The Bathroom Wall

With any tavern, one can expect that certain things that get said are out-of-place. But there is one place where almost any saying or scribble can find a home: the bathroom wall. This is where random thoughts and oddments that don’t follow the other entries at the Panda’s Thumb wind up. As with most bathroom walls, expect to sort through a lot of oyster guts before you locate any pearls of wisdom.

44653 Comments

There is a God!

And he is a plumber. The Bathroom has been flushed.

Thank you Reed.

Great!

Course, that still leaves what happens when the new plumbing acquires a big drip…

Wait, what am I saying?

Ingeborg Esbrandt said:

Hey, nice post :) - well, even though I came via Google searching for “justfaces spreadshirt” wondering why this post came up on top??? Greetings xoxo

Spammer alert!

To make one point about the previous thread. John Kwok wrote:

“Sorry Jim, but your invocation of the Ground Zero Mosque controversy is not helpful here. Incidentally there are many Muslims and Muslim Americans who oppose its construction, simply because they recognize that building it near Ground Zero is needlessly offensive to the families of the victims and the survivors of the 9/11 attack. Some of the most prominent critics - who are Muslim Americans - include Wall Street businessman Mansoor Ijaz (who tried to assist the Clinton administration in extraditing Osama bin Laden from the Sudan) and former United States Navy officer Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser.

[…]

If you are going to call Miss USA, a Muslim American, Rima Fakih, a bigot, then be my guest. Same is true for those two prominent Muslim Americans I had mentioned. Or other Muslim Americans who, like them, have spoken out against building the “Cordoba House” Islamic Center (Of course I am also against it, but am definitely not a bigot.).”

Unless YOU are a practicing Muslim your opposition to this cultural center is pure bigotry, so your saying that you’re “definitely not a bigot” is false. Your ruse of hiding behind the Muslim-Americans’ backs is the same as of the racists who think that using the n-word is OK because so many African-Americans use it. If you are a Muslim, well then, I find your views on the issue just silly, not bigoted.

Kris,

You can’t possibly know what I know.

mrg said:

DS said: Kris has certainly demonstrated that he doesn’t deserve anything more.

Actually, I was suggesting we all insult and abuse DH. If he wants to invite it, why not oblige?

We already tried that on Kris. You can only call someone an @$$hole, a bastard and crazy so many times before it gets tiresome. What’s the point of bashing me?

Kris has called me a liar for stating the obvious facts about him. We can all see what he has done, so why would he deny the stunts he has pulled? He is the one who invaded our space to attack the cause of the blog, yet he expects us to be tolerant and respectful of him no matter what he says? There is no law or principle I know that demands any such thing.

Kris said:

What you said about me is a complete lie. I didn’t start the insults and attacks. You and your asshole buddies here did. And trying to con FF with lies about me and that swill about respecting people you and they (“we”) don’t agree with is yet another one of your acts of deliberate dishonesty. You and most others here wouldn’t know what respect is if it hit you like a freight train going 60 miles per hour.

Since the statements you make about me are false, you’re a deliberate liar, according to your own standards for others. Of course your standards for yourself are completely different. How convenient for you.

The ONLY reason you and most others aren’t now viciously attacking FF is because she said she’s a woman. Even then, some of you have been pretty blunt to her, and especially rude before she said she’s a woman, even though she has been nice the whole time.

My questions to her are not an attack or a trap. They are sincere. You are grossly misrepresenting me and are just showing yourself to be the hypocritical, dishonest, delusional liar you are.

You are a seriously fucked up lunatic with delusions of godhood who needs a good ass kicking.

By the way, Mr. theological agnostic, unitarian, universalist, dis-honorable, bushido, liberal, un-scientific pseudo-skeptic, what are you going to add to or subtract from your self-created, self-serving, bogus religion tomorrow?

You just keep piling up your lies and hypocrisy Dale. You said “You do what you like, but I’m done with Kris for good.” yet you’re still bashing me and lying about me.

You also said you respect people with whom you disagree but then you say “I went after him anyway.” when you first saw me here. When I first came here I didn’t say anything that warranted you going after me.

