Male/Female Differences (updated)

These Physiological and Chemical Differences are Real!

(NYTs) In a female mouse’s brain, a left-to-right pattern in the silencing of the X chromosome. These patterns may influence how individual brains function…. In some brains, for example, a mother’s X chromosome was seen dominating the left side, while the father’s dominated the right. Entire organs can be skewed toward one parent. Dr. Nathans and his colleagues found that in some mice, one eye was dominated by the father and the other by the mother. The diversity even extended to the entire mouse. In some animals, almost all the X chromosomes from one parent were shut; in others, the opposite was true…. Dr. Nathans speculates that using chromosomes from both parents is especially useful in the nervous system. It could create more ways to process information. “Diversity in the brain is the name of the game,” he said. ~ h/t UNCOMMON DESIGN

(Video Description) Are there physiological differences between the sexes that would naturally (or by design) cause one sex to excel in one aspect and not in another? In this short presentation, one lie of 12, you will see an exposing of how politically-correct feminists have undermined what otherwise is common sense.For more information on this topic as well as others, see “The 12 Biggest Lies.” (Used by permission and when embedded please connect to their website). They are also on Facebook: facebook.com/12biggestlies

Are there physiological differences between the sexes that would naturally (or by design) cause one sex to excel in one aspect and not in another? In this short presentation, one lie of 12, you will see an exposing of how politically-correct feminists have undermined what otherwise is common sense.

For more information on this topic as well as others, they are on FaceBook.

Neural Wiring

The participants were split into three age groups, aged eight to 13, 13 and four months to 16, and 17 to 22. The youngest group’s brains showed far less difference than those of the older two.


In one of the largest studies looking at the “connectomes” of the sexes, Ragini Verma, PhD, an associate professor in the department of Radiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues found greater neural connectivity from front to back and within one hemisphere in males, suggesting their brains are structured to facilitate connectivity between perception and coordinated action. In contrast, in females, the wiring goes between the left and right hemispheres, suggesting that they facilitate communication between the analytical and intuition.

“These maps show us a stark difference–and complementarity–in the architecture of the human brain that helps provide a potential neural basis as to why men excel at certain tasks, and women at others,” said Verma.

For instance, on average, men are more likely better at learning and performing a single task at hand, like cycling or navigating directions, whereas women have superior memory and social cognition skills, making them more equipped for multitasking and creating solutions that work for a group. They have a mentalistic approach, so to speak.

Past studies have shown sex differences in the brain, but the neural wiring connecting regions across the whole brain that have been tied to such cognitive skills has never been fully shown in a large population.

PENN STATE

Dennis Prager point out that “many in the university are not even intellectually open in the natural sciences if an idea may clash with Left-wing opinion.” He continues,

In a talk before fellow economists, the same Lawrence Summers, when he was president of Harvard University (he had been secretary of the Treasury under President Bill Clinton), addressed the issue of why there were so many fewer women than men in some areas of science, in math, and in engineering. He suggested that among other reasons, one might be that women’s brains are less suited to these subjects than men’s brains. More than one hundred Harvard professors signed a petition against President Summers, Left-wing alumni threatened not to give any more money to Harvard, and the vast majority of Harvard’s professors kept a cowardly silence while their colleagues sought to suppress completely respectable intellectual inquiry. Consequently, President Summers felt forced to apologize. In the year 2005, nearly four centuries after Galileo was forced by the then-dominant Catholic Church to recant observable scientific facts about our solar system, the president of Harvard University, an institution whose motto is Veritas (“Truth”), was forced by the now-dominant Left to recant observable facts about men and women.

Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph (New York, NY: Broadside Books, 2012), 102-103.

The ATLANTIC MONTHLY adds their thoughts on the matter:

Like religious fundamentalists seeking to stamp out the teaching of evolution, feminists stomped Harvard University President Lawrence Summers for mentioning at a January 14 academic conference the entirely reasonable theory that innate male-female differences might possibly help explain why so many mathematics, engineering, and hard-science faculties remain so heavily male.

Unlike most religious fundamentalists, these feminists were pursuing a careerist, self-serving agenda. This cause can put money in their pockets.

Summers’s suggestion—now ignominiously retracted, with groveling, Soviet-show-trial-style apologies—was that sex discrimination and the reluctance of mothers to work 80 hours a week are not the only possible explanations for gender imbalances in the math-science area. He noted that high school boys have many more of the highest math scores than girls, and suggested that this might reflect genetic differences. He also stressed the need for further research into all three possible explanations.

The foul brute may as well have rapped that women are “hos,” or declared that they should be kept barefoot and pregnant. The most remarkable feminist exercise in self-parody was that of MIT biology professor Nancy Hopkins, who famously told reporters that she “felt I was going to be sick,” that “my heart was pounding and my breath was shallow,” that “I just couldn’t breathe, because this kind of bias makes me physically ill,” and that she had to flee the room because otherwise “I would’ve either blacked out or thrown up.”

Such fatuous feminist fulminations have been good fun, as have the eviscerations of Hopkins as a latter-day “Victorian maiden exposed to male coarseness, [who] suffers the vapors and collapses on the drawing room carpet in a heap of crinolines,” in the words of George Will. (More on Hopkins below.) But most of the commentary has glossed over one important point:

For all its foolishness and irrationality, the feminist hysteria about Summers furthers the career agendas of feminists who seek thinly veiled job preferences or quotas for themselves and their friends. Such preferences are most easily justified as a remedy for male bias. And bias can more easily be blamed for gender imbalances if the possibility that more men than women are gifted with math-science brilliance is banished from public discourse.

This feminist-careerist agenda is conveniently ignored by the less hysterical critics of Summers, who make no claim that he said anything inaccurate but nonetheless reproach him for what a Los Angeles Times editorial portrayed as a gratuitous and insensitive ego trip. To the contrary, until his disgraceful capitulation to the power of political correctness, Summers was making a much-needed effort to break the self-serving feminist-careerist stranglehold on honest discussion of gender imbalances….

(ATLANTIC MONTHLY)

(Video Description) Oprah recently mentioned an incident that happened in Europe. It looks like — more and more — that this incident was fictitious… but nonetheless, it offers a great opportunity for discussion of the differences in the male/female brain. This is true whether you ascribe it to eons of evolution or creation ex-nihilo.

WebMD comments on the science involved:

Recent studies highlight a long-held suspicion about the brains of males and females. They’re not the same. So how does the brain of a female look and function differently from a male’s brain, and what accounts for these differences?

Disparities Start Early in Life

Scientists now know that sex hormones begin to exert their influence during development of the fetus. A recent study by Israeli researchers that examined male and female brains found distinct differences in the developing fetus at just 26 weeks of pregnancy. The disparities could be seen when using an ultrasound scanner. The corpus callosum — the bridge of nerve tissue that connects the right and left sides of the brain — had a thicker measurement in female fetuses than in male fetuses.

Observations of adult brains show that this area may remain stronger in females. “Females seem to have language functioning in both sides of the brain,” says Martha Bridge Denckla, PhD, a research scientist at Kennedy Krieger Institute.

Consider these recent findings. Researchers, using brain imaging technology that captures blood flow to “working” parts of the brain, analyzed how men and women process language. All subjects listened to a novel. When males listened, only the left hemisphere of their brains was activated. The brains of female subjects, however, showed activity on both the left and right hemispheres.

This activity across both hemispheres of the brain may result in the strong language skills typically displayed by females. “If there’s more area dedicated to a set of skills, it follows that the skills will be more refined,” says David Geary, PhD, professor of psychological sciences at the University of Missouri.

