Friday, February 17, 2012

Equality extremism

Just a day after Her Majesty the Queen talked of the Established Church being ‘misunderstood’ and ‘commonly under-appreciated’, Trevor Phillips wades in with his assertion that Christians who seek exemptions from equality legislation are no different from Muslims who seek to subject us all to sharia law. The Chairman of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission is of the opinion that the Archbishop of York is no different from Abu Qatada; Westminster Cathedral breeds extremists just like Finsbury Park Mosque; and those who seek a conscience exemption over ‘gay marriage’ are no different from those who want to all homosexuals hanged or thrown off a cliff.

To seek to adhere to the teachings of St Paul on marriage is no different from Mohammed’s example of betrothal to a six or nine-year-old (whichever it was). The belief that women are better home-makers and child-rearers is akin to beating them and forcing them to wear a hijab. And the space which permits Roman Catholics not to perform abortions or dispense contraceptives is as cancerous to society as those Muslims who seek to establish a state-within-a-state and wage jihad against the filthy kuffar.

Trevor Phillips is foolishly stoking Christianophobia and inciting hatred. All in the name of equality, of course, so it is barely perceptible. The belief that religious rules should end ‘at the door of the temple' and give way to the 'public law' laid down by Parliament is the assertion of the secularist. Britain is not a secular state, and it is not for some trumped-up chairman of an over-inflated quango to make it one. All gods are not equal in the pantheon, Mr Phillips; all religions are not equally conducive to the common good; all faith groups are not equally beneficial to society; all beliefs do not equally save.

When he says: “You can’t say because we decide we’re different then we need a different set of laws,” he is making an argument for churches, mosques and gurdwaras to be forced to accommodate ‘gay marriage’. To assert that Christians must choose between God’s law and that of the State is nothing new: but in the United Kingdom such conflicts have the benefit of the wisdom of centuries of evolved resolution: we have learned to live side by side; out of the ashes we reached a settlement between the spiritual and the temporal which is generous, tolerant and peaceable. The secular equality which Trevor Phillips seeks to impose is as intolerant as any totalitarian belief system: equality becomes the new metaphysical orthodoxy, the inviolable state religion from which there can be no accommodation of the recusant. He speaks as though this were Year 0 in the UK, and almost two millennia of Judaeo-Christian cultural influence is of no greater meaning, significance or worth than a few decades of agitating for Islamic sharia. He is ignorant of (or purposely ignores) the fons et origo of our understanding of equality and human rights, and the foundations of our liberal democracy. Our liberty did not stem from sharia, Mr Phillips, but the Protestant understanding and expression of the Christian faith. We didn’t always get it right, but the Anglican Settlement isn’t called a settlement for nothing. As Her Majesty said yesterday, ‘the Church of England has created an environment for other faith communities and indeed people of no faith to live freely. Woven into the fabric of this country, the Church has helped to build a better society – more and more in active co-operation for the common good with those of other faiths’.

Could Trevor Phillips point to any nation on the planet where the Islamic sharia has ‘created an environment for other faith communities and indeed people of no faith to live freely’? Militant Muslims present more of a threat than crusading Christians. Except, perhaps, the crusading Christian who leads the Equalities and Human Rights Commission. If Baroness Warsi meant a word of what she said in the Vatican about ‘militant secularists’, she would sack him.

187 Comments:

Blogger Roy Maine said...

Trevor Phillips is a left wing extremist masquerading as a liberal.
Whoever appointed him should be run out of office.

17 February 2012 at 09:56  
Blogger robertatforsythe said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

17 February 2012 at 10:08  
Blogger Belsay Bugle said...

All liberals are extremists, Mr Maine.
Until decent people grasp that the liberals will continue to destroy twenty centuries of Christendom.

Trevor Phillips, pah!

17 February 2012 at 10:10  
Blogger robertatforsythe said...

"Militant Muslims present more of a threat than crusading Christians." I am reading William Dalrymple's From the Holy Mountain of 1997. A very instructive and moving read. Time and time again he makes the point that through history Islam proved far more tolerant of Christianity than the other way around. Somewhere through the 20th century this all stopped. A variety of reasons vector into this. Lawrence of Arabia's betrayal by our government might be a small one. Essentially when the opportunity came for the west to treat Arab nations decently, what did the west do? It betrayed aspirations after WW1 and then it immensely assisted in the state of Israel. I don't agree with Trevor Phillips and many people will see me as more right wing than left but I truly believe until we understand how disasterous to foreign policy maintaining the present state of Isreal is in its present form, we will fail to see what gives militant Islam its basic vigour. It is about what happens when a large number of people are treated extremely unfairly on the basis of a religious whim.

17 February 2012 at 10:10  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

YG, well said.

17 February 2012 at 10:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHY IS EQUALITY BAD?

17 February 2012 at 10:18  
Blogger William said...

WHY IS EQUALITY BAD?

BECAUSE IT IS A LIE.

17 February 2012 at 10:23  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

It is all in the genes,trev,we do not expect you to understand.

17 February 2012 at 10:28  
Blogger Albert said...

A good post, but I note that Phillips' position seems unstable. A few months ago he was saying Christians are being discriminated against, then NSS complained and he changed his mind. The problem is that the equality agenda is profoundly unstable and rests often on quite muddled thinking. This results in, what JS Mill warned of restraints "which do not really produce the results which it is desired to produce by them".

A good example of this problem with results is precisely the way in which secular "neutrality" is wheeled out as the foundation for equality. Atheist philosopher Julian Baggini commented recently that the charge against secularism needs to be taken seriously:

So what actually happens when we seek neutrality and demand that everyone talks a common, neutral language of the civic sphere is that religious voices are effectively silenced. Although in theory everyone enters the public square on an equal footing, the fact is that its discourse is an implicitly naturalistic, atheist one, which means that the Godless can talk as they normally do, whereas the religious have to hold back, rephrase and avoid expressing many of the things that most matter to them.

and elsewhere he added:

there is no doubt that secularism is increasingly seen as a threat to liberty rather than its stoutest defender

(BTW, if anyone can see where Baggini actually defends secularism against those charges, perhaps they could let me know!)

Phillips doesn't realise that in supporting his rather partial kind of equality, he is undermining freedom.

If you can quote Baggini and JS Mill against contemporary secular equality (not to mention the PM, Baroness Warsi and even the Queen) you can be sure there are problems.

17 February 2012 at 10:43  
Blogger Joe Daniels said...

"Surely the kernel of British ways of living – the very thing under attack today – is tolerance of those things we would not choose for ourselves, the other side of the bargain being that our choices will be tolerated by those who disagree with them and us?"

17 February 2012 at 10:58  
Blogger Jimbo said...

Why do people bother to pay taxes? They only go to fund this modern day Witchfinder General.

17 February 2012 at 10:58  
Blogger seanrobsville said...

@robertatforsythe

It isn't just Christians and Jews who are on the receiving end of Islamic supremacism. Here's how they wiped out the Buddhist heritage of the Malidives: http://seanrobsville.blogspot.com/2012/02/maldive-muslims-smash-buddhist-statues.html

So what has this got to do with Israel?

Coercion, intimidation, thuggery and outright terrorism are intrinsic and essential features of Islam.

Islam is so intellectually moribund and ethically repulsive that it cannot compete for followers in a free marketplace of ideas, but must eliminate its critics and competitors by whatever means may be necessary.

Mohammed said 'I have been made victorious through terror', and Mohammed is the role model for all Muslims.

17 February 2012 at 10:58  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Time for Trevor's quango to get tangoed.

17 February 2012 at 11:00  
Blogger The Gray Monk said...

Here's an idea for equalisation, given that Mr Phillips salary is probably one of the top 172 in Whitehall. Abolish all the Quangos. Simples. Several billion saved, and it removes these morons from the public policy round ...

17 February 2012 at 11:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are 14 Commissioners for the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Ten Commissioners are women and four are men. Excluding Phillips of those who declare a political interest or are members of a party in the House of Lords, five are Labour supporters and one is Liberal Democrat. No Commissioners declares themselves members or supporters of the Conservative party.

Of the Commissioners two are union officials, two from business, one is a barrister, two Members of the House of Lords (one a special advisor to Nick Clegg MP), a board Director, a refugee and race relations expert, a former civil servant and patron of the gay and lesbian immigration group, a disabled charity chief executive and former member of the board of Stonewall , a director of operation Black vote, a Labour Councillor and Trevor Phillips.

17 February 2012 at 11:16  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Complete utter lying codswallop

ONE LAW FOR ALL THE PEOPLE

No exceptions.

Not for muslims wantin sharia, not for RC-christians wanting to treat women like dirt and little boys as sex objects, not for special preaching priveliges.
NONE AT ALL.

Grow up, and erm ...
Render unto Caeser that which is Caeser's.
Religion is a PRIVATE matter - keep it so.

17 February 2012 at 11:16  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

The position of the Equalities Commission is actually akin to the satanic action goals. Don't believe me, then Google it.

It really is time for Christians to take a stand. For Christ's sake people gave their lives for the Gospel and continue to do so in parts of the world. Are we in the western world going to roll over?

Start breaking the law if if conflicts with your conscience. If it lands you in difficultly, financial or otherwise, then thank God you have been been given the opportunity to suffer with His Son on behalf of the Kingdom.

17 February 2012 at 11:20  
Blogger Harry-ca-Nab said...

After all the fuss over quangos nearly 2 years on and the Coalition hasn't got rid on the equalities fascists.

Things will only change when we get militant.

Currently British society is like the frog being slowly boiled to death without realising it

17 February 2012 at 11:20  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

The fact we have a State Religion in a Democracy means that all citizens should have equal access.

If a religion is totally separate from the influence of Parliament then it must have the right to expect its congregation to sign up to its teaching. If that teaching excludes homosexual marriage then that's the end of it - get married somewhere else. - I would argue that the State would have no authority to over rule it.

A Secular State could be a distinct advantage to the Anglican religion now that the horse has bolted. Judging by their shilly-shallying recent history and Queens speech yesterday they have only themselves to blame.

17 February 2012 at 11:22  
Blogger Harry-ca-Nab said...

Ok Phillips.

Can we say that gays should leave their sexuality at the bedroom door?

Blacks and women their race and gender at home?

So many people that Phillips loves are allowed to foist their interests - be they sexuality, gender, race - upon others and yet Christians can only practice behind closed doors?

Something wrong here isn't there!

17 February 2012 at 11:24  
Blogger Harry-ca-Nab said...

Funny how I am forced to attend "equalities" training at work, learn about race, gender, homosexuals and Muslims. How I am obliged to respect their proclivities, religious demands and culture - but they are not "educated" and required to respect and accommodate mine..

Yet if I celebrate being an Englishman, a white man, a heterosexual and wear a cross I can be thrown out of the workplace for any or all of those things.

If I organised workplace meetings for people like me, produced agendas that my employer must adhere to, insist upon wearing what I like and have my culture and race respected I would be sacked.

No court or Human Rights organisation would defend me.

Sounds like a totalitarian system to me.

17 February 2012 at 11:31  
Anonymous Ian said...

'Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men' (Acts 5:29)

17 February 2012 at 11:34  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

What a bloom'n week.

Could the last person to leave this country, which is now visibly a toilet with a big jobbie wedge down the U bend, please remember to flush.

There's a fine citizen!

Ersnt

17 February 2012 at 11:49  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

ps

Flipp'n blog is doing Ernst's eyes in and making his comments look like he's Tingey..Lord help me!

17 February 2012 at 11:52  
Blogger Albert said...

Tingey

Religion is a PRIVATE matter

Who says? You do, and your opinion you should be imposed, because like many secularists these days you oppose basic freedom and equality. (In the name of equality and freedom, of course.)

17 February 2012 at 12:00  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

I don't know where robertforsythe is getting his history, but Islam was only ever tolerant of Christians as a matter of utilitarianism. Wherever it took over, it placed Christians under continuous low level aggrivation stemming from mere annoyance up to the verge (and sometimes beyond) of persecution. It did this in order to "encourage" Christians into converting, and while it is true that this was still better than what Muslims suffered in Christendom, it's hardly a model to hold out to us now.

As anybody who has ever read my contributions to this forum will attest, I have absolutely no time whatsoever for the state of Israel, and I completely agree that it is a cancer in the guts of Arabia. However, just because a body has had one cancer identified, it does not follow that it is otherwise healthy. Islam is completely incompatible with western democracy, and that would be the case whether Israel existed or not - Israel just makes a bad situation much worse.

As for Cranmer's assertion that British democracy is built on Protestantism, perhaps somebody could remind me - what was it that Protestantism built on? Besides the lusts of Henry VIII, that is.

17 February 2012 at 12:02  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Corrigan1

"As for Cranmer's assertion that British democracy is built on Protestantism, perhaps somebody could remind me - what was it that Protestantism built on? Besides the lusts of Henry VIII, that is."

The corrupt foundations that were criticised, even by its most ardent followers here such as Colet and More, so that British democracy could have a sure foundation resting four square on the only true cornerstone!

Trust that answers your question fairly, lad.

