Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Business of Isness: What Is Is and Isn't

Some of the comments yesterday prove that no matter how clearly one says something, a willful mind will see in it what it wishes to see. I understand the stupidity, but why the arrogant stupidity? I am speaking of the people who persistently conflate science and scientism, and then accuse us of somehow being "anti-science." I don't see how Schuon could be more clear:

"Our principle criticism of modern philosophy and science is that they venture directly or indirectly onto planes beyond their compass and operate without regard to indispensable data." This statement should qualify as a truism, but apparently it is not. I suppose the reason for this is that the materialist simply doesn't know what he doesn't know, and when he is reminded of this fact, his only defense is that his interlocutor is "anti-science," or "anti-reality," or even "hateful."

One must always begin somewhere. But that doesn't mean one must end there. However, in the case of materialism, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to escape its initial assumptions -- assumptions that are of course not warranted or justified by the philosophy of materialism.

In other words, matter cannot say "only matter exists," for as soon as it says so, it has surely transcended matter -- unless we radically redefine what matter "is." But in order do this, one must also redefine what "is" is, because the materialist's first assumption is that matter is reality. Therefore, in order to be consistent, he would have to say something along the lines of "matter contemplating itself is reality" (and vice versa, since "is" is a statement of equivalence).

Here again, Schuon could hardly be more clear: "rationalism itself starts fairly and squarely with a 'dogma,' namely, its gratuitous axiom that nothing exists except what is supplied to us by the reason in service to its sensible perceptions."

At One Cosmos, we always try to be fair to our ideological adversaries -- fairness meaning to swiftly give them what they deserve, right in the nuts -- so I'd like to know just what about Schuon's formulation is unfair? How could anyone in good faith object to it, unless they are so dogmatic that they don't even understand that they have a dogma? For materialism isn't special. It is a philosophy just like any other, only much worse.

Here is Schuon's next premise, which again strikes me as unassailable, whatever your belief system: "Whoever wants to be a realist must resign himself to the obvious fact that all thought has to start from an initial premise, which cannot come from thought itself but which must include an element of certainty whose soundness thought cannot delineate."

To my knowledge, Schuon never mentioned Gödel's theorems in his writings, but he is essentially affirming the identical truth -- which only proves that you needn't be a genius logician to arrive at principial truth and therefore reality. You must only think to the end (and therefore beginning) of thought; or to the Alpha and OMega, if you like.

Anti-religious human beastlings routinely -- again gratuitously -- conflate the supernatural and the irrational, which only results in the collapse of the vertical, which is man's proper home. It is his true environment, as he is perfectly capable of living in a variety of geographic climates by taking the climate with him, so to speak. For example, if it is too cold outside, I simply turn up the heat and recreate a mediterranean climate indoors.

But what about the subjective climate? A culture is the creation of a human climate. Thus, we have "climates of opinion" and such. For example, the liberal climate of opinion makes it difficult utter a simple truth, such as "Ted Kennedy was a drunken, monstrous, sleazy, and misogynistic sexual predator." Such things are only permitted "outside" official liberal reality.

Culture operates exactly like the unconscious mind, in that it defends its "truths" with great force and punishes transgressors ("political correctness" is simply the sum total of leftist defenses against reality). The purpose of a psychological defense mechanism is actually to prevent the truth from even being seen or known to begin with. You know what they say: out of mind, out of insight. If the truth does accidentally come out, that signifies a failure of the defense mechanism, and therefore the need for even more repression, splitting, or denial.

This is why the left treats a Rush Limbaugh the way it does. First of all, it is a "mistake" that he ever came into existence to begin with, that is, a failure of the various layers of liberal ideological defense mechanisms, i.e., media, academia, entertainment, etc. But now that he does exist, he is treated exactly like an unwanted symptom of a neurotic person.

More generally, this is why Obama -- and the left in general -- simply cannot function without enemies, whether the CIA agents who protect us from terror, insurance companies, doctors, whatever. The point is that having enemies is not an effect, but a cause. The whole point is to have enemies to project into and therefore preserve their illusions -- again, exactly like a neurotic person.

I remember when I realized this about a certain person in my life who always likes to argue. Eventually it dawned on me that the arguing actually had no point. Rather, it was the point. It was just a way to manage his own psychic life. Truth was utterly beside the point. Or, one might say that the energy produced by arguing was the "emotional truth" of the situation.

It is actually not uncommon to encounter patients with this problem. To use a gustatory analogy, they will do anything with the truth you give them but swallow it -- play with it, spit it out, throw it back at you, bite it, turn their head away from it, ask for dessert first, etc.

Schuon had nothing personal against Descartes in particular or the French in general. Nevertheless, he points out that "the rationalism of a frog living at the bottom of a well is to deny the existence of mountains: perhaps this is 'logic,' but it has nothing to do with reality." To think otherwise is to put Descartes before 'da hearse, for it is a philosophy of death -- death to the soul and death to the intellect. This is the kind of climate change that actually does kill man -- vertical man, or man-as-such.

Although we cannot directly know the thing-in-itself, we can know that we don't know it, which is certainly good enough for me, for to know that fact is to have transcended it, and to have participated in absoluteness. In other words, to know one is relative is a to have already transcended relativity, at least to a degree. Thus, "to declare that our perceptions fail to convey the whole object amounts to saying that things are not perceived by the whole Subject." Therefore, it is just another way of acknowledging that we are not God. But we knew that already. It's the atheists who don't know.

It reminds me of how human beings are able to recognize faces that they have never actually seen. I think I'm remembering the experiment correctly, but researchers demonstrated that human beings are able to see the profile of another person they've never seen before, and match it up with the frontal view (and vice versa). The point is that even a very partial view is able to reveal the totality. We can see a circular object approaching us, and do not have to view it from every conceivable angle to know it is a sphere. Indeed, man would be paralyzed if he had to do this in order to act or think.

The reason why this works so smoothly is that the world is in the soul, not vice versa. We are actually at a higher dimension than the world, so we have no problem embracing the lower dimensions. We live in eternity, so we know time; our minds are infinite, so we know finite space; we live in truth, so we know facts; etc.

Now.... now I think I'll stop for today. That should be enough to keep you rascals busy 'til tomorrow.

136 Comments:

Blogger Van said...

"Here is Schuon's next premise, which again strikes me as unassailable, whatever your belief system: "Whoever wants to be a realist must resign himself to the obvious fact that all thought has to start from an initial premise, which cannot come from thought itself but which must include an element of certainty whose soundness thought cannot delineate.""

What materialists & determinists insist, is that life, reasoning, is just a complicated series of reactions like billiard balls bumping into each other, or Dennett & Dawkins assexertions of it all being simply the result of genes complex algorithms. Obviously with that premise, truth IS irrelevant, imagination is silly, life is pointless and You, your sense of "I", is nothing but an illusion of no more significance or consequence than an apple falling to the ground. To keep their game going, they have to deny any hint of interiority, and ANY hint of hierarchy, and most of all they have to deny what the meaning of is, is.

But deep in their denial is the unavoidable conclusion that merely through complex arrangements (arranged?) of matter, that complexity causes matter to become 'alive', to act, to booze it up and grab waitresses in restaurants, to change the rules for replacing senators to favor dumbocrats... all on it's own. Somehow.

