The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

SPLC Statement on Shooting at Family Research Council

By Hatewatch Staff on August 15, 2012 - 2:00 pm, Posted in Hate Crime

We’ve seen news of the shooting of a security guard today at the Family Research Council office in Washington, D.C., and are getting media inquiries about it. There are unconfirmed reports that the shooting was ideologically motivated. We condemn all acts of violence and are following the story closely.

  • Think A Minute

    To aadila:

    That’s the absolute Truth. I am a sinner. But for the spilled blood of my savior, I would spend eternity separated from him.

    Chief among sinners.

  • aadila

    Oh.

    The new guy?

    Uh oh.

  • Erika

    Objection, asked and answered.

  • Think a Minute

    Ahem…. hate to interrupt this little luv fest, but can we get back on track,

    Still waiting for answers from Aron, Erika and the new guy, Ruslan.

    Sorry to be a fuddy duddy.

  • aron

    Hee hee! Aadila and Erika make me laugh :)

  • aadila

    Aron, that sounds like some heavy rebreathing.

  • aadila

    Right, Erika.

    I think at the root of roots we need to look at the economic reality vis-a-vis the high cost of raising a child, and also noting the least expensive form of pleasure available in poor areas is sex. But that might be too racy for some people who feel abstinence education is anything but an oxymoron.

  • Erika

    Aron, since I know absolutely nothing about that subject and would have to read whatever was in front of me on the cue card no matter how inaccurate or riduculous, some say my impression of a Fox News tart would turn out to be way too accurate :)

  • Aron

    Erika,

    If you would be willing to wear that outfit, I think I’d be able to listen to you pontificate on the benefits of black zip ties versus white zip ties in regards to SCUBA equipment for hours on end…

    (And for anybody here who isn’t a diver, that’s BIG debate. And I can assure you my cave-diving friends HAVE spent hours debating the benefits of either color. And there are VERY FEW of them who I would like to see dressed up as a FOX News tart.)

    (Also, I hope I didn’t offend you, Erika. I would listen to you no matter how you dressed :)

  • Erika

    Think a Microsecond, your arguments make absolutely no sense at all because you fail to look beyond a slogan to understand the implication of a thought. That is a classic bumper sticker mentality.

    In an ideal world there would be no abortions ever – every child would be born to parents who love them, have good health insurance to assure prenatal care, and have good jobs and health insurance so they can provide for them. We don’t live in such a world – and the loudest “pro-life” voices are the people working their hardest to prevent such a world from taking place.

    Not only that, the same people funding those pro-life voices are actually funding think tanks which release studies claiming that legal abortion has reduced the crime rate, has led to fewer children on welfare, and others – many of these stories smack of eugenics (which turns out to have been funded in the 1920s by many of the same corporate names around today). That is how the right actually feels about abortions. Their objection isn’t to abortion – its to giving the choice to women.

    Outlawing abortion will cause many more problems – and fail to eliminate abortion. The way to eliminate – or at least reduce abortion – is to provide effective birth control, good health insurance to everyone, and develop good jobs so that people can afford to have children

    Actions also speak louder than words – the “pro-life politicians” give lip service to being pro-life, but its merely pandering for votes for gullible fools. Their actions say that their real issue is opposition to women’s rights.

    See, adults understand these things. Adults look for solutions to those issues and understand that the solution to the abortion issue is through economic development, birth control, and health insurance.

    And that is why adults also understand that everything is in shades of grey – there are no simple solutions to complex problems. Honey, people who promise simple solutions to complex problems are lying to you. Its that simple – most people learn that when they are children. Like when I realized that my dream of getting a pony was impossible because you just can’t get a pony – you need a place fro the pony to stay, you need to feed the pony, vet bills, grooming, etc. Its a lot of money and a lot of work. Apparently you never learned that lesson – which is generally termed “there is no such thing as a free lunch.”

    Your arguments are not winning – they barely even count as arguments. If you had any sense, sweetie, you would have declared victory and retreated to cry to your mommy about how those mean girls were picking on you a long time ago. You don’t have any sense at all – and I care enough to keep trying to educate you so perhaps some sort of reason can slip through. But I doubt it, becaues you are just a sucker.

    Of course, maybe if I could say this while wearing a low cut blouse, a micro miniskirt and high heels on Fox News Think a Microsecond would listen.

  • aadila

    @Aron,

    Curious how someone who repeatedly slaps “liberals” from walking away from a debate won’t stand up and continue debating.

    @Think a Minute

    “Aadila, Erika and Reynardine have been tagging me with names like idiot, jerk and others, but to date have not given any coherent argument to support their beliefs or disprove mine.”

    I most certaintly did NOT call you names, you mendacious little sinner.

