Friday, February 26, 2010

The Cosmically Infrahuman Agenda of the Proglodyte Left

This is kind of a longish post -- gosh! -- but that's on purpose, since it may have to hold you bobbleheads for awhile. I'll be indisposed for a few days for a memorial for my recently departed father-in-law. It's what he wouldn't have wanted -- he was a passionate atheist -- but we're doing it anyway just to spite him. Carrying out his actual wishes was just too impractical: pouring his ashes into the gearbox of the Popemobile.

This is also a repost, since I'm pressed for time. But it's full of fine insultainment, so it should provoke the anonymi into their usual fits of lashing out at truth and reality.... Plus it has the usual editing to weed out heresies and bring it up to current standards of metaphysical comedy.

Another universal trinity as it pertains to man's vertical development is that of purification --> realization --> union (even though it is not exactly a linear process, since each is holographically in the others; in other words, purification is a kind of realization and union, etc.).

Perhaps these three phases can also tell us something about our collective history, which -- let's face it -- is either a process that is leading somewhere, or just horizontal randomness onto which we superimpose fanciful patterns.

Obviously I believe the former is true; and in fact, one of man's prerogatives -- one of the things that defines him as Man -- is the ability to think historically. In other words, prior to this or that particular history is the intuition of absolute history itself. We could not understand any history if we weren't embedded in this total cosmic-historical drama.

Speaking of which, Dupree alerted me to the most appallingly fatuous piece of scientistic gobbledygook on dailykos the other day. If anyone wants to know why I so despise the secular left -- why it is the mortal enemy of the Coon way of life -- perusing this infrahuman dispatch from the bowels of metaphysical ignorance and tenure would serve as well as any, for it reveals the ultimate premise and goal of the left in all its hideously naked barbarity, which is to turn man into a beast. Entitled Science Friday: You Are Not That Special, it reads,

"a pair of recent articles point up the folly of making tool use the test of humanity. It appears that chimpanzees had their own 'stone age.' Around the same time the pyramids were being constructed in Egypt, Chimps in West Africa were using stone tools to get at hard-shelled nuts. It's not only chimpanzees of the past who use tools. It's long been known that some bands of modern chimps use sticks to tease insects from their hives."

There, you see? This ignoramus looks at the vast panorama of creation and concludes that one of the seven wonders of the world is indistinguishible from a hungry monkey cracking open a nut. By this logic, Kos himself is nothing more than a grubby chimp poking his little joystick into a cyberhole to satisfy his animal impulses. Which, of course, is entirely true, but that's beside the point.

The beast in question then asks,

"how can you draw the line between us and them? Emotions? Language? The answer is that you can't. There are no lines. Deeply unsatisfying as it is to the desire to group items into black and white (a tendency also not limited to humans), all the answers of science are grey."

Oh, really? What could be more black and white than suggesting that there is absolutely no distinction between animals and human beings? For example, even my dog knows better than this. Frankly she is in awe of Dear Leader and his magical powers -- indeed, even of Future Leader and the mysterious Trail of Food he leaves in his wake.

This somehow omniscient kosmonkey then presumes to inform humans -- but how would he know? -- that "Your species is not that special. Reading the text of paleontology and history, there is no bold message of certainty. Winding back the clock reveals no inexorable march in our direction, or even the triumph of 'better' over 'worse'.... [H]uman history has been defined as much by fortuitous placement of natural resources as it has been by human action. You're the tail end of the tail end of a process that much more closely resembles random chance than progress toward an objective."

Furtherless, "Your world is not that special. Your planet is not located at the center of the universe. Neither is your star, or your galaxy. Perhaps most disturbing at all, as telescopes have revealed to us the enormity of space, both astronomy and geology have revealed the breathless expanse (sic) of time. We are not just insignificantly small items living in a vast ocean of space; we're living in a moment so brief that it's barely a single tick of a clock that's already run through millennia without us, and will not pause when we are gone."

I don't mean to dwell on this moronic diatribe, but it is important. Don't worry, we're almost done. He concludes on a bizarre note, by assuring us that

"No, you are not that special. And yet, you are a wonder, absolutely unique and irreplaceable. Your species is a wonder, gifted with physical and mental resources that provide boundless opportunity. Your planet is a wonder, swarming with life in infinite variety and complexity. Your universe is a wonder, based on laws so precisely balanced that the slightest variation in any of them might have caused everything -- space, time, and everything that moves through both -- to never have appeared."

Let's de-deconstruct this confused and vacuous elegy to nothingness for just a moment, since it does such a fine job of articulating the satanic agenda of the left, and presents such a perfect mirror image of reality, so that everything is precisely backwards and upside down.

According to Valentin Tomberg, all evolutionary progress in the vertical is accompanied by a sort of shadow version in the lower vertical. (Catholics know full well, for example, that the shadow of evil unavoidably entered the church with its inception; or one could go back to Genesis, in which man's very self-awareness co-arises with knowledge of Death, as it must.)

Will has referred to this as the "ape of God" -- not "ape" in the animal sense, but in terms of aping, or imitating. It would be perfectly accurate to say -- and all true theologians know this -- that leftism itself is the ape of the primordial doctrine. It is not analogous to, say, paganism, which, as Will has pointed out, had its role in the arc of salvation. After all, religion had to start somewhere, as does any developmental process. It only becomes pathological if the developmental process becomes arrested, if there is a regression to the earlier mode, or if there is a "fixation" or a "complex" -- a closed and bounded area that does not enter the stream of development, but becomes "stuck" in exactly the manner of a mind parasite.

