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Saturday, December 15, 2012

What is wrong with killing children?

One of the interesting things I've noticed about all the emotional posturing about the Connecticut public school shootings is that a fair share of it is being done by people who claim there is no God, no good, and no evil.  Some of those people also happen to be those who assert that the Earth has too many people.

So, I find myself wondering if they are knowingly striking false poses in order to hide their amoral inhumanity at a time when sensitivities are particularly acute or if they are merely intellectually incoherent.  The logical fact of the matter is that if there is no divine spark within us, if we are merely bits of stardust that happens to have congregated in one of many possible manners, then therre is nothing wrong or objectionable in rearranging the stardust a little.  What difference does it make to an atom if it now happens to be part of arrangement X instead of arrangement Y?  What difference does it make to the universe?

And if consciousness does not exist, if it is the illusion that some of the more imaginative neurophilosophers claim it to be, then how can anyone possibly object to the elimination of the nonexistent?  What tragedy can be found in the transformation from nothing to nothing?

And if there are too many people on the Earth, in the country, then is not the reduction of that excessive number to be celebrated?

And if it is good, moral, and legal to kill a child in a trans-natal abortion, how long after birth is such killing truly licit?  Would it make the deaths of the young public schoolchildren more palatable to describe them as 24th trimester post-natal abortions?

In an increasingly post-Christian pagan society, what is is wrong, precisely, with killing schoolchildren?

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179 Comments:

Anonymous Idle Spectator December 15, 2012 4:43 AM  

They are just waiting too long. The pagan Spartans got rid of the baby right after birth if it looked malformed or diseased, before it could cause any real harm.

You have to act fast before you get emotionally attached to the future hypothetical child molecular mass. Otherwise, tragedies like today's shooting happen.

Anonymous Outlaw X December 15, 2012 4:46 AM  

In an increasingly post-Christian pagan society, what is is wrong, precisely, with killing schoolchildren?


It makes Obama cry.

Anonymous Idle Spectator December 15, 2012 4:47 AM  

Also, I wonder how many people are going to lack reading comprehension, and skip the copious ?-marks threaded throughout this post, and go straight into "nazi mode."

3...
2...
1...

Anonymous dh December 15, 2012 4:49 AM  

> In an increasingly post-Christian pagan society, what is is wrong, precisely, with killing
> schoolchildren?

There is nothing wrong with killing school children that is more or less wrong than killing anyone else, that much is easy.

As an atheist liberal, it is "wrong" in the sense that it is a waste of human life and potential, and a deprevation to the ones who have lost a family memer. To the victims, it is an undignified end to an unnaturally short life.

Anonymous Idle Spectator December 15, 2012 4:49 AM  

It makes Obama cry.

He asked what was wrong with it.

Anonymous p-dawg December 15, 2012 4:51 AM  

@dh

By what objective standard is it a waste of human life?

Anonymous Heisenberg December 15, 2012 4:52 AM  

Oh, c'mon Vox. It's bad to kill children because it makes me 'feel' bad. And the random chemicals stirring in my post-simian brain prove that your comments are raciss and childophopic.

Anonymous VD December 15, 2012 5:02 AM  

As an atheist liberal, it is "wrong" in the sense that it is a waste of human life and potential, and a deprevation to the ones who have lost a family memer. To the victims, it is an undignified end to an unnaturally short life.

But how can you know it is a waste of human life and potential? What is the value of human life if consciousness is simply an illusion? And what if the net potential of those lives was negative, would that then make the shooter's actions "right"?

It appears to me that you're simply moving the question down a turtle. What is wrong with unnaturally short lives? Aren't their shortened lives actually more in line with most natural animal lifespans anyhow? It is our artificially science-lengthened lifespans that are unnatural.

Anonymous Krul December 15, 2012 5:08 AM  

As an atheist liberal, it is "wrong" in the sense that it is a waste of human life and potential, and a deprevation to the ones who have lost a family memer. To the victims, it is an undignified end to an unnaturally short life.

As always from a materialist perspective, one runs into the is-ought problem. For example, just how long is a "natural" lifespan, and why is a natural lifespan preferable to an unnatural one? How do you distinguish between a dignified and an undignified end? Just what is "human potential"? Why is the grief of the family members considered a bad thing? etc etc.

Anonymous The Great Martini December 15, 2012 5:14 AM  


But how can you know it is a waste of human life and potential? What is the value of human life if consciousness is simply an illusion?


I read this analogy recently on an atheist blog. We know that our pets will only live so long, usually far shorter than a human life. So a dog, say, is born, lives its life, and during that time we invest emotions and feelings for it, we make it part of our life. The question is, why do we value their lives at all? Why don't we just kill them immediately? Some people even believe that since they're "property" that we should legally have the right to kill them at will, and there is probably no great religious proscription against doing it. So what is the value in a dog's life?

Anonymous VD December 15, 2012 5:23 AM  

So what is the value in a dog's life?

There is no inherent value in a dog's life. It is totally subjective. Some people will pay tens of thousands of dollars to keep an old dog alive for another year. And yet, we pay taxes which go to exterminating hundreds of thousands of dogs all around the country every year.

So, your analogy indicates that there was nothing wrong in Lanza's actions. He simply happened to place a different subjective value on the lives of the public schoolchildren than others did.

Anonymous Kommandant von Tadowicz; Sanfransisklag December 15, 2012 5:27 AM  

I'll simply concern myself with how much work we can get out of those children that are walking on the earth before that 24th trimester. Casualty rate in my work camps is zero, after all.

Anonymous The Great Martini December 15, 2012 5:50 AM  


So, your analogy indicates that there was nothing wrong in Lanza's actions. He simply happened to place a different subjective value on the lives of the public schoolchildren than others did.


There was nothing wrong in Lanza's actions...to Lanza. Barring the possibility that he thought what he did was wrong and did it anyway, I think that's exactly right. He saw no value in their lives, or his mother's, or his own for that matter. That seems to be entirely consistent with reality. I don't see how this provides any proof that objective, or absolute, morality exists, but I think the reasoning is usually that these heinous acts are so bad that they must be objectively wrong. But notice what's going on here. It's the intrinsic nature of the acts themselves that convince you that they must be objectively wrong, so why do you need the absolute reference of God to tell you so?

Blogger Christopher December 15, 2012 6:05 AM  

As an atheist liberal it is absolutely tragic that anyone is killed - because this is all the life and all the chance they have - as an atheist liberal the loss of a child is the loss of everything they could have accomplished in the time they have on earth. As a god fearing Christian the loss of a child is meaningless as they are now in heaven or hell or whatever stupidass afterlife bullshit awaits them. For an atheist liberal any loss of life is catastrophic because this is all there is. For the Christian idiot this is god's will or god's plan or whatever completely ludicrous asshole bullshit they are in a better place fucktasticry you wanttot assign to it. For an atheist liberal this is a tragedy of unbelievable proportions for all of the potential in these beautiful unique unreplaceable creatures is lost forever.

Anonymous zen0 December 15, 2012 6:06 AM  

but I think the reasoning is usually that these heinous acts are so bad that they must be objectively wrong.
@ GM

who says?

Anonymous Outlaw X December 15, 2012 6:09 AM  

Thou shalt not kill - Gods law
Thou Shalt not steal - Gods law
Thou shalt not bear false witness (as in Perjury) - Gods law.

Since there is a prohibition between Church and state it should be illegal for the State to make such laws against these things. And Obama can cry but that doesn't make it a law. Crying doesn't negate the separation.

Anonymous Allabaster December 15, 2012 6:10 AM  

They simply mouth their adherence to materialism when it suits them, they know very well that it is a convenient lie. This only holds up because all others around them do exactly the same, like a vapid ballet of the intellectually shallow.

Anonymous VD December 15, 2012 6:11 AM  

I think the reasoning is usually that these heinous acts are so bad that they must be objectively wrong.

You could as reasonably say that about homosexual activity. Or, for that matter, walking the dog. There is no substance underlying that "reasoning". That's a nonsensical argument based on nothing but emotions.

Anonymous VD December 15, 2012 6:14 AM  

It's the intrinsic nature of the acts themselves that convince you that they must be objectively wrong, so why do you need the absolute reference of God to tell you so?

Because they don't do anything of the kind. That's the entire point.

Anonymous Outlaw X December 15, 2012 6:27 AM  

I am getting pretty damn tired of you Bible thumping puritans using Gods law to tell me how to live.

Anonymous The Great Martini December 15, 2012 6:41 AM  


That's a nonsensical argument based on nothing but emotions.


Yes, well, word for word, that's almost exactly how William Lane Craig defends his argument for objective morality, in several debates. I agree, it's a terrible argument on logic, but then so are most of Craig's. On the other hand, I do think it fairly captures why many people are convinced that there must be objective morality. There are certain acts that simply must be wrong, absolutely, objectively, universally, but the irony is that they derive this conclusion by the subjective impression they have for the acts themselves, an odd form of circular reasoning.

Blogger Rantor December 15, 2012 6:47 AM  

Being that the US now seems to congratulate China on the anniversary of the revolution and all that implies, is the only difference between this and the cultural revolution motivation?

If the shooter has a good revolutionary cause, it must be OK?

Breivik was obviously a counter revolutionary as he was killing liberals, so he is evil, Mao was good?

Anonymous VD December 15, 2012 6:57 AM  

Yes, well, word for word, that's almost exactly how William Lane Craig defends his argument for objective morality, in several debates.

I'll have to take your word for it. Other than his debate with Sam Harris, in which I felt he easily beat Harris but left Harris off the hook instead of entirely demolishing him, I am not familiar with his arguments.

Anonymous TheExpat December 15, 2012 7:02 AM  

As an atheist liberal, it is "wrong" in the sense that it is a waste of human life and potential, and a deprevation to the ones who have lost a family memer. To the victims, it is an undignified end to an unnaturally short life.

Cue flailing about as to why abortion is different in 3... 2... 1...

Anonymous Dot connector December 15, 2012 7:08 AM  

"For an atheist liberal any loss of life is catastrophic because this is all there is."

Actually no this is not all there is and hell is even worse than the bad stuff that goes on this side.

"For the Christian idiot this is god's will or god's plan or whatever completely ludicrous asshole bullshit they are in a better place fucktasticry you wanttot assign to it."

Well you got one thing right the lower case g, for the "plans" you mention belong to Satan. The murder and mayhem you see topside is from your father the devil (John 8:44).

"For an atheist liberal this is a tragedy of unbelievable proportions for all of the potential in these beautiful unique unreplaceable creatures is lost forever."

So I take it your against abortion?

Blogger Kyle In Japan December 15, 2012 7:14 AM  

"Yes, well, word for word, that's almost exactly how William Lane Craig defends his argument for objective morality"

No, it isn't. Craig says that without God, morality is subjective - almost exactly as Vox argues in the original post. Craig says that without God, there is no objective basis for morality. Perhaps you're confused by his comparative use of arguments for God's existence, in which he has said that the cosmological or teleological arguments are his favorite, but the moral argument tends to be most persuasive because it moves people emotionally. Just because something is emotionally persuasive, that doesn't invalidate the argument itself. It's you, not Craig, who needs to work on his logic.

