On justice

I must say first that if you have time, pick this book by Robert A Heinlein and you will not fail to find something totally hilarious. In some place he writes

…justice is not a divine concept, it is a human illusion. The very basis of the judeo-christian code is injustice, the scapegoat system. The scapegoat sacrifice runs all through the old testament, then it reaches its height in the new testament with the notion of the martyred redeemer. How can justice possibly be served by loading your sins on another? Whether it be a lamb having its throat cut ritually or a messiah nailed to a cross and “dying for your sins”. Somebody should tell all of Yawheh’s followers, jews and Christians, that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Job, a comedy of justice

the genocidal god

of the old testament, if you will.

In his post, Brian Ingalls, has set out to convince us atheists are wrong in thinking his beloved god is guilty of genocide among other crimes.

He gives the following excuses

  1. any God who can create such a vast and complex reality as this universe, certainly may also behave in ways that human beings might occasionally struggle to comprehend.
  2. it is all hyperbole in the part of the bible authors
  3. the claims that wholesale slaughter of people took place in Canaan is incorrect. These were just night raids, over a long period
  4. god had warned the people of Canaan for centuries and their response was fuck off
  5. god is just, live with it
  6. it’s god’s way of fucking us
  7. the people of Israel were just following orders

Is there anyone of you with some sense in their heads who doesn’t think these excuses are absurd, inexcusable and are blasphemous?

a. our concepts of justice, and these are the only meaningful ways of which we can talk about justice expects us to protect those we have created and are vulnerable. It is not an argument in god’s favour that having created sentient beings, he can do with them as he pleases.

b. if the apologist wants to use this line of hyperbole, we must ask why a good god would want to deceive its followers.

c. who was the god of the Canaanites? Why would the same god who made them, command another group of people it made to forcefully occupy their land? Was it impossible for a god so powerful to settle them elsewhere without bloodshed?

d. why, even after issuing warnings would god command bloodshed. I can think of many non violent ways a good meet its ends and to tell us an all loving, powerful and knowing god would only think of bloodshed reeks of a lack of imagination

e. the claim that whatever god does is just is abhorrent to any thinking being.

f. why would an apologist argue with a straight face that the only means available to their god is bloodshed?

g. why have the blood on their hands? Why make the people of Israel be inhumane towards others who have done them no harm? What justice is there? Where is the kindness? Where is the love?

I think any theist who justifies these repine in the name of god is worse than a monster. To believe it’s a show of love, kindness and great knowledge to fill the earth with the blood of innocents is to me the worst form of psychopathy and such persons ought to be checked into an institution.

New atheists and morality

Godless Cranium has written a post, which I will read after I finish writing mine for fear that should I read his first, I may find it so good I will be unable to go ahead. It is a response to Lyle who has written the amazing new atheists.

In his brief essay, The Necessity of Atheism, Percy Bysshe Shelley writes, and I paraphrase that ignorance of nature created the gods, its knowledge will be the death of gods. If this has not been true at any time in our history, then it is more so now.

Lyle starts his post thus

I am truly amazed at people that claim they are atheist and then spent a great deal of their time talking about or even arguing about transcendental concepts like love, justices and truth.

and one wonders if these are not human terms? Anyone, as long as they are human, can use them. Or does Lyle intend to tell us there is only a special class of persons to whom love, justice and truth should matter?

He goes on

If there is no God, are these concept not just empty expressions? Why spent the time and effort to try to convince the theist or for that matter anyone that there is no God?  If there is no God, is not truth just a subjective term that has no real content?

I don’t speak for other atheists, but I am not busy trying to convince a theist there is no god. I already know and that is enough for me. What does god have to do with justice? Is Lyle telling us without his belief in a phantom, he will be robbing his neighbour, killing their pets? What does he mean by betting justice on a god? And while he keeps throwing truth around, what does he mean by truth?

I don’t know how gods non-existence

would necessitate the complete remaking of everything, our language, our culture, values, civilization and in essences the very way we think about everything.

Is culture so dependent on god that if men stopped believing in some ghost, it would collapse? Hasn’t humanity progressed in spite of culture, religion and not because of it?

