2 Responses to Donall and Conall Meet Richard Dawkins

Donall and Conall Teach Richard Dawkins About Circular Arguments

Sunday, May 10, AD 2015

 

From those twisted folks at The Lutheran Satire.  Dawkins, and others of his mindset, attempt to erect Science as a substitute religion, even as they absolutely refuse to seriously entertain the truth of Hamlet’s observation:    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.  Attempting to turn the intellectual instrument of Science into a religion underlines this statement from CS Lewis that looks increasingly prophetic as the years roll by:

“Men became scientific because they expected Law in Nature, and they expected Law in Nature because they believed in a Legislator. In most modern scientists this belief has died: it will be interesting to see how long their confidence in uniformity survives it. Two significant developments have already appeared—the hypothesis of a lawless sub-nature, and the surrender of the claim that science is true. We may be living nearer than we suppose to the end of the Scientific Age.”  

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5 Responses to Donall and Conall Teach Richard Dawkins About Circular Arguments

  • Dawkins is an idiot. And Dawkins is an atheist. That’s redundant.
    .
    The fool saith in his heart there is no God.

  • Lewis is certainly right. “If you start by treating the uniformity of nature as an hypothesis and no more,” says Mgr Ronald Knox, “you will find your hypothesis upset by every recorded case of witches flying, tables turning, Saints being levitated, oracles coming true, horoscopes being verified, broken limbs being cured by faith-healing, and the like. It is no good to say that there may be some higher law under which such phenomena would come, for that is a petitio principii; it assumes that things do work by law, and you haven’t found the law. It is no good to say that they are bogus statements of fact, for apart from your conviction of the uniformity of nature you have no ground whatever for supposing the evidence for them to be otherwise than fully adequate.”
    Besides, it is blindingly obvious that there can be no “scientific” proof that nature is uniform, by which I mean an empirical proof based on observed regularities. To say that all past experience confirms our belief in the uniformity of nature gets us nowhere, unless we assume that all future experience will do so, too. But that the future will resemble the past is simply a special instance of the uniformity of nature, so that argument is perfectly circular.
    We cannot even claim that experience makes uniformity even probable. Hume, in one of his better moments, points out that “probability is founded on the presumption of a resemblance betwixt those objects, of which we have had experience, and those, of which we have had none; and therefore it is impossible this presumption can arise from probability.” That presumption is simply our old friend, the uniformity of nature.
    The best that can be said for it is that it is what Kant would call an “heuristic principle,” a useful working principle in the investigation of phenomena.

  • It’s the height of irony.

    All people MUST have a sort-order. (example: if you have a dollar to spare, and both the kitten shelter and puppy shelter need a donation, which one do you donate to? sort-order) With the abolition of a common culture then the Left has been reduced to relying upon “science” and “reality” as their sort-order. Yet these things can lead down roads you don’t want to go.

    Example: Atheists tend to not have children (at the very least, not at population replacement levels). Religious people (with VERY few exceptions) tend to have lots of children. Therefore by the rules of natural selection (“the most kids win”), atheism is maladaptive and religion is to be preferred, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE RELIGION IS TRUE.

    So then, if “science” is your sort-order, you have 1 of 2 conclusions: 1) Religion is the preferred way, atheism is to be avoided like you would avoid any other lethal disease or 2) Extinction is (somehow) ok, there’s nothing wrong with it. Guess which conclusion you’ll most often see people trying to argue for on the internet.

    Yet if there’s one thing that would have to be agreed upon: Science cannot thrive if sapience goes extinct. Animals, rocks, plants, and celestial bodies don’t perform science. Therefore in just this one example, we see how people abandoning a common frame of reference leads to the end of Science.

    (and this gets even funnier when you run across those who swear by “pure rationality” and try to think statistically and etc etc – check next time how many offspring they’ve produced, or if they’ll even acknowledge they’re a dead end)

  • Nate Winchester wrote, “Religious people (with VERY few exceptions) tend to have lots of children…”
    It would be more accurate to say “with numerous exceptions.” One thinks of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has seen the collapse of its total fertility rate in a generation, from 6.8 in 1986 to 1.85 in 2014. One finds a similar, if less spectacular decline in Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.
    In Europe, Greece and Italy, which have amongst the highest levels of church membership, have among the lowest TFRs, 1.34 and 1.40 respectively. In secular France, it is 2.08, the highest in Europe, against an EU average of 1.59.
    Catholic Poland has a TFR of 1.32, whereas the largely secular Scandinavian countries have rates above the EU average, Denmark 1.73, Norway 1.77 and Sweden 1.67.

  • Really, MPS? Yeah, funny how these two maps:
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/88/Gallup_Religiosity_Index_2009.png
    http://www.geoba.se/population.php?pc=world&type=10
    Are almost mirror images of each other.

    One thinks of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has seen the collapse of its total fertility rate in a generation, from 6.8 in 1986 to 1.85 in 2014. One finds a similar, if less spectacular decline in Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.
    In Europe, Greece and Italy, which have amongst the highest levels of church membership, have among the lowest TFRs, 1.34 and 1.40 respectively. In secular France, it is 2.08, the highest in Europe, against an EU average of 1.59.
    Catholic Poland has a TFR of 1.32, whereas the largely secular Scandinavian countries have rates above the EU average, Denmark 1.73, Norway 1.77 and Sweden 1.67.

    Aaaaaaannnd what’s their historical trends in religious belief. (funny how you take a trend there and then compare it to a single point to reach a conclusion, sloppy sloppy) You have the record of religious belief trends over time for Iran, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco? Though I find it funny you bring up them compared to themselves when their rates (1.83, 1.72, 1.99 and 2.13) are still exceeding the european average (as well as many other countries on the high end of religion scale)

    Then I found that the French government doesn’t collect statistics by religion, so it is impossible to say what the precise fertility rates among different religious groups in France are. Though given that Algeria and Morocco, the two nations which send the largest numbers of Muslim immigrants to France, has fertility rates of 2.38 (according to the UN’s 2008 figures) one has to wonder how much of France’s babies are propped up by imported religious folk.

    Of course it’s funny to see you argue over the minutiae of difference in the different European countries when the point stands: THEY’RE ALL BELOW REPLACEMENT LEVEL! 1.32 vs 1.77? Doesn’t matter, you’re both extinct.

Dawkins the Fundamentalist Atheist

Friday, October 3, AD 2014

Dawkins Fundamentalists

Back in the seventies and eighties I read quite a few of the articles that appeared in The New Republic.  Although always left of center, the magazine at that time had little use for liberal pieties and published fairly iconoclastic articles shattering many idols of the left.  Alas those days are long ago, and The New Republic has fallen into the lock step ideological conformity that makes the portside of our politics such a gray place.  However, apparently, not always.  John Gray has a piece on Richard Dawkins, that must not be missed.  How good it is may be gauged by the anguished bleats of the faithless in the comments section.  I especially enjoyed this portion of Mr. Gray’s article:

Exactly how Dawkins became the anti-religious missionary with whom we are familiar will probably never be known. From what he writes here, I doubt he knows himself. Still, there are a few clues. He began his pilgrimage to unbelief at the age of nine, when he learned from his mother “that Christianity was one of many religions and they contradicted each other. They couldn’t all be right, so why believe the one in which, by sheer accident of birth, I happened to be brought up?” But he was not yet ready to embrace atheism, and curiously his teenage passion for Elvis Presley reinforced his vestigial Christianity. Listening to Elvis sing “I Believe,” Dawkins was amazed to discover that the rock star was religious. “I worshipped Elvis,” he recalls, “and I was a strong believer in a non-denominational creator god.” Dawkins confesses to being puzzled as to why he should have been so surprised that Elvis was religious: “He came from an uneducated working-class family in the American South. How could he not have been religious?” By the time he was sixteen, Dawkins had “shed my last vestige of theistic credulity.” As one might expect, the catalyst for his final conversion from theism was Darwinism. “I became increasingly aware that Darwinian evolution was a powerfully available alternative to my creator god as an explanation of the beauty and apparent design of life. … It wasn’t long then before I became strongly and militantly atheistic.”

What is striking is the commonplace quality of Dawkins’s rebellion against religion. In turning away from the milk-and-water Anglicanism in which he had been rearedafter his conversion from theism, he “refused to kneel in chapel,” he writes proudlyhe was doing what tens of thousands of Britain’s young people did at the time. Compulsory religious instruction of the kind that exists in British schools, it has often been observed, creates a fertile environment for atheism. Dawkins’s career illustrates the soundness of this truism. If there is anything remarkable in his adolescent rebellion, it is that he has remained stuck in it. At no point has Dawkins thrown off his Christian inheritance. Instead, emptying the faith he was taught of its transcendental content, he became a neo-Christian evangelist. A more inquiring mind would have noticed at some point that religion comes in a great many varieties, with belief in a creator god figuring in only a few of the world’s faiths and most having no interest in proselytizing. It is only against the background of a certain kind of monotheism that Dawkins’s evangelical atheism makes any sense.

Even more remarkable is Dawkins’s inveterate literal-mindedness. He tells us that “the Pauline belief that everybody is born in sin, inherited from Adam (whose embarrassing non-existence was unknown to St. Paul), is one of the very nastiest aspects of Christianity.” It is true that the idea of original sin has become one with a morbid preoccupation with sexuality, which has been part of Christianity throughout much of its history. Even so, it is an idea that contains a vital truth: evil is not error, a mistake of the mind, a failure of understanding that can be corrected by smarter thinking. It is something deeper and more constitutive of human life itself. The capacity and propensity for destruction goes with being human. One does not have to be religious to acknowledge this dark fact. With his myth or metaphor of the death instinct thanatos, Freuda lifelong atheistrecognized that impulses of hatred and cruelty are integral to the human psyche. As an atheist myself, it is a view I find no difficulty in sharing.

Quite apart from the substance of the idea, there is no reason to suppose that the Genesis myth to which Dawkins refers was meant literally. Coarse and tendentious atheists of the Dawkins variety prefer to overlook the vast traditions of figurative and allegorical interpretations with which believers have read Scripture. Both Augustine and before him the Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria explicitly cautioned against literalism in interpreting the biblical creation story. Later, in the twelfth century, Maimonides took a similar view. It was only around the time of the Reformation that the idea that the story was a factual account of events became widely held. When he maintains that Darwin’s account of evolution displaced the biblical story, Dawkins is assuming that both are explanatory theoriesone primitive and erroneous, the other more advanced and literally true. In treating religion as a set of factual propositions, Dawkins is mimicking Christianity at its most fundamentalist.

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13 Responses to Dawkins the Fundamentalist Atheist

  • Don I hope you don’t mind me posting this Comical take on Genesis.

  • re dawkins thoughts about Elvis: “how could he not…. he came from an uneducated working-class family in the American South” I always instinctively rebel against that kind of prejudiced comment! and it makes me think Mr Dawkins is not as thorough in his thinking as he would like to project.

  • Anzalyne: would that dig at Elvis be considered an ad hominem? As in anyone that believes in God is a stupid rube? Such louses also think that way about
    American soldiers.
    .

    I may be truly stupid. But, my brother-in-law earned a PhD in bio engineering and an MD; and he believes in God.

  • Ok weird, my link didn’t post. Sorry about that.

    Try 2: http://sfdebris.com/videos/special/inebg1.php

    The finest example of how to do religious humor IMHO.

  • Here’s a video that lampoons Richard Dawkins rather well…actually, it lampoons a lot of things rather well. My sister told me it was “obnoxious” and I’ll warn everyone it is vulgar and worse…but it IS clever and often funny.

  • “Their lack of belief flows from their lack of empathy, and the questions about the human condition that arise from such empathy.” So very true

  • Love Tom D’s video.
    .
    BS = Bull $…
    MS = Master $…
    PhD = Piled Higher and Deeper
    .
    The fool saith in his heart, there is no God.

  • “Compulsory religious instruction of the kind that exists in British schools, it has often been observed, creates a fertile environment for atheism”

    Mgr Ronald Knox has described it perfectly: “I think, then, it should be said at the outset that public schools [the English name for independent endowed schools] are trying to teach the sons of gentlemen a religion in which their mothers believe, and their fathers would like to: a religion without ” enthusiasm ” in the old sense, reserved in its self-expression, calculated to reinforce morality, chivalry, and the sense of truth, providing comfort in times of distress and a glow of contentment in declining years; supernatural in its nominal doctrines, yet on the whole rationalistic in its mode of approaching God: tolerant of other people’s tenets, yet sincere about its own, regular in church-going, generous to charities, ready to put up with the defects of the local clergyman. This religion the schoolmaster is under contract to teach…”

    The substance of the Faith, that man is a fallen creature; that he can be acquitted before God only through a reliance on Christ; and that God, by his Holy Spirit, can alone give him a new heart and fit him for the kingdom of Heaven, was not so much denied, as ignored; neo-pelagian through and through, as the Holy Father would say.

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  • I wonder why it is not commonly noted that Dr. Dawkins’ philosophical arguments and even his understanding of the Darwinian algorithm are based on errors in arithmetic http://theyhavenowine.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/the-anwers-of-student-dawkins-to-a-high-school-math-quiz/

  • Paul, that video has a lot in it. One favorite line is “If I were dyslexic I’d hate dog too”.

    One of the ‘atheist chorus line’ is Daniel Dennett [the one in the pimp outfit]. Dennett tried a few years ago to push the idea that atheists should call themselves “brights”, as in “Hi! I’m gay and I’m bright!”. I recall seeing him at an atheist conference in the People’s Republic of China; in the video he argued that governments should license the procreation of children and deny such licenses to religious believers – I’d assume he would be in favor of forced abortions to enforce such a policy. The Chinese atheists must have deemed this too radical for their tastes.

  • Evolution needs God’s creation in which to evolve. Man’s physical being evolves. Man’s spiritual being, his soul, cannot evolve. Only physical, material, can evolve or change. Man’s immortal soul can only change, grow or shrink, through his act of free will. Man’s free will is the image of God.
    .
    Without man’s free will, the image of God, man is a beast of burden to the state. The state must then be constituted by other beasts of burden, then as all men are created equal in equal Justice.
    .
    Therefore, It follows that atheism imposes itself on all men to man’s (the sovereign individual) to all man’s demise.

  • Nate: good one!
    .
    Or rather, ‘God saw the video, and said it was good.’

The Dawkins Scam

Tuesday, August 19, AD 2014

3 Responses to The Dawkins Scam

  • I have learned that each and every demon is a species unto himself. While man is one species, HomoSapiens, the devils are a legion of species. This accounts for Dawkins’ “herding of cats” and non- conformity. Following demons is a sure cure for sanity.

  • Next in importance after stark deficiencies in faith, hope and love are worldly people’s complete lack of self-awareness.

  • T. Shaw said: “Next in importance after stark deficiencies in faith, hope and love are worldly people’s complete lack of self-awareness.”

