bookmark_borderThe Forced Birth Movement Hates Real Religious Liberty – How to Use That Against Them by Making Abortion a Religious Right; Part 2

(Be sure to read Part 1 before starting this half)
The Rape Nonexception Factor
This is a good place to further explore the callous indifference of the hard right to rape that has a yet again naïve center-left wondering what is going on. In their twisted logic a woman who is truly Godly and virtuous cannot be raped to pregnancy because she will not dress or be provocative or intoxicated in a manner that entices a man to sexually assault her, and if one does he will not be able to achieve penetration because of her not being sexually aroused. In that theory only a woman who is sufficiently loose and in some way desiring the assault can be impregnated – remember if you will how during the 2012 election cycle some GOP pols made statements to this effect. The slander of women as the foolish temptresses is not at all novel, it goes back over millennia as per the story of sinful and seductive Eve and the apple. As vile as this deep patriarchal attitude appears to today’s ethical westerners, the traditional misogynist opinion was the norm in many societies until the modern feminist movement, and used to be used by defendants in rape cases. In some current societies a woman who was and claims to have been raped risks harsh penalties for her wantonness. At the theocon Liberty University female students who file a sexual assault complaint with school authorities are likely to find themselves charged with violating strict school rules banning sexual and related activity. It is the intent of many forced birthers to revive the legal concept that rape that can and does lead to impregnation is always a false claim. It follows that it is never justified to allow an abortion that resulted from a “rape” – incest included – that never truly occurred because she really wanted it.
Liberty for Godly Theocons, Ascendency over Secular Liberals
So do not be fooled, coming even close to actually stopping abortions is not the end goal of the forced birth agenda, making it legally and physically hard to do being part of a more important greater scheme. In concert with weaponizing abortion as an act worthy of criminalization, they use the sacred theme of All-American Religious Liberty to facilitate discrimination against those the religious right does not approve off, especially all those who are not life time monogamous heterosexuals, and allow theocon medical providers to deny reproductive services they do not approve of – do note that conservative calls for liberties religious and otherwise are carefully crafted to most favortheir liberties, for others not so much. Specific to the issue herein, SCOTUS has ruled in favor of red states that force abortion providers in violation of their free speech and religious rights and medical autonomy to inform clients of often false antiabortion information, while overturning blue state regulations that compel under handed forced birth clinics to openly inform their clients that they are expressly anti-abortion in nature because that breaches their free speech and religious rights. Got that one? And make divorce more difficult and less frequent. And don’t you pay any mind to how evangelicals denouncing masking and vaccines to protect schoolkids from covid yet further reveals how “prolife” Protestants do not truly care about young lives. And how the right demanding the liberty to not protect themselves, their children and others from covid as a prochoice position is directly contrary to their no choice about pregnancies.
Do observe that bringing deadly viruses to heel does nothing to bring back that old time culture. Banning abortions just might in theocon minds.
Not wanting to spill the beans when it comes to their true aims, birth enforcer theists I chat with are prone to start out saying they just want to save all the innocent preborn. When I ask why, they often claim it is murder. When I ask why they think that, they proclaim it a sin against God. After I point out the reasons that cannot be so – including how a million or so unborn naturally die off every day on the planet — they then resort to vaguely complaining about the decay of society and the need to bring the majority back to the good solid and sound traditional morals that are good for them. Exactly.
Up at the levels of the theocon power elites the protestations by Thomas, Alito and Barrett that the conservative wing of the court does not have a larger sociopolitical agenda in mind are very likely to be prove to be PR window dressing designed to mislead with comforting false assurances while they proceed to do what they need to do.
This giant sociopolitical power play centered on making abortion illegal started in the later 70s as the first born-again Baptist POTUS Jimmy Carter proved much too liberal for increasingly fearful and enraged evangelicals. To their growing horror they realized that the second rock and drug driven sexual revolution of the 60s and 70s they so loath, plus the similarly odious new wave feminism, were settling into being the national norm and their permanent sociosexual nightmare. Roe v Wade being a big part of the problem. The evangelicals and hardline Catholics had to suppress their age old acidic theological enmities to better face the growing cultural and political secular threat, and turned to their great grandfatherly hero and divorcee Reagan who rarely attended church. And liberalized abortion regulations when governor of California. Then the mediocre preppy Bushes. And now their manly man Trump who as their misogynist, racist, hard talking and chronic lying King Cyrus does their God’s will never mind his boorishly indecent, adulterous persona.
To sum up what theocons are up to, being a minority the largely white religious right is trying to force convert the nation into a theocratic Christian Dominionist republic in which the once traditional and dismally normal, and now radical and drearily oppressive, hard right mores are imposed on the majority for their own good. It is a classic and anti-democratic Tyranny of the Minority that cares not one wit about the opinions and desires and well-being of those they desire to bring to societal heel. Nor do they truly care about the legitimacy of SCOTUS among the American majority that theocons believe should all become theocons, and those who do not need to be under their wise thumb – what they do fear to some extent is a backlash of the majority that may for instance expand SCOTUS to negate a hardcore bench, but they have to sink or at least cripple RvW so they must run that risk. They cannot care because if they give any ground their project of national domination is moot. All the sincere stories by women who have had to obtain abortions often at great effort, or not been able to obtain one sometimes with terrible consequences, mean little to ardent abortion opponents no matter how trying the circumstances up to rape and incest because what happens to nonconservative women has no import to them and threatens their success (such stories are important for swaying fence sitters and rallying the troops as the help normalize the procedure). The women’s marches? They mean nothing to them. There is therefore no compromising. And to be fair the prochoice side cannot give any ground from their side when it comes to early term abortion — either women are full class citizens, or they are reproductive wards of the state once sperm merges with egg inside their no longer sovereign bodies.
The incredible, reckless extremes to which the theocons will cheerfully go have been laid bare by the Texas stratagem that employs citizens as cash collecting birth enforcers, forming a snitch society characteristic of the authoritarian regimes theocons pretend to despise as they work to set such up.
How Theocons Did It
A big reason a disciplined minority movement has gotten so far is because they are doing one thing very right — voting at high per capita rates — while a major portion of a perpetually electorally slack center-left has treated voting as a maybe will do it or maybe not option, rather than the urgent civic duty it is. Young adults are particularly likely to not vote. As a result theocons outvote the rest of us by about 10% per head, enough to reinforce the right leaning bias of the Senate and electoral college, which in turn allows the GOP to better control the election system – this is why the demographic predictions of permanent and solid Emerging Democratic Majority predicted a couple of decades ago has yet to come to pass. Thus a White House the theocons hold about half the time while winning the popular vote only once, a closely divided Congress that flips back and forth, a 6/3 SCOTUS, and most states run by increasingly fanatical Republicans. The one thing theoconservatives do dread is the center-left finally getting their electoral act together and making the Democratic Party the dominant party of the nation and most states, and if necessary reformulate the Supreme Court to bring it more in line with majority opinion.
How We Blew It
In contrast to the theocon’s methodical and effective, offense-based operation to deny sexual and reproductive rights as part of a relentless, mammoth cultural war, the center-left has treated abortion as an important but not really extremely urgent issue that has been largely left to a weakening SCOTUS minority to take care of thank you, using the same justification utilized in RvW half a century ago without producing additional logical legal arguments. That being such a bother what when ancient Ginsberg who refused to preserve the legacy of her seat by resigning in 2013 and her liberal court comrades would take care of matters. Right? The amazing failure of a less organized and too defensive women’s right movement to push religious rights as a key need for protecting the gender from forced birth has been as illogical as it is remiss to the point of being disastrous. A basic strategy of a movement is to go on the offensive by turning a core argument and the language of the opposition into a weakness that now hurts them more than it helps. But, like most factions, liberals like to live in a comforting cultural bubble within which such internally reinforcing progressive clique code terms as personal autonomy and sexual freedom are deployed to defend reproductive rights. Such speaking to the choir dialectics have obviously not done enough to undercut the theocon argument, a new direction is badly needed. Yet in the only major opinion journal article looking at using religious freedom to defend abortion rights I know of, a brief news commentary in The Atlanticin 2016. the reluctance of the pro-choice side to utilize the Establishment Clause of the 1stAmendment due to cultural discomfort was covered, and the ensuing improbability of such ever being done observed. Liberals just don’t like all that chat about religion and liberty, that’s right wing stuff. That would be fine if abortion rights were secure. But they are not. Just repeating the same old same old to the masses and to the courts is hardly likely to recover the situation. Time to adjust tactics and talk 1stAmendment. Take the right’s terminology such as their favorite word liberty, particularly religious liberty, and throw it right back at them. As per how gays used the conservative themes of family values and marriage to seize the legal and public relations high ground. And things are changing on an informal basis – I have been noticing of late that prochoice advocates are starting to ad-hoc state that having the intimacy of their reproduction coming under the control of the religious right as a gross denial of their religious rights, something I had not heard often before if ever. It was that combined with the deteriorating national situation, the rapidly approaching SCOTUS cases, and my work on the natural mass losses of the unborn, that caused me to produce this piece.
That abortion as a 1stAmendment religious right was not inserted into Roe v Wade from the get go is as understandable as it was a long term mistake. A half century ago the illegality of abortion was seen as a relic of old fashioned Victorianism mixed with male MDs having wanted to knock midwives out of business. Most mid 20thcentury doctors were in contrast horrified by the constant stream of women into the health care system suffering from botched abortions, with some 200 dying each year. And among religious sects only the Roman Church was consistently forced birth, Protestants being all over the map even among the evangelicals. So there was little or no thought given to addressing the religious issues back in the day. Since then forced birth has moved to front and center to the CathoProtestant theoconservative struggle to reorder the national society, and it is nearly entirely their thing. And the reliance on one section of the Constitution, the 14thAmendment, has proven dangerously narrow. So hitting back by going on the attack when it comes to the religious and health aspects of the confrontation has become obvious and imperative.
How to Win
I am not a lawyer, but one does not have to be one to know that a basic legal strategy is too present a case that is broad-based and multi-faceted as possible. For one thing, that maximizes the possibility that at least some or one the arguments seals the legal deal and wins the day. Even better, multiple lines of argument can reinforce one another, making the entire package more difficult to dismiss. Consider the following. A possible fear of citing religious freedom as a defense of abortion rights is that theocons could then use that precedent to promote religious freedom as justifying discrimination against the LGTBQ, and those seeking reproductive services. But that premise is weak because of the lack of harm to the bigot. When someone does not want to provide service to a person who is not a monogamous heterosexual, they are not actually physically harmed if they are compelled by law to do so. For example, if — as once was very common — a person holds a sincere belief that blacks or Jews are in some manner defective in the eyes of God, and that justifies their refusal to treat the latter equal to whites, then having to do so because of the Civil Rights Act does not result in real damage being done to the bigot. So the CRA is constitutional. If a pregnant woman is forced to go through her entire pregnancy, then she may die or be badly injured – hundreds die from pregnancy in a given year, compared to about a dozen from early term abortions. Medical exemptions that allow those threatened with injury or death to terminate pregnancies is far from sufficient because such often is not apparent until late in the pregnancy, when an abortion is itself risky to the mother. And her risk of serious mental distress from a long term pregnancy is many times higher. The medical risks of pregnancy alone are sufficient to ban forced birth. But the combined religious, privacy, and medical rights of persons to not be pregnant (however they became so) are most powerful when they are used to support one another.
If theists proclaim it is their religious right to not aid reproductive practices they think a God rejects, then by that criteria a pregnant woman can proudly declare that as far as she can see any overseer of a planet that has with no apparent concern of that entity terminated countless billions of preborn is fine with her doing the same. Or there is no creator in the first place. Religious liberty is not just about the freedom to be religious as one wishes the way one wishes, it is the freedom from theism. It follows that the state and/or snitches preventing her from controlling what is happening inside her is moral and legal madness and barbarity that violate her Constitutional rights in enormous spades. One advantage of advancing abortion as a religious right will be to force theocon judges to reveal the extremity of their quasi legal inconsistency if they so tilt the scales of justice in favor one set of theorights over the other, exposing their rulings as bad law. That sets up the legal brief for constitutionally overturning forced birth laws.
Late is better than never, and time is a wasting. So what needs to be done to recover the situation in court and voting booths? Along with the standards of full citizenship via autonomous reproductive privacy rights for women, begin to focus on the religious and medical liberties of handling one’s own pregnancy without interference from hardline theoconservative based government edicts or religious right empowered vigilantes as a key Constitutional right under the First Amendment. Do that by building the following case. The Founders who wrote the document did not consider the issue, and had an abortion ban been raised by Catholics it would have rejected as an obvious contravention of the 1stAmendment. Nowadays forced birth laws are an unacknowledged insidious conspiracy from one religious world view designed by right wing Protestants and Catholics to above all else to try to massively reformulate the national culture to fit their traditional faith-based image. Although they won’t openly admit that, there is abundant public theocon discourse to present as evidential exhibits. The religious nature of antiabortionism is directly exposed when they say that their – i. e. theocon – values concerning preborn life are behind the laws they advocate. As for the narrow religious view of birth enforcement a few scholars such Barbara Pfeffer Billauer (https://scholarship.law.wm.edu/wmjowl/vol23/iss2/6) are documenting how forced birthism is limited to a narrow set of religious doctrines, while many others have disagreed, going all the way back in history, rendering forced birth laws a violation of Constitutional religious right (in contrast to murder which is condemned by all mainstream cultures). It is time for the women’s right cause to get off its liberal sensibilities duff and pay close attention to such meticulous academic work.
So, when and where theocon birth forcers win their case, then only one religious opinion on the matter becomes legally operative on all fertile women to the exclusion of all others regardless of their a/theist opinion on their pregnancies. That when imposing that extreme hardline view on women of differing a/theologies denies them control and maximal safety of their bodies for extended periods. Such theologically idiosyncratic laws lack practical secular justification on the following grounds. The status of a zygote or an early term fetus as a human being is very dubious and held nearly entirely by theocons, and aborting them does not have significant adverse impact outside the body of the woman. Emphasize the sheer impracticality of enforcing a feticide ban, and actually suppress abortion rates to low levels even via draconian decrees. That means that birth enforcement is a waste of law enforcement resources that will make millions of women miserable and/or criminals while maximizing their medical danger from either pregnancies gone bad or the numerous illicit abortions that will inevitably ensue, all the while massively interfering with the deepest privacy of persons. Far more so than the mask and vaccine mandates most theocons are out of the blue rejecting as outrageous violations of personal liberty. This when there is a major effort to relieve an already overburdened law enforcement and court complex.
The deeply disingenuous and misogynist nature of government paternalism on such a colossal scale is all the more true because the persistent claims by anti-abortionists that their reproductive regulations are intended to serve the interests and safety of pregnant women regardless of her opinion on the matter, are the opposite of actual medical truth, and violate their religious and medical sovereignty when their religious views are compatible with ending pregnancies. Making this yet all the more true is that forced birth for “alleged” victims of rape/incest is part of a depraved project to decriminalize rape by legally rendering it something that cannot happen to a proper and chaste woman who does not want to have her virtue sullied, much less be impregnated. Racism is also involved in the forced birth movement because minorities are more opposed to and afflicted by abortion restrictions than whites. So is eugenics in that preventing white women from failing to reproduce is a goal of some forced birthers. Then there is the sexism of targeting the commonly discriminated against female gender with such draconian restrictions that no man has to put up with and many men which to impose. Because abortion banning laws are evidentially imbedded in a large scale religious sociopolitical agenda they blatantly violate the Bill of Rights on multiple fronts. Core rights that cannot be trumped by the religious right via government authority to force those who are prochoice nontheists or theists to give birth, just as the state cannot force women to abort their pregnancies.
As explained by Aaron Tang (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/10/26/middle-ground-abortion-that-originalists-should-embrace) the original Constitution, and the 14thAmendment in association with how most state laws at the time did not ban abortion before quickening, support the right to early term abortion.
The profoundly theistic nature of the criminalize abortion movement is not being entirely ignored. Some atheosecular organizations have filed amicus briefs explicitly to that effect in relation to the Mississippi case this December (https://www.au.org/sites/default/files/2021-09/AU%20Amicus%20Brief%2C%20SCOTUS%2C%20Dobbs%20v.%20Jackson%209.20.21.pdf; https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketPDF/19/19-1392/192717/20210917120823669_Dobbs%20Final%20Brief.pdf). These petitions do a good job of detailing some of the clear cut religious statements and court briefs by forced birth theists. They not detail how anti-abortionism is part of a greater open conspiracy to remake the nation. In any case the religion factor must not be a legal issue raised just by nontheists, it must be mainstreamed. (A large number of center-left entities have submitted briefs to the top court, whether any cite religious freedom and how I do not know.) Pertinent to that need, one of the briefs very notably cites a 1989 opinion by Justice Stevens that has gone little noticed noting that government bans of abortion violate the Establishment Clause, that is an important mainline legal precedent by a SCOTUS jurist without an a/theistic bias to build upon.
In tandem, cite the mass death of youngsters to disprove the theocon pretense that they are merely doing the urgent bidding of a life loving creator. Same for the absence of forced birthism in scripture. Their real aims are much more theosocietal. And further seize control of the rhetoric war by saddling the prolife cause with the stark term forced birth. That is exactly what they are trying to do.
Also remiss has been the mainstream news media that has been slack in investigating and exposing the deep, extremist motives driving the opposition to legal abortion, and from that informing the nation of what they are up to. Do not, for example, merely ask an anti-abortion activist or politician if they do not want an exception for rape and why, and when they issue the standard line that they think the fetus is precious take that as a complete answer and move on to the next query. That is exactly what they want. At long last pin them down by asking if they think rape and abortion laws need to be revamped as part of a greater scheme to remake society along traditional lines. That will put the forced birth advocate in a bind — if they say yes then they will reveal their real plans and provoke harder opposition, if they say they no they may turn off their base, and if they dodge the question they risk doing both. The media needs to get on the coverage ball and do their jobs.
Is going on the offensive by bringing true religious liberty to the forefront of the pro-choice argument, going to abort the forced birth campaign in the next few years? That by compelling abortion stoppers to realize that they – seeing as how they claim to put such high priority on religious liberty and therefore should respect those who claim to be expressing such when they have an abortion — are manifestly and erroneously violating the theoliberty of theoliberals and nontheists? Considering their boldly self-sided view of liberties to date best not to hold one’s breath. But do not wave away the medium and longer term potential to seriously damage and perhaps someday sink anti-abortionism in legal venues and public opinion. Consider how marriage rights for all couples worked for gays over years, not long decades. Most critical is for the solid majority who favor women being full citizens to vote at least at the per capita rate as do those who want to use reproduction to remake American women into unsullied subservient theocons. That can render forcing birth into a fundamental violation of a pregnant woman’s religious liberty and medical needs.
 