And he represents Nietzsche when he writes

We are talking about the world of Nietzsche, a world, which has gone beyond good and evil, a world of a mad man

for he( Nietzsche) dreamt of a higher man. He writes for the free spirit. Not held back by custom, by religion or dogma.

He asks

can mankind survive as man without the idea of God?

and I say a resounding yes. I hope also he recognizes, god is just an idea and one which hasn’t even been coherently defined. It means whatever the believer wants it to mean.

Someone said, and I paraphrase, all great ideas start as heresy and I find these words

For this reason I believe that atheism is the most dangers and destructive ideology in the world

by Lyle to capture the spirit of that quote. Yes, any idea that leads to a revolution in the way of thought is dangerous. It can’t be any other way. And Lyle has every reason to be scared. Religion cannot stand the assault of reason without transforming itself into something entirely different.

When he writes

Some may respond by saying that they feel religion is evil and that they are simply trying to do away with evil and replace it with something better. Well I would have to agree that some religion is evil but not because religion itself is evil but rather because there are evil men in religion.

I have to disagree. Religion is inherently harmful. No man is evil. It is judgement that makes it so, and this judgement is not on the person but on their actions rather consequences of their actions.

It is odd that the person berating atheists as being relativist[s] says

You might reply, because religion hurts people. My answer is, it has not hurt me,

Is a god necessary for one to know genocide is harmful or that war is? Is the believer so handicapped? Who ties their shoelaces?

That the Nazis thought exterminating the Jews reasonable doesn’t make it so. I don’t want to be exterminated. In the words of John Donne,

Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee

I must think theists very ignorant of the church history. When the church had divine guidance, witches were burnt, men and women burnt at the stake and religious differences settled by crusades. As Arch would say, religion is trying to bring peace to a world torn apart by religion.

Anytime a theist brings up the reign of Stalin as a counterpoint to atheistic society, I am convinced the fellow has an IQ less than that of my shirt, and I mean no insult here. Stalin was for lack of a better word psycho. The religious represent about 58% of the Chinese population. The government is authoritarian. Nobody denies that the ruling party is atheistic. It’s faults are not, in my view, because it is atheistic but because it is authoritarian.

It is a fact that

The truth is that belief in God is as much a matter of the will as the intelligent.

and this explains why there are those who regardless of anything reason can show them, they would still believe in god.

I don’t want to go beyond here. It is no argument for the truth of religion that some intelligent person believed.

There can be no liberty without religion

In this post, the author starts by contradicting himself by saying natural law requires religion, biblical religion. You may want to know why this is a contradiction

Natural law is a philosophy of law that is determined by nature, and so is universal. Classically, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze human nature — both social and personal — and deduce binding rules of moral behavior from it.

I am aware the Catholic will say

the natural law is the rule of conduct which is prescribed to us by the Creator in the constitution of the nature with which He has endowed us.

and I contend that such a law, if it involves the supernatural, cannot in all fairness be called natural.

I haven’t received the memo yet, but it appears the secret is out. Atheists are trying to eliminate Jews and Christians.

This author tells us

There is really only one struggle in this world, but it manifests itself in many different ways.  That struggle is between those who believe in and worship the One True God, the God of the Bible, and everyone else.

and I will tell you, if there is any struggle, it is between the reasonable and the unreasonable and in this group we have the superstitious, the denialists and jihadis, and Indiana Governor, Mr. Pence. Very few, if any worship the god of the bible. No one stones their neighbour for working on a Sunday, many have tattoos, wear clothes of mixed fabric and so on.

Nietzsche writing about morals in Genealogy of Morals, argues and correctly so, that christian morality is a slave morality, a morality of the weak. It encourages it’s believers to be meek down here to be in a position to inherit wealth in the hereafter. It’s aim is to shift the balance of power in the hereafter to the poor, the stupid and the uneducated.

I don’t shy away from the charge of being amoral. I am willing to be shown how good/ bad are not matters of judgement and only that they make sense in society. That without people living in groups, the word morality makes no sense.

