Search This Blog

Thursday, June 4, 2020

The problem with "the police"

The problem with "the police" is not "structural racism" or "systematic racism" or "the legacy of slavery" any other Democratic Party lie; the problem with "the police" is that the policing power is being used by *all* levels of government as a revenue-generating scheme. The problem with "the police" is that they are responding, as all humans do, to incentives ... but, the incentives are perverse.

Remove the perverse incentives, that is, take away the ability of government bureaucracies to profit by the fines and penalties they impose, and most of the problems with "the police" will solve themselves.

Here is one way that can be done --

When a citizen is fined by a government entity, the monies -- including "court costs" -- are forwarded to the local government where the citizen lives (*), where the total of those monies is used to reduce the tax burden of *all* citizens subject to that government entity. That is, the monies are not *added* into the budget of the government entity, but rather reduce the amount of the existing budget to be extracted directly from the citizens.

For example, property taxation is almost universal. If a county is scheduled to raise $10 million in property taxes, and the total fines and penalties imposed on the citizens of that county for that year somehow also amounted to $10 million, then no one would have to pay property tax that year, and the county would still have the amount for which it had budgeted.

(*) this is to remove the temptation to live off the backs of out-of-towners.

Continue reading ...

Friday, April 24, 2020

The Chinaman's Cough and me

I was a computer programmer my entire adult life. I've retired from that. Since last year, I've been working for a non-emergency medical transportation company (*), driving a wheel-chair van. Most of the people I transport(ed) are on dialysis, quite a few (whether or not on dialysis) are in nursing homes.

I was beginning to worry back in early March, both for my own safely, but even moreso for our clients. Back in those days, it was being reported that one might be infected and spreading spreading the virus for as much as two weeks before showing any symptoms oneself. My great fear wasn't that I'd catch it, but that I'd catch it and spread it without knowing I had it.

I had scheduled to be sure I wasn't working on Saturday, March 14; planning to go visit my family in Indiana. My sister called the afternoon of the 13th to suggest I delay the trip, in case I couldn't get gas for the return trip -- panic-buying hadn't yet hit my area in Ohio, and the various governments in the US had not yet announced that they were going to destroy the economy, but she suspected that that was on the way.

Then, that night, I woke up sick. So, I didn't go to work for the next week and a half. I was scheduled to work on Wednesday, March 25 -- one trip only (but the guy cancelled as I was on my way to get him): in that week and a half that I'd been home mildly sick, everything had crashed, and just about the only trips my company was still making were for dialysis.

Since there wasn't enough work for all the drivers, and since I can get by without the income from that job, I told them to give preference to drivers who need the income. So, for the next couple of weeks, they called me every day with the message that I wasn't scheduled to work the next day. Then, a couple of weeks ago, they shut down operations entirely ... until July 1 (or even later).

So, I haven't worked, or earned any money, since March 13. And, while I can get by without that income -- at any rate, until the economy collapses and destroys my IRAs -- I *had* budgeted for it, including that I'd not even need to touch the IRAs, but rather let them grow.

I don't *know* that I've already had the Kung Flu (if I did, for me it presented as a very mild flu) -- for, despite that they seemingly have a levy request at every (**) election (**'), the local Board of Health (as also the State Board) was utterly useless. The bureaucrats didn't even extend their hours ... which were already shorter than people with real jobs work.

(*) I could easily be earning 2 or even 3 times what they pay me were I to un-retire.

(**) At any rate, seemingly every off-election, preferably the primary. The only time a levy request is on the ballot during a general election is if it has previously failed to pass.

(**') Either: "This is not a new levy, so renew it!" or, "This new levy will cost the average homeowner only $.35 a day, so pass it!"

Continue reading ...

Sunday, January 12, 2020

What if?

What if --

What if "Supreme Leader" Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is not *really* the ruler of the Iranian regime? What if the *real* ruler of Iran was the regime's late terrorist mastermind, General Qassem Soleimani?

What if there is no clear successor not only to the Iranian regime's terrorist-in-chief, but also none to the entire terrorist regime itself?

