Mailvox: guns and the atheist

JM asks about guns and immigration in the UK:

Nice blog… And thats coming from a New Atheist. Well maybe not what you refer to as a militant atheist, but an atheist nonetheless. Just wanted you to know that I enjoy reading your blog, you have a funny and thought provoking persona, and although I may disagree with quite a few of your arguments, I respect your intellectual position. I also figured you probably don’t get all that many emails like this from types like me, so yeah.

Having said that, I feel compelled to question your whole stance on guns and gun ownership, especially some of your comments regarding the UK’s policy. The root issues of gun crime here in the UK are the products of a flawed society, caused by the totalitarian descent we are currently steeped in but I feel that the introduction of public gun ownership would only serve to escalate matters. The amount of intolerant idiots in this country is exceptionally high, and I reckon that giving tools to these tools, to coin a phrase, will only result in a proliferation of gun-based deaths, on a fairly epic scale.

Also, your general stance on the cultural shift underway here comes across as fairly intolerant, given your supposed liberal attitude. A country is nothing more than a place, with a history, and ours is one of change and migration, as is yours. The world is constantly in a state of flux, and this is just a manifestation of this. Maybe its due to my lack of faith but I believe that this flux should be accepted and dealt with, not opposed.

I appreciate the sentiments, as it has never been my goal to run an echo chamber. I don’t expect most people to agree with me, it doesn’t bother me when they don’t, and while I’m equally comfortable engaging in civil and friendly discourse or hostile and insulting argument, believe it or not, I usually prefer the former.

JM’s two subsequent points are interesting, given as they tend to be related to his presumed atheist materialism, albeit in contrary ways. Taking the last point first, the idea that a country is nothing more than a place is deeply distinct from the Judeo-Christian concept of spiritual nations based on kinship rather than geography; the historical evidence of human behavior is a powerful, although by no means conclusive, argument in support of the latter. Would England be England if it were inhabited entirely by Asians from Pakistan? I would say no, absolutely not.

From a materialist’s genetic perspective, a homo sapiens is a homo sapiens, although presumably some of them are mutated and more highly evolved beyond the species standard. From a Judeo-Christian point of view, all homo sapiens are not alike and any society based on their fundamental sameness is bound to fail. My position on the Third World migrations into the West not a question of liberalism or intolerance, it’s – ironically enough – merely recognizing the inexorable material realities, as observed over thousands of years of recorded history. The idea that blood, identity, and culture are irrelevant, malleable and capable of being superceded by the state via its dictates is a relatively new one and that is observably inaccurate.

I’ll address the guns momentarily….