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Free speech is only permitted if you agree with the core dogma

From climate change to same-sex marriage, fall out with the new moral guardians at your peril

By on Thursday, 2 August 2012

Same-sex marriage rally

There was a rather thought-provoking article in Spiked the other day. Written by journalist Alexander Cockburn who has died at the age of 71, it is a re-issue of his Spiked piece of 2008 on “what happens to leftists who challenge climate-change alarmism.”

Cockburn begins by stating, “While the world’s climate is on a warming trend, there is zero evidence that the rise in CO2 levels has anthropogenic origins. For daring to say this I have been treated as if I have committed intellectual blasphemy.” He goes on to point out the suspiciously close links between the climate-change alarmists, Left-wing politics and corporate interests. The scientific community is also heavily implicated. Cockburn remarks, “In today’s political climate, it has become fairly dangerous for a young scientist or professor to step up and say: “This is all nonsense.” It is increasingly difficult to challenge the global-warming consensus on either a scientific or a political level.”

Indeed, he admits that “since I started writing essays challenging the glob-warming consensus, and seeking to put forward critical alternative arguments, I have felt almost witch-hunted. There has been an hysterical reaction…There was a shocking intensity to their self-righteous fury, as if I had transgressed a moral as well as an intellectual boundary and committed blasphemy.” Interestingly, he sees a link between this form of hysteria and the old Malthusian one about over-population: “Alarmism about a population explosion is being revisited through the climate issue.”

Cockburn concludes his punchy piece with the obviously sensible remark that “Climate catastrophism, the impact it is having on people’s lives and on debate, can only really be challenged through rigorous open discussion and through a battle of ideas.”

Why do I draw attention to his article? Because when I read it I instantly saw its parallels with the official default position over same-sex marriage. Just as Cockburn discovered when he attempted to make reasonable arguments against man-made climate change, it is impossible in the public forum to have a reasonable debate about the nature and meaning of marriage or why same-sex marriage might not be such a good thing as David Cameron fervently believes. At the very least you are labelled as a bigot. Free and open debate and consultation is virtually forbidden – as the cancellation in May this year by the Law Society of a colloquium on the subject “One Man, One Woman; making the case for marriage for the good of society” at its headquarters, makes abundantly clear.

In Brighton and Hove City Council – Britain’s only Green council – council member Christina Summers, who represents Hollingdean and Stanmer, will probably have to face an official enquiry simply because she, as a Christian, voted against the Council’s motion in support of government plans to bring in same-sex marriage. According to a report in the Telegraph, Miss Summers said that she supported gay rights and civil partnerships but argued that equality did not require changing the traditional definition of marriage; she told her colleagues “it was a matter of conscience and free speech for her.”

She explained to The Brighton Argus: “The problem here is the understanding of equality. I do not agree that disagreeing with same-sex marriage is disagreeing with equality at all. I feel that marriage is about a relationship between a man and a woman… and about procreation and family.”

Although members of the Green Party are meant to have a free vote on issues of conscience, other councillors believe Summers’ stance is inconsistent with the Party’s long-term support for same-sex marriage. Deputy Council Leader Phelim MacCafferty stated, “Greens believe [she] is entitled to hold her view but this does not reflect the position, spirit and track record of the Green Party in extending human and civil rights for all social groups irrespective of sexual orientation or on other grounds.”

As Alexander Cockburn discovered to his cost, free speech and entitlement to your views is only permitted if you agree with the core dogma. Christina Summers discovered this too; when in the past she has objected to abortion on similar grounds of conscience, she “brought to the surface a very violent prejudice” against her as a Christian: “The response to the way I debated and voted has been very vicious, but it doesn’t surprise me. Whenever I or any Christian touches on issues of life or identity it does elicit a very very violent response with very strong accusatory language.”

So a freethinker and a Christian have both experienced a clamp-down when they had the courage to think outside the canons of received (Green-orientated) wisdom. The surprise is that Cockburn did not realise that anthropogenic climate change has become a kind of religion – and that Summers thought she could ever be welcome in the Green Party as a practising Christian.

