Search This Blog

Monday, November 26, 2012

When he's right, he's right

Lawrence Auster: a theory explaining Romney’s bizarre emptiness --
I have a theory explaining Romney’s bizarre emptiness. It has to do with his Mormonism. Mormonism consists, at its core, of many ridiculous assertions that no rational person could possibly believe. Why then does Mormonism “work” so well for its adherents? Because the practical core of the religion is not this folderol about a family of sixth century B.C. Jews sailing from Mesopotamia to North America or Joseph Smith discovering a 2,000 year old platinum scripture written by an angel buried behind his farm in upstate New York, but the patriarchal way of life it counsels. This is deeply appealing to people, and it works for them. That’s why they are Mormons. At the same time, in order to be Mormons, they have to turn off their rational faculty when it comes to questions of truth. They disregard questions of truth, and focus on the pragmatic, ethical aspects of Mormonism.

And this describes Romney perfectly. As a Mormon, he has turned off his faculty of the rational search for truth, but at the same time he follows the healthy and solid Mormon maxims on how to live a good life. As a result, he is a man devoid of principles, even while his personal character and behavior are exemplary.
To expand upon Mr Auster's theory -- it's not *merely* that Mormonism requires its adherents to believe empirical assertions "that no rational person could possibly believe", but that it requires them to believe metaphysical assertions (*) "that no rational person could possibly believe".

Mormonism is, in this regard, much like atheism in requiring the holding of irrational metaphysical assertions. And, most 'atheists' get around that problem by generally ignoring their metaphysical commitments ... and living their daily lives, for the most part, in accord with our Judeo-Christian metaphysical commitments. Can you imagine what the world would be like if every 'atheist' tried to live like Lenin, Stalin and Mao?

(*) For instance, that "God" is merely one more entity, amongst the many, in 'the universe'. That is, the Mormon "God" is not different in kind from you and me, or from Zeus. To put it another way, the Mormon "God" is an effect of 'the universe', rather than its cause.

Continue reading ...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

'‘... a lying, thieving Albanian dwarf.'

... or, Stupid Atheist Tricks, Part 'N'

Michael Egnor has a recent post called "... a lying, thieving Albanian dwarf." concerning "[a]n atheist group at Dartmouth College [which] is planning an event aimed at skewering the reputation of the late Mother Teresa." This strange title comes from the late Christopher Hitchens' "description" and moral condemnation of that saintly woman.

Disregarding, for the sake of argument, whether or not it is true that she was "a lying, thieving" person, Mr Hitchens' asserted "description" of her certainly seems to be asserting a moral judgment about her, in particular, and about liars and thieves, in general. To wit: that one ought not be either a liar or a thief.

Now, keep in mind, Christopher Hitchens was a militant atheist. He was one of the patron saints, so to speak, of the silly and obnoxious fools known as 'New Atheists'.

The point is that -- as every rational being knows, and as every honest rational being admits -- IF atheism were indeed the truth about the nature of reality, THEN there neither is, nor could be, any such truths as "one ought" and "one ought not". IF atheism were indeed the truth about the nature of reality, THEN to assert that Mother Teresa was a liar and a thief is no more informative than to assert that she was an Albanian or a dwarf (*).

With the above logically inescapable truth in mind, I said: "Wait a cotton-picking minute, here! Since when was there anything, you know, wrong with being "... a lying, thieving Albanian dwarf"? Do 'atheists' have some rational ground by which to object to Albanians and/or dwarves?

This comment, of course, became the cue for one of the lying, thieving, moral midgets who infest Mr Egnor's blog to pipe up and demonstrate his intellectual dishonesty: "Wait, we're in 2012 and there still are morons who think "how can you be moral if you are an atheist?" is not a ridiculously stupid question?"

Mr Egnor tried to treat that particular intellectually hishonest Anonymouse as though he were merely mistaken, as though he simply misunderstood the point at issue, rather than as that the Anonymouse is an intelectually dishonest man -- a liar, and worse than a liar -- who will not understand the point at issue.

In response to Mr Egnor's comment to the Anonymouse, the intellectually dishonest God-hater who posts there as 'bachfiend' chose to demonstrate both his intellectual dishonesty and his disinclination to reason soundly (the two traits are differerent sides of the same coin, after all): "No you're wrong again. Morality is objective. It's not decided by the individual. It's decided by the community, the society, in which the person lives. ..."

