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Can America Survive Evolutionary Humanism?
Conservative Underground ^ | 2 February 2010 | Linda Kimball

Posted on 02/04/2010 2:42:12 PM PST by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

In addition to original Darwinism, today there are two other versions of evolutionary theory: punctuated equilibrium and neo- Darwinism, a revamped version of the original Darwinism. No matter the variant though, evolution serves as the creation myth for the theological and philosophical worldview of Evolutionary Humanism (Naturalism).

“Evolution is a religion,” declared evolutionary Humanist Michael Ruse. “This was true of evolution in the beginning and it is true still today…One of the most popular books of the era was ‘Religion Without Revelation,’ by Julian Huxley, grandson of Thomas Huxley...As always evolution was doing everything expected of religion and more.” (National Post, Canadian Edition, 5/13/2000)

“Humanism is a philosophical, religious, and moral point of view.” (Paul Kurtz, Humanist Manifestos I & II, Introduction)

The primary denominations of Evolutionary Humanism are Cultural Marxism/Communism, Secular Humanism, Postmodernism, and Spiritual Communism. The offshoots of these are among others, New Age/green environmentalism/Gaia, socialism, progressivism, liberalism, multiculturalism, and atheism. Individually and collectively, these are modernized versions of pre-Biblical naturalism (paganism).

All worldviews begin with a religious declaration. The Biblical worldview begins with, “In the beginning God...” Cosmic Humanism begins, “In the beginning Divine Matter.” Communism, Postmodernism, and Secular Humanism begin with, “In the beginning Matter.” Matter is all there is, and it not only thinks, but is Divine:

“...matter itself continually attains to higher perfection under its own power, thanks to indwelling dialectic.…the dialectical materialist's attribution of ‘dialectic’ to matter confers on it, not mental attributes only, but even divine ones.” (Gustav A. Wetter, Dialectical Materialism, p. 58)

In explicitly religious language, the following religionists offer all praise, honor, and glory to their Creator:

“We may regard the material and cosmic world as the supreme being, as the cause of all causes, as the creator of heaven and earth.” (Vladimir Lenin quoted in Communism versus Creation, Francis Nigel Lee, p. 28)

“The Cosmos is all that is or ever will be.” (Carl Sagan, Cosmos, p. 4)

Evolutionary Humanism has demonstrated itself to be an extremely dangerous worldview. In just the first eighty-seven years of the twentieth century, the evolutionist project of radically transforming the world and mankind through the power of evolutionism has led to the extermination of between 100-170 million ‘subhuman’ men, women, and children.

Deadly Problems

First, in order that materialist ethics be consistent with the idea that life evolved by chance and continues to evolve over time, ethics must be built on human social instincts that are in a continuous process of change over evolutionary time. This view demolishes both moral ethics and social taboos, thereby liberating man to do as he pleases. Over time this results in a lawless climate haunted by bullies, predators, despots, psychopaths, and other unsavory elements.

Perhaps Darwin could not envision the evil unleashed by his ideas. Nonetheless, he did have some inkling, for he wrote in his Autobiography that one who rejects God,

“...can have for his rule of life...those impulses and instincts which are strongest or…seem to him the best ones.” (Tom DeRosa, Fatal Fruit, p.7)

Humanist Max Hocutt realizes that materialist ethics are hugely problematical, but offers no solution. An absolute moral code cannot exist without God, however God does not exist, says Hocutt. Therefore,

“...if there were a morality written up in the sky somewhere but no God to enforce it, I see no reason why we should obey it. Human beings may, and do, make up their own rules.” (David Noebel, Understanding the Times, pp. 138-139)

Jeffrey Dahmer, a psychopath who cannibalized his victims, acted on Darwin’s advice. In an interview he said,

“If a person doesn’t think there is a God to be accountable to, then…what is the point of trying to modify your behavior to keep it within acceptable ranges? That’s how I thought…I always believed the theory of evolution as truth, that we all just came from the slime.” (Dahmer in an interview with Stone Phillips, Dateline NBC, 11/29/1994)

With clearly religious overtones, atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell summarizes the amoral materialist ethic:

“Blind to good and evil, reckless of destruction, omnipotent matter rolls on its relentless way.” (“Why I am not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects,” p. 115)

Next, materialist epistemology and metaphysics dispossesses man of soul, free will, conscience, mind, and reason, thereby dehumanizing (animalizing) man and totally destroying not only the worth, dignity, and meaning of human life, but the possibility of freedom. The essence of this annihilation is captured in the following quotes:

Man is “but fish made over...” declared biologist William Etkin (Greg L. Bahnsen, Pushing the Antithesis, p. 224). And his life is but a “partial, continuous, progressive, multiform and continually interactive, self-realization of the potentialities of atomic electron states,” explained J.D. Bernal (1901-1971), past Professor of Physics at the University of London (The Origin of Life, p. xv). Furthermore, “The universe cares nothing for us,” trumpets William Provine, Cornell University Professor of Biology, “and we have no ultimate meaning in life.” (“Scientists, Face It! Science and Religion Are Incompatible,” The Scientist, Sept. 1988)

Man... “must be degraded from a spiritual being to an animalistic pattern. He must think of himself as an animal, capable of only animalistic reactions. He must no longer think of himself…as capable of ‘spiritual endurance,’ or nobility.” By animalizing man his “state of mind…can be ordered and enslaved.” (“Degradation and Shock,” Russian Textbook on Psychopolitics, Chapter viii)

Finally, Evolutionary Humanism posits the notion that despite the fact that man is “but fish made over…” there are in fact, some exceptions to this rule. For it happens - by chance of course - that some lucky “species” and “races” of the human animal are more highly evolved (superior) and therefore enlightened than the others, who are - unluckily for them - less evolved and as a consequence, subhuman. Paired to this view is the idea that if a species or race does not continue to evolve (progress up the evolutionary ladder), it will become extinct. Together, these ideas lead logically to the deadly conclusion that in order to preserve the fittest of the species - or the spiritually evolved, as is the case with Spiritual Communism - it is morally incumbent upon the superior to replace (via the science of eugenics and population control) and/or liquidate the subhumans. In his book, The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, Charles Darwin foresaw this eventuality:

“At some future period...the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world...the anthropomorphous apes...will no doubt be exterminated.” (Descent, 2nd ed., p. 183)

In practice, the materialist worldview is a hellish recipe for catastrophe, as was amply demonstrated by the 20th century’s two most blood-soaked political movements - pagan Nazism and atheist Communism. Both rejected God, and both were animated by Darwinism.

Nazi Germany

Hitler’s murderous philosophy was built on Darwinian evolution and preservation of favored species. In his book Evolution and Ethics, British evolutionist Sir Arthur Keith notes,

“The leader of Germany is an evolutionist not only in theory, but, as millions know to their cost, in the rigor of its practice.” (p.230)

It was Darwinism that inspired Hitler to try to create - by way of eugenics - a superior race, the Aryan Man. In pursuit of his ambition, Hitler eliminated what he considered were inferior human animals, among which were for example, Jews, Slavs, Gypsies, and Christians.

