The Wrong Rights

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Our Constitution concludes with a Bill of Rights, but these rights are of a particular nature — and are friends of real liberty. But within the last several generations, another set of ostensible rights, with a completely different nature, have crept into our public discourse. These rights, these entitlements, are enemies of liberty.Property Rights

Not only so, but everyone who understands and defends human rights in the first sense is a friend of human liberty. Everyone who whoops for rights in the second sense is an enemy of human liberty. Some in this latter group are enemies of human liberty because they are envious, some because they think good intentions can be used as paving stones to the Big Rock Candy Mountain, and still others because economic illiteracy runs in their family.

What I would like to do here is explain the difference between the two kinds of rights. The first kind of rights can be called free rights. The second kind of rights should be called funded rights.

The first kind of right consists in the government not doing things. The second requires the government to do things. Now when you don’t do something, this does not require a staff. It doesn’t require offices. You don’t need a cabinet position to head the operation up. You don’t need a budget. “Not doing something” is free.

It doesn’t cost anything to let Americans build their own churches. Allowing them to keep and bear arms costs nothing. No budget is required to not interfere with their right to freely assemble. Leaving people alone is free. Not being an officious busybody is inexpensive. Walking away from the temptations of tyranny does not bust the budget of any department whatever.

The other conception of rights is never far away from any sinful human heart, but it really got traction in our culture with FDR’s bread and circuses do-over. In January of 1944, FDR undertook to recast how we think of our rights.

“We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all.”

If you listen closely, you can hear the chains clanking behind his back.

The reason has to do with the nature of these new rights. The right to a useful and remunerative job. The right of a farmer to sell his products at a certain price. The right of every family to a decent home. The right to adequate medical care. The right to a good education.

Tracking with me? All of these have a price tag, and the payment will not be made by the possessor of the right. A man who has a right to a free thing is a man who also believes that another man has an obligation to provide that free thing. For the one fulfilling the obligation, it is not a free thing. It is an expensive thing. Not only that, but also in the background is the unspoken assumption that the government is the guarantor of these new rights, which means that the government is the muscle, the heavy, the collector.

So let’s make this specific. If Murphy has the right to keep and bear arms, nobody else has to do a single blessed thing. If Smith has a right to own a shiny new rifle that costs a thousand dollars, then Murphy has an obligation to cough up a thousand dollars, and the government has the obligation to see to it that he does so promptly and with a good attitude. By defining rights in this way, you are building out the infrastructure of tyranny.

And that is why things are going the way that they have been going recently. For three quarters of a century, we have been investing heavily in infrastructure.

Life is simple. If you have the right to eat a Krispy Kreme donut if you want, transfats and all, then, when the muse strikes, you head on down to the donut shop with your own money in your own pocket, dreaming dreams of what is to come. But if you have an entitlement to a Krispy Kreme donut, then somebody else has the obligation to buy it for you, and a third party, the takers-away of true rights, the government, has the obligation to see to it that it happens. If you don’t understand this, that is all the explanation of your slavery that you need.

The entire system is evil, and so the fact that many Christians have learned to define it as “compassionate” is a very bad sign (Is. 5:20). The larceny in their hearts is covered over with a thin veneer of platitudes — things like “fair share” and “one percent.” But all such platitudes are nothing more than the spots of a greed cancer spreading so rapidly that it just looked like a veneer.

Fair share? Before we try to achieve that, what say we try to define it first? Why don’t we try to find it on the map before we begin the long journey?

In the United States today, the bottom 60% pay less than 2% of all income taxes. The top 1% pay around 46% of all income taxes. Let that sink in. The American people are liars and thieves, and this is why it is fitting that we are governed by liars and thieves. This is one of the glories of representative government. We have the rulers we deserve.

And if, like some scribe losing an argument with Jesus, a man tries to justify himself by saying that the one percent can afford it, let us simply point out that if you make more than 25K, you are part of the global one percent. That means he can afford it also.

We are watching. Show us how it is done. Don’t worry. You can afford it.

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PerfectHold
PerfectHold
6 years ago

I’m bound to stay
Where you sleep all day,
Where they hung the jerk
That invented work

John Stoos
John Stoos
6 years ago

I have always pointed out that the liberals are very CHEAP when it comes to the minimum wage: IF, as they argue the government has the ‘right’ and ‘power’ to set wages, then why don’t they set it at something like $65 an hours so all of us can live nice comfortable lives!

ME
ME
6 years ago
Reply to  John Stoos

True. Also hidden behind minimum wage increases is the actual harm it does to poor people, in the form of cut hours, less jobs, increased cost of goods, loss of gov benefits, higher tax bracket. Many people wind up worse off than ever, taking home even less money.

Conserbatives_conserve_little
Conserbatives_conserve_little
6 years ago

Your tax argument is based on federal taxes. The poor pay a much higher percentage of state and local taxes. When the school levy passes, the landlord raises the rent to cover it. Sales tax, car tags, etc.

ME
ME
6 years ago

That is a very good point. Percentage wise, poor people bear a heavy burden. The amount may seem small, but 30% of our income going to state and local taxes is a lot more painful for someone who only has and income of ten grand a year.

Malachi
Malachi
6 years ago
Reply to  ME

I’m sorry, but if I made $1 million a year, I would find it very painful to cough up $300,000 as taxes. Yes, I know, that leaves me with $700,000, which everyone will point to and say, “That’s plenty to live on, but the poor man with only $10,000 annual income will be hard pressed to live off of $7,000.” And this is why progressive taxation is the foot beneath which we squirm. We are looking at everything wrong. NOBODY should be paying 30% of their income to any government. Period. Taxation is necessary; I get that, but 30% is… Read more »

ME
ME
6 years ago
Reply to  Malachi

Why is “the rich can afford higher taxes” more nauseating than the poor can’t even afford food and shelter? That’s a genuine question, I honestly can never understand why we pity the poor millionaire who is allegedly being enslaved, but not the guy enslaved by struggling to feed his family?

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
6 years ago
Reply to  ME

Because the former is almost always a piece of envy-based rhetoric intended to justify the confiscation of earning power. The latter is simply a statement of fact, which does not necessarily point to a specific just or unjust solution.

Malachi
Malachi
6 years ago
Reply to  ME

We all rightly pity the poor…IF they are not vagrants.

But those of us who desire justice are not particularly satisfied when the poor among us say the solution to their condition is to confiscate wealth from the rich. If we attempt to placate our sense of pity by legalized theft from “those who can afford a little robbery,” then we have perverted justice for no other reason than to mollify our own discomforts. How rotten!

Nord357
Nord357
6 years ago
Reply to  Malachi

…and taxing production is simply stupid!

Isaac
Isaac
6 years ago

Yes but property taxes will be much higher on the wealthy’s property. Furthermore, raising the rent depends on a number of market factors that owners have to consider. It’s not always a one for one comparison.

And state income taxes are often progressive as well, so that wouldn’t help make things any more flat.

The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of taxes go to pay for services that the wealthy aren’t eligible to benefit from. That, in and of itself, is a process of institutionalized theft…and is unjust.

Matthew S
Matthew S
6 years ago

He’s not talking about state programs, he’s talking about federal ones. The welfare state is a federal program. No state or local government could dream to afford to pay for everyones food stamps and subsidized rents. State taxes do contribute to those things, but the states don’t generate nearly enough taxes. For example, in my state of NY, 40% of the state’s revenue comes from the federal government. So just to do that math, if the taxes from the top 1% goes toward the same 46% of New York’s budget then that means the top 1% alone is paying for… Read more »

Bike bubba
6 years ago

Quite right, and really, since the “rich” make their money selling things to the poor and middle class, every tax is therefore ultimately paid by the poor and middle class. So why does the left hate the poor and middle class so much by insisting on tax hikes on them? And really, the poor pay twice when the rich are taxed, because the rich person copes with taxation not only by paying the taxes and handing them down to his customers (he can do no other; learn accounting if you doubt this), but he also is compelled to curtail his… Read more »

Matt Massingill
Matt Massingill
6 years ago

But the landlord is merely passing on what the gov’t has taxed him. So this actually makes Doug’s point even further. Business and property owners will pass it on inevitably and justifiably in rising rent, prices, etc. At the end of the day, they are only passing on what the gov’t has taken from them, so the gov’t and it’s constituent progressive parts (politicians) is/are using private enterprise as a scapegoat. Uncle Sam charges Joe Blow business owner a tax, Joe Blow raises his prices to cover it, and then Uncle Sam (politicians) tell the customers to get angry at… Read more »

Tyrone Taylor
Tyrone Taylor
6 years ago

Doug – This is an excellent post so don’t let my following criticism cloud that. The income tax argument is decent because it partly shows that rich people generally pay more money and verify your “forcing people to buy for others” point. The problem with the income tax point is that it is incomplete, and skews the actual percentages paid by rich and poor. If you are going to make an income tax point (we are talking federal) you have to include payroll tax as well (and frankly corporate tax) if the point is to be accurate. Payroll tax revenues… Read more »

Jess R. Monnette
Jess R. Monnette
6 years ago
Reply to  Tyrone Taylor

Tyrone – you are correct.

