Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The long shadow of Operation Yewtree


From Brother Ivo:

In recent months we have seen a procession of elderly men publicly shamed for things they may or may not have done in the days of their youth 50 or 60 years ago.

In the heady days when everyone was urged 'if it feels good, do it', young and not-so-young men complied with the zeitgeist, and women too behaved significantly differently from their parental forebears, liberated by the contraceptive pill. Everyone was both encouraged and assumed to be 'up for it', and where that culture was most prevalent it is no wonder that all young women were regarded as fair game and compliant if not persuadable.

We have since learnt that unrestrained liberty rarely comes cost-free on all manner of levels, and the zeitgeist, too, changes. What once passed for consent is no longer accepted: political correctness has a more puritanical streak than the radicalism of the 60s which brought us Lolita, Candy and countless musicians and entertainers' recollections of groupies of indeterminate age. The tabloid 'up-skirt' photo was surely pioneered by 'Top of the Pops'.

Plainly few institutions were more progressive and permissive than the BBC, whose institutional failings to protect the young and preserve a comfortable working environment for many women are now plainly apparent. No sooner does an accusation arise than media-respected figures like Esther Rantzen come forward to confess suspicions at the time which were either unvoiced or unheeded. Big litigation, based upon such a widespread culture of institutional carelessness, will surely follow. Lord Reith must be turning in his grave.

We should always be cautious in the case of long-past events and recollections. Often we are delving into a culture of such multiple casual attractions that there may well be some truth in the defence that the accused cannot remember what happened 50 years ago. Some accusers could be suffering a degree of 'buyer's regret' for the follies of youth, though the greater part will be genuine in reporting crime.

Historic cases pose a serious problem for those concerned with justice. The assertion 'all children lie' was once routinely allowed to pass unchallenged as part of the defence case: that was an outrageous generalisation. Yet is not the presumption that all accusers must be believed also fraught with danger?

Nobody should doubt the trauma suffered by victims of sexual crime who have to re-tell their stories in a court environment, as the latest case of subsequent suicide tragically confirms. As the consequences of convictions are also serious and may perhaps harden, it remains proper to ensure that the trial is fair to all. Allegation must be carefully but sensitively challenged. It is not always well done.

The more objective forensic help available to narrow the issues before the courts, the better. In all such cases, some preliminary questions are routinely to be asked, foremost of which is whether any sexual activity occurred at all.

In one sector of these cases, there is today an opportunity to settle such a question early.

The abortion statistics show that 15% of all abortions are within the under-18 age group. Over 3000 of these relate to girls under 16. Put simply (and readers need not be in doubt as to Brother Ivo's distress at such loss of life) each under-16 abortion yields 'forensic material' with reliable proof of crime, and each under-18 abortion yields evidence of fact, should the woman undergoing the abortion subsequently raise a criminal accusation.

We also have a growing DNA police database upon which many of the perpetrators of crime leading to abortion may feature in later life.We may in time be able to make effective DNA comparisons swiftly, cheaply and accurately.

Why are we not routinely securing the DNA evidence of these crimes for future use? Are we only interested in such cases if they are historic and involve the famous?

Operation Yewtree has been a protracted and expensive enquiry. Our society has decided that it is a worthwhile exercise to investigate the allegations that are made. Some have questioned the value, but the victims of Stuart Hall appear to have benefited from justice being done even though it is much delayed.

Brother Ivo suggests that this may be a good time to revisit the question of the continuing indifference of our society to the many acts of sexual crime against children whom we appear to have endowed with rights to privacy in preference to the right to protection. Both through the provision of abortion and under-age contraception (often secretly), we turn a blind eye to crime in the same way that the BBC (and some parts of the Church) did all those years ago.

Simply by collecting and storing this evidence, we would be sending out a powerful message to all those thinking of abusing young children that the shadow of the Yewtree is wide and enduring.

Operation Yewtree investigates historic crime: that is not wrong. Yet, Brother Ivo cannot escape an uneasy sense that we are undertaking it mainly to enjoy the bringing down of the elderly famous. We condemn the laxities of the past whilst daily missing the beam in our own eyes when it comes to the sexual protection of our under-age children.

140 Comments:

Blogger Charlie Peer said...

Nobody has been "shamed for things they may or may not have done". Some people have been belatedly convicted of crimes that they got away with at the time.

It is demeaning to this fine blog to post this defence of men who used their power to abuse others in confidence that no-one would do anything about it. "It's just because I'm famous" is almost the most threadbare defence imaginable, second only to "it was all a long time ago".

19 June 2013 at 08:57  
Blogger Bob said...

Charlie is correct, but that does not mean we should lack compassion for anyone involved, victim or criminal.

As a society, we must learn to forego attachment to sensory pleasures and material goods. Clinging to such things will only bring suffering. We must rediscover our love and compassion for all sentient beings.

:)

Peace.

19 June 2013 at 09:28  
Blogger John Thomas said...

"bringing down the elderly famous" (Bro Ivo). I'm curiously reminded of an alleged-prime motive of Stalin's purges of the 1930s: to remove the old guard who had brought about the revolution that Stalin himself was directly successor to, and beneficiary of. Today's very-"liberal" society (its leaders, today's "celebrities") are very much successors to, and "beneficiaries" of, those who forged the "permissive society" of post-1962. Also, today's libertines (the "metropolitan elite") have much (consciousness of) guilt ...

19 June 2013 at 09:30  
Blogger Albert said...

Over 3000 of these relate to girls under 16. Put simply (and readers need not be in doubt as to Brother Ivo's distress at such loss of life) each under-16 abortion yields 'forensic material' with reliable proof of crime

The abortion "industry" is manifestly and unquestionably the largest child rape cover-up in history. But it's the price worth paying for sexual "liberation".

19 June 2013 at 09:30  
Blogger John Thomas said...

- I should also say that I firmly believe a guilty act (actual responsibility for bad things)is a guilty act, whenever committed, and whatever the curent "nature of society", zeitgeist, etc. People who committed such an act were still making a choice (remember the Monty Python sketch: "It's a fair cop, guv, but Society is to blame!" " Oh, we shall be arresting 'im as well, mate!"

19 June 2013 at 09:33  
Blogger LEN said...

What has been 'covered' is now being 'revealed' as God promises. This is being shown throughout Society.Not only individuals but Institutions(which formerly were[ like Caesars wife above suspicion] are now being shown to be corrupt in some/many cases.

'Historic abuse' might just be' the tip of the iceberg' compared to the current situation regarding the depravity displayed by internet pornography which apparently is inducing some individuals to commit crimes of abuse and sexual violence.
The purpose of the law is to protect society from those with predatory instincts and the law seem to be failing in this respect.

We cannot afford to let' liberalism run riot in our society'(as it did in the 60s ' when many of these offences seem to have been committed) or we will reap the consequences.

19 June 2013 at 09:48  
Blogger David Hussell said...

It seems to me that liberalism has, is, and will continue running riot in our society unless something remarkable and very unlikely occurs. The rage against God continues apace at present.
By promoting individualism and personal autonomy, to a level tantamount to selfishness, and attacking the normative family and religious values, society and community continues to unravel.
I guess that we have a long way to go down yet, before we hit rock bottom and things improve again. It is only when enough people acknowledge that God alone has the answer can the journey to healing begin.

19 June 2013 at 10:19  
Blogger Berserker said...

Of all these bad old boys accused of abuse how many have actually been to court and been convicted? Until proven guilty?

Was putting your arm around a woman in 1950 inappropriate behaviour? Plenty of women did that to blokes and no man complained.

The zeitgeist is important. What about gays in 1950? They could now stand accused retrospectively.

If I had a relative who was deported to Australia for stealing a loaf of bread can I
make a claim for compensation retrospectively?

Should we not have compassion for all sinners regardless of the mores of the time?

19 June 2013 at 10:47  
Blogger Bob said...

I think it's a mistake to blame "liberalism" (or any other "ism") for what are essentially natural changes taking place in society. Morals and ethics, particularly sexual ones, are constantly in flux. Indeed, the tendency to quickly and shrilly assign blame is a consequence of living in a dull and wet country like the UK, and is one of the less pleasant aspects of our national character.

The world is full of truth and lies, what one person sees versus what another person sees, and so on. It's called perspective. I think as long as we focus on dealing with the here and now, and get the balance just right between discussion and action, we can create a better outcome for everyone.

:)

Peace.

19 June 2013 at 10:49  
Blogger Albert said...

I think it's a mistake to blame "liberalism" (or any other "ism") for what are essentially natural changes taking place in society.

What's driving the natural changes, Bob? Let's keep in mind that what the post is about is the acceptability of child abuse.

19 June 2013 at 11:01  
Blogger Corrigan said...

A reasoned and well-argued case, Ivo, both considered and measured. That noise you hear outside your house will be a Liberal mob armed with pitchforks and burning torches.

19 June 2013 at 11:20  
Blogger The Explorer said...

A couple of posts on the last thread (but commmenting here is equally relevant) cited the success of the Frankfurt School.

What staggers me is how many of its adherents have never heard of it. A cultural-Marxist class warrior I encountered thought it was something to do with cookery. (I agree, but not in the way she meant). To her, moral relativism is just reality: not an option to which there is an alternative.

I bet some at the BBC who practise repressive tolerance (censorship, to you and me) have never heard of Marcuse; never mind Adorno or Horkheimer.

We need to push moral relativists back to the source of their ideas. Remind them that "everything is a matter of opinion" is itself simply a matter of opinion. And what exactly do they mean by 'everything'? Their own names?

19 June 2013 at 11:22  
Blogger William Lewis said...

Bob

"The world is full of truth and lies, what one person sees versus what another person sees, and so on. It's called perspective."

Congratulations. You are following your atheism to its obvious conclusion. I am proud of you.

19 June 2013 at 11:23  
Blogger Bob said...

@Albert

It seems to me this post is about (at root) the changing sexual ethics of our society.

