A Philosopher's Blog

On Not Being Anti-Gun

Posted in Philosophy, Politics by Michael LaBossiere on January 25, 2013
no guns required

no guns required (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since I am a philosopher and am often cast as a liberal, people are sometimes surprised to find out that I am not anti-gun. After all, those seen as good liberals are supposed to be against guns as are folks in academics. In the light of the terrible murders at Sandy Hook and in Colorado, it might seem even more odd to not be anti-gun.

In terms of how I feel (as opposed to think) about guns, the explanation is rather easy. When I was a kid, I grew up around guns and hence they were something quite normal to me. When I was old enough to handle a gun, I went shooting and hunting with my father-after being properly trained in gun safety. I remember well the lessons I learned about how to handle a gun safely and the great responsibility that comes with carrying and firing a weapon.

My personal experiences involving guns have, at least so far, been positive: hunting with my dad, target shooting with friends, and learning about historic weapons. I have not had any personal experiences involving gun violence. None of my friends or relatives have been harmed or killed by guns (other than in war). Naturally, I have been affected by the media coverage of the terrible murders at Sandy Hook and elsewhere. However, the impact of what a person sees in the media is far less than the impact of personal experience-at least in terms of how one feels (as opposed to how one thinks) about a matter.  In contrast, I have had friends hurt or killed by vehicles, drugs (legal and illegal), and other non-gun causes. I have had complete strangers try to hurt (or kill) me with their cars while I was biking, walking or running-but I have never been threatened with a gun. As such, I generally feel more negatively towards cars than I do towards guns.

Obviously enough, how a person feels about a matter is no indication of what is true or moral. Feelings can easily be distorted by a lack of sleep, by drugs (legal or illegal), by illness or by other temporary factors. As such, attempting to feel ones way through a complex matter such as the topic of guns is a rather bad idea. As such, while I generally have a positive feeling towards guns, this is no evidence for the claim that I should (morally) not be anti-gun.

In my last post I considered the stock argument that civilian gun ownership is necessary as a defense against the tyranny of the United States federal government. As I argued, the radical changes in weapon technology has made the idea that civilians can resist the onslaught of the entire United States government backed by the military rather obsolete. Back when the black powder muzzle loading cannon was the most powerful battlefield weapon it made sense to believe that plucky civilians armed with muskets could stand against  regular army soldiers with some hope of not being exterminated. However, the idea of fighting against tanks, Predator drones, jet fighters and so on in the blasted ruins of American towns using AR-15s is absurd. I ended this post noting that there are other arguments for civilian gun rights that have actual merit.

From the standpoint of reason, the main reason I am not anti-gun is because of my acceptance of the classic right of self-preservation (as laid out by Thomas Hobbes) and self-defense (as argued for by John Locke). While it is rational to rely on the state for some protection (which is what Locke, Hobbes and other classic thinkers argued for) it would be irrational to rely completely on the state. This is not because of a fear of tyranny so much as because of the obvious fact that the state cannot (and should not) be watching us at all times and in all places. Should a person be pulled back into the state of nature, she will only have herself (or those nearby) to rely on. If she is denied the gun as a means of self-defense, then she is terribly vulnerable to anyone who wishes to do her harm in those times when the state’s agents are not present (such as while she is in her home).  I find this argument to be compelling and hence I am not anti-gun.

It might be countered that if the state was guarding us at all times and in all places, then there would be no need for the individual to have a right to a gun as a means of self defense. While this might be true, the obvious concern would be the price paid in privacy and liberty to enable the state to guard us so thoroughly. While I value my safety and I do not take foolish risks, I also value my liberty and privacy. My pride also motivates me: I am not a child that must be guarded at all times. I am an adult and that means that I must take responsibility for my safety as part of the price of liberty and privacy. On my system of values, the price is worth what I gain in terms of freedom and privacy. Others might well wish to be enveloped in the protective embrace of the state and thus live as perpetual children, unable to make the transition to the risks and rewards of being an adult.

Another, more reasonable, counter is that the cost in blood and life of allowing private citizens to possess guns is too high and thus one should be morally opposed to them. While restricting guns would mean that people would be more vulnerable, it can be argued that the harms done to the unarmed will be vastly exceeded by the reduction in, well, harms done to the unarmed. That is, fewer people will be killed because they lack guns relative to those being saved because of the restrictions on guns.

Even if it could be shown that such controls would be effective and also worth the cost, I would still not be anti-gun.  After all, the fact that tens of thousands of people die because of vehicles does not make me anti-vehicle. Rather, I am anti-harm and anti-death.

 

 

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82 Responses

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  1. WTP said, on January 25, 2013 at 8:30 am

    As I argued, the radical changes in weapon technology has made the idea that civilians can resist the onslaught of the entire United States government backed by the military rather obsolete.
    And as was argued far more thoroughly and intelligently by Magus, TJ, and myself, such a conclusion is in error. But don’t let that bruise your ego or give you pause to think.

    • biomass2 said, on January 25, 2013 at 9:54 am

      Is your civilian resistance going to be supplied by the 1%? Because they’re the only ones who can afford weapons comparable to the government (assuming ,that is, somehow for some reason the government of a constitutional republic based on a representative democracy would decide to subdue its people and turn into some third world Bashar-Al Assad Syrian ‘state’.

      It hasn’t been proven to me on here that a Syrian-type resistance would succeed in a country of this size. Even if size were removed as a factor, our armed populace would probably need the assistance of some pretty objectionable organizations.
      And the resistance would go on for ages.

      Not factoring in nuclear weapons, of course.

  2. T. J. Babson said, on January 25, 2013 at 10:07 am

    “As I argued, the radical changes in weapon technology has made the idea that civilians can resist the onslaught of the entire United States government backed by the military rather obsolete.”

    Mike, haven’t we witnessed over the last decade two wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan in which a bunch of guys with guns have resisted “the onslaught of the entire United States government backed by the military”?

    Sure, the military can flatten a city. But what it cannot do is subdue the populace–only a police state can do that, and in order to have a police state you need to disarm the people.

    • biomass2 said, on January 25, 2013 at 11:10 am

      Does the structure of our government play no role at all?
      Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria equals the US?

      • biomass2 said, on January 25, 2013 at 1:15 pm

        Apologies . My reply here makes no sense in the context of your 10:07. Strike it.
        I’ll go with my 9:54.

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 25, 2013 at 1:21 pm

        I would say that it does, as do the principles of the country.

        For America to go tyrannical, most of the military, police, politicians and general population would need to go along. This seems extremely unlikely given the current conditions. Alternatively, the military might commit treason and stage a coup. This also seems extremely unlikely given the military traditions of the United States and the fact that the military is drawn from the general population rather than from certain classes/ethnic groups/etc. It is hard to imagine people like Doug, Panetta, and Petraeus deciding to launch a coup to put a dictator in the White House.

