Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Explaining the Cognitive Barbarism of the Proglodyte Left

Nothing special here, just a synthesis of two related posts from the early days. They're based on Stephen Hicks' indispensable Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault, which has remained on my list of foundational raccoomendations in the sidebar ever since. He does such a wonderful job of cutting through the abject BS of postmodern philosophy, that it should be required reading for any child about to place his soul in mortal danger by entering the looniversity bin. (As Dennis Prager has said, there are two main reasons why people are so stupid: television and college.)

The book takes on added importance in light of the fact that Obama is our first postmodern president. You or I might think that he is an uneducated, ahistorical buffoon, but in reality he is simply accurately regurgitating what he learned in college. This is why he is so preposterously confident in his ignorance, because all of liberal academia has his back.

Near as I can tell, the transition from sober liberal education to intoxicating illiberal postmodernism reached a tippling point by about 1980 (probably before that at elite universities), and Obama obtained his BA from Columbia in 1983. Prior to 1980 it was still possible to escape the university relatively unscathed, but since then the nonsense of postmodernism has totally permeated academia. I can't think of anything that exceeds the cost-to-worthlessness ratio of a university education, being that it's not just worthless, i.e., neutral, but exceedingly harmful. Therefore, to be fair, universities should pay us to attend them.

So when Obama apologizes for America, or embraces cultural and moral relativism, or regurgitates discredited socialist economic theories, or expresses animus for Israel, or adopts the homosexual agenda, or passively accepts Iranian tyranny, or finds a spiritual home for his soul's envy and hatred in liberation theology, it's all of a piece.

My only critique of Hicks is that he seems to believe that there is a non-theological solution to the problem, which I do not believe. Rather, as I discuss below, postmodernism in all its varieties is simply the "final common pathway" of the rejection of the Absolute. Once you reject the Absolute, there is nothing to stop your philosophy from descending all the way to the bottom. And then crashing through, into the nether regions where man cannot survive as man. Rather, he must become something else in order to live in that environment. Ultimately he must become the image and likeness of this diabolic inversion, whatever you wish to call it. A Keith Olbermann or Bill Maher are perfect adaptations to the "minus pneumaspace" in which they live.

By the way, this review is not comprehensive, and should not replace actually reading the book. If I could add my blurb to the back of the book, I would say that it's a bracing philosophical disinfuckedup for the parasite-ridden assoul. Kills resistant postmodern mutations on contact!

*****

Surely you have wondered why the academic left is not just foolish, but completely out of touch with reality? In a mere 201 pages, author Stephen Hicks efficiently accomplishes exactly what is promised in the title of his book, Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault. Not only is there hardly a wasted sentence in the book, but Hicks writes in an exceptionally clear way about some rather difficult and abstruse thinkers and concepts. This itself is a crime against The Tenured, so I'm surprised he's allowed to teach at all. They don't allow many plain speaking hicks in academia.

I don’t want to put words in his mouth, but the purpose of Hicks’ book is clearly to answer the questions: What has happened to our universities? Why do the humanities departments of our elite universities teach such unalloyed leftist nonsense? In short, why is the left so bereft? Hicks makes the critical point that, if we were just dealing with generic nonsense, then we might expect about half of it to result in left wing nonsense, the other half in right wing nonsense. But practices such as deconstruction result in almost 100% left wing nonsense, meaning that, whatever theoretical or methodological cover these academics are taking behind their high-flown rhetoric, it’s all just a smokescreen for the promulgation of leftist ideas.

And that is exactly what Hicks concludes. He chronicles the utter failure of socialist ideas in the past three centuries, beginning with pre-Marxist leftists such as the odious paleofrog Rousseau. But the key figure in the descent into modern irrationalism and illiberal leftism was the figure of Immanuel Kant, for it was Kant who divided the world into phenomena (what is accessible to our senses and categories of thought) and noumena (the ultimate reality behind them). By closing off the noumenal reality to reason, Kant thought he had spared religion from the onslaught of scientific skepticism, when he had actually opened the door to all the baleful forms of irrationalism that followed. For in the Kantian system, all we can really know is our own nervous system -- reason and science merely toy with the phenomena, leaving the deeper reality unknown and unknowable. The next time some cliche-ridden boob says to you, “perception is reality,” know that they are a metaphysically retarded son or daughter of Kant.

