Friday, August 28, 2009

On the Certainty of Doubt and Vision of the Blind

Over 130 comments yesterday. Which once again proves -- as if it were necessary -- that there's just no end to the sophistries to which the godless cling in order to try to prove to themselves that God doesn't exist.

But there is no such proof, only adequation, so trying to "prove" something to the inadequate is obviously a complete and total waste of time. Unless you somehow enjoy the exercise. I do not. I haven't the slightest interest in the fantasies of the godless, except insofar as the manner in which they threaten my life, my property, and my liberty.

As Schuon explains, these relativists absurdly "dispute the value of metaphysical certainty" by setting it in opposition to the "certitude of error." For example, one familiar troll trotted out the old optical illusion argument -- as if the existence of illusions doesn't prove the reality!

Only a human being can say to himself, "I thought it was a _____, but dang, what it really was was a _____!" The illusion is dependent upon the reality, not vice versa. This is elementary. Not only did God become man so that man might become God, but more generally, reality becomes appearance so that appearance might become reality. In a way, we are all "optical illusions" until we see through the various layers of contingency and realize who and what we actually are. We are not an error, only in error -- which is always a privation, not an essence.

Doubt is not truth, only a way to truth, specifically, a forswearing of immediate appearances in order to await the arrival of truth, which is anterior to appearances. I doubt that the sun travels around the earth, but don't end my inquiry there. Rather, I eventually arrive at the truth that the earth travels around the sun, which is true enough in its own way, and is certainly adequate to get me through life. I don't really need to know that the Milky Way spirals around its own invisible center, and all the rest. It's all very nice, but it's not as if it's going to save my life or help the Dodgers fend off the Rockies.

It reminds me of an aesthetically needy friend who was hanging some of his wife's paintings in the office yesterday. He asked me how they looked, and I said "retarded" or "aesthetically dyslexic." He eagerly asked how and where they were supposed to go, and I explained that this one had to go there, that those two needed a third to balance them out, that this one should be in the middle, that that one needed to be closer to the light, and that the wall over there should remain empty in order to give him an occasional respite from thinking about Debbie all day. Fifteen hours a day should be enough for any woman.

Now, how did I know these things? I am not gay. Nor did anyone ever teach them to me. Frankly, given a little time, I could have fine-tuned things, but the point is, I just knew that the existing arrangement was not only retarded in its totality, but in so being, did damage to the individual paintings, which were unable to reveal their full potential as a result of being in the wrong place and in the wrong hands.

Does this little anecdote prove the existence of God? No. It's just one more little clue out of hundreds that routinely occur each day. Add up all the circumstantial evidence, and eventually the proof is overwhelming. Except to the jury nullification of atheism.

My friend was only mildly aesthetically bewildered, but certainly educable -- and not resentful, of all things, about the advice. Once the paintings were in place, he immediately apprehended the truth of the situation. Thus, we saw the same reality. But an aesthetically retarded individual can actually believe all kinds of things that cannot possibly be beautiful and therefore true. Much modern art falls into this category, but this type of infrahuman art is ultimately to beauty what atheism is to truth. It is parasitic, not symbiotic.

As Schuon explains -- and which our trolls prove -- "The fact that a lunatic feels certain he is something that he is not does not prevent us from being certain of what he is and what we ourselves are, and the fact that we are unable to prove to him that he is mistaken does not prevent us from being right." Perhaps it's my training and experience as a psychotherapist, but the idea of arguing with a troll is entirely foreign to me. It just doesn't come up as a viable option.

Again, in analytic therapy, there are always two things (actually, many more than two) going on. There is what you observe and verbally share; and there is what the patient does with it. The latter is particularly important and requires a lot of discipline, because you have to exit the everyday mode of semantic discourse, and "hover above" so as to observe what is going on from a meta-level. One must be particularly attentive to the myriad ways a patient "disunderstands" what you convey to them, for this disunderstanding is a consequence of their pathology. Generally, the sicker the person, the greater the disunderstanding.