        Naturally, I can imagine scenarios in which the US goes tyrannical, but the plausible scenarios would require rather radical changes. After all, we avoided tyranny through a civil war and through the great depression. I have faith in our principles, institutions and people. As such, I do not worry very much that my government is going to become a dictatorship. I also do not think that my having a pile of guns and bullets is essential to keeping America a democracy.

        • ajmacdonaldjr said, on January 25, 2013 at 1:38 pm

          We don’t need a pile of guns to keep America a democracy, because America stopped being a democracy long ago. It has the pretense of a democracy, in “voting” which is rigged, but never was a democracy to begin with.

          The Federalists won, after the Revolution, as well as after the Civil War, and we have been under a federal tyranny ever since.

          Our nation – America – and our nation’s capital: Washington, D.C., has been dedicated to Beelzebub from the beginning. Read the book: “The Secret Architecture of Our Nation’s Capital: The Masons and the Building of Washington, D.C.” Plus, just look at that creepy all seeing eye on the top of that unfinished pyramid on the back of a US one dollar bill… and if you think America is in trouble, you probably don’t even realize just how much trouble we are in. We do have a way out: God and Natural Law, as Dr King believed. The question now is: “Will we take this way out and make Dr. King’s dream a reality? or will we continue to allow Satanists to run America into the ground?”

          “Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

          See: Our way OUT of the mess we are in: https://www.facebook.com/makethedreamareality

          VIDEO – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – Radical Revolution of Values: http://youtu.be/hQFE1wgx714

          BOOK – The Secret Architecture of Our Nation’s Capital: The Masons and the Building of Washington, D.C. – See: http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Architecture-Our-Nations-Capital/dp/0060953683

          VIDEO – Skull and Bones – The Catholic Connection (Anthony Hilder) http://youtu.be/Hh6xVz8uuo8

          VIDEO – The Dark Knight Massacre was staged! IT’S ALL CONNECTED!: http://youtu.be/Y-zRSLWLSqo

          See: Our way OUT of the mess we are in: https://www.facebook.com/makethedreamareality

          • biomass2 said, on January 25, 2013 at 6:12 pm

            So The Federalists won”. The wrong side. The right side, of course is the side you agree with.
            I’m the “out-of-the-loop” side. I don’t want to” read the book” or look at ” the creepy all-seeing eye” or read about the “Masons” You’ve done that. Now you know it, and you should be able to tell me concisely and convincingly why the Federalists were wrong.

            The Constitution, was penned to replace an ill-functioning Articles of Confederation and was voted for by some antis like Melancthon Smith. It also went through the state ratification process. Were they all in collusion. Even the states that ratified it (all of them)?

            So what happens? Is this all about state’s rights? Because the Articles proved that states couldn’t be depended on to do their share (like provide enough money for defense and trade) to keep the country safe and prosperous. What replaces it in the 21st Century?

        • biomass2 said, on January 25, 2013 at 5:32 pm

          Basically I deferred to my 9:54.
          After looking at 11:10, I was unhappy with ” Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria equals the US?” because what I was saying was unclear in the context of TJ’s “Mike, haven’t we witnessed over the last decade two wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan in which a bunch of guys with guns have resisted “the onslaught of the entire United States government backed by the military”? My 9:54 deals with ^internal^ overthrow of our particular gov’t and/or the likelihood that our government would likely succeed in any attempt to tyrannize us. TJ’s Iraq, Afghanistan references deal with external threats. I was short on time, so, rather than write a more detailed explanation, I apologized for the confusion. I botched it.
          I thank you for clearing it up.

          I certainly believe, as you do, that our government, even with its weaknesses, was wisely structured to deal with internal strife. The constitution is a document designed for improvement, not one designed to be destroyed and rewritten just because there are a few flaws in it. Damn good hard evidence and crystal clear reasoning would be required before embarking on an overthrow, and allowing the room for any vacuum after the revolution (by not having a very strong governing apparatus ready to go when the overthrow is complete) would be foolish and disastrous. BOTH sides at the Constitutional Convention , and many events in recent history seem to reinforce that.
          I’ll begin to arm up when it becomes apparent there are more whackos than there are sane people in this country. Then I’ll get some very rigorous training for using the weapons (see the following paragraph).

          An aside about armed guards in our schools. Real life shows that even sufficient training of such guards (less than experienced policemen, for example) could be more dangerous for the students than the maniac shooters are.
          http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444812704577611553836585324.html
          Real life New York policemen. . .
          Clearly, Mr. LaPierre’s assertion that “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” needs some additional thought,judicious modification, and very careful research before it’s implemented in the real world.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 25, 2013 at 1:09 pm

      In Afghanistan, the insurgents have the support of outsiders and have a relatively safe haven in Pakistan (although Obama’s death drones have made it much less safe). Also, many of them are out in the non-urban areas of the country.

      Let us suppose that the US went suddenly tyrannical and both the police and the military turned on the rest of the population. Plucky patriots with AR-15s would certainly kill some soldiers and police, but would not be able to hold cities, towns and production centers.Think about how the Germans were able to hold France despite the existence of partisans. The US would be rather more like occupied France than Afghanistan, since we have a mostly urban population that is accustomed to the first world lifestyle.

      Naturally, with the backing of foreign powers, the plucky patriots could wage an insurgency-but this would not be the result of the previous civilian ownership of guns.

      What would most likely bring down such a hypothetical American tyranny would be a failure of support (after all, the state needs taxpayers, workers, munition makers, and so on) among the population rather than plucky patriots shooting their way to freedom using the guns and bullets they had prior to the tyranny. Another possibility is a civil war with opposing military and governments. Also, there is the usual outside invasion.

      • ajmacdonaldjr said, on January 25, 2013 at 1:18 pm

        January 15, 2011
        On a recent broadcast, Rachael Maddow said that it’s extremist for one to believe that an armed citizenry prevents government tyranny.
        I believe that an armed citizenry prevents tyranny, which is exactly why the Founders gave us the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.

