Are School Shooters and Social Justice Extremists on the Same Spectrum?

Birgit Pfeifer of Windesheim University of Applied Sciences and Ruard R. Ganzevoort of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam published an article entitled The Implicit Religion of School Shootings: Existential Concerns of Perpetrators Prior to Their Crime.  (HT: John Branyan)

The researchers looked through the writings and videos of school shooters to determine if there are any patterns.  They conclude their analysis as follows:

One can, of course, argue (correctly) that mental disorders, antisocial personality disorders and/or severe bullying can lead to school shootings, but that may not be the whole picture. Our study suggests that the school shootings may be understood as trans-ethical violent actions driven by existential concerns and framed in the language of implicit religion.

The existential concerns are as follows:

Existential concerns, as addressed in this paper, are related to views of life and death, the freedom of the individual and responsibility for one’s actions, the awareness that one is fundamentally alone, and the problem of meaning. Experimental studies have confirmed that existential concerns have a pervasive influence on people’s thoughts, feelings, and actions (Koole, Greenberg, and Pyszczynski 2006).

As for implicit religion:

Indicators of the implicit religion of school shooters are the religious terminology they us in their documents to justify their horrendous acts of violence. They use religious themes in their documents, such as the fight between good and evil; they create apocalyptic scenarios, and act like martyrs.

So implicit religion does not mean they believe in God and are killing because of some theistic mindset.  It just means they see life in terms of good and evil, create apocalyptic scenarios, and act like martyrs.  Like New Atheists do.

Basically, school shooters are boys struggling mightily with existential concerns through a secular framework.  This secular framework fails them in some instances:

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The Collapsing Escape Hatch

Modern day atheism is built on a simple claim – There is no evidence that God exists.  But how does the atheist know this?  It’s one thing to claim, “I don’t see any evidence for God” or “What you consider evidence for God is not what I consider evidence for God.”  But to proclaim “There is no evidence for God” is to make a truth claim about all of objective reality – wherever you look, whoever you are, how ever hard you look, you will not find any evidence for God.  Because “there is no evidence” to be found.  And that’s supposed to be true for all of us.

Yet this is nothing more than empty posturing.  We’ve seen how easy it to completely neuter this claim – simply ask the atheist what would count as evidence for God.  After all, when the atheist insists “There is no evidence for God,” this question is a perfectly legitimate way to get the atheist to clarify what he is saying.

And what have we found?  First, many atheists will point to some miraculous event, perhaps writing in the stars.   In other words, some event that could not possibly be explained by natural causes; something that would present itself as a Gap in our current understanding by natural causes.  But if that is the case, those events could only be evidence if we agreed that the God of the Gaps approach is a valid and legitimate way of determining whether God exists.  If we are to count a Gap as evidence, we necessarily assume the validity of the God of the Gaps logic.  Yet atheists everywhere have insisted that the God of the Gaps approach is NOT a valid approach.  Thus, all these examples of miracles that would supposedly count as evidence for God truly would not count as evidence for God as far as the atheist is concerned.  The atheist is engaged in deceptive hand-waving.

The honest approach is for the atheist to admit that nothing would count as evidence for the existence of God.  But then the atheist is simply admitting his/her closed mind and the pronouncement that “There is no evidence for God” becomes vacuous.  If nothing can count as evidence for the existence of God, then of course the atheist is going to believe there is no evidence for God.

Of course, not wanting to be seen as closed-minded dogmatists, some atheists have been looking for an escape hatch.  Atheist activist Matt Dillahunty offers up one such attempt that I have seen elsewhere.  Since he takes over 27 minutes to make a two minute point, I’ll focus you to 26:16 in the video:

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The Only Way to Protect Your Child from a School Shooting

Because of the school shootings, we are told that the schools are a very dangerous place.  That children everywhere are suffering from anxiety for fear that they will be the next victims of a school shooting.  For example, at a recent White House press briefing, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked the following question by 13-year-old Benje Choucroun, a correspondent for Time for Kids magazine:

“At my school, we recently had a lockdown drill. One thing that affects my and other students’ mental health is the worry about the fact that we or our friends could get shot at school,” Benje said. “Specifically, can you tell me what the administration has done and will do to prevent these senseless tragedies?”

But here’s the thing – if the mental health of children is indeed being harmed by sending them to school because of a reality-based fear of being shot at school, why are parents of such children looking to politicians for solutions?   Isn’t that just passing the buck?  What’s more, one has to engage is some serious magical thinking to truly believe that some new laws are going to put an end to school shootings.  Instead, why aren’t more parents taking serious action that will guarantee their children are not the victims of a school shooting.  That solution is called home-schooling.

