Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Absolute Truth and False Absolutism

A good theory must not only explain the data, but it cannot in the process "unexplain" things that we bloody well know to be true, as Colonel Beaglehole puts it. Obviously natural selection explains many things. However, if elevated to an all-powerful, all-encompassing paradigm, it unexplains so much that it quickly transitions from science to just bad philosophy. And yet, as with global warming, or "gender studies," or "diversity," or multiculturalism, or the homosexual agenda, or so many other hobbyhearses of the death culture, there is considerable pressure on all of us to go along with the Darwinian program on pain of not just being wrong, but being bad -- a telling clue about the unscientific nature of this moralistic exercise in mind -- and spirit -- control.

One of the ways activists achieve their aim is through a kind of mindlessly repetitive group pressure that amounts to bullying, something Al Gore has become famous for, what with his repeated insistence that there is a scientific consensus about manmade global warming. One does not argue a scientific point by bellowing that "everyone believes it," but this is increasingly the tactic of leftist agenda-driven science. No one has to argue about the existence of gravity by insisting that everyone believes in it. Rather, its existence can be demonstrated. Belief doesn't enter into it. The belief that poverty causes crime (or jihad), or that homosexuality is an inalterable genetic condition, or that men and women have identical abilities -- these and so many others are just religious dogmas of the left.

After all, this is why no one asks if you know about global warming. Rather, they ask if you believe in it. No one will have to ask if you believe in it if and when it can actually be proven. And even then, the questions of whether it is a wholly bad thing, or what, if anything, to do about it, are completely separate.

Likewise, no one would have to ask if you "believe in evolution" if it could be established as fact instead of theory. (And I am speaking, of course, of the logically self-refuting extreme reductionism of natural selection, not evolution itself; obviously the cosmos evolves, the whole question being how.)

Again, just as the left has no interest in ending racial discrimination -- indeed, they are its only organized advocates -- committed leftists have little interest in science itself unless it can be used to promote leftist ends. Thus, their attraction to global warming is political, not scientific. Global warming hysteria just happens to be an outstanding way to assault the free market system, to vastly increase the size of government, to diminish liberty, and to erode our sovereignty under the guise of "international law," perfect for leftist aims.

Just as reductionistic natural selection is a bullying tactic to try to make people feel foolish about belief in God, environmental hysteria is a way to displace the Judeo-Christian system of morality with a kind of flatland substitute. Only in such a bizarro world -- for it is literally turned upside down in vertical space -- can people perceive the United States as immoral and the U.N. as moral.

In the real world, the U.N. is a disgraceful swamp of absolute moral depravity run by criminals, tyrants, and genocidal beasts, whereas the United States is the most decent and moral nation that has ever existed. In fact, it is so liberal and open that it even allows the U.N. to exist within its borders, whereas the U.N. would never allow decency to exist within its halls, unless it were accidental -- for the U.N. is essentially rotten and accidentally good, whereas the U.S. is the converse. The U.N. ejected John Bolton in the same way a healthy person ejects a toxin from his system. For he was toxic to their evil.

But again, if we use the new faux morality of radical environmentalism, the left is able to achieve its end of depicting the United States as evil and the U.N. good, which is quite an accomplishment. In a stroke, it makes the luciferic system that opposes global spiritual evolution (of which the U.N. is only a small part) operate that much more efficiently. After all, if the left actually cared about the issue, they would spend all their time vilifying China. For that matter, if they cared about "refugees" and "occupations," the U.N. would be preoccupied with the plight of the Tibetans instead of promoting the agenda of the genocidal animals known as the "Palestinians."

Yesterday a typical know-nothing bully careened into the Cosmos and commented, "wow, you really made a fool of yourself with that post. Good thing for you your regulars don't have a clue either. Stick to somewhat clever wordplay and leave philosophizing to those who actually know something about what they are talking about. Your 'ideas' about Darwin and its implications are laughable at best."

To which one can only respond that his knowledge of God is plainly non-existent -- which is the same response I would give to any doctrinaire Darwinian. If he should ask, "what, don't you believe in evolution?," my response would be, "what, don't you know about God? You're kidding, right?" And if he says, "but God is not great," I would ask, "tell me what you know about God. No, not about what other people say or do. Tell me what you personally know." To which, if he were honest, he would have to respond, "oh, nothing." That being the case, he would be compelled to change the title of his book from "God is Not Great" to "I Know Nothing" -- or perhaps "I Am Nothing," which is what a human being unarguably is in any materialistic paradigm.

To be completely accurate, the materialist must affirm that "I Am Nothing, and So are You," for in the end, atheism is nihilism, and a nihilist is just an atheist with the courage of his absence of convictions: there is no truth and everything is permitted. As I mentioned in passing yesterday, there is no possible metaphysical basis for something wholly random, transient and accidental to know the Immutable. Or, if it can know the Immutable, then we must revise our assessment of the transience of this entity, for there is something absolute about it, something which mysteriously touches the eternal, something which cannot be surpassed. In reality, there can be no species above or beyond the human being. It is inconceivable. We are evolutions's end.

We also had a couple of commenters who advocated -- as they always do when the issue comes up -- for the spiritual continuity of human beings and animals. This is wrong belief and wrong movement, grasshopper. Of course there is continuity between animals and human beings, just as there is continuity between matter and life (or humans and God, for that matter). Nevertheless, there is also a radical ontological discontinuity between matter and life, something "present" in life that could never be seen in its constituent parts.