    Bbbbbaaaaaahhhhhhaaaaaa!! That is an absolutely hysterical comment! 😀

Richard Dawkins and “Mild Pedophilia”

Tuesday, September 10, AD 2013

48 Responses to Richard Dawkins and “Mild Pedophilia”

  • It’s called molestation. Not “mild touching” and it does have lasting affects….Dawkins should get his head checked. Apparently his ability to be logical was damaged.

  • Perhaps the fact that Dawkins was sexually abused as a child and even today seems to be repressing the fact ought to move us to pity rather than scorn.

    Sexual abuse victims deal with their trauma in a lot of different ways. Maybe he’s let slip more than he realizes.

  • I’m reminded of Whoopi Goldberg’s fascinating insight into the Roman Polanski
    case: the man drugged a 13-year-old girl, then raped and sodomized her.
    Whoopi’s take on it all? “It wasn’t rape rape”.

    I think that once the pedophilia scandals that rocked the Church a decade ago
    fade into history and lose their value as a stick with which to beat the Church,
    the Whoopis and the Dawkins and all the other “Brights” will forget about their
    faux outrage over child sexual abuse. Mark my words, they’ll come out in favor
    of reducing the age of consent, and push to brand our condemnation of sexual
    abuse of minors as some sort of bigotry.

  • I feel pity for him but i call condoning evil idiotic like i see it. That gets my scorn. He’s advocating abuse and that i will not tolerate. Dont care if its because he was abused or not. Abused people dont talk that way. They know its wrong and any bad habits or thoughts that result arent aired out to the public as being good either like drug abuse.

  • Waaaaaait a minute.

    If “abused people don’t talk that way,”

    and he’s talking that way,

    was it not abuse?

    This doesn’t make logical sense.

    One not-uncommon reaction to abuse is to pretend that what happened wasn’t really abuse.

  • Again he’s not simply in denial he is advocating abuse. Dont you think that is wrong?

  • Of course I do, but it’s illogical to say both “what he experienced was abuse” and “abused people don’t talk the way he is talking.”

    Having pity on someone doesn’t mean I have to think he’s correct. Please distinguish between scorning a person and scorning a statement.

  • I have no scorn for Dawkins. Sure he was abused. But to go on record and condone it isnt normal. Abused people know evil just like non abused persons. He may deny his own abuse was abusive to him but hes denying a form of abuse.

  • * condoning a form of abuse. Not denying abuse. Denying is different than condoning.

  • “Mark my words, they’ll come out in favor
    of reducing the age of consent, and push to brand our condemnation of sexual
    abuse of minors as some sort of bigotry”
    Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has written a book advocating informed sexual consent for fourteen year old girls as a form of sexual liberation.
    The insult to injury in “mild pedophilia” is that the person is taking liberties with another, albeit minor child’s, human body without the proper consent which remains with the child’s parents. The monster takes possession of the victim, body and soul and OWNs him as a piece of property, irregardless of civil rights and sacred trust.
    It appears Dawkins has chosen to deny his immortal soul and the humiliation heaped on his soul by the monster. No, it is not OK. There must be God because there must be JUSTICE, even for “mild pedophilia.”
    Adam’s sin was that Adam disobeyed God. The monster’s sin is that he disobeyed God, violated the Sixth Commandment, violated the sovereign personhood of a minor child and finally violated his own immortal soul by committing suicide.
    Dawkins will not let “God save the Queen”. Dawkins is going to save the Queen by bashing the Pope, the Catholic Church and our infinite God.

  • lets get this right,right now….it is not just the Catholic Church that has these pedophiles…it is every faith…the only reason you don’t hear much of these other faiths is because the Catholic Church has been around for so long and is the One True Faith…people have been trying to kill the Catholic Church forever and they will think of everything possible to break it up…sure there were some stupid priests who hurt the church’s people but that is all they did was hurt the church…they didn’t kill it….that is because the Catholic Church is strong and her people are strong in their Catholic Faith….I am sorry to say this but pedophilia has been around for ages and did not start with the Catholic Church…so go on Dawkins….keep making an ass of yourself…you can try just as hard as all the other morons who want to kill the Holy Catholic Church….you will never win..God will triumph and so will HIS people and HIS CHURCH….

  • The humanist Left worships at the altar of Man as Supreme Being. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

  • I’m interested in hearing his thoughts on “mild murder.”

  • Do you think it possible Dawkins is just an exhibitionist?

  • Only a “mild” exhibitionist.

  • Dawkin’s has zero credibility. His arguments for atheism are as empty as his belief that molesting children has no lasting effect. I think he has been sprinkling a little Alzheimer’s on his breakfast cereal.

  • “latae sententiae -self excommunication” Every person who consents to commit a mortal sin, excommunicates himself. Every priest who consented to commit abuse excommunicated himself. No much of a spiritual father is an excomunicated individual. So, too is Dawkins, a traitor in not calling down Divine Providence on the Queen in “God save the Queen.” Treason, in the United States of America, against the people prohibited from invoking Divine Providence on our blessed land. NO speech, no freedom. “or prohibit the free exercise thereof.” Three quarters of the states must ratifiy any change in our Constitutional First Amendment, but they have not. May God bless and keep America.

  • Well, this is rich!

  • Off of Life Site news in March or April of last year came a story from Germany.
    According to the author; No longer will Germany call pedophiles Pedophiles. They shall be known as “minor attracted people.” The stigma associated with the term pedophiles is demeaning to this type of lifestyle choice.

    The article continued on with a drive to lower consent laws to EIGHT years of age. 8!

    God help us.

  • It seems like the trend is to nothingness. Shock value is shrinking.
    Dawkins is too cool to have been bothered by a teachers hand in his pants — “that’s all right, I’m cool, no big deal…
    Marriage? — that’s nothing- anybody can do it or not do it-doesn’t matter.
    What do I care about LIFE what’s the big deal- somebody wants to end their own life–have at it!
    Or an abortion- no harm no foul- I don’t see any “victims” do you? Nothing going on here.
    I witness a violent crime — no skin off of my nose… those two thugs are going to fight it out anyway!

    We are not too bothered pedophilia, millions of abortions, broken homes, neglected children— all nothing. — God created “ex nihilo” didn’t He?
    The trend seems to go back there.
    We are getting rid of God; we are getting rid of us.

  • Anzlyne: I have wanted to say: “God created “ex nihilo” didn’t He?
    The trend seems to go back there.
    We are getting rid of God; we are getting rid of us.” but you have said it better. God bless.

  • B4UACT, a group of psychiatrists, is trying to legalize pedophilia in Baltimore, Maryland. Without the infinite God, unalienable civil rights cannot exist. Without The Supreme Sovereign Being, who is existence, mankind, body and soul, has lost his place in this world.
    The trouble with Dawkins is that he will become a death bed convert after he has seduced the young and uninformed. This is precisely why freedom of religion must remain an unalienable civil right. So that when the atheist seeks God, the atheist will find God through the freedom of religon. It is choice, the exercise of free will, an intrinsic part of the human soul.

  • In Europe, the trend of legislation, over the past century, has been the other way. Before 1929, Scots law followed Roman law in allowing a girl to marry at twelve years of age and a boy at fourteen, without any requirement for parental consent. The Age of Marriage Act 1929 made void any marriage between persons either of whom was under the age of sixteen. Sixteen remains the lower age-limit today, contained in the current legislation, the Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977. Scots law still has no requirement for parental consent.

    The change met with some opposition. One clergyman wrote to the press, “What, then, has the legislature to do here? It is to follow Nature. Whenever man becomes fit for the reproduction of a being similar to himself, he is then fit for marriage.” Such an argument would be unthinkable today.

    In France, the age of marriage has been recently raised from 15 to 18 (the age of majority) for both sexes, largely owing to concerns over « crainte révérencielle » – the dutiful child’s fear of offending parents by a refusal.

  • MPS, while I agree that European nations seem to have been slowly raising the
    age at which one may contract a legal marriage, I wonder if many pedophiles
    are looking for that sort of permanence in their ‘relationships’.

    As it is, many European nations have legal ages of sexual consent that seem
    shockingly low to this American. As you point out, MPS, in France the age one
    could contract a legal marriage has been slowly raised over the last 200 years.
    However, the age of consent for homosexual acts was lowered in 1974
    from 21 to 18, and in 1982 it was lowered again from 18 to 15. Other EU
    countries have even lower ages of consent, and if I recall, there have been
    drives to lower them even further… Cui bono?

  • It seems to me the trend is still to “nothing” concerning social strictures about marriage and family. The beautiful heart of France has a lhistory of protection for the weak underpriveged. The concern in that great and good culture is for the child, as we have seen in the marriage debate over there. But the downhill snowball is still rolling down. Historically Christian countries seem to be doing a collective shrug of the shoulders about personal behavior and responsibility in society.

  • Clinton

    The lowering of the age of consent for homosexual acts in 1974 was a consequence of the lowering of the age of majority generally from 21 to 18. The lowering of the age of consent to 15 in 1982 brought it into line with the age of consent for heterosexuals.

    Moreover, Art 227-27 of the Code Pénal punishes sexual acts committed without violence, constraint, threat or surprise on a minor aged over fifteen and not emancipated by marriage are punished by two years’ imprisonment and a fine of €30,000:
    1° where they are committed by a legitimate, natural or adoptive ascendant or by any other person having authority over the victim;
    2° where they are committed by a person abusing the authority conferred by his functions.

    2° is widely construed

  • Anzlene

    Mme Ludovine de la Rochère of « Manif pour tous » the grass-roots organization that opposed SSM, declared that they would continue to fight against the “progress” of which the supporters of SSM speak – “that of merchandising the human body, of wombs for rent” [« celui de la marchandisation du corps, celui des ventres à louer »]

    In 1991, the Court of Cassation in plenary session regarded as a perversion of the institution of adoption the plenary adoption of a child when this is only “the final phase of an overall process designed to enable a couple to take into their home a child conceived under contract and requiring that child’s abandonment at birth by his or her mother.” In doing so, it relied on Art 1128 of the Code Civil, which provides that “only things in trade can be the subject of an agreement.” The full court never reverses itself, leaving any change in the law to the legislature.

    French law erects further barriers to the commercialisation of the reproductive process. There can be no ownership of human gametes or embryos; this is excluded by Art 16-1 of the Code Civil, which provides that “The human body, its elements and its products may not form the subject of a patrimonial right.” Nor can they be bought or sold, for Art 16-5 reinforces the general prohibition of Art 1128, by providing that “Agreements that have the effect of bestowing a patrimonial value to the human body, its elements or products are void.”

    There is well-nigh universal support for the proposition that a child should not be made the subject or source of a transaction.

  • One way to handle “mild pedophilia” is for the victim, when he or she grows up to always look down or give a knowing smirk to the perpetrator when he or she meets him. This will always work, and the perpetrator to his dying shame will carry it to his grave.

  • Dawkins claims to be an atheist. Yet, Dawkins and The Great Liar, the devil himself, using Dawkins, insinuates that the Anglican priests who chose to become Catholic had no free will and right to choose and to consent to become Catholic, and that Pope Benedict XVI had no authority to accept their free will choice and receive these Anglican priests into the Catholic Church, whereas, the word Catholic means for all people, for all time. Dawkins refuses to accept Pope Benedict XVI and the Pope’s acknowledgment of the Anglican priests’ free will.
    This is the result of mild pedophilia. This is what comes from having a person’s free will and informed consent denied by another individual who tries to own somebody, anybody.

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  • Mr. Dawkins believes there can be “mild pedophilia”—apparently coming from someone with mild intelligence. I certainly wouldn’t want any of my children around him. So I guess there can be “mild wars, mild atrocities, and mild genocides?” He is an example of what GK Chesterton described as “an educated man—educated badly.”
    Among a litany of ill-informed and demagogic statements he says that the Church is an enemy of women because it won’t allow women to become priests. May I inform him that the priest stands “en persona,” in the person, of Christ. And since Christ was a man, a woman could no more be a priest than a man could be a Mother Superior, or a Poor Claire Nun, or play the Blessed Mother in the Christmas pageant.
    In a stultifying diatribe about the “vile obscenity” of the Church teachings on Original Sin, he says, “Adam who the Church herself now admits was a man who never existed”. Anyone who knows an iota about the Church knows this is not true and anyone who wants to lecture about the Church should do a little research.
    Mr. Dawkins goes on to say that “there is absolutely no correlation between Hitler and Stalin’s’ godless atheism and their monstrous atrocities and deeds.” No?—well maybe not to one with “mild” intelligence and reason.
    Mr. Dawkins then states that Pope Benedict, who was a university professor for nearly two decades, was an “enemy of education because he teaches young children that because of Original Sin they are born wicked and evil and therefore must be baptized to receive the salvation that only Christ can give, and about the horrors of Hell.” St. John Vianney comes to mind who could have been speaking to the future Richard Dawkins when he said, “Christ wept over Jerusalem…and I weep over you….Hell exists. It is not my invention. God has told us. And you pay no heed.”

  • JB.
    Thanks.
    I like your insights.

  • Jamey Brown writes, “or play the Blessed Mother in the Christmas pageant…”

    Is that really true? Great female roles, like Clytemnestra and Phaedra in the plays of Aeschylus and Euripides were played by male actors. No woman was admitted to the Dionysia. Again in In Shakespeare’s time, with the recovery of the classical learning, all the female rôles, Juliet, Lady Macbeth and Portia among them would have been played by boys.

    The ancient Greeks, like our Elizabethan ancestors, recognized the drama as the place of ἀπορία [aporia] = impasse; lack of resources, puzzlement; doubt; confusion. Even today in that most traditional and popular form of the drama, our Christmas pantomimes, the “principle boy” and the “dame” are always played by men. We would be astonished by a male Aladdin or Widow Twankey. No wonder; children love indeterminacy, ambiguity, irony, paradox. So did the Greeks, in that fresh morning of the world and it was their great gift to us in the Renaissance.

    [I agree, by the by, with your general point]

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour said “children love indeterminacy, ambiguity, irony, paradox.”

    I think while this is true, they like even more, assurance, sureness and certainty. If I were to see a bearded Mary in the Nativity Play I would not stick around knowing it was a sham, and I’m sure the children would be howling in laughter screaming that word that they love to use, “Fake.”

    You know a lot about the history of the theatre and I applaud that; but we’re talking here about something eternal, the sacred priesthood and the Sacrament of Holy Orders and our very salvation. I don’t think our good Jesus was a male chauvinist when he chose men to be his twelve Apostles out of his many disciples, some of them women. It is my opinion that it would not be wise to send women alone to be missionaries out into the wiles of foreign lands for obvious reasons: they could be raped or forced into becoming wives. Also I think most women had children to tend to—at least in those days.

    I am eternally grateful for women’s extraordinary gifts to the Church. If it wasn’t for a woman, Mother Angelica, I wouldn’t be Catholic today. It was her network EWTN that converted me six years ago. Her and the Poor Claire Nuns and a plethora of women hosts and scholars—Frances Hogan, Johnnette Benkovic, Daphne McLeod, Sr. Joan Marie, and Elizabeth Lev, art historian in Rome, are just a few of the many women, and men, that broke through my “hardness of heart” and continue to convert me every day.