        “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” — Thomas Jefferson.
        I suppose the British and their supporters in the colonies thought the Founders were extremists too?
        Rachael’s argument that, if the above interpretation of the Second Amendment is correct, then citizens must (should) be allowed to buy any and all types of weaponry, is, I think, a good one (my personal favorite: the reductio ad absurdum) but she starts off with a faulty premise: that US citizens would need to be able to defeat (she says “destroy”), on the battlefield, the US military. This premise is faulty because US citizens don’t need to defeat (or destroy) the US military; all we need to do is to make life miserable for the US military, which is what the Vietnamese, the Iraqis, and the Afghanis have done.
        (Ever heard the terms “asymmetric warfare” and “insurgency” Rachael? I can remember when the US invaded Iraq and a $12,000,000 Apache helicopter was shot down by an Iraqi insurgent using an AK-47 and 20 cent bullets!)
        And, in case Rachael has forgotten, the US did fight a Civil War. The Battle of Gettysburg was fought only 15 miles from where I live, and the town that I live in has the distinction of being the only Union town to have been burned by the Confederates (in this case, in retaliation for the Union’s earlier decimation of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley).
        Thousands of men have already fought and died resisting federal tyranny Rachael, in case you’ve forgotten. If federal tyranny ever does need to be resisted again it will be resisted by men with arms that have been legally obtained and possessed. We will not need nukes, rocket launchers, and tanks, as you say, to defeat the US military, because we don’t need to defeat it; we only need to harass it, continually, until they give up (or should I say: switch sides?).
        Perhaps Rachael’s real concern should be with those who are in the US military and those who are in our many local, state, and federal police departments? Many of these people take the US Constitution—and the oath they’ve sworn to defend it—very seriously. And why shouldn’t they? After all, these folks are US citizens too. Just like Robert E. Lee was.

        See: http://www.infowars.com/rachael-maddows-faulty-gun-control-argument/

        • WTP said, on January 25, 2013 at 1:40 pm

          On a recent broadcast, Rachael Maddow said that it’s extremist for one to believe that an armed citizenry prevents government tyranny.

          Heh, I remember a leftist college professor I had, for a course in Modern Greek Literature no less, opining to us that the US did not need to spend billions on defense in a country where there was such a wide and deep disposition of fire arms. What any of that had to do with Kazantzakis or Vassilikos I don’t recall.

      • WTP said, on January 25, 2013 at 1:31 pm

        Wow, Mike’s almost as good at knowing all the twists and turns a hypothetical future conflict would take as he is at grasping the bazillion economic decisions that 300 million people make every day, especially the law of unintended consequences that apply to both. And all based on a couple of cherry-picked, Mike-perspectives of two or three historical incidences. Aiming for that Chairman of the JCOS when big-Ed finally goes belly up?

        • biomass2 said, on January 25, 2013 at 4:23 pm

          Unintended consequences. . .

          When two sides start listing the possible good and bad consequences (intended ‘or’ unintended) of any future action, they are, knowingly or unknowingly, essentially embarking on the slippery slope. When their arguments grow out of ideology, they fit George Will’s statement: “All politics takes place on a slippery slope.”
          .
          No one can predict the future. Some can look back on an event and say we should have known*#. Some who made the right call can say “I told you so”, even though they were guessing at least to some extent.— unless they had the ability to look into the future*#. Some can say the surprise came as a result of wrongdoing and thus could have been prevented with adequate regulation*#, Some would say it’s an ‘unforeseen circumstance*#.

          Obviously, no one can know what the unintended consequences of another person’s or a government’s act might be. If they would, they would and could say they know what the intended. consequences are. That would mean that there were no intended consequences because the “perpetrator” of the act would have had to have had “Iintention”. It would be possible that both individuals are wrong and something else entirely may result from the act.

          A good example. The long research and approval procedure for drugs. Who can say how much suffering and how many deaths are caused by the lag time?On the other hand, who can say how much suffering and death is prevented by making a serious attempt to assure that the drug chain is safe and that people aren’t dropping like fleas when they ten years after they start taking a drug that later is proven to cause cancer in humans?
          Then again, perhaps nothing should be done.

          Perhaps one of the unintended (intended?) consequences of paying too much heed to the law of unintended consequences in inertia. . .For fear of UI, nothing gets done or progress is hideously slow.

          *#the economic crisis of 2007-08+

    • WTP said, on January 25, 2013 at 1:21 pm

      Yeah TJ, it’s like he doesn’t acknowledge a single differing opinion from the previous thread. Interesting, wouldn’t you say?

    • magus71 said, on January 25, 2013 at 9:45 pm

      Plus, flattening cities in the country you control is bad for business. Tends to lessen tax revenue.

  3. ajmacdonaldjr said, on January 25, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Being “anti-harm and anti-death” is the rule of thumb we need in our political discourse today. Are the US-NATO wars harming and killing people? Is the war on drugs harming and killing people? Does abortion on demand harm and kill people? The answer to all of these is: “Yes, they do.” And we should be ashamed of ourselves for advocating morally bankrupt political positions that insist we continue harming and killing people.

  4. ajmacdonaldjr said, on January 25, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Let’s be honest… violence, selfishness, and cruelty is in vogue on our university campuses, and has been for many years now. In university classrooms around America violence is praised, and yet our media bemoans it. What hypocrites we are to bemoan violence while praising it in the classroom…

    Let”s be honest about violence: http://www.scribd.com/doc/116901580/Re-Violence-Let-s-be-intellectually-honest-for-a-change-shall-we

    1) We can choose to continue to “live” as we are now, in a sea of violence, blood, and despair, by simply continuing to act, as we have been doing, for many years now, according to our postmodern pseudo-intellectual and immoral guiding lights: Sade, Nietzsche, and Foucault.

    Or,

    2) We can choose to live with justice, peace, and hope by choosing to act according to our traditional intellectual and moral guiding lights: God, Natural Law, and Dr. M.L. King.

    See: http://ajmacdonaldjr.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/intellectualism-pseudo-intellectualism-and-our-future/

    • T. J. Babson said, on January 25, 2013 at 11:06 am

      “Sade, Nietzsche, and Foucault”

      How did you come up with that trio? What about Freud?

      “The ladies were Jung and Freudened.” -James Joyce

      • ajmacdonaldjr said, on January 25, 2013 at 11:14 am

        I came up with that trio because I can read. What about Freud? Jung was a lot brighter, and more interesting. Freud simply took God out of the OT and replaced it with man. Not much of an intellectual feat that. Foucault likewise took the Golden Rule, turned it upside down, and called it philosophy. Satan does the same, and has for a long time.

      • T. J. Babson said, on January 25, 2013 at 1:37 pm

        How did Sade get on to your list? He is not a serious thinker and does not rank with Nietzsche.

        If you are looking for 3 writers who helped turn the West away from God I think Nietzsche, Freud, and Darwin would be a better list than your 3.

        • WTP said, on January 25, 2013 at 1:44 pm

          Maybe he meant the singer? Contrasting with the other two who weren’t exactly smooth operators. Not sure what she may have written, though.

