The logical absurdity of a missing standard of absolute morality

So, I was reading this, and towards the end of the page there is a section about “defamatory language” that should not be used when referring to or talking about a person who is a professing gay. Right at the bottom, one reads:

Associating gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people with pedophilia, child abuse, sexual abuse, bestiality, bigamy, polygamy, adultery and/or incest.

My goal here is simply to show the logical absurdity of a worldview that rejects the idea of an absolute moral standard whilst, in the same breath, making absolute moral judgments.

How so?

Well, the paragraph presupposes that the following things are objectively immoral: pedophilia, child abuse, sexual abuse, bestiality, bigamy, polygamy, adultery and/or incest. They say it’s offensive to associate LGBT people with any of these. Why is it offensive? Well, because those things are “bad”.

Ok, agreed, they are. But here’s the problem: who says they are bad? You? Society at large? Science? Science cannot say anything about morality, because you can’t derive “ought” from “is”. The other options confine you in the realm of relativism. Therefore, LGBT people have no objective basis to claim that any of those things are inherently immoral, and therefore no objective basis to be offended by being associated with those things.

There’s only one worldview that provides objective moral values, and that’s the biblical one.

And in the biblical worldview, sex is only moral if occurs within heterosexual wedlock.

But here’s the good news:

God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

John 3:16

In “the world” and “whoever” are included all people. LGBT, too. Contrary to the claims of many, the reason why we preach the good news is out of love, not out of hatred. And the reason why we point out sin that is worldview-defining like in the case of LGBT is because when a particular sin becomes what you identify with at your core, then you have a massive stumbling block for believing the gospel. You would like that eternal life, perhaps, but at your conditions, not God’s.

But here’s the thing. God is perfectly good, and we are all flawed and inherently tending towards evil. So what God wants for us is better of what you want for ourselves.

The world has redefined love as “always being in agreement with somebody about their preferences and what makes them happy”. But it’s foolish. People are constantly drawing happiness and satisfaction from things that are harmful to them: drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, promiscuous sex, easy (but illegal) money, etc.

Love is having the courage of telling them that they are harming themselves; and that there’s a better option.

Choose better. Choose Jesus.

these [things] have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

John 20:31

Making the most of old devices

One thing I like a lot is to make the most out of old devices. I like that in an era where people keep throwing away, I manage to reuse. I like that whilst everyone else changes smartphone every 18-24 months, I manage to survive 5-6 years with the same one. I like that my 2010 MacBook Pro is still serving my wife well and my old PowerBook 12” G4 worked until 18 months ago. And still would if I could be bothered with changing the motherboard.

This week was time to put my old Minix Neo X7 onto a new job. It served me well from 2013, but recently became more and more neglected. I was only using it occasionally to watch RaiPlay (via VPN). Everything else was now available on the Smart TV (and more recently, on my Apple TV 4K).

Anyway, that’s no longer a problem, so the X7 kind of became obsolete. What to do with it? Sell it? It won’t sell. Let’s reuse it.

The Minix Forum was the right place to begin. Easily managed to get hold of a root patch for the version of the software my box was running.

With that, I was able to easily turn my X7 into a VPN router capable of 30Mbps, just needed to connect it to my router via ethernet, use my NordVPN app and subscription, turn on the WiFi HotSpot, and use this tiny app that takes care of the iptables rules for me.

And that’s how a 7-yo Android TV box still serves a purpose in 2020 😉

Reformed are Sola Patres, not Sola Scriptura

Like all disagreement with Reformed chaps, yet another one just resulted in the same pattern: «the church fathers held this and that» and «but the Reformers held such and such».

The Bible is hardly quoted, and when it is, it’s out of context and filtered through the presuppositions of the church fathers.

In this, they are no different than Roman Catholics. In fact, “pure breed Reformed folks” aren’t but Catholics without popes, saints, relics, indulgences, and marianism. Even their soteriology is more similar than they actually realise. And appeal to tradition is one of the main informal logical fallacies they are constantly guilty of.

Reformed are not Sola Scriptura. They are Sola Patres. They are so presuppositionally committed to the church fathers that it is no surprise their exegesis is never coherent nor consistent, but adopts multiple standards. As it is no surprise that they quote the fathers more often than they quote the Bible. They are slave to a fake intellectualism, having repudiated true wisdom in favour of man-made self-indulgent knowledge.

Let me break it to you: church fathers were wrong on a good number of things.

Adopt a sound exegesis, put the fathers aside, and understand the Scriptures.

