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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Render Unto Caesar

Douglas Wilson: Children of the Rainbow -- "As Voddie Baucham put it memorably, if you render your children to Caesar, don’t be surprised when they come back Romans."

People frequently quote the verse (*), "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's" without thinking about the context.

Now, for sure, the overall context is that some Pharisees (and partisans of the Herodian dynasty) were trying to set a trap for Christ: they say only two answers to the question they posed him, both of which they could spin to his condemnation. His answer was to expose the question's false premise on which rested the dilemma by which they thought to trap him..

However, *that* is not the context to which I wish to draw Gentle Reader’s attention, but rather to a sub-context of that overall context.

What did Christ ask them? He asked, “Whose image does this coin bear?” What he didn’t ask explicitly - for in the context of people who live and breathe the text (even if not quite the spirit) of Scripture - it is always implied: “Whose image do you bear?

So, here is how they understood has answer to them: “Here is a coin; it is marked as being the property of Caesar. And here is you, who are marked as being the property of God. So, if Caesar demands what is his, give it back to him. But do not give him what is God’s.


(*) and frequently, just the first half; I think we can expect this frequency to increase in the near future


Edit 2015/07/05:
The Other McCain: What Education Teaches

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Thursday, July 2, 2015

No Truce With the Left

Daniel Greenfield: No Truce With the Left
There comes a time when every conservative thinker tries to find some common ground with the left in some area. Today it's criminal rights and the headlines have Rand Paul denouncing the racist justice system while Grover Norquist and the Koch Brothers join with the left to back their reforms. As usually happens, the conservatives or libertarians turn out to be the useful idiots of the left.

Liberals have a long history of being the left's useful idiots. It's only fair that libertarians get a turn.

...

To understand the left, you need to remember that it does not care about 99 percent of the things it claims to care about. Name a leftist cause and then find a Communist country that actually practiced it. Labor unions? Outlawed. Environmentalism? Chernobyl. The left fights all sorts of social and political battles not because it believes in them, but to radicalize, disrupt and take power.

The left does not care about social justice. It cares about power.

That is why no truce is possible with the left. Not on social issues. Not on any issues.

The left is a drunk in a bar trying to pick a fight with you. Trying to convince him that you didn't disrespect him, put something in his beer to make him dizzy or make his feet so heavy won't work. There's no 'agree to disagree' possible here. He's picking a fight with you because he wants a fight.

The left does not care about Bruce Jenner. It does not care about gay rights, equal pay, police brutality or even slavery. Its activists 'care' about those things a great deal right now, but they could easily be persuaded tomorrow to be outraged by telephone poles, shredded wheat or people in green sweaters.

They care mainly about emotional venting and exercising power over others. It's the same phenomenon witnessed during the Salem Witch Trials, the French Revolution or any other mob scene. Except the individual elements of the mob are on social media and have a hashtag.

The outraged social justice warrior was laughing at tranny jokes a few years ago. Now he's ready to kill over minor verbal missteps. A few years from now he'll be laughing at them again.

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Monday, June 29, 2015

On the bright side

On the bright side, with our rulers presently embracing (*) and pushing "gayness", it seems there is finally a way for a man (I use the word advisedly in the context of the linked story) to prevail in "family court"


(*) Give it some time -- after the leftists start putting us Christians in death-camps, they'll start putting the "gays" in there with us.

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

I especially liked the last one

The Sacred Cow Slaughterhouse Some Fights You'll Never Win

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Rue Britannia!

Jihad Watch: UK: Imam accused of recruiting for jihad group doesn’t have to wear electronic tag — it breaches his human rights

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Happy Magna Carta Day!

Mark Steyn: The Field Where Liberty Was Sown -- "I liked it better the old way. Real rights are like Magna Carta: restraints on state power. Too many people today understand the word "rights" to mean baubles and trinkets a gracious sovereign bestows on his subjects - "free" health care, "free" community college, "safe spaces" from anyone saying anything beastly - all of which require a massive, coercive state regulatory regime to enforce."