Responding to the initial Anonymouse in his own style, I said: "Wait, we're in 2012 and there still are God-damned morons who try to pretend that the question "on what objective ground are you basing the moral assertion you just asserted?" equals the assertion that "God-haters do not know, and cannot conform themselves to, the objective moral law!""

Now, do no imagine that I was simply being profane in calling the Anonymouse 'God-damned' -- when I assert that someone is 'God-damned', I am being deadly serious. I asserted that the Anonymouse is damned-of-God because he shows himself to be an hypocrite with respect to reason and truth. Of course, that damned-of-God Anonymouse is not *really* a moron -- my use of that word was simply to echo his style -- if he really were a moron, then he'd (likely) not be able understand that what he'd said was false, in which case he couldn't be intellectually dishonest in saying it.

My point, as always, is not that these people cannot reason, but rather that they will not reason. My point is not that they are 'morons' or 'stupid', but that they are fools, that they are intellectually dishonest: for they purposely lie about the very nature of truth itself.

(*) And, by the by, Mother Teresa wasn't a dwarf, much less a lying, thieving dwarf. Though, apparently sadly, she was an Albanian. So: Hitchens got one assertion out of four correct ... which was far better than his usual average.

Continue reading ...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

How is it that ...

How is it that 900 "votes" can be cast in a precinct with seven registered voters? It seems to me that Democrats are almost as amazing mathematicians as Darwinists -- the Darwinists win because they can sum all negative numbers and get a positive result.

Oh, come on, be serious! The Democrats didn't steal the election in just this one race.

(h/t Laura Rosen Cohen: One Man, One Vote, One Hundred Times)

Continue reading ...

'Minor sins' ... and Judgment

Alan Roebuck (in a comment made in his 'Defining Christianity: Why Be a Christian? Part II' thread) -- "Yes, modern man does not believe in sin, except for spectacular cases such as mass murder. But we have to acknowledge the biblical testimony, that what seem to us minor sins are not inconsequential, but are both offenses against a holy God and, as you say, indications of a radical disorder within us."

A few years ago, a wrote a parable that is about exactly this false idea (and idol) that one can be morally good without being morally pure (Miss Grundy warning: I openly use a certain naughty Anglo-Saxon word many times, which, by the way, one may find used in the Bible) -- Noìli's Custom Ice Cream Shoppe

The modern man, he who denies the reality of sin and the reality of objective moral standards, is always willing to "compromise" thusly: "Well, sure, I guess I'm sort of like a gallon of delicious ice cream which has a teaspoon of dog-doo mixed into it. But that guy over there has a whole pint mixed in. THEREFORE, God has no right to judge/condemn me."

But, of course, God has the right to judge-and-reject the person who is not morally pure, just as anyone has the right to judge-and-reject a serving a ice cream with a smidgen of doggie-doo mixed into it. Not one of us is morally pure -- and God has the right to reject all of us: you/I have no ground upon which to stand to judge God.

Moreover, God has offered you a way to be freed of your impurity, he has offered you a way to be made acceptable in his sight. But you, O Modern Man, will not humble yourself before a loving God, and admit your sinfulness and inability to make yourself morally pure, will not trust in him to make you pure ... however much that you will abase yourself in all ways before a mere human and vicious tyrant.

And, do not think that God will "send you to Hell", as people incorrectly say, because he's anal-retentinve about sin, as moderns like to condem those have not quite so relaxed an attitude toward sin as they themselves. The reason God will "send you to Hell" is that since you will not repent of your sinfulness and allow him to burn the sin out of you, you cannot even continue to live/exist were you to come into his direct presence (that is, were you to "go to Heaven"). You clutch your sin to you bosom, as though it were the most precious part of you, and you will not let it go, you will not let it be burned out of you -- thus, you become sin. "Sending you to Hell" is a mercy, for all that is it also judgment (*).

Those who will not be purified of their sinfulness cannot "go to Heaven" -- they cannot see God face-to-face -- for, having become sin, they would be wholly burned-up in his direct presence, there would be nothing left of them.

