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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Pray again for Ken Miller

Lydia McGrew: Pray again for Ken Miller -- If you're not already aware of the situation Mrs McGrew is discussing -- which has been on-going for several years -- please do read the linked post.

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Marriage legal and moral

Victor Reppert has (yet another) post concerning the anti-debate in the US concerning same-sex mirage. Among other things, it's exploring a typically libertarian version of surrender to the leftists on the issue. In this post, I intend to expand upon the response I posted to his blog.

Mr Reppert's (new) post is called Marriage legal and moral --
Some people would argue for a distinction between the legal acceptability of same-sex marriage and its moral acceptability. Consider the following case: a man leaves his wife and three kids, and runs off with a Playboy bunny half his age. He divorces his wife, and goes down to the courthouse to get a license to marry his new girlfriend. The courthouse won't ask any questions about whether he was moral or not in starting this relationship which began as an adulterous affair. They just check to see if his divorce is final, and if it is, they issue the marriage license. But if a photographer who knew about how the relationship starter, and who believes in the Seventh Commandment (Thou shalt not commit adultery) was asked to photograph the wedding, would such a photographer be reasonable in saying "I recognize that you are getting married legally, but I can't be part of the celebration of your new union, given what I know about how you got together. Sorry, please find another photographer."

(Interestingly enough, the above case seems to be one of the stronger reasons in support of same-sex marriage, since it points out that in heterosexual cases like this one, the government doesn't hand out licenses based on what they perceive to be moral or not, either on religious grounds or on any other grounds).

If that is reasonable, then could someone who object morally to a same-sex marriage do the same thing, since they are being asked, really, to be part of the celebration of something they don't feel right about celebrating?
My posted response was:
The (ahem) argument given above begs the very point at question. Moreover, it commits one to a slippery-slope that can only end in the destruction of the institution of marriage.

But then, that it the whole point of "gay" mirage.
Concerning Mr Reppert's scenario of adultery and divorce and re-marriage -- now, aside from the inconvenient fact that it is more frequently the woman who torpedoes a given marriage, the other fact is that the ubiquity of divorce in present-day America (and Western civilization as a whole) is a direct result of our collective decision to refuse to fight against the former leftist assualt on the very meaning of marriage, via "no-fault" divorce ... which is to say, divorce-on-demand.

Indeed, in the "bad old days", there were men who behaved shamefully toward their wives as in Mr Reppert's scenario -- Charles Dickens comes to mind. But, it was not "socially acceptable", and *everyone* thereafter looked askance at such a man, even if they didn't say anything to his face.

As an example: my paternal grandmother had been married four times (the other, three: I know a bit about the costs of divorce). Her first husband died, leaving her a young widow with two children. She remarried and they had a son. Then she discovered that her "husband" was married to another woman, so she divorced him, to make it "legal". He died soon after, and she married my grandfather; they had two sons (the elder died in infancy) ... and then she divorced him (my father told me that his older sister used to stir up trouble between his parents; but it's also a fact that my grandmother was not an easy woman to live with, and so she was probably very stirable). When my father was nine, his parents were going to remarry (I think my aunt was herself married by then); they had the marriage license already. But then my grandfather died of pneumonia (he was 59/60, she was 44/45). Sometime after that, my grandmother married for the fourth time ... and thus we called her "Grandma Brown", and similarly did not call my mother's mother "Grandma Brown" due to her own final marriage.

Now, I want to draw Gentle Reader's attention to something that will seem very odd to persons having been reared in the present-day anti-Christian "no-fault" divorce culture: my grandmother did not re-marry until her previous husband -- even though she had divorced him, or even when the "marriage" hadn't been a real marriage in the first place -- had died.

Now, don't take this as that my grandmother was some sort of holy Christian. Rather, our culture was so informed by Christianity that even non-Christians lived the public/social aspects of their lives in accordance with Christianity. And, according to Christianity, a marriage is the permanent union of a man and a woman, ending only by the death of one of the spouses, for it is a "type" of the promise of our union with God --and "long-term relationship" is emphatically not a Christian concept.

Even as recently as 1936, even the King of Great Britain wasn't free simply to marry a woman with two living husbands; this is how "socially unacceptable" Christianity had made divorce, in contrast to the pagan Romans after they had become so morally decadent that they could not maintain their own republic.

This is what we, as a civilization, have already given up -- have already willingly destroyed -- in choosing to have our ears tickled by the lies of people who have always intended the utter destruction of the institution of marriage ... and the marginalization of the very foundation of our civilization, which is Christianity.

(Interestingly enough, the above case seems to be one of the stronger reasons in support of same-sex marriage, since it points out that in heterosexual cases like this one, the government doesn't hand out licenses based on what they perceive to be moral or not, either on religious grounds or on any other grounds).
As seen above, the argument implied here is a bit disingenuous. Moreover, until quite recently, "the government" didn't license one to marry; rather, "the government" legally acknowledged what Christianity said had or had not happened (this is why my grandmother's second "long-term relationship" was not a marriage, despite the license from "the government").

Let us look at something I have written several times, in various places. These are the requirements for entering a valid marriage, one that is both moral and legal, and upon which the laws in all the polities of Christendom had been based until quite recently --
0) A marriage is the publicly recognized exclusive life union between two human beings for the primary purpose of:
a) forming a new family-unit;
b) thereby domesticating their sexual activity for the benefit of society -- and of the individuals themselves -- as untamed sexual activity is destructive, both to the individual and ultimately to society as a whole;
c) and creating a stable environment for the rearing the the new human beings who are the natural result of the sex act;
d) and thus establishing just who is responsible for the up-bringing of those new human beings;
1) Therefore: a marriage may be contracted between two, and only two, human beings:
1a) one male;
1b) one female;
2) both parties must be free to contract a marriage; that is, neither party is already married;
2a) both by what a marriage is, as in 0) above, and by this requirement, a marriage involves the promise of sexual exclusivity;
3) the two parties may not be within a prohibited degree of biological or familial relationship to one another;
4) the two parties must mutually consent to the marriage;
5) from which it follows that the two parties must be legal adults, legally competent to consent to a marriage;
5a) or, if not yet legal adults, must be of some minimum age and must have the approval of their legal guardian.

