Tag Archives: Secular Humanism

Atheist Jerry Coyne explains why morality is impossible for atheists

Sherlock Holmes and John Watson about to do philosophy
Sherlock Holmes and John Watson about to do philosophy

Let’s review what you need in your worldview in order to have a rationally grounded system of morality.

You need 5 things:

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.

Let’s take a look at #4: free will and see how atheism deals with that.

Atheism and free will?

Here’s prominent atheist Jerry Coyne’s editorial in USA Today to explain why atheists can’t ground free will. (Note: link is dead)

Excerpt:

And that’s what neurobiology is telling us: Our brains are simply meat computers that, like real computers, are programmed by our genes and experiences to convert an array of inputs into a predetermined output. Recent experiments involving brain scans show that when a subject “decides” to push a button on the left or right side of a computer, the choice can be predicted by brain activity at least seven seconds before the subject is consciously aware of having made it. (These studies use crude imaging techniques based on blood flow, and I suspect that future understanding of the brain will allow us to predict many of our decisions far earlier than seven seconds in advance.) “Decisions” made like that aren’t conscious ones. And if our choices are unconscious, with some determined well before the moment we think we’ve made them, then we don’t have free will in any meaningful sense.

If you don’t have free will, then you can’t make moral choices, and you can’t be held morally responsible. No free will means no morality.

Here are some more atheists to explain how atheists view morality.

William Provine says atheists have no free will, no moral accountability and no moral significance:

Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear — and these are basically Darwin’s views. There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end of me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either.

Richard Dawkins says atheists have no objective moral standards:

In a universe of 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, or 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 and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference… DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is. And we dance to its music. (Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (1995))

When village atheists talk about how they can be moral without God, it’s important to ask them to justify the minimum requirements for rational morality. Atheists may act inconsistently with their worldview, believing in free will, expecting praise and blame for complying with the arbitrary standards of their peer group, etc. But there is nothing more to morality on atheism that imitating the herd – at least when the herd is around to watch them. And when the herd loses its Judeo-Christian foundation – watch out. That’s when the real atheism comes out – the atheism that we’ve seen before in countries that turned their backs on God, and the moral law. When God disappears from a society, anything is permissible.

Billionaire Democrat donor and Clinton ally accused of sex-trafficking underage girls

Jeffrey Epstein and Bill Clinton
Jeffrey Epstein and Bill Clinton

After following the Jeffrey Epstein story for a few days, I decided to write about it. In a nutshell, a billionaire Democrat donor with connections to Bill Clinton and other Democrat elites was accused of sex-trafficking underage girls. I think this story reveals the heart of the Democrat party, and why they are so focused on separating daughters from fathers, and destroying marriage.

Here is the latest from Fox News:

Former President Bill Clinton was a much more frequent flyer on a registered sex offender’s infamous jet than previously reported, with flight logs showing the former president taking at least 26 trips aboard the “Lolita Express” — even apparently ditching his Secret Service detail for at least five of the flights, according to records obtained by FoxNews.com.

Clinton’s presence aboard Jeffrey Epstein’s Boeing 727 on 11 occasions has been reported, but flight logs show the number is more than double that, and trips between 2001 and 2003 included extended junkets around the world with Epstein and fellow passengers identified on manifests by their initials or first names, including “Tatiana.” The tricked-out jet earned its Nabakov-inspired nickname because it was reportedly outfitted with a bed where passengers had group sex with young girls.

[…][Epstein] allegedly had a team of traffickers who procured girls as young as 12 to service his friends on “Orgy Island,” an estate on Epstein’s 72-acre island, called Little St. James, in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

[…]Police in Palm Beach, Fla., launched a year-long investigation in 2005 into Epstein after parents of a 14-year-old girl said their daughter was sexually abused by him. Police interviewed dozens of witnesses, confiscated his trash, performed surveillance and searched his Palm Beach mansion, ultimately identifying 20 girls between the ages of 14 and 17 who they said were sexually abused by Epstein.

