A Surgical Rape of Nature

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Over the years I have expressed in various ways my great debt to The Abolition of Man. This book was published as a non-fiction companion to my favorite novel, which is That Hideous Strength. Every year that goes by simply reinforces Lewis’s prescience.

In this post, I want to summarize The Abolition of Man in a paragraph, then take issue with a passing reference that Lewis makes near the end of his argument, and then go on to make some observations about Lewis’s profound insight into the precise nature of the modern rebellion.

Lewis begins with the modern effort to debunk statements of value, showing that this debunking spirit is a universal corrosive. It will eat out any container you try to store it in. He shows how our brand of relativism is arbitrary and capricious, tending to select one aspect of traditional morality, and absolutizing it randomly over against the rest. The result of this rejection of the Tao is something that Lewis calls “men without chests.” They have no fixed system of value and so it is that they are adrift in a blind and stupid cosmos. Now at the same time we are embracing an inchoate hot mess as an ethical system, we are simultaneously making tremendous advances in the technocratic sciences, such that more and more of nature is coming under our authority. But because we have jettisoned fixed ethics, of the sort that presuppose a natural thing called humanity, the imperial prerogatives of science have now strapped man to the table as a subject, man as part of nature—and hence subject to being cut up into little pieces if we like. We have no consistent way to arrest ourselves. But, as Lewis shows, man’s conquest of nature is actually the conquest of some men over other men, using nature as the instrument. Then, at the end of the day, because the rulers in this system have no standard above them, no Tao to submit to, no practical reason anchored in their chests—for they have no chests—their decisions over the ruled will be made as a matter of caprice. There is no arche, and so their decisions will be driven by the weather, by their digestion, by their mood swings, by anything other than right reason. In short, their decisions will be driven by nature. What was trumpeted as man’s triumph over nature turns out to be, on close inspection, the triumph of material nature over man.

The passing comment Lewis made is this one. “In the same spirit [as alchemists and magicians] Bacon condemns those who value knowledge as an end in itself: this, for him, is to use as a mistress from pleasure what ought to be a spouse for fruit” (p. 88). I agree with Lewis that modern science is lawful, but that it was born in “an unhealthy neighbourhood and at an inauspicious hour” (p. 89). But if you are not against science as such, as Lewis stoutly maintains he is not, then you have to have a standard by which you distinguish the various actions that can be performed on the natural world. When is nature a spouse for fruit, when a mistress for pleasure, and when is it just a rape victim?

I take Lewis’s central point about science, technology, ethics, and nature, but I do think he is missing an important limit in Bacon’s thought. Bacon was a Christian, and did not believe that we should do to nature whatever we could do. And what Lewis says about Bacon points to one of the limits set for us by natural revelation. A spouse is fruitful, and the works of darkness are frequently described in Scripture as fruitless.

At the same time, Lewis’s point about humanoids (who have rebelled against the idea of humanity) forcing their will upon nature, as though nature (including human nature) is simply so much plastic material, to be rearranged at will by our humanoids aspiring to the position of witless demiurge, is a point that every Christian leader today has to master. If we don’t master it, we will be mastered by those who are far gone in their rebellion against the point Lewis made.

And this is what lies behind every sex change operation, every breathless announcement that “a man” is now pregnant—look at science go—and every attempt to tie apples onto orange trees and call it a horticultural breakthrough. Sex reassignment surgeries are to sexual health what strip mining is to landscape architecture. Every sex change operation is a rape, not of the patient, who consented, but it is a rape of nature, which did not consent, a rape of natural law, which does not consent, a rape of the Tao, which will never consent, and an attempted rape of God’s law/word, which will descend and execute judgment on their woolly scalps (Ps. 68:21).

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MeMe
5 years ago

Well said. Brings to mind the message in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, too. You’ll get no argument from me on any of this, there’s a reason why I blog, “See there’s this thing called biology…” and you’ve captured the essence of it quite well. The glaringly obvious question of our time is, are we a people created in the image of God or are we a meaningless clump of cells? If we’re perceived as just a clump of random cells, there’s nothing morally wrong with stabbing us in the head with a pair of scissors and flushing us down the drain.… Read more »

FX Turk
FX Turk
5 years ago

What makes your essay here exquisite, Doug, is that you expose this: these post human people say they condemn immorality, but what they really mean is that they condemn other people’s immorality. They say they are against racism — except they want some races to have safe spaces (what we in Little Rock used to call “segregation”). They say they are against poverty, but they want all the poor women to murder their babies to prevent it. They say that are against rape, and then look here how you have said it: they want to rape something more than some… Read more »

Andrew Roggow
Andrew Roggow
5 years ago

Doug, Great post, but I have a question. How does all this square with your stated position on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In the past you have strongly supported them due to their production benefits. But (even leaving out the growing evidence of health problems as a result of eating them) if viewed from the lense of what we have to do to get those benefits, how is chopping up the DNA of a plant different than chopping up the parts of a person for a sex change operation? The activity of genetically modifying crops very much seems to fit… Read more »

gabe
gabe
5 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Roggow

Rearranging vegetables would fall under the guise of subduing the creation, while rearranging human DNA is an assault on the Imago Dei.

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  gabe

That seems to ignore the entire argument from “nature” then, if it only applies to the image of God.

I’m not saying that GMO’s should be banned. But we’ve gone far past cautious limits in this regard and it bears serious consideration by people who understand the effects of what we’ve done, not just casual dismissals of all concern.

Sam Moehring
Sam Moehring
5 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Which GMO products or crops do you consider having gone “far past cautious limits?”

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

We have been down this road before, but I still don’t understand your attitude toward GMOs given your ordinary willingness to accept when something is settled science. As Scientific American wrote in 2013: “The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the World Health Organization and the exceptionally vigilant European Union agree that GMOs are just as safe as other foods. Compared with conventional breeding techniques—which swap giant chunks of DNA between one plant and another—genetic engineering is far more precise and, in most cases, is less likely to produce an unexpected result. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Exactly, we’ve gone down this road before, so I find it really strange that you would attribute to me a position I’ve never expressed. My issue has never been that I believe that GM foods are “unsafe for human consumption”. GM foods in most cases are certain to be less healthy than naturally grown and fertilized organics (most specifically because they force the plant to take shortcuts in order to produce more mass on fewer inputs, and because they tend to rely so extensively on chemicals), but I’ve never said that the genetic modification itself makes them unsafe. My issue… Read more »

bethyada
bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

jonathan, I agree with points 1,2 and 4. But I would add that none of your 5 issues is a problem with GMOs as a moral issue of modifying the genome. This is the question that was asked and addressed by

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Well, yes, in the sense that I don’t believe GMO’s should be outright banned as a whole (like I said), I don’t have a “moral issue with modifying the genome”. But I also don’t make arguments from nature in the manner that Pastor Wilson does. My issue is more in line with the casual acceptance of virtually any technological process no matter how much it tampers with God’s creation, so long as it produces profit. In that sense my issues with GMOs are in the same vein as my issues with industrial chemical pollution and the abuse of animals in… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

On the topic of how bad 2 and 4 are getting, here is some recent word on factory farm pollution.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/08/gulf-mexico-hypoxia-water-quality-dead-zone/

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Hi Jonathan, I hadn’t remembered that your opposition was not based at all on safety concerns. Let me read the articles you mention and get back to you.

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
5 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Jonathan,

I would note that, with the exception of item 1 (and even that is hard to find the edges of), none of your concerns are unique to GMOs in agriculture. They all appear to be concerns related to “modern” agriculture writ large. I do agree that GMO is a particularly powerful totem for tribe modern ag.

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

Yes, I agree with that 100% demosthenes. My issue is generally not that they create a completely unique problem but that they cement into place an ongoing issue.

