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September 12, 2005

Intelligent Design

Posted by tunesmith at 09:25 PM

Here's what I don't understand about Intelligent Design:

It seems that all of the reasons and rationales used to support the existence of Intelligent Design could just as easily be used to support the existence of Magic.

I mean, look at the complexity behind it all. But there is also an order to it! It certainly cannot be random. And in a way it is beautiful. That cannot happen by mere chance and happenstance alone! It is mystical in nature, and mysterious. What other possible explanation could there be? I certainly don't understand it! That means it is completely un-understandable! And for something to have order, and beauty, and mysticism, and mystery, and yet also be beyond the mental capabilities of us mere mortals? Why, it must be God Magic! It simply must!

Anyone want to start a campaign to support the teaching of Magic Design in schools?

March 27, 2005

Reality, Delusion

Posted by tunesmith at 01:47 PM

Speaking of reality returning: "You are not speaking for our family."

March 26, 2005

David Brooks On Morality And Relativism

Posted by tunesmith at 08:34 PM

David Brooks makes stuff up in his latest column.

First, he's saying that on the conservative side, the Schiavo argument is about life needing protection no matter what, and that people in vegetative states need to be kept alive because of the sanctity of life.

I don't see how that squares with all the arguments the Schindler supporters are making that she's not really in a vegetative state. If it were as Brooks says, why would they bother?

Second, he says that on the liberal side, the argument is about avoiding the moral subject of "sanctity of life" and talking about process instead.

It's not true. I've seen focus on process when the subject has been about kicking it back to court, which is also about process. It's unnecessary to kick it back to court when the grounds of the new lawsuits have already been settled in previous courts. But, there's also a sanctity of grieving, and of privacy, and of closure. There's the difficult choice of refusing medical treatment, and the reality that it is morally defensible. Those are all moral points the left is making. And even many of the Schindler supporters don't contest that last point. They're not all saying it's immoral to unhook someone from life support. They're saying she can get better.

I understand a lot of the general split between left and right. The right places more emphasis on values, even if they can't make their actions measure up. The left places more value on integrity; aligning one's actions and values. The right too easily screams "relativism!" when a liberal challenges their values in an attempt to evolve. The left too easily screams "hypocrisy!" when a conservative stumbles.

But this case isn't about morality versus relativism. You've got people trying to bring glasses of water to a woman that is physically unable to swallow. Doctors proclaiming diagnoses of consciousness when they have never met her in person. Accusations of "judicial terrorism" when the judicial history has been so consistent. There's an element of incompetence here. When one so doggedly insists on a path that is not even possible, you can admire them for their persistence, but it doesn't mean they set a good example to follow. That's the difference between what is happening here, and true "values". They could argue an immorality of disconnecting any PVS patient, but they aren't. They could argue an immorality of disconnecting a particular PVS patient that has clear indication of a misdiagnosis, but they don't even have that.

Moderates and compromisers can try to find balance points all they want, but the point here is the elephant they are refusing to see: denial. The driving force here is that this became a cause. Causes self-justify. It spread, even to people who were hazy about the backstory. The defense of the cause became the cause, more than representing Terry. And in the process, the people adopting the cause became divorced from reality.

Reality returns, sooner or later. Reality must be accepted, whether you are liberal or conservative. A conviction not based in reality, no matter how passionately expressed, is not a "value" or a "moral". It's a denial and a delusion. Arguing reality in response is not relativism or "process". It's sanity.

Update: MajikThise points out more inconsistencies.

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