All sin, even the most 'petty', as we view the seriousness of these things, must destroy he who will not let go of it. Clutch any sin to your bosom, and it will devour you.

(*) Furthermore, there can be no mercy if there not first judgment-and-condemnation. Mercy just is the setting aside of the full weight of condemnation one deserves. Mercy just is a special form of injustice.

Edit 2012/11/20:
Kristor seems to be having as much trouble posting comments on this (Google/Blogger) blog as I am on The Orthosphere (WordPress) blog. Following is a comment from him --

Well done. I loved this
And, do not think that God will "send you to Hell", as people incorrectly say, because he's anal-retentinve about sin, as moderns like to condem those have not quite so relaxed an attitude toward sin as they themselves. The reason God will "send you to Hell" is that since you will not repent of your sinfulness and allow him to burn the sin out of you, you cannot even continue to live/exist were you to come into his direct presence (that is, were you to "go to Heaven"). You clutch your sin to you bosom, as though it were the most precious part of you, and you will not let it go, you will not let it be burned out of you -- thus, you become sin. "Sending you to Hell" is a mercy, for all that is it also judgment (*).
I’ve been making that argument for years to people who object to the notion of a wrathful God. To the sinner, the fire of God’s love is as a wrathful burning; to the saint, it is recognized as the very basis of his life, even when he was a sinner.

Sin is essentially a disagreement with reality. Lydia McGrew made this point a couple years ago, hammering it into me. As disagreeing with the very foundation of his own life, the sinner cannot but aim at the extinction thereof; the wages of sin is death, and people keep signing up for the gig - because, as sinners, they disagree with existence, and want those lethal wages.
Yes, this is what I was getting at -- "To the sinner, the fire of God’s love is as a wrathful burning; to the saint, it is recognized as the very basis of his life, even when he was a sinner."

Now, the sort of Internet Atheist with whom anyone has far too much experience -- you know, the old Village Atheist With Ehternet -- is going to scoff at that statement, as, indeed, they mindlessly scoff at everything.

But, consider, they themselves frequently believe something roughly analogous; though, in their case, what they believe tends to be pointless (and even mindless) navel-gazing and self-worshiping woo-woo. In have in mind certain wide-spread ideas that now seem to be free-floating in popular-and-materialistic culture (such as it is) --

In the movies of popular culture -- informed, as they are, by materialism/naturalism -- the human characters, sometimes even the main characters with whom we are meant to identify, may encounter some "Entity of Light" ... which tends to burn them up; which is to say, given the materialistic or naturalistic presuppositions of the movie, the characters are annihilated by the Light.

Sometimes, as with Nazi soldiers encountering face-to-face the "supernatural" (as that term is misused in materialistic though) Ark of the Covenant in an Indiana Jones movie, this personal annihilation is presented as a horror.

Sometimes, as with a face-to-face encounter with a "higher being" (which is, nonetheless, as fully a natural-and-contingent being in the physical universe as we are), or as with a face-to-face encounter the sun, this personal annihilation is presented as a mystical/spiritual event regarding which the audience is intended to have “woo-woo” feelings.

Continue reading ...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

It's always someone else

Legal Insurrection: 'The (EVIL) Rich' is always that other guy

Continue reading ...

But, an acorn is an oak tree

But, in fact, an acorn is an oak tree. It is not a potential oak tree, but an actual oak tree.

Or, if one wants to scientifically pedantic about it, an acorn is two sibling (*) individual organisms of some particular species of oak.

(*) They are not actually the children of the oak tree on which the acorn grew, but are rather its grandchildren.

Continue reading ...

As I asked

As I asked a few days ago, over at Bob Parks' blog, 'So, will the hot toy for this Christmas be the “Down Low Elmo”?'

I hear that the “Down Low Elmo” is facing stiff competition from the “Don't Tickle Me, Elmo”.

Kathy Shaidle: If only Romney had gone after Elmo instead of Big Bird

Continue reading ...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

When are 'vegetables' not?

Shadow to Light: Maybe she felt it -- One may recall that one of the rationalizations for judicially murdering Terri Schiavo was the assertion that she'd not feel anything while dying a slow death of thirst ... as though pain were the criterion of moral determinations.

Michael Egnor: Man in Persistent Vegetative State answers questions via fMRI -- In the comments section, the God-denialists who infest Egnor's blog play to type.