Anonymous Anonymous December 15, 2012 7:24 AM  

If it'd been done by drone strike on the other side of the world it would not get the judgement.
That would be 'different.'

Anonymous The Great Martini December 15, 2012 7:37 AM  


No, it isn't. Craig says that without God, morality is subjective - almost exactly as Vox argues in the original post. Craig says that without God, there is no objective basis for morality.


In other news, the sky is blue. Without God, morality is subjective. But that's not an argument that objective morality exists (nobody has said it is). It's just a statement. Perhaps Craig doesn't use appeal to emotion as his argument for objective morality, but the point is he doesn't use anything else. What else, really, is there? Seriously, I'm open to your instruction. If you're not basing all of this on a very subjective emotional response, then what else have you got?

Anonymous Dot connector December 15, 2012 7:38 AM  

"If it'd been done by drone strike on the other side of the world it would not get the judgement.
That would be different."

And it's especially 'different' when the lefties favorite criminal usurper, Obama does it.

Anonymous Kickass December 15, 2012 7:39 AM  

You do so love to make the trolls dance and sing Vox. It just never gets old, I got some coffee and am settling in for the show. As you all were.

By the way, anyone beginning to understand Jonah a bit better now?

Anonymous Kickass December 15, 2012 7:43 AM  

Dot connector, enjoyed that but it will go right over their heads. Atheists think they are brilliant and morally superior in light of all evidence to the contrary.

Anonymous Dot connector December 15, 2012 7:47 AM  

"Dot connector, enjoyed that but it will go right over their heads. Atheists think they are brilliant and morally superior in light of all evidence to the contrary."

I know, must have something to do with pride or something.(Psalm 31:18 & 36:11)

Anonymous Outlaw X December 15, 2012 7:49 AM  

You do so love to make the trolls dance and sing Vox.

It is its simplicity that makes it so effective, knowing the audience. The average "liberal" mind is fueled by emotional appeal. So he uses an emotional appeal to start a logical discourse. Pretty damn effective.

Anonymous Nihilus December 15, 2012 7:51 AM  

I find it absolutely hilarious that not a single one of these people would have lifted a finger to stop the abortions of these very same children.

Anonymous railroad December 15, 2012 8:10 AM  

While the child is developing And learning in its confinement plan-parenthood murders it.

Life does not start until the government says you are worthy of life.

We elect people that are no different then the mass murderers that occur. How many times have we seen the elected get caught doing immoral or illegal acts? Then we see the political machines and media try hide it or justify the actions.

Governments are known for mass murdering of its own people. Waco

Blogger tz December 15, 2012 8:16 AM  

I would just go back to The Abolition of Man, where CS Lewis makes a related but different point. He claims the Tao is objectively true. But it is also the only thing that is capable of giving legitimacy to any rule or set of rules. It can only be refined from within, not unlike thenway we progressively see smaller (atoms, then the nucleus) or farther. The silver rule is a rough draft for the golden rule but both are inside.

Rothbard's ethics crashes and burns, not that it is internally inconsistent in any way, but because there is no reason to adopt it v.s. any of a hundred others.

The non-virtuous pagan view - and the new atheist - wants to rip out any prohibition on sexual license. The socialists want to violate property with robin hood programs. The neocons want preemptive war. But in going to their goals, they are removed from the Tao.

Confucius was not from Abraham, yet his ethics are the same as the Torah. You can ask why something is in the Tao, but only to clarify, not contradict.

Also, look right in the church. Contraception was considered gravely evil until the Anglicans created a narrow exception in 1930. By the 1960s only the Catholic church held the line with the encyclical Humanae Vitae that predicted the pornography, the objectification of women, the destruction of marriage and the rest. Maybe it was the Holy Spirit, or just the Tao which has "The Gods of the Copybook Headings" to enforce consequences.

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html


Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.


Are children now not much more than objects? Joining their mothers and the rejected notion of fatherhood. Perhaps the vacuum of fatherhood has been replaced with hypergamy.


Blogger SarahsDaughter December 15, 2012 8:16 AM  

He saw no value in their lives

It was due to their value that he targeted them. He did not kill those he saw no value in, he killed those with the most value.

Anonymous Azimus December 15, 2012 8:18 AM  

Perhaps the atheist-nihilist can properly bewail the loss on the basis of property loss? Afterall children are a massive investment of time and money.

Anonymous railroad December 15, 2012 8:18 AM  

They talk about Christmas presents for these murderer children. They should be politically correct and say holiday presents.

Blogger rcocean December 15, 2012 8:23 AM  

An honest liberal/atheist would say that there's nothing intrinsically wrong with killing kids, its just depends on the circumstances.

For example were these kids "racists" or "anti-semites"? Then I'm sure many liberals would approve. I remember good old Hitch chortling over the death of many kids in Iraq and Lebanon because they belonged to the "wrong side". Don't remember his liberal Vanity Fair readership uttering a peep of condemnation.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza December 15, 2012 8:29 AM  

Incoherence. While decrying how they suffered at the hands of another evil shooter, evil gun, while suffering from being pro-choice along with believing in the population myth.

My parents and I wanted some coffee at the hospital coffee/tea clutch. We sat down while the new was blaring away about the situation. A person in the room actually said, "what a tragedy this is b/c we need the tax payers."

We found that to be disturbing.

Anonymous Riddick December 15, 2012 8:34 AM  

It's against the law.

Anonymous Cinco December 15, 2012 8:34 AM  

@SarahsDaughter

That is an interesting point you just made. I believe that he in fact saw no value in those children; however, I also believe that he saw the value that the rest of society (mostly) put in those children.

It is telling that he killed his own parents first, then went on kill the children of others. As if to say, "My parents never saw the value in me, and I don't see the value in yours."

Matthew 7:18 ►

A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.

Anonymous antonym December 15, 2012 8:41 AM  

Strictly speaking, there is nothing evil about killing children. But our instincts are to be protective of children and despise anyone who harms them. I'm no exception to this.

Anonymous JW December 15, 2012 8:46 AM  

"As an atheist liberal it is absolutely tragic that anyone is killed"

Oh please...lotsa people need killin'.

Anonymous Krul December 15, 2012 8:48 AM  

I don't see how this provides any proof that objective, or absolute, morality exists, but I think the reasoning is usually that these heinous acts are so bad that they must be objectively wrong.

Without God, morality is subjective. But that's not an argument that objective morality exists (nobody has said it is). It's just a statement. Perhaps Craig doesn't use appeal to emotion as his argument for objective morality, but the point is he doesn't use anything else. What else, really, is there? Seriously, I'm open to your instruction. If you're not basing all of this on a very subjective emotional response, then what else have you got?

TGM, it looks like you're not grasping the actual argument being made. Pointing out that morality is subjective and arbitrary without God is not evidence of God's or objective morality's existence. It removes the atheist's right to condemn any actions, including murder and theism, on moral grounds. Pointing out that the ancient Hebrews and medieval Christians committed genocide is pointless as an anti-Christian argument if you can't say that these actions were objectively wrong.

Anonymous Idle Spectator December 15, 2012 8:52 AM  

George Carlin was born in 1937, and was a member of the silent generation. Ironic since he never shut up about anything.

You posted about how much you hated George Carlin.
Then you kept posting about how much you hated the baby boomers.
So, what happens when George Carlin agrees with this blog on the baby boomer fossils?

Baby Boomers and Politicians

Thanks George.

Since when on the subject of rhetorical questions, hey Vox, did I just make heads explode? Did they die like one of those school children?

Anonymous Dot connector December 15, 2012 8:58 AM  

"A person in the room actually said, "what a tragedy this is b/c we need the tax payers."

An obvious liberal and statistically likely atheist as well.

Anonymous VD December 15, 2012 8:59 AM  

You posted about how much you hated George Carlin. Then you kept posting about how much you hated the baby boomers.

Oh, I dislike the Baby Boomers, at least in the collective, far, far more than I dislike George Carlin. To be honest, I had no idea he was still alive. It's not so much hate for George Carlin as a complete failure to understand why he is considered more amusing than the average newspaper headline.

Anonymous CaptDMO December 15, 2012 8:59 AM  

But...but...it was a "state" institution, of mandatory attendance, supervised by well rewarded workers-party members "certified" by the education complex as suitable mentors.
Any "disparate outcome, or diversity intolerance, there?

I guess it just hasn't been done "right" yet.

Expect revisitation to re-reinterpretation and dialogue toward "compromise" of The Constitution and/or The Ten Commandments, and somehow-official quotas in legislative/judicial/executive "certified appointees".

Just remember, any "debate" with a Socialist (by any other name) is ONLY useful for potential spectators.


Anonymous JW December 15, 2012 8:59 AM  

Didn't Madeline Halfbright, when asked about the deaths of a million Arab men, men, women, and children, say something to the effect that "we believe it was worth it". I wonder what she would have said if those deaths were Jews.

Anonymous Godfrey December 15, 2012 9:02 AM  

"So, I find myself wondering if [the godless relativists] are knowingly striking false poses in order to hide their amoral inhumanity at a time when sensitivities are particularly acute or if they are merely intellectually incoherent." Vox



For the elites it is the former and for their trained monkeys it is the latter.

Anonymous Leonidas December 15, 2012 9:03 AM  

As an atheist liberal, it is "wrong" in the sense that it is a waste of human life and potential, and a deprevation to the ones who have lost a family memer.

In other words, no worse than sending them to public school.

Blogger SarahsDaughter December 15, 2012 9:06 AM  

As if to say, "My parents never saw the value in me, and I don't see the value in yours." - Cinco

Or he coveted the value he perceived the children to have. You can not covet that which you don't want. You can not rage against that which you're indifferent to.

I understand why you would quote Matthew 7:18, however valuing something is not intrinsically an expression of good fruit.

"Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practice it, because it is in the power of their hand.
And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage."- Micah 2:1-2

Anonymous Godfrey December 15, 2012 9:25 AM  

Christopher December 15, 2012 6:05 AM
“For the Christian idiot this is god's will or god's plan or whatever completely ludicrous asshole bullshit they are in a better place fucktasticry you want to assign to it.”


Actually it is the result of the fallen nature of man and free will. You would be much better critic of Christianity if you understood its theology.

Anonymous Godfrey December 15, 2012 9:28 AM  

Leonidas December 15, 2012 9:03 AM As an atheist liberal, it is "wrong" in the sense that it is a waste of human life and potential, and a deprevation to the ones who have lost a family memer.

"In other words, no worse than sending them to public school."


Great wit... [applause]

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler December 15, 2012 9:41 AM  

Vox, I wish you would stop using the good word "pagan" to describe modern society. Modern society is Marxist and atheist. Atheists are NOT pagan. You play the demogoguery game as well by the misuse of words. Pagans were god believers. The people running this society at the most are nihilistic Jews and white liberals who are dupes of the nihilistic Jews and they are CINOs, Christian in name only.

I fail to see "pagan" in anything going on today. We are busy implementing the Messianic Age, Vox. You can't read reality? Is the rebuilding the Messianic Age pagan? That is idiotic! Your use of the word "pagan" is idiotic! We live in a Judeo-Masonic-Bolshevist Culture and civilization! How is that pagan? George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were MASONS not pagan! John Locke was a strict monotheist, making him akin to Judaism. NOT pagan.

