Tag Archives: relativism

Disorganized Comments on Recent Posts

Some of my thoughts on my recent posts and the conversations which followed. Forgive me if I jump around.

My posts What’s Wrong with Genocide? and  Why Do You Champion Genocide?  were written to suggest what I believe: that the killing of millions of people by the Nazis is morally equivalent to the termination of millions of pre-born infants. The killing of millions of people equals the killing of millions of people.

Is one selective death imposed upon another person morally different from another? Are there ethically valid reasons which justify one but not the other?

Are justifications based on age and dependency more valid than justifications based on ethnic or political characteristics, especially since the terminations are imposed upon both groups of people?

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Should men offer opinions on abortion?

I’m no feminist but I am down with this one item of the sisterhood: I do think that it is utter presumption for men, any men, to promote the efficacy, ease and health of having an abortion. It’s arrogance and ignorance. You down-with-the-struggle feminist men need to respect that carrying a child, labor and delivery, or terminating a pregnancy are things about which you understand not one thing.

Likewise recovery from any of these.

You promote abortion because you imagine it’s a panacea which allows a woman to get back to her life just the way it was before the inconvenient hiccup. That works great for you. But recovery from an abortion can be long, protracted, or never. And when the pregnancy is removed,  you don’t have to carry the burden or struggle to recover, but she does.

You guys should stick a sock in it.

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Commenter said: “…It was morally right to let the Jews live.

Nothing in that extends to a foetus. It is not a living human…”


But you see, the right of a human to live is even now selectively applied. We are having this discussion because I assert that the fetuses do have a right to live, just as the Jews did. If you were to discover that human fetuses are living human beings, would you grant that their killing by the millions is as wrong as the Holocaust? I think you would have to.

If we accept that selectively killing human beings is wrong for ethical reasons, pro-choicers must resort to a truly silly proposition in order to defend abortion as a beneficial thing. It is worded in one of several ways:

a fetus is not a person / a fetus is not human / not a living human / is a clump of cells  / is not sentient / feels no pain OR

A fetus isn’t a human being YET / is only a potential human /  becomes a human being at: 24 weeks / when viable / after I think of it as a baby/ another arbitrary point

OR the silliest of all: when its mother decides she wants it.

This position is not supported by medical science or philosophy, but it is your last ethical straw. You must dehumanize someone who is clearly human and alive in order to defend the rightness of legal abortion.

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To select veganism as your mark of moral superiority while approving legalized abortion is illogical. I would add that it’s morally indefensible. You swallow a camel and strain at a gnat.

And here’s a thing for all you vegan, animal-sympathizing-abortion-supporters:

“For whatever those videos reveal of the inner workings of the abortion industry, they point as well to this related truth: Defending animal welfare while remaining adamantly pro-choice with respect to the abortion of human animals is not morally and intellectually sustainable. As an argument retaining any credibility, it’s over.”

Why Animal Lovers Should Abhor Planned Parenthood

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It took the atheist commenters several days to produce a logical challenge anything like a syllogism, and I think it was accidental.  The most-often challenge flung at me was a tu quoque, a “You too!”

Yeah well, your god committed genocide! Get off your high horse!”

The better challenge could be summarized thus: “Since you are a “fundie”, you believe the Bible is historically and otherwise true, and you blindly support all that God supposedly says and does. God commanded the Israelites to commit genocide upon other nations. Therefore, you support the genocides in the Bible, therefore you support genocide.”

Well done.

Of course, the challenge is still loaded with a ton of presuppositions and is founded upon the belief that the questioner is in a superior moral position to God and is justified in sitting in judgment of his Creator.

That’s a problem because God is an objective truth.

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The charge that I accused one commenter of supporting the extermination of babies?

If abortion is the termination of the lives of  human beings,

and if the commenter has repeatedly defended the right to abortion,

then, the commenter supports the extermination of human beings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Least I Have a Napkin to Go With Those Plastic Spoons

In my recent post ,  I proposed a question to any atheists who cared to respond.

“Can you tell me what is intrinsically wrong with herding human beings into camps then systematically ending their lives?  What is objectively wrong about it?

Do not tell me how it makes you feel or that everyone just knows.

Do not tell me what’s illegal about it. Tell me why it’s negative. Please explain how it is wrong in an absolute way.”

Given several days to ponder and discuss, they offered several.

One answer: morality is something societies slowly discover. Society gradually grows into an ever-progressing moral value system. We are more moral now than we were in the past.

I challenged:  1. Not intrinsic, not objective, not absolute. 2. Do you mean that there is an objective standard set apart from us that we are discovering? Then what is that and where did it come from? 3. Are we more moral than ever before? That’s hard to support.

Other answers cited: it’s illegal, it’s repugnant, everyone just knows…things ruled out in the question.

One blogger’s answer: Evolution. When asked to elaborate upon precisely what that might mean, he absolutely refused to explain just what species of evolution to which he referred, or to explain how that works. He doesn’t have to explain; for himself, he’s satisfied with that one word answer. He will not explain how a blind, mindless, impersonal process is able to impose an unchanging, objective set of morals upon sentient, conscience-bound persons, nor how we could be accountable to such a system. Nor any of the other questions which quickly come to mind.

My challenge came from this post, where I opined that my atheist friends may have been offended, and frankly confused, by my suggestion that  death camps and abortion mills are morally equivalent because they don’t really know what’s wrong with the death camps. So I asked them to explain how they (as atheists) know the Holocaust was wrong.

