Tag Archives: Good As You

Can atheist morality prevent Neil DeGrasse Tyson from raping a student?

Richard Dawkins on atheism, morality, free will and human rights
Richard Dawkins on atheism, morality, free will and human rights

Well, I’m been monitoring the morality of prominent atheists and noting a lot of shortcomings. In this post, I’ll first look at the allegations against prominent atheist Neil deGrasse Tyson, then review the morality of other atheists: Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss and Richard Carrier.

Daily Wire has the latest on Neil deGrasse Tyson:

Dr. Katelyn Allers, an associate professor of physics and astronomy at Bucknell University, claims Tyson allegedly groped her at an American Astronomical Society after-party in 2009.

Tyson’s former assistant Ashley Watson described an incident in which he allegedly pressured her to join him at his apartment for wine. Later, he made several advances, claims Watson, who says she quit her job after the event.

These two allegations come one year after musician Tchiya Amet accused Tyson of raping her during graduate school.

Now let’s look at Richard Dawkins:

I want to raise another question that interests me. Why are we so obsessed with monogamous fidelity in the first place?

[…]Why should you deny your loved one the pleasure of sexual encounters with others, if he or she is that way inclined?

I, for one, feel drawn to the idea that there is something noble and virtuous in rising above nature in this way.

[…]And why don’t we all admire — as I increasingly do — those rare free spirits confident enough to rise above jealousy, stop fretting about who is “cheating on” whom.

What about his ability to stay married?:

In 1984, Dawkins divorced his wife of 17 years, Marian Stamp; later that same year, he married Eve Barham. Dawkins also divorced Barham, though the precise circumstances of this divorce are unclear. He married science fiction actress Lalla Ward in 1992; at present, the two are still married.

Alas, that last quote is outdated. He was legally separated in 2016 from Lalla Ward. This is what I would expect, given his view on the morality of marital fidelity.

Now famous atheist Lawrence Krauss:

Hensley said… Krauss made a comment about her eye makeup, and got very close to her face. Suddenly, he lifted her by the arms and pushed her onto the bed beneath him, forcibly kissing her and trying to pull down the crotch of her tights. Hensley said she struggled to push him off. When he pulled out a condom, Hensley said, she got out from under him, said “I have to go,” and rushed out of the room.

[…]BuzzFeed News has learned that the incident with Hensley is one of many wide-ranging allegations of Krauss’s inappropriate behavior over the last decade — including groping women, ogling and making sexist jokes to undergrads, and telling an employee at Arizona State University, where he is a tenured professor, that he was going to buy her birth control so she didn’t inconvenience him with maternity leave.

And famous atheist Richard Carrier:

In a recent blog post, entitled “Coming Out Poly + A Change of Life Venue”, the esteemed Dr. Richard Carrier PhD, discusses his “coming out” as polyamorous, an “orientation” that he just discovered at the young age of 47.

[…]Carrier claims that after 17 years of marriage, he cheated on his wife multiple times, for reasons that he won’t disclose.  In the midst of his infidelity, he suddenly “discovered” (as a middle aged man) that he was polyamorous.  Even though his wife attempted to make the marriage work by allowing him to see other women under the guise of an “open marriage”, Carrier still decided to kick her to the curb.   So in Carrier’s view, his affairs were not a mistake, but rather a fun new “lifestyle choice” that he will pursue, regardless of the past commitment to his wife.

Atheist Michael Shermer has also been accused of rape, but I don’t think the allegations are credible enough to quote. Although he does admit having sex outside of marriage with her, which disgusts me.

Let’s be frank. Although there are some conservative atheists, the majority of them favor relaxing the moral rules on sexuality and marriage. Most atheists are more concerned about stopping religious people from setting the rules around sex and marriage than they are about following the moral law. I think that the rising popularity of atheism is significantly to blame for the breakdown of the family, and the harm that’s being caused to children who have to struggle with defective or absent parents. Although there are exceptions, most atheists are more concerned about adult selfishness than they are with the needs of children (especially unborn children). Even if they don’t intend for children to suffer from their decisions, children do indeed suffer. Children do best in marriages that are faithful and stable, and the Sexual Revolution – which was championed by the secular left – has clearly not helped help children to get what they need.

What does it take for a person to have a reason to be moral?

1) Objective moral values

There needs to be a way to distinguish what is good from what is bad. For example, the moral standard might specify that being kind to children is good, but torturing them for fun is bad. If the standard is purely subjective, then people could believe anything and each person would be justified in doing right in their own eyes. Even a “social contract” is just based on people’s opinions. So we need a standard that applies regardless of what people’s individual and collective opinions are.