        • ajmacdonaldjr said, on January 25, 2013 at 1:49 pm

          Try reading the article I link to. I wrote it. Do I have to do your homework for you too? Jesus buddy, WTF? This is OLD NEWS! Foucault embraced Sade. Sade is taught as literature. Read the book I liked to: http://www.amazon.com/Forbidden-Knowledge-From-Prometheus-Pornography/dp/0156005514

          What, then, is Foucault’s great and lasting philosophical accomplishment? To tell us that abusing others physically and sexually—and then killing them—is to live the authentic philosophical life.

          Shattuck tells us that “Michel Foucault presents as fundamental for the emergence of the modern era out of seventeenth century classicism the fact that Sade revealed to us the truth about man’s relation to nature. Foucault plants his declarations at crucial junctures in his two major works of 1961 and 1966. These four passages reveal the usually obscured center of his ethos:

          ‘Sadism . . . is a massive cultural fact that appeared precisely at the end of the eighteenth century and that constitutes one of the greatest conversions of the occidental imagination . . . madness of desire, the insane delight of love and death in the limitless presumptions of appetite.’ (Madness and Civilization, 210)

          ‘Through Sade and Goya, the Western world received the possibility of transcending its reason in violence . . .’ (Madness and Civilization, 285)

          ‘After Sade, violence, life and death, desire, and sexuality will extend, below the level of representation, an immense expanse of darkness, which we are now attempting to recover . . . in our discourse, in our freedom, in our thought.’ (The Order of Things, 211)

          ‘Among the mutations that have affected the knowledge of things . . . only one, which began a century and a half ago . . . has allowed the figure of man to appear.’ (The Order of Things, 386)

          The last quotation from the final page of The Order of Things does not allude to Sade by name. But, in association with the other passages and in context, there can be little doubt that the great cultural ‘mutation’ welcomed by Foucault refers directly to Sade’s moral philosophy and to its practice in actual life.” (Forbidden Knowledge, 246-247)

          Why the admiration of Sade’s morally nihilistic—sadistic—philosophy? Foucault’s thinking, here, is hardly original. Philosophically, he borrowed the moral nihilism of a previous philosopher, Frederick Nietzsche, who at least had the intellectual honesty to lay bare his hatred for God and morality in plain language; unlike Foucault, whose philosophical jargon, rhetorical flourishes, and pretentious historical investigations knowingly obscured—rather than reveled—the truth of what he believed. Foucault, in fact, is the exact opposite of what a philosopher is supposed to be. Nietzsche—as wrong as his morally nihilistic philosophy is—at least had the decency to be honest and plain spoken about what it was that he believed.

          See: http://ajmacdonaldjr.wordpress.com/2010/04/26/foucault-and-the-folly-of-the-narcissistic-self/

          Do I have to do your thinking for you too?????!!!!!

          • WTP said, on January 25, 2013 at 2:02 pm

            Do I have to do your thinking for you too?????!!!!!


            Seems like something you’d be happy to do for us. WTF yourself. Mike and his fellow travellers have their ivory tower where they flatter themselves by all thinking the same cool/hip thing and you survivalist/freemen/wannabe-revolutionaries wallow in your own kind of meme incestuous universe.

            If you’re looking for someone to attack for not thinking, someone who is a real threat to the liberties you profess to hold so dear, I think you could find a much better target at the top of the page, hint-hint.

            • ajmacdonaldjr said, on January 25, 2013 at 6:00 pm

              Try reading the article I post before relying then. And do your homework first before attacking me, pro favor.

            • WTP said, on January 25, 2013 at 10:46 pm

              Oh, I’ve done my homework, Charlie. Not that you’re one to be passing out reading assignments. I perused your blog many moons ago. The condescension, anti-Semitism, and other unfounded assertions make Mike’s twisted reasoning look brilliant in comparison. Check your earlier posts before accusing anyone of “attacking” you. I came up with that trio because I can read. Wow. Touche.

          • T. J. Babson said, on January 25, 2013 at 2:26 pm

            Sade and Foucault are lightweights. They don’t run with the big dogs.

            • ajmacdonaldjr said, on January 25, 2013 at 11:04 pm

              how old are you wtp, 12? not very bright or well read are you?

            • WTP said, on January 25, 2013 at 11:23 pm

              how old are you wtp, 12? not very bright or well read are you?
              A reasoned and logical response. I shall have to ruminate on it a while and get back to you. Quite a while. Don’t wait up.

        • magus71 said, on January 25, 2013 at 10:24 pm

          Darwin is primarily responsible for the West’s turn from God. If he is correct, I, as a Christian, have a difficult time reconciling this with the classic Christian world view. Very few people think about the philosophical consequences of Darwinism, (nor the philosophical errors made by its proponents). What is “evolving?” How do we define better? More intelligent? Longer life? If it’s life, than parrots and turtles have humans beat. The primary difference between Freud, Nietzsche and Darwin compared to Sade and Faucault et al is that the first three removed the last ounce of mysticism from the world. There has always been sadism, deviant sexual practices, etc. But never before the first ” Big Three” listed by TJ, has there been a complete removal of mysticism by entire swaths of society.

          I argue that Darwin holds primacy over the Freud and Nietzsche in killing God because:

          1) Today, Freud has been largely discarded by modern, secular psychiatry.

          2) Nietzsche’s arguments against the existence of God are weak. He mostly expounds upon what it means to us if there is no God: We are Beyond Good and Evil. He does not take a scientific approach.

          3) Darwin’s strength was his own skepticism. He worried about the implications of his own findings, while modern men like Dawkins and Sam Harris are not skeptics; they *hope* Darwinism is true because they *hope* there is no God.

          • WTP said, on January 25, 2013 at 11:16 pm

            What is “evolving?” How do we define better? More intelligent? Longer life?
            Evolving is what works. “Better”, as implied, is an anthropocentric concept. Biological evolution cares not a whit about what is good for man, only what propagates. If “more intelligent” leads to “more”, then “more intelligent” it shall be. But “more intelligent” == “good” is not hard-coded. That’s not for us to define in our terms, but rather in the terms of what sustains. Since the dawn of Man, so it has been. Though there have been some close calls along the way.

            • ajmacdonaldjr said, on January 25, 2013 at 11:24 pm

              Darwinian evolution allows for no teleology. Look it up.

            • WTP said, on January 25, 2013 at 11:36 pm

              Teleology is not within Man’s domain of understanding. That’s my point, Einstein. Consider the possibility that God has a greater purpose than humans have the capacity to comprehend. Re Neils Bohr, “Stop telling God what to do”.

            • ajmacdonaldjr said, on January 26, 2013 at 12:00 am

              WTP says “Teleology is not within Man’s domain of understanding. That’s my point”, which is complete nonsense. WWAS? (What Would Aristotle Say?). You’re making a fool out of yourself dude :( Why am I wasting my time here with you? So long!

