Monday, August 04, 2008

Truth vs. Power in the Life of Solzhenitsyn

... [W]e are not only living with the truth of Gödel but also the truth of Darwin. Our minds are the blind product of evolution. Still, many scientifically minded, post-Gödel thinkers have testified to hearing, within the strange music of Gödel's mathematical theorems, tidings about our essential human nature.... Gödel's theorems tell us, according to this line of reasoning, what our minds simply could not be. In particular, what our minds could not be..., are computers. --Rebecca Goldstein, Incompleteness

Odd that LGF should post a tribute to Alexander Solzhenitsyn, for whatever else he was, he was a stern voice against postmodern nihilism in all its varieties, whether it be Marxism, Darwinism, western style consumerism, or narrow-minded Queegism. A Raccoon knows precisely what Solzhenitsyn meant when he said that That which is called humanism, but what would be more correctly called irreligious anthropocentrism, cannot yield answers to the most essential questions of our life, and that One word of truth shall outweigh the whole world.

But what can these things possibly mean to a middlebrow Darwinist? It's just vacuous rhetoric. To a Darwinist, Solzhenitsyn's life can make no sense. Why would he risk his genes for ideals that the Darwinist knows are illusory? (Solzhenitsyn was a devout Russian Orthodox.)

In looking back at the horror of Soviet communism, Solzhenitsyn remarked that "if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.

I wonder if Solzhenitsyn could have more effectively survived his ordeals if he had adopted the Lizard's credo, that "One word of natural selection shall outweigh both the soul of man and its Creator," or that the atrocities of communism occurred because "Men have forgotten Darwin; that's why all this has happened."

There are several pillars of postmodern deconstruction, and these include Marxism, philosophical Darwinism, and a crude form of Freudianism. Taken together, these constitute a "hermeneutics of suspicion," through which an inferior mind may imagine itself superior in its omnipotent ability to undermine the foundation of things that infinitely surpass it.

In the barbarous hands of a Kosling or Queegling, these are like all-purpose corrosives to the foundations of civilization and to any ideal that transcends our narrow self-interest. But they are emotionally satisfying tools, since the person who wields them can instantly elevate himself above people and institutions far superior to himself. For example, Cornell West or Jesse Jackson need only remind themselves that Jefferson owned slaves, and they are superior to him! Likewise, Queeg need only link to a Penn and Teller routine on creationism, and he is superior to Thomas Aquinas or Hans Urs Von Balthasar.

As I have mentioned before, the Queegling is so powerful that his weaponized ideology is capable of destroying in a single comment what it took 3000 years of spiritual genius to build. Can you imagine the abject idiocy of such a person? But this is what we see in comment after comment at LGF. These "terrible simplifiers" are proud of their ability to render the suprasensible meaningless and reduce existence to a horizontal wasteland.

Freud -- who also had no feel whatsoever for religious truth -- believed that religion was nothing more than a giant collective defense mechanism rooted in childhood fears, while for Marx it was the "opiate of the masses." Likewise for an orthodox Darwinist, religion must have once had some genetic survival value, but in itself it is pure nonsense. In other words, we believe religion not because it is true, but because we are genetically programmed to do so. Which begs two questions, 1) how the atheistic Darwinist has transcended his own religious genes, and 2) whether we are simply genetically programmed to understand science, which in itself has no truth value.

Now, the postmodern revolt is all about power. Since there can be no appeal to truth, no ultimate way to adjudicate between competing agendas, this means that raw power must come in to fill the void. Things like multiculturalism and moral relativism are just masks for pure power.

This is why scientistic rationalism necessarily leads to the kind of totalitarian impulses we always see from the left, whether it is in the form of campus speech codes, political correctness, assaults on religious freedom, judicial tyranny, resurrection of the "fairness doctrine," etc. It is why Queeg must ban dissent from his blog, since no one is allowed to freely discover truth, being that the incorrect truth might be discovered. Therefore, doctrinal truth must be enforced from on high. But at least Queeg is consistent, in that he is behaving just like the survival machine he claims to be.

The entire basis of our rationally ordered liberty is that we may freely appeal to a truth that transcends us. The absence of this arrangement results in hell, one way or the other. For a truly free soul to have to live, move, and think within the narrow constraints of Darwinism would be hell on earth -- like a kind of intellectual and spiritual gulag.

For blind faith in Darwinism results in a kind of violent spiritual dismemberment; these people are crawling around with limbs missing, an eye gouged out, deaf in one ear, for they cannot see, hear, or touch the divine. Now, I'm all for extending rights to the "challenged" in order to make their lives easier. Nevertheless, I don't go as far as the extremists who claim that a disability is an advantage -- for example, advocates for the deaf who are against the cochlear implant, or the "fat is beautiful" movement. For the same reason, we know that "Darwinists must be." But we shouldn't flatter them by calling them "intelligent," much less "wise." Rather, it is a spiritual infirmity. After all, they know far better than we do that they are not intelligently designed. (Again, I am speaking of the Darwinist metaphysician, not the mere intellectual worker bee who knows his limitations, especially if his biological research is in service to a higher ideal.)

Of necessity, Darwinism reduces the Subject to an object, i.e., spirit to matter. But as Polanyi explained, "if all knowledge includes the personal participation of the knower, then the ideal of strict detachment is false. And clearly, if this ideal is a false one, science and religion stand on similar grounds -- or better, they stand on a continuum, with one leading naturally to the other" (Mitchell).

Do you see the problem? Either the Subject is ontologically real and therefore able to arrive at truth, whether scientific, religious, aesthetic or moral; or, if it is reducible to matter, then it renders any kind of immutable truth a mere illusion. In short, what's bad for the religious nous is bad for the scientistic panderer.

Polanyi wrote that this kind of crude scientistic reductionism deprives "our image of man and the universe of any rational foundation. All men, scientists included, must seek and hold on to a reasonable view of the universe and of man's place in it. For acquiring this we must rely on a theory of knowledge which accepts indwelling as the proper way for discovering and possessing the knowledge of comprehensive entities. I believe also this may open up a cosmic vision which will harmonize with some basic teachings of Christianity."

Hey, no kidding! Polanyi continues:

The book of Genesis or the frescoes of Michaelangelo "remain a far more intelligent account of the nature and origin of the universe than the representations of the world as a chance collocation of atoms." Why more intelligent? Because the former view draws great significance from the fact that the world exists and that we may comprehend it, and that the whole existentialada is "linked to our own calling as the only morally responsible beings in the world"; whereas the scientistic view necessarily "denies any meaning to the world, and indeed ignores all our most vital experience of this world."

You see, life is not meaningless. It is an achievement. Likewise, real manhood -- not the mere genetic kind -- is an achievement. It is not conferred by the genes, but by transcending them. Just so, Alexander Solzhenitsyn achieved things of eternal worth on this temporal plane. His life was not just a case of genes looking out for their own interests, like the monsters who oppressed and tortured him, and whose only interest was power.

For two thousand years, philosophy and religion had held up before Western Europe the ideal figure of man, as man, and had claimed for it a supreme worth....

Biological science drew the conclusion that the destruction of individuals was the very means by which advance was made to higher types of species.... As applied to human society this theory is a challenge to the whole humanitarian movement.
--Alfred North Whitehead, Adventures of Ideas

185 Comments:

Anonymous Tex Taylor said...

Likewise for an orthodox Darwinist, religion must have once had some genetic survival value, but in itself it is pure nonsense. In other words, we believe religion not because it is true, but because we are genetically programmed to do so. Which begs two questions, 1) how the atheistic Darwinist has transcended his own religious genes, and 2) whether we are simply genetically programmed to understand science, which in itself has no truth value.

Wonderful article and even better questions. Let the squirming begin...

8/04/2008 09:02:00 AM  
Anonymous lgfrules said...

Hundreds and thousands of evolutionary biologists were among the zeks and other victims of the communist gulag, because they were Darwinists who opposed Lysenko. If you had your way, you'd skip the labor camps and just send every scientist straight to the death camps.

8/04/2008 09:05:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

What is the argument from evolutionary biology that what was done to them was evil?

8/04/2008 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

By the way, your last comment betrays the state of your soul.

8/04/2008 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

how [has] the atheistic Darwinist has transcended his own religious genes,

Just like all the PBS programs say, "they evolved for themselves [insert whatever convenient feature here]."

Seriously, I wish I had a sawbuck for every time I hear this reflexive phrase to explain evolution. Even as a theory it is projecting the modern human superior consciousness onto ancient evolutionary periods.

I'm not pointing to any scientific aspects of evolving changes, just the way it is portrayed in imprecise speech. Applying the idea of a "self" before there was a consciousness in the Cosmos. I'm doubting that it is an accident of phrase.

8/04/2008 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger QP said...

I have a strong hunch lgfrules was a signer of this petition.

8/04/2008 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Now, the postmodern revolt is all about power. Since there can be no appeal to truth, no ultimate way to adjudicate between competing agendas, this means that raw power must come in to fill the void.

Can we just gold-plate the above paragraph? Can it be mounted in the Houses of Congress, right next to the Constitution and the Ten Commandments? No wait. It'll be just as ignored as those hallowed Truths.

Most of the U.S.media is ignoring Solzhenitsyn... he's a puzzle to them. He had rock-star status in his time, and is now viewed as a semicolon in history; nobody's quite sure what to do with him.

I read his book in my early 20s. His insights resonated with Truth, even before I knew Truth. My brother read him, too, and went on to be a Liberation Theologian. (i.e., Chicago Priest.)

8/04/2008 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"In looking back at the horror of Soviet communism, Solzhenitsyn remarked that "if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened."

A big aye to that! I remember reading A Day In the Life of Ivan Desinovitch, back when I was a boy.

That book, about his years in a Soviet gulag, profoundly affected me, even at that young age!

And that, my friends, is the result of atheism/suckular humanism.

When the left today speak of gulags they have no idea what a gulag is.

8/04/2008 09:48:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

Exactly! Just as Queeg has no idea what a "vicious attack" is, much less a malevolent "hoax."

8/04/2008 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Bob - There isn't "argument from evolutionary biology that what was done to them was evil", because evolutionary biology by itself doesn't constitute morals. But evolutionary biology contributes to the nature of what humans are, and that nature, in relation to the laws of nature (which are absolute enough for me), dictates some pretty powerful "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts". The same way there are "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts" in chess, for example. (I already linked to this before which discusses this in detail.)

8/04/2008 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Joan said-
"I read his book in my early 20s. His insights resonated with Truth, even before I knew Truth. My brother read him, too, and went on to be a Liberation Theologian. (i.e., Chicago Priest.)"

You put it way better than I, Joan!
"Resonated truth before I knew Truth."

And I went on to join the United States Navy!

Just a few examples of the impact of his books.
That's not to say I didn't have other influences, but Solzhenitsyn was a huge factor in how I viewed Communism. Ain't no doubt about that!

8/04/2008 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Ray Ingles said...
Bob - There isn't "argument from evolutionary biology that what was done to them was evil", because evolutionary biology by itself doesn't constitute morals. But...

Before you go into the butt, ray, reread that paragraph and STOP!

Remember, whoever has power in that environment detrmines what good n' evil is.

Now, do you wanna put your faith in that or in Absolute Truth?
can't you see the difference?

8/04/2008 09:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Ray, that is a feeble response. If we derive our values from nature and precedent, we should all engage in genocide.

8/04/2008 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Tex Taylor said-
"Wonderful article and even better questions. Let the squirming begin..."

