Friday, April 22, 2011

The Origins of the Origins of Political Order and the Purpose of the Purpose of America

Fukuyama begins his search for The Origins of Political Order with the state -- the state of nature. And although he doesn't express it this way, he is absolutely correct to locate that origin in our irreducible intersubjectivity, or shared being. He rejects what he calls the "Hobbesean fallacy,"

"the idea that human beings were primordially individualistic and that they entered into society at a later stage in their development only as a result of a rational calculation that social cooperation was the best way for them to achieve their individual ends."

As I explained in the book, not only did human beings not evolve as individuals, they could not have done so. The mere evolution of a larger brain would have been insufficient to sponsor or host our humanness.

Rather, humanness emerged as a consequence of the unique circumstance of runaway growth in brain size, which ultimately resulted in mothers giving birth to premature and neurologically incomplete infants. At the same time, the mother's defenselessness in the face of having to care for a helpless infant created and strengthened the role of Father, bringing the trimorphic family into existence.

Thus, in my view, the internally related family is the first (and very possibility of) political order. But prior to it is the mother-infant dyad, which is not really a dyad per se, unless only looked at externally.

Rather, this is a uniquely interior dyad. In the orthoparadoxical formulation of D.W. Winnicott, there is no such thing as an infant. Instead, there is a single organism -- one might say the quintessentially human organism -- with mother acting as the infant's "auxiliary cortex," so to speak, to translate what is otherwise an infinite and dread-prone space into thought, or nonlocal being into local existence.

I don't want to get bogged down in details here. Interested readers can check out my book, or peruse the psychology department of the Raccoon Store -- in particular, the works of Schore (hard), Siegal (easier) or Greenspan (easiest).

A more subtle point, but critical to psychoanalytic neuro-developmental theory, is that the thinking process itself is intersubjective.

In other words -- and this is bobvious once you look at it -- human beings are intersubjective with ourselves. We are always in dialogue with an Other, and sometimes it is difficult to say which end of this relationship is more "us." I would say that neither side is, because we are again dealing with a fruitful complementarity, not a vicious duality.

Put it this way: if we weren't "two," we couldn't think. But if we weren't "one" underneath that, we couldn't actually know anything. So one might say that the One is revealed in the bipolar space between oneness and twoness, which we might call the psychic Third.

This third area is where it all goes down for human beings. It is the actual space we inhabit, only (for most people) projected out into the world and reified. This is why one jaded person can be "bored" with the world, while another sees it as an unrolling theophany, the very garment of divine being. Both are fundamentally interior states, apprehended externally.

Where I believe Fukuyama errs is in failing to appreciate the spiritual oneness that underlies our existential twoness. As he puts it, "it is in fact individualism and not sociability that developed over the course of human history. That individualism seems today like a solid core of our economic and political behavior is only because we have developed institutions that override our more naturally communal instincts."

This passage is fraught with potential economic and political mischief. For while it is correct to say that individualism (which is to say, colonization of the interior) evolves with time and history, Fukuyama implies that it is therefore completely contingent and historically conditioned, which would be the postmodern, ultramoronic view of the tenured.

I cannot emphasize enough the arbitrary and self-defeating nature of such a distorted view of human beings. Yet, it is so pervasive in academia and in culture, that we are in danger of revoking our essential humanness as a result.

Again: human beings are two (i.e., intersubjective) only because the subject (and ultimately the metacosmic Subject) is fundamentally one.

But the oneness of the subject cannot be known or thought about until it bifurcates into two, e.g., thoughts and thinker, conscious and unconscious, Father and Son, form and substance, Absolute and Infinite, space and time, etc. What evolves is not the "individual" per se; rather, what specifically evolves and deepens is the process, which, in my symbology, reduces to O ←→ (¶).

Now, since the ultimate purpose of life is, and can only be, the sat-chit-ananda, or being-consciousness-bliss, of O ←→ (¶), it stands to transrationality that the best political order will be the one that makes this possible, or at least gets out of the way and doesn't stifle or prevent it. It will be the political order that quite explicitly begins with the idea that all men are equally endowed by their Creator with the liberty to pursue their happiness, which is again rooted in some form of matterimanyall engagement with the Real, i.e, O ←→ (¶).

This is why human life is uniquely and cosmically worthwhile, and why the state's first duty is therefore to protect it. Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness = Being Consciousness Bliss, deusrespectively.

The main purpose of the state is to accomplice things we cannot accomplish on an individual basis, which is to say, smack down all the deviants who wish to deny the human reason for being, either through physical or intellectual or spiritual violence.

Obviously, as Cosmo-Americans, we cannot support any state which undermines the explicitly spiritual assumptions of our having brought this great nation into being before its beginning (for in our end is our beginning, and vice versa). If the purpose of America isn't to facilitate the Adventure of Consciousness, then for what Good is it in the ultimate scam of things?