[…]One victim, in sworn deposition testimony, said Epstein began sexually assaulting her when she was 13 years old and molested her on more than 50 occasions over the next three years.

So the most important point to make is that Jeffrey Epstein made many, many donations to Democrat politicians and the Democrat party.

OpenSecrets.org, which tracks political donations, explains:

From 1989 up until 2003, Epstein donated more than $139,000 to Democratic federal candidates and committees and over $18,000 to Republican candidates and groups, according to data from OpenSecrets. Notable recipients include former President Bill Clinton and former Senator Bob Packwood, a Republican. In 2003, a couple of years before a full-scale investigation into the allegations of sexual exploitation of underage girls, his political giving abruptly stopped.

From 1999 to 2003, Epstein donated $77,000 to Democrats John Kerry, Richard Gephardt, Chris Dodd, and other high-profile politicians and committees. Dodd received a $1,000 contribution from Epstein during his reelection campaign in 2003, however, the contribution was returned in 2006.

After a hiatus in political giving during the investigations into his sexual abuse, Epstein gave to independent Connecticut House candidate Gwendolyn Beck in 2014 and U.S. Virgin Islands Democratic Delegate Stacey Plaskett both in 2016 and the most recent midterms (Epstein owns a private island in the Virgin Islands called Little Saint James).

Most recently, Epstein contributed $10,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in October 2018.

Keep in mind that this isn’t the first Democrat mega-donor who has been accused of behavior like this. You just have to take a trip to Hollywood to see many, many wealthy Democrats who have been accused of similar things… and worse. Yet we (not me) keep buying their movies.

The key to the Democrat party

So, now I want to say something about what this means about the Democrat party as a whole.

My view of the Democrat party is that their top priority is abortion. And this support for abortion is the key to all their other policies.

Think about what would have happened if Jeffrey Epstein or Bill Clinton got a young underage prostitute pregnant. They would want to escape the judgement of those nasty Christians, and they would want to avoid having their fun-seeking impacted by the need to provide for the child. And that’s why the Democrats support abortion. Their number one goal is to destroy anything that interferes with their desire to have recreational sex.

Now you might say, well, their plan won’t work, because we have the institution of marriage, so that girls are being raised by their biological fathers. And the churches will teach women to be chaste, and to prioritize marriage and children. But the Democrats have a plan to get the fathers out of the homes, and reduce the influence of Christianity on young women.

First, they push feminism, which results in women denouncing chastity, marriage and traditional male roles as “sexist”. So, instead of women choosing men who are traditional, they choose what their eyes can see: hot bad boys. Second, they destroy marriage with no-fault divorce, single mother welfare, etc. This gets the biological fathers out of the homes, and away from the daughters, so that the Democrat elites can farm plenty of underage women for their sex-trafficking. Third, they normalize premarital sex in the schools, by having abortion providers come in to teach women all about “sex education”. Fourth, they make contraceptives and abortions taxpayer-funded healthcare, so that premarital sex is free. Fifth, they have Hollywood remove every last vestige of normal romantic relationships, marriage and parenting from movies.

Their policies allow them to farm fatherless women who can then be raped, assaulted and abused by powerful men. And then there is a cultural push to shame people with traditional values, so that no one can judge them as morally wrong. In Christianity, each woman is made in the image of God, to know God in a personal relationship. It’s the job of Christian men to treat women as sisters, helping them to grow stronger, wiser and holier. But that’s not the view of women held by secular leftist men. They believe that the strong have a right to exploit the weak, in order to satisfy their selfish desires. For them, it’s survival of the fittest, and life ends at the grave – so have all the fun you can, and who cares who gets hurt?

And the powerful men have female allies. Epstein had women helping him to find his victims. And remember how Hillary Clinton defended her husband from credible accusations of rape and sexual assault, and the feminist left nearly elected her President. Some women willingly assist Democrat men, because they want the help of these powerful men in achieving their own ambitions.

