Category: Equality

Secularists – if you believe morality is subjective, you can’t complain about the Ulster rugby trial (or anything else)

Subjective morality, the idea that there are no moral absolutes, no such thing as “just wrong” – merely differing cultural and circumstantial opinions – is pretty much the dominant philosophy in Western culture today.

And I can see the appeal. I mean, who wants to be told what they can and can’t do? As I’m often told, “you can’t force your morality down someone else’s throat, you intolerant old sea weasel!” Subjective morality is an easy position to adopt because you get to live how you want and nobody can accuse you of doing wrong. Each to their own and all that.

But here’s the catch: if you believe morality is subjective, and you wish to remain logically consistent within this belief, then there are a few things you can’t complain about. Like the following:

1. The Ulster rugby trial

Without wanting to comment on the verdict of the trial, because I’m not a barrister and I don’t know all the facts, one verdict that we can be sure of is this: in terms of pure misogyny, the defendants make Harvey Weinstein look like Moominpappa.

But who are we to judge? Remember, there is no such thing as “just wrong,” so saying “misogyny is wrong” makes no sense. What rational justification is there within a subjective moral framework to deny these men – who were simply creating their own meaning in life – the chance to play rugby again? You don’t like their womanising behaviour? Really? I don’t like the behaviour of people who noisily eat crisps on public transport while whistling through their nose, but I’m not about to become all shouty and righteously indignant over it. Unless the crisps are prawn cocktail.

2. Pro-life protestors outside abortion clinics

We’re often told that pro-life protestors intimidate and harass vulnerable women (“Really? REALLY?!” says the soon-to-be-assassinated fetus), and that such behaviour is wicked and evil and wrong.

Of course, to make any of these claims requires evil and wicked and wrong to be actual things, which moral subjectivists flat-out deny, so to confirm its existence by calling abortion protestors these things pulls the rug from under their entire argument.

So, the simple answer to moral subjectivists who think abortion clinic protestors are wrong is this: if you don’t like protesting outside abortion clinics, don’t protest outside abortion clinics! Ha! See now how this argument works? See? Now?

3. Homophobia (and all the other phobias)

If morality is subjective, equality is a nonsensical concept. It simply doesn’t exist. In fact, it says so in the very title of the book that many secularists and subjectivists hold up as proof that their view is correct – Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.

Did you read that? Preservation of favoured races. Stronger races will be preserved, weaker races will be obliterated. No equality here. It’s right there in the secular bible. You don’t even have to read beyond the front cover or anything.

Equality entails treating people right, and right depends on good, which, if what Darwin taught is true, doesn’t exist. In this regard, subjective morality is the ultimate pro-choice position because it allows for all choices – even the choice to be homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic and so on.

4. Chemical attacks

The former head of American Atheists, David Silverman, said during this debate that the Holocaust wasn’t objectively wrong. Although Silverman undoubtedly thinks that such acts are terrible, he has no choice, if he wishes to remain consistent within his atheism, but to deny their just wrongness. The logical conclusion of that, then, is that chemical attacks on innocent civilians aren’t objectively wrong, either.

For an example closer to home, Paddy Kielty’s powerful documentary showed that there’s no regret to be had when ussuns kills themuns because the beauty of subjective morality means that you can force (deadly force, if necessary) your morality on others if it’s in the interest of tribe survival and your personal ethics allow it.

Moral subjectivity makes it impossible to have any kind of meaningful discussion regarding ethical behaviour. There’s nothing to talk about. A conversation on moral behaviour involves juxtaposing one view against another to find out which one is best. But if morals are subjective, there is no reason to view one position over another. You can’t even call something as barbaric as the Holocaust “just wrong”. The best thing a moral subjectivist can do during such a discussion is top up the electric and make the tea.

Living like God exists

The irony of all this is that moral subjectivists often pride themselves on their moral superiority (check out any humanist or atheist Internet group for evidence of this). There’s nobody on the planet quicker at telling you how tolerant and non-judgemental than they are. Moral subjectivists are not like the rest of us insufferable bigots.

