Comment Of The Day: “Another Early Morning Seminar, Another Ethics Alarms Open Forum!”

As they often do, this morning’s Open Forum has brought forth a Comment Of The Day (and perhaps more than one; it is still rolling, and I haven’t read all entries yet.)  This one, by frequent Comment Of The Day auteur Chris Marschner, was written in rebuttal to an ethics  professor’s newspaper column arguing that “individualism” is  an illness. This is one more form of the general anti-American argument that socialists, communists, and, increasingly, progressives  have advanced against the core culture of this nation, which was founded on individual rights and the power of individual responsibility, accountability, power and aspiration.

I’m glad Chris saw this thing before I did, and did such an excellent, and measured job rebutting it. It might have killed me. The thought of a community college, where students often do not have the critical thinking skills or intellectual breadth of experience to be able to resist this kind of indoctrination, having a professor like the author tinkering with their brains and beliefs is the stuff of horror movies.

Here is Chris’s Comment of the Day  from today’s Open Forum:

“Several days ago an adjunct professor of Philosophy and Ethics at Hagerstown Community College penned an Op-Ed in the Morning Herald newspaper here in Hagerstown, MD., decrying Individualism as a disease of the mind which leads to racism and  mass shootings. I am sharing my rebuttal with the group.

On August 9th, under the headline “Enemies of a Nation,” Don Stevenson penned an Op-Ed telling readers that individualism is a “severing, often arrogant, disease that applauds the free-wheeling person or entity and claims the self-directing power of a sole personality or mind-set with little respect for diversity.” This is pure fiction. There is no reference to individualism as a mental disorder in the DSM-5 manual. Do not equate individualism with sociopathy and psychopathy, both of which, in my opinion, are nurtured through the self-aggrandizing processes of social media. The need for likes and followers is suggestive of a need for love and fame. The perennial lack of likes and followers reinforces a person’s dissociative mindset. This gives rise to aberrations of violence among a minute number of mentally ill people who lack the ability to process information normally.

A discussion of the effects of social media and the increasing incidence of suicide will be left for another day.

Mr. Stevenson’s piece was an ill-informed hit piece suggesting that the El Paso shooter’s motives were based  on nativist hatred of immigrants. It was obvious to me that Mr. Stevenson did not read the manifesto and relied solely on news accounts, for if he had read the text he would have quickly realized the shooter was claiming to focus on the common good for Americans. Mexicans just happened to be the target. The shooter clearly and unequivocally stated that his goal was to reduce the population because, he said, we are destroying the environment with too many people. He explained that he was unable to bring himself to kill those he considered his own countryman. He argued that Americans won’t change their lifestyle, and can’t afford to let others get used to this lifestyle. He claimed automation was going to create massive unemployment and, while universal health care and universal income would help, civil unrest would inevitably occur.  He railed against powerful corporations manipulating policy.

Readers should ask why the parts of the manifesto that did not fit the anti-Trump narrative but instead reflected the exact opposite were not as widely disseminated as the shooter’s beliefs about cultural replacement. Why have we hears almost nothing about the leftist motivations of the Dayton and Gilroy shooters? Nothing is more unethical than to have a teacher of ethics not research the subject matter beforehand, or worse, twist the facts to suit a desired narrative. Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “Monday Ethics Warm-Up, 7/29/19: Reverse Racism And Listening To Dead People,” Item #1

I can’t ignore the spate of apocalyptic or otherwise ominous predictions I am seeing in the comments; similar predictions and dire analyses are turning up in other forums as well. Here, for example. And here.

Then there is this Ethics Alarms comment (on the Big Lie #4 post)  by Steve Witherspoon, which ends,

The 2020 presidential election will be a defining moment for the 21st century political left, they have too much invested in their social justice rhetoric to let up or turn back now. They have defined all things that are tot he political right of the extreme political left as evil, it’s time to move ahead full steam. The political left MUST nominate a non-white person to run for President or they risk alienating the entire non-white community and all of the social justice warriors, plus if they were to nominate a “white” person they will prove beyond any doubt that their social justice rhetoric is a complete fraud. Either they practice what they preach or they become completely irrelevant, it’s all in, or it’s nothing.

Regardless if you agree with anything I wrote above or not; we saw the reaction to Trump winning in 2016 and the followup three years of growing hate and irrational behavior from the anti-Trumpers, do you think the hyped-up irrational anti-Trumpers will react with same kind of devastating sorrow this time around; I don’t. Seriously, what happens if President Trump gets reelected in 2020?

Now much maligned Alizia Tyler comes forth with this fascinating exposition. Here is  her Comment of the Day on Item #1 in the post, “Monday Ethics Warm-Up, 7/29/19: Reverse Racism And Listening To Dead People,” beginning with a quote from me:

“The gamble, I suppose, is that whites and men are really, really stupid and cowardly, and this divisive hypocrisy will prevail. I could be wrong, but I think it’s a bad bet.”