            • magus71 said, on January 26, 2013 at 2:29 am

              But that’s my point. Really not trying to be ridiculous or split hairs, here: What is “it works”? If it’s merely propogation than again, turtles live a long time and have the best opportunity to propogate.

              My point is that many who espouse Darwinism would say that man is “highly evolved.” On what basis? It seems our “highly evolved brain” is of no more use than the epoch-old turtle’s ability to merely live a long time. If we agree this is true, than the fact is that there are an infinite amount of ways to be considered “highly evolved”. There are a nearly infinite number of ways that an animal could reach higher fruit on a tree. yet scientists assure us they know that a giraffe has long legs so it can reach higher food. What about the millions of species that don’t have long legs and do just fine? Assigning known reasons to physical attributes of animals and then attributing those attributes to evolution is a complete shot in the dark. Thus we come to Carl Popper’s problem with Darwinism: It’s proponents leave no way to disprove it. Any theory that leaves no option for disproving it cannot be stated at true or false by science. I’m with Popper–one of the greatest scientists who ever lived: Darwinism is a nice theory–but it’s just that.

              Our evolved brain seems to be slowing our ability to propogate; we have birth control, abortion, etc. The more education a culture receives, the less it reproduces. In many countries in Europe, birthrates are far below sustainment rates. We can now create weapons with our highly evolved brains that allow us to annihilate ourselves.

              Does this at least not call into question whom “the fittest” are? If we cannot agree whom the fittest are, then we must question how a system would select creatures for “advancement.”

            • WTP said, on January 26, 2013 at 8:31 am

              I’m not seeing any ridiculous hair-splitting, but hair-splitting is a necessary part of philosophy. Taken in proper measures, that is.

              Two things here, actually more but just these two can become all-consuming and we can’t be writing books here:
              1. You’re taking Darwinism as a philosophy of how things should be as opposed to an observation as to why things are. While doing so is in line with many Darwinistas and their critics, I’m not sure that was what Mr. Chaz was trying to accomplish. From what I take from the study of evolution, he found the biological model of his day lacking in explanation for what he observed on his many travels. The theory, and he wasn’t alone in arriving at such at the time, was a tremendous improvement on the model(s) generally accepted in the mid 19th century.

              2. You’re coming at this from a position that Man is the philosophical center of the universe, based in a large part on Western Christian thinking. I’m not saying that such isn’t the case, nor would I pretend to know. But it is important to keep in mind what our own limitations are. Again, this is not to denigrate WCT. It has been, in my mind, the leading edge of understanding for the last couple thousand years. But since Darwin, again to my mind, much Christian thinking as adopted a defensive position that has not done it, nor our Western Civilization, justice. This starts to lead into one of my pet theories about the nature of God and the universe, but it’s quite tangential. I wrote about it on my blog several years ago, here:

              http://shermanscowlick.typepad.com/blog/2010/06/keyser-s%C3%B6ze-and-the-universal-contrarian.html

          • T. J. Babson said, on January 26, 2013 at 11:59 am

            Good analysis. God could have probably survived Nietzsche and Freud, but Darwin’s ideas are still surprisingly powerful.

            One thing I’ve been meaning to look into is whether Lamarck may not have been right in many cases after all. Turns out that sometimes inherited characteristics can indeed be passed on, which Darwin’s theory does not allow.

            • biomass2 said, on January 26, 2013 at 1:18 pm

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gemmule_%28pangenesis%29

            • T. J. Babson said, on January 26, 2013 at 2:14 pm

              When Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution by natural selection in On the Origin of Species, he continued to give credence to what he called “use and disuse inheritance”, but rejected other aspects of Lamarck’s theories. Later, Mendelian genetics supplanted the notion of inheritance of acquired traits, eventually leading to the development of the modern evolutionary synthesis, and the general abandonment of the Lamarckian theory of evolution in biology. Despite this abandonment, interest in Lamarckism has continued (2009) as studies in the field of epigenetics have highlighted the possible inheritance of behavioral traits acquired by the previous generation.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamarckism

            • T. J. Babson said, on January 26, 2013 at 2:16 pm

              Several recent studies, one conducted by researchers at MIT and another by researchers at the Tufts University School of Medicine, have rekindled the debate once again. As reported in MIT’s Technology Review in February 2009, “The effects of an animal’s environment during adolescence can be passed down to future offspring … The findings provide support for a 200-year-old theory of evolution that has been largely dismissed: Lamarckian evolution, which states that acquired characteristics can be passed on to offspring.”

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamarckism

            • biomass2 said, on January 26, 2013 at 8:13 pm

              From necsi,an organization also out of Cambridge, with MIT faculty affiliations :

              http://necsi.edu/projects/evolution/lamarck/webelieve/lamarck_webelieve.html

              The article bears this disclaimer:
              “This web site is designed for children, but can be used by teachers or by anyone who wants to learn about this amazing process of life.”
              I won’t vouch for the “credibility of this site. I only offer it as something to read as you “. . .look into . . .whether Lamarck may not have been right in many cases after all.”

            • biomass2 said, on January 26, 2013 at 8:33 pm

              Since we’re not talking about “On Not Being Anti-Gun”, here’s more on another subject presented in the hopes of getting us a bit closer to the topic of this blog article:
              A Franciscan Friar who was facing 12 counts of alleged child sexual abuse committed suicide with a knife (not a semi-automatic rifle!) early this morning.

              http://www.altoonamirror.com/page/content.detail/id/568132/Claims-of-abuse-by-Baker-rising.html?nav=742

              http://www.altoonamirror.com/page/content.detail/id/568187/Brother-Baker-death-ruled-a-suicide–update–6-30-p-m–.html?nav=742

              Question: Which sin— suicide or child sexual molestation—is worse in God’s eyes?

              And THIS is why I’m not “Anti-Knife”

            • magus71 said, on January 26, 2013 at 9:36 pm

              Interesting on Lamarck, I knew nothing of this. I feel safe in saying that Darwinism is not a complete theory and I truly think it has some logical holes. But I’m not a scientist; just a dude who thinks too much.

              Can you solve this problem for me? The basic problem being that when a species truly makes the leap to another species at a genetic level, how does it find a mate?

              http://soldiercitizen.wordpress.com/2011/10/15/darwinism-and-the-problem-of-allopatric-speciation/

            • T. J. Babson said, on January 26, 2013 at 9:54 pm

              Magus–not easy reading, but some idea of where evolutionary theory is going. It is becoming a branch of physics.