  • Wouldn’t it be great to get to just have coffee or tea with all of you some fine morning!

  • Jamey Brown

    I do not believe the choice of an all-male priesthood, either under the Old Law or the Christian Dispensation rests on the sort of practical reasons you suggest.

    Priestesses were very common in the ancient world. The most revered sanctuary in Greece was the shrine of Phœbus Apollo at Delphi, where the oracle was uttered by the Pythian priestess. Readers of Plato will know that the temple of Zeus at Dordona was also served by priestesses. Both Apollo and Zeus, it should be noted, were male deities. The play “Iphigegnia in Taurus” contains no suggestion that there is anything unusual in a woman being a priestess.

    In Latin, the word “sacerdos” is common gender. Roman law forbids women to offer sacrifice by night, except when celebrating the rites of the Good Goddess. Why, if they were not permitted to offer sacrifice at all? That the Vestals were priestesses is affirmed by Gaius, a very careful jurist and the Sybil at Cumæ was a priestess, according to Vergil.

    I believe the all-male priesthood expresses something far deeper

  • In response to Michael Patterson-Seymour

    I quote Fr. William Saunders of EWTN.com who quotes Archbishop Fulton Sheen who said that our dear Lord in regards to ordaining women didn’t even ordain his Blessed Mother who was sinless to administer sacrament. Fr. Saunders goes on to say:

    “The Mass is not just a ritual meal or pious
    remembrance of the Last Supper; the Mass participates in and makes present
    now the everlasting, eternal sacrifice of our Lord on the cross and His
    resurrection.

    In the same way, through holy orders a priest is called to represent
    Christ Himself, to be an alterChristus. For instance, at Mass, the priest
    acts — “the priest enacts the image of Christ, in
    whose person and by whose power he pronounces the words of consecration.”
    (St. Thomas Aquinas, , III, 83 1, 3) In this sense, an
    intrinsic part of the sacramental sign of holy orders is the manhood of
    Christ.”
    And I would add that you wouldn’t want a man portraying Mother Theresa or Margaret Thatcher in a movie. And before you go too far in extolling the glories of ancient Greece you take note that before they made up their first fertility god Herm they were worshipping piles of rocks. And certainly their philosophers were brilliant but they never had a single university, nor did the Romans. The Catholic Church established the first universities–along with the first hospitals, orphanages, and shelters for the poor. And of course the first bingo halls.

  • “Priestesses were very common in the ancient world.” So were women goddesses. “In persona Christi”, Christ, the revelation of God. Any person called to the priesthood must have a vocation. If Jesus did not call women before, Jesus will not call women now.

  • Anzlyne: Will have coffee with you every morning, except when we have tea.

  • Jamey Brown

    I was merely suggesting that the exclusion of women from the Jewish and Christian priesthood cannot have a merely cultural explanation, given that priestesses were very common in the ancient world. Their exclusion must have rested on theological grounds, not cultural or social ones.

    Mary de Voe appears to agree, but there is still the question of why women were excluded from the Aaronic priesthood, which may have some light to shed on the topic.

  • Mary de Voe wrote, “’Priestesses were very common in the ancient world.’ So were women goddesses.”

    True enough, but Delphi was a shrine of Apollo and Dordona a temple of Zeus, both male divinities. Iphigenia became a priestess of Posidon, another male deity. It is not as if male deities had priests and goddesses had priestesses.

  • The atheist denies to God the free will to create man. Made in the image of God in free will, man has the free will and freedom to choose between God and wickedness. The tendency and temptation to wickedness is called concupiscence by the Catholic Church and not as the atheist claims that the Church proclaims man to be wicked, but that man has a tendency to wickedness. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. The Catholic Church points the way toward holiness and the avoidance of evil, the same evil which Dawkins has embraced. Dawkins denies the existence of his rational, immortal soul and God and complains that God and His Holy Church are to blame for all the evil in the world. Makes sense doesn’t it?

  • Jesus is the revelation of God. If God wants women priests, God will give women a vocation to the priesthood. If I were to become a priest, I would have been born a man.

  • “Priestesses were very common in the ancient world.” So were women goddesses” ()Mary DeVoe

    Yes – beware Greeks bearing gifts! 🙂 (ref. MPS mention greek gift to renaissance)

    do you suppose that eldest daughters were not made Aaronic priestesses because they didn’t want to do it? that was some pretty heavy lifting,not to say bloody mess over and over again- yeich!

  • This is the first time I have actually witnessed RD spewing his sickness, hatred, anguished ,twisted soul in person. watching the crowd cheer him on was amazing,
    It was like seeing Dante’s Inferno in a modern adaptation.

  • Comment on Anzlyne:
    As GK Chesterton said, “In a world without God there will be no room for man.”
    Comment to Judith Crowley:
    It was the first time I had heard Dawkins too, and it was disappointing that he was so shallow. As they say he’s a mile wide and an inch deep. At least Hitchens was articulate; he had some clever turns of phrase, although completely wrong. But as you say, Dawkins just said the old false clichés about the Church structured to inflame the crowd—probably on a weekday because none of them had jobs.
    One of the myths that he perpetuates is that the birth of children in poor countries—here we go with that horrible “life stuff” that the Church loves—is the cause of poverty.

    There’s plenty of food for the world. It’s the greed of the rulers, in collusion with big business—the groups that he really represents, not the toothless goons cheering for him–that keeps the food and medicines, etc. from freely flowing. And no, I am absolutely not advocating socialism. Look at the atrocities of famine in the atheist socialist “Utopias” of the former Soviet Union, China, and North Korea.

    I think that Holy Mother Church with her cardinal virtue of charity, the Church that is the biggest charity in the world, that started the first hospitals, orphanages, and shelters for the poor is the answer, and has always been, not the cause of poverty.

    I could say more about that pathetic Dawkins but I’ve done enough penance for today. All I can say is that he better get a lot of sunscreen cause it’s sure gonna be hot where he’s going if he doesn’t see the Light. But in Dante’s Inferno Satan is frozen in the ice. Well Dawkins could end up right next to him—an atheist gelato. But there’s always hope. In truth I was as bad an atheist as Dawkins until—by God’s grace– I stopped drinking 27 years ago. If the Lord can deliver me, he can deliver anyone.

  • Richard Dawkins demonstrates his ability to spout nonsense almost as well did Adolf Hitler.

Richard Dawkins: Bigot and Coward

Thursday, February 28, AD 2013

Atheism

Atheist blowhard Richard Dawkins never has the least hesitation in bashing Christians and Jews, but when the subject of Islam comes up, at least when he is being interviewed by Al-Jazeerah that will blast his comments throughout the Islamic world, well that is another matter:

While you may not agree with the views of the new breed of aggressive atheists who have emerged in recent years you have to admire their courage for bravely standing up and speaking truth to power against the various religious institutions whose integrity they seek to undermine. No matter what consequences they might face, they aren’t afraid to lay out their case against religion in terms that are often harsh and sure to offend.

Here is an example from an article called Facing uncomfortable truths:

In a recent Al-Jazeerah interview, Richard Dawkins was asked his views on God. He argued that the god of “the Old Testament” is “hideous” and “a monster”, and reiterated his claim from The God Delusion that the God of the Torah is the most unpleasant character “in fiction”.

As you can see, Dawkins has no trouble attacking the Hebrew God in a most direct and uncompromising manner. No atheist wallflower he.

Asked if he thought the same of the God of the Koran, Dawkins ducked the question, saying: “Well, um, the God of the Koran I don’t know so much about.”

How can it be that the world’s most fearless atheist, celebrated for his strident opinions on the Christian and Jewish Gods, could profess to know so little about the God of the Koran? Has he not had the time? Or is Professor Dawkins simply demonstrating that most crucial trait of his species: survival instinct.

Whoops. It’s funny how these confident, cocksure prophets of atheism-who barely have time to take a breath between slamming the tenets of Christianity and Judaism-often get curiously tongue-tied and shy when the subject of Islam comes up. The idea that Dawkins doesn’t “know so much about” the God of the Koran is absurd. Of course he knows about Islam. And the same disdain and disregard that he has for Judaism and Christianity should surely apply to Islam as well.

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99 Responses to Richard Dawkins: Bigot and Coward

  • Glenn Hubbard at Instapundit, “Don’t want your religion attacked? Behead a few attackers. It doesn’t take many — most of them are cowards and poseurs, and will shut up at the least hint of risk. Hey, don’t blame me. I didn’t set up this incentive system.”

  • Of course anything atheists associate with the God of the Old Testament would equally apply to the Koran, if not more so. The fact is that Islam gets a free pass while Christianity and Judaism are bashed. Islam is covered under political correctness, I guess. Ravi Zacharias, a Christian apologist, pointed out that Islam is so far away in people’s minds that it simply doesn’t present itself as something they feel they need to argue. Also, many people have only a very abstract sense of Islam while remaining ignorant of its implications.

  • You also have to be careful to avoid being sued in more civilized lands

    Make remarks seen as anti-Islamic in Canada and you will be before the CHRC in no time

    Feel free to be snide towards Catholics though

    Why is it though that human rights codes protect peoples’ beliefs in their imaginary invisible friends but not rational thought?

  • Hitchens was an equal-opportunity basher. He was a formidable intellect, a witty writer, and a worthy debater. He was also, shocker, relatively pro-life. About him, Bill Donahue lauded his free-thinking, unPC stances, and said “his style would at least get people to listen to him. I don’t think you can say the same for the others. They lack that panache that Christopher had.” (Hitchens comments on Mother Theresa were detestable, however). I liked listening to him and he made me think.

    I heard Dawkins out initially, because he had a sort of kindly stooped-over-geezer look about him, but quickly realized he was a mere scientist posing as a great mind; he was absolutely destroyed by Rowan Williams in their Oxford debate. He is also intellectually inconsistent, essentially making arguments along the lines of “I don’t believe in God but he wouldn’t do that if he actually existed.”

    My biggest problem is with Sam Harris; the man is an idiot. Not content to merely say that God doesn’t exist, he instead thinks one can create an entire system of morality solely using science, as not only a metric of morality but as a provider of moral first principles. His dismisses philosophy but fails to recognize that the hinge to his entire argument, the premise that existence is better than non-existence, is fundamentally non-scientific. People like him bother me the most, ridiculing those who base principles off un-provable premises but then go and do the same thing, just without mentioning that “g” word.

  • I guess my overarching problem with all of them, and most atheists in fact, is that they’re far more avid scriptural literalists than most Christians and certainly most Catholics are.

  • Perhaps Dawkins was simply a coward.

  • I think Dawkins probably really is ignorant of Islam.

    He has criticized it in the past:

    http://www.richarddawkins.net/news_articles/2012/11/4/-there-s-no-god-and-islam-is-evil-speech-earns-richard-dawkins-ovation-from-islanders

    I always wanted to visit the Hebrides. I hope they’re not all Dawkinites there.

  • Yes, it seems that when atheists wish to discredit the Bible, they view it very literally. They try to make it seem as absurd as possible instead of acknowledging things like context and the real sense intended by the writer. Clarence Darrow took full advantage of that during the Scopes Trial.

  • Another issue at stake might be people’s desperate desire to maintain friendly relations with Islamic peoples. It may be a defensive tactic to avoid controversy.

    But I agree that many people simply don’t know Islam. And they really don’t know Islamic culture and society as it exists throughout much of the Middle East and northern Africa and Indonesia. They are unaware of the conflict of ideals that exists between the Islamic and Western worlds. People often travel, but how many of us spend an extended amount of time in a total Islamic society? If we did, we would realize how much of what we cherish is actually frowned upon, prohibited, or even punished oftentimes.

  • Jon,

    I have lived in the Middle East, specifically Cairo. I’ve had a similar conversation with Donald, but I think it’s a mistake to look at the Islamic world and say “they got it all wrong, and we got it all right.” Islam has definitely been hostile towards modernity, with demonstrable ill effects, but our headlong rush into the modern era has certainly bred its share of calamities.

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  • Stop playing the victim card, will you?

    Dawkins regularly criticises islam.

    Dawkins, like me, grew up with the bible, not the koran. Note that Dawkins says “merry christmas”, not “happy holidays”.

    So yes, Dawkin’s got intimate knowledge of the OT and the NT, but less so the koran.

  • Dawkins is just as critical of Islam as all of the other religions, perhaps more so. He talks a lot about the huge injustices and threats of Islam. A quick search on YouTube and you will find tons and tons of videos where Dawkins is bashing Islam.

    In this specific case, he was asked a specific question about a literary character that he doesn’t know about, and so he rightly said he doesn’t know about it.

    This article takes the quote out of context and uses it to paint a picture that just simply isn’t true.

  • “He has criticized it in the past:”

    Indeed he has in the West. Suddenly he became tongue tied when he was being interviewed by Al- Jazeerah and realized his comments would be blasted all over the Middle East.

  • “I guess my overarching problem with all of them, and most atheists in fact, is that they’re far more avid scriptural literalists than most Christians and certainly most Catholics are.”

    Bingo. We see that in the atheist trolls who come here and attempt to roll out their “proof texts” that they use against Evangelicals and are stunned to learn that Catholics have a completely different way of looking at Scripture. The bone ignorance of Catholicism is often deep and wide among most atheists I have encountered, including those who claim to be ex-Catholics.

  • “Stop playing the victim card, will you?”

    No use of the victim card here Ian. We are Catholics who refuse to be used as punching bags by bigots. Get used to us, because you are going to see much more of this type of Catholic in the years to come.

  • Dawkins, like me, grew up with the bible, not the koran. Note that Dawkins says “merry christmas”, not “happy holidays”.

    Well, you said it. Dawkins’ shtick is not philosophical or implicitly theological in character, but cultural. It is conceivable that Britain has less of a disjunction between elite opinion and popular opinion on questions religious than does the United States, but little doubt that religious observance is characteristic of only a modest minority in both sets. He applies a great deal of rhetorical force against 7% of the population; the vociferous element of that 7% is hardly trenchant. He’s a bully at heart.

    On another matter, Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post recently appeared at a panel discussion and debate at one of the universities in Britain. It is on YouTube. The behavior of the patrician and intellectual audience left such a bad taste that she said she thought she would never visit Britain again. Among a certain social set, gross hostility to Jews is quite respectable in the British Isles and Dawkins comments need to be seen in that light (Morning’s Minion’s as well).

  • “Among a certain social set, gross hostility to Jews is quite respectable in the British Isles and Dawkins comments need to be seen in that light (Morning’s Minion’s as well).”

    Anti-Semitism has ever been a popular bigotry among most of England’s ruling elite, along with anti-Catholicism. Some of the most rabid anti-Churchill commentary in the Thirties in England depicted him as in bed with the Jews and an agent of the Rothschilds.