  • Jonathan Marshall

    Are you being deliberately obtuse or do you really not understand?

    Ms Phillips wasn’t “writing about climate change” – she was quoting Alexander Cockburn on climate change, which is rather different. Was the late Mr Cockburn “truly out of his depth”? Or is it just that you disagree with him?

    Similarly, the councillor in Brighton merely voted (in a free vote) against the idea of homosexual “marriage”. In what way is that “imposing” her opinions? The only imposing of opinions seems to have been done by the Brigfhton Green Party – ‘accept our opinion or be expelled’!

  • http://catholicismpure.wordpress.com The Raven

    A Catholic is free to think as he or she wishes, but one may not claim to teach the Catholic faith or label one’s own ideas as “Catholic” if they don’t accord with the teaching of the Church.

    Having read both Papa Ratzinger and Papa Roncalli, I’m struggling to see any gap between them, or are you appealing to some nebulous “spirit” of Papa Roncalli, rather than his documented views and opinions?

  • Bob Hayes

    In ‘Symbol of God’ Roger Haight has questioned the divinity of Jesus Christ and Our Saviour’s centrality to salvation. As you well know from my earlier post, I did not say he advocated replacing Christian Faith with I man-made philosophy. I said he ‘seeks to position Jesus Christ within a post-modernist narrative’. A key tenet of post-modernism is that there is no common denominator of ‘nature’, ‘truth’ or ‘God’ – all is relative and subjective. 

    I have no problem with Roger Haight, or anyone else, wanting to believe in a god who is subjective and reflective of the norms of any given age and cultural setting. But why don’t they just call themselves deists, and stop moaning about the Holy Catholic Church which in post-modernist thinking is no more than a man-made organisation.

  • http://catholicismpure.wordpress.com The Raven

    Speaking personally, I would be confused if a theologian, vowed to special obedience as a member of the Society of Jesus, advanced a form of neo-Arianism and was not told to desist by the CDF.

    The initials “SJ” after Haight’s name give him a privileged platform to teach and give his teaching a veneer of official approval: if he wishes to reopen the Christological debates of the first millennium and question the judgments of the early Councils, shouldn’t he first put off a title that was intended to symbolise orthodoxy?

  • Philothea

    I am still not clear if you have read the book, or are just repeating what you heard others say about it. It is clear to me that Haight certainly believes in an objective God who is not just a reflection of a particular culture, the Judaeo-Christian God in fact. Nor have I heard him moan about the Church, though it would be no surprise if he did considering how unjustly it has treated him – not even following correctly its own procedures. All he is really doing is asking and exploring questions which arise when you think seriously about Christian claims in the light of contemporary understanding. If there is truth and value in his work it will emerge in time. What are the leaders of the Church so afraid of that they think they have to suppress such theologians? Don’t they have any faith in God who is always leading us on to discover more of his truth, life and love? Do they think they already know all there is to be known about God? If the Church remains stuck with an expression of its faith which comes out of the world-view of previous ages (what some call orthodoxy and tradition) it will continue to diminish, being left perhaps with an isolated inward-looking righteous remnant that has nothing to offer the world at large. I for one do not want to see that happen or think that is the mission of the Church. 

  • John_Seven

    The problem is, it is exactly the same in the Catholic Church: Free speech is only permitted if you agree with the core dogma. 

  • Fides_et_Ratio

     Except that the Church is a doctrinal and VOLUNTARY organization.

  • Jonathan West

    I think there’s a bit of a difference between being arrested and being jailed.

  • Bob Hayes

    ‘…
    Christian claims in the light of contemporary understanding.’

    Philothea, you embrace post-modernism; I reject it. Thus we shall differ.

  • JabbaPapa

    Orthodoxy includes the insistence that the Catholic Mysteries are in fact Mysteries, and cannot therefore be decided by to and fro debate about them.

    Revelation does not provide us with the Truth that is related to them, and that Truth resides with God alone.

