Category Archives: Meta-ethics

Eternal Vigilance… In Da House.

Communion. Christian Libertarians / Eternal Vigilance bloggers Reed, Richard, and Twikiriwhi. Liberty Conference. Crowne Hotel. Auckland. 6-10-12.

It was great to meet you Reed, and to catch up again with you Richard.
HAHAHA! Check out our Halo’s!
“…And there appeared on their heads Cloven tounges… as of Fire…”
(Acts2vs3) 🙂

Monism: Evolutionary Psychology and the Death of Morality, Reason and Freewill.

The Atom. Monists say that Each Individual, All Humanity, All Life, Love, Artistic expression, Every Moral crusade, Politics, Religion, Every Conscious thought, Every moment of Ecstasy and wonder are nothing more than the interaction of Atoms.

Its been one of those days…Reading the Waikato Times pg 7.
So much Atheist Bullshit… So little time to Rub their noses in it!

One of the favorite Atheist ‘Group hugs’ is their Self delusion that their beliefs are planted in ‘superior soil’ to Balmy Religious ‘Hocus pocus’.
They claim to dwell at the pinnacle of the evolutionary advance, having Superior Intelligence and Superior Education to their Lesser Religious cousins, and having escaped the primitive mindset which is religiously prone, they claim *Reason* as the mighty Rock upon which they stand.

Now if the stench of vanity is not enough to make you question the validity of these claims, The Exploits of one of their Sects ought to.

I refer to that sect of atheists known as ‘Evolutionary psychologists’ whose primary ambition is to take the mind of mankind and using scientific jargon make up a rationale to vindicate their faith that everything in the universe conforms to their Atheist Naturalistic Cosmology.
That is their brief, their duty, their delight.

What is important to realize about this process is that insodoing they De-Humanize Mankind from being a Freewill/ reasoning/ Moral Agent into a mere Automation… a robot.
This can be clearly seen in such declarations as this….

Politcal leanings linked to Genes…

How Flocking Ridiculous!
They want you to believe your little Tot has a Pre-disposition to vote Left! (Or Right, or Whateva)
What more via this notion that Genes make our political decisions for us, they have negated your power of reason and freewill …which is what the very purpose of their conclusions are aimed at achieving… forcing the Mind to comply with materialistic determinism, and just as importantly undermining the Moral culpability which underpins The Christian Argument in respect to freewill and Divine judgment.

Many Atheists will get warm fuzzies from this announcement and say to themselves…”Yes! Freewill is a myth! Everything in the Universe has a purely Naturalistic explanation… There is no God and Man is not a Moral Agent.”
“Everything that is… from the Moon, to Leonardo’s Mona Lisa was Pre-ordained in the Big Bang”
Ie they will accept these findings simply because they conveniently integrate with their Materialistic faith…. Ha ha…. Think about that! Blind leading the Blind…

I ask you this…Why would anyone believe any such research produced by such a partisan lobby to be objective and valid?
To think this sect is capable of Real Scientific Objectivity is as Nieve as believing the Waitangi Tribunal’s Ruling that Maori own the Water rights of New Zealand was an objective and impartial judgment in respect to 1840 British Law, and the treaty!
To expect the Evolutionary psychologists to present findings that were contrary to their personal Materialist delusions would be as Naive as expecting Anti-slavery Abolitionist John Brown to have been found ‘Not Guilty’ of treason and insurrection by the Slave State Virginia court!
John Brown did not receive justice, and like shambolic rulings of The Waitangi Tribunal, in declaring Politics to be a Genetic trait, the Priests of Materialism have simply dictated their own prejudices.
This is not Science!
It’s a scam!
And these ‘findings’ fly in the face of Common experience!
Materialism is absurd!
(I had the option of saying Materialism is Ridiculous!… ie we exercise freewill every day!)
We change our political opinions based upon convincing enough Rationale.