Doug – this is an excellent post in general – thanks! But, like Tyrone says, only considering the income tax undercuts the force of the argument.

PaddyOConner
PaddyOConner
6 years ago
Reply to  Tyrone Taylor

Can’t we all agree that everyone (the poor included) are taxed too much?

Tyrone Taylor
Tyrone Taylor
6 years ago
Reply to  PaddyOConner

Absolutely. I think the preferred distinction is productive v unproductive rather than rich v non-rich. The unproductive pay no tax and the productive are taxed. Whereas the non-rich pay a similar rate to the rich, generally.

Luke Pride
6 years ago
Reply to  PaddyOConner

Well, a good number of the “poor” are getting more money from the government in goods and services than they have to pay. The poor family paying 10,000 a year in taxes and enjoying the roads, police service, and education of their numerous children are still getting away with a “steal” (literally)

Isaac
Isaac
6 years ago
Reply to  Tyrone Taylor

Tyrone, since half of payroll taxes are paid by employers (i.e. the more wealthy), then I think that’s a mute point. That’s a fairly subjective evaluation and could be considered either all paid by employer or all paid by employee. The better way of evaluating the “fairness” of the tax system is in terms of production (i.e. value added). And in the US, that system is clearly unjust. Furthermore, cap gains don’t exist for the low income earners but can creep into the mid-20% for high income earners. And don’t forget the phase-outs for deductions! All that so say, the… Read more »

Tyrone Taylor
Tyrone Taylor
6 years ago
Reply to  Isaac

I agree completely that the US tax code is unjust. I don’t agree with your cap gains point at all, it works in the opposite direction actually. Rich people have the option to take much of their income as cap gains, whereas the non-rich have less of that option. That would push the rate down for rich people. Warren Buffet made this point a few years ago (not a Buffet fan). Interesting point on the payroll taxes. So if an employer is willing to pay 100k for an employee, that would include all costs associated with the employee’s employment and… Read more »

Isaac
Isaac
6 years ago
Reply to  Tyrone Taylor

Admittedly, the rich have many more options and ways of taking income than the poor do. But perhaps you can help me understand your point a little better. If a rich person can take income as cap gains and get taxed either a) short term at their exorbitantly high income tax rate or b) long term at the mid 20%’s, how is that an unfair benefit that the poor don’t have? Remember, most people who make less than $70k a year don’t pay cap gains OR income taxes. Isn’t (at the low end) 23% higher than 0%? It’s still skewed.… Read more »

Tyrone Taylor
Tyrone Taylor
6 years ago
Reply to  Isaac

Point taken on the Payroll tax portion. My point to Wilson above is that the rate difference is flatter than he states not that the tax rate is flat. Rich people generally pay a higher amount, absolutely. I am not saying anything about the fairness of capital gains rates. I am not some college professor. Your 70k guy will pay at least 7.65% right? I would argue that it’s actually 15.3%. Unless he has 10 kids he is going to pay around 5-10% in income tax. So his actual tax rate is going to be somewhere between 7.65% and 25.3%.… Read more »

Isaac
Isaac
6 years ago
Reply to  Tyrone Taylor

I’m not sure of the value of claiming (based on two examples that are the exception, not the rule), that the poor pay more than Doug’s statistic lets on. The poor (sub $40k/yr) also exclusively benefit from the loot taken from the wealthy ($100k+/yr) – most of whom are not c-corp owners paying a 5% tax rate (I don’t care what buffet says). If you want to claim the difference in taxes paid between a savvy c-corp owner and a middle-class employee isn’t as great as what Doug’s stat implies, then fine. However, I don’t see how that challenges the… Read more »

Tyrone Taylor
Tyrone Taylor
6 years ago
Reply to  Isaac

I agree completely with Doug’s main point, I only have issue with the tax point supporting it. Wilson would be better to draw the distinction between free loaders v workers instead of rich v poor.

I am not arguing that the tax code is fair or flat. But I am arguing it is flatter than what Wilson asserted and what people generally think. 100k is not wealthy. What I outlined was the rule, not the exception. Trying to build wealth using ordinary wage income is like swimming upriver.

MitchT11
MitchT11
6 years ago
Reply to  Tyrone Taylor

Let’s not get too hung up on the payroll taxes. Yes, the funds are stolen and spent by Congress, but, to date, at least, people have gotten a return of that money. And the “rich” are likely to be taxed on their return of SS money in retirement. In other words, payroll taxes are different than income taxes, and lumping them all together skews the argument as much or more than leaving them out.

Tyrone Taylor
Tyrone Taylor
6 years ago
Reply to  MitchT11

My whole point to Wilson is that the tax rate is flatter than he is stating. And I stand by that. However I acknowledge your points.

Conserbatives_conserve_little
Conserbatives_conserve_little
6 years ago

a lot of the regulation is traced to the Triangle Shirtwaiste Fire. About a hundred years ago, in NYC, a sweatshop caught on fire. Many immigrant women jumped to their deaths to avoid the flames because all of the exits were locked to prevent theft. This really hit a nerve. FDR was governor of NY at the time. That was the first time that occupational safety laws were passed and enforced. That is the crack in the door that FDR needed. Why should anyone argue against safety laws?

Malachi
Malachi
6 years ago

We didn’t need “safety laws” if by that you mean a Federal Department of Safety (OSHA). What we needed was someone to invent crash bars on the inside of doors. We needed local courts to prosecute the shop owners for being an accessory to the several deaths, enforcing the laws already on the books and well understood by everyone. A local fire is absolutely no business of the Federal anything. Period.

Conserbatives_conserve_little
Conserbatives_conserve_little
6 years ago
Reply to  Malachi

You weren’t paying attention. FDR was governor of New York State. There WERE NO SAFETY LAWS, state or federal back then. FDR used the fire to get the NY state legislature to pass some of the first safety laws for the workplace in this country. From that was the springboard of his power

Luke
Luke
6 years ago

His point was not that there were safety laws, but that there were already laws for things like negligent homicide for which the owners could have been charged. Whether or not you think this is a good argument, this was the argument Malachi was making. He was not claiming safety laws already existed

Malachi
Malachi
6 years ago
Reply to  Luke

Thank you, Luke. It does get get tiresome when people don’t read…

ashv
ashv
6 years ago

A good place to start those discussions is Deuteronomy 22:8.

PaddyOConner
PaddyOConner
6 years ago

When safety laws are nothing but a means of entry for regulation. Locking workers inside your business isn’t a safety violation it is an enslavement crime.

Ben
Ben
6 years ago

Why not apply your logic of “free rights” to police protection, armed defense, and dispute resolution? What basis do you have for picking and choosing in this way?

Malachi
Malachi
6 years ago
Reply to  Ben

It’s not picking and choosing when the Federal Constitution grants the power to raise an Army to the Federation but specifically withholds the power to ban donuts to the States.

Ben
Ben
6 years ago
Reply to  Malachi

I’m not concerned with the Constitution. I’m trying to get people to think this through logically. Police protection, investigation of crime, military defense, and dispute mediation are “funded rights,” not “free rights,” according to Doug’s definition. They cost money, and the money is taken unwillingly.

RFB
RFB
6 years ago
Reply to  Ben

Ben, Ben, It seems readily apparent that God says that certain functions are compulsorily funded, and that you are obligated, by God, to pay: “Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.” What is your understanding of… Read more »

Ben
Ben
6 years ago
Reply to  RFB

How do you determine to whom taxes are owed? Does one need only point a gun and say “render unto me that which is mine”? What is the existential, cosmic criteria you use to determine whether or not the 10%, 50%, 90%, or whatever of your gold, salt, fish, dollars, etc. that such a person claims you owe him is actually his? Paul makes it clear that the governing authorities are only legitimate if they bear the sword to protect the good and punish the evil. When a government fails to carry out that mandate, and actually does the opposite,… Read more »

RFB
RFB
6 years ago
Reply to  Ben

“It’s possible that Paul wasn’t being sarcastic…”

I think that the context being clearly instructive of principle eliminates any reasonable presence of sarcasm. Funded rights, as commanded by God, should seem to be directed towards the maintenance of societal order, commending those who do good, and terrorizing those who do evil. All of these things should be based upon a legitimate moral code, the essence of which is the Word of God. Theocratic, if that helps for a description.

RonTakeOne
RonTakeOne
6 years ago
Reply to  RFB

These are not moral commands. These are exhortations in wisdom, similar to Jesus’ exhortations not to resist an evil person, turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, or settle disputes out of court so we don’t end up in jail (note the pragmatism). Or how about when Jesus paid the “temple tax” even though his conversation with Peter shows he didn’t believe he owed the tax? Every single exhortation to submit to rulers is directed to the ruled. Nowhere do we see any command to rulers other than simply to obey God’s Law as the rest of us are… Read more »

Malachi
Malachi
6 years ago
Reply to  Ben

Ben said: “I’m not concerned with the Constitution.”

What to make of this…

Ben
Ben
6 years ago
Reply to  Malachi

You just haven’t gone far enough down the rabbit hole. Start now, and a year from now you’ll have no trouble making such statements. :)

RonTakeOne
RonTakeOne
6 years ago
Reply to  Malachi

The Constitution isn’t God’s Law and actually violates it, perhaps?

