Friday, October 09, 2009

The Great Lincoln-Darwin Debate, part 2

Continuing with yesterday's post, Lincoln agreed with the Founders -- to put it mildly, for he truly revered them -- that "there are certain fixed principles beyond which progress is impossible."

Think about that for a moment, for it says everything you need to know about what man is, and how dramatically he stands out from the rest of creation. It's a little pathetic when scientists, as they so often do, use the findings of science to try to minimize or eliminate our unique cosmic standing -- as if, say, the heliocentric theory literally displaces man from the center of creation, or our relative smallness in the face of the vastness of the physical cosmos places any actual limit on the limitlessness of man's imagination. As we will see, this represents a kind of "reverse omnipotence" which eventually reduces to infinite stupidity and the rule of morons.

After all, the vastness of the cosmos is only conceived in man's imagination and no place else. In the absence of man, there's not even a cosmos, since it is obviously a form of our sensibility. No one has ever seen this construct called "the cosmos," and no one ever will, for it is in man, not vice versa.

Every serious scientist implicitly recognizes the truth of this, in that he believes that reality is capable of being understood -- which is to say, contained -- by the mind. To say cosmos is to stand outside of it. And again, to say "natural selection" is to stand infinitely above it, on pain of automatically refuting whatever truth the theory may express.

And "infinite" is the precise adjective, since the distance between truth and falsehood is infinite. There are not degrees of truth between 2 + 2 = 4 and 2 + 2 = 5. Rather, it is an either/or proposition. Likewise, there are not degrees of acceptance of America's founding principles. Thus the irrevocable and absolutist language: "We hold these truths to be self-evident." "Inalienable rights." "Nature and nature's God."

Therefore, as I've said before in so many different ways, the real debate is between absolutism and relativism. And it is a debate that the relativists of the left cannot win unless they first undermine the plain meaning of our founding documents. Instead of embodying the fixed principles toward which our task is to evolve, the founding documents must become an elastic and mutable organism that evolves itself, a la Darwinism, in which all is change and nothing is fixed. Everything is back on the table -- life, liberty, property, slack.

Thus, the documents truly become "just anything." To think otherwise is to be an absolutist, which for the left is a kind of oppressive fascism instead of ultimate liberation. For the conservative, liberty is a priceless gift; for the leftist, it's a curse. So the absolutists must learn to compromise between what the Constitution says and what the left wishes it to mean. In short, 2 + 2 can = 3.78, or 4.22. Let's negotiate. There's wiggle room.

Which, oddly enough, is actually a different kind of absolutism, similar in way to Hegel's "bad infinite." It reflects the primitive psychological defense mechanism of infantile omnipotence, through which the child perpetuates the illusion of primary omnipotence beyond the stage at which it is appropriate. This often occurs due to early developmental trauma, in which the reality principle impinges upon the child too early, forcing him to prematurely deal with things beyond his capacity. This is why early parenting involves providing the child with a sort of "psychic cocoon" -- or subjective womb -- from which he will only gradually hatch.

The defense mechanism of psychic omnipotence is a stock-in-trade of the psychoanalyst. As it applies to the present discussion, it involves elevating oneself over reality, i.e., the Immutable and Undeniable.

Now, man as such obviously participates in the Immutable, hence our ability to know, for example, those timeless first principles enunciated by the Founders. Bad omnipotence would come into play if we imagine that we can surpass what is already absolute. But as we shall see -- either today or in the next post -- this is the essence of the leftist project. The leftist always imagines that there are special people with special knowledge who can improve upon reality. Thus, it is always rooted in omnipotence.

The next time a leftist utters one of his omnipotent pronouncements, just remember the wise words of Kip Dynamite: Napoleon, like anyone can even know that. Manmade global warming? Like anyone can even know that. Saved or created a gazillion jobs? Like anyone can even know that. Iran's not a threat? Like anyone can even know that. If coach woulda put me in the fourth quarter, we woulda been state champions. Like anyone can even know that, Uncle Rico.

Again, Lincoln advocated the good kind of omnipotence, which provides the rock upon which our nation was built. Like a "secular revelation," these principles were "handed down by the Founding Fathers for later generations to preserve," not to squander like a bunch of irresponsible and good-for-nothing trust fund babies.

It indeed reminds me of children, who need psychological boundaries above all else, even while they will perpetually try to test them. The child imagines that he would prefer a life without parental boundaries, but would actually be terrified if they were removed.

Similarly, the Constitution is there to protect us. It contains the boundaries provided by our wise Fathers. To eliminate those boundaries is to plunge ourselves into tyranny, not freedom. If the Constitution means whatever a liberal judge wishes it to mean, that is the rule of omnipotent men, and we are back to 1775. Absolutism is our only defense against bad omnipotence. As Watson explains, our natural rights "are self-limiting.... They do not, and cannot, depend on mere will, or tradition, or History.... For Lincoln, natural rights provide the ground for a manly assertiveness in pursuit of something beyond individual satisfaction."

