25th February 2012

“The world is always changing and, I argue, gets more moral by the day notwithstanding the moral handbrakes that faiths use to fetter freedom. Why do they do it?”

Dick Gross

7 Responses to “25th February 2012”

  1. R J Says:

    ‘ ‘ the world…………………..gets more moral by the day………. ”

    oh , PLEASE !!! what a joke. whatever this guy’s taking ,

    i want a bucketful !!!!!

  2. archaeopteryx Says:

    R J: I know what you mean, but Steven Pinker seems to make an argument confirming, at least i part, what Dick Gross is saying.

    http://www.amazon.com/Better-Angels-Our-Nature-Violence/dp/0670022950/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1330160831&sr=8-1

  3. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    That the world appears more violent is due to the dramatic increase in news coverage, where today you get a steady stream of murder, theft, rape, and terror reports from all over the world. 50, 100, 200, and more years ago you simply didn’t get that.

    (example: Watch your “local” evening news and ask yourself: How often do they not lead off with a murder story? Even if you live thousand miles away from the story/it isn’t “local” but it is there)

    Pinker’s book talks about crime and violence from a statistical basis and does reveal that there is less crime and violence today. It strikes us as contrary to general consensus because we all casually prop up the “things have never been as bad as they are today” conversational rhetoric. It is much like the “kids today being worse than the kids of yesterday: Untrue, but repeated often.

    I’d agree with Gross’s statement and attribute it to the decline in devout religiosity.

    Religion has up to now hijacked society’s morality foundation. The hold of that foundation has been compromised in recent decades by the blatant and widespread sexual abuse problems among the clergy.

    These problems have revealed the real nature of religion as a confidence trick to lure young victims into compromising positions.

    As this becomes more and more apparent to more and more people I look for a sudden shift in the widely held belief that religion has any value to a modern society.

    I do believe that within my lifetime religion will become universally stigmatized for what it truly is: A haven for perverts, sociopaths, and sexually repressed deviants.

    Why do they do it? When you overhear Father McGillicuddy explaining to young Johnnie that he needs to take the body of Christ into his mouth and then you see him standing in front of young Johnnie with his pants down, his erect penis in Johnnie’s face, it becomes exceedingly difficult to ever trust Father McGillicuddy ever again. They do it because pedophiles are pedophiles, sex with children is the best they can hope for.

    When the news reports the story of little Johnnie being raped by Father McGillicuddy, and it is the third such story you have heard this week, it doesn’t matter that it is this Father or that Father, or this Rabbi or this Imam. Eventually it just adds up: You can’t trust people who claim there is a supernatural deity controlling the destiny of mankind according to his grand master plan.

    Beyond the obvious, having to tell Adam and Eve not to eat the apple, god has no plan. He never did, never will, never could. You see it isn’t that Eve upset his plan that proves this, it is that there is no such thing as God in the first place.

    So imagine that I’ve opened Pandora’s box for you, imagine that you now know there is no god. What now? It doesn’t matter, just move on. Live your life, have fun. You didn’t need god in the first place.

    What is life without god like? It is wonderful! It is free!

    As more and more people discover this the moral handbrakes religion applies to the forward progress of humanity with wear and fade.

    Cloistered in some lonely alcove of perversion, some dungeon of deviancy, a Vatican will be the caped perverts, unclean, touching each other. Every now and then they will kidnap a child but the police will know the MO. Hopefully they will save the child before the twisted perverts set about their holy practices of anally tormenting boys, of forcibly raping prepubescent girls.

    These creeps just disgust me,

  4. Jeff Says:

    Sinjin,

    While I tend to agree with you in that the Church shelters pedophiles, (there’s been enough news on that score to more than bolster your argument) I would say that the vast bulk of the Catholic clergy are good decent men who work to take care of their flocks as best they see fit. They shelter the pedo’s for the same reason that armies hate to admit to war crimes, to protect the institution. Neither excusable, but within the context of institutional behavior, understandable.

    The real reason that religion continues to fetter the moral understanding of mankind is it’s function as a societal control mechanism, nicely summed up by Mr. Marx. For a basically uneducated society to function, one can either partake of his opiate of the masses or indulge in masses of opiates religiously. Unless one has the background to reason to a sufficient moral code to restrain the human animal’s impulse control problems, society must have an external control mechanism.

    Having started on the first, got over that and tried the second, I figured it was easier to come up with a moral code that keeps me out of jail, and worry about the rest as it comes along.

  5. Xhim Says:

    I’m not convinced that world morality is improving. I read some time ago that a study of the most pressing problems in schools in the late 40s were 1. talking out of turn and 2. chewing gum in class. And when we moved to Germany in the 70s the older people who had lived thru the war talked about the Russians coming in raping and pillaging, and the Americans handing out chocolate. I’m not so sure that the Americans today would not also be at least raping, if not pillaging. (They might still hand out chocolate, tho.)

  6. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Jeff for some 5 to 6 million years biped hominids have been evolving both socially and physically. Long before the Koran, long before the new and old testaments were ever conceived of, humans and their evolutionary lineage, have been co-existing knowing the limits of behavior, growing more and more sophisticated.

    Morality too moves in sympathy to the evolving human and what we can say today of that development is that it is without question further along than 500 years ago, 1,000 years ago, 10,000 years ago and so on.

    I don’t give into the temptation that all people are basically good and I do not create a free pass for clergy people. I will not enable the clergy person, the so called good decent men that conceal the pedophiles are every bit as grotesque to me as the disgusting creeps that get caught red handed.

    The conversation the other day turned to Sam Harris’ book “The Moral Landscape” and I think Mr. Harris is correct: The time has come for humans to begin treating morality as the science it truly is.

    The notion that religion could have ever handled the responsibility in the first place is as juvenile as man was at the time of Christ.

    Xhim you flatly missed Arch’s reference to the Pinker book, your comment is plain ignorant of the facts, and it is too bad you seem to have no ability to reference anything you say beyond “I read some time ago”. What is that? Why don’t you just begin your every comment with “Once upon a time…”

    I suggest if it is “convincing” you seek you should click the link Arch provided, make a purchase, and read the book. Otherwise the “Once upon a time” thing is your best bet just know that I for one am getting bored with your dopey comments.

  7. Jeff Says:

    Sinjin,

    In re: “I don’t give into the temptation that all people are basically good and I do not create a free pass for clergy people. I will not enable the clergy person, the so called good decent men that conceal the pedophiles are every bit as grotesque to me as the disgusting creeps that get caught red handed.”

    Thank you for dismissing out of hand the basic liberal assumption on the perfectibility of man, despite recent evidence from both evolutionary psychology and game theory to the contrary. As to the free pass for the clergy, I was not giving in to that temptation, merely expressing my close first hand view of a wide range of both Protestant and Catholic clergy, which includes a wide range of both hierarchies, up to and including a Catholic bishop. (You wouldn’t believe how small the community inside the offices of a Catholic diocese is, unless you’ve worked in one.) I may not have expressed it well, but I was merely expressing understanding of their motivations, not condoning their actions.