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Correcting Trollish errors, 2: AK’s “A/Mats are skeptical of extraordinary claims . . . ” (selective hyperskepticism rises yet again)

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It is clearly time to hammer selective hyperskepticism again. Here is AK at 49 in the Answering thread:

A/Mats are skeptical of extraordinary claims. And I don’t apologize for that.

BA, UD President (and a lawyer familiar with correcting fallacies) duly hammered the fallacy:

BA, 50 – 53 : >>50: . . . Like the extraordinary claim that a bag of chemicals configured in just the right way suddenly becomes subjectively self-aware?

Funny, I’ve never met an A/Mat who was skeptical of that extraordinary claim. Can you point me to one?

51: . . . Like the extraordinary claim that non-living chemicals spontaneously combined in just the right way to become living things?

Funny, I’ve never met an A/Mat who was skeptical of that extraordinary claim. Can you point me to one?

52: . . . Like the extraordinary claim that everything came from nothing? Or the universe created itself? Or “because we have something (e.g., gravity), the universe can and will create itself from nothing?

Funny, I’ve never met an A/Mat who was skeptical of those extraordinary claims. Can you point me to one?

53: . . . Like the extraordinary claim . . .

Well, you get the picture. I could go on all day.

AK is typical of A/Mats who would impose super heavy evidentiary burdens on theists for what the A/Mats label “extraordinary claims” while at the same time swallowing their own extraordinary claims down with nary a thought for the fact that they lack even the slightest evidentiary support.>>

LM, in 54, focusses on some of the particular claims:

LM, 54: >>I can’t recall any proper skeptics who’ve identified as atheistic materialist. What I see is Epicureans who’ve surrendered skepticism, if they could even find it in the first place.

Materialism as a creed is generally a failure to come to terms with epistemology.

Personally, I think “Forgive thine enemies” would have been more appropriate.

That’s in there, too. But it goes a step further, in actually considering and acting to further the welfare of folks you aren’t getting along with.

I agree that it would require extraordinary wisdom, but I don’t see where the faith in a higher being is necessary.

Hence the junction “or”.

For example, it would have been easy after WWII to severely punish the Germans and Japanese. But cooler (and smarter) heads prevailed. They realized that if you want to prevent recurrence, you don’t do something that will just ingender continued hatred from those who were your enemies. The US approach of providing aid and support to get its enemies back on their feet and prospering is something that took guts. But it was the smart thing to do if the goal was long term peace. And this did not require the faith in a higher being to realize this.

The conflict proceeding immediately in historical terms from the conclusion of “The Great War” and the punitive treaty with Germany, I don’t even know if it could be properly called hindsight.

I very much like your example for the principle, though.>>

AK chooses to reply to LM:

AK, 55: >>LocalMinimum,

I can’t recall any proper skeptics who’ve identified as atheistic materialist.

Look closer.

That’s in there, too. But it goes a step further, in actually considering and acting to further the welfare of folks you aren’t getting along with.

For who’s benefit? If I communicate with and provide support to my past enemies, they are less likely to be future enemies.

[–> BTW, not at all well grounded historically, cf. the consequences of the 1930’s policy of Appeasement, and note the post-WWII generosity came after Germany and Japan were utterly smashed and devastated]

A purely self-serving and manipulative strategy, a strategy that I happen to support.

[–> How do you know that this was “purely” self serving and manipulative? Surely, that’s an extraordinary claim!]

But the bigger question is, why aren’t we using this strategy more often before they become enemies? Rather than take this approach, we invoke sanctions.

I very much like your example for the principle, though.

Thank you. I’m obviously not the complete {SNIP — language, thread owner] that some here would project. I’m looking at you Barry. 🙂>>

I made a response on the underlying principle as to why Cliffordian evidentialism (as popularised by Sagan et al) is fatally flawed:

KF, 56: >>I see your:

A/Mats are skeptical of extraordinary claims,

Which seems to be a compressed form of a common epistemological error, descriptively termed selective hyperskepticism. To see why it is a gross error, simply reflect on the correction:

extraordinary claims require extraordinary [–> ADEQUATE] evidence

In short, the selectively hyperskeptical assertion is a clever-sounding way to announce selective closed-mindedness. What “I” am inclined to agree with is of course not “extraordinary.” But, equally of course, what “I” am disinclined to believe must meet extra-stringent standards, usually calibrated to be beyond the evidence that is available on the question, which is usually a pressing issue.

Such a self-serving double standard on warrant is patently fallacious.

Instead, what is needed is a reasonable, responsible standard, which duly and consistently weighs the sort of evidence and argument that are likely to be available and the near and far, immediate and cumulative consequences of rejecting truth or accepting error on relevant matters.

Greenleaf had something significant to say:

Evidence, in legal acceptation, includes all the means by which any alleged matter of fact, the truth of which is submitted to investigation, is established or disproved . . . None but mathematical truth is susceptible of that high degree of evidence, called demonstration, which excludes all possibility of error [–> Greenleaf wrote almost 100 years before Godel], and which, therefore, may reasonably be required in support of every mathematical deduction. [–> that is, his focus is on the logic of good support for in principle uncertain conclusions, i.e. in the modern sense, inductive logic and reasoning in real world, momentous contexts with potentially serious consequences.]

Matters of fact are proved by moral evidence alone; by which is meant, not only that kind of evidence which is employed on subjects connected with moral conduct, but all the evidence which is not obtained either from intuition, or from demonstration. In the ordinary affairs of life, we do not require demonstrative evidence, because it is not consistent with the nature of the subject, and to insist upon it would be unreasonable and absurd. [–> the issue of warrant to moral certainty, beyond reasonable doubt; and the contrasted absurdity of selective hyperskepticism.]

The most that can be affirmed of such things, is, that there is no reasonable doubt concerning them. [–> moral certainty standard, and this is for the proverbial man in the Clapham bus stop, not some clever determined advocate or skeptic motivated not to see or assent to what is warranted.]

The true question, therefore, in trials of fact, is not whether it is possible that the testimony may be false, but, whether there is sufficient probability of its truth; that is, whether the facts are shown by competent and satisfactory evidence. Things established by competent and satisfactory evidence are said to be proved. [–> pistis enters; we might as well learn the underlying classical Greek word that addresses the three levers of persuasion, pathos- ethos- logos and its extension to address worldview level warranted faith-commitment and confident trust on good grounding, through the impact of the Judaeo-Christian tradition in C1 as was energised by the 500 key witnesses.]

By competent evidence, is meant that which the very-nature of the thing to be proved requires, as the fit and appropriate proof in the particular case, such as the production of a writing, where its contents are the subject of inquiry. By satisfactory evidence, which is sometimes called sufficient evidence, is intended that amount of proof, which ordinarily satisfies an unprejudiced mind [–> in British usage, the man in the Clapham bus stop], beyond reasonable doubt.

The circumstances which will amount to this degree of proof can never be previously defined; the only legal [–> and responsible] test of which they are susceptible, is their sufficiency to satisfy the mind and conscience of a common man; and so to convince him, that he would venture to act upon that conviction, in matters of the highest concern and importance to his own interest. [= definition of moral certainty as a balanced unprejudiced judgement beyond reasonable, responsible doubt. Obviously, i/l/o wider concerns, while scientific facts as actually observed may meet this standard, scientific explanatory frameworks such as hypotheses, models, laws and theories cannot as they are necessarily provisional and in many cases have had to be materially modified, substantially re-interpreted to the point of implied modification, or outright replaced; so a modicum of prudent caution is warranted in such contexts — explanatory frameworks are empirically reliable so far on various tests, not utterly certain. ] [A Treatise on Evidence, Vol I, 11th edn. (Boston: Little, Brown, 1888) ch 1., sections 1 and 2. Shorter paragraphs added. (NB: Greenleaf was a founder of the modern Harvard Law School and is regarded as a founding father of the modern Anglophone school of thought on evidence, in large part on the strength of this classic work.)]

I suggest, you need to take an inventory of how you have approached warrant on a list of significant issues that have come up here at UD, and on broader issues in general. Selective hyperskepticism tends to become a destructive, self-serving habit of mind.>>

Now, observe AK’s response and what it inadvertently exposes:

AK, 57: >>KairosFocus,

Which seems to be a compressed form of a common epistemological error, descriptively termed selective hyperskepticism.

Those are big words that appear to preclude an illuminating prognostication that present a counter-argumentative rebuttal of… OK, as the youth say [SNIP-language]? What are you trying to say?

Are you saying that I am being hyperskeptical because I don’t blindly accept your claim that god-did-it?>>

Notice, the invidious projection and implied appeal to “ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked,” when the substantial and quite serious error of selective closed mindedness has been corrected from three directions. Note, too, that BA’s similar correction was turned into you are suggesting that I am a whatever.

At no point has the substantial issue of a key fallacy been actually responsibly, much less adequately, addressed.

I responded further at 58 and 59:

KF: >>58:  I already took time to explain the error and to correct it. If you had even bothered to look at the specific one line correction to Sagan’s form of Cliffordian evidentialism [yes, that is a technical name] — which is the popular one nowadays, you would have seen the corrections in a nutshell by use of strike and insert. I amplified and took time to cite a longstanding corrective from Greenleaf’s Treatise on Evidence. I have done my job, now it is time for you to do yours.

59:

Let me continue from where you so cleverly cut off citation:

>>Which seems to be a compressed form of a common
epistemological error, descriptively termed selective hyperskepticism.
To see why it is a gross error, simply reflect on the correction:

extraordinary claims require extraordinary
[–> ADEQUATE] evidence

In short, the selectively hyperskeptical assertion is a
clever-sounding way to announce selective closed-mindedness. What “I”
am inclined to agree with is of course not “extraordinary.” But,
equally of course, what “I” am disinclined to believe must meet
extra-stringent standards, usually calibrated to be beyond the evidence
that is available on the question, which is usually a pressing issue.>> >>

The response is again inadvertently revealing:

AK, 60: >>I honestly don’t understand what you are on about.

[–> Nope, THREE people have corrected the key error — four if you count Simon Greenleaf (a distinguished jurist on Evidence), this is personalising and targetting, insinuating that I have not made good sense.]

All I said is that I am skeptical of extraordinary claims.

[–> Doubling down, refusing to acknowledge cogent correction]

I am skeptical of Bigfoot, alien abductions,

[–> Notice, the silly examples]

and

[–> And joins equals, so note the fallacy of invidious association. Here, by setting up a string of ill founded claims then appending a far weightier one as though it were of the same order. A strawman tactic.]

the existance of god.

[–> AK cannot even summon enough respect to correctly spell: God. That is itself revealing. And of course, he was long since invited to seriously examine the 101 on warranting a theistic worldview here on, and a similar 101 on the more specifically Christian case here. He gives little sign of any serious engagement, even at 101 level. Okay, God is a serious candidate to be the world-source, a necessary and maximally great being worthy of loyalty and the reasonable, responsible service of doing the good in accord with our evident nature. Where, a serious candidate necessary being will either be impossible of being (cf. a square circle) or else possible. If possible, in at least one world. But, as framework to any world existing, a necessary being that is possible will be in all worlds; thus actual in this one. E.g. try to imagine a world without distinct identity, thus two-ness etc.  So, it is not enough to announce that one is selectively hyperskeptical on the reality of God and dismiss it with a fallacious quip. No, the would-be atheist has taken up the epistemological burden to show that either God is not a serious candidate NB, or else that God is impossible of being. A tough row to hoe in either case. AK has shown no evidence of shouldering such, and in an earlier sneer that “evil is a concept fabricated by religion” he has shown that he has not done his homework before using the fallacy of confident manner to rhetorically brush aside serious matters of literally eternal weight.]

At no point did I say

[–> you directly implied, through the known provenance of the quip you used]

that I needed extraordinary evidence to convince me otherwise. Those are words that you put in my mouth, took offence to, and then berated me for.

[–> there is no taking offence or berating, that is projection. There is correction, a very different thing. Now we know how AK views being corrected in an error.]

And you talk about others raising strawmen.

[–> turnabout accusations and projections. As just noted, AK half-cited a popular quip, knowing that the blank would be filled in. As Ari pointed out, in rhetoric, enthymemes are persuasive. This is in part as they induce the audience to participate, filling in missing parts by inference. And, often, unreflectively accepting the claims. No, the correction, from FOUR sources, is on target.]

For any claim, extraordinary or otherwise, all I am looking for is compelling evidence to support them. I haven’t seen any compelling evidence for the existance of god,

[–> have you showed evidence of having seriously interacted with the evidence already presented or linked? No. The pattern speaks louder than the clever talking points.]

or the evils of sex education, contraceptives, homosexuality or same sex marriage. Or for the existance of objective morality, or for the decline of morality and civilization. Maybe compelling evidence exists for all of this, but you certainly have not presented any.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan Wales (Or, should that be Mountbatten-Windsor?)

[–> Here, we see a real case of piling up weak claims that are mutually reinforcing in error. The linked worldviews 101 context goes on to address several of them, and of course, these are not addressed by AK. Given the pattern already in evidence, we have no good reason to take AK’s claims seriously. If AK wishes, in addition, to imagine that by word magic, aggressive enemies of civilisation can culturally appropriate marriage and twist it into a counterfeit under false colour of law then imagine that tampering heedlessly with a core institution the family will not have devastating consequences, we have good reason to see that this is just part and parcel of a pattern of reckless behaviour that is just one curlicue of sawdust. But, cumulatively, zip zip zip, he and many others are busily sawing away at the branch on which we all must sit. CRAACK-crash is a serious concern. As for “sex education,” Augustine in City of God long since pointed out the destructive impact of teaching the techniques of vice, i.e. of undermining moral fibre. AK went on a long run on contraception, imagining that I must be Roman Catholic. My mother was a public health educator who dealt with real, responsible family planning and I took time to point out how different forms of contraception are of different merits — I add, not just effectiveness (esp. in the hands of immature and irresponsible teens) some are little more than disguised very early term abortions. I could also point to the

Decreeing that henceforth fool’s gold (shown above) will be treated as real gold would not thereby change the realities of real Gold or of Iron Pyrites

dangers of encouraging risky behaviour with but dubious benefits so that sound cost benefits analysis would counsel, go in another direction. And more, but this is a day when many are hell-bent on folly. It is enough to highlight key examples of the pattern of fallacies.]

When you do, I will reassess my opinions.

[–> Nope, on evidence in hand, you will not do homework, you will not acknowledge correction, you will project and double down. Grade: F.]>>

One slice of a cake has in it all the ingredients. END

248 Replies to “Correcting Trollish errors, 2: AK’s “A/Mats are skeptical of extraordinary claims . . . ” (selective hyperskepticism rises yet again)

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Correcting Trollish errors, 2: AK’s “A/Mats are skeptical of extraordinary claims . . . ” (selective hyperskepticism rises yet again)

  2. 2
    Bob O'H says:

    The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan Wales

    Huh? Their surname would be Windsor, wouldn’t it? Prince Harry’s father is Prince of Wales, but he’s also of the house of Windsor.

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H: It seems they are using Wales. I stand to be corrected, of course. Royals are really odd, and recall, Elizabeth was the Battenberg (renamed Mountbatten and/or Windsor in WW I), I do not know what Royal Consort Philip of Greece was. I suspect it will be more complicated than the Krupp line when Bertha married Gustav von Bohlen und Halback. {Sp?) KF

    PS: Did some checking:

    1: Your Dictionary:

    >>Prior to 1917, the members of the British Royal Family did not have a surname; but, they were members of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Queen Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, was born in 1895 as a member of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

    On July 17, 1917, Queen Elizabeth’s grandfather, King George V, announced that he and his family would become the House of Windsor and that Windsor would become the surname of his family. The reason for this movement was because England had major feelings of discontent against Germany due to World War I.
    Queen Elizabeth’s Early Years

    Queen Elizabeth was born on April 21, 1926. Her full name at birth was Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, and she was born of the royal House of Windsor. Therefore, Queen Elizabeth’s last name is Windsor.

    She married on November 20, 1947 to a man whose name was Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten. He had been born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark; however, he renounced the titles and became a British subject when he married Queen Elizabeth.

    Elizabeth, did not adopt the tradition of the non-royals by taking her husband’s last name. In fact, on April 9, 1952, after her accession to the throne, she announced “that I and my children shall be styled and known as the house and family of Windsor, and that my descendants who marry and their descendants, shall bear the name of Windsor.” This confirmed the Royal Family name of Windsor.
    Surname Changed to Mountbatten-Windsor

    In 1960, at the request of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, the Privy Council declared that the Queen’s and Duke’s direct descendants would remain part of the House of Windsor but they would carry the surname of Mountbatten-Windsor.>>

    Town and Country Mag:

    >>Queen Elizabeth’s descendants carry the name Windsor as well as the name Mountbatten, which reflects her husband Prince Philip’s surname. According to the official royal website:

    The Royal Family name of Windsor was confirmed by The Queen after her accession in 1952. However, in 1960, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh decided that they would like their own direct descendants to be distinguished from the rest of the Royal Family (without changing the name of the Royal House), as Windsor is the surname used by all the male and unmarried female descendants of George V. It was therefore declared in the Privy Council that The Queen’s descendants, other than those with the style of Royal Highness and the title of Prince/Princess, or female descendants who marry, would carry the name of Mountbatten-Windsor.

    All that said, royals rarely use their surnames.

    “Once married, Meghan will sign as Meghan, no last name. Just as Harry signs as Harry. Royals use only a first name,” royal expert Marlene Koenig tells Town & Country. She added that Harry will most likely use a last name when he signs the marriage registrar—probably Mountbatten-Windsor. “This was used by Anne, Andrew, and Edward when they married. Charles had no surname on his registrar. We do not know what William used because unlike every other royal, he chose not to make it public,” says Koenig.

    Koenig explains that when Harry and William were at school, they were listed under Wales because their father, Charles, is the Prince of Wales. And William’s son George is registered at school with the last name Cambridge. On George’s birth certificate, the couple left the last names blank.

    The Queen is expected to grant Harry a royal dukedom on his wedding day — giving Harry and Meghan the titles Duke and Duchess, likely of Sussex.>>

    It seems the matter is not clear, I will amend with a question!

  4. 4
    Bob O'H says:

    kf – they are certainly NOT “Wales” though. There is no question about that.

  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H, I am not so sure, yet. It was a BBC or Sky News context IIRC and neither is particularly careless. I suspect at least so far, Sussex, M-W and Wales may all be valid, but the underlying point is, they clearly don’t have surnames in the sense we have. Wouldn’t it be nice to see the marriage register! KF

  6. 6
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: I found the NYT FAQ’s, no 36:

    So what name will be on Meghan’s driver’s license?

    Best guess is Rachel Meghan Mountbatten Windsor. Windsor is the last name adopted by the British royal family in 1917; King George V changed the name from the German “Saxe-Coburg and Gotha” to the English “Windsor” amid strong anti-German feeling during World War I. And Prince Philip distanced himself from his family’s ultra-German names — Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg — in the wake of World War II. That’s when he adopted the quasi-English surname “Mountbatten” from his mother’s side.

    BTW, I gather, the Queen does not have a driver’s licence (one is in effect issued by her). She is a car enthusiast and IIRC was a mechanic in the RAF in WWII.

  7. 7

    Actually, a/mats are NOT skeptical of extraordinary claims, e.g. abiogenesis, multiverse theory, and Darwinian evolution… just to name a few.

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    TWSYF, yup, as noted by BA and as clipped in the OP. Ah gawn. KF

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    H’mm: I trust relevant parties are doing some homework on their assertions vs evidence and issues. KF

  10. 10
    Mung says:

    More likely they are just reviewing their same old talking points.

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:

    Mung, sadly, yes. KF

  12. 12
    Allan Keith says:

    Kairosfocus, all I can say is Wow! You get over-the-top self-righteous when I used the term “Gish gallop”, and then you post this OP which is a textbook example of the written version of the “argument by verbosity” fallacy.

    I say that I am skeptical of extraordinary claims and you make the erroneous jump to the “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” phrase. Are you suggesting that people shouldn’t be skeptical of extraordinary claims? Or do you not realize that being skeptical does not mean that you are necessarily opposed to the claim?

    I am skeptical of all extraordinary claims, and many that are not so extraordinary. I am skeptical of the Bible’s version of history. I am skeptical of abiogenesis. I am skeptical of evolution. I am skeptical of ID. I am skeptical of alien abductions, bigfoot and the shroud of Turin. I am skeptical of the existence of objective morality. I am skeptical of the power of prayer and faith healing. I am skeptical of the infallibility of forensic testing. Why is any of this bad? Skepticism is a good thing. It definitely beats dogmatic acceptance of anything.

    Or are you suggesting that some things should never be scrutinized? Personally, I don’t think that anything should be beyond scrutiny. If something can’t stand up to scrutiny, then it will not survive. The prohibition of same sex marriage couldn’t stand up to scrutiny, so it was trashed. Slavery couldn’t stand up to scrutiny, so it was trashed. Abstinence-only sex education could not stand up to scrutiny, so it was trashed. Questioning things is how society improves. If we never questioned things, women would not have the vote, homosexuals would be jailed, etc.

  13. 13
    ET says:

    Allan:

    The prohibition of same sex marriage couldn’t stand up to scrutiny,

    Yes, it can. It’s that just there are people who just don’t care about the arguments against it and prattle on regardless. The same goes for abortion.

    Society has not improved with the addition of same-sex marriages and it has definitely suffered because of legalized abortions, ie abortions as a means of birth control.

    I am all for sex education but this is the 21st century. All the information is at your fingertips. There is no excuse for teen pregnancies in the USA. There is no excuse for unwanted pregnancies either.

