He’s not wrong

Richard Dawkins appears to be rethinking the consequences of his decades-long assault on Christianity.

Listening to the lovely bells of Winchester, one of our great mediaeval cathedrals. So much nicer than the aggressive-sounding “Allahu Akhbar.” Or is that just my cultural upbringing?

To paraphrase my previous assertion, never bring a philosophy to a religious war.


No problem, Sam

Sam Harris never thinks anything through:

“Alt-right: You can’t keep blaming us for our ancestors crimes against other people
Also Alt-right: We are just as responsible for our ancestors accomplishments as they are

You can’t have it both ways.”

Absolutely. Stop blaming us for our ancestors’ crimes against other people. We are not responsible for our ancestors’ accomplishments, only for our own accomplishments and our own crimes.

Now will you stop? Yeah, I didn’t think so.


Genetically inferior

More scientific evidence in support of my original hypothesis that atheism is a form of mental abnormality that results in spiritual insensitivity is accumulating:

Left-handed people are more likely to be atheists, a study has found, as it says belief is passed on genetically.  The study suggests that religious people have fewer genetic mutations and are therefore less likely to be left handed or have conditions such as autism or schizophrenia.

British academic Edward Dutton, a professor at Oulu University, Finland, said that in pre-industrial times religiosity was passed on like other genetic attributes because it was associated with greater stability, mental health and better social behaviour. But modern science means many people who would not previously have survived are making it to adulthood and reproducing – leading to a greater incidence of atheism.

Lack of belief in God is connected to genetic mutations which cause attributes such as left-handedness or autism, the paper argues.

This would also put Bruce Charlton’s Mouse Utopia observations into context, as atheism appears to be one aspect of the nihilistic despair that is a consequence of the increased prevalence of genetic inferiority that results from easier circumstances.


Mailvox: feel the rage

GW wonders about the socio-sexuality of skepticism:

Perhaps you haven’t been following the debacle between the YouTube race realists and the skeptic community, but I would love to hear your view on the main instigator of it, Kraut and Tea. His infantile attacks on imagined ghosts of the Alt-Right, blatant hypocrisy in regards to the principles of not deplatforming or doxxing people, and smug overestimation of his level of expertise in biology and statistics seem like classic symptoms of a Gamma’s wounded ego. That he also refuses to silence his tongue when thoroughly outmatched is just more proof of his status.

It makes me think the “online skeptic” nowadays is predisposed towards being Gamma. What else can explain their lack of conviction? Their unwillingness to argue the believer or race realist in good faith?

There is no question that the average “internet atheist” is a Gamma. More than a few are Omegas. Both scientific studies that looked into my original hypothesis about atheism being a consequence of being on the autism spectrum found correlations between an inability to make social connections and an inability to feel spiritual connections.

This sort of aggressive atheist are akin to the blind man who not only insists that everyone else is lying about their ability “to see”, but also that they are inferior to him due to their inability to come to terms with their blindness. And then proceeds to try to poke out their eyes.

I have no intrinsic problem with people who don’t believe what I do about God or anything else. But I utterly despise those who first proclaim that religion is a crutch, then promptly attempt to kick out that crutch from others who are reliant upon it. They are nasty little creatures.


Morality is objective

Again and again, we see that the rationales and justifications offered by atheists for their disbelief simply don’t stand up to even cursory philosophical analysis. (This is not to say their disbelief is not genuine, merely that its cause is seldom rooted in the explanations provided.) While on the emotional side, atheism may be little more than social autism, on the intellectual side, it appears to be primarily a combination of historical and philosophical ignorance.

Consider the following exchange:

AB: some people, psychopaths especially have no capacity for moral reasoning and no moral agency.

VD: Of course they do, if you define morality correctly. The fact that psychopaths have no EMPATHY does not mean they have no moral agency, because morality does not depend upon empathy.

AB: I think understand what you are saying but I simply cannot grok the idea fully as I cannot see morality as objective.

