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Letter from Australia 77 – Communication, Children, Covid, Creating Trans Culture and Comedy

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Sometimes it’s hard phoning people at home – (speaking of which my parents are apparently about to go online – the revolution has come!).  Apart from the usual reasons – missing them and not having seen them ‘in the flesh’ for a couple of years – there is also the disconnect that comes from being in very different circumstances.  For friends in the UK and USA, it’s winter and Covid is running riot – the UK is now in its third lockdown and, because the politicians need to be seen to do something, their only option, that will not see them destroyed in the press and by the fear of the mob, is to tighten things up.

It’s one thing not being able to physically be with your family because you are at the other side of the world.  It’s another not being able to physically be with your family when they live just up the road.   When talking to those who are in the midst of their third severe lockdown, it’s not helpful to complain that you are ‘reduced’ to a maximum of ten people in your own home!  Neither does it help to tell how you delight in visiting the beach and going to your favourite café!

Childcare?

Speaking of family, I was in a park this week and witnessed something really sad.   A woman was there with her two children who were playing with great excitement on  the swings.  Another woman came in with her daughter and proceeded to spend the next half hour talking on her phone whilst walking up and down to get her steps up.  It was the look on her wee girls face that really got to me.  She was just so sad.  She had no one to play with….and not once in the 30 minutes did she speak to, or acknowledge her daughter.   I wanted to offer to help push the child on the swing – but sadly, such is the society we live in that I feared I would be regarded as some kind of weirdo!    I wanted to say to the woman, ‘put the phone away’ – but then I realised that not only did I not have the right to judge her (maybe there were other things going on apart from the business deals I overheard), but I was a hypocrite.   How often have I gone to the park with the grandkids and taken my phone?   No more.  That’s my late New Year’s resolution!  No phones at the table – no phones in the park – and I was going to say no phones in restaurants – except we now require them to sign in with the NSW app!

The whole episode reminded me of this song.

 

Covid in the News

Returning to Covid – we really are living in a different world from most of the Western world.  Not that you would know it according to a BBC report I just heard with their correspondent here providing a false picture – giving the impression that we were under hard lock down and facing multiple cases.   Not a mention that there were zero community cases – there are only 38 people with Covid in hospital in the whole of Australia – not a word of this was mentioned on the BBC.  Nor was the fact that NSW has managed to contain it without locking down the whole state.  If you want the real facts and figures I suggest you subscribe to the prayer notes I edit.

https://christiansunited.online/2021/weekly-prayer-guide-january-18-2021/

Pfizer

How things are reported is fascinating.  For example, we read the headline that there have been 30 deaths in Norway of people with the Pfizer vaccine.  But go beyond the headline and you learn that all who died were elderly, frail people who were nearing the end of life and may have been tipped over the edge of side effects such as sickness.  But people rarely go past the headlines.  So, for example, we read that millions have died from Covid, but it is people who have died with Covid, not all of them will have died from it – any more than the primary cause of death for the 30 Norwegians is the Pfizer vaccine.

Masks in Cars

Mind you some of the things reported are so absurd that they are hard to believe – like the news that in Queensland it is illegal to drive in your car on your own without a mask!  Politicians always say their laws are ‘following the science’ – I would love to see the science that shows that wearing a mask in a car on your own protects anyone!

Far Right….Progressive Left

In listening to news, we need to be increasingly questioning  – and asking where the reports are coming from.  There are still reliable news sources, but they are getting fewer – as conspiracy theorists populate the Internet and woke journalists dominate the mainstream media.  Let me give just two examples from this weekend.  It seems as though every time I turn on ABC or the BBC,  we get programmes telling us about the threat from the Far Right in the US.  I don’t doubt that there is a threat, but there is little evidence that the US is about to become The Handmaid’s Tale!  And I am intrigued as to why I have yet to hear a programme from either the ABC or BBC which warns about the threat from the Far Left.   Far Right is a term that is far too easily used by lazy journalists and unthinking commentators.

The Partial Stories

This weekend both the Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian carried full personal stories of parents with transgender teenagers.   They were of course ‘positive’ and ‘trans affirming’.  No criticism is permitted because to go against the story is to be nasty, unloving, judgemental etc.  I remember being ambushed on BBC radio 5 with that tactic, and on BBC news with the same thing – they spend four minutes giving you this heart-rending story and then give you 20 seconds to comment!   I suspect that neither the SMH or the Australian will carry the stories of those who want to detransition, or those who have been significantly harmed by the transgender ideology.  Incidentally, the SMH story reported that there could be up to 3% of people in Australia who are Trans.  They are just making that up.  The actual figure from the last census was less than 0.01%.  That will have gone up when the census is done this year (media and the YouTube dysphoria will ensure that), but the SMH figure was just made up wishful thinking.    It reminds me of the Kinsey reports figure that 10% of men are homosexual – a figure upon which government policy was based long after it was shown to be false (the real figure is around 1%).

BBC Comedy

Finally, here is something rather good from the BBC….Enjoy this wee video about how in todays society we have to continually be apologising for every group we have offended.  If I have ever offended you please accept my apology – and if you are a Christian remember Christ’s command to forgive me 490 times!

 

In all of this I am glad that we have the Good News, not only to save us, but to enable us to discern what is right and wrong and what matters in all other news…

See you next week.

