Monday, July 24, 2017

Orthodox Objectivism: An Autopsy, Part 2


Orthodox Objectivism may have been doomed from the start, simply because it was a dogmatic philosophy that prided itself on rationality and self-interest yet which, in its specific doctrines and in the behavior of its adherents, often betrayed these stated objectives. Rand's contention that human beings are born "blank slates" is about as rational as the belief that the earth is flat. And as for self-interest: is it really in anyone's self-interest to embrace orthodox Objectivism? Doubts persist on this score. Some years ago Barbara Branden noted that far too many Objectivists came off as bitter and angry. Is it really in your self-interest to be angry all the time? Is it really in your self-interest to continually distort and/or misunderstand the views of people you disagree with, while at the same time being hyper-sensitive to alleged distortions of your own views? Is it really in your self-interest to remain an adherent of a philosophy which has no viable track record of making its adherents smarter, wiser, happier, or more fulfilled? Orthodox Objectivism had so much going against it right from the start. But the dim prospects of the philosophy were made many times worse by Rand's choice for the heir to her literary estate, namely, Dr. Leonard Peikoff.
Among the non-orthodox followers of Rand, Leonard Peikoff is often made into a scapegoat, the man who drove Objectivism off the rails and brought disrepute to Rand's memory. This is not so far from the truth. If Rand had been a better judge of character, she would have selected David Kelley as her heir, not Peikoff. Despite his reputation as a "neo-Objectivist," Kelley isactually remains very close to orthodoxy in most of his Objectivist formulations. He is simply a much more intelligent expositor of Randian doctrines than Peikoff or anyone else at ARI. He at least has some notion of the weaker points in Rand's system, which he seeks to downplay, or at least present in the most plausible terms possible. In the Objectivist ethics, for example, he downplays the survivalist aspect, while emphasizing flourishing and benevolence. He insists that adherence to reality is more important than adherence to Rand's beliefs. Kelley makes Objectivism almost seem respectable. But more than that, he makes it seem humane and non-threatening. Perhaps that's the reason his version of Rand's creed has never really caught on. Those who are attracted to Rand are perhaps most attracted to the extreme parts: to the anger and resentment, the outrage and the indignation that provide the motivating force for so many of its key doctrines. Take away these emotions and Objectivism becomes little more than a deeply flawed and badly dated philosophy.

Peikoff's stewardship of  Objectivism veered from one disaster to another, each worse than before. The first crisis was brought about by a biography of Ayn Rand published by Peikoff's cousin, Barbara Branden. If Peikoff had any notions of seeking to transform Objectivism into a respectable system of thought, he immediately threw all that overboard after the publication of the Passion of Ayn Rand. Under his leadership, the cultish aspects of Objectivism, which had been there from the start, became even more pronounced. This development became a stated point of doctrine when, a year or so later, he excommunicated David Kelley from the movement. In fairness to Peikoff, it's not clear he set out to give Kelley the boot. It is more likely that his minions, particularly Harry Binswanger and Peter Schwartz, set him to it. It's long been thought that the real reason why Kelley was thrown overboard stemmed from his endorsement of Branden's biography. But I've always suspected the primary reason stemmed form sheer envy. Schwartz, Binswanger, and others within the Objectivist elite resented Kelley's intelligence and scholarly credentials. They recognized Kelley as their superior and hated him for it. Hence their attempts to incite Peikoff against Kelley.

Whether the ire of orthodox Objectivists against Kelley was motivated by envy and resentment and/or Kelley's endorsement of The Passion of Ayn Rand and/or some other factious reason, Peikoff was persuaded to write a screed against the perceived Kelley menace. In the essay "Fact and Value," Peikoff insisted that Objectivism was a closed system, on the grounds that the philosophy referred solely to doctrines originating, or at least endorsed, by Rand herself. This essentially mummified Objectivism into an Ayn Rand personality cult. The philosophy became largely restricted to Rand's known views, as sanctioned by Peikoff himself. Objectivists were allowed to apply those views to their own lives. But they were not allowed to revise or amend such views. Criticism of Rand's personal behavior was not tolerated. ARI became a kind of Objectivist Vatican, with Rand the principle deity and Peikoff its Pope. Excommunications followed. Not only Kelley and his followers, but ARI board members George Riesman, Edith Packer, and John McCaskey. Because of criticism directed against the Ayn Rand Institute and Peikoff for continuing Rand's policy of dramatic breaks with people over minor doctrinal differences, Peikoff and ARI often preferred to silently and discreetly ostracize those they no longer wished to be associated with. This, in any case, appears to be what happened with Tracinski, among others.

Intellectually, Peikoff left orthodox Objectivism worse than he found it --- which is an accomplishment of sorts, though not in a positive way. As an intellectual movement, Objectivism was already veering towards its inevitable crack-up when Peikoff took over from Rand in 1982. His decision to close the system sealed the philosophy's fate. Unable to take in and adapt new discoveries in the cognitive and psychological sciences, Objectivism became increasingly difficult to regard as a serious, rational, science-friendly philosophical movement. Meanwhile, Peikoff was busy developing the worst aspects of the Randian creed. His specialty had always been one of the weakest parts of the system, the philosophy of history. Peikoff had come to believe that Rand's vague and scientifically dubious speculations about the role of philosophy in the course of history could provide special insights to the future of the United States and Western Civilization. Assuming that history is determined by the most fundamental ideas developed by the greatest philosophers, he came to the conclusion that the United States was heading towards a theocracy. In 2004, he recommended voting for John Kerry over George Bush for President. Kerry and the Democrats did not pose as serious a threat to Objectivist values as Bush and the Republicans, because, Peikoff declared,
there is no longer a mass base or any crusade for big government. There are no ethical or political ideals in the country except among the religious people.... Kerry can’t even think of anything to say in this campaign, they simply have no ideas, period. Now of course Kerry is bad in everything,... you name a standard liberal evil he’s bad at it. But none of these types is a threat, ... not even Hillary Clinton as President would be a threat at this juncture, not a threat to the very foundations and even existence of the United States.... 
Bush is working to achieve a massive entrenchment of fundamentalism into our government and political system. Kerry has no such agenda.... 
...for the very first time we have a serious [religious] president and candidate, with all the essentials in place:  God, faith, sacrifice, statism – in other words the equivalent of a Puritan theocracy, the aggregate of it.... if this goes on for even four more years, how long do you think intellectual freedom and freedom of speech can last? 
... I don’t think there’s the least moral justification for sitting the election out on the grounds that, well, both of them are no good.... That is a total ... immoral evasion.... People who say they’re not going to vote for anybody because both men are bad, happen to ignore one crucial element:  one is normally, disgustingly bad, and the other is apocalyptic [sic] bad.
In 2006, Peikoff wrote the following:
The Republicans stand for religion, particularly evangelical Christianity, and are taking ambitious strides to give it political power... 
Anyone who votes Republican or abstains from voting in this election has no understanding of the practical role of philosophy in man’s actual life ... he does not understand the philosophy of Objectivism... 
“If  [compared to the Left] ... you feel more comfortable with the Right, you are unwittingly helping to push the U.S. toward disaster, i.e., theocracy, not in 50 years, but, frighteningly, much sooner.
In 2008, Peikoff persisted in his refusal to vote Republican, contending that the "[Republican] party has to be wiped out or severely punished for its affiliation with Evangelicals and with religion more broadly.”

In 2009, Barack Obama assumption of the Presidency made a mockery of Peikoff's speculative prognostications. From an Objectivist standpoint, Obama appeared suspiciously like the Democratic nominee for President in 1972, Senator George McGovern, whom Rand so thunderously denounced. Obama's Presidency sought to expand government in ways never dreamt by the eminent "theocrat" George W. Bush. Peikoff was forced to make a dramatic change in his outlook, switching his support from Democrats to Republicans. In 2012, he wrote:
The political choice in November is: non-entity vs. anti-entity. Or: a man who is nothing vs. a man who wants to mass-produce nothings. This, in my judgment, is an unanswerable reason to vote for Romney, no matter what the nature and quantity of his flaws. A man such as our current president is far more dangerous to the survival of the United States than any terrorists from the Mideast. 
For the same reason, I intend to vote for whatever Republicans in my district are running for the House and the Senate. Republican control of at least one of these bodies, however weakened they have become, is still some restraint on Obama if he wins.
How did Peikoff get it so wrong? How could he have seriously believed that the United States was in danger of becoming a theocracy? If he had known anything about the history of the United States, he should have known that America had been far more religious over most of its history, and that the trend in the last twenty years has been toward increasing secularism. The fact is, the Objectivist philosophy of history is based on bogus principles. History is not determined by the "best" expositors of broad philosophical concepts. Nor can one assume, as Peikoff at one point did, that a specific political faction is toothless because its most visible champions in the culture are intellectually bankrupt. Ideology is a rationalization of political will. Just because a specific ideology is often poorly rationalized in the culture doesn't mean that the political will it represents disappears or becomes weakened. That political will arises from the specific temperaments, sentiments and the perceived interests of the individual. The strongest predictor of ideological adherence is not broad philosophical principles, but temperament.

Peikoff had one more embarrassing episode to get through before  finally retiring from the scene. In 2010, Peikoff excommunicated ARI board member John McCaskey for some very mild criticisms of David Harriman's book The Logical Leap. McCaskey's criticisms appear to have been well founded, but that hardly mattered to Peikoff. "When a great book sponsored by the Institute and championed by me ... is denounced by a member of the Board of the Institute, which I founded, someone has to go, and will go," Peikoff thundered. McCaskey subsequently resigned. Even some orthodox Objectivists were alarmed at this latest of Peikoff's temper tantrums. Craig Biddle, the publisher of the Objective Standard, came out in support of McCaskey. Murmurs of discontent swelled among the rank and file. Under the mounting pressure, Peikoff felt compelled to author an apologia of sorts (which he later withdrew). In this extraordinary document, he confessed to being on terms of "personal enmity" with "a few longtime Board members." Peikoff made this confession to demonstrate his degree of restraint. In effect, he was saying, "See, I'm not the tyrant everyone claims I am. Far from it, I am willing to allow people I despise to sit on ARI's board of directors." But Peikoff's admission raises another problem: orthodox Objectivists seem to lack any means by which to resolve differences among themselves. If Peikoff and Binswanger come to differing conclusions about whom to vote for in the 2004 election, how do they figure out who is right? Theoretically, Objectivist "reason" should solve this problem. But Objectivist "reason" is a fraud. It cannot resolve such differences. So orthodox Objectivists, when they fall into disagreement (which inevitably happens) are condemned to exist in states of "personal enmity." The only other option is outright schism --- and we know how that ends.