This is little more than a failure to understand what morality is, because while the existence of God is nominally disputable, the objectivity of morality is not, and more importantly, cannot be disputed.

The definitions of morality refer us to the definition of moral, which is given a follows:

  1. of, relating to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong;
  2. expressing or conveying truths or counsel as to right conduct, as a speaker or a literary work.
  3. founded on the fundamental principles of right conduct rather than on legalities, enactment, or custom.
  4. capable of conforming to the rules of right conduct: a moral being.
  5. conforming to the rules of right conduct

Now, if “the fundamental principles of right conduct” are not mere legalities, enactment, or custom, then they must be objective, for the obvious reason that if the standard for right conduct is subjective, then no such standard exists, not being a fundamental principle. Morality not only is not subjective, it cannot be subjective, because a subjective fundamental principle is both an oxymoron and an actual contradiction in terms.

A psychopath has both a capacity for moral reasoning and moral agency because he is capable of conforming to the rules of right conduct even if he does not feel any empathy for others. He can even conform to the Golden Rule; even a psychopath knows how he prefers to be treated himself.

AB’s fundamental mistake is that he confuses the concept of a personal ethos with morality. But a personal ethos is an ersatz morality and is no more a system of universally applicable rules than a preference for calling pass plays over running plays or playing man-to-man defense instead of zone are official NFL rules.


Mailvox: atheists always bait-and-switch

Mr. Rational demonstrates why no one trusts atheists, including their fellow atheists:

You’re playing semantic games here by deliberately selecting a nonsensical phrase, Vox.  “The Significance of Human Existence” makes perfect sense, and yes, random events in human history are perfectly understandable in that context.

This is another example of your need to have a First Cause for everything.  It’s just a more advanced version of the animism of savages.  You can’t not see intent and agency in everything because it makes you insecure, and like the left’s search for racism in society what you need to find will be found… somehow.

E.O. Wilson is one of the greatest minds of our age, and you reduce yourself to paraphrasing his book title in a silly fashion.  Talk about ankle-biting.

This is simply embarrassing for Mr. Rational. It would appear that the sight of “one of the greatest minds of our age” being caught out has triggered him. Badly. That “silly fashion” of which he complains is the most generous interpretation of Wilson’s title possible; the alternative is that Wilson is every bit as dishonest as the Richard Dawkins and Sam Harrises of the world.

I am not playing a semantic game. I am observing that there is ABSOLUTELY NO DEFINITION of the term “meaning” that allows E.O. Wilson to be considered simultaneously a) philosophically competent and  b) intellectually honest. As another commenter has already noted, Wilson’s book was not titled The Significance of Human Existence, but rather, The Meaning of Human Existence. A second bait-and-switch is not going to justify the first.

Also notice how the triggered little gamma male immediately leaps to making the philosophy personal. He cannot accept that “one of the greatest minds of our age” is either incorrect or lying, and that fact that I am the one who caught him out only makes his acceptance of that easily observably fact all the more difficult. Unlike both Wilson and Mr. Rational, I am perfectly willing to contemplate the possibility that there is neither intent nor agency in human existence, it is only that unlike them, I am sufficiently competent to understand and accept the logical consequences of that lack of meaning.

You’re too short for this ride, Mr. Rational. I will not again be rescuing your very stupid, very dishonest comments from the spam where they clearly belong, and will henceforth spam them. Since there is neither meaning nor significance in that decision, he really has no grounds for complaint. And even if he did, well, what could that possibly matter?

Groggy thinks I made a mistake.

Vox, carefully parsing the dictionary definitions above which you provided, “what actually is” is not a valid definition to extract.

what is intended to be, or actually is, expressed or indicated; signification; import

It does NOT say that meaning can be “what actually is”.