*If The Atheists apply their own arguments upon themselves and their Atheism… they must concede that their atheism is not based upon Reason at all but that their rejection of the Idea of a God is simply a Genetic Predisposition!
They ought to conclude that they are not more intelligent…. Not more rationale…. Their education counts for Naught…. They are simply Genetic Atheists… and no amount of reason will convince them God exists.
Thus their own arguments render them stupid.
In the light of this ramification by what act of self delusion do they continue to insist that they are guided by reason, or that Reason is the preserve of atheism?
They have utterly destroyed Reason and enshrined Chemistry!
Our thoughts have been reduced down to chemical actions.
This is where Monism leads to.
The annihilation of the Human being.

Reason is a Theistic/ spiritual concept. Understandable in the Idea of God *THE CONSCIOUS REASONING SPIRITUAL BEING*.
It involves Liberty, and Choice.
Things which are completely alien to Materialistic determinism, and random chaos.
Computers don’t Reason.
Humans Reason. We are not computers… We are like God. We are Free, and we can make real choices. We are Moral Agents.

An ‘Educated’ friend of ours tells me he finds the notion of dualism to be incomprehensible… He’s been saturated in materialism too long!
I must remind him that the fact that we may not be able to understand something (ie Dualism) does not necessarily make it irrational or superstition to accept it and believe in it.I accept Dualism and Biblical morality because it’s explanatory power is vastly superior to Materialism Naturalism.
You cannot expect science to synthesize God, or weigh/ measure the Human soul.
That does not negate their reality. It merely sets limits to the power of science.
(The materialist Tech-myth of artificial consciousness is sooo in fashion!)
I accept spiritual Being as absolutely necessary because materialist naturalism is woefully inadequate to explain reality, and laugh at the pathetic efforts of Materialists to render everything sterile and dead… and accidental.
Scientifically speaking The Human soul is like The Higgs Boson. It’s a Theoretical spiritual particle postulated to explain Consciousness and freewill. Nobody has ever seen it. It’ cant be directly observed. Yet we can trust/ believe in it’s existance because of indirect observations …

Read more on free will and morality…

Sick Puppies.

We are not Robots Ayn Rand. We are Moral Agents.

Right and Good

There is a difference between Right and Good – the two concepts are often used synonymously in discussions but they are not the same. The distinction is noted in Romans 5:7…

Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.

A righteous man is not (necessarily) a good man. A righteous man is someone whose actions are according to what is right i.e. to do what you must do and avoid doing what you must not do. A good man is someone who does good. To do good is to do something out of love.

Rightness, or righteousness, is a matter of right and wrong – e.g. paying your debts, honouring a contract, honesty, self defense.
Goodness is a matter of the heart e.g. generosity, kindness, helping those in need, mercy.

This topic seems too obvious to blog about but I’m sure this post will be useful for linking to later.

Feel free to discuss or critique.

The serpent-windings of utilitarianism

Judicial or juridical punishment (poena forensis) is to be distinguished from natural punishment (poena naturalis), in which crime as vice punishes itself, and does not as such come within the cognizance of the legislator. Juridical punishment can never be administered merely as a means for promoting another good either with regard to the criminal himself or to civil society, but must in all cases be imposed only because the individual on whom it is inflicted has committed a crime. For one man ought never to be dealt with merely as a means subservient to the purpose of another…

[W]oe to him who creeps through the serpent-windings of utilitarianism to discover some advantage that may discharge him from the justice of punishment, or even from the due measure of it, according to the Pharisaic maxim: “It is better that one man should die than that the whole people should perish.” For if justice and righteousness perish, human life would no longer have any value in the world.

What, then, is to be said of such a proposal as to keep a criminal alive who has been condemned to death, on his being given to understand that, if he agreed to certain dangerous experiments being performed upon him, he would be allowed to survive if he came happily through them? It is argued that physicians might thus obtain new information that would be of value to the commonweal. But a court of justice would repudiate with scorn any proposal of this kind if made to it by the medical faculty; for justice would cease to be justice, if it were bartered away for any consideration whatever.

– Immanuel Kant, The Science of Right

[Reprised from SOLO.]

Don’t crush state assets!

From go …

… to woe.

19-year-old Daniel Briant’s car, a Nissan Laurel, was crushed yesterday. It became the first car to be crushed under National’s “boy racer” legislation—the Vehicle Confiscation and Seizure Bill, 2008.