It's dangerous to pine for some golden age of morality, firstly because such an age never existed - licentiousness and child abuse are hardly a post-1960s creation. Secondly because by doing so you are missing out on doing the best you can to make things better in the present. Thirdly because it will cause pain and suffering to yourself.

I don't know what you mean when you ask what is "driving" the change. Nothing is driving it, change is itself natural. It's like asking what's driving the seasons to change - they change because stasis is not natural. It is part of life. Nothing lasts forever.

Sexual predators will always be with us, and always have been, regardless of the sexual mores of the time.

19 June 2013 at 11:37  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Brother Ivo cannot escape an uneasy sense that we are undertaking it mainly to enjoy the bringing down of the elderly famous

I don't think this is the case at all.

What you are seeing is the News Media's ongoing fascination with 'celebrity'. It's about grabbing the public's attention through lurid sensationalism whether it be sex or cellulite and of course - selling more newspapers.

That justice be upheld if victim A was abused by a non-celeb Mr X twenty years ago it of little interest to the general public, apart from victim A and the family; it would hardly make the local papers.

Would it be just to attach some kind of statue of limitation for the prosecution of Nazi war criminals, just because of their age and the circumstances of the time? I don't think so.

The same cry of 'foul' was heard from the apologists for skulking Catholic priests, who would prefer the matters be swept or left under the carpet. They would rather have carried on ignoring the damage and wrongs done to victims in order to preserve the illusion of a caring Church.

Scandal sells - that's why The News of the World was so successful and long lived.

19 June 2013 at 11:41  
Blogger Bob said...

@Dreadnaught

What you are seeing is the News Media's ongoing fascination with 'celebrity'. It's about grabbing the public's attention through lurid sensationalism whether it be sex or cellulite and of course - selling more newspapers.

This is correct. The media scaremonger and blare exaggerated nonsense, and the reason for it is to sell newspapers. Attachment to worldly things... greed.

Sexual predators do what they do because they wish to satisfy their lusts with no thought for innocent children. Attachment to fleshly desires.

Organisations cover up crimes because they wish to maintain their reputations and standing in the community. Attachment to power and status.

Ordinary people long for the past and an idealised golden age. Attachment to the past. Attachment to belief. Attachment to ego.

We all need to take a step back and reflect.

:)

Peace.

19 June 2013 at 11:52  
Blogger David Hussell said...

The success of The Frankfurt School rests on the fact that no one knows about it. That's why liberal and socialist social "reform and improvement" cunningly twists language and distorts meaning to mask their real agenda, "selling" change under some attractive sounding guise such as "human rights", freedom for women, choice, "gay" but never the plain old, neutral word homosexual. And so it goes on, manipulating the truth and leading us further away from our previously, generally, Christian informed standards. The genius of the Left is that they understand that he who controls the language, controls the thought patterns, and the media is their playground.

19 June 2013 at 12:12  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Bob:

I'm sure Albert can answer on his own behalf, but where did he mention a golden age? That's a Pagan concept, remember: Golden, Silver, Bronze.

I don't know any Christian who believes in a golden age: this side of Eden.

Talk Golden Age to the social Utopians. It's here now (sexually). The economic bit? Well, that's round the corner. (And they accuse CHRISTIANS of pinning their hopes to the future!)

19 June 2013 at 12:12  
Blogger Bob said...

@The Explorer

It's implicit in the way most of His Grace's communicants talk about the past; the good ol' days before gays and immigrants etc. You know, John Major's mythical England of "old maids bicycling to church through the morning mist."

19 June 2013 at 12:18  
Blogger The Explorer said...

David:

Who was it said that if the Devil existed, he would be delighted to have people not believe in him? (Myself, I have no doubts on the matter).

Cite the Frankfurt School (or Gramsci's long march) to those adherents who DO actually know about them, and they try to fob you off with conspiracy theory. As someone said in the Christine Keeler trial, "Well, he would, wouldn't he?"

19 June 2013 at 12:18  
Blogger Nick said...

"Sexual predators will always be with us, and always have been, regardless of the sexual mores of the time"

I find myself agreeing with Bob on this point. There is really nothing new about all this. The only new thing is probably the mass media coverage which makes things look bigger than they really are.

I offer no defense for the behaviour of these celebs, morality is timeless and we don't have to be persuaded by any zeitgeist if we choose not to. Also, I think it is common knowledge that most child abuse involves a family member, and as such rarely makes the headlines

I also agree with Brother Ivos assertion that the media, even the BBC itself, is somewhat relishing the excitement of exposing the next alleged pervert. After all, that is what its cycnical audience wants to hear. They are not interested in hearing somebody is innocent. They much prefer a public hanging, guilty or not, and if not, they can always delude themselves he is guilty.

19 June 2013 at 12:51  
Blogger LEN said...

That fact that evil exists cannot be in much doubt by anyone.

So they way man has dealt with 'evil' has been by using laws which prohibit and punish those who break these laws(God`s Laws or atheists versions of God`s Law.)

But we are now in the process of changing the Law to accommodate those who disagree with the basic principles of the Law.For example the theory that their are 'no absolutes' in morality has blown the concept of 'One Law' to pieces. Everyone wants a piece of the action and to be allowed to practice(with the approval of the Law) whatever they have in mind.

No' absolutes' has opened the door(wide) to moral degeneration.

We reap what we sow this is a universal 'law'.

19 June 2013 at 13:17  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Nick,

The poor are always with us, but some eras/cultures have more poverty than others. Its existence is a constant, not its size. Ditto sexual behaviour.

Consider 'Tess of the D'Urbevilles'. To have a child out of wedlock was a disgrace.


Now it's the reverse. The social mindset has changed, and that has changed the balance of behaviour.

19 June 2013 at 13:20  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Ah Bob, I had to laugh at this little gem:

"It's like asking what's driving the seasons to change - they change because stasis is not natural."

If you weren't so busy missing the wood for the trees, you'd have noted that whilst the seasons do cycle one to the next, they cycle rather predictably.

Expand your vision but a little, and the perpetual change you see as natural is revealed to be a pattern wrought eternally.

The man who stands in winter and says there never was a summer is not preoccupied with wisdom but bedazzled by ice. He dismisses the summer as a dream half-remembered, because it behoves him not to be reminded of the unchanging pattern, and he does this not because he sees far, but because he has stopped looking beyond his nose.

As a Tempter once confessed:

"[The Creator] gives them the seasons, each season different yet every year the same, so that spring is always felt as a novelty yet always as the recurrence of an immemorial theme. He gives them in His Church a spiritual year; they change from a fast to a feast, but it is the same feast as before... We pick out this natural pleasantness of change and twist it into a demand for absolute novelty."

19 June 2013 at 14:05  
Blogger Bob said...

@Anonymous In Belfast

If it is a recurring pattern wrought eternally, then what reason is there to stress out and try to cling to things that we know will soon change? Why lament the days gone by? Why grieve for the ethics and mores of yesteryear? (Perhaps you don't, but many on this blog do).

Look to the future with an open heart :)

Peace.

19 June 2013 at 14:15  
Blogger Brother Ivo said...

Brother Charlie,

When writing pieces which address issues where court cases are still pending, it is both prudent and fair to be appropriately cautious. Regular readers will be in no doubt that the writers here have no time for those who harm the weak and the vulnerable.

That said, in this social media age there is much speculation as soon as a celebrity is rumoured to have been questioned by the police. The Investigators must consider allegation in this difficult area whether or not an offence has been committed. When matters do not proceed it may be because there is inadequate evidence or that there is no offence at all.

Where children are concerned there is such public opprobrium that "no smoke without fire" becomes the mantra and shame is attached even to the innocent. Lord McAlpine could explain this to you much better.

You will therefore understand that Brother Ivo as author and His Grace as publisher must be measured and fair not least because these are very sensitive issues. This blog is a place for intelligent consideration without shirking difficulty. You must not attribute precise writing with equivocation about the harm the guilty do to their victims.

19 June 2013 at 14:28  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Bob:

To answer your question: because morality is not a season, it is the God-wrought Pattern. I do not grieve its passing, because it has not passed - I regret the absence of its observance, however.

This Winter may yet get colder, abnd many things may be frozen in the ice it brings, but we have had our Christmas, so we know it will not last. We know that the Lord is not of any one season - He is the King in all Seasons, Eternal and Unchanging. I do not fear change - not because I see all change as benign, as you seem to, but because I know that the things that change are under the authority of a God who does not.

We have a phrase, that Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega - He stands not only in the uttermost past but also at the broken horizon of the future. If you want to worship change, you must stop looking towards either end.

19 June 2013 at 14:30  
Blogger Brother Ivo said...

Brother Albert

"The abortion "industry" is manifestly and unquestionably the largest child rape cover-up in history."

You encapsulate the point superbly.

Brother Ivo is in danger of falling into the sin of jealousy at such a concise formulation of what he was driving at.

19 June 2013 at 14:36  
Blogger John Thomas said...

"natural changes taking place in society." (Bob, here) - no, Bob, these things do not naturally take place, or occur by accident. They happen as the result of planning, scheming, strategy, etc. Just look at the proposals of the Frankfurt Group, and see their implementation through late-20th century media/politics, etc. (Google it). All is planned.

19 June 2013 at 14:46  
Blogger The Explorer said...

John Thomas @ 9:30

Terrific post (as is the latest one) and very well made. Guilt probably drives the odd PC inconsistency. Prescribing the pill to under-age girls (without parental knowledge) and then all this frenzy of moral retribution.

19 June 2013 at 14:57  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...



I say Ivo, it’s rather difficult to get too enthralled by Yewtree. It’s been going some time now and has only unearthed less than a dozen names made public, and of course, we wait to see if all are proceeded against. Measure that number against the countless legion of media / entertainment associated types that have been around sometime in the last 50 years, and what we get is the usual tiny percentage of rotters you would find in any group of individuals.

