Saturday, December 05, 2015
About a month ago, my church interviewed me for the church newsletter. That went like this:
Concerning Typhoid Mary, you are not acting contrary to what is medically best for her by quarantining her. It's rather surprising you should bring that up in any way in the context of your recommendation that doctors kill their evil patients to harvest their organs for their innocent patients! Or even in the context of deliberately refusing to treat Himmler (as, say, ER doctors) with the intent of letting him die. This has pretty much nothing to do with quarantining a patient.
It's strange that you are so resistant to the example of killing baby Himmler but are actually quite open to the example of a fireman with ESP who leaves baby Himmler to die in a fire.
You also said at one point that it just wouldn't be legitimate to ask Himmler's mom to kill him as a baby because she has a duty and an emotional attachment to him, which seems to mean that you aren't _entirely_ closed to killing baby Himmler outright.
Yet in this post, you act as though you think innocent baby Himmler should be treated as an innocent child. But in that case, the fireman has a duty to rescue the innocent child. The active-passive distinction can't be combined, in anything but a really weird, ad hoc manner, with the innocence consideration to give us the conclusion that it's
a) right for doctors actively to kill adult Himmler when he is not a present threat, partly because of what he intends to do later,
b) wrong for anyone actively to kill baby Himmler when he is not a present threat, because of what he will otherwise grow up and do later,
c) right for a fireman with prophetic powers to stand by and deliberately do nothing while baby Himmler burns to death in a fire from which he could have been rescued, because of what he will otherwise grow up and do later.
If baby Himmler is innocent, he's just innocent. and the normal duties of doctors, firemen, etc., toward him hold.
If, however, their carrying out their normal duties toward him rather than deliberately withholding their aid so that baby Himmler dies makes them "enablers" of his later evil actions, it's difficult to see how there can be an absolute prohibition on killing him as a baby outright to prevent his later evil actions.
I'm not an open theist, nor flirting with the idea that future statements have no fixed value. But words like "taking the lives" of other children or "insuring genocide" and the like simply abrogate free will. One can know, truly, future events that hinge on the contingent free choices of other rational creatures, but it does not follow from this that one's contributing causal actions guarantee, insure, or even are the same as (as if one is oneself "taking the lives" of their victims) those actions. To say so is simply to abrogate the fact that the later choices are _free_.That they are free doesn't mean that there is no truth value to what those choices will be. It does mean that other people's actions in saving my life don't "guarantee" or "insure" what I do later.
There can be, but those are cases of what the Catholics call "remote material cooperation," and they are as a class pretty un-cut-and-dried. Whereas the duty of firemen to save people from fires or of doctors in the ER to treat those in front of them is much more cut and dried. Your entire approach involves turning morality on its head: The good and normal actions of people who have voluntarily entered helping professions are being treated as material cooperation with the evil later actions of their patients or the people they rescue (given advance knowledge), and you are then using that to argue that their straightforward act of doing good to that person is morally dubious, that they would be justified in deliberately letting that person die despite their role in society. Indeed, given the strength of your rhetoric ("enabling," "taking the lives," "complicit," etc.), it's difficult how you can avoid arguing that the doctor or fireman has a _duty_ to _at least_ allow the person who will later do evil to die when he finds out that this is the person whom he would otherwise help.
That completely reverses the order of moral duties and the clarity of moral duties.
It's difficult how you can avoid arguing that the doctor or fireman has a _duty_ to _at least_ allow the person who will later do evil to die when he finds out that this is the person whom he would otherwise help. That completely reverses the order of moral duties and the clarity of moral duties.
Recently, the Most Holy Family Monastery did a devastating expose on the true identity of James White. Based on incontrovertible photographic evidence of White routinely using the sign of the horns, they confirmed what many have long suspected: "James White" is an alias for Damien.