In other words, a human being can be quite developed in certain areas but completely fixated in others. One thinks of Alan Watts who, on the one hand, could speak so eloquently and charismatically about matters of spirit, but on the other, was an alcoholic with a masochistic spanking fixation.

(This is a topic for a different post, but it is possible to provoke an influx of spiritual energy before one is prepared -- i.e., to have realization prior to sufficient purification -- which can severely unbalance the personality, because it's as if everything gets infused with the Force, mind parasites included. Hence all of the warnings against jumping onto the path unprepared or without guidance. Nor do I mean to single out Watts, for one could cite dozens of examples.)

You will note, for example, how deeply flawed were certain heroes of the Old Testament -- David comes to mind, or even a secular hero such as Alexander the Great. These men had a critical civilizing mission to accomplish, and behavior that was perfectly acceptable in Phase I of the Arc of Salvation would be entirely unacceptable in Phases II or III. We are called to a much higher moral standard, but let us never forget that the gulf between animal-man and Phase I man was probably even greater than the distance between Phases II and III.

In his context, David is as great a man as any who has ever lived. Who knows, perhaps even Mohammed can be better understood in this context, since his task involved the evolution of the nomadic animal-men of the Arab world into Phase I. Islam began moving toward Phase II some 700 years ago, but then pulled back for a variety of reasons. And now they wish to re-impose Phase I on the rest of the world, completely halting its evolutionary progress.

Back to leftism. It is not not just a fixation, a regression, or an arrested mode of development. Rather, it is in every respect a parallel, or "shadow" of principial truth. Let us review the sinister faith of the bipedal kosmonkey referenced above:

1) Man is an animal, fundamentally no different than any other.

2) Values are an illusion; nothing is actually any better than anything else (e.g., the Giza Pyramid is a stick in an ant hole and Shakespeare is Maureen Dowd).

3) Emotion and language -- or heart and head, meaning and truth -- cannot actually exist in any intrinsically human sense. My dog knowing where to poop or when it's time for a walk is fundamentally no different than the theory of relativity.

4) Nothing can be known with certainty, which is simply another way of saying that nothing may be known except falsehood -- which is no knowledge at all.

5) Cluelessly ironic though it may be for a "progressive" to say, there is actually no direction in history, no objective standard of measurement, no better or worse. Our unique Western values have nothing whatsoever to do with our extraordinary "success" as a culture. As that other fourteen-karat boob, Jared Diamond, has argued, it's just a matter of geography, disease, and fortuitous placement of natural resources.

6) There is no intrinsic meaning in the cosmos, much less in your life -- which is simply a tale told by a tenured idiot, full of sound and fury but signifying a cushy lifetime gig at taxpayer's expense.

7) The secular leftist takes an appallingly violent wrecking ball to the entire realm of the vertical, in that not only are you not special, but you are insignificantly small. Furthermore, the world is not special -- which of course makes us wonder -- but not really -- why all these leftists cheer the fanatical message of Al Gore, which is obviously premised on the doctrinal truth that the earth is of infinite importance; here again, a fine example of the "ape of God."

8) Neither human beings nor the planet are at the center of the universe, since there is by definition no center once the vertical has been demolished by tenured monkeys with sticks.

Again, the correct doctrine is that of course human beings are at the very center of the cosmic drama if viewed vertically. The center of a three-dimensional cone is a line that descends from the point to the base, not anything located along the base. Reduced from three to two dimensions, we are left with only a circle at the base. This is the self-imposed "circle of hell" inhabited by the the secular left, which they -- no different than the Islamists -- would like to impose upon the rest of us.

No, we're not done, because once the leftist has annihilated the vertical -- which is Job One for the left -- he performs a bait and switch, inserting the horizontal values of the left into the hole he has created with his clumsy monkey stick. This is where the "ape of God" comes into play. Some leftists are more slick and clever than others -- i.e., Obama or the Clintons -- but the kosmonkey is not subtle, to say the least. In one sentence he declares,

1) No, you are not that special.

And then, in the very next sentence, 2) Yes, you are a wonder, absolutely unique and irreplaceable!

As you folks with a rudimentary grasp of logic will have noticed, there is no way to derive (2) from (1), the eternal yes of life, love, hope, meaning, truth and beauty from the NO! of abject nihilism.

But here your troubles have only just begun, because -- to paraphase someone -- hell is the place where logic is rendered null and void, as in a Kafka novel, or the Keith Olbermann show. I will just end with something I wrote a while back, and let you draw your own conclusions:

"As Scott summarizes him, Michael Polanyi pointed out that what distinguishes leftist thought in all its forms is the dangerous combination of a ruthless contempt for traditional moral values with an unbounded moral passion for utopian perfection.

"The first step in this process is a complete skepticism that rejects traditional ideals of moral authority and transcendent moral obligation. This materialistic skepticism is then combined with a boundless, utopian moral fervor to transform mankind.