A more promising line of investigation into child abuse would be had by the police monitoring the activities of the usual suspects who comment at Pink News. Those immoral self obsessed hedonistic blighters are capable of anything, don’t you think !

Pip Pip !



19 June 2013 at 15:04  
Blogger Bob said...

@Anonymous In Belfast

I do not worship change, that would be a form of attachment, but I do accept it as inevitable. Needless to say, I don't share the Christian belief of God as a kind of cosmic parent, who doles out reward or punishment depending on how closely one adheres to his (somewhat ambiguous) commands.

In the West, karma tends to be thought of like this, that life punishes or rewards you depending on how you behave. But the real Buddhist understanding of it is different - rather, it is that life gives you the lessons you need to grow and develop. Say you do something bad, and you face the consequences, well there you are - a ready-made lesson.

I don't believe in a kind of fixed external morality like you do, but there are eternal truths: treat others as you wish to be treated, and only love can conquer hatred. That's really all you need.

@John Thomas

Yes, to an extent. Change can certainly be brought around by external actions. But the point I am making is that change happens anyway regardless of whether it is directed by external agents. That is the nature of change.

:)

Peace.

19 June 2013 at 15:20  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...



Bob, I don't share the Christian belief of God as a kind of cosmic parent, who doles out reward or punishment depending on how closely one adheres to his (somewhat ambiguous) commands.

That’s a Christian belief ??? {ROLLS EYES}

Forget the carrot and stick. True peace comes from knowing there is a God and following Christ’s commands on how to live life, or at least trying to follow them.

Incidentally old chap, no hard feels about yesterday, eh. You are an interesting fellow, but we need more than messages of peace from you when you do contribute...



19 June 2013 at 15:31  
Blogger Bob said...

@Inspector

True peace comes from knowing there is a God and following Christ’s commands on how to live life, or at least trying to follow them.

Well I'm not sure about that. I'm at peace ;)

No hard feelings at all Inspector

:D

Peace.

19 June 2013 at 15:35  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Bob, as you have managed peace too, how about same train, different carriage ?



19 June 2013 at 15:39  
Blogger Bob said...

I think that is an apt summation, Inspector.

Peace.

19 June 2013 at 15:41  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Inspector/ Bob:

To give Bob his due, he's arguiong more and quoting less. Good on you, Bob.

But that last paragraph of yours to John Thomas: surely John was right in his concern about what external agent is directing the pace and nature of change?

I mean, I know I'm going to die; but some external agent in the street with a knife might bring about the process sooner than my natural frailty intends. German society would, no doubt, have changed, but not necessarily in the direction taken by a certain Austrian painter.

And so, an external agent like the Frankfurt School, and its effect on change, is a reason for legitimate concern.

19 June 2013 at 16:17  
Blogger Flossie said...

Good post, Brother Ivo. The last paragraph sums it all up perfectly.

19 June 2013 at 16:24  
Blogger Bob said...

@The Explorer

It's useless to speculate on what direction society might've taken if X had happened, or the significance of that. It's also useless to worry about it. Plus, I'm not really convinced John Thomas is right. Consider the story I posted a few days ago, "Maybe." Things are not always what they seem.

19 June 2013 at 16:34  
Blogger Albert said...

Bob,

It's dangerous to pine for some golden age of morality

As Explorer has already pointed out, I don't believe in a golden age - especially not when it comes to sexuality. I believe human beings are made in God's image and that they are born with original sin. These beliefs prevent me from being either hopelessly pessimistic or stupidly progressive and optimistic.

I don't know what you mean when you ask what is "driving" the change. Nothing is driving it, change is itself natural. It's like asking what's driving the seasons to change - they change because stasis is not natural.

You make it sound as if child abuse is somehow subject to an impersonal and inexorable law of nature. No. Child abuse occurs because of people's choices. What we know is that child abuse rose rapidly from the 1960s onwards. It was caused by people's choices. People chose to abuse children, people chose to accept it, and they did so because they chose to reject traditional Christian sexual morality and adopt more so-called "liberal" attitudes to sex.

What needs to happen now is that we take responsibility for what has gone wrong. Those who abused need to take responsibility for the abuse. Those who supported abusive cultures need to take responsibility for that. The tragedy is that that won't happen, because to do so would be to adopt a more responsible attitude to sexuality generally.

Most people hate child abuse. But not enough to change their own attitude and behaviours concerning sexuality.

19 June 2013 at 16:45  
Blogger Albert said...

Brother Ivo @1436

Thank you - although I wouldn't have been able to express it like that, had you not outlined the problem so carefully and clearly in the first place.

19 June 2013 at 16:47  
Blogger Bob said...

@Albert

What we know is that child abuse rose rapidly from the 1960s onwards.

Do we know this? How do we know? It may be true that recorded child abuse rose (I don't know, I don't have the stats), but how do we know that child abuse didn't occur just as much if not more prior to the 1960s, and that it just wasn't mentioned or recorded?

Again, I would caution against appointing blame without the full facts. Complex problems have complex causes - and complex solutions. Things are rarely black and white.

Strive for balance and a pure heart.

:)

Peace.

19 June 2013 at 17:02  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Bob:

I'll let John Thomas argue his own case, if he wants to.

With respect, my emphasis wasn't on what might have happened (other than that it could have been different): my emphasis was that external agents can determine the nature of change: and, on that basis, John Thomas and I are concerned about the effect of the Frankfurt School.

19 June 2013 at 17:05  
Blogger Bob said...

@The Explorer

I think the changes you disapprove of are due to technological progress. Prior to the internet, communities were largely based on geographical location or religious affiliation. Now obviously that is still true to an extent, but the internet has allowed people to form (global) communities based around interests of all kinds. People are more easily getting to know others from different countries and cultures, and it is with this in mind that they embrace doctrines of equality. That seems far more likely to me than some sinister group pushing a particular ideology upon a clueless youth.

19 June 2013 at 17:11  
Blogger Albert said...

Bob,

I'm referring to the John Jay report on child abuse in the Catholic Church. This is the largest report into abuse in any institution anywhere in the world (as far as I know). It was paid for partly by the US Government, and was written by an independent group of criminologists. The problem of changes in the rates of reporting of abuse (as well as the rates of abuse itself) is hardly new. The data however that we do have is extensive, and the report looks at this. You need to take into account that child abuse has not risen a bit - but a huge amount.

Complex problems have complex causes

Is it so complex? In some ways, yes. But in other ways, no. It is about adults thinking it is okay to sexual abuse children. This was a society in which some on the left openly thought the taboo against such abuse was just a middle class thing to be overcome. It was a society in which Harriet Harman called for ministers to legalise child pornography and worked for a liberties group that worked for the Paedophile Information Exchange and Paedophile Action for Liberation. What do you think happens when such views are acceptable in certain circles? What kind of evidence do you need that there was a rise in abuse?

19 June 2013 at 17:20  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Albert

What we know is that child abuse rose rapidly from the 1960s onwards.

Do we? Or we we more inclined to discuss the matter. Are there figures that support your assertion?

If by abuse we talking of the age of consent then that has only been set at 16 relatively recently.

In 1875 the age of consent in Victorian Britain was raised from 12 to 13, but it was only after the public outrage that followed an investigative exposé into prostitution a decade later, that it was raised to the current age of 16. How long had it been the unspoken norm amongst the poverty ridden and the more well heeled?

I dare not even bring in to the mix present day parental child trading in the Third World or the habits of a certain grubby old desert monkey.


19 June 2013 at 17:49  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Bob

The Frankfurt School dates from 1923. Hitler closed it down, and the survivors fled to America and re-emerged in the 1960's. Gramsci died in 1937, after fleeing Stalin and being thrown in prison by Mussolini. Technology is not the issue; although they anticpated the technological revolution and the new victim-style proletariat.

Myself, I love the Internet. That's why I'm on this Blog. I like being able to converse with Carl in the States, and Avi in Canada. And Ivan: who said some time back that he's in Singapore. Hello, Ivan.

19 June 2013 at 18:03  
Blogger Albert said...

Dreadnaught,

I think I've addressed your basic point at 17.20. I expect abuse was higher in the Victorian periods you mention - because quite simply, as the age of consent shows, society was more tolerant of abuse of girls. So tolerant it wasn't even illegal (provided they were poor, of course). That rather agrees with my position.

What matters is why it increased afterwards.

The John Jay Report is not a piece of idle speculation but builds on a huge amount of other data and other reports. But to pick up on a few things:

Priests who used pornography were more likely to abuse children.
Priests who used drugs were significantly more likely to abuse children.

Now do you think pornography and drug use went up from the 60s or was it just that we were more willing to discuss them? Says the John Jay Report:

the social indicators found to be most relevant to the modeling of the change in incidence of sexual abuse are divorce, use of illegal drugs, and crime

What about divorce and crime, did they go up at this time?

Then there's a the curious fact that in the Church paedophilia and abuse of girls remained basically the same since the 1950s (very low). The rise in abuse in the Church was almost exclusively of teenaged boys (by about 600-700% or more). Now was it that only the rate of reporting of abuse of teenaged boys rose (with the reporting of other abuse mysteriously remaining broadly constant) or was it that the abuse rose?

19 June 2013 at 18:24  
Blogger Bob said...

@Albert

Priests who used pornography were more likely to abuse children.
Priests who used drugs were significantly more likely to abuse children.

Now do you think pornography and drug use went up from the 60s or was it just that we were more willing to discuss them?


Maybe you're right, I don't know. But I'd be careful about making that leap - correlation is not causation. Maybe it's the case that priests who were more likely to abuse, were thus more likely to seek out porn and drugs (that were of course, in the 60s, easier to find).

It's like with video games and violence. Do video games desensitise children to violence? Absolutely. Do they cause it? Well that's very difficult to prove. Do violent people seek out violent video games? Again, that's very difficult to prove. What is the exact nature of the connection? We don't know, and it's not as obvious as it seems.

