Your daily source of news & videos on science & religion since 2007
What the hell did that have to do with business?
Okay, Fox is basically right wing news for people who are right wing because of religion. Fox Business is basically right wing news for people who are right wing because of economic policies. Or more to the point, Fox is for neocons and FOx business is for libertarians.
That all seemed rather disjointed and awkward, but I prefer it to the usual pious circle jerk from regular fox news programming.
The government CAN and WILL take away human rights, whether they are inalienable or not. Government panders to the interests of business first and foremost. People only figure into it at voting time, and then only to get them into government. I think you are kidding yourself if you think that the government "can't" do anything it wants to. Sure people will kick up a stink, but government is "government", they govern over us and make the decisions. Whether democracy or theocracy, there is a reason they are called "the ones in power".I wish it were another way, but sadly it's not.
I love how the catholic priest evoked Jesus when talking about Libertarianism when Jesus, if you take his words in The Bible as historical truth, was actually very Socialist in thought and practice.
I take it you americans cant see the very obvious slant of this piece, as it seems to have flown well over Mr Shermers head.This is just another "natural law" (which they dont define but seem to conflate with human rights) is GODS LAW.... its said two or three times in a stealthy roundabout manner. Its a religious right seeking to take the human rights moral ground spiel...Jeebus gave us human rights.I also love the way they seem to suggest that governments giving aid is NOT charity, with the logical inference being "lets stop the government distributing aid."One more point - notice how the narrator and the Catholic seem to have their scrips "in step" and feed each other leader lines, whereas Shermer is just thrown the odd bone line....?Shame on Shermer for falling for this Gods Law shite and leaving it unadressed.Shame on you lot for not seeing through this tissue thin christian right puff piece.
Is your tin foil hat a little too tight there?
Not nearly as bad as I expected.
<span>This was such a stupid conversation. I really like Shermer, but he missed the boat on this one. I would ask the priest what "rights" the Aztecs had when the Spanish Conquistadors slaughtered them? What rights did the slaves have under Christendom? For just one example, when we talk about "natural law", Pope Pius IX<span>...</span><span> wrote: "Slavery itself, considered as such in its essential nature, is not at all contrary to the *natural and divine law*, and there can be several just titles of slavery and these are referred to by approved theologians and commentators of the sacred canons...it is not contrary to the natural and divine law for a slave to be sold, bought, exchanged or given." -Holy Office Instruction, signed by Pius IX (June 20, 1866). “It is an error to say that every human being is free to embrace and profess that religion which, led by the light of reason, he/she believes to be true”. ~ Pius IX Syllabus of Errors (1864)i.e. NO RELIGIOUS FREEDOM“Socialism and democracy are pests”. ~ Pius IX Qui pluribus (18 46 ); Singulari quadam (18 54 ); Syllabus o f Errors § IV (1864)i.e. We don't want you to have a voice...WE are the voice.This isn't an abberation-this was doctrine until 1965 (!!!) with Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, when the practice of slavery *itself* was rejected. Well, if these are "natural laws", shouldn't they be timeless? Shouldn't the Bible and the Catholic church have always been against slavery from the get go?? As Mark Twain once wrote (speaking about the Catholic Church in 1905; A Pen Warmed Up in Hell), "The texts remain: it is the practice that has changed. Why? Because the world has corrected the Bible. The Church never corrects it; and also never fails to drop in at the tail of the procession - and take the credit of the correction. As she will presently do in this instance". In reality, contrary to what was said in the video, rights are imaginary...we made them up. Look at the Bill of Rights for countries other than America. They have different numbers, many have zero. We have steadily gotten better at morality over time, but it was *secularism*, it was the *Enlightenment*- not religion-that has improved our moral understanding. The Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (abolishing slavery) was added in what year? 1865. When was Pope Pius IX "Instruction" arguing for slavery written? 1866. Hmm. I think that would have been a check-mate, a "QED" for Shermer, had he done the research...</span></span>
> "<span>I take it you americans cant see the very obvious slant of this piece, as it seems to have flown well over Mr Shermers head."</span>Who said we can't see the slant of this piece? There are plenty of things to disagree with in this piece, and lots a unwarranted assumptions. I just didn't take the time to point out the non-sequiteurs.And, I don't really think Shermer is very good at arguing or defending his points, based on this and other debates as well.
I think this was a great piece- and it is sad to see all the socialist atheists going ape shit over this- the point of the discussion wasn't whether christianity is pro liberty or not, but whether god is needed to define natural law or not...go read some philosophy and drop the socialist bs...atheists should be independent thinkers- our natural position is to be libertarians and not be the sheeple that follow government. Judge Neapolitano is a great speaker as well...so what if he is a christian?...drop the hate people its stupid.
No, what is stupid is the Judge and the Priest begging the question with their "God given rights" non-sense. If God was really looking out for us, shouldn't we have a right to shelter and food every day? If not, then is God really all good? If so, then why are there so many poor starving people? Also, lol!, atheists do not have a "natural position". Atheism is not a philosophy. One can be moral or immoral. The question was being addressed to a moral person who simply doesn't believe in God. Based on his knowledge, Shermer points out that one of our natures (there is no "human nature") is to cooperate. We are a social species. Our ethical positions are continuously evolving, and have been in positive directions in many ways, though we have a long ways to go.
