I’ve been reading some choice things that an atheist as to say about Rhology:
“The problem is, your scumminess prevents you from understanding what a moral position actually looks like. I’ve been trying to explain this to you, but your mind has been so infiltrated by scum that you can’t see beyond the scum. You are trapped in a mental web of scum. It’s sad, because I think there is an intelligent and well-meaning person underneath all those layers of scum. But maybe I’m wrong, and you’re just scum to the bone.”
Notice the finality of his condemnation. But I thought he also told Rhology that morality is a “process of negotiation” (see below). Did he work with Rhology to establish this charge? Did he enter into negotiations with Rhology over his alleged scumminess? Shouldn’t the charge of scumminess be open to further negotiation?
Looks like Jason Streitfeld being very “dictatorial” and “fascistic.” Issuing a unilateral condemnation. That’s very scummy of him, is it not?
“Now, this view is so patently stupid and absurd, it’s hard to decide where to begin. Let’s begin by comparing your scumminess to that of the Nazis. You see, as I mentioned, they had a book, too.”
While we’re on the subject, let’s begin by comparing Streitfeld’s scumminess to that of the other atheists. You see, they had a book, too. Mao’s Little Red Book.
“And they thought it told the truth.”
Ditto: Maoist atheists.
“They killed millions of people because of the ideas written in that book.”
Ditto: Maoist atheists.
Other scummy atheistic titles also come to mind, such as the Marquis de Sade’s Les 120 journées de Sodome, ou l'École du libertinage.
“Now, on what grounds do you embrace your Bible, and not Mein Kampf?”
Now, on what grounds does Streitfeld embrace the Humanist Manifesto, and not Mein Kampf?
And on what grounds does Streitfeld condemn Mein Kampf? Surely he’s not trying to “end all negotiations” on the morality of Mein Kampf?
“Why should anyone take one book as a guide to moral absolutes, and not another book?”
Maybe because one book is right while another is wrong.
“The fact is, scum, your allegiance to the Bible is wholly arbitrary. It’s no better than the Nazis’ allegiance to Mein Kampf.”
Only if you disregard all of the evidence for Scripture.
“You blindly assert that, if atheism is true, then morality is impossible.”
Rhology probably got that idea from reading scummy atheists like Richard Dawkins:
For the first half of geological time our ancestors were bacteria. Most creatures still are bacteria, and each one of our trillions of cells is a colony of bacteria.
What are all of us but self-reproducing robots? We have been put together by our genes and what we do is roam the world looking for a way to sustain ourselves and ultimately produce another robot a child.
We are survival machines—robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes.
This is one of the hardest lessons for humans to learn. We cannot admit that things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but simply callous - indifferent to all suffering, lacking all purpose.
The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference.
If it's true that it causes people to feel despair, that's tough. It's still the truth. The universe doesn't owe us condolence or consolation; it doesn't owe us a nice warm feeling inside. If it's true, it's true, and you'd better live with it.
Sounds like we’re all a bunch of evolutionary scumbags. Returning to my fellow scum:
“You see, morality is a process whereby justifications are established. It is an ongoing process, and it requires discourse.”
Like the way a philandering husband (or wife) justifies his adultery, you mean? Speaking of which, here's one example of negotiated morality:
“It is based on the very need for people to establish common notions of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’.”
Like Nazi Germany.
“Morality is thus based in human need, and it is the product of biology and civilization.”
What if I need to murder someone?
“You seem to think that, without a book to tell us exactly what is right and wrong, we would all be lost. We wouldn’t be able to do anything. We would, in short, be ignorant and confused savages.”
Like Jason Streitfeld.
“And yet, we have reason.”
So did the Unabomber. Indeed, serial killers are very clever. That’s why it takes so long to catch them.
“We can work together to establish social systems based on our ability to reason and negotiate values together. That is what morality is. It is a process of negotiation.”
Reminds me of a scene in The Godfather:
Don Barzini, I want to thank you for helping me organize this meeting here today. And also the other heads of the Five Families—New York and New Jersey. Carmine Corleone from the Bronx and ah…Brooklyn—Philip Tattaglia. An' from Staten Island, we have with us Victor Strachi. And all the other associates that came as far as from California, and Kansas City, and all the other territories of the country—thank you.