I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in Providence for the illumination of the ignorant, and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth. --John Adams

Nevertheless, I'm not completely close-minded on the matter. Liberals do make an articulate and passionate case for a contrary view.

99 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

...all men are equally endowed by their Creator with the liberty to pursue their happiness, which is again rooted in some form of matterimanyall engagement with the Real, i.e, O ←→ (¶).

In honor of the day, a few apropos words from the aptly named Father GoodWord (the second):

Jesus identifies himself here as the "bridegroom" of God's promised marriage with his people and, by doing so, he mysteriously places his own existence, himself, within the mystery of God. In him, in an unexpected way, God and man become one, become a "marriage," though this marriage - as Jesus subsequently points out - passes through the Cross, through the taking away of the bridegroom.

4/22/2011 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The one-two-three of things is clearly explained here, in the third, fourth, and fifth boxes under #1.

4/22/2011 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Bob says:

"Nevertheless, I'm not completely close-minded on the matter. Liberals do make an articulate and passionate case for a contrary view."

That video was pretty funny. I give them a revolutionary threat level of negative 1 on a scale of 0 to 10.

There is a problem with economic growth.

However, that's tied into the problem that we only have so much concentrated solar energy here, in the form of fossil fuels and nuclear fuel.

So, there is quite possibly a major problem with running out of fuel going forward.

4/22/2011 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yeah, in a few hundred years. If humans don't come up with a viable alternative by then, then they didn't try very hard.

4/22/2011 11:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Kepler_Sings said...

What is becoming revelatory and shockingly clear since the election of the great deceiver is there are two incompatible views of life of history, and America's place within this (His)story of human life.

Circumstance have been so arranged (Paul directed to Europe and not Asia in the 1st Century) that the argument between left and right, materialist-magicians, and the spiritual is no longer a theoretical abstraction, but is now out of the books, off of the chalkboards, and into real life. (The Word made flesh again, but in thousands not in just one)

Now our very lives depend on the lies of the Left being defeated, not just as an idea, but as anything that can be embraced by individuals, or groups, or ultimately by nations.

Only an idiot can fail to see that all of history was pointing to this time, that all governmental experiments from Nimrod and the tower of babel-bureaucracy, through all forms of tyrannical rule, to America. America is either the end of human history...and of humanity, or it is the placenta of the Kingdom of God on this earth.

We are in and a part of the Second Coming of Christ. Just as the first time...God did not preside at a distance over humanity, but injected Himself into humanity, and he came not from a place of position (born in a barn), nor from a place of desiring to Lord over anyone, but as a servant, becoming intimate with all the suffering, hopes, dreams, lusts, impossible addictions, yearning, and imprisonment in a body of sin. To open the pathway for all that deep down desire to commune with God, and that pathway is the same, through suffering, the door to heaven is opened. To overcoming a demonic horde which only serves to strip away the shell of the egg, a body of flesh...to the releasing of that which was growing and gaining in strength all the while it looks like the demonic, the lunatic Left was winning the day. The lies will be slain in plain sight, by the revealing of the sons of God...a work being done under the cloak of darkness, awaiting the cry of the Holy Spirit which is brooding over those that are willing, awaiting the cry..."Let there be Light!"

4/22/2011 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger William said...

The mere evolution of a larger brain would have been insufficient to sponsor or host our humanness.

An unsupported statement. Look deeper.

The skulls of a new creature begin to turn up representing the dawn of the human era, beginning around 2,000,000 years ago: Homo habilis - the first of these new creatures, a tool maker.

Homo habilis had an expansion in the brain size compared to Australopithecus. 400 ccs in Australopithecines to, 700, 800 ccs in Homo habilis. In Homo habilis, we see a major expansion of that area behind the eyes that points to an expansion in the cognitive capabilities of higher reasoning functions of the brain.

Why did this happen? One word: environment.

Evidence strongly suggests that it was rapidly changing climate conditions. We're not adapted to any one environment or climate, but to many. For 3,000,000 - years between 5,000,000 and 2,000,000 yrs ago, brain size was flat-lining, African climate was stable: dry getting a little drier. Then came 200,000 years of wildly varying climate, drastic predictable unchanges between wet and dry. Survivors had to learn and adapt.

During that time, stone tools appeared, along with the larger-brained creatures that made them. Africa was also home to many other human-like species and climate instability put pressure on all of them. Those that couldn't adapt died out, (i.e. Selam and Lucy's kind). Better problem solvers, like Homo habilis, survived.

They became us: HUMANS.

4/22/2011 01:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Nice theory. Wrong species.

4/22/2011 01:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

"Look deeper." Heh.

4/22/2011 01:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Al G. said...

I agree with William. There's nothing deeper than the environment. Except maybe gazing into John Edwards' limpid blue eyes.

4/22/2011 02:11:00 PM  
Anonymous scory said...