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

I should disclose my potential bias at this point. My grandfather was a prominent chemical engineer with Monsanto and had a great deal to do with the building of new Roundup factories in multiple countries. Even as a child, hearing his mocking of environmental and safety tests and stringent refusal to admit even the slightest dangers in his company’s products likely pushed me against the company. (And not just me – at least three of his children ended up with a strong environmentalist, anti-corporate bent and one is actually an organic farmer.) Now, read these and tell me my feelings… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

“I simply can’t believe that every scientist and regulatory body has been bribed by Monsanto to say that GM food is safe when they have reason to suspect that it isn’t.” While “every scientist” has not been bribed, enormous numbers have been paid, going all the way up to the EPA. Read the article “Lawsuit accuses Monsanto of manipulating research to hide roundup dangers” “Newly released court documents in a federal lawsuit suggest Monsanto planned to ghostwrite a positive report on glyphosate and get experts to back it up.” An scientist wrote in an email “…we would be keeping the… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Finally, on the collusion between industry and academia and some of the inherent problems that have caused so many of these problems in the first place, I highly recommend you read Wendell Berry’s essays “Twelve Paragraphs on Biotechnology”, “Stupidity in Concentration” and “The Agrarian Standard”. Somewhere in one of his essays (possibly one of those, but I’m not certain), he gets specifically into the fact that many Departments of Agriculture in American universities get a huge amount of their research funding from agribusiness, and act accordingly.

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

I just found a really good article about some of the potential pitfalls of CRISPR and the intensified use of GMOs. To summarize: 1. Many GMOs produced by chemical/tech companies and so they are focused around the continued use of herbicides, pesticides, etc. rather than switching to more sustainable systems that wean us off of those. 2. It encourages centrally managed, one-size-fits-all attempts to solve problems that might be much more effectively addressed at local, small-scale levels. 3. It is focused on high-profit enterprises and benefiting the wealthy, sometimes in ways that actually hurt the poor. 4. It does not… Read more »

gabe
gabe
5 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

A lof of things operate differently when outside the Image of God. Naturally I can eat an animal or vegetable without such a natural violation and a person I cannot. At least should not :) The image of God carries more weight ontologically. This is why an eye for eye for example has to do with humans and not animals and especially not lettuce.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  gabe

Gabe,would you think that rearranging human DNA to correct a medical problem (I don’t mean transgender) is impermissible? If, for example, it were possible to alter DNA prenatally to cure Down Syndrome, would that be okay?

gabe
gabe
5 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Yes, as Doug has argued somewhere I believe, but I would say yes if it is contributing to the natural process of the body i.e: healing as following the created order as such. Same reason I would say nothing wrong with drugs either for that matter. Attempting to heal, as God is in the business of.

gabe
gabe
5 years ago
Reply to  gabe

Grrrr…and by Yes, I mean it is permissible not impermissible. Wish there was an edit, Sorry a misread.

Andrew Roggow
Andrew Roggow
5 years ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

Thanks.

Andrew Roggow
Andrew Roggow
5 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Roggow

Here is possibly a relvant question for the discussion. If there is such a thing as valid genetic modifying and invalid genetic modifying, how do we the consumer know the difference? I look at the GMO problem with an engineer’s brain. When boilers and steam engines were a new thing it was the “wild west”. There were no standards, and as a result there were explosions and other accidents. Now with NFPA and ASME standards, those things are mostly history. Something similar can be said with electrical accidents and IEC/IEEE/ANSI standards and a number of other things. In the GMO… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Roggow

Those are deep waters, Andrew! It seems to me that there are two questions we focus on regarding any startlingly new technology: (1) Do the benefits outweigh any safety risks; and (2) Are there likely to be serious ethical issues about the ownership and fair distribution of the technology (such as creating a dependence on GM seeds and then sharply raising their cost. But what we don’t examine until it is too late is whether a technology is licit in the first place. If it is wrong for humans to muck about altering DNA, was it wrong for us to… Read more »

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
5 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Roggow

Curious, Andrew- could you provide some studies documenting the growing evidence of health problems resulting from eating GMO crops?

I am very much interested.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

Hi Demo, I am mixing up the thread again. I don’t place much credence in the MRI study; there have been too many studies over the years that have come to naught. Do you remember the youngest son theory–the idea was that by the time Mom conceived her final child, she was out of whatever hormones she is supposed to have. Even if the study turns out to be valid and replicable, it doesn’t change anything. I think it is accepted that sociopathic brains look abnormal, but that doesn’t mitigate criminal responsibility. (Obviously I am not comparing gays to criminal… Read more »

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
5 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

I will have to, again, mostly claim ignorance. However, from a brief look at the study they chose white matter distribution because it is thought to be far more stable than gray matter or cortical shape. It is also (as far as i know) not directly linked to behavioral or personality traits. There doesn’t seem to be any known or proposed pathway to more symmetrical white matter to effect attractions. I would expect to see changes in gray matter distribution and morphology with radically different lifestyles, not so sure about white matter. Your point about culpability is important to consider.… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago

I understand that the person undergoing this kind of “therapy” has consented, but I am not sure that his or her mental state makes genuine consent even possible. We acknowledge that the person seeking to change his gender through surgical means believes that it will accomplish the impossible in biological terms. We also generally believe that such a person is in the grip of a delusion–a delusion which is fostered by people who will make money or score political points from it. There are skeletally thin people who want their stomachs stapled to lose weight. There are people with healthy… Read more »

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago

I have yet to hear a principled rationale for why it is OK to mess with nature in some cases — anesthesia, bypass surgery, vaccines, birth control, in vitro fertilization, prescription drugs — but not in others like gender reassignment surgery. And I don’t find the distinction between subduing the creation and changing the image of God to be persuasive since it’s so subjective. What appears to be subduing creation to one person can appear to be image changing to another and vice versa.

MeMe
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Anesthesia is in the bible. God caused Adam to fall asleep. He could have ripped that rib out and Adam would have survived just fine, but He didn’t. God shows a certain amount of respect for us, a kindness, an acknowledgement of human dignity perhaps. He offers us life, and life abundant. Those things you list have to do with life, with protecting it and respecting it. Gender reassignment is about death, the death of who you were born to be, a surgical mutilation of a little child who was once you. There are many who realize they made a… Read more »

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  MeMe

MeMe, the person seeking a sex change operation would say that he suffers from a medical condition in which his sex and gender don’t match, and fixing it through a sex change operation is just like fixing a flawed heart or a physical deformity or a bad knee. And while you would disagree, the point is not which of you is right; the point is that the line being drawn is somewhat arbitrary and subjective. It’s not as crystal clear as you or Doug would have us believe.

Dave
Dave
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

. “. .if Russia gate is a nothing burger, then why is Trump doing everything in his power to keep it from being investigated? He’s sure acting guilty, whether he actually is or not.” K2 “And I’m waiting to see what the investigation into the minor IT guy shows before I jump to conclusions.” K2 It’s OK for K2 to immediately get after Trump, but he is unable to back up his claims on a low level House IT guy who had access to the entire House system including the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and instead must wait for… Read more »

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Dave, I hope you feel better now for having gotten that out of your system.

Dave
Dave
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

K2, you are a troll. You are a troll that flip flops all the time and pours out disinformation. There is no subjective at all for abortion, sex change operations and gender reassignment. You are a such a bad troll that your flip flops are hilarious.

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Dave, I hope you feel better now that you’ve gotten that out of your system.