Nice shootin' Tex!

8/04/2008 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Someone just emailed me with the following complaint:

"Haven't you beat this dog to death yet? Ok, do as you will. But I'm getting profoundly tired of the dispute that in my view is going nowhere."

Agree or disagree? Is this important, or just a pointless dispute? I'll be happy to drop it and move along if no one's interested.

8/04/2008 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Petey - Should you sacrifice your queen in the first few moves of a chess game?

8/04/2008 10:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lgfrules:
Obviously I could lose my posting privileges at the lztrdmasters house of pagans, wiccans, and other assorted atheists by posting my real nic, like Mama Winger, who just got the ax. So I won't. You guys must be so pleased with yourself for finishing the purge that zombie first proposed on April 25 in comment 26:
http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/29689_Spencer-_Why_the_Anti-Jihad_Resistance_is_Not_About_Race/comments/
Look at the names of those who politely disagreed with the gay p0rn blogger named zombie. They're all gone. Proud of yourselves?

8/04/2008 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Via American Thinker (HT Vanderleun):

"When all of the rest of the civilized world, as well as the Marxist world, was tossing God into the dustbin of history, Solzhenitsyn realized that only God really matters. He chided the West for embracing materialism and forgetting God, a lesson that is just as true today as thirty years ago."

8/04/2008 10:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Ray:

Touch my queen and I'll shoot you.

(Learned that from nature.)

8/04/2008 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Veering to the side just a tad,

"All men, scientists included, must seek and hold on to a reasonable view of the universe and of man's place in it. For acquiring this we must rely on a theory of knowledge which accepts indwelling as the proper way for discovering and possessing the knowledge of comprehensive entities. I believe also this may open up a cosmic vision which will harmonize with some basic teachings of Christianity."

See also today's Froth.

8/04/2008 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Likewise for an orthodox Darwinist, religion must have once had some genetic survival value, but in itself it is pure nonsense. In other words, we believe religion not because it is true, but because we are genetically programmed to do so.

The word "programmed" is bandied about a lot in these conversations, but it's never actually pinned down. Genes don't dictate everything, and even for traits with a strong genetic component, like height, the environment makes a big difference.

When you get to things like brains - the whole point of which is to be adaptive and flexible - genetic influence is even more complex, less direct, and less absolute. Environment has an even larger role to play.

As someone who actually programs things, I can tell you that even when a program is technically correct and free of flaws, it can still do the unexpected when presented with new situations. (As was confirmed for me again this weekend; it's my week for the support pager and it went off at 2am Saturday morning.)

Evolution at most provides the 'hardware' and 'firmware'. That has plenty of influence on the 'software' that develops later, but it's far from direct 'programming'.

8/04/2008 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Gagdad Bob said...
Someone just emailed me with the following complaint:

"Haven't you beat this dog to death yet? Ok, do as you will. But I'm getting profoundly tired of the dispute that in my view is going nowhere."

Agree or disagree? Is this important, or just a pointless dispute? I'll be happy to drop it and move along if no one's interested.

This is far too important, Bob!
I Aye! For One! Can't be reminded of Absolute Truth often enough!

Anonymouse? If'n yer tired of it, then go back to sleep. "cause this ain't goin' nowhere...this is goin' to...

What? You thought I was goin' to give you the answer? Cast my pearls before swine?

Nope. By all means, ignore the warnings. You have that right.
However, just remember this: you can't ever say you weren't warned.

Thanks Bob! You keep on keepin' on reminded me, please!
I can't hear this enough! :^)

8/04/2008 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Not long after reading Gulag, I picked up another book on the dollar bargain table entitled, "To Build My Castle: My Life as a Russian Dissident" by some obscure inmate in a Russian prison.

It was about survival tactics of a victim caught in the bureaucracy of the Prison Secretariat. His form of dissent used their own self-devouring rules against them to gain power to alleviate his torturous misery. He didn't even try to appeal to a human dignity that never "evolved" in that godless society. (Interestingly, the shoulds and aughts were all procedural. They hadn't read the same stuff Ray had, I guess), so he sought to confuse the machine to death. Ala James T. Kirk, he demanded that they obey their own directives.

I witnessed the same sort of wry wisdom and small rebellions during a secret mission to an unnamed island ruled by a communist dictator. (off topic: Do you know how many ways there are to smuggle rum out of your job at the distillery?)

Without a vision, the people truly do perish. How many times does that have to be worked out in human existence before a Darwinist will believe the numbers?

8/04/2008 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Petey - Were you trying to demonstrate a 'feeble response'? :->

If you're actually playing chess, and given the rules of chess (how pieces move, the layout of the board, etc.) - which are analogous to the 'laws of nature' - and your motivation to 'win' - which is analogous to our own human nature - then there are certain things you should or shouldn't do. There are strategies that arise from the interaction of our desires and the 'rules of the game'. Those strategies are quite real - as you can discover if you violate them - but they exist at a different ontological level than the 'rules of the game'.

Our universe has some pretty fixed 'rules of the game', too. We call them 'physics', 'chemistry', etc. We have desires as humans, too. The interaction of those desires and laws leads to 'strategic' rules, too. Unlike chess, however, 'the game of life' is not zero-sum. Cooperation is a very useful strategy in such situations... and there's plenty of examples in nature, too, that you could learn from.

8/04/2008 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Julie:

Cooncur. Schumacher's A Guide for the Perplexed is a wonderfully concise and lucid little book, at least as far as I can recall. I must have read it 25 years ago.

I just plucked my copy from the shelf, and looked at some of my cryptic notes in the end pages. Some things never change:

"Existence of stages points to higher.... Mental sense: what can we detect? A higher human? God? Purpose of face is to make invisible visible.... defense mechanisms try to make visible invisible."

8/04/2008 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Funny, just this morning I was wondering the same, "is this flogging a dead horse business fruitful?"

I think so. But then, I'm a proud and rebellious beastie that is instructed by the example.

'sides, the horse doesn't feel a thing, and it keeps Bob conditioned for a real fight.

8/04/2008 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

"There are several pillars of postmodern deconstruction, and these include Marxism, philosophical Darwinism, and a crude form of Freudianism. Taken together, these constitute a "hermeneutics of suspicion," through which an inferior mind may imagine itself superior in its omnipotent ability to undermine the foundation of things that infinitely surpass it."

People have created reasons for loving the darkness instead of the light, but the "hermeneutics of suspicion" (trinity of foolishness) is tailor-made for the pomo mind.

8/04/2008 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Joan, I was thinking the same thing, sort of. On the one hand, *sigh*, more Queeg, but on the other this has been such a fruitful line of discussion, I figure it's not so much about flogging the horse as turning it into some extremely rich fertilizer. A great many seeds are being planted, and the resultant growth has already been pretty amazing.

So compost away, Bob, if that's what the little bird keeps telling you.

8/04/2008 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I do try to avoid the flogging for its own sake. Rather, I hope I'm just using it as an entertaining context to discuss higher principles. Besides, the culture war is very real and the stakes enormous. On its outcome hinges the future of mankind.

8/04/2008 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Confession: I've started subscribing to the responses on these posts for the sheer joy of seeing Ray's responses in the email... and then deleting them, unread.

I'm shallow. I know. The view from my perch on the vertical spiral is all uphill.

8/04/2008 10:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Ray, you're spinning like a top. The questions I would ask you are, was Solzhenitsyn a great man, and on what basis? Please try to stay within the confines of your philosophy and not contradict yourself, which you inveterately do.

8/04/2008 10:47:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

Joan -- that's very adaptive of you!

8/04/2008 10:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Squiddy said...

Now Petey, Ray is not a jellyfish!

Oh. You said inveterately.

Nevermind.

8/04/2008 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Bob said:
I hope I'm just using it as an entertaining context to discuss higher principles.

I have said little during the LGF Wars, because I never visited that site, and didn't see the battle unfold.

But that is no different than when you discuss an author I haven't read, or refer to conditions in academia that are not familiar to me.

You have a persistent manner of taking subjects and relating them to Higher Principles, and this nudges my own thinking higher in the process. This is the OC Gift that keeps on giving!

Besides, last time I checked, it was still "Bob's blog."

8/04/2008 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Petey - Sure he was a great man. He displayed great courage standing up to a manifestly broken and corrupt system which caused a scarcely credible amount of human misery; and in so doing, helped in no small measure to bring about its eventual downfall.

8/04/2008 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Haven't you beat this dog to death yet?..."

Good vs Evil, the nature of Truth, Reality and Man's place in it... yeah. Ever since Gilgamesh, everything else has just been footnotes and re-runs... so old hat, all that Bible stuff, and Greek stuff... after all, having been said, there's no point in trying to understand it, just link to it and presto, the point is made... its in the genes, pretending that there is some 'Truth' to be 'understood' is so 18th century, so boring....

NOT!!!

(wish I could manage to pull off 24pt type)

8/04/2008 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Oh, and actually, Petey, feel free to point out some contradictions. Somebody's misunderstanding something there, and it might be fruitful to see who and where...

8/04/2008 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger erasmus said...

Ray says:

"Evolution at most provides the 'hardware' and 'firmware'. That has plenty of influence on the 'software' that develops later, but it's far from direct 'programming'."

Ray, is your point of view that the 'hardware' and 'firmware' is fixed (determinism) the 'software' is then generated through the use of randomness?

8/04/2008 11:02:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

Ray:

Which is the bigger lie, Christianity or Marxist materialism? It seems to me that you should give Marxism a little credit for at least getting the materialism part right.

8/04/2008 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Thanks Cousin! I'm trying to take this "adaptive" stuff and see if I can market it on a multi-level platform.

I'll call it, "Survival of the Firstist." Unhappily for the Darwinist, they're always the last to catch onto a great marketing concept, while being its most fervent supporters and least profitable participants. I see dollar signs!

I just need some other buy-ins to get started. I'm headed over to LGF to peddle some MonaVie. Or NoniJuice. Or Kool-aid.

8/04/2008 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"This is why scientistic rationalism necessarily leads to the kind of totalitarian impulses we always see from the left, whether it is in the form of campus speech codes, political correctness, assaults on religious freedom, judicial tyranny, resurrection of the "fairness doctrine," etc. It is why Queeg must ban dissent from his blog, since no one is allowed to freely discover truth, being that the incorrect truth might be discovered. Therefore, doctrinal truth must be enforced from on high."

Aye! What kinda dictator banishes folks like Kepler Sings, Babbazee, Mamma Winger, and Bob, to name a few?

What is Queeg so afraid of?
Why, he's afraid of the Truth! Which is why he now has an echo chamber...the Stepford Lizards.

Queeg can't handle the Truth so he creates his own little illusionary world, sacrificing all objectivity for his own subjectivity.
Queeg = god...the golden calf.

Now LGF is fulla cow pies...an abject lesson to anyone contemplating the life of a fool.

This is what Solzhenitsyn spoke out against!
Totalitarianism. Communism. Atheism.
But Queeg misses, udderly, the irony of it all.

8/04/2008 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Uh, Joan -- don't forget the ™!

8/04/2008 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Oh, this is a perplexing conundrum:
When anti-scientists attack.

The Left at cross purposes.

Perhaps,like my worry about Sitemeter, the Left will just fix itself right out of existence.

8/04/2008 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

"Since there can be no appeal to truth, no ultimate way to adjudicate between competing agendas, this means that raw power must come in to fill the void."

A nice one-sentence summation of C. S. Lewis' book "The Abolition of Man".