"Positive directions" ??? Oh I get it, the goal is to modify the "human nature" that you insist doesn't exist, either with didactic 'news' and 'education' or genetically if you have to until we can all conform to your perfect socialist vision for humanity. There is indeed a VERY strong atheistic position for individual rights, and it is founded on the idea that my life has value to me, and is in no way required to have value to anyone else in order to be justified.
Andrew, calm down and please don't insert words into my mouth. I'm not talking about "modifying" anything. Both guests agree on much, except the explanation of why we have rights. We made the rights up, arguing that if I want to have liberty and freedom, I need to allow everyone else to have liberty and freedom. This stuff isn't God given. That is what I am saying. Yes we have propensities for cooperation just as we have propensities for war and dominance. I am not advocating changing genes, and nurture certainly comes into it. I was pointing out that the Father is on weak ground claiming that rights come from God. The God of the Bible is clear about slavery. The Catholic Church was fine with slavery for quite awhile. My point about God above is that if he was really looking out for us, why would we want for anything? When I say "positive directions", it is the general agreement now that slavery is wrong-this was not the general concensus long ago. I happen to think it a positive direction that we no longer think it just to hold others in bondage, because as you say, *I* wouldn't want to be in bondage (nor would I want others to be knowing I share similar experiences with others). How does this make me a socialist with a "perfect view of society"?
My appologize. I thought you were channeling FDR there and were making a case for positive rights.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_and_positive_rightsI clearly missunderstood. My mistake.
No problem, Andrew, I know from experience that can never be too clear on their points, so this has given me a chance to improve. I'm just sick of the gloating faces when the religious say "I have a solid foundation because I am the product of "the Big Guy" and rights come from Him. Where do *your* rights come from??". Well, I think I would reply in the spirit of Euphythro: "Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?". If God simply decides what is good (i.e. what "rights" we should respect) then there is no criterion to judge whether God is good...yet the priest would certainly have to say God is "good". Also, if God said humans have the "right" to hold slaves if they could obtain them, in what sense would this be moral?? We could reason our way to the notion that slavery is in fact very harmful. In fact, as I pointed out above, it is this very reason that the church changed its position on this matter!!!! The other alternative, that God, if He exists (which He clearly doesn't), merely reflects what is good, then the priest has a problem. The Bible is pro-slavery, yet the church broke away from this as a result of human reasoning, non-theistic reasoning. Isn't the priest a heretic then, even if in line with his church? And if God only reflects what is good, and we can discover morality and ethics for ourselves, this leaves open the judgement that the Christian God is either good or evil. We now say slavery is evil...so how do we describe Yahweh?
You're absolutely right, J. I've watched Shermer in a few debates now, and he is just not very good at it. I find myself screaming at the computer monitor, "SAY THIS, SAY THIS" but he just doesn't seem to have the killer instinct or quick brain of say...the Hitch.
shermer did say that the bible does not stand for these rights and did point out that they do interpret it as they wish, so i think he did what he was meant to do- he set out the atheist libertarian position properly and the fact that our natural rights come from natural laws that have come about as a result of evolution...we don't have to believe in god to believe that all humanity have the right to be free. I think the conversation was good and the judge did a good job in moderating.
Yeah, ok, they laid out the libertarian position, and Shermer very generally laid out our atheistic notion of "rights". The problem is this will be wholey unconvincing to anyone brought up in a religious tradition, unfamiliar with the arguments from both sides, even with an open mind. The contentious issue here is where do our rights come from, God or our brains? "Natural rights" still have to be articulated, just as *people* articulated "God's" rules and commands when they wrote, revised, and compiled the Bible over centuries. My point still remains that historically, the church didn't seem to think we had very many rights-certainly nothing like what we find in the modern U.S. Constitution, which itself has been ammended a number of times. The conversation, in my mind, was not "good" because the majority of Fox News viewers don't know the scientific or philosophical arguments beyond the brief skeleton that he was able to provide. Not saying he isn't right, not saying he did a bad job articulating it. In this case, I think the strategy of Hitchens would have been more to the point here. Show that the Catholic priest isn't on firm ground based on what his church has done historically on the isssue of slavery. Since the discussion was more abstract, we didn't get a sense of the weakness of the religious case (which is continuously reinforced). Additionally, the human rights according to Sharia Law are different from the secular laws of our Constitution. So it sort of matters what you believe about God, despite the fact that there is just as much evidence for the Greek gods as the monotheistic gods. Yeah, Shermer did say that the Bible is sort of a witches brew of contradictory injunctions that we have to pick and choose from, but the average viewer will likely dismiss this without a concrete example-like slavery. I will also grant that he brilliantly pointed out that JPII in Vatican II stated that evolution isn't a mere hypothesis, but JPII still demanded that humans are special in the divine sense. This was actually a very interesting topic to discuss, and what irritates me about TV shows is that they only reinforce popular notions inbetween a barrage of commercials. If a capable practitioner on our side were given the time to develop the argument, I think more people would see the weakness of the clerical side...
i think you are hoping for too much from fox news :)
Haha, true!!! Perhaps I am hoping too much of a large segment of the audience as well?
Anyone hear of Sagacism? Sounds like a good re-branding campaign. http://sites.google.com/site/sagacism/
If they want a rebranding maybe they should write a new holy book which will describe the big bang, star and planet formation, evolution, and the history of scientific discovery in flowery prose and beautiful language.