97 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rand's concern. About the religious right might have been valid in 1980 but by 1988 they lost every battle. Now there main concern is that cake bakers dont have to bake cakes for weddings they don't support. Peikoff Jeremaid in 2006 looks silly.

The ARI s direction can now be seen in that Yaron Brook is now their chief spokesman. He is so ignorant that he has repeatedly said the concept of race is nonsense and IQ tests are "bull shit" from his gated community he lectured the us on the need for mass third world immigration while for some reason exempting israel.

Neil P

Anonymous said...

Brook also supports nuking Saudi Arabia and Iran. He's given no thought to what would happen if the USA did such a thing. He is so beholden to ari orthodox that he thinks such attacks will reduce Islamic terror in the west.

Np

Mark Plus said...

Rand cultists have also boxed themselves into a corner by pestering everyone to read Rand's novels, then they get upset when the news readers, who apply their own judgment to the Randian literature, disagree with the cultists about the interpretation Rand's message and the value of her ideas.

Mark Plus said...

Both the people who run the Ayn Rand Institute and the other Rand cultists who run Atlas Society realize that they can't sustain their respective branches of the movement without nonstop recruiting of teenagers and college students from normal people's families, as creepy as that sounds.

Apparently it hasn't occurred to any of them to ask why a social movement based on Rand's philosophy can't flourish and grow organically without this private social engineering.

The Ayn Rand Institute even engages in bad economics by its own "Austrian" standards when it buys bulk quantities of Rand's novels and gives them away to youngsters as part of its essay-writing contests, whether these kids want to read them or not. This practice artificially inflates the sales figures for Rand's novels, it sends bad price signals through the market about the value of Rand's work and it misallocates scarce resources, including these young people's time.

Anonymous said...

"The Ayn Rand Institute even engages in bad economics by its own "Austrian" standards when it buys bulk quantities of Rand's novels and gives them away to youngsters as part of its essay-writing contests, "

I don't belive the ARI is Austrian. They are basically Friedmanite from what I can tell. They also believe in blank slate BS. Brook denies race realism. He is as bad as Gould.

-NP

Anonymous said...

"Rand's contention that human beings are born 'blank slates' is about as rational as the belief that the earth is flat."

That's the crux of the matter. Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature. Her metaphysical view of Man is false. Everything is distorted to support the vision that Man is a combo of comic book character and economic cog. The Heroic Interchangeable Individualist Cog. A weird blend of Nietzsche and Marx.

Anonymous said...

Neil P has it right. Until the ARI recognize the carnage the lower races are inflicting on the world, it's not an institution worth supporting. So much for their "objectivity."

Anonymous 2 said...

"race realism"

"lower races"

Okay, what in hell is race realism?? And which are the "lower races"??

David Hoffman said...

Race Realism is the word racists use when they don't want to be called racists. I think you can guess who the lower races are.

Anonymous 2 said...

Yeah, that's what I thought.

Mark Plus said...

I suspect the money for running the Ayn Rand Institute and the Atlas Society will dry up over the next 20 years or so any way as the wealthy Silent-Generation and Boomer Rand cultists either die or else cut back on their spending in retirement, with no one stepping in to take their place as subsidizers; and then the organized cultism will collapse. I'd like to know if the late Ed Snider left any money to the Atlas Society in his will, for example.

I don't know if anyone else has noticed this, but Rand's so-called philosophy doesn't work practically for a reason I haven't seen addressed: She didn't create it to solve practical problems, like how to build a fortune for yourself in real life; but rather as a form of theater for spectators, where you dress and behave in certain ways to instantiate Rand's abstract notions about man's nature.

And this makes sense, because from early in her life Rand cared mainly about novels, plays and movies - in other words, her mind showed an orientation towards story-telling and make-believe over an engagement with practical reality. She tried to retcon a philosophy around her artistic efforts only circa 1960, and with Nathaniel Branden's encouragement. But then she came up with something that no one really found threatening, and especially not the powerful people in our society. I doubt anyone at the level that he could attend the Bilderberg meetings or the annual gathering at Davos has lost any sleep because Rand praised Victor Hugo as the greatest novelist in the 19th Century.

Gordon Burkowski said...

"the carnage the lower races are inflicting on the world"

Do we really need to be reminded that the populations of Europe - presumably not the lower races this person is talking about - engaged in two world wars in the 20th century which resulted in the death of over 70 million people?

That's carnage.

Wow. Talk about pathological tunnel vision.

Anon3 said...

Sadly, there are lots of people in the liberty movement who think like Neil and Anon.

Anonymous said...

Charlottesville.

Race Realists 2
America 0

Anonymous 2 said...

Okay, make that 3-0.

Anonymous said...

Score one for Neil Parille! Sorry, that's 3 for the Parille's of the world.

Anonymous 2 said...


Interesting. I hear stuff like "race realism" and "lower races" - followed by complete silence. No attempt to explain, no attempt to justify. Nothing. What is going on? Shyness? Or maybe - just maybe, given events over the weekend - a faint sense of shame. . .

Anon 9 said...

Seriously, Anonymous 2 - I highly doubt that anyone that truly holds any racist beliefs feels any shame over them, faint or otherwise. One generally doesn't feel shame over beliefs they honestly hold to be true, although they may respond in a way to avoid other peoples' negative reactions.

This is, I think, part of the problem with much online "discourse", is that often some people will assume that the other side actually knows they're wrong and they just need to be hit with the perfect, scornful bon mot in order to confess their sins and renounce evil, etc. That's been an Objectivist strategy at times in my experience - I'm sure Rand herself hoped her little scathing quotes would melt the brains of the moochers and looters - and there's been a rise in it from those who burnish the altar of intersectionalism.

For my part, I am a bit surprised and disappointed to see people here seemingly expressing racist notions - I don't recall it popping up before - but I am also cautious about going ahead and laying into folks over it at the moment, since I am aware that now and again people leave deliberately incendiary messages in order to start some kind of drama or argument. The number of Anonymii here tends to make me wary (and yes I realize I'm being one of them).

Anonymous 2 said...

"I highly doubt that anyone that truly holds any racist beliefs feels any shame over them, faint or otherwise."

Agreed. Just trying to provoke those involved into giving something that looks vaguely like a rational argument. If they think they have one, that is.

And yes, I too was surprised and disappointed to see these notions appearing at ARCHN.



Gordon Burkowski said...

"For my part, I am a bit surprised and disappointed to see people here seemingly expressing racist notions."

Amen.

Anon 3 said...

I'm not so surprised to see this pop up here. Neil and a few others on the fringes of the objectivist web have been crying about the problem of immigrants for a few years now. And as they see the problem, it's color is brown. Linz Perigo is now using dehumanizing language to describe brown immigrants (they're "filth"). And the ARIWatch proprietor is always eager to point out who is a jew and what ethnicity ARI writers are. Maybe Neil Parille thinks people here will empathize with racist realism?

Gordon Burkowski said...

"Maybe Neil Parille thinks people here will empathize with racist realism?"

Well, GN?
Well, DB?

Do you?

Anonymous 3 said...

Neil Parille is an assistant attorney for the state of Connecticut. Are the non-whites of CT OK with being prosecuted by someone who believes in race realism!? Now THAT is something worth blogging about! Much more interesting and important bit of objecti-gossip than Peikoff's bad behavior from 10+ years ago.

Daniel Barnes said...


>"Maybe Neil Parille thinks people here will empathize with racist realism?"

Sorry, just saw this. Not been blogging much of late.
Er...nope. Not sympathetic in any way, shape, or form.

Gordon Burkowski said...


Good to hear.

Wolfgang Gibson said...

It is a fact that the brown races have lower average IQ than the white races, and are not able to build advanced societies without help from the white races. You don't like that fact, because you are blinded by the religion of "the blank slate," which states that every human being is born equal to every other human being. Your religion's chief heresy is "racism," a scare word that contains no argument, because its sole purpose is to silence thought on this matter. If you want to challenge a more pernicious form of orthodoxy than Peikoffism, then you might take a hard look at your leftist religion and all the unexamined assumptions that proceed from it.

Anonymous said...

Even if it were a fact that "brown races" (and what does that include?) were on average less intelligent, that would not preclude the building of an "advanced society" (whatever THAT's supposed to mean). But furthermore, it wouldn't mean that we as a society should start treating non-white races any differently, just as we wouldn't treat two white people differently just because one may have a 10-point IQ advantage over the other. I'm smarter than you, but on principle we ought to have the same rights.

Racism can indeed be used as a word to simply drown out critique, and often is. But that doesn't mean racism doesn't exist - obviously, from the fact of your post's existence - nor does it mean it's never a valid criticism. In your case, whether you are simply throwing out bait to stir up drama, or actually believe what you posted, I'd say you could easily describe it as racism without it being an exaggeration.

Anonymous said...

Its very unlikely tgat groups which evolved in different areas under different selection pressures have the same innate intelligence.

The genes for intelligence will found within a few years so we will know.

Anonymous said...

Other anonymous: That's just silly. "Genes for intelligence"? Except for cases of extreme brain damage, every human has intelligence of some sort. You might as well be waiting for them to find the genes for your arms. How would you tell from your genes whether you had strong arms or weak ones?

Anonymous said...

There was a poll recently of experts on intelligence. 80 percent of those who responded said that the black white iq gap has a genetic component. I dont think these tbings are debatable among experts

Anonymous said...

Poland has produced 5 Nobel prizes in the hard sciences. Thats more than Latin America and Africa combined.

Human beings evolved in Africa but sib Saharan Africans never produced an alphabet or numbers.

THE black white gap in the isa has stayed the same over the last 100 years.

These things are easy to explain on a hereditarian theory but hard on a purely environmental one.

Anonymous said...