Nathan Tuggy
Nathan Tuggy
6 years ago
Reply to  Ben

This is particularly relevant with the machinery that must be assembled to ensure the various rights to jury trials, etc.

ashv
ashv
6 years ago
Reply to  Ben

A good argument against the concept of ‘rights’ in general.

dcbenji
dcbenji
6 years ago

This is very helpful, thank you.

ME
ME
6 years ago

Oh, I love this! the infamous Doug Wilson has finally given me something to object to. Well, it is not much of an objection really, but the thing is, Christians, us, failed so miserably to take care of our own, to provide for the needy, that what we see in government today is simply an attempt to pick up our collateral damage. We do not have a soc sec program because people have been cursed with economic ignorance, we have a soc sec program because people, Christians, did not want to be financially burdened with their old people and their… Read more »

Malachi
Malachi
6 years ago
Reply to  ME

Your passion is clear, and your complaints justified. I will suggest that Christian apathy was not the entire scope of the reason why we now are burdened with bloated Federal social programs. You see, the Progressive Liberals of Woodrow Wilson’s day were keen on fundamentally transforming America into an Enlightenment Utopia, which necessarily meant total government intrusion. The way to make rugged, individualistic Americans buy into that was to introduce a “free” something that everyone would want and, let’s face it, has a “right” to possess. The cost? Mere pennies. Incrementally, this blossomed into the monstrosity of bureaucracies we have… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
6 years ago
Reply to  ME

I couldn’t agree more, and it lines up with my own experience. There was a time following the break up of my marriage when whatever food I could afford went to my daughter. My church responded with prayers and reminders that I am not allowed to date–all well and good but what I really needed was a basket of provisions now and then. I would not have turned to the government for myself but I would have to be able to feed my daughter.

"A" dad
"A" dad
6 years ago
Reply to  ME

“I know poor people who have worked harder than anyone else I know and have given generously, and now have nothing to show for it.” Memi. Matthew 6 19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Memi, if the people you mention, were generous in a good hearted fashion,… Read more »

ME
ME
6 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

You are so right, we are to store our treasures up in heaven. Also, Whitney Houston and Robin Williams come to mind, great wealth, fame, every possible blessing, and yet they offed themselves.

Barnabas
Barnabas
6 years ago
Reply to  ME

So when exactly did we drop the ball? Did the whole church do it at once or was it a gradual process? Lets have some details to show that the State started giving out handouts only after the failure of the church. My church runs a food bank and the people who show up are for the most part obese. How many people who come to food banks do you think have money for cigarettes, beer or powerball tickets? When I was in Honduras I was surprised to find many of the poor there are obese as well. How many… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
6 years ago
Reply to  Barnabas

It is a well documented circumstance that most poor people in North America and Europe are overweight while most rich people are thin. This was not always true, and the ubiquitous availability of cheap, fat-laden fast food is probably partly to blame. Foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables are more expensive than potato chips. But I think it is also a question of childhood training. Wholewheat bread and quinoa are not tasty to a kid brought up on sweet and salty foods. If I were mentoring somebody out of poverty, I would work on fluency and literacy. I have… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
6 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Other facts in obesity include life stresses and available time/income for exercise and other various weight-loss programs. A lot of rich people put a ton of time and money into staying in shape that’s simply not available to everyone. It’s also a question of federal lobbyists, corporate subsidies, and advertising. The American taxpayer shells out a LOT of money every year to guarentee that sugar stays cheap. And we’re also funding corn syrup, flour, oil, and beef – some of the primary ingredients in those foods that are making people fat. So not only are the healthier foods more expensive,… Read more »

JohnM
JohnM
6 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Lack of available time only figures if we are talking about people who work or take on some other time demanding responsibility. Some poor people do, some don’t. Part of the problem for some who do work, sometimes, is that anything other than fast food is not always conveniently available in the time they have to eat. Note though, a lot of rich people put in very long hours too, which is often why they are rich. It isn’t that expensive to get *some* kind of exercise; plain old walking qualifies. Getting up and moving any amount is better than… Read more »

PaddyOConner
PaddyOConner
6 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Actually you can buy organic potatoes for about $1.50 a pound (conventional for under a buck) while potato chips generally cost around $5-6 pound.

ME
ME
6 years ago
Reply to  Barnabas

I think there are many misconceptions about the poor. One reason there is so much obesity is because boxed mac and ch and white bread is so much cheaper than a sirlon steak and a side of kale.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
6 years ago
Reply to  ME

But not so much cheaper than chicken legs and frozen peas. That excluded middle makes the argument look a lot different.

Barnabas
Barnabas
6 years ago
Reply to  ME

The only reason we have Obamacare is because greedy churchgoers refused to provide health insurance to the poor.

Thomas Achord
Thomas Achord
6 years ago

A helpful clarification: It’s not so much that the idea of rights differ according to the thing to which the right refers, such as life and liberty OR jobs and education. Rather, there has been an equivocation of the term “rights.” Life and liberty and guns are not necessarily things that are free. Were, say owning guns, to be considered a right in the FDR sense, then the government would force gun manufacturers to provide guns for people. But owning guns as a right in the former sense means that one may choose to or not to own them, and… Read more »

Malachi
Malachi
6 years ago
Reply to  Thomas Achord

Good counterpoint.

ME
ME
6 years ago
Reply to  Thomas Achord

“Freedom requires we pay for our own rights. They’re being paid for by someone else is slavery.”

Well, sometimes yes. But than again, Christ paid for our sins. People who go to war and die for our country, have paid a price on our behalf. We support wives, children, not out of a sense of slavery but rather duty and love. And of course, we have roads, bridges, fire dept’s, libraries, schools, things we all pay for and yet some must pay more, some less, and some who have paid nothing at all still get to use them.

Thomas Achord
Thomas Achord
6 years ago
Reply to  ME

Good point. So it could be modified to say “They’re being paid for by someone forced against their will to pay for them, is slavery.”

JohnM
JohnM
6 years ago
Reply to  ME

Of course having our sins paid for is not an entitlement. If it were we would be recipients of something owed us, rather than the beneficiaries of grace that we are.

ME
ME
6 years ago
Reply to  JohnM

This is true, Grace is certainly not an entitlement. We are all unworthy. But sometimes I think we forget that when we speak of the poor, we assume they are unworthy and then proceed to deny them grace.

JohnM
JohnM
6 years ago
Reply to  ME

Sometimes what you say is true. We are also all moral agents. Sometimes I think when we speak for the poor we assume they are only victims and deny reality.

ME
ME
6 years ago
Reply to  JohnM

This is true. In order to love people properly, we have to allow them to be accountable for their own choices. Not everyone is a victim or perhaps no one really is, but we are so quick to rush to judgement. Those people over there are needy and I am expected to do something about it?? Well, they’re hardly worthy, they’re all sinners!

ME
ME
6 years ago

“But if you have an entitlement to a Krispy Kreme donut, then somebody else has the obligation to buy it for you, and a third party, the takers-away of true rights, the government, has the obligation to see to it that it happens. If you don’t understand this, that is all the explanation of your slavery that you need” You’ll have to just trust that I am not a Marxist here, but is it right that those of us who can never, ever afford a krispy kreme, are compelled to send a donation to some prosperity minister somewhere so he… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
6 years ago
Reply to  ME

When my daughter was in middle school, our local Krispy Kreme gave students a free doughnut for every A on their report cards. I made my daughter study very, very hard.

Barnabas
Barnabas
6 years ago
Reply to  ME

“Daddy” worked his whole life to provide security for his family. He likely paid a large inheritance tax and if he had a farm or business it might well have been sold to pay such taxes. What right have you or anyone else to his son’s inheritance? What you are talking is indeed Marxism.

ME
ME
6 years ago
Reply to  Barnabas

Well, I see the value in inequality, even the value in injustice, and I believe the Gov is a terrible venue for redistributing the wealth. Just the same, I simply cannot reconcile those biblical words in Acts 4:34-35, with our modern churchian socety of today. “Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.”

ashv
ashv
6 years ago

Though I’m aware that the history of natural rights can be traced through various medieval and ancient sources, our modern understanding of them mainly comes from Enlightenment writers like John Locke. At this point I think we should seriously reconsider whether “rights” is a useful concept in general; there’s precious little Biblical warrant for the concept. What do we lose if we reconceptualise these issues as ones of duty? Saying “free rights good, funded rights bad” misses a lot of things Anglo-American society has historically valued. For instance, the Bill of Rights mentions a right to due process and to… Read more »

katecho
katecho
6 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Well said. Wilson’s distinction of “rights” is helpful to see how we got where we are, but the legitimate function of the civil magistrate does cost money. A court system, law enforcement and public protection are not free, but we have also construed them as basic rights. Under Wilson’s distinction, they would have to be called “funded rights”. However, if we didn’t approach the civil magistrate in terms of “rights”, I think we would find a more consistent understanding of the role of civil government and taxation. Do we construe the Church’s authority and powers in terms of our human… Read more »

ashv
ashv
6 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Indeed. Looking at English history, the typical state solution to poverty was to make being unemployed illegal.

jillybean
jillybean
6 years ago
Reply to  ashv

However, as far back as the reign of Elizabeth I, there were poor laws. The poor were relieved at the parish level (the parish being the local government), and landowners paid rates and taxes–not counting tithes which served a different purpose–to fund this relief. It was not a function of the church but of a group of laypeople who investigated claims and disbursed payment. You are right that vagrancy was illegal, and so was attempting to get outdoor poor relief from a parish other than your own. Many people were willing to starve rather than accept charity. But 500 years… Read more »

"A" dad
"A" dad
6 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

So 400 years ago, the English started sending them to America. An after 1776, started sending them to Austraila. (this explains me, and possibly you Jilly!)
; – )

jillybean
jillybean
6 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

Are you Australian, “A” Dad? I would like to be Australian because they always seem relaxed and happy and carefree. I have ancestors that went from England to all the colonies, but my mum was born in England and my dad was born in Canada. His parents were British immigrants. I came to LA when I married an American. How about you?