There is no greater mystic (in the worst sense) than a deterministic materialist determimystic.

8/27/2009 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"I remember when I realized this about a certain person in my life who always likes to argue. Eventually it dawned on me that the arguing actually had no point. Rather, it was the point."

Similarly, we had a drummer once who would repeatedly get on an intensifying train of complaint... no matter what we did to fix matters, offer help, or ignore him, it would continue to get more loud and intense... until we figured out that all we had to do was say something like "Oh, my life is crap right now... look how miserable a situation I'm in", and suddenly Danny would perk up, smile and say something like "It really does suck, don't it?", and he'd totter off and whack his drums happy as a clam.

Truly, misery loves company... improving their situation is sooo beside the point, misery is the point.

8/27/2009 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"It is actually not uncommon to encounter patients with this problem. To use a gustatory analogy, they will do anything with the truth you give them but swallow it -- play with it, spit it out, throw it back at you, bite it, turn their head away from it, ask for dessert first, etc."

LOL! So true!

8/27/2009 08:09:00 AM  
Anonymous rackbabi said...

To use a gustatory analogy, they will do anything with the truth you give them but swallow it -- play with it, spit it out, throw it back at you, bite it, turn their head away from it, ask for dessert first, etc.

Here's some truth for you: God doesn't exist. The concept of God is based on humanity's need to believe in significance, purpose in life, and afterlife...and also earlier humans' trying to explain what science couldn't yet. If God existed, there's no reason it wouldn't be completely freaking obvious--with prayers being answered, miracles happening every day, etc. And before you mindlessly respond "IT IS OBVIOUS, YOU JUST DON'T GET IT, YOU'RE JUST STUPID", please keep in mind it's NOT obvious...beauty and balance in life is easily attributed to evolution (which is plain as day and yet the most religious deny it), there's not a shred of evidence that praying has any effect at all, the Bible is frankly full of a bunch of crap, and I highly doubt a little Internet club with its own "secrets" and "languages" happen to be the enlightened folks in this world.

By all means, have faith in whatever you want to, but you might want to get off the high horse...as it makes you quite the hypocrite. And save the comments about how this is the "same old story"...yeah, when we're the ones who actually have all the evidence on our side, there's no reason for the story for ever change.

How about you pray to your God that He reveal himself to me today? Not through your so-called "spiritual perfume" which seemingly consists of self-congratulatory blabbering and insulting liberals, but by doing something really cool. Can He win the Mega Millions jackpot for me tomorrow? That would be awesome.

Annnnd...cue the peanut gallery insisting I am pathetic and just don't "get it"! Go!

8/27/2009 08:10:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"The reason why this works so smoothly is that the world is in the soul, not vice versa. We are actually at a higher dimension than the world, so we have no problem embracing the lower dimensions. We live in eternity, so we know time; our minds are infinite, so we know finite space; we live in truth, so we know facts; etc."

GoOonggg...

wv:waing
No, no fuzz box or reverb, just... GoOonggg...

8/27/2009 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

babybackribs said "Annnnd...cue the peanut gallery insisting I am pathetic and just don't "get it"! Go!"

Pretty much captures it.

8/27/2009 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

rackbabi:

That's certainly one way of looking at it.

8/27/2009 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Annnnd...cue the peanut gallery insisting I am pathetic and just don't "get it"! Go!

they will do anything with the truth you give them but swallow it

8/27/2009 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Speaking of which, once you finally do swallow and start metabolizing, it's amazing how much better you feel.

8/27/2009 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

"the world is in the soul" That's enough a wonder and amazement to keep me busy for a long time!

8/27/2009 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Rack,
You're dreaming about the wrong God. Again.
In other words, you're way off.
And, you insult Him to boot.
How can you possible be so sure of yourself if I can't. Let's see some proof.

8/27/2009 09:20:00 AM  
Anonymous rackbabi said...

"That's certainly one way of looking at it."

That's an interesting statement, and perhaps shows that we disagree on the meaning of "truth". If you believe we create our own truth, or some Schroedinger's Cat thing where all the unknowable is true, then I understand. That is not, however, how I operate.

Julie, you may very well be happier in your beliefs than I am in mine...but, just as I don't ever pretend to be anything I'm not, I don't pretend that life is different than what it is.

I must note, everyone has the right to believe in whatever he or she wants, as long as it's not harming anyone else...but the hypocrisy of calling others arrogant and stupid while acting, well, arrogant and stupid, needs to be called out.

8/27/2009 09:20:00 AM  
Anonymous rackbabi said...

"How can you possible be so sure of yourself if I can't. Let's see some proof."

The burden of proof lies on you...it's the extraordinary claims that require extraordinary evidence.

8/27/2009 09:23:00 AM  
Anonymous rackbabi said...

hat tip to Carl Sagan for that one.

8/27/2009 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

"That is not, however, how I operate." Clearly, no absolute truth w/o God. Undeniable. (Shorthand--gotta go clean out the fridge, a nobler calling than this...)

8/27/2009 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Burden of proof lies upon the one who claims absolute truth can arise from mere matter.

8/27/2009 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Somewhat off topic, but actually the topic in action, this lady, Heather R. Higgins caught my ear this morning (and another example of the 'why are the the best voices of conservative men ... only heard coming from women?' question),

"... These proposals are yet another manifestation of the no-growth, redistributionist mindset, combined with an elitist, authoritarian philosophy of government. To buy into them and ignore the reality they've produced elsewhere is to love humanity more than human beings, and value utopian ideals of equity over the tremendous individual costs they inflict.
In these proposals, human beings aren't individuals with freedom to contract as they see fit and make their own best judgments, but interchangeable widgets for whom rules should be fashioned and enforced based on age, or quality of life, or some other metric. Bureaucrats would evaluate whether one is young enough to warrant a pacemaker or a hip, or sufficiently long gone from a hospital to justify readmission. Medicine would become a one-size-fits-all bureaucracy, not an art, in which the physician would face real risks for deciding that the bureaucratically approved "effective treatment" isn't what works in a particular case.
... "

It's the mind/body split, together with the kantian cant of the collective 'ideal' over the insignificant particular...(leftie: "well... ok, 'individual'... yeah 'human being'... whatever...") played out in everyday life.

8/27/2009 09:36:00 AM  
Anonymous rackbabi said...

Susannah,

http://yourargumentisinvalid.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/the_cat_is_pushing_a_watermelon_out_of_a_lake.jpg

8/27/2009 10:00:00 AM  
Anonymous rackbabi said...

Here you go

8/27/2009 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

you may very well be happier in your beliefs than I am in mine...but, just as I don't ever pretend to be anything I'm not, I don't pretend that life is different than what it is.

You've no idea how amusing that is. I used to tell myself the same thing.

I wouldn't say I'm happier in my beliefs than you are in yours. For one, that's an impossible measurement, and for two, sticking to your comfort zones and telling yourself you know what reality is can make one feel very happy. That's why it's called a "comfort" zone, and it's the same reason people choose stability over freedom.

Part of the reason people don't like to swallow the truth is that all too often, it tastes awful, more or less depending on how long and heavily you've been feeding on the lie. The texture is all wrong, it burns the sinuses, it can be just about the most bitter thing imaginable. Just putting it in your mouth might be nauseating, much less swallowing. Once you manage to get it down, your body may try to reject it, and next thing you know your whole system is in revolt, sometimes literally. After a few days with no tasty, comforting lie to fall back on you might even experience withdrawal symptoms.

