Monday, May 09, 2011

The Genesis Myth of the Left: I Want, Therefore You Work

Why are liberals so resistant to economic truth? Truth is a realization. Once realized it cannot be unrealized without damaging the psyche. You cannot put the truthpaste back into the tube. Thus, truth is part of the temporal irreversibility of the cosmos, which moves forward and not back.

This is one of the deeper meanings of Genesis, in which humans are exiled from paradise. Looked at it more abstractly, it clearly memorializes a catastrophic realization that expels man from a prior and more harmonious mode of being. One could say that it marks the transition from childhood innocence to the burdens of adulthood, or from unconsciousness to self-consciousness, or from unity to division. According to Kass,

"If read historically, it it shows how and when human life got to be so difficult. If read philosophically and anthropologically, it reveals the basic and often conflicting psychosocial elements of our humanity, thus making it clear why human life is always so difficult. And if read morally, it enables us to see clearly and to experience powerfully the sources of many of our enduring moral dilemmas and much of our happiness."

But since the secular left regards our own wisdom tradition -- the very tradition that gave rise to the precious civilization they devalue and undermine -- as so much superstition, they end up not only blindly reenacting our founding myth, but failing to even draw its philosophical, anthropological, psychosocial, and moral lessons. In trying to reinvent the wheel of karma, they simply get rolled. Every time.

What is the founding counter-myth of the left? One could cite a number of possibilities, but certain themes emerge repeatedly in Rousseau, Marx, Keynes, and other deep stinkers. Is there a unifying strand beneath them all? Dennis Prager says that it almost always involves naivete about the nature of evil. Others might say that it revolves around the political legitimization of constitutional envy.

In the modern world, it often comes down to the systematic effort to superimpose rationalism (in the vulgar, tenured sense) and scientism over the soul, thus sMothering it in a kind of "monstrous trivia," if one may put it thus (cf. the French Revolution, which combined the height of sterile reason with the depth of vibrant barbarism; likewise Nazi Germany, demonstrating how the most "advanced" culture lives quite easily with the most depraved impulses).

For example, our latest troll would simplify politics by consulting brain scans in order to know how to best govern man. No need to read the Founders, much less all that complicated stuff by Aquinas, or Locke, or Burke. The aforementioned people were really just "closed off to experience," and if you don't believe me, there is a barbarous neurologist somewhere who can prove it!

Science!

Not for nothing are our adversaries called the terrible simplifiers.

In the real (i.e., qualitative) world, "A life of sinless innocence and wholeheartedness is virtually impossible for a human being, thanks to freedom, imagination, reason-and-speech, self-consciousness, and pride, and in the face of neediness, sexuality, ignorance, self-division, dependence, and lack of self-command" (Kass).

Please note that these are all existential conditions that the mature person realizes and accepts. Which means that there are millions of immature souls who neither realize nor accept them.

For example, another central theme of the left is the failure to accept the awful gift of freedom. Of course they conceal this beneath layers and layers of pretense and sophistry, but when you penetrate to the heartless heart of the matter, the leftist is really telling you that he knows better how to ruin your life, and that decisions made by a central authority are superior to those made by you morons. Believe it or not, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid know better how to take care of your health than you do.

Genesis poses a challenge to the proud man's rational self-sufficiency, helpfully informing him that if you go there, you will experience an epic FAIL. It "challenges the human inclination to try to guide human life solely by our free will and our own human reason, exercised on the natural objects of thought" (Kass).

Go ahead, if you must. Just bear in mind that you may not have enough time left once you reach the end of that ontological nul de slack. Consider yourself fortunate if you hit that wall by the age of 30 or 40, which will give you sufficient time for a midcourse correction.

Note that ADAM, or man as such, epitomizes our existential situation. On the one hand, he is constituted of dirt ('adamah means ground or earth). This is our horizontal being.

But on the other hand, man has been inbreathed a spirit of life, thus meaning that our very existence is an intersection of vertical and horizontal vectors. This complementarity breaks out in diverse ways, including time/eternity, form/substance, wave/particle, absolute/infinite, male/female, heaven/earth, sun/moon, etc.