Incidentally there is a correlation between brain size and intelligence within groups. East Asians have larger brains than whites who have larger brains than blacks.

Anonymous said...

Brains must be evenly distributed since nobody ever complains about not having enough!

Anonymous said...

guy c'mon some sciencey studies I don't understand say the browns are less smart it's science I'm not a racist I promise I'm just a realist blank slate something I'm def not racist science-sounding buz words

Anonymous said...

Well, certainly the amount of typos and other grammatical irregularities displayed in several comments shows that even if there were a difference in average intelligence between the races, individuals can easily fall below the average.

There's obviously no sourcing of all these assertions, and I suspect that if there were, it would be dubious at best. But none of this addresses my earlier point, which is: even if all of this is true (which I am not at this point willing to concede), it still doesn't mean we should apply any difference in how we treat different races. So what if one race has a greater or lesser average intelligence? What does anyone propose that we DO about it? The implication seems to be that it would be some sort of justification for one race to treat the other race badly - in other words, holding up this supposed difference as an excuse to be assholes to people with certain skin colors.

If that's your end game, then you are - by definition - racist, whether or not science actually supports this idea of inherent IQ differences.

Mark Hunter said...

Anonymous NP didn’t identify himself so people shouldn’t attribute his posts to anyone. NP could stand for “no person” for all I know. Assuming it is the Neil alleged and not an imposter (perhaps among the very people denouncing the posts) then these people are doxing like Leftists.

Someone wrote that “Linz Perigo is now using dehumanizing language to describe brown immigrants (they’re ‘filth’)”  If I understand Linz he uses the word to describe Muslim terrorists. He might use it to describe ARI writers too, I don’t recall for sure. ARI writers are white except for Brook (half Uzbekistanian) and Ghate (half Asian).

The term “inferior races” can express the unquestionable fact that some races in some respects differ from whites on average and the difference favors whites. For example, the average IQ of whites is about 100, that of sub-Saharan Africans about 70. The adjective “inferior” applied to sub-Saharan Africans is appropriate for that average characteristic.

Few such Africans reach an IQ of 100, two standard deviations higher than their average. Conceivably there could be some with an IQ of 120 but dollars to donuts there are none.

Sure, judge people as individuals as far as IQ is concerned, but I don’t want masses of Somalis in my neighborhood. (Forget IQ, I don’t want any Somalis in my neighborhood but that’s another subject.)

Anonymous said...

"The term “inferior races” can express the unquestionable fact that some races in some respects differ from whites on average and the difference favors whites. For example, the average IQ of whites is about 100, that of sub-Saharan Africans about 70. The adjective “inferior” applied to sub-Saharan Africans is appropriate for that average characteristic."

It'd sure be easier to accept statements like this if the statistic being cited was actually backed up with a reference of some kind, as opposed to just stated as fact by someone whose impartiality could be, at best, questioned.

But of course that puts the source of the stat up for scrutiny and review as well.

The thing of it is, though: although "inferior races" supposedly CAN refer to some supposed average difference where whites are favored... it usually doesn't. It's usually just what it sounds like, and the "unquestionable fact" is just the current rationalization for it. Granted, I don't really hang around the white supremacist corners of the Internet, but I'd be willing to bet most of them don't refer to themselves as the "inferior race" when compared to, I dunno, Asians, which I've heard outdo whites in average IQ. I'd be willing to bet that all the justifications given for racist behavior towards blacks and Africans somehow don't/shouldn't apply for some reason if they were applied to whites by some other group.

No, the reason you don't want Somalis in your neighborhood isn't a different subject than not wanting them "because of IQ", not really. IQ is just a rationalization.

Mark Hunter said...

The last Anonymous wrote:
“But of course that puts the source of the stat up for scrutiny and review as well.”
In other words Anonymous won’t believe it no matter what reference I give.

Forget 70. Someone who thinks the average IQ of sub-Saharan Africans isn’t substantially less than the average for whites is delusional.

However, to repeat, I prefer a Somali free neighborhood not just because of their lower average IQ but simply because they are Somalis, a substantially different race. Ditto for Asians no matter what their IQ. The issue of Somali IQ is merely an extra reason for keeping them out.

An extra reason for keeping Asians out is that by and large they vote socialist. For example, in the 2012 presidential election, of Asians voting 73% voted for Obama. In the 2016 election 65% voted for Clinton.

Let in masses of Asians or Africans then besides being surrounded by ugly people per white standards freedom goes out the window.

Anonymous must address questions like: Why is it evil to prefer living in a white neighborhood? Why is white flight evil? Why is it evil to want to date only white women? Why is it evil to want to marry only a white woman? Why is “preference racism” evil, as opposed to Rand’s “judgmental racism”?

For more voting stats see
Immigration Enthusiasts

Anonymous said...

"The last Anonymous wrote:
“But of course that puts the source of the stat up for scrutiny and review as well.”
In other words Anonymous won’t believe it no matter what reference I give."

In other words, you'll take any excuse to NOT provide any reference or evidence. And the probable reason for that is (usually, in my experience, when people resort to "you won't believe me no matter what") that the reference you use (if any) is itself highly suspect, and far away from some incontrovertible fact.

"Anonymous must address questions like:"

I must? Interesting, I don't remember being obliged to answer your questions.

"Why is it evil to prefer living in a white neighborhood? Why is white flight evil? Why is it evil to want to date only white women? Why is it evil to want to marry only a white woman? Why is “preference racism” evil, as opposed to Rand’s “judgmental racism”?"

This is just kind of stupid, and assumes I hold certain ideas that I don't.

I don't consider it "evil" to only date or marry white women, or prefer living in neighborhoods where one's own race predominates. It would be evil to say that if a black person happens to move into your neighborhood they should be pressured or forced to leave; it would be evil to suggest that non-whites should NEVER marry or date whites, and it would tread pretty close to evil to say that because some sort of aggregate of a race has a lower on average showing in one trait or another that treating them poorly compared to whites is justified.

As for Rand's "judgemental racism", I'm not even sure what the hell that's supposed to even mean. I plugged those two words and Rand's name into Google and just got a batch of links where Rand talks about racism being not a good thing. I'm not a Rand fan myself, but I can absolutely get on board with such statements as:

"A genius is a genius, regardless of the number of morons who belong to the same race—and a moron is a moron, regardless of the number of geniuses who share his racial origin."

"Like every other form of collectivism, racism is a quest for the unearned. It is a quest for automatic knowledge—for an automatic evaluation of men’s characters that bypasses the responsibility of exercising rational or moral judgment—and, above all, a quest for an automatic self-esteem (or pseudo-self-esteem)."

That last is what I think is most damning about white identity politics - it itself is every bit as collectivist, if not more so, as the leftist social justice crowd, and seeks to prop itself up by claiming ownership by virtue of skin color of any accomplishment of white people and societies through history. But while Beethoven may have written great symphonies, or Edison may have made great inventions, I'm pretty sure that the people who cling so tightly to their white supremacy these days have produced VERY LITTLE themselves in the way of lasting contributions to art or science or anything we classically think of as benefiting society. They just hang off the idea of other people's greatness like remoras.

Mark Hunter said...

Recorded history and your own personal experience shows that the average intelligence of blacks equals that of whites. Really?

If you were to bet that there’s one of Rand’s Somali geniuses among the many thousands of Somalis Obama let into the U.S. you’d almost certainly lose. I don’t know the percent of Obama’s Somalis who have committed violent crimes but you can bet it’s higher than the percent for whites. The percent on welfare too.

But again, I don’t care if Obama’s Somalis are all geniuses, adult boy scouts, and work for a living. My argument against Third World immigration is purely racial and cultural.

I oppose racism in the sense of Rand’s definition, what I call judgmental racism, quoting Rand: “ascribing [with certainty] moral ... significance to a man’s genetic lineage.” I am a racist in the preference sense, I prefer to be around whites. Preference racism is natural, there is nothing wrong with it. Most everybody practices it (I already mentioned white flight and marriage), calling it evil is the Leftist version of Original Sin.

Preferring to be around those of your own race doesn’t mean thinking a given individual of another must possess some negative, non-racial, characteristic. A preference doesn’t take anything from those not preferred. They have no right to your company any more than they have a right to your property.

Anonymous expects us to believe that race is just skin color. Next it will be Yellow is Beautiful.

If not wanting to be swamped by the Third World be collectivism make the most of it.

The Founders understood America as a white ethnostate, of a new kind to be sure but ethnocentric just the same. (The Founders accomplished a hell of a lot, so Anonymous can get off his moral high horse.) Immigration patriots today will lose if they do not make race part of the definition of their country. You can put any non-racial filter you want on immigration, zillions of the 6.6 billion non-whites in the world will get through – and then you’ll have to pretend to be happy living with them.

What, no comment from Anonymous on the voting statistics of Asians? Again, he should read
Immigration Enthusiasts

Anonymous said...

"Recorded history and your own personal experience shows that the average intelligence of blacks equals that of whites. Really?"

Who said that? It'd be a better debate if you weren't just pulling your own assumptions out of your ass and arguing against them, instead of arguing against what I actually say.

I don't have any comment about the voting statistics of Asians, because who cares? That's a dumb argument, along the same lines as the paranoid whack-jobs that were always going on about how Obama was secretly Muslim and would try to establish Sharia Law in the US - nevermind that it would be functionally impossible to do so without chucking out the Constitution. Asians may vote for more socialist policies. Many white people do, too! But there's a limit to how far that can go in our system. I don't see how not liking other people's politics justifies some sort of reversal of the USA's long-standing concept of being a nation of immigrants, a "melting pot"... I mean, the plaque inside the Statue of Liberty says (in part),
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore."

NOT "hey just send only white people over because I'm scared of the darkies"

"Preferring to be around those of your own race doesn’t mean thinking a given individual of another must possess some negative, non-racial, characteristic. A preference doesn’t take anything from those not preferred. They have no right to your company any more than they have a right to your property."

And that's true - but if your preference is based on horseshit ideas others pass around, or causes you to be a douchebag to others, then it's at least bigotry, which may not be full-on "evil", but is not an admirable trait.