But if you have the will and the grace, you might get through those. Then the hard work of metabolism begins. It is a good feeling, the mental version of starting a strenuous new exercise regime, or maybe physical therapy. I would not necessarily call it a happy one, as there is still a lot of pain involved, along with the knowledge that odds are, so long as you strive for the truth there will be some element of pain. But usually it's the good kind, the soreness of muscles tearing and growing stronger.

Anything worth seeking is worth all of that, and more. And as I see it, Truth, Beauty and Goodness are the only things worth Seeking. But if you really mean it, you can't expect that it will make you happy.

I once thought as you did, and was comfortable, content, confident in my view of the world. Now I see just the faintest bit more clearly, but a little glimpse was all it took.

If you are so certain of your view of things, r, then what's the appeal of One Cosmos? Why are you really here? Maybe you should try answering that for yourself instead of constantly criticizing what you clearly don't understand.

Your statement that god doesn't exist is about as insightful as the statements of all those - that is to say, virtually everyone - who believed that obviously the earth is flat. And lacking the proper tools, education or experience to know otherwise, it would be just as impossible to prove that the earth is a sphere as it is impossible for us to prove to you that god is. Just because you cannot see or understand, does not mean you are correct.

There is nothing any of us here can do to change that.

It is something you can only change within yourself, first.

With grace, all else will follow, and should that happen, may god be merciful upon you.

8/27/2009 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Rack,
I’m back. Had to bring the boy to football camp.
I believe I have hurt your feelings. I’m sorry for that.
Also, your demands are not an answer to my question.
But it is alright. I was only teasing. The proof was not for me. I have all I need and then some. However, I may clean out your caps lock with soap if you use it that way again.
Also, "Carl Sagan" is not only not a sufficient answer, it’s not even an answer. He is also not worthy of worship. I can’t understand why you would tip your hat to him since he is now dead. You should do the honorable thing and claim all his achievements as your own property. Trust me, this will not hurt him. And it wouldn't hurt me.
I am sorry as I have hurt your feelings once again.
PS You forgot the "can't prove a negative". (I'll give you another try.)

8/27/2009 10:13:00 AM  
Anonymous rackbabi said...

"Part of the reason people don't like to swallow the truth is that all too often, it tastes awful, more or less depending on how long and heavily you've been feeding on the lie."

For the record, I think it would be great if God existed. I've lived a virtuous life--don't ever let anyone tell you that an atheist can't, I'd love to see my mom again, heaven always sounds pretty cool, and I don't mind changing my position when I'm wrong. But there's nothing that suggests I'm wrong.

8/27/2009 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Oh goodie. God can an exist since it’s alright with Rack.
BTW, virtuous according to whom?
Nevermind. I don't care. You cured me.

8/27/2009 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Bob,
I love the new comment warning.
Raaahhhh!!!!
But give a warning next time please.
Thank you.

8/27/2009 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

I think it would be neat-o keen if God existed.

8/27/2009 10:24:00 AM  
Anonymous rackbabi said...

"But it is alright. I was only teasing. The proof was not for me. I have all I need and then some."

No you don't. Proofs are repeatable and demonstrable. I can easily prove that water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen, or that the angles in a triangle add up to 180 degrees. You can do no such thing for God. Chris Langan (200ish IQ, look him up on Wikipedia) tried to do so, and sadly enough his "proof" is chock-full of fallacious logic. You do know it takes accurate logic to prove something, right? Because I see little to none of that here.

I do not worship Carl Sagan, nor anyone, but he was an amazing man, and I'd never be so narcissistic to try and take credit for anything he said or did.

8/27/2009 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Prove to me you can tell a joke and get it.

8/27/2009 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

babybackribs said "I don't pretend that life is different than what it is."

But you do, if you contend that consciousness is nothing but the side affect of the algorithms of genes, that free will is only an illusion, that truth, reality, is not hierarchical and One, then you are pretending that life is different than what it is.

Now, if you don't contend that, then your position on the 'left' is something you need to question, because that is vital to all of their positions and policies.

As to your rant on "Here's some truth for you: God doesn't exist.", and demand that someone here prove to you that God does exist... is to miss the point (do you know Ray?) that has been made over and over, that God cannot be proved, only intuited. For some to say it seems obvious there is a God, is not the same as saying they have demonstrable proof that he does. In fact, you could say 'I see no proof that God exists' and be on solid footing, but saying "God doesn't exist" is deeply illogical.

Personally, I make no claims about 'God', but I do claim that reality exists, it exists as something identifiable, and I am conscious of that being True - and for Truth to be true, it must be One, the whole universe wide, the entire existentiallada, One Cosmos. From introspection I've surprisingly found a resonance with 'personifying' that Truth with a concept of God, but that awareness is only identifiable on the inside, and cannot be brought out and produced as evidence for your inspection - and is, if there is a 'point', likely to be THE point. You have to discover it on your own - or not. But what can be proven, is the Universe exists, as one and as those portions we differentiate as particulars, and we are able to Know it - from the structure of atoms, up to the reality of Consciousness and I find no contradictions between what can be scientifically known about it, and with what can be religiously known about our understanding of our place within it, even right on down to the insects that lay eggs in baby deer's eyes causing its horrible death (a favorite example of Sam Harris), and find no 'problem of evil' to be dealt with.

What is IS and is because it is - it is everywhere and no where, and is for all time, True.

What denies what is, attempts to disintegrate all, blocks your ability to recognize what is True and is evil. People tend to personify that end of the matter as well.

I've no knowledge of what happens after I die, and frankly don't care to speculate on it, or listen to others who do. But after you grow up enough to get beyond the 'talkin' snake stories' and 'wish fulfillment' concept of literalist religion, you'll find that it does a more than fair job of providing that 'right hemisphere' perspective on life, an uncanny facility for revealing Truth in just as much depth as you can imagine pursuing, and with an obvious ability to go much farther than you are able or willing to follow.

But you've got to find it, it's already there, and you are already within it, it has no need of finding you.

8/27/2009 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Bob, I think it’s Ray.
(just kidding, sort of)

8/27/2009 10:30:00 AM  
Anonymous rackbabi said...

"Virtuous according to whom?"

According to common sense. I never needed to believe in God to think I should be honest, reliable, and generous.

wv - because that turns you guys on - "noticing"

8/27/2009 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

I told you, you cured me.
Where's my joke.

8/27/2009 10:37:00 AM  
Anonymous rackbabi said...

Ricky: What do you call a fish with no eyes? a FSH. You see, that was (arguably) funny because you were expecting eyes like the ones you have in your head, but then it turns out that unexpectedly was about the letter i. Unexpected punchlines make jokes funny, QED.

Van, while much of what you wrote there makes a bit of sense, I think it's quite presumptious of you to assume I have some "position on the 'left'".

8/27/2009 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

>> "political correctness" is simply the sum total of leftist defenses against reality

I see PC more as an offensive weapon wielded by the left against reality.

(Sorry to interrupt the illuminating discussions with the latest atheist to wander through the village... if nothing else,this one makes me feel a Strange New Respect (TM) for godinpotty's intellectual acumen.)

