Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

FYI-FTR: Addressing ruthless radicalism (tied to evolutionary materialist scientism and radical secularism)


In recent days, WJM put up a post on the end or reasonable discussion that soon turned into sharp exchanges on hot-button issues, especially the homosexualisation of marriage. (For months there has been a lot of baiting in and around UD to pull us into a debate on such.)

An underlying factor in such is that we need to recognise not only the danger of a march of folly over a cliff:

Of Lemmings, marches of folly and cliffs of self-falsifying absurdity . . .
Of Lemmings, marches of folly and cliffs of self-falsifying absurdity . . .

and the potential for a modern, electronic media version of Plato’s Cave manipulative shadow shows confused for reality:

Plato's Cave of shadow shows projected before life-long prisoners and confused for reality. Once the concept of general delusion is introduced, it raises the question of an infinite regress of delusions. The sensible response is to see that this should lead us to doubt the doubter and insist that our senses be viewed as generally reliable unless they are specifically shown defective. (Source: University of Fort Hare, SA, Phil. Dept.)
Plato’s Cave of shadow shows projected before life-long prisoners and confused for reality. Once the concept of general delusion is introduced, it raises the question of an infinite regress of delusions. The sensible response is to see that this should lead us to doubt the doubter and insist that our senses be viewed as generally reliable unless they are specifically shown defective. (Source: University of Fort Hare, SA, Phil. Dept.)

as well as the warning in Acts 27 that gives us a real-world case study on the dangers of manipulated democracy leading to shipwreck:

Shipwreck at Malta, c. AD 59
Shipwreck at Malta, c. AD 59

but we should also take into account a modified version of the seven mountains, commanding heights of community analysis championed in recent years by Lance Wallnau as we assess how agendas can come to dominate countries or even our whole civilisation:

seven_mountains_culture_agendaLet me add, how this sets up the challenge of heeding warning signs and undertaking needed reforms before it is too late on a real slippery slope (not the strawman version commonly dismissed as a fallacy)

change_challwhich in turn requires a strategic SWOT-alignment BAU vs ALT analysis:

alt_vs_bau_swot-alignmentThus we also see the importance of the Overton Window, which shows the range of possibilities likely to be considered in a community:

Overton_window_PC_caveHere, we would be well advised to ponder Machiavelli’s comparison that political disorders are like hectic fever, at first hard to diagnose but easy to cure. This means it is hard to build a critical mass for advisable change in good time. Then, at length when the course of the disease is manifest to all, it is far too late to cure.

And, that is the danger of a real slippery slope.

Let me add [May 6th] on how a plateau can taper to a ridge-line watershed that forces a separation with TWO slippery slopes that are wedged ever farther apart as things slide down on either side:

tapered divide

. . . this seems to me to capture how a critical point or issue can be reached which can drive a wedge of ever increasing polarisation through a community or even a civilisation, leading to irretrievable alienation if the sliding effect is not countered before it is (rapidly) too late. I fear, this is where we are in our civilisation.

In that context, let me now headline for record a comment in response to the aggressive activism in that thread which has from its outset pushed the talking point that those who object are bigots and haters indulging hate-speech. A sadly familiar rhetorical pattern.

Of course, Girgis et al on Conjugal marriage will be a vital point of reference. Their paper is a key principled defense of conjugal marriage,

Girgis et al on Conjugal Marriage
Girgis et al on Conjugal Marriage

and this video is well worth our time:

[youtube C46-e8yRvrI]

This one on the societal costs of homosexualising marriage may also be useful:

[youtube my_FrkFIwzk]

I add, a sobering clip on discourse in the media:

[youtube 7UxYM4aIptc]

I now clip and slightly adapt the FTR-FYI comment, no 747:


>> . . . it is quite clear that there is a scorched earth radical socio-cultural and policy agenda in our civilisation, rooted in progressivism and cultural marxism — the radical, politically messianistic left . . . .

One of its core strategies is that ever increased dependence on Government intervention, control and subsidy advances its broad programme, and that ever rising government social welfare expenditures joined to regulations (especially in the name of environment concerns at local and global levels) drains a free enterprise system of its dynamism as a major alternative. It routinely resorts to media and education manipulation, is allied with evolutionary materialistic scientism, and has repeatedly used lawfare to hijack a chief means of justice to its agenda. At global level it is part of a red, double green alliance: the radical environmentalists (who often overlap) and the IslamISTS . . . agreeing in effect with the latter that the enemy of my enemy is my ally. Likewise, it targets the Judaeo-Christian heritage of our civilisation as the main worldview alternative.

