'Well, At Least We Don't Have Suicide Bombers...'
Since my part-time blogging recommencement, the comment boxes have heated up, and familiar faces have reemerged. Rhology is a Christian with whom I had an extended dialogue several months ago, with each of us lobbing three-thousand-word posts back and forth. Today, he posted a pithy provocation in the comment box for “A Position Declaration: Economically Synopsizing My Worldview.” In that short meditation, I argue that, because our species is ignorant of moral truth—or, at the least, no moral code has been proved correct—it is incoherent for any individual’s moral opinions to be inflicted upon other individuals. The best analogy with which I can come up relates to colors. Suppose that I consider red to be the best color. Further, suppose that “Bill” considers green to be the best color. Because “best color” is not something that can be proved objectively, it would be utterly incoherent for me to demand that Bill recognize the superiority of red. In the face of factual ignorance, everybody should be entitled to create an opinion vis-à-vis best color. The same goes for morality. As such, in the comment box, I rail against moral authoritarianism, taking both Islamofascists and Christofascists to task for their attempts to inflict their arbitrary views on others. Rhology took exception to the comparison, and wrote the following:
“Yeah, the biggest difference might be found in the fact that Christians don't strap bombs to their bodies to blow other people and themselves up. But that's probably just a piddling, minor issue.”
I felt a public response might be valuable.
Of course, Rhology, you must recognize that my comparison was not of methods but of mindset. That is, for both Christofascists and Islamofascists, there is an assumption that they have a right to inflict their arbitrary moral opinions on those around them. Although I have seen no coverage of pervasive suicide bombing in
Remember that, only a few centuries ago, the church was torturing and murdering innocent people (mostly women) for engaging in “witchcraft” and “sorcery,” neither of which, incidentally, even exists. There are many hysterical estimates out there for the number butchered, but I stick with the conservative 40,000. [Now that we are here, I often have wondered why, in light of god’s omniscience, he was not more careful about the Bible's phraseology. “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” is just begging for trouble, especially when there are nonconformists, heretics and ugly crones about.] Evidence suggests that, in 1252, when Pope Innocent IV authorized the use of torture during the Holy Inquisition to crush heresy, Christians embraced their newfound freedom with distressing alacrity. Soon, we saw the employment of the torture rack, thumbscrews and the hideous Judas Cradle. Mind you, although the pious did not do all the torturing, Christians of the day clutched and read the same Bible that you, Rhology, also treasure. If torture and murder cannot be laid at the Bible’s figurative feet, that tome certainly can be said to have inspired some of this. Before moving on, I have a question that I have been putting to several Christians lately: In your judgment—bearing in mind the innocence of the 40,000 executed for witchcraft—is it more likely that the torturers and murderers are now in hell, or chilling with the deity in heaven? Should you be lucky enough to go to heaven, would you want to spend eternity with the operator of a torture rack…with the person who manned the thumbscrews?
Enough with all that, though. As I said, that mostly was cleaned up by 1700. My concern here is what I have termed moral narcissism—that is, authoritarian moral imposition by a religious majority. The example I will use—perfect for its clear illustration and debaucherous nature—is
I know that I am biased, but I cannot help seeing my stance as much more accommodating than the Christofascists’. If you, Rhology, as a Christian, find sex toys to be immoral, you have every right never to buy or use them. However, if other people find them morally acceptable—and, dare I say, pleasurable—they would be allowed their (in your mind) “deviance.” For Christofascists, not only shall they abstain, they wish for the government to force everyone else to, as well.
In the battle of Christofascism vs. Islamofascism, none is more tolerable.