A stampede of two

The Blogger Blaster joins the White Buffalo in trampling the sheep:

BB:The introduction of God solves one crucial thing. It provides an objective measure of right and wrong.

Let me give an example..

Says the Moral Relativist: “Rapist… what you do is evil.”

Says the Rapist: “No. What I do is good. For I define good as that which pleases me.”

Says the Moral Relativist: “But you are harming another.”

Says the Rapist: “A living things seeks to discharge its strength. I am strong. It is my purpose to use that strength. The weak are here for the strong to use as they so choose.”

Says the Moral Relativist: “ummm…”

While it may be distastful… it is simply obtuse to claim that “Because God said so.” cannot be a useful tool in controlling the masses.

Rumblelizard:That’s an awfully stupid moral relativist your Rapist is talking to, BB.

Christopher :Let’s try another dialogue:

Moral non-reletivist: Rapist, what you do is wrong, god said so.

Rapist: No, god has said that women are to be subordinate to men. I’m acting out my divine right.

Moral etc.: Ummm…

Bloggerblaster:Depending on which god you’re referring to that could be correct, or incorrect. Certainly the God of Islam would agree. Which is why in moslem countries rape victims are either forced to marry the rapist, or they are killed. Interestingly… Nations with Christian influences handle rape much differently. Wonder why that is?

RumbleLizard, But you are not a stupid moral relativist… so please… enlighten me. I honestly do not know what basis a moral relativist has for justifying the belief that his belief that rape is wrong, is in anyway more correct than another’s view that rape is right.

I know what I believe… Like Buffy the White, I’d like to know what you believe. Is it all just Might Makes Right?

Christopher: Um… BloggerBlaster, you didn’t address my point, which is that essentially the one conception of god isn’t any more convincing or true then the other. Instead of me arguing personally with the psycho, it’s the psycho’s idea of god arguing with my idea of god. And whether it’s us or our gods that are arguing, the method for resolving the argument remains the same; The person with more power prevents the person with less power from acting on their version of morality‚Ķ. Like I said, I don’t have an answer for you on how to objectively prove that goodness is good. But the idea of god doesn’t help.

Rumblelizard: Well, first off, BB, a *real* moral relativist wouldn’t even get so far as to tell the Rapist that what he did was “evil.” “Moral relativists” make no moral judgements, because it’s all “relative,” remember? Refuting the argument of the Rapist really only needs some observations along the “there’s always a bigger fish, and how would you like being the rapee” plus “complying with the golden rule = pragmatic good for all” line.

I’m not surprised that the response of the Pandagonians boiled down to Might Makes Right – a pro-rape argument if I’ve ever heard one – combined with some feeble hand-waving that wouldn’t convince a two-year old. “How would you like it?” Yes, that’s a powerful foundation for an objective morality indeed. The heart of the Left is always a dark one, hidden beneath its posturing pretense to moral superiority

I am, however, deeply shocked that the Blogger Blaster managed to remain within shouting distance – okay, whistling distance – of conventional spelling and capitalization.

Mailvox: someone needs a dictionary

The Jade Knight is not exactly studying for the bar:

Vox, mind posting a blog explaining to some of your hangers-on a little about the Public Domain? A few of them seem to have the (quite erroneous) idea that anything to be found on the Internet is automatically in the public domain.

And this seems to be some of the more “benevolent” of their errors.

Truly, you should pick your champions better. They do anything but uphold your intelligence to a neutral observer.

I was unaware that any of the Volk were wrongly profiting from the intellectual property of your friend with the LiveJournal. Are they selling t-shirts with the trademarked phrase “I’m Going To Puke Now”? Are they scraping the collective output of the Feminist Mormon Housewives, printing it and selling it at Barnes & Noble and other fine bookstores?

If so, I’d encourage you to tell your friend to hire one of the lawyers here – The Perfect Aryan Male is a trademark and copyright law specialist – and have him write them a cease-and-desist order.