Where is your proof Vox that what is going around us is Pagan? Why don't you start using the word "Jewish". For we live in a Jewish world Vox! We live under Jewish-Masonic-Bolshevism! Political Correctness/Social Justice is Cultural Marxism! That is the current morality everywhere--NOT pagan! You can be an atheist and still be a good Jew!

So where does this word pagan come from Vox?

Anonymous Fe2O3 December 15, 2012 9:45 AM  

It appears that a key point for the atheist is the loss of human potential of what may have been accomplished. To follow this logic, the value of potential accomplishment decreases over time. The value of human life approaches zero as we age. One could further use empirically based correction factors such as displayed potential early in life, family history for achieved potential, and other key demographics. It would be very simple to calculate potential accomplishment value as a function of time.

So each one would have a Human Potential Value (HPV) assigned. Once the HPV diminishes to a number less than that deemed to be beneficial to the society, it would be perfectly acceptable to extinguish the low potential life in whatever means is necessary. Indeed, it would be most noble if the low HPV person could simply take care of it themselves and not waste the precious potential of all those high HPV folks having to do the job.

The possibilities for improving society through such advanced concepts are mindboggling.

On the other hand, I hold to an archaic view that all life is equally valuable.

Anonymous Gx1080 December 15, 2012 9:49 AM  

Dunno why atheists bother to pretend that they have any higher concept of morality than their feeelings and their worship of the state as the father figure that they never had.

Then again, atheists are atheists until the plane is about to crash. Heh.

Anonymous JMac December 15, 2012 10:01 AM  

VD, right on target. And I'm glad to see so many comments by people that get it too.

Anonymous scoobius dubious December 15, 2012 10:13 AM  

VD -- just to save yourself the headaches of being snarkily misquoted out of context, you might want to change the title of this post to something like, "Question to Atheists: What, Exactly, Do You Think Is Wrong...?" etc etc, or else you can already hear the blogosphere firing up bogus accusations like, "Some monster on the internet just suggested there's nothing wrong with" etc etc.

"Pointing out that the ancient Hebrews and medieval Christians committed genocide is pointless"

I'm not aware that the medieval Christians ever committed genocide. For one thing, they lacked the technological capacity for it. What is it that you're referring to? (Keep in mind, "large-scale killing" is not the same thing as "genocide".)

"anyone beginning to understand Jonah a bit better now?"

Here's a serious question for all you theologians (asked in good faith, it's not a fake question.) It's not entirely OT, it's related in an elliptical fashion. Not long ago an Israeli commenter here pointed out that in his view, the moral commandments of the Old Testament were addressed strictly to the House of Israel, and that gentiles need not be concerned with them or with their application. Struck me as a plausible reading, at the very least. But then, why was Jonah sent by God to preach to Nineveh? What did He care what they did or didn't do?

Anonymous Tad December 15, 2012 10:42 AM  

Atheists believe killing children is wrong for a number of subjective reasons.

Christians know killing children is wrong because they believe in God for a number of subjective reasons.

Difference: One needs to be told killing children is wrong. The other doesn't.

Difference: The Christian doesn't kill children because they are told not to. The Atheist doesn't kill children because they believe it wrong.

Anonymous Cryan Ryan December 15, 2012 10:43 AM  

Good post...but...

For you George Carlin worshipers, you might enjoy "George Carlin Women" on youtube.

Let me save you the effort. In this rant, the atheist asshole basically contradicts everything Vox, Roissy, Rollo, et.al. have said in the manoshpere.

He 'splains that it's simple, women have it really bad, and men are really stupid. (except him, I presume)

Carlin was evil.

His political beliefs are much the same as Pelosi, Reid, Sharpton, Ted Kennedy, Al Franken, Whoopi Goldberg, etc.

If you love those Marxist assholes, you should love Carlin.

He would have made a joke out of the school shootings, no doubt. And the idiots in his audience would have laughed.

Anonymous Godfrey December 15, 2012 10:44 AM  

Scoobius, have to go. Here's my 60 second attempt.

Jonah prefigures Christ. Abraham and Israel was chosen by God as a means by which he would reach out a reconciling hand to mankind, all of mankind, not just Israel. Israel is the eldest son.

Read the parable of the prodigal son in the context of Israel as the eldest son. It could be interpreted the elder son wanted the Father only for himself. .. man's pride yet again.

Anonymous Blunt pencil December 15, 2012 10:57 AM  

Because Gods laws are written in the heart of men. With various exceptions, made up by imperfect/sinful man, murder has always been wrong. Murder is sometimes interpreted by lust, greed, desire, etc.

Anonymous raggededge December 15, 2012 11:00 AM  

Shutup, Tad

Blogger Booch Paradise December 15, 2012 11:01 AM  

Oh, and one more difference that tad missed.

For an atheist to say something is wrong is synonymous with saying "it makes me feel bad". The very second an atheist stops feeling bad about killing children or the consequences (such as prison) of killing children, an atheist starts killing children with the felt moral purity of Mother Teresa.

Christians will continue to believe killing children is wrong, regardless of their internal emotional state.

Anonymous Dorito December 15, 2012 11:03 AM  


Allegedly the shooter and brother havent spoken in 2 years. Somehow the gunman had brothers ID? Something is rotten in Demnark

To Atheists,
What if you were told the shooter was a time traveler that prevented the next Hitler by this action?

(see what happens when you have no concrete moral base?)

Anonymous Jeffrey Quick December 15, 2012 11:06 AM  

VD: " I had no idea [George Carlin] was still alive."
He's not.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/24/arts/24carlin.html?_r=0

Anonymous Tad December 15, 2012 11:08 AM  

@Booch
Oh, and one more difference that tad missed.

For an atheist to say something is wrong is synonymous with saying "it makes me feel bad". The very second an atheist stops feeling bad about killing children or the consequences (such as prison) of killing children, an atheist starts killing children with the felt moral purity of Mother Teresa.


You put it in terms that are over simplistic for rhetorical reasons. I get that. The thing is, it's the very rare atheists (human being) that does not feel bad about children being killed. So, you've got very little to worry about.

Yet this doesn't fix the fact that for the atheists, they determine their morality through subjectivity, just as the christian finds their moral center through subjectivity.

Anonymous Krul December 15, 2012 11:09 AM  

Difference: The Christian doesn't kill children because they are told not to. The Atheist doesn't kill children because they believe it wrong.

A typical example of the intellectual incoherence of which VD spoke and the resulting absurdity. Do you honestly believe that Christians don't believe it's wrong to kill children?

Anonymous Tad December 15, 2012 11:09 AM  

@Dorito

What if you were told the shooter was a time traveler that prevented the next Hitler by this action?

My first reaction would be to view that bit of information in the same way I view the Christian's faith in God: irrational.

Anonymous scoobius dubious December 15, 2012 11:13 AM  

Godfrey -- thanks for the input. I think, though, to clarify: my question was sort of putting Christianity and Christian exegesis in brackets for the moment, as Husserl would say. The center of gravity of my question was, positing a strictly parochial OT Jewish/Israelite exegesis, centuries prior to the advent of Christ, if the Jews thought God was talking only to them, what did they make of the fact that Jonah got sent off to preach to Nineveh? How does it make sense within their worldview?

***

George Carlin is solid gold on "Class Clown." The rest of the time, it's hit or miss, and as he gets older, he just gets smug. Much as I frown at his politics, he did get off a good line from time to time, but as the years wore on, he more and more was an annoying liberal preacherman, not a comic.

There's a certain irritating subspecies of comedy where a standup comic simply equals a liberal with a microphone, saying whatever comes into his head. For all that, Bill Hicks remains timeless.

And whatever other shit you want to sling at George Carlin, he'll always have "Class Clown." Much as Cheech and Chong were mostly a waste of time, but they'll always have "Earache My Eye," and no one can take that away from them.



Anonymous Tad December 15, 2012 11:13 AM  

@krul

Do you honestly believe that Christians don't believe it's wrong to kill children?

Actually, Christians KNOW it's wrong to kill children because God told them so. It's a very straightforward form of reasoning. However, their faith in God is determined by the same method that an Atheist comes to believe killing children is wrong: moral subjectivity

Anonymous Krul December 15, 2012 11:14 AM  

Yet this doesn't fix the fact that for the atheists, they determine their morality through subjectivity, just as the christian finds their moral center through subjectivity.

You make a good point here, but there is a vital difference. It's true that Christians must figure out their own interpretation of Christian morality to apply to their own lives. However, this is not the same as the atheist perspective because the Christian must believe that there is an objective moral law that he is able to obey, whereas for an atheist there can be no such objective moral law, and therefore no bases for condemning (or praising) the actions of others.

So the subjective element in Christian morality is something altogether different than the thorough-going moral relativism that follows from atheism.

Anonymous scoobius dubious December 15, 2012 11:18 AM  

"To Atheists,
What if you were told the shooter was a time traveler that prevented the next Hitler by this action?"

That's easy. For atheist liberals, if the time traveler prevented a literal next Hitler in the sense of a politician who would mass-murder Jews, then the action was good and laudable: eggs, omelettes, you know the drill. But if the time traveler merely prevented the next Lenin or Trotsky or Stalin who would only mass-murder Russian and Ukrainian Christians, then the time traveler was an evil reactionary, preventing social justice, and can be safely condemned.

Do you see how the rules work?



Anonymous Tad December 15, 2012 11:20 AM  

@krul
whereas for an atheist there can be no such objective moral law, and therefore no bases for condemning (or praising) the actions of others.

You mean no OBJECTIVE basis. There is clearly a basis.

That said, it's hard to ignore the fact that the christian initially determines that God and His law exists on the basis of subjective morality....the same way an atheists determines that killing children is wrong.

Anonymous p-dawg December 15, 2012 11:22 AM  

@Tad

Abortion's still a-ok, though, right?

Anonymous Boris December 15, 2012 11:23 AM  

"And if there are too many people on the Earth, in the country, then is not the reduction of that excessive number to be celebrated?"

Just to pick out one of the stupidest parts of a very stupid post, let's apply this logic to any other goal that any person may have. Since you people would like fewer public school teachers, shouldn't these killings be applauded? Since drooling right-wingers like to see Obama cry, shouldn't these killings be celebrated? Hell, since we're against immigration, shouldn't we just round up all the immigrant children and slaughter them.

Wait--a lot of you actually believe that one. Bad example.

The real tragedy, of course, is that the shooter wasn't black. Then you guys would have some grade A masturbation material this weekend. My deepest, deepest condolences.

Anonymous Fisk Ellington Rutledge III December 15, 2012 11:23 AM  

You wonder, "So, I find myself wondering if they are knowingly striking false poses in order to hide their amoral inhumanity at a time when sensitivities are particularly acute or if they are merely intellectually incoherent."