  • Aron

    Aadila,

    Looks like we’re still waiting to hear back from our favorite new Open-Minded Person :)

  • Think A Minute

    Erika: “That is the problem with you binary black and white thinkers who do not realize that everything in the world is shades of grey.” I have a question for you. Obviously the above statement, being part of the world, is neither black nor white, that is: neither true nor untrue. Given that it isn’t true, how should I interpret it?

  • Think A Minute

    Aron:

    I am curious as to why liberals refuse to engage their minds in any kind of debate.

    Example: Ruslan said “don’t talk about logic and then say God commands x.” He stated his a priori conclusion but never gave a reasoned argument to support that conclusion. So that’s just his opinion, right? Maybe I can help him out. Ruslan: please refute this logical argument with your own: A) Every thing that exists had to have a cause. B) the universe exists. C) therefore the universe had to have a cause. Not so hard. Give it a try (without resorting to name calling if possible).

    Example: A few months ago Joy B and Whoopie G both walked off the set of The View when a conservative guest made a statement. No dialog, no mental engagement, no factual refutation, no debate. They just walked off the set. Why? Because they had nothing.

    Example: Aadila, Erika and Reynardine have been tagging me with names like idiot, jerk and others, but to date have not given any coherent argument to support their beliefs or disprove mine. Their argument against a law banning most (not all) abortions is that abortions will still happen. That’s true! It’s also irrelevant. Today I saw someone run a red light. And yet the city council where I live still wants to keep the law against running red lights on the books. Can you believe it? Keeping a law to deter an activity even though that law is regularly broken! It’s shear madness! Right?

    Example: Richard Dawkins will no longer debate Christian apologist William Craig. Why? Because Mr. Dawkins cannot defend his religious beliefs against those of Mr. Craig. He’s got nothin’.

    Example: Now you accuse me of fallacious reasoning (sophistry) but you never give a reasoned counter argument which shows logically where I went wrong. Why? Could it be that you also have nothing?

    I want to understand why liberals desparately refuse to engage in legitimate rational discourse. Are they so emotion based, that they are incapable of engaging their minds? I don’t believe that’s the reason. You guys are smart. Is there something deeper going on? Are you afraid that if you were to think rationally, you would be forced to come to the same conclusions as we have, and find that you are accountable to some One? After all, there would go your anything goes lifestyles. Can’t have that, can we.

    Final Example: You never answered my question. You told me to stop ducking YOUR question. So I answered it. My question is: What do you think of aadila’s statement that “Thus truth cannot be absolute.” Do you agree with it? Is it absolutely true?” Or do you just want to walk off the set too?

  • aadila

    Think a Minute stopped replying when I shattered the moral absolute argument.

    But I have more to say:

    Whether or not you feel abortion is wrong, it is statistical fact that making abortion illegal does NOT stop the practice. In fact, the abortion rate is much higher in Latin America and Africa than it is in Europe for example, where abortion is legal.

    What does happen however, is unsafe abortions are performed without adequate medical care. While maternal deaths due to abortion complications are extremely rare in the United States, well under 1%, worldwide unsafe abortions (in countries where the procedure is not legal) maternal deaths reach 13%, or about 50,000 women per year.

    So you see that poverty is one of the root causes of abortion. If you truly want to make a difference toward halting abortion, you should dedicate your life to social equity and raising standards of living around the world. Erase poverty, and abortion shall follow.

    What I find ironic here is that I share your position on the sanctity of life. I personally would not choose an abortion under most circumstances (if any), but I also recognize that attempting to legislate morality by making abortion illegal ends up leading to thousands of deaths that could otherwise be avoided. Meanwhile, making abortion illegal does not prevent abortion from happening. So getting locked into a moralistic view doesn’t actually address the issue unless you are willing to look beyond it at what you can do to make things better.

    Also I must chuckle at your view on war. Have you ever experienced war, since you seem to think its ok? War is only self defense on your side. On the other side it is killing. But on their side it is self defense and they see your side as killing. So really there is just a lot of killing in the name of self defense. So you break from your absolute morality to defend killing. You see, morals are relative. Tell the dead kids ripped to shreds in a public school in Afghanistan because of a missile from a drone that missed its target that war is ok because we need to defend ourselves from children.

  • aadila

    “You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”

    –Anne Lamott

  • Erika

    Never Thinks for Even a Minute, you are a perfect example of a bumper sticker mentality. And you also do not pay attention – the anti-abortion bills that the Republicans are proposing across the country, do not provide for exceptions to save the life of the mother. Some pro-lifers those people are (they are also pro-death penalty, pro-military, pro-gun, pro-nuclear weapon, pro-invading other countries, anti-workplace safety, anti-consumer safety, anti-aid to people with disabilities, anti-aid to poor children, pro-increasing taxes on the poor and middle class, anti-education – I could go on and on, but its pretty clear these people only care about fetuses because they sure do not care about children once they are born.)