David

Letter from Australia 76  – Brenda is a Sheep.

PS.  The cover photo was from our flat last week..

 

 

54 comments

  1. Since ABC and BBC are owned and operated by the Far Left, there will be no stories criticizing that entity. And here in the U.S., we know that anyone who criticizes the Far Left is considered Far Right. I am a conservative Christian voter and I am definitely on the right. I don’t advocate violence in any way, but I do know that four U.S. states violated the Constitution and their own state constitutions in the election, so their states’ electoral votes should not have been counted. In that case, Biden would still have won, but there would not be such a continued hub-bub about a stolen election.

    1. To be fair I don’t think it is right to claim that the BBC and ABC are owned by the Far Left – that is as wrong as saying all Trump supporters are Far Right!

  2. We are natural allies when it comes to pushing back against an ideological agenda that undermines our shared rights and freedoms, our shared respect for facts, for what’s true, and for honest ethical considerations of affect when these are attacked. This concern starts with and can only be maintained with a basic shared respect for facts, shared respect for others, shared respect for honest differences of opinion, shared respect for honest differences of belief. This alliance – this sharing of mutual concern – is undermined and reversed when these honest differences are then used intentionally by you to create a silo based on a primary shared religious belief, to create a group identity that is itself used to promote an ideological religious agenda… in the name of respecting facts, the name of honest differences in opinion, of belief! But you’ve already pared away the ‘shared’ aspect entirely when you do this.

    Yes, we are liberal allies in this ideological culture war against facts such as biological sex, climate change, election results, and so on. We are natural liberal allies against the encroachment of constraining individual rights and freedoms in law. We see the same shell game of using terms like ‘tolerance’ and ‘respect’ to promote intolerance and vilification of those who speak truth to power, speak of facts, speak of evidence-based conclusions, speak of honest differences of opinion and belief.

    But we undermine this alliance when we do not recognize we are replacing one silo identity with another, one set of facts with only those facts that uphold our imported confirmation bias, an imported and imposed tolerance and respect for an identity first – in this case, a particular religious belief – rather than respecting the same shared rights and freedoms of the individuals who constitute all group memberships.

    To paint Christians as the group identity needed to “discern what is right and wrong” because they have received the ‘Good News’ is an ideological silo-making attempt that, if believed, then divides you and your group members from your natural allies outside of this group, people who by your own doing are deemed by your fiat, your statement of belief, to be unable to determine right from wrong BECAUSE they have rejected this ‘good news’ you have accepted. You show no tolerance and respect for what they determine are good evidence-based factual reasons.

    So you can’t have it both ways: you can’t make the call for respecting facts, respecting the honest opinions and beliefs of others not shown by these Right and Left ideologues, and then turn right around and claim only your belief silo has the means to discern what is right and wrong based on that belief alone!

    This is hypocrisy that ends up harming one’s own side, a hypocrisy that empowers ideologues of group identity, and a hypocrisy that actively undermines the legitimate criticism of the ideology you target. Most importantly, you harm your attempt to gain widespread and necessary allies from the liberal populace in this important battle. You can’t have it both ways, David.

    1. I have no idea what you are talking about. You seem to be saying that to have any beliefs other than your own is to be in a silo! Of course there are issues upon which Christians and others will agree – and disagree. Thats not the issue. The question of what is truth is the issue. Where does morality come from? It is consistent for us to say that Jesus Christ is the truth and that the moral law comes from the moral lawgiver…I just wonder where you get your idea of truth and morality from!

      1. And that is as much a problem for you as it is either end of the political spectrum: you don’t see your own hypocrisy.

        By claiming only those that have ‘received’ the ‘Good News’ are moral, you are forming a group. You then claim ONLY this group is moral and so ONLY your group has the ability to see the ‘truth’. I’m saying this framing is throwing your natural allies in this attack on what’s true – true classical liberals – under the bus and that this only empowers ideologues. You cannot criticize these other ideologues when you fail to grasp that you are as much a ideologue because of your religious beliefs about moral authority as are those because of their political beliefs. Those extremes are NOT adduced from evidence, NOT compiled by evidence from reality, have NO link with what’s true, and so to use this supposed moral platform to trumpet your own ability to ‘see’ the truth, to demonstrate the kind of respect for others of differing beliefs and opinions, makes you a hypocrite. Group membership does NOT afford moral authority; demonstrated moral character does. By you claiming this authority comes to your group through a shared ideological belief is deeply untrue because it has zero credibility beyond your belief it does… in exactly the same way the claim of moral authority to enable gender transitioning for children has zero credibility beyond the belief transactivists have the deem it so. All evidence adduced from reality stands contrary to this ideological claim. In other words, Pot, meet Kettle. Hence, the legitimate charge of hypocrisy… not as a accusation but a conclusion from the evidence you provide.

      2. Its a very good idea if you want to engage in discussion, not to misrepresent or lie about those you are discussing with. If you don’t understand, don’t make it up – just ask them.

        I did not, nor would ever claim that only those who have received the Good News are moral. You advocate one ideology (true classical liberals) whilst denigrating those who advocate one ideology. Your conclusion of hypocrisy is just bizzare and not remotely logical. And I note you have failed to answer the basic question – what is truth and where do we get morality from? Try again…

      3. “In all of this I am glad that we have the Good News, not only to save us, but to enable us to discern what is right and wrong and what matters in all other news…

        This is what you wrote. This is neither a ‘misrepresentation’ nor a ‘lie’ of what you actually said.