Continue reading ...

'All In' ... but crickets for Benghazi

Via Bob Parks: Glenn Beck on the Petraeus distraction

Continue reading ...

Monday, November 12, 2012

Translating old Soviet jokes into American

Old Soviet jokes become the new American reality

An example:
Let's see how an old Soviet joke can be rewritten into a new American joke. The six contradictions of socialism in the United States of America:

* America is capitalist and greedy - yet half of the population is subsidized.

* Half of the population is subsidized - yet they think they are victims.

* They think they are victims - yet their representatives run the government.

* Their representatives run the government - yet the poor keep getting poorer.

* The poor keep getting poorer - yet they have things that people in other countries only dream about.

* They have things that people in other countries only dream about - yet they want America to be more like those other countries.

There's more where it came from - or where we're going, whichever the case may be.

Continue reading ...

19,605 to 0

Bob Parks: "19,605 to 0. Seriously, not one…?"

Mr Parks' incredulity is sparked by this news item: In 59 Philadelphia voting wards, Mitt Romney got zero votes

Obviously, this is just a textbook case ... of Party Discipline.

Continue reading ...

Blog Traffic

Goodness me! Whoever could be monitoring (for I've noticed this before) my little blog using searches such as the following? --

"lawrence auster" -site: -thewhitenetwork -robertlindsay -usapartisan -oogenhand -burketobristol -diaryofdaedalus -occidentaldissent -viagra -age-of-treason -ringtone -downwithjugears -hesperado -chechar -washingtonreb -diaryofdaedalus -news-cottage -bclaym -oldatlanticlighthouse

Continue reading ...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Welcome to your first few weeks of the next four years, America

Laura Rosen Cohen: "It's been cold. Lord, have mercy." -- "Welcome to your first few weeks of the next four years, America. The President may need an even spiffier bomber jacket when he pays his next visit to the area.

And he should also bring a giant drool bucket for Gov. Christie as well if he goes to NJ. I think they sell those at the Obama On Line store.

Of course, if the nation does come to its senses, it can impeach and remove from office both the Constitutionally ineligible Obama and his criminally complicit buffoon, Biden.

Isn't it so odd?

With Katrina:
1) President Bush had to beg the Democratic buffoons running Louisiana to order an evacuation of New Orleans (*), which those same Democratic buffoons then proceeded to thoroughly bungle;
2) President Bush had to beg the Democratic buffoons running Louisiana to invite the Federal government to come into the State and assist with the cleanup and recovery;
3) even with that late start, it went fairly well … not that lying “liberal” media ever admitted that, and not that it did “Brownie” any good.

(*) Of which evacuation, when they did finally order it, they made sure to make sure that everyone knew it was only to humor that “idiot” in the White House. They didn’t believe New Orleans *could* be hit by a hurricane, and they wanted to make sure that no one blamed them for a few days of inconvenience caused by a “false alarm” evacuation.

On the other hand, with Sandy:
1) two weeks later, and people are still dying due to the damage caused by the storm;
2) not that lying “liberal” media will ever admit that, lest Teh Won’s halo be besmirched.

Now, the point here is not to fault Obama for "not doing enough" -- hell! do you think I'm a "liberal". The point here is to highlight, once again, "liberal" hypocrisy.

Continue reading ...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Rhetoric of Middle-earth

The Superversive: The Rhetoric of Middle-earth (An excerpt from Writing Down the Dragon)
Many critics have claimed that Tolkien is a bad prose stylist. Does this mean that The Lord of the Rings is a ‘good bad book’, merely an entertaining melodrama? To answer the question, we need to define the difference between melodrama and drama. I am indebted to Stephen R. Donaldson for this partial but useful definition: Where melodrama is about a Villain, a Victim, and a Rescuer, drama is about how those three characters exchange roles.

Gollum is an excellent example. When we meet him in The Two Towers, he appears to be a pure villain, with Frodo and Sam as his intended victims. But Frodo tames him, for a while, just enough so that Gollum can play the rescuer in the Dead Marshes. Captured by Faramir, he becomes a victim, and Frodo rescues him. He is victimized in another way by Sam, who fails to see how Gollum is struggling towards the good, and inadvertently pushes him back into his evil habits. Then Gollum becomes the villain once more, betraying the Hobbits to Shelob; but in the end, at Mount Doom itself, he turns (despite his worst intentions) into the final rescuer who saves the Quest from catastrophe.