The problem is, a white ethnostate, even if it was what the Founders intended (which I doubt) is not what we've had, at least not as far as the Constitution goes. Aside from slaves being fractional people, there's nothing explicit about keeping America white in the foundation of this country, and you'd think if it was THAT important to the Founding Fathers they'd have done a better job or put it in the Bill of Rights or something. They didn't, and so here we are, having tried as a country to overcome prejudices over the centuries.

That doesn't leave much room for a "white ethnostate" to arise and take the place of the current US government. Despite leftist rhetoric about Trump, there's still too much law in place to make a white ethnostate legal here, and so to establish it there would have to be some sort of drastic war/coup/takeover, an authoritarian forcing of new standards and a ditching of what the Founders actually wrote down. Such a movement would by nature have to be oppressive, as it is extremely unlikely that all of the white people would fall into line on the side of racism, and certainly virtually none of the folks in danger of being made non- or lesser citizens under a white ethnostate would support such a thing. There's no way to achieve that kind of goal without tyranny, aside from fucking off to Antarctica or building a floating island out in the middle of the ocean or something. You're either going to have to adjust and get used to the idea, or commit to embracing evil deeds in pursuit of your goals. But if you aim for the latter you can pretty much just fuck off now.

Mark Hunter said...

Asians voted Democrat more frequently than whites in every presidential election I’ve looked into: 2008, 2012, and 2016 (Obama, Obama, Clinton). We should care about it if we care about who our elected officials are. They won’t be ours much longer if immigration enthusiasts have their way.

The Statue of Liberty, a gift from France in the 1880s, didn’t arrive with that stupid  give-me-your-tired  poem on it. The poem is by the American socialist Emma Lazarus and was placed inside the museum at the base of the statue about twenty years after the statue existed.

I wouldn’t say I am, to quote the annoying Anonymous, “scared of the darkies.” I think whites, Africans and Asians should have their own countries. Somalia should be an ethnostate as much as America.

The Founders never conceived of today’s suicidal insanity. Would that they had addressed race in the Constitution instead of taking it for granted. The first Congress did pass the Naturalization Act of 1790 which placed a number of restrictions on naturalization, including “being a free white person” who is “of good character.” This Act was reaffirmed and strengthened in the next two Naturalization Acts of the 1790s. Later it was weakened. After bobbling up and down immigration restriction was reaffirmed in the Act of 1924. Enforcement started to become lax after the end of WWII. Lying Leftist politicians gutted the act in 1965, leading to the disaster we see today.

Enforcing immigration law requires no coup d’├ętat. Anonymous sounds like Tim Wise with his: you’ll just have to get used to the idea of becoming a tiny minority. Both men are trying to instill defeatism. You can read an amazing example of such Leftist triumphalism in  Immigration Enthusiasts. It only makes immigration patriots fight harder.

Anonymous said...

"Asians voted Democrat more frequently than whites in every presidential election I’ve looked into: 2008, 2012, and 2016 (Obama, Obama, Clinton). We should care about it if we care about who our elected officials are."

If they immigrate, and they become US citizens, then they have every right to vote for whoever the hell they want to vote for, don't they? That's our system! Trying to restrict immigration on the basis that immigrants might vote for someone you don't like is just trying to game the system, like gerrymandering the voting districts in order to favor one political party or the other.

I voted for Obama myself, so whatever dude, I do care about who my elected officials are, and participate in the process as it stands. I don't get bent out of shape because some places have too many rednecks that voted for Trump.

Sure, the poem wasn't part of the Statue of Liberty at first, but it's been there over a hundred years now, and held up as part of the idea of the American Dream, where one can work up from nothing and get a decent life. You may think it's stupid - more the fool you, then - but it's a safe bet that your ancestors came over on a boat at some point or the other looking for the same opportunity as all the people with skin colors you dislike. I don't see why you get to say, "my great-great grandfather got here before you, so stay the fuck out!"

"I wouldn’t say I am, to quote the annoying Anonymous, “scared of the darkies.”"

Your entire screed is "scared of the darkies". You don't want them to vote, because they might oppose you! God forbid they move into your neighborhood where you might have to look at them! You fear them getting close to you, you fear that they might have some say in how the country is run. If you didn't fear them at some level, there'd be no need for your white ethnostate!

Christ dude, you keep spamming that link, did you write it or something?

Mark Hunter said...

Damned right I’m trying to game the system, if Anonymous wants to put it that way.

He reveals, quote: “I voted for Obama myself ...” Ah, now we know where he’s coming from. No redneck he.

A few rednecks held their noses and voted for Obama’s wimpy opponent, most stayed home. In 2016 there was a clear choice and they – we – came out in force.

Yes, I wrote  Immigration Enthusiasts.  It’s a good place to start on the road to immigration patriotism. Another good place is Vdare.com. It’s updated daily.

Anonymous said...

I only mentioned how I voted for Obama since you were trying to use it as a scare tactic. Oh no! Immigrants might vote for a guy not overtly trying to treat them like trash! Imagine that! White guys might vote for the guy for any number of reasons! Shocking!

Thing is, you don't have any particular right to game the system, in that way.

You have no moral authority to say "these people can't come in because I don't like the way they vote", just as I can't say "I don't like rednecks voting for Trump so they're disqualified from voting."

See, I have principles that I apply even to political opponents. For identitarians, of all stripes, principles can be set aside depending on whether one can score a point for their respective collectives.

Mark Hunter said...

No foreigner has a right to come to America much less live here and much less become a citizen. If we are going to allow a foreigner to do any of those things certain restrictions must be enforced.

To me – and I think to the better conservatives, libertarians and Objectivists – it is flamingly obvious that we shouldn’t let in hordes of undocumented Democrats.

And to repeat, that restriction is just the start. As they say on Vdare.com, demography is destiny.

ARIwatch.com

Anonymous said...

"No foreigner has a right to come to America much less live here and much less become a citizen."

Except we do allow it, all the time. Illegal immigrants aren't the only kind of immigrant. There are legal immigrants, who can in fact become citizens, eventually.

And once they ARE citizens, they have all the rights that entails. You just don't like it, that's all.

And to repeat, you're not going to get your wish. There's just not enough extremists on your side to make a peaceful path to the things you want, and probably never will be, so you have to either commit to tyranny or deal with the world as it is.

Mark Hunter said...

The “we” in Anonymous’s post is him and his ilk. Americans never wanted the immigration we have today, it was imposed on them by crooked politicians. Americans are waking up to how they’ve been pushed and fooled.

If things get bad enough Americans won’t take citizenship as a trapdoor. It could begin like this: convicted legal immigrant felons are denaturalized and after serving sentence deported. That would be a great Constitutional amendment today as a matter of fact.

Anonymous may be right, like other multiracial societies this will may end in blood and tears. Whites will not get swamped quietly. Denying justice by law paves the way for vigilante justice. America will break up and Anonymous and his ilk are the cause.

To repeat, the man behind Anonymous might as well be Tim Wise – a link to a short Vdare article that in turn links to the website of Tim Wise.

Anonymous said...

"The “we” in Anonymous’s post is him and his ilk. Americans never wanted the immigration we have today"

Note the utter irony here: Mark Hunter implies that when I say "we", it's not America in general I refer to, but (I suppose) some minority "ilk" of which I am part. And in the very next sentence, he does what he essentially accuses me of, using the label of "Americans" to paint a picture of a fringe movement of racists as being indicative of what America as a whole wants or thinks.

The somewhat sad thing is that the people who look the most forward to the "white ethnostate" don't seem to have enough self-awareness to realize that if it actually did happen, they would be just as much victims of its tyranny in the end as any non-whites. The moment they stopped being useful the new state would get rid of them.

Mark Hunter said...

It’s a simple fact that most whites don’t want Third World immigration. Trump got elected on the issue.

Consider the following future: (1) illegal aliens are deported, (2) no birthright citizenship, (3) recent anchor babies (children of illegal aliens) denaturalized and deported along with their mothers, (4) convicted legal immigrant felons deported, (5) no Third world immigration legal or illegal, including refugees, (6) a temporary immigration moratorium. (7) after that a future immigration policy modeled on the intention of the Immigration Act of 1924.

Numbers 3 and 4 (but not 2 or the others) would require a Constitutional amendment.

This is a peaceful program and politically possible. Advocates don’t risk being “gotten rid of” any more than they would have in 1924.

What is Anonymous after, what does he want? He seems to enjoy the browning of America and relishes the idea of whites becoming a small and ever shrinking minority. If so, to repeat, he won’t get his wish. The future is either the above program, most of it anyway, or civil war.

Anonymous said...

"This is a peaceful program and politically possible."

No, not really. What I think you don't seem to realize is that voting for Trump may indicate a wish for limiting illegal immigration, but it does not necessarily indicate a wish to shut out all non-white races, which is a much broader and more drastic move, and wasn't what Trump campaigned on. Had he done so, I suspect the negative reaction would have been far more pronounced and he might well have not won, despite the dislike of Clinton.

The same with pushing anything that seeks to revoke citizenship, particularly for children born in the country. You need political support that you just won't get. In a purely pragmatic sense, as evenly divided as things seem to be between left/right, Democrat/Republican, you're only barely able to get a straight majority, let alone the super-majority that things like Constitutional amendment take. Politically, this will all fail, at least as things stand, and I don't see the extreme right being able to overcome its fringe nature and mainstream its ideas.

Fortunately, this same fringe nature means that even if everyone willing to physically battle for a white ethnostate rose up and armed themselves and took on the US military, it would be a fairly quick battle and the fringe right would lose.

"What is Anonymous after, what does he want?"

Just to point out the absurdity of your ideas. I don't "relish" the idea of America being browner, but I also don't fear it. I do not see whiteness as anything particularly crucial that needs to be "saved", and besides, there's a lot of very different genetic types included in the collectivist "white" identity, making it a mostly meaningless category.

http://brilliantmaps.com/the-genetic-map-of-europe/

So which "white" is the one that needs preserving? And when you're done preserving that (per impossible) how long before one subdivision of "white" begins oppressing another subdivision? It's just not sustainable, in the long run, and even if it were true that we can't avoid civil war with multiracial societies, there seems to be just as equal a chance that civil war would erupt anyway if the fringe right got its way.

Mark Hunter said...

