I was asked by a friend of my oldest Son on this topic, to see my response to him — JUMP to the bottom
Keep in mind if you are saying one of the below issues is morally wrong… you are saying so by borrowing from the Judeo-Christian worldview. Atheism or pantheism cannot account for moral [absolute] wrongs. For more on this, see:
Philosopher and scholar Mortimer J. Adler rightly points out that while many Christians are quick in responding to the conclusions in an argument often times the Christian is unaware that the point of departure is not in the conclusion, but in the starting premise, the foundational assumptions.
Norman L. Geisler & Peter Bocchino, Unshakable Foundations: Contemporary Answers to Crucial Questions About the Christian Faith (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2001), 20-21.
As someone who falls into the category of Protestant, some may find it odd that here I am defending Catholics from a recent attack by a left-leaning columnist, Gwynne Dyer. In his September 25th (2010) article entitled, “Why Pope can’t stand diversity and tolerance,” (at the New Zealand Herald online) Gwynne Dyer shows how he is in some dyer need of clarity of thought. I will deconstruct the parts I feel are always in need of addressing. Of course, out of the gate Dyer hits the Catholic Church with the priesthood molestation cases. While I would agree with Dyer that these are horrible instances of action on the priesthood’s part which should be held to the highest standards (as should pastors in Protestant denominations), we part company in his obvious statement that this emasculates any Christian from commenting on the culture around us:
Speaking in Scotland, he condemned “aggressive forms of secularism” and the threat of “atheist extremism”. Never mind the hundreds or thousands of priests who raped little boys (and occasionally little girls). (Dyer)
In this statement Dyer is saying because priests molested and sodomized boys and girls this should stop the church universal to comment on other aspects of the culture in general. This doesn’t make sense, and I will show you how in some analogies based in cases of molestation and sodomy in other fields of specialty. This actually comes from a challenge laid out to me in a debate about the mosque at Ground Zero, and it too used a position of moral injustice to try and squash dissent on an entirely different issue. I was challenged with the following thought in regards to the location of said mosque:
Sean…. If we are to follow your logic, I guess no Catholic churches should be located within a few blocks of daycare centers, no?
NUMBER TWO, I wish to discuss this issue of molestation by priests that you intimated about.
School counselors, dentists, Buddhist monks, foster parents, and the like — all have abused children. Men who are pedophiles look for positions of AUTHORITY OVER [*not yelling, merely emphasizing*] children that afford MOMENTS OF PRIVACY with these same children. Dentists do not violate children or women in the name of dentistry. Buddhists monks do not sodomize children in the name of Siddhartha. School counselors in the name of psychology, foster parents in the name of Dr. Spock, etc, … you get the point. Likewise, priests do not violate children in the name of Christ. (The many terrorist attacks are in the name of something… can you tell me what Nora?)
So I hope you can see that mentioning churches next to schools is a non-sequitur, I think we can agree that any church moving priests (Catholicism) or pastors (Protestantism) from one parish or church to another is a problem that has to be dealt with. Just like teachers who have the same issues levied towards them are moved from district-to-district (N.E.A.).
Here is an updated stat for clarity on this subject:
While sexual repression might explain the horrific history of sexual abuse committed by Catholic clergymen, it does not explain the much greater incidence of sexual abuse by secular educators in the public school system.41
 “The physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests.” Shakeshaft, C. Ph.D., U.S. Department of Education report. 2002. [The 2004 study can be seen here in PDF FORM. I believe the author meant 2004]
Vox Day, The Irrational Atheist: Dissecting the Unholy Trinity of Dawkins, Harris, And Hitchens (Dallas, TX: BenBella Books, 2008), 174.
…But according to Charol Shakeshaft, the researcher of a little-remembered 2004 study prepared for the U.S. Department of Education, “the physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests.”
After effectively disappearing from the radar, Shakeshaft’s study is now being revisited by commentators seeking to restore a sense of proportion to the mainstream coverage of the Church scandal.
According to the 2004 study “the most accurate data available at this time” indicates that “nearly 9.6 percent of students are targets of educator sexual misconduct sometime during their school career.”
“Educator sexual misconduct is woefully under-studied,” writes the researcher. “We have scant data on incidence and even less on descriptions of predators and targets. There are many questions that call for answers.”
Weigel observes that priestly sex abuse is “a phenomenon that spiked between the mid-1960s and the mid-1980s but seems to have virtually disappeared,” [see recomended book to the right] and that in recent years the Church has gone to great lengths to punish and remove priestly predators and to protect children. The result of these measures is that “six credible cases of clerical sexual abuse in 2009 were reported in the U.S. bishops’ annual audit, in a Church of some 65,000,000 members.”
Despite these facts, however, “the sexual abuse story in the global media is almost entirely a Catholic story, in which the Catholic Church is portrayed as the epicenter of the sexual abuse of the young.”
In 2004, shortly after the Shakeshaft study was released, Catholic League President William Donohue, who was unavailable for an interview for this story, asked, “Where is the media in all this?”