"A" dad
"A" dad
6 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Jilly, my middle name is Fletcher. A batch of us came over on the Mayflower, but we all died the first winter. A second batch of Fletchers came over on the second boat. (name?)
The second batch took, so here I am! ; – )

jillybean
jillybean
6 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

Wow, lucky you. Your ancestors were Mass Bay Puritans when mine were still Cedric the swineherd and Gavin the cheesemaker back in the old country. The second ship was called the Fortune. Perhaps one day I will make my fortune by being able to produce that name!

ashv
ashv
6 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Yes. Imperfect perhaps but better altogether than what we have now.

jillybean
jillybean
6 years ago
Reply to  ashv

The benefit of local distribution was that you could tailor the assistance to a specific person’s actual needs. If you knew that a certain person drank up his poor relief, you could give his wife and children bread and soup instead. You actually got involved with the people and their circumstances in a way that is unthinkable today.

jillybean
jillybean
6 years ago
Reply to  ashv

I do hope our welfare program is not being administered by the same person who produced the viral internet meme about the $1.4 billion powerball lottery. He said that if this amount was spread over 300 million Americans, each person would receive over a million dollars! It took quite a while for anyone to question the math.

Josh
Josh
6 years ago
Reply to  ashv

This. It would be more helpful to refer to Wilson’s first category of “rights” as “freedoms”, and to the second category as “privileges” or “benefits”. As others have pointed out, many of the “freedoms” need government resources to protect, so they are “funded” in one sense. Due process, for example requires a process, which must be funded.

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago

I will simply note that this is one of the many occasions on which it is incredibly useful to be a utilitarian, because as a utilitarian the only question I need concern myself with is whether a particular policy produces a beneficial result that outweighs the cost. Elder poverty is down significantly since social security. There are fewer hungry children since AFDC came along. The best economy the US ever had in its history was in the 1950s when the upper tax rate was 90%. If reducing taxes and regulation were good for the economy, then we should have had… Read more »

katecho
katecho
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

I will simply note that Krychek_2 doesn’t have a worldview that supports prescription of any kind. He trots out a list of benefits that appeal to our own Christian sensibilities, but have no authoritative recommendation within his materialism. He arbitrarily assigns value to one kind of atomic fizzing over against another, but, after inspecting his presuppositions, we find that he can say nothing against the world behaving however it already behaves.

ashv
ashv
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

As a utilitarian, have you chosen to eat a vegetarian diet, to reduce animal suffering?

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Actually I served venison at my last dinner party, though I do only by meat that’s been humanely killed. And if you’re trying to suggest that to a utilitarian, an animal life is worth no more than a human life, you are mistaken.

katecho
katecho
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Whether that human life is born or unborn seems to make a great deal of difference in Krychek_2’s arbitrary utilitarianism.

Materialistic utilitarianism looks out across the expansive variety of accidental explosion byproducts and assigns greatest value to one animal above all the rest. Sure, it’s species-ist, and arbitrary, but what other behavior should we expect from an accident?

ashv
ashv
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Oh, no, most utilitarians I’ve read believe that animals have a much smaller capacity for suffering than humans. However, there are more of them and they’re more routinely killed. So reducing chicken suffering takes priority over improving most humans’ well-being.

katecho
katecho
6 years ago
Reply to  ashv

When it comes to deer vs humans, humans are the utility monster.

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  ashv

There are vegans who agree with you. Veganism does not necessarily follow from utilitarianism however.

ashv
ashv
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Why not?

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Why would it?

ashv
ashv
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Animal suffering is a cost. How do you know the benefits of meat eating outweigh it?

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  ashv

You’re assuming the life of a deer and the life of a human are equivalent. Most utilitarians would not agree with that.

ashv
ashv
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Certainly not! But you’ve probably cause the death of more meat animals than humans.

katecho
katecho
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Krychek_2 wrote: You’re assuming the life of a deer and the life of a human are equivalent. Most utilitarians would not agree with that. That’s all Krychek_2 has to say? Isn’t it precious that “most utilitarians” don’t think deer and humans have equivalent value. Is that supposed to be some kind of rational defense of utilitarianism? It seems more like a manifesto of arbitrariness. What property of matter does value and worth correspond to in Krychek_2’s materialism? How does he know whether deer or humans have any value at all, let alone a different value relative to each other? How… Read more »

timothy
timothy
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

You deal heavily in “most” and “fringe”. You reason like a herd animal.

Steve H
Steve H
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Are you a eugenicist too? We could just breed out the poor and retarded (save some big utility bucks there!!!) And while I’m at it, why not just kill old folks (albeit in a humane way) instead of giving them money.

katecho
katecho
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Krychek_2 wrote: Elder poverty is down significantly since social security. There are fewer hungry children since AFDC came along. The best economy the US ever had in its history was in the 1950s when the upper tax rate was 90%. Aside from his confusion of correlation with causation, Krychek_2’s utilitarian consequentialism tells us nothing about the value of the ends, or of the means. He may just as well be arguing the following, on utilitarian grounds: Elder poverty is down significantly since mandatory euthanasia. There are fewer hungry children since Roe v Wade came along. The best economy the US… Read more »

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Aside from your usual silliness about utility being arbitrarily defined, I already stated that the benefit has to outweigh the cost, and killing people in large numbers is far too high a cost to eradicate elder poverty. Your standards or no standards are not the only choices.

katecho
katecho
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Krychek_2 is confused. I’m not appealing to my own standards over against his. That would simply be to join Krychek_2 in his arbitrariness.

As a proponent of the general right to abortion, Krychek_2 has disqualified himself from telling us whether killing people in large numbers is far too high a cost. His arbitrary utilitarianism tolerates that cost just fine.

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Katecho, the reason you keep changing the subject is because you know I win on the merits. You simply cannot make the case that reducing elder poverty and child poverty are bad things. Even on this list you will be laughed at if you try. So your only hope is to change the subject from whether those are, in fact, good results to your repeated nonsense that I have no basis for an ethical system. Well, I’m not being drawn into that tangent. I will simply accept your concession that you can’t win on the merits, which is why you… Read more »

ashv
ashv
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

How do you measure the costs?

katecho
katecho
6 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Perhaps he takes the average cost? Or perhaps the total cost? Or perhaps he just asks the utility monster.

"A" dad
"A" dad
6 years ago
Reply to  katecho

“Violence breeds more violence.” ??? Krychek

Makes one wonder how WWII could ever end. The concept is wrong after a certain point.
However, I don’t think chekers consults with the “utility monster”.
chekers sounds more like he consults with the cookie monster.

And as much as I like the cookie monster, he also, is wrong after a certain point.
; – )

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Violence has social costs. Violence breeds more violence. It spills over into other groups, and your own survival depends on your ability to be the meanest and strongest. It even cuts into productivity since happy and secure people are more productive.

ashv
ashv
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Certainly. But how do you measure?

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  ashv

By balancing the harm to the children who will go hungry without AFDC against the harm to those whose taxes will go up by pennies to keep them from going hungry, as well as any side effects.

ashv
ashv
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

How do you measure these harms and benefits?

katecho
katecho
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

This is an odd admission about violence given Krychek_2’s recent appeal to the economic boom of the 1950’s, which came about as a direct consequence of debt-based government spending on the war. It’s a broken window fallacy, but on the surface it sure looks like productivity and economic good times. This is an example of why utilitarianism/consequentialism is of no use in determining what our goals ought to be, let alone our means of achieving them. If economic stimulus is your goal, utilitarianism would suggest provoking a world war. Why does Krychek_2 admire productivity anyway? He doesn’t say, but it… Read more »

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  katecho

You’re reading more into what I said than what’s actually there. I used the 1950s to argue that raising taxes is not necessarily bad for the economy. I went no further than that.

katecho
katecho
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

On the contrary, I don’t think there is anything prescriptive in any of Krychek_2’s arbitrary utilitarian observations in the first place. The very idea that something could be “necessarily bad” never enters the picture. Such a belief would require access to principles of virtue that prevail regardless of utility. For something to be necessarily bad, it would have to be bad regardless of the consequences, which would invalidate utilitarianism. As a utilitarian, Krychek_2 has no access to such things. What Krychek_2 actually said was: “The best economy the US ever had in its history was in the 1950s when the… Read more »

katecho
katecho
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Notice how Krychek_2’s responses are almost devoid of any imperatives. He will say that such and such is “funny”, or quip that “violence breeds more violence”, as if we are to magically finish the argument for him. Is violence bad? Is elder poverty bad? Is someone going to judge nature if it doesn’t satisfy its purpose and obligations?

