There was an on-line debate on global warming between Drs. Gray and Trenberth in October 2009. The debate was ‘Tagged’ as follows: Climate change, Debate, Dr. Kevin Trenberth, Dr. William Gray, Environmental myths, Environmental propaganda, Environmentalism, Global warming. Some of the comments to the debate explored religious aspects underlying beliefs in global warming and skeptics’ antipathy to AGW fearmongering by alarmists. The debate and the comments were taken down; hidden; summarily censored.
The Medium is the Message. When speech is censored we really cannot help but look to the ‘Why?’ of it. ‘What was it that had to be hidden?’ ‘Who was unable to confront the truth?’
Fittingly, Gray’s ‘Closing Comments’ for one of the segments (Part 2) of the debate – Trenberth’s response to Gray’s reply – were as follows:
“ I greatly commend Kevin Trenberth for agreeing to debate me on this global warming issue. Many global warming advocates will not engage is such open and opposite dialogs. I think it is in the public’s interest that such back and forth debates continue and expand with other scientists of opposite persuasions on the warming topic. I also commend Ray Harvey for suggesting and moderating this exchange between myself and Kevin Trenberth.
Well, the truth will out. Part 2 had 126 Comments and like the debate comments in Part 2 were an extension of comments in Part 1. In furtherance of the public’s interest, the debate lives on here. I hope you enjoy this exchange of ideas in a dialog between ‘Mug Wump Wagathon’ and ‘Marshep’ as it took place then beginning with the first few comments of the 2nd part of the Gray vs. Trenberth debate.
1. Mug Wump Wagathon
October 19, 2009 • 3:28 pm
Christianity is not a closed system; it is in fact very open to the scientific approach concerning things that can be quantified, not?
“A hypothesis that cannot be falsified by empirical observations is not science. The current hypothesis on anthropogenic global warming (AGW), presented by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is no exception to this principle. Indeed, it is the job of scientists to expose the weaknesses of this hypothesis …” (William DiPuccio)
However, you can’t quantify morals. I think Christianity has done a lot of good work in the area of falsifying ideas that do not lend themselves to an empirical or logical analysis. The Leftist-libs would throw all of that good work away even though they have no good substitute for what has been lost.
Ayn Rand the atheist is an enigma. For example, you would not say that Rand’s Ellsworth Toohey is “not evil, just wrong.” On the contrary: Toohey is more like the devil than just a ideologically-driven Leftist, commie, atheist.
Whereas, isn’t the architect, Howard Rourke probably also an atheist that could as easily be Hermann Hesse’s monk, Joseph Knecht? In may ways, Jesus would not be much different than a Howard Roark, despite the fact that the ideas of capitalism, determinedness, individual liberty, self-responsibility and uncompromising devotion to inner truth has never been confused with a religion.
Interestingly, the Left—primarily socialist and anti-capitalist—considers Rand’s brand of atheism a cult. Their antipathy to Rand rings rather hollow to me when I also hear them cry that atheism is not a religion.
Atheism may be the disbelieving in a particular god — disbelieving in any and all gods — but, belief and disbelief do not stop right there. Atheology certainly is not beyond good and evil and the atheist would agree with that, e.g., I am sure they would say there are good atheists and there must be bad atheists.
You don’t seem to get that with Leftist-libs. Any Leftist is a good Leftist. And what is good when all truth is relative. And, what is any truth but that which serves the Leftists’ objectives.
So perhaps atheists feel that they can lay claim to a higher principle than what we see with the Leftist-libs. Even so, the faith of the atheist stops at the feet of the gods, and the atheist dares not look up.
Atheists are afraid to face Darwin’s dilemma. Many of the questions Christianity attempts to answer have been answered by 1,000s of years of human experience. Nevertheless, all of the traditions of the past shall be burned at the stake of atheology because the Darwinians feel science has proven that ancient wisdom is no longer needed.
Atheists must ask again and answer anew all questions about if a life of inevitable existence, the result of amoral preference and without consequence, can provide a sound basis from which any rational, predictable moral response from the individual can or even should be expected. What we see with atheology is that it inevitably leads to nihilism.
Although morality can be looked at objectively, I question the practicality of that approach based on the obvious unpredictability of the result.
And, what is to be gained by now adding mere conjecture to enigmas and conundrums such as an atheist’s belief that morality is simply hard-wired into human DNA?
That is as silly a notion as saying Leftists believe humans are born to share. Such conclusions about human nature — by either atheists or Leftists — would have to be called beliefs not scientific facts. Atheists and Leftists are simply giving new gods a new name.
So, let’s talk about Darwinian evolution taking a further step down the rabbit hole. Aren’t we going from a theory of immortal, mutable, random, cumulative, synergistic chemical reactions, resulting in ever more complex biological systems and finally arriving at beings that simply exist for their own sake?