"Either the Subject is ontologically real and therefore able to arrive at truth, whether scientific, religious, aesthetic or moral; or, if it is reducible to matter, then it renders any kind of immutable truth a mere illusion."

A nice one-sentence summation of C. S. Lewis' book "Miracles".

You're playin' all my favorite tunes today, Doc!

8/04/2008 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Ray, what is Courage, that it should be deemed Great?

8/04/2008 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger erasmus said...

Ray says:

"Petey - Sure he was a great man. He displayed great courage standing up to a manifestly broken and corrupt system which caused a scarcely credible amount of human misery; and in so doing, helped in no small measure to bring about its eventual downfall.

Ray, so, this system was "manifestly broken and corrupt" because it prevented "not zero sum outcomes"?

8/04/2008 11:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Human -- as opposed to mere animal -- courage is not a virtue unless it is in service to a higher ideal that is unreachable by Darwinism.

8/04/2008 11:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

After all, nazis were courageous in standing up to the "corruption" of Judaism.

As always, it it a matter of truth. Courage that is not in service to truth is bestiality.

8/04/2008 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

"Either the Subject is ontologically real and therefore able to arrive at truth, whether scientific, religious, aesthetic or moral; or, if it is reducible to matter, then it renders any kind of immutable truth a mere illusion."

I would say that until and unless Ray addresses this point, all further discussion with him, on any subject, is utterly futile. IMHO, of course.

8/04/2008 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Erasmus - The short version: Mu.

The long version: Even the 'hardware' isn't completely deterministic (c.f. QM), and there isn't one model. There's about 6 billion models around today.

Randomness does have an influence, but it's not the only thing working, either. Luck plays a part in poker, for example, but there are still good and bad poker players, and it's pretty unlikely for a poor player to make it to the top of a poker tournament.

And then there are some things which tend to mitigate randomness, like the 'attractors' in phase space that Bob's talked about. Whatever random point you start at, the system converges to the attractor.

Indeed, this is one reason why even partially random systems can 'find' answers. That's a connection Bob seems unwilling to make. Things like the Golden Rule pretty well 'fall out' of the fact that life isn't a zero sum game, and even a partly-random, partly-deterministic process like evolution can find such things.

8/04/2008 11:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

I'm through as well. He is hopeless. But God knows best.

8/04/2008 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Dupree - Christianity gets several morals right, but for the wrong reasons. Marxism as a system had some laudable goals (widespread happiness) but ignored several key facts about human nature and so ended up with a catastrophically wrong answer.

8/04/2008 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

River - Courage the ability to do the right thing despite fear. (As a corollary, one who is fearless cannot be courageous.)

It should be obvious from the definition why this is a great thing...

8/04/2008 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

You know, it's kinda funny, and sad, and definitely illustrative, but at LGF, only Ray would be allowed to speak.

8/04/2008 11:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Strother Martin said...

"Oh, and actually, Petey, feel free to point out some contradictions."

What we have here is a failure to communicate.

8/04/2008 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

"hermeneutics of suspicion," through which an inferior mind may imagine itself superior in its omnipotent ability to undermine the foundation of things that infinitely surpass it."

LGF in a nutshell.

This is real fear, unbridled, that causes a person to unravel at the edges.

If one buys into the deterministic and amoral existence, one must necessarily be suspicious and protective against all threats, real or imagined.

Furthermore, the constant state of hyper-vigilance depletes the mental state to a point of exhaustion and mania. The LGF machine can delete a comment as fast as it is posted.

If you really, really buy into it, then you always worry that someone else is even more bought into it, is smarter than you, and is after you-- to go all Highlander on your neck.

Now you're no longer a fun person to be around. The last transcendent thing to go is a healthy sense of humor.

Borg don't laugh, do they?

8/04/2008 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

"I do try to avoid the flogging for its own sake. Rather, I hope I'm just using it as an entertaining context to discuss higher principles. Besides, the culture war is very real and the stakes enormous. On its outcome hinges the future of mankind."

Yes, exactly. And it is entertaining. The comments that have been coming up in response have been outstanding (especially this past week, when I had basically nada to add) and thought-provoking, as well as Ray-provoking, and while I don't hold out much hope that he'll ever evolve, it is fascinating to see how strongly he clings to nothing.

Keep up the good work, Bob - whatever you have to say, we're listening. Er, reading.

8/04/2008 11:41:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

Ho!

A little bird just emailed me with the following:

"I checked it on my lunch break-- posting at Gagdad Bob's is now a banning crime.. van Hilten and Salamantis reported Ma and Mama for this thoughtcrime."

8/04/2008 11:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Inego Montoya said...

The gays want "marriage."
The Darwinists want "courage."
The atheists want "morality."
The government wants "moral authority."
Nobody's clamoring for "innocence" yet. Besides O.J., I mean.

"You keep using that word..."

8/04/2008 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Ray, "Christianity gets several morals right, but for the wrong reasons."

Uh. Wow.

All I can say to that is, I'm thrilled and delighted that I don't live in your head.

8/04/2008 11:45:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

Here's the exact quote from Old Yellowstain (can't you just see the ball bearings rolling around in his hand?):

"Don't blame other people for letting me know the kinds of slimy things some people have been posting about me behind my back. I prefer to know it when people turn out to be gossiping backstabbers, and I have absolutely no obligation to let such people continue to use the site I've created."

Ho!

8/04/2008 11:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

How is "in your face" "behind your back"?

8/04/2008 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

cousin Dupree said...
Ho!

A little bird just emailed me with the following:

"I checked it on my lunch break-- posting at Gagdad Bob's is now a banning crime.. van Hilten and Salamantis reported Ma and Mama for this thoughtcrime."


Geez! That's just sick n' twisted!
I'm not surprised it's those two, however. They are beyond vile.

Queeg is an obseeisive paranoid narcissist, with delusions of grandeur.

8/04/2008 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Dupree,
It probably has to do with the contortions involved in wearing your ass as a hat.

8/04/2008 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

"Backstabbing"?

That's an insult to Bob's aim!

I wonder if the Queeglings are allowed to comment on anybody's blog that comments here? What degree of separation has been decreed?

Just how much does Mr. Johnson care what his acolytes do?

8/04/2008 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Erasmus - Yes, it was a system that promoted the misery of a huge number of people - the vast majority of the people under it - both actively and passively.

8/04/2008 11:50:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

I was beginning to tire of the feud during the last couple of posts in the string a few days ago but this post, in my opinion, is one of the more profound and instructive, real world examples of what happens when the roots which feed truth and liberty are systematically eliminated.
Plus, the 14 year old queegmeisters leaking over here pisses me off.

LGFrules? Please.



Fire away.

8/04/2008 11:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Tex Taylor said...

Like I said on a blog the other day, on my little jaunt to medical school, I took all of these same science classes these "scientists" did. I made a 'B' in biochemistry, the rest 'A's. So I assume I understood the material.

But for some reason, I never could overcome the intuition that concerning this whole "origin of species" thing, I was being sold a bill of goods; more specifically a crock of ****. That the explanations concerning the biological, chemical, and mathematical constructs to fill the "gaps" made as much sense as little green men - kind of like a Martian Johnny Appleseed.

I still haven't been able to overcome my genetic predisposition thing I guess. Does that mean I need to quickly mutate? When I figure out how to will myself to mutation, I'll let you guys know.

8/04/2008 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Petey - I recall C.S. Lewis disagreeing with you about courage and the other virtues. They were good, but could be put to evil uses. Can't find the quote handy, sadly.

8/04/2008 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Hm, it's been a while since I've been over at LGF, and even longer since this was a topic for discussion, but what were his thoughts, post 9/11, on the proposed programs that involved people calling in anonymous tips on each other in order to root out terrorists?

8/04/2008 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Joan said: Confession: I've started subscribing to the responses on these posts for the sheer joy of seeing Ray's responses in the email... and then deleting them, unread.

Whoa. All together now --


Wild thing...you make my heart sing...
You make everything
Groovy
I said wild thing...

Wild thing, I think I love you

8/04/2008 11:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Queeg said...

But they began spreading wild rumours about me arguing in circles -- and then "Old Yellowstain." I was to blame for Darwin's metaphysical incoherence.... But One Cosmos, that's where I had them. I proved with geometric logic that certain commenters were reading Gagdad's blog! I proved it with the IPs on my site meter, that some Lizards were being disloyal and thinking behind my back.... Naturally, I can only cover these things from memory....

8/04/2008 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Julie, here ya go:

Thu, Oct 4, 2001 at 8:37:04 pm
Terrorists are bullies writ large. The thing about bullies: deep down inside, where their true nature lies, they are craven cowards. Alone and friendless, and lashing out at everyone who isn't them.

8/04/2008 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Warren - Ironically, I did address it in the comment right after yours. A forest is 'reducible' to trees in many ways, but exists on a different ontological level than trees. 'Subjects' are 'reducible' to brains in many ways, but exist on a different ontological level. (A swarm of bees or a school of fish behave a lot differently than a cloud of dust; there are very different interactions going on, with a lot more levels in the former two than the latter.)

8/04/2008 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Ray - You have no ground on which to make ANY value judgments...
unless you preface every one with "in my opinion". "IMO" will do nicely, but don't ever throw in an "H" (cause what the hell does that mean?).

Prove otherwise.

8/04/2008 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

So these monitor lizards are reading every word at One Cosmos in order to enforce their Orwellian dicktaterspeak and banish asny lizards who even comment here.

Ogf course thay won't mention what the banished one's said.

They don't have the moral courage.
They are yellow to the marrow, and they know they can't debate us honestly, ergo they banish any who might challenge their facist ideology.

These LGF cowards are the true backstabbers. Blind salamanders indeed.

8/04/2008 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Mama Winger is my hero!

8/04/2008 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Julie - To understand what I meant there, see the section on "Divinely-Imposed Morality" in the first link I gave.

8/04/2008 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Mama:

Not at all! As you can see, Queeg and his Queeglings provide endless fodder for low and high comedy.

8/04/2008 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Mine too, Joan.
Heck, she's even apologizing to Bob on Fridays thread!

It ain't your fault, Mama!
It's the fault of paranoid cowards.
I hope you know you are welcome here! :^)

8/04/2008 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

That was a non sequitur, wasn't it? Mama Winger left a comment on a previous thread:

"ha! It appears that I have been blocked at LGF for making this statement here -- and it was a reprimand to Bob! LOL

"Oh well ..... such is life."

and

"Gagdad Bob - I did not mean to cause you such trouble. I apologize if I have made life more difficult for you guys here."

8/04/2008 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I cooncur, Magnus.
The Queeg is beyond the pale.

8/04/2008 12:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Queeg said...

Say it to my face, so I can ban you more quickly!

8/04/2008 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Nomo - Heck, I answered that one 14 years ago. It's another "mu". (Though you could read the first link I gave here to see some later developments in that line of thought.)

8/04/2008 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hell, even Kos doesn't ban people for commenting on other blogs.

Hey Queeg...you are a yellow cur, and so are your lapdogs!

8/04/2008 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Ray, I don't really care what you're referencing - I'm just, as I said, really glad I don't live in your head.

I'm no beacon of self-knowledge, as has been amply demonstrated to me this past week, but at least I can see that I have a lot of work to do. You, though, can actually say (presumably with a straight face, but then it's impossible to tell since your sense of humor and mine don't appear to have much in common) that Christian morality is right but for the wrong reasons. That is the cosmos you wish to inhabit (since saying such a thing only makes it so inside your own head, which must of necessity contain the cosmos).