{Pardon an outline modified from Schaeffer.}


It is in this context that conjugal marriage and family systems have become a major target across decades, including the calculated undermining of traditional sexual morality.

Those who want to get an idea of the end game here for marriage will find this tape of a talk by a Russian-Australian Lesbian activist, Masha Gessen, illuminating.


Notice what the audience applauds.

Yes, the utter destruction of marriage and family, thus of its stabilising influences. Across time, the mob of the ill-brought up angry and frustrated, confused young men will rise up, cannon fodder for the ruthless nihilistic strategic level Alcibiades of our time. Ponder the Sicilian expedition and its fate, and how Alcibiades operated.

In that context, there are common tactics and underlying principles, some of which have been identified above . . . and which explain the theme in the OP, the end of reasonable discussion:

1: Rules for radicals, Alinsky style polarisation and attacks (which often exploit the media penetration by progressivism), esp. no’s 5 and 13:

5] “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy [–> notice, the scorched earth mentality] into concessions [–> no reasonable agreement can be had with those determined to destroy you as their declared enemy, only deterrence and breaking their power to destroy].

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

2: The triple-pronged Kirk-Madsen mainstreaming of a radical agenda (= Kupelian’s marketing of evil) strategy:

— desensitising (including “normalising” and “glamourising” or making the bizarre seem sympathetic or even a “right”)

— jamming out sources of questioning or objection (often using Alinsky’s tactics to induce a spiral of silencing or at least marginalisation, derogatory labelling, scapegoating and dismissal)

— conversion to accepting, enabling, or participation (exploiting cognitive dissonance and the way we respond to the perceived wave of the future, cf. the discussion by Schein)

3: As a major facet of this, the creation of a pattern: the caught up naive, enabling activists [and attack-commentry in or around a significant blog is such activism], front groups including pseudo grassroots activism, astroturfing. (A lot of politically connected trolling on the Internet is actually astroturfing.)

4: The distract, distort, denigrate idea/implementer hitman tactic (and women can be hitmen, too . . . ): distractive red herrings, led away to strawman caricatures of ideas soaked in attacks to the man and set alight rhetorically to distract, confuse, cloud, poison and polarise the atmosphere, frustrating serious discussion. Part of jamming out.

5: The turnabout/ turnspeech “he hit (back) first” tactic. If a target for jamming out tries to defend himself, this will be used. After all if the attacker in reality can present himself as acting in self-defence that is a double advantage. (Notice, how the thread above began and how within the first ten comments the pattern of projecting hate and bigotry to those who would try to support things like conjugal marriage was set up. Notice, were I in the US or the like, such would be a basis for dis-employment.)

6: Spiral of escalation: core radicals of the nature we are discussing are essentially totalitarian and nihilistic. So, they have no limits other than what they sense they cannot get away with just now. (Hence the importance of a firm defense that blocks and deters attacks [even when the actual battle is at best a stalemate or even a fighting retreat — a bloody nose is very instructive to a bully and when things escalate someone who stands with almost suicidal courage at a Thermopylae can set up a decisive victory at a Marathon by example and by buying crucial time], and then going over to the initiative to break the power of the radicals and fellow travellers.)

Monument to King Leonidas of Sparta and the others who fell in the stand at Thermopylae, Greece

7: Fanatical, even irrational, locked in enmity — often based on the disaffected native or immigrant minority or the urban poor (in Maoist style variants, the rural poor). One of the key steps is the creation of exhausting long haul conflict . . . often by guerilla/terrorist fish swimming among the sea of a mass of the disaffected . . . that will often wear down and trigger a home front defeat by demoralisation and retreat which seems to be or is presented as a moderate compromise solution. Sufficient retreats at strategic points can be fatal, such as is now playing out with Iran in the Middle East. (Those who imagine that an America under a Trump or a Clinton can turn to domestic matters will prove to be sadly mistaken. You are in World War IV, playing out as a slow burn global conflict.)

So, those who spent months trying to goad UD into entertaining a debate on homosexualisation of marriage need to understand that this is where it seemed necessary to take a stand.