Well, there has been some interesting discussion on that topic. I mean, on what will happen when the ‘beast’ so-called is provoked. I am sorry to keep bringing this up — I say ‘sorry’ but I don’t quite mean that, I mean I regret that I have to keep repeating it — but it is important for thinking people to know the facts.

Here, Jordan Peterson talks about ‘masculinity’ as distinct from ‘femininity’ and the difference in their respective vision-quests (he is a Jungian of course!)

You want to know why I keep saying man? Because women do not have a hero’s journey. At best, women – you – are the goal of the journey. The prize, if you will. At worst, you are the temptress. For the true hero to achieve transcendence he must, as Joseph Campbell told us, ‘press beyond the woman, surpass the temptations of her call, and soar to the immaculate ether beyond.’ Today you have illustrated that point as well as any story I can think of. And let me tell you something else. You can consider this a prophecy. Inside the collective is a beast and the beast uses its claws. If you wake the beast the result will be violence. Chaos. I’m sorry to say that these continual protests by radical leftists are going to wake the beast. A beast that you cannot conquer but that will conquer you.

Now, Peterson has referred to the likely eventuality of ‘waking the beast’ (I guess he means Nietzsche’s ‘blond beast’) if the Progressive Leftists keep on with the ceaseless vilifications and reveals its power-mongering hand.

But Peterson is, after all, a Canadian centrist by-and-large: a conservative-leaning Progressive to put it bluntly. His notion of responsible adulthood is summarized in ‘keeping one’s room clean’. He can’t really speak about ‘preserving Occidental culture’ nor can he refer to the Grand Occidental Project. He steers people away from the more difficult and demanding definitions. And look how he labels what he terms the ‘violence’ of the beast: it is chaos. But wait! The entire Occidental process cannot be summarized as creating ‘chaos’. Thus he mistakes creative effort and creative effort — which is a form of violence if you think it through — as producing a negative state: chaos. Continue reading

Ethics Observations On The Political Punishment Of Kathy Zhu

20-year-old Miss Michigan Kathy Zhu was stripped of her title because she tweeted against the mandatory wearing of hajibs, and the about the problem of black-on-black violence.

MWA Michigan State Director Laurie DeJack announced the measure, writing Zhu,

“It has been brought to the attention of Miss World America that your social media accounts contain offensive, insensitive and inappropriate content, and in violation of MWA’s Rules and Conditions, specifically the contestant requirement of ‘being of good character and whose background is not likely to bring into disrepute Miss World America or any person associated with the organisation. Therefore, and effective immediately, MWA does not recognize you as a participant of any sort or in any capacity as it relates to any and all events of MWA. Furthermore, let this communication serve as official notice to remove any mention of yourself as a participant in MWA from all social media platforms (including photographs of you wearing the MWA Michigan sash and/or crown, and any text claiming to be a participant of MWA events).”

What were the messages that led the organization to conclude that Zhu exhibited bad character that  brought “disrepute” on the pageant group? Last year, Zhu tweeted critically  about a “Try a hijab” booth on campus, writing “So you’re telling me that it’s now just a fashion accessory and not a religious thing? Or are you just trying to get women used to being oppressed under Islam?” Later, Zhu tweeted, “Did you know the majority of black deaths are caused by other blacks? Fix problems within your own community first before blaming others.”

Zhu is refusing to apologize, and has gone on offense, writing back in part, Continue reading

KABOOM! A New York Times Front Page Story Suggests Ethics Is Dead, Logic Is Dead, And That I’m Wasting My Life…

July 7th’s front page story in the New York Times not only made my head explode, it has me considering whether to chuck it all and become a bottle cap collector or something else more useful than trying to promote ethics awareness in a society where its most respected newspaper publishes something like this. Or maybe I should just give up entirely and flush myself down the commode.

The headline online is  “When ‘Black Lives Matter’ Is Invoked in the Abortion Debate.”  It just as well might have been: “TWSXQ@$#7mm.”

I’ll just post and comment on some of the gems in the piece, then you read the whole  thing and meet me at the top of the ROLAIDS tower in Baltimore and we’ll jump together, holding hands and singing the Pina Colada Song.

  • “As a pastor, Clinton Stancil counsels his black congregants that abortion is akin to the taking of innocent life. But as a civil rights activist, Mr. Stancil urges them to understand the social forces that prompt black women to have abortions at disproportionately high rates.”

If the good pastor believes that abortion is the taking of innocent life, the “social forces” don’t excuse the act at all. This is like saying that we should “understand” what makes serial killers kill. Murder—taking of innocent life–is an absolute wrong; nothing can excuse it. This is equivocation.

  • “But to many African-Americans like Mr. Stancil, who is the pastor of Wayman A.M.E. Church in St. Louis, abortion cannot be debated without considering the quality of urban schools. Or the disproportionately high unemployment rate in black communities. Or the significant racial disparities in health care.”

