Monthly Archives: April 2017

Melanie/Dennett/Religion – 21

Dear Simon,

Houses in a Greek city-state faced inward, everything “out there” alien and hostile.

The Easter Islanders erected some one thousand giant stone statues, moai, weighing eighteen to sixty two tons. The statues faced inward, their backs to the sea, enclosing the group.

In Japan, “Country people want desperately to remain on the land. All births, weddings, funerals take place within the partitioned time and space of village walls.”

The Cave paintings at Chauvet were produced thirty two thousand years ago, those at Lascaux eighteen thousand. Both as regards subject matter and technique, they represent an unchanging art form. That’s fourteen thousand years! How many years between Rembrandt and van Gogh?

So what do cave painters and country people and islanders and city states and hunter-gatherers have in common?

THE MORAL SENSE – AN ENERGY SAVING DEVICE!

Remember the basic law of evolution – Follow the Energy!

And what powers The Moral Sense?

GUILT!

“Do as you’re told!”

Remember three year old Blondie? She came into my office. I was sitting quietly and harmlessly on the couch, next to a few puppets. Before exchanging even hellos, I was hauled before The Grand Poobah. I was treated like a dog and blamed for crimes I couldn’t remember committing. I got ordered into a dungeon, the Grand Poobah towering above me. Of course, Blondie was only three years old. She didn’t have kindling wood and a faggot in her hand.

Remember my use of The Quiet Room to contain a patient’s madness, so that the voice of reason might be heard above the howling and shrieking? And my nursing staff, whom I trusted and respected and who had trusted and respected me, turned on a dime into righteous avengers, bringing a litany of my sins to the authorities?

“Off with his head!”

The Moral Sense, a biologic structure, synaptically wired somewhere in the brain and passed on through our DNA, evolved for a group’s survival. The unforgivable sin is a failure to submit to the received wisdom of one’s group or the customs of its culture.

Heretics and rebels posed a far less effective threat under conditions of hunter-gathering than they have the last few thousand years. Without property, egalitarianism was a fact of life. Without writing, there was no history. The Moral Sense stayed active against The Other.

With the growth of political and religious polities, the Moral Sense has had to contend with dissent and apostasy within. Thus the Inquisition a few centuries ago, or the Stalin Purge Trials as recently as the 1930s.

Now, Simon, this will knock your socks off! The Moral Sense is a biologic operation – much as the conjoining of a sperm and an egg! It belongs to Nature. It is not a qualitative emergent. It acts on the human world, as biology does in unnumbered ways, but it does not serve as a vehicle for creating religion.

So when Dennett and Dawkins and company go after religion, they’re barking up the wrong category! Religion is a human creation, like art and music and poetry. These emerge through the power of humans.

Kathryn Hepburn got it exactly right while pouring Bogart’s gin out of the African Queen,

“Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we were put into this world to rise above.”

The Moral Sense belongs in Nature.

Melanie/Dennett/Religion – 20

Dear Simon,

Richard Dawkin’s selfish genes flowing out of Eden, and Daniel Dennett’s logical polemics for a thorough-going materialism are valuable contributions to knowledge. And that’s good, for knowledge is power, and the race, Lord knows, needs all the power it can get.
But the race didn’t bother with knowledge, seriously, until a mere few hundred years ago.

I learned this fact the hard way. I proposed a new way of doing something, just a bit of experimentation seeking fresh knowledge. My fellow workers transmogrified into moral maniacs, and had I been under a Grand Poobah, I would have been burned at the stake. A fact! I am not making this up. I told you about my experience.

Let me tell you another story about the race’s utter disregard for knowledge.

About one and a half million years ago, our relatives banged together a hand-ax, used every day to process food, among other duties. It’s got a fancy name – Acheulian hand-ax. “The utensil-tool was good enough?” Yes, I’d say! The design of the ax didn’t change for a million years, and then only slightly for the next half million. I am not making this up, either. No innovation, no fresh approach, nothing. How many days in a million years? How many breakfasts, lunches, suppers? Not one person, no one, came up with an improved hand-ax.

As for us sapient smarties, how much time passed until a few Greeks discovered an objective world, not one founded on anthropomorphism? Why didn’t those brilliant Greeks form a Royal Society? Why did they murder Socrates for asking a few questions? Why did it take forever to bring about an Industrial Revolution? Is a steam engine that complicated for a brain that builds computers?

