Category Archives: Theology/Philosophy

Moral and Natural Consequences

One common response I’ve seen from the Black Lives Matter on the shooting of Korryn Gaines was that she didn’t deserve to be executed for a traffic violation. Leaving aside the accuracy of that description, I’ve noticed that refrain from Black Lives Matter before, “he didn’t deserve death for [minor crime].” This is not limited to BLM, I’ve seen it many times before from many different people of differing ideologies describing different situations. People will often say, some person didn’t deserve a relatively harsh punishment for a relatively minor crime.

To deserve is to be worthy of something, either a reward or punishment, but measure of worthiness is left open. So in conversation people have to derive a measure from context. In the case of those arguing that Gaines didn’t deserve to die, they assume the measure of worthiness is some form of cosmic justice.

But moral worthiness is not the issue in many of these cases, but rather natural worthiness. Waving a realistic toy gun at or charging a cop may not be deserving of death in some cosmic moral sense, but it is the natural consequence, and they deserve it in that they created conditions that would likely result in the resutlting negative consequence.

There are two types of deserved negative consequences: moral/judicial consequences, where someone is punished because they have committed evil, and natural consequences, where someone is punished because that is the natural result of their actions.

Moral consequences are justice and justice is meted out by God and man. Justice needs an agent to be carried out and does not necessarily occur in nature. The rare times when nature hands out justice, we always refer to it differently, such as with phrases like poetic justice or karma, because we know that it is not real justice, simply natural consequence or blind coincidence.

On the other hand natural consequences are carried out by nature, of which man is a part. There is no moral dimension to natural consequences, simply the cold, hard law of cause and effect judging man with neither mercy nor pity.

A lot of people like to try to confuse these two forms of consequences, these two meanings of deserve, often for ideological purposes, occasionally because they are incapable of clear thinking. Often, those who see the reality of natural consequences and refuse to confuse the two, are called cold, mean, and/or evil by those who do not.

To help make this distinction clear, I’ll list some examples:

Does a child who runs into the road, morally deserve to be hit by a car? No, but they naturally deserve it because that is the natural consequence.

Does a man calling another man a ‘cock-sucking faggot’ or some other very offensive epithat morally deserving of being punched in the face? No, but he’ll get punched anyway and deserve it.

Does a women getting drunk and going to a strange man’s home means she morally deserves to be raped? No, but being raped is a likely foreseeable outcome and she naturally deserves it.

Does having promiscuous sex mean someone morally deserves to suffer and STD? Maybe not, but it is naturally deserved.

Does threatening, resisting, or being stupid around cops means someone morally deserves to be shot? Maybe not, but it is the most likely outcome and being shot is deserved.

Do French people morally deserve to be gunned down for voting in favour of immigration? No, but the naturally deserve the consequences of their choices.

So yes, Korryn Gaines deserved to die for her parking ticket. Maybe not in some cosmic moral sense, but she took took actions which would naturally result in her being shot, and the laws of nature enacted their punishment.

In all cases, the question is not of whether some impartial moral arbiter would condemn the person to a punishment in light of cosmic justice, rather it is a question of whether the person brought natural consequences upon themselves by committing causes that would result in certain effects.

Do not confuse the two. God and man care about your moral worthiness, your soul rests upon it, and justice is enacted by it. Nature does not care in the least about your moral worthiness, only your natural worthiness. Contravene nature’s laws and suffer, that is natural.

Alt-right Ethics

Recently, I linked to a TRS post on why the alt-right needs to understand ethics. The writer was a consequentialist who advocated understanding deontological principles. I am not a consequentialist, as I made clear in the debates on Christian genocide I hold to divine command theory, a specific form of deontology, with a smattering of virtue ethics for resolving those areas where multiple goods collide. I linked to the post, not because I consider consequentialism correct but because of the call to understand alternative ethics systems when debating others to be a more effective debater and the posts general anti-nihilism, as nihilism tends to infect some parts of the alt-right.

My philosophical problem with consequentialism is it’s lacking solid base. Why is this particular good that we are pursuing good? Consequentialism generally assigns value to a good (pleasure, pain avoidance, utility, the white race, etc) and makes that value the sole source of morality, without generally given an objective reason for why that particular good is of greater worth than other goods.