In other words, they preach a gospel of moral subjectivity, but when a story like the Ulster rugby trial breaks, or when someone is harassed because of their sexual orientation, their gospel turns out to be a false one that belies who they really are – human beings made in the image of God, coded with an intrinsic moral sense. Their cries of injustice and wrongdoing only make sense in light of the biblical worldview they reject, which is why, if they wish to live in a civil society, they must live like God exists.

 

Don’t like human trafficking? Don’t traffic humans! Why we need to #TrustTraffickers and judge less

The world is full of narrow-minded zealots.

Take a look, for example, at those religious nutjobs who are against human trafficking. They’re too busy imposing their bronze-age morality on the rest of us that they fail to see that human trafficking is not a black and white issue. In fact, there are some totes amaze arguments in favour of it.

Behold:

Trafficked humans would only be living in poverty anyway

There are over 100,000 homeless people in Northern Ireland alone. If we keep human trafficking illegal, that figure will continue to increase. Nobody wants that.

Additionally, many studies have shown that when people come out of a life of being trafficked, they sink into abject poverty, don’t achieve very much, or end up in prison or dead.

Human trafficking, on the other hand, is caring and compassionate; it keeps the trafficked person alive, fed, housed, and out of prison – meaning much less crime on our streets, too.

Anti-traffickers only care about freedom, they don’t care what happens to a person once they’re free

People take up a lot of resources. As anyone who has ever had a human live in their house will testify, they’re really very expensive. From the exorbitant costs of living to the endless pile of stuff they demand, like mobile phones and tins of Monster.

So, if we take away trafficking, who’s going to give all these millions of suddenly-free people a home? I don’t see anti-traffickers queuing up to give them ALL a home, do you?

No – every free human being should be a WANTED free human being. And until anti-traffickers start caring for already-free people, they have no business telling the rest of us what to do. Unless a human being is wanted, the caring thing to do is traffic it.

Banning human trafficking does not stop human trafficking

The main reason anti-traffickers want to keep human trafficking illegal, other than to impose their morals on the rest of us, is that doing so will reduce its frequency. But the data says otherwise. According to the International Labour Organization, there were 40.3 million humans trafficked globally in 2016 – most of which were in countries where trafficking is already illegal! So obviously keeping it illegal doesn’t help. It just stops safe trafficking.

A friend of mine, Mauricio – who only wants to go by his first name because of the horrible stigma attached to trafficking, and for fear of being arrested – trafficks humans in his home village of Lambeg.

Teary-eyed, with his once immaculate three-tier ebony mullet now unkempt with the stress, he recently told me, “Restricting access to human trafficking makes no significant difference to the number of people being trafficked. Instead, restrictions on human trafficking make it more likely that poor people looking to make a better life for themselves will turn to backstreet traffickers. In 2018, this is unacceptable.”

Did you read that? Yes, it’s 2018. Therefore, any other opinion is wrong because it’s older. And older things are inferior to present day things. Don’t ask me how. They just are.

It’s morally wrong to impose your morals on someone else

I’m all for freedom of religious belief. However, when religious beliefs impede on secular beliefs, then we need to ensure that secular beliefs come out on top – because secular beliefs are neutral. And that’s a scientific fact. So, religious people don’t have a right to tell other people how to behave, which is why it’s important to tell them – forcefully, if necessary – that they need to behave more secularly. Or else.

But by far the biggest problem I find with those against human trafficking – in my experience mostly Christians – is when they quote their “holy” book. Well, you can just quote it right back at them – “Judge not, that ye be not judged”.

What the God-botherers fail to understand here is that Jesus didn’t say anything specific about human trafficking, therefore it’s totally cool. And if Jesus thinks it’s cool, it’s cool. Even though I don’t think Jesus even existed.

The point is, all beliefs are good, but I believe that the religious have no right to force their beliefs on others – especially when it comes to sensitive and emotive issues like trafficking. So just stop being so judgemental, OK?

If you don’t like human trafficking, don’t traffick humans

This is the best argument for everything, ever. It is the platinum rule, not just for human trafficking, but for EVERYTHING that people disagree with you on! If you don’t like the idea of human trafficking, no one is forcing you to traffic humans. Mind your own business.