Such complementarities are not resolved, but lived. They are not riddles to be solved but mysteries to be savored. To "demystify" them is to commit cluelesside, or autoflimflammery.

"Progressive" visions of paradise are not actually in the future. Rather, their source is in the ontological past, only naively projected into the future. This accounts for the curious inability of the leftist to appreciate the ironyclad law of unintended consequences, for this beastly law is obscured by the innocent beauty of their political fantasies.

Remama, in paradise man is free of the annoying baggage of manhood. He has no shame, no guilt, no envy, no conflict, no want, no knowledge of death or scarcity. It is Marx's workers' paradise, minus the work.

Which reminds one of the infant who indeed lives in a primordial paradise in which wish is instantaneously converted to its fulfillment. I cry, I eat. The credo of the left! (Which of course ignores the reality of the exhausted mother and taxpayer who make it possible for the recipient to maintain his edenic omnipotence.)

Now, back to the subject at hand, the childish economic myths under which the left habitually labors -- the fantasies for which they fight. Richards conveniently lays out a Top Eight for us. They include

1. The "nirvana myth" (i.e., the paradise myth as discussed above).
2. The "piety myth" (i.e., the naive idea that good intentions lead to positive outcomes).
3. The "zero-sum" myth (failure to grasp the strange idea that free markets create more wealth for all).
4. The materialist myth (a projection of the junk metaphysics of scientism onto economics).
5. The greed myth (including the myth that the state is somehow not greedy).
6. The usury myth (touched on in the previous post).
7. The "artsy myth" ("confusing aesthetic judgments with economic arguments").
8. The "freeze-frame" myth (i.e., that there is some economic norm which leftists can achieve by manipulating the whole economy through centralized authority -- not dissimilar to the myth of centralized climate control).

To these I would certainly add Hayek's knowledge problem, which truly is the Fatal Conceit of the left; also the myth that there is this thing called an "economy" separate from the individuals who use their freedom to derive value and increase aggregate wealth by serving one another.

I've run out of time so I'll have to belaborate on these points later.

55 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

Which reminds one of the infant who indeed lives in a primordial paradise in which wish is instantaneously converted to its fulfillment. I cry, I eat.

Ha - story of my morning. Complete with the primordial lie (the wail that says, "I'm going to die if you don't gimme a bite of your breakfast!" Oh, no you ain't...).

***

As to the "zero-sum" myth, perhaps I'm mistaken but it seems like that one ties in to Friday's post as well. Which is to say, for much of pre-history when capital was mostly concrete, there really was a limited supply of resources, and quite often one man's possession meant another man's lack. In a hunter-gatherer culture, there is no real way to increase wealth - if you don't have any livestock, you don't have a herd that can increase gradually through breeding; if you don't have land and grain, you can't create a surplus of food for trade, etc. What there is is all there is, and they weren't only competing with other people for resources, but with other animals as well.

5/09/2011 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"I Want, Therefore You Work"

Ok, yeah, I should probably read further than the title before commenting, but, really, that is just too good!

5/09/2011 09:34:00 AM  
Anonymous dloye said...

8. The "freeze-frame" myth (i.e., that there is some economic norm which leftists can achieve by manipulating the whole economy through centralized authority -- not dissimilar to the myth of centralized climate control).

A near perfect analogy. Anyone who has worked in a building with sealed windows and locked thermostats knows what that's like. These control freaks want to extend the concept to our whole material lives? Hubris, pure and simple.

5/09/2011 10:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Humidor Invictus said...

1. People will take what they can get, so the solution to the parasitism of the leftist is to deny the payoff.

Not given what he wants, the leftist then turns to more productive behaviors.

Get started on implementing that, please.

2. The leftist has a new creation myth, the Akashic Record. However, this is an actual entity which they have stumbled upon. The leftist now threatens to get a leg up on the righteous by virtue of having a strong spiritual base.

To counter this the righteous should also make it a habit to access the AKR, thereby denying the left a monopoly here.

It is easy to do so please get started today.

5/09/2011 11:02:00 AM  
Anonymous njcommuter said...