        Classical liberalism is a set of principles that crosses many ideologies including Christianity and Judaism. It is not, as you say, an ideology per se. So my charge that you are being hypocritical to argue against group identity on the one hand while promoting your own group’s access to morality remains both logical and rational and truthful and so worth your consideration rather than blanket denial.

      4. Yes – that is what I said…but that is not what you said I said. Go back and read over your own comments. When you understand them – feel free to apologise.

        Where did you get the idea that ‘classical liberalism’ is not an ideology?! What is it? A non-ideology?

        Just repeating ‘my comments are logical, rational and truthful’ doesn’t make them so.

      5. Seriously David?

        Okay.

        I said, “By claiming only those that have ‘received’ the ‘Good News’ are moral, you are forming a group. You then claim ONLY this group is moral and so ONLY your group has the ability to see the ‘truth’.”

        You then claimed this was a misrepresentation and a lie about what you wrote.

        So I quoted you: “In all of this I am glad that we have the Good News, not only to save us, but to enable us to discern what is right and wrong and what matters in all other news…”

        So let’s parse what you said. The meaning of the sentence is logically followed: to enable us to discern what is right and wrong, you claim this comes with receiving the Good News ( a cover term for describing accepting belief in a religious ideology based on faith that it is true). That means to discern what is right and wrong, the Good News is the necessary component for discernment. That’s not true. So I said that by doing so you were forming a group that cuts away your natural allies, namely those who have rejected the Good News but maintain the anti-woke principles of liberalism, one of which is respecting what’s true by adduction from reality and not by assumption of faith, although I had no need to explain this necessary component for liberalism. By forming such a faith-based group and identifying it with the ability to discern what is right and wrong as a matter of faith, you were exercising hypocrisy in that this is the same thinking mistake made by the Woke: an assumption that membership to some group imports some virtue to all of its members that trumps reality, trumps what’s true, trumps the characteristics of the individuals who constitutes them.

      6. Yes – seriously. As I suggested you should take your time and read what is said before you post about what is not said. I never said that only this group is ‘moral’. You are just making that up. Try again.

        Your explanation of why ‘liberalism’ is necessarily based upon reality and not faith – is one of the most blind faith based statements I have come across! It’s even more delicious that you thinking forming this group of like minded liberals who base all their thoughts on reality and not faith, is not actually forming a group, does not judge anyone else and is demonstrably true!

      7. If your quibble is about using the term ‘moral’ rather than what’s right and wrong, then the semantic difference is non existent.

        OED moral: “pertaining to the distinction between right and wrong”

        If your quibble is about ONLY those who received the Good News can be moral, then the logic of the sentence establishes that this knowledge is dependent on accepting the Good News. That’s why I can say you meant ONLY those who have accepted the religious ideology of your Christianity can be moral.

        QED

      8. My problem is simply that you are arguing against what I have not said. I don’t think that only one group is moral. All human beings are moral. Try again…and this time don’t drown in your own self-perceived smartness and instead try thinking…

      9. But you did say, David. And by saying it, you did what I then criticized. You also responded with ” where do we get morality from?” This indicates to me that you DO in fact believe morality ONLY comes from accepting the Good News and are prepared to argue as much. So your various responses to my original criticism I don’t think causes any reflection by you but a knee jerk reaction filled with diversions while claiming the problem here is not with what you wrote (when it is), not with what you meant (which it is) but with me misrepresenting and lying. Well, those charges you make against my reading comprehension are baseless as are those made against my intentions… leaving me wondering why you won’t consider my criticisms to have any merit (when they OBVIOUSLY do). That speaks to me about an unwillingness on your part to have an honest and meaningful dialogue that I think is of value – something you say you want, too – as well as an apparent lack of willingness on your part to even consider opinions of others that do not FIRST align with your own ASSUMPTIONS. Sadly, this is exactly how silos are made, little echo chambers. And, to be blunt, I am a firm believer in the value of different opinions – especially from those who disagree with me about anything – because I have never learned anything from anyone who first agrees wholeheartedly with me. And I don’t know about you but I know I do like to learn. That’s why I offer what I think are valuable criticisms – not because I’m right and others are wrong but because I want my beliefs and opinions to be as fully informed as possible. And when they’re not, I’m first in line to change my mind. And I will thank those who make the effort to do so. I’m better for it.

      10. This is your last chance. I did not say and I do not believe that only Christians are moral. Yet you continue with arguing against something that was not said. I can only have an ‘honest and meaningful’ dialogue with someone who actually listens and doesn’t continue to misrepresent what I said. There really is nothing more I can say….feel free to engage with it – but if you continue to engage with what I did not say then your posts will not be premitted here.

  3. “The actual figure from the last census was less than 0.01%. That will have gone up when the census is done this year (media and the YouTube dysphoria will ensure that)…”

    I don’t even remember that being on the last census! I probably just ticked a gender=male box without realising there was some “other” or “neither” option. 🙁

    Yes, it will have undoubtedly gone up now that the media has made it fashionable.

    As always, it will be interesting to see the religion statistics. The last time, the atheist lobby did a bus advertising campaign here. We will see if they do so again. I wonder if the COVID pandemic and associated economic crisis might have led more people to reflect on their life and find faith. It will be interesting to see when the results are collated and processed.

