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Richard Dawkins, moral fool

by Greg Krehbiel on 22 August 2014

I’ve said this many times before, but while Richard Dawkins may be a genius when it comes to biology, like most atheists he doesn’t have a very good understanding of ethics.

To some extent it’s simply a matter of practice. When a person gets serious about religion — say, after a conversion experience — it’s very common for that person to get seriously discouraged and say something like, “I feel like I was more moral before I became a Christian!”

The new convert is now re-evaluating his life — all his thoughts and behaviors — against a very strict moral standard. He simply wasn’t doing that before, and he’s finding all kinds of things about himself that he didn’t know.

The religious life is a life spent scrutinizing moral questions. That’s clearly no guarantee that the person will come to the right conclusions, or that his behavior will match his newfound convictions, but it does have a profound effect on a person’s psychology, how attuned he is to moral questions, and how able he is to make appropriate moral distinctions. I’m often shocked at how otherwise intelligent atheists can be so dull in that regard.

All this is by way of introduction to this article: The Nasty, Brutish World of Richard Dawkins, which mentions his latest screw-up on Twitter where he said parents who choose not to abort a Down Syndrome baby are committing an immoral act.

The man is a moral idiot.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-08-22  ::  Greg Krehbiel

What is Hagel preparing us for?

by Greg Krehbiel on 22 August 2014

Suspicion 1: Statements by administration officials are usually well planned, and highly placed officials like the Secretary of Defense don’t casually say things like “Get Ready” and “They are an imminent threat to every interest we have” unless he’s preparing people for something. (See Islamic State threat ‘beyond anything we’ve seen’: Pentagon.)

Suspicion 2: Hagel has always been a bit of a loose canon and might have been winging it a little too freely.

I’m leaning towards Suspicion 1.

Reality has a rude way of poking holes in our theories, and I hope this apparent change in public posturing means that Obama is finally growing out of his fairyland view of foreign policy. I think he realizes that he faces the prospect of leaving the U.S. far worse off than it was before he took office, and he has reluctantly decided to do something sensible about that.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-08-22  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Obama and the Antideficiency Act

by Greg Krehbiel on 22 August 2014

It doesn’t matter that Obama violated the Antideficiency Act because, after all, he’s the chosen one. He gets a pass because of his exalted and glorious him-ness.

If any Republican had done this the press would be in 24×7 attack mode.

However, this is one of those Obama illegalities that doesn’t bother me too much.

Pentagon officials also told the GAO that the [30-day] notification requirement is unconstitutional. They argued that it “would have interfered with the Executive’s performance of two related functions that the Constitution assigns to the President: protecting the lives of Americans abroad and protecting U.S. service members.”

That may be true.

I disagree with the policy decision, but it was Obama’s call to make, and I don’t think it’s wise for Republicans to push this one too much.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-08-22  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Close your eyes and think about England

by Greg Krehbiel on 21 August 2014

I saw a post on Facebook today that links to a gross cartoon that sorta pokes fun at procreation. Here it is.

It highlights an interesting contrast in the ways people view having kids.

The first view — and I will play arm-chair historian and call this the traditional view — is that having kids is a duty families perform in service of the empire. That empire may be a religion or a country or just humanity in general, but the point is that the empire requires new subjects, so get to it.

That’s why the empire promotes marriage and family in the first place, why it gives married people special rights and benefits, etc.

The second view is that children are just one of life’s pleasures that you choose to have or not have on your own schedule. What’s important is that you live a fulfilling life, do what you want to do, go see interesting places while you still look good in a bikini, etc. And then, when it’s convenient, and if it seems like a good idea and fits in with your life plans, then sure … go ahead and have some kids.

In this view, the empire is supposed to give you special benefits and rights because …. Well, it’s not entirely clear why you get the benefits and rights in this view, but it has some vague connection to celebrating your love, or something like that.

-- 4 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-08-21  ::  Greg Krehbiel

What does “cowardly” mean?

by Greg Krehbiel on 21 August 2014

President Obama Says Militants Who Beheaded American Are ‘Cowardly’

What does that mean?

These guys are brutal barbarians who take what they want and kill anybody who gets in their way. In what sense are they “cowardly”?