    ANY positive declarations supporting only one understanding of those Mysteries whilst denying any other interpretation of them must be understood as unorthodox and therefore uncatholic.

    As always, any denial of any truths that *have* been given to us in Revelation is going to be either uncatholic or unchristian, as the case may be.

  • JabbaPapa

    There is no meaningful difference, ultimately — he did in fact spend time behind bars, and the Police cannot arrest people except on the basis that they consider them to have engaged in a behaviour that they define as criminal.

  • Philothea

    I do not embrace post-modernism. I believe the Christian faith in its totality and take seriously the question of how it is to be understood and expressed in the world in which we live – as Vatican II saw we need to do. Do you or do you want to embalm the faith at a past moment in time? How could that be true to the God who reveals himself in time, including ours, while also standing outside it?

  • Philothea

    According to you, therefore, the Catholic Church today  must be unorthodox and uncatholic because it denies other interpretations of the mysteries than its own orthodoxy. That is what you seem to be saying.

  • http://catholicismpure.wordpress.com The Raven

    Philothea, I fail to see how reopening a debate that was concluded decisively in the first millennium is a response to our modern times; how can the correct response to an age that deifies man be to question the divinity of one of the persons of the Trinity?

  • Acleron

    ‘The surprise is that Cockburn did not realise that anthropogenic climate change has become a kind of religion ‘

    I suppose that wrongly labelling anthropogenic global warming as a religion allows you to think it can be attacked by beliefs rather than evidence. Unfortunately for your argument, it is as far from an irrational belief system as it is possible to go. Cockburn was attacked for his lack of any evidence against AGW. Whereas early in the debate and especially before Mann’s hockey stick curve the paucity of evidence could lead to various diverse conclusions, the evidence that has now been accumulated leads to one conclusion with a very high degree of confidence, nothing apart from AGW explains what we can see.

  • Philothea

    The debate was conclusive only within its own terms (as every debate can only be), the terms of a world-view that probably nobody today any longer accepts, the triple-decker universe. If the way we understand and express the divinity of Christ depends on obsolete cosmology, do we not need to develop and refine our understanding? I am not saying how this should happen, only that the questions are there and are real, and if we are serious about faith we should address them. If orthodoxy has to mean a particular historical expression of our faith, as imperfect and conditional as every other, which no one is ever allowed to question, we are not being serious and our religion will certainly soon lose all its life and vitality.

  • Jason Clifford

    You are right that the argument about same sex “marriage” is already lost. It has been comprehensively lost by the homosexual lobby.

    The Coalition for Equal Marriage seeking same sex marriage managed to get 62,521 supporters.

    The Coalition for Marriage, supporting real marriage as a union between one man and one woman, has 590,036 supporters.

    That is a loss for the same sex “marriage” coalition by an order of magnitude.

    There is nothing unfair about being clear that same sex sexual relationships are inherently disordered and are bad for society. That is simply stating a fact. What is unfair is claiming otherwise and leading many to Hell.

  • http://catholicismpure.wordpress.com The Raven

    The basis for the conclusions in the Christological debates was the Gospels and other writing of the New Testament; conclusions about the humanity and divinity of Our Lord are not dependent on cosmology (although, if you are to insist on using our changing understanding of the world to interpret scripture, I would point out that quantum mechanics and its description of the nature of matter and the forces that act on matter seem to echo many of the Christological definitions of the first millennium).

  • JabbaPapa

    That’s pretty much the opposite of what I’m saying — though to be fair, this is not something that’s easy to understand. Took me ages to get my own head round it !!!

    And it’s not really possible to explain the general characteristics of Christian Mysteries within the format constraints of this reply box nor this blog.

    The question is actually broader than just Catholicism, sorry if I made it appear otherwise, as I may have done.

  • Philothea

    Your last point sounds like special pleading. As I see it modern physics allows for much more indeterminacy than the mechanistic view of past ages. I am no t basing an interpretation of Scripture or Christian doctrine on a changing understanding of the world, merelysayingthat to be true and real our interpretation must be made in the light of the understanding that we have, among other things,incl. Christian tradition itself. I think you will find it to write anything more, so I am going to make this my last word!

