Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hitler and Radical Darwinism: As Below, So Above

Genuine religion is a kind of absolute defense against bad ideologies, from the violent aggression of Nazism to the passive aggressiveness of blind Obamism. Conversely, virtually all bad ideologies -- the ones that do real damage -- become pseudo-religions, drawing on religious energy and emotion in the absence of religion.

Genuine religion puts one in touch with first principles that define man qua Man, and allow one to understand the adage, "as above, so below." But false religions such as Darwinism or Leftism always either obscure their first principles or fail to draw them out. As a result, they can't help lying, whether consciously or unconsciously. The dim ones -- which is most of them -- lie unconsciously, whereas the bright ones do so consciously and disingenuously. In fact, that's one of the difficulties in assessing a liberal. For example, Obama or Hillary are so "cosmically ignorant" (as PowerLine put it) about economics, one necessarily wonders: do they actually believe what they say? Or is it just demagoguery to stir up the masses? In short, are they stupid or evil?

The Darwinist cannot or will not see the reality of "as above, so below." Not only does he deny it, but to the extent that Darwinism reveals the truth of man, then the opposite must be true: "as below, so above." In other words, there is absolutely nothing -- not love, not truth, not art, not virtue -- that cannot be reduced to a battle down below for genetic survival. Translated to field of politics, it is reduced to a fight for power. People say it is unfair to blame Darwin for social Darwinism, but... well, Dupree calls bullshit, to put it indelicately. For again, to the extent that Darwinism reveals the truth of man, what on earth prevents us from applying the doctrine to the conduct of our lives?

This is most certainly how Hitler felt about it. Furthermore, he was at least clear-sighted enough to know who the real enemy was: the religious, beginning with the devils who were responsible for the whole thing, the Jews. In order to apply his new anti-religious religion, he had to extirpate the old religion root and branch. Jews were the root. The branches would come later.

Notice how Queeg, the radical Darwinist, has had to go about purging his blog of the religious. The underlying pattern is identical, again, because religion is the inoculation against bad or evil ideologies, so the battle against religion will always be at the front line of Cosmic War I, AKA the Forty Thousand Year War. This is what groups such as the ACLU are all about, regardless of what they say they are about. Again, many of its members are just stupid, like Queeg, while others are disingenuous. But underneath it all, they know that in order to advance their inhuman and anti-human agenda, they must eliminate the one force that would prevent it: religion.

Oddly enough, Hitler was actually more crafty and subtle than the ACLU. One of the things that marginalizes the ACLU in America is that they attack religion so brazenly. In Hitler's case, he knew that he had to progress in stages in order to gradually "Nazify" Christendom. If he had gone after Christianity more directly, more resistance would have arisen. And he didn't go after the Jews on the basis of religion. Rather, he first converted them to a race, again consistent with the principle of "as below, so above." In other words, their "evil" ideology could be reduced to a kind of genetic defect, and thus eliminated from the body of man.

One author has defined fascism as the violent resistance to transcendence. As such, the ACLU, or a person such as Queeg, is not a fascist, since they engage in non-violent resistance to transcendence. And yet, the distinction is not so clear cut, since the ACLU wants to use the law to gain a monopoly on religion (the religion of materialism), and the law is always backed by state violence. For example, school prayer is now against the law, meaning that, at the very least, you will lose your job if you violate the law. So that is certainly a kind of coercion that is backed by potential violence.

But at the same time, it's not so easy to say that fascism represents resistance to transcendence. Rather, it simply inverts it, so that transcendence will be sought from "below," in the emotions, instincts, and senses. What the Nazis sought was a kind of irrational religion, or religion purged of any kind of hierarchical ascent. A large part of this necessarily involved a disabling of the conscience, which is to the individual what real religion is to the collective.

Hitler was well aware, for example, of how the Ten Commandments represented a very real barrier to what might be called "transcendence through descent." He wanted to breed a new "race" of ecstatically violent men who would have no such scruples -- authentic born-again pagans with no "impure" Jewish conscience to get in the way. In this alternate religion, man could be totally fulfilled here on earth by transcending individuality from below. As Van Vrekhem writes, Hitler believed he

"had been sent, and was constantly guided, to change the conscience and morality of man into something like the opposite of Christianity." This would be "a new system of values based on brutality and violence." Hitler actually saw Christ as his precursor, in that he would be the "link," so to speak, between the Volk and their most primitive instincts. It was very much as if he were "word made flesh," except that in this case, the word was the primordial lie from below. Hitler said that,

"Providence has predestined me to be the greatest liberator of humanity.... I liberate man... from the foul and humiliating pangs of a chimera called 'conscience' and 'morality,' and from the demands of a liberty and personal independence of which anyway only a few are capable." To the Christian teaching about the infinite value of the individual soul, "I oppose with icy clarity the liberating teaching of the nothingness and insignificance of the individual and his development within the concrete immortality of the nation." The Fuhrer would release "the mass of the believers from the burden of the free decision."

You see? Like nature herself, Hitler cared for the survival of the species, not the individual. Like a multiculturalist, he believed that eternity was concretely located in the group's essence, not in the fanciful individual soul: "Hitler saw the human individual as nothing more than a cell in a body, an ant in a nest." Hitler wrote that "the life of the individual should not be given such high value. A fly lays a million eggs, they all die. But flies survive." As Van Vrekhem notes, "the perspectives this opens reveal something of the real dimension of the evil to be discovered behind all the destruction and slaughter caused by this German Messiah."

At its very core, Hitler's vision was radically anti-Christian, anti-Enlightenment, anti-modernity, and anti-progress. Rather, his goal was to create a "Spartan totalitarianism, in which people would be smiling, healthy, fanatical, and soulless robots, totally integrated into the common body of the Volk and disdaining individual dignity as a kind of psychological leprosy." This new man would place will above intellect.