DO NOTE: in no wise do these requirements prevent persons afflicted with homosexual desire from marrying -- the point being that the leftists' primary charge against marriage in the present phase of their centuries-long war to destroy marriage is a deliberate lie. But then, The Lie has always been the preferred tool of leftists in their continual war against what is.


Now, consider the above tendentious argument for homosexual "marriage" in conjunction with the above given requirements for, and definition of, marriage.

Clearly, in order to pretend that a homosexual "marriage" is a real marriage, we must pretend that sub-items 1a) and 1b) are not the first requirement of a marriage. Moreover, as homosexual "unions" do not, and cannot, result in the issue of children, then most of the sub-points of 0) must be removed from the social meaning of marriage. Similarly, as homosexual "long-term relationships" are emphatically *not* about sexual exclusivity, then item 2a), and indeed the very definition of marriage as an "exclusive life union", must be denigrated, even moreso than has already been done via "no-fault" divorce.


But, if sub-items 1a) and 1b) can be removed as requirements for a real marriage, why cannot requirement 1) be removed entirely? Who says that a marriage may be contracted between two, and only two, persons? Hell, who says that a marriage may be contracted only between persons?

And -- as everyone knows ... despite that some of us have (leftist) political reasons to lie about the matter -- we are already seeing people "marrying" animals and inanimate objects and multiple "partners".


Why cannot requirement 2) be removed? Who says that a marriage may not be contracted by a person already married to someone else?

And -- as everyone knows ... despite that some of us have (leftist) political reasons to lie about the matter -- we are already seeing people advocating that polygamous "marriages" and "open" "marriages" are just as real as real marriages.


Why cannot requirement 3) be removed? Who says that a marriage may be contracted only by two persons who are not within a prohibited degree of biological or familial relationship to one another?

And -- as everyone knows ... despite that some of us have (leftist) political reasons to lie about the matter -- we are already seeing people advocating that incestuous "long-term relationships" may be just as validly marriages as real marriages.

Gentle Reader may recall that I have "predicted" that once the meaning of marriage has been deliberately destroyed in the name of a false "equality", we will be seeing people "marrying" their heirs, so as to evade estate taxes.

Already we see a case of an adoptive 'father' "marrying" his adoptive 'son' -- and the whole point of the adoption was "estate planning".

What? You say that these two men were not *really* father and son, despite that they had obtained a state-issued document stating that they were, in fact, father and son? But, then you turn around and say that, now, they *really are* man and husband, simply because they have obtained a state-issued document (as forced upon the polity by unelected and unaccountable judges) stating that they are, in fact, married to one another?

So, which is it?

If the issuance of the document of legal adoption really did make these two men father and son, and if the issuance of a marriage license really did make them married, then we *already* have the legal precedent of a publicly acknowledged, incestuous "marriage".

If the issuance of the document of legal adoption did *not* really make these two men father and son, then by what token does the subsequent issuance of a marriage license really make them married?


Why cannot requirement 4) be removed? Who says that a marriage may be contracted only by two persons who willingly consent to the marriage? Who says that the "marriages" that ISIS commits upon captured women are not real marriages?

And -- as everyone knows ... despite that some of us have (leftist) political reasons to lie about the matter -- we will soon be seeing people advocating this very thing here in America.


Why cannot requirement 5) be removed? Who says that a marriage may be contracted only by two persons who are adults, possessing the legal capacity to consent to the marriage? Who says that the "marriages" that ISIS commits upon captured girls are not real marriages?

And -- as everyone knows ... despite that some of us have (leftist) political reasons to lie about the matter -- we will soon be seeing people advocating this very thing here in America: both by Moslems and by NAMBLA types.



Recall, the argument from Mr Reppert's original post, and my posted response to it --
(Interestingly enough, the above case seems to be one of the stronger reasons in support of same-sex marriage, since it points out that in heterosexual cases like this one, the government doesn't hand out licenses based on what they perceive to be moral or not, either on religious grounds or on any other grounds).
The (ahem) argument given above begs the very point at question. Moreover, it commits one to a slippery-slope that can only end in the destruction of the institution of marriage.

But then, that it the whole point of "gay" mirage.
And recall, after listing the requirements for contracting a real marriage, I had pointed out that in no wise do these requirements prevent persons afflicted with homosexual desire from marrying.

Just just as, per the argument Mr Reppert presented in his post, The State does not refuse to issue a marriage license (subsequent to his divorce) to the adulterous couple, neither does The State -- nor ever Christianity, for that matter -- enquire whether, for instance, the male party to a marriage would rather "dip his wick" in "strange flesh".

Real marriage has never been prohibited to homosexual persons, and the rule has always been the same for everyone: one man, one woman. What? Are we going to pretend that heterosexual men(/women) have been permitted to "marry" other men(/women), and that only homosexual men(/women) have not?

So, redefining the requirements for, and meaning of, marriage is *not* a matter of "equality before the law". For there is not, nor never has been, any legal, or moral, prohibition of homosexual persons marrying.

The truth is, "gay" activists do not *want* to marry: they are leftists and they want advance the leftist project to destroy marriage. The current strategy of the leftists is to define marriage out of existence.

So, the issue is not "equality before the law" with respect to marriage. Rather, the point at dispute is "what is marriage? what is its purpose? what are its requirements?"

Now, we already have answers to those questions, and have had for thousands of years: those answers are the foundation of our very civilization. The leftists are disputing those answers. Therefore, as they are disputing long-settled, and indeed fundamental, matters, it is incumbent upon them to show that the answers we have are wrong.