Evolutionism in Nazi Germany resulted in gas chambers, ovens, and the liquidation of eleven million “useless eaters” and other undesirables. Evolutionist Niles Eldridge, author of Darwin: Discovering the Tree of Life, reluctantly concurs. Darwin’s theory, he acknowledges,

“...has given us the eugenics movement and some of its darker outgrowths, such as the genocidal practices of the Nazis.” (p. 13)

The Soviet Union

Even though Karl Marx wrote his Communist Manifesto before Darwin published his “On the Species,” the roots of Communism are nonetheless found in Darwinism. Karl Marx wrote Fredrich Engels that Darwin’s Origin,

“...is the book which contains the basis in natural science for our view.” (Conway Zirkle, Marxian Biology and the Social Scene)

Stephane Courtois, one of the authors of The Black Book of Communism, relates that,

“In Communism there exists a sociopolitical eugenics, a form of Social Darwinism.” (p. 752)

Vladimir Lenin exulted that,

“Darwin put an end to the belief that the animal and vegetable species bear no relation to one another (and) that they were created by God, and hence immutable.” (Tom DeRosa, Fatal Fruit, p. 9)

Lenin exercised godlike power over life and death. He saw himself as, “the master of the knowledge of the evolution of social species.” It was Lenin who “decided who should disappear by virtue of having been condemned to the dustbin of history.” From the moment Lenin made the “scientific” decision that the bourgeoisie represented a stage of humanity that evolution had surpassed, “its liquidation as a class and the liquidation of the individuals who actually or supposedly belonged to it could be justified.” (The Black Book of Communism, p. 752)

Alain Brossat draws the following conclusions about the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, and the ties that bind them:

“The ‘liquidation’ of the Muscovite executioners, a close relative of the ‘treatment’ carried out by Nazi assassins, is a linguistic microcosm of an irreparable mental and cultural catastrophe that was in full view on the Soviet Stage. The value of human life collapsed, and thinking in categories replaced ethical thought…In the discourse and practice of the Nazi exterminators, the animalization of Other…was closely linked to the ideology of race. It was conceived in the implacably hierarchical racial terms of “subhumans” and “supermen”…but in Moscow in 1937, what mattered…was the total animalization of the Other, so that a policy under which absolutely anything was possible could come into practice.” (ibid., p. 751)

21st Century America

Ronald Reagan loved God and America. America he said is, “the moral force that defeated communism and all those who would put the human soul into bondage.” (Republican National Convention, Houston, Texas, 8/17/1992)

Even though he was optimistic about America’s future he nevertheless cautioned that America must maintain her reliance on God and her commitment to righteousness and morality. He liked quoting Alexis de Tocqueville’s insightful analysis of the source of America’s greatness:

“Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret and genius of her power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” (Michael Reagan, In the Words of Ronald Reagan)

As America moves into the 21st century, we have yet to admit a shameful, dark secret. Evolutionism…the creation myth, that empowered Nazism and Communism, is being taught to America’s youth in our governmentcontrolled schools. The animalization of Americans is well advanced and coupled to a corresponding slow collapse of human worth. Already we hear of human life spoken of in dehumanizing categories such as “vegetable,” “non-persons,” and “uterine content.”

Ominously, Evolutionary Humanism has also outstripped Judeo-Christian precepts in our universities, judiciary, federal bureaucracy, corporations, medicine, law, psychology, sociology, entertainment, news media and halls of Congress. As Biocentrism, it fuels the nonhuman animal rights project, the gay rights movement, radical feminism, and the increasingly powerful and influential green environmentalist program, which demands that America submit to the draconian mandates of the Kyoto Treaty.

America, the “moral force that defeated communism” is on the verge of completely rejecting God, the natural order, and moral absolutes and instead, embracing the godless religion of evolution, amorality, and the unnatural.

Evolutionary Humanism is the most dangerous delusion thus far in history. It begins with the “animalization of Other,” in tandem with the elevation of the “superior,” for whom this serves as a license to make up their own rules, abuse power, and force their will onto the citizens. This is accompanied by a downward spiraling process that pathologizes the natural order, moral ethics, virtue, and social taboos while simultaneously elevating narcissism, tyranny, cruelty, nihilism, confusion, perversion, sadism, theft, and lying to positions of politically correct “new morality,” which is then enforced through sensitivity training, speech codes, hate crime laws, and other intimidation tactics. If not stopped, as history warns us, this rapidly escalating downward process leads inevitably to totalitarianism, enslavement, and eventually mass murder.

In a portent of things to come,

evolutionist B.F. Skinner said: “A scientific analysis of behavior dispossesses autonomous man and turns the control he has been said to exert over to the environment. The individual...is henceforth to be controlled...in large part by other men.” (David Noebel, Understanding the Times, p. 232)


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Philosophy
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1 posted on 02/04/2010 2:42:12 PM PST by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
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To: spirited irish; betty boop; marron; Alamo-Girl

Ping!


2 posted on 02/04/2010 2:42:50 PM PST by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (We bury Democrats face down so that when they scratch, they get closer to home.)
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

Who knew that there was no such thing as despotism, genocide tyranny and warfare until Darwin invented them in 1859?


3 posted on 02/04/2010 3:08:19 PM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: EnderWiggins
Who knew that there was no such thing as despotism, genocide tyranny and warfare until Darwin invented them in 1859?

Why be offended? Are those things bad? How do you know?

4 posted on 02/04/2010 3:10:57 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: AndyTheBear

Where do you detect offense?


5 posted on 02/04/2010 3:12:55 PM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: EnderWiggins
Where do you detect offense?

Infer that was the reason you put words in his mouth. His point was that Darwinism gave rise to evil. You asserted that his point was that Darwinism was the only thing to ever give rise to evil.

6 posted on 02/04/2010 3:23:00 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: AndyTheBear

Meant “Infered that...”. Sorry about any confusion my typo caused.


7 posted on 02/04/2010 3:26:46 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: AndyTheBear

You’re over thinking. I wasn’t offended. I was amused.


8 posted on 02/04/2010 3:28:06 PM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
“In the beginning God...” ..... “In the beginning Matter.”

Satan has always mimicked God. Deception is satan's tool and, yes, evolution is a religion. There is none so blind as those who refuse to see.
9 posted on 02/04/2010 3:38:58 PM PST by presently no screen name
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To: EnderWiggins
You’re over thinking. I wasn’t offended. I was amused.

Whatever emotion you call it, it is obvious you disagreed, and tried humor to mock his view while mis-characterizing it. While I wasn't going to rake you over the coals for your misstatement, you just invited it. So you should say ouch a few times and perhaps we could move on.

On a naturalist view, how should nazism et al actually offend us?

My contention is that naturalism gives no support of the notion of "should" in that sentence.

10 posted on 02/04/2010 3:44:42 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: presently no screen name

I would say naturalism is a religion, but not evolution. Although certainly evolution is a doctrine of modern naturalism, there was naturalism long before the notion of evolution.


11 posted on 02/04/2010 3:52:35 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

Bookmark


12 posted on 02/04/2010 4:06:35 PM PST by patriot preacher (To be a good American Citizen and a Christian IS NOT a contradiction. (www.mygration.blogspot.com))
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To: AndyTheBear
"Whatever emotion you call it, it is obvious you disagreed, and tried humor to mock his view while mis-characterizing it. While I wasn't going to rake you over the coals for your misstatement, you just invited it. So you should say ouch a few times and perhaps we could move on."

If you noticed it was humor, then why did imagine I was offended? It is difficult to be offended by absurdity, and the post is patently absurd. Attempting to draw connections between the age old and unchanged behavior of humans on one instance of scientific discovery is... well... silly. It is the equivalent of me blaming the despotism and genocide of the previous two thousand years on Jesus.

If we are to get angry at a particular science, perhaps you should get all ferklempt over physics rather than biology. After all, the only reason that Nazis and Stalinists were more efficient killers than Mullahs and Popes is that physics gave them better weapons.

And even then it was the religiously motivated Islamic invasion of the Indian Subcontinent that still stands as the greatest mass genocide in all of history.

"On a naturalist view, how should nazism et al actually offend us?"

What an odd question. It should offend us because we possess empathy and understand that what we do not want to happen to us is thereby wrong. I think most people start figuring that out by about age 5. It has never been particularly difficult.

The problem comes when people start proposing moral systems based not on empathy but on "revealed truth." That's when we are most dangerous as a species, because that's when we get God's permission to do unto others that which we would never want done unto us.

"My contention is that naturalism gives no support of the notion of "should" in that sentence."

It is not a contention that you will find easy to defend.

Now... timing is awful because I'm about to head out for free beer Thursday at the University Club with my wife for dinner. So if you want a longer debate on this issue, I'd love to play. But I probably won't be able to get back to the thread until much later tonight.

Ciao.
13 posted on 02/04/2010 4:13:24 PM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus; spirited irish; Alamo-Girl; marron
"America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

Brava!!! Linda Kimball! What a wonderful article!

RE: the above italics: If America ever ceases to be good (i.e., if she were ever to lose her link to divine law so evident in the Declaration of Independence), she would also cease to be America.

Thank you ever so much, Linda Kimball, for this outstanding article — and to you, TQC, for posting it at FR!

God Bless CU!

14 posted on 02/04/2010 4:21:12 PM PST by betty boop (Malevolence wears the false face of honesty. — Tacitus)
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

Thanks for the ping!