Here again this is the precise inversion of the religious man, for whom will is a prolongation of intellect, or "truth in action." But for the Nazi (or the Darwinist, for that matter), there is no truth. Rather, "truth" is just the prolongation of will into the illusory area of the "mind." Truth is a function of power, as any good deconstructionist knows. Thus, Hitler was in complete accord with your average de-Christianized leftist professor, that "the propaganda which produces the desired results is good and all other propaganda is bad."

*A reminder to the stupid: when I refer to "Darwinism," I am always talking about philosophical or metaphysical Darwinism, not the actual science. And before you get all sensitive and defensive, remember that the radical Darwinists such as Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris do not hesitate to call religion evil. I am merely responding in kind, for if one of these metaphysics is true, and you value Truth, then the other must inevitably be evil.

to be continued....

68 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

"Rather, his goal was to create a "Spartan totalitarianism, in which people would be smiling, healthy, fanatical, and soulless robots, totally integrated into the common body of the Volk and disdaining individual dignity as a kind of psychological leprosy."

In counterpoint to exterminating the unsavory races, didn't he also establish a Nazi breeding program? If I recall (too lazy to Google it right now), the infants born under this program were to be raised not by their mothers, but in nurseries a la Brave New World, literally making the State the Nanny.

8/27/2008 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

another similarity:

Providence (pro-videre: to see for) is eliminated by Darwin, for whom nature is somehow a blind will and needs no guidance from the Divine - it acts, but never for an end, somehow (we'll work the details out later, which is a nice way of saying we want what we want and we'll come up with the reasons later).

Hitler tries to do the same by eliminating the individual conscience, trying to become providence of the people, who need merely carry out his will.



But Hitlers are not led by will, have no idea what the will is, conceive of will as only what they want at any given time. They confuse it with sensuality, desires we have in common with animals, what seems good here and now, my whims.

Boy, that's some providence - supplanting my conscience with the whims of a dictator.

But isn't that largely also what the left wants - to provide for their constituents, to take them at the earliest age possible under the guise of education, and form them not to think but to do, to be provided for, to receive, to be passive.

8/27/2008 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Here again this is the precise inversion of the religious man, for whom will is a prolongation of intellect, or "truth in action." But for the Nazi (or the Darwinist, for that matter), there is no truth. Rather, "truth" is just the prolongation of will into the illusory area of the "mind." Truth is a function of power, as any good deconstructionist knows. Thus, Hitler was in complete accord with your average de-Christianized leftist professor, that "the propaganda which produces the desired results is good and all other propaganda is bad.""

Exactly. For the leftist in general and the fascist in particular, there is no truth, and hence no principles to guide you towards truth, the pragmatic choices which slide into radical pragmatism. You do what will force the effect you want, and even more importantly, do what will keep you in control of what is being done. It is all about Power.

One last plug Liberal Fascism: The Spiral of Knowledge and the Flattened Worldview of the Left pt. 3
"Fascism – a political policy of action for actions sake, as opposed to principled policy - is the beneficiary of the belief that we cannot know anything more than what is before our face and on our plates. It is a direct result of doubting that we can know the cause or nature of anything, of raising flattened facts above vertical knowledge – quantity over quality - which inevitably leads into a denial of the existence of the faculty of Volitional Choice, or Free Will, and is traceable back down to our belief in what IS, what we can know about it, and how we know it. The philosophical erosion we’ve suffered since Hume’s time, where we’ve lost trust and faith in what we can know, and how little we can know of it, the distrust in our knowledge of the world, ourselves and the metaphysical principles which unite them, has meant a miserly fixation upon ‘facts’ and the discarding of our philosophic principles that establish the broad references for our religious and imaginative values and our poetic Visions."

8/27/2008 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

In other words, there is absolutely nothing -- not love, not truth, not art, not virtue -- that cannot be reduced to a battle down below for genetic survival.

That may be what you hear. That's not what the vast majority of people you call "Darwinist" are saying.

Like nature herself, Hitler cared for the survival of the species, not the individual.

Tell that to the people who study evolutionary biology and have scant patience for the notion of "group selection".

...when I refer to "Darwinism," I am always talking about philosophical or metaphysical Darwinism...

Fortunately, far fewer people actually adhere to such ideas than you seem to believe.

8/27/2008 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Julie, I did a bit of Googling for you. "After World War II it was falsely reported that Lebenborn was a breeding programme. However, the programme did aim to promote the growth of "superior" Aryan populations through providing excellent health care and by restricting access to the programme with medical selections that applied eugenic and "race" criteria."

Horrifying, too, but a different horrifying.

8/27/2008 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger shoprat said...

I have always believed, and still do, that Social Darwinism is the inescapable logical conclusion of pure Darwinism. There is no way to discredit or disprove Social Darwinism except to abandon the core philosophical principles of Darwinism.

8/27/2008 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray said "That may be what you hear. That's not what the vast majority of people you call "Darwinist" are saying."

The majority of people who are darwinists don't understand the meaning behind what they are saying (kind of like you), which is why it is so easy to understand what it is they didn't know they meant.

8/27/2008 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

""Providence has predestined me to be the greatest liberator of humanity.... I liberate man... from the foul and humiliating pangs of a chimera called 'conscience' and 'morality,' and from the demands of a liberty and personal independence of which anyway only a few are capable." To the Christian teaching about the infinite value of the individual soul, "I oppose with icy clarity the liberating teaching of the nothingness and insignificance of the individual and his development within the concrete immortality of the nation." The Fuhrer would release "the mass of the believers from the burden of the free decision.""

Ray, I eagerly await your report on Free Will.