It is true,

the Humanists recognized that those who believe in God are a powerful force of opposition, specifically those who believe in the Bible.

but not in the way this author thinks, far from it, but they are the greatest opposition to advancement in human development and expansion of human rights everywhere. The humanist desire is to have a better world for all, the christian believes the world is transient and is busy making a world in the nether world at the expense of decency and goodness here, where it matters the most.

When this author writes

Is this starting to explain what you see happening in our society today yet — especially in politics? It explains why Humanists have no concern for human life: because they see no value in any life but their own.

I can say without fear of contradiction that he is lying. There are only a handful of atheists in government positions. Many atheists I know are opposed to war, to capital punishment. The christian prays as he goes to war that his god grants him victory. Bush believed he was doing god’s will when he attacked Saddam. So no, you got it wrong. The humanist is concerned with life, human life especially, but extends the same dignity to all sentient creatures.

I think the believer living in America must know very little. The world is vast. People have varied religions and some have none and they live well.

I am not American, but I believe all the progress that has been made there and elsewhere in terms of human advancement has been done inspite of the religion.

And further, were it not for the humanists, such as Joseph Lewis, Ingersoll, Mencken, Mark Twain, the American evangelist would still be scaring his congregation with hell fire. It is the humanist who pointed out the absurdity in believing in a loving god who has a BBQ on the side for people who question its existence.

I think the belief that it is up to us to make the world a better place for us and others achieves more positive results than telling people they will roast forever plus 1 in hell for not believing silly things. We have grown up. We can’t continue to believe the superstitions of our ignorant ancestors. I believe that any one who today believes that the bible is true and that is the word of a god is uneducated, stupid and unreasonable. The age has come where we have to see it for what it is, a book by ignorant men, mainly, for ignorant men written for political and theological ends but always by ignorant and unsophisticated men.

And now to enrage you!

I will just copy the post from avaaz. It has been in my email for a few days now.

By now we’ve all heard this story, but it’s no less shocking: 16 year old Liz was walking home from her grandfather’s funeral when she was ambushed by six men who took turns raping her and then threw her unconscious body down a 6-meter toilet pit.Their punishment? Police had them mow their station lawn, then let them go free!

Liz’s horror story has sent shockwaves through Kenya and now politicians and the police are under pressure to respond. But women’s groups say nothing will truly change unless the government is put under the spotlight. They are calling on us urgently to help ensure justice is done and that Liz’s nightmare marks a turning-point in Kenya’s rape epidemic.

Nobody has been brought to justice — not the rapists, and not the police. Today, we change that. Let’s stand with Liz right now, before her attackers and the police escape.Click below to get justice for Liz and help make sure no girl anywhere suffers this violence:

According to the girl’s mother, after they were set free, the rapists returned to Liz’s home to taunt the family. They acted like they were above the law, and they had good reason to think so. Because of ridiculous bureaucratic requirements, the police logged Liz’s attack as mere “assault” and asked her mother to “clean her up”, destroying key forensic evidence. Now her rapists are free and Liz is in a wheelchair.

Liz’s story is an extreme example of a much bigger problem. Two thirds of Kenyan school girls and half of school boys have been sexually abused. And earlier this year, a landmark court ruling found police guilty of failing to do their jobs and ordered them to uphold Kenya’s strict anti-rape laws. Rape is illegal everywhere, but too often these laws are just not enforced by the men charged with protecting our daughters. Beginning with Liz, we can change that.

The police claim that they don’t have the money or training to uphold the law. But you don’t need much training to know that cutting the grass is no punishment for rape. If we can help ensure these rapists and police are held to account, we can set a precedent that will compel police to treat rape as a serious crime, not a misdemeanour.

Here is the petition

On free will and criminals

Fellow sufferers, a lot has been written about free will on this blog and those of you who are regular readers know the opinion of yours truly. In this address by Clarence Darrow, he makes such a compelling argument for bringing down of prison walls one wonders why several years later, the Americans still have the highest prison population among any nation in the developed and industrialized west.