Doesn’t the latter part of such Darwinian evolution sound a lot like capitalism? However, in a Darwinian scheme of things, we must also believe that such Darwinian beings also are programmed to think that they know how they should exist? This does not seem at all like Ayn Rand’s free will. And, it does not seem like the free will that any atheist would argue for either.
For example, when does a legal argument about when a fertilized egg becomes a human, or at what point in time feticide leaves off and infanticide begins, can it be said that this is a matter of morality that is hard-wired into the DNA of all humans? And, who seriously would believe that science impels us to come face to face with these issues?
Obviously, answers to the above questions may be found in applying situational ethics. How much confidence, however, shall we invest in answers to complex problems that have been “freed” from 1,000s of years of human experience?
Shall we substitute the will of moderns empowered by society at a point in time, and coalitions of convenience, and of special interests, and a simple consensus of opinion, unbound from past conventions and future ramifications? Isn’t this the very environment where it is more not less likely to result in the ultimate slavery?
Isn’t it an inescapable consequence for being unrepresented (like the unborn fetus) — and subject to the will of a fluid and perhaps superstitious majority — that oftentimes, the truth will be sacrificed for the ‘good’ of others instead of the truth being esteemed for its own sake?
October 19, 2009 • 5:46 pm
I assume your dissertation is a reaction to my statements regarding certain religious dogmas. First off, note that there is a history of dogma associated with religions, and I have been influenced by Lord Russell, who cast a bit of a disdainful eye on Christianity and its contribution to the Dark Age. As an intellectual exercise, I challenged the belief of a devout Christian by debating certain facts that did not square with his holy scripture. This does not indicate I am atheist nor religious, just that I enjoy intellectual exercise when bored.
However, the Church of Liberalism embraces an irrational dogma. Judeo- Christian values subscribe to the Ten Commandments, which provide a basis for civilization and rule of law. One need not worship or tithe to recognize the morality of these Commandments. As you pointed out, liberal dogma, first and foremost, subscribes to rule #1: “Any Leftist is a good Leftist.” They do have a second rule: “If you think a Leftist is wrong or bad, refer to rule #1.”
When soldiers erect a non-denominational cross to honor fallen comrades, the liberal dogma considers that a violation of separation of church and state. I assert liberalism is a church, they worship whoever happens to be the liberal in charge, and their scripture is dynamic. I.e., if Obama claims he has a transparent administration, then he does. If Pelosi says the House under her reign is the most ethical, then it is. If a large number of liberals say there is global warming, then there is. Dogma: a system of principles or tenets; a specific tenet or doctrine authoritatively put forth; prescribed doctrine; a settled or established opinion.
Obama is the legal president. Global warming is happening, it is time for action. America was immoral until they elected Obama. George Bush stole two elections. Glenn Beck is an idiot. Fox News is not news, they have a perspective, and are an outlet for Republican talking points. The stimulus is working. Afghanistan is a mess because of Bush. The economic crisis is because of Bush; Dodd and Frank had nothing to do with it. People are dying in the street because of the health care crisis. Dogma.
Given your arguments, perhaps it is unfair to call it the Church of Liberalism. Unfair to churches. However, anyone who denies the dogma of the left is self-delusional.
3. Mug Wump Wagathon
October 19, 2009 • 6:08 pm
I don’t think AGW is a Judeo/Christian issue, except for the lack of morality that global warming alarmists demonstrate and their lack of accountability for ‘emotionalizing issues and promulgating misleading information’ and ‘exaggeration and alarmism. (Dr Gert Leipold, Greenpeace leader essentially admitting lying, from the video, “Not Evil Just Wrong,” http://www.noteviljustwrong.com — “The BBC reporter accused Leipold and Greenpeace of releasing ‘misleading information’ and using ‘exaggeration and alarmism.’)”.
I think it is interesting that the ethics of Christianity and science coexist very well together, which is not something you can take for granted with the anti-Judeo/Christian AGW atheists. For example:
“[T]here are a large number of punters [Australian for ‘customers’ or ‘gamblers’-in this case, skeptical customers who may or may not buy what the government’s selling] who object to being treated dismissively as stupid, who do not like being told what to think, who value independence, who resile from personal attacks and have life experiences very different from the urban environmental atheists attempting to impose a new fundamentalist religion. Green politics have taken the place of failed socialism and Western Christianity and impose fear, guilt, penance, and indulgences onto a society with little scientific literacy.” (Ian Plimer)
October 19, 2009 • 7:51 pm
AGW is nothing more than an excuse to increase liberal wealth, power, and corruption. This is fundamental to liberal actions: use government to create a problem or the perception of one, declare or rationalize that the problem is of crisis proportion, insist on the need for government action, denigrate anyone that disagrees, craft legislation to raise taxes and increase government power, lie about that legislation, attach amendments to the legislation that hijack more taxpayer money for corrupt liberal causes, make matters worse when the legislation takes effect, repeat the process.