As a whole, girls outperform boys in the use of language and fine motor skills until puberty, notes Denckla. Boys also fall prey to learning disabilities more frequently than girls. “Clinics see a preponderance of boys with dyslexia,” Denckla tells WebMD. ADHD also strikes more boys than girls. The symptoms displayed by girls and boys with ADHD differ, too. Girls with ADHD usually exhibit inattention, while affected boys are prone to lack of impulse control. But not all differences favor girls.

Boys generally demonstrate superiority over female peers in areas of the brain involved in math and geometry. These areas of the brain mature about four years earlier in boys than in girls, according to a recent study that measured brain development in more than 500 children. Researchers concluded that when it comes to math, the brain of a 12-year-old girl resembles that of an 8-year-old boy. Conversely, the same researchers found that areas of the brain involved in language and fine motor skills (such as handwriting) mature about six years earlier in girls than in boys…

[….]

Geary suggests that women use language skills to their advantage. “Females use language more when they compete. They gossip, manipulate information,” he says. Geary suggests that this behavior, referred to as relational aggression, may have given females a survival advantage long ago. “If the ability to use language to organize relationships was of benefit during evolutionary history, and used more frequently by women, we would expect language differences to become exaggerated,” he tells WebMD. Women also use language to build relationships, theorizes Geary. “Women pause more, allow the other friend to speak more, offer facilitative gestures,” he says.

When it comes to performing activities that require spatial skills, like navigating directions, men generally do better. “Women use the cerebral cortex for solving problems that require navigational skills. Men use an entirely different area, mainly the left hippocampus — a nucleus deep inside the brain that’s not activated in the women’s brains during navigational tasks,” Geary tells WebMD. The hippocampus, he explains, automatically codes where you are in space. As a result, Geary says: “Women are more likely to rely on landmark cues: they might suggest you turn at the 7-11 and make a right at the church, whereas men are more likely to navigate via depth reckoning — go east, then west, etc.”….

(WEB-MD)

(Video Description) While on the show, Dennis Prager brings up a previous call to Adam Carolla where a college student, Erin, from Wellesley College called into Prager’s “Male-Female Hour.” She believes that our nature is totally by convention, that society brings out what we see in the male and female differences. After Adam Carolla gives his “patented” input, I then include the actual call. It is sad that all this money is flushed down the proverbial toilet in this girl’s life… but life tends to carry a big swat board. One hopes she reads books like: “The Myth of Male Power” or, “The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men.”

Another brain website comments:

The female and male brain is different and the two brains process information differently. The good news is that with some conscious effort communication can be enhanced between the brains and frustrations lowered.

In general, female brains tend to employ both sides of their brain to process information while male brains tend to rely primarily on their dominant or language side to process. As the dominant hemisphere tends to be analytic, problem solving, task oriented, detailed, and verbal this helps to explain male behavior. A female brain can also process in this manner, but the non-dominant hemisphere that can process emotion, meaning without words, empathy, tone, and disposition is also engaged by the female.

Perhaps this helps to explain why females enjoy shopping while most men view it as a chore, women vote differently than males, men and women struggle communicating with each other, and men do not understand psychotherapy. Men tend to be more isolative, less talkative, and focused on solution. Women tend to be more group oriented, more talkative, and focused on the means and not necessarily the ends. This gets played out in the U.S. at this time as women and men tend to view the same debate between candidates differently (men tend to focus on content and women both content and style)…

(FIT BRAINS)

Unanimity: `Media Leans Left,` Journalists from the NYT’s, NBC News, and CNN Agree

NewsBusters reports on unanimity of viewpoint that the unanimity of viewpoints are liberal:

“Top journalists from The New York Times, NBC News and CNN acknowledged Wednesday that, generally speaking, the national media has a liberal bias,” Politico’s media reporter Dylan Byers noted in a December 18 post recapping a Politico Playbook breakfast discussion held earlier on Wednesday morning.

More than one panelist opined that it’s not just that journalists tend to be liberal on policy questions but that they live and work in environments which are socially liberal. “I live in northwest Washington, none of my neighbors are evangelical Christians [and] I don’t know a lot of people in my kid’s preschool who are pro-life,” New York Times writer Mark Leibovich noted. Fellow Washington, D.C.-based journalist Jake Tapper picked up on that thread:

A certain type of person becomes a reporter, and generally speaking… the kind of person who is a reporter in Washington, D.C., or New York City has never worked a minimum-wage job outside of high-school… has never experienced poverty, is not an evangelical Christian, like much of the country is.

There are a lot of experiences that the kinds of people who are reporters, editors, producers, etc., in Washington, D.C., and New York City have not had.

…read more…

Marc Morano of Climate Depot Slices and Dices AGW Apologist

The gentleman Mr. Morano was responding to in the video below is the Director of the Sierra Club, Michael Brune. Brune made the point that receiving money from oil and gas was bad. Morano turned the tables not by arguing that oil and gas do not in fact give monies to these groups… instead he used the premise Brune put forward to his advantage:

Implied premise by Brune: “It is bad to receive money from oil/gas”;
Morano’s implied premise: “Okay, fine, if bad for ‘a,’ why not ‘b’.”

“….he’s [Brune] mentioning funding by the way which I think is funny. The Sierra Club took 26 million from natural gas and Michael has the audacity to try to imply that skeptics are fossil fuel funded.”

Oooops!

See Climate Depot

Here is the New York Times on the issue of the Sierra Club taking “dirty” money (see also Time Magazine’s revelation on the matter):

The recent disclosure of the Sierra Club’s secret acceptance of $26 million in donations from people associated with a natural gas company has revived an uncomfortable debate among environmental groups about corporate donations and transparency.

The gifts from the company, Chesapeake Energy, have drawn criticism from some environmentalists. “Sleeping with the enemy” was a comment much forwarded on Twitter posts about the undisclosed arrangement.

“Runners shouldn’t smoke, priests shouldn’t touch the kids, and environmentalists should never take money from polluters,” John Passacantando, a former director of Greenpeace who is now an environmental consultant, said in an interview.

Yet the donations to the Sierra Club, reported by Time magazine’s Ecocentric blog and a blog called Corporate Crime Reporter, have plenty of precedents. Between 2004 and 2006, the National Audubon Society accepted $2.1 million from the chemical giant Monsanto to find a strategy for ensuring the safety of waterfowl near industrial farms using pesticides, for example.

The Environmental Defense Fund was an early adopter of the partnership model, working two decades ago with McDonald’s to stop using polystyrene clamshells for packaging, thus eliminating tens of thousands of tons of waste. Later it teamed with Fedex to reduce the emissions of its truck fleet. But it accepts no donations from corporate partners, its leadership says.

…read more…

Two Steps Back, One Step Forward

(Via Common Sense Evaluation) Electric cars might pollute much more than petrol or diesel-powered cars, according to new research.

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology study found greenhouse gas emissions rose dramatically if coal was used to produce the electricity.

Electric car factories also emitted more toxic waste than conventional car factories, their report in the Journal of Industrial Ecology said.

“The production phase of electric vehicles proved substantially more environmentally intensive,” the report said, comparing it to how petrol and diesel cars are made.

“The global warming potential from electric vehicle production is about twice that of conventional vehicles.”…..

Here is a past encounter (January 2013) between Morano and Brune, Via Climate Depot:

 


 

PIERS MORGAN, HOST:

President Obama is making the fight against extreme weather part of his second term agenda. He believes that science proves it has a human cause. With me now is Marc Morano, editor in chief of ClimateDepot.com, and Michael Brune. He’s the executive director of the Sierra Club.

Welcome to you both. Michael — Marc, I’ll start with you. When I last spoke to you about this, we had a pretty fiery debate about it. And you were impeccably opposed to any suggestion that there’s any real science to confirm global warming or genuine climate change. So rather than me get involved with this, I’m going to rest my weary voice box and let Michael tell you why there is science.

