The cracks widen

When I have warned of a violent end to European multiculturalism in the past, those who look favorably on cultural plurality have tended to dismiss the prediction as being somehow unthinkable or the product of my wild-eyed fever dreams. It will be interesting to see what they make of a similar warning from a very different source:

Yazid Sabeg issued a wakeup call to the French nation, which has already suffered major rioting from alienated immigrant youth in the country’s social housing projects. He stressed that the current financial crisis will hit those suffering from discrimination and lack of opportunity most severely. “We are creating a social civil war in this country,” said Sabeg. “I believe that today we are digging a ditch that leads straight into apartheid.”

Sabeg is the son of Algerian immigrants and is known for his efforts to bring equality to the workplace. President Nicolas Sarkozy appointed Sabeg in December to the newly created post of diversity and equality commissioner. He is to oversee a government action plan aimed at putting more ethnic minorities on TV screens, in political parties and in elite schools that lead to jobs in government and industry.

Sabeg is correct about the incipient problems, but his solution is akin to trying to burn out a cancer by pouring gasoline over the victim and setting him on fire. It will eventually come down to violence and expulsion or violence and occupation. Those are the two options that history has always presented humanity in the past.

Mailvox: on Euthyphro

Allabaster is annoyed:

If i hear one more self important uni drop out refer to Socrates and his bloody Euthyphro dilemma i’m going to go mental. BTW Vox good work including a nice refutation in the last chapter of TIA. Has anybody tried to refute your position or have they all stalled at chapter 3ish?

There has only been one half-hearted and wildly incorrect attempt that I’ve seen, and I don’t think it was an atheist who gave it a shot. Although some young university atheists encountering philosophy for the first time are infatuated with it, it’s tangential to the whole debate because it doesn’t really have anything directly to do with God’s existence. My strong suspicion is that no one has tried to address it because so few of those who cite it have actually read the dialogue. Even those who have read it probably haven’t grasped its logic; Beezle, for example, didn’t understand that he can’t possibly describe my refutation of Euthyphro as an evasion, (which is incorrect anyhow), because in addition to pointing out the way in which the “dilemma” can’t logically be applied to the Christian God, I also demonstrate how Socrates himself admits that he is cheating by artificially redefining terms in order to create a false dilemma.

While I’m far from the first to point out that whining about an arbitrary nature is not sufficient to preserve the weak horn of the “dilemma” from the assault of Thomas Aquinas and others, it is entirely possible that I may be the first to show that Socrates’s logic in constructing the false dilemma is flawed. I’ve yet to see anyone even attempt to address this point and would very much like to see someone do so.

AD#3 Atheist Reason

While Christopher Hitchens is an amusing writer, his approach to argument can only be described as hopeless. To confuse anecdote with data is bad enough, but only Hitchens would seriously attempt to define good and evil by how he feels about things. Even Sam Harris, who is no expert logician, has a metric that can at least be theoretically applied to every individual. It’s certainly informative to know that Hitch was willing to give his flak jacket to a woman and tolerate the proximity of black men in the subway, but how, precisely, are his actions supposed to prove anything related to his assertions about morality, human nature, or the non-existence of God?

But these incompetencies are far from his worst mistake; as to that, it’s hard to choose between his pathetic three-paragraph climax of his ideal secular society and the incredible self-evisceration of the greater part of his book accomplished by his failure to provide any support whatsoever for dozens of the very sort of assertions he himself defined as auto-refuting.

UPDATE – Since the Atheist Demotivators have proved surprisingly popular, I’ve added a permalink to them in the TIA section on the right.