Saturday, June 16, 2007

Record Deficits?

This is a response to a blog by Kimba, a friendly political adversary. I wish nothing but the best for him and his family, which includes the rejection of “Keynesian economic theories.”


I agree! Bush has increased the size of the government. This is a no-no for a conservative of my stripe. Are you saying you want to shrink the government? Do you think this is what the Democrats stand for?

Bush’s tax cuts and corporate excise tax cuts have created record returns. The less people have to pay the more they put into the economy and the more the economy grows… which increases the tax base.

Bush is a neo-con, his ideology lives more so in the Democratic Party than mine, at least historically. Do you remember a post I did on what a neo-con is? I quoted The Neocon Reader as saying:

“…Although neocons are proud to have broken in many ways with the post-Cold War consensus, they can reasonably claim that their ideas have deep roots in early American and British history, and in policies advocated by American presidencies such as John Quincy Adams and Theodore Roosevelt, and by British prime ministers Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair. As such, and because of the quality of the neoconservatives’ research and advocacy, their fundamental ideas are likely to survive changes of control of the White House.

“So, too, with domestic policy. The programs advocated by neoconservatives in the fields of crime, welfare reform, and what has been called ‘the culture war’ did not spring fully formed from the minds of those who helped George W. Bush to fashion ‘compassionate conservatism.’ Instead, these ideas originated with Victorian reformers, were then buried under the mass of legislation that constitutes the New Deal of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and by President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, to re-emerge in the articles, pamphlets, and proposals of the neocons. In the area of domestic policy the ‘neo’ prefix may turn out to be as potentially misleading as it can be in the foreign policy field (or at least too all-encompassing to describe what neo-conservatism is about.

“But we must begin our discussion of the development of neoconservatism with a disclaimer. As David Brooks notes in an essay included in this volume, ‘If you ever read a sentence that starts with “Neocons believe”, there is a 99.44 per cent chance everything else in that sentence will be untrue’.”

Basically all the people you lash out at on this blog are self-admitted “New Deal” people. Is your party going to keep the tax cuts where they are or raise them? Your main runners for the Democrats are wanting to put a tax on oil companies. Question is:

“will this raise or lower the price of gas?”

When your party puts the clamps on the 27-percentile, they contribute less to 401k plans in matching funds for the companies they own. How does that help the common man? They raise the price of the goods they make to absorb the increased tax-burden. How does this help the common man? When Bush cut the corporate tax, less corporations moved overseas. Outsourcing declined. This helped the common man. You should consider what will allow for the economy (which is in overdrive right now – even with all the problems worldwide).

You are not considering the deficit to GDP margin either, which is a sure sign of your political bias. This bias covers up an important fact… that is:

Clintons Deficit Worse Than Bush’s

On average, Bill Clinton’s deficits were larger than George W. Bush’s. On average, the Clinton deficits over the first three years of that administration were much larger than Bush’s. The 2004 deficit, adjusted for inflation, is ranked 12th since 1940. The 2004 deficit, as a percent of GDP, is ranked 21st since 1940. The top five deficits run in this country happened while Democrats were in the White House.

The reason I mention all of this is because, this past Friday, the president released his economic report and proposed budget for fiscal year 2004. The document forecast a $304 billion deficit. This number, of course, was seized on by the media which trumpeted it as, “a record deficit.” In fact, I haven’t seen the word “record” thrown around by the media this often since the Grammy’s.

Last year I discussed the economic fallacy called “deficit attention disorder.” That is the tendency of the Washington media to focus on these deficits as an end in themselves, rather than as a symptom of a recession. The old nostrum goes this way: Deficit spending crowds out private investment; this crowding effect drives up interest rates; and these high interest rates are bad for economic growth. Supply-siders correctly reject this reasoning, pointing out that there is no correlation between deficit spending and high nominal interest rates, and in fact that high real interest rates tend to correlate with higher economic growth.

But that’s neither here nor there because the premise of the debate is wrong. Not only is the projected 2004 deficit not “a historical record” or “an explosion of red ink.” It’s not even close. The numbers that prove this are available from the Office of Management and Budget. They are charted below.

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Assuming these numbers are accurate, and they are, from whence has arisen the myth of Clinton the deficit hawk and Bush the king of red ink? It has arisen entirely in the realm of forecasted rather than actual numbers. Forecasts are a necessary part of public budgeting but they are — especially when projected a decade or more into the future — fundamentally guesses.