I read Richards's book on your recommendation. It is much-needed by those who will never read it.

I think, though, that Richards did his readers a disservice by calling the errors of the Left myths, since Myth belongs to a higher order. These are simply Errors deeply embedded as assumptions.

5/09/2011 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

I've heard Akashic Records have a pretty hardline stance on unauthorized downloading...

5/09/2011 11:50:00 AM  
Anonymous funky said...

"I Want, Therefore You Work"

Actually, this works for all "ideologies", whether one is a manipulator or just lazy. The trick is to make it look as if the wanter is working, hardly.

5/09/2011 11:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL @ "pretense and sophistry"

5/09/2011 12:18:00 PM  
Anonymous funky said...

Hmmm... Slow day. Another "myth":

A lifelong ‘disciplined flexibility’ of thought is also important. Lest one goes from being respected reformer to “Von den Juden und ihren Lügen”.

5/09/2011 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

naivete about the nature of evil

The leftist certainly lives in denial of their own intrinsic selfish nature. They have no problem assigning evil to those of us who just want to mind our own business.

In fact, one of the few things a leftist and I would agree on is that I am evil.

5/09/2011 01:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are quoting the same Leon Kass who believes eating an ice-cream cone in public is a sign of the ruination of civilization? And more seriously, firmly DISBELIEVES in the right of humans to what they want with their bodies?

...the leftist is really telling you that he knows better how to ruin your life, and that decisions made by a central authority are superior to those made by you morons. Believe it or not, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid know better how to take care of your health than you do.

Well, I do believe you are a moron, since it is your hero Kass who is in the business of trying to impose state control over individual's bodies, not Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

Genesis poses a challenge to the proud man's rational self-sufficiency, helpfully informing him that if you go there, you will experience an epic FAIL. It "challenges the human inclination to try to guide human life solely by our free will and our own human reason, exercised on the natural objects of thought" (Kass).

You seem mightily confused. If you are with Kass, then you believe that individuals are incapable of guiding their own lives. Yet you attack "leftists" (actually a cartoon of leftists) for saying the same thing. Make up your tiny mind.

5/09/2011 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Mushroom, funny, I've been thinking the same thing about myself. That's why it's so laughable that we have indignant trolls who come here demanding saints.

***

On a different note, Hitchens has a good article on speech, both spoken and written, and the loss thereof. Well worth the read. What struck me particularly was this:

'In the medical literature, the vocal “cord” is a mere “fold,” a piece of gristle that strives to reach out and touch its twin, thus producing the possibility of sound effects. But I feel that there must be a deep relationship with the word “chord”: the resonant vibration that can stir memory, produce music, evoke love, bring tears, move crowds to pity and mobs to passion.'

I hadn't given the cords much thought before. Here again, within the human body is the complementarity in action. The space between the cords becomes the space between the notes, and within that space is limitless possibility. As above, so below.

5/09/2011 02:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are quoting the same Leon Kass who believes eating an ice-cream cone in public is a sign of the ruination of civilization? And more seriously, firmly DISBELIEVES in the right of humans to what they want with their bodies?

...the leftist is really telling you that he knows better how to ruin your life, and that decisions made by a central authority are superior to those made by you morons. Believe it or not, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid know better how to take care of your health than you do.

Well, I do believe you are a moron, since it is your hero Kass who is in the business of trying to impose state control over individual's bodies, not Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

Genesis poses a challenge to the proud man's rational self-sufficiency, helpfully informing him that if you go there, you will experience an epic FAIL. It "challenges the human inclination to try to guide human life solely by our free will and our own human reason, exercised on the natural objects of thought" (Kass).

You seem mightly confused. If you are with Kass, then you believe that individuals are incapable of guiding their own lives. Yet you attack "leftists" (actually a cartoon of leftists) for saying the same thing. Make up your tiny mind.

5/09/2011 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Speaking of naivete about evil, it has been interesting this week to hear all the liberals expressing their distaste at vulgar Americans celebrating the death of bin Laden. But when Dick Cheney enters the hospital, the first thing they have to do at Huffington Post is turn off the comments because of all the giddy commenters hoping for his death.

