Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Nihilism just before Pascha

Responding again to the Jolly Nihilist:

To the reader, I'll be pointing out the JN's inconsistencies in the way he handles morality from time to time, but I'd encourage you to read his post 1st and see how many times you can pick them out yourself. I probably didn't get them all, but it's a useful exercise. The disconnect between profession and action on the part of so many atheists and postmodernists continues to amaze me.

I recognize our collective moral ignorance, and a relativistic view flows naturally therefrom.

But the relativistic view is a view in itself. You claim ignorance about the topic and then go ahead and take a position anyway. Why not just eschew any and all moral statements about everythg if you really believe that?

inflict their arbitrary moral opinions on those around them.

There's inflicting and there's inflicting. Surely you won't be so blind as to compare sharia law with laws banning the sale of sex toys!
Yet that's what you seem to be doing. That's one of the things that amazes me about these comparisons to Islam. You miss the forest for the trees. You can apparently hardly bear to NOT take a swipe at Christianity and so you miss the presence of the huge threat of people who want to blow you up.

However, if that truly is your stance (and I hope it is), then you must join me in condemning the Alabama law to which I am opposed....If Bible-inspired statutes, such as the one in Alabama, are applied to Christians and non-Christians alike, religious freedom is retarded.

B/c I believe in religious freedom? That doesn't follow. There is also public morality to think of. I won't support the free exercise of a religion that includes committing 4 murders a year as part of its pietistic exercise, for example.
I'm not saying I do support the law, but it's not for that reason.
Laws limit freedom, you know. You're not permitted to murder someone just for the heck of it, and that can retard religious freedom. We must ask "Which freedoms can be justifiably restricted?" rather than "Should religious freedom be restricted?"

unconventional sex is sinful

Rather, sex that is harmful or outside of marriage is that which is sinful. Nothing in the Bible really refers to sex toys.

If I lived in that state, I would be an atheist in name and belief, but would have to be a de facto Christian if I wanted to avoid legal harassment.

Do what you want, but Alabama is not Saudi Arabia. Seriously, stop acting like it is! You're making yourself look foolish and missing the bigger threat.

Is the latter cell “less evil” than the former?

On your worldview, neither is evil at all.

Just ghastly.

On your worldview, it's not ghastly. It's just painful. Pain is, pleasure is, neither is moral nor immoral. I'm going to hold you to your professed worldview even if you won't.

they certainly are antithetical to modern ideas about absolute equality

OK. Absent an argument why anyone should care, I'll just let this go.

you subscribe to a religion in which wives are supposed to submit to their husbands’ headship.

And, I shouldn't be surprised, you neglected (again) to mention anythg about the husbands' obligations and responsibilities. Pretty typical, though I have come to expect a little more than that from you.

you are a Christian who adheres slavishly to scripture.

I'm happy to admit this is the case.

It seems to me that, in your mind, your beliefs need not conform to popular wisdom, modern mores or even common sense.

Since popular wisdom is so often wrong, yes. Common sense is far from infallible as well.
As an example, just look at how long your moral relativism has lasted throughout your own post! You didn't make it 3 paragraphs before contradicting yourself.

Bearing that in mind, what if Jesus had explicitly preached that women should walk ten steps behind men, or that they never should show their faces in public, or that they never should shake hands with men?

I'd submit and conform to it.
Of course, that's not what He preached.
Again you spend time sniping at Christianity when you should be focusing on Islam. No hypotheticals needed there - they DO teach this stuff!

There is no known way to prove a moral statement or moral code; as such, we are left only with opinion.

Very well. Serious question - why then make all these moral statements, as if someone else should hold them? Why not just hold all moral judgments to yourself?

I do maintain, however, that such passages provided “theological cover” for the torturers, butchers and murderers

Absent an argument, I'll simply make the bare assertion to the contrary.

I would be willing to bet a large sum that, at the height of the witch-hunts, the aforequoted passage was recited more than once.

As if misuse of a passage of text means the text is to blame.
Obviously if I murdered 10 people and then appealed to this very blogpost in court, saying that I took your meaning to be that you were God and you commanded me to murder them, the judge would not and should not hold you responsible for that, right?

Is not Levitical law also “out of date,” as it were?

Violations of the moral law are not out of date, though the penalties are not necessarily the same.
I'll try to get that post out.

Should not that particular verse be retired from the contemporary gay rights discussion?

Given that
1) virtually no one in America understands the relationship of Old Testament law to New Testament times, and
2) 1 Corinthians 6 and Romans 1 (among other NT passages) are clearer and easier to use,
I'd agree with that.
Again, not that bashing gays (literally or figuratively) is morally wrong on your worldview, let's remember to clarify. I assume, since you want to be consistent, that you're just asking for educational, informational reasons.

by “witchcraft,” you apparently are referencing adults who indulge in children’s folly.

Not all of that stuff is simple parlor tricks. But I'm not a naturalist, so I attribute at least a small amount of that stuff, including miracles in other religions, to demonic activity.

(a) torture was used not to punish people for their “crimes” but in order to secure extravagant confessions, and (b) the charges oftentimes were jaw dropping in their ludicrousness.

Well, of course I wouldn't support those gross abuses.
And again, not that treating suspected "witches" this way is morally wrong on your worldview, let's remember to clarify. I assume, since you want to be consistent, that you're just asking for educational, informational reasons.

If the Bible had contained different moral prescriptions—ones that your current self finds repugnant—would you have followed them?

It does contain such. "If you wish to be my disciple, take up your cross and follow me." That's far from easy and I fail every day. I don't want to do it; I prefer to do what *I* want to do b/c I'm selfish.

Dahmer was a serial murderer, rapist, necrophile and cannibal, I tend to be suspicious of anything he said.

Me too. That's why I said "***IF*** he truly repented" - remember?

Might murdering, raping, necrophiliac, cannibalistic Dahmer have pulled one final con job?

Very well might have, but he can't hide from God's eye.

exemplifies nothing more than pathetic cravenness.

Again, not that pathetic cravenness or the threatening people with hell is morally wrong on your worldview, let's remember to clarify. I assume, since you want to be consistent, that you're just asking for educational, informational reasons.
You just can't seem to live up to your own worldview! Since you fit yours so badly, it's the least I can do to offer you one that would allow you to justify making moral claims like you keep doing, namely Christianity.

1 comment:

The Jolly Nihilist said...

I have issued my response.