Ernst

17 February 2012 at 12:11  
Blogger Vanished_Jo said...

It has been interesting to read some of the articles in the media in response to Richard Dawkins on the Today programme on Radio4. The indignation that has been expressed towards his attempt to force his own nomenclature of what a Christian is, or is not, was quite refreshing. It seems that Christians come in all shapes, sizes and variations of faith and practice. It was pleasant enough for me to witness this fact being realised and celebrated in the media. However, there seems to be an inability to extend this formula of variety to other faiths. We of other faith also come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Was it really necessary to be so insulting Your Grace? As a man of faith, I am the first to admit the many absurdities that can seem apparent in much of the sacred books. It is very easy to make insults, but how does this help? All it does is fuel some of the hatred that is visible in the comments today. Or was that your intention?

17 February 2012 at 12:12  
Anonymous Preacher said...

It seems to me that the Lord is bringing Christians back to the basics of their beliefs.
For along time now we have seen a steady attack & erosion of the faith. Many churchgoers including senior politicians present themselves as Christians, but have no idea what a Christian is or believes.
In many cases the Church has lost its direction & purpose, trying to please men rather than God it has put more emphasis on religion, tradition & custom than the need for repentance & salvation by the redemptive work of Jesus Christ at Calvary. resulting in the weakness that is exploited by all & sundry, whether atheist, agnostic or more radical other faiths.
Dodo is right when he says that it is time to take a stand, but I feel that sectarianism will have to be ditched if the gospel is to be as effective as possible & accompanied by the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit, confirming the message & convicting of sin.
A tall order, but can we fill it? Time alone will tell.

17 February 2012 at 12:47  
Blogger Albert said...

Preacher,

I feel that sectarianism will have to be ditched if the gospel is to be as effective as possible

I agree. Meanwhile the CofE is busy dividing itself over women bishops...

17 February 2012 at 13:19  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Members of the church cannot reasonably ask to be excused from the laws that govern the public square. Religion is not an exemption card, and how many (non Christian) examples do I need to cite to prove my point? The problem (for us) is that the laws that govern the public square are increasingly based upon a foundation that is both antithetical towards and hostile to the Christian faith. That is our dilemma. There really is nothing new under the sun. It's no different from ancient Rome. "Worship whom you like in private, but in public you must worship Caesar as an act of loyalty."

Except we can't worship Caesar. We must obey God and not man. We aren't used to having to make that choice. Welcome to the future. It is a time for the faith of men be shown either true or false. The trumpet sounds, and each man must decide "Do I worship that golden idol?"

carl

17 February 2012 at 13:29  
Blogger Windsor Tripehound said...

Corrigan1 said...

what was it that Protestantism built (sic) on? Besides the lusts of Henry VIII, that is.


Even a rudimentary knowledge of history would inform you that the origins of Protestantism pre-date Henry VIII. Try googling 'Lollardy' or 'Wycliffe' for starters.

17 February 2012 at 14:12  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

17 February 2012 at 14:35  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace;
Government surely has to have some form of moral base upon which to base its laws and governances. What would an Atheist administration or one of Equality, base the formulation of their governance on? It would surely have to be whatever any individual thinks is appropriate. Since two people rarely think the same, there will be chaos.
Preacher is right in that the church needs to concentrate on evangelism but sectarianism I feel cannot be ditched that easy. A good few centuries have passed since divisions began and it will take a mighty work of God to deal with the differences. Different is necessarily wrong. You may like one type of worship and I might like another. The same with music, we all have different preferences. So providing there are not major differences in doctrine, we can tolerate differences but cooperation would be good.
Ideally, Government should be supportive of the nation’s religion by providing a righteous framework where Christianity can thrive.

17 February 2012 at 15:15  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Belsay Bugle at 10:10. You might like to repeat you comment to the following Blog. A seemingly well educated Christian, but opposed to Conservatives and is a Liberal candidate. Can't believe it.
Gentle Wisdom

17 February 2012 at 15:19  
Blogger Jon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

17 February 2012 at 15:20  
Blogger Jon said...

It's quite funny and instructive to read Harry-ca-nab's post at 11.24 and then Albert's at 12.00. It gives me comfort that there's about as much intellectual coherence in their Christianity as there is in the supposed "gay agenda" you all wibble on about so much.

Albert - is it possible that Christians are both discriminated against, and discriminating against others simultaneously? Yes, I think it is. Philips might not be that great, but your post at 10.43 fails to demonstrate inconsistency.

Carl - you don't have to worship the state - or at least not in the UK. Where religionists' interpretation of God's Law conflicts with human law we have clear examples in our history - for example conscientious objection from conscription where they have been granted get outs. You're really hamming up the threat posed by "secular" laws to your religious belief. Someone's going to throw that couple who run the B&B at me as "evidence" but I bet they don't ask for a marriage certificate as a condition of booking from straight couples. Many of the "christians" here are totally happy to let large sections of law from the old testament slide, and so they can't be surprised when their "a la carte" seems mean- spirited and based solely upon the prejudices of the user.

17 February 2012 at 15:21  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

We don't need an Equalities and Human Rights Commission, it's a waste of money that could be put to better use.

We have to uphold a strong mono-culture of Christianity in Britain with tolerance of other faiths as secondary, we are multi national multiculturalism does not work. It is good to have a strong cultural Identity because everybody knows where they stand and it cuts out a lot of squabbling over who has what right and how much. The boundaries remain clear as there is a lot less confusion, whereas a total secular state is very difficult to uphold and maintain, it quickly becomes a state dictatorship with no tolerance of anyone and our culture fades away.

People from abroad came here to improve themselves and for a better life through opportunities and learning a new culture.

17 February 2012 at 15:33  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

We have to uphold a strong mono-culture of Christianity in Britain

For Christianity read Islam and this line is the same as they trot out Saudi, Iran, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Pakistan ad nauseum - it is simply aberration unless you are in to 'ethnic cleansing' - it is a discredited option.

17 February 2012 at 15:46  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

If Christians are having problems with religions claiming 'equal rights' why does their heirarchy bang the multifaith drum so loudly - don't make much sense to me, why they the think its all down to secular activists or non-theists. They have only themselves to look to.

17 February 2012 at 15:58  
Blogger Albert said...

Jon,

your post at 10.43 fails to demonstrate inconsistency.

Phillips has been inconsistent on these matters and seems to be pushed around by the NSS (all 7000 of them!).

However, I wasn't pushing the point that Phillips changes his mind. My point was that equality legislation seems to have the opposite effect of that intended.

The other inconsistency you seem to be pointing to, seems to me to be a reflection of Tingey's determination to force religion into the private sphere.

17 February 2012 at 16:06  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Dreadnaught
No ethnic cleansing is not the answer, just staying a Christian country is. Those from abroad have no right to usurp our culture however many of them pour in. And their offspring born here are British, they can be a British muslim and attend the mosque, and buy all their food in this country along with their garb, but their culture has no legal rights and especially not to be inflicted upon us either by stealth or otherwise. All this having time off for prayers and blocking streets, along with special treatment at work and at school because they are fasting for Ramadam and all the rest of their demands is not done here, it's not British. There has to be a boundary.

17 February 2012 at 16:14  
Blogger Oswin said...

It's all going to end in tears ....

17 February 2012 at 16:22  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Ernst said ...

"The corrupt foundations that were criticised, even by its most ardent followers here such as Colet and More, so that British democracy could have a sure foundation resting four square on the only true cornerstone!"

Now, now, you know Thomas More never viewed the 16th century Church as being built on corrupt foundations! The foundations were and are sound - Christ and His Apostolic Church. It's human weakness that caused and continues to cause difficultly.

17 February 2012 at 16:40  
Blogger Anglican said...

We are entering a period of anti-Christian secularism which infected France, and some other countries, in the late 19th & early 20th centuries.

17 February 2012 at 16:59  
Blogger These Interminable Creatures said...

I disagree with you but I don't mean to come on here and deal with that as neither of us would get anywhere.

I would just like to clarify your position.

When you make statements including, "all beliefs do not equally save" are you stating that you believe that the Christian faith deserves seniority and privileged status in law and in public life over other beliefs?

17 February 2012 at 17:02  
Blogger These Interminable Creatures said...

Albert,

surely in terms of practicality any religious view must first be translated into something more universal before being of any use in wider debate.

It is reasonable for a person of a given religion to state that they believe something to be true because their religious teachings state it to be so. But it would be equally reasonable for all other faiths to find that argument entirely unconvincing.

Furthermore, religious moral positions are not and should not be static nor dogmatic and never have been. Reinterpretation of scripture and revelation have to be part of religious life. Forcing certain groups to evaluate moral judgements from a broader perspective is frankly far more healthy for all involved than allowing privileged status to allow unquestioning support.

17 February 2012 at 17:09  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Article: "All gods are not equal in the pantheon, Mr Phillips; all religions are not equally conducive to the common good; all faith groups are not equally beneficial to society; all beliefs do not equally save."

What is the Common Good there and how do we know it? That's at the core of all of this. If I understand correctly what Trevor Phillips is getting at then he's saying that Christianity and Islam are making competing claims to getting knowledge from their respective gods about what that is. Alongside those, people like me who have rejected those god hypotheses are no longer willing to accept a definition of the Common Good handed to them by religionists.

The solution for Phillips appears to be to structure Society so that religious claims cannot claim special privilege. He may be arguing like I occasionally do that a structure along the lines put forward by John Rawls is better, where the structure is aimed at justice but the Common Good is not explicitly defined. This is what I see as the role of a secular State. But how then do we get to the Common Good? Well, that's the big question.

17 February 2012 at 17:13  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Marie: "And their offspring born here are British, they can be a British muslim and attend the mosque, and buy all their food in this country along with their garb, but their culture has no legal rights and especially not to be inflicted upon us either by stealth or otherwise."

Isn't that just wishful thinking? They have the same rights as the rest of us, which is to say that they have the liberty to do as they will except when it is proscribed by law.

When the Christian Institute takes an employer to Court over religious freedom in the workplace, they're concommitantly arguing for a Muslim to have the same sort of religious freedom. They just haven't realised it yet.

17 February 2012 at 17:20  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Well Belsay Bugle is a liar ....

It isn't "equality" it is equality of opportunity and "Equality before the law" - the latter being very important.You are wingeing and screaming that you will/should be treated the same as everyone else - oh the injustice!
Can you not see the utter riridculousness of this.
Philips is, meanwhile also saying: "no privilegies for muslims, either - or didn't you b=notice that bit?

Albert
The completely brain-dead christians visiting in my street (none of them live here) from a US-based fundie church insist on forcing their religion on everyone - and wonder why they are hated.
May I remind you of Matt VI,6 whilst I'm at it?
I am not imposing my opinion on ayone - you are either delude or lying (I hope the former) I just want to be left alone without preachers, any preachers - or is that too difficult to understand?

AS for a "Christian country" well we had that onec, HG didn't like it they burnt his previous avatar alive...And witches and .....

17 February 2012 at 17:20  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Marie, I share you pain for our country - it just seems that when the rest of the country wakes up it will be a matter of too little to late.

17 February 2012 at 17:30  
Blogger Albert said...

Interminable,

surely in terms of practicality any religious view must first be translated into something more universal before being of any use in wider debate.

I agree, but the assumption that secularism (= metaphysical naturalism) is universal is plainly a false one. Why should I have to translate my beliefs into metaphysical naturalism, if metaphysical naturalists do not have to translate their views into mine? That's where the inequality is to be found.

Furthermore, religious moral positions are not and should not be static nor dogmatic and never have been.

Is that a static and dogmatic position?

Forcing certain groups to evaluate moral judgements from a broader perspective is frankly far more healthy for all involved than allowing privileged status to allow unquestioning support.

That may be true, but who has the right to force other groups to accept his "broader perspective"?

We will not get real equality in these matters if there isn't a little more self-criticism on the part of secularists.

17 February 2012 at 17:34  
Blogger Albert said...

Tingey,

I have sympathy with you over the street-preachers. I'm worried at the idea that it should be prohibited however (if that's what you mean).

I am not imposing my opinion on anyone

Yes, you are. You were determined to impose the view that Religion is a PRIVATE matter. No religious person thinks that (unless they are very confused). The idea that religion is a private matter is a secular idea to keep us quiet and undermine our freedoms. So you are hoping to impose your view on others.

How about if I say "SECULARISM is a private matter"?

17 February 2012 at 17:38  
Blogger Roy said...

Trevor Phillips said that Christians aren't above the law but which groups of people keep trying to change the law? It is people the Trevor Phillips and the new left (i.e. the middle class, phoney left, not the old working class left).

It is in the name of "equality" that orphans and other children from deprived backgrounds are denied the chance of being brought up by a father and a mother and instead are handed over to a pair of men or a pair of women.

In the name of "equality" it is fine to discriminate against men from ordinary backgrounds in favour of women born with a silver spoon in their mouth, like Harriet Harman, unless, of course, the men in question can claim to belong to some "under-represented" minority.

Trevor Phillips might reply that this is democracy in action but it certainly is not. Are the British people in favour of either of the changes in the law that I mentioned above? It does not matter whether they are or not because in the eyes of people like Trevor Phillips, typical Guardian readers are more equal than other people.

A couple of years ago I sent a polite email message to the Equality and Human Rights Commission asking them to forward it to Trevor Phillips in which I pointed out the harmful effects of some of their policies. Needless to say I never even received an acknowledgement from anyone, not even the lowest minion, in the Commission. As I said, some people are more equal than others.

17 February 2012 at 17:51  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

...they have the liberty to do as they will...

Even if to Build the foundations of a state within a state? - I don't think so.

Hindus Sikhs and Jews in particular brought their cultures and religions with them yet managed for the most part to accept our cultural norms and take pride in holding a British Passport.