It says that meaning can be:

  1. what is intended to be expressed or indicated
  2. what actually is expressed or indicated
I actually share Groggy’s interpretation, but as I mentioned above, I felt that it was best to be generous and give Mr. Wilson’s defenders the maximum amount of rope with which to hang the man. Rather than being able to quibble over the parsing of the definition, his defenders are forced to either admit to his error, admit to his dishonesty, or commit their own intellectual sins.

Two American badasses

Compare and contrast the brave behavior of these two gentlemen to the cowardly performance of the Las Vegas Police Department:

Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, was leaving First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs after he opened fire on parishioners during mass when Stephen Willeford, 55, confronted him. Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Freeman Martin said Willeford, a keen biker, had ‘grabbed his rifle and engaged the suspect.’

A local resident told DailyMail.com that Willeford, who attends a different church, was first alerted to the shooting when his daughter called him saying there was a man in body armor gunning down church goers. He grabbed his gun and bravely headed down to confront the killer.

The local said that while Willeford has no military experience, he is an excellent shot, and when he came face to face with Kelley, he didn’t hesitate; he shot in between Kelley’s body armor, hitting him in his side. The 26-year-old had dropped his Ruger assault rifle and climbed in an SUV to flee the scene.

He said that Kelley had taken a hostage in the passenger seat as he fled. But another local resident, Johnnie Langendorff, who had witnessed the confrontation refused to let the shooter get away. Both he and Willeford, a local plumber, jumped in his truck and gave chase.

In a Facebook post, Langendorff’s girlfriend Summer Caddel described how the pair had ‘jumped in my boyfriend’s truck and they chased that sick b*****d down in pursuit until the cops could catch up. He was able to run the shooter off of the road on 539!’

Langendorff told KSAT 12 that he’d been speeding at 95mph, while on the phone to dispatch, while Willeford kept his rifle trained on the gunman’s car. As they approached a sharp curve in the road, near the 307 and 539, he said Kelley appeared to lose control and his car swerved off the road. ‘That’s when I put the truck in park,’ he said. ‘The other gentleman jumped out, and had his rifle on him. He didn’t move after that.’

And let’s not hear any more about how atheists are so persecuted in America, or how amazingly moral they are, when they are shooting up schools and churches and universities. No wonder they are the most distrusted group in the country.


Anything but God

Star Trek can tolerate anything, except the concept of a deity:

Star Trek: Discovery‘s producers apparently feel that the word “God” has no place on the bridge of a Federation starship. Series star Jason Isaacs was admonished for ad-libbing a line indirectly invoking a deity, which the show’s producers viewed as fundamentally against Gene Roddenberry’s utopian vision of the future.

Discovery, the long gestating Star Trek prequel TV show, is finally debuting in September, and details are beginning to emerge about the series’ story and characters. Set ten years before the events of the original Star Trek TV show, the series will follow Commander Michael Burnham (The Walking Dead‘s Sonequa Martin-Green), who is now known to be Spock’s half-sister. The show will chronicle an important event in Starfleet’s history that will heavily involve the Klingons.

Discovery has made some unexpected choices so far, regarding which traditional elements of the franchise it’s eager to embrace and which one it feels comfortable discarding. A new story from Entertainment Weekly showcases perhaps the most unexpected choice yet, as Captain Lorca (played by Harry Potter veteran Jason Isaacs) was told he couldn’t ad-lib a line including the word “god”. Here is the anecdote in question, from EW‘s report.

The director halts the action and Lorca, played by British actor Jason Isaacs of Harry Potter fame, steps off the stage. The episode’s writer, Kirsten Beyer, approaches to give a correction on his “for God’s sakes” ad lib.

“Wait, I can’t say ‘God’?” Isaacs asks, amused. “I thought I could say ‘God’ or ‘damn’ but not ‘goddamn.’ ”


Beyer explains that Star Trek is creator Gene Roddenberry’s vision of a science-driven 23rd-century future where religion basically no longer exists.


“How about ‘for f—’s sake’?” he shoots back. “Can I say that?”


