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Jan 06 2012

M. Averick – Less of slippery slope and more of a cliff

Moshe Averick took on atheism producing an argument that is effectively summed up as “Atheism leads to Paedophilia and Beastiality“. This was a while back but in light of his recent addition I feel we should go back to setting his entire argument on fire. His older one consists of.

“It is axiomatic that in the world of the atheist there is neither morality nor immorality, only amorality.This is often misunderstood to mean that atheists have no values. That conclusion would clearly be erroneous. To associate atheism with amorality is not to say that atheists have no values, they certainly do; amorality is a commentary, not on theexistence of values, but on the significance of those values. Since in the atheistic worldview we are nothing more than upright walking primates, our value systems have no more significance than those of our jungle dwelling relatives. In the Darwinian view, the human is to the cockroach as the cockroach is to the paramecium. To imagine that we are something “more” is just that: a product of the human imagination.”


Let’s just say that I think rats are pretty awesome.

On the contrary. Our value systems are based on things humans have come to value and the idea that all human beings are equal irrespective of their gender, colour or creed. Our morality has exceeded the constraints of the bronze age god of the Abrahamic faith long ago and thus we see it’s practitioners consider us as immoral simply because we do not fear and loathe idiotic things.

How can one be so blinded as to think we are something less merely because we are an animal. Does Moshe ever wonder about the elegance of function and the biochemistry within a paramecium? Does Moshe really think that cockroaches are not wonderful? They certainly are. I may dislike them as a creature but their ability to survive rivals our own and is frankly astounding. Humans share a lot with the rat and the cockroach because we like them are consummate survivors. We may not like them because they spread disease and eat our food but I can atleast appreciate the complexity they represent as life. And what’s this Darwinian View? Darwin merely stated that organisms evolve by those that survive the rigours of life and those that survive are the fittest by the mode of their survival and their genes shape the next generation. Nowhere does it speak of value systems.

And the human value system. AKA rules and morality is a survival skill. Human beings are weak and useless on their own. In groups our survival rises exponentially mainly because we can specialise in our efforts and make technology that enables this. You need a specific number of hunter gatherers to have a stone chipper who makes hunter gathering more effective. You need a specific number of carpenters to help make houses but to support them you need wood cutters and to support them you need farmers and to get all the different people to support each other we need a system of rules that helps us get along. That is what morality and rules come from. It’s evolutionarily sound since societies without moral codes aren’t nice places to live in while ones with liberal accepting codes are seen as nice places to live in. For instance Somalia plain sucks and is like living in a post apocalyptic wasteland, Saudi Arabia while a lot nicer than somalia excludes a lot of people and it’s strict moral code means it is very exclusive but the UK has nice social rules that are accepting of a variety of people and thus is liked. The social acceptance of various groups in the UK makes it stronger than Saudi Arabia and Somalia and a much nicer place to live in because of that. It’s why people want to go to the UK to live and work and not to Saudi Arabia or indeed Somalia. 


Somalia AKA Call of Duty – Reality

It  would be absurd then for the atheist to suggest that any particular individual or society has the authority to dictate to all human beings what their values should or should not be; it would be even more absurd to suggest that the pronouncements of any individual or society obligates others to behave accordingly. For the atheist, morality is simply a word that is used to describe the type of system that an individual or society subjectively prefers. Each society establishes, maintains, and modifies its values to suit its own needs.

Humanist morality does not stem from a single source. It is a system of ideas that guide the way you live your life based on the fact that all men are equal irrespective of caste, colour, creed, genitalia or what adult they chose to spend the rest of their life with.

Morality is subjective. What one does in duress and what one does when not are entirely different things. I have no qualms about people who steal when they are faced with starvation. I cannot fault their logic, they steal to live. I have no qualms about those who have eaten human flesh to survive such as the Andean Plane Crash survivors. Lying is bad, but if my lie saves a life it is good. That’s the point of having a system of morals rather than a system of hard and fast rules. It’s that a system of morals guides us to use our minds to decide whether something is right or wrong without having to refer to a series of rules written by bronze age shepherds and applying their morality to what we have at present without applying any of our knowledge to it. 