  • It’s about tearing down the West. It’s the same old self-destructive trait. So full of anger at themselves, they trash their room (institutions of the West). So full of doubt over their sins, they burn bridges and isolate (influences of the West). They’re suicidal patients writ large.

  • It’s about tearing down the West. It’s the same old self-destructive trait. So full of anger at themselves, they trash their room (institutions of the West). So full of doubt over their sins, they burn bridges and isolate (influences of the West). They’re suicidal patients writ large.

    I disagree. A hypothesis: the impulse in question is one of self-aggrandizement of one’s own subculture against various rivals – competing subcultures in one’s own time and previous generations. Anthony Esolen and George Will have made this point about phenomena in contemporary academic discourse (e.g. the impulse to debunk the works of the cohorts who fought and won the 2d World War). There is nothing truly self-lacerating about it. Elizabeth Wurtzel is self-lacerating; I do not think she qualifies as much of a cultural warrior.

  • Glenn Hubbard at Instapundit

    Glenn Harlan Reynolds is “Instapundit”.

    R. Glenn Hubbard is an economist who worked for the Bush Administration.

  • Anti-Semitism has ever been a popular bigotry among most of England’s ruling elite, along with anti-Catholicism. Some of the most rabid anti-Churchill commentary in the Thirties in England depicted him as in bed with the Jews and an agent of the Rothschilds.

    I suspect nowadays it is the chatterati and not members of aristocracy and gentry who are the source of this miasma. The Rothemeres were then. John Pilger is now.

  • AD:

    Righto!

    I was much sharper when I was drinking.

  • The chatterati in England are not infrequently drawn from the ranks of the elite Art, and those who aren’t tend to emulate elite attitudes. “Aping their betters” I believe was the expression in a more honest time when class prejudice tended to be blunt and open.

  • Clearly, Richard Dawkins is familiar with the travails of writer Salman Rushdie, a fellow Brit. Attacking “the Hebrew God” is helpful to a leftist like Dawkins because it legitimizes his attacks on Israel. As for Dawkins’ attacks on Christianity, he can take comfort in knowing he is not alone. Aided by Western media, academia and many politicians, Dawkins can rely on secular culture to continue the destruction of Christendom. What atheists like Dawkins fail to appreciate is GK Chesterton’s observation that a “man who ceases to believe in God does not believe nothing; he believes anything.” The darkness waiting to replace God will consume atheists like Dawkins along with believers, and even those who believe in Allah.

  • Afraid of attacking Muslims, not likely. I dare any Christian cleric to go on record like this.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mu7AQTs_y5A

  • It’s a wonder there isn’t a fatwa on him.

    Dawkins attacks ‘alien rubbish’ taught in Muslim faith schools

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2046715/Richard-Dawkins-attacks-alien-rubbish-taught-Muslim-faith-schools.html

    Dawkins: Islam is ‘one of the great evils in the world’

    http://freethoughtnation.com/contributing-writers/63-acharya-s/479-richard-dawkins-islam-is-one-of-the-great-evils-of-the-world.html

    Richard Dawkins destroys muslim on morality

  • And yet, he couldn’t bring himself to say any of that on Al Jazeera, choosing to dissemble instead.

    And, yes, there is a Christian cleric, Father Zakaria Botros, who’s ballsier than Dawkins, saying all of that and more in Arabic. For his trouble, he has a $60 million Al Qaeda fatwa on his head.

  • I love this argument. Christianity is no worse than Islam! Why don’t you slam go Islam and leave us alone for a while?

    Personally it’s because Islam has no direct effect on me, whereas Christianity is constantly applying pressure to force The immoral parts of the bible into law.

    The fact that most of the Christians I talk to don’t seem to agree with these things either just makes if more infuriating.

    If Dawkins read up on Islam, would you go after him for not being an expert on Hinduism?

    Face it, Christianity is the religion whose evil affects most atheists you will come across on the internet.

    People in most Islamic countries probably can’t even read this blog. Atheists in many Islamic countries are either dead already or smart enough to shut up about it.

  • Does anyone have a link to the interview? Do you suppose if perhaps he critized Islam they may not have broadcast it? And do you think the author of this article should have done due diligence to see that Prof. Dawkins is an outspoken critic of Islam before calling him a bigot and a coward?

  • “And do you think the author of this article should have done due diligence to see that Prof. Dawkins is an outspoken critic of Islam before calling him a bigot and a coward? ”

    Due diligence was done and Dawkins is both a bigot and a coward.

  • “Personally it’s because Islam has no direct effect on me, whereas Christianity is constantly applying pressure to force The immoral parts of the bible into law.”

    Oh, I assure you that the jihadists want you dead just as much as they want us believers dead. What “immoral” parts of the Bible do you claim that Christians wish to have made into law?

  • Personally it’s because Islam has no direct effect on me, whereas Christianity is constantly applying pressure to force The immoral parts of the bible into law.

    The immoral parts of the Bible?

    Pray tell inform the community which “immoral” parts of the Bible – or moral, for that matter – Christians are trying to force into law?

  • Sorry, I see Donald beat me to the punch.

    I often stand in disbelief as angry atheists loudly proclaim about us scary Christianists and our desire to implement sharia, American style. And yet time and time and time again, as I’ve documented, it’s quite the other way around as it’s Christians fighting rearguard actions to ensure that secularists don’t force their amorality down our throats.

  • Tsingi but i thought Dawkins was on a crusade for Unbelief everywhere, as a matter of principle. you’re saying no, he’s more like your run-of-the-mill ACLU member. good to know

  • Donald R. McClarey – The author didn’t even post a link to the supposed interview. Is that the way you think one should disparage people? As far as I know he made the entire thing up (just like the Bible and Koran were).

  • ” . . . The immoral parts of the Bible . . . ”

    Isaiah 5:20- Woe to those that call evil good and good evil, who substitute darkness for light . . .

  • “As far as I know he made the entire thing up (just like the Bible and Koran were).”

    Spare me what passes for atheist wittiness. Let me know when Dawkins appears on Al-Jazeera and condemns Allah as a monster.

  • Paul Zummo says:
    Friday, March 1, 2013 A.D. at 11:55am

    Personally it’s because Islam has no direct effect on me, whereas Christianity is constantly applying pressure to force The immoral parts of the bible into law.

    The immoral parts of the Bible?

    Pray tell inform the community which “immoral” parts of the Bible – or moral, for that matter – Christians are trying to force into law?

    I was going to ask the same question along with “Tsingi, by what standard do you judge something as “evil”?

  • Donald R. McClarey – Have you found the interview in question? Have you watched it? How do you know he isn’t as aggressive with Islam and he is with other religions? Or can you just take it on faith, evidence being superfluous and potentially contradictory to your opinion?

    I watched a short clip of it and heard him condemning Muslim suicide bombers while the interviewer sought to distance them from Islam.

  • I’ve watched the interview. It is linked below:

    http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/general/2012/12/2012121791038231381.html

    Dawkins said nothing in the interview about Islam that remotely compares with his statement that God in the Old Testament is a monster. The idea that Dawkins is unfamiliar with the Koran I find fanciful, although I guess it is possible that he is as ill-informed about the Koran as he is about the Bible.

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  • How do you know it wasn’t cut? He’s certainly outspoken on Islam as well as Christanity. Several people on the web there said their questions were cut from the show as too condemning of Islam.

  • Yeah, Donald, how do you know that Dawkins didn’t launch in a 25 minute long epic monologue on the evils of Islam, punched up by a juggling clown riding on the back of a unicorn to the tune of “Have Nagila?” You can’t say that didn’t happen, now can you?

  • “How do you know it wasn’t cut?”

    I don’t. I would be surprised however if Al-Jazeera would go through the trouble of getting Dawkins and then excise comments that their audience would find most interesting, if enraging. Certainly Al-Jazeera in the past has played up to their audience alleged attacks on Islam from western sources.

  • Allah has no son to love or to love him. The Triune God of the Old and New Testament is love and loves. The Supreme Sovereign Being is existence and exsts. A god without love and mercy does not exist. After bigot and coward, it is all said.

  • Donald R. McClarey – and besides, we know Muslim fanatics can get incensed over books published in Britain, cartoons in Denmark, and videos on Youtube.

    Paul Zummo – “how do you know that Dawkins didn’t launch in a 25 minute long epic monologue on the evils of Islam, punched up by a juggling clown riding on the back of a unicorn to the tune of “Have Nagila?” You can’t say that didn’t happen, now can you?”

    I ave faith that all you said happened :->

  • “Personally it’s because Islam has no direct effect on me, whereas Christianity is constantly applying pressure to force The immoral parts of the bible into law.” –

    Michael, for more than 50 years, just about every significant political dispute over legislation attempting to constrain vice has begun with exercises of discretion by either judges or prosecutors, exercises which either explicitly or implicitly annulled duly enacted legislation. The collapse of anti-obscenity law, the end of regulation of the traffic in contraceptives, the excision of abortion as an offense in penal codes, the disappearance of the ‘morals charge’ were, with few exceptions, not the initiatives of elected officials.

    As for impositions, I would remind you that people send their children to school compelled by truancy law. The content of school curriculum will be a public issue as long as schooling is, functionally a state monopoly. Who made the schools loci for distributing contraceptives, who made them meat-and-potatoes for Howard Zinn’s publishers, and who now seeks to make them loci for public mobilizations on behalf of the bien-pensants’ special snowflakes?

  • Art Deco – I’m not sure what jurisdiction you are in but parents have access to a public system but can choose private school (my choice) or religious schools or home school.

  • “I watched a short clip of it and heard him condemning Muslim suicide bombers”

    gutsy call

  • people can pay for private school? problem solved

  • Art Deco – I’m not sure what jurisdiction you are in but parents have access to a public system but can choose private school (my choice) or religious schools or home school.

    Translation: when my viewpoints are shoved down your throat, it’s just good policy. You, on the other hand, are a backward theocrat who must be opposed at all costs.

    Not to mention that Michael is effectively telling the poor and disabled (e.g., those unable to take advantage of the “alternatives”) to shove off, but given that most evangelical atheists tend to be upper middle class or better, that’s unsurprising.

  • Dale Price – As opposed to you who want to inflict your religious taboos on the public system. Most religious people have no trouble with contraception, gays or remarriage. Catholics do. Who should the public system accommodate.

    Actually where I live in Canada, Catholics can send their children to publicly funded Catholic school where there are allowed to teach against all those things.

  • There are many things I dislike about public schools. but it has to do with their pedagogy rather than than my need to impose my beliefs upon them. I have found them open to religion, open to differing point of view, not pushing contraception but teaching children to be tolerant of others. Unfortunately these are many of the features some religious people gate.

  • Thank you for proving my point, Michael. Your beliefs are already accommodated, so there’s naught to be done but to ensure the backwards haters are beaten down.

    Though imposing a prohibitive tax on those who object but are too poor or otherwise unable to escape the local public school is…unegalitarian, for starters.

    Your candor is–believe it or not–genuinely appreciated. With one exception:

    Actually where I live in Canada, Catholics can send their children to publicly funded Catholic school where there are allowed to teach against all those things.

    No, that’s not correct, and you know it.

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/catholic-schools-will-follow-ontarios-gay-straight-club-requirement/

    http://www.cp24.com/news/tories-say-they-won-t-re-open-abortion-debate-1.990010#ixzz28vYJJdfn

    Education Minister Broten’s comments are illuminating:

    Broten also said publicly-funded Catholic schools in Ontario should not be teaching students that abortion is wrong because the anti-bullying law prohibits misogyny.

    “Taking away a woman’s right to choose could arguably be considered one of the most misogynistic actions that one could take,” she said.

    “I don’t think there is a conflict between choosing Catholic education for your children and supporting a woman’s right to choose.”

    As to not pushing contraceptives, the antics of the Toronto school district make that assertion rather dubious as well.

  • Think about it. In your ideal world, you (or your church since you are required to believe what your church teaches) would dictate curriculum to everyone. No way. Public schools need to teach children with a wide variety of beliefs and backgrounds and not all can be accommodated at all times. And I like said, I do not agree with everything the public school teaches and does but I’m not as self centered to think they need to do everything my way. Apparently you are.

  • Art Deco – I’m not sure what jurisdiction you are in but parents have access to a public system but can choose private school (my choice) or religious schools or home school.

    1. In the county in which I grew up, 89% of the primary and secondary enrollment was in the state schools. I grew up in a metropolitan county which had a critical mass of Catholics to build a parallel system and had had, at one time, one of the most vigorous diocesan administrations in the history of the American Church. If you were in a non-metropolitan county, you were generally out of luck. I should note that the economy of Catholic education was crucially dependent upon the vigor of the religious orders. Schools not staffed by celibate Catholic religious enrolled about 1.4% of the students in my home county. Yes, state schools are a functional monopoly.

    2. The vast majority of people have children at one time or another and thus enroll children in school at some point in their life. However, at any one time, most adults are paying taxes to cross-subsidize the extant corps of parents. There is no problem with that per se; what goes around comes around. However, these same adults are compelled to support schools who carry a pedagogy that violates their conscience. In effect, they are dhimmi paying the jizya.

    3. The problem is compounded for people who have school age children right now. They not only pay the jizya, or they are compelled to pay tuition and fees to make alternative arrangements, leave the labor force to make alternative arrangements (Advocate Price can elaborate on that, as can Mrs. Price), or contend around the dinner table with the filthy runoff of the places they send their children to school.

    4. Please recall that primary and secondary schooling is not a ‘public good’ in the sense that roads are or in the sense that the services of the police or the military are. Schools are service enterprises which can and do arise spontaneously thrive on the open market as do other service enterprises. It is just that it was deemed desirable, around about 1840, that there be a baseline of educational services produced in this country; it was later deemed desirable that there be a baseline consumed – hence truancy laws. There are civic and economic reasons for this (well or ill-considered). However, to achieve that end, state governments in this country elected to use the tool of public agency. Given the record-keeping technology and practice and the mindsets of the time, this may have been the only practical option – then, not now.

    5. Sixty years ago, you had less contention on certain social and moral questions and a great deal more local discretion in the staffing, curriculum, and disciplinary standards of local schools. They were ‘common schools’ to a much greater degree than they are today. Now, they belong to, to the occupational associations, to the unions, to NCATE and the teacher training faculties, to local politicians, and to state and local educrats who embody these stake-holders.

    6. Sorry, but various and sundry agitators in this country have just no sense of restraint or courtesy when dealing with the larger society, and the judiciary and the apparat are verrry responsive to them. Politicized homosexuals are the worst, followed by the educational wing of the industry which produces contraceptives, followed by ethnic particularists.

    Actually where I live in Canada, Catholics can send their children to publicly funded Catholic school where there are allowed to teach against all those things.

    Yeah, we heard all about it.

    http://www.cpco.on.ca/News/PrincipalConnections/PastIssues/2006-2007/Fall/A%20Precious%20Legacy%20Lost.pdf

  • “Think about it. In your ideal world, you (or your church since you are required to believe what your church teaches) would dictate curriculum to everyone.”

