Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Thou Dost Protest Too Much

Last night Dr. James Sennate (formerly of MSU, now at Brenau University) gave a lecture entitled "An Intelligent Discussion of Intelligent Design" for the Banners Series last night at McNeese. The following is a quote from his lecture that is a good reminder for blog discussion of things such as contraception:

"If you find it difficult to discuss this subject without appealing to predictions of dire consequences for the future...if you find more vitrolics than veracity in your contributions to the debate, then you need to acknowledge that you are driven at least as much by fear and anger as you are by genuine concern for a 'let the chips fall where they may" pursuit of the truth. Anger and fear have never been reliable conduits of verisimilitude."

9 comments:

Rodak said...

Civis--
That strikes me as a remarkably bigoted statement to be made by a person with a "Dr." in front of his name. All of those "if...thens" presuppose that it is impossible to discuss contraception positively without being a preemptively aggressive liar. Dr. Sennate is apparently propagandist.
While, as I stated on my own blog, I would never favor enforced use of contraceptives, I think that I can say without fear of contradiction that the Chinese government does not enforce a one child per family law in order that the Chinese popuation might be able to enjoy more and more selfish, promiscuous sex. No. They enforce that law in order to prevent "dire consequences for the future" i.e., in order to ensure that their huge population does not grow beyond its means to feed itself.

Ryan Hallford said...

But even your example and your words argues that the end in itself cannot justify the means. While admitting that China is trying to act in the best interest of the people by ensuring enough food to go around through population control, you admit that forcing a family to only one child or to use contraception is unjust. How to your ground the opinion that forcing contraception on somebody is wrong without appealing to something more than consequences? Especially in China where there is a population problem? It would seem if you argue from consequences that this would be exactly the kind of circumstance that forced contraception should be sought.

Civis said...

Rodak,

Are you proving his point or being funny?

Rodak said...

you admit that forcing a family to only one child or to use contraception is unjust.

I do so only to refute the argument that contraception is used primarily as a means to selfish, lustful and promiscuous sex, and is characterized by those first two even when used within marriage. I don't think so.

Are you proving his point or being funny?

No, I'm showing that in accusing birth control advocates of being "vitriolic" Dr. Sennate is projecting: his vitriol precedes mine. And that by mocking concerns about "dire consequences" he is being propagandistic: dire consequences do, indeed, loom on the horizon, if not for the kind of planning that he scoffs at. I'm dead serious concerning what I said about the guy.

Civis said...

Dr. S was talking about Intelligent design not contraception. Also, his comments were directed at both sides of the debate: he was saying both the ID people and the evolution people need to quit acting like the world will implode if the other person's "thoery" is accepted.

Rodak said...

Civis--
Ah, yes. I misread your opening paragraph. Mea culpa. I apologize to Dr. S.

Civis said...

At least your comments were on topic--more than I can say about my comments on your blog. ha.

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