              Life is physics: evolution as a collective phenomenon far from equilibrium

              Nigel Goldenfeld, Carl Woese

              Evolution is the fundamental physical process that gives rise to biological phenomena. Yet it is widely treated as a subset of population genetics, and thus its scope is artificially limited. As a result, the key issues of how rapidly evolution occurs, and its coupling to ecology have not been satisfactorily addressed and formulated. The lack of widespread appreciation for, and understanding of, the evolutionary process has arguably retarded the development of biology as a science, with disastrous consequences for its applications to medicine, ecology and the global environment. This review focuses on evolution as a problem in non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, where the key dynamical modes are collective, as evidenced by the plethora of mobile genetic elements whose role in shaping evolution has been revealed by modern genomic surveys. We discuss how condensed matter physics concepts might provide a useful perspective in evolutionary biology, the conceptual failings of the modern evolutionary synthesis, the open-ended growth of complexity, and the quintessentially self-referential nature of evolutionary dynamics.

              http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/1011.4125

            • biomass2 said, on January 26, 2013 at 10:05 pm

              This all went off the rails so long ago, there’s no purpose in tracing the derailing back to its roots.
              So let’s plunge forward.

              Orwell fans on here probably know that a month-long commemoration of his birth has begun.

              http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/jan/17/my-problem-with-george-orwell

              If he were still alive, he’d be 110 years old*. . .

              * I wonder how he’d react to that statement—if he were alive?

            • biomass2 said, on January 26, 2013 at 10:12 pm

              And magus71 @ 9:36: Keep your mind out of the gutter. :)

              I have a possible answer to your question “. . .how does it find a mate?.”
              It humps everything it can find until something works.

            • WTP said, on January 26, 2013 at 11:14 pm

              The basic problem being that when a species truly makes the leap to another species at a genetic level, how does it find a mate?
              In the context of strict natural selection, it mates with individuals within the population that possess similar traits. An individual specimen does not evolve all by itself. In the context of Lamarckian evolution, again the environmental factors acting on the individual are also acting on other individuals in the group. Species don’t evolve one organism at a time, but in sub-groups. Thus the increasing complexity and adaptability of life.

            • magus71 said, on January 27, 2013 at 9:08 am

              WTP,

              Every subgroup would have to start with an individual. So, *the very first* of the new species would not have a mate. At some point, animals, supposedly, evolve into species that can only mate with the new species. Birds supposedly evolved form reptiles. There must be a “gate” through which a species passes and is no longer capbable of mating with the old, or reptiles would still be able to mate with birds. I understand it is not a direct bird-to-reptile evolution, but a myriad (again, supposedly) number of intermidiate links.

            • ajmacdonaldjr said, on January 28, 2013 at 1:51 pm

              Evolution is already proven to be a failed theory. Again, the “theory” of biological evolution is untestable, unobservable, unrepeatable, and makes no predictions. A legitimate scientific theory must do all of these.

              Never underestimate the power of the made up, closed, mind that hates God. Such a mind will and does believe anything, just so long as it’s NOT God.

              Even the “theory” of biological evolution, although it a proven failure.

              I suppose you guys believe in string “theory” too, huh?

              Another “theory” that is untestable, unobservable, unrepeatable, and makes no prediction.

              Profesor Mike, donde esta? Que es ciencia y la lógica?! :(

            • WTP said, on January 27, 2013 at 3:44 pm

              Magus,
              Again a single individual is unlike to evolve itself. A change in the environment or even the successful procreation of a species resulting in increased competition for food or territory will drive certain groups of individuals within a species to reproduce with each other exclusive of others. Consider possibly two herds whose excess males for whatever reason do not attempt to infiltrate the original herd. Now over several generations this can go on without a significant genetic change such that individuals from each herd can cross back over. But extend the process over thousands of years or should a permanent barrier suddenly separate the two groups, over time the lack of cross-pollination of the species will result in each group developing their own unique traits that benefit them in accordance with their environment. After a huge number of generations, each group will become so unique that they can (though not necessarily will) become genetically incompatible.

              I’m not sure I’m doing the explanation justice, but it would take way too many paragraphs with numerous examples for me to adequately explain. And I’m not the best explainer, iykwim.

            • T. J. Babson said, on January 27, 2013 at 4:24 pm

              I think a single species allows considerable genetic variation. Obviously if an animal (like a mule) is created that cannot reproduce it is a genetic dead end.

            • WTP said, on January 28, 2013 at 2:18 pm

              Evolution is already proven to be a failed theory. Again, the “theory” of biological evolution is untestable, unobservable, unrepeatable, and makes no predictions. A legitimate scientific theory must do all of these.

              Never underestimate the power of the made up, closed, mind that hates God. Such a mind will and does believe anything, just so long as it’s NOT God.

              Even the “theory” of biological evolution, although it a proven failure.

              I suppose you guys believe in string “theory” too, huh?

              Another “theory” that is untestable, unobservable, unrepeatable, and makes no prediction.

              Yeah, Mikey…Donde esta usted, eh? Atsa-matta-fo-you? You’re the self-appointed fallacy expert. Care to point out the numerous fallacies in AJ’s rant? Ipso facto ad absurdo? Areay esethay eoriesthay ullbay itshay?

            • biomass2 said, on February 4, 2013 at 4:40 pm

              Continuing off the subject. More current info about evolution.
              http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/05/science/pigeons-a-darwin-favorite-carry-new-clues-to-evolution.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&hp

            • ajmacdonaldjr said, on February 4, 2013 at 6:36 pm

              I tell you what guys… and this is a very sad commentary, especially on a philosophy blog. My trying to talk sense to you all, instead of nonsense, and speak wisdom to you all, instead of foolishness – whether it concerns, politics, government, guns, God, or evolution – is like my trying to talk to people who are bound up, facing a wall, and watching shadows that are cast upon the wall. While I’m outside the cave, in the real world, and while I’m trying to explain to you all there’s a fire behind you with people acting parts in front of it, which is casting the shadows you’re watching on the wall that you mistakenly think are reality but are in fact illusions. What you think is reality isn’t, and when I try to explain reality to you you say I’m crazy or stupid. You guys have a lot of homework to do, and a lot of thinking to do.

  5. magus71 said, on January 25, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Again, Occam’s Razor to the Rescue: If I’m a tryrant I feel more secure if the population is disarmed.

  6. magus71 said, on January 25, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    Question Mike: Is the denial of gun rights, in and of itself, a tyranny? If it is, how do you reconcile this with your statements that our government isn’t edging toward tyranny?