Whatever The Lord of the Rings is, it is not a melodrama, any more than Hamlet or the Iliad. It contains several dramas, interlaced in a complex pattern, and each told in a style appropriate to the incidents and the characters. But none of these styles are the default style of the modern ‘literary’ novel. There are no showpiece sentences for the critics to make much of; there is no stock vocabulary of symbolism, Freudian, Marxist, or what not, by which to decode the text.

Continue reading ...

Why One Dimensional RINOs Lose

Bob Pasrks: Why One Dimensional RINOs Lose

Continue reading ...

Cherterton's Fence

The Superversive: Cherterton's Fence

Continue reading ...

'Another Irony Alert'

Barry Arrington (at Uncommon Descent): Another Irony Alert -- Of course, the *real* irony will be lost on that fool Arrington.

You see, there was a time that Mr Barrington let slip the truth that Elizabeth Liddle is intellectually dishonest. Then, following her passive-aggressive and I'm-a-poor-little-woman-why-are-you-picking-on-me-you-mean-old-man whinge, he "apologized".

His "apology" was one of those pseudo-apologies. You know, the "I'm sorry IF" gambit. And, if you know me, then you know how greatly the dishonesty of those pseudo-apologies disgusts me.

So, I pointed out -- and would not stop pointing out -- that:
1) Elizabeth Liddle is, in fact, intellectually dishonest;
2) Barry Arrington had, in fact, said that Elizabeth Liddle is intellectually dishonest;
3) Mr Arrington's "apology" was nothing of the sort, and was, in fact, itself an example of intellectual dishonesty.

That is, while I strongly disagreed with his act of (pretending to) apologize to her for having spoken the truth about her, I insisted that IF he was going to claim to apologize to her for having spoken the truth about her, that he must, in fact, apologize, rather than offering up one of those "I'm sorry IF" pseudo-apologies.

Now, do not think I did this unawares. I *knew* that he would ban me from UD for my insistence upon intellectual honesty, even toward "the enemy". I was putting him to the test, and he failed, as I expected he would. He showed himself to be a fool, and I want nothing to do with fools.

One simply cannot cannot compromise with he who seeks one's death and still be a living man. Likewise, one simply cannot compromise between truth and non-truth and still be an honest man.

Continue reading ...

Allen West Won… For Now

Bob Parks: Allen West Won… For Now -- the commentor RoseRRR links to a .PDF of the Saint Lucie County election results. She says: "I’ve only looked at the first two pages, but it seems to report a voter turnout of OVER 100% in every one of the 94 jurisdictions except for one, resulting in an average turnout of 141.10%.

I’ve never reviewed elections reports before, but I am mystified by these results. If something is so off here, what must be going on in the OTHER counties in Florida? And by extension, what about the rest of the country?

I have never been one to engage in conspiracy theories, and I acknowledge my personal grief over Tuesday’s results leaves me looking for answers, but WTF is going on?

What's going on is Demorcatic Party election fraud -- as has been going on at least since when Kennedy stole the Presidential election from Nixon ... and Nixon, knowing full well that his "defeat" was a fraud, kept quiet about it "for the good of the country".

All that is different is that the Democrats are more open about it now, and are doing it on a more massive scale.

I understand why Nixon kept quiet, "for the good of the country", about the Democratic Party (and Mafia) vote fraud which gave the "win" to Kennedy. I understand why he reasoned that it would be worse for the nation if the citizenry-as-a-whole were to understand just how easily the Democrats could steal a national election than for him personally to not become President.

Yet, the fact remains, we are here today -- where Democrats openly solicit and accept illegal foreign campaign contributions, where Democrats openly count the "votes" of non-citizens, where Democrats openly practice voter intimidation against actual US citizens, where Democrats openly boast of having "voted" multiple times, where Democrats openly manufacture "votes" -- in large part because Nixon chose not to expose and fight Democratic election fraud then.

The Ninety-Nine Percent

West challenges results as Florida declares vote-tally over amid recounts and irregularities

Continue reading ...

Citizen, are you willing to submit to Islam?