Dave
Dave
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

K2, you are really a bad troll; however you do provide comic relief. Your disinformation is not very good. Your attempts at humor miss the point and that point is illustrated in the Bible. Like a thorn which falls into the hand of a drunkard, So is a proverb in the mouth of fools. Proverbs 26:7 There is no subjective at all for abortion, sex change operations and gender reassignment. Your points here flip flop just like the attorneys that I have observed in court. There is no right or wrong only what can be slipped past the judge and… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Dave, do Protestants of your tradition oppose IVF and cloning?

Dave
Dave
5 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Wilson has written on it before and will probably address it again after all the other fire storms are addressed.

Please forgive me, my computer is being recalcitrant or I would happily give you links.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  Dave

As a vegetarian, I eat nothing burgers all the time.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Hi Krychek, I agree that there are superficial similarities between giving a woman a total surgical workover to make her gorgeous and giving her massive amounts of surgery to make her appear  male.  There are parents who subject their children with Down Syndrome to surgery for the purpose of giving them a “normal” appearance.  There are Asian women who have surgery to give them eyes like North Americans.   Invasive surgery involving the destruction of healthy tissue for purely cosmetic purposes is, I think, sometimes morally questionable.  But nobody is saying it is analogous to gender reassignment surgery.  Because none of… Read more »

paulm01
paulm01
5 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Wow…a superbly cogent argument Jill.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  paulm01

Thank you. I remembered to take my smart pill this morning!

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  paulm01

Yes, Jill, that was a cogent argument. I might agree with you except that I’m not convinced that it’s all in the patient’s head. But even being skeptical on that point, you did a magnificent job of making your case.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Krychek, thank you! Do you believe it is possible that there is a problem at DNA level, or an event during gestation, that creates something outside the patient’s own subjective perceptions? I don’t follow the science on this; is there objective evidence? I mentioned to Demo the other day that I had briefly read a study of brain scans showing that the distribution of white matter in gay men resembles that of straight women. Are you thinking along those lines? Perhaps because I have struggled off and on with my own body dysmorphic problem in the form of sometimes severe… Read more »

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Jill, I don’t think we know what causes sexual orientation or body dysmorphia, but so-called normal behavior has to be accounted for as well. You can’t just say that cis heterosexuality is the default and only trans or homosexuality require explanations. I’ve seen some science that suggests it could be the chemicals to which a fetus is exposed in the womb. I do know that there’s precious little evidence that a man who is attracted to other men, or who thinks he’s a woman in a man’s body, is going to be able to change no matter how motivated. So… Read more »

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Krychek_2, You suggest that homosexuality is not hurting anyone, but that is simply not true. Setting aside the very extreme negative societal consequences of widespread acceptance of homosexuality, for the moment, it is very degrading to the bodies of the men involved. Sodomy was a power play in the Greco-Roman world to show power and control over a man. It was in effect saying that I can abuse your body for my pleasure in a degrading act to show that I control you. The health consequences of sodomy are myriad, I don’t want to list them, but aids is atop… Read more »

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago

Kilgore, there are plenty of heterosexuals, both male and female, who use their sexuality to degrade and control others, but that’s not an argument for condemning heterosexuality. And world wide, AIDS is now mostly a heterosexual issue. That’s because most Western homosexuals practice safe sex (the occasional bug chaser notwithstanding), and the people who aren’t practicing safe sex are sub-Saharan African heterosexuals, which is where the epidemic is now mostly centered.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

You are very practiced at shifting and sliding ever so slightly to shade your positions in a good light. Law School taught you well. I was pushing back against your notion that homosexuality was not hurting anyone. I was not, as you implied, using bodily abuse as a way of condemning homosexuality. I condemn it on moral terms. Back to our point, sodomy does hurt others and those who engage in it themselves. The act itself is not equal to normal intercourse. One is the expression of an obvious design, with and obvious end, namely children. The other makes use… Read more »

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago

Kilgore, respectfully, I think you’ve fallen into the confirmation bias trap of assuming that what appeals to you is natural and what doesn’t, isn’t. You personally aren’t interested in gay sex, you don’t understand the attraction on the part of those who are, so it *must* be unnatural. And the analogy I draw here is to raw oysters. I find the idea of eating raw oysters totally repulsive, but that is merely a personal preference. If I wanted to make a moral issue out of it, I could point to people who get food poisoning from eating raw oysters and… Read more »

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

I think debate, about the naturalness of homosexuality, goes back to our conversation before about the nature of the world. Given your assumptions about the chance origins of the universe and the cosmic randomness of matter, it stands to reason that you would argue that what is natural reduces to preference. In that sense, the accusation of confirmation bias can cut equally both directions. This is why I am presuppositional. What goes in determines what comes out. What you believe about the nature of the world determines what you believe about the specifics of the moral questions. If I can’t… Read more »

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago

Kilgore, yes and no. If your presupposition is that homosexuality is wrong just because God says so, then you’re right, that disposes of the issue. And since that’s not my presupposition, I’m not going to find that argument persuasive. But I find the concept of “unnatural” not very helpful because, as I said earlier, it’s a bit subjective. Agriculture is unnatural; plants do not naturally grow in neat little rows with no weeds. Clothing is unnatural. But those things are considered “good” unnatural, as opposed to “bad” unnatural like having a sex change operation. And sure, you can find ways… Read more »

John Callaghan
John Callaghan
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

‘I don’t know what you mean by “glory”,’ Alice said. Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. ‘Of course you don’t — till I tell you. I meant “there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!”‘ ‘But “glory” doesn’t mean “a nice knock-down argument”,’ Alice objected. ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’ ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’ ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’ Krycheck, We… Read more »

paulm01
paulm01
5 years ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

JC…An observation that opened my eyes to no matter how and why your argument to K2 may speak truth, it is nonetheless very frustrating when you come up against the illogical train of thought that pervades a certain aspect of society. Goes like this: “Lawyers define the world in their terms, then forever argue about the meaning of those terms.” The rest of us who are not trying to work some angle or hide the truth or facts, do not operate this way — we see things for what they are. We know the sky is blue, but there are… Read more »

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  paulm01

Paul, actually the sky *appears* blue because of how our eyes react to the color spectrum. It also appears red at sunrise and sunset, and black after the sun sets. If it’s overcast, it appears white. So it isn’t so much twisting stuff as it is pointing out the over-simplifications and fallacies in your world view.

I would say you have a very over-simplified view of how the world is. It’s not so much wrong as grossly over-simplified.

paulm01
paulm01
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

It’s a metaphor…

Believe as you may of my “simplified” perspective, but understand more people see the world as I do over the leftist view that has rejected God and therefore the veil is not yet lifted.

I like simple…but some really enjoy complicated, makes them sound more sophisticated.

(Blue sky is also due to light reflection off bodies of water and the fact blue light molecules have shorter wavelengths — it’s also a term used for an out of the box thinking process.)

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  paulm01

Paul, I like simple too, but the world just isn’t. And since when has what more people believe been the standard for anything?

paulm01
paulm01
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Of course it isn’t simple, yet for the just and the good [stuff], the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or one.

Should the majority adjust our thinking of God because a small minority do not believe in Him? No. However, that doesn’t mean the majority is free to yield our understanding as a hammer…it’s okay to disagree, but [in most cases] not be disagreeable.

Edit: Society requires some baseline to operate from during it’s progression forward, this offers a basis to discern that not everything that becomes permissible is good.

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  paulm01

How are the needs of the many implicated in whether someone chooses to have a sex change operation, or is gay? How exactly does the majority suffer as a result?