    But here is why you are a perfect example of the bumper sticker mentality – you say that abortion is murder and should be illegal except to save the life of the mother. You do not give any consideration at all to the concenquences of having those laws.

    See, let’s say we have a case – the pregnant woman’s blood pressure is spiking to extremely dangerous levels where death will result if it is not put under control. She is about 4 months along, so the fetus is definitely not viable. All steps to lower the woman’s blood pressure are taken but fail, the blood pressure continues to rise. The doctors know that the only way to stop the blood pressure from rising is to deliver the baby – which will die outside of the womb having not reached the point of viability. The doctors also know that there is an extremely strong chance that the fetus is already dead. Under the laws of today, there is no problem – the doctors deliver the baby who dies but the mother should quickly recover and live.

    Under your system, the laws I’ve seen would require consultations by several doctors that the woman is actually dying. That creates delay in what is an extreme emergency situation (since the human body can not survive elevated blood pressure and heart rate). The longer the delay in treatment (the only treatment is to delivery the baby ending the pregnancy). The doctors also know that if some grandstanding Bible thumper prosecutor or grandstanding Bible thumper state attorney general could decide to challenge their determination that the (effective) abortion was not medically necessary to save the life of the mother. That creates uncertainty.

    Especially since prosecutors have no shortage of “experts” who will say that there has never ever in the history of the world been a medically necessary abortion to save the life of a mother [that is an obvious lie and the people who claim that are politically motivated crackpots, but that fact won't stop a grandstanding Bible thumping prosecutor - doubters see the various cases about Dr. Grigson who simply made stuff up, or the fact that right up to the point when the tobacco industry reversed course, they had experts who said that smoking was safe]. So effectively, you will see women die because a climate of fear will create inaction. Especially if the law does not specifically allow abortion to save the life of a mother – than the only defense effectively becomes necessity or defense of others.

    Your bumper sticker slogan simply does not work in the real world. That is the problem with you binary black and white thinkers (see also La Americana) who do not realize that everything in the world is shades of grey. As a simple mind, you seek simple solutions – and simple solutions do not work.

    And of course, that brings me to a larger point about abortion in general – laws designed to enforce morality do not work. That is the lesson of prohibition which people just have not been able to learn. See, even if abortion was illegal in the U.S., it would not stop abortion. The rich would do exactly what they did pre-Roe v. Wade – travel to another country (at that point, usually Sweeden) to get an abortion. That is why the Republicans can “safely” push the pro-life agenda to pander to the Bible-thumpers. They know that laws don’t effect you if you are rich. There would also be illegal abortions – they were extremely common before Roe v. Wade. There are supposedly ways of varing degrees of danger and effectiveness where a miscarriage can be induced (including the reason why states have passed laws against what could be called “involuntary abortions” but are instead termed fetal homicide).

    So prohibiting abortions would not eliminate abortions, but they would become much more dangerous. In addition, society would in a failed attempt to eliminate abortion, engage in increasing invasive and draconian practices – including investigating mothers who had miscarriages for possible murder charges. It might even be possible that Bible thumping prosecutors and grandstanding judges would get murder or manslaughter convictions against women who have miscarriages or still births if they deemed them to “recklessly” engage in improper pre-natal care. That is the exact same thing which happened with prohibition of alcohol – it is the same thing which has happened with making drugs illegal.

    Thus, your little bumper sticker world collapses – abortion will still be going on, women will be dying, good doctors who save women’s lives will be branded criminals and go to prison – then what will happen is exactly what will happen in the 1960s. Abortion went from being absolutely illegal everywhere to being legal in at about half the states in a decade (that parallels the movement to make abortion illegal during the Comstock era – again, I point out that under English common law, abortion was illegal in essentially the same framework that Roe v. Wade set up – and the founding fathers did nothing to change that – it was later in the Victorian Era that people went after abortion).

    BTW, you should also hear what your Republican masters really think about abortion – hint, their only objection to abortion is based upon who gets them. If its a middle class or higher white woman they hate abortions and want to get rid of them. If its poor [or any Black or Hispanic] women – they think there are not enough abortions. Romneycare paid for abortions on demand for poor women – so, its pretty clear that Mitt Romney agrees with this line of thinking. They secretly publish studies claiming that abortion has led to less crime, fewer people receiving AFDC, less educational spending – the people who are pretending to be pro-life secretly love abortion. They also support all sorts of measures which result in killing people after they are born through unsafe conditions, unsafe products, sending people off to war with defective equipment, the death penalty, etc. They are pro-life only up to the point of birth, then their policies are more accurately described as “pro-death.” Their pro-life position is just a way to be anti-woman to appeal to angry white men in dead end jobs to vote for people who will make their lot in life even worse than it was before.

