the true pilot must pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and winds, and whatever else belongs to his art, if he intends to be really qualified for the command of a ship, and that he must and will be the steerer, whether other people like or not-the possibility of this union of authority with the steerer’s art has never seriously entered into their thoughts or been made part of their calling.

    Now in vessels which are in a state of mutiny and by sailors who are mutineers, how will the true pilot be regarded? Will he not be called by them a prater, a star-gazer, a good-for-nothing?

    [Ad.] Of course, said Adeimantus.

    [Soc.] Then you will hardly need, I said, to hear the interpretation of the figure, which describes the true philosopher in his relation to the State[ –> here we see Plato’s philosoppher-king emerging]; for you understand already.

    [Ad.] Certainly.

    [Soc.] Then suppose you now take this parable to the gentleman who is surprised at finding that philosophers have no honour in their cities; explain it to him and try to convince him that their having honour would be far more extraordinary.

    [Ad.] I will.

    [Soc.] Say to him, that, in deeming the best votaries of philosophy to be useless to the rest of the world, he is right; but also tell him to attribute their uselessness to the fault of those who will not use them, and not to themselves. The pilot should not humbly beg the sailors to be commanded by him –that is not the order of nature; neither are ‘the wise to go to the doors of the rich’ –the ingenious author of this saying told a lie –but the truth is, that, when a man is ill, whether he be rich or poor, to the physician he must go, and he who wants to be governed, to him who is able to govern. The ruler who is good for anything ought not to beg his subjects to be ruled by him [ –> down this road lies the modern solution: a sound, well informed people will seek sound leaders, who will not need to manipulate or bribe or worse, and such a ruler will in turn be checked by the soundness of the people, cf. US DoI, 1776]; although the present governors of mankind are of a different stamp; they may be justly compared to the mutinous sailors, and the true helmsmen to those who are called by them good-for-nothings and star-gazers.

    [Ad.] Precisely so, he said.

    [Soc] For these reasons, and among men like these, philosophy, the noblest pursuit of all, is not likely to be much esteemed by those of the opposite faction; not that the greatest and most lasting injury is done to her by her opponents, but by her own professing followers, the same of whom you suppose the accuser to say, that the greater number of them are arrant rogues, and the best are useless; in which opinion I agreed [–> even among the students of the sound state (here, political philosophy and likely history etc.), many are of unsound motivation and intent, so mere education is not enough, character transformation is critical].

    [Ad.] Yes.

    [Soc.] And the reason why the good are useless has now been explained?

    [Ad.] True.

    [Soc.] Then shall we proceed to show that the corruption of the majority is also unavoidable, and that this is not to be laid to the charge of philosophy any more than the other?

    [Ad.] By all means.

    [Soc.] And let us ask and answer in turn, first going back to the description of the gentle and noble nature.[ — > note the character issue] Truth, as you will remember, was his leader, whom he followed always and in all things [ –> The spirit of truth as a marker]; failing in this, he was an impostor, and had no part or lot in true philosophy [–> the spirit of truth is a marker, for good or ill] . . . >>

    (There is more than an echo of this in Acts 27, a real world case study. [Luke, a physician, was an educated Greek with a taste for subtle references.] This blog post, on soundness in policy, will also help)

  392. 392
  393. 393
    hazel says:

    I wonder how much weight kf would place on my experiences knowing many happy, successful homosexual people, many now married, I’m happy to say, and some with successful, well-adjusted children. As I read someplace recently, the plural of anecdote is not data.

  394. 394
    Ed George says:

    KF

    The issue is whether that perception is merely subjective and delusional or objective, having warrant to make it credible that it is reflective of reality.

    I like how you conflate subjective and delusion. Is your wife’s beauty a delusion? Are you sure you want to go that route?

  395. 395
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, maybe you did not notice the exploration of objective principles/canons of beauty here at UD some time back? Subjectivity in this context as opposed to objectivity would entail delusion as we perceive duties to truth, right, right reason etc — as you full well know. If such duties are purely subjective, they are delusional. KF

  396. 396
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, I notice you are off on a tangential issue that has been adequately answered. I simply challenge you to read the Greyland book. On the main subject, it is clear that the objections you endorsed have failed. KF

  397. 397
    hazel says:

    Back when I used to teach, I knew it was critical to use examples to illustrate more general principles. What you call tangents I call test cases.

  398. 398
    Seversky says:


    This is the first of my comments KF’s extensive posts:

    Kairosfocus@ 315

    You have already been corrected regarding the core matters at stake, as time permits I comment more specifically.

    “Corrected” makes the pre-emptive claim that you have proven me wrong. You may have in your own mind but certainly not to my satisfaction. Does that make us both incorrigible?

    I would argue that this is neither self-evident nor moral nor true.

    1: Already demonstrated and your objection would saw off the branch on which we all must sit. Notice, the note:

    “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.”

    First, as I wrote before, the first sentence of that quote is a claim about what is. It asserts that we are “inescapably under the government of ought”, a claim that is capable of being true or false. It does not say we ought to be – even though I’m sure that is what you believe – so it is not making a moral claim which may be neither true nor false by the correspondence theory of truth.

    Second, the claim that we are “inescapably under the government of ought” is undermined by the observation that there are many in society who have no qualms about ignoring acknowledged moral principles and often do so with impunity. I offer the current President of these United States as an outstanding example.

    Third, I am quite capable of making and stating my own choices concerning “ought” without appealing to any putative objective morality as justification. Even if we suppose that a set of moral principles has somehow been embedded in our DNA, we can ask who put them there and how did that being or agency decide them? We both know that, in the Bible, God hands down a number of moral imperatives which we are required to observe by divine command. But at no point does He offer a detailed explanation of how He arrived at those principles. It’s basically “take it or leave it” and you appear to be content to accept it all without question. I’m not and I don’t regard that as a failing.

    Fourth, following from the above, it looks like declaring certain positions “self-evident” is more like a rhetorical ploy intended to place them “off limits” and not to be questioned or examined. Why shouldn’t they be questioned. Why shouldn’t Adam and Eve have known the difference between good and evil?

    Evidence is not a simple concept, as a reading of the article on that subject at the Stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy website should make clear.

    3: Strawman, no one claimed the contrary. However, there are particular relevant cases as just seen. Fail, again.

    Actually, declaring something is self-evident and, as such, requires no further explanation does deny the complexity of the nature of evidence.

    The claim or explanation must be capable of being true or false.

    5: Propositions are truth/falsity bearers, where truth accurately describes aspects of reality. Further, realities may be concrete or abstract.

    So we are both working with the correspondence theory of truth. That’s good.

    Under the correspondence theory of truth, a claim can only be true or false if it is about some aspect of the observable, natural world.

    6: Smuggling in the materialistic view. Nope, truths may be about concrete observables AND abstract entities. I have often cited Ari in Metaphysics 1011b, best summary I have seen: truth says of what is, that it is, and of what is not that it is not. What is, reality, can be concrete or abstract. Is it true that there are infinitely many distinct reals, and that this transfinite value exceeds the transfinite value that denotes the cardinality of the natural counting numbers? Is it true that given H above we can have h = 1/H, closer to 0 than 1/n for any natural counting number reachable in +1 increments from 0? (It would be helpful to check how arguments affect maths, as a ready cross check for absurdities.)

    I’m not smuggling in anything. In the correspondence theory we measure the truth of a claim against what we can observe of the real, natural world we both assume to be out there. The value of mathematical calculations or logical arguments ultimately lies in how well they model aspects of the natural world. Otherwise, they are little more than games played with symbols manipulated according to arbitrary rules.

    I’m jumping the dismissive “poison tree” comments.

    10: As shown, the entire rational process is in fact governed by moral duties to truth, right reason, prudence, sound conscience, justice etc. Indeed, the very pattern of making objections carries that direct entailment. This is inescapable truth, it is as regards moral matters, it is a moral truth, it is self evident. Fail yet again, fruit of the poison tree.

    We can reason about all manner of things. We can argue about who would win a battle between an Imperial Star Destroyer and the Enterprise-D or we can reason our way to an optimal design of a spacecraft capable of supporting a crew of five astronauts for two weeks on a flight to the Moon and back. In the latter case we have a duty to truth, right reason, prudence, etc because we want to bring the human crew back to Earth alive and well.

    In the case of morals, we can reason about them but I see no way to “ground” them other than in what we judge to benefit us as individuals living in communities.

    13: Name a significant, substantial domain of thought and life where error, ignorance, confusion or deliberate wrongdoing are impossible.

    I can’t think of any, can you?

    14: Error and wrongdoing are real.

    15: And, in the case of the US, it is clear there is a through and through pattern of evil in all major centres of power. That’s why you are in low kinetic, 4th generation civil war, majoring on agit prop, street theatre, media distortion and amplification, lawfare to inflict injustice under false colour of law. If you don’t wake up bigtime ant turn back from the cliff’s edge you will plunge into the abyss, the high kinetic abyss similar to 1861.

    No one is denying the US has serious problems but so do many other countries and some of them are in a much worse state. In fact, the whole world is in a mess in many respects. The whole human race is facing problems of governance, administration, social inequalities and the disorder they entail, food and water supply, resource depletion and management, environmental change, waste management and disposal and so on, all rooted in a burgeoning population that we have never had to cope with before, not on this scale. I don’t have a solution but I think we are going to have to find one and sooner rather than later or Nature will do it for us.

    18: The absurdities you plunged into in attempts to deny and dismiss simply illustrate the force of the third aspect. As a reminder:

    1] The first self evident moral truth is that we are inescapably under the government of ought.

    Dare I say it but an argument does not get any stronger by repetition.

  399. 399
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, an irrelevancy is not a test case, especially if it serves in the office of a thread derailing, subject switching distractor. We have to face first, self-evident duties of right reason before we can be willing to acknowledge that there is built-in law of our morally governed nature that we did not invent nor can we actually amend or repeal. Only, we can disregard and act under false colour of law and rights, to our own detriment. In the context of setting first principles straight, alleged test cases and demanded conformity to agendas and fashionable shibboleths would only serve to beg the question at best. Especially, where your own arguments provide fresh, direct examples of the first principles in action, i.e. your objections and evasions are manifestly self referentially incoherent. At worst, we are imposing crooked yardsticks in the teeth of plumb lines. As morally governed behaviour is free, we can do that and may even get away for a time, but eventually the crumbling cliff’s edge will collapse. And that’s part of why I have challenged you to read Moira Greyland’s hard-bought testimony. KF

  400. 400
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky,

    with all due respect, one of the most striking things in the above is a failure of objectors to notice or acknowledge the most commonplace things. I need to make first a framework comment as to why the whole tenor of your objections is immediately, manifestly wrong to the point that you come across as attempting to gaslight.

    You object, you disagree, you debate, you seek to persuade, you expect or hope for responses, why and how? Precisely because you implicitly know and expect that those you interact with have a sense, an urgency that normally points to truth and right, a normally present faculty we term conscience.

    So important is this, that those whose consciences have been dulled or rendered silent or benumbed are considered dangerously mentally ill, sociopaths. Others who — more controversially — are said to have no such sense are viewed as even more sick, psychopaths. Normally functioning people are aware of when they have been wronged, and of when they have been in the wrong.

    The presence of that inner moral compass we term conscience, is self-evident, is manifest.

    As C S Lewis was fond of pointing out, the phenomenon of quarrelling is one of the strongest signs we have. You are unfair! You cheat! You liar! You are wrong, and reckless! Seldom, do we hear in reply, shut up and go down the hatch nicely, lunch. Those who do act like that, are for cause regarded as sick, or evil or both.

    Where, the abuse of the IS-OUGHT gap to suggest that arguments about moral duties cannot refer to facts or truths was already corrected. Reality, I again note, is not merely to be regarded as empirical-material. I pointed already to several cases of mathematical realities that may be accurately described. So can moral realities that describe first duties of reason or manifest moral duties. Over the years, I have given a concrete, unfortunately real world example (which is a still unsolved case over 30 years later):

    ASSERTION: it is self-evidently wrong, bad and evil to kidnap, torture, sexually violate and murder a young child. Likewise, by corollary: if we come across such a case in progress, it is our duty to try to intervene to save the child from such a monster.

    Those who would deny or evade such show themselves morally defective, they by no means have ability to soundly dismiss the point. And yes, this is the sort of hell-fire we are playing with here. If you doubt me, I challenge you also, to read a painful book, Moira Greyland’s The Last Closet.

    Let me note on Mathematics, that, precisely, it is the opposite of an empirical science. It has to be recognised, respected, used, but its core entities such as the key quantitative sets are inherently abstract and are tied to the logic of being of there being a distinct world. That is why it is so effective, it is part of the ordering framework — if you will central phenomena and laws — of reality. Yes, we recognise that Math is reflected in our empirical experiences, but it is far more than that.