The media has compared a forecast of surpluses that was calculated while Clinton was president to a forecast of deficits which is being calculated now that Bush is president. However, in the real world, we find that the Bush deficits, when compared in inflation-adjusted terms, are relatively mild. And more importantly, since these deficits are being criticized because of their alleged effect on the overall American economy, when the deficits are presented as a percentage of GDP they are very small. For instance, the projected 2004 deficit as a proportion of GDP is 90% lower than FDR’s deficit in the year 1943.

Nations at war borrow money. This has always been the case. Not only is it necessary, but it is probably smart. It was smart when FDR and Truman borrowed money to win WWII; it was smart when Ronald Reagan did so to win the Cold War; and it is smart when George W. Bush does it to today to wage and win the war against terrorism.

I will post another link to an article that cuts through your myths that somehow the Democratic Party helps the little guy.

Anti-Bush Bias (in Black & White)

The 2007 edition of the report was released on April 17, with the media immediately seizing on the conclusion that “gaps continue to exist between black and white Americans.” What the media did not note, however, is that the current rate of black unemployment is lower than the average rate achieved during President Bill Clinton’s second term, and that black unemployment has dropped precipitously since the full implementation of President George W. Bush’s tax cuts in late May 2003.

Since those tax cuts went into effect, the rate of black unemployment has dropped 2.7 percent to just 8.3 percent. Comparatively, this statistic averaged 8.6 percent during Clinton’s second term.

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22 consecutive quarters of economic growth and expansion, 8-million jobs and surging tax revenues that outpaced projections by 300-billion. But the Democrats have attached the anchor to this growth, which will do nothing but hurt our economy (NRO article.) In this same article – just mentioned – we find the “pay-as-you-go” crowd exposed.

Pay-go, or “tax-go,” is used as a smoke-and-mirrors trick for raising taxes. The budget makes it easy to increase spending next year by offsetting the “pay” part of the equation by alleged savings over many years, while at the same time subjecting all tax extensions to a series of unattainable hurdles. For example, expiring mandatory spending programs and expiring tax relief are treated differently, so that existing spending continues to be assumed in the baseline (even after its expiration) while the extension of existing tax policy must be offset or receive 60 votes.

This is why Larry Kudlow’s article in January rubs in the face of naysayer’s like Lou Dobbs are, and will continue to be wrong:

….There’s also an interesting op-ed by Deputy Treasury Secretary Bob Kimmet (an old friend with lots of supply-side blood in his veins), who notes the positives of “job churn.” More than 55 million Americans, or four out of every ten workers, left their jobs in 2005. Since there were more than 57 million new hires that same year, this is good news. It also means that new hires exceeded employee separations by an average of 364,000 per month. Per month!

Eat your heart out Lou Dobbs.

The fact is, jobs continue to boom. So do real incomes, productivity, and profits. Economist Michael Darda points out that real wages over the first five years of the Bush expansion are actually growing more rapidly than over the first five years of the Papa Bush/Bill Clinton boom.

Meanwhile, unemployment today is only 4.5 percent. Federal, state, and local tax collections are soaring through the roof. Budget deficits are plunging. Inflation-adjusted GDP is averaging just more than 3 percent. Family wealth stands at a record of slightly more than $54 trillion. Total employment is at a record 146 million.

Stock markets, as you might have noticed, also continue to rise. They have done so, almost without interruption, for four years, on the shoulders of a remarkable surge in business profits — which itself is a function of the high-tech, knowledge-based product explosion.

These corporate profits, along with our record-setting stock markets, have enriched the more than 100 million investors who are participating in this prosperity. In fact, this America boom is spearheading a global economic surge. While the American free-market model is often derided as “cowboy capitalism,” imitation remains the sincerest form of flattery. And it isn’t just China, India, and Russia who are acquiescing to the worldwide spread of American capitalism. It’s also Eastern Europe and parts of South America. Heck, even the socialists in Old Europe — like France and Germany — are getting into the act by reducing individual and corporate tax rates to promote growth.

Note to John Edwards and other modern-day class warriors: The best anti-poverty plan is a growing economy, one that creates jobs and higher middle-class living standards. As free enterprise has been unleashed around the world, government planning once again has been rejected. This is the spirit of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, where he argued almost 250 years ago for free markets, free trade, and a very light touch with respect to taxes and regulations.

