Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Great Lincoln-Darwin Debate

I hate to make it sound as if I'm trying to abuse Darwin -- to say nothing of science -- but unfortunately, he has became the brand name for a certain kind of philosophical and moral idiocy. As always, first the superior master ruins the disciples, then the mediocre disciples ruin the master. Which, of course, is why Raccoons don't have disciples, so we don't ruin one another.

Like most everything else, Darwinism is a good slave but a bad master. But to even affirm that one can master Darwinism is to render the theory void, at least in its vulgar, totalistic sense. As I have said before -- and this should be a truism -- either I can explain Darwinism or Darwinism explains me. Both cannot be true, for a thing that can transcend and explain itself is not just a thing.

Amazingly, we have had trolls who object to this axiom. However, I must remind them: I never said that Darwinism doesn't explain a soulless entity as simple as you. But even James Brown, the most righteous sex machine of them all, wasn't only a sex machine.

If man is susceptible to being contained and enslaved by something as simple as Darwinism, then he is susceptible to slavery, period. Do you really fail to see why this is the case, numbskull? If man is no longer a nonlocal soul with infinite possibilities but a mere replicating machine, what is so special about him? Why not just keep the good ones and enslave or eliminate the ones we don't like?

It's not as if it hasn't been tried in the past. Contemporary Darwinists hate to be reminded that some political movements -- including in America -- have actually taken the theory dead seriously, and moved on to the next step. For again, if the theory is true, it has undeniable political implications.

For one thing, it renders the underpinnings of our entire Judeo-Christian heritage null and void. I don't know about rank-and-foul Darwinians, but for the more prominent ones such as Richard Dawkins, this is the whole point. He detests religion, and wishes to use Darwin as a club to beat it to death. He's barbarous enough, but in the grubby hands of a Charles Frogster Queeg, the whole bloody scene is reduced to an intellectual version of Lord of the Flies, with the primitive children dancing around Darwin's brain on a pike.

Again, America's founders surely believed in evolution, just not the Darwinian kind -- which again, properly understood, is not even evolution, only change. To even say the word progress is to lift oneself from the stream of mere Darwinian change. To know truth, to create beauty, to recognize virtue, to embody cosmic funkmanship -- these are specifically human modalities that are above the plane of mere horizontal change.

As Watson explains, the Founders recognized that "while truth might be incrementally revealed in history, it was not created in or by History or beholden to it. The truth was indeed 'out there,' and the Americans' new science of politics, in both its creedal and cultural facets, represented a sustained effort to approximate it."

This is the Orthodox Raccoon position, enunciated by Toots Mondello and confirmed by Herman Hildebrand during happy hour at the Tip On In tavern over a century ago. It is not subject to evolution or revision. No random mutation can improve upon it. It is perfect as it is. It is absolute, inviolable, sacred, and true. To disbelieve it is to auto-excommunicate oneself from the nonlocal Body of Toots.

As discussed yesterday, it is strictly impossible to reconcile philosophical Darwinism with America's founding principles. Can't be done. It's just too bad for the Confederacy that they were too occupied with the Civil War to know what was going on across the Atlantic with science, but if Darwin's magnum opiate for the scientistic masses had only come out a decade or so earlier (it was published in 1859), they would have had the perfect rejoinder to Lincoln's nonsense about natural rights and the dignity of man. There would have been no need for that silly war. Instead, we would now have the north living under the principles of the Founders, and the south living under the principles of Darwin.

Watson writes that "the political rhetoric and actions of Lincoln remain among the greatest affirmations that there are such things as natural rights that do not change with time, that the American Constitution is dedicated to preserving them, and that the role of great political actors, while responding to urgent necessities, is to look backward rather than forward." But please note: we look backward in order to move forward, i.e., to evolve, for if there are no fixed principles, evolution is again impossible. As in driving a car, we look in the rear-view mirror in order to move ahead.

I don't think I want to bore you with how this is the very opposite of what modern day "progressives," believe. For one thing, that's the purpose of Watson's book -- to explain the intellectual roots of contemporary progressivism, and how their whole program is founded upon a rejection of the timeless principles embodied in our Constitution. To the extent that progressives rely upon the Constitution -- which they must at least pretend to do, in order to fool the public -- it is always as a pig leaf to conceal their swinish purposes. This is why they are always at cross purposes with themselves, because they only use the Constitution selectively, never as a sacred document embodying transcendent first principles. If they did that, they would no longer be progressives.