I don't think they are knowingly striking false poses. As sanctimonious twits, they are doing something that makes them feel good and that's all it takes to validate, to themselves, whatever hogwash they care to project. If they like doing something, Leftists will always rationalize it so that they can present it as a morally superior stance when really it is a lie. What they actually are doing is using the deaths of these kids as a weapon to attack their political and social enemies; Christian White people who insist on having the means to defend themselves from violent attack. And, as we all know, most violent attacks against Whites are by lively, vibrant, diverse savages, so our Leftist twit is also striking a blow for our enemies by insisting that Whites disarm.

Because of one mad man, Leftists would persecute legal, responsible gun owners. It is another crime that the Leftists will have no problem rationalizing.

Anonymous Krul December 15, 2012 11:24 AM  

You mean no OBJECTIVE basis. There is clearly a basis.

Yes, but since the basis is subjective it applies only to yourself, and cannot apply to others since their subjective experience differs from yours.

That said, it's hard to ignore the fact that the christian initially determines that God and His law exists on the basis of subjective morality

This is probably a false statement, depending on what exactly you mean by "subjective morality" - it isn't clear from the context.

Anonymous Tad December 15, 2012 11:24 AM  

@p-dawg

Abortion's still a-ok, though, right?

In certain circumstances. Yes.

Anonymous scoobius dubious December 15, 2012 11:27 AM  

"However, their faith in God is determined by the same method that an Atheist comes to believe killing children is wrong: moral subjectivity"

BZZZZT! No. Wrong. Faith is prior to morals. Faith is a precondition to morals. Let me put it in language a Marxist would understand: Faith a prolegomena to morals.

And also, Christians do not believe that killing children is in itself more morally egregious than any other senseless human slaughter. Christians believe murder is wrong, and murdering children is part of the subset of wrong deeds that is included in the set of "murder." Atheists seem to believe that killing children, under certain circumstances (i.e. when it's done by a white male lunatic and not by Barack Obama), is more "wrong" than other types of killing, because, well, they do.

Anonymous Tad December 15, 2012 11:29 AM  

@Krul

Yes, but since the basis is subjective it applies only to yourself, and cannot apply to others since their subjective experience differs from yours.

If you mean the basis is personal and only the product of one person, then yes. However that one person obviously applies their moral framework to the acts of all others.
Further, that moral framework can be adopted by all others.

This is probably a false statement, depending on what exactly you mean by "subjective morality" - it isn't clear from the context.

At some point, the Christian chooses Christianity and chooses to believe in God. The reasoning and the moral framework used to make that decision is a subjective moral framework or world view....in the same way that the atheist believing killing children is wrong is a determination from a subjective morality.

Anonymous Tad December 15, 2012 11:33 AM  

@scoobious:



Yes, your faith in God comes before your adoption of the Christian moral code. However, in determining to put faith in the Christian god (and therefore adopt the Christian moral framework next) you had to base that decision on some set of morals and ethics that are inherent in your pre-faith state.

Blogger Baloo December 15, 2012 11:36 AM  

Were the victims all White? Is Jamie Foxx cool with it?

Blogger Jeff D December 15, 2012 11:37 AM  

This is one time I'm glad atheists are intellectually incoherent. Don't try to straighten them out, for Pete's sake.

Anonymous Tad December 15, 2012 11:38 AM  

And also, Christians do not believe that killing children is in itself more morally egregious than any other senseless human slaughter. Christians believe murder is wrong, and murdering children is part of the subset of wrong deeds that is included in the set of "murder."

I understand that. And it's an admirable position to take, whether taken on one's own or at the direction of your God. Still, it's understandable that people of faith or no faith would be even further shocked at the murder of 5 year old.

Anonymous Farbar Beeston December 15, 2012 11:38 AM  

From what I've read, the Left is to blame for the shooting in several ways. The shooter was an extreme misfit. He is just the kind of loser that the Left has redefined into a transcendently superior being: (Alienated, sullen, afraid, resentful).These losers and misfits are told all their lives that the winners are to blame for their own misery. That they are losers is not even a little bit their fault.
They are taught by the Left and its ally, the entertainment/media industry, that to lash out at your perceived oppressors is heroic and fine. What this Lanza was doing was just what it appears to be. He was killing his mother and all the kids who used to laugh at him because THEY are to blame for his misery. The Left tells him so every day.

But whatever his personal motives, you will notice that ALL of these school shootings are done by the losers and misfits who are striking back just as the Left has told them to do.
And then the Left blames the winners among White people.

The Left also essentially ignores the daily massacres among nonWhite kids. It doesn't fit the Leftist narrative, so it is redefined as just a slightly high homicide rate among those who have been damaged by White racism. Another lie. Another rationalization.

Anonymous Boris December 15, 2012 11:38 AM  

"The Christian doesn't kill children because they are told not to."

Unless they are told to. Then they do kill children.

Anonymous HongKongCharlie December 15, 2012 11:41 AM  

Ten people were shot in Chicagoland last night. As difficult as it is to deal with what happened in CT the news indicates it's only three days in Chicago.

HKC

Anonymous Krul December 15, 2012 11:41 AM  

If you mean the basis is personal and only the product of one person, then yes. However that one person obviously applies their moral framework to the acts of all others.
Further, that moral framework can be adopted by all others.


That person cannot apply his morality to the actions of others unless he has a reason that they apply; a reason that applies to everyone is an objective reason rooted in the nature of reality.

At some point, the Christian chooses Christianity and chooses to believe in God. The reasoning and the moral framework used to make that decision is a subjective moral framework or world view....in the same way that the atheist believing killing children is wrong is a determination from a subjective morality.

The question of the Christian God's existence or nonexistence is not primarily moral, it's existential. The decision to become Christian is indeed a personal decision, but it is not an example of moral subjectivity.

The person who chooses to become Christian believes that he has discovered a previously unacknowledged fact of reality - the existence of God - and tries to act accordingly. This is not the same as moral relativism.

Blogger stareatgoatsies December 15, 2012 11:44 AM  

The logical fact of the matter is that if there is no divine spark within us, if we are merely bits of stardust that happens to have congregated in one of many possible manners, then therre is nothing wrong or objectionable in rearranging the stardust a little.

If these bits of stardust end up conglomerating into complex bits of organics matter that eventually gain the capacity for language, then the things they think of as wrong, when they hear the word 'wrong', are wrong to them by definition.

Anonymous Stilicho December 15, 2012 11:47 AM  

I fail to see "pagan" in anything going on today.

Look around you. Moloch's worshipers are legion, even if they no longer use that name. It's rather interesting to see the same patterns repeating vis a vis the worship of Moloch. Almost as if there were influences at work beyond mere human depravity. I wonder what other resurgent cults are out there.

Anonymous Tad December 15, 2012 11:49 AM  

@Farber

But whatever his personal motives, you will notice that ALL of these school shootings are done by the losers and misfits who are striking back just as the Left has told them to do.

The shooter is reported to have Asperger's Syndrome. We don't know the cause of Asperger's Syndrome. But if it were determined to be a genetic condition or brain chemistry issue, would you feel differently? I'm not sure I would. It's hard to imagine any condition, genetic or not, that would lead me to lessen my feelings toward the shooter. Even where the schitzophrenic who hurts others is concerned, it's hard to simply bemoan the fact that they may be the victim of excessive Dopomine and Serotonin release.

Anonymous Stilicho December 15, 2012 11:49 AM  

the things they think of as wrong, when they hear the word 'wrong', are wrong to them by definition.

This is nothing more than restating "Man is the measure of all things" or "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law".

Anonymous scoobius dubious December 15, 2012 11:49 AM  

"you had to base that decision on some set of morals and ethics that are inherent in your pre-faith state."

It is not based on a set of morals and ethics. It is not even a decision, strictly speaking, it is a realization, and it is often mystical in nature. It is based in what the Catholics call metanoia, and what the Protestants more straightforwardly call being "born again." It is a discovery of certain abiding principles about the universe: man is sinful, yet sins can be forgiven, and this forgiveness comes through God in the person of Jesus Christ, and through Christ we are granted a new nature of being which extends beyond our present sinful nature. That isn't an "ethical" position, strictly speaking; it is a cosmic one.

Anonymous scoobius dubious December 15, 2012 11:53 AM  

"This is nothing more than restating "Man is the measure of all things" or "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law"."

Actually, from a strict philosophical perspective, I don't think that claim is true, I think he's saying something rather different. Would take a while to explain why I think that, but for now I'd say this: at least try whenever possible to do your opponents the intellectual courtesy of putting the more generous construction on their claims.

Anonymous Tad December 15, 2012 11:54 AM  

@krul
That person cannot apply his morality to the actions of others unless he has a reason that they apply; a reason that applies to everyone is an objective reason rooted in the nature of reality.

The reason the atheist applies their morality to everyone is that they believe it is the best moral framework by which to live. This allows them to objectively apply the reason to everyone.

The question of the Christian God's existence or nonexistence is not primarily moral, it's existential. The decision to become Christian is indeed a personal decision, but it is not an example of moral subjectivity.

I think it is every bit a matter of subjective morality as the atheists coming to the conclusion through subjective reasons that killing is wrong.

Something convinces the soon-to-be-Christian that adopting the christian world view is right, not wrong. Good, not bad. Proper, not improper. How does the soon-to-be-christian come to determine what is right, good and proper?

Anonymous Tad December 15, 2012 11:59 AM  

@scoobius

It is not based on a set of morals and ethics. It is not even a decision, strictly speaking, it is a realization, and it is often mystical in nature. It is based in what the Catholics call metanoia, and what the Protestants more straightforwardly call being "born again." It is a discovery of certain abiding principles about the universe...

Would you describe this "realization" and "Discovery" as rational? It doesn't sound like it is.

If it is irrational, then that leads to some interesting questions. If it is a rational transition then one has to ask, what kind of reasoning led to the transformation. What kind of principles of right and wrong were part of the reasoning. And from where were those principles of right and wrong derived?

Anonymous Krul December 15, 2012 12:02 PM  

The reason the atheist applies their morality to everyone is that they believe it is the best moral framework by which to live. This allows them to objectively apply the reason to everyone.

Are you an Objectivist? This is exactly the basis for Ayn Rand's philosophy.

However, the phrase "best moral framework by which to live" takes for granted some assumptions that are not immediately clear. By what standard to you judge one life superior to another? Length? Health? Happiness?

I think it is every bit a matter of subjective morality as the atheists coming to the conclusion through subjective reasons that killing is wrong.

I'm sorry, but this vague talk about "subjective this and that" is confusing. I think you're mixing up two different uses of the word "subjective." Maybe an example would help clarify the issue.

Would you please give the reasoning that leads you to the conclusion that killing is wrong?

Blogger JohnG December 15, 2012 12:18 PM  

I love American atheists and their parasitic morality. Soviet, Chinese, Cambodian and Cuban atheists felt/feel none of these lofty compunctions.

I think Vox is right on with this one. A lot of these guys are all into the global warming nonsense and by extension think that there probably should just be only 500 million people (human extinction movement, etc) on earth so the bunnies can run free. I guess they figure it'll just be six billion little brown people in other parts of the globe that will somehow cease to exist like a ragdoll in a video game.

Anonymous scoobius dubious December 15, 2012 12:19 PM  

"Would you describe this "realization" and "Discovery" as rational? It doesn't sound like it is.