8/27/2008 10:51:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

>>Obama or Hillary are so "cosmically ignorant" (as PowerLine put it) about economics, one necessarily wonders: do they actually believe what they say?<<

I think, maybe so, but to do so they'd have to be, to a degree, insane. Which would make sense considering that Leftism, among other isms, takes the stations of the vertical and renders them exclusive to the horizontal plane. This is, of course, a literal absurdity, one what would eventually have to shatter sanity.

This is sort of a backwards analogy, but . . . for those of you who remember Bhagwan sri Rajneesh . . . well, Bhags was a genuinely Enlightened guy, evident is his lectures, even in the way he looked in photos. However, post-Enlightenment Bhags (re)acquired a certain amount of ego. Likely it was only an atom of ego, but that's all that it took. It totally shattered his sanity, which in turn destroyed his already shaky health, killed him. Point being that while the vertical and horizontal have to be balanced, one cannot penetrate the other. You know, the Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not understood it, etc.

Anyway, that's why I think adherence to any utopian create-heaven-on-earth philosophy must result in a certain generic insanity. Thus otherwise sane people believe in things that are manifestly untrue.

8/27/2008 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

From your link, Ray:

"In occupied countries, thousands of women facing social ostracism because they were in relationships with German soldiers and had become pregnant, had few alternatives other than applying for help with Lebensborn.

After World War II it was falsely reported that Lebenborn was a breeding programme. This was not true because individuals were not forced to have sex with selected partners.[1] However, the programme did aim to promote the growth of "superior" Aryan populations through providing excellent health care and by restricting access to the programme with medical selections that applied eugenic and "race" criteria."

That was actually more or less my understanding of the program. I didn't think that anyone was forced into the program. Obviously, I was wrong to some degree about the removal of lebensborn children from their mothers, although this:

"As a matter of fact, it is quite clear from the evidence that Lebensborn sought to avoid taking into its homes, children who had family ties; and Lebensborn went to the extent of making extensive investigations where the records were inadequate, to establish the identity of a child and whether it had family ties. When it was discovered that the child had a living parent, Lebensborn did not proceed with an adoption, as in the case of orphans, but simply allowed the child to be placed in a German home after an investigation of the German family for the purpose of determining the good character of the family and the suitability of the family to care for and raise the child.

Lebensborn made no practice of selecting and examining foreign children. In all instances where foreign children were handed over to Lebensborn by other organisations after a selection and examination, the children were given the best of care and never ill-treated in any manner."

doesn't quite clarify the circumstances. If children weren't removed from their mothers, why was it so difficult to establish whether there were living family ties? Paternity is understandable, since presumably many of the SS fathers were killed in combat, but maternity shouldn't have been difficult to determine in a voluntary program. And saying children were placed with "a" German family is not the same as saying they were placed with either their father's or mother's family.

Clearly, there was a program in place to encourage and reward genetic selection for Aryan traits. Clearly, a part of this program included ensuring that children born into this program were raised in properly vetted German homes.

The fact that they were never "ill-treated" does not change the fact that the state played a strong role in ensuring that they were raised in the "right" environment - maybe not in group homes, but apparently still watched over by Nanny (or perhaps Pappy?) State.

Combined with the other Hitler Youth programs, this would go a long way toward creating those fanatical, soulless robots.

Which is all a rather long-winded way of making the same point I made earlier.

8/27/2008 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Shoprat said “I have always believed, and still do, that Social Darwinism is the inescapable logical conclusion of pure Darwinism. There is no way to discredit or disprove Social Darwinism except to abandon the core philosophical principles of Darwinism.”

Yep. From Wiki's article on Pragmatism:
"The epistemology of early pragmatism was heavily influenced by Darwinian thinking...Pragmatism, in short, provides what might be termed an ecological account of knowledge: inquiry is construed as a means by which organisms can get a grip on their environment. 'Real' and 'true' are labels that have a function in inquiry and cannot be understood outside of that context."

The IEP goes into more detail...

Ha! I should have guessed, wish he'd pushed it further in his book "Liberal Fascism", but Jonah Goldberg, in a column a few years ago,

"One of the great annoyances of the small club of He-Man Pragmatism-haters (I'm assistant treasurer) is that it is the only philosophical school that gets a free ride on the good PR value of an everyday word. When we call a politician a "pragmatist" it's invariably a compliment. ... Louis Menand, in his wonderful book The Metaphysical Club (which I'm relying on quite a bit), praises Pragmatism as a "razor" that attempts to "strip problems of metaphysical irrelevancies." The trouble is that what is one man's "metaphysical irrelevancy" is another man's reason for getting out of bed every day. "

He notes Pragmatism as being the motive philosophy behind Leftism (almost evangelical with the proregressives) and rips pragmatism mostly through a number of the consequences of Pragmatism in the legal sense, which Justice Holmes championed,

""But, as liberals are wont to do, they are once again smashing their own accomplishments. The story of liberalism, after all, is the story of intellectuals building castles and then destroying them a generation later because they believe something new — and therefore more exciting and "better" — can be made with the rubble. Today's heirs to the Pragmatists want nothing to do with "reasonable men" and "community norms." For Holmes the norm and the ideal were roughly synonymous. For today's liberal they are antipodes. The deviant are the role models, the outliers the heroes. And we never could have replaced the old morality with this new stuff if we hadn't thought we could do without fatty, flabby morality in the first place.

And it's not too difficult where it progresses to from there. It's development was inspired by Darwinism, it is the philosophy of the denial of truth on principle, while simultaneously denying principle on principle, and you'll find it, or its implications, behind nearly all leftist or fascist pronouncements.