Michael, over to you.

MICHAEL BRUNE, THE SIERRA CLUB:

Sure, well, actually I don’t want to waste any time on this. The science is settled. We noticed that last year we had record numbers of wildfires throughout the Mountain West, as you cited; 61 percent of the country suffered a crippling drought. We had Superstorm Sandy with 1,000-mile diameter storm hitting the east coast, flooded my parents house, caused billions of dollars worth of damage.

The reality is that extreme weather is here. Our climate has begun to be destabilized. The good news is that we can do something about it. We have solutions to the cause of climate change. And those solutions will both help keep our families safe and help our economy grow at the same time.

MORGAN:

OK. Marc, there you have it. What do you say to that?

MARC MORANO, CLIMATEDEPOT.COM:

I say you look at the peer reviewed literature. We now know a study in journal “Nature” show that there’s 60 years, no trend in droughts. In fact, there was a decline in droughts in the U.S., except the most recent one in 2012, which wasn’t even as big as the one in the 1950s or the 1930s.

In terms of flood, 80 to 117 [correction 127] years, there’s no trend in floods. Big tornadoes are down dramatically since the 1950s — F3 or larger. And hurricanes, eight years now — the longest period without a major land falling category 3 or larger hurricane. Eight years, the longest stetch since 1900. So if you start looking at these measures —

 

MORGAN:

Answer me this point. You wouldn’t dispute there’s been increased acceleration in CO2, right?

MORANO:

No, CO2 is rising. Global temperature has now stalled for 15 or 16 years. And that is — now James Hanson of NASA has admitted at least decade of no warming, or as he said flat lining temperatures. This is an embarrassment right now.

So the whole movement has shifted to extreme storms. That’s what they’re trying to focus on now. Evidence is everywhere when you look for extremes. But the bottom line is we have always had extreme weather. In the 1970s, the CIA report and “Newsweek” and all the people worried about a coming Ice Age blamed extreme weather, droughts and bad weather and crop failure on global cooling. Now they have reversed and they are blaming the same phenomenon on global warming. It’s very convenient.

Obama Gives Highest Civilian Medal To Eugenicist

“We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

Maragret Sanger (letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble, Dec. 19, 1939)

The below comes via The American Spectator


Feminist icon Gloria Steinem has received America’s highest honor. President Obama bestowed upon Steinem the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In so doing, he honored the work of not only Steinem but Margaret Sanger, liberalism’s iconic racial eugenicist. Celebrating her award at the National Press Club, Steinem said she hoped Obama’s action would be “honoring the work of Margaret Sanger.”

It indeed has done just that.

Margaret Sanger longed for a more enlightened time when birth control would be (as she put it) “part of the regular welfare service of the government.” In this, she was inspired by Stalin’s Soviet Union — literally. In 1934, she undertook a fact-finding pilgrimage to Moscow, where she, like many American progressives, believed the Bolshevik government might well have discovered the Brave New World. Many American progressives — public education father John Dewey among them — thought the Soviets were perhaps merely a few steps ahead of us. We needed to look there. We needed to go there.

Upon her return, Sanger reported her findings in the June 1935 edition of her organization’s flagship publication, Birth Control Review. In an article titled, “Birth Control in Russia,” Sanger noted, “Theoretically, there are no obstacles to birth control in Russia. It is accepted… on the grounds of health and human right.” She said of America: “[W]e could well take example from Russia, where there are no legal restrictions, no religious condemnation, and where birth control instruction is part of the regular welfare service of the government.”

Sanger could not have known it, but she was speaking of Barack Obama’s America, where birth control is being thrust upon us as a basic “human right” and form of “health care” with no obstacles in its way. In fact, it’s even easier than Sanger could have imagined: Not only do contemporary progressives want no obstacles, but Obama wants all Americans to forcibly pay for birth control. He is even forcing the religious to do so via his HHS mandate. He and his progressive cohorts are rolling right over any “legal restrictions” or “religious condemnation.” If you as a religious believer disagree, they will see you in court. You will be penalized and demonized.

Under Obama, we have arrived at Sanger’s new world, where birth control is a regular service of the federal government.

And thus, Gloria Steinem honoring Margaret Sanger with Obama’s Presidential Medal of Freedom is so perfectly fitting. It really is. In fact, if Obama thought about all this more deeply, perhaps he’d consider a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom for Margaret Sanger. She was way ahead of her time. A veritable progressive prophetess.

But there’s something even more significant and ironic at work here.

Margaret Sanger not only championed Bolshevik birth control services, she also championed racial eugenics. The Planned Parenthood matron wanted to advance what she called “racial health” and “race improvement” in America. She lamented America’s “race of degenerates.” This meant purging the landscape of its “human weeds” and “the dead weight of human waste.” This included the “feeble-minded,” the “imbeciles,” the “morons,” and the “idiots,” but it also included a “Negro Project” that Margaret had in mind for another group of Americans.

The Negro Project was close to Sanger’s heart, as shown by a remarkable December 10, 1939 letter she wrote to Dr. Clarence Gamble of Milton, Massachusetts. (The letter is today held in the Sanger archives at Smith College. I have a photocopy.) The Planned Parenthood foundress alerted the good doctor: “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.”

That eye-opening assertion has been disputed and defended by liberals. And, to be fair, what Sanger meant isn’t entirely clear, though I personally lean to a decidedly negative interpretation. But one group with no ambivalence about Sanger’s intentions with black Americans was the KKK.

Add the Klan to the list of those deeply grateful for Sanger’s work. They were so grateful that the boys in the white hoods invited the progressive heroine to one of their celebrations. They asked her to speak at one of their rallies. Sanger accepted. She addressed her brethren at a KKK rally in Silver Lake, New Jersey, in 1926.

What do Barack Obama and Gloria Steinem think of that? Like most leftists, either they’re totally ignorant of the fact or they look the other way as they extol the magnificence of Sanger’s other “achievements” that outweigh the more sinister ones in their ever-evolving progressive calculus.

Among Sanger’s other achievements is another bitter pill: Her Planned Parenthood is America’s largest abortion provider, and one of the greatest killers of black Americans. No other organization comes close. Planned Parenthood’s bloodletting of unborn black babies has been in the countless millions.

…read more…

The following quotes from Steinem and other “lauded” feminists in the university (“higher” learning) come from two sources and can be better referenced by them:

1) Suzanne Venker & Phyllis Schlafly, The Flipside of Feminism: What Conservative Women Know — and Men Can’t Say (Washington, D.C.: WND Books, 2011);

2) and my chapter in my book on feminism, Gnostic Feminism: Empowered to Fail.

Author and journalist Natalie Angier begins an article in the New York Times by writing, “Women may not find this surprising, but one of the most persistent and frustrating problems in evolutionary biology is the male. Specifically… why doesn’t he just go away?” (Natalie Angier, “The Male of the Species: Why Is He Needed?” New York Times, May 17, 1994)

In a CNN interview with Maureen Dowd about her 2005 book, Are Men Necessary? Dowd says, “Now that women don’t need men to reproduce and refinance, the ques­tion is, will we keep you around? And the answer is, ‘You know, we need you in the way we need ice cream—you’ll be more ornamental.” (“Are Men Necessary?” CNN.com, November 15, 2005, http:// www.cnn.com/2005/SHOWBIZ/books/11/15/dowd.men.necessary/ index.html)

Lisa Belkin, a blogger for the New York Times whose work is provocative but not overly biased, wrote, “We are standing at a moment in time when the role of gender is shifting seismically. At this moment an argument can be made for two separate narrative threads—the first is the retreat of men as this becomes a woman’s world.” (Lisa Belkin, “Are Men Necessary?” Motherlode: Adventures in Parenting blog, New York Times Magazine, June 30, 2010, http:// parenting.blogs. nytimes.com/2010/06/30/are-men-necessary/)

In an article in the Atlantic titled ‘Are Fathers Necessary?” author Pamela Paul wrote, “The bad news for Dad is that despite common perception, there’s nothing objectively essential about his contribution.” Pamela Paul, “Are Fathers Necessary?” Atlantic, July/August 2010, http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/07/arefathers-necessary/8136/)

For example, in the January 1988 National NOW Times, the newsletter for the organization, said:  “The simple fact is that every woman must be willing to be identified as a lesbian to be fully feminist.” (William D. Gairdner, The War Against the Family: A Parent Speaks Out on the Political, Economic, and Social Policies That Threaten Us All, 295.)

