Watch this video of Peter Singer and Richard Dawkins discussing infanticide. Last week my homily was about the three ugly sisters of utilitarianism, individualism and sentimentalism.
Notice how, in this conversation between two noted ‘thinkers’ they actually have no thoughts at all of any substance. They throw opinions back and forth that are a mish mash of individualism, utilitarianism and sentimentalism.
In other words, they try to come up with a framework of morality which is based on ‘what works’ or ‘what is economical’ (utilitarianism) combined with sentimental feelings towards animals in pain versus a human unborn child and all fueled by the individualism which makes them think they are the only authority to make the choice in the first place.
The video is important because it shows the quicksand of modern ‘thought’. Without the magisterium of the Catholic Church and the Sacred Scriptures they have no fixed place on which to build an argument, support an idea or propose a solution. Instead there can only be an exchange of opinions, a vague proposal of a hypothesis, a suggestion of a way forward or a possible option.
This becomes the ‘dictatorship of relativism’ when it reacts against any form of dogma. As long as they are left to flounder about in their sea of uncertainty they can be left to their insipid impotency. However, no one likes to flounder about without a purpose–so they must go on the attack, and the ones they attack are not people who simply have opinions contrary to theirs.
They must attack people who say that their own beliefs are not simply opinions based on sentimentality and utilitarian principles, but they are beliefs based on objective fact, the natural law, historical data and (worst of all) divine revelation.
Counter their arguments with these hard truths and they will come at you snarling.