Or, to put the question another way, "Are you a citizen, or are you a subject?"

Lawrence Auster: Obama makes good on his pledge in Cairo: maker of “Innocence of Muslims” video is sentenced to a year in prison

Continue reading ...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I am her equal

"...I am her equal" ... by which the poor pussy whipped shlubb really means, "She is my superior" (h/t Mark Richardson)

Continue reading ...

The conflation trap

The conflation trap -- "It is not only mainstream libertarians (and of course, to a far greater extent, conservatives) that tend to conflate the results of crony corporatism with those of free markets; such conflationism is all too common on the traditional left as well. The difference is that the evaluations are reversed; where the right-wing version of conflationism treats the virtues of free markets as reason to defend the fruits of corporatism, the left-wing version of conflationism treats the objectionable fruits of corporatism as reason to condemn free markets."

Continue reading ...

Ann Coulter Loses It

Ann Coulter (with whom I have increasingly less patience, and this comes close to being the proverbial straw): DON'T BLAME ROMNEY

Continue reading ...

Finding his voice

Laura Rosen Cohen: Miracles -- I'm verklempt

Continue reading ...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Scattered post-election thoughts

Proph: Scattered post-election thoughts

My not-scattered thought on the above: "The shepherd hamstrings his own sheep, and the wolves devour them more easily."

And you guys are never going to admit that there is something flawed in Catholicism, or at any rate, in the American iteration of it, are you? Something which promotes and gives "religious" cover to leftism.

Meanwhile, the handful of "Rah-Rah Catholics" who hang out here ['here' being a reference to 'The Orthosphere'] will continue to snipe at "fundies" ... which is to say, at people like me.

Continue reading ...

Why would he do something like this?

It's a real mystery: why would and intelligent and educated man, one who clearly can read (at least when he wants to), moreover one who prides himself on his niceness, stoop to such blatant, and pointless, misrepresentation?

Back in October, Victor Reppert posted 'Why Republicans won't repeal Obamacare even if they are elected' (which is just a link to a poorly, and hypocritically (*), reasoned leftist fantasy. But, the point now is a not that fantasy, but rather Victor Reppert's sad decline into leftism.

I said:
Not to worry -- it will be repealed one way or another: either patriotic Americans will repeal it or God himself will repeal it (as an effect of allowing the USA to collapse).
VR pretended to reply:
There are numerous countries with far more socialistic forms of health care (such as out and out socialized medicine as we find in Britain, France, Canada, and Cuba). I mean shoot, there isn't even a public option, for crying out loud. Apparently the Almighty has not struck those countries down, for reasons that I am sure are known only to Ilion.
Now, as *any* man can clearly see, and as any *honest* man will readily admit, VR grossly misprepesented what I said.

Why would he do something like this?

(*) Consider just this one bit of it -- "1) Romney has no authority to issue waivers." Consider the hubris -- alleged-President Obama issues waivers right and left, but a hypothetical President Romney has no authority to issue waivers to this wholly unConstitutional "law", that Congress has no authority to enact in the first place.

Continue reading ...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Concerning the Electoral College

Via Bob Parks: Whoops! Of The Day

Apparently, NBC is (very early) projecting that Romney will garner 55% of the popular vote, and Obama 43% (which percentage, no doubt, includes the coveted votes of Deceased-Americans and of the Multivote-Americans). At the same time, NBC is apparently projecting that Romney will win 257 Electoral College vote, as against Obama's 280 -- if this hold, then Obama will be declared to have been re-elected to the Presidency, despite that, definitionally, he is not a natural born US citizen (*), and is thus Constitutionally unqualified to occupy the office.

Now, the point here is that *everyone* knows that neither the Democrats as a party, nor the "liberals" as individuals, will be demanding, this time around, that the Electoral College be abolished should NBC's (way too early) projections bear out -- for, as I keep reminding Gentle Reader, "liberals" as hypocrites.

Regardless of any other predictions, here is one prediction that has no possibility of failing --

Should Obama "win" the popular vote and fail to win the Electoral College, leftists (i.e. "liberals" and Democrats) will, once again, demand the abolition of the Electoral College, and will likely demand that the legal result be overturned right now.