"However, being that the moral impulse remains in place, there is no longer any boundary or channel for it. One sees this, for example, in college students (and those permanent college students known as professors) who, in attempting to individuate from parental authority and define their own identities, turn their intense skepticism against existing society, denouncing it as morally shoddy, artificial, hypocritical, and a mere mask for oppression and exploitation. In other words, as the philosopher Voegelin explained it, the vertical is 'immamentized' into the present, expressing the same religious faith but in wholly horizontal and materialistic terms.

"What results is a moral hatred of existing society and the resultant alienation of the postmodern leftist intellectual. Having condemned the distinction between good and evil as dishonest, such an individual can at least find pride in the unblinking 'honesty' of their condemnation. Since ordinary decent behavior can never be safe against suspicion of sheer conformity or downright hypocrisy, only an amoral meaningless act can assure complete authenticity. This is why, to a leftist, the worst thing you can call someone is a hypocrite, whereas authentic depravity is celebrated in art, music, film, and literature. It is why, for example, leftist leaders all over the world were eager to embrace a nihilistic mass murderer such as Yasser Arafat, or why they so adore the anti-American, anti-Western, and anti-capitalist thug Hugo Chavez."

Let us stipulate that we are engaged in a cosmic struggle between human beings and monkeys with sticks, newspapers, academy awards, Supreme Court seats, UN resolutions, suicide bombs, tenure, and more. Choose sides wisely. It's up to you, but my advice is to choose the side for which the possiblity of genuine spiritual wisdom exists, and to steer clear of the side that ecstatically thrashes it to dust with its primitive tools.

99 Comments:

Blogger Ilíon said...

"so it should provoke the anonymi"

I once struggled with the question of a plural for 'anonymous.' My solution was dual:
'anonymoi' as a neutral reference;
'anonymice' as a disapproving reference.

2/26/2010 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Have a safe journey, and may God bless your father-in-law's soul. We'll look forward to your return.

2/26/2010 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger Gandalin said...

Bob,

I'm very sorry for your trouble. Please convey my condolences to your family, and may they be comforted with all who mourn for Zion and Jerusalem.

2/26/2010 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Condolences to you, Mrs. G. and FL. From what you've written previously it sounded like he was living proof that people can and oftentimes are decent and life-affirming even if they are sadly incapable of coming to know God in the way many of us have.

2/26/2010 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

In some of his parables, Christ asserts that among the redeemed are some who did not realize that he knew them and that they were his all along. To me, that is a great hope that even self-professed atheists may be among the redeemed.

2/26/2010 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

Thoughts and prayers to Mrs. G and her family.

That kosmonkey is certainly a piece of work. Still another badly educated modern person who has never run into the argument from reason (or didn't understand it if he did). His ideology is the standard leftist/satanic one, but it's seldom that a proponent is so utterly clueless as to loudly trumpet the ideology's self-refuting character - and not even get a tiny glimmering that something may be wrong.

I wonder what would happen if such people ever realized that that silly children's fairy tale they like to make fun of - the one in Genesis about the talking snake - actually analyzes and explains their own deepest motivations with merciless clarity.

2/26/2010 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Ilion,
Welcome.
Howja get here?

2/26/2010 09:36:00 AM  
Anonymous tasurinchi said...

The only thing that the lefty you quote was trying to do was mitigate the ego of the species.

It is good to mitigate ego, personal or collective.

Don't get all full of yourself. Respect the animals. They are "fur people." They have the same intrinsic value as you. That's right, scream and cry, but go ask the Big Guy and he'll say:

"Sorry about that. Your value is the same as any other life unit. No more, no less.

"I can understand why you think you're 'all that' with your mind and big ideas. But, can you be a dog? No? So what good are you then?

"I make everything, and everything is what I want it to be. You are not special because everything is special.

"Go forth and be yourself but don't throw your weight around talking S#$% about animals.

"Thank you, Child."

2/26/2010 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

Ricky Raccoon: "Welcome.
"

Thank you.

Ricky Raccoon: "Howja get here?"

Probably via 'Cartago Delenda Est ' I mean, definitely today I got here via a link on Matteo's blog, and I suspect that that is generally how I've gotten here. I've read a few posts here in the past, but have never commented.

2/26/2010 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

No, wait. Today I got here via a link on some other blog. I just don't remember which.

In any event, I've finally added 'One Cosmos' to the blogroll on my own dusty little unread blog, so I'll no longer need to rely upon someone else making me aware of an interesting post here.

2/26/2010 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Thanks, Ilion.
Always good to ask so we have something to "remember when" at the annual roast
40 years from now.
If you have a natural aversion to groups, memberships and clubs of anykind, you you will feel right at home here.
:-)

2/26/2010 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Ilion:

Welcome to OC, however you got here.

OC is about Bob's incredible posts, but as a sideline we often do battle with trolls for sport.

(And in the usually vain hope that something might rub off on the little blighters)

2/26/2010 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger debass said...

"Your value is the same as any other life unit. No more, no less." This may be true about you.
This is why Tilly, the orca, should be put on trial for murder and executed if found guilty. No special treatment for animals. He could hire a shark for a lawyer or one could be appointed to him. He wasn't mirandized, so he may get off on a technicality.

2/26/2010 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

RR: "If you have a natural aversion to groups, memberships and clubs of anykind, you you will feel right at home here. :-)"

That I do, indeed.