I can't think of a place more wretched and miserable, utterly divorced from the Source. It would be better if we lived as chimps (with apologies to Scatter), than to be human and cut off from the Truth.

8/04/2008 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger QP said...

NoSlo Monday.
About the item passed out for class discussion:

"Haven't you beat this dog to death yet? [...] Agree or disagree? -GB

Pointless not. A dangerous herd of PoMo Nihilists is gathering strength - determined to stamp out any spiritual development or discussion and we should not pay it any mind? I'm a cock-eyed optimist, but I'm not blind.

It is near past time, in the West, to defend not so much human rights as human obligations, and as has been evident for a few years here at OC, Bob responds to his inner obligation to Cry Truth; to defend against the corrosion of real evil "capable of destroying in a single comment what it took 3000 years of spiritual genius to build."

If Alexander Solzhenitsyn's life and work, had a larger purpose it was to inform us that post modern nihilism of any type and shade leads to a total destruction of the human spirit and to a leveling of mankind into death.

To the e-mailer: Have you checked your tires lately?

To Bob: Great post; my sense is you're just getting up a full head of steam, powered by the indwelling Spirit™.

8/04/2008 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

A bit off topic, but I'd like to thank Boston's GM for having the courage to trade ManRam to the Dodgers. He's only hitting .615 with two homers and five RBIs in three games with the Dodgers

8/04/2008 12:42:00 PM  
Anonymous scatter said...

I may have been cut off from the truth, but I sat at the right hand of the King.

8/04/2008 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Ray,

Julie said, All I can say to that is, I'm thrilled and delighted that I don't live in your head.

Just for the record: Not even a tenth part of Julie's sense of beauty, her creativity, or her immense grasp of real true Truth, would even fit in Ray's head.

8/04/2008 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

"...posting at Gagdad Bob's is now a banning crime..."

I feel so guilty . . . .

8/04/2008 12:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Niggardly Phil said...

If posting here is wrong, I don't want to be right.


By the way, I have only heard of LGF through OC, but I don't get tired of the Queeg talk as long as it transcends any personal attack to get to principles. The comments always seem to do so. Pick a point, any point, and work your way to the center.

8/04/2008 12:49:00 PM  
Anonymous queeg's brain said...

Note to self: check the IP on Walt's blog. Cross reference with my commentariat base. Deletion in ....3...2..1..

8/04/2008 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Also, I'm guessing that some people assume I'm angry, when it's all said in a reluxing atmasphere of omade jehovial witticisms and deep levitas. Coontext is everything.

8/04/2008 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Julie - If I may point out, since you don't live in my head, you might not know what I meant. Since both of us admit to not being perfect, communication and understanding might take a bit of engagement. Sadly, that doesn't interest everyone, I gather... ah, well.

8/04/2008 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Joan, now you've got me blushing.
Of course, my ego, impatience and stubbornness (just to name a few of my most prominent mind parasites; the cacophony may be quieter these days, but that's all a matter of scale) would probably leave no room in Ray's head for any of my little virtues to squeeze in, anyway.

8/04/2008 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Wow, thanks so much, Ray, for that 14-year old answer about your "values" to a question I never asked. You have a link for everything except for One.

From Ray's "answer" link (so nobondy else has to slog through it):

"You see that I see things as valuable in terms of what they mean for my purposes. I really don't understand how the existence of God would lead to 'universal' meaning and purpose. Would this not be just another example
of another being's purposes? Why should I necessarily try to fit myself into those purposes? Just because God would be moe powerful than myself would not seem to give it any kind of 'inherent' weight? I really think you should start another thread to discuss this, because right now I just don't understand what kind of 'meaning' you think 'naturalism' lacks."

Like GB said earlier, "Ray, you're spinning like a top". Still.

8/04/2008 01:09:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

To give Queeg the benefit of the doubt, I took on Julie's muse about LGF's views. Which led me thru his archives. I searched on various themes and terms. I learned somthinng:

As a kid, he liked the idea of Captain America, but what he really wanted was superpowers.

Putting the cart before the horse, so to speak.

Supreme power unbridled by Ideals is what we have in Nigeria. Ideals unsupported by Truth is what we have in the communist world.

Superior power, supported by Ideals, undergirded by Truth is what we have here in the U.S.

Does Charles understand that his very quest against transcendent thought will unwittingly destroy us? Has he actually read Solzhenitsyn?

What would Captain America say?

8/04/2008 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

As I like to say, Bob, "A text without a coontext is a pretext.

8/04/2008 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Julie! Self-effacing humor and grace is a genetic weakness! Stop it!

8/04/2008 01:12:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

So, Sol (who may be canonized) was great because of his courage, and courage is great because it means doing the right thing in the face of fear? Then, to move a step forward, who determines what is right, that we may deem a man courageous?

8/04/2008 01:13:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Ray, the trouble is, you don't appear to want engagement, what comes across is that you want conversion to your way of thinking. You present argument after argument in favor of the bottom-up approach to life, and explain how that gives you meaning.

Well, good for you.

The trouble is, your arguments are both unpersuasive and in general, to the raccoon mind, based on completely false premises. We have an experience and a view of life which you not only don't share, being that you aren't in our heads and vice versa, but which you believe cannot be seen or experienced; which must then in fact be a delusion. You keep trying to convince us that there is nothing there; perhaps you hope to save us from this delusion (why else argue about it, after all; what difference can it possibly make to you what a few kooky strangers believe about a non-existent God)? You will not allow that we do, in fact, see and experience something that you don't, and more importantly that it is Real. As long as that is the case, there can be no engagement, only pointless argument.

Most of us have seen the world from your point of view at some point in our lives. You don't appreciate that, or maybe you don't think our atheism was pure enough or grounded in science enough, I don't know - but it's true. We've walked that road. And it wasn't Good.

If you want engagement, you must first allow for the possibility that we do, in fact, know something you don't. Until then, it's all just an argument.

8/04/2008 01:25:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Nomo, thanks for slogging through the muck so we don't have to - I just don't have the patience for it. My puny brain keeps trying to parse the sentences, seeking meaning where there isn't any, and I get stuck reading the same sentence over and over. It's too much like college. Then my inner chimp wants to start throwing things at the computer, and that's just not good.

8/04/2008 01:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Q-Burn said...

With the banning of Mama Winger and Ma Sands, LGF is now on record against God AND motherhood. Can baseball and apple pie be far behind?

8/04/2008 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Thanks for doing the dirty work, Nomo.

What's valuable is what I want. The materialist is a spoiled, narcissistic adolescent: "I wanted a red bicycle for Christmas. I prayed and had faith, and all I got was Spongebob underroos."

Ray was probably given a wedgie by a football player at his Catholic high school.

Huxley (like his modern brothers, Dawkins, Hitchens, and Harris) did not want God interfering with his sexual impulses.

Dawkins -- a serial adulterer and Vietnam-era war protester at Berkeley -- would have gladly sided with the Soviets against Solzhenitsyn.

As has been famously said, you cannot reason a person out of a position they did not arrive at by reason.

8/04/2008 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Q-Burn!
Baseball has been replaced with ball-less bases at LGF. :^)

8/04/2008 01:41:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

You will not allow that we do, in fact, see and experience something that you don't, and more importantly that it is Real. As long as that is the case, there can be no engagement, only pointless argument.

Here's evolution of the species Ray. Even a girl can argue more logically than you.

Now, run along and evolve somewhere safer.

8/04/2008 01:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Niggardly Phil said...

Will Queeg begin to examine feces to determine who's been at the apple pie or strawberries so they can be banned? oh that could be delegated.

now that's funny.



Although I guess Nomo just did that...

8/04/2008 01:42:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Apple pie may still be allowed, since it hasn't got much God in it. Baseball will have to be strictly modified, however - no prayers allowed, or it's right out.

8/04/2008 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Thanks Nomo, for showin' us what we weren't missing. :^)

8/04/2008 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

And that was no slam against the mental competence of female Raccoons. It was simply posted in a way that Ray's stunted understanding could feel the burn.

8/04/2008 01:44:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

Life imitates Ben Franklin:

"Beer is proof that God exists and wishes us to be happy." --Ben Franklin

"Enjoy Beer -- and Life Will be Good"

8/04/2008 01:54:00 PM  
Anonymous mama winger said...

Hello.

I seem to have caused some trouble for your site, Bob, as well as some trouble at LGF. I do apologize for any undue disruption that may have arisen from my only comment here:

Thank you Bob :)

Alas, again I have no time. I did want to say, while realizing that I have no standing here, that I have a little trouble referring to people whom I may have a disagreement with, as 'brain damaged' or '-tards'.

I myself have brain damage and my dear late brother was severely retarded. I have fought for most of my adult life to erase these terms as perjoratives from civil discourse.

Just me, perhaps, but it does seem to lessen the argument and slur disabled people who have done nothing wrong.

Okay. There, I've said it. If you regret your invitation, I can certainly understand. :)

8/04/2008 05:23:00 AM


Apparently Charles and yourself have a history that I have stirred up by posting this. When I came home from work today I found that I had been blocked by Charles.

Charles has said repeatedly that he does not ban people for posting at other blogs, nor for their faith, nor for disagreeing with his positions as long as they are done respectfully. I am taking him at his word.

So there must be more here than meets the eye and apparently I have stepped in it .

I have made wonderful friends at LGF over the years, and my concern was that they not all be labeled with unkind words. But I guess there are some nests better left undisturbed, and I have disturbed them.

Please accept my apologies for any flak you may take on my account.

Thanks.
Mama Winger

8/04/2008 02:03:00 PM  
Anonymous mama winger said...

Perhaps, as someone else said, I am the only person ever banned at LGF for asking people not to call lizards
brain damaged.

:)

8/04/2008 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Charles, if you cannot see the graceful out Mama Winger has extended to you and yours, of whom she spoke no ill; if you cannot see her goodness and great heart in apologizing to a crazy bunch of Raccoons she hasn't even offended-- you sir, are a cad.

And so is your automated bot that cross-references every IP against Bob's visitors.

The Singularity? You can have it. It hurts good people.

8/04/2008 02:10:00 PM  
Anonymous mama winger said...

Thank you Joan - it's alright, really. I have a lot of great friends that I have made over there and I wouldn't trade these years I've had at LGF for the world.

They were my family when my son was first deployed, they saved my sanity on many occasions with their love and their laughter. Things may have taken a turn but there are a lot of good people there that love our wonderful country. I am privileged to have met them.

I think I'll show myself out for now - thanks Joan, again, for the kind words. :)

8/04/2008 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Thank you, Mama Winger. And thanks to your son for his service.

8/04/2008 02:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Q-Burn said...

Mama Winger, you have nothing to apologize for. If anyone is owed an apology it's you.

8/04/2008 02:19:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Mama Winger:
You have long been one of my favorite commenters at lgf, here, and at BabbaZee's. The loss is to lgf. They are the poorer for your absence. Charles Johnson should be ashamed of himself.

Bob:
I say keep it up until it isn't fun anymore.

Then let Dupree and Scatter take over.

JWM

8/04/2008 02:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the banfest at our former Loyal Good Friends ...

so, if i post using the name "Charles" will he ban himself?

how paranoid do you have to be to go through the comments of another blog and ban any username that resembles one at your own site?

good luck with that. soon you'll be left with nothing but satanists, wiccans, athiests, and other faith-haters. oh, wait, you already ARE.

8/04/2008 03:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Spartacus said...