But, ultimately, if you think virtue is in decline in the world, be virtuous. Isn't it a Christian saying that it's better to light a match than bemoan the darkness?

:)

Peace.

19 June 2013 at 18:45  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Bob:

You do not believe in "the Christian belief of God as a kind of cosmic parent, who doles out reward or punishment depending on how closely one adheres to his (somewhat ambiguous) commands."

It is curious that at the same time that you reject God for being both Father and Judge precisely for those qualities, that you question whether He in fact possesses sufficient capacity to fulfil them.

Rather, "Life" is a better teacher, which "gives you the lessons you need to grow and develop."

Do we in fact need them? What if life changed to deprive us of such lessons? This of course misses your point: it is about the "lessons" we produce ourselves.

The "inevitability" of change is thus exposed: it is not an interaction with change in the world, but a supreme indifference to it. It will change as it will, and I will learn as I will, because all that I need is in all that I have.

In that sense, you are quite correct to say that if "you do something bad, and you face the consequences, well there you are - a ready-made lesson."

Very true. But entirely and equally as true as saying that if you do something *good* you will face the consequences. The nature of the "something" is irrelevant in your truth-from-consequence: merely that something has occurred.

It would be no less true to say you would have a ready-made lesson if you did something mad, something blue, or something nut-flavoured.

"Isn't it a Christian saying that it's better to light a match than bemoan the darkness?"

It isn't: "The Light has shone in the darkness, but the darkness has not mastered it." (John 1:5)

And that, Bob, is an unchanging Truth.

19 June 2013 at 18:56  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

To quote G.K. Chesterton:

"If there is no design existing beforehand, and no goal existing already, how are we to know whether any entirely new thing is a good thing or not? All attempted answers to this question are evasions of the question. We may say that man must judge by his best moral standards; but that is to admit that there are standards by which we can judge the standards. We may say that he must follow where the best light leads him; but that is to admit that there is a difference between light and darkness which cannot change. And why should it not change if everything else changes."

19 June 2013 at 19:00  
Blogger Bob said...

@Anonymous In Belfast

It would be no less true to say you would have a ready-made lesson if you did something mad, something blue, or something nut-flavoured.

That is correct. But a lesson is only of value if you learn from it.

:)

Peace.

19 June 2013 at 19:02  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

"But a lesson is only of value if you learn from it."

And meaningless if you may learn anything from it.

19 June 2013 at 19:09  
Blogger Naomi King said...


Well said Charlie at 8.57am. Jimmy Saville used to solicit boys from the Children's Home in Guernsey for Edward Heath and his high profile 'friends' from the EU and elsewhere. The boys were picked up on Morning Cloud and finally the bodies of these unfortunate boys were finally dumped at sea afterwards. Harrowing isn't it.

19 June 2013 at 19:11  
Blogger Albert said...

Bob,

correlation is not causation.

Of course it's not. But how else do we detect causation except by correlation? When you have a whole range of factors all pointing in the same direction, it becomes increasingly reasonable to infer causation. It's always logically possible to be very Humean about such things, but no one really follows that in practice - not even Hume!

What I'm finding hard about your posts is that you're not saying "Let's not jump to the conclusion that it was just liberalism which occasioned the rise in child abuse." That would be reasonable. It seems you want to deny any evidence of a connection whatsoever - even when it is coming from the most expert assessment of evidence (assessments used acceptably in other fields) and supported by multiplicity of pieces of information all pointing to the same direction. Some of this evidence is of course pretty obvious. If your left-wing ideology sees traditional sexual beliefs about sexuality as nothing more than a system of domination from which people need to be liberated, it's not going to be surprising if sooner or later some people start crossing the boundaries.

Now I don't know why you are denying so much evidence, so I'll make a general comment. My first comment on this thread was that having abortionists covering up child rape seems to be an acceptable price for most people to pay for sexual "liberation". It does seem that sexual "liberation" has become such a holy cow for many people today, that no evidence of its harm may be admitted, and no price to pay is too high.

if you think virtue is in decline in the world, be virtuous.

That's all very nice to say, and I do my best. But the effect is very limited when society sticks to ideas which are vicious and harmful to others. Would you offer that advice to a Headmaster who knows that one of his teachers is abusing the children, as if somehow, if the Head does not abuse the children, somehow that will protect his children? Presumably not.

By the way, are you seriously suggesting illegal drug use did not go up in the 1960s?

19 June 2013 at 19:12  
Blogger Bob said...

@Anonymous In Belfast

Can one really learn "anything" from the consequences of one's actions? Not if one reflects.

If there is no design existing beforehand, and no goal existing already, how are we to know whether any entirely new thing is a good thing or not?

Well nobody knows for sure. Some have faith, some don't. We have to muddle through life as best we can, and that is part of the joy and the terror that make up life's rich tapestry. How tedious life would be if we had certainty!

:)

Peace.

19 June 2013 at 19:15  
Blogger Bob said...

@Albert

When you have a whole range of factors all pointing in the same direction, it becomes increasingly reasonable to infer causation.

Not necessarily; every house that has ever burned down has had a sink in the kitchen and a toilet in the bathroom. Does that mean the sink and/or the toilet is responsible for the fire? No of course not.

I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm not saying drug use didn't increase in the 60s, I'm not saying there's no connection, I'm saying you're jumping to conclusions.

19 June 2013 at 19:23  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Bob:

"How tedious life would be if we had certainty!"

Do you say this because you have had certainty about something and found it tedious, or because you find tedious people who are certain that you are wrong?

Is "nobody knows" a powerful motivator in your own life? Is that why you reject attachment - because you are sure nobody knows?

"Can one really learn "anything" from the consequences of one's actions? Not if one reflects."

Therein lies the crux: not the question, but your answer. The important question is, reflects what?

A numinous eternal truth that nobody knows? You seemed pretty sure that some of these existed at least.

Or perhaps "themselves"? Though that would seem to put a surprising amount of faith in the idea that the light we might cast is sufficient to see by.

Here's the trouble, Bob: there are people out there who have "reflected" on the consequential lessons that life has thrown to them and concluded that all manner of things are ok as Brother Ivo has outlined.

That's the reality of "the joy and the terror that make up life's rich tapestry".

A man who takes equal delight in joy and terror knows little to nothing of either.

19 June 2013 at 19:36  
Blogger Albert said...

Bob,

We're talking about changes and things that are different, not things that stay the same or are common to all. So your analogy fails. If all the burnt houses had evidence of petrol and none of the unburnt houses had such evidence, it is reasonable to infer petrol had something to do with it.

I'm saying you're jumping to conclusions.

In the light of the evidence (none of which you've addressed), I don't think I am jumping anywhere. I think you're playing games over a very serious issue.

I'm reminded of the proverb that argument is what convinces reasonable men and proof is what it takes to convince unreasonable men. To fall into the latter category on this would be disturbingly complacent because, as with a posteriori judgements, it will always be possible to claim someone is jumping to conclusions, always possible to say it hasn't been "proved" and thus we would never be able to learn from the evidence how to protect children.

19 June 2013 at 19:38  
Blogger Bob said...

@Anonymous In Belfast

I think there's a particular personality type that requires certainty, and that there's another that delights in the ambiguity of life. Neither is better, they are just different. I think you need certainty.

If one reflects on one's actions and the consequences of those actions, then one is already on the way to self-knowledge. It's no coincidence that prisoners tend to have limited self-awareness.

Here's the trouble, Bob: there are people out there who have "reflected" on the consequential lessons that life has thrown to them and concluded that all manner of things are ok as Brother Ivo has outlined.

I'm not so sure. I think they know what they were doing was wrong, but they have chosen to do it anyway. They may have reflected, but they have looked and not seen. These things take time. Sometimes the sea is stormy, sometimes it's calm.

It's really quite simple...knock and the door shall be opened.

@Albert

Well, you've made your mind up. You may be right, you may be wrong.

:)

Peace.

19 June 2013 at 20:11  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Naomi, do you have any evidence at all for what you have just accused Edward Heath of doing? I mean, I'm no particular fan of the man, but you cannot just trot out a charge like that under the "everybody knows" consensus, if only because everybody knows nothing of the kind. I'm not even totally convinced that Heath was gay, never mind a child abuser. You simply cannot say things like this, even about the dead who cannot sue.

19 June 2013 at 21:02  
Blogger Albert said...

Bob,

If I am wrong, I am likely to swayed by evidence, not simply pushing the bar higher and higher so that evidence ceases to be relevant.

19 June 2013 at 21:02  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

19 June 2013 at 21:20  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Albert

You are quite right - Sorry, I hadn't seen your later post.

19 June 2013 at 21:23  
Blogger Albert said...

No problem Dreadnaught - it gave me the chance to add a little more evidence to this important issue!

19 June 2013 at 21:47  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Bob:

"I think they know what they were doing was wrong, but they have chosen to do it anyway."

How do they know what is right and what is wrong. Doesn't that... er... suggest some form of hypostatic morality?

That's really the difficulty I have with philosophies like the one you advance: you are happy dispensing "nobody knows" to answer particular orthodoxies not your own, but are unable to escape (or are simply unaware of) the fact that you operate from a similarly hypostatic basis.

The funny thing is: whilst you and many others read my religious beliefs as being "certainty" and infer my reliance on it, because I try to live in conviction to that faith, my "certainty" is not so much based on knowledge as it is trust in Another. Indeed, I would and have refuted the centrality of knowledge to the efficacy of Salvation: man has been saved by a God they did not know. There is much I do not know, but I trust in God - who *does*.

In fact that *externality* - which is at the crux of your rejections - is the very thing which makes the most sense. What your philosophy constantly confesses is its self-made nature: but not just any nature - a nature that is intrinsically at odds, even offended (in the non-emotional sense) by the principle of an external origin for morality.

Yet, as I say, this presumes much about the strength and quality of the light we possess.