Poor Getting Poorer and the Rich Getting Richer

Undertaxed America

Taxing Us to Death


USA Today article

College graduates are experiencing the best job market in four years as a stronger economy leads more employers to ramp up hiring.

Employers expect to hire 17.4% more new college graduates in 2006 and 2007 than in 2005 and 2006, according to a new survey by the Bethlehem, Pa.-based National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Signing bonuses range from $1,000 to $10,000, with the average at $3,568. And employers reported plans to boost their starting salary offers by 4.6% over last year, nearly a full percentage point higher than increases for the classes of 2006 and 2005.

"This is the fourth year in a row that employers have predicted an increase in hiring," says Andrea Koncz at NACE. "It really is because of the economy and more demand. Companies are growing."

For example:

•Companies are ramping up hiring. Accounting and tax firm KPMG typically hires about 2,500 new graduates, but they expect to boost that by about 10% in 2007. Manny Fernandez, national managing partner-campus recruiting, says competition for students is intensifying. Signing bonuses are being used in some markets, he says.

•Some colleges and universities are also seeing more employers offering internship programs for current students: Employers extended job offers to more than 70% of their interns, according to a separate study by NACE.

At St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., students are landing internships at large companies such as General Mills.

"It's optimistic," says Sandy Amy, assistant director of internships in the center for experiential learning at St. Olaf. "They're finding opportunities. (Internships) give them the background they need."

•Some soon-to-be graduates are finding they can be pickier about the jobs they accept and can take into account other priorities such as flexible work schedules or similar benefits.

Ashley Hall, 21, is graduating in May from Boston College with a B.A. in accounting and already has a full-time position lined up with KPMG. She earlier had an internship with the company and was drawn there in part because she says they value work-life balance.

"As long as you are willing to put in the effort to interview and network, there's definitely a job market out there," Hall says.

Stephanie Lee, 20, of Milwaukee, is a junior at Marquette University who has already gotten some contacts from potential employers. She expects to graduate in May 2008 with a major in information technology and marketing.

"The outlook for IT grads is going to be great. I get numerous e-mails from IT professors with opportunities," Lee says. "It's very positive."

Sick as a dog and bored

The Good Ol' Days

I am at home sick, slept for hours on end... bored... looking at old Hockey Fights.

Sex-Ed Progressive Style (i.e., Democrat)

Secular Progressive/Liberal Morals are DANGEROUS!

Especially for Children!

Bill O’Reilly Talks About It

Dennis Miller Talks About It

Parents who do not get involved in this Left/Right problem will end up paying with their children’s health and mind.

….Sen. Steve Johnson, R-Fort Collins, signed the letter.

"This is ludicrous. Here we have a school that actually required students to attend an assembly where they were urged to try sex and drugs," he said. "Is that really the biggest challenge we face with today's youth – getting them to try sex and drugs? It's like the people in charge over there are operating in some alternative universe."

It was comments from forum panelist Joel Becker, a psychologist from UCLA, that sparked the most outrage.

"I am going to encourage you to have sex and encourage you to use drugs appropriately," Becker said. "Why I am going to take that position is because you are going to do it anyway," he continued. "I think as a psychologist and health educator, it is more important to educate you in a direction that you might actually stick to. So, I am going to stay mostly on with the sex side because that is the area I know more about. I want to encourage you to all have healthy, sexual behavior."

Lawmakers noted that majority Democrats in the state legislature have decided to impose a mandatory comprehensive sex education plan on students, but refused to adopt a Republican bill setting statewide standards for math and science knowledge.

"Instead of giving more Colorado high school grads a shot at succeeding in college or the job market, some House Democrats decided that kids needed to know even more about contraception," said Sen. Josh Penry, R-Fruita. "As we could see in Boulder, kids are already getting plenty of indoctrination on sex." ….

WND article

Another example of how parents are held in contempt by left leaning school officials.

….Administrators at North Newton High School in Newton, Mass., have held a seminar for students that explained how to know they are homosexual, but banned parents from attending.

"It's absolutely insane," parent Brian Camenker, who also is chief of the Mass Resistance organization, said. "I met with the principal. She told me no parents are allowed. She said only by invitation. I asked, 'Can I be invited.' She said, 'No.'"

The event, called "ToBeGlad Day," was the school's "Transgender Bisexual Gay Lesbian Awareness Day," and students were given a pamphlet that explains what it means to be "gay," tells students how they are supposed to know if they are "gay," and responds to the question, "Will I ever have sex?"