  14. 14
    Allan Keith says:

    ET,

    Society has not improved with the addition of same-sex marriages…

    Society has certainly improved for those who seek same sex marriage, and has no negative impact on society with respect to opposite sex marriage. That is a net improvement.

    …and it has definitely suffered because of legalized abortions, ie abortions as a means of birth control.

    Yet there are fewer women dying of botched illegal abortions, and a lower rate of unwanted pregnancies and abortions even though abortions are legal. Again, the math suggests that there is an improvement.

    There is no excuse for teen pregnancies in the USA. There is no excuse for unwanted pregnancies either.

    And the data indicates that these rates are lower now than they were at the time of Roe v Wade. We should be celebrating this improvement and continue to do the things that have led to this.

  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, doubling down. The above clearly shows that the term you have insisted on by way of using the smear against a man who actually won 300+:0 debates on the merits in order to try to skewer and dismiss what you clearly have been unable to address on the merits was slanderous and accusatory from its beginning. That you have insisted on continuing to use a tainted uncivil term speaks volumes and not in your favour. (The interested may look at the PPPS here.) Secondly, we were not born yesterday; we all know the context for the reference to extraordinary claims, i.e. intent to play Sagan’s version of Cliffordian evidentialism; thus, selective hyperskepticism. So, when you try a transparent attempt to suggest otherwise and impose it by rhetorical fiat, all it shows is doubling down yet again. As to the attempt to continue kidnapping marriage under false colour of law, that resort to media manipulation, educational malpractice and destructive cultural marxist lawfare speaks for itself as to just how destructive it is. You have also made a fairly wide range of further assertions that are ill founded, and you have now simply tried to dismiss due correction. That pattern speaks and not in your favour. The correctives clearly stand and it is further evident that you have no cogent responses on substance, just a grab-bag of radical secularist talking points. You have made yourself into an example of what is going wrong. Zip, zip, zip, curlicue by curlicue, the roots of the branch on which our civilisation sits are being sawed off. If that continues unabated, CRAACK-crash. And with nukes etc in play. KF

    PS: Notice, your implied approval of the central evil of our time, the worst holocaust in history, 800+ millions in 40+ years, growing at a further million per week. This is a crucial test of the crooked yardsticks being imposed under false colour of being straight in our time. That then calibrates all else.

  16. 16
    Barry Arrington says:

    Allan says that abortion is good because it results in a “lower rate of unwanted pregnancies”.

    What an odd thing to say. It is like saying “abortion is good because it kills unborn babies that would otherwise be alive.” Well, yeah, but isn’t whether we should kill unborn babies the whole point to begin with?

    I doubt Allan would use similar reasoning in other contexts. For example, I am all but certain he would never argue that murder is good because it results in a lower incidence of people unwanted by murderers. Or that rape is good because it results in a lower rate of unfulfilled sexual desires on the part of rapists.

  17. 17
    Allan Keith says:

    KairosFocus,

    AK, doubling down. The above clearly shows that the term you have insisted on by way of using the smear against a man who actually won 300+:0 debates on the merits in order to try to skewer and dismiss what you clearly………………………………………………………………………….

    Does this mean that you disagree with the idea that everything should be open to scrutiny? I wasn’t sure from your response.

  18. 18
    Allan Keith says:

    Barry,

    Allan says that abortion is good because it results in a “lower rate of unwanted pregnancies”.

    I must have missed the part where making something legal makes it mandatory.

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: To understand the strategy of cultural marxist political correctness that is being imposed to crush independence of spirit, Havel’s green grocer is an excellent start-point: http://vaclavhavel.cz/showtran.....8;typ=HTML KF

    PS: Let me clip:

    >>The manager of a fruit-and-vegetable shop places in his window, among the onions and carrots, the slogan: “Workers of the world, unite!” Why does he do it? What is he trying to communicate to the world? Is he genuinely enthusiastic about the idea of unity among the workers of the world? Is his enthusiasm so great that he feels an irrepressible impulse to acquaint the public with his ideals? Has he really given more than a moment’s thought to how such a unification might occur and what it would mean?

    I think it can safely be assumed that the overwhelming majority of shopkeepers never think about the slogans they put in their windows, nor do they use them to express their real opinions. That poster was delivered to our greengrocer from the enterprise headquarters along with the onions and carrots. He put them all into the window simply because it has been done that way for years, because everyone does it, and because that is the way it has to be. If he were to refuse, there could be trouble. He could be reproached for not having the proper decoration in his window; someone might even accuse him of disloyalty. He does it because these things must be done if one is to get along in life. It is one of the thousands of details that guarantee him a relatively tranquil life “in harmony with society,” as they say.

    Obviously the greengrocer is indifferent to the semantic content of the slogan on exhibit; he does not put the slogan in his window from any personal desire to acquaint the public with the ideal it expresses. This, of course, does not mean that his action has no motive or significance at all, or that the slogan communicates nothing to anyone. The slogan is really a sign, and as such it contains a subliminal but very definite message. Verbally, it might be expressed this way: “I, the greengrocer XY, live here and I know what I must do. I behave in ihe manner expected of me. I can be depended upon and am beyond reproach. I am obedient and therefore I have the right to be left in peace.” This message, of course, has an addressee: it is directed above, to the greengrocer’s superior, and at the same time it is a shield that protects the greengrocer from potential informers. The slogan’s. real meaning, therefore, is rooted firmly in the greengrocer’s existence. It reflects his vital interests. But what are those vital interests?

    Let us take note: if the greengrocer had been instructed to display the slogan “I am afraid and therefore unquestion~ ingly obedient;’ he would not be nearly as indifferent to its semantics, even though the statement would reflect the truth. The greengrocer would be embarrassed and ashamed to put such an unequivocal statement of his own degradation in the shop window, and quite naturally so, for he is a human being and thus has a sense of his own dignity. To overcome ihis complication, his expression of loyalty must take the form of a sign which, at least on its textual surface, indicates a level of disinterested conviction. It must allow the greengrocer to say, “What’s wrong with ihe workers of the world uniting?” Thus the sign helps the greengrocer to conceal from himself the low foundations of his obedience, at the same time concealing the low foundations of power. It hides them behind the facade of something high. And that something is ideology.

    Ideology is a specious way of relating to the world. It offers human beings the illusion of an identity, of dignity, and of morality while making it easier for them to part with them. As the repository of something suprapersonal and objective, it enables people to deceive their conscience and conceal their true position and their inglorious modus vivendi, both from the world and from ihemselves. It is a very pragmatic but, at the same time, an apparently dignified way of legitimizing what is above, below, and on either side. It is directed toward people and toward God. It is a veil behind which human beings can hide their own fallen existence, their trivialization, and iheir adaptation to the status quo. It is an excuse that everyone can use, from the greengrocer, who conceals his fear of losing hisjob behind an alleged interest in the unification of the workers of the world, to the highest functionary, whose interest in staying iu power can be cloaked in phrases about service to the working class. The primary excusatory function of ideology, therefore, is to provide people, both as victims and pillars of the post-totalitarian system, with the illusion that the system is in harmony with the human order and the order of the universe.

    The smaller a dictatorship and the less stratified by modernization the society under it, the more directly the will of the dictator can be exercised- In other words, the dictator can employ more or less naked discipline, avoiding the complex processes of relating to the world and of selfjustification which ideology involves. But the more complex the mechanisms of power become, the larger and more stratified the society they embrace, and the longer they have operated historically, the more individuals must be connected to them from outside, and the greater the importance attached to the ideological excuse. It acts as a kind of bridge between the regime and the people, across which the regime approaches the people and the people approach the regime. This explains why ideotogy plays such an importaut role in the post-totalitarian system: that complex machinery of units, hierarchies, transmission belts, and indirect instruments of manipulation which ensure in countless ways ihe integrity of the regime, leaving nothing to chance, would be quite simply unthinkable without ideology acting as its all-embracing excuse and as the excuse for each of its parts.>>

  20. 20
    Allan Keith says:

    KairosFocus,

    F/N: To understand the strategy of cultural marxist political correctness that is being imposed to crush independence of spirit, Havel’s green grocer is an excellent start-point:

    I’m still not sure if you agree that everything should be open to scrutiny. A simple yes or no would suffice to progress this discussion.

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, if you had taken the time to actually read as already linked multiple times, you would instantly know how grotesque the strawman caricature you just set up is — and just how that tactic further highlights the pattern being corrected. Let’s put it this way: I am not putting up any handy slogan in my grocery window. Molon labe! KF

  22. 22
    Allan Keith says:

    KairosFocus,

    AK, if you had taken the time to actually read as already linked multiple times, you would instantly know how grotesque the strawman caricature you just set up is…
    What strawman? I have asked a simple question. Do you believe that everything should be open to scrutiny? It is not a gotcha question. Or a loaded question. It is either yes or no. I have already said where I stand on this question. Yes.

    If your answer is yes, fine. If it is no, all I would like to know is, why not?

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, if you had bothered to simply click on the linked, you would see instantly that the premise of the question is ludicrous. In many ways. Do you really want me to take it apart on the challenge of self-referentiality and infinite regress? Or, simply point out that someone who has taken pains to teach comparative difficulties analysis at worldviews level over the span of many years is not a proper subject of such a question? Or, should I point out that the question is an accusation in disguise, as regardless of my answer on your binary alternative set, you and ilk have already patently decided on proof by accusation — as you have already shown that you have not the slightest inclination to consult and be duly responsive to readily accessible evidence? No, I will not post “Workers Unite” in my shop window. KF

  24. 24
    Allan Keith says:

    KairosFocus,

    Or, should I point out that the question is an accusation in disguise, as regardless of my answer on your binary alternative set, you and ilk have already patently decided on proof by accusation…

    Nonsense. My question was just to set the starting point to start a discussion. If you want to read something more into it than was intended, that is your problem, not mine.

    As I don’t have your paranoid tendencies, I will start with a claim that you can pick apart.

    I claim that establishing certain things that are beyond scrutiny is dangerous to the long term survival of society.

  25. 25
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, argument by assertion is not going to work. When you insistently ignore a linked teaching on worldviews level comparative difficulties analysis to ask a loaded question, that tells us all we need to know. Maybe I need to add that “question everything” or in your phrasing “everything should be open to scrutiny” imposes a self-referential infinite regress and collapses in absurdity. What is feasible is what has been linked, which you have studiously ignored in your attempt to project blind fideism and dogmatism, distracting from your demonstrated selective hyperskepticism. Namely, to understand the structure of worldviews and why comparative difficulties across live options are where we have to go. In that context, one can examine and make an informed choice without grand question begging and/or selective hyperskepticism. Show us that you have engaged substance seriously, then we will have reason to begin to think you are taking first steps of serious thought. KF

  26. 26
    Allan Keith says:

    KairosFocus,

    AK, argument by assertion is not going to work. When you insistently ignore a linked teaching on worldviews level comparative difficulties analysis to ask a loaded question, that tells us all we need to know.

    I have already said that this is not a loaded question. The fact that you refuse to answer a question which I have said is not loaded, points to a serious pathological paranoia. And if you answer it, and the outcome is that I posed it as a loaded question, that would simply paint me as a liar. Where is the advantage in that for me?

    Again, why are you so afraid to answer a simple question? All it does is set the baseline for future discussion, and possibly resolve issues where we differ.

  27. 27
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, you obviously don’t intend to address the first problem with your question: it is self-referential and infinitely regressive, therefore absurd on its face. This is essentially the problem already addressed by BA as clipped in the OP above. oops, you already dismissed that with a drive-by slander that amounts to a declared policy of unresponsiveness to inconvenient evidence and reasoning. That sets up the context in which you have repeatedly failed to deal with what IS feasible. Namely, recognising that infinite regress of warrant and/or grand question-begging are both absurd so we must all build worldviews on finitely remote first plausibles which define our various faith-points. We may then compare difficulties on factual adequacy, coherence and balanced explanatory power across live options. On which, one may hold a particular view responsibly. Once you see that this is something I have actually taught, it may then dawn on you that your question is not just absurd as outlined but it is also reflective of your refusal to actually seriously engage the real people here rather than to set up and knock over prejudice and slander-laden, stereotypical strawman caricatures. When you show a substantial responsiveness, then there can be a basis for some progress. KF

  28. 28
    Allan Keith says:

    KairosFocus,

    AK, you obviously don’t intend to address the first problem with your question:

    Are you referring to the question that I had no problem answering?

    There is a serious paranoia vibe going on here. What is so hard with the question? All I have asked is whether everything should be open to scrutiny. If you prefer the inverse, are there things that should never be open to scrutiny?

    The answer to either is simple. My answer to both is yes and no, respectively. What is so earth shatteringly difficult with answering? Are you expecting a loaded question when I have stated that there isn’t one?

    You can either answer with a simple response, or do what you have done so far.

  29. 29
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, there you go again; you have here again demonstrated unwillingness to deal with the substantial issue. Grade F-. KF

    PS: Let me add as a PS, a clip from above:

    Maybe I need to add that “question everything” or in your phrasing “everything should be open to scrutiny” imposes a self-referential infinite regress and collapses in absurdity. What is feasible is what has been linked, which you have studiously ignored in your attempt to project blind fideism and dogmatism, distracting from your demonstrated selective hyperskepticism. Namely, to understand the structure of worldviews and why comparative difficulties across live options are where we have to go. In that context, one can examine and make an informed choice without grand question begging and/or selective hyperskepticism.

    Let me put it this way, “everything should be open to scrutiny” refers to itself and cannot pass its own test, imposes an infinite regress and ends in absurdity. It SEEMS to be reasonable but collapses on closer scrutiny, much like the notorious verification principle did sixty years past. Likewise, evolutionary materialism is similarly self-falsifying. No serious answer can be given. Say, yes and that too is subject to scrutiny leading on to the regress. Say a simplistic no and you fall into a rhetorical trap much like in saying no to have you stopped beating your wife yet. In short, the posed implicit dilemma fails and embeds an absurdity.

  30. 30

    kairosfocus @ 29: “AK, there you go again;” and again, and again, and…

  31. 31
    Allan Keith says:

    KairosFocus,

    Let me put it this way, “everything should be open to scrutiny” refers to itself and cannot pass its own test, imposes an infinite regress and ends in absurdity.

    See, was that so hard? Your view is that some things should never be open to scrutiny. Fine. I accept that. I disagree, but I accept your view.

  32. 32
    Barry Arrington says:

    AK:

    I must have missed the part where making something legal makes it mandatory.

    Since your statement is completely non-responsive to what I said, shall presume you having nothing to say? Instead of saying something stupid, why don’t you just say “good point Barry; you are right and I was wrong.”

    You argued that because an act accomplishes its goal, it is good and therefore should be legal. Neither of us said anything about it being mandatory. Making something legal does not make it mandatory. It makes it legal — sanctioned by the state.

    I will state this again and give you another chance to admit how stupid your argument was and retract it. The fact that an act accomplishes it goal, does not make it good does it Allan.

    Prediction: Allan has many times proven himself incapable of good faith or self-critical reflection. He will double down rather than admit his argument is invalid.

    I suppose if one is OK with the wholesale slaughter of unborn babies, it is no great leap to argue in bad faith.

  33. 33
    Barry Arrington says:

    Allan:

    Your view is that some things should never be open to scrutiny. Fine. I accept that. I disagree.

    Do you admit your disagreement should be subject to scrutiny Allan? If so, have you not admitted KairosFocus’s point?

  34. 34
    kairosfocus says:

    BA, thanks. It is obvious that AK does not wish to acknowledge that he has blundered into philosophical territory and lacks expertise to address it. He has been repeatedly pointed to a 101 that starts from the issue of worldviews and warrant, showing why any worldview must start from finitely remote first plausibles that form a faith-point. Thus, we are forced to evaluate on comparative difficulties among live options. He has repeatedly twisted corrections into strawman caricatures, in his latest point accusing me of blind fideism and closed mindedness. Which, of course, reflects the selective hyperskepticism addressed in the OP and previously. Since he is also enmeshed in the habit of projecting the slanderous accusation of piling up half truths [a half truth being a whole lie], strawman arguments and “weak arguments” [this being a dog whistly for a lot more, cf. Rational Wiki etc], he has an excuse for refusing to address seriously the arguments or discussions of those he views with ill-disguised contempt. In this case, instead of realising he has an opportunity to learn something, he tries to brush off what is unwelcome. He then defends it by projecting to others. All of this is compounded by indoctrination in the now all too common media-amplified cultural marxist and radical secular humanist, evolutionary materialist shibboleths. A sad case, but unfortunately an all too typical one. One tooth of the zipping agit prop saw cutting off the branch on which our civilisation sits. KF

  35. 35
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, has it not registered with you that my objection is deeper than you imagine? Namely, that what you are insistently asserting is ill-formed, refers to itself, cannot pass its own test, imposes a self-referential infinite regress and reduces to absurdity? Therefore, that it cannot be sensibly answered? That, it needs to be corrected by reference to the challenge of warrant posed by the so-called Agrippa trilemma? That, this points to a need for finitely remote first plausibles defining our faith-points which are the cores of our worldviews and which may then be compared through a key philosophical method, comparative difficulties across coherence, factual adequacy and balanced explanatory power? That is, on subjecting the question to scrutiny before trying to answer it, it falls apart in a potentially instructive way? That, your repeated refusal to address this followed by projecting blind fideism to me (and linked closed mindedness) amounts to showing that the question rhetorically serves as a disguised accusation? Thus, turning your behaviour into an instructive example on how not to think? KF

    PS: If you had read that far, you would have seen that I highlighted self-evident truths, using Josiah Royce’s principle of pivoting on the undeniable claim, error exists. This instantly shows that truth is actual, that in some cases it is known beyond rational doubt, that some cases of strong-form knowledge exist, that entire worldviews — sadly common today — that imply falsity of or outright deny such possibilities are irretrievably false. It is also, not coincidentally, a particularly challenging truth, implying and suggesting that we must ever be aware of error and of the possibility of our own errors. This is a reason to go on to ground self-evident first principles of right reason that serve as plumbline truths to test the yardstick principles we have accepted. From this, we can embark on a more careful reconstruction of our worldviews. It is in that context that I address the credibility of generic ethical theism, which it is obvious that you view with a dismissive contempt that warps your ability to take relevant discussion seriously. Bring to bear your being caught up in projecting the slanderous pseudo-fallacy that those you disagree with are piling up half truths [= whole lies, hence the inherent slander], strawman caricatures and “weak arguments” [a dog whistle, new-speak term] and your being enmeshed in selective hyperskepticism which leads you to exert double-standards of warrant, and we can readily see how hard it is to think your way out of the schemes of thought and cultural agendas you are trapped in.

  36. 36
    vividbleau says:

    AK re 26

    “The fact that you refuse to answer a question which I have said is not loaded, points to a serious pathological paranoia.”

    You did this very same thing to me. in another thread you would not answer my question claiming it was a loaded question. I said it was not a loaded question. So that pointing to a serious pathological paranoia applies to you LOL

    Vivid

  37. 37
    kairosfocus says:

    Vivid, that I did not know about. However, in this case I have now repeatedly specifically pointed out just how loaded the question is, to the point where it embeds a self-referential infinite regress and thus absurdity. AK apparently does not wish to address that. As to the context for his “extraordinary claims” talking point, that has been notorious for years. The slander of Dr Gish and of others now using that slander as a platform for further stereotyping and refusal to address serious issues is now quite explicit in this thread — whether we give a compressed summary or write out or link extended details or use a sample to show the rotten ingredients in the failed hyperskeptical cake, makes no difference. We are not seeing responsible discussion. And besides, UD is unfortunately a high controversy context and what he wishes to call paranoia is in fact basic prudence. You can bet your bottom dollar that what we say here will be subjected to hostile, even jaundiced and sometimes outright malicious and slanderous scrutiny in the penumbra of the hostile obsessed. Indeed, sometimes we have had those who are playing rhetorical games here who are simultaneously boasting of how they are leading those IDiots in a merry chase, elsewhere. AK by his behaviour is now suspect of being a sock puppet persona. KF

  38. 38
    ET says:

    Allan:

    Society has certainly improved for those who seek same sex marriage, and has no negative impact on society with respect to opposite sex marriage.

    Except for people getting sued for not baking a cake for same sex marriages. The definition of marriage had to be changed. And now the door is open for all other types of marriages too.

    Bowing to the unnatural is a sure sign of the downfall of society.

    Yet there are fewer women dying of botched illegal abortions, and a lower rate of unwanted pregnancies and abortions even though abortions are legal.

    If women die during botched illegal abortions that is their choice. They should have thought about it before having unprotected sex.

    Killing the unborn is not a solution and has harmed society. It has made us into barbarians. And yes liberals tend to ignore that fact but ignorance is their virtue.

    What really bothers me is the same losers that promote abortions get all bent out of shape with respect to gun violence. Yet gun violence has a long, long, long, long way to go before it reaches the level of carnage wrought via abortions.

  39. 39
    ET says:

    If evolutionism was really open to scrutiny then it definitely would not be taught as science in any classroom.

  40. 40
    Allan Keith says:

    Barry, You argued that because an act accomplishes its goal, it is good and therefore should be legal.
    I never said any such thing.

    I will state this again and give you another chance to admit how stupid your argument was and retract it. The fact that an act accomplishes it goal, does not make it good does it Allan.

    I never said that it did.

    Prediction: Allan has many times proven himself incapable of good faith or self-critical reflection. He will double down rather than admit his argument is invalid.

    Which argument would that be? The one that I made or the strawman argument you raised?