    Incorrect Michael as even a cursory study of the history of states where Catholicism is the dominant religion would quickly demonstrate. You have a cartoon vision of the Church and Catholics and the reality is at complete variance with your cartoon image. Even Catholics who are completely Orthodox differ quite a bit in their views. We see that every day in the comboxes. Unlike the totalitarian atheist ideologies of the last century, Catholicism has never cherished complete conformity in secular matters as either possible or even desirable. There is a reason why the Church has championed subsidiarity, because she has always understood that on most matters it is a big world out there and good people are going to differ endlessly.

  • Watching you silently backpedal away from your confident assertions is fascinating, I’ll say that.

    Um, no, I don’t expect public schools to follow a curriculum dictated by myself. I’d be happy if they were neutral–as opposed to, say, sponsoring a regular mosque service, as Toronto’s public schools did. I trust you registered your disapproval of that? Or having materials promoting group sex (again, the Toronto schools, which are just amazing. Bipolar, apparently, but amazing).

    But since you don’t object to the state dictating to Catholic schools what they can and cannot teach, I suspect this discussion is played out. If it’s only a problem when your ox is gored, then what’s the point?

  • Michael, I think someone already asked you to do this, but could you please give an account of the objective, normative system of morality, by which you are able to evaluate policies and determine whether they are “immoral” or not?

  • Donald R. McClarey -Catholics may certainly disagree on their views of many things but I said beliefs and you cannot disagree on your beliefs unless you are a cafeteria Catholic, picking what you like and discarding what you don’t. Are you a cafeteria Catholic?

  • Belief in the Real Presence? Of course. Belief in one way of organizing a government? Not at all. One of the beliefs which Catholics treasure is freedom of religion which is enshrined in DIGNITATIS HUMANAE.

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decl_19651207_dignitatis-humanae_en.html

  • 1. There’s no aw that makes state schools a functional monopoly in any western jurisdiction I know of.

    2. And I disagree with spending money to support wars I don’t agree with, or to build roads I’ll never use. Can everyone opt out of what they disagree with?

    3. I have no idea what jizya is.

    4. How is education different from a military?

    5. Sixty years ago mixed race marriages were illegal in many jusrisdictions, homosexuals could be jailed and blacks were denied access to the same schools as whites. Do you long for those halcyon days?

  • Sixty years ago mixed race marriages were illegal in many jusrisdictions, homosexuals could be jailed and blacks were denied access to the same schools as whites. Do you long for those halcyon days?

    It’s obnoxious that you can’t argue without presuming the worst about those with whom you disagree. How do ascriptions of hateful motives in those you disagree with rationally advance your arguments?

  • 3. I have no idea what jizya is.

    Jizya is the tax traditionally leveled by Muslim states upon their non-Muslim subjects, the dhimmis. It had the effect of marginalizing those subjects and, over time, forcing their conversion to Islam to escape the onerous financial burden.

  • Dale Price – So it gone full circle. If Donald R. McClarey can call Prof Dawkins a bigot and a coward without foundation why do you decry my comment when I do no such thing. I asked the question, didn’t impose the answer.

  • St. Augustine wrote in The City of God, “The only evils these people recognize are having to endure hunger, disease, and murder.”

    These people don’t believe in a supreme being and so have no objective, moral authority except fear of police state retribution, or fear of Muslims beheading them if they mistreat Islam the way they do Christianity.

    Be nice to Michael. Soon we’ll be fleeing to Canada.

  • Donald R. McClarey – We were dicussing beliefs, not views. Are you a cafeteria Catholics? Do you reject the Catholic Church’s teaching on any issues?

  • I asked the question, didn’t impose the answer.

    Ah. So the following is cool by you, then. Good:

    “Michael, are you a fan of Toronto Public Schools promoting group sex to high schoolers?”

    No answer is imposed.

    Oh, and Dawkins is a scorching anti-religious bigot: anyone who compares religious education of children by their parents to child abuse can be described with no other terms.

    His comparatively-bashful performance on Al Jazeera certainly raises interesting questions about his starch. If he was misrepresented in that interview, he should be thumping the tub like he does about catechism of youngsters.

  • there were aspects of society that were more positive “back in the day,” yes, despite people’s tendency to reduce it to its flaws.

  • “Michael, I think someone already asked you to do this, but could you please give an account of the objective, normative system of morality, by which you are able to evaluate policies and determine whether they are “immoral” or not?”

    Because we both get much of our morality from the secular world around us. See the video I posted above “Richard Dawkins destroys muslim on morality”. He uised it to answer essentially the same question you asked here.

  • Think about it. In your ideal world, you (or your church since you are required to believe what your church teaches) would dictate curriculum to everyone. No way. Public schools need to teach children with a wide variety of beliefs and backgrounds and not all can be accommodated at all times. And I like said, I do not agree with everything the public school teaches and does but I’m not as self centered to think they need to do everything my way. Apparently you are.

    Michael, I have a multi-part suggestion:

    1. Re-incorporate all the state schools as philanthropic enterprises. Place schools comprehending 93% of the berths under the authority of trusteeships elected in a postal ballot by locally resident alumni. Have the local sheriff as the trustee of the other 7% (basically dumping grounds for incorrigibles no one else will take).

    2. Charter about two dozen regental colleges. These colleges would be para-statal occupational associations. You would have one college for the accountants, one for statisticians and actuaries, one for retired military, one for school teachers, one for engineers, several for different fractions of the arts and sciences faculties & c. Hold postal ballots among members of each college to nominate candidates for a board of regents, say, three per college. You can have the Lt. Governor or whomever pick one of the three.

    3. Extend to the board of regents the task of composing school examinations within guidelines delineated in statutory law. You could have a basic education series with five or six paces, an academic secondary series with two paces, and a vocational series with one pace. Test all the young twice a year, wherever they are enrolled.

    4. Produce league tables for all schools in the province. The ideal metric, if you can produce it, would be a measure of semester-to-semester improvement controlling for the psychometric profile of the school. Identify the schools at the very bottom of the table (leaving aside those under the sheriff’s government) who comprehend 1.5% of the registered students. Revoke their charters and remand them to the courts for a supervised liquidation.

    5. Identify any home-schooled children scoring especially poorly. Send their parents a notice that they have to register with an incorporated school the following year or be in violation of truancy laws.

    6. Finance the whole shebang with vouchers issued by the state education ministry. A voucher would be issued to a custodial parent for each child between the ages of 5 and 18. The parent would register their young at the town clerk’s office and turn the voucher over to the school authorities each semester. The school principal would forward these to the state treasury for redemption. Should the parent wish to home school or make some other sort of alternative arrangement, the voucher can be turned into the town clerk who will rebate a portion of the parents’ direct tax payments up to a dollar value maximum. What is key is that the young appear twice a year for their examinations, proctored by the board of regents.

    7. Incorporated schools participating in the voucher program, whether quondam state schools, Catholic schools, sundry private academies, or those with provisional accreditations, will operate under a regulatory regime, with the corporation and staff bound to respect local land use regulations, health and safety regulations (notably fire and building codes), the penal code, elements of commercial law which prohibit collusive pricing and deceptive solicitation and advertising; and elements of labor law which prescribe wage and hour standards and provide for civil penalties for specified abuses inflicted on employees. As philanthropies, they will have to deposit their financial statements with the Secretary of State and face legal limits on the permissible compensation of their officers. They will face limits on nepotism in hiring and contracting; they will be compelled to bank all retained income in an audited endowment; they will face civil and criminal penalties for crimes analogous to commercial bribery and extortion should they attempt that; they will be prohibited from charging tuition and fees (though not from soliciting donations). Otherwise, leave them alone to set their hiring standards, compose their curriculum, and set their disciplinary standards. If they do an exceptionally poor job, the results of regents’ examinations will compel their closure.

    8. Each youngster, on reaching the age of 18, will have a book of certificates with one for each examination successfully completed. The content of that book will influence what sort of tertiary education he seeks out and qualifies for; tertiary education will be strictly fee-for-service, not subsidized, and lightly regulated.

    Complete parental choice with quality control measures. Why not? Well…

    I guarantee you, a mass of vested interests would loathe most every element of such a system, and you would also have blowhards like the late Robert Hughes kvetching about the state giving so much as a dime to parochial schools.

  • “Donald R. McClarey – We were dicussing beliefs, not views. Are you a cafeteria Catholics? Do you reject the Catholic Church’s teaching on any issues?”

    Depends upon what you mean by teaching. Non-Catholics tend to have an erroneous view of what is dogma in the Catholic Church and what is not. Here are two links where we had vigorous disagreement among Orthodox Catholics:

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2012/07/24/father-wison-miscamble-defends-bombing-of-hiroshima-and-nagasaki/

    http://the-american-catholic.com/tag/bomfog/

    You will almost always find more diversity of beliefs and opinions in a gathering of Orthodox Catholics than you will among the faculty of almost all universities, although admittedly that is a low bar.

  • 2. And I disagree with spending money to support wars I don’t agree with, or to build roads I’ll never use. Can everyone opt out of what they disagree with?

    As indicated above. Both the military and the road network are what economists call ‘public goods’. They only come into being with the erection of government. This is not the case with schools, which can and do thrive on the open market. By the way, the Selective Service System in this country regularly provided dispensations from military service for Mennonites and various others.

    3. I have no idea what jizya is.

    Among other things.

    4. How is education different from a military?

    The salient difference is noted above. Among other things, military service is inherently stereotypes. Schooling is not.

    Sixty years ago mixed race marriages were illegal in many jusrisdictions, homosexuals could be jailed and blacks were denied access to the same schools as whites. Do you long for those halcyon days?

    This is completely non sequitur and faintly malicious. However, if you are at all curious:

    1. Anti-micegenation laws were a comparatively recent innovation (all post-bellum, I believe. Mr. McClarey will know) and not universal. I am from New York, where they were not in force. They were not of much importance because there was almost no interest on either side of the color bar in contracting marriages across it. (By the way, black women in the United States generally disapprove of cross-racial amatory affiliations).

    2. Consensual sodomy was a class b misdemeanor where I grew up (similar to other sex offenses, like patronizing a prostitute). Petty misdemeanors seldom result in jail time in New York (and I believe that was true 60 years ago as well), but municipal judges do have that option. The maximal sentence would be 90 days. Bar in very odd circumstances, you had to be collared going down on someone in a public place to be hauled in for consensual sodomy.

    3. Segregated schools systems were problematic primarily where blacks were thin on the ground and assembling a small corps of black students for a segregated school imposed various sorts of costs on that population; they could also be problematic when they were short-changed on funding. Caste regulations do incorporate insult into public life. However, as has been known for 40-odd years, beginning with James Coleman’s research published in 1966, they were not particularly problematic in any injuries to the intellectual development of black pupils, at least as regards the post-war period when a certain meliorist strain was abroad among Southern politicians (e.g. James Byrnes) reflected in educational administration. A great deal of injury was done after 1955 in attempts to engineer integrated schools (as distinct from desegregated schools). You have to compare the reality of before and after, not a caricature of the before next to aspirations for the after.

    My mother and father grew up in a world which had much to recommend it and much that is no longer present. That standards and practices of that world produced better-reared people. As Peter Hitchens says, we chose the wrong future.

  • “Anti-micegenation laws were a comparatively recent innovation (all post-bellum, I believe. Mr. McClarey will know) and not universal.”
    About 30 states had anti-miscegeny laws at one time. Democrats tended to push for them and Republicans to oppose them. By the time of Loving v. Virginia which struck down anti-miscegency laws, about 16 states had them, all former slave holding states, and, except for Delaware, almost totally controlled by Democrats. One of the groups supporting the challenge to the anti-miscegeny laws in 1967 was the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, the predecessor to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

  • Read up, Michael. The “same-sex marriage is ou generations interracial marriage” argument is made by emotional children.

    http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2010/05/1324/

  • I still think that apart from revelation, there is no convincing argument to be made against it. The reason we oppose homosexuality is because it is a matter of creation. We hold that a triune God created humanity and that through his plan we move toward a telos. Apart from the scriptural narrative, it sounds highly unreasonable to condemn alternative lifestyles.

  • We can cite the biological makeup of people and the medical complications which arise from the behavior, but without a creational framework I’m not sure it would make much sense.

  • I agree Jon. Natural law itself is not sufficient. It needs God to move it from a description of what is to a guide of what we ought to do.

  • Jon: “Apart from the scriptural narrative, it sounds highly unreasonable to condemn alternative lifestyles.”
    The homosexual agenda is militating for equality in marriage. Once the laws are readjusted, not one homosexual in an alternate lifestyle will do what married people do. Is this not fraud, saying one thing and doing another? Once the homosexual does the heterosexual thing, he can no longer call himself homosexual, now, can he or she?
    If God has indeed allowed homosexuality, God has promised you to Himself as celibate. Or does the idea of virginity disturb you? and why would that be?

  • Mary, you misunderstood what I said. I’m saying we can’t argue against homosexuality on the grounds of a ‘nature’ people do not acknowledge. We must simply argue against it on scriptural grounds. Our argument begins with creation and it’s rooted in the entire scriptural narrative.

  • It is true we can argue against homosexuality on the basis of biology and medical reports, but how far will we get? Without a creational context, people will simply argue something like this: If homosexuals wish to do something different and its consensual, who are we to judge? Isn’t that the reply we usually get? So I maintain we argue on scriptural grounds, and not on the grounds of ‘nature’ as we understand it.

  • And if homosexual marriage is legalized, the man and man or woman and woman will remain homosexuals. They will still be called homosexuals because they’re homosexual, even if marriage of homoseuxals is legal. The terminology wiil remain. I also agree it does not imply monogomy. They may be polygomous as many married heterosexual couples are today. They may be far more so.

  • “4. How is education different from a military?

    The salient difference is noted above. Among other things, military service is inherently stereotypes. Schooling is not.”

    The infant children, not having reached the age of emancipation and informed consent, become a captive audience in any school. Some jurisdictions of the Ninth Circut Court in California have said that once the child crosses the threshhold of the school, parents no longer have any jurisdiction over what and how their legally minor children are taught. State Kidnapping. Unlawful imprisonment. Criminal indoctrination. If the child passes away while at the school, will the state then be liable for manslaughter or homicide?

    The atheist denies our Creator and then demands endowed unalienable civil rights from the state, from the people, to dictate to the people and to indoctrinate the peoples’ children in the means to use laws against the people, to use endowed unalienable rights against God.

    Only truth has freedom of speech. Atheism is not free to tell our minor children that there is no Creator, and that our Creator is not the endower of all unalienable rights. The rest is nasty totalitarianism.

  • “Mary, you misunderstood what I said. I’m saying we can’t argue against homosexuality on the grounds of a ‘nature’ people do not acknowledge. We must simply argue against it on scriptural grounds. Our argument begins with creation and it’s rooted in the entire scriptural narrative.”