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Monday, June 8, 2015

eXtreme Gammon

This morning, quite by accident, I learned that one of my co-workers (*) has written a mobile app/game (**) for backgammon -- eXtreme Gammon


Ah! Here is the mobile version


(*) he's a furriner -- a Frog, in fact! -- but let's not hold that against him. Or, not too much, anyway. ;)

(**) after looking over the linked site, I think I misunderstood him about it being a smart phone app. Perhaps what he'd meant is that it has been recently ported to those platforms.

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Every path leads to the same destination

Vox Day: The Devil's own --
It is not uncommon for people to ask me why I treat atheists, particularly those of the militant or evangelical variety, with such open contempt. The reason is very simple. The only way they can be reached, the only way they can even begin thinking rationally about Christianity instead of thoughtlessly reacting to it, is for their pride to be broken first. Since their pride tends to revolve around their intelligence, it usually requires a higher intelligence to break it and I happen to be reasonably well-equipped in that regard.

It's not knowledge that keeps men like Phil from submitting to the Most High, to the Creator God of the Universe, it is pride in the independent consciousness that they possess as a gift from the very tyrant they refuse to serve. As an arrogant man myself, I recognize that fierce and independent pride when I see it. I even admire it, to a certain extent. But I also know its futility, and worse, its sheer pointlessness.

Does the jar demand the potter admire its beauty? Is the jar foolish enough to be proud of its existence separate from the very mind that conceived it, the very hands that shaped it and brought it into being? Does the jar so lack perception that it fails to grasp it can be unmade as easily as it was made by its maker?

In what, O jar, is your petty pride?

How strange it is that those who refuse to grovel [bow] before God so readily bow [grovel] before other men and genuflect before some of the most foolish ideas of Man ever conceived. And how pointless, when we know that one day every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord. Serve freely or defy as you see fit, because every path leads to the same destination, submission before the Almighty.
Other than his choice of wording in the sentence I "fixed", this analysis of the pious (and cynically self-serving) myths about their commitment to Reason! that 'atheists' use as rationales for their God-hatred is pretty spot-on.

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Sunday, June 7, 2015

The pressure seems too much

It seems that the pressure of freeing one's mind of the evils and lies of leftism may be too much for some to bear. Of late, Bob Prokop seems to be trying to get free of the falsehoods to which he has devoted so much of his life and effort. And, of course, given human nature, and the nature of belief-systems, and the nature of leftism in supplying its adherents with hefty doses of self-righteousness, one does expect relapses.

It appears that for B.Prokop, the proverbial straw prompting him to try to de-leftify himself has been the epiphany that even though Catholicism, Inc. has faithfully acted the good little bitch to Progressivism (i.e. American Leftism) for well over a century, in their present seeming cultural triumph, this batch of leftists have as little use for, or respect of, The One True Bureaucracy, or of Roman Catholic persons who happen to be Christians (in contrast to the Kennedys and Pelosis and Bidens and such-what), as any other batch of leftists has ever had.

First, let's examine an example of intellectual dishonesty involving someone who is not B.Prokop, so that one may more easily recognize for what it is the example that does involve him --

Over at Victor Reppert's blog, in the Marriage legal and moral thread, B.Prokop had posted this:
"making a judgement of the moral character of the wedding participants ... is the issue that I have been saying matters most"

I think this is what frightens me the most about this whole debate. People like Doug seem perfectly ready (and even eager) to employ the full weight of state power to compel others to not only act in certain ways, but also to think in proscribed fashions. The above quote is crystal clear. The pro same sex marriage side wishes to make disagreeing with them a thought crime, punishable by the loss of one's job, business, livelihood, whatever it takes.

And you think this is improbable? That "it can't happen here"? Well. Over on Ilion's website, he links to a news story about a Canadian jeweler who cheerfully and professionally did everything his lesbian customers wanted. Yet they still threatened action against his business solely because he did not approve of what his customers were doing. So Doug is right. This has nothing to do with cakes, etc. Read the quote at the top of this posting again. It's all about thought crime.
In response, concerning lesbians' subsequent progressive-mob attack on the the Christian jeweler, I wrote:
I suspect that the sexual pervert fascists did this on purpose: that they intentionally ordered custom-made "engagement" rings from this jeweler, intending all along to raise the progressive mob against him to demand a refund ... after he had gone to the expense of buying the materials and doing the labor to make the rings.
And, as sure as night follows day, some lying leftist "social justice warrior" needed to pipe up
What's next - jet fuel can't melt steel beams? There was a second gunman on the grassy knoll?
Which is rather amusing, when you think about it: the fool's examples of "crazy conspiracy theories" to which he wants to liken what I said are the sort that leftists love to love, and to spread.