Damn, Bob, it's turning into a Spartacus thread.

8/04/2008 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

This'll teach me to check in late at OC - all the pinatas been already smacked!

Gotta say that if any young unmarried coondudes are looking for good women, study the Julie and Joan templates, then don't let go when you find her. Accept no substitutes. You'll never be bored, guaranteed.

Just remember, it's a two-way template so ya gotta pony up.

Bob, as to dog-beating - culture war, enormous stakes, future of mankind - says it all. Keep mannin' the lighthorse.

And Ray, goodgodalmighty...

i want my wah wah
ray rebeats a riff with his
crybaby pedal

8/04/2008 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Okay, I googled it and can't find a definition, so what's a Spartacus thread?

8/04/2008 03:40:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

You mean I invented it?!!

Yes, it was I. I am Spartacus!

It's just that some Lizard slaves are using this thread to stand up to tyranny. Like Spartacus. I was inspired by it.

:o)

8/04/2008 03:43:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

The day I discovered this blog a couple of years ago, I ordered OCUG thru my local B & N, so I could read some bits & decide whether to buy it. Sitting in a comfy overstuffed chair with a large cup-o-joe, I opened the book at random & began to read.

It happened to be (yeah, right) the section where Bob discusses the primitive nature of the world at large & just how exceptional the Depth-charge of Light given to the Hebrews was, given everybody else's life-as usual. This theme has been expanded & refined thru the Arc-of-Salvation series, Mother-of-All-Light-Grenades series & other, non-Judeo-Christian Revelation traditions covered here at OC.

Childen of Light are compelled to follow Truth & to seek continuously-higher unities, in-formed by that Light. Lux-challenged, primitive types like a Queeg are compelled to gather a following of green-shirt lock-steppers to do their bidding, and a Ray is compelled to continuously fling-out non-sequitur, unity-defying estupideces.

So, I'm compelled to conclude that not really much, in thousands of years, has changed as to the 'nature of Man', per say/in a manner of speaking. Still comes down to: does one serve the Light, or serve the primitive.

Solzhenitsyn is a case in point: the Queegs dealt with him by putting him in the Gulag. It backfired on them by concentrating his beam'O Light so it had the strength to Lux-out across the flatland, touching many.

Children O Light deal with him by wanting to make him a Saint.


just say'n

8/04/2008 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

From NRO:

Among the many other items worthy of mention from The Gulag Archipelago was how Solzhenitsyn literally did the Lord’s work by reporting on the Moscow “church trials” of the 1920s -- classic, prototype communist show trials, aimed specifically at the Russian church. These were outrageous miscarriages of justice, the outcome always predetermined, and the goal to undermine communism’s most despised foe: God. Solzhenitsyn’s reporting on these trials, including excerpts of exchanges between saintly priests and stooge apparatchiks, offered only one glimmer of solace each time another good man was sentenced to execution: Every priest could identify with Christ’s passion."

8/04/2008 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Julie: "which you believe cannot be seen or experienced; which must then in fact be a delusion"?

But... I never said that. At most, all I ever said is that I think y'all misinterpret some of your experiences, not that you don't/didn't experience them. Like seeing a sunrise and not immediately understanding that it's the Earth spinning.

I'm not trying to 'convert' anyone. Bob marvels at how anyone could believe such-and-such, or how anyone could look at x and not conclude y. I'm trying to explain how.

"why else argue about it, after all; what difference can it possibly make to you what a few kooky strangers believe about a non-existent God?"

Because, as I said before, I'm curious to see if any understanding can be reached. And I might learn something.

Of course, there's a lot of preconceptions that get in the way. Joan learned today that not everyone who disagrees with her must perforce agree with each other. Nomo skipped the parts about "Why do I do nice things for my loved ones? Because I want them to be happy. Why do I love them? Because it is in my nature as a human to love. I want to love people." He wanted to see adolescent selfishness, so that's all he saw.

And I do, in fact, allow for the chance that I'm missing something y'all have seen. But, as I've also said before, there are things about what you're saying here that simply don't fit in with my experience. That's kind of why I point them out... if those were resolved, I'd be a lot more inclined to think y'all were onto something.

I've been polite and patient about it. Were Bob to ask me to leave, I would, but he hasn't - at most, he's asked y'all to mock me. However, there are two conditions that must obtain for mocking to bother someone, and only one of 'em has been met so far.

And Ximeze - As Bob has noted, if you actively attack the connections, lots of things will appear as non-sequiturs.

8/04/2008 05:05:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Because, as I said before, I'm curious to see if any understanding can be reached. And I might learn something.

Ray, honey, that's just bullshit. You have no such desire. I know it hurts your feelings, but I've evolved enough in the relationship to be okay with that. ((hugs!))

It's not you, Ray. It's me.

8/04/2008 05:26:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

*eyes rolling*
Ray, you don't have to say that we're delusional. It is simply the only honest conclusion one can make if you are correct, and there is no God. Because if you're right, then we raccoons truly are clinging desperately to an illusion of salvation, incapable of facing a cold reality and deriving meaning from it on its own merits (and how pathetic that would be!). As to conversion, it is human nature to try and win people over to our own ideas. If you weren't hoping that someone would finally say,

"Gee, Ray, you're right - I never thought of it like that before,"

you wouldn't bother trying to make a point. And if we weren't hoping you'd say the same someday, eventually, we probably wouldn't bother answering.

What you still don't or won't understand is that we have stood where you stand, and we willfully rejected the arguments you keep trying to make, over and over ad nauseum. That is why we get frustrated, why some compare you to a 14-year old. Because we have thought of it like that, or near enough anyway, and we learned that it honestly didn't fit the facts on any scale, micro to macro, personal to cosmic.

I'm not asking you to leave nor hoping you'll shut up; far from it - it's helpful to learn from your mistakes, and you're a decent enough fellow. Not to mention the aforementioned (though infinitesimally small on my part) hope that your eyes will open, that you will get the proof you need (though I pray, truly and deeply, that it comes to you as a gentle revelation) and change your mind.

Whatever you are learning here, Ray, I hope that it is for the good, whichever metaphysic you follow.

8/04/2008 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger Warren said...

Ray,

As far as I can tell, the only issue you've addressed is the fact that you don't understand what the word "ontological" means.

8/04/2008 05:48:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Wow. Busy day at the OC!

"Now, the postmodern revolt is all about power. Since there can be no appeal to truth, no ultimate way to adjudicate between competing agendas, this means that raw power must come in to fill the void. Things like multiculturalism and moral relativism are just masks for pure power."

Which is an absolutely unavoidable 'outcome', once one has chosen to avoid Truth.

You can either have The Good, The Beautiful and The True... a prismatic beam from the One Light source,

or you can try to have,

the parsed agenda, the shocking, and the wishful thinking ... all dis-integrated debris of Powerlust; whose prime objective is to deny the Truth which simply IS, in favor of what it would prefer the world to be, and as a consequence of it, burns with the ugly denial of it - the more conscious the evasions, the more severe the burning.

8/04/2008 06:08:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And just to clarify, I don't want anyone to mock Ray unless it's funny. The comedy's the thing, not the mere mockery. We're not barbarians here. We're Raccoons.

8/04/2008 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Funny is such a subjective term.

Ray, I promise you, I learned nothing here today, except that Julie is my gracious better.

8/04/2008 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

Bob repeatedly refers to things that cannot not be so. When he does that, he is usually referring to things higher than I, myself, normally see. At first, I could only sense a certain "coherence and congruence" in what he was saying -- enough that I kept looking at the direction in which he pointed -- but I have never found any of this stuff blatantly "obvious."

However, I have worked with it. Pondered, and mulled it. Chewed on it. Done at least some of my homework. I take heart that sincerity counts in this game more than education and good looks.

I know it's about Qualities -- and it's not about Forms.

I don't "think" that I'm right; nor really do I know if Bob, or Julie, or anyone on this blog is "right." To be honest, I intentionally, actively choose to believe much of what is presented here -- without data, or documented proof -- because of the Qualities involved, in the philosophy, and in the observed behavior of many of the Raccoons.

I see Truth, inquiry, sincerity, Goodness, helpfulness, coherence, warmth, humor, and those and other Qualities look "Beautiful" to me -- they have an elegant quality about them.

This weekend, we were discussing that Truth, or Knowledge ----> Freedom. You know: real Knowledge -- not data, nor opinion, nor the yada-yada that passes for reason and thought. So I choose to adopt the stance of a Free man, and to choose Beauty.

This satisfies my mind and soul, and my body likes it as well. I need not debate it. Of course, there is still an Infinity of things to learn.

Good news: I may have problems, but boredom won't be among them!

Like now, for instance: it said in MOTT that the following quote is the ancient formula for initiation. I don't intend to seek out a more scientific, up-to-date methodology. Seems like a Beautiful formula. I hope to real-ize it:

That you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have the power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
(Ephesians iii, 18-19)

8/04/2008 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Walt,
excellent timing.

8/04/2008 06:55:00 PM  
Anonymous erasmus said...

Bob said:

"And just to clarify, I don't want anyone to mock Ray unless it's funny. The comedy's the thing, not the mere mockery. We're not barbarians here. We're Raccoons."

What about asking Ray questions?
Specifically questions that apparently can only be answered "mu"?

Can the search for a slogan continue?

Maybe that is the slogan.

Mu! Mu! Mu!

8/04/2008 07:02:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

I'm too late to the game to comment with any new insight, but: what you said, Bob! It was all good. I even gleaned a bit from the Polyani quote as regards a few things I learned (re: pure objectivity--not possible) studying journalism.

To Ray: Re: science, we all deal with the same facts; it's just a matter of how they are interpreted. As a creationist homeschooler, I teach my kids the exact same facts re: astronomy, botany, human anatomy, genetics, chemistry, etc. that you study.

Oops, crying baby, gotta go!

8/04/2008 08:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Kepler Sings said...

There are several pillars of postmodern deconstruction, and these include Marxism, philosophical Darwinism, and a crude form of Freudianism. Taken together, these constitute a "hermeneutics of suspicion," through which an inferior mind may imagine itself superior in its omnipotent ability to undermine the foundation of things that infinitely surpass it.

Did you say a mouthful here!

From Revelations 16:13-16

And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits, as it were frogs:

16:14for they are spirits of demons, working signs; which go forth unto the kings of the whole world, to gather them together unto the war of the great day of God, the Almighty.
16:15(Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walked naked, and they see his shame.)
16:16And they gathered them together into the place which is called in Hebrew Har-magedon.


To make this as short as possible in Scripture the Dragon is Satan, Governments are represented as Beasts (or metals) and false religions are promulgated via false prophets.

The conditions for Armageddon are instantiated by these 3 demons coming into the earth. Now in the spirit world they are living things, (because the spirit world is the REALITY of things, the material world is not, but is like it is missing some dimension, but when they get translated to the material space-time realm they become philosophies, or doctrines of demons.

First you have Darwinism from the mouth of Satan himself it's goal is to deny God as the creator of the heavens and earth (and life...and us). The second demon comes as communism via Marx. This doctrine denies God is over nations, that He is the director of history, He is the author of the destiny of nations and men.

The third doctrine via Freud is the false religion at the heart of secular humanism, in that it denies God is a personal God over each person. It also claims man can deliver himself in a crazy manner in that you see your wickedness, and just color it as part of your being, you are a shit, live with it etc.

I know this is a short and crude presentation. There is so much here. Little historical details, like that fact that Darwin was an apostate Christian, I think both Marx and Freud were apostate Jews, almost as if these lying spirits had to hijack the dim glowing remnant of dying spiritual authority to get the foothold they needed in the earth.