Plus, you said you respect people with whom you disagree but then you say “I’d go after Ann Coulter if that bitch showed up here too.” So much for you respecting people you disagree with.

As usual the things you claim about yourself, and me, are false, which makes you a chronic LIAR, according to your standards for others.

You admit to slamming me a lot but of course you try to make it look like you’re a saint for doing so. Whether you or anyone else here ever accepts it or not, I’m just giving you and others shit back because you and/or they started it, either with me or someone else who didn’t or doesn’t deserve it.

I didn’t escalate the situation. You and your fellow, lying, arrogant hypocrites did.

It really cracks me up to see you guys acting exactly like some of the creationists you hate and condemn so much. You accuse and attack them for not listening and having closed minds, and for playing what you think are ridiculous games, but you do the same thing. Congratulations, you have become your enemy.

FODS

I haven’t lied about anything, you jackass! The simple fact is that you have invaded Panda’s Thumb and have been a disruptive force from the beginning and have played us like suckers. I’m not fooled by you and no one else is. Even if you were insulted by one or two people in the beginning, you could have ignored it and just responded to the ones who were being positive to you, like flowersfriend has been, but instead you started throwing shit at everyone who dared to reject your tactics. We insulted you because that seemed to be what you liked, but I get tired of that after a while. You don’t, appearantly.

If you seriously think you have made ANY positive contributions to this community here, you are even more delusional than most Creationists!

Dale Husband said: What’s the point of bashing me?

None whatsoever, but since any comments to a troll are going to produce nothing but bashing in response, that leads to what the point of the comments was.

John often fails to read for comprehension. A poor highschool education , no doubt.

Ghrom said:

To make one point about the previous thread. John Kwok wrote:

“Sorry Jim, but your invocation of the Ground Zero Mosque controversy is not helpful here. Incidentally there are many Muslims and Muslim Americans who oppose its construction, simply because they recognize that building it near Ground Zero is needlessly offensive to the families of the victims and the survivors of the 9/11 attack. Some of the most prominent critics - who are Muslim Americans - include Wall Street businessman Mansoor Ijaz (who tried to assist the Clinton administration in extraditing Osama bin Laden from the Sudan) and former United States Navy officer Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser.

[…]

If you are going to call Miss USA, a Muslim American, Rima Fakih, a bigot, then be my guest. Same is true for those two prominent Muslim Americans I had mentioned. Or other Muslim Americans who, like them, have spoken out against building the “Cordoba House” Islamic Center (Of course I am also against it, but am definitely not a bigot.).”

Unless YOU are a practicing Muslim your opposition to this cultural center is pure bigotry, so your saying that you’re “definitely not a bigot” is false. Your ruse of hiding behind the Muslim-Americans’ backs is the same as of the racists who think that using the n-word is OK because so many African-Americans use it. If you are a Muslim, well then, I find your views on the issue just silly, not bigoted.

Malchus said: A poor highschool education , no doubt.

Oh Bob, I can hear the howls now: “Set phasers to SLAUGHTER!”

Kris said:

Mike Elzinga said:

With a troll’s profile ready at hand, and with sufficient discipline on the part of the regulars, that could be cut to zero.

Profile ready at hand? What exactly does that mean Mike? Ready for what or whom? Do you have printed profiles of all the people you’ve labeled as trolls and hand them out to passersby on street corners? Or, do you create a profile file in your computer containing your intricate and exhaustive (LMAO!) calculations and determinations about each alleged troll and somehow send a copy of it to everyone on Earth to warn them of impending doom? Or, do you only dispense it to other regulars here who are able to contact you personally and who request a copy because they let you do their thinking for them?

Or, do you just think that your stupid ‘profiles’ actually matter, when in reality they actually don’t? Do you really believe that what happens on this website, or your asinine profiles, or what you do with them, matters one iota to the vast majority of the people on Earth? Get over yourself Mike.

Hey, if you have my profile handy, why don’t you post it here? I could use a good laugh.

Your “profile” is a person who needs attention and does not even try to get it by behaving in any consistent or coherent fashion. You are a manipulative jerk who takes ANY response from others and uses it as an excuse to attack. You bash us for not being tolerant enough of Creationists, while stating Creationist fallacies yourself. Then you turn around and deny being religious and question why certain others who are Creationist take their religion so seriously. Such strange behavior is pathological in the extreme.

