Three Things Only a PhD Can Believe

The new issue of Salvo is back from the printer and will be arriving at your mailbox soon. Take a look at the table of contents online. We think you’ll like it! In the meantime, take a look at www.salvomag.com to read a few of the articles. Here’s the article featured on the cover, Just Brilliant! Three Things Only a PhD Can Believe by Louis Markos. We’re pleased to have Dr. Markos writing for us! He is Professor in English and Scholar in Residence at Houston Baptist University; he holds the Robert H. Ray Chair in Humanities. His books include From Achilles to Christ, Apologetics for the 21st Century, and Literature: A Student’s Guide.

Also, be sure to check back at the website for more articles from the new issue as well as to see our newly redesigned website (coming soon), featuring a more user friendly mobile interface.


Just Brilliant! Three Things Only a PhD Can Believe by Louis Markos

It is often believed that people who have PhDs are possessed of higher self-esteem and greater independent thought than the average population. As a PhD myself, I fully understand why people believe this. The rigorous studying, testing, and writing required to receive a doctorate should free the PhD’s mind from the idols of the marketplace and teach him that great truth that Socrates discovered: the more we learn, the more we realize what we do not know.

That’s what should happen. What I have more often found (in myself, as well as in others) is that the knowledge acquired puffs up the mind of the PhD, making him feel wiser and more in touch with the truth of things than his less educated fellow mortals. And yet—and here is the ironic part—at the same time the PhD gains a sense of his own superiority, his intellectual, emotional, and psychological need to fit in with his academic colleagues is multiplied tenfold.

At times, this academic groupthink leads PhDs to defend issues that are indefensible and to give their allegiance to causes that are immoral or unethical. At other times, it leads them to believe things that are simply and demonstrably false—things that violate objective observation, common sense, and the collective experience of mankind. Indeed, colleges and universities across Europe and America brazenly teach their students three things that are so patently absurd that only a PhD could believe them.

read the entire article.

 

Say It, Evan Sayet: A Comic Gets Serious on The Modern Liberal

A Review of The KinderGarden of Eden: How the Modern Liberal Thinks, by Evan Sayet

Evan Sayet

Evan Sayet

In March, 2007, Evan Sayet delivered a speech to the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. called “How Modern Liberals Think.” It became a YouTube sensation. Andrew Breitbart called it “one of the five most important speeches ever given.”

He started off his talk by saying, “I’ve got to imagine that just about every one of us in this room recognizes that the Democrats are wrong on just about every issue. Well, I’m here to propose to you that it’s not just ‘just about’ every issue; it’s quite literally every issue. And it’s not just wrong; it’s as wrong as wrong can be.” A comic at heart, but deadly serious about the threat Modern Liberalism and its kissing cousin, Progressivism, pose to decent people everywhere, Sayet says that the Modern Liberal will at every turn side with:

  • The evil over the good
  • The wrong over the right
  • The lesser over the better
  • The ugly over the beautiful
  • The vulgar over the refined, and
  • The behaviors that lead to failure over those that lead to success.

How can he make such sweeping predictions? Sayet grew up a liberal, New York Jew, but now calls himself a 9-13 Republican. In The KinderGarden of Eden, How the Modern Liberal Thinks, the extrapolated book version of that speech, he demonstrates quite cogently (and a bit wonkishly, but it’s a delightful kind of wonkish) how the Modern Liberal’s actions invariably follow what he calls The Four Laws of the Unified Field Theory of Liberalism:

  1. Indiscriminateness – the total rejection of the intellectual process – is an absolute moral imperative.
  2. Indiscriminateness of thought does not lead to indiscriminateness of policies. It leads to siding only and always with the lesser over the better, the wrong over the right, and the evil over the good.
  3. Modern Liberal policies occur in tandem. Each effort on behalf of the lesser is met with an equal and opposite campaign against the better.
  4. The Modern Liberal will ascribe to the better the negative qualities associated with the lesser while concurrently ascribing to the lesser the positive qualities found in the better.

Sayet likens the intellectual development of the Modern Liberal to that of a kindergartner, and the credo driving him to the catchy title of Robert Fulghum’s 1988 bestseller, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. While Fulghum’s musings are sweet, and they do capture some of the basics of good character – share things, play fair, don’t hit people … in short, Be nice – as a comprehensive ideology, they are woefully insufficient for the demands of adult self-government in a dangerous world.

Think about it: kindergarten only works if there is at least one grownup in the room capable of taking charge and handling the big problems. Picture a day in the life of a kindergarten class if the teacher never showed up. Similarly, turning America and her hard-won liberties over to Modern Liberals would be akin to turning the entire schoolhouse over to the five-year-olds.