5/09/2011 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Concur about myth, but unfortunately the word has been spoiled by its colloquial use. There's no getting the word back, so it would probably be better to come up with a better term, like "archetypal narrative," only less cumbersome.

5/09/2011 03:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are quoting the same Leon Kass who believes eating an ice-cream cone in public is a sign of the ruination of civilization? And more seriously, firmly DISBELIEVES in the right of humans to what they want with their bodies?

...the leftist is really telling you that he knows better how to ruin your life, and that decisions made by a central authority are superior to those made by you morons. Believe it or not, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid know better how to take care of your health than you do.

Well, I do believe you are a moron, since it is your hero Kass who is in the business of trying to impose state control over individual's bodies, not Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

Genesis poses a challenge to the proud man's rational self-sufficiency, helpfully informing him that if you go there, you will experience an epic FAIL. It "challenges the human inclination to try to guide human life solely by our free will and our own human reason, exercised on the natural objects of thought" (Kass).

You seem mightly confused. If you are with Kass, then you believe that individuals are incapable of guiding their own lives. Yet you attack "leftists" (actually a cartoon of leftists) for saying the same thing. Make up your tiny mind.

5/09/2011 03:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are quoting the same Leon Kass who believes eating an ice-cream cone in public< is a sign of the ruination of civilization? And more seriously, firmly DISBELIEVES in the right of humans to what they want with their bodies?

...the leftist is really telling you that he knows better how to ruin your life, and that decisions made by a central authority are superior to those made by you morons. Believe it or not, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid know better how to take care of your health than you do.

Well, I do believe you are a moron, since it is your hero Kass who is in the business of trying to impose state control over individual's bodies, not Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

Genesis poses a challenge to the proud man's rational self-sufficiency, helpfully informing him that if you go there, you will experience an epic FAIL. It "challenges the human inclination to try to guide human life solely by our free will and our own human reason, exercised on the natural objects of thought" (Kass).

You seem mightly confused. If you are with Kass, then you believe that individuals are incapable of guiding their own lives. Yet you attack "leftists" (actually a cartoon of leftists) for saying the same thing. Make up your tiny mind.

5/09/2011 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Speaking of naivete about evil, it has been interesting this week to hear all the liberals expressing their distaste at vulgar Americans celebrating the death of bin Laden.

Or just in general, how readily they stand up for objectively bad people - Polanski or Mumia, for instance. Or Ayers.

You can tell an awful lot about a person by who they love, who they support, and who they would see annihilated.

5/09/2011 03:29:00 PM  
Anonymous funky said...

It’s far too easy for zombies of all stripes to be hypnotized by: “Lookit! That’s our enemy!! Follow me and get rid of your enemy today!!!”

But it’s ahelluva lot more fun than “We shall itemize all the data and objectively analyze.” ZZzzzzzz…

5/09/2011 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Why am I suddenly reminded of Mojo Jojo?

5/09/2011 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

If Kass wanted to make it crime to eat ice cream cones in public, that would make him a liberal -- like the liberals who have made it against the law to smoke in public in my city.

And for any orthodox religious believer, the body is more than a piece of meat, nor do we have a right to do to it what we please. Here again, if he tried to translate this belief into law, that would make him a liberal.

5/09/2011 04:01:00 PM  
Anonymous funky said...

Being liberal means having the government say you’re sorry?

It's all so confusing these days.

5/09/2011 04:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kass was head of Bush's bioethics commission, where he most emphatically did try to make his beliefs into government policy. Really, don't you know anything about the matters you comment on?

5/09/2011 04:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW, the analogy of ice-cream eating with smoking is another example of your aggressively stupid style of argumentation -- if eating ice-cream involved blowing chunks of it into other people's faces, it might too face a ban from "liberals".

5/09/2011 04:21:00 PM  
Anonymous funky said...

Would making dope flavored ice cream illegal, be considered "liberal"?

5/09/2011 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Just to clarify, in my city it is against the law to smoke at all in public, not just to blow smoke into other people's faces. The odd thing is that it is still legal for our liberal politicians to blow smoke up our asses.

