Even Racists Taste Good in Casserole

“Of course, the nonexistence of God is nothing more than a nonsense option. The categories of good and evil themselves require some sort of transcendent standard. What makes things good? What makes things evil? Atheists have, by and large, given up on the idea of an absolute standard of morality. After all, spiritual emptiness and the non-existence of anything outside of the simple material universe is no way to come up with an ethical system. Morality is a cultural preference (which cannot be said to be right or wrong) and fundamentally relative. It takes on (to be generous) the same authority as Wisconsin speed limits on a Nevada highway at night.

People are raped in this world, and rape is evil. Because evil exists, there must be no God. Because there is no God – no authoritative standard over creation – the badness of rape downgrades to a mere matter of societal taste. Ethnic cuisine, ethnic ethics. In God’s absence rape is no longer fundamentally evil. In our country, you’ll get confined to a cell (if caught and convicted). But that just means we enforce our taste, not that our taste has any real authority over anyone else. In other societies, girls have been passed around and traded like baseball cards. Is that right? Is that wrong? Neither. You like exploitation; I like apple pie. The two discussions exist on the same plane. There’s no such thing as moral or immoral. In our country, we eat gyros. In this one, we eat pizza. And we’ll give you a ticket for jaywalking.

Stunning. Such wisdom is like a kiss on the lips.

To quote one contemporary prophet: ‘You and me, baby, ain’t nothing but mammals, so let’s do like they do on the Discovery Channel.’

I’ve watched the Discovery Channel. I’ve enjoyed the Discovery Channel. But in that world, if I want to reproduce with you (or tear you limb from limb), I just need to be bigger and stronger than you are. You look pretty small and a little sickly. Shall I feed you to my young? Why not? Cannibalism might not be condoned in your culture, but it has been a long and storied tradition in mine. Are you saying your culture is superior, that it is somehow right while mine is wrong? You’re being a racist, but luckily you’re still small, and even racists taste good in casserole.”

~ N.D. Wilson, Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl (pp. 72-73)

59 thoughts on “Even Racists Taste Good in Casserole”

  1. “…spiritual emptiness and the non-existence of anything outside of the simple material universe is no way to come up with an ethical system.” Says who? Rape is wrong because it infringes on the rights of another. If one person says no, then, to quote the anti-rape motto, “no means no.” Why does there have to be an objectivity to it? I’ll repeat again using another term you used; rape being wrong is not a societal taste, it is wrong because it is wrong to infringe on the personal rights of another. The “Survival of the fittest” attitude you’re taking towards a relative morality doesn’t really apply to anything. No one honestly believes that in human culture and society.

    Do you honestly believe that the Jews made it all the way to Mt. Sinai under the impression that murder, theft, and rape were okay? Only to be told after having been revealed these laws to murder the worshipers of the calf? No, because those concepts pre-date Christianity. There is no known civilization that condones those activities.

    I say again because it bears repeating; there does not have to an objective morality. Only a respect for personal rights, which are defined by rights that do not harm others (I would even go so far as to say that do not fatally harm yourself,) because, in the long run, it does no good to constantly murder and pillage your way through life. We are a societal species.

    Though, the last line is rather witty. But I find racists leave a bad taste in my mouth.

    1. Only a respect for personal rights, which are defined by rights that do not harm others (I would even go so far as to say that do not fatally harm yourself,) because, in the long run, it does no good to constantly murder and pillage your way through life.

      Who defines “personal rights”? Who says that I can’t infringe on them? Who says they even exist? You? Why should I listen to you? If there is no objective morality, then I define my own morality – murdering, raping, and pillaging might displease you, but if it brings me power, pleasure, and wealth, who’s to say I’m wrong?

      1. The large number of people who would detain you for being a psychopath. It is against human nature (please, do not say human nature is a Godly term, it isn’t, it’s psychological) to be destructive to fellow humans. We are a societal species, we need comradery, we need companionship else we risk a number of psychological disorders because our brain was not evolved to handle solidarity well. Morality is intrinsic in humans because it not only helps ourselves (i.e. providing a helping hand to an impoverished fellow human innately gives us a sense of well-being and could in turn, should we be in the same position, allow for that person to help us in turn) but helps our fellow homo-sapiens. Morality is necessary for the propagation of the species.