Once during an argument with some buddies of mine, I told them what they call justice is nothing other than the rich protecting their property. Clarence writes

The laws are really organized for the protection of the men who rule the world. They were never organized or enforced to do justice. We have no system for doing justice, not the slightest in the world.

a statement I find hard to disagree with. Elsewhere he says

Hanging men in our county jails does not prevent murder. It makes murderers.

something yours truly agrees with. But more so it is the concluding remarks that I will share before sending you to read the whole article as an assignment from your genial host.

The only way in the world to abolish crime and criminals is to abolish the big ones and the little ones together. Make fair conditions of life. Give men a chance to live. Abolish the right of private ownership of land, abolish monopoly, make the world partners in production, partners in the good things of life. Nobody would steal if he could get something of his own some easier way. Nobody will commit burglary when he has a house full. No girl will go out on the streets when she has a comfortable place at home. The man who owns a sweatshop or a department store may not be to blame himself for the condition of his girls, but when he pays them five dollars, three dollars, and two dollars a week, I wonder where he thinks they will get the rest of their money to live. The only way to cure these conditions is by equality. There should be no jails. They do not accomplish what they pretend to accomplish. If you would wipe them out, there would be no more criminals than now. They terrorize nobody. They are a blot upon civilization, and a jail is an evidence of the lack of charity of the people on the outside who make the jails and fill them with the victims of their greed.

Address to prisoners at the Chicago Jail by Clarence Darrow

If you don’t follow WEIT, you may want to visit his site there is a lot of biology to learn, cat stories for cat lovers, music for music lovers and gems such as these for those who have time to spare reading philosophy. So get over there too and learn something new.

A travesty of justice: Was he railroaded?

Yours truly is not a lawyer, neither was he in court during the trial. It is the aim of this post to look at this particular case from what was reported in the media and offer a defense for the young man.

First the details of the case.

David was charged with violently robbing his father while armed with a revolver and a knife. He stole a wallet containing Sh1,000, an ATM card, Visa Card, Alien Identity Card, two medical cards, three supermarket smart cards and a mobile phone all valued at Sh157,000.

and the decision of the court

I have considered that he is a first offender but also the fact that the offence he is charged with carries only one mandatory sentence. I will be imposing an illegal sentence to deviate from what the law says and, therefore, order him to suffer death.

the testimony by the father

Mr Mulready Tett testified that on the fateful day, his son called him to the living room where he found him with two other men. He noticed that his son was troubled and requested that they go outside to have a private talk and when they went back in the house, he requested the two to leave.

and the son’s response

the young Tett said that he was a victim of circumstances, that he was hijacked by the robbers who asked him at gunpoint to take them to his parents’ home and had no alternative but to comply.

I don’t know about you, but this case smells bad from the word go especially listening to what the adopted mother had to say

He used to claim for his share of property. Who is he? He is not even my own son. I only took care of him and in any case, I could have given him some property.

I am not privy to how the adoption was arranged, how they are related but I think there is more than meets the eye in this case. For one the sentence of the court defies the laws of natural justice. What good does society gain by the death sentence? How does the attempted theft of 157K warrant a death sentence? Why did the court dismiss the plea by the son that he was a victim of circumstances?

I believe a person acts as he does and that environment, training and temperament all play apart in someone’s behaviour. It would be useful for us to know under what circumstances David was brought up. His story has not been told in the whole of this. We have on the contrary the story of a once powerful mother complaining to be aggrieved while she sheds crocodile tears.

Anyone who receives death threats can go to the police and file a complaint. She says

He has always kept threatening the family, I had to restructure my security detail, change my routes because of the consistent death threats I always get from people hired by him to come and kill me.

It would be interesting to know if she ever reported such incidences to the police? Were this people arrested and what became of their cases? How did she tell her son had hired them or did they report this to her? And if they could report to her, they could also tell the police, why didn’t they report to the police they had been hired to kill the lady? This, to me, simply makes no sense.

I think the magistrate erred in sentencing David to hang. I think justice was not served and I hope that he files an appeal and gets his sentence commuted or revoked altogether.  And am I opposed to death penalty.

                                                                                          

Tett son sentenced to death

The adopted child who would turn against his parents