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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What Gosnell did is what abortion is

Michael Egnor: What Gosnell did is what abortion is -- Exactly. Warning: Graphic -- yet, mild in context -- images

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Hermeneutics As Sexual Identity

Douglas Wilson: Hermeneutics As Sexual Identity
... There is much here to make an honest man wince, but let me point to just two things. First, what on earth does it mean to "take the Bible seriously"? Does it mean that disobedience can be sanctified by a furrowed brow? Does it mean that the Bible is given the honorary seat as lead discussion partner at the never-ending seminar? And, having been given that honorary slot, does it preside over all the subsequent discussions in much the same spirit that Jeremy Bentham's stuffed remains attend University College London council meetings, "present, but not voting"? Taking the Bible seriously means that you get all of the feely gravitas, and none of the nuisance. Your faith can be very precious to you, and at the same time not get in the way of something else that is even more precious to you. We need not go into what that is. ...

Douglas Wilson: A Fixed Given
... The apostle Paul says that homosexual behavior is contrary to nature. The words seem plain enough, but what is nature? That is where we find ourselves wandering in a labyrinth. We wander because we are refusing to read nature in the light of Scripture.

If I may make the problem stark, what is the difference between a man shaving his head, or a woman dying her hair, or a teen-ager getting braces on her teeth, or a man getting a sex change operation? All four can be cast as examples of us "tinkering with" nature. Nature wants the hair to grow, he wants it shaved. Nature wants her hair to gray, she wants it not to. Nature wants her to be snaggletoothed, she wants a straight smile. And he wants his body to conform to his "inner woman." Why is this last one a travesty, and the others not? ...

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Real Temptations

Douglas Wilson: Real Temptations
God’s saints are often troubled by the mere fact of their temptations. Sin is one kind of trouble, but we know how to seek forgiveness for sin committed in the past. But what about the constant volley of suggestions that seem more than a little attractive, to which you have not given way, but which trouble you nonetheless? How could a real Christian be anything but repulsed by the thought of that, or that?
But returning to the issue of temptation, the Lord experienced true temptation in His own right. He was buffeted by suggestions from the devil, and He experienced them as true temptations, ...

But this means that for you to feel disqualified from this Supper because of your many temptations means that you are trying to be holier than Jesus. Your sins do not keep you back, because the broken body and shed blood are here for just that reason. And your temptations do not forbid you because since temptations did not corrupt the sacrifice itself, how much less would they corrupt the ones for whom the sacrifice was made?

So come, and welcome, to Jesus Christ.
I don't exactly agree with this statement: "... the Lord experienced true temptation in His own right. He was buffeted by suggestions from the devil, and He experienced them as true temptations, meaning that they were things He wanted to do. He wanted to turn the stones to bread, He wanted to throw Himself off the temple, and He wanted to bow down and worship the devil."

Yes, Christ experienced real temptations, just as we do (I've discussed this idea in the comments here). But, as is frequently the case in our lives, it wasn't the sin that was the temptation: the sin, the wicked act or result, was the "payload", but the temptation was some thing good in itself. For example, worshipping Satan was a temptation to Christ, not because he wanted/desired specifically to worship Satan, but rather because of the promise that in doing so he could accomplish his mission -- to take up the rule of the world -- without having to be murdered on a tree.

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Moral realism and anti-realism

Michael Egnor: Moral realism and anti-realism --
... If morality is an adaptive strategy, then morality is not real. It is a delusion. I think that Baggett is right. This debate will come down to classical theists (Christians mainly) vrs. atheists. Moral realists vrs. anti-realists.

I think that the prime motivating ideology of modern atheism is moral anti-realism anyway, so at least the debate will move in an honest direction.

New atheism has always been about morality, not science. Scientism is a tactic, not a motive, for atheist evangelism.

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Plain as noses on faces

Diana West: We Give Up? -- "We [won't] recognize them killing us, and they don't recognize us, period."

The problem isn't something called "Islamism" or "radical Islam"; as has been true for the past 1400 years, the problem is Islam. Period. As the joke puts it: "Q: What's the difference between a 'Moslem extremist' and a 'moderate Moslem'? A: The distance to the bomb."