    They also see you as a total sucker. You speak “pro-life” but you vote “pro-death.” But I guess it does increase your anger.

  • http://www.twitter.com/AronL Aron

    Think,

    So what you’re claiming is that only God can create or destroy life. If you can *conclusively* prove to me that God does, in fact, exist (which believe it or not, I truly hope He does), then I am willing to take your side.

    Otherwise, you are simply stating that you believe in your own morality for your own morality’s sake. You can give me no greater evidence than ‘it is God’s job. Not yours.’

    Again, you have resorted to sophistry. While I fully expected that, I can safely say that we’re done here.

    Good day.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Again, don’t talk about logic and then say “God commands X.”

    “Note this does not apply to war which is a form of self defense. If some one, or some country or some force is bent on taking human life, we stop him.”

    War is most often not a form of self-defense. The US has engaged in dozens of wars which had nothing to do with self-defense.

    “Keeping entire generations of *able bodied* people dependent on assistance *as a way of life* rather than during a time of need is the worst kind of slavery. It is oppression for the sake of control (aka getting their votes in order to stay in power).”

    Oh please tell us who these unnamed people are!

  • Reynardine

    I hate mopping up spilled brains, especially when they are already emittiing decompositional gasses.

  • Think A Minute

    Aron:
    The death penalty? God gives life and only he can take it. Note this does not apply to war which is a form of self defense. If some one, or some country or some force is bent on taking human life, we stop him. For the lives they are trying to take are sacred.

    Artificially induced death in general? God gives life and only he can take it. Life is sacred.

    Abortion: God gives life and only he can take it. In the case of a mother at risk of dying, the mother’s life is just as sacred as the child’s. Therefore a decision has to be made to preserve the one life and let the other person die, unless they can both be saved. Where both mother and child can be saved (which is by far most abortions), both lives must be preserved. (Note: no doubt Erika will now come up with another justification for abortion, related to job or money or freedom or any number of other ways to rationalize it. But we all know that *by far* – most abortions are for convenience. People will protect their pleasures at any cost, including murder (taking a life when the mother’s life is NOT in danger).

    “What about social justice and welfare? I know that you wish to protect a human ‘life’ before it begins in the womb, but how interested are you in protecting and improving human life once the birthing even has taken place?” We are commanded to care for others in need. This does not mean our love for our neighbors should be taken advantage of. Many people take advantage of the generosity of our nation. Love can also be expressed by helping the person in need raise themselves up, regain their self respect and do honorable work if they are able. Keeping entire generations of *able bodied* people dependent on assistance *as a way of life* rather than during a time of need is the worst kind of slavery. It is oppression for the sake of control (aka getting their votes in order to stay in power).

  • Erika

    Never thinks for even a minute, abortion is not murder and has never ever been murder. To define abortion as murder reduces a pregnant woman to a mere vessel who has no rights of her own. It also shows that your claim to be “pro-life” is a complete and total lie. It is also extremely stupid.

    Quite simply, if abortion is “murder” then there can be no abortions ever – even to save the life of the mother. There are pregnancy complications which do kill and have no cure other than to end the pregnancy. If the fetus has reached the point where it is viable, then ending the pregnacy is no problem. You deliver the baby and hope for the best. Sometimes premature babies do not make it though.

    If the fetus hasn’t reached the point of viability, under your asinine definition than there is no choice but to simply watch the mother die – and then guess what, the fetus dies as well. So you pro-life idiots (and there is absolutely no other way to put it) would in the name of being so pro-life would actually kill mothers and babies in the name of “saving babies.”

    Of course, you pro-life idiots try to claim that those types of pregnancy complications never happen – they do. It happened to my older sister who I love very much. If you really think that to show your “pro-life” bonafides that my sister should have been buried along with my nephew (which would have prevented my niece from being born), you are not only a complete mysognistic idiot, but completely heartless as well.

    You mysognistic “pro-life” idiots would investigate women who just lost their babies through miscarriages for a possible murder charge. By saying its illegal to kill a fetus, a woman going through what is already the absolute worst time of her life could go to prison if some asshole of a judge decides she didn’t eat the right foods while pregnant or something. That is how completely and totally heartless you anti-abortion jerks really are.

    Now please leave me alone before I get really upset. I hate rainy weekends so I’m already not in a very good mood. But I really hate self righteous mysognstic jerks who talk pro-life when their actions say anti-woman.

  • aadila

    “Do you see how the statement proves itself to be false?”