News of the event comes just a day after WND reported on a case at Deerfield High School in Deerfield, Ill., where school officials ordered their 14-year-old freshman class into a "gay" indoctrination seminar, after having them sign a confidentiality agreement promising not to tell their parents.

"This is very, very scary stuff," Camenker said. "The pamphlet also lists places kids can go to meet homosexuals. How would something like this affect a kid who might be going through a confused and vulnerable time in his life? Well the school isn't interested in what YOU think." ….

WND article

Hamas's First Order

Only When Trying to Kill Israeli's Can You Wear Mask

The United States better be ready to support our most precious ally in the Middle East. Because when a country makes this their first decree, we are in a whirlwind of trouble.

Herald Sun article

IN their first order since seizing control of the Gaza Strip, Hamas Islamists banned gunmen from wearing masks - unless they are shooting at Israel.

The masks have become commonplace in the Gaza Strip during weeks of factional fighting between the ruling Hamas movement and President Mahmoud Abbas's secular Fatah faction.

Both sides wore the masks to hide their identities.

“A decision was taken last night to prevent (people from wearing) masks,” Khaled Abu Hilal, a spokesman for the Hamas-controlled Interior Ministry, said.

Hamas made one exception, for militants carrying out cross-border attacks on Israel.

“Wearing masks should only be near the borders and in fighting the Zionist enemy, not in the streets and near people's homes,” Abu Hilal said.

(Little Green Football props)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Killing in the Name of Darwin

The Dangers of Darwinism

People use to have their tonsils pulled whenever they were slightly inflamed. In the 1930’s over half of all children had their tonsils and adenoids removed. In 1969, 19.5 out of every 1,000 children under the age of nine had undergone a tonsillectomy. By 1971 the frequency had dropped to only 14.8 per 1,000, with the percentage continuing to decrease in subsequent years. Most medical authorities now actively discourage tonsillectomies. Many agree with Wooley, chairman of the department of pediatrics at Wayne State University, who was quoted in one study as saying: “If there are one million tonsillectomies done in the United States, there are 999,000 that don’t need doing.”

In the Medical World News (N. J. Vianna, Peter Greenwald, and U. N. Davies, September 10, 1973, p.10), a story stated that although removal of tonsils at a young age obviously eliminates tonsillitis (the inflammation of the tonsils) it may significantly increase the incidence of strep-throat and even Hodgkin’s disease. In fact, according to the New York Department of Cancer Control: “…people who have had tonsillectomies are nearly three times as likely to develop Hodgkin’s Disease, a form of cancer that attacks the lymphoid tissue” (Lawrence Galton, “All Those Tonsil Operations: Useless? Dangerous?” Parade, May 2 (1976), pp. 26ff).

Ken Miller, 13 years ago, said, "the designer made serious errors, wasting millions of bases of DNA on a blueprint full of junk and scribbles. Evolution, in contrast, can easily explain them as nothing more than failed experiments in a random process."

ARN Article Link

The Science Daily article that the above ARN article links to has this to say:

"This impressive effort has uncovered many exciting surprises and blazed the way for future efforts to explore the functional landscape of the entire human genome," said NHGRI Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. "Because of the hard work and keen insights of the ENCODE consortium, the scientific community will need to rethink some long-held views about what genes are and what they do, as well as how the genome's functional elements have evolved. This could have significant implications for efforts to identify the DNA sequences involved in many human diseases."….

….The ENCODE consortium's major findings include the discovery that the majority of DNA in the human genome is transcribed into functional molecules, called RNA, and that these transcripts extensively overlap one another. This broad pattern of transcription challenges the long-standing view that the human genome consists of a relatively small set of discrete genes, along with a vast amount of so-called junk DNA that is not biologically active.

Thanks to the design theorists who predicted this outcome for the Intelligent Design theory, and for showing how this revelation refutes the prediction (yet again) that we should see if evolution is true. That is, useless genes and DNA.

