On the Colorado Killings
It is early days yet so only tentative commentary can be offered here. But we do know this much. Last night at a midnight viewing of the latest Batman movie 24-year-old James Holmes killed a dozen people and injured five dozen more. He is now under police custody and the nation is again in mourning over another senseless massacre.
Until more details emerge we are limited in what we can say, but we can nonetheless look at this from several vantage points. This latest massacre can be examined from a sociological and political viewpoint. For example, a culture of violence tends to beget violence.
We in the West live in a culture in which our media and entertainment is absolutely saturated with violence, so can we really be surprised to see violence all around us? Indeed, the really surprising thing is that we don’t see much more violence, given the morally toxic atmosphere we live and breathe in.
Just take this film series itself. Writing four years ago about an earlier instalment, The Dark Knight, Jenny McCartney recaps the horrific violence found in the film: “But the greatest surprise of all – even for me, after eight years spent working as a film critic – has been the sustained level of intensely sadistic brutality throughout the film.
“I will attempt to confine my plot spoilers to the opening: the film begins with a heist carried out by men in sinister clown masks. As each clown completes a task, another shoots him point-blank in the head. The scene ends with a clown – The Joker – stuffing a bomb into a wounded bank employee’s mouth.
“After the murderous clown heist, things slip downhill. A man’s face is filleted by a knife, and another’s is burned half off. A man’s eye is slammed into a pencil. A bomb can be seen crudely stitched inside another man’s stomach, which subsequently explodes. A trussed-up man is bound to a chair and set alight atop a pile of banknotes. A plainly terrorised child is threatened at gunpoint by a man with a melted face. It is all intensely realistic.”
With not just adults but children soaking up this sort of stuff on a regular basis, no wonder we see so much wanton violence all around us. Also, cheap political points are already being scored here. Early on the leftist media was blaming the conservative Tea Party movement for the killings.
And of course in an instant there were the usual calls to ban all guns. Never mind the fact that last night 65 million legal gun owners in America did not kill anyone. Thus a bit of perspective is needed here, although it is not my intention here to enter into yet another big debate on the pros and cons of gun control.
We can also view this shooting from a philosophical and ideological perspective. For example, it seems this killer was doing a PhD in neuroscience. Now as some of you would be aware, perhaps most of this field of study is based on a completely naturalistic and materialistic worldview.
That is, the mind is said to be directly reducible to the brain, and many of the more radical materialists argue that there are not even any such things as mind, consciousness, thought, or free will. Their materialistic worldview – held as a philosophical pre-commitment, not on the basis of scientific findings – will not allow them to posit any non-material realities.
Thus we have the patently absurd situation of various reductionistic thinkers absolutely convinced that their thoughts are quite correct here as they try to tell us there are no such things as thoughts. Of course this is all tied up with the evolutionary and naturalistic worldview.
We have managed to convince entire generations now that there is no God, no spiritual reality, and therefore no ultimate basis for right and wrong, truth and error. We are simply a collection of genetic replicators and morality as such really does not exist.
Atheists like Dawkins are quite happy to make such claims: “When the utility function – that which is being maximized – is DNA survival, this is not a recipe for happiness. So long as DNA is passed on, it does not matter who or what gets hurt in the process. . . . Genes don’t care about suffering, because they don’t care about anything.”
Quite so, and with the West inundated with materialistic, anti-theistic evolutionary thinking, one should not really be too surprised to see people start acting out what has been drilled into their heads for decades. If we are simply here by chance in a meaningless world of no ultimate value and worth, and are simply survival mechanisms, than why not go on a shooting spree?
Finally, some biblical and theological thoughts can be offered here. Such atrocities always raise the issue of theodicy: why does God allow evil and suffering in the world? The truth is we do not have all the answers to this latest massacre, and never will, but it seems disingenuous to somehow seek to blame God for it.
We know who killed all these innocent people – it was James Holmes, not God. Holmes pulled the trigger, for whatever reason. Now could God have prevented this from occurring? Yes, in one way he could have – he simply could have stripped Holmes of his free will.
Indeed, he could end all evil in the world if he wanted to. He could decree that at midnight no more evil will transpire on planet earth. But the question that then arises is this: where will all of us be at a minute past midnight? The only way he could stop us from freely choosing to do evil acts is by eliminating us altogether.