17 February 2012 at 17:52  
Blogger Phil said...

Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer asked this question when he decided to oppose the Nazis that if you saw a drunk get into a car and go for a drive. Is it your duty as a Christian to let the driver drive as it is their free will to do so, then to bury the dead and tend to the injured, or to stop the drunk in the first place? He decided to that as a Christian he needed to stop the drunk and so he decided to return to Nazi Germany to oppose Hitler. Knowing full well that it would cost him personally and perhaps expecting that it would cost him his life, which it did.

He also said that he needed to return because his church (Lutheran) was weak (through 30 years of liberal doctrine, not as liberal or as weak as the CofE/ TEC) and was in the main not opposing Hitler and incredibly some were supporting him.

Notice any parallels anyone? Unfortunately none of us want to be a Bonhoeffer to oppose evil and so evil will flourish. (Certainly not me, someone else can go to prison/ lose their job!) The likes of Trevor Philips can say and do want he wants with impunity. Christians will be increasingly marginalised unless they are prepared to stand up and try to stop the drunk driver!

Of course I am talking rubbish. The state in the UK is nothing like Nazi Germany. No similarity at all… We are free to say what we want, to write what we want and to worship as we want, nobody is talking about killing people who are ill or disabled or are inconvenient/ may not have the desired characteristics but are unborn. No one is attacking the family’s rights to bring up their children as they like and ensuring that institutions and organisations totally opposed to Christian values access to children (without parental consent) to indoctrinate the young. Nobody is…..

17 February 2012 at 17:58  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Phil: "Notice any parallels anyone? Unfortunately none of us want to be a Bonhoeffer to oppose evil and so evil will flourish."

Actually, that's what some of us who are advocates of a secular State are trying to do. At least in a manner of speaking, anyway.

17 February 2012 at 18:01  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dreadnaught: "Even if to Build the foundations of a state within a state? - I don't think so."

On what basis can you stop them if, like Christians, they're insisting on religious freedom, demanding special religious privileges, and expecting a place in government alongside the bishops? Their demands are grounded in their belief that their god exists and is the creator of everything. Just like some Christians. Who can argue with that?

17 February 2012 at 18:07  
Blogger Phil said...

DanJo

I wonder if we will end up in the same camp? Before we are gassed or worked to death we can then argue or agree on who was right!

Far more important for us will be what happens to us after we go up the chimney!

17 February 2012 at 18:11  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Harry-ca-Nab. 17 February 2012 11:31

Excellent post Sir. The Inspector is obliged to do an annual on screen test. He must score 60% at least or he’s out on his ear, or more likely a ‘chat’ with the governor who will remind the Inspector that as he’s a heterosexual white man with no ‘issues’ he’s damn lucky to have a job at all.

Makes the Inspector want to write to the The Chairman of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission himself, but as Phillips is of coloured immigrant stock, the Inspector doubts he’d understand the problems of the white indigenous and would be scolded for timewasting…

17 February 2012 at 18:18  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Phil: "I wonder if we will end up in the same camp? Before we are gassed or worked to death we can then argue or agree on who was right! Far more important for us will be what happens to us after we go up the chimney!"

Well, if it's Allah in charge then we'll both be toast for eternity I expect. If it's your god then I'll have to suffer whatever cruelties your god intends to inflict on the vast number of people who didn't make the correct leap of faith. You can be smug on a metaphorical cloud. If I'm right then we'll both just cease to exist as personalities. In the meantime, I'm not expecting any great social traumas along the lines of Nazi Germany any time soon whichever way this turns out.

17 February 2012 at 18:24  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...

There is good equality and bad equality, you decide which is which.

Everyone should be given the same level of wages, irrespective of ability, job description, supply and demand, hours worked, or any other considerations.

Everyone should be required by law to be given plastic or otherwise surgery free on The NHS to ensure that no one is less attractive, blacker, whiter, shorter, fatter, thinner, sexually well endowed, or taller, then anyone else.

Everyone should be required by law to be given brain surgery, or psychologically based treatment, free on the NHS to ensure that no one is either more, or less intelligent, feminine, masculine, obedient to the state, skillful, or talented either naturally or otherwise then anyone else.

After a full license to propagate ones DNA has been applied for and then given, a toss of a coin should be used to decide which partner in the relationship is to be required to first carry and then give birth to the government sanctioned, test tube produced product.

No one should be allowed to live longer then 75 years, or any other obituary figure decided by Trevor Phillips, or a standing committee made up of Trevor Phillips types, appointed of course by Trevor Phillips.

As much as is practical the law should act in the exact same way irrespective of the individuals race, skin pigmentation, sexual orientation, nationality, class, educational attainment, income, contacts, status, religious or political affiliation.

17 February 2012 at 18:28  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Jon

Carl - you don't have to worship the state - or at least not in the UK.

You are applying an overly literal understanding to my use of metaphor. You also do not seem to understand that worship inherently includes the act of service. It is not something you do on a Sunday morning for an hour. It is supposed to permeate your whole life. That means it makes demands on both your public and private life.

So, no, I am not overstating the threat. Little by little, Christians are being made enemies of the state. The government is defining as good that which the Christain faith calls evil, and then demanding that the Christian conform his public behavior to the government's understanding of good. A Christian cannot sever his public and private lives into separate hermetically-sealed enclosures. This inevitably means the moral conflict ends up in the legal arena when the Christian refuses to submit to the demands of an evil law.

So how would this play out in real life? A hypothetical example. The state justifies suicide on the basis of individual autonomy, and demands that medical professionals provide assistence. No Christian doctor can do this, because he maintains a man is not sovereign over his own life. he asserts that man does not have the authority to choose the hour or manner of his own death. Our hypothetical doctor thus refuses and becomes subject to action under the law. He is told "If you had scruples then you shouldn't have become a medical professional."

btw. That assumption of man's sovereignty over his own life is a good example of a presupposition that secularists wish to embed in law. It exposes the complete lack of neutrality in their position.

carl

17 February 2012 at 18:35  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Atlas: "There is good equality and bad equality, you decide which is which."

If all of that is equivocating between sameness and equality of opportunity or access or such like then it's off piste.

17 February 2012 at 18:37  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "Our hypothetical doctor thus refuses and becomes subject to action under the law."

Or, he chooses not to be a doctor anymore thus avoiding the direct moral agency implications. Alternatively, the State recognises the importance of conscientious objection and makes allowances in some cases as it does now. This happens with doctors and abortion. We also make allowances for Sikhs and motorcycle helmets. The underlying arguments are different but they're related things.

17 February 2012 at 18:44  
Blogger Albert said...

Dan,

Which of the two are you arguing for? Giving the doctor an opt out on account of his belief, or deprive him (and his family) of his job, his income, probably his home and us of his skills to save life, just to maintain a secular dogma?

17 February 2012 at 18:49  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...

Dear Mr G. Tingey the problem with people like Trevor Phillips is that we the people have now gained some experience as to how Trevor Phillips types actually promote their peculiar brand of equality in practice and many of us have found ourselves unimpressed to say the least.

Words are cheap, it is actions, and their consequences ordinary people have to life with that can be very expensive in many ways.

A society run by so called experts is not generally a happily contented one. You can only obtain real equality when everyone is either contrived to be born the same or are later forced to become the same, and I do mean EXACTLY the same in all respects.

This I hope you will agree is either impossible, or highly undesirable, even if it were to later become possible.

If the people trusted people like Trevor Phillips to deliver on their fine words, we would not be were we are.

We are where we are because the people do not trust the state to run their lives for their betterment or any one else's, save those employed by the state to do so, and neither should they.

Unfortunately for the lovers of freedom and liberty, the wiser and so more experienced in society eventually die off, and are replaced by younger generations that were not around when the previous motherhood and apple pie promises were made, therefore perniciously mass mind controlling lies were told.

17 February 2012 at 18:53  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

Or, he chooses not to be a doctor anymore

Thus establishing a de facto religious test for employment.

Alternatively, the State recognises...

Which are graces extended by the state. There is no necessary reason for the state to extend these graces, and increasingly it finds little reason to do so. It would not even be considered persecution for the state to refuse to grant conscientious objection. A man is required to follow the law and his conscience has been ruled null and void on the matter.

Now, if it was Obergruppenfuhrer Hans ordering our doctor to perform some immoral medical task, I would suspect you wouldn't demand he depart his profession over the conflict. As always, the moral basis of the law drives the conclusion about whether the man should obey. And that is what is always absent in all of your arguments - any basis to separate good acts from evil acts. For you it is sufficient that the law agrees with you, because you really have nothing else by way of measure.

carl

17 February 2012 at 18:56  
Blogger Albert said...

Exactly, Carl. The solution is clearly that the state should stop restricting freedom in the name secularism. These laws are not fit for purpose (unless the purpose is stealthily to outlaw religion).

It's just possible that the secularists and their fear of freedom have been rumbled. Certainly there seem to be a lot of people who are associating secularism with intolerance and seeing it as the enemy of freedom.

17 February 2012 at 19:07  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

17 February 2012 at 19:13  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "Thus establishing a de facto religious test for employment."

Except there's no need because there's an opt-out for doctors who choose not to have direct moral agency in abortions. I support that. I support conscientious objection in the matter of conscription for front line soldiering too. We value conscience ... but it doesn't trump everything.

It would be similar too for Muslims who refuse to pass alcohol over barcode readers in Sainsburys if the supermarket hadn't as an act of generosity/expediency made special allowances for them. I don't support that in legislation because there's no direct moral agency in the consumption of alcohol.

"Which are graces extended by the state. There is no necessary reason for the state to extend these graces, and increasingly it finds little reason to do so."

Nominally, the State is acting on the wishes of its citizens using authority derived from them in a democracy. Even if our State here were a theocracy, citizens would still be relying on its graces. That's the nature of the real world, I'm afraid.

"For you it is sufficient that the law agrees with you, because you really have nothing else by way of measure."

It's not sufficient, no. I have values like almost everyone else. My society has values too, which are embedded within it and are not the ephemeral things you like to portray them to be.

For you, it is by the precepts in a man-made book from a different age. For other religionists, it is by the precepts of another man-made book. And so on. You have no high ground, really.

17 February 2012 at 19:15  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

As I said earlier, I'm inclined to argue for a secular State to preserve the freedoms of the religious of all types and the freedoms of the non-religious. There are religionists who want to impose their religious hegemony onto the rest of us, whether we like it or not, and deny us of our freedom to suit themselves. This often comes sugar-coated in non-religious arguments but it's places like this that show the true motives. The most obvious examples involve religiously-inspired sexual morality even in cases of moral neutrality.

17 February 2012 at 19:23  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Tingey. All credit to you. You managed to post something that didn’t look like some deranged kidnappers ransom note made from letters cut out of a newspaper. Kept the Inspector’s spirits up, you know. Do keep it up. (...Having said that, your attitude still stinks, but in a more reasoned way...)

Marie. Thanks for the curly arrow tip. Life once again becomes almost bearable...

17 February 2012 at 19:27  
Blogger David B said...

One area of equality legislation compels taxpayers to fork out to pay for faith schools, the ethoses of which we might profoundly disagree.

Professor Dawkins has had a lot to say about the quality of science education in Islamic schools he has visited, and there has also been much written about child abuse in them, which the sort of wishy washy liberal that I am not do seem to want us to shut up about, as it seems would Baroness Warsi.

It seems somehow unfair for the taxpayer to fund schools which push one faith, but not others, don't you all think?

To me the answer seems obvious, and those who have read my other posts will readily guess what it is.

David B

17 February 2012 at 19:51  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

The government is defining as good that which the Christain faith calls evil, and then demanding that the Christian conform his public behavior to the government's understanding of good.

Unlike in the US where the Government is rightly or wrongly tolerant of Polygamous Mormons, Muslims, Amish, Jews, Neo Nazi Hell's Angels, the KKK and any number of outlandish cults such as the Westbro Baptists or the Church of God with Signs Following - just don't mention that you may be atheist, because they're all likely to want to string you up or at least run you out of town.(sarc but serious)

17 February 2012 at 20:05  
Blogger Roy said...

@ DanJO

The most obvious examples involve religiously-inspired sexual morality even in cases of moral neutrality.

What sort of sexual morality do you think the present government, many state schools, and the "Equality" Commission (which is in bed with militant Gays) are trying to promote?

17 February 2012 at 20:24  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

David B. Faith schools educate children; children who are the prodigy of taxpayers. Public schools also have charity status. Something against education have we ?

17 February 2012 at 20:37  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Well said, Mr Harry-ca-nab @ 11.20. Fortunately the UK is still a democracy and with the right leadership and some constitutional changes, things can be changed.

On the general point of 'democracy', this communicant notes with concern that Dave has endorsed Sarkozy, which follows the pattern established by Merkel. Are we now seeing the emergence of an EU super-party? If so, what are the implications?

More than ever, this communicant sees the need for an English Parliament. If Dave can make unsubstantiated offers of greater devolution to Scotland, he must do the same for England. An English parliament will help create the 'living tensions" of Federal-state relationships that may help curb the executive extremism to which the UK is so vulnerable.

Who knows, we may one day thank Alex Salmond for his contribution to constitutional reform of the UK. Odious wee baldy that he is.

17 February 2012 at 21:34  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Well said, Mr Harry-ca-nab @ 11.20. Fortunately the UK is still a democracy and with the right leadership and some constitutional changes, things can be changed.