There is nothing that atheistic societies are incapable of rationalizing and accepting – including the sexual molestation of children.

The sexual molestation of children is more common in history than today. If we use the Old Testament (I don’t speak Hebrew so cannot comment on the Torah directly but I am aware that the OT carries the same information) as a guideline one notices that slavery, rape and genocide are all perfectly acceptable behaviour. I am sure Moshe will defend slavery in one of two ways. Either stating that “people back then didn’t know any better” which begs the question as to how one can use a moral code written by people who didn’t know any better. Or by stating that the Jewish rules for slavery isn’t real slavery. Rape was treated as property crime and indeed women would be forced to MARRY their rapist… And this is without going into the idiocy of a Rabbi speaking about a moral code that protects genocide if done by people who were told to do so by God… In fact the people who made it a crime to molest children did so against the grain of the religious texts as not one part of Abrahamic faiths make a stance on paedophilia. By the text of the bible, the Catholic child molestation cover up was not wrong in any way shape or form bar the breach of the catholic priest rules on marriage.

So my argument is this.

1. Children cannot give consent as they are incapable of understanding what consent entails
2. Children who have sex with adults tend to do so out of force, compulsion, survival and psychological reasons.
3. Any adult forced to have sex out of force, compulsion, survival and psychological reasons is considered to have been molested or raped.
4. Therefore children cannot give consent because they are incapable of understanding what the consent implies and any person wanting to have sex with a child therefore uses force, compulsion, survival or psychological manipulation to get what they want. 


It is therefore a form of rape and rape is wrong because it breaches the basic human right to say who they have sex with and a right to not be forced to do so, since by definition a child cannot give consent, no more so than an animal can. 


Singer went on to explain that he is a “consequentialist.” For the benefit of the philosophically challenged let me explain “consequentialism” in a nutshell: If you like the consequences it’s ethicalif you don’t like the consequences it’s unethical. Thus, if you enjoy child pornography and having sex with children it’s ethical, if you dislike child pornography and having sex with children it’s unethical.In an article entitled “Heavy Petting,” Singer likewise gave his stamp of approval to bestiality. As a reward for producing such pearls of wisdom, he has been granted the privilege of teaching our children “ethics” at an Ivy League university. Moreover, he is by no means the only atheistic philosopher industriously engaged in greasing the precarious slope on which Western society totters. Hence, my “plea” to atheists, for the philosophical groundwork for the acceptance of pedophilia has already been put in place by such philosophers.

Again, bestiality is animal abuse. Animals don’t have the capacity to give consent. They are technically property with special laws pertaining to their living status. So while I am perfectly allowed to take my laptop outside and set it on fire and dance around it, I am not allowed to do so with my cat since my laptop is not alive and my cat is. We believe against unnecessary cruelty to animals because we can afford to do so and we don’t think it is the right thing to do. (Nothing in the OT about it either).

So it’s abuse of an animal.

The recognition that there is something inherently and intrinsically abominable in child molestation renders the act immoral,rather than merely not to one’s taste. Morality implies that there are principles of behavior that are part of the very fabric of reality; principles which Dr. Marks understands can only have significance if they come from God. Preference, on the other hand, is subjective and notoriously capricious. As in: Iprefer chocolate ice-cream over vanilla. I prefer jazz to hip-hop. I prefer that people have sex with adults instead of children and the family pet.

The idea that sex with a child is immoral is a relatively recent idea with plenty of literature dating back to the late 18th century about child marriage across different societies. In most of the world, a boy would be considered a man at any point between their 12th to 14th year and women would be considered of marriageable age immediately after menses. In fact I used to be Hindu. Child marriage is a major problem in Hinduism because it was acceptable until quite recently. I know my grandmother married my grandfather at a really “old” age of 15. I am sure Moshe would be pleased to hear that so i shall throw a specific shot at his faith.

