An article I read today announces that they have found a way to test for 3,500 genetic faults, raising concerns (the article says) about the ethical implications. The story veers headlong into a sustained bout of research that I am currently engaged in, research that began by wanting to answer the basic question “how does …
When I was in college there was this guy 2 1/2 times larger than me… a philosophy major, as I recall… appropriately named ‘Animal.’ I remember having a debate about pain with him. I argued it was all in our minds- just a brain state- and not real. Animal said, “Come here, and I’ll show you unreal pain.”
While I was of the mindset that there were just “brain states” or just “subjective opinions” or just “one’s political views”, I was a liberal. When my mindset changed, so did my ‘political’ stance. This is a realization that congealed more than ten years after the change had happened. Was it just me? Correlation does not prove causation, and yet I see the same ingredients in the conservatives and liberals I meet. What made my mindset change?
I wouldn’t say it happened over night but there was a singular ‘event’ that proved the catalyst. One should understand that at the time, I was a Christian, an apologist, a Christian religion teacher. But I still entertained many viewpoints we’d call ‘liberal.’ The catalyst arose out of my never ending quest to make sure that when I talk about something, I actually know what I’m talking about. In the general course of that, I read a great many writings of Communists, Nazis, and to a lesser extent, the ‘fascists.’ Here I discovered something frightening: these people were advocating many of the same things I was advocating, and for the same reasons.
We live in a curious time. Good people who are otherwise sane entertain the notions that Lee and Loughner embraced and acted on. Over against those notions they have some memory of the bloodsport of the 20th century and are keen to avoid it a second go around. What they don’t ask is: “Maybe it isn’t just one particular application of these beliefs that ought to be discredited… maybe the beliefs themselves should be chucked?”
Let us imagine that someone believed that all people with red hair should be killed because they aren’t really people. You talk to him. He’s a perfectly pleasant fellow. Very sane. “So, you aren’t going to actually kill any red haired people or advocate that others do?” you ask him. “Of course not,” he says. That’s a relief, of course. “Why believe it if you won’t carry it out?” you persist. “That would be horrible. I would feel terrible,” he says. “Hmmm,” you might say, “Perhaps the fact that you are deeply uncomfortable with wiping out those with red hair is because even though you say they aren’t people, in fact, you think they are. Why not then dispense with your belief that they aren’t really people?”
Something very much like this is at the root of much thinking among secular humanists. They don’t really believe what they’re saying. If they did, we’d all be in a lot of trouble and they’d probably go a little nuts.
Apologetics ministries tend to focus on issues such as God’s existence or the fact of the resurrection or the Bible’s reliability. These are all very important. Indeed, they bear directly on the issues at hand- for if there is no God, it obviously follows that we cannot be made by him in his image. Further, Jesus suffering, death, and resurrection on behalf of a fallen human race is an emphatic testament to how much God himself values each human life. Dispense with these, and there are ripples down the line.
There, however, is where I wish to make the point: there are ripples down the line.
Somewhere I read once that in the 1700s they went after God. In the 1800s, they went after Jesus. In the 1900s, they went after Man. The sequence is logical, rational, and predictable. One would like to think that they can dispense with God without there being practical effect, but the 1900s have shown otherwise.
Pro-life speaker Anthony Horvath recounts the history of the ‘Culture of Death’ from Thomas Malthus to Charles Darwin to Margaret Sanger to Peter Singer, with an array of personalities in between. Horvath shows why population control proposals permeate the ‘Progressive’ movement for the last 200 years and why, and how, it must be countered today. This presentation was delivered Nov. 20th, 2010, at Concordia University in Seward Nebraska for a Nebraska Lutherans for Life organization.
ACM intern Abby put together this video on behalf of Joseph Keysor’s “Hitler, the Holocaust, and the Bible” that effectively shuts down the argument that Hitler was a Christian by a simple little piece of logic. Learn more and see how you can win up to $300 and a free copy of the book by …
It is not hard to find insinuations and outright accusations that these killings represent a ‘fascist’ right wing extremist movement. Today, the self-described last in the world late-term abortionist, Dr. Warren Hern, said: “The anti-abortion movement message is, ‘Do what we tell you to do or we will kill you,’ and they do. This is a fascist movement.”