Now, anyone who has *read* just a couple of the public news items about the particular case -- to say nothing of all the other cases in which sexual perversion fascists and other "social justice warrior" fascists conspire to ruin the livelihoods, and lives, of persons who will not agree to pretend that two dudes butt-fucking equals a marriage -- understands that there is no "crazy conspiracy theory" involved in what I wrote. And, moreover, those who have read a couple of public news items about the Canadian sexual perverts attempting to ruin the livelihhod of the Christian jeweler understand that my use of "I suspect" was just me using understatement, as I do from time to time.


So, if Gentle Reader has grasped the essential dishonesty of the fool, 'John Doe', trying to liken what I'd written to some "crazy conspiracy theory", let us move on to B.Prokop attempting a similar move (in his case, in two parts).

Victor Reppert has another recent post, called An ethicist's nightmare
There are ethical problems with some research. Let's take, for example, selective breeding of human beings. The issues surrounding racism are made a lot easier by the fact that there is really no such thing as a superior race. But, if we started breeding superior human beings, then there would be a superior race in reality. Then what would our duties of the superior race be to the inferior race? That would be an ethicist's nightmare.

But a certain famous scientist keeps playing around with the idea.
I made two comments to Mr Reppert's OP --
comment #1 " The issues surrounding racism are made a lot easier by the fact that there is really no such thing as a superior race."

Oh, silly! There are any number of "superior race(s)" ... it all depends upon the metrics one is using to define or delineate "superior".
Admittedly, my comment could have been clearer had I quoted Reppert's next sentence. In the sentence I quoted, he says that there is presently no such thing as a "superior race". In the next (and unquoted) sentence, he says that in the future, there could be such a thing as a "superior race", were eugenicists (and 'Science!' worshipers in general) to have their way. My response is to point out that, no, there is no difference at all between now and this imagined future with respect to the existence of a "superior race".
comment #2 "Then what would our duties of the superior race be to the inferior race? That would be an ethicist's nightmare."

It would [NOT] be "an ethicist's nightmare" nightmare because "ethics" is about coming up with rationales to "explain" how it is that immoral behavior is really moral, after all.

Races don't have moral duties to races. Individuals have moral duties to individuals, and those don't change just because one's race is superior according to this metric, rather than that.
Ah-ha! B.Prokop -- who is still a leftist at heart, and who is really fighting to hold onto his leftism -- apparently imagined he had found -- or could manufacture -- a "Gotcha" moment
What are your metrics, Ilion, that would indicate the existence of a "superior" race in the Real World today? I don't know of any.

Superior cultures, yes. But races? Can't see it.
Now, even if Gentle Reader doesn't yet fully understand that I do not play that game, B.Prokop surely knows it by now.

I replied --
Do you (singular and plural) practice at this? Is there some special class one takes to learn to un-read what another has written so clearly?

Do you remember the last time you beat your wife, B.Prokop?
See? In two different ways, I had told B.Prokop that he was barking up the wrong tree (and that I wasn't going to play that game).

And, so, of course, being a not yet recovered leftist, B.Prokop had to play another popular leftist game: "I'm a Special Snowflake and It's All Always All About Me!" --
It would have been sometime before she died, literally in my arms, with our daughters weeping at the foot of her bed, from pancreatic cancer some 6 years ago. Care to apologize for that remark, Ilion?
That ain't never gonns happen, and he knows it; for I apologize only if I have done something wrong. And someone else's decision to invent an insult where there is none is not *me* doing something wrong.

Shoot! Someone else even tried, round-about, to explain it to him --
Your wife may have been a poor topic for Ilíon's question, but I think the point he was trying to make was that your question about what metrics he would use to determine which race is superior is leading, and it misses his point. I wouldn't take it personally.
And, of course, everyone knows that the question, "When did you quit beating your wife?", or variations on it, has nothing to do with making "your wife" the "topic for [the] question".