    As for the grounding challenge, your assertion that you can see no other way, is immediately false. You are dealing with worldviews foundation issues to be addressed on comparative difficulties and an alternative was in fact put on the table. You simply refused the challenge to lay out alternatives, plural, and address on comparative difficulties. In effect, oughtness, post Hume can only be grounded at world root level. Our individual experiences or processes of society etc don’t even come close to such roots. This was not overlooked somehow, notoriously, it was part of a case that had to be laid out in extenso five times in order to begin to get a response that was substantially on topic. The pass on comparative difficulties analysis speaks for itself, and not in favour of an argument that fails to even look at the roots of reality.

    Now, let us examine briefly first duties of reason.

    Why do you expect your arguments to have some effect? Ans, precisely because

    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 . . . Patent absurdity on attempted denial. Expanding slightly: our rational, responsible intelligent behaviour is inescapably under the moral government of known duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc . . . )

    In short, you come across as trying to dismiss manifest and inescapable facts of our rational, responsible existence as they apply to you while implicitly relying on our intuitive recognition of those duties so your arguments might persuade us that we are or at least may be in the wrong and should heed or consider it.

    That is, it is clear that you are imposing a crooked yardstick in the teeth of the message of a plumb line, which is naturally straight and upright.

    Nor, will it do to appeal to the usual resorts of radical relativism, subjectivism, emotivism etc. As you call up such claims — which run into their own failure rather rapidly [and, I will again append a summary discussion] — you are yet again inevitably appealing to those first duties of right reason.

    In short, what I have summarised is manifestly inescapable, thus true on pain of reducing our responsible rationality and intellectual life to self-referential delusion and absurdity.

    Of course, you will be wont to suggest as you just did, “an argument does not get any stronger by repetition.”

    An instant response is, nor does a sound argument lose force or cogency by being repeated in the teeth of insistent, ill founded denials.

    Nor, is it the case that to say [and show why] errors are corrected or dismissive counter arguments or denials are ill founded is “a mere assertion or assumption” a sound rebuttal. One, that allows the correctives to be set aside. Substance was given in each case, do the courtesy of responding substantially. And here, without implicitly appealing to the first duties of reason. Which, I am confident, you cannot do.

    Where, the question instantly arises, how does an argument gain or have strength?

    Not, by merely appealing to emotions, as no emotion is sounder than the accuracy of underlying perceptions or than the soundness of associated judgements. Neither, by the august weight of authorities — who are no better than their facts, logic and assumptions. That is, we are forced back to the facts and reasoning in context of first plausibles, with key self-evident truths playing their part as first facts. Then, we notice, lo, we must be willing to be moved by facts and reasoning. Why?

    The answer comes back, full circle, we are inescapably governed by first duties of responsible reason, duties to truth, right reason, prudence [so, warrant in the epistemological sense], fairness and justice etc.

    Once such is disregarded, we saw off the branch on which we all must sit.

    Were such regarded as delusion [and in this context, that is the direct implication of relativising and subjectivising], we end in an infinite regress of Plato’s cave grand delusions.

    Where, too, no, commonly we have to learn enough to understand SET’s, so they need not be obvious to one and all. Worse, we may have to un-learn false knowledge so that we may be re-sensitised to the force of the truth, the right, the prudent, the just, etc. And, of our manifest duties to same.

    So, pardon, but the elaboration of counter arguments serves only to underscore the main point and its self evident nature. You are forced to appeal to and to rely on the known force of what you seek to deny.

    Your counter argument is self-referentially absurd.

    I give an elaboration, not because it strengthens the case, but because it just might help you to better see what is there in brief.

    KF

  401. 401
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Again,

    Excerpted chapter summary, on Subjectivism, Relativism, and Emotivism, in Doing Ethics 3rd Edn, by Lewis Vaughn, W W Norton, 2012. [Also see here and here.] Clipping:

    . . . Subjective relativism is the view that an action is morally right if one approves of it. A person’s approval makes the action right. This doctrine (as well as cultural relativism) is in stark contrast to moral objectivism, the view that some moral principles are valid for everyone.. Subjective relativism, though, has some troubling implications. It implies that each person is morally infallible and that individuals can never have a genuine moral disagreement

    Cultural relativism is the view that an action is morally right if one’s culture approves of it. The argument for this doctrine is based on the diversity of moral judgments among cultures: because people’s judgments about right and wrong differ from culture to culture, right and wrong must be relative to culture, and there are no objective moral principles. This argument is defective, however, because the diversity of moral views does not imply that morality is relative to cultures. In addition, the alleged diversity of basic moral standards among cultures may be only apparent, not real. Societies whose moral judgments conflict may be differing not over moral principles but over nonmoral facts.

    Some think that tolerance is entailed by cultural relativism. But there is no necessary connection between tolerance and the doctrine. Indeed, the cultural relativist cannot consistently advocate tolerance while maintaining his relativist standpoint. To advocate tolerance is to advocate an objective moral value. But if tolerance is an objective moral value, then cultural relativism must be false, because it says that there are no objective moral values.

    Like subjective relativism, cultural relativism has some disturbing consequences. It implies that cultures are morally infallible, that social reformers can never be morally right, that moral disagreements between individuals in the same culture amount to arguments over whether they disagree with their culture, that other cultures cannot be legitimately criticized, and that moral progress is impossible.

    Emotivism is the view that moral utterances are neither true nor false but are expressions of emotions or attitudes. It leads to the conclusion that people can disagree only in attitude, not in beliefs. People cannot disagree over the moral facts, because there are no moral facts. Emotivism also implies that presenting reasons in support of a moral utterance is a matter of offering nonmoral facts that can influence someone’s attitude. It seems that any nonmoral facts will do, as long as they affect attitudes. Perhaps the most far-reaching implication of emotivism is that nothing is actually good or bad. There simply are no properties of goodness and badness. There is only the expression of favorable or unfavorable emotions or attitudes toward something.

  402. 402
    hazel says:

    PS: Again,

    Indeed, for the fifth time, which is two times too many. Haven’t you read Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky”?

    “Just the place for a Snark!” the Bellman cried,
    As he landed his crew with care;
    Supporting each man on the top of the tide
    By a finger entwined in his hair.

    “Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:
    That alone should encourage the crew.
    Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:
    What I tell you three times is true.”

  403. 403
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, you are evading, again. KF

  404. 404
    hazel says:

    Ooops. The above is from “The Hunting of the Snark (An Agony in Eight Fits”, not “Jabberwocky”, to which it is somewhat related.

  405. 405
  406. 406
    hazel says:

    Just trying to lightly make the point, kf, that you accomplish nothing by just posting the same things over and over again.

  407. 407
    Seversky says:

    Kairosfocus@ 316

    . . . Subjective relativism is the view that an action is morally right if one approves of it.

    Well, yes, in the absence of any objective moral standards then an action is morally right if one approves of it. And presumably wrong to someone who disapproves of it. Depending on what values of “right” and “wrong” you are using. of course. In fact, you could argue it’s a sort of quantum morality since any action can be in a superposition of moral states, so it should appeal to BA77.

    Subjective relativism, though, has some troubling implications. It implies that each person is morally infallible and that individuals can never have a genuine moral disagreement

    I don’t see that it implies infallibility or that individuals can’t have genuine disagreements about morality.

    Cultural relativism is the view that an action is morally right if one’s culture approves of it.

    That depends on what you mean by culture. In a broad sense, say on the scale of a nation, it can embrace a range of views, none of which are regarded with approval by the whole culture. Change “culture” for “religion”, however, and you have a point.

    Some think that tolerance is entailed by cultural relativism. But there is no necessary connection between tolerance and the doctrine. Indeed, the cultural relativist cannot consistently advocate tolerance while maintaining his relativist standpoint.

    He can’t? Why not? Why can’t he believe his own culture’s morality is right while still tolerating the pitiably wrong views of others. Tolerating is not the same as approving.

    To advocate tolerance is to advocate an objective moral value.

    Hold on there! How did that “objective” sneak in there? It’s quite possible to argue for a particular moral principle without implying it’s objective.

    Like subjective relativism, cultural relativism has some disturbing consequences. It implies that cultures are morally infallible, that social reformers can never be morally right, that moral disagreements between individuals in the same culture amount to arguments over whether they disagree with their culture, that other cultures cannot be legitimately criticized, and that moral progress is impossible.

    Like I said, substitute “religion” for “culture” and you have a point.

    Emotivism is the view that moral utterances are neither true nor false but are expressions of emotions or attitudes.

    That’s right.

    It leads to the conclusion that people can disagree only in attitude, not in beliefs.

    We can argue about why we feel as we do. Emotions are not random responses. They are learnt behavior. There are reasons why we feel as we do.

    People cannot disagree over the moral facts, because there are no moral facts.

    Right again.

    Emotivism also implies that presenting reasons in support of a moral utterance is a matter of offering nonmoral facts that can influence someone’s attitude.

    Yes.

    Perhaps the most far-reaching implication of emotivism is that nothing is actually good or bad.

    Right again.

    There simply are no properties of goodness and badness.

    Exactly. Just as there is no objective property of beauty, only that which exists in the eye of the beholder, so there are no objective properties of goodness or badness.

    There is only the expression of favorable or unfavorable emotions or attitudes toward something.

    But if most, if not all, people agree that certain things are bad, such as you or your loved ones being raped and murdered, then you have the basis for a consensus morality which, superficially at least, can appear to be objective when it is more a case of intersubjective agreement.

  408. 408
    hazel says:

    Sev’s last paragraph is key:

    But if most, if not all, people agree that certain things are bad, such as you or your loved ones being raped and murdered, then you have the basis for a consensus morality which, superficially at least, can appear to be objective when it is more a case of intersubjective agreement.

  409. 409
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel (& attn Seversky), do you not see how, in every argument you make, you find yourself inadvertently showing an appeal to the very first duties of reason that you seem determined to reject? Could that inescapability be telling you something? Something, that justifies reminding you on what you are at such pains to dismiss and then imagine you have successfully refuted, never mind what is actually exposed . . . clinging to crooked yardsticks in the face of plumb lines that expose the problem? KF

  410. 410
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky (& attn Hazel, given specific endorsement),

    Apparently, you fail to see the absurdities of subjectivism, relativism and emotivism exposed by Lewis Vaughn in his textbook. Equally, you seem to fail to recognise that every comment of objection you make pivots on the very same first duties of reason that you so obviously reject, clinging to the absurdities of relativism, etc. That is itself a sobering lesson for us all, by way of what happens when we saw off the branch on which we all must sit.

    For now at least, I think it is most helpful to give the full context, complete with the exposed absurdities that you seem to imagine are verities:

    Excerpted chapter summary, on Subjectivism, Relativism, and Emotivism, in Doing Ethics 3rd Edn, by Lewis Vaughn, W W Norton, 2012. [Also see here and here.] Clipping:

    . . . Subjective relativism is the view that an action is morally right if one approves of it. A person’s approval makes the action right. This doctrine (as well as cultural relativism) is in stark contrast to moral objectivism, the view that some moral principles are valid for everyone.. Subjective relativism, though, has some troubling implications. It implies that each person is morally infallible and that individuals can never have a genuine moral disagreement

    Cultural relativism is the view that an action is morally right if one’s culture approves of it. The argument for this doctrine is based on the diversity of moral judgments among cultures: because people’s judgments about right and wrong differ from culture to culture, right and wrong must be relative to culture, and there are no objective moral principles. This argument is defective, however, because the diversity of moral views does not imply that morality is relative to cultures. In addition, the alleged diversity of basic moral standards among cultures may be only apparent, not real. Societies whose moral judgments conflict may be differing not over moral principles but over nonmoral facts.

    Some think that tolerance is entailed by cultural relativism. But there is no necessary connection between tolerance and the doctrine. Indeed, the cultural relativist cannot consistently advocate tolerance while maintaining his relativist standpoint. To advocate tolerance is to advocate an objective moral value. But if tolerance is an objective moral value, then cultural relativism must be false, because it says that there are no objective moral values.

    Like subjective relativism, cultural relativism has some disturbing consequences. It implies that cultures are morally infallible, that social reformers can never be morally right, that moral disagreements between individuals in the same culture amount to arguments over whether they disagree with their culture, that other cultures cannot be legitimately criticized, and that moral progress is impossible.

    Emotivism is the view that moral utterances are neither true nor false but are expressions of emotions or attitudes. It leads to the conclusion that people can disagree only in attitude, not in beliefs. People cannot disagree over the moral facts, because there are no moral facts. Emotivism also implies that presenting reasons in support of a moral utterance is a matter of offering nonmoral facts that can influence someone’s attitude. It seems that any nonmoral facts will do, as long as they affect attitudes. Perhaps the most far-reaching implication of emotivism is that nothing is actually good or bad. There simply are no properties of goodness and badness. There is only the expression of favorable or unfavorable emotions or attitudes toward something.