    I suppose if one is OK with the wholesale slaughter of unborn babies, it is no great leap to argue in bad faith.

    Who said that I was in favour of killing unborn babies?

  41. 41
    Allan Keith says:

    Sorry for the messed up block quotes at 40.

  42. 42
    Barry Arrington says:

    Allan @ 40:

    I knew this already, but it always amazes me how utterly shameless you are. Lying about your previous arguments only makes you look like a lying liar Allan. It does not help your cause at all.

    Let’s review shall we:

    ET @ 13

    Society has not improved with the addition of same-sex marriages and it has definitely suffered because of legalized abortions, ie abortions as a means of birth control.

    Allan @ 14

    Yet there are fewer women dying of botched illegal abortions, and a lower rate of unwanted pregnancies and abortions even though abortions are legal. Again, the math suggests that there is an improvement.

    Barry @ 32

    The fact that an act accomplishes it goal, does not make it good does it Allan.

    Allan @ 40

    I never said that it did.

    Let’s sum up shall we:

    ET argued that legalized abortion as a means of birth control has caused society to suffer. You attempted to demonstrate the opposite by stating that society has actually improved because there are fewer unwanted pregnancies, i.e, abortions accomplish their goal of terminating unwanted pregnancies.

    I pointed out to you that the fact that an act accomplishes it goal, does not make it good. In other words, the mere fact that legalized abortion accomplish its goal of terminating unwanted pregnancies does not make it a good thing that improves society.

    You lied and said you never said that it did.

    Shameless, utterly shameless. It never seems to occur to you that when you feel the need to lie to support your cause, maybe you should step back and rethink (as KF often urges).

  43. 43
    Allan Keith says:

    Barry,

    ET argued that legalized abortion as a means of birth control has caused society to suffer. You attempted to demonstrate the opposite by stating that society has actually improved because there are fewer unwanted pregnancies, i.e, abortions accomplish their goal of terminating unwanted pregnancies.

    If the only way you can demonize another person’s argument is to make things up, this is going to be a very short discussion.

    I pointed out to you that the fact that an act accomplishes it goal, does not make it good. In other words, the mere fact that legalized abortion accomplish its goal of terminating unwanted pregnancies does not make it a good thing that improves society.

    You lied and said you never said that it did.

    I didn’t say that legalizing abortion improved society. I said that since it has been legalized the number of women’s deaths by abortion, the rate of unwanted pregnancies and the rate of abortion has decreased. Are you suggesting that reducing women’s death caused by abortion, reducing the rate of unwanted pregnancies, and reducing the rate of abortion is not good for society?

    Shameless, utterly shameless.

    I agree. Putting words in another person’s mouth to score debating points is shameless. Please stop.

  44. 44
    ET says:

    Please provide a reference that shows the rate of abortions has decreased since abortions have been legalized. That means there were well over a million illegal abortions a year.

  45. 45
    Allan Keith says:

    Please provide a reference that shows the rate of abortions has decreased since abortions have been legalized. That means there were well over a million illegal abortions a year.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_statistics_in_the_United_States

  46. 46
    ET says:

    Allan, your reference shows the rate increased since abortions have been legalized.

  47. 47
    Allan Keith says:

    ET, here is another one. Using the same site that FF often sites, so I assume that it is accurate.

    https://www.guttmacher.org/sites/default/files/images/trendsinabortiongraph.png

  48. 48
    ET says:

    Allan, you have serious issues as neither link supports your claim.

  49. 49
    ET says:

    In order for Allan to support his claim Allan has to show that abortions were higher before they became legal. And I know that he can’t do that. Why? Because no one kept stats because the abortions were ILLEGAL

  50. 50
    Allan Keith says:

    ET,

    Allan, you have serious issues as neither link supports your claim.

    My claim was that abortion rates are lower now than they were at Roe v Wade. I can’t be responsible for you reading something that was not said.

  51. 51
    ET says:

    Allan:

    My claim was that abortion rates are lower now than they were at Roe v Wade.

    That wasn’t your claim. Try again

  52. 52
    Allan Keith says:

    My comment from 50:

    My claim was that abortion rates are lower now than they were at Roe v Wade. I can’t be responsible for you reading something that was not said.

    ET,

    That wasn’t your claim. Try again

    My claim from comment 14:

    And the data indicates that these rates are lower now than they were at the time of Roe v Wade.

    Again, I can’t be responsible for you reading something that was not said.

  53. 53
    ET says:

    Your comment @ 43 said:

    I said that since it has been legalized the number of women’s deaths by abortion, the rate of unwanted pregnancies and the rate of abortion has decreased.

    That means the rate of abortion was higher before it was legalized.

  54. 54
    Allan Keith says:

    ET, thank you for pointing out that error. That was an incorrect reference to my original claim.

  55. 55
    Barry Arrington says:

    Allan @ 14:

    Yet there are fewer women dying of botched illegal abortions, and a lower rate of unwanted pregnancies and abortions even though abortions are legal. Again, the math suggests that there is an improvement.

    Allan @ 43:

    I didn’t say that legalizing abortion improved society.

    My God man! What you wrote is right up there for everyone to see. What possible purpose is served by telling lies that are so easily demonstrated as such? Watching thoroughly evil lying liars such as Allan pile lie upon lie is astonishing.

  56. 56
    Allan Keith says:

    Barry,

    My God man! What you wrote is right up there for everyone to see. What possible purpose is served by telling lies that are so easily demonstrated as such? Watching thoroughly evil lying liars such as Allan pile lie upon lie is astonishing.

    My comment was in response to ET’s claim that society is worse because of legalized abortion. I simply pointed out that the numbers don’t support his claim. To claim that my comment was an assertion that legalized abortion is good for society is simply false. But, if you are asking me if I do believe this, then I will answer that I do think that abortion on demand during the first couple months of pregnancy is good for society. We can disagree and argue about this, because at least then you will be arguing about something that I have actually said.

  57. 57
    kairosfocus says:

    ET:

    The definition of marriage had to be changed. And now the door is open for all other types of marriages too.

    Actually, we need to start with this: if some court or parliament were to say that fools gold was to be accepted as real gold, would that make any real change, other than to legislate folly?

    A mere form of words, even under false colour of law backed up by fascistic tactics to force submission, does not change realities. All that has happened is that we now have sin-stitutionalised (That was originally a typo) lies under false colour of law backed up by corruption of the means of law enforcement. Actually, there is more, the stability of marriage has been severely undermined and we have set the terrible precedent that might and manipulation will be regarded as making ‘truth’ ‘right’ ‘rights’ “justice” and more.

    No great surprise, as we are already sin-stitutionalising the worst holocaust in history, the slaughter of our living posterity. That has led to the corruption that now opens the door for further corruption.

    Zip zip zip go the saws and the branch on which we are all sitting is more and more undercut as one corruption paves the way for the next.

    And, we here see the inherent amorality of evolutionary materialistic secular humanism working out as it infiltrates and subverts key institutions across our civilisation.

    Oh, people can plaster over the reality with whatever manipulative terms and corrupt decrees under false colour of laws they may want. Fools gold will never be the real thing, regardless of who makes such a decree.

    And no, it is not hate to speak unwelcome truth to power like this, it is vital that we face the truth and turn back from the crumbling edge of the cliff.

    I cannot believe how reckless we are as a civilisation with nukes and other horrors in play.

    We are playing with fire.

    KF

  58. 58
    ET says:

    Allan-

    Your reference in 47 shows that abortions went way up after Roe v Wade and only a few years ago did the rate become lower then 1973

  59. 59
    ET says:

    Society is worse off because of legalized abortions and the numbers do not refute that claim.

    Any society that willfully preys on its most vulnerable is a sick society. And abortions do just that

  60. 60
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I just added an illustration of fool’s gold. There is a story that a shipload of the stuff was shipped back to Britain from the New World in the 1500’s. If so, a lot of hard work was carried out in vain. KF

  61. 61
    Barry Arrington says:

    Allan @ 56.

    Not sure what point you are making. You said legalized abortion improved society. Then you said you did not say that. Now you are saying you did say that. God help us. People like Allan walk among us.

    BTW, you can keep this up as long as you like. Every time you try to deflect from your lies, I will rub your nose in your lies again. Your turn.

  62. 62
    Allan Keith says:

    Barry,

    Not sure what point you are making. You said legalized abortion improved society. Then you said you did not say that. Now you are saying you did say that. God help us. People like Allan walk among us.

    It is really quite clear Barry. My original comment was just a response to ET’s claim that legalized abortion was a detriment to society. I simply pointed out that the numbers did not support his claim, which they don’t. I was not at the time saying that legal abortions improved society, as you claim that I did. And I did not say that the lower rates of unwanted pregnancy and abortion were due to the legalization of abortion, because they are not.

    But, since you seemed incapable of reading for context, I figured that I would give you something to legitimately criticize. My opinion on abortion is that abortion on demand, within strict limits, is good for society. Have at it.

  63. 63
    ET says:

    Allan:

    My original comment was just a response to ET’s claim that legalized abortion was a detriment to society

    It is

    I simply pointed out that the numbers did not support his claim,

    Nonsense. Your numbers don’t have anything to do with it

    My opinion on abortion is that abortion on demand, within strict limits, is good for society.

    Only if limits involved getting rid of all liberals, then it would benefit society. 😉

  64. 64
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, legalised abortion on demand (or even on various excuses that are typically accepted) — just like euthanasia and full blown eugenics — imposes death on the innocent but inconvenient under false colour of law. That is immediately and unavoidably to the detriment of civilisation. What is really going on is that your definition of the social good implies that it is a good for death to be imposed on the vulnerable at convenience of the favoured. That is, consistent with the amorality and invited nihilism of evolutionary materialistic secular humanism, you evidently view values and goods as essentially matters of subjective opinion held by critical masses of the sufficiently powerful. In short, we see radical relativism and/or subjectivism in action and where it naturally ends: might and/or manipulation make ‘right’/ ‘rights’/ truth’/ ‘justice’/ ‘good’ etc. Or, if the light in you is darkness, how great is your darkness. Which should give any sensible person with an understanding of history and the consequences of nihilism quite serious pause. KF

    PS: Plato long since warned, nigh on 2360 years past:

    Ath[enian Stranger, 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].

  65. 65
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Plato, in The Republic:

    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)

  66. 66
    Barry Arrington says:

    ET @ 13 says society has not improved from legalized abortion:

    Society has not improved with the addition of same-sex marriages and it has definitely suffered because of legalized abortions, ie abortions as a means of birth control.

    Allan @ 14 says the math suggests that society has improved from legalized abortion:

    Yet there are fewer women dying of botched illegal abortions, and a lower rate of unwanted pregnancies and abortions even though abortions are legal. Again, the math suggests that there is an improvement.

    Allan @ 62 lies about what he said:

    I was not at the time saying that legal abortions improved society

    How many times do I have to rub your nose in your lies before you stop lying? My count is three nose-rubbings so far. Would you like another?

  67. 67
    Allan Keith says:

    Kairosfocus,

    AK, legalised abortion on demand (or even on various excuses that are typically accepted) — just like euthanasia and full blown eugenics — imposes death on the innocent but inconvenient under false colour of law. That is immediately and unavoidably to the detriment of civilisation.

    I wasn’t talking about euthanasia or eugenics, although I do support doctor assisted suicide under defined criteria.

    I don’t see how abortion on demand and doctor assisted suicide, within strict limits, is to the detriment of civilization. Could you elaborate?

  68. 68
    Barry Arrington says:

    Allan illustrates perfectly how materialism corrupts everything and everyone it touches. His A/Mat approach to life has so thoroughly corrupted his soul, he thinks that if he repeats a lie often enough — even an obvious lie — it will become the truth. He reminds me of why we fight. He scares the crap out of me too, because he is not alone.

  69. 69
    kairosfocus says:

    BA, the problem with the nose-rubbing theory of puppy training is it assumes the puppy can and will associate the behaviour to be avoided with strong enough unpleasant consequences and the alternative with pleasant ones. (Reminds me of trying to keep an overly friendly toy dog out of my lap over the weekend past! Down, L, down! Down L, down! Down L, down! [Hang dog look and a hopeful expression. Repeat. Obviously, but I just want to be petted.) KF

  70. 70
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, I am not surprised that you support the further undermining of medical ethics through turning doctors into licensed killers. It is all of a piece. That undermining leads ever closer to the crumbling edge of a cliff, as Dr Mengele’s ghost will readily confirm. Of course, a simple straightforward reading would show that I primarily spoke to the ongoing slaughter of living posterity in the womb and compared it to two other practices. A more informed reading would recognise that I am drawing out the known line of dominoes: abortion, euthanasia, eugenics, genocide or democide. It happened before, in living memory. It may still be going on in China. KF

  71. 71
    kairosfocus says:

    BA, just one tooth in a very big agit-prop saw cutting away at the roots of the branch on which we are all sitting. Zip, zip, zip, see no harm done, everything seems okay and we are gaining benefits. Zip, zip, zip. Then, predictably, they will try to project blame to the scapegoats of the day when things go CRAACK-crash. With nukes and like horrors in play, I am astonished at how reckless our civilisation is. KF

  72. 72
    Allan Keith says:

    Barry@68 and Kairosfocus@69, You obviously disagree with my views on abortion, same sex marriage, unrestricted access to contraceptives, and doctor assisted suicide. This is fine. I respect your differing opinion. Nobody is forcing you to avail yourselves of an abortion, same sex marriage, birth control or doctor assisted suicide.

  73. 73
    Allan Keith says:

    Kairosfocus,

    BA, just one tooth in a very big agit-prop saw cutting away at the roots of the branch on which we are all sitting. Zip, zip, zip, see no harm done, everything seems okay and we are gaining benefits. Zip, zip, zip. Then, predictably, they will try to project blame to the scapegoats of the day when things go CRAACK-crash. With nukes and like horrors in play, I am astonished at how reckless our civilisation is. KF

    I really miss the lemmings over the cliff analogy. Did you finally discover that lemmings don’t really jump over cliffs? 🙂

  74. 74
    Barry Arrington says:

    Allan:

    Barry@68 . . . You obviously disagree with my views on abortion,

    I said nothing about the merits of your views on abortion. I merely pointed out that you are a lying liar. You see, one of the best arguments against materialism is the behavior of its adherents. An argument that you have demonstrated admirably in this thread. Thank you.

  75. 75
    Barry Arrington says:

    KF:

    I am astonished at how reckless our civilisation is

    It is simultaneously fascinating and horrifying. Like a slow motion train wreck.

    I seriously consider moving down to the islands where perhaps the effects will not be felt as badly as in the big populations centers when it all blows up. Any room left on yours?

  76. 76
    kairosfocus says:

    BA, if you don’t mind sharing with big ugly down south [maybe going again next few years, who knows], there is room. KF

  77. 77
    ET says:

    kairosfocus @ 57- Have you read “Animal Farm”? Remember how the rules kept changing?

  78. 78
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, apparently, it does not register with you that undermining the moral fabric, key institutions and professions profoundly harms societies and our whole civilisation. But then, that is of a piece with what else we are seeing. The recklessness of our civilisation is astonishing. KF

    PS: I always simply used lemmings as illustrative of a common word picture. We are worse than lemmings, human marches of patently ruinous folly are a long, sad record of history. Indeed, Plato was largely writing from the bottom of the cliff after Athenian Democracy committed suicide through provoking the Peloponnesian war. It helps to make the connexion that Aristotle (his pupil) went on to be tutor to Alexander of Macedon.

  79. 79
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, yup, I guess Animal Farm and 1984 are no longer read in schools or commonly read. Four legs good, two legs bad. Then four legs good, two legs better. Then, closing: As the animals looked from man to pig and from pig to man, they realised what had happened. Already, there was no difference. KF

  80. 80
    Allan Keith says:

    KF,

    AK, apparently, it does not register with you that undermining the moral fabric, key institutions and professions profoundly harms societies and our whole civilisation.

    Since the moral fabric is man made, all we are doing is seeing it change, as it has done over the centuries. Sometimes history shows that the change has been for the good, and sometimes for the bad. But since civilization is thriving, it is reasonable to conclude that we have had more wins than losses.

    With regard to institutions, I assume that you are referring to marriage. How does allowing homosexuals to marry undermine your marriage? How does it undermine anyone’s marriage? I have been married for over 36 years and the gay couple next door being married has absolutely no impact on our marriage.

    With regard to professions, I assume that you are referring to doctors. Please correct me if I am wrong. No doctor is forced to participate in doctor assisted suicide. However, there are many doctors who view this as appropriate end of life care. They are no less compassionate and caring than those who do not want to participate in assisted suicide.

  81. 81
    Barry Arrington says:

    AK:
    “end of life care”

    Killing the patient is now called “end of life care.” Orwell had no idea how bad it would get.

  82. 82
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, the notion that the moral fabric is man made is actually an extreme position, radical relativism or subjectivism. That is the key sign that tells us where your scheme of thought leads — might and/or manipulation make ‘right’/ ‘truth’/ ‘justice’/ ‘rights’ etc. There is a proper name for that, one you won’t like; nihilism. It has a track record, and it isn’t one any sane person would want. You would be well advised to reconsider, starting from that our minds are governed morally by duties of care to truth, reason, justice, etc, and that this then reveals the law of our morally governed nature. From this, many onward considerations follow that lead to very different worldview and life agenda positions. Perhaps, a good yardstick case to start from is that it is self-evidently evil to pounce on, kidnap, bind and gag, sexually torture and assault a young child on the way home from school then murder the child to prevent being caught, all for one’s pleasure. Start from that the child has neither strength nor eloquence to resist or persuade. From this, much else will emerge. KF

    PS: Once the Hippocratic oath (or equivalent) is undermined as described, doctors become licensed killers. Ask the ghost of Dr Mengele where that leads. And BTW I had many other professions in mind that become debased once the slippery slope is engaged. And no, it’s not a fallacy here; it is a matter of grim history. Your newspeak example just highlighted by BA is a good pointer of just how far the rot spreads, just how fast.

  83. 83
    Mung says:

    kairosfocus:

    Fools gold will never be the real thing, regardless of who makes such a decree.

    And yet they manage to convince us that paper money is worth more than fool’s gold.

  84. 84
    bornagain77 says:

    as to AK’s comment:

    Since the moral fabric is man made, all we are doing is seeing it change, as it has done over the centuries. Sometimes history shows that the change has been for the good, and sometimes for the bad.

    And to what objective moral standard are you comparing this man made moral fabric to in order to differentiate when the change has been good and when it has been bad?

    And just what makes you so sure that your illusory moral standard for good is better than some other illusory moral standard for good?

  85. 85
    Allan Keith says:

    Barry,

    Killing the patient is now called “end of life care.” Orwell had no idea how bad it would get.

    I would never say that you can’t choose to suffer with no chance of improving until your natural death. What gives you the right or moral authority to prevent others from opting for a different exit?

  86. 86
    Allan Keith says:

    KairosFocus,

    Once the Hippocratic oath (or equivalent) is undermined as described, doctors become licensed killers.

    I guess that I consider insisting that a person suffer against his will is doing harm.

  87. 87
    ET says:

    Allan Keith:

    How does allowing homosexuals to marry undermine your marriage?

    Where do you stop and why? Soon anyone will be able to marry anything for any reason. And then marriage, once special, will just be a farce.

  88. 88
    ET says:

    kairosfocus- “Animal Farm” is required 9th grade reading in my school district

  89. 89
    Allan Keith says:

    ET,

    Where do you stop and why? Soon anyone will be able to marry anything for any reason. And then marriage, once special, will just be a farce.

    Ahh. The slippery slope argument. The refuge of those without a valid argument.

  90. 90
    kairosfocus says:

    Mung, for now on the credit and legal backing of an issuing authority. For reference see the great German hyperinflation of the 1920’s and how it opened the way for what followed. KF

  91. 91
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, ah, the snidely dismissive, strawman caricature loaded quip. The refuge of the historically ignorant who have not even bothered to read the classic clips in the thread above. KF

    PS: Pain management has long since been at a level that the pain and suffering talking point have long since had no merit. Of course, in some jurisdictions, pain management is poorly done. And, you are failing to seriously reckon with what it means to turn medical doctors into a guild of killers. Just one consequence: the credibility of medical practitioners will vanish, especially as ‘right’ to die decays into ‘duty’ to die.

  92. 92
    ET says:

    Allan- the definition of marriage had to changed in order to appease a pitiful and unnatural minority.

    I noticed that you failed to answer my question. Typical

  93. 93
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, it is a pseudo-definition. KF

    PS: Do they draw out its force and references?

  94. 94
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, might and manipulation by the superiors imposing will to power over the benighted normies of course. Long ago Alcibiades showed the way. Ask the Athenians, a king of Sparta and the Persians. KF

  95. 95
    Allan Keith says:

    ET,

    Allan- the definition of marriage had to changed in order to appease a pitiful and unnatural minority.

    Well, it is nice to know how you feel about homosexuals.

    Marriage has evolved over the centuries. Up until quite recently it allowed a husband to rape his wife. Up until quite recently a husband was legally allowed to hit his wife. Up until quite recently a wife had to vow to obey her husband. Maybe we shouldn’t have changed all that. The slippery slope led to same sex marriage.

  96. 96
    Barry Arrington says:

    Allan King

    What gives you the right or moral authority to prevent others from opting for a different exit?

    Let me fix that for you: “What gives you the right or moral authority to prevent others PATIENTS from opting for a different exit HAVING THEIR DOCTORS KILL THEM?”