Nor do Christians work from the assumption that they possess the light by which Truth is revealed: if we are certain, as I say, we are certain in Another, not ourselves.

If like you we thought we created our own lessons from what life dished out, it would indeed seem impertinent to suggest their superiority. Amongst liberal Christians whose beliefs are not enormously far removed from your own, you will find precisely those sentiments.

But we do not see by a light we have ourselves created.

That's why we are not impressed by "the inevitability of change", because there is no "change" that does not have its beginning, and its end, in the Lord. It's also why you and others so persistently misdiagnose us: we don't fear change, we fear the Lord, and in so doing approach not arrogance, but humility.

19 June 2013 at 22:13  
Blogger Bob said...

@Anonymous In Belfast

How do they know what is right and what is wrong. Doesn't that... er... suggest some form of hypostatic morality?

Not really, no. People intuit early in life that doing things that cause others to suffer is wrong. This knowledge of "goodness" is not a god-granted externality, some sort of platonic template of goodness, but a learned concept solidified when others cause them to suffer. Billy stole my fire-engine! Johnny pulled my hair! With time and considered reflection, children understand not to behave in such a way to others.

Ethical codes are systematic organisations of situations like this, in essence.

Why do people break these codes? because they have not reflected on their actions and the consequences of their actions. if they did, they would understand that causing suffering to others also causes suffering to the self.

:)

Peace.

19 June 2013 at 22:35  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Bob:

You miss the point: if it isn't hypostatic, it must be susceptible to that inevitable change.

More directly, haven't we but to look around and see that a good many "bad" people succeed quite well at being "bad"? The most effective ones are those who have reflected on "consequences" and simply applied them in such a way to become more efficient at being "bad".

You invoke a choice, but if there's a choice, why would someone who has experience of gettign away with "bad" actions choose to be "good"?

If there is no hypostatic goodness, the question is meaningless. They would do so when the maximum yield from being "good" outweighed that of being "bad", or if the liklihood of negative consequences for *them* became too high. You end up at nothing more than an economy of ethics.

Yet this view is very recognisable: it's the kind of mindset of someone who has gone very Bad. And he gets there by precisely the means you outline: he starts from knowledge derived from the self. The irony is - that's not far from observed reality, it's often precisely those who have been most subjected to suffering who go on to inflict it on others.

The thing is: we must be loved into goodness, and we must be taught to be good. This is what God does - this is why we call Him Father. He loves us into greatness, and He loves us in our suffering. But whereas we suffer because we do not know good, He suffered because He was Good.

You cannot learn to be good unless you have some idea of what it is to be Good. You cannot be sure that the person who learns very different lessons is mad and you sane, unless you first have some measure of Sanity which is untouched by the possibility of madness.

19 June 2013 at 23:25  
Blogger Peter D said...

Bob

So now you are a utilitarian liberal?

20 June 2013 at 00:42  
Blogger Naomi King said...


Corrigan, It was an open secret here in Salisbury that Heath was homosexual and had less than desirable homosexual parties in Arundell's his house in the Close. There is a barrister who did a radio programme on the disappearances of the children from the Guernsey Children's homes, I will try and find the details for you. You will remember the police never found any bodies for the missing boys despite extensive diggings in the grounds of the home. This barrister had found Jimmy Saville was an arranger of trips on Morning Cloud for boys from the home.

Heath was a very rich man during his lifetime. He took up ocean yacht racing, having never sailed before in his life, at his 50 birthday. Yet he came from very humble beginnings, there was no personal wealth in his family. He bought a very fine Queen Anne freehold property in the Close when there are almost no freeholds to be had. You don't buy that on a prime minister's pension. He had 5 ocean going yachts during his later life these must have been financed by someone. On his death he left a very large sum for his personal charitable fund. There is no explanation for where this personal fortune came from.

20 June 2013 at 06:15  
Blogger Naomi King said...


Michael Shrimpton, barrister and author of the book Spyhunter, names Ted Heath, UK prime minister in the 1970s as a paedophile and child murderer (at least guilty as an accessory to these murders). Shrimpton shows that Jimmy Savile procured children from Haute de Gaurenne childrens home in Jersey and took them to Heath's boat, Morning Cloud, where they were abused and murdered and thrown overboard. This is why no bodies were found at Haute de Gaurenne. Michael Shrimpton was speaking on Bristol Radio in January 2013. Apparently Hunt, Secretary of the Cabinet Office was also a paedophile and ensured that Saville was given power to procure boys and protected him to ensure the truth did not come out about Edward Heath, also the BBC were involved.

Here is the link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9ABUEu4XlU

20 June 2013 at 06:51  
Blogger Naomi King said...


Jersey (not Guernsey, sorry) is one cesspit of a cover up and members of the yachting fraternity have a lot to answer for. Heath's bodyguards need interviewing. Certainly it was police bodyguards who were the source of much of the knowledge around the town, of the unpleasant nature of what was happening at Ted Heath's homosexual parties here at Arundell's, Salisbury.

Look up Ken Livingston's interview about the Kincora boys' home used by the security forces to blackmail politicians.

Cliff Richard hung around with Lord Boothby and the Krays in the 60s - he was arrested by Sutton Police in the 1980s; he has a home in Portugal near to the sea and has taken out an injunction recently. He has also revoked UK citizenship.

There are photographs of Jimmy Saville as a feted and regular guest at Haute de Gaurenne children's home in Jersey.

Joining the dots of some of the Political and Social Elite's abusing and murder of boys. It is far from pretty.

20 June 2013 at 07:15  
Blogger Albert said...

Bob,

People intuit early in life that doing things that cause others to suffer is wrong.

Wrong by what standard? how do they intuit it? and what is wrong?

I may experience pain and decide that I do not like it (although even that does not always follow in a straight forward way for everyone). But that does not make pain morally wrong. It just means I don't like it. You keep signing off with the word "peace" but why is peace a good thing? One response to pain would be struggle against others. You could go down a Nietzscheian route in this regard or a Marxist route. Both would be intellectually justifiable as a response to my suffering and both would go against "peace". What do you have to say to someone who follows either path?

this knowledge of "goodness" is not a god-granted externality, some sort of platonic template of goodness, but a learned concept solidified when others cause them to suffer. Billy stole my fire-engine! Johnny pulled my hair! With time and considered reflection, children understand not to behave in such a way to others. Ethical codes are systematic organisations of situations like this, in essence.

Well then they are intellectually empty. They are just sentimental responses to situations which reason can disabuse us of.

The mistake you may be making is the mistake usually made by secularists, of confusing the epistemological elements of morality (I know X is wrong) with the metaphysical elements (what makes X wrong). What I mean is this. If you say "Murder is wrong even if God does not issue a command that it is wrong" then I agree. Rightness and wrongness is not arbitrarily defined by God's will/commandment. But that does not mean that rightness and wrongness have been established without God. Neither does it follow that Christians are limited to divine command theory.

The point that if there is no highest Good, then there is no real morality has been grasped by some of the best atheist philosophers out there: Nietzsche, Russell, Sartre. It's also been grasped by those who are young and have been alienated by stupid liberalism from their own religious and spiritual culture. Witness the riots of a couple of summers ago. They could see that, as there is no God and there was no authority over them, there was no reason why they shouldn't rebel and steal and burn property. It's the people in the middle who can't see the truth the philosophers and the rioters can see. And they are the people who create the nihilistic culture in first place - precisely because they cannot see that that is what they are doing.

20 June 2013 at 11:15  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Albert

They could see that, as there is no God and there was no authority over them, there was no reason why they shouldn't rebel and steal and burn property.

I doubt if they (the London mobs at least) analysed the situation any further than the fact they outnumbered a white majority police force and could get away with mayhem and lawlessness.

But I think I understand what you are saying; I don't claim to be too familiar with all religious or philosophical discourses but it does seem that the argument put forward could just as validly be as the 'philosophy' as espoused in the Koran via application of Sharia instead of the laws of the State.

The Old Testament too lays claim to the ultimate authority in dispensing 'Gods' law and morality; (I use the quote marks because I'm not even sure this is the same 'God' of the New)

This leaves me with a very uneasy feeling about fundamentalist Christians who still believe in the equivalent of Flat Earth science.

I am a happy (most of the time) atheist concerned really only, with matters in this life.

PS Do you really not appreciate the face value meaning of 'Peace'?

20 June 2013 at 11:44  
Blogger Bob said...

@Albert

This is the useful bit of your comment:

Well then they are intellectually empty. They are just sentimental responses to situations which reason can disabuse us of.

Empty? Yes, if you mean devoid of inherent existence. All reasoning is, even yours and mine. All "things" are, too.

You've hit on something close to the truth here. It's a cause for celebration!

:)

Peace.

20 June 2013 at 11:54  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Naomi, you really need to be careful about "open secrets" and "joining the dots". It's an "open secret" that the entire Catholic priesthood is made up of child abusers; the only definitive, academically regulated overview study ever done on this (the John Jay Report) showed that Catholic priests (in America, where the report was done) had, over a thirty year period between the 1950s and the 1980s, been accused at the rate of 4% of the active priesthood, half of which accusations were shown - by law enforcement, not the Church authorities - to have been bogus. That, compared to an offence rate of 20% among the general American population for the same period (latter figure from Margaret Leland Smith, quantitive criminologist at John Jay University).

The point is, what everybody knows is generally rubbish. I don't doubt that Heath - like just about every politician - made a ton of money out of his public life, probably well beyond his salary. It's one of the constant themes of reformers of the political system, and they're right to harp on about it. But it's one hell of a leap from that to accusing him of helping murder boys and dumping their bodies at sea.

20 June 2013 at 12:28  
Blogger Albert said...

Dreadnaught,

I doubt if they (the London mobs at least) analysed the situation any further than the fact they outnumbered a white majority police force and could get away with mayhem and lawlessness.