Why crush? According to Judith “Crusher” Collins (via NZPA)

Cars could be confiscated under current law and courts could order them to be sold, she said, but they were bought by other boy racers and the problem was recycled.

Clive Matthew-Wilson, editor of the car review website, says the law is a waste of time.

“Yesterday, the owner of the first crushed car was just another boy racer with an attitude problem. Today he will be a hero to his fellow boy racers.”

“The idea that this car seizure will stop other youths offending is basically wishful thinking.

I love how he flat-out contradicts himself in the next two paragraphs (although what he’s trying to say is basically right, I think).

“Young females are attracted to young males who take risks. That’s one reason young males are so reckless. A young male would rather lose his car and be attractive to young females than obey the law and sleep alone.”

“The part of the male brain that links cause and effect doesn’t fully develop until the early 20s. That’s why young males often do silly things without thinking of the consequences.” has a photo of the boy-racer hero Briant, informs us that

A Facebook memorial site has been created for the souped-up car.

and helpfully links to Briant’s Facebook page, where we learn that Daniel’s interests include

Doing your mate’s ex to see what the problem was
Not dumping your girlfriend cause she’s a fucking hectic root
Being a cheeky cunt to everyone you know. Because, wtf else is there to do?
I wish I was on E as often as my gas tank
Never underestimate a guy’s ability to not give a shit
Going out for a Quiet One and Coming Home with a Court Date

While Daniel mourns the loss of his Nissan Laurel, we can mourn the misspent youth of today. Or mourn the misspent youth of yesteryear. (I don’t ever recall having that much fun! Well, not at that age, anyway. Oops, I think I’ve said enough. Time for a closing parenthesis.)

This is not a pretty picture. (It’s Minister of Police Anne Tolley, standing atop the crushed Laurel.)

The NZ Herald tells us

A grinning Police Minister Anne Tolley pressed the button to crush the Nissan Laurel at a Lower Hutt scrap metal yard.

Ms Tolley said it sent a “graphic” deterrent to illegal street racers.

But reports

Tolley said less than three hours after receiving his third strike from the court Briant was back behind the wheel performing a burnout.

He lost control and crashed into a fence. It is understood he and a passenger fled the vehicle on foot.

There’s every sign that Briant is undeterred. (And, you know, I could have done with a souped up Nissan Laurel to replace my ground down Nissan Maxima.)

I’m against the whole idea of the government using cases like this to make “an example” and destroy property as “a deterrent to others”. It’s an unjust, utilitarian way of going about things. As philosopher Immanuel Kant rightly remarked

Juridical punishment can never be administered merely as a means for promoting another good either with regard to the criminal himself or to civil society, but must in all cases be imposed only because the individual on whom it is inflicted has committed a crime. For one man ought never to be dealt with merely as a means subservient to the purpose of another…


A couple of days ago, columnist Joe Bennett concluded his column in The Press by telling us

I’m going to spend the afternoon finding out how I’ve chosen to enjoy myself.

You’re about to find out that you’ve chosen to read on to see what on earth Joe Bennett was talking about. Here’s the start of his column.

But first an apology. A month or so back a gentleman emailed me about something I’d said on the radio. He wrote, and I quote, “free will is a childish delusion”.

“Scoff,” I wrote back. “Pooh pooh. I have free will. My free will is writing this email. Without free will we are automata.”

Since then, however, I have been on a wee journey and I would like to retract my scoff and pooh pooh. But I have forgotten the gentleman’s name and deleted his email.

So if you’re reading this, sir, sorry. You were right. I was wrong.

The change of mind followed last week’s column about the mutiny of the body.

In response I got several emails directing me to some neuroscientific research. It seems that neuroscientists have been nibbling at the idea of free will for years without telling me.

For example they attached electrodes to people’s skulls and then asked the people to click a computer mouse at a moment of their choosing. The boffins found that when people decided to click the mouse, their brain had already begun the physical process of clicking. In other words, the decision to click had been made before the people realised they’d made it. The click was already going to happen.