    • ajmacdonaldjr said, on January 25, 2013 at 11:01 pm

      Saddam armed his people, and that seemed to slow the US troops advance. This entire conversation is a mute point. Like arguing about how many angels dance on the head of a pin. WTF are we going to do about it all is my point> I say lets take matters into our own hands, without resorting to violence, and organize a temporary government the people, military, and police can side with. We’re wasting our time and energies doing anything else, which is exactly what our enemy wants us to be doing. See: http://ajmacdonaldjr.wordpress.com/philosophy-and-plan-of-action-summer-of-justice-2012-dc/

    • biomass2 said, on January 26, 2013 at 9:45 am

      An on-topic question. Thank you.
      ‘gun rights’

      Define that phrase. EX: Are you referring to completely unregulated possession of guns? Do you mean “gun” as described in the first paragraph of the Wikipedia “Gun” article.
      Do you mean “gun” as any one or all of the following: a : a piece of ordnance usually with high muzzle velocity and comparatively flat trajectory
      b : a portable firearm (as a rifle or handgun)
      c : a device that throws a projectile
      or
      arm 2 (ärm)
      n.
      1. A weapon, especially a firearm: troops bearing arms; ICBMs, bombs, and other nuclear arms.

      These are just a few possible interpretations of “gun” and “rights” and this is not intended as a complete representation of what “gun rights” might mean.

      I ask this question, because, for example, if one took the 18th Century Second literally in the 21st, and there would be no modifying regulations (legal controls), a manic depressive would have the right to carry a shoulder-fired grenade launcher down the streets of DC. and into a church.

      At what point are “gun rights” being denied, and at what point are they being necessarily modified?

      • biomass2 said, on January 27, 2013 at 9:00 pm

        Responses?

  7. ajmacdonaldjr said, on January 27, 2013 at 12:06 am

    “The theory of evolution is not just an inert piece of theoretical science. It is, and cannot help being, also a powerful folk-tale about human origins.” ~ Mary Midgley (Evolution as a Religion, (London: Routledge, 1985, 2002) p. 1)

    See: https://ajmacdonaldjr.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/creation-evolution-teleology-and-the-myths-we-live-by/

  8. T. J. Babson said, on January 28, 2013 at 10:34 am

    I have heard the phrase “gun culture” used quite a bit recently. Does anybody have a good definition of “gun culture”?

    • biomass2 said, on January 28, 2013 at 11:37 am

      TJ Babson:
      Let’s go back to magus71′s question. It got two thumbs up, but no answers. Just questions.
      “Is the denial of gun rights, in and of itself, a tyranny?”
      I answered it with some questions. No one replied. . .And I don’t think we can even get a sniff of “a good definition of ‘gun culture’ until those questions are considered in depth.

      Does the word “rights” mean ‘absolute’ rights? Does it mean no regulations (as some would call for) or might it involve some sensible regulations (a call from some on both sides )? It’s silly to think that the word “rights” might mean confiscations*#, or the elimination of all rights, so we don’t have to consider that in our definition.

      If we ask the question m asked, we’ll likely be at loggerheads until my first questions are answered.
      Can we have “rights” and still have regulatory controls—as we do, for example, with the 1st Amendment? One who answers “yes”, should propose a few such gun controls. Following on, If some who answered “yes” disagree with the suggested regulations, then it should be their responsibility to provide sensible regulations for the other side to consider. In either case, both sides should defend their proposals and suggestions.without cluttering the discussion with tired old phrases that lead everyone back to the beginning.

      I suspect you’ll never get a satisfactory explanation of “gun culture” or “gun nuts” or “take away our guns” or “fascist takeover” or “destroy the second amendment” until there’s an agreement on the phrase “gun rights” And even then It’s certain more than a few on either side of the issue will not be satisfied.

      #Sending 12 million illegals back to Mexico is still supported by some,, but others, George Will, included, say the American public would not put up with such actions by their government. (I believe he’s just providing a smokescreen to cover the real reason there’s a “new appreciation ” for finding a way to citizenship.
      Just imagine what the American public’s reaction would be to the attempted confiscation of guns from 80 million gun owners!

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 28, 2013 at 12:52 pm

      It seems to often be used as dysphemism by certain folks in the media and those who are critical of gun-rights. They generally seem to mean “people with an unusual level of interest in guns that is irrational in its foundation.” A neutral definition would be something like “a segment of the American population that is generally positive in its outlook towards guns and gun rights.” That is, a large percentage of Americans (including myself).

      • T. J. Babson said, on January 28, 2013 at 2:48 pm

        So a person can (a) not own gun and (b) not even be particularly interested in guns, but is still considered part of the “gun culture” if he or she has no problem with other people owning guns?

        No voting “present” on this one, I guess.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 28, 2013 at 10:21 pm

          Depends on the definition. But, to use an analogy, to be part of the runner culture involves more than being okay with other people running. So I’d say that being part of the gun culture does require some involvement with guns. I’m not sure how much. I’m not even sure what hinges on getting a good definition for this.

      • biomass2 said, on January 28, 2013 at 3:43 pm

        Yes. But I believe your neutral definition would be better if it included an explanation of the last word in your definition: “rights”. Magus’ question can’t be answered satisfactorily, unless we settle on the limits of the word ‘rights’.
        A “[small, but vociferous] segment of the American population” , for example, feels that the word ‘rights’, as applied to guns, means absolute, unregulated, possession of weapons. I don’t consider myself among that group. I do, however, take TJ’s approach. As I understand a previous response, he doesn’t personally own a weapon, but he doesn’t object to his neighbors and others owning guns. That, approach, of course avoids the question of degrees of regulation, etc. I assume that’s why he votes ‘present’. . .

        I’ll vote ‘present’ as well until an intelligent discussion (uncluttered by politics, defensiveness and slippery language) is undertaken by politicians and interested parties to get past all the rhetoric and come to a useful understanding of what rights are in this country.

  9. ajmacdonaldjr said, on January 28, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    You guys are, again, debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. We’re under a tyranny and have been for many years. Care to do anything about it? or just discuss it? What the point of even talking about gun-control? Its obvious we’re allowed to own guns. Only a tyrant takes them away. Again, care to do anything about it? ever? And about evolution, I think some of you need to go back to junior high and study the scientific method again, because the theory of evolution, like string “theory” isn’t even a valid theory, let alone a fact. You guys are too much, seriously. Can we talk about something intelligent?

    • T. J. Babson said, on January 28, 2013 at 5:12 pm

      “debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin”

      It’s what we do here. It is, after all, a philosophy blog.

      • WTP said, on January 28, 2013 at 5:24 pm

        Come on, TJ, speak up for the science-y stuff. I can’t be answering all the bs.

      • ajmacdonaldjr said, on January 28, 2013 at 7:53 pm

        That’s not “philosophy”, that’s “scholasticism.” Let’s be more pragmatic, shall we? Pragmatism is, after all, America’s one and only contribution to philosophy.

        The meaningless abstractions are very unhelpful.

        Let’s assume we are under a tyranny, since we are. What do we do about it?