Naturally, being that we are alive and conscious, we are privileged to bear witness to countless fascinating spiritual hints and clues embedded in, and radiating through, matter, which "looks" at us with its outward forms of inexplicable beauty and "speaks" to us with its extraordinary inner mathematical elegance. But to suggest that this means that matter is just as spiritual as the divine consciousness that contemplates it is basically stupid, just a sort of exalted flatland Spinozean pantheism that is superficially appealing to a certain kind of middlebrow intellect, but ultimately blind to the true hierarchy of being.

In the paradigm of natural selection there can be no absolutes, no end states, no final accomplishments. Everything is a work in progress, minus the progress. Thus, the inability to explain how natural selection has produced the perfection of the human archetype, something which is an absolute end and cannot be surpassed. Anyone who looks into the eyes of his child realizes this. Yes, it is hypothetically possible -- no, inevitable -- that natural selection will continue to tinker at the margins of this archetype, but this archetype cannot surpass itself any more than perfect beauty or absolute truth can surpass itself.

This is what it means to say that human beings are in the image of their creator: that they are in their own way absolute, only in reflected form -- as above, so below. Thus, they are absolute, but only relatively so. This makes much, much more sense than the opposite -- that we are really reflections of matter, or absolutely relative: as below, so above. Despite the fact that this preposterously upside down metaphysic makes no sense at all -- for how could relativity be absolute without immediately refuting itself? -- it is what you must believe in order to be a self-consistent doctrinairre Darwinian.

Let's be honest: either we are a random, transient, and therefore meaningless organization of molecules, or we descended from something which surpasses us. Woe to the impoverished soul incapable of intuiting our source and ground in that which surpasses us. And woer still to the beasts in human form who admit hierarchy but who substitute their own imaginary mind parasites for the reality of the One.

Thus, the Raccoon is an embattled little beast who is always waging a war on two simultaneous fronts: the boneheaded and spiritually bereft anti-intellctual flatlanders of the secular left, and the cannibalistic denizens of the lower vertical with their false absolute. In fact, both of these spiritual adversaries fight on behalf of their respective false absolutes -- which is why leftism and Islamism are "absolutisms," or intrinsically false religions as opposed to true ones.

In the end, it all comes down to the choice of imposing absolutism vs. defending spiritual absolutes and their reflection in the herebelow: liberty, truth, love, beauty, decency, and the human being who embodies these and other absolutes. Underneath it all, the meaning of history's struggle can be reduced to just this one dialectic. For history, like evolution, has an end. It achieves this end any time a human being realizes the absolute in any of its diverse manifestatons, which is the sufficient reason for our existence. And, being itself absolute, there is no end to this end -- not while we live, anyway.

85 Comments:

Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

"...we are privileged to bear witness to countless fascinating spiritual hints and clues embedded in, and radiating through, matter, which "looks" at us with its outward forms of inexplicable beauty and "speaks" to us with its extraordinary inner mathematical elegance."

Is there anything more beautiful than a precise thought, precisely expressed?

It's a rhetorical question. There will be no quiz later.

:)

6/20/2007 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger CrypticLife said...

Odd, isn't it, how the right philosophical views always seem to coincide with a particular political party?

6/20/2007 09:46:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

How could it not be so? Right action can only occur if it is grounded in truth. Truth is the most important societal value. Thus, a movement affirming that truth is relative is a political non-starter:

"We hold these preliminary findings to be more or less accurate, at least for now, that all cultures have equal validity, and that each culture has its own ideas about rights and duties and so forth and so on and blah blah blah. In our case, we have hit upon this idea -- no offense, but we have this tentative idea -- subject to further studies, of course -- that we would like the government -- that would be your government -- to cut us some slack so that we can do what we want to do -- basically acquire property and be happy, but not limiting ourselves to that. Anyhoo, it is our culturally conditioned idea that Governments -- not all of them, of course, but ours -- should actually derive their power from the people, although we have respect and tolerance for the contrary view that you folks hold. Nevertheless, some of our more headstrong citizens think that we should be able to form a government based upon these vague hunches of ours, which, after all, are as good as your hunches. No, that was rude -- let's just say that our hunches are different than yours, and leave it at that.... No one can presume to be a judge of whose hunches are best.... At any rate, since, as the saying goes, "different strokes for different folks"....

6/20/2007 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger juliec said...

Not really, Cryptic. What one believes about the existence of Truth and about basic human nature should necessarily have an effect on what one thinks a government's role should be in the lives of the people it serves.

The only thing odd is that you would see what we generally think here and assume that a particular political party actually serves the values we hold dear, inasmuch as neither the Democrats nor the Republicans seem to actually act, in general, like conservatives most of the time.

6/20/2007 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger juliec said...

Dupree - I'm really glad I wasn't drinking coffee just then :)

6/20/2007 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger CrypticLife said...

I don't recognize the quote, Cousin. Can you give a reference?

6/20/2007 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

How can anything be "odd" to someone named Cryptic?

Just askin'...

Cryptic Profile:

"Atheist, behaviorist, determinist, and humanist."

