The Inevitable Moral Decay of the Secular Left

In his New York Times piece called The Failure of Liberal Bioethics, exemplary writer Ross Douhat chronicles how liberal bioethicists have failed to maintain a consistent standard for their ‘ethics’, and as a result invariably modified standards in response to the latest trends:

From embryo experimentation to selective reduction to the eugenic uses of abortion, liberals always promise to draw lines and then never actually manage to draw them. Like Dr. Evans, they find reasons to embrace each new technological leap while promising to resist the next one — and then time passes, science marches on, and they find reasons why the next moral compromise, too, must be accepted for the greater good, or at least tolerated in the name of privacy and choice. You can always count on them to worry, often perceptively, about hypothetical evils, potential slips down the bioethical slope. But they’re either ineffectual or accommodating once an evil actually arrives. Tomorrow, they always say — tomorrow, we’ll draw the line. But tomorrow never comes.

The particular practice Douhat is discussing here is that of ‘selective reduction’ – that is the aborting of fetuses when multiple are present in the womb. Because the IVF procedure is becoming an increasingly common, so too are multiple pregnancies which increases the demand for selective abortions. As he notes, where once the liberal bioethicists warned against this procedure, they now endorse it.

A similar creeping ethic is occurring amongst psychiatrists with regard to the official view of pedophilia. At a recent academic symposium, a group of psychiatrists, academics, and mental health workers gathered to discuss the need to remove pedophilia from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which serves as the basis for determining mental disorders. As the Daily Caller reports:

The August 17 Baltimore conference is sponsored by B4U-ACT, a group of pro-pedophile mental health professionals and sympathetic activists. According to the conference brochure, the event will examine “ways in which minor-attracted persons [pedophiles] can be involved in the DSM 5 revision process” and how the popular perceptions of pedophiles can be reframed to encourage tolerance.

This move to make pedophilia normative is of course merely one point on an inevitable trajectory that derives from the expansion of sexual mores which gained momentum with the ‘Free Love’ movement of the ’60s to the weakening of divorce laws, the legalization of abortion, the disconnection of birth from marriage and of course the growing acceptance of homosexuality – which itself began with the removal homosexuality from the DSM in 1973.

Given that there is no objective grounding in the ethics of the secular left, these sorts of changes are certain. The boundaries of what is morally and ethically acceptable are by necessity ever expanding; indeed secular leftists become conservatives exactly at the point they ceased to expand. There is no end game with the secular left, only the destruction of the current moral standards.

For moral conservatives who ground their ethics and morality in certain eternal and external realities of God’s nature, the arbitrary nature of liberal ethics comes as no surprise. Absent belief in a transcendent reality to restrain them, humans are slaves to their desires and their appetites invariably grow.

Of course the hard reality is that while human appetites have no limit, God has designed nature to correct itself – eventually societies that can’t control themselves are self-consuming, or dissipate from lack of order and growth.

Sadly, in the process they take a lot of innocents with them.

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6 Responses to The Inevitable Moral Decay of the Secular Left

  1. My understanding of B4UACT is that they encourage therapy so that potential abusers do not act on their desires. There is a percentage of the male population that apparently desires sexual relations with adolescent and even pre-adolescent persons of both genders. While it is occasionally consensual, it is most often a form of rape. Isn’t it better they seek counseling?

    How are they “pro-pedophile” exactly? Are they suggesting the age of consent be lowered to 2?

  2. jackhudson says:

    I certainly hope 2 years of age isn’t the goal!

    Nonetheless, what they appear to be doing is attempting to remove the stigma associated with pedophilia. They also are seeking to present the attraction that some have for children as normal i.e., not a mental illness, but merely as one sort of attraction on a continuum of possible sexual attractions. They aren’t seeking to change pedophiles because they don’t seem to see attraction to children as ‘wrong’ per se, merely misunderstood. I think this is the wrong direction to be moving – though, as I pointed out, not unexpected when the operating principle in a society is secularism, particularly of the left-wing variety.