Gee, this website seems VERY important to you, considering how much time you spend here.

You are either crazy or a fraud, Kris.

The fun thing about the BW is that the trolls either have to cave in and respond on the BW – which they don’t want to do – or pass up responding – which they REALLY don’t want to do.

Kris said:

Whatever you do, don’t even consider that when people come here and sincerely want to ask, discuss, debate, learn, and/or contribute in some way, that when they’re mercilessly insulted and attacked and erroneously lumped into your hated group of ID/creationists, they just might not like it and may fight back, and especially when they offer reasonable explanations of their words and the explanations (and the person) are ignored, misinterpreted, misrepresented, slammed, bashed, and ridiculed by you and the rest of the mindless haters here. Yeah, don’t even consider that for a second. You and the other haters and bashers here are way too perfect to have to consider such things. It’s never your fault.

Your track record is too well known here for us to consider that you are sincere about anything. You are even WORSE than the average Creationist troll because you keep going back and forth between acting non-religious and acting like a Creationist. You cannot be both, so you must be bullshitting us. Nobody here can take that seriously.

Expressed violent thoughts a number of times?? Yeah Mike, I would thoroughly enjoy kicking your ass and the asses of anyone else who has called me a liar, but I haven’t “expressed violent thoughts a number of times” in the way you’re implying. You’re the one who needs a psychiatrist, along with some others here. If you’re considered sane, I’d rather be considered crazy. And comparing me or anyone else you simply don’t agree with to a serial killer just helps show how paranoid and delusional you are.

If you don’t like being called a liar, stop being one. At least I have ALWAYS told the truth about YOU.

DH, a very minor issue here: the first part you cited above was addressed to me, and personally I find it amusing to watch such comments fall into a hole of resounding silence.

However, as far as the rest goes, carry on.

mrg said:

DH, a very minor issue here: the first part you cited above was addressed to me, and personally I find it amusing to watch such comments fall into a hole of resounding silence.

However, as far as the rest goes, carry on.

Oh, did you want to answer him here first? Be my guest. But I figured I’d just make a note of ANY inappropriate thing Kris says elsewhere and post it here, answer it here, and wait for Kris to take the hint and stop attacking us everywhere else and just slam people here.

Dale Husband said: Oh, did you want to answer him here first? Be my guest.

Why would I want to do that? But if my own rejoinder is indifference, I can at least politely ask that the effect not be spoiled.

Kris threatens: “I would thoroughly enjoy kicking your ass and the asses of anyone else who has called me a liar,…”

Lotsa bluster; everybody’s collective asses are exposed right here.

Mike Elzinga said: … everybody’s collective asses are exposed right here.

AARGH! I am so outa here!

Kris said:

Mike Elzinga said:

mrg said:

Serial killers are maybe a bit much of a comparison.

The point was the sociopathic needs of such an individual. This troll has expressed violent thoughts a number of times. But a psychiatrist would have a better handle on this that I.

I think people like attention; it’s just a question of what kind of attention. When I was the factory contact guy in my corporate life, a colleague in marketing told me that it was true I put up with a lot of abuse – I did – but added: “People thank you sometimes.”

And they did. I get thanks on occasion for my current efforts as well – not often, and maybe thanks aren’t the be-all and end-all of the effort … but on the other side of the coin, if nobody ever thanks me, what reason would I have to honestly believe what I was doing actually did anyone good?

Now take the negative mentalities that show up here … does anyone ever thank them for what they’re doing? It’s obvious it never happens, and just as obvious that they haven’t any expectation that it will.

They still want attention, and lacking any concept that they will ever be praised, they have no alternative but to be disruptive. If one cannot build, then they can only take satisfaction in destruction.

Yeah; you are pointing out common desires that nearly everyone has. But sociopaths also know this and manipulate these.

But I suspect most of us can simply walk away from these kinds of manipulations when we have other things to do that are satisfying; and I suspect most of the moderators here on PT do in fact have other things vying for their attention.