2/26/2010 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

NB: "OC is about Bob's incredible posts, but as a sideline we often do battle with trolls for sport."

So I've noticed, on both counts.

Also, I share the general OC dislike of 'anonymous' as a handle. Even when I may agree with what the anonymoi are saying, the fact that they don't pick an identity annoys me no end.

2/26/2010 10:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Kos writer has a much better grasp on metaphysics than you do.

If you can't even grasp the rather basic paradox laid out by that article -- that you are simultaneously special and not-that-special -- you really haven't had much practice in thinking. How can you even begin to understand the cosmos if you can't deal with baby stuff like that?

2/26/2010 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

How can you even begin to understand the cosmos if you can't deal with baby stuff like that?

See what we have to deal with?

Where the heck are the clever trolls?

2/26/2010 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

My condolences on your loss.

2/26/2010 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

You cannot grab a metaphysic.

Anybody knows that.

2/26/2010 12:17:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Anon:

Actually if you were ever bothered to read this site and the book it is based on you would learn that you are indeed very, very special. In a nutshell, the cosmos is all about us as human beings -- as conscious persons.

The great modern materialist fallacy has obscured this for many people, however some are capable of shedding this dreary shroud and seeing the light.

2/26/2010 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

"Actually if you were ever bothered to read this site and the book it is based on ..."

What's the name of the book?

2/26/2010 12:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And the other 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the universe are there, I suppose, to provide pretty patterns for us in the night sky.

2/26/2010 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

"1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars"

They're just rocks.

There's infinitely more complexity and meaning in your life than there is in every star combined.

Would it make you feel better if the universe was limited to, say, New Jersey?

2/26/2010 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Well balls of gas and plasma, not actually rocks. But you know what I mean.

2/26/2010 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

The universe is an amazing spectacle to be sure. But the truly miraculous fact is that you can actually contain that vastness in your mind. Consciousness is everything. If no conscious beings existed in the universe it would literally be nothing -- think about it. You can't think about the universe at all without importing your "mind's eye" somehow into the process.

We take life and mind far too much for granted these days. They are vastly more interesting than mere matter and physics.

2/26/2010 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Science can provide the facts but it cannot provide the meaning. This is where the Darwinians, left and right, stumble over themselves because you cannot construct a civil society based entirely on the thesis that "humans cooperate because it aids their survival" without hitting a brick wall of contradictions 10 feet out of the tool shed.

2/26/2010 12:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm quite fond of my consciousness, but I don't believe the entire vast universe exists just so I can be cognizant of it. That's sophomore solipsism.

2/26/2010 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

I don't believe the entire vast universe exists just so I can be cognizant of it

That is correct. It exists for people who appreciate being cognizant of it. Everybody else is just horning in on the party.

2/26/2010 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

Anonymouse: "And the other 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the universe are there, I suppose, to provide pretty patterns for us in the night sky."

So look who
thinks he's nothing

2/26/2010 01:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Aquila said...

Gagster,

Condolences to you and your family for your loss.

2/26/2010 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger Warren said...

>> You are not special because everything is special

Uh - do you know what the word "special" means?

2/26/2010 01:34:00 PM  
Blogger Warren said...

>> How can you even begin to understand the cosmos if you can't deal with baby stuff like that?

"Baby stuff" is a good name for it, I agree. Keep working at it, you'll get out of those diapers yet!

2/26/2010 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Anonymous:

Please use a dictionary before saying things you don't understand. Start by looking up the word "solipsism". I didn't say the universe was literally all in your head, personally (which is what solipsism means).

The point is that the cosmos is to anyone possessed of basic common sense tuned specifically for the purpose of consciousness.

There's not much point in going further. Either read the book and come back with any informed disagreements, or else don't bother coming here just to insult people and demonstrate your lack of depth on these matters.

2/26/2010 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger f/zero said...

My deepest condolences to you and Mrs G. Godspeed.

2/26/2010 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

NB,
You forgot “the disclaimer” on The Book:
…results may vary

2/26/2010 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

RR:

Heh. True enough.

Not everyone can handle the truth straight up.

2/26/2010 02:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, you know perfectly well what I meant. Unlike many of the commenters here, you don't seem stupid.

The idea that humans have the only consciousness in the universe and that the whole cosmos exists solely for their sake is an almost-exact analog of solipsism in individuals. Not completely exact, because while we have good evidence that other individual minds exist, we have not yet any evidence that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe. But given the vast numbers of stars it would be pretty strange if we were the only ones there.

If, on the other hand, the universe was expressly created just for humans, what are all those other stars for? Seems kind of wasteful, although I guess that's not an issue for God.

2/26/2010 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

So, Anonymouse, now that you've seen the silliness of you metaphysic objection, why not just drop it, as it's a pointless objection.

2/26/2010 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

I wish he would have resisted this hard when the left was indoctrinating him.
But that's why they go after our young.

2/26/2010 02:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Anon, if you'd read the book, you'd know that it takes 13.7 billion years and a whole lotta stars for the Creator to produce a conscious human.

2/26/2010 02:56:00 PM  
Anonymous God said...

Yes, you have no idea. It's not like building a fancy computer, I'll tell you that.

2/26/2010 03:01:00 PM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

If there be humans elsewhere among the stars, more power to them.

But given the lack of obvious replacements at the moment, I would recommend not wasting our own humanity.