  4. In all of this I am glad that we have the Good News, not only to save us, but to enable us to discern what is right and wrong and what matters in all other news…

    Your ”chat” with Tildeb was interesting. As I know him to be a stickler for exactitude and knowing you penchant for a more generic theologically orientated turn of phrase perhaps I might have a go at interpreting the above?

    I believe you meant the ”we ” in question to be humanity in general.

    The Good News is the bible, or at least the apparent message it conveys via Jesus.

    The trouble starts with your presumption that it is only through the Good News (the message/bible/Jesus) are we able to discern morality. (distinguishing between right and wrong) .
    The part about what matters/other news we can put aside for the moment.

    Tildeb is of course spot on regarding your erroneous claims about morality, it’s source and ultimate application.

    Yet, he was wrong (misunderstood?) regarding the ”we” interpretation. Understandable, as I say he is a stickler for exactitude.

    1. It does seem as though there is a blind spot and you seem to feel a need to make things up. I don’t think that it is only through the Good News that we are able to discern morality. All of us are moral by dint of being human, made in the image of God.

      1. Apologies but I thought this this is what I said.
        Maybe you misunderstood or, more than likely I am not making myself clear enough.

        Let me try to rephrase it slightly differently.

        You believe all humans are moral creatures. Where the disagreement lies is your belief that the source of our morality is via your god, and you consider we know this through his word – the bible.

        Of course this is a theological perspective for which there is no evidence to support it.

        And this is where Tildeb and I agree.

        You import the reason – God – whereas evidence shows that evolution is the source.
        If you wish to deny evolution then this, of course, is a whole different barrel of fish.

      2. There is no evidence whatsoever from evolution that it is responsbile for morality…but of course you will continue to believe it…you have to..

      3. There is no evidence whatsoever of a supernatural entity that is said to dwell in some sort of ethereal location …but of course you will continue to believe it…you have to.

      4. Nan – not sure who or what you are referring to? You seem to have made up your own religion and then reject it! You will of course continue to have faith there is no God – because you have to!

  5. OK David, so what DID you mean by:
    ‘In all of this I am glad that we have the Good News, not only to save us, but to enable us to discern what is right and wrong and what matters in all other news…’
    Who are the referents for ‘we’ and ‘us’?
    How does HAVING ‘the Good News’ ENABLE us ‘to discern what is right and wrong’?
    Can you paraphrase your statement please.

  6. “There is no evidence whatsoever from evolution that it is responsbile for morality…”

    How can any sane person believe anyone who emits this twaddle?

    1. Please feel free to tell us scientifically how morality came from evolution? What are scientific morals? Does love evolve? Can you prove them (scientifically)? Or do you just resort to name calling and abuse?

      1. Of course morality can be proved scientifically. It HAS been proven scientifically.
        That’s what this is all about.
        The real question is why you are in such a state of denial over this?

      2. It hasnt been proven ‘scientifically’… Your friend Dawkins says there is no such thing as absolute morality…that there is no good or evil in the universe.

  7. As you love to debate, I have a post up about your denial that morality derives from evolution.
    I’m sure your fellow Christians would love you to defend this position against all the atheists that visit my spot.
    That’s if you’re up to it, of course?

    1. I don’t need to defend it. Evolution is the scientific theory of how biological life evolved. It has nothing to say about the origins of life – nor indeed morality. It is only by imposing a non-scientific belief that you can then twist it to say that morality evolved!

      1. Dr Frances Collins, became a Christian precisely because he realised that morality could not be explained solely scientifically.

        So you are saying that Collins does at least accept that morality is attributed to science even if only partly.
        Which part of science does Collins say certain (?) aspects of morality come from?

  8. David, you are playing fast and loose with the term ‘evolution’ when it’s obvious that what is being talked about is actually biology.

    There is no doubt by any reasonable person that biology undergoes changes over time through genetic inheritance subjected to environmental pressures that affect fitness, meaning the rate of successful reproduction by the species (allele frequency). Where there is a divergence by you alone in this understanding happens when we speak of terms used to describe how certain biological properties present or ’emerge’ , a collection of behaviours and associated feelings we have experienced that we call ‘love’, or call ‘morality’. These terms to describe the emergent properties as one thing – to have any meaning whatsoever – are dependent on the biology that presents these properties that emerge from what we call ‘social’ species. In other words, ‘love’ doesn’t float around like a cloud that some biological creature bumps into and/or absorbs (“receives” in David-speak) any more than ‘morality’ does. These terms do not and cannot exist as nouns independent of the very biology necessary that grants these terms meaning between biological social creatures that present them.

    I lay this difference between using the term ‘evolution’ rather than ‘biology’ because it is profoundly obtuse to suggest on the one hand that one ‘accepts’ the fact of biological evolution while, on the other, insists that certain emergent properties dependent on this biology is magically independent of it… and to go even further into counter-factual belief and also insist that what these terms represent comes from some non-biological source… even a supernatural force or agency… without any explanation of how this might occur, by what mechanism, in what way, how such a supposedly non-material thing like a god or a cosmic intelligent tweaker can influence material things! To add insult to injury of not respecting what’s demonstrably true (the nod Ark makes towards ‘science’, the method by which we can actually know something about a real thing that has physical, chemical properties), but insist that these emergent properties are therefore immune from evolutionary mechanisms, is a stand that has no basis from evidence that reality provides us but stands in direct opposition to overwhelming evidence from biology that indicates this is, in fact (in ‘science’) well known and highly documented. The wave of your hand does not eliminate this body of knowledge no matter how ‘virtuous’ you think such wave is.