You had us at, "atheist". Everything afterward is a redun-dunce-y.

6/20/2007 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

Given Bob's earlier described rueful choice between the stupid party and the evil party, I think we can safely assume that politics take a back seat here. But politics are the most obvious, most concrete, external, visible, easy to "get". Anyone who has considered voting in a western country is likely to identify at a glance which party is furthest removed from the "raccoon" way.

The more personal, internal and esoteric stuff is hidden in plain view, as is the rule for such things. Even if Bob writes about it, most people will not be able to remember it when they reach the end of his entry.

6/20/2007 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Global warming hysteria just happens to be an outstanding way to assault the free market system, to vastly increase the size of government, to diminish liberty, and to erode our sovereignty under the guise of "international law," perfect for leftist aims.

What Al Gore does on a daily basis is a crime against humanity, especially children. Thank God he's not president. Yet.

Goregoyles
call in csi
if it fits al will commit
earth in the balance

6/20/2007 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger CrypticLife said...

Because it's not my name, Joan. My name and philosophical leanings are quite irrelevant here.

6/20/2007 10:27:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

Cryptic Life:

Why are you here except to indulge and put on display your incomprehension of any reality transcending the senses? We fully understand your point of view -- being that most of us have pets -- so your work here appears to be through.

6/20/2007 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

My ...philosophical leanings are quite irrelevant here.

Then why bring them here? Are you looking for something you lost, or are you building a bastion for your atheism?

I've looked at your posts and see none of the former and greatly suspect the latter.

Cryptic people often revel in being misunderstood, and use that as a self-fulfilling leverage for their preconceived assumptions about contrary ideas.

You are not unwelcome, you are just unserious. If you are treated as such, who is to blame?

But I'll certainly call you if my dog needs training.

6/20/2007 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Cousin Dupree, I see we were on the same wavelength regarding "behaviorist". Heh.

6/20/2007 10:57:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Very illuminating post Bob,

"And woer still to the beasts in human form who admit hierarchy but who substitute their own imaginary mind parasites for the reality of the One."

Hmmm, possibly the cause of most if not all human strife in the world? In families as well as nations.

6/20/2007 11:04:00 AM  
Anonymous cosanostradamus said...

Here's what raccoons like to do for fun to squirrels that come sneaking around...Waaaah!

6/20/2007 11:07:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

Behaviorism is actually a quite suitable philosophy for those of a, shall we say, lower caste, in that it does adequately traverse the narrow range of their being and seems to satisfy their rudimentary need for "answers."

6/20/2007 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Cosa, I fear you and I read the same blogs! That could be scary!

If we could adapt that to trolls...

wv: wkutwmvi

It's an anagram! "Who Knows, Until They Will Make Virtue Important?"

6/20/2007 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger CrypticLife said...

"Then why bring them here? "

I did not bring them here. Actually, since my first comment in which I note that I believe no gods exist, I have not made an issue of my atheism. I am not here as a proselytizer, and have no need of a bastion for lack of belief in deities (and it seems this would be a remarkably poor choice of locale for that, regardless). Whether you fully understand my point of view -- something that would be astoundingly concise if it were possible in four words -- or not does not matter to me.

I, personally, am not cryptic, and I do not revel in being misunderstood. I am quite serious.

Nor am I a troll. I have generally restrained myself to few comments, unless I am directly addressed. I have not made any personal attacks, and have refrained from responding to personal attacks (unless, of course, they contain questions -- which I will endeavor to answer).

Hopefully, Cousin, that answers your question as well.

6/20/2007 11:29:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

Hardly. The question was, why do you come here? Being that you're a behaviorist, I'll give you a treat if you can answer.

6/20/2007 11:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cryptic...I feel bad for you so I'll give you a hint.

The quote is the Declaration of Independence based on the relativistic truths of a group of people who don't believe in anything.

Oops.....I guess that wasn't a hint so much as spelling it out for you.

6/20/2007 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"...for the U.N. is essentially rotten and accidentally good, whereas the U.S. is the converse."

I do get enjoy seeing reams of philosophy condensed into a single line. Remember kits, Re-hydrate with care.

6/20/2007 11:54:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Yo Crip,

Your atheism is who you are and pervades every aspect of your being as would another persons theism. Your entire life is built around it and it colors your worldview and perspective and pervades every comment that is uttered from your mouth or your fingertips. You eat, sleep and fart atheism, it is your religion. It is the everpresent background noise of which you are apparently unaware.
How then can you say that you are able to refrain from bringing it here when it is with you from your first breath every morning?

Oh, forgot, background noise of a person with little or no no self awareness, sorry.

6/20/2007 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

juliec said... "Dupree - I'm really glad I wasn't drinking coffee just then :) "

Wish I could say the same about my Taquito's.

6/20/2007 11:57:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

Yes, you are farting your silly atheism in our general direction, you son of a hamster!

6/20/2007 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

I did not bring them here.

Bullshit!

You've brought all sorts of stuff in here with you, but none of it is sincere.

You've brought little (and I do mean small!)pointy sticks as part of an experiment in jabbing around until someone squeaks. You jot down important notes and scurry back to your lonely eastside apartment where you assimilate the stimulus/response data to bolster some foregone conclusions, God only knows, sir.