  • Guglielmo Marinaro

    While we do not know the cause in this particular case, what is known is that the most common causes of acute pancreatitis are alcoholism and alcohol abuse – problems which, of course, have quite a high incidence in the Catholic priesthood.

  • http://catholicismpure.wordpress.com The Raven

    I am sorry that you have decided to end the conversation there, as I am finding your point very elusive, what can possibly have changed in the last century to give Arius the victory?

  • Julia

    This woman seems to me to get her climate change/global warming views from Christopher Booker in the Sunday Telegraph.

  • Julia

    “I think that my description was right the first time.”
    Oh yes, I’m quite sure you do.

    When extreme Muslims (maybe even the Taliban) are a much more significant part of our society, I thrust that you will be pleased to allow them  “the free exercise of religious speech and action ”
    (note the “action” – your word). These people, like you, are people of Faith. (Extremely strong Faith, actually)
    And there’s many more of them too.

  • Julia

    Yes, it’s on all the pennies too. How important!

    However few go to their crumbling churches – and soon none will.

    The idea that England is an official Christian country is a total absurdity – except in a Disney World sense.

  • Fides_et_Ratio

    I believe in AGW. I believe the government should help the free market correct it. But I do not believe in loony catastrophism (such as saying that human civilization will end because of AGW) or bizarre, misanthrope proposals (such as reducing human population, or imposing 20 years of zero economic growth in “rich countries”). I also reject the campaign of hate against climate deniers (see that infamous 10/10 video), which is what this article is about.

    If you want people to believe in AGW, talk to the environmentalists. Tell them to stop lying so much, and stop this ridiculous alarmism, and stop waging a campaign of hate against deniers. Then, the deniers will no longer feel the need to be on the defensive. They will no longer believe there is a great green conspiracy.

  • Acleron

    Have they started bring up children with a choice?

  • Fides_et_Ratio

    The Vatican II document on religious liberty has already addressed that (non-)issue. People have a right to religious freedom as long as that right does not severely harm the common good. So
    1) Muslim people reading the Koran  – OK
    2) Muslim clerics preaching in public – OK
    3) Muslim people not selling alcohol in their stores – OK
    4) Muslim clerics refusing to “marry” people of the same sex – OK
    5) Muslim people voting against same-sex “marriage” – OK
    5) Muslim people using their distinctive clothing – OK*
    6) Muslim people plotting terrorism – Not OK.

    Pretty common sense.

    *Except, maybe, if that clothing covers the face, and there is a secular law against covering the face for security reasons.

  • Fides_et_Ratio

    1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 26, item 3:

    (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

  • Acleron

    Surely the video was an attempt at taking the mickey out of environmentalists.

    But if you really want to see a hate campaign, speak to Michael Mann about the number of attempts that have been made to get him sacked and/or indicted of fraud. Or perhaps the scientists at East Anglia who had their emails hacked.

    Perhaps you might also have a word with the Heartland Institute, who’s avowed aim is to try to get the curricula at schools changed to discredit science.

    These are real hate campaigns. 

    And if you accept AGW I’d be very interested to hear how you can argue against the consequences.

  • Acleron

    So they haven’t and the church is NOT voluntary. Thank you.

  • Fides_et_Ratio

    The 10/10 video was part of a campaign of hate. The vast majority of people realized that, and the video was quickly pulled as a PR disaster. Only the hard-core environmentalists stand by it.

    Regarding the consequences of AGW: the use of renewable energy is increasing really fast. The cost of solar power is falling fast. It is predicted that solar will reach residential grid parity in half the world by 2015, and industrial grid parity by 2020. Wind would reach grid parity by 2025. Also, biofuels are getting every more efficient (Brazilian ethanol productivity per hectare tripled in about 30 years), and we have awesome technology in the queue – cellulosic ethanol, algae ethanol. Not to mention 4th-generation nuclear.

