Deadline: 21 May 2011
Family Radio Worldwide has hit the road (in a bunch of mobile homes) to preach that the end shall come just over two months from now. On that date, “a massive earthquake will shake the world apart.”
According to the Daily Mail, “Those who believe in Jesus will be carried into heaven, while the rest of humanity will endure 153 days of ‘death and horror’ before the world ends on October 21.” This is the Rapture followed by the Tribulation spoken of by millennialists.
Harold Camping, the group’s leader, issued the definite forecast and for that I admire him. I do not believe him, but I approve of his concreteness. Most who preach doom and gloom haven’t the guts to put definite numbers, shape, or dates on their prognostications. Most are content to sit and wait for events “similar” to what they have vaguely predicted, and then take loose credit for having actually predicted those events.
Camping and his flock will have the chance to learn from their mistake. Not that Camping will take his failure to heart, but his followers might.
Of course, these sort of things often turn out badly. The evidence of a failed core belief is often too much for the devout to bear. Many in the group will not be able to face their ex-family and friends who they have abandoned to take up this cause. These poor people will not need our ridicule, but our prayers.
Obama: Women Earn Less
Mr Obama, in his radio address of today (which your intrepid reporter caught a portion of) said, “Today, women still earn on average only about 75 cents for every dollar a man earns. That’s a huge discrepancy.” He called this “troubling.” He also told us that March is women’s month. Oops: it’s National Women’s Month. (Men don’t get a month.)
Mr Obama’s statistics are faulty. I have done the numbers myself and can report that, within a job and age-matched with men, women not only earn as much as men, but sometimes more (on average). Particularly, women entering the workforce now earn more than men on average in most career fields. Yes, even engineering. At the very top, where gray hair abounds, men still, on average, have an edge. But these wrinklies are old and getting older and will be replaced by higher-earning women.
Another reason for the supposed “discrepancy” is that women do not enter the job force in the same proportion as men, but they are increasing that proportion. Thus, some fields are seeing dramatic increases in women; and, since these women are new employees, they tend to earn less than the older employees, who are more likely to be male.
Thus, Mr Obama, while quoting a (more or less) accurate statistic gave it the wrong interpretation; and not just the wrong interpretation, but one that is exactly the opposite of the truth. But one well in line with his call for more taxing, spending, and regulation to “correct the balance.”
Many philosophers have tried, in vain, to show that the only question about whether abortion should be legal depends on whether the fetus is human or not. To kill a human for convenience or personal gain is murder. Thus, if the fetus is human, then to abort it is to commit murder. Abortion is in no way an “issue” of women’s “rights.” Women do not have the “right” to murder simply because they are women.
You can argue that the fetus becomes human at a certain point in time. For example, it is not human at conception but becomes so at the beginning of the second trimester. (Never mind measurement; we are speaking purely philosophically.) Mark Mercer, chairperson of the philosophy department at Halifax’s St. Mary’s University, says the fetus does not become human until after it has been out of the woman’s womb for 18 months. Mercer says human-like creatures 18 months old or less are not human, but they become so after 18 months of life.
Mercer’s argument, while asinine, is, so far, philosophically sound. The only question is where to draw the line. He draws it rather late because being human is a “legal term which has had a changing definition throughout history.” Here is his mistake, a common one made by equality-mongers and multiculturalists. Just because a society commends or does not penalize some action, does not imply that that action is moral. The reason this is so should be obvious (hint: what is a society?).
Abortion “rights” supporters hate debate and tried “to disrupt a debate on abortion at Dalhousie University Tuesday night by ripping down ads, setting off stink-bombs, and covering the ceiling with helium balloons featuring pro-abortion slogans. In the end, they even turned on” Mercer. Why? Because he refused to acknowledge that abortion was an “issue” of women’s “rights.”
This proves that ignorance isn’t, or doesn’t produce, bliss, but perpetual outrage.
See also this video where MSNBC’s Cenk Uygur argues (soundly) that the fetus’s first heartbeat cannot draw the line because the fetus “is not really a person.” But he also says, “Now, we reached out to the fetus to see if he or she wanted to come on the show, but it did not say anything, because it does not have a mouth. But if it could talk, I’m pretty sure it would say, could you please get out of my mother’s uterus.” How could a non-human say “Please abort me” or “Please let my mother decide whether to abort me”? Uygur’s fallacy is that he wants it both ways.