So to continue with Schuon, "the fact that an unbalanced person may possibly have misgivings about his condition does not oblige us to have them about our own, even if we find it impossible to prove to him that our certainty is well founded." One can well imagine an angry patient firing back with words to the effect of, Oh, I see. You're right by definition. Everyone who disagrees with you has 'mind parasites.' Well, your clever insights into me might appeal to your other dim-witted patients, but you don't fool me. They probably all think you're some kind of perfect being, but I see what a pompous ass you are.

Again, far be it from me to argue with a patient's perceptions of me and farther be it to argue with the eccentric ravings of a troll, who is simply the inevitable illusion that proves the truth. Indeed, if I were to argue, I would simply reinforce them. At this point you will have a variety of options, but much depends upon the quality of the therapeutic relationship and the patient's capacity for insight. But in any case, you always come back to O, that is, to the emotional truth of the immediate situation, for example, "I see that you're very angry with me right now. Can you say more about what it feels like I'm doing to you at the moment?"

Ultimately you want to get beneath the surface into unconscious fantasy material that links up the past with the present emotions felt toward me. But the key point to bear in mind -- for it equally applies to supraconscious realities -- is that the type of truth we are discussing cannot be proved, only undergone. And more often than not, a truth must not only be "undergone," but even suffered. For as Bion said, if one cannot suffer pain, one cannot suffer pleasure. The most profound truths are truly "catastrophic" because they leave no lie standing. No wonder people resist them! Father let this cup pass, etc.

So as Schuon says, "the only proof of hidden realities... is the realities themselves." (Yes, I fully understand that Schuon did not approve of psychoanalysis, but I see no evidence that he was acquainted with any post-Freudian developments; rather, he only tilted his lance at Freud, which is easy enough to do.)

Again, there is always going to be a gap between the proof and the reality. There is always an element of volition that allows us to accept or reject a proof. Thus, in insisting that we "prove" the existence of God, the atheist is asking for something that cannot be. Rather, proofs are "only pointers or keys," and even then, only to the adequate person of good will who actually wishes to know. "[T]he inward discovery of truth is always a leap into the void -- a leap incommensurate with mental premises, concepts, or other symbols" (Schuon).

Only a human being can "take the leap." For even to doubt is to express the implicit idea that the mind "is competent to doubt." But who said so? Analogously, to paraphrase Schuon, it is like examining the optic nerve in order to make certain that it is competent to see. But who's doing the examining? Let's also examine his optic nerve, and his, and his, and his, all the way back to sightless matter.

Ah ha! I finally see that vision is an optical illusion!

64 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

great website. Glad I happened upon it.

8/28/2009 07:26:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

" The illusion is dependent upon the reality, not vice versa."

Bingo!

8/28/2009 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"In a way, we are all "optical illusions" until we see through the various layers of contingency and realize who and what we actually are."

As with the troll's prize illusion, he see's a color that isn't there, because it is right next to another color which, if you don't look closely, you can easily fool yourself into seeing something that isn't there to be seen. However, if you typically practice habits of honesty (virtue), a doubt is going to pop into your mind as you look at those colors ("wait... is that really a different color? Or just..."), and taking that as an alert, if you do look carefully, use some discernment, you will discover that the apparent 4th color, was just an appearance due to it's proximity to another color.

(About that optical illusion link, I thought it was interesting that the page only presumed 1 imagined additional color, a darker shade of pink; but on first glance it also appears that there is a darker shade of green too. Maybe an affinity for believing in an unwarranted significance of optical illusions, prevents you from seeing all the possible shades of appearances?)

I wonder if, in a similar fashion, the trolls suffer from cognitive illusions... one unexamined fact snugged up against another unexamined fact generates a cognitive illusion of an absence that isn't there?

8/28/2009 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Perhaps it's my training and experience as a psychotherapist, but the idea of arguing with a troll is entirely foreign to me. It just doesn't come up as a viable option. "

Yeahhh... I know. For the obvious trolls, I'm not arguing with them, I look at it as more of a form of contemplation via argument. I enjoy working my way back through the steps of understanding. For the troll who refuses to see the interior inferences, he can't play along at home, but on this end, I get to see the three colors burn that much brighter.