On the other hand, should Romney "win" the popular vote and fail to win the Electoral College, leftists (i.e. "liberals" and Democrats) will NOT SAY A WORD about the abolition of the Electoral College, and will certainly not likely demand that the legal result be overturned right now.

For, as I keep reminding Gentle Reader, "liberals" as hypocrites.

(*) It has noting to do with where he was born, you purposely dense "liberals", it has to do with the fact that Obama Sr was not a US citizen, of any type, at the time Obama Jr was born.

Continue reading ...

Monday, November 5, 2012

Theism on Secular Grounds

William Vallicella: Theism on Secular Grounds
A reader inquires:
Can one reason from secular premises to a theistic conclusion? Or is any argument that concludes to God's existence non-secular by nature?
To answer the reader's question, yes, one can reason from secular premises to a theistic conclusion. Indeed, the traditional arguments do precisely that. For example, cosmological arguments proceed a contingentia mundi, from the contingency of the world, and they attempt to show that there must be a necessary being responsible for the world's existence. That the universe exists and that it exists contingently are secular starting points -- in one of its meanings saecula just means 'world' -- and not deliverances of revelation or churchly doctrines to be taken on faith.

Now the same goes for the rest of the theistic arguments, the ontological, the teleological, the moral, and indeed for all of the twenty or so arguments that Plantinga lists.
The problem with arguments for the reality the Biblical conception of God isn't that we Jews and Christians are arguing in a circle. The problem is that the pretend atheists who deny the validity and truth of these arguments are "listening in a circle".

Consider the reader's second quoted question: "Or is any argument that concludes to God's existence non-secular by nature?" Almost every so-called 'free-thinker' whom one encounters believes, at least implicitly, the falsehood that any argument which concludes to God's existence is, by its very nature, non-secular ... and non-logical. Mind you, they cannot demonstrate that the argument is either non-logical or non-secular, yet they will continuously assert that it is, and assert that they are rejecting it for that reason.

Continue reading ...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Computers will never be minds, Part umpteen

On Uncommon Descent: A reply to Dr Dawkins’ September Playboy interview

Just in case you think that is an improper, unwarranted projection unto Science from objectors to Darwin, let me cite the well known remarks by prof William Provine at the 1998 Darwin Day keynote speech at the University of Tennessee (this being his native state):
Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent . . . .

The first 4 implications are so obvious to modern naturalistic evolutionists that I will spend little time defending them. Human free will, however, is another matter. Even evolutionists have trouble swallowing that implication. I will argue that humans are locally determined systems that make choices. They have, however, no free will . . . . Without free will, justification for revenge disappears and rehabilitation is the main job of judicial systems and prisons.
[[NB: As C. S Lewis warned, in the end, this means: reprogramming through new conditioning determined by the power groups controlling the society and its prisons.] We will all live in a better society when the myth of free will is dispelled . . . .
Mung noticed:
Isn’t it funny how humans, having no free will in the matter, can reach totally contradictory conclusions regarding the truth of a proposition?
I sent Mung a quick note, saying: "What's even funnier is how humans, having no free will in the matter, can recognize when another human has -- or they themselves have -- previously reached a false conclusion regarding the truth of a proposition."

"I will argue that humans are locally determined systems that make choices. They have, however, no free will"

Entities lacking freedom of will do not make choices, no matter how intensely materialists/atheists need to misuse the words so as to attempt to hide the inherent and inescapable irrationality of atheism. But, let's look past that, for now, and consider something deeper.

Let us misuse language and concepts in the manner that materialists/atheists need to do when they blather on about these topics, such that --

Hypothetically, there exists some computer program which "says", 'I am a mind; I am an agent, a person; I am an intellect, no different in kind (with respect to intelelect) than you humans', and of which many human persons claim that to be the case.

Now, upon a time, some human person "asks" the computer program, 'What is 1+1?' And, to the amazement of all human persons older than six years, the program "answers" him '1+1=3'. Or, to put it into words, the computer has "said" 'I "conclude" that the truth-value of the proposition represented by the arithmetic expression [1+1=3] is True'

Now, the cause of program's "mistake" is either random or structural. If random, then there is no telling what it may "answer" the next time someone "asks" it 'What is 1+1?' If structural, then no matter how many times it is "asked" 'What is 1+1?' it will always "answer" '1+1=3'. An example of a random cause might be that the jokers who wrote the program and who are trying to pass it off as a mind had included code to cause miscalculations at random times; another might be that some specific memory location in the computer hardware is physically/mechanically defective, and this memory location just happened to have been used in the "exchange" with the human person.