That is one solution to the problem of evil, but hardly a satisfactory one. Real love is only possible with real free will. But sadly, real evil is also only possible with real free will. If we wish to see God eliminate evil overnight, then we must also insist that he eliminate love and those very things that makes our humanity worthwhile – even possible.
In a sinful world in which men and women have shaken their fists at God and screamed at him to get out of their lives, God has had to say, “OK, your will be done”. He is too much of a gentleman to crush our free will and our desires, so he allows us to do as we please, even with all the ugly consequences which come forth from that.
Dr. Jerry Newcombe offers similar thoughts here: “I can’t help but feel that to some extent, we’re reaping what we’ve been sowing as a society. We said to God, ‘Get out of the public arena.’ Lawsuit after lawsuit, often by misguided ‘civil libertarians,’ have chased away any fear of God in the land – at least in the hearts of millions.”
He continues, “Tens of millions of young people in this culture seem to have no fear of God. It’s becoming too commonplace that some frustrated person will go on a killing spree of random people. If they kill themselves, they think it’s all over. But that’s like going from the frying pan into the fire. Where’s the fear of God in our society? I don’t think people would do those sorts of things if they truly understood the reality of hell.
“I’ll never forget what an Alabama black pastor said to me one time when I interviewed him about judge Roy Moore, the Ten Commandments judge. He said: ‘All across American people should stand with Judge Moore about the Ten Commandments. Why? Because when they took prayer out of school, you didn’t hear about kids killing each other, about them bringing dope to school, shooting the teachers, you didn’t hear about that. You see what I’m saying? That’s what’s wrong. We need more God-fearing.’
“The founders gave us a system where voluntary God-fearing was the underpinning of civility in society. The more internal restraints people have, the less need they have for external restraints. (And the converse is true.) That’s why I can’t understand the ongoing crusade of those who want to remove any vestige of Judeo-Christian in the public arena. All they’re doing is making everything worse for everyone else.
“Religion and morality were key to the founders’ vision for a civil society. In his Farewell Address, George Washington highlighted the source of morality: ‘Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.’ Will somebody please tell that to these civil libertarian lawyers always suing against public displays of the Ten Commandments and the like?”
The secularisation of society, the rise of naturalistic evolutionary worldviews, the new militant anti-theism, the violence-saturated entertainment industry – these are all just some of the factors which seem to explain what happened in the Denver suburb last night.
Sure not one of these factors alone may account for what we witnessed last night, but taken together they do offer a plausible account of why Western society is in such a frightful state, and why it seems to be getting worse with each passing day.
Until we embrace again certain core truths, all this will simply escalate. One such truth was expressed by Alexander Solzhenitsyn: “It was only when I lay there on rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart, and through all human hearts.”
And the other core truth is that Jesus Christ came to perform open heart surgery on all those who would let him: to remove our sin-encrusted hearts and replace them with hearts full of God’s love and reconciliation. In our sinful condition we can only expect more such massacres.
But if we admit our need and allow Christ to bring newness of life, a fair amount of this evil we find in the world today can be eliminated or reduced. Indeed, one can simply ask this question: how much worse would things be, and how many more innocent people would be killed, if it were not for the restraining impact of the gospel, with millions of men and women made new in Christ?
27 Replies to “On the Colorado Killings”
Where were all the concealed carriers in the audience who could have put a stop to this so quickly? Well, it turns out the theatre has an enlightened policy preventing patrons carrying their guns onto the premises! If only the criminals would read the signs and obey the rules like the law-abiding citizens do 🙁 Stupid doesn’t even begin to describe the liberal mindset here.
The management of this theatre has blood on its hands. I hope the victims launch a class action and hold the company responsible for all deaths after the first one or two.
America sure needs gun control reform all right because of this. It needs to strengthen the right to bear arms – anywhere, anytime.
Can we just spend 24 hours grieving the lives cut short and the many others who will bear physical and mental scars for the rest of their lives without blaming gun laws for the tragedy?
This occurred because of the sinful, society we live in and because of the sinful choices of one man.
Thank you Bill, for that precious nugget: “The more internal restraints we have the less external restraint we need” (U=1/X). Wow! Freedom at last eh? Bring on the Gospel! Is that an aspect of how “He came to preach deliverance to the captives”?
