AnonymousUser

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    I'm afraid that Mr. Smith holds an inaccurate idea of what moral relativism is. He states, "Moral Relativism is the view that moral or ethical statements, which vary from person to person, are all equally valid and no one's opinion of "right and wrong" is better than any other". This is not entirely accurate. Mr. Smith neglects to acknowledge that ethical relativism is sub-divided into two major sub-types: subjective and conventional. The type here he describes is subjectivism however he goes on to speak of modern civilization which would correspond to coventional ethical relativism. Nevertheless, Mr. Smith is correct in stating that the tenets of that philosophy state that there are no objective moral standards. However, this is not a view I necessarily agree with nor am I writing in defense of it. But, neither am I here to defend the polar opposite view of a purely objective morality. Due to the constraints of the comments section, I'll skip over the subject of biblical law as the basis for all morality as well as the wildly incorrect statements about evolutionary theory and talk about another source which Mr. Smith cites, the Barna Group.

    Mr. Smith refers to research done by the Barna Group which can hardly be viewed as an independent and unbiased sociological resource. The methodology of survey research has its difficulties as well but I won't get into a long, drawn out argument about research methodology here. A better source may be to review the General Social Survey. According to this massive resource, people agree with statements such as "Right and wrong should be decided by society" and "God's laws should decide right and wrong" - neither of which would constitute subjective relativism. With the statement "morality is a personal matter and society should not force everyone to follow one standard", people responded in the majority of only "somewhat agree". The analyses of this data shows that, contrary to Mr. Smith's statements the majority of society does not hold a subjective relativistic view.

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    Personal taste for usage aside, the term "rape", as pointed out earlier, has more than one definition. It is not the author's fault that various definitions of the word are not well know by all readers. From a technical standpoint, Aprill is not "wrong" by utilizing the term in that context.

    For example, a quick consult of Dictionary.com we see that the verb "rape" can mean to "plunder" or "seize, take, or carry off by force".

    However, if we introduce the concept of political correctness then, yes, "rape" is bound to offend people as is evidenced by an associated irate letter to the editor.

    Really, if anything is to be blamed it would be our social cognition. Within social cognition we rely upon schemas (in the psychology context of the word) to categorize our world in which salience is controlled by frequency of association. Without the use of higher order thinking we rely upon those cognitive chunks and when the word "rape" appears it is almost reflexively connected to the forceful sexual act against a person's will. And, yes, when most people hear or read the term that is what comes to mind even though it holds other more socially innocuous meanings.

    Many other words could have been used but the term did entice powerful responses yet it may have taken attention away from the article as a whole.

    However, if you subscribe to the school of thought exemplified by Brendan Behan's famous quote, "There is no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary" then "it's all good" - but I wouldn't want to offend any pessimists with that phrase.

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    I would be very skeptical about advice from Lendon Smith. I think most of his statements are based in his personal ideology rather than in science.

    As for the linkage of aspartame to all those diseases, I would be interested in seeing the research literature which connects those together.

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    Along with the rest of the claims you make in this blog which, honestly, I find perplexing in relation to the motivation behind a government wanting to kill its citizens. Nonetheless, you claim:

    "...LIFE EXPECTANCY DROPS TO 69.3 YEARS IN THE USA..."

    I would be curious as to the source for this figure as I am skeptical about such extraordinary claims.

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    @ BSspotter: As this seems to be an awareness event I would assume that the audience is the entire community. Public education (i.e., raising awareness) on various issues can contribute to decreasing the prevalence of a particular act(s) (in this case those Laura listed). To spurn information seeking and inspire activism awareness is the first step and the intended audience is the entire community.

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    For clarification: My previous questions were directed to rollingstone - to quell any confusion.

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    This would then beg the question, upon what do you base these conclusions? Is this an evidence-based position or conjecture based upon casual observation and inference?

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    @rollingstone: I'm curious, what exactly do you think these people are so serious about accomplishing? And then how are you so sure this is the case?

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    Bette Noble states, "All of us are aware of the way that this country is being carried into socialism, and we intend to stop the tide."

    I've always been curious how it is determined that the introduction of socialize programs leads to a socialist government. We've had socialized programs in place for decades (e.g., local library) yet no one contends that these services are leading to some socialize upheaval. Or is it that socialized programs that trigger thoughts of socialized government which people equate with communism which in turn raises the ghosts of McCarthyism?

    When a democratic president is in office it's cries of socialism and when a republican is in office it's cries of fascism. It all seems to be a bit more for show than to really accomplish any goal.

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