“Isn’t it news that the number of public school students who have been abused by a school employee is more than 100 times greater than the number of minors who have been abused by priests?” he asked.
“All those reporters, columnists, talking heads, attorneys general, D.A.‘s, psychologists and victims groups who were so quick on the draw to get priests have a moral obligation to pursue this issue to the max. If they don’t, they’re a fraud.”
Because teacher’s unions transfer teachers who molest children around the districts means one should reject education.
Because teacher’s unions transfer teachers who molest children around the districts means education doesn’t exist.
In other words, would Columbia University have to stop teaching about education because the N.E.A. shuffles around rapists and child predators? The argument is a non-sequitur designed merely to stir up feelings of animosity and then direct them towards an entirely different subject. There tends to be a blurring of subject/object distinction on the professional left. Here is a short list of what I alluded to above:
Two Buddhist monks and eight other men were arrested on Wednesday, accused of sexually abusing 11 children orphaned by the island’s 19-year civil war, an official said.
Investigations revealed that the children, aged between nine and 13, had been sexually abused over a period of time at an orphanage where the men worked, said Prof. Harendra de Silva, head of the National Child Protection Authority….
Mr. Tripp was arrested for sexually abusing a former 15-year-old foster care child.
The investigation started when the Oregon Department of Human Services was contacted by a school counselor who learned that there may be sexual abuse involving a student and Mr. Tripp. DHS workers then contacted Sheriff’s Detectives who took over the investigation.
Detectives learned that Mr. Tripp has been a foster parent since 1995 and has had at least 90 children placed in his home during that time. Sheriff’s Detectives are concerned that there may be more victims who have not yet reported sexual contact involving Mr. Tripp….
3) A therapist who worked at Booker T. Washington Middle School in Baltimore was arrested in Catonsville and charged with molesting a 13-year-old boy, Baltimore County police said yesterday.
Robert J. Stoever, 54, of the 1500 block of Park Ave. was arrested Sunday night after a county police officer saw him and the boy in a car in a parking lot at Edmondson Avenue and Academy Road, said Cpl. Michael Hill, a police spokesman.
Stoever was charged with a second-degree sex offense and perverted practice, according to court documents. He was sent to the Baltimore County Detention Center, Hill said….
4) A Bronx dentist was arrested yesterday on charges that he twice raped a 16-year-old patient whom he had placed under anesthesia during an office visit on Thursday, police said.
The girl, a patient of the dentist for several years, was hired for a summer job as his receptionist on Thursday, and had an appointment with him for treatment that afternoon, said Lieut. Hazel Stewart, commander of the Bronx Special Victims Squad.
“She went in and she changed into a little uniform that he gave to her, and he gave her some files to work on,” the lieutenant said. “Then he said that it was time to take a look at her teeth.”
At that point, Lieutenant Stewart said, “he used some type of anesthesia on her and he allegedly raped her.”
The young woman told officers that she was never fully anesthetized, Lieutenant Stewart said, but that “the effects of the anesthesia were strong enough to render her helpless to such a degree that he was able to rape her again.”
These folks that commit these crimes are atheists, Christians, Buddhists (which are epistemologically speaking, atheists), and every other ideology and from every stripe of life and culture in the world.
Thus, the argument is as strong as this:
There have been many cases of dentists molesting and raping children, therefore, dentists cannot take moral positions on secular society.
The conclusion just doesn’t follow the premise.
There have been many cases of priests molesting and raping children, therefore, the Pope (insert Catholic here) cannot take moral positions on secular society.
In the case of religious comparisons, you would have to isolate the founders and their lives in order to properly judge a belief, not the followers. I would engender the reader to consider well this quote by Robert Hume:
The nine founders among the eleven living religions in the world had characters which attracted many devoted followers during their own lifetime, and still larger numbers during the centuries of subsequent history. They were humble in certain respects, yet they were also confident of a great religious mission. Two of the nine, Mahavira and Buddha, were men so strong-minded and self-reliant that, according to the records, they displayed no need of any divine help, though they both taught the inexorable cosmic law of Karma. They are not reported as having possessed any consciousness of a supreme personal deity. Yet they have been strangely deified by their followers. Indeed, they themselves have been worshipped, even with multitudinous idols.
All of the nine founders of religion, with the exception of Jesus Christ, are reported in their respective sacred scriptures as having passed through a preliminary period of uncertainty, or of searching for religious light. Confucius, late in life, confessed his own sense of shortcomings and his desire for further improvement in knowledge and character. All the founders of the non-Christian religions evinced inconsistencies in their personal character; some of them altered their practical policies under change of circumstances.
Jesus Christ alone is reported as having had a consistent God-consciousness, a consistent character himself, and a consistent program for his religion. The most remarkable and valuable aspect of the personality of Jesus Christ is the comprehensiveness and universal availability of his character, as well as its own loftiness, consistency, and sinlessness.
The World’s Living Religions (New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1959), 285-286.