In this particular discussion, the good being discussed is the white race (I’ve got a post on WN coming, sometime). But why is securing the existence of the white race and the future for your children such a good that any evil done in its advancement of it is worthwhile? Survival and thriving are good and I certainly support the continuing existence of the white race, but why are they good? Is being a low-melanin gene-controlled meat sack pumping out more low-melanin gene-controlled meat sacks and fending off higher-melanin gene-controlled meat sacks so your particular phenotype becomes dominant among meat sacks really the base good upon which all other good is measured and for which all evil is justified?

What makes your particular geno-/phenotype objectively better than their particular geno-/phenotype?  Would that good that makes your particular geno-/phenotype better not be a greater good then? So why not make that good your consequence? But that new good, why is it good? Then why is that not the good you pursue?

You either run yourself in circles, or you come to the point where there is no answer.

Here Gary argues against nihilism:

Another annoying thing was that Sargon asked that if blacks became majority and took over the US, would it then be morally wrong for blacks to enslave white people? This was not dealt with well. One of the people in the hangout even answered ‘no’ to this question, which is obviously moral nihilism. I’m not a moral nihilist, neither should you be. Of course it would be wrong, but not because it’s discrimination, but because it is slavery, and more specifically because the consequences that would arise from that slavery are negative. Slavery, again, is not immoral inherently. No action is, as we’ve already demonstrated. If the blacks, on the other hand, were to throw whitey out of their country then that would not be morally wrong because it would result in more stability and peace in that country. Of course that’s not really true since blacks are uncivilized savages who actually benefit from white presence, but it is true in the parallel where whites are the majority and Arabs and Latinos are the minorities getting thrown out.

He argues the slavery of whites is wrong, while slavery itself is not, because of the consequences, which he doesn’t spell out. ‘Consequences’ is so amorphous and undefined, that he’s undermining his own point. Also, consequences for who? I’m sure blacks would appreciate having white slaves. Without an objective standard by which to measure ‘consequences’ consequentialism is meaningless.

He speaks positively of stability and peace a little later on in that paragraph, but why are these values inherently better than chaos and war?

What makes these values objective?

You need an absolute to measure morality by or morality is little more than taste preference. It is nihilism gussied up.

It’s God or nihilism. Choose.

And God is a deontologist.

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As a believer divine command theory my support for nationalism (or more accurately thedism, post coming some time) comes from the word of God:

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

(Genesis 1:26-28 ESV)

Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. And the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the LORD dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth. And from there the LORD dispersed them over the face of all the earth.

(Genesis 11:1-9 ESV)

“The Rock, his work is perfect,
for all his ways are justice.
A God of faithfulness and without iniquity,
just and upright is he.
They have dealt corruptly with him;
they are no longer his children because they are blemished;
they are a crooked and twisted generation.
Do you thus repay the LORD,
you foolish and senseless people?
Is not he your father, who created you,
who made you and established you?
Remember the days of old;
consider the years of many generations;
ask your father, and he will show you,
your elders, and they will tell you.
When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance,
when he divided mankind,
he fixed the borders of the peoples
according to the number of the sons of God.
But the LORD’s portion is his people,
Jacob his allotted heritage.
(Deuteronomy 32:4-9 ESV)

God made man to spread over the world. He divided them so they to accomplish this goal and each nation was made to inhabit it’s own territory. He made them different and those differences are good.

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Finally, on a tangent, the ‘murdering baby Hitler’ example is a poor poor way to compare consequentialism and deontology, for it adds time travel to the mix. The murder of millions of Slavs and Jews is an obvious moral wrong for which the death penalty would be a justified punishment. So, when you are ask if someone would be justified in murdering baby Hitler, you are not asking the question of whether it is permissible to murder babies if the cause is good enough.

What you are really asking is: is it okay to pre-emptively punish someone for an action they will certainly commit in the future, which is only obfuscated by the inclusion of harm prevention?

While this is an interesting ethical and philosophical question, it doesn’t necessarily draw a line between the two differing ethical systems. One could think of decent arguments for/against preemptive punishment on both sides of that particular divide.

Evidence-Based Decision-Making

There are a lot of meaningless phrases that make the rounds. One of these that wannabe intelligent people pass around to make themselves seem rational is “evidence-based decision making.” This phrase is often used in politics and public policy, where one side will use it to describe the adoption of policies they like (with the implication that the other side is not using evidence-based decision making). It is also contrasted with ideological decision-making.