8/27/2009 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Well...gotta run. Can't wait all day.
Back to the salt mines.

8/27/2009 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ricky said "Bob, I think it’s Ray."

I've been guessing that too... same uncanny ability to miss the point. A touch more indignant than Ray of old though.

May be getting cranky.

8/27/2009 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

I'm not gonna lie to you.
I laughed at all of your jokes.
I did.

8/27/2009 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

>> (do you know Ray?)

Ray's dumber brother, maybe?

8/27/2009 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Hey Van.
Yeah. The caps lock was pretty loud stuff. I'm sensative you know.
He hurt me.

8/27/2009 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Off topic, yet another example of the glories of socialized medicine.

Warren, you're right about that.

8/27/2009 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

For the record, I think it would be great if God existed. I've lived a virtuous life--don't ever let anyone tell you that an atheist can't, I'd love to see my mom again, heaven always sounds pretty cool, and I don't mind changing my position when I'm wrong. But there's nothing that suggests I'm wrong.

Humility is the chief of all virtues. If you want to be indistinguishable in speech from an actual virtuous person you might want to try this line:

"I've not lived a perfect life, but I try as best I'm able--"

Ben Franklin noted that humility was the hardest thing to practice. And yet, without it there is no virtue...

PS-

Religion is not about: 1. Getting happy, 2. Becoming virtuous. The first you can do by simply deluding yourself, taking drugs, or force of will, and the second only requires a good teacher and a willing soul.

It's not a question of virtue, but of 'why virtue?' The simplest man, God bless him, may live in virtue and not need to know what it is for. But most of us, in truth, are fallen into a fragmented, hardened complexity. The journey back involves a real movement; you cannot simply imagine yourself simple and without a need for concepts; we must assume we need every aid.

8/27/2009 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Uh, I meant the PC observation. But possibly about the latest r, too...

8/27/2009 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

River!
Well said.

8/27/2009 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

What River said.

8/27/2009 10:52:00 AM  
Anonymous rackbabi said...

River,

What in my behavior suggests to you that I am not humble/virtuous? Keep in mind, we're sitting in here surrounded by people who delight in talking about how much smarter they are than I am.

8/27/2009 10:56:00 AM  
Anonymous rackbabi said...

"I've been guessing that too... same uncanny ability to miss the point. A touch more indignant than Ray of old though."

For the record, I had no intention of addressing the overall attempted point of the blog post. There was a hypocritical statement made, and I called the author out on it.

And I have no idea who Ray is.

8/27/2009 10:58:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Poor little picked on rackbaby

8/27/2009 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

What in my behavior suggests to you that I am not humble/virtuous?

"Sorry, another snoozer."

8/27/2009 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

I call hypocrisy.

8/27/2009 11:06:00 AM  
Anonymous rackbabi said...

Not hypocritical at all. There's nothing wrong with pointing out when things are good and when they're bad. I certainly don't take any great pride in my own writing.

8/27/2009 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Elephant said...

"In other words, matter cannot say "only matter exists," for as soon as it says so, it has surely transcended matter -- unless we radically redefine what matter "is." But in order do this, one must also redefine what "is" is, because the materialist's..."


Right about here, I think it all negates anyway due to Ockham's Razor, true or untrue as Ockham's Razor might be. In math at least, it usually holds.

Btw, wv: nonis

the is, the isn't, and the nonis.


Okay, back to reading the post...

8/27/2009 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

babybackribs said "I think it's quite presumptious of you to assume I have some "position on the 'left'""

Sorry bbr, I presumed you understood what position your own positions put you on. Comments to the effect of your '9/11 and the date of JFK's assassination are no different significance' and 'don't tell me I can't have an artfest on 9/11' are not commonly made by those who are not on the left.

An inference which I presume you'll shortly prove correct. I am however, ready, willing and able to be proved wrong.

8/27/2009 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Dear Rackbabi:

Yes, but is it questionable to say the same of persons, including one's self?

8/27/2009 11:27:00 AM  
Anonymous rackbabi said...

"An inference which I presume you'll shortly prove correct. I am however, ready, willing and able to be proved wrong."

Ehh, I call em as I see em. I have beliefs on both sides of the political spectrum.

8/27/2009 11:31:00 AM  
Anonymous rackbabi said...

River,

You can sit around talking about how smart you are all day long if you like, but it kind of undermines trying to take the humble high ground afterward.

8/27/2009 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

babybackribs said "I've lived a virtuous life--don't ever let anyone tell you that an atheist can't..."

In and of itself being an 'atheist' doesn't exclude you from being virtuous, but it depends upon what your idea of atheism is and what your idea of virtuous is, doesn't it? Depends upon whether or not you have a conception of One Truth, or competing relative truths. An atheist can certainly follow the rules, but that doesn't make him virtuous.

Someone like Dennett and Dawkins, who believe in contingent relative truths, who believe consciousness to be an interesting but not too important side effect of interacting genes, who believe 'atheism' as being a call to denigrate any and every religious belief because it is religious... no they cannot be virtuous. They may follow societal rules, but they are fundamentally unable to be virtuous.

But of course claiming to be religious doesn't make one virtuous either. You have to desire to understand and do (and become like) what is right and true, in order to be virtuous... just doing what is expected, or what will produce the desired results, does not make one virtuous.

If you seek that, then whether or not you attach a moniker to Truth, or not, you can be virtuous. And though few of us may succeed in being virtuous, only this later approach has even the possibility of becoming, and being, virtuous.

8/27/2009 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Warren said "I see PC more as an offensive weapon wielded by the left against reality."

Yep. I see PC as the attempt to make the distasteful (and what they consider to be 'distasteful', such as renaming the job of being a Janitor as something more 'acceptable', shows their foul opinions of mankind), the untrue or the evil, appear to be more attractive and palatable, in order to convince people to do what they otherwise would if they heard the plain truth.

aka: evil

8/27/2009 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Hey River!

Well said.

8/27/2009 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

babyrackribs said "Keep in mind, we're sitting in here surrounded by people who delight in talking about how much smarter they are than I am."

I've no idea whether or not you are smarter than I am, nor do I care. The point is whether your ideas are Right or Wrong... and again, you utterly miss it... which pretty much answers the real point.

wv:sigrope
A tired reference to Teddy's passing?

8/27/2009 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

babybackribs said "And I have no idea who Ray is."

Neither did Ray.

8/27/2009 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

babybackribs said "Ehh, I call em as I see em. I have beliefs on both sides of the political spectrum."

If that means that you have an understanding of what is true, and both sides sometimes are in agreement... maybe you aren't a leftist.

If you mean that you like what you like, pick and choose from what seems more palatable... then you are a leftist, with perhaps more toes on the ledge than off, but a leftist all the same.

Which brings me to the only point worth asking, what is your understanding of what is True and not true? Is it One, or many?

8/27/2009 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Hmmm... six in a row... so that's why she's glaring at me. Ok, ok, ok, yard work it is.

Sheesh.

8/27/2009 11:56:00 AM  
Anonymous rackbabi said...

"Someone like Dennett and Dawkins, who believe in contingent relative truths, who believe consciousness to be an interesting but not too important side effect of interacting genes, who believe 'atheism' as being a call to denigrate any and every religious belief because it is religious... no they cannot be virtuous. They may follow societal rules, but they are fundamentally unable to be virtuous."