The sort of argument Mr Reppert presented in his post does not even attempt to show that the answers upon which our very civilization is built are wrong; such arguments simply assume the long-settled answers are wrong: question-begging.

==============
If we, as a society, insist upon pretending that the leftists, in general, and the "gay" activists, in particular, are not intentionally and deliberately lying about the matter, then we will be cooperating in the lie. And we will find, and in not too many years, that what we have agreed to is the total destruction of marriage; which was the leftists' goal, all along.

===========
If that is reasonable, then could someone who object morally to a same-sex marriage do the same thing, since they are being asked, really, to be part of the celebration of something they don't feel right about celebrating?
This is dangerous ground for "liberals" (i.e. "soft" leftists) and most "conservatives" (i.e. "soft" "liberals"): for to reason in this manner may eventually lead one to a certain unwelcome, yet correct, conclusion: namely that our "anti-discrimination" laws are both immoral and unConstitutional. That is, such "laws" are illegal, with respect both the moral law and to the very basis and legitimacy of the American government.

Continue reading ...

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Judge: "Choose life" is "patently offensive"

Wintery Knight: Clinton-appointed judge rules that pro-life license plates are “patently offensive” -- a culture that refuses to choose life has chosen death. And our rulers are certainly intent upon destroying the nation.

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The reason it's logically impossible to reason with 'these people'

As as follow-up to the previous post, the reason it's logically impossible to reason with 'these people' is that were they to honestly engage the issue, that honest engagement would compel them to acknowledge that atheism is false. Notice, I I didn't say that honest engagement with the issue would compel them to acknowledge that Jesus Christ is God -- that's a further issue, that cannot be addressed until first acknowledging that there is a Creator-God.

In the prior post, I presented the exchange, such as it is, of (the ever polite) Victor Reppert attempting to reason with JDHuey.

In this post, I'm give you mean ol' me, who has no need to be polite to liars, and worse than liars. In this post, copied verbatim from what I posted on Reppert's blog, I give you, once again, the proof that atheism is false ... as demonstrarted by those very logical entailments that JDHuey denies that anyone has ever shown.

some liar:"Nobody on this blog has ever shown that there are any logical entailments resulting from God not existing. People here state that they have, but they are mistaken."
Now, understand this: his assertion of false (it is, in fact, a lie). Many people, including Reppert (and me) have shown that there are propositions logically entailed by denying the reality of God, and have shown that these logical entailments are false.

VR:"The entailments would have to be ..."

You're trying to reason with someone who will lie to your face? This fellow has been posting here for months: it is not ignorace that explains how he comes to say that no one on this blog has ever shown that there are any logical entailments of God's non-existence. And it clearly isn't stupidity that explains his saying it. The only option left is that he is speaking from a stance of dishonesty. And, due to the particular nature of the subject matter, his lying isn't *merely* lying, he's engaging in intellectual dishonesty (aka: intellectual hypocrisy).

VR:"The entailments would have to be from the fact that mental states are not fundamental to the universe. This doesn't entail theism directly, though it does rule out the philosophies of mind that most atheists hold. Nagel would be an exception."

Your first sentence is not false, but it it incomplete; and your second sentence, the conclusion based on it, is false.

There are no such things as "mental states" if there are no such things as minds. So, if atheism were the truth about the nature of reality, then it is not *simply* that it is a "fact that mental states are not fundamental to the universe", but rather that it is a fact that there is no *mind* who is "fundamental to the universe" (and, after all, that's just a restatement of Western-style materialistic atheism).

And, if it is a fact that there is no mind who is "fundamental to the universe", then it is also a fact, as it is a logical entailment of the previous (alleged) fact, that agent freedom is not "fundamental to the universe". That is, Western-style materialistic atheism directly entails absolute mechanical physicalist/materialistic determinism. (Any non-materialistic atheism also entails determinism; for the determinism isn't "in" the matter, it's in the denial that there is a mind who is fundamental to reality),

So, if atheism is the truth about the nature of reality, then *every* event and state-change that may occur in reality is mechanically determined by prior events and states.

Now, if *every* event and state-change is mechanically determined by prior events and states, then there are no such things as agents; for the single most salient fact about an 'agent' is that he is not wholly determined: neither by the mechanical results of prior events and states, nor by "random" (i.e. "uncaused") events and states.

Or, to limit the scope of our investigation to "the universe", as you have done: if atheism is the truth about what is "fundamental to the universe", then *every* event and state-change of "the universe" is mechanically determined by prior physical events and states.

Again, if *every* event and state-change is mechanically determined by prior physical events and states, then there are no such things as agents, as in the above more general demonstration.

But, *we* are agents. We *all* know that we are agents: so, when that intellectual hypocrite with whom VR was attempting to reason, or any of the others, demands that someone "prove" that we are agents, claiming that this isn't a self-evident fact, then you know that you're dealing with someone who will assert that 0=1 if that suits his purpose: that is, not a mere liar, but a an intellectually dishonest person, an intellectual hypocrite.

Notwithstanding that, we can, as it turns out, prove that we are agents, using the method of proof by contradiction (which is the method I am presently using to prove that God is).

For, if we are not agents, then we are wholly deternimed by prior events and states. That's just a restatement of the definition of non-agency.

Now, if we are we are wholly deternimed by prior events and states, then we do not, and cannot, engage in acts reasoning. For, when engaging in an act of reasoning, the proper movement from 'A' to 'B' is not determined by any prior event or state (whether physical/material or not), but rather is demanded by the logical relationship obtaining between 'A' and 'B'. Gentle Reader will notice that I didn't say that the movement from 'A' to 'B' is determined by the logical relationship: this is because, as we are agents, as we are indeed free, we are free to refuse to make the movement demanded by logic-and-reason: that is, we are free to engage in intellectual dishonesty.