As for champions, the fact that there may be a few other big dogs lurking about the premises doesn’t mean I can’t take care of myself. They’re not mine, I don’t feed them, they simply enjoy making a snack of the odd sheep passing by. And when they do, I seldom bother to chime in as there’s little point in picking through the remains and chomping them again.

Now run along, little boy, run along.

UPDATE: Jade Knight helpfully explains that he’s not the one who needs a dictionary. His comment quoted above was made here in response to an inaccurate remark made elsewhere that I did not see. I am sorry for ripping him instead of the party who rightly deserved it. By way of apology, I’ll explain what Jade was hoping I’d point out: public domain is intellectual property that is no longer copyrighted. Copyright extends for the life of the author plus (X) years – Congress changed it recently at Disney’s behest request and I’m not sure what it is off the top of my head, 70 perhaps – after that time, a work is considered to be in the public domain and can be used by anyone.

This is why, when you go to Barnes and Noble, you’ll see numerous different versions of Pride and Prejudice or The Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe. Anyone can publish a book that is in the public domain, and publishers like this because they need not share any royalties with the copyright holder or his heirs.

Blogs, LiveJournals and personal correspondence are not in the public domain. They are considered to be a form of copyrighted material, use of which is governed by the Fair Use law. So, you can freely quote from another blog or a newspaper, so long as you do it within reason and don’t claim the work as your own.

Stacer’s objection, as I understand it from a friend of hers who emailed me, was that she thought a LiveJournal was private. This is, as she has discovered, not true, it is public. It is not, however, in the public domain.

Contact request

Could whoever had the military officer on tap with regards to executing Armageddon shoot me an email, please? I can’t remember if it was Salt, Soup or someone else. Grazie.

The moralist in spite of himself

Dr. Eco comes to Chesterton:

Human beings are religious animals. It is psychologically very hard to go through life without the justification, and the hope, provided by religion. You can see this in the positivist scientists of the 19th century.

They insisted that they were describing the universe in rigorously materialistic terms – yet at night they attended seances and tried to summon up the spirits of the dead. Even today, I frequently meet scientists who, outside their own narrow discipline, are superstitious – to such an extent that it sometimes seems to me that to be a rigorous unbeliever today, you have to be a philosopher. Or perhaps a priest….

G K Chesterton is often credited with observing: “When a man ceases to believe in God, he doesn’t believe in nothing. He believes in anything.” Whoever said it – he was right. We are supposed to live in a sceptical age. In fact, we live in an age of outrageous credulity.

Eco, a non-Christian but a great humanist in the best sense of the term, herein expresses the essence of Voltaire’s point regarding the fundamental necessity of religion. Human beings are not capable of maintaining a spiritual vaccuum and they will fill that void with faith in something. In some cases, they will fill it with something harmless, in others, something silly, in still others, something actively evil.

I see Eco’s article as tangentially related to yesterday’s discussion, which demonstrated again how decent atheists and agnostics raised in a Christian culture parasitically and irrationally latch onto the greater part of the morality they reject as a whole, causing them to react in horror as their fellow disbelievers not privy or more resistant to such moral indoctrination behave rationally in the manner exhorted by Nietzsche and accepted with sardonic resignation by the existentialists.

The essential point that continues to evade most of these decent disbelievers is that regardless of the ethical structure he erects to rationalize his subscription to traditional morals imposed on his consciousness by society, he has no logic beyond simple utilitarianism to offer anyone else. His definition of good and evil – assuming he even accepts such things – is his alone. He can say to the rapist “what you do is evil”, but he has no effective response when the certainly rapist says to him “what I do is good, because I define good as that which pleases me” or ” A living thing seeks above all to discharge its strength” nor does he have a legitimate grounds for preventing or punishing the rapist.