    Not really, no. It does not. The same truth is self evident when we discuss the term “absolute”. It is a symbolic representation that you, subjectively, identify as absolute. It is however, a relative term. One only runs into logical problems by arguing there can be any absolute moral truth, because such requires an observer; by nature observation is subjective.

    It is hence a relative approximation of what we loosely define as absolute…as with absolute zero we get close, very close, but it is not possible to measure absolute zero in any empirical way. In fact, its very existence is irrational. Morals too are relative to our observational status. Though dialectically we may have both absolute and relative moral truths, the universe is not one that seems to function on absolutes.

  • Reynardine

    Ah, Thinknot! That’s your problem! Your mind is so open your brains have fallen out!

  • Aron

    Think,

    That’s called ducking the question with obfuscatory sophistry.

    Either answer the questions, or don’t. But do not expect me to take you seriously if you choose the latter.

    I’ll be waiting.

  • Think A Minute

    Aron: You’re not ready for my answers yet. Remember I said you don’t care about my opinions, at least you shouldn’t care. What you (and I) care about is Truth. Everybody has an opinion. Most are meaningless because they have no basis in Truth.

    What do you think of aadila’s statement that “Thus truth cannot be absolute.” Do you agree with it? Is it absolutely true? Do you see how the statement proves itself to be false? In philosophy it’s called a self refuting claim. By claiming the statement to be true, the person actually disproves it. It’s like saying “I don’t exist.” But I had to exist in order to say I don’t exist.

    Also, don’t assume that you will never be able to convince me of your position by using logic and reason. My mind is completely open and I don’t know what your position is yet. I realize I was not born knowing all truth. I learn from people like you all the time. That is if you give me compelling reasons. Not opinion.

    I used to think abortion was not murder. I needed to believe it in order to maintain the lifestyle I wanted to live. Then someone asked me a series of questions that I could not answer without contradicting myself. It was embarrassing, but he was merciful. He didn’t convince me that abortion was murder. He lead me to convince myself. I had no other choice but to agree, or live with the fact that my life made no sense.
    Are you still with me?

  • aadila

    Criminals are great moral absolutists. How many criminals in their heart of hearts think they are bad people? The moral absolutist can always retreat into self-satisfied silence, i.e., they had the moral _right_ to steal/perjure/defame/harm!

  • Erika

    a college student who fancies herself a legal expert is a possibility, but la americana has the sound and feel of someone who is just started her first year at Liberty or Regent School of Law.

  • aadila

    I flat out ghetto ripped them.

  • Reynardine

    Aadila, bless your heart, you have learned not to feed cotton candy to the trolls.

  • aadila

    “Or did I take a logical approach that is irrefutable?”

    No, not really. You did not.

    Your entire argument was predicated on false supposition and mixing up who said what. You made an ignorant and offensive comment about my religion, and remain unable to sustain any of your claims.

    Your appeal to unnamed “philosophers” suggests you are a third year student at Orel Roberts University who excelled among his six classmates at debating Western Philosophy. But here we usually try to pin down specifics of who we are referring to: Nietsche, Marx, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Jung, the Holy Bible or whatever reference you wish to appeal to.

    You are bating the question and leading to only two outcomes. Don’t you see that by positing the existence of both relative and absolute truth, you create subjective relativism with regard to the question? Point of view is what we are discussion, not truth itself. Even the word truth is a symbolic representation of what you, subjectively, identify as “real”. Your very question points to its inherent nature as dependent on point of view. Thus truth cannot be absolute.

  • Aron

    La Americana,

    I usually respond from my phone or from my computer at work. When there’s nothing else to do, I like to debate with righties like you.

    And Think a Minute, first of all, my name is Aron. One ‘a.’ Please use the correct spelling.

    I am also willing to use logic and reason, but I also realize that no matter how much of either I use, I will never be able to convince you of my position.

    I’m also still waiting for you to respond to my questions. The onus is on you, friend. Not me.

  • aadila

    Let’s say a black racist who hated white people burst into a home of white pedophiles with the intent of beating them, simply because they were white.

    But upon entering the home he saw the white pedophiles in the midst of a horrible crime. Acting heroically he stops the white people from their crime and saves the children. Thus we have a person who is acting on wrong intent — i.e. racism — stop someone else from acting on wrong intent — the pedophiles. The white pedophiles legitimately claim they were attacked by a racist, and unfairly targeted because of their race. The black assailant, who had no knowledge of the pedophiles’ activities, intended to harm the white people but ends up saving the children. Who is absolutely right and who is absolutely wrong in this example?

    And I would thank you to keep your bigoted comments about nihilism to yourself. La Americana, you are obviously as ignorant of other people’s religions as Think a Minute is, and if you are going to go to all the trouble of hating on another person’s religion perhaps you could at least get your facts straight? Nihilism is a western bigoted stereotype of my religion and it is very offensive.