That’s the Democrat party in a nutshell. All the other policies that sound so nice, (e.g. – amnesty for millions of low-skilled illegal immigrants, raising the minimum wage, etc.), are just vote-buying schemes to get what they really want: sex-trafficking of underage girls, with abortion on demand (including infanticide) to get them out of trouble if there are any “issues”. Issues = unborn babies.

If you really want to understand the true nature of the Democrat party, then look to the leaders. The adulterers, the divorcers, the pedophiles, the rapists, the sex-traffickers, etc. That’s their real priority. The rest is just a smokescreen.

Spotify joins Google, Youtube, Facebook and Twitter in censoring Prager University

Prager University explains the central insights of the conservative worldview
Prager University explains the central insights of the conservative worldview

Have you ever wondered who is doing a good job of countering the lies of the secular left? Alliance Defending Freedom does a good job on defense at the Supreme Court, but who is on offense, changing the culture? I think one answer that no one would disagree with is Prager University.

Certainly, the secular leftists in Big Technology agree, which is why they keep censoring Prager University videos and ads.

The Daily Caller explains:

Music-streaming platform Spotify removed PragerU’s advertisements from its platform, noting the content does not comply with the company’s editorial policies, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.

“Our policy team has re-reviewed the ads that you have submitted through Ad Studio and determined that the content of the ads do not comply with our editorial policies,” Spotify noted in an email to PragerU.

[…]“Our policy team has made the decision to stop all existing ads and not approve new ads coming through in the future. Please let us know if you have any questions or require further clarification,” the email adds.

Most of the ads are tame and direct listeners to click on the conservative group’s website to learn more about “intersectionality” and other social issues.

PragerU frequently complains about censorship on YouTube and other social media platforms. The group filed a lawsuit in 2017 against Google and Google-owned YouTube, alleging unlawful censorship.

[…]Spotify has not yet responded to TheDCNF’s repeated requests for comment about the nature of the ads or the reason for the expulsion.

Censorship is nothing new to big technology companies like Google. They have enormous problems dealing with intellectual diversity, because their secular left worldview is not supportive of diversity and inclusion. They literally can’t stand to hear ideas expressed that are different from their own, and they’re not afraid to use force to silence or coerce those who disagree with them.

Google believes in censorship so much that they are developing a search engine for China that censors any content that the atheistic regime decides is objectionable. China is famous for being massive human rights violators, and they are currently cracking down on religious liberty, especially for Christians. I would imagine that Google, being a left-wing fascistic company, is sympathetic with these goals. These big tech companies are run by secular leftists, and so they are not very different in their beliefs and goals from other secular leftist totalitarians throughout history. Atheists don’t have a rational basis for human rights like free speech, freedom of religion, the right to life and freedom of association.

I thought it might be a good idea for me to post a few of my favorite Prager University videos.

Antonia Okafor:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali:

Christina Hoff Sommers:

Allie Stuckey:

Dave Rubin:

So, there you have four videos with women – two of whom were non white. And the last is Dave Rubin who is gay! But every video taught the basics of the conservative position on different issues. Still, the secular left has to censor all of these videos, because they disagree with this speech.

It’s a good idea for you to follow Prager University on Facebook and Twitter, but also bookmark their main site. Their main site cannot be censored by the big secular left tech companies.

Two Christian women threatened with jail time for refusing to celebrate LGBT events

Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign
Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign

Is it safe to live as a Bible-believing Christian in America? We all know that you can live comfortably as a “Christian” by just behaving in compliance with whatever the secular left tells you. But what happens to you if you take the Bible seriously on moral issues? Is it easy to live consistently with the Bible in America?

Consider this article from Daily Wire:

Two female Christian artists in Arizona who refuse to make custom-art for same sex weddings could actually be jailed for sticking to their religious beliefs.

Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski , who own Brush & Nib Studio, make custom artwork using painting, calligraphy and handlettering. They filed suit against the city of Phoenix, as a Phoenix city ordinance threatens them with up to six months and/or a fine of $2,500 each day they refuse to make the artwork. First the women filed in state court to overturn the ordinance, but lost in a court of appeals, prompting them to appeal to the state’s Supreme Court, which said on November 20 it would hear the case.