    I have already corrected the empiricist-materialist error of confusing the physical world with reality. If Mathematical propositions can be truth bearers regarding abstract realities of structure and quantity, metaphysical, ontological and ethical as well as logical propositions can also be truth-bearers speaking to other abstract realities. And no responsible person can construct or elaborate a worldview without recognising that such will be full of claims of such character. In short, yet another insisted upon absurdity.

    As for,

    “But if most, if not all, people agree that certain things are bad, such as you or your loved ones being raped and murdered, then you have the basis for a consensus morality which, superficially at least, can appear to be objective when it is more a case of intersubjective agreement.”

    It is entirely and directly relevant to observe that Messrs Hitler, Goebbels and Eichmann would have loved that argument; only, the German people’s consensus was in favour of death of the inconvenient. Sort of reminds me of how we have treated our living posterity in the womb these past forty or so years. Of course, when defendants offered a cultural relativism, legal positivist defence at Nuremberg, the Court was forced to observe the unalterable force of the then so often neglected natural law.

    For shame!

    KF

  411. 411
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: It is relevant to expose some underlying evolutionary materialistic thinking by highlighting Michael Ruse & E. O. Wilson in their notorious 1991 essay, “The Evolution of Ethics”:

    The time has come to take seriously the fact

    [–> This is a gross error at the outset, as macro-evolution is a theory (an explanation) about the unobserved past of origins and so cannot be a fact on the level of the observed roundness of the earth or the orbiting of planets around the sun etc. and as the ideology of evolutionary materialistic scientism, which undergirds the perception of “fact” is an imposed, question-begging, self-refuting necessarily false assertion, not a fact]

    that we humans are modified monkeys, not the favored Creation of a Benevolent God on the Sixth Day . . . We must think again [–> why, isn’t that a disguised “OUGHT,” the very thing being trashed?] especially about our so-called ‘ethical principles.’ [–> this speculation improperly dressed up as fact directly affects ethics, with implications for the first duties of reason] The question is not whether biology—specifically, our evolution—is connected with ethics, but how.

    As evolutionists, we see that no justification of the traditional kind is possible. Morality, or more strictly our belief in morality, is merely an adaptation put in place to further our reproductive ends. Hence the basis of ethics does not lie in God’s will … In an important sense, ethics as we understand it is an illusion fobbed off on us by our genes to get us to cooperate. It is without external grounding… Ethics is illusory inasmuch as it persuades us that it has an objective reference. This is the crux of the biological position. Once it is grasped, everything falls into place. [–> Yes, they are utterly unaware of how such undermines the credibility of reason thus their own rationality, by imposing grand delusion and undermining the moral government that drives how responsible rationality works]

    [Michael Ruse & E. O. Wilson, “The Evolution of Ethics,” Religion and the Natural Sciences: The Range of Engagement, , ed. J. E. Hutchingson, Orlando, Fl.:Harcourt and Brace, 1991.]

    Will Hawthorne, in reply to such ideological imposition, is deservedly withering, echoing the concerns Plato raised in The Laws, Bk X, concerns that reflect lessons hard-bought with blood and tears:

    Assume (per impossibile) that atheistic naturalism [= evolutionary materialism] is true. Assume, furthermore, that one can’t infer an ‘ought’ from an ‘is’ [the ‘is’ being in this context physicalist: matter-energy, space- time, chance and mechanical forces]. (Richard Dawkins and many other atheists should grant both of these assumptions.)

    Given our second assumption, there is no description of anything in the natural world from which we can infer an ‘ought’. And given our first assumption, there is nothing that exists over and above the natural world; the natural world is all that there is. It follows logically that, for any action you care to pick, there’s no description of anything in the natural world from which we can infer that one ought to refrain from performing that action.

    Add a further uncontroversial assumption: an action is permissible if and only if it’s not the case that one ought to refrain from performing that action . . . [We see] therefore, for any action you care to pick, it’s permissible to perform that action. If you’d like, you can take this as the meat behind the slogan ‘if atheism is true, all things are permitted’.

    For example if atheism is true, every action Hitler performed was permissible. Many atheists don’t like this [nihilistic, absurd] consequence of their worldview. But they cannot escape it and insist that they are being logical at the same time.

    Now, we all know that at least some actions are really not permissible (for example, racist actions). Since the conclusion of the argument denies this, there must be a problem somewhere in the argument. Could the argument be invalid? No. The argument has not violated a single rule of logic and all inferences were made explicit.

    Thus we are forced to deny the truth of one of the assumptions we started out with. That means we either deny atheistic naturalism or (the more intuitively appealing) principle that one can’t infer ‘ought’ from [a material] ‘is’.

    See where this ends?

    See why I am so concerned that our civilisation is yet again insisting on a mutinous voyage of folly and utter imprudence? (And why that has caught the attention of US Attorney General William Barr? As well as that of many others?)

  412. 412
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Notice, how Ruse and Wilson draw out the grand delusion problem, without recognising its import. I note again, the first three SETs that the objectors are struggling with, in vain:

    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. Expanding slightly: our rational, responsible intelligent behaviour is inescapably under the moral government of known duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc. Thus, we find morally rooted law built into our morally governed nature, even for our intellectual life. Thus, too, the civil law extends what is already built in, to our social circumstances, turning on issues of prudence, justice and mutual duties; if it is to be legitimate. Notice, this is itself a theory on what law is or at least should be. And yes, all of this is fraught with implications for the roots of reality.)

    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.

  413. 413
    hazel says:

    Kf writes, “Hazel (& attn Seversky), do you not see how, in every argument you make, you find yourself inadvertently showing an appeal to the very first duties of reason that you seem determined to reject?”

    Kf, do you not see that you never, ever respond (other than by repeating your claims) to counterpoints of others, such as these:

    Ed writes at 361,

    I have not denied the existence of SETs. All I have said is that some of your claims of SETs are dependent on assumptions that are not proven. As such, they cannot be SETs. For example, your claim that we are inescapably under moral governance. Yes, we all have something that we refer to as a sense of morality. But the source of this “sense” and the values that populate it are up for debate. Some say it is objectively derived (God) and others say it is subjectively derived.

    Sev writes at 407,

    But if most, if not all, people agree that certain things are bad, such as you or your loved ones being raped and murdered, then you have the basis for a consensus morality which, superficially at least, can appear to be objective when it is more a case of intersubjective agreement.

  414. 414
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel,

    with all respect, there you go again. The implicit premise of your argument is, indeed, “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 . . . “

    You cannot escape it but are clearly unwilling to acknowledge it.

    As for EG, by endorsement of Seversky — who I took time to refute point by point first — he evidently denies the reality of moral SET’s on grounds of imposing evolutionary materialistic and evidentialist criteria on what truth means and what realities exist to be referred to. I used Mathematical realities — abstracta, not concrete empirical realities, accurately described and drawn together through equally abstract chains of reasoning leading to equally true conclusions — to show some of the fundamental flaws with that, which of course you have not acknowledged when you wish to project the strawman claim that “you never, ever respond (other than by repeating your claims) to counterpoints of others.”

    That, in a context where, despite several local crises, I demonstrably took time across several days to respond point by point and in so doing, to put forward additional discussion and key clips that draw out further ramifications of what is going on.

    Where, yes, I have as in this comment taken time to point out the denied obvious: A is A, you and others are in fact implicitly premising your objections on our known duties to truth, right reason, prudence, sound conscience, justice etc. In fact, this is a case where your objections refute themselves by appealing to what they deny.

    Or, if like Ruse and Wilson, the implication is that moral appeal or moral shaping of our intelligent behaviour is delusional, then that is a deeper self-refutation by implying grand delusion.

    I have also shown the roots of the “consensus” — i.e. culturally relativist — “morality” advanced by Seversky, and its fatal flaws — notice, I have also brought on board the sort of thinking that underlies, as Ruse and Wilson so clearly stated in 1991.

    In short, your onward claims have little merit and in fact manifestly pivot on the SET’s you would dismiss.

    KF

  415. 415
    ET says:

    Too bad the people who want to disallow objective morals cannot make a scientific case for our existence. And it’s very telling that they cannot.

  416. 416
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: As a case in point, I clip 315 in reply to Seversky who has been endorsed by both EG and yourself:

    >>Evidence is not a simple concept, as a reading of the article on that subject at the Stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy website should make clear. >>

    3: Strawman, no one claimed the contrary. However, there are particular relevant cases as just seen. Fail, again.

    >>Broadly, it can be defined as data that can be adduced in support of the truth of a specific claim or explanation.>>

    4: A bit simplistic, but again not a point at issue. Evidence also includes chains of reasoning and more.

    >>The claim or explanation must be capable of being true or false. >>

    5: Propositions are truth/falsity bearers, where truth accurately describes aspects of reality. Further, realities may be concrete or abstract.

    >>Under the correspondence theory of truth, a claim can only be true or false if it is about some aspect of the observable, natural world. >>

    6: Smuggling in the materialistic view. Nope, truths may be about concrete observables AND abstract entities. I have often cited Ari in Metaphysics 1011b, best summary I have seen: truth says of what is, that it is, and of what is not that it is not. What is, reality, can be concrete or abstract. Is it true that there are infinitely many distinct reals, and that this transfinite value exceeds the transfinite value that denotes the cardinality of the natural counting numbers? Is it true that given H above we can have h = 1/H, closer to 0 than 1/n for any natural counting number reachable in +1 increments from 0? (It would be helpful to check how arguments affect maths, as a ready cross check for absurdities.)

    >>The extent to which it may be true or false is the extent to which, on investigation, it can be found to correspond to what it purports to describe or explain.>>

    7: Core error carried forward, leading to fruit of the poison tree.

    >> Moral claims are not about what is – the observable nature of objective reality – but about what the claimant believes should be the case, so they stand on the far side of the notoriously unbridgeable is/ought gap.>>

    8: A claim regarding what ought to be or ought to be done be done may describe truth about that aspect of reality. Fail, further fruit of the poison tree.

    >>By the correspondence theory, they are neither true nor false.>>

    9: Fruit of the poison tree.

    >>The claim at 1 is not a moral claim. It does not argue that we should be subject to moral governance but that we are “inescapably under the government of ought”. >>

    10: As shown, the entire rational process is in fact governed by moral duties to truth, right reason, prudence, sound conscience, justice etc. Indeed, the very pattern of making objections carries that direct entailment. This is inescapable truth, it is as regards moral matters, it is a moral truth, it is self evident. Fail yet again, fruit of the poison tree.

    >>Since it is a claim about what is we can look for data which would tend to verify or falsify it.>>

    11: It is a claim about what is and about what ought to be. In rational process we cannot escape operating on both sides of the notorious gap, leading to the need to fuse them in the root of reality.

    >> We observe that in most if not all human societies they observe rules of behavior which are beneficial to the functioning of that society. >>

    12: In short, responsible rational freedom faces the challenge of ought not just that of is.

    You have some assertions to walk back.

  417. 417
    hazel says:

    Case in point, just for the record.

  418. 418
    Ed George says:

    Hazel

    Kf, do you not see that you never, ever respond (other than by repeating your claims) to counterpoints of others, such as these:

    You’ve noticed as well?

  419. 419
    ET says:

    You, Ed, hazel and seversky, don’t have any points to consider. Neither of you have any science that says our existence just happened to come about. And without that you don’t have any arguments against objective morality.

  420. 420
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, at this point you are blatantly speaking with disregard to truth in the teeth of evidence that directly refutes your clip from Hazel, to frustrate further exposure of the bankruptcy of what you have claimed. The cynical, trollish nature of such tactics only serves to underscore that you have no cogent case on the merits but hope to set up a strawman caricature for those who will not take time to actually cross check and confirm the falsity of what you are putting up. KF

  421. 421
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, you know or should know better than what you just did, showing a disregard for truth on your part. That’s sad, but it shows inadvertently that the balance on merits is not as you would wish it. And even to pull such a stunt you cannot escape appealing to the moral government of our intelligent behaviour. KF

  422. 422
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, they don’t have actual arguments against the moral government of our intelligent behaviour precisely because attempted arguments implicitly rely on what they would overturn. It is time to simply draw the conclusion. KF

  423. 423
    hazel says:

    Hmmm. 413.

    [–> Neatly omitting 414 and 415 which brought forward a relevant onward discussion correcting Seversky’s attempt to inject materialism. KF]

  424. 424
    ET says:

    Hmmmmm. 419.

  425. 425
    hazel says:

    kf, write your own posts. It’s not right to interject your comments in my posts.