What if the Iranian people -- who clearly hate the regime -- are now able to overthrow it, as its various members flail about, each trying to assert his own supremacy?

What if Trump has just done more to promote peace in the world than any US president since Ronaldus Magnus (and certainly more that a certain "Nobel Peace Prize awarded" alleged president)?

Continue reading ...

Monday, January 6, 2020

What is it with people?

One of the main reasons I've grown bored with trying to engage with human beings on-line is that *almost all* of them do what I will illustrate here --

Recently, 'Neo' posted this thread: Did you know that black people should never be accused of anti-Semitism?

I made this comment --
"Black people who have developed anti-Semitic viewpoints have done it mostly for two reasons."

I suspect that there is a third reason: possibly more important, if more diffuse, than the two you found — During the so-called Civil Rights Era (all genuflect), a lot of Southern blacks spent a lot of time working with, and being condescended by, a lot of Northern “Jews” (by which I mean atheistic leftists whose grandmothers were Jews). Blacks can recognize condescension as well as anyone else; and condescension calls forth disdain.

She replied --
Oh, so the Jews that helped black people in the South back then, often at the risk of their lives and sometimes even giving their lives to the cause, were obnoxiously arrogant little snobs who deserved to be hated?

I pointed out that she had utterly "misunderstood" (*) what I wrote --
neo, with the ‘open mind’, totally not turning what I wrote (which is up there in black and white) on its head:Oh, so the Jews that helped black people in the South back then, often at the risk of their lives and sometimes even giving their lives to the cause, were obnoxiously arrogant little snobs who deserved to be hated?

Way to go!

But, yes, the leftist carpet-baggers who bungie-flooded the civil-rights organizations in the South in those days contained a high proportion of “obnoxiously arrogant little snobs” … who called forth a corresponding disdain amongst many blacks toward “Jews” … and, sadly, Jews.

And I expanded on that --
Moreover —

neo:Oh, so the Jews that helped black people in the South back then, often at the risk of their lives and sometimes even giving their lives to the cause …

These are leftists you’re committing hagiography upon.

Leftists don’t give a damn about justice (except in the negative sense, as they *hate* justice).

And leftists don’t give a damn about *actual* human beings, and they have even less regard for “persons of color” than they do for other persons.

These statements are true now, and they were true then.

So, whatever those leftists may have been doing in the South, and whatever cause some of them may given their lives for, it was never their intention to help black Americans, nor to foster justice for them by ending the Democrat’s legalized-and-enforced injustices against black Americans.

And she doubled-down --

Your comments convey quite a bit, and I did not accuse you of anything that wasn’t implicit in your comments.

Leftists are not all demons. Some are misguided – especially during the era we’re talking about. One entire wing of my family when I was growing up (not my nuclear family, but my larger family) were leftists. Communists, to be blunt, for some of them anyway. I have written about this before.

Not all Communists who went down to help black people were Jews, and not all Jews who went down there to help black people were Communists, by the way. Some were garden-variety liberals. You haven’t a clue whether most of them were condescending or not, personally, to the black people with whom they worked – even if you were one of those black people they worked with in the 50s and 60s (in which case you wouldn’t have known enough of them to say what the majority were like). But I am fairly confident that you were not one of those black people they worked with back then.

I can assure you that whatever faults the leftists I knew back then had – and they had plenty – most of them were not condescending to black people. They were genuinely outraged at the genuine discrimination black people had to suffer particularly in the days of segregation, and even for many years after that.

I had started to attempt, once again, and explicitly this time, to show her how she is misinterpreting and misconstruing what I wrote. But then I remembered that I've been through this before, that this is precisely *why* I had stopped reading and commenting on her blog in the past.

So, I'm not going to waste any more of my time.

(*) The "scare quotes" are because this is not the first time she has done this to me ... or to others.

Continue reading ...