The entire landscape is a purposeless accident from Krychek_2’s materialistic vantage point. Perhaps this is why Krychek_2 must appeal to us to supply his missing imperatives.

Steve H
Steve H
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

I don’t know if I buy what you are saying. I do agree with you that abortion has social costs and abortion leads to more abortion and your own survival begins with not violently killing your own offspring. However, I know quite a few folks personally who live off the gov who are quite happy and unproductive. If the gov can get you an Xbox One, some Hot Pockets and an apartment, you might just be content.

katecho
katecho
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

I’m trying to get Krychek_2 to see that his materialism loses, in principle, because his worldview can’t support the conclusions he is trying to reach. Even if he takes some policy that Christians actually agree with, toward some goal that we actually agree with, his arbitrary utiliarianism still fails to provide us any prescription or any basis of non-arbitrary values.

Tyrone Taylor
Tyrone Taylor
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Katecho’s “repeated nonsense” = careful application of logic and philosophy. I don’t know enough about philosophy to argue with him in this vein, so I personally would stop. I don’t know what you did to get on his bad side, but God help you.

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  Tyrone Taylor

Well, so far on this thread Katecho has engaged two non sequiturs, undistributed middle, a conclusion that doesn’t follow from his premise, and a false alternative. Careful application of logic and philosophy? That’s funny.

Tyrone Taylor
Tyrone Taylor
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

You can throw out a half dozen five cent logic fallacies if you like. It doesn’t however change you not addressing katecho’s primary argument – you give no reason to favor one utilitarian goal over another. That is what I was, not specifically, pointing out. I don’t have the desire to reason out every non-sequitur in a comment thread, that would be my submission for the definition of insanity.

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  Tyrone Taylor

But under Katecho’s world view, any utilitarian goal is entirely arbitrary, so there is no point to me articulating why I approve one over the other. See my comments to him just up the thread. It’s a nonsense argument; the idea that there is no objective way to determine that not having elder poverty is preferable to having elder poverty should get him and you laughed off the stage. If you really need to have it explained to you why it’s a good thing for children to not go hungry then we have nothing to talk about. Nevertheless, that’s what… Read more »

Wesley Sims
Wesley Sims
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

But Krychek, you just keep telling us to just take your word for it.

You can tell us THAT it’s a good thing that children not starve; Katecho can tell us WHY it’s a good thing that children not starve.

If you can’t admit that such gives him the moral high ground, it’s because you don’t want to, NOT because you shouldn’t.

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  Wesley Sims

I can tell you why it’s a good thing for children not to starve, though I don’t expect you’d agree with my reasons, but even if I couldn’t, we both agree that it’s a good thing for children not to starve. And since we agree on that point, utilitarianism gets us there more efficiently.

Malachi
Malachi
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

But can you tell us why some of your comrades propose killing off the starving children instead of feeding them? Lest you think I’m making this up: Paul Ehrlich, noted US biologist and environmentalist, had this to say in his seminal work, “The Population Bomb”: “A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells; the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people. Treating only the symptoms of cancer may make the victim more comfortable at first, but eventually he dies – often horribly. A similar fate awaits a world with a population explosion if only the symptoms are treated. We… Read more »

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  Malachi

There is probably no idea so bad that somebody somewhere doesn’t espouse it, but you’ve taken someone at the lunatic fringe and tried making it out that he’s representative of all or most utilitarians. It is as if I were to claim that because Hitler was raised Catholic, that therefore Christianity is a responsible for the Holocaust.

Malachi
Malachi
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

But he’s not on the fringe; he is widely heralded as an authority in the “population control” movement, which is very much in vogue these days. YOU may not agree with him (which is good), but many do. Writing Ehrlich off as a lunatic is easy, but he is actually a bit of a “champion” in societal architecture circles. There is an ever-clanging gong of “global over-population” ringing in our ears; do you ignore it or sing its tune?

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  Malachi

The population control movement is itself on the fringe, even if he’s mainstream within that movement. Even the Chinese have recently abandoned their one child policy because of the disaster it turned out to be for them. You’ll find an occasional academic here or there espousing it, but can you point me to any serious traction for it?

timothy
timothy
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Seems everybody is a fringe except you.

Wesley Sims
Wesley Sims
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Well, I’d like to hear the justification. But, to go on from our common ground, are you in fact choosing the most pragmatic and effective method of eliminating, say, childhood starvation, or poverty in general? I think that there’s a sizable–I’m not saying majority, but a noticeable number–portion of government welfare that goes to subsidizing worthlessness. Thousands of Medicaid dollars get wasted by patients who have no scruples regarding the proper use and occasion for ambulances, who refuse to use a primary care doctor rather than just going to the ER, and who expect ER’s to operate as magical pain… Read more »

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  Wesley Sims

First, let me respond to a comment you made earlier that I overlooked. Katecho cannot show why it’s a good thing that children not starve, because his response would be to posit a deity who in all probability doesn’t exist. That you think the pink unicorns are telling you it’s good that children not starve is not an explanation. It means you got to the correct result by the wrong method. And one point I’ve made repeatedly is that even if you were to actually succeed in dismantling my world view, that is not the same thing as offering evidence… Read more »

Wesley Sims
Wesley Sims
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Krychek, have you been here so long, had this very conversation so many times and *still* not understand what a worldview is? You can’t *reason* yourself into a different lens through which to view and interpret evidence BY viewing and interpreting evidence. You’ll ALWAYS end where you began. You do it. I do it. It’s a matter of acknowledging someone’s lordship over you–either your own or Christ’s. It’s a matter of loyalty. You were asked for justification for your position on childhood starvation, one other than “You need justification for not letting children starve?!?! Hahaha!! MORONS!!” which is the ONLY… Read more »

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  Wesley Sims

OK, I’ll bite: Why do I need justification that it’s bad to let children starve? Why is that not simply a given?

Wesley Sims
Wesley Sims
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

What, within your worldview, would have kept a Nazi from saying that the Final Solution was simply a given?

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Ask the Spartans, maybe? Or the countless armies through history that laid siege to walled cities?

I don’t know how we can call something “just a given” and leave it at that, when there have been large numbers of people in history for whom it wasn’t a given.

katecho
katecho
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

It’s worse than Krychek_2 realizes. I’m not seeing that he has a justification for the very meaning of good or bad at all, let alone whether child starvation is bad. As a materialist, there is no such thing as bad matter, or good matter. Matter moves however the laws of physics require it to move. Attaching labels of good or bad to this motion seems utterly superstitious coming from Krychek_2. One would think he was some kind of metaphysical dualist the way he invokes non-material properties all the time.

katecho
katecho
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Krychek_2 wrote: Katecho cannot show why it’s a good thing that children not starve, because his response would be to posit a deity who in all probability doesn’t exist. That you think the pink unicorns are telling you it’s good that children not starve is not an explanation. It means you got to the correct result by the wrong method. Krychek_2 complains that we are not engaging him on his own merits, yet here he openly dismisses us, not on the merits of our own worldview, but by appealing to his own personal incredulity. Somehow he supposes that if he… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
6 years ago
Reply to  katecho

How is it intellectually dishonest when K2 is candid about his presuppositions?

katecho
katecho
6 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

It is intellectually dishonest of him to complain that we are not engaging him on the merits of his worldview presuppositions (though we actually are, as I have shown), and then turn around and externally impose the brunt of his presuppositions and biases to dismiss our worldview out of hand. Presuppositional apologetics involves internally critiquing another’s worldview on its own premises. If I drag external beliefs into it, then it becomes invalid as an internal criticism. If Krychek_2 came to this blog to simply iterate his own personal belief that God is as unlikely as pink unicorns, and if he… Read more »

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  katecho

And this reminds me of some happy idiot’s objection to logic that it only applies to reality. Um, well, that’s kind of the point. Since there is no good evidence for the existence of God, or pink unicorns, naturally I’m not going to factor them in to any discussion on morals or ethics. And no, I don’t engage on my world view because it’s a distraction from the merits that you’re losing on. I come here to talk about the merits of an argument, not some silliness about how I don’t even have standing to make the argument. As I’ve… Read more »

katecho
katecho
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

I’m satisfied that I have addressed the alleged merits of Krychek_2’s arguments so far. Perhaps he can let us know what he thinks is still standing.