But, if we are not agents, that is, if we are wholly deternimed by prior events and states, then while the words, "If 'A' then 'B'; 'A', therefore, 'B'" might come out our mouths, there was on our part no decision to say it, and there was no prior act of reasoning behind our saying it. If one says it, he says it because prior events and states determined that the words come out his mouth. It could as well have been the words "If 'A' then 'B'; 'A', therefore, 'tomato'" that came out one's mouth.

But, the foregoing demonstrates an act of reasoning (and valid reasoning, at that, however much the intellectual hypocrites deny it). So, since we *can* reason, it is necessarily true that we are agents, that we are free, that we are not wholly determined by prior events and states.

So, as we have seen, one of the logical entailments of God-denial is affirmation of the assertion that we are not agents. And, as we have seen, another of the logical entailments of God-denial is affirmation of the assertion that we cannot engage in acts reasoning.

Another logical entailment of God-denial is that we cannot know any truths. The proof of this is as above, and I'm not going to walk the reader through it again. This is to say that we cannot know anything. And thus, we cannot speak the truth; nor can we lie, that is we cannot choose to speak what we know, or reasonably ought to know, to be untrue. Certainly, words may come out of our mouths that an agent, if one existed, may recognize are being true or false. But, if God-denial is the truth about the nature of reality, then there are no agents, and *we* cannot recognize the words coming out our mouths as being true or false, nor as having any meaning whatsoever.

The ultimate logical entailment of God-denial is that we ourselves don't even exist. I've walked through the reasoning behind that statement before; and I'm not going to do it again here (moveover, Gentle Reader is intelligent enough to see that it follows from the above).

When a so-called atheist says something like, and tries to convince you to believe that, "The self is an illusion", while his statement is internally incoherent (and is, indeed, self-refuting), he *is* generally trying his best to express this ultimate logical entailment of God-denial. That is, if there is no God, then there is no you!.

But, the proposition that you are not is false, and you *know* that it is false. Therefore, as the proposition that you are not is logically entailed by the proposition that God is not, it logically follows that the falsehood of the entailment proves the falsehood of initial premise: that is, the proposition that God is not is false, and you *know* that it is false. And, if the proposition that God is not is false, then the contrary proposition, that God is, is true; and you *know* that it is true.

Therefor: no man has any excuse for continuing to deny the reality of God. All men who continue to refuse to affirm the reality of God -- both 'atheists' and 'agnostics' -- are doing so because they *choose* to be intellectually dishonest on this matter. And, since this is the most fundamental question about the nature of reality, and of ourselves, it follows that no one should ever trust that any of them are telling the truth about anything. Certainly, they *may* tell the truth about some matter that doesn't immediately seem related to the ultimate question, but it is irrational of you to trust that they are doing so, for you *know* that they willingly lie about this question behind all other questions.


that liar, again:"If God does not exist then the world is exactly like it is. We simply have no need for that hypothesis."

If God is not, then there are no such things as hypotheses.

If God is not, then it is no lie (*) if I assert that JDHuey kidnaps and then rapes and murders babies, and then eats the corpses to hide the evidence. If God is not, then were I to assert this thing, that is simply "the world [being] exactly like it is".

(*) In this context, even actually making such a statement is not a lie at all, even had I not made it clear that I'm not making any such statement, for it would have been made to demonstrate the point of what is entailed by the lying fool's assertion that God is not.

And, there is one last thing I wish to add -- JDHuey's (ahem) refutation of the above arguement: "llion, Or it could be the case that I and the others are simply correct and you are wrong (and perhaps delusional)."

Recall: his assertion with which we started was that no one on that blog had ever shown that there are any logical entailments of denying the reality of God. Even had his claim been true that no one ever had, in the series of posts copied above, I had shown some of the logical entailments of denying the reality of God.

And his response was to demonstrate that his initial assertion of there having been no logical entailments of atheism ever presented on the blog really means, "I will never so much as consider any of the logical entailments of asserting atheism is the truth about the nature of reality".

It's logically impossible to reason with such people -- they already *know* the truth of the matter; the problem is that they will not acknowledge the truth.

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It's logically impossible to reason with these people

The 'these people' with whom it is logically impossible to reason being the so-called atheists one encounters on the internet. And the 'when' of it is *whenever* the topic is clearly seen as related to God, or "religion", or the logical implications of denying the reality of the Creator-God.

Consider this exchange --

Ilíon: "While there are certainly 'atheists' who are *generally* honest, no 'atheist' is honest with respect the very question that defines them.

Even if there were no positive arguments for the reality of God, the obvious inescapable logical entailments of denying God prove that atheism is false. SInce there is no excluded middle, as "God is not" is false, then "God is" is true.

There is no way around this.
"

JDHuey: "Nobody on this blog has ever shown that there are any logical entailments resulting from God not existing. People here state that they have, but they are mistaken.
If God does not exist then the world is exactly like it is. We simply have no need for that hypothesis.

The AFR is flawed and certainly not obvious. Everything we know about how the mind works indicates that it is derived solely from our embodied selves - there are no ghosts in the machine.
"

Victor Reppert: "The entailments would have to be from the fact that mental states are not fundamental to the universe. This doesn't entail theism directly, though it does rule out the philosophies of mind that most atheists hold. Nagel would be an exception."

Victor Reppert: "In fact, one atheist on this site defended a Nagel-type atheist position, and two of his fellow atheists suspected him of being a Christian in disguise."

JDHuey: "This is the rub. I do not remember that anyone on this blog has really demonstrated that a mental process as envisioned by an atheist philosophy of mind has been ruled out. It has been asserted many times but never demostrated.

The arguments put forward by Searle are hardly convincing. In fact, when I read books that cover research in consciousnes by people like Stanislas Dehaene or Antonio Damasio, it becomes evident that a lot of the objections by Searle are based on faulty conceptions of how the brain works.