Friday, September 13, 2019

This is socialized medicine

Dutch Woman With Dementia Euthanized Against Her Will. The Doctor Was Just Cleared Of Wrongdoing.
Three years ago, a 74-year-old Dutch woman with dementia was euthanized by a doctor who drugged the patient's coffee without her knowledge and then had family members physically restrain her for the final lethal injection.

The doctor, who has not been publicly named, was cleared of all wrongdoing by a court in the Netherlands on Wednesday, "clarifying" the country's euthanasia law enacted in 2002 in relation to patients with "severe dementia," according to MedicalXPress.

Patients with dementia can now be killed by their doctors even if they strongly object to euthanasia at the time, so long as they have previously given consent for the fatal procedure. In other words, if a patient were to change their mind about the assisted suicide, a doctor could still legally kill them against their will. "The court ruled that in rare cases of euthanasia that were being performed on patients with severe dementia — and who had earlier made a written request for euthanasia — the doctor 'did not have to verify the current desire to die,'" MedicalXPress reported.

And in the case of this specific Dutch woman with dementia, she never once gave an express request to be euthanized. In her will, which was renewed about a year before her death, the woman said she would like to be euthanized "whenever I think the time is right." And when she was asked if she wanted to be euthanized, she reiterated multiple times that her suffering was not bad enough to where she wanted to be killed:
“The 74-year-old woman had renewed her living will about a year before she died, writing that she wanted to be euthanized ‘whenever I think the time is right.’ Later, the patient said several times in response to being asked if she wanted to die: ‘But not just now, it's not so bad yet!’ according to a report from the Dutch regional euthanasia review committee.”
She was killed, anyway

Part of the rationale for clearing the doctor of drugging the patient's coffee without her knowledge and killing her while she was being physically restrained against her will was in part, according to the court verdict, because "the patient no longer recognized her own reflection in the mirror," the MedicalXPress report said.

As noted by The Daily Wire last August, "A panel had previously cleared the doctor of ethical violations by saying she 'acted in good faith,'" but that decision was overturned by the Regional Euthanasia Review Committees. On Wednesday, the doctor was again cleared of wrongdoing.

The Netherlands has become a hotbed for euthanasia particularly among the most vulnerable. In 2017, 83 people with mental illness were killed in the country, as noted by National Review.

"The Dutch plunge into the euthanasia moral abyss continues to accelerate, with the number of patients killed by doctors exceeding 6,000 in 2017. That's more than 500 a month, 100 a week, and 15 a day," the outlet reported in March 2018. "Demonstrating the consequences of accepting the premise that eliminating suffering justifies eliminating the sufferer, Dutch psychiatrists killed 83 of their mentally ill patients in 2017 — up from twelve in 2012 and 43 in 2014."
Keep in mind that these are people who pretend to be morally outraged that some US States still dare to commit justice by executing the most egregious murderers.

Continue reading ...

Friday, August 30, 2019

The nature of reality

The following is a comment I posted to this thread --
Both 'theism' and 'atheism' are affirmations and denials about the nature of reality ... and about the nature of human beings.

[Between the two of them, they cover all possibilities for the nature of reality; there is no excluded middle, there is no alternative third option.]

'Theism' *affirms* that "the ground of all being" is an actually existing mind: a rational Who.

'Atheism' *denies* that "the ground of all being" is an actually existing mind, and contrarily affirms that "the ground of all being" is some set of mechanistically determined states: non-rational whats.

'Theism' does not deny that there are mechanistically determined states; what it denies is the assertion of 'atheism' that such states are the entirety of reality. Thus, 'theism' -- because it definitionally affirms that "the ground of all being" is a rational Who -- has no particular problem with the real existence of the billions of Whos who comprise the human race.

'Atheism' -- because it definitionally denies that "the ground of all being" is a rational Who -- not only cannot explain the reality of human minds, but logically must deny that they really exist at all. [To assert that mechanistically determined states comprise the entirety of reality *just is* to assert that there cannot exist any entities which are not mechanistically determined; that is, it *just is* to to deny that there can exist any beings who are free agents, who are minds.]

'Atheism' is irrational and absurd, and thus is immediately seen to be the false affirmation about the nature of reality.