No wonder Schuon held Lincoln in the highest esteem: "At the antipodes of the false genius exalted by the people [and the Nobel committee--ed.*] is situated the true genius of which people are unaware: among famous men, Lincoln is one such example, he who owes a large part of his popularity to the fact that people took him -- and still take him -- for the incarnation of the average American," but "whose intelligence, capacity, and nobility went far beyond the level of average." And they did because he was rooted in the changeless, not the pure meaningless change of philosophical Darwinism.

To be continued...

(Unless otherwise noted, all quoted material is from Living Constitution, Dying Faith: Progressivism and the New Science of Jurisprudence.)

*According to Drudge, Obama "will accept the award on 'behalf of Americans and America's values.'" The irony is too thick for me to wrap my mind around. Let's just say that no one who actually held and defended American values could ever be the recipient of this prize. While they're at it, why not give one to Yasser Arafat, Jimmy Carter, or Kofi Annan? Gosh!

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:

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Political Oedipus Complex: Dreams From My Father's Murder

I have never had a feeling, politically, that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence.... I would rather be assassinated on this spot than surrender it. --Abraham Lincoln

Talk about a non-Darwinian sentiment! First, the absurd proposition -- indefensible on any scientific basis -- that all men are created equal (or even created). And then, the vow that he would prefer biological death -- indefensible on any Darwinian basis -- to abandoning this spiritual principle. But only because of a relative handful such great souls -- often mysteriously appearing in the right place at the right time -- has the nation survived in the form it has. Call it transnatural election.

It's hard to believe that there are actually mature adults who say they would prefer to live in a nation governed by Darwinian rather than Judeo-Christian principles. But one inevitable problem among the irreligious is that in rejecting religion, they detach themselves from the accumulated wisdom of so many generations. Wisdom, unlike scientific knowledge, is not subject to change, since it is very likely that the proposed change has already been tried and found wanting.

After all, this is how wisdom is won in the first place: through painful experience. But sometimes people just need to feel the sting themselves before acquiring the wisdom. Which in turn is why, no matter how much you warn them, each generation of young adolts with skulls full of mush will be attracted to leftism. For many it will be a mere flirtation, while for others it becomes a developmental arrest -- just a lifelong adolescent rebellion against reality and common sense.

America's founders were not just intelligent, but wise. Thankfully, they didn't just possess "scientific" knowledge, but had genuine insight into human nature. There is no contemporary psychology class they could have taken to acquire such wisdom. Rather, as touched on yesterday, this wisdom was founded upon a fruitful encounter between political philosophy and Judeo-Christian theology. The attempt to reconcile such seemingly different domains creates a kind of arc, or synaptic gap, where the creative insight occurs.

A real scientist will be animated by a similar tension of one sort or another. But the middlebrow, worker-bee type scientific mind is often devoid of this type of dynamic tension. This is the reason for the intellectual deadness of our trolls, or of Charles the Queeg at LGF. If science explains everything, then it also explains the explainer, and renders him a kind of banal automaton. Here you can see how an ideology can become a mind parasite -- or more likely, appropriated by a mind parasite that already exists inside and is looking for a cloak. The whole process forecloses genuine thought and creativity.

In other words, scientism or metaphysical Darwinism are "ready made" or predigested ideologies for certain types of mind parasites. One can cheaply purchase -- for it requires no struggle with intellection -- each of these cultural attitudes "off the rack," hence the dreary conformity of Charles and his soulless army of robotic clones. Not to mention the palpable vacuity of his "art." Not all great artists are theists; however, any thoughtful person capable of creating artistic beauty will have difficulty reconciling it with any form of atheism. When the spirit comes through you, you know it. If you wish to remain an atheist thereafter, it will have to be in spite of yourself -- similar to being highly intelligent but not believing in truth, or being highly moral but not believing in virtue.

In Living Constitution, Dying Faith, Watson devotes a chapter to the philosophy of the Founders, which provides the starkest contrast imaginable to contemporary left-statism. The former is grounded in timeless and absolute spiritual principles, while the latter is ultimately rooted the soiled soil of vulgar Darwinism and philosophical pragmatism, in which truth is simply "what works" (what works for the leftist's ambitions, I might add).

Here again, these ideas were both debated and resolved by the wisdom of the founders. We shouldn't be having to do it all over again with Obama, but the deterioration of our educational system has resulted in people being systematically brainwashed into denying America's spiritual provenance.