    [ –> Hazel, it is a disciplinary measure, and seemingly the only way to get your attention. You have made and doubled down on a false accusation, in the face of correction as was already given; you know how to set yourself back in the right. Further to all of this, notice how yet again you appeal to the very duties of reason that you have endorsed dismissal of. KF]

  426. 426
    vividbleau says:

    KF
    You gotta love Hazels post in 425 in light of what you told her in 414

    “The implicit premise of your argument is, indeed, “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 . . . “
    Hazel as usual talks out of both sides of her mouth. You OUGHT not interject your comments but that does not mean you are under ought and ought not do so. How do these people not realize that they are constantly contradicting themselves ?

    Vivid

  427. 427
    hazel says:

    See 413, Vivid.

  428. 428
    vividbleau says:

    See 450 Hazel. Yeh I know there is nothing to see as it relates to 426 just like 413.

    Vivid

  429. 429
    vividbleau says:

    “It’s not right to interject your comments in my posts.”

    KF this is what Hazel means. Even though you ought not interject your comments that does not mean you ought not do so. Since I am fallible I may be wrong in saying you are not right in which case your right and I apologize. However if your right you are fallible as well and could be wrong and then you need to apologize to me. Rinse and repeat.
    Better yet let’s take a vote and see if I can get some intersubjective agreement on the matter which is also fallible so it may be wrong as well in which case ( if it goes my way) I apologize. However if it goes your way it is fallible as well and we just rinse and repeat again. Clear?

    Vivid

  430. 430
    kairosfocus says:

    Vivid, sadly, yes. She needs to attend to what she tried to brush aside, then evade, then complained when I decided to put it up again and again until substantially addressed. Seversky tried, and — given RW events, across 3 days — I responded point by point then took up EG and H, following the chain of mutual endorsements. The latest stunt after that is to pretend that I have only blindly repeated the refuted. Meanwhile, at every step they manage to show that the relevant SETs are in fact inescapable as first duties of reason that actually govern how reason works. I have to conclude that we are seeing willful clinging to a crooked ideological yardstick in the face of a plain plumb line that naturally manifests the reality. The obvious reasons tie to generations of indoctrination in evolutionary materialistic scientism [note Sev’s begged question on what is in reality and refusal to acknowledge that key Mathematical abstracta are logic of being, necessary, world framing realities, etc], and to the implication that if rationality operates on both sides of the IS-OUGHT gap, then we have to go to the reality root that can ground ought and fuse it to is. Which strongly indicates that ethical theistic views are the strong horse; as a logic of being and ground of duty/ oughtness/ morality matter. And yes, this is antecedent to any particular specific theistic tradition or body of teachings. Then, too, all of this points to the reality of built-in law that governs us, thus to the credibility of natural law. Thence, undercutting legal positivism and currently fashionable impositions. Quite a stew. KF

    PS: BTW, your numbers don’t seem to be right. We are not yet up to 450. Oh, now I get it, you are using a rhetorical device. Slow on the uptake . . .

  431. 431
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Let us refocus what has been so tellingly vindicated, this time going to the first four SET’s on moral government of right reason — and please note the list of what we can call first duties of responsible reason [FDRR]:

    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. Expanding slightly: our rational, responsible intelligent behaviour is inescapably under the moral government of known duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc. [ –> The FDRR, proper.] Thus, we find morally rooted law built into our morally governed nature, even for our intellectual life. Thus, too, the civil law extends what is already built in, to our social circumstances, turning on issues of prudence, justice and mutual duties; if it is to be legitimate. Notice, this is itself a theory on what law is or at least should be. And yes, all of this is fraught with implications for the roots of reality.)

    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.

    We can take these as established beyond reasonable, responsible doubt. Complete with poster-boy/ -girl cases in point. Now, let us bridge to the business of turning back from the crumbling cliff’s edge through reformation, pivoting on:

    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.

    This harks back to Cicero:

    . . . “Law (say they [the received thinkers c 50 BC]) is the highest reason, implanted in nature, which prescribes those things which ought to be done, and forbids the contrary” . . . .

    They therefore conceive that the voice of conscience is a law, that moral prudence is a law, whose operation is to urge us to good actions, and restrain us from evil ones. They think, too, that the Greek name for law (NOMOS), which is derived from NEMO, to distribute, implies the very nature of the thing, that is, to give every man his due. [–> this implies a definition of justice as the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities]

    On this, much can be rebuilt, starting with a much more powerful, broad and sound picture of law that embraces laws of right, responsible reason, thus laws of being that frame worlds [including core math], more or less intelligible laws of nature that govern the dynamic-stochastic aspects of our world, laws of information, laws of design [and design detection i/l/o informational properties of complex, information rich functional organisation], laws of moral government towards the civil peace of justice, civil law in its various forms, etc. .

    From it, we can then contemplate how best to rebuild the civil peace of justice that is now being torn to tatters by the aggressive, cultural marxist subversions and radical secularist impositions that US AG Barr has headlined.

    As a first step, we then see:

    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-understanding 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. In short, nihilistic will to power untempered by the primacy of justice is its own refutation in any type of state. Where, justice is the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities. 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.

    (NB: This is a requisite of accountability for justice, and the suggestion or implication of some views across time, that government can reasonably be unaccountable to the governed, is its own refutation, reflecting — again — nihilistic will to power; which is automatically absurd. This truth involves the issue that finite, fallible, morally struggling men acting as civil authorities in the face of changing times and situations as well as in the face of the tendency of power to corrupt, need to be open to remonstrance and reformation — or if they become resistant to reasonable appeal, there must be effective means of replacement. Hence, the principle that the general election is an insitutionalised regular solemn assembly of the people for audit and reform or if needs be replacement of government gone bad. But this is by no means an endorsement of the notion that a manipulated mob bent on a march of folly has a right to do as it pleases.)

    12] Twelfth, the attempt to deny or dismiss such a general framework of moral governance invariably lands in shipwreck of incoherence and absurdity. As, has been seen in outline. 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.

    Where, of course the asterisk to 6 is worth citing:

    * 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.

    Of course, the very same tactics of distortion, dismissal, evasion and claimed successful rebuttal will come out again and again. It seems, that’s what they have left in a pretty bare rhetorical cupboard.

    Maybe, now, we can start afresh.

  432. 432
    Seversky says:

    Kairosfocus @ 328

    SET’s clearly include moral issues, including that said rationality undeniably is morally governed by duties to truth, right reason, prudence, sound conscience, fairness, justice etc

    We would all agree, I assume, that it would morally abhorrent for a father to kill and eat his own children. Yet we know there are other animal species, such as some of the big cats, in which this happens. We might regard that as distasteful but do we regard it as morally wrong? Typically, no, we just put it down to Nature being “red in tooth and claw”. Following from that, we can envisage a more advanced alien intelligence conducting observations of Earth much as human scientist study other animals here. They might see instances of human children being abused by adults and classify them as aberrant behavior but not self-evidently immoral. So when an adult male lion kills an eats cubs. perhaps sired by another male, is that wrong on the grounds that it is a moral SET and, if not why not?

    No one is denying the importance of rationality but we use it because of its practical value in achieving a desired end, just like mathematics or logic. We are not “inescapably” governed by it or bound to use it. We can ignore it whenever we choose. Gambling, for example, is an irrational behavior because “the house always wins”. Yet a large number of people indulge in it now and apparently have done so throughout recorded history.

    The problem is that you are looking for absolute, bedrock certainties, particularly in terms of morality where, as far as I can see, there is none to be had.

  433. 433
    ET says:

    Holy Moley- Only humans are held to moral standards, seversky. Your desperation, while entertaining, is not an argument.

  434. 434
    ET says:

    hazel:

    It’s not right to interject your comments in my posts.

    Sure it is.

  435. 435
    hazel says:

    Vivid, given your comments to JAD a while back, it is clear that your comments are, in general, much more like a troll than anything approaching a genuine participant. 429 confirms my opinion.

  436. 436
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky:

    I assume, that it would morally abhorrent for a father to kill and eat his own children. Yet we know there are other animal species, such as some of the big cats, in which this happens. We might regard that as distasteful but do we regard it as morally wrong? Typically, no, we just put it down to Nature being “red in tooth and claw”.

    Is a Lion responsibly and rationally significantly free and so morally governed? Do we put lions on trial for killing a gazelle for lunch, or for that matter a man for similarly catching, killing and cooking a fish [that is not protected]?

    This is where the force of “rational [and so responsible] en-soulment” comes in.

    We are rational and responsible, not blindly driven by impulses and instincts. Thus, too, a higher being treating humans would err grossly were it to ignore or reject or dismiss the evidence that we exhibit in-built rational responsible freedom and linked intelligence, thus ability to reason, warrant, know, decide prudently or to the good, etc. That is the context of moral government in which we have rights and properly expect just treatment. If you will, we can express this in terms of the Kantian Categorical imperative, suitably understood, which arguably extend the do no harm justice implication of the Golden Rule of neighbour love:

    I: Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law

    II: Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of another, always at the same time as an end and never merely as a means.

    III: Therefore, every rational being must so act as if he were through his maxim always a legislating member in the universal kingdom of ends.

    Note, again, just what first duties of reason are are on the table: to truth, to right reason, to sound conscience, to prudence, to justice etc. In that context, we observe that the very act of arguing and reasoning, as we know abundantly from experience, is governed by these duties. Where, were we to deny this, we would on one side, undermine the basis for knowledge and responsible community or living, converting rationality into little more than a tool for clever deceit and manipulation. If we took another path (similar to that of Ruse and Wilson as cited and commented on in 411 above), we would imply grand delusion, causing immediate collapse of the intellectual life.

    I am not looking for absolute, bedrock certainties, I am looking at key self evident truths relevant to responsible reason. And, even the implied appeal of your latest arguments to these self-same principles show how inescapable they are. They are first truths, part of the package that we must acknowledge to set out on warranting other things. Again, you may profit from the exchange Epictetus had with an interlocutor on logic, as was shared above:

    DISCOURSES CHAPTER XXV

    How is logic necessary?

    When someone in [Epictetus’] audience said, Convince me that logic is necessary, he answered: Do you wish me to demonstrate this to you?—Yes.—Well, then, must I use a demonstrative argument?—And when the questioner had agreed to that, Epictetus asked him. How, then, will you know if I impose upon you?—As the man had no answer to give, Epictetus said: Do you see how you yourself admit that all this instruction is necessary, if, without it, you cannot so much as know whether it is necessary or not?

    There are things that are self-evident as they are inescapable. Indeed, arguably the first duties of reason are as central and as inescapable a part of logic as are the first principles pivoting on the principle of distinct identity: LOI, LNC, LEM.

    KF

  437. 437
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, Vivid has in fact posed a serious challenge you would be well advised to address. This includes that you have made and in the teeth of corrective evidence repeated a manifestly false assertion about my arguments above; which have not been merely empty repetition of text without addressing specific claims made by Seversky et al with fresh argument. Such fresh argument, as I remind at 415 echoing 315, includes the issue that reality is not credibly to be confined to the empirical domain. Were that done, mathematics and logic would collapse. KF

  438. 438
    hazel says:

    No, Vivid has posted a silly parody that makes no attempt to address serious objections to the issue.

  439. 439
    kairosfocus says:

    hazel, he put up two closely related comments. these highlight the inconsistencies in your remarks above, and how in fact you cannot escape precisely the appeals to first duties of reason that you have tried to sideline. Further to this, you still have not retracted your insistently repeated false assertion that I am simply emptily repeating. There is no need to go off on side tracks, just admit that your assertion on empty repetition was wrong, and engage the issue that the first duties of reason are in fact inescapable and present in your own arguments. KF

  440. 440
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel,

    Just to get back on track, I note as follows, first:

    Vivid, 426: >>426
    vividbleau
    October 24, 2019 at 8:49 pm (Edit)

    KF
    You gotta love Hazels post in 425 in light of what you told her in 414

    “The implicit premise of your argument is, indeed, “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 . . . “
    Hazel as usual talks out of both sides of her mouth. You OUGHT not interject your comments but that does not mean you are under ought and ought not do so. How do these people not realize that they are constantly contradicting themselves ?

    Vivid>>

    And, again:

    Vivid, 429: >>429
    vividbleau
    October 24, 2019 at 10:20 pm (Edit)

    “It’s not right to interject your comments in my posts.”

    KF this is what Hazel means. Even though you ought not interject your comments that does not mean you ought not do so. Since I am fallible I may be wrong in saying you are not right in which case your right and I apologize. However if your right you are fallible as well and could be wrong and then you need to apologize to me. Rinse and repeat.
    Better yet let’s take a vote and see if I can get some intersubjective agreement on the matter which is also fallible so it may be wrong as well in which case ( if it goes my way) I apologize. However if it goes your way it is fallible as well and we just rinse and repeat again. Clear?

