Tuesday, June 3, 2014


1. According to Christians, God is the transcendent standard for morality--based not outside Himself but founded in his own nature.

2. Can a world be conceived of in which murder is the Good founded in the nature of a creator god?

3. If it's conceivable, then it's possible murder could have potentially been ethical. Which is absurd.

4. If it's not conceivable, then one is a applying a moral standard outside of herself and her creator god.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

On Same-Sex Marriage

Human beings have many needs that are basic and universal. We all need to drink water, eat and sleep. We need clothing and a roof over our heads. We also have sexual and social needs; chief among them, the desire for acceptance, and to love and be loved in platonic and romantic relationships. To be sexually intimate with the people (male and/or female) we are sexually drawn to. To deny someone the right to have these basic needs met is to deny their humanity. It is inhumane. This is the way God, if He exists, made them . Telling someone they can’t form a loving, sexual union with their partner is like telling someone not to eat, not to drink. Not to seek friendship. It is to deny someone their full right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is disrespectful and intolerant. You who would do so would condemn someone to a life of suicide-inducing loneliness, misery, and despair. It is social and psychological death, much like ceasing to eat and drink would lead to physical death. It only takes a moment of reflection, a second of empathy for homosexual persons, to see that this is all true.  This is why opposition to same sex marriage will fail. It must fail.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Over at Tom Gilson's blog Thinking Christian, a topic arose regarding gay marriage and marriage equality (Phil and Alex on Marriage Equality). Here are my responses that were not published.

"If the child is raised in a responsible fashion, then he or she should be freely capable of choosing who or who not to marry. If the child declines, then tough luck to the father. I'm not talking about some sick sadistic scenario where the child is groomed and brainwashed for parental matrimony."

"Thank you for helping me to understand your position. I had to give this some serious thought. I retract my accusations of contrivance on your part. Perhaps I can unpack my position further.

I agree with your first paragraph. A parent-child relationship is all of these things. However, the child then becomes an adult, in which the following applies.

In my understanding, the "future sexual relationship" was only ever potential. Marriage is more than about sex, anyway. Any relationship of that sort must be freely chosen by the child when he or she has reached adulthood (raised responsibly and ethically--this is key). Again, based on science, it is doubtful as to whether they should be permitted to reproduce (if they are biologically capable and). I agree that raising a child with the idea in mind that he or she may be a future marriage partner is somewhat self-centered, and pretty strange, but this is not necessarily a deal-breaker. There is no damage to the child if there is mutual, romantic love. If the parent is no longer in a relationship with the co-parent (which seems to me very likely in this case), then there is no faithlessness. Even so, if The adult-child and parent are happier with one another than in any other relational configuration (such as the two parents still being still a couple), they should be allowed to be together. I consider your comment regarding God to be purely rhetorical and question-begging in nature.

Lastly, if the adult-child was raised normally, this type of relationship is not likely to occur. Regardless, how other people chose to live their lives is none of our concern."

"Well, Ray, you’ve just toppled a straw man version of what I actually said, and obviously so. I explicitly said no funny business. Moreover, I made it clear the child should be raised ethically and responsibly.
However, IF this scenario “straightforwardly” leads to the grooming of children and/or deleterious conflict of interest(which, it might–maybe even probably so) then I’m steadfastly opposed to it. That, indeed, would classify as “funny business.”"

 EDIT: I've changed my stance on whether it is allowable for a parent to plan to marry his child from the beginning of parenthood--as an expectation. I don't think this is something on the mind of any well-adjusted adult and would seem to surely lead to some sort of conflict of interest. Plus, it is disrespectful and damaging to the child's other parent.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Why Agnosticism Should Lead to Atheism

Let's set aside the debate as to whether agnosticism is implicit atheism (it is. ;) ) Let's say an agnostic is someone who, given the balance of evidence, isn't persuaded one way or the other with regards to God's existence (or non-existence). Presuming some sort of Christian theism, a terrible fate await all those who deny God and his offer of salvation. You're going to be stuck in Hell for a very long time. Forever, in fact. So the stakes are incredibly high. Now here's the kicker--how could a competent, all-loving God allow the evidential status of things to become so ambiguous? How could he reasonably justify damning billions of people to Hell for reasonable dissent or skepticism? This is why agnosticism should lead to atheism--if the evidence isn't strong enough to persuade one to believe in God, and if we're going to be punished eternally for not believing, he probably doesn't exist.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"United with his fellow-men by the strongest of all ties, the tie of a common doom, the free man finds that a new vision is with him always, shedding over every daily task the light of love. The life of man is a long march through the night, surrounded by invisible foes, tortured by weariness and pain, towards a goal that few can hope to reach, and where none may tarry long. One by one, as they march, our comrades vanish from our sight, seized by the silent orders of omnipotent Death. Very brief is the time in which we can help them, in which their happiness or misery is decided. Be it ours to shed sunshine on their path, to lighten their sorrows by the balm of sympathy, to give them the pure joy of a never-tiring affection, to strengthen failing courage, to instil faith in hours of despair. Let us not weigh in grudging scales their merits and demerits, but let us think only of their need, of the sorrows, the difficulties, perhaps the blindnesses, that make the misery of their lives; let us remember that they are fellow-sufferers in the same darkness, actors in the same tragedy with ourselves. And so, when their day is over, when their good or evil have become eternal by the immortality of the past, be it ours to feel that where they have suffered, where they failed, no deed of ours was the cause; but that wherever a spark of the divine fire kindled in their hearts, we were ready with encouragement, with sympathy, with brave words in which high courage glowed."

-Bertrand Russell

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Pretty much