Facts like Marx was so impressed by Darwin's Origin, that he wrote Darwin asking if he could dedicate Communist Manifesto, or one of his vomited works (don't remember) It is these 3 doctrines that have produced the murderous wars of the 20th century, and eventually according to Revelations culminate in the last war of humanity.

The thinking of modern man is an artificial synthesis of these three doctrines, leading to the darkening of intellect. And an incredible hatred of God, cause scrape away all the B.S. intelligent sounding portentious pontificating and smart ass know it all "science." Behind it all is just the hatred of God. Build up those university libraries like giant fig leaves for the mind. No use, all of it is coming out in the open.

Men will see God and hate Him, cry for rocks to bury them, indeed it is almost like Darwinists are using the rocks even now to hide themselves from the creator God!

8/04/2008 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Well... in reading through the comments to the end (to #136 anyway)... Nomo's excerpt of Ray's, and then reading (eh... I know, it's in my floggers job description) Ray's full comment of 14 years ago (14 years ago, or 14 years old? (mock, mock, mock)) loaded me up with a lengthy flogging for Ray... then Gagdad's reminder to be kind to manimals, and then Walt's comment... recalls me to a dim remembrance of things past. Sometime back, there was a time, a state of mind when the self evident... well... wasn't evident.

Was it that it was not self evident, or was it that in the absence of the appropriate questions, I was looking in the wrong direction? After all, Self evident, doesn't necessarily mean blatantly in your face at your every turn, you do need to open your eyes, and also look in the right direction to see it.

What it takes is for someone to direct your attention towards what the thoughts mean that you are thinking - or not thinking.

"You see that I see things as valuable in terms of what they mean for my purposes."

"You see" and "I see things" and "as valuable" means that there is common ground for reference and understanding. Even though "...in terms of what they mean for my purposes" suggests that those purposes might be separate and different from yours, to see that they diverge requires seeing a commonality which they once had.

Descartes tried to go backtrack every step of his thoughts, but he never left his formed conceptions, and tried to see the self evident, the ground, from the perspective of the 3rd floor, and then build his primrose path starting out from his balcony. Careful of that first step.

What must be the starting point, is what every new born babe begins to recognize (and 'begins' is a critical point that I often prove is so easily lost sight of), that Existence exists. Something is here, there and everywhere... and from that babies point of view, the perspectives are non-existent, it all just IS and there is comfort and discomfort of which it part of. Slowly, the baby through its active awareness begins to differentiate objects within the IS, and what it is of, and around them. Eventually the child becomes conscious not only of what it is conscious of, but that it is conscious of them - but all of that development was implicit in the first moment of its awareness.

That is the same pattern we follow from before birth, on through life. We see what we are not aware we see, we learn to differentiate differences between things which stand out (assuming we consent to take notice of them) above their underlying similarities, and through contemplative Reasoning, we become aware of the structure of similarity, difference, and relation present among all that is - we become knowledge-able.

When we attempt to jump beyond what we've grasped, we amass little disjointed constructions of thought, 'floating abstractions', which we mistakenly conceive of as separate ideas, little 'v' 'values' and somehow 'relative' (meaning completely separate and distinct from all else) - this is the state of mind of relativists, wackademics and Rayists. In their pursuit of differences, they forget to take note of the uniting similarities which are how we are able to note their differences.

Ray makes many runs at asserting that there is no 'Universal' status to things or values - while uncomprehendingly using the terms 'separate', which can have no meaning whatsoever, without the idea of it being separated from something else, which can only happen within the encompassing idea of a larger Universal within which to reference them.

"I hope you see where people can assign values to things, values that are entirely relevant and important to the people involved but yet don't need any kind of 'universal' status. "

You can say that some people value this, and some value that, but not without the uniting and underlying concept of Value itself, within which they are united, and of some common unit of measurement with which they can be compared and shown to be different in some other way, from each other.

With attention to that which you consider to be different, unrelated, and to the methods you use to recognize those differences, you will, if you are open and honest and interested, come to the realization that they are different only because they are somehow differentiated from their deeper sameness.

I'll avoid the easy examples of thuggery inherent in the rest of Ray's 14 year old comment, the Thracymicasian 'ends justify the means' dead ends of pure muscled power, but this I can't pass by:

"Now, what if two people have diametrically opposed wishes? In the worst case, what if someone wants me dead? Well, this is still a matter of differential valuing."

Differential valueing? ('aaa boss... you want I should differentially value him to swim wid da fishies?') It is, quite simply, the antithesis of the Reason and rationality Ray claims to be trying to enlighten us with! But wait! There's more!

"I rate my life as higly valuable, and someone else rates it negatively. There are two possible ways this could happen. Perhaps I am getting in the way of one of their goals, or at least, they think so. Well, perhaps we can figure out a way for me to get out of the way, or for them to abandon their purpose."

(blink. stare. stare. blink.)

My oh my, doesn't that just conjure up the image of refined and reasonable negotiation? But Wait! The Rationator from RayCo takes yet another step towards a rational society:

"But suppose they are psychopathic, and nothing less than my death will satisfy them. Well, then, too bad for them. I will defend myself, and run all roughshod over their purpose. I don't think that they are 'wrong' in some universal sense, but they are irrevocably in the way of a very important purpose of mine... and so I rate *their* life pretty negatively. "

Ray - THAT is positively psychopathic! Not surprisingly, it is also the ultimate state of society which your 14 year olds fragmented materialist philosophy will lead to - wherever it is attempted or practiced - Universally.

And that's the Truth.

My oh my... the truth is I'm up way past my bed time, used too much to say only half of what I wanted to... durn that reality.

8/04/2008 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

wo... comment or Post? Sorry about that, somehow it didn't seem like such a big digital spill...

8/04/2008 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Oh double-my! Kepler and Me back to back!

(That's gotta hurt)

;-)

G'Night all.

8/04/2008 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger Jaxon said...

I would highly suggest for you, and any one else interested to read the book ""The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions." by self-professed secular Jew and mathematics/philosophies teacher David Berlinski.
This tells the story of a Jew who was forced to dig his own grave prior to being shot by a German soldier. Prior to being shot, the old Jewish man advised the German that “God is watching what you are doing.” The Jewish gentleman pointed what i think is the real problem with atheism. "If you have the time please check the book out

8/05/2008 02:32:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Warren, if I'm wrong about "ontological", you'd better also correct this guy who said "the forest is on a different ontological level than the tree." :->

8/05/2008 05:24:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Julie - Ask Bob, the psychiatrist, about the difference between "delusional" and "mistaken". There is one.

"As to conversion", imagine if you were an adherent of a minority religion. You wouldn't generally be out for conversion as simple understanding and respect.

I know that you believe "we have thought of it like that, or near enough anyway", but the problem is, the picture you paint of that time looks nothing like what I see, so I have to assume it wasn't "near enough". There are those who think Islam and Christianity are pretty similar (monotheisms, sometimes-interventionist God, prophets - many of the "same" ones, allegedly - etc.) but the differences are critical.

8/05/2008 05:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

As always, you are missing the point. The full passage is,

"Thus, as Just Thomism explains, both types of primitives "want more than evidence; they want the whole science by which their mind could be moved by the evidence." They essentially want to see the tree that will prove the existence of the forest, when the forest is on a different ontological level than the tree."

*****

At risk of championing the obvious, Bob is using the analogy to draw a distinction between higher and lower, not trees and forests, i.e., it is as if one could prove the forest by counting the trees, when the forest is simply "seen" holistically, not counted. The point is, one cannot arrive at quality through quantity -- as if 99 trees were not a forest but 100 is. By reifying this abstraction with your upside down thinking, you again prove the point.

8/05/2008 05:55:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

I can't worry about Ray right now because I've just learned that Grapes are sentient,...and heartless, too. Well, they get yeast to actually do all their dirty work.

I knew that bottle of wine was mocking me.

(Sorry, Bob. I'll get a job soon, I promise!)

8/05/2008 06:08:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Erasmus - Slogans are for campaigns. They're actively designed to not require thinking. Why do you want one so badly?

8/05/2008 06:09:00 AM  
Anonymous A. van Hilten said...

Me and Stinky are good friends. Just ask Mama Wingnut.

8/05/2008 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Petey - And you seem to have the complementary problem. You want the one extra neuron that'll make a brain conscious, when consciousness is distributed "holistically" across the brain.

(Though sometimes, a small change in quantity can make new qualities possible - like that one extra pebble that starts an avalanche, or that little extra oomph that pushes a system from stable to fractal and chaotic.)

8/05/2008 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Susannah - "Science is built up of facts, as a house is with stones. But a collection of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house." - Jules Henri Poincare

8/05/2008 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger erasmus said...

Ray says:

"Erasmus - Slogans are for campaigns. They're actively designed to not require thinking. Why do you want one so badly?"

Ray, it's that time of the election cycle again. November is just around the corner. You only need a slogan until then.

I'm thinking about some campaign buttons for you as well.

You don't want to lose, do you? Even if you are the only one on the ballot, you still have to campaign. Don't want any write-ins to spoil the party.

Anyway, who wants to think when they can cheer instead?

Mu! Mu! Mu!

8/05/2008 06:28:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Ray, which part of "sorcerer" do you ascribe to? The common meaning of a wizard or magician, or the Latin Vulgate root that means, "lot" or "fortune"?

Sorcerer, my nom de guerre's patrona faced burning at the stake for hearing the voice of a God she couldn't see. And you can't take a bit of mocking for your beliefs?

Unix Wizards just don't have the grapes anymore.

8/05/2008 06:42:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Joan - Are you actually reading my responses again, or what? Why do you think I "can't take a bit of mocking", since that's pretty much all I get here? :->

The 'sorceror' bit was intended ironically, years ago when I picked it, since you're curious.

8/05/2008 06:53:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Van - "You can say that some people value this, and some value that, but not without the uniting and underlying concept of Value itself, within which they are united, and of some common unit of measurement..."

What food is universally, by a common unit of measurement, the most tasty? We're human, so we all have a concept of 'tasty', but that doesn't mean that there is automatically a common unit of measurement for that concept.

As to 'thuggishness', please detail the differences between my line of logic and Bob's re: the conflict between Islamic fanatics and the West. When compromise is not possible, what do you recommend?

My whole point here was about compromise and why it's justified... when possible.

Self-interest doesn't automatically mean 'gimme now'. Maybe it takes Washington's "minds of peculiar structure" to see that, but it's self-evident to me.

8/05/2008 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger wizard said...

I miss sorceror.

8/05/2008 07:02:00 AM  
Blogger erasmus said...

Ray,

Just for clarity, your position is that certain truths are self-evident?

8/05/2008 07:05:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Al van Hilten-
Hey! It's Queegs little brown noser! I wrote a post about your vileness Al. Now everyone will know what a rat you really are.

Scumbag.

8/05/2008 07:33:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

No, Sorcerer, I do not read your posts. Just a moment's curiosity. Coonvision kicked in, and confirmation acquired.

Meanwhile, why is your name ironic?

8/05/2008 07:37:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

That's just it precisely, Ray. We don't teach 'em as a pile of stones. More like gems in a beautiful setting.

How is it you can forever miss the point so thoroughly and completely?

8/05/2008 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray said "My whole point here was about compromise and why it's justified... when possible.
Self-interest doesn't automatically mean 'gimme now'. Maybe it takes Washington's "minds of peculiar structure" to see that, but it's self-evident to me."