They don't need to analysis it. They've effectively been taught it: there is no God and no absolute good. What they experience, therefore, is power and will - power and will which restricts their freedom, but which, for a brief moment, was not there.

it does seem that the argument put forward could just as validly be as the 'philosophy' as espoused in the Koran via application of Sharia instead of the laws of the State.

Agreed. Morally speaking secular liberalism and Islam are just different forms of voluntarism. Their rules are necessarily arbitrary, and deliberately so.

The Old Testament too lays claim to the ultimate authority in dispensing 'Gods' law and morality

Not if you are calling it "Old Testament" no. The Old Testament is necessarily contrasted with the New and is therefore provisional - at least in many respects. It is therefore, not the ultimate authority - only Jesus is that.

I am a happy (most of the time) atheist concerned really only, with matters in this life.

That's nice to hear, but are your moral beliefs in any sense true (or could they be true)?

Do you really not appreciate the face value meaning of 'Peace'?

I'm not sure what you mean by that. My point about peace, was what one would say to a follower of Nietzsche or Marx who thought devotion to peace was a Christian hang-over, an element of oppression. I mean, in what sense is the following proposition true?

"Peace is a good thing."

20 June 2013 at 14:32  
Blogger Albert said...

Bob,

Empty? Yes, if you mean devoid of inherent existence. All reasoning is, even yours and mine. All "things" are, too.

I don't think the link demonstrates that. What I mean is are moral claims in any sense true? Do they have any content? If you think not, then aren't you a nihilist?

20 June 2013 at 14:36  
Blogger Ivan said...

Hi Explorer, greetings from a heavily haze hit Singapore:

http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/Health/Story/A1Story20130620-431040.html

20 June 2013 at 15:10  
Blogger Bob said...

@Albert

We're discussing angels and pinheads here. Philosophies, ethical systems, reasonings etc. are a support structure we project onto reality to help us understand it. Much like mathematics really. We have the concept of 5, and we can count five apples for example, but "5" doesn't really exist.

Pure reality is wordless, conceptless, and we are getting further entangled in the illusory by discussing it like this. Reality just IS. Buddhism gets this. Christianity touches on it - "be still and know that I am God" - I just don't think there's enough emphasis on the "be still".

You must empty your cup...

20 June 2013 at 16:06  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Albert

Way far too many 'izms' for my brain to juggle with I'm sure but liberalism and Islam on the same page? - just different forms of voluntarism even when we hear so much about being 'born Muslim'? But I won't take the matter any further thanks.

My moral beliefs are true enough to keep me from harming myself (knowingly at least,) others and I am not a convicted felon. As I don't believe in an afterlife, that's as much as I can contribute to my fellow man or as much as I contentedly want from my life.

Thanks anyway for your responses Albert.




20 June 2013 at 16:23  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Bob. but "5" doesn't really exist.

Good grief, is that really Buddhist thought ?

If so, it is certainly a philosophical system with immense limitation...




20 June 2013 at 16:46  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Bob,

All well and good to say we are all living in an illusion etc. But for those of us who can't smoke weed and snort crack and alas have to work for a living, bring up children and live a normal hum drum life, can you please note we are trying to LIVE IN THE REAL WORLD, not fantasy isle.

Peace, man!

20 June 2013 at 17:09  
Blogger Bob said...

@David Kavanagh

"Chop wood, carry water."

:D

Peace dude.

20 June 2013 at 17:16  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Wouldn't Buddhism just be another philosophy projected?

Or is "avoid attachment" somehow exempt from the rejection of axiomatic truths?

Take a look at the "be still and know that I am God".

What does it mean to be still in a world that is nought but swirling material illusion?

"Be still and know that I am God" is a rather different proposition: you cannot be still in an axiom-less universe, you can only be still in relation to its centre.

The principle depends on God to have meaning: be still - in relation to the fixed and eternal I AM.

Be still: know that you stand on holy ground, and you know God. Without Him, you're not still, you've just created the illusion of being still by perfectly blending into your surroundings.

20 June 2013 at 18:44  
Blogger Albert said...

Bob,

We're discussing angels and pinheads here. Philosophies, ethical systems, reasonings etc. are a support structure we project onto reality to help us understand it.

I find that disturbing. What we are talking about is whether moral beliefs are true. Is it, for example, always and absolutely wrong to:

torture small children purely for fun?
murder millions of innocent people of all ages, simply because of their race?

I believe these are absolutely wrong. It's not a just private subjective opinion - like the fact that I don't much like jazz or olives.

If Buddhism cannot say that these things are absolutely wrong, so much the worse for Buddhism. It can only be because Buddhism does not really hate evil. Not to hate evil is partly to be in partnership with it. It stems from not really knowing goodness.

Philosophies...are a support structure we project onto reality to help us understand it.

What about that philosophy?

You must empty your cup...

Must? Where's that must coming from in your philosophy?

20 June 2013 at 18:56  
Blogger Albert said...

Fair enough Dreadnaught - it's been fun! Just to clarify, by putting liberalism and Islam in the same breath, I don't mean they believe the same things. I mean that in both, good and evil seem to be things that are chosen be free agents. In Islam, God chooses what's right and wrong, in liberalism, we do (or at least, those who write for the Guardian do!).

20 June 2013 at 18:59  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Funnily enough, I have had the image of an empty cup in my head every time I've read your posts Bob.

That little story is eerily familiar of the kind of exchange I see all the time in the academic Humanities, right down to the knowing smile. Not a fan of modern art by any chance?

Anyway, Scripture takes the opposite view. "My cup runs over", the Psalmist writes.

The thing is though, that God causes our cups to overflow from the abundance of His blessings not because what He pours in is meaningless, but because He intends for us to be bigger cups.

The more we recieve of His Grace, the more room we have to receive it. Don't empty that cup: let it be filled.

20 June 2013 at 19:02  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Bob,

No problem with carrying water or chopping wood... except when I've got someone who thinks he is superior to the rest of us and thinks everything boils down to the 'inner self' and 'peace', so I wish you'd get off your utopian high horse there and join the rest of the human race.

I see you've been saying people shouldn't hark after a 'golden age' of morality that never was.

Except in my book or rather G-d's, it doesn't matter about 'golden ages' or whatever, child rape, porn and sexually immoral acts will always be wrong, whatever the mood swing of the day. Would the Buddha, with the four noble truths approve of child rape?

20 June 2013 at 19:08  
Blogger Albert said...

Belfast,

Beautiful post - thank you.

20 June 2013 at 19:11  
Blogger Bob said...

@Albert

I find that disturbing. What we are talking about is whether moral beliefs are true.

You're still grasping at illusions. The question is nonsensical - it's like asking are elephants true, or is the sky true. The key point here is that if one frees oneself from attachment, then there is no desire to do evil things, and thus the question becomes meaningless. To free oneself from attachment leads inexorably to a pure heart.

@Anonymous In Belfast

Wouldn't Buddhism just be another philosophy projected?

Yep. Once the building has been built (ie, the truth has been reached), one throws away the blueprints (ie. the instructions by which one attained it). Even the Buddha's words are empty, and clinging to them is foolish.

:)

Peace and love guys.

20 June 2013 at 19:17  
Blogger Bob said...

@David Kavanagh

Except in my book or rather G-d's, it doesn't matter about 'golden ages' or whatever, child rape, porn and sexually immoral acts will always be wrong, whatever the mood swing of the day. Would the Buddha, with the four noble truths approve of child rape?

Of course not, but neither would he approve of clinging onto rage and condemnation, because it is harmful to oneself to nurse those emotions. I think he would help others purify their hearts so they would be at peace and have no desire to behave that way.

:D

Peace.

20 June 2013 at 19:24  
Blogger Albert said...

Bob,

The question is nonsensical - it's like asking are elephants true, or is the sky true.

No. It's like asking is it true that there are elephants or sky. Does my belief "there are elephants" correspond to a reality that there are elephants? Does my belief "it is wrong to torture small children simply for fun" correspond to reality. You really do seem to be saying "No" and that disturbs me. What's the point of saying "peace and love", if it isn't true that these things are good?

You are perhaps trying to avoid dogmatism, but as a result falling into further dogmatism - only in this case, you cannot affirm basic moral judgements, or even the truth of the things you say, believe and would commend to others.

20 June 2013 at 19:24  
Blogger Albert said...

Bob,

neither would he approve of clinging onto rage and condemnation

Who's clinging onto rage and condemnation? This discussion started by trying to make sense of why children get abused, and why this abuse seems to have increased dramatically. That's because we hate evil and we wish to protect children. Do you have children, Bob?

20 June 2013 at 19:27  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Bob:

You're pulling our legs, surely?

If you build to blueprints, the house you build is the product of their plan. Whether you throw the blueprints away or not (a very silly idea by the way - blueprints are really rather invaluable), the building is the particular way that it is because of them.

It is a tall building, because the blueprints depict a tall building, and not a short building, because the blueprints did not depict a short one.

The only illusion in that situation is in the mind of the one who throws the blueprints away, imagining they have no bearing on what he currently lives in.

Of course, if you mean that it is not the blueprints which we should value but the house, then I should say that the only person who has the luxury of thinking so is one with a house.

The man without one, having only the blueprints and the bare ground for the foundations, would do rather well to be "attached" to those blueprints. If he wants to have a roof over his head, at least. But then, I suppose, it becomes rather important to ask whether the blueprints are going to give him a roof, and four walls to support it, not to mention a door and some windows. Because if someone came along with a blank piece of paper and sold it off as a blueprint, I should think most people would be very wise to send them on their way.

Fortunately, God is intimately concerned with building firm foundations, and does us the great mercy of providing both the Rock on which we shall build, and the Cornerstone which keeps the house upright.

20 June 2013 at 19:33  
Blogger Peter D said...

<AiB
But who needs a house at all? Just another illusion to cling onto.

(I'm getting the knack of this way of thinking; ooops, its not really 'thought', as there are no constructs, just a state of mind.)