8/28/2009 08:50:00 AM  
Anonymous rackbabi said...

You had me at "sophistry"

...and by "had me", I mean had me laughing at the hypocrisy.

Not much coming from me today, folks...carry on.

8/28/2009 08:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Homer said...

Trolls. Is there anything they don't know?

8/28/2009 09:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Gazriel said...

Bob said..."Perhaps it's my training and experience as a psychotherapist, but the idea of arguing with a troll is entirely foreign to me. It just doesn't come up as a viable option."

The way that I frame it in my mind and life is fairly simple: awakening to and existing within the Truth, Beauty, Goodness, and Love of God is the ultimate reward. Everything else in life has become secondary, especially arguing with or trying to convince anyone else of the existence of the Holy. I would rather appear like a complete fool in their eyes while dwelling in the Heart of Reality than engage is such.

When I do this, I sometimes notice a subtle shift in the attitude of the arguing other, who is obviously in some form of need. At the Crucifix of Infinity and Eternity deficiency is no longer existent, and one can act from a place of over-flowing abundance, from the Fullness of Shakti, thereby transmitting that State to the ego-identified individual with the simplicity of their presence.


Let the Existent shine
In speechless pride
Through the Light in your eyes
Beyond the knowledge
Of simple mind
Unwavering in Silence
The scolding never diminishes
Only brings the Witness
Fully to life
Illuminating the Prize
Without even trying

8/28/2009 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Good point. Those who are spiritually fulfilled certainly have no need of this doctor.

8/28/2009 09:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Ron Cey said...

"So as Schuon says, "the only proof of hidden realities... is the realities themselves." (Yes, I fully understand that Schuon did not approve of psychoanalysis, but I see no evidence that he was acquainted with any post-Freudian developments; rather, he only tilted his lance at Freud, which is easy enough to do.)"

This is wishful thinking, indeed. Since the "developments" of psychoanalysis have no basis in tradition or revelation, then we can be certain that Schuon would "tilt his lance" at them as well.

It's a bit like using conservatives' ideas to argue for leftist ideas. Well, frankly, that's exactly what it is.

Do you think Schuon never encountered anyone who believed they had a novel idea or a develoment? As soon as he would trace this idea back to its essential guiding principle, refuting it was simply a foregone conclusion.

It is indeed strange to see an argument backed up by a man who was:
A Muslim
A Traditionalist, with all that that means--anti-modern world, anti-modern science
A lover of ancient cultures--with the utmost emphasis on the Plains Indians
A propent of the theory that all authentic paths (including Islam--indeed the vast majority of his disciples were Muslims--mostly born Muslims, mind you) lead to the same summit.
A believer that Jesus was one among many major Avatars.
A believer that realization comes from adherence to an authentic tradition first, and initiation from an authentic master second, and comes about in no other way. Any exceptions are those that prove the rule.
A believer that Monarchy is the best form of government.

You and he agree on, at best, 2% of his views.

8/28/2009 10:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Irony's a bitch.

8/28/2009 10:19:00 AM  
Anonymous rackbabi said...

"Trolls. Is there anything they don't know?"

An ad hominem--a textbook example of sophistry. It's beautiful, man.

8/28/2009 10:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Irony's a bitch, man.

8/28/2009 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

You might be a troll if:

You can't tell it's friday.

(Thanks Bob -- top shelf yucks)

(You too, Petey)

8/28/2009 10:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Toots Mondello said...

Raccoons call it ad homina homina homina.

8/28/2009 10:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Bill Russell said...

Heterodoxy is a bitch, too. I mean later, man.

8/28/2009 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

True enough. There's a good reason why Schuon's books are banned in most Muslim countries.

8/28/2009 10:29:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

rackbaby,

Hang around long enough and you won't know what happened.

8/28/2009 10:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Steve Garvey said...