It has an ‘M’ rating – so why were children watching the movie?
I am not aware of any theaters turning away children to M films. They would rather make money than worry about the wellbeing of children.
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
Actually it’s PG-13 in the US and so recommended for 13+ but left to parental discretion. I find it interesting that a movie in the US will be PG-13 for violence but get an M in Australia while a movie will be M for sexual content in Aus and get an R in the US.
But I do agree that the batman movies are not for children. It’s hard to know what ‘children’ mean in the media. They could mean <18 or <12 or something else. Children is a very flexible term.
Your essay covered the gamut of feelings and thoughts that developed in my mind after this awful tragedy. I read what you had written late last night. There weren’t any comments yet, and I could not write one at that time. I needed to ponder all that you wrote, think about it all, and then write a comment today.
Back in 2008, I wrote that Heath Ledger was said to have been haunted by the Joker character. Some people agreed, others claimed that he “loved” playing that character. I really think that evil affects people drastically, even when they can’t admit it.
I didn’t see any of the “dark knight” movies. The description that you provided cements my decision never to view them. Those who watch such evil movies, or movies with blatant curse words, or movies that disparage God, or movies that display disgusting porn become desensitized by the violence, aberrant sexual sin, hatred/disregard of God, and celebration of evil.
Jesus warned us that the closer we get to the end times, it would be “as in the days” of Noah and Lot. The secular world today celebrates abortion, homosexuality, sexual sin, perversion, lies, evil, sin and death. No wonder Jesus told us that his kingdom is “not of this world.”
Thank you for this post. I plan to link to it in my next blog post because I think that people desperately need to read the wisdom, knowledge, and excellent analysis that you have provided. You tell the truth; as difficult as it may be for people to acknowledge or accept. What is most important is that you also provide the only way out – knowing Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
Your last two paragraphs are some of the most compelling that I have ever read! You have the ability to turn a huge tragedy into an invitation for redemption through Jesus Christ! That is what the world needs to read. It is better than any psychologist’s words, psychiatrist’s words, or any other human effort to try and comfort those who mourn.
Only the living God, His living Word and Son Jesus Christ, His written word the Bible, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God can change the human heart from one of stone cold evil into a heart that can be redeemed to live with God forever in eternity.
God bless you this day and always. It is my prayer that your essay will reach millions who desperately need such words of wisdom today.
Your friend and sister in Christ,
Christine Watson, US
Many thanks indeed Christine. Keep up your great work as well. Blessings,
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
Thank you Bill for helping us gain some understanding into the madness of this once again, Colorado massacre. One wanders why such a beautiful state is targeted by such evil.
Christine W. comments about you last two paragraphs, I can’t agree more, are the answere for these atrocities to be down played as no more then the source of evil. If the world would focus on “the reality of heaven”, we would not be confronted with such horrific news.
To realy focus on heaven one should read Randy Alcorn’s book “Heaven” . People should give themself a break and focus on the text of this book, rather then find the answere to problems such as this atrocity.
Wilhelmus Heggers Perth
“If we are simply here by chance in a meaningless world of no ultimate value and worth, and are simply survival mechanisms, than why not go on a shooting spree?”.
A corollary of this is: why impose penalties on those guilty of committing serious crimes, such as the one described here?
It is only a matter of time before this attitude prevails in society. In fact it has already arrived. Witness the repeal of the Stolen Valor Act in the USA; where people are no longer charged for claiming to have received military decorations to which they are not entitled. Or, in Italy, where people convicted of providing illegal donations to political parties for the purpose of promoting self-interest are now fined, instead of receiving gaol sentences.
I could not agree more with your article on this horrific slaughter in Denver, especially regarding the atheistic mindset of much of our western culture as the possible root-cause of such happenings. Yet, horrific as this incident is, there were “only” a dozen deaths and five more dozens wounded. Somehow when these things happen in a western country it speaks more to our imagination and emotions than it does when it happens in other parts of the world. Almost every Sunday there are massacres in church-meetings in Nigeria, not perpetrated by people with atheistic inspired philosophies but by militant Muslims, and with far more deaths and wounded than in Denver. Many churches in South Sudan were systematically bombed by the North-Sudanese air-force during Sunday morning worship time. In 2007-8 in an anti-Christian orgy of violence in Orissa State, India, 50 Christians were killed, 18000 were wounded, numerous women were raped, thousands of homes and hundreds of churches were burned. The Courts managed only one conviction of these crimes and 156 acquittals, etc. etc. According to the International Bulletin of Missionary Research of January 2010, Christian martyrs amounted 178000 annually. It has increased since. All this hardly finds a mention in the media or not at all. Where is the balance?