Your anti-trafficking opinion will not change the fact that traffickers traffic people every day. Old traffickers, young traffickers, poor traffickers, rich traffickers – they all traffic humans on a daily basis, and nobody’s opinion is going to change that.

In summary, anyone who values progress and empathy should support traffick rights because being pro-traffic means a lot of wonderful things – among them, the belief that trafficking should be safe, legal, accessible, entirely paid for by your taxes and carried out with empathy and non-judgement.

Only a hateful, bigoted fool would disagree. RIGHT!?!??!!

Four (and a bit) reasons why the world would be a darker place without Christ

Human beings are sinful, so it should come as no surprise that Christianity has a less-than-perfect past. There are lunatics on the fringe of every movement and bad actors in every play. Despite this, when it comes to transforming societies for the better, Christianity is peerless.

In today’s increasingly-secular society, however, detractors and sceptics rejoice in heaping judgement and scorn on Christianity – but it rarely asks, “compared to what?”

The “what” is usually some form of secular utopia. But secular utopias have an abysmal track record, with hundreds of millions killed for ‘the greater good’ by the apostles Darwin, Marx, and Nietzsche. Secularism, wherever it has been officially implemented, has produced some of the most efficient butchers the world has ever known.

And then there’s Islam. Yeah.

So – when a society combines secularism and a charitable view of Islam and calls it “progress,” it jettisons 2000 years of human history. But the history is clear: the life and teachings of Jesus have not only revolutionised our thinking about God but have had a tremendous impact on civilization that continues to this day around the world. Here are four (and a bit) reasons why.

1. Scientific Endeavour

Way back when we knew little about how the world worked, Christians, inspired by a belief that the world was designed and purposed, reckoned that, if they went looking, they would discover a fine-tuned and law-abiding universe. And that’s exactly what they found.

The atheist, by contrast, had no reason to look for anything because built into atheism is the a priori assumption that everything just happened. An atheist expecting to find reason and order in the universe is like someone expecting the mess of a broken egg to spell out the winning lottery numbers.

Christianity, on the other hand, taught that there was a single rational being called God, giving rise to the possibility of scientific laws. And being made in the image of a rational God meant that Christians could employ a rational process to investigate the world in which they lived.

And we don’t have to look hard for evidence of this. Nearly all the founders of modern science were devout Christians (Keppler, Bacon, Boyle, Pascal, Pasteur, Newton, etc.) History professor Rodney Stark writes:

“The leading scientific figures in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries overwhelmingly were devout Christians who believed it was their duty to comprehend God’s handiwork.”

It’s true that other religions and philosophies were around too at this time, but, as Stark suggests, science could not have arisen from these worldviews:

“Unlike the godless religions of Asia and the capricious gods of other faiths, the God of the Bible was a rational Being whose creation operated on laws that were discoverable and could be applied to solving problems for the benefit of mankind —an understanding essential for the rise of science.”

2. Charity. Lots and lots of charity.

Evolutionary psychology reduces all human behaviour to masked self-interest, so charity within an atheistic secular framework is nothing more than mutual back scratching.

Perhaps this explains the miserable dearth of expressly atheistic charitable efforts in the world (unless it’s to give the middle finger to Christians or to point people away from charities that disagree with them on cultural issues). Other religious cultures, with their caste systems and Jizyas, fare little better.

But Christianity is radically different from everything else on the market. Christianity teaches that all are made equal in the image of God, regardless of social standing, race, ability, or gender (more on that later). Jesus’ ministry called for His followers to serve the neediest, lowest, and most despised in society, even (and especially) if they don’t get their backs scratched in return. In fact, Jesus’ teachings have had such a transformative impact on our charitable thinking that it’s easy to imagine a world akin to a Mad Max film had He never been born.