Oh, I am no friend of people like those. I don't think atheism is particularly interesting, I don't think people need to be particularly intelligent/enlightened to be atheists, and I think prosthelytizing by atheists can be just as annoying as religious folks'. I think religious people and atheists should just believe whatever they like and leave the others alone, but I find certain posts and comments here to be confrontational and insulting, and I respond in kind.

8/27/2009 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

We interupt this regular comment broadcast for a humor alert.

Geckofeeder has an excellent Cash For Codgers parody with kernels of truth up:

Cash For Codgers

And here's the Cash For Codgers song!:

Cash For Codgers Song

Now I see that the donks wanna name Obamascare after Ted Kennedy, you know, to "honor" him, even though Kennedy was against national healthcare when President Nixon wanted it.

But what will they call it?
I like Ace's suggestion:
Chappaquidicare. It has the calming influence of cold, deep water.

8/27/2009 12:10:00 PM  
Anonymous in other words said...

rock. pig. squeal.

or

stimulus. response.

8/27/2009 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Matteo said...

"I've lived a virtuous life--don't ever let anyone tell you that an atheist can't..."

That really depends on Who gets to define what constitutes the virtuous life, doesn't it?

If it is God doing the defining, and one of His two greatest commandments is "Love God with your whole, heart, mind, body, and soul," then an atheist, by definition cannot be virtuous, even if he is fulfilling the other greatest commandment "Love your neighbor as yourself." Since the majority of atheists probably don't consider unborn children to be their neighbor, and thereby countenance the killing of inconvenient same, I don't see how most of them could be virtuous even with respect to the "neighbor" commandment. Hopefully rackbabi is an exception to this general rule.

One would have to assume atheism to be true in order to assert without qualification that atheists can be virtuous (because with no God to honor, they would not be falling woefully short regarding the greatest commandment). Therefore the mere assertion that atheists *are* virtuous is no argument against theism.

8/27/2009 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger jp said...

rackbabi says:

"Here's some truth for you: God doesn't exist. The concept of God is based on humanity's need to believe in significance, purpose in life, and afterlife...and also earlier humans' trying to explain what science couldn't yet. If God existed, there's no reason it wouldn't be completely freaking obvious--with prayers being answered, miracles happening every day, etc. And before you mindlessly respond "IT IS OBVIOUS, YOU JUST DON'T GET IT, YOU'RE JUST STUPID", please keep in mind it's NOT obvious...beauty and balance in life is easily attributed to evolution (which is plain as day and yet the most religious deny it), there's not a shred of evidence that praying has any effect at all, the Bible is frankly full of a bunch of crap, and I highly doubt a little Internet club with its own "secrets" and "languages" happen to be the enlightened folks in this world."

This is an Internet book club. Did you actually read the book first?

I'm curious as to why you are commenting here.

wv: pestr

I wonder if wv just answered my question.

8/27/2009 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Rackbabi:

To what are you referring?

You called yourself virtuous, so I noted that citation of one's self as an example of virtue is typically among humans a sign of a lack of virtue.

Your reply was that there shouldn't be anything wrong with calling a thing good or bad, to which I replied is this necessarily the case with persons, including one's self?

That's where I am in the conversation...

8/27/2009 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger Warren said...

If rackbabi is truly omnignorant, can he make a remark so stupid that even he himself can see how stupid it is?

This logical contradiction proves to my satisfaction that rackbabi does not exist. And it is not necessary, or even desirable, to invent him.

-- YHWH

8/27/2009 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Heh - just so.

For something else that's funny, Iowahawk.

8/27/2009 12:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Davey Lopes said...

"Our principle criticism of modern philosophy and science is that they venture directly or indirectly onto planes beyond their compass and operate without regard to indispensable data."

Hence his metaphysical certitude that "Darwinism is a metaphysical impossibility". That's all forms of Darwinism, mind you.

"Schuon"--you keep using that word, but I don't think it means what you think it means.

8/27/2009 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

The age at which one becomes an atheist will generally decide what kind of God one does not believe in, as one's God tends to not evolve in one's absence.

8/27/2009 03:11:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

There is none righteous. Not even one. NoMo could tell you that. Supposed "virtue" is more often cleverly disguised self-interest. Most of us aren't murderers or tax cheats, 'cause, well, there are consequences to that. And there are social consequences to being a jerk. Etc. That's not to say virtue doesn't exist. But most of our efforts in that direction, under our own power, are a pathetic sort of raggedy fig leaf compared to the Good.

8/27/2009 03:31:00 PM  
Anonymous rackbabi said...

Catching up...

Matteo: I'm pro-life. But, as I do not believe in God, my definition of virtuous doesn't include loving Him with all my heart.

jp: no, I've never read the book, but I'd at least start it if someone lent it to me.

River: Perhaps the word "virtuous" has stronger connotations than what I realized and/or what I meant. I have not been a saint in life, and certainly would never claim that I have been. But, given the circumstances, I don't think it's being narcissistic to point out that I try and follow the principles of the Commandments despite not believing they are divinely inspired.

8/27/2009 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Rackbabi - If there's no God, why are you even having this discussion? What do you care if we believe? You remind me of myself before I believed - angry at and argumentative with believers. In retrospect I know that behind it all I was just really disturbed at how deeply their faith CONVICTED me. You may well be approaching place you never expected. A great place. God speed!

8/27/2009 03:43:00 PM  
Anonymous rackbabi said...

NoMo,

I care only because you're all so confrontational and insulting and smug about it. I know that, if I had a blog, I could manage to host discussions that didn't involve bashing atheists and liberals at every opportunity. Why can't you...and if you are just choosing to do it, is that really something God approves of?

I am out for the evening, good night all, and here's hoping we can all learn to be a bit more respectful.

8/27/2009 03:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Magnus,

An interesting, but completely inaccurate statement, unless you're talking about someone who becomes an atheist and then withdraws completely from society.

An atheist who talks to others at all, if they hadn't already, quickly realizes there are all sorts of conceptions of gods and considers a huge variety of traits. Nonomnipresent gods, extradimensional gods, gods under different definitions of sentience, multiple-being gods, interventionist gods, noninterventionist gods, gods which no longer exist, non- or conditionally omnipotent gods, gods with no interest in humanity,

8/27/2009 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger Elephant said...

OT...sort of. I haven't read most of the comments yet, but here's something. Take it with some grains of quirky.

http://eternal-earthbound-pets.com/Home_Page.html


[I've never looked at how to link on Blogger.]

8/27/2009 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

I should probably just let it go, but I can't help myself. You know what else is really funny? This:

"River,

You can sit around talking about how smart you are all day long if you like, but it kind of undermines trying to take the humble high ground afterward."

River, of course, never said any such thing. And I'm pretty certain nobody else here did, either. As Bob has frequently pointed out, whether or not you understand this stuff has nothing to do with how "smart" you are. And all that talk about stupidity? Do you think we're excluded from that? Most of the regulars here have held the same positions as the leftists and atheists at some point in our lives. And speaking for myself, I'm on the brink of terminal stupidity pretty much on a daily basis, but somehow I manage to make it through. Talk about miracles.