Ray, I realize that in that huge whoosh of text I sleep typed lastnight, my point may have been missed, but the point was... you haven't even risen to the level of self interest, let alone rational self interest. You have to have a conception of a Self first, before you can evaluate what is of interest to it.

Being an allegedly rational person, one of Homo Sapien, a creature distinguished from other creatures by its capacity for Reason, before that faculty can be properly used, there must be an ordering of Values, rooted in reality and their value measured in relation to the ultimate value, a person’s life - that is a precondition in order to engage in Reason to begin with. This is because, in a creature who must act to live, Human life, Their Life, is the ultimate value (not mere breathing, but Life - there is the very real possibility that maintaining that value, and what makes it possible to be of value, might require risking, even doing what will likely result in your own death. Consult most any parent or soldier for further reference), and that Value can only be sustained by the use of the Human's distinguishing characteristic capacity for Reason, in order to choose what actions to take to sustain and further it.

Being a rational creature, capable of Reason (of course that also implies having the choice NOT to be rational and engaging in Reason - also consult such as soldiers and policemen for further reference in how to deal with such 'persons'), you must recognize the necessity of others to Reason and act to further and sustain their lives as well. This is the origin of Rights, rooted in the very nature and deisign of who and what we are.

If the person you are facing, negotiating with, doesn't hold that most basic of Principles, they are, in any conflict, to be accorded no right to the life they fail to extend to others. They are the sub-hiuman debris, which if encountered and threatened by, are to be wiped out. Without regret or guilt. Period, end of statement.

Of Value, to whom and for what? It can only be of value to a mind faced with the alternative of life and death, all values are measured in terms of that, and it can only have actual value with a rational evaluation. That is only possible, in a world that can be evaluated.

There must be a commonality, between all that exists, it must be of Reality, and we must be able to recognize the nature of their involvement in that Existence... enter Truth... and its mis-identification in error, falsehood, lies, etc.

To begin your compromise scenario, there needs to be an understanding of principles, if any, involved. If there are no critical principles recognized to be involved in your disagreement, then it is not a mere matter of valuation - it cannot be - without the implicitly mutually recognized understand of the Right of each to their life, and the right to take the actions necessary to sustain and further their own lives, while respecting others Right to do the same; without that, not even a 'negotiation' over trading baseball cards for apples is possible, not without the distinct possibility of the 'negotiation' ending with one of the negotiators death.

Your scenario, absent recognition of that supreme universal principle on either part, relegates your scenario to the pre-civilized, and nearly pre-human level of force. Because you don't have recourse to a universal principle of value, let alone an objective idea of Truth to judge it by, you are cemented into just that barbaric scenario in any confrontation between muscle and desires.

And until you recognize that universal understanding, the existence of Truth and our unique ability to partake of it, then any discussion of what is discussed here, is infinitely above your capacity to engage in.

I wish I were merely mocking you.

8/05/2008 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Van, that was elegant! A thing to marvel at when Truth is rung like a morning bell. thanks!

8/05/2008 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Van, detailed and thorough as usual. Also very much in line with what I've been saying. "This is the origin of Rights, rooted in the very nature... of who and what we are."

Sounds a lot like "the nature of what humans are... in relation to the laws of nature (which are absolute enough for me), dictates some pretty powerful 'shoulds' and 'shouldn'ts'."

And what about anything I've said has denied the existence of an eternal reality? We may not ever be 100% certain of that reality, but five or six nines after the "99." strikes me as certain enough.

"...without the implicitly mutually recognized understand of the Right of each to their life, and the right to take the actions necessary to sustain and further their own lives, while respecting others Right to do the same; without that, not even a 'negotiation' over trading baseball cards for apples is possible, not without the distinct possibility of the 'negotiation' ending with one of the negotiators death."

And this is, for almost everyone's value system, an undesirable state, right? Basically everyone's worse off, then. So, there's your reason for avoiding it. It's in everyone's interest to cooperate. And, gee, look, we have natural instincts and talents for just that.

The part you're hung up on was my attempt to address psychopaths and sociopaths, and I was quite explicit, using the word "psychopathic" and all. Still, we reach the same conclusion about what to do in that case: "...the sub-hiuman debris, which if encountered and threatened by, are to be wiped out. Without regret or guilt. Period, end of statement."

That's where your key misunderstanding is. "...you are cemented into just that barbaric scenario in any confrontation between muscle and desires." That's only with psychopaths, and we're both in the same boat there.

Joan: My name isn't ironic. That nickname is ironic 'cause I don't believe in magic. "One man's 'magic' is another man's 'engineering'. 'Supernatural' is a null word." - Robert Heinlein

8/05/2008 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray, your denial of hierarchical, Universal order, a 'universal sense', and a Soul capable of choice - not just mechanical action/reaction's, weighted or otherwise, ensure that this situation,

" I don't think that they are 'wrong' in some universal sense, but they are irrevocably in the way of a very important purpose of mine... and so I rate *their* life pretty negatively"

, that system would find that to be not only the norm (perhaps kept a lid on, 'cool', by MAD (mutually assured destruction) estimates) but would be the very best such a system as yours would be limited to. Your estimation of "...dictates some pretty powerful 'shoulds' and 'shouldn'ts'.", is nothing better than a bookies estimation of what can be got away with, and that is infinitely removed from doing what is Right and True, because it is Right and True.

If you don't make that concession, that Man is a being with a non-deterministic Soul (whether or not that soul is eternal or mortal, is a separate issue for later), capable of volitional choice, free will, and because of that, able to see, understand and experience Truth - then no further advance is open to you - by your choice.

8/05/2008 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

(Thanks Joan)

8/05/2008 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Van - But there is a (nearly) universal moral sense. People have inbuilt talents for concepts like fairness, justice, appropriate punishment, and so forth. Analogously, we also have talents for learning language, too - to the point where kids raised in an environment without grammar will spontaneously develop one (see pidgin and creole languages).

Given those basic concepts, a lot of different moral systems can be constructed. Human sexuality mandates the concept of modesty, for example, but that concept plays out very differently in the Polynesian islands vs. the streets of New York vs. the streets of Iran.

Some of it's doubtless my own provincial prejudices, but Western morality seems to be the most workable system produced so far, with caveats. (A bit like Winston Churchill's aphorism about democracy: "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried...")

As for a non-deterministic soul, I think I've pointed you at this link before. "my attitude is that I don't fret about whether I have free will. No one would ever be able to prove that I don't have free will, anyway. Moreover, if I do, I don't have to worry about it, and if I don't, there's no point in worrying about it." Of course people are capable of 'volitional choice', seeing as we all do so. How exactly that happens is less established, that's all.

8/05/2008 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray, your system of talents and behaviors are far from Morality, they, like your chess board example, don't point to vertical values, but to horizontal effectiveness – there is very little correlation, beyond shallow appearances, between what is effective and efficient and what is good and true.

"Human sexuality mandates the concept of modesty, for example..."

Rubbish. You're living in a magical determimystic fantasy. Turn on the T.V., or take a walk in a downtown mall, or the parking lot behind a rock club. Human sexuality mandates that it be displayed, flaunted, used and abused. It is only by either an imposed sense of shame, or a sense of fear, or an inner vertical sense of that sexuality consists of more than mere horizontal pleasure and procreation, which gives rise to 'modesty' - and only the last can spell out the word without scare quotes.

"my attitude is that I don't fret about whether I have free will. No one would ever be able to prove that I don't have free will, anyway. Moreover, if I do, I don't have to worry about it, and if I don't, there's no point in worrying about it."

Sorry Ray, but as I think I replied the last time you put your a-freewill link up, that's nothing more than a bunch of hippy-dippy go with the flow evasions.

If you elect to do nothing more than go with the defaults and not fret about whether or not you have free will or whether your actions are determined by your environment, then you have effectively abdicated its use and IMNSHO, your humanity. Not grasping that you have free will, not acknowledging and actively using it, not taking responsibility for it, considering, choosing your course because it is your Moral imperative to do so, and it is morally negligent not to, that is little different than behaving as if it doesn't exist.

I think it is one of the more decadent options mankind can choose (oh yeah... shhh).

8/05/2008 08:30:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Determinism is the exit door from church, from knowledge, from civilization.

It is the way people seek to escape from being Human.

8/05/2008 08:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder what Solzhenitsyn would have said about American culture under George W Bush---and the Bush Administration altogether.

8/06/2008 01:32:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I wonder if you wonder.

8/06/2008 05:56:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Van - "an inner vertical sense of that sexuality consists of more than mere horizontal pleasure and procreation"

But of course it does. There's almost nothing we do that doesn't have a social dimension to it, as well. Something I wrote elsewhere:We have plenty of examples of otherwise utilitarian biological functions being co-opted for other purposes. Take eating, for example. It's not just there to keep our bodies fueled - it has, and has apparently always had, a very important social dimension.

Consider the phrase "breaking bread together" - a sign of friendship and peace. Consider how important many people consider having a family sit down and eat together. Practically every gathering of family and many (most?) meetings among friends involve eating. Does a meal at a wedding reception serve a purely utilitarian purpose? A professor once told us in class, "In fairy tales, no one ever says 'I love you'. Instead, they give food"... And sex is not just a procreative act. Even in a monogamous (and monandrous - how come that isn't a more common word?) marriage, it forms a critical part of the relationship. It's not just for making babies, it is also a vital way of saying "I love you," and a way of giving pleasure to one's spouse, and fun in and of itself.


It doesn't take anything supernatural to see that. Modesty is mandated if humans are going to live in a society, if they're going to live together. It's a 'forced move', like moving your king out of check. (Though, again, it can be implemented in a wide range of ways, from loincloth to burqa.)

If you elect to do nothing more than go with the defaults...

That's, um, not what I said. I do what seems best, I think and plan and choose what I should do. I assume for practical purposes that I do have a choice in things, that I do have to make decisions. Whether that means I have 'free will' in a mystical sense is a separate, philosophical undecidable, since as I point out it can never be disproven.

I don't think that my choices are determined by external forces, since they come from who and what I am. I don't think that "I" am an illusion, I just have a different idea about what I am made of.

8/06/2008 06:30:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Ray, you are such a precious little hedgehog!

Seriously, you're cute when you instinctively roll up into a ball like that, and cite all of your very secure, comfy, well-rehearsed facts about how excellent your little realm is.

I agree you shouldn't worry about your free will, Rayn Man. You've rehearsed yourself into rote realism and your "free" will died a long time ago. Now you're a slave to your manufactured will.

Me? I recklessly flip on the light switch without thoroughly understanding electricity, just for the thrill of it!

You do remember thrills, don't you, Rayn Man?

8/06/2008 06:46:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

I bet Ray even thinks he understands women...

8/06/2008 06:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Niggardly Phil said...

Warren said...

"Either the Subject is ontologically real and therefore able to arrive at truth, whether scientific, religious, aesthetic or moral; or, if it is reducible to matter, then it renders any kind of immutable truth a mere illusion."

I would say that until and unless Ray addresses this point, all further discussion with him, on any subject, is utterly futile. IMHO, of course.

8/04/2008 11:25:00 AM


I think this is right on the money. Ray doesn't grasp the concept of substance, and so does not grasp subject, and so does not grasp the part / whole distinctions. I think he can, but for whatever reason does not.

He seems stuck in quantity and univocity.