2/26/2010 03:01:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Ilion,
The Book is Bob's book, One Cosmos Under God. It's in the sidebar.

2/26/2010 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

I'm going blind, or something. I assumed it would be listed on the sidebar, but I didn't see one that looked likely. And, even with the name, I'm still not finding it. I'm just not cut out for this getting old business!

2/26/2010 03:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liberalism, atheism, male sexual exclusivity linked to IQ: http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/02/26/liberals.atheists.sex.intelligence/index.html?hpt=C2

2/26/2010 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

It's the one right at the top, but under Bob's profile thing.
You can also search for it in Amazon.

2/26/2010 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"I'll be indisposed for a few days for a memorial for my recently departed father-in-law."

Ah. I'm sure we all suspected as much, our condolences to Mrs. G, the Gagboy and all else.

Safe travels.

2/26/2010 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ilion said "To me, that is a great hope that even self-professed atheists may be among the redeemed."

With all of the authority invested in me by... me, I tend to divide people into those who recognize the existence of Truth and the importance of seeking to conform to it, and those who deny it and seek to get away with lying and violating it.

The first I call 'incidental atheists'... they appreciate and support what is Good, Beautiful and True, they are guilty only of not seeing further implications - often because they hold a mistaken view of the requirements of rationality - denying the Divine only in an effort to uphold what is True.

Then there's the willfully atheistic who cling to and assert with virulently vitriolic vehemence (ooh... don't see to many occasions for "V" alliteration) opposition and mockery for all that is Good, Beautiful and True. Those ones, IMHO, are lost.

2/26/2010 03:57:00 PM  
Anonymous greybeard the reincarnationist said...

Putting people at the center of things is problematic.

The observable universe is a very big backdrop for one planet-load of pay dirt.

So, tho we haven't yet met the other intelligent occupants of the play-pen, its safe to assume they are there, based on the staggering size of the thing and the reliable nature of its laws.

Soooooo, we might as well assume we aren't the center or be-all end-all in the manifestion. One of many evolutionary situations, a
How should that affect our daily conduct?

Probably doesn't have to affect it at all.

Sure try on the big britches if it makes you feel good. But your fooling yourself.

Now go look at some birds and say "That bird and I are both owned by the same Keeper. I best behave myself, keep my part of the cage clean and at the correct temperature, and be respectful of others."

2/26/2010 03:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Classic: humans aren't unique, just "statistical outliars" -- you know, like an anonymous troll who can read without moving his lips or something.

2/26/2010 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

Van: "... I tend to divide people into those who recognize the existence of Truth and the importance of seeking to conform to it, and those who deny it and seek to get away with lying and violating it. ..."

I quite agree (and I gathered as much as I am working through your Dehumanism post).

2/26/2010 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Bob, I haven't read the rest of your post yet, but I'm so very sorry to hear of your father-in-law's passing. May God bless your visit, and comfort you and Leslie, and FL.

2/26/2010 04:12:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

"Liberalism, atheism, male sexual exclusivity linked to IQ"

That's correct. Monogamous atheist liberals have nothing going for them whatsoever except their IQs. Ever been to a Mensa meeting? Not exactly Funky Town.

2/26/2010 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Here's the obit. Readers who live in the Sarasota area might well have heard of him. Or perhaps even heard him, since he was a little like Sam Kinison when making a point....

2/26/2010 04:22:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Is it just me, or does the SA article read like an Onion bit.
It's like the people in the story forgot they exist.

2/26/2010 04:28:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

If they want to find out what a human being is, perhaps they should begin with introspection....

2/26/2010 04:32:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

He sounds from the obit like an impressive man. You and he must have had a few 'stimulating' conversations.

2/26/2010 04:33:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse said "And the other 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the universe are there, I suppose, to provide pretty patterns for us in the night sky."

Not to fall for your premise, but just for fun... every counted how many sperm are contained in one load of semen? Something like 200 to 500 million launched (numbers may vary depending upon the Coonishness of the launcher) so that just One will succeed... why are the rest there? Clinton and Monica aside, I don't think it was for the pretty patterns.... Oh... is that less than your '1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000'?

Ah. Well. Ever tally up the number of molecules needed to make up the One little guy that makes it, let alone those that don't? How about the number of atoms involved in that? Subatomic particles?

All of that just so that One will score? Preposterous! (Oh... wait... isn't that kind of a Darwinian notion? Oh... but there's that 'purpose' thing again... gosh that's annoying.)


Then how about tallying up the count on the womb side of things?

Or the number of brain cells on both sides lost to alcohol so that just one of those gajillion cells could make it home?

Go figure.

(Btw, Ilion... I've been enjoying your comments... I'll add my welcome as well. Don't forget the $1.75 (sorry about the extra .25... inflation) membership fee... and see Walt for the secret handshake)

2/26/2010 04:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Mrs. G said...

Thank you so much for the prayers and posts and emails. We are blessed beyond words to have the prayers and well-wishes of the most enlightened and kindest group of Raccoons this side of the Hudson :)

Please say a special prayer for us as we take our young 'un on four airplanes in the next few days.

