Saturday, October 29, 2011

Christianity, Capitalism, and the "Witches"

Perhaps it is coincidence, but perhaps not, that Wintery Knight has again written a blog post against feminism--this time targeting nurses.  I say coincidence because in the spirit of Halloween, the original "healers," the doctors of the past, were women.  They were, as the church called them, "witches," and were demonized and burned at the stake when the church realized they had independence, autonomy and the respect of their communities, and did not need men to support them.  Interestingly, what Wintery Knight is complaining about--that is the lack of humanity and compassion amongst nurses--is is ironic, because the "witches" specialized in care and compassion.  They were the humanitarian and compassionate original healers who, for example, developed birthing chairs to make childbirth easier for women.  They also developed herbal therapies--some of which are still used today.  The church destroyed the humanity of the witches, and replaced it with the cold business known at "medicine."  I will delve into the issue Wintery Knight has with "feminist nurses" of today in a moment, but first I would like to elaborate a bit on the history of the "witch."

The medical practices and scientific techniques of the "witches" of the past were evolved, and worked so well that the church felt it gave women too much power.  Their work was then deemed the fruits of the devil, and the men of the church created propaganda against them by accusing them of sexual impurity, and that their "witchcraft" i.e. their "healing powers" was a product of carnal lust--said to be insatiable in the witches.  The so-called "fantasies" of these women were in reality the fantasies of their accusers, and they were used to torture them in some of the most inhumane ways possible. * They were often raped, and in many cases had their sexual organs cut off and mutilated--with the church's blessing.  Wintery Knight's moniker is also appropriate in this case, as the "knights" in the age of the witch burnings participated in torturing thousands of innocent women, and as their bloodlust grew, so did the scope of their victims, as they began targeting not only the healers, but also widows, and the "spinsters" ie. the women who "spun wool" and did not need men to support them, which evolved into the church persecuting anyone that did not agree with them as a way of "purifying" society.  I am sure that if "Wintery Knight" had been born in the age of the witch burnings, he would have gladly participated in their torture and murder.  After all, he would consider it "God's Will" as the negative stereotypes against women, and their methods of torture and death originated with the church.

Now, Wintery Knight is complaining again that feminism is the cause of the lack of humanity within the medical profession.  Again, he is sorely mistaken, as the medical profession is dominated by men who regard medicine as a business--and is not at all like the humanitarian efforts of the witches.  No, medicine today is a "for profit" institution, created by MEN--not women.  If Wintery Knight and anyone else has a problem with the lack of humanity within the medical system, they need to put the blame at the feet of those who created the system in the first place--men.  When the men took over from the witches, their goals were different.  Their goal was to make money, therefore millions died needlessly from infection because they did not practice the same cleanliness techniques the "witches" passed down to each other throughout the generations--because cleanliness takes time and effort. Instead of using a birthing chair, which also takes a great deal of time, the men developed forceps so they could come into a home, yank out the baby as quickly as possible, and move on to the next--which caused many injuries and deaths.  But that was just the cost of "doing business" for the men. 

Christianity is the root of the problem within the medical system, as it demonized the original humanitarian healers, creating the system we have now; and also promotes the belief that all life has intrinsic value--even the lives of those that are brain dead yet kept on life support.  The Capitalists then use this paradigm to make money, and they use the nurses and other care givers to keep those in vegetative states alive.  To let nature take its course however, is not a "lack of humanity,"--but having overworked, underpaid caregivers release their frustrations on those that cannot defend themselves is--which would never happen if the "witches" ran the system.

If there are nurses that lack the humanity that "Wintery Knight" feels they ought to have working in such a profession, he should be blaming the patriarchs for creating the medical system in the first place--not the nurses.  After all, the nurses are now just "businesswomen" according to Wintery Knight, doing what the patriarchs tell them to do--much like the knights of the past who, on orders from the Christian patriarchs killed the witches.  If Wintery Knight wishes to blame anyone for a "lack of humanity"--blame the patriarchs, for the feminists did not create the system that promulgated the inhumanity found not only within the medical system, but within society itself.  Nurses are underpaid and overworked, and understaffed --yet do the majority of the labour, and in this system people who are vegetables and/or have no quality of life are being "warehoused" in medical institutions--because it makes the Capitalists' money.  Because to the predominantly male hierarchy in the medical establishment, the bottom line is always going to be worth more than humanity and altruism.