>> “This is a peaceful program and politically possible.”
> No, not really.

Yes, really.

Whether this is absurd or not can be left for the readers to decide. To repeat, Anonymous is trying his best to instill futility, defeatism, in the mind of his readers, just like Tim Wise. If you’re interested in the immigration patriotism debate Wise is a must read, and the essay “Immigration Enthusiasts” referenced above provides a choice extended quote.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous is trying his best to instill futility, defeatism, in the mind of his readers"

No, just in the minds of people who think white ethnostates are a good idea and viable in the USA. People who realize that "immigration patriotism" is pretty much an oxymoron as far as the US is concerned aren't going to see my words as defeatist at all.

But by all means, jerk your knee and repeat Tim Wise's name and plug your blog or whatever some more.

Mark Hunter said...

From what Anonymous has written his viewpoint is well expressed by a recent tweet by @DavidKlion (freelance writer and former editor for Al Jazeera America and World Politics Review): “White people are going to die out and there’s nothing you can do about it.” He and Anonymous want to demoralize those who resist but the effect on most will be to fight harder.

Anonymous said...

The thing that tickles me about all this is the constant attempt at guilt by association. "Anonymous is like THIS guy. Now Anonymous is like THAT guy! Now I'll put words into Anonymous' mouth so I can just dismiss him as bad!" I mean, I can tell when I've said something that Mr. Hunter has no answer for because he goes right to comparing me to some other person who's not even involved in the conversation. Divert! Divert like your life depends on it!

I guess that's what you do when you don't have a real rational argument, just a lot of emotional panic to work with.

Mark Hunter said...

What Anonymous says is indeed like what they say only they are more forthright about it.

Anonymous said...



It's like you don't really think too hard about these things you post.

brian said...

The proper name is alisa rosenbaum

Actually, rosenbaum behaved exactly like a human...100% confirmation bias and self selection bias (not what she portreyed as self interest; her concept there is immature). She had to play some serious congnitive gymnastics to get her self to believe she wasn't what she was railing against, or she was totally cool with lying while claiming the opposite (romanticism is lying by omission).

brian said...

Oh...If randroids can't implement plans, its because INTP types love pure logic and suck at accomplishing goals. These people are good for little outside of being idea generators and basic tasks. They require xxTJ to bring order to their minds.

Its crazy that she is said to be INTJ. I pin her as INTP through and through. INTJ are just too real and not prone to pontificating from positions that are entirely disconnected from the things they are considering. If rosenbaum were an INTJ, she would have produced a things rather than words. What things did this woman produce? As far as I can see, she is the epitome of the ivy tower parasite. She spent her time telling others how to live while she profited of it...its like the pope collecting money telling others how to live under their logic (ya, I know. Its perverted logic, but most is)

Anonymous said...

"The proper name is alisa rosenbaum"

Yeah, great job, there, you really tweaked that dead woman by using her birth name. That'll sure show everybody.

Eric Johnson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric Johnson said...

I have often wondered about why Ojectivists like Piekoff, and Atheists in general for that matter, fear the Religious Right so much. Is not being able to buy beer until Sunday afternoon, insisting that you don't have sex until you are married, and all the girly mags at the gas station sealed in plastic really such a threat to liberty?

"Abortion!" you say. To which I reply that there are valid secular arguments against it. The Christian objection to abortion stems not from a desire to police your genitals, but from the idea that the fetus is a conscious being and that the government should not sanction murder. When Mike Huckabee (a protestant minister) was governor of Arkansas, I have never read any news reports about him trying to institute a Baptist version of "The Handmaid's Tale" or of his desire to ban rubbers. (Seriously ladies, just make the guy wear a rubber.

Anonymous said...

You don't have to be an Objectivist or even an atheist to disagree with the religious Right's positions.

"Is not being able to buy beer until Sunday afternoon, insisting that you don't have sex until you are married, and all the girly mags at the gas station sealed in plastic really such a threat to liberty?"

Well... YES. The first two ought to be self-evident: Why should anyone's intent to have a beer Sunday morning or engage in premarital sex be limited for ANY reason, let alone because some unprovable entity doesn't like it? And as for having magazines sealed in plastic, oh, if ONLY. I spent too many decades watching the religious right try to remove porn ENTIRELY from all places possible to cut them the slightest bit of slack. If they had been willing to stop at plastic wrap, they wouldn't have the reputation of being anti-sex prudes.

If people misunderstand the Christian position on abortion, then Christians similarly haven't a clue about the opposing side. A fetus is a developing creature that can't be classified the same way at every stage. I for one refuse to believe that a collection of twenty-odd cells without a nervous system is a "conscious being" that has the same rights as an adult human, and I don't think the state has the right to essentially compel a woman to raise a child they might be unprepared for - while also mostly working against supporting either child or mother once it's born. It's hypocrisy like that which turns many off to the positions of the religious right.

Eric Johnson said...

Actually no, it isn't. You are guilty of making the same mistakes that libertarians, objectivists, and their screw-ball anarcho-capitalist cousins have been making; thinking that modest restrictions on appetites are a threat to liberty itself. Bible thumping rural Kentucky with a Baptist church on every corner is not the same as living in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

"I don't think the state has the right to essentially compel a woman to raise a child they might be unprepared for - while also mostly working against supporting either child or mother once it's born. It's hypocrisy like that which turns many off to the positions of the religious right."

No. What is truly hypocritical is demanding on one hand to have as much unrestricted depravity as possible, and then to turn around demand to be excused from all responsibility and that society should compensate you for your rather poor decision making. Less than 1% of abortions preformed in the US have involved rape or incest. That means that over 99% of abortions preformed is because the woman finds the pregnancy an inconvenience. An "inconvenience" she would not be inconvenienced with had she gotten married before hand or exercise a little self-control and kept her pants on. God help us if her career or her figure will be ruined because the stupid slut didn't have the foresight to insist on the dude wearing a rubber.

Anonymous said...

"thinking that modest restrictions on appetites are a threat to liberty itself"

This might be worth an argument IF there was actually any valid reason why any person (or group) should be able to place such restrictions upon others. Why limit the ability of anyone to drink on Sunday? There is no argument that doesn't revolve around one person trying to impose their morality upon another, simply because it offends their sensibilities (or that of their imagined moral arbiter). This is, granted, not as serious as an Islamist regime chucking gay people off of buildings, but it is every bit as unjustified. The religious right can restrict their own appetites - but they have NO right to do so to others. That is the fatal flaw in all their arguments.

"What is truly hypocritical is demanding on one hand to have as much unrestricted depravity as possible, and then to turn around demand to be excused from all responsibility and that society should compensate you for your rather poor decision making."

So it's not just sex, now, it's "depravity". Okay.

But in your argument, you'd force people who were not prepared for child-rearing, no matter how they got to that point, to bring a fetus to full term, painfully give birth, and then commit them to raising that child - knowing full well that such a child has every chance of living in poverty, possibly with only one parent, who might come to resent their own child for holding them back. You'd prefer to have a child endure torment, instead of being ended before they even can be aware of hardship. What's more, the right would be happy to increase that torture by denying any state support of the children they supposedly care so much about - AND they fight tooth and claw to prevent any sort of education about sexual matters (like, oh I don't know, contraception) that would help to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place. This is why I do not take the pro-life movement seriously, because for the most part it seems like they do NOT actually CARE about human life, unless it hasn't emerged from a womb yet.

Gordon Burkowski said...


Yes. As someone observed many years ago, these are people who believe in a right to life - that ends at birth.

Eric Johnson said...

"This might be worth an argument IF there was actually any valid reason why any person (or group) should be able to place such restrictions upon others."

The unrestricted freedoms that you love so much and that I have described as "depravity" is bad for Civilization, especially the minority populations inside this country. (The majority white population does not feel the effects as badly, simply due to sitting higher up on the economic ladder. Wealth does have its advantages.) In 1940 the Black illegitimacy rate was 14%. That means that 86% of Black children were living in a two parent household in a time when abortion was illegal, the only form of contraceptive widely in place was the "cycle method", and way before the creation of the Great Society welfare state. Now lets look at today. The illegitimacy in America, from 6% of all births in 1940 to 41% today, (53% - Hispanics and 73.6% - Blacks), is tied directly to the Poverty Rate, Drug Use Rate, and the Violent Crime Rate; despite the fact that Black women in the US have had more than 18 million abortions* since 1973 and the fact that welfare spending (when adjusted for inflation) is 16 times greater than it was in 1963.

Abortion exists, Sexual Liberation exists, The Social Welfare State exists, and yet the problems never goes away, but only gets worse and worse. So maybe a little moral restraint would be a good thing.

* Black women make up about 30% of all abortions preformed in 2008, despite being less than 13% of the female population. It was estimated that there were more black children aborted in New York City then there were actually born. Is there any wonder as to why white nationalists like Richard Spencer are pro-choice?

Anonymous said...

"Abortion exists, Sexual Liberation exists, The Social Welfare State exists, and yet the problems never goes away, but only gets worse and worse. So maybe a little moral restraint would be a good thing."

The problems with this are manyfold.

One: you toss a lot of things you perceive as bad out there but you don't really have a clear cause/effect pathway as to how all this permissiveness is responsible. You just assume it is and work from there.

Two: The original point I made still stands: Even if moral restraint would be good, the religious right does not have the right to impose their standards upon others. You can encourage it all you like, but when it comes down to it, these are personal decisions.

Three: Some of your stats seem suspicious and I wouldn't be at all surprised if the source turned out to be heavily biased. And a lot of them are irrelevant. None of this addresses the question of whether abortion is or isn't moral, it's just to (vaguely) link it to racism and to (sort of) imply that welfare doesn't work. Well, so what? We can try to improve the system if we find flaws, or (as you seem to be angling towards) we can throw up our hands and declare the whole thing a disaster and try to clamp down EXTRA HARD on abortion so that we can have even more kids born into environments where there is already poverty and other problems at large. In '63 the US population was 189 million. Now it's 326 million. What a surprise that welfare spending has gone up, it's almost as if... there was more need for it! And if you'd had your way, there'd be another 18 million tacked onto that, and you STILL wouldn't want to do anything for them.