8/27/2008 11:27:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

"On Sunday in Minneapolis, David Zucker and Myrna Sokoloff will host an invitation-only screening of An American Carol"

Oh goodie, next week we'll start to get leaks & write-ups

8/27/2008 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Just because it goes with the topic, one other Goldberg article, this one from earlier this year You want a more 'progressive' America? Careful what you wish for. "Hence Wilson argued that the old "Newtonian" vision – fixed rules enshrined in the Constitution and laws – had to give way to the "Darwinian" view of "living constitutions" and the like. "

Darweenieists have taken a process, evolution, and have cast it as being the process, the goal, the solution and the explanation for all that needs to be explained away - in other words as a method for denying all they don't want to consider. Blends with leftism fabulously.

8/27/2008 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Van - The epistemology of early pragmatism was heavily influenced by Darwinian thinking

When people take only part of Christianity and come up with contradictory beliefs, they are called 'heresies'. When people take only parts of 'Darwinian thinking' and come up with contradictory beliefs, they are called 'logical and inevitable outgrowths of Darwinism'.

(At least, around here.)

8/27/2008 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Bob says: In other words, there is absolutely nothing -- not love, not truth, not art, not virtue -- that cannot be reduced to a battle down below for genetic survival.

Ray says: That may be what you hear. That's not what the vast majority of people you call "Darwinist" are saying.

The vast majority of people Dear Leader calls "Darwinists" believe that human life evolved without direction in a teleological sense.

We are, according to metaphysical materialists (aka, "Darwinists) the product of a dynamic system that generates highly complex order on its own, without any guidance. Since this entails that the properties of living organisms like ourselves have been selected not according to a compassionate or prescient engineer, but solely according to their differential reproductive success, naturalists interpret cells, organs and species as having a "purpose" or "function" in terms of their ability to increase differential reproductive success, but do not perceive in this any moral goal that should be emulated or furthered, since nature is the cause, and nature has no compassion or plan.

Which is what Bob said.

8/27/2008 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Just a couple more:

Julie, I'm just insisting on a certain amount of precision. (I'd get smacked around if I were similarly off about something.) The state intruding on family life (terrible enough) is not the same as the state eliminating and replacing family life.

And Van: The majority of people who are darwinists don't understand the meaning behind what they are saying...

Sometimes, what you expect to hear overwhelms what you actually hear. (Go ahead, click. It's really funny, though parts are not for kids.)

8/27/2008 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Mushroom: Odd that you didn't include a link to the text you quoted. Of course, that would have made it easy to find the very next sentence: "However, this does not exclude the possibility of true moral propositions derived from evolved facts."

8/27/2008 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

"The state intruding on family life (terrible enough) is not the same as the state eliminating and replacing family life."

Fair enough, Ray - though based on my previous comment, in this instance I think the distinction between the two is a mighty fine one, indeed.

8/27/2008 12:55:00 PM  
Anonymous dusty said...

"In short, are they stupid or evil?"

I have often entertained the idea that stupidity and evil are directly related. If we could imagine the stupidity of a person in and of itself, as a separate entity differentiated from rest of the body as a whole, I think that what we would find is a sort of amorphous mass of suffused imagination and will, a "being" that is submerged in a somnambulist state of chaotic alienation with incoherent relations in respect to internal and external objects.

Take forgetting, for example. Principally, a mind forgets in proportion to the subjects’ lack of being grounded within the absolute. An ungrounded infinity is everywhere, and therefore nowhere at all, because there can really be no self-reflecting subject without an relative absolute subject; and hence within this 'out-land' of bad infinite, there is manifestly no subject as we know it to 'contain' and therefore re-member "things."

"Where there is other, there is fear," says Rig Veda, and for precisely the reason that what has not been grasped by our noggin (epistemi) is rendered weird, alien, and potentially hostile. I see this everyday as I go through with work, my errors not being so much in the area of particulars as with my minds relation to every little thing that's going on at the time, in time. I clearly see the edge of my own container in relation to infinity (even though mine’s not very big), and the closer that I get to that border-line area, the more forgetful and chaotic my mind is. (That would be Bion’s beta-space)

When I am given more ‘content’ than I can contain, more infinity that my current relationship to the absolute can ‘ground’, I find that there is necessarily a negation of someone’s subjectivity somewhere; and the negation first touches my own mind, creating as if by imprint from O, twisted sanskaras and muses who leave behind them trails of errors and offense for which the religious virtues of piety and patience seem to be the traditional time-tested remedy. Secondarily—as this occurs en mass—there are the ‘communicative collisions’ of these nobodies with each other, who through the necessary condition of sacred governance organize into their own elaborate hierarchies and heterarchies, each group lead by their twisted muses (egregores) who worship the false gods of the stupid and the dead.

People like that are truly "nothingness manifested," and are constituted to carry in a empty-collapsed sort of a an infinite weight that they cannot carry. So the fundamental lie here is the denial of the Person that can carry it.

Now, onward past the second paragraph!

8/27/2008 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

From Ray’s link "These gastronomic examples capture a basic truth of the mind, which is that our sensory impressions are always incomplete. As a result, we are constantly making judgments about what we think we are sensing: the mind needs a dash of top-down subjectivity to render the world whole."

Typical kantian dance to discredit our ability to know anything. Our sensory impressions are never incomplete. If they were, we would know nothing, could know nothing, and you would be living the Neanderthal life such a reality would demand (actually that's being rude to the Neanderthal’s, but hey, if Geico can do it...).

When's the last time you felt an incomplete slap in the face? Sensations are complete in themselves, Perceptions are identified impressions of related sensations “I perceive this is painful, based upon the sensation of the hammer crushing my thumb”, and are also not incomplete. The half truth which such lines of thought that story attempts to exploit, is that our consciousness does continually attempt to make estimations based upon the incomplete conceptual data at hand, which makes use of the perceptual information we have which may or may not be enough to fill in all the conceptual blanks for the conclusions we’d like to make. “I see orange color… it seems round… I’m gonna say it’s an Orange”, though facts may prove it to be an orange colored rock. The difference may seem small, but the implications are huge.