Stack the books written by Dawkins and pile on top the books written by Dennett. Whoa! Step back, folks –

“London Bridges, falling down! falling down!”

Read Brother Daniel’s proposal again that “we investigate religious phenomena scientifically.” He warns us there are risks and discomforts involved. – Really? Like getting burned at the stake?
Or getting sawed in half? And what is this reluctance business? Does he mean my reluctance to take on the moral maniacs on The Closed Unit that had me shaking in my boots without an instrument of torture in sight? Galileo got a personal tour of the Museo della Tortura, reminding him that a nod from The Grand Poobah would enroll him as a customer.

Despite the risks and discomforts involved, Simon, we braced ourselves, and, overcoming our traditional reluctance, we investigated religious phenomena scientifically. I trust we made our philosopher of science, Brother Dennett, proud.

Our original home was a group, delimited by the huddled presence of our fellows. Cupboards forever bare, we had to come up with survival strategies every day, without fail, despite the capriciousness of nature.

A great energy-saving structure evolved, The Moral Sense. It abhorred experimentation, original ideas, change. Any group member claiming new knowledge, like Galileo, transmogrified his fellows into moral maniacs, whipped into a murderous frenzy by the Moral Sense.

In addition, a closed society was essential. All other groups were The Other, strange, godless and implacable enemies.

Melanie/Dennett/Religion – 19

Dear Simon,

Some twenty years ago, I spent one entire day digging up the three foot long femur of a hadrosaur, who had lived some 68 million years ago. “Some millions of years” is Deep Time. “Some twenty years” is human time.

We emerged out of Africa some 50,000 to 60,000 years ago, fully human. As animals go, we weren’t too shabby 500,000 years ago. In examining the Terrible of The Moral Sense, however, we’ll assume the 50,000 year figure.

Some 500 years ago, around 1620, Francis Bacon spelled out the methodology of empirical science. He also recognized that a scientific understanding of reality might provide, in this harsh world, aid and comfort to the fragile and vulnerable human race.

Simon, we are pounding out blogs on a computer that is miraculous in its powers to make our lives better and richer and easier and funner. Walk through your house, beginning in the kitchen and bathroom. Walk through your neighborhood. Walk through the Fountain theatre. Walk through Los Angeles.

And while walking, do a thought experiment. Denude every locale of contributions wrought by science, as Sir Francis envisioned. Imagine the unimaginable loss in every human habitation of “all that’s kind to our mortalities,” in the Year of our Lord, 2017, thanks to science,

Suppose these last 500 years of science had taken place at the beginning of our emigration out of Africa. Figuring thirty generations per thousand years for hominids, that means one thousand, five hundred generations could have had anesthesia and surgery and refrigeration and air travel and obstetrics and flush toilets and anti-biotics and vaccination and…and…and!

Why did it take forty nine thousand and five hundred years to let our gigantic brain do its thing, and that is, plant The Garden of Eden?

A CLOSED SOCIETY WAS ESSENTIAL TO SURVIVAL.

Jared Diamond reports that New Guinea “has about a thousand languages, many of them unrelated to any known language.” For fifty thousand years, each tribe, united by language, culture and religion, lived in a world all its own. That’s how it was across the entire planet.

Darwin notes, “The Holy Inquisition selected with extreme care the
freest and boldest men in order to burn or imprison them. The best men – those who doubted and questioned, and without doubting there is no progress – were eliminated.”

“Free thinkers, you say? Traitors! Heretics! Burn ém.”

Only for the last five centuries have new ideas and inventiveness sat at the head of the table. Most of the time!

The Moral Sense,a biologic structure, synaptically wired somewhere in the brain and passed on through our DNA, evolved for a group’s survival. The unforgivable sin was a failure to submit.

Melanie/Dennett/Religion – 18

Dear Simon,

Under the condemnation of my staff, I came to feel morally bad to the point of terror. I spent most of the day – and night! – defending myself before some implacable seat of judgment. I felt abandoned, cast into outer darkness.

Every day I wrote long explications of the work for the supervisor of nurses and the chief of staff. They hadn’t asked me to do that. They gave me wide berth. I felt compelled to plead, “I am being cruel, only to be kind.” It was ridiculous. I was becoming a nut case.

“Fred, what’s this scientific-conversation-in hospital business? Nurses need more on their plate? Not a tough enough job dealing with disturbed folks the old-fashioned way?” No one said this to me. I made it all up in my head. My state of mind was that of a victim of Stalin’s Purge Trials. I’d willingly confess my sins to The Great Poobah and accept as just a bullet to the head. Darwin said that fear of blame is our most powerful instinct. He got that right!