Take due note: when you

— come here under an umbrella of projecting accusations of bigotry and hate and hate speech,

— use selective hypersketicism in the face of serious discussion,

— try distract-distort-denigrate idea/implementer hitman games,

— use Alinsky style polarisation tactics,

— try turnabout accusations and play at he hit back first

— play at desensitise-jam out-convert mainstreaming of evil agendas and the like,

. . . you will (for cause) be quite correctly read as being part of a known radical, destructive, nihilistic agenda at work in our civilisation.

Now, most of those caught up in such games do not know the underlying cultural agenda or geostrategic power games connected to it. If they did, they would take serious pause before becoming part of a front group or turning footsoldiers in someone’s astroturf game.

Many caught up in such may even take umbrage at being identified as caught up in such an agenda.

But they need to understand that taking part in attack comments here is indeed footsoldier activism. (Notice, still no distancing from the accusations of bigotry, hate etc? What message do you think you are sending?)

Those who are serious, should instead take the approach of responsible dialogue at worldviews level, informed by relevant science and history etc.

For instance, a pivotal issue above was, what is a right. Let’s go back to 310, bearing in mind 248:

7 –> In this context, a core basic right is a binding moral expectation to be respected in regards to key aspects of our nature. That is, it is the mirror image and dual of mutually binding obligations imposed by our nature and its inherent dignity. That is rights are inherently matters of moral law connected to our nature.

8 –> As a consequence, a rights claim is a claim to be in the right and to be owed duties of care by others of like morally freighted nature.

9 –> You cannot have a right to the wrong, you cannot demand that others enable and support you in the wrong, such is to poison other souls with the taint of compulsion to do and to support the wrong. Such is monstrous and wicked.

10 –> Likewise, there are no rights to twist key institutions crucial to human thriving as individuals, families and communities. For the blessings of the civil peace of justice and liberty under legitimate law are key requisites of human thriving.

11 –> This holds for demanding that marriage be perverted through lawfare and agit prop, and the linked demand that sexual perversion be acknowledged on equal terms with the manifest order of nature stamped into our genes, organs, biology of reproduction and social- psychological- relational requisites of sound child nurture.

In short, there are principled bases for objection to currently fashionable agendas imposed through agit prop and lawfare, but the spiral of silencing is well underway backed up by the attempt to induce massive “thought reform” in interests of a march of folly.

Is there such a thing as morally governed human nature involving responsible, rational freedom? (If you are taking part in a discussion, that is implied. If you are playing manipulation tactics, it is still implied as you are exploiting our sense of duty to fairness etc. Of course, the import is, such is delusional and to be manipulated as with Plato’s Cave of shadow shows

[youtube d2afuTvUzBQ]

. . . now improved through modern electronic media technologies. Such is cynical and nihilistic.)

The premise of rational responsible discussion is that we are under moral government and there is thus an inherent worth in the human person that leads to governance based on principles such as those in the US DoI, 1776. And yes that raises serious worldviews questions. But we can here speak in terms of generally recognised sound principles, as Locke did when he cited Hooker in his 2nd treatise on civil govt:

. . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8: as namely, That because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like . . . ] [Eccl. Polity,preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8, p.80]

This already decisively undercuts the sort of scorched earth radicalism we have been seeing.

In terms of the attack-point, marriage, it is clear that conjugal marriage is a time tested approach to building families based on our biology as male and female, the requisites of sound child nurture and moral governance. Homosexualism violates biology, brooks identity confusion, destabilises [imagine what happens as the agenda gets ever more deeply embedded in education] and is a patent perversion of sexuality that is prone to the spreading of disease through abuse of body parts not meant or well suited to such things. The demand of a right to such imposes a violation of principled conscience now backed up by lawfare. Don’t even bother with the usual blame the victim games, the pattern is clear. Such can only be sustained through oppression and indoctrination that crushes the conscience.

All of which points to the slippery slope headed over a cliff we are now on, and to the march of folly headed over that cliff.

Bland denials and demands that we prove such to the satisfaction of those determined to advance that march are patently absurd. Enough has been long since shown for the prudent.

It is time to wake up and turn back. Unless, it is already too late.>>


There being a live thread in progress and a problem of comment box vandalism, any onward discussion would be held in the just linked thread. END