15 posted on 02/04/2010 8:38:23 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: betty boop
If America ever ceases to be good (i.e., if she were ever to lose her link to divine law so evident in the Declaration of Independence), she would also cease to be America.

Well and truly said, dearest sister in Christ!

16 posted on 02/04/2010 8:44:26 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: EnderWiggins
It is the equivalent of me blaming the despotism and genocide of the previous two thousand years on Jesus.

...

And even then it was the religiously motivated Islamic invasion of the Indian Subcontinent that still stands as the greatest mass genocide in all of history.

Both you and I are able to look back at these social trends and declare them evil. But there is a problem with your theory of why:

It should offend us because we possess empathy and understand that what we do not want to happen to us is thereby wrong. I think most people start figuring that out by about age 5.

The social evils that offended us, were not offensive to all the people involved. Certainly not all of the nazis who thought it was right to exterminate jews were younger than 5. So how is it that they thought they were doing right? So your answer to this implied question seems to be:

The problem comes when people start proposing moral systems based not on empathy but on "revealed truth."

But certainly we both can see that "revealed truth" is not always a common factor in all the goings on we object to. And on the other hand the holding of some "revealed truth" is not always a cause for what we consider evil, but sometimes a cause for what we would call good. I find three of four cases easy to think of examples for:

1) Stalin: Evil with no "revealed truth".

2) Mohammed: Evil with "revealed truth".

3) Mother Teresa: Good with "revealed truth"

While I'm pretty sure there are examples of relative good without "revealed truth", most of the people who epitomize good in my mind seemingly believed in "revealed truth". Perhaps you know of some examples off the top of your head?

But honestly, can we not both admit "revealed truth" as the commonality of evil doesn't pan out?

But I suspect what you were really driving at was being "wrong" about the truth? That the problem comes when people have false notions about what moral truth is? And presumably you think of "revealed truth" as being perilously arbitrary in that regard, and empathy should be our guide.

If so, naturalism still has a problem. Why "should" empathy be our guide? What standard tells us so? And how is such a standard not ultimately just as arbitrary as some false revelation by a religious nut?

Perhaps survival and happiness are what is ultimately good? But then who told us that. Why is it better for life to continue at all? On the naturalist view, the only reason we think so is that such a disposition made us more likely to survive and reproduce et al.

A consistent and thoughtful naturalist is forced to believe all moral systems are products of natural processes, and have no more validity than the result of a coin toss. Even if its a "good" natural cause like a warm fuzzy "empathy"...and if you think it through, you can find times where empathy sometimes leads to bad moral decisions.

Alternatively, if you accept that some things really are good and some things really evil, logic insists you accept it as a transcendent truth that was somehow revealed to us. Otherwise, we are just making arbitrary judgments as the biochemistry in our brains directs us.

17 posted on 02/04/2010 9:39:06 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: EnderWiggins

It is your imagination rather than logic that has constructed this fantasy: Who knew that there was no such thing as despotism, genocide tyranny and warfare until Darwin invented them in 1859?

Evil runs right through the heart of every man. Darwin did not ‘invent it.’ No, he helped unleash that protean force upon the world.

Only the terrible-willed and a lesser subset of that sort deny their own evil, and it is no accident that evolutionary humanism serves as a beacon to them for it was the satanically proud who created it for the express purpose of escaping their own unhappy consciences.


18 posted on 02/05/2010 7:02:35 AM PST by spirited irish
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To: AndyTheBear
”The social evils that offended us, were not offensive to all the people involved. Certainly not all of the nazis who thought it was right to exterminate jews were younger than 5. So how is it that they thought they were doing right?”

I will address the question directly rather than (and I hope you don’t mind) considering the straw man answer you provided for me. After all... you deserve my answer rather than your own.

First and foremost, let’s not pretend that European anti-Semitism derives originally from some naturalistic philosophy. Hatred for the Jews is instead a long standing characteristic of Christianity and found a welcome reception in post-war Germany specifically because it already had such a long Christian tradition. As a primarily Lutheran nation, we need only observe that Martin Luther’s vicious hatred for the Jews was no small component of the rhetoric of the Reformation.

In Luther’s book On the Jews and Their Lies we find the foundation of Nazi anti-Semitism. Luther calls them a "base, whoring people, that is, no people of God, and their boast of lineage, circumcision, and law must be accounted as filth." He writes that they are full of the "devil's feces ... which they wallow in like swine." He urges that their synagogues and schools be burned to the ground, their homes torn down, their property and money confiscated. He recommends that these "poisonous envenomed worms" should be drafted into forced labor or expelled for all time. And he finally advocates their genocide, writing "[w]e are at fault in not slaying them."

Hitler’s anti-jewish rhetoric was well refined because he had in Martin Luther (among others) a very good teacher.

So out of the gate we can see that at least some of them “thought they were doing right” because they were pious Christians before they were Nazis. I would argue that most were motivated by these religious convictions, and the Nazi leadership merely took advantage of the groundwork that had been provided by the Gospels.

Second, who here has pretended for a second that no people are sociopaths? Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by a lack of empathy... the very characteristic that allows “you and I ... to look back at these social trends and declare them evil.” This is why the rest of us create moral/ethical frameworks and then attempt to impose them on the community through the formulation of law. We have the imperative to protect ourselves from the worst among us.

”But certainly we both can see that "revealed truth" is not always a common factor in all the goings on we object to.”

It is odd that you are trying to saddle me with this particular straw man, since I already called it absurd in my previous post. It is not and has never been my contention that “revealed truth” is the root of all evil. In fact, I find most religious traditions to be at the very worst benign, at the best great sources of solace, continuity, community and beauty. Alas... such traditions no longer have the franchise for most human devotion since they have been rather ruthlessly suppressed over the last few millennia by the anomalously intolerant imposition of “exclusive monotheism” in forms of Islam and Christianity.

By “exclusive monotheism” I mean religions that exclude all non-believers (infidels) from the benefits of salvation. If you do not believe in their particular version of God, you are essentially reduced to a lesser sub-human status, worthy ultimately of oppression, exploitation and slaughter. I mean after all... what can a true believer do to an infidel that is worse than what God has planned for them; eternal suffering in a lake of fire?

”While I'm pretty sure there are examples of relative good without "revealed truth", most of the people who epitomize good in my mind seemingly believed in "revealed truth". Perhaps you know of some examples off the top of your head? “

Robert Wilson (Atheist) – Gave the Archdiocese of New York received a record-breaking gift of $22.5 million to provide educational scholarships for inner-city children. Asked why he did it, Wilson said, "It was a chance for a very modest amount of money to get kids out of a lousy school system and into a good school system."

Bill Gates (Atheist) - Has given over $36 billion to charity.

Andrew Carnegie (Atheist) - Gave away most of his money to establish many libraries, schools, and universities in America, the United Kingdom and other countries, as well as a pension fund for former employees.

Warren Buffett (Atheist) - In 2007 gave $30.7 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Ted Turner (Atheist) - Has donated $600 million to UN causes, and has pledged to add another $400 million - taking his commitment to $1 billion.

Fred Hollows (Atheist) – “Australia's unofficial saint.’ His foundation has provided cataract operations for the needy around the world.

S.H.A.R.E. (The Secular Humanist Aid and Relief Effort) - Has contributed aid to the Tsunami disaster relief effort in Sri Lanka; Medical relief for victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans; Aid to assist displaced families in the California wildfires; Basic food aid for tornado victims in middle Tennessee; Aid to the families of the February 2009 plane crash in Clarence, NY.

I could go on... but you did ask for “just off the top of my head.”

”If so, naturalism still has a problem. Why "should" empathy be our guide? What standard tells us so? And how is such a standard not ultimately just as arbitrary as some false revelation by a religious nut?”

Again, we stray into the excruciating and often pointless philosophical miasma of “ought” vs. “is.” I do not particularly care to waste significant bandwidth over the question “Why ‘should’ empathy be our guide?” because our speculations on that matter are ultimately of no consequence.

Empathy is the origin of all morality and moral systems. It is the basis by which each (or at least most) individuals understands viscerally without instruction that a difference exits between wrong and right. “Ought” it to be that way? I don’t particularly care. Because when I leave my front door and engage with the universe I must account for what actually “is,” not for how I wish it were.