And a good reason they are not understood in most other places. Too tough on weak minds.
At least the countries where they are banned (where this is, I don't know--certainly not Iran or Jordan or Pakistan), they understand that his views are a wholesale critique of their way of life. He offers no cafeteria plan.

8/28/2009 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger jp said...

Van says:

"For the obvious trolls, I'm not arguing with them, I look at it as more of a form of contemplation via argument."

I suppose that you can also investigate the properties of trolls using argument.

Since this is the troll's only natural habitat, there isn't really any other way to study them.

8/28/2009 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

JP said "I suppose that you can also investigate the properties of trolls using argument"

ehh... not in the same way though.

I've got to disagree, only because when I do it (and they're just going to love this), I'm arguing in its proper sense, working through the reasoning behind a position - trolls usually just spout dis-integrated assertions, insults, etc, and are usually both unwilling and unable (of course: troll = troll) to support their reasoning with much beyond a non-sequiter that amounts to "You're a MEANIE!!!" .

While that does tell us about them, it tells themselves nothing about themselves... well, nothing they'd listen to anyway.

8/28/2009 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Ultimately you want to get beneath the surface into unconscious fantasy material that links up the past with the present emotions felt toward me. But the key point to bear in mind -- for it equally applies to supraconscious realities -- is that the type of truth we are discussing cannot be proved, only undergone. And more often than not, a truth must not only be "undergone," but even suffered. For as Bion said, if one cannot suffer pain, one cannot suffer pleasure. The most profound truths are truly "catastrophic" because they leave no lie standing. No wonder people resist them! Father let this cup pass, etc.


Indeed, indeed, indeed and indeed.

Good post today. Sorry about feeding the trolls, since I certainly did my part yesterday. Speaking for myself, I don't do it for them, anyway. If they could learn from reasoned arguments, they already would. Every once in a while, though, they come in handy when I need to refocus.

8/28/2009 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

I see you've added Heaven and Earth to the reading list. DH just finished it a couple weeks ago, he said it was very good. Ours now has lots of dog-eared pages and notes, which I don't think he usually does.

8/28/2009 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger jp said...

Van says:

"trolls usually just spout dis-integrated assertions, insults, etc, and are usually both unwilling and unable (of course: troll = troll) to support their reasoning with much beyond a non-sequiter that amounts to "You're a MEANIE!!!"

Sometimes they use mathematics.

Ray was particulary good at using mathematics to simultaneously make assertions and arrive at conclusions.

He generally missed the point, but sometimes that's what happens when you rely a little too heavily on math.

I don't think these 2009 trolls are all that into math.

8/28/2009 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Unfortunately, it is not an illusion that the Dodgers held off the Rockies. However, there may be hope. Joe Torre thinks there are still five weeks left in the season.

8/28/2009 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

I see another of our leaders is claiming I’m racist because I oppose healthcare reform. Placing aside the fact for a moment that I’m not opposed to healthcare reform, but universal health care, I’m really growing tired of being called a racist every 5 minutes.
Not only that, doesn’t doing this every 5 minutes devalue a legitimate charge of racism? Actually, I’ve forgotten what one looks like it’s been so long.

8/28/2009 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

One of the most evil things about the left is that they trivialize racism, thus proving that they don't take it seriously.

8/28/2009 01:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If they could learn from reasoned arguments, they already would."

Keep in mind we've already established that one root argument is "a deity exists because we can simply perceive it, and you cannot". That's not a reasoned argument, it's an assertion.

"Thus, in insisting that we "prove" the existence of God, the atheist is asking for something that cannot be. "

Not asking for a proof. I was accepting that you perceived something, and asking how you know that perception is not illusory and represents what you claim. The perception of the extra colors is a real perception, and it is indeed based on reality. However, it is not what one thinks it is.

Van even supports the question -- he notes that when looking at it one may experience a doubt and an urge to investigate further (frankly, I think he pushes the honesty a bit far; I don't think someone who fails to investigate further is necessarily being dishonest if he says there are four colors). It would make sense that someone with this god-sense, if it operates at all like other senses, to attempt some questioning in a similar fashion.