As an aside, one can trace the history of philosophy in a pretty straight line from the ancient Greeks to Kant. But Kant represents the end of that line and its subsequent ramification into the many streams, creeks, crocks, drainage ditches and sewer lines that reach us today. Virtually every philosophy since Kant has been either a rational extension of his ideas (Schopenhaur, structuralism, phenomenology), an irrational exploration of his ideas (e.g., reality is absurd, we are impotent to know anything, feeling and instinct trump reason, the irrational yields more valid insights into reality, etc.), or attempts to undo his ideas (e.g., Hegel, who reunited noumena and phenomena in his notion of the Absolute Subject, and Hegel's upside-down disciple, Marx).

Postmodernism involves a smorgasbag of these various reactions to Kant. Ever wonder why leftists are so irrational and unreasonable? According to Hicks, postmodernism is “the first ruthlessly consistent statement of the consequences of rejecting reason.” This is why leftists routinely resort to ad hominem attacks, extreme hostility to dissent, speech codes, and authoritarian political correctness.

Ultimately, according to Hicks, postmodernism is “the academic left’s epistemological strategy for responding to the crisis caused by the failures of socialism in both theory and practice.” Ironically, they have an a priori and unfalsifiable belief in the moral superiority of socialism over capitalism. But since capitalism has repeatedly disproved every one of socialism’s predictions, postmodernism provides the “skeptical epistemology to justify the personal leap of faith necessary to continue believing in socialism.”

Ironically, Kant was trying to save traditional religion from being eroded by scientific skepticism, but his ideas are now used by the secular left to shield the false religion of socialism from rational scrutiny. The choice for leftists is simple: either follow the evidence and reject their utopian ideals, or hold to their beautiful ideals and undermine the notion that logic and evidence matter. Obviously they have chosen the latter course, which is why a casual stroll through the halls of academia, the idiotorial pages of the New York Times, or the darker corners of the internet reveals that language is no longer being used as a vehicle to understand reality, but a rhetorical club with which to beat opponents. In this context, “Bush bashing” can be seen as a completely impersonal and inevitable phenomenon, for if your only tool is a rhetorical hammer, you will treat everything as an ideological nail.

And this also explains the common observation that the left is devoid of constructive ideas, for without logic and evidence, leftism has been reduced to a knee-jerk critique of Western civilization. It is essentially irrational and nihilistic, because language for them is not about reality, but simply about more language. Therefore, language cannot build anything but illusions.

Moreover, this explains why the left is so incoherent and contradictory -- why, for example, all truth is relative but leftism is absolute, why all values are subjective but "homophobia" and American exceptionalism are evil, why tolerance is the highest ideal but political correctness is higher still, why discrimination is bad but the Wise Latina is good, etc. Leftism is simply an absolutism masquerading as a relativism, which is why they can never be honest about their true principles, at least within the mainstream. An honest leftist such as Dennis Kucinich could never be elected to national office. If Obama had been honest about what he intended to do as president, he would have lost in a landslide.

The only problem with Hicks’ book is that he stops short of explaining how to overcome what I call the intrinsic logopathologies of the left. This is because he appears to be an objectivist or secular libertarian, and seems vaguely hostile to religion (and one cannot blame him for this if he has only been exposed to irrational religion). In reality, there is no defense against these destructive ideas within the bounds of common reason -- as soon as you descend into mere reason, you have already given the game away, for there is almost nothing the human mind can prove that it cannot equally disprove, or at least cast doubt upon.

***

In our last post, we were discussing the unfortunate philosophical consequences that followed in the wake of Kant's division of the world into phenomena (the small world we pretend to know) and noumena (the larger world we can never know). For Kant, there was no way to escape our nervous system and "get at" the world, so to speak. As a result, to paraphrase Alfred North Whitehead, we end up with conjecture on one side, a dream on the other. Or you could say that we are bequeathed an unavoidably irrational world mirrored by a parallel looniverse known as the academic left.