”Perhaps survival and happiness are what is ultimately good? But then who told us that. Why is it better for life to continue at all? On the naturalist view, the only reason we think so is that such a disposition made us more likely to survive and reproduce et al. “

Close, but not quite. You asked, “Who told us that?” And the answer has always been, “We told us that.” This inexplicable need that some have for things to be imposed on us by some external “other” is fascinating, but ultimately little more than a pleasant fiction.

We are what we are because it works. If it didn’t, then the ruthless and invariant operation of natural law would have gotten rid of us long ago. You came closest to hitting the nail on the head when you mused, “the only reason we think so is that such a disposition made us more likely to survive and reproduce.”

Of course!!That is what has worked for us and made us successful. Heck, we certainly do not have the tools that other species have for success. We do not have the teeth of a lion, the claws of a bear, the poison of a pit viper, the size of a blue whale. Even our big brains would serve us in poor stead were we to try to stand alone against most other organisms on the planet. It is the fact that we are social animals that generates our success as a species. We do not and cannot survive as individuals... we only survive as communities. And critical to that communal success is the empathy that we have evolved to transform individual desire into communal imperative.

”A consistent and thoughtful naturalist is forced to believe all moral systems are products of natural processes, and have no more validity than the result of a coin toss. Even if its a "good" natural cause like a warm fuzzy "empathy"...and if you think it through, you can find times where empathy sometimes leads to bad moral decisions.”

So... excuse me... you actually believe that there is such a thing as a perfect moral system which never leads to bad decisions? Can you show me one?

We do not design our moral systems to be perfect. We design them to be good enough for the community.

But since a community can be anything ranging from two consenting adults negotiating a sexual encounter, to the family, to the economic business organization, to the city, to the nation/state, to the global community with shared interests in global assets such as clean water and the ozone layer... there will be always be irremediable conflicts. Each individual operates within overlapping and different sets of morals and ethics relevant to the communities to which that individual belongs. And the same act can be either moral, immoral or have no moral implications whatsoever depending on the communities involved. And when different communities overlap the identical act can be both moral and immoral at the same time... depending again on the perspective of that community.

Hey... it’s messy stuff. Just like real life.

”Alternatively, if you accept that some things really are good and some things really evil, logic insists you accept it as a transcendent truth that was somehow revealed to us. Otherwise, we are just making arbitrary judgments as the biochemistry in our brains directs us. “

Since it is clear that this is your position, I’d love for you to give me a discrete and granular example of one of these things that “really are good [or] really evil.” I mean something that is simply never, ever of a character opposite from its inherent ‘goodness” or badness.”

I will telegraph my own position here... the universe shows us without question that there are no such things. We pretend there are, but do not genuinely believe there are.

Even the few rules that almost all moral systems agree on are ultimately only suggestions at best. There is (for example) not a people on the planet who actually believes that "Thou shalt not kill."

Everything that we can label good is sometimes evil. And everything that we label evil is sometimes not only good... it is necessary. This is because the universe does not care what we label things. The universe operates entirely dependent on what “is,” not on what “ought.”

The biggest failing of "revealed truth” is that it causes so many of us to abdicate the hard work around defining what is good or bad to some great cosmic lawgiver who does not ultimately exist. It allows us to stop making moral choices at all and instead blindly follow like sheep those who would use the authority of God to manipulate us against our genuine interests. It misleads us into bleieveing that we are not responsible for those choices.

The most obscene statement I have ever read is this:

“God said it. I believe it. And that settles it.”

In those ten words you have set the stage for atrocity.
19 posted on 02/05/2010 8:09:05 AM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: EnderWiggins; AndyTheBear

Wiggins observed: It is difficult to be offended by absurdity, and the post is patently absurd. Attempting to draw connections between the age old and unchanged behavior of humans on one instance of scientific discovery is... well... silly.

Spirited: In just two sentences you’ve managed quite nicely to make clear the inner contradictions of evolutionary humanism. Either primordial slime magically changed into dinosaurs, then into tumble bugs, fish, humming birds, apes, and then finally man, or it did not. If it did, then your claim of ‘unchanged behavior’ is sheer nonsense. Unchanged? From what?! From that of slime? Seaweed? Lizards?

The claim of ‘unchanged behavior’ has no place within a metaphysical system based on continuous change. It’s place, rather, is found in the Christian worldview.


20 posted on 02/05/2010 9:11:40 AM PST by spirited irish
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To: spirited irish
"In just two sentences you’ve managed quite nicely to make clear the inner contradictions of evolutionary humanism. Either primordial slime magically changed into dinosaurs, then into tumble bugs, fish, humming birds, apes, and then finally man, or it did not. If it did, then your claim of ‘unchanged behavior’ is sheer nonsense. Unchanged? From what?! From that of slime? Seaweed? Lizards?"

Ignoring that it only the supernatural alternative that makes any appeal to "magic," you are equivocating.

The "unchanged behavior" to which I refer has (in this discussion) been limited to the time frame of the last 2000 years, so no slime or seaweed need be considered. Your confusion over "From what?" is therefore difficult to credit.
21 posted on 02/05/2010 9:21:15 AM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: EnderWiggins

And when the magician controls the magic wand, he smugly believes he can spin the story to his liking, such as: The “unchanged behavior” to which I refer has (in this discussion) been limited to the time frame of the last 2000 years.

As with all post moderns, you obviously believe that whatever you say is your personal ‘truth’ and everyone else must accept the ebb and flow of your fantastical nonsense. I don’t. Your spin is merely repugnant doublespeak.

Returning to the issue at hand: “Either primordial slime magically changed into dinosaurs, then into tumble bugs, fish, humming birds, apes, and then finally man, or it did not. If it did, then your claim of ‘unchanged behavior’ is sheer nonsense. Unchanged? From what?! From that of slime? Seaweed? Lizards?”

Your counter-attack is understandable. If I believed my ancient ancestors were slime, bugs, fish, and other such superstitious nonsense, I suspect I would be as defensive as you so obviously are. On the whole however, by your defensive nonresponse you have conceded the argument quite nicely.


22 posted on 02/05/2010 9:56:39 AM PST by spirited irish
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
An excellent summation of the evolutionary worldview, with but one flaw: despite the fact that, theoretically, materialism should have no objective moral code, it appears to have one that it thinks superior to G-d's own. While sexual morals "evolve" (or devolve), other taboos against "bigotry," "discrimination," etc., not only exist but appear to be objectively written in stone somewhere and unchanging. No, it doesn't make any sense, but materialists seem to think this way. Why else would they constantly engage in moral crusades to "improve" the world and boast of how their moral/ethical system is so "self-evidently" superior to that of G-d? Why else, while loudly insisting that there is no point to anything, demand that everything we do have some sort of point, to "make a difference?" Why?

You also failed to mention (or I did not see it) how the Biblical religions have caved in to Darwinism, all for apparently no other reason than that they're ashamed to think like "those awful people who live in the trailer parks down South."

23 posted on 02/05/2010 10:00:51 AM PST by Zionist Conspirator ('Anokhi HaShem 'Eloqeykha 'asher hotze'tikha me'Eretz Mitzrayim, mibeit `avadim . . . .)
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To: spirited irish
"And when the magician controls the magic wand, he smugly believes he can spin the story to his liking, such as: The “unchanged behavior” to which I refer has (in this discussion) been limited to the time frame of the last 2000 years."

Hey... your equivocation does not constitute my contradiction. If you want to call names and misread the thread to make a point that has nothing to do with the subject actually being discussed, have at it. But you will end up talking to yourself.

If, on the other hand you actually want to have an interesting discussion on this interesting topic, I'm all ears. Make an argument.
24 posted on 02/05/2010 10:31:07 AM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: EnderWiggins
Yes, yes Wiggins. I am close to understanding the naturalist view because I used to hold it, and really do get it. What you seem oblivious to is how ridiculous they look to those who have moved beyond them. You dogmatically presume them in every post you offer. You seem oblivious to Natural Law, and unwilling to even entertain it in your posts.