    So there is cause to suggest anyone who holds fast to such a belief that biology somehow ‘receives’ these properties from some ‘thing’ or some ‘agency’ independent of the biology that exhibits the group of properties (through behaviour) we call ‘love’ or ‘morality’ stands contrary to both fact and rationality; it is an irrational belief you hold BECAUSE it has no basis or evidence from reality on which to believe it might be the case. By all means show us differently! A Nobel awaits you, David!

    So the claim of ‘receiving’ these accumulation of behaviours labeled ‘love’ or ‘morality’ (terms in language we use to describe these emergent properties) from some source independent of biology is ENTIRELY faith-based and is, demonstrably, in conflict with profound evidence from reality (JZ has listed the very tip of the iceberg in this area of study). The term commonly used to describe beliefs in conflict with reality is, ‘Wrong’. Your belief that morality is not based on biology (or subject to what you call ‘evolution’) is wrong. In fact, it’s so wrong it’s not even wrong: it clearly falls squarely into what is called a ‘delusion (defined as “An idiosyncratic belief or impression maintained despite being contradicted by reality or rational argument,”). Yup, you are supporting a faith-based (religious) delusion.

    1. Evolution is just biology. Not sure what distinction you are trying to make.

      Love is not just biology.

      I did not say that morality has nothing to do with biology (again you seem to have this unique gift of arguing against what people do not say)…after all we are not disembodied beings – but biology alone does not explain or create morality.

      Your belief that morality is based on biology is entirely faith based and falls squarely into what is called a delusion (or the Bible calls foolish). Yep – you are supporting a faith based secular delusion.

      1. So what is ‘it’ we are receiving (the two examples used are ‘love’ and ‘morality’ but sure, let’s stick to morality) and from where does it come if it’s not just and only biology? As I have already declared (which you conveniently waved away yet again) if you have ANY evidence contrary to my claim from reality itself about morality’s singular source, then SHOW it. I also pointed out you could win a Nobel with such an evidence- adduced claim because it’s so far removed from reality that it would shake the very foundations of biology as a science. Please, enlighten the world not just for me but for the greater glory of how insightful your religious beliefs are beyond the boundary of faith alone and right to the heart of evolutionary biology…

        It’s neither clever nor helpful to repeat what I said but reverse the claims as if this magically diverts the truth of the criticism made against your delusional claim but makes them to be equivalent. They are not equivalent. My understanding about morality coming from biology is not a faith-based belief like your delusional whatsoever; the claim I make is absolutely and completely evidence-adduced from reality. This can be demonstrated many, many, many ways for anyone who actually is interested in what’s true and knowable; yours, to be clear, cannot be demonstrated at all in any way other than by simply believing it to be so and rejecting everything reality has to say in the matter. So my claim is neither delusion nor foolish because unlike yours it does not meet the definition of either. So your conclusion that I am supporting a ‘secular’ faith-based delusion is wrong at every step, not because I make an equivalently empty claim like you have done but because the terms you have selected are incompatible with each other. And so your conclusion of equivalency is not just wrong, but irrational.

      2. We are talking about morality. My morality is founded and based upon love. Yours may not be – but then your morality seems based on very little! Chemistry? I am not the one making the claim that morality comes from evolution alone – that is your claim. And to keep repeating that your faith based belief is not a faith based belief does not make the claim true. You do actually need to provide some evidence.

        I assume from your comments that you disagree with Richard Dawkins that absolute morality is impossible without an absolute God? Or that the universe is in and of itself ‘amoral’ and has no good and evil. Your claims cannot be demonstrated…all you do is start with your presupposition that the only reality is material or natural and then keep going round in circles arguing from that premise. It is the very definition of delusion – ‘”the fool has said in his heart, there is no God’.

      3. What we call morality comes from biology. These present as emergent properties physically, emotionally, and chemically. These displays through behaviour starts in infancy. These behaviours cross many species boundaries. I am not going to try to present you with the gamut of evidence for this, which is overwhelming. It is an entire field of study. Only you are trying to portray this as ‘evolution’. I am being as clear as I can be that morality – the distinction we exhibit through behaviour of the principles concerning right and wrong and/or good and bad behavior – can be shown beyond any reasonable doubt to not only come from the biology of any social creature but is fundamental to development. In contrast, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever of any kind that these properties come from anywhere else. But I invite you yet again to provide such evidence. If you cannot do so, then there is something fundamentally wrong with your position, David.

        Please stop trying to change the channel and make this about ‘secular’ or ‘atheist’ or ‘Dawkins’ or the Bible or whatever. If you disagree that morality as I’ve described comes from somewhere else, then show it please. If you cannot show this evidence, then understand please that your position is unlike mine in that my position simply recognizes the facts of this matter and has nothing to do with anything other than what reality shows us to be the case. How you wish to comport these facts with you contrary beliefs has nothing to do with me, nothing to do with knowledge, nothing to do with reality. That’s the problem your claim has; not mine.