There were numerous similar experiments. They all suggested that when we think we decide to do something of our own free will, our consciousness is merely catching up with a decision that we have already made. We are rationalising after the fact.

We are deluding ourselves into thinking we are in conscious control of our actions. It’s a nice, consoling delusion, but a delusion none the less.

Problem? Well, yes! If we have no free will, we have no moral responsibility for our actions.

No free will means that Christianity is a nonsense.

No free will means that Objectivism is a false religion.

No free will means that “not my problem” doesn’t cut it.

I’ve known of the experimental results to which Bennett refers for the past 15 years or so, ever since I read Daniel Dennett’s Consciousness Explained. 15 years later, I still have no rejoinder.

Dennett takes us to a very high mountain and shows us all the sciences of naturalism and their splendour. “Everything you want … you can have,” says Dennett.

Attempted murder is a victimless crime

By definition, there are no murder victims.

Suppose you board a bus with a suicide bomber. At the appointed stop, the suicide bomber pulls the cord to detonate the belt of explosives around her waist, hidden under her jacket … and nothing happens. She lives to die another day. No one on the bus, including you, is any the wiser. There are no victims that day. But a crime has been committed. Attempted murder is a serious crime. A victimless crime, but a serious crime, nonetheless.

If you drive home blind drunk at 150 kph, with your children unseatbelted in the back and passenger seats, and you’re fortunate enough that there is no oncoming traffic on the several occasions when you veer into the other lane … and you and your children arrive home safely … it’s a victimless crime. But a crime has been committed. Driving while drunk is a crime. A victimless crime, but a crime, nonetheless.

There are obvious differences between the two cases. The suicide bomber intends to initiate lethal force against others, and the odds of success are relatively high. Whereas the drunk driver does not have murderous intent, and the odds of killing anyone are relatively low.

There are laws against attempted murder and laws against drunk driving. As there should be. But why?

Some libertarians get themselves into a tangle trying to justify a prohibition on drunk driving. At first glance, the non-initiation of force (NIOF) principle seems insufficient to justify a law against drunk driving. The drunk driver who arrives home safely does not, and does not intend to, initiate force against other road users. A common libertarian perspective is one where drunk driving is seen as a breach of contract between the road user and the road owner. In a libertarian utopia, roads are privately owned, and the road owner sets the terms of road use. When it’s in the commercial interests of road owners to offer safe passage to road users (as, almost invariably, it will be), sobriety will be a contractual obligation. Take this perspective, and you get the right answer … but for the wrong reason.

Drunk driving is wrong, not because it is a breach of contract (implicit in the case of our state-operated roads), but because it endangers the lives of others. It’s really quite simple. There ought to be a law against drunk driving because there ought to be a law against endangering the lives of others.

Provisos apply.

Please note carefully. In cases where it is other adults only whose lives are endangered, and those adults have consented to having their lives endangered, no laws should apply.

Roads are dangerous places. When I go for a drive, I’m endangering my own life and that of others, simply by being behind the wheel, sober or otherwise. But there ought to be no law against driving per se, even though such a law would dramatically lower the road toll. But why not?

It’s really quite simple. It’s a matter of degree. The question is, where to draw the line? And the answer is, at 80 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood.

The above figure is arbitrary, and blood alcohol level is only a proxy for driver impairment, but this approach to endangerment is right in principle. Importantly, we can quantify the risk that a driver who has been drinking poses to other road users. We can multiply the chances of a fatal collision by the number of lives lost in the collision and come up with a number. And we can set a threshold. If the number is over the threshold, you’re too drunk to legally drive. If the number is below the threshold, it’s legal to risk getting behind the wheel.

We can apply the principle of an endangerment threshold to other issues, including the issue of parents endangering the lives of their children: allowing their children to climb trees, be vaccinated, be unvaccinated, ride bikes without helmets, travel to dangerous countries, sail, eat food cooked on an unlicensed Komodo Kamado or have their children live with them in Lyttelton houses in danger of being flattened by falling boulders.

In all cases, the same endangerment threshold should apply. Is the risk of staying with your children in your Lyttelton house more or less than driving them to safety after you’ve had one drink too many?

And one last question. Who gets to decide?