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Atheism and Sex

According to this article,

Researchers from McGill University in Canada have found that men with high testosterone levels are less likely to be religious.

and adds

The researchers suggest that further studies are needed to understand how hormones shape a person’s religious beliefs in later life.

Let me raise a plausible explanation.  We know that testosterone levels are linked to sex drive.  And when it comes to a man’s sex drive, he either controls it or it controls him.  Christianity, and some other religions, can function as a mechanism to help a man control his sex drive.  Individuals with higher levels of testosterone will find their enhanced sex drive in stronger conflict with Christianity (and some other religions).  Thus, rather than engage in the personal conflict, some men opt out to allow their sex drive to take control.  Atheism thus becomes a weapon to neutralize the controlling aspect of Christianity and sets the sex drive free.  In other words, atheism is the rationalization for allowing one self to become enslaved to their sex drive.

There is some significant circumstantial evidence to support this hypothesis.

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Could Social Justice Activism Be Contributing to Rape?

I know very little about Tommy Robinson and all the controversy surrounding him.  So I found this article to be helpful.  While reading I ran across this excerpt:

The problem — as I said in 2015 — is that any challenge Robinson presents is all a secondary issue. The primary issue is that for years the British state allowed gangs of men to rape thousands of young girls across Britain. For years the police, politicians, Crown Prosecution Service, and every other arm of the state ostensibly dedicated to protecting these girls failed them. As a number of government inquires have concluded, they turned their face away from these girls because they were terrified of the accusations of racism that would come their way if they did address them. They decided it wasn’t worth the aggravation.

This resonated because I recall a news article some time ago about this very thing – young girls being raped and authorities dragging their feet with investigations for fear of being labeled racists.  Although, I can’t recall the details.

I’m not sure how accurate this description is, but if it is true that thousands of girls are being raped by gangs and the government has looked the other way for fear of sparking racial issues, then it would seem to be the case that social justice activism has become a causal factor for rape.

 

Posted in activism, Social Justice, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Atheism and Depression

I am sure you have all heard how religious belief is declining among young people.  Thus, you have to wonder if there is a connection here:

New research shows there’s been a sharp spike in cases of major depression in the United States in recent years, especially among teens and millennials.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association analysis of medical claims data showed that the overall rate of major depression was 4.4 percent and that diagnosis rates rose 33 percent between 2013 and 2016. Those rates increased 63 percent among teens and 47 percent among millennials.- Depression rates among youth in U.S. higher than ever.

 

Posted in atheism, Uncategorized | Tagged | 37 Comments

Why Was That Published?!!

There is very little difference between a New Atheist activist and a Social Justice activist.  Consider atheist activist Jerry Coyne.   He is such a snowflake that it won’t be long before he starts demanding trigger warnings when certain topics come up, namely, any published article that is either a) critical of atheism or b) supportive of religion.  Consider just the latest example – a pro-religion article appeared on the Aeon website and this clearly offended Snowflake Jerry:

I believe I’m back on solid ground again with this post about the Templeton Foundation (in this case, the Templeton Religion Trust) and their incursion into Aeon magazine, a secular site devoted to “ideas and culture.” What we have here is an article by Manini Sheker whose work apparently wasn’t underwritten by Templeton—which would mean that Sheker was supported by the organization—but where the magazine itself apparently got money from Templeton to publish a dire piece touting the benefits of Catholicism.

Oh, oh.  If there is one thing that triggers militant snowflake atheists it is the mealy-mouthed Templeton Foundation.   I don’t have the time to go through Coyne’s standard talking points, but I’d like to highlight his conclusion:

And how did Templeton get its sticky fingers in here? Who were they paying to get this article published? We don’t know. Shame on Aeon for publishing such tripe!

My.  “Shame on Aeon for publishing such tripe!”  That one sentence gives us great insight into the real Jerry Coyne – he is a closet member of the Regressive Left.  For those words were spoken like a true social justice warrior.  In other words, the author should have been deplatformed.  Her words should not have been published.

Anyone who truly values free speech would not be pounding the table like that.

Anyway, given Coyne’s leanings toward the Regressive Left, it should not surprise anyone that he is so approving of Karl Marx:

spreading religiosity is a way, as Marx realized, to get people to accept a problematic status quo: religion, as he said, is an “opium of the people”.

For the record, I have never in my life argued that some anti-Christian or anti-religious article “should not have been published.”  And I don’t consider Marx to be any type of expert or authority on the topic of religion and culture.