This tripe is the point of what it tries to push "…the mind needs a dash of top-down subjectivity to render the world whole", which is used to manipulate people into thinking that the world is actually unknowable, and the 'reality' we all agree on, is only what we've all subjectively agreed to pretend is real. Building on Humes skepticism, this was the bill of goods which Kant sold the world, and which Pearce bought and reacted against, in the development of pragmatism.

Yes, we often, very often, go with our estimations, our best guesses and assumptions of how we think things will turn out, but the fact is, that with careful attention, careful thought, we can learn what reality is, we can know the Truth, and that accepting subjective declarations of what the masses want to be, over what IS True, is suicidal, spiritually, philosophically, and eventually physically.

8/27/2008 01:30:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Actually it's not odd at all since:

1) the next sentence is mere pious backpedaling

2) I am the Tower of power and the king of chaos

and,
3)you are so anal retentive I knew you'd provide it anyway

8/27/2008 02:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Alan said...

and (4) proves they have no clue.

8/27/2008 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Aaaaannnnddd... yes, Van projects in what he wants the article to say rather than what it says. All it was saying was that "our consciousness does continually attempt to make estimations based upon the incomplete conceptual data at hand, which makes use of the perceptual information we have which may or may not be enough to fill in all the conceptual blanks for the conclusions we’d like to make." He read into it an entirely different point.

When's the last time you felt an incomplete slap in the face?

People don't feel incomplete bullet strikes, either, but it's very common that people don't recognize they've been hit by a bullet until later.

Then Mushroom picks and chooses what people actually mean from what they say. C.S. Lewis would be proud of you

8/27/2008 02:24:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray said "Aaaaannnnddd... yes, Van projects in what he wants the article to say rather than what it says. All it was saying was that "our consciousness does continually attempt to make estimations based upon the incomplete conceptual data at hand, which makes use of the perceptual information we have which may or may not be enough to fill in all the conceptual blanks for the conclusions we’d like to make." He read into it an entirely different point."

Nooo Ray, once again, you've missed the point of what they are actually saying, because your own conscious prejudices filter it out. Read it again.

"what we might call the "brain's best guess" theory of perception: perception is the brain's best guess about what is happening in the outside world."

Perception has nothing to do with 'best guesses', only conception does, but it fits and feeds the party line built from Hume and Kant, that we can't really know anything, no real truth exists... see my linked post above, for the rest of the story.

"People don't feel incomplete bullet strikes, either, but it's very common that people don't recognize they've been hit by a bullet until later."

No Ray, again, you don't understand the meaning of what you are saying.

That 'either' you used there, in the context of what I said, links back to Sensation and Perception, which damn well DO register and transmit the bullet strike. Peoples conscious awareness often doesn't allow themselves to recognize that they've been hit, either due to shock, or complete absorbtion in something else of some significant interest, ... like saving their or their friends life, running from people trying to kill them or their child, etc. Nothing to do with perceptions and sensations, only conscious awareness, and at a stretch, conceptual grasp.

8/27/2008 03:27:00 PM  
Anonymous skippy said...

They are objectively wrong with respect to economics. Hillary and Obama might somehow claim legitiamte ignorance (being a false Messiah sucks up all your time!), but just how do we deal with someone like Paul Krugman? It's like an MD who tells you that naw, smoking won't hurt you!

8/27/2008 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

Van, you are spot on. The article confounds perception and what it calls "conception", although it's anyone's guess what that means - I assume judgments.

8/27/2008 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Will said-

>>Obama or Hillary are so "cosmically ignorant" (as PowerLine put it) about economics, one necessarily wonders: do they actually believe what they say?<<

I think, maybe so, but to do so they'd have to be, to a degree, insane. Which would make sense considering that Leftism, among other isms, takes the stations of the vertical and renders them exclusive to the horizontal plane. This is, of course, a literal absurdity, one what would eventually have to shatter sanity."

Aye! They attempt to ILLoonimate their worldview by using darkness instead of light.

Or, to make the utopia (youtripia) "clear" by "shining" darkness from their fleshlights.

8/27/2008 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Van said-
"Typical kantian dance to discredit our ability to know anything. Our sensory impressions are never incomplete. If they were, we would know nothing, could know nothing, and you would be living the Neanderthal life such a reality would demand (actually that's being rude to the Neanderthal’s, but hey, if Geico can do it...)."

Wow, Van!
That's a OM run you just hit!
Remind me to never debate you unless I gno what I'm talkin' about. :^)

8/27/2008 05:00:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Notice how Queeg, the radical Darwinist, has had to go about purging his blog of the religious. The underlying pattern is identical, again, because religion is the inoculation against bad or evil ideologies, so the battle against religion will always be at the front line of Cosmic War I, AKA the Forty Thousand Year War. This is what groups such as the ACLU are all about, regardless of what they say they are about. Again, many of its members are just stupid, like Queeg, while others are disingenuous. But underneath it all, they know that in order to advance their inhuman and anti-human agenda, they must eliminate the one force that would prevent it: religion."

Precisely, Bob!
That's the unadulterated truth of Queeg's agenda. I also noticed how much he attempts to "prove" he is really a Christian, albeit a Christian that denies creation and the intelligence of our Creator.

So why does Queeg bother with the facade? Subconcious guilt? To sucker in more targets to ridicule and ban or to slowly convince all the Lizards that Reductionist Darwinism is the way?

8/27/2008 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger QP said...

Obamacide.

So, we now add a new word with a dual definition to our modern political lexicon: Obamacide.  It means (1) killing the newborn survivor of a botched abortion through a deliberate act of omission; and (2) that which a nation commits upon itself by electing one who would allow such a thing.
~Matt Barber at One News Now.

Peggy Noonan has a way with words: People know when life begins, that's why they buy condoms.