2) Objective moral duties

Moral duties (moral obligations) refer to the actions that are obligatory based on the moral values defined in 1). Suppose we spot you 1) as an atheist. Why are you obligated to do the good thing, rather than the bad thing? To whom is this obligation owed? Why is rational for you to limit your actions based upon this obligation when it is against your self-interest? Why let other people’s expectations decide what is good for you, especially if you can avoid the consequences of their disapproval?

3) Moral accountability

Suppose we spot you 1) and 2) as an atheist. What difference does it make to you if you just go ahead and disregard your moral obligations to whomever? Is there any reward or punishment for your choice to do right or do wrong? What’s in it for you?

4) Free will

In order for agents to make free moral choices, they must be able to act or abstain from acting by exercising their free will. If there is no free will, then moral choices are impossible. If there are no moral choices, then no one can be held responsible for anything they do. If there is no moral responsibility, then there can be no praise and blame. But then it becomes impossible to praise any action as good or evil.

5) Ultimate significance

Finally, beyond the concept of reward and punishment in 3), we can also ask the question “what does it matter?”. Suppose you do live a good life and you get a reward: 1000 chocolate sundaes. And when you’ve finished eating them, you die for real and that’s the end. In other words, the reward is satisfying, but not really meaningful, ultimately. It’s hard to see how moral actions can be meaningful, ultimately, unless their consequences last on into the future.

Theism rationally grounds all 5 of these. Atheism cannot ground any of them. 

It’s easy enough for an atheist to imitate the people around him when he is in a society grounded in Judeo-Christian values. But when no one is around to watch him, what reason does he have to do the right thing? And what is the right thing, in an accidental universe?

Positive arguments for Christian theism

Texas shooter was an atheist, mocked believers in God

Richard Dawkins on atheism, morality, free will and human rights
Richard Dawkins on atheism, morality, free will and human rights

I saw some images purportedly taken from his now-deleted Facebook page that showed that he liked a bunch of atheist pages, but I wanted to hold off until we had some actual comments from people who knew him personally.

This is from Daily Wire:

According to former classmates of Devin Patrick Kelley, the 26-year-old man who killed 26 people and injured over 20 others in a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas on Sunday was an avowed atheist who mocked those who believed in God.

DailyMail.com spoke with former classmates who attended New Braunfels High School with Kelley. They all told a similar story: Kelley — who had a history of violence and was given a “bad conduct” discharge from the Air Force — “preached atheism,” acted “creepy” and “weird,” and seemed to hold a “very negative” worldview.

“He had a kid or two, fairly normal, but kinda quiet and lately seemed depressed,” Kelley’s former high school classmate Patrick Boyce told DailyMail.com. “He was the first atheist I met. He went Air Force after high school, got discharged but I don’t know why. I was just shocked [to hear the news].”

Another former classmate, Nina Rose Nava, told the outlet that Kelley “was different in school and creeped me out,” but she added that she “never” would have thought he would do “such a horrific thing.”

[…]”[I]n complete shock! I legit just deleted him off my [Facebook] cause I couldn’t stand his post,” wrote Nava. “He was always talking about how people who believe in God [were] stupid and trying to preach his atheism.”

Nava’s impression of Kelley’s posts were echoed by Christopher Leo Longoria, who said he “removed him off [Facebook] for those same reasons!” Longoria described Kelley as being “super negative all the time.”

Michael Goff agreed with Nava’s opinion of Kelley, replying, “He was weird but never that damn weird, always posting his atheist sh** like Nina wrote, but damn he always posted pics of him and his baby — crazy.”

He was only able to buy weapons because of two mistakes made by the Air Force, his former employer.

The NY Daily News explains:

The Air Force blundered by not submitting Devin Kelley’s criminal history to the FBI database used for gun background checks, as required, officials said Monday night.

Kelley appears to have both lied and taken advantage of a loophole in federal firearms laws to purchase his weapons despite serving time in military prison for domestic violence.

[…]Kelley, 26, was pushed out of the military in 2014 after serving a year in the brig at Miramar Air Force Base in California.

He was convicted in military court in 2012 of beating up his first wife and fracturing the skull of their young son, while assigned to Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. She divorced him that same year.

[…]Based on his plea under 18 U.S. Code section 922, Christensen said it would have been illegal for Kelley to possess or purchase a firearm.

“It’s also illegal because he was convicted of a domestic violence charge. So, for two reasons, he should not have had a gun.”

So, this is a case where government failed to do its job, and keep weapons out of the hands of a crazy atheist who hated Christians.

If there is a silver lining to Kelley’s shocking evil, it’s the story about the man who shot the atheist murderer. He is a Christian man, a marksman, a former NRA instructor, and the owner of a legal firearm.