If it is irrational, then that leads to some interesting questions"

I would reply that you have framed the question improperly: there is more than one set of oppositional frameworks in which to think about a thing, indeed they need not be oppositional at all.

With respect to metanoia, I would say that "rational/irrational" is not an accurate dichotomy. If I had to simplify, I would say that a more accurate framework would be subrational ---> rational ---> suprarational. This yields different questions, and different results.

Or, another way of thinking about it (more problematical in a strict rationalist discourse) would be to say that there is a true mysticism and a false mysticism. A true mysticism resolves in a just perception of the nature of God, man, and "the heavens and the earth, all things seen and unseen." A false mysticism reduces to a set of human preferences, prejudices, and superstitions, and gives an incorrect view of God, etc etc. I think modern liberal bien-pensant atheism falls under a third category which is not a mysticism: it is more like what Blake called "the lineaments of Gratified Desire."

How can we "know" which of these positions is true? (or maybe, "most close to being true"?) Well that is a question for epistemology, not morals, and we were talking about morals.

Anonymous Koanic December 15, 2012 12:23 PM  

The moral sense of wrongness is simply a result of emotional mechanisms evolved to serve genetic interest.

Therefore, the murder of white children is far less wrong than the birth of black children and non-white immigration, or the failure to kill non-whites taking up carrying-capacity on white soil.

"the loss to a random Englishman’s genetic interests of replacement of 10,000 English is 10,854 children (or siblings).4 Bantu suffer the same loss from 10,000 English immigrants to a Bantu territory.

This last figure is puzzlingly high. How can the loss due to replacement exceed the number replaced? Actually it does not, because we are counting genes, not individuals."

"The loss is limited to the native ethny in a very personal way. For a native woman it is equivalent to the loss of her children and grandchildren, for a native man it is equivalent to the loss of his children and grandchildren, though on a much larger scale. The magnitude of these ethnic genetic interests means that the loss is only slightly mitigated if these individuals’ own children are not replaced.

It becomes clear from these data that ethnic genetic interests are usually very large compared to familial genetic interests. "

So we see that not only do materialists possess a morality, but it is actually quantifiable, and more viciously racist than Imperial Japan. The only rational response to this natural tragedy is to demand the renewal of the Ku Klux Klan, this time with a genocidal imperative.

Blogger Booch Paradise December 15, 2012 12:27 PM  

@Tad
You put it in terms that are over simplistic for rhetorical reasons.
It's simplistic, but not over simplistic. I've never heard an atheist argument for morality that was not validly reduced to what does and does not feel right or wrong to any given individual.

And as to your assurance that I have little to worry about, as abortion shows, if the government removes restraint, then no, most atheists do not feel all that bad about killing children.

Anonymous Mildman December 15, 2012 12:29 PM  

Those trying to turn the moral question back to the Christian by saying that Christian morality and theism are subjective too are missing the point--or rather, they're stating the point without seeing it. The point is that that atheist's belief in morality is the same sort of thing that he claims the theist's belief in God is: objectively untrue. However, the atheist doesn't treat the two as the same. He is enthusiastically willing to proclaim from the rooftops "God doesn't exist!" while at the same time trumpeting "Good exists!" despite the fact that his belief in good and evil is the same sort of thing as the theist's belief in God and the Devil: a subjective feeling that has no grounding in objective reality outsider the feeler's mind. The difference is that the theist really believes God and good objectively exist, and tries to act as such, while the atheist knows neither do, and yet continues to act as if the latter does, simply to make himself feel good.

Blogger David Cahill December 15, 2012 12:32 PM  

The same statist moon bats who clamor to infringe on my right to protect myself, are the same ones who scream for abortion at all costs. It's a RIGHT to kill babies, don't ya know.

Anonymous unnatural December 15, 2012 12:40 PM  

There is definitely something wrong with us somewhere along the line. We are always looking to justify or condemn actions by assumptions.

Anonymous Helot December 15, 2012 12:41 PM  

Exactly. We kill them before they are born already, so what? Oh, and I thought it was only a tragedy when brown/black kids were killed?

Anonymous Matthew December 15, 2012 12:51 PM  

Atheist conservative bisexual misanthrope Florence King wrote in one of her books that the modern reverence for children was a transference of the reverence once assigned to (female) virginity. Young children are virtually the only virgins left, after all.

Anonymous re allow anonymous comments December 15, 2012 1:20 PM  

Think about the who-whom too. Several far-left professional indoctrinators are dead, and one far-left school principle is dead. The kids were very likely to grow up and become liberals. Is it really so bad?

Anonymous A Visitor December 15, 2012 1:31 PM  

It makes Obama cry. Lol. What happened yesterday is absolutely horrible. Having said that, according to the post-Christian pagans in our society, "Shame on you, Vox! It's the children! Aren't...um...they important somehow?"

Sadly, whether they want to admit it or not, the barbarity of murdering children comes from our Western, Christian traditions and they know it. They just don't want to acknowledge it.

Blogger stareatgoatsies December 15, 2012 1:50 PM  

The point is that that atheist's belief in morality is the same sort of thing that he claims the theist's belief in God is: objectively untrue...The difference is that the theist really believes God and good objectively exist, and tries to act as such, while the atheist knows neither do, and yet continues to act as if the latter does, simply to make himself feel good.

I don't believe that God objectively exists, but I know that good objectively exists, at least, in the following sense: that sometimes I try to be a good person - the feelings that inspire the attempt are probably rooted in biology, the behaviour 'being good' involves is shaped by my upbringing and my life experience has taught me to discriminate between 'being good' and self-delusion or manipulation.

This, I'm sure, is no different than most other people, including believers - some combination of biology, observation, education, experience and reflection.

The basic moral fundamentals are the same, the real difference is that in order to make sense of the world, believers put their faith in personal and historical revelation, while I put mine in empiricism.

Anonymous Noah B. December 15, 2012 1:53 PM  

It's posturing in order to justify giving more power to government, which these lunatics worship as a god. Killing children as fine as long as the government is doing/allowing the killing, or if the killings occur in a fashion that that press deems unfit for public discussion.

Simply recall the lack of outrage from the left over the deaths of the innocents at Waco, many of whom were children.

Anonymous Noah B. December 15, 2012 1:54 PM  

"It makes Obama cry."

emObama?

Anonymous Loki of Asgard December 15, 2012 2:10 PM  

The reason the atheist applies their morality to everyone is that they believe it is the best moral framework by which to live. This allows them to objectively apply the reason to everyone.

Well, at least you admit that your entire worldview is summed up as "because I want it." It's always refreshing when the likes of you confess to being closet theocrats.

It makes me feel much less wicked about my own aspirations.

Anonymous Noah B. December 15, 2012 2:12 PM  

"At some point, the Christian chooses Christianity and chooses to believe in God. The reasoning and the moral framework used to make that decision is a subjective moral framework or world view....in the same way that the atheist believing killing children is wrong is a determination from a subjective morality."

Then why do Christians predominantly believe abortion is murder, but atheists do not? Your argument supposes that atheists and Christians have largely arrived at the same set of morals, when this is demonstrably false.

Anonymous Loki of Asgard December 15, 2012 2:13 PM  

Or rather, should I say, "because that's the way I believe and so should you, and you'll be punished if you don't".

Speaking of which, mortals, my scarcity for the remainder of this discussion is more to do with my Gravitic Accelerator malfunctioning than anything else. It was amusing when it caused my secretary's skirt to levitate, but now my throne is on the ceiling and my car keys flew through a ventilation shaft.

Blogger Duke of Earl December 15, 2012 2:19 PM  

I don't believe that God objectively exists, but I know that good objectively exists, at least, in the following sense: that sometimes I try to be a good person - the feelings that inspire the attempt are probably rooted in biology, the behaviour 'being good' involves is shaped by my upbringing and my life experience has taught me to discriminate between 'being good' and self-delusion or manipulation.

Those shapings of your youth provide a subjective standard. If you'd been raised in Hitler's Germany or Stalin's Russia you'd have had quite different standards.

The objective standard is right, even when everyone says it is wrong.

Consequently you are indeed engaged in self delusion.

On the charge of irrationality; within the atheistic framework your brain is cobbled together by chance mutations and natural selection over millions of years. Selection chooses for survival advantage, not for truth. In such a scenario what basis is there for assuming rationality? The Christian has a basis for believing in rationality, because they believe humanity to be the product of a rational mind, the atheist does not.

Anonymous JI December 15, 2012 2:23 PM  

Killing children is wrong because it deprives them of the opportunity to know God in this life. Or, if there is no God, then killing children prevents them from meeting people like Tad.

Anonymous Jack Amok December 15, 2012 2:53 PM  

Just another example of post-civilized people taking for granted the world they inherited while despising the work and discipline that went into making it, and that are required to maintain it.

The horror of children being slain is a left-over component of the old Western morality, one of the few such ones left. But it will fade in time too, just as revulstion to abortion, family wrecking, and public lewdness has. Another century and they'll be gladly sacrificing children to Baal (or Gaia, or whatever), while staring suspiciously at the ruins of bridges and dams and sewer systems that the mysterious ancients used to build.

Anonymous Asher December 15, 2012 3:25 PM  

@ Tad

"The Christian doesn't kill children because they are told not to. The Atheist doesn't kill children because they believe it wrong."

Freakin' hilarious. Presumably, as an atheist, you have to hold that everything comes from somewhere, otherwise, you're just advocating the existence of a metaphysical, spirit-based "free will". Yeah, it's the so-called atheists like yourself that make me embarrassed to call myself an atheist.

So, if you're an atheist then the notions against killing children, at some point in the causal chain, come from evolution. If there is no God, then both atheists and theists come from evolution, therefore ideology, their Christian or atheist, is unrelated to whether or not someone becomes a child-killer.

Tad, I gotta point out that almost every atheist I've encountered, aside from those I've influenced, have simply replaced "God" with "free will" with equal mystical trappings. A world reduced to material function is incompatible with "free will", so, your basis regarding atheists' rejection of child-killing is either incoherent or it indicates that you are not an atheist.

Anonymous Outlaw X December 15, 2012 3:26 PM  

Lady Gaga levitates while praying to Satan. She bathes in blood and someone wipes the queens ass.

All that is true. Sounds crazy don't it. Peoplee have no idea what they worship. Keep watching ET and Etntertainment Tobight. Don't forget EXTRA. Just because you can't see it dors not mean it does not exist. They believe.

Anonymous Outlaw X December 15, 2012 3:28 PM  

Android keyboard sucks.

Anonymous Asher December 15, 2012 3:34 PM  

There are two possible sources standards of morality:

A) Objective

This is a moral standard that is derived from the world of objects. Such a morality is relativistic as the world of objects is changing and varied and is almost certainly likely to produce a variety of competing moral systems.

Objective morality is moral relativism.

B) Subjective

This is a mind/spirit derived morality. God is not just subject but he is subject par excellence. Thus, a God-derived morality originates from outside time and space and is subjective - this why only a subjective morality is capable of producing an absolute, unchanging moral standard.

Subjective morality is absolute and unchanging.

Again, absolute morality is subjective and relative moralities are objective.

Get it right people.