All this is to show that Dyer’s article starts with a shallow logic that is more a straw-man than a real critique of anything the Pope said. As much as I disagree with the office and structure of the Catholic church, this line of attack is asinine to say the least. I recommend to those who seriously wish to know why this rash of molestations has taken place should read the book by Michael S. Rose, Goodbye Good Men: How Liberals Brought Corruption Into the Catholic Church.
A Post on Buddhist Molestations
Deeper Thinking Here at RPT
Then… if reality is ultimately characterless and distinctionless, then the distinction between being enlightened and unenlightened is ultimately an illusion and reality is ultimately unreal. Whom is doing the leading? Leading to what? These still are distinctions being made, that is: “between knowing you are enlightened and not knowing you are enlightened.” In the Diamond Sutra, ultimately, the Bodhisattva loves no one, since no one exists and the Bodhisattva knows this:
“All beings must I lead to Nirvana, into the Realm of Nirvana which leaves nothing behind; and yet, after beings have been led to Nirvana, no being at all has been led to Nirvana. And why? If in a Bodhisattva the notion of a “being” should take place, he could not be called a “Bodhi-being.” And likewise if the notion of a soul, or a person should take place in him.
So even the act of loving others, therefore, is inconsistent with what is taught in the Buddhistic worldview, because there is “no one to love.” This is shown quite well (this self-refuting aspect of Buddhism) in the book, The Lotus and the Cross: Jesus Talks with Buddha. A book I recommend with love, from a worldview that can use the word love well. One writer puts it thusly: “When human existence is blown out, nothing real disappears because life itself is an illusion. Nirvana is neither a re-absorption into an eternal Ultimate Reality, nor the annihilation of a self, because there is no self to annihilate. It is rather an annihilation of the illusion of an existing self. Nirvana is a state of supreme bliss and freedom without any subject left to experience it.”
(This is a h/t to Freepers) The Chicago Tribune has this story about Monks disappearing when needed in court. Buddhist Temples say, “not our responsibility”:
Buddhist monks walk away from sex-abuse cases
Across the U.S., temples frustrate investigators by insisting they have no control over monks’ actions, whereabouts
The meeting took place at Wat Dhammaram, a cavernous Theravada Buddhist temple on the southwest edge of Chicago. A tearful 12-year-old told three monks how another monk had turned off the lights during a tutoring session, lifted her shirt and kissed and fondled her breasts while pressing against her, according to a lawsuit.
Shortly after that meeting, one of the monks sent a letter to the girl’s family, saying the temple’s monastic community had resolved the matter, the lawsuit says.
The “wrong doer had accepted what he had done,” wrote P. Boonshoo Sriburin, and within days would “leave the temple permanently” by flying back to Thailand.
“We have done our best to restore the order,” the letter said.
But 11 years later, the monk, Camnong Boa-Ubol, serves at a temple in California, where he says he interacts with children even as he faces a second claim, supported by DNA, that he impregnated a girl in the Chicago area.
Sriburin acknowledges that restoring order did not involve stopping Boa-Ubol from making the move to California. And it did not involve issuing a warning to the temple there. Wat Dhammaram didn’t even tell its own board of directors what happened with the monk, he said.
“We have no authority to do anything. … He has his own choice to live anywhere,” Sriburin said.
A Tribune review of sexual abuse cases involving several Theravada Buddhist temples found minimal accountability and lax oversight of monks accused of preying on vulnerable targets.
Because they answer to no outside ecclesiastical authority, the temples respond to allegations as they see fit. And because the monks are viewed as free agents, temples claim to have no way of controlling what they do next. Those found guilty of wrongdoing can pack a bag and move to another temple — much to the dismay of victims, law enforcement and other monks.
A woman who alleges she was sexually assaulted by a monk at a Theravada Buddhist temple in Chicago holds her 11-year-old daughter, who was conceived, according to her mother, during the assaults. (Stacey Wescott, Chicago Tribune / July 24, 2011)
Question from Son’s Friend
A friend of my oldest son contacted me about questions his brother is shooting his way. One dealt with this topic and a specific article (of which I will give only the headline):
Here is my response after my son’s friend asked for some help:
I do have a few responses.
To that story specifically, there is a specific response, as well as a broader issue at hand. First the specifics (and I encourage you as well to read and understand the main point as well…)
➤ [I linked to this post]
SIDE ISSUES FIRSTLY, people do not realize that many of these cases took place decades ago… and some of these memories are gotten from hypnotism or bad interviewing by psychologists… or even by people who want money. There is a really good book on this called “Confabulations: Creating False Memories, Destroying Families.” Another book is called, “My Lie: A True Story of False Memory.” So how the memory is obtained from a childhood experience is important. This issue is partly to blame for some of the Satanic craze of a couple decades ago.