    In short, the free market takes care of the problem. The government can gently interfere to help it, yes. But no authoritarian measure (such as reducing human population) is needed or beneficial.

  • Fides_et_Ratio

     It is voluntary. Getting out is much easier than staying.

    There is nothing you must DO to get out. You just need to STOP going to Mass, volunteering time and money, living a Christian life, etc.

    Incidentally, I have never seen Dawkins campaigning against teaching Marxism to kids. Why is that? Because he is a huge biased hypocrite.

  • Fides_et_Ratio

    False.
    People actually go to jail for criticizing homosexual acts.

    Couples get denied the possibility of being foster parents because they have verboten thoughts about homosexualism.

    Catholics adoption agencies around the country have been closed down.

    That guardian opinion is pure fantasy, disconnected from reality.

  • Fides_et_Ratio

     AGW itself is a scientific question (and most scientists believe in it), yes.

    But the loony proposals (such as reducing human population, or severely crippling the economy) are made by hard-core environmentalists. Such environmentalists are indirectly (and often DIRECTLY) influenced by the pantheistic belief that
    1) All life has similar dignity; humans are not superior
    2) The planet Earth, as a whole, is more important than humans.

    In short: AGW maybe science. But hard-core environmentalism is a degraded religion.

  • JabbaPapa

    While we do not know the cause in this particular case

    Indeed, and which is precisely why the Cardinal”s choice for an example of what he wanted to say was so spectacularly wrongful.

  • Acleron

    The renewable energy sources you mention would never have happened if the oil companies and their paid hacks had overcome scientific sense.

    And those renewables would never have happened without direct government grant.

    Taking the cost of the energy production as any measure of success doesn’t solve the problems of AGW. We can see that increasing the cost of fossil fuel use (another government intervention, strongly resisted by the free market) just leads to exploitation of other fossil fuels such as shale fracking.

    The population of the world will be decreased, either voluntarily, or by catastrophe. Wishing the problem away won’t solve either of those outcomes

  • Fides_et_Ratio

    > “The renewable energy sources you mention would never have happened if the oil companies and their paid hacks had overcome scientific sense.”

    I hope you are not one of those “Big Oil” conspiracy theorists. Yes, the fossil fuel companies have a lot of money and a material interest in attacking AGW. But leftist foundations and governments have oodles of money too. It is not “David x Goliath”; it is two Goliaths.

    > “And those renewables would never have happened without direct government grant.”

    I see no reason to believe that. Government money can _accelerate_ the process, but it would happen anyway because of the profit motive, and because of voluntary environmental charities.

    > “Taking the cost of the energy production as any measure of success
    doesn’t solve the problems of AGW.”

    When solar/wind/nuclear becomes cheaper than fossil, there will be no profit motive to continue using fossil. Also, by that point the government will be able to ban new fossil plants, because it will not harm the economy. If the government were to ban new fossil plants today, the economy would suffer.

    > “The population of the world will be decreased, either voluntarily, or by catastrophe.”

    There is no reason to believe that. Malthusianism is centuries old  and is always proven wrong.

  • Acleron

    I tend to agree, within limits about hard-core environmentalists. I can also agree with your point 2), humans are more important than the world, with the proviso that if we manage to make it uninhabitable, we may die out pretty quickly.

    But point 1) is partially absurd, there is nothing special about humans, nothing chosen, we are just another species that have happened to colonise much of the earth. 

    It is personally important to me that I survive and I would like humanity to continue to make fresh discoveries about this fascinating universe. But only an egoist would claim that humanity is superior in some way. Just look at the other animals, we have the same behaviours, the same traits and even the same biochemistry. Another million or so years and there won’t be any humans around. Our genes may be in some other dominant species but that is all.

    PS there is nothing ‘maybe’ about the science in climate research.

  • Acleron

    Oh please, you indoctrinate your kids. And the techniques you use are very effective. So don’t say it is voluntary.