How did things ever get so far? I don't know. It was so—unfortunate—so unnecessary.
Tattaglia lost a son—and I lost a son. We're quits. And if Tattaglia agrees, then I'm willing to—let things go on the way they were before...
We're all grateful to Don Corleone for calling this meeting. We all know him as a man of his word—a modest man -- he'll always listen to reason...
Yes, Don Barzini—he's too modest. He had all the judges and politicians in his pocket. He refused to share them...
When—when did I ever refuse an accommodation? All of you know me here—when did I ever refuse?—except one time. And why? Because I believe this drug business—is gonna destroy us in the years to come. I mean, it's not like gambling or liquor—even women—which is something that most people want nowadays, and is ah forbidden to them by the pezzonovante of the Church. Even the police departments that've helped us in the past with gambling and other things are gonna refuse to help us when in comes to narcotics. And I believed that then and I believe that now.
Times have changed. It's not like the Old Days when we can do anything we want. A refusal is not the act of a friend. If Don Corleone had all the judges, and the politicians in New York, then he must share them, or let us others use them. He must let us draw the water from the well. Certainly he can present a bill for such services; after all, we are not Communists.
I also don't believe in drugs. For years I paid my people extra so they wouldn't do that kind of business.
Somebody comes to them and says, "I have powders; if you put up three, four thousand dollar investment, we can make fifty thousand distributing." So they can't resist. I want to control it as a business, to keep it respectable. I don't want it near schools—I don't want it sold to children! That's an infamia. In my city, we would keep the traffic in the dark people—the colored. They're animals anyway, so let them lose their souls...
I hoped that we would come here and reason together. And as a reasonable man I'm willing to do whatever's necessary to find a peaceful solution to these problems...
Then we are agreed. The traffic in drugs will be permitted, but controlled, and Don Corleone will give up protection in the East, and there will be the peace.
But I must have strict assurance from Corleone—as time goes by and his position becomes stronger, will he attempt any individual vendetta?
Look, we are all reasonable men here; we don't have to give assurances as if we were lawyers...
You talk about vengeance—is vengeance gonna bring your son back to you? Or my boy to me? I forgo the vengeance of my son. But I have selfish reasons. My youngest son was forced to leave this country, because of this Sollozzo business. All right—and I have to make arrangements to bring him back here safely, cleared of all these false charges. But I'm a superstitious man—and if some unlucky accident should befall him—if he should get shot in the head by a police officer, or if he should hang himself in his jail cell, or if he's struck by a bolt of lightning—then I'm going to blame some of the people in this room. And that, I do not forgive.
But—that aside—let me say that I swear on the souls of my grandchildren that I will not be the one to break the peace that we have made here today...
Continuing with Streitfeld:
“You wish to end all negotiations and condemn those who do not adopt the views written in your very old book. That is one way to approach the process whereby moral questions are negotiated—it is a dictatorial, fascist way to approach the process, because it denies the very possibility of negotiation. You are therefore unreasonable and potentially dangerous to the very possibility of morality.”
But I thought that Streitfeld just condemned Rhology as scum. He didn’t even open negotiations with Alan over the charge of scumminess—much less terminate them. That makes Streitfeld an unreasonable person, and potentially dangerous to the very possibility of morality, does it not?
“By claiming that morality cannot be negotiated, and that it can only be embraced as the word of ‘God,’ you are denying the very process whereby morality is established. You are against morality.”
I’m sure the philandering husband would appreciate Streitfeld’s definition of morality. Adultery can be negotiated. The husband of the wife he’s banging is “scum” for feeling that he’s the wronged party in this transaction.
“Why should anyone think that the writings in your very old book are of any more value than the ramblings of any idiot on the street?”
Yeah, old books like…Euclid. Geometry is so old hat. Newer is truer. Like the latest Paris fashion.
“I embrace morality, because I embrace that process whereby people work together to try to justify their decisions.”
Like Hitler and Himmler and Goebbels.
“It is not a perfect process, but it’s success is not predicated upon any supposed infallibility. It leaves room for error, but it works.”
Like the Third Reich.
“Now, please, give us all a single reason why we should abandon morality and embrace your Bible. Why should we value that book any more than we value Mein Kampf or other such insults to humanity and reason?”
Why not do some rudimentary reading in Christian apologetics?