Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The strange unethical world of Christianity and Atheism: SITUATION ETHICS

Here is a somewhat positive response to situation ethics by a leading Christian ethicist, based upon Augustine and Luthers' views--

FROM Baptist theologian Roger E. Olson's blog:
What Is “Situation Ethics?” What Should Be a Christian’s Response?
SEPTEMBER 26, 2018

"It was also the year that Episcopal theologian-ethicist Joseph Fletcher’s little book Situation Ethics: The New Morality was published."
"Later...I remember thinking that it was not actually as bad as I had been told. Its essence...the principle laid down by Saint Augustine “Love and do as you please.” (“Sermon on 1 John 4:4-12”)

"What I am suggesting is that there is some common ground between them and Fletcher’s proposal...As I recall, Fletcher portrayed all rules as flexible, able rightly to be violated in the name of love depending on the circumstances. I do not think Augustine or Luther would go along with that...Both treated love—as they defined it—as the sole absolute for Christian ethics. (Both tended to view justice as a form of love.)"

Wow, Fletcher's book! I read it in the late 1960's and was morally horrified. And all these years later, I still think that it is the worst book, ethically, of all the thousands of theological books I've read.
But let's get to your two Christian leaders (Augustine and Luther) who claimed to base their ethical decisions on love.

Augustine and Luther made many horrific immoral, unjust decisions based upon their Christian situational ethics.

If one judges their immoral, unjust actions based upon the concept of love as defined by 1 Corinthians 13, they didn't actually practice loving action at all, but the complete opposite. Check any history book for the many very immoral actions they justified with their ethical stances.

Their immoral statements and actions show the extreme danger of centrally basing one's ethical decisions on love and adjustable rules as they did.

"As a Christian ethicist I am sometimes asked...what I think about “situation ethics.” I always insist on first discussing what is meant by “situation ethics” and explaining that if and insofar as it means discarding all ethical rules and norms except “love,” I am opposed to it. However, if and insofar as it means love reigns supreme over all rules, I have to admit it and say that I have Augustine and Luther on my side."

"Luther married Prince Philipp of Hesse to a woman while he was still married to another woman. He by default justified bigamy which was technically illegal (within the Holy Roman Empire) and almost universally considered immoral by Christians—both Catholic and Protestant."


HUH?! What a horrific example! Luther married a woman to a prince who already was married to another woman. That's a form of polygamy, bigamy.

Based upon Luther's justification of bigamy, I wonder if Roger E. Olson has an opinion of the recent adoptions of polyamory by some creedal Christians?*
It appears that some modern creedal Christians are basing their views in a similar way that Luther did in the case of his choosing bigamy for the prince.

However, what also troubles me about Luther's action is that he did this secretly.

As much as I strongly oppose the adoption of plural marriage by humans, I do appreciate that the creedal Christians who have done so have been public about it, not hidden it as Luther did in the case of Prince Philipp.

*I don't know what Roger E. Olson thinks on my response because he has deleted my comments from his website, like Atheist Neil Carter did in the past when I courteously disagreed with his unethical outlook, which also involves loving situational ethics.

Don't give into this blind, wrong dead-end path of situation ethics. Certainly NOT in the sense that Augustine and Luther did.

Seek the LIGHT. Live ethically.

Daniel Wilcox

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Regarding the Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Clean out the cesspool of American politics: The current debacle, regarding the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

1. For Brett Kavanaugh’s biographical details and the formal accusations, see below.

2. A. Opening statement: An individual—unless convicted of rape, molestation, armed robbery and other such heinous crimes—ought not to be judged by wrong moral choices when he was an adolescent but by his moral and ethical choices of over 35 years.

B. Second, a counter statement: Women seldom lie about sexual assault, rape, molestation. Indeed, for most of history, even in the recent past, women have been intimidated, (in some nations and religio-ideological groups still are), if they come out and state they have been sexually attacked, so they often stay mute.

Christine Blasey Ford, who has come out and stated that the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while drunk at a prep school party, needs to be listened to rationally and empathetically.

Also, Ford isn’t a questionable person of doubtful morals but a psychology professor in Palo Alto, California. And she has taken a lie detector test and passed.

SO Republicans, the Reverend Franklin Graham, and other right-wing leaders ought not to dismiss Ford’s accusations before all the facts are in.

3. HOWEVER, an individual is presumed innocent until convicted of a charge.
SO, since Kavanaugh has declared Ford’s accusation is untrue, that he never did what Ford accused him of doing, and that he never did what another woman has accused him of doing to her in college, either, then Kavanaugh ought to be listened to and not found guilty in the popular press or by national Democrats.