And I very much doubt that the majority shares your “thinking of God.” A majority may believe God exists, but if your standard is nose-counting, evangelical Christianity is out on a limb.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  paulm01

I think it is not just the Democrats (or, taking the other side, the Republicans). I think it is part of the human condition. When Hamlet said , “There’s nothing either good nor bad but thinking makes it so,” he wasn’t saying how things should be–just how they are. Sometimes I think we are a little too hard on lawyers in general. We have inherited a system which is not based on establishing absolute truth, but on establishing whether the state (or the civil claimant) has proven a case. We have so sophisticated a legal system that an innocent layman,… Read more »

paulm01
paulm01
5 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

“Sometimes I think we are a little too hard on lawyers in general.” Uh no, we aren’t nearly hard enough on lawyers, they are the root cause of a lot of what is wrong with our society. Take for example this adage: One lawyer in town is poor, two lawyers in town are the wealthiest around. Now why would that be? (Hint: “Laws drafted by attorney’s for attorney’s.”) I do not despise lawyers per se, we will all need one at some point in our life. But when the reading of my father’s Will came around shortly after the funeral,… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  paulm01

I’m glad it ended well, and that you were there to protect your mother’s interests. I probably have a soft spot for lawyers because the ones who are my friends are in fact very ethical. They’re not rich, either, and they do a lot of pro bono work. I saw a cross-section among the three whom I interviewed about my divorce (which I did not initiate and did not want). One wanted me to try harder to remember potentially abusive episodes. One wanted to hire a forensic accountant to track down hidden money. My husband’s job, though well paid, was… Read more »

paulm01
paulm01
5 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

I did not intend to broad brush, there are good and bad in every profession, some have a higher percentage of bad more than others, the legal profession being one. In the end we are all a sinful lot, so I always ask the question of myself when faced with certain situations, “What are you going to do now?”, as if being asked by God himself.

The common denominator (and in your personal anecdote) is decent and moral behavior (kudos to you for taking the higher road). We must do as if for God, the rest falls out from there.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

John, on this basis do you hold to the traditional Catholic teaching that, even for a married couple, misuse of the generative organs is illicit? I understand the fraud argument on that basis if it is undertaken contraceptively, but would it be deceit? Or is it deceit in the sense of a grotesque parody of proper sexual congress? Not all Christians oppose the act that Clinton performed with Lewinsky as long as the heterosexual couple is married. Are they in error? Are there exceptions which make it licit, such as a husband’s need for sexual release and a wife’s inability… Read more »

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

If your presupposition is that homosexuality is wrong just because God says so, then you’re right, that disposes of the issue. I have explained this before, the moral aspects of God’s law do not stem from His merely saying it. It stems from His character, from which the world itself, and therefore sexuality, also derive. Big difference. but what you cannot do is make it a pure case of natural vs. unnatural. So I think the harm-based approach is cleaner and works better. Perhaps this will surprise you, but I quite agree. Natural Law has its limits. The existence of… Read more »

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago

Kilgore, it’s not a lawyer-like shift. It’s following your argument to its logical conclusion. You said that procreation is the natural end of the sex act. It therefore follows that only sex which is procreative is permissible. And if you’re going to allow heterosexuals to have non-procreative sex, then you can’t disallow homosexuals to do the same.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

It isn’t, actually. It is an attempt to paint my position as something other than it is. Watch I can do the same. Since heterosexuals can have non-procreative sex, then homosexuals can, too. Well, then any kind of sex act or any act which bring some sense of pleasure to the sex organs is permissible. See, now we have Krychek_2 telling us that any sex act is permissible. I know that isn’t your position, but it is an attempt to skew debate, rather than engage with my position. My point has been clear. There is a very clear design in… Read more »

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago

Kilgore, if we both agree that procreative sex is not the only sex that’s permissible, then why did you even bring procreation up? At this point, I’m not understanding why it would even be relevant. And I think the best that can be said is that it’s the natural result of some sex acts.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Because procreation is the most blatantly obvious illustration of the design of humans and the design of sexuality, to which homosexuality is blatantly running contrary.

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago

But Kilgore, we’ve both agreed that there is no requirement that sex be procreative. And you can’t have it both ways. If you’re going to raise procreation, then you are stuck with the necessary conclusion that only procreative sex is legitimate. You can’t just raise it hit and run and then avoid what necessarily comes next.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

The premises do not logically connect with your conclusion.

It is a bridge too far to say, “only procreative sex is legitimate.”

Noting the obvious design does not imply every act must be procreative. The obvious design of a screw and screw driver doesn’t mean that every twist reaches the goal of tightening the screw. But to say that because every twist does not tighten a screw means we can use the screw driver as a hammer, is also a logically indefensible position.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

The Catholic church is nicely consistent here. You can have sex knowing that the woman cannot, through timing or age or infirmity–get pregnant, but you still can’t have unorthodox sex. It must be open to conception even though conception is impossible in a particular case. But, I have often wondered why my church tolerates natural family planning. If a woman is taking her temperature daily and using ovulation tests to avoid having intercourse at her most fertile time, she is not violating the rule that you can’t use condoms. But she is still deliberately frustrating the purpose of the marital… Read more »

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Jill, under Catholic polity, is it permissible for heterosexuals to have oral or anal sex?

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Certainly not! Nor may they–shall we say–take matters into their own hands. There have to be three purposes for any sexual activity to be lawful: the marital (to perform a central duty of marriage), the unitive (to create “one flesh”), and the procreative. Sexual acts which used to be called “unnatural” frustrate the last purpose. Theologians may say that they also frustrate the first two, but I am not sure about the specific reasoning. If I were writing the catechism, I would make this clearer. I would say that the unitive function only operates within natural intercourse. How many Catholics… Read more »

Dave
Dave
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

K2, that is just false. Until just recently, homosexuality was a mental disorder listed in the appropriate medical manuals and taught as such. Should we allow other mental disorders to rearrange our laws and our society? No! You are just arguing for the sake of a troll’s argument.

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Dave, I hope you feel better now that you have that out of your system.

Dave
Dave
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

K2 strikes again with humor that is flat as a pancake. K2, we have gravity and no matter how we try to defy gravity, we can’t do it for any sustained period. Homosexuality is just like gravity, you can’t sustain it for any length of time. It is abnormal and was taught as such in medical schools. So, you can type whatever you want to K2, but you are wrong. Now as far as saying K2 said that civil rights laws shouldn’t be enforced, he misread my answer to Jill. K2 can’t stand to have Christians upheld in civil rights… Read more »

Dave
Dave
5 years ago
Reply to  Dave

That’s Homosexuality is just like defying gravity . . .

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Dave, a Christian baker making a cake for a gay wedding, and a gay baker making a cake for Westboro Baptist, is not analogous. It would be analogous if the Christian baker had been asked to make a cake that said, “Christianity is stupid.” At that point you’re comparing Christian/anti-Christian to gay/anti-gay. But “Congratulations Adam and Steve” is not, on its face, an anti-Christian statement. In the first place, not all Christians share your anti-gay views. In the second place, it’s not an attack on Christianity in the way that an explicitly anti-gay slogan is anti-gay. That said, I support… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Wait a minute, Krychek. Obviously you know all this better than I, but wouldn’t the gay baker be discriminating against the customer’s religious views? If the customer had the foresight to claim the desired cake was part of sincere religious belief–or that he was ordering this cake as part of a religious rite–I don’t see that the gay baker is in any different position than the Christian.

I recognize that political speech is not protected, which is why no one has to make Hitler cakes. But I thought religious speech is covered.

Dave
Dave
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Actually, K2 you are incorrect. This is how Christians are punished and how homosexuals are given a pass. What part of the Colorado law was violated by asking a homosexual baker to put anti-homosexuality slogans on a cake?