There’s a video about the case from Fox News:

In other news, Christian baker Jack Phillips is STILL in trouble with the secular left fascists in Colorado. Although he won his case at the Supreme Court, the LGBT activists and their allies in the state government are still going after him to punish him for his Christian beliefs.

The Federalist had a really, really good article about it:

On June 26, 2017, the day the Supreme Court agreed to hear Phillips’ case, Autumn Scardina, a transgender attorney and activist, called Masterpiece Cakeshop and asked Phillips to design a custom cake with a blue exterior and a pink interior to symbolize a transition from male to female. Phillips politely turned Scardina down. “I was stunned,” the lawyer risibly claimed in her complaint to the Civil Rights Commission.

Scardina, of course, didn’t accidentally ask the most famous Christian baker in the nation to make a “transition” cake. Scardina is leading a crusade against Phillips. In one call, Scardina allegedly asked for “an image of Satan smoking marijuana.” In another, members of “the Church of Satan” asked for “a three-tiered white cake” with a “large figure of Satan, licking a nine inch black Dildo.” “I would like the dildo to be an actual working model that can be turned on before we unveil the cake,” went the request. You can just sense the sanctimonious smugness of people who think this sort of thing is edgy.

In any event, the state of Colorado has allied itself with such activists, formally determining that there was probable cause that Phillips had indeed discriminated against Scardina based on “gender identity.” Of course the baker’s refusal to make dildo and pentagram cakes only proves that Phillips isn’t specifically antagonistic to the newly consecrated belief in malleable “gender identity,” but that he’s shown a consistent adherence to his less malleable Christian values.

It’s those values that upset Scardina and members of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Though they can’t say it explicitly, most progressives are fine with discrimination against religious groups. In their hierarchy of moral concerns, free expression isn’t nearly as concerning as the hurt feelings of an aggrieved gay couple. And Colorado is again complicit in another attack on the Constitution. Until SCOTUS comes down with a ruling that explicitly protects religious liberty from state-sponsored attacks on faith, they’ll keep trying.

But it goes well beyond those legal concerns. Activists — including the civil rights commission — are trying to destroy a man for thought crimes. This state-sponsored harassment isn’t only about Phillip’s modest business in Lakewood, Colorado, although that’s surely part of it. It’s a warning to all those with unpopular opinions to stay in line.

I’ve found myself thinking about how to live in a world where every day you get up to go to work, your livelihood is threatened by secular left fascists who want to use the government as a weapon to destroy your basic God-given human rights. And the only answers I can come up with to this are 1) avoid putting my children into public schools run by the secular left, and 2) retire as early as possible so that I don’t have to deal with the coming generation of social justice warriors in an office setting.

First, I need to avoid dealing with the secular left in public schools (my future children) or the workplace. This is because a lot of legal problems start when the secular left finds out what Christian parents are teaching their children. The easiest way to not deal with public schools is to not get married, unless you marry a woman who has carefully made pro-marriage decisions with her education, career and finances. Decisions designed to keep her future children out of the public schools. It’s very rare to find a young, unmarried Christian woman who has made correct decisions to protect her future family from the secular left, though. Thanks to the uncritical acceptance of radical feminism in the church – right under the noses of traditional conservative male pastors – most don’t want to homeschool and they haven’t made the right choices in education,career and finances to help their future husband afford homeschooling and/or private schools, anyway.

How about the workplace? Well, it’s fine for now if, for example, you live in a red state and you’re in the private sector and you’re working in a STEM field. But there’s a generation of unstable social justice warriors coming through the assembly line of government schools, and they’re going to hit the workplace shortly. I don’t want to be there when they finally arrive. The easiest way to get out of the workplace early is to have enough money saved so that you can retire early. But this is getting harder to do. In our culture, we’re always hearing that “good people” only have one acceptable way to vote: for higher taxes, more unskilled immigration and more government spending. This is the case even in conservative churches. Just last month, my Southern Baptist pastor told our Bible study that “Jesus was a refugee”, which is in keeping with the Democrat talking points of open borders leftists like Russell Moore. The more we vote for government to be the “solution” to people’s bad choices, the higher taxes will go, and the more exposed Christians are going to be to troubles in the workplace.

