Timothy Sandefur, having apparently read my preceding blog, says says that he stands by his statements. This surprises me, for it is an implicit claim that he better understands my intended argument than do I. This is not a case where we agree as to what my premises were, and what my intended conclusion was, but disagree about whether my argument establishes the intended conclusion. Rather, he claims I used certain premises whereas I claim I used different ones, and he claims I argued to a very broad conclusion, whereas I claim I argued to a very restricted one. In that situation, it is not possible that he is correct when we are in disagreement - for a man must be understood to know his own mind. It behoves him, therefore, to correct the record about my actual argument and intended conclusions, even if he thinks the argument as I intended it still fails. So, before pressing on to rebut the theory of natural rights, I shall go through Sandefur's discussion of my argument, and show explicitly how it misrepresents my case.
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I recently had a discussion about Rights with Timothy Sandefur at the Panda's Thumb. He has continued commenting on the issue at his blog. In doing so he has misrepresented my argument, no doubt because of my poor manner of expressing it. I wish first to correct that misrepresentation - and show how my argument effectively rebuts his prior argument.
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The following is a comment I made at the Panda's Thumb.( Read more...Collapse )
This post is sort of a responce to claims that Christians, because they are Christians, ought to vote for George Bush. The claim is made quite clearly here: http://www.livejournal.com/community/ch
To discuss this claim, I need to lay out certain principles I will use.
First, as mentioned in my previous blog, the foundational principle of ethics is "Love your neighbour as yourself!" For Christians this purports to be the fundamental rule governing interactions between people. They think there is a more fundamental rule, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your mind, and all your strength", but it is the former rule, "Love your neighbour" that governs interactions between humans. Of course, this raises the question of what it means to "Love your neighbour as yourself", but Jesus gave an answer there as well. In fact, he gave several answers, but the one I am concerned with is the rule of thumb he gave to guide action - "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
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Hi! This is my first blog.
I have been thinking about blogging for some time. Heavy involvement in the Creation/Evolution debate has left me unsatisfied with the discussion format, primarily because it leaves no space to lay out, clearly and logically, the evidence for either view. I thought a blog might give me an opportunity to do that, with critical (but friendly) comments from interested observers.
That thought would probably have remained a thought had it not been for the recent re-election of John Howard for his fourth term as Prime Minister of Australia. That has been a slap in the face for me. I view many of Howard's policies, particularly toward refugees and Iraq as blatantly immoral. Further, I think his efforts to control the flow of information in Australia are undercutting what used to be a vibrant democracy. This blog will give me an opportunity to have a say on this, and other political matters.
These then, are the twin themes that will dominate my blog - Evolution and Politics, with a little bit of philosophy thrown in for good measure.
It may interest you to know where I am coming from. I am an Australian (obviously), atheist for whom Christianity is a live option. That means that, though I think the evidence supports the view that there is no God, I do not think it is so overwhelming that I need not consider new evidence on the issue.
Conceivably, that new evidence could change my mind.Christianity is still a live option for me because of my thoughts on ethics. After carefull consideration, I have concluded the only ethical stance consistent with self respect is: "Love your neighbour as you love yourself." Now, no matter what we might think of Jesus, he is the first person recorded to have taught and lived a consistent ethic based on that principle. Further, in the view of the early Christians (based on their interpretation of Jesus teaching and life), God himself accepts and lives by that principle - lives by it to such an extent He (God himself) died for us. It is not without reason that this message has been called "The Greatest Story Ever Told".
I find these facts interesting. They certainly make me want Christianity to be true. I even think they constitute some evidence for Christianity. Unfortunately, the rest of the evidence is overwhelmingly against Christianity being true.
Of that evidence, the most substantive is the fact that the Church (the body of all beleivers) and the Churches (the institutions representing particular groupings within the Church) have consistently rejected in word and deed Jesus' ethic. Examples from history are well known - the persecution of the Arians, and of the Jews, the Inquisition, the persecution of anabaptists by the reformers. The litany goes on. Nor has it stopped. To the ancient examples we can add George W Bush's war on Iraq and John Howard's persecution of refugees. Both claim to be Christians and have been embraced by large numbers of Christians for these acts. Unfortunately, therefore, it seems that Christianity is false.
I hope some of you, at least, find it worth the read.