Wesley Sims
Wesley Sims
6 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

But jilly, the point is that he is *not* candid about his own presuppositions. He states flatly that there is little to no evidence for God. But there is. There’s green grass, blue skies, Belgian ales, rains for the earth, air to breath–there’s *nothing but* proof for God. Krychek just blinds himself to it and refuses to humble himself and confess Christ as Lord. The fault is in Krychek–not in our Lord for any silly perceived lack of evidence provided. Krychek’s problem has zero to do with evidence and everything to do with where he places his loyalty. And that’s… Read more »

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
6 years ago
Reply to  Wesley Sims

Krycheks presupositions are materialistic which includes the nonexistence of God, the little to no evidence for God is one of his presupositions.

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Getting the right result by the right method is important because you may not be so lucky the next time. Most of the time, the wrong method will get you to the wrong destination. Which is why consequentialism is concerned with both method and result. The right method greatly increases the likelihood of getting the right answer.

katecho
katecho
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Krychek_2 wrote: Getting the right result by the right method is important because you may not be so lucky the next time. Most of the time, the wrong method will get you to the wrong destination. Which is why consequentialism is concerned with both method and result. The right method greatly increases the likelihood of getting the right answer. Consequentialism measures the value of a method by concerning itself only with result. That’s why it’s called consequentialism. However, if it is so vitally important to use the right method, how does Krychek_2 explain that theism has so dominantly overwhelmed atheism… Read more »

Tyrone Taylor
Tyrone Taylor
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

I am not saying there is no objective reason why elder poverty is bad and neither is Katecho. I think that Katecho is pointing out that the objective reason why elder poverty is bad is not found in materialism. I.e., utilitarian goals are arbitrary if your source of truth is materialism.

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  Tyrone Taylor

Only if you believe that it’s entirely arbitrary to prefer eating to starvation. And if you believe that, be prepared to get laughed off the stage.

Tyrone Taylor
Tyrone Taylor
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

You repeat the same thing over and over. I believe starvation is bad and I can articulate why. Can you articulate why it is bad?

katecho
katecho
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

This is an attempt to appeal to ridicule. It’s an informal fallacy of evasion by Krychek_2. He is failing to engage the argument on its merits. Whether an audience laughs, or not, does not determine whether something is true or false. If Copernicus was laughed at by all of the faculty geocentrists, would it have told us anything about actual planetary orbits? Why should Krychek_2 resort to such evasions and fallacies? It’s not intellectually honest of him, but his worldview may simply have run out of gas. In materialism, the act of eating or starving is an accidental feature of… Read more »

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  katecho

You still haven’t gotten the point that humans have consciousness, have you?

jigawatt
jigawatt
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

You still haven’t gotten the point that humans have consciousness, have you?

You still haven’t gotten the point that saying consciousness is incompatible with materialism is not the same thing as denying consciousness, have you?

katecho
katecho
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Humans do have consciousness, which is a rather large problem for Krychek_2’s materialism. Perhaps some day he will entertain us with a materialistic account that would permit consciousness.

katecho
katecho
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Krychek_2 wrote: But under Katecho’s world view, any utilitarian goal is entirely arbitrary, so there is no point to me articulating why I approve one over the other. This is false. Krychek_2 is attempting to make excuses for his failure to engage. It’s not my worldview that creates a dilemma for Krychek_2. Rather it is Krychek_2’s own materialistic utilitarianism that creates internal contradiction, and self-stultifies. We have explained how on many occasions, and I’m happy to do so again. First, in a materialistic universe, there is no purpose or intent to anything. All is accidental. There is no expectation that… Read more »

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Abortion is not killing people. Since you are mistaken that abortion is murder, every time you say, what about abortion, my response is, so what about it?

katecho
katecho
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

I don’t grant that murder is a category within materialism anyway. Atoms simply react according to the laws of physics. Intent and moral consideration never factors into their motion. In that sense it isn’t possible that one stack of atoms could murder another stack, any more than a rock can murder a softer rock as it bounces down a steep hillside under the force of gravity. But in the world that we actually live in, abortion is most definitely the murder of human life. We already extracted from Krychek_2 that the unborn are fully human (there being no scientific criteria… Read more »

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  katecho

No contradiction since I was talking about something different in the previous thread. That aside, Katecho, your world view requires that my world view can’t be objective and can’t be able to stand on its own two feet. So it simply doesn’t matter how many times or how effectively I show that my world view is objective and has a valid basis, you’re not going to believe it because your world view won’t let you. Which is why I try to keep to a minimum actually engaging you. There’s no real point to me trying to convince you of a… Read more »

katecho
katecho
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Krychek_2 always seems to want to talk about something other than the internal contradictions of his materialism, however, it doesn’t do any good for him to blame his problems on my worldview. I haven’t imported any of my Christian worldview as a requirement on his materialism. He is welcome to demonstrate how I have done so, if he thinks that he can. I simply point out the limitations and implications of materialism on its own terms, even apart from theism. Materialism supports no purpose, no intent, no meaning and no prescription/imperative. In his more lucid moments, Krychek_2 will acknowledge that… Read more »

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Still not engaging the merits, I see.

katecho
katecho
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Krychek_2 was boasting about the advantages of his utilitarianism, so I engaged with the points that Krychek_2 raised. I also explained the various worldview contradictions that completely disqualify Krychek_2 from raising them from within his own materialism. Krychek_2 is the one who simply runs away from those disqualifications and whines whenever the subject returns to them. His refusal to even address these dilemmas just leaves them hanging in the air all around him. I’m fine with that, because it demonstrates very effectively that he doesn’t have an answer to overcome them. He wants to be assumed to have a functioning… Read more »

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Still not engaging the merits, I see. My world view is not the merits.

Steve H
Steve H
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Correct, abortionISTS are killing people.

Malachi
Malachi
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Actually, killing people in large numbers is probably the cheapest route we could take. I’m surprised the Enlightened, social eugenic Utopians don’t espouse this more often.

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  Malachi

Eugenics doesn’t have much of a following these days. You want to try appealing to theories that people actually subscribe to?

Malachi
Malachi
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Funny…I WAS bringing up a very popular belief of the Enlightenment, Utopian groups that believe they can engineer a better society through human education and government programs. Eugenics has LONG been a part of the Progressive Liberal ideology and is a foundational layer of Planned Parenthood. The folks that believe these theories are the very ones who take utilitarian approaches to social re-engineering. Your statements matched so closely with theirs that I assumed you were one of them.

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  Malachi

Well, if you’re going to base your argument on what people believed a hundred years ago, then most evangelical churches should revert to being racist. Or, put another way, we do not use the methods of George Washington’s physicians, but that doesn’t discredit the field of medicine. It means we’ve learned a thing or two since then.

You will be hard pressed to find any support for eugenics among today’s progressive liberals.

katecho
katecho
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

See Planned Parenthood.

katecho
katecho
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Abortion is an even more popular eugenics experiment than it was when Margaret Sanger was still roaming the earth.

"A" dad
"A" dad
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

chekers chekers, tsk, tsk.
“Uniformity is the hobgoblin of utilitarian minds”

If the donut were big enough, it would function as food and shelter at a minimum!
Possibly even clothing.

Be serious.

Jane Dunsworth
Jane Dunsworth
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

“There are fewer hungry children since AFDC came along.”

And vastly more with lives wrecked in other ways.

Even in a utilitarian ethic, it seems simplistic to apply only a single metric to each scenario to determine whether that scenario has resulted in greater, or less, suffering.

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  Jane Dunsworth

Jane, most policies involve trade offs. Very few policies are either 100% beneficial or 100% bad. While I will be the first to admit that AFDC has had some negative consequences, I think on balance we’re better off than we were. However, even if I am wrong about that, my original point was that the benefit of being a utilitarian is that all you have to worry about is whether a policy leaves us better off. If you think the answer to that question is no, you can make that case within utilitarianism without having to appeal to an ancient… Read more »

ashv
ashv
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

So, how do you measure whether a policy is a net benefit?

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  ashv

By comparing the social cost if the policy is implemented to the social cost if it’s not implemented.

ashv
ashv
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

You can compare costs after you’ve measured costs. How do you measure?

Malachi
Malachi
6 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Exactly! There is no possibly way to determine what a “social cost” will be–assuming you can possibly DEFINE that! Or perhaps Krychek was mentoring Pelosi when she infamously said of Obamacare, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  ashv

You seriously expect me to condense a 400 page economics textbook into a couple of paragraphs? “How do you measure costs” took two semesters when I was an undergraduate. If you’re actually interested and not just yanking my chain, you’ll find lots on google, and what you’ll find is that it’s complicated. It involves factoring in risk, unknowns, potential unintended consequences, looking at before and after data, ensuring that you’re looking at actual causation rather than mere correlation, looking at abstracts that are sometimes difficult to quantify, assigning numbers to things that are difficult to quantify.

ashv
ashv
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Yes, this is my point. You boast of comparing costs and benefits but “assigning numbers to things that are difficult to quantify” is a means of rationalizing any outcome you wish to achieve. Even if I adopted utilitarianism I still wouldn’t agree with you on anything because your idea of costs and benefits is utterly different from mine, and who’s to judge between us?

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Yes, it’s difficult, which is why people with a little bit of knowledge are so dangerous. And often conclusions have to be re-visited because new data comes in. That doesn’t mean the hard work of it can’t be done, or that there aren’t checks and balances within the system specifically designed to weed out rationalizations.

ashv
ashv
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

“The system”? Why would there be only one system?