SECONDLY, in the late 60s and 70s till even currently, there has been a push to normalize homosexuality. I will use the Boy Scouts as an example. As the push [which has succeeded as of late] to allow gay men as Scout leaders… the obvious inference is that you will get more abuse. Men, in general, have a high sex drive/imagination. Marriage to a good woman will most times subdue this urge to have variety. Subdue it is a polite term… I as a man constantly fight my nature through a worldview to please my natural desires. We, as men, primarily fight two big issues in our life… our violent nature and our lustful nature. Gay-men do not have this leveling affect in their relationships.
THIRDLY,and this segways into the main issue… these men who are attracted to boys or young people, typically look for jobs that they are in a control, or has moment of privacy and authority over their intended victims. Whether this be the Priesthood, a youth pastor, a Boy Scout leader, a dentist, a school counselor, a teacher, and the like.
THAT BEING SAID, of course not all these experiences are false. This has nothing to do with whether God exists or not. OR, whether the Catholic Church is the correct institution in its expression of Christian truth. (I happen to think that just like in my church, there are saved and there are unsaved persons… just like in the Catholic church.)
HOWEVER, if you say, “I doubt God’s existence because of this…” you would have to be consistent and apply this to other areas of your experience. For instance, the National Education Association and other local teacher unions often do the same. They cannot fire people because of the union contracts (or it is damn near impossible to and cost lots of $$$$$ to fire a tenured teacher). They cover-up their crimes and move the teacher from district to district. I make this point in my link, but to be clear… I still believe in the importance of education despite this. LIKE I still believe in the importance of God despite actions of people.
Another issue related to this is that without the Judeo-Christian worldview/ethic, one cannot say absolutely that such abuse is morally wrong. One need only look as far as atheists for this idea to be fleshed out: Hear Atheists Themselves on Evil and Absolutes
Hope this helps.
PS: Always related to this topics are these issues… the first link is a response to an author in a small local paper:
It’s become a running gag, but damn, you guys. There really is a Trump tweet for everything.
In the wake of the bombshell exposé in the New Yorker about New York AG Eric Schneiderman’s alleged violent physical abuse of multiple women, this 4 1/2-year-old tweet from Donald Trump takes on new significance:
Tuesday I wrote about actress Reese Witherspoon who told a “Women in Hollywood” event held in Beverly Hills that she had been sexually assaulted several times in her career, starting at age sixteen. Actress Jessica Chastain was at the same event and she offered her own take on the scandal, suggesting that Hollywood was full of complete and utter hypocrites. From the Hollywood Reporter:
“This is an industry rife with racism, sexism and homophobia,” she said, speaking to a room full of women including Laura Dern, Riley Keough and Aaron Sorkin. “It is so closely woven into the fabric of the business that we have become snowblind to the glaring injustices happening every day.”
She continued, “Oh we’re very quick to point the finger at others and address the issue with social action and fundraising. Yet there is a clear disconnect between how we practice what we preach in our industry.”…
…“We rally against the presidential candidate who slants a narrative of his sexual assault as mere locker room talk, but at the same time we ignore the stories and warnings of sexual predators in our offices.”
A chap in a Facebook group posted a few points in a post, of which I took this point up to respond to.
…My moral values have a simple root…if an action causes harm to another person, that act is immoral. If my inaction causes harm to another person, that inaction is immoral…
I first posted this as a response:
You would have to define and then implement this definition in a way that non-theistic governments would accept (like the many Eastern-block countries of our past for example). Some countries would view the disabled and farmers as harming society, and thus view the moral rout for said society as a whole to rid themselves of these persons/groups. They would say to NOT do so causes harm.
BUT, I didn’t have to really do any heavy lifting… this person did it for me. After reading through the discussion, the same person said this:
…Morality actually derives from human self interest in preserving the group they needed to be part of to survive in a hostile world. It had to be a feature in the lives of the earliest human ancestor species…
To which I replied:
Oh, this comment refutes you OP [original post]. “Morality actually derives from human self interest in preserving the group they needed to be part of to survive in a hostile world.”
So another group’s morality to survive in a hostile world (say, Pol-Pot, Stalin, Hitler, Caesars, etc) are just as “moral” then. Unless you are saying that there is a universal code you are tapping into to compare/contrast, and put on a higher plane? Not only that, but you would need to argue that another person would have to have that same ability…. At least if you are expecting your OP to carry any weight.
Otherwise you are merely here expressing your preference (emoting), like my children telling me they prefer chocolate ice cream over vanilla.
Not only that, but the majority group, whether in a country or in the world, would decide this ethos (what it “means” to survive). And thus, to speak out against this consensus (whether is science or in morality) would be immoral.
A couple examples of this ethos at work:
“Everything I have said and done in these last years is relativism by intuition…. If relativism signifies contempt for fixed categories and men who claim to be bearers of an objective, immortal truth… then there is nothing more relativistic than fascistic attitudes and activity…. From the fact that all ideologies are of equal value, that all ideologies are mere fictions, the modern relativist infers that everybody has the right to create for himself his own ideology and to attempt to enforce it with all the energy of which he is capable.”