Even you seem to have a faulty concept of a 'brain state'. It seems to me that you use that term as if the brain were a static system that transitions from one state to another. But the brain is a continuously dynamic system with massively interacting networks. You can say that the brain is in a state of paying attention or is asleep or is aroused or is calm but those states are processes not configurations.
"

Victor Reppert: "Perhaps I can put this as follows. Suppose I say that I can build a cat out of legos. I mean a real cat, not something that looks like a cat. And, I have lots of legos, and can put those legos into many interesting configurations. Perhaps they even function dynamically, as opposed to statically. It seems to me that no matter how complex these lego-formations are, it won't produce a cat, simply because there is a fundamental difference in kind between legos and cats.

It seems to me that no matter how much detail you use to specify the state of the brain, so long as you don't fudge categories, no mental state is entailed by all the physical state-descriptions. The physical always leaves the mental underdetermined. Now we can project the mental into the physical, but then we are going to need a mind to do the projecting, and so we aren't really going from the physical to the mental in the required way.
"

JDHuey: "The problem is not that Legos are not like cats but that Legos are not like atoms. A cat is not the same kind of thing as an atom but it is composed of atoms.

If you have something that can serve the same function as an atom and you configure them into the same visual and functional configuration that we call a 'cat'. And the results looks like a cat and acts in all ways like a cat, then in what way is it not a cat?
"

This "dialogue" could continue forever, and while JDHuey will certainly contradict himself (increasingly so as it continues), he will *never* admit to anything. He will make all manner of assertions (never backing them up) that are false, but need to be true for atheism to be the truth about the nature of reality, demanding Victor Reppert prove them false, and never admitting when Reppert has done so.

It is logically impossible to reason with people who do that sort of thing.


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Monday, May 25, 2015

A way I'd never thought to put it

'News' at Uncommon Descent: In case you wondered what difference Darwinism was making to popular culture
Oh, and this: Evolving a More Nurturing Capitalism: A New Powell Memo:
Is it possible that evolutionary theory can explain how the U.S. came to have the highest levels of child poverty and economic inequality of any developed nation?
Hmmm. A lot might depend on what “child poverty” and “economic inequality” mean in context.

Canada shares the world longest undefended border with the United States. But we almost never get starving Americans asking for refuge.

Weird?
I'd never thought of that particular response to the leftist lies about "poverty" in America. But, it's so obvious, once it's pointed out.

I mean, I'm aware that people are always trying to get into America, and that you never see people desperate to get out of America. But, I'd never thought of the issue specifically with respect to Canada (*) -- why, if America is the hellhole the leftists insist it is, do we not see masses of refugees trying to flee into Canada, which we are always being told is the paradise we need be emulate?

Shoot, even in Detroit, which is a hellhole, and which is just a bridge-crossing away, you don't see refugees trying to get into Canada.

(*) confirming a common Canadian complaint about Americans that we just don't think about them, or theor whole vast country.


Continue reading ...

What were they thinking?

John C. Wright: Fire Gates

What was the board of directors of the Boy Scouts of America thinking when they selected Robert Gates to be President of the BSA? I mean, considering what he did to the military as Obama's Secretary of Defence (*), what in the hell did the Board imagine he'd try to do the the BSA?

Yet, this is no new thing; and, frankly, I'm more than a little surprised that the BSA has held out against Big Gay as long as they have, unlike the GSA, which long ago was subverted by organized lesbianism (**). For, even when I was a Scout, way back in the 70's (***), it was my opinion that the bureaucracy of the BSA wasn't really opposed to the destruction leftism was unleashing on the nation.

As one of the commentors on Wright's blog noted, the BSA have a hard time getting adult men to volunteer as leaders. This was true when I was a kid (it's the reason our troop folded) and I expect it's even more a problem today. At the same time, like all charitable organizations, landing a sinecure in its bureaucracy is a magnet for the sort of people we call "do-gooders", and worse, "social justice warriors". As with *all* charitable organizations, if both these sorts are not consciously and deliberately excluded, they will eventually take over -- aand then actively exclude those who do not share their twisted mind-set -- and they will deliberately subvert the original goals of the organization. This is what happened to the GSA.


(*) which title is itself Orwellian. The proper titles are 'Department of War' and 'Secretary of War'.

(**) You knew that, right? You knew that when you bought those over-priced cookies (that aren't all that tasty, anyway) you were financially subsidizing an organization whose sole remaining goal is to turn your daughters into miserable man-hating lesbians, right?

(***) My troop disbanded after I and a friend (the son of the previous Scout Master, and brother-in-law of the last Scout Master of the troop) were awarded Eagle rank in 1975. I had also been inducted into the Order of the Arrow a few years previous.

By nature, I'm not a joiner. I joined the Scouts when I was 11, because my "cousin", the one whose life I saved later that year, asked me to join his troop. When I was 12, I wanted to quit, but my father wouldn't let me (though my younger brother quit a year or two after he joined) ... This was probably related to his forcing me to go by myself into various utility offices, when my age was still in single digits, to pay the family's bills: he thought I was "shy" and he was trying to make me not shy.

In truth, I'm not at all shy; I'm reserved, which is a very different thing: until I think someone (or something) is worth my time, I prefer to keep him/it at arm's length. People always seem to want more from me than I can give them; keeping them as a distance is an attempt to minimize their disappointment in me.

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

It's not about cakes

It's not about cakes (or pizzas), and it's not about wedding bands, and it's not about "equality", and it's cerainly not about tolerance (that's so old-school, anyway). It's about forcing you to approve the perversions by which they choose to define themselves: So, a couple of Canadian sexual perverts (*) walk into a jewelers

(*) is "Canadian" and "sexual pervert" a redundancy, as I've seen some (jokingly) claim?


Edit:
Douglas Wilson: A Mound of Pink Cotton Balls

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

One year later

Some punks broke into my house yesterday (the Friday before Memorial Day). A neighbor caught them; I understand that three of the four are in custody, and that I'll be able to get wgatever of my belongings the police recovered on Tuesday (the offices aren't open on weekends or holidays).

