To add to David's response, I would encourage …

Posted on April 30 2016 6:38 pm
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Comment posted on Palin: It’s Perfectly Fine If You Want to Smoke Marijuana by Walter Scott Hudson

To add to David's response, I would encourage you to consider the difference between morality and justice. Though they are related, there is a crucial difference between the two. Justice balances the rights of each individual. Morality dictates how individuals ought to conduct themselves. Morality may dictate you should give to the poor. Justice does not, because what is yours is not anyone else’s until freely given. Marijuana consumption, unto itself, intrudes upon no one.

Walter Scott Hudson also commented

  • I am not obligated to reconcile my position with another I do not hold. If you or Chris want to explore the "cognitive dissonance" of anti-smoking Nazis, you will have to find one to guide you.
  • I am not calling you or anyone a progressive. I have no reason to doubt your or Chris's intentions or sincerity. What I said was: the premise government ought to dictate behavior, if it can be argued to "benefit society," is a progressive idea. The problem is: if you embrace behavior modification to affect benefits you desire, the tactic is legitimized for applications you won't.
  • You're quite anxious to pin arguments you've heard elsewhere on me, something I would attribute to not listening if we weren't dealing in text. I am not making a "comparative harm argument." I am not making a comparison at all. I am evoking an example using alcohol because it is legal, and therefore available to use as an example. The point is not about which substance causes more harm. The point is that substances DON'T cause harm. The individual remains responsible for their actions. It is incumbent upon the user to moderate their use, and not mix it with dangerous activity.
  • I'm not sure if that is meant as an argument, or just mockery from a position of unjustified confidence. Assuming the former, achieving consistency is not as daunting or radical as you may think. The rightful complaint regarding prostitution is not the consentual exchange, but public indecency. Indeed, if prostitution did not occur publicly, how could it ever be prosecuted? Common law recognizes our right to public thoroughfares free of blight, perverts flashing their genitalia, and street-walkers picking up johns.

    There is no such thing as a victimless crime. If there is no victim, there is no crime. Prostitution falls into the same category as public defecation or urination, public intoxication, or otherwise disturbing the peace. There are victims in such cases.

  • That's what troubles me. It strikes me as grossly irresponsible to derive one's ethics from law rather than critical thought. I get that it happens. But I don't see why we should embrace it. Doing so reinforces the idea government ought to dictate morality, which it shouldn't.

Recent comments by Walter Scott Hudson

  • Hot Post: Atheist Richard Dawkins Fails Religion 101
    I see. You're inferring more from the statement than intended. There's some distance between pointing out that causality is an objective fact of reality and insisting that reality is limited to the objective.

    My point is that causality necessitates a reality beyond the objective. Since everything in the universe has a cause, so must the universe itself. That cause could not share the same nature as the universe. It would be inherently beyond our objective detection and have a super-nature with attributes traditionally regarded as divine. In order to be capable of creating all, it would have to be omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. It would have to be eternal, with no beginning or end, and thus without a cause of its own.

    If one is an objectivist, they have chosen to blankout this implication of causality, because it demands contemplating the subjective. This is why I can never call myself an objectivist, despite my reverence for objective morality in the realm of civics.

    The points you address about the God of the Bible are certainly provocative. I could (and indeed plan to) write a book on the subject. Within the constraints of a blog comment, I have to keep it simple. Suffice it to say, if there is a God, his divine qualities place him in rightful authority over all things. Tyranny is arbitrary, government by whim. The God of the Bible is not arbitrary. It's difficult to discern from a dry reading of scripture without truly studying it and seeking to understand the nuance of the original language in its whole context.

    Such study reveals that the condition of the world – "messed up" as it is – is accounted for in a manner which makes sense. It is precisely because God is not a tyrant that He granted us the capacity to mess up our world. A tyrant would have created a utopia populated by automatons. God created a world with volitional beings. As any parent knows, with volition comes rebellion. That rebellion could not be tolerated, because God is just (intolerant of wrong) and holy (the standard of right). Fortunately, being omniscient, He also had a plan to redeem us.

    Regarding Numbers, you don't see these rituals going on today. Much of the Mosiac law, though certainly divinely decreed, was nonetheless contextual. Recall that the purpose of setting aside the Israelites as a "chosen people" was to ensure the linage through which the Messiah would be born. Much of the Mosiac law and the relatively gruesome violence prescribed by God throughout the Exodus and beyond, had the effect of protecting and differentiating Israel from the tribes and nations around them – thus protecting that lineage. Again, we have to consider the context. These other tribes and nations were hardly paragons of virtue or champions of individual rights. They were most frequently idol worshipers who tossed their infants into sacrificial pyres. Such cultures have no moral claim to sovereignty, objective or otherwise.

  • Hot Post: Atheist Richard Dawkins Fails Religion 101
    I don't know a lot about Robertson, to be perfectly honest. What I do know, I'm not a huge fan of.

    I'm not sure I follow your point about character in opposition to argument. Are you saying an adulterer cannot argue against adultery? If so, I disagree.

    I can't speak for others, but believe Christians who argue that atheists are immoral are obviously not talking about objective morality. They probably aren't even aware of objective morality and hold to a false dichotomy between moral subjectivism and religious dictate.

  • Hot Post: Atheist Richard Dawkins Fails Religion 101
    I don't see where I said any such thing. The entire point of my post is that theism – which is inherently subjective – is nonetheless rational. Objective morality applies to the objective world. It applies to our dealings with each other and our environment. Objective ethics regards one man as equal to another. God is not an equal. A creator of the universe would inherently own it, just as a man inherently owns the product of his thought and labor. It is therefore within His prevue to use or dispose of that creation as He pleases. Fortunately, if you read the Bible without a bias against Christianity, you will find that God's love led Him to provide a means for our salvation in spite of having every right to dispose of us all.
  • Escape from New York: Young Taxpayers Flee Economic Ruin
    Intergovernmental bailouts are antithetical to division of power, insulating local and state constituents from the consequences of their elected officials' actions, and punishing taxpayers in other parts of the country without cause or consent. It's frankly evil.
  • The Audacity of Wealth: How Leftist Thugs Claim Your Money
    I'm not terribly interested in collecting more. I'm interested in a system which is as sensitive as possible to the people's intent. Everybody feels a consumption tax. And they have some control over how much they pay. Combine that with a balanced budget amendment and we only spend what people are willing to fund. That's how it ought to be. Done properly, that too would shrink the tax code industry.
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