We Americans need calm, rational analysis,
NOT propaganda,
political posturing,
character attacks,
and all of the other distorted Orwellian statements being made at this time.

Thankfully, I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat.
Instead, I’m way out in the left-leaning Independent-Libertarian wing of political discourse. We’ve got problems, too. But, hopefully, most of the time we try and view controversies and life-stances with rational judgment, care, and civility.

We as Americans need to change from our political in-fighting, and change to truth-seeking.

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

END NOTE: From Wikipedia:
“Brett Michael Kavanaugh…born February 12, 1965 is an American attorney and jurist who serves as a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

“Kavanaugh graduated from Yale College cum laude, with a degree in American history…After graduating from Yale Law School, Kavanaugh began his career as a law clerkunder Judge Ken Starr. After Starr left the D.C. Circuit to take the position as head of the Office of Independent Counsel, Kavanaugh…assisted Starr with his various investigations concerning President Bill Clinton. Kavanaugh played a lead role in drafting the Starr Report, which urged the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

“After the 2000 U.S. presidential election (in which Kavanaugh worked for the George W. Bush campaign in the Florida recount), Kavanaugh joined the administration as White House Staff Secretary…

“Kavanaugh was first nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit by President Bush in 2003. His confirmation hearings were contentious; they stalled for three years over charges of partisanship. Kavanaugh was ultimately confirmed to the D.C. Circuit in May 2006 after a series of negotiations between Democratic and Republican U.S. Senators…Kavanaugh had the most or second-most conservative voting record on the D.C. Court in every policy area.

“To fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh on July 9, 2018, to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

“On September 16, 2018, Christine Blasey Ford, a professor at Palo Alto University, said Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when she was 15 and he was a 17-year old high school student. Specifically, Ford stated that in the early 1980s, when she and Kavanaugh were teenagers, Kavanaugh and his friend, Mark Judge, corralled her in a bedroom at a house party in Maryland. According to Ford, Kavanaugh pinned her to the bed, groped her, ground against her, tried to pull off her clothes, and covered her mouth with his hand when she tried to scream.

“Ford said that she was afraid Kavanaugh "might inadvertently kill [her]" during the attack. Ford stated that she got away when Judge, one of Kavanaugh's friends from Georgetown Prep School, jumped on the bed, knocking them all over. Ford's attorney, Debra Katz, has stated that Ford considers the assault to have been an attempted rape.

“Ford also took a polygraph test, administered by a former FBI agent. The test concluded she was being truthful when she said a statement summarizing her allegations was accurate.

“The Senate Judiciary Committee released a letter on September 14, 2018 in which 65 women signatories who stated that they had known Kavanaugh "for more than 35 years" asserted that during the time they had known him, Kavanaugh had "behaved honorably and treated women with respect."

“Twenty-four women who attended the Holton-Arms School along with Ford sent a letter to Congress expressing support for her.

“Over 1,000 alumnae of the school signed a letter stating that Ford's accusation was “all too consistent with stories we heard and lived” while attending the school.

“Kavanaugh has "categorically and unequivocally" denied that the event occurred.

“On September 23, 2018, The New Yorker reported that another woman had accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct during his college years and had requested an FBI investigation.”
--From Wikipedia

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

You Can't Teach an Old Dogma New Traits

"You can't teach an old dogma new traits."

That is my adaption of American writer Dorothy Parker's incisive punning aphorism against religionists who seek to revitalize their ancient beliefs by revising their old dogmas and then claiming the dogmas to be current with modern knowledge and achievements.

Parker's actual words were: "You can't teach an old dogma new tricks."

Whether tricks or traits, the satirical insight does seem to be true. (Side Note: I think my adaption more accurately reflects the nature of her point, and is less caustic in its view of religion).

Either way, consider the way that many conservative Christians and Muslims attempt to show that their scriptures--especially the Old Testament and the Quran--are accurate when it comes the beginning of the universe and other modern scientific discoveries. Or the religious leaders, instead, use other modern knowledge to claim that modern scientists are misled, (or deceiving), about the true nature of the cosmos and life.

But which ever, many Christian and Muslim scholars read into their scriptures modern concepts and views that actually don't exist in the ancient texts. They are guilty of unscholarly eisegesis, when what they ought to be doing is describing their scriptural texts as they actually were, exegesis.