“We are influenced in the highest degree by the approbation and blame of our fellow-men. Abject submission is viewed a sacred virtue.”

Fear of blame is not a metaphysical concept. It is the hideous dagger plunged into the heart of every human generation since the beginning of time. It is The Moral Sense murdering mankind through countless centuries.

Fear of blame is the Dark Angel, patrolling the magnificent but unplanted Garden of Eden, fiercely uprooting even the tiniest hint of floral glory by any furtive fugitive from the planetary stasis.

Fear of blame is Religion According to the Law.

Fear of blame is the architect of the Museo della Tortura.

Fear of blame is what Dennett and Dawkins and the whole vast army of missionaries for atheism are hooting and hollering about.

The Moral Sense is terrible. It is the product of evolution and natural selection. Darwin took note of the fact that “when the baboons in Abyssinia plunder a garden, they silently follow their leader; if an imprudent young animal makes a noise, he receives a slap from the others to teach him silence and obedience.” In cousins as distant as baboons, the Moral Sense commands obedience and submission.

Once our gigantic brains got ignited, every group institutionalized its cohesiveness with the help of religion. Throughout time, each and every member, in each and every group, from Spitzbergen to Tierra del Fuego, got the message,

“Do as you’re told!”

No one recognized this better than Charles Darwin. In The Descent of Man, he solved the great mystery – Why did our giant brain remain dormant for hundreds of thousands of years? The incomparable observer notes,

“Obedience is of the highest value. Contentious people will not cohere, and without coherence nothing can be effected.”

Through countless ages of enforced allegiance, the social instincts – love of praise and fear of blame – possess greater strength than all the others, including instincts of self-preservation, hunger, lust, vengeance.

I’m with Charles.

Melanie/Dennett/Religion – 17

Dear Simon,

The Grand Poobah, a colleague taking his term as Chief of Psychiatry, stayed at a comfortable remove from the madness. The work went forward. Eventually, the patient experienced those nineteen days in The Quiet Room, “the best thing that ever happened to me.” Devoutly religious, she thanked God for her recovery.

Over many years, I saw her from time to time in my office. She remained stable. She took to raising gaggle of geese. Her favorite she named, Frederick.

The Gospel, according to Little Anna, is dyadic, a religion built by two.

The Law, according to Blondie, is four or more, a religion authored by evolution through natural selection.

When The Moral Sense changed my group into a lynch mob, the work went from a problem to be solved to a problem of Good and Evil. We saw this in the Presidential election – Lock her up! Lock her up! Objectivity went out the window. The common sense world that
registers on our five senses disappeared.

I held meetings two and three times a day. Nothing got through. Moral mania had cast a great darkness over the group. The real world disappeared in a Stygian blackout. Facts had vanished.

The Moral Sense is built in, biologically determined, shaped by invariants. An imperious Moral Sense obliterates judgment. It disregards experience. It unleashes a gang of moral maniacs bound together by the power of moral certitude. “Power always thinks it has a great Soul, that it is doing God’s service, when it is violating all His laws.”

I was devastated when the catastrophe hit. I could never have predicted the engulfing anxiety when the moral condemnation got ratcheted up and landed on my head. I had moments of utter confusion and near-total despair. The infernal furnace of moral mania is indescribable. What chance do we have, puny humans, matched against avenging gods!

With Blondie, the ruthlessness and viciousness hadn’t grown up yet, nor the delusional moral power amplified through the group. Darwin observed that the Inquisition killed a thousand of its best and brightest every year for three hundred years. However, didn’t such license to murder get rescinded by the Humanitarian Revolution, and hasn’t The Museo della Tortura been turned into a tourist attraction? Yes and No.

I was as shocked by my nursing staff transmogrifying into a lynch mob – on a dime! – as I was by the election of Donald Trump. Good and Evil scream. The voice of reason is soft. (How ’bout an inaudible whisper!) Trump has ridden the Moral Sense to the most powerful position in the world. You and I, Simon, are hanging on to Francis Bacon. Trump is riding astride the planet on a magnificent steed, courtesy of biology. She’s been saddling that Terror of the Apocalypse for a hundred thousand years. Maybe a million.

The two greatest riders on the Terror of the Apocalpse are Donald Trump and Adolph Hitler.