Real feminism is the fight to get back the system that men took away from the witches.  Real feminists have not forgotten the "witches," and neither should anyone else.  We should all embrace our "inner witch" and become more humanitarian and compassionate towards each other.  The world would be a much better place if we did.

As a final note, my father had congestive heart failure, and his health deteriorated to the point where he required life support.  He was too old to be a candidate for a heart transplant, and although he could have been kept alive for a long time on life support, we knew that was not what he have wanted, as he told us he was ready to "go" when he was conscious and aware that his heart was failing him.  His doctor agreed, and stopped administering the drugs that kept him alive.  He died peacefully in his sleep, with his family by his side--which was the most humanitarian thing we could have done.  His nurses were wonderful, and stood with us--with tears in their eyes.

* Mary Daly Gyn/Ecology, p. 180

Sunday, October 23, 2011

In defense of Atheism--A Critique of Richard Dawkins and William Lane Craig

Many know Richard Dawkins as an outspoken advocate of atheism and author of "The God Delusion." He is a well known speaker and has debated the subject of Christianity with many learned theists, including the Archbishop of Canterbury--but he refuses to debate the Christian philosopher, William Lane Craig. Because of this, Dawkins has been labelled by Craig and others, as a coward for not stepping up to take that challenge.

Now, in my view the debates are moot anyway, since the arguments have already been refuted long ago, and I too have offered refutations to WL Craig's arguments on this blog. In his defense, Dawkins claims he does not want to debate anyone who is willing to defend the slaughter of the Canaanites as being necessary --yet he has already debated others who have these same beliefs, including two archbishops of Canturbury--so this excuse makes no sense.  It makes no sense because as Christians, they cannot "disown" as Dawkins puts it, the parts of the bible that reveal the god ordained slaughtering of the innocents. (Deuteronomy 20: 13-15,) To do so would be to negate the authority of the bible--and it would become meaningless. Many scholars however, acknowledge that much of what is written about in war, and in other circumstances, is exaggerated hyperbole--and especially in the case of the slaughter of the Canaanites, the language used is full of bravado, is exaggerated, and is said to be hypberbolic.  Why, as the authors of "The Bible Unearthed" have shown, using  archeological evidence, the battles probably never even happened in the first place.   Jesus however, never "disowned" any part of the Old Testament, and did not claim the OT to be anything but the word of God.  He did not "disown" the so called word of God--and neither can Christians, or they would not be Christains.   Christians seem to be stuck between a rock and a hard place concerning this issue, because if we consider some of the bible to be hyperbole, then all of it comes into question and can be considered as such. We have no way of knowing what is hyperbole and what is not. But if they take it literally, then their bible reveals a god who is not at all "all-loving" as he orders the slaughter of innocent women and children. Hmmm.... If Christians disown the slaughter of the innocent Canaanites, they might as well disown the torture and murder of the innocent Jesus as well--perhaps that is hyperbole too. That is, if Christians claim the story of the slaughter of the Canaanites is merely "hyperbole"--then we can say the same thing about the supposed torture and death of Jesus on the cross, and his so-called "resurrection." Perhaps it is just hyperbole too--it never really happened.

Furthermore, according to Christians, Jesus used hyperbole many times, such as when he said "prayer moves mountains." We know that doesn't happen either. Perhaps it is also his use of hyperbole when he claims to be the son of god.  When Jesus said that "me and the father are one"--that too could just be hyperbole--as when I say that "me and my grandmother are one. "  I say this because my grandmother and I share the same philosophy--just as Jesus claimed that he shares the same philosophy with his father. But, it would not mean that I am my grandmother, nor that Jesus is God.

