Over at Salon.com there’s an article up about Richard Dawkins claiming that what he calls “mild pedophilia” (in his case, when a teacher put his hands down his shorts and fondled him) does no lasting harm to children. Is that your professional opinion there, Professor?
Dawkins went on to say that one of his former school masters “pulled me on his knee and put his hand inside my shorts,” and that to condemn this “mild touching up” as sexual abuse today would somehow be unfair.
Oh, molesting children has a continuum that begins with “mild touching up.” He didn’t offer up the gradations beyond that, or at which point his extensive research into the area has shown that it does cause harm. I suppose it’s when the pedophile enjoys it too much. Oh, but wait, what’s that, Professor?
“I am very conscious that you can’t condemn people of an earlier era by the standards of ours. Just as we don’t look back at the 18th and 19th centuries and condemn people for racism in the same way as we would condemn a modern person for racism, I look back a few decades to my childhood and see things like caning, like mild pedophilia, and can’t find it in me to condemn it by the same standards as I or anyone would today,” he said.
So for the record, Dawkins and the rest of us are in no position to “condemn” people of earlier eras by the standard of ours. I suppose he has changed the position he took in The God Delusion:
“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
I suppose he would have been okay had there been more “mild touching up” in the Old Testament. His position however is consistent with his worldview. With no objective grounding of morality we can justify whatever suits us at present. The only advice I offer him is: stay away from my son.
I stumbled upon this story today:
A newlywed wife was charged on Monday with second-degree murder for allegedly pushing her husband off a cliff in Glacier National Park during an argument just a week after they married.
Terrible…but wait for it…
“Nobody is shocked at all … She’d been telling people she knew she never wanted to be married, she just wanted to have a wedding, and that’s apparently what they were arguing about.”
Ideas have consequences.
This has already made the rounds a bit, as it’s a week or so old. But still worth posting.
I have always been fascinated by other languages. I’m conversational in Spanish and and dabbled a bit in others, but only enough to know I need to study more. But if you’re like me (as a native English speaker) Chinese is a deep mystery. The written language is a vast respository of symbols, the sounds of the language are so different than English, that you just don’t know where to start.
Honestly, how has no one thought to do this before? Though the language is still daunting, the graphic design added to the characters seems like it would seriously aid in memorization.
Economics is the study of the use of scarce resources which have alternative uses….When a politician promises that his policies will increase the supply of some desirable goods or services, the question to be asked is: At the cost of less of what other goods and services? ~Thomas Sowell, Basic Economics
For a long time I viewed economics as an impenetrable subject. (I also thought it was boring, though I don’t know how I could know that AND find it impenetrable.) One can’t get away from the topic of economics, and the fact is no matter what a person’s level of understanding is, they probably have an opinion on it. A strong opinion. We’re fed strong opinions (and promises) from politicians and entertainment and news and just about any other source of media we consume. We’re promised that a vote for X will change Y about our economy. At some point I figured it would be a good idea to get a grasp on the basics of economics.
Enter Thomas Sowell’s aptly titled book, Basic Economics. Though not light reading, it’s very accessible and written for the lay person to understand. It’s also long measuring in at 654 pages, but very organized and thorough beginning with an answer to the most simple question :What is economics?
Although the word “economics” suggests money to some people, for a society as a whole money is just an artificial device to get real things done. Otherwise, the government could make us all rich by simply printing more money. It is not money but the volume of goods and services which determines whether a county is poverty stricken of prosperous.
At a time in our county’s history where the solution to economic problems has been trying to “stimulate” the economy through “quantitative easing”–the latest version of which being simply printing more money– learning, or relearning, the basics isn’t a bad idea. Sowell points out that economics is about the management and allocation of resources from one area to another, not simply about money. In the end a study of economics for the average person should be about helping make better informed decisions when the promises start flying.
I’ll be writing a series in coming months, mostly for my own benefit, as a way to help internalize what I’m working through and maybe help someone else see that the basics aren’t so daunting at all.
Here’s a good primer on what the Cosmological Argument for the existence of God consists of. (By William Lane Craig’s Resonable Faith)
I hope this report is completely mistaken. If not, it’s another example of the cancer of totalitarian secularism.
The Pentagon has released a statement confirming that soldiers could be prosecuted for promoting their faith: “Religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense…Court martials and non-judicial punishments are decided on a case-by-case basis…”.
Given the media’s thoroughly botched and incompetent coverage of the Boston manhunt, why should we give credence to the same media’s interpretation of their motives? Especially when the bomber’s own words, and words of their family, explicitly state that Islam was the motivator?
The world is upside down when Islamic terrorists can fly planes into buildings and it results in it being taboo to speak ill of Islam. But when people want to follow the Constitution they’re labeled extremists.
In the wake of the horrific attack on the Boston Marathon spectators, people are struggling to make sense of the world. Or, more accurately, they’re trying to reassure themselves of their worldview. Trying to convince themselves of the basic goodness of humanity. Attacks like this are rare in the US. But in other parts of the world, they are a way of life. And in other parts of the world, daily life is a horror that we in the West can hardly fathom.
In fact, the human story is one of brutality, injustice, and suffering. Insulated by the now waning benefits of a Judeo-Christian value system, the world is once again closing in…and even then it has only been held back briefly and barely at arms length. Yes, many displayed virtue in helping out those injured. I was impressed at how quickly people ran towards the blast to help the injured. And yet in the same week I read a story about a man in India. His wife and 8 month old child lie dead in the street as he begged passing motorists for help. None of whom stopped. Why did people render aid in Boston, but not there? Worldviews matter. And we still have the remnants of a society whose worldview compels us to render aid.
Most assure themselves that the “good people outnumber the bad.” But history demonstrates that goodness and peace is an anomaly. Christian Theology perfectly explains why the world is the way it is, though the why’s of any individual situation may be obscured. The larger why is sin. Deny sin, and the world will leave you constantly scrambling to explain…or explain away…in order to make sense of things.
Modern masters of science are much impressed with the need of beginning all inquiry with a fact. The ancient masters of religion were quite equally impressed with that necessity. They began with the fact of sin–a fact as practical as potatoes. Whether or no man could be washed in miraculous waters, there was no doubt at any rate that he wanted washing. But certain religious leaders in London, not mere materialists, have begun in our day not to deny the highly disputable water, but to deny the indisputable dirt. Certain new theologians dispute original sin, which is the only part of Christian theology which can really be proved. Some followers of the Reverend R.J.Campbell, in their almost too fastidious spirituality, admit divine sinlessness, which they cannot see even in their dreams. But they essentially deny human sin, which they can see in the street. The strongest saints and the strongest sceptics alike took positive evil as the starting-point of their argument. If it be true (as it certainly is) that a man can feel exquisite happiness in skinning a cat, then the religious philosopher can only draw one of two deductions. He must either deny the existence of God, as all atheists do; or he must deny the present union between God and man, as all Christians do. The new theologians seem to think it a highly rationalistic solution to deny the cat.