I began my career as a doctor, working alone, along a quiet river road. Beyond, unappreciated by me, flowed group life. Majestic in its fathomless powers – it built this computer I’m banging on – but a monstrous fury when aroused, I experienced first-hand that The Law, according to the Book of Blondie, a delusional Poobah, can overwhelm the strongest levee.

Melanie/Dennett/Religion – 16

The patient had suffered egregiously. Two of her children had been killed, one gruesomely. She had had breast cancer. She had lost a job she loved. The litany of her woes went on and on.

We treated her on the open unit for several weeks, providing anti-depressants and anti-psychotics, which helped not at all and had nasty side effects. She stopped the meds. Abruptly, she left the hospital and attempted suicide. A few weeks later, she returned, agreeing with staff she belonged on the closed unit.

She was a handful. She provoked other patients, taunted the nurses, skewed everyone’s foibles with a stiletto. By and by, staff and I agreed she needed to stay full-time in the Quiet Room, a bare-bones place with a bare mattress on the floor. That was it! The only place worse in the hospital was in the patient’s head. She stayed nineteen days, there taking her meals, interacting with staff and conversing with me.

Initially, she brought a raft of moral charges against me. I had thrown her into “The Hole.” I enjoyed lording it over her, crushing whatever was left of her confidence and self-esteem. At times, with me, she became physically violent, hurling herself against the wall. I began every conversation reminding her she was free to leave the hospital. She stayed.

Subtly, she began sharing her grievances against me with staff. She wept as she recounted her losses and sufferings to one nurse after the other I had only worsened her grief. “Cruelly,” I kept her in The Hole, “hatefully,” I denied her a daily walk in God’s great outdoors, leaving her to suffocate in a dungeon, “sadistically,” I relished her deprivations and miserable days.

Lo and behold! within a week my staff went ballistic. They came after me, hammer and tong. How could they, nurses, angels of mercy, stand by and not stop the cruelty! The Hole was not fit for human habitation. Maybe a few hours at a time. At most! Such a place was the last treatment a desperately ill patient needed. Besides, I was probably using the patient to solve my own emotional problems. Whisperings and innuendoes rained down from every corner of the ward.

Just like that, I had changed into a sadistic devil, staff had changed into a mob of moral maniacs. They waylaid the chief of staff, the Grand Poobah. Behind his mighty banner, they would stomp out the evil and send me packing. On the unit, I felt surrounded by a lynch mob. I quaked in my boots when going on the closed unit, now turned into a den of hatefulness.

Wasn’t this the staff that was crazy about me? Weren’t these specialists in working with disturbed patients? At our morning meetings, I reminded them that folks don’t just let unbearable emotions hang out – they SHOVE them into other people. States of mind are as communicable as chicken pox. Our survival depends on that.

When, as infants, we howled up a storm, we communicated our terrors, loud and clear. Our mother got the message and took in our pain. She “contained” it, making the disturbance manageable. That’s how every child develops, funneling its confusions through the mother.

“There, there, little one, I understand.”

She didn’t let our pain bounce off her. It didn’t bowl her over. She didn’t duck. Doing that kind of tough work was precisely the assignment with our patient; containing the patient’s suffering was the job. True, The Hole wasn’t outfitted by an interior decorator. The really hard part was having the patient’s suffering slam into our insides and not letting it destroy our capacity to think.

Talk to the Wall! Staff had turned into a posse.

Melanie/Dennett/Religion – 15

Dear Simon,

I began as a country doctor, a solo practitioner, in the bayou backwaters of Louisiana. I had three small offices strung along the river road sheltered behind the levee holding back the mighty Mississippi. If folks wanted a house call, they’d plant a white flag. If I made it home without running into one of those mournful messengers, I counted it my lucky day. I ran a twelve bed hospital, hiring and firing, bringing in specialists when necessary, happily running the entire show. I also served as assistant coroner. I fitted into the community effortlessly, basking in recognition and acceptance. Everyone knew “doc.” If you relieve someone’s pain, you’re a cinch to acquire heroic stature.

After three years, I figured I had seen it all in bayou land and went into psychiatry. I mastered psychopharmacology and made a sustained effort to learn psychodynamics and psychotherapy. I assumed brain/mind problems interacted as a piece. You can’t have one without the other.

By and by, now a psychiatrist, I again took up hospital work, this time not as paymaster and boss-man, but simply a physician on staff, working with a large group of nurses, seasoned veterans all. For all its perks, working as a solo practitioner wasn’t exactly a walk in the park, but what I came to experience as a member of a work group, shocked me out of my mind.