Mussolini, Diuturna (1924) pp. 374-77, quoted in A Refutation of Moral Relativism: Interviews with an Absolutist (Ignatius Press; 1999), by Peter Kreeft, p. 18.
“The stronger must dominate and not mate with the weaker, which would signify the sacrifice of its own higher nature. Only the born weakling can look upon this principle as cruel, and if he does so it is merely because he is of a feebler nature and narrower mind; for if such a law [natural selection] did not direct the process of evolution then the higher development of organic life would not be conceivable at all…. If Nature does not wish that weaker individuals should mate with the stronger, she wishes even less that a superior race should intermingle with an inferior one; because in such a case all her efforts, throughout hundreds of thousands of years, to establish an evolutionary higher stage of being, may thus be rendered futile.”
Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, translator/annotator, James Murphy (New York: Hurst and Blackett, 1942), pp. 161-162; found in: Norman L. Geisler & Peter Bocchino, Unshakeable Foundations: Contemporary Answers to Crucial Questions About the Christian Faith (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2001), 206.
“What’s to prevent us from saying Hitler wasn’t right? I mean, that is a genuinely difficult question.” — Richard Dawkins
Stated during an interview with Larry Taunton, “Richard Dawkins: The Atheist Evangelist,” by Faith Magazine, Issue Number 18, December 2007.
Atheist Daniel Dennett, for example, asserts that consciousness is an illusion. (One wonders if Dennett was conscious when he said that!) His claim is not only superstitious, it’s logically indefensible. In order to detect an illusion, you’d have to be able to see what’s real. Just like you need to wake up to know that a dream is only a dream, Daniel Dennett would need to wake up with some kind of superconsciousness to know that the ordinary consciousness the rest of us mortals have is just an illusion. In other words, he’d have to be someone like God in order to know that.
Dennett’s assertion that consciousness is an illusion is not the result of an unbiased evaluation of the evidence. Indeed, there is no such thing as “unbiased evaluation” in a materialist world because the laws of physics determine everything anyone thinks, including everything Dennett thinks. Dennett is just assuming the ideology of materialism is true and applying its implications to consciousness. In doing so, he makes the same mistake we’ve seen so many other atheists make. He is exempting himself from his own theory. Dennett says consciousness is an illusion, but he treats his own consciousness as not an illusion. He certainly doesn’t think the ideas in his book are an illusion. He acts like he’s really telling the truth about reality.
When atheists have to call common sense “an illusion” and make self-defeating assertions to defend atheism, then no one should call the atheistic worldview “reasonable.” Superstitious is much more accurate.
Frank Turek, Stealing from God (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2014), 46-47.
….Darwin thought that, had the circumstances for reproductive fitness been different, then the deliverances of conscience might have been radically different. “If . . . men were reared under precisely the same conditions as hive-bees, there can hardly be a doubt that our unmarried females would, like the worker-bees, think it a sacred duty to kill their brothers, and mothers would strive to kill their fertile daughters, and no one would think of interfering” (Darwin, Descent, 82). As it happens, we weren’t “reared” after the manner of hive bees, and so we have widespread and strong beliefs about the sanctity of human life and its implications for how we should treat our siblings and our offspring.
But this strongly suggests that we would have had whatever beliefs were ultimately fitness producing given the circumstances of survival. Given the background belief of naturalism, there appears to be no plausible Darwinian reason for thinking that the fitness-producing predispositions that set the parameters for moral reflection have anything whatsoever to do with the truth of the resulting moral beliefs. One might be able to make a case for thinking that having true beliefs about, say, the predatory behaviors of tigers would, when combined with the understandable desire not to be eaten, be fitness producing. But the account would be far from straightforward in the case of moral beliefs.” And so the Darwinian explanation undercuts whatever reason the naturalist might have had for thinking that any of our moral beliefs is true. The result is moral skepticism.
If our pretheoretical moral convictions are largely the product of natural selection, as Darwin’s theory implies, then the moral theories we find plausible are an indirect result of that same evolutionary process. How, after all, do we come to settle upon a proposed moral theory and its principles as being true? What methodology is available to us?
Paul Copan and William Lane Craig, eds., Contending With Christianity’s Critics: Answering the New Atheists & Other Objections (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing, 2009), 70.
Dawkins spells out the contradiction: “As an academic scientist, I am a passionate Darwinian, believing that natural selection is, if not the only driving force in evolution, certainly the only known force capable of producing the illusion of purpose which so strikes all who contemplate nature. But at the same time as I support Darwinism as a scientist, I am a passionate anti-Darwinian when it comes to politics and how we should conduct our human affairs.” A Devils Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2003), 10-11.