Here's the difference: we see something that you don't. That's all. Maybe you refuse to, or maybe you simply can't right now, but whatever the case, it is apparently inaccessible to you. That doesn't make us more intelligent or more observant, any more than being sighted makes me smarter than a blind guy.

We're not shutting you out of any club - you manage that just fine on your own. The secret that protects itself? Right out in the open, for anyone to see (and millions upon millions of people do see, but each has their own unique perspective. No two people experience the Grand Canyon in the same fashion; more so with the Absolute). It's simply that not everyone does.

Here's what it comes down to:

2+2=4.

Base matter does not contain consciousness, any more than a tree contains a house, a table or a sailboat. Rather, it is the other way around: Consciousness contains matter.

If you cannot see that, and all that is implied from that simple statement, then you are either ignorant or stupid. That doesn't make me smarter than you; lots of brilliant people don't get it. It just means I see something that you don't.

That you are proud of this inability to see makes you arrogantly stupid. Not much we can do about that. Paraphrasing what you said earlier, there's nothing wrong with pointing out when someone's being stupid. We call 'em as we see 'em.

8/27/2009 04:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Here's the difference: we see something that you don't. "

Indeed that's correct, that is the difference.

For example, I (and perhaps rackbabi) see three colors here.

8/27/2009 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

"I remember when I realized this about a certain person in my life who always likes to argue. Eventually it dawned on me that the arguing actually had no point. Rather, it was the point."

Bob nailed Rack right here. In fact, if you notice, Rack replied with a clip of Bob's next paragraph. That's how long he could hold it in = not very. Not long into it he started screaming.

Honestly, how could he respond the way he did to River's comment. I don't blame him for the way he responded to mine. I was just having fun. None of us got anywhere. He just wants to argue.

8/27/2009 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

“I am out for the evening, good night all, and here's hoping we can all learn to be a bit more respectful.”

Rack,
When you arrive with something worthy of it.
Destructive intent, but honest about it, doesn’t count.
This is just common sense.

8/27/2009 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

anonymous said "For example, I (and perhaps rackbabi) see three colors here. "

Oh crud. Ricky, we woke Ray up. If that optical illusion link wasn't posted by our favorite electrical engineer... I'll... I'll... I'll drink this beer.

Not that I won't anyway.

Just sayin'

And yes, obviously three colors. Your point? no never mind, don't bother, you'll miss it anyway.

8/27/2009 04:52:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Nomo, you may be right when you said:

“Rackbabi - If there's no God, why are you even having this discussion? What do you care if we believe? You remind me of myself before I believed - angry at and argumentative with believers. In retrospect I know that behind it all I was just really disturbed at how deeply their faith CONVICTED me.”

There is a statement in the NT about "the rich" having the most difficult time with this. Lately I've been wondering if that statement also means "the intellect". I know it was s stumbling block for me. And I don't think it matters if you have a 200 IQ or 80.

8/27/2009 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Sorry Van. Ray's out there. No doubt.

8/27/2009 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Rack began:

“Here's some truth for you: God doesn't exist. The concept of God is based on humanity's need to believe in significance, purpose in life, and afterlife...and also earlier humans' trying to explain what science couldn't yet. If God existed, there's no reason it wouldn't be completely freaking obvious--with prayers being answered, miracles happening every day, etc. And before you mindlessly respond "IT IS OBVIOUS, YOU JUST DON'T GET IT, YOU'RE JUST STUPID", please keep in mind it's NOT obvious...beauty and balance in life is easily attributed to evolution (which is plain as day and yet the most religious deny it), there's not a shred of evidence that praying has any effect at all, the Bible is frankly full of a bunch of crap”

Is it any wonder he receives nothing with this attitude. Would you reveal anything to this ingrate? He sounds like a spoiled 4 year old. This is how he started the day. As Bob says, this not the God I believe in. He has no idea.

Rack, was this the respect you were talking about?

8/27/2009 05:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Schuon said...

A proof is not convincing because it is absolute - for this it could never be - but because it actualizes something self-evident in the mind.

Proof is only possible on the basis of prior knowledge. ...

It is wrong to reject a "proof of God" just because one is ignorant of its implicit premises, which are clear to the author of the proof.

8/27/2009 05:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Schuon said...

One can most certainly prove every truth; but not every truth is accessible to every mind. Nothing is more arbitrary than a rejection of the classical proofs of God, each of which is valid in relation to a certain need for logical satisfaction. This need increases in proportion to ignorance, not in proportion to knowledge. For the sage every star, every flower, is metaphysically a proof of the Infinite.

8/27/2009 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger Elephant said...

RR @ 10:30 a.m.

That made me laugh. Remember the going around in circles and how everyone banged their heads against the Plexiglas helmet bubble encircling him? It was pointless like that for so many months! It made me laugh I think out of a need for comic relief because I was feeling the same clamp on oxygen going on. [Not meaning to be confrontational, Rack. Being descriptive. Kinda had to be there sort of thing. You could look at the Arkive, possibly.]



I did also laugh at the FSH joke. But, just because something is unexpected doesn't mean it is *necessarily* funny. That's how the joke works, not why. It must have something to do with humans' relationship to limitation, the play of the knowable and the unknowable (or the known and the unknown), non-omniscience type of thing, and moving in time (jokes' sequential factors). Robots would not laugh. I don't think animals have a sense of humor either.


In math, there are axioms. That's the way the universe roles. Logic is not ultimate (perhaps) because God is ultimately personal, and logic is a tool (probably something more esoteric than that, but for lack of better words on limited calories.) There is probably a lot more to it than that, but it is a starting point.

8/27/2009 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Ele,
Did you notice how he ruined his joke by explaining it?
It was funny until he did. The guy is humorless. Can’t even not ruin a joke.

8/27/2009 05:37:00 PM  
Blogger Elephant said...

Oops. I wrote "That's the way the universe roles." Need food obviously! How about rolls... Much better. That's the way the universe rolls.

Rolls sound good too. With butter and jam!

Yes, RR, true!


And... how can I resist?

Uh oh... wv: ingstion

Ingles indigestion... [aka Ray (Ingles) Sorry, Ray, if you're out there. Take it in stride of humor...I'm writing conceptually, not meant to be taken personally. Heh, now I'm getting all delicate and PC. Oh, anyway!]


Time for dinner, obviously. AND I'm a half of a chapter to the end of Liberal Fascism, and must admit, sort of generally distracted until I get to the end of it!

8/27/2009 05:48:00 PM  
Blogger Elephant said...

I did not mean this pun:

From an online dictionary--

roll: Noun 1. rotary motion of an object around its own axis; "wheels in axial rotation"


..."Math has axioms. That's the way the universe rolls." Kind of funny. Now I'll probably end up thinking about the relationship between "axiom" and "axial", if there is one. It might be a coincidental similarity.

8/27/2009 05:52:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

That is funny, Ele. Although I thought "roles" worked well, too :)

8/27/2009 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Bob,
Off, OT question.
Do you think Obama is going to just sit there while they rename his baby after Teddy?
This doesn’t compute to me.
What do you think?

8/27/2009 06:05:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I don't know. It's a little like deciding to rename the Titanic while rearranging the deck chairs.

8/27/2009 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

That's it!
Obama gave them the idea.

8/27/2009 06:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Besides, since Obamacare is going straight over the bridge and into the water, might as well name it after Kennedy.

