Thursday, October 16, 2008

On improving the moral tone of political debate

Victor Reppert is upset with me:

I don't know if any of you have been going over to Triablogue, but I have been treated over there to the harshest personal attacks I have ever received from anyone from Steve Hays.

Of course, the Bible often employs harsh language to characterize certain people or classes of people.

The problem with Reppert’s complaint is his inverted sense of moral priorities. He’s only concerned with improving the rhetorical tone of the debate, not the moral tone of the debate. And he’s only concerned with the words which people use on him rather than the actions which are used on the innocent victims of secular social policies.

…and even someone too stingy and selfish to help his own parents in their old age, since I said I was sure glad they got Social Security and Medicare when they advanced in age.

A blatant falsehood. That is not all Reppert said on the subject. I have to keep quoting his own words back to him. Reppert doesn’t like it when someone holds him to his own words.

Reppert insinuated that we only need Social Security and Medicare because Christians are too stingy. When I applied his own yardstick to himself, using his own illustration (of his parents), he took umbrage. Fine for him to smear Christians in general as long as you don’t tar him with his own broad brush.

I am quite sure I don't deserve this treatment.

I wouldn’t expect him to. That would require a capacity for self-criticism and moral consistent as well as intellectual consistency which he’s never exhibited.

Reppert is like an advertising executive for a company that sells tainted baby formula to third world countries. How could anyone dream of saying anything bad about him. He doesn’t make the tainted baby formula or sell it. He just makes the commercials touting the tainted baby formula.

He’s personally opposed to tainted baby formula. He’d never feed it to his own kids. But if it someone else’s kids, well, that’s unfortunate, but the company he works for also donates money to the United Way, so that makes it all okay.

This is a blog, not a set of publishable essays.

Of course, that’s viciously circular. He is appealing to his policy to justify his policy.

And it’s not as if he has an editor who dictates the content of his blog. He sets his own policy. Nothing in the world prevents him from composing and posting an essay waterboarding (to cite a hobbyhorse of his).

Why shouldn’t he, as a philosophy prof., occasionally take the time to present a sustained argument for his position?

And there are other philosophical bloggers like Jeremy Pierce, Bill Vallicella, and Alexander Pruss who operate at a far higher level of analysis. The medium of blogging doesn’t prevent you from adequately researching an issue and presenting a thoughtful and thorough argument for your position.

In the philosophy of religion, I would like to think that my efforts have created a more civilized playing field, where people on both sides can discuss their differences. I may not have done so well on political matters.

Once again, this illustrates his inverted sense of moral priorities. He doesn’t c are about civilized positions, just civilized discourse. Let’s present a civilized defense of an evil candidate with evil policies.

Away from the screams from the blood-spattered room next door, we’ll sit down with our bourbon and cigar and have a nice, civilized talk about health care.

I expect my political leaders to have thought-through positions on issues. Maybe that's asking too much, I don't know.

Does Obama have “thought-through” positions? Feel free to point me to Obama’s long paper trail of “thought-through” positions on the major domestic and foreign policy positions of our age.

What Obama has are either instant positions which his advisors have written for him, or liberal boilerplate positions ripped from the pages of the party platform.

I do support him for President. I'm not a simon-pure pro-lifer, but I would like to see more commitment to the value of unborn life than he has shown so far.

Could Reppert come up with a more halfhearted statement if he tried?

Reppert’s major problem is not that he’s an intellectual slouch. That would be a merely personal failing.

Reppert’s major problem is that he is using his blog, in the name of Christ, as a propaganda tool to advance the career of an antichristian politician with antichristian policies.

And abortion is just the beginning. Does he think the only affect of having Obama elevate liberal judges to SCOTUS would be to keep Roe v. Wade intact?

Liberals are social engineers. They will use their judicial position to impose a eugenic agenda on the nation. It may be an incremental strategy, but it’s well under way.

Liberals also want to redefine the family, and they’re making steady inroads.

Moreover, liberals want to minimize parental rights, giving the state ever more control over your children. A culture in which judges, social workers, and school counselors have the final say.

Furthermore, liberals want to classify “offensive” speech as hate-speech. It’s only a matter of time before Christian expression is criminalized, if the liberals have their way. We already see this in Europe and the UK.

Putting the three branches of gov’t in the hands of radical totalitarian social engineers will hasten these developments.

But because Reppert is a naïve, shortsighted dupe, he is cheering them on. And he’s doing this in the name of Christ. Another “Christian” quisling who collaborates with the forces of darkness.

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