The Washington Times explains:

A former National Rifle Association instructor has come forward as the “good Samaritan” who shot and wounded the gunman who attacked the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

Stephen Willeford, 55, has been hailed as a hero for confronting the shooter and forcing him to flee, but he insisted in an interview Monday that “I’m no hero.”

“I think my God, my Lord protected me and gave me the skills to do what needed to be done, and I just wish I could have gotten there faster,” said Mr. Willeford told 40/29 News in Fort Smith-Fayetteville.

[…]Mr. Willeford, 55, said his daughter alerted him to the gunshots, after which he removed his rifle from its safe, loaded his magazine, and ran across the street to the church. He didn’t even pause to put on his shoes.

“He saw me and I saw him,” said Mr. Willeford, adding that he stood behind a pickup truck for cover.

Authorities said at a Monday evening press conference that the suspect, 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley, was hit twice in the confrontation.

I doubt that will be reported in the mainstream media – defensive use of guns by legal owners of guns is not popular with the progressive mainstream media. I’m sure we’ll get lots of stories demonizing the NRA, though. But I didn’t see any Hollywood elites or progressive journalists defending the people in that church.

Objective morality on atheism?

Let’s review what objective morality (moral realism) really means in practice for atheists. Does atheism provide a rational foundation for human rights and moral duties?

Let’s see what Kelley says:

In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.

(Richard Dawkins, “God’s Utility Function,” Scientific American, November, 1995, p. 85)

Oh wait, that’s not Kelley, that’s Richard Dawkins. Atheists like Richard Dawkins think that morality is make-believe, and if they can get away with being immoral, (think Harvey Weinstein), then they will. Survival of the fittest. The strong abuse and kill the weak. It’s “natural selection”. That’s what was printed on the t-shirt of another atheist mass murderer when he engaged in some love-your-neighbor (atheist style) at Columbine High School a while ago. Not every atheist is a crazy mass murderer, of course. But it’s important for atheists to think seriously about whether they willing to take atheism seriously when it comes to morality. In a recent debate, Matt Dillahunty, who claims to be an atheist, wouldn’t even condemn the Holocaust as evil. Why not? Because he takes Dawkins seriously about what morality is on atheism. It’s make-believe.

It’s very important for atheists to think through what sort of objective morality is possible in an accidental universe where there is no free will (to make moral choices), no life after death (where those who escape justice in this life face it in the next), no human rights or human dignity (because we’re just randomly evolved meat machines), and no objective moral lawgiver to impose moral duties on us. Obviously, atheists living in the United States of America are going to inherit the Judeo-Christian values that were present when the country was formed. They’re going to act better than their worldview in most cases. My worry is how will atheists act when push comes to shove and their self-interest comes up against moral intuitions that – on their own view – are just illusory?

Atheists, come over to the light side. We have cookies. And objective moral values and duties. You ought to want that! Don’t be a Dick Dawkins.

Fox Sports fires commentator Craig James for expressing disapproval of homosexuality

Mysterious Chris S. posted this article by Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council.

Excerpt:

As a former quarterback, Craig James isn’t used to being on the defensive. But unfortunately, that’s exactly where Fox Sports is putting him in a story that should rock the football world. The retired Pro-Bowler became the latest face of the war on religious liberty, when — after one day on the job — Fox Sports gave James the boot for his conservative views on marriage. And here’s the kicker: he made the comments, not at the sports desk, but during last year’s Senate campaign!

Apart from being a popular analyst, Craig also had political aspirations — aspirations he followed to Texas in an unsuccessful bid against Ted Cruz during the primary. In the course of the campaign, Craig was asked — as all candidates are — about his views on marriage and sexuality. James’s opinion happens to coincide with the research, which is that no one is born gay. And, as an orthodox Christian, he didn’t shy away from the eternal consequences of this sin or any other. “…[T]hey are going to have to answer to the Lord for their actions,” he said before pledging not to support same-sex unions.

According to Sports Illustrated, the regional affiliate of Fox hired Craig without involving upper management. “Fox Sports executives were not happy with the hire by the regional network,” sources explain. High level executives felt he hadn’t been properly vetted (or, properly excluded, depending on how you look at it). When the news broke, a Fox Sports spokesman tried to explain away the network’s religious profiling. “We just asked ourselves how Craig’s statements would play in our human resources department. He couldn’t say those things here.”

First off, Craig didn’t say them there — or anywhere in his commentating capacity. He stated his position as a candidate for public office — in response to legitimate constituent questions. To suggest that having an opinion on cultural issues disqualifies you from breaking down football plays is outrageous — especially when that opinion is shared by the majority of Americans! Is the grip of religious hostility so tight that Americans can’t even have an open debate for fear it’ll cost them their jobs?