8/27/2009 06:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Quint said...

And for that you get the head.
Tail.
The whole damn thing.

8/27/2009 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Ooooh, no.
Don't chu tryta tie that thing ta Cuz.

8/27/2009 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger Warren said...

>> I care only because you're all so confrontational and insulting and smug about it.

Caring is a good thing, so here's another:

If rackbabi makes a remark in the forest and no-one hears it, is it still stupid?

8/27/2009 06:59:00 PM  
Blogger QP said...

Madness. And it's coming from UNESCO, for crying out loud.

U.N. Report Advocates Teaching Masturbation to 5-Year-Olds

8/27/2009 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Teach what you know.

8/27/2009 07:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Alan said...

I don't get it... if there is no God, then "virtuous" has no meaning, n'est ce pas? It's just an arbitrary sound pointing to some arbitrary set of motions by some arbitrary set of atoms.

8/27/2009 07:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Virtue is typically not something we learn from words in a book. It something that becomes ingrained in us through our culture.

For example, some cultures find virtue in death(more specifically suicide), and some find virtue in sexual prowess, and some find virtue in wartime heroism. But none of those virtues are expressed as such in the bible.

For those who repeatedly ream atheism for not having a basis for virtue or morality or other such values, you conveniently ignore the fact that you don't follow the values laid out for you in the bible anyway, so obviously you speak from the same position as the atheist: you do not care for what the Bible actually says unless it agrees with you. Otherwise this forum wouldn't exist.

8/27/2009 08:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Raccoons have high aye clues.

8/27/2009 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I cooncur, Skully. I'm a member in good standing (last I checked) of BENSA.

8/27/2009 08:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If there is a God, and he gives you guiding text to follow, and you still don't follow it, isn't your criticism of atheism more damning of yourself than atheists?

At least they follow virtues they live by, but if you can't live by the virtues you claim to hold, then they aren't really *your* virtues at all.

8/27/2009 08:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It takes a strong man to live by God's values, but it takes a stronger one to live by his own.

8/27/2009 08:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well anyway, when you all are ready to accept God and the way of life he has instructed you in His Word, and not use him as your weapon(your excuse for being hateful when that's actually his job to judge), turn off the monitors and come practice religion the way it was meant to be practiced.

8/27/2009 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"I care only because you're all so confrontational and insulting and smug about it."

Lessee, so you come here and insult the host and the Raccoons, then when the insultainment begins you become the "victim" that "cares."
Then you want some respect?

That shtick is so old and predictable. Lighten up Francis.

8/27/2009 08:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Rackibaba-

The reason you can't see what we see is because you don't have punarama vision.

8/27/2009 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Skully said "you don't have punarama vision"

That, and I think his disgronifacator is on the fritz.

8/27/2009 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Anon 8:13 (and, of course, Rackbabi) - Thanks for again making the point that we all, believers and unbelievers alike, live under the effects of the Fall. Sin so permeates the world and fogs every mind that only God's grace can save from the just judgment we all deserve. Paul, the former persecutor of Christians, wrote to the believers in Ephesus, and by extension, all believers:

"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.

All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved.

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

Believe it or not.

8/27/2009 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Bible thumping atheist aninnymouse said "Virtue is typically not something we learn from words in a book. It something that becomes ingrained in us through our culture."

Ah. And so during your upbringing in San Francisco, what interesting 'virtues' did you practice ingraining?

"For example, some cultures find virtue in death(more specifically suicide), and some find virtue in sexual prowess..."

Psst! Virtue is not the same thing as compulsions and perversions.

"you conveniently ignore the fact that you don't follow the values laid out for you in the bible anyway"

Psst! The Bible is a book. Oops! Didn't see that one coming, did you! Don't fret, not only is it obvious you aren't able to read this blog, it's also obvious you already don't know how to read the Bible too, so here's something else you can not learn from too, Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, and when you've finished ignoring that, you can dive right over this one too, Thomas Aquinas on Virtues.

Unfortunately, both of them are going to tell you that you've got to practice, make virtuous behavior ingrained habits by deliberate effort - despite what your environment or culture might tempt you to do otherwise. And then there's what Moses and that other guy had to say... yeah, more reading, contemplating, practicing, self control... yeahhh... nope, not for you, back to your virtual culture with you.

8/27/2009 09:01:00 PM  
Anonymous goddinpotty said...

I can't even imagine what's going on in the mind of someone who attacks Ted Kennedy as "drunken, monstrous, sleazy", and then approvingly cites Rush Limbaugh two paragraphs later.

Maybe we can agree that both these individuals had some substance abuse problems, weight problems, and unruly personal lives. The difference is the good they managed to do in spite of this.

Kennedy's work on behalf of the powerless has earned him the love and respect of millions. That's why, aside from no-class individuals on the right who can't hold back their loathing, he's being mourned and his life is being celebrated. When Limbaugh kicks off, who do you think will care? There will always be another hateful gasbag to take his place.

Contrast, for instance, Kennedy's sponsorship of the Americans with Disabilities Act with Limbaugh's open mocking of Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's Disease. That really tells you all you need to know.

8/27/2009 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

gulpingpotty flushed "I can't even imagine what's going on in the mind of someone who attacks Ted Kennedy as "drunken, monstrous, sleazy", and then approvingly cites Rush Limbaugh two paragraphs later."

Truest thing you've ever typed.

8/27/2009 09:05:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Kennedy's work on behalf of the powerless has earned him the love and respect of millions."

(of gullible, public indoctrinated sheep).

Interesting choice of words. Powerless. He sure helped empower Mary Jo.

So what did he do to help the "powerless?"
The fact they are still "powerless victims" should give you a clue.

The Left is all about power.
People don't need plantation owners like Kennedy putting them in chains and calling it "power."
But that's what the Left calls compassion. Looking out for the little people by taking their liberties away.
I reckon you could call that power, but it sure ain't good.

8/27/2009 09:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Via American Digest:

'Listening to "Reflections on Sen. Kennedy ... Lion of the Senate" on the Diane Rehm Show on the drive home last night, I was deeply moved to hear Newsweek's Ed Klein tell guest host Katty Kay about Kennedy's love of humor. How the late senator loved to hear and tell Chappaquiddick jokes, and was always eager to know if anyone had heard any new ones.'

8/27/2009 09:37:00 PM  
Blogger debass said...

Kennedy's motto:

"A blond in every pond."

8/27/2009 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Lion of the Senate"

More like Jackal of the Senate.

8/27/2009 10:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

The Hippo of the Senate?

8/27/2009 10:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Ted K. said...

I regret I had but two livers to give to Chivas.

BTW, is Heaven supposed to be hot?

8/27/2009 10:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And yes, obviously three colors. Your point? no never mind, don't bother, you'll miss it anyway."

Sorry I didn't explicate for you. And no, I'm not Ray.

My point is that you've abandoned logic and rationality for intuition and some sort of extra-sensory (at least when talking about the obvious senses) perception in determining that there is indeed a deity. Therefore, I will not hold you to logic or rationality in any kind of a determination of the existence of a god.

However, the senses that everyone agrees exist are ones that everyone also agrees can be deceived, and which can perceive things that aren't actually there. Such as a fourth color.