    One could easily question the strange Christian practice of ritual cannibalism, for example. Why do you people eat the Christ anyway?

  • Erika

    *sigh* – la americana sounds like someone who majored in pre-law and is just starting her first year of law school who thinks that she just already knows everything there is to know about law because she can cite a dictionary definition even if she can’t actually understand what that dictionary definition actually means.

    If that is true, and I’m sure it is because its classic arrogant 1L behavior – you’re soon learn better. In law there is no black and white. Oh sure, it may seem like there is some fine lines there – I mean, if you just look at say the opening of the First Amendment “Congress shal pass no law” and what could be clearer? Of course, if you actually do know the law regarding say “the freedom of speech” you know that Congress in fact can pass laws infringing the freedom of speech. Millions of trees have died to make Supreme Court opinions and federal reporter volumes taking what seemingly is a very simple command – no laws infringing free speech – to make it extremely complex. People have even gone to prison for pure speech activity.

    But even within your dictionary definition, if you somehow think that is clear, you simply do not know anything. What you think is clear is in fact anything but clear once lawyers and judges get a hold of it. See, your defintion actually includes several concepts each of which is way more complex than you could possibly realize unless you have spent some time in actual practice working on actual cases. No, simply reading cases is not sufficient – you really have to work on something. In law school, everything sounds so simple (because most legal concepts ultimately are not that complicated in theory). Once you get out of law school, there is not a theory simple enough that judges and lawyers can’t make it incredibly complex.

    And honey, if you really are a 1L good luck at finding a job. You are going to need it.

  • Reynardine

    La Americana, if Thinknot is your idea of brilliance, I have a pack of five-watt bulbs I can sell you…cheap.

  • La Americana

    You are brilliant, Think a Minute.

    I admire that you posited such basic questions that show the disconnect here by many of the posters. You showed no condescension, emotionality, or crudeness in the way you posited your questions.

    Your questions demonstrated logic, sought specific consequential answers to specific courses of actions from specific logical questions, and provided a rationale analysis of that person’s answer.

    Think a Minute said, on August 23rd, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    “Aadila: You have left the realm of rationalism. Truth cannot be both absolute and relative. Right leaning philosophers claim that truth is absolute, while left leaning claim it’s relative. But no philosopher claims that it is both …. Relative and absolute are opposing concepts. A thing cannot be both itself and its opposite at the same time…”

    Think a Minute said, on August 23rd, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    “Aadila …. But even your own view (let’s leave Rey out of it) is internally inconsistent. Why? Because you contradicted yourself at this point: “If his actions are motivated by harmful intent, and harm himself and others, then generally these are wrong. “ Here’s the logical fallacy you have committed: If there’s “no absolute right or wrong” then how can it be “wrong” to act with harmful intent?

    Exactly. Since Erika and Aadila like to discuss legalese entries, but lack any in depth knowledge of law in the U.S. and its relevance to Normative Ethics Theories because I very much doubt they have anything to do with the legal industry – with the exception of Reynardine – “intent” is defined as willful, purposeful, with the intent to cause, or knowing with substantial certainty that something will happen. If a person knows that his/her action is harmful, will cause harm, or he/she desires or intends the “harmful” result of a specific course of action, then that is an absolute wrong. There is no grey area as some of these posters suggest. Typically, a damn nihilist would support a theory of relevatism.

    Relativism certaintly would not support the ideals of fairness and justice, as are SPLC goals, because these words are based on absolute concepts of right and wrong.

    Very neutral. Stay classy Thing A Minute, but I cannot say that for the majority of posters on SPLC.

    Anyway, I really don’t know how the heck these people manage to post on SPLC all day long at all hours of a business day (are many of you typing stuff from your office computer or are you semi-retired? Because I surely won’t be posting on this website to respond to anyone anytime soon so don’t think I’m ignoring you, I certainly am not afraid to debate).

  • Think a Minute

    Aaron: Can we talk. There has to be some common language for us to communicate. Can we adopt the rules of logic and rational thought as our common language? As a Christian, everything I believe has to obey these rules, since God created logic and a mind for me to use.
    You say I’m entitled to my view that abortion is wrong. My view about abortion is irrelevant. No one cares about my view of abortion, or welfare, or social justice,or the death penalty. In plain English “it don’t matter”. What matters is HOW did I get there. Did I just dream it up, did I just follow all those other right wingers? Or did I take a logical approach that is irrefutable? I could tell you I took the logical route but I might be full of baloney. It’s up to you to agree with my reasoning or tell me where I went wrong, using logic and reasoning. But don’t tell me your preferences, or what you feel. Because I don’t care. And you don’t care about mine.
    Is that acceptable?