Nevertheless, WL Craig, whom I now label as the "king of strawmen, " (as that is his favorite fallacy) offers weak arguments that can easily be taken apart; but what sets him apart from other apologists is his rhetorical skills. He does not win debates on whether what he is arguing for is the truth or not--it is purely by rhetoric. Now, if Dawkins can be criticized for not being willing to defend his position--so can the apologists. To illustrate how hypocritical many so-called apologists for Jesus are, note what the Christian blogger "Wintery Knight" --the blogger that does not take critical comments on his blog--mentioned in a recent post:

"I don't mind that atheists think atheism is true, and that theism is irrational. That's their view, and they are entitled to hold it and speak it and teach it. But I think that Came is right to say that they should also be willing to defend it in public. Dawkins is clearly not willing to defend his views, and that tells me that he has no reasons to believe them."

Wintery Knight is a blogger who will NOT take comments against his own views, and edits comments to suit his fancy. In other words, he too does not defend his views against criticism. Talk about hypocrisy--but he is not the only one. There are quite a few Christian bloggers out there that are unwilling to post comments from people such as myself because I know how to take apart their arguments and make them look ridiculous. Some of them are Tom Gilson at "Thinking Christian", "Wintery Knight"--and my favorite, JW Wartick, at "Always Have a Reason." Now, there are a few, such as Bill Pratt at "Tough Questions Answered" and Ray Comfort at "Atheist Central" that still do take my comments, and I commend them for that, but for those that do not--they are no different than Dawkins and WL Craig. You see, Craig has also refused to debate certain scholars, as he will not take up the challenge of debating his former student, John Loftus over at "Debunking Christianity", because Craig knows that Loftus knows what he knows!!  Craig has no problem debating people he feels have less knowledge than he does, or weaker rhetorical skills, but Craig refuses to debate Loftus--why? Because he knows Loftus would make a fool out of him.  Craig claims he does not want to debate a former student--which, like his arguments, is just a weak excuse. Craig et al. are hypocrites and cowards, and have no business "defending" their faith against criticism--when they cannot take criticism.

As my mother said long ago--if the theists can't take the heat, they should get out of the kitchen. I would debate Craig anytime, and I know I would make him look ridiculous. And to show I am not interested in the publicity, I would do it over the internet as a podcast--anonymously. Would Craig take up the challenge? If he has read my blog--he knows that it would be in his best interest not to take up the challenge because his weak arguments would be defeated.

Theists need to step up their game if they wish to keep up with scholars such as myself--because the cracks in their armor are showing, and I see feathers peeking through.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Why Many Christians Blame Women for Sexual Immorality

Wintery Knight - A Prime Example of a Disingenuous Christian

The Christian blogger known as "Wintery Knight" recently published a post in which he blames "feminism" for the rise in drinking and "hooking up" among college students in the US. He contradicts himself in his attempt to blame women for the rise in "sexual immorality" because in the following excerpt from his blog, his hidden premise is that women are now acting like men. i.e. they have adopted the same loose sexual morals that many men have had for centuries now. He is blaming women for acting like men, without acknowledging the responsibilities of men, because as he states:

"... men and women have to be lumped together from kindergarten to college graduation so that they can be identical in every way. Anything less would be "discrimination". And that's what's behind the mess we see with binge drinking and premarital sex."

According to what he said (even though he does not believe this), the logic would go thusly:

P1. If men and women are seen as identical, then they would be equally responsible for their sexual morals.
P2. Men and women are identical in every way.
C. Therefore, men and women are equally responsible for their sexual morals.

But, according to Wintery Knight, this is not what he believes is the case. He believes feminism is the reason why men and women have adopted "relaxed" sexual morals. But if what he said above is true, the logic tells us that he should not be blaming feminism for any lack of sexual morality, he should be blaming men for setting the example for women to follow, as women are now acting like men, and both men and women have become "equal."--equally bad.  He goes on to say that:

"Women have been raised according to feminist ideology, which requires them to believe that men don't have special responsibilities to be providers, protectors and moral/spiritual leaders. The natural outworking of this ideology is that women choose men based on physical characteristics and amusement. Men, wanting to please women, naturally drop anything "male" now that those things are out of favor, and focus more on their appearance and on being amusing, affirming and non-judgmental."