Hell, I’m retired and I can’t get through everything I want to get through in a week. The only reason I even show up here is that the PT topics are often very interesting, and I have a high speed connection that allows me to look in from time to time when I happen to be working on my computer. So most of the time I’m multitasking up a storm when I’m here.

Expressed violent thoughts a number of times?? Yeah Mike, I would thoroughly enjoy kicking your ass and the asses of anyone else who has called me a liar, but I haven’t “expressed violent thoughts a number of times” in the way you’re implying. You’re the one who needs a psychiatrist, along with some others here. If you’re considered sane, I’d rather be considered crazy. And comparing me or anyone else you simply don’t agree with to a serial killer just helps show how paranoid and delusional you are.

Whew! Glad I never called Kris a liar. I only called him a coward and a bully.

Mike Elzinga said: Lotsa bluster; everybody’s collective asses are exposed right here.

So it’s like “one of these days Alice, POW! To the mooning”?

Another collection of Kris’ delusional rants.

Kris said:

And of course your insulting comments, and the insulting comments by the other hypocrites here, don’t violate any of those rules you posted, eh?

Apparently, all that matters here is that any insults have to be aimed at creationists or anyone who doesn’t blindly and viciously attack them right along with you guys/gals.

Giving you back your own shit isn’t allowed. Questioning you isn’t allowed. Having a mind of my own isn’t allowed. Calling you on your bullshit isn’t allowed. Anything less than total devotion and obedience to you and your creationist hating ‘cause’ isn’t allowed. Hypocrisy, by you and your cohorts, is allowed, and encouraged.

Kris said:

And of course you and others going on and on about “trolls”, and repeatedly posting “DNFTT”, isn’t “SPAM”. Yeah, whatever.

Why do you think that a “dissenter” is automatically a “troll”? You’ve said you’re a Christian. Would your Christian God approve of your insulting, hypocritical, hateful behavior?

Kris said:

Maybe, just maybe the moderators are getting wise to the hypocrisy and other bullshit you and others are guilty of.

Now STFU spamming troll.

How do you like your own shit thrown back at you?

Panda’s Thumb is a blog made for defending evolution and promoting proper science education, and since Kris was the one who invaded the blog to spew both Creationist arguments that we were expected to “tolerate” (like we are supposed to tolerate falsehoods?) and then claim to be non-religious at other times, why shouldn’t we regard him as unwelcome, inconsistent and disruptive? Why shouldn’t we treat him like he is the enemy, when that’s all he has ever acted like since he arrived here?

An example of hypocrisy would be us invading and attacking ID promoters on Uncommon Descent. I’ve never done that, and never will. Maybe Kris can go over there and drive the ID people crazy for a while, to prove to us once and for all that he is an equal-opportunity critic, and not a bigoted Creationist concern troll.

http://www.uncommondescent.com/

Kris the creationist wrote:

“If, however, “descent with modification” is defined as showing that speciation (evolution) occurs and/or occurred, then that’s a different ballgame, and requires greater evidence. While a lot of evidence points to a persuasive probability that descent with modification, including divergence/speciation, occurred throughout(?) the history of life, there’s a lot more work to do to before it can reasonably be said that it has been established close to 100%, and I’m not sure it can be reasonably said that it can be established ‘empirically’. Many inferences have been and have to be made, and inferences are a matter of opinion.”

This is of course incorrect. I already posted a link to a web page entitled:

29+ Evidences for Macroevolution

If Kris wants to discuss the point, he can do so here. Maybe someone will want to discuss it with him. Unless of course he is just plain chicken shit.

DS said: Kris the creationist wrote:

You might just leave a short bland note on the original thread to invite him to come to the BW for discussion. He’ll ignore it, of course, but that works too.

Yawn.

(Bored.)

All the spamming at The Immune System Cross-examination Still Burns, and other forums, is very unChristlike, don’t you think?

Makes you wonder if these anti-science creation-supporters are Christians? (Never known a real creationist who wasn’t.)

It’s funny how trolls stubbornly resist being prodded to direct their comments to the BW. They know that once they do, they don’t have any real nuisance value any more: “What’s the point of trolling, then?”

