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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Mugged by reality ... learned nothing

Ed Driscoll: Student Mugged, Says He Deserved It Because of His ‘Privilege’ -- "To mash-up George Santayana and Irving Kristol, a leftist is someone who refuses to learn from history, and is thus doomed to get mugged by it, but refuses to press charges afterwards."
Senior Oliver Friedfeld and his roommate were held at gunpoint and mugged recently. However, the GU student isn’t upset. In fact he says he “can hardly blame [his muggers].”

“Not once did I consider our attackers to be ‘bad people.’ I trust that they weren’t trying to hurt me. In fact, if they knew me, I bet they’d think I was okay,” wrote Friedfeld in an editorial featured in The Hoya, the university’s newspaper. “The fact that these two kids, who appeared younger than I, have even had to entertain these questions suggests their universes are light years away from mine.”

Friedfeld claims it is the pronounced inequality gap in Washington, D.C. that has fueled these types of crimes. He also says that as a middle-class man, he does not have the right to judge his muggers.

“Who am I to stand from my perch of privilege, surrounded by million-dollar homes and paying for a $60,000 education, to condemn these young men as ‘thugs?’” asks Friedfeld. “It’s precisely this kind of ‘otherization’ that fuels the problem.”
Actually, it's holier-than-Thou (*) damned fools like this who "fuel the problem" ... and have been deliberately doing so for a good 60 or 70 years.

Another thing about these rich white "liberals" and their mind-set to which I think normal people don't give enough consideration is that what they are saying is that if *they* weren't rich and/or "privileged", they'd consider themselves justified in mugging others (**).

(*) not only do they imagine themselves holier that you and me, but also than God

(**) that is, in person in contrast to their perferred method of mugging others through State violence

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Self-opacity

Today's chuckle comes from Kathy Shaidle: "Here’s the thing: I have ... an almost psychopathological indifference to criticism."

Please excuse my eyes rolling across the floor.

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Someone has to

Someone has to ... do the jobs Americans won't do

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Never saw that coming

Wintery Knight: Human Rights Campaign co-founder Terry Bean arrested for sex crime with 15-year-old

Look, America: "sex education" is about grooming your children to make them more susceptible to sex-predators. And the 'Human Rights Campaign' is about grooming you to make you more susceptible to the mainstreaming of NAMBLA.

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'Even-handedness' vs 'moral equivalency' Is there a difference?

Answer: almost never.

Whether we're talking about alleged-President Obama reacting to the murder of Israelis by Arab terrorists by "counseling" both terrorists and Israelis to "be calm" (*), or whether we're talking about the police arresting and charging with disorderly conduct both the man who is attacked and the violent woman who attacked him (**), or whether we're talking about the school administrators who do nothing for weeks or months as you are daily physically bullied, but immediately implement their inane "zero-tolerance policy" the minute you defend yourself, it's all the same: the "authorities" almost never care about justice; they care about keeping things quiet, and if the cost of keeping things quiet happens to be your limb ... or your life ... they'll generally gladly pay it.



(*) as 'Wintery Knight' observes, this is like telling both the rapist and the victim of the rapist to refrain from raping one another in future.

(**) Fortunately for him, he is 'hispanic', and so the charges were eventually dropped

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Trees ... and Flowers ... and 'Evolution'

'News' at Uncommon Descent recently made a post drawing attention to an evolutionist's statement that "... we don’t know much about how speciation happens in trees."

This prompted me to drop a note to Denyse O'Leary (who is frequently, though not always, 'News') mentioning a Darwinist conundrum about trees and flowers -- well, it would be a conundrum to DarwinDefenders were they not so highly skilled in ignoring everything that needs to be ignored so as to protect their metaphysical speculations disguised as 'Science!' from rational critical evaluation.

The initial note I sent Mrs O'Leary was:
Except for their mode of reproduction, flowering trees and non-flowering trees are more like than flowering trees are to flowering non-trees. However, by their mode of reproduction, oak trees are more like tulips than like pine trees.


It's a great mystery ... if your religion is evolutionism.
A follow-up note to explain in more detail was:
You may recall Darwin's "abominal mystery".

So far as I know, he, nor his followers, never even thought about it in these terms, though they should be doing so: but flowering plants are "abominable" from the DarwinDefender point of view not just in their origin, but also in the fact that flowering plants are so diverse in all ways but the flowers themselves. A tulip blossom and an apple blossom (*) are both "perfect flowers" (**) (see here, as mentioned at the bottom of that page, so is an oat blossom) and also "complete flowers" -- the flowers have the same structures, which, according to evolutionists, are always descended/modified from the same parts (***). But other than the flowers, apple trees and tulip plants have few, if any, similarities in their gross characteristics.

Think about it: for Darwinistic evolutionism to be consistent, the apple and the tulip *must* be more closely related by descent than the apple is to the pine, despite that both being trees, apples and pines grow/develop and maintain their health and lives in very similar ways. The "permanent" part of an apple or pine is the layer of actively growing cells just below the bark (including the roots). But the "permanent" part of a tulip is the little disk at the bottom of the bulb, from which disk (re)grows the roots (it's a yearly affair) and leaves and flower stems. This point is even more ovbious with daffodils and onions. A pine or an apple overwinters by storing food in its roots, which persist, and continuously grow similarly to the branches, year ro year. A tulip sheds its roots as part of its overwintering strategy and instead stores food in the bulb, which has no counterpart in the apple.


(*) I changed my tree example from oak to apple. I had initially picked oak because ‘mighty oaks’ are such exemplar trees in our language; but oak flowers are not “perfect” and are so inconspicuous that most people don’t realize they have flowers.