And the same act can be either moral, immoral or have no moral implications whatsoever depending on the communities involved. And when different communities overlap the identical act can be both moral and immoral at the same time... depending again on the perspective of that community.

Thus on the naturalist view, there is no sense saying we are better than the nazis, because as far as they are concerned they are better than us. Naturalism insists that neither of us are particularly right. Rather it merely says the moral decisions to despise jews, blame them for all ills, and exterminate them in ovens, is just as valid as mercy and understanding.

Where you had deviated from naturalism, is that you don't recognize that your embrace of empathy as the only component of morality is nonsense...as you have demonstrated yourself now. Alternatively maybe you define a special meaning for empathy that is overtly broad. But I refuse to be blinded by a word association fallacy in your arguments.

Moreover, you spend many characters building a moral case against a Christian view of morality, as if it is some how inferior. But how can one morality be inferior to another? Just as naturalism rejects free will, it rejects this notion as well, as you have demonstrated above!

25 posted on 02/05/2010 5:35:32 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: EnderWiggins
The biggest failing of "revealed truth” is that it causes so many of us to abdicate the hard work around defining what is good or bad to some great cosmic lawgiver who does not ultimately exist. It allows us to stop making moral choices at all and instead blindly follow like sheep those who would use the authority of God to manipulate us against our genuine interests. It misleads us into bleieveing that we are not responsible for those choices.

ROFL! Naturalism tells us we have no free will! How can one get more absolved from moral responsibility than that?

Dang, you are amusing!

26 posted on 02/05/2010 5:59:52 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: EnderWiggins
I'm sorry. I should be kinder.

You simply do not get the Christian view of morality in the slightest. If you think you do, you are so wrong it makes my head spin to think how much you don't get it.

If you want me to explain I am willing to try, but first you will have to seriously pledge to avoid dogmatic assertions of your own religious doctrines and open your mind a bit. It may take a while for you to understand, as you are quite obviously hard wired to reject super naturalistic views without any consideration.

...Now that sounds arrogant on my behalf, and I regret that it does. But I am just honestly calling it as I see it.

27 posted on 02/05/2010 6:09:45 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: AndyTheBear
” What you seem oblivious to is how ridiculous they look to those who have moved beyond them. You dogmatically presume them in every post you offer. You seem oblivious to Natural Law, and unwilling to even entertain it in your posts. “

Well, then our symmetry is perfect because I was a devoted and practicing Christian for the first 37 years of my life, and “you seem oblivious to is how ridiculous they look to those who have moved beyond” them. So perhaps our discussion is best served by not telling each other how ridiculous we all look, and actually spending time on reasoned argument.

Now... I have no problem with natural laws, but if by “Natural Law” you actually mean “Divine Law” why should I consider it? I would first expect you to give me a basis for suspecting that it actually existed , and then we could entertain it.

My own position is that the “Natural Law” of which you speak is inconsistent with objective reality, and so it deserves to be tossed into the trash heap of discredited scientific ideas along with phlogiston, orgone energy and the luminiferous aether. None of them were abandoned because they "looked ridiculous." They were abandoned because they were wrong.

”Thus on the naturalist view, there is no sense saying we are better than the nazis, because as far as they are concerned they are better than us.”

You seem to be willfully missing the point. It does not matter what they think. It matters what the community of concern thinks.

It makes perfect sense to condemn them as immoral because of the very nature and origin of morality. Do you imagine for a second that even Hitler or Goebbels would have welcomed their treatment of the Jews on themselves? Do you imagine that the Jews (members of the community also) believed the Nazis were "better than us?" Do you believe that the rest of the world (members of the community also) believed they were "better than us?" Of course not... so the immorality of their actions (as contradictions of empathy) is unquestionable.

History is filled with egregious examples of immorality gaining periodic if temporary ascendancy. This has happened under both atheistic leadership and under the banner of the cross. This is because people are, in fact, periodically immoral. This is why we have law... to codify and coerce the community as a whole into behaving morally. Remember... morality in meaningful only in a communal context. What is of moral consequence to one community is not of moral consequence to all communities.

The immoral behavior of Nazi Germany was of consequence to the entire world. So the world responded by invading Germany and destroying the Nazi regime.

See how that works?

” Naturalism insists that neither of us are particularly right. Rather it merely says the moral decisions to despise jews, blame them for all ills, and exterminate them in ovens, is just as valid as mercy and understanding. “

Naturalism insist no such thing. And I have to tell you, it is growing tiresome having to knock down one straw man after another. If you want to go start your own “naturalistic religion” with all these preconceptions you hold, have at it. But don’t expect anybody else to show them much deference.

Naturalistic philosophies are (in my opinion) far superior to any “revealed morality” in discerning wrong from right if for no other reason than they actually demand the intellectual effort to sort it out. “Revealed morality” in contrast demands slavish obedience and the purposeful suppression of natural empathy. Hence the explicitly Christian phenomenon of the Nazi Holocaust, or the Islamic genocide of the Jews of Yathrib at Muhammad’s own hand.

And I still am bemused that you want to use Nazi anti-Semitism as your exemplar for “naturalistic morality” when in fact it is a Christian phenomenon, not an atheistic one.

”Moreover, you spend many characters building a moral case against a Christian view of morality, as if it is some how inferior. But how can one morality be inferior to another? Just as naturalism rejects free will, it rejects this notion as well, as you have demonstrated above!”

Actually... this whole naturalism “rejects free will” canard is something that is pointless in this discussion. “Free will” is meaningless outside of the context of a salvation scheme in which the consequences of one’s actions in life are eternal salvation or suffering. Certainly, if God is just, such a consequence must be the ultimate fault of the judged individual, not the Judge. Otherwise, why even worry about it?

Of course, since the Islamo-Christian conception of God is internally contradictory and self refuting, “free will” becomes one of your greatest theological impossibilities. After all... “free will” cannot exist in the same universe as omniscience since they are mutually exclusive. In a universe with an omniscient God, even God Himself does not have “free will.” But perhaps that is a discussion for another thread.

Back on point... in proposing the idea that naturalism rejects the notion that one morality can be inferior to the other, you are again arguing against a figment of your own imagination. In fact naturalism has an objective (if messy) way of evaluating the relative superiority of competing moral frameworks, and it is simply a utilitarian accounting of whether or not the moral system serves its purpose.

Any community of individuals possesses shared communal interests of stability, security, justice and opportunity. And any community of individuals will experience events and instances where individual prerogatives and desires compete, impinging on those interests. Human ethics and morals are codified agreements among the members of a community designed entirely to secure those shared communal interests, at the least possible violence to the individual.

That moral system is better that does the best job of securing those interests.
28 posted on 02/06/2010 8:33:46 AM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: AndyTheBear
"Naturalism tells us we have no free will! How can one get more absolved from moral responsibility than that?"

Naturalism does not believe the concept of "free will" is even meaningful. And you have hit the nail precisely on the head regarding why.

"Free will" is explicitly am Islamo-Christian theological concept formulated to justify God's eventual decision regarding salvation or damnation. "Free will" has no genuine significance in any other context.

This is another example of why I believe that atheists possess, as a whole, a superior moral framework to Christians. When atheists behave morally, they do not do it from fear of some ultimate cosmic spanking. They do it because they have reasoned to the conscious consideration of what is right and what is wrong.
29 posted on 02/06/2010 8:42:16 AM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: AndyTheBear
"If you want me to explain I am willing to try, but first you will have to seriously pledge to avoid dogmatic assertions of your own religious doctrines and open your mind a bit. It may take a while for you to understand, as you are quite obviously hard wired to reject super naturalistic views without any consideration."

I would love for you to explain.

But I have no idea why my persona conclusions should be considered "dogmatic." I have not received them from some ancient manuscript or modern prophet. I do not hold them because some authority has dictated that they are indispensable article of faith. I have reasoned to them carefully and with great effort. And if I hold great confidence that they are true, it is because they have held up to the pressure test of reality.

My rejection of supernatural explanations is not something hard wired at all. It is simply the realization that eventually any thinking person must take the information at hand and draw conclusions. It is (as the wag wrote) one thing to keep an open mind. It is another altogether to let your brains fall out on the floor.

I do not reject supernatural explanations because they are supernatural. I reject them because they are generally not explanations at all. Give me a reason to consider them and I will. But some small measure of that reason must be a demonstration that they are real.