Kris huffs and puffs and squeaks “What are you afraid of?” hiding behind his mommy’s apron. Afraid to mix it up on the big kid’s playground, he’ll sit in the sandbox and cry.

Poor widdle Kwis! Mean old scientists call you out on your stupid shit? Maybe if we ignore the little wanker he’ll go back into the closet and play with himself.

Geeze, I’m beginning to miss FL! I tell you, the neighborhood is going to hell.

I knew the asshole was chicken shit. All he haas to do is come here and provide a better explanation for the 29 different independent data sets that are all consistent with common descent. Until he does, I guess he will just be someone who believes in evolution but not in common descent. Yea right.

Everyone should remember, he had his chance to discuss science, he chose to quote mine and insult instead. He can cry all he wants to now, but everyone is wise to his crap.

The work of Larry Nucci, a psychologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is helpful in understanding the distinction between social convention and morality. In his book Education in the Moral Domain, Nucci posits that there are three areas that encompass social behavior: the personal domain, the domain of social conventions, and the moral domain. The first area is subjective in that individuals have preferences for one thing or another that has no objective standard of measurement. For example, there is nothing objectively better about liking sofas over armchairs. The second domain is arbitrary in that the rules could have been different and it wouldn’t make any difference, such as driving on the left side of the road instead of the right. In the third domain, behaviors are intrinsically right or wrong.

Nucci finds that children instinctively distinguish between these three domains. Children identify morality with those actions that have an intrinsic effect on the welfare of others. They understand that harming another as being wrong and acting fairly as being right. No one needs to tell them this is the case; they know it as a matter of course. The inherent nature of morality (defined in this narrow sense) is underscored by the finding that children everywhere make these same distinctions and do so without rules telling that it is so. Nucci’s conclusion is that morality is independent of social rules regarding proper behavior.

Drawing the difference between these two domains-the moral and the conventional-allows us to better understand the ways in which children comprehend the world and how they understand their own actions. At the same time, the distinction helps to reveal the underlying and universal nature of morality. Nucci’s research indicates that concepts of human welfare, fairness, and rights are inherent, not socially conditioned or constructed. In both domains, some behaviors are deemed “right” and others “wrong.”

Nucci gives this example, taken from an interview with a four-year-old girl. In the first interview, the girl is operating in the area of social conventions. Something is wrong because there is a rule that says it is wrong. Without the rule, it would no longer be wrong.

“Did you see what just happened?”

“Yes. They were noisy.”

“Is that something you are supposed to do or not supposed to do?”

“Not do.”

“Is there a rule about that?”

“Yes. We have to be quiet.”

“What if there were no rules, would it be all right to do then?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“Because there is no rule.”

Contrast the interview, which is an illustration of thinking in the social domain, with the one that follows.

“Did you see what happened?”

“Yes. They were playing and John hit him too hard.”

“Is that something you are supposed to do or not supposed to do?”

“Not so hard to hurt.”

“Is there a rule about that?”

“Yes.”

“What is the rule?”

“You’re not to hit hard.”

“What if there were no rules about hitting hard, would it be all right to do then?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“Because he could get hurt and start to cry.”

Here the girl is operating in the moral domain. There is no rule that told her it is wrong to hit hard. It is wrong because hurting others is wrong in and of itself. Without a rule, it would still be wrong.

Arthur Dobrin D.S.W From a Psychology Today article from April 2012

Is it wrong (and thus immoral) to use a screen name that has previously been used by one or more others, when that is expressly forbidden by the stated rules of this venue? That would be lying, would it not, by claiming to be the same person when one is not?

Just Bob said:

Sin is sin, to him, and if you’re “in sin” then you’re going to hell to face the same eternal torture, regardless of whether you’re a mass murderer, or just practice the wrong form of Christianity (Catholic, Mormon, etc.).

Right on Bob!

When Jesus returns to Earth from his throne on Kolob, IBIG’s ass is going straight into the Lake of FIRE - forever.

IBelieveInGod said:

The work of Larry Nucci, a psychologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago California at Berkeley…

Nucci says nothing whatever about gods. As is always the case in science, he has no need for that hypothesis.