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Dave, I read something interesting (and from a reasonably unbiased source) about treating homosexuality as a mental disorder. In Britain, up until mid-century, homosexual conduct was not seen as sick; it was seen as wicked. You were sent to prison, like Oscar Wilde. As juries became less comfortable with this prospect and as social attitudes softened a little, it was thought to be kinder to view it as a disorder. What had been criminal became medicalized, with the support of doctors and politicians who thought it was a good solution. This is why Alan Turing, the homosexual who cracked the… Read more »

paulm01
paulm01
5 years ago

Kilgore, To an ever-increasing number of people who have been indoctrinated away from God and into the world, everything is gray. To them there is no black and white. Arguing to what most normal-thinking people see as “obvious” is like banging your head against a brick wall, you end up with a headache all the while wondering how it is people think like they do. Sex-change/reassignment/mutilation operations are an abomination to who we are as a species, and more importantly (as you and others have stated), an affront to God and His design. There are many who do not see… Read more »

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  paulm01

It is frustrating to see, “Look here is a single instance of exception, therefore there is no pattern.”

The bottom line is that if one’s worldview needs to reject design to be upheld intellectually, they have a pretty good reason for not seeing it anywhere.

paulm01
paulm01
5 years ago

Exactly…I typically make one, maybe two attempts, then leave it at that — anything beyond is wasted energy, breath, and time, although it can be somewhat amusing.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

And she said that tap dance, because she liked it, was the most rational and moral of all dance forms. As a former member of the Ten Tiny Tots Tap-dancing Troupe, I was pleased to hear it. Did she ever show any sign of a sense of humor, however rudimentary? Did she have any sense of the ridiculous? They are abjectly missing from her novels. Did you ever meet Branden? And why were most of the early Objectivists Canadian? And how does Paul Ryan square his Catholicism with admiring her philosophy, and why hasn’t he discovered by now that you’re… Read more »

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Jill, Nathaniel Brandon was one of the most vile human beings I’ve ever met, and don’t even get me started. I think he brought a lot of his Canadian friends and relatives with him which is why Canadians were disproportionately represented. And I don’t understand why a Catholic would accept moral philosophy from a Jewish atheist who thinks the family has outlived its usefulness; if you can get a coherent answer from Paul Ryan (whose spine is currently in a jar in Trump Tower) let me know. In private, the things that make you and me laugh would go right… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Well, I wish I could get you started because now I am truly curious. As it says in the tabloids, enquiring minds want to know. He certainly went through a number of wives. I imagine the police wanted to know where he was when wife number 2 got a seizure from the light reflecting off the swimming pool and drowned. I always found the Rand/Branden affair pretty icky. For all the high flown rhetoric, it was regular adultery made worse by extracting consent from his wife and her husband. I felt sorry for Rand’s husband, He seemed to sit in… Read more »

Dave
Dave
5 years ago

Kilgore! Watch out for the confirmation bias trap! K2 tried that one on me in the Playing Chess thread but it bounced off when presented with the truth (post 202052) and then K2 ran with nuances instead of quibbling (as in the form of not telling the truth) that he was actually participating in. K2 also inferred that we shouldn’t force our views on others, yet, ignores the homosexual push that is authorized by a crooked judicial system to force Christians to bow to the homosexual lobby’s demands. My what convenient flips and flops in arguments. After all — If… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Hi Dave, bear in mind, however, that Krychek has said repeatedly that civil rights laws should not be used to force Christian bakers to make gay wedding cakes. I expect he would feel the same way about Christian photographers. He has said that there are enough bakers wiling to cater gay weddings that there is no need to use the power of the state to force people to violate their conscience.

paulm01
paulm01
5 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

A small concession to appear magnanimous…I’m not buying it.

I watched Jack Phillips and his Masterpiece Bakery here in Denver get set up by the homosexual activists, subsequently getting run over by the “law” (some activist judge and a pile of lawyers who parsed and sliced the wording of the law to fit their preferred outcome). They said Mr. Phillips HAD to cater to anyone who walked through his door because in the laws eyes (in effect) “it wasn’t really the owners business.” Talk about tyranny on steroids.

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  paulm01

Paul, Colorado law makes it illegal for a place of public accommodation (which a bakery is) to refuse service to gays on equal terms as it does to heterosexuals. How on earth is it activist for a judge to enforce the law as it’s actually written? Your quarrel should be with the statute and not with the judge who faithfully enforced it. Not enforcing the law would have been activist.

paulm01
paulm01
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Yeah, that was the argument, which the law by effect states that the owner of the business has no rights to his own business in whom he chooses to serve — more laws written by attorneys for attorneys that undermine our Constitutional freedoms, let alone the fact there was no harm done by NOT baking a cake for two gay guys’ wedding. (which is no wedding at all to normal thinking people.)

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  paulm01

Paul, no business has 100% control over who its customers are. If I’m a liquor store, I can’t sell a fifth of vodka to a 12 year old. If I’m a gun store, I can’t sell a gun to a convicted felon. If I’m a bank, I can’t do business with someone I know to be a terrorist or a drug runner. As a lawyer, I can’t take on a client if I have a conflict of interest, and if I’m a doctor, I am required to treat someone if it’s an emergency. We can quibble about where some of… Read more »

paulm01
paulm01
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Nothing in life is 100%, sure, but most people aren’t stupid enough to sell vodka to a 12 year old and don’t need the government or law to explain to them why it’s wrong. I think most folks who own businesses have more sense than that. Then again, in our societal climate the statistics might prove the opposite for the consumer side of the equation.

Dave
Dave
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

“As a lawyer, I can’t take on a client if I have a conflict of interest . . .” unless you are special counsel Robert Mueller and members of his team with huge conflicts of interest.

John Callaghan
John Callaghan
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Krychek, The novel element in the case was the idea that conduct cannot be distinguished from identity, and therefore not providing services for an action is discriminatory if that action is associated predominately with a protected group. This was not spelled out in the law as written. It is a judicial extrapolation – and a very dangerous one at that. There is a sexual orientation called cannibalism (I won’t provide a link). It is not yet protected, but there is no logical reason protection could not be extended to it under the current legal understanding. If, in the future, a… Read more »

paulm01
paulm01
5 years ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

As you deftly point out, the lawyers nuanced the laws intent that allowed them to show Phillips discriminated against a protected group. I want to be a protected group so I can be treated special under the law.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

If I read your horrific account correctly, then nobody needs a cake. They can spend their time noshing on one another. Does the fact that gay marriage was recognized by SCOTUS make any difference to your argument? If the court has ruled “This is a civil marriage with the same standing as any other,” can the baker legally say, “Well, no, it’s not”? Could I as a Catholic baker say that I will not make cakes for Catholics entering into marriages that the church forbids or could I be prosecuted for discrimination on the basis of marital status? I am… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  paulm01

Paul, I think Krychek’s point is valid. Did the legislature pass the relevant codes without a conscience clause? If so, did the voters make much of an effort to get the law amended? You might say that the laws were the result of intense pressure by the gay lobby. If so, if legislators recognized this pressure and did not support the inclusion of gays as a protected category, should we not be blaming them for caving to pressure against the dictates of their own conscience? And should we not bear in mind that every group, even those we think are… Read more »

paulm01
paulm01
5 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Again, the sky is blue as I see it, no way I can convince others who do not want to see these two “men” were merely trying take out another faithful Christian man. Clearly to some Jack Phillips is a bad man because his faith would not allow him to bake a stupid [non]wedding cake for a couple of gay dudes who could have easily gone elsewhere. It was obvious to all rational observers they had a axe to grind because no decent person would have made such a stink. But these two did, which is on them, not Jack.… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  paulm01

Paul, I know you said this was your last comment on this topic, but do you think that perhaps all these laws have outlived their usefulness? Is it time to go back to letting the business owner decide? If he decides wrongly (no matter how you define wrongly), he is going to pay a high price in this age of social media. The federal and state government should not be allowed to discriminate, but is it perhaps time that we let the market decide for everyone else?

paulm01
paulm01
5 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Oh, that’s fine to ask…the last few days have afforded a little rare down time to engage in some online banter that I hadn’t done in six months…it’s refreshing and mentally challenging (or maybe I’m mentally challenged for engaging in such activity.) No matter, it’s somewhat enjoyable, especially when reading the level of strong intellectual thought presented. Not sure I can answer your question effectively. Can the bell be un-rung? Doubtful. Once these laws get on the books and in play they are usually very hard to undo (altho, K2 may have some professional insight on that). It does seem… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  paulm01

I think that, whatever the issue might be, we have raised several generations of children who were never told, “This is not worth making a fuss over.” Or, as my dear British mother always told me, “Worse things happen at sea.” Whether she was referring to life in the Royal Navy, or being taken prisoner on a pirate ship, I have no idea. But the attitude behind suck it up and tough it out was the one I was raised with, making it all the more remarkable that I produced a Special Snowflake. Little Catholics in my youth were taught… Read more »

paulm01
paulm01
5 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

I’m currently reading Under the Black Flag, hope it was a Royal Navy reference as the pirate ship would test even the best stiff upper lip.