Four: Complaining that ongoing problems don't just disappear entirely because of attempts to mitigate them is beyond silly. You expect perfect results from an imperfect system made up of imperfect humans. But no solution you could propose would do any better.

It's my stance that the ones clamoring the loudest to ban abortion ought to be the ones that bear the heaviest burden for the consequences of fewer abortions. If you want those babies to be born, YOU take care of them. And I mean, literally you: how many unwanted children have you personally taken in? If you absolve yourself of any such responsibility, then you have no right to force others to abide by your standards in this matter.

Eric Johnson said...

ONE: The information that I have provided shows that breakdown of moral fiber in society due to Sexual Liberation, widespread use of contraceptives, and the use of abortion has NOT been beneficial to society.

TWO: I have demonstrated through factual statistics that the breakdown of moral restraint is terrible (unless you consider minorities being condemned to a life of poverty and crime a good thing, which I do not.)

THREE: Those biased statistics come directly from the US Department of Health and Human Services, the US Bureau of Justice Statistics, and the US Department of Labor. THOSE are the biased bible thumping holly roller sources that I have cited. Here is another interesting little factoid that I learned from the fundies working for Uncle Sugar: only 6% of Black two parent households live in poverty. Welfare spending is 16 times more than what it was in 1963. To which YOU pointed out that the population increased from 189 million to 325 million. That means the population increased 1.7 times, yet welfare spending increased A WHOLE 16 TIMES.

FOUR: I have clearly demonstrated that your beloved solution to social breakdown DOES NOT WORK. Since you have already accepted the premise that I and every other taxpayer is on the hook for terrible decisions of the "liberated" yet state as a matter of undeniable fact that the guy who pays for the consequences has no right to say how things are supposed to operate. It is completely immoral (oh dear G-d in Heaven! You got me agreeing with the Randos on this one) that I be enslaved for your stupidity. "My body, your wallet!" is a bullshit argument. You ever hear about this greek dude named Aesop? He had this cute little story about an ant and a grasshopper. You should look it up some time. If you want to sit at the Adult table then you have to act like a damned adult. That means accepting all the negative consequences and maybe, just maybe, acting with a little bit of restraint in your life.

"We believe that man is essentially good.
It’s only his behavior that lets him down.
This is the fault of society.
Society is the fault of conditions.
Conditions are the fault of society."

Anonymous said...

One: No you haven't. You quote a lot of stats, and you say that permissiveness is responsible, but you don't really prove it, you just assert it. There's a difference. To say, for example, that illegitimacy has increased from one date to the next does not establish the cause of that increase - although it's obvious you want to make such a link.

Two: "I have demonstrated through factual statistics that the breakdown of moral restraint is terrible" - no, again, see point One. Plus this is a sidestep, and does not in any way answer my previous point, being that, terrible or not, the religious right does not have the moral authority to impose moral restraint.

Three: "Welfare spending is 16 times more than what it was in 1963. To which YOU pointed out that the population increased from 189 million to 325 million. That means the population increased 1.7 times, yet welfare spending increased A WHOLE 16 TIMES."

And this is why your stats are more or less irrelevant and pointless, because there's no actual analysis, just a lot of innuendo. If welfare spending has increased 16 times, there could be many reasons that don't have some sinister aspect to it. For example, what portion of today's population falls under the poverty level compared to '63? What rules have changed that defines poverty levels and welfare eligibility? You obviously want to make it a big scary negative point - well, for that very reason I have to remain skeptical about the stats you spout and what they actually mean in the larger picture.

Four: "your beloved solution to social breakdown" - it's not my beloved solution. I just don't think the religious right has standing to dictate how others should address the issue. PARTICULARLY since they refuse to assume any responsibility for the lives they would affect by enforcing any anti-abortion rules. You cannot demand another person abide by your personal rules on abortion and then claim yourself to be "enslaved" by welfare: it is actually you attempting to enslave others to your sense of "moral restraint" - it is you that demands a sacrifice of others. Paying into welfare would at most be a reciprocal token of appreciation for not aborting fetuses. Otherwise, why the hell would you care about people you see as parasites and whether they have abortions? One fewer child born is that much less welfare you have to whine about. Or do you actually think it would somehow have been less if the 18 million you cite had come to term?

Again, if your real concern is the well-being of the unborn, you have an odd way of showing it, by washing your hands of them once they're out in the open air. And to repeat it one more time, this is why I don't grant the religious right any moral standing on the issue, because they're trying to have it both ways.

Eric Johnson said...

ONE, TWO, and THREE:
First I I made my claim and provided evidence to back up my claim. To which you said the numbers were highly biased. Then I pointed out where they come from. Now they simply just don't matter.

FOUR:
One of the things I have been trying to point out is that it is illogical to state that (A) Society has no right on how to dictate lifestyle choices, and (B) to demand that Society compensate for the results of those choices. I honestly do not see how you can have A and then demand B. It is logically inconsistent. What would be consistent would be to demand that people not condemn themselves and their future offspring to a life of poverty, drug abuse, and crime.

Look at California, home of the sexual liberation movement. That state biggest GDP, yet has been ranked as having the worst quality of life out of the entire country. Drug addiction, homelessness, crime, and streets full of actual human shit. Not exactly what I would describe as a good thing (unless you consider minorities being condemned to a life of poverty and crime a good thing, which I do not.) Throwing tax dollars at the problem does not work, living a life of restraint and responsibility does work.

"Even when church-based giving is subtracted from the equation, active-faith adults donated twice as many dollars last year as did atheists and agnostics. In fact, while just 7% of active-faith adults failed to contribute any personal funds in 2006, that compares with 22% among the no-faith adults." - Barna Group Survey

Anonymous said...

"Now they simply just don't matter."

They never mattered. And throwing those stats does NOT back up your claim.

Correlation is not causation.

For example: I was once told that in states where porn sales were highest, there was a higher rate of rape. The person who told me this wanted to make the case that porn is causing more rape. But they really didn't offer any reason why, or how this might work. They just linked two pieces of data and ASSUMED a causal connection. But this falls apart if you think about it. Porn is a business. It's not as if the makers of porn are trying to cram porn into stores for free, just to presumably warp people's minds, no - porn producers put porn in the hands of people who want to buy it. It would make far more sense to assume that, instead of porn causing people to rape, people who are already inclined to rape are more likely to consume porn, and if a state had a higher population of rapists, it's likely have more porn sold. That doesn't fit in with an anti-porn activist's narrative, however, and you might be surprised at the level of mental gymnastics some people will go through to avoid the common-sense conclusion.

"One of the things I have been trying to point out is that it is illogical to state that (A) Society has no right on how to dictate lifestyle choices, and (B) to demand that Society compensate for the results of those choices."

That's not what I demand. For one thing: the religious right is NOT "society", it is a PART of society, and has no monopoly on the proper moral view. What I say is: IF you demand to impose a moral restraint, then you are obliged to deal with the consequences of that restraint.

If you abandoned any claim on the reproductive rights of others - i.e., gave up trying to prevent abortion - then I would have no problem in saying you were excused from paying into welfare. (From my own moral perspective, that is, which has no bearing on the legality of any of this.) But when you try to impose your will upon others, then I feel you have an obligation to deal with the consequences of that imposition. You demand a fetus be brought to term, then that fetus is YOUR responsibility. The onus is upon you, for making that demand upon someone who is not you. Whether or not the mother of that fetus was acting responsibly herself in its creation is beside the point. She could look at her financial situation and decide to terminate, and she would be taking responsibility for her actions by not having a baby that would consume her time and money. Or she might decide to have the child and deal with those consequences. But that would be her choice, not yours.

The problem is when you try to make it YOUR choice. But you want to spin this so that you somehow are pure and blameless and need not deal with any of these irresponsible mothers WHILE AT THE SAME TIME denying them the right to make what choices they feel are necessary. Most of your argument here has been to try and weasel out of that obligation while still somehow clinging to the idea that you have a right to control others, for the sake of children you wouldn't ever support if they were born. You can't have it both ways.

Gordon Burkowski said...

"The information that I have provided shows that breakdown of moral fiber in society due to Sexual Liberation, widespread use of contraceptives, and the use of abortion has NOT been beneficial to society."

Important information: in spite of what you may think, there are other countries on this planet besides the United States of America! Really!

People in places like the Netherlands would have a hard time figuring out what you think you're talking about.

Eric Johnson said...

There is definite evidence that the breakdown of the American Family is directly related to increased use of drugs, crime, and poverty. Such as this study from the Heratige Foundation which has a quote from a professor of criminal justice:

"Research confirms that children raised in supportive, affectionate, and accepting homes are less likely to become deviant. Children rejected by parents are among the most likely to become delinquent." - Kevin Wright, professor of criminal justice at the State University of New York at Binghamton

I have repeated provided evidence that supports this claim and all you have done was call it biased, then I told you where I got it from, and you then claimed that it never really mattered. Well, if my evidence is flawed, then surely you can quote a study that shows I am wrong.

"IF you demand to impose a moral restraint, then you are obliged to deal with the consequences of that restraint."

I would be very happy to deal with the consequences of a world full of intact families, low levels of poverty, and reduced rates of crime.

"The problem is when you try to make it YOUR choice. But you want to spin this so that you somehow are pure and blameless and need not deal with any of these irresponsible mothers WHILE AT THE SAME TIME denying them the right to make what choices they feel are necessary."

The choices they have been making have been terrible. Not having sex before marriage, and having children in a two parent household is is the better, necessary choice to make. Hell, even Janet Yellen, our own current Federal Reserve Chairman, saw the relationship between abortion, contraceptives, and the rise of broken homes.

Professor Brian Clowes pointed out in his criticism of Freakanomics, "FBI statistics showed that the murder rate in 1993 for 14‑ to 17‑year‑olds in the USA (born in the years 1975‑1979, which had very high abortion rates) was 3.6 times higher than that of kids who were the same age in 1984 (who were born in the pre‑legalization years of 1966‑1970). Additionally, since Black women were having abortions at a much higher rate than White women, we should have expected the murder rate among Black youth to have declined beginning in about 1991. Instead, it increased more than five hundred percent from 1984 to 1993."