Dr. Angela McCaskill, Jerry Buell, Julea Ward, Damian Goddard, Senior Master Sergeant Phillip Monk, Crystal Dixon, and Air National Guardsman Layne Wilson certainly think so. To a man, they were all suspended, fired, or sued by their employers for their views on marriage — whether or not they expressed them at work! Like them, Craig James’s ousting had nothing to do with his job performance — and everything to do with this new climate of Christian persecution.

From the military to Fox Sports to city halls like San Antonio’s, the overwhelming message seems to be that when it comes to the public arena, conservative Christians need not apply. Let the network know what a disappointment their political correctness is by contacting Fox Sports and protesting Craig James’s dismissal.

By the way, I never miss the FRC podcasts and I mentioned both their daily and weekend podcast feeds in my recent post about my favorite podcasts. I start my day every morning with the Al Mohler Daily Briefing and the Family Research Council Daily Podcast during my morning commute. Take a look at my podcast post and see if there are any shows that you didn’t know about. There are good podcasts in there on fiscal issues, foreign policy issues, social issues and lots of science and Christian apologetics, too.

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Portland bar owner fined $400,000 for offending transexuals

Wow. Fresh on the heels of the Portland bakery closing comes this new story about a Portland bar closing.

Excerpt:

A North Portland bar owner is facing a $400,000 fine for discriminating against a transgender woman’s group.

The Bureau of Labor and Industries handed down the fine yesterday to Chris Penner, the owner of the bar formerly known as the “P Club.”

Last summer, one woman said they received a voicemail from Penner, who said they were not allowed to return because he didn’t want people to think he ran a “tranny bar.” In the voicemail, Penner claimed the group was hurting business.

“People think that A.) we’re a tranny bar, or B.) that we’re a gay bar. We are neither. People are not coming in because they just don’t want to be here on a Friday night now,” he said.

Under Oregon law, Oregonians may not be denied full and equal service based on sexual orientation. The law provides an exemption for religious organizations and schools, but does not allow private business owners to discriminate based on sexual orientation, just as they cannot legally deny service based on race, sex, age, disability or religion.

The fine is the first imposed under the 2007 Oregon Equality Act.

Since 2007, Oregonians have filed 11 complaints of unlawful discrimination in public places.

In addition to the massive fine, Penner also has to pay a $5,000 civil penalty.

The argument by radical gay activists is that free speech is less important their feelings of being offended. They don’t want to be offended by your disagreement/disapproval. And if they are offended then they have to threaten you and attack you and hurt you and hurt your business and hurt your career until you stop offending them. And everyone on the left thinks that this is fine.

I would expect moderate gays to be speaking out to defend the right of individuals to disagree and disapprove of behaviors that they don’t agree with, but I’m not seeing a lot of that.

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Christian-owned bakery closes after threats and harassment by gay activists

Todd Starnes reports on a troubling at Fox News.

Excerpt:

A family-owned Christian bakery, under investigation for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, has been forced to close its doors after a vicious boycott by militant homosexual activists.

[…]Last January, Aaron and Melissa Klein made national headlines when they refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.

Klein tells me he has nothing against homosexuals — but because of their religious faith, the family simply cannot take part in gay wedding events.

“I believe marriage is between a man and a woman,” he said. “I don’t want to help somebody celebrate a commitment to a lifetime of sin.”

The lesbian couple filed a discrimination with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries and told their story to local newspapers and television statements.

Within days, militant homosexuals groups launched protests and boycotts. Klein told me he received messages threatening to kill his family. They hoped his children would die.

The LGBT protestors then turned on other wedding vendors around the community. They threatened to boycott any florists, wedding planners or other vendors that did business with Sweet Cakes By Melissa.

“That tipped the scales,” Klein said. “The LGBT activists inundated them with phone calls and threatened them. They would tell our vendors, ‘If you don’t stop doing business with Sweet Cakes By Melissa, we will shut you down.’”

The actions of the diversity activists were augmented with an inquisition by state government.

More:

To make matters worse, the Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries announced last month they had launched a formal discrimination investigation against the Christian family.

Commissioner Brad Avakian told The Oregonian that he was committed to a fair and thorough investigation to determine whether the bakery discriminated against the lesbians.

“Everybody is entitled to their own beliefs, but that doesn’t mean that folks have the right to discriminate,” he told the newspaper. “The goal is to rehabilitate. For those who do violate the law, we want them to learn from that experience and have a good, successful business in Oregon.”

Let’s hope that those intolerant bigoted Christians learned their lesson not to offend anyone else by disagreeing with them and refusing to celebrate things that they disagree with. After all, Christians should be forced by the state to act like non-Christians in public.

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