As clearly obvious in her caustic comments, Parker had a very negative view of religion, especially the Roman Catholic faith, though she did attend a RC elementary school at Convent if the Blessed Sacrament. According to Wikipedia, she "once joked that she was asked to leave following her characterization of the Immaculate Conception as "spontaneous combustion."

Evidently her father, though Jewish, sent her to the elementary school because he thought it would give her a better education than public school.

Though negative toward religious doctrines, Parker was a strong supporter of human rights and the Civil Rights Movement. In her will, she gave all of her estate to Martin Luther king Jr.

Here's another satirical aphorism:

"Look at the dog, Ma, no paws."


"The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are wrong because of the broken places."

This adaption emphasizes that when tragedy strikes, some humans choose to do right and good despite the bad circumstances, while other humans choose to lash out and blame/harm others for the bad circumstances.

The actual famous quote is from Earnest Hemingway:
"The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places."

The irony of Hemingway's aphorism is that he himself wasn't strong after bad times, but often instead did much harm to others. And that he drank so heavily that it was a major factor in his serious ill health in his late 50's. He often drank a bottle before breakfast and drank 17 drinks once at the Cuban bar, El Floridita!

Related to that is another aphorism:
"I've taken way more out of alcohol than its taken out of others," the infamous self-deception of heavy drinkers.

Adapted from:
"I've taken way more out of alcohol than its taken out of me."
-Winston Churchill

"In war time, political lying is so specious, that it needs to be attended by a bodyguard of truth."

The actual quote by Churchill is horrifically dangerous, as shown by many historical wars of the past.
"In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies."
-Winston Churchill

And, of course, don't forget all of the red ball-caps on Americans at present which state, "Make America Hate, Again."

Do you have any satirical aphorisms to share?

Please, lighten the load of b.s. (bad snark;-) that all of us seem to be getting buried under by the current U.S. Evangelical-Christian-Political Debacle.
And the diametrically opposite nonreligious-political debacle.

We need to defangle it all.

Daniel Wilcox

Monday, September 17, 2018

Support free speech: Request that Indonesia release Meliana for false charge of blasphemy

from Amnesty International:

Meliana, an ethnic Chinese Buddhist woman, has been convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to 18 months in prison for complaining about the loudspeaker volume at a local mosque.

Amnesty International considers her a prisoner of conscience who must be immediately and unconditionally released.

Meliana, an ethnic Chinese Buddhist woman, has been convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to 18 months in prison for complaining about the loudspeaker volume at a local mosque.

Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:

Immediately and unconditionally release Meliana and all other individuals who have been convicted of blasphemy;
Ensure that Meliana and her family are given effective protection from violence or threats of violence;
Repeal or amend all blasphemy provisions set out in laws and regulations which violate the rights to freedom of expression and of thought, conscience and religion.
Contact these two officials by 10 October, 2018:
Ministry of Law and Human Rights
Minister Yasonna Laoly
Jalan H.R. Rasuna Said Kav 6-7
Jakarta Selatan, DKI
Jakarta, Indonesia 12940
Fax: +62 (0)21 525 3004
Salutation: Dear Minister

Ambassador Budi Bowoleksono
Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia
2020 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington DC 20036
Phone: 202 775 5200
Twitter: @KBRIWashDC @b_bowoleksono
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Read the rest of this urgent action at AI:


MORE INFORMATION from THE STRAITS TIMES about the basis for the blasphemy charge:

"Criticism mounts in Indonesia against jailing of woman for complaining about volume of mosque speaker

"Wahyudi SoeriaatmadjaIndonesia Correspondent
JAKARTA - Criticism has mounted, even among Muslims, against the jailing of an Indonesian woman of Chinese descent for complaining to a neighbour about the volume of the azan (call to prayer) from the speaker of the community mosque.

"Civil society groups and lawyers denounced the verdict as excessive and silly while the two biggest Muslim organisations in the country, Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah, questioned the use of the blasphemy clause against the woman.

"I do not see how saying 'azan is too loud' is an expression of hatred or hostility towards a particular group or religion," Mr Robikin Emhas, head of the legal, human rights and legislation department at Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia's largest Muslim organisation with more than 80 million members, was quoted as saying in a statement.

"The blasphemy clause should not be used to "bulldoze" anyone's right to express opinions and Muslims should consider such opinions as "constructive criticism in a plural society", he said...