In another place, he admits to the logic of his own determinism (that people cannot be held responsible for their actions), but emotionally he cannot accept this. See the Dawkins interview by Logan Gage, “Who Wrote Richard Dawkins’s New Book?,”Evolution News (website), October 28, 2006:
Manzari: Dr. Dawkins thank you for your comments. The thing I have appreciated most about your comments is your consistency in the things I’ve seen you’ve written. One of the areas that I wanted to ask you about, and the place where I think there is an inconsistency, and I hoped you would clarify, is that in what I’ve read you seem to take a position of a strong determinist who says that what we see around us is the product of physical laws playing themselves out; but on the other hand it would seem that you would do things like taking credit for writing this book and things like that. But it would seem, and this isn’t to be funny, that the consistent position would be that necessarily the authoring of this book, from the initial conditions of the big bang, it was set that this would be the product of what we see today. I would take it that that would be the consistent position but I wanted to know what you thought about that.
Dawkins: The philosophical question of determinism is a very difficult question. It’s not one I discuss in this book, indeed in any other book that I’ve ever talked about. Now an extreme determinist, as the questioner says, might say that everything we do, everything we think, everything that we write has been determined from the beginning of time in which case the very idea of taking credit for anything doesn’t seem to make any sense. Now I don’t actually know what I actually think about that, I haven’t taken up a position about that, it’s not part of my remit to talk about the philosophical issue of determinism. What I do know is that what it feels like to me, and I think to all of us, we don’t feel determined. We feel like blaming people for what they do or giving people the credit for what they do. We feel like admiring people for what they do. None of us ever actually as a matter of fact says, “Oh well he couldn’t help doing it, he was determined by his molecules.” Maybe we should… I sometimes… Um… You probably remember many of you would have seen Fawlty Towers. The episode where Basil where his car won’t start and he gives it fair warning, counts up to three, and then gets out of the car and picks up a tree branch and thrashes it within an edge of his life. Maybe that’s what we all ought to… Maybe the way we laugh at Basil Fawlty, we ought to laugh in the same way at people who blame humans. I mean when we punish people for doing the most horrible murders, maybe the attitude we should take is “Oh they were just determined by their molecules.” It’s stupid to punish them. What we should do is say “This unit has a faulty motherboard which needs to be replaced.” I can’t bring myself to do that. I actually do respond in an emotional way and I blame people, I give people credit, or I might be more charitable and say this individual who has committed murders or child abuse of whatever it is was really abused in his own childhood. And so again I might take a…
Manzari: But do you personally see that as an inconsistency in your views?
Dawkins: I sort of do. Yes. But it is an inconsistency that we sort of have to live with otherwise life would be intolerable. But it has nothing to do with my views on religion it is an entirely separate issue.
Manzari: Thank you.
2 Peter 1:5-8:
“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
In other words, there is no absolute moral ethic, Dawkins wants to have a consensus of people agreeing what is “right” and “wrong” — he says as much in the audio above. Which means that rape and murder are only taboo… not really wrong.
Secondly, there can be no concept of “ought”
What about human actions? They are of no more value or significance than the actions of any other material thing. Consider rocks rolling down a hill and coming to rest at the bottom. We don’t say that some particular arrangement of the rocks is right and another is wrong. Rocks don’t have a duty to roll in a particular way and land in a particular place. Their movement is just the product of the laws of physics. We don’t say that rocks “ought” to land in a certain pattern and that if they don’t then something needs to be done about it. We don’t strive for a better arrangement or motion of the rocks. In just the same way, there is no standard by which human actions can be judged. We are just another form of matter in motion, like the rocks rolling down the hill.
We tend to think that somewhere “out there” there are standards of behaviour that men ought to follow. But according to Dawkins there is only the “natural, physical world”. Nothing but particles and forces. These things cannot give rise to standards that men have a duty to follow. In fact they cannot even account for the concept of “ought”. There exist only particles of matter obeying the laws of physics. There is no sense in which anything ought to be like this or ought to be like that. There just is whatever there is, and there just happens whatever happens in accordance with the laws of physics.
Men’s actions are therefore merely the result of the laws of physics that govern the behaviour of the particles that make up the chemicals in the cells and fluids of their bodies and thus control how they behave. It is meaningless to say that the result of those physical reactions ought to be this or ought to be that. It is whatever it is. It is meaningless to say that people ought to act in a certain way. It is meaningless to say (to take a contemporary example) that the United States and its allies ought not to have invaded Iraq. The decision to invade was just the outworking of the laws of physics in the bodies of the people who governed those nations. And there is no sense in which the results of that invasion can be judged as good or bad because there are no standards to judge anything by. There are only particles reacting together; no standards, no morals, nothing but matter in motion.
Dawkins finds it very hard to be consistent to this system of belief. He thinks and acts as if there were somewhere, somehow standards that people ought to follow. For example in The God Delusion, referring particularly to the Christian doctrine of atonement, he says that there are “teachings in the New Testament that no good person should support”.(6) And he claims that religion favours an in-group/out-group approach to morality that makes it “a significant force for evil in the world”.(7)
According to Dawkins, then, there are such things as good and evil. We all know what good and evil mean. We know that if no good person should support the doctrine of atonement then we ought not to support that doctrine. We know that if religion is a force for evil then we are better off without religion and that, indeed, we ought to oppose religion. The concepts of good and evil are innate in us. The problem for Dawkins is that good and evil make no sense in his worldview. “There is nothing beyond the natural, physical world.” There are no standards out there that we ought to follow. There is only matter in motion reacting according to the laws of physics. Man is not of a different character to any other material thing. Men’s actions are not of a different type or level to that of rocks rolling down a hill. Rocks are not subject to laws that require them to do good and not evil; nor are men. Every time you hear Dawkins talking about good and evil as if the words actually meant something, it should strike you loud and clear as if he had announced to the world, “I am contradicting myself”.