Vivisectionist may now be added to your resume. But I will not be silenced! I am not an animal! Take your stinking paws off of this comment thread, you damn, dirty, humanist!

6/20/2007 12:05:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

crypt-ick-life said... "My name and philosophical leanings are quite irrelevant here."

wo.

"My ... philosophical leanings are quite irrelevant here."

Ok. Now that I've got my breath back, if you think that your philosophical leanings are irrelevant here, just what is it you think is relevant here?

I've yet to get a sensible answer to this question from those who hang out here despite having no possible point of agreement or development - but I am a flogger - what do you see as being worth your while in coming here, and what value do you think you bring here for those unable or unwilling to click past your comments?

6/20/2007 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Besides, what's cryptic about life is that it is so entirely ...indiscriminate.

Life really should know better.

Pffttt! Pffftt!

6/20/2007 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Joan of Argghh! said "Pffttt! Pffftt! "

Would't
Woof!
be more appropriate here?

6/20/2007 12:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Philomathean said...

During the history of life on Earth, evolution has been a natural phenomenon. Within a few decades, however, Mankind will be able to control its own evolution. Genetic engineering will allow us to make "improvements" to the human genome that can be passed on to our descendants. Within a few hundred years there could be several distinct species of humans.

This seems like the ultimate act of hubris on our part. While we may live longer and cure some diseases, in the long run we don't have the wisdom or the moral authority to tinker with our fundamental makeup.

6/20/2007 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Van, "woof!" would never be appropriate for me.

[retracts claws, stretches out on the porch in the afternoon sun, closes eyes and dreams catnip and cuba libres]

6/20/2007 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

--"Genetic engineering will allow us to make "improvements" to the human genome that can be passed on to our descendants."

Very unlikely. The genome is much more complex and nonlinear than anyone realized, so that tinkering with one part always has unintended consequences. Remind you of a certain political movement?

--Within a few hundred years there could be several distinct species of humans.

That has never even happened with mayflies, as the mutations of a species always cluster around a norm. Besides, as I said, for entirely different reasons that perhaps I didn't make clear enough, you cannot have different species of humans. Either you are human or something less.

6/20/2007 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Joan of Argghh! said "retracts claws, stretches out on the porch in the afternoon sun, closes eyes and dreams catnip and cuba libres"

... and perhaps of squirels hurtling through the air....

6/20/2007 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger CrypticLife said...

"why do you come here? "

To hear your views.

"How then can you say that you are able to refrain from bringing it here when it is with you from your first breath every morning?"

I was specifically referring to proselytization, as Joan indicated she thought I was creating a "bastion" for my atheism. I don't recall arguing seriously here on the existence or non-existence of a deity, and my comments have not regarded it. This post wouldn't mention it either, except that Joan decided to bring it up.

"You've brought little ...pointy sticks as part of an experiment in jabbing around until someone squeaks."

Joan, cousin dupree asked me why I was here. I'm here to hear views. Sometimes, that involves questioning, which you might subjectively feel is "jabbing around". I've been cordial. I have no interest in silencing you.

"just what is it you think is relevant here?"

Your philosophical leanings. I don't need to be here to learn what I believe. This is part of why petty insults have absolutely no effect on me, except occasionally being amusing.

"what value do you think you bring here for those unable or unwilling to click past your comments?"

Well, I admit that a substantial reason for my presence is self-interest. However, for readers there is the advantage of contrast -- even if you disagree with me completely, my comments provide an opportunity to explicate further. One does not need to be in complete agreement to add something to a comment thread. Additionally, not all my posts have been negative towards the comments made here. Yesterday I made a comment regarding the Japanese language which would tend to support the idea that there are archetypical male/female roles.

"Would't
Woof!
be more appropriate here? "

You're seriously woofing my nic? Yes, I'd definitely say some of the petty insults are quite amusing.

6/20/2007 01:00:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

I was just about to give you your treat, but then you said "archetype." Bad behaviorist!

6/20/2007 01:12:00 PM  
Anonymous cosanostradamus said...

joan said: "Cosa, I fear you and I read the same blogs! That could be scary!"

No doubt! Like IMAO, for example?

BTW, you meant acronym (but you knew that). ;-)

But a good anagram would be:

Cryptic Life = Ecliptic Fry

When he grows up, maybe he'll be tall enough to peek over the edge and stare in wonder at all...that...Beauty.

Seriously Cryp, many of us have been through the same shadowlands and were somehow awakened, some by sheer persistence, but all by grace. Stick around and absorb. But don't expect anyone to turn around and head backwards to keep you company.

6/20/2007 01:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Stu said...

I have some questions, Bob.

You said in response to Philomathean:

"Besides, as I said, for entirely different reasons that perhaps I didn't make clear enough, you cannot have different species of humans. Either you are human or something less."

But can't one also be more than human? My understanding of Aurobindo is that humanity is a weigh-station, not an endpoint. That humans are evolving towards something greater than humanity.

Is it not our calling to transcend even our own human-ness?

And aren't there necessarily infinite more stages in our evolution, given the infinite gap between God and men? Stages that will play out in realms of reality, including the biological/genetic?

Besides, a future with superhumans, cyborgs and humanoids with monsterously oversized brains is just plain cool.

6/20/2007 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I'm afraid I have to disagree with Aurobindo on that point, unless understood metaphorically.