The psychiatric staff and I had worked together splendidly for some years. We respected each other, trusted each other, and enjoyed working together. I found the nurses thoughtful, appreciative, kind, and, best of all, a lot of fun. They liked me for the same reasons. We were all sane and experienced, veterans in dealing with highly disturbed patients. We got along famously.

A disturbance becomes psychotic when it disturbs a group. All communities designate a sub-group to deal with the problem. Our culture assigns this responsibility to psychiatric workers, and that’s where the staff and I came in. We had to tolerate madness and rein it in.

I had learned some psychotic folks suffered chiefly from mind problems, not only from “chemical imbalance.” For these patients, I proposed scientific-conversation-in-hospital, in addition to whatever medications were appropriate. Staff was enthusiastic. Anti-psychotic meds were dispensed invariably. Hospitalization costs thousands of dollars, and staff agreed happily that turning patients into zombies was a waste. Not much bang for the buck.

You can’t talk to bits and pieces of a person exploding in all directions, so the closed unit became my work bench. The nursing staff and I formed a work group. We met every morning, discussing both practical issues and theoretical concepts. Everyone gave input.

We assumed a patient’s behavior and statements made internal confusions accessible. Our task was to make them understandable. No effort was made to modify or change behavior, but simply to “contain” it so that no one got hurt. Whether a patient behaved better or worse was of no consequence.

A patient had only one responsibility, and that was to keep herself in the hospital. She was free to sign out any time. However, if she chose to stay, she had to do it the “staff’s way.”

And so one day, a savvy, verbal, courageous woman in her 50s came under our care.

Melanie/Dennett/Religion – 14

Dear Simon,

We have not finished our scientific investigation of religion, but for the nonce we have finished our investigation of The Gospel, According to Little Anna. Ahead, lies our investigation of religion of The Law, According to Blondie, a grand Poobah.

Best I can figure, Dennett, Dawkins and brilliant company have not recognized this bifurcation. If true, that’s unconscionable. I don’t expect them to have run across Melanie’s work. She labored in relative obscurity. But surely, they have had to consider the problem of meaning and the problem of knowledge. That problem was raised by Immanuel Kant in the 18th century. And it was given much thought by Hannah Arendt in the 20th, surely one of the great minds of that century.

Where were our esteemed biologists and philosophers of science and even great comedians when sounding off about this human, all too human, problem of meaning? Who gave them accreditation? What was unique about their experiences in science that would equip them to sound off? How did Brother Dennett put it,

“Religions are among the most powerful natural phenomena on the planet. Although there are risks and discomforts involved, we should brace ourselves and set aside our traditional reluctance to investigate religious phenomena scientifically, and figure out how we should deal with them all in the twenty-first century.”

Pray tell, Daniel, did you have reluctance mapping out your relentlessly materialistic take on Darwinism? Does “them all” include Verdi’s Dies Irae? Or The Agnus Dei of the Missa? How ’bout Amazing Grace sung by President Obama in Charleston?

But, Simon and I agree. we should figure out how to deal with them all, so we’ll know what the hell to do in our 21st century. We have, in fact, been doing just that, grinding out blogs like so many wafers at the Holy Eucharist. Now, don’t get your bowels in an uproar, Brother Daniel. Simon and I are neither Christian, Muslim or Jew. We are certainly in agreement that religion is one of the great natural phenomena on the planet, but since it is entirely a human subject, we have the notion, obvious it would seem, that it entails understanding humans.

What puzzles us is this. Simon is a man of the theatre. I conversed with folks one-on-one for 50 years. We therefore bring to our investigation not biology, not astronomy, not Darwinian evolution, not any quantitative science, but people. Folks!

Isn’t that what religion has to be about? And what special knowledge of folks makes you and your cohorts, despite yours and theirs staggering brilliance, a megaphone heard round the world?

Well, let’s get started on Religion of the Law. That’s a group phenomena, and lends itself to scientific, that is, quantitative investigation. It shows up in history. That’s the religion you are talking about, Daniel, the same as your fellow scientist, Steven Pinker. He took Simon and me on a tour of the Museo della Tortura. We got the picture.

Even as we presented laboratory data for our findings in our investigation in the Religion of the Gospel, we will present laboratory data in our investigation for our findings in the Religion of the Law.