Well-known feminist author and co-founder/editor of Ms. magazine, Gloria Steinem, said the following about feminisms end game: “Overthrowing capitalism is too small for us. We must overthrow the whole #@*! patriarch!” Ibid., 300 [How can a civil rights movement be interested in capitalism?] (Ibid)

One sign of an over oppressive movement is illustrated in The Animal Farm, by George Orwell.  Napoleon, one of the main characters, concerns himself with the education of the young, and forcefully takes two litters of puppies away as soon as they’re weaned, saying he’ll educate them. In effect the “State” are the ones who are charged with educating and rearing them.  Now compare this to a statement made by feminist Mary Jo Bane, assistant professor of education at Wellesley College and associate director of the school’s Center for Research on Woman, and the lesson taught in Animal Farm:

  • “In order to raise children with equality, we must take them away from families and communally raise them.”

(Fr. Robert J. Carr, “No News For You!!” Catholic Online [9-23-2004]. Found at: http://www.catholic.org/featured/headline.php?ID=1364 ~ last accessed 7-29-09; Here is the full quote from Father Carr’s article: “Mary Jo Bane, formerly of the Clinton Administration Department of Health and Human Services one of the major voices in the Boston Globe against the average Catholic’s right to freedom of religion. Bane’s most famous quote is ‘We really don’t know how to raise children. If we want to talk about equality of opportunity for children, then the fact that children are raised in families means there’s no equality. … In order to raise children with equality, we must take them away from families and communally raise them.’”)

Alternatively, Gloria Steinem declared: “By the year 2000 we will, I hope, raise our children to believe in human potential, not God.” (Angela Howard and Sasha Ranae Adams Tarrant, Reaction to the Modern Women’s Movement, 1963 to the Present: Antifeminism in America: A Collection of Readings from the Literature of the Opponents to U.S. Feminism, 1848 to the Present, 153.)

NEA president/feminist Catherine Barrett wrote likewise that, “Dramatic changes in the way we will raise our children in the year 2000 are indicated, particularly in terms of schooling. … We will need to recognize that the so-called ‘basic skills’, which currently represent nearly the total effort in elementary schools, will be taught in one-quarter of the present school day. … When this happens—and it’s near—the teacher can rise to his true calling. More than a dispenser of information, the teacher will be a conveyor of values, a philosopher. … We will be agents of change.” (Dennis Laurence Cuddy, The Grab for Power: A Chronology of the NEA, 6.)

A Feminist Dictionary, published by the University of Illinois, gives the following definitions:

  • Male:  “… represents a variant of or deviation from the category of female. The first males were mutants… the male sex represents a degeneration and deformity of the female.”
  • Man: “… an obsolete life form… an ordinary creature who needs to be watched … a contradictory baby-man.”
  • Testosterone Poisoning: “Until now it has been thought that the level of testosterone in men is normal simply because they have it. But if you consider how abnormal their behavior is, then you are led to the hypothesis that almost all men are suffering from ‘testosterone poisoning.’”

(Cheris Kramarae and Paula A. Treichler, eds.,  Feminist Dictionary (Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1986), cf. male, 242; cf. male, 246; cf.  testosterone poisoning, 446.)

Feminist author Ti-Grace Atkinson shows her true autonomy when stating, “the institution of sexual intercourse is anti-feminist.” (Daniel Dervin, Enactments: American Modes and Psychohistorical Models, 244)

Another telling quote comes directly from Atkinson’s own biography, Amazon Odyssey: “The price of clinging to the enemy [a man] is your life. To enter into a relationship with a man who has divested himself as completely and publicly from the male role as much as possible would still be a risk. But to relate to a man who has done any less is suicide…. I, personally, have taken the position that I will not appear with any man publicly, where it could possibly be interpreted that we were friends.” (Ti-Grace Atkinson, Amazon Odyssey, 90, 91.)

Marilyn French, feminist author calls all men rapists: “All men are rapists and that’s all they are. They rape us with their eyes, their laws, and their codes.” (Elizabeth Knowles, ed., The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, 5th ed. [New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1999], cf. Freeman, E.A., 324.)

Let us allow Gloria Steinen, feminist extraordinaire, to set the stage with the following praises about her contemporary, Andrea Dworkin, “In every century, there are a handful of writers who help the human race to evolve. Andrea is one of them.” (David M. Friedman, A Mind of Its Own: A Cultural History of the Penis, 225.) Why preface Andrea Dworkin?  Because she has this to say about men in general: “Heterosexual intercourse is the pure, formalized expression of contempt for women’s bodies.” (Neil Boyd, Big Sister: How Extreme Feminism has Betrayed the Fight for Sexual Equality, 23.) 

Dr. Boyd continues with Dworkin’s quote: “In fucking, as in reproduction, sex and economics are inextricably joined. In male-supremacist cultures, women are believed to embody carnality; women are sex. A man wants what a woman has – sex. He can steal it outright (prostitution), lease it over the long term (marriage in the United States), or own it outright (marriage in most societies). A man can do some or all of the above, over and over again.” (Ibid.)

“What Gloria Steinem, Molly Yard, Patricia Ireland and all the rest have presented to you over the last [30-years] years has not been feminist theory.” …. Tammy Bruce goes on to show that Betty Friedan and Patricia Ireland, ex-presidents of NOW, (and others) are involved with socialist or communist political parties or organizations,

  • Betty Friedan, a former Communist Party member, was only the precursor of the hijacking of feminism to serve other political interests. Some consider Gloria Steinem, the founder of Ms. magazine and probably the second most influential feminist leader, after Friedan, of the last 30 years, to be the one who began blurring the lines between gender and race issues. This might be sur­prising to those who are unaware of Steinem’s involve­ment in socialist politics. In fact, she serves as an honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America, which boasts of being the largest socialist organization in the United States and is the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International. Good for her, but we should know this as we explore what factors influence those who are considered feminist leaders.  Steinem’s influence, combined with the socialist sym­pathies of NOW’s immediate past-president, Patricia Ire­land, explain the co-opting of NOW by leftist ideologues. A 1996 article in Ms. quoted Ireland as saying that NOW “must offer a clear understanding of what it means to be a feminist organization concerned with ending discrimina­tion based on race, class, and other issues of oppression [emphasis mine] that come from a patriarchal structure.” Steinem then commented, “To be feminist, we have to take on the entire caste system.” Ireland details her support of the Communist Party in her autobiography, What Women Want. She admits that her socialist sympathies and participation in pro-Commu­nist rallies in Miami (of all places!) were due in part to the fact that her friend and future lover, Pat Silverthorn, was an activist in the Socialist Worker’s Party. There were problems, Ireland explains, with Silverthorn and her friends being Communists in Miami. “Later, after we’d become close,” Ireland writes, “[Pat Silverthorn] would confide that she, too, had wondered how much more dan­gerous she’d made her life by openly professing commu­nist convictions in that volatile, violent, commie-hating city… Working closely with Pat opened my eyes about the reality of living as a political leftist in this country.”