I suggest a reading of "One Cosmos Under God".

4/22/2011 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Bob @ 11:11 - Man, you're slow. I linked that article in the comments here at least a couple weeks ago! In fact, at the time I mentioned that item #6 was particularly good advice...

:D

4/22/2011 02:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Old Fart said...

Then came 200,000 years of wildly varying climate, drastic predictable unchanges between wet and dry. Survivors had to learn and adapt.

Heh - and yet somehow, the only species that managed such a neat trick was the humans. Simultaneously, crocs and sharks managed not to change in the slightest, and yet somehow the poor wee non-adapters made it through...

4/22/2011 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Such a theory is as unfalsifiable as climate change itself, hence not science. Or, maybe God started messing with the weather so that monkeys could get smarter. Yeah, that's it. That means "climate change" is good for us, so leftists should stop getting hysterical over it.

4/22/2011 03:00:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Right? If climate change resulted in bigger brains and smarter people, then by all means bring it on!

4/22/2011 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And if people actually improve as a result of challenges and stagnate in a comfortable environment (who'da thunk?), that should put the kibosh on the welfare state.

4/22/2011 03:11:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Gosh, you mean a lifetime of welfare for healthy adults might actually be doing them harm? And worse, it might be bad for the species?? Say it ain't so!

4/22/2011 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger William said...

Such a theory is as unfalsifiable as climate change itself, hence not science.

Perhaps you can take up your argument with the leading researchers in the field that support this theory through evidence, like Donald C. Johanson, the director of the Institute of Human Origins, who has 30+ years field and laboratory research in paleoanthropology. Most notably, he discovered the 3.18 million year old hominid skeleton popularly known as "Lucy."

A little education is in order.

4/22/2011 04:08:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The new liberal bumper sticker: Argue From Authority in Defense of Unfalsifiability!

4/22/2011 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

BTW, I never argue that these prosaic theories aren't sufficient to account for the unreflective minds of the people who are satisfied by them. But a higher mind obviously requires a deeper explanation, since there is no profound effect without a sufficient reason.

4/22/2011 04:50:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

I dunno, I think that slogan has too many big words that actually mean things.

4/22/2011 04:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Deep Purple Thrill Party said...

Kepler: Good stuff. This is a "fire-and-brimstone" sermon of the type favored by our early founders. Underneath it all your ideas are solid.

William: You have encountered here the stone wall of intuition-based belief.

We believe there is a soul or spirit inhabiting the human being that is separate and other than the evolved body and brain.

The theory I favor is that at a certain level of complexity, a condition met by the human brain, the soul will come it just like a hermit crab snatching up the right size of empty shell.

I believe a machine of a certain level of complexity will also become an ensouled entity. This view is not popular here.

But be aware this crew has tossed aside a reliance on intellect and now is powered by intuition. Go deep into your own, banish your natural skeptic, and the reality of the soul leaps to the foreground. It is the classic "Conversion experience."

God is real. Souls are real. Human beings are based in complex organic machines but are more.

Animals also have embryonic souls. This view is not popular here either.

Anyhoo....good luck to you.

4/22/2011 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

I understand the necessity of terms such as "human" and "human species", especially or maybe only when the discussion is strictly about science or medicine.. But I'm beginning to dislike them more and more when used in more metaphysical, theological, spiritual discussions. Or at least when those aspects seem to be the point of the discussion...when terms such as Man or people or person would be, in my opinion, proper.
I find it particularly grating when dudes like the dude in the American Digest linked video uses the term "new species" when talking about...better, new-improved, next, better than the old people, I assume? Better in what way? Man as such is so not like any other species it devalues him to levels he doesn't belong.

4/22/2011 05:08:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Tell me this was an accident:

"Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness = Being Consciousness Bliss"

Bob, if you presented those two (as one) before, it either didn't click at the time or I just plain missed it. Either way, that is truely great...

4/22/2011 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Good point: man is not a species but a plane of consciousness -- or at least the possibility thereof. Nor can man be surpassed, since his intellect is already conformed to the absolute, beyond which there is by definition nOthing.

4/22/2011 05:20:00 PM  
Blogger William said...

I never argue that these prosaic theories aren't sufficient to account for the unreflective minds of the people who are satisfied by them. But a higher mind obviously requires a deeper explanation, since there is no profound effect without a sufficient reason.

Comprehending several intersecting streams of scientific evidence that all point to the same conclusion is contingent on understanding the science itself. You don't look to a metaphysical creationist philospher to explain such science. Their livelihood is dependent on science denial, and promoting conspiracy theories and paranoid agendas aimed at discrediting scientists and the scientific community.

4/22/2011 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Rick -- just came to me at the same instant I was writing it. I even had to read it to make sure it made sense. I had in the past (in my mind) connected life/being and consciousness/freedom, but not ananda bliss/pursuit of happiness.