I like the new “HOA” rules…might provide some relief and turn the tide by having folks be more private rather than airing all their thoughts in public.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  paulm01

I don’t mind people airing their thoughts if they leave out their feelings. It is time for the voyage of self-discovery to drop anchor. (My ex was fond of nautical novels, and I learned to be pretty fond of Captain Hornblower myself.) It gave me a supply of maritime allusions with which to enliven my prose. Some time ago, I read about an American lawyer who requested, and was granted, an adjournment for a couple of days because his cat had died. No one is more devoted to their feline friends than I, but I thought that the only word… Read more »

Dave
Dave
5 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Paul is dead on correct. If you read K2’s defense of the bakery decisions in Colorado, you can see that he is only putting out typed words without any sincerity behind them and no concern for civil rights laws to be equally enforced.

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Dave, when and how did I say that civil rights laws should not be equally enforced? And are you suggesting that judges should ignore the law?

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Dave, you forgot to call me a troll, and I hope you feel better for having gotten that out of your system.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Leaving gays aside, you raise a really interesting question to which the replies may be based on whether we have a religious or secular view. It sounds (to me, speaking from a religious point of view) superficially kind to humor a lunatic’s strange ideas about himself, but it also sounds patronizing. That in itself wouldn’t be so bad, but it also disrespects the dignity of the human person–the essential dignity of even those who think they are potted plants or poached eggs. And, to the extent that a tiny portion of their brain is clinging to rationality, it messes with… Read more »

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Jill, I personally would not be inclined to water someone who thought he was a potted plant. For that matter, if I were a doctor, I probably would not do gender reassignment surgery. Just because I think something should be legal does not mean that I wish to participate in it myself. But my personal preferences aside, you’re right that since I see harm as the foundational moral inquiry, I’m also not inclined to make either gender reassignment surgery or wishing to be watered a moral issue, at least not standing alone. If it contributes to someone’s happiness and perceived… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

What I think is ethical/moral and what I think should be legal do not always dovetail neatly. I do believe in generally respecting a person’s right to make even disastrous choices. But–and this is a huge but–I believe in the duty of society to restrain the liberty of those whose mental incapacity is clearly harming themselves as well as others. This duty of restraint obviously must be limited and tightly regulated.

You acknowledge harm to others as a reason to consider personal choice as a moral issue. Would you include grievous harm to self as well?

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Jill, I don’t think it’s as obvious as you do that transsexuals are mentally incapacitated. I don’t understand transsexuals or their desire for what appears to me, too, to be self-mutilation. But if someone wants a sex change badly enough to endure what is involved in getting a sex change — not just the operation, but the months of counseling and hormones that are required first — then how is it my place to tell them they can’t? To answer your question about grievous harm to self, the fact is we allow people to do grievous injury to themselves all… Read more »

MeMe
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

“But if someone wants a sex change badly enough to endure what is involved in getting a sex change — not just the operation, but the months of counseling and hormones that are required first — then how is it my place to tell them they can’t? ” And if someone needs to jump out of a window and splat themselves in the sidewalk, how is it your place to tell them they can’t? If a 12 yr old wishes to shoot heroin, who are you to object? And if one wishes to murder their off spring, at least you… Read more »

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  MeMe

A 12 year old who wishes to shoot heroin is not an adult and so has fewer choices. An adult who wants to murder his offspring is involving other people in his choices; the offspring has rights too. Both of those are different from an adult who chooses to jump out a window, but if that’s an informed choice made by a competent person, they have as much right to your choices as you do to yours.

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Sorry, typo: They have as much right to *their* choices as you do to yours.

MeMe
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

“They have as much right to *their* choices as you do to yours.”

They do not. I do not even have the right to my own choices, because my choices impact others because my life is not entirely my own. None of us are an island unto ourselves and none of us are entirely competent on our own either. There is symbiosis at play in the world,our choices affect others.

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  MeMe

And MeMe, I think the fundamental difference between us is that you’re willing to force people to make the choices you think they should make; I’m not. That, in fact, is your fundamental objection to feminism: It gives women choices, and you’re afraid some of them might not make the choices you would make for them. It’s not enough that you are free to live your life in the way you think best; you think everyone else should live their lives as you think best. And I would refer you to I Peter 4:15: “But let none of you suffer… Read more »

MeMe
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Love Krychek, compels us to care about the well being of others. It’s not about forcing people to make the choices I would make, it’s about not enabling and contributing to them to making those poor choices. Doctors who engage in cosmetic gender reassignment, are not doing so out of love and a focus on the patient’s well being, they are doing so to satisfy an agenda, and washing their hands of all moral accountability, much in the way you do. “Perfect love casts out fear,” the fear in this case being fear of your own authority to discern and… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  MeMe

Hi MeMe and Krychek, I am somewhere between you two. In practical terms, there is nothing we can do to stop people from abusing drugs. Even compulsory treatment usually fails, and I am not okay with keeping people in prison just to keep them off the hard stuff. I think there should actually be more mandatory treatment of the mentally ill if they are unable to care for themselves, but once they are released, there is no way to force them to stay on medication. I don’t think it is good for society in general to have people jumping in… Read more »

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

This is the insane logic of the markets. Choice must be maximized. Choice is sacred. The only thing that can limit Choice is interference with the Choice of others. Autonomy is a hard and demanding Goddess.

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

I wouldn’t say that the *only* thing that can limit choice is interference with the choice of others. I would say that if you’re going to override someone else’s choice, you need a far better reason than that you think you know better than they do how their lives should be lived.

MeMe
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

So if someone is about to jump off a bridge, I suppose you would say, sorry, I haven’t got a compelling reason to override your choice?

Seems like the least you could do is spare some compassion for the clean up crew that has to scrape the poor guy off the rocks.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  MeMe

Which is reason enough to stop people from spectacular public suicides. I have had a suicidal thought from time to time, but I have never thought my unhappiness gave me the right to shut down the 405/101 interchange at rush hour.

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  MeMe

MeMe, I think it’s legitimate to ensure that the person about to jump has made an informed choice and is competent, which may involve a temporary intervention, which will probably have the practical effect of stopping most bridge jumpers.

On the other hand, I have a family member who has struggled with depression for years and, upon recently being diagnosed with cancer, has decided to let it kill him rather than undergo treatment that would probably save his life. I’m not happy about his choice, but I support his right to make it. Would you force treatment on him?

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

I wouldn’t , Krychek. Like you, I would be sad. But I see a huge difference between a rational choice to decline treatment and demanding that a doctor administer a lethal dose.

paulm01
paulm01
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

If I may interject…it’s a great question. I wouldn’t [force treatment], it’s a person’s right to allow nature to takes it course, whether to some his choice is cowardly or to others his choice is courageous…who decides which is which? As God’s Word offers perspective, directive, and ultimately comfort on this subject (especially as a Believer), I would try to persuade for treatment..but that’s where my “influence” would end.