6/20/2007 01:46:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

"And aren't there necessarily infinite more stages in our evolution, given the infinite gap between God and men? Stages that will play out in realms of reality, including the biological/genetic?"

Doubt it. Looks like evolutionary changes are going to be cultural from here on out. Actually, if I remember my physical anthro, major bioevolution for humans pretty much ended with the foot. Since then, it seems like it's mostly been about programming through cultural shifts, with maybe a little frontal lobe development thrown in.

6/20/2007 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Then again, I always thought that the nature of baseball meant that it was impossible for anyone to break through certain inherent constraints, but Barry Bonds proved otherwise. I can't stand him, but sterioids or no steroids, he elevated himself so far above his peers that he might as well be another species.

6/20/2007 02:17:00 PM  
Anonymous stu said...

Maybe Aurobindo was speaking metaphorically. Maybe he even got it wrong.

Although it's more likely that my understanding of him is wrong or partial. Vestiges from that transhumanism course I took in college. (yes, they actually offered a course about the obscure transhumanism movement)

Details, details...

6/20/2007 02:24:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

cryptlife said "I don't need to be here to learn what I believe."

Hmm, makes learning sound like less of a dynamic process of growth, and more like a conceptual cupholder, useful only for holding those beliefs which already fit it. Kind of destroys the meaning of learning and belief, doesn't it?

I could see frequenting a site which challenges your beliefs, but that requires some point of contact to wrestle from - and I'm not seeing any common points of reference between us and you. Unless I've misread your previous comments, you:
-Don't believe in God (Big 'G' or little 'g')
-Don't believe in Truth (One Truth as opposed to various independent truths)
-Do believe in a deterministic, materialist explanation of life and consciousness
-Reject the idea of Self-Evident Truths (of the 'Declaration of Independence' variety)

Without the possibility of any contact along these lines, where's the possibility of growth for you?

Without such a possibility, it's difficult to see your participation as little more than a morbid pre-occupation. Do you see something differently?

"...petty insults have absolutely no effect on me, except occasionally being amusing."

I suppose trading insults could qualify as one reason to hang out, there's some fleeting fun in that on both ends... kinda wierd as a primary purpose for spending your time though.

6/20/2007 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Cosa, yes *ahem!* I meant acronym. Yep. But, I haven't been out to IMAO in a while. Squirrels are getting around!

And you are far more gallant with Cryptic than I can muster. Not recognizing the Declaration of Independence, even in satire? Not appreciating my brilliant insight into Planet of the Apes?!! Taking us seriously? That's the last straw!

Van, you nailed it in that last post. You are kind to spell it all out for him.

Meanwhile, I'll repost what I thought was a beautiful meditation from Bob's thoughts for the day before Tales From The Crypt arrived:

"...we are privileged to bear witness to countless fascinating spiritual hints and clues embedded in, and radiating through, matter, which "looks" at us with its outward forms of inexplicable beauty and "speaks" to us with its extraordinary inner mathematical elegance."

Crypt, you'd do better to listen to and hear from a hundred staggeringly beautiful sonatas than to try and absorb anything being said here. Consider it remedial homework before you can come back to class.

6/20/2007 02:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello folks, I was guided to this site by a criticism on a very popular left wing blog a few months ago, and originally came here to sneer I am ashamed to say. Everything here rings true with an incredible clarity. When I first realised this I wondered why everyone doesn't know this stuff? I and I am sure many others would gladly pay $10.00 for a .txt file of all the previous posts. (and the comments which add an invaluable extra dimension to the posts)(you could charge through paypal) Anyway, this is perhaps too much to ask but could you perhaps address a post on how to rid oneself of mind parasites, porn addiction, narcissism, etc. and perhaps a primer on how to pray? I have discovered I have many problems I did not realise I had after learning what I have learned from this blog. Sort of a primer for wannabe coons? Thanks again for this blog and to all the regular commentators. Sorry this post seems a bit jarring in that it does not fit in with the rest of the comments on this page- hope no one minds! Thanks

6/20/2007 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Send $10 to

Dupree Boniface Rubidoux
#68 Rural Route 163
Upper Tonga
US

I'll get you those files. Just don't tell Bob

6/20/2007 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger CrypticLife said...

"Kind of destroys the meaning of learning and belief, doesn't it?"

If you take it that way, it might, van, but keep in mind I merely said I don't need to be here to learn what I believe. This means I could do it at various other locations or settings. Learning about what you believe, however, does require me to be here.

"Without such a possibility, it's difficult to see your participation as little more than a morbid pre-occupation. Do you see something differently?"

Yes, I do see possibilities for personal growth here, certainly more so than where I can predict the tone and tenor of conversation unerringly.

"I suppose trading insults could qualify as one reason to hang out,"

We're not trading insults. I'm merely accepting them. I made a specific decision not to return them. You may have confused me with other commenters, who have been far more vocal than I.

6/20/2007 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Dupree! Stop swiping Gagdad's nic! (Gagdad, remember to log out when away from the pc)

6/20/2007 02:57:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

You passive aggressive POS, you started today's thread with a sarcastic comment about the post! You can't be that disingenuous, knave.

6/20/2007 03:02:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

Perhaps we're being studied in the name of science, CD.

I, for one, am stunned that there's still a living, breathing behaviorist out there.