    As for trying to claim that Prof Dawkins is a hypocrite for not campaigning about Marxism is just silly. Communism failed for reasons that are well known. 

  • Fides_et_Ratio

    Saying that all life is equal is patently absurd. If I had to choose between saving one dog or 10,000 cockroaches, I would choose the dog (assuming both species face no danger of extinction).

    And only humans have a conscience and free will. If I had to choose between saving a human baby or 10,000 dogs, I would choose the human baby.

    Also: I have read the book “Hyperspace” by Michio Kaku and it makes me dream of technological advance and galactic conquest. But this dream has a cost for nature. It takes a huge economy and a huge number of scientists to travel to space. If the world had 20 million inhabitants, we would not have reached the Moon. If you have the size of the USA, you can do it by directing 1% of your GDP. But if you are the size of Switzerland, you would stay Earth-bound.

    So we could go the hard-core environmentalist way, reduce the human population, and also cripple our dreams.

    Or, we can let the population grow naturally, and make mankind more powerful.

    By the way, the human total fertility rate is falling. The world population is projected to reach only 9B by 2050 and 10B by 2100 – then start falling.

    The population is absolutely NOT exploding as alarmists say.

  • Acleron

    I don’t need conspiracy theories. The Koch brothers financed the Heartland Institute, both of those parties have admitted it.

    The profit motive presumably was why the renewables industry in the UK protested so much about the government grant being reduced.

    You seem to have segued from renewables making a profit to renewables being cheaper than fossil fuels. You have missed a rather large hole in your argument. Just why will this happen unless there is a carbon tax and government subsidy?

    Malthus was unaware of the chemistry of fertiliser production. But it doesn’t matter about Malthus. We can already see disputes over resources. Look up the water disputes between India, China and Pakistan. You might also look at the energy required to derive potable freshwater from other sources, how much extra carbon that will put in the atmosphere, what that will contribute to global warming and how that will accentuate such disputes.

  • Italo

    And again the Moslims are drawn in the discussion.

    But  the use of al-qaida in the present Syria conflict  ( throuhg the support of KSA ) shows once and for all that goverments likewise use terroristic means to achieve political aims.

  • Fides_et_Ratio

    > “Oh please, you indoctrinate your kids. And the techniques you use are very effective. So don’t say it is voluntary.”

    Oh please. Every time the kids watch TV or access the Internet or go outside they see pornography, they see shows like “Modern Family” promoting homosexualism, they see the entire Hollywood and also the music industry promoting promiscuity, they see leftist intellectuals attacking religion. In 90% of Hollywood movies, orthodox Christians are either shallow or even downright villains.
    Public school teachers present a biased history in which Christianity and specially the Catholic Church are the greatest evils in the world.

    And some of that atheist indoctrination happens with taxpayer’s money.

    > “As for trying to claim that Prof Dawkins is a hypocrite for not
    campaigning about Marxism is just silly. Communism failed for reasons
    that are well known.”

    Oh please. Marxism lives in China, Vietnam, North Korea, Cuba. And the New Left, created by Marxist intellectuals like Antonio Gramsci, Herbert Marcuse, Theodore Adorno and Michel Foucault is very strong in Europe and even the USA.

    See people going to jail for saying that homosexualism is a sin. See couples being denied the opportunity of being foster parents, because they have verboten views about homosexualism. See the Catholic adoption agencies being shut down.

  • Fides_et_Ratio

    > “I don’t need conspiracy theories.”

    It becomes a conspiracy theory when you bury the inconvenient truth that green-biased governments, institutions and individuals have oodles of money too. As I said, this is a fight between two Goliaths.

    > “The profit motive presumably was why the renewables industry in the
    UK protested so much about the government grant being reduced.”

    I wasn’t speaking of government subsidies.

    > “You seem to have segued from renewables making a profit to renewables
    being cheaper than fossil fuels.”

    No, I didn’t say that. I said that renewable are becoming cheaper than fossil fuels because of technological advances. See
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grid_parity

    > “We can already see disputes over
    resources.”