But, of course, the deeper problem is us: for we allow those who hate us and our history, who desire above all things the destruction of our history and traditions, which is to say, the murder of our common life as a people, to rule us and to dictate what we may even think.

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Wicked Thought

I had a wicked thought yesterday that I wanted to share with Gentle Reader.

One may recall a few years back that in their oppositon to the passage of NAFTA, protectionists and other Democrats warned us that the giant sucking sound we'd hear would be all our jobs going to Mexico. And I thought, "Cool! So the Mexicans will stay in Mexico!?"

Yet, somehow, here we are today: NAFTA in place and the Democrats and RINOs insisting that morality -- and the Constitution -- demand that we give US citizenship, and especially the vote ... and welfare benefits, to pretty much any Mexican who waltzes across the border. Well, at least they are (presently) for limiting the vote to those tens of millions actually on this side.

Edit: I phrased that last sentence in that precise manner because the US government is *already* giving taxpayer funds -- monies forcibly extracted from you and me under threat of violent death -- to Mexicans for Mexicans in Mexico.

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Reasoning with materialists

In short, it is logically impossible to reason with materialists, for the -ism they have freely chosen to assert utterly denies the very possibility of reason, and of freedom. Consider the argument at the end of this post --
Victor Reppert: "We have seen the argument that atheism must be true, because it's the wave of the future? But is it? Apparently atheists don't reproduce at the rate of religious believers, so the future belongs to...well, not the atheists. "

LadyAtheist: "But... 100% of babies born to believers are atheists!"

Victor Reppert: "If you are going to claim all the babies [for atheism] because they lack a belief in God, then I suppose you can have my cats, too. But, so much for atheists being brighter than the rest of us."

Martin: "And rocks. Rocks are atheists as well."

ME: "And, on average, [God-deniers are] as clear-thinking [as rocks]."

I don't know what 'skeptical' means: "Unlike theists, who are WRONG about so, so much."

My response --

So asserts the foolish materialist who also ultimately asserts that he himself does not, and cannot, exist.

And yet, you (singular and collective) never can manage to identify even one thing about which Christians are so, so "WRONG". The nearest you (again, singular and collective) ever come to making a rational argument against Christianity goes like this:
1) IF there is a Creator-God, then Christians would be right about that, and I would be wrong;
2) BUT, Christians are stupid "faith-heads", who by definition (for I have defined the terms) do not believe what they believe for rational reasons;
3) ERGO, Christians are wrong. PLUS, they’re stupid.

Notice, Gentle Reader, there is nothing rational about that; it a rationalization for the God-denier’s own refusal to reason about the reality of God -

1) IF there is no Creator-God (*), then the only sorts of cause existing ab initio are those of non-rational mechanical necessity;
2) No purely non-rational mechanically necessary cause can ever give rise to a free result, nor to a rational result;
3) THUS, *all* subsequent events in the history of the world are purely non-rational mechanically necessary;
4) BUT, “all subsequent events in the history of the world” includes all our own ratiocinations -
4a) meaning that it is not a free-and-rational comprehension of the logical truth of some matter that enables us to say ‘X’ - nor, contrarywise, a free-if-irrational refusal to say ‘X’ that enables us to say ‘not-X’ - but rather, our saying of ‘X’, or of ‘not-X’, is simply the purely non-rational mechanically necessary effect of some prior purely non-rational mechanically necessary cause. Tomorrow, due to some other purely non-rational mechanically necessary cause, we may well say ‘Y’.
4b) THUS, if there is no Creator-God, then we humans do not, for we cannot, reason.
5) BUT, we human beings *do* reason;
6) THEREFORE, there is a Creator-God -- which is the Necessary Being, and which is both rational and free ... which is to say, the Necessary Being is not a 'what', but a 'who': he is personal.

(*) who is a Necessary Being, and who is personal - being both rational and free
As I keep saying, *you* are the proof that God is!

Edit (2013/04/29):
Now, consider the response of this epitome of Reason Against Religious Obscurantism --
Me: "2) No purely non-rational mechanically necessary cause can ever give rise to a free result, nor a rational result;"

I don't know what 'rational' or 'argument' (neither alone nor in conjunction) mean: " Some mechanistic thinking machines work better than others. Addled by faulty religious programming, yours is not one of them.
I'm not going to waste my time following his link -- I mean, even aside from the fact that "Free Thought Blogs" had next to nothing to do with either freedom or thought, all he has said, in both his first post and this one is, "Yer stoopid!" And some inane ramblings by Richard Carrier will never substantiate that risible asserting -- and I certainly don't expect Gentle Reader to follow the link.