Melanie/Dennett/Religion – 13

Dear Simon,

Brains evolved through nature, mind evolves through other minds. The journey begins with the mother. It starts with her. Mama, however, gets a unique assignment, unknown elsewhere in the biologic world – she must register her child’s emotional needs. If the infant arrives at the breast out of sorts, unhappy and miserable, interrupting its feeding with cries of anguish, the mother must find a place for them to “talk it over.” She sings and chirps and hums. She rocks her baby. She walks it, her face an emotional kaleidoscope. She observes. She thinks. She must “suffer” the emotional needs of her infant, and most importantly, create a language that tells her child she gets it.

“What’s her message?” you ask.
– There! There! I read you, little one. I understand.
“What’s the infant’s reply?”
– That’s my mommy.

Within a few days after birth, a newborn recognizes its mother and responds uniquely to her. They’ve begun talking, traveling the yellow brick road. They create a language spoken nowhere else on the planet. No easy task. When the infant shoves the pain of colic into her innards at three o’clock in the morning, or cries hours on end, or fails to nurse, it’s hard to think and harder still to find the “right words.” Mothers get exhausted and just plain overwhelmed.

Language and mind are as indivisibly coupled as are body and mind. Language makes thoughts thinkable. Mind needs language to make sense out of the thoughts that “pop in its head.”

The dance goes like this.

Mind has a THOUGHT.

“I hate my mother.”

Unthinkable! Our nursing mother couldn’t put the thought into WORDS, so it banged around, wrecking the place. Then language waltzed in and stated the thought in plain English.

“I hate my mother.”

Voila!

As simple as that?

Yes and no, but once the unthinkable thought got put into words, her mind could think it by making connections, in this instance, with her brother. Connections with significant relationships generate meaning.

Science deals with knowledge and not meaning. Science and religion deal with different aspects of reality and do not overlap.

So what does it MEAN to be human? How is meaning different from knowledge?

Meaning wells up from the body. Chimpanzees groom and groom. All primates do. Caring for another’s body soothes the savage breast. Remarkably, no primate, other than man, teaches its young. Mama chimp does not instruct Junior. She is oblivious of his ignorance and clumsiness. Junior learns by imitation, not by mindful instruction. So much for knowledge. But Mama chimp grooms with utter studiousness. Tending the body generates meaning, cements relationships, comforts.

Theology cranks out knowledge, but who bothers! Praying on one’s knees, dancing in woods, smudging our foreheads with ash – these physical experiences grab the soul. Theology, metaphysics, science, don’t MEAN anything. They don’t come wrapped in emotions that grab us in our belly. They are not heirs to our deepest relationships.

St. Paul got the picture,

“If I knew everything about everything, but didn’t love others, what good would it do?”

A Catechism on Abortion

Dear Simon,

Following your directions, we’ll interrupt our scientific investigation of religion for this blog and join Jack Falstaff in formulating a catechism, not on honor, but on abortion.

Can you murder a cow or a pig?

No.

Can you murder little Anna?

Yes

Are all three mammals?

Yes.

Are all three a product of sexual intercourse, conjoining a sperm and an egg?

Yes.

Is Little Anna a qualitative emergent which the cow and pig are not?

Yes.

What is that qualitative emergent?

Human.

What accounts for Little Anna’s qualitative emergent?

Her mother.

How do you know that?

From Spitz’s work in The Nursery and his study of Foundling Homes. Without a human mother, a biologic conceptual product, like a cow or a pig or a hominid new-born, does not become a human qualitative emergent.

What is the problem with Pro-lifers, who insist, fiercely, that a biologic conceptual product is a human qualitative emergent?

A confusion of categories.

Can you state that more simply?

Pro-lifers suffer a thinking disorder.

How is it possible so many brilliant folks don’t think straight on the issue of abortion? It seems so obvious.

It’s obvious that all men are created equal. “We hold these truths to be self-evident.” Yet for ten thousand years, no one recognized planarity, that is, that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain, inalienable rights. We are born on a level playing field. We are much more human than otherwise. And once the problem was recognized, it took another 600 years and the great tool of the printing press to think straight on the issue.

Are you saying abortion is such an issue, obvious and yet difficult?

Absolutely.

What are the difficulties?

The chief difficulty is that it involves sex. It is nigh to impossible for folks to think straight about sex, so differentiating between biology and human is beyond the thinking powers of a large segment of the human race.

Thus ends our catechism.