So... since your and my sensitivity levels regarding "dogma" appear to be misaligned, it is my hope that you will show some latitude regarding statements of conviction that I make.

In response, I will be more gentle when you try to attribute to "naturalists" in general and me in particular beliefs that I do not hold. In short, please stop trying to tell me what naturalists believe. It is the only way you will be able to enhance your understanding (if not your agreement) on our position regarding morality.
30 posted on 02/06/2010 8:55:21 AM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: EnderWiggins
Any community of individuals possesses shared communal interests of stability, security, justice and opportunity.

Good technique. Now you are hiding the flaw in another place. In this schema, you hid the super-nature in "individual", "interests", and "justice". Rather ambitious concepts in an arbitrary world filled with a few biochemical machines here and there.

“Revealed morality” in contrast demands slavish obedience and the purposeful suppression of natural empathy.

What did Jesus say the two greatest commandments again? Oh yes, "Love God with all your heart mind and soul" and "Love your neighbor as yourself". No doubt the reason that Hitler and probably that Luther character were hating Jews and throwing them into ovens. I mean I can't see how Hitler could have wanted any other thing given his slavish obedience to such concepts.

Let us grant your contention that "Christianity" waw responsible for the brutality of the Nazis against Jews for a minute. If so the obvious reason was being mad over the Jews turning Jesus over to the Romans for crucification right? Please note, this has nothing to do with "revealed truth", but the regular secular reasons that people get riled up about things. Something like "Hey they got one of ours, we can't let them get away with that! Lets get the bastards!". After thirty-seven years as a supposed Christian I am appalled at your ignorance as to what Jesus said about how to respond to wrong doing. He said to Love your enemy, and pray for those that persecute you.

31 posted on 02/06/2010 5:05:00 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: AndyTheBear
”Good technique. Now you are hiding the flaw in another place. In this schema, you hid the super-nature in "individual", "interests", and "justice". Rather ambitious concepts in an arbitrary world filled with a few biochemical machines here and there.”

You find them “ambitious” concepts? I offer that this is reflection on you, not on the concepts. If you do not feel that communities have those shared interests, I’d be curious to know why. But in short, it appears that from the perspective of substantive argument you are abandoning the field.

”What did Jesus say the two greatest commandments again? Oh yes, "Love God with all your heart mind and soul" and "Love your neighbor as yourself". No doubt the reason that Hitler and probably that Luther character were hating Jews and throwing them into ovens. I mean I can't see how Hitler could have wanted any other thing given his slavish obedience to such concepts.”

That would have been more convincing had Jesus not also called the Jews sons of Satan. In John 8:44 Jesus says to them, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Now that’s what I call loving your neighbor as yourself.

Though not as loving as "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple."

That certainly makes me all confident in the love of Jesus.

”Let us grant your contention that "Christianity" waw responsible for the brutality of the Nazis against Jews for a minute. If so the obvious reason was being mad over the Jews turning Jesus over to the Romans for crucification right? Please note, this has nothing to do with "revealed truth", but the regular secular reasons that people get riled up about things. Something like "Hey they got one of ours, we can't let them get away with that! Lets get the bastards!".”

I’m sorry... but you have literally just taken my breath away. Did you actually just try to justify 2000 years of Christian atrocities against the Jews because “people get riled up about things?”

It is the explicit articulation of anti-Semitism in the New Testament, especially in the Gospel of John, that generated the unspeakable sufferings of the Holocaust. Now... correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the Gospels supposed to be "revealed truth?" So... please note, it had everything to do with 'revealed truth." It is a Gospel lesson taken to heart and executed with bloody intent.

Look.. you were the one who brought up the Nazi genocide of the Jews. I thought that once you were reminded it was a Christian tradition to murder Jews rather than a “naturalistic philosophy” tradition you would at least try to find a better example. I never dreamed for a second you would instead try to rationalize it as just one of those crazy things that people do.

"After thirty-seven years as a supposed Christian I am appalled at your ignorance as to what Jesus said about how to respond to wrong doing. He said to Love your enemy, and pray for those that persecute you.”

Too bad Christianity as a religion has so little to do with what Jesus said. "You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?" We are too well acquainted with the fruits of your faith to put particularly high stock in its moral excellence or adherence to the admonition of Jesus to "Love your enemy."

If you ever want to get back around to a serious discussion of morality and naturalistic theology, I’ll be around. But that no longer appears to be of interest to you.
32 posted on 02/06/2010 10:59:14 PM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: EnderWiggins
You find them “ambitious” concepts? I offer that this is reflection on you, not on the concepts. If you do not feel that communities have those shared interests, I’d be curious to know why. But in short, it appears that from the perspective of substantive argument you are abandoning the field.

Of coarse communities have such concepts. Which is why I think of humans as more than mere biochemical machines. Which in turn stands as evidence inconsistent with the predictions made by naturalism.

Too bad Christianity as a religion has so little to do with what Jesus said.

Wait a minute...you are saying its too bad that Christians aren't following "revealed truth" now?

That would have been more convincing had Jesus not also called the Jews sons of Satan. In John 8:44 Jesus says to them, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Jesus was not calling "the Jews" the sons of Satan, but particular Jews. You do get that Jesus was a Jew right? He was calling out religious leaders of the time for being corrupt hypocrites who loved the power and authority and honor of their station, but were not true to the Word of God. Do you have some reading comprehension difficulty I should know about? I am amazed you missed this.

Now suppose, I as an American Christian call out some T.V. preacher for only being interested in money and high living, and for not following the ways of Jesus. Are you going to then accuse me of hating American Christians? Get Real!

It is the explicit articulation of anti-Semitism in the New Testament, especially in the Gospel of John, that generated the unspeakable sufferings of the Holocaust.

Uhm, perhaps I am the one with the reading comprehension problem. I have read this gospel and studied it quite a bit, and somehow completely missed this. Could you be more specific as to where this directive to persecute Jews is?

33 posted on 02/06/2010 11:33:51 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: AndyTheBear
”Of coarse communities have such concepts. Which is why I think of humans as more than mere biochemical machines. Which in turn stands as evidence inconsistent with the predictions made by naturalism. “

Too bad then that these things are already perfectly consistent with a naturalistic world view. Why explain them using magic” when no such explanation is necessary? It reminds me of when Napoleon complained to Laplace that his epic volume on mathematics never once referred to God. Laplace responded simply, “Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis.”

”Wait a minute...you are saying its too bad that Christians aren't following "revealed truth" now? “

Well, in the first place, what I was saying is that you are being disingenuous by ignoring the vast majority of the New Testament (let’s not even get started on the Old) by pretending that two quotations from Jesus constitute the whole of “revealed truth” found in them. The entire set of books is supposed to be “revealed truth,” so you cannot run away from the cow to skim the cream.

But ultimately, of course they’re not following “revealed truth” since there is no reason to believe there is any such thing. They are following the product of ordinary human artifice under the false belief they are “revealed truths.” This is how such patent and atrocious immorality as the holocaust gains its temporary ascendancy. People falsely believe that God has given them permission to slaughter their fellows.

Do not mistake my arguendo acceptance of "revealed truth" for the sake of discussion as agreement that there really is such a thing.

”Jesus was not calling "the Jews" the sons of Satan, but particular Jews. You do get that Jesus was a Jew right? He was calling out religious leaders of the time for being corrupt hypocrites who loved the power and authority and honor of their station, but were not true to the Word of God. Do you have some reading comprehension difficulty I should know about? I am amazed you missed this. “

Why are you accusing me of a reading comprehension problem here when the early church father’s all understood that passage exactly as I have portrayed it? Even Augustine wrote a Diatribe Against the Jews and (like Martin Luther later) used exactly this passage along with the rest of the Gospel of John to justify their anti-Semitism. If I have such a problem, then I share it with the greatest theologians of Christianity.

Worse... based upon your previous post even you accept and embrace the image of the Jews from the Gospel of John as "Christ Killers." I imagine that embarrassment keeps you from acknowledging that you were already called out on your justification of the Holocaust as payback for the murder of Jesus. But your paper trail is already in place.