Last year, someone broke into the house on the Friday following Memorial Day. I was able to figure out, for the trail they left, who it was. But, nothing ever came of that. Those guys made a mess (a think every sheet of paper in the house was tossed), but they didn't destroy things. This set of punks deliberately destroyed things.


Edit (2015/05/27):
Please pray for my neighbors who discovered the future Democratic voters breaking into my house, and indeed, helped the police capture them. The Young Democrats have already been released (the oldest may still be in custody, it was unclear from what the Crime Lab woman said to me) ... and they have already retaliated against the neighbor. So far, they've injured one of their dogs. I fear they may try to injure the boy (who is small for is age, and is only one, not a mob), or try to set their house on fire.

By the way, I *still* don't have my property the police recovered. I had taken Tuesday off to get it -- because the officer had indicated to my neighbor that I'd be able to get it -- BUT, he hadn't told anyone at the police department that it was OK to return my property to me ... and Tuesday was his day off.

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Friday, May 22, 2015

The necessity of natural law for medicine

Lydia McGrew: The necessity of natural law for medicine

As I was musing on Steorts's cavalier treatment of natural law and wondering what sort of response might be effective with someone this dismissive, ...

Steorts's dismissal of natural law arguments against homosexuality purports to be based on the difficulty or impossibility of deriving an "ought" from an "is." But no one is saying that one can take any random "is" statement and derive an "ought" from it. For example, no one is saying that, from the fact that male lions tend to kill the cubs of other male lions, it is good for male lions to kill the cubs of other male lions.

What Steorts and others who dismiss the natural law tradition en toto really need is the much stronger statement that no teleological understanding of the human body has any normative force whatsoever. What the shrugging rejection of natural law arguments implies is total skepticism about the proper goods of the human body.

I submit that such a premise completely destroys the medical profession.

If we have no way of looking at the human body and telling how it ought to be functioning based on teleology, then on what basis do we say that it is good for eyes to see, ears to hear, and legs to walk? Why should a doctor commit himself to healing an infection rather than encouraging the infection? Why should physical therapists help people to regain muscle tone in a weakened limb?

We could of course back everything up to the mere fact of human desire. People want to be able to see, to use their limbs, or not to have a fever, so physicians should help them attain these personal goals. But that would completely trivialize the profession. It would remove entirely the distinction between cosmetic or even harmful surgery and the healing arts. On such a view it would be no more a good medical act to re-attach a detached retina (if that is what the patient wants) than to gouge out a working eye (if that is what the patient wants). That view of medicine is ethically insane. And there is no reason in any event why doctors should use their skill to be mere robotic technicians actualizing arbitrary patient desires.
The practice of medicine requires the assumption that there is such a thing as healing and physical proper function.
There is a psychological pathological condition whereby the afflicted person falsely believes that a perfectly normal limb "doesn't belong" to himself, isn't a proper part of his body. Frequently, these people will try to get a doctor to amputate the limb -- until recently, no doctor in the world would consent to be so used (*) (**) -- and, failing to get that "help", they may do things to injure themselves, so as to force a doctor to amputate the limb to save their lives.



(*) I became aware of this condition several years ago following news reports that some so-called doctor (in Britain, as I recall) was putting forth the claim that doctors *should* do the amputations, rather than to seek to get the person the mental-and-spiritual help he really needs.

This is a perfect example of what Mrs McGrew is talking about.

(**) I expect that Gentle Reader can see the similarity to "sex reassignment" surgery for (as Kathy Shaidle calls them) "mentally ill castration fetishists", such as Bruce Jenner.

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

She's 'hot'

*Warning, there is a crude word employed in this post; it's the one that women really, really hate*

So entrenched in our culture is the leftist anti-ethos of the so-called Sexual Revolution that even people who like to think themselves opposed to it (and to leftism in general) generally will not see its vile effects, even when directly brought to their attention ... and will, in fact, defend those vile effects (because you can't have the promised sexual "freedom" without the vile effects).

The Other McCain has a recent post called Men Cannot Be Feminists. And while his post is worth reading, what I wish to bring to Gentle Reader's attention is in the comments -- Quoting RSM, I observed:

McCain: "[By the dogmas of femiinism] ... Under no condition should “female sexuality”ever make men happy."

Ilíon: "Unfortunately, relatively normal women *also* think like this. Why do you think they chop off their hair?"

Now, as sure as the sun will rise in the morning, *any* comment by a mere man that can be taken as lacking in full-throated praise for *any* decision that *any* woman makes is going to ruffle the feathers of two groups of people: 1) women who will not abide the implication that women are sinners, just like men; and, 2) men who will not abide the implication that women are sinners, just like men.

On the particular topic of women's hair, or, to be more precise, men's preferences about women's hair, Gentle Reader may recall the reaction to Drew's post, Women's hair. So, if you've been around the block, you just know something similar is going to happen.

And, sure enough: DeadMessenger: "Hmph. Because that crap is hot all summer when it's hanging in your face and on your neck. And also sometimes you have to cut it off when it gets damaged because of chemical processing or sun.

But of course, I myself look frisky and pixie-ish when my hair is short, and exotic and mysterious when it's long, but either way, I'm smokin' hot, buddy.
"

First, notice that -- just as with Drew -- I didn't say that women can't have their hair short. As Drew explicitly did, I implicitly said that we men enjoy women's hair long. And I expressed the conviction that (one of the main reasons) they chop it off is to deprive us of that pleasure.

Now, isn't it odd that "that crap is hot all summer when it's hanging in your face and on your neck" doesn't seem to bother the average woman until *after* a man has committed his life to her maintenance? Apparently, when a woman is trying the *get* the attention (and commitment, let us not forget) of some poor sap of a man, the horrible discomfort seems to be a minor thing, becoming unbearable only at some ill-defined time after the nuptials.

