I read some newspaper articles, and some blog posts, that stated the obvious. It is totally wrong, all the time, to discriminate against someone based on their sexual preferences. If they use religion as an excuse then they should re-evaluate their religion. There is NEVER a time when an enlightened society should tolerate, let alone legalize, bigotry. I guess it's almost impossible to come out and say this on television, or maybe I'm just watching the wrong channels (mostly FOX and CNN).What I mean is that enlightened societies will almost always reach a consensus on discrimination against minorities. They will decide that society functions best when all types of discrimination are bad and should not be tolerated.
They will decide that it's wrong to discriminate on the basis of race or ethnic origin, although some societies become enlightened on this subject later than others. They will (eventually) decide not to discriminate against women. As new issues arise (e.g. gay marriage) the enlightened society will decide that we should not discriminate against gays. At least, that's my opinion on how ethical relativism will play out.
Right now we find ourselves in a situation where dealing with gays and lesbians is in a transitional state. There are still lots of people who want to treat gays and lesbians the way blacks were treated in the last century. Some of these people feel the pressure from society so they are looking for ways to justify their bigotry and make it sound acceptable. Some of them may actually believe that they are obeying a "higher law" from their god(s). In other words, they are defending a moral absolute that denigrates homosexuals the same way that those same god(s) used to denigrate women.
They will lose that fight. Ethical relativism will prevail and in a few decades those religious bigots will be making up new rules where their religion actually preaches love and tolerance for everyone, including gay couples. They will no longer tolerate people who speak out openly against gays.
These are very difficult concepts for most IDiots. For example, Vincent Joseph Torley twists himself into a knot trying to deal with what I said in my previous post. Recall that Vincent Torley has a Ph.D. (2007) from the Department of Philosophy at the University of Melbourne (Australia). In spite of that, he believes that there are god-given moral absolutes that we must all obey. In fact, he thinks the existence of these moral absolutes provide evidence of god(s).
Torley devoted an entire post to the comment I made about enlightened societies [see Professor Larry Moran squares the circle]. It gives us some insight into the mind of an IDiots and the lengths they will go to attack evolution and rationalism. Here's what Torley says ...
Over at his Sandwalk blog, Professor Larry Moran has recently created something which he has previously declared to be impossible: a moral absolute. Readers might be wondering: what is Professor Moran’s moral absolute all about? Is it about the inherent wrongfulness of killing the innocent, or taking away people’s freedom, or oppressing the poor, or violating a commitment one has given? Wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong! Here’s Professor Moran’s new moral absolute, in all its resplendent glory:Nobody who knows me could possibly misinterpret what I said but that doesn't stop an IDiot. They are looking for the "gotcha" moment that proves their enemies are firing blanks. What they don't realize is that they are the ones who look like .... you know.
It is totally wrong, all the time, to discriminate against someone based on their sexual preferences… There is NEVER a time when an enlightened society should tolerate, let alone legalize, bigotry.
Here's a bit more of what Torely has to say on this subject ...
It is very surprising, then, to see Professor Moran claiming that discrimination on the basis of sexual preference is always bad for society as a whole. As he puts it: “There is NEVER a time when an enlightened society should tolerate, let alone legalize, bigotry.” On the face of it, that assertion looks highly doubtful. I presume that Professor Moran (who appears to be a utilitarian) would say that there are some extreme cases when intentionally killing innocent human beings might be morally justifiable, for the sake of preserving society as a whole. If so, then the blanket claim that discrimination on the basis of sexual preference is never justifiable, and that it always harms society, is surely open to doubt.It's a long post and there's much more to read. Some of it is quite interesting and I can see that Vincent Torley is actually trying to come to grips with the idea of ethical relativism while trying, at the same time, to paint me as a moral absolutist—or at least a hypocrite.
His closing words indicate that the New Atheist tactic of openly confronting religion actually works in spite of what Torley says. After all, it got his attention, didn't it?
Perhaps Professor Moran thinks that getting mad at people with unenlightened views and subjecting them to public ridicule is a useful way to move society forward and advance the common good, as the people whose views he detests will eventually become too embarrassed to speak out, and their opinions will then become socially unacceptable. However, such a standpoint presupposes a Whig view of human history: the view that society as a whole (or at least, democratic society) is steadily progressing towards goodness, and that a moral consensus reached in a democratic fashion can never be overturned. The empirical evidence for a “march of history” is very weak, and is limited to a mere handful of causes – banning slavery, ending torture, overturning racial discrimination, implementing women’s rights, and legally tolerating practices between “consenting adults” – which have been advanced over the last 200 years at most. If Moran thinks that everyone under 40 supports gay marriage, for instance, he might be surprised to find that 26% of millennials still oppose it, and as many of them hold “traditional” views on sex and marriage, it’s a fair bet that they’ll be having more children than their more “progressive” peers. Professor Moran should also realize that hurling insults at people generally doesn’t make them wilt in shame; it just causes them to develop very thick hides. In short: “vanguard of the revolution” tactics, which are so beloved of radicals, generally backfire.
To sum up: Professor Moran’s declared views on morality appear to be mutually inconsistent, and defending all of them at once is tantamount to attempting to square the circle. If this is the best that a skeptical scientist can do when addressing the topic of morality, then I have to say it doesn’t look good.