    Vivid>>

    Taken together, he has put on the table a substantial matter and that should be answered.

    KF

  441. 441
    Ed George says:

    KF@440, if you think that addresses Hazel’s comment, you are sadly mistaken. Her point is simply that it is rude to post in someone else’s comment.

    There are many things that I think you OUGHT to do/accept. That doesn’t mean that we are under any objective governance of OUGHT. You are not bound to follow my OUGHTs, and I am not bound to follow yours. My OUGHTS are based on education, indoctrination, rational thought and feedback. There is not a single one of my OUGHTS that is dependent on a “necessary being”. In all of your words (and there have been thousands of them) you have not come close to adequately addressing the fact that moral values differ between societies, between people and over time. Claiming that free will and human error account for this is just equivocation at its best.

  442. 442
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, I cannot but notice that you do not respond to the substantial matter, insistent false accusation in the face of manifest correction, leading to a disciplinary action by the responsible thread owner. Meanwhile, you again exemplify the point that those who would sideline the first duties of reason are forced to rely on them to try to lend force to what they say; inescapable moral truths are truths and are self evident, objective and well warranted for those willing and able to ponder. Further, we cannot but observe that your latest piling on attempt also represents a derailment effort. KF

    PS: Your attempt to inject subjectivism fails, for reasons already laid out above. Or, do you want to fish for another run on the tactic see you are repeating the same argument. You are insistently ignoring cogent correction put up starting at 91 and last appearing at 410.

  443. 443
    Ed George says:

    KF@442, again, you have not addressed the evidence of all of recorded history.

  444. 444
    hazel says:

    kf writes, “leading to a disciplinary action by the responsible thread owner.”

    And what will that disciplinary action be?

    And Ed did respond to the substantial matter at 361, which I notice you haven’t responded to, other than to repeat yourself ad infinitum.

  445. 445
    Ed George says:

    Hazel

    And what will that disciplinary action be?

    As long as it doesn’t involve handcuffs, gags and leather. 🙂

  446. 446
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, you have an unretracted serious false accusation to address. That fact has been duly notified. That it remains unretracted speaks for itself. Meanwhile, comment after comment you show that the first duties of reason are inescapable. KF

  447. 447
    hazel says:

    kf writes, “Hazel, you have an unretracted serious false accusation to address.”

    I do? Can you be more specific? What false accusation have I made? In what post?

  448. 448
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, perhaps it has escaped your notice that disagreement on moral subjects carries no more capability to imply that there are no moral realities or that they can never be accurately described — which is a moral truth claim (and a false one) — than do differences of views or gaps between what is thought and what is done in any number of subjects. Including Logic and Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Medicine, Economics, History [there was an actual past and despite debates we may often accurately report it] and many more. Where, that reform is possible shows that moral errors can be recognised, warranted as errors, and corrected. In addition, you would do well to take time to absorb the points in 410, noting how such views break down decisively. KF

  449. 449
    Ed George says:

    Since repetition appears to be a valid form of argument here, let me clip again:

    I have not denied the existence of SETs. All I have said is that some of your claims of SETs are dependent on assumptions that are not proven. As such, they cannot be SETs. For example, your claim that we are inescapably under moral governance. Yes, we all have something that we refer to as a sense of morality. But the source of this “sense” and the values that populate it are up for debate. Some say it is objectively derived (God) and others say it is subjectively derived.

    If it were subjectively derived we would expect moral values to vary within a society, between societies, and over time. This is exactly what we see. If it is subjectively derived we would expect some societies to thrive and last a long time and others to be short lived. Again, this is exactly what we see.

    If it is subjectively derived we would expect to see changes over time in what society holds as its moral values. And it is exactly these changes that you are so upset about.

    You arguments about this inevitably boil down to your fears over the consequences to a society of moral values that are subjectively derived; your oft repeated might and manipulation make right. However, you conveniently leave out the concepts of cooperation, shared self-interest and the ability, although not infallible, to predict consequences of actions.

    This is what you have not satisfactorily addresses. And what Hazel has accused you of. And, please, stop with the “piling on” nonsense. Unless, of course, you are going to accuse ET, VB, UB and yourself for piling on as well.

  450. 450
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, you know the specific false accusation you made, then insisted on in the teeth of accessible correction on a mere matter of material fact — never mind that, likely, you did not read properly before setting up and knocking over a strawman — and you had just as much access to how it was refuted. KF

  451. 451
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, the above was adequately answered above, try 363 “the relevant SETs depend only on having understanding rooted in experience and honesty to admit its force. Indeed, there you go again, just as was noted . . .” Notice, no particular questionable assertions or assumptions, just an observation easily confirmed throughout this thread: we cannot escape appealing to the first duties of reason when we reason or argue; this you just did yet again but refuse to acknowledge. Notice, from no 1 in my list:

    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 . . .

    Do you deny that it is not a key premise in your objections above, that “we are in the wrong and there is something to be avoided about that”? If you deny, you have no argument, you are just making noises. If you do acknowledge that we may and do readily see just this commonplace fact, then your huffing and puffing over alleged or suggested dubious assumptions falls flat.

    That you insist on repeating adequately corrected errors is sufficient to show how weak your case is.

    KF

  452. 452
    hazel says:

    kf writes, “you know the specific false accusation you made, then insisted on in the teeth of accessible correction on a mere matter of material fact ”

    Refresh my memory, please. I have accused you of improperly inserting a comment into my post. I have accused you of endless reposting the same stuff.

    But if I made some other specific false accusation, please let me know what it is, and point back to the post where you “corrected me” with a “mere matter of material fact.”

  453. 453
    Ed George says:

    KF, sorry, but how does that address my comment?

    KF: Do you deny that it is not a key premise in your objections above, that “we are in the wrong and there is something to be avoided about that”?

    I believe you are subjectively wrong. Not objectively so. But please, address my actual comment, don’t just provide rhetorical talking points.

  454. 454
    hazel says:

    Aha – I found it. At 439, kf writes,

    you still have not retracted your insistently repeated false assertion that I am simply emptily repeating. There is no need to go off on side tracks, just admit that your assertion on empty repetition was wrong.

    When I look back over your posts, briefly, I primarily see repeats of quoted material and boilerplate language, so I think it’s correct to say that most of what you post is repetitious. I don’t think I’ve used the word “empty”, although I have said I don’t see why you think saying the same things over and over again accomplishes anything.

  455. 455
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, you obviously have forgotten what you said, to which I specifically objected and which you have doubled down on:

    Hazel, 413: “do you not see that you never, ever respond (other than by repeating your claims) to counterpoints of others

    In a context of a three-day process of taking time out from multiple local RW challenges to answer Seversky, EG and you on specific arguments, that was simply false and a false accusation.

    There are points of evidence and arguments that will bear repeating, including pointing out how — consistently and inescapably — your objections etc have a pattern with an “. . . 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.

    Later, Vivid would note this at 426 & 429 for a case where you argued in 425 “It’s not right to interject your comments in my posts.”

    Indeed, that would not be right as a routine matter but this is not that, you have a false accusation, corrected that you doubled down on. Thus, I took strong steps to highlight the problem.

    Further to all of this, you have shown a pattern of evasion or dismissive comment or ignoring material argument and evidence then proceeding with whatever talking points you wish. Indeed, IIRC there were points in the past where you said you did not read what you engaged. When you are making accusations involving terms like “you never, ever . . .” you had better have done the work of ensuring accuracy. You obviously failed to do so, and raised an accusation that comes across as turnabout projection rather than anything fair minded or truthful. And especially given current circumstances, that is not acceptable.

    Please, do better.

    And, worse, all of this is distractive from a central and serious issue for our civilisation.

    KF

  456. 456
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, your response fails. If you are saying little more than “I detest prunes,” then you have nothing substantial to say. If you are setting out to use or to enable agit prop, media amplified street theatre and lawfare to impose your preferred rewriting of sexual identity, sexual ethics and key institutions like marriage and family in the teeth of evidence of SET’s and much more that such is extremely ill advised and even ruinous, including opening up grooming in the name of library reading time, then you are declaring war of imposition and usurpation that triggers the rights of remonstrance and resistance discussed in say the 2nd Paragraph, US DoI. In this region, we already have to deal with judges trying to rewrite — not merely “creatively” interpret [bad as that already is] — specific, focal, referendum-passed constitutional provisions from their unaccountable benches. It seems you are blissfully unaware of what fatal spreading disaffection of the people in the face of a long train of abuses and usurpations can all too easily lead to. Somewhere that it is patent madness to go. KF

  457. 457
    hazel says:

    I looked back over quite a few of your posts in this thread, kf, and I really don’t see anything but constant repetition of both quotes and boilerplate language that you use all the time. But, of course, that means that I shouldn’t be bothering to engage, either, if in fact nothing new will happen. I’ll try to control myself and not post.

  458. 458
    kairosfocus says:

    Hazel, at this point, it is clear that you are simply doubling down on falsehood. Rather than get into a crocodile death roll on the red herring –> strawman caricature –> ad hominem pattern you have chosen, which only serves to cloud, poison and polarise the atmosphere, I simply note that.It is further clear that you have lost the balance on merits. G’day madam. KF

  459. 459
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, for purpose of record, I comment:

    >> I have not denied the existence of SETs. >>

    1: Do you affirm that SET’s exist? That MORAL SET’s exist, such as the yardstick cases given? Or do you still endorse Seversky’s blunder of trying to confine reality to the empirical-material, despite cases such as Mathematics and logic. (Which last are fresh information in response to a novel claim, for information of anyone taking Hazel’s false accusation at face value.) Let me add a very concrete and regrettably real world, yardstick case with an immediate corollary:

    ASSERTION: it is self-evidently wrong, bad and evil to kidnap, torture, sexually violate and murder a young child. Likewise, by corollary: if we come across such a case in progress, it is our duty to try to intervene to save the child from such a monster.

    –> Indeed, the 12 successive SET’s I have worked through are elaborated from this case study.

    –> Where, if someone disagrees, that will be a sign of moral defectiveness. We know full well that there are evils, goods and duties, the core stuff of morality.

    2: If SET’s exist then we have objective and certain knowledge on key, plumb line points. Start with classic cases such as error exists or the first principles of reason, or — again, fresh to this thread — Epictetus’ answer on inescapability of logic. (And for record, what is sound does not lose soundness for being pointed to again, and what is sound but ignored or rhetorically sidelined does not lose cogency because of the willful obtuseness and fallacy of the closed mind thus displayed.)

    3: It is pivotal to highlight that certain things are true and can be known as true as inescapable.

    4: As shown but studiously ignored and insistently rhetorically sidelined, the first duties of reason and associated moral SETs are like that. Indeed, your own objections, manifestly, implicitly appeal to them.

    >>All I have said is that some of your claims of SETs are dependent on assumptions that are not proven.>>

    5: Not at all, they are no more derivative of other propositions than are other first principles of reason. Every attempt to prove them will implicitly use them. And indeed your current objecting point is replete with implied appeals to not only the first principles but also the first duties of reason. Arguably, both are inextricably intertwined in the praxis and core structure of logic. I note, Collins English Dictionary:

    logic (?l?d??k)
    n
    1. (Logic) the branch of philosophy concerned with analysing the patterns of reasoning by which a conclusion is properly drawn from a set of premises, without reference to meaning or context. See also formal logic, deduction4, induction4

    6: Instead we recognise and respect these SETs as inescapably true, on pain of the sort of patent absurdities that have come up from objections in this thread over and over again.

    >>As such, they cannot be SETs.>>

    7: Conclusion falsified. And this is an implicit appeal to duties to truth, right reason and prudence (here, warrant).

    >> For example, your claim that we are inescapably under moral governance. >>

    8: This is in fact shown every time you argue or object, you rest on our known duties of reason.

    >>Yes, we all have something that we refer to as a sense of morality. But the source of this “sense” and the values that populate it are up for debate.>>

    9: You here try to have your cake and eat it too. Where, in a world in which error exists is a SET, mere disagreement or error does not show that SET’s are not.

    10: We have already seen inescapability of first duties of reason and the like. Disagreement on your part does not imply lack of good reason to recognise self evidence on our part.

    >> Some say it is objectively derived (God) >>

    10: Moral government of reason does not require antecedent belief in God, though it may lend force to such an argument. All it requires, is willingness to acknowledge what we may readily observe in cases of reason is real.

    >>and others say it is subjectively derived>>

    11: We have no reason to concede a skeptic’s veto, especially when we can see the facts for ourselves. This is now gaslighting.

    >> If it were subjectively derived we would expect moral values to vary within a society, between societies, and over time.>>

    12: If error exists we will expect the same, the issue is to identify plumb line truths that will correct our crooked yardsticks. The first duties of reason do precisely that.