Anonymous Asher December 15, 2012 3:43 PM  

I don't know where people get the idea that there is some absolute biblical injunction against killing children, IIRC, God ordered the Israelites to kill every person, including infants, in some of the more savage surrounding peoples or face his punishment.

I find it hard to take Christians seriously when they get their own Bible wrong. That said, it's easy to take atheists even less seriously when they incoherently base differences between people on "free will".

Anonymous The other skeptic December 15, 2012 4:19 PM  

The Always Bull Crap corporation wants you to know that it regrets everything it reported that was incorrect but that it stands by everything it reported that was correct, and will provide a list as soon as it can figure out which is which.

Anonymous Dan in Tx December 15, 2012 4:50 PM  

Anon said: "If it'd been done by drone strike on the other side of the world it would not get the judgement.
That would be 'different."

Vox's post makes the point perfectly. If you're a leftist atheist and truly believe there is no God, then you have to believe that all morality is relative. If we are just random atoms that by happenstance came into existence then there is no right or wrong, plain and simple. All of the flailing about and attempts to argue endlessly around in a circle simply prove the point. The ugly truth is that deep down, they really do believe this way, they just can't come out and say it. As anonymous points out in the quote above, they have no problem with drone strikes killing any number of children as long as the end result is what they desire. We all know the leftists are jumping up and down to use this tragedy as an excuse to pass further gun control and disarm the public. They are simply afraid of it being too obvious that they are trying to capitalize on a tragic situation to further their own agenda because that would make them seem, you know, insensitive.

Anonymous kh123 December 15, 2012 4:58 PM  

IRC, God ordered the Israelites to kill every person, including infants, in some of the more savage surrounding peoples or face...

RIP, v.2.0. Either folks that bring this question up are completely brand spanking new here every time this topic is discussed, or one person keeps changing their handle and asking the same thing over and over.

Anonymous kh123 December 15, 2012 5:04 PM  

...So again, consider: Is killing the same in every instance, in every circumstance?

Anonymous Matt Strictland December 15, 2012 5:07 PM  

Good show. I had to think on this a second.

Vox, Pagans rarely killed children either. For the most part they liked children and wanted more of them, same as Christians. Pagans were not worse folks than most Christians.

More importantly the idea you are missing is that morality really is nothing more than integration of your peoples ethical rules on a deep level.

All people, save a few reductionists and psychopaths in a given group (no whole groups are made of these) have an ethical set. They may claim its the rules of Christianity, one of the other myriad of faiths or just how decent people live. The net effect is the same, a group of rules and protocols that are supposed to make life better. They don't always work of course, and of course some sets and views are better than others but every broad based rule set is thought to do this, even La Vey'n Satanism!

Since in the US basically no one approves of killing children that have been born (people see abortion and infanticide as different) this is thought immoral by everyone as well.


Anonymous Asher December 15, 2012 5:33 PM  

@ kh123

I like the Bible. A lot. In fact, one of its strong points is that it puts corrupt and degenerate peoples on the chopping block.

But then my response to the WTC attack would have been to nuke Mecca and Medina.

If a city of the Israelites descended into idolatry then the rest of Israel was required to treat them as a cancer and cut them out. It's been many years since I was interested in theology but IIRC they were supposed to be "cut off" which, usually, is a reference to ending bloodlines.

Consider the following:

A) Idolators were supposed to be eliminated from within the people of Israel
B) Presumably those idolators had offspring

What is a reasonable assumption regarding what the purifying force of Israelites did to those children?

Anonymous Asher December 15, 2012 5:39 PM  

@ Matt Strickland

Vox, Pagans rarely killed children either

Um, no. Pagan killing of children outside of their political entity and its allies was standard practice. When Rome conquered Carthage the victorious troops spent time rounding up all the young children and infants and throwing them one at a time from the city walls onto the rocks below.

Hell, during the Greek war for independence the Greek troops rounded up young Ottoman children and did the same, and that was less than two hundred years ago. IIRC, this happened upon the conquest of at least two cities.

Killing children of your tribe - bad. Killing children of other tribes - sometimes necessary.

Anonymous The other skeptic December 15, 2012 6:01 PM  

We are still being told that the long gun was used and yet other reports say it was found in the car.

I guess he must have shot them with the long gun, rushed outside to put it back in the car and then rushed inside to kill himself.

We are also told that this event will prompt changes in US gun laws. Since less guns does not seem to work, perhaps, like Switzerland, we will mandate more guns.

Anonymous kh123 December 15, 2012 6:28 PM  

"If a city of the Israelites descended into idolatry then the rest of Israel was required to treat them as a cancer and cut them out."

From what I understand, it was due to the attendant sexual mores that went along with the various forms of idolatry on the marketplace at the time, not to speak of the inevitable myriad changes in character once the culture shifts that dramatically. One can imagine fairly easily the reasons for decline after the fact once a culture ill-suited to an introduced cultural paradigm shift (a paradigm which has all of the in-built ills listed above) inevitably falls apart.

Israel seems to have flirted with Ashtorots and the like, and may even have retained the habit in ebbs and tides all through its history, but never seems to have been as suited to it Etat-wise as, say, the Assyrians or the Canaanites - as well-suited to dysfunction as one can possibly be, the last example especially.

You seem to have answered your last question in the next comment, if I'm reading your question right.

Anonymous righteous gobbler December 15, 2012 7:06 PM  

Love the comparison between this mass murder and abortion.

Actually if one would endeavor to quantify just how much more evil one of these acts is over the other, I would suggest that it is the abortionist and those that hire him that are even worse monsters then that disturbed shooter.

Sure those children who were gunned down were robbed of their chance to grow and fulfill what potential that they may have had. The fetus in the womb on the other hand, was denied all of that but was also further denied even the chance to experience the joy and wonderment of using its newly found senses to construct a coherent model of reality.

So any pro-choicers up for a little Obama style weepiness for the children who where never even allowed the six or seven years of it's new life?

Anonymous The other skeptic December 15, 2012 7:31 PM  

Someone claims more guns found in the school

Anonymous Asher December 15, 2012 8:04 PM  

@ kh123

Yes, sexual depravity was at the heart of idolatry in much of the ancient world. It blows my mind how few Christians understand this. But even those who are aware have only a very fuzzy understanding of what that entails. It isn't just promiscuity but sexual cruelty, ritual mass rapes, sexual torture, eunuchs as a widespread institution, etc.

Anyways, my point was that to claim that God has a blanket prohibition against killing children is blatantly unbiblical. I would classify it as a manifestation of Gnosticism.

@ righteous gobbler

The bible is pretty clear that he gives the various and sundry nations of the world the authority to abide by his law or to reject it. By my reckoning the vast majority of those aborted are of the leftist nation. They are not under your authority nor are they your responsibility. There is a civil war coming with the left and the more abortions they have the fewer of them we'll have to slaughter to win that war.

The modern "pro-life" movement is antibiblical and almost certainly Gnostic, as it pretends to authority it has not been given. God does not give you authority over another people unless they are an imminent threat to you - even then your only authority is to kill them.

But let's just say that God was a pro-lifer in the political sense. How would the Bible read? We would see the following passage in the Old Testament:

Thus sayeth the Lord, Moab has a big festival next Tuesday where they plan to sacrifice their children. In order to avoid as much bloodshed as possible you are to sneak into their city and rescue their children. Over the next eighteen years you are to nurture and care for them, train them to be mighty men of valor and that sort of stuff. Yes, they'll turn around and try to conquer you, but, hey, I the Lord your God am pro-life and pesky, little practical considerations can't get in the way of my conservative principles.

Do it for the children. Thus sayeth the Lord.


And from the NT:

And Jesus said to his disciples lay the intellectual foundation for a country whose destiny is to conquer the world and institute anti-abortion laws in every corner of the earth. That whole "dividing the nations" thing that occurred in Babel is so Old Testament. I am here to inspire a One World Government whose primary goal will be to end abortion.

Do it for the children. Thus sayeth the Lord


The so-called pro-life movement is antibiblical, Gnostic and heretical.

Anonymous righteous gobbler December 15, 2012 8:46 PM  

Ah well, those mischievous tikes and would only have grown up to be anti-God leftist liberals anyway.
Let those wacky liberals gun down or abort to their hearts content.
It's all good.

Anonymous Asher December 15, 2012 9:26 PM  

@ righteous gobbler

Nice non-answer. Moral authority has its reciprocal in moral responsibility - they are two sides of the same coin. The first level of moral responsibility/authority is parents and children. Sure, parents have responsibilities to their society and if we lived in a political entity with a homogeneous and intact culture then I could argue for moral authority over what other people do with their children.

But leftists have clearly defined themselves outside of our moral universe, therefore, we have no moral obligations to them of any kind, aside from what the State forces on us. As leftists are outside of our moral universe, and that God has given them authority over their own children, it is hubris to try and protect their own children from them.

And you're mixing several things up here. First, America is and empire, which means that it is a political entity ruling over many diverse and unconnected nations/peoples by a particular ruling class that is obligated only to itself. Yes, that entity keeps the peace through the application of the police power. But that is not a power that is derived from a moral framework derived from the practical lives of its subjects. Why not? Because the borders of the American Empire contain many different and incompatible moral frameworks that are held together by the Imperial State. That state has a ruling class with its own distinct moral system that it imposes on the ruled, so, adherence to it is compulsory and will collapse at the first signs of weakness.

On an emotional level I don't really care if future leftists die, and I certainly have no moral obligation to prevent such events. That said, there is no stark criteria whereby to distinguish who is and who is and who is not a leftist. God didn't give authority to the shooter to kill those children and I have no doubt that he killed non-leftists.

I got two kids and you just can't left crazed killers run around killing indiscriminately and hoping that he's only killing leftist kids. But, yeah, if I had the ability to see into the future and found that all the kids were leftists I wouldn't give a sh*t about their deaths.

Anonymous Bob Davidson December 15, 2012 11:22 PM  

Value is that which one wants to keep our attain.

Life is the prime value as without life no other value is possible.

Taking a life is a violation of the prime value and therefore wrong.

Anonymous Asher December 15, 2012 11:25 PM  

Life is the prime value.

More life ergo more value.

Therefore, unprotected, fertile sex is the primary moral act.

Anonymous Asher December 15, 2012 11:28 PM  

Also, since, life, in general, is the source of all value there is no moral difference between an ant and a homo sapien.

Someone needs to get over his foundationalism.

Anonymous Asher December 15, 2012 11:31 PM  

Okay, even better: more life equals more value, therefore, the most valuable species is that with produces the most individual organisms, making protozoa the most value-producing species.

Anonymous Eduardo December 15, 2012 11:39 PM  

Hey Great Martini

Why don't you read Aristotle dude I think you gonna like his morals views based in metaphysics, actually he would agree to you that you know it is wrong without G*d!

Anonymous Eduardo December 15, 2012 11:46 PM  

Life (the concept in your head) is your prime value (another concept in your head) therefore it is wrong (another concept in your head) to kill something that is alive.

But the only problem is... this amounts to, it is wrong because some of my neurons are firing in a certain pattern that makes me(a structure in my head) behave in a certain way! No, that is not even close to being a good argument, and nobody gives a shit if my neurons are firing in A or B pattern, simply because it has nothing to do with anything, and my esquizo head does not show that something is right or wrong and you ALL KNOW THAT!