Abortion & Contraceptives are completely legal. There are more single households with illegitimate children NOW (40%) then there was in 1940 (just 4%) when abortion and contraceptives were against the law. We should have FEWER bastards today, instead we have the complete opposite. A damned 10 fold increase.


Anonymous said...

"There is definite evidence that the breakdown of the American Family is directly related to increased use of drugs, crime, and poverty."

But related how? Is it the cause, or a symptom? Are the drugs causing the breakdown, or are the drugs being taken because of the breakdown? My proposition is you don't actually know, though you assume you know.

"I would be very happy to deal with the consequences of a world full of intact families, low levels of poverty, and reduced rates of crime."

But you can't prove that reducing abortion or imposing any other form of your moral restraint would achieve that. In fact, reducing abortion would by necessity increase the incidence of one-parent families, so how you figure that the things you want would magically achieve your utopia is beyond rationality. I suppose you figure God will just step in and make it work somehow, but you'll have to pardon me if I don't accept your logic with its flaws.

Eric Johnson said...

"But you can't prove that reducing abortion or imposing any other form of your moral restraint would achieve that. In fact, reducing abortion would by necessity increase the incidence of one-parent families, so how you figure that the things you want would magically achieve your utopia is beyond rationality."

1940 Abortion is Illegal - 4% illegitimacy rate

TODAY Abortion IS legal - 40% illegitimacy rate

You are an idiot. I do not believe in "utopia". It is my belief that human nature is unchangeable and that man is seriously flawed. Just look at all the damage done by people thinking that man is some rational, blank-slate bit of machinery. Radical Atheists going around telling everybody that we just need to throw away grandpa's superstitions and then things will be better. Progressives saying that another couple of billion to end poverty when each time we do it it keeps getting worse and worse. Libertarians who think that multinational businesses are run by angels and we just need to get rid of that damned regulation. It never works, and it will never work. We have thrown away thousands of years of societal evolution just because we have this new gadget and have figured out a way to pass the buck off to someone else. We have replaced the Gods of The Copybook Headings with gilded idols of our own genitals.

Eric Johnson said...

The Netherlands has a rather progressive attitude to abortion. They went and took the practice to its logical conclusion by expanding the subjects of disposal to not only include unwanted children, but the sick and the elderly through assisted suicide laws. Which kind of reminds me of this story from Oregon about a terminally ill woman named Barbara Wagner. (Oregon has a Medically Assisted Suicide Law) Her insurance company sent her a letter saying that they will not cover the cost of her cancer medication, but will gladly pay for her to kill herself. There is a similar story about a California mother of four who was told that her chemotherapy will be denied, but her suicide pills only have a $1.20 copay. Her cancer drugs were previously covered, until California passed it's own Assisted Suicide Law. What is even more disturbing, is that there are reports coming out of the Netherlands about doctors making the decision for you.

Gordon Burkowski said...

A sensible person might point out that the Barbara Wagner story is an argument for universal medicare. The same states that are up in arms about assisted suicide have no problem in letting thousands of their poorer residents die because they can't afford private insurance.

Eric Johnson said...

That sensible person has never had to deal with the VA.

Gordon Burkowski said...

Among the countries of the world, the U.S. ranks either 31st or or 43rd in life expectancy - depending whose numbers you pick. Infant mortality rates in the U.S. rank 35th or 38th. In other words, there are 34 countries out there where a child has a better chance of making it to his or her 5th birthday than one born in the United States of America. Those figures are a disgrace. Maybe you should think about what to do about such numbers - instead of making wisecrackks about the VA.

Eric Johnson said...

I am a veteran, and jokes about the VA are more than justifiable.

If you look at the numbers for Under 5 Mortality Rates, the US comes in at #32. Which looks bad, however this does not make a very good case for socialized medicine. United Kingdom comes in at #24, while Canada comes in at #28. Greece is #19, which means you would have a better chance of living to age 5 then #23 Switzerland.

Gordon Burkowski said...

This is cherry-picking of the worst kind. Virtually all - and I mean all - of the countries with the best life expectancy figures and child mortality figures have universal health care ("socialized medicine", as you call it). How about talking about the first 20 countries? But of course, that wouldn't fit the narrative, would it?

No surprise here: health insurance arrangements in the U.S. are both morally and economically indefensible. So its defenders have no choice but to play fast and loose with the facts.

Anonymous said...

"1940 Abortion is Illegal - 4% illegitimacy rate

TODAY Abortion IS legal - 40% illegitimacy rate"

But again, that's NOT PROOF. Correlation is not causation. The fact that the majority of criminals might like chocolate does not mean that chocolate causes crime, but that's the kind of logic you're presenting here. You have no workable hypothesis as to HOW one stat causes the other, you just throw them together and assume it must be so. All of your so-called evidence is like this, statistics with no context. It is not hard to come up with a reasonable counter-theory as to why these stats might be this way without blaming abortion itself:

For example (and I am not claiming this is necessarily 100% true, just that it MIGHT be true if all the evidence you give is of this kind): Back when abortion was illegal, that did not mean abortion never happened, just that it was kept quiet and done in "back alleys", so people might have been more discreet about having abortions. Also, there was a greater stigma against unwed mothers, so that also was often a factor, with people hiding and lying about such things. Today, there is much less stigma about one-person parentage, and few except for a certain number up on their moral high-horse consider such kids "illegitimate" (as if they are somehow less of a person because through no fault of their own their parents didn't marry). That might easily explain why the single-parent rate has increased while having little to do with the legality of abortion.

You still don't have any answer as to HOW stopping abortion would lower the rate of unwed parents! You don't even try. That's probably because you can't have any answer that couldn't be immediately countered. Do you think bringing more fetuses to term would magically make an irresponsible father become more responsible? I don't, and there's no rational reason to assume so. And spitting out more stats upon stats doesn't change that.

Eric Johnson said...

"Until the early 1970s, shotgun marriage was the norm in premarital sexual relations. The custom was succinctly stated by one San Francisco resident in the late 1960s: “If a girl gets pregnant you married her. There wasn’t no choice. So I married her.”

Since 1969, however, shotgun marriage has gradually disappeared (see table 1). For whites, in particular, the shotgun marriage rate began its decline at almost the same time as the reproductive technology shock. And the disappearance of shotgun marriages has contributed heavily to the rise in the out-of-wedlock birth rate for both white and black women. In fact, about 75 percent of the increase in the white out-of-wedlock first-birth rate, and about 60 percent of the black increase, between 1965 and 1990 is directly attributable to the decline in shotgun marriages. If the shotgun marriage rate had remained steady from 1965 to 1990, white out-of-wedlock births would have risen only 25 percent as much as they have. Black out-of-wedlock births would have increased only 40 percent as much.

What links liberalized contraception and abortion with the declining shotgun marriage rate? Before 1970, the stigma of unwed motherhood was so great that few women were willing to bear children outside of marriage. The only circumstance that would cause women to engage in sexual activity was a promise of marriage in the event of pregnancy. Men were willing to make (and keep) that promise for they knew that in leaving one woman they would be unlikely to find another who would not make the same demand. Even women who would be willing to bear children out-of-wedlock could demand a promise of marriage in the event of pregnancy.

The increased availability of contraception and abortion made shotgun weddings a thing of the past. Women who were willing to get an abortion or who reliably used contraception no longer found it necessary to condition sexual relations on a promise of marriage in the event of pregnancy. But women who wanted children, who did not want an abortion for moral or religious reasons, or who were unreliable in their use of contraception found themselves pressured to participate in premarital sexual relations without being able to exact a promise of marriage in case of pregnancy. These women feared, correctly, that if they refused sexual relations, they would risk losing their partners. Sexual activity without commitment was increasingly expected in premarital relationships." https://www.brookings.edu/research/an-analysis-of-out-of-wedlock-births-in-the-united-states/

Anonymous said...

Well, that's a nice try at theorizing how it happened (how long did you have to search for it?) - though I suspect the abortion rate before abortion was legal may be higher than some people think, mainly because it wouldn't be as well reported.

Even if that were true, however, the problem is that now that the genie's out of the bottle, so to speak, there's still no viable plan for whatever it is you want to do, here and now, today.

That is, do you honestly think that making abortion illegal (if you even could) would re-create some kind of "shotgun marriage" custom? That in today's more liberal culture, you could just somehow make men more responsible, and make women withhold sex without that implicit promise? That custom was a product of its times, which I believe have irrevocably passed.

How would you even sell it to secularists (since you opened this by saying you could make a secular case for stopping abortion)? You have to make a case that's able to convince moderates to your cause, and you still haven't really addressed the hurdle of justifying you telling another person (women, mostly) how to handle their pregnancies. You might be able - maybe - to get an all-Republican-controlled government to overturn Roe v. Wade and legislate to forbid abortions, but you can bet the other side of the political spectrum would then devote its time to overturning the overturn.

Good luck with that! As contentious as you've been, I'm sure you'll be able to smooth-talk people right into joining your cause. Absolutely sure.

Eric Johnson said...

First the facts were biased, to which I proved otherwise. Then the facts didn't matter because correlation doesn't prove causation, to which I proved otherwise. Now we are at the point where I am right, but its pointless.

"How would you even sell it to secularists"

I have used nothing but well researched articles and valid sociological studies on the breakdown of the two parent home, one of which was written by our current Federal Reserve Chairman, Janet Yellen. I have not used a single religious argument for my position. Have I quoted the Bible at all during this debate? No, I have not. Besides which, if well reasoned arguments backed up by evidence is pointless, then atheists really need to find a hobby and stop bothering people. Stamp collecting is nice, although fishing is my personal favorite.

Gordon Burkowski said...

As I've noted before, there are other countries on this planet besides the United States of America. There are. Really.

Virtually every country in Latin America except Uruguay has laws forbidding abortion in most cases. And because of economic factors, contraception isn't nearly as common as here. In spite of this, well over half of all births are out of wedlock.

Meanwhile, in European countries with liberal abortion laws and easily available contraception - such as Denmark, Britain and Sweden - between 45 and 55% of births are out of wedlock.

If your argument was valid, there would be sharply differing figures in the numbers from these two continents. There aren't. If anything, the European figures are a little better.