And there is only one alternative to 'atheism': 'theism'.

Continue reading ...

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Concerning 'sola scriptura'

This post and its comment thread is intended to allow for a discussion of the Protestant doctrine of 'sola scriptura', rather than hi-jacking a thread at Neo-neocon.

So, in this OP, I'll duplicate the pertinent parts of some comments from that linked thread.
Roy Nathanson
Just a point…

There is nowhere in the Bible (Old or New Testaments) that expressly proscribes abortion. The absolute forbidding of abortion is an extreme position, when looked at in historical terms.
1. Protestants made up a solid majority of the population during the days when serious Christians made up much of the population. Consequently, the assumption called Sola Scriptura leaked into the popular culture: Non-Christians in the U.S. naturally assume that all the content of the Christian religion can be derived from Bible passages (which will state that content with sufficient clarity that the meaning won’t be misunderstood).
This is relevant because outside the Protestant world, Sola Scriptura does not exist as an operating premise; it’s considered a weird and self-contradictory 16th-century well-meaning-but-heretical innovation.
Something I find amusing about this particular comment is that R.C. goes on (which I haven't quoted) to contrast 'sola scriptura' ... with an approach which is totally in keeping with 'sola scriptura'.

Crazy me, but I also dream of a day when the bureaucrats of The One True Bureaucracy will stop instructing their flock in false teachings about 'sola scriptura' (especially) and the other Protestant 'solas'.

The fact of this false teaching is especially amusing when one understands that The One True Bureaucracy implicitly endorses 'sola scriptura': does not the the Roman denomination ultimately try to justify all its claims, no matter how questionable, by appeal, no matter how strained, to Scripture?

(Warning: the following reply to Ilion is utterly uninteresting to anyone uninvolved in Protestant-Catholic disagreements. If that ain’t your cup o’ tea, skip it.)


Thanks for your reply; and I think I kinda like your characterization “One True Bureaucracy.” It has a ring to it, and is (sadly) a fair characterization of one of the worst traits in one segment of the Roman clergy: Too many senior clergy come off more like bank branch-managers than like, say, Athanasius or Thomas Aquinas. They ain’t all like that; but too many are.

That said, I have to disagree with a three of assertions you’ve made (one implicitly):

Assertion #1: “[Catholic bishops] instructing their flock in false teachings about ‘sola scriptura‘ (especially) and the other Protestant ‘solas‘”:

I don’t think that’s accurate, because in my experience Catholic bishops don’t teach Catholics anything about Protestant beliefs, true or false. In fact only the best of them make much strenuous effort to teach Catholics anything detailed about Catholic beliefs. This goes hand-in-hand with my complaint that many of the bishops act more like careerist middle-managers. When it comes to faithful preaching of the Catholic faith, Protestant Billy Graham probably outdid 75% of the current American episcopate.

In response to that, I anticipate you might reply, “Okay, fine, if 75% of your bishops aren’t really teaching, perhaps it wasn’t they, but in my opinion someone has been teaching Catholics something false about ‘Sola Scriptura’, which leads to…

Assertion #2 (implied): “[Some Catholic teacher, somewhere] instructing [Catholics] in false teachings about ‘sola scriptura‘”:

If I have correctly anticipated that clarification, let me grant that, yes, some Catholic teachers have, on occasion, failed to distinguish between Sola Scriptura as held by, say, John Calvin, and the less-defensible “just my Bible and me” approach which makes no reference whatsoever to patristics or liturgical tradition. (One wag used the term “Solo” Scriptura for this latter form.)

My Southern Baptist upbringing makes me sensitive to the distinction, so I’m always quick to point it out whenever I find my Catholic friends conflating the two. One ought not to indulge in straw-manning one’s interlocutors even if they’re atheists; still less if they’re brothers-in-Christ.

Fortunately, I find that the recent (last 30 years) influx of Protestant clergy, lay apologists, missionaries, seminary professors, etc., becoming Catholic has led to a wider understanding. When Catholics have Sola Scriptura described to them these days, it’s by folks like David Anders, Bryan Cross, Jimmy Akin, Tim Staples, and Scott Hahn. In this way, they get a more-nuanced description than they would if some “cradle” Catholic tried to do it.