There are, of course, some worthy secular charities, but they mainly exist within the realm of a cruciform West. And it’s the Christian charities that, as they always have done, lead the way. Take for example the following charities, all founded upon expressly Christian convictions: the Salvation Army, Tear Fund, Children’s Hunger Fund, World Vision, Home Leone, Christian Aid, Christians Against Poverty, Bernardo’s, the Free Burma Rangers – a church-funded group of ex-soldiers who rescue civilians from the grip of ISIS (4:45s into this video shows them going out under sniper fire to rescue a small girl hiding underneath her dead mother’s dress). I could go on, but it’s important to keep a word limit on a blog.

3. Human rights.

Feminists in vagina hats think that they were the first to #TrustWomen, but they’re wrong. Jesus beat them to it 2000 years ago – and it didn’t involve killing any unborn children.

Think about this: the resurrection is a sine qua non of the Christian faith. Without the resurrection, Christianity is hokum and all Christians are dupes. So it’s remarkable that the first people to witness the resurrected Christ – that is, the people in whom the entire validity of the Christian story was entrusted to – were women. And this was at a time when the testimony of a woman was less than that of a dog’s. Put that in your progressive pipe and smoke it.

This high view of women continued throughout the ages. In the Greco-Roman world, it was common practice to throw female newborns out to die from exposure, such was the low status of females. The church, which has always been counter-cultural, forbade its members to do so. The anti-choice bigots.

The rights of children, too, have benefitted immensely from Christianity. In the ancient world, infanticide, much like abortion today, was not only legal but applauded and sometimes considered an act of beauty. Thanks to a right understanding of human value and equality, it was the early Christian church that put an end to it.

We see the same thing today. There is no shortage of secular ideologues who question the value of disabled and unwanted human beings. Some even argue outright for infanticide. This is because they have exchanged the Creator for something in creation (in secular atheism’s case, God is exchanged for materialism – the belief that nothing exists except matter). And in doing so, they have exchanged a high view of humans made in God’s image for a low view of humans made in the image of matter. And how do people treat matter? Well, that depends if it’s useful or not. If you’re useful to society, great, you’re in. If not, then, to quote Richard Dawkins, “abort it and try again”.

In sharp contrast, the concept of true human equality comes exclusively from the biblical idea that human beings are more than the sum of their matter. They are created in the image of God, so the emergence of human rights from Christianity is merely par for the course. This is why there are so many Christian charities. This is why there are so many hospitals (and universities) named after saints.

Of course, as I pointed out at the start, not all Christians – or at least those who claim to be Christian – have been respecters of human rights, but in order to behave that way, they must ignore every fundamental edict of Christ in order to do so.

4. Art, Music, & Literature

Firstly, let me be upfront here and apologise, on behalf of Christians everywhere, for Christian rock.

Right. Now that that’s out of the way, it’s uncontroversial to say that the impact of Christianity on the arts has been immeasurable, influencing such literary greats as Dante, Chaucer, Donne, Lewis, Tolkien, Dostoevsky, Shakespeare, Dickens, etc., etc.

The powerful impact of Christianity on storytelling makes sense because at the core of every story – whether it’s a film, song, or poem – is a saviour (this is why superhero films are so popular) and an objective understanding of good and evil. These innate human truths and desires are only logically and coherently supported within a biblical framework. As Tolkien poignantly put it:

“Man the story-teller would have to be redeemed in a manner consonant with his nature: by a moving story. But since the author of it is the supreme Artist and the Author of Reality, this one was also made . . . to be true on the Primary Plane.”

You’ll not hear anything close to that level of insight coming from Dan Brown.

Christ also greatly inspired the works of greats like Handel, Vivaldi, and Bach (or MC Hammer, if you’re so inclined) – musicians working to honour God with their work (Bach signed all his works with Soli Deo Gloria (“Solely to the glory of God”)) – and the results are pieces of timeless beauty. Not to mention Gospel choirs and all the hymns we’re familiar with.

While there is, of course, plenty of great non-Christian music, espousing secular ideas from the heartfelt to the dangerous to the vapid, Atheists Don’t Have No Songs. That’s because atheism is nothing to sing about – and the atheist soul knows it, even if the atheist doesn’t. And other religions, beyond repetitive chanting, aren’t exactly renowned for their musical output, either.

