The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

A Statement To Ponder

Posted on | August 19, 2014 | 133 Comments

by Smitty

Emphasis mine:

A hundred years ago, the first group of progressives concluded that this country needed to change in a big way. They argued explicitly for a refounding of the United States on the grounds that the only absolute in political life is that absolutes are material and economic rather than moral in nature.

That’s one of those statements that leaves one rubbing the chin. It seems plausible on the face of matters. However, having taken one’s eyes off the Almighty, much is possible. As someone wicked once said:

. . .All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.


  • Mike G.

    Thanks for clearing the air, so to speak.

    I knew some Pagans once…or as they called themselves, Wiccans. They were a sorry lot.

    I seek the Divine in human, Nature, and machine. I want to find the
    synthesis between mankind and ideas, between faith and technology,
    between what was and what will be.

    I’ll be damned. You’re looking for God.

    He is in all of us if we but ask Him to reveal Himself to us.

    He’s not going to jump out at you and say BOO!!, but will manifest Himself in a way that you will be able to understand.

    I hope and pray you find Him before it’s too late.

  • NeoWayland

    I’m not Wiccan, and I don’t know anything about the people you knew. But then, I’m sure you wouldn’t want me to judge you by some of the Christians I’ve met.

    “You’re looking for God.”

    No, I’m afraid you misunderstood.

  • NeoWayland

    Didn’t you spend some time telling me what a feral beast the Islamist faith is? Yet that is a moral system. Not one that either you or I agree with, but certainly a system.

  • NeoWayland

    Or maybe just a bit of insight.

  • NeoWayland


    Very personally.

    I wish you luck.

  • NeoWayland

    No, not “exactly.”

    There are studies that show that primates, canines, and cats all demonstrate moral behaviors towards each other. There are strong indications that the more social an animal is, the more “moral” it’s behaviors can be.

    That’s one exception.

    You can also work from the assumption that since a person doesn’t want to be hurt, the best choice is not to hurt anyone else. From there its only a short step to the equivalent of the Golden Rule. That’s the behaviorist approach.

  • NeoWayland

    I like that answer.

    So do you think we can agree on a moral code the world should aspire to?

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  • K-Bob

    You miss the point of animal studies. It’s not to anthropomorphically find ways they are like little people. It’s to understand the more primitive roots of things like altruism, nurture, and hatred. To blur that into “morality” is not only a total waste of time, but a fool’s errand guaranteed to stretch the term beyond all meaning.

  • K-Bob

    No, it’s not a “moral system”. Now you’re mixing up the order of things. Religions have components, of which morals are but one. In the case of Islam, they have grafted on a political component as well, so morals are even further down the pecking order.

    But morals absolutely depend on reason. This is why Islam includes the sword as part of their twisted system. Where they stray from the bounds of reason (which is mostly on the political aspect of Islam, since the non-political aspect is much more in line with other religions when it comes to morality), they compel with force.

  • K-Bob

    It’s trying to tangle things up. Like this is our first rodeo. We must all be really bored to continue.

  • NeoWayland

    “Now you’re mixing up the order of things.”

    And now I understand what you expect. One perspective, dual value logic, and a few other things.

    So, the only common ground we’ll find is if I agree with your assumptions even if it’s only for the sake of debate.

    I wonder, would you do the same with my assumptions?

  • NeoWayland

    I talked about the results not the “point”. Science is like that, it often gives results that are beside the point. Its the messy, wonderful universe we live in.

    BTW, it’s not about anthropomorphism either.

  • Eric Ashley

    Well, of course I would. The thing is, evidence backs up my case.

  • Eric Ashley

    The Law of Gravity is real and true. Jesus is the Christ is even more real and true. Your disagreeing with either is a private matter which should have no bearing on others’ behavior except we should keep you from getting an architect’s license.

  • Eric Ashley

    It is also our responsibility to tell you the Truth, and to live the Truth as best we can.

    And dude, ‘preening’ and ‘troll’ are good words for you today. Usually you’re not so annoying.