8/06/2008 07:37:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

(W)holey crap Ray. I realize you're going to miss just about any point I make, but at least try to run in the right direction, will ya? No friggin' duh, sexuality has a social dimension - picking your nose has a social dimension to it. Please spare me the anthropology 101. I almost get to holler out Rayngo! because I afraid you'd seize on that one - but I thought you'd go after "an imposed sense of shame, or a sense of fear" on genetic grounds (maybe the obligatory chess move qualifies me for a half score), but I didn't see you running out of the park for it.

"Turn on the T.V., or take a walk in a downtown mall, or the parking lot behind a rock club." are all a part of modern social dimension. "It is only by either an imposed sense of shame, or a sense of fear" are the usual social pressures used to corral human sexuality to fit within the context of a societies social dimension. Yes, it will be crafted into, and subtly do much of the crafting, of nearly every facet of social and herd activities. However, if the philosophical and spiritual standards are relaxed, if there is no perceived significant 'penalty' to exercising human sexuality, then will " ...be displayed, flaunted, used and abused".

Neither of those social scenarios involves an interior sense and understanding of modesty (please don't go on about how many interior concerns are fostered by social cues and genes - also not what I'm talking about), a sense of not just controlling it but of valuing it, and its ramifications, far and away above the level of a well delivered toast at the local Kiwanis meeting, or a rollercoaster ride at Six Flags. That only comes from the Vertical sense... which is apparently above your head.

"That's, um, not what I said."

Um... Philosophically, however, that is what what you said, and meant. Yes, most people can and do go through their lives without ever even considering the issue, or any other philosophical question, at any depth. It's tempting to think that most of them are the poorer for it, but on the other hand, to the extent that their lives involve conscious Philosophical issues, they do affirm their psychological or poetic grasp of the issues on a daily basis. Most in the West... America anyway, realize that if they want things to change, they've got to get themselves together and 'just do it'. They affirm it by their collateral beliefs and actions. Those in deterministic cultures - leftists, welfare cattle, islambies - if the notion of changing things comes to mind, mutter something like "in-Sa-allah", "if God wills it" and stumble about voting for obamama or the equivalent.

You however, by virtue of your giving direct thought and attention to the issue, cannot glance by it unscathed with a "...Whether that means I have 'free will' in a mystical sense is a separate, philosophical undecidable, since as I point out it can never be disproven....", that is yielding the issue to the defaults, and allowing whatever philosophically mechanistic and deterministic views you have about consciousness and social dimensions, to answer the question for you. And that answer is, that there is no 'You' in you, that you are the result of myriad whirring genes and societal forces - ipso facto, Bob's your uncle (google it), no free will, only unseen flippings of switches.

You are a determinist by default.

(Poetic justice, there)

8/06/2008 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Erasmus - Things can be 'self-evident', yes, but ideally you can show your work, too. I recall taking a test in college that I hadn't studied enough for. One problem I solved by inspection - it was obvious, when looked at a certain way, that a particular condition couldn't arise. Of course, that wasn't the way we were being tested on.

I talked to the professor after the test, and it took some time to show him my reasoning - not because it was too complicated, but because it was so simple. I got partial credit, but he said something that I've tried to keep in mind later - "It's not enough to be clever. You also must study." He was in the right - my intuition only worked in that special case. The real method handled far more cases.

Intuition is valuable, even vital - but you have to test it, too. Ramanujan had a lot of intuitions and insights, the majority of which turned out to be correct - but a few weren't. (Though sometimes, there isn't time or opportunity to do the tests, and you have to go with your gut. But that, too, is a test...)

The essays I've linked to are part of my attempt to 'show my work' about what seems evident to me.

8/06/2008 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray, "...as I point out it can never be disproven" BTW... the whole falsification theory of knowledge? For many of the same underlying reasons, it be Popper Poop.

8/06/2008 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Also btw... sorry for the dropped words and herky jerky writing lately.

I blame it on Sqlce db's.

Why? Because they deserve it.

8/06/2008 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Van - "It is only by either an imposed sense of shame, or a sense of fear" are the usual social pressures used to corral human sexuality to fit within the context of a societies social dimension.

Those pressures are not entirely 'imposed', though. Language or social restraint will not develop without exercise and training (e.g. feral children) but that doesn't mean we don't have inbuilt talents for such things.

I don't dispute that some aspects of modern culture make it difficult for people to develop those faculties inn some areas, like sexuality. But who says the hypertrophied promiscuity seen in some areas today is 'the natural state of man', the place where we'd all be with no civilizing influences? Are you really so tempted by it?

We have social instincts to compassion and fair play, too. (Many people seem to regard that as miraculous, but nature is not nearly as 'red in tooth and claw' as it's often portrayed.) We also have instincts for modesty, too.

You interpret this as a 'vertical sense'. But like chess strategies are real, though not part of the rules of chess per se, I say that such social dynamics are real, too. We could evolve something with an instinctive 'chess sense'; I'm not surprised that humans have an instinctive sense of how to get along with other humans, in all the various regimes we collaborate in.

Of course sexuality is something we value deeply, that we attach deep importance to, if our development isn't stunted or disrupted.

if the philosophical and spiritual standards are relaxed, if there is no perceived significant 'penalty' to exercising human sexuality

That is an issue, but I don't think it's "philosophical and spiritual standards" that changed recently so much as advances in birth control and antibiotics. The social consequences take longer to show up, but they are certainly doing so now (along with a resurgence of V.D.'s, which will 'always be with us', thanks ('thanks' meant ironically of course) to evolution). We'll reach a new stable balance with time.

8/06/2008 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Van - allowing whatever philosophically mechanistic and deterministic views you have about consciousness and social dimensions, to answer the question for you. And that answer is, that there is no 'You' in you, that you are the result of myriad whirring genes and societal forces - ipso facto, Bob's your uncle (google it), no free will, only unseen flippings of switches.

I'm not the only one who disagrees. "If one's actions aren't determined by one's beliefs, desires, and character, then it seems that they aren't one's real actions."

8/06/2008 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray said "Those pressures are not entirely 'imposed', though. Langu..."

(OMG. Grabs head as it thunks onto tabletop.)

" Are you really so tempted by it?"

I will only answer that because the answer so surprises me to this day. The answer is 'Nope'. My eyeballs are most definitely pleased to see the girls in their summer dresses... or less... but unless the dress is worn by the one wearing my matching ring, the rest of me has zilch inclination to follow what would otherwise have been the natural thing to do. That's one decision I don't need to continually 'revisit'.

Am I so sure that "the hypertrophied promiscuity seen in some areas today is 'the natural state of man'" and the "place where we'd all be with no civilizing influences?"? Regarding Individuals ... Yes. And even more emphatically with an uncivilized person within a de-civilized population.

Would a society eventually develop standards, mores, 'modesty' and eventually, for some, Modesty again? Yes. The Vertical is open to us, eventually Civilization would reform.

Without civilizing influence, and that includes societal, traditional, educational & all the other al's as well as religion, we would be lower than the animals. But all of this, all of your reply misses the point yet again - none of your examples address self realized Modesty, only 'modesty' by osmosis, or as mechanism, as I suppose is unavoidable, give your perspective. Every comment you make Ray, every thought, every point, every link, always points to the cause being genes, 'natural' societal forces, evolution, environment (which btw, is all your 'chess board' ref's amount to), even your pitiful conception of 'free will', they all find their sources for behavior, on the outside; which is the unavoidable result of a deterministic outlook.

It's escapist to the core... the problem is, you are escaping from an active inner illuminated life, into a neon lit prison.

8/06/2008 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray said "I'm not the only one who disagrees."

If you really think that the Greek's conception of Fate ala Sophocles’ Oedipus, was equivalent to your modern scientistic belief that "...every event, including human cognition, decision and action, is causally determined by an unbroken chain of prior occurrences. No wholly random, spontaneous, mysterious, or miraculous events occur, according to this philosophy...", you need to do some reading outside of wiki.

Not to mention thinking.

And William James adds zero counterweight to the issue.

8/06/2008 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Van - QM has features that are, more or less provably, 'wholly random', but that's not the same as "miraculous". That alone means that not every event "is causally determined by an unbroken chain of prior occurrences."

So far, most of my time here has been devoted to explaining what I'm not saying, seeing as I'm usually responding to confident assertions about what I 'must' believe. :-<

8/06/2008 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Van - "they all find their sources for behavior, on the outside"

Dang, it's hard to put my understanding into words. I suspect the vocabulary hasn't been developed for it properly yet. My understanding is that will is like the 'strange attractors' Bob's mentioned - a delicate balance that's neither wholly constrained nor wholly random, but has elements of both. Gonna have to write another essay for posting at some point...

8/06/2008 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray said "...most of my time here has been devoted to explaining what I'm not saying..."

No, speaking for myself, in our exchanges you've spent most of your time here explaining what I'm not talking about with explanations which are laughably beneath the subject at hand.

And along those lines, QM has nothing to do with Determinism (see your own wiki quote), randomness changes the argument not one whit, and I've not made any claims about Free Will being philosophically 'miraculous'. Your concept of consciousness has no, as Gagdad puts it, 'interiority', it is mechanical. Period.

It makes no difference whether your deterministic epicycles are powered by falling domino genes, or QM spiked synapses, that is still a non-volitional, physical, mechanistic explanation for consciousness and volition - it is just as flat as the massive and intricate wooden geared Charles Babbage type computer I mentioned many moons ago - or like my Laptop in front of me - it is dead. It is not conscious. It doesn't matter how intricate and effective a program you load into it, even once the programs reach the level of being able to pass for conscious interaction with people, it will not be consciousness and it would not, could not enjoy Free Will, not even on a train.

You and I have not progressed beyond that point. And there's a Reason for it, to put it bluntly, your conception of consciousness is sophomoric, and your philosophy and world view is held down to that (I don't know how to type that without it seeming... well... not so nice... but if we were face to face over a beer, I don't think I'd be disagreeable to be with - though occasionally loud - it's just the nature of the subject. I am serious about it, except in isolated one liners, it is difficult for me to let it go with merely (!) mocking).

We haven't even reached beyond that level to any Religious questions. You haven't even made it yet to the level of Objectivism, which though atheistic through and through, has no trouble recognizing that consciousness and Free Will, Volition, are not bound to determined operations:

"...Man exists and his mind exists. Both are part of nature, both possess a specific identity. The attribute of volition does not contradict the fact of identity, just as the existence of living organisms does not contradict the existence of inanimate matter. Living organisms possess the power of self-initiated motion, which inanimate matter does not possess; man’s consciousness possesses the power of self-initiated motion in the realm of cognition (thinking) ..."

They make no claims to miraculous or supernatural causes, and believe that consciousness perishes with the body (a product of evolution) that gave rise to it. If you were able to get to that point, we could have some good arguments, because what I have come to believe, though not contradicting any of Objectivism's fundamentals, extends beyond it in ways any Objectivist would surely fiercely reject.

"I'm usually responding to confident assertions about what I 'must' believe. :-<"

If you don't understand the implications of your philosophical positions... well... sorry.

(Would a smiley be out of place here? Oh well)

;-)

8/06/2008 02:04:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray said "My understanding is that will is like the 'strange attractors' Bob's mentioned - a delicate balance that's neither wholly constrained nor wholly random, but has elements of both. Gonna have to write another essay for posting at some point..."

The problem is, that you seek that within a set of gears, dominoes and bubbles - that isn't going to create self initiated animation.

Until you make that jump, its just epicycles, all the way down.

8/06/2008 02:08:00 PM  

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