The Talmud specifically mentions that a female child between ages 3 to 12 can be married off depending on her father’s wishes. The choice of anulling the wedding
was treated as quite abhorrent. Child marriage was common in Hassidic Judaism until we told them to knock it off.

Infact child marriage was only made illegal in Europe in the 1920s with a series of bans and many of them were fought quite strongly as anti-cultural and communist.

In plain English, this is a symposium whose goal is to facilitate the removal of Pedophilia from the American Psychiatric Societies official list of Mental Disorders (DSM). B4U-ACT has already coined a bland, innocuous, and inoffensive term to make the idea of child-sex more palatable: “minor-attracted persons.”  This phrase sounds almost pleasant, distinctly unlike those nasty and soon-to-be-politically-incorrect words like “pedophile” and “child molester.” (How does pedophobic grab you?) Not surprisingly, the featured speaker is Dr. Fred Berlin of Johns Hopkins University, a colleague of Dr. John Money. Child advocate, Dr. Judith Reisman disclosed that the conference is part of a strategy to condition people into accepting pedophiles: “The first thing they do is to get the public to divest from thinking of what the offender does criminally, to thinking of his emotional state…to empathize and sympathize…You don’t change the nation in one fell swoop, you have to change it by conditioning.”

Not all paedophiles abuse children. Many recognise that they have a problem and seek help for it. The entire point of the DSM is to catalogue diseases and the B4U-ACT is there for psychiatrists to speak to people who are attracted to children (Paedophiles are associated with child abuse so even a non abusing paedophile who admits it is bound to be lynched SOLELY because he admitted to a sexual obsession.). The entire point of such meetings is to produce a series of diagnostic criteria to improve on diagnosis and care for such conditions. The current DSM treats the action of child molestation as paedophilia but the attraction as not. Which is frankly idiotic. DSM V is planning to treat both the molestation and the attraction as different forms of paedophilia.

Many people molest children out of power rather than because they are attracted to children, are we to define them in the same category? Really? How stupid. The entire point of the DSM is to understand mental conditions such as this, categorise them and learn how to diagnose and prevent them. Not about making the public feel happy about them. And the DSM campaigns for mental health issues. I don’t see why we should punish people who merely have inklings. The difference between thought and action is huge (irrespective of what religious people think) and someone thinking about molesting children seeking help is admirable. Someone who acts on that is not…

The atheistic notion that life emerged randomly from ancient Earth’s prebiotic slime, coupled with the Darwinian belief that humans are no more than intelligent chimpanzees, leaves us morally bereft. In a society whose schools consider it a noble undertaking to teach a teenage boy how to use a condom, but streng verboten to teach him that God has forbidden us to steal or murder, how can one anticipate anything other than a gaping and ever-expanding moral sinkhole? While there exist real challenges in determining exactly what God requires of us in the moral sphere, let us, at least, agree on the following before it is too late, and move forward from there:

It’s not a notion. Evolution is fact, just like gravity. Stating that humans are no more than intelligent chimpanzees is like stating that NASA is filled with orbital planeteers.

Your version of god also accepts genocide as perfectly normal, rape as acceptable and keeping slaves as okay while not saying a single word on child molestation. The gaping moral sinkhole Moshe fears is utterly idiotic. We live in some of the safest societies on earth and murder is amongst the most harshly punished crimes. Murder is immoral because it takes away another human life against their will, not because some mythical being said so. We are amongst the most moral societies on earth at this point, lest Moshe forget what moral societies existed during the 60s where men could not be free because of the colour of their skin. Or during the 40s where men were killed because of their percieved inferiority. Whether they be jewish, gypsy, mentally ill, slavic or atheist. Whether they be chinese or indonesian, or burmese. (Remember readers. A lot of  not white people died in that war). Or during the 20s where women were denied the right to vote. Or during the various periods of time in the past where people followed religious law rather than the laws created by men and men did terrible things to each other.