"Meliana, 44, a Buddhist, was found guilty on Tuesday (Aug 21) of blasphemy by the Medan district court in North Sumatra and sentenced to 1½ years in prison. The mother of four is a resident of Tanjung Balai sub-district in the eastern part of the province. Her husband, a labourer at a local swallow's nest farm which supplies bird's nests to restaurants, lost his job because of her trial.

"On July 22, 2016, Meliana was speaking with the owner of a small convenience store, who was her neighbour, when she referred to the volume of the speaker at the nearby mosque, saying that it had become louder than previously...This quickly spread on social media, which then triggered riots as Muslims, offended by the remarks, went on the rampage. Several Buddhist temples were burnt in what was believed to be the worst bout of anti-Chinese violence in the country since 1998...Meliana became a victim of a mob who descended on her house...who then vandalised and burned her house...

"Dozens of people, including former Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, have been sent to prison under Indonesia's controversial blasphemy laws, the Jakarta Post reported."

Read the rest of the news on Meliana at:

Shine the light of goodness, justice, and compassion,

Daniel Wilcox

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Mused Moments in Nature

side of the road

gray shadowed mail box
overwhelmed green, red-purple
bloomed jungle wonder


california dazing


ground mists, chilly gloom
living on west’s ground-fogged coast--
wearing my snow coat


palm branches flutter
while other trees’ leaves wind-fall
despite bright warm days


rain-jade bluffs, 6 leaves
unfallen on our elm tree--
wait! wrens flit from branch


weeping tree saps down
drips red glop on our van’s roof--
and splats of bird poop


dark cliff walls
except in the narrows of our canyon--
that moon

dripping rain drizzles
against our foggy window—
blowing my wet nose

snail tracks, morning sun
translucent trail on red brick--
why in wet dashes?

wind and fire

green vines wind up fences
bursting with succulent grapes--
but covered in ash

too busy

red peaches, bird pecked,
rot under our laden tree
weighed down by sweetness

near ferndale

huge white marshmallows
checker the mowed brown hay field—
plastic-covered bales

trembled, jittering
feather caught to the dust splat
on our van's windshield

lines, no white clothes but
birds black in a row, clothespinned
to telephone wires

horse trailer rattles
by curved eucalyptus leaves
that skit in gutters

huntington beach dusk wind

pruned date palm
feather-dusts its crimson sky--
left by a worker

late afternoon

our black van tires roll
over dark elm trees stretched long,
but where are the bumps?

rain water on oil
red and blue swirls on blacktop--
a peacock's feather

up early

in the gray-hazed dawn
pale light blossoms
softly explode from a violet tree
rising by a jade-green hedge--
birdsong morning


In the beauty of our scenic natural world,

Daniel Wilcox

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Please Stand Against Israel, Again, Stealing Palestinian Land



Khan al-Ahmar was established in the 1950's by Palestinians from the Negev desert

AI: "Responding to the Israeli Supreme Court’s decision, the second one in less than two months, to approve the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar, by rejecting the desperate last resort petitions from residents of the West Bank village, Saleh Higazi, Head of Office in Jerusalem for Amnesty International, said:

“With this shameful and manifestly unlawful ruling the Supreme Court has confirmed a pattern of complicity in the crime of forcible transfer of Palestinian communities for the expansion Jewish-only settlements. The court has not only completely denied the petitioners the protection provided to them by International Humanitarian Law, it has also validated the discriminatory policies of the Israeli authorities.”

“If the international community does not immediately take the necessary action to stop this crime from taking place, thousands of other Palestinians surrounding Jerusalem and in the Jordan Valley will now face an imminent risk of forced displacement...”

"Forcible transfer of people under occupation is a serious breach of the IV Geneva Convention. The deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory constitutes a war crime under Article 8 of the Rome Statute."

Read the rest at:


"Israel's Supreme Court has rejected appeals against the demolition of a Bedouin village in the occupied West Bank whose fate has been a subject of international concern.

Judges upheld an order to raze Khan al-Ahmar, where about 180 people live in shacks between two Jewish settlements.

Israel's government says the structures were built illegally, but Palestinians say permits are impossible to obtain.

An injunction against the demolition will expire within seven days.

The United Nations has called on Israel to allow the Bedouin to remain on the land, saying such demolitions are against international law."

Read the whole article at:


Palestinians AND THEIR LEADERS have no moral ground either becaise they reward families of terrorists, and praise the murderers, including the Muslim jihadist who executed a 17-year-old girl in her own bedroom!

HOWEVER, that doesn't justify Israelis invading Palestine, destroying structures including a school, and stealing Palestinian water and land!


In the LIGHT,

Daniel Wilcox