But in truth, any such "bifurcationist" strategy that tries to horizontally divide one part of the world over and against another part will end in paradox and absurdity. For example, Whitehead noted that Cartesian dualism had resulted in "a complete muddle in scientific thought, in philosophic cosmology, and in epistemology." Not for nothing has modern philosophy been called "error on a grandiose scale," or "a route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing."

As the Jesuit philosopher of science Stanley Jaki explains it, philosophers are forever trying to get to second base before they have touched first. Baseballically speaking, they start their analysis at second, but have no philosophy that can justify or explain how they have gotten there. For the presupposition of any philosophy is the belief that man can know truth, that he can encode this truth and place it in an object (for example, a book), and that this object can in turn cause a miraculous thing called understanding in the consciousness of another. Therefore, the first duty of a philosopher is to endorse the idea that knowledge may be embodied in objects and cause understanding in subjects.

One may well ask, "What in the philosophy of deconstruction justifies such a process?" For speaking and writing the nonsense of deconstruction presupposes a reality that, whatever else it may be, is capable of encoding information and transmitting objective understanding from one mind to another. How is this possible? No purely materialistic philosophy can explain why objects are intelligible, any more than idealist philosophies can explain how ideas are embodied in objects.

Rather than beginning with the division of the world into phenomena and noumena or mind and matter, traditional metaphysics begins with the division between time and eternity (eternity understood not as time everlasting but timelessness). It affirms a hierarchical order of the cosmos, in which the corporeal domain is considered only the lowest tier, outer shell, or "epidermis." The cosmos is regarded as a theophany infused with a logos from which it can never be separated, so that the visible and tangible things that unfold in time are a reflection of the atemporal realm "above."

Similarly, human beings are not considered ancillary to a hostile or indifferent cosmos, but central to its structure and purpose. Man is a microcosmos that contains the same blueprint as the macrocosmos. It is because we are a microcosm that we are able to so unproblematically know -- we are able to know the cosmos because it preexists in us. True, human knowing is a miracle, but outside the explanatory paradigm of traditional metaphysics, it is an impossible miracle that no postmodern philosophy can explain. The bottom line is that the soul is not in the cosmos; rather, the cosmos is in the soul.

In the traditional view, the horizontal division of mind and matter (or phenomena/noumena) that results in paradox and absurdity is eliminated. However, there are vertical divisions that reveal a hierarchy of ontological degrees of reality, and corresponding ways to know them. There is not a tiny phenomenal world that we can know, surrounded by a limitless noumenal world that we can never know.

Rather, we begin with the lowest level of being, material reality, which corresponds to our empirical, rational, scientific methods of exploring and describing it. True, there are degrees of understanding, but the process is much more analogous to comprehending a great work of art, say, one of Beethoven's symphonies. While the symphony will yield much deeper insights to the trained ear, that doesn't mean that the symphony available to our senses is simply the audible aspect of a noumenal symphony that we can never hear.

What Kant called the noumena -- the greater unKnown reality -- is not behind but above. It is accessible to humans, but only through the proper means. Because the human intellect derives its light from the divine intellect, truth is bonded and underwritten by our nonlocal Sponsor. While it is true that all knowledge is in some sense participatory, that doesn't mean that knowledge is merely subjective -- again, ours is an objective, hierarchical world susceptible to degrees of knowing. Knower and known are not divided but unified in the act of participatory knowing, so that the known universe is the universe.

By ridding ourselves of dualism and returning to the real world, the cosmos is no longer reduced to an incomprehensible and absurd material flatland devoid of intrinsic meaning. Truth may be known because man was made to know it. In fact, if someone tells you otherwise, you might ask them exactly what in their philosophy permits them to doubt our assertion? For their philosophy presupposes what it cannot justify: knowledge of truth and reality.

And if you really want to irritate them, you can tell them that, In the Chronological, Ontological, and Epistemological Beginning was (and is) the Word. That is, antecedent to anything else that might be said about the cosmos, it must fundamentally be composed of things capable of referring to other things, of things that point beyond themselves and convey messages and meanings.

Even on a strictly mathematical basis, the fact is, quality must precede quantity, because ordering anything means that there must be a system whereby something can stand for, or refer to, something else. What are the beautiful equations that govern the Big Bang but beautiful words dwelling in matter, words spoken 13 billion years ago that we can unpack from matter and clearly hear and understand today?