The first book of public hygiene

Three thousands years ago there was a nation in ancient near east that was very different from all the others surrounding it. Of all the difference, strangely enough, they were on a whole different level when it came to hygiene. The name of the nation is Israel and their hygiene rules are recorded mostly in Leviticus and Deutoronomy, but also other parts of what Christians call “the Old Testament”.

Have a read.

Coronavirus: Italy vs UK

Though Italian, I live in the UK (probably not for much longer, but that’s a news for another time). And here in the UK everybody is talking about the great number of cases in Italy.

Italy, on the other hand, has been claiming all along that the rise in number of cases went hand in hand with the increased number of tests kicked off by the first cases in Northern Italy. Essentially, they started uncovering even mild or completely symptomless cases because of the extensive testing (the most extensive in Europe, for all I know).

On the other hand, having lived in the UK long enough to know how the locals think and behave, I was and still am sure that there are many more cases of coronavirus around in the UK than the ones accounted for. The average Briton doesn’t go to the doctor for a “simple flu”. If they have “mild symptoms” (their definition of mild is not even the same as the definition of mild an Italian would provide) of anything, they throw some paracetamol down their throat, and that’s it. Job done.

Now that the number of cases is rising in the UK too (36 as I write this), it turns out Italy had been right all along:

Most cases of most viruses will go uncounted because people tend not to visit the doctor with mild symptoms. According to research by Imperial College, it’s because different countries are better or worse at spotting the milder, harder to count cases.

Clearly, Italy is better at this task, for two reasons:
  • The SSN (Italian “NHS”) is proactive, not reactive
  • Italians are very (overly, sometimes) health-aware, which means they would contact doctors even with mild symptoms.

The high count of cases, many of which are actually symptom-less, proves that.

What’s worse is that though they keep saying «The NHS are well prepared for the coronavirus», they just unveiled the plan: they will do absolutely nothing other than isolate people and provide some help to those with breathing difficulties. The rest will be left up to the immune system. The usual excuse the NHS use so they don’t have to spend money on people.

Italy, on the other hand, has administered various antivirals, and one successful healing is reported to have been due to administration of an antiviral originally developed for the Ebola virus.

After all, it shouldn’t surprise that an institution willing to be judge over the death and life of children, should even care about people dying of COVID19.

Progressivism and IT companies

One thing that gets increasingly more difficult for me is the fact that in my line of work almost everyone is a hyper-leftist/progressivist/super-liberal of some sort. That means that we have diametrically opposed worldviews, even on the smallest things in life. And yet their worldviews are now shaping entire businesses policies, mottos, and ways of working.

What follows is a testimony from an interview.

The candidate had been asked salary expectations, which they provided. They then received an offer, which was not quite close enough to their expectations. So they tried to negotiate their way up.

This is what HR said to the candidate in the first instance.

I really appreciate you making a detailed case for increasing the salary offer, we do appreciate the wealth of experience that you have and this is something that was taken into consideration. We like to ask candidate compensation expectations as a check and balance to see if our ranges are in line with candidate’s expectations. We’ve found in the majority of cases they are. We believe strongly in internal equity and don’t offer salaries solely based on candidate’s expectations. We’ve found that could lead to a significant gender gap in wages, as male candidates have a tendency to negotiate much more aggressively, so I’m going to have to decline to negotiate. Please let me know if I can answer any other questions about working here

The emphasis is mine.

What’s really sad is that they think they really are smart and clever with these policies, and they have no idea whatsoever of how absurd their policies are. And when I say absurd, I literally mean that their view reduces to logical absurdity. Let’s see why.

The dirty trick about negotiation

The way they declined negotiation is unfair, because they started the negotiation the moment they asked for salary expectations. Regardless of the reasons for which they do it, asking the candidate for their salary expectations sets HR up as the first negotiator, giving them an advantage. It is reasonable to assume they wouldn’t offer the upper bound salary to someone whose expectations did not exceed such an upper bound. In other words, if a candidate does not understand their own worth and asks for a low salary, they will get what they asked for: a low salary. However, the one that asks for a high salary, they very likely won’t get what they asked for. Dirty trick.

The self-refuting logic

They believe in equity and don’t offer salary just based solely on candidate’s expectations. Well, that’s a silly thing to say to start with: no one offers salary based solely on one’s expectations, because otherwise everyone would be asking for astronomical salaries and they’ll get it.

The fact of the matter is that a candidate’s expectations are based around their perceived merit, which is corroborated by factual information about their experience and past career, and the output of the hiring process. Thus, unintentional as it may be, they seem to be adopting a double standard for how they set the first salary, and how they decide future salary increases (they said elsewhere: “We offer merit increases every 12-18 months”). The latter are based on merit, the former are not, or at least, not entirely, as they are constrained by other, contrary, factors.