  3. Mike D says:

    Nonetheless, what they appear to be doing is attempting to remove the stigma associated with pedophilia.

    No one is suggesting that we ought to “normalize” adult-child sexual relationships; what is being advocated here is preventive therapy. Part of that advancement requires that we don’t stigmatize those who feel an involuntary sexual attraction (redundant phrase, but conservatives often need to be reminded on that point) toward children but have not acted on their impulses, that they may not feel threatened in “outing” themselves by seeking preventive therapy.

    This move to make pedophilia normative is of course merely one point on an inevitable trajectory that derives from the expansion of sexual mores which gained momentum with the ‘Free Love’ movement of the ’60s to the weakening of divorce laws, the legalization of abortion, the disconnection of birth from marriage and of course the growing acceptance of homosexuality – which itself began with the removal homosexuality from the DSM in 1973.

    That is one epic hodgepodge of slippery slope nonsense, particularly considering that Christians are statistically no less likely to get divorced than anyone else, and that the highest national incidence of teen pregnancies is in the Bible belt. And, point of fact, the abortion rate is actually positively correlated with religiosity [link]. And surely even you can comprehend the difference between consensual sex among adults of the same gender and the coercion of minors by adults.

  4. jackhudson says:

    No one is suggesting that we ought to “normalize” adult-child sexual relationships; what is being advocated here is preventive therapy. Part of that advancement requires that we don’t stigmatize those who feel an involuntary sexual attraction (redundant phrase, but conservatives often need to be reminded on that point) toward children but have not acted on their impulses, that they may not feel threatened in “outing” themselves by seeking preventive therapy.

    I am not sure how arguing that it is an ‘advancement’ to de-stigmatize pedophilia counters my claim that the secular left wants to de-stigmatize pedophilia? Everyone has involuntary feelings, sexual or otherwise – society is best served when humans start with the understanding that some of those feelings are wrong.

    That is one epic hodgepodge of slippery slope nonsense, particularly considering that Christians are statistically no less likely to get divorced than anyone else, and that the highest national incidence of teen pregnancies is in the Bible belt. And, point of fact, the abortion rate is actually positively correlated with religiosity [link]. And surely even you can comprehend the difference between consensual sex among adults of the same gender and the coercion of minors by adults.

    Another tu quoque. 

    What Christians do or don’t do is irrelevant to the claim about secular leftists. 

    Obviously it’s not Christians driving the liberalization of these laws. And of practicing Christians (people who pray, read, attend church) the divorce rate is considerably lower than average. 

    As far as abortion statistics, the top ten states are  New York, Delaware, Florida, Rhode Island, Nevada, Connecticut, Washington, Kansas, North Carolina, Massachusetts and Virginia. 2 out of 5 pregnancies in NY end in abortion – you know, New York city, the religious enclave? Does that look like a positive correlation with religious states to you? Of course you didn’t know about these statistics because bother to read past an old atheist advocacy piece that you thought proved a point.

    Nonetheless you haven’t done the one thing required to counter my argument here – show how secular liberalism can ground ethics and morals in a way that isn’t eroded by the latest preference or proclivity.

  5. “show how secular liberalism can ground ethics and morals in a way that isn’t eroded by the latest preference or proclivity”

    I’m not sure this problem is solved with religion/Christianity. Religion once stated that burning people alive for having the wrong ideas about Jesus was a moral good, not just in Spain but in Calvin’s Geneva. Religion once stated that kidnapping blacks and forcing them to work as slaves was morally permissible. We condemn polygamy today, but it was a common practice in the age of the patriarchs. Abraham had three wives, and there is no mention of him having repented of this. What church today would let this man in their congregation?

    Religion may suggest that some absolutes exist, but it doesn’t provide us a way of knowing what they actually are in practical terms and in day-to-day living.

  6. jackhudson says:

    Except those things didn’t change because we just decided it wasn’t fashionable to treat people that way, those things changed because we recognized that they were practices that contradicted fundamental moral principles – principles ensconced in the teachings of Christ.

    And this response still doesn’t show how a certain ethic or morality can be grounded in secular leftism.

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