Postmodernism offers only a factitious liberation from traditional ways of knowing the world. There is no way to get around the principle that the world is intelligible and that the mind is capable of knowing it (and why would you want to?!). Once this is understood, it becomes clear that human consciousness is intrinsically related to the totality of being in a way that belies any postmodern superstition. There is a source of truth antecedent to man that is perceived not by the senses, but by the intellect.

Hey, getting an elite university education is so easy, even a four year-old can do it! Just learn how to piss all over on Western civilization in the sandbox of academia:

31 Comments:

Anonymous Alan said...

Here's a good example of where postmodernism leads our "elite"...
TED Talk: How Moonies Think

Side questions for Bob:
1. How big is Bob's library of books
2. Does Bob get rid of books or keep them

I'm only asking because I'm looking at my metaphysical/religious/philosophical library of books bought over the last 20 years wondering whether to keep some/all of them. The business books, I'll get rid of - so much emptiness. The others are part of me - but it sometimes seems like the house in UP.

6/17/2009 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I'm sure I've sold or given away more books than I've kept. Most books disappoint, so I sell them back on Amazon marketplace. Same with CDs. So I only hold on to the necessary books, which is probably in the range of 5,000 or so....

6/17/2009 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Actually, I haven't culled my library in awhile. I could probably reduce the truly essential books to a couple hundred or so -- those that are foundational, and to which one may return for (n)ourishment again and again.

6/17/2009 08:38:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

One more point before leaving for work -- I've mentioned before that before writing my book, I removed all the books from my shelves that I considered necessary for any comprehensive view of existence, and tried to intuit the connecting link.

I'd like to do the same thing with my posts -- extract the best ones and find the connecting link, a sort of narrative that pulls them all together.....

6/17/2009 08:41:00 AM  
Blogger James said...

Bob,

Good Luck with Organizing all this gold.

6/17/2009 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

So when Obama apologizes for America, or embraces cultural and moral relativism, or regurgitates discredited socialist economic theories, or expresses animus for Israel, or adopts the homosexual agenda, or passively accepts Iranian tyranny, or finds a spiritual home for his soul's envy and hatred in liberation theology, it's all of a piece.

See also today's Scipio.

6/17/2009 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"By closing off the noumenal reality to reason, Kant thought he had spared religion from the onslaught of scientific skepticism, when he had actually opened the door to all the baleful forms of irrationalism that followed. For in the Kantian system, all we can really know is our own nervous system -- reason and science merely toy with the phenomena, leaving the deeper reality unknown and unknowable. The next time some cliche-ridden boob says to you, “perception is reality,” know that they are a metaphysically retarded son or daughter of Kant."

Can't tell you how good it is to see someone saying that, and the rest of the post.

"Nothing special here, ..."

'Nothing special' my foot!

6/17/2009 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger lance said...

"A Keith Olbermann or Bill Maher are perfect adaptations to the "minus pneumaspace" in which they live."

Couldn't you argue that any of the ranters and ravers on TV or radio both on the right and the left inhabit this space?

6/17/2009 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"This is because he appears to be an objectivist or secular libertarian, and seems vaguely hostile to religion (and one cannot blame him for this if he has only been exposed to irrational religion)"

Yes, as an Objectivist, while he does accept the Oneness of the Cosmos, and the whole, non-contradictory nature of Truth, the appreciation and reverence towards the Good, the Beautiful and the True, with the notion that all religion is irrational, he opposes that, and for that reason, while unconsciously supporting its essential core (philosophic) principles.

Also coming out an Objectivist mindset, Kant is THE bad guy. And although I don't disagree with anything he said about Kant, I wished he had devoted a bit more space to what made Kant possible, Descartes (who made unintentional errors) and Rousseau (who did it all deliberately, IMHO). In regards to Post-Modernism, Descartes made it possible, Rousseau made it attractive desirable, and Kant built the looong intellectual facade necessary to put it all into practice, making post-modernism unavoidable.

Then again, if I ever sought to write a pithy book about the origins of Post-Modernism, the only way it would come in at 200 pages, would be if someone took an axe and gave it forty whacks to cut off the other 800 pages....