In fact, thanks to liberals, it is against the law to even discuss it in a publicly funded school. For the extremists of the ACLU, the Declaration of Independence must be unconstitutional. Let's just note in passing that dullards such as Queeg are hysterical about the possibility of "intelligent design" being discussed in the classroom, which only misses the essential point by about as wide a margin as possible. America is in danger, but not from religious Americans.

The idea that truth was contingent or time-bound would have been rejected out of hand by the Founders. Nevertheless, "job one" of the left is to subvert truth in order to ultimately replace it with power (for it is either one or the other). As Watson explains, the Founders "had a principled understanding of natural rights, which were not to be culturally determined or time-bound or subject to infinite incremental growth, but applicable to all men everywhere and final."

Please note that for the Founders, no further evolution is possible, the reason being that in arriving at his own freedom, man has arrived at the absolute. What you do with it is up to you.

Nevertheless, the Founders hardly denied the role of evolution in another sense, that of historical and personal movement toward this timeless ideal. Thus, they saw American history as a "working out of principles that pointed toward the ultimate, trans-historical truth." These men were full-blooded, dues-paying Raccoons, in that "Historical change was not understood by the Founders to be an unending series of evolutionary improvements to principles, institutions, or modes of political life, but as a series of movements toward the principles of constitutional liberty that, once worked out, would fix the ends and constrain the means of government."

This is precisely how I view evolution as applied to the human plane, as a "working out of principles pointing toward the ultimate trans-historical truth" and "a series of movements toward the principle of liberty." Of course, this is liberty understood in its most glorious and fully realized form, which is none other than conformity to the Principle itself, whether it be in the mode of the saint, sage, genius, warrior, or true artist of sound, image, or word. The end is fixed; but the modes of reaching and expressing it are diverse, like white light refracted through a prism.

Being that the Founders were both Christian and Christianized men, they were fully aware of the fact that we inhabit a logoistic cosmos in which the word is embodied in flesh, form in matter. As a result, the universal is only found in the particular. In practical terms, it means that America has "a 'creedal' or universal side, and a 'cultural' or particular side, but the two sides [are] expressions of the same truth" (Watson).

And this is why it is absurd to think that America could ever be a fully secular nation, because if that were to take place, it would undercut the very universal principles that undergird and animate it.

For a radical secularist or Darwinian fundamentalist, there can ultimately be nothing universal except for blind nothingness. I realize this may sound polemical to some, but it's actually a banality. Just try asking a Darwinist why slavery is wrong, with recourse only to Darwinian principles. Does this mean that Darwinists are pro-slavery? Hardly. It just means that they have no universal and timelessly true argument against it -- just as they have no argument against infanticide, or government theft, or racial quotas, or death panels, or euthanasia, or the designated hitter, or anything else that is plainly wrong.

The philosophy of the Founders prevailed through the 19th century, but began to be undermined by the left by the early 20th. Slowly, as described by Watson, it was displaced by "the dogma of historical progress on which rested the combined forces of social Darwinism, pragmatism, twentieth-century progressivism, and modern liberalism." I'm not sure that we need to go into all of the gory details, since most of you already know them so well. The noxious doctrine of multiculturalism must be the absolute nadir of this line of thought -- the idea that truth and morality are completely time- and culture-bound.

No. "The Founders rarely doubted the centrality of the Christian religion and Christian morality to the success of the American experiment. [Cue trolls to present us with the tiresome list of exceptions.] They believed that reason and revelation were true guides to human affairs, and that they pointed in the same direction on questions of natural rights and moral conduct" (Watson).

Suffice it to say that they did not point to Obama, except as a deplorable counter-example. You might say that his reationary ideology is one of those historically recurring patricidal Dreams of Murdering Our Fathers.

To be continued....

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Thomas Jefferson vs. Charles Darwin

One thing that annoys us about the Darwinists is that when one calls them out on the implications of their scientistic BS, they always respond with hostility or ridicule with words to the effect of, "what are you talking about? There's no such thing as a Darwinist. That's just a straw man invented by creationists to denigrate something that doesn't actually exist. There is only science. That is all."

Right. There's a theory called natural selection. But it's not really a theory, you see. Rather, it's a fact, like gravity, or the conservation of mass and energy. The fact of natural selection explains everything about the origin and nature of man, and excludes any non-physical causes. But to suggest that this has any moral or political implications is a slander and a libel!

Anyone who holds such a view is either stupid, disingenuous, or a liar. For the fact of the matter is that no question could possibly be more fraught with metaphysical, philosophical, moral, and political consequences.

For example, what if the "truth" of natural selection were known at the time of America's founding? Suppose that instead of being highly sophisticated Christian thinkers and biblical exegetes, they all believed the simplistic notion that man is nothing more than an accident of the