But, of course, B.Prokop is still a fool (and is resisting freeing himself of his long-cherished foolishness), and so he *cannot* admit his error, or even just let it drop quickly down the memory-hole --
I did [take it personally], and he needs to apologize - abjectly, and now.
Ain't never gonna happen ... and everyone knows it ain't.

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

A fool for all seasons

William Vallicella, 'the Maverick Philosopher', is a fool. And his foolishness in rooted in his refusal to acknowledge -- indeed, even to critically examine the question (*) -- that we human beings can know that the Creator is; and that, in fact, we cannot *not* know that the Creator is.

Consider these recent pronouncements --

William Vallicella: The Decline of the Culture of Free Discussion and Debate
... And now we notice a very interesting and important point. To be a liberal in the old old sense (a paleo-liberal) is, first and foremost, to value toleration. Toleration is the touchstone of classical liberalism. (Morris Raphael Cohen) But why should we be tolerant of (some of) the beliefs and (some of) the behaviors of others? Because we cannot responsibly claim to know, with respect to certain topics, what is true and what ought to be done/left undone. Liberalism (in the good old sense!) requires toleration, and toleration requires fallibilism. But if we can go wrong, we can go right, and so fallibilism presupposes and thus entails the existence of objective truth. A good old liberal must be an absolutist about truth and hence cannot be a PC-whipped lefty.

Examples. Why tolerate atheists? Because we don't know that God exists. Why tolerate theists? Because we don't know that God does not exist. And so on through the entire range of Big Questions. But toleration has limits. ...
Now, aside from the fact that we *can* know that God is -- that in fact, we all do know it already -- the reason to tolerate God-deniers has nothing to do with knowledge or ignorance of the reality of God.

By Vallicella's rationale for tolerating them, should the majority of humanity come to accept the truth that we human beings can, and do, know that God is, it would then be “right” to cease to tolerate the God-deniers amongst us. You know, like they do to us whenever they get their filthy paws on the levers of governmental force. And the reason they *always* persecute us is precisely because their metaphysical commitments provide no reason to refrain from doing it.

William Vallicella: Does the Atheist Deny What the Theist Affirms?
So I am quite puzzled by Ryan's claim that the existence of God is contradicted by much of what we know to be true. I would like him to produce just one proposition that we know to be true that entails the nonexistence of God. The plain truth of the matter, as it seems to me, is that nothing we know to be true rules out the existence of God. I cheerfully concede that nothing we know to be true rules it in either. Pace the doctor angelicus, one cannot rigorously prove the existence of God. One can argue for the existence of God, but not prove the existence of God. By 'argue for the existence of God,' I mean give good arguments, plausibly-premised arguments free of formal and informal fallacy, arguments that render theistic belief reasonable. What I claim cannot be done, however, is provide rationally compelling arguments, arguments that will force every competent philosophical practioner to accept their conclusions on pain of being irrational if he does not.

2. Ryan also claims that there is no evidence for the God hypothesis. This strikes me as just plain false. There are all kinds of evidence. That it is not the sort of evidence Ryan and fellow atheists would accept does not show that it is not evidence. People have religious and mystical experiences of many different kinds. There is the 'bite of conscience' that intimates a Reality transcendent of the space-time world. Some experiences of beauty intimate the same. There are the dozens and dozens of arguments for the existence of God. Add it up and you have a cumulative case for theism.

The atheist will of course discount all of this. But so what? I will patiently discount all his discountings and show in great detail how none of them are rationally compelling. I will show how he fails to account for obvious facts (consciousness, self-consciouness, conscience, intentionality, purposiveness, etc.) if he assumes that all that exists is in the space-time world. I will expose and question all his assumptions. I will vigorously and rigorously drive him to dogmatism. Having had all his arguments neutralized, if not refuted, he will be left with nothing better than the dogmatic assertion of his position.
Look at this, the last paragraph especially: right there, the fool *has* proven that atheism is false -- which is to say, contrary to his continuous insistence that no one can either prove or disprove the reality of God, *he* has proven, right there, that God is.

But he refuses to see it, for he is a fool: he values something more than he values truth. And one of the things he values more that truth is "discussion and debate" (as in the title of the first linked post)


(*) his characterization of me as a "punk" is a manifestation of his refusal to reason about the matter, pure and simple.

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