          1. No, I am saying morality is innate *because* it is best for the species. There is a slight difference there. It is purely evolutionary, and in some ways yes, it is selfish. But there are very few selfless good deeds.

          2. So, it’s best for the species. And… I should care why? You might say that moral behaviour on my part improves the survival chances of humanity in general, but again… why should I care?

  2. The reply button seems to have disappeared, so I hope you’ll forgive me for starting a new chain.

    You don’t have to care, but you do, don’t you? That’s the point. It is not obligatory, it is not compulsory like most of the Christian creed. It is natural. Just as sexual reproduction provides the greatest chances of genetic diversity, an innate morality provides the greatest chances for a society, or a species that can form a society and survive the most comfortably. It is natural. Not supernatural.

    1. Yeah, no worries on the new thread. The comment embedding only goes so far. :)

      You don’t have to care. Okay, then. So. you may call it “unnatural” for me to rape and murder someone, but you certainly can’t call it wrong or evil or (to use the Christian term) sin. After all, “caring” isn’t obligatory…

          1. You’re missing the point I’m making. Forgive me using the comparison too much, but it’s the best one I know of. Sex isn’t something you care about. It is an innate desire we are, not always painfully, plagued with. You don’t have to care about the species, but it is natural for us to feel obliged to help our fellow homo sapien, or at least for empathy for them. It’s something you are forced to care about, it is something that happens because it is how we evolved to live in societies we’ve created, to live with companions.

    2. That’s the second time you’ve mentioned “Christian”. Nowhere in the original post is the term “Christian” used, its about God not a religion. And I will agree with you that a religion did not instigate morality.

      “Do you honestly believe that the Jews made it all the way to Mt. Sinai under the impression that murder, theft, and rape were okay? Only to be told after having been revealed these laws to murder the worshipers of the calf? No, because those concepts pre-date Christianity.” That is also true because GOD predates Christianity.

      This is also the second post I’ve read over the last couple of days having to do with the origin of morality. I find that, in itself, interesting. In both cases however, the argument got muddled between God and religion, as if they were interchangeable. Often times when one takes issue with God, they are actually talking about a particular religion or religious creed (most often Christianity). I would agree that morality is not based on or founded by any religion. But, that does not negate the point of the original post nor Ink Slinger’s subsequent comments.

      “There is no known civilization that condones those activities.”

      Again I agree, because GOD also predates civilization. If you were wanting to refute the
      that morality is not based on a particular religious viewpoint: Point made. What has yet to be refuted is the basis for the possibility of an ultimate moral authority.

      1. My main point is that there doesn’t *have* to be a moral authority. I’ve addressed that in my other replies to the author of this post.

        Also, I do recognize the author does not mention Christianity explicitly, however, it is all over the side and the bottoms of her blog that she is a devour believer. I figured my inference would be rather self-evident.

        1. Pardon me. I realized I call the author “she” without knowing.

          I could also use this to touch on what Kent spent the most of the reply referring to. If you put Zeus or Quetzalcoatl in place of God every time you mention it, the argument would still work, would it not? That’s why I prefer to stick in the regions of religion, else you risk muddying your feet in some sticky theology that will just work in circles.

          1. Save the “Zues/Quetzacotal’ argument for another day. Let’s stick to the subject at hand. You say, “My main point is that there doesn’t *have* to be a moral authority.

            That being the case, you prove Wilson’s point exactly. Without a moral authority, there are no moral aboslutes. No one to say why I shouldn’t rape or murder or steal my neighbor’s car. Right and wrong are defined by each individual for himself. Wilson goes on to say,

            True atheism is nonsense. If there is such a thing as beautiful, such a thing as good, or even such a thing as bad, then there is a transcendent standard that determines which is which. An atheist can say that society prefers mothers to murderers, but he cannot say that this is as it should be. Tell us what is, by all means. But without God, you cannot tell us what ought to be.