Albert
Good and evil don't exist in Buddhism. The 'law of kamma' uses the terms kusala and akusala.

20 June 2013 at 20:09  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Peter D:

Thanks to you, I now have the delightful image of Bob sitting in a muddy field, surrounded by bricks and sand, and telling everone how peaceful his house will be if only he can shift them out of sight.

Still, it doesn't do to get smug: we didn't build the House we live in, after all. The only proper thing to do, really, is to invite him in.

20 June 2013 at 20:46  
Blogger Bob said...

I love you guys. I hope one day you break through your illusions and find the road upon which there is no coming and no going.

:D

Peace.

20 June 2013 at 21:22  
Blogger Albert said...

Bob,

I hope one day you break through your illusions and find the road upon which there is no coming and no going.

But if there is no truth, then there is no truth that we have illusions. Indeed, there is no truth by which our illusions could be judged to be illusions. And if there is no good and evil, then there is nothing good (or evil) about having illusions or breaking through them.

A final thought: isn't the Buddhist concept anattā - which refers to the illusion of self? In which case, it's just an illusion that there is a Bob.

20 June 2013 at 21:27  
Blogger Peter D said...

Buddha Albert

You have achieved Enlightenment through your own efforts. Having attained Nirvana, will you now teach the Dharma to others?

20 June 2013 at 21:50  
Blogger Bob said...

@Albert

But if there is no truth, then there is no truth that we have illusions. Indeed, there is no truth by which our illusions could be judged to be illusions.

The truth is what remains when we strip away our illusions, when we free ourselves of attachments.

then there is nothing good (or evil) about having illusions or breaking through them.

There is peace, and the joy that comes from peace - from experiencing the ultimate oneness of reality unmediated through words and concepts.

A final thought: isn't the Buddhist concept anattā - which refers to the illusion of self? In which case, it's just an illusion that there is a Bob.

Alas I am not (yet) a Buddha, so some traces of my ego still remain.

:)

"I cleansed the mirror of my heart, now it reflects the moon."

Peace.

20 June 2013 at 21:53  
Blogger Bob said...

@Albert

But if there is no truth, then there is no truth that we have illusions. Indeed, there is no truth by which our illusions could be judged to be illusions.

The truth is what remains when we strip away our illusions, when we free ourselves of attachments.

then there is nothing good (or evil) about having illusions or breaking through them.

There is peace, and the joy that comes from peace - from experiencing the ultimate oneness of reality unmediated through words and concepts.

A final thought: isn't the Buddhist concept anattā - which refers to the illusion of self? In which case, it's just an illusion that there is a Bob.

Alas I am not (yet) a Buddha, so some traces of my ego still remain.

:)

"I cleansed the mirror of my heart, now it reflects the moon."

Peace.

20 June 2013 at 21:53  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

What a lovely technical glitch: you're reflecting yourself.

May you see Him soon, Jesus the True King.

20 June 2013 at 22:15  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

I used to be into buddhism before I heard and responded to the Gospel.

Bob has done me a favour by reminding me of what God's grace delivered me from. His immunity from logic is instructive in a sad way.

Child sex abuse although horrible is only the tip of the iceberg of the 60s sexual revolution. Easy divorce and the State funded epidemic of fatherless probably causes more suffering cumulatively. The idea that we should relax and say peace where there is no peace about this seems to me positively cannabis induced.

Marital breakdown even contributes to our housing crisis by multiplying households, as a former GP I know it contributes to mental ill health and of course most child abuse is done by 'Mum's latest boyfriend'.

But we mustn't even discuss these problems as its judgmental. The simple fact is thwt we humans were designed and intended for faithful life long marriage, but we fell. Prohibitions and taboos became necessary for our societal and moral survival. Under the influence of godless philosophies we rejected these wholesome constraints, to our ruin.

There is a nauseating stink of hypocrisy from the liberal nabobs at the BBC deprecating some forms of historic child abuse while supporting fornication, adultery, divorce, abortion and SSM and of course the Darwinism which ultimately provides the intellectual underpinning of the sexual chaos by reducing us to creatures of instinct whose morals are free to adapt and evolve.

21 June 2013 at 06:29  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Question for you, Bob.

If you have a tooth drilled, do you ask for anaesthetics?

21 June 2013 at 07:01  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

I was curious to see if child abuse existed in tribal societies as such a social taboo as it is in the West or indeed whether such activities were as a result of a corrupt morally bankrupt society as often it is described.

I wish I hadn't. Anyone wishing to consult what I found, will I suggest, need a strong stomach to simply read the piece in full let alone deliberate on the details.

http://www.psychohistory.com/originsofwar/07_childAbuse.html

21 June 2013 at 09:25  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Hi Dreadnaught,

Haven't read the piece you cited, but I have read Robert Edgerton's 'Sick Societies'. The title says it all.

You seem to have been exploring the Rousseau-type idea that civilisation is the cause of corruption. Get back to the simplicity and purity of the primitive world. (When Rousseau proposed all this, he had no idea about what the primitive world was actually like, since he wrote before the discipline of Anthropology existed).

The Christian view of Original Sin has no truck with that sort of concept. Corruption applies to every race and tribe: as does the possibility of salvation.

Regards.

21 June 2013 at 10:01  
Blogger Bob said...

@Explorer

I take care of my teeth so drilling is not required. (See below).

@Albert et al.

Some of you guys keep trying to force me to choose a side on various trivial questions, but you don't get that the questions are pointless. You might as well be arguing over how may jellybeans can fit in a bottle.

What matters is that when one frees oneself of attachments and purifies one's mind, wrongdoing cannot remain. All wrongdoing arises because of our attachments. If we purify our minds of attachment, wrongdoing disappears. We should be trying to limit words and concepts and quieten our mind so we will be that much closer to the pure experience of reality as it is, unmediated, not tangling ourselves further and further in a thicket of nonsense. That is the point of meditation.

"It is pleasant to scratch an itch, but more pleasant still to have no itch."

I have shared wonderful treasures with you guys, and I am thankful for the opportunity to do so.

:D

Peace.

21 June 2013 at 10:02  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Bob:

Suppose someone punched you in the mouth, so that painful dental work was required. What then?

Pain isn't a trivial issue. (Too many people have the illusion that it's real, and suffer accordingly).

21 June 2013 at 10:06  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Explorer

Yes, that was my general idea, and apparently also Rousseau's as you point out - such an alarming find for us both I fear.

More questions than answers for sure.

21 June 2013 at 10:10  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Bob:

To add to that.

If the dentist asked you the question about anaesthetics (or the surgeon after a traffic accident) what would you say?

Telling them the question is pointless wouldn't do. I've encountered hospital anaesthetists, and they're probing types. Behinsd their questions is the possibility of being sued.

21 June 2013 at 10:11  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Bob:

There was a bully at school who was a mean bastard.

If you'd told him pain was an illusion, I'm sure he'd have found a way to convince you (if only while it lasted) of its reality.

21 June 2013 at 10:41  
Blogger Albert said...

Bob,

Some of you guys keep trying to force me to choose a side on various trivial questions

Trivial questions?

Is it always wrong to torture small children purely for fun?
Is it always wrong to murder an innocent people simply because of their race?

How can these be trivial?

a thicket of nonsense.

Nonsense? The belief that moral beliefs are true (or false) is nonsense?

Rambling Steve is right. It seems pretty obvious that your take on Buddhism, Buddhism saps your moral strength.

If we purify our minds of attachment, wrongdoing disappears.

No it won't, because on your take, wrongdoing isn't really wrong. So it can't disappear. And how do you respond when people are evil? If I purify my mind of attachment, I learn to be complacent about wrong doing and injustice. How does all this fit into compassion?

That is the point of meditation.

And what if meditation just doesn't work?

The truth is what remains when we strip away our illusions, when we free ourselves of attachments.

But why on your scheme, isn't that belief itself an illusion? After all, earlier you said:

Philosophies, ethical systems, reasonings etc. are a support structure we project onto reality to help us understand it.

and

Even the Buddha's words are empty, and clinging to them is foolish.

So you call believing "it is wrong to torture small children purely for fun" nonsense, while believing what appears to be self-evident contradiction.

21 June 2013 at 10:51  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Bob:

Nobody is trying to force you to any point - or at least, if they are, it is the mirror to you trying to "force" (i.e. by providing an apologetic for) us "emptying our cup".

It's true, that we won't be learning much from what Buddha is pouring out whilst we sup from the Cup of the Lord. But if you ask a man to evict the contents of his cup, it is not unreasonable to assume that he wishes to provide you with a finer vintage.

Here's the problem though, Bob: you keep telling us the wine you want to pour in is all an illusion. "Empty your cup so you can receive". But the answer to "receive what?", is merely to be understood as another empty cup.

It's assumed that we will recognise the good teaching of the man who gives such advice: but on what basis? What difference is there between a cup that has been emptied and a cup that was never filled through negligence?

One of those jellybaby-in-can questions, I suspect. My trouble with what you write is not principally that you blur good and evil - I think you have managed spectacularly well to forget the meaning of either - it's that there's no compelling difference between wisdom and foolishness.

There, the truly vaccuous man is no different from the Buddha.

21 June 2013 at 11:22  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Albert:

"... because on your take, wrongdoing isn't really wrong. So it can't disappear."

It's worse than that: it has to *appear* to disappear. It's the man who binds his own eyes to reveal the truth that there is nothing to see.

21 June 2013 at 11:24  
Blogger Albert said...

Belfast/Bob,

I think Belfast has hit the nail on the head. If Buddhism is so conceptually empty, it would seem consistent with any bizarre behaviour. As soon as you import reasons why it is not, you important concepts. That is a problem because firstly, we can discuss them, and secondly, you want to get away from concepts.

21 June 2013 at 12:48  
Blogger Albert said...

It's worse than that: it has to *appear* to disappear.