And only a liberal could believe that running experiments on human beings doesn't raise profound ethical questions. But at least you're consistent.

5/09/2011 04:44:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

In some places, sanity still reigns.

5/09/2011 04:57:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

It seems wilian has lowered the bar for trolls... now we've got pro-pinker trolls who consider the 'stupid' to be an excellent substitute for an argument.

But at least they're consistent with the substance of their argument.

5/09/2011 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

(It has been fun watching him try to post his comment over and over though.)

5/09/2011 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Naw, I don't think he's lowered the bar, I think that is poor little Willy. The stench of the overblown egotist is tough to mask, even with anonymity.

5/09/2011 05:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Old Fart said...

By their fruitiness shall ye know them...

5/09/2011 05:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

in my city it is against the law to smoke at all in public...

Really? What city is that? I'm going to assume this is more bs, but I suppose I could be wrong.

5/09/2011 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Speaking of who they love and who they hate, White House poetry readings.

5/09/2011 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Ninniest nanny-city in the nation. We're at the cutting edge of societal devolution!

5/09/2011 06:27:00 PM  
Anonymous funky said...

Wake up, Willy. We have a muslim marxist president who just proved that killing one of his own is no impediment towards even greater power and even more greater power. Do you want the streets of Our Founders America crawling with non-smoking gangsta rap welfare queens in burqa drag holding up pictures of Obamao everywhere they go? Get a grip man!

5/09/2011 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Remama, in paradise man is free of the annoying baggage of manhood. He has no shame, no guilt, no envy, no conflict, no want, no knowledge of death or scarcity. It is Marx's workers' paradise, minus the work."

Speaking of baggage (but in a different sense) it's time for another Skullyism:

Everyone has baggage, but those on the left hoard it.

I might add so do stuntamentalists, hence such shing examples of "nirvana" as any predominantly Islamic country.

Great post, Bob!

5/09/2011 06:41:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Speaking of "I want, therefore you work", some of you know the issue in our university system in Missouri that I've been following; the UM system just came out today and stated they've finished reviewing the tapes of the 'labor relations' course and found no problem.

This is astounding.

The student who first brought the issue to our attention has also come out and given his account today, if anyone can get through even the first paragraphs without feeling sickened and furious, I'll be amazed.
Certainly this isn't reflective of all, or even most teachers or professors, but before consulting any teachers, it'd be a good idea to check and see whether or not their goals include wanting to overthrow the free market, wipe out property rights and train their students in tactics of tactical intimidation and violence in order to expand the power of the Communist party.

If this is happening in Missouri, as boldly and fearlessly as it is... imagine what is happening in your states - at your expense - This is a Must Read!

5/09/2011 06:52:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Rather than fret at the blogger spam filter, I'll trust that those who matter, received my last comment.

Please spread it as widely as you can.

Thanks,
Van

5/09/2011 07:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I stand corrected.

That ban may be overkill, but still, the principle behind it is obviously different from a ban on ice cream. Smoking impacts other people, eating ice cream doesn't, except in the delicate sensibilities of people like Kass.

Apparently you can't stick links in comments without getting spam-fitered, so I'll quote from Pinker's article on Kass, which you can find yourself:

...in 2001, this man, whose pro-death, anti-freedom views put him well outside the American mainstream, became the President's adviser on bioethics--a position from which he convinced the president to outlaw federally funded research that used new stem-cell lines. In his speech announcing the stem-cell policy, Bush invited Kass to form the Council. Kass packed it with conservative scholars and pundits, advocates of religious (particularly Catholic) principles in the public sphere, and writers with a paper trail of skittishness toward biomedical advances, together with a smattering of scientists (mostly with a reputation for being religious or politically conservative). After several members opposed Kass on embryonic stem-cell research, on therapeutic cloning (which Kass was in favor of criminalizing), and on the distortions of science that kept finding their way into Council reports, Kass fired two of them ... ]Though Kass has jawboned his version of bioethics into governmental deliberation and policy, it is not just a personal obsession of his but part of a larger movement, one that is increasingly associated with Catholic institutions.... Everyone knows about the Bush administration's alliance with evangelical Protestantism. But the pervasive Catholic flavoring of the Council, particularly its Dignity report, is at first glance puzzling. In fact, it is part of a powerful but little-known development in American politics, ...For two decades, a group of intellectual activists, many of whom had jumped from the radical left to the radical right, has urged that we rethink the Enlightenment roots of the American social order. The recognition of a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and the mandate of government to secure these rights are too tepid, they argue, for a morally worthy society. This impoverished vision has only led to anomie, hedonism, and rampant immoral behavior such as illegitimacy, pornography, and abortion. Society should aim higher than this bare-bones individualism and promote conformity to more rigorous moral standards, ones that could be applied to our behavior by an authority larger than ourselves.