            An atheist can tell us that he is a good person, that he has never stolen a lawn mower or murdered his wife. I believe him. What he cannot tell me is what is fundamentally wrong about lawn mower theft and wife killing. He will try, but he can’t change that fact that in his world thereis no such thing as fundamental wrongness.

            Let the man with the biggest armies and the booming voice make the rules. Jews and gypsies and homosexuals be damned.

  3. Question:’why should I care?’
    Answer: We care because it is natural to see suffering in the form of rape, poverty, imorality etc. and want to reach out. A good example of this is John G. Patton’s autobiograpy ‘Missionary Patriarch’

      1. And I should add that Missionary Patriarch is a great book. :) But Patton didn’t become a missionary simply because he felt it was “natural” or “best for the species” – he did it because he felt that was what God had called him to do. To bring the gospel of Christ to a people still in darkness. Amiright? :)

  4. I watch your blog with regularity. This book is a definite on my next list! Thanks for what you do here on your blog, and holding to the TRUTH!

  5. You’re absoluly right Mr. Inkslinger, we haven’t answered you’re question. Maybe there isn’t one outside of the ‘view man as God does.’ Maybe we see a little bit of ourselves in every human and know how we’d feel in their shoes. Maybe, maybe not. Just a thought.

  6. I again to have to start a new thread here.

    I will still stand by my statement. Unfortunately, the Universe isn’t catered to us, so it is up to us and nature to decide what is right and wrong, and yes, it does affect the whole of the species. If we decided to say murder was okay, the species would die off in a few hundred years. It is the will of all life to survive, and our moral system has a damn good job so far. I cannot understand why someone has to be told what is right and what is wrong. I think it takes away from the beauty of morality. If someone told a man to jump on a grenade to save another’s life and he was compelled to do so, that doesn’t make him morally brave. A divinely inspired morality opens up a whole new realm of deception. What happened in North Carolina last week is a perfect example. Innocent people had their rights taken away because some people believed they had a divine right to do so.

      1. Now it just seems you’re being pedantic. By what right, and I mean any right, do they have to deny equal rights through marriage? Even if you say a Godly right, I’ll say your God is petty for caring about the sexual interests of others. It is the infringing on the personal rights of others, with no harm done in allowing the rights, but quite a lot of harm done in denying them. Can you see how it all ties in now? If not, there is no more clearer way I can describe it than I already have without repeating myself more than I would like to.

        1. By what right, and I mean any right, do you have to say that they’re wrong? You talk about “equality” as if there’s something objectively wrong denying it to others. Why? Even as you reject the notion of moral authority, you want to pass moral judgment on others. Doesn’t work like that.

          1. Well, for me the bottom line is this, God has told us in VERY explicit terms what is right and wrong (or morality vs. immoralty, you pick) in the books of the law, specifically the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. And immorality is a learned behavior. the children of Israel are the prime example of this.

          2. @Apeslugger: I agree – God Himself has laid down the standards by which we measure right and wrong. However, atheists reject God – therefore they have no ultimate standard to appeal to. Morality is up for grabs to the highest bidder.

          3. And to me that is why, I’m sad to say, there is no right answer to the question of ‘why should I care?’ from an atheistic standpoint.

    1. I’m not trying to reopen discussion here if you’re not interested. But I’m seriously curious, something you’ve never mentioned in your very well-written answers, where does logic come from?
      And something I can’t understand, why does it matter if we die out? As someone who once briefly considered suicide, this is an answer that atheism was unable to answer for me, why does it matter whether we live or die? What’s the point of life, what gives it a point, and why should I care whether the human species survives?
      And one last question, what is your standard for beauty, and why do you believe that morality is beautiful, wait, what is morality?

      I’m honestly not trying to be combative, I’m curious what your views are.

      1. Well, I have gotten a bit of traffic from these replies, so I will continue a little further for the sake of argument.

        Logic again, is evolved. It is a tool we have adapted for survival, and it’s done very well for us. Our ancestors used to be strictly hunters/gatherers, until they figured out agriculture using a menial logic. And so it continues to build, until today where we can measure to 1% off-factor the curvature and structure of our Universe.