There is not, and never has been, and never will be any such thing as a "mechanistic thinking machine" -- 'mechanism' and 'thought' are mutually exclusive: thus, "thinking machine" is an oxymoron.

But, let's set aside that truth, and pretend that there can be, and are, such things as "mechanistic thinking machines". Let us pretend -- for this is his strange assertion -- that human beings are "mechanistic thinking machines".

When this fool asserts, " Some mechanistic thinking machines work better than others. Addled by faulty religious programming, yours is not one of them." all he is really saying is: "You do not assert the same things I assert, *therefore* you are not thinking correctly" -- keeping in mind that he's not actually using the word 'thinking' to mean, well, thinking.

Surely, Gentle Reader can see, without it needing to be spelled out in greater detail, that to assert "You do not assert the same things I assert, *therefore* you are not thinking correctly" is to turn reason on its head; that such an attitude is the antithesis of reasoning. And yet, this is commonly how "free-thinkers" (ahem) reason.

Another thing "free-thinkers" like to assert, and he is at least implicitly doing it here, is not merely that Christians don't think correctly/logically and rationally, but that, due to our "programming", we cannot think correctly/logically and rationally, while, at the same time, asserting that *they* do think correctly/logically and rationally -- the "proof" being, of course, that they arrive at the "correct" "conclusion", and we do not.

To put it another way, they commonly assert, and he is asserting, that contrary to us, they can and do exceed their own "programming". But this assertion is absurd on so many levels. Non-exhaustively, and in no particular order --
1) If *I* were to say, "You do not assert the same things I assert, *therefore* you are not thinking correctly", you can be sure that *he* would never accept that as sound and valid reasoning; as it is not. Thus, it is intellectual hypocrisy -- hence, I call him, and all his ilk, 'fool' -- that *he* asserts that.
2) If human "reasoning", and results of human "reasoning", were indeed *caused* by mechanistic cause-and-effect, then there is no way, nor could be, for humans to distinguish sound and valid reasoning from the contrary;
2a) thus, we could not distinguish truth from falsehood;
3) In asserting that they can and do exceed their own "programming", these fools are *denying* the main thing they want to assert, namely that there is such a thing as a "mechanistic thinking machine", and that human beings are examples such;

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Monday, April 15, 2013

A Graphic Demonstration

Bob Parks: Pic of the Day -- what this demonstrates is that the "news media" is about anything but news. Of course, anyone actually paying attention already knew that.

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

'Shen of the Sea'

A few weeks ago, I picked up a (reprint of a) little book called 'Shen of the Sea' by Arthur Bowie Chrisman (writen in 1925), a collection of Chinese folk and wonder tales.

Here is the beginning of the first story, 'Ah Mee's Invention' --
"A shamelessly rainy day, my honorable Brother Chi."

"That is truth, esteemed Brother Cha. It rains perfectly hard. There will be plenty of leisure in which to beat the children."

Ching Chi was merely quoting an old Swa Tou saying. Everyone knows that on rainy days old and young are crowded, arm against elbow, in the house; often to get in each the other's way -- and misunderstandings are likely to arise. Then the bamboo is brought into play -- and there are wailings. That is how the Swa Tou saying originated. When Ching Chi used it, he did so in fun, and, no doubt, to make talk.

But Ching Cha thought that his brother was speaking with earnestness. His face, made glum by the rain and by secret troubles, brightened at such a pleasing prospect. "Ho. Leisure to beat the children? What an utterly excellent idea! I myself will cut bamboos for your hand. Ah Mee is the one to beat. He played at being a mad wild elephant -- oh, so perfectly wild, and with such trampling -- in the midst of my huang ya tsai patch."

Ching Chi seemed altogether astonished. His face showed that the thought Ching Cha must be overstepping the truth. "What? What do you say to me, honorable Brother Cha? Ah Mee playing wild elephant in your cabbage patch? But I thought I told him, emphatically, to break no more of your cabbages."

