Walter Scott Hudson62p
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93 weeks ago @ NewsReal Blog -
I see. You're inferring more from the statement than intended. There's some distance between pointing out that causality is an objective fact of reality and insisting that reality is limited to the objective.
My point is that causality necessitates a reality beyond the objective. Since everything in the universe has a cause, so must the universe itself. That cause could not share the same nature as the universe. It would be inherently beyond our objective detection and have a super-nature with attributes traditionally regarded as divine. In order to be capable of creating all, it would have to be omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. It would have to be eternal, with no beginning or end, and thus without a cause of its own.
If one is an objectivist, they have chosen to blankout this implication of causality, because it demands contemplating the subjective. This is why I can never call myself an objectivist, despite my reverence for objective morality in the realm of civics.
The points you address about the God of the Bible are certainly provocative. I could (and indeed plan to) write a book on the subject. Within the constraints of a blog comment, I have to keep it simple. Suffice it to say, if there is a God, his divine qualities place him in rightful authority over all things. Tyranny is arbitrary, government by whim. The God of the Bible is not arbitrary. It's difficult to discern from a dry reading of scripture without truly studying it and seeking to understand the nuance of the original language in its whole context.
Such study reveals that the condition of the world - "messed up" as it is - is accounted for in a manner which makes sense. It is precisely because God is not a tyrant that He granted us the capacity to mess up our world. A tyrant would have created a utopia populated by automatons. God created a world with volitional beings. As any parent knows, with volition comes rebellion. That rebellion could not be tolerated, because God is just (intolerant of wrong) and holy (the standard of right). Fortunately, being omniscient, He also had a plan to redeem us.
Regarding Numbers, you don't see these rituals going on today. Much of the Mosiac law, though certainly divinely decreed, was nonetheless contextual. Recall that the purpose of setting aside the Israelites as a "chosen people" was to ensure the linage through which the Messiah would be born. Much of the Mosiac law and the relatively gruesome violence prescribed by God throughout the Exodus and beyond, had the effect of protecting and differentiating Israel from the tribes and nations around them - thus protecting that lineage. Again, we have to consider the context. These other tribes and nations were hardly paragons of virtue or champions of individual rights. They were most frequently idol worshipers who tossed their infants into sacrificial pyres. Such cultures have no moral claim to sovereignty, objective or otherwise.
93 weeks ago @ NewsReal Blog -
I don't know a lot about Robertson, to be perfectly honest. What I do know, I'm not a huge fan of.
I'm not sure I follow your point about character in opposition to argument. Are you saying an adulterer cannot argue against adultery? If so, I disagree.
I can't speak for others, but believe Christians who argue that atheists are immoral are obviously not talking about objective morality. They probably aren't even aware of objective morality and hold to a false dichotomy between moral subjectivism and religious dictate.
93 weeks ago @ NewsReal Blog - I don't see where I said any such thing. The entire point of my post is that theism - which is inherently subjective - is nonetheless rational. Objective morality applies to the objective world. It applies to our dealings with each other and our environment. Objective ethics regards one man as equal to another. God is not an equal. A creator of the universe would inherently own it, just as a man inherently owns the product of his thought and labor. It is therefore within His prevue to use or dispose of that creation as He pleases. Fortunately, if you read the Bible without a bias against Christianity, you will find that God's love led Him to provide a means for our salvation in spite of having every right to dispose of us all.
You should have access to my email in your site's dashboard. I'd like to correspond about writing for us.
You distinguish an adult's decision regarding their self from a parent's decision for their child. That's the crime in this debate. You don't get to determine what decisions parents make for their children, for precisely the same reason you do not get to determine what decisions they make for themselves. There is no distinction. To assert otherwise is to concoct some collective claim to parental authority which cannot be derived rationally, because it does not exist. If a parent does not "own" their child, which I agree they don't, surely no one else does. If a parent is not empowered to direct the life of their child, surely no one else is.
This is not a principle upon which I'm prepared to give ground, because there is no middle ground. If you concede that parental authority is subject to the rational analysis of others, than there is no parental authority. And that's precisely what we see in everything from dietary dictates in public schools to prosecution of religious parents for controversial medical decisions. The state's role in protecting children is the same as its role in protecting anyone, preserving individual rights. For the reasons I articulate in the post, that means preserving the parents' right to direct their children's lives.
It is the sanctity of individual rights which should compel us to set an extraordinarily high standard for interfering in the parental relationship. I think it reasonable to expect that standard to include self-identified victims advocating on their own behalf, rather than a cadre of busy bodies eager to impose upon others. Again, I know of no such victims. Given the hundreds of millions of American men who have been circumcised over the years, if the practice is as horrific an abuse as you claim, the outcry from those actually affected would be readily apparent.
"The CDC data, reported by the New York Times, showed that the incidence of circumcision declined from 56 percent in 2006 to 32.5 percent in 2009. According to these statistics, non-circumcision or genital integrity has become the normal condition among newborn boys in the United States."
This demonstrates that people are, of their own accord, moving away from the practice. Take your case to those who remain. I see no reason to enforce it through law. If anything, the decreasing numbers strengthen the case for leaving it to parents.