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Same reason there’s only one math and one science.

ashv
ashv
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

There certainly isn’t. There are multiple consistent ways to treat mathematics (see, for example, the long-running dispute about the axiom of choice). “Science” isn’t a unified concept at all; it’s used as a name for at least three different things — “a method of studying the world using experimentation”, “a body of knowledge obtained using the scientific method”, and “what professional scientists do”. Even if we restrict our discussion to the first (the scientific method), math and science definitely don’t involve “assigning numbers to things that are difficult to quantify”.

timothy
timothy
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

That ‘ancient book’ tells us a lot about sinful human nature; the predictive value of the book is unparallelled. As man, apart from God, seeks to build heaven on earth, he builds hell instead.

I agree with you, the 1950’s where good. We still had prayer in schools and the heathen 60’s where still in the future. It is eminently utilitarian to repent. Clearly the social cost of secularism is not utilitarian. Most people where far better off, human happiness as a whole, was greatly increased when we had prayer in schools.

Jane Dunsworth
Jane Dunsworth
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

There’s a sense in which all you have to worry about is whether something leaves you better off no matter who you are.

The question is what constitutes better off, and so it doesn’t simplify things. But even in a material sense, what leaves someone better off is hardly straightforward.

Throw out the ancient book if you will, and then attempt to justify your own sense of better off against another materialist’s sense of better off, if that materialist weights values differently than you do.

It really doesn’t solve anything, much as you might want it to.

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  Jane Dunsworth

You are right that what leaves us better off is sometimes not clear. That doesn’t mean it can’t be figured out. And except for the sociopaths, most materialists are probably in more agreement as to what constitutes better off than you think. You’re not going to find too many materialists arguing that elder poverty is a good thing. Depending on circumstances you may sometimes find that it’s a bad thing that can’t be fixed, but no one is claiming it’s actually good for old folks to starve in their unheated trailers in winter.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Getting back to AFDC, which I realize may be harder for you to deal with because it’s more complex and therefore makes my point a bit better, materialists will respond to the increase in single parent homes (a direct result of AFDC) in two ways. One, the response of the person who sees the devastating social effects of fatherlessness — this person thinks that there is at best a bad effect traveling with the good one that you see. IOW, he sees something bad happening. With this response, you lose the simple “fewer starving children, so it’s a net win”… Read more »

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

On the other hand, there would almost certainly be more abortions without AFDC since there is data that indicates a significant number of abortions happen because the woman doesn’t feel she has the resources to take care of a child.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

And so you see, the success or lack thereof of AFDC is multi-factorial and far more complicated to evaluate than “there are fewer starving children, it must be good.” Utilitarianism can only be workable if we understand all the possible factors. That seems awfully unwieldy for an ethical system. It’s probably unworkable to base ethics on something that, for example, requires a 400 page book to explain to educated people. How’s the average person supposed to implement it?

katecho
katecho
6 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Indeed. True utilitarianism would require knowing the sum of all future effects in order to compute the consequential value of some present action. For example, murdering ten toddlers now might result in a nicer car for 100 other people later. Feeding a particular starving child today might result in a future tyrant coming to power tomorrow. In utilitarian ethics, actions are not organized according to principles of virtue (virtue ethics). Virtue is unknown apart from the particular future outcome. Utilitarians try to get around this by appealing to average or expected outcomes, but how would these be known, or adjusted,… Read more »

Luke
Luke
6 years ago

I agree with the overall thrust in this article, but one question regarding it: Strictly speaking, does the right to NOT have my life, liberty, and property taken without due process (5th amendment) mean ONLY that the GOVERNMENT cannot do these things, or does it mean that NO ONE can deprive me of life, liberty, and property without due process? If it means the latter, does that right then include in it a responsibility for the government to have judges, court houses, and law officers, not only to carry out due process but also to prevent other private citizens from… Read more »

RFB
RFB
6 years ago
Reply to  Luke

Luke, Life, liberty, property and all other “rights” mentioned by the Founders were understood to pre-exist any contract with government. These “rights” were understood to inhere to our being as image bearers and are grants provided to us by the Creator. The Grantor alone sets the conditions upon which said “rights” can be altered or removed. I enjoy katcho’s exposition: “…God’s calling, mercy ministry, and in terms of His institution and desires. If the civil magistrate was understood to be a different kind of minister of God (in this case, of His wrath) with a calling to office, then perhaps… Read more »

Luke
Luke
6 years ago
Reply to  RFB

Perhaps I miscommunicated. I did not intend to express doubt on where rights come from, or to question the biblical merit or responsibility of government which is established in its own right and not merely as an outgrowth of individual rights, and thus remains however we otherwise define our own “rights”. I also did not mean to imply a question as to whether we should pay taxes or any such matter. I already agree with all of these things, and nothing I said was meant to defy them My question was specifically related to this post and to its attempt… Read more »

Josh
Josh
6 years ago

I would be interested to hear Doug, an admitted fan of Chesterton, engage with Chesterton’s economic views. I think that would be enlightening, challenging, and entertaining.

ME
ME
6 years ago

“Now when you don’t do something, this does not require a staff. It doesn’t require offices. You don’t need a cabinet position to head the operation up. You don’t need a budget. “Not doing something” is free.” Apparently Wilson is unfamiliar with my county’s Snow Non Removal Program. It’s required quite a bit of money, many meetings, and of course, a green stamp of approval to make sure it is all environmentally friendly. Yes, people actually get paid to observe and manage this program. Clearly government is capable of “not doing something,” and charging a great deal of money to… Read more »

Malachi
Malachi
6 years ago
Reply to  ME

Reminds me of the USDA’s abhorrent practice of paying farmers to not farm.

Jonathan
Jonathan
6 years ago

Pastor Wilson, your numbers appear to be off. You claim “the bottom 60% pay less than 2% of all income taxes. The top 1% pay around 46% of all income taxes.” In fact, the top 1% only pay 24% of all Federal taxes, and an even smaller percentage of all taxes. You said, “income taxes”, but did not factor in State income taxes. Not to mention, the curious question of why you are not including sales taxes and all other types of taxes and fees into that number. Not to mention, the obvious question of how much expendable income is… Read more »

Matthew S
Matthew S
6 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

There’s no need to include sales tax. The top 1% still pay more in that arena obviously since they spend more. Income tax is the concern here. I don’t think I’ve ever heard sales tax come up in a presidential debate. It’s always about taxing the income, which is where the debate comes in over whether or not the income of the rich should be taxed at a higher bracket than the average American. The point is not that these people are making a lot of money of course. That’s their money and they can make enough to buy the… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
6 years ago
Reply to  Matthew S

“The top 1% still pay more in that arena obviously since they spend more.” Yes, the top 1% will likely pay somewhat more in sales tax (though they can use many methods of dodging taxes that aren’t necessarily available to the poor), but the proportional amount extra which they pay is far less. While they pay 42% of Federal Income tax, it becomes only 24% of all Federal taxes, and likely 15% or less of taxes, total. That’s still more than the poor pay, but the 42% number isn’t valid. The rest of your post doesn’t seem to have anything… Read more »

Josh
Josh
6 years ago

The problem in understanding the distinction Wilson wants to draw is the term “rights” can be used in different ways. The USA constitution was framed at the time of Mill, Locke, and the French Revolution, when rights theory was very prominent, and the concept of rights has been enshrined in the Constitution as the highest law, meaning everyone wants to appeal to “rights”. Political discourse in the USA is so entangled with rights terminology that it is difficult to see things in other terms, even for Christians, who follow a higher law than the Constitution. Rushdoony and others have attempted… Read more »

Spike Pittard
Spike Pittard
6 years ago

Who goes around demanding free Krispy Kremes? While it’s true that you can use food stamps to buy donuts at the grocery store, you can’t use them at Krispy Kremes. But whatever. And the American people are liars and thieves? Of COURSE we are liars and thieves! All have sinned and fallen short. More specifically–and more to the point of the image that graces this ludicrous post–we are liars and thieves because this land used to belong to someone else. Now it belongs to us. We stole it. What of that? Just as an example, if we honored treaties, the… Read more »

Dave
Dave
6 years ago
Reply to  Spike Pittard

Spike, please show me the scripture for forcing those who are better off to pay higher taxes for the poor. I don’t see any scriptural basis for your rant at all. Maybe that’s why you don’t understand the post.

Spike Pittard
Spike Pittard
6 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Dave, the Bible does not establish taxation policy.

Malachi
Malachi
6 years ago
Reply to  Spike Pittard

There are always two concurrent issues, and conflating them is the first order of bad thinking. 1. What should Christians do about a situation, on a personal level and/or as the Body of Christ? 2. What should our governments do about a situation, at the local, State, and Federal levels? The answers to these questions are often not the same. In fact, Christians at the personal level often have a different responsibility than Christians at the corporate level. Additionally, governments at the local level have different responsibilities than those at the State or Federal level. Many of your misgivings, Spike,… Read more »

Spike Pittard
Spike Pittard
6 years ago
Reply to  Malachi

Article 1, section 8 of the US Constitution gives Congress the power to “collect taxes to . . . provide for the general welfare”. It is, therefore, legal for Congress to pass laws that use tax money to provide assistance for those in need. It is commonly understood that, for instance, making sure American children all have something to eat when they go to school, is providing for the “general welfare” of the Nation. What makes you say such acts are unlawful–and in bold, capital letters, no less?