6/20/2007 03:15:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

In a different vein, whaddya suppose it means that the sound in the chimney in my office last week turned out to be three six-week old racoons that have spent their whole lives about three feet from where I sit while working?

Coincidence? I think not.

6/20/2007 03:19:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

cryptlife said "...I merely said I don't need to be here to learn what I believe. This means I could do it at various other locations or settings. Learning about what you believe, however, does require me to be here."

Explains reading perhaps, but not commenting; even so, still leaves the question ...because why...? Is this like butterfly collecting?

"We're not trading insults. I'm merely accepting them. I made a specific decision not to return them. You may have confused me with other commenters, who have been far more vocal than I."

I suppose a couple of those could be loosely interpreted as stabs at humor... nah...still if so, mild recreational slamming might be simpler....

6/20/2007 03:24:00 PM  
Blogger CrypticLife said...

Cousin,

Assuming you were talking to me (I don't think there's anyone else here you'd be inclined to refer to as a "POS"), any sarcasm in my first post would have been on your reading of it, not my writing.

If you were trying to use that to destroy my assertion that I'm not being insulting, I'd point out that mere sarcasm is not an insult. Of course, it's possible I'm being unintentionally insulting -- but if you compare my comments to those of other atheistic trolls, I'm sure you'll find a difference. They would likely have called you "dunces" or made silly bastardizations of your nicknames. I do try to be more civil than that.

6/20/2007 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger CrypticLife said...

"Explains reading perhaps, but not commenting; even so, still leaves the question ...because why...?"

Because watching tv is different from having a conversation.

6/20/2007 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

It is certainly not difficult to evolve past the average human of today. But past the ideal human? I am not so sure. We can become more intelligent, but we frequently see examples of intelligent humans who fail to live up to their potential ... or even fail to live up to basic standards of decency.

I personally believe that we still have one phase transition left, another "big bang" so to speak, and that it will be most obvious on the interpersonal level. There have been scattered outbreaks of it in the past, so it is not "new" or "future" in the strictest sense. But it has failed to cover the earth, to sweep away the old healfhearted culture. This will have to happen at some point. We cannot continue the old way with the kind of power we are amassing now.

But I don't see developing huge brains and tentacles having any part in it.

6/20/2007 03:40:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

but if you compare my comments to those of other atheistic trolls, I'm sure you'll find a difference.

Oh great. "Troll-lite." Yes, that's definitely superior. I mean, that's what you're after, right? You need some sort of affirmation of your superior demeanor and approach.

Troll-lite. Watered-down, weak-sister trollage. Gah. Why, when I was a kit, trolls had teeth, I tells ya!

6/20/2007 03:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You must like being embattled little beasts because during the week prior you didn't bash the reader over the head with the Party Line, and by way of that the universal appeal of participating in a conversation about the divine was unmistakable. Unfortunately, there must be something about drawing you to partisanship before divinity, something you must like about playing the role of embittered minoritarian.

6/20/2007 03:45:00 PM  
Anonymous dilys said...

I'm touched by the apparent sincerity of the last "anonymous." I too have had the experience of making sudden turns, turning on the light, and seeing the roaches scurry.

I imagine most here would agree it is safe and fruitful to look to the classic answer to "Teach us to pray," which is the prayer we think is familiar but which repays a very slow and attentive attitude. Also, pausing with a parenthesis to actually forgive everyone, adds a good bit of voltage to the progress.

No one has to drink the entire ocean. Medicine, one spoonful, as directed.

6/20/2007 03:47:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

cryptlife said...
"Because watching tv is different from having a conversation."

ahh... riiight.

Brings to mind the Monty Python sketch... something along the lines of
"...That's not true."
"Is so"
"It isn't, actually...."
"Is too."
"I say, your not arguing with me, I paid for an argument!"
"Oh, I'm sorry, if you're looking for Arguments, that's down the hall on the left, this is Contradictions"
"Sorry, Thank you"
"Quite alright."

What you are engaging in is not conversation, but mere disagreeableness.

People come here with a certain common goal, sort of trying to work out their proper phrasing and individual notes to add to a choirs harmony. Each singer singing their own take, but blending into a larger choral song. Some are more adept than others, but all are trying.

You however, are making no attempt to find any sort of harmonious phrasing or key - you are just blurting out contrary verbiage stubbornly and intentionaly off key.

Not helpful, not sensible. Again, what's the point?

(Yes Joan, I know, I'm doing it again... I just have a hard time accepting that people actually intentionaly do this... I keep thinking they must at least think that they have a good reason for doing it, and were I to discover it, all could be resolved. Yeah, I know. Flogger.)

6/20/2007 03:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin dupree said...

Was I derelict in bashing the reader over the head with the Party Line last week? No wonder our site meter stats plummeted so dramatically! Back to normal this week. Embittered minoritarianism sells!

6/20/2007 04:05:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

"Embittered minoritarianism sells!"

Certainly got my attention.

6/20/2007 04:13:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

For Van.

6/20/2007 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Walt!
A Treasure Trove!
Here's the Argument Clinic!

Raiders of the Lost Arghh!

6/20/2007 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger CrypticLife said...

Van,

Ah, I see. It's performance art.