    Uh, I would say the whole “thou shalt not murder” principle. I know A/Mats like you are fuzzy on that. Witness tens of millions who died at the hands of Stalin and Mao. But there ya go.

    BTW, the fact that you seem compelled to use euphemisms should set off red flags. I doubt that it will.

  97. 97
    Allan Keith says:

    Barry@96, I guess that I prefer free will and choice.

  98. 98
    ET says:

    Allan:

    Well, it is nice to know how you feel about homosexuals.

    The truth hurts, sometimes. It has nothing to do with how I feel.

    Marriage has evolved over the centuries.

    Into a farce. By the ay you are equating the laws of different societies pertaining to marriage with marriage. The definition of marriage doesn’t carry that baggage

    Still too afraid to answer my question. I wonder why that is…

  99. 99
    Allan Keith says:

    ET,

    Still too afraid to answer my question. I wonder why that is…

    Forgive me, but I tend to skip over inane questions. Could you please repeat it?

  100. 100
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, keep it up. You are sketching quite the picture. One, that is a warning. KF

  101. 101
    Allan Keith says:

    KairosFocus,

    AK, keep it up. You are sketching quite the picture. One, that is a warning. KF

    What picture would that be? The picture that slippery slope arguments are the sign of a weak argument, which they are? The picture of someone who does not deem it necessary to respond to every question from someone who has a track record of abuse towards those he disagrees with?

  102. 102
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, this picture:

    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].

    KF

  103. 103
    Allan Keith says:

    KairosFocus, zip, zip, zip goes the saw, undercutting the branch we are sitting on? Sorry, but your cautions remind me of chicken little and the boy who cried wolf. You have repeated them so often, with no support from actual events, that they cease to have any meaning.

    Abortion on demand has been around since the 70s and the rate of unwanted pregnancies and abortions are lower than they were at the time of Roe v Wade. Same sex marriage has been legal for well over a decade and none of the dire consequences that were predicted have come to be. Early and comprehensive sex education are in place and unwanted pregnancies are at an all time low. Unrestricted access to birth control is here and I haven’t seen people having sex in the streets. Secularism is increasing in the west and violent crimes are still declining, standards of living are high. Persecution of homosexuals has declined. Women are no longer second class citizens. Violent conflicts between countries are lower than they have been throughout history. Life expectancy is higher than ever. We are staying healthy longer. Infant mortality is lower than ever. This amoral nihilistic society that you warn of seems to be chugging along quite successfully.

  104. 104
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, keep going, you are further painting the picture. When a crooked yardstick is your measure of straightness of course what is genuinely straight seems wrong. KF

  105. 105
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Again, Plato has a warning. This time in The Republic:

    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)

  106. 106
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Here is a useful in-brief on radical relativism and subjectivism:

    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.

    The consequences are a matter of history. And that history is being echoed all around us. Already, our civilisation in this generation is implicated in enabling the worst holocaust in history. Yes, the ongoing slaughter of our living posterity in the womb at a million further victims per week, 800+ millions in 40+ years. AND MANY REFUSE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT SOMETHING IS DRASTICALLY WRONG.

  107. 107
  108. 108
    harry says:

    Allan Keith @103,

    What planet are you from Allan? You don’t seem too familiar with the current situation on planet Earth.

    Here is a major issue to which you are oblivious: A few decades ago a group of people called the National Socialist Party, or “Nazi” party, seized control of a country called Germany. Over a decade before that, the German intelligentsia began advocating the absurd notion that the state had the authority to “legalize” the murder of innocent humanity as a matter of social policy. This would begin with the “legalization” of abortion and euthanasia. The Nazis, when they rose to power, took that absurd notion and ran with it, applying it as they saw fit.

    Earthlings know that the Nazis grand social experiment in “legal” murder was an unmitigated disaster. Today, Western civilization is more gravely threatened than ever before because contemporary, militantly atheistic Western states have relaunched the failed Nazi social experiment by “legalizing” abortion and euthanasia. The “legalization” of the murder of the political opponents of those in power will follow eventually. We already know that is where it leads from the Nazi experience.

    How many human beings have been murdered already? Some estimates are as high as nearly two billion innocent human beings have already been murdered by “legal” abortion. That is more people than the entire human population of planet Earth at the beginning of the twentieth century. I assume you are familiar with how time is measured here on planet Earth.

    Anyway, things just aren’t going as good on our planet as your naive assessment suggests.

  109. 109
    kairosfocus says:

    Harry, Planet Evo Mat. KF

    PS: At 52 mn/yr and on a 40 year ramp, with 20% let off, we get 800+ mn. I have seen serious estimates of 1.4 billion, but cannot show it as above. 50+ mn/year is of course effectively a million per week. The underlying figures are Guttmacher and UN.

  110. 110
    Allan Keith says:

    Kairosfocus,

    PS: At 52 mn/yr and on a 40 year ramp, with 20% let off, we get 800+ mn. I have seen serious estimates of 1.4 billion, but cannot show it as above. 50+ mn/year is of course effectively a million per week. The underlying figures are Guttmacher and UN.

    Yet the same sources are saying that the rates of unwanted pregnancies and abortion are lower now than they were at the time of Roe v Wade. Simply banning legal abortions will not make them go away. To think this goes beyond naive. Guttmacher in 1999 showed that the abortion rate in countries where it was legal was no different than abortion rates in countries where it is illegal. So I hope we can agree that banning legal abortion will not reduce the rate of abortion, other than a short duration decline as illegal options develop.

    But there are examples of countries that have legal abortion but have very low rates of abortion. What do they all have in common?

    1) Early, comprehensive, non-judgemental mandatory sex education. Parents can not have their kids opt out. Think of this as a preventive action, much like vaccinating your children. Many countries do not allow children to attend public schools without being vaccinated. Why would we allow children to opt out of obtaining knowledge that is critical for informed decision making?

    2) Unrestricted access to birth control. In many cases, doctors are prohibited from seeking parental approval for prescribing birth control to minor children.

    3) Universal health care.

    4) Abortion on demand in the first three months of pregnancy.

    Countries like Switzerland, that have all of the above, have abortion rates that are less than half that of the US. If we are serious about significantly reducing the number of abortions, we should drop our puritanical nonsense and adopt practices that have proven to be successful. Simply banning legal abortions, knowing that it will not have any real impact on abortion rates, is the height of hypocrisy. It may assuage your misplaced guilt, but it will do nothing to improve the situation. Where is your guilt over doing something that you know will not reduce the abortion rate but will increase the rate of death of women who have illegal abortions?

  111. 111
    ET says:

    Allan:

    The picture that slippery slope arguments are the sign of a weak argument,

    Just saying so doesn’t make it so. You have to make a case but I doubt that you can.

  112. 112
    ET says:

    Allan:

    Simply banning legal abortions, knowing that it will not have any real impact on abortion rates,

    You don’t know that

    Where is your guilt over doing something that you know will not reduce the abortion rate but will increase the rate of death of women who have illegal abortions?

    I wouldn’t have any guilt about that. Women are smart and should know better. You clearly think that women are not smart and need to be bailed out after making stupid choices.

  113. 113
    Allan Keith says:

    ET,

    Just saying so doesn’t make it so. You have to make a case but I doubt that you can.

    Same sex marriage has been legal in Canada for well over a decade yet polygamy is still not allowed (unlike in the bible), interspecies marriage is still not allowed. And divorce rates have declined. That slippery slope must be paved with glue.

  114. 114
    Allan Keith says:

    ET,

    You don’t know that

    Look at the studies. They are very clear.

    I wouldn’t have any guilt about that. Women are smart and should know better. You clearly think that women are not smart and need to be bailed out after making stupid choices.I wouldn’t have any guilt about that. Women are smart and should know better. You clearly think that women are not smart and need to be bailed out after making stupid choices.

    No. I am giving women far more credit than you do in allowing them to make their own choices. I’m not the one who is saying that they should not use birth control. I am not the one saying that they cannot use IUDs. I am not the one saying that they can not use the morning after pill. I am not the one saying that they should not be given all of the information necessary at an early age to allow them to make informed decisions. I am not the one denying them all of the above out of some misplaced religious nonsense.

    But thank you for letting us know that you are fine with letting women die due to inadequate medical care.

  115. 115
    asauber says:

    I am not the one denying them all of the above out of some misplaced religious nonsense.

    Wait a minute AK, can’t we deny them because we think it’s good for society? On what basis could you tell us we are wrong?

    Andrew

  116. 116
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, we have created a culture of abortion. We have created a global holocaust. Until and unless we recognise and recoil in horror from what we have enabled, we will not address the root problem: we have embedded the principle that the stronger party can at will put to death an innocent, weaker, inconvenient party. That is why I do not give 10c for bleatings about oh we have put a dent in rates etc. If rates go down, they can go up again as the operative principle is that of the holocaust. That is what we must face and it is what we must turn from decisively before it is catastrophically too late. Then, maybe, we can plead for forgiveness and cleansing then healing from the blood-guilt of half a generation that we have slaughtered. KF

    PS: And by the way your bigotry is showing: “misplaced religious nonsense.” It is obvious that to you ethical theism and nonsense are closely associated. That is in fact a polarising projection that reduces cognitive dissonance due to the readily demonstrated facts that evolutionary materialism is both self-refuting (undermining the rational mind) and amoral (undermining the responsible mind). Displacing the locus of your discomfort does not make it go away. The problem keeps on seeping out the edges, and it will not go away.

  117. 117
    Allan Keith says:

    Andrew,

    Wait a minute AK, can’t we deny them because we think it’s good for society? On what basis could you tell us we are wrong?

    That is what we are discussing. But we have to have a starting point that we agree on. Do we both agree that unwanted pregnancies, especially in teens, are bad for society? If so, we should be looking at programs to reduce the risk of this.

    You could argue that early comprehensive sex education is worse for society than the unwanted pregnancies because it might increase the rate of sexual activity and its risks at a young age. However, the studies that have looked at this have not found that sex education increases sexual activity. But it has been shown to significantly reduce the incidence of unwanted pregnancies.

    You could also argue that ready access to contraceptives might increase the frequency of sexual risk taking. However, the data does not support this:

    We found little evidence to support concerns of increased sexual risk-taking behavior subsequent to greater access to no-cost contraception. [Obstet Gynecol. 2014 Apr; 123(4): 771–776.]

    And finally, you could argue that banning legal abortions would significantly reduce abortions and, therefore, be good for society. Undoubtedly this would be true for the first few months, but data from different jurisdictions show that the abortion rates in countries with abortion on demand are very similar to those of countries where abortions are illegal. The only real difference is the increased health risk to women who seek illegal abortions.

  118. 118
    Allan Keith says:

    Kairosfocus,

    AK, we have created a culture of abortion.

    This may be true. But it was not created in the last few decades. It has existed from the dawn of recorded history. It will never go away.

    PS: And by the way your bigotry is showing: “misplaced religious nonsense.” It is obvious that to you ethical theism and nonsense are closely associated.

    No. Nonsense exists everywhere. But the religious arguments against comprehensive sex education and access to birth control are nonsense.

  119. 119
    asauber says:

    But we have to have a starting point that we agree on. Do we both agree that unwanted pregnancies, especially in teens, are bad for society?

    Why would I agree? Killing innocent children is bad for society.

    Your starting point is a misrepresentation of the issue.

    Seriously, you don’t see that it is?

    Andrew

  120. 120
    asauber says:

    AK,

    Do you even know what an abortion is? Can you describe it in scientific detail?

    Andrew

  121. 121
    Allan Keith says:

    Andrew,

    Why would I agree? Killing innocent children is bad for society.

    I’m confused. How is avoiding unwanted pregnancies a bad thing?

  122. 122
    asauber says:

    I’m confused.

    Ya think?

    Andrew

  123. 123
    Allan Keith says:

    Andrew,

    Do you even know what an abortion is? Can you describe it in scientific detail?

    Yes. A doctor places a speculum into the vagina. The doctor numbs the cervix and then gradually widens, or dilates, the cervix. A small tube is then inserted into the uterus. Suction is applied and empties your uterus.

  124. 124
    asauber says:

    Suction is applied and empties your uterus.

    Not my uterus. 😉

    Empties it of what?

    Scientific detail lacking here, Sherlock.

    Andrew

  125. 125
    Allan Keith says:

    Andrew, I think that you are reading something into my question that is not there. All I did was ask if you agreed that unwanted pregnancies, especially amongst teens, is bad for society. I was not asking about whether abortion as a means to terminate unwanted pregnancies was good for society; I was asking about whether preventing the pregnancies in the first place was a good thing.

  126. 126
    Allan Keith says:

    Andrew,

    Empties it of what?

    The fetus. What did you think? A car?

  127. 127
    asauber says:

    AK,

    Will you answer my question before you start your evasive maneuvering?

    Andrew

  128. 128
    Allan Keith says:

    Since you insist on scientific accuracy, most abortions remove an embryo.

    “an unborn or unhatched offspring in the process of development, in particular a human offspring during the period from approximately the second to the eighth week after fertilization (after which it is usually termed a fetus).”

  129. 129
    asauber says:

    most abortions remove an embryo

    Of what species? Klingon?

    Andrew

  130. 130
    Allan Keith says:

    Andrew,

    Of what species? Klingon?

    See above.

  131. 131
    asauber says:

    a human offspring

    off·spring
    ?ôf?spriNG,?äf?spriNG/
    noun
    noun: offspring; plural noun: offspring

    a person’s child or children.

    Andrew

  132. 132
    Allan Keith says:

    Andrew@131, your point? I fail to see how our views on abortion have anything to do with whether you agree that preventing unwanted pregnancies, especially in teens, is good for society. Please stay focused.

  133. 133
    asauber says:

    AK,

    For one thing you didn’t write “prevent” unwanted pregancies. You commented:

    Do we both agree that unwanted pregnancies, especially in teens, are bad for society?

    Kinda makes a difference, doesn’t it, troll?

    Andrew

  134. 134
    Allan Keith says:

    Andrew,

    For one thing you didn’t write “prevent” unwanted pregancies.

    And you automatically jump to the conclusion that I am advocating for abortion. This says rather more about your biases than it does about mine.

    But, to get back on track, do you agree that unwanted pregnancies, especially in teens (keeping abortion off the table), is bad for society?

  135. 135
    asauber says:

    And you automatically jump to the conclusion that I am advocating for abortion.

    AK,

    That’s only because you are a pro-abortion troll, regurgitating all the things a pro-abortion troll regurgitates.

    Andrew

  136. 136
    Allan Keith says:

    Andrew,

    That’s only because you are a pro-abortion troll, regurgitating all the things a pro-abortion troll regurgitates.

    Not true. I am opposed to banning abortion because the data indicate that it has very little effect on abortion rates but does significantly increase the risk to women who obtain illegal abortions. However, I am in favour of examining any and all approaches that will reduce the demand for abortion.

    So, are you willing to agree with me that preventing unwanted abortions, especially amongst teens, is good for society?

  137. 137
    Allan Keith says:

    Correction to 136

    So, are you willing to agree with me that preventing unwanted pregnancies, especially amongst teens, is good for society?

    Oops Freudian slip> 🙂

  138. 138

    Preventing unwanted pregnancies among teens? Sounds like a good idea, but it would take a tremendous change in pop culture to do it. I simply don’t see that happening anytime soon. Hedonism is in vogue… and has been for awhile.

  139. 139

    Although, I have been hearing a lot about today’s young people being less likely to have promiscuous sex for various reasons. Maybe that is the best way to stop unwanted pregnancies among teens.

  140. 140
    ET says:

    Allan:

    Same sex marriage has been legal in Canada for well over a decade yet polygamy is still not allowed (unlike in the bible), interspecies marriage is still not allowed.

    Why? That sounds hypocritical.

  141. 141
    ET says:

    Allan:

    Look at the studies.

    There is no way there were more than 3,000 illegal abortions a day before Roe v Wade.

    No. I am giving women far more credit than you do in allowing them to make their own choices.

    Hogwash. I am allowing them to make their own choices to. I am saying that they are smart enough to know what happens when they have unprotected sex. You are saying that they are not that smart.

    As for your rant I am not opposed to contraception and I am for education. All of the information is at their fingertips, Allan. This is in Information Age. PARENTs should be the people who are front and center getting their children access to it.

    But thank you for letting us know that you are fine with letting women die due to inadequate medical care.

    What a demented thing to say. Only a twisted loser would get that from what I said. Abortions are not “medical care” unless the fetus is killing the mother.

  142. 142
    ET says:

    Is there anyone here against sex education for teens?

    Would you be OK to have your kids read informative websites- accredited medical sites- about the subject and have discussions with them?

  143. 143
    Allan Keith says:

    TWSYF,

    Preventing unwanted pregnancies among teens? Sounds like a good idea, but it would take a tremendous change in pop culture to do it. I simply don’t see that happening anytime soon. Hedonism is in vogue… and has been for awhile.

    Thank you for the response. I agree that it will be difficult, but we have already seen significant declines in teen birth rates, from just over 40/1,000 in 2007 to just over 20/1,000 in 2015.
    https://www.cdc.gov/teenpregnancy/images/about/about-teen-birth-rates-1991-2015-585px.jpg
    Keeping in mind that these are not all unwanted pregnancies.

    You might argue that the decrease is due to increased abortion rates, but this is not what has been seen. Over the same period, and for the same age group (15 – 19), the teen abortion rates also decreased.
    https://www.guttmacher.org/sites/default/files/images/teenpregrates1280.jpg

    Of interest is the national distribution of teen pregnancy rates. Being the highest in the south and southwest.
    https://www.guttmacher.org/sites/default/files/images/teensexresizedmap1280fix.png

    “The authors note that disparities in teen pregnancy rates and outcomes between states are likely due to a variety of factors, including differences in state demographic characteristics, the availability of comprehensive sex education, and knowledge about and availability of contraceptive services.

    What most of the data shows is that there are a couple incontestable facts:

    1) Teens will have sex, no matter how much teachers, ministers and parents tell them that it is wrong. The sex drive is just too great. Besides, sex is fun.

    2) A combination of comprehensive sex education and unrestricted access to birth control significantly reduces teen pregnancy rates.

  144. 144
    Allan Keith says:

    ET,

    Hogwash. I am allowing them to make their own choices to.

    So you agree with allowing women to chose to have an abortion?

  145. 145
    ET says:

    Allan:

    So you agree with allowing women to chose to have an abortion?

    They have to be smart enough to choose before having sex, Allan. Once pregnant any abortion would be tantamount to murder. Women and men have to be educated on that, too.

  146. 146
    ET says:

    1) Teens will have sex, no matter how much teachers, ministers and parents tell them that it is wrong. The sex drive is just too great. Besides, sex is fun.

    And yet not all teens do it.

    2) A combination of comprehensive sex education and unrestricted access to birth control significantly reduces teen pregnancy rates.

    It would be nice to teach them that snuffing out the life of an unborn child is tantamount to murder and will have consequences for both people.

  147. 147
    Allan Keith says:

    ET,

    They have to be smart enough to choose before having sex, Allan. Once pregnant any abortion would be tantamount to murder. Women and men have to be educated on that, too.
    Before Roe v Wade, there were approximately 800,000 illegal abortions in the US per year. That’s a lot of murderers.

  148. 148
    ET says:

    Allan:

    Before Roe v Wade, there were approximately 800,000 illegal abortions in the US per year. That’s a lot of murderers.

    Yes, it is.

  149. 149
    Allan Keith says:

    And no different than the abortion rates we have now that it is legal. So, what would be gained by making it illegal again? Other than making you and KF feel better?

  150. 150
    ET says:

    Well, if it was illegal and enforced the rates should drop. Otherwise it signals that we are a very, very stupid or ignorant society. Which we are because we allow abortions as a means of birth control.

    Maybe you are OK with living in a sick and perverse society but most of us are not.

  151. 151
    Allan Keith says:

    ET,

    Well, if it was illegal and enforced the rates should drop. Otherwise it signals that we are a very, very stupid or ignorant society.

    And how do you enforce it? Storm troopers? Gestapo? Toaster repair men?

    Which we are because we allow abortions as a means of birth control.

    Yet the same people who oppose abortion also oppose the use of any other type of birth control.

  152. 152
    ET says:

    Allan:

    And how do you enforce it?

    Education and use the people who are paid to make sure civilians do not break the law. If the numbers were as high as you say it should be easy to find out who is performing abortions.

    Yet the same people who oppose abortion also oppose the use of any other type of birth control.

    Maybe some do. I would say they are a minority. But I understand their point- wait until you are ready to take on the responsibility of such a choice. And make sure that you understand that responsibility and the consequences of not following through.

  153. 153
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, evidently, it is not registering with you. We have enabled the systematic, institutionalised killing of 800+ million of our living posterity in the womb since the 1970’s. Currently, this grows at another million per week. This is the worst holocaust in history and our civilisation is collectively guilty. That is the reality we need to awaken our consciences to — and a deadened conscience to the wilful taking of innocent life like this is a very bad sign indeed. So, sorry, I cannot take talking points about oh this reduces the rate of the holocaust, on grounds that the acceptable rate of willful shedding of innocent blood is zero. Yes, we may face a situation where there is a dismal trade-off and we have to ponder 400 starving this year vs 800 starving over the next several years at say 200/yr. That is an awful issue (and it is essentially the case my dad shared with me to warn me away from Economic policy), but it is different in kind from a case where we are warping institutions, law and more to foster the nihilistic notion that the deliberate slaughter of our living posterity in the womb is a right. To which, the only responsible stance is that to claim a right, one must be in the right; or else one is nihilistically demanding power to impose on others that they enable oneself in doing the wrong. As is clearly happening, with bloodshed in the stakes. The reckoning for our civilisation will be terrible if we do not turn back soon and seek cleansing from this stain of innocent blood. KF

  154. 154
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, there is a world of difference between responsible, reasonable sex education and teaching the techniques of vice in ways that are tantamount to grooming, desensitisation and outright recruitment. That was happening, for example, with orphanages in Jamaica, leading to a scandal. All the usual suspects, of course, were involved. KF

  155. 155
    eddified says:

    @AK (#80) said “How does allowing homosexuals to marry undermine your marriage? How does it undermine anyone’s marriage?” (I don’t know how to do the fancy quote block that everyone seems to know how to do.)

