The best of all worlds: Candide’s Pangloss now working at Harvard University

In a book entitled, The Better Angels of our Nature, Harvard Professor Pangloss (Steven Pinker) says we are living in a more humane world today (see his article “Violence Vanquished“).

Well, I beg to differ.  He argues that violent death is less frequent than in previous periods in human history, and that the number of people who die peaceably in their sleep all over the world is at a higher percentage than ever before. True, because he’s only counting those who manage to make it out of their mothers’ wombs without first suffering a violent genocidal demise.  That’s only 4 out of 5 people.  So stay out of your mother’s womb.  It is a game of Russian Roulette (I prefer my chances with six shooter).  But also, we are now on the verge of war breaking out all over the globe (starting with Egypt, Libya, Yemen, etc.) caused by economic instability.  Apparently, the Christian Century published similar drivel, just before the outbreak of World War I.  Today, with global instability caused by monetary policy, the doctrine of Total Depravity is gaining traction.

Pangloss pictured right: click on picture to watch video at Market Watch

Advertisements

Theological Education Bubble II: Driving an SUV could make you a goat, but an atheist advocate of abortion might be a sheep

Close to forty years ago Singer wrote a powerful paper in ethics on the culpability of rich people in allowing the poor of the world to die. And yet rather than read that paper and Singer’s other work on the plight of the world’s poor, self-righteous suburban evangelicals continue to drive their big fat SUVs, tithe 4% of their income (on average) and stand in judgment of his views on abortion. What damnable hypocrisy. Before you call Peter Singer evil try reading the parable of the sheep and goats half a dozen times whilst setting aside your self-righteous certainty that you’re a sheep and Singer is a goat.

Randal Rauser, Associate Professor of Historical Theology, Taylor Seminary, Edmonton

I live in literalville.  I suppose Prof. Randal Rauser could provide nuance for the above quote that is cited at Triablogue, or perhaps deny that he made it.  But I find it curious that he would prefer an atheist and an advocate of abortion–which is in my book the killing of youngest, poorest and most innocent human beings–over evangelicals who drive SUVs.  Given that  abortions in the last few decades number in the 100s of millions, it is a genocide of epic proportions.  Millions of Rauser’s own contemporaries have already been snuffed out  (as he was born circa 1975, after Roe vs. Wade).

I wonder also about the finances of Taylor Seminary.  I know that they recently went through a financial restructuring.  Hey, all you donors and friends of  Taylor Seminary and College. Do you live in a suburb?   Do you drive an SUV?  Perhaps you think that abortion is worse than driving a SUV.  Did you realize that your hard earned dollars were going to support a professor who thinks that your driving a SUV is damnable?  Perhaps it’s time you got on the phone with the president there.

I’ve written about this sort of thing before. As a donor to theological education, I don’t understand why I, a business man and an investor, have to donate to progressive education which is inimical to those who create wealth.  It’s a contradiction and an absurdity, when the livelihood of those who teach in theological education depends wholly on such people.  For if we let this sort of thing continue, we will end up with theological students like PoserorProphet, and it is a waste of our money to help him along his way so he can teach others to be anarcho-marxist-zealot Christians like himself.

Signed,

A suburban driver of a big fat SUV (but only when my wife lets me drive it), who “tithes” a mere 2.64% on average

The economic consequences of the culture of death

How should the Righteous Investor consider the question of abortion?  Well, it is repugnant from the standpoint of the Christian world view.  But should investors have a different take?  Well, here is a possible consideration.  It is possible to quantify the value of life by multiplying the average earning potential times 38 years (18-65).  The typical human being in the USA should be able to earn a modest $25,000 per year.  In this case, their lives would be worth $950,000 each.  Since there have now been 50 million abortions in the United States, the total value lost equals $950,000*50 million, or 47,500,000,000,000; 47.5 trillion dollars.  Now if we consider that the unfunded liabilities of the United States is around 100 trillion, doesn’t the abortion policy seem quite ridiculous from an investor’s point of view?  The earnings of these dead people could have quite easily made a huge dent in this coming economic meltdown in the United States.

Iatrogenesis and Public Health Care

Iatrogenesis is a term that hardly ever enters the public debate on health care.  Any public discussion of the socialization of health care that pays no heed to iatrogenesis is inadequate.  Awareness of iatrogenesis also would call into question the mantle of divinity that we bestow upon physicians, believing that we cannot exist without them.  Yet physicians are contributing to a serious demographic problem of negative population growth.

The word iatrogenesis comes from Greek word, “iatros” (“physician”); and “genesis” (“origin”) and refers to health problems and death caused by medical science. I was first introduced to the word “iatrogenic” by Neil Postman’s Technopoly, ch. 6; Ivan Illich has written a primer on the subject, Medical Nemesis, which is now dated but still largely valid. The first line of his book is: “The medical establishment has become a major threat to health.”

Iatrogenesis is considered by many to be the third leading cause of death in US (conservative estimates of the US death toll due to iatrogenesis to be 225,000 per annum). But I would argue that abortion is also iatrogenenic and is nearly always intentionally fatal to the unborn baby. The death toll in this case is 1.2 or 1.3 million more deaths per year. So now we are at 1.5 million per annum or so people killed in the US by medical science. But then this may only be the tip of the iceberg, since it is not in the best interests of medical practitioners to publicize the number of people they have killed. For example, AIDS may be iatrogenic, if Edward Hooper’s theory (see his book The River) that an experimental polio vaccine used in Belgian Congo in the late 1950 may be the cause of the transfer of the Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) from chimpanzees to humans, creating HIV.  The push for assisted suicide and euthanasia will make the circle of iatrogenic death complete, from the young to the old and sick.

A discussion of public health care and socialized medicine that doesn’t take into account iatrogenesis makes an idol out of health care.  Such issues must be approached with sober judgment and care.  I am not saying that physicians can’t help the sick and the injured.  I am saying it really bothers me that we are not publicly aware of iatrogenesis, the leading cause of death.

Here are some examples of iatrogenesis:

Here is another website indicating sources from medical journals and claiming the death rate via iatrogensis is more like 1 million per annum: http://www.ourcivilisation.com/medicine/usamed/deaths.htm

Cosmetic surgery:
http://www.abcnews.go.com/GMA/PainManagement/story?id=4520099
Malaria prophylaxis Lariam: http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/read/8650
Heath Ledger:
cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/02/06/heath-ledgers-death-is-ruled-an-accident/

Michael Jackson

During an abortion (mother):
newsbusters.org/blogs/tim-graham/2007/10/23/media-ignore-another-woman-dying-inside-abortion-clinic
http://www.physiciansforlife.org/content/view/867/26/
http://www.physiciansforlife.org/content/view/240/26/