KinderGardenofEden_THUMBNAIL_IMAGE“So long as there were a sufficient number of people of God and science [the grownups] doing things and making things, the Modern Liberals could remain forever like Adam and Eve in Eden or the child on the kindergarten playground,” Sayet concludes. But that era is passing. “Today, we are at a tipping point where the people of God and science will soon be overwhelmed by the demands of taking care of the permanently infantalized. It is unsustainable. If the system collapses under the weight, the future is not merely a slightly less wonderful existence, it is … ” in the words of Thomas Hobbes from Leviathan, “nasty, brutish and short.”

“We’re not there yet,” Sayet warns, “but we’re close.”

I think he’s right. Sure, it would be nice to stay five and let someone else be responsible for the big problems of liberty and provisions. But we’re fast approaching the point where that is no longer feasible. The five-year-olds outnumber the grownups and the brutes are closing in.

Related:

At Best an Amicable Divorce Agreement?

Will couple-less co-parenting take off?

While their arrangement seems unusual to some, parenting website FamilybyDesign.com actually matches up people for parenting partnerships similar to Arrick and Sadowsky’s. First profiled in a New York Times story last week, the website is one of a handful of controversial online services helping to connect people interested in finding partners to have children with, without any romantic attachments.

While critics have had harsh words for sites like FamilybyDesign, its founder Darren Spedale defended the approach Monday, telling TODAY there are plenty of loving single people in their thirties who are ready to have children and would make great parents, but don’t want to have to wait to find a mate.

QUESTION: Why is it that progress almost inevitably takes us further and further from a committed and loving family?

Gay ‘Marriage’ and the Slippery Slope

If there is anything defenders of gay ‘marriage’ hate, it is ‘slippery slope’ arguments. The notion that gay ‘marriage’ is objectionable because of where it could lead is an argument automatically presumed to be invalid and unworthy of serious consideration.

Not too long ago a friend and I were having a friendly debate about gay ‘marriage’ and I pointed out that as soon as gay ‘marriage’ is legalized, countless other perversions will follow in its wake. My friend looked over at me, and said with a smile, “You do know, don’t you, that it’s a fallacy to make slippery slope arguments?”

Well, I guess I never got the memo.

It is true that when defenders of traditional marriage used to warn about the dire consequences that would follow same-sex ‘marriages’, their arguments were rather speculative, sometimes wildly so. That is why I have never found it very useful to warn that same-sex ‘marriage’ will lead to people wanting to marry their bicycles or dogs.

Over the last few years, however, it has become unnecessary to make speculative slippery-slope arguments because we have already started down the slippery slope.

Gay Marriage is Just the Beginning

By surveying what has been happening in those nations that have already legalized gay ‘marriage’, we begin to get a picture of the slippery-slope the world has already started descending down. Consider only a few examples which might be easily multiplied:

As more nations jump on the gay ‘marriage’ bandwagon, we should expect to see many other perversions introduced. Gay ‘marriage’ is just the beginning of a slippery slope towards sexual anarchy. (This does not even include the slippery slope towards totalitarianism, as gay ‘marriage’ leads to more and more freedoms being eroded. That is a different topic and one which I have addressed in my article ‘Will the Real Enemies of Liberty Please Stand up’ and ‘Gay Marriage Threatens Civil Liberties.’)

But why is this? Why does same-sex ‘marriage’ lead to these other perversions almost as night follows day? In order to properly answer this question, we must consider the logic behind same-sex ‘marriage.’

The Logic of Same-Sex ‘Marriage’

The campaign to change the definition of marriage revolves around certain principles which, once accepted, have wide ramifications in a host of other areas.

This became evident last year when the government of Britain released its consultation paper on same-sex ‘marriage.’ They continually presented the issue in terms of ‘equal access.’ In their simplistic and philosophically unsophisticated way, the issue was a straightforward question of fairness.

However, if we accept that the principle of equality means that same-sex couples should be entitled to the same rights as married couples (including the right to call their union a ‘marriage’), then in order to be logically consistent we would also have to say that a definition of marriage which includes both heterosexual and same-sex unions, yet excludes unions with animals or multiple partners, is also failing to provide equal protection under the law to someone or other. Indeed, if someone is bisexual, then in order for their sexuality to be fully expressed, their ‘marriage’ must include a minimum of at least one person from each sex. Thus, the argument that we should not discriminate based on sexual orientation, if carried to its logical conclusion, necessitates ‘threesomes’ at least.

The point is that any new definition of marriage the state may wish to impose on the public necessarily opens the door to an endless series of redefinitions in years to come. Unless the term ‘marriage’ is allowed to collapse into complete vacuity, it must include certain types of unions and exclude others. This is a point that most people accept, for most advocates of gay ‘marriage’ are still opposed to broadening the definition of marriage to include perversions such as polygamous unions, threesomes, bestiality or incestuous relationships. Nevertheless, it will become increasingly hard to argue against such exclusions once the logic behind calls for gay ‘marriage’ is accepted.