Please note that I am not saying that Richard Dawkins doesn’t believe in good and evil. On the contrary, my point is that he does believe in them but that his worldview renders such standards meaningless.
Dennis Prager reads from a 2014 article by the Gatestone Institute entitled, “Sweden: Rape Capital of the West,” by Ingrid Carlqvist and Lars Hedegaard (http://tinyurl.com/hkkg43r). Near the end of the audio Pragers asks who has skewed the numbers… that’s easy. The Swedish government and court system. (Some examples after the audio.) The other mention of the German politician misreporting her own rape can be found here:
This month, all major Swedish media reported on a brutal gang rape on board the Finnish Ferry Amorella, running between Stockholm and Åbo in Finland. Big headlines told the readers that the perpetrators were Swedish:
✦ “Several Swedish Men Suspected of Rape on the Finland Ferry” (Dagens Nyheter). ✦ “Six Swedish Men Raped Woman in Cabin” (Aftonbladet). ✦ “Six Swedes Arrested for Rape on Ferry” (Expressen). ✦ “Eight Swedes Suspected of Rape on Ferry” (TT – the Swedish News Agency).
On closer inspection, it turned out that seven of the eight suspects were Somalis and one was Iraqi. None of them had Swedish citizenship, so they were not even Swedish in that sense. According to witnesses, the group of men had been scouring the ferry looking for sex. The police released four of them (but they are still suspects) whereas four (all Somalis) remain in custody….
Swedish police will no longer be able to give descriptions of alleged criminals for fear of being seen as racist. According to an internal letter, police in capital city Stockholm are instructed to refrain from describing suspects’ race and nationality, according to news website Speisa. Local newspaper Svenska Dagbadet reported it had seen the letter, which it said outlined how officers should now notify the public of crimes.
The letter specifies that, for everyday crimes such as burglary, basic information such as ethnicity, nationality, skin colour and height should not be given.
…The Swedish government is no longer collecting sensitive statistics from nationality and crime in the governments deliberate intent of social engineering….
…Interestingly, between 1995-2006, the Swedish government tracked gang rapes, identifying a drastically increasing trend. Unbelievably, after discovering the problem, it then adopted an ostrich-like “head in the sand” approach, terminating any further studies on them . Apparently the government’s fear of being labeled Islamophobic proved greater than its concerns about warning Swedish women about the threat. While no studies on gang rape have been conducted since 2006, one can assume these numbers have continued to rise…
Police rushed to the scene after they were tipped off by someone watching the live stream in horror. An online witness said the victim had her clothes pulled off by armed men and was sexually assaulted before cops arrived and turned off the camera.
The two men, aged 18 and 20, who are both from Afghanistan, were arrested in the city. The [suspects], who cannot be legally identified under Swedish law, have not been charged.
In Sweden a person suspected of a serious crime can be detained without being charged with the approval of a court. But this is only if there is a risk they will flee the country.
The men deny the accusations.
You’d think it a simple case. Somebody recorded evidence of their own crime, so the job’s already been done for the police. Easy peasy. Still, one can’t help but see this ending sans justice. After all, Sweden is notoriously sucky at pressing charges when it comes to rapists… Or migrants. Pick one. The two are practically interchangeable by now (see SWEDEN: Muslim Refugees Gang Rape Two Girls. No Punishment…).
Before I post this… I just want to say how “Utopian” this ad was in reflecting how Democrats typically view the act of crossing our border. Everyone was so nice and cordial in this piece of propaganda, but there is a darker side to this. A side that — go figure — reflects reality:
According to a stunning Fusion investigation, 80 percent of women and girls crossing into the U.S. by way of Mexico are raped during their journey. That’s up from a previous estimate of 60 percent, according to an Amnesty International report… (Some Trump Sized Myths)
What these visions of everything pleasant does is it harms the female migrant… because they continue to make the trip. By building a reliable border they will not make the travel that gets the majority of them brutalized. Second, many of these crimes against women are committed by those that are crossing the border as well. By building a reliable border we will be protecting our female citizens and residents of all ethnic backgrounds from these criminals.
By painting this rosy picture that the Left falls for, nothing can get done to stop the brutality against women due to our porous border.
