Pull the plug

Considering how one of the primary consequences of the NRO-endorsed neocon objective of “spreading democracy” has turned out to be spreading sharia everywhere from Afghanistan to Egypt and Iraq, it’s well past time to declare the concept a complete failure:

On NRO Friday, Paul Marshall lamented the Obama administration’s fecklessness, in particular the president’s appalling silence in the face of the death sentence Said Musa may suffer for the crime of converting to Christianity. This is in Afghanistan, the nation for which our troops are fighting and dying — not to defeat our enemies, but to prop up the Islamic “democracy” we have spent a decade trying to forge at a cost of billions.

This shameful episode (and the certain recurrence of it) perfectly illustrates the folly of Islamic nation-building. The stubborn fact is that we have asked for just these sorts of atrocious outcomes. Ever since 2003, when the thrust of the War On Terror stopped being the defeat of America’s enemies and decisively shifted to nation-building, we have insisted — against history, law, language, and logic — that Islamic culture is perfectly compatible with and hospitable to Western-style democracy. It is not, it never has been, and it never will be.

It only took 10 years to figure out the obvious. How much longer will it take for conservatives to realize that permitting barbarian immigration is not, in fact, beneficial to the stability or survival of Western civilization?

A failure of atheist logic

A former atheist contemplates the irrationality of atheist opposition to religion:

I had something of an epiphany. One night, after a long dinner, I was walking back to my hotel in downtown Salt Lake City at 2am and I suddenly realised: I felt safe. As any transatlantic traveller knows, this is a pretty unusual experience in an American city after midnight.

Why did I feel safe? Because I was in a largely Mormon city, and Mormons are never going to mug you. They might bore or annoy you when they come knocking on your door, touting their faith, but they are not going to attack you. The Mormons’ wholesome religiousness, their endless and charitable kindliness, made their city a better place. And that made me think: Why was I so supercilious about such happy, hospitable people? What gave me the right to sneer at their religion?

From that moment I took a deeper, more rigorous interest in the possible benefits of religious faith. Not one particular creed, but all creeds. And I was startled by what I found. For a growing yet largely unnoticed body of scientific work, amassed over the past 30 years, shows religious belief is medically, socially and psychologically beneficial…. Crucially, religious people lived longer than atheists even if they didn’t go regularly to a place of worship. This study clearly suggests there is a benefit in pure faith alone — perhaps this religiousness works by affording a greater sense of inner purpose and solace in grief.

This begs the question: Given all this vast evidence that religion is good for you, how come the atheists seem so set against it? They pride themselves on their rationality, yet so much of the empirical evidence indicates that God is good for you. Surely, then, it is the atheists, not the devout, who are acting irrationally?

Not only acting irrationally, but arguing nonsensically as well. I have pointed out on occasion the way in which the desire of some atheists to kick out what they see as a crutch out from under religious believers is an indication of a malicious character. If atheists persist in their attempts to destroy religious belief in light of this growing body of empirical evidence of the beneficial nature of religion, it will prove that their primary motivation is neither truth nor reason, but pure malice and ill-will.

Moreover, such evidence is one more nail in the coffin of Freudian pseudo-science. Since real science indicates that religious belief is good for you versus the Freudian claim that it is unhealthy, those atheists who still cling stubbornly to the outdated Freudian position will be revealed as overtly anti-science, their scientific pretensions notwithstanding.

Don’t miss the comments. It is always amusing to see the self-professed “intelligent” and “educated” atheists revealing their blatant ignorance by citing the usual nonexistent prison statistics, misleading divorce statistics, and imaginary military history.

Cicero on "scientific" morality

I spent a rather pleasant morning finishing de Legibus today, and was inspired to begin putting together some thoughts that I anticipate sharing at some future date. In the meantime, however, I was more than a little amused by these two passages, the first from Book One and the second from Book Two, particularly in light of having read The Moral Landscape. As a general rule, if your argument has not only been anticipated, but brutally dismissed, some 2,000 years in advance, you should probably consider rethinking it.

“As for those who go in for self-indulgence and are slaves of their own bodies – people who measure everything they should seek and avoid in life by the yardstick of pleasure and pain – even if they are right (and there is no need to take issue with them here) let us tell them to preach in their own little gardens and let us ask them to keep away for a little while from any participation in public life, an area of which they know nothing and have never wished to know anything….

What can be more certain than this, that no one should be so stupid and arrogant as to believe that reason and intelligence are present in him but not in the heavens and the world? Or that those things which are barely understood by the highest intellectual reasoning are kept in motion without any intelligence at all? As for the person who is not impelled to give thanks for the procession of the stars, the alternation of day and night, the regular succession of the seasons, and the fruits which are produced for our enjoyment – how can such a person be counted as human at all?”

I think we can be confident that the great Roman humanist would not only be unimpressed with the proposed science of morality based on the happiness/suffering metric, but like most Americans today, he would be more than a little reluctant to cast a presidential vote for an atheist.