Now, I am not against using evidence to inform a decision; using evidence is a good thing. As a stand-alone, face-value concept it is unobjectionable, how can anybody be against evidence? But this unobjectableness is the reason for its meaninglessness.

Everybody in politics and public policy uses ‘evidence’ to make decisions. In the days of yore, the autocratic king may occasionally have indulged himself in the occasional bout of thoughtless whimsy, but in today’s bureaucratic world, no policy decision is made without rounds upon rounds of evidence, discussion, writing, revision, etc. Even the autocratic king’s bouts of whimsy were usually based on evidence and fact. “People over six feet are tall” and “an army of tall people amuses me” are both evidence-based facts that can be used to inform policy. The other may not be interpreting evidence the same way as you, they may impute differing levels of legitimacy to certain forms or instances of evidence than you, and they may be using the evidence to pursue different values than you, but they are using evidence.

Using the phrase evidence-based decision making in a modern public policy context is as meaningless as going around saying a four-sided square when discussing geometry. But meaningless phrases are commonplace, the context of the phrase reveals a more important and deep stupidity.

Any time someone uses the phrase with any intent at creating even the tiniest amount of semantic meaning, the semantic meaning is (either implicitly or explicitly) evidence-based as compared to ideological (or opinion-based, which is the same thing), where the ideological is irrational (and therefore wrong). Nobody ever points out the idiocy of this semantic meaning.

Evidence doesn’t make decisions. Evidence is neutral. Evidence is fact and fact is meaningless by itself. Is is not ought.

To make a trite example, the fact that you need to breathe oxygen or you die has absolutely no decision-making implications standing on its own. Only when you create a value system around breathing does the need to breathe factor into decision-making. The suicide and the astronaut will both make entirely different evidence-based decisions on that particular fact.

To make a decisions requires a value-system: the value system under which the decision is being made is the most important part of any decision-making. The value system will create a goal. Reason will create a plan to achieve a goal. Evidence upon which to reason is the final and least important part of a decision-making architecture.

Another word for value-system is ideology. All public-policy decisions are first and foremost ideological. Anybody who thinks they aren’t is so ideologically brainwashed that they are not even aware that they have their own ideology.

To call attention to the fact you use or favour evidence-based decision making reveals either:

1) a very weak decision-making architecture if using evidence is the best you can say about it,
2) the shallowness of your own thinking, if the facts you use are the deepest you can delve in your own decision-making architecture,
3) ideological blindness, if you can not even see that you are making decisions under a value system,

or, it might reveal something more sinister:

4) the purposeful distortion of language to fool the gullible into accepting a particular ideological as reality.

Practically speaking, the use of the phrase ‘evidence-based decision making’ as related to public policy is usually a signal you can safely ignore the surrounding verbiage as wasteful rhetoric, empty-headed stupidity, and/or attempted manipulation. Rarely will it be used in any commentary on public policy that is worth listening to.

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Note: Evidence-based decision-making started out as a concept for medical research and practice. In the medical context, it is a reasonable approach and something reasonable to talk about, as the ideology of medicine is mostly firmly established and medical “conflict” (barring corruption) is based around finding the best methods of healing to input into this system.

Just War and Breivik

A couple of Ask.fm questions and a Twitter convo with Mandrake have prompted me to post on just war and Brievik.

Just war has two aspects jus ad bellum and jus in bello. Jus ad bellum governs whether a particular military conflict is justified, while jus in bello regulates proper action in war. I should note that I reject the concept international law, as it violates subsidiarity, as international organization aren’t sovereign and therefore can’t make law, and as law is and should be made by a government of a people for that particular people, making one set of laws applicable to differing peoples is harmful. So I am talking about moral law here, not ‘legal’ law.

Before we even get to just war, we must define war. War is conflict between nations, for a war to be a war it must be waged by a people against another people, not by a person; if a person is waging war on their own, they are simply committing murder, not committing war.

For a war to be just a state of war must be entered by the people. To do this a legitimate authority over a people must declare the war on behalf of the people he represents. Someone who is not an authority for his people can not declare a war. This declaration need not necessarily be a formal declaration of war. A surprise or pre-emptive attack may be just declaration of war depending on the circumstance. (I am unsure on the question of whether an illegitimate authority can justly declare war on the people he has authority over; it will require more pondering).