Again, it is Kass and the religious right he represents who wants to enforce government edicts against individual rights and individual freedom.

5/09/2011 07:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I stand corrected.

That ban may be overkill, but still, the principle behind it is obviously different from a ban on ice cream. Smoking impacts other people, eating ice cream doesn't, except in the delicate sensibilities of people like Kass.

Apparently you can't stick links in comments without getting spam-fitered, so I'll quote from Pinker's article on Kass, which you can find yourself:

...in 2001, this man, whose pro-death, anti-freedom views put him well outside the American mainstream, became the President's adviser on bioethics--a position from which he convinced the president to outlaw federally funded research that used new stem-cell lines. In his speech announcing the stem-cell policy, Bush invited Kass to form the Council. Kass packed it with conservative scholars and pundits, advocates of religious (particularly Catholic) principles in the public sphere, and writers with a paper trail of skittishness toward biomedical advances, together with a smattering of scientists (mostly with a reputation for being religious or politically conservative). After several members opposed Kass on embryonic stem-cell research, on therapeutic cloning (which Kass was in favor of criminalizing), and on the distortions of science that kept finding their way into Council reports, Kass fired two of them ... ]Though Kass has jawboned his version of bioethics into governmental deliberation and policy, it is not just a personal obsession of his but part of a larger movement, one that is increasingly associated with Catholic institutions.... Everyone knows about the Bush administration's alliance with evangelical Protestantism. But the pervasive Catholic flavoring of the Council, particularly its Dignity report, is at first glance puzzling. In fact, it is part of a powerful but little-known development in American politics, ...For two decades, a group of intellectual activists, many of whom had jumped from the radical left to the radical right, has urged that we rethink the Enlightenment roots of the American social order. The recognition of a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and the mandate of government to secure these rights are too tepid, they argue, for a morally worthy society. This impoverished vision has only led to anomie, hedonism, and rampant immoral behavior such as illegitimacy, pornography, and abortion. Society should aim higher than this bare-bones individualism and promote conformity to more rigorous moral standards, ones that could be applied to our behavior by an authority larger than ourselves.

Again, it is Kass and the religious right he represents who wants to enforce government edicts against individual rights and individual freedom.

5/09/2011 07:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I stand corrected.

That ban may be overkill, but still, the principle behind it is obviously different from a ban on ice cream. Smoking impacts other people, eating ice cream doesn't, except in the delicate sensibilities of people like Kass.

Apparently you can't stick links in comments without getting spam-fitered, so I'll quote from Pinker's article on Kass, which you can find yourself:

...in 2001, this man, whose pro-death, anti-freedom views put him well outside the American mainstream, became the President's adviser on bioethics--a position from which he convinced the president to outlaw federally funded research that used new stem-cell lines....

[I had a longer quote but it too seems to trigger the spam filter. Or perhaps not. Oh well]

Again, it is Kass and the religious right he represents who wants to enforce government edicts against individual rights and individual freedom.

5/09/2011 07:55:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Anon reminds me of the statement by Obama along the lines of "we are going to restore science to its rightful place". The implication was that, under Bush, religious beliefs, specifically Christian beliefs, had usurped the rightful place of science in things like stem cell research.

Science is how you figure out how stuff works, not how you decide what is moral or immoral. Stem cell research is science. Ethics, usually informed by religious belief, is how you decide whether certain avenues of research are acceptable.

Are we going to let science decide if Mengele was a war criminal?

