Monday, December 12, 2005

Walking Around in Circles

Vox Day was kind enough to respond to my earlier blog entry about his claim to libertarianism. Unfortunately, he was unable to respond with much substance. He makes plenty of claims, but doesn't back them up very well. He also didn't directly respond to the meat of my post (the claims regarding libertarianism), but he says that there is more to come later, so hopefully he will respond to it eventually.

No, it is self-evident that one can only claim that rape is immoral if one subscribes to a coherent moral code which presents a rational basis for universality, (or at the very least makes a claim, however dubious, to universality).

Little does Vox comprehend (but some of his commenters do) that the Christian moral code presents a "might = right" moral code. Does Vox consider that, as he puts it, "rational"? In his WingNutDaily article, he claims that "might = right" is immoral. Where does he get that judgment from anyway -that "might= right" is wrong? Possibly his "I have all the might, so whatever I say is right," Christian God? Vox is borrowing from the same "might = right" moral code that he decries!

As I have demonstrated, many individuals, past and present, have subscribed to coherent moral codes which do not consider rape to be immoral or consider it at most to be a petty crime worthy of minor compensation.

Vox is correct that there are many individuals that subscribed to a moral code that doesn't consider rape to be that big of a deal. The code they subscribe to is Christianity. Christianity most definitely treats rape, as Vox describes it, "at most to be a petty crime worthy of minor compensation." For example, in the Bible, Lot sacrifices his daughters to a rapist mob. The author of Genesis considers rape to be a crime against the honor of men rather than against the woman herself. The virtue of self-ownership or the women's (victim's) rights is not considered. The Bible exposes an inferior moral code by treating women, and accordingly rape victims, as property rather than valid human beings.

Christians are one of the very few groups who possess a coherent moral code which presents a rational basis for universality - I note that this assertion is supported by a vast panoply of non-Christian intellectuals, past and present.

Is this some kind of argument from authority, argument from popularity, or both? I can surely cite a vast panalopy of non-Christian intellectuals, past and present, who say just the opposite. But there is a more important point to Vox's statement. Rather than Vox trying to directly argue that his Christian theology presents a good moral system for condemning rape, he instead says "it's true because lots of other people say so." I, on the other hand, have been supporting my claims directly.

Aaron also conveniently leaves out that I expressly stated that there may be other such moral codes, but neither Aaron nor anyone else has even attempted to present one.

Actually, I didn't leave that out. I quoted Vox's statement about this, and I replied to it. Now I think its Vox who has issues with reading comprehension. That, or he is practicing some "overt intellectual dishonesty." Anyway, for those who missed it, here is what I said in response to his admission that there may be other such moral codes:

Indeed. Vox hasn't heard much -and doesn't know much- about atheism, his own "might = right" Christian ideology, or the moral code within libertarianism. It's kind of sad to watch Vox claim ignorance as a justification for making up things at whim and assigning the wrong features to the wrong worldviews.

In the comments section of Vox's blog, I linked two sites that provide information on coherent moral codes that do not base themselves on the "might = right" dictates of a grand authority, but base themselves on objective reality and/or rational individualism. I will again present them here and here.

Despite 17 years of Christian fundamentalism, Aaron managed to somehow miss the very basis for Jesus Christ's sacrifice.

No, I think I got it. The unjustified destruction of an innocent human to atone for the guilt, both earned and unearned, of every other human in existence. That is what sacrifice is; trying to make a right out of two wrongs. Does Vox Day think that in a libertarian society people could offer themselves as a sacrifice to serve the punishment of a guilty person, therefore setting the guilty one free? Does any justice system in the world today work like that? Is sacrifice even justice? No, it is not. It is two wrongs trying to make a right, and it just doesn't work.

In fact, Vox does not think that everyone is owned by themselves, but by Satan.

See? He's definitely not a libertarian.

Jesus Christ had to die in order to pay the price to redeem humanity, hence the phrase "Blessed Redeemer" that appears in so many Christian hymns.

Again with the sacrifice. I don't think there's anything within the concept of sacrifice that corresponds to any libertarian virtues.