I recall an apocryphal “letter” which was doing the rounds of teh internet after the Columbine High School shootings. It went:
“Dear God, where were you when Columbine was happening? Amy”
“Dear Amy. Sorry to say I have been excluded from all schools.”
Our Western “enlightened” (NOT) public voices like writers, media journalists, thinkers and politicians have been sidelining Christians, denigrating religion generally and Christian faith specifically for so long, it’s a wonder there is not more lawlessness visible.
If those opinion makers now want to blame God for this latest massacre, then they are simply empty-headed, contradictory fools.
Our church prayed today for the victims, emergency workers and police dealing with the tragedy.
“The movie theatre is my home and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me.”
Christopher Nolan, director, “The Dark Knight Rises”
Mr Nolan sounds sincere, but I find this more than faintly disingenuous in the light of the reported “sustained level of intensely sadistic brutality” of the first movie. Did it really not occur to him that, if you welcome Evil to violate your home repeatedly, Innocence and Hopefulness don’t stand a chance? The assassin is Nolan’s consummately brutal art character come to life, well prepared with real guns and real bullets who simply stepped down from the screen in the dark of night, took over his home and devastated it with predictably murderous results. Go figure.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/batman-director-devastated-by-mass-shooting-20120721-22goa.html#ixzz21P7soRaL
Relevant quote by Malcolm Muggeridge:
“The thing that impressed me, and the thing that touched off my awareness of the great liberal death wish, my sense that western man was, as it were, sleep-walking into his own ruin, was the extraordinary performance of the liberal intelligentsia…Once you eliminate the notion of a God, a creator, once you eliminate the notion that the creator has a purpose for us, and that life consists essentially in fulfilling that purpose, then you are bound, as Pascal points out, to induce the megalomania of which we’ve seen so many manifestations in our time – in the crazy dictators, as in the lunacies of people who are rich, or who consider themselves to be important or celebrated in the western world. Alternatively, human beings relapse into mere carnality, into being animals. I see this process going on irresistibly, of which the holocaust is only just one example.”
Muggeridge then says, “If you envisage men as being only men, you are bound to see human society, not in Christian terms as a family, but as a factory–farm in which the only consideration that matters is the well–being of the livestock and the prosperity or productivity of the enterprise. That’s where you land yourself. And it is in that situation that western man is increasingly finding himself.”
“I quote others only in order the better to express myself.”
-Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
I watch these movies too, I enjoy them, I think they don`t incite me into violence, though it does embarrass me to admit it. I`m desensitised by the movie violence to some extent, but , not desensitised in the real world, or am I? I sometimes wish I could totally lay blame for these horrific acts elsewhere, bad parenting, they`re got mental disorders, it was an evil spirit, Satan, but I know deep down it is most of these, and watching these movies encourages more similar movies and it goes around and around. Like porn, these movies get into some peoples system more than others, and society is the poorer for it.
The ‘eyes’ take in so much when viewing; infact, the brain has a photographic memory when viewing.
The message, be CAREFUl what young minds view.
Thanks Bill for adding more and warning us all.
A plausible theory Bill. Virtual reality depicting violent death which people crave for entertainment can easily be exchanged for reality, which seems boring by comparison. We can be dazzled by the technical wizardry of producing virtual images but the creator of the images is only concerned with the success of his/her creation, divorced from any consequences. It portrays life as cheap and it seems to be a matter of daring as to how much you can take without flinching. How hardened and de-sensitized can you be, as it is only a film? However most of us know from experience how such images can infiltrate and disturb the mind.
Kylie, respectfully, I’ve waited considerably longer than 24 hours now, but I actually consider it reprehensible NOT to consider the political aspect of this situation since it caused this situation to be far worse than what might’ve taken place. Your statement “This occurred because of the sinful, society we live in and because of the sinful choices of one man.” is only half the truth.