On the general point of 'democracy', this communicant notes with concern that Dave has endorsed Sarkozy, which follows the pattern established by Merkel. Are we now seeing the emergence of an EU super-party? If so, what are the implications?

More than ever, this communicant sees the need for an English Parliament. If Dave can make unsubstantiated offers of greater devolution to Scotland, he must do the same for England. An English parliament will help create the 'living tensions" of Federal-state relationships that may help curb the executive extremism to which the UK is so vulnerable.

Who knows, we may one day thank Alex Salmond for his contribution to constitutional reform of the UK. Odious wee baldy that he is.

And Your Grace, if you can do something to make blogger less user-hostile, please do.

17 February 2012 at 21:36  
Blogger David B said...

@Inspector

Do you not agree that Islamic schools mis-educate children?

And I echo bluedog's plea to make blogger less non spam friendly.

David B

17 February 2012 at 22:06  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Roy: "What sort of sexual morality do you think the present government, many state schools, and the "Equality" Commission (which is in bed with militant Gays) are trying to promote?"

I'd rather hope none. I'd be looking for things like personal responsibility, respect, boundaries, understanding the consequences of one's actions, etc to be the language used. Ethics (in the sense of rules) too.

17 February 2012 at 22:28  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Roy

I would hope the State promotes a sexual morality that is based on sex within life long monogamous relationships between men and women for the purposes of expressing love and raising children.

Not so radical is it?

17 February 2012 at 22:35  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

David B. The Inspector deprecates Islamic schools whose sole intention is to teach the hapless children the koran and nothing else. Just goes to show that the concept of mass alien immigration is, for want of a better word, shit.

The Inspector swears that as the night gets longer, this damn double word verification gets harder...

17 February 2012 at 22:38  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Also, Roy, I'd hope it wasn't sexual morality inspired by your Islamic fellow travellers. Women being required to dress 'modestly' so that their hair, arms, and ankles are covered, chaperoning, and so on, seems a bit too much to me. But hey, who am I to argue against it as it's in religious text ... at least to some eyes.

17 February 2012 at 22:55  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

17 February 2012 at 23:33  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Danj0:“Isn't that just wishful thinking? They have the same rights as the rest of us, which is to say that they have the liberty to do as they will except when it is proscribed by law.”

No, it's realistic practical thinking. They want special treatment and to be able to use alternatives. This is wrong and contrary to our civilised British Christian culture. Eg we don't use halal slaughter practices ad should forbid those that are happening. It's barbaric and we have moved on.

“When the Christian Institute takes an employer to Court over religious freedom in the workplace, they're concomitantly arguing for a Muslim to have the same sort of religious freedom. They just haven't realised it yet.”

Yes I'm sure they are aware, but how else are they going to fight their corner unless of course we clarify Christianity as main and primary religion and culture here. With the rules being that all other religions can wear their symbols and clothing ONLY if they are compatible with Christianity and our culture. e.g. muslim dress but without the face covering, because we don't cover our face in public in Britain, Sikhi turbans but not on motor cyles/building sites and other places that require health and safety clothing to comply with law and insurance policy requirements. A work uniform should take precedence over any religious clothing when at place of employment. No Hindu funeral pyres because we have more advanced and healthier cremation facilities, no separate graveyard plots and I could go on but I'm sure you get me.

As the primary religion all Christian symbols should be allowed and the street preaching although there is not a lot of that these days also. No muslim street prayers they have enough mosques to do that and no sharia law.

If they wish to practice alien religion here, then they will have to compromise and adhere to our cultural rules.

17 February 2012 at 23:42  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

So it is actually wishful thinking on your part: a proposal. Moreover, it's seeking to impose your beliefs on other British citizens and restricting their religion freedom. Well, there we have it. Compare and contrast this with my secularist view which tries to maximise religious freedom for all our citizens.

17 February 2012 at 23:53  
Blogger len said...

What utter nonsense Trevor Phillips speaks!.

Christianity is one of the greatest forces for liberty, freedom and advocates love for ones fellow humans(whether secular or religious.)
To compare Christianity to Islam one of the most repressive, cruel,dictatorial religions in the World is utter nonsense.

18 February 2012 at 07:50  
Blogger Phil said...

Near where I used to live in Wales was a small ruined Templar Church. Prayer and preparation here was the final act before they left in the little ship in the harbor, leaving their family and friends (usually) forever to flight for our freedom to worship in the Holy Land.

If you put aside for a minute all of the propaganda of History teaching and look at what these men were trying to do. They gave their own lives for Christ and our freedom to worship. These men took the fight to Islam, (not waiting to be overwhelmed) and partly through their action (But usually not recognized)we can worship Christ freely today.

We don't have a problem with Islam or terrorism we have a problem with accepting death, meaning that we are constantly looking to our comforts on this world rather than leaving all our comforts and following Jesus.

It will be our children that will pay the price for our selfishness now and unwillingness to fight to keep the freedoms that our ancestors fought and won for us.

Trevor Philips is not the enemy, the real problem is ourselves (We like to blame the CofE the Government, saying hey it is not OUR fault, we are powerless... ) and our children and grandchildren will pay the price.

18 February 2012 at 08:57  
Blogger Albert said...

Dan,

This often comes sugar-coated in non-religious arguments but it's places like this that show the true motives.

So firstly you claim the right as a secularist to determine the terms of discussion and opinion in secular space, thereby undermining the equality of religious people to engage in public debate. Then, when we say that actually we have a philosophical tradition and can still argue confidently on your chosen terms, you then say that is unacceptable too.

Why don't you just go the whole way and say that religious people just aren't allowed to express their opinions in public on any terms? You could call us "Non-persons" perhaps.

even in cases of moral neutrality.

The conclusion comes at the end of a discussion, not at the beginning...but that of course, gets to the very heart of this debate.

18 February 2012 at 10:10  
Blogger Albert said...

David,

It seems somehow unfair for the taxpayer to fund schools which push one faith, but not others, don't you all think?

Only if it seems unfair for the taxpayer to fund schools which uncritically elevate naturalism as the standard by which to judge faiths.

To me the answer seems obvious, and those who have read my other posts will readily guess what it is.

Presumably you mean close faith schools, deny parents the freedom to educate their children in the faith and philosophy of their choosing and instead impose your own particular metaphysical assumptions on other people's children.

You and Dan might do well to reflect on why atheist philosopher Julian Baggani feels

there is no doubt that secularism is increasingly seen as a threat to liberty rather than its stoutest defender

as you seem to spend all your time looking for freedoms to be stamped out by your own dogmas.

18 February 2012 at 10:17  
Blogger William said...

Albert

Well said

18 February 2012 at 12:58  
Blogger len said...

Some Atheists are 'outraged' at the thought of Christian morals and principles being 'forced' on Society.Christianity is by its very nature a religion of choice where one has the free will to walk away from at any time!.

But the same Atheists are quite prepared to force 'homosexual agendas' on our infants at School' and the Theory of Evolution is taught exclusively at Schools.

This is indoctrination and brainwashing at its very worst as free will and the ability to choose any other course is totally negated and denied to the individual.

18 February 2012 at 13:34  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Len: "Christianity is by its very nature a religion of choice where one has the free will to walk away from at any time!."

Len, that's not the same thing. At the moment, married couples have the right to divorce for a number of reasons. If Christian morality is used as the basis of our laws and institutions then they probably won't have the choice at all.

"But the same Atheists are quite prepared to force 'homosexual agendas' on our infants at School' and the Theory of Evolution is taught exclusively at Schools."

Perhaps creationism performed by Allah should be taught alongside the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection in biology lessons. Why not if science lessons don't need to focus on science topics?

"This is indoctrination and brainwashing at its very worst as free will and the ability to choose any other course is totally negated and denied to the individual."

That's a curious statement given the rest of your comment. Of course, religious teaching can be done outside of school anyway, and it is, thus completely undermining your point. Even I went to Sunday School to learn about Christianity.

18 February 2012 at 13:55  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

Except there's no need because there's an opt-out for doctors who choose not to have direct moral agency in abortions.

This deftly avoids the point. The fact that there presently exists an 'opt out' does not mean one will always exist. What is given can be taken away. There have already been suggestions in the US that abortion be a requirement of graduating from medical school.

More to the point, there is no necessary moral imperative to allow the 'opt out.' In my example, it is a given that the state would be justified in forcing a doctor under penalty of law to euthanize a patient. It is already well established that the state can forcibly conscript a conscientious objector. Why then not a doctor?

I support that. I support conscientious objection in the matter of conscription for front line soldiering too. We value conscience ... but it doesn't trump everything.

Do you support allowing Bed & Breakfast Owners to 'opt out' from renting homosexual couples a room? Well, no. Do you support allowing Catholic Adoption agencies to 'opt out' of placing children in homosexual families? Well, no. You have arrogated to yourself the authority to determine the 'significance' of the moral conflict. If it meets some arbitrary criteria established by you, then you will allow an exemption. Or not, as you see fit.

I don't support that in legislation because there's no direct moral agency in the consumption of alcohol.

You say there is no direct moral agency. The important word here is 'you.' Why is your opinion of moral agency definitive? The man coerced also has an opinion of moral agency. He refuses because he claims he is being forced to participate in an immoral act against his will. Why is that judgment of moral agency less authoritative?

Nominally, the State is acting on the wishes of its citizens using authority derived from them in a democracy. Even if our State here were a theocracy, citizens would still be relying on its graces. That's the nature of the real world, I'm afraid.

So the rights of a man are granted by the state, and therefore can be withdrawn by the state. Well, yes, it's completely consistent with your legal positivism but I didn't expect you to admit it.

The state by its nature coerces the conscience of men. That's what laws do. They compel behavior against the will. I said earlier on this thread that religion is not a "get-out-of-jail-free" card for violating the law. Bigamy is a crime in the US. There are religions that would object. Mormonism and Islam come to mind. It matters not at all to the law, nor should it. The man who says that religious belief must supercede law is being inconsistent.

The problem (as always) revolves around the standard by which the conscience of men will be coerced. Men can be compelled to do good by the state. But how does the state define 'good?' Is it good to euthanize the defective and weak? Obergruppenfuhrer Hans thought so. Is it good to abort the defective and the weak? Our present western culture thinks so. Is there a difference? People in western culture who would rather not find themselves in the company of Obergruppenfuhrer Hans would really like to think so.

The state always imposes a vision of the good. You complain that religionists are "seeking to impose" their beliefs on you. But you likewise seek to impose your beliefs on them. This thread demonstrates it. The issue isn't the fact of imposed belief. That's a given. The issue is the nature of the beliefs imposed. What standard do you possess that rules out the vision of good represented by Obergruppenfuhrer Hans? All you have is the political process. And we all know how stable and successful that has been.

carl

18 February 2012 at 14:00  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Dreadnaught

What an odd list.

Unlike in the US where the Government is rightly or wrongly tolerant of Polygamous Mormons ...
A truly polygamous Mormon would go to jail. Polygamous men typically have one legal wife and a bunch of concubines. The children are technically illegitimate. They are take advantage of the current sexual mores and simply shack up.

Muslims
Well, should we arrest them?

Amish
It's true. Trot-by buggy shootings have become a big problem in the US.

Jews
How did Jews get on this list?

Neo Nazi Hell's Angels
I'm confused. Are you saying the Hell's Angels are neo-nazis? As opposed to a criminal biker gang?

the KKK
If you think the KKK is tolerated in this country, you don't know much about this country.

and any number of outlandish cults such as the Westbro Baptists...
I am beginning to think you have applied a different definition of 'tolerance.'

...or the Church of God with Signs Following
The Who? No, not the band. OK, I do know what you are talking about but how do they relate to anything else on your list?

Your understanding of tolerance seem to flit back and forth between tolerating the:

1. Criminal.
2. Countercultural.
3. Non-Christian.

In fact, the group that is fast becoming 'not tolerated' in the US is the group I represent - Traditional Christians. We are already 'not tolerated' in the commanding heights of culture. The hostility is expanding.

carl

18 February 2012 at 14:36  
Blogger Oswin said...

Carl:

''Trot-by buggy shootings'' - priceless! :o)

18 February 2012 at 14:46  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "This deftly avoids the point."

Your point being that a State can ultimately do what they want if it has the power to do so? I've looked it right in the eye. It is you who prefers to imagine the precepts in a man-made book from a different age binds a State to certain behaviour. I live in the UK and we have a well-known religious history here, you know.

"More to the point, there is no necessary moral imperative to allow the 'opt out.'"

We value conscience as I have already said, and the opt-out follows from our arguments. This is why some opt-outs are not allowed ... because the arguments for them don't convince us collectively.

"Do you support allowing Bed & Breakfast Owners to 'opt out' from renting homosexual couples a room?"

No, definitely not. For the reasons I have said time and again.

"Do you support allowing Catholic Adoption agencies to 'opt out' of placing children in homosexual families?"

No. The arguments for and against are different. In this case, these agencies are acting on behalf of the State.

How about Sikhs and motor-cycle helmets, H&S hats, daggers in the forthcoming Olympics, and so on? Well, I have carefully considered arguments for those too, bringing in the relevant values, principles and so on. So, should Sikhs be able to bring knives into Olympic venues if it troubles their consciences to be denied? Is there a precept in your book for that?

"You have arrogated to yourself the authority to determine the 'significance' of the moral conflict. If it meets some arbitrary criteria established by you, then you will allow an exemption. Or not, as you see fit."