Even the ethical arguments based on utilitarianism can fail here. In a demographically declining West, the rapist can quite reasonably argue that he is committing an act for the good of society, even for the good of humanity, in forcing himself on a woman who intends to remain childless. Indeed, an honest devotee of “the greater good” would have to at least consider supporting a policy of forcibly impregnating the most intelligent women, accompanied, of course, with a revivial of the historical eugenicism aimed at sterilizing the least intelligent.

This is, of course, abhorrent to the Christian morality, which Nietzsche rightly viewed as a defender of the weak. But on what grounds does a utilitarian object?

There is no dearth of philosophical systems of ethics, and they are all useless because they make no logical claim on those who do not voluntarily accept it. This is why the atheist, the agnostic and the pagan so readily resort to force as a substitute for ethics, because their arguments are toothless. To be fair, one must admit there is no shortage of Christians who do the same in their confusion of government-mandated legality with Biblically-mandated morality.

Eco quotes another lapsed Catholic, Joyce: “”What kind of liberation would that be to forsake an absurdity which is logical and coherent and to embrace one which is illogical and incoherent?” I would add: what profits it an individual to forsake a morality which is logical and coherent and to embrace one which is illogical, incoherent and inapplicable to others?

17 guys you can’t get mad at

Speaking of being philosophically resigned:

Brad Pitt – If the last two women a man had sex with were Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston, and the women he chooses for his next conquest is your girl, there is no way you should feel upset about this. You should feel both honored and privileged. Your woman must be among the hottest 3 girls on the planet.

The Rock – Seriously what are you going to do? He is bigger than you, stronger than you, and most likely funnier than you too. Just chalk this one up as an L and move on with life. Besides, too many years of steroid abuse have most likely shriveled his crank to the size of a golf pencil…. or at least you can keep telling yourself that.

Doug Flutie – Never before has one man brought an entire team as well as their legions of fans to their knees. Flutie did this to “The U” … why should your girl be any different.

Hmmmmm… Spacebunny does seem to perk up a bit when Tom Selleck makes an appearance on a Friends rerun….

Kant and the Buffalo

The White Buffalo runs rampant at Pandagon:

White Buffalo: What is the intrinsic worth of all human beings derived from sans a higher creator? That’s VD’s point. There is no accepted, logically defensible standard that atheists/agnostics agree on. You want everyone to play nice so you say people have intrinsic worth, but at the same time you say people evolved by accident over millions of years from pond scum. Since when did accident’s have instrinsic worth? And if they don’t, why should one not violate them?

Pandagonian 1: Buffy, go read some philosophy. I’m not trying to be nasty; there are literally dozens of introductory-level philosophy books that introduce ideas like Kant’s Universal Imperative, which is just one of the many ways to get a non-deistic ethical system off the ground.

Pandagonian 2: I second the Kant recommendation; read up. God won’t smite you with lightning, I promise. I’ve done it myself and it’s perfectly safe.

White Buffalo: Kant’s Categorical Imperative (He doesn’t have a Universal Imperative) does not assign intrinsic value to humans. It asserts that one should act only in ways that one could will that action to become a universal law. So pretty much Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Nothing particulalry original there, and not a formula for determining special value for humans, which is what I asked.

Pandagonian 1: Buffy, I apologize for messing up my terminology. I tossed off my comment during a slow spell at work. Correcting me, though, is definitely not the way to continue a constructive argument. If you want to flame, I can do that too, but I’d prefer to stick to one or the other.

CORRECTING ME IS DEFINITELY NOT THE WAY TO CONTINUE A CONSTRUCTIVE ARGUMENT. That is beautiful, simply beautiful. It could serve as the motto for the entire left-wing of the blogosphere. When caught with your pants down – notice that this is the guy who thinks he can get by with a naked argument from authority – clearly the correct solution is to criticize the person who notices.

It’s generally a bad idea to try pulling a philosophical fast one on a guy whose brother-in-law is getting a PhD in philosophy. When you’ve got one of those around, everybody gets to hear more Kant than they want.