”Now suppose, I as an American Christian call out some T.V. preacher for only being interested in money and high living, and for not following the ways of Jesus. Are you going to then accuse me of hating American Christians? Get Real!”

No. I would instead accuse you of being out of lockstep with historical Christianity.

”Uhm, perhaps I am the one with the reading comprehension problem. I have read this gospel and studied it quite a bit, and somehow completely missed this. Could you be more specific as to where this directive to persecute Jews is?”

If you have completely missed it, I cannot help you. I can only point out to you that historical Christianity and the Church fathers did not miss it. Although the actual “blood curse” ("His blood be upon us and upon our children.") is found in Matthew, it is in the Gospel of John that greatest efforts are made by the author to shift the responsibility for Jesus’ crucifixion most firmly from the Romans to the Jews. Throughout John, “the Jews” is used as a collective term for the entire Jewish people rather than a small number of Jewish leaders among the Sanhedrin or the Pharisees. It is simply an acknowledged and tragic fact of history that through Gospel of John, the image of "the Jews" acting collectively as the enemy of Jesus became fixed in the Christian mind.

Now... it appears that you have selected as you rationalization here that the Gospel of John has simple been tragically misunderstood by 2000 thousand years of Christianity. And my only response to that is to reflect upon the competence of its author. Certainly, a competent God might have anticipated that reaction and written a subtly different book, thus saving millions of “His chosen people.”

You know, I an humble enough to expect very little from God. But one thing I would expect is the ability to deliver a single volume of unambiguous prose.
34 posted on 02/07/2010 8:01:32 AM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: EnderWiggins
Too bad then that these things are already perfectly consistent with a naturalistic world view.

Not one soul really believes that.

Well, in the first place, what I was saying is that you are being disingenuous by ignoring the vast majority of the New Testament (let’s not even get started on the Old) by pretending that two quotations from Jesus constitute the whole of “revealed truth” found in them. The entire set of books is supposed to be “revealed truth,” so you cannot run away from the cow to skim the cream.

Ignoring nothing! I am only bringing up the most relevant points. Jesus being the most relevant represenitive of Christian revealed truth, and the statement of what he asserted were the two most pivotal commandments upon which all morality is based as being the most relevant.

My respect for Christianity is pretty profound, and I am very dedicated to understanding the entire NT correctly.

Why are you accusing me of a reading comprehension problem here when the early church father’s all understood that passage exactly as I have portrayed it?

Because Jesus made it plainly clear that he was referring specifically to the religious leaders and nobody but a dope or bigot who bothered to read it in context could have possibly missed it! Thus after making sure what your position is, and making sure I did not mis understand you, I have to hold that you are too bigoted to objectively read the plain words of the gospels, and you have definitively proven me right in front of all but your self.

Have fun projecting back at me, but it won't work for anyone who is not also willfully blind.

35 posted on 02/07/2010 10:19:44 AM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: EnderWiggins; AndyTheBear

EW: But ultimately, of course they’re not following “revealed truth” since there is no reason to believe there is any such thing.

Spirited: Man has always lived by revelation. The foundations of your arguments, disclaimers, and in fact, the entirety of everything you believe is true, has its’ ultimate source in revelation. The occult-—shamanism, channeling, the mystery traditions, magic-—all came roaring back during the Renaissance.

Emmanual Swedenborg, for instance, had appear to him a discarnate entity that called itself ‘god.’ Swedenborg accepted its’ claim without question, thus commencing a relationship wherein under the controlling influence of this entity, Swedenborg rewrote the Bible, incorporating within the revised version, Hermeticism, among other magic traditions. Swedenborg’s ‘revealed’ knowledge and rewritten Bible became the catalyst for Tubengin’s Higher Criticism and for what is known as Liberal Christianity.

Feuerbach reworked Hegel’s Hermetic magic-formula. Engels, Marx, and many others accepted the reworked magic formula without question, and incorporated it within their own systems.

What you believe to be true, real, false, etc., has its basis in spirit revelations.


36 posted on 02/08/2010 9:06:05 AM PST by spirited irish
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To: AndyTheBear
"Not one soul really believes that."

Aaaah... so now you claim omniscience do you? Not one soul? How do you possibly explain me then?

Now... it seems quite clear that you have abandoned the discussion and instead have chosen to make your last stand a milquetoast testimony of your respect for Christianity. If that is how you choose to leave the discussion, I am content to do so, since I have no interest in attacking anybody else's religious beliefs once they have ceased to offend. And I am comfortable that I have done a competent job of defending the fact that morality requires no imposition by a Cosmic disciplinarian.

But I feel obligated to hold your feet to the fire on one particular issue, and it has deeply troubled me for a couple days now. Several posts ago, you inexplicably defended the long and acknowledged history of Christian anti-Semitism as understandable payback for the Jews having killed Christ. Now, I do not believe you think it was deserved payback, and you certainly didn't say so. But you did seem to say that it was understandable, just one of those things that happens "when people get riled up."

Now... it was you and not me that volunteered the reputation of Jews as "Christ Killers." And yet you seem to deny that the Gospel of John could possibly have anything to do with that reputation. So, I still have to ask: If it did not come from the Gospels, where did it come from?

You wrote that, "My respect for Christianity is pretty profound, and I am very dedicated to understanding the entire NT correctly." Is it still not clear to you that it is precisely your "correct understanding of the NT" that led to the damning rhetorical stumble where you actually tried to justify the Holocaust as payback?

As uncomfortable as it must be to be that introspective, do you honestly not connect the dots between your "correct understanding" of the NT and your own justification of violence against the Jews?
37 posted on 02/08/2010 2:21:57 PM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: EnderWiggins
Aaaah... so now you claim omniscience do you? Not one soul? How do you possibly explain me then?

Are you saying you have a soul? I thought you were a naturalist!

38 posted on 02/08/2010 4:10:44 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: EnderWiggins
...led to the damning rhetorical stumble where you actually tried to justify the Holocaust as payback?...

Now... it was you and not me that volunteered the reputation of Jews as "Christ Killers." And yet you seem to deny that the Gospel of John could possibly have anything to do with that reputation. So, I still have to ask: If it did not come from the Gospels, where did it come from?

Thank you for seeking clarification! I would hate to think anyone thought that I was in any way trying to justify the horrific evil that was the Holocaust.

I was accepting what I thought a false premise for the sake of argument (and let me make clear: ONLY for the sake of argument). Specifically I was entertaining your notion that Christianity led to the Holocaust as if it were plausibly true.

My point was that even on your view, the motivation for the Holocaust must have been along the lines of the normal natural human animal desire for vengeance. Essentially acting from a naturalistic moral code which had evolved into the human animal. In contrast to acting on the ethical teachings that Christianity accepts as revealed by God, which demands that we forgive others and love our neighbor and so forth.

Let me help your contention that the "revealed truth" Christianity is bad for a minute. You are better served by the Spanish Inquisition, which is far easier to tie to Christianity is it not? After all it was conducted under the political and religious authority of the most prominent recognized Christian church of the time.

Even so, your desire to blame "revealed truth" in regard to Christian ethics is still frustrated...because it is very clear that the last thing the evil men torturing the Jews wanted to do was actually follow Jesus. They just wanted to claim to be Christian because it was the popular thing to be at the time (not just a good way to avoid torture, but a good way to make an easy living et al).

Now certainly, I would expect some bogus rationalizations along the "Christ killers" line crossed the mind of some of the sick-puppies running the Spanish Inquisition. And if so, it is because they are choosing to ignore what they claim they hold as "revealed truth" in regard to ethics, in favor of their own ethic based on empathy, anger, their own reasoning and their own concept of justice.

Doing evil in the name of good requires buying into a lie which justifies good as evil. The Nazis bought into a such a lie, just as those who committed the atrocities of the Spanish Inquisition bought into such a lie.

Of coarse somebody can do evil, knowing it to be evil. But people so prefer to think they are doing good, they are quite industrious with coming up with rationalizations and other bogus arguments to support the evil that they want to do as being good. Sometimes the lies are supported by bogus religious revelation. Sometimes its just bogus arguments based on cold soulless reason.

Such lies are at root falsehoods in regard to ethics, not falsehoods in regard to fact (although false facts might be believed because of a bias connected with the ethical lie).