bookmark_borderEvidence that Doesn’t Demand a Verdict

I am a left-wing atheist who hates Donald Trump and who is disgusted with every White Evangelical Christian SHITHEAD who supports Trump and his evil racist, sexist, anti-immigrant basket-of-deplorables.
I spend much of my time critically examining the arguments of Evangelical Christian apologists like Norman Geisler, Peter Kreeft, and Josh McDowell.  I have come to the conclusion that the intellectual efforts of these apologists amount to stinking piles of dog shit.  They present mountains of unclear, illogical, ignorant, dubious, and false BULLSHIT as if they were presenting intelligent arguments, thus polluting the minds of millions of Christians by presenting paradigm examples of IDIOCY and STUPIDITY as if they were presenting examples of intelligent reasoning.  I have little respect for these Evangelical Christian apologists and significant contempt for them.
NEVERTHELESS, the recent criticisms of Josh McDowell as being a “racist” strike me as UNFAIR and UNFOUNDED.  So, although I have significant contempt for McDowell and for White Evangelical Christians in general, I am going to BRIEFLY DEFEND McDowell against what seems to me to be UNFAIR and UNFOUNDED criticism.  Even IDIOTS like McDowell can be good-hearted people who are decent and morally upright in character.  In any case, the EVIDENCE presented fails to justify the strong moral condemnation of McDowell.
Part of my strong reaction to recent criticisms of McDowell concerns the sloppy use of the word “racist” and “racism”.  These terms are at least ambiguous and so when used to criticize and to morally condemn a person should be CLARIFIED, at the very least.  Furthermore, since one of the meanings of these terms is particularly odious, to fling these words around in a sloppy and careless way is offensive and is counter-productive in the battle against racism and racial prejudice.

In my view, nobody should be morally condemned as being a “racist” simply on the grounds that he/she has said or done something that indicates racial prejudice.   Racial prejudice is wrong and should be called out whenever it occurs, but the reality is that virtually ALL white people have some degree of racial prejudice which on occasion influences the words and actions of a white person.
Furthermore, racial prejudice is generally NOT as evil and as harmful as the conscious belief that one race is superior to other races or that one race is inferior to other races or that some races are inferior to other races.  One of the meanings of the word “racism” is the belief that some particular races are inferior to other particular races (e.g. the belief that black people are morally and intellectually inferior to white people by nature, because of their race).
When people say that Josh McDowell is a “racist” this is a very strong moral condemnation of him because ONE meaning of “racist” implies a person who holds the belief that some particular races are inferior to other particular races.  But there is NO EVIDENCE that McDowell holds such a belief or advocates such a belief.  So, the use of the word “racist” about Josh McDowell is SLANDEROUS because it suggests a claim about McDowell that IF TRUE would justify strong moral condemnation, but this is a claim for which there is NO EVIDENCE.
 