How, oh how, did our great-grandmothers ever survive -- before air-conditioning -- when even long-married women kept their hair long?

It's almost as though someone had dis-invented putting your hair *up* -- which, incidentally, *also* gives pleasure to men, because then we can see your necks.

As for the other proffered excuse for chopping off their hair, "also sometimes you have to cut it off when it gets damaged because of chemical processing or sun" -- did *we* ask women to destroy their hair with chemicals, or to fry it in the sun (where the intense light reacts with the chemicals they've put on it?) Of course not? So, why do they do it? Because they are competing with one another in a game of their own devising to "prove" who has more "sex appeal" -- with, of course, no input allowed from the ostensible targets of the cut-throat competition. Really, it's the same Queen Bee competition they were having in junior high school.

A guy replied to 'DeadMessenger': Steve Skubinna: "Well, yeah, but he wasn't talking about you.

It's those other women. And uh, by "other women" I am not implying, er...

Okay, this is me, shutting up now.
" I *think* this guy is craftily pointing out the near-universal antipathy women have for any man expressing a manly opinion about the sexes.

Concerning hair, I replied to 'DeadMessenger': "A woman's long hair shouts *WOMAN* to us men. And, on some level, women do understand something of the effect their long hair has on us, how much we enjoy it. This is why when a relatively normal woman decides to start pushing her man away, one of the first things she'll do is chop off her hair."

I witnessed this with one of my nieces. She had a good (albeit not perfect) man, who had committed his life to supporting not only her and their child, but also her two older children by other men (*). But, then she got bored with domesticity and decided to destroy her marriage. I realized where she was headed when she chopped off her hair (which wasn't all that long, in any event), ostensibly to donate it to be made into wigs for children experiencing the effects of chemo-therapy.


There was a second sub-topic that arose from my initial comment, and this is really the main topic of this post. Recall, at the start of this post, I said
So entrenched in our culture is the leftist anti-ethos of the so-called Sexual Revolution that even people who like to think themselves opposed to it (and to leftism in general) generally will not see its vile effects, even when directly brought to their attention ... and will, in fact, defend those vile effects (because you can't have the promised sexual "freedom" without the vile effects).

Recall the comment from DeadMessenger: "But of course, I myself look frisky and pixie-ish when my hair is short, and exotic and mysterious when it's long, but either way, I'm smokin' hot, buddy."

I replied: "No man *ever* describes any woman he loves or respects as "hot", much less "smokin' hot"."

For witness, I call Gentle Reader's attention to this (vile) commercial for 'Hot Pockets' -- the reaction of the brother of "Hot Sister Lisa" is intelligible *only* because what I said is true: "No man *ever* describes any woman he loves or respects as "hot", much less "smokin' hot"" -- to call a woman "hot" is to say, "consider this woman as though she were merely a cunt-on-legs"

QuarterMaster replied: "The hottest woman in the world is the one who accepts your love and returns it with the same intensity."

I replied: "Sure. And the "hotter" that love, the less a man will use "hot" to describe it."

QuarterMaster replied: "Perhaps you will. Others have a different opinion."

I replied: "Do you really go around telling other men that your S.O. is "smokin' hot"? Assuming you have any, do you describe daughter or sister that way? If some guy were to say to you, concerning your daughter or sister (whom he did not know is your daughter or sister), "Man! Will you look at that "smokin' hot" babe!", are you *really* going to react as though he had not expressed great disrespect toward her?"

QuarterMaster replied: "I would then tell him "that's my wife.""

I replied: "I expect you would, as most people would, for that is the culturally accepted/expected rebuke when someone refers to a woman one loves-and-respects as "smokin' hot"."

QuarterMaster replied: "It wouldn't be a rebuke, however."

I replied: "Nowww I get it: you *will not* admit the truth on this."

And then I decided to share all this with my Reader, because I think the whole exchange is a good illustration of something I am always harping on -- conservatives will never be able to effectively oppose leftism until they free their minds of the leftist assumptions in which we are all marinated almost from birth.

QuarterMaster's hypothetical response to someone hypothetically calling his wife "hot" makes no sense except:
1) as a rebuke;
2) as a trophy-boast;
3) as a combination of both.

I turned on the TV in my hotel room the other day and briefly landed on Cedric The Entertainer's show (I think it's called 'Soul Man'). An older man (Cedric's character's father, I think) had gone to his daughter-in-law's (Cedric's character's wife, I think) beauty shop to get a hair cut (singular, that being part of the humor) because "the barber shop" had closed down. Then, a couple of his buddies from "the barber shop" came in and started chatting-up Cedric's character's wife before her father-in-law had completely introduced her. That is, he had told them her name and that she owned the shop, but he hadn't yet said, "she's my son's wife". And when he *did* say, "she's my son's wife", the meaning of it is clear to all of us: "don't talk to her, or about her, in that manner"


Edit 2015/05/18:
Consider, again, 'QuarterMaster's' claim that if some guy were to say of his wife, "Man! Will you look at that "smokin' hot" babe!", he'd reply to the guy, "That's my wife" and that it wouldn't be meant as a rebuke to the guy for talking about his wife in that manner.

Why is 'QuarterMaster' able to pretend that? He's able to pretend it for precisely the reason I gave and that 'QuarterMaster' is disputing: "... for that is the culturally accepted/expected rebuke when someone refers to a woman one loves-and-respects as "smokin' hot"."

Now, for whatever his need to dispute what I'd said and to pretend that his hypothetical response to the hypothetical comment about his wife would not be meant as a rebuke, the fact remains that the guy is going to understand the response as a rebuke. And he's going to stop talking like that about the woman (whom another man has implicitly asserted is deserving of respectful treatment), and will probably try to apologize profusely.