Wintery Knight fails to attribute the loosening of sexual morality to the influence of men on women, and instead puts the blame squarely on the shoulders of feminists who have demanded equality for women in societies which are dominated by men. He fails to realize that by stating it the way he did, he is acknowledging that women are acting in the same way men have acted for centuries.  His view that women are to blame is due to the deep seated view of women by men of the Abrahamic faiths as being "Eve whores."  The "Eve whore" has been blamed for the problems of humanity since the dawn of the Abrahamic religions where Eve was said to have caused the pain and suffering of humanity due to her consumption of a forbidden fruit, and it still goes on today, as women are blamed, and then used, abused, and objectified by men at astronomical rates--despite the influences of feminism.  Worse yet, he illustrates how backwards this Christian view of women is, for in his logic, the fact that if men are seen as providers, protectors and spiritual leaders, then women would not objectify them.  This would also apply in reverse fashion, i.e. since women are not seen as providers, protectors and moral spiritual leaders, then they would be chosen for their physical characteristics and amusement, and in fact, this has been the case for centuries.  Since women were not viewed as being providers, protectors and spiritual leaders, men objectified them, and they were chosen based on physical characteristics and amusement.  Even today, women are objectified and referred to as "chicks," "bunnies," and worst of all--"boobs."  Boobs literally means "stupid" so men, and even women refer to their bodies and themselves as being "stupid" by accepting these negative stereotypes. 

The view of women as "Eve whores" is so prevalent, that the objectification of women is not only seen as normal by men in society, women routinely objectify even themselves--and even many of those who claim to be feminists fall into this trap. Objectification comes in many forms, and it is because of this objectification that women have been blamed for luring men into sexual trysts, and are blamed for the lust men feel. It is this view of women, as "Eve whores," that has kept women dominated and subservient for thousands of years. Unfortunately, men like Wintery Knight still use it to continue to demonize and blame women for their sexuality, by turning the tables on them, and blaming women for the lustful thoughts of men.

So in essence he is saying men have no responsibility for their sexual behavior. It is all on the shoulders of the "Eve whores" and the men have no responsibility to behave in an appropriate manner, as they are being lured by the "Eve whores" to act the way they do. This is due to Christian beliefs that women are to blame for the lust in the hearts of men, which absolves men from taking responsibility for their own behavior--a Classic Christian response since they also believe Jesus died on the cross to absolve them of their "sins"--again, so they do not have to take responsibility for their own actions. And since he believes men are responsible for being "providers, protectors and moral/spiritual guiders"--women are to blame for any straying away from that path. This is one of the worst examples of sexual discrimination/lack of responsibility and scapegoating I have seen lately, which is why I was compelled to write against it.

He fails to acknowledge the fact that women provide protection from fathers that beat and molest children. He fails to acknowledge the fact that women provide food and shelter for their families. He fails to acknowledge the fact that women are moral and spiritual leaders--these realms are not the exclusive domains of men, and in fact, women in many cases, do a better job. Women for the most part, do not frequent strip clubs, or solicit prostitutes at the same rate men do. Women do not rape and molest children at the same rate men do. Women do not abuse their families at the same rate men do---and I do not blame men per say for this fact--I blame the religions that influence them, and men like Wintery Knight need to realize this. Men who believe women are to blame for the lust they feel need to look at themselves in the mirror to see who is really to blame.  As the ancient Christian philosopher Pelagius said long ago in regards to the Christian concept of grace, it leads to "moral laxity" and this includes sexual moral laxity.  It is quite obvious that he was absolutely right.

The concept of sex being "dirty" and "sinful" is a Christian concept that mainstream society has bought into, because according to their doctrine, human flesh is associated with being imperfect, and sex is perceived for the most part, as being dirty.  In other ancient civilizations however, this was not the case.  The Taoists and many Native American cultures had no such view of sexuality, and yet they did not promote immorality.  In fact, they had far less "immorality" than in our Christian based society--which is something Christians, who believe the flesh is "sinful" ought to reflect upon.

Addendum:  To illustrate my point, see another of Wintery Knight's blog posts, in which  he invokes visions of a bikini clad Michele Bachmann in order to promote the books she was reading on her summer vacation.  The post is titled "Michele Bachmann Hot Photos From Her Vacation at the Beach which illustrates that Wintery Knight has no problem objectifying women.