THE OFFENDING WORDS OF MCDOWELL
Here is a tweet that provided a quote from McDowell that led to the moral criticism and condemnation:

Another person who was present provides a bit more extensive quote of McDowell:

 
MY VIEW OF MCDOWELL’S OFFENDING STATEMENT
First of all, it is patently OBVIOUS to anyone who has two brain cells to rub together that McDowell’s comment is about NURTURE rather than NATURE.  This is clearly NOT a comment about the genes or inherited traits or the natural character of black people.  This is CLEARLY a comment about how black children are generally RAISED or SOCIALIZED.  So, it is clear and obvious that this quote has NOTHING to do with “racism”; that is to say, there is NO EVIDENCE here that McDowell believes that black people all belong to a race that is intellectually or morally inferior to white people who belong to a superior race of humans.
To use this quote as the basis for condemning McDowell as being a “racist” is SLANDEROUS because ONE clear meaning of this term is that the person in question consciously believes that some races are inferior to other races, and in this context, that means holding the belief that black people all belong to a race that is morally and intellectually inferior to the race to which white people allegedly belong.
Second, it is NOT clear that McDowell’s statement is FALSE.  IF McDowell’s statement is in fact TRUE, then we ought to be cautious about morally condemning McDowell for making this statement.   Do we really want to go around morally condemning people for making TRUE statements?  Before people get too bent out of shape, they need to study the relevant FACTS and DATA about how black children are raised in the USA and about how white children are raised in the USA.  Perhaps McDowell’s statement is TRUE, or perhaps it is partially TRUE and partially FALSE, or perhaps it is totally FALSE.  Until one studies the relevant sociological FACTS and DATA, one should not presume to know what those FACTS and DATA show to be the current social reality in the USA.
Third, McDowell probably does deserve some degree of chastisement and criticism, because he probably made this statement on the basis of PREJUDICE and STEREOTYPE, rather than on the basis of sociological FACTS and DATA.  If McDowell had studied the sociology of black families and of the rearing of black children (in the USA), and also studied the sociology of white families and of the rearing of white children (in the USA), then he might have had FACTS and DATA that supported his statement.
However, McDowell has quickly apologized for making this statement, and I think it is very unlikely that he would apologize for making this statement if he made the statement on the basis of FACTS and DATA that he learned from studying the sociology of black families and child-rearing vs. white families and child-rearing.  So, it seems very likely that his statement was NOT based on FACTS and DATA, and thus it was likely made on the basis of PREJUDICE and STEREOTYPE.  In short, it does seem to me that McDowell should be chastised and criticized, but that he is guilty of racial prejudice in his thinking and speaking, and NOT guilty of RACISM.  There is NO EVIDENCE here that McDowell is a racist.
Fourth: “There but for the grace of God go I”.   I am a left-wing atheist, and I HATE racism and racists.  I hate NAZIs.  I hate the KKK.  I hate the alt-right.   I hate skinheads.  I hate yahoos who wave the Confederate flag (particularly the SHITHEAD who waved the Confederate flag in the Capitol Building during the Trump-inspired insurrection). But I am a white guy, and I am aware that us white guys (and white gals) all have some degree of racial prejudice.  Our culture in the USA is saturated with racial prejudice.
So, I might one day say (or write) something STUPID that comes from a PREJUDICE or STEREOTYPE about black people (or about some other people of color).  I don’t want a FREE PASS if that happens.  I hope that I would be called out and criticized for speaking or writing something that arises from racial prejudice in my thinking.  But I would OBJECT to being called a “racist” and to being accused of “racism” and to being morally condemned for the sin of “racism” on the basis that I manifested some racial prejudice in my thinking.  I would view such a strong moral condemnation as being UNFAIR and UNFOUNDED and SLANDEROUS because I do NOT believe that some races are inferior to other races, and I am firmly opposed to such a belief or ideology.
This is the standard that I would insist upon for how other people treat me, so this is the standard I will insist upon for how people treat Josh McDowell.  Yes, he made ONE statement that reflects PREJUDICE or STEREOTYPE about black people, and this does reflect racial prejudice in his thinking.  But that is NOT equivalent to being a “racist”.  This is NOT EVIDENCE that McDowell believes that black people belong to an inferior race of humans, nor that white people belong to a superior race of humans.  Making a statement that reflects racial prejudice in one’s thinking is NOT as bad and as evil as holding (or promoting) the evil belief that some people belong to an inferior race of humans.
 
MCDOWELL’S APOLOGY FOR HIS STATEMENT
Here is McDowell’s apology for his offending statement:

I see nothing wrong with this apology.  It is a clear and straightforward apology.  If I had made a stupid statement like McDowell did, based on racial prejudice or stereotypes, then I would apologize in a similar manner.
McDowell could have gone a bit further by admitting that he made a statement that “does not reflect reality” BECAUSE of his own racial prejudice, because of prejudice and stereotypes in his own thinking about black people.  But he did identify the specific problematic statement as being WRONG, and he affirms his opposition to racism.
I think in this context McDowell is using “racism” in the weaker sense of “racial prejudice”, which makes it harder for him to admit that his statement arose from racial prejudice in his own thinking (because that would be admitting that he was involved in and was promoting “racism”).    Racism is indeed one reason why equality for blacks has not yet been achieved, but another important factor is racial prejudice, such as we see in the thinking and words of Josh McDowell.
This apology would have been a bit better and a bit clearer if McDowell had drawn the distinction between the evil of RACISM and the evil of RACIAL PREJUDICE, and confessed to having made a statement that came NOT out of RACISM but out of RACIAL PREJUDICE in his own thinking.
NOTE: Given the general sloppiness and unclarity of McDowell’s thinking, it is not a surprise to me that he failed to notice this important distinction, and failed to make use of it in his apology.

bookmark_borderFeser’s Perverted Faculty Argument – Part 2: Clarifying the Conclusion of the Core Argument

WHERE WE ARE
Edward Feser has put forward a version of the Perverted Faculty Argument (hereafter: PFA) against homosexual sex, so I will now examine that argument in the hopes that it is an actual argument consisting of actual claims.  Based on his book Five Proofs of the Existence of God, Feser understands the need to define and clarify the meanings of keywords and phrases in philosophical arguments.  I am hoping that in his presentation of PFA,  Feser will define and/or clarify the meanings of keywords and phrases in his version of PFA so that it constitutes an actual argument that is composed of actual claims.  If I find his effort to constitute an actual argument, then I will attempt to rationally evaluate that argument.
In Part 1 of this series of posts, I attempted to clarify the core argument in Feser’s PFA, based on his summary of that argument in his book Neo-Scholastic Essays (hereafter: NSE) on pages 403 and 404.
 
THE REVISED CORE ARGUMENT OF FESER’S PFA

3a. A situation where a human being uses the sexual faculties belonging to that human being in a manner that is contrary to the procreative and/or unitive ends of the sexual faculties of human beings AND where that activity is good for that human being is a metaphysically impossible situation.

4a. In any situation where a human being engages in homosexual acts, that human being uses the sexual faculties belonging to that human being in a manner that is contrary to the procreative and/or unitive ends of the sexual faculties of human beings.

THEREFORE:

5a. A situation where a human being engages in homosexual acts AND where that activity (of engaging in homosexual acts) is good for that human being is a metaphysically impossible situation.

This revised core argument is significantly more CLEAR than the statement by Feser.  However, all three sentences here still make use of UNCLEAR words and phrases, so I’m not yet willing to admit that these three sentences make actual claims, nor that this is an actual argument.  It depends on whether Feser defines or clarifies the various UNCLEAR  words and phrases in these three sentences.
In this post I will address this crucial question:

Does Feser provide useful definitions or clarifications of the meanings of the keywords and phrases in these sentences that are, apart from such efforts, too UNCLEAR to make it so the sentences may reasonably be treated as actual claims?

 
WHAT DOES THE CONCLUSION MEAN?
Because the conclusion of an argument is the main point of the argument, it is generally best to start an examination of an argument by focusing on the conclusion.  Because CLARIFICATION is often needed to understand the meaning of a statement and thus be in a position to rationally evaluate the statement, it is generally best to start an examination of a statement by working to clarify the meaning of that statement.  I have already made one attempt to clarify the conclusion of the core argument in Feser’s PFA, but it is still UNCLEAR.  So, I will continue to work at achieving a better understanding of this statement:

5a. A situation where a human being engages in homosexual acts AND where that activity (of engaging in homosexual acts) is good for that human being is a metaphysically impossible situation.

There are at least three UNCLEAR phrases in this statement:

  • human being H engages in homosexual acts
  • activity A is good for human being H
  • situation S is a metaphysically impossible situation

Because NONE of these three phrases has a clear meaning, (5a) is UNCLEAR and cannot be rationally evaluated as it stands.  These are three main parts or components of the statement (5a), and each part must be CLARIFIED.  Apart from a definition or clarification of each one of these phrases, it will not be possible to have a clear understanding of the meaning of (5a), and apart from such a clear understanding, it will not be possible to rationally evaluate this statement, nor to rationally evaluate an argument given in support of this statement.
Breaking down (5a) into its main parts or components, into these three phrases, is part of the process of ANALYSIS.  The point is to take a big task or problem, like CLARIFYING (5a), and turn it into smaller, easier to manage problems.  So, instead of having one big problem, we now have three smaller problems to manage.
 
WHAT DOES THE PHRASE “ENGAGES IN HOMOSEXUAL ACTS” MEAN?
In my previous examination of a PFA presented by Tim Hsiao one of the reasons that I rejected that argument as a worthless piece of intellectual garbage is that Hsiao made NO EFFORT to clarify the meanings of the key phrases “homosexual activity” and “sexual activity”.  So, we are walking down the same path with Feser’s version of a PFA.  The main question now is whether Feser made any effort to clarify the meaning of the UNCLEAR phrase “engages in homosexual acts”.  If Feser attempted to clarify the meaning of this phrase, then his version of PFA might be able to go beyond the FAILED attempt by Hsiao to present a version of PFA.
According to Feser, his article “In Defense of the Perverted Faculty Argument” in Neo-Scholastic Essays is his most detailed and systematic treatment of sexual morality (as of June in 2015):

 
The phrase “homosexual acts” occurs not only in the conclusion of the core argument in his PFA but also in the ultimate conclusion of PFA:

Feser uses the phrase “homosexual acts” thirteen times in his article defending PFA.  However, he NEVER DEFINES what this phrase means, and he NEVER attempts to CLARIFY the meaning of this phrase.  Because the phrase “homosexual acts” is an UNCLEAR and AMBIGUOUS phrase, we don’t know what the hell the conclusion of the core argument in PFA means, and thus it is not possible to rationally evaluate the core argument of Feser’s PFA.
 