  • aadila

    “You have left the realm of rationalism. Truth cannot be both absolute and relative. Right leaning philosophers claim that truth is absolute, while left leaning claim it’s relative. But no philosopher claims that it is both.”

    You believe in moral absolutes, therefore as soon as you are confronted with any challenge to your pre-determined subset of facts, your first instinct is to recoil like a hyacinth smacked with a hammer.

    To claim something of itself is good or evil requires an observer. Good and evil reside in your mind, as concepts you have developed to explain your world. They have no more ultimate reality than you do.

  • Reynardine

    Aron, vicious people want babies to be born so they can make them suffer. What do you expect? Meanwhile, for sugar that doesn’t melt in your teeth, try hard jaggery for coffee and rock candy for tea.

  • aadila

    Hold on Aron, Think thinks it’s possible to defend the position with logic. Let’s give Think a chance to think. The entire argument was based on false premises and mistakes before, so maybe this time we’ll have a logical presentation of views. I don’t think it’s possible but we’ll see if that truth is absolute.

  • Think a Minute

    Aadila: You have left the realm of rationalism. Truth cannot be both absolute and relative. Right leaning philosophers claim that truth is absolute, while left leaning claim it’s relative. But no philosopher claims that it is both. If you try to google “truth both absolute and relative” you will get no results. It’s nonsense. Relative and absolute are opposing concepts. A thing cannot be both itself and its opposite at the same time. It’s like saying “I can’t speak a word of English.”

    So I’m now forced to go back to the participants in this thread and ask the question again, is there anybody out there who can answer the question “is truth absolute (always true no matter what, when or who) or is it relative (depends on time, place or point of view)?” Or put another way, “is there such a thing as right and wrong?” Serious thinkers only, please.

    Aaron, I will respond to your excellent questions.

  • http://www.twitter.com/AronL Aron

    Wow. I thought I was familiar with undeserved smugness, and then I met the intellectual ‘powerhouse’ that is Think a Minute.

    While I’m no big fan of relativism, (I’m a Hegelian and Jamesian Pragmatist), in terms of Truth and Right, there is no absolute.

    There is always a gray. Hell, with enough sophistry and philosophical gobbledy-gook, you can prove that one Adolf Shickelgruber was correct in his plot to remove the Judaic peoples from the world.

    Think, you are absolutely entitled to your views that abortion is wrong. I cannot and will not deprive you of that.

    But don’t for a minute think that that means you have any right to deprive anyone of their right to undergo the procedure.

    (In addition, might I ask your position on human conflict? The death penalty? Artificially induced death in general? What about social justice and welfare? I know that you wish to protect a human ‘life’ before it begins in the womb, but how interested are you in protecting and improving human life once the birthing even has taken place? I eagerly await your reply.)

  • Think a Minute

    Case in point.

  • aadila

    “That is – either A: truth is Absolute or B: truth is Relative. Well what’s the 3rd alternative?”

    Well, if truth is relative, then truth can be both absolute and relative. So there really is no either/or proposition in absolute and relative. There is absolute, or absolute and relative, meaning that truth may be absolute in some cases and may be relative in others. So really, your argument begins with a closed premise, i.e., there are only two outcomes. There are more than two.

    “Funny how a little logical prodding brings out the inconsistencies in your collective views.”

    False premise. You based your observation upon an incorrect statement, so your conclusion is false. This is an open forum without collective views.

    “Here’s the logical fallacy you have committed: If there’s “no absolute right or wrong” then how can it be “wrong” to act with harmful intent?”

    A given action can be right or wrong depending on the circumstances, without moral absolutes. There are exceptions, in other words. Thus there is no inconsistency.

    “Another inconsistency: You said “Unlike Christians, we don’t adhere to ANY form of dogma” and then later you said “And Karma always comes around — the longer it takes, the harder she hits” Is this not a dogmatic statement? Or how about when you said “a value system which by definition does not accept the supremacy of science” Are you issuing two clearly dogmatic statements here.”

    Hold on, you are mixing things I said with things others said. That’s not fair.

    First, I never said “And Karma always comes around” because as a buddhist, I don’t look at karma this way at all. Karma means action. The fruits of action are distinct from karma. It’s what you do. It’s like confusing Mary and Jesus and I would never say that.

    Second, dogma is instruction from without. Buddhism is a human centered religion that looks inward to determine right or wrong. So there really is no dogma you can point to as having any lasting grip on buddhist thought.

    And yes, if science shows something I believe in is and obviously absurd creation myth or antiquated scripture that has no bearing on the present day, then yes I would be inclined to go with science. At the same time as I accept others who see it differently, it is rational and sane to rely upon science over superstition, and I tend to think most people agree.