End of line ... yeah some of us have some fucked up fairy tales about G*d, angels, Heaven you know the drill, and other people just have the fairy tale that life matters, there is value in living since it is your only "chance"(a concept in your head). Just two different types of delusions created by the abyss of nothingness.

Anonymous Eduardo December 16, 2012 12:05 AM  

Asher

you fucked up bro, or sister XD

But you do gotta point, sort of hardcore, but a point XD.

Anonymous Asher December 16, 2012 12:41 AM  

Anyone who thinks I'm fucked up isn't much of a student of history. I'm just to abstract myself enough from the soft trappings of civilization to expose people to what happens if they decide that civilization is oppressive.

Savages, and those who want to throw off the "oppression" of civilization do not deserve the protection that civilization provides.

Anonymous The other skeptic December 16, 2012 12:53 AM  

The killer is also the son of some high up business person

Coincidence?

A conspiracy minded person would be thinking that the Gov't is telling business people: Play ball or this could be you.

Anonymous Eduardo December 16, 2012 12:58 AM  

Asher

Good thing I never claimed to be ONE! XD

wow now that is some statement right there XD!

Anonymous dh December 16, 2012 1:40 AM  


> But how can you know it is a waste of human life and potential? What is the value of human life if
> consciousness is simply an illusion? And what if the net potential of those lives was negative,
> would that then make the shooter's actions "right"?

Simply put, the value of a life is whatever value other persons place on it, plus the value an individual places upon their own, plus whatever evolutionary role a single life plays [i.e. offspring]. I am not really sold on the concept of "negative potential". Certainly a person can grow up and have a net negative effect on the world. But I don't see how a person would have only the capacity of negative outcomes.

That line of thought is a sideline, though. This is a variation of the "would you kill Hitler as a baby question". Which boils down to variations on predetermination.


> It appears to me that you're simply moving the question down a turtle. What is wrong with
> unnaturally short lives? Aren't their shortened lives actually more in line with most natural
> animal lifespans anyhow? It is our artificially science-lengthened lifespans that are unnatural.

It is, of course, turtles all the way down.

As I have posted before, the concept of "good" and "evil" are not really useful concepts. I do not believe in a static or reproducibile concept of evil. Killing kids is a sub-optimal outcome, for the following reasons:

1. It makes people sad. All things considered, the world is an easier place for everyone when people are not sad.

2. People who know or are related to the kids or children typically wrap up whatever dreams and hopes they have failed to achieve onto their progeny. Losing this extended hope is typically painful, and results in shock and angst.

3. Dead children produce no offspring From an evolutionary stand point, they have not completed their lifes work, nor will they ever.

4. The potential for children to achieve something better than expected is gone when killed. This is the universal sadness for any loss of human life.

Animals have low potential. It sad when they die if you know the animal or he or she has a relationship with you. Otherwise it's just meat.

Anonymous Asher December 16, 2012 1:51 AM  

Eduardo,

The amusing thing about leftists is that they have every bit as rigidly absolutist concept of the world as that of any religion. My favorite trick is get a group of leftists and slowly work them to accepting that morality is just a convention that people agree to for social order and cohesion - the upshot being that you only morally are obligation to those who accept reciprocal obligations. Now, the trick is to be sure that there are feminist in the group and then politely ask them what they owe you.

They won't answer, at least I've never had it happen.

Then you calmly announce, as if you were reading the weather, that if you walked by a dark alley and heard someone being raped and knew it was one of them you'd walk by and pretend as if nothing happened. This is especially amusing to pull if you hear feminists talking about the definition of rape.

You don't owe me? Then I don't owe you. The goal, of course, isn't to convince them but to intimidate them and make an object lesson of them to anyone listening. Good times.

Anonymous Eduardo December 16, 2012 2:00 AM  

Told you were fucked up XD.

Anonymous Jesus H. Christ, aka your Savior. December 16, 2012 2:11 AM  

Oops! I thought this was the "What's so bad about masterbation" thread. My apologies."--Jesus H. Christ

"I think I'll watch the news a while and see if I missed anything important."---Jesus H. Christ

Anonymous Asher December 16, 2012 2:58 AM  

No, what's fucked up is people who reject civilization and embrace the war of all against all. There is only one natural law: war. Civilization is the only escape from that war.

Anonymous Eduardo December 16, 2012 3:13 AM  

Really???

hmmm wonder if Vox will talk about civilization soon so we could talk about that XD, right now we are almost forgotten in the sea of nothingness... which is just 2 posts away from the top in VP XD.

I mean we are posting under the Mor-Troll TruthOverFaith aka the SAVIOR!!!! may his name be ... oh well ...

Anonymous Bobo December 16, 2012 3:49 AM  

Thaddeus, you're very simplistic in this discussion and not necessarily for rhetorical reasons.

Atheists don't necessarily avoid killing of children. The obvious example is abortion. The other example is Dawkins saying being brought up Christian is worse than child abuse (despite proof that child abuse leads to depression, increased risk of suicide, premature death etc) and atheists like Stalin, Pol Pot (and their atheist followers) who thought nothing of killing large amounts of children, whether these were homeless children or children they sent to gulags or were left to die of exposure in cattle cars.

Therefore I consider your view that atheists just know killing of children is wrong as irrational. Some do, but not because of "just knowing" but because of cultural bias. But for greater ideals, the atheist will not have issues with killing innocents. As opposed to a Christian, there is nothing in atheism which opposes killing of the innocents. There is nothing in Marxism which opposes the killing of innocents, especially if the greatest moral ideal can be achieved.

Your views also did not develop de novo. Your atheist parents views did not develop de novo. Like it or not, the West has been indoctrinated in Judeo-Christian ideology. That has remained in the background in the form of unexamined assumptions.

Secondly, you say Christians believe in God on the basis of subjective assessment. But that's not true in many cases. Christians believe and show it can be reasoned logically that God exists. That some reject these arguments is not to say they are subjective. It can also be shown that God is goodness itself. These are not subjective assessments. If God is goodness itself, it makes no sense to say that Christians need God to actually spell it out for them that killing of innocents is wrong. We can deduce it through natural theology and law.

Atheists simply have no basis to dictating morality to anyone else, this includes saying that people should pay for Obamacare, support evolution, support choice to abort, equality of sexes or anything else. You guys should just shut up when it comes to public pronouncements or in the very least always say "I consider x to be morally good, therefore we need x to be implemented."

Anonymous Bobo December 16, 2012 3:53 AM  

dh, under your view the value others put in your life is illusory. It's not real. It seems like that to you, but it has no intrinsic value. It's subjective value is also false. It just seems that person X is valuable, but that belief is not real. It's illusory.

Anonymous Bobo December 16, 2012 4:01 AM  

dh: "As I have posted before, the concept of "good" and "evil" are not really useful concepts. I do not believe in a static or reproducibile concept of evil. Killing kids is a sub-optimal outcome, for the following reasons:"

Then one can reject your reasons at any time. What reason do we have to believe that in 5 minutes time you won't reject your utilitarian reasons and
go on child killing sprees? Can we trust you? I don't think so.

"1. It makes people sad. All things considered, the world is an easier place for everyone when people are not sad."

Not necessarily. People are often motivated by illusory tragic things. This can motivate people to develop new ways of detecting weirdos, new medical technologies etc.

"2. People who know or are related to the kids or children typically wrap up whatever dreams and hopes they have failed to achieve onto their progeny. Losing this extended hope is typically painful, and results in shock and angst."

People need to live their own lives. We know that often children reject their parents wants and needs. I think the shock and angst also does not come from missed opportunities for the children but because people miss these people.

"3. Dead children produce no offspring From an evolutionary stand point, they have not completed their lifes work, nor will they ever."

But it's OK to abort children, and we already have an overpopulation problem. I also don't see how an IS in this case, is supposed to develop into an OUGHT.

"4. The potential for children to achieve something better than expected is gone when killed. This is the universal sadness for any loss of human life."

Something better than expected? But perhaps they'd achieve worse. Also what is this better? It's not fixed... as you say. Maybe in hindsight being dead is better - less suffering. Your worldview says nothing here.

"Animals have low potential. It sad when they die if you know the animal or he or she has a relationship with you. Otherwise it's just meat."

Just meat? You eat your pets? It's more than meat, it could be a work horse or a work dog or an early warning system for gas in a mine. You have a very limited experience of life, and your biases come from a comfortable, out of touch, middle class setting. Travel a bit and see the world, and not just top tourist attractions.

Anonymous Bobo December 16, 2012 4:15 AM  

Some people deny objective morality yet provide objective moral statements that subjective views matter. That's irrational.

It's also irrational because the subjective beliefs themselves are illusory. They're meaningless beyond leading to differential release of neurotransmitters and affecting perception of emotion. But no-one cares that a star generates chemical reactions, why should anyone care that seemingly profound brain farts should matter?

Anonymous Bobo December 16, 2012 4:28 AM  

It would be interesting to know the religious views of the killer.

Anonymous Idle Spectator December 16, 2012 6:51 AM  

For you George Carlin worshipers, you might enjoy "George Carlin Women" on youtube.

Let me save you the effort. In this rant, the atheist asshole basically contradicts everything Vox, Roissy, Rollo, et.al. have said in the manoshpere.

He 'splains that it's simple, women have it really bad, and men are really stupid. (except him, I presume)


He was born in 1937. That means he was 32 by the time feminism really hit hard in the US by 1969. That's going to color his perception on this issue no matter what happens. He did see the effects of the birth control pill on society though way before they hit. That was interesting bumping into that clip too.

George Carlin is solid gold on "Class Clown." The rest of the time, it's hit or miss, and as he gets older, he just gets smug. Much as I frown at his politics, he did get off a good line from time to time, but as the years wore on, he more and more was an annoying liberal preacherman, not a comic.

Didn't he have alcohol and drug problems at the end of his life? I thought he went to rehab. He kept looking very frail, especially in his last show in 2008 "It's Bad For Ya." I am surprised he made it to an average life expectancy of 72, since he had so many heart attacks throughout his life. I bet he was surprised too.

Bill Hicks died at 32 from liver-to-pancreatic cancer, and Lenny Bruce was only 40 when he died from a heroin overdose, his last vision of a tiled floor.

That is a terrible track record for these comics.

Anonymous L.W. Dickel December 16, 2012 7:01 AM  

Let's see, approximately 12-15% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, or spontaneous abortion.

So worldwide every year there are thousands of unborn children that die at the hands of our blessed heavenly Father.

So God is the greatest baby killer in the history of mankind.

Can I get a great big PRAISE JEEZUUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you Jesus for killin them good for nothin' unborn fetuses!!!!!!

Anonymous Mason_Arrow December 16, 2012 9:51 AM  

Imperfect creation since the fall = premature death. Inside and outside the womb. Apologies to the dimwit trolls who think God must be the cosmic Santa Claus who never lets anyone suffer, and never allows the consequences of sin to be visited on innocents.

The sad thing is that even "respectable" secularists make this argument - I remember some "ethicist" writing for, I think, Time or Newsweek who declared that spontaneous abortions were proof that induced abortions are OK.