For a declaration of war to be just, it must meet three conditions:

First, it must be defensive, either in defense of your own nation, in defence of another nation, or in defence of justice. Defence is not used in its strictest sense, and goes beyond simply warding off an invasion. For example, an invasion to rescue a national citizen kidnapped while visiting a foreign nation would be a valid defence of the nation, while an invasion to stop mass murder or to punish the guilty may be a valid defence of justice.

Second, the war must have some real chance of success. If a war would have no realistic chance of success, then the war is unnecessary, and would therefore be unjust. A small chance of success is still a real chance.

Finally, war must be proportional. The expected benefits of a war must be greater than the expected evils of war.

Once in war jus in bello should be followed:

First two principles are necessity and proportionality, unnecessary violence is to be avoided and violence enacted should not be disproportionate to the goals.

The third is the avoidance of deliberately targeting non-combatants. Violence should only be enacted upon legitimate military targets.

Finally, there is the proper treatment of POW’s. It should be noted here, that spies, saboteurs, and the like are not POW’s and can be dealt with harshly.

Those are the basics of just war.

So, now we get to Breivik. I think Breivik did have a just cause for war; the rapes, violence, and slow genocide of his people by foreigners and hostile elites are just causes for war, but he was not carrying out a just war.

The first reason was that he was not engaging in war. He acted alone, not as a part of a people; there was no war, simply murder. As well, he was not a legitimate authority, so his act of ‘war’ could not be a legitimate declaration of war to begin a war.

Secondly, his actions had no real chance of success. Given that propaganda outlets are almost entirely in the hands of his enemies, the most realistic outcome was that his actions would actively hinder his cause.

He also failed to meet jus in bello principles. The targets of his attacks were not legitimate military targets. Given the nature of the conflict in Norway, I think a legitimate case could be made that the ruling elite and politicians are legitimate military targets, but the spawn of the ruling elites were not. He should have targeted the politicians, media, and bureaucrats, not their children.

A just war in Norway, would require the Norwegian people, or at least a significant minority of them, to have (or appoint) a legitimate authority to declare war on behalf of their community in order to expel (not genocide) the foreign invaders and remove the internal traitors supporting them from positions of power.

If this community can not be found, no amount of lone wolf attacks will matter. The Norwegian people will, sadly, have chosen their own subjugation and extinction.

Beauty, Function, and Reproduction

Here’s my final piece to cap off my Aesthetics Week contributions.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

(Genesis 1:26-28 ESV)

Women are beautiful, they are the most beautiful thing in the world. Why? Because Woman’s intrinsic biological purpose is the highest aim of mankind: to reproduce. Woman brings forth and nurtures life; her intrinsic purpose is to create the Imago Dei anew, again and again.

The function of Woman is to create new life, an intrinsically transcendent task. Her form signals her reproductive capabilities. Her beauty is a product of where her form and function points to this purpose.

Man is not beautiful, he can not be beautiful except through warped physical feminization, for his intrinsic biological purpose is not transcendent. Man’s intrinsic biological aim is to subdue the earth, an intrinsically material task.

Man may be attractive, handsome even, when his form signals high capabilities for subduing the earth or quality genetic material for helping Woman make life, but beauty is not his to have.

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This is why attractiveness in women is prized by men. An attractive woman is signalling fertility, that she will be successful in this most transcendent of purposes.

This is where here becomes a difference between the beautiful and the hot. The beautiful woman signals that not only is she fertile, but she has the inner qualities which would make a good wife and mother to raise the resulting children. She signals that she would have high capabilities to the transcendent task of making a home. The hot woman signals fertility, but she does not signal motherly qualities. Hence, the the difference between hos and housewives. Men use hos, but make homes with housewives.

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This is also why to most men think their particular wife is the most beautiful woman in the world, even though she is likely not the most attractive, she is probably only average. He may even recognize, on an objective level, that she is not the most attractive. Yet, despite this, she is beautiful, the most beautiful, because she is particularly transcendent to him.

As defunct blogger Solomon II wrote (Proverb 28) of the musings of an older man:

Listen to me. A good woman ages beautifully. When I look at my wife, I see the most gorgeous woman in the universe. Her wrinkled hands got that way by keeping up with my two boys and working hard for them while I was on the road. The lines under her eyes are from years of shedding tears for me when I was at war, and those wrinkles on her brow are from decades of worry for me and my two sons. It was her legs they held on to when they were learning to walk, her lap was where they learned to read, and her breasts were their first nourishment. The first kiss those boys ever received was from her lips, and God willing, my last kiss will be from her lips.