    >>This is exactly what we see. If it is subjectively derived we would expect some societies to thrive and last a long time and others to be short lived. Again, this is exactly what we see.>>

    13: Errors carried forward in the face of established corrections.

    >> If it is subjectively derived we would expect to see changes over time in what society holds as its moral values. And it is exactly these changes that you are so upset about.>>

    >> You arguments about this inevitably boil down to your fears over the consequences to a society of moral values that are subjectively derived; >>

    14: The X-phobia ad hominem fallacy. No, I do not have irrational ungrounded fears, though as a strategic analyst I can see consequences and trends. You would do well to heed Machiavelli’s warning about political disorders and why by the time the course is obvious to all, it is too late to cure.

    >>your oft repeated might and manipulation make right. >>

    15: You cannot even bring yourself to acknowledge that Plato analysed the ruinous follies of evolutionary materialism 2350+ years ago, through having lived through the folly-driven failure of Athens through the Peloponnessian War.

    16: You have no answer to the problem, so you try to personalise and target a figure you find a little more convenient than targetting Plato. I could add Cicero, the French Revolution and many other cases in point.

    >>However, you conveniently leave out the concepts of cooperation, shared self-interest and the ability, although not infallible, to predict consequences of actions.>>

    17: Strawman. The SET’s you wish to sideline lay out precisely the principles of sound collective thought and work that lead to a better alternative than the oft repeated story of marches of folly over the cliff. As in the sad lessons of history.

    18: Those who refuse to learn and heed the hard bought lessons of sound history doom themselves to re-live its worst chapters.

    19: This time, with nukes etc in play.

    KF

  460. 460
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: As an obviously needed reminder, here is Plato, speaking in the voice of The Athenian Stranger:

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

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

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

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

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

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

  461. 461
    ET says:

    Too bad the people who want to disallow objective morals cannot make a scientific case for our existence. And it’s very telling that they cannot.

  462. 462
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Since it has been sidestepped and buried in the comment stream, I find it relevant to highlight Liddell again from 317 (never mind the we already ignored it how dare you bring it up again rhetorical stunt):

    >>A useful discussion on objective moral truth, by Nathan Liddell, part 1 :

    https://thedailyapologist.com/the-moral-argument-part-1-do-objective-moral-truths-exist/

    . . . First, what is meant by objective? President John Adams once said, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”[2] This is essentially what it means to say morals are objective. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, objective, in the sense in which the MA uses it, means: “not dependent on the mind for existence; actual.”[3] Its synonyms are actual, real, empirical, verifiable, existing, or manifest. In other words, objective truths are mind-independent facts of reality—facts that are true regardless of the feelings or opinions of any person. For example, Earth is the third planet from the Sun. Since the Copernican revolution, science has demonstrated this to be a fact beyond dispute. Mercury and Venus are closer to the Sun than Earth, and Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are farther away. This is true regardless of what anyone thinks or feels about it. By contrast, the word subjective means “Based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions” and its synonyms are personal, personalized, individual, internal, emotional, instinctive, intuitive, and impressionistic.”[4] According to the MA, moral truths are not subjective. Whether killing the innocent, for example, is right or wrong is not a matter of personal opinion or feeling. Moral duties and obligations are not determined by the feelings of individuals or groups. Instead, the facts of external reality make murder wrong and bind moral obligations.

    Second, what is meant by moral? A moral truth is a truth concerning good and bad, right and wrong, ought and ought not. A moral truth claim is a statement like it is “wrong to torture a child” or “it is right to save a life.” These are the kind of truth claims with which the MA is concerned.

    Third, what is meant by truth? Truth is that which corresponds to the facts of reality.[5] To say it more simply, to tell the truth is to tell it like it is.

    Having these definitions in mind, premise two may be summarized as saying: regardless of what anybody thinks about it, some things really are right and/or wrong. This particular view of morality is called Moral Realism. Pojman and Fieser give this definition: “Moral facts exist and are part of the fabric of the universe; they exist independently of our thoughts about them.”[6]

    Part 2 adds:

    https://thedailyapologist.com/the-moral-argument-part-2-why-should-we-believe-objective-moral-truths-exist/

    . . . But is this right? Do objective moral truths exist as a part of reality? Answering this question is as simple as filling in the following blanks:

    It is always wrong/bad/immoral for anyone to _________________.
    It is always right/good/moral for anyone to _________________.

    If there are answers to put in these blanks, then objective moral truths exist. The MA argues that there are such answers. For example, it is always wrong for anyone to torture a baby for fun. This fact is obvious and indisputable. Similarly, it is always right to feed the hungry. Again, this fact is obvious and indisputable. Consequently, it is argued that premise two is obvious and indisputable. The shared moral experience of life demonstrates it.

    Several objections are raised against premise two. Among them are 1. Moral Nihilism which says there is no good or bad really. Torturing a child and feeding the hungry are morally neutral acts, neither good nor bad[2]; 2. Moral Skepticism which holds that we just cannot know whether these actions are right or wrong;[3] 3. Moral Relativism which claims that actions like these are determined to be right or wrong by the opinions or feelings of individuals or groups.[4] According to this view, moral facts are subjective, not objective.

    As William Lane Craig notes, however, these positions do not match with our shared moral experience. He writes:[5]

    My claim is that we are justified in believing (2) on the ground of our moral experience unless and until we have a defeater of that experience, just as we are justified in believing that there is a world of physical objects around us on the ground of our sense experience unless and until we have a defeater of that experience. Such a defeater would have to show not merely that our moral experience is fallible or defeasible but that it is utterly unreliable, that we may apprehend no objective moral values or duties whatsoever. Our moral experience is so powerful, however, that such a defeater would have to be incredibly powerful in order to overcome our experience, just as our sense experience is so powerful that a defeater of my belief in the world of physical objects I perceive would have to be incredibly powerful in order for me to believe that I have no good reason to think that I am not a brain in a vat of chemicals or a body lying in the Matrix.

    Consequently, many, if not most, atheists will agree with premise two. (They may take one of several positions such as Atheistic Moral Realism, Moral Naturalism, or Atheistic Moral Platonism.) Atheist Louise Antony holds, “…any argument for moral scepticism will be based on premises which are less obvious than the existence of objective moral values and duties themselves, that is than (2) itself.”[6] To deny premise two then is to reject shared moral experience and to hold a position that is less obvious than premise two. For these reasons, premise two should be accepted as true.

    The attempt to imply or suggest that perceptions of moral truths are delusional, opens up the abyss of grand delusion . . . [the third link in the chain of twelve]>>

    This actually makes a weaker claim than I have, but that’s because of what it focusses. When we turn focus to our rational faculty and see that in addition to inescapable and so self-evident first principles of reason, there are equally inescapable first duties and first moral experiences of reason, we find that these can be accurately summarised and that they become inescapable truths, thus self-evident.

    Who denies the general experience of sensing moral obligation, or that it acts as a moral guide? No responsible person. Those few who have lost such a sense are seen as disabled and even in some cases monstrous — thus my mention of sociopaths and psychopaths above. What is being done is to try to squeeze the sense into a relativist- emotivist- subjectivist mould, often using the fact of moral disagreement to try to discredit the idea that there could be plumb line self evident moral truths. Somebody went as far as to try to suggest that truth can only apply to the empirical-material world (and his remarks were endorsed).

    Of course, once error exists is a SET, errors and disagreements cannot be proof that there are no objectively warranted moral truths. Indeed, this is itself a moral truth claim that imagines itself to be warranted. That’s a clue on how incoherent such views are. And of course, disagreement means at least one party is in error, often both have part truths mixed with the errors.

    Refocussing, let us ask why we so often, so intensely engage things like this. ANS: we all implicitly recognise a general consensus that we have duties to truth, right reason, prudence [so, warrant] sound conscience, justice etc. Where, these perceived duties actually undeniably govern our intelligent behaviour. Where, too, were such delusional, we would instantly end in grand delusion, discrediting the human mind. So, already, we have cause to accept these as accurate, subject only to extremely strong defeaters. Which simply aren’t out there.

    And, when we notice that these are pervasive, inescapable in acts of mind, it dawns that we are recognising first duties of reason that are inescapable and so true antecedent to our ability to provide arguments and warrants. These are part of where proofs begin and of how proofs work. The denier or objector — as pointed out and as exemplified again and again above — inescapably uses these in composing objections, too. The denial is instantly self-defeating and objections toward such denial meet the same failure. These first duties are self evident and so are the associated first experiences.

    Why then the stridency of objections above?

    Because if our rationality is morally governed, we are morally governed. And that means we operate on both sides of the IS-OUGHT gap. That means, the gap needs to be bridged, which is only possible at reality root. To fill this bill we are looking for an enormously powerful necessary being that is inherently good thus utterly wise. And that paints a partial picture of a very familiar figure who is despised in a day where many are radically secularised, anti-theistic and/or anti-Christian.

    Well did the Apostle Paul warn:

    Rom 1:19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened . . . [ESV]

    Rather, looks like the old Apostle knew what he was talking about.

    KF

  463. 463
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, in large part due to our morally governed significantly free rational faculties. KF

  464. 464
  465. 465
    Seversky says:

    Kairosfocus@ 376

    1: We by your own admission, have a debate, not merely a meaningless, random and/or mechanically determined spewing of noises imagined to be freely responsible, meaningful communications, or actual symbolic representation as actual text.

    That’s right and the very existence of a debate implies that there are at least two sides to the point at issue and that neither side has been able thus far to establish supremacy for their case.

    2: See the self-referentiality, already? Yes, you are sawing off the branch on which we all must sit including yourself. Already, reduced to absurdity, fail.

    There is no self-referential absurdity. I have never denied the existence or value of reason and logic but I regard them as human creations. Like visual and spoken language, logic and mathematics are modeling languages, for want of a better term, which enable us to synthesize models of the objective reality we assume to exist beyond us. The greater the fidelity of those models to what we can observe, the greater purchase they give us over that reality. The value of a description can only be gauged by measuring it against what is described. Logic and mathematics are valuable precisely because of their descriptive and predictive power in the observable universe. Otherwise, they would simply be games like chess in which we manipulate arbitrary symbols by arbitrary rules and which we play for intellectual exercise and entertainment.

    3: More interestingly, you imagine that disagreement disproves self-evidence. Nope, not in a world where people may misunderstand or for emotional, psychological, social or ideological or even prudential reasons, might cling to the manifestly absurd.

    Yes, for some people, deeply-held beliefs are immune to argument or consideration of rational alternatives but by declaring them to be SETs and attempting thereby to preclude any possibility of debate looks too much like trying to win by fiat.

    Moreover, claimed SETs which, by the correspondence theory, depend for their truth value on the extent to which they correspond to what they purport to describe are not true a priori. They are logically contingent in that they are grounded in the context of the observer’s experience and information.

    Furthermore, as we have noted before, if you accept the correspondence theory of truth then moral claims are neither true nor false because they are not claims about what is but about what ought to be. If you are declaring them to be true by some other definition of truth then you need to state it and explain how it differs from the correspondence theory.

    On the question of moral governance, it seems to me the debate is not about its value to a society but its source or warrant. As an a/mat I have no problem admitting that human societies are stronger, more resilient and more cohesive when guided by moral principles. It’s why I don’t expect religions to simply vanish from human society in the foreseeable future because, in terms of function, that is what they do.

    The problem is that there is a choice between a divine command theory of morality and a consensus or intersubjective agreement theory.

    In the divine command theory, the source of morality is some deity or other non-human agency. The morality is imposed on humanity from without. It implies that human beings would stand around slack-jawed and scratching their heads wondering what on Earth to do until the deity comes along and tells them they need to re-think their lives and they shuffle away mumbling “I need to re-think my life”.

    The consensus theory gives humanity more credit (not always warranted perhaps) and holds that people are smart enough to see for themselves that basically, if they are going to live together in communities, they will have to respect the needs and interests of others if they want their own to be so respected. In other words, their acceptance of so-called moral governance is a collective, self-imposed obligation.

    On the objection to the consensus theory that, in Nazi Germany, a majority would have voted in favor of the Final Solution, while it’s possible, I doubt it would happen. First, assuming the Nazis had openly declared what they intended and put it to a vote, all the Jews, Romanys, gays, disabled etc, would have voted against, so would all those who realized that what could be done to the Jews could easily been done to them if they fell out of favor and so would all the ordinary, decent Germans. In other words, perhaps I’m being too optimistic but I strongly doubt that the Nazis would have won a free vote.