"It is no blemish upon my lips. It is the truth," said Ching Cha, sullen ahd hurt because Chi disbelieved. "He played elephant in my cabbages. Come and I will show you."

"Oh, no." Ching Chi shook his head. "It is raining far too hard. I'll speak of the matter again to my son."

Ching Cha adjusted his wei li (ran hat) the straighter and shuffled off through the downpour. As he went he muttered something that sonded like "Wong tou meng." If that is what he really said, he called Ching Chi a stupid old noddy.

But Ching Chi merely laughed. He had no intention of beating Ah Me, his "pearl in the palm," his son.

Now, whether Ching Chi was right or wrong is a pretty question. Some persons answer one way, and some, another. But there is no question about this ... Ah Mee was terrible. If anything, he was as bad as that lazy Ah Fun, son of Dr. Chu Ping. Here is there only difference: Ah Fun never did what he was told to do. Ah Mee always did what he was told not to do. But he did it in such manner as to leave a loophole. Take the matter of his uncle Ching Cha's cabbage patch ...

Only a day or so before, Ah Mee had pretended that he was a fierce and furious dragon -- a loong. As a fierce and furious dragon, he threshed this way and that through Uncle Ching Cha's very delectable cabbages -- causing much hurt. Ching Chi, the parent, told Ah Mee never again to play dragon in Uncle Cha's cabbages. "Ah Mee, you must never again play dragon in your honorable uncle's cabbage patch. If you do, I shall speak to you most sharply." And Ah Mee said, "Yes, sir," and obeyed. He pretended to be a ferocious wild elephant. He didn't play dragon again. Oh, no. Not at all. He was very careful not even to think of a dragon. He was a weighty elephant -- amid the cabbages.
Isn't that fun? There's more ... do see if you can find a copy.

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But all of them smell like gasoline

Douglas Wilson: Three Takes on the House --
The second group belongs to the revolution. They see the problems with the house, and the inequities that have developed (some have cleaned up their own rooms quite nicely, which natch, makes them the envy of all the others), and so they want to do something about the problem of "the house" as a whole. Because they are revolutionaries, it is an article of faith with them (held with a religious fervor) that the only thing we can do is burn it down and start over.

This is not simple arson -- the idea is an eschatological paganism. Without a Creator God, the father of any order that happens is chaos. And since the process is random, and there are times when chaos throws off some abortion of a world -- which has apparently happened in our case -- this means there is nothing for it but to destroy it all down to chaos again and let chaos have another throw. Two out of three? Baby needs a new pair of shoes . . .

But because a lot of us are living in this dive, it is not possible for these people to simply soak all the furniture in gasoline and strike a match. There are too many people in the first group who would say, "Hey! What do you think you are doing?!" Because of this, the radicals have to be duplicitous about their aims, which is just a fifty cent way of saying they are liars. They have taken to describing the gasoline as "furniture perfume," and when pressed about it say only that it is "for the children."

They are after one thing only, and that is power. When they get real power of the sort they want, it will be the power to destroy -- and destroy they will. In the meantime, they raise many different "issues," to confuse those who think they might be sincere, but as their godfather Saul Alinsky taught them, the issue is never the issue. The real issue is power, as measured by them in gasoline and matches.

These arsonist revolutionaries have gone under many guises, and have had many names. I will simply describe them in one lump as anyone to the left of Chris Christie, and for ease of reference, we will simply call them "commies." Some of them are dupes, and some are zealots, but all of them smell like gasoline.
Now the way I have stated all this certainly tips my hand. Which option do I think is the Christian one? But we have to be careful here. There are professing Christians who belong to all three groups. There are even sincere Christians -- the kind that go to Heaven when they die -- who belong to all three groups. There are sincere Christians who think Jesus wants us to help the commies, and there are sincere Christians who are genuinely attached to that wallpaper design in the foyer ...
Overall, it's a good essay. Nevertheless, it is not true that "There are even sincere Christians -- the kind that go to Heaven when they die -- who belong to all three groups"; for the "commies" intend to murder people.

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As simply everyone knows

As simply everyone knows, using state coection to redefine 'marriage' so that everyone else is compelled to call two (for now) dudes or chicks going at it a "marriage" won't affect you at all. I mean, really! it's just about "fairness" and "human rights".