5/09/2011 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

aninny's statements just remind me of his own statement: 'you're stupid'

5/09/2011 08:06:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

OT: Slingshot of Mass Destruction.

Not quite as impressive as the Taurus Judge watermelon demo but impressive nonetheless.

5/09/2011 08:39:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Are we going to let science decide if Mengele was a war criminal?

No kidding.

Apparently, it is deeply scandalous that Kass's concern for the rights of the individual extended even to the most vulnerable and most innocent individuals of all.

Also, you have to love the fact that the legislation didn't actually ban embryonic stem cell research - it simply prevented federal funding of same. A move which seems entirely reasonable given that a significant proportion of the population has serious misgivings about the use of embryonic stem cells, particularly when there are alternate means that are just as promising but without the concomitant moral concerns. So all this hyperventilation by anonymous is a tempest in a teacup - if embryonic stem cell research were genuinely proving to be fruitful, there would be private backers.

As to the ice cream quote, give me a break. I didn't see anything in favor of laws forbidding people to eat in public with their hands; rather, his concern was again the dignity of man and the fact that eating in such a fashion reduces man to the level of the beasts. While I think his concerns in that regard were overblown, I can't help but respect where he was coming from. And as Bob noted earlier, given that he is orthodox his concerns are (presumably) consistent with his beliefs.

I can't fault a guy for that - even though he would almost certainly find me personally despicable.

5/09/2011 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Also, Mushroom - awesome video. I don't know what you'd use one of those for, but it sure would be fun to play with for a little while.

5/09/2011 09:23:00 PM  
Anonymous funky said...

Tell ya what I’d like to play with. Listen Willy. In my practice I could waste years of a patents life doing Freudian psychoanalysis. But what self respecting patient wants their “after picture” to look like Woody Allen 20 years after starting therapy?

I’ll tell ya what I do. I waterboard their ass. Learn everything I need to know in minutes. Saves time. Saves money. Give it a try.

5/09/2011 10:31:00 PM  
Anonymous different anonymous said...

aninny's statements just remind me of his own statement: 'you're stupid'

It's funny how "Van" probably thought this was really clever.

5/10/2011 04:38:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

all the same anninymouses said "It's funny how "Van" probably thought this was really clever."

Nah, being clever would require using concepts, principles and other things you wouldn't understand, and would simply be lost on the target audience: you.

Nope this was simply pure insultainment.

Thanks for proving my aim was true.

5/10/2011 05:54:00 AM  
Blogger Sal said...

Genesis poses a challenge to the proud man's rational self-sufficiency, helpfully informing him that if you go there, you will experience an epic FAIL.

My parents had a phrase they used when all their wise counsel went for naught: "Alright, hard head."

Eventually, we learned, when we heard that, to 'course correct'.

Wonderful, Bob. One to bookmark.

5/10/2011 05:57:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Thank you, Sal.

And it just occurred to me that the only people who want to use the force of government to ban foods they don't like are liberals, whether salt, chips, peanut butter, trans-fats. I have no doubt that ice cream is on their hit list.

And how about the "sin tax" on beer?! As if our slackrament is an offense to the Creator!

First they came for the tobacco....

5/10/2011 06:27:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And you just reminded me of the wise words of St Elvis:

Well a hard headed woman,
a soft hearted man
been the cause of trouble
ever since the world began.
Oh yeah, ever since the world began
a hard headed woman been
a thorn in the side of man.

Now Adam told to Eve,
"Listen here to me,
don't you let me catch you
messin' round that apple tree."

5/10/2011 06:31:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Elvis may have been a nut, but he had that one right...

5/10/2011 08:05:00 AM  
Anonymous funky said...

It’s usually the liberals who tax all the food to build the ginormous ball stadiums. Sadly, the conservative players, workers and fans wind up doing all the work while the liberal team owners rake it all in.

5/10/2011 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger 1389 said...

On my own blog, I explored this topic in Why modern liberals are 100 percent wrong about everything. Truly it is the Fall of Man, and indeed their own sinfulness, that these liberals are committed to denying.

5/14/2011 09:10:00 PM  

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