4/22/2011 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

"You don't look to a metaphysical creationist philospher to explain such science."

We agree! You can leave now.

4/22/2011 05:26:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Rick - thanks for pointing that out; somehow I missed it this morning. One of those wonderful gems that's been hiding in plain sight. Kind of like an Easter Egg :)

4/22/2011 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

By their fruit you will know the founders..
I guess Nicholas Cage was right, the Declaration of Independence is encoded!

4/22/2011 05:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Old Fart said...

Whaddaya know - William can read big words. Too bad he didn't bother to actually read or comprehend the post, though, given that the straw man he seems to be flogging today is that stuff evolves, which nobody has denied...

4/22/2011 05:41:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Speaking of the Founders, (that's a great quote by Adams) and Julie and Will's discussion of what's wrong with cities from a couple of days ago, I remember reading that Jefferson and Adams disliked cities a great deal. Like to visit but..

4/22/2011 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Did we talk about cities?

Is this... what day is it???

4/22/2011 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

How one might regard the significance of William's "for big-brains are caused by climate change" argument. An illustration:

Dave hits Bob with a hammer, hands the hammer to Bob. Bob then hits Steve with a hammer, hands the hammer to Steve. Steve thinks it's all Bob's falt.

Observers might conclude there'd be no trouble if it weren't for Dave. Dave is most interesting. Dave deserves more study.

4/22/2011 06:08:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Julie,
Some of the first comments on the post of the 19th.

4/22/2011 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Oh, that discussion.

:D

Thanks.

4/22/2011 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Yes. I can't remember where I read about that dislike by Adams and Jefferson. Maybe it was in "John Adams" which I think, Bob, are you still reading it? Maybe you'll run across it. I don't remember specifically why they didn't or if their reasons were discussed in depth. I'd bet it had to do not only with their personal tastes and "happiness" but what they thought was good for man in general.

4/22/2011 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger William said...

Obviously, as Cosmo-Americans, we cannot support any state which undermines the explicitly spiritual assumptions of our having brought this great nation into being before its beginning

Our Founders based America's governance and system of justice on so-called 'common law.'

Interesting to note that Jefferson rejected the idea that common law came from Christian or spiritual foundations:

"For we know that the common law is that system of law which was introduced by the Saxons on their settlement in England . . . This settlement took place about the middle of the fifth century. But Christianity was not introduced till the seventh century . . . Here then, was a space of two hundred years, during which the common law was in existence, and Christianity no part of it."

4/22/2011 06:37:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

I'm always forgetting... How many centuries after Christ was the fifth century?

(just kidding William)

4/22/2011 06:41:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

What to make of a materialist who insists on arguing with a metaphysical creationist philosopher, when we've already conceded that materialism explains him?

4/22/2011 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And anybody who wants to live in 5th century England is welcome to it.

4/22/2011 07:05:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

(Oops - I only just realized that in my first comment I wrongly called Benedict the second; got my Papal suffixes mixed up. JP was II, Benedict is XVI. Small detail, but at least I fixed it...)

4/22/2011 07:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nor can man be surpassed, since his intellect is already conformed to the absolute, beyond which there is by definition nOthing.

Wow...really? So there can be nothing superiro to man, and no country better than the US. We are certainly priveleged to exist here at the apex of creation, although such a thought might give a more cautious mind some pause -- perhaps you are suffering a wee bit from perspectival bias? You don't think there where people like you in every culture that ever was, convinced that they themselves are what the entire universe has been constructed to achieve?

Or perhaps you just have an extremely limited imagination, mixed with a preening self-regard that is the antithesis of an authentic spirituality.

William: you are wasting your time if you think you will be able to penetrate the impregnable wall of defenses these bozos have erected around their belief system.

4/22/2011 08:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Extreme Eire said...

Anon, William, other dissenters.

It is true. The spirit "raccoons" cannot mount a decent rebuttal; they immediately reject/retreat, or lash out. Their answers are ciphers and riddles that seem asinine or obtuse.

BUT

That's not to say their position is without merit; it's just that language fails them. What they want to say is too directly experiential to express.

You see how the blog auther experiments with symbols in a struggle to express things.

He and they are at a loss. Humans are just not made to communicate between themselves outside of language.

Is God real? I think so, based on experience. I cannot transmit my experience to you. YOu must get your own.

Should William give up on trying to argue the scientific case here? Yes. It won't fly.

The real problem here is also the blog author's peculiar monomania against tenured educators. He seems OK until you touch on the subject and then he wanders off the tracks.

Something has happened to the man. I intuit a problem with his father is the root cause but I don't want to get into it. It would be unseemly.

Soooooo. Yes. The take home message is: God is real. Bank on it.

4/22/2011 09:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Old Fart said...