IBelieveInGod said:

Leviticus 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’

But, up until 120 years ago sick people were often bled in an effort to cure them, resulting in their death.

http://www.historyextra.com/article[…]eir-patients

Science wrong - God’s Word right

As someone with Haemochromatosis, I disagree. Bleeding is a great method of treatment.

Malcolm said:

IBelieveInGod said:

Leviticus 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’

But, up until 120 years ago sick people were often bled in an effort to cure them, resulting in their death.

http://www.historyextra.com/article[…]eir-patients

Science wrong - God’s Word right

As someone with Haemochromatosis, I disagree. Bleeding is a great method of treatment.

One of my family members had the same trouble with retaining excessive iron a few years ago. Her doctor told her she had a choice of either a miserable chelation drug, or she could just give blood regularly.

Easy, simple, and a win for everyone.

IBelieveInGod said: The moral standard according to Jesus is, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”.

Yahweh didn’t love Noah’s neighbors as himself. He didn’t love the children teasing Elisha as himself. He didn’t love the Midianite unborn as he loves himself. He didn’t love Lot’s neigbors as himself. So Yahweh is bad by Jesus’ standards.

eric said:

IBelieveInGod said: The moral standard according to Jesus is, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”.

Yahweh didn’t love Noah’s neighbors as himself. He didn’t love the children teasing Elisha as himself. He didn’t love the Midianite unborn as he loves himself. He didn’t love Lot’s neigbors as himself. So Yahweh is bad by Jesus’ standards.

Actually, isn’t that whole concept pretty bizarre? Commanding you to love someone? Can I force myself to love someone? Can you, IBIG?

Ever read 1984?

What if my “neighbor” is Heinrich Himmler or the equivalent? Must I love him as much as myself? Is the Christian thing to do to love him, rather than, say, killing the murderous Nazi pig in order to spare all those he will kill if “loved” and allowed to live?

Just Bob said:

eric said:

IBelieveInGod said: The moral standard according to Jesus is, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”.

Yahweh didn’t love Noah’s neighbors as himself. He didn’t love the children teasing Elisha as himself. He didn’t love the Midianite unborn as he loves himself. He didn’t love Lot’s neigbors as himself. So Yahweh is bad by Jesus’ standards.

Actually, isn’t that whole concept pretty bizarre? Commanding you to love someone? Can I force myself to love someone? Can you, IBIG?

Ever read 1984?

What if my “neighbor” is Heinrich Himmler or the equivalent? Must I love him as much as myself? Is the Christian thing to do to love him, rather than, say, killing the murderous Nazi pig in order to spare all those he will kill if “loved” and allowed to live?

Behavior you can command. But is love that is commanded really love? Or fear of the consequences for not loving as ordered?

Actually, isn’t that whole concept pretty bizarre? Commanding you to love someone? Can I force myself to love someone? Can you, IBIG?

I think that’s a quibble. When I tell my kid to be good, I’m not setting up some coercive Owellian paradox, I’m making a normative statement. In this case the teaching can be easily interpreted as Jesus likewise making normative statements. You ought to…, please try and…, if you want my advice on how to act, I suggest…, and so on.

What if my “neighbor” is Heinrich Himmler or the equivalent? Must I love him as much as myself? Is the Christian thing to do to love him, rather than, say, killing the murderous Nazi pig in order to spare all those he will kill if “loved” and allowed to live?

Many sects have interpreted it that way, Quakers being the obvious example. But there are and have been many other pacifist strains of Christianity. Frankly, in some ways I think more highly of them than the more standard sects; the RCC and later Protestantism’s concepts of ‘just war’ always seemed to me to be more of a pragmatic post-hoc justification to gain or retain temporal power, rather than a serious attempt at following Jesus’ teachings.

Biggy claims to have found a contradiction: …claiming that society decides what is morally right and wrong, and then claiming that the moral values of some societies are wrong, requiring us to build a consensus opposed to those moral values. This only makes sense if there are certain moral values that are universal, that apply to everyone (murder, stealing, etc.), and some lesser moral values that are defined by a society.