    Jon. I am arguing that homosexual practice is unlawful. The state can make laws against obesity before they can make laws against homosexuality. It is the act of free will to engage in homosexual behavior that violates nature and man’s human nature and the community. It is an insult to God to abuse nature and the human body. For the homosexual person to say that he is driven to be addicted to lust and to violate his body is a LIE, for there is grace that is sufficient. To enshrine the vice of homosexual behavior and the assault and battery that it is to oneself and to another, in law, is uncivilized, worse than barbarian. For the state to enshrine “gay-marriage” into law is for the state to deny the homosexual citizen’s endowed, unalienable rights and his sovereign personhood. The homosexual practitioner redefines the human being when he denies his human soul. For the state to redefine the human being as having no soul is nasty totalitarianism.
    Persons with same-sex attraction are called homosexual. Persons practicing homosexual behavior are called sodomites.

  • “They may be polygomous as many married heterosexual couples are today”

    think you mean polyamorous, and “many” is a stretch (obviously some people cheat but it’s still seen as a failing, contrast with prominent male same-sex marriage advocates saying agreed-upon cheating should be accepted as a part of the relationship)

  • “Personally it’s because Islam has no direct effect on me… If Dawkins read up on Islam, would you go after him for not being an expert on Hinduism?”

    Translation: Dawkins and I find it easier to convert Western Christians to Western Narcissism, Materialism and Secular Liberalism than convert Muslims or Hindus to our religion. I know better how to confuse, sow division, introduce strife, promote sin and encourage vice in Christians than I do members of cultures I’m less familiar with.

  • Mary, I really don’t understand why you always insist upon “reading” Catholicism into the the American political ethos, as if it is the embodiment of Catholic political thought and was originally conceived and articulated with Catholicism in mind. It isn’t and it wasn’t.

  • Michael,

    Dawkins proves my point. Atheism can never provide an objective, normative moral framework. Under atheism, morality is simply an individual’s opinion, or the consensus of the community. It is not something that exists independent of whether people are conscious of it and it can never actually tell someone why they “ought” to do something, save some utilitarian schema of incentives and consequences. When arguing about morality, atheist invariably end up talking in circles, because they have no sound first principles with which to work from.

    Dawkins did not destroy the Muslim’s question. He didn’t even engage it. Materialist atheists like Dawkins, Harris, etc will continue to base their “systems of morality” on unspoken and unprovable assumptions, like that existence is to be preferred over non-existence. Prove it Dawkins! As the Muslim audience member correctly alludes to in his question, this is highly ironic, as it constitutes the type of “leap of faith” that Dawkins and his ilk so vehemently assault.

    Dawkins may be a brilliant biologist but he is also an awful, awful, awful failure of a philosopher (seriously, did you see him get DESTROYED by Rowan Williams? It was embarrassing and painful to watch). He is also intellectually inconsistent, and therefore a hypocrite.

    Your boy, Richard, has categorically failed to provide what I asked for. Can you do any better, Michael?

  • To Atheist; “Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance; who does not persist in anger forever, but delights rather in clemency…” Mic.7:18

    This was part of my morning prayer, from a Lenten reflection booklet. I have been listening to this thread then this passage this am.
    Enough name calling. Question is who is like Our God?

  • Michael,
    Catholic Clerics (most anyway) operate in Persona Christi ( person in Christ) . It is highly common to get the point across in a manner that is foreign. to most of the world.

    God Bless

  • Jeanne Marie: Catholic priests and only Catholic priests operate in “persona Christi” only when they consecrate the Sacred Species using Jesus Christ’s words at Mass and when they give absolution to sins in the Sacrament of Penance. It is almost like power of attorney to operate in Christ’s stead. The rest of the time, the Catholic priest operates as “alter Christ”, another Christ, through his ordination and his vocation. As lay persons, the laity operate as the prieshood of the laity, unordained, and only throught the ordained priesthood and through the Catholic Church.

  • “as if it is the embodiment of Catholic political thought and was originally conceived and articulated with Catholicism in mind. It isn’t and it wasn’t.”
    JL:
    It is and it was.
    “The Declaration of Independence states that: “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…” Therefore, “We” as a nation hold that all men have a Creator. We petition Divine Providence and seek to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” from the Preamble to our Constitution. Only the articles and amendments to our Constitution may be changed by 2/3 of the states ratifying the change.
    It constantly amazes me that some atheists will thumbs down our founding principles and then demand their civil rights.
    God created freedom and Catholic political thought expresses this freedom explicitly.

  • Dawkins a Bigot and Coward. I would also throw in “Moron” with it. Dawkins, like his late friend Hitchins, always made sure they are infront of a cheering audience. They are both smart asses who appealed to the knuckle head college crowd. But these fools could be shut down in a debate with a knowledgeable person.

  • “Pray tell inform the community which “immoral” parts of the Bible”

    I’ve heard atheists state that the Ten Commandments are offensive.
    So, “thou shall not steal” and “thou shall not kill” are offensive?

    Ok neighbor, I’ll keep my doors locked with the likes of you around.

  • JL:
    Practicing homosexuals cannot and will not consummate their sexual relations in their flesh, why should practicing homosexuals demand consummation of their fallacy in the law and in the culture, to be taught as an alternate lifestyle to minor children in public school or in any way be accorded a good for the people?

  • Mary, was that an actual question?

    And I’ll await your evidence that the Founders were all devout Catholics, inspired more so by Aquinas and Augustine than Locke and Spinoza.

  • The assumption on the part of non-Christians is that homosexuality is harmless. That it does nothing to the fabric of society. That people who complain about it are merely bigoted. A lot of false information exists. But I often think that if we cited medical findings on the matter, we would have a better argument to make in the public forum. These days people think in terms of pragmatism. They want to know what works and what doesn’t. Not what’s right and wrong. So if we cite evidence that homosexuality is dangerous to individual’s and the public’s health, we might have something relevant to say. Otherwise, our argument is rooted in the scriptural story of how God created the world and what he wishes to do with it, and we need faith to believe in that.

Dawkins Meet Clovis

Sunday, March 25, AD 2012

 

At the atheist rally in Washington on Saturday, which drew a pathetic 20,000 worshipers of the Great Vacuum, Professor Richard Dawkins delivered himself of this tolerant and loving sentiment:

Dawkins didn’t appear until five hours into the event, but few seemed discouraged by the near-constant rain or drizzle. They whistled and cheered for his familiar lines such as:

I don’t despise religious people. I despise what they stand for …

Evolution is not just true, it’s beautiful …

Then Dawkins got to the part where he calls on the crowd not only to challenge religious people but to “ridicule and show contempt” for their doctrines and sacraments, including the Eucharist, which Catholics believe becomes the body of Christ during Mass.

Dawkins obviously needs our prayers for the state of his soul and our horse laughs for him being such a bigoted dweeb.  However, part of me wishes that he could encounter a Catholic convert like Clovis.  Clovis was a chieftain of the Franks in the late fifth and early sixth centuries.  He laid the framework for Frankish domination of Gaul and is the Father of France.  A pagan, he was converted to the Faith primarily through the prayers and loving example of his Catholic wife Clotilde.  In the battle of Tolbiac where the Alemanni were defeating his Franks, he cried out to the God of Clotilde that he would convert if victory was granted to him.  He won and began instruction in the Faith under Saint Remigius Bishop of Reims.  The Saint told Clovis when he was baptized on Christmas Day 496:  Bow thy head, O Sicambrian, adore what thou hast burned and burn what thou hast adored!

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38 Responses to Dawkins Meet Clovis

  • O, if only I my brave Franks and I had been there we would have avenged the insults to our God!

    I LIKE his passion!

    Maybe not so very socially productive these days, but hey, his heart is in the right place. ;^)

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  • Well, I agree with him that evolution is true and beautiful — like all of Creation. Dawkins and his kind think that science can bury religion. Not so. IMHO the more science discovers the more it bolsters the “argument from beauty”.

    Imagine if Dawkins, with his passion and intellect, ever were to have a road to Damascus moment. One can always hope.

  • 20,000 misguided souls, standing in the rain to hear a call to arms is no small matter.

    Atheism has taken on a new militancy. As a Philadelphian, I can’t help but draw a parallel to Know Nothings of the 1850s. Therein lies a warning and a blueprint for sending them packing: pray but act. We built schools to protect our children and protected our church with cudgels.

    Catholic men have a critical role in protecting the Church. Almighty God gave us these arms to stand against the forces of Satan. We pray and we protect.

    To all Brother Knights, surely it is time to stand up, to do more than attend an occasional fish fry? Surely now is the time to ask men to join us, to write those letters to representatives, to attend those rallies, to confront the protestors in front of our churches, to defend our priests and bishops? If not now, when? If not us, who?

    To Catholic men who have not yet joined the Knights of Columbus, I emplore you to do so for only in numbers, standing as one can we confront the evils lined up for battle.

    VivatJesus!

  • “20,000 misguided souls, standing in the rain to hear a call to arms is no small matter.”

    It certainly is for a rally in Washington G-Veg, especially one that got the amount of free media that this one got from the Mainstream Media. As for the K of Cs, as a knight for over two decades, I completely agree with you.

  • The atheist at some level accepts his existence from the Hand of God, our Creator and endower of unalienable rights. To deny God, is to deny one’s own existence and unalienable rights. Dawkins cannot explain his existence without recourse to God and to God’s creation through evolution. G.K. Chesterton said: “If there were no God, there would be no atheists.” In denying our founding principles of unalienable, endowed civil rights, Dawkins would deny all men their freedom and for this reason ought not be given a public forum. The atheist commits perjury in a court of law. Dawkins is Britain’s revenge on America for winning the American Revolution. Trying to erase our unalienable rights eradicates Dawkins’ unalienable right to free speech and freedom.

  • This year, Columbus Day falls on October 8th. It would be an extraordinary thing for the Knights of Columbus to hold a mass rally in D.C. to uphold Freedom of Religion and to highlight the Catholic contributions to our nation and Western cultured.

    Last year, I raised the idea of a Columbus Day celebration to the K of C Pennsylvania State Officers. They were less than interested. Frankly, they were downright rude. I was told that we “can’t” do such an event because Brother Knights don’t show up for events. I got the sense that there was more than a little of irritation at the gall of a mere Brother suggesting a state-wide event. I point this out solely because there is more than a little bit of the duffer in our K of C leadership and we can’t count on them to have the imagination or intestinal fortitude to make anything significant happen.

    I believe that my Brother Knights are capable of great things and that we sell ourselves short with such a “can’t do” attitude. So I ask you, can we make October 8, 2012 a date worth remembering?

    David Spaulding
    dspauldi@temple.edu

  • “The atheist at some level accepts his existence from the Hand of God, our Creator and endower of unalienable rights.”

    Would that it were always so. Unfortuantely, there are some “acquaintences” (I would not deign to infer friendship) of mine are not so infused with this innate wisdom.

    They are convinced that we, as living beings, are simple accidents of astro-chemistry. From the primordial ooze, self-replicating bits of protein, sugar and water survived extinctions and permutations to the point where a certain hardiness was imbued that defied most of the dangers of being more than inert.

    Epochs of “natural” forces then allowed a narrow branch of these self-sustaining, locomotive carbo-hydroids the abilities to act in ways that do not comport solely to the effects of their environments upon them, but rather independently and under the impeti of their own cognitions. In the view of this glorious accident, nothing exists conceptually but what is invented by the chemical processes of the perceptive and reactive aspects of that which is called “living.” There is no ulitmate objective, no overarching existential thread or metanormal propellant.

    Thus, as all things are indeed created equal – as in equally irrelevant and purposeless – to the strongest go the spoils. They are Fascists, and they do not pretend to be otherwise. The name causes some irrtation, but it is only a temporary hurdle. That epithet will be remade sometime soon.

    I can’t think of how to change any of that except to live my life as an example. There is a hardness of heart (and skull) that doesn’t allow those who have become convinced of all this to accept any other course of thought.

  • WK Aiken: “…nothing exists conceptually but what is invented by the chemical processes of the perceptive and reactive aspects of that which is called “living.” What is “living”? Can the atheist create or restore life?” “Thus, as all things are indeed created equal – as in equally irrelevant and purposeless – to the strongest go the spoils.” All MEN are created equal.” Only material can evolve. The immortal human soul, the metaphysical, the intangible does not evolve, but is of necessity created. Free will does not evolve. From what primordial soup does intellect evolve? (If I stick my head in the sand will I grow a higher IQ? How does reason and from what does reason evolve? Sovereignty, personhood, intuition evolves from what kind of matter? Abstract thought is invented through the brain but not by the brain. And finally, immortality . The cowardly atheist refuses to accept immortality because that means that there is a God to WHOM he will have to answer. When the atheist preaches his doom and hopelessness he must be asked to prove that there is no immortality, no God, no judgment and further, to prove that there is no reason. Do not let the atheist tell you that all men are created equal into his egomaniacal rubbish. Oh, and do not stand next to an atheist during a lightning storm. One never can tell when God will call the atheist home.

  • @ Mary De Voe – you saked, “Can the atheist create or restore life?” I believe that man will one day formulate living matter out of inanimate matter in the laboratory. I feel as though that is inevitable. For man to make his defiance of God Almighty complete, he must partake of the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Life just as he partook of the forbidden fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Perhaps I am wrong. But while God has limited man’s intelligence, He has placed no limit on man’s stupidity or man’s arrogance.

  • At His first coming and Life on earth Jesus was very humble and meek. Like a lamb He meekly went to His death on the cross. Definitely not the behavior of a King with power and authority able to crush his enemies with one command. Jesus Christ IS not going to turn the other cheek at His Second Coming. Everyday souls are judged individually of which those who continue to be unrepentant and reject Him feel the” backside of His Hand”. Natural and man-made disasters and inferior and misdirected leadership and decisions are God’s means to remind mankind of the seriousness and even severity of His Judgements.

  • Atheists are bores; they are always talking about God.

  • Bear with me: The definition of religion. And you will not get this in our politically corrected dictionaries, the definition of religion is man’s response to the gift of Faith from God. Atheism, and this is a nuance the Supreme Court missed is that atheism is NOT, I repeat, NOT a religion in response to the gift of Faith from God. Atheism is a BELIEF by man in there being no Supreme Sovereign Being, no Prime Mover, no First Principle, no Divine Providence, no Person Whom man calls God. Our Creator’s gift of man’s immutable, rational, immortal soul, unalienable rights, immutable sovereign personhood, free will are all relative to what the man chooses to believe. To the atheist freedom is not a foundational principle.
    America is founded on principles that require a belief, at least in the other person’s unalienable rights, in the other person’s rational, immortal soul and immutable personhood. In the atheistic USSR, a Christian cannot be a citizen. A Christian is an alien by his own choice to pursue his belief in God. In America, an atheist cannot be a citizen. An atheist chooses to repudiate his belief in God and man’s unalienable rights, our founding principles. In America, an atheist is an alien by his own free will choice to believe other than in man’s God -given freedom.
    Inscribed in our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution are a fundamental religion, that God exists and our dependence upon God is primary. The atheist is militant because he knows that he must tyrannize to subdue the belief in God to overcome his alienation. This is only possible if the atheist can change our founding principles and this would be through a constitutional change ratified by two-thirds of the states. A constitutional change ratified by two-thirds of the states would change America into an atheistic nation. The politically correct nonsense that is going on now is rubbish.
    Human existence is the criterion for the objective ordering of human rights. Abortion too, must be ratified by two-thirds of the states to deprive a newly begotten individual substance of a rational nature of his founding principles. Abortion deprives a newly begotten sovereign person of JUSTICE.