In fact, asking how you resolve the possibility that this god-sense you have may be inaccurate is not an "argument". It's a question. You could have indeed said the god-sense is infallible and you simply know it is.

It occurred to me that the way one usually resolves illusions is by using another sense. One resolves that a hologram is not really what it appears to be by touching it, for example.

I guess, given your response, I'm supposed to take that you use your inborn beauty-sense to prove your god-sense is functioning? Though I'm a bit unsure on how great a distinction you'd make between a beauty-sense and a god-sense.

"as if the existence of illusions doesn't prove the reality!"

Sorry, you lost me a bit with this. I'm not sure how the illusion of something proves the reality of it.

8/28/2009 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

I’ve got Racism Charge Fatigue.

8/28/2009 01:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Cory said...

Maybe part of the anger that some exhibit at the very idea of God has to do with a sense that they are being slighted or demeaned in some way. I find anger and antagonism to God and religion manifested most powerfully among the educated and those who are better off than the common run of men. Perhaps they see the religious and notice that an awful lot of them come from inferior stations and classes and that many have attended inferior schools and they think that mere clods and oafs say they know God and some even say they have heard Him and a few to have even seen Him. And this rankles because in the years they have spent acquiring learning they never once experienced any sense of the reality of God. How can it be that the plumber/maid/bookeeper can know this and the master remain in the dark? There are only two answers and the one most turn to is that the knowledge is false and those who claim it are deluded fools or liars.

Certainly I find pride at the center of every evil. Pride is at once incredibly corrosive and confining. It also gives the illusion of expansiveness. Pride is a real killer.

If some feel that those who know God are somehow elevating themselves above their fellows they are very much mistaken. If you find someone "putting on airs" by claiming superiority because of their relationship with God you have found someone who is a liar. Because to be in the presence of God is to be elevated and simultaneously have revealed one's true place in the scheme of things. That last part about one's true place needs a lot of repetition to take hold (at least it does for me).

In recent months I find myself going thru a particularly painful process of repentance. Not about any one thing but seemingly about everything. My memory is almost acting independant from my will at times. My whole life seems to be subject to being dredged up - especially the more shameful and despicable episodes - and presented to me in a brutally candid manner. And these things don't just come up once or twice but over and over and over. I couldn't understand why until I found that on each occasion some new aspect of the thing was accented. And so I am presented with these things and apparently will continue to be presented with them until I have learned all there is to learn about the sins and transgressions of my life. I have been through "dark nights" before but this one is more prolonged and contains more specificity than any I have experienced.

This has not been fun. It has certainly not led to feelings of superiority or special grace. It has been humbling and at times painful. But I am just now beginning to - if not welcome these lessons - understand that there is much to gain by undergoing them. This is not punishment. Quite the opposite. it is redemption if I can somehow manage to submit meekly with humility and accept what is offered - which is true grace because in the background always is the presence of the Redeemer and His Grace and Truth.

If this is open to someone like me it is open to anyone and everyone. I did nothing to earn this and cannot claim any special quality or understanding or education that might have opened me to it.

Atheisim would be much easier.

8/28/2009 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

“But the key point to bear in mind -- for it equally applies to supraconscious realities -- is that the type of truth we are discussing cannot be proved, only undergone.”

It must at least include that.
I admit to arguing with trolls when I’m not making fun of them. Can’t deny that. Sometimes though, less than it should, it occurs to me that in addition to knowing that a person must undergo or experience God, it’s not a thing I can cause. I mean, honestly, how could such a thing be up to me. At best, I get to be around when He decides.

This is covered in John 3 & 4, I believe.

8/28/2009 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Cory--

You've hit on why so many intellectuals also hate the free market, because it renders them superfluous. This is why economic and religious libertarians are natural allies, just as are radical statists and the tenured.

8/28/2009 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Cory:

Humility is indeed the seal of spiritual authenticity. And your painful excavations ring quite true.