    I hope this clarifies some misperceptions you may have about buddhism.

  • Reynardine

    Aadila, I told you not to feed these trolls cotton candy. They then engage in disgusting amounts of oral defecation, like this.

    Thinknot, you’re wrong. Your hypothetical white person is wrong. And you’re bad Americans.

  • Think A Minute

    Aadila: Thanks for your response. You say that I’m narrow if I think there’s only A or B. That is – either A: truth is Absolute or B: truth is Relative. Well what’s the 3rd alternative? You yourself chose B “I do not believe there is an absolute right or wrong” while Reynardine, who claimed to speak for you, chose the opposite. “I’ll save Aadila the trouble. The guy is flatout wrong.” Funny how a little logical prodding brings out the inconsistencies in your collective views.

    But even your own view (let’s leave Rey out of it) is internally inconsistent. Why? Because you contradicted yourself at this point: “If his actions are motivated by harmful intent, and harm himself and others, then generally these are wrong. “ Here’s the logical fallacy you have committed: If there’s “no absolute right or wrong” then how can it be “wrong” to act with harmful intent?

    Another inconsistency: You said “Unlike Christians, we don’t adhere to ANY form of dogma” and then later you said “And Karma always comes around — the longer it takes, the harder she hits” Is this not a dogmatic statement? Or how about when you said “a value system which by definition does not accept the supremacy of science” Are you issuing two clearly dogmatic statements here: “karma ALWAYS comes around” and “science is supreme” while at the same time denying that you adhere to ANY form of dogma? And are you also claiming that there’s no such thing as right or wrong while simultaneously saying that it’s “wrong” to act with harmful intent?

    Think a minute before answering and answer rationally, not emotionally. I’m trying to get you to see how your logic is fatally flawed. Undoubtedly, some of your Colleagues will react with their feelings instead of their minds.

  • aadila

    By the way Think a minute, your worldview seems exceedingly narrow if you think that there are only A or B choices in your example.

  • aadila

    Think a minute,

    No, I do not believe there is an absolute right or wrong. But this should not be confused with amorality. Since I am a buddhist it would be impossible to describe my morality without explaining my religion, and I since I have no wish to convert you to my religious views I will refrain. But for buddhists morality is a question we look inward to find answers for. To know what is wrong as a buddhist it requires a deep self awareness and understanding, which is very different in philosophy from Abrahamic religions where conduct is guided according to God’s will and commandments. This is why we meditate and observe very strict precepts, not because we will be punished, but because through our own actions we end up punishing ourselves. These are really not easy concepts to understand so I am simplifying them grossly. Generally if one’s intent is wholesome, and one’s actions benefit the self and others, it is generally “good”, but this is not an “absolute right or wrong”.

    In the case of your example, of a bigot, I would view his actions as coming from ignorance. When we hate someone else, we hate ourselves. When we are intolerant with others, we are intolerant with ourselves. So bigotry is not an “absolute” wrong because who is most harmed is the bigot. If his actions are motivated by harmful intent, and harm himself and others, then generally these are wrong. Certainly he may see that what he is doing is right from his point of view. He may find out otherwise when at some future moment the actions he took come back to him, either through a lawsuit, hostility from others, jail time if he harms someone, or even being born to the race or creed that he in this lifetime he has devoted himself to hating. Thus I would approach this person with compassion and attempt to point to the root cause of suffering, which is ignorance. SInce I too suffer from ignorance, how can I call his conduct wrong and mine right?

    In real life, morality is most often a grey area. While many people look outward for their morality, to a commandment or absolute moral code, I personally do not find this to fit with what I have experienced, and think in many cases conduct based on a belief in such moral absolutes merely obscures other wrongs which may not be immediately visible.

  • Reynardine

    Thinknot, I’ll save Aadila the trouble.

    Unfairness is unAmerican, and that guy is flatout wrong.

  • Think A Minute

    Aadila, thank you so much for your dispassionate reasoned response to my question. I’m encouraged. I can work with you. Would you agree that there’s such a thing as absolute wrong? That is, if something is wrong, it’s always wrong, even if the person doing the wrong is merely practicing according to his individual conscience? Before you answer, let’s create the scenario that there’s a white supremacist who is practicing gross bigotry and discrimination according to his individual conscience. Would you say that what that person is doing is wrong, or would you say that you should be tolerant of him and just accept that you might not share the same view as him?

    Please understand, I’m not endorsing the guy, I’m asking you if what he’s doing is absolutely wrong, that is, it’s always wrong and there’s no time or circumstance that could be described that would make what he’s doing right. I need a succinct answer: A) yes, what he’s doing is always wrong or B) no, what he’s doing could be right depending on his own individual point of view. A or B please.