“You can say that before you can say ‘God,’ ” she dryly replies.

Star Trek is a show for atheists and pedophiles. Now they’re openly pandering to the former; it won’t be too terribly long before they start pandering to the latter.


The war against God

It’s good to see that even the cucks at National Review are not interested in adopting the New Atheists subsequent to their rejection and no-platforming by the Left:

Why must ardent secularists from the Islamic world like Ayaan Hirsi Ali — the type of people the Left looks to for inspiration in the history of Western secularism — be deemed bigots, while Sharia-supporting conspiracy theorists like Linda Sarsour are cherished? Why has criticizing Islam caused the New Atheists to cross a red line in the progressive imagination?

These positions make no sense if one thinks of the Left as seriously secular, convinced of the need to end the reign of superstition. But American liberals profess neither the passionate skepticism of Hume nor the honest, urgent atheism of Nietzsche. They prefer to embrace a shallow, culture-war atheism instead.

This culture-war atheism provides “evidence,” quick and easy, to support the proposition that America is split into two camps: the intelligent, sophisticated, urbane, righteous liberals and the idiotic, gullible, backward, bigoted conservatives. The former are atheists and the latter are believers, flattering one side and bludgeoning the other. In fact, it is this type of thinking that made progressives fall in love with the New Atheists in the first place.

New Atheism pleased the Left as long as it stuck to criticizing “God,” who was associated with the beliefs of President George W. Bush and his supporters. It was thus fun, rather than offensive, for Bill Maher to call “religion” ridiculous, because he was assumed to be talking about Christianity. Christopher Hitchens could call God a “dictator” and Heaven a “celestial North Korea,” and the Left would laugh. Berkeley students would not think to disinvite Richard Dawkins when he was saying “Bush and bin Laden are really on the same side: the side of faith and violence against the side of reason and discussion.”

Truth be told, New Atheism was always fundamentally unserious.

The Left rejects the New Atheists because it was never truly atheist or secular. It is merely anti-Christian and anti-Western. The Left embraces Islam because it presently serves as a more effective anti-Christian weapon than the atheism or secular humanism upon which it previously relied.

The heart of the Left is Neo-Babelism, which is inherently globalist and Satanic in nature. All of its various ideologies, from communism to feminism to neo-liberalism to progressivism, are nothing more than the skinsuits it wears in its endless war against God. But unlike the New Atheists, the Neo-Babelists are not warring against the idea of God, much less questioning His existence. They are actually at war with the Almighty Himself, and His son, Jesus Christ.


When evidence is not “evidence”

The media’s “fact-checkers” are no more reliable, or credible, than the very media whose reputation they are attempting to restore.

It’s important to remember that Band’s email was sent privately, with little expectation it would be aired publicly. On the one hand, that might indicate he would be more open about possible conflicts. But he was also feuding with Chelsea Clinton and so might have been inclined to exaggerate or embellish his concerns.

Even the email, at face value, does not justify the hyperbolic news coverage. There was no reference to foundation monies, just “resources.”

At the same time, the foundation, the family and the wedding planner deny the claim made in the email. This was a major social event with 450 guests, something that has to run on clockwork — at great cost. The wedding planner paid the bills and submitted one bill to the Clinton family.

We can’t really award Pinocchios here, since no specific person repeated this allegation. But we can fault the news reporting — and label this as a claim lacking any evidence. Readers (or their friends) who viewed this as the “last straw” about Clinton corruption need to be more careful consumers of the news.

No Evidence

In other words, documentary evidence is not evidence because “money” is a subset of “resources”. That’s an attempted bait-and-switch almost worthy of Richard Dawkins and midwit atheists who claim that documentary evidence and eyewitness evidence is not evidence because it is not scientific evidence.

Almost.

This demonstrates why the media’s rhetoric is so often ineffective. In this case, it is pseudo-dialectic based on a foundation of pedantry and deception.