Yes, folks, you have us pegged precisely. Every bit of it. And just imagine the stuff you don't know - I'm sure you'd be shocked and appalled beyond all measure. Heck, I find myself shocking and appalling most of the time.

Perfectly understandable, really.

The real mystery here is why anyone who sees through us so clearly would choose to stick around?

The true teacher had it right, you know: Shake the dust off your sandals, friends, and leave us to our wretchedness. Rest assured we'll be wishing we had it so easy as the sodomites and gonnorheans. For you came to us with benedictions, offering the blessing of your penetrating insight, and we dared to laugh.

So you see, there's no need for you to waste any more precious energy or thought on us. God will sort us out.

4/22/2011 09:47:00 PM  
Blogger William said...

Wow...really? So there can be nothing superiro to man, and no country better than the US. We are certainly priveleged to exist here at the apex of creation, although such a thought might give a more cautious mind some pause -- perhaps ...convinced that they themselves are what the entire universe has been constructed to achieve?

Or perhaps you just have an extremely limited imagination, mixed with a preening self-regard that is the antithesis of an authentic spirituality.


Nailed it.

The..."Ain't we special" syndrome. Created in the creators image ... after all.

Take a look at that perspective from the outside in. Arrogant and narcissistic would be an understatement, but as anon had said, perhaps merely the result (of dogma and) a limited imagination, firmly rooted in the preoccupation with humanity and our own spawn on this tiny point of light. Generally smacks of a lack of perspective.

4/22/2011 09:51:00 PM  
Blogger Kurt said...

It's interesting , Bob, how when you present a powerful post like today's it attracts, well, opposition shall we say? This is one of those posts that I am going to have to copy-paste and chew on for a bit. Thanks, amigo.

Kurt

4/22/2011 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

William, you forgot "Sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot."

Let me know if you need help coming up with more epithets.

4/22/2011 09:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

It's nice that Bob has gotten William and Anonymous together. I knew they'd make a wonderful couple.

4/22/2011 10:33:00 PM  
Blogger William said...

Julie,
Your strawman is weak. You can put it away now.
Thanx,

4/22/2011 11:19:00 PM  
Blogger Jules said...

My comment:

@William, you are a sad materialist fool, my friend. And so predictable in your compulsive desire to smack down other people's sense of spirituality and the richness of life.

If as a marxist lecturer in Paris once said, "we are all nothing but bags of greasy water", and impressionist art, da vinci, mystical experiences, near death experiences, christianity, hinduism, buddhism, love, awe when looking at the stars, inventions, bach's music etc are all delusions lulling us into: that dastardly state of mind where we actually sense we are of divine origin and the universe has a purpose, then -

by all means live with you recycled dishwater philosophy, but don't impose it on us.

And by the way, I'm an Aussie and I also beleive America has a special place in the world - to enlighten and liberate. It could have become just a clone of feudal and mediocre Europe (where I lived for over 20 years) but instead, threw out the Brits and proceeded to write the most spiritual and simple constitution that I know of. Compare it to Giscard's European constitution attempt - 200 or more pages of statist PC tripe. Which the Euros suprised me in rejecting.
The USA is the last man standing versus tribal and psychotic Islam, as well as being a quantum leap ahead of just about every country in the world, in terms of standard of living, freedom of speech, the number of people who refuse to be told what to think and I could go on.

Maybe you should get out of acedemic /hollywood/ wherever you are circles - travel the world and see people with American flags in Iran, Ossetia, even PAris suburbs. America represents freedom of speech, freedom of association, of movement, the right to get rich, freedom from random violence from the state or gangs. Yes America is not perfect (uh -duh), but if you think it is so unexceptional, I'm sure a Somali, or someone rotting in a Paris ghetto or in Moscow would love to swap with you !

4/23/2011 06:36:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Thank you, Jules. It is the oddest of charges that I am somehow "close-minded," when I once believed everything William and Anonymous and the rest of the herd of leftist conformists do, and it is only -- thank God -- because my mind remained open that this is no longer the case.

Nor was it a sudden change in either direction. I carefully studied my way into stupidity (after all, I do have 12 years or so of higher education), so it took years to climb back out. And it is as clear as anything in my life that I could never have climbed my way out in the absence of divine assistance. On my own I would have only plunged more deeply into illusion, but tried to console myself by associating with fellow lost souls congratulating ourselves on how much more enlightened we are than those religious boobs/fascists.

4/23/2011 07:52:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Jules - that was beautiful. Thanks for the perspective.

William - I'd be happy to put it away, except I really don't know what straw man I'm using. It's hard to keep track sometimes. And they can be so tough to dismantle! Maybe you can help me out here (I'm just a girl, after all), what argument did I make that isn't based in reality, and how do I take that sucker apart? Because I am here looking for truth, and I don't want to waste my life supporting the lie.

Unless, of course, you're referring to all those comments where I'm pretty much just yanking your chain. In which case, thanks for playing!