You two don’t know what you’re missing – or maybe you do. But all I know is that she’s as beautiful, desirable, and lovely today as the day I met her, and I wouldn’t trade one second with her for a lifetime of rowdiness with one of those harlots you guys have waiting for you back home.

You two don’t know what beauty is. In a way, I feel sorry for both of you.

A man’s wife’s form might not particularly signal transcendent functionality to most men, but to him she is the one that brought forth his children, that made life not just in the image of God, but in his own image as well. She is the one that nurtured and raised his own particular instantiations of God’s image. No mere objective attraction, objective beauty, can possibly match that beauty such as that.

Form, Function, and Beauty

It is aesthetics week here in the NRx-sphere. Here’s my contribution.

Beauty is objective in the main, subjective in the margins. Some broken relativists, for whatever reason, despise beauty and truth, seeing only the margins. They argue that all beauty is subjective. Yet, we all know how they would answer if given the choice of whether to have their faces shoved in Christina Hendrick’s bosom or in pig shit.

Objective attractiveness comes from where form and function meet. An object is attractive if its form signals the appearence of the object meeting its function. Beauty is something more than simple attractiveness, it has a a transcendence to it. Beauty is where form and function combine to illustrate truth.

To illustrate:

Local book shops are often attractive. The colouring, facade, and architecture of these shops is aligned to show that this is where quality books can be purchased from people who love books as much as you do. Yet local bookshops are rarely described as beautiful, because selling quality books is not transcendent in itself. It does not point to a higher truth.

On the other hand, houses are often described as beautiful, even if they are no more architectural pleasing than then the local book shop. This is because a house intrinsically points towards the higher truths of family, love, and home. Houses are beautiful because they embody transcendental truths beyond the mere materials and plans they are created from.

Functionality is in its own way its own form of truth. So, an object pointing to no other higher truths may still be beautiful if it embodies fully its own function, if it approaches its own platonic form in form. If form and function synchronize perfectly, beauty will appear. For example, a grandfather clock or Swiss watch may be beautiful even if it points to no higher truths, simply because the craftsmanship of the timepiece embodies the inherent truth of timepieces itself.

Ugliness is the opposite of beauty, it occurs when an object’s form signals that the object is either failing in its function, is otherwise unhealthy, or does not embody the higher truths it should embody. To be attractive is to signal functionality, to be beautiful is to signal functionality and truth, to be ugly is to signal neither.

To illustrate:

Some houses are ugly because they are signalling an inability to perform the basic functions of a house, such as keeping rain and cold air out.

On the other hand, some functional houses may still be ugly because they do not embody the higher truths they should. Due to a lack of care or upkeep, they do not point towards the transcendent ideals of home, love, and neighbourliness which they should.

To be beautiful is signal healthiness, ugliness signals sickness, yet we have to be careful, beauty and ugliness are signals, and signals can be faked. Something may signalling functionality and truth but have neither, and signals of sickness or dysfunction may not always be accurate.

Despite this, beauty and ugliness are not only signals. Beauty and ugliness are objective truths in themselves. Beauty is true, healthy, and functioning and ugliness is falsehood, unhealthy, and dysfunctional. Beauty can be faked and ugliness may be an accident, but both generally flow from an object’s essence. Beauty flows naturally from health, truth, and function, ugliness from dysfunction and falsehood.

Besides beauty appearing from the transcendent merger of form and function, form itself naturally flows from function. An object will naturally take on the form of its intended function.

To illustrate:

Local bookstores come in many types. Some bookstores have a function of discovery. They are mess, yet still have their own attractiveness, the sheer volume of books hastily assembled signals a store where books are loved. Digging through the piles of books looking for that perfect find is the function.

Other bookstores are more carefully organized. The function is to find what you’re looking for from a curated selection of books.

Despite the different forms and functions of local bookstores, when compare the big box store to the local book store we can instantly tell which is which. The big box store’s function is apparent in its form, flows naturally from its form. It is attractive, in some ways even more so than the messy bookshop above, but in other ways less attractive. Its function is an easily searchable, impersonal warehouse for books, and it function shows in the form. It is large, sterile, wide open, and efficient but it lacks the charm of the local stores which flow from functions that are more personal.