This led to a crisis of confidence at Team Apologian. Security footage picked up TFan, Jeff Downs, and James Swan sneaking into a Roman Catholic church to siphon water from the font into a whiskey flask. The experiment was to determine if White sizzles on contact with holy water–like those vampire flicks. That would confirm his infernal paternity.
Of course, splashing him with holy water isn't risk free. That's why they drew straws. I have a reporter stationed at the local burn unit in case the experiment backfires.
A hapless thief is hoping Mafia don Vincent (The Chin) Gigante will let bygones be bygones. Willie King yesterday kissed up to the reputed head of the Genovese crime family and humbly apologized for mugging his 94-year-old mother. King had second thoughts about trying to beat the rap at a trial and decided it might be safer to spend some time behind bars. He pleaded guilty in Manhattan Supreme Court to grand larceny and will be slapped with a jail term of 11/2 to 3 years when he is sentenced Aug. 19. "His motivation was to apologize to the Gigante family and Mrs. Gigante," said King's attorney, Steven Warshaw. "In this way, he is trying to put this behind him, and he also hopes the Gigante family puts this behind them.
"King, 37, of St. Nicholas Ave. in Manhattan, became the unluckiest mugger in town July 21. He snatched Yolanda Gigante's wallet outside her Greenwich Village apartment as she returned home from a shopping trip with her son the Rev. Louis Gigante. Witnesses who trailed the fleeing thief flagged down Lt. Robert McKenna, who arrested King, recovered Yolanda Gigante's wallet and her $90 and then revealed to the mugger the identity of his victim. McKenna said King slumped in the patrol car's seat and rolled his eyes.
Friday, December 04, 2015
Thursday, December 03, 2015
Wednesday, December 02, 2015
First, there is the issue of the doctor-patient relationship. A person who happens to be a doctor may also, wearing a different hat, be an executioner (for example), but he shouldn't be both at once.
Qua doctor treating a patient, he is obligated to set aside questions of whether the patient is a good or evil person and do what is best for the patient. That is his duty as a doctor. It is of the essence of the doctor-patient relationship, which it is important not to corrupt. This is why, for example, doctors should not be saying that they don't want to save a patient's life because nobody loves that person, or his life is pretty miserable, or whatever, and hence the utilitarian judgement is that their resources are "not well spent" saving that person. The doctor's job qua doctor is not to make those decisions but rather to treat the patient before him. Anything else is completely corrupting to the medical profession. It is the utilitarian ethicists that are trying to undermine this and involve the doctor in deciding what is "best for the community" etc. rather than having this special and exclusive responsibility to the patient as a person under his care. We shouldn't help them out with that.
Suppose there was an experience machine that would give you any experience you desired. Super-duper neuropsychologists could stimulate your brain so that you would think and feel you were writing a great novel, or making a friend, or reading an interesting book. All the time you would be floating in a tank, with electrodes attached to your brain. Should you plug into this machine for life, preprogramming your life experiences? Of course, while in the tank you won't know that you're there; you'll think that it's all actually happening. Would you plug in?
Tuesday, December 01, 2015
Thank you from this pro-life mainliner for the reminder that many of you sectarians are pretty okay with lawlessness when the law in question doesn't strike your fancy. Echoes of Kim Davis.
And for the record, yes, a physician has the moral/ethical/legal obligation to save even Pablo Escobar needing an embolization. Anyone with a cursory understanding of medical ethics or law knows that.
Escobar’s ruthlessness was legendary. His rise was opposed by many honest politicians, judges and policemen, who did not like the growing influence of this street thug. Escobar had a way of dealing with his enemies: he called it “plata o plomo,” literally, silver or lead. Usually, if a politician, judge or policeman got in his way, he would first attempt to bribe them, and if that didn’t work, he would order them killed, occasionally including their family in the hit. The exact number of honest men and women killed by Escobar is unknown, but it definitely goes well into the hundreds and perhaps into the thousands.