Dave
Dave
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

K2, I’m glad that you agree that offspring have rights and that we should stop abortion immediately because it harms that kid’s right to have life and liberty as defined by the Constitution.

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Dave, are we talking about children (who have been born) or fetuses (who have not been born)? Apples and oranges.

Dave
Dave
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

No K2! Children are children from conception on. When someone murders an expecting Mom and kills the child also, they are charged with a double homicide. It is only abortion activists and those who hate God who say that a fetus is not a child. Apples and Apples and no quibbling about it. The fetus argument is false and won’t hunt.

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Well, Dave, at least I should be happy you distinguish abortion activists from those who hate God.

Dave
Dave
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Proverbs tells us that those who hate wisdom love death. I only differentiated them because it clarified the mater for those who have difficulty understanding the truth.

lndighost
lndighost
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Hi Krychek,
There’s at least one way in which your examples are unlike going in for gender reassignment surgery. They all involve refusing professional help. Hard as it is to watch someone self-destruct by drink or self-representation, part of living in a free-ish society is that people are allowed to refuse help and go their own way. Whereas someone who wants to change their sex is actually looking for professional help to destroy themselves, and there are surgeons and counsellors willing to say, what a good idea. We can help you with that.

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  lndighost

Indighost, as I said, if I were a doctor I doubt I would do sex change operations, and if I were a therapist, I doubt I would advise a patient to have one either. But, I don’t get to make that choice for other doctors and therapists.

lndighost
lndighost
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Why don’t you (or we as a society) get to make that choice? Is there any point at which we can say, you may not engage in this practice that harms others (even if the others consent?)

Some desperate people go to loan sharks thinking to stave off trouble and only getting further into it. I don’t think it is morally wrong to go to a loan shark. I think it is wrong to be a loan shark. They sell false solutions to vulnerable people, and so do sex change doctors.

jim
jim
5 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Is gender the fundamental essential identity of a person?

paulm01
paulm01
5 years ago
Reply to  jim

No but “sex” is if one wishes to be grammatically correct. {[:-)

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  paulm01

I know it is, Paul, and I have been corrected many times. This is my problem: (1) One does not use the word sex around nuns unless they are either biology teachers or they run homes for unwed mothers. (2) I spent a lot of years teaching high school. Unless one wants to listen to choruses of “Ooooh, Mrs. Smith said SEX,” you decide to continue in error. Even though I wince each time I type it.

paulm01
paulm01
5 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Hehe….I’m with you, personally preferring “gender” as it sounds more correct and less provocative…sorta like “forte”, everyone says “for-tay”, not the correct “fort” ’cause it sounds more eloquent.

Do nuns still use wooden rulers across the knuckles for bad behavior in class?

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  paulm01

You and I are among the few who know it is pronounced fort, but I have given up arguing about it. Ditto “partake” for “take part.” And don’t get me started on “nauseous.” There are too few nuns now to staff schools, and the nuns who are still alive and kicking are too elderly to go around whacking people. I think it was very prevalent until the 1970s when they started having kinder, gentler parochial schools. I never hit anyone with a ruler, but I was the queen of imaginative penalties for miscreants. Until I learned that they actually liked… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  paulm01

comment image

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  jim

I don’t think it is “the” fundamental essential identity. In my faith, “child of God” and “fellow human” would trump gender (using gender in the chromosomal sense, noot in the gender construct sense). But I do believe that there is no “I” which is separate from my body; my mind, my soul, my sense of self are not entities which look for a body to possess and any body would do. My chromosomes affect my mind and sense of self as surely as they gave me blue eyes and short thumbs. I think it is weird when people recognize that… Read more »

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  jim

Jim, I think it’s one fundamental essential identity of a person. I think sexual orientation is too, which is why the evangelical position on homosexuality strikes me as both silly and harmful. If I am meeting you at a party for the first time and I ask you to tell me about yourself, one of the first things you’re going to say is that you’re married and have X number of children. That’s because your sex, and sexual orientation, are such fundamental parts of who you are that they are the first thing you think of when asked to talk… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

I agree with you but I was answering it focusing on the “the”. If the aliens whom Xenu forgot to bring here on DC-8’s suddenly appeared, fluent in English, and asked me to provide a full account of myself, I would begin with “I am a human, a child of God in whom I believe, a woman, a mother, a North American, a knitter, and a crazy cat lady. If I met you at a cocktail party, I would say, as you note, I am the mother of a grown up daughter. The crazy cat lady you could figure out… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Excellent argument Jilly.

Nord357
Nord357
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Except for the fact that no surgery in our repertoire does anything to make a male female or vice versa. It is a frivolous exercise pandering to a mental disorder. XX remains XX as does XY pretending otherwise does nothing beneficial for the individual or society at large,

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  Nord357

As Demo helpfully pointed out to me once, XX and XY (or the rare XXY and so on) are not actually the best end-all deliniators for gender after all.

Exposure to significant male-normal amounts of testosterone is a more consistent line. It is those hormones that drive the production of male sexual structures, brain structures, body structures, etc.

Apparently, there can be XY females and XX males if certain issues occur that lead the hormone product to be abnormal.

JohnM
JohnM
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

That’s a mixed fruit basket you have there. Not everyone lumps all the things on your list into one category and calls it OK, and even the parts they call OK they recognize as apples and oranges. At least nobody has to call any of those things “reassignment”.

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  JohnM

JohnM, the thing that all of my list items, plus reassignment surgery, have in common is that they’re messing with nature, and the thrust of Doug’s argument (as I understand it) is that we should not mess with nature. And to the extent that reassignment surgery is unnatural, well, so is agriculture, but so what?

JohnM
JohnM
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

When you have to call it reassignment it is categorically different than anything else you’re doing in to nature. When it involves a human being it is categorically different than anything else you’re doing in/with nature. If you’re looking for comparisons the closest you’ll find, though not exact, are people who have their bodies surgically manipulated in an effort to resemble animals. I do disagree with Doug on one point. A sex change is, among other things, a rape of the “patient” who undergoes it, their consent not withstanding. I can feel sorry for the person who has it done… Read more »

MeMe
5 years ago
Reply to  JohnM

I like the definition of the word “mess.” Messing with nature can mean a lot of things, just like messing with a car can mean a lot of things. We can approach a car with some reverence,with respect for it’s design and “mess” with it,or we can just reach under the hood and start ripping things out of it. A mess is “a situation or state of affairs that is confused or full of difficulties.” Redesigning nature creates a mess,always, because we have no reverence, no respect for the design. Heart surgery is based on respect, reverence for the design,a… Read more »

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  JohnM

JohnM, but again, the line your’re drawing is somewhat arbitrary. Suppose medical science reaches the point where it can change someone’s eye color, and lots of people line up to do so. Or skin color. That too would be reassignment surgery; would you say the same thing about it that you do gender reassignment surgery? I can see an argument for each side, frankly.

MeMe
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

“I can see an argument for each side, frankly.” That is because you lack reverence and respect for our design and our Designer. In your mind we are free to create our own identities, to subjectively define our own reality,to improve on our own nature as we see fit. That is the same line of thinking that leads to the Rise of the Machines, to the idea that artificial intelligence is vastly superior to our own, robots physically superior. Under the rules of might makes right, humans must yield and surrender to what is obviously a far superior design, annihilating… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  MeMe

You’re a Luddite, MeMe!