I make arguments as a private citizen, matey, and people accept the soundness and validity of them or not. There's nothing particularly arbitrary about them, they usually follow from our shared values. We could make arguments from your man-made book or the man-made book of some other religionist if you like. We can call them arbitrary too.

"He refuses because he claims he is being forced to participate in an immoral act against his will. Why is that judgment of moral agency less authoritative?"

Well, let's have a look. Is he actually participating in the act? No. There you go, there’s nothing too difficult about that or requiring stacks of metaphysical argument.

Is a Muslim passing a bottle of beer over a barcode reader directly participating in the drinking of alcohol? No, that'd be an indirect act.

Is his conscience troubled by participating in the sale of it on behalf of his employer? Possibly. Should he be given an opt-out as a result? Well, what do you think?

18 February 2012 at 14:57  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: ""So the rights of a man are granted by the state, and therefore can be withdrawn by the state. Well, yes, it's completely consistent with your legal positivism but I didn't expect you to admit it."

I'm getting the feeling you think you've revealed something very telling there.

"The state always imposes a vision of the good. You complain that religionists are "seeking to impose" their beliefs on you."

Clearly religionists are trying to do just that and not just in the UK either. We have examples across the world, and across history.

"The issue is the nature of the beliefs imposed."

Okay. This is about moral absolutism and your particular notion of moral relativism here, right? Let's adopt the moral absolutism of Islam instead of some sort of real world morality based on shared values of different fundamental types and grounded in a shared experience of the human condition. Ts crossed and Is dotted, not arbitrary because they can't be easily changed etc. Of course, as with Christianity, the morality may simply be man-made and promoted to a man-made concept of a god to metaphorically hold it on behalf of the religious to give it a semblance of authority but we ignore that. Are you happy?

Sorry, I'd spend more time with the rest but we've done this core point over and over. You certainly haven't convinced me and I presumably haven't convinced you. Moreover, it’s a standard philosophical argument at its core.

18 February 2012 at 14:58  
Blogger Albert said...

Dan,

This is why some opt-outs are not allowed ... because the arguments for them don't convince us collectively.

I recall that most people wanted the Catholic adoption agencies being given an opt out. So am I to take it that "us" is a set restricted to people that agree with you?

There's nothing particularly arbitrary about them

Your arguments are definitely arbitrary because when you get caught violating your own principles, you simply say that there probably isn't one coherent moral truth.

Your other argument seems to be that you appeal to different religions - which do we support? But your position is no less metaphysical. Granted, your metaphysics are less clear and less well-defended. Indeed, they are less likely to meet with the epistemological standard you expect to be able to apply to religious people (indeed, secularist epistemologies tend to fail even their own standard!). But just makes the secularist position less intellectually defensible. It ought not to entitle the secularist to the divide and rule principle you keep appealing to.

18 February 2012 at 15:18  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Poor Marie, she writes all that and these allegedly freedom-loving religionists ignore her freedom-reducing arguments. It's as though they think she's a lightweight. :(

Marie, pretend you're an atheist, or a secularist, or that you fancy women. They'll be all over you like a rash. When I say rash, obviously I don't mean anything STI-related of course!

18 February 2012 at 15:47  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Danj0

I've looked it right in the eye.

No, you haven't. If you had, you would end up standing with Nietzsche. You would accept that you are a random irrelevancy in a naked dead universe surrounded by nothing but the will to power. It's the only consistent end-point for your arguments. You can't substitute self-interest for Good. You can't substitute process for Truth. In the end, it all reverts to power.

That's really all I want from atheists. I want consistency. I want them to own the implications of their world view; to admit that killing a man is no more significant than burning a lump of coal. After all, in the naked dead universe, it's just a matter of re-arranging atoms.

carl

18 February 2012 at 16:16  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Danj0
I take it they all secretly agree with me really! Being a peace loving person by nature, I don't put my arguments across as efficiently or as aggressively as I should.

What I advocate if we want to preserve our culture, heritage and a civilised society is compromise from those with differing religions or non in some aspects of their life and religion that do not fit in here to ours.
We have already given other religions the freedom to worship in allowing mosques, temples etc to be built, we allow them their faith schools so the can propagate their religion, For sanities sake there has to be a cut off and a primary religion of Christianity, it's the most forward and civilised.

I just hope somebody with a modicum of sense and vision reads it and realises where total freedom leads not just to anarchy, but secularism to a stalemate and oppressive state dictatorship.

18 February 2012 at 16:31  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "You would accept that you are a random irrelevancy in a naked dead universe surrounded by nothing but the will to power."

Carl, I strongly suspect that we're no more or less important in the overall scheme of thing than any animal or plant. I doubt there's any universal meaning in any of our activities. I say this or something similar quite regularly here. Should I expect your surprise again that I've 'admitted' this?

But that's not the same as any of us or any of our activities having no local meaning at all. The universe is bloody amazing. Our world is a very beautiful place despite the cruelty we see in it. I'm glad to be alive! Not only that, I'm comfortable with the fact that my body will die and almost certainly my consciousness with it. I don't need religion to make it all better in my mind.

"That's really all I want from atheists. I want consistency. I want them to own the implications of their world view; to admit that killing a man is no more significant than burning a lump of coal."

You call that consistency? Lol. Look, there's more to all this than a choice between your god making everything matter, and nothing mattering to anyone. When someone I know dies, it matters to me. I have consciousness, emotions, thoughts, memories, and so on, and I experience them. Of course it flipping matters.

18 February 2012 at 16:56  
Blogger Roy said...

One of the most disgusting things that Trevor Phillips said, as quoted in the Daily Telegraph yesterday, was to condemn Roman Catholics for wanting their adoption agencies to be free to ensure that children were adopted by a man and a woman instead of by a couple of gays or lesbians.

He knows perfectly well that the law has been hijacked by a political class who are out of touch with most people in this country, including most members of ethnic minorities, and whose "values" would be regarded with utter contempt by their own parents and grandparents, and the great majority of the people in the world today.

18 February 2012 at 17:01  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I'm disappointed you didn't tackle the various questions about conscientious objection, Carl. Money where you mouth is, etc. I bet you'd reason much as I do over it.

18 February 2012 at 17:03  
Blogger Roy said...

@ DanJO


"Do you support allowing Catholic Adoption agencies to 'opt out' of placing children in homosexual families?"

No. The arguments for and against are different. In this case, these agencies are acting on behalf of the State.

Absolute rubbish! Children do not belong to the State. The Catholic Adoption agencies were acting on behalf of the children and of humanity in general. The British government, to its disgrace, was acting on behalf of gay activists - and you know it.

However I think the Catholic Adoption agencies certainly deserve criticism. They should have simply ignored the law and challenged the government to close them down!

In the run up to the general election I am sure that Gordon Brown would have relished being seen to be depriving children, who had already experienced a rotten start to life, of the opportunity to be brought up in a normal home by a mother and a father.

18 February 2012 at 17:10  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

I'm disappointed you didn't tackle the various questions about conscientious objection

I didn't answer because I asked you for an authority and you responded with an argument. I didn't want to change the focus. It is a given fact that the RCC did not accept your arguments against its position. I asked for the authority by which you would rule against it. Why is your definition of moral agency more authoritative than the definition used by the RCC?

carl

18 February 2012 at 17:38  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Roy: "Absolute rubbish! Children do not belong to the State. The Catholic Adoption agencies were acting on behalf of the children and of humanity in general."

*shrug*

18 February 2012 at 17:47  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "It is a given fact that the RCC did not accept your arguments against its position. I asked for the authority by which you would rule against it."

The Catholic Church refused to place children with same-sex parents because of their religious dogma and they claim their particular god put the dogma in place. In the apparent absence of their god, what are we left with? Our usual social structures.

If Catholic parents had an Abraham Moment and decided to sacrifice their child on an alter using a knife, it would be the usual social structures intervening rather than someone else's god.

When Jehovah Witnesses decide to withhold blood transfusions from their children who would otherwise die without it, it's not the Catholic god or the Muslim god that intervenes, it's the usual social structures.

We're not paralysed by indecision because we don't have the support and approval of one or more gods put forward through the mouths of its self-appointed priests or scholars. No, we act as best we can in the absence of all these gods, using the force of our arguments to justify the action.

When some nutters from one of the more violent strains of religion decide to kill us and cite religious text and therefore the authority of their god to do so then what do we do? Well, I'm not accepting that claim to authority and I'm not going to line up to be killed either.

Does that answer your question? If so then what about those questions regarding practical instances of conscientious objection?

18 February 2012 at 18:05  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

If the Jehovah Witnesses claim their god authorises their actions in that situation then how do we determine which authority trumps the other between the Jehovah and ther Catholic god? Are either necessarily any better than an authority to step in citing the best interests of the child, backed by the courts, using our normal shared values and related justifications?

18 February 2012 at 18:12  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

When someone I know dies, it matters to me. I have consciousness, emotions, thoughts, memories, and so on, and I experience them. Of course it flipping matters.

Of course it matters to you. That's not the same thing as saying it matters in any greater sense. Self-interest does not establish purpose. This is the great dilemma you can't answer. Self-interest doesn't provide an answer to the question people most want answered - "Why?" It mattered greatly to each Ukrainian that he was being starved to death by Stalin in 1932. They were condemned to consciously experience slow wasting death complete with all the attendant thoughts, emotions, and memories. They and their children. So what? The question that demands an answer is "Why did I have to experience it? Who will vindicate the suffering recorded in those thoughts, emotions, memories and experiences?" You have no answer.

You assume that by nature you possess a right to control your own life. You possess no such thing. You can assert "I want" and establish your desires to the extent of your power. That is all you can do. If another man with the power to enforce his will says "I want otherwise" then you are at his disposal. He may do with you as he pleases for there is no one to countermand him. And then what will you do? Assert the primacy of your thoughts and emotions and memories? Will you turn aside his self-interest with "I experience. Therefore I am."

The reality of a man's experiential existence imposes no necessary obligation on anyone else. Indeed a man's experiences are as transient as the individual himself. So if Bob's suffering purchases a pleasant experience for Ted, then what is that to Ted? As far as Ted is concerned, Bob has fulfilled his purpose in contributing to the meaning of Ted's life. And isn't that what life is all about in the naked dead universe? Pleasant experiences?

carl

18 February 2012 at 18:15  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

The Catholic Church refused to place children with same-sex parents because of their religious dogma

Against which you set your materialist dogma regarding the non-existence of God which you presume sweeps all before it. So having established the 'proper' metaphysical context you then proceed to argue on the basis of that context. Since you control the presuppositions of the debate, you control the outcome of the debate. Shocked I am that you would declare yourself the victor. This is what passes for the neutrality of secularism towards religion. It would indeed be interesting to explore the presuppositions that undergird the 'force of argument' that justifies the positions asserted. Then we would really see that neutrality writ large.

So, no, you didn't satisfy me. You didn't specify any authority at all. You said "There isn't an authority so we have to argue about it." Except there has to be an authority in there somewhere or we could never resolve the argument.

carl

18 February 2012 at 18:33  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "Of course it matters to you. That's not the same thing as saying it matters in any greater sense."

What if there isn't a 'greater sense' as you call it? We don't know if there is or there isn't. It doesn't stop me getting on with my life. How do you think we atheists manage to get through the day?

"The question that demands an answer is "Why did I have to experience it? Who will vindicate the suffering recorded in those thoughts, emotions, memories and experiences?" You have no answer."

But I do have an answer. The reason they experienced it is a local one. In all probably, no-one will know much about it, if anything, in ten thousand years. I can cope with that even if it is me in that situation. I'm thinking you can't. The raw, bald, stark fact is that wishing there is a cosmic reason for your existence does not make it so. Sorry. And that's all you have at the end of the day: wishful thinking.

"You assume that by nature you possess a right to control your own life. You possess no such thing. You can assert "I want" and establish your desires to the extent of your power. That is all you can do. [...]"

That whole paragraph could have been lifted out of a Political Philosophy 101 course book under the Social Contract section.

"The reality of a man's experiential existence imposes no necessary obligation on anyone else."

Correct. However, we do seem to be imbued with a sense of empathy along with other things as a result of being self-aware and probably because we're mammalian. There's a starting point to further stuff.

*Meaningful look at the political philosophy book here*

In a State of Nature, we are nominally responsible only for ourselves and our freedom is a function of our own power to act and the power of others to constrain us.

Yet when we come together and form societies things start to happen. This is where duties, rights, responsibilities, consequences, reputations, and so on, come into the frame. Look, some of that is the stuff of morality. Could it be that this is the actual basis of a chunk of it?

"And isn't that what life is all about in the naked dead universe? Pleasant experiences?"

Actually, no. Not just that. Some people choose to suffer because of virtue, you know. If it were just about pleasant experiences then we'd all favour being like a sated pig rather than a unsated Socrates.

18 February 2012 at 18:35  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "So, no, you didn't satisfy me."

Well, it seems to have got you out of those tricky, potentially revealing conscientious objection questions anyway. A result! Well, perhaps. ;)

18 February 2012 at 18:37  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

There must be a few more ways yet to approach the same issue of an ungrounded claim to an external absolute authority for one's actions that one doesn't have to demonstrated in any way. By the same token, I'm sure I can find more ways to shove the same sort of claims to a different external absolute authority for conflicting actions back.