    Here is your answer:

    At this point, some revisionists abandon the philosophical
    project of attacking the conjugal conception of marriage and
    simply ask, “what’s the harm?” Even if we are right, is imple?
    menting our view important enough to justify the emotional and
    other difficulties that some may experience as a result of being
    denied recognition of the sexual partnerships they have formed?
    Why should the state care about some abstract moral principle?
    Revisionists often capture this point with a question: “How
    would gay marriage affect you or your marriage?”29 It is worth
    noting, first, that this question could be turned back on revi?
    sionists who oppose legally recognizing, for example, polya?
    morous unions: How would doing so affect anyone else’s
    marriage? If this kind of question is decisive against the conju?
    gal view’s constraints on which unions to recognize, it cuts
    equally against the revisionist’s. In fact it undermines neither
    since, as even many revisionists implicitly agree, public institu?
    tions like civil marriage have wide and deep effects on our cul?
    ture—which in turn affects others’ lives and choices.  
    Thus, supporters of the conjugal view often respond to this
    challenge—rightly, we believe—that abolishing the conjugal con?
    ception of marriage would weaken the social institution of mar?
    riage, obscure the value of opposite?sex parenting as an ideal, and
    threaten moral and religious freedom. Here is a sketch of how.
    1. Weakening Marriage
    No one deliberates or acts in a vacuum. We all take cues (in?
    cluding cues as to what marriage is and what it requires of us)
    from cultural norms, which are shaped in part by the law. In?
    deed, revisionists themselves implicitly concede this point.
    Why else would they be dissatisfied with civil unions for same?
    sex couples? Like us, they understand that the state’s favored
    conception of marriage matters because it affects society’s un?
    derstanding of that institution.  
    In redefining marriage, the law would teach that marriage is
    fundamentally about adults’ emotional unions, not bodily un?ion30
    or children,31 with which marital norms are tightly inter?
    twined.32 Since emotions can be inconstant, viewing marriage
    essentially as an emotional union would tend to increase mari?
    tal instability—and it would blur the distinct value of friend?
    ship, which is a union of hearts and minds.33 Moreover, and
    more importantly, because there is no reason that primarily
    emotional unions any more than ordinary friendships in gen?
    eral should be permanent, exclusive, or limited to two,34 these
    norms of marriage would make less and less sense. Less able to
    understand the rationale for these marital norms, people would
    feel less bound to live by them. And less able to understand the
    value of marriage itself as a certain kind of union, even apart
    from the value of its emotional satisfactions, people would in?
    creasingly fail to see the intrinsic reasons they have for marry?
    ing35 or staying with a spouse absent consistently strong feeling.
    In other words, a mistaken marriage policy tends to distort
    people’s understanding of the kind of relationship that spouses
    are to form and sustain. And that likely erodes people’s adher?
    ence to marital norms that are essential to the common good.
    As University of Calgary philosopher Elizabeth Brake, who
    supports legal recognition of relationships of any size, gender
    composition, and allocation of responsibilities, affirms, “mar?
    riage does not simply allow access to legal entitlements; it also
    allows partners to signal the importance of their relationship
    and to invoke social pressures on commitment.”36
    Of course, marriage policy could go bad—and already has—in
    many ways. Many of today’s public opponents of the revisionist
    view—for example, Maggie Gallagher, David Blankenhorn, the
    U.S. Catholic bishops—also opposed other legal changes detri?
    mental to the conjugal conception of marriage.37 We are focusing
    here on the issue of same?sex unions, not because it alone matters,
    but because it is the focus of a live debate whose results have
    wide implications for reforms to strengthen our marriage culture.
    Yes, social and legal developments have already worn the ties
    that bind spouses to something beyond themselves and thus more
    securely to each other. But recognizing same?sex unions would
    mean cutting the last remaining threads. After all, underlying
    people’s adherence to the marital norms already in decline are the
    deep (if implicit) connections in their minds between marriage,
    bodily union, and children. Enshrining the revisionist view would
    not just wear down but tear out this foundation, and with it any
    basis for reversing other recent trends and restoring the many so?
    cial benefits of a healthy marriage culture.  
    Those benefits redound to children and spouses alike. Because
    children fare best on most indicators of health and wellbeing
    when reared by their wedded biological parents,38 the further
    erosion of marital norms would adversely affect children, forc?
    ing the state to play a larger role in their health, education, and
    formation more generally.39 As for the adults, those in the poor?
    est and most vulnerable sectors of society would be hit the hard?
    est.40 But adults more generally would be harmed insofar as the
    weakening of social expectations supporting marriage would
    make it harder for them to abide by marital norms.

    2. Obscuring the Value of Opposite?Sex Parenting As an Ideal
    As we have seen in Part I.B, legally enshrining conjugal mar?
    riage socially reinforces the idea that the union of husband and
    wife is (as a rule and ideal) the most appropriate environment
    for the bearing and rearing of children—an ideal whose value
    is strongly corroborated by the best available social science.41
    Note, moreover, that the need for adoption where the ideal is
    practically impossible is no argument for redefining civil mar?
    riage, a unified legal structure of incentives meant precisely to
    reinforce the ideal socially and practically—to minimize the
    need for alternative, case?by?case provisions.
    If same?sex partnerships were recognized as marriages, how?
    ever, that ideal would be abolished from our law: no civil insti?
    tution would any longer reinforce the notion that children need
    both a mother and father; that men and women on average
    bring different gifts to the parenting enterprise; and that boys
    and girls need and tend to benefit from fathers and mothers in
    different ways.  
    In that case, to the extent that some continued to regard mar?
    riage as crucially linked to children, the message would be sent
    that a household of two women or two men is, as a rule, just as
    appropriate a context for childrearing, so that it does not matter
    (even as a rule) whether children are reared by both their
    mother and their father, or by a parent of each sex at all.  
    On the other hand, to the extent that the connection between
    marriage and parenting is obscured more generally, as we
    think it would be eventually,42 no kind of arrangement would
    be proposed as an ideal.
    But the currency of either view would significantly weaken
    the extent to which the social institution of marriage provided
    social pressures and incentives for husbands to remain with
    their wives and children. And to the extent that children were
    not reared by both parents, they would be prone to suffer in
    the ways identified by social science.

    3. Threatening Moral and Religious Freedom
    Because the state’s value?neutrality on this question (of the
    proper contours and norms of marriage) is impossible if there is to
    be any marriage law at all, abolishing the conjugal understanding
    of marriage would imply that committed same?sex and opposite?
    sex romantic unions are equivalently real marriages. The state
    would thus be forced to view conjugal?marriage supporters as
    bigots who make groundless and invidious distinctions. In ways
    that have been catalogued by Marc Stern of the American Jewish
    Committee and by many other defenders of the rights of con?
    science, this would undermine religious freedom and the rights of
    parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children.44
    Already, we have seen antidiscrimination laws wielded as
    weapons against those who cannot, in good conscience, accept
    the revisionist understanding of sexuality and marriage: In Mas?
    sachusetts, Catholic Charities was forced to give up its adoption
    services rather than, against its principles, place children with
    same?sex couples.45 In California, a U.S. District Court held that a
    student’s religious speech against homosexual acts could be
    banned by his school as injurious remarks that “intrude[s] upon
    the work of the schools or on the rights of other students.”46 And
    again in Massachusetts, a Court of Appeals ruled that a public
    school may teach children that homosexual relations are morally
    good despite the objections of parents who disagree.47  
    The proposition that support for the conjugal conception of
    marriage is nothing more than a form of bigotry has become so
    deeply entrenched among marriage revisionists that a Washing?
    ton Post feature story48 drew denunciations and cries of journalis?
    tic bias for even implying that one conjugal?marriage advocate
    was “sane” and “thoughtful.” Outraged readers compared the
    profile to a hypothetical puff piece on a Ku Klux Klan member.49
    A New York Times columnist has called proponents of conjugal
    marriage “bigots,” even singling an author of this Article out by
    name.50 Meanwhile, organizations advocating the legal redefini?
    tion of marriage label themselves as being for “human rights”
    and against “hate.”51 The implications are clear: if marriage is
    legally redefined, believing what every human society once be?
    lieved about marriage—namely, that it is a male?female union—
    will increasingly be regarded as evidence of moral insanity, mal?
    ice, prejudice, injustice, and hatred.
    These points are not offered as arguments for accepting the
    conjugal view of marriage. If our viewpoint is wrong, then the
    state could be justified in sometimes requiring others to treat
    same?sex and opposite?sex romantic unions alike, and private
    citizens could be justified in sometimes marginalizing the op?
    posing view as noxious. Rather, given our arguments about
    what marriage actually is,52 these are important warnings about
    the consequences of enshrining a seriously unsound conception
    of marriage. These considerations should motivate people who
    accept the conjugal view but have trouble seeing the effects of
    abolishing it from the law.  
    In short, marriage should command our attention and en?
    ergy more than many other moral causes because so many di?
    mensions of the common good are damaged if the moral truth
    about marriage is obscured. For the same reason, bypassing the
    current debate by abolishing marriage law entirely would be
    imprudent in the extreme. Almost no society that has left us a
    trace of itself has done without some regulation of sexual rela?
    tionships. As we show in Part I.E.1 (and the data cited in Part
    I.B.2 suggest), the wellbeing of children gives us powerful pru?
    dential reasons to recognize and protect marriage legally.

    Source: http://www.harvard-jlpp.com/wp.....eFinal.pdf

  156. 156
    Allan Keith says:

    ET,

    Education and use the people who are paid to make sure civilians do not break the law. If the numbers were as high as you say it should be easy to find out who is performing abortions.

    If you are questioning my numbers, take it up with KairosFocus. I am using the same source that he uses for abortions. The same source that says that they are declining. The same source that says they are lower now that at the time of Roe v Wade. The same source that says that teen pregnancies are on the decline.

  157. 157
    Allan Keith says:

    ET,

    Maybe some do. I would say they are a minority.

    Not on this site. But, again, I suggest that you bring this up with KairosFocus. I have asked him several times if he would support early comprehensive sex education and unrestricted access to birth control, the two things with a proven track record of reducing abortion rates, and he refuses to give a yes or a no.

  158. 158
    Allan Keith says:

    KairosFocus,

    AK, evidently, it is not registering with you. We have enabled the systematic, institutionalised killing of 800+ million of our living posterity in the womb since the 1970’s.

    Yet the abortion rates are lower than they were at the time of Roe v Wade.

    Abortion numbers in the US before it was made legal were as high as 1.2 million per year. Higher than today’s rates. These numbers come from the same source that you frequently use for your abortion numbers. The same source that says that the rates of unwanted pregnancies, teen pregnancies and abortions have declined dramatically over the last couple decades. The same source that says the decline is due to comprehensive sex education and access to birth control. The same source that says that comprehensive sex education and access to birth control have not increased the frequency of risky sexual activity. The same source that says that abortion rates in countries where it is legal are no higher than those in countries where it is illegal.

    So, where is this ever increasing holocaust that you keep warning us about? Your own source says that abortion rates are significantly reduced by a combination of sex education and access to birth control, and that the legal status of abortion makes no difference.

  159. 159
    ET says:

    Allan:

    Yet the abortion rates are lower than they were at the time of Roe v Wade.

    They increased first and then started declining. And it still blows away any other lose of life cause.

    I have asked him several times if he would support early comprehensive sex education and unrestricted access to birth control, the two things with a proven track record of reducing abortion rates, and he refuses to give a yes or a no

    I am not sure that enabling is the right approach either.

    First and foremost we have to accept that life is a process with a beginning and an end. And that the beginning is as much a living being as that which is outside of the womb.

  160. 160
    kairosfocus says:

    ED, added your quotes. That paper is a very important statement of witness. KF

    PS: Do you know basic HTML markup? If so, it is the blockquote element. Open tag with left-pointing angle bracket, write blockquote, then close the tag. The quote follows immediately. At its end do the like again, except that just before blockquote inside the first angle, put a forward slash or solidus.

  161. 161
    Allan Keith says:

    ET,

    They increased first and then started declining. And it still blows away any other lose of life cause.

    Yes. They declined due to comprehensive sex education and access to birth control, in spite of the efforts of to prevent these by religious groups. To levels below what they were before abortion was legalized.

    I am not sure that enabling is the right approach either.

    By all means. We don’t want to enable young people to make informed decisions. Did you miss the part about sex Ed and access to birth control not actually increasing risky sexual activity? From the same source that KairosFocus gets his abortion information from. A certain proportion of young people will have sex regardless of all the scare tactics used by parents and clergy. I know I did. And I have no regrets.

    Doesn’t society have a responsibility to ensure that teens are provided with accurate information about sex and the tools to minimize the risk should they decide to have sex?

    With regard to abortion, it was originally legal in the US up until quickening (about 20 weeks). It was made illegal several decades later and remained so until 1973. Yet the abortion rate in 1967 was over 800,000. A higher rate than we see today. Obviously, making it illegal does not prevent it. It just shifts it from something that can be regulated to something that is beyond legal oversite. With the added problem that it increased the death rate of women who opt for abortion.

  162. 162
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, you are continually deflecting attention from what is central: a live, in progress holocaust. That is the decisive issue, and it is obvious that you cannot face it for what it is. That is a lesson for us to ponder as the scope and number of licenses to kill the inconvenient are under pressure to widen. Once the sanctity of life is undermined, the dominoes begin to fall. Which is history, living memory history. I suspect more and more people will wake up to what is going on. KF

  163. 163
    Seversky says:

    It seems to me that the question of whether abortions can be permitted turns on whether or not society grants the right to life to individuals from conception. I believe that should be the case and that the notion of ‘personhood’ is simply irrelevant but the philosopher Judith Jarvis Thompson offered the following argument in a paper titled “A Defense of Abortion” published in Philosophy & Public Affairs, Vol. 1, no. 1 (Fall 1971)

    I propose, then, that we grant that the fetus is a person from the moment of conception. How does the argument go from here? Something like this, I take it. Every person has a right to life. So the fetus has a right to life. No doubt the mother has a right to decide what shall happen in and to her body; everyone would grant that. But surely a person’s right to life is stronger and more stringent than the mother’s right to decide what happens in and to her body, and so outweighs it. So the fetus may not be killed; an abortion may not be performed.

    It sounds plausible. But now let me ask you to imagine this. You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist. A famous unconscious violinist. He has been found to have a fatal kidney ailment, and the Society of Music Lovers has canvassed all the available medical records and found that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist’s circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own. The director of the hospital now tells you, “Look, we’re sorry the Society of Music Lovers did this to you–we would never have permitted it if we had known. But still, they did it, and the violinist is now plugged into you. To unplug you would be to kill him. But never mind, it’s only for nine months. By then he will have recovered from his ailment, and can safely be unplugged from you.” Is it morally incumbent on you to accede to this situation? No doubt it would be very nice of you if you did, a great kindness. But do you have to accede to it? What if it were not nine months, but nine years? Or longer still? What if the director of the hospital says. “Tough luck. I agree. but now you’ve got to stay in bed, with the violinist plugged into you, for the rest of your life. Because remember this. All persons have a right to life, and violinists are persons. Granted you have a right to decide what happens in and to your body, but a person’s right to life outweighs your right to decide what happens in and to your body. So you cannot ever be unplugged from him.” I imagine you would regard this as outrageous, which suggests that something really is wrong with that plausible-sounding argument I mentioned a moment ago

  164. 164
    Allan Keith says:

    KairosFocus,

    AK, you are continually deflecting attention from what is central: a live, in progress holocaust.

    If this is true, then it is a holocaust that has been going on for thousands of years. A holocaust that has been dramatically declining. A holocaust that is smaller now than it was before abortion was legalized.

    You keep ignoring the facts.

    1) the abortion rate before Roe v Wade was much higher than it is now.

    2) comprehensive sex education and access to birth control have reduced unwanted pregnancies and abortions far more effectively than legal prohibitions ever did.

    3) a woman who wants an abortion will get one, regardless of legal status.

    4) Unless you are prepared to lock up pregnant women until they give birth you are not going to change number three.

    The only thing that making abortion illegal will do is make you feel better about yourself. It won’t do anything to actually reduce abortion rates and it will cause the death of women. As far as I can tell, the only benefit that making abortion illegal has is that it will allow people of your ilk to sleep better at night. Because it sure as hell won’t reduce the rate of abortion, which should be the only goal if you are serious about the sanctity of life.

    Now, if you have data that shows that banning abortion will reduce abortions more effectively than sex education and access to birth control, feel free to present it. But if you are going to resort to holocaust analogies or lemmings and sawing branches metaphors, or Plato, I think that I will step out of this discussion. I have no interest in discussing irrelevant hypotheticals.

  165. 165
    harry says:

    Allan Keith @164

    See:

    Debunking the myth of ‘back-alley’ abortions

    An excerpt:

    Former abortionist Dr. Bernard Nathanson, co-founder of NARAL, discussed how the abortion industry purposely fabricated the number of illegal abortions prior to Roe v. Wade.

    Nathanson admitted that fictional polls were created in order to convince the public of the need for legal abortion. He said abortion activists sold Americans the lie that thousands of women were dying annually from back-alley abortions, when the actual figure was in the hundreds.

    The notion that regulating abortion will cause women to seek an illegal “back-alley” procedure is a myth. A study in 2012 reveals that outlawing abortion in Chile not only saved children, but advanced women’s health. Chile was a prime nation to study this effect because before the country banned “therapeutic” abortions in 1989, abortion was largely legal.

    The study, led by epidemiologist Elard S. Koch from the University of Chile, showed that restrictive abortion laws were good for women’s health.

    Similar to restrictions on alcohol or tobacco, restrictive abortion laws acted to dissuade. The study concluded that even with these restrictions, Chile has one of the lowest abortion-related maternal mortality rates in the world.

    You are pushing old, worn out, pro “legal” murder propaganda.

  166. 166
    Allan Keith says:

    Harry,

    You are pushing old, worn out, pro “legal” murder propaganda.

    Take it up with KairosFocus. I am using the same source that he uses. I can’t vouch for its accuracy. But if my numbers are wrong, so are Kairosfocus’

  167. 167
    harry says:

    I suspect KairosFocus was merely refuting you with data you accepted.

    Nathanson, co-founder of NARAL, converted and spent years revealing the lies, fraudulent statistics and propaganda used by the murderous pro “legal” murder lobby before his death.

  168. 168
    Allan Keith says:

    Harry,

    I suspect KairosFocus was merely refuting you with data you accepted.

    Only if he is clairvoyant because he has been using this source to support his holocaust nonsense long before I came on the scene. The only difference is that I have actually looked in greater detail at the source of his numbers. Sadly, his own source does not support his claims.

  169. 169
    Eugen says:

    Seversky @163

    Judith Jarvis Thompson’s argument in a paper titled “A Defense of Abortion” is terrible. It’s scary how much academics influence politics and culture with such silly writings.

  170. 170
    DATCG says:

    Birthrates going down in teens up to 19 includes or excludes murder of innocent, defenseless babies in the womb?

    Includes or excludes Pro-Life movements in saving babies?

    Earlier this year, the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute even admitted that pro-life efforts are contributing to the decline.

    As is typical, Guttmacher researchers argued that one cause for the decline is improved access to birth control, which they said decreases the number of unplanned pregnancies and abortions. However, they also admitted in less than flattering terms that pro-lifers are succeeding in their efforts to save unborn babies and moms from abortion.

    “… the wave of abortion restrictions passed at the state level over the last five years could also have contributed to the decline by making it more difficult for women to access needed services in highly restrictive states,” the report states.

    The pro-abortion research group, considered to have the most comprehensive abortion numbers for the U.S., reported an estimated 926,200 abortions in 2014 and 958,700 in 2013.

    Those numbers are the lowest since 1975, two years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade and opened the doors to abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy.

    Pro-lifers have been working hard to make abortion unthinkable by providing hope, assistance and information to moms and their babies.

    Some of the state laws passed in recent years have helped to ensure that women are fully informed about their unborn baby’s development as well as their options, including material assistance for parents, before having an abortion.

    Other states cracked down on abortion facilities that were operating in unsafe conditions and putting women’s lives in jeopardy.

    http://www.lifenews.com/2017/1.....than-ever/

    What is a sustainable Birth Rate for a nation? And where does American stand? In relation to other nations? And in relation to history? For example like Rome?

    What happens if a nation does not have a sustainable birth rate? More imports? What else happens as a nation cannot sustain it’s replacement birth rate? Social Security? Health Care?