Assertion #3: “The One True Bureaucracy implicity endorses ‘sola scriptura‘: does not the the Roman denomination ultimately try to justify all its claims, no matter how questionable, by appeal, no matter how strained, to Scripture?”

Nope. Not in the way you mean.

Catholic apologists argue by the following pattern:
– We’re being told that XYZ is integral to the theological/moral/liturgical content delivered by Christ to the apostles, and by the apostles to their earliest disciples, and they to their disciples, down to the present. But is that accurate?
– Ignore, for the moment, the claim of “divine inspiration” or “inerrancy” of these texts called “the Bible,” and view them (or even just the least-controversial parts of them) as historical witnesses to what the early Christians did, said, and thought. Do they support XYZ ambiguously, or unambiguously?
IF unambiguously, then skip down to the step marked “CHURCH”
IF ambiguously, continue…
– We are unsure whether XYZ was supported by Those Historical Texts or not, because the relevant passages are ambiguous: They can be interpreted in various ways, not all of which support XYZ. How can we exclude some of these competing interpretations?
IF an interpretation is anachronistic in the context of a 1st-century Jewish audience, exclude it (the earlier traditions in the Mishnah and the Dead Sea Scrolls are helpful to understand the assumptions of the initial hearers/readers);
IF an interpretation utterly contradicts the consensus views of the early Christians whom the apostles installed in positions of early Church leadership (a.k.a. the “Early Church Fathers”, exclude it;
IF an interpretation means that true Christianity didn’t exist anywhere in the world for multiple centuries at in the history of Christianity, such that Christ’s promises were thereby proven false and His claim to be even a true prophet (let alone God) were also proven false, exclude it. (After all, the guy rose from the dead, and normal folk don’t do that.)
– What remains, then, among the interpretations still open to us?

Catholic apologists argue that the remaining interpretations include no known forms of Protestant ecclesiology and sacramentology. It’s pretty much down to hierarchical and sacerdotal churches (Catholic, the various Orthodoxes) who claim judicial binding and loosing authority with divine sanction (“He who hears y’all hears Me, he who rejects y’all rejects Me” / “Whatsoever you/y’all bind on earth is bound in Heaven and whatsoever you/y’all loose on earth is loosed in Heaven”).

– “CHURCH”: If you have a church with an authoritative and divinely-sanctioned judicial authority on matters of faith and morals (parallel to the system of judges, tribal overseers, and “seat of Moses” seen during the Exodus) then naturally that Church will do the following:
(a.) preserve (by judicial affirmation) those traditions of faith/morals which come from the apostles;
(b.) allow (by judicial permission) those traditions of men which don’t nullify the word of God, but can contribute beneficially to the lives of the faithful (e.g. fasting on certain days, having Wednesday Night church suppers);
(c.) reject (by judicial condemnation) those traditions of faith/morals which do nullify the word of God (i.e. contradict those preserved by (a.)).

Through that process, the content of the Christian religion (or “Apostolic Deposit of Faith”) can remain objectively knowable (and thus potentially obey-able) in every century from the Ascension to the Second Advent. But which traditions were approved by this process?

– The traditions judicially approved by the Church include:
(d.) apostolic origin (sometimes indirect through scribes or secretaries) of the 27 New Testament books;
(e.) apostolic use of the Septuagint Old Testament canon (including Wisdom, Baruch, Sirach, Judith, Tobid, 1&2 Maccabees, and the disputed parts of Daniel);
(f.) a tradition giving certain books the supreme honor of being read-from aloud from them in the Liturgy of the Word (the first half of the Divine Liturgy, the second half being the Liturgy of the Eucharist);
(g.) a tradition of limiting that highest-honor to only books of apostolic origin or use;
(h.) a tradition of applying the phrase “God-breathed” in Paul to all those highest-honor books, not just the Septuagint Old Testament (which is what Paul was referencing when he wrote that phrase to Timothy);
(i.) a tradition of interpreting “God-breathed” to logically imply “inerrant, given a correct interpretation of the authors’ intended meaning.”