There is no contradiction. Biggy’s imagining things.

Societies do decide on what is morally right and wrong. And other societies decide that their moral values are acceptable, or if not, then objectionable, or unacceptable and hence prohibited within their own domain, or even intolerable in any society, and hence to be interdicted, if necessary, in the last resort, by the use of deadly force, always assuming the capacity. They make those decisions by consensus. Well, pretty much. Dictators of various stripes may pronounce, but it’s all going to go for nothing if they don’t carry consensus with them.

For instance, I have no doubt that there are Australians who wouldn’t object to bullfighting, and might attend the corrida and applaud death in the afternoon. They don’t have a consensus here, and it isn’t going to happen. There are Australians, represented on the right wing of what we call the Liberal Party (which isn’t) who find same-sex marriage objectionable. They had consensus once, but it’s pretty plain that that has gone, and now they’re fighting a rear-guard action against a changed consensus. Biggy no doubt also finds same-sex marriage objectionable, and it’s here that his notion that God defines morality comes unstuck. He cites the words of Jesus to show that he should love the same-sex couple who live next door to him, but he wouldn’t allow them to marry - and, going on his previous remarks (or the remarks of a previous Biggy) on Chick-fill-A, he’d cause them to suffer disabilities and discrimination as well, which is a funny way of showing that he loves them.

Of course he’ll tell us (if he bothers to think about it at all) that he loves them, but not their sin, which he would proscribe. Notice that this is Biggy acting as God’s surrogate, deciding if the particular rule he wants to apply still applies (as opposed to, say, Jesus’s rules on divorce), and what interpretation he should use. Yeah, sure the Bible says you should stone gays. Well, that rule is out. It’s one of God’s rules that we have decided don’t apply. The Bible doesn’t say they should suffer discrimination in employment. Its Biggy who says that, hoping that he’ll carry consensus with him. (That hope, it would appear, is in vain.)

But that’s a parenthesis. The point is this: societies decide. They decide on what moral rules they accept. They decide on what they don’t. Then they decide on what they’re going to do about it. They decide. If it’s God who decides, let him say so. If the Bible is his last word, then point out the bit that tells me what we should do about North Korea shooting a nuke into the Sea of Japan to make a point, or ISIS chopping the heads off another six or eight random westerners, or China enforcing its territorial claims by boarding and taxing ships passing through the South China Sea. The Bible is oddly silent on those points. And please don’t tell me that those aren’t moral issues. You think threatening mass destruction isn’t an important moral issue? Or random murder for having the wrong religion? Or aggressive acquisition of territory? You have a curious idea of what morality is, if you say that.

No. We decide. We have to decide. We’re the only ones who can. “It’s because we’re here, lad. There’s nobody else. Only us.”

Oh, and the interview with the four-year-old girl, above?

It’s interesting. It seems to me that she is applying two rules in two different instances. The first is that she should do what adults tell her. The second is that she should not hurt others. She has implicitly recognised that there is a hierarchy operating. The first is acceptance of authority, external to herself. The second is acknowledgement of empathy internal to herself. In the first case, there has to be an authority. In the second, the authority is herself. She knows she doesn’t like getting hurt, and empathy extends that feeling to others. She is also, I think (although this isn’t explicit) aware of reciprocity: if she hurts others, they will be likely to hurt her back.

So what Biggy thinks is an application of universal moral law is in fact what I described: empathy and reciprocity.

IBelieveInGod said:

Dave, from reading your posts about morality, I think this is more inline with what you believe; Social conventions don’t make for morality. It is morality that judges social conventions.

I’ve caught up reading the last five or six panels, and all of Dave’s comments about morality. I don’t know what you’ve been reading, but I would reach the exact opposite conclusion about Dave’s beliefs, given what Dave has written.

Based on what Dave has written, I conclude that he believes that “social conventions” (your term), as representative of the consensus of a society (Dave’s term), is what judges acts to be moral or immoral. Not the other way around.

Something that I think you are missing, Biggie: it is the act itself, in context, that is judged to be moral or immoral. We are not judging “morality” in the abstract. That’s the point of Dave’s “case-by-case” application of judgment.

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