As to AGW and morality, there is no connection other than what you observe: it is a ploy to use government in an immoral and un-Constitutional fashion to steal taxpayer funds, enrich liberal cronies, and redistribute token amounts to those who have lost their jobs, i.e. to increase dependency on the government in an effort to increase their dependent constituencies.
I agree that modern Christianity co-exists with science pretty well. I must disagree that AGW alarmists are atheists; they worship an amorphous god of lies and deceit, i.e. their own liberalism, and their incarnate god Barack Hussein Obama, umm, umm, umm.
5. Mug Wump Wagathon
October 19, 2009 • 10:07 pm
I think I understand that you disagree that AGW alarmists are atheists because you see that they’ve adopted AGW as a religion. But, what came first?
I think their atheism comes first, perhaps born of a rebellion against Americanism? Wasn’t it their atheism — their purposeful throwing off of Judeo/Christian ethics, morality, principles and traditions like a hairshirt, e.g., transforming themselves to smarter, French-fried ‘enlightened’ atheists like Sartre disciples — that which came first?
For whatever psychic reasons existed for them to deny the God of the founders, obviously they had no interest to invest the time required to dedicate their lives — like a Jean-Paul Sartre — to the mental rigor required of such a life choice. Instead, they just cut to the choice: “I’ll be a commie.” Even J-P I’m sure repented that misconceived logic after the first few million deaths behind Russia’s iron curtain.
But choosing that path, isn’t it the poverty of spirit and faith of pseudo-atheists that leads them down the self-defeating path of nihilism, leaving them prey to being the useful idiots of the Leftists, and suckers for something like AGW to fill their empty souls like a Heaven Gate cultist looking for salvation on the dark side of the Hale-Bopp comet?
… I studied anthropology in college, and one of the things I learned was that certain human social structures always reappear. They can’t be eliminated from society. One of those structures is religion. Today it is said we live in a secular society in which many people—the best people, the most enlightened people—do not believe in any religion. But I think that you cannot eliminate religion from the psyche of mankind. If you suppress it in one form, it merely re-emerges in another form. You can not believe in God, but you still have to believe in something that gives meaning to your life, and shapes your sense of the world. Such a belief is religious.
Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it’s a religion? Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.
There’s an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there’s a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe.
Eden, the fall of man, the loss of grace, the coming doomsday—these are deeply held mythic structures. They are profoundly conservative beliefs. They may even be hard-wired in the brain, for all I know. I certainly don’t want to talk anybody out of them, as I don’t want to talk anybody out of a belief that Jesus Christ is the son of God who rose from the dead. But the reason I don’t want to talk anybody out of these beliefs is that I know that I can’t talk anybody out of them. These are not facts that can be argued. These are issues of faith.
And so it is, sadly, with environmentalism. Increasingly it seems facts aren’t necessary, because the tenets of environmentalism are all about belief. It’s about whether you are going to be a sinner, or saved. Whether you are going to be one of the people on the side of salvation, or on the side of doom. Whether you are going to be one of us, or one of them…
October 19, 2009 • 11:03 pm
Excellent treatise, point conceded. It does follow that denial of God requires substitution, and the evidence indicates that for at least some, environmentalism fills that void. However, how do you explain the blind embrace of all things liberal? E.g. the plethora of raw corruption in the stimulus bill, and the obsession with controlling all aspects of the economy, beginning with health care, which will inevitably lead to food and housing?
7. Mug Wump Wagathon
October 20, 2009 • 9:43 am
Part of the explanation is academia. “Foremost among the institutions that promote the state of fear are American universities. The modern State of Fear could never exist without universities feeding it. There is a peculiar neo -Stalinist mode of thought that is required to support all this, and it can only thrive in a restrictive setting, behind closed doors, without due process. In our society, only universities have created that—so far. The notion that these institutions are liberal is a cruel joke. They are fascist to the core…” (Crichton, 2004, p. 459).
Bertrand Russell gives the governmental-education complex an “F” for failing to teach that science by ‘consensus’ is no science at all and that fabricating a ‘consensus’ about global warming in the name of science is liberal fascism.
“The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.” (Bertrand Russell)
Oh what a demoralizing thought for the Leftist-libs. Support for their half-baked science of global warming alarmism is drying up.
Soon these ‘true believers’ of AGW will have to return to hyping concerns about the environment along with the enviro-whackpots — and, all of the rest of us who really care instead of just yipping and yapping about it.
Of course, this will be a big fall to Earth for the Leftist-libs who in their delusions of grandeur enjoyed so much seeing themselves totally invested in saving the Earth from the evil business of capitalism; and, in particular, saving nature from Western civilization; and, in particular, saving humanity from capitalistic, Judeo/Christian, industrialized America: keeper of the torch of individual liberty and the only active participant on the globe supporting people yearning for freedom from tyranny, despotism, atheism and liberal fascism.
8. Mug Wump Wagathon
October 20, 2009 • 5:19 pm
In the field of global warming and dealing with the mass delusion of AGW, freedom from ignorance is sim…