      4. Keeping repeating something does not make it true. ‘Morality comes from biology’. The evidence for this is not overwhelming. In fact such an eminent scientist, Dr Frances Collins, became a Christian precisely because he realised that morality could not be explained solely scientifically. Perhaps you know better than such an eminent scientist?

        And no – its not only me that tries to portray this as ‘evolution’. I would suggest you find out a little more before you post such self-contradictory nonsense. You are talking about a theory of evolutionary biology which claims that morality can be explained in evolutionary terms only.

        Yes – this is precisely about secular and atheists. Would you care to say whether you disagree with Dawkins claim that the universe has no properties of good and evil? Your position so far has offered no facts and no evidence…just assertion after assertion….

      5. Hey, we actually agree on something! Morality – like numbers – cannot be weighed and measured because ‘it’ has no physical properties. I like it that Three-Frozen-Waterfalls Collins agrees with this. But so what? Newton believed in alchemy. Doyle in the spirit realm. A certain president in the power of light to kill an internal viral infection. Belief don’t make the person; the person makes the beliefs. Some beliefs are justified by reality’s arbitration of them to have merit. Some are not. I’ve even heard that some people actually believe wafers and wine, spoken over with magic words by specially sanctified cloaked men, turn into the body and blood of some ancient dude. Not representative wafers and wine, mind you, but actual transubstantiation. I know… crazy, right? But atheists are accused of being cannibals? Riiiiggght.

        I’ve asked and asked and asked you to produce evidence for your claim that we ‘ receive’ morality from some exterior source other than our biology. You keep saying I only assert it comes from biology – ignoring the fact that I’ve already given you enough evidence in related fields of study about the set of behaviours we use to indicate good and bad, right and wrong (I really have given you the dictionary definition of morality over and over again soi we know what is being talked about here) to keep you busy for years if you so wish. But you continue to misrepresent as only my assertion the biological source of morality – and that this compendium of knowledge available to all is in your opinion insufficient.

        Well, okay. If you insist. But the point here is that you’ve offered… umm… well, nothing to indicate a counterclaim is anything but wishful thinking. Come on, David. Demonstrate some…. reason…. supported by evidence from reality for thinking morality does NOT come from our biology when there is every indication it does.

        Empathy is not buried in some rock strata. Sympathy doesn’t grow only on the north side of trees. Mirror neurons and their central role in activating by exterior stimulation aren’t inhaled. These are biology in action. The results are what we call morality. There is a direct causal link between this specific biology, its development not just in a single life but over many thousands of generations, and the presentation of morality. That’s just a fact. A direct causal link. Biology unidirectional to producing morality.

        Until you offer at least that much in your insistence that morality is received and not 100% biologically produced, you in fact have nothing to support your counter-factual belief. Nothing. This is becoming more and more obvious. Pointing your finger outwards for your position’s utter lack of substance is a diversion and not a difference of honest and legitimate opinion.

        This raises an interesting problem: why is your faith-based belief so brittle that it cannot be shaped by reality without breaking?

      6. You seem a little confused. You ask for evidence that morality comes from more than biology and then seem to be saying that it doesn’t – then you say it is 100% from biology. That is the statement we are discussing – and you have not offered a single bit of evidence for that (at best your ‘evidence’ just simply shows that biology influences morality – something I don’t deny). It is your extreme naturalism that is the question here – and for which you have no evidence.

        I’m still interested in your views of Dawkins claim that the universe has no moral properties.

        All of this raises an interesting problem: why is your faith based belief so brittle that it cannot be shaped by reality without breaking? (when Frances Collins – who I assume you admit may know something about biology? – was faced with the question of where morality came from – he realised that biology alone was not an adequate explanation and ended up becoming a Christian – time for you to face reality? Or will you continue with your head in the sand?)..

      7. I am not confused in the least. I am awaiting your evidence that the source of morality comes from somewhere other than our biology. Sure, play word games to avoid backing up your alternative claim with evidence, use diversionary tactics to avoid backing up your alternative claim with evidence, introduce other names for and against and whatever, play even more word games to avoid the inevitable, but show your evidence, David. Without that evidence, you’ve got nothing but a contra-factual claim that is unequivocally and fully faith-based. And to keep insisting that my claim about biology as the source of morality , for which there is all kinds of evidence as I’ve already mentioned, is equivalently faith-based is simply not true; doing so repeatedly is an intentional misrepresentation of an evidence-adduced conclusion any reasonable person would accept because it is backed by many evidence from many avenues of inquiry. Apples and… bicycles.

      8. Ok – you’re done. You are the one making the claim that morality is 100% biology. You are the one who keeps refusing to back up that claim – despite your protestations that you have done so. (note – saying that biology affects morality is not the same as saying it is 100% resposbile for morality). You are the one who refuses to answer basic questions (ie. Dawkins claim that there is no morality in the universe)…. It is fairly clear why you refuse to countenance anything out of your own narrow circle of reference – you wish to cling on to your materialist faith – no matter what. I feel so sorry for you – if you live consisently with your philosophy that love is just a biological reaction – then you must have a really sad life. It’s about time you realised that there is no much more to life. You are much more than ‘a blob of carbon floating from one meaningless existence to another’.