8/28/2009 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Well said, Cory.
Likewise, this was a surprise to me. I was looking for something, that’s as far as I need to go, but I wasn’t expecting to find what I did.

8/28/2009 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Cory,
I find anger and antagonism to God and religion manifested most powerfully among the educated and those who are better off than the common run of men.

I had a very similar observation this summer. I was visiting family, people whom I love that generally fall under the category of poorly educated and roughly lived, in a poor part of a poor town. In a lot of ways, their very neediness makes them more accessible to god. They have a lot more cracks to let the light in. By contrast, most of my husbands peers are very successful and very confident in their lives and their educations. Their very success makes them harder to access.

I did nothing to earn this and cannot claim any special quality or understanding or education that might have opened me to it.

I feel the same way, and you have my sympathies with the dark night. Sometimes, it's a comfort to know that you're not the only one who's been through it.

Back to the post,

We are not an error, only in error -- which is always a privation, not an essence.

It's easy to forget that sometimes, but again, a comfort when we do know.

8/28/2009 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Ricky, again, exactly.

Also, no matter how many times someone who knows observes that it will bring about upheaval, you never really believe it until you're in the midst of it, wondering (?!?!?!?)

8/28/2009 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger Russell said...

Hi all, first time poster here.

Something that struck me is how much alike trolls are. Not just here, but other internet watering holes I haunt too. Nearly identical M.O.s. Must be genetic.

Also, I was reading this on logic : "Why Learning Logic Is like Learning to Swim . . .

Imagine that you find yourself taking a lecture course entitled 'Swimming'. The lecture room is full, the instructor has her hands full trying to explain exactly how to swim. She has a heavy task at her hands indeed. In a couple of months her students will be taking an exam in a deep-water swimming pool. So she meticulously explains how each of the muscles needs to contract for the coordination to be perfect. Occasionally she reminds the students not to forget to breathe. And so on."

It's much the same with things of vertical. Talk won't get you there, one must undergo the experience before one can understand the comments after.

Otherwise, it's opaque and meaningless.

In other words, we are all Saul on the road at some point, and until we have our Paul moment, those Christian believers are just plain nutty.

So don't forget to breathe.

8/28/2009 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Russell:

Welcome home. In my book, I cite a rabbinical story about a yeshiva student who is asked if he knows how to swim: "No, but I understand swimming."

8/28/2009 02:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Stu said...

To Anonymous 1:23

God doesn't exist because we can perceive Him.

We can perceive Him because He exists.

8/28/2009 03:19:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

some PB on Dark Night of the Soul

8/28/2009 03:39:00 PM  
Anonymous goddinpotty said...

I can see that you are very angry with Keith Olbermann, Barack Obama, Ted Kennedy, "the left", scientists, "the tenured", and countless others. Can you say more about what it feels like they are doing to you at the moment?

8/28/2009 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

gulpingpotty said "Can you say more about what it feels like they are doing to you at the moment?"

Putting words in your mouth.

8/28/2009 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

GE - thanks, think I'll bookmark that.

8/28/2009 04:14:00 PM  
Anonymous George Costansa said...

"
Now, how did I know these things? I am not gay."

.....not that there's anything wrong with that..

8/28/2009 05:08:00 PM  
Blogger jwm said...

Hello all.
I've been off line again for a while, and showing up here is remembering clean air and clear water. Great couple of posts yesterday and today. Looks like another troll wandered into the One Cosmos mind-trap, and can't get away from the place. Isn't that just a mean kinda' trick to play on an atheist? Make him spend countless hours and half of his daily brain time, on God, and the annoying folks who believe in Him. Now the poor fellow is hooked. He can't turn on his computer without cruising by here to see what Bob, and everyone else are saying. Things happen for a reason.
But mostly I wanted to thank Cory for that comment. Hammer, nail head. I have that same experience of having the roving light shine on the dark naked places inside me. Yeah, it hurts. Bad.
Anyway. Great stuff from everyone the last couple days! I'm grateful that y'all are here.