Well, I probably track these religious liberty stories more than most. And I worry about it more than most, too. I am more prepared than most to avoid having my conscience violated by the secular left. But I don’t see things getting better. There just isn’t any seriousness among Christians to hold the line on Biblical teachings and values. We’ve long ago dumped the masculine aspects of Christianity – uncomfortable theological truths and politically incorrect moral rules – for a more feminine focus on non-judgmentalism, feelings, self-esteem, universalism, etc. In the church today, you’re unlikely to win an argument about a moral issue by citing the Bible and then supporting your claim with peer-reviewed evidence. Instead, the church decided that the highest authority is to conform to the demands of people whose best argument is “agree with me, or I’ll commit suicide due to bad feelings!” That apparently has a lot of weight in the feminized church today. But not with me.

Pro-life Irish nurses, doctors and midwives will be forced to participate in abortions

Unborn Baby - 10 weeks old
Unborn Baby – 10 weeks old

The dream of the pro-abortion left is not only to have abortion on demand. They also want four more things: 1) that pro-life medical personnel be forced to participate in it, 2) that pro-life taxpayers be forced to fund it, 3) that pro-life companies be forced to cover it in their insurance plans, and 4) that speech critical of abortion be silenced.

Here’s the latest from Ireland, reported by Life News:

Abortion politics are nearing a boiling point in Ireland as hundreds of doctors, nurses and midwives say pro-abortion politicians have repeatedly ignored their concerns.

Parliament is getting close to passing a radical pro-abortion bill that would legalize abortion for any reason up to 12 weeks of pregnancy and up to six months in a wide variety of circumstances. It would force taxpayers to pay for abortions and force Catholic hospitals to provide them. The bill also strictly limits conscience protections for medical professionals like them.

Government leaders want medical workers to be ready to begin aborting unborn babies Jan. 1, 2019, but the medical community is pushing back.

The Irish Examiner reports about 500 nurses and midwives signed a petition to Health Minister Simon Harris urging him to support better conscience protections. They said they are afraid of being forced out of their profession because they do not want to participate in the killing of unborn babies.

[…]The letter comes just a few days after dozens of doctors stormed out of an emergency meeting about the abortion legislation. They said political leaders have been ramming through the bill without consulting the medical community or giving it ample time to prepare. Many doctors also fear being forced to help abort unborn babies against their consciences.

“Ireland is one of the only countries where abortion services will be through GPs [general practitioners], it is usually through clinics. In most countries patients self-refer to clinics,” said Dr. Illona Duffy, an OB-GYN.

“GPs will be left dealing with this complicated process. This is being done without consultation and without taking our concerns into consideration,” she said.

If you remember, here in America, Obama tried to force Christian-owned companies like Hobby Lobby to cover drugs that cause abortions (after conception has already occurred). He was only defeated when he lost at the Supreme Court.

During Trump’s first two years, pro-life bills were introduced in the House:

  • Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R.4712)
  • Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36)
  • Disapproval of Title X Funds for Planned Parenthood (H.J.Res. 43)
  • No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2017 (H.R. 7)

And in the Senate:

  • Paul Amendment to defund Planned Parenthood
  • Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (S. 2311)

But Democrats voted against them.

What should we expect from the Democrats once they take over the House of Representatives? Well, one of the first things they will do is vote to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which prevents U.S. taxpayer money from being used to fund abortions. Democrats are extreme on abortion policy, but that’s what you get when you make abortion legal, and then hand the reins of power to Democrats.

We will never see pro-life bills come out of the House of Representatives, now that the Democrats are in control.