  171. 171
    DATCG says:

    From wiki…

    Sub-replacement fertility is a total fertility rate (TFR) that (if sustained) leads to each new generation being less populous than the older, previous one in a given area. In developed countries sub-replacement fertility is any rate below approximately 2.1 children born per woman, but the threshold can be as high as 3.4 in some developing countries because of higher mortality rates.[1] Taken globally, the total fertility rate at replacement was 2.33 children per woman in 2003.[1] This can be “translated” as 2 children per woman to replace the parents, plus a “third of a child” to make up for the higher probability of boys born and mortality prior to the end of their fertile life.[2]
    Replacement level fertility in terms of the net reproduction rate (NRR) is exactly one, because the NRR takes both mortality rates and sex ratios at birth into account.
    As of 2010, about 48% (3.3 billion people) of the world population lives in nations with sub-replacement fertility.[3] Nonetheless most of these countries still have growing populations due to immigration, population momentum and increase of the life expectancy. This includes most nations of Europe, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Russia, Iran, Tunisia, China, the United States and many others. In 2015, all European Union countries had a sub-replacement fertility rate, ranging from a low of 1.31 in Portugal to a high of 1.96 in France.[4] The countries or areas that have the lowest fertility are in developed parts of East and Southeast Asia: Singapore, Macau, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea.[5]

  172. 172
    DATCG says:

    from wiki again…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependencies_by_total_fertility_rate

    Fertility rate: #148 United States 1.8

    which is below…
    “In developed countries sub-replacement fertility is any rate below approximately 2.1 children born per woman”

    ahhhhh men of the West… why won’t you stand, so amazed are you by the Ring, so blindly you heel to it’s power. All that is gold does not glitter…

    http://i.pinimg.com/736x/e7/f4.....67e136.jpg

  173. 173
    Allan Keith says:

    DATCG, I don’t doubt that pro-lifers are having an impact and making it more difficult to get abortions. But that still doesn’t explain the significantly reduced teen pregnancy rates and lower abortion rates in countries where access to abortion is not being affected by pro-lifers.

    With regard to the birth rate, what is wrong with a declining population? There are only three options. Increase, remain stable, or decrease. Governments and economists do not want us to remain stable or decline, but we can’t increase indefinitely. Immigration is being used to offset declining birth rates. Again, what is wrong with this? Our country was built on immigrants.

  174. 174
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, too often, whatever you disagree with is termed by you nonsense or things obviously connected. In this case, you are dismissing the worst — and an ongoing — holocaust in history. That speaks volumes and not in your favour. And BTW, wrong is one thing, when it is backed by the state it becomes something again. In this case, mass slaughter of the innocents backed by a state is what makes a holocaust a holocaust. And that killing of the unborn is a longstanding problem is a very different thing from it is backed by the state, has climbed — yes, climbed — to unprecedented numbers, and is corrupting law, government, media, education, professions and more. You are on the wrong side of history and the way you have been arguing does not speak well for the sort of worldview you have endorsed. What is frightening is that you sense the trend of the times is such that you would not meet severe social censure for speaking like that. That points to what you mean by a thriving civilisation. I do not think that word means what you seem to think it does. Ours is a suicidally sick civilisation by any reasonable standard. KF

  175. 175
    Allan Keith says:

    KairosFocus,

    You are on the wrong side of history…

    Time will tell. I am quite comfortable with the future my worldview will create.

    …and the way you have been arguing does not speak well for the sort of worldview you have endorsed.

    You are entitled to your opinion. Unfortunately for you, my worldview is supported by more people than yours is.

    What is frightening is that you sense the trend of the times is such that you would not meet severe social censure for speaking like that.

    We all risk social censure.

    That points to what you mean by a thriving civilisation. I do not think that word means what you seem to think it does.

    Less persecution, less judgmental Attitudes, and more acceptance of those different than us. Declining abortion rates. Declining rates of unwanted pregnancies. Tossing aside of the ridiculous social restrictions imposed on others by religion. Providing children with comprehensive information necessary for them to make informed decisions. No longer being able to hide behind “religious freedom” to discriminate against others. Increasing power to women and minorities. Reductions in violent crimes. Longer life expectancy. Reduced infant mortality. I’m sure there is more, but this should do for now.

    Ours is a suicidally sick civilisation by any reasonable standard. KF

    I agree. That is why we are changing it for the better. You are welcome to come along for the ride or you can continue to sit on your front porch yelling at kids to get off your front lawn.

  176. 176
    Allan Keith says:

    An interesting turn of affairs yesterday in Ireland,

    Ireland has voted by a landslide to liberalise some of the world’s most restrictive abortion laws in what its prime minister described as the culmination of a “quiet revolution” in what was one of Europe’s most socially conservative countries.

    Voters in the once deeply Catholic nation were estimated to have backed the change by more than two-to-one, according to two exit polls released on Friday evening, and the government plans to bring in legislation by the end of the year.
    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-ireland-ends-abortion-ban-as-quiet-revolution-transforms-country/

    First gay marriage, then they elected an openly gay Prime Minister, and yesterday they voted overwhelmingly to end the prohibition on abortion.

    Cue the saw…. zip, zip, zip…

  177. 177
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, your comfort is doubtless because you do not expect to be on the receiving end of the sort of democides and genocides that accounted for 100+ millions over the past century or so. You are also — again — appealing to the binding nature of the moral principles you dismiss. KF

  178. 178
    Allan Keith says:

    KairosFocus, I do not dismiss your moral principles. I simply disagree with them. As, apparently, do two thirds of Ireland.

  179. 179
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, we have seen how often you have used “nonsense” as a dismissive epithet, and how often you have spoken dismissively concerning religion. Meanwhile, you expect us to be bound by moral duties while you have opened the door to outright nihilism, all in defence of a scheme of thought that is self-refuting and amoral, having no IS capable of bearing the weight of ought. Where all of this is enabling of a holocaust that proceeds at another million victims per week. All of this is telling us a lot about what we are up against. Our civilisation has cosseted an asp which is proceeding to pump venom into our lifeblood. Along the way, the pattern of hyperskeptical dismissiveness rather than serious comparative difficulties analysis tells us that there is want of substance in the underlying worldview. You would be well advised to rethink. KF

  180. 180
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Maybe it is time to again point out the underlying incoherence of evolutionary materialism, as a reminder. Here, let us ponder in brief how Haldane put the matter:

    “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.)]

    (More details at 101 level can be seen here on, and that is followed by a summary on the amorality, here on. Evolutionary materialism is intellectually bankrupt and morally bankrupt; with sobering consequences to follow. The current upshot of this is enabling of holocaust in progress, and the cynical counterfeiting of marriage under false colours of equality, the steeping of children in the techniques of vice and rabid hostility to God and to anything that reminds of God are of a piece. BTW, Ireland sees the results of a scandal which sets up a pattern of behaviour the Irish will come to rue.)

  181. 181
    kairosfocus says:

    DAT, Guttmacher is the research arm of Planned Parenthood. The UN uses its figures. 2 + 2 = 4. KF

    PS: Much of our civilisation is well below replacement levels, some to levels that have never been survived. The future belongs to those who show up. And a culture that refuses to breed is committing suicide. Things like settlement jihad simply exploit the process.

  182. 182
    ET says:

    Allan:

    The only thing that making abortion illegal will do is make you feel better about yourself.

    No, making murder illegal is just the right thing to do.

    But it is obvious that redefining life such that an abortion is not murder makes you feel better.

  183. 183
    ET says:

    Notice a pattern?

    1- Redefine what a human is so that abortions are not murder

    2- Redefine what a marriage is to allow for other than female/ male marriages

    3- Redefine the minority as the majority so it gets its way too

    4- Redefine CO2 as a pollutant without realizing you have just made water vapor a pollutant for the same reason

  184. 184
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, AK evidently fails to realise that the restoration of moral sanity regarding the mass shedding of innocent blood and linked corruption of key institutions, professions, law and government etc is a huge issue. The widespread rot in our civilisation has to be seen for what it is and a lot of busted moral compasses need to be fixed. Then, we have a lot of repenting and healing and reforming have to happen. Moral numbness and blindness leading to inability to think straight are themselves existential threats to our civilisation. KF

    PS: Yes, a pattern of worldviews and cultural agendas getting ever more out of alignment with objective and even patent reality. Word magick feeding into state backed groupthink. A civilisation going down that road is committing suicide. With nukes etc in play. Our reckless folly is outright insane.

  185. 185
    ET says:

    Whoops, I forgot, we are also redefining the sexes.

  186. 186
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, eyeball, Mark I, has told me of a documented list of 112 “genders” and I have heard of another with over 200. This is the sort of intellectual and moral bankruptcy that now rules the roost in global affairs. I take that as a point of reference when I calibrate the dominant voices and agendas on issues. This of course includes the media — and this is a yardstick to tell the difference between news agit prop fakery and turnabout accusations targetting those who speak unwelcome truth. And yes, big lie and turnspeech were both notorious tactics of a certain Dr Goebbels. If the media and other dominant institutions cannot get this straight, nothing else will be straight. KF

  187. 187
    Allan Keith says:

    KairosFocus,

    AK, we have seen how often you have used “nonsense” as a dismissive epithet, and how often you have spoken dismissively concerning religion.

    I think that nonsense is found everywhere. Some religiously based. Some not. For example, I think that the religious arguments against birth control and homosexuality are nonsense. But I don’t think that the religious opposition to abortion is nonsense. I just think that their approach to addressing it (I.e., make it illegal, limit sex education and don’t allow birth control) is nonsense. I also think that the US adherence to the second amendment and their pearl clutching at football players taking a knee during the anthem are nonsense.

    I have provided an approach to significantly reducing unwanted pregnancies and abortions, one that has a proven track record, but I have not received any support for it from you or anyone else here. If protecting the sanctity of life is as important to you as you claim, your silence on this is sending a mixed message.

    My proposal does something that yours does not. It recognizes the reality that all of the efforts made to prevent abortion over the centuries have failed miserably. Our experience with prostitution, alcohol and drugs have clearly shown that if there is a demand, a supply will be found, regardless of the legality of that supply. If you want to have a real impact, take steps to reduce the demand. Prevent the unwanted pregnancies. We have tried religiously based abstinence only guilt trips, but they have never worked. It’s time to try something new.

  188. 188
    jdk says:

    re 186 and FYI: Anyone seriously interested in the gender issue should carefully read the entire National Geographic special issue on gender at https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/01/

  189. 189
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, Nat Geog is now definitively part of the problem, not part of the solution. I have noticed this on many issues in recent years and can no longer recommend it as a responsible, educational magazine. KF

  190. 190
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, your track record speaks for itself. I suggest that the first thing you need to straighten out is that our living posterity in the womb are fully human beings in their earliest stage of life. As such, they have the same status and dignity as we who have been born have. Among other things, this includes the very first and primary right: life. If one is robbed of life s/he has been robbed of everything else also. That is patent. And so, for cause I draw attention to a hole in your worldview where you have found yourself enabling the ongoing, worst holocaust in history; that of our living posterity in the womb. 800+ millions in 40+ years, mounting at a million more per week. For enabling this holocaust and corrupting key institutions and professions to support and carry it out our civilisation proves itself morally bankrupt. That many have become morally blind to this worst single evil of our time speaks saddening volumes. And on fair comment, that includes you sir, given rhetoric above and elsewhere. Wake up! KF

  191. 191
    jdk says:

    re 189: there are some very significant true stories and facts about various people, cultures, and gender situations, irrespective of what kf thinks of Nat’l Geographic. Facts are facts, no matter who presents them.

  192. 192
    jdk says:

    kf writes, “that our living posterity in the womb are fully human beings in their earliest stage of life.”

    I have a doctor friend who grows embryos from a couple’s eggs to about eight cells, checks for genetic abnormalities, or lack thereof, and then implants a healthy embryo, if there are any, back into the mother. The other embryos are destroyed.

    Is this murder? Are these embryos being “robbed of life”? Is this contributing to the “holocaust” of which you speak?

    P.S. Or does the phrase “in the womb” in the quote above mean that these embryos out of the womb are different? If so, why?

  193. 193
    kairosfocus says:

    JDK, for cause, I can no longer respect NG’s credibility on fact claims. And, on matters of gender identity specifically, we need to mark a distinction between ideology and fact, especially as there is a tendency to see “gender” as a socio-psychological stance. I think that word has become so loaded and that so many ideologies dress up in lab coats the better to pass off ideology as credible science that it is now at best an orange cautionary flag. I have reverted to sex, which definitely — rare pathologies notwithstanding — is naturally evident and is deeply connected to the thriving of civilisation. Sound family structure and child nurture are rooted in that evident order of maleness and femaleness, and anything that would subvert such [which is exactly what I see in the NG issue in question] is highly dubious. As a further index of how far NG has fallen, I observe how in the opening words of a recent article on Jesus of Nazareth, it started by suggesting that he is a myth; a sign of ideology triumphing over sound history. KF

    PS: Your doctor friend reflects the exact cluster of issues I have spoken to above. Your terminology of distancing speaks, also. He is definitely contributing to the undermining of respect for human life and is playing God with things waaaay above his paygrade. Of course, statistics on practices like this are not likely to be seriously and systematically collected globally. And yes, I am implying big questions about IVF, cloning, embryonic stem cell research so-called, and more. For instance some types of contraceptive work by preventing implantation and that is also highly dubious. I spoke to living posterity in the womb as that is the natural locus of the unborn child from conception on.

  194. 194

    AK @ 187: What is and isn’t sensical is a matter of opinion, which is largely a matter of one’s chosen philosophical worldview. There is no added value to you stating your repeated philosophical opinions over and over again. We already know your opinions.

    Two questions:

    1. What do you hope to gain by this time-consuming endeavor (fool’s errand?)?

    2. Do you consider this some sort of a/mat missionary field?

  195. 195
    Allan Keith says:

    KairosFocus,

    I suggest that the first thing you need to straighten out is that our living posterity in the womb are fully human beings in their earliest stage of life. As such, they have the same status and dignity as we who have been born have.

    Unfortunately, if Ireland is any indication, two thirds of the world disagree with you. I have no argument with the idea that late term fetuses should have the same rights as us, with a couple restrictions. But to argue that an eight or ten week embryo, which has no means of perceiving anything and no means of being self aware, should have the same rights as you and I, belies the facts. I have no problem with you thinking otherwise but that is primarily a religious belief.

    For enabling this holocaust and corrupting key institutions and professions to support and carry it out our civilisation proves itself morally bankrupt.

    There is only corruption if they are doing something they know to be wrong. No government is forced the allow abortions. No doctors are forced to perform abortions. No women are forced to have abortions.

    Nobody is suggesting that abortion is the best option. The best option, obviously, is to not get pregnant in the first place. But you are not willing to support the two approaches that are proven to prevent these pregnancies, comprehensive sex education and access to birth control.

    Governments allow practices that are known to kill people. For example, alcohol and smoking are perfectly legal even though they are responsible for over 500,000 deaths per year in the US alone. And not only do governments allow it, they profit from it, in many cases actually selling the products directly.

    That many have become morally blind to this worst single evil of our time speaks saddening volumes. And on fair comment, that includes you sir, given rhetoric above and elsewhere. Wake up! KF

    This is priceless. Of the two of us, one has proposed an approach that has a proven track record of significantly reducing abortion rates, with the minimal risk to women. The other is proposing something that the data shows does not have an impact on abortion rates but significantly increases the risk to women. And you call me morally blind? If that is the type of logic that the blind belief in objective morality results in, I will stick with subjective morality.

  196. 196
    Allan Keith says:

    TWSYF,

    There is no added value to you stating your repeated philosophical opinions over and over again. We already know your opinions.

    But my opinions on reducing abortion rates are supported by actual hard data. For people serious about reducing abortion rates, this should have value. For those who are merely virtue signalling to demonstrate their superior pseudo-morality, my opinions and facts fall on deaf ears.

  197. 197
    kairosfocus says:

    Truth, actually, when we say this is where evolutionary materialism ends up, nihilism, radical relativism, debased mentality etc people often think we are exaggerating. When it comes out of the horse’s mouth insistently despite correctives, that is another matter. Major cat out of the bag moment here. And ironically, such was long since warned against by Plato et al — evolutionary materialism (though its lab coat is relatively new) is an ancient and long since failed philosophy. KF

    PS: For those with eyes to read, Plato in The Laws, Bk X again. Notice how studiously this is ignored by those who are hell-bent on sawing off the root of the branch on which we are sitting. Yes, this is only one little curlicue of sawdust, but there are a lot of teeth in the agit prop saw and it is going zip zip zip very rapidly. But all is well, we are thriving, it’s just those old religious fuddy-duddies complaining, we are making progress.

    Yes, progress to civilisational suicide by march of folly.

    Let’s clip:

    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].

    Take time to read and then ask why we typically never heard this in school, or connexions to things like the story of Alcibiades and the failure of Athenian democracy. (Ever wondered why so many of the US founders were emphatic that they founded a republic not a democracy?)

    PPS: Particularly note how holocaust is being enabled. Then, shudder.

  198. 198
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: The Republic is even more pointed:

    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)

    The laughter of a fool is as the crackling of thorns under a pot.

  199. 199
    Allan Keith says:

    KairosFocus,

    Truth, actually, when we say this is where evolutionary materialism ends up, nihilism, radical relativism, debased mentality etc people often think we are exaggerating. When it comes out of the horse’s mouth insistently despite correctives, that is another matter.

    Other than the verbose equivalent of wearing a sandwich board with “THE END IS NIGH” on it, what concrete proposals have you provided that would significantly reduce abortion rates? My proposals have the high probability of reducing abortion rates by 50% of what they are now without increasing the risk to women. Simply making abortions illegal are known to have little impact on abortion rates but do have significant impact on the health risks of women who still seek an abortion.

    The only way that making abortions illegal would be effective would be to have surveillance on every woman between the age of 15 and 44. Or to mandate daily pregnancy tests on all women in the same age group and to lock up any pregnant woman who’s pregnancy wasn’t planned.

    You invoke Plato but propose absolutely no strategy that has any hope of being effective. I have done so. The ball is in your court. You can respond with more Plato and sawing through tree branch nonsense, or you can present an alternate proposal that has an equal or better possibility of success.

  200. 200
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, maybe I need to let you know that I am descended from slaves and that a relative was kangaroo courted and judicially murdered because he spoke up for the oppressed and warned of the consequences of letting a situation keep on deteriorating. I therefore have a very different perspective than you do on the vital importance of avoiding dehumanising or scapegoating and targetting the marginalised. Your glib talking points about “reducing” abortion rates are little more than a way of reinforcing the basic problem: dehumanising a marginalised group — living posterity in the womb — then robbing that minority of the first of all rights at will: LIFE. without which, there are no other rights. The fact that after repeated correction you keep on in indifference and trotting out dismissive or distractive talking points tells us all we need to know about where your underlying worldview and its cultural agendas lead. Which, was noticed as long ago as in the corpus we inherit from Plato. It is obvious that you are oblivious to what you are radiating, pointing to a Plato’s Cave shadow show problem: indoctrinated into en-darkenment under false colours of enlightenment and progress. And, if you checked out the history of the Antislavery movement you will know the practical significance of its motto, drawn from Philemon in the NT: Am I not a man and a brother/ am I not a woman and a sister? The unborn cannot speak for themselves, we who survived that stage have to do the speaking. And part of that speaking is to point out the consequences of the dark road our civilisation is following. That may seem like nonsense and noise to you, but that simply reflects just how endarkened you and many others have been led to become. It is time to see and understand the signs of our times. Signs of a darkened generation guilty of enabling the worst holocaust in history. KF

    PS: And then we go around pretending to be shocked when marginalised and angry survivors of the ongoing holocaust start to act as though human life they see as a target has no intrinsic value that demands respect. We should not be surprised, we spent a generation undermining the basis for respecting and protecting innocent life.

  201. 201
    Allan Keith says:

    KairosFocus,

    AK, maybe I need to let you know that I am descended from slaves and that a relative was kangaroo courted…

    So you don’t have a proposal that will affect a real change to the abortion rates. Why didn’t you just say that? It is nothing to be ashamed of. It is a tough problem with no easy or perfect solution.

    But isn’t taking real steps to reducing abortion the exact opposite of dehumanizing a marginalizing group?

  202. 202
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, until there is a shift in the understanding of a critical mass, the holocaust will continue. In such a situation, it is a vital issue to expose the ugly fact of dehumanising and holocaust. Going beyond that the trend you wish to boast of owes much to persistent moral suasion that pivots on the recognising and respecting the evident humanity of the unborn child. For instance, ultrasound clips have been literally eye opening. So much so that they are suppressed by the complicit media and education power brokers — a big clue in a visual age. And judging by the ferocity of attack regarding judicial appointments to the US Supreme Court, those who are fighting to continue the slaughter know they have lost the case on the merits and can only cling to domination of key institutions to stave off collapse. Which was the strategy in reaction to Wilberforce. KF

  203. 203
  204. 204
    Allan Keith says:

    KairosFocus, none of your pontificating does a thing to reduce abortions. Even if you are successful and government makes abortions illegal, abortions will continue on at the same rate. The data shows this. What exactly will you have gained other than the death of women?

    Again, you have not proposed a course of action that will actually have an impact on abortion rates. It may make you sleep better at night, for some strange reason, but you will not have saved a single life. You have not even proposed a legal ban on abortion in combination with comprehensive sex education in combination with access to birth control.

    I respect your moral stance, but when a person’s moral stance is so inflexible as to hinder attainment of the goals behind the moral stance, it is time to question your rigid moral stance.