So, by means of that judicial approval, Catholics get a divinely-inspired inerrant collection of 46 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books, to which they grant the supreme honor of being read aloud from at Mass.

But as you see, this practice required the Church first to exist, and then to have divinely-protected judicial decisions (on such matters), to be able to arrive at confidence about the content of the Apostolic Deposit of Faith.

And the Table of Contents of the Bible (the “canon”) is a derivative work of the Apostolic Deposit of Faith, arising from the need to know which books should be granted the supreme honor of being ritually read from in the Liturgy.

Now, Ilion, I don’t know how you wish to define the term “Sola Scriptura,” but I don’t know of any popular definition of that term that could possibly be implicitly endorsed by the Catholic understanding.



Here is the response I have composed to the above --

R.C.: "... and I think I kinda like your characterization “One True Bureaucracy.” It has a ring to it, and is (sadly) a fair characterization of one of the worst traits in one segment of the Roman clergy: Too many senior clergy come off more like bank branch-managers than like, say, Athanasius or Thomas Aquinas. They ain’t all like that; but too many are."

Thank you; and that is one of the points of the quip.

R.C.: "[Objection #1] .. .In response to that, I anticipate you might reply, “... someone has been teaching Catholics something false about ‘Sola Scriptura’,"

Your objection is fair; and your anticipation of my response is correct.

I interact with a lot of intelligent-and-educated Catholics on the internet. In my experience, perhaps in large part due to where and with whom I interact on the internet, it's almost always a Catholic who broaches this sort of subject (that is, related to our insoluable disagreements), and it almost always involves 'sola scriptura' ... and what those Catholic persons say about 'sola scriptura' is always a gross misrepresentaton.

R.C.: "(One wag used the term “Solo” Scriptura for this latter form.)"

I like that; I'll try to add that to my cache.

R.C.: "... Nope. Not in the way you mean."

And yet, you lay out a series of steps for judging whether "XYZ is [indeed] integral to the theological/moral/liturgical content delivered by Christ" which is, just as I said, "... ultimately [to] try to justify all its claims ... by appeal ... to Scripture."

R.C.: "But as you see, this practice required the Church first to exist, and then to have divinely-protected judicial decisions (on such matters), to be able to arrive at confidence about the content of the Apostolic Deposit of Faith.

And the Table of Contents of the Bible (the “canon”) is a
derivative work of the Apostolic Deposit of Faith, ..."

And there is seen another reason for the phrase, 'The One True Bureaucracy': the Catholic hierarchy is a late Imperial bureaucracy ... which outlived its Empire, and still has not given up on its imperial (and imperialistic) pretentions.

AND, in what you have written there is seen why 'sola scriptura' is so critical; for Catholicism does, indeed, set its bureaucracy above Scripture.

R.C.: "Now, Ilion, I don’t know how you wish to define the term “Sola Scriptura,” but I don’t know of any popular definition of that term ..."

What? Suddenly we're evaluating 'sola scriptura' by popular understandings ... and mis-understandings, a la "solo scriptura"?

Here is a treatment of 'sola scriptura' from 'the Gospel Coalition':

"Firstly, sola scriptura meant Scripture was the supreme authority over the church. It did not mean Scripture was the only authority. ..."

See, this is the very point of contention. On the one hand, the bureaucrats of 'The One True Bureaucracy' say, "*We* are the supreme authority over the souls of all men, for we (and we alone) speak in God's Name." And on the other hand, we Protestants say, "Well, no, you're not. Rather, Scripture is the supreme authority for evaluating all allegations of speaking in God's Name."

And, of course, 'sola scriptura' does have the inescapable consequence, much lamented by those who wish power over the souls of others, of individual liberty-of-conscience and even "Solo Scriptura" error.

(Shoot! Even that font of knowledge and wisdom, the Wickedpedia, does a fair job of explaining 'sola scriptura'.)