THE GENERAL UNCLARITY OF FESER’S PFA
This lack of clarity is not confined to just the key phrase “homosexual acts”.  There are other key phrases in Feser’s PFA that he also FAILS to DEFINE or to CLARIFY:

The phrases in bold red font appear in Feser’s summary of the PFA, and the other terms and phrases in blue font are closely related terms that appear in the article.  There are a total of 73 instances of these terms and phrases in the article, and as you can see from the chart above there are ZERO DEFINITIONS of these terms, and ZERO attempts to provide CLARIFICATIONS of these terms by Feser.
Although the phrase “sexual faculties” does not appear in the conclusion of Feser’s PFA, nor in the conclusion of the core argument in PFA, it does appear in three out of the six premises of his PFA, and is clearly a key concept in the argument:

 
I don’t know what Feser means by the key phrase “homosexual acts”, nor do I know what Feser means by the other key terms and phrases in his PFA.  So, it is NOT possible for me to rationally evaluate this argument.   CLARITY is a gateway standard of Critical Thinking.  If a statement is UNCLEAR, then one literally does not know what that statement MEANS, and one cannot rationally evaluate a statement when one does not know what that statement means.

 
CONCLUSION
Feser’s PFA is just as UNCLEAR as the PFA presented by Timothy Hsiao.  In both cases we are dealing with a PSEUDO argument, something that looks and sounds like an argument, but that is composed of UNCLEAR statements which cannot be rationally evaluated, and thus neither “argument” is an actual argument, because an argument consists of CLAIMS, statements that are clear enough to be understood and to be rationally evaluated.
According to Feser his article in Neo-Scholastic Essays defending his version of the Perverted Faculty Argument is the “most detailed and systematic treatment of sexual morality” he has ever written, but that article is a pathetic piece of intellectual garbage that presents us with a PSEUDO argument that only pretends to be an actual argument.

bookmark_borderThe Object of Moral Concern Problem for Divine Command Theory

Suppose that I steal your laptop on Friday afternoon. As the weekend sets in, I begin to be plagued by guilt. Initially, taking your laptop seemed like a great idea. I need a new computer, and yours is much nicer than mine. It is newer, has a faster processor, more memory, a bigger screen, etc. I had imagined with great anticipation how much better life would be with a nice, new, up-to-date laptop. But now–now that I must live with having committed the theft–every time I open the computer, every time I so much as look at it, I am overcome by intense feelings of remorse. After a few days of this agony, on Monday morning I decide that I cannot live with myself unless I admit my wrongdoing and try to make amends. What should I do?
Presumably one of the things that I ought to do is apologize. For the purposes of this thought experiment, let’s grant that an apology is a verbal expression of sorrow that consists of three elements: (1) an acknowledgement that I (the apologizer) have done wrong; (2) an attempt (by me) to make amends (i.e., an offer to compensate or make up for, if possible, the wrong that I have done); (3) my promising to avoid engaging in such wrongdoing in the future. [Perhaps you disagree with this account of apology. Perhaps you have your own preferred account, which you believe is superior in some way. No matter. The point I am making depends not at all on my getting the concept of apology correct. All that matters, with respect to the point I want to make, is that there are instances in which a person might decide to do (1), (2), and (3) and that in some such instances, doing (1), (2), and (3) is morally appropriate.]
So, to whom do I apologize? For what do I apologize? And, how should I offer to make amends?
I contend that divine command theory (DCT)  gets the answer to these questions wrong. The answers surely depend upon the answers to two other questions: First, whom did I wrong? And second, what makes it the case that what I did was wrong? That is, since I ought to apologize to the person that I wronged, the question of to whom I should apologize depends on whom I wronged. Further, since I ought to apologize for that which I did in virtue of which what I did was wrong, what I should apologize for depends on what makes it the case that what I did was wrong. And, since my offer to make amends ought to consist of an offer to compensate for the wrongdoing that I have done, how I ought to offer amends depends, again, on what makes it the case that what I did was wrong.
On divine command theory, what makes it the case that any instance of wrong-doing is wrong is the fact that it is a violation of divine command. So, on DCT, the answer to the second question (for what do I apologize?) is: I should apologize for doing something that violates a divine command. And the answer to the first question seems to be: God. I should apologize to God because it is his command that I violated and it is in violating his command that my wrongdoing consists. How we should answer the third question is less clear. It is not clear how I can compensate God for the wrongdoing that consists of my violating his commands. However, it is clear what I ought to do to find out what, if anything, I can do to make amends: I should ask God. I should say, “God, I have violated your command and for that I am truly sorry. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to make it up to you.” Further, since God is the wronged party, if I offer a sincere promise to refrain from so-acting in the future, the person to whom that promise is directed ought to be God.
Let’s say that the person to whom we should offer apology when we have engaged in wrongdoing is the object of our moral concern. On DCT, it seems clear that the object of my moral concern, with respect to the wrongdoing consisting of my stealing your laptop, is God.
That is the wrong answer. When I have stolen your laptop, the proper object of my moral concern is you. You are the person I have wronged and it is to you that I owe an apology. What I should apologize for is taking something that belongs to you without your consent. Furthermore, the person to whom I should offer amends is you. I ought to return your laptop to you and ask if there is anything else I can do to make it up to you. And it is to you that I should offer my promise to never again engage in such wrongdoing. Therefore, DCT misidentifies the object of moral concern.
A defender of DCT may respond to the above argument thusly: It is true that, on DCT, God is an object of moral concern. On DCT, every time that a person engages in wrongdoing, that person owes an apology to God. But this does not imply that God is the only object of moral concern on DCT. Nothing prevents the divine command theorist from saying that, in addition to God, the person from whom you stole the laptop has also being wronged, and is therefore, an additional object of moral concern.

This response is devastating for DCT. Once we acknowledge that, in some instance of wrongdoing, there is someone other than God that has been wronged, it becomes untenable to claim that what makes any instance of wrongdoing wrong is the fact that it violates divine command. Presumably, if what makes you a proper object of my moral concern is the fact that I have wronged you, then it is possible for me to have wronged you even if I have not also wronged God by violating his command(s). But if it is possible to wrong a person without wronging God by violating his command(s), then it cannot be that what makes each and every action wrong is the fact that it violates God’s command(s).
Think again about the above questions: to whom do I apologize? for what do I apologize? how should I offer to make amends? If I have wronged you, then I ought to apologize to you. But for what should I apologize? The answer to this question depends on what makes it the case that what I did was wrong. Again, on DCT, what makes it wrong is that it violated God’s command. But does violating God’s command wrong you? And is that what I should apologize to you for? Should I say,
“I sincerely apologize for taking your laptop. I know that in doing so I violated God’s command and for that I am truly sorry.”
No. This gets the nature of the wrong wrong. I might have, in some sense, wronged you by violating God’s command. But that is not the proper locus of my doing wrong to you. Rather, what I have done to you is taken a piece of your property without your consent. That is what makes my taking your laptop wrong; the failure to respect your autonomy by seeking your consent before I took your laptop. The wrong-making feature here is something that I have done to you, not something that I have done to God. If this is the correct analysis of the nature of the wrong that I have committed, then it is clear that it is possible to commit wrongdoings even in the absence of divine commands. This is because there are wrong-making features that have nothing to do with violations of divine command. It cannot be, then, that, for all wrongdoings, what makes the action wrong is that it is contrary to the commands of God.
Furthermore, my offer to make amends is misplaced if it is an offer to God to make up for violating his commands. To make amends for the wrong I have done (the wrong consisting of the taking of your property without your consent), I must make an offer to you. The obvious offer to make is to return the laptop (and/or purchase a new one to replace it) and to compensate you for the time, effort, and worry that you experienced during your stressful efforts to deal with the theft of your laptop. Offering to compensate God cannot compensate you; my offer of compensation must be to the wronged party.
Notice that, to make sense of the idea that you are an object of my moral concern and to properly identify both that which I need to apologize for and how I ought to go about attempting to make amends, we need to allow that what makes my action wrong has to do with harms that I have inflicted on you. What makes my theft wrong has everything to do with violating your autonomy and has nothing to do with violating God’s commands. Even if I had not violated any divine command (because, e.g., there are no divine commands), I still would have done something wrong because I still would have done something that has a wrong-making feature (namely, the feature of being an action that violates your autonomy).  Let me be as clear as possible: I am not denying that, in stealing your laptop, I have wronged God. What I am saying is that this cannot be the only wrong that I have committed. I have also wronged you. And this wrong (the wrong to you) has nothing to do with having violated God’s commands. Therefore, if the divine command theorist acknowledges that you are a proper object of my moral concern, this is a tacit admission that there are wrong-making features other than the feature of being contrary to the commands of God. Accordingly, DCT is false.

bookmark_borderLeviticus and Homosexuality – Part 13: False Claims and Assumptions in Leviticus

WHERE WE ARE
One important reason for rejecting the view that Leviticus was inspired by God is that this book contains several FALSE claims and assumptions.  I have already argued that Leviticus contains FALSE historical claims and assumptions and that it also contains logical contradictions, so I have already shown that Leviticus contains FALSE claims and assumptions:

  • In Part 8 of this series, I presented some general points in support of my fourth reason for doubting the inspiration and authority of the book of Leviticus:

4. Leviticus is NOT an historically reliable account of actual events.

  • In Part 9 of this series, I presented a number of examples of contradictions between Leviticus and other books in the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament) to provide additional evidence in support of this fourth reason.  There are dozens of contradictions between Leviticus and the other books in the Torah.  Nearly all of these contradictions cast doubt on the historical reliability of the book of Leviticus and also cast doubt on the historicity of the books of the Torah in general.  If the book of Leviticus is historically UNRELIABLE or if it contains a number of false or dubious historical claims and assumptions, then we can draw two conclusions: (1) we cannot rely on Leviticus to present accurate information about what Jehovah communicated to Moses (even if Jehovah actually existed and if Moses was an actual person), and (2) Leviticus was NOT inspired by God.  Both conclusions are good reasons to reject using the content of Leviticus as a basis for the moral condemnation of homosexual sex.
  • In Part 10 of this series, I gave examples of internal contradictions in the book of Leviticus, which shows that half of those claims or assumptions are FALSE.

 
SCIENTIFIC ERRORS IN GENESIS AND LEVITICUS
The book of Genesis contains several scientific errors.  It is a book that discusses the origins of the universe, the sun and the moon, the planet Earth, plant and animal life on Earth, human life, and the origin of human languages, the origin of death, and the origin of rainbows.  This is all bullshit invented by ignorant pre-scientific goat herders a few thousand years ago.  But Leviticus does not discuss the origins of anything (except the origin of the nation of Israel, and what it says about that are FALSE historical claims).
Leviticus is primarily a book of laws, rules, commands, and instructions for the performance of various religious rituals.  So, there is not much in the way of scientific claims or assumptions in the book of Leviticus. Nevertheless, in addition to making FALSE historical claims and assumptions, and in addition to asserting some logical contradictions, the book of Leviticus does contain a few scientific errors in Chapter 11, and these scientific errors provide further evidence that Leviticus was NOT inspired by an all-knowing and perfectly truthful deity:
1. Rock Badgers Chew The Cud (FALSE).