        Let’s assume biological evolution is an invalid theory, since it asserts something unobservable, untestable, unrepeatable, and makes no predictions, and let’s place it into the trash can of the history of science, along with string “theory” and all the other erroneous “theories” that have been asserted throughout the development of modern science. What do we do about it.

        How about come up with a valid theory?

    • WTP said, on January 28, 2013 at 5:32 pm

      (Sigh)…Ok, let’s talk about something “intelligent”. Since your position is that evolutions is all a bunch of hooey, what is your better explanation of where life came from, why are there so many similar and yet genetically incompatible species? Put something up and defend it, you know, with that big brain of yours.

      • ajmacdonaldjr said, on January 28, 2013 at 8:07 pm

        My better explanation? That life was created by design with purpose in mind. Information theory? code? DNA? language? Intelligence? All of these indicate a mind, a Creator, not that there were once atoms colliding in the void… and now they have sex and speak to each other afterwards.”

        The quote, below is from a 2007 book about evolution. It’s the best, only, explanation evolutionists have: “atoms in the void collide… now they have sex and talk with each other afterwards:

        “Atoms collide in every possible way until they form a wide variety of molecules, each selected for by the lo cal concentration of atoms together with the laws of chemistry. Molecules, in turn, explore ever more complicated chemical reactions until they form a molecule capable of catalyzing its own production together with variation in its form: Such a form of proto-life is selected for merely by its ability to reproduce and adapt to different environmental conditions. Because of its ability to adapt to new surroundings, life explores a vast space of possible beings, until it arrives first at sexual reproduction and then at language.” ~ Seth Lloyd (in, “Intelligent Thought”, p.189)

        See” http://www.amazon.com/Intelligent-Thought-Science-versus-Movement/dp/0307277224

        Odd title for a book with such a bullshit assertion masquerading as “science.”

        The evolutionists dare not retreat from their foolish assertions, no matter how ludicrous they may be, lest they be forced to return to the Creator of all life, which, for them, is intolerable. Better to BELIEVE in atoms, the void, accident, and have FAITH in time, than believe and have faith in Almighty God.

        BTW, there are a lot of men with guns everywhere in Mexico City. The Uzi seems very popular, FYI about the gun control topic. I wonder if Mexico is under a tyranny too? LOL ;)

        • WTP said, on January 28, 2013 at 10:13 pm

          oooookaaay….got it. I was right the first time. Am reminded of a prior post, to whit:
          You’re making a fool out of yourself dude :( Why am I wasting my time here with you? So long!

          • ajmacdonaldjr said, on January 28, 2013 at 11:24 pm

            The fool says in his heart, and from out of his mouth “there is no God.”

            • WTP said, on January 28, 2013 at 11:51 pm

              Again, Matthew 7:3-4, WTH, the whole thing.

            • ajmacdonaldjr said, on January 29, 2013 at 9:50 am

              WTP – “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” ~ John 7:24

              Misusing scripture is lame.

              I suppose the next thing you’re going to tell me is we can never take anyone to court? That all the judges are wrong to be judging anyone for anything? Ready to dismantle the entire justice system now are you?

  10. ajmacdonaldjr said, on January 28, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    “Many people mistakenly believe that Darwinism asserts the development of life from simple to ever greater complexity as the goal of natural selection, as if humans were some sort of natural and highest end result of (the process of) natural selection. Yet this teleological and goal-driven type of evolution is not Darwinism; Darwin repudiated a teleological explanation for life, because teleology requires some purposing agent in order to guide and direct life toward a higher goal, which must exist either within nature (e.g., life-force, World-Soul) or beyond nature (i.e., a supernatural Creator).

    The modern scientific theory of evolution cannot make allowances for either unknown mysterious forces or a Creator: life must be seen as having developed purposelessly from nature alone without the benefit of any preordained plan, goal, or end in mind. Teleology—also referred to as orthogenesis (i.e., a direction of evolution toward a final goal by an intrinsic principle, or force)—has no place in Darwinian evolutionary theory, “orthogenesis and other teleological explanations of evolution [having] now been thoroughly refuted, and it has been shown that indeed natural selection is capable of producing all the adaptations that were formally attributed to orthogenesis.”66 (Ernst Mayr “What Evolution Is”, p 275)

    A view of the living world which allows for no purpose is, to say the least, a very dismal view. Evolutionary thinking has a strong ten- dency to cause one to view life as an insignificant event in the history of an insignificant planet that will (eventually) die an insignificant death. There is little significance without purpose. The modern scien- tific evolutionary model of the living world is, in this regard, not unlike the modern scientific cosmological view of the earth as an insignificant speck in the vast emptiness of space. The biblical view of the living world is thought to be prescientific and mythological, yet it does present the living world to us as-it-appears to us and as being invested with meaning and purpose. Rather than believing that humankind has descended from quarks and bacteria, the Bible presents humankind as having been created by God “in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). This view of life—especially human life—is wholly opposed to the evolutionary view of life.” ~ Me (“The World Perceived”, p 94) See: http://www.amazon.com/The-World-Perceived-Phenomenological-In-The-World/dp/1440462143

    • ajmacdonaldjr said, on January 28, 2013 at 11:46 pm

      “String theory is on the ropes. After decades of prominence as the key to physics’ elusive “theory of everything,” challengers say the hypothesis is unraveling.

      Why? Because there haven’t been experiments to prove it — and there don’t seem to be any on the horizon.”

      See: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/tech/science/2006-09-18-string-theory_x.htm

      Gee, the same can be said for the “theory” of evolution.

      Solution?

      Come up with a valid theory.

  11. magus71 said, on January 28, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a mystic. I’ve been that way since I was 5 years old. I’ve never been able to shake the thought that there is “something more.”

    • WTP said, on January 28, 2013 at 11:53 pm

      Who’s to say there isn’t?

    • T. J. Babson said, on January 29, 2013 at 12:17 am

      Of course there is something more. It it just probably not an old man with a beard.

      Somewhere, George Burns is laughing.

      • ajmacdonaldjr said, on January 29, 2013 at 10:26 am

        Foolish by nature were all who were in ignorance of God,
        and who from the good things seen did not succeed in knowing the one who is, and from studying the works did not discern the artisan;

        Instead either fire, or wind, or the swift air,
        or the circuit of the stars, or the mighty water,
        or the luminaries of heaven, the governors* of the world, they considered gods.

        Now if out of joy in their beauty they thought them gods,
        let them know how far more excellent is the Lord than these;
        for the original source of beauty fashioned them.

        Or if they were struck by their might and energy,
        let them realize from these things how much more powerful is the one who made them.

        For from the greatness and the beauty of created things
        their original author, by analogy, is seen.

        Wisdom 13:1-5


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