R.C.: "... that could possibly be implicitly endorsed by the Catholic understanding."

Oh, it's so much worse that I said initially. When necessary, The One True Bureaucracy will go straight-up hard-core Calvinist -- I was shocked (and amused) when I read the reasoning (at say, the Catholic Encyclopedia) to justify the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Continue reading ...

Monday, August 19, 2019

Re: the claim that "Religious propositions are both unverifiable and unfalsifiable"

A strange thing I've noticed is that persons self-identifying as Christians (or, at any rate, as Catholics) (*) who say things on the internet along the lines of "Religious propositions are both unverifiable and unfalsifiable" or "It's impossible either to prove or to disprove whether God exists" *really* dislike it when one attempts to show that the claim is false.

Of the two or three people who even know of me (on the internet), at least one likes to jeer because I've "had a run-in" with William Vallicella; well, the genesis of that "run-in" was when I tried to show Mr Vallicella and a God-denying friend of his, using reason (without reference to revelation), that their agreement that one can neither prove nor disprove that God is is false.

So, the post immediately prior to this one is another example of that strange phenomenon. I made that content a stand-alone post on my little blog because the blogger to whom I was responding chose not to allow it to appear in the comments of his blog (**).

(*) Similarly, self-identifying 'agnostics' generally seem more angered than self-identifying 'atheists' by the presentation of an argument which seeks to test the question of God.

(**) He had done that previously, so this time I made a point to save the text of my response until I'd seen what he would do.

If one wishes a mild amusement, pop over to the comments section of the linked blog-post.

Continue reading ...

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Is the doctrine of the Trinity a self-contradiction?

This post is a comment on the following --
... Religious propositions are both unverifiable and unfalsifiable. ...

There is a moral order in the universe, written into its most fundamental laws. That order cannot be the product of vain, capricious, quarrelsome “gods” with no particular interest in Mankind. But it can be the product of a Benevolence that stands above all else, that wants for nothing, and that despite its triune nature suffers no conflict. Indeed, that’s exactly what it is.
The reality of morality is *one* of the ways that we can know that God is. Others have presented these proofs; that's not my purpose here.

The reality of morality shows, via reason alone (without reference to any purported divine revelation):
1) not only that God is;
2) and not only that God is transcendent;
3) and not only that God is personal;
but also, shocking to some, that:
4) God is a multiplicity of persons.

A quick proof of proposition 4) is as follows:

Morality is:
a) interpersonal -- only persons *can* have moral obligations and moral expectations, and only with respect to other persons;
b) relational -- all persons' moral obligations (and expectations) follow from their relationships with/to other persons;

now, because morality is interpersonal and relational, it cannot exist if there are no persons in relationship to one another;
c) Morality is also transcendent -- it is not a created thing; its reality is not contingent upon the existence of human persons.

For instance, if morality were not transcendent, if it were after all a created thing, if its reality were contingent upon the existence of human persons, then knowing what are the moral obligations and expectations between *this* father and his son would tell one nothing about the moral obligations and expectations between *that* father and his son.

Since the reality of morality cannot grounded in human persons, it can be grounded only in divine persons.

So, the real existence of morality shows that there is a *multiplicity* of divine persons. Yet, there is but *one* God; to say that there are two or more Gods is incoherent. Yet again, if there is but one divine person, then morality is not transcendent.

How can this paradox be resolved?

The paradox vanishes IF God is one being and a multiplicity of persons.

This argument does not establish the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, that is, that God is *precisely* three Persons, but it does show that the doctrine is not a self-contradiction. And that is the question of the title.

Continue reading ...

Friday, August 16, 2019

This is socialized medicine

UK: He said something was stuck in his throat after surgery. The doctors didn’t believe him.

UK: Hospital Staff Caught Euthanizing Hundreds of Patients: “If a Nurse Didn’t Like You, You Were a Goner”

Canada: Canadian Health Care Refused to Pay for Disabled Father's Care, but Happily Paid for His Assisted Suicide

Continue reading ...