Also, equity has got nothing to do with this. In fact, a principle of equity works directly against recognising one’s worth. You either pay someone for what they are worth, or you put everyone on the same salary because of equity. You can’t have it both ways. And this applies also if you just mean “equity per role”, because people that perform the same role, are likely to perform it at different levels of effectiveness and driven by different experience. And to be quite blunt, some people are just cleverer than others.

Gender gap?

We’ve found that could lead to a significant gender gap in wages, as male candidates have a tendency to negotiate much more aggressively, so I’m going to have to decline to negotiate.

In the attempt to try and avoid discrimination, their policy has indadvertedly led to discrimination nonetheless. I’d like to share that with you:

  1. Females are labelled as less able to negotiate
  2. Males are labelled as getting what they want by being aggressive negotiators
  3. Males are deprived of alleged gender-specific skills and the ability to put them to full use; negotiation, and ability to defend one’s worth in general, should be valued as a skill, not dismissed as a menace;
  4. All people, irrespective of gender, that are good negotiators are deprived of their skills; they are constrained to be a lesser version of themselves.
  5. Cases built on facts are dismissed for the fear of them being uniquely driven by built-in rhetorical aggressiveness, thus effectively discriminating towards those that merit higher compensation, but will have to oblige and be valued less, merely because they are, well, potentially aggressive negotiators.

I mean, that’s just a sick thing to say during an interview process.

That aside, the whole thing crumbles when you think they support gender self-identification. I mean, are they assuming my gender here?

Conclusion

The direct result of applying such self-refuting worldviews to the workplace is not recognising and rewarding worth fairly and justly. And it will only get worse, especially in the IT sector, where they seem to be way ahead of the curve in adopting such mentality.

That’s fallacious, bro

United Church of Christ. A denomination with a liberal bent. Which means they don’t reason from the Word of God. They reason autonomously.

I am willing to concede that there was a good intention behind the message, but it remains nonetheless fallacious, and it gives the wrong message to the unbelieving world out there.

The good intention was probably to try and rebuke Christians that fall into hateful behaviour. Whilst “hateful Christian” should be an oxymoron, the Bible testifies that Christians can be hindered from growing spiritually (1 Corinthians 3:1-3) after they have been born again (John 3:3), and remain carnal. Thus, however disgraceful it may be, it can even happen that a born again Christian falls in the trap of their own carnality and might display hateful behaviour. That’s shameful, and a disgrace as to testimony of the name of Christ. But a possibility.

The wrong message to the unbelieving word is to preach of a God that accepts people based on their own merits, and not on Christ’s merit. The Apostles tell us clearly that no one can be accepted by their own works, but only by grace through faith in Christ.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. (Romans 3:23-28)

An atheist can be as kind as they want all their lives, if they keep refusing the necessity of trusting Jesus for being saved, they shall not have eternal life. God will have no choice but to judge them, finding them still to be guilty outside of Christ. For all have sinned. Even the kind atheist. In fact, especially the atheist. What is atheism if not the ultimate act of pride, raising oneself above the God they know exist, and yet deny? (Romans 1:19-21)

The fallacy. God “prefers”. Nope, God does not have preference.

For there is no partiality with God (Romans 2:11)

and

For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all (Romans 11:32)

Justification before God is by grace through faith, lest one should boast.

For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

If you still think you can “be good enough” for God, drop it. It can’t happen. We have all broken God’s law. And a just judge will condemn the law breaker. But the same Judge was willing to bail us out, paying the price Himself on the Cross, and rising back to life to prove the payment was in full.

Would you accept that payment of your behalf?

Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. (John 20:30-31)

Einaudi’s piano music

Einaudi’s piano music remains one of the best things to help boost my concentration, especially whilst studying. It must save a positive effect on my neural pathways, as it seems to mitigates the horrible side effects of living a highly tech-exposed life with terrible levels of context switch and a myriad of notifications fired at me.

Palaeontology manipulated

Donald Johanson—the discoverer of Lucy’s kind, Australopithecus afarensis—has argued for decades that A. afarensis is our ancestor. However, most people are unaware that prominent members of the paleo-community reject afarensis as a valid species. These scientists have argued persuasively in favour of afarensis as a jumble of human (Homo) and ape-like (Australopithecus) bones. Ironically, this is precisely what Johanson had originally reported in his 1976 Nature paper, prior to his controversial ‘reassessment’ when he completely changed his story and presented Lucy’s kind as the ancestor to all ‘later’ hominins.

Read more.