Saturday, September 20, 2008

Racist? Xenophobe? He has a point

Left-libertarians, liberals, leftists, and atheists who live in Western countries oftentimes argue that reason alone can dictate morality. It is amusing, in my mind, that they can even suggest this, for they usually have lived most—if not all—of their lives in a Western country in which Christianity served as a major force in forging the society. Those who preach the importance of reason in judging what is moral cannot escape from the culture in which they were born, raised, and lived for much of their life, for beliefs that they hold are ingrained through culture in their hearts. The atheist, tradition-hating, coffeehouse fruitcakes of the 18th century—the philosophers of the Enlightenment—were wrong. What is considered to be moral cannot be judged by mere reason alone.
more here.

12 comments:

Mild Colonial Boy, Esq. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mild Colonial Boy, Esq. said...

A rather interesting Chap is Mr Kyle Bristow. He has a Web Journal called The Spartan Spectator which isn't afraid to go in hard on Sensitive Issues (from a Paleo-con Perspective) which would give a National Review writer a fit of the Vapours.

Mild Colonial Boy, Esq. said...

In the article he raised the issue of the fetishism of Reason and the Enlightenment that some leftist and atheist intellectuals practice. He omitted that some Conservatives pundits also argue similarly. It should be remembered by these folk that The French Revolution was a product of the Enlightenment.

The words of Martin Luther should also be remembered: "Reason is the Devil's greatest whore; by nature and manner of being she is a noxious whore; she is a prostitute, the Devil's appointed whore; whore eaten by scab and leprosy who ought to be trodden under foot and destroyed, she and her wisdom ... Throw dung in her face to make her ugly. She is and she ought to be drowned in baptism... She would deserve, the wretch, to be banished to the filthiest place in the house, to the closets."

[Martin Luther, Erlangen Edition v. 16, pp. 142-148]
. For a more lengthy explanation as to what this means go to this Journal entry here; but the short explanation is that when we abandon Scriptural morality and claim that we can find Moral Ideals by Reason, Reason soon becomes Rationalisation for our Baser Instincts.

Mild Colonial Boy, Esq. said...

Sorry to make another comment but I have been thinking about the topic of Reason and Culture myself for a while - and I thought that my Luther quotation might be a touch at a tangent to the issue raised of Morality springing from Culture rather than Reason.

Another more apposite quotation would be from John Dickinson, an American Founding Father: "Experience must be our only guide. Reason may mislead us. It was not Reason that discovered the singular and admiral mechanism of the British Constitution. It was not Reason that discovered the odd and in the eye of those who are governed by reason, the absurd mode of trial by jury. Accidents probably produced these discoveries, and experience has given the sanction to them. This then was our guide."

qtd. in M.E. Bradford's "A Better Guide than Reason".

kae said...

Don't apologise for commenting more than once, MCB! You're welcome.

kc said...

Reason almost gives us permission to justify & rationalize our actions, our thoughts, our RULES. Experience gives us a much better basis for deciding what's wrong or right, on that I agree! Scriptural morality wasn't handed down because it made SENSE - it was handed down because experience had taught the 'authors' the best way of accomplishing whatever task was at hand. I use the example of present-day mad cow disease, a distressing problem that comes from forcing "cannibalistic" feeding on cattle (I remember reading that animal by-products are thought to carry the offending organism). Kosher meat is free of this problem, because kosher cattle are fed the proper diet for cattle...which is NOT the leavings from other cattle. Therefore, in my experience, Scriptural teachings on morality are best for me to learn from the experience of others.

I know this is terribly simplistic, but it's what my brain is capable of today. Thanks for the "something to think abouts," MCB, since I'm not so well read as you & our host & other commenters.

kae said...

kc, you may find this interesting.
http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/cjd/cjd.htm
and
http://www.doctorslounge.com/studlounge/articles/prions/
(I hate doing links in comments, there should be a button!)

kae said...

kc, and this is where the prions start, apparently they are a genetic defect.
http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec06/ch090/ch090b.html

kc said...

Thanks, Kae. I knew I was going simple-minded. I've read most of that before, because I was looking for something definitive to tell me I was wrong about mad cow. I had forgotten the links (similarities, whatever you call them...told you, I'm not all that well-read or well educated...& even if I was, I don't remember things very well) with Alzheimer's.

I was brain-injured a few years back, still slow in some things, VERY slow in others, with massive memory problems when I venture out of my little universe. I did some of this research to see if Alzheimer's was in my future (or in my present), since there is no one in my family so afflicted.

kae said...

Hi kc
I always wondered where the prions came from - I know they cannot be destroyed by cooking or digestion and I wondered where they came from.
That article says that in naturally occurring CJD it's a genetic mutation, which I found interesting.
They traced CJD in islanders who practised cannibalism.
They've also known there was a link between a disease found in sheep (scrapie that's it's name look: http://www.animalhealthaustralia.com.au/aahc/index.cfm?70DF84E9-D62E-9D24-44C4-44BE2B2A5C78 )
In the bush quite often cattle will chew on bones in a drought.

Although I know that CJD in humans where it's not the genetic one is related to eating meat and in some countries it was not unusual for animals to be fed ground up other animals to increase their protein intake.
That's probably why it's always been illegal in Australia to feed dead animals to herbivores/ruminants.

kc said...

Probably also why it's in the commandments about animals & food preparation in the Old Testament...it's not Reason (which says it's cheap, easy, & besides, the animals DO eat it, don't they), it's EXPERIENCE (which says it makes them & us sick).

See, I was doing my best to keep this part of the topic, really I was! Now, if I can figger out where to put atheism & racism in there, I'll be right on track, eh?!

kae said...

Yes, kc, it makes sense.

Hey, off topic? Nah, don't worry. It's interesting.