As for the libertarian concept of self-ownership, one always has the right to sell oneself to another individual.

And now we see Vox make another one of his "numerous errors in logic." If Vox thinks everyone is owned by Satan, then how does he think one can sell himself to Jesus? And how can Vox even reconcile the concept of self-ownership with his contention that everyone is already owned by Satan in the first place?

Vox does not think that, Vox has never written that and Aaron is guilty of exaggeration at best, outright lying at worst.

All this after he wrote an article that says date rape does not exist.

As for the question, I might as easily retort: where are the libertarian values of self-responsibility and independence, not to mention justice, in taking exception to the statement that a woman is responsible for the consequences of her actions?

Straw man. Nobody is taking exception to the statement that a woman is responsible for the consequences of her actions. The problem is that Vox thinks that if a woman leads a man on then she loses the right to tell him to stop.

The contention that traditional Western morality is not synonymous with and largely derived from Christian morality is willfully and demonstrably absurd and anyone with even a modicum of historical knowledge must consider it laughable.

Then perhaps Vox can tell us which Biblical scriptures regarding rape have been considered an integral part of traditional Western morality? I’m serious, which passages would those be? And what about the 10 commandments and their according punishments? Has Leviticus 24:16 been integral to traditional Western morality? What about Exodus 21:15 or 21:17? These are some serious moral statements found in scripture that are not found in traditional Western morality. I contend that it is absurd to think that traditional Western morality proscribes death for cursing one's parents or working on the Sabbath. Vox Day should demonstrate how traditional Western morality is based on Scripture, rather than just claim it. Maybe he can start with rape-related passages.

The equation of Christianity with blindness is an unsupported assertion...

Vox doesn't know his Bible very well. Time for me to support my assertion. I again claim that Christian theology demands blind obedience to a self-appointed creator God. And the Bible agrees with me. In proverbs 3:5-7 we read: "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil." I can't imagine a clearer way for God to call everyone to blindly follow him.

...while the one equating a postulated ultimate authority - aka God - with a "self-appointed authority figure" is a dishonest and illogical caricature. If God as described exists, he is the legitimate and ultimate authority. If he does not exist, then how can he appoint himself?

And finally Vox admits that Christianity is a "might = right" system. But for some reason, I don't think he realized he admitted it.

And yet, he sees the same vaccuum I do, indeed, all he does here is repeat what I have previously stated on a number of occasions: atheism has nothing to say about morality.

We do agree on one thing: atheism has nothing to say on morality. Negative claims tend to be that way, but I don't think Vox understands the difference between a positive and a negative claim. However, libertarianism does indeed have things to say about morality, for it is a political system derived from a moral code. The fact that Vox doesn't understand this either shows that he doesn't understand libertarianism, and is not a libertarian. In fact, throughout his reply, Vox makes no attempt to explain his claims to libertarianism. And as I said before, Vox makes no direct defense or reply to my charge that his ideas are anti-libertarian.

The atheist is provided no basis with which to condemn rape or any other evil by his atheism...

I agree with this. Atheism doesn't concern morality, only the existence of God(s).

...and because he lacks this basis...

Another error of logic from Vox Day. Vox first claims that atheism provides no moral code, then claims that the atheist has no moral code as a result. Vox Day fails to take into account that a moral code may be derived from another source, much less a source that isn't "might = right" in nature. In the case of libertarianism, the moral code comes from the recognition of virtues such as self-ownership, self-determination, and non-coercion.

he is therefore forced to rely on concepts such as "might makes right" when he wishes to condemn the action of another but is unwilling to play moral parasite and piggyback on the morality of others.

Vox writes as if he never read Francois Tremblay's article that I quoted. It has already been successfully argued by Francois that atheists don't subscribe to "might = right" and that it is in fact Vox's Christian religion that expounds this principle. Vox has yet to address it or refute it. Did Vox simply commit a reading comprehension error or is he ignoring it on purpose?

I feel almost as if I am going in circles here. Vox provided little or no substance, merely repeated his previous assertions, and ignored most of my claims. He pretended Francois' essay didn't exist, and he provided no support for any of his statements. He was sure to ask me to provide support for mine, though. It's a good thing for me that my assertions are supportable!


thomas said...