5 The rock badger, for even though it chews the cud, it does not have divided hoofs; it is unclean for you. (Leviticus 11:5, NRSV)

2. Hares Chew The Cud (FALSE).

6 The hare, for even though it chews the cud, it does not have divided hoofs; it is unclean for you. (Leviticus 11:6, NRSV)

“chews the cud” means that the animal regurgitates food from its stomach back into its mouth and then chews on that food some more before swallowing it again. See this post: “On Rabbits and Rumination – A Response to Christian Interpretations of Leviticus 11:5-6“. Rock badgers and hares do NOT regurgitate food from their stomachs and then chew on that food some more before swallowing it again.

Young Hare, a watercolour, 1502, by Albrecht Dürer

3. Bats are Birds (FALSE).

13 These you shall regard as detestable among the birds. They shall not be eaten; they are an abomination: the eagle, the vulture, the osprey,  14 the buzzard, the kite of any kind;  15 every raven of any kind;  16 the ostrich, the nighthawk, the sea gull, the hawk of any kind;  17 the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl,  18 the water hen, the desert owl, the carrion vulture,  19 the stork, the heron of any kind, the hoopoe, and the bat. (Leviticus 11:13-19, NRSV)

An all-knowing deity would know that bats are mammals and that birds are NOT mammals, and thus would know that bats are NOT birds.
4. Some Insects have four legs and four feet (FALSE).

20 All winged insects that walk upon all fours are detestable to you.  23 But all other winged insects that have four feet are detestable to you. (Leviticus 11:20 & 23, NRSV)

5. Locusts, Crickets, and Grasshoppers have four legs and four feet (FALSE).

21 But among the winged insects that walk on all fours you may eat those that have jointed legs above their feet, with which to leap on the ground. 22 Of them you may eat: the locust according to its kind, the bald locust according to its kind, the cricket according to its kind, and the grasshopper according to its kind.  23 But all other winged insects that have four feet are detestable to you.  (Leviticus 11:21-23, NRSV)

Insects, including locusts, crickets, and grasshoppers have three pairs of legs.

 
CONCLUSION
My Reason #7 for rejecting the view that Leviticus was inspired by God is this:

7. Leviticus contains false information.

I have shown that Leviticus makes FALSE historical claims or assumptions and that it contains some logical contradictions (implying that half of those claims are FALSE), and that it also contains a few scientific errors or FALSE scientific claims or assumptions.  Therefore, we have good reason to believe that Reason #7 is TRUE and that Leviticus was NOT inspired by God.

bookmark_borderBack to God and Leviticus

When Easter rolled around this year, I dove back into the questions “Did God raise Jesus from the dead?”  and “Did Jesus rise from the dead?”  These are issues that I have enjoyed thinking about for the past four decades, and will continue to think and write about for the rest of my life.
 
DEFENDING THE HALLUCINATION THEORY
I wrote a series of posts defending the Hallucination Theory, specifically examining seven objections raised against this theory by Josh McDowell in his book The Resurrection Factor.  I discovered that the main problem with McDowell’s discussion about this skeptical theory is that he DOES NOT HAVE A CLUE about (a) what the word “hallucination” means, (b) what psychologists have learned about hallucinations and dreams, and (c) how to present a clear and intelligent argument for an historical claim about Jesus.  So, McDowell had no chance of producing a solid and strong refutation of the Hallucination Theory.  
His more recent defense of the resurrection in a book co-authored with his son, Evidence for the Resurrection mostly re-hashes the same pathetic objections against the Hallucination Theory, and COMPLETELY FAILS to refute that skeptical theory just like he COMPLETELY FAILED to refute it in The Resurrection Factor.  I noticed that in the most recent version of Evidence that Demands a Verdict McDowell abandoned his pathetic case against the Hallucination Theory and instead points to Peter Kreeft’s pathetic attempt to refute it (although Kreeft’s attempt appears to lean heavily on McDowell’s case).
 
DEFENDING OTHER SKEPTICAL THEORIES ABOUT THE RESURRECTION
If you are interested in the questions “Did God raise Jesus from the dead?”  and “Did Jesus rise from the dead?” you might want to also see my series of posts defending the Conspiracy Theory against objections raised by Peter Kreeft in his Handbook of Christian Apologetics (co-authored with Ronald Tacelli), and my series of posts defending the Apparent Death Theory (or “Swoon Theory”) against objections raised by Peter Kreeft.

Portion of the Temple Scroll, labeled 11Q19, one of the longest of the Dead Sea Scrolls

 
BACK TO GOD, LEVITICUS, AND THE PERVERTED FACULTY ARGUMENT
Having exposed McDowell’s sham of a case against the Hallucination Theory, I will now return to my previous topics:

  • Leviticus and Homosexuality

Part 12: More Bad Guidelines is where I left off on Leviticus.

  • Feser’s Perverted Faculty Argument

Part 1: The Core Argument is where I left off on the Perverted Faculty Argument.

  • The Thomist Cosmological Argument

I’m critiquing Norman Geisler’s pathetic attempt to present a Thomist cosmological argument, as a warmup exercise before I attempt to critique Feser’s better and clearer presentation of this argument for the existence of God.

 

bookmark_borderFeser’s Perverted Faculty Argument – Part 1: The Core Argument

HSIAO’S PERVERTED FACULTY ARGUMENT
I have REJECTED Timothy Hsiao’s Perverted Faculty “Argument” against homosexual sex NOT because it was a bad argument, but because it was a FAUX argument, and not an actual argument.  The core “argument” by Hsiao consists of three declarative sentences that were so UNCLEAR that they cannot be rationally evaluated, and thus those sentences do NOT assert actual claims, and thus those sentences do NOT constitute an actual argument.
For my analysis and criticism of Hsiao’s “argument” see the following posts:

Aquinas and Homosexual Sex – Part 1: A Thomist Argument
Aquinas and Homosexual Sex – Part 2: Argument Structure
Aquinas and Homosexual Sex – Part 3: Unclear Argument
Aquinas and Homosexual Sex – Part 4: The Logic of Applied Ethics
Aquinas and Homosexual Sex – Part 5: From Fake to Real
Aquinas and Homosexual Sex – Part 6: Sexual Activity
Aquinas and Homosexual Sex – Part 7: Definitions of “Sexual Activity”
Aquinas and Homosexual Sex – Part 8: Legal Definitions

 
FESER’S PERVERTED FACULTY ARGUMENT
Edward Feser has also put forward a version of the Perverted Faculty Argument (hereafter: PFA), so I will now examine that argument in the hopes that it is an actual argument consisting of actual claims.  Based on his book Five Proofs of the Existence of God, Feser understands the need to define and clarify the meanings of key words and phrases in philosophical arguments.  I am hoping that in his presentation of PFA,  Feser will define and/or clarify the meanings of key words and phrases in his version of PFA so that it constitutes an actual argument that is composed of actual claims.  If I find his effort to constitute an actual argument, then I will attempt to rationally evaluate that argument.
Here is how Feser summarizes PFA in his book Neo-Scholastic Essays (hereafter: NSE):

(NSE, p. 403-404)
The logical structure of this argument is simple and straightforward, consisting of a series of three inferences:

THE CORE ARGUMENT IN FESER’S PFA
Typically, the core of such a three-tiered argument occurs in the middle of the argument, and that seems to be the case here.  I have indicated what I take to be the core argument by the purple line drawn around the middle argument.
Here is what I take to be the core argument in Feser’s PFA:

(NSE, p. 404)
As with Hsiao’s PFA, this core argument is filled with UNCLEAR words and phrases.  However, for right now, I’m going to assume that Feser defines or clarifies the meanings of these UNCLEAR words and phrases (or most of them) somewhere in the chapter that he devotes to PFA, so that these sentences will turn out to be actual claims.
Before I try to nail down the meanings of the various UNCLEAR terms, I am going to work at eliminating UNCLEAR REFERENCES in these sentences, by applying a basic rule of argument analysis:

*** 86 THE MOTHERFUCKING PRONOUNS! ***

I don’t use the expression “motherfucking” here to indicate a criticism of Feser.  We ALL use pronouns, and even the best philosophers use pronouns when laying out philosophical arguments.  So, in using pronouns to summarize PFA, Feser is not doing anything contrary to normal practice, even among the best philosophers.
Nevertheless, it is good to develop some antipathy towards pronouns, if you want to properly analyze and evaluate philosophical arguments, or even if you just want to be a competent critical thinker.  Pronouns often create AMBIGUITY and UNCLARITY, and these things are anathema to philosophy and to critical thinking.
Don’t criticize what you don’t understand.  We need to understand the meaning of a claim first, before we can rationally evaluate that claim.  We need to understand an argument first, before we can rationally evaluate that argument.  So, CLARITY is a basic requirement for claims and arguments used in philosophical thinking and for thinking critically about any claim or argument.
 
EVIL PRONOUNS IN THE CORE ARGUMENT
I put the evil pronouns in bold red font.
Premise 3:
it is metaphysically impossible”
“for it to be good for us
“to use those faculties”
“in a manner that is contrary to their procreative and unitive ends”
Premise 4:
“homosexual acts” [ Note: I’m going to ignore the other “bad” sexual activities: “contraceptive acts”, “masturbatory acts”, and “acts of bestiality”.]
“involve the use of our sexual faculties”
“in a manner that is contrary to their procreative and/or unitive ends”
Premise 5:
it is metaphysically impossible”
“for it to be good for us
“to engage in homosexual acts” [ Note: I’m going to ignore the other “bad” sexual activities: “contraceptive acts”, “masturbatory acts”, and “acts of bestiality”.]
 
NOW WE 86 THE PRONOUNS
I replaced the pronouns in bold red font with words or phrases in bold blue font.
Premise 3:
it is metaphysically impossible”   ==>   “a situation is metaphysically impossible”
“for it to be good for us”   ==>   “for the activity to be good for a human being
“to use those faculties”   ==>   “to use the sexual faculties belonging to that human being
“in a manner that is contrary to their procreative and unitive ends”   ==>   “in a manner that is contrary to the procreative and unitive ends of the sexual faculties of human beings
Revision of Premise 3:

3a. A situation where a human being uses the sexual faculties belonging to that human being in a manner that is contrary to the procreative and/or unitive ends of the sexual faculties of human beings AND where that activity is good for that human being is a metaphysically impossible situation.

Premise 4:
“homosexual acts” [there are important elements missing from this phrase]   ==>  “in any situation where a human being engages in homosexual acts”
“involve the use of our sexual faculties”   ==>   “that human being uses the sexual faculties belonging to that human being
“in a manner that is contrary to their procreative and/or unitive ends”   ==>   “in a manner that is contrary to the procreative and/or unitive ends of the sexual faculties of human beings
Revision of Premise 4:

4a. In any situation where a human being engages in homosexual acts, that human being uses the sexual faculties belonging to that human being in a manner that is contrary to the procreative and/or unitive ends of the sexual faculties of human beings.