"Junk" Science

Evolution Predicts “Junk”… Intelligent Design Predicts “Treasure”

A long trail of refuse is what has been left behind by the theory of evolution. From the many deaths because evolutionary theory taught that tonsils were vestigial, to stalled insight into the appendix. Now we have years lost in the study of what was known as “Junk DNA.” Many years ago I debated that this will be found not to be junk, but will be shown to be useful, and after the first Scientific American article about “Junk DNA” not being Junk DNA, I was using it as an example to bolster the Intelligent Design argument:

For instance you can find a response here that I wrote in March of 2005:

A Response to “Starboy”

The Above Response is from this Larger Debate

It is nice to see more and more INFORMATION (pun intended) come out on this, and the prediction made by Intelligent Design leaders in 1994! (Taken from Evolution News Article):

As far back as 1994, pro-ID scientist and Discovery Institute fellow Forrest Mims had warned in a letter to Science[1] against assuming that 'junk' DNA was 'useless.'" Science wouldn't print Mims' letter, but soon thereafter, in 1998, leading ID theorist William Dembski repeated this sentiment in First Things:

[Intelligent] design is not a science stopper. Indeed, design can foster inquiry where traditional evolutionary approaches obstruct it. Consider the term "junk DNA." Implicit in this term is the view that because the genome of an organism has been cobbled together through a long, undirected evolutionary process, the genome is a patchwork of which only limited portions are essential to the organism. Thus on an evolutionary view we expect a lot of useless DNA. If, on the other hand, organisms are designed, we expect DNA, as much as possible, to exhibit function. And indeed, the most recent findings suggest that designating DNA as "junk" merely cloaks our current lack of knowledge about function. For instance, in a recent issue of the Journal of Theoretical Biology, John Bodnar describes how "non-coding DNA in eukaryotic genomes encodes a language which programs organismal growth and development." Design encourages scientists to look for function where evolution discourages it.

(William Dembski, "Intelligent Science and Design," First Things, Vol. 86:21-27 (October 1998)

If these scientists were coming from the perspective that everything was “designed” to begin with, they wouldn’t merely write off unknowns as “junk.”

Who Did the Founders Quote the Most?

Here I am going to put some links to other blogs that may help the Poli-Sci student better grasp the post below:

Seperation of Church and State?

Does the Left = Communism and the Right = Fascism?

Is the Constitution a Secular Document

The Founders Sources

George Washington pointed out that the two foundations for political prosperity in America were religion and morality, and that no one could be called an American patriot who attempted to separate politics from its two foundations: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion [the Christian faith, denomination] and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars.”

In 1811 a court made a ruling, which was subsequently cited by the U.S. Supreme Court. That court declared: “Whatever strikes at the root of Christianity tends manifestly to the dissolution of civil government.”

Our Founding Fathers delivered to us a system of government, which has enjoyed unprecedented success: we are now the world’s longest on-going constitutional republic. Two hundred years[+] under the same document – and under one form of government – is an accomplishment unknown among contemporary nations. For example, Russia, Italy, France, and other nations underwent revolutions about the same time as the American Revolution, but with very different results. Consider France: in the past 200 years it has gone through seven completely different forms of government; Italy is now in its 51st; yet we are still in our first.

Where, then, did our Founding Fathers acquire the ideas that produced such longevity? Other nations certainly had access to what our Founders utilized yet evidently chose not to. From what sources did our Founders choose their ideas? An important question!

Political science professors at the University of Houston asked this very same question. They rightfully felt that they could determine the source of the Founders’ ideas if they could collect writings from the Founding Era and see whom the Founders were quoting.

The researchers assembled 15,000 writings from the Founding Era – no small sample – and searched those writings. That project spanned ten years; but at the end of that time, the researchers had isolated 3,154 direct quotes made by the Founders and had identified the source of those quotes.

The researchers discovered that Baron Charles Montesquieu was the man quoted most often by the Founding Fathers, with 8.3 percent of the Founders’ quotes being taken from his writings. Sir William Blackstone was the second most-quoted individual with 7.9 percent of the Founders’ quotes, and John Locke was third with 2.9 percent. Not surprisingly, the researchers discovered that the Founders quoted directly out of the Bible 4 times more often than they quoted Montesquieu, 4 times more often than they quoted Blackstone, and 12 times more often than they quoted John Locke. Thirty-four percent of the Founders’ quotes came directly out of the Bible.

The study was even more impressive when the source of the ideas used by Montesquieu, Blackstone, and Locke were identified. Consider, for example, the source of Blackstone’s ideas. Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws was first introduced in 1768, and for the next 100 years America’s courts quoted Blackstone’s to settle disputes, to define words, and to examine procedure; Blackstone’s Commentaries were the final word in the Supreme Court. So what was a significant source of Blackstone’s ideas? Perhaps the best answer to that question can be given through the life of Charles Finney.