They’re standing up to the most powerful nation on earth. “You bomb our positions? Then we’ll kill your citizens. Now what are you going to do about it?” And then they claim they’re going to come after Americans wherever they can find them.

They’re beasts. They’re monsters. But by what kind of twisted logic can they be called “cowardly”?

This is a serious question. I think there is a mindset on the left that it’s “cowardly” to resort to force and “brave” to try to talk things over and negotiate. In some situations that’s true. Diplomats are often very brave people who put their lives on the line to find a way to peace.

But there comes a point where Scotty has it right. “The best diplomat I know is a fully armed phaser bank.”

Mr. President, the men in ISIS are horrible, monstrous beasts, but they are not cowards. They need to be hunted down and killed.

-- 7 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-08-21  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Romney is the favorite

by Greg Krehbiel on 20 August 2014

It’s way early, but Romney is the runaway favorite for the GOP nomination right now, according to Zogby.

In the poll of Republicans, Romney leads with 20 percent, followed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 12 percent, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul 11 percent, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz 9 percent, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee 8 percent and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush 6 percent.

There’s nobody in that list that I would choose to be president, but Romney is my least un-favorite choice.

-- 1 comment  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-08-20  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Having a child is an arrogant thing to do

by Greg Krehbiel on 20 August 2014

If you believe nature determines the kid’s destiny, you’re saying you’ve got a good heritage that should be preserved in the gene pool.

If you believe nurture is going to be the controlling factor, you’re saying you’re going to be such a good parent that you’ll raise a productive, happy, well-developed kid the world will be better off with.

Either way it’s a pretty arrogant thing to think, which is yet another reason why kids should marry young — while they still know everything and think they’re the world’s best bet for the future.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-08-20  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Another reason I support traffic cameras

by Greg Krehbiel on 19 August 2014

With primarily white police forces that rely disproportionately on traffic citation revenue, blacks are pulled over, cited and arrested in numbers far exceeding their population share, according to a recent report from Missouri’s attorney general. In Ferguson last year, 86 percent of stops, 92 percent of searches and 93 percent of arrests were of black people — despite the fact that police officers were far less likely to find contraband on black drivers (22 percent versus 34 percent of whites).

See What libertarians and conservatives get wrong about Ferguson.

Everybody knows you can lie with statistics. What if, for example, the 22 percent of blacks who have “contraband” have a weapon while the 34 percent of whites who have “contraband” have more than their daily limit of rainbow trout?

Here’s an article that claims the stats go the other way — at least in New York. White People Stopped By New York Police Are More Likely To Have Guns Or Drugs Than Minorities. I have no idea what the reality is in Ferguson, I’m just pointing out that the statistics cited in the Post article above could mean anything.

So why are more blacks pulled over and searched? Is it because of bias, or is it because a higher percentage of them are breaking the traffic laws? People can take these race and crime statistics and twist them all sorts of ways, and it’s very hard to get the straight scoop.

Traffic cameras don’t have that sort of bias, so it will be interesting to find out whether there is “proportional representation” in people who get ticketed by the all-seeing eye.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-08-19  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Title change?

by Greg Krehbiel on 18 August 2014

A friend recommended that I change the title of one of my books from “Before You Marry: 50 Politically Incorrect Thoughts for Men” to “Eggs are Expensive, Sperm in Cheap: Plus 49 Other Politically Incorrect Thoughts for Men.”

What do you think?

-- 5 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-08-18  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Conversations about race

by Greg Krehbiel on 17 August 2014

Some people on the Sunday talk shows are calling for a “conversation about race.”

The problem is, certain things aren’t allowed to be said, and the facts don’t matter.

-- 8 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-08-17  ::  Greg Krehbiel

2014-08-15 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
Ebola, world poverty and culture change
2014-08-14 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
We’re becoming a police state
2014-08-12 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
Disgusted by Matt Walsh
2014-08-12 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
Men replaced by women in the workplace
2014-08-12 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
Vietnam a pattern for Iraq
2014-08-12 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
Obama needs to read his Bible
2014-08-11 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
Originalist Islam is back