What’s Wrong with the World

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Dueling bloggers

History professor and blogger Hugo Schwyzer is a colleague of mine at Pasadena City College. He is the son of the late philosopher Hubert Schwyzer, a fondly-remembered professor of mine at UC Santa Barbara. Hugo’s wife, like mine, recently gave birth. Each of us suffers from caffeine dependency. That’s pretty much where the similarities end, since Hugo is about as far to the left as I am to the right (which is saying something). Hugo once described me as “an absolutely delightful colleague with absolutely appalling views,” and I’m happy to return the compliment.

Hugo replies here to my recent post on the shooting of George Tiller. He had earlier presented his own views on the subject here and here. Take a look. Hugo warns his readers that they might find what I say infuriating, and I suppose I’d better say that most of the readers of this blog will find Hugo’s own views absolutely jaw-dropping.

Comments (27)

My jaw isn't dropping. I knew there were people out there with his loathsome (to use his word) infanticide-glorifying views. I get angry and feel rather sick when I read them, but then I try and hope to move on and even if I can manage it to pray for them. The invocation of the name of God in this context, as he does, is particularly repulsive. Lewis has a good take on this when Aslan says that if a man does an evil act and says it is in the name of God, it is accepted by Tash. Or Moloch, in this case. Some demon or other. I'm afraid Prof. Schwyzer, like Dr. Tiller, has some unpleasant surprises ahead of him. Well. I think I'll go do some cleaning. A healthier occupation than interacting with Prof. Schwyzer.

I'd like to be a fly on the wall at aristocles' house as he reads Schwyzer. Tip to aristocles: don't go over there, if you value low blood pressure.

On the other hand, aristocles could be a one-man swarm over there.

Goodness! Really a HARD read. I am amazed that some people can so convolute themselves, their thinking and their faith into something that is such a denial of faith. The murder of Tiller was wrong, but to turn it into martyrdom is one sick twist. Pof. Schwyzer makes me sad. I am infinitely grateful he is not teaching MY children!

"I'm afraid Prof. Schwyzer, like Dr. Tiller, has some unpleasant surprises ahead of him."

Kind of like if Lydia were to show up at the pearly gates, and Allah was peaking through the bars.

There is nothing more Christ like than chopping up babies.

One of the encouraging things I found over there (keep in mind, I consider it an obligation to laugh when things are funny)

Haley comments (about this blog):

I went over there expecting some sort of intelligible blog regarding abortion, but….wow. I can’t even . . . like comprehend the idiocy of it.

If you missed it, I'll narrow the scope

I can’t even . . . like comprehend the idiocy of it

Poor Socrates, he lived in the wrong age. We are the ironists :-)

I went to Hugo Schwyzer's blog and gained a greater understanding of Dr. Tiller's point of view. I followed some of the links and read the heart wrenching accounts written by mothers of horribly deformed children who were Dr. Tiller's clients. These writings are one of the greatest illustrations of the idea that evil enters the world when man chooses the lesser good over the greater. Dr. Tiller was a competent and compassionate man who allowed himself to become a conduit for Hell.

As a Christian who has wrestled mightily with my own views on abortion before coming to what is today a staunchly pro-choice position, I know full well that it is possible to believe in a loving sovereign God (as the Calvinists always put it) and to believe in a woman’s sovereignty over her own flesh.

Ummm, no it isn't. In fact, the average cultural Presbyterian knows Calvin's arguments on sovereignty and predestination better than this guy if that's what he thinks. To a Calvinist, abortion is nothing less than proof of the "T" in TULIP as it applies to a particular woman.

Bold emphases mine. God didn’t want George Tiller doing facial peels, removing basal cells, and comforting the be-pimpled. God had something else in mind for him, something that in the end George was one of the few to do. Dr. Tiller heard a call in the midst of a family tragedy, and answered it. He lived and — died — in a very Lutheran way. Christ called Him, and George said “yes.”

According to Calvin, if God wanted to spare you the grief of having a child that is deformed, he wouldn't call upon a sinner like Tiller to take its life. He'd do it Himself. I am wondering if this guy also read the Communist Manifesto and thought it was a great defense of Capitalism.

"Their own flesh"--you know, like the back of that little head into which the scissors go, or like that little heart into which the poison is injected.

NesiCato, not that it matters, but I refuse to believe that Tiller murdered 60,000 "horribly deformed" children. Moreover--this is back to the "not that it matters" part--it sickens me when people get all teary-eyed and overwhelmingly grateful about murdering "horribly deformed" children before they see the light of day. That's compassion? Spare me. What that is is putting the severely disabled out of the way before we are obliged to set eyes on them, putting them out of our misery. We need to challenge the notion that this is anything remotely like compassion or heroism. I understand that you said he became a conduit for hell, and I do appreciate that. But we should resist to the utmost the contempt for the disabled that his defenders try to draw us into.

Dr. Tiller was a competent and compassionate man who allowed himself to become a conduit for Hell.

As Flannery O'Connor said: Compassion leads to the gas chamber. Fellow Catholic and Southerner Walker Percy wrote a whole novel illustrating the point.

My own commitment to the pro-choice position has been renewed in recent years, and was galvanized by the experience of witnessing my wife’s pregnancy and the birth of our daughter.

The birth of his own child inspires him to deny children's right to life. How depraved.

I perused his post on Tiller and the guy just seems like a stupid sap. To be fair to him, I only looked at that post and the one that linked to it, but you could replace "abortion" with "rape" or "skateboarding" and the post would still achieve the desired rhetorical effects because there's not actually any logical argument. He could have said, for example, "Tiller dedicated his life to mutilation, without which his patients could not achieve their full humanity" and it still would have worked for him.