The above is, of course, utterly false, in all its regaurds -- and *everyone* knows that it is utterly false. But, out of fear or out of indifference -- or becuase they active desire the inevitable end-point -- nearly everyone is pretending that it is true.

Comes a news item out of Washington State -- which, by the way, is not only not last the such incident, but is not even the first: this sort of thing has been going on, and being reported, for a number of years -- in which the bureaucrats who actually run government reach into the deep pockets of Joe Taxpayer to persecute a small business owner who merely declined to participate in a "gay" "wedding".

As I said, there will be more such incidents.

"Gay rights" isn't about anyone’s rights -- I mean, other than curtailing your right to have your own opinion on the matter -- it's about compelling everyone to pretend that homosexual practices, no matter how vile, are utterly normal, and indeed laudatory and demanding of celebration.

Of course, if the leftists do succeed in the goal to which end they are using "gays" as willing "useful idiots" -- the active world-wide persecution of Christianity -- you can be sure that, soon enough, when they are no longer as useful, they'll turn on the "gays". Hell, they'll even send them to the same death-camps they send Christians.

Anyway, what prompted this post is that I want to share with Gentle Reader a comment left by a leftist atheist on Michael Egnor's blog:
Women, Jews, blacks, and now homosexuals, when will the madness end? Soon there will be no one left for Christian bigots to discriminate against.

Let's overlook the misrepresentation -- the outright lies -- contained in that comment. Let's pretend that the sentiment expressed really does represent the truth about Christians, and that 'KW' really does honestly believe what he has said.

Can you not *see* how this must end, given "liberalism" (and the leftist puppetmasters of "liberalism")? Can you not see where the logic of (sinful) human nature *must* take this? Now, it's true that "liberalism" *is* mad, that it *is* insane -- but, nonetheless, there is a twisted logic to it and which controls where it goes.

Amusingly enough, and soon enough, such Christ-haters as 'KW' will not put up much objection to submitting ... to Islam. And, after all, that is what the word means. Besides, as Moslems, they'll have even more incentive to persecute Christians.

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Sunday, April 7, 2013

As I've said, he *knows* better

When he's pounding his economic protectionism drum -- when he's arguing (such as he does) for economic statism, which is to say, for fascism -- Vox Day asserts that a commitment to 'free trade' is also a commitment to 'open borders'. This is not true -- and he knows it isn’t true. But don’t expect him to stop making the false assertion anytime soon -- despite that he has implicitly admited it -- Immigrants are good for the economy
... It is more than a little ironic that in the name of free trade, Americans have somehow managed to accept a system that involves the free movement of labor as well as restrictions on the movement of capital.
What he *said* is that in the name of free trade, American have heen duped into accepting a system which is the opposite of 'free trade' in two important particulars.

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Ten Reasons to Legalize ILA

Svein Sellanraa: (on The Orthosphere) Ten Reasons to Legalize ILA -- Every one of the reasons Mr Sellanraa lists are currently and frequently employed by leftists and their "liberal" and "libertarian" sock-puppets to justify overturning centuries of social understanding, and generally most of them simultaneously with respect to any specific topic.

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Monday, April 1, 2013

On an athestic response to Easter

For Easter, Michael Egnor put up a small post, wherein he quotes an essay of one Nathaniel Peters concerning a recent reflection of Pope Francis concerning grace and Pelagianism:
On this greatest of holidays, Nathaniel Peters has an essay on Pope Francis' beautiful reflection on grace and pelagianism.

One of the greatest theological diseases we find in contemporary Catholicism [Ilíon: and amongst Christians in general] is pelagianism, the notion that we’re all basically good people whose moral improvement and salvation is the result of our good actions. In this mindset, God’s grace becomes less consequential because it’s less necessary. [On this false view,] At its heart, Christianity is about doing good things.

Throughout history, great theologians have combated pelagianism: Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and, in our own time, Hans Urs von Balthasar and Benedict XVI. They have reminded us that, at its heart, Christianity is a love story in which God seeks us out and draws us closer to himself. The first move belongs to God, and any real good we do is a gift from him, enshrouded with his own love. In this understanding, God’s grace has the primacy and priority. ...
As we seek the Lord and His grace, Francis reminds us that our encounter with Him is a gift, freely given to us and unearned by us. Our good works are not what earn us grace. They are grace, working in us.