  • NeoWayland

    So you can proclaim your faith is the One True Way® and anyone who doesn’t share that faith must accept it anyway…

    …or else?

    If the situation was reversed, would you accept that?

    Or perhaps that is just a little to close?

  • NeoWayland

    Well, Quartermaster decided not to play nice some time ago. I’ve had a hard time taking him seriously since then.

    As for the others, almost everything I’ve said on this this thread has been a variation on the same questions I asked you.

    If you had people telling you that you must live by the rules of a religion you do not share, why would you accept that?

    Wouldn’t it be better to find rules you already share and build on that?

  • Quartermaster

    I’m a sucker for a person that is so obviously misinformed. I guess it’s my empathetic nature. I hate to see someone so willful and obstinate, however.

  • Quartermaster

    I would wish you luck, but it will do you no good.
    Also, you are a liar since you have no idea how I accept anything. I finished with you for this thread.

  • NeoWayland

    You’re right.

    I don’t know.

    I’m pretty sure.

    Just as I was pretty sure that you’d call me a liar in a day or so.

  • DeadMessenger

    I absolutely know 100% factually that Scripture cannot and will not convert you. Only God, by an act of His will, can regenerate the depraved and corrupt human heart. According to Scripture, you can’t even understand Scripture: “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” 1 Cor 2:14.

    My morality by necessity must be higher than yours because mine comes from the only living Almighty God. He said it; I believe it. And it is absolute.

  • Eric Ashley

    Why should I compromise? I already know the Answer. I suppose I could agree that you could make one in four houses of substandard concrete as a compromise, if I did not care about results.

    No one’s said you had to accept the Truth, dude. We’ve repeatedly said you don’t have too.

    You’re trying to turn me into a dictator if I don’t decide to compromise on stating what is Reality.

    I don’t say you have to accept what I say. Feel free to start your own country founded on your own peculiar mix of religion. I don’t force you to do very much at all.

  • K-Bob

    Way to miss the point.

    No, you stick with your own language then. You can debate yourself just fine.

  • NeoWayland

    “Why should I compromise?”


    You’re convinced you have the Absolute Truth. I’m convinced I have some truths. Since you’re focused on absolutes, your natural assumption is that I am trying to defeat you. As long as you’re convinced that your beliefs must trump everyone you disagree with, you’re going to lose.

    The incredibly ironic bit is that if I were making a stand for Christianity under similar circumstances, you’d be cheering me on.

  • NeoWayland

    It seems to me you don’t want a debate.

  • NeoWayland

    “It is the difference between the Story and the Journey. One is told while the other is lived. The only two purposes of the story are to honor the memory of those who have gone before and to teach you to recognize where the path begins for your own journey. The rituals are not the faith. The map is not the territory. The words are not the thing. You can only be responsible for your journey alone because it is your journey and no one else’s.”
    — NeoWayland

  • Eric Ashley

    I think you’re trying to defeat me because you are. Your goal is to throw sand in the gears.

    I also think that, except for you as you, it doesn’t really matter that much. We can go on without your input just fine.

    When you agree with the Truth, you’re useful. When you don’t, you’re irrelevant.

  • Finrod Felagund

    Go get CS Lewis’s book _Mere Christianity_, read it, then come back and we can discuss.

  • NeoWayland

    Remember, this whole thing started because I asked if the only accepted source of morality was Christian.

    How you answer that question says a great deal about how you would deal with non-Christians.

    It’s not about sand in the gears. It’s about human rights.

  • NeoWayland

    I read it years ago.

    There was a story I used to tell about the Christians who stayed polishing the gate of their faith so it shined so bright. They took great pride in showing off how their work had made the gate look and sound and smell. Everyone who was anyone just knew that the gate was special and how those Christians were so very dedicated to making it better.

    And then there were the ones who wondered what was just over the hill and down the road a little way. Just out of sight of the that polished gate…

  • Daniel Freeman

    “Don’t believe everything you think.”
    — bumper sticker

  • NeoWayland


    That’s a good one. I’m going to steal it for my quote file.

    I wonder if it would work reversed?

    “Don’t think everything you believe.”