Then many urban schools are graduating African-Americans like Pastor Stancil who have the reasoning ability of household appliances and believe that taking innocent lives can be justified or rationalized by irrelevant matters. Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “Ethics Dunce: Professor Lara Bazelon” (1)

The Ethics Dunce post highlighting prominent lawyer and legal commentator Lara Bazelon’s op-ed celebrating her decision to place her career and the welfare of clients over the best interests of her own children didn’t attract a lot of commentary, but the comments that arrived were excellent and often moving, and readers related her dilemma to their own lives. There have been three Comments of the Day so far. I’m going to post them in the order in which they arrived.

Here is JP’s Comment of the Day on “Ethics Dunce: Professor Lara Bazelon”:

About 8 ½ years ago, I became a father. As I looked down at my newborn son, I couldn’t help but note was how small he was. How beautiful he looked. How unprepared I was to be in this situation. It’s funny the way life teaches us lessons. For example, did you know an 18-month-old could lock you out of your house? Or that a 2-year-old could operate an elevator? How about a 3-year-old using deception to win a game of hide and seek? Maybe that a 4-year-old could teach himself to swim?

It hasn’t been easy taking care of my oldest. From the beginning of his life, he has always been too interested in what was going on to care about being held or even staying in one place. His confidence has given him a unique perspective on the world where everything is a new adventure. It seems that he always must be in the thick of things. But here I am, trying to keep up, increasingly more aware that I am falling further behind and time is running out. Continue reading

Saturday Ethics Pick-Me–Up, 6/15/2019: The “Oh, Fine, It’s Afternoon Already And I’m Barely Awake” Edition

Bvuh.

Travel hangover today: I’ll do the best I can…

1. Thank you, loyal commenters, for a yeoman job in yesterday’s Open Forum.

2. Confederate Statuary Ethics Train Wreck update. Now the historical airbrushers (all from Progressiveland, just in case you couldn’t guess) are going after Civil War recreations and commemorative events. The head of the Lake County Forest Preserve in Illinois declared that there would be no more annual Civil War Days event after next  month’s edition, if he gets his way. He doesn’t think Confederate flags should ever be displayed, even in battle recreations. Besides, he wants the event to be retooled so that instead of commemorating the single most important period and struggle in U.S. history, it advances an understanding of climate change.

(Who are these people? How did they get this way? What do we do about them so the cultural damage they inflict is contained?)

The home-grown historical censor also said,

“This has nothing we want, nor should celebrate, nor re-enact. When southern states are being made to tear down every statute representing this racist, murdering chapter of our history, I can’t believe here in Lake County our own forest preserve is preserving and celebrating it every year, and with our tax dollars.”

This deliberately brain-dead approach to U.S. history is working (aided greatly by the atrocious neglect of American history in our schools), and by working I mean promoting ignorance so citizens can be more easily misled. The Wall Street Journal reported that visits to Civil War national battlefields are falling off. Over 10 million Americans visited  Gettysburg, Antietam, Shiloh, Chickamauga/Chattanooga, and Vicksburg  in 1970. They only had 3.1 million visitors last year.

That’s about as many tourists as visited the “Cheers” bar in Boston.

3. Oberlin race-baiting update: in case you missed it, the jury in the Gibson’s Bakery case  hit the college with the maximum punitive damages, capped by law at 22 million dollars.  Continue reading

Comment(s) Of The Day: “Ethics Dunce: Actress Busy Philipps”

As always happens when the topic of abortion raises its ugly head, the commentator responded with passionate and entertaining arguments. Outstanding in the fray were the posts of jmv0405and Benjamin on opposite sides of the question of when life begins and human rights attach to it.

I’m combining two of Benjamin’s comments here, both addressing jmv0405‘s contention that the unborn doesn’t necessarily qualify as human. In his second comment, directly attempts to rebut specific assertions.

Here is Benjamin’s two-part Comment of Day on the post, “Ethics Dunce: Actress Busy Philipps”...

You’ve moved the question “what does it mean to be human?” into the fore. I think you’ve taken it lightly though. We’ve all seen the science fictional stories of men who turn into animals. If you turn into a horse in this sense, your physical form becomes that of a horse, but you somehow remain you. There’s another sense of this that intrigues old philosophers. What if the physical form remains the same, and you (the you that lies under and in all that meat, the you that’s looking at this screen through your eyes) become a horse in some essential sort of way? How would that appear to us from the outside? You can forget things and even experience amnesia and still remain you, so memories and knowledge aren’t you rightly so called. This horse imposter may very well behave exactly as you did before you were displaced. This could be happening every day. It may have happened to you, you horse, you! There’s no evidence to tell us otherwise. I suppose this does not happen. You suppose something like this does happen at some vague stage of human development.

I argue that my supposition, a continuous chain of being, is no more false than yours. William of Ockham would agree, his razor being rightly understood, because we have no reason to think otherwise. Continue reading