Charles Finney is known as a famous revivalist, minister, and preacher from one of America's greatest revivals; the Second Great Awakening in the early 1800’s. Finney, in his autobiography, spoke of how he received his call to ministry. He explained that – having determined to become a lawyer (then a noble position) – he, like all other law students at the time, commenced the study of Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws.

Finney observed that Blackstone’s Commentaries not only provided the laws, it also provided the Biblical concepts on which those laws were based. Finney explained that in the process of studying Blackstone’s, he read so much of the Bible that he became a Christian and received his call to ministry.

Therefore, while 34 percent of the Founders’ quotes came directly out of the Bible, many of their quotes were taken from men – like Blackstone – who had used the Bible to arrive at their conclusions. So the percentage is much higher.

Numerous components of our current government can be shown – through those early writings – to have their source in Biblical concepts. For example: the concept for the three branches of government can be found in Isaiah 33:32; the logic for the separation of powers was based on Jeremiah 19:9; the basis for tax exemptions for churches was found in Ezra 7:24; and on and on!

Whether you like it or not, this is a nation founded on and defined with the Judeo-Christian moral philosophy realized. The further you reject this philosophy as a whole, the closer you get to the guillotine of the French revolution.


Donald S. Lutz, The Origins of American Constitutionalism (Louisiana State Univ. Press; 1988);

David Barton, Original Intent: The Courts, the Constitution, & Religion (WallBuilders Press; 1997).

Is the Constitution a Secular Document?

I am going to post here two debates I had (many years ago) about whether the Constitution is a secular document or not. I will then post above this work done by two poli-sci professors about the percentages of quotes from sources that influenced the Founders thinking on Constitution.

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Debate 1

Excerpt From Some Questions Posed To Me On the Internet

Big Steve, great question! Let us see it again: “How does the Constitution not work for a secular state?”

I cannot answer for Adams and his personal reasons for stating: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other"; alternatively, Adams is not my concern. Your question, however, is.

Secularism believes in evolutionary origins, this is easily demonstrated by the high-profile secularists who signed the Humanists Manifesto’s I, II, and III. The Constitution and the previous Declaration of Independence are based on a moral premise, which is based in the doctrine of creation and a Creator. Why is this important?… as all the framers were creationists in some form or manner – even the Deists.[1] Let me explain, and please take the time to thoughtfully understand these lines of thought Big Steve, thanks.

In religious thought, i.e., theistic thought, rape is wrong at all times and at all places. However, if evolution were true in any form, rape is not wrong at all times and at all places. Rape will always be morally wrong to the Judeo-Christian theist. The only “moral” in evolution, if you will, is the survival of the species (or fittest). Notwithstanding, rape might not be wrong in our evolutionary the future, nor might it have been wrong in our evolutionary past if it allows for the species or fittest to survive. Allow me to expound my thought.


Morality can be adequately explained simply as an evolutionary device for survival. Tribes that treated each other morally (kindly, justly, honestly, etc.) survived; immoral tribes died out. Killing, stealing, raping and lying didn’t work. Morality can be explained by natural selection, “the survival of the fittest.” There’s nothing more to it, nothing mysterious at all about it.


This common objection reduces morality to a biological instinct, learned through trial and error. Cooperation “works” so it becomes “the herd instinct.” This reduction of obligation to instinct simply does not square with our moral experience. We do not experience morality as an instinct, but as a law which tells us which instinct to follow in which situations. No instinct is itself always right, but morality is always right, therefore morality is not just an instinct. Rather, morality transcends instinct, as sheet music transcends the notes on a piano. Instincts are notes; the moral law tells us how and when to play these notes

It is also logically impossible to reduce morality to biological instinct because that would be deriving more from less, “ought” from “is.” The premise or ground or source of morality for the instinctualist is simply “this is an instinct,” and the conclusion is “therefore this ought to be done.” but this syllogism is invalid unless you add the second premise, “all instincts ought to be followed.” That premise is obviously false and impossible, since our instincts often contradict each other.