You cannot find "Might=Right" anywhere in the bible, church fathers, the doctors of the church, magisterial or papal documents, or the writings saints, so I don't know why you keep saying this. Can you quote a primary CHRISTIAN source? It also does not follow that because some anti-christian source has complained christianity is might=right (while usually complaining a few pages away that it is about humility, sacrifice, and meekness) that they got it right.

What the church has taught is that there is a Natural Law which is discernible through reason regardless if you are a pagan, christian, atheist, or pantheist. The same kind of reason that will lead you to 2+2=4 will lead you to the evils of murder and theft. As I've said, read Aquinas who wrote a treatise on law as part of the Summa Theologiae. I can't overcome your sloth - I'd include a link, but if you won't spend a minute on Google, you aren't likely to spend an hour reading what a doctor of the church actually says about morality and civil authorities (much less the other sections). You won't find might=right here or in Augustine, yet you will keep claiming this is what the church teaches.

Innocent humans were and are killed. Their sacrifice didn't atone. You miss several key points of the passion and death of Jesus. You don't understand it. Or maybe in your libertarian utopia, as soon as someone is arrested and charged, you would deny any gifts of money or similar aid which might be used to pay off the fine imposed. You basically excluded the case where X is fined $5000, I am friends with X and have $5000, so I give it to him to pay his fine. Oh, the injustice of it all...

The problem with other moral codes, is that they are merely (usually in error) restatements of the natural law, or they assume, and want everyone to accept something else which is non-obvious as a premise. Like self-ownership, which leads to contradictions. You can state it and all the corollaries all you want, (and can posit we will all live happily ever after if everyone was just lobotomized to accept this as truth) but you never state why it is true in an objective sense.

You are owned by Satan because you will die, regardless of how much you might not want to. You can claim you own your life, but it won't last for much over 100 years even if you take desperate means with your lifestyle (and is that freedom?). You lease your body for that period. I've not seen any argument as to when you begin your ownership of your life - at conception? at emancipation?

As I asked, do you think Doris Gordon, Atheist, Objectivist who says it is at conception ( is right, or Rothbard? Oh yes, more reading, more sifting arguments. But if you don't think it is at conception, which of Ms. Gordon's arguments is flawed and in what way?

Nor do I have responses to the other things I asked from the earlier post. A post suggests destroying freedom of thought, the press, speech, etc. because religion/christianity is enslaving to the mind.

What about drugs - the LP wants them legalized. Or pornography or things like gambling? And some people can't handle alcohol or sex. If you are going to create a police state to stamp out religion (following in the steps of Stalin and Mao), why not these things which can be more enslaving?

noroomonthemothership said...

I'm not a libertarian, so I don't have any need to argue the Libertarian side of things.

I don't know if you're trying to be facetious or not, but your phrase "self-appointed creator God" doesn't make a lick of sense. You don't appoint yourself to be God, you either have the ability/authority to be God, or you don't.

I suppose, if you have the ability to do something and then do it, you've self-appointed yourself to do it. But that would imply it's sort of arbitrary, that other people could also appoint themselves to do the same thing.

"Self-appointed" is not a good modifier for some being who has some exclusive ability.

I think you're running into problems by using language that suggests God exists when you really believe God doesn't exist.

Salt said...

"It has already been successfully argued ..." - Aaron

Interesting. Positing an opinion of another as a fait accompli to the argument and therefore as proof of one's own assertions is disingenuos.

That I disagree neither proves nor refutes your assertions as my disagreement alone proves nothing, but that I disagree proves the disingenuousness of your 'successful' assertion.

You'd have been better off not coming from a absolutist position. Any credibility you might have had has been lost.

I am libertarian. I believe in personal choice and non-coercion. My choice is Christian. I was not coerced into that choice. As such I accept the moral code of Christ.

If I were athiest I might choose some moral code based on a perceived logic, or some form of philosophy or reason. Then again I might not.

As nothing but myself determines my code, as I am subject only to my own proclivities, I may yet exercise my personal choice and own you. You have no say. There is nothing to restrain me.