Premise 5:
it is metaphysically impossible” ==> “a situation is metaphysically impossible”
“for it to be good for us” ==> “for the activity (of engaging in homosexual acts) to be good for a human being
“to engage in homosexual acts” ==> “in any situation where a human being engages in homosexual acts”
Revision of Premise 5:

5a. A situation where a human being engages in homosexual acts AND where that activity (of engaging in homosexual acts) is good for that human being is a metaphysically impossible situation.

 
THE REVISED CORE ARGUMENT OF FESER’S PFA

3a. A situation where a human being uses the sexual faculties belonging to that human being in a manner that is contrary to the procreative and/or unitive ends of the sexual faculties of human beings AND where that activity is good for that human being is a metaphysically impossible situation.

4a. In any situation where a human being engages in homosexual acts, that human being uses the sexual faculties belonging to that human being in a manner that is contrary to the procreative and/or unitive ends of the sexual faculties of human beings.

THEREFORE:

5a. A situation where a human being engages in homosexual acts AND where that activity (of engaging in homosexual acts) is good for that human being is a metaphysically impossible situation.

This revised core argument is significantly more CLEAR than the statement of it by Feser.  However, all three sentences here still make use of UNCLEAR words and phrases, and so I’m not yet willing to admit that these three sentences make actual claims, nor that this is an actual argument.  It depends on whether Feser defines or clarifies the various UNCLEAR  words and phrases in these three sentences.
So, in the next post of this series I will begin to address this question:

Does Feser provide useful definitions or clarifications of the meanings of the key words and phrases in these sentences that are, apart from such efforts, too UNCLEAR to make it so the sentences may reasonably be treated as actual claims?

 
To Be Continued…

bookmark_borderAquinas and Homosexual Sex – Part 8: Legal Definitions

WHERE WE ARE
Sometimes, Christian philosophers put forward pieces of crap that they pretend to be philosophical arguments, but that are just word salads that are posing as philosophical arguments.  The core “argument” in Tim Hsiao’s article “A Defense of the Perverted Faculty Argument against Homosexual Sex” (hereafter: PFA) appears to me to be one such faux argument.  Hsiao fails to define or to clarify ANY of the basic terms and phrases in his core “argument”, making it a string of words that cannot be rationally evaluated.
Here is the core “argument” in PFA:

4. All sexual activity that is not open to the creation of new life is immoral.

A. All homosexual activity is sexual activity that is not open to the creation of new life.

THEREFORE:

7A. All homosexual activity is immoral.

This is NOT an actual argument, because an argument consists of claims (premises) that are given in support of another claim (the conclusion).  But NONE of the three sentences above is a claim.  These are declarative sentences, so they look and sound like claims, but they are TOO UNCLEAR to be rationally evaluated as true or false, or as probable or improbable.  Declarative sentences that are too unclear to be rationally evaluated are NOT claims.  So, these three sentences are FAUX claims  or PSEUDO claims, not actual claims.
These sentences are in the form of a categorical syllogism, so taken together they look and sound like an argument, but this is NOT an actual argument, because the sentences do not make actual claims.  Because these sentences are NOT claims, this collection of sentences is NOT an actual argument, but is a FAUX argument or a PSEUDO argument.  This is just a word salad that Hsiao is pretending to be an argument.
Unless and until Hsiao can figure out what he means by the four UNCLEAR terms in these sentences and then spells out the meanings of these terms so that others can be let in on his little secret, God only knows what the hell these three sentences mean.
 
THE TERM “SEXUAL ACTIVITY” IN THE LEGAL SPHERE
One of the UNCLEAR phrases in Hsiao’s core “argument” is the phrase “sexual activity”.
According to 90Lew90, however, this phrase is “completely unambiguous”:

 
90Lew90 is correct that “sexual activity” is a term of law, but instead of providing a reason or justification for his IDIOTIC claim, he points us to a mountain of evidence that proves the very opposite of his claim.  If you look at the dozens and dozens of different legal definitions of the phrase “sexual activity” the idea that this phrase is “completely unambiguous” quickly becomes ABSURD and impossible for any rational person to believe.
In Part 7 of this series, I pointed out that there are dozens and dozens of different legal definitions of the phrase “sexual activity”, and that the obvious and apparent variety of different definitions makes the claim that this phrase is “completely unambiguous” extremely dubious.
In this post I will examine a number of these legal definitions, and point out specific differences and contradictions between them.  This will show beyond any reasonable doubt that the phrase “sexual activity” is NOT “completely unambiguous” but, rather, that this phrase is undeniably ambiguous, and that it was  foolish of 90Lew90 to point us towards the legal use of this phrase as evidence for his view.
 
A COMPARISON OF SOME LEGAL DEFINITIONS OF “SEXUAL ACTIVITY”
 
==>DEFINITION #1 (or D#1)


D#1 specifies two different categories of “sexual activity” and clarifies what each of those two categories includes.
The first category is that of “sexual conduct” which is, roughly speaking sexual intercourse. Note that there is no requirement concerning the PURPOSE of these actions.  Also note that the people engaged in the activity  must be “without privilege to do so”.  I believe this means that the people who are engaging in the activity do not have a legal right or permission to do so.  For example, if a man has sexual intercourse with a woman who does NOT WANT to have sexual intercourse with that man and has NOT CONSENTED to have sex with the man, then that man does not have “privilege” to have sex with that woman at that time:

If I understand that condition correctly (“without privilege to do so”), then this definition clearly implies that when an adult man and adult woman both willingly engage in sexual intercourse, that would NOT COUNT as “sexual activity” (in most cases) according to D#1, because sexual intercourse between two consenting adults is generally legally permissible (at least when done privately as opposed to in public).  But most of us would consider sexual intercourse between two consenting adults (in private) to constitute a clear example of “sexual activity”, so this legal definition is definitely in conflict with how most people use the term “sexual activity”.
The second category is that of “sexual contact” which is “any touching of an erogenous zone of another” which is done for a particular PURPOSE: “the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying either person” (i.e. either the person who is doing the touching or the person who is being touched).  This condition has a rather interesting implication.  If a man fondles and kisses and licks the naked breasts of a woman as part of a sex show NOT in order to sexually arouse or gratify himself or the woman, but rather for the purpose of sexually arousing or sexually gratifying the patrons who paid to watch the sex show, then this activity would NOT COUNT as “sexual contact” and thus would also NOT COUNT as “sexual activity” according to D#1!  Once again, this implication is contrary to how most people would be inclined to use the term “sexual activity”.
Because the touching must be “of another” in order to be categorized as a “sexual contact”, this definition EXCLUDES public masturbation!  So, if a man takes off his pants in public, and masturbates in public, because he is not touching “another” person, this activity would be EXCLUDED by D#1, and thus would NOT COUNT as a “sexual activity”.  However, most people would consider public masturbation to be a clear case of “sexual activity”, and thus D#1 departs from how most people would use this term.
It is NOT clear on D#1 whether a medical examination involving the insertion of a medical device into the vagina of a woman would COUNT as a “sexual activity”.  It depends on whether the doctor is considered to have done this “without privilege to do so”.  Most of us would ASSUME that consenting to have a medical doctor conduct such an examination would give the doctor the LEGAL RIGHT to insert the medical device into the vagina of the woman, but D#1 does not explicitly spell out the conditions for having “privilege to do so”.  Taken straightforwardly, D#1 categorizes “the insertion…of…any instrument…into the vaginal cavity of another” to constitute a “sexual activity”, even in the case where a medical doctor inserts a medical instrument into a woman’s vagina as part of a legitimate medical examination or procedure, which is contrary to how most people would use the term “sexual activity”.
 
==>DEFINITION #2 (or D#2)
 

Unlike D#1 this definition does NOT divide “sexual activity” into two different categories (e.g. intercourse vs. sexual touching), but focuses exclusively on intercourse or penetration.  So D#2 EXCLUDES various sorts of sexual touching that are specifically INCLUDED by D#1. These two definitions clearly have very different implications concerning what is to count as a “sexual activity”.
Clearly D#2 EXCLUDES passionate kissing and French kissing because that activity does not involve “penetration” nor does it involve “union with…the sexual organ of another”.  Many people, however, would consider passionate kissing and French kissing to be examples of  “sexual activity”.  So, D#2 appears to differ from how many people would use the term “sexual activity”.
D#2 does not mention breasts.  That means that if a man fondles, kisses, and licks the naked breasts of a woman for the purpose of sexually arousing himself and/or the woman or for the purpose of sexually gratifying himself and/or the woman, this does NOT COUNT as a “sexual activity” according to D#2.  However, most people would consider such activity to constitute a clear example of “sexual activity”, so D#2 EXCLUDES an activity that most people would consider to be a “sexual activity”.
Furthermore, D#1 does explicitly mention the touching of a female “breast” as being a “sexual activity” if done for the PURPOSE of sexual arousal or sexual gratification of the person doing the touching or the female whose breast is being touched.  So, D#2 EXCLUDES an activity that is specifically INCLUDED by D#1.
Sucking on the toes of another person can be (and usually is) considered to be a sexual activity, but there is no mention of “toes” in D#2, and this definition is focused on sexual intercourse and penetration, so it EXCLUDES the activity of one person sucking on the toes of another person.  In that respect, this definition appears to depart from how most people would use the term “sexual activity”.
Like D#1, this definition requires that the sexual activity involve touching or penetration of “the sexual organ of another”.  So, D#2 also EXCLUDES public masturbation, which does not involve touching or penetration of “the sexual organ of another” person. Public masturbation would NOT COUNT as a “sexual activity” according to D#2.  However, most people would consider public masturbation to be a clear case of a “sexual activity”, so D#2 clearly departs from how most people use this term.
Unlike D#1, there is no requirement in D#2 that the people engaged in sexual intercourse be “without privilege to do so”, therefore if we consider an adult man and an adult woman who both willingly engage in sexual intercourse with each other (in private) this would COUNT as a “sexual activity” according to D#2, which corresponds with how most people use this term, in contrast with D#1.
Note that there is no requirement in D#2 that anyone engaged in the activity have a particular PURPOSE.  However, there is an interesting EXCLUSION based on “bona fide medical purpose”.  For example, if a medical doctor touches the vagina of a woman or inserts a medical tool into the vagina of a woman as part of a legitimate medical examination (that the woman has agreed to), then this action would NOT be considered to be a “sexual activity”, which is in keeping with how most people use the term “sexual activity”.  This is a very interesting exclusion, because very few definitions of “sexual activity” include such an exclusion, and thus most definitions that fail to require a particular PURPOSE (such as sexual pleasure or sexual gratification) would INCLUDE legitimate medical examinations of sexual organs as being a “sexual activity”!
 