The idea that morality is a matter of self-preservation is frankly absurd, as we often exercise moral judgments on issues that have no direct bearing on our personal (or societal) well-being, let alone our preservation. Another point is, “how can any culture be an absolute guide for morality if those who drive it have no transcendent reference-point.” The following story should elucidate:

The story is told of a man who stopped outside a clockmaker’s shop every morning on his way to work and synchronized his watch with a large clock standing in the shop window. One day, the owner of the shop got to talking to him and asked him what kind of work he did. Rather sheepishly, the man told him he was the timekeeper at a nearby factory, and that one of his responsibilities was to ring the closing bell at five o’clock every evening. As his watch kept very poor times, he synchronized it very morning with the clock in the shop window. The shop-owner, even more embarrassed, replied, “I hate to tell you this, but the clock doesn’t work very well either, and I adjust it every time I hear the factory’s closing bell!”

When movers and shakers in any given society have no moral absolutes to guide them, how can their culture claim to have any ethical integrity.[3]

Human beings in a given society might agree, for selfish mutual benefit, not to harm each other, but how does this social contract give any meaning to the words such as “rights,” “justice,” “fairness,” “right vs. wrong”? Os Guinness aptly states, “With the death of absolutes the prospects are grim for any lover of justice, freedom and order.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s maxim rings just as true today as it did in his day, “If there is no God, all things are permissible.” Even Voltaire had an inkling that social morality needed some objective basis, and may not have been entirely cynical when he said, “I want my lawyer, tailor, valets, even my wife to believe in God. I think that if they do, I shall be robbed less and cheated less.”

Michael Ruse and Edward Wilson in the New Scientist magazine say that they are the byproducts of evolution:

“Morality, or, more strictly, our belief in morality, is merely an adaptation put in place to further our reproductive ends… Ethics is seen to have a solid foundation, not in divine guidance, but in the shared qualities of human nature.”[4]

Elsewhere they wrote, “No abstract moral principles exist outside the particular nature of individual species.”[5] According to materialistic, or secularist thinking, the idea that there is a divine source of ethical absolutes and guiding principles for human society can be dismissed as a religious illusion; blind, godless evolution explains everything. This ties in with what Francis Crick called his “Astonishing Hypothesis”:

“‘You’, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules”[6]

This is the standard line now taken by atheistic biologists. Where, however, is the connection between survival and morality? If human beings come from nothing and are going nowhere, what is the sum value of survival,[7] let alone of having ethical standards in the process? Thomas Huxley conceded the point without blinking:

“The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist. Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and evil tendencies may have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than what we had before.”

If people are simply genetically programmed machines, detrained biologically or in some other way, why should we be concerned over the issues of justness and fairness, or feel any obligation to treat other human beings with respect? Scientist Rodney Holder elaborates:

“If we are nothing but atoms and molecules organized in a particular way through chance processes of evolution, then love, beauty, good and evil, free will, reason itself – indeed all that makes us human and raises us above the rest of the created order – lose their objectivity. Why should I love my neighbor, or go out of my way to help him? Rather, why should I not get everything I can for myself, trampling on whoever gets in my way? After all, I am nothing but a ‘gene survival machine,’ and my sole purpose is to propagate my own genes. The best we can do can be to come to some kind of agreement in our mutual interest along utilitarian [having regard to utility or usefulness rather than beauty, ornamentation] lines to live in peace, but if it suits us we shall be free to break any such agreement. Our behavior could degenerate to that which we see in the animal world – after all, we are just animals anyway”[8]

Judeo-Christian theism will always declare that it is morally wrong to torture children for fun at all times and at all places. Reductionist theories[9] of the mind can never say that at all times and at all places in the universe is it wrong to torture children for fun.

Stephen Hawking, who holds the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, Einstein’s chair, at a lecture given to a university crowd in England entitled “Determinism – Is Man a Slave or the Master of His Fate,” discussed whether we are the random products of chance, and hence, not free, or whether God had designed these laws within which we are free. In other words, do we have the ability to make choices, or do we simply follow a chemical reaction induced by millions of mutational collisions of free atoms? Alternatively, the Constitution is a document of liberation, of freedom. We cannot have this “freedom/liberation” in its ultimate sense, as with the words “justness” or “fairness,” if the reductionist view is true. Period.

Words like “rights,” “justice,” “injustice,” “fairness,” “right vs. wrong” lose their transcendent meaning and become merely selfish means to further the individual / society. Laws, then, lose there true – transcendent – meaning, and become the vessels of human selfishness and advancement. Laws, then, become opinions no greater than the opinion of any other man. A society that loses its grip on the ascendant moral values given by our Creator (as our Declaration declares) loses grip on the absolutes that bind us together as a people.