    This is hard to avoid, because human greed is limitless. If there were only 1B people on earth, they would still be disputing. See for example, Africans killing each other over diamonds. It is not like there isn’t plenty of resources for everybody. There is. But greedy people don’t want a _share_, they want _all_.

    > “You might also look at the energy required to derive potable freshwater
    from other sources”

    With plenty of energy from solar, wind, 4th-generation nuclear, fusion, geothermal, and who-knows-what, I’m not worried.

  • Acleron

    That you can choose between a dog or a cockroach makes no difference to my argument. The only aspect of Homo sapiens that is special is that we are Homo sapiens. No doubt the Neandertals would have chosen differently if they had the choice.

    Ever ask yourself why the general fertility rate in especially Western countries is falling? 

    And the population has already exploded, it has more than doubled in my life time.

  • Acleron

    The indoctrination of kids in religion is so obvious. Otherwise catholics wouldn’t be in catholic families would they?

    I appreciate that any criticism of religion is consider as a rabid attack. But that’s purely because you cannot defend your bizarre beliefs with rationality. 

    Marxism has died a death in many countries. The largest one left is more a dictatorship than communistic and has taken to your beloved free market with some gusto.

    If you choose to ignore the wants and aspirations of all members of society then you should be marginalised. Personally, I’d like to see all government money for religious indoctrination purposes withheld, but that is a faint hope in my life time.

  • Fides_et_Ratio

    > “Otherwise catholics wouldn’t be in catholic families would they?”

    Atheists are in atheist families/societies too.

    > “I appreciate that any criticism of religion is consider as a rabid
    attack.”

    No, it becomes a rabid attack when you start attacking human rights, like intolerant anti-theists do.

    > “The largest one left is
    more a dictatorship than communistic”

    No. Marxism is FAR larger than just an economic theory. That China has partially liberalized its economy (its still much more state-controlled than Europe; baking is state-controlled for example) does not mean it abandoned Marxism. Even Lenin liberalized the economy for a time.

    > “If you choose to ignore the wants and aspirations of all members of
    society then you should be marginalized.”

    Hum, no. Human rights are more important than intolerant anti-theism.

    > “Personally, I’d like to see all
    government money for religious indoctrination”

    Do you also support government money to be withed from militant anti-theist public school teachers?

  • Fides_et_Ratio

    > “Ever ask yourself why the general fertility rate in especially Western countries is falling?”

    They are falling in the whole world, including Muslim countries (where, in fact, the rates are falling very fast). It happens because of many factors:

    1) People marry far later
    2) Child labor has been forbiden, and raising children is expensive
    3) The culture of death makes people hate children, and avoid them by contraception and abortion.

    By the way, the USA has a much healthier demographcis than Europe. Europe has only 1.6 children per woman, meaning that it will exponenttially shrink in the long term. It will also age. Society will ossify. The pension system will break. Americans still have 2.05 children per woman, which is almost enough for sustaining the population.

    > “And the population has already exploded, it has more than doubled in my life time.”

    Which is good. Remember our economy is mostly based on services and information. The more people, the more musicians, priests, mathematicians, scientists, engineers, philosophers, etc.

  • Fides_et_Ratio

    > “Ever ask yourself why the general fertility rate in especially Western countries is falling?”

    They are falling in the whole world, including Muslim countries (where,
    in fact, the rates are falling very fast). It happens because of many
    factors:

    1) People marry far later

    2) Child labor has been forbiden, and raising children is expensive

    3) The culture of death makes people hate children, and avoid them by contraception and abortion.

    By the way, the USA has a much healthier demographcis than Europe.
    Europe has only 1.6 children per woman, meaning that it will
    exponenttially shrink in the long term. It will also age. Society will
    ossify. The pension system will break.

    Americans still have 2.05 children per woman, which is almost enough for sustaining the population.

    > “it has more than doubled in my life time.”

    Which is good. Remember our economy is mostly based on services and
    information. The more people, the more musicians, priests,
    mathematicians, scientists, engineers, philosophers, etc.