(Tammy Bruce, The New Thought Police: Inside the Left’s Assault on Free Speech and Free Minds.)

The NYT`s Makes Mince Meat of History for an Ideology ~ JFK

Via NewsBusters:

The left will never get over the fact that Lee Harvey Oswald, a self-described Marxist who had previously claimed to be a communist, assassinated John Fitzgerald Kennedy on November 22, 1963.

The latest evidence of that detachment from reality came online Saturday evening at the New York Times, and appeared in today’s print edition. Writer James McAuley, described as “a Marshall scholar studying history at the University of Oxford,” wrote that Dallas collectively “willed the death of the president,” and that it has prospered disproportionately in the subsequent 50 years because of “pretending to forget.”

To give readers an idea of where McAuley is coming from when he isn’t engaging in dishonest guilt by association, he considers the financial meltdown of 2007-2008 a failure of the “neoliberal paradigm” of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher (yes, he calls them “neoliberals”). Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the U.S. government-sponsored enterprises whose mismanagement and comprehensive frauds by design actually caused the meltdown, are apparently irrelevant.

McAuley brings some personal issues into his anti-Dallas rant, as seen in the latter portions of the excerpts below. But what’s unreal is the late-in-the-game sentence which contradicts his opening premise (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

NYT's Hit Piece on History

FOR 50 years, Dallas has done its best to avoid coming to terms with the one event that made it famous: the assassination of John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963. That’s because, for the self-styled “Big D,” grappling with the assassination means reckoning with its own legacy as the “city of hate,” the city that willed the death of the president. [1]

… Dallas — with no river, port or natural resources of its own — has always fashioned itself as a city with no reason for being, a city that triumphed against all odds, a city that validates the sheer power of individual will and the particular ideology that champions it above all else. “Dallas,” the journalist Holland McCombs observed in Fortune in 1949, “doesn’t owe a damn thing to accident, nature or inevitability. It is what it is … because the men of Dallas damn well planned it that way.”

Those “men of Dallas” — men like my grandfather, oil men and corporate executives, self-made but self-segregated in a white-collar enclave in a decidedly blue-collar state — often loathed the federal government at least as much as, if not more than, they did the Soviet Union or Communist China. [2] The country musician Jimmy Dale Gilmore said it best in his song about the city: “Dallas is a rich man with a death wish in his eye … a rich man who tends to believe in his own lies.”

For those men, Kennedy was a veritable enemy of the state, which is why a group of them would commission and circulate “Wanted for Treason” pamphlets before the president’s arrival and fund the presciently black-rimmed “Welcome Mr. Kennedy” advertisement that ran in The Dallas Morning News on the morning of Nov. 22. It’s no surprise that four separate confidants warned the president not to come to Dallas: an incident was well within the realm of imagination.

The wives of these men — socialites and homemakers, Junior Leaguers and ex-debutantes — were no different; in fact, they were possibly even more extreme. [3] (After all, there’s a reason Carol Burnett pulls a gun on Julie Andrews at the end of the famous “Big D” routine the two performed before the assassination in the early 1960s. “What are ya,” she screams, pulling the trigger, “some kinda nut?!”)

in the annals of my own family history, it was my charming grandmother, not some distant relation without a Neiman Marcus charge card, who nevertheless saw fit to found the “National Congress for Educational Excellence,” an organization that crusaded against such things as depictions of working women in Texas textbooks and the distribution of literature on homosexuality in Dallas public schools.

In a photograph taken not long after the assassination, my grandmother smiles a porcelain smile, poised and lovely in psychedelic purple Pucci, coiffure stacked high in what can only be described as a hairway to heaven. Her eyes, however, are intent, fixed on a target — liberalism, gender equality, gays.

Dallas is not, of course, “the city that killed Kennedy.” [1]

… For the last 50 years, a collective culpability has quietly propelled the city to outshine its troubled past without ever actually engaging with it. To be fair, pretending to forget has helped Dallas achieve some remarkable accomplishments in those years, like the completion of the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, the development of the astonishingly successful Cowboys franchise and the creation of what remains one of the country’s most electric local economies.

This year Dallas has a chance to grapple with the painful legacy of 1963 in public and out loud. [5] Unfortunately, that’s unlikely to happen.

…read the rest…

 

Two Left Leaning Journalists Dissect Obamacare ~ Michael Medved

Here are the two article excerpts and links below that Medved references, the first is from the NYT’s and is by Anemona Hartocollis:

Talk of Penalty Is Missing in Ads for Health Care

New York’s health exchange slogan is “Today’s the Day.” Minnesota has enlisted Paul Bunyan. Oregon held a music contest, and California stresses the “peace of mind” that will come with insurance.

The state and federal health insurance exchanges are using all manner of humor and happy talk to sell the Affordable Care Act’s products. But the one part of the new system that they are not quick to trumpet is the financial penalty that Americans will face if they fail to buy insurance.

On state exchange websites, mention of the penalty is typically tucked away under “frequently asked questions,” if it appears at all. Television and print ads usually skip the issue, and operators of exchange telephone banks are instructed to discuss it only if asked. The federal website, now infamous for its glitches, mentions the penalty but also calls it a fee, or an Individual Shared Responsibility Payment.

The euphemisms and avoidance of any discussion of the penalty are no accident, both supporters and critics of the law say. While the mandate for all Americans to buy health insurance — with a penalty if they do not — was the linchpin of the Supreme Court decision upholding the law, and is considered the key to its success, poll after poll has found that it is also the least popular part of the program.

State exchange operators say that they are not trying to hide the penalty, but that their market research has taught them that, at least in the initial phase, consumers will be more receptive to soothing messages and appeals to their sense of collective responsibility than to threats of punishment.

“We feel that the carrot is better than the stick,” said Larry Hicks, a spokesman for Covered California. “This is a new endeavor. We want people to come in and test our wares.”

…read more…

Here is Lori Gottlieb’s article via the NYT’s:

Daring to Complain About Obamacare

THE Anthem Blue Cross representative who answered my call told me that there was a silver lining in the cancellation of my individual P.P.O. policy and the $5,400 annual increase that I would have to pay for the Affordable Care Act-compliant option: now if I have Stage 4 cancer or need a sex-change operation, I’d be covered regardless of pre-existing conditions. Never mind that the new provider network would eliminate coverage for my and my son’s long-term doctors and hospitals.

The Anthem rep cheerily explained that despite the company’s — I paraphrase — draconian rates and limited network, my benefits, which also include maternity coverage (handy for a 46-year-old), would “be actually much richer.”

I, of course, would be actually much poorer. And it was this aspect of the bum deal that, to my surprise, turned out to be a very unpopular thing to gripe about.

“Obamacare or Kafkacare?” I posted on Facebook as soon as I hung up with Anthem. I vented about the call and wrote that the president should be protecting the middle class, not making our lives substantially harder. For extra sympathy, I may have thrown in the fact that I’m a single mom. (O.K., I did.)

Then I sat back and waited for the love to pour in. Or at least the “like.” Lots of likes. After all, I have 1,037 Facebook friends. Surely, they’d commiserate.

Except that they didn’t.

Instead, aside from my friend David, who attempted to cheer me up with, “My dad, who never turns down a bargain, would take the sex change just because it’s free,” my respondents implied — in posts that, to my annoyance, kept getting more “likes” — that it was beyond uncool to be whining about myself when the less fortunate would finally have insurance.