MeMe
5 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Guilty indeed, although my husband is a much,much worse Luddite. I simply like to grind my coffee beans and actually boil water. I wouldn’t be caught dead using one of those plastic pod things. He however, would be quite pleased if we all learned how to live without electricity and the internet.

JohnM
JohnM
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

It’s not arbitrary. Anything you have to call reassignment is qualitatively different than things that you wouldn’t call reassignment. Perhaps by qualifying it with “somewhat” even you acknowledge that the is not entirely arbitrary.

Responsible physicians would not get involved in changing eye color or skin color, so you can see what I think of that. However, I am not so hung up on race as to think differences in skin shade are on the same order as the distinction between male and female, so, again, the comparison is less than exact.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

I think you are refusing to make distinctions which are not trifling but bright lines. A brunette who uses Clairol to become a redhead has reassigned herself to a different category of hair color. Blush-on changes my skin color from sheet-white to more-or-less healthy looking. I have reassigned myself to the land of the living, as opposed to the land of the spectral. People may differ on how much superficial tinkering is reasonable and mentally healthy. I personally believe it is nice when people take pains to look attractive. Because deep down I’m really shallow, I enjoy being surrounded by… Read more »

JohnM
JohnM
5 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

A brunette who uses Clairol to pretend to become a redhead (her follicles still know better) is being a bit silly, but she isn’t undergoing a medical procedure. You know Jill, it strikes me that men and women tend to take a different view of what hair even is. It seems like women see hair as something you wear. I think women even speak of it that way sometimes: “Did you see the way she wears her hair”. Curios thing. I don’t think of myself wearing my hair any more than I do wearing my fingernails. Those are just parts… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
5 years ago
Reply to  JohnM

Of course! Hair may be a woman’s crowning glory but it is also her fashion accessory, her play thing, her experimental canvas, and the first thing she wants to alter when she is feeling plain. This is why, in the drugstore, there are whole magazines devoted to hair styles. Perhaps this is also why my daughter has wigs and hair extensions in every shade from Swedish Blonde to Scarlett O’Hara black!

jigawatt
jigawatt
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Krychek_2 said:

JohnM, but again, the line your’re drawing is somewhat arbitrary.

It’s only arbitrary if the God of the Bible is not real. “If the dead are not raised, ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.'” (1 Cor 15:32). Lewis’ book is good such as it is, and I’d encourage you to read it, but it does suffer from two flaws – he omits God and he omits Satan.

soylentg
soylentg
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Talk about a huge category error! (but I guess its not really an error if its put in place to intentionally mislead) Skin color changing is completely natural, as evidenced by the beautiful golden brown skin my wife has here at the end of July, which is not present during Minnesota snow storms. Eye color is even farther off the mark. Reassignment surgery to the eye would involve making it a foot or a toenail. Does changing an eye’s color not still leave it as an eye?

My Portion Forever
My Portion Forever
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

I don’t think Pastor Wilson was arguing against messing with nature. His argument (and the argument of The Abolition of Man is that we must have an objective standard of right and wrong, a set of values to govern how we “subdue the earth.” C. S. Lewis called it The Tao as a general reference to that objective standard. So, it is legitimate to apply anesthesia, do surgery to save lives or decrease pain, farm the land, but not legitimate to surgically reassign gender because the former comply with The Tao while the latter does not. There is an ideal… Read more »

Jane
Jane
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Because being a man or being a woman is not a pathological condition that needs to be fixed. Messing with nature when you’re actually making a mess of it, rather than fixing it, is the problem.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Your term “messing with nature” is so broad it’s impossible for a rational person to fail to find a contradiction. The distinction you’re claiming to look for is one of the objects status before the “messing”. Think of it in terms of adjusting a clock. A broken clock can be fixed. If you don’t want to throw it away, you really need to it be fixed. A clock that’s already working and on the correct time does not need to be messed with. Any messing you could do would only damage the clock away from the superior state in which… Read more »

John Callaghan
John Callaghan
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

Primum non nocere.

The proper purpose of medicine to heal what is broken – not break what is healthy.

Erin
Erin
5 years ago
Reply to  Krychek_2

I think it’s helpful to frame the discussion in terms of the final cause–the purpose or purposes for which something is created. It’s permissible to alter a part of creation if the alteration furthers the intended purpose. For instance, a heart’s final cause is the circulation of blood–therefore it’s legitimate to surgically repair a damaged heart so that it can circulate blood more efficiently. The reason a man has reproductive anatomy in the first place is to help produce more human beings. Tinkering with healthy male anatomy, so that the man appears to be a sterile woman, is totally at… Read more »

Paul
Paul
5 years ago

Gnosticism is the air we breath. The body is neither good nor necessary so we can do with it as we see fit.

carandc
carandc
5 years ago

Along these lines, pastor Wilson I would be very grateful if you would unleash your analytic insight and provide a word or two on Jordan B Peterson – where he gets it right and where he doesn’t, as far as you can tell. Sort of like you did with the Benedict Option. He’s got quite the following right now, especially when it comes to young men. For example, his interviews with Joe Rogan are some of the most watched/downloaded in Rogan’s podcastong history. He’s really striking a chord with some and agitating all the right people.

Rob Steele
Rob Steele
5 years ago

Lewis says somewhere that the word “natural ” is a word to conjure with. If there is nothing but nature then the word is meaningless and supercolliders and pollution are as natural as butterflies.

paulm01
paulm01
5 years ago

Love the throw down in the last paragraph, calling it for what it is: an abomination to God’s design. A brilliant piece of writing.

Kevin Brendler
Kevin Brendler
5 years ago

“They have no fixed system of value and so it is that they are adrift in a blind and stupid cosmos.” Put a screw to the wall and give it a half turn (180 degrees). What happens? Depends where you are. In zero gravity, the screw doesn’t turn … you do. With no fixed Point, we’re all Upside Down. Blind and stupid to boot. Very bad combination. O God, who can help us now but Thy Holy Spirit? Align us with the fixed Standard of Thy Word, that we stand upon our feet rather than spin upon our heads. It’s… Read more »

Eric Stampher
Eric Stampher
5 years ago

Doug, What if Lewis pushed back with this: Fruit may be the limit, but not the criteria. True communion & enjoyment of nature and what we can do with it = the key. The problem with sex change artists is not that they are messing with the limit. The problem is they don’t & can’t & won’t get it done right. “Mess with nature” all you like, as long as you do something lovely and good with it. Bacon objected that a joy absent fruit is akin to theft. Lewis wants joy without limit. No rape nor sex change can… Read more »

Matt
Matt
5 years ago

The majority of people here are arguing against the idea of willfully changing sex, as in “I am a man and want to be a woman, maybe tomorrow I’ll want to be a man again”. But this is not really what transsexuals are doing, they are changing the body to match what they believe themselves to be. Gender Dysphoria means that the person is really the post-op sex, and the pre-op sex is a bug. Whether this is accurate or not is not addressed by arguments that one can’t change their sex with a purely physical operation.

Eric Stampher
Eric Stampher
5 years ago
Reply to  Matt

Matt — you seem to be saying that transsexuals believe the physical operation does the trick? >> that is successfully changes their sex, and so arguments to the contrary do not address this belief?

Matt
Matt
5 years ago
Reply to  Eric Stampher

Rather, they believe themselves to already be the opposite sex, and the operation brings it in line.

Jane
Jane
5 years ago
Reply to  Matt

I am not sure that is the whole of the argument that is being made. There is also the point that you can’t actually change the sex of a body by chopping off certain parts and adding superficial but non-functional imitations of other parts. Nothing is actually being “changed,” but some parts are being removed and others mutilated. It’s not just that you “can’t change a person’s sex with an operation,” it’s that these operations, which purport to alter their physical sex to bring it into line with their supposed “real” sex, do nothing of the kind anyway. Bags of… Read more »