8/27/2008 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

"In other words, there is absolutely nothing -- not love, not truth, not art, not virtue -- that cannot be reduced to a battle down below for genetic survival."

Today's example.

8/27/2008 06:07:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

From Julie's link "Humans are selfish in earliest childhood but by the age of seven or eight are keen to share equally, a developmental change so sudden that it can only be explained, at least in part, by genes, according to a study released Wednesday."

Not only is that one of the stupidest conclusions ever, but shows an utter lack of familiarity with children or parenting, but of bad parenting, no parenting, civilized culture, tribal culture and no culture.

A study of 229 Swiss children led them to that conclusion? No, the desire to promote their own prejudice led them to that conclusion.

What absolute idiocy.

8/27/2008 06:25:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

A study of 229 Swiss bankers has led sociobiologists to conclude that humans aren't all that interested in sharing.

8/27/2008 06:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Freedom of speech, Democrat style:

Denver Police Arrest Reporter Taking Pictures of Senators and Their Donors

I bet this won't be highlighted by the MSM.
If it were the GOP convention the MSM would've gone nuts, showing this 24/7!

8/27/2008 07:08:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Hey Ben! Good to see you (Skully, make sure gets some Grog... medicinly speaking, of course)

8/27/2008 07:13:00 PM  
Blogger QP said...

This very morning I directed a total of 60 children in 8 back to back art classes; age range 3 - 5. No upsets, no arguments, no stingy behavior whatsoever. Oh, and today they learned the terms, 'horizontal' & 'vertical'....setting them up for later interior exploration. Drill 'em in the basics is my motto.

8/27/2008 07:17:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Van!
Yes, Skully is workin' OT on the grog. It does wonders taken in prescribed doses. :^)

8/27/2008 07:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

I call it "grogistic healing".
Is there anything grog can't do?

8/27/2008 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

WTG, QP!
You're giving those little kits a healthy education! I would sign up for your class, if I could. :^)

8/27/2008 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Hitler actually saw Christ as his precursor, in that he would be the "link," so to speak, between the Volk and their most primitive instincts. It was very much as if he were "word made flesh," except that in this case, the word was the primordial lie from below. Hitler said that,

"Providence has predestined me to be the greatest liberator of humanity.... I liberate man... from the foul and humiliating pangs of a chimera called 'conscience' and 'morality,' and from the demands of a liberty and personal independence of which anyway only a few are capable."

What happens when man becomes his own authority. And really, at base, this is about authority, legitimate, or il-.

"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." Those who don't recognize this rightful authority make their gut their god, and often as not, want to impose that on others as well. Bottom line for me: why should I trust Ray's gut feeling over the words of Christ? Nothing in Darwinism can provide a rational answer to that, except if Ray somehow has power enough to coerce it.

8/27/2008 07:51:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

True power is life-affirming, without end. Ray's false power is actually powerlessness for it can only affirm death - as in "the end". Really, the end.

8/27/2008 09:37:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Sorry, I didn't mean to single anyone out. I should have said "Ray and his ilk" - minions of whom seem to have been drawn to Denver this week as moths to a bug light. Zap! Sickening.

8/27/2008 09:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Paul G said...

Just got my internet back, catching up with the last week and a half. Just wanted to remind jwm that this is how you deal with a bully...

8/28/2008 01:22:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Van - Perception has nothing to do with 'best guesses', only conception does

Except that they are, in fact, interrelated, and it can be very difficult sometimes to distinguish between them. Did you (did anybody) actually watch the video? The "subtitles" almost force you to perceive the sounds of a foreign language as the words they present.

That doesn't mean that you can't often make a clear distinction between them. The existence of twilight doesn't mean that day and night are impossible to tell apart.

Our sensory impressions are never incomplete. If they were, we would know nothing, could know nothing...

A sudoku puzzle is given to you incomplete. Therefore, by your logic, we can never fill it in, it must remain forever incomplete.

(Gee, I've graduated from presenting 'pseudo-ku' to sudoku!)

8/28/2008 05:42:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

"...totally integrated into the common body of the Volk and disdaining individual dignity as a kind of psychological leprosy."

This reminded me a bit of ant colonies. (I deal with ants a great deal, every day, unfortunately, so everything reminds me of ant colonies. Sigh.) Which in turn brought back memories of a science video we got from the library about ants, on the insistence of my nature-lover. In it, the entomologist waxed lyrical about their orderly society, and how much we humans could learn from the ants. And he actually said, "Ants rule the world." My children looked at me incredulous and asked, "Mom, do ants *really* rule the world?" I told them to think about that for a moment, and they started *laughing!* No, ants do not "take dominion," do not build cathedrals or jumbo jets, and our bug guy comes every three months like clockwork and proves beyond a shadow of a doubt with his little spray-mobile that ants do NOT rule the world!

Darwinists. [rolleyes]

8/28/2008 06:22:00 AM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

Ray,

You are trying to conflate perception with simple apprehension, whether out of ignorance or malice, on the basis of the same old Kantian stew served round again and again (actually I think it was already found in Locke who bizarrely separated qualities (which we perceive) from their substratum (which we can't perceive and therefore are unknowable)).

It is utterly boneheaded, but it is convenient in that it allows us to deny that there is any truth beyond sensation. So it's got that going for it, which is nice.

8/28/2008 06:49:00 AM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

By Van's logic, sudoku would never be completed by sensation, you are correct.

It would require a host of other powers, like judgment, calculation, will, memory, imagination.

Now I see why mocking is the only way to deal with your sophisticated arguing.

8/28/2008 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray allegedly said (we can't really know, after all) "A sudoku puzzle is given to you incomplete. Therefore, by your logic, we can never fill it in, it must remain forever incomplete."