4/23/2011 08:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Odd that these pre-ironic trolls affirm the truth of their perishable little Darwinian myth of human origins while simultaneously belittling the capacity of arrogant little human monkeys to know the truth of their origins. That is what we call an uninspiraling and absircular argument. In a closed cosmos, the mind too must be ultimately closed. It cannot possibly know its own truth, and just generates absurdity and paradox when it tries.

4/23/2011 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Oh, and William, since you seem to think we should respect your opinion, let me just say it is as appreciated here as would be a commenter at your place, popping up every now and then to advocate the superiority of running with the Wii in the living room over the comparative lameness of running a marathon, because the Wii is more technologically advanced.

4/23/2011 09:15:00 AM  
Anonymous The Debate is Over said...

Global Warming is Man-made!

4/23/2011 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

" the best political order will be the one that makes this possible, or at least gets out of the way and doesn't stifle or prevent it. It will be the political order that quite explicitly begins with the idea that all men are equally endowed by their Creator with the liberty to pursue their happiness, which is again rooted in some form of matterimanyall engagement with the Real, i.e, O ←→ (¶).

This is why human life is uniquely and cosmically worthwhile, and why the state's first duty is therefore to protect it. Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness = Being Consciousness Bliss, deusrespectively.

The main purpose of the state is to accomplice things we cannot accomplish on an individual basis, which is to say, smack down all the deviants who wish to deny the human reason for being, either through physical or intellectual or spiritual violence. "

Nicely put.

Kepler_Sings a soaring aria @4/22/2011 01:24:00 PM, very nice.

And it's flattened opposite rapped out by wilian right afterwards at 4/22/2011 01:43:00 PM.

Syncoonistically illustrating Dei & night.

wilian "A little education is in order."

Correct. The very little education you received is precisely the problem we face today.

aninnymouse said "Wow...really? So there can be nothing superiro to man, and no country better than the US. We are certainly priveleged to exist here at the apex of creation..."

As Gagdad said, you are free to live at the lowest level you conform to.

wilian said" Take a look at that perspective from the outside in. Arrogant and narcissistic would be an understatement"

Translation "How dare you question our absolute certainty that we can't be certain of anything! Who are you dare to question our knowledge that nothing can be known?! There is no Truth! It's true, so stop questioning us! We have men who've studied fossilized bones for decades! That's how much we know for certain that no one can know anything apart from the fact that we know less than everyone else! Fools!"

How boring.

4/23/2011 01:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Bardoll for HIre Cheap said...

Well, still...

What exactly is your response to the materialist?

We see utilitarian statements about the advantage of a spiritual life, we see tangential arguments for the pre-eminenince of spirit over matter, but somehow nothing that really goes for the jugular.

The final response is to ask the materialist to cease his pleading at the site.

It would be a great stride forward if someone could present irrefutable evidence for God that would shut down the materialist philosophy altogether and banish it to the realm of alchemy and astrology.

I believe such evidence is possible and may be forthcoming within the next 100.

Be thinking about it.

4/23/2011 09:52:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

boffo the cheap ho said "if someone could present irrefutable evidence for God that would shut down the materialist philosophy altogether "

If anyone ever produces irrefutable evidence which takes all choice and error out of your judgment, the only thing you can be sure of is that it is wrong.

The only unquestionable, irrefutable evidence we can have, is for material facts. The world you want to live in is the world without the possibility of error - that's a world for computers, Dominos and other never living, never conscious objects. Domino's fall according to laws of physics, not choice, judgment or faith, and in the material world there is no error just as there is no things whatsoever - stuff just is.

Truth requires the ability to be in error and conscious awareness could not exist without it. Living conscious human beings will always have to examine and weigh the evidence and draw their own conclusions.

To seek to escape the possibility of error, is to seek to escape life.

But you probably already knew that. Deep down.

The nice thing about Truth, is that no matter how often you err, once you do come to it, your errors no longer matter.

Happy Easter.

4/23/2011 11:58:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The existence of God can be easily proved; as can its converse, the non-existence of God. As to the first, the deeper question is, what kind of God, and what are you going to do about it? As to the second, there is no question worth asking (and none that can be ultimately answered anyway) and nothing to do about it.

4/24/2011 07:46:00 AM  
Blogger William said...

julie,
Since you asked... I hope maligning me as a "sad materialist" brings enrichment to your life and provides protection from facts I've discussed here that you may not like. I am not a materialist and am far from sad.

The 'things' that are important to me are certainly not material... like playing Bach, sprinting 400 meters in 56 sec at age 50+... I drive a 22+ yr old Civic, not because I can't afford something better, but because such 'things' are not important.

Whatever it is in us humans that gives us the spark and motivation to create and achieve, it is in all of us.... some more than others. That, and the quest for knowledge and truth, is what is spiritual to me.