“The nation has been better off,” wrote one friend. “Over 33 million people who did not have insurance are now going to get it.” That’s all fine and good for “the nation,” but what about my $5,400 rate hike (after-tax dollars, I wanted to add, but dared not in this group of previously closeted Mother Teresas)? Another friend wrote, “Yes, I’m paying an extra 200 a month, but I’m okay with doing that so that others who need it can have health care.”

I was shocked. Who knew my friends were such humanitarians? Has Obamacare made it un-P.C. to be concerned by a serious burden on my family’s well-being?

…read more…

A Reporter at the New York Times/Slate Admitted She Is A Creationist

See my extended debate because of this, here.

If science really is permanently committed to methodological naturalism – the philosophical position that restricts all explanations in science to naturalistic explanations – it follows that the aim of science is not generating true theories. Instead, the aim of science would be something like: generating the best theories that can be formulated subject to the restriction that the theories are naturalistic. More and more evidence could come in suggesting that a supernatural being exists, but scientific theories wouldn’t be allowed to acknowledge that possibility.

Bradley Monton, author of Seeking God in Science: An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design ~ Apologetics315 h/t

The Blaze has this VERY interesting post!

Journalist Virginia Heffernan stunned many of her fellow reporters when she penned a piece last week entitled, “Why I’m a Creationist.” The reporter, who has had a successful career at The New York Times and Slate, among other outlets, is now the center of the ever-intense evolution vs. creationism debate. Currently, she works for Yahoo!, the outlet through which her faith-based proclamation was made.

Before we get into the nasty comments that have been thrown her way, let’s first look at what she said in the article. Heffernan began by announcing that she’s like most Americans: She doesn’t fear global warming and doesn’t hate religion. Then, she said, “at heart” she’s a creationist.

Heffernan admitted that this admission would be tough to understand for many of her compatriots in media.

“In New York City saying you’re a creationist is like confessing you think Ahmadinejad has a couple of good points. Maybe I’m the only creationist I know,” she said, touching upon the fact that it is rare for people in the city to hold such a viewpoint (one that many Americans in other areas of the country would actually agree with).

From there, Heffernan moved on, describing the process through which she became a creationist. Here’s how the explains the beginning of her journey:

This is how I came to it. Like many people, I heard no end of Bible stories as a kid, but in the 1970s in New England they always came with the caveat that they were metaphors. So I read the metaphors of Genesis and Exodus and was amused and bugged and uplifted and moved by them. And then I guess I wanted to know the truth of how the world began, so I was handed the Big Bang. That wasn’t a metaphor, but it wasn’t fact either. It was something called a hypothesis. And it was only a sentence. I was amused and moved, but considerably less amused and moved by the character-free Big Bang story (“something exploded”) than by the twisted and picturesque misadventures of Eve and Adam and Cain and Abel and Abraham.

Later I read Thomas Malthus’ “Essay on the Principle of Population” and “The Origin of Species” by Charles Darwin, as well as probably a dozen books about evolution and atheism, from Stephen Jay Gould to Sam Harris.

As for the latter, Heffernan said that she has never been quite sure why the book has been credited with debunking creationism, especially considering that it is not, in her view, a book about creation.

After years of reading and taking in data, stories, theories and information, she concluded in her Yahoo! piece that the stories that involve a higher power creating human beings are the most compelling. She even charged that evolutionary psychologists have become quite contradictory in their claims, noting that their theories have changed markedly over time. In contrast, the Bible, Heffernan says, remains coveted and highly read.

“I guess I don’t ‘believe’ that the world was created in a few days, but what do I know? Seems as plausible (to me) as theoretical astrophysics, and it’s certainly a livelier tale,” she said. “As ‘Life of Pi’ author Yann Martel once put it, summarizing his page-turner novel: “1) Life is a story. 2) You can choose your story. 3) A story with God is the better story.”

…read more…

`Undocumented Democrat` ~ Jay Leno (Orwellian)

In an almost Orwellian way, the Left is changing language again, and the media is spearheading this dangerous endeavor. The Associated Press just the latest, along with several news organizations, including the Miami Herald, Huffington Post and San Antonio News-Express have changed their policies in recent years to drop the term “illegal immigrant” in favor of “undocumented immigrant.” The New York Times will soon follow suit. (See more)

What Is the Cause of the Violent Arab Spring? Global Warming of Course

In the above audio of Prager he is talking about this article, “The Scary Hidden Stressor,” by Thomas Friedman. The following article is also mentioned in the above audio:

Dennis Prager’s Column:

Last week, Bjørn Lomborg, the widely published Danish professor and director of one of the world’s leading environmental think tanks, the Copenhagen Consensus Center, published an article about the Philippines’ decision, after twelve years, to allow genetically modified (GM) rice — “golden rice” — to be grown and consumed in that country.

The reason for the delay was environmentalist opposition to GM rice; and the reason for the change in Philippine policy was that 4.4 million Filipino children suffer from Vitamin-A deficiency, and golden rice contains Vitamin A.

Vitamin-A deficiency, Lomborg writes, “according to the World Health Organization, causes 250,000 to 500,000 children to go blind each year. Of these, half die within a year.” During the twelve-year delay, Lomborg continues, “about 8 million children worldwide died from Vitamin-A deficiency.”

Using golden rice is by far the most effective and cheapest way to get Vitamin A into Third World children.

So who would oppose something that could save millions of children’s lives and millions of other children from blindness?

The answer is people who are more devoted to nature than to human life.

And who might such people be?

They are called environmentalists.

These are the people who coerced nations worldwide into banning DDT. It is generally estimated that this ban has led to the deaths of about 50 million human beings, overwhelmingly African children, from malaria. DDT kills the mosquito that spreads malaria to human beings.

U.S. News writer Carrie Lukas reported in 2010, “Fortunately, in September 2006, the World Health Organization announced a change in policy: It now recommends DDT for indoor use to fight malaria. The organization’s Dr. Anarfi Asamoa-Baah explained, ‘The scientific and programmatic evidence clearly supports this reassessment. Indoor residual spraying (IRS) is useful to quickly reduce the number of infections caused by malaria-carrying mosquitoes. IRS has proven to be just as cost effective as other malaria prevention measures and DDT presents no health risk when used properly.’”

Though Lukas blames environmentalists for tens of millions of deaths, she nevertheless describes environmentalists as “undoubtedly well-intentioned.”

As we end the above Leftist lunacy, we should remember well CS Lewis’ words about well-intentioned persons:

 “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”

Concepts: “Free Will or Not” – That is the Question

This is a topic I know a bit about, as, it is a common feature required to make distinctions in philosophy and science (and the philosophy of science) regarding naturalism and its influence on epistemology and if we can know truth, moral truth or otherwise. As we read the article we come to a small paragraph that shows me John is traipsing into territory he knows nothing about but makes sweeping statements as if he does. We read:

  • Acceptance of an assumption that there is no free will would remove everyone’s responsibility for his or her behavior, and nobody could be condemned to jail or death. Such a thesis also would deny the influence of DNA and of experience in life.

Firstly, popular culture weighs in on this idea that somehow DNA influences free-will?

  1. “Infidelity – It May Be In Our Genes” ~ Time, August 15, 1994;
  2. “20th Century Blues” – Stress, anxiety, depression: the new science of evolutionary psychology finds the roots of modern maladies in our genes ~ Time, August 28, 1995;
  3. “Born Happy (Or Not)” – Happiness is more than just a state of mind… It is in the genes too;
  4. “Born To Be Gay?” ~ New Zealand Herald, August 8, 1996;
  5. “What Makes Them Do It?” – People who crave thrills, new evidence indicates, may be prompted at least partly by their genes ~ New Scientist, September 28, 1996, p. 32;
  6. “Your Genes May Be Forcing You To Eat Too Much” ~ Time, January 15, 1996;
  7. “Infanticide/neonaticide is caused by an evolutionary imperative” ~ New York Times, November 2, 1997.