6/17/2009 11:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob, if I may, the connecting narrative of your posts is your strenuous efforts to substantiate the existence of God by blasting everything/one that contradicts it.

If I may say, in great respect for you for it is my problem too, you may have a quanta of doubt or resistance that you are struggling to efface.

In other words, complete deep belief beyond a shadow of a doubt may have hitherto evaded you and it is what you may be after.

I arrive at this supposition because the errors of postmodern philospophy and many academic programs seem patently obvious, stemming from a failure to recognize God.

Such being the case, the posts you launch against these entities can seem like an enraged person striking the corpse of a dreaded enemy over and over, long after the enemy is vanquished; a case of over-kill.

This reader is entertained and recieves much wisdom from you by way of a side-effect, but has to ask, "What makes him do that?"

Could it be you are literally trying the beat the last iota of doubt out of your system?

Another clue is your seeming reliance on Petey to interceed between yourself and the Master. Why not commune directly with the big cheese?

You could always say to Petey "thank you for your help, friend, but I want to talk to the one YOU talk to. Please arrange it."

I am an English degree graduate, encountered the gdless English department at San Jose State at gruesomely close proximity, felt stifled in its clasp, endured having my papers shunned and talked about for political incorrectness, etc. I know of which you speak and it is a horror.

So, by all means forge on, for it is good, but there is my two cents on it. I probably should have remained silent but maybe the comment will be of some use to you.

6/17/2009 11:30:00 AM  
Anonymous marimoishe said...

Kant was right in a sense, in that we ourselves, of ourselves, never can touch the numinous. Rather, as we reach out to the numinous we find that it reaches out to touch and transform us. A little of that "Draw near unto me, and I will draw near unto you" stuff. But we have to reach out, and the average nihilist leftist is so determined there is nothing to reach out to that he never tries--and in fact actively attempts to convince others to stop reaching out as well.

In other news, behold the polar opposite of Bush-bashery: somebody at the SF Chronic trying to paint the picture that if anything good happens in the world, it is fueled by the charm of the Obamessiah. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/06/12/MN7N186CKE.DTL

(heave)

6/17/2009 12:14:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

Lance, I think not. A fundamentalist belief in nothing cannot be the same as a fundamentalist belief in something, especially when the something involves traditions that have proved out over millenia and the nothing has a 100% failure rate.

Anon, if I can be so bold, I think Bob has answered this question before, and recently. I recall him saying something to the effect of Let It Be not cutting it when the fate of civilization hangs in the balance. I really can't answer for his unconscious, but I'm tangentially acquainted with my own, and the need to speak out, to keep trying to awaken the few souls who are able to, is a drive that can't be completely ignored, as much as it may need to be toned down from time to time.

6/17/2009 12:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Prof. Emeritus said...

Perhaps Bob's posts stir in one English degree graduate, the shame behind the realization of his own impotence in speaking up against the "new" PC establishment?

6/17/2009 01:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Prof. Emeritus said...

"Bob, if I may, my connecting narrative of your posts is your strenuous efforts to substantiate the existence of God by blasting everything/one that contradicts it."

There, fixed it for ya.

6/17/2009 01:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only logical response from those who believe towards those who do not is to exert influence.

I'm surprised there is no call for Bobist evangelism here. In fact, when suggested in the past, it has been booed and hissed.

We need just one Raccoon willing to stand up and say, "In light of what Bob says, the only reasonable response is to influence the godless left towards a more enlightened posture, one benighted wanker at a time."

Otherwise, what is left but snarling contempt? And what good does that do? It is not efficient; it expends psychic energy but changes nothing.

There is nothing wrong with evangelism. It has somehow gotten a bad name, but it is actually the most efficient possible response to the human dilemma in general.

The strong must help the weak, or the true, good, and beatiful tries in vain to enter the world fully.

Do your part.

6/17/2009 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Regarding language, meaning, 1984, etc., nothing so new here, but very well said.

"evil waters" = koolaid?

6/17/2009 03:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Cassandra said...

Anonymous-

When you talk about trying "to substantiate the existence of God by blasting everything/one that contradicts it," I think you are 180 degrees wrong......i.e., you have put the cart before the horse.