    When it comes right down to it, we don’t need concepts like self-evident truths and inescapable moral governance. All we need is a recognition that we are all human beings and in this together. Overall, the world is in a mess and it’s mostly of our own making. I hope that, sooner or later, we all come to realize it and accept that we have a better chance of putting things right if we all find a way of working together rather than wasting our energy in petty, internecine squabbles. We need to accept that we could easily go the way of the dinosaurs, no alien super-intelligence or deity is going to come to our rescue. There are no guarantees. We are on our own.

  466. 466
    hazel says:

    Checking in:

    Good post, Sev. I appreciate your measured and thoughtful response.

    Checking out.

  467. 467
    Ed George says:

    Sev, excellent post.

  468. 468
    hazel says:

    No one will really care about this, but I’ll indulge myself anyway.

    Sev concludes, “We are on our own”.

    So does John Perry Barlow, songwriter for the the Grateful Dead, in “Throwing Stones”:

    Picture a bright blue ball, just spinning, spinnin free,
    Dizzy with eternity.
    Paint it with a skin of sky,
    Brush in some clouds and sea,
    Call it home for you and me.
    A peaceful place or so it looks from space,
    A closer look reveals the human race.
    Full of hope, full of grace
    Is the human face,
    But afraid we may lay our home to waste.

    There’s a fear down here we can’t forget.
    Hasn’t got a name just yet.
    Always awake, always around,
    Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down.
    Ashes, ashes, all fall down.

    Now watch as the ball revolves
    And the nighttime falls.
    Again the hunt begins,
    Again the bloodwind calls.
    By and by, the morning sun will rise,
    But the darkness never goes
    From some men’s eyes.
    It strolls the sidewalks and it rolls the streets,
    Staking turf, dividing up meat.
    Nightmare spook, piece of heat,
    It’s you and me.
    You and me.

    Click flash blade in ghetto night,
    Rudies looking for a fight.
    Rat cat alley, roll them bones.
    Need that cash to feed that jones.
    And the politicians throwin’ stones,
    Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down.
    Ashes, ashes, all fall down.

    [Bridge:]
    Commissars and pin-stripe bosses
    Roll the dice.
    Any way they fall,
    Guess who gets to pay the price.
    Money green or proletarian gray,
    Selling guns ‘stead of food today.

    So the kids they dance
    And shake their bones,
    And the politicians throwin’ stones,
    Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down.
    Ashes, ashes, all fall down.

    Heartless powers try to tell us
    What to think.
    If the spirit’s sleeping,
    Then the flesh is ink
    History’s page will thus be carved in stone.
    And we are here, and we are on our own
    On our own.
    On our own.
    On our own.

    [Instrumental]

    If the game is lost,
    Then we’re all the same.
    No one left to place or take the blame.
    We can leave this place and empty stone
    Or that shinin’ ball we used to call our home.

    So the kids they dance
    And shake their bones,
    And the politicians throwin’ stones,
    Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down.
    Ashes, ashes, all fall down.

    [Bridge two:] Shipping powders back and forth
    Singing black goes south and white comes north.
    In a whole world full of petty wars
    Singing I got mine and you got yours.
    And the current fashion sets the pace,
    Lose your step, fall out of grace.
    And the radical, he rant and rage,
    Singing someone’s got to turn the page.
    And the rich man in his summer home,
    Singing just leave well enough alone.
    But his pants are down, his cover’s blown…

    And the politicians throwin’ stones,
    So the kids they dance
    And shake their bones,
    And it’s all too clear we’re on our own.
    Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down.
    Ashes, ashes, all fall down.

    Picture a bright blue ball,
    Just spinnin’, spinnin, free.
    Dizzy with the possibilities.
    Ashes, ashes, all fall down.
    Ashes, ashes, all fall down.
    Ashes, ashes, all fall down.
    Ashes, ashes, all fall down.
    Ashes, ashes, all fall down.

    Dead and Company 2018

  469. 469
    vividbleau says:

    The reviews are in. “ A tour de force” NY Times. “ Destroys Humes critique of empiricism “ Variety “ One word profound” USA Today “ A must read” Cleveland Plain Dealer

    Vivid

  470. 470
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky,

    Something goes wrong from the outset, where you set up and knock over a strawman.

    Yes, strawman. Obviously, in debates there is disagreement. That is not at issue. What is, is that in our arguing and reasoning we inescapably manifest the appeal to first duties of reason. That’s not a dubious claim, it is a summary description of general experience that should not even be controversial. You are wrong on facts, you are in error, you are false, that’s a fallacy, that’s unfair or unjust etc all point to the known obligation under said duties. And the like.

    Indeed, your opening remarks do just that, pivot on such implied appeals to known first duties of reason.

    That is manifest.

    If it were not so, we would be just making meaningless and/or manipulative noises . . . which is precisely what emotivism says or implies.

    Later, more details.

    KF

    PS: Even before amplifying, I note there is a world of difference in meaning between government and governance. The former points to a legitimate, widely acknowledged authority. The latter is best understood as however big decisions get made and/or get made to stick. That’s why there is a distinct modifier, good governance; with associated principles and approaches. As in, bingo, yet another appeal to said first duties of reason.

  471. 471
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky (& attn Hazel and EG et al),

    On points of note:

    >>That’s right and the very existence of a debate implies that there are at least two sides to the point at issue and that neither side has been able thus far to establish supremacy for their case.>>

    1: Already shown as strawman fallacy. Disagreement does not imply that a claim disagreed with is false or undecidable or unknown. Warrant is different from consensus (which latter can be agreement in eror).

    2: More directly, even this objection implicitly appeals to first duties of reason and to our recognition of obligation to such. Hence, again, the force of the first two SETs of the 12 which you refuse to acknowledge even while making objections that invariably, inescapably pivot on them. And, reminder with warrant is not empty repetition:

    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. Expanding slightly: our rational, responsible intelligent behaviour is inescapably under the moral government of known duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc. Thus, we find morally rooted law built into our morally governed nature, even for our intellectual life. Thus, too, the civil law extends what is already built in, to our social circumstances, turning on issues of prudence, justice and mutual duties; if it is to be legitimate. Notice, this is itself a theory on what law is or at least should be. And yes, all of this is fraught with implications for the roots of reality.)

    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: What we are clearly seeing here is refusal to acknowledge a pivotal and manifestly true but ideologically inconvenient truth.

    >>There is no self-referential absurdity.>>

    4: Denial of what has been actually shown does not change the reality. At every turn you have appealed to the general binding force of what you try to project as emotional or subjective or relative.

    >>I have never denied the existence or value of reason and logic but I regard them as human creations.>>

    5: No one said you deny that we use reason and logic, or that such have no “value.” What has been at focal stake is how they work in the community of the rational or even in our internal reflection, i.e. we pivot on the first duties of reason as outlined: “our rational, responsible intelligent behaviour is inescapably under the moral government of known duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc.”

    6: The quoted assertion is actually a case in point.

    >> Like visual and spoken language, logic and mathematics are modeling languages, for want of a better term, which enable us to synthesize models of the objective reality we assume to exist beyond us.>>

    7: In short, language, symbols and so forth insofar as they express propositional claims [truth/falsity bearers] are generally structured to “model” — thus, more accurately, represent — reality. In other cases, they are used to mislead others to imagine the same.

    8: Why is that? Precisely because we are governed by first duties of reason, starting with truth.

    9: Reference to objective reality implies possibilities and undesirability of errors and delusions, again, reflecting duty to truth.

    10: Objective also implies warrant leading to credible reliability of the claimed or implied accuracy of description. That is, it pivots on duties to right reason and prudence. Again and again you exemplify what you wish to overturn.

    11: I note that objective reality is not equal to the material, physical world but includes abstract realities and relationships, including Mathematics and Logic etc.

    >> The greater the fidelity of those models to what we can observe, the greater purchase they give us over that reality.>>

    12: I have already pointed out on the case of Mathematical abstracta that reality and the concrete or material are not to be equated.

    13: It is a property of a true claim or a sound argument [valid chain of inferences rooted in true premises] that such will be accurate, i.e. speak the truth. So, insofar as they address the empirical as itself accurately observed, they will reliably agree with it.

    >>The value of a description can only be gauged by measuring it against what is described.>>

    14: That is, implicit appeal to duty to truth

    >>Logic and mathematics are valuable precisely because of their descriptive and predictive power in the observable universe.>>

    15: Logic and Mathematics are also extremely valuable as opening up for us reliable windows on the world of things that are not physically observable. For example, implication and entailment are abstract relationships. Likewise, the infinitesimal and transfinite quantitative realms are unobservable but per logic of being, real. Moral obligations are also very real as the test case of a kidnapped, sexually assaulted and murdered child amply demonstrates.

    16: Furthermore, logical positivism has collapsed over 50 years past because its verifiability principle is neither analytically true nor subject to empirical observational confirmation. Thus by its own claim it is meaningless.

    >>Yes, for some people, deeply-held beliefs are immune to argument or consideration of rational alternatives but by declaring them to be SETs and attempting thereby to preclude any possibility of debate looks too much like trying to win by fiat.>>

    17: A strawman and ad hominem. Go look in a mirror, please.

    18: Note, again, the point of a self-evident truth: true, seen as necessarily so by one with the experience and insight to understand, where also the attempted denial immediately manifests patent absurdity. That is, there is not a need for an elaborate, complicated reductio argument. (Yes, proof by reduction to self-referential absurdity arrived at after complex technical stages establishes necessary truth but it is not self evident. There are many famous mathematical results in point, starting with discovery of irrationals in the ratio of diagonal of a square to its sides. And all such reductio arguments implicitly rely on the first principles and duties of reason. At every step. That is how pivotal what is on the table is. In the morally governed sphere of action, where we choose among possibilities, complex chains of risk and consequence are relevant and lead to other cogent arguments, but again at every step they rely on the first principles and duties of reason.)

    19: As a typical case, try Josiah Royce’s proposition, E = error exists. Generally, readily understood to be true. Not so much seen as necessarily and self evidently true.

    20: To see the latter, try the denial, ~E. But ~E MEANS that it would be an error to assert that error exists. Immediately, ~E is absurd and E must be true. E is undeniably true and self-evident. (Amazing, but it seems this has not soaked in after many years.)

    21: Self evidence is demonstrably not the fallacy of closed mindedness and refusal to reason. Indeed, that brings up case 2. The first principles of right reason pivoting on distinct identity are unprovable as any attempt to prove will inevitably use these principles. You already saw how Epictetus elaborated this. If you read it.

    22: The first duties of reason are inevitably involved in logic and are inescapable just like LOI, LNC, LEM. Taking all of these as inescapably true is not a failure to be rational or a case of closed-mindedness but is instead the first step to reasoning soundly.

    23: Nor does this — and recall, this is precisely the focal matter — lock out debate. Just the opposite — your turnabout projection fallacy fails — we are establishing the foundation for sound, reasonable, responsible debate.

    24: Nor is this empty “fiat” it is highlighting what is foundational, with a drawing out of why that should be recognised.

    >>Moreover, claimed SETs which, by the correspondence theory, depend for their truth value on the extent to which they correspond to what they purport to describe are not true a priori. They are logically contingent in that they are grounded in the context of the observer’s experience and information.>>

    25: I notice the unacknowledged retreat from trying to confine reality to the empirical world. I repeat, abstract realities are still realities, whether entities or relationships.

    26: Our ability to recognise, understand and acknowledge SET’s will indeed pivot on our background experience and insight but our failure to understand does not entail that SETs are not just that, actually self-evident and true. True meaning, accurately describing relevant aspects of reality.

    >>as we have noted before, if you accept the correspondence theory of truth then moral claims are neither true nor false because they are not claims about what is but about what ought to be.>>

    27: Your repeating an already corrected error does not transmute it into truth.

    28: First, truth describes what is, but what is so, reality, includes not only material tangible or physically observable entities but abstract entities, structures and relationships of many kinds. Such include, mathematical and logical abstracta, thus too the first duties of reason.

    29: In short it can be and is true that our intelligent life is governed by known duties to “to truth, to right reason, to prudence [so to warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbourliness [thus, the Golden Rule], to fairness and justice, etc.” Indeed, it can be and is manifestly true that such are inescapable in reasoning . . . as your own objections repeatedly exemplify.

    >>On the question of moral governance,>>

    30: Government, not governance as was highlighted earlier tonight.

    >> it seems to me the debate is not about its value to a society but its source or warrant.>>

    31: Notice, how you here appeal to duties to truth, right reason, prudence and justice? Inescapable, yet again.

    32: Here, we have already seen the source: inescapably thus self-evidently true. And at every turn where you headshake, jump, run and turn to try to throw the hook of moral SET’s you simply underscore their inescapability.

    >> As an a/mat I have no problem admitting that human societies are stronger, more resilient and more cohesive when guided by moral principles.>>

    33: Could this be, shocker, because such core first duties of reason happen to be true and self-evident?

