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Honestly, I could just beat my head against a wall till the brains start flying out. May 10, 2012

Posted by Administrator in Apologetics, Catholicism, Cultural Pessimism, Idiots, wtf?.

Facebook is such a. . .place.  Some wonderful stuff happens, and some dreadful stuff.  But what is at once delightful and utterly maddening are the peeks one gets into the minds of others, and the stunning lack of thought and insight that often may be found there.

The Facebook status of a woman about my age, who also happens to be a church-going Catholic, also like me:

Just because someone has a different opinion than yours doesn’t mean they’re ignorant or stupid. Moral issues are a matter of personal choice, and we are all entitled to our beliefs. Respect mine, and I will respect yours. Just sayin’.

This status then proceeds to be “liked” by 20 other people (a rather high number for the circles we keep on FB), including 2 other “faithful” Catholics.

Many of you, especially anyone out Plonk mining, will say that the surface nonsense posited by the status above is either harmless, or a fine summation of what passes for critical thought in regard to social interaction and the origins of moral strictures.  And if you’re one of the 225 million lemmings with the cortical capacity of an artichoke here in the US, I guess that at least represents a form of consistency.  And if it came from the postings of a callow, 17 year-old idealist, I at least could then be patient.  To quote Churchill: “To be 17 and a conservative is to have no heart.  To be 37 and a liberal is to have no brain.”

But dammit all, the woman who posted this (who’s past 37) and the two other deadheads (also past 37) who endorse this are Catholicsand they know better.  But, much to my rage -as I teach a class on Christian Morality- they wimp out and go for the flabby, internally inconsistent and flat-out wrong, default-current-vogue belief that morality is entirely relative.




Look at what she said: “Morality is a matter of personal choice.”  That is utter bullshit that won’t stand 45 seconds of real scrutiny.  Don’t think so?  Try stealing her stereo.  She’ll then claim that I can’t do that.

“But I can.  My personal morals state that all property is public property.  What is yours is mine, so I can use it anytime I want.  You just said that morality is a personal choice.  OK.  I choose to believe all property is public. AND you have to respect that.  You said so yourself.”

At which point, she’ll make an appeal to higher authority, if for no other reason than our “moralties” are in conflict.  (And we aren’t really talking about moralities, but incredible vague and effectively meaningless ethical structures) Which is fine.  I can then point out that morality is not personal, but stems from something higher than just me and you, as you are now making an appeal outside of us for what is right and wrong.  What that thing is leads to further debate, true enough, though it is undeniable that her position is utterly untenable and meaningless.   So, for God’s sake, can we please get away from such flabby, useless pablum?  That statement is pathetic, and all the more so in that it came from a Catholic woman, college educated, who for-the-love-of-Christ OUGHT TO KNOW BETTER!!



1. Grundy - May 11, 2012

Sounds like you just have a different definition of morals that that lady. She might be going with morals in relation to a moral code. Different people have different moral codes.

Surely, you know that not everyone’s morality line up. To take a recent news item, about half the US thinks that homosexuality is immoral while the other half is perfectly fine with hot gay sex.

Administrator - May 13, 2012

Not everyone’s moral behavior lines up. Morality is morality. And polls? Please. Vox populi, vox humbug.

2. Grundy - May 13, 2012

How do you know morality is morality? If there is objective moral truth, how do you know if it is that homosexuality is immoral? How can you be sure that’s not just your subjective opinion?

Administrator - May 15, 2012

Re: your first question, I assume you mean “How do I know morality is objective, from outside of us?” The simplest response to this is the following: “From where do we get our laws, which are the most readily available codex of moral behavior?” Ultimately, one ought to answer this, “English Common Law.” And where did that come from? ” A combination of Saxon/Danish influence, and Norman/French jurisprudence.” The Normans can trace their juridical lineage to the Romans, and from there back to the Jews and Greeks. And where did THEY get it from? It keeps cycling on back to a source that transcends us, as individuals and as a society. The Jews claim the Ten Commandments. Aristotle (representing the Greeks) simply stated that these truths predate us; we simply discover and interpret them. (Interestingly, Aristotle, perhaps the greatest pagan thinker of all time, came to the conclusion that there must be One God without ever having heard of the Jews.)

Which ought to answer your third question. But allow me to entertain the second.

Assume for a moment that I am dealing with an uncle for whom drinking and gambling are serious vices. He simply cannot get enough of them, and he is gambling his way to financial ruin and drinking his way to physical ruin. (Note: This scenario is fiction)

Interestingly, genetic testing has shown that we -my uncle and I- suffer from a genetic predisposition to addictive behaviors. I’ve been strongly discouraged from gambling and drinking, as has my uncle. That was kind of a bummer for me in college, but I didn’t want to turn out like my uncle. For me, I need to discipline myself from these behaviors. I felt no need for the government to allow me free access without consequence; I simply acknowledge that I cannot indulge the same appetites as others due to my unique background. To do as my uncle has is to invite ruin. Society as now formulated would scoff at the idea that I get government assistance to allow me to indulge in my RIGHT to drink and gamble. And rightly so. I would instead be congratulated for showing discipline.

But when we are talking about sexuality, the reverse is true. We demand government intervention for our RIGHT to sexual expression in whatever form, no matter how dangerous. And there is no question homosexual expression is dangerous. 51% of all HIV infections are due to homosexual expression. (http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/aids-sida/populations-eng.php).

Of course, none of this even begins to address natural law issues regarding sexual expression.

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