Let me put it this way: Let's say I see a whole host of ugly symptoms out there...pustulent sores, impotence, amnesia, delusion. I begin to suspect this is a disease. I grope to discover what it is, what sickness itself is, what health is. I press on until I get a glimpse of Health. I keep on learning. Maybe, maybe, if I keep going, I'll get a glimpse of a Healer, but that's almost beside the point.

This have nothing to do with rationalizations for ideas/beliefs that may or (more likely) may not be already held. It's a dynamic journey of coming to grips with reality.

I cannot speak for Bob, but as for me, I recognized the reality of Satan long before that of God. Approaching the Good, the True, and the Beautiful by facing, naming, and contemplating what they are NOT is an old method.
In any case, it seems to me that once you get down the road on this journey, you find yourself using all kinds of approaches, angles, and tools to move on.

The analogy with a straight-line road breaks down, and it's more like moving into the center from all different directions....
And things on the periphery (like politics and faculty meetings)are more and more seen "sub specie aeternitatis," from the standpoint of the Whole.

(I hope that doesn't confuse the issue more than it helps.)

6/17/2009 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

If that's how you feel, nony, get to it. We've never yet tried to stop you. But if you really understood anything, you'd understand why we don't evangelize.

Maybe some day, it will sink in. Though frankly, I don't know right now if I would wish that upon you; the truth is no respecter of persons.

Anyway, good luck spreading the good word.

6/17/2009 03:42:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

"I'm surprised there is no call for Bobist evangelism here."

Liar. You call for it every time you comment.

6/17/2009 04:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sinister motives behind the "thinking" of the postmodern liberal intelligentsia were revealed very clearly by the English author/philosopher Roger Scruton in his lecture "Culture Matters." I am surprised I have not seen Scruton mentioned more in the comments on this blog. . .perhaps he is only well known here in England. The general thrust of his ideas are certainly in keeping with those of many readers here. Cut and paste this link to get a downloadable MP3 which I recommend instead of the text because he is an excellent speaker.
http://www.isi.org/lectures/lectures.aspx?SBy=search&SSub=title&SFor=culture:%20why%20is%20it%20important

The text can be found here:
http://www.isi.org/lectures/text/pdf/scruton10-15-04.pdf

6/17/2009 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Anonymous @4:31, I've definitely heard of Scruton, and have enjoyed several of his lectures at ISI, and articles elsewhere.

6/17/2009 05:36:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Off topic, while I still don't know what I think about Twitter, there's one reason to respect it, at least.

6/17/2009 07:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets face it. Now we know good and evil. No amount of thinking under any heading will enable us to eat from the tree of life. Better to use what we do know for our betterment, than what we don't know for our demise.

6/17/2009 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

As I was enjoying the soundtrack from Oh Brother this evening, it struck me that perhapa I should start a new depression era radio / podcast station.

NDR - New Depression Radio

Any thoughts?

By the way, for any of you Dan Hicks fans, he is back among the living with a great new release - Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks "Tangled Tales". Dig it.

6/17/2009 08:15:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Lance said "Couldn't you argue that any of the ranters and ravers on TV or radio both on the right and the left inhabit this space?"


Oh come on, Lance. Did you happen to read the sentences leading up to what you quoted? Let's have a look, shall we?
"My only critique of Hicks is that he seems to believe that there is a non-theological solution to the problem, which I do not believe. "

So we're beginning from a perspective of the importance of having a theological solution...
"Rather, as I discuss below, postmodernism in all its varieties is simply the "final common pathway" of the rejection of the Absolute."

... focusing on those who have rejected that in general, and absolutes in particular...

"Once you reject the Absolute, there is nothing to stop your philosophy from descending all the way to the bottom."

... focusing more sharply in now on those who have rejected the Absolute, which would particularly single out those who embrace relativism, flexible morality, spreading the wealth of some around from their pockets to the grasping hands of others, where right and wrong is not mentioned in order to make the immoral feel a higher sense of self esteem...

"...And then crashing through, into the nether regions where man cannot survive as man. Rather, he must become something else in order to live in that environment...."