I am looking forward to coming out of the closet religiously. I couldn't let on about my conversion to Catholicism while my father was alive -- more for fear of freaking him out as he had never been freaked out before than out of fear of losing whatever inheritance there might be ;)

And I'm very thankful that I was able to make peace with my dad. And that I'm in a position to offer some comfort to my mom. She loves Bob, and of course Tristan is the most effective distraction I've ever encountered. So I hope my mom's heart will heal and that she'll live a long and fulfilling life.

Many thanks and blessings,
Leslie (Mrs G)

2/26/2010 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

(Sheesh. Figures Petey and God would beat me to it)

2/26/2010 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

RR: "... It's like the people in the story forgot they exist."

As Schopenhauer put it: "... materialism is the philosophy of the subject who forgets to take account of himself.""

2/26/2010 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

Van -

It's so secret I haven't even shown it to myself!

2/26/2010 04:51:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

It's like the old riddle:
What came first? That quote or the SA article?

Btw, the quote is in Bob's book, though might be a litte rewordgitated.

2/26/2010 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Walt,
Think of one, fast!

2/26/2010 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Walt said "It's so secret I haven't even shown it to myself!"

Not only does the Truth protect itself... but so does the handshake!

2/26/2010 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ilion, the One Cosmos book link doesn't appear if you selected a particular post, only on the full blog view.

So many darn secrets protecting eachother... sheesh.

wv: imend

2/26/2010 05:03:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

A humorous take on this whole "Liberalism, atheism, male sexual exclusivity linked to IQ"

http://video.foxnews.com/v/4029327/greg-alogue-223

I saw this a day or so ago, I was wondering when one of the anons would pick up on it. Voila!

2/26/2010 05:05:00 PM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

Thanks, Van. I finally figured that out.

2/26/2010 05:05:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

Rick -

True art cannot be hurried.

But this is the one I use to say hello to my close troll friends.

2/26/2010 05:09:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Speaking of, there used to be a Raccoon dictionary there too, but the page count exceeded the number of stars in the universe.

2/26/2010 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Ok, Walt. But we only have 40 years to the next roast. I mean, first roast.

I have to say, you dispatch that young man as if he wasn't even there.

wv says deep porkshe

2/26/2010 05:14:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

This club of ours is going nowhere..

Success!

2/26/2010 05:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Van: I didn't make that number up, 10^21 is a good estimate for the number of stars in the universe. Considerably more than the number of sperm in an ejaculation, but are you sure you want to make that analogy? Every one of those sperm. more or less, is capable of fertilizing an egg and leading to life; are you implying that each of those stars has the potential to lead to life also?

I confess I can't see any logic at all in your other "points". Yes, brains have a lot of cells, what does that have to do with the fact that there are also a lot of stars?

2/26/2010 06:52:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse confesses "I confess I can't see any logic at all in your other "points"."

Such a surprise. Follow me on this. " I didn't make that number up, 10^21 is a good estimate for the number of stars in the universe."

That's fantastic. Ok, here we go, you said,

"Considerably more than the number of sperm in an ejaculation..."

Scroll back up and you'll see I said "Oh... is that less than your '1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000'?"

You see, that's meant to point out that "the number of sperm in an ejaculation" is less than your number of '1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000'. See how that works? Ok, moving on, moving on... I then said ,
"tally up the number of molecules needed to make up the One little guy that makes it, let alone those that don't?",

and then to push the number up a little higher, I said,

"How about the number of atoms involved in that?",

Now that's a significantly bigger number, and if you're feeling up to going a little past wiki, try this... and scroll down to Avogadro's number for the good part, but ... if you're not feeling too daring, I'll spoil the suspense, it's, 602,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (6.02 x 10^23)... but... since I didn't feel like calculating up how many grams of seedstock it would take to get a mole, I covered my bases by extending our calculations down into,

"Subatomic particles?",

you see that means... more and more and more and more. Are you familiar with subatomic particles? Those would be protons, neutrons, electrons... and then there's a whole bunch of new gizmo's also... gluons, muons... here's wiki... I didn't bother crunching #'s, but by scientific wild a'd guess is that I got your 10^21 covered.

Oh, and then you had this,

"... are you sure you want to make that analogy? Every one of those sperm. more or less, is capable of fertilizing an egg and leading to life; are you implying that each of those stars has the potential to lead to life also?"

Yeah... yeah... I'm pretty sure I wanted to do that. You see raccoon's are pretty good at getting into what's locked, and I figured that you'd likely say something like that. But if you look at what I said, starting with life (and that includes not only the fertilized egg, but the sperm as well), and then delving down into the molecules, atoms and subatomic particles which are not living themselves, but necessary, all 10^23 x n of them. Lots and lots and lots of non-living material, not itself alive, but allllllllllllllll of that stuff is required in order to bring even One life into being.

(and I don't think that they're there for just the pretty patterns)

"I confess I can't see any logic at all"

Duh.

2/26/2010 08:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Van, you make no sense whatsoever. I'm going to stop wasting my time trying. There seems to be something deeply wrong with your mind, although I couldn't begin to say what it is. You should get that checked out.

2/26/2010 09:04:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse squeaked "I'm going to stop wasting my time trying."

IOW, Run Away! Run Away! RUN AWAY!!!.

Heh... I guess that in aninnyland, disgrace is the better part of valour.

2/26/2010 09:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Whopper said...

Well Dad is across the Lethe and into the zone where things can be known.