Finally, we will look at an example where everything comes together.

A Cathedral is beautiful, I have yet to see one that is not; they are always beautiful. They were created to promote the awe of God, which they do. You can’t help but feel awe and reverence as stone arches tower above you. Cathedrals point to the truths of God’ glory and greatness, hence we they are always so beautiful.

We can compare this to old-fashioned country churches, which were designed as humble places for country-folk to gather to worship. Their function is pedestrian, give people a warm, dry place to worship. They are attractive in their own way as they fill their function, but you can’t really call them beautiful as the function and the form which follows from it lack any transcendent value.

Next we have the megachurch. It has a function of gathering many people together, which it fulfills. It’s kind of attractive, in its own way, yet it feels off. There’s a slight hint of ugliness to it. It’s a bit too impersonal.

Finally, there’s modern churches. They all look different, but they all are unattractive, sometimes they even just plain ugly. Why? Because their function and form don’t align. They are not awe-inspiring, time-defying buildings like a cathedral designed to humble you before God, yet they are not simple gathering places like the country church; they don’t even have the strict functionality of the business-like megachurch.

It’s obvious from their design that their function was not decided upon, they were just built. They were built too plain and with too much modern ugliness to impress God’s greatness upon others, yet they are far more ostentatious then is necessary for a meeting place. They were built luke-warm and we spit them out.

The function informs the form, so by correctly analyzing an object’s form you can determine its function. It’s attractiveness and beauty can tell you how well it is functioning.

What Is and What Should Be

During the ongoing Rabid Puppies fun (join now), Vox’s many critics have taken to falsely accusing him of approving of the Taliban throwing acid in girls’ faces and ashooting them through the use of out-of-context quotes.

What Vox has actually said is that maybe the Taliban are not just insane, but may have a rational reason for their behavior:

Ironically, in light of the strong correlation between female education and demographic decline, a purely empirical perspective on Malala Yousafzai, the poster girl for global female education, may indicate that the Taliban’s attempt to silence her was perfectly rational and scientifically justifiable.

And that according to strict utilitarianism, acid-throwing might benefit women as a whole and the scientific attitude would be to test this rather:

Because female independence is strongly correlated with a whole host of social ills. Using the utilitarian metric favored by most atheists, a few acid-burned faces is a small price to pay for lasting marriages, stable families, legitimate children, low levels of debt, strong currencies, affordable housing, homogenous populations, low levels of crime, and demographic stability. If PZ has turned against utilitarianism or the concept of the collective welfare trumping the interests of the individual, I should be fascinated to hear it.

The scientific attitude would be to develop a hypothesis and test it as best one is able. But it’s quite clear that PZ doesn’t want to consider the possibility of anything beyond his philosophical commitment to the unicorn of so-called “equality”. Wilson is right to observe that PZ’s behavior with regards to these matters is entirely unscientific, indeed, one might even surmise that it is outright anti-scientific.

Given that Vox is neither part of the Taliban nor a utilitarian, it is obvious to anybody who’s not a brain-dead liberal that this is not vouching support of said policies. I’m not writing this as a defence of Vox, he can defend himself better than I can, rather I want to point out something that is probably obvious to most reading my blog, but I’ll state anyway.

The base assumption Vox’s critics is that rational and scientifically justifiable are equivalent to right. Because Vox says something may rational and scientifically justifiable, he must therefore approve of it. This is, of course, stupid.

Rationality is morally neutral, as is science. Neither have moral value in themselves, they can only be used as tools discover, elucidate, or develop pre-existing truths.

Just because something is does not mean it that it ought to be. Vice versa also stands, any ought should fully take into consideration what is. Confusion of is for ought leads to a moral-stuntedness, confusion of ought for is leads to inhumanity.

We can see the former in extreme utilitarianism: Yudkowsky’s specks of dust specks vs. torture argument is the substitution of reason for moral value. Only someone morally broken can think the mathematical comparison of units of pain and pleasure can be substitutes for morality.

A ‘good’ case of the latter is communism: the left thought man is not what he is, but rather what he ought to be, leading to the failure of their inhuman system designed for their idealistic and false conception of man.

Is and ought are distinct and must remain so.