Perhaps, for the irony of it, I should have picked tulip trees to contrast with tulips.


(**) Apparently, botanists have changed the definition of "perfect flower", for I used to see the term used for what it seems is now called a "complete flower".

Also, it *used* to be that a "perfect flower" (now a "complete flower") had FIVE parts, not four. Goodness, I wish they'd make up their minds!

(***) Flower petals, for instance, are claimed to be modified leaves.


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In which I learn that I am a 'mereological nihilist'

Doug Benscoter: Atomism and Its Irrelevance to Classical Theism -- "Peter van Inwagen, for instance, holds to mereological nihilism: that no composite material thing really exists. He does, nevertheless, make an exception for living things."

While I hadn't yet thought of it in terms of "composite material thing[s]", and of course (being just a normal non-academic person ... like you), I had never encountered the term 'mereological nihilism', I had years ago reached the conclusion that almost none of the (supposed) entities we speak of do actually exist, but that living entities do exist. That is, the sun and moon and stars, and the earth, do not really exist. But you really do exist, and the individual cells comprising your body really do exist.

I had come to these conclusions in considering the 'Perseus' Ship Paradox', which is the paradox of identity. I had concluded that only things inherently possessing identity really exist. And the only material entities possessing inherent identity of which I am aware are living things. Perhaps sub-atomic particles also possess some sort of inherent identity, though I can't see it including "selfness", which seems to me the key thing in identity.


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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Warm!

Last weekend, I discovered that the furnace wasn't working (again). It hadn't got really cold yet, so running a burner on the kitchen stove (coupled with flannel jammies) was enough to keep me comfortable.

On Saturday, I was able to get someone to come out to look at it. Anyway, while I had been hoping to get one more winter out of the old furnace, I decided to have him install a new one. Among other things, I'd noticed before he arrived that even though I had turned off the power to the unit the night before, gas was still flowing to the pilot; it was an electronic pilot, and the gas should have shut down with the power turned off.

It was pretty chilly when I got home last night (Friday). I turned on *two* burners on the stove, full blast, and carted an electric space heater into the bedroom, and piled comforters on the bed. It was still a chilly night.

But, WARMTH! The guy and his son installed a new, high-effiency furnace today, and an electric water heater (it was past time for the old gas water heater to be replaced) ... and I'm warm!

It's not Thanksgiving Day yet, but in case it wasn't obvious, I'm thankful for warmth ... and for capitalism (*) ... and that I had the money in the bank to pay for this work.

(*) I am thankful that other people have the freedom in America to "selfishly" pursue their own "selfish" interests ... and thereby make my life better, easier, more comfortable. Can you inagine what it would be like if I'd had to wait for some "selfless" government bureaucrat to do this work for me? For one thing, I'd still be waiting for the initial visit to check out the problem.

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'to gruber'

Douglas Wilson:"To gruber someone is to dismiss the stupid peons out there with a supercilious arrogance, and with the critic blissfully unaware of the tiny bubble of self-congratulatory hubris he lives in."

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Not fit for the Kids' Table

Victor Reppert: "It must be noted that there is no way, on the model I have presented, to show that everyone who denies the Resurrection is irrational, or engaged in bad faith."

How about showing that *almost* everyone -- and certainly the most vocal -- who denies the Resurrection is engaged in bad-faith hypocrisy?

[The point here is that most "skeptics" have no problem at all with Carl Sagan's scientistic assertions about things just happening for no reason nor cause nor meaning -- events that have never been observed to have happened and that would be considered by nearly everyone except "skeptics" to be miracles, or probable miracles, were they ever to be observed to actually have happened.]


There is another point it seems to me that you constantly overlook -- which is that even were Christianity false, that is, even if Christ did not rise from the dead [and his rising did not mean what Christianity says it means], that doesn't touch on the even more basic question: "Is God?"

The question of Christ's Resurrection is pointless unless there is a Creator-God who intentionally restored life and soul to that dead body as a promise to do likewise with those who love him. After all, one could acknowledge that Jesus really was dead and really did come back to life ... and then "explain" it as one of those (asserted by scientism) pointless [meaningless], astronomically improbable events that just happen from time to time all by themselves for no reason and with no cause [and no attendant meaning], as discussed in the above link.

[To reiterate a point I've made many times -- it's not the (alleged) fact that Jesus really was dead and really did come back to life that gets the so-called skeptics' panties in a bunch, it's the (alleged) meaning of his coming back to life that they hate; for that meaning points to the reality of the Creator, and of moral duties ... and of moral judgment. If Jesus' coming back to life were just a strange historical footnote, to which no one ascribed any particular significance, then the "skeptics" wouldn't be at all skeptical that it really did occur.]

Now, as it happens, we human beings have many lines of argument and evidence that show:
1) belief in the Creator is rational;
2) disbelief in the Creator is irrational.

ERGO, anyone who denies the reality of the Creator is [willfully] irrational.

WHY do you continue to waste your time -- and encourage others to waste their time (to say nothing of sanity) -- in the logically impossible quest of rationally convincing irrational people to acknowledge that you are rational? Arguing Christ with Jews, or even with Hindus, may be a rational undertaking; arguing anything "religious" with God-deniers is the epitome of irrational behavior.

UNTIL a person acknowledges that there is a Creator, he has nothing to say: he "has no place at the table", as the saying goes. It's not that he "belongs at the Kids' Table" [as some God-haters like to say of Christians ... and even of persons who are not necessarily Christians], for even children are rational beings ... it's that, in willfully choosing irrationality, the God-denier belongs on the floor, fighting with the dogs for whatever scraps fall from the Kids' Table.


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