Now, here is the point: regardless of the cause of the program's "mistake", it does not, nor will ever, know the fact that it generated a simulation of a false calculation. And, had its "answer" been correct, it would never know that fact, either.

Were the cause of the program's "mistake" structural, then it will always "answer" that particular question in the same way. Absent the tricksters modifying the program so as to filter out that particular result -- that is, making a new program -- the program will always "conclude" that the human who is trying to tell it that the truth is that '1+1=2' is incorrect.

Were the cause of the program's "mistake" random, then should it be able to "remember" what it "said" a moment ago, and should it "answer" correctly on the second go-round, it can only "conclude" that sometimes '1+1=2' and *sometimes* '1+1=3'

Continue reading ...

Saturday, November 3, 2012

'Liberals' are hypocrites

Gentle Reader, and all right-minded persons, need to get this fact firmly planted into their minds: "Liberals" are hypocrites.

It's not merely that "liberal" politicians are hypocrites; it's not that *some* "liberals" are hypocrites; it's not that *most* "liberals" are hypocrites. It's that *all* "liberals" are hypocrites. And their hypocrisy is firmly rooted in their "liberalism" -- which, anyway, is mostly all about how wonderful in all ways they themselves are (in contrast to you!) -- and mostly serves the purpose of protecting their "liberalism" from rational/critical scrutiny.

Now, this is not to say that all "liberals" are hypocrites in the same ways, or about the same things, or to the same extent. Some, like the politician Harry Reid of Nevada, are massive hypocrites; and coincidentally "hate filled", as they like to accuse conservatives of being.

Even someone like Victor Reppert, who is a good man, mostly, is a hypocrite with respect to preserving his "liberalism" from critical evaluation, and with respect to living out his "liberalism". For example, with respect to living out his "liberalism", and something I've needled him about since I first read him making the complaint: Victor Reppert, good "liberal" that he is, insists that "the rich", whatever that is supposed to mean, should be forced to "pay their fair share" -- which is to say, no matter how much in tax monies is being forcibly extracted from "the rich", it's never enough, for they can never, ever be said to be "paying their fair share". At the same time, Victor Reppert bitches about the amount of *his* taxes.

That is not only an example of hypocrisy, it's also an example of the studied stupidity (that is, hypocrisy-of-reasoning-and-learning) that "liberals" need to employ to protect their "liberalism". Think about it: if your politics is premised on the righteousness of making "the other guy" pay more in taxes, and you're bitching when it turns out that you're "the other guy", then, non-exhaustively:
1) you don't really think it's righteous to compel "the other guy" pay more in taxes; but you did find it politically expedient ... until you turned out the be "the other guy";
2) you refuse to learn that the problem is in the premises of your politics;
3) because you refuse to learn the truth about your politics, your politicians, such as Harry Reid, are going to continue to use you as a tool.

Continue reading ...

Friday, November 2, 2012

How often does this need to happen

How often does this need to happen, before Americans finally get it into their minds that the American Red Cross is in the business of helping only themselves ('themselves' being the high-ranking-and-well-remunerated bureaucrats)? Good night! This happens *everytime* there is a big natural disaster in America -- the Mennonites or Salvation Army (as two examples) are there right away, helping; whereas the American Red Cross merely ramps up their never-ending, and clearly all-important, Donation Drive.

At the same time (h/t Bob Parks): Thanks, but no thanks -- "Utility crews from several states East of the Mississippi River hit the road this week to volunteer their time and talents in Northeastern states hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. But crews from Alabama got the shock of their lives when other workers in a coastal New Jersey town told them they couldn’t lend a hand without a union card.

Derrick Moore, who works for Decatur Utilities in Decatur, Ala., told WAFF-TV in Huntsville that crews in Seaside Heights, N.J. turned him and his crewmates away, saying they couldn’t do any work there because they’re not union employees.
" -- Notice that the response of the spokesman for 'Jersey Central Power & Light' doesn't actually address the issue.

Continue reading ...