18 February 2012 at 18:44  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

The Inspector presumes Phillips hasn’t been sacked yet. Roll on Monday. Tis time to award him the Grand Order of the Boot...

18 February 2012 at 18:45  
Blogger Roy said...

@ DanJ0

The Catholic Church refused to place children with same-sex parents because of their religious dogma.

And people like you say children should be deprived of having a mother and a father because of your politically correct dogma.

When it comes to family structures the first "dogma" is in accordance with almost universally held values. The second one is not.

18 February 2012 at 19:05  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Roy: "And people like you say children should be deprived of having a mother and a father because of your politically correct dogma."

I say no such thing.

18 February 2012 at 19:11  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Roy. Well done that man. Stick it up him and twist it. DanJ0’s the most self centred communicant on this blog. What he and his gay pals want they must get, and sod the children’s welfare....

18 February 2012 at 19:13  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Roy

You're debating with a moral matter wit an amoral atheist. Pointless waste of energy.

He just doesn't get it.

"The Catholic Church refused to place children with same-sex parents because of their religious dogma and they claim their particular god put the dogma in place."

As if God has a need toput dogma in place!

God created us and ordained that for our happiness and well being we live in a certain way. And that way is one man and one woman living and loving together and raising children.

With or without a knowledge or revelation of God, with or without Church teachings, this would be the case and all well ordered people would live their lives this way.

18 February 2012 at 19:21  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "You're debating with a moral matter wit an amoral atheist. Pointless waste of energy. He just doesn't get it."

Amoral? There's someone who doesn't get it here and his name is Bert^h^h Dodo. Besides, Roy is not debating with me. I'm debating with Carl and Roy is trying to engage me with his outrage and I'm not buying it; an entirely different thing. Hope that helps.

18 February 2012 at 19:28  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Bert^h^h Dodo, if you're trolling and looking for trouble again then Len is on the thread below. No, no, don't thank me, I'm just trying to be helpful.

18 February 2012 at 19:32  
Blogger Albert said...

Dan,

The Catholic Church refused to place children with same-sex parents because of their religious dogma and they claim their particular god put the dogma in place. In the apparent absence of their god, what are we left with? Our usual social structures.

I don't know how many times I have to make this point to you. Catholic morality is not based on divine command theory. The reason you keep pretending that it is, is presumably because you cannot answer the philosophical case the Church puts, without undermining your own position (as we've seen in the past). This is why the following comparison can be easily answered:

If the Jehovah Witnesses claim their god authorises their actions in that situation then how do we determine which authority trumps the other between the Jehovah and ther Catholic god?

But what happens if we pit a JW against a secularist such as yourself? Is there any moral way of deciding then? Judging by what you said to Carl, the answer is ultimately no.

18 February 2012 at 19:55  
Blogger Albert said...

Dan,

Poor Marie, she writes all that and these allegedly freedom-loving religionists ignore her freedom-reducing arguments.

Of course I disagree with Marie, but she's not attacking me and her views are hardly a threat to anyone else. When was the last time that someone of a different religion lost their freedom as a result of Anglican Christianity in this country?

In contrast, you secularists have a long, shameful and recent history of undermining people's freedoms (and that's without you having managed to impose on or other of your totalitarianisms in this country - given the choice, I have Anglicanism over one of your totalitarianisms - so of course, I'm not going to worry about Marie's opinions).

18 February 2012 at 20:01  
Blogger William said...

DanJ0

"There must be a few more ways yet to approach the same issue of an ungrounded claim to an external absolute authority for one's actions that one doesn't have to demonstrated in any way."

I imagine there's an infinite number of ways. Isn't that the beauty of moral relativism?

18 February 2012 at 20:07  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

Some people choose to suffer because of virtue, you know. If it were just about pleasant experiences then we'd all favour being like a sated pig rather than a unsated Socrates.

It amazes me how often you appeal to concepts that you can neither define nor establish in order to carry your argument. Like 'virtue' for instance. Was Horst Wessel virtuous? The answer depends upon the standard applied. If all standards are equally valid, then the question collapses into arbitrariness and becomes meaningless. If all standards are not equally valid, then define the authority by which they may be differentiated. If that authority is nothing but "A bunch of us gathered together and agreed to enforce our ideas" then admit the authority rests upon an arbitrary exercise of power. In any case, you ignored the obvious point I was making. Your conceptualizations contain no necessary boundaries that prevent one man from objectifying and using another man. To do so would be a perfectly valid moral act under the rules you have established.

carl

18 February 2012 at 20:37  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Carl, yes I admit it a pretty wild list and there is no intended link of commonality at all. My intention was to draw attention to the position of being atheist in the US. I have heard it said no solicitor for public office let alone for President, would have a snowball in a hell's chance of success.

Ok, ok so the chances of a President being Hell's Angel Chapter leader would be also unlikely - but while they are part of the American folk culture that's more than is granted to an openly non-theist let alone a hardline atheist.

18 February 2012 at 21:56  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

William: "I imagine there's an infinite number of ways. Isn't that the beauty of moral relativism?"

I think you've lost the context there, matey.

18 February 2012 at 22:26  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "In any case, you ignored the obvious point I was making. Your conceptualizations contain no necessary boundaries that prevent one man from objectifying and using another man."

You seem to have a blind spot yourself in regard to your own favoured type of moral system despite my making the point over and over again. You don't seem to have much to say about how the rest of us determine which of the religious systems to accept given they make conflicting claims to a god-based authority but can't seem to produce the god to back it up. It's also not escaped my notice that you're avoiding those probably tricky and quite revealing conscientious objection questions I raised. That's a pity because I reckon you'll be using the same sort of reasoning as me in the real world despite all your flowery words and that would be quite indicative.

18 February 2012 at 22:37  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

That poor young hypothetical child, dying for want of a blood transfusion, but we can't step in because it would violate the conscientious objections of her Jehovah Witness parents who cleave to a god-based moral system, and we are too stymied by our own moral almost-relativism in the face of such allegedly godly authority because if we do step in anyway then there will be nothing really stopping us gassing Jews next week. Oh well, shit happens.

18 February 2012 at 22:46  
Blogger Albert said...

Dan,

I reckon you'll be using the same sort of reasoning as me

Except that you don't. You said that you don't allow some exceptions because the arguments in support don't convince "us" collectively. Apart from the fact that you don't offer a standard by which to be convinced, I've pointed out that most people wanted an opt out for Catholic adoptions agencies, but you don't accept they should have an opt out.

The list of ways in which you do not apply to yourself, the principles by which you seek to discriminate against others, gets longer and longer. And the reason: the principles seem to be just window dressing, your own opinions are instead, defiantly a priori, and to that extent, arbitrary.

But one thing I will say in your favour is that your capacity to carry on arguing articulately, long after you have cut off the branch you are sitting on (in various places), is quite wonderful.

18 February 2012 at 22:56  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "If that authority is nothing but "A bunch of us gathered together and agreed to enforce our ideas" then admit the authority rests upon an arbitrary exercise of power."

I've already pointed out that it's not just that. But hey. Of course, the same thing about authority applies to your god-based thing in reality. You've holding up an apparently man-made ideal and merely appealing for people to adopt it these days. In the past, as we know, it was enforced with worldly power.

Let's face it, the whole of thing is really arguing, again and again, that moral absolutism is preferable in form to moral relativism. Well, I agree. Please, there's no need to express surprise again here. But is it a true reflection of reality? And how do we know? And what if it isn't?

18 February 2012 at 23:15  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

"But one thing I will say in your favour is that your capacity to carry on arguing articulately, long after you have cut off the branch you are sitting on (in various places), is quite wonderful."

Nonsense can be repeated articulately, yet remain nonsense. 'Wonderful' as in staggering and remarkable stubborness and persistance?

19 February 2012 at 00:45  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

You don't seem to have much to say about how the rest of us determine which of the religious systems to accept given they make conflicting claims to a god-based authority

I am a Calvinist. That means (among other things) that I deny I have the ability to persuade someone of the truth of Christianity. The problem is not with the evidence or the proof. The problem is the hardness of the human heart. You assert that do not believe because you do not see? Well, others saw and still did not believe. They saw the miracles and did not believe. They saw One risen from the dead and did not believe. This is why it is written "If they will not believe Moses and the Prophets, they will not believe if one returns from the dead." If they reject the greater testimony of Scripture then they will certainly reject the lesser testimony of miracles. Unless you are first born again, there is nothing I can say that will overcome that hardness.

It is my job to proclaim the Gospel. It is the job of Another to convict and persuade. I can no more persuade you to believe in God then I can persuade a corpse to stand up in his coffin. It is beyond my capacity. It is beyond the capacity of the corpse as well. But nothing is too hard for God.

carl

19 February 2012 at 07:02  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

19 February 2012 at 08:13  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "I am a Calvinist. That means (among other things) that I deny I have the ability to persuade someone of the truth of Christianity. The problem is not with the evidence or the proof."

Well, that's fine as long as you stand over there in the corner and keep quiet. Afterall, you merely assert an Authority behind your beliefs and subsequent actions so you can hardly expect the rest of us to simply toe your particular line, especially when other religionists have different lines for us to toe. Of course, you could sit down with like minded people, acquire some power in the real world, and try to hold the rest of us to your values and ideals by threat of force instead. But wait! Isn't that just what the rest of us ... oh nevermind, I'm sure you've got the idea now.

Actually, just to make sure, you could step out of what is essentially a tousle between the pros and cons of moral absolutism and moral relativism as theories of moral form and tackle some real ethics instead, such as those potentially tricky and revealing conscientious objection questions and points I've raised. Afterall, this is what the action looks like on the ground.

As far as values and standards are concerned, surely it is obvious that we all have individual and shared ones of those. We're not valueless beings in the absence of a belief in whatever god you think gives yours some meaning. Those shared values are part of our society and transcend the individuals in it. For most, including me, those values are not like clothes we put on every day but are core, visceral things. I daresay some of them follow on from the very fact that we're a gregarious species forming societies together as, to do that, we need some sort of workable ethics to get along. But, hey, we're back to Social Contract theory again.

19 February 2012 at 08:15  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "Nonsense can be repeated articulately, yet remain nonsense. 'Wonderful' as in staggering and remarkable stubborness and persistance?"

As usual, you add nothing to debates like this but nevertheless try to cosy up to your fellow left-footers to disrupt or suppress any topics you dislike, or disapprove of, or struggle to follow. Still, that's better than when the Catholic Church had enough political power in Europe to enforce its nominally man-made values and ideals on everyone.

As the people of Languedoc found out, the Church wasn't interested in religious freedom or respectful debate. No, it manipulated local powers, claimed a divine Authority, and murdered swathes of the population in hideous circumstances instead to stamp out what it saw as heresies because they threatened its worldly hegemony. But hey, there were very different values and standards back then. *meaningful look*

19 February 2012 at 08:30  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl, you might want to look at the thread below to see what some of these left-footers actually believe in practice on this topic of arbitrating between competing values. For instance, one of them thinks the peoples of Africa are Lower Races and Racial Losers. And did that generate anything from the rest? No. Not a peep.

19 February 2012 at 08:47  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Dodo said ...
"Nonsense can be repeated articulately, yet remain nonsense. 'Wonderful' as in staggering and remarkable stubborness and persistance?"

One of my better posts, I feel.

carl said ...
"I deny I have the ability to persuade someone of the truth of Christianity. The problem is not with the evidence or the proof. The problem is the hardness of the human heart... Unless you are first born again, there is nothing I can say that will overcome that hardness.

I agree with the first statement but as a Catholic would qualify the second.

All people really need is a willingness to seek the truth with an open mind and heart. In that way the 'soil' can be prepared by the Holy Spirit for the reception of the truth. And to me that's why it's so important to preserve our Christian heritage and to see off the influences and amorality of aggressive secularism and its accompanying anti-theism.

19 February 2012 at 12:51  
Blogger CSPB said...

Danj0 said: "As far as values and standards are concerned, surely it is obvious that we all have individual and shared ones of those. We're not valueless beings in the absence of a belief in whatever god you think gives yours some meaning."

However, undermining faith can leave an ethical vacuum. When faith in absolutes dissolves, only -imperfect- human law remains to restrain behavior. In order to cling to the poor habits and "lifestyle" choices which have enslaved them, many would prefer to ignore/denigrate the testimony of all ancestors, and deny the possibility of all miracles, and all religious/mystical experience, rather than accept, even, the possibility of the divine. As Carl Jacobs reminds us. " If they will not believe Moses and the Prophets, they will not believe if one returns from the dead."

What you refer to as "valueless beings" do indeed exist. They are, on the surface, relativists like Hitler or Jeffrey Dahmer, the serial killer who cannibalized more than 17 people.

According to Dahmer

“If a person doesn’t think that there is a God to be accountable to, then what’s the point of trying to modify your behavior to keep it within acceptable ranges? That’s how I thought anyway. I always believed the theory of evolution as truth, that we all just came from the slime. When we died, you know, that was it, there was nothing….”

Indeed, if our moral axioms are the product of blind evolution, then the very concept of evil is relativized and ethics becomes meaningless. Hitler did not invoke God but rather Darwin when he stated:

“But what if the strong (Aryans) choose not to dominate and exterminate the weak (Jews)? This would be against Nature, whose “whole work of higher breeding, over perhaps hundreds of thousands of years, might be ruined with one blow.” —in Mein Kamp

19 February 2012 at 15:03  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

Well, that's fine as long as you stand over there in the corner and keep quiet. Afterall, you merely assert an Authority behind your beliefs and subsequent actions so you can hardly expect the rest of us to simply toe your particular line, especially when other religionists have different lines for us to toe.