Our thirteenth president, Calvin Coolidge, knew that absolutes existed when he said: “Men do not make laws. They do but discover them. Laws… must rest on the eternal foundation of righteousness.” However, this thought is countered by the modern thinker as displayed in a comment made by John Dewey who said:

“There is no God [i.e., a law – truth – moral, Giver and Author] and no soul. Hence, there are no needs for the props or traditional religion. With dogma and creed excluded, then immutable [unchangeable] truth is also dead and buried. There is no room for fixed, natural law or permanent moral absolutes.”

Of course Dewey’s philosophy of thought pervades our academia, and we can see the chaos (callousness disregard for teachers, authority, and crime) that has ensued in education, as well as the declining levels of competence at every level. I hope we embrace the absolutes our Founders did, if only to keep the meaning behind “freedom,” “liberty,” and “justice” alive.

[1] Keep in mind that if you were to look up the word deist in lexiconal books of the time of the Founders, and how it was used in Webster’s original compilation of word definitions, it would mean something quite different than what Deist means today.

[2] “Objection,” “Reply” section from: Handbook of Christian Apologetics, by Kreeft and Tacelli, pp.378-379.

[3] This is the main catalyst behind the political-correctness movement and the multi-culturalism we find in the secular state, what’s called cultural relativism

[4] “Evolution and Ethics,” #208, 17 October (1985), p. 50

[5] “Moral Philosophy as Applied Science,” Philosophy, 61 [1986], p. 186

[6] The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul, p. 3

[7] This is an important question!

[8] Nothing But Atoms and Molecules?, p. 21

[9] Reducing the mind to natural / biological interpretations only

Debate 2

Big Steve [second response],

Preamble to the Constitution:

We The People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare [goodness], and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Amendment XIII is the Amendment against slavery. Now, the words “liberty,” “justice,” and “[goodness],” were used. Alternatively, Big Steve, is slavery a wrong? Is it unjust? Yea or nay? These words and concepts have a “moral oughtness,” or obligation to them and their concepts.

Now, I have mentioned that all, I repeat all, who signed the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were creationists, in other words, they rejected evolution (evolution has existed for well over 2000 years, I have already posted about this in this thread in response to someone else).

“Preamble” to the Declaration:

When in the course of human Events it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.

Where do the Founders get the authority to “assume the Powers of the Earth?” What is the source for “Respect to the Opinions of Mankind?” How can they “declare the causes which impel them to the separation?”

“the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them.” They believed in Natural Law, which is implemented by God, the Lawgiver.

Alternatively, what were these causes… ultimately? Next paragraph of the Declaration:

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that the are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness “[general welfare].”

All this comes from their “Creator,” and are “self-evident.” The Preamble to the Constitution in fact, mentions the “Blessings of liberty.” Where do blessings come from? (Especially in the minds eye of our Founders.)

The Constitution is a document of “liberty,” “unalienable rights,” and the like. It is merely all of these put into official form to restrain the government from encroaching on any of these “self-evident” rights. Without the basis of Natural Law the Constitution couldn’t make claims to the “rights” of the people. You may not understand this, but the Founders did, for they believed in Natural Law.

Some excerpts from my paper (some additions to it have happened since I posted it on SB [Yes, I appeal to myself as an authority]):

Human beings in a given society might agree, for selfish mutual benefit, not to harm each other, but how does this social contract give any meaning to the words such as “rights,” “justice,” “fairness,” “right” or “wrong”?;

Words like “rights,” “justice,” “injustice,” “fairness,” “right” or “wrong” lose their transcendent meaning and become merely selfish means to further the individual / society. Laws lose there true – transcendent – meaning, and become the vessels of human selfishness and advancement.

Laws, then, become opinions no greater than the opinion of any other man. A law then, would simply be the opinion of the majority. A society that loses its grip on the ascendant moral values given by our Creator (as our Declaration declares), it loses grip on the absolutes that bind us together as a people.

Our thirteenth president, Calvin Coolidge, knew that absolutes existed when he said:

“Men do not make laws. They do but discover them. Laws… must rest on the eternal foundation of righteousness.”

However, this thought is countered by the modern thinker as displayed in a comment made by John Dewey who said:

“There is no God [i.e., a Natural Law, Giver and Author] and no soul. Hence, there are no needs for the props or traditional religion. With dogma and creed excluded, then immutable [unchangeable] truth is also dead and buried. There is no room for fixed, natural law or permanent moral absolutes.”