    >>On the objection to the consensus theory that, in Nazi Germany, a majority would have voted in favor of the Final Solution, while it’s possible, I doubt it would happen.>>

    34: A majority voted in favour of the Nazi regime and its governance structures and principles. Indeed, up until manifest catastrophic defeat was staring them in the face, Hitler remained the most popular leader in German history. He won that popularity by restoring order and breaking the depression in Germany, then delivering a chain of astonishing geostrategic victories, first diplomatically then militarily.

    35: And in fact majorities can form or support the worst tyrannies — the terror in France had mass support until people finally woke up to its implications. The manipulated or benighted mob on a march of folly is a clear danger of democratic systems. That’s why there are no pure democracies today.

    >>When it comes right down to it, we don’t need concepts like self-evident truths and inescapable moral governance.>>

    36: When we turn to first principles and duties of reason, we cannot escape them. The issue is not their self-evidence on that foundational inescapability but our willingness to acknowledge it.

    37: At every turn above, you manifest that inescapability but are unwilling to acknowledge manifest truth. The reasons are obvious, such would radically undermine a worldview you have declared commitment to.

    Okay, that should be enough to make the issues clearer.

    KF

    >>>>

  472. 472
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky, do you not see the implications [oops] of not acknowledging that we are all mutually under the government of first principles and duties of right reason? First, that we immediately are in massive self-referential incoherence as these are in fact instantly present so soon as we make claims or imply claims of fact, implication, likelihood, consequence or duty etc; where we cannot live without others habitually living by such. Second, that the massively evident and pervasive sense of such duties and of their generally binding nature is delusion, reducing mind to discredit and chaos. Third, the only substitute is just what Plato warned against so long ago, might and/or manipulation [= might in the arts of deceit] make ‘truth’/ ‘right’/ ‘justice’/ ‘duty’/ ‘good’/ ‘evil’/ ‘warrant’ etc. Again, chaos. In short, absurdity is instantly present, though obviously you refuse to acknowledge. So bad is this that I have a perfect right to call you whatever I will simply because I have the power, and to ignore or dismiss anything brought out as evidence or reasoning you may put on the table. You may well imagine that the nihilism implicit in such will not manifest itself but history is there to say how often that is exactly what happens, the chaos of even threatened anarchy leads to the rise of the strong man who in such circumstances acknowledges no binding principle of justice, fairness, prudence, conscience, reason or truth. In the case of the USA you have now clearly passed media lynchings and linked street theatre to star chamber kangaroo courts that twist principles to impose injustice under colour of law, ruinous lawfare. But of course, such inconvenient signs can readily be dismissed as long as the pain is not too personally borne. Dancing heedlessly and recklessly, stubbornly, on the crumbling edge of a cliff. Suicidal folly. KF

  473. 473
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: it is worth the effort to put on the table Clarke and Rakestraw:

    Principles are broad general guidelines that all persons ought to follow. Morality is the dimension of life related to right conduct. It includes virtuous character and honorable intentions as well as the decisions and actions that grow out of them. Ethics on the other hand, is the [philosophical and theological] study of morality . . . [that is,] a higher order discipline that examines moral living in all its facets . . . . on three levels. The first level, descriptive ethics, simply portrays moral actions or virtues. A second level, normative ethics (also called prescriptive ethics), examines the first level, evaluating actions or virtues as morally right or wrong. A third level, metaethics, analyses the second . . . It clarifies the meaning of ethical terms and assesses the principles of ethical argument . . . . Some think, without reflecting on it, that . . . what people actually do is the standard of what is morally right . . . [But, what] actually happens and what ought to happen are quite different . . . . A half century ago, defenders of positivism routinely argued that descriptive statements are meaningful, but prescriptive statements (including all moral claims) are meaningless . . . In other words, ethical claims give no information about the world; they only reveal something about the emotions of the speaker . . . . Yet ethical statements do seem to say something about the realities to which they point. “That’s unfair!” encourages us to attend to circumstances, events, actions, or relationships in the world. We look for a certain quality in the world (not just the speaker’s mind) that we could properly call unfair. [Readings in Christian Ethics, Vol. 1: Theory and Method. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2002), pp. 18 – 19.]

  474. 474
    ET says:

    seversky:

    That’s right and the very existence of a debate implies that there are at least two sides to the point at issue and that neither side has been able thus far to establish supremacy for their case.

    That doesn’t follow.

    I have never denied the existence or value of reason and logic but I regard them as human creations.

    You don’t have any evidence for that. So you lose.

    All we need is a recognition that we are all human beings and in this together.

    That’s a joke, right? For one that could never happen under materialism- but then again we wouldn’t exist if materialism were true.

  475. 475
    ET says:

    Nice to see that Ed and hazel are nothing but cheerleaders for the losers.

  476. 476
    Ed George says:

    KF

    Okay, that should be enough to make the issues clearer.

    2088 words? Really? Are you serious? I have no intention of reading this Trish Trot of verbal diarrhea. Can you condense it into two or three salient points? But not the three SETs that I have already shown are based on unproven assumptions.

  477. 477
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, you underscore here the root problem on your part, ideological closed mindedness. The above responds step by step to points you have endorsed, showing why they fail. That corrective stands. And no you have SHOWN no such thing as you claim. You have ASSERTED dismissively, even as you again and again demonstrate in every argument that 1 your arguments pivot on our implicit recognition of the first duties of reason, 2 it is notorious and a commonplace that we are guided by conscience, 3 the implication that such is delusional [“subjective” without objective referent] affects such a pervasive pattern of our mindedness that it would undermine credibility of mind through grand delusion (and an infinite cascade of same) showing reduction to absurdity. KF

  478. 478
    kairosfocus says:

    What stubborn folly cost the last time around in the USA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLPcATES6OQ Oh, will we but learn?

  479. 479
    Seversky says:

    Hazel@ 466

    Good post, Sev. I appreciate your measured and thoughtful response.

    Ed George@ 467

    Sev, excellent post.

    Thanks, although I think you have both done more than me.

  480. 480
    Seversky says:

    Kairosfocus@ 470

    Yes, strawman. Obviously, in debates there is disagreement. That is not at issue. What is, is that in our arguing and reasoning we inescapably manifest the appeal to first duties of reason. That’s not a dubious claim, it is a summary description of general experience that should not even be controversial.

    If all you are saying is that, in an honest debate where the purpose is to get as close to the truth as possible, both sides should exercise reason alone then we are actually in agreement. I would simply point out, as an aside, that in public debates rhetorical flair and appeals to emotion are more likely to sway an audience then cold logic. But then such debates are more like spectator sports or entertainment than searches for truth.

  481. 481
    hazel says:

    Sev, you manage to stay out of the acrimonious back-and-forths that I tend to get into. Good for you for that. Part of the reason is that the tone of your posts is straightforward without setting up hooks for unproductive rejoinders. I should do better if I ever get in such discussions again.

  482. 482

    .
    Checking back in. Good grief.

    This notoriously dismal argument for materialism (upthread) is dusted off yet again, and pressed into service. If a woman is being raped and murdered, in those few moments before she dies — oh ye bright wizards of enlightenment — she will need the consensus of the group in order to be absolutely certain that the brutalization she feels is valid. It is only in the context of that consensus that her terror has any meaning whatsoever (i.e. is not merely an emotional delusion on her part), and not really even then.

    Attractive worldview. I suspect you feel brave.

    Having completely and utterly lost the empirical argument for design in nature (i.e. a material accounting of the necessary physical conditions for life on earth; particularly in the era of modern microbiology and advanced physical sciences), you folks stoop to do no better in rationalizing away your entailments.

  483. 483

    .
    Just think how much easier it would be to sell your shtick if you weren’t always forced to punt on the positive empirical evidence of design in life. Oh lordy, how much better for you it would be. But when you are forever driven (over and over and over again) to ignore and obfuscate that evidence, to be dishonest about it; and when you must confidently attack and denigrate those who dare repeat it to you, well, your little sales pitch just falls flat. At least you have your arrogance; you can congratulate each other forever it seems.

  484. 484
    vividbleau says:

    UB
    Good grief indeed!
    No Hazel your problem is not “ setting up hooks for unproductive rejoinders” your problem was pointed out to you by UB way back in 293

    “Hazel, you made a claim about the truth of something. Someone respectfully challenged your statement. You immediately went on defense and refused (in several forms) to address the challenge. When directly asked to respond to the challenge, you directly refused to do so. As you might imagine, the people here all have parents, and siblings, and spouses, and children, and friends, and acquaintances, with which they have interacted with over many years. It is a strain to understand why you think your actions here would go unnoticed, as if no one would have any significant interpersonal experience with the dynamic of someone simply refusing to acknowledge their errors (because doing so would negatively impact their chosen position on some matter).

    The same applies to your subsequent tactic of trying to line up reasons to justify your refusal to answer the challenge. But, don’t you worry Hazel, you go right on ahead — sell it like someone else or something else is the issue — your audience (Ed?) will simply not care that you are being patently DISHONEST ( my emphasis) about it”

    Vivid

  485. 485
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky,

    Stronger than that.

    It is precisely in the dirty debates that the first duties of reason that are being violated are manifestly shown to be the real deal.

    Deceit, dishonesty, recklessness, heedlessness to the right, injustice etc leading to cynical nihilism are jointly and severally their own condemnation.

    Also, UB has said the issue very well.

    (As you know, I have put on the table for years an unfortunately real world case.)

    KF

  486. 486
    Ed George says:

    485 comments and nobody has been able to explain how KF’s top three SETs can be SETs if they are dependent on assumptions that have not been proven beyond reasonable doubt. There have been plenty of ad hominems, strawmen, red herrings, appeals to consequence, attempts to overwhelm with verbosity, and numbered sentences; but nobody has addressed the fact that these SETs are based on questionable assumptions.

    Nobody is arguing that SETs don’t exist. Just that the three asserted by KF are far from being SETs.

  487. 487
    kairosfocus says:

    EG,

    Your say-so of dismissal does not make it so.

    Notice, you pivot on the commonplace that we have duties towards truth, right reason prudence, justice — or your arguments fall flat; this is inescapability. Notice, this has been pointed out to you any number of times and you just refuse to acknowledge major commonplace facts of our inner lives.

    Let me add a for instance from Dictionary dot com, definition of:

    conscience
    [ kon-shuh?ns ]
    ||
    SEE MORE SYNONYMS FOR conscience ON THESAURUS.COM
    noun
    the inner sense of what is right or wrong in one’s conduct or motives, impelling one toward right action: to follow the dictates of conscience.
    the complex of ethical and moral principles that controls or inhibits the actions or thoughts of an individual.
    an inhibiting sense of what is prudent: I’d eat another piece of pie but my conscience would bother me.

    It is undeniable that the sense that serves as a compass about such things is termed the conscience. It is equally clear that such are major features of our rational life (and indeed serve to govern it) where there are no firewalls in our minds. So, if these senses and sensed, governing duties we routinely and inescapably appeal to in argument are delusional, that would be a grand delusion.

    Once a level 1 grand delusion is present or likely, even that perception is now under that issue; it is self-referential. Thus, the infinite regress and absurdity beckon to us.

    So, your hyperskeptical objections and attempts to use “assumptions” as a talking point fall flat. (Especially i/l/o the wider worldviews issues cf. here on in context http://nicenesystheol.blogspot.....u2_bld_wvu Going forward, kindly take that as further background for any argument from me.)

    What becomes interesting at this stage, is to ponder what is at stake ideologically that so impels you and others of like ilk to so stridently object to commonplace, unavoidable facts.

    You can argue that conscience etc are influenced or warped by experiences and accidents of community and history. Yes, and that’s why error exists is key and it is part of why we need to acknowledge and consciously attend to how our reason is governed by first duties as well as first principles of right reason that are true and self-evident through inescapability. True on pain of utter self-referential discredit of mind, its functioning and findings.

    Radical subjectivism, emotivism and relativism fail . . . as has been pointed out again and again; just, studiously ignored or even considered a feature not a bug.

    KF

    PS: Above and elsewhere, some do doubt or dismiss SETs, that’s why I have highlighted test cases of general and moral SETs. As for you, if you wish to deny or dismiss that “we discern that some things are right and others are wrong by a compass-sense we term conscience which guides our thought” — especially as depending on dubious “assumptions” — that itself speaks volumes. FYI, conscience is a generally observed phenomenon. Those who have dulled or defective consciences are generally seen and diagnosed as pathological. Try, sociopaths, dark triad, psychopath.

  488. 488
    Bob O'H says:

    Ed George – to be fair, kf’s SETs don’t make an appearance until comment 25. So it’s only 460 comments (and counting).

  489. 489
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    485 comments and nobody has been able to explain how KF’s top three SETs can be