4/24/2011 07:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Why in the world would someone in search of creativity, truth, and spirit come here? It makes no sense.

4/24/2011 08:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Memo to William:

In all honesty, your quest for truth is catastrophically off course, for which reason your creativity is nil and your rhetoric vacuous when not malignant. There is, however, time to adjust and reorient. We say this on the assumption that a person who values truth wishes to hear it unvarnished.

4/24/2011 08:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Poderoso Pendejo said...

Petey:
I question whether unvarnished truth serves the cause well.

The materialist who visits this site is actually the most important commenter of all. He may actually make some progress if you don't rebuff him casually.

The materialist, first off, must be reassured that indeed God is not readily apparent in the world. We all know that.

You must advise him to dig within himself to get even the barest taste of the Divine. And yet it is there.

This is the vital information to to give to the materialist. You are loved; you matter; you can have more by going within.

He is not malignant or off course. He is actually on the scent just by being here.

Don't fail your mission by standing in judgement of the seeker. That is not your job. Your job is to influence.

That's all. Peace out.

4/24/2011 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger William said...

Thanks Petey, as always, I will try to better. In your opinion, I guess that means adopting science denial and shunning that "Darwinian Myth" as you put it?

Thanks for the advice.

4/24/2011 08:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

You have learned nothing here -- indeed, the opposite of what is promulgated -- bound as you are by the groundless categories that condemn your mind to contemplating trivia and then boasting about it.

4/24/2011 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

William,
No one denies science here. Only it's capacity to explain "everything". As in, mathematics can tell us nothing about biology. At least not anything about what capacities biology has over mathematics.

4/24/2011 08:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

PP:

The purpose of this blog is not to argue with anyone, much less convert them to our way of thinking. Those who are helped will return, while those who are not helped will never leave, but for reasons that escape us.

4/24/2011 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

"To be stupid is to believe that it is possible to take a photograph of the place about which a poet sang." --DC

4/24/2011 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

As far as I could tell from your original post you were suggesting that human consciuosnes or self-awareness was caused by sudden dramatic change in climate causing brains to grow larger and larger brains increase or cause self-awareness. I wouldn't deny they may be linked based on those being facts. If these events did in fact happen at the same time I would likely conclude that the capacity for self-awareness pre-existed in the human design rather than in the climate change. So, I'm more interested in how the pre-exsistant capacity came to be.

4/24/2011 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

William is lying to himself about not being a materialist. His very first comment here was in the context of his passionate support of abortion, which he incoherently justifies on the basis of his first principle:

"What makes us human is our brain."

4/24/2011 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Tsk, tsk, William - while I agree that you are a sad materialist, those weren't my words. If you're going to take me to task, at least try to stick to my particular crimes. And I'm still waiting for the devastating take-down of my "straw man" arguments.

In the meantime, I'll address your words:

While you claim that you are far from sad, if that's the case one wonders why, if your life is so satisfying for you, you would bother to waste any time or energy pretending to vanquish a bunch of "anti-science" (*snork*) "creationists" with your "superior" "discourse" (those last two were "scare quotes," just be clear).

Surely all that sprinting provides you with enough of an outlet for your biological imperative to compete; you've got the paid-for house, a nice girl, a dog, and the social status you presumably want. But for some bizarre reason, none of that is enough to keep you from hanging out here and harassing a bunch of strangers who just don't care what you think.

Seems to me your life isn't as fulfilling as you want to think it is...

4/24/2011 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Oh, and William - In all sincerity, Happy Easter. May a mustard seed fall into your cracked pot and find enough nourishment to grow into something wonderful*.

(*Though if it does, I don't envy you the experience. God Bless!)

4/24/2011 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger William said...

" There must never be the least hesitation in giving up a position the moment it is shown to be untenable. It is not going too far to say that the greatness of a scientific investigator does not rest on the fact of his having never made a mistake, but rather on his readiness to admit that he has done so, whenever the contrary evidence is cogent enough."
— Sir William Bayliss

Things that are not possible to prove conclusively can be subject to intelligent speculation and scientific probability. i.e. Adam & Eve vs. panspermia

4/24/2011 09:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

It is good that you have acknowledged your error, but this is only the beginning.

4/24/2011 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

William, I accept your apology.

4/24/2011 09:05:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I too, assuming it is sincere.

4/24/2011 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Yes.
Isn't it funny, it feels like only Friday we were having this discussion about "What is Truth?"

I think William is getting facts and Truth confused. Darwin is to facts as Genesis is to the significance of them.

4/24/2011 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

In our metaphysic, Truth is the highest principle. Or, to paraphrase, Schuon, there can be no higher privilege than truth. Once one understands this, the rest falls into place -- or at least any number of impediments are cleared away.

4/24/2011 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

wilian said "I drive a 22+ yr old Civic, not because I can't afford something better, but because such 'things' are not important."