BTW, thanks for the failure to address the OP - there's no better tacit admission that your worldview has no answer to the likes of Mr. Lanza.

Anonymous dh December 16, 2012 5:52 PM  

> Just meat? You eat your pets? It's more than meat, it could be a work horse or a work dog or an early
> warning system for gas in a mine. You have a very limited experience of life, and your biases come
> from a comfortable, out of touch, middle class setting. Travel a bit and see the world, and not just
> top tourist attractions.

I would, in the right cases, eat a pet or a work animal. I have had both in the past. If the "meat" has a purpose, than it's not just meat, is it? It has a purpose. And killing it kills the purpose, and so that's wasteful. From a general point of view, I have no problem with anyone eating animals that are of a domesticated breed.

> Then one can reject your reasons at any time. What reason do we have to believe that in 5 minutes
> time you won't reject your utilitarian reasons and go on child killing sprees? Can we trust you? I
> don't think so.
I am not sure the relevancy of this argument. In the Judeo-Christian values world, there is no guarantee that a person won't be swayed by lust or avarice or temptation or demons and go on a killing spree. Even the most devoted, pious individual could have a change of heart at any moment. I mean, if Paul had a change from his wicked ways, what's to say he wouldn't have a change back to his wicked ways?

Is the argument that you can trust a person who proclaims a belief in the Abrahamic God not to do wicked things more than a person who subscribes to a strictly utilitarian worldview? That would be interesting argument to have.

> Maybe in hindsight being dead is better - less suffering. Your worldview says nothing here.
This is a really interesting concept, but again, it all goes back to the predetermination question, which is an interesting argument to have, but I don't think is the point of this one.

Anonymous dh December 16, 2012 5:58 PM  

> dh, under your view the value others put in your life is illusory. It's not real. It seems like that
> to you, but it has no intrinsic value. It's subjective value is also false. It just seems that person
> X is valuable, but that belief is not real. It's illusory.

The "value" as a feeling is illusory - it has no specific weight. But the actions associated with belief do have a value. If I teach a person to read, the time I have invested in that outcome is a reflection of the value I put on that person. And that time and effort has a value the same way my work that I get paid for by society has a value.

Likewise, if I walk past a person in mortal danger and do not expend any effort, or risk of my own safety, it is a direct reflection of the value of that persons life to me. I have done the instant calculation and determined that it's not a good bargain.

I know it's a hard concept to deal with, but people value lives all the time. An actuary can tell you the lifetime dollar value of all sorts of people, in terms of economic output.

Anonymous dh December 16, 2012 6:01 PM  

> Atheists simply have no basis to dictating morality to anyone else, this includes saying that people
> should pay for Obamacare, support evolution, support choice to abort, equality of sexes or anything
> else. You guys should just shut up when it comes to public pronouncements or in the very least always
> say "I consider x to be morally good, therefore we need x to be implemented."

I actually agree with this. It is lame to try to co-opt the language of belief.

Almost all arguments are better framed regarding freedom.

Anonymous Asher December 16, 2012 9:32 PM  

The concept of freedom has become the single most destructive idea to Western Civilization, whereas a few hundred years ago it was the most beneficial. It's a useless analytic tool because you either have to attribute freedom to everything or to nothing. Think about every human behavior, action and thought - would you consider every single one of them to be freely chosen? Of course not.

What advocates of metaphysical freedom are stuck doing is claiming that some actions are free while others are caused. Fine, but in order to distinguish between the two you need criterion to distinguish between the free and the caused. Here's the rub: that criterion has to come from somewhere and the only two sources are either Freedom or Necessity.

Now, I think we can all agree that freedom and necessity are logical opposites, so, if the criterion comes from the realm of necessity then it's difficult to see how freedom developed in the first place. How does something develop out of its logical opposite. On the other hand, if the criterion comes from the realm of freedom then it is something that is chosen. Such a choice wouldn't even be a criterion, at all, since each particular instance of analysis would be held to a different standard based on desired outcomes.

The concept of freedom is, today, wholly destructive and the sooner it comes to be viewed as gibberish, the better.

Anonymous Asher December 16, 2012 10:08 PM  

@ dh

It's probably related to a glitch in human cognition that is pretty well-established where people are hard-wired to see bad outcomes as a product of intention malevolence on the part of some agent but good outcomes as the natural flow of the world, for which no one is responsible.

It plays out in the political arena in lots of different areas. One of the most prominent is the differences between black and white peoples. White success is attributed to just the natural flow of things but black relative lack of success is attributed to intentional malevolence, namely evil white people. It's important to remember that the concept of evil is that which is freely chosen with no positive consequences to the evil-doer. For example, we don't consider a starving man evil for stealing bread, even if we punish him for it.

Either differences between outcomes for black and white people as groups is due to fundamental differences between them, the realm of necessity/unfreedom, or it is due to white evil, the realm of freedom. Given the massive amount of propaganda from all over the political spectrum that it's evil to even contemplate innate differences between groups the default is that white people are evil.

Basically, the modern consensus is that of the Nation of Islam without some of the kookier myths.

And that is a perfect example of why the concept of freedom has become the most destructive force in the modern world.

Anonymous Anonymous December 16, 2012 11:35 PM  

I got two kids and you just can't left crazed killers run around killing indiscriminately and hoping that he's only killing leftist kids. But, yeah, if I had the ability to see into the future and found that all the kids were leftists I wouldn't give a sh*t about their deaths.

What if your kids grow up to be leftists?

Anonymous Asher December 17, 2012 12:03 AM  

It's an interesting question. I would still have a sentimental attachment to them but I would intellectually respond in the same way I would if they became a serial rapist or killer. I would point out that in ancient Israel when someone was caught worshiping idols their closest family members were required to be the ones to strike the killing blow in front of the assembly of the people.

Think about that for a second. Now, compare that vision to the modern, soft, effete, so-called fundamentalist Christian Church.

One thing I've found, living in a uber-leftist city like Seattle, is that there are a whole lot of kids whose putatively Christian parents lost faith with them and turned them off to their entire cultural heritage. That crime is the shame of the Baby Boomer generation and I doubt it will be repeated, certainly not by me.

Blogger Chris December 17, 2012 8:15 AM  

Objective truth or not? See Q&A here - takes LESS than 1 minute for answer: http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/
This will help some of the junior New Atheists as they begin their journey of raging agaisnt the tooth fairy.

Anonymous Bob Davidson December 17, 2012 10:33 AM  

@ Asher (12/15/12 11:25pm)

"More life ergo more value."

I defined value as "that which one wants to keep or attain." So, how would an individual have "more life?" A group of individuals may collectively have multiple lives and an individual (pair) may have descendants...but one does not have "more life." One is either alive or dead...there is no 'more alive' or 'more dead.'

@ Asher (12/15/12 11:28pm)

"Also, since, life, in general, is the source of all value..." [did William Shatner write this??! If not, please give back his commas.]

I didn't say life is the source of all value, I said without life no other value is possible. There is a difference.

"...there is no moral difference between an ant and a homo sapien."

Nonsensical proposition.

Choices, it would seem to me, are the source of all value. One cannot have choices though if one is dead. Would not Christianity agree that without the free will to decide one's behavior, one's actions cannot be considered good nor evil?

@ Asher (12/15/12 11:31pm)

"Okay, even better: more life equals more value, therefore, the most valuable species is that with produces the most individual organisms, making protozoa the most value-producing species."

"more life" see above.

"more value" to whom? If the 'whom' is humans, the answer seems clear; if the 'whom' is protozoa, the answer seems clear.

@ Asher (in general)

Based on your commentary, you come off as a vile and wretched creature, unworthy of my time. Know that my response to (your attempt at) discourse is not for your benefit (I assume you are irredeemable). My comments here are for any able minded reader out in the blogosphere who would have potentially productive use of this information. My questions above are not intended to be answered by you.

@ All who are interested

Reason, purpose and self-esteem, I would claim, are what we (as individuals) should be striving to keep or attain. Rationality, productiveness and pride (respectively) are the virtuous acts corresponding to said virtues.

Intelligent, honest and constructive debate is welcomed. Anything/everything else...don't waste your time.

Anonymous Anonymous December 17, 2012 12:09 PM  

But if we kill all the Irish papist babies, we won't have enough to eat once Obama completely destroys the economy.
/zombie jonathan swift

Anonymous Eduardo December 17, 2012 12:10 PM  

Don't worry asher what Bob wants is irrelevant to your free will XD go on and answer his question anyways.

Anonymous Anonymous December 17, 2012 1:27 PM  

How in hell did I get to this page? Whose page is it? I must save it and check back again.

Anonymous Furien December 17, 2012 1:47 PM  

Except that fool of a fraud couldn't even fake cry properly. Anyone else notice how he kept pretending to dab away a tear from the wrong side of his eye? Someone should have informed him that the nasolacrimal duct is on the side of the eye closest to the nose. Funny how many morons still fell for it though.

Anonymous Asher December 17, 2012 6:52 PM  

@ Bob

I didn't say life is the source of all value, I said without life no other value is possible. There is a difference.

No, there's not because you also said:

Choices, it would seem to me, are the source of all value.

If choice is the source of all value then either all choices, and values, are equally valid or there is some meta-value for evaluating differing value systems and judgments that is prior to choice.

Also, does this mean that you're pro-choice? Okay, while that looks like sarcasm it is not. Choice as the source of all value is the defining principle of leftism - that is what it is. And, yes, life and choice as the source of all value is inextricable from each other.

"more value" to whom? If the 'whom' is humans, the answer seems clear; if the 'whom' is protozoa, the answer seems clear.

Yeah, except we engage in actions every day that has the effect of killing off protozoa and no one things twice about it. We both look at different lives and make a choice about their value - I just make the choice to evaluate some lives differently than do you. Now, I assume that your assertion of me being "vile and wretched" comes from my position that I don't care whether or not leftists kill off their own children. Your problem is that either you are basing this assertion one some meta-value that is prior to life or choice or you are just asserting a personal subjective whim or sense of taste, one that is not based on principle.

Reason, purpose and self-esteem, I would claim, are what we (as individuals) should be striving to keep or attain.

Well, now, you're just channeling the ghost of Ayn Rand. Did reason and purpose arise ex nihilo? Or are they products of something prior to them? If the former then you've subjectively replaced God with Reason, ala Rand, and if the latter then you're tacitly admitting that something prior to reason is the standard by which we evaluate life.

@ Eduardo

I'd lay ten to one odds that Bob is a self-identified "conservative" and adheres to most of the various political movements that implies. He's just pissed that I've pointed out the blatantly anti-biblical and heretical nature of so-called modern conservatism, which is Gnosticism with faint lip service to the God of the Bible. It just highlights how corrupt and decrepit the church has become.

What's depressing is that the Bible is quite clear that we inhabit a corrupt and fallen world. Christians in the West have become so soft and comfortable that when someone like myself exposes the depths of that fallen-ness we are call "vile and wretched". Blaming the messenger doesn't change the reality of the world. If people like Bob took their philosophy seriously they would claim that not valuing gravity would allow one to float through the air. Seriously.

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