Mansel is utterly correct – the theatre management has blood on its hands. You tell me, of what worth is that ‘no guns’ policy to the victims and their families and friends?
I urge you strongly to watch the following video and hear what one victim has to say on this issue
…and also read this story.
You can be certain that tragedies like Columbine and Aurora will happen again, and again, and again until people realise that guns can save far more lives than they destroy. I do grieve, but I also grieve for the people who will be gunned down in the future – who should not be – because lawmakers continue to hold to dangerous politically correct ideas rather than learn from history, human nature and from common sense.
As the saying goes, outlaw guns, and only outlaws will have guns.
Respectfully, if there is no rational political approach to the aftermath of this situation – and you only legitimise the emotional response – I will be deeply frustrated because this will just happen again without anybody learning where the problem actually lies. Yes, sin is the cause, but disarming the population only enables that sin to go further unchecked and causes far more carnage. We cannot erase sin, but in this case we can and should limit the effects of violent impulses. A gun in the hands of the tiniest woman can halt an entire mob of men more than double her size. Without that gun, what could she do? Nobody should be forced to be a potential victim to violence when the means to defence exists.
The majority of the people who visited that Aurora cinema that night should be alive today – indeed it could be argued that if the ‘no guns’ policy had not existed, the gunman may not even have attempted what he did in the first place and ALL the grief we now have would not even exist. Who would not prefer that? I certain would!
But I cannot be happy about sending ambulances to the bottom of a cliff when a fence can be built above. Why are you effectively telling me people can’t talk about the fence that should be there?
Yes, the evidence is pretty clear on the efficacy of guns for self defence.
“Research shows that allowing individuals to defend themselves dramatically reduces the rates of multiple victim public shootings. Even if attacks still occur, having civilians with permitted concealed handguns limits the damage. A major factor in determining how many people are harmed by these killers is the amount of time that elapses between when the attack starts and someone is able to arrive on the scene with a gun. Ten minutes must have seemed like an eternity to those trapped in the attack at Ft. Hood. All the multiple victim public shootings in the U.S. — in which more than three people have been killed — have all occurred in places where concealed handguns have been banned.”
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2009/11/10/john-lott-ft-hood-end-gun-free-zone/#ixzz21X5cUIQt
I discuss this further here:
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
Yes, let’s condemn all “naturalistic evolutionary worldviews” that have led to modern medicines, surgical techniques and vaccinations and resulted in longer, healthier, happier lives for all in the developed world.
People of your ilk Bill won’t be happy until we return to the days of treating the mentally ill as if they are “possessed by devils” and physically handicapped as if they are “afflicted by Satan”.
Sorry, but I’ll stick with compassion and human decency, thanks all the same.
I’m sure you’ll put your money where you mouth is, and should you be afflicted with a mental illness such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinsons, you’ll eschew all treatment but prayer and stick rigidly to your dismissal of “naturalistic evolutionary worldviews”.
Of course the best thing one can say about your comment is that it will provide a terrific example for my students. When I teach on logical fallacies, in particular the non sequitur, your remarks will provide a terrific case study. Just what in the world does reductionist Darwinian theory have to do with medical and scientific advances of any kind?
Not only is it the case that modern science was directly birthed out of the Christian worldview, as such great thinkers as Alfred North Whitehead, Robert Oppenheimer, and others have demonstrated, but most of the great minds in science and medicine were of course Christians, not atheists.
As Oxford Professor John Lennox reminds us, “Galileo, Kepler, Pascal, Boyle, Newton, Faraday, Babbage, Mendal, Pasteur, Kelvin, and Clerk-Maxwell were all theists, most of them Christians. Their belief in God, far from being a hindrance to their science, was often the main inspiration for it.”
Indeed, I am not aware of any major hospital, clinic or other medical work set up by atheists and secular humanists. Theists have always been at the forefront of these and related endeavours.
‘Sorry, but I’ll stick with compassion and human decency – the fruit of the Christian worldview, not barren reductionist materialism – thanks all the same.’
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
To Mark & Mansel, at first I reacted the same way to Kylie’s comment but then I realised it could be taken either way. Perhaps it is directed at the left who immediately started blaming “lax” gun laws for the tragedy.