Then there’s art and architecture, both of which have been magnificently impacted by Christ. While much of modern art trades on the currency of subjectivity, producing art that is literally piss, classical Christian art brings out the best of humanity by pointing us to a higher plane; just look at all the incredible architecture, particularly the magnificent cathedrals of Europe. Humanists can keep their Premier Inn conference rooms adorned with Ikea prints; give me an old church building to look at any day of the week.

Regardless of one’s beliefs, the powerful Christian impact on societies that take the above seriously should be recognised by anyone interested in truth. The bigger question, which falls outside the scope of this blog, is will our secularised society be willing to put aside the Enlightenment myths and acknowledge just how much they have benefitted from living in a culture built on the beliefs they now abhor?

Alas, probably not.

Dear Alliance Party, is there room in your party for a public representative who believes gay sex is a sin?

On the eve of Gay Pride — a massive, brightly-coloured celebration consisting of not-always-clothed people gyrating and pouting in a bid to tell the whole world that what they do with their genitals is no one’s business — the words of Tim Stanley ring truer than ever: “being tolerant is not merely enough; you must celebrate. Otherwise, there is no place for you in politics”.

We’re at the stage now where the diktats of our new illiberal liberal society demand that not only are we to tolerate leftist ideologies such as abortion and same-sex marriage, we must also celebrate them. It is not enough to say, “I disagree with your ideas, but I respect you” — we must also drive a rainbow-coloured float to work each morning while a team of feminists throw handfuls of abortion pills at passers-by to the tune of Bad Romance blasting out over giant nipple-shaped speakers.

Take Tim Farron, for example. Despite not proposing a single policy that would adversely affect the LGBTQ+ community or abortion law, he wasn’t rainbow-affirming or abortion-loving enough and so quickly found himself in breach of Liberal Democrat orthodoxy. In other words, Tim Farron was too liberal for the Liberal Democrats.

Then there was that time the Thought Detectives came after Dan Walker for having the sheer audacity to present a TV programme and be Christian at the same time. In this Brave New World, presenting a breakfast TV show or leading a liberal political party is a job reserved only for the enlightened, you see. “You religious should stick to herding goats,” they seethe with love and tolerance.

Now that the dust has settled on the Tim Farron episode, I’ve been thinking a lot about the Liberal Democrat’s sister party here in Northern Ireland, the Alliance Party. Just like Tim Farron, the Alliance leader, Naomi Long, also claims to be a person of faith. Unlike Tim Farron, however, she has no such issues reconciling her faith with the liberal zeitgeist; she’s more than happy to proclaim that marriage is more of a government registry of friendships than what Jesus describes in Matthew 19, and her position on abortion is vague and watery enough (“I don’t like it, but…”) to gain her the acceptance of the progressive magisterium. For now, anyway.

So – since the Alliance Party never shy away from telling us how progressive and diverse they are, I’d like to ask them this: is there room within your party for a public representative who publicly states that gay sex is a sin? I’m not convinced there would be —  Tim Farron said it wasn’t a sin and his progressive inquisitors still weren’t happy — but I could be wrong. Maybe the rainbow colours they put on everything are really a celebration of the Noahic Covenant.

Or, if nobody is willing to admit to disagreeing with gay sex, what about the lesser secular sin of disagreeing with pre-marital sex? After all, pre-marital sex is wrong in many religions, not just Christianity. If their answer is, “No, we’re progressives. We believe in sex before, during and after marriage. Take your troglodytism elsewhere,” then not only does that exclude many Catholics and Protestants, but also Muslims and Jews who seek to live under the beliefs of their church from publicly representing the Alliance Party.

These are fair questions to ask because, for the benefit of those who don’t know, the sins of pre-marital and gay sex are long-standing and fairly bog-standard Christian doctrines. Of course, there are some Christians, like Naomi, who are happy to embrace other sexual philosophies (but not all sexual philosophies; we still have a long way to progress in that regard) — but many don’t.

So, would these Christians — and adherents of other faiths who hold to traditional values — feel safe to publicly air their views, or would they be advised not to? Would they enjoy the public backing of their tolerant and fair-minded leader or would they, like Tim Farron, find working for Alliance while holding certain beliefs impossible?