        We will inevitably die out. Nihilo is coming, and it’s coming relatively quick for us on a Universal scale, but survival is the will of nature. The point of life, for me, I couldn’t presume to be speak for others, it is a very relative term as I hope you realize, is that I wish to learn more about the world than I did yesterday, and I wish to make the world better for another in my lifetime. Sure, death is inevitable, but why waste the one life we have?

        I’ve written on beauty before. Again, it’s another relative term, but I see beauty as something inspirational. Isn’t the point of music to inspire? Of art? Of a morally courageous act? Beauty is simply a dear friend with inspiration. I could certainly never deny the amazing works of art, literature, and music that were attributed in the name of God, but is doesn’t mean God supplied the inspiration.

        It’s not a black and white issue. It’s not “Well if science can’t explain it then God must have done it.” It doesn’t work that way. We could both very well be wrong. However, science works, it explains what religion has failed to.

        1. Hmmm. Thanks for replying, unfortunately to continue this any further would require a lengthy discussion that isn’t quite suited to the comment section.
          By the way, as far as science, you’re half right, but also, science is not a god either. Science is a process which can and often has been fallible, and there are often two sides to a scientific finding. I once had to research scientific findings for chemical pesticides and their dangers or lack thereof, and I found hundreds of reliable sources saying completely opposite things. Science is a fallible process which provides information which is viewed at through a worldview, and your worldview determines whether that “science” is any good.

          1. I will agree that it is fallible, but that’s the point of science, it doesn’t claim it has all the right answers and it thrives on being proven wrong to learn more.

            As for your example, I’m sorry dear friend, but that is not how science works, and, don’t take this wrong the way, I sincerely hope your professor failed you if you included that in your thesis. I’ll take your example for my own; when gathering information you are bound to to find contradictory answers. However, we’ll say reference 1 made the claims A, B, and C. Reference 2 made the claims A, and B, and reference 3 made the claim A. For your purposes you would take the most relevant and common data: A. If you wanted to take B or C, you would do as a scientist would. You gather much more information, at least a year’s worth about the two claims to see if they’re even worth testing based on the commonality of the data. Or, if there is no data, you do the research yourself to see if fits in with what you’re trying to accomplish. You would eventually write a hypothesis that is in line with whatever you’re trying to test; we’ll say whether pesticides are harmful to plants. Claim A may say ‘no’, but C may say yes. Because claim A appears most often in research done by other scientists, you have reason to believe this is the statu quo. However, because there is a chance you are wrong, you would have to test claim C as well.

            It’s the scientific method: see a problem, evaluate the problem, write a hypothesis, design an experiment (using a dependent variable, an independent variable, and your control,) write your conclusion. This is what eventually becomes a theory after years of scrutiny and testing.

            Science is not democratic, it is not based on opinion. Science is seeing something in the Universe and trying to figure out how it works. Like I said about the measurement and structure of the Universe. Until the 1930’s, scientists believed we lived in a closed, spherical Universe. But Albert Einstein stumbled upon (Einstein didn’t realize it, another physicist who was reading his notes did) that the Universe could not be spherical, it had to be open, flat, and curved. We know this by measuring the mass of clustered galaxies, and recently, the mass of dark matter, which is an astounding majority of our Universe.

            You may well ask why you should take this from me. I am at least qualified, I have an A.S. degree and I was two years away from my B.S. in Biology before I switched to Philosophy of Science as my major.

          2. Sorry, I should have clarified, what I was trying to show was that people can always find scientific articles or studies that they see as supporting their point of view, not that science can actually prove two opposite things. If you dig deep enough, you can always find a source that is most reliable and most trustworthy.

            I think we agree on the whole science thing. :)

      1. But, that is just my opinion from the word of God. *changes subject* Cheeder cheese and bread crumbs on top? sounds good but crushed corn flakes mixed with melted butter is the prize winning topping for me. *shudders at the delightful thought*

  7. I thought you might like this book. :)
    Frankly, the only thing stopping me from eating you is that the big guy over there seems to think you’d be tasty too, and I’m not sure I can take him on in a fight.

      1. I’m sure I will, and I clearly have someone in particular to loan it to afterwards.

        *cyberstares at a certain individual*

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