Where are the pink vagina hats? John and Ken ask that question as sex offenders and other violent criminals — who happened to plead their case down to unburden the financial cost of prosecuting violent drug and sex related crimes — are going to be released into the California population via Prop 57… coupled with the earlier Prop 47, which has led to law-enforcement death — will harm Californians (via my post election commentary):
(PROP 47 OUTCOME EXAMPLE) This is a horrible, horrible proposition for the voters of California to pass. In reality, the policies that catch and release person’s onto our streets led directly to the deaths of Placer County Deputy Michael David Davis Jr. and Sacramento County Deputy Danny Oliver – died at the hands of President Barack Obama and California Governor Jerry Brown. And a local Sheriff was shot and killed due to Gov. Brown’s first realignment bill 47, which this double downs on:
Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris was interviewed by Los Angeles radio station KNX-AM before a memorial service for his friend, Sgt. Steven Owen, who was shot while answering a burglary call on Oct. 5. Trenton Trevon Lovell, on parole for an armed robbery conviction, has been charged with murder.
Brown signed the realignment bill in 2011 in response to federal judges’ orders to thin overcrowded state prisons. It was aimed at reducing the number of lower-level offenders and parole violators who cycled through state prisons by instead having county officials handle their punishment.
Westrup noted Lovell’s armed robbery conviction in 2009 came before Brown signed the bill, which stipulated no inmates currently in state prison would be released early, and all felons convicted of serious or violent offenses would continue going to state prison.
Lovell has been on parole since 2014, when he was freed from prison after serving roughly five years of a six-year sentence for robbing a university community safety officer at gunpoint.
Prior to realignment, Lovell could have gone back to prison as a parole violator after pleading no contest to driving under the influence earlier this year. Instead he served 13 days in jail and was placed on three years’ probation….
John and Ken in their humorous way look at the hypocrisy of the women at the Washington march who are worried about Trump’s vulgarity but were waaay more vulgar — either on stage or cheering for what was going on on stage. They note as well, sarcastically of course, all the marches against the rapist known as Bill Clinton. Who also stuck cigars in girls butts in the White House. Yeah, trump is the issue. John and Ken note as well the reversal of TPP which many union leaders just praised:
Excerpts from Mark Belling Show, Jan. 9, 2016. SPOILER NOTICE: To avoid spoiling the fun for others, if you share this, please don’t summarize the exact nature of the projects. Let others try to guess at it, or at least fathom it, as Mark gives his detailed description of this almost unbelievable liberal idiocy.
Former President Bill Clinton took a romantic jaunt in 2002 to convicted pedophile pal Jeffrey Epstein’s “orgy island” with “two young girls” from New York, according to a shocking new interview.
Virginia Roberts, who’s accused Epstein of turning her into a “sex slave” at age 17 and forcing her to sleep with his powerful friends, claimed Clinton stayed in one of the many villas on Epstein’s US Virgin Islands estate — where group sex was a “regular occurrence.”
“I remember asking Jeffrey, ‘What’s Bill Clinton doing here?’ kind of thing, and he laughed it off and said, ‘Well, he owes me a favor,’ ” Roberts told her lawyers in a 2011 interview obtained by RadarOnline.com. “He never told me what favors they were.”
Bubba was accompanied by two of Epstein’s regular girlfriends and “two young girls that I could identify,” Roberts claimed.
“I never really knew them well anyways. It was just two girls from New York,” she said.
…The Palm Beach, Florida police and the FBI both investigated charges that Epstein consorted with underage girls used for prostitution.
Court documents show that police found a ‘clear indication that Epstein’s staff was frequently working to schedule multiple young girls between the ages of 12 and 16 years old literally every day, often two or three times per day.’
One victim said under oath that Epstein molested her at least 50 times, beginning when she was 13…
We know Bill Clinton ditched the Secret Service multiple times on these 26 flights on “Lolita Express”… and we know there is legal action against Bill [and Trump] for allegedly having sex with [essentially rapping] underage girls (13-years old being the youngest).
~ However, there may be video of Bill’s assault, according to Anonymous ~
(I stress MAY be)
A friend sent an “Anonymous” announcement to me — keep in mind that Anonymous is not a reliable source of information, they are very revolutionary in regards to promoting Marxists like Noam Chomsky and are anti-Semitic to boot (in other words, propaganda is in their nature) — HOWEVER, with what we know about Bill… this is very plausible. I know all this sounds incredible.
Ravi Zacharias intimates well the depths of man’s depravity.
But Bill and Trump to me are Pagans [secular] acting out their Pagan [secular] natures, and we also know from history that much worse is possible.
To be fair, it looks like “The Donald” was also involved in this sorted affair of closeness to Epstein and his “sex slave island.” Which does not surprise me one bit. Ann Coulter was right to say that this story is bigger than Bill Clinton!
“I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy,” Trump told New York Magazine back in 2002. “He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”
The next few weeks should flesh out the truth or falsity of this matter. If I had my own way, I would want both Presidential choices (Hillary and Donald) to step aside and let the running mates run as top of the ticket. But I am not in charge of much… my wife even controls my own life ;)
At any rate, as culture and the West becomes more secular… what we are seeing and hearing will become more of the norm.