==>DEFINITION #3 (or D#3)

Like D#1 and unlike D#2, this definition INCLUDES more than just sexual intercourse or penetration.  So, D#3 clearly has different implications than D#2 concerning what is to count as a “sexual activity.”
Because specific body parts are required to be involved by D#3, and because lips and tongues are not among the specified body parts, passionate kissing and French kissing would be EXCLUDED by D#3.  However, if lips and tongues are considered “erogenous zones”, then D#1 would INCLUDE passionate kissing and French kissing (if done for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying one or both kissers).  So, D#3 might well have different implications than D#1 concerning what counts as a “sexual activity”.
Because D#3 specifically mentions “female breasts” this definition would INCLUDE the activity of a man fondling, kissing, and licking the naked breasts of a woman, while D#2 clearly EXCLUDES such an activity.  So, the implications of D#3 clearly differ from the implications of D#2, concerning what activities count as being a “sexual activity”.
Like D#2 and unlike D#1, this definition of “sexual activity” does NOT require that the people engaged in the activity be “without privilege to do so”.  So D#3 INCLUDES consensual sexual intercourse between an adult man and an adult woman.
It is not clear whether D#3 refers to any sort of PURPOSE. It uses the vague term “of a sexual nature” as a requirement, but it is not clear whether this implies any particular sorts of PURPOSES on the part of the agents.  If this is a reference to the purpose of sexually arousing or sexually gratifying one of the people involved in the activity, then D#3 would have some similarity to D#1 which specifies one sub-category of “sexual activity” in terms of such purposes.  This would also make D#3 significantly different from D#2 which makes no reference to the purposes of the people involved in the activity.
However, because the expression “of a sexual nature” is VAGUE, we cannot determine whether this refers to the purposes of the agents, nor can we clearly determine what particular purposes this expression might be attempting to specify.  In this respect D#3 is less clear than D#1, because D#1 explicitly spells out what sort of PURPOSES are relevant to the application of the term “sexual activity”.
The requirement that the activity be “of a sexual nature” might, however, be sufficient to EXCLUDE legitimate medical examinations of genitals by a medical doctor.
 
==>DEFINITION #4 (or D#4)

D#4 defines “sexual activity” not in terms of TWO categories (like D#1 does), but in terms of THREE categories:

  • penetration
  • touching
  • any other activity

That means that the scope of D#4 extends beyond the scope of both D#1 and D#2.  It INCLUDES some activities that are neither penetration nor sexual touching, while D#1 includes only those sorts of activities, and D#1 includes only penetration or intercourse.  Clearly D#4 has different implications compared to D#1 and D#2  concerning what COUNTS as being a “sexual activity”
D#4  also specifies THREE different ways that an activity could be classified as being “sexual”:

  • because of the nature of the activity (apart from the circumstances or purposes of the activity)
  • because of the circumstances of the activity
  • because of the purposes of any person in relation to the activity

The definition FAILS to specify or clarify any of the three different ways that an activity could be considered to be “sexual”, so these three different sub-categories are UNCLEAR and are not very helpful.
Because of it’s broader scope D#4 might well INCLUDE passionate kissing and French kissing.  It might well also INCLUDE public masturbation.  Thus, the broader scope of D#4 seems to be closer to the scope of how most people use the term “sexual activity”.
However, because of the vagueness of D#4, there may be many cases or examples where it is difficult to determine with confidence whether that activity COUNTS as being “sexual”.  In this respect D#4 is more UNCLEAR than the previous definitions.
 
==>DEFINITION #5  (or D#5)
 

This definition requires “physical contact” that is either “direct or indirect” and that falls under one of two categories:

  • which is intended to erotically stimulate either person or both
  • which is likely to cause erotic stimulation in either person or both

No specific body parts are mentioned in D#5.  The first category concerns the INTENDED PURPOSE of the activity, and the second category concerns the LIKELY EFFECT of the activity.
Because of the phrase “either person or both” it appears that this definition is focused on activity involving two or more persons, and thus this definition appears to EXCLUDE public masturbation.  However, public masturbation is an activity that most people would consider to be a clear case of a “sexual activity”, so D#5 appears to be in conflict with how most people would use the term “sexual activity”.
Because D#5 does not specify particular body parts, it has a broader scope than some of the previous definitions.  This definition, for example would INCLUDE passionate kissing and French kissing because these activities could be done “to erotically stimulate either person or both”.  A man fondling, kissing, and/or licking the naked breasts of a woman could be done “to erotically stimulate either person or both”.
Furthermore, since a person who engages in sucking the toes of another person usually does this “to erotically stimulate either person or both”, toe sucking would be INCLUDED by this definition.  So, D#5 INCLUDES more than D#2, which focuses on sexual intercourse or penetration.
Because the focus of this definition is on the purpose of erotic stimulation (or the likely effect of erotic stimulation), a medical examination of the genitals of a patient by a medical doctor would (generally) be EXCLUDED by D#5, in keeping with how most people use the term “sexual activity”.
 
==>DEFINITION #6 (or D#6)

Unlike ALL of the previous five definitions, D#6 INCLUDES a category of “soliciting” activities “of a sexual nature”.  So, in that respect, this definition is broader than all the the previous five definitions. Soliciting sexual intercourse would COUNT as a “sexual activity” under this definition.  Soliciting fondling for the purpose of causing sexual arousal would also COUNT as a “sexual activity”, and soliciting someone to engage in passionate kissing or French kissing would COUNT as a “sexual activity”.  None of this would COUNT as a “sexual activity” under ANY of the previous five definitions.
This definition also specifically INCLUDES “kissing” and “fondling” of “parts of the body meant to cause sexual arousal”.  So, D#6 INCLUDES passionate kissing and French kissing, and it INCLUDES a man kissing and fondling the naked breasts of a woman (when this is done to cause sexual arousal), and it would appear to also INCLUDE the activity of toe sucking.
Because there does not appear to be a requirement in D#6 that two or more people are engaging in the activity, it appears that this definition also INCLUDES public masturbation (involving just one person).
 
CONCLUSION
Each of the six LEGAL definitions of “sexual activity” considered above is significantly different than the others.  Each of these definitions has different implications concerning what COUNTS as a “sexual activity”.
Many, if not all, of these definitions INCLUDE (or EXCLUDE) examples that most people would not INCLUDE (or EXCLUDE) and thus depart from how most people use the term “sexual activity”.  Because the various legal definitions of “sexual activity” disagree with each other, and often depart from how most people use the term “sexual activity”, these definitions of the term “sexual activity” provide powerful evidence that the phrase “sexual activity” is NOT “completely unambiguous”.
In pointing to the use of the phrase “sexual activity” in the legal and criminal arena 90Lew90 FAILS to establish his views about the meaning of this phrase, and instead points us to information that clearly proves his claims to be FALSE.  The phrase “sexual activity” is NOT clear; the meaning of this phrase is NOT “completely unambiguous”; the meaning of this phrase is NOT obvious.  Rather, the meaning of the phrase “sexual activity” is UNCLEAR and AMBIGUOUS, and it is in need of definition or clarification.
The UNCLARITY of the phrase “sexual activity” supports my view that sentence (4) and sentence (A) of Hsiao’s core “argument” are both FAUX claims, and thus that his core “argument” is not an actual argument, but is a FAUX argument that merely looks and sounds like an argument.
For many more LEGAL definitions of the phrase “sexual activity”, see this website: https://www.lawinsider.com/dictionary/sexual-activity
PS
I have no interest in wasting my time attempting to evaluate Hsiao’s FAUX argument.  However, I will check out the efforts by Edward Feser to support and defend a version of the Perverted Faculties Argument in order to determine whether Feser manages to present an ACTUAL argument, an argument that is composed of ACTUAL claims.  If Feser seems to present an ACTUAL argument, then I will attempt to evaluate that argument.

bookmark_borderLeviticus and Homosexuality – Part 11: Bad Guidelines

In previous posts I have presented some reasons for rejecting the idea that the book of Leviticus was inspired by God, and for rejecting the view that this book is a reliable source of truth or wisdom. In this post I will discuss, or begin to discuss, two more reasons for rejecting the idea that Leviticus was inspired by God, or that it is a reliable source of truth or wisdom:

5. Leviticus contains bad moral guidelines.
6. Leviticus contains bad laws and bad social guidelines.

The Bible in general, and the first five books of the Bible in particular, is supposed to provide us with excellent moral guidelines, and exemplary laws and social guidelines.  The book of Leviticus, however, is FILLED from start to finish with BAD moral guidelines, BAD laws, and BAD social guidelines.  If the book of Leviticus contains messages from Jehovah (as most Christians and Jews believe), then we may reasonably infer that Jehovah is either a SHITHEAD and/or an ASSHOLE, based on the lousiness of his rules, laws, and guidelines.
In more philosophical terms, we may reasonably infer that Jehovah is a morally imperfect person or an intellectually imperfect person, or that Jehovah is both morally and intellectually imperfect.  If Jehovah is either morally or intellectually imperfect, then Jehovah is NOT God, because God, by definition, is morally and intellectually perfect.  In any case, the BAD moral and practical guidelines presented in Leviticus show that this book was clearly NOT inspired by God, and that we have very good reason to reject this book as having any sort of authority or credibility as a source of moral or practical truth.
 
LEVITICUS CONTAINS BAD MORAL GUIDELINES
The book of Leviticus promotes sexism.  The book of Leviticus promotes slavery and discrimination.  The book of Leviticus promotes violence and wars of aggression.  This book is better at instructing us about how NOT to behave, or about how to behave without regard to basic morality and without regard for basic fairness, and without regard for basic human rights, than it is at providing instruction about how to be a good and just person.  Leviticus is better at teaching people how to be SHITHEADS and ASSHOLES than to be decent human beings.