That's all any of us do, DanJ0. We assert competing authorities. This argument has always been presuppositional. The only way an argument can truly progress is when the contending parties share common presuppositions. But when you begin with such a divergence as one side saying "God exists and has revealed Himself to men" while the other side says "No he doesn't and no he hasn't" then how far can you actually get? I can make non-religious arguments for my positions, but you will say "It's a religious argument in disguise." I suspect what you want me to do is try to argue for my positions from your presuppositions. That is an effort doomed to failure.

There are three major schools of Christian apologetics - Classical, Evidential, and Presuppositional. You asked me (a Presuppositionalist) to engage in Evidential apologetics. It's not like I have never heard of it. But I consider it a pointless effort when dealing with unbelievers. The Power of God to change lives is not found in persuasive speech. It is found in the Gospel. I can give a reasoned defense of the faith, and when I do so I will appeal to the greatest authority I have. I will not hide the Scripture because you do not accept it as an authority. The fact that you do not accept it does not make it any less an authority. Besides, if you will not accept the greater authority, then what lesser authority would you accept? It is a given of human nature that if God Himself were to appear before you and declare the Truth, you would still reject it.

A friend of mine was once arguing with an atheist at work over lunch. The atheist said "If God exists then he should levitate that table over there right now so that I will know it." To which my friend responded "If God did levitate that table, you would immediately look for reasons to explain why God was not responsible for the table being levitated." That's the problem you presented to me. You ask for proof but I know that you will not receive anything I say. The Lord Jesus offered exactly the proof you demand, and people still refused to accept His words. People do not examine the evidence and then choose to believe. They begin in unbelief and examine the evidence to their liking. If the Lord Jesus can offer miracles to no effect, then what can I offer that is more convincing? A servant is not greater than his master.

I was dead. Now I am alive. A man who is physically dead cannot breathe. A man who is physically alive must of necessity breathe. A man who is spiritually dead cannot believe. A man who is spiritually alive must of necessity believe. Belief is a manifestation of spiritual life. This is why I said you must be born again. It is the act of God to raise to life the man who is spiritually dead. And God chooses to use the foolishness of the Gospel as an instrument to raise people to life. The statement "Christ died for sinners. He rose again on the third day for their justification. He is coming again in Glory to judge the quick and the dead." has more power than all the persuasive speech of men combined.

I am not ashamed of the Gospel, DanJ0, for it is the power of God unto salvation. It is the only power I possess.

carl

19 February 2012 at 15:08  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0. one of them thinks the peoples of Africa are Lower Races and Racial Losers.

In the 1970s and 1980s, it was de rigueur for black academics from American universities to take their families on an extended vacation to Africa. The idea was to explore the idea that the black African way of life was intrinsically superior to the white way. They were looking for proof that they were the victims of the biggest conspiracy of all time. The suppression of a superior way of life by white colonists.

The books were never written. One reason was this. The family travelled 80 miles down a road/track only to find a bridge down. They drove back to where they started from and informed a local official. The official informed them that he would inform the local aid agency next time they were around. As you would say yourself “feckin hopeless chance of escaping the stone age”.

19 February 2012 at 16:09  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

19 February 2012 at 16:45  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector, do NOT insert the words "I am an atheist, let me tell you a story" in front of that or you'll be in big, big trouble if one of the Catholics here sees that. :O

19 February 2012 at 16:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Robertatforsyth
"I am reading William Dalrymple's From the Holy Mountain of 1997. A very instructive and moving read. Time and time again he makes the point that through history Islam proved far more tolerant of Christianity than the other way around"

William Dalrymple is very selective in his reading of history. A muslim / berber army rampaging through Spain and into France was not very tolerant of christianity! "Al Andalus" (the Muslim Empire in Spain)was built on tribute exacted from the conquered territories.
The sack of Constantinople was not a nice discussion round a table!
a realistic history of the relationship between Islam and Christianity would be worth reading. "From the Holy Mountain"
does not meet the criteria.

19 February 2012 at 16:46  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

19 February 2012 at 16:56  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

I must admit that I have always been surprised by the prevalence of (shall we say) retrograde racial attitudes on this site. As much as we might like to stroke our own egos with thoughts of 'white superiority' (whatever 'white' means) we are still left with the biological fact that race is an arbitrary construct of no discernible discriminating value. Perhaps the impending worldwide decline of 'white' culture will put paid to this pernicious idea. By the measure you choose, so will you be measured.

carl

19 February 2012 at 17:01  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "That's all any of us do, DanJ0. We assert competing authorities. This argument has always been presuppositional. The only way an argument can truly progress is when the contending parties share common presuppositions."

Assert an Authority as you wish but it won't make a great deal of difference on the ground unless your god makes its Authority plain or you have the force of agreeing numbers or the force of weapons to back it up. As I said earlier, you have no high ground by the look of it. At some level, Might makes Right whether it is religionists or libertarians trying to structure society.

Going back to the start of all this, I'm advocating a secular State in the UK because I think it is the best way to achieve the Common Good in our diverse society. As a libertarian-oriented liberal, individual freedom is core to me and that includes the individual freedom of Calvinists, Catholics, Muslims and other religionists too.

19 February 2012 at 17:28  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Carl. The Inspector is a keen railway buff. A year or two ago, English television did a small series on African railways...

The country is off the west coast. The original colonials had built a railway from the port to the interior of the country. However, the rail journey couldn’t begin until you’d travelled by bus to the capital, around ten miles inland. The reason, a broken rail of all things ! It had been that way for some considerable time. When an employee was asked if it would ever be repaired, he answered with a shrug.

race is an arbitrary construct of no discernible discriminating value.

Is that a fact !

As much as we might like to stroke our own egos with thoughts of 'white superiority'

Ego doesn’t come into it. White paternalism is the answer. We can let our backward brother starve and mess himself, or we can move in and help him. What would you rather ? Before you answer, remember this – you and your family are going to bed tonight with full stomachs...

19 February 2012 at 17:29  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I expect it's crossed all of our minds every now and again that sub-Saharan Africa is a basket case for governance pretty much up and down, left and right. The difference is that not all of us think it's because the people who live there are black.

19 February 2012 at 17:36  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0. If your neighbour’s house is ablaze, does it really matter who or what started it ?

19 February 2012 at 17:46  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

carl said ...

"The Power of God to change lives is not found in persuasive speech. It is found in the Gospel."

Surely the point of apologetics is to persuade and help prepare the way for the Holy Spirit?

The approach is about establishing communication and common meanings. Then dialogue to discover the other's presupposions. Having done so, one then carefully pushes the non-Christian's presuppositions to their logical conclusion and in finding the point of tension presses the unbeliever to compare the logical conclusion of his beliefs to the real world, himself and his actual conduct. This should show that the Christian world-view better allows him to live in the real world, thus suggesting that this world view is true.

The main difficulty comes when encounting the stubborn and hard hearted. The argumentative hearer is resistant if he feels that he is being "bettered" in a debate. The presuppositional approach is confrontative too, and runs the risk of agitating the ego of the hearer. He begins to feel that he must not only submit his ego to God, but also to the apologist.

I quess you either stick with it over a protracted period of time or move on!

And I agree with some people but not everyone :

"... that if God Himself were to appear before you and declare the Truth, you would still reject it."

19 February 2012 at 19:38  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo, you usually just shout "Grow up!" at people when they don't accept your Catholic Paternalism.

19 February 2012 at 20:00  
Blogger non mouse said...

Mr. Jacobs Perhaps the impending worldwide decline of 'white' culture will put paid to this pernicious idea. By the measure you choose, so will you be measured. Then I hope the other cultures will be measured by their own reckoning. We were constrained to let them in: now their reckoning says the place is theirs.

Overall, I think what you're labelling "white culture" is a stereotype for Western European developments of Judaeo-Christian culture. We are already seeing how decline of that influence is affecting the world.

I thank God that I shan't be around to see too much more of the decline. To illustrate the tip of the sinking iceberg: It may be (almost) funny to see illiterate, inarticulate Jungle Supporters running for the bus - trousers at half-mast. It isn't even remotely funny to watch the Desert Supporters help them in re-turning dearly built British cities to Dust and Drug-infused-sewage. These are just symptoms of poisonous and systemic ills worldwide. For developments further to the East... we shall see what we shall see.

I'll guarantee you though, that what we see will have nothing to do with colour or race, but everything to do with what goes on in the gourds under the flesh. Frankly, the neu 'culture' is corrupting that content: for all races.

Oh --- and Britain is not America. You presently benefit from those who took "your" land from indigenes: whom you ignore most of the time while forcing all the other cultures on them. And are you about to give all you have back to the original owners? Are you about to subject yourself to their laws and their culture? Ah... Shall you be measured by this measure?

Your other 'cultures' are busy following your model in Britain. The difference is that we and our ancestors worked very hard, over millennia, to produce the best we could. And because that best contributed much that was good worldwide, including to your place, we are pained that primitives despoil both the advances and the means for producing them.

While we may not "hate" the invaders as individuals, we want the right to defend ourselves and everything good that we have. Remember... you are among the colonists who kept on being colonists. The indigenous Britons are the ones who stayed Home, or who returned Home. As such, we value the rights to be ourselves and to govern ourselves in our own much-loved place.

The eradication of those rights...infection by invading "aliens"...produces the abscess of what you label 'racial hatred.' If that abscess festers in a totally diseased body (the modern secular world)..... beware the miasma that changes the meaning of colour.

19 February 2012 at 20:08  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

That echo again!

"Dodo, you usually just shout "Grow up!" at people when they don't accept your Catholic Paternalism"

Catholicism is not paternalism. Although it does pray the 'Our Father' it subscribes to free will.

I make no claim to be an apologist of any school. I just don't have the patience.

19 February 2012 at 20:31  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Dodo

I didn't intend to suggest a dogma of apologetics. I call myself a Presuppositionalist because I think they are right about the intersection of apologetics and evangelism. Even so, I find value in all three schools. It's really a matter of how much weight a man assigns to any of the three approaches in a given context. Other men disagree with me about the weighting, and I have no trouble with that knowledge. Let each man do as he thinks right in this matter.

carl

19 February 2012 at 20:33  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "Catholicism is not paternalism."

In your hands it is given how your want people inculcated into it 'for their own good', preferably in childhood before they know any better.

Actually, in practice it tends to that too. It tries to dominate the existing culture whereever it takes root; it's the Japanese Knotweed of religions.

At least places like Ireland have managed to clear a space from it and let the light in for a while. Lordy it must have been culturally claustrophic in the more rural places at its peak.

19 February 2012 at 20:42  
Blogger len said...

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the wisdom and the power of God.

'I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile'(Romans 1 :16)

Dodo, your particular' denomination' does not subscribe to 'free will'quite the reverse in fact it wants to bind people up in rules, rituals, and regulations.
And I would add that those bound within religious 'orders' are the most stubborn,hard headed, people on the Planet.
I don`t doubt that there are born again 'Charismatic Catholics' within the Catholic Church and any hope must lie within these people not with the 'die hard`s'who block any move forward with the Spirit of God.

19 February 2012 at 21:14  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

No Danj0 I think you are mistaking Catholicism with the Japanese Knotweed of religions which is Islam. I mean the Catholics are keen and full of religious fervour but they don't threaten to kill you when you want to leave.

19 February 2012 at 21:31  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Marie, I'm no fan of Islam either. Yet Catholicism bothers me more because it has a long history in Europe which may make its political resurgence easier. These are both religious cultures inclined to dominance to me and therefore threats to freedom and diversity. Yet as a liberal what can I do about either other than try to remind people about how precious their freedoms are and not to let them be undermined?

19 February 2012 at 21:41  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

non mouse

Overall, I think what you're labeling "white culture" is a stereotype for Western European developments of Judaeo-Christian culture.

I am not sure others on this website would agree with that. Past experience tells me they might see a definite connection between the color of a man's skin and his maximum attainable level of civilization. The reference to 'white' is therefore becomes an explicit reference to genetics. In truth there are many 'non-white' men who fit the stereotype of Western European Judaeo-Christian culture quite well. There are many 'white' men who do not. The essential component is character formed by world view. Skin color has nothing to do with it. At all. Not even a little.

Christianity is a universal religion that teaches a universal Truth delivered by the sovereign God who is over all men. That doesn't mean that Western Culture is identical with Christianity or that every Christian culture must eventually become a clone of the West. Christianity will intersect with different cultures and produce variations without compromising the essential Truth at its core. The West is not the measure. The West is only one variant.

I'll guarantee you though, that what we see will have nothing to do with colour or race, but everything to do with what goes on in the gourds under the flesh. Frankly, the neu 'culture' is corrupting that content: for all races.

Yes, we agree. It has nothing to do with color or race. Why then do you use phrases like 'Jungle Supporters' and 'Desert Supporters?' These terms can only lead to misunderstanding. If the problems have nothing to do with race, then these terms become extraneous to the discussion.

Oh --- and Britain is not America.

Yes, that is true, but America is certainly the offspring of Britain. The paternal lineage is buried deep in our cultural DNA.