  205. 205
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, there you go again with loaded language, with religious suggestions. The question, as noted is whether we will continue the dehumanising tactics that open the door to mass slaughter of the unborn child. And where right to life is in the stakes in the context of mass slaughter, there is no flexibility. Oh, don’t kill a million per week, a hundred thousand a week is an improvement. Nope, it is just as unacceptable, just as absurd — we have greatly erred as a civilisation and need to wake up to what we have been doing. Absurd, too, is the underlying dehumanisation that refuses to acknowledge the magnitude of the evil. Something awful has happened to especially centres of power and influence that has enabled that dehumanisation and it is time we admitted it and stopped. Then, we can move on to dealing with the damage we have done to our civilisation. Yes, the answer still is: am I not a man and a brother/ a woman and a sister? KF

    PS: Let me add, that the slave trade was deeply integrated into the UK’s economy and was seen as the recruiting base for the Navy. They had to recognise that such a trade had to be stopped, then spent a century patrolling off Africa to enforce the ban on the trade. That sort of sea change is comparable to where we need to go, but we are doing so in a day where worldviews that have no is capable of bearing the weight of ought are far more influential and work to benumb consciences to what we have been doing.

  206. 206
    StephenB says:

    Allan Keith

    But to argue that an eight or ten week embryo, which has no means of perceiving anything and no means of being self aware, should have the same rights as you and I, belies the facts.

    Bad logic. Human rights are established by *what* the embryo is not by *where* it happens to be in the developmental process. That is why a zygote has just as much right to live as a seven-month-old fetus. It also explains why a seven-month -old fetus has just as much right to live as a ten-year-old child.

  207. 207
  208. 208
    Allan Keith says:

    KairosFocus,

    AK, there you go again with loaded language, with religious suggestions….

    And again, no concrete proposal from you that would have any impact on the abortion rates.

  209. 209
    Allan Keith says:

    Stephen,

    Bad logic. Human rights are established by *what* the embryo is not by *where* it happens to be in the developmental process.

    Not according to the law.

  210. 210
    es58 says:

    Allen Keith@136:I am opposed to banning abortion because the data indicate that it has very little effect on abortion rates but does significantly increase the risk to women who obtain illegal abortions

    If you knew legalizing murder wouldn’t increase murders but would significantly increase risk to murderers e.g. death penalty, or incarceration (not as pleasant) would you feel the same?

  211. 211
    kairosfocus says:

    AK,

    you are again reducing the unborn, growing child to an object, the means to your end. That child — regardless of where it is — patently is an end in itself, it is a human being in the first stages of his or her existence.

    The first step to a real solution — the most practical thing we can do [I will speak to the fatal compromise in a moment] — is to focus first things first. Thus, to remind and awaken the benumbed, bloodguilt ridden consciences of a seriously sick generation that is enabling mass slaughter. Some things are, for cause, non-negotiable, indeed they are the foundation of responsible negotiation and just, enduring agreement.

    This deliberately echoes how the great wave of early Victorian era reformations traced directly to the heart softening effects of the great Wesleyan spiritual awakenings of the previous 100 years. In short, there are four R’s: repentance, renewal, revival, reformation. The latter is the consequence of the former three attaining critical mass in a culture.

    And the further suppressed history is that the benumbed and guilty resist those four R’s, using precisely the tactics we now see: you are hypocrites, you are impractical, you are imposing your religious notions (who, exactly, pontificates, please tell us . . .?) , and the like. The most practical thing is to recognise that politics is the art of the possible, and that that possibility shifts as the Overton Window (= zone of the possible] moves.

    Nothing less than scripture will do at this point, here, Paul’s devastating summary of pagan Greco-Roman culture at the time when the utterly reprobate, demonically mad Nero had begun to toss aside all restraints:

    Eph 4: 17 So this I say, and solemnly affirm together with the Lord [as in His presence], that you must no longer live as the [unbelieving] Gentiles live, in the futility of their minds [and in the foolishness and emptiness of their souls], 18 for their [moral] understanding is darkened and their reasoning is clouded; [they are] alienated and self-banished from the life of God [with no share in it; this is] because of the [willful] ignorance and spiritual blindness that is [deep-seated] within them, because of the hardness and insensitivity of their heart. 19 And they, [the ungodly in their spiritual apathy], having become callous and unfeeling, have given themselves over [as prey] to unbridled sensuality, eagerly craving the practice of every kind of impurity [that their desires may demand].

    20 But you did not learn Christ in this way!

    21 If in fact you have [really] heard Him and have been taught by Him, just as truth is in Jesus [revealed in His life and personified in Him], 22 that, regarding your previous way of life, you put off your old self [completely discard your former nature], which is being corrupted through deceitful desires, 23 and be continually renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh, untarnished mental and spiritual attitude], 24 and put on the new self [the regenerated and renewed nature], created in God’s image, [godlike] in the righteousness and holiness of the truth [living in a way that expresses to God your gratitude for your salvation]. [AMP]

    The gospel positively transforms cultures, as it has done over and over and over again. Fair comment backed up by history: those who hate Christ love debasement and those who hate God love death.

    We have to go back to what happened at the turn of the ’70’s.

    Something truly ugly happened in our civilisation that moved the Overton window of the politically possible or plausible to a point where institutionalised mass slaughter of living posterity in the womb under false colour of law became widespread reality. That has to be diagnosed, if we are to find a lasting solution.

    It was connected to heavily promoted notions of over-population and Club of Rome doomsday scenarios and simulations, it was tied to now admitted bogus statistics on how many women were suffering and dying at the hands of illegal abortionists [hence the coat hanger symbol], it was tied to dehumanisation of the unborn child (often using Haeckel’s fraud . . . I recall seeing documentaries that did that), it was tied to the rise of the massively destructive sexual revolution, it was somehow tied to the notion that the ‘right’ to kill a living child in one’s womb was a means of liberation and equality, and more.

    To such I simply say: to justly claim a right, one must first be in the right, and one cannot rob another of life in the name of a ‘right.’

    No wonder our politics, policies, laws, courts, media, education systems, professions and general civilisation have run amok with more and more perversions and corruptions of what is sound, stabilising, just, reasonable and responsible: the benumbed and endarkened, drunk on newfound power will try to impose a might and manipulation make ‘right’ agenda.

    Where, injection of a culture of imposing death on innocents at will is a terrible marker of a dark age.

    One, with nukes and other horrors in play. We ought to be building responsibility not undermining it.

    So, the most practical thing in such a day is not misguided compromise, appeasement and attempted amelioration. All such half-measures simply blunt the force of the necessary reform.

    In the end, they undermine the buttresses that make a modern constitutional democracy work. For, democracies easily deteriorate into mob rule unless a strong moral fabric of self-government drives a mutual pact, the civil peace of justice. Justice, being a moral issue. Respect for duties to truth, reason, justice and more being habits of mind and conscience that must be nurtured for years in a civil climate that prizes virtue.

    And so, we can see why we have embarked on a civilisational march of folly.

    To turn back before the cliff’s edge underfoot collapses, a critical mass have to wake up.

    At the turn of the 1830’s, there was an uprising in Jamaica. It was viciously suppressed and over a dozen dissenter chapels were razed, as it was felt that notions of a right to freedom, just compensation for work and equality in that book the Bible were at the heart of the uprising. They tried to hang missionaries as instigators. William Knibb was sent to the UK to bear witness of the truth.

    At about the same time government in the UK went to crisis, with the dissenter-heavy districts at the heart of the upheavals. Then, the reports of the destruction of chapels in material part funded by dissenters arrived from Jamaica’s Governor.

    The window shifted decisively, as the pent up tide broke through: Am I not a man and a brother/a woman and a sister?

    The intensity of attack-attack-attack we see coming over from the media and the power centres that enable the ongoing holocaust tell us that they sense the tide beginning to break through.

    It is time to turn from the culture of holocaust, corruption, perversion and undermining of the things that make widespread freedom possible and sustainable.

    Central to these is that it is time to end the worst holocaust in history.

    KF

  212. 212
    Allan Keith says:

    Kairosfocus,

    The first step to a real solution — the most practical thing we can do [I will speak to the fatal compromise in a moment] — is to focus first things first. Thus, to remind and awaken the benumbed, bloodguilt ridden consciences of a seriously sick generation that is enabling mass slaughter.

    In the west, abortions were only illegal for around 100 years. This means that your “holocaust enabling” generation is actually hundreds of “holocaust enabling” generations. Even your much quoted Plato favoured abortions:

    “However, I think that when women and men have passed the age of having children, we’ll leave them free to have sex with whomever they wish, with these exceptions: For a man – his daughter, his mother, his daughter’s children, and his mother’s ancestors; for a woman – her son and his descendants, her father and his ancestors. Having received these instructions, they should be very careful not to let a single fetus see the light of day, but if one is conceived and forces its way to the light, they must deal with it in the knowledge that no nurture is available for it. That’ s certainly sensible”

    Even scripture is ambiguous on the subject:

    Numbers 5:11-31 If a man is suspicious of his wife’s fidelity, he would take her to the high priest. The priest would make a substance for the woman to drink made from water and “dust from the tabernacle floor”. If she had been unfaithful “her abdomen will swell and her womb will miscarry, and she will become a curse.” If she was innocent the drink had no effect.

    Some things are, for cause, non-negotiable, indeed they are the foundation of responsible negotiation and just, enduring agreement.

    Is it really a negotiation if one side refuses to negotiate?

    …those who hate Christ love debasement and those who hate God love death.

    Good thing that I don’t know anyone who hates Christ or hates god.

    Something truly ugly happened in our civilisation that moved the Overton window of the politically possible or plausible to a point where institutionalised mass slaughter of living posterity in the womb under false colour of law became widespread reality. That has to be diagnosed, if we are to find a lasting solution.

    If you want a lasting solution, you will also have to address the thousands of years before the Victorian era when abortion was legal and common. And the 100+ years from the Victorian era until the 70s when abortion was illegal, and still common.

    It was connected to heavily promoted notions of over-population and Club of Rome doomsday scenarios and simulations, it was tied to now admitted bogus statistics on how many women were suffering and dying at the hands of illegal abortionists.

    The best estimate for illegal abortions before Roe-v Wade is around 800,000/year. (Abernathy JR, Greenberg BG and Horvitz DG, Estimates of induced abortion in urban North Carolina, Demography, 1970, 7(1):19-29.). If it has been discredited, I have not heard about it. Although, it does seem a bit high.

    No wonder our politics, policies, laws, courts, media, education systems, professions and general civilisation have run amok with more and more perversions and corruptions of what is sound, stabilising, just, reasonable and responsible: the benumbed and endarkened, drunk on newfound power will try to impose a might and manipulation make ‘right’ agenda.

    “THE END IS NIGH”

    One, with nukes and other horrors in play. We ought to be building responsibility not undermining it.

    We are building responsibility. We do this by providing comprehensive sex education at an early age and unrestricted access to contraceptives. This is RESPONSIBLE for the drastic decline we are seeing in the abortion rates.

    In the end, they undermine the buttresses that make a modern constitutional democracy work. For, democracies easily deteriorate into mob rule unless a strong moral fabric of self-government drives a mutual pact, the civil peace of justice.

    Translation: If I agree with it, it is democratic. If I don’t, it is mob rule.

    You have written a lot of words on this subject but the words that I still do not see, even after repeatedly requesting them, is a proposal that is equally effective as comprehensive sex education and access to contraceptives in reducing the abortion rate. Until you can provide a strategy that can do this, one that is supported by some evidence, I will continue to advocate for sex ed and contraceptives.

  213. 213
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, RW calls so just a prelim. Mob rule is patently different from properly stabilised democracy: rule of just law and a well-informed, self-disciplined, prudent public with by and large public spirited educated and governance classes not overly dominated by envy and selfish ambition. Only possible after the mid to late 1600’s — let me pin down 1688, given forces at work; arguably first implemented in 1787 – 9, then spreading gradually across C19 and C20; now in apparently terminal decline. Before that, the lawful but not democratic state was possible, usually under just kings and a strong corpus of law such as Corpus Juris Civilis or British Common Law. Later, more. KF

  214. 214
    Allan Keith says:

    Kairosfocus,

    AK, RW calls so just a prelim. Mob rule is patently different from properly stabilised democracy:

    Let’s use a hypothetical:
    1) US calls a vote to make abortion illegal.
    2) The vote is announced and adequate time is given for public debates.
    3) The result of the vote is 67% in favour of making it illegal.
    4) The US passes legislation making abortion illegal.

    Is this the result of proper democracy or mob rule?

  215. 215
    tribune7 says:

    Allan, proper democracy and mob rule are not exclusive (and is the big reason the U.S. is not a democracy).

    A democratic society can certainly exist where the majority doesn’t believe the minority deserve civil liberty.

  216. 216
    StephenB says:

    SB: Bad logic. Human rights are established by *what* the embryo is not by *where* it happens to be in the developmental process.

    Allan Keith

    Not according to the law.

    To say the law is the law is no answer and it cannot be used as an argument to justify the outrages perpetuated in the name of that law. In Germany, the law was once used to justify genocide. In America, the law was once used to justify slavery. The only way to establish a just law is to recognize the inherent dignity of every human being. Any law that protects only a portion of those human beings is obviously an unjust law and ought to be abolished.

    In like fashion, any policy that justifies the killing of a young fetus and forbids the killing of an old fetus cannot be rationally defended since it protects only a portion of human beings. If one human being has a right to live, then all human beings have a right to live. If you think you can argue against that position, then go ahead and try.

  217. 217
    Allan Keith says:

    StephenB,

    To say the law is the law is no answer and it cannot be used as an argument to justify the outrages perpetuated in the name of that law.

    I was not defending the law. All I was pointing out is that, for good or bad, it is humans who decide what human rights are.

    The only way to establish a just law is to recognize the inherent dignity of every human being. Any law that protects only a portion of those human beings is obviously an unjust law and ought to be abolished.

    I agree. Although, the “obviousness” is not always the case. At one time it was “obvious” that homosexuality should be against the law even though the practice is consensual and does not harm society. At one time it was “obvious” that women should not be allowed to vote. At one time, it was “obvious’ that same sex marriage should not be allowed.

    In like fashion, any policy that justifies the killing of a young fetus and forbids the killing of an old fetus cannot be rationally defended since it protects only a portion of human beings.

    That can certainly be debated.

    If one human being has a right to live, then all human beings have a right to live. If you think you can argue against that position, then go ahead and try.

    That, obviously, is not true. A person attempting to rape and kill my daughter has less of a right to live than I do. Any state with a death penalty has declared that some lives are more important than others. Even doctors will abort a fetus if the life of the mother is at risk.

  218. 218
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, I just returned, though a phone call is pending. I underscore that mobs overturn the civil pact known as the civil peace of justice, which duly balances rights, freedoms and responsibilities across a community. As SB highlights, many things have been passed under colour of law that violate that pact. Currently, this includes the ongoing holocaust of living posterity in the womb and it includes the ongoing cynical imposition of a cluster of counterfeits designed to undermine marriage, family, personal identity and conscience thus contributing to the atomisation and destabilisation of our civilisation — a comprehensive breach of the civil pact rooted in cultural marxism agendas. (No, the struggle with Marxism did not end at the turn of the 90’s, ask yourself just what is a community organiser of the Chicago School and why there was a great silence on the subject.) More will follow, DV. KF

  219. 219
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: As a sobering read, I suggest The Rape of the Mind by A. M. Meerloo, M.D.

  220. 220
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Ponder this subtitled rendition of Panzer Lied, and consider how honourable and courageous young men were manipulated to serve ultimate evil.

  221. 221
    Allan Keith says:

    Kairosfocus, at this point I would just like to see how you would briefly describe the difference between a policy change resulting from a democratic process and one resulting from mob rule. Take my hypothetical at 214 as a starting point. Is this a democratic process or is it mob rule? The reason I ask is because I have heard pro-lifers campaign for putting the abortion question in a binding referendum. I strongly suggest that if such a referendum was overwhelmingly in support of banning abortion that you and others would argue that the government was morally obliged to follow the will of the people. However, I also suggest that if it was overwhelmingly in favour of retaining legal abortion that you would argue that this was nothing but mob rule.

  222. 222
    StephenB says:

    Allan Keith

    I was not defending the law. All I was pointing out is that, for good or bad, it is humans who decide what human rights are.

    It was you who appealed to the law as the means of justifying the killing of a young fetus. Now you are appealing to the people who make those laws. No matter, both appeals fail. Neither laws or the people who make them can be used to justify the killing of innocent human beings.

    SB: The only way to establish a just law is to recognize the inherent dignity of every human being. Any law that protects only a portion of those human beings is obviously an unjust law and ought to be abolished.

    I agree. Although, the “obviousness” is not always the case.

    Irrelevant. I said nothing about what is “obvious.”

    SB: In like fashion, any policy that justifies the killing of a young fetus and forbids the killing of an old fetus cannot be rationally defended since it protects only a portion of human beings.

    That can certainly be debated.

    I have already invited you to make your case. Do you need a second invitation? What is your argument for saying that a relatively young fetus does not have the same right to live as a relatively old fetus.

    SB: If one human being has a right to live, then all human beings have a right to live. If you think you can argue against that position, then go ahead and try.

    That, obviously, is not true. A person attempting to rape and kill my daughter has less of a right to live than I do.

    Irrelevant. We are discussing the right for all humans to *begin* life, (as opposed to some humans), not the right to remain alive after they have committed a crime. The context should make that clear. Please stay on topic.

  223. 223
    Allan Keith says:

    StephenB,

    It was you who appealed to the law as the means of justifying the killing of a young fetus.

    Nice turnabout. You, KF and others want to introduce a law to ban abortions and I am the one appealing to the law. The only appeals I have made to the law is to impose legal restrictions on when abortion on demand shouldn’t be allowed.

    I have already invited you to make your case.

    I have already made my case. You may disagree with it but to say that it hasn’t been made is just a lie.

  224. 224
    StephenB says:

    SB: It was you who appealed to the law as the means of justifying the killing of a young fetus.

    Nice turnabout. You, KF and others want to introduce a law to ban abortions and I am the one appealing to the law.

    You are very confused. I said nothing at all about the law until you brought it up. I was referring to the fact that killing a zygote is unjust. It was you who said that the “law says otherwise,” so it was necessary for me to inform you that the law is supposed to encourage what is right and discourage what is wrong. Then, you changed the subject to the “people” who pass the laws, as if that changes anything. It doesn’t. I must say that you do not handle refutations very well.

    SB: I have already invited you to make your case.

    I have already made my case. You may disagree with it but to say that it hasn’t been made is just a lie.

    You didn’t provide an argument, you simply made a claim. What you said was this:

    But to argue that an eight or ten week embryo, which has no means of perceiving anything and no means of being self aware, should have the same rights as you and I, belies the facts.

    You did not even come close to making the case that humans who lack perception or self-awareness do not deserve to begin living as much as those who have developed those qualities. Indeed, you even agreed that ALL humans at all stages of development have inherent dignity, which would indicate that all humans should be allowed to enter the world.

  225. 225
    Allan Keith says:

    StephenB,

    I was referring to the fact that killing a zygote is unjust.

    No you weren’t. Here are your words:

    Human rights are established by *what* the embryo is not by *where* it happens to be in the developmental process.

    And I responded that the law disagrees with you. There was no mention of what is unjust. If you are going to twist both your words and mine to score points, don’t think that others don’t notice.

  226. 226
    Allan Keith says:

    StephenB,

    …you even agreed that ALL humans at all stages of development have inherent dignity, which would indicate that all humans should be allowed to enter the world.

    You have a real penchant for misrepresenting what others say. Here is what I agreed to, with qualifications:

    The only way to establish a just law is to recognize the inherent dignity of every human being. Any law that protects only a portion of those human beings is obviously an unjust law and ought to be abolished.

    Nothing about fetus or stage of development.

    The most ironic thing from this entire thread is the fact that it is only the atheist who has expressed a concern for the number of abortions and proposed an action that has been shown to significantly reduce them. From the theists all we have seen is righteous indignation, chest thumping and bemoaning the imminent downfall of civilization.

  227. 227
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, Another quick note; I think you confuse what is lawful with what is done under colour of law. A common enough error. There is a higher law, the law of our nature as morally governed creatures of quasi-infinite value. In that context, certain rights are inherent, starting with life. Further, we are social creatures who require long child nurture in an appropriately protective but stimulating environment. From such, we can learn much about the natural law pact, the civil peace of justice that appropriately balances rights, freedoms and responsibilities. The case of that young child abused and murdered to feed someone’s perverted appetites is highly instructive. I have already noted that even our thought life is morally governed. In that context, remonstrance against injustice under false colour of law and reformation through peaceful suasion make perfect sense. However, to claim a right, one must first be in the right and this means there can be no right to compel another to uphold or enable you in the wrong (which instantly exposes a lot of what is going on nowadays). It also means that might and manipulation do not make right, truth, justice etc. We have already had several examples of how the false colour of law can be expressed as majority decrees or through institutions set up by that process. Beyond, lie things like the right of intercession by lower magistrates through remonstrance and when tyranny emerges, the last resort is revolution under duly representative magistrates to remove the tyrant. The rule of the mob is by contrast unconstrained by justice, prudence or anything beyond what the mob bays for today, then the morrow, then the next day. Which is usually folly, manipulated agit prop, injustice or blood. KF

    PS: What would you say if we were to note: you want to change the law so that untermensch like the Jews or Poles or slavs are not to be got rid of like the vermin they are. See why we point to a law that is keyed to our nature and which cannot be abolished or changed by referendums, elections, parliaments, decrees of a dictator under an enabling act, courts, tribunals or faceless bureaucrats etc?

  228. 228

    AK @ 196: Got it. Please answer the following questions I asked earlier:

    1. What do you hope to gain by this time-consuming endeavor (fool’s errand?)?

    2. Do you consider this some sort of a/mat missionary field?

  229. 229
    Allan Keith says:

    Kairosfocus,

    AK, Another quick note; I think you confuse what is lawful with what is done under colour of law.

