Friday, June 6, 2014

Reflections on the Recent American Tendency to Use Force to Change Morals

Then the king wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people, and abandon their particular customs. All the Gentiles conformed to the command of the king, and many Israelites delighted in his religion; they sacrificed to idols and profaned the sabbath.  


The king sent letters by messenger to Jerusalem and to the cities of Judah, ordering them to follow customs foreign to their land; to prohibit burnt offerings, sacrifices, and libations in the sanctuary, to profane the sabbaths and feast days, to desecrate the sanctuary and the sacred ministers, to build pagan altars and temples and shrines, to sacrifice swine and unclean animals, to leave their sons uncircumcised, and to defile themselves with every kind of impurity and abomination; so that they might forget the law and change all its ordinances. Whoever refused to act according to the command of the king was to be put to death.  


In words such as these he wrote to his whole kingdom. He appointed inspectors over all the people, and he ordered the cities of Judah to offer sacrifices, each city in turn. Many of the people, those who abandoned the law, joined them and committed evil in the land. They drove Israel into hiding, wherever places of refuge could be found. (1 Macc 1:41-53) 


I find it interesting that whenever one wants to unify custom or belief, the people who call for change are never the ones who have to change. It's always the people in disagreement with those in charge that have to change. 


When the people who disagree voice their opposition, the general response is to label the concern as petty, intolerant etc. Basically, the accusation is we impose our beliefs on others.

But the truth is, the actions of government and the media and cultural elites are imposing on us beliefs that are contrary to what we know to be true—basically calling good evil and evil good. It's the denial of objective good and evil and replacing it with moral relativism, but a relativism which insists on people accepting their views. Because it insists there is no objective morality but also demands we follow their views, what we have is contradictory and hypocritical.

If there is no objective morality, then there is nothing wrong with us holding to our beliefs on morality and trying to teach others as to the reasonableness of our beliefs. But if there is objective morality, then it falls to those who would insist that we abandon our beliefs to use reason to prove their case.

But instead they use ad hominem attacks…



We're homophobes, bigots, anti-women, racists, etc. But the attacks on us show two things:

  1. They have no understanding of why we believe what we do—and sometimes no understanding of what we believe.
  2. They make no use of reason to refute what we believe or show why we err in the reasons for holding our beliefs.

So, ultimately what we have here is a decision of the elites that all people should think a certain way. People who disagree with this decree of the elites find themselves the target of ostracism or legal penalties. But the elites cannot establish why we must do so. We must do so or suffer the consequences.

Logically, that's an appeal to force fallacy. The use of intimidation or force to insist on the acceptance of one side and silencing the other side from being heard.

Unfortunately, that's also America today.

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