Yes, there has been a massive rise in births outside marriage – worldwide and in countries with radically different laws and value systems. There are undoubtedly reasons for this. But I doubt that any plausible analysis of this issue has much to do with the simplistic and American-oriented explanations which you are offering here.

Eric Johnson said...

Comparing the US to different countries is like comparing apples to oranges. Both are fruit produced by trees and sold as juice, but are radically different in other regards. An example of this would be Italy, Portugal, and France. All three of which are Roman Catholic countries located on continental Europe, but if you look at the illegitimacy rate, all three are radically different. From the numbers taken in 2010, Italy is better than the US, while Portugal is slightly worse, and France is really worse. South Korea, who also beats all Europe when it comes to life expectancy, is far much better at less than ten percent. Comparing the US to Portugal is akin to comparing Vermont to Texas. Blanket comparisons between countries do not work.

I primarily focus on America because I am an American and I do not want the country that I love and call home to fall into ruin. Hence my primary focus as to what is better for here. You have to keep in mind that there are long term social/economic factors at work here. Unless you are willing to completely scrap the social welfare system, then a sustainable population is necessary. The child aborted today (or poverty stricken bastard) means one less contributing taxpayer and eventually less money for your Social Security Check.

(The illegitimate child and the immigrant both share the same characteristic in that both of them are drains on the System. What we have in the US and in Europe can only work if you have more people pitching in than taking out. As Milton Friedman once pointed out; you can have a welfare state or you can have open borders, but you cannot have both.)

Eric Johnson said...

Burying your head in the sand and pretending that there is no problem or at the very least not understanding why the problem exists or how it came to be is beyond foolish. Much like a man who had gotten lost in a swamp. In his foolishness he decides to keep going forward deeper into the bog because going back to the point where he made the wrong turn off dry land would be too difficult. Besides which, only a prude Bible-thumping reactionary would think it was a wrong turn to begin with, so forward it is!

"You're pretending to give a detailed sociological analysis - but listing all the things that piss you off does not establish causal relations between them."

This is an oversimplification of what I posted and is uncalled for. This was not just my personal opinions, but quotes from studies done by the Brookings Institute, Heritage Foundation, the US Federal Reserve, and professors of Criminology. My statistics were provided by the US Census Bureau and the FBI.

Gordon Burkowski said...

Wow. Talk about begging the question.

I'm not afraid of repeating myself, given that you ignored (or couldn't answer) my main point: "If some countries have laws against abortion and less use of contraceptives but end with the same results in terms of births out of wedlock, your argument falls to the ground."

How about dealing with that, instead of vaporing on about swamp travel?

Gordon Burkowski said...

(First posted on 3/21/2018 05:41:00 PM)

"Blanket comparisons between countries do not work."

Precisely. But they have to if your argument is to make any sense.

If some countries have laws against abortion and less use of contraceptives but end with the same results in terms of births out of wedlock, your argument falls to the ground. That's not even getting into the other kinds of antisocial behaviour which you throw into the mix - such as violence and poverty - which are even more resistant to your naive explanations.

You're pretending to give a detailed sociological analysis - but listing all the things that piss you off does not establish causal relations between them. And it really, really doesn't even hint at what you or anyone else can do about any of it. If moaning about it makes you feel better, that's fine. But I think it's the only benefit you're going to get.

3/21/2018 05:41:00 PM

Eric Johnson said...

Gordon, if you can point out a country that is the same as or almost similar to the United States when it comes to Social Responsibilities, Culture, History and Economics yet has different abortion/contraceptives laws, then I am willing to reconsider my position.

Gordon Burkowski said...


I note the implicit admission that your argument doesn't seem to be valid for most countries in the world.

I also suspect that if the experience of other countries validated your position, you'd be singing a very different song.

Anonymous said...

"First the facts were biased, to which I proved otherwise."

Well, no, you didn't, not really. Because this has dragged on over the course of several posts and several attempts to sidestep various points, it's no longer convenient to detail and analyze every last word, but: Your presentation of these facts is not unbiased (obviously), even if a statistic in and of itself may be free of bias. And in some cases your very sources are biased - you can't really claim Brian Clowes as an impartial, fact-based observer, for example. How you think you've "proved" anything is a mystery.

"Then the facts didn't matter because correlation doesn't prove causation, to which I proved otherwise."

Technically, YOU didn't prove anything there, either, just quoted someone else who did the heavy lifting of actually constructing a theory for you. But even that paper is just that - a theory - subject to investigation an criticism. In other words, just because Janet Yellen has a pet theory and got it published, that does not actually make it true. (I mean, if Christians can argue against Darwin's theories so vigorously, everything else is fair game.) Yellen's theory is *plausable* - which is to say, there's a reasonable attempt to show how one thing causes another beyond just throwing out some numbers and asserting them as proof - and it being plausible is at least a better standard of evidence than you were offering - but there's a long way to go before it meets any rigorous standards for fact.

"Now we are at the point where I am right, but its pointless."

We were always sort of at that point - not necessarily that you were right, but that most of it is pointless. This is a sidestep, because in making your glib little quip here you completely avoid addressing the actual issue at hand. Even if we were to stipulate to the idea of abortion being directly responsible for the downfall of whatever, that still doesn't in any way affect the hurdles in front of the anti-abortion forces here and now, and in the future.

"Besides which, if well reasoned arguments backed up by evidence is pointless, then atheists really need to find a hobby and stop bothering people. Stamp collecting is nice, although fishing is my personal favorite."

See, here's one of your biggest hurdles: not being an dismissive asshole to the VERY PEOPLE YOU WILL HAVE TO CONVINCE to take your side. You can talk about the economic problems with abortion all you like, but in the end those economic problems will have to be weighed against a variety of other factors, like individual liberties. Some rights and problems take precedence over others. And, like I've stated before, you will have to make a convincing case that stopping abortion NOW will being about a change for the better that will outweigh its negative impacts. (And pointing at what was once in the past isn't really that great of a predictor of how things will go down in the future. If abortion rights activists decades ago failed to accurately predict the impact on society, how can YOU claim to have any better foresight as to how society will react to a ban on abortion?)

This has nothing to do with whether or not you quote the Bible, but more to do with whether you can put yourself into the mind of a person with a different perspective than yourself. If you look at a young pregnant woman who's having to make a tough decision about whether or not to carry a fetus to term, and you assume she's only interested in having as much irresponsible sex as possible without consequences, then you sure aren't going to get HER vote. And if you assume that secularists are only concerned about the impact abortion might have on their wallets, then I suspect you'll find yourself mighty disappointed in the reception to your ideas.

Eric Johnson said...

"Your presentation of these facts is not unbiased (obviously), even if a statistic in and of itself may be free of bias. And in some cases your very sources are biased - you can't really claim Brian Clowes as an impartial, fact-based observer, for example. How you think you've "proved" anything is a mystery."

This is why I went to the trouble of quoting right-wing think tanks, left-wing think tanks, and the US Federal Government. I am the only one here that has went to the trouble of quoting studies and posting statistics. You have offered no evidence to you're counterargument, but just point to my postings as somehow flawed. You didn't even bother to provide evidence that people have a right to an abortion to begin with. Now if I was saying that the Earth was flat or only 6,000 years old, then I would have been flooded with scientific papers claiming otherwise. In this case I haven't. (Gordon came close with pointing out other countries have high illegitimacy rates and have outlawed abortion. Which even then falls flat because he is not considering South Korea. They outlawed abortion in 1953, have a better infant mortality rate than Europe, and an illegitimacy rate that is less than ten percent.)

"See, here's one of your biggest hurdles: not being an dismissive asshole to the VERY PEOPLE YOU WILL HAVE TO CONVINCE to take your side."

Kind of like the Freedom From Religion Foundation and their desire to destroy war memorials built by veterans to honor their dead friends or threaten some small town with massive legal fees because they had the nerve to put a nativity scene in front of the Fire Department a week before Christmas?

Gordon Burkowski said...

I think you're either missing or trying to ignore my point. I'm saying that there's no firm evidence that anti-abortion laws CAUSE a decline in the illegitimacy rate. All you've shown is that 1) that rate is lower in South Korea; and 2) they have anti-abortion laws. Given that this "cause" doesn't seem to have any effect in many other countries, you're on very shaky ground to call it a cause at all.

In this regard, it's interesting to compare Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom with its liberal abortion laws, and has an illegitimacy rate of 43.2%. The Republic of Ireland – a strongly Catholic Country where abortion is still illegal and where even contraceptives were illegal until 1980 – has an illegitimacy rate of 36.5%. If there's any “cause” in operation here, it must be a pretty weak one.

Anonymous said...

"You didn't even bother to provide evidence that people have a right to an abortion to begin with."

Why would I have to?

For one thing, legally, in the US at least, they already do.

But if you mean proving people have an inherent right, then there is no particular evidence of fact that can be ever be provided whether they do or don't, because such rights are moral constructs. There is no right one has simply by virtue of existing - any right can be removed by the application of force.

Whether they SHOULD have the right is then a personal moral question. If we start from the assumption that people should begin with all rights to their own bodies, and people have no rights over other people's bodies, then we begin with a baseline of a woman having the right to choose whether or not she ought to spend nine months as an incubator for a fetus.

After that, any restriction we as a society put on people's bodies ought to be justified in some way. I can't lock you up in prison for no reason; there should be some sufficient justification for removing your right of freedom.

You might argue that the fetus is its own person and thus the woman has no right to end its life, but the counter to that is that if the fetus is its own person then it likewise has no right to exist in the woman's body, at her expense.

These are extreme positions, however, and a functioning society generally finds a way to compromise - in this case, making abortion legally more difficult in the third trimester. (Honestly, I'm not sure what the current state of abortion laws are today, but that's how they used to be: you needed a special reason to get a late-term abortion.)


"Kind of like the Freedom From Religion Foundation and their desire to destroy war memorials built by veterans to honor their dead friends or threaten some small town with massive legal fees because they had the nerve to put a nativity scene in front of the Fire Department a week before Christmas?"

Yeah, kind of like dredging up a completely irrelevant thing done by other people in order to deflect criticism away from your own bad handling of a situation. And it changes nothing. You'll still have to reach an accord with people you probably dislike if you expect to get laws passed to your liking, and without that this whole discussion is fairly academic.