Argue what you will as I put your leash on and beat you into submission. Your argument is nothing. I own you. I'm an athiest with no foundation but myself. And I am right. I say so. Disagree? You won't for long as I beat you into submission.

Difster said...

Give it up Aaron, you've been rendered irrelevant.

Please go take some classes in logic and critical thinking and then come back and play.

As I submit myself willingly to Jesus Christ, there is no conflict with libertarianism even if Christianity were a political philosophy.

Salt said...

Being an athiest will probably force you into yielding power to some others to attempt to secure your safety. Better had too, or I as an athiest will own you and beat you into submisison to my will. Their power secures your safety from fear of me. There is always a bigger fish. You, the athiest, can make no claim to other than might = right.

Now God is powerful and by definition there is none greater, yet my giving myself over to Him does not secure my safety from you.

So equating God to might = right is absurd. Jesus' moral code also does not secure me from you. It does though secure you from me.

Your claim to being an athiest libertarian is an oxymoron, for at best you highjack others' moral code where your safety is secured without might and treat it as your own.

But, I'm an athiest without any code but myself, and I own you. The beatings will continue till you submit.

Francois Tremblay said...

What is this Christian bullshit ? Whoever asked for your fucking opinion ? This is a LIBERTARIAN blog. You are not desired or wanted here. Aaron has already made all the points needed to refute your champion's nonsense.

You people strenuously argue against Aaron when all he's doing is using FUNDAMENTAL CHRISTIAN BELIEFS (such as the sacrifice of Jesus or God's might makes right) to refute your champion's posts. The fact that you are sticking around and defending him only shows that you are hypocrites.

Francois Tremblay said...

This is a libertarian and atheist blog. You are all off-topic. Stop posting this vomit on our comments.

Aaron Kinney said...


Youre a day late and a dollar short. I already beat you to the punch is who is judging who irrelevant.

Why dont you go exercise your Christian moral code one someone?


You are incorrect. In Exodus 20:2 God clearly expresses a "might=right" mentality.

Maybe you should read your Bible more. I cant believe youre not familiar with Exodus 20:2!

Why am I constantly refuting Christians with their own Bible? I dont think Vox's readers ever read their Bible. Either that or they suffer from "reading comprehension" LOL.


If God didnt appoint himself, then who appointed him? How did he become the "boss"? By pure logical necessity, God is self appointed. If he wasnt, then he wouldnt be God.


youre arguments are even worse on my blog than they are on Vox's blog. Have you had enough of me schooling you? Youre straw man of atheism isnt even supported! You only manage to make an empty claim and then write some silly script as if you were an atheist beating someone into submission. Obviously you didnt understand anything that I said about the virtue of non-coercion. In fact, I dont think you even understand what the word coercion means, for you mischaracterize my expressing my own views as some kind of coercive act. Nothing could be further from the truth.

You then claim that my assertion that the Christian God utilizes a "might = right" morality is absurd, yet you offer no actual argument for this, unless of course you count your ridiculous straw man atheist script. Its the most nonsensical post Ive seen from you yet.

Francois Tremblay said...

One more Christian comment and I'm closing this comment page. This is not the blog for you. We don't want to hear from you. We don't even like you. We want yuo to wither and dissapear from the public square, and from OUR media.

Anonymous said...

Merry Chistmas.

Francois Tremblay said...

Thank you for the atheist comment. ;)

noroomonthemothership said...

There's no self-appointment when you're the big guy, you just are. If you're the big guy, what're you gonna do, un-appoint yourself? I guess we're just not connecting. But you don't care, atheists who assert right and wrong are con-artists anyway.

You guys must be in high school. And yes punkola Francois Tremblay, when a blogger touches on a topic and other people respond to said topic, it's on-topic not off-topic.

But that fits in with your high school level logic.

Shut it down, buddy, shut it down. You can't compete with the big dogs.

Francois Tremblay said...

This is not a competition. Christianity already lost the political and moral battle. You guys are just the cowering retreating army sending juvenile insults to their conquerors.

Go back to your blogs and leave us atheists alone, losers.