Thursday, May 07, 2015

Steve Hays and escaping from morality

Jill Stanek, of pro-life, lazy PR stunt, and compromise-with-evil fame, has interacted at some length on this here note on immediatism by Russell Hunter. She posted an article by Steve Hays at Triablogue.

Steve has a lot of good to him, but in questions of immediatism/incrementalism he has shown that he is a very poor commentator. Either he just plain doesn't get it or he has some emotional investment that leads him into mistake after mistake.
Interestingly, as far as I can tell, Steve blogs or talks (in his capacity as employed by a seminary) an amazingly high amount of time. It's not as if he's in the thick of the fight, actually loving his preborn neighbors who are being ripped apart in his own locality. Jill may do silly PR stunts like sit in Boehner's office for some worthless ban, but that's not all she does. I'm more inclined to listen to what she says than what Steve says.

Nevertheless, I'll deal with this low-quality article. Steve's errors are as follows:

\\Incrementalists aren't really saving babies here and now\\

I never said they aren't. I said this:
"You actually have no idea whether it does."

\\Since that counterfactual never played out, he has no idea how many babies his preferred alternative would have saved\\

The astute reader will note I never made that positive claim. I'm responding to Steve and other incrementalists on their own grounds - the claim that immediatists abandon babies and that they save more. I ask for evidence that this claim is true. They respond with "You can't show that YOUR way saves more EITHER!"
Thus proving my point.

\\Alan doesn't specify what he means by "from the beginning." Is that an allusion to Roe v. Wade? \\


\\Even if abortion opponents had deployed abolitionist tactics from the start (i.e. 1973), that's utterly irrelevant to what should be done at present.\\

Hmmm, I don't see why it's "utterly irrelevant". It might not map automatically onto what we do now, but then again it might. Does God change His prescriptions for how people are to deal with individual or corporate sin based on how many years have passed? Isn't it the case that we see again and again the calls to repentance become MORE strident and urgent, not less, the longer the sin obtains?

\\Suppose a ferry hits a sandbar and capsizes because the captain was drunk. I can swim, but many passengers can't. I can rescue some of them, but not all of them. \\

Disanalogous for the same reason the burning building analogy is.

\\Suppose Raoul Wallenberg is about to issue passports to Jews and set up safe houses to protect them. \\

We have also already dealt with this.
Steve rebutted our own article, here:
However, it was of such poor quality that we decided ignoring it would be a better use of our time. It breaks no new ground, responds substantively to none of our points, and trades on numerous strawmen, the likes of which Steve has repeated over and over in talking about AHA and immediatism, sadly.

\\We could just as well say that if only presidents nominated social conservatives to the court in the years leading up to Roe v. Wade, that would have saved far more lives than prolife efforts after the fact. But even if that's true, so what? How does that alternate history have any bearing on what prolifers should do right now? \\

That's what we keep saying! We should do what the Bible says instead!

\\How old were Scott Klusendorf and Jill Stanek in 1973? It's not as if they were in a position to do something different 42 years ago\\

The problem is not the people but the principles to which they adhere and according to which they act.

\\Even if some action might have been more successful had it been tried earlier, it doesn't follow that it would still be effective if attempted at a later date\\

"effective" - Pragmatism again, relying on human action and will rather than trusting in the providence of God.

\\incremental legislation is actually saving lives\\

PROVE that rather than asserting it.

\\Restrictions on abortion save real babies who'd otherwise die absent any restrictions whatsoever. That's not hypothetical. That's what's happening. Concrete results. The babies aren't "chimæræ."\\

I said the gains are. The gains in this case being what is gained in this fight by incrementalism vs by immediatism.
And again, Steve and Jill need to prove they're saving a significant number of babies, not just assert it.
Further, again, they need to show they're saving MORE by their preferred method than by immediatism, especially if they want to twist and torture the Bible to say that Jesus thinks that the right response to sin is to tell people to sin a little bit less, but only if they have the votes.

\\He doesn't know that AHA will succeed. In fact, he has no tangible evidence that it will probably succeed. It's all wishful thinking.\\

Duty belongs to us; results belong to God. That's what "reliant on the providence of God" means.
Jonah didn't know that Nineveh would repent. Might've been more advisable, humanly speaking, to go to Nineveh and tell them to stop killing each other; wounding, stealing from, and raping each other he'd get to later. Gotta make sure you have the votes.
If by "wishful thinking", Steve means that I believe I'm supposed to walk by faith and say what God says and let God make whatever He will out of that, I'm guilty.

\\The "gains" had reference to saving babies, but he redefines the "losses" as "compromise with evil."\\

Steve misunderstands what I meant by "gains", so his point here is moot.

\\saving the imaginary moral purity of abolitionists is the real priority\\

Here Steve says "imaginary moral purity"; what this means is that we will not compromise with evil and we will call all men to repent, right now, no matter what their sin is. Why is it bad to remain morally pure?

\\Not to be tainted by alleged moral compromise is their ultimate objective.\\

It's not "alleged". It's ACTUAL.
Also James 1:27Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

I know Steve believes in God, but he forgets to believe Him in these questions.

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