His gift to us was earned, but not by us.

Happy Easter to all.
Naturally, a certain of the foolish and self-contradictory lying atheist-and-leftists who infest Engor's blog just had to spout off:
What a lovely religion Christianity is! Asserting that basically all humans are totally depraved.

Frans de Waal has recently published a book 'the Bonobo and the Atheist' dealing with the evolution of morality in social animals, including wolves, elephants, whales, gorillas, common chimps and bonobos.

Were he not an atheist, he'd be an adherent of pelagianism. He notes that the human urge to help and cooperate is innate. On neuroimaging studies, activation of centres to cooperate occur earlier and more easily than those causing self serving actions.

Thomas Huxley ("Darwin's bulldog"), were he not an agnostic, would have been an adherent of utter depravity, insisting that humans are basically selfish and egoistic, with only a thin veneer of altruism for show. 'Scratch an altruist, and a hypocrit[e] bleeds'.

He'd fit nicely in the Catholic Church were it not for the fact that he'd be unlikely to seek a relationship with God.

I'm glad I don't belong to a religion that insists that I have to seek 'grace' before I can do any good. And even then, I'm not responsible for any good I do.
'bachfiend': "What a lovely religion Christianity is! Asserting that basically all humans are totally depraved."

One has merely to observe other human beings to see the truth "that basically all humans are totally depraved" One has merely to be honest about oneself to admit the truth that one, too, is totally depraved.

So, what 'bachfiend' is here objecting to in Christianity is that it demands honesty concerning human beings ... and concerning one's own self. Ultimately, this self-idolaty, this refusal to admit that oneself is morally depraved, is at the root of all anti-Christianity.

BUT NOTICE: 'bachfiend' -- an explicit-and-rabid God-hater -- is asserting a moral objection to Christianity! TO WIT: that Christianity is morally depraved because it insists that all human beings are both morally depraved and utterly helpless to make themselves moral, that we are unable to lift ourselves by our own bootstraps to a "higher moral plane".

Consider this carefully: 'bachfiend' explicitly denies that there is any such thing as a moral obligation, that there is such a thing as moral goodness, that anything can possibly be morally wicked. But, that doesn't stop him from constantly making moral assertions (*).

His religion, both in its metaphysics (that is, God-denial) and in its practical application (that is, evolutionism), demands that he deny the reality of morality.

Well, as luck would have it, no one ever said that 'atheists' were logically or rationally consistent.

(*) All 'atheists' -- just as all other human beings -- constantly make moral assessments and moral assertions. It doesn't matter whether the 'atheist' is a rabid God-hater, as 'bachfiend' or as most of the regulars at Skeptical Eye, on the one extreme, or a more measured or low-key 'atheist', who can generally keep his disdain under control, as Jordan or Bede. Human beings cannot *not* make moral judgments.

'bachfiend': "Frans de Waal has recently published a book 'the Bonobo and the Atheist' dealing with the evolution of morality in social animals, including wolves, elephants, whales, gorillas, common chimps and bonobos.

Were he not an atheist, he'd be an adherent of pelagianism. He notes that the human urge to help and cooperate is innate. On neuroimaging studies, activation of centres to cooperate occur earlier and more easily than those causing self serving actions.

Which is to say, morality s not *real*: what we call 'morality' is just certain behaviors, supposedly evolutionarily advantageous -- in the past, but we're all over that, now, now that we have 'Science!' -- caused by the way our neurons generally fire, for most of us, most of the time. If 'Evolution!' had just happened to go a different way than it just happened to go, well then, our ideas of "morality" might well be different.

'bachfiend': "Thomas Huxley ("Darwin's bulldog"), were he not an agnostic, would have been an adherent of utter depravity, insisting that humans are basically selfish and egoistic, with only a thin veneer of altruism for show. 'Scratch an altruist, and a hypocrit[e] bleeds'.

He'd fit nicely in the Catholic Church were it not for the fact that he'd be unlikely to seek a relationship with God.

Apparently, Thomas Huxley understood the meaning of the metaphysics he was pushing.

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Find common ground ... or shut up!

This is another post concerning the leftists and/or atheists who infest Michael Egnor's blog --

JH asked:
@Ilion: Care to explain?