But, what if he doesn't? What if, like 'QuarterMaster', the guy also pretends that that response to that comment is not a rebuke? What if he keeps talking about 'QuarterMaster's' wife in that manner? Does anyone *really* think 'QuarterMaster' is going continue to pretend that that manner of talking about a woman he cares about is just harmless banter, rather than extreme disrespect?


===================
(*) By the way, loving other men's children comes easier to men than loving other women's children comes to women. Why do you think that the folk-lore "wicked step-mother" was invented (by women, let it be noted), but not the "wicked step-father"?

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

On Invoking Non-Physical Mental States to “Solve the Problem” of Consciousness

Barry Arrington as Uncommon Descent: On Invoking Non-Physical Mental States to “Solve the Problem” of Consciousness

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The truth about 'the problem of evil'

There is a wildly popular "argument" (*) against the reality of the Biblical Creator-God, generally called "the problem of evil", but also called "the problem of pain" and "the problem of suffering". So popular is this "argument", that it is frequently called "the single strongest argument for atheism".

I wish to share with Gentle Reader this incisive comment concerning the so-called argument -- Blog & Mablog Tired of Paradise
"Adam did not rebel against God because he was tired of living in a slum. No, his children live in slums because he grew tired of living in Paradise . . . The cause of the evil is our revolt against the good, which we routinely justify by pointing at the evil" (Rules, p. 135).

Here is a video of some fool named Steven Fry illustrating a typical deployment of "the problem of evil/pain/suffering". What, do you think, are the odds that he puts on that much a show about abortion? What, do you think, are the odds that he donates *any* of his own money to charities that effectively battle the causes of childhood blindness? Oh, come on! You've been around the block: you know, without even Googling him, that he works himself into a white-hot rage only if anyone suggests reducing the number of abortions, or not forcing the tax-payer to fund them (which amounts to reducing the occurrence); and that he'll heatedly blather-on about "greedy" conservatives who wish to reduce the size of The State, which, among other thing, involves reducing everyone's tax burden, even as he shelters his own income, which is more substantial than yours and mine, from taxation.

In other words, to the likes of Steven Fry, it's the pose that matters, not the substance or facts.


(*) It's not really an argument, as can be seen by the fact that having been given a rational-and-logical answer to the proposed problem, the person who poses it is *never* satisfied that he has received an answer. This is because he's not posing a rational-and-logical question, however much it may initially appear to be one.

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New Geico Commercial: 'When you're an [X], you [y]. It's what you do.'

Victor Reppert: Organized Disrespect

Victor Reppert: "John [Loftus], do you actually read your combox? When I got into the David Wood discussion, I was called intellectually dishonest, a Liar-4-Jezus, and then we get this gem ...

And you complain about Ilion???? I didn't think it was possible to make Ilion look like Miss Manners, but I see it done every day on Debunking Christianity
"

Ilíon: Surely, you've seen the new Geico commercial: "When you're an 'atheist', you lie. It's what you do."

====
By the way, "the David Wood discussion" to which Mr Reppert refers is the (ahem) discussion on Loftus' blog about this video -- it's a moving video, as they say.

As Michael ('Shadow to Light') says on the page to which I linked
When someone becomes a Christian, what sets the stage is the following intuitive insight: There is something very wrong with me; I need to change.

When someone becomes an atheist, what sets the stage if the following intuitive insight: There is something very wrong with them; they need to be stopped.

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Monday, May 11, 2015

Equality: the wrong perspective

Bruce McQuain at 'Questions and Observations': Equality: the wrong perspective -- "Instrumental position? I’m not sure what that means, but in the larger sense, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time a philosopher got it wrong because everything was based on a false premise. That somehow the “family” is at the root of inequality of opportunity. In reality, as you’ll see, he’s not at all interested in equality of opportunity. He’s more interested in equality of outcome. To make that happen, you have to control the variables.

But there’s more to this examination by philosophers Adam Swift and Harry Brighouse. The premise is nonsense as history has proven. To their credit, Swift and Brighouse sort of get it, but they have a goal in mind, so they really don’t. They just hide the goal in a bunch of blathering about families and “equality” and attempt to convince you they’re pushing “equality of opportunity”.
"

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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Testing the waters

Gentle Reader may (or may not) know that I had "predicted", maybe about a year ago, that given current trends, the time would come -- I gave it five to ten years -- when the only way one could "prove" that one is not "homophobic" (especially if one is an attractive younger man) is to perform fellatio on demand.

Apropos to this -- I turned on the TV in my hotel room last night. Flipping through the dial, I briefly landed on Conon O'Brien's show. He and his side-kick (both of them) were miming and joking about giving a "hand job" to someone else. That didn't just happen, of course: it was scripted. That was their marching-orders for that evening's "entertainment".

How soon do you think it will be before "entertainers" are miming "giving head" on the talk shows?



Edit 2015/05/08:
On further reflection, I expect that Daniel Tosh of "Comedy" Central has already, at least once, mimed "giving head" on his show. The Moon didn't fall from the sky, so it's all good. Right?

This link doesn't play on this computer (likely an IE problem), but here is the episode in which Conan and Sidekick mime "churning butter" (as they were calling it for the "joke") Conan 2015/05/05

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Friday, May 1, 2015

LaPlace iff Plato

Kristor: LaPlace iff Plato -- wherein Kristor argues that "Naturalistic explanations can work as descriptions of actual causal relations among reals only if nominalism is false. ... But the falsity of nominalism entails the reality of the Forms. It entails supernaturalism."

Or, to put it another way: naturalistic explanations can work as descriptions of actual causal relations [amongst natural entities] if-and-only-if [philosophical naturalism and materialism] is false.

To put this yet another way: "Methodological Naturalism is able (to be used) to make true statements about reality if-and-only-if Philosophical Naturalism is false"

While I doubt that Kristor had this similarity in mind, Gentle Reader may recall my observation that "Atheism is a wordlview that *matters* only if it is false."


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