Even being important or high-profile did not protect you from Escobar if he wanted you out of the way. He ordered the assassination of presidential candidates and was even rumored to be behind the 1985 attack on the Supreme Court, carried out by the 19th of April insurrectionist movement in which several Supreme Court Justices were killed. On November 27, 1989, Escobar’s Medellín cartel planted a bomb on Avianca flight 203, killing 110 people. The target, a presidential candidate, was not actually on board. In addition to these high-profile assassinations, Escobar and his organization were responsible for the deaths of countless magistrates, journalists, policemen and even criminals inside his own organization.
By the mid- 1980’s, Pablo Escobar was one of the most powerful men in the world. Forbes magazine listed him as the seventh-richest man in the world. His empire included an army of soldiers and criminals, a private zoo, mansions and apartments all over Colombia, private airstrips and planes for drug transport and personal wealth reported to be in the neighborhood of $24 billion. He could order the murder of anyone, anywhere, anytime.
Zaid later said, "I then searched out for the various parts of the Qur'an, finding them preserved on palm branches, on the surfaces of flat stones, in the hearts of men, on pieces of leather, and on (the) shoulder-bones (of camels and/or sheep). The Biography of Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq, 519.
“Well, it’s also been reported that he was registered as an independent and a woman and transgendered leftist activist, if that’s what he is.”
Monday, November 30, 2015
[SML] Are there terrorists infiltrating the mosques in our country? Are the "moderate" Muslims able to track them and report them to authorities?
[Rich Pierce] If a terrorist sat next to you this morning in church, how would you know? The fact is that you would have no idea if the next Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols came in and sat down next you. None. The Imams are no more able to track 'undesirable people' any more than your pastor is.
Ignorance and bigotry is ugly, no matter who the ignorant bigot is. Here's a video of what happens when you combine ignorance, bigotry, fear, and with one guy it seems, way too many roids.
You see, when someone can look at the video I posted and listen to a man who is clearly not interested in anything but rage and anger, surely not thought or interaction, and think that condemning that is the same thing as defending Islam---well, that's just plain irrational. It again is an abandonment of the necessary element of rational thought that allows for proper categorization and context. Next, you gave the kind of illustration that could be used in a logic class in the "errors of logic" portion: you took the identification of plain ignorance (when some fellow is saying, "Muslims is evil," well, the poor fellow can't even speak the English language, let alone back up what he is saying with any in-depth reasoning) and obvious bigotry (when you do what the big weight lifter dude was doing, yelling loudly, refusing to let the other man, who is NOT yelling loudly, to even interact with you, and then shouting, "Shut your mouth!"), and confused that with folks who are "concerned about the threat of Islam." Seriously? So, anyone who is concerned about the "threat of Islam" will refuse to reason, but will shout, be insulting, etc.? Really? See, it is this kind of irrationality, this kind of emotion-fueled illogic that starts wars and gets lots of non-combatants killed. But more to the point, it is simply NOT A CHRISTIAN WAY OF THOUGHT.
c) Have dragnet surveillance. The gov't spies on everyone.
I want to respond to what I think are the most significant changes in his update. There are some changes he's made on topics that are significant, but which I think Steve Hays and I have already covered adequately. What I'll do below is address a few points I don't think we said enough about previously.
Sunday, November 29, 2015
I have a very strong opinion about this, one that puts me seriously at odds with some of my very best friends: I think that there are no good arguments for teaching a child to believe in Santa Claus, or for not telling the child the truth the first time he or she asks.
Prima facie, one shouldn't lie to one's children. More seriously, one has a duty not to try to convince them positively of things that are beyond false–that are preposterous…In the case of Santa Claus, the risk of losing trust in one's parents' testimony is, I think, not trivial. Finally, when a parent actively tries to get a child to disregard perfectly sound arguments against a certain proposition, there's the risk that rationality will itself become devalued and the child will get the message that making sense is not terribly important. "But does a reindeer fly?" "It's magic!" Alexander George, ed. What Would Socrates Say? Philosophers Answer Your Questions About Love, Nothingness, and Everything Else (Potter Style 2007).