  • “Atheists are bores; they are always talking about God.”

    Excellent!

  • Paul: Life and BEING, human existence, (the definiton of man is a being composed of body and immortal, rational soul) created by man cannot be of a human nature because this is Frankenstein without an immortal soul. Man cannot create an immortal soul not matter how long he works in his laboratory. Remember Farnkenstein.

  • Paul, I needed to laugh and got to with my spelling of Frankenstein. I have a story to tell you about laughter, but it must wait.

  • Paul: MY fault. The question ought to have read: ““Can the atheist create or restore human life?” God breathed his own life into man. If man breathes his own life into man, that is good, but it is not God’s life. God’s life. The hunger for God’s life in man’s soul is proof positive that man is a being of human life and God’s life.

  • Hello again Paul: “Perhaps I am wrong. But while God has limited man’s intelligence, He has placed no limit on man’s stupidity or man’s arrogance.” Concupiscence has limited man’s intelligence. Original sin darkened the mind of man. Original innocence, virginity, beholding the face of God is intelligence unlimited. and by the way, it is the duty of the state to provide for and protect original innocence and virginity and man’s right to behold the face of God.

  • WK Aiken: My statement:”The atheist at some level accepts his existence from the Hand of God, our Creator and endower of unalienable rights.” If the atheist did not accept his existence at some level from the Hand of God, the atheist would annihilate himself. And since the atheist is in Washington D.C. the atheist is a liar.

  • “Then Dawkins got to the part where he calls on the crowd not only to challenge religious people but to “ridicule and show contempt” for their doctrines and sacraments, including the Eucharist, which Catholics believe becomes the body of Christ during Mass.” Dawkins is a consummate LIAR ( see my earlier post) and perjurer in a court of law and swindler of the very people he tries to lead by denying their very human essence, the human soul.

  • Brother Knight here…

    I kind of feel sorry for them. Not a joyful bunch of people at all….

  • @ Mary De Voe: Thank you – I agree.

    My only point is this: if man creates life – even “intelligent” life – in the lab, whether silicon based or carbon based, it will indeed be possessed of a soul – the soul of the demonic.

    My father (a devout Pentecostal) had thought that perhaps the beast from the sea in the first part of Revelation 13 (i.e., the antichrist) would be man’s own creation possessed by Satan himself (the beast from the land in the second part of Revelation 13 being the false prophet – but there are other equally valid interpretations to this chapter way beyond this blog post).

    I am no theologian, nor do I claim that these are the proverbial “Last Days” (though in a certain way, I hope so). But anything man makes in the lab mimicking life (even intelligent life) will not be infused with the soul or spirit by God (as you correctly pointed out), but infused it will be by Satan himself. Make sense, or am I all washed up?

  • @Paul W. Primavera. I hope you are not washed up, I was so enjoying our exchange. Before I comment, there are some definitions I want to share to uncomplicate this. The devil is a pure spirit, a species of Angel and has no soul because the devil has no body. Man has an immortal, rational soul infused by God when two become one, when the man comes into existence. Animals have mortal souls, they are not rational. The animal’s soul dies with it when it dies. Because of the Hypostatic Union, the union of Jesus Christ’s human and Divine natures, Jesus Christ has a rational soul. God is pure spirit. Now, the comment: “Intelligent” life created in a laboratory. You assume that it is possible to (God creates, man invents or discovers) create “intelligent” life. The person is immutable. A person is a person always. “Intelligent” life of necessity is a person. Can man create, invent or discover a person that God has not created first? Any life that man can discover in a laboratory will be animal life with a mortal soul. Animals have no conscience and therefore, even the devils don’t want their mortal souls. This is not to say that animals may not be possessed of demons, only that the possession is not contingent upon being discovered in a laboratory. These thoughts have led me to understand that the chimeras, half man and half human, being brought into existence have animal souls, can never be a person or have a person’s soul with intelligence. Chimeras are an abuse of the human body and violate the laws of nature and nature’s God.

  • Sorry, Paul, I mistakenly wrote: “chimeras, half man and half human,” must read: “chimeras, half man and half animal,” being brought into existence have animal souls, can never be a person or have a person’s soul with intelligence.

  • Yes, Mary, your explanation is logical. I will change my terms. Man may produce out of inanimate matter – either silicon based or carbon based – cognitive animate matter. This matter may possess mortal, non-rational souls, and may even be possessed demonically. But it cannot truly be sentient or possessed of an eternal, rational soul as man is. It may mimick cognitive reasoning as a computer can operate in accordance with the parameters of its software program. It may mimick living systems in being animate, but it is not created, I.e., made from nothing and Godd-infused with life.

  • Mary-
    while it’s not a binding teaching, when the case of human/animal chimeras came up in the UK the Church authorities said they’ve got a right to life, and at the absolute least those made with mostly human DNA should be assumed to be human embryos and treated accordingly. (They shouldn’t be made, of course– that’s worse than mutilation, along the lines of deliberately inducing massive mutation in an innocent baby!– but once they’re alive, that life should be respected.)

  • On an aside– I see no reason why God couldn’t give a soul to any sentient life, no matter what humans did wrong in the creation of that life.
    A child born of rape has a soul, although their creation was a violation of natural order rights; an kid conceived by artificial insemination has a soul, although their creation was not natural; an IVF kid has a soul, though their conception was even more unnatural; a kid with Down’s has a soul, although their DNA is altered by chance; why would a child that has both the altered DNA and the sinned against history of a child of rape not have a soul? Of course, I’m very fond of Augustine’s logic with the dog-headed men, and like to play it safe, so assume anything that acts rationally thus has a soul. ^.^

    Strictly speaking, I don’t think humans can create life.
    Did you ever hear the old joke about a bunch of scientists going to God and telling Him “We don’t need You anymore, we can make life in the lab.”
    God says “Show me and if you can, I will go.”
    The scientists strut in, grab a handful of dirt– and God says “Hold on. Get your own dirt.” All we can do is take the playset and do stuff it isn’t supposed to do, not actually create a new playset.

    Dang it, where were you guys when I did those posts several months back? The reasoning you’re putting out is the kind of stuff I was hoping for, rather than some random guy constantly shifting the subject to his personal religious philosophy, and a lot of argument by assertion that it can’t happen. -.-

    **EDIT** changed a phrase slightly.

  • Foxfire: “I see no reason why God couldn’t give a soul to any sentient life, no matter what humans did wrong in the creation of that life.” The rational human soul IS sentient human life. The sentience comes with and from the soul, God’s life in man. With the human being, his being, his very existence, his human life is an act of his rational, immortal soul. Where there is no soul, there is no human life or growth. There would be no abortion, if there were no human soul growing into a larger human body in the womb. Abortion denies the newly begotten human person Justice. And speaking of chimeras,
    “(They shouldn’t be made, of course– that’s worse than mutilation, along the lines of deliberately inducing massive mutation in an innocent baby!– but once they’re alive, that life should be respected.)” This is transhumanism and it violates all civilization because it denies the human person the rational souls’ free will to give informed consent to the horrific mutations being exercised upon it. It is not legal nor can it be moral to violate the human being even with his informed consent.
    “The scientists strut in, grab a handful of dirt– and God says “Hold on. Get your own dirt.” All we can do is take the playset and do stuff it isn’t supposed to do, not actually create a new playset.”
    I hope that your post will answer Paul W. Primavera’s search for knowledge. I found it very informative, especially the part about the Catholic Church’s teaching about the ethics of life.
    “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” God has joined the human body with the human rational, immortal soul at procreation.

  • In the Old Testament, a man having intercourse with an animal, it is called beastiality, Mosaic law proscribed that BOTH were to be put to death. There would be no chimeras, half-human, half-animals in Israel. It is frightening what God will do to us for what we are doing to His image in man.

  • This is transhumanism and it violates all civilization because it denies the human person the rational souls’ free will to give informed consent to the horrific mutations being exercised upon it. It is not legal nor can it be moral to violate the human being even with his informed consent.

    Of course– doesn’t really touch on if the person thus made will have a soul (we probably can’t tell, anyways) or if we should assume they do. (obviously, I think we should… but I am also assuming that chimeras thus created will be able to behave like rational beings)

    I found it very informative, especially the part about the Catholic Church’s teaching about the ethics of life.

    Thank you for reading it!

    I had a half-formed post about Neanderthals to follow it up– we don’t know if they were people, too, or not; we just know modern science classifies them as a different group, and that they seem to have been perfectly able to breed effectively with modern humans– but it’s fun to think about, theoretically.

  • Foxfire: “Of course– doesn’t really touch on if the person thus made will have a soul (we probably can’t tell, anyways) or if we should assume they do. The human person is immutable. A person is a person is a person, forever. A human being is a person composed of body and rational, immortal soul. “…while it’s not a binding teaching, when the case of human/animal chimeras came up in the UK the Church authorities said they’ve got a right to life, and at the absolute least those made with mostly human DNA should be assumed to be human embryos and treated accordingly.” I agree. “(obviously, I think we should… but I am also assuming that chimeras thus created will be able to behave like rational beings)” All sin is irrational. Then, you are saying that the chimera has a conscience. A conscience means the chimera has a rational soul and a will to choose to do good or evil.

  • Figuring out if they’re doing it or not is the hard part– I’ve got folks who think their dogs are moral beings, when it seems pretty clear to me that they just know when something will get them yelled at.

  • Paul W. Primavera: “made from nothing and God-infused with life.” Created-made from nothing and God infused with God’s life” God made all things and keeps them in existence. God sent His only Son, Jesus to make us human. I am a child of God.

  • Foxfire: To know, to love and to serve God. Baltimore Catechism. Why am I created? It would appear that your friend’s dog is “moral” because his owners are moral. Now, you’ve got a friend who believes that 156 fish jumped into St. Peter’s net that day because these fish wanted to be eaten by Our Lord.

  • Dawkins shares with two other popularisers from the 80s, the others being SJ Gould and Steven Weinberg the distinction of being world-class storytellers with the unfortunate gift of spinning tales out of nothing at all. Take Dawkin’s book “The Blind Watchmaker” in which he makes great play of Rev Paley’s observation that if one were to come across a watch in the fields it is indicative that a Mind is behind it. Dawkins will have none of it. According to him, we cannot infer any such thing, the watch may well have been the product of a series of accidents. Now is there a person alive, who would seriously imagine upon coming across a Rolex watch in the park, that it could well have been the product of a series of fortuitious accidents rather than an artifact created by craftsmen? But it seems that there are enough people around to accept Dawkin’s version of events. Once they swallow that camel, there is no need to stint at gnats. And Dawkins piles it in, with his silly computer biomorphs circa 1984. It is now 2012 with computer and graphics cards far more powerful than in the 80s but have any of these biomorphs taken flight? Transformed into butterflies perhaps?

    Way back in the 70s Marvin Minsky claimed that only the limitations of hardware and software was preventing the MIT guys from creating a computer equal in capability to the human brain. In the 70s a byte of memory cost $1, a computer equipped with 1 MB RAM would set one back $1,000,000 in 1975 dollars. The highest speed achieved were in the the order of MHz. The largest programs could not have have exceeded 50,000 lines of code. Today a computer costing around $1,000 has 4GB RAM, 1 Terabyte of hard disk space, runs on 4 processors at 2.3 to 3GHz with the Windows 7 software kicking in at 50 to 60 million lines of code. Well, what are you waiting for Dr Minsky? Where are the artificial brains?

    This age suffers from too much credulousness at the pronouncements of scientists. In this they are abetted by the worshipful stance of the press which has long since given up any pretense of objective reporting and functions instead as groupies and propaganda artists.

  • The attempt to substitute science for religion or philosophy is a pernicious superstition of our times Ivan. Prior generations usually had a healthier attitude, understanding that science was useful in its sphere but not the be all and end all. I have always treasured this quote from Churchill: “But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new dark age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.” Science will not save us, since that is not the purpose of science, just as science can never answer the truly major questions of our existence: Why am I here? What is right and what is wrong? What is the meaning of life? How should I live? etc.

  • I agree Donald, but I believe there is something more sinister going on. The old line atheist had to explain Design, the religious man the existence of Evil. Of the two I would argue that it is the religious person that has the more difficult task, since pain and suffering has a more immediate and unbearable impact on our lives with the difficulty that an omnipotent God has allowed things to come to such a pass. For many years now the atheists have already had the upper hand in the public arena. The new atheists are inured to tragic existential questions, one does not hear that note in their latest outpourings, what they want is the destruction of of the position of Christianity in the US. They claim to be against all religions but it is Christianity with its moral demands that sticks in their gullets. The American Protestants instinctively understood this hence the seriousness of their reaction, Catholics because they were afraid of being made to look ridiculous were somewhat more ambiguous.

  • Ivan: “Dawkins shares with two other popularisers from the 80s, the others being SJ Gould and Steven Weinberg the distinction of being world-class storytellers with the unfortunate gift of spinning tales out of nothing at all.”
    It is all over but the shouting for the atheist. “WE hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” CREATED, not born. The state gives us citizenship and a tax bill. God gives us Himself.

The Coming Open Rebellion Against God

Tuesday, February 9, AD 2010

The title of this article almost sounds surreal. At first one could be forgiven for thinking it was some sort of low budget End Times movie seen on some local cable access channel. However, the information contained within this article is real, fortunately, as believers and specifically those of us who are Catholic we know that Jesus promised that His Church would not fall despite the attempts of those working for the evil one. God is the truth and God is love, but the mere fact that He is both has caused many rebellions against him literally from day one. Sadly, those who often claim to be the smartest act the most childish, by at first claiming God doesn’t exist and then claiming if He does exist, He doesn’t make sense at least to them. This article will look at this behavior from the world’s earliest moments, but will mainly focus on what has happened in the last few years, right up until this very moment.

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61 Responses to The Coming Open Rebellion Against God

A Perfect Post

Wednesday, December 9, AD 2009

Occasionally one runs across a post that’s particularly nicely done. I think Matthew Boudway’s recent reflections on a column by Clifford Longley on the new atheists comes dangerously close to perfect. It’s brief, highlights an interesting article, and adds a thoughtful perspective that provides more depth to the article it cites. Here’s a snippet:

[In response to Richard Dawkins’s claim that it is wrong to “indoctrinate tiny children in the religion of their parents, and to slap religious labels on them,”]

“There is no such thing as value-free parenting,” Longley writes…Longley proposes this as an argument about parenting, but it is hard to see why it wouldn’t also apply to education. If the argument doesn’t apply to education, why doesn’t it? If it does — and if it is a good argument — then people of faith have a compelling reason not to send their children to schools where the subject of religion qua religion is carefully avoided. One could, I suppose, argue that the tacit message of such schools is that religion is too important to get mixed up with the tedious but necessary stuff of primary education, but of course public schools approach important matters all the time, and cannot avoid doing so.