Well, I had been keeping my comments to a minimum, just enough to get some minor response to elucidate a point. Neither my atheism nor behaviorism was an issue until one of the singers decided to make it one. My contrary verbiage is not purely for the purposes of being contrary.

"I mean, that's what you're after, right?"

I've said what I'm after several times, but you seem to disbelieve me or simply fail to understand. The only thing I want from you is your beliefs. If those include denigrations of me, that's fine. I certainly need no affirmation from you, and would have abandoned that long ago if I did.

6/20/2007 05:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Alan said...

Welcome, $10 paying anonymous guy!

A warning that the path of the raccoon is a hard and difficult one - though not without it's compensations.

Once you have taken a step forward, there is no turning back (some famous guy said something putting a hand to the plow).

Your sh*t will come at you again and again as you try to move forward.

That being said, the compensations are well worth it as you make progress.

You've actually made the most important step which is to notice what is going on - be awake. Most of our day we are asleep and the real you is unconscious while the unreal you's are acting out.

oops - Alan went into pedantic mode again
:-0

To make up for it, here is what happens when a chipmunk finds out he isn't a raccoon.

6/20/2007 05:52:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

cryptlife said "... just enough to get some minor response to elucidate a point. "
uh-hah.

"Neither my atheism nor behaviorism was an issue until ..."

Not so, what you apparently don't get, is that it's the thought process which results in atheism and behaviorism, which unavoidably makes it an issue.

"I've said what I'm after several times, but you seem to disbelieve me or simply fail to understand. The only thing I want from you is your beliefs."

I'm going with "simply fail to understand". Like the twilight episode "To serve Man", Very creepy.

Tales from the creepily cryptic life from the crypt. Perhaps I'll pass.

6/20/2007 05:59:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Bob said,

“…for the U.N. is essentially rotten and accidentally good, whereas the U.S. is the converse.”

This echoes Schuon, as Bob pointed out the other day:

“which after all is the perspective of the devil, who disparages a mountain because of a fissure…”

“and, conversely, praises an evil because of an inevitable particle of good”

6/20/2007 06:05:00 PM  
Blogger MizzE said...

(after a pause for recovery)

Like a plethoric burning martyr, or a self-consuming misanthrope, once ignited, nosy MizzE supplied her own fuel and burned by her own laughter.

Tanks of grog!
Tanks of grog for Walt!
Hells bells, tanks of grog all around!

6/20/2007 06:32:00 PM  
Anonymous The Big S said...

Believe in global warming?!
Heck, I caused it!
Blame me or thank me...your choice.

The Big S

6/20/2007 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

That was me. (Big S)
Couldn’t resist.
Sort of a hot button issue, you might say.

budum-bum-tchish!

Or …maybe not.

6/20/2007 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger CrypticLife said...

"Not so, what you apparently don't get, is that it's the thought process which results in atheism and behaviorism, which unavoidably makes it an issue."

You're right: it looked a lot more to me like Joan clicked on my profile and decided to post it here that brought that into discussion.

6/20/2007 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

cryptlife said "...a lot more to me like Joan clicked on my profile and decided to post it here that brought that into discussion."

Lol! Oh come on, I definitely disagree with you, but you haven't sunk to lameness before! You were pegged for that from your first post!

wv:xshhzykd - see, even wordverif gets that

6/20/2007 06:55:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

"Joan clicked on my profile and decided to post it here that brought that into discussion."

Are you forgetting when and with whom you arrived here? The Web runs in both directions, after all.

6/20/2007 07:14:00 PM  
Anonymous cosanostradamus said...


Big S
says, "Um, changed me mind. Bored. Perhaps I'll visit upon them some DANGEROUS GLOBAL COOLING instead! Bwaaahaaahaaa!"

6/20/2007 07:37:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Is it safe to come out? Has the ghost dematerialized back into its crypt? Not knowing that it's dead is hard to watch.

6/20/2007 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Man, crypto. I don't know if it is you or Mackenzie who is more compartmentalized in their thinking.

Your complaint is like of the South Carolinian who wonders why the New Yorkers think he is a southerner -- 'They just clicked the link and found I was from South Carolina!'

Rather, it is things like your condescending attempt at humor - anti-animal? If you want to do humor, you try to make people laugh. That's humor. Making a joke so subtle you're the only one who knows its a joke is not humor. Its just stupid.

And calling us low brow for not getting it? Priceless.

You give us no indication of where your loyalties lie - so therefore you are suspect when you say:

"Odd, isn't it, how the right philosophical views always seem to coincide with a particular political party?"

Which is a sufficiently ambiguous statement as to engender a range of responses.

Because you refuse to supply the necessary context, it is supplied for you - that is, your past actions, plus, Joan's visit to your profile.

This hopefully won't come as a shock for you - most figure it out in around 6th grade or so - a person who establishes themselves as a doctrinaire contrarian - to use big words - has no protest which stands when they find themselves contested.

I imagine, as an incredible twist of irony, you're probably a decent person to be around in real life.

But online? You have the social skills of a rock. But, how different - in your view - are we really from complex, moving rocks? Carbon, right?

This ain't intended as an insult, but a warning - you're being completely daft and then when the obvious darts come flying - taking them and finding yourself superior for it.

It's just pretentious.

PS - did you mean what we thought you meant or not? Or are you just going to be 'cryptic' about it? Clarify your own statements, perhaps.