JWM

8/28/2009 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

JWM:

I don't blame the trolls for coming here. After all, where is the leftist supposed to go for spiritual sustenance, Deepak Chopra?

8/28/2009 06:13:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Time Magazine analyzes Ted Kennedy's Quiet Catholic Faith/. This is a classic:

"Teddy's relationship with the church was uneven. He felt more disconnected from his faith after losing four of his older siblings to early and violent deaths, surviving a plane crash that killed one of his aides, and experiencing the tragedy and scandal of Chappaquiddick.

Who could blame Teddy for rejecting God after experiencing the tragedy and scandal of Chappaquiddick?

8/28/2009 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Bob, I guess this wasn’t the suffering you had in mind?

8/28/2009 06:57:00 PM  
Anonymous goddinpotty said...

Deepak Chopra? We can do a lot better than that.

8/28/2009 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

RR:

Takes some real chutzpah to blame God for the murders of JFK and RFK. How about blaming collectivists (Oswald) and Palestinians (Sirhan)?

8/28/2009 07:26:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

I don’t know how this Camelot label got started, but it seems to me, any normal person, especially a public servant, would have rejected that description long ago. Or at least asked them nicely to stop. Why they let that persist may “tell you all you need to know.”

8/28/2009 07:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God is only responsible for good things, like answering prayers and curing peoples' cancer and winning the Super Bowl. Assassinations are all the handiwork of liberals, who are Satan. (They are also responsible for country music, roaches, and hemorrhoids.)

8/28/2009 08:20:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

I suddenly remember the smell of breaking crayons.
It's been a long time!

8/28/2009 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Anon,
Do they still make those really thick ones?

8/28/2009 08:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll give you a really thick one you're welcome to take care of.

8/28/2009 08:28:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Back in your cell!

8/28/2009 08:43:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Back! Back, I say!

8/28/2009 08:43:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Speaking of chutzpah...

8/28/2009 10:29:00 PM  
Anonymous John Frederick said...

I of miss The Return of Scipio.

I've read the last two posts and the comments and think people missed an important concept that Gagdad Bob proposed in "The Business of Isness: What Is Is and Isn't" on Thursday, August 27. Gagdad Bob mentioned Gödel's theorem. From the link provided (to wikipedia): "Gödel's first incompleteness theorem shows that any consistent formal system that includes enough of the theory of the natural numbers is incomplete; there are true statements expressible in its language that are unprovable." Simply put, Gödel used meta-reasoning (i.e., making statements about a mathematical system from outside that system) using formal mathematical logic to prove his first & second theories. Specifically he used the logical tool of "reductio ad absurdum". How appropriate.

Do we abandon the fruits of 5 hundred years of mathematics - one can propose our entire modern world - because of the self-contradictory consequence of Gödel's theorems? Now that is truly absurd. Likewise; do we abandon thousands of years of spiritual awakening to "God's" purpose because of His self-imposed unproofability? That is not only absurd but is a form of suicidal devolution.

The 20th century's biggest political losers (and greatest murders) were socialism, communism, fascism and dictators. All four of these forms of government are anti-God in the extreme. Am I missing something?

8/29/2009 12:26:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Cory, that was an excellent comment. I concur 100%.

8/29/2009 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

John F.,
That's a good observation. If we didn't comment on the theorem, it's probably because most of the regulars here have seen it before. Bob has mentioned it in more depth in the past. That said, the very fact that we had already seen it (and therefore thought we "got" it already) means that we were less likely to pick up on the ramifications which you noticed.

8/29/2009 09:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You might not be "gay" (your word not mine) but you clearly have issues relating to your own self importance.
Plus you must know how mean spirited it is to use the word retarded to describe something. Retarded is a slur and shouldn't be confused with the word stupid.

8/30/2009 07:42:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Sorry. I had no idea I had a retarded sodomite reader.

8/30/2009 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Retarded is not a slur.
Retard is.
Ask any mechanic.

I wish Niggardly Phil were here (or however you spellit).
He'd know what to do.

8/30/2009 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Great post, Bob!

8/30/2009 08:48:00 PM  

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