... here we've got the post-modern exemplar who denies that our senses tell us anything about reality, that words have particular meaning, that judging someone on the content of their character rather than on the demographics of their appearance is not only anathema but mean, heartless and the only thing worthy of condemnation, and that the creature who embraces this slothful spirit cannot stand upright, but must gather in packs and crouch down snarling at those who do, which brings us to the line before the quote you selected,

"...Ultimately he must become the image and likeness of this diabolic inversion, whatever you wish to call it..."

... does that help put "A Keith Olbermann or Bill Maher are perfect adaptations to the "minus pneumaspace" in which they live." into perspective for you? Does it help you to see how ridiculous your comment of,

"Couldn't you argue that any of the ranters and ravers on TV or radio both on the right and the left inhabit this space?"

... truly is? If you are unable to see that the preceding lines of the paragraph clearly separates those of the far left, from those of the right - regardless of whether they conduct themselves in cool, measured tones or not... it is only because you have plucked your own intellectual eyeballs out. You dropped the full context, of not only that paragraph, but of the entire post, in order to make an effort to equivocate on the non-essential particulars of their style of expression, as if whether or not they raise their voices or even do so for an extended spiel, is somehow more defining of them and their ideas, beliefs, purposes and character, than their ideas, beliefs, purposes and character.

I strongly suggest you buy Hicks book Lance, though if this post in particular, and OC's posts in general haven't begun to rematerialize your eyes as of yet, you probably aren't going to allow it to happen at all. Still... I suppose there's a chance. I wish you luck.

6/17/2009 08:50:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Nothing more to add, but wv wanted me to pass it's latest along:
prevenom

6/17/2009 08:51:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Nomo, thanks for the tailwiggle re the new Dan Hicks. Love them!

6/17/2009 09:52:00 PM  
Blogger lance said...

Van, the reason I ask questions is because sometimes I want to be sure I am getting the point. I will freely admit to my confusion on a myriad of issues. But as I read and process the murk begins to clear up. Though to be honest sometimes when you respond to my questions it causes an emotional response that I have to take time to control before I respond in kind.

I think I asked also because I feel that you can be politically to the left and still realize that there is a theological solution. But it felt ,to me, like there was an assumption being made that the commentators to the right are all believers and the commentators to the left are not.

I realize that I may have just opened a can of worms. :)

6/18/2009 07:40:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Though to be honest sometimes when you respond to my questions it causes an emotional response that I have to take time to control before I respond in kind."

Lance, I sypmathize, having as I do the same reaction when I see people making comments which, although probably unintentional (though sometimes it's darned hard to see how it couldn't have been), are at the heart of everything which is so clearly destroying us right now, and (opening another can of worms) are usually due to not clearly understanding or applying the relevant principles, or dismissing them in favor of one feel good notion or another. And although able to control that response in person, I freely admit being often unable to do so in 'virtual'. (Huh. Interesting).

"But it felt ,to me, like there was an assumption being made that the commentators to the right are all believers and the commentators to the left are not."

I didn't, I got the impression that the post was discussing those under the influence of post-modernism, and in this passage not just under it's influence, but actively so, even endorsing it, which pretty much rules out those on the Right (though there are many who are under its influence, especiall the little 'r' republicans... McCain, Brooks, etc).

"I realize that I may have just opened a can of worms. :)"

It's a hobby we share.

;-)

6/18/2009 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger Zoltan said...

Thinking there is a non-theological solution to the problem he addresses trivializes Hick's analysis and makes his work in this case undeserving of attention.

The answer to every question is given (in the sense of both enabled and proscribed) in the question.

If the answer is deemed insufficient, the question driving the analysis and the producing that answer was superficial, making the analysis trivial.

"The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature, and all material and cultural developments of the past 2,000 years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh."

General of the Army Douglas MacArthur
Speech to Congress, April 19, 1951

6/19/2009 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Lance said "Van, the reason I ask questions is because sometimes I want to be sure I am getting the point."

It just dawned on me... if you meant this as a serious question, not a rhetorical statement, then I owe you an apology. Not for the details of what I said, but the tone of how I said it.

It is inconceivable to me how you could honestly miss all that context... but if you really did... sorry about that.

6/21/2009 12:49:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home