In a lecture from Stephen Hawkings (who holds the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, Einstein’s chair) at a lecture given to a university crowd in England entitled “Determinism – Is Man a Slave or the Master of His Fate.” He discussed whether we are the random products of chance, and hence, not free, or whether God had designed these laws within which we are free. In other words: do we have the ability to make choices, or do we simply follow a chemical reaction induced by millions of mutational collisions of free atoms?

Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s maxim rings just as true today as it did in his day,“If there is no God, all things are permissible.” Without an absolute ethical norm, morality is reduced to mere preference and the world is a jungle where might makes right. This same strain of thought caused Mussolini to comment,

“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.”

Which brings me to the finishing statement from John, “I cannot see how any society could function without assuming we do have free will.” On this we agree, even an atheistic society must borrow from the theistic worldview. In a previous response to My Huizum, I noted Sam Harris’ thinking on ultimate ethics:

evolutionary psychology (for instance, atheist defender Sam Harris makes the Darwinian psychological statement that “…there’s nothing more natural than rape. Human beings rape, chimpanzees rape, orangutans rape, rape clearly is part of an evolutionary strategy to get your genes into the next generation if you’re a male.”)

So, let us see some popular positions taken by “evangelical” atheists:

Richard Dawkins

(h/t: TrueFreeThinker) – A Statement Made by an atheist at the Atheist and Agnostic Society:

“Some atheists do believe in ethical absolutes, some don’t. My answer is a bit more complicated — I don’t believe that there are any axiological claims which are absolutely true, except within the context of one person’s opinion.

That is, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and so are ethics. So, why is Hitler wrong? Because he murdered millions, and his only justification, even if it were valid, was based on things which he should have known were factually wrong. Why is it wrong to do that? Because I said so. Unless you actually disagree with me — unless you want to say that Hitler was right — I’m not sure I have more to say.”

[side note] You may also be aware that Richard Dawkins stated,

  • “What’s to prevent us from saying Hitler wasn’t right? I mean, that is a genuinely difficult question.”

Stated during an interview with Larry Taunton, “Richard Dawkins: The Atheist Evangelist,” by Faith Magazine, Issue Number 18, December 2007 (copyright; 2007-2008)

Lewis Wolpert

Dan Barker

Take note also that leaders in atheistic thinking and philosophers of good standing deal with the determinism found in neo-Darwinian/naturalistic philosophies and evolutionary thinking. For instance, from a debate I was in many years ago, Stan said the following:

  • “The brain works by firing electric charges that then release chemicals that make others fire electric charges.”
Robots and Cosmic Puppetry: The Scientific Challenge to Freedom

Since at least the time of Sir Isaac Newton, scientists and philosophers impressed by the march of science have offered a picture of human behavior that is not promising for a belief in freedom. All nature is viewed by them as one huge mechanism, with human beings serving as just parts of that giant machine. On this view, we live and think in accordance with the same laws and causes that move all other physical components of the universal mechanism.

According to these thinkers, everything that happens in nature has a cause. Suppose then that an event occurs, which, in context, is clearly a human action of the sort that we would normally call free. As an occurrence in this universe, it has a cause. But then that cause, in turn, has a cause. And that cause in turn has a cause, and so on, and so on [remember, reductionism].

“Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect as well as for the star. Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible player” ~ Albert Einstein.

As a result of this scientific world view, we get the following picture:

Natural conditions outside our control…
cause
Inner bodily and brain states,
which cause
mental and physical actions

But if this is true, then you are, ultimately, just a conduit or pipeline for chains of natural causation that reach far back into the past before your birth and continue far forward into the future after your death. You are not an originating cause of anything [this includes brain activity of all degrees, that is, love, pain, etc.). Nothing you ever do is due to your choices or thoughts alone. You are a puppet of nature. You are no more than a robot programmed by an unfeeling cosmos.

Psychologists talk about heredity and environment as responsible for everything you do. But then if they are, you aren’t. Does it follow that you can then do as you please, irresponsibly? Not at all. It only follows that you will do as nature and nurture please. But then, nature on this picture turns out to be just an illusory veil over a heartless, uncaring nature. You have what nature gives you. Nothing more, nothing less.

Where is human freedom in this picture? It doesn’t exist. It is one of our chief illusions. The natural belief in free will is just a monstrous falsehood. But we should not feel bad about holding on to this illusion until science corrects us. We can’t have helped it.

This reasoning is called The Challenge of Scientific Determinism. According to determinists, we are determined in every respect to do everything that we ever do.

This again is a serious challenge to human freedom. It is the reason that the early scientist Pierre Laplace (1749-1827) once said that if you could give a super-genius a total description of the universe at any given point in time, that being would be able to predict with certainty everything that would ever happen in the future relative to that moment, and retrodict with certainty anything that had ever happened in any moment before that described state. Nature, he believed, was that perfect machine. And we human beings were just cogs in the machine, deluded in our beliefs that we are free.

 (Tom Morris, Philosophy for Dummies, 133-134)

[….]

Evil, say, infanticide is reduced to determinism.  (Brain function [choice, action] reduces to chemical reactions, which are caused by a physical process, which in turn are caused by a physical [reduced] cause… etc ad infinitum.)  And when a person says, “I reject the thought of an ultimate being. So how do I determine ‘right’ from ‘wrong’? I don’t. I simply base things on choices. It is my belief that that the only moral system is a system that let’s everyone make their own choices, and live their life as they wish” [Giddion is another person involved in this old debate] they do not realize what they are thus accepting as the rule of life, as I will now refute.  And one would have to admit if he or she rejects God, physicalism is all that is left.

Mind/Body Physicalism Refuted (the following is from Scaling the Secular City: A Defense of Christianity, by J. P. Moreland, pp. 90-92)

A number of philosophers have argued that physicalism must be false because it implies determinism and determinism is self-refuting.  Speaking of the determinist, J. R. Lucas says:

If what he says is true, he says it merely as the result of his heredity and environment, and nothing else.  He does not hold his determinist views because they are true, but because he has such-and-such stimuli; that is, not because the structure of the structure of the universe is such-and-such but only because the configuration of only part of the universe, together with the structure of the determinist’s brain, is such as to produce that result….  Determinism, therefore, cannot be true, because if it was, we should not take the determinists’ arguments as being really arguments [say, whether or not homosexuality is a right or not] as being really arguments, but as being only conditioned reflexes.  Their statements should not be regarded as really claiming to be true, but only as seeking to cause us to respond in some way desired by them.  (Freedom of the Will, by John Lucas)

H. P. Owen states that:

Determinism is self-stultifying.  If my mental processes are totally determined, I am totally determined either to accept or to reject determinism.  But if the sole reason for my believing or not believing X is that I am causally determined to believe it I have no ground for holding that my judgment is true or false.  (Christian Theism, p. 118)

… if one claims to know that physicalism is true, or to embrace it for good reasons, if one claims that it is a rational position which should be chosen on the basis of evidence [as one does when they reject theism], then this claim is self-refuting.  This is so because physicallism seems to deny the possibility of rationality.  To see this, let us examine the necessary preconditions which must hold if there is to be such a thing as rationality and show how physicalism denies these preconditions.

At least five factors must obtain if there are to be genuine rational agents who can accurately reflect on the world.  First, minds must have internationality; they must be capable of having thoughts about or of the world.  Acts of inference are “insights into” or “knowings of” something other than themselves.