And "sacred" is not too strong a word, at least for Lincoln. When he declared that America was "conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal," he understood this to be "the central truth of the American political experiment," "grounded in the laws of nature and nature's God" (Watson). These truths were "handed down by the Founding Fathers for later generations to preserve." These were truly Great Men, and a spineless pipsqueak such as Obama has no right to reject them. He doesn't have to live by them, but he has absolutely no right to prevent us from doing so.

Either our rights are grounded in the "nature of things," or they are not rights at all -- only privileges granted by man, i.e., the State. Again, this proposition is a sword that cuts straight through the body politic and defines left and right today. It is the whole basis of the energy animating the tea parties. Racism! Ha! Such transparent projection. For we declare with the Founders that all men are endowed by the Creator with sacred rights that no man -- not even Obama -- can deny.

When we look at Obama, we do not see black, white, color, or black & white. Rather, we see only the worldly emperor's new empty suit. That is all.

To be continued...

Give us this day our daily bread:


Warren said...

>> Charles Foster Queeg

"Citizen Queeg"???

Mizz E said...

Thanks for the memories Bob. I once danced to the music of Slim Harpo in a honkytonk in Ba.ton Rouge, Louisiana. After I broke-up with my first love, I cried a spell while playing Harpo's "Rainin' In My Heart".

As for these here posts of late:

Stay on the scene,
you my truth machine.

Kepler Sings said...

But please note: we look backward in order to move forward, i.e., to evolve, for if there are no fixed principles, evolution is again impossible. As in driving a car, we look in the rear-view mirror in order to move ahead.

And that truth is even echoed biologically in nature. There are many symbiotic life systems, where two or more species are interlocked as a system, how could such a thing arise if there was not an outside directing principle (intelligence) that had a planned outcome?

The Yucca plant and its attendant moth of the American Southwest are a good example. The moth has the only body shape (morphology) that allows it to pollinate the Yucca flower, nothing else can do this.

The Moth lays its eggs on the Yucca plant, its larvae can only eat the flesh of the Yucca. I seem to remember that the larvae also eat any predator bugs on that plant.

Cycle repeats. Darwinism would have us suspend belief to imagine some day in time that two separately evolving species woke up on Oct 1 2,000,000 BC and were now interlocked as a life system, accidentally designed to be thus?

What is incredible is that someone can believe things like this and still feed themselves unassisted. This is willful blindness, and has nothing to do with science, it arises from a pre-conditioned spiritual darkness, that if Darwin had not existed then belief in Shamans or Witch Doctors would suffice. Anything that blocks the pervasive light of spiritual truth.

julie said...

Oh, lord. Darwinism: by its fruitcakes shall ye know it.

(Got there via Instapundit; if you have tender sensibilities, I don't advise exploring the site too much.)

Stephen Macdonald said...

The metaphysical Darwinists are getting somewhat like the global warmists: a bit desperate despite the fact that they have the entire media and all of academia on their side.

Dawkins says of his new doorstop, er, book that it contains all the evidence for Darwinism one would ever need, if only he could get people to read it. You can tell he's one tiny step away from saying that people should be forced to read it because it is the Truth, plain and simple.

julie said...

Heh - the joke's on Dawkins. If his book actually contains all the evidence for Darwinism one needs, it cannot possibly be true.

Stephen Macdonald said...


Heh. Too bad Dawkins assiduously avoids ever debating these matters with someone of Bob's caliber -- hell, with someone of MY pea-shooter caliber for that matter -- in public. The only "debates" he allows are with hapless fundie preachers better suited to church picnics than intellectual fencing.

He would be sooooo easy to fisk.

mushroom said...

I think Dawkins is probably a little gunshy after Ben Stein made him look like a fool. Yes, I know they claim Stein Borat-ed or Maher-ed him, but it makes no difference. He said what he believes.

More importantly, though, regarding the Tip On In, back in my drinking days, my favorite first stop on a Friday and/or Saturday night was a store that sat on a little hill above old Route 66. It was mostly underground with only the front and part of one side exposed. The name was the Wee Dug Inn.

bob f. said...

"...a sacred document embodying transcendent first principles."

About as good a six word description of the Constitution as we are likely to find anywhere.