David R
David R
6 years ago
Reply to  Spike Pittard

Spike, you need to keep reading that section, since it enumerates what those taxes can be used for; what the General Welfare means. Here is James Madison, the guy who wrote the section said about it: “With respect to the two words ‘general welfare’, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.” “If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can… Read more »

Spike Pittard
Spike Pittard
6 years ago
Reply to  David R

You misunderstand the grammar here, Dave. The rest of the article does NOT enumerate what the taxes can be used for. Collecting taxes is only the first item in the list of powers granted to congress by Article 1, section 8. There is no debate about this. If you don’t agree, then you don’t understand the way the article is written. Article 1, section 8 is a list of powers, and taxation is only one of those powers. To paraphrase, using sentences to make the actual construction more clear, it reads as follows: Congress has the power to collect taxes… Read more »

Dave
Dave
6 years ago

K2, please explain to me why I should care if your grandma doesn’t have enough savings to take care of herself and you don’t want to care for her. Also, why should I care if your kid is hungry. After all that’s your problem not mine and not the governments.

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Because the problems of the poor have a tendency to spill over. And because a society that is so callous that it would allow grandmother to starve to death is a society that you wouldn’t want to live in.

Dave
Dave
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

But, it’s your grandma not mine. Spillover problems were not a problem until the 1900s when Wilson pushed a chicken in every pot. Where does the spill over go? So again, why should I take care of your grandma or feed your kids?

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Actually it was Hoover who pushed a chicken in every pot, for all the good it did him. The answer to your question is that humans live in communities, which requires that occasionally you have to do stuff that benefits the community whether you like it or not. Have you ever had a teenager? If so, I’m sure you’ve had a similar conversation with him.

jillybean
jillybean
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

And Hoover got it from King Henry of Navarre who wanted no peasant in his kingdom “to be so poor as not to have a chicken in his pot every Sunday.”

Dave
Dave
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

K2, my teenagers were taught to take care of themselves not to leach off the kindness of others. Your community answer teaches that it is OK to steal and force others to work because you are lazy.

So, again, why should I take care of your grandma or feed your kids?

jillybean
jillybean
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Sometimes I am tempted to believe that as long as grandma starved in decent privacy, a lot of people wouldn’t care much at all. I think that most of us have to see suffering with our own eyes in order to wake us from self-absorption.

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Unfortunately, I think you’re probably right. How many of us buy cheap goods made with slave labor in the third world?

jillybean
jillybean
6 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Do you think a Christian is ever free to look at a starving grandma and say “Not my problem”?

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
6 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

The question is why *K2* thinks anybody should care, not why anybody should care.

jillybean
jillybean
6 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

But, Jane, surely we recognize that an opposition to seeing people starve while we can prevent it does not require a religious foundation. K2 thinks people should care because we live in community and it is in almost everyone’s interest that it be a healthy one. It seems to me that religious unbelief might actually impel someone to help the poor: If there is no God to help them, then I must. Or, if there is no hope of a happy afterlife, then we must make life in this world as fulfilling as possible. Even a self-absorbed unbeliever can understand… Read more »

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
6 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I was just clarifying the question. It doesn’t require a religious foundation to care, but the fact that it is good to care has to rest upon something. There’s a reason that spreading disease is bad. There’s a reason that seeing sick people should make you unhappy. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be unhappy if you don’t agree with the real reason, but it still means that “it is the way it is because it is the way it is” STILL isn’t a coherent explanation of reality. If someone doesn’t believe in gravity, I understand that he can still grasp… Read more »

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Jane, the reason that spreading disease is bad, and looking at suffering people makes most people sad, is that they are survival mechanisms that enable humans to better live in community. And frankly, I think one of the greatest thefts of all time was when religion hijacked morality (and then had the audacity to claim that morality was its idea). Why should we be concerned about the spread of disease isn’t that far removed from why shouldn’t I jump off a cliff. The only people who take such questions seriously are people who desperately need to justify a belief system… Read more »

Wesley Sims
Wesley Sims
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

“Well, you’ve answered your own question.”

Hopefully, because you didn’t.

What if I DO? What if I just don’t care?

What if I say, like the wolf overlooking a pig farm in one Far Side comic, “Trichinosis be damned! I say we go for it!”

You’re simply and merely appealing to fluid desires and preferences, and that bluff has been called innumerable times.

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
6 years ago
Reply to  Wesley Sims

So eradicating cholera, typhus and measles is nothing more than a mere personal preference? Seriously?

Wesley Sims
Wesley Sims
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

“But if you spend a few minutes seriously thinking through what it would be like to live in a world in which spreading disease were considered a virtue, it doesn’t really take that much to figure out why it’s a good thing to not spread disease. Would you want to live in such a society?”

“So eradicating cholera, typhus and measles is nothing more than a mere personal preference? Seriously?”

I’m just interacting with what you said.

jigawatt
jigawatt
6 years ago
Reply to  Wesley Sims

I’m just interacting with what you said.

I think that Krychek_2 still does not get that pointing out the non-sequitur of his moral conclusions is NOT THE SAME AS denying those conclusions. He is saying that 1+1=73 and that 2+2=4. When we ask “How can 2+2=4 IF 1+1=73?”, he responds “Well OF COURSE everyone knows that 2+2=4, it’s just intuitively obvious! Come on, How can 2+2=4? Seriously?”

jigawatt
jigawatt
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

So eradicating cholera, typhus and measles is nothing more than a mere personal preference? Seriously?

For you it is.

katecho
katecho
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Clearly Krychek_2 places the human species in a highly preferred position, but does he have a rational reason for doing so? Of course the Vibrio cholerae strain of bacteria would beg to differ with him that cholera should be eradicated. Rickettsia would have something to say against the eradication of typhus. Krychek_2 continually supposes that man’s interests are of greatest value, but, in his materialism, man is just the same sort of accident as Vibrio cholerae. There is no value difference as far as the materialistic universe is concerned. Krychek_2 might argue that his preferences are all that matters, and… Read more »

katecho
katecho
6 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Krychek_2 wrote: Jane, the reason that spreading disease is bad, and looking at suffering people makes most people sad, is that they are survival mechanisms that enable humans to better live in community. And frankly, I think one of the greatest thefts of all time was when religion hijacked morality (and then had the audacity to claim that morality was its idea). Notice carefully how Krychek_2 appeals to nature when it suits him, and then betrays nature when it doesn’t. He credits nature with bestowing “certain survival mechanisms that enable humans to better live in community”. How generous of nature… Read more »

katecho
katecho
6 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

jillybean needs to pay much closer attention to the arguments regarding Krychek_2, or she will simply make the same mistakes that he does. She writes: If ethical conduct is impossible without explicit acknowledgement of God, how can we explain Buddhism or the Tao? My point has never been that ethical conduct is impossible for the professing atheist. We grant that the atheist has moral awareness and that this, itself, is the problem to be answered. The Christian answers for the atheist by noting that all men have moral intuition and sensitivity because the Potter’s handprints are on us as His… Read more »

Dave
Dave
6 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

K2 can’t answer the question in any constructive manner except to say that it is OK to steal from others.

gerv
gerv
6 years ago

Doug: you’ve used that $25k figure a couple of times. The only source I can find says $34k: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2082385/We-1–You-need-34k-income-global-elite–half-worlds-richest-live-U-S.html . Can you provide your source?

Frank_in_Spokane
Frank_in_Spokane
6 years ago

Liberty Rights vs. benefit “rights.”

Straight outta Bahnsen.

ashv
ashv
6 years ago

Which one is “right to a speedy trial”?

Frank_in_Spokane
Frank_in_Spokane
6 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Good question.

Maybe a “justice right”?

GraceTruth
GraceTruth
6 years ago

Doug, your quote reminds me of you: “The American people are liars and thieves, and this is why it is fitting that we are governed by liars and thieves.” The same truth for a pastor in Moscow..the way you have handled Natalie and her family qualifies you for that same reality.

Wesley Sims
Wesley Sims
6 years ago
Reply to  GraceTruth

So the people at Christ Church are liars and thieves?

Yishy
Yishy
6 years ago
Reply to  Wesley Sims

Duh

katecho
katecho
6 years ago
Reply to  GraceTruth

I wondered where the #hashtag vigilantes had disappeared to.

andrewlohr
andrewlohr
6 years ago

Paul Krugman, write me a check.

Yish
Yish
6 years ago

Doug, so few comments on your posts lately. Maybe you should put an update out on the sexual abuse cover up committee you control to get your clicks and page views up a bit?

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
6 years ago
Reply to  Yish

Or you could bring it up more often on more posts…

ron
ron
6 years ago

Negative vs Positive rights should be discussed like this more often!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXOEkj6Jz44