Posted in Jerry Coyne, New Atheism, social justice atheism, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

How Social Justice Activists Think

Nora Berenstain,  an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Tennesse,  is also a hardcore advocate of social justice ideology.  Let’s have a look at her FB posting from last year that berated Rebecca Tuvel, an assistant professor of philosophy at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee.   Since I see no reason to think that Berenstain’s thinking is atypical among her social justice colleagues (in and out of academia), it will provide us an opportunity to analyze how social justice advocates think.

As I read through Berenstain’s essay, various themes emerged.

First, there is tribalism.  Berenstain not only demonstrates tribalistic thinking, but seems to revel in it:

A lot of folks are currently discussing Rebecca Tuvel’s recent article in Hypatia, “In Defense of Transracialism.” The article contains egregious levels of liberal white ignorance and discursive transmisogynistic violence. Unfortunately, many white philosophers have centered their responses to the public discussion of the article around concerns that the anger and criticism directed at Tuvel will have a negative impact on her career, suggesting that this would be bad given that she is a junior woman in philosophy. White feminist philosophers have a tendency to rally around other white women when we enact harm.

Here, she is hyper-focused on Tuvel’s race.

 levels of liberal white ignorance….. many white philosophers….. Whitefeminist philosophers

This is very significant to her because Tuvel’s tribe is set against various other tribes:

Tuvel doesn’t cite a single woman of color philosopher, nor does she substantively engage with any work by Black women, nor does she cite or engage with the work of any Black trans women who have written on this topic…… epistemic violence against trans people, against people of color, against women of color, against Black women, against trans women of color, against Black trans women.

All of this makes sense given that postmodern ideology (expressed as “social justice”) is rooted in pure subjectivity.  The subjective essence of this ideology thus works to elevate and enshrine tribalism, as each tribe is, of course, the expert on the subjective reality of that particular tribe.  Thus, it looks like postmodern, social justice philosophy is largely about determining the pecking order of various tribes where feelings of oppression are the metric for such a hierarchy.

And that gets us to the second theme – feelings.

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Looks Like the Latest School Shooter was an Atheist and Satanist

There’s been another school shooting that has killed 10 people in Texas.

According to this ABC report about the shooter:

On Facebook, Pagourtzis lists himself as an atheist under religious views

Also, his Facebook account appears to indicate an interest in Satanism.

The same link also shows a picture of his black trench coat with a Baphomet pin on it.  If you’ll recall, the Satanic Temple is always trying to put up statues of Baphomet with support from atheist activists.

 

Posted in Culture, Uncategorized | Tagged | 5 Comments

UC Berkeley Morphing Into a Clown College?

From here:

A University of California, Berkeley report on free speech questions the motives of controversial speakers who sparked violent campus clashes last year, saying they were part of a “coordinated campaign” to make college campuses appear intolerant of conservative views.

Ah, one of the symptoms of intellectual inbreeding is the reliance on conspiracy theories.  Trying to spin things as if UC Berkeley is some victim of a conspiracy is not only pathetic, but underscores the intellectual decay that typically comes from intellectual inbreeding.

Further evidence of intellectual decay:

“Contrary to a currently popular narrative, Berkeley remains a tolerant campus,” the report contends, pointing to a survey of incoming freshman last fall. It found three-quarters of them agree that “the University has the responsibility to provide equal access to safe and secure venues for guest speakers of all viewpoints — even if the ideas are found offensive by some or conflict with the values held by the UC Berkeley community.”

In what possible way can the views of incoming freshmen tell us anything about tolerance on the campus?  Incoming freshmen are the one group who have not yet been indoctrinated by UC Berkeley.  But it does raise a great idea – simply repeat the same survey question with outgoing seniors.  I would predict that less that 75% of such seniors agree with that statement.

And then there is this:

The report continues: “Many Commission members are skeptical of these speakers’ commitment to anything other than the pursuit of wealth and fame through the instigation of anger, fear, and vengefulness in their hard-right constituency. Speech of this kind is hard to defend, especially in light of the acute distress it caused (and was intended to cause) to staff and students, many of whom felt threatened and targeted by the speakers and by the outside groups financing their appearances.”

The commission was made up of Berkeley faculty, students and staff and was chaired by Prudence Carter, dean of Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education, and R. Jay Wallace, a professor of philosophy.

I think we’re supposed to buy into this notion that the commission was diverse and objective because it was made up of faculty, students, and staff.  But I would like to see the political affiliations of the commission members.  For example, if the commission was composed of 90% Leftists, a commitment to critical thinking would cause us to deeply suspect the commission as not credible.  And that would explain the irrational conspiracy theories and citation of incoming freshmen views as evidence.

Posted in academia, Uncategorized | Tagged | 6 Comments