Second, reasons, propositions, thoughts, laws of logic and evidence, and truth must exist and be capable of being instanced in people’s minds and influencing their thought processes.  This fact is hard to reconcile with physicallism.  To see this, consider the field of ethics.  Morality prescribes what we ought to do (prescriptive); it does not merely describe what is in fact done (descriptive).  Objective morality makes sense if real moral laws or oughts exist and if normative, moral properties like rightness, goodness, worth, and dignity exist in acts (the act of honoring one’s parents) and things (persons and animals have worth) [this all applies to the debate over homosexuality].  If physicalism is true as a worldview, there are no moral properties or full-blooded oughts.  Physical states just are, and one physical state causes or fails to cause another physical state.  A physical state does not morally prescribe that another physical ought to be.  If physicalism is true, oughts are not real moral obligations telling us what one should do to be in conformity with the moral universe.  Rather, “ought” serves as a mere guide for reaching a socially acceptable or psychologically desired goal (e.g., “if one wants to have pleasure and avoid pain, then one ‘ought’ to tell the truth”).  Moral imperatives become grounded in subjective preferences on the same level as a preference for Burger King over McDonald’s….

[….]

ReductionismThe theory that every complex phenomenon, esp. in biology or psychology, can be explained by analyzing the simplest, most basic physical mechanisms that are in operation during the phenomenon. (Random-House Webster)

C.S. Lewis pointed out that even our ability to reason and think rationally would be called into question if atheistic evolution were true:

“If the solar system was brought about by an accidental collision, then the appearance of organic life on this planet was also an accident, and the whole evolution of Man was an accident too. If so, then all our thought processes are mere accidents – the accidental by-product of the movement of atoms. And this holds for the materialists and astronomers as well as for anyone else’s. But if their thoughts — i.e. of Materialism and — are merely accidental by-products, why should we believe them to be true? I see no reason for believing that one accident should be able to give a correct account of all the other accidents.”

Which brings C.S. Lewis to mention how he was not able to connect the idea of “evil” to the world as an atheist:

My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it? A man feels wet when he falls into water, because man is not a water animal: a fish would not feel wet. Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too–for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist–in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless -I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality–namely my idea of justice–was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning.

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (San Francisco, CA: Harper San Francisco, 1952), 38-39.

William Lane Craig, who debated Sam Harris, works through this in his post, “Navigating Sam Harris’ The Moral Landscape.” One can see from Sam Harris that ethics is not something that “ought” to be adhered to. In an article and from a debate between theist William Lane Craig and Same Harris, we can zero in on what naturalism says

First, objective moral values:

So how does Sam Harris propose to solve the “value problem”? The trick he proposes is simply to redefine what he means by “good” and “evil” in non-moral terms. He says we should “define ‘good’ as that which supports [the] well-being” of conscious creatures.” He states, “Good and evil need only consist in this: misery versus well-being.” Or again: “In speaking of ‘moral truth,’ I am saying that there must be facts regarding human and animal well-being.”

So, he says, “Questions about values … are really questions about the well-being of conscious creatures.” Therefore, he concludes, “It makes no sense … to ask whether maximizing well-being is ‘good’.” Why not? Because he’s redefined the word “good” to mean the well-being of conscious creatures. So to ask, “Why is maximizing creatures’ well-being good?” is on his definition the same as asking, “Why does maximizing creatures’ well-being maximize creatures’ well-being?” It is simply a tautology — talking in a circle. Thus, Harris has “solved” his problem simply by redefining his terms. It is mere word play.

Second, objective moral duties:

Does atheism provide a sound foundation for objective moral duties? Duty has to do with moral obligation and prohibition, what I ought or ought not to do. Here reviewers of The Moral Landscape have been merciless in pounding Harris’ attempt to provide a naturalistic account of moral obligation. Two problems stand out.

Natural science tells us only what is, not what ought to be, the case. As philosopher Jerry Fodor has written, “Science is about facts, not norms; it might tell us how we are, but it wouldn’t tell us what is wrong with how we are.” In particular it cannot tell us that we have a moral obligation to take actions that are conducive to human flourishing.

[…]Second, ”ought” implies “can.” A person is not morally responsible for an action he is unable to avoid. For example, if somebody shoves you into another person, you are not to blame for bumping into this person. You had no choice. But Harris believes that all of our actions are causally determined and that there is no free will. Harris rejects not only libertarian accounts of freedom but also compatibilistic accounts of freedom. But if there is no free will, no one is morally responsible for anything. In the end, Harris admits this, though it’s tucked away in his endnotes. Moral responsibility, he says, “is a social construct,” not an objective reality: “in neuroscientific terms no person is more or less responsible than any other” for the actions they perform. His thoroughgoing determinism spells the end of any hope or possibility of objective moral duties on his worldview because we have no control over what we do.

William Lane Craig Discusses Sam Harris’ book, “The Moral Landscape”

So we can see that even the person mentioned in John Van Huizum’s article, Sam Harris, in reality rejects his premise that free will exists. John does say though, that we must (we meaning any society, secular or not) must assume it to be true. Thus, John is borrowing from the Judeo-Christian worldview and really arguing for the coherence of it (and the incoherence of the opposite), and not of atheism… unbeknownst to him! John neglects to tell us “the rest of the story” (Paul Harvey), or more likely doesn’t know the story to begin with.

  • Simple enough… as above. REMEMBER, Dr. Provine is an evolutionist… a neo-Darwinian proponent following his worldview to its logical ends/consequences.

The tolerant left strikes again ~ gotta love San Francisco (*LANGUAGE WARNING*) Plus, Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager Comments on the NYTs reporting of the Middle-East “Good vs. Evil”

The way in which the New York Times reports good vs. evil is one of the most important stories of our time.

Take the war between Israel and Hamas that is taking place right now.

This war is as morally clear as wars get. Hamas is a terrorist organization dedicated to annihilating the Jewish state. It runs a theocratic totalitarian state in Gaza, with no individual liberty and no freedom of speech or press. In a nutshell, Hamas is a violent, fascist organization.

Israel, meanwhile, is one the world’s most humane states, not to mention a democracy that is so tolerant that Arab members of its parliament are free to express admiration for Hamas.

Over the past decade, Hamas had launched thousands of rockets into Israel with one aim: to kill and maim as many Israeli citizens as possible — Israelis at work, at play, asleep in their homes, in their cars. Finally, Israel responded by killing Ahmed al-Jabari, the chief organizer of Hamas violence, the Hamas “military commander” as he was known among Palestinians.

The next day, three more Israelis were killed by rockets.

Then Hamas targeted Tel Aviv, Israel’s most densely populated region, and Israel shelled Hamas rocket launching sites.

In other words, an evil entity made war on a peaceful, decent entity, and the latter responded.

How has the New York Times reported this?

On Friday, on its front page, the Times featured two three-column wide photos. The top one was of Gaza Muslim mourners alongside the dead body of al-Jabari. The photo below was of Israeli Jews mourning alongside the dead body of Mira Scharf, a 27-year-old mother of three.

What possible reason could there be for the New York Times to give identical space to these two pictures? One of the dead, after all, was a murderer, and the other was one of his victims.

The most plausible reason is that the Times wanted to depict through pictures a sort of moral equivalence: Look, sophisticated Times readers, virtually identical scenes of death and mourning on both sides of the conflict. How tragic.

If one had no idea what had triggered this war, one would read and see the Times coverage and conclude that two sides killing each other were both equally at fault.

This is the mainstream (i.e., liberal) media’s approach. The Los Angeles Times headline on the same day was: “Israel and Gaza veering down familiar, bitter path,”

Same presentation: two scorpions fighting in a bottle.

Examples are endless. Here is one more:

…read more…