Indeed, but it will carry on, it's just that we won't be able to recognise it. And that brings us back to the original post.

21 June 2013 at 12:49  
Blogger Bob said...

@Belfast

There, the truly vaccuous man is no different from the Buddha.

In some sense this is true, though not in the dismissive sense you mean. Ever heard the expression "Zen mind, beginner's mind"?

@Albert

I think Belfast has hit the nail on the head. If Buddhism is so conceptually empty, it would seem consistent with any bizarre behaviour. As soon as you import reasons why it is not, you important concepts. That is a problem because firstly, we can discuss them, and secondly, you want to get away from concepts.

We have to use concepts in order to discuss and describe and explain, but they are only shadows of reality as it is, which is pure experience. We use concepts to roughly understand, then we must discard them. This is the origin of the phrases "the Way that can be spoken of is not the Way", and of course, "empty your cup."

This was what I was getting at earlier when I talked about throwing away blueprints, though I clearly used a bad example. The teachings are the vehicle that point towards truth, but attachment to them is erroneous.

Peace.

:D

21 June 2013 at 14:37  
Blogger Albert said...

Okay Bob, thank you, that's a bit clearer. But surely the reality is that some things are just evil. They need to be named as such, avoided and fought against. The more you allow reality behind the concept, the less I can understand why you are so slow to admit that some things are just wrong.

21 June 2013 at 15:00  
Blogger Bob said...

@Albert

It's one of the few eternal truths that all sentient beings wish to avoid suffering, so it is in this sense that "some things are just wrong". Acts that are "wrong" are so because they cause suffering to others, not because there is an external standard.

However, it is essential to understand that this is clinging to a conceptual notion of good and evil, and once we discard that conception, we transcend good and evil. Because we have purified ourselves of attachments, of conceptions, we do not suffer and we do not cause others to suffer. So in letting go of such conceptions - ego, desire, good, evil - we are letting go of our wish to commit such acts. We are filled with love and compassion for all beings because we see the oneness of reality.

This is why it's not helpful to discuss whether act X is good or whether act Y is evil. The root cause of suffering is attachment, and it is in letting go of our attachments that we truly understand.

Peace.

:)

21 June 2013 at 15:24  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Bob:

If perfect emptiness is truth, it is *as* empty as the vaccuum in which there has never been truth. In that sense, my dismissiveness could work just as well: in fact, if I am perfectly dismissive of literally everything, I will arrive at precisely the same place.

Unless... well, unless there is a special *kind* of emptiness. But in that instance, you are simply obfuscating your own axioms. The best word I can think of to describe that is illusion.

21 June 2013 at 15:29  
Blogger Bob said...

To follow on from my previous comment, let me put it another way. In some Buddhist monasteries, students are given a koan, a kind of problem, to meditate upon and "solve"; a famous example being "what is the sound of one hand clapping?"

Now the koan doesn't have an answer as such. The point in meditating upon it is to block the rationalising, categorising mind so one is able to experience reality unfiltered through concepts. The "correct" answer is thus one that demonstrates the student has understood this, and has been able to do it - to transcend sound, to hear the soundless sound.

To talk about different kinds of sound, to say "does it sound like this?" or "does it sound like that?" is to miss the point.

:)

Peace.

21 June 2013 at 15:30  
Blogger Bob said...

@Anonymous In Belfast

if I am perfectly dismissive of literally everything, I will arrive at precisely the same place.

Perhaps you're right. Buddhists look at the signpost, and follow it, but they don't take the signpost with them.

21 June 2013 at 15:41  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

If you have ten things in a box, realising the oneness of them by throwing out nine is not a particularly impressive feat.

That's why you can dismiss "does it sound like this" or "does it sound like that" - you're not interested in sound, despite the fact you call it "soundless sound" - you're interested only in its absence.

But you could not have found a "soundless sound" unless you first knew a sound to silence. More than that, it is *dependent* on that knowledge: it proceeds from it.

Letting go of the blueprint, or effacing the path, that leads you to that point, simply blinds *you* to that fact. The only illusion at work is the one you have constructed for yourself by following it.

What you get is the *appearance* of absence, which can only ever be conjured by putting things out of sight. The imagined meaninglessness merely confesses and indebtedness to meaning.

21 June 2013 at 15:47  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

*an indebtedness

21 June 2013 at 15:49  
Blogger Albert said...

Bob,

It's one of the few eternal truths that all sentient beings wish to avoid suffering, so it is in this sense that "some things are just wrong". Acts that are "wrong" are so because they cause suffering to others, not because there is an external standard.

It does not follow that because I do not like suffering that therefore I may not inflict suffering on others. If I do not like suffering, then I may judge that it is best to inflict suffering on others, so they cannot inflict suffering on me. Stalin in particular understood this.

This is why it's not helpful to discuss whether act X is good or whether act Y is evil. The root cause of suffering is attachment

When I hear of a child suffering at the hands of an adult, I suffer too - compassion. That compassion is possible because of my attachment to the child. This is proved by the fact that I suffer more, the more I know and love the child. Are you saying I should not have attachment to my own children.

it is in letting go of our attachments that we truly understand

What do we truly understand? If I want to be free of compassion, then yes, it will help if I let go of my attachments to other people. But that way, I lose all love.

The clapping thing is just meaningless. One hand does not clap - the problem is prior to the issue of sound. If enlightenment is something that comes through saying meaningless things and involves abandoning all compassion and love, then I don't want that enlightenment. I'll stick to the love of God made known in Jesus Christ.

21 June 2013 at 17:04  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Bob/Albert

Fascinating exchange of ideas Chaps - it even kept the usual thread spoilers at bay - congratulations!

But Bob, why would you want to transcend the concept of doing good?



21 June 2013 at 20:30  
Blogger Albert said...

Thank you Dreadnaught,

But Bob, why would you want to transcend the concept of doing good?

Thank you for putting so succinctly what I've been trying to say for about two days!

it even kept the usual thread spoilers at bay - congratulations!

I noticed that. Where are they?!

21 June 2013 at 21:40  
Blogger Naomi King said...

According to the European Union, all politicians of member states have immunity against prosecution for all criminal and civil offences with the exception of hate crimes and parking offences, which beggars belief!

http://beforeitsnews.com/politics/2013/06/paedophile-politicians-are-above-the-law-says-eu-2528346.html

21 June 2013 at 21:46  
Blogger Naomi King said...


Oh and here is one for the Inspector if he is around

As the homosexual movement makes gains in public opinion and politics, the dissenting voice of science continues to unearth health problem after health problem associated with gay sexual behaviour.

- http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/men-having-sex-with-men-at-far-greater-risk-for-cancer-stds-infections-syst?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=2fcc7533a2-LifeSiteNews_com_US_Headlines_06_10_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0caba610ac-2fcc7533a2-326221806

21 June 2013 at 21:48  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

The Inspector is around Mrs King. Now you know you are being naughty in highlighting gay disease. if it became known widely known that 1 in 7 gay men in London has gonorrhoea, and that 1 in 12 gay men in London has HIV, it wouldn’t do the current gay campaign any good at all, now would it ?

21 June 2013 at 22:26  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Too many 'knowns'. It's a thirsty evening...

{HIC}

21 June 2013 at 22:27  
Blogger Albert said...

Thank you Naomi.

Unfortunately, what this evidence confirms is that homosexuals are both more promiscuous and that some of their sex acts are far more physically dangerous.

Meanwhile, the Government is removing fidelity from the nature of marriage...

21 June 2013 at 22:31  
Blogger Bob said...

@Dreadnaught

But Bob, why would you want to transcend the concept of doing good?

When one transcends the concept of good (along with other concepts and attachments), one's heart is purified and one acts with compassion because one realises the unity of all things.

To transcend the concept of "good" does not mean one stops doing compassionate acts, it means one has transcended illusions caused by attachment. And thus one is freed.

:)

Peace.

21 June 2013 at 22:38  
Blogger Albert said...

Bob,

When one transcends the concept of good (along with other concepts and attachments), one's heart is purified and one acts with compassion because one realises the unity of all things.

So good is an attachment we need to be rid of?

To transcend the concept of "good" does not mean one stops doing compassionate acts, it means one has transcended illusions caused by attachment. And thus one is freed.

Twice now I have given an account of why your philosophy leads in the opposite direction. You are yet to answer that, so no, I don't think you are able to make these claims. Not yet anyway.

21 June 2013 at 22:47  
Blogger Bob said...

@Albert

We need to be rid of all attachments, but like I said, when one realises the unity of all things (ie. the pure experience of wordless and conceptless reality), one cannot be anything other than full of love and compassion, for attachment is at the root of all bad deeds - clinging to power, money, the past, religious texts etc.

:)

Peace.

21 June 2013 at 22:52  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Bob. for attachment is at the root of all bad deeds - clinging to power, money, the past, religious texts etc.

Classic brain washing technique old chap. One is beginning to view you with suspicious eyes. You sound just like one of Mao’s lads on the long march...

21 June 2013 at 22:57  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Bob:

I'm still waiting for clarification on the anaesthetics issue.

Would you refuse them in all circumstances, and sign a disclaimer to this effect?

A single-word answer will suffice.

22 June 2013 at 07:08  
Blogger Albert said...

Bob,

We need to be rid of all attachments, but like I said, when one realises the unity of all things (ie. the pure experience of wordless and conceptless reality), one cannot be anything other than full of love and compassion, for attachment is at the root of all bad deeds - clinging to power, money, the past, religious texts etc.

But Bob, love is a kind of attachment. You cannot have it both ways. Moreover, much of our suffering is caused by the fact that we love. You never seem to address this point, and that leave Buddhism looking very superficial.

22 June 2013 at 09:55  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Let me give you my own answer, Bob. Yes, I would have anaesthetics if there were pain involved.

So, what's YOUR answer, Bob? Anaesthetics, yes or no?

22 June 2013 at 10:58  

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