Hume and Kant would be proud of you. Zeno would smile. Those who actually use their minds however, should be revolted.

Thank you Phil, for sparing me the trouble.

And no Ray, I didn't watch the video, your mention about kids seeing it made me unsure whether it was NSFW or not (Not Safe For Work)... I did mean to look last night, but homework help and reading Harry Potter to the 9 yr old 'distracted' me from such urgent tasks.

8/28/2008 08:09:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Phil, you're like Van. You've heard people who think that we can't know anything about anything because perception isn't as simple as it 'appears'.

This apparently traumatized you or something, so now when you hear someone say that perception isn't as simple as it appears, you automatically backfill in the "because", regardless of whether or not the person actually said or even meant that.

8/28/2008 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray Translation:

Wah! You two-eyed people who know what you're talking about, aren't being fair to us cyclops! Philosophy isn't such a big thing! Here let me show you some solid state circuits... there you see? a Spark! Electricity makes all my wildest AI dreams possible! We don't need no stinking philosophy! Wahhh!

Ray, what you don't know, will hurt you.

8/28/2008 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Mushroom - Took that Tarot test. The results were interesting, I had to answer a tiebreaking question. I'm basically an happy guy, so I turned out to be the Sun.

Of course, relative to this site, I could have picked the other question, "I am misunderstood". For One Cosmos purposes, perhaps Death is more appropriate.

8/28/2008 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

BTW, I took the Tarot quiz, I'm the Sun.

'Why are you wearing shades?'
'When you cool, de Sun shines on you all the time'

8/28/2008 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

"regardless of whether or not the person actually said or even meant that."

But Ray, I refuse to judge the argument on whether the party supporting it says or means what he says, or even has the modicum of intelligence required to draw out its logical and therefore necessary conclusions. Just because they don't see where that path heads doesn't mean I don't.

And Ray I like you quite a bit, I like your skepticism and spirit, but again I think you don't understand substance. Quantity is not the first thing the mind understands.

8/28/2008 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Phil - To use Bob's terminology, there's an infinite difference between "we can't know anything about anything" and "knowing is a lot harder than many people naively assume".

8/28/2008 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray said "...there's an infinite difference between ..."

I repeat, how would you know?
Ray, you refuse to even comprehend the meaning of what you claim to know, how can you claim to know that you know what you know, let alone the differences between what others know?

8/28/2008 05:26:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray, it was bad enough when you were just obstinately secular and flat. But now, you're making philosophical claims and assertions, based upon sloppy and ill informed references to those issues. And then getting a bit sulky over being called on it.

Not very jesterly.

8/28/2008 05:41:00 PM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

Ray,

Knowing, especially through sense, is not hard at all. In fact it's quite simple.

Knowing what sensation is, is more difficult.

Expressing oneself about sensation, is still more difficult. If you express yourself poorly and imprecisely, then the problem is either you do not know how to express yourself, or you do not know the topic. It seems the author is able to express himself tolerably well, so I assume it is the latter. To confuse sensation and "conceiving", to use those interchangeably, well, that leaves one open to ridicule.

I don't pretend to plumb the depths of natural philosophy, and less about the biology or biochemistry, but I do know the rudiments; when we start off on a bad foot, how will we reach the truth? Only accidentally, not properly. So to point out a small error in the beginning avoids a big one later one, as the Enlightenment found out to its chagrin.

8/29/2008 08:06:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Van - If it really means that, maybe you could, y'know, show your work instead of putting down things like "Wah! You two-eyed people who know what you're talking about, aren't being fair to us cyclops!" If it's so straightfoward, how much work could it be?

So far, you've agreed with Phil that getting a complete picture requires "judgment, calculation, will, memory, imagination"; and, gee, that's what's going on even with perception in the real world, as illustrated by concrete, repeatable examples. The fact that much of it is unconscious doesn't mean it's not there. (What, you read Bob's stuff and don't believe in the unconscious?)

Phil - Look up Newton's Method. It's very often possible to "properly" "reach the truth" even if you "start off on a bad foot". You assert a logical impossibility where none exists.

8/29/2008 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray, I begin to tire of you. I've 'showed my work' to many times to bother again. If you want more, you can find it on my site.

8/29/2008 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

Ray,

You didn't read what I wrote, and while admittedly it is not very important, at least don't misquote me - I didn't say that a small error in the beginning would make it impossible to reach the truth, I said it would lead to a bigger error. And I didn't say one wouldn't reach the truth, but that one would reach it accidentally, like so:

m:All men are bodies
M:all bodies are rational
C:all men are rational

The conclusion doesn't follow, but it is true - someone reasoning thusly has accidentally reached truth. That's not science in any recognizable form.

As for the sensation theory, then yes, if all we can know are qualities (ie sensations) and never what those inhere in, then the wheels come off the epistemological bus and it does not ever reach knowledge, which means it doesn't reach truth.

But those are two different thoughts. Perhaps contention is making you draw distinctions or read statements into what I am saying, but, as is your frequent rayfrain, "I didn't say that."

8/29/2008 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

You equivocate on "getting a complete picture" - sensation is an activity with a specific object; when it reaches that object, it is complete.

sensation != judgment.

Judgment obviously requires sensation, but the article seems to make the claim that judgment determines sensation (top down), which is laughable; the claim that judgment influences other judgments, and that authority influences judgment is, well, underwhelming. A toddler could tell you that.

8/29/2008 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Phil - Judgement doesn't determine sensation - but judgement does influence sensation. Another infinite distinction.

And no, "a small error in the beginning" does not have to "lead to a bigger error". And I gave you a counterexample to show that. (Besides, have you never sighted in a rifle, or levelled a beam?)

As for your comments about "if all we can know are qualities (ie sensations) and never what those inhere in" - at what point, specifically, did I say that "all we can know are qualities"? How does that follow from "judgement influences perception"? (Show your work.)