'Oh... I am sooo much more humble than you are.'

As if materialism had anything to do with purchasing materials.

marxist.

If you are intrested in the Truth, try looking for it where it can be found, not in the things you can find... or out run. Truth is no more found in facts, than your true destination is found in an address. Look up as you walk or you'll fall in a hole.

4/24/2011 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

By the way, Nacho Libre is on TBS. Right now.
Nachoooooo!
Super-man, Batman, Nacho, all good.
Specially for the little ones.
Get your strechy pants.

4/24/2011 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Van:

The modern materialist tends to replace spiritual health with physical health, and to replace virtue with conformity to correct beliefs about the environment, e.g., "I recycle therefore I am virtuous." But virtue is a struggle against the self, not indulgence in the cheap grace of feel-good political beliefs.

4/24/2011 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Rick:

Speaking of self-mastery, if you liked the Adams bio, you'll love the Hamilton. What an extraordinary story of rising above one's circumstances! It is entirely fitting that one of the Big Six founders came from nothing and nowhere.

4/24/2011 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I also think about how harmful it would have been to Hamilton's character if he had been passed along like Obama, and made to feel special for his mediocrity. He represents the ultimate inversion of meritocracy.

4/24/2011 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

So is Mary Poppins.

I find myself much more in agreement with Mr. Banks these days, than Poppins. A veritible pied pieper of destruction, she was. And Mrs. Banks' cheery "Let's go demonstrate and throw things at the Prime Minister!".presented as daring, harmless and good intentioned.

Oh... what they threw away....

The London England they rode upon and sucked the blood out of left the it the sort of place even Python's have abandoned for a Bath,... as Theodore Dalrymple could tell you.

4/24/2011 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Which I guess is the point of liberalism: equality but no excellence.

4/24/2011 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Thanks Bob.
Which Hamilton book?

4/24/2011 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The left's anthem: "Just a spoonful of bogus compassion makes the statist control go down."

4/24/2011 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Rick: in the sidebar. I snapped one up for 8 cents.

4/24/2011 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Gagdad said "But virtue is a struggle against the self, not indulgence in the cheap grace of feel-good political beliefs."

Yep. But 'virtue' is sooo much easier to attain once you discard morality for political positions, Health, for everyone eating fewer trans-fats. And it is sooo much easier to show how much more 'virtous' you are than those who are out of position.


Hamilton: Remarkable fellow. Look into how he taught himself what he needed to learn in half the time (or less) than others.

4/24/2011 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Oh... Chernow's "Hamilton", I picked it up for $2.25 a week or two ago... good to know it was money well spent, looking forward to diving in.

wv:repint
Good try, but isn't that a bit like new wine in old whineskins?

4/24/2011 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

He's got a new bio out on Washington, so I'll probably tackle that next. How could such geniuses not only be alive at the same time, but know each other? Reminds me of an aphorism: A limited population produces fewer ordinary intelligences than a numerous population, but it can produce an equal or greater number of talents.

4/24/2011 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

The Jews are a great example of that, as well.

4/24/2011 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

One more reason to dread the all-powerful state, BTW, which tries to render everyone identical to advance its own interests.

4/24/2011 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Notice how the state-educational complex churns out intellectuals by the thousands who support statism. At risk of championing the obvious, this is not a coincidence.

4/24/2011 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Great. Thanks, fellas. I'll pick it up.
Just ordered Wilber's "Quantum Questions: Mystical Writings of the World's Great Physicists" yesterday.
$1.76. What a country.
I was reading your 'David' posts the other day (thanks, Walt!) and you mentioned the book, Bob.
I don't have anything by Wilber - not that you would recommend I do. I guess this doesnt really qualify as Wilber so.. But it does sound like a nice collection of what others said that he found interesting. The boy may find it interesting too.
Anyway, mention of the book reminded me that I was trying to remember where I read that Eienstein said something once about the laws of the universe came into existence x zillionths of a second after the big bang. That didn't make sense to me. It may have been Steven Hawkins who said it..

4/24/2011 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, some of those pieces are interesting, if only to demonstrate beyond doubt that there is not only no conflict between science and mystical theology, but that in many ways the former necessitates the latter. Of course, I would put it conversely: since the Absolute obviously IS, what kind of cosmos must this be?

4/24/2011 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

This is why we would be shocked if quantum indeterminacy, nonlocality, and complementarity were not discovered by science.

4/24/2011 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Theofilia said...

In Bob's words:

"Bliss ananda is the pursuit of happiness".

So that's your "final truth?" on this score?

The fully Liberated being has a different perspective.

TRUE Bliss-ananda is the ECSTASY of the Soul, which has nothing whatsoever to do with 'happiness', and not something the intellect could ever fathom (until directly experienced within one's every firber of being 24/7)

4/25/2011 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

We prefer instasy.

4/25/2011 11:06:00 AM  

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