He now knows more than we do. Like what happens after death.

But then again, eventually we'll all learn it too.

Unless death is just like unplugging the TV. "Bink" and it all goes black.

Nothing. Your'e just gone, brutha.

2/26/2010 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger phil g said...

Brilliant!!! Bravo!!!

Mrs. G,
God bless your father and pray he may rest in peace.

2/27/2010 03:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Atheist remind me of a Prince William or Prince Harry concluding their childhood and lives were pretty much ho hum average after all. Which would really only require a good dose of obliviousness at noting to put things into perspective.

SteveH

2/27/2010 03:31:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

If the premise is that humans are special I do not see how the introduction of large number probabilities would weaken the premise. Would not the opposite be true?

I apologize for the lack of references but I'm pulling this from memory of a distant reading. The window of opportunity for the Big Bang to have resulted in the survival of enough matter to form the known universe dispersed at precisely the right speed and distance to be around and able to coagulate into what we have now is 1 to a google number.

In other words, the probability against the formation of the known universe is incomprehensibly large. The counter argument is that if one had an eternity to make dice rolls that anything and everything is possible. Fair enough, but if I recall correctly Stephen Hawking in his theory of time book posited that the Big Bang had only one dice throw to get it right.

Even assuming I got this right doesn't "prove" anything but you would have to be a block of wood to not wonder about the possibilities of meaning.

2/27/2010 04:20:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, the odds are like walking into the Sahara blindfolded and picking the correct particle of sand twice in a row... It could happen.

2/27/2010 07:01:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Wait a minute...isn't it three times in a row?
Coulda wiped out a 3rd of the universe there..

2/27/2010 07:33:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

I cooncur with Peter's last paragraph especially.

2/27/2010 07:36:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Btw, I wish I'd said welcome to the other new commentors here too, lately. Peter, Warren, Jack. Hope I didn't forget anyone else.
With Bob's permission, of course..

2/27/2010 07:40:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

BTW, for our latest aninnies variation on the billions of lots of huge quantities determinimystically proving either that such huge numbers provide enough chance to create life, or proving how silly a notion it is that our life that's been created has any relation to the huge quantities of [insert feeble data pretext here]... well, as I said to aninnymouse,

"Not to fall for your premise, but just for fun... "

It's fun to watch them churning their little legs round the gerbil wheel faster and faster, but the notion that you can prove the creation and purpose of the system from details gathered from only within the system, having no experience or knowledge from outside the system, is a big, big, boo-boo.

The only thing you can legitimately posit from within the system about it's creation and purpose, is that it is here, and these particular things do this, and these other things seem to do that. To claim that since you know nothing of the outside of the system, it isn't there... or that it's details tell you all you need to know about it's purpose... is a big, big, boo-boo.

You can't start from counting the number of stars in the sky and pronounce on why the sky is there, or why the big number of them you count is so big it's makes you being there and counting them into nothing but a knowthing.

You don't use the details of experience to tell you what the experiences are for, but with the Reason which experience has enabled you to develop, developing, realizing and inferring hierarchy after hierarchy, integration after integration, forging an unbroken chain from the tiniest grain of sand up to the highest and deepest Truth you've yet conceived, to look not out, but in, towards what emerges as metaphysically true and necessarily so. And necessarily so, the answers you find are going to be general, this is the inner/outer boundary limit to which Philosophy proper can take you to. Aristotle can give you a few first rate pointers in his Metaphysics, on how to certify as a Sherpa guide to those higher Himalayas of thought, which boils down to: Existence exists, to exist is to exist as some thing, because we are able to know that we know that we are conscious. One cannot exist without the other, and each is necessary for the other to be known.."...even though it is not exactly a linear process, since each is holographically in the others...".
(break)

2/27/2010 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

(cont)

But Philosophy-proper can't take you further than that... to attempt to, or to discard what doesn't meet your demands, is infantile, or as Aristotle said,
"...Some indeed, demand to have the axiom proved, but this is because they lack education; not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not argues lack of education.... "

But that doesn't mean that you are barred from further knowledge, you can still reach first hand experiences of and to deeper understandings, but those experiences are found only within you, you can't take them out and pass them around for a scientific peer review panel to examine. You can't show them the landscape you see, only your description of your experience of it... using rulers and yardsticks you can only describe to each other, but never directly compare and standardize.

That does not make it untrue, only personal. And you can discuss your experiences and knowledge with others if you use language to its poetic best. And here 'poetic' doesn't mean fanciful, it is that mode of language best suited to such descriptions and infinitely deep integrations that are most likely to enable others to recognize the same features corresponding to the inner landscape when viewed from their perspective.

To the aninnymouses infinite aggravation, Religion is the most - in the proper sense of the word - scientific method for examining the deepest and most important understandings of what is so and why. It may be annoying to some, but hey, it sure gets their gerbil cages to a whirling, and you gotta appreciate the fun of that.

2/27/2010 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

Even were it not the case that the scientific enterprise has long been corrupted into scientism by the positivists and their heirs, one can no more use science to learn all the truths about reality than one can use mathematics to learn all mathematical truths.

Both of these are inadequate to their subject-matter. To progress requires something more than the working-out of the system/program, it requires a free-and-rational (and actual) mind.

2/27/2010 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

It's a bit late, but I'd also like to add my condolences to Bob, Mrs. G, and FL.