      9. Back to your word games, I see. The issue was the SOURCE of morality. That SOURCE starts with our biology and we inherit the genes necessary for EXPRESSING everything that the term ‘morality’ represents. For this claim is a huge amount of evidence that continues to mount, not least of which is the absence of any evidence of ANY OTHER SOURCE for this sense we call morality. Biology is sufficient an answer. That you refuse to accept this is not my pathology but yours.

        You say there is some other SOURCE. Well? Show some evidence for that counter claim. If you cannot show any evidence for this OTHER source, then you have no legitimate reason for believing otherwise. Your belief matches the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual definition of holding a delusion and then acting upon it. I worry for you.

        My apparent shortcomings for your inability to come up with evidence to back up your claim is also weird and, to be frank, rather disturbing. It’s a hostile version of Whataboutery. All of these diversions you put on display to avoid coming up with evidence from reality to back up your reasons for maintaining this belief about some other SOURCE of morality are at best moot. You should be aware of this. If you’re not aware, then learn why these tactics are the tactics of an apologist for what is not true, a person unwilling to stand behind and be responsible for what they claim is the case.

        Show us why you think morality has some other SOURCE that our biology – with evidence from reality rather than more faith-based claims of authority that it is so – and we can discuss this further like reasonable people. But maybe my estimation that you can actually do this is misplaced. I have a growing suspicion that you cannot do this simple thing because your brittle faith will not sustain any reasonable doubt about it claims regarding reality. To any honest person, this would be highly concerning.

        I also suspect you will simply censor me and pretend the problem you have that I raise supporting claims about reality that don’t align with your faith-based beliefs with magically disappear. They won’t. They will eat away at you and, if the letters from the Clergy Project are any indication, you will have to spend more and more time and effort hiding your reasonable doubts… in the service of a lie.

      10. As I said – you are done. Your continual refusal to actually engage with anything that is said, your ability to repeat your same faith mantras and your unwillingness to actually answer any of the questions put to you has become tiresome. Unless you can actually do this I won’t be posting any more of your repetitive posts!

        You claim that morality is 100% biological (in its source). You are the one who should provide evidence for that claim. Despite repeated requests you have been unable to do so.

        The irony is that you seem to think my faith is brittle (it would have to be extraordinarily brittle to be challenged by your non-sense!) whereas it is clear that your unwillingness and inability to engage outwith your own narrow, closed materialist perspective, is evidence that your own faith (in your own ability) is, understandably , brittle.

        In this closed world in which you live – you not only make up your own world and faith – but others too. You seem to think that I will be so stunned by the brilliance of your arguments that my faith will gradually be eroded and I will eventually end up like the hypocrites from the Clergy project. You are so far of the mark it’s risable. I have seen and dealt with far more serious arguments than the somewhat amateur and juvenile repetitions you keep posting. One day you will have to answer to God for what you have done with the knowledge he has given you. Meanwhile (unless you can come up with something substantial) I leave you with the thoughts of one pre-eminent scientist who came to faith because he realised that biology alone could not provide the basis for morality – https://www.closertotruth.com/interviews/2013

      11. I would like to see what evidence you have, David.

        There’s decades of exhaustive studies that have produce unambiguous evidence showing Tildeb is correct.

        What do you have?

      12. Sure – please feel free to let us know the ‘decades of exhaustive studies’ that show that morality comes solely from biology. Or were you just making that up?

      13. There are dozens upon dozens of studies, but you can start with the more accessible work of Marc Bekoff, Ken Binmore, and Sarah Brosnan which have repeatedly demonstrated that the two pillars of morality (reciprocity and empathy) are present in highly complex forms in non-human animals. This body of work demonstrates that this sense of right and wrong arises from evolution… that it is a product of biological/neurological complexity sharpened inside social species.

        Rather than post links to studies (which you can find easily) here’s a quick, easy to watch video.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meiU6TxysCg

        Now, can you please show us what evidence you have for, as Tildeb put it, this “other source” which you claim exists.

        I would be very interested to see it.

      14. You keep posting videos and Google links which don’t answer the question – which is not do animals have some kind of morality (sense of right and wrong) – and the links don’t even prove that – but is morality exclusively based in biology. Until you actually present evidence for that I won’t keep posting your videos answering a different question. What a sad life you must live – if you live according to your beliefs that love, peace, joy, goodness, evil etc are just chemical/biological reactions!

      15. I just typed in Marc Bekoff into Google Scholar, and this is just the FIRST of pages of his papers/studies/experiments

        “Wild justice and fair play: cooperation, forgiveness, and morality in animals”

        https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FsBIPH-004-0539-x

        So, evidence presented, and you have weeks of reading material by just following those three names I gave. There are, of course, DOZENS of other researchers whose work merely confirms what Tildeb has has said.

        So, now please present your evidence…

      16. Yes – we can all Google and seek confirmation bias. I would prefer you to answer the question – can you show the studies that show morality is exclusively from biology…

  9. I have to presume for the moment that you accept evolution as fact. (And please, don’t immediately come back and state: ”No, it is a theory”, as this will only mean you are being obtuse and are refusing to recognise that evolution is factand a theory and more importantly why.)

    So, as evolution is fact – and you accept this – then, if we accept your premise that human morality is derived from Yahweh, it follows, therefore, that Yahweh – as the claimed creator of all things – is responsible not only for morality but also evolution.
    As humans are an evolved/evolving species – and evidence tells us this is fact – It follows therefore that, morality derives from evolution.