For, I had said:
What a God-damned, hypocritical fool you are. Amazingly, you're worse than, say, Bachfiend.

Which was in response to JH's post:
Watching you all talk past each other is immensely frustrating. If you can't agree on premises, it's pointless to argue about conclusions.

Here's the fundamental question: What makes a life worthy of being protected and preserved? For Christians, the criterion seems to be humanity; human life is worth protecting, period. For atheists, the equation seems to be more complicated and involve a number of criteria like intelligence, potential contribution to society, the opinions of their friends and relatives, and some sort of personal pleasure/pain ratio.

Now do me a favor and find some common ground before continuing this conversation.
Never mind, for now, that the accusation of "talking past each other" is a misrepresentation of what's going on, *look" at that last sentence: "Now do me a favor and find some common ground before continuing this conversation."

In other words, "I'm so open-minded and above the fray that you all need to just shut up ... while abortion is still a legally protected form of murder"

The lying leftist, 'bachfield', is at least open about his advocacy of the murder of unborn human beings; thus, 'JH' is, in this regard, worse than 'bachfield'. And, as hypocrites are damned-of-God, 'JH' is, as I said, "a God-damned, hypocritical fool".

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On 'legal persons'

In any developed nation-state, in any nation-state that really does have-and-honor a "rule of law", the 'legal fiction' that a 'corporation' is, in certain contexts and for certain purposes, equivalent to an actual human person, is paramount to the success of that nation-state and to the success and freedom of the society it rules. Denying the personhood of persons-in-groups is a necessary first-step for effectively establishing a tyranny.

This post is prompted by the following exchange between two of the leftists and/or atheists who infest Michael Egnor's blog:
JH: " @bachfiend: You're confusing "person" and "human being.""

bachfiend: "No. See the Wikipedia article on 'person'. The American Supreme Court has extended the definition of 'person' to include corporations. Restricting it to human beings is much more sensible."

This is what I said in response:
lying leftist: "The American Supreme Court has extended the definition of 'person' to include corporations."

Leftists can't be honest about anything, can they?

The US SC did not "extended the definition of 'person' to include corporations"; what it did was rule that leftists cannot artificially restrict the already-and-long-established expansion of the definition such that the groups-of-humans-working-in-concert that they like still count as legal persons but that the groups-of-humans-working-in-concert that they don’t like don’t count as legal persons.

The legal fiction that bodies of individual persons (hence the name, ‘corporation’) can be united to some common purpose and thus are, in certain contexts, actual persons, is a centuries-old (uniquely) Western concept-and-practice. The ‘corporation’ was developed in the Middle Ages (*), and its obvious benefit quickly lead to its use throughout Latin Christendom.

The ‘corporation’ is a major reason why the West - a tiny little sliver of the world, both in territory and in population - was able so quickly to rise to global pre-eminence in any endeavor one wishes to mention.

(*) i.e. the ‘corporation’ one more thing for haters-of-Christianity to pointlessly hate the Roman Catholic church about, as it was developed centuries before the Reformation.

lying leftist: "Restricting it to [actual] human beings is much more sensible."

No it doesn’t - and, in any event, lying leftists not willing to admit the personhood of a certain body of actual human beings: those not yet born or in the process of being born or who have managed to get born despite that some older person was trying to kill them at the time.

Denying or abrogating the legal status as ‘persons’ of human-persons-in-collective is actually a fine old leftist tactic for justifying the mass murders of masses of actual human persons - all one need do is:
1) focus on the membership of actual individual human beings in some collective body or group;
2) deny the personhood of that corporation of actual individual human beings;
2a) thus denying the personhood of the actual individual human beings which comprise the group;
3) murder them.
This tactic works whether one means to murder the kulaks, or the bourgeoisie, or the “lives unworthy of life”, or the Jews … or the unborn, or the old, or the crippled.

[edit: It also comes in handy when one wishes merely to fleece-and-loot, rather than outright murder, "the rich", or the primary creditors of, say, GM ... or the depositors of bank accounts]

Of course, what this lying leftist *really* meant was “restricting [the definition of ‘person’ such that the groups-of-humans-working-in-concert that we leftists like still count as legal persons, while the groups-of-humans-working-in-concert that we leftists don’t like don’t count as legal persons] is much more sensible.

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