But, for your proposed extra sense, this perceptual capacity you have which claims a deity, you are also maintaining essentially that it cannot be deceived. So its not just the existence of the deity that's immune to rationality, but also the operation of this special deity-detecting sense. Correct?

8/27/2009 10:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Screwtape said...

This buffoon is gonna give hell a bad name.

8/27/2009 10:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Ted K. said...

Ask not what Hell can do for you, ask what you can do for Hell.

8/27/2009 10:42:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Why do you care anon?
Are you in the book club or not?

8/27/2009 10:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

I keep hearin' this on the news:
"It's the end of an era."

No, it's the end of an asshole.

Oh, and Camelot = Kantalot.

8/27/2009 11:00:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

If you're in then read the material and stop asking questions.

8/27/2009 11:04:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Hey Gippy’s back!

“I can't even imagine what's going on in the mind of someone who attacks Ted Kennedy as "drunken, monstrous, sleazy",”

There’s your problem. You’re trying to use your imagination. It’s not necessary.

“and then approvingly cites Rush Limbaugh two paragraphs later. Maybe we can agree that both these individuals had some substance abuse problems, weight problems, and unruly personal lives. The difference is the good they managed to do in spite of this.”

And then we hear about the good Rush L has done:

“Contrast, for instance, Kennedy's sponsorship of the Americans with Disabilities Act with Limbaugh's open mocking of Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's Disease. That really tells you all you need to know.”

Way to go Gippy! A new PR; 5 seconds.

Rush has donated a great deal of his own hard-earned wealth to good causes, and inspired others to do the same. Millions of their own dollars, voluntarily.
Sponsor a bill – sounds taxing.

As far as “openly mocking” MJF’s disease. Please point to the transcript of that. DailyKos is not a source. Nor is a friend of a friend. There was no mocking of MJF’s disease. I listened to the programs. If there was any mocking, it was of people who put forth the nonsense that if we elected a certain candidate people would walk again. This was dishonest and instilled false hope in people who might think it was true.

Gippy’s logic elevates the self-esteem of broken clocks.

8/28/2009 05:06:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse said "And no, I'm not Ray."

Sigh, nobody is Ray anymore.

"My point is that you've abandoned logic and rationality for intuition and some sort of extra-sensory..."

As I said, don't bother, you'd miss it anyway. Btw, your intuitions about proposed extra senses and special deity-detecting senses are pretty weird... you don't hear voices too, do you?

"However, the senses that everyone agrees exist are ones that everyone also agrees can be deceived, and which can perceive things that aren't actually there."

You could have picked a better one, mere careful unaided eye examination of the picture shows there to be only three colors. Maybe you could try one of those that requires you to measure the length of a line next time.

Optical illusions are among the most tired examples of 'look! Your senses can be deceived! No one can really be sure about anything!". Can we be tricked? Sure, but the only way we know they are optical illusions is because we have the capability to detect them with careful attention, examination, measurement, etc.

Such illusions say nothing at all about the reliability of the senses, but they say much about the irrationality and acceptance of the arbitrary into the thinking of those who put them forth. And once you've accepted the arbitrary into your thinking, any reasoning or logic you flatter yourself you are using, is mere whim driven logic chopping.

8/28/2009 06:57:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Skully said "Oh, and Camelot = Kantalot."

Lol! Give that man a grog!

8/28/2009 06:58:00 AM  
Blogger abdul7591 said...

Hello Bob,

I've been quietly reading your blog for a couple of years or so, but have never posted a comment.

I came from a Muslim family, but have rejected Islam as a deeply problematic religion. Yet it reminds difficult to be impressed by the rather childish arguments of atheists. For one thing, contrary to what he claims, the atheist is not simply arguing a negative. He is putting forth an entire alternate theory concerning the structure of the universe and how it is governed. The atheist does not believe that a conscious entity - a god - was responsible for creating the universe, but he DOES believe in an agent of creation: random occurrence. The universe, in his view, was created by a string of purely random occurrences undirected by any intelligent force.

Well, OK, if that's one's theory then how does one go about scientifically proving it? Here, notwithstanding their rather comical certainty, atheists are completely helpless. There is simply no scientific way an atheist can demonstrate this to be true.

To what place in the universe must one go to empirically test whether there is a God or mere Random Occurrence? Earth is not that place, for intelligent people have been debating this question for centuries without arriving at a consensus.

The atheist may assert that religious people merely go along with whatever was drummed into their heads when they were children; yet, the angry passion with which they themselves denounce God and religion suggests that they too have some sort of ax to grind. Perhaps some older person in their formative years - a parent, a priest, a nun, a rabbi - was very sternly religious and made their lives unpleasant by their dogmatism and strictness. So they developed a resentment toward these relligious authority figures, a resentment that became so intense it could only be satisfied by attacking and denigrating the very thing the resented person held most sacred - his faith. I'm no psychologist, but I don't think it takes a lot of insight into human nature to perceive this in today's militantly strident and almost apoplectic "anti-theists".

8/28/2009 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

QP, this is the same body that wants to tell Americans how to parent their kids, via an international treaty. Bleah. I feel like that Marine: "Stay AWAY from my kids!" And I would add, "Sickos!"

8/28/2009 07:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Job said...

Nice post NOMO...right in the guts

8/30/2009 06:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Sly Family Stones said...

Rereading old posts (Bizness of izness, 130 comments), so late to the party. Nevertheless...

You guys are so funny..you get K.O.ed admirably by rackbabi who holds his own on hostile turf and bows out gracefully, and all the wannabe bullies stand around wiping your bloody noses and looking for mama, telling each other how good you were. NO, you WEREN'T. You were a bunch of cartoons bashing a flesh-and-bone human. There's Vanna, who's always there to crouch on all fours behind rackbabi during a confrontation. There's Jorge the nipper, whose low profile allows him to dodge the kick while getting underfoot of the real scuffers like River, who will insist on Marquis of Kingsbury rules as his eyes swell shut; Joolie, who wants a pair so bad she may even get a job to prove it; NoMo, who only fights in the name of Joehoova. Skully, a surly Burgess Meredith meets Don Knotts, sure to snipe from a safe distance...geez. I could go on but there's no need: you all do such a good job of lampooning yourselves. Why do I care? Because Bob deserves better. Quit acting like a bunch of potty-mouthed pubescent priaps and deal with reality when reality calls. Practice what you preach for crying out loud. Pay a compliment to the dude's debating skills, then back courteously away. This is not the droid you're looking for. Whether you understand it or not.

9/02/2009 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

sty's family has no stones said "There's Vanna, who's always there to crouch on all fours behind rackbabi during a confrontation"

You like me, you really liIike me!

Still laughing at ya heehaw.


Nice heartwarming tribute link about ted k's passing, did you like mine?

s.w.a.k.

9/02/2009 05:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Sly fanny stoneless-

Just like a lefty, dickless, metrosexual idiot: attempting to denigrate Burgess Meredith, a World War 2 veteran, Captain, Army Air Corps.
You must be bitter about that 'cause you didn't have the cajones to measure up to such a great man.

I consider it an honor to be compared to Cap'n Meredith, butt we both know you didn't mean it that way.

Tell ya what, if I wanna hear an ass talk I'll just fart. Sure would sound and smell a whole sight better than the crap comin' from your dipshit hole.

9/03/2009 03:20:00 PM  

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