SEXISM is rampant in Leviticus, from start to finish.  For example, the first five verses of Leviticus are drenched in sexism:

1 Now the LORD called to Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting, saying,
2 “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When anyone of you brings an offering to the LORD, you shall bring your offering of livestock from the herd or the flock.
3 If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer a male without defect; he shall offer it at the doorway of the tent of meeting, so that he may be accepted before the LORD.
4 And he shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, so that it may be accepted for him to make atonement on his behalf.
5 Then he shall slaughter the bull before the Lord; and Aaron’s sons the priests shall offer up the blood and sprinkle the blood around on the altar that is at the doorway of the tent of meeting.
(Leviticus 1:1-5, New American Standard Bible)

In verse 1 of Chapter 1,  Jehovah speaks through a prophet named Moses.  Moses was a man, not a woman.  Nearly all the prophets mentioned in the Old Testament are  men; very few women are called prophets in the OT.  And although there are many books in the OT that are attributed to a male prophet, there are ZERO books in the OT that are attributed to a female prophet.  The first five books of the OT are attributed to the male prophet Moses.  There are just two books in the OT named after women:  Ruth and Esther.  Ruth did not claim to be a prophet, is not called a prophet in the OT, and is not considered to be a prophet. Esther did not claim to be a prophet, is not called a prophet in the OT, and is not considered to be a prophet.
In addition to the five books attributed to the male prophet Moses, there are five books called “the major prophets”:  Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel.  These are the names of four men who were considered OT prophets (Lamentations is traditionally believed to have been written by Jeremiah). ZERO of “the major prophets” books was written by a woman prophet.
Twelve books of the OT are called “the minor prophets”: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. These are the names of twelve men who were OT prophets.  ZERO of “the minor prophets” was written by a woman prophet.  So, clearly Jehovah strongly preferred to communicate through men rather than women.  Jehovah was a sexist who promoted sexism.
Not only does Jehovah communicate primarily through men, but his communications are directed primarily to men.  In verse 2 of Chapter 1, Jehovah tells his prophet Moses to “Speak to the sons of Israel…”.  The book of Leviticus is thus directed primarily to men, not to women.  This is another way in which Jehovah displayed and promoted sexism.
In verse 3 of Chapter 1,  Jehovah requires that any animal brought as a “burnt offering” be “a male without defect”.  In other words, a “burnt offering” should be one of the very best animals from the herd or flock, and being a “male” would make the animal one of the best.  So, this requirement also displays and promotes sexism.
The leader of the priesthood was Aaron, a man who was the brother of Moses.  This is another example of sexism.  Furthermore, in verse 5 of Chapter 1, we learn that ALL of the priests for Jehovah (other than Aaron) were required to be SONS of Aaron.  No women were allowed to be priests for Jehovah.  So, in addition to promoting sexism by choosing men almost exclusively to be his prophets or messengers, Jehovah further displayed and promoted sexism by requiring that ALL of his priests be men.
In short, the first five verses of Leviticus are completely drenched in sexism.  If the book of Leviticus was inspired by Jehovah, then Jehovah was a sexist; Jehovah has an ignorant and unjust attitude of prejudice towards women, and Jehovah promoted this ignorant and unjust attitude towards women.  If Jehovah was a sexist and promoted sexism, then Jehovah is ignorant and unjust and thus is NOT God.  God, if God exists, is all-knowing and perfectly good.  God is not, and cannot be, a sexist.  Therefore, the first five verses of Leviticus are sufficient by themselves to establish that this book was NOT inspired by God.
 
 
CHAPTER 2 OF LEVITICUS
Jehovah again displays and promotes SEXISM in Chapter 2:

1 ‘Now when anyone presents a grain offering as an offering to the LORD, his offering shall be of fine flour, and he shall pour oil on it and put frankincense on it.
2 He shall then bring it to Aaron’s sons the priests; and he shall take from it his handful of its fine flour and of its oil, with all of its frankincense. And the priest shall offer it up in smoke as its memorial portion on the altar, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD.
3 The remainder of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons: a most holy part of the offerings to the LORD by fire.
(Leviticus 2:1-3, New American Standard Bible)

 
CHAPTER 3 OF LEVITICUS
Jehovah also displays and promotes SEXISM in Chapter 3:

1 ‘Now if his offering is a sacrifice of peace offerings, if he is going to offer from the herd, whether male or female, he shall offer it without defect before the LORD.
2 And he shall lay his hand on the head of his offering and slaughter it at the doorway of the tent of meeting, and Aaron’s sons the priests shall sprinkle the blood around on the altar.
3 From the sacrifice of the peace offerings he shall then present an offering by fire to the LORD, the fat that covers the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails…
(Leviticus 3:1-3, New American Standard Bible)

 
CHAPTER 4 OF LEVITICUS
It should be no surprise that Jehovah continues to display and promote SEXSIM in Chapter 4:

1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
2 “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘If a person sins unintentionally in any of the things which the LORD has commanded not to be done, and commits any of them,
3 if the anointed priest sins so as to bring guilt on the people, then he is to offer to the LORD a bull without defect as a sin offering for his sin which he has committed.
(Leviticus 4:1-3, New American Standard Bible)

22 ‘When a leader sins and unintentionally does any of the things which the LORD his God has commanded not to be done, and he becomes guilty,
23 if his sin which he has committed is made known to him, he shall bring as his offering a goat, a male without defect.
24 And he shall lay his hand on the head of the male goat and slaughter it in the place where they slaughter the burnt offering before the Lord; it is a sin offering.
(Leviticus 4:22-24, New American Standard Bible)

 
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE…
Not only do we find this ignorant and unjust sexism consistently promoted throughout the entire book of Leviticus, but we also find other stupid and unjust views, laws, and guidelines promoted in Leviticus.  For example, there is no hint that DEMOCRACY is of any value; instead we get a big fat helping of brutal authoritarianism.  There is no hint that FREEDOM OF RELIGION has any value; instead, religious beliefs and practices are repeatedly DICTATED by laws and ENFORCED by the threat of the DEATH PENALTY.
Moses was not elected  by the Israelites to be the ruler of the Israelites.  Jehovah was not elected by the Israelites to be the god of the Israelites.  Aaron was not elected by the Israelites to be the head of the priesthood by the Israelites.  The sons of Aaron were not elected by the Israelites to be their priests. Jehovah and Moses simply dictated all of this to the Israelites and determined that anyone who refused to follow the “laws” dictated by Jehovah and Moses would be put to death.  This included laws that dictated WHO the Israelites would worship and HOW that worship would be conducted.  Anyone who worshiped a god other than Jehovah or who worshiped Jehovah in some way other than the ways dictated by Jehovah and Moses were to be put to death.
We in the USA believe in Democracy and Freedom of Religion (at least Americans who are not SHITHEAD Trump supporters).  We believe that anti-democratic authoritarian rulers who persecute and kill people who practice a religion different than the religion approved by the authoritarian rulers are evil, and thus such governments are BAD for human beings.  But it is precisely such a social and political system that Jehovah, Moses, and the book of Leviticus promotes!  For anyone who believes in DEMOCRACY and FREEDOM OF RELIGION, this is powerful evidence that Jehovah was NOT God, and that the book of Leviticus was NOT inspired by God.  It is rather the work of a person who was a SHITHEAD and/or an ASSHOLE.
As I argued in Part 6 of this series, killing thousands of mammals and birds every year to atone for sins when only the death of Jesus can atone for sins is not just stupid, it is morally wrong.  It is wrong to kill thousands of mammals and birds every year for no good reason, and according to the teachings of the New Testament, sacrificing animals does NOTHING to atone for anyone’s sins.  If animals sacrifices worked to atone for sins, then there was no need for Jesus to die on the cross to atone for anyone’s sins.
So, if one accepts the Christian belief that Jesus’ death was necessary to accomplish atonement for the sins of all humankind, then animal sacrifices to Jehovah were superfluous and thus immoral.  Either Jehovah was IGNORANT about the fact that only the death of Jesus could atone for sins, or else Christianity is a false religion, and the death of Jesus was NOT the only way to atone for the sins of humankind.  If Jehovah believed that animals sacrifices could atone for human sins, and if the truth is that ONLY the death of Jesus could atone for human sins, then Jehovah was wrong about one of the most important theological issues that exists, and thus Jehovah was NOT God.
On the other hand, if Jehovah believed that animal sacrifices could atone for human sins and he was RIGHT about this, then Christianity is a false religion, and the death of Jesus was unnecessary for the atonement of sin.  From the point of view of Christian Theology, the belief that animal sacrifices can atone for human sins is a serious error, and thus Jehovah was MISTAKEN, and thus Jehovah was NOT God, and thus Leviticus was NOT inspired by God.
The whole idea of one person or creature suffering to atone for the sins of another creature or person is in itself a morally flawed idea.  Justice cannot be achieved this way.  Children should not be punished for the sins of their parents.  The Bible itself teaches this principle of justice:

20 The person who sins shall die. A child shall not suffer for the iniquity of a parent, nor a parent suffer for the iniquity of a child; the righteousness of the righteous shall be his own, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be his own.  (Ezekiel 18:20, New Revised Standard Version)

But underneath this principle is a more basic principle:  One person should not be punished for the bad actions of another person.  Thus, whether atonement of sins is believed to be based on the killing of animals or the killing of a person (i.e. Jesus), the whole idea of atonement is contrary to a basic principle of justice.  Both the OT and the NT embrace the idea of atonement for sins based on the killing of a creature other than the person who committed a wrong action.  This is unjust and provides us with a very good reason for rejecting the view that the OT was inspired by God, and for also rejecting the view that the NT was inspired by God.

 
CHAPTER 11 OF LEVITICUS
In Chapter 11, Jehovah prohibits the Israelites from eating various kinds of animals and sea creatures:

1 The LORD spoke again to Moses and to Aaron, saying to them,
2 “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘These are the creatures which you may eat from all the animals that are on the earth.
3 Whatever has a divided hoof, showing split hoofs, and chews the cud, among the animals, that you may eat.
4 Nevertheless, you are not to eat of these, among those which chew the cud, or among those which have a divided hoof: the camel, for though it chews cud, it does not have a divided hoof; it is unclean to you.
5 Likewise, the rock hyrax, for though it chews cud, it does not have a divided hoof; it is unclean to you.
6 The rabbit also, for though it chews cud, it does not have a divided hoof; it is unclean to you.
7 And the pig, for though it has a divided hoof, and so it shows a split hoof, it does not chew cud; it is unclean to you.
8 You shall not eat any of their flesh nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.
9 ‘These you may eat, of whatever is in the water: everything that has fins and scales, in the water, in the seas, or in the rivers, you may eat.
10 But whatever is in the seas and in the rivers that does not have fins and scales among all the teeming life of the water, and among all the living creatures that are in the water, they are detestable things to you,
11 and they shall be detestable to you; you may not eat any of their flesh, and you shall detest their carcasses.
12 Whatever in the water does not have fins and scales is detestable to you.
(Leviticus 11:1-12, New American Standard Bible)

These prohibitions are STUPID.  Rabbits and pigs can be domesticated and can provide a great source of meat and protein for people to eat, be healthy, and avoid starvation or malnourishment.  Clams, oysters, lobsters, abalone, crabs, and shrimp provide further sources of meat and protein for people to eat, be healthy, and avoid starvation and malnourishment.  To prohibit the eating of such sea creatures is STUPID.  This is clearly BAD guidance about what people should not eat.
Such prohibitions by Jehovah imply that either Jehovah was IGNORANT that these creatures provide a good source of meat and protein for people to eat, or else that Jehovah did not care greatly whether the Israelites had plenty of sources of meat and protein in order to avoid starvation or malnourishment.  Either way this prohibition is clear evidence that Jehovah is NOT both all-knowing and perfectly good.  Jehovah is either IGNORANT or less than perfectly good.  Either way, Jehovah is NOT God, and thus Leviticus was NOT inspired by God.
To Be Continued…