    So, in essence, the only real area of dispute is whether Yahweh, as the creator of all things, is responsible for evolution?

    There is no evidence to suggests Yahweh exists, so for me, I will stick with the evidence that can be demonstrated to be fact.

  10. Interesting debate. The big philosophical question is how we get from the sein to the sollen, from the is to the ought. A highly intelligent visitor from Mars or even further afield comes along and (s)he observes what is going on among us, the behaviours that we uphold and strive for and that are publicly promoted even if often flouted in practice. The visitor makes notes on all of this and concludes, Yes, there is some force at work here. But when (s)he asks, why do you have to live like this? Why are you trying to order your lives this way? Well, what answer can be given in terms the Martian would understand? Moral structures in society imply some idea of obligation and it’s not enough to say, this is evolutionary programming. The Martian would then reply, Are you automata? To which the answer is obviously no. So there is some kind of choice involved, and how are some choices exalted over others? If it’s anything less than programming it just boils down to some customs that have grown up, which anthropologists might be interested in but not many others. If you rely solely on evolutionary biology as the source of morality then what moral basis is there for respecting that amalgam? And is the “immoral” person not also fulfilling his/her evolutionary imperative? Or might (s)he be up on the next rung of the ladder? Just as the Russian Bolsheviks were (despite being bourgeois themselves) in the vanguard of the proletarian revolutionary consciousness. Evolutionary morality in my view provides no basis for obligation.
    GK Chesterton in one of the Father Brown stories, maybe even the very first one, has Father Brown speculating that even if we were to reach the furthest planet of the furthest star we would find a placard with the words emblazoned in fiery letters: “Little boys ought not to tell lies”.

    1. SR, thanks for your thoughts on this.

      Firstly, you raise some interesting points but I can’t help wonder if you are familiar with developmental psychology. What you call ‘obligation’ is defined under the term ‘reciprocity’ and this sense can be clearly shown to be available and used by infants. Under the term falls definitive awareness and concern for fairness and a unambiguous preference for what we might call ‘good’ (pro-social) behaviours. The ONLY source for this preference before a month of age is the biology the baby is born with. But you go much, much further and assume reciprocity means cemented coding, which it doesn’t. At all. In fact, brain plasticity plays a major role in changes to our neurology, including testing. (See the teenage years for just this.) This testing certainly includes various challenges to our inherited sense of reciprocity. This does not negate the evolutionary inheritance each of has regarding how reciprocity influences morality but helps explain why (see the Trolley experiments) the same result can be classified by intention on either end of the moral spectrum. In other words, something like ‘killing’ can be justified as morally ‘right and good’ in this situation but morally ‘wrong and evil’ in that. Morality properly understood as a spectrum bookended by ‘right and wrong, good and evil’ means it’s not a thing but a tool we use for comparison. This tool is not just a personal one but can be extended outwards to the motivations and intentions of others we must consider before making a moral judgement. But the tool remains firmly linked with our biology no matter how we may use or misuse or even abuse it later.

      Secondly, you also seem to be under the impression that evolutionary mechanisms contain some measure of ‘respect’ for anything other than fitness. Evolution writ large is a blunt natural and unguided material process measured only by uncaring, unconcerned, unregulated fitness… even if that fitness leads to planetary annihilation of all life! Evolution just is and operates with as much foresight as gravity. Absolute indifference.

      Thirdly, I don’t know where you’ve been if you are unaware of the never-ending debate about what we call ‘free will’ which lies at the heart of being what amounts to a biological automaton (also described by you as “programming” and/or “evolutionary imperative”, both of which greatly distort what evolution means in regards to the inheritance of genes favourable to fitness, some of which code to certain emergent properties like language and numeracy and susceptibility to various kinds of patterning), versus the idea we are an agent independent of this ‘source’ by something other than biology. There is no evidence for the latter. What there is evidence for is, as I already said, the use, misuse and abuse of our shared inheritance of reciprocity as we live but this in no way affects the biological source for that sense of reciprocity we genetically inherit. Please direct the Martian to an evolutionary biologist to gain a much better understanding of why the ‘source’ of morality is our biology, which is then expressed in many, many ways.

      Thirdly, I’ll leave the ‘oughts’ alone in any claims that do not involve reality to the philosophers and theologians who excel at spending much time and effort in such debate. Science as a method of inquiry deals only with what is and what can be known. I find that more than enough to inform the principles of morality I hold and exhibit, second to no one ever… even if I find I do not always live up to them as well as I might have. Imagine that, as human as the next person! I suspect you are the same!

    2. Another way to think of ‘morality’ is similar to the idea we call ‘quantity’. We are born with this ability to recognize and respond to differences in quantity. This makes it an inherited ‘property’ that then emerges in a variety of ways. To claim that our sense of quantity comes from somewhere else because this understanding of differences present differently in different languages and cultures (symbols, numbers, letters, pictures, said in this language or that, and so on) is equivalently without evidence as is the claim morality comes from somewhere else because it presents in so many different ways (reciprocity, fairness, empathy, sympathy, altruism, and so on). The source is biological because that is where all the evidence – and I mean all – indicates it starts: a fundamental awareness that is then applied in a variety of ways… because it’s a ‘useful’ property compared to not having it when it comes to promoting fitness.

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