It's just absurdly inane. I'm actually having a hard time getting angry about it because his posts seem like a parody of serious pro-choice views.

It's just absurdly inane. I'm actually having a hard time getting angry about it because his posts seem like a parody of serious pro-choice views.

Yea, I got a whiff of that too, Albert. I almost expected to refresh the page and get a "you're an idiot. Sincerely, Hugh" message. Alas, it never came.

These writings are one of the greatest illustrations of the idea that evil enters the world when man chooses the lesser good over the greater.


I think it's worth reiterating Lydia's warning on this. Abortion is an inherent evil. Great/lesser good talk doesn't apply here. If it applies here, then there is no such thing as evil. Everything is just a choice between goods.

On the other hand, aristocles could be a one-man swarm over there.

Aristocles would die of a heart attack after reading that post, and attacking the author and commenters. Far from being a "one-man swarm," he'd be remember as history's first internet/rhetorical suicide bomber.

[Tiller] lived and — died — in a very Lutheran way.

Well, he got the "sin boldly" part down, anyway...

Well, he got the "sin boldly" part down, anyway...

If only he'd bought some indulgences...

he'd be remember as history's first internet/rhetorical suicide bomber.

You beat him to it along time ago.

You beat him to it along time ago.

Nonsense. I'm too type B to ever get that emotionally involved in any discussion.

Anyone who could mention Tiller and Bonhoeffer in the same breath, worse, to compare them, spends to much time consuming harmful liquids and reading the NY Times.
Couldn't resist leaving my calling card at that odious site.
Delightful colleague? He must be a laugh riot in the faculty cafeteria.

Lydia and Brett,

Of course abortion is inherently evil. Human life, no matter how "horribly deformed" is inherently good. Ending/avoiding suffering is a contingent good (ie contingent on not doing something like committing murder). Tiller story (at least as Schwyzer's blog tells it) began with the the understandable shock that Tiller's father felt when one of his patients died from an illegal abortion. Evil forces this event with the seductive persuasion of avoiding suffering to leverage tens of thousands of deaths and perhaps an equal number of souls eternally corrupted. Sickening.

Thanks, Brendon, I'll have to check out Percy's novel.

These people were crying! Their affections are so warped I was disturbed enough to want to leave the computer too.

'jaw-dropping' was not just a throwaway line.

Schwanker uses Jesus' words - but what about His Father's terrible vengeance on sinners? The surprise alluded to by Dr McGrew concerns millstones I think because Schwanker is a teacher. "let not many of you become teachers, brethren, for we will be put under a harsher judgment" James 3:1-12

Preparing for millions upon millions of years of life with God means getting used to the flavour of God's Kingdom. Wanting to kill his 'little ones' for convenience is not the way to acquire the this taste. 'Get behind me Satan' was about the most confronting rebuke Jesus spoke - it was because of Peter's worldly thinking.

"For the sake of the glory that was still in the future he endured the Cross"

Peter was chastened, Schwanker refuses to be. He is beyond shame now he is "Tiller and Proud!" and is in the comfort-in-numbers recruiting stage of guilty knowledge. Its a big clue that he attracts posts that end 'hail lucifer'. It is the evil inversion that attractive I suppose.

Schwanker calls late-term abortion Christian self sacrifice. Jesus' warning about that is terrifying too calling evil good is a sin against the Holy Spirit and cannot be forgiven. Because it represents radical self-enclosure?

Prof Feser is right, Schwanker is wrong. The depth of the wrongness is only confirmed by his disordered affections.

Wasn't Hitler an animal lover? Didn't he care alot for his dog, and was a strict vegetarian? Wasn't he motivated by a love of humanity in the abstract? Did he not have a magnetic personality? Wasn't he abstemious with alcohol and want to ban smoking throughout the Reich?

This has been one of the most edifying posts I've read at W4. This is more evidence of what a dangerous species we are and how badly we need a Saviour. Here is more evidence to distrust emotion, to look for warrant for belief from Scripture and the Magisterium of the RCC.

Reading that stuff was like standing at the edge of an abyss. Dizzying stuff. He affirms the autonomy of the self willing subject so loved by modern secularists, and affirms the worst in the nominally Christian. An approach perfectly tailored to pamper a will to power in our time, and successfully demonstrated by President B.O.

Schwanker is a pure type and I think it would be quite something to meet this person. He has had all the advantages of heredity and environment but has still chosen this path. His worst is only restrained by accidents of history: a still functioning but shaky rule of law, lingering cultural influence of the Christian religion, and geographical location. An astounding individual.


I would note two things about The Thanatos Syndrome:

First, it is a sequel to one of Percy's earlier novels, Love in the Ruins. I don't think it is necessary to read the latter to understand the former, but doing so will give one a bit more understanding of the protagonist and the world he inhabits.

Second, when one first reads it, it can seem almost heavy-handed. One has to realize that it was first published in 1987. In the past 20-some years things have gotten much worse. What was yesteryear's dystopian future is today's reality. There's a thought to keep you up at night.

Hugo seems like he means well, in his own way, but what perversion it must take for someone to be so sensitive to the rights of animals (so much that he brags of his veganism) yet so blind to the horrors of babies ripped limb from limb (and so stupid as to think that all of Tiller's patients had babies with horrible deformities, even if it were OK to kill babies for being deformed). Wow. Just staggering. It's one thing for pro-choice people to carry on as if they accept abortion only as a necessary evil, but to celebrate the abortionist in such laudatory terms? Just sick.

Reading that was surreal...like a parody of pro-abortion sentimentality. I mean, "I am George Tiller"...what is that??

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