I believe it’s fair to sum up their answer:  No, we cannot. Even if you give us several days to think about it. None were able to explain why the murder of six million Jews by the Nazis was wrong. I am forced to conclude that they do not know.

To be fair, I understand that they do know it was wrong. It’s just that they cannot explain why it’s wrong while maintaining the integrity of their own worldviews.

Why is this important? Why is it important that human beings who live in societies filled with other human beings believe that some things are simply wrong, and other things are simply right? Why is it necessary for people to exercise self-control and to respect the limits of personal behavior? Why must there be a separate, objective measure of right and good which people deeply respect and honor?

On to the significance of behavior.

I did have a more thoughtful atheist commenter or two conversing more or less politely. Some made the effort to visit my place and reasonably discuss the question when they might have had better things to do. But these particular guys ought to think about what their worst representatives are perpetrating upon their brand, what kind of face the mocker gives to atheism.

Give this kind of atheist an anonymous avatar and access to social media, ask him a question he finds challenging, and he demonstrates that he has no reason not to act like an abusive ass, a sexist, a raging ten-year-old. There are no limits to his personal behavior, there are no consequences of which he is aware. It seems even the most basic of social skills are lost when one sincerely believes that there is ultimately no moral authority one is compelled to respect.

He becomes living proof that a person who recognizes no higher authority than himself…or even than a consensus of society composed of persons with no more ultimate authority than himself…has no compelling reason to police himself. Not only in a big sense, but even in the mundane interactions of everyday life with no undue pressure upon him.

However, a person who believes that there is a separate, objective, immutable source of morality, right and wrong, good and evil has a compelling reason for self-control and righteous behavior. Though any person may violate that motivator, he at least has such a motivator to rebel against.

One commenter calls Christianity the “Napkin Religion- See? It’s true because it’s written down on this napkin here!”

At  least I have a napkin. What do you have?

 

Clouds Without Water

Beautiful poetry about something very ugly.

If you’re planning a day at the beach, clouds without water sounds like a good thing.  But this metaphor from Jude 1: 12-13 was spoken to herdsmen and farmers  in an ancient culture dependent on the understanding of weather. A cloud without water was not a scientific impossibility but a hopeless disappointment.

These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved…

Where have you read a more damning condemnation?

Hidden reefs can wreck a vessel along with its passengers. The threat is not seen until the danger is immanent.

Shepherds who feed only themselves. The job description for shepherds includes guarding the sheep round the clock, placing their bodies as barriers between the defenseless sheep and predators, leading the sheep to nutritious grazing and clean water.  The helpless sheep will perish without their shepherd. A shepherd is meant to put the needs of the flock before his own, their lives before his own.

Clouds without water, carried along by winds promise refreshment and life, but deliver nothing. They appear to be made of life-giving water, but they pass by leaving one parched and disappointed.

Dead, uprooted autumn trees without fruit.  At harvest season, these are threes with dead branches and no potential for fruit. There’s no chance of future growth–the trees have no root.

Wild waves casting up foam which is shame. Picture turmoil, tumult, forceful waves assaulting the shore, spewing poison, depositing on the sand regret and bitter shame.

Wandering stars in black darkness  Stars wandering aimlessly in the vast emptiness of space, futile and purposeless.

Such are those described who preach without truth.

Why would someone preach who has nothing to say? This is a wise question at the heart of discernment.

The clouds without water from the book of Jude were false teachers within the church who represented themselves as teachers of God’s truth and sources of God’s wisdom but they spoke their own falsehoods, sold their own foolishness, lead their listeners astray, then abandoned them.

They wanted a position of leadership but lacked any qualifications. Qualifications included belief in some truths, and the truths had to be the real ones. Firm convictions to base teaching upon; commitment to teach in the face of opposition, and willingness to suffer for their beliefs. A willingness to stand for The Truth, which they did not invent.

True leaders were possessors of a conviction that the standard of the truth was completely trustworthy. The author of that truth was a Person they knew, who had offered ample evidence that his truth is The Truth.

Though the teachers in Jude appear as guides to the lost, they only intend to help themselves. These teachers are dangerous; they will leave their students’ lives shipwrecked. These shepherds will lead their followers to a desolate place and abandon them. Like clouds without water, these teachers have no spiritual refreshment to offer. Their students will die of thirst.

They themselves are lifeless like dead branches; they are barren. How will their followers bear fruit? They are rootless with no foundation.

They are constantly pushing and spinning with activity, sound and fury, but to no purpose. They are not ashamed but their followers will be burdened with shame. The purpose of their aggressive work is self-aggrandizement so others are not helped. Their guidance leaves followers stranded in the empty darkness searching for home.

Today we have the same false teachers in any direction we look, who claim to speak with God’s voice.

But today there are also those who go about proselytizing for the faith of No Truth.  These preach without truth and sometimes express outrage because anyone claims to know.

We have more than one generation which has been unburdened with a concept of objective truth. They are not fighting for or against any truth; they have been taught that there is no truth.

Certainty is a trigger. Certainty  seems to produce outrage and incredulity. It is vain to suggest that we are all certain about something.  We are all certain of what we believe, or else we don’t believe it. No one believes nothing.

Without a certainty that some things are true, independent of subjective opinion, we always become the poor victims of those false teachers described in Jude. We live as those shipwrecked travelers or those lost sheep, exposed to predators and hunger…disappointed and parched, unable to gather or bear fruit…without good influence and unable to ourselves give hope…ashamed, wandering aimlessly, without purpose.