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Why I Don't Believe in a Young Earth

Monday, November 23, AD 2009

Some time ago, someone asked me:

Suppose–just for the sake of argument–you were convinced that an honest reading of the Tradition of the Church required you to believe that the initial chapters of Genesis were historical. Would you be able to do it, or do you think that Darwinism is so irrefutable that you would have to abandon or radically redetermine your faith?

I think this is the question that worries a lot of Catholics without a strong scientific background as they watch the evolution/creationist/ID debate on Catholic blogs. Here are these otherwise solid Christians taking common cause with the likes of the Richard Dawkins against their brother Christians. What gives? Are these folks really Christian? Do they care more about science than about faith? Do they only accept Catholicism so long as it agrees with science?

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24 Responses to Why I Don't Believe in a Young Earth

  • IMO it’s quite easy for Catholics to reconcile science and the Bible. My trust and understanding of the Bible relies entirely on the Church. My faith in the Bible comes from Christ and His Church. I accept Genesis as sacred scripture because it’s part of the deposit of Scripture that served God Incarnate, but mostly because the Church Christ established and gave authority to said this is Scripture. If we’re going to accept the Church’s authority on that, it’s equally as important to understand it as the Church understands it.

  • I studed geology and ended up a young-Earther myself. The geologcal evidence for a young earth was too great to ignore. But this hasn’t threatened or altared my Faith. I don’t see science and religion as opposed to each other or as each other’s bed fellows because science is a ***tool*** that is used to understand Creation. It’s one of **many** tools that we use to understand Creation and the meaning of life etc. People keep elevating science far above what it is meant to be and that’s when the trouble starts.

  • Ooops, hit submit to fast. I was going to end with:

    It’s like trying to elevate the tech pub (Science) to the same level of importance and greatness as the actual helicopter (Creation)… (I was a helicopter mechanic in the Navy.)

  • St. Augustine wrestled with this same question when he was a Manichean. The Manicheans taught all sorts of doctrines that are quite familiar in New Age thought today and could easily be revived as a whole, and astrology was a big one. Despite what people mistakenly think today, back then astronomers had pretty good methods of observing and recording the heavens. St. Augustine was no dummy, and he noticed that astrology did not account for either how people’s lives worked out or how the heavenly bodies actually behaved. For a while he hoped that when he finally got to talk to the really smart Manicheans, they would be able to explain why this was so. But when he discovered that they couldn’t, he had to give up the Manicheans because he saw quite rightly that one simply could not be expected to believe what was obviously not true.

    It has always been a great comfort to me that one of the smartest men who ever lived stood up for that obvious principle long, long ago, and became one of the greatest Catholics of all time. He would not expect anyone to remain a Catholic if it required people to believe things about the physical world that are obviously not true. I think that he knew a lot more about how to read and understand the Bible than I do and he did not consider Genesis to be a treatise in natural history. People who do simply do not understand how to read the Bible. They are doing the best they can to reconcile faith and reason, and because they can’t do so with their mistaken way of reading the Bible but they intuitively realize that faith must inform reason, they choose to disregard what reason would otherwise show. The solution is of course to get a better handle on Scripture and reason.

  • Your post kind of put God in a small box.

    After all, isn’t anything possible with God?

  • In all truth it doesn’t matter if the earth is 10,000 years old or 4.5 billion. What difference does it make if the universe is 1.5 million years old or 15 billion? God stated, “I AM WHO AM”. He is now! Not yesterday and not tomorrow. RIGHT NOW! So we can conclude that time is a construct for our benefit and if called to Judgment right now do you think Christ is going to ask you how old you think the earth is?

    Our faith in Christ does not require a scientific understanding. Most Christians throughour history were ignorant and illiterate. Clearly salvation does no hinge on knowledge of the world or the universe. Know Christ – that’s it.

    Now He also made us curious and I beleive this to be true even before the Fall. It is what we are curious about that needs to be corrected, not the curiousity itself. He also gave us dominion over Creation, which we know includes all we can see no matter how many billions of light years afar it is.

    I find it difficult to square the evidence (I am not a scientist) with a 10,000 year old earth. That doesn’t mean we won’t find evidence to the contrary and either way it will not change the most pivotal point in all of histroy, Our Lord’s sacrifice on the Cross.

    I don’t think God would deceive us into thinking the universe is 15 billion years old as some kind of trick. I also don’t think it matters to Him if it is 1.5 million years old or 150 trillion. He is very patient – we are not.

    I alos think that in order for our temporal reality to unfold and be reasonably perceptible by our limited minds it has to be 15 bil years old because our Sun and our location in the Milky Way would not be logically possible in a shorter period of time. Creation itself is a miracle; however, it unfolds in a natural and rational manner for us to understand which is totlaly necessary for us to even notice miracles.

    If God placed us right here in this vast universe suddenly, without context we would have to accept that as a miracle and miracles would then be facts and not mysteries. If miracles are not mysteries then they are not special and if not special then the Incarnation is nothing more spectacular than a lepton.

    Where’s the adventure in that?

  • Tito,

    To say that the earth is 6,000 years old is to make God a liar. Not a good idea.

  • BA,

    I wasn’t saying or agreeing with the young earth theory, more with some of the scientific propositions that were offered.

    God is capable of creating the speed of light at approximately 186,282 miles per second, instantaneously.

  • Good post, Darwin. If you get a chance, check out the blog of David Heddle. He’s a physicist–and a Reformed Christian who takes the same tack. One of his themes is that if the Earth is indeed 10K years old, God is attempting to deceive us through His act of Creation. Which, lest we forget, is a form of revelation itself.

    I think the distinction between the miraculous and the idea the universe is 10000 years old is this:

    (1) the first inverts/suspends/makes an exception for the natural law/order, (2) the second suggests there is no such thing as natural law or a natural order. Or certainly no way to discern the latter.

  • Good post, Darwin. If you get a chance, check out the blog of David Heddle. He’s a physicist–and a Reformed Christian who takes the same tack. One of his themes is that if the Earth is indeed 10K years old, God is attempting to deceive us through His act of Creation. Which, lest we forget, is a form of revelation in and of itself.

    I think the distinction between the miraculous and the idea the universe is 10000 years old is this:

    (1) the first inverts/suspends/makes an exception for the natural law/order, (2) the second suggests there is no such thing as natural law or a natural order. Or certainly no way to discern the latter.

  • Sorry about the double post!

  • Dale,

    No problem.

    I need to read most things twice in order to ingest the information, reminds me of my college days.

  • Tito,

    It is possible that God created the world five minutes ago, complete with fake memories of the past and fake evidence indicating that the world was much older. He could do that, but the question is why He would do so, and whether believing this is consistent with what we know about His nature.

    Similarly, God could have created the world 6,000 years ago, but planted evidence to make it look like the world was much older. He could do that, but it’s hard to see why He would do that, nor is it clear that His doing so would be consistent with what we know about His nature.

  • Tito,

    Perhaps this will help clarify a bit: I certainly don’t mean to say that God _could not have_ created the world ten thousand years ago. God, in his infinite power, could create the world in any way that he chose. Though of course, God being eternal, I think there’s merit to the Augustinian idea that God exists in a single, eternal present. And so from a God’s-eye view, this moment is one with the incarnation, and is one with Adam and Eve’s fall, and is one with both the instant of creation and the end of the world. The stretch of billions of years which to us looks like the long and gradual development of the universe is in God’s mind an instant of ever-flowering creation — and it’s only our view, trapped within the temporal timeline of creation, that makes it look like “God sat around for a few billion years before single celled life even developed”, as some complain.

    So my point is not that God could not have created the world another way than he did, or indeed tha we are definitely right in our current understanding of the physical history of the world (in that I’m sure there are a lot of things we don’t know or are wrong about) but rather that I have a lot of trouble with the idea of that all the indications that the world is ancient (from seeing objects millions of light years away, to geological strata, to continental drift, to radioactive decay, to the apparent history of the other planets, to fossils, to DNA, etc.) are misleading or explained by processes totally different from what we see acting in the world today (and in some cases, incompatible with the physical laws on the universe as we currently observe them.)

    I certainly don’t think our current understanding of the universe is perfect, but I do think that as rational creatures we’re called to use our reason as best we can — and so I don’t think it would be in keeping with our calling as rational creatures made in the image of God to refuse to use our powers of reason and our senses to understand creation as best we can (and accept the conclusions of that study) just as it Augusine’s day it was his calling to understand the world through the best philosophical and scientific insights of his day, and Aquinas in his.

  • Darwin,

    Thanks for that articulate response.

    I don’t have much to offer to this intriguing debate which I have been enjoying reading (and learning a lot).

    But where I stand is that I do believe we are descended from Adam and Eve. Hence why I find it difficult to digest that we are descended from monkeys if we are made in His image. Not rhetorically or symbolically, but literally. We are made in His image.

    Not there isn’t anything wrong with eating bananas and hanging out on tree limbs, but we are special and are God’s most special creation.

    That’s my lens that I use.

    Sometimes a simple understanding can lead to the Truth.

  • Coffee Catholic writes Monday, November 23, 2009
    “I studied geology and ended up a young-Earther myself. The geological evidence for a young earth was too great to ignore”.

    In a nutshell. It is a question of scientific evidence. The Bible has nothing to do with the matter except for the non-scientific question of creation.

    Let geologists present the facts and we can go from there. The meaning of “day” and the order of creation do not affect the geological facts.

  • Darwin’s point was the same point as Pope Benedict in his Regensburg lecture — God has given us reason, which, though limited, is not to be dismissed for something sub-rational. God’s qualities, as revealed through revelation, indicate a God who does not contradict himself; reason of course is used to determine this — but if we say “don’t limit God,” then I guess we can all end up in the nominalist-voluntarist dream of God who is not limited, even by his own self-limitations.

  • Henry beat me to it… I thought of Regensburg as well.

    Tito, we are made in the image of God because we have an intellect, free will, and are made for relationship; God could’ve taken a pre-existing creature an infused these things (parts of a rational soul) at any time.

  • Interesting post, Darwin – and also interesting commenting.

    Chris, your point concerning the fact that the “image of God” is a good one. Are we to understand that being made in the “image of God” is describing a picture of a human? It seems clear to me that the human form as an image cannot be what is referenced in what we read in the Bible. What of people who are born with missing limbs or other deformities? To the outside observer, some of these people may not even appear human, yet we would not say that they lack the “image of God” we describe. Moreover, our bodies can be changed virtually at will by accident or design, yet I would argue that the image God placed in us is left unchanged, for God Himself is the only one with that power.

    For these reasons I have always equated our creation in the “image of God” to be the fact that we are given a soul that is indeed in the image of God.

  • No more they do.

    I guess I’m a bit confused as to what you mean by that in this context, though.

    As a Catholic who thinks that evolution is basically correct in regards to the history of life on Earth, I would say that at some point in history (when I would not presume to say) God infused our ancestors with immortal and rational souls, making them truly “human” in the sense that we mean the term (something which I would say is not reliant on a biological form, but rather on our nature). Not until that infusion of souls into what were, before that, bipedal and rather clever primates, did we become truly persons, truly made in the image of God, etc.

    At whatever point that divine spark entered humanity, we were permanently and irreparably set apart from the rest of the animal world, because we were no longer strictly animal, but rather both animal and rational, both animal and divine.

  • Darwin,

    Thanks for the explanation.

    I’m going to hang out in my neighbors tree house and eat some banana’s now.

  • “Gorillas don’t have souls.”

    Where in the world do you get this kind of nonsense from? By the fact that they are animals, they have souls — indeed they have a specific kind of soul which transcends the souls of plants (according to classical definitions). Catholic teaching has always said this.

  • Animals do not have rational souls. They have a vegetative and a sensitive soul that perish when they do. A good summary of Catholic teaching on this subject is linked below.

    http://en.allexperts.com/q/Catholics-955/soul-2.htm

Following the 2009 Election Results which way is the tide turning toward truth or relativism?

Wednesday, November 4, AD 2009

Under the surface, and largely unbeknownst to the mainstream media, the tide has been turning to Catholicism for some time. The pontificates of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI along with events such as an increase in orthodox minded seminarians, young priests and young women religious, a return to devotions and a reform of the reform of liturgy have shown us that indeed the tide is turning. However, for some time now western culture has been moving in the opposite direction, where any, whim or opinion that holds that orthodox minded religious thought is antiquated and even harmful is held in high regard. How could this jibe with the turning tide within the Church? Who would win? Didn’t Jesus promise that the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church after He gave Peter the keys (and the 265 subsequent popes) to lead it? The answer is the same answer that has always been, the Church eventually always wins and it will this time as well.

Following the Election of 2008 when liberalism was on the ascendancy, many in the mainstream media joyfully proclaimed a new era, where one could read between the lines and see that traditional views of society, family and religion were on their way out and big government was in. However, a funny thing happened on the way to the revolution, many Americans refused to go to the Bastille with pitchfork in hand. Americans view of revolution was almost always in line with George Washington’s view of limited government and not Maximilien Robespierre’s view of war against society, family and religion. Perhaps the Election of 2008 was a pox on both their big spending houses that was wrongly construed as a vote for Big Government.

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7 Responses to Following the 2009 Election Results which way is the tide turning toward truth or relativism?

  • Thank You Dave for constantly reminding us of our faith and our needed prayers and continued efforts to overcome those who pick and choose in the Church whether laity or heirarchy. These young priests and current seminarians are a godsend for the Church and we are fornunate to have one sheparding our parish by hs example, homilies, and teaching.

  • Bravo Dave. History is not a straight line progression to a progressive paradise no matter how many of our friends on the Left believe it to be.

  • I’m still going to thumb my nose at the elites.

  • Thanks again Dave! I wish you the best on your journey. God Bless you and your family…

    Robert from Michigan

  • Indeed the elections, as Catholic League’s Bill Donohue put it, made for a “big night for Catholic values.” The gay marriage proponents must be seething that our Tortoise of Truth passed by their Hare of Relativism in Maine like it did in my state of California last year!

  • I don’t know how much we can say the election results foreshadow a turning of the tide. The two new republican governors both ran campaigns that did not stress their stance on moral issues – they won by not splitting the social conservatives from the moderates. Let’s be honest, the people who vote solely on morals (at least until a race with two moral candidates comes along) are in the minority. I worry that the lesson the Republican party will learn from this election is to shy away from moral issues. Of course, if the Democrats learn the same lesson and stop shoving abortion down everyone’s throats, maybe we’ll actually see more social conservatives in both parties.

  • Thanks again, Dave!