Essentially then, man fell from grace by eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They invented their own definition of good and evil in place of God's.

39 posted on 02/08/2010 5:37:13 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: AndyTheBear
I grow more and more bemused by your delusion that you seem to be arguing with me. The army of straw men that has populated your posts show no sign of abating.

Can you not simply answer the question? Without any help from me, you decided to portray the Jews as "Christ killers" and then use that reputation as an excuse for historic Christian anti-Semitism. You accepted that slur with complete matter-of-factness, offering no demurral or dissent. You did not frame it as if it were a controversial portrayal, but offered it as factual evidence for an argument you were making.

I am not asking you to squirm around the details of Christian history in the attempt to explain them away. I am asking you to account for your own behavior and your own ideas.

You are the one who volunteered that Jews were persecuted by Christians because they were "Christ Killers." We know exactly where the church fathers got that idea because they told us. You also had to have gotten that idea from somewhere.

So where, if not the Gospels?


40 posted on 02/08/2010 6:16:34 PM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: EnderWiggins
Without any help from me, you decided to portray the Jews as "Christ killers" and then use that reputation as an excuse for historic Christian anti-Semitism.

I do not morally excuse anti-Semitim. It is morally wrong, and that has been my consistent view.

I do however surmise that those who wish to morally excuse anti-Semisim might make a "Christ killer" argument.

Are you too stupid to tell the difference?

41 posted on 02/08/2010 6:24:31 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: AndyTheBear
"Are you saying you have a soul? I thought you were a naturalist!"

No. You are saying that I have a soul, and then go on to continue trying to tell me what I believe.
42 posted on 02/08/2010 6:24:41 PM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: AndyTheBear
"Are you too stupid to tell the difference?"

No. I am too smart to let you get away gracefully from your own demonstrated anti-Semitism.
43 posted on 02/08/2010 6:26:03 PM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: EnderWiggins

Do you seriously think I am an anti-Semite?


44 posted on 02/08/2010 6:33:17 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: EnderWiggins
No. You are saying that I have a soul, and then go on to continue trying to tell me what I believe.

So then, quite literally you think Jews are soulless. And you think black people are soulless. And you think homosexuals are soulless.

None of which means what it sounds like it means, which I freely admit because I don't think it is fair to use that kind of argument.

45 posted on 02/08/2010 6:37:26 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: EnderWiggins
No. I am too smart to let you get away gracefully from your own demonstrated anti-Semitism.

Understanding motives for evil is not the same as justifying that evil. If you refuse to get that difference so you can accuse me of supporting something vile, than you are deciding to be evil, and deserve no place in civil discourse.

46 posted on 02/08/2010 6:49:24 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: EnderWiggins; All
You accepted that slur with complete matter-of-factness, offering no demurral or dissent. You did not frame it as if it were a controversial portrayal, but offered it as factual evidence for an argument you were making.

The paragraph in question was:

Let us grant your contention that "Christianity" waw responsible for the brutality of the Nazis against Jews for a minute. If so the obvious reason was being mad over the Jews turning Jesus over to the Romans for crucification right? Please note, this has nothing to do with "revealed truth", but the regular secular reasons that people get riled up about things. Something like "Hey they got one of ours, we can't let them get away with that! Lets get the bastards!".

Note the words: "Let us grant your contention that "Christianity" waw responsible for the brutality of the Nazis against Jews for a minute."

Note the words: "Brutality of Nazis against the Jews".

Note that the hypothetical justification was a hypothetical Nazi position, not a position of my own.

Note that I have repeatedly denounced such a position in other posts, and as is universal in FR culture view it as one of the clear epitomes of what is atrocious and evil.

There is no way I can see any thinking person seriously thinking I was offering justification for what I just called a "brutality".

And so I must conclude you are willful and malicious when you make your false accusations about me supporting this infamous and vile atrocity.

47 posted on 02/08/2010 7:49:42 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: AndyTheBear
"Do you seriously think I am an anti-Semite?"

I cannot know with certainty, but it does not matter one whit to the substance of this discussion if you are or you are not. What is relevant is the extreme efforts you are making to avoid answering the question that is actually at issue here.

Whether you embrace it as true or not, you are the one that offered the portrayal of the Jews as "Christ Killers."

You must have had a source of origin for that portrayal... certainly it did not arrive in your consciousness ex nihilo.

And my question remains... what is your source for that portrayal if it is not the Gospels?

I know that you are trying very, very, very hard to find some convoluted excuse for this particular facet of Christianity's less than excellent moral example. You have tried to dismiss the entire New Testament other than two sayings of Jesus as being relevant to the Christian moral system. You have dismissed off-hand the greatest theologians of Christian history and pretended their testimony, reasoning and writing do not matter. You have done everything you possibly could to assert that anti-Semitism has no source within the "revealed truth" of the Christian New Testament.

So... if this is true, then what is the alternative source of your portrayal of the Jews as "Christ Killers?"
48 posted on 02/09/2010 10:15:04 AM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: AndyTheBear
"None of which means what it sounds like it means, which I freely admit because I don't think it is fair to use that kind of argument."

Then why was it exactly the argument that you used?
49 posted on 02/09/2010 10:16:32 AM PST by EnderWiggins
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To: EnderWiggins
I know that you are trying very, very, very hard to find some convoluted excuse for this particular facet of Christianity's less than excellent moral example. You have tried to dismiss the entire New Testament other than two sayings of Jesus as being relevant to the Christian moral system.

I am? Heck everyone of us Christians is a sinner and deserves to go to hell. Since this is a central Christian doctrine, why would I wish to dismiss evidence for it?

I think Christianity is full of sinners doing sin. I do reject the notion that the Christian faith is responsible. People sin with and without this faith.

Certainly people know about the crucification of Christ primarily from the New Testament, this is a premise that you should feel free to claim without acting like you need me to sign off on it.

My objection is not to such a premise, but that you seem to be assuming the implied cause effect relationship establishes moral culpability. Do you really think this? It seems to be a ridiculous standard of ethics when you think of all the different implications.

As to your repeated accusations that I am focusing on only selected parts of the New Testemant in establishing the ethical position of Christianity, this is true. I am only concerned with relevant details. And all of the relevant details I find support me. Not just the ones I mentioned before. For example, Jesus commands us to love everyone. Very relevant. Jesus commands us to turn the other cheek. Very relevant. Jesus asks his Father in heaven to forgive the one's who were responsible for crucifying him...Did you forget this one? Jesus is very harsh on religious hypocrites, and lambastes the religious leaders who are only in it for fun and profit as broods of vipers. I shudder to think of what he would call the various medevil church leaders (actually He does seem to address them in Revelation according to some scholars).

Also there was the parable of the man forgiven huge debt by a King who turned around and demanded payment from a fellow servant for a minor debt. Remember how that one ended? Did you get the moral of it?

You have no where to turn for moral teachings in the New Testament, so now you turn to biases that certain events in the New Testament might cause in the hearts of fallible man.

Well, of coarse humans are all fallible...as Christ taught we are (please tell me you get that).

Rather you would rather focus away from what Jesus taught we ought do, and focus on the failings of Christians in history to do so.

This all proves my point, and demolishes yours.

I am focusing on the moral teachings of Jesus Christ rather than the latter moral teachings of Martin Luther after he started hating the Jews as a basis for the moral position of the Christian faith.

Martin Luther's opinions on morality mean nothing to any true form of Christianity, excepting that they coincide with the opinions of Christ. His earlier positions concerning the Jews were kindly and seemed in step with Jesus. However you chose to focus on the opinions he held in the latter part of his life as being the epitome of Christian ethics. Well apparently something had happened to change his opinion of Jews profoundly and I'm not a historian and not sure what turned his heart to such an evil position, but I'm very dubious that it was because he finally got around to reading the gospel of John.

Yes Martin Luther used information gleaned in the New Testament to justify his latter evil opinion. But his opinions directly contradicted the ethical standard set up by Jesus. His opinion therefore became less like those of Jesus, meaning less Christ-like, meaning less Christian.

The conclusion of all our examples is that the problem is not listening and obeying the moral teachings of Jesus Christ. Whether we claim to be Christians or not.

50 posted on 02/09/2010 12:28:19 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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