You presently benefit from those who took "your" land from indigenes

I do not assert an equality between cultures. I am asserting that there exists no necessary connection between culture and race. The culture of the American Indian was brutal, primitive, bloody, cruel, and pagan. There was nothing about it to admire, and there was no way it could co-exist with Western culture once Europeans discovered the New World. Those who feign to admire the Indian culture today have constructed a mythical noble savage with which to beat the West. They would not have lived four hours next to an actual Sioux tribe in 1840. But none of that has anything to do with the DNA of the American Indian. They didn't torture a man to death over five days and then ritualistically eat his heart because of genetics.

carl

19 February 2012 at 21:43  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

len
You know nothing about Catholicism and the more you say the more obvious your ignorance becomes.

As the Inpector has suggested, why not focus your energies on those who have not received the Good News as opposed to attempting to undermine the faith of those who have? You will not succeed.

Is it because really you have nothing constructive to say? That you can only be negative? Why not engage the atheists in a discussion?

And on whose authority do you pass your 'infallible' rulings> Who appointed you to be the Chief Priest of the Church of Lenism?

19 February 2012 at 21:51  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Voice bemoaned ...

"Yet as a liberal what can I do ... other than try to remind people about how precious their freedoms are and not to let them be undermined?"

Violins play as our brave little soldier battles on manfully against the sleeping hoardes of Catholics just waiting to reclaim power and burn him. Hours spent on his laptop telling all who will listen that belief in God spells doom for freedom.

19 February 2012 at 21:59  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

You may be missing some of the mysticism in some of the 'right wing' thought that prevails here. I confess I don't really get it properly myself as it trickles through my fingers as I try to hold on to it.

There's some sort of connection between god, English land, heritage, culture, and the DNA of the inhabitants that confers some sort of mystical ownership.

Some South Asians may have come here 50 years ago, contributed to the economy, built businesses, created two more generations of citizens and assimilated into the culture completely but they won't be English to this way of thing.

They're not still proper inheritors of the heritage, you see, and that must be down to DNA as far as I can see. Or perhaps they can't inherit it because people who lived and died here didn't construct England for them.

19 February 2012 at 22:02  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

carl

Well said on the difference between false constructs of 'race' and the genuine impact of history and culture on nations.

Nothing to do with DNA and everything to do with and economic, political and social development and the impact on culture, values and mind-set.

The Jews, the "Chosen People", were no better or worse than other peoples or tribes of the time.

19 February 2012 at 22:11  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "Hours spent on his laptop telling all who will listen that belief in God spells doom for freedom."

I simply practice my arguments here and clarify my thoughts, the action takes place in the real world. As I recall, it's your hero who has a self-proclaimed messianic fighting purpose here. Feel free to take the piss out of him instead, or just brazen out the hypocrisy in left-footed fashion here.

19 February 2012 at 22:14  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Some people are so, sooo touchy!

19 February 2012 at 22:57  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

"I simply practice my arguments here and clarify my thoughts, the action takes place in the real world."

Someone is using this blog to hone his arguments so he can be more effective in the 'real world' in pushing his anti-theism. Given this stated intention, one wonders whether it is appropriate to be used in this way.

19 February 2012 at 23:28  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Dodo

Someone is using this blog to hone his arguments so he can be more effective in the 'real world' in pushing his anti-theism. Given this stated intention, one wonders whether it is appropriate to be used in this way.

If I might offer another opinion. That shrieking howl of delight you just heard in the distance was DanJ0 reading your post. What you just said was "The Christian faith is so weak it cannot withstand DanJ0's arguments, and so he must be silenced lest that weakness be exposed." I am not sure that is what you meant to say, but that is exactly what you said.

You don't protect people from ideas by isolating them from ideas. You must teach them how to give an answer to those ideas. It's good practice to understand your opponents arguments before you formulate an answer, and there is no better way to learn your opponent's answer than to hear it first hand. DanJ0 provides an opportunity to do that. Don't despise him. Appreciate him. He is civil and respectful. Do exactly what he is doing and learn from him. Don't fret about 'losing.' Learn to win.

There is a silent readership out there that can learn from these exchanges. They might not know how to answer but they can learn answers here. Without DanJ0 that would be more difficult. It works both ways. Besides, danJ0 ultimately has no impact on the destiny of any given man. There is no one appointed for eternal life who will be lost. No one will ever say "But for DanJ0 and his arguments, I would have been saved."

carl

20 February 2012 at 04:16  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Well, I'm more robust than respectful, and I give as good as I get, and it's more of a selfish purpose rather than a community purpose, but all that captures it pretty well, and in JS Mill style too. I don't expect or intend to convert anyone here or to undermine their faith, I'd be very surprised if I could do that.

20 February 2012 at 07:35  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

carl

Yes, you're correct of course and I will enter into the spirit of the exchange. However, knowing one's enemy in these circumstances also enables him to rehearse tactics against the unsuspecting and less mature in their faith.

I should say that I am not totally sure what you mean by: "There is no one appointed for eternal life who will be lost." Evangelising and apologetics helps to bring the light of Christian truth into people's lives, just as atheism keeps them in darkness.

By the way, I don't personally despise DanJ0 but do despise his recent sarcastic offense against the Real Presence of Christ and by implication the Sacrifice that accompanied it.

20 February 2012 at 16:57  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "However, knowing one's enemy in these circumstances also enables him to rehearse tactics against the unsuspecting and less mature in their faith."

I take a more physical approach there by hiding behind gravestones and jumping out at them as they make their way to their Alpha Courses. It's surprising how persuasive a couple of beers are in a pub with some attractive women in it.

20 February 2012 at 17:23  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Carl. Skin color has nothing to do with it. At all. Not even a little.

You are indeed right, the colour of a man’s skin has nothing to do with it, in the same way as his height is irrelevant. However, in the context of race it is a convenient flag by which an individual can be allocated to his or her dominant race (‘dominant’ applying if they are of mixed race).

Why are you so afraid of race as a concept ? Is it the Devil’s word and work, and if so why ? Do you believe that man is born with a clean sheet and is at the mercy of his surroundings and nurture in order to grow, to develop, because that is how your previous posts come across. Evidence shows otherwise, man is born with certain inherent qualities. For example, you don’t have to teach a baby how to eat, drink, urinate, defecate. With race, you just go further still.

For example, for individuals carrying a large proportion of genes that are recent out-of-Africa, they show that co-operation is not a natural default. They have to learn it. Without inherent co-operation, strong personal interest takes the fore. You can see how extreme violence displayed by black men is so natural. Strong personal interest also rules out marriage as we know it. Blacks in general do not make good fathers because they don’t stay with one woman. That would compromise their self interests. Instead, it’s natural for him to have several children with different woman. It’s upto the woman to raise the child. He’s done his bit.

Black gang culture is nothing more than a group of strong personal interest youth getting as close to co-operation as they will ever do. But only for their selfish reasons. They do not do anything positive with that co-operation, only negative. As we have found in the UK, black gang culture means drugs, rapes, robberies, stabbings, shootings and riots. White youth just didn’t do that here to that degree in the past. You’ll have to take the Inspector’s word on that one.

And yet the Inspector holds no animosity against these people. They are only doing what their default survival technique tells them to do. Ideally, they would all be Christianised, but at the very least, each and everyone should be made aware of his ‘genetic inheritance’ at an early age.

A final note. If you amongst others continue to sing the ‘we are all the same under the skin’ tune, no one is going to listen to you anymore, because unlike in the past when the jury was out, people know better now…

UK prison statistics. The number of black people in prison as a proportion of the total population was 7.3 in 1,000. That compares to 1.3 per 1,000 for white people and 1.7 per 1,000 for Asian people.

20 February 2012 at 18:12  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

*winces*

20 February 2012 at 18:39  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Inspector

You are wrong about "race".

Substitute culture, upbringing, experience, expectations, socoio-economics, for the words 'genetics' and 'race' and you're beginning to stand on better ground.

As an example, just consider the lasting affects on the family composition, life-style and expectations on West Indian men. These are not 'genetic' or determined bt 'race'. Similarly, think of the impact of Islamic culture on tribal Arabs. Again not 'genetic' or 'race'.

Heard of antropology and sociology? It is worth having a little read around these subjects.

20 February 2012 at 19:25  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. The problem with the Inspector’s findings is that they stand up to scrutiny. We are of course talking of the extremes of behaviour, but that is valid when considering a group as a whole. The concept of individualism as opposed to community explains Africa to a tee. Nobody does anything to help anybody else unless an aid agency organises it.

Please do knock as many holes in the hypothesis as you can. Would love to be proved wrong. But merely wishing it was otherwise doesn’t cut it...

20 February 2012 at 19:44  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Inspector

Not so long ago the English were saying similar things about the Irish.

If people were constined by 'race', as a concept it holds no meaning, or by racially determined genetics, how do you account for the growing numbers of successful middle-class and professional black Americans since the 1960's?

20 February 2012 at 20:05  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "But merely wishing it was otherwise doesn’t cut it..."

I've copyrighted that line, and others like it.

20 February 2012 at 20:10  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. Do you remember the 1970s TV series ‘Kung Fu’. The young monk made his way quietly up to the old blind monk. “How did I do, master, did you hear me coming ?” he said. The old monk replied “You must first learn to walk on those egg shells without cracking them”. So it is with race.

Also, very similar in position in a way, to what Lord Alfred Douglas (...Oscar Wilde’s chum...) said, when the Inspector was a young man. “I am the love that dare not speak it’s name”. (Threw that one in for DanJ0 who’s hovering. He’d like that...)

20 February 2012 at 20:59  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Inspector

There may be an issue about the integration of different cultures and whether this can be successfully achieved. There certainly are issues about how advanced cultures are in certain parts of the world. However, these things cannot be reduced to DNA and genetic differences.

21 February 2012 at 01:09  
Blogger non mouse said...

Mr. Jacobs @21:43 (2/20!): Your mis-reading suggests that you have more in common with the ‘bird-of-late’ than I had realized!

Please note that you set up the term “white culture” while criticising communicants here; I responded to your accusation by suggesting that you stereotype “Western European developments of Judaeo-Christian culture.” In fact, it transpires that we agree on the “developments” - the variants - you then proceeded to explain. Indeed, the abbot Hadrian was African, he who with Theodore (Greek) and Benedict Biscop so influenced British development (c 668).

Why then do you use phrases like 'Jungle Supporters' and 'Desert Supporters?' These terms can only lead to misunderstanding. If the problems have nothing to do with race, then these terms become extraneous to the discussion.
Since when are Jungles and Deserts races? Beyond that, how can you categorize a racial culture, Native American, as inferior, but claim that Jungle and Desert (excluding Hebrew) cultures are not? I’ve seen beauty in deserts, but I deplore the establishment of muezzins and harems of darkness in Britain. As to the Jungle-suffice it to say, yet again, that I believe Conrad rightly placed the most malevolent Heart of Darkness in Brussels, and then transported it back to pollute the Jungle. My point is that some people are intent on reversing the flow of that traffic-and I think it right to oppose them.

Still, though, I suspect that your weighty die fails to acknowledge that Britain has a right to categorize itself as non-european, be we white, or green with rainbow dots on. You also may not understand that this 'precious stone set in a silver sea' is full; we haven't room for any more boatloads.

Perhaps Langston Hughes can help highlight the similarities and differences between Britain and America. He presented an American version of my argument as long ago as 1935:
[....]
O, let America be America again--
The land that never has been yet--
And yet must be--the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME--
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose--
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath--
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain--
All, all the stretch of these great green states--
And make America again! (“Let America Be America Again”)

22 February 2012 at 06:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But is it 'cos I's black?

22 February 2012 at 09:48  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

On the subject of England being a desirable destination open to anyone and his dog getting across the channel and then calling his family over, with immigration control largely dismantled, we really have come to the end of the line. You see, we’ve run out of water in the south ! Not for a short time or even months ahead, but FOREVER. And no water ultimately means no life as we know it.

With notable coincidence, we’ve just commiserated on the 70th anniversary of the surrender of Singapore. Students of British Imperial History will know exactly why Lt General Percival handed the keys over to the Japanese, despite having tens of thousands of troops under his command. All the reservoirs were right next to the Japanese front line. He could no longer count on WATER !!!

Footnote. If he had known how cruel the Japanese RACE were going to be to unarmed prisoners, he would most surely have fought to the last man, would he not Carl

22 February 2012 at 18:21  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

OIG

If he had known how cruel the Japanese RACE were going to be to unarmed prisoners, he would most surely have fought to the last man, would he not Carl

The cruelty of the Japanese Army during WWII was a manifestation of the Bushido Cult that was engendered in the Army beginning in the 20's. It was certainly not manifested in the treatment of prisoners by Japan during the War with Russia in 1905. Which should effectively put paid to your argument.

carl

23 February 2012 at 00:30  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo / Carl / DanJ0. A brief note as the subject is off thread. The Inspector’s interest in race primarily stems from what is happening (…or not happening…) in Africa. Let’s just say he has seen one picture of a child with a distended stomach too many. He really believes he’s on to something, but at the moment it’s all fluid. If we can find an ANSWER to why Africa is like it is, we should be able to do something in that direction, then just think of how better the inhabitants’ lot will be. The existence of large numbers of recent out-of-Africa people in the West and their behaviour may go some way to accomplishing this. The Inspector thanks you for your contributions on the subject of race, and indeed your patience…

23 February 2012 at 18:00  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Inspector

Your more than welcome. And remember we are all "out of Africa" or somewhere in that region.

24 February 2012 at 16:01  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older