Ewan McDonald, Victoria.
Thanks Ewan. My comment was directed at both sides. It was not meant to be pro or anti-gun but was a reaction to a facebook page full of gun law statements after the events with a few expressions of sympathy, prayer for those involved etc. sprinkled in. I had to go looking for the thing that triggered all the gun law statements rather than first reading about the shootings.
Are those who cry for more restrictions on gun ownership the same ones who want to relax all censorship on movies and art etc?
I am guessing the answer is yes.
You talked about the fear of God, Bill. I think that it is the wrong concept of the fear of God that has caused some of the public animosity towards traditional christian concepts. As the saying goes “knowledge of only a little bit of the truth can be more dangerous than ignorance”. Consider Ps 130, “there is forgiveness with you that you might be feared”. Only those who continue to search for the deep things of God will find knowledge in as much completeness as it is humanly possible. How we stop people with half baked concepts of Christianity running around and claiming themselves to be authorities on the subject, I don’t know.
Thank you Bill for so expertly taking apart Herbert’s argument. I would like to add that only other scientist involved in the area of immunizations and bacteriology may have been Semmel Weiss and he went mad at the end of his life, great recommendation for not having a solid foundation of faith in a creator and redeemer.
“The more internal restraints a person has, the less external restraints he needs.” I am trying to get my head around why the Greens on one hand try to destroy peoples internal restraints and then on the other hand turn around and demand that “no sniffable petrol is mandated in NT, WA, South Australia and Queensland. Is it that they somehow don’t want God to restrain us, but they are quite prepared to do so, if we like it or not?
Thanks Ursula. Yes it is usually the left which demands an end to Second Amendment rights while being in favour of killing babies in the womb, no restraints on pornography, etc.
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
The Western conception of free will is a product of Christian theism and the Biblical worldview, hence it is bound up with our sense of moral responsibility. The antithesis to moral choice is the dangerous delusion—moral determinism—the position of “anti-theistic evolutionary thinking.”
The multiple theories of determinism propose that man’s choices and decisions are not an exercise of the will, but rather the inevitable outcome of factors outside man’s control.
Determinism is a product of naturalism — the belief that neither the living God nor heavenly dimension exist; all that exists is the lower dimension, the material or natural world, therefore everything must be explained in purely natural terms.
Naturalism assumes that since man is not created in the spiritual image of the living God, then he has no individual spirit/soul. Spirit—mind, will, conscience– is the noblest part of man’s soul, but naturalism negates spirit and explains the human mind—including the experience of moral choices—as a matter of chemical reactions in the brain and nothing more.
Naturalism and its’ canon of diverse theories (i.e., determinism) are neither new nor particularly scientific. Naturalism is rather a regression to man’s pre-Christian past wherein man was nothing more than an aspect of creation. Man had no moral choice, for he was a cosmic machine made of the same elements, given the same structure, and made subject to the same rhythms and laws of the universe.
In this way of thinking, nature has not only somehow caused man to exist, but tightly bound him to a predetermined nature and subsequent fate, be it slave, sheep-herder, tent-maker or king. Some nature philosophers even held that man’s thoughts were not his own.
Like a dog returning to its’ own vomit, modern determinists escape moral responsibility by conceptually subsuming themselves into the unseen forces and laws of nature just as their pagan predecessors did.
Contemporary naturalists deny both their own propensity for evil and their personal responsibility. All who choose to deceive themselves in this way must also choose to explain away if not outright deny moral choice, or free will. And so we find them scapegoating and crucifying right-wingers, the NRA, Tea Party, faithful Christians, and inanimate objects like guns for their own sins and subsequent paranoia as well as championing neo-pagan soulless naturalism, determinism, Freudianism (Freud was a materialist), Jungianism (Jung was a Gnostic pantheist), empiricism, collectivism, redistributionism, sustainability agendas, and of course—-gun-control.
If all of our choices are illusory, as determinists hold, and everything is merely the inevitable consequence of something beyond our control, then moral responsibility is an exercise in delusion, therefore sexual predators, serial killers, orange-haired narcissists pretending to be the Joker and insane progressives preoccupied with insurrection and bloodshed may as well dream dark dreams and act on them.