What Moshe argues is a slippery slope argument. That somehow the liberalisation of sexual mores (I assume his slippery slope is going to start with allowing homosexuals to exist and find love) between two adults will turn into child and animal rape becuase he is is incapable of understanding the difference between adult and child and animal.

  • All men are created in the image of God and are therefore inherently and intrinsically precious.
All men have evolved. This is utter truth and can be verified by the genetics. On the other hand there is no evidence that a god of any sort has been involved with the creation of any human being. 

  • All men have been endowed by God with unalienable rights and among these are the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Which is why the Old Testament lets you keep slaves. The right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness were terms coined by humanists. It’s an extension of Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite
which was the slogan of the French Revolution

  • Thou shalt not murder.
This rule predates Judaism. My old faith is older than Judaism and has this rule in it. So did the ancient egyptians. You cannot build pyramids that that many years without rules against murder.

  • Thou shalt not steal.
Again. Every culture that predates Judaism has this. Must be some sort of cryptic time travel malarky… Or you know stealing reduces the survivability of a group of people and having a law against it is kind of good. 

  • Thou shalt not bear false witness.
Again… Predates Judaism.

  • Thou shalt not commit adultery, incest, or bestiality.
Predates Judaism… And I wonder how Noah had sex… 

  • Thou shalt not have sex with children, and if you do you will be looked upon as a disgusting and contemptible criminal and will be treated as such.
Not in the Old Testament. This is a new law. 

  • Thou shall teach these laws to your children.
We teach our children critical thought. The entire point of laws and rules is to understand that there is indeed some situations where murder is acceptable. If my future children are threatened then I do not think I shall have any qualms killing anything that threatens them. None of these laws come from any god, these are laws that have come about as you require them to run a society and more complex societies are more survivable and these laws help create such a society as the more complex a society the better it’s survivability. We see this historically when tribal leaders such as Temujin (Ghenghis Khan) came to the fore from a society of brutality and became emperors. You slowly see them shed their tribal ways and instead place laws and regulations often quite rapidly. Temujin himself after uniting the clans of Mongolia made laws to protect this coalition and resolve conflicts which would normally have caused these clans to go to war over. A society without these rules is a mess of tribes much like Afghanistan where the tribal families go to war over the slightest of insults because there is no rule that stops this kind of behaviour and no drive to create such a rule. 

Claiming that these rules came from a divine source of the abrahamic god ignores the fact that nearly every society EVER has had these rules because it is impossible to run one without these rules. It’s just that recently we created more rules (except the child molestation one – that is a recent addition) and removed some of the more pointless ones. Does Rabbi Moshe serious expect me to believe that the correct treatment for pimples is quarantine until they are sure it isn’t smallpox? Does Rabbit Moshe seriously think that Dapsone is against god’s will (cures lepers who used to be said to have been cursed by god for their sins like Uzziah) and that we should cast them out to be dressed in sack cloth? Does Rabbi Moshe think rape victims should marry their rapist? These are also the rules of his god.

Part 2 to come…

1 comment

  1. 1
    Arlo Kilpatrick

    Again, bestiality is animal abuse. Animals don’t have the capacity to give consent. They are technically property with special laws pertaining to their living status. So while I am perfectly allowed to take my laptop outside and set it on fire and dance around it, I am not allowed to do so with my cat since my laptop is not alive and my cat is. We believe against unnecessary cruelty to animals because we can afford to do so and we don’t think it is the right thing to do. (Nothing in the OT about it either).
    So it’s abuse of an animal.

    Animals don’t have the capacity to give informed consent, but they clearly don’t feel the need to do so among themselves for sex. Instead, an implicit consent, based on behavior and other signs, is enough to tell when an animal is open to sexual advances. I also think unnecessary cruelty to animals is wrong, but not all interspecies sex is abusive. For example, when the animal initiates sexual contact, there is clearly consent, and when no harm is done to either party, I find it hard to call that abuse.

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