Van - any, y'know, specific links?

8/29/2008 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

Specify influence please.

I need to give your comments a think, I'll comment later if that's ok.

I think there is something fishy, my spidey sense says there's a difference between error and imprecision.

But let me give it a think while you specify influence.

8/29/2008 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

in fact, in any process, basically you are correcting the imprecision, so that it no longer stands. Once you sight the rifle or level the beam, then you are not using the original error to build off, you have corrected it.

If you build a house with a slight crack in the foundation, it will only get worse with time. That is more the sense of it. If you start a theory of knowledge off incorrectly and build on that error, not correcting it gradually, then you will end up with a big error, as Kant did.

In fact your analogies of sighting a rifle or levelling a beam are quite good in general, and quite appropriate to Aristotle's method, where he takes account of predecessors' opinions.

I will admit that reason "influences" sensation, in that for a brute to sense and for a man to sense is not the same thing. Reason raises up sensation in giving it a different purpose.

8/29/2008 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

But to say that telling someone what something will taste like influences their perception, it does not. It only influences the judgment they come to, since it is no longer independent.

The sensation is what it is. Calling it this or that or realizing it smells like this or that is a judgement, influenced by the previous judgment.

8/29/2008 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray said "but judgement does influence sensation. Another infinite distinction"

Sensation is nearly at the cellular level Ray, below even Perception. Your judgment, conscious or unconscious, can influence what you will admit to, or otherwise color, in your conscious awareness - but your judgment doesn't influence sensation as such. I'm trying to get out of here for the night, I'm not going to did it up, but there was an experiment that involved cats, one suspended in a basket, the other actually touching the ground and walking, which (ooh... dim memories...) showed that the development of depth perception was dependent upon the animals own actions own self initiated movements, that might have at least, with a little of your famous equivocations, lent some credibility to your points... but even there, that's above the level of sensations, dealing with the development and recognition of perceptions of sensations, and the neural and cognitive skills that need to be developed and learned, but even that one couldn't be stretched into saying that "judgement does influence sensation".

Again, your cluelessness on the matter kind of astonishes me. The amount you buy into, not even the substance of, but only getting to the shallow cultural marketing layer of bootleg Kantianism, I'm surprised... and disappointed by. Philosophically, you really don't know what you're talking about, you don't understand the level to which your ignorance skews what you pride yourself on 'knowing'. Junk the lab reports, dig into the philosophy behind them. Think them through yourself - Warning! - that will involve Metaphysics. Courage.

Ray, I've addressed the specifics of those issues, from the ground up, in these comment threads over and over, over the last couple years, some portions of them with you. (If Gagdad ever gets the Knowa's Arkive back out, I'll finish my little search tool, and then can find those specifics for you, until then, hunt for them yourself).

I haven't done a post specifically on sensation/perception/conception/judgment... because on its own, it's seemed about as exciting as describing third normal form (for those who don't speak geekeze, that's database lingo)... but maybe it's something for me to work on... could be a challenge.

But if links you want, here's some of my posts that cover the general ground of the matter, the Bolded items more so. Enjoy.

What are words for
What are Words for? - What Are Words For part 1
Glamorous Thoughts - What Are Words For part 2
A not so Merry observation on the eve of Christmas
But Then Again...
Looking Heirarchy and Lowarchy


Aha Conceptual Integration
What is a proper view of Man's Nature? Aha! Aha
More Ahh... ha-ha-....Aha! Aha Conceptual Integration
The Gridlock of unintegrated 'Knowledge' Part 1
The Great and Powerful Wizard Tim warns of the Fierce and Deadly bunny rabbit
Mis-integrated Rule
Woven chords of the subconscious


Modern Madness
Ad Hominem Ad Hominem Ad Infinitum Part 1
Behind the Ad Hominem's stand the
The Low Hanging Fruit - pt 3
The Trees That Bare The Barren Fruit - pt 4
Would you trust a liar who told you he was going to lie to you?
Spreading The Flames
What never was and never will be - Modern Madness
Fighting the Method of Intelligent


Reasons of Reason
Do You Have A Reason For Saying That?
I Wonder Why...?
That seems reasonable…or what Reason is not
Spreading the Poison of the Ivy League
Adding The First Leg to the Three Legged Stool of Reason
Adding The Second Leg
Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
A Summary – Reasons of Reason
Bogus!


Liberal Fascism
Liberal Fascism - Getting to the Root of the Matter
The New Scholastics Liberal Fascism (BTW - soon after (in the comments?) I happily found that I was wrong about Lance)
Liberal Fascism: The Spiral of Knowledge


Spiritual Economics
Spiritual Economics 1
Spiritual Economics 2
Spiritual Economics 3


Generally relevant
Pain-and-Suffering

Disneyland for the Devil

Replying to Nagarjuna, Chomsky

Determimystics and Free Will

Falsehood of absolute Truth

One in the Many many pieces

Relevance

Prayers and Politicians

8/29/2008 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Sorry for the delay, long weekend with family.

Van, Phil - "Sensation is nearly at the cellular level". Clearly we're using the terms differently. I'd say that the stuff happening at the cellular level isn't really directly accessible. It's already been through filtering by the time it gets to any level we can be aware of. I suspect we're mostly in violent agreement.

I'm currently reading "Musicophilia" by Oliver Sacks; if you want some flavor of how complicated sensation and judgement and everything in between is, check that out. It's harder to argue with case histories.

I'll see what I can find in your links, Van.

9/02/2008 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray said "I suspect we're mostly in violent agreement"

I suspect you're dreaming.

Phil and I are apparently on the same page without a problem... what book are you in? So far your usage of sensation, perception and judgment has been muddled at best.

Define your premises. Show your work.

9/03/2008 04:14:00 PM  

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