Who was it who said, "Damn the lawyers, full speed ahead."?

debass said...

Richard Dawkins was on the Medved show today. He sounds like he evolved from C3PO. Well, there's your problem, he's a machine.

Susannah said...

Re: "cross-purposes with themselves"...I was just thinking yesterday how "whatever floats yer boat" (in terms of moral duty--obviously not allowed on arbitrarily specified PC matters) and "it's for the children" cannot co-exist. We're "informed" by the WaPo it's supposed to be outrageous to think that kids are better off at home with their moms than farmed off to institutions. Hmmm...

julie said...

Is the administration taking advice from Frank J?

Mizz E said...

An update on the current "whatever floats your boat" crowd. I clipped this letter to the editor as few months ago, a sad sign of change I've seen in my life time.

'Wild' Again

Leonard Cohen was right, Democracy is coming to the USA.

Forty years ago the 1969 graduating class of Belton High School
voted "Born to Be Wild" to be its class song. Dr. Lowe, the principal, stole our freedom of speech. He vetoed our selection and substituted "You'll Never Walk Alone."

Most of us were sick to our stomachs. The class of 1969 had a float in the recent Fourth of July parade. "Born to Be Wild" was the song blaring from its speakers and sung just as loudly from the float riders.

It was a great day to be an American.


But hey, we don't suck as much as these dozy blots, yet.

Susannah said...

Julie, I had the same thought when I saw that headline! BTW, I poked around IMAO (haven't read it in a while), and he has a recent entry on your blood-lamp link. LOL! "Hippie art project."

julie said...

Thanks, Susannah - I haven't rummaged around IMAO for a while, I may have to wander over and see what's there...

julie said...

Mizz E - and I thought our tv was getting bad. At that rate of "evolution," Great Britain should be back at stone age levels within a generation or two. Maybe it's all just a grand experiment to see if, by reducing the mentality of the average Brit to a kind of pre-modern, earth worshiping crudity someone will figure out how to recreate Stonehenge.

Mike said...

Hi all, new here but not new here. I've been a follower of a long time but lost some interest about a year ago with what it seemed at the time almost a religious cult. I have always been a conservative, but much moreso now, and many things I thought or were turned off at the time seem to be a folly on my part. I don't look to Bob as a prophet or some sort of religious guru necessarily, but more one who can make the complex less complex, or summarize effectively (more than that but I am at a loss to express what I am thinking).

I guess part of this is that it is patently obvious I have missed out on quite a lot in my semi-departure (I still glanced at what Bob said, but I only read based on what piqued my interest). Which begs the question, how do I get there?

I feel like I am lost but at the same time have not strayed very far away. Hopefully this makes sense, and I welcome any kind of guidance.

julie said...

Hi Mike,
I don't look to Bob as a prophet or some sort of religious guru necessarily

First off, you probably shouldn't do that at all. Bob's a smart guy, but still he's only human. The point is to turn your head in the direction he's pointing, and see if you can't see some similar truths. But what you see will never be the same as what he sees. That's probably a mercy ;)

Next, I'd give the same advice I gave someone else a couple weeks ago, though it sounds as though you're more likely to actually take it: Read for what rings true to you, and at first, try not to worry about things that don't make sense or that you don't like; don't dismiss a mountain over a fissure. Better yet, try to make sure you understand what doesn't make sense or what you don't like before ruling it out completely. My first few months here, I felt like I was looking up references with every paragraph, but I caught up. Also, you can always ask questions. The important thing is to gain some clarity of communication, but depending on where you're coming from, that may take some time or it may happen quickly.

We've often been accused here of being "cult-like," but really it's a strange sort of cult whose members are encouraged to go out and find a real tradition. I think the only thing the regulars here (not counting the trolls) have in common is a sincere love of and a thirst for the Good, True and Beautiful. And it just so happens that Bob is good at translating those from various sources, plus he lets us hang out, raid his refrigerator and play with his stereo. And he knows where to find the good stuff. But he's not responsible for any psychodelic experiences that may result, so read from the sources at your own risk...

One more thing - generally speaking, comments on old posts (more than a day past) tend not to be noticed, as the conversation usually stays alive on the most current comment thread. F'rinstance, I don't generally scroll down this far, except that I was curious where the comment popped up that Bob referenced at the end of today's post.

I hope that was helpful!