-

Van said:

"Then there's the willfully atheistic who cling to and assert with virulently vitriolic vehemence (ooh... don't see to many occasions for "V" alliteration) opposition and mockery for all that is Good, Beautiful and True. Those ones, IMHO, are lost."

If it's "V alliteration" you're looking for, you won't find better than in the movie "V for Vendetta"! Aside from that, I quite enjoyed it despite the leftist trappings.

2/28/2010 05:06:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ilion said "To progress requires something more than the working-out of the system/program, it requires a free-and-rational (and actual) mind."

Yes indeedy, and the active use of it.

2/28/2010 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Paul said "If it's "V alliteration" you're looking for, you won't find better than in the movie "V for Vendetta"!"

Good point, that would be a V alliterational tour de force... but in everyday life, it doesn't come up too often.

"Aside from that, I quite enjoyed it despite the leftist trappings."

Hmm... leftist trappings or traps for leftists? I pretty much only indulge in the later.

2/28/2010 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Speaking of movies, saw Gran Torino the other night.
I heard it was good, but not to the level of depth (charge) I expected. I suspect the Raccoons may enjoy it.
So…passing it along…

2/28/2010 08:02:00 AM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

Ilion said "To progress requires something more than the working-out of the system/program, it requires a free-and-rational (and actual) mind."

To my lights, its all a matter of attitude. People can see the glass half empty or half full. Those that see it half empty are not disposed to look for more, those seeing it half full would be looking forward towards more. My guess is those expecting more are more likely to wonder why and question their blessings. My two cents - FWIW.

2/28/2010 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

True enough, Tigtog. But my point is about the inadequacy (and pettiness, really) of modern science, even of modern science which hasn't been corrupted into scientism. Science is all well and fine in its proper sphere, but its proper sphere does not account for all of reality.

Also, since modern science isn't about truth, we can never automatically take the deliverances of modern science to be true -- any particular scienctific statement may be true, or it may not. In any event, we can't use modern science to determine that it is true; we might, at best, eventually use modern science to determine that it is false.

==
This post brought to you by "mingist" -- I think WV is telling us that one must use "mingism" to determine the truth of scientific pronouncements.

2/28/2010 09:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Double Whopper with Cheese said...

Unless death is just like unplugging the TV. "Bink" and it all goes black.

Actually, that's an excellent analogy for death.

Say you unplug the TV, or the thing blows a tube or whatever, and the screen goes black. Dead. Dead as a doornail.

But the program you were watching on that TV before it gave up the ghost--is it likewise dead? As much as you might hate it, for example, can you make American Idol go off the air everywhere just by pulling the plug? Nope. Can't stop the signal, at least not that way. The programs--the whole point of watching the screen in the first place--those continue even if you can't tune them in.

It isn't a perfect analogy, but it's close enough. Bob's dad-in-law, God rest his soul, may no longer have a place in the physical world--but if you honestly think a personality, a force, a SPIRIT like that one can be extinguished forever just because his CRT gave out, you've got another think comin'.

3/01/2010 02:07:00 PM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

Furthermore, via reason we can see that there is more to the human person than just the "CRT."

If *all* we are is wholly explicable, with no remainder, in terms of chemical reactions, and ultimately in terms of physics -- and, if atheism is the truth about the nature of reality, then that previous must be true about us -- then we would, and could, have no continuity of identity moment-to-moment.

Yet, we do have continuity of identity. Therefore, there is more to us than can be accounted for in terms of chemistry and physics.

3/01/2010 03:00:00 PM  
Anonymous NickyB said...

The article Bob quotes seems a classic example of compressing the vertical dimension of soul/spirit to the purely horizontal realm of 'matter', producing what Ken Wilber calls 'flatland'.
Flatland being a non hierarchical featureless, utterly relativistic valueless grey landscape.
In this landscape, a sage such as Aurobindo or Ramana Maharshi would be no more evolutionary advanced than Sadam Hussein. Clearly idiotic.
Man is also clearly something more than a tool using Chimp. Something profound and mysterious developed us into Human Beings; even Arthur C Clarkes 2001 recognises this.
For anyone to suggest that the Giza great pyramid is no more significant than a chimp digging holes with a stick is again idiotic.
To again suggest that you are nothing is only one part of the equation. Sages of all ages have also said 'That art thou' or Atman is Brahman or the particle contains the whole.
Good stuff from Bob in laying waste to this deeply vacuous and damaging secularist dogma.

3/02/2010 05:44:00 AM  
Blogger Scythemantis said...

Every word of this is pretentious swill. Your interpretation of the left is a needlessly demonized caricature (the right has equivalent if not far more repugnant flaws), you have utterly no clue what any of it is about yet boldly lay out what you WANT to define it as and seriously grasp at straws in the process.

You're deluded by hate and fail miserably to grasp what you believe you're deconstructing.

The left is not remotely satanic. Satanism is about self-worship and indulgence, liberalism is about freedom and fairness. Freedom and fairness can go too far, but the opposite extreme - the totalitarian hell-hole that conservatives work towards establishing - is far more horrifying.

3/03/2010 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

What is that..a form letter?

3/03/2010 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

No, it's a "Dear John letter" from someone who has taken leave of his reason.

3/03/2010 12:33:00 PM  

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