Remember, the main argument being used by the homosexual lobby is that of equal access. They are asserting that it is wrong in principle to exclude any two people from the institution of marriage if the two people love each other and desire to be married. As British MP Maria Miller said in her forward to the British government’s response to their consultation on same-sex ‘marriage’:

“Marriage is also an institution which has a history of continuous evolution…. So marriage in the 21st century is an inclusive, not exclusive, institution. It is available to all those over 16 who are prepared to make vows of life-long fidelity and commitment. Except, that is, if you happen to love someone of the same sex. This simply cannot be right.”

If Miss Miller’s logic isn’t an invitation to start down the slippery slope, then it’s hard to know what is. If marriage is to be a truly “inclusive” institution, then why choose 16 as an arbitrary age? Or again, if marriage is to be truly inclusive rather than exclusive, then is it really fair to limit marriage to a minimum of two people? If “love has no gender”, then why should it have a number? Or again, if the goal is to make marriage inclusive rather than exclusive, why are we not being consistent and calling for a removal of the ‘ban’ on brothers and sisters getting married?

Such questions, once dismissed as conservative scare-mongering, will soon be as much a part of the public debate as gay ‘marriage’ is now, for once you start down the slippery slope, it is hard to stop.

Doing the Family Thing

Another principle which is fundamental to advocates of same-sex ‘marriage’ is that love creates the sufficient conditions for a marriage and a family, irrespective of gender. Essentially, it is the ethic of the Sesame Street song ‘Doing the Family Thing’:

Any group of people
Living together
And loving each other
Are doing the family thing…

It doesn’t really matter
Just who you’re living with
If there’s love you’re a family too…

A family can be
What it wants to be
‘Cause there’s all different leaves
On the family tree
And there’s all different types
Of families
Who are living together
And loving each other
Are doing the family thing
Doing the family thing
Doing the family
Doing the family thing

If love is all that makes a family, then where do you draw the line? Marcia Segelstein raised some disconcerting questions about this in her recent Salvo article, Family Skewed: When the Needs of Children Are Secondary to the Desires of Adults, Guess Who Keeps Losing?

But why stop at two? In 2007, a state superior court panel in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, ruled that a child can have three legal parents. The case involved two lesbians, both legal parents of two children who were conceived using a friend’s sperm. The panel determined that all three were liable for child support. All three were the child’s legal parents. There have been similar rulings in Canada, and this year the California legislature approved a bill allowing judges to declare more than two parents for some children there. While Governor Jerry Brown vetoed the bill, asking for time to consider all of its implications, activists have already promised to try again.

Speaking of more than two, the question of polygamy also looms. As the push for same-sex marriage continues, some legal analysts and other experts see polygamy as the next marriage battlefront. In a 2006 Newsweek article called Polygamists Unite!, one activist called polygamy “the next civil rights battle. . . . If Heather can have two mommies, she should also be able to have two mommies and a daddy.”

From a legal point of view, it may be difficult to defend current laws against polygamy, given the success of the gay marriage movement….

Dr. Michelle Cretella, vice president of the American College of Pediatricians…describes yet another variation in the brave new world of family and parenting: the “bothies” movement. Similar to co-parenting, this configuration specifically involves a lesbian mom and a gay dad having a child together. The case of Bevan Dufty, a well-known gay rights activist, and lesbian Rebecca Goldfader made big news in San Francisco a few years ago when they decided to have a child together and share parental responsibilities. According to a story in the Bay Area Reporter, “both envision[ed] that their long-term partners would have parental roles and rights as well.” The piece went on to say that, according to the executive director of Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere (COLAGE), the group “has several member kids known as ‘bothies,’ meaning they have two gay dads and two gay moms. Some of those families began as four-way agreements.”

Further Reading

Hypersexed

Wait a minute, you’re telling me that an unrestrained/undisciplined sexuality doesn’t always result in freedom and individuality and haaaaaappiness? Who knew? From the Telegraph:

Children and the culture of pornography: ‘Boys will ask you every day until you say yes’

The death of 13-year-old Chevonea Kendall-Bryan has driven the debate on the sexualisation of the young to fever pitch, but what will we do about it?

There is a storm coming. I can feel it as I stand on a street corner in south London, thinking about my daughters. Lily and Rose are both 11 years old. One is crazy about dogs, the other loves owls.

They are at that tender age when the hormones have begun to stir, and they could be stomping around the room like furious teenagers one minute but snuggling up for a cuddle the next.

The girls are fast approaching 13, the age that Chevonea Kendall-Bryan was when she leaned out of one of the windows on the fourth floor of a block of flats on this street. A boy she knew was down here on the ground, but this was not Romeo and Juliet. Far from it.

Chevonea had been pressurised into performing a sex act on him, and he had shared a phone clip of her doing so with all his mates. She threatened to jump from the window if he did not delete it. Then she slipped and fell 60 feet to the ground, dying from massive brain injuries.