6/20/2007 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Crypt-keeper, don't you remember being here yesterday?

Me neither. It was that forgettable.

But it was worth looking at before ever going to your profile. Benefit of the doubt and all that.

You can't just leave crap laying around from yesterday and then pretend that your comment-life began with your last comment-- and then whine because someone has the nerve to post your profile and derail your little experiment.

I merely posted your profile to keep the more tender-hearted kits from the snare of your insincerity.

6/20/2007 09:07:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Now, where were we?

6/20/2007 11:10:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Hoarhey, I believe we were here:

Thus, the Raccoon is an embattled little beast who is always waging a war on two simultaneous fronts: the boneheaded and spiritually bereft anti-intellctual flatlanders of the secular left, and the cannibalistic denizens of the lower vertical with their false absolute.

6/21/2007 04:31:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Riv said,

“I imagine, as an incredible twist of irony, you're probably a decent person to be around in real life. But online? You have the social skills of a rock.”

Are you implying Crypt has ‘behavior’ issues?
If so, then we can’t blame him.
But this is not my area, just an ‘observation’.

6/21/2007 04:54:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

"Naturally, being that we are alive and conscious, we are privileged to bear witness to countless fascinating spiritual hints and clues embedded in, and radiating through, matter, which "looks" at us with its outward forms of inexplicable beauty and "speaks" to us with its extraordinary inner mathematical elegance. But to suggest that this means that matter is just as spiritual as the divine consciousness that contemplates it is basically stupid, just a sort of exalted flatland Spinozean pantheism that is superficially appealing to a certain kind of middlebrow intellect, but ultimately blind to the true hierarchy of being."

I just wanted to see it again.

Bob, you give such elegant expression to relativity in relation to the absolute, as opposed to sheer relativism. Nobody has ever explicated this so well, IMO.

"faux morality"

Such a perfect description. And the dogmas are so arbitrarily chosen.

"That has never even happened with mayflies... Either you are human or something less."

Yes, and we have already been declared "very good" by Someone supremely familiar with the highest form of goodness. :) How can we to presume to improve upon that? I mean, other than getting rid of our parasites and moving ever closer to the source of our very-goodness.

6/21/2007 06:51:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Oh, by the way, I'm keepin' Dupree's Tentative Proposal of Independence...forever. It's got a special Word file of its own now.

I'm with Julie...good thing I finished my chocolate milk already.

6/21/2007 06:54:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Susannah,
I'm with you on the quotes & 'Declaration'. As for "I'm with Julie...good thing I finished my chocolate milk already.", I'm afraid I've been getting complacent with the dangers of ISS - my taquito's at lunch yesterday, added a new dimension to its effects... sort of resembled something you might take Imodium to avoid.

(Sorry for the visual.)

6/21/2007 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger CrypticLife said...

"But, how different - in your view - are we really from complex, moving rocks? Carbon, right?"

Hmm, that is an interesting question. Forgive me, but is it a serious question, or rhetorical?

"did you mean what we thought you meant or not? Or are you just going to be 'cryptic' about it? Clarify your own statements, perhaps. "

Can I take it you mean by my first comment in this thread, given that you note that it could generate various responses? I was, of course, aware that it could be taken as a sarcastic contradictory statement rather than a question -- but I wanted it to be open to be answered as a straight question. And, cousin's first response, and juliec's response, and magnus' response were all reasonable responses to it. I'd thought cousin's response may have been derived from some larger work, which is why I asked for the cite.

I'm not making any secret of my beliefs. Obviously I'm aware any of you could click on my profile. If I'd wanted to be insincere, I'd have used a sock puppet. And I'm not experimenting.

As far as taking insults, these are words, nothing more. Calling them "darts" does nothing to me. If it makes the posters here feel better, that's a good thing.

"Crypt-keeper, don't you remember being here yesterday? "

Yes.

6/21/2007 07:48:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

cryptlife said "Hmm, that is an interesting question. Forgive me, but is it a serious question, or rhetorical?"

Is there an 'Inte' school that all go to?

The pattern so so plain, a snide comment, followed with some reasonableness, then some seeming give and take on quesitons, but just when it seems that you're about to say something solid, there follows the evasive comment as above, and then we'll get a new tack which will attempt to repeat the sequence all over again.

So boring. Couldn't you add some variety to it? Or better yet, some actual content to your comments?

6/21/2007 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger CrypticLife said...

"Is there an 'Inte' school that all go to? "

Not that I'm aware of. Let me assure you that asking whether it was rhetorical wasn't snide -- there were several other rhetorical questions in River's post. Since he was asking me about my beliefs in a forum where they're not welcome, I wanted to be sure he really wanted an answer. I'm not trying to push my beliefs on you guys. River's one of the people here I do respect, for his obvious intelligence and a demeanor which mostly refrained from insults. Well, except maybe having the social skills of a rock. And that could well be true anyway.

"Couldn't you add some variety to it? Or better yet, some actual content to your comments?"

I'll do my best in the future.

6/21/2007 09:05:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

cryptlife said "I'll do my best in the future."

(slow burn. Reaches for water, douses flame. Sweeps ashes into trashcan.)

Thank you. Next?

6/21/2007 09:40:00 AM  

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