The statistics, however, do not bear this out, do they? In thirty-five years, just 8 abortionists have been killed. Between 1980 and 1989, 304 gas station attendants were killed. 115 liquor store workers were killed. 806 grocery store workers were killed. 56 Jewelry store workers were killed. You get the idea: It is more dangerous to work at a gast station, liquor store, grocery store, or jewelry store (or drive a taxi, etc) than it is to be an abortion ‘doctor.’
In 1954 the US passed tax exemption legislation that prohibited tax exempt entities to engage in certain kinds of political activities.
From a speech by Adolf Hitler, 1935. National-Socialist Party Conference:
But under no condition whatsoever will the National Socialist State permit religious denominations to engage in political activities, whether these activities be a continuance of the old tradition or something started afresh.
The above quote is not actually what annoyed me. Instead, it was his classification of people who keep their children instead of aborting them when they have been diagnosed with ‘devastating’ diseases (again, as defined by whom?) as being akin to one who believes in a flat earth. Here is the extended quote:
If one reads about reproductive issues in the conservative media-which I often do-one is bombarded with tales of mothers who have sacrificed personal and professional opportunities to bring fetuses to term. The implication is that while bearing a child when one is ready is a blessing, bearing a child when one is not prepared garners one extra moral credit in the cosmos. Similarly, while having a healthy baby is a cause for joy, some opponents of abortion profess that having a baby with a devastating or even fatal birth defect is proof of the mother’s fortitude and character. If one believes that human life begins at conception, this is logically the case. However, if one believes that life begins after conception-as do a wide majority of Americans, if polls on such issues as embryonic stem cell research are to believed-then the suffering caused by transforming an unwanted embryo into a living baby, who will either endure debilitating disease or will enter a deeply inhospitable home environment, is not at all a cause for pride. It more is akin to deciding that the world is flat and then boasting of not falling off the edge.
As readers of this blog know, my wife and I are examples of what he is talking about here
Due out on Hitler’s birthday (April 20th, 2009), Joe Keysor’s book, Hitler, the Holocaust, and the Bible: A Scriptural Analysis of Anti-Semitism, National Socialism, and the Churches in Nazi Germany is an important book counteracting the growing clamor that Christianity was the driving ideology behind Hitler, the Nazis, and the Holocaust. It is very important- for obvious reasons- for secular humanists and atheists to show that brutal tyrants were not operating on their principles but rather on Christian principles. In some cases such as Mao and Pol Pot the operation cannot even be attempted. In others, such as Lenin and Stalin, more headway is made. In Hitler, secularists consider the matter a slam dunk.
Atheists and secular humanists quite obviously argue that we humans are all alone and that humans themselves determine their worth, their value, their ‘intrinsic’ dignity. The problems with this ought to be self-evident but atheists are crafty folks. History reveals clearly that humans can change their minds about the ‘worth,’ ‘value,’ and ‘rights’ of humans (usually other humans). For example, the Nazis depersonalized the Jews with consequences I need not expand on. Atheistic communist regimes depersonalized dissidents and capitalists with consequences I need not expand on. The atheistic apologetic on the point is that actually this goes to show the dangers of ‘religion.’ For, you see, anyone who ever does anything nasty, no matter what their ideology, is, by definition, acting religiously. In this way, atheists can always keep their hands clean.
However, it misses the point. The fundamental point has to do with our basis for decrying what the Nazis and communists did. If humans themselves are the sole and final arbiters for determining and dictating human value then no one can complain about what humans decide. Oh sure, the do complain. But in doing so they betray the inconsistency of their position.
This weekend I read one of the scariest things I have heard coming out of the Global Warming crowd. That is saying something. I have documented elsewhere on this blog some other things they’ve said, like comparing denying man-made Global Warming to denying the holocaust. This is so disgusting I almost sat down and wrote a book exposing the various principles at work in it but stopped when I thought of at least one that is already written: C.S. Lewis’s The Abolition of Man.
In summary, the London Times article references a certain Jonathon Porritt, a Global Warming burearucrat who reportedly says,
“I am unapologetic about asking people to connect up their own responsibility for their total environmental footprint and how they decide to procreate and how many children they think are appropriate,” Porritt said.
“I think we will work our way towards a position that says that having more than two children is irresponsible.