A year ago, I participated in a debate on SSM at DDO. It turns out that this debate compellingly converted a pro-SSM supporter, which really surprised me. It reassures me that there are still people out there that are willing to go wherever the evidence leads. Too often will people read into a debate their “intuitive” presuppositions and therefore end up rejecting the argument regardless of how compelling it was. Most people who read this argument will think that something must be wrong with it but fail to provide a rational counter-response. For example, I had two friends on AIM who ended up raging at me. Their best response? I’m a homophobic ignoramus that lacks empathy. Ended up getting unfriended by them. Arguments don’t have sexual parts and they certainly don’t depend on what your sexual orientation is. Whether you’re gay or straight, the earth is still round and gravity is real. Similarly, whether you’re gay or straight, SSM is still not marriage no matter how much it pains you.
Natural law (NL) is commonly known for its conception of marriage, to the point that the theory succeeds or falls on the basis of whether you agree with its marital claims. This was not always the case, and it certainly is not the basis of why any of us think it is true. Unfortunately, I do have to admit that our own blog team has contributed to this perception but not intentionally or wrongfully. Sexuality just happens to be a prevalent issue in our society, but if other issues were at play (such as abortion), we would invoke the same ethical construct to justify other principles. Nevertheless, I have noticed that those who disagree with those issues will reject our position and NL by association, but that’s a bad approach because NL must be refuted by its principles, not just by its positions. I hope to repair that misconception by demonstrating the necessity of NL for any normative/ontological system of ethics – except for say, relativism or a literal divine command theory – which in turn will refute the alternatives to it (e.g, consequentialism, utilitarianism, deontology, etc) by demonstrating its logical incompatibility with NL via an reductio ad absurdum. In other words, I want to argue that at the very least most ethical theories must assume some principles of NL, but because their positions are contrary to such principles, they must necessarily be false.
The modern welfare state, in contrast, hardly inspires anyone – whether the recipient or the provider – to do anything. Instead of neighbor acting on behalf of neighbour in need, we have clients of unwilling benefactors – on the one hand, people who are the receptacles of services, on the other hand, taxpayers coerced into supporting those services. And neither the ‘donors’ nor the beneficiaries have probably ever even met each other. In place of generous souls animated by love of neighbour, we see a soulless bureaucracy run by distant bureaucrats and funded by politicians seeking out constituents by promising benefits – a system that, in the words of Pope Benedict XVI, ‘ultimately become[s] a mere bureaucracy incapable of guaranteeing the very thing which the suffering person – every person – needs: namely, loving personal concern’.
— Robert A. Sirico
This is hilarious, LOL. If you wish to remain virtuous, you need a ring that shoots lasers. Ironic thing is, this is probably how non-believers think of christians and their commitment to abstinence until marriage. At least somewhere along these lines It’s just out of fashion to want to save your body for someone special. Hopefully the purity ring 3000 is cool enough to put it back into fashion!
I just had the privilege of watching the Hobbit in IMAX 3D yesterday! Two words: Absolutely amazing. Don’t believe the critics, I read what they had to say on Rotten Tomatoes and reading their criticisms was like reading children complaining about everything and anything. For example, I heard all of this hype about how the 48 fps made everything look weird and caused sickness but everyone who I know that have watched this have not had such an experience. I found the CGI, the 48 fps, the IMAX, and the 3D to be incredibly enriching to the movie experience. The beauty that it captured was simply breathtaking, and I loved the clarity that it brought in the movie. Some complained that the pace was slow, but I thought it was well paced with plenty of epic battle scenes throughout. The most captivating part of this movie though was not its visual quality but the moral principles that were spoken, lived, and fought for. If you haven’t watched the movie, now is a good time to stop reading because there are a few spoilers forthcoming.
Let’s suppose that one day you walk into a bar and find two strangers intent on killing each other. The police don’t exist in this town but you are able to stop them with a taser gun. Should you step in and stop them? At first it may seem like a good idea, but it so happens that the next day they are trying to kill each other again. You step in again and stop them with the taser gun and continue to do so day after day. Are you still obligated to continue saving them? If your answer is yes, then consider this: One day, you realize that you made a promise to take care of your children at another county but if you do this, the two people in the bar will most certainly die. Do you have an obligation to break that promise in order to save these people’s lives? Furthermore, if someone else came in the bar for the first time and had the same weapon as you to stop them but refused to stop them, would you consider him immoral? And if so, what makes one morally responsible for saving their lives when they both intend to do something evil?
There are many things that I should do that I do not do. That which I do are the things I do not need to do. More specifically, I should be doing much more in my spiritual walk with God. Why? Because we are commanded to be holy before God (1 Peter 1:16) in order to live fully, eternally, and truthfully in Christ. If we lack the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22), then we may as well not even be saved. Rather, we should all strive for what is good through spiritual discipline. Unfortunately, I seem to spend more time studying philosophy, browsing the web, chatting, working, watching things, and reading my RSS feeds than I do with God. How can I neglect Him for something of lesser value? For a while, I have recognized what I “should” do but never did anything. It should be evident that I am not well disciplined by the recent lack of posts on WC lately. Without discipline, I am weak and susceptible to attacks in my thoughts, will, and emotions. What I spend my time on speaks more of what I value than what I claim to value. If I spend more time on things other than God, I have essentially committed idolatry.
If you’re interested in books that address our culture from a Christian perspective, you’ll want to get this book from Amazon. It addresses issues such as the sexualization of society, marriage, and other hot political issues that get people irritated with each other. Michael Brown is the author of “A Queer Thing Happened To America” – which is an excellent book that details the censorship, hate, intolerance, and ignorance of those who have passionately pushed gay marriage into the political sphere. I’d highly recommend it.
You HAVE to watch this, it is just epic. He plays Gollum’s voice perfectly and the lyrics of the rap is so boss. H/T to Robert for sharing this link with me. God willing, I’m going to see The Hobbit on January 2nd with my family! My family is kinda slow when it comes to doing things, I would’ve seen it on the first day but I think sharing the awesomeness with them is worth it. Who has seen the movie already? And what do you think about it? No spoilers!
I kinda want to put this question out there for my friends: Do you think I’m “too” religious? Please don’t worry about offending me, be as frank as possible. Lately I have been accused of being too religious by at least two people in a seemingly unfavorable way. First off, I would like to know what you think is “too” religious. Is there a limit to how religious I should be? And if so, what’s so bad about being too religious? How do you think I should practice my faith in every day life? I assume you don’t think I’m a religious extremist that kills people in the name of God. So I must be doing something that you think is wrong or at least unlikeable to you. Do I talk too much about Jesus? Do my beliefs irritate you? Even if you don’t think I am, maybe you can explain an encounter with someone that you thought really fit this description. Perhaps if I summarized my beliefs, you could better assess me: