Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Priori Nonsense and Ineluctable Truth (12.20.08)

Yesterday someone left links to some sort of psychological study that supposedly shows a correlation between political conservatism and such “traits” as fear, aggression, dogmatism, intolerance of ambiguity, “uncertainty avoidance,” and a need for cognitive closure. Ironically, the unambiguous conclusions of this dogmatic study were put forth by passive-aggressive liberal academics who are fearful of conservatism. Like so much academic nonsense, the study essentially came down to a self-serving expression of class interest -- the class of economic free-riders known as tenured liberal wackademics.

I didn’t engage in the ensuing debate because it’s another one of those things that’s not only wrong, but not even wrong. Few people are more hidebound, parochial, and unsophisticated than the typical liberal professor, who lives in such a small, closed circle that it’s pretty easy to “prove” whatever they need to prove in order to keep reality at bay.

Academia (as always, we are speaking of the humanities, not the hard sciences) has essentially been reduced to a domain of rationalism, which, in the absence of metaphysical truth, quickly becomes sub-rationalism and irrationalism. As I have noted in the past, there are only three methods of gaining knowledge about the world, 1) logic and empiricism (i.e., inductive and deductive reasoning), 2) revelation, and 3) pure intellection. Obviously, the vast majority of liberal academics categorically reject the latter two categories, which leaves only the reason, narrowly construed.

Now, reason is a method. It is empty until it is provided with content that has to come from elsewhere. In short, reason cannot provide its own content. So something other than reason has to provide it, and here you see at once the gap through which so much modern nonsense rushes in. Because these metaphysical yahoos of the academic left will rely on a sham substitute for revelation and intellection to provide the missing content.

Here we touch on the question of pure intelligence, for it is fair to say that the intellect itself is an interior revelation, while revelation represents exteriorized intellect. They are two sides of the same coin, and both flow from a higher source, which can be none other than Truth. But again, the liberal does not and cannot know any of this. However, sustained reflection should convince you that the intellect is a function of Truth, rather than vice versa -- just as something is not true because it is logical, but logical because it is true.

It has always been understood that the key to being a great scientist is the ability to identify a promising and generative problem. Here again, this mysterious process is completely a-logical. We cannot say it is “illogical," but it definitely doesn't obey the formal operations of mere linear logic. Rather, the ability to “see” an interesting problem -- and its potential solution -- is much closer to the realm of aesthetics than to logic.

Einstein, for example, was a mediocre mathematician. He did not arrive at his revolutionary theories through any strictly logical process, but by applying pure intelligence to problems that intrigued him but not others. Not only did he “see” the solution to those problems before he worked them out mathematically, but he was one hundred percent convinced that what he saw was true, regardless of empirical studies that didn’t confirm his theory of gravitation until 1919. When asked what he would think if the empirical results did not support his theory, he replied, "I would feel sorry for dear old God. My theory is correct."

A couple of weeks ago I told the story of how I not only managed to bluff my way into graduate school, but once there, continue bluffing beyond the abilities of classmates who, unlike me, actually had undergraduate degrees in psychology. How did I do this? It took me a while in life to find my path, but once on that path, I definitely “knew” things that came to me in a non-empirical way. And in fact, looking back on it, I am quite sure that if I had begun studying psychology when in was 18 or 19, accumulating and memorizing what passes for psychological knowledge in academia, I would have in all likelihood buried this capacity for direct knowing under a load of received nonsense. Like so many academics, I would have been “educated” at the cost of my intellect.

Again, I always use the term “intellect” in its time-honored way, as that which allows the human being to distinguish between substance and accidents. Intellection is direct knowledge of reality, very much analogous to physical perception. If you see something with your eyes, no one will ask you to prove the existence of sight. But in our current anti-intellectual climate, if you perceive something equally vividly with the intellect, you will be asked to provide logical proof -- itself a wholly illogical demand.

In reality, only an intellect of equal or greater depth can judge the claims of the intellect. And there is no rational basis whatsoever for determining who has the deeper intellect. It is only something we can know with our own awakened intellect. I can assure you that, for example, Frithjof Schuon's intellect is infinitely deeper than, say, Richard Dawkins' -- indeed, it couldn’t be more obvious. But can I prove it with logic? Of course not, any more than one can prove the greater artistic depth of one musician over another.

So in approaching these studies that prove conservatives are somehow maladjusted, you must first try to imagine the puny intellects of the researchers, and the problems that intrigue them as a result of that puniness. Obviously, trapped within the constraints of their narrow vision, they felt that it was worthwhile to study the link between conservatism and maladaptive personality traits, because their little minds already saw the connection. Therefore, it was just a matter of confirming their prejudice.

A deeper intellect will see much different problems. Reality is hierarchical and layered, so that something that is true on a shallow level may be false on a deeper level. Again, academia confines itself to such a superficial level, that it ends up being a self-reinforcing enterprise. For example, few things are more fascinating to the bovine intellects of academia than diversity, a construct which holds not the slightest bit of interest to an intellect of greater depth. So how do you even debate a person who thinks that skin color is of vital importance? There’s nothing to discuss, because I honestly don’t remember how to be so stupid, whereas they frankly don’t have the capacity to be any deeper.

I saw a beautiful example of this incredible stupidity on dailykos yesterday. It was written by a couple who are deeply disturbed at the prospect of the Supreme Court putting an end to government mandated racial discrimination, because of the effect it will have on “diversity.” They are presently in the process of selecting a school for their kindergarten aged daughter. They have about seven schools to choose from and are weighing a number of criteria, including -- I kid you not -- “number of GLBT families and GLBT-friendly staff” and race: “Specifically, the balance of race.... We eliminate from consideration ANY school that has more than 60% of a single ethnic group.” Naturally, they have had to eliminate several “excellent schools,” but one wonders how they can be simultaneously excellent and insufficiently diverse?

The writer claims that “we want [our child] to learn that the real world is one of many different types of people of different races, sexualities, ethnicities, languages, etc., to learn not to make judgements based on race or religion or ethnicity.” But by indoctrinating their daughter to believe that race determines anything, aren’t they teaching just the opposite? That we should by law be forced to make such odious distinctions? They also say they want their daughter “to learn that many different viewpoints can come to the truth better than just a few.” How can this absurd statement possibly be true? Truth is true, irrespective of whether a million people believe it or no one believes it. But for the multiculturalist, all falsehoods are equally true.

Which comes back to my original point about the silly studies linked to yesterday. From the moment I entered graduate school, one of the issues that most fascinated me was this question of psychopathology. We all know that mental illness exists -- although even then, there was a big movement among leftist psychologists in the 1960’s arguing that mental illness didn’t really exist, and that it was essentially a designation assigned by the powerful to the powerless.

But to say “mental illness” is to say “mental health,” and to say “mental health” is to say design and function. In short, the mind, just like any other organ, was designed to do something. To the extent that it fails to achieve this end, it is in a state of pathology, or ill health.

So before we address the question of whether conservatism is a form of mental illness, we must first determine what the mind was designed to do. I didn’t read the studies, but I seriously doubt that the researchers took it upon themselves to do this. Nor will I be able to do so today, because I’ve just run out of time. Perhaps tomorrow, if anyone’s interested.


Ben said...

I'm interested, please do.

River Cocytus said...

Bob, I was wondering about intuition- from what I can tell, intuition is like a lower form of revelation and intellection; information readily available is assembled immediately and the conclusion is offered without explanation.

But I think 'intuition' describes things you could have reasoned out based on available data.

'zat make any sense?

Anonymous said...

Your comments on race are intruiging. It seems obvious to me that government racial policies are the result of past racial attitudes; in other words, they are damage control.

The white feeling is that they dinged the blacks because they brought us over as forced labor; that was a long time ago, but it was a big thing and big things take a long time to heal.

Are you saying that the damage is repaired and now its time to move into true normality?

Finally, what is your opinion on blending? Do you advocate mixed marriage as a way to end racial tension (i.e the browing of America?)

Anonymous said...

Bob, keep in mind that if you don't continue a theme or follow up on things, the troll will come 'round and snark at you....

Count me as interested.

Anonymous said...

black friend--

My bro'dar tells me you are neither friend nor black. But obviously, racial discrimination is unconstitutional, irrespective of whether or not it makes guilty white liberals feel better. Not only that, but it is a disaster for its supposed beneficiaries, individually but especially collectively, since it robs the culture of much needed feedback regarding its own pathology. Needless to say, it also punishes cultures with more healthy values, such as Asian Americans.

Anonymous said...


About "Diversity" (in quotes, as it has an emotive meaning these days)...

I recall a Public Service Announcement from the Ad Council (and it was hardly that) which spoke of "...our strength is in our diversity.."

This, of course, is hideous propaganda.

On D-Day, Utah Beach, was it having a common goal (to survive and defeat the Nazis) or was it that we had a representative sample of the racial population of the United States on the beach that bloody morning which gave us utlimate victory?

"Our Strength" -if you will, was not in our diversity. It was in spite of our diversity, that we overcame the enemy.

It was the use of an idea, a goal, an outside referent which was stronger in some ways than the will to survive. It is the existance of external referents, which exist in spite of how we feel about it, or think about it, which liberals cannnot tolerate. (God, Law or Physical Laws which conflict with their selfishness)

On Intuitive leaps...

My friend Al always said, that when we feel uncomfortable about something, that this was the unconscious mind / subconcious mind attempting to bring into the conscious awareness something you already knew.

I suspect, that sudden revelations are a speedier manifestation of the same thing. A bolt from the blue, if you will.

However, in saying so, I do not discount other things being involved, nor do I discount some divine connectivity. The lack of such connectivity, is sometimes mistaken for having such a thing, as you already know.

Somewhere I have an interesting paper on "counterfactuals" which discusses (it is an AI paper) the links between cause and effect.

The interesting thing is, the counterfactual is more believable if the cause and effect chain is more obvious. When it is less obvious, the counterfactual seems to be nonsenes, albeit logical.

When this occurs, people do what they tend to do -they believe what they want, regardless of the logic.

I also suspect, that confusion arises when people mistake (as mentioned yesterday) symbols for referents, and in a way, something much more insidious, seeing a function as a mere structure which is already "understood".

The awareness gap between what is, what you perceive, and what you think about what you perceive, are in many people simply the same thing they call reality. There exists no reflection, as the "joints" between the steps don't exist in their thinking.

To say, "Think of a Horse" seems simple enough. But some may have thought of Mr. Ed, while others thought of the Black Stallion.

To lead by a remark about thinking of a horse, implies perhaps a discussion about "horseness" or some part or function of a horse will be considered.

This is not the same as "my" horse -the one I thought of, I must now make a leap to discuss what about "horseness" is important.

So this little leap across the gap from a singular animal, to the animal as a type, is also miss-able by many, who will stamp their feet and insist the horse can only be a Palamino, and not an Irish Hunter, or other kind of Equine.

Apart from all this, we find ourselves in logic 101 again.


Men have two legs.
This is a mane.
Therefore he has two legs.

This has two legs.
Men have two legs.
Therefore this is a man.

(It could be a chicken)

We are confronted with the fact, that most non-thinkers accept the rhetoric example to be as valid as the logic example, because they "think so" (or feel so) -just like a counterfactual with nonobvious causality. It is their lack of understanding that external reality or referents exist.

They consider themselves (as the days of Gallileo) to be the center of the known universe, as well as the definer of the known universe. This is further compounded by ignoring that this is what they do. What they think, usually based upon their emotions, is reality.

This reflects right bezactly ;) back upon your commentary regarding the dim bulbs who even consider there exists a link between psychological abnormality and conservatism.

They start with their assumption of causality, and then use this as the filter for their "research".
Rather than do research, and see where it leads.

This is, of course, non scientific by definition. You don't start an hypothesis by saying, "Conservatives are psychos, now lets go show it to be so." You start out by saying, "Who are the psychos?" and let the data inform you where they exist.

Such "studies" are obviously bogus, even if those who conduct them are "scientists" -their reasoning is flawed, and this influences the outcome.

This "problem" of reasoning influencing the outcome is "normal" given an honest researcher. But to begin with such a bad premise, smacks of agenda, and not science. This (to me) indicates that truth-seeking is not what they are about at all.

Al also was the person who gave a definition of a concept. "A concept is the idea inherent in a pattern of data."

He further went on to say, that the ability to see patterns, was fewer samples in smarter people -between 2-3 examples, whereas in less smart people, it was a longer period of study -say 4-6 samples.

Naturally, we get into the clog of using a rhetoric based, agenda driven evaluation system when trying to evaluate patterns. A truth seeker will let the pattern tell the story, a non-seeker will tell the pattern what it means.

Racial issues...

Read Shelby Steele.

And remember, in the political world, it is not about race or fairness, it is about power and control.

If you are caught up in the "fairness" to any given racial sample, then your opponents, the evil ones, are happy, as you miss the point -which is to continue the conflict, and thereby keep your mind away from the truths in life by engaging your emotions.

Okay, back to work, and more coffee!


ximeze said...

RC: for a fascinting take on how intuition works, see the book about the thought of M.Polanyi "The Art of Knowing" linked on this site.

I had a "weird" experience after my first perusal. Was trying to articulate to a friend (first real attempt to integrate?)the MP stance, when I suddenly had a flash of insight that I was "using" exactly the process I was trying to describe, to describe "it".

Holy Cow! MP must be on to the Truth here! He talks about a roughly 4-parter in the process of "knowing", & I had made my way thru those, to get to "here".

dicentra63 said...

I don't normally jump to the defence of a troll, but this time I think I will. Yesterday's post on the seduction of leftism included a common theme here on One Cosmos: the immaturity of the average leftist. Or perhaps more precisely, the immaturity of leftism.

So Jody jumped in with that study, essentially saying, "hey, two can play at that game." In other words, if you conservatives can accuse the left of being immature (not fully formed), then we can certainly go ahead and psychoanalyze your *sses in return.

It seems to me that the proper terms of the debate from that point on would have been either:

why it is valid for Bob (and the Sanity Squad, for that matter) to evaluate the leftist mentality from a psychological perspective but not for the left to evaluate the right


why Bob's analysis is accurate while the left's is not


any other reason why it's OK for conservatives to psychologically analyze the left but not vice-versa.

But what I saw was a dog-pile on Jody (and on that study) for having the audacity to bring up such a thing.

Having said that, I don't have a whole lot of faith in any study by wacademics that purports to understand conservatives. Because it's clear to me that they don't. The tendencies that they listed as belonging to conservatives are couched in terminology that is decidedly not complimentary; in fact, if you take the antonym for each term, you get a list of virtues that leftists like to think that they possess.

Because they could have just as easily have listed the following:

Fear and aggression = Vigilance and ability to act
Dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity = Moral clarity
Uncertainty avoidance = Decisiveness
Need for cognitive closure = Problem-solving
Terror management = Focus and unity

As for the other tendencies listed in that linked article, they can be found everywhere in human society, including in the ivory tower, to wit:

resistance to change or hanging onto the status quo

The university set, the media, Hollywood, and other bastions of leftism are NOT open to changes that they don't approve of. The very notion that there should be diversity of opinion on campuses and in newsrooms leaves them with a severe case of the vapors

shun[ing] and even punish[ing] outsiders and those who threaten the status of cherished world views

Short answer: Lawrence Summers, et al., plus the need for an organization such as FIRE.

endorsement of inequality

I would dare say that many if not most leftists are more class-conscious than their bourgeoise brethren. I mean, the fact that they still use terms like proletariat and bourgeoise with straight faces speaks volumes. Country music? NASCAR? It's beneath them. Not that they simply haven't developed a taste for such things, they are too advanced to indulge in such redneck fare.

preach[ing] a return to an idealized past

Leftists have an idealized notion of the future, if only we rotten conservatives would quit spoiling their honest efforts. It's merely an inversion of how those rotten leftists keep spoiling those good things we need to keep.

arriv[ing] at premature conclusions

Because no one on the left would ever come to any conclusion at all without carefully researching all of the facts at hand, meditating on them at length, sampling various points of view, and humbly reaching the best conclusion they can muster given their access to information. c'mon. Arriving at premature conclusions is what our frontal brain is programmed to do. It takes constant vigilance to overcome the tendency to reach a premature conclusion and stick with it.

impos[ing] simplistic cliches and stereotypes

Sitting in the office of the editor of the PMLA (JAMA for literature), I heard him wonder aloud how it is that these Mormons keep going to Cornell and yet hold onto their religion through it all. (I was the third or fourth in a long line of BYU grads to get into the PhD program at Cornell.) How could you possibly be an intelligent, thinking person -- intelligent enough to function in our little world -- and still be religious? Anything I did, any quirk I had, he'd attribute it to the fact that I was a Utah Mormon, notwithstanding the fact that I was totally different from his previous Mormon students (and he'd said as much).

Criminey, if I had a nickel for every time I heard some alleged intellectual spout an ignorant cliche or stereotype about religious people or red-staters, I could pay off the damn mortgage.

Anonymous said...


For me the biggest issues with leftist criticism of rightwing/conservative/ religious thinking are some combination of the following behaviors:

(1) They don't admit their own thinking and biases when arguing
(2) Their arguments and logic are self-contradictory (e.g. being intolerant of intolerance - if it is by Christians but not by Muslims or other victim groups)
(3) They misrepresent the viewpoints of those on the right
(4) They only understand a caricature of right wing views and argue against that (see Dawkins, Denning, et al)

Just my humble experience.

ximeze said...

dicentr63 said: "It seems to me that the proper terms of the debate from that point on would have been either: 3 options)".

You seem to have missed that we were sitting down for a meal of filet mignon & Jody wanted us to eat in&out trash & give it the same value.

Bogus is Bogus. Being nice to those that want to serve it up does not make it less Bogus. Dog-piling on would-be servers of trash is our ethical duty.

Anonymous said...

Dicentious One...

"why it is valid for Bob (and the Sanity Squad, for that matter) to evaluate the leftist mentality from a psychological perspective but not for the left to evaluate the right"

We are not discussing a tit-for-tat teeter totter of "any opinion is as good as any other opinion" where we can toss opposing viewpoints about and see how well they teeter or totter. That is not good reasoning, it is childsplay. It is rhetorical point/counterpoint.

If it were true, that any opinion has equal weight to any other opinion, you'd ask your gardener his advice on removing a brain tumor without fear.


River Cocytus said...

It was kind of fun.

I think part of the issue is that the leftist/collectivism mindset worries about people falling for nonsense, so experts and studies are very important, so people know and believe the right things. But oddly, this tendency seems to do the opposite; partly I think because it places too much faith in experts or assumes that people can't figure out truth for themselves.

Partly their need for assurance in this regard as well as rational studies/experts creates a vacuum that will be filled with anyone who's willing to occupy the space. The reason is kind of simple-- there are fewer genuine experts and excellent studies than there are things that need to be known and understood.

Well, it seems simple to me.

Anonymous said...

lady sings the blues
centra writes a country tune
no wrong notes in jazz

Anonymous said...

They also say they want their daughter “to learn that many different viewpoints can come to the truth better than just a few.”

This calls to mind the story about the blind men and the elephant. But such simple fables are lost on present day sophisticates. As I learned some time ago when I was a member a very liberal church, it is possible to be so open minded that your brains fall right out and splatter.

Anonymous said...

Hey! I remember the blind men and the elephant! But we're back to logic or philosopy 101 again!

[They also say they want their daughter “to learn that many different viewpoints can come to the truth better than just a few.”]

The ruse here is that many viewpoints ostensibly show a "fair" examination of the "truth" which is absurd in many cases.

People did (and some probably still do) think the world was flat. Ask as many sources as you like, the majority opinion was decidedly incorrect. Moreover, it was proven so by a more empiracal examination of the evidence.

I suspect what is being shovelled here is the notion of "fairness" of which, life is not, science is not, and reality is not.

Hence the ad-hominem attacks are the resort to insult or fight back or tit-for-tat the "issue". -Which is really the confronter of the issue.

The gross error is to think that just because I say, "black" and you say "white" we have had a fair and balanced (and reasonable) discussion.

If saying "black" has some contextual meaning which carries with it that "white" really does not apply, then those who do rhetorically stab by saying "white" have only revealed their feeble grasp of the concepts at hand.

This is my general problem with "liberals". They love to object switch in mid-thought, and love to redefine terms to their own advantage.

This is the chief method of political correctness (which could not be further from anything correct).

Rather that a person being a criminal -well they had a bad childhood. Rather than someone being a garbage man, they are a sanitary engineer. As if one had to go through graduate school to toss trash cans about for a living.

The other common ruse is to posit something that sounds sensible to all as a counterpoint.

Global Warming is Killing us off, so we should reduce green house gasses.

Now, despite real science to the contrary of this pop-culture bozophistry, when challenged, the classic retort would be, "Are you saying you want polluted skies and skin cancer to rise?"

Well, no sensible person would. However, the two are not linked, as the scientific basis for Global Warming is in question.

Answer that question adequately first, (what the conservative would do) and we can then answer subsequent questions.

The liberal on the otherhand, would seek to ply their opinion with emotional hooks, insults and ad-hominem attacks. Treating the issue as if "everyone" knows that it is true -therefore the dissenters of that opinion are insane.

This is typical of the socialist / communist mindset. Furthermore, many people have spent their lives writing mountains of garbage in the context of the interpretation of "reality" via Marxism / Lenninism.

This, as a method and mania are still with us. The method is what we see here, but it somehow is expected to pass for clear thinking and honest research. It is neither.

Read the works of David Horowitz and Peter Collier:

Destructive Generation,
Deconstructing the Left.

You will see hints in Horowitz's life, that prior to his "conversion" to conservatism / realism, he spent many an hour writing papers and articles of Marxist justifications for all sorts of things.

A vast portion of Soviet paperwork had to do with just such things. Reshaping, redefining, not only the issue, but the enemy. In a sea of excuses and sophistry.

But hey, it all sounds really good.

Well, not all of it. ;)

I guess this would be like being handed a Hershey Bar. The chocolate is desirable and tastes great. They just forgot to tell you there is poison in the bar.

So now all your senses told you this was a great idea, to eat this chocolate. But the reality of the poison kills you.

Likewise, bad thinking, lousy ideas, and leaning on excuses instead of thinking.

I suspect then we have uncovered a primal issue, which is the penchant for liberal-like thinkers to begin with an excuse, or begin as a victim, or set the confronter up as the devil himself, as an assumed condition of debate.

This is what I key on quickly, the pre-staged envelope of (expletive deleted) which I am supposed to eat and enjoy, like the Hershey bar, in order to have a discussion about anything.


Okay, back to work!


Anonymous said...

The intuition I have about this site is that the participants are colluding to maintain an attitude of "we're all good all the time. Nope, nothin' wrong 'er all figured out...nossir, not a thing wrong, never has been.."

At the same time, the attitude for the "opposition" (anyone who dissents from what Bob says) is "100% crap..always is...always has been.." resulting in the infamous dogpiling that occurs here.

Where are the shades of gray? Where are the neo-con weak points? No one wants to talk about them, because they'll get dogpiled or labeled a troll.

Where are the lefties strong points (and yes, they must have interspersed in all of that badness a few kernels of truth, or common-sense has departed from the debate).

This blog fails to function as informative, and is what Jerry Springer is as in relation to Oprah--sensationalism masquerading as an authentic debate.

Do you want to get real or do you want to keep screaming "Jerry Jerry Jerry..oh, I mean Bob..Bob..Bob?

Anonymous said...

I think the proper response to people one disagrees with is to be honest about your differences, but always charitable. We are all created in the image and likeness of God -- yes that includes leftists as well, though the very idea is reprehensible to them. May the Lord have mercy on us all.

Anonymous said...

Bad call, ref! What kind of ref wears shades of gray? I'm afraid your true colors are showing. Your intuition (which is really a bias) totally misrepresents the discussion here. If a lefty or neocon or anyone else offers substantive kernels of truth, they get proper attention, but rabbit pellets are also quickly identified. So if you've got some good stuff to share, pass it around and hold on to that flag a little longer.

Maybe you can start with one of Oprah's authentic debates?

Anonymous said...

I see your "Law of Differing Levels of Consciousness" in play again.
Oh well, Oprah's on, got to furthur my education. ;)

Anonymous said...

Referee said...

[The intuition I have about this site is that the participants are colluding to maintain an attitude of "we're all good all the time. Nope, nothin' wrong 'er all figured out...nossir, not a thing wrong, never has been.."]

So much for intuition.

(Of which, I could go on for hours, about true intuition and masqueraded forms -but won't at this time)

Welcome to sandbox psychology.

This is an example of the doctrine and dogma of St. Rodney. "Can't we all just get along?" -as if getting along held some higher ground than truth or reality.

Moreover, it implies that if one has an opinion that is not held by the person insisting we get along, we are all blind, arrogant and stupid somehow -And this is mere proof that we ARE all blind, arrogant and stupid because of course we would say this.

Another front-loaded presumption / setup.

This is the, "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?" question.

You either have beaten your wife, or continue to beat your wife, but never having a wife, or having one and never having beaten her is not an option. Either way, one becomes an evil wife-beater by engaging in the discussion.

The "win" is assured at point of engagement. -But only for the person who thinks this is good, clear thinking.

You, are a liberal. You like to think of yourself as a moderate (a referee if you will) which elevates your sense of self worth. The only person you have impressed so far, is yourself. Beyond that, perhaps a few close friends that are like you.

You've used the handbook liberal tactical move #1 -seize the moral highground, and shoot down at everyone else.


If you have a better counterpoint, bring it!

I, for one, am not good all the time, moreover I know my mistakes. I seek not to make the same mistakes more than once, if possible.

Brian said...

[I think the proper response to people one disagrees with is to be honest about your differences, but always charitable]

Brian, I concur in a general sense. However, in a more specific sense, we are faced with the fact that the "differences" are not the topic of discussion per se, but the front loaded a-priori attitudes that are brought to the table.

Today's Bob-post is a prime example. Did you fail to notice that it was mentioned, the front loaded notion that if one is conservative, one must be insane, or abnormal somehow, created a framework for false research?

So then, we are not discussing the research itself, but that the premise of the research invalidates the findings. (Chain of events / evidence and inference and all that).

The differences are not about the results, nor probably the measurement methods -but could be. They are about the presupposition that to be conservative is to be psychotic in some way.

This makes the "research" an agenda driven, preconceived result set. It does not produce any results not unexpected. It is not true research in that sense.

So this disucussion has nothing to do with the interpersonal feelings about conservatism or liberalism, but has to do with the mechanics of the process used to arrive at the conclusion.

In this case, the conclusion was drawn, and the data fitting the conclusion was created, and later defended.

This, does not, good research make.

So to re-answer your thoughts, I do not believe I have to show charity to the bad scientific method, or to the chain of thoughts which associate to it as a valid conclusion.

I can be kind to those who disagree, yet I suspect you may have meant that we all should get along.

You know, the ole "agree to disagree" -which is sophistry if you go far enough into any "issue".

Footnote: It was the CPUSA in the late 1920's and early 1930's which had a social plan, to make the discussion of religion or politics in public a gauche faux-pas.

Now, how many times have you heard that, and not known who it was that started the idea?

This was done to make it socially uncomfortable to talk about ideas, specifically ideas that may be linked to any non-relativistic reality. (Read: God or other external reference points).

The notion of no absolute truths, was reinforced by John Dewey's "Progressive Education" which taught that the only absolute truth -is that there is no absolute truth.

How does it feel to be a product of an experimentalist education system designed to remove you from historical context, and befuddle you about the persuit of truth? A system founded by a friend of Trotsky!


Anonymous said...


With all due respect friend, may I suggest that before logic, there is love. Charity is a priori to a priori -- always. And as it happens charity is the Truth. To live in Truth, to approach true logic, one must act in love.

I pray that the truth of love informs all our hearts, and gives us patience with those whose hearts are not so informed. Stand fast in the truth, but do so with the foundational love that banishes all error.

Nova said...


Leftists deserve to be ridiculed, mocked and abused. They really do. They show no hint of civility themselves (they routinely muse about killing the President, and other depraved fantasies). They cleave openly to the very worst enemies of Western civilization. They wage open cultural warfare on the family, tradition and decency.

I long ago gave up trying to be civil with leftists. The ones who are decent human beings will eventually end up here (or similar). The rest are just scumbags of the very worst sort (Michael Moore, Ted Rall, etc.).

The more Bob et al rip trolls a new one the better off we are as a society. Let 'em have it with both barrels.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's incredible how you start off your post talking about how ridiculous these studies are, and then after some amusing intellectual gyrations, you finally admit to never having actually read those studies. Hahaha... nice to see how an "intellect of greater depth" works... apparently by judging things of which it has no actual knowledge!

Gagdad Bob said...

Naturally, the point of my post eluded you. Nonsense is a priori when it cannot possibly be true, just as Truth is ineluctable when it cannot possibly be false. One might just as well promulgate the absurdity that one cannot dismiss The Nation without reading it cover to cover.

Anonymous said...

I don't get it. Bob already conceded that he didn't read the study because he doesn't remember how to be stupid enough to understand it. What more do you want?

Nova said...

Speaking of sheer depravity, I went to the CNET site to post a note of condolence regarding James Kim (whom I met once at a trade show).

Most of the posts attached to the front-page story about James were obviously sincere expressions of sadness and sympathy.

However one person calling him/herself "RealityBased" had posted literally dozens of posts viciously attacking the other people for believing in "your fantasy god" who "let this happen". Furthermore according to this fine specimen of humanity "a ghost never saved a life". It got far more vicious than that, and would have been obscenity-laced except that CNet filters it out. The entire theme was an aggessive, seething, almost unhinged hatred of God and anyone who mentioned anything remotely religious or spiritual in their condolence post.

I can scarcely imagine a more impoverished mind and spirit.

I used to ask myself how something like the Holocaust could happen. How could so many teachers, laborers, bankers and bakers become camp guards and other enablers of the worst deed in history?

These days I know the answer. Weimar Germany had no hordes of blood-hungry demonic madmen. They merely had a lot of people like "RealityBased". As did Cambodia in 1977. Or any of the other places the "reality based community" has gotten the upper hand for any length of time.

River Cocytus said...

Hmm... a.h.a... his point? Stupid is still stupid, no matter how many pretty ribbons and wrapping you put on it.

Think about it this way- what is even to be gained by determining whether or not conservatism is linkable to a mental illness?

The art of the intellectual is not fairness, as foolish lackademics might think- it is discretion. To forget discretion and take on fairness just makes them really bad snake oil salesmen.

Anonymous said...

Cousin Dupree said:
"I don't get it.
Bob already conceded that he didn't read the study because he couldn't remember how to be stupid enough to understand them.
What more do you want?"

This is true comic genius at work!

I'm glad Bob can't remember how to understand "studies like this.

Anonymous said...

Brian didst speaketh...

[With all due respect friend, may I suggest that before logic, there is love. Charity is a priori to a priori -- always. And as it happens charity is the Truth. To live in Truth, to approach true logic, one must act in love.]

Gotta love that mindset. Friend? Did we become friends while I was out and about this evening?

Perhaps you have missed some obvious (to me) points about your own ideas here. The most obvious is what definition of love and charity?

The New Testament English translations use these words somewhat interchangeably, so lets just stick with the more direct, "Love" shall we?

Love does not exist in the abstract. Like any action, or faith based action, it is a concept within a context.

If the concept leads the context, then this is incorrect thinking.

Those of us who have been around the Judeo Christianity in the US have no doubt heard ad-infinitum the three words in the Greek NT that are translated "love" in English.

Eros = Sexual
Phileo = "Brohterly Love"
Agape = "Unconditional Love"

Unfortunately, this is where most people get off the train.

Now go to the library (its okay, it really won't hurt) and grab a copy of Bauer's Greek / English Lexicon and look up agape.

After reading the citations on that word, look further at the additional words nearby which use it as a root or foundation.

What do you discover?

Why, it is not the "unconditional love" that is tossed so freely about the room as the definition.

In fact, it has more to do with doing what is right, and that for all, and not for your own self interests.

Hmm, a bit like John Nash's thesis in "A Beautiful Mind" -but I am being tangental, as that is still based in self-interest.

So without going into a huge recitation of all the variations of agape based words and thier meanings, I will say this:

You seem to assume that Logic or discussion in the definitions of clear thinking is a polar opposite to Love. Nothing could be further from the truth.

(Perhaps you watched too many Star Trek re-runs and think Logic is like Mr. Spock -and emotionless?)

Now to try to tie the cord around the top of the bag.

Clear thinking and Love do not always correlate well. I am not speaking in the typical sense that people might think.

For example, when Paul spoke to the Corinthian Church (the classic monologue on Love for many believers) did you forget he was speaking to people who were manifestly spiritual, but also empty without the proper context?

Starting out on this portion of his letter he mentions he would prefer they not be "ignorant" of "the Spiritual" -usually translated as "Now concerning the Spiritual gifts, I would rather you not be ignorant.."

But the word ignorant can also translate (sans traditional soft-balling) "Now concerning the Spiritual (spirituality) I would rather you not be stupid"

Closing with an aside, "but if you are going to be ignorant..." -then they will be. They were.

To continue..

I can love my wife, but be a complete fool about other things in life.

I can love God, but not understand much about him, or his word.

So we see that Love and Logic or understanding are not always proportional, and frequently are inversely proportional. But they are rarely in a context of not being associated. -That is, you do think about what, why, or whom you love, don't you?

Do I say love is not a primary line item in the list? Of course not. What the struggle is, is not love, but the operational aspects of understanding and application.

Like just about anything you can think of -literally. ;)

The actual distinction here is not always obvious to the non believer, or the believer.

The truest Love for the Christian comes from within -from God. It is part of his displacement of the "old man" -the Metanoia -the transformation. It is never what we make ourselves do in conformity to our idea of what it is.

That would be legalism, making Grace like the law, we make it of no effect. It would also be my supplanting my righteouness for his (bad move) -see the entire book of Romans.

Another example would be if you and I (since we are friends now) were going on hike in the wilderness, and you fell and broke your leg.

Setting the leg and splinting it would hurt. You would not like that. I would do so with reasons in context, and proceed in a logical manner. I might even do it because I at least have Phleo for you.

This would be for your own good, but it would not be pleasant for you. If you were young and immature, you might even think I was doing things to deliberately hurt you.

Thus the next pitfall of "love" being tossed about with personal definitions.

Typically, when people make remarks like the one you have made, what they are really saying is that my remarks have irritated you somehow, and you wished I had been nicer about it. Your feelings were hurt.

But being a possible seizer of moral high ground, you entice me with words like "friend" -which could actually be condescending, and then follow up with an implication that I might not be as loving and illumintated as you are.


It all boils down to that Love, like anything we deem worth taking action upon, is a concept which takes place within a context.

If your concept is a fuzzy wuzzy definition of nicety and lovey-dovey-ness, then your context is also funky and will cause dubious results.

This seems to be the driving examination that goes on here. To discern the fuzzy wuzzys and get rid of the dust bunnies of thought.

It is love to explain the illogical steps taken by some who consider they know whereof they speak. It would be a sin of omission to not do so.

So just remember, that sometimes we really do need to listen to the Lord, when he said, " make void the word of God by your traditions."

This same Jesus, in love for us and for the Father, made a whip with his own hands, and drove the merchants out of the temple, ranting and tossing their tables aside. In love.

This same Jesus, when questioned about working on the Sabbath, looked at the Pharisees and said, "I work, and my Father works."

So much for the Pharisees.

The traditional viewpoint infrequently permits the accurate translation of the Greek in Phl 3:8

"Yea doubtless, and I count all things [but] loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them [but] dung, that I may win Christ"

In this English translation, they actually come the closest to the word used. They say "dung" -but Paul uses the Greek word that in English would be like spelling Shirt without the "R".

I've never seen this translated into English with as much force as the original. Why?

Traditional viewpoints. A-priori assumptions about what we "ought" to be and do. -about what a loving person should be or act like.

Just don't ever decide that you are done, and that you know for certain all the things Love can mean (or anything for that matter). The mere act of halting, produces Pharisees and Gnostics.

And liberals.



You mean I wasted all that time reading The Nation? Ack! Phhhtt!

heh heh


ximeze said...

Hummmm musing on Brian/charity

Don't get the God=Love thing. Have heard it many times, but the first I always think is that the people saying so really, really hope that it is so, & that this is a relatively recent popular frame, associated with 70's "Jesus Freak" movement.


To me: God=Power, to logos the cosmos into existance, the source of the Big Bang, the essence & provider of dynamis, the locus of all there was, is & will ever be.

From our perspective, we are fortunate that He seems to have a soft-spot for our miserable carcasses & a certain benevolence toward us & our screw-ups. Up to a point. Scripture is full of "you're complete f-ups & now you're so outta here". I believe the polite term in English is smote.

Power again.

Frankly, I cringe at the pious & humble tones of the victims of Churchianity, of whatever creed. Social grooming run amok, the whole designed to squash a believer flat & take a cookie-cutter to him, resulting in a pleasing shape, hewn for acceptance by the group.

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.

It is a mistake to put the cart before the horse, disingenuous to work at showing fruit, as though one can get the Spirit by backtracking.

Anonymous said...

Further points on leftism and liberalism...

What would these people believe in, if there existed no thesis to their antithesis?

Seems to me their entire existence is made up of excuses, and pseudo-intellectualizing their position.

They hoard together in groups of like minded dysfunctionals, which gives the illusion of strength and clarity.

Yet, without conservatism, God, Law, and other things that might be described as moral, right, or good, where would they be?

As lost and alone as they are now?


Anonymous said...

Well, I've read the continuing debate on this thread, but I still think that on this blog:

Conservatives and conservative policies are invariably good

All else is invariably "crap."

Doesn't that raise a warning flag in your head that some bull**** is being shoveled around here?

Anyone want to step up and concede that the lefties might have some good points, like a high concern for the environment or some such assertion? Anything else?

Show me the ability to judge the enemy in a positive light where warranted.

ximeze said...



You're silly

No Apology said...

It is the creative aspect of mind that is being denied by such leftist professors. The process of mind was explained to me once as this:

Mind stopped is God

Mind slowed down is saint

Mind working normally is man

Mind working fast is mad

Actually, it was from a discourse by Meher Baba.

Anonymous said...

God is also Truth, and by pointing out truth, painful as it might be, then that is also in love.

Truth and Love cannot be opposed
and neither can Justice or Judgement.

I believe Mohhamed
put it (the truth) best, in his remarkable bbok review of One Cosmos Under God Jan. 24th of this year:

"A guerilla metaphysician and ontological Jihadi
who refuses to accept the slave wages of normality,
this infidel has written an independent book that is guaranteed to vault your ego
out of it's conceptual sand dune and expand your mind in places you didn't know you had places."

One of the problems (of multitudes) with the study, besides it's a priori and false conclusions, is that it wants to take us back to places we used to know, but have since been cleaned out and filled with
So why the surprise that Bob (or any Bobblehead) wouldn't choose to force truth out to make room for the garbage he already sent to the dump?

Afterall, Bob has said, on numerous ocassions, that the purpose of this blog (and the comments) is to expand our minds, bringing us closer to truth and beauty, not the reverse.
To me it's like a choice between reading the study (mucking in the sewer), or reading Bob's blog (flying high on truth).
I prefer the latter, as I'm sure even sanitation engineers will agree (no offense to any sewer workers out there intended).

Anonymous said...

In reality, we are judging the enemy in a positive light.

Anonymous said...


You have correctly identified the social grooming crowd of the Churchianity ilk. These "Six Flags Over Jesus" superchurch / prosperity doctrine types will drive you out the door.

Fortunately, God is merciful and will drag you kicking and screaming towards him, rather than to be pulled towards worshippers of (themselves) in the new Law -which makes true Grace void.

The problem with Churchianity is that it causes one to conform to a bogus model. Missing completely that it is the metanoia, the transformation from within by his Spirit, which manifests the genuine attributes they seek to cause you to conform to as a behavioral construct.

Gag me with a Septuagint.

-Or an Aramaic Peshitta. ;)

Refer-ee spoke:

[Conservatives and conservative policies are invariably good
All else is invariably "crap."]

Right. You got it.


You further said..

[Doesn't that raise a warning flag in your head that some bull**** is being shoveled around here?]

The only flag on the field I see, is the one you tossed when you completely missed that the discussion here is more about epistemological constructs, and not about insisting the opposite because we think so.

Unfortunately, when discussing ideas, we also discuss their consequences. It is this facet of the game on the pitch, with which you seem to be uncomfortable.

How can you referee the match if you don't see this? ;)

[Anyone want to step up and concede that the lefties might have some good points, like a high concern for the environment or some such assertion?]

(As if the intrinsic goodness of the left or environmental issues was a given)

You have got to be kidding me!

I live in California, where they reduce automobile emissions -at the expense of taxpayers, under the ostensible reason to clean up the air, then turn around and sell the pollution credits to industry.

Oh wait, I was only supposed to look at the cleaner emissions side and say, "its all good".

What about MTBE? Great supplemental additive to gasoline to reduce emissions. Well, thats how it was pitched to us here.

Of course, the fact that it is A) a carcinogen, and B) water soluable, did not influence any of the "thinkers" on the left, or in positions of power in the state to not use it.


Many city water systems were found to have MTBE in their well water systems. This same MTBE was making people ill when they did normal things like take showers before work. Several cities to this day, cannot use their 100 year old well systems because of the MTBE in the water.


Have you read Dixy Lee Ray's "Trashing the Planet", or the followon, "More Trashing the Planet" ? I'd start there.

Environment huh?

Global Warming anyone?

That is as bogus as it comes, but is well promulgated by the patron saint of pseudo-science, that nobel laureate, Al Gore (And his band of leftists, the leftist media, and other leftie politicians) -hey if Al Gore says so, it must be real!

(Lets discount all the real environmental scientists who have spoken up poking gaping holes in his "science" -afterall, they are just insane and most likely conservatives, and GAD! maybe even Republicans to boot!)

I really got a big laugh, when after the initial launch of the Global Warming campaign, it was pointed out that what was being looked at was actually local or regional warmth, and the overall mean earth temperature had actually fallen.

After regrouping we were told that cooling is also caused by warming.

I guess it does not matter that known and measured temperatures in the past were higher than they are now. -Hmmmmm.

How about the infamouns Ozone hole?
Did anyone else bother to notice that the hole is always in the news as being larger just as the US drops into the Fall season?

(After the winter season in the southern hemisphere)

That the stratospheric ozone is created by sunlight bombarding the upper atmosphere seems to have no correlation to their theory.

That we won't run out of sunshine anytime soon has no impact either.

Damn! The hole got bigger in the summertime! (And it was hot too -must be Global Warming) -obviously designed to affect non-thinkers in the US with such a propagandist thesis.

I guess it does not matter that UV detectors at the surface have actually measured an overall decrease in UV radiation -which should have climbed with the ozone layer getting thinner.

But who cares about empirical measurement when you can use Ozone Hole or Global Warming nonsense as a political lever to make money, tax industry, or blame George Bush and get more votes?

This last election cycle, California had a cluster of new "alternative energy" bills. These all were very similar to the Stem-Cell bills, in that they merely created a slush fund economy for some politician's friends.

Oddly enough, for an area in Northern California, Mr. Pombo was voted out for a man who is from his district who has his background as an alternative energy businessman.

Wait for it -there will be more leverage from washington from this guy to "help" his friends get federal dollars for "research".

Environmentalists have said we are going to all die in 10 years, about every three years, since the first Earth Day. (Celebrated on a Communist holiday btw) -yet we live still.

I used to keep a spreadsheet of these kind of claims. I especially liked the early 90's. Loaded with things like, "Every (x) seconds (y) acres of the rainforest are destroyed forever.."

So I would run the numbers.

Most of the time these claims were so untenable as to be absurd. By multiplying out their given numbers, we'd run out of landmass in a few years, let alone rainforest.

Well, I guess its the thought that counts, right?

So you are asking me to concede this kind of trashy, half-baked emotional reasoning is a good thing?

Not only no, but Hell no!

[Show me the ability to judge the enemy in a positive light where warranted.]

Firstly, liberals are not my enemies. Yet, by and large, they assume I am their enemy, and treat me as such.

Secondly, show me some "warranted" and I will concede. So far, "No Joy".

Thirdly, if they are true enemies, then why should I be positive to them at all?

Shall I treat the terrorists the same way?

Oh, Terrorists are really just misunderstood, and really warm and fuzzy people?

Here, let me get you a bigger chair, so you can be more comfortable in that bomb vest, while I think of you in a good light.

As the Duke would say, "That'll be the day."


Anonymous said...

Hmm, lets revist just a small matter of this again..

The Ref sed:

" a high concern for the environment.."

Here is the problem:

Having a "high concern" is not equal to anything tangible.

To the archtypical liberal mind, the severity of the concern is equivalent to the level of reality. Yet it is really just self serving ego reinforcement. -And a bit of herd mentality tossed in to boot.

Simply, it is more important to "care" than it is to do something. Caring reinforces the self generated idealist's "reality."

More important to blame others (George Bush, Rush Limbaugh, Conservatives, Republicans) -than to ever get off their own thought-butts and really think about it and get something done for real.

The classic response, is, of course, "Well, don't you care if the earth dies?" -or some other whine with the government cheese.

It is like diversity based hiring.

"Oh no," we are told, "It isn't about quotas."

But it is.

If you say that my employees should reflect the local race distribution, then for every (a) employees, I must have (i) and (j) members of equivalent racial groups.

How is this accomplished?

Count the employees, examine the ratios based upon race, and make sure I have the right percentages of each.

It is like baking a cake. This percent flour, that percent sugar, etc.

It equates to quantity based upon percentages.

I "must" have this many of this kind, and that many of that kind, and so many more of this other kind.

This equates to a quota based upon race. --And this based upon front-loaded percentages.

God forbid, we chould hire someone based upon skill, regardless of race.

Like previously discussed notions, this is an a-priori assumption that corporations are evil, and should be made to comply to this arbitrary population ratio based employment scheme, in order to be "fair" -whatever that means.

It is also like AIDS. We spend more money on this, than on other things which kill more people, most of the time.

If body counts are the criteria, then we should shift the funding.

But that would make sense.

It would also take federal dollars away from existing entrenched institutions.

Furthermore, it would be "offensive" to a fairly recently created victim class.

As "DeepThroat" said to Woodward and Bernstein, "Follow the Money."

There is money in creating further problems to be solved, which can be further funded by the government (thats you and me) and put millions, if not billions into the pockets of the friends of the politicians.

This is used in a feedback loop, as these same institutions turn around and lobby for more money, in order to serve their prime function -to exist.

Keep your eyes on the "alternative energy" markets in California.

Don't be so fooled by the ostensible "issue" that is a "crisis" that we "must" do something about -or not be caring, loving, sensitive human beings.

It is that bogus seduction, that hooks the emotions, and not the brain, and uses propaganda to manipulate people to say yes to redistribution of monies -by welfare or by "research".

-Kicks the dead Stem-Cell Horse.

So, perhaps now, it might be a bit more obvious, that fervent feelings, or concern about an issue, does not good results guarantee.

My previous examples of how most of these things work out in reality, at the expense of others, should be sufficient to make anyone question at least the operational aspects, and even the motives.


Anonymous said...

Okay Luke, you've obviously got a lot on your mind. Just a reminder that charity begins in humility, and the true teacher doesn't seek to put down those under a delusion, but rather build up by example of living in truth. Peace upon you.

Nova said...

referee said...

Well, I've read the continuing debate on this thread, but I still think that on this blog:

Conservatives and conservative policies are invariably good

All else is invariably "crap."

First of all, I'm not a "conservative", at least not entirely. I consider myself to be a classical liberal, or if you like a libertarian with conservative biases.

Second, I don't believe "all else" is crap, I believe that Western atheistic leftism is crap. In toto. Meaning it has no redeeming value whatsoever once one subtracts all the negatives.

Aside from leftism I also reject Islamism. Other than that I'm not too concerned what culture or belief system you hail from.

It's mostly just leftists we dislike, for VERY good reasons.

Why do you think there are so many people who make the intellectual/spiritual journey from leftism to conservatism/libertarianism (like me), whereas there are virtually none moving in the other direction (except out of Islam)?

Anonymous said...

Brian, Ref,

as an English female friend (and Medium) of mine used to say undirectly to a self-absorbed sensitive liberal Persian male friend of ours (a NYT reader): "You Want The Blow-Job Now?"

Sorry Bob if I broke the magic but I really mean this - conceptually of course. That's what Bin Laden is also dreaming of in secret. Probably "too shy" to ask for it in this plane, he believes God the Merciful will grant him the whole treatment in heaven... where whores abound. Which brings me to this other thought: the idea of Osama and his cave men in front of those Britney Spears pictures gives me nausea.

Bob, thank you a thousand times: You Are an Artist, with a big A. Which means that you master Truth, Beauty, Courage, Compassion. Man, not monk, humble, not slave.

One day the whole world will hear from me - when I'll go public and reach NYC shores. I am Persian, girl, (born in Europe) and Painter.

That day OBL will also hear from me, us (I wont be alone). I can't wait any longer!

The world needs her American, not french, revolution!

love you,
America Lover

River Cocytus said...

Brian & Luke: there is a scripture that simply says;

'We are not given a Spirit of Fear, but the Spirit of Love, and of Power, and of a Sound Mind.'

God is Love, but Love is not God. etc.

Prosperity Gospel is false because Prosperity (Wealth) is not God, although God is Wealth. God gives according to needs and purpose.

Megachurch movements are missing the core of what Christianity actually is. It is, in a sense, a hollow echo of what it truly is, instead of a modern 'version'.

Mostly we have twisted the new testament to be a justification for how we run our churches (there is no shortage of sects/denominations that believe and can 'show' the new testament supports them) instead of running our church - note Church - singular - as Christ himself commanded.

No offense to Dicentra, (who I believe said he was Mormon?) but I got frosty-la-tized by a pair of 'elders' - no older than 23 each - trying to get me to read the book of Mormon. Now, I don't know what your opinion on the book is, but he kept telling me how convinced he was that it was true. More or less, they told me that Bible = flawed, B.O.M = Perfect.

MY response? I don't need a 'perfect' book (Koran anyone?) to know the perfect God.

Was irritated, but did not treat them uncharitably. Apologies if I stepped on some toes.

Anonymous said...


I'm a little late in getting back to you regarding yesterday's post. Still, I think this has some say on what you've provided today.

One of the more interesting fields of research of the last few years has been the investigation of intuition and its corresponding neurobiology. Long cherished as a true source of wisdom in our country, that feeling of just “knowing” you are right is something many of us aspire too.

Far from being an illusory process, intuition is a very real mechanism in use by the brain. However, it’s not some kind of conduit to a magical realm “true” understanding, where heretofore unknown and unrealized knowledge is beamed into the head by ethereal waves. Rather, it’s a thinking process, an ability that the brain uses to compare a body of knowledge in a particular field of learning with a wealth of experience and “model” novel ways of problem solving, leaping over a bevy of dead end solutions.

S. Dehane was able to demonstrated how the interplay between two regions of the brain normally used to process non-numerical information is utilized to compute arithmetic. Gretchen Vogel noted the emotions that move unconscious thinking to the conscious realm. Gary Klein’s research showed how it was the accumulated experience of individuals that allowed them to quickly gain insight into problems and their rapid mental simulations of possible solutions with the discarding of those that wouldn’t work that allowed them to almost “magically” find the right answer.

That evidence and more depicts how intuition is a mental process based in learning, experience, understanding and imagination. It's keyed to particular fields of expertise. It’s not a global mental phenomenon. People aren’t “more intuitive” or “less intuitive.” Rather, they’re able to apply their insights to what they are already familiar with, to create novel solutions to difficult problems.

I bring this up as background, to help explain why your beliefs about Einstein's intuition, and it would seem your own, are wrong.

The example of Einstein being something of an underperforming office clerk until struck by the bolt of Zeus and thus "discovering" Relativity is urban legend, as is the belief that he was a poor or mediocre mathematician. In reality, he was quite good at math. At 12, he taught himself himself Euclidean plane geometry and calculus. He learned axiomatic deductive reading from the source, Euclid’s Elements. He wrote his first paper, “The Investigation of the State of Aether in Magnetic Fields” at 16 and composed his first thought experiment sometime later that year.

Not only was Einstein bright, but he understood the physics of his day thru and thru. At 16 he was puzzling on t he problems with the Aether theory. At 17, he was deepening his knowledge of electromagnetic theory in secondary school. He earned a teaching certificate at 20, published his first paper that year, and by his own account began to try to unify the laws of physics between 1900 and the pivotal year of 1905 – the year he earned his Ph.D in Physics and wrote his four world changing papers.

Einstein knew the logic and the math of his problems through and through. Much like the subjects of Klein’s experiments, he was able to use his accumulated body of knowledge, plus all of his formal efforts from age 16 … and probably earlier… to crunch away at the wide array of subtle, but infuriating problems that the physicists of his day wrestled with.

Einstein was big on empiricism. He knew he was right, and he wasted little time in pressing the larger scientific community to experimentally validate his conclusions. He began pressing, almost from the outset, for others to validate his work through experiment. The 1919 event was one of the biggest confirmations of his work, but it was by no means the first.

His insights into the fundamental structure of the Universe weren't provided by revelation, though they were no doubt revelatory. Nor were they "pure intellection." What he did was not magic. It was a fairly simple human process, no more magical than breathing. You, I and the audience here have insights too. We base these insights on the empiricism and learning we've already conducted in our own lives. The results of Einstein's process, growing out of his body of knowledge and experience in physics that he began building as a child, were just far more profound and important to Humankind.

Reading the rest of your post, with its dismissal of higher education, pronouncements about the psychological disturbances of participants of particular political parties based on nothing more than personal fiat, even pride in faking one's way through a Ph.D, was in turns humorous and horrible. Humorous in the self-aggrandizement displayed; horrible as invitation to set-up residency along side you in a no doubt balmy "anti-intellectual climate."

Anonymous said...

Tsk Tsk Brian..

And here I thought there might be hope for your soul. But I see you prefer to retreat into false humility and piety for a defense.

Rather than look at the whole picture, you circle the wagons of your mind and heart, and having decided your feelings have been hurt, or that you are better than me, shovel your Pharisee like self righteousness with stinky aplomb.

I mentioned resources you could examine yourself, and use to arrive at your own conclusions, based upon "new" evidence. You neglected the homework in lieu of your own rightouesness.

Sorry Bri, but thats a bit unevolved, no matter how much humility you attempt to slather on your attitude.

Good teachers can be like good drill instructors, they can instruct or they can lead by example, but they are certianly not here to make the student comfortable or feel great about themselves as a primary definition of "good" teaching.

The whole idea of making students happy and motivating them is a recent swill shoveled by the NEA and other nonsensical leftist teachers unions or associations.

The whole concept of students (by defnition, the unlearned or ignorant) defining a teacher (by definition -someone who ostensibly has skill and specialization in an area they are about to impart) -is utter nonsense.

The sooner you get over such ideas, which have obviously influenced your self image, the happier, and more free you will become.

Teachers also must confront error.

Unfortunately, confronting issues like bad thought, or exposing religiousity is something that is always seen as cruel and unnecessary by those who cling to the false gods of religiousity and themselves.

Tighten up buddy, its gonna be a long painful ride, or you will retreat into narcissism and become a Pharisee if you are not careful.

The hardest lesson to learn in any pursuit of truth or God is that its not about you.

The subtle thing is, that once you cross that line -you are transformed by truth and God, and in that sense it is about you -your transformation and what you have become as part of God.

Semper Paratus


Gagdad Bob said...


Very good then. I assume we've seen the last of you in this horribly humorous place. Somehow my intuition tells me otherwise....

River Cocytus said...

huh, Jody. You miss the point. You're looking for the feeling of knowing you're right about something. But the feeling isn't what you're looking for.

You don't know you are right because you feel it, but rather you know you feel it because you are right.

It might sound like I just moved the words around to sound clever, but there is something deeper at work.

As for ethereal waves... we talkin' the green aliens or gray ones?

How many ways can one say it? A study is only as good as its premises.

Anonymous said...

River said..

[I don't need a 'perfect' book (Koran anyone?) to know the perfect God.]

Indeed! I had a fun "discussion" one night with a chap online.

He insisted the King James was the only translation of the Bible that was worth anything. You know, "inerrant word of God" stuff and all that.

So I asked him a few questions he was unable to stomach.

1) Which KJV? The 1611? The one in common use now? Or the New KJV?

2) Does he include the KJV translations which had the book of Enoch? (Quoted by Jude btw)

3) How did Christians ever have a way to God's inerrant word prior to the publishing of the King Jame's Bible? Were 1st century Christians "unsaved" or unenlightened because they did not have this ENGLISH translation?

How do Christians who do not read English as their primary language then come to God? By learning olde English?

kaff kaff, gak, he went away.

Another case of mistaking the symbol for the referent.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled lunchtime.


Anonymous said...


Despite the deterministic categorization of brain interactivity in the various studies you've mentioned today, these notions of it being strictly a measurable relationship are not precise enough.

There do exist in life, the occurances of "bolts from the blue" -which do not have to do with the brain's interaction, so much as revelation from outside forces.

These encounters, or events, can cause a cascading effect in the brain, which modify the structures of the individual's thoughts and perceptions.

One, "sees the light" so to speak about something.

This, a scientific frame who looks only at the brain activity, will not be able to define. The cascade of the brain changes are measurable.

Because it is an interaction with an outside force -and possibly an outside personality (read: God) which science generally by defnition can't or won't include as a possiblity, we deadlock at measuring the brain, and say this is all there is to it.

Oh well.


dicentra63 said...

No offense to Dicentra, (who I believe said he was Mormon?) but I got frosty-la-tized by a pair of 'elders' - no older than 23 each - trying to get me to read the book of Mormon. Now, I don't know what your opinion on the book is, but he kept telling me how convinced he was that it was true. More or less, they told me that Bible = flawed, B.O.M = Perfect.


Dicentra is a girl, for starters.

Male Mormon missionaries are almost all between 19-21. The women are 21-23.

If I'm a Mormon, and a practicing one, my opinion on the Book of Mormon is that it is true. (Any other opinion means there's no reason to continue being a Mormon.) Not perfect -- true.

But if you attempt to engage me in an argument about the BoM, I'll opt to decline. It's always a useless argument, IMO.

Anonymous said...


[But if you attempt to engage me in an argument about the BoM, I'll opt to decline. It's always a useless argument, IMO. ]

Argument perhaps, but what of the history or forensic evidence?

Like any manuscript, it has a history. It came from someplace, was written somewhere and handed down. Perhaps even changed.

Such things are very important to discuss, if the document itself purports to contain revelatory knowledge from God or other sources of interest.

This context makes the discussion of the origins of the book of Mormon (or any similar document) important.

Your opinion that this would be a worthless endeavor is based upon?


Anonymous said...

Part of the "education" of the usual dreadfully sane normal western every-person is done via 4 good-luck "god" stories and the associated "creator" god: namely jesus, the tooth fairy,santa claus and jesus.
Most adults no longer believe in the "reality" of the first 3 yet their entire lives are still very much patterned by the good luck jesus and "creator" god idea.

Essentially this "creator" god is Mommy and Daddy writ large or dramatised on to the world stage.
The MOMMY-DADDY "god".
Some suck up to Mommy hoping to gain favours and others play of Daddy in an exercise of strategic adolescent "independence" though still wedded to mommy's apron strings.
Put in another way both strategies are a dramatisation of unresolved childhood oedipal patterning.
This "creator" god is supposed to love and protect all those who believe in it. Meanwhile sooner or later everyone suffers dreadfully and dies.
And also the klik-klak world machine is totally indifferent to either the pleasurisation or the survival of any and all particular body mind(s).
This then is the profoundly childish somatic strata upon which conventional "religion" and "culture" is based.It quite literally patterns every aspect of individual & collective behaviour.
The most strident promoters/defenders of this collective infantilism are those on the right wing of the culture wars who are most often very big on "jesus" and the "creator" god ideas. The Discovery Institute pushes these 2 lines.
And then the other strain of right wingism are the Rand inspired objectivists and libertarians.The eternal adolsecents. The politics & "culture" of the loveless heart!

The process of truly human growth only begins to begin when one becomes understands and transcends this oedipal patterning.
Until then EVERYTHING one does is a dramatisation of yes/no double-mindedness.

Gagdad Bob said...

Amazing. You sound so young. How did you get so stupid so fast?

Anonymous said...


That was masterful! LOL


There are greater things in heaven and earth, Troll, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

I've not seen someone reveal their ignorance so grandly in a long time, thanks for the laugh.

You quite obviously have never looked at Jesus at all.

The primary thing that makes Jesus distinct (besides the more typical examples) is that he made himself the center of everything.

Such things are unique to Jesus, but missed by those who never look, and want to classify him as a "good and wise teacher" -again, showing they never looked.

He did not preach an ethic apart from himself, he preached himself.

When quesitoned about working on the Sabbath, he said, "I am the Lord of the Sabbath."

Regarding "the way" -a term also used by members of the Jewish faith, he replied, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me."

These kinds of centralizing remarks were not made by Mohammed, Buddah, Confucious etc.

I doubt you care, but on the off chance you might actually be a scholar or interested in researching these kinds of things,
check these:

"Evidence that Demands a Verdict"
"More Evidence that Demands a Verdict"

-Both by Josh McDowell

Two classics:

Sherlock's "The Trial of the Witnesses"


"Who Moved the Stone" (don't recall the author's name)

-both are available on the Capstone Books website.

I do have a quick briefing on the factual basis of the resurrection of Christ, if anyone is interested.

Its one of those -go to the library and look it up yourself- kinds of things.

Now Troll, be ye scholar, honest researcher, or be ye whimp?


Anonymous said...

More on the subject since it never ends... Love.

Didn't Jesus say: Leave your mothers and fathers if they don't Believe (in Him, Me, YOU; in God's values, not Devil's)?

This is not exactly suffering from Oedipian complex. It means If your dad is Saddam, it's okay to Betray him. If your Traditions are oppressive, run away quick. The God of Jesus is free, the God of the Koran is a Bully; actually, no doubt, His true name was Devil - no matter how much lipstick you put on his face as 'Sufism' unfortunately did (the main flaw of the Religion of Love, Sufism; but that's what happens when artists and poets serve tyrants; and chose appeasement). Islam could only attract hypocrites, the corrupt, ignorants, paranoids, primitives, thugs, zealots and above all, nationalists. It all goes back to the human mind. The more healthy a mind is, the closer it gets to God's Heart/Logic. It's not about morality, it's about fairness. Then even an atheist is a superior man. Plus never forget 1. being too fair doesn't make one fair. 2. a truth-seeker may seem to talk like a gossiper, only he is right and always graceful!

People are obsessed about Love. Beg for love and compassion but don't have much to give themselves. Or at least, never without conditions. I don't need your love, give me your Intelligence. If you don't have any, Humility. If not, Money. If none of it, give me my Freedom back, let me Fly High and let me Take Risks, authorize me to dislike you, Death doesn't scare me, nor Loneliness because I never feel alone and Death is my rebirth.

Jesus was betrayed twice. He was no monk, he was Man. A very Modern one who valued Love and valued Marriage in its 'Romeo and Juliet' definition. As the answer to the world misery. A path to freedom and an end to all types of oppression.

A lifetime Mystical Quest and a 'short' cut to Clarity, Beauty, Balance, Lightness. Eternal LOVE as the only legitimate Struggle to create Paradise on earth, happiness accessible to all.

There is envy in the air when people get rich, there is as much envy/jealousy when people fall in Love - Jesus fell in love with Mary Magdalene and some people (purist) became extremely resentful, the same people who desperately need all the attention and think they can force you to love them unconditionaly even when they act like an ass. That's my theory; it's also a deep belief based on my long life personal experience.

Actually my own life/tale will be told one day. Right now as God's chosen apprentice, I can't go faster than His speed and I guess my time hasn't arrived yet. Otherwise, when that day will come, we will meet again.

For now, I thank God for Fox, the sanity squad, Gagdad bob, uss ben, etc etc. You help me kill the time nicely. Plus I am always ecited to meet my Brothers.

Bob, if you are interested in my paintings, they are in Lou Reed's hands and he will be delighted to show them to you. By the way don't believe everything he says publicly, he is a magician and a Master. Be sure, he is on the right side of history, with you against all the Michael Moore and other f... Barbra Streisand of this world.

I am a POP artist in the tradition of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol. Since my paintings are Abstract, I added an Acid to Pop and I became 'Acid Pop Artist'. So you are and so are all the Freedom Loving Americans who can recognize God from Evil, Kings from Courtiers, Friends from Betrayers, Freedom from Slavery.

I wrote a little 'Manifest and Testimony' for the United Nations (ie. all the leaders around the world, present and future) to read. It praises America and expose the Hypocrites (my way). With Lou's power and influence, nobody will be able to hide their heads in the sand or elsewhere.

I will stop here. I said a lot. I wont be free as long as I haven't jumped with two feet into the world. So that's what I am doing since 8 years with so many letters and e-mails sent all over America (the president included). You are the last witness, messenger. I hope you are my last one. In any case, you don't have to do anything, just continue treating us with your wit and clarity, the world needs you.

Logic tells me we will meet soon no matter what.
BY the way my paintings are much much better that my writings. Actually they are fabulous!!!

River Cocytus said...

Hmm. F-reed: I'm with ya, except the 'falling in Love with Mary Magdelene' part- Jesus was in love with everyone :)

It's just who he was, and is.

I'm not gonna bother with that jumble of nonsense that troll dropped off. Sometimes a ball of string is so knotted that the only thing to do is throw it out.

River Cocytus said...

Also, sorry Dicentra. Didn't realise you were a she. It's hard for me to tell a lot of times when all I can see is text. (It probably helps to look at Blogger Profiles)

Overall, the presentation of these two guys had cultish overtones to me. I've known Mormons before (a good friend from high school was a Mormon) but these guys kinda torqued my bolts.

Being friends = cool, but being evangelized was a little creepy.

Anonymous said...

In describing your bluffing your way into grad school you offered up an example of Thomas S. Kuhn's assertion that most scientific progress comes from those outside the actual field of endeavor. The outsiders are not contaminated with the received wisdom that constrains the insiders.

Anonymous said...

[Didn't Jesus say: Leave your mothers and fathers if they don't Believe (in Him, Me, YOU; in God's values, not Devil's)?]

No, I don't recall that he did. What he did do, was speak of a proportionality regarding our own love object -which in this context was Christ / God.

Matthew 19:29

And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

This is not the same as a rejection of parents, etc. It has more to do with your own devotion and how far you are willing to go toward's God.

Of course, I could go on..


Anonymous said...

Luke, river,
I wont argue with you. My understanding of god, history, and the present world is based on the few written testimonies that made the news and thru time became the official Truths, those suppressed or destroyed who were revealed to the world 20 centuries after (i refer to the Gospels of Mary Magdalene and another companion of theirs whose name I forgot now. Documents discovered in Egypt in 1945. I think my reference came from those texts + my own readings and experience of the Human Mind, Life and God).

You can't Love unconditionally everybody and end up on a cross.

If Jesus was the loving God (the same who created Evil by the way!), more God than Man, then what would be the purpose of his being amongst us? That figure is a bit boring to me, too abstract to be true, a utopian dream, unaccessible. That Jesus is also contradicting himself: be a slave, submit, love your oppressors, (Forgive them while alive/let them hurt you) miss your own life, ie. don't Grow (sorry but that's the Koran!). And it's different from "Live like a Man and Die like a Man, which He did!"

It doesn't teach personal responsibility neither. It's also, to my eyes, a populist interpretation of christianity, dear to the Fellowship of the Priests, another form of communism. Highjacked by leftists, never far away from rightists, a tool in devil's hands to control the masses and still stay safe. See the Inquisition period as one example. See nazi germany, see Jesus' fate.

It only works when applied to Devil who should learn to forgive and let go but can he?

Unlike Adam and Eve who are symbolic figures, Jesus was a real man (ie. with a Heart and a Mind and a personal story) living during historic times that still practiced barbaric rules, whether secular or religious (The islamic world today!). He was a Dissident and a Lover who fought for reform, modernization and freedom.

His promised Land today would be America, Friend of Israel and every free civilized nation. His God: the American Constitution. Where all the people of the universe unite, where each individual's dream has built the nation's dream. Where Capitalism is the structure that allows those dreams to materialize and Respect for individual Freedom is the tool to each citizen's success. Not Socialism, not France, not Taxes, not Tolerance of Intolerants. Not control of our free speech by fear or submission. That's Blackmailing. That's good for Courtiers, for Diplomacy, for the UN, for all the Hypocrites and Ignorants who rule our world, directly or undirectly, and are the cause of all the world's misery; after the Killers themselves.

To muslim americans i have one word to say: You make us feel stupid, can't you be just American?

It's much less about Jesus loving us, it's more about us learning to love ourselves, our choices, our days, then others, when they are better than us, unaccessible to us, crazier than us; Love with Detachment. The detachment that comes with a free mind and a strong heart.

The Love of an Ignorant becomes our Jail. If Mohamed had the intelligence of Jesus, he wouldn't say: I heard God's words. He would shut up because he would know that that was Devil's conversation, nothing less.

Van Harvey said...

River Cocytus, Luke Blogwalker, Ximeze & Jody

On Intuition,
In my electronic age Clockmakers theory, I think of the Brain as a bio-chemical relational database running on top of its operating system [which has a few storage and linking trickes of its own]. This db has some basic default tables that are made & filled by default, and relations that are established at a low level automatically, and enforced and elaborated by our use, ‘number of hits’ we establish by our actions on different empirical observations and preferences.

In a database there are manually coded and run queries, there are always running queries in Views (that can be easily mistaken for hard tables – world views), and there are queries that run as updates and services that run in the background all the time, think of Google & other sites “Hot Topics of the Day” that show what people are looking at the most.

As we run our queries, a mental page is constantly populated ‘unconsciously’ with hits based on our running concerns, but it is our conscious choices of attention, of our habitual clicking on the pop-ups the moment they surface, or hovering over them to see more in a “tool tip” to see if they are worth investigating further, or dismissing them out of hand – your routine habitual responses here help to establish not only the relevance and quality of your interests and integrations and the resulting ‘intuitions’ they help to establish, but whether or not the intuitions are even noticed anymore. It is your conscious actions and habits of thought and thoughts coupled with action, that determines what the quality of your intuitions will be.

As I’ve said elsewhere, I think it is the established relations between thoughts, images, conceptions and words which we establish by our thoughts; and the integrations of those relational cords that themselves create relational chords between our thoughts. Mentally hovering over these chords deepens not only their connections, but raises them higher in the background of our conscious thought – these chords are what I think comprises the bulk of our ‘unconscious’ mind.

[ximeze – M.Polanyi does have much to say on this!]

But that is only the mechanics of it, there is still an overall problem (to the mechanistic view) that the bio-mechanical view alone doesn’t address there is still an “I” that does the clicking and the choosing, and though subtly and not so subtly influenced by the habits and intuitions it establishes, it is still separate from the computer.

Jody made numerous empirical observations, then with imperial sweep, chose to dismiss Gagdad’s bobservations which are themselves based on much empirical observations, dismissing them because they do tie the many into a One, the typical leftie prejudice, rejecting not only larger One’s, but also apparently refusing to acknowledge the “I” and its ability to tie One’s together into a single Cosmos.

This is true folly. The more and wider the integrations and relations you establish within your brain (as Einstein prodigiously did) the wider your abstractions and insights will be. It requires not only multitudinous ‘empirical facts’ to establish these integrations, but an integrative Poetic Myth (not in any pejorative sense) to enable those integrations and insights to occur. Einstein most definitely had a sense of this, and through it he was able to see wider and farther than those about him focused more intently on the particulars – note that he too was thoroughly acquainted with the particulars, but he had a wider canvass upon which he saw them which enabled him to make the integrations that he did.

Van Harvey said...

Brian said … “With all due respect friend, may I suggest that before logic, there is love.”
Luke BW, Ximeze & dicentra63 have already had at you on this rather well, I’d only like to point out the repulsiveness of this squishy, faux & forced emotivness that passes for ‘love’ in the age of aquarious, churchianity & red-letter insistians.

In my e-Clockmakers view, Love is what you feel for someone (or thing) who embodies what you perceive to be a massive integration of your values, shared experiences & aesthetic ideals – to mention just a few. To exist without psychosis, that requires a well ordered mind, and the higher the quality of sensible, logical deeper understandings and integrations of facts and values in that mind, the sturdier the Love that mind will be able to feel and express. The more this is not the case, the more your integrations are surface level perceptions, floating abstractions not grounded in reality, the more fleeting, shallow and horizontal your assertions of ‘love’ will prove to be.

Luke Blogwalker, maybe you can check me on this, but didn’t the original Hebrew or Aramaic meanings of ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ extend further to the idea of ‘love your neighbor as yourself, because he is afterall a person just as you’? In that sense, you can have a Love for everybody, but on a basis of what is common to all and yourself, not some non-existent ‘lovelovelove’ sense of touchie-feelie-nothingness.

Van Harvey said...

Dicentra63 said … “I would dare say that many if not most leftists are more class-conscious than their bourgeoise brethren. I mean, the fact that they still use terms like proletariat and bourgeoise with straight faces speaks volumes. Country music? NASCAR? It's beneath them. Not that they simply haven't developed a taste for such things, they are too advanced to indulge in such redneck fare.”

That is soooo true of the leftie mindset, they reject not from expectations based on experience, but from expectations based on expectations.

To pick up from the Glamours, as Will mentioned yesterday, for the leftie with their anti-integration worldview, and LukeBlogWalker’s noting of the object jumping tactics of conversation, I think it comes partly from their adhering to multiple Glamour’s, each of them are built from independent assertions, they exist separately and side by side, disintegrated in the mind (each one multi cultural and PC no doubt) – and each Galmour or enthusiasm of theirs is equally able to gain control of their conscious attentions. Because their ‘understandings’ of these extend down only to isolated facts of reality (which shorn of wider context lose even the respectability of the term ‘fact’, but that’s another conversation), when faced with argument, they really can not give a reasoned integrated response – it doesn’t exist within their brains.

When you are ‘arguing’ with them, it is so frustrating because they have no alternative but to spew out the contents of one enthusiastic glamour bubble (Loved River Cocytus’s comment about open minds letting their brains falling out to splatter on the ground!), and once emptied, they then have no alternative but to bounce over to another bubble to continue the process there.

They can’t argue, they can’t Reason, because that process requires wider integrations, higher truths to grasp and aspire to, and that is fundamentally rejected at the outset (go back and read your Kant & Dewey if you doubt me). With such a worldview, they are condemned to a paltry thought-toolkit of assertions, pleas, accusations and pretense and are likely to be someone who can be easily led by the latest MSM Glamour that lives only by the zap of its assertions and threats. The lefties were able to seize the cultural attention because of their Glamours sleek styling’s, assertions and dire warnings. But now that they have a track record in reality, they are rapidly losing their hold and attractiveness.

[I second Luke Blogwalkers recommendations of “Dixy Lee Ray's "Trashing the Planet", and the followon, "More Trashing the Planet"” ]

To Reason, to properly Argue, you need a deeply structured philosophy, you can’t avoid Glamours, but you can insist that the ones you favor are integrated and hierarchical, even concentric in their structure. I think one reason conservatives are less likely to fall for these fads, is that their Glamours exists only in relation to, and inheritance from, a higher understanding, and so tend to reject those popular Glamours that don’t make a strong overall sense, that don’t integrate well into your wider understanding of life, the universe and everything in it.

Van Harvey said...

Gagdad Bob said... "Amazing. You sound so young. How did you get so stupid so fast?"

Ooohhhh!!!! WHAM-O!

Cousin DuPree must be green with envy (or looking for the murphy bed in the garage again).

No further comment needed.

Anonymous said...

Wow! People still following on here..


[Luke Blogwalker, maybe you can check me on this, but didn’t the original Hebrew or Aramaic meanings of ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ extend further to the idea of ‘love your neighbor as yourself, because he is afterall a person just as you’? In that sense, you can have a Love for everybody, but on a basis of what is common to all and yourself, not some non-existent ‘lovelovelove’ sense of touchie-feelie-nothingness.]

Interesting you should bring this up, as I've been discussing a certain aspect of things Jesus said with some friends.

Without looking it all up, yes you are on the right track. It is decidedly not touchy-feely lovie-dovie BS. With Jesus, it never was.

The only time his use of love was interesting is when he asked Peter several times in succession "Do you love me?" -he asked him (as I recall) twice if he Agape-ed him, and then dropped it to Phileo on the last try.

Visiting what Jesus said in "The Lord's Prayer" -one which he himself never prayed btw..

"Forgive us our Trespasses, as we forgive those who Trespass against us.." -Is a very similar passage.

For the uninitiated, there were two sin offerings in the Old Testament.

One was for the condition of sin -that we are sinners. The other was the "Trespass Offering" -which was for the sins you do -that you know you have done.

So, what my friends and I were discussing was the proportionalities of what Jesus said -the balancing acts he showed forth.

So Jesus was saying, when we pray, to ask God to forgive us the things we've done willfully against him, as we forgive those who have willfully acted against us. Ouch.

Another part of what Jesus was saying was also "proportional" if you will permit the term. Only in this case, it was one of getting a clue.

Instead of keeping the Mosaiac laws, Jesus said to Love the Lord God with all your heart (some translations add soul and being or mind) and love your neighbor as yourself -and he added, in this you fulfill all the law and the prophets.

So the "big picture" is not where we as humans like to go -we objectify it to a checklist, a rulesheet, etc. When it is "alive" in the sense that it is interactive, based upon principles, but not legalistic.

If you really want me to dig into my Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek stuff I can.

Also, it interests me that we can go back in archaeology and various ancient traditions and manuscripts and find things like Moses, Abraham, and the children of Noah, yet people insist Adam and Eve are a mythical representation of mankind somehow.

It interests me that people also like to say that God created "Man" or mankind in his image, when the original text clearly states that God created "Adam" out of the red ground.

PS -posted a simple outline of the historical aspects of the resurrection of Jesus on my blog.

Not that this is spectacular, but it is a look at it for those who don't like "religious" explanations. In other words, go make up your own mind. And it probably is best not to jam it in here.


Anonymous said...

where did you read that I don't believe in God the Creator?

I do. Badly.

In fact, I believe in Intelligent Design. I believe the Jewish people is a Gift of God to Mankind. No spiritual warriors without Test of Fire. No reaching of Paradise without Passing thru Hell. I don't believe Devil is human, more actor/robot without a soul (maybe goat in its true essence, like Buddhism believes), unlike us Actors with Soul and Brain. The Play the history of the world and mankind, the Author God - whatever It is because nothing can explain His existence, no rational thought can understand the Magic of Life and the beginning of things or thoughts.

I think we humans are living God's Dream. Because of His power, we are given the right to live and experience and be. The goal, being in tune we our own path and reach the point where we can become part of this Divine Dance where God sends us the messages and we response to them in total Awareness. In control of our own destiny, the path to the Tao, fully, courageously, patiently, humbly.

Intense period of Visions and what I see happening on my own paintings have taught me all this, beside my own addiction to Knowledge and first Awakening when I was looking for the existence of God thru books. Around 1997 at age 37 while I was living in Tehran and had no better friends than Books as teacher. Like the next person, I grew up in secular Europe and Education, became Architect before I switched to Painting and found my true path. Ironically short texts of Schopenhauer and Leibniz + an essai by Plotin (or Plotinus) about Beauty gave me the understanding of God, Painting and Composing in general. Watching Jean-Michel Basquiat paint in the movie dedicated to him by Julian Schnabel at 38 was the ultimate boost to help me jump confident with two feet into Painting and find my Passport to Freedom and America, my Beloved . No one to obey, no one to delegate responsibility to, I was finally my own boss.

Nothing scares me anymore since I know God. I also learned never to blame directly human beings for their bad behaviors but "God" (ie. the name of the game) who sent them to me. That's not to say that I don't have to fight them or free myself from them.

By the way I always liked f... Barbra Streisand and still do. But really don't expect me to like MM. He is not even pleasant to watch. Plus it's beyond 'Misguiged'.

Forgive me if I can't be more specific. You will have to wait to be fully introduced to me and my paintings. Right now, I am just playing the Game God wants me to play. Inspire and testify before I truly reach my dream and all of my predictions. Nothing I can escape from. I have put all my feelings and knowledge into words and very quickly all have been accessible to a small group of Persian Friends first, then and most importantly some American public figures (the president included). I am not hiding and I wont hide. That much I can assure you.


by the way, van, that was beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Bob writes:
"As I have noted in the past, there are only three methods of gaining knowledge about the world, 1) logic and empiricism (i.e., inductive and deductive reasoning), 2) revelation, and 3) pure intellection. Obviously, the vast majority of liberal academics categorically reject the latter two categories, which leaves only the reason, narrowly construed."

I personally find it hard to resist rejecting #s 2 and 3 and relying purely on #1 like the academics you denounce. This is because i think reason(logic & empiricism) is the most reliable way to truth. If you resort to belief in revelation, what distinguishes the gospel as revealed in the judeo-christian bible from the revelations of muhammed in the koran for example or the new-age babble of a homeless on the corner. How do you distinguish between real revelation and delusion/insanity/dishonesty? Also, pure intellection (#3) is easily susceptible to cognitive biases and other delusion as well.

I do admit that relying only on #1 tends to push people towards the left. In my case I would admit to skirting on the 'left' but pulled back once seeing the end point of that path was an empty void of nihilism. But how do I recover and move back away from the left if I really don't think I can trust in any form of knowledge-acquisition/belief outside of reason and rational thought?

Anonymous said...

FREE: Its a RELATIONSHIP w/God, not a Game. We are not objects/chess pieces. Satan is not a robot - where do you get this bunk from? THIS is why we are to believe SCRIPTURE not ones own "opinions" of things.

Unless self is god.

One lives, speaks and breathes whatever god you serve. Make sure you have the Right one, not just the one you *THINK* you serve. Test your self if you want to be 100% sure.

Submission of your thoughts, emotions, choices, etc. of whole self in all aspects to God results in spiritual maturity & gaining of HIS Thoughts not your own.

Stalin studied the Bible & thought himself a Christian too. Ooooops!!