    No, I am pretty clear on this. Whatever you agree with is lawful, and what you disagree with is done under the colour of law.

    There is a higher law, the law of our nature as morally governed creatures of quasi-infinite value.

    Sounds good. Who determines what these “higher laws” are?

    Further, we are social creatures who require long child nurture in an appropriately protective but stimulating environment.

    Agreed.

    The case of that young child abused and murdered to feed someone’s perverted appetites is highly instructive.

    Actually, it is not. We all know that there are some twisted individuals who take advantage of others. The secret is to not let those horrendous events dictate how you perceive others. If you will forgive me an observation, you appear to be ruled by your misadventures rather than to be informed by them.

    However, to claim a right, one must first be in the right and this means there can be no right to compel another to uphold or enable you in the wrong (which instantly exposes a lot of what is going on nowadays).

    But, again, who determines who is in the right? From my reading of your words, you obviously do not brook the possibility that you may be wrong. Which makes it very difficult to have a constructive conversation with you. For example, I admit that I could be wrong in my views about abortion, homosexuality and same sex marriage. Are you willing to admit the same?

    It also means that might and manipulation do not make right, truth, justice etc.

    Nobody has suggested that it does. But consensus and social agreement can certainly make rules by which we can live and prosper by.

    What would you say if we were to note: you want to change the law so that untermensch like the Jews or Poles or slavs are not to be got rid of like the vermin they are.

    But since those “laws” weren’t arrived at by consensus and social agreement? I don’t see what your point is. Other than the fact that governments don’t always act in the best interest of minorities.

    See why we point to a law that is keyed to our nature…

    That is where you and I differ. I hope to look beyond our “nature”. Our “nature” is distrust and bigotry and fear.

  230. 230
    LarTanner says:

    Allan Keith @ 226:

    The most ironic thing from this entire thread is the fact that it is only the atheist who has expressed a concern for the number of abortions and proposed an action that has been shown to significantly reduce them. From the theists all we have seen is righteous indignation, chest thumping and bemoaning the imminent downfall of civilization.

    You might be onto something here. The theists here don’t actually care about abortions or health or women. They care mostly about appearing moral, and they cherish the myth that “Christian” values are superior — even though these values are not original to Christianity nor are many particularly superior at all.

    KF at 227:

    PS: What would you say if we were to note: you want to change the law so that untermensch like the Jews or Poles or slavs are not to be got rid of like the vermin they are. See why we point to a law that is keyed to our nature and which cannot be abolished or changed by referendums, elections, parliaments, decrees of a dictator under an enabling act, courts, tribunals or faceless bureaucrats etc?

    We all note that the U.S. is right at this very moment “lawfully” implementing activities against immigrants, asylum seekers, and migrants. Families are literally being torn apart and children being cast irretrievably into the depths of impenetrable bureaucracy. It’s a brazen and unapologetic attack on decency.

  231. 231
    Allan Keith says:

    TWSYF,

    Got it. Please answer the following questions I asked earlier:

    Already answered.

  232. 232
    Allan Keith says:

    LT,

    We all note that the US is right at this very moment “lawfully” implementing activities against immigrants, asylum seekers, and migrants. Families are literally being torn apart and children being cast irretrievably into the depths of impenetrable bureaucracy. It’s a brazen and unapologetic attack on decency.

    The biggest indictment of Current US policy is the fact that we now have refugee camps in North America.

  233. 233
  234. 234

    LT @ 230: “The theists here don’t actually care about abortions or health or women. They care mostly about appearing moral…”

    Really? You actually believe that?

  235. 235
    StephenB says:

    SB: I was referring to the fact that killing a zygote is unjust.

    Allan Keith

    No you weren’t. Here are your words:
    “Human rights are established by *what* the embryo is not by *where* it happens to be in the developmental process.”

    Unfortunately, you appear incapable of following a simple argument. Let me break it down for you once again: [a] It is *unjust* to kill a zygote because [b] *where* it happens to be in the developmental process is irrelevant to its right to life, which is [c] based on its *whatness* (a human being with inherent dignity).

    SB The only way to establish a just law is to recognize the inherent dignity of every human being. Any law that protects only a portion of those human beings is obviously an unjust law and ought to be abolished.

    Nothing about fetus or stage of development.

    Do you always struggle with logic in this way? One “portion” of the whole refers to the fetus at an early stage and another portion of the whole refers to the fetus at another stage. Very simple.

    Meanwhile, you are literally sprinting away from my challenge. First, you said that you had made a counter argument against my argument, but when I pointed out that you had merely made a claim in the absence of an argument, you changed the subject. I am still waiting for you to make your case. Explain why it is just to kill a young fetus. So far, you haven’t even tried.

  236. 236
    StephenB says:

    Allan Keith

    The most ironic thing from this entire thread is the fact that it is only the atheist who has expressed a concern for the number of abortions and proposed an action that has been shown to significantly reduce them. From the theists all we have seen is righteous indignation, chest thumping and bemoaning the imminent downfall of civilization.

    You are obviously relying on dated studies contaminated with false methodologies. Statistically, contraception use actually increases, rather than decreases the abortion rate.

  237. 237
    tribune7 says:

    LarTanner–The theists here don’t actually care about abortions or health or women. —

    The atheists here don’t actually care about health or women. They certainly care about abortion though. If they get a woman (or girl) pregnant they want an out.

  238. 238
    Allan Keith says:

    StephenB,

    You are obviously relying on dated studies contaminated with false methodologies. Statistically, contraception use actually increases, rather than decreases the abortion rate.

    Provide links to these studies. I would like to read them.

  239. 239
    StephenB says:

    Provide links to these studies. I would like to read them.

    * Habit Persistence and Teen Sex: Could Increased Access to Contraception have Unintended Consequences for Teen Pregnancies?
    * Adolescent sexual health in Sweden
    * The False Promise of Contraception
    * Greater Access To Contraception Does Not Reduce Abortions

  240. 240
    StephenB says:

    Meanwhile, AK, I am still waiting for you to justify the policy of killing of young fetuses while allowing the older ones to live. Since this is my fourth (or fifth?) challenge, may I safely assume that you cannot make the case?

  241. 241
    Allan Keith says:

    StephenB@239. Here is a summary of the highly scientific papers you didn’t provide links to.

    1) “Habit Persistence.,,” A paywalled article from the Journal of Business & Economic Statistics. Do I really have to say more?

    2) “Adolescent sexual health in Sweden” This article points out that the increased abortion rate corresponded to decrease in funding for comprehensive sex education. You must have missed the part where I said that access to contraceptives combined with comprehensive sex education has been shown to reduce abortion rates.

    3) “The false promise…” non link is to the same business and economic journal paper you provided in number 1.

    4) “Greater access to contraceptives…” this is from another completely scientific, non biased and impartial source, the United States Congress of Catholic Bishops.

    You stated that my claims were obviously from outdated and methodologically flawed studies, and you provide this list to counter it? I’m surprised that you didn’t include articles from LifeSite News and Campaign Life Coalition.

    Let me state the facts again. Comprehensive and early sex education, combined with unrestricted access to contraceptives, is proven to significantly reduce both the teen pregnant rate and the abortion rate. If you have any reputable studies that contradict this, please provide links. I would love to read them.

  242. 242
    StephenB says:

    Allan Keith

    1) “Habit Persistence.,,” A paywalled article from the Journal of Business & Economic Statistics. Do I really have to say more?

    Irrelevant. You must address the evidence, the points made, and explain why they are not correct.

    You must have missed the part where I argued only that contraceptive use leads to increased abortion.

    .

    I didn’t miss that part, but I did miss the part where you provided evidence in support of that claim. The reason that I missed that part is because you didn’t provide it.

    3) “The false promise…” non link is to the same business and economic journal paper you provided in number 1.

    So what? Do you dislike evidence because you don’t like the authors that provide it? And what is this hang up of yours that I didn’t provide a “link.” I gave you the sources and that is all you need. I only wish that you would provide your sources or your links.

    4) “Greater access to contraceptives…” this is from another completely scientific, non biased and impartial source, the United States Congress of Catholic Bishops.

    So what? They allude to reports that are not-biased. I notice that you ignored those reports and the facts presented.

    So far,

    *I have presented good arguments to show that it is unjust to kill an early fetus while allowing an older fetus to live. I have asked you to provide an argument defending this practice, and you have failed to respond.

    *I have also produced evidence to show that access to birth control does not reduce abortions. By contrast, you have made the claim that comprehensive sex education and access to birth control reduces abortions, but you have not provided any evidence in support of that claim.

    There seems to be a patter here. I make arguments and support my claims with evidence. You just make claims and ignore all challenges.

  243. 243
    StephenB says:

    Let me state the facts again. Comprehensive and early sex education, combined with unrestricted access to contraceptives, is proven to significantly reduce both the teen pregnant rate and the abortion rate.

    How, where, and by whom was this proven? According to all my sources, which include the pro-choice atheists that you ignored, it is a false claim. Even the Guttmacher Institute has given up on this idea.

  244. 244
    kairosfocus says:

    AK,

    I have limited time, so let me clip the following from 229 and respond, as it seems to go to the heart of the matter.

    (Oh, BTW, what is needed to “reduce” holocaust of living posterity in the womb is to recognise and move away from a culture that dehumanises targetted members of our race and enables the nihilism of might and manipulation make ‘right’/ ‘truth’/ ‘rights’/ ‘justice’ etc, which then helps us return to sanity. Retaining the culture of holocaust while trying to salve consciences by a substitute target of “reduction” from what the rate of holocaust might otherwise have been is self-undermining. And BTW, steeping the young in the techniques of vice while giving false hope that they can greatly reduce risk of pregnancy and/or STD’s by techniques that require an exactitude and consistency of habits that teens are unlikely to have, will likely INCREASE incidence through greatly heightened exposure levels.)

    Okay, let me clip and comment:

    >> [KF:] The case of that young child abused and murdered to feed someone’s perverted appetites is highly instructive.

    [AK:] Actually, it is not. We all know that there are some twisted individuals who take advantage of others. The secret is to not let those horrendous events dictate how you perceive others. If you will forgive me an observation, you appear to be ruled by your misadventures rather than to be informed by them.>>

    RESP:

    1: You seem to have forgotten one little part, the issue was that this horror show that played out one afternoon while I was a student was a case where I could SEE the reaction of many people, which across the time it took me to complete my dinner, had already formed search and rescue parties then found the body of the child, showing their patent reaction to self-evident evil.

    2: That is a key part of my realisation on how instructive it was, I could actually SEE how ordinary people responded and acted. Thus, it was a clue to see how self-evident evil manifests itself, and thus how we may understand how to deal with it.

    3: And above I have already indicated that the child has neither strength nor eloquence to fight or persuade. The right is inherent in the child as a living human being, not in the power structures, agendas and views of the society. Indeed, to try to deny this while standing over a small, violated and shattered body is self-evidently absurd. That is already highly instructive. However, you seem to have failed to take notice.

    4: Let me clip how I have further drawn out the lessons elsewhere:

    1] The first self evident moral truth is that we are inescapably under the government of ought.

    (This is manifest in even an objector’s implication in the questions, challenges and arguments that s/he would advance, that we are in the wrong and there is something to be avoided about that. That is, even the objector inadvertently implies that we OUGHT to do, think, aim for and say the right. Not even the hyperskeptical objector can escape this truth. Patent absurdity on attempted denial.)

    2] Second self evident truth, we discern that some things are right and others are wrong by a compass-sense we term conscience which guides our thought. (Again, objectors depend on a sense of guilt/ urgency to be right not wrong on our part to give their points persuasive force. See what would be undermined should conscience be deadened or dismissed universally? Sawing off the branch on which we all must sit. [–> and remember, we are standing by some bushes, over a small, broken, abused, lifeless body. Even now, as the father approaches what remains of the child he sent off to school that morning.])

    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 — so that IS and OUGHT are inextricably fused at that level, 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; usurping the sword of justice to impose a ruthless policy agenda in fundamental breach of that civil peace which must ever pivot on manifest justice. 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. (In Aristotle’s terms as cited by Hooker: “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.”) 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 institutionalised 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.

    >> [KF:] However, to claim a right, one must first be in the right and this means there can be no right to compel another to uphold or enable you in the wrong (which instantly exposes a lot of what is going on nowadays).

    [AK:} But, again, who determines who is in the right? From my reading of your words, you obviously do not brook the possibility that you may be wrong. Which makes it very difficult to have a constructive conversation with you. For example, I admit that I could be wrong in my views about abortion, homosexuality and same sex marriage. Are you willing to admit the same?>>

    5: Instantly, you obviously have failed to read or take seriously the force of my discussion on the first self evident truth: error exists.

    6: I summarise. The very attempt to deny that error exists instantiates a manifest case of error. Thus it is undeniable on pain of instant patent absurdity, that error exists is true. Which is what self-evidence indicates (and not the strawman caricature of closed minded dogmatism you would substitute). From this, truth exists as what accurately describes reality. This truth is warranted to undeniable certainty so strong form knowledge exists as truths that are warranted, true belief. Perforce, weak form knowledge exists as credibly true, well warranted, reliable belief. Thus schemes of thought, arguments, ideologies and worldviews that deny or undermine such are immediately irretrievably falsified. And, their name is legion.

    7: Further, such SETs serve as plumbline tests for our yardstick beliefs, exposing crooked yardsticks. Where, if we measure by a crooked yardstick, what is actually straight [“true”], square, on the level, accurate and upright — yes the terms overlap from carpentry and masonry to weightier matters — cannot pass the test of conformity to crookedness. (Now you know why agit prop strategists want to get us to make crooked yardsticks into our standard.)

    8: A plumbline is naturally, undeniably upright and straight, so it restores the due balance. Which is why those who are locked into ideologies of crookedness so stoutly resist, deny or studiously ignore them. Only, to reveal the utter absurdity of their behaviour and thought.

    9: The issue of the right then, is not set by the power or mere opinions or rulings of an individual or collective WHO, that is the appeal to might and manipulation make right. Which is the instantly absurd appeal to nihilism.

    10: WHAT makes the truth and the right is the nature of the claim, which is tested by plumbline principles and test cases that demonstrate what is sound from what is unsound. The truth says of what is that it is and of what is not that it is not. This holds for history, accounting, arithmetic, philosophy, theology, politics, journalism, education, justice and morality alike.

    11: What is just duly balances rights, freedoms and responsibilities. Where, a right is a properly binding moral claim to be respected and protected in a certain particular, based on our inherent dignity and quasi-infinite worth as a living human being. Even the dead have a due right to respect.

    12: And as rights must be universalisable, we cannot have a right to demand that others do the wrong or uphold and enable us in the wrong. That would be to impose evil under false colours of rights, often by agit prop and lawfare that perverts justice. Which is exactly what has been going on, starting with the ongoing holocaust of living posterity in the womb. (This is a plumbline case of establishment of evils under false colour of law in our day. But until the crooked yardsticks have been given up, that will not be acknowledged. And, perforce for the avalanche of other perversions of justice and sound society which are ever so fashionable in our time.)

    13: So, what is evil? The frustration, perversion, privation or abuse of the good that blocks its due fulfillment of its purpose, which in key cases is naturally evident.

    14: The purpose of rationality is to know and do the true, the right, the prudent. So, deception, corruption of education and media, lying, slander and more are evils. The robbing of that child of innocence, violation of body, robbing of life itself are patent evils.

    15: And though it is hard for the deluded to acknowledge now, abuse of organs of digestion and excretion in insanitary, unhealthy, disease spreading ways is perversion of proper purpose of those organs and of the proper familially grounded fulfillment of our sexual nature. Likewise, perversion of marriage and sexual identity under false colours of law.

    16: Worse, abusing powers of law to compel people of sound conscience to enable such evils under threat of bankruptcy and loss of livelihood; that is early stage tyranny. He who would rob me of innocent livelihood or daily bread would rob me of life. He who would rob me of conscience would rob me of my soul and its proper end.

    17: The utter, increasing moral blindness and endarkenment of our day are quite plain.

    18: But the point above can be twisted through the Euthyphro dilemma, so called. But the fatal flaw lies in the root of that argument: it addressed pagan gods who are not the root of reality so such could never bridge IS and OUGHT. They are categorically distinct from the inherently good creator God, a necessary and maximally great being, who is the root of reality. God is essentially good and truthful, so he will neither do nor say evil, such would be alien to and at utter odds with his being. So, too, when he speaks, he speaks truth, as that too is his nature. and when he judges, he judges by the truth and the right which are inextricably part of his nature.

    19: So, the so-called dilemma is misdirected.

    20: Further, the real question is, does this God exist? Where, inherently, he would be the necessary being root of existence. So, the question, then is, is such a candidate being impossible, having core characteristics that are mutually contradictory like the case of a square circle.

    21: God is a serious candidate necessary being, unlike a flying spaghetti monster (which, being material and composite, CANNOT be anything but contingent; the parody explodes, poof). So, the would-be atheist’s challenge is to show that God is impossible of being. As, a serious NB candidate will either be impossible or actual. As, NB’s are framework to any world existing.

    22: And while it was formerly fashionable to trot out the problem of evils, that has collapsed since it was seen as parasitical on the problem of good and on the impact of Plantinga’s free will defense. Once creating freedom allows for a higher order of good, there is a sufficient reason to permit freedoms that can by definition be abused thus resulting in evil. Thus, as that is possible, the claimed contradiction evaporates.

    23: We have addressed the core of the matter. Now, let us apply:

    >> [KF:] It also means that might and manipulation do not make right, truth, justice etc.

    [AK:] Nobody has suggested that it does. But consensus and social agreement can certainly make rules by which we can live and prosper by. >>

    24: Just the opposite is the case, just look all around and consult the history of the past 100 years. Nihilism, radical relativism, subjectivism and emotivism — they are all of a piece — have been rampant and have predictably ended in chaos. To the point where they are rhetorically indefensible.

    25: Of course, appeal to social “consensus” is a disguised form of just said appeal, cultural relativist from. Let me clip, again, from Lewis Vaughn:

    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

  245. 245
    Allan Keith says:

    AK,

    Let me state the facts again. Comprehensive and early sex education, combined with unrestricted access to contraceptives, is proven to significantly reduce both the teen pregnant rate and the abortion rate.

    StephenB,

    How, where, and by whom was this proven? According to all my sources, which include the pro-choice atheists that you ignored, it is a false claim. Even the Guttmacher Institute has given up on this idea.

    Here are a few papers that suggest that you are wrong.

    Abortion incidence between 1990 and 2014: global, regional, and subregional levels and trends. [The Lancet Volume 388, No. 10041, p258–267, 16 July 2016]
    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(16)30380-4/abstract?code=lancet-site

    Abstinence-Only Education and Teen Pregnancy Rates: Why We Need Comprehensive Sex Education in the U.S [PLoS One. 2011; 6(10)]
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3194801/

    Abstinence-Only Education and Teen Pregnancy Rates: Why We Need Comprehensive Sex Education in the U.S [PLOS Abstinence-Only Education and Teen Pregnancy Rates: Why We Need Comprehensive Sex Education in the U.S]
    http://journals.plos.org/ploso.....658-Kirby1

    Abstinence-Only and Comprehensive Sex Education and the Initiation of Sexual Activity and Teen Pregnancy [Journal of Adolescent Health 2007]

    Contraception in The Netherlands: the low abortion rate explained. [Patient Educ Couns. 1994 Jul;23(3):161-71.]
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7971545

    New Clarity for the U.S. Abortion Debate: A Steep Drop in Unintended Pregnancy Is Driving Recent Abortion Declines [Guttmacher Policy Review Volume 19 2016]
    https://www.guttmacher.org/gpr/2016/03/new-clarity-us-abortion-debate-steep-drop-unintended-pregnancy-driving-recent-abortion

    Steep Drop in Unintended Pregnancy Is Behind the 2008–2011 U.S. Abortion Decline [Guttmacher 2016]
    https://www.guttmacher.org/news-release/2016/steep-drop-unintended-pregnancy-behind-2008-2011-us-abortion-decline

    Dire Demographics: Population Trends in the Russian Federation [Rand Monograph Report]
    https://www.rand.org/pubs/monograph_reports/MR1273.html

    Understanding the Decline in Adolescent Fertility in the United States, 2007–2012 [Journal of Adolescent Health November 2016]
    https://www.jahonline.org/article/S1054-139X(16)30172-0/fulltext?utm_source=Master+List&utm_campaign=26e5d9ae10-NR_Lindberg_PRI_20168_24_16&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_9ac83dc920-26e5d9ae10-260650549

    Epidemiologic Surveillance of Teenage Birth Rates in the United States, 2006–2012 [Obstetrics & Gynecology: June 2017]
    https://journals.lww.com/greenjournal/Fulltext/2017/06000/Epidemiologic_Surveillance_of_Teenage_Birth_Rates.17.aspx

    And yes, to give fair reading to alternative studies,

    The effect of spending cuts on teen pregnancy [Journal of Health 2017]
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0167629617304551

    However, I might add, that another study conducted in Sweden showed an increase in teen pregnancy with cuts to sex education.

    Adolescent sexual health in Sweden. [Sex Transm Infect. 2002 Oct;78(5):352-6]
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12407239

  246. 246
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, it seems the UD mods have released your comment from the mod pile. KF

  247. 247
    Allan Keith says:

    Kairosfocus, thank you. I noticed this yesterday.

  248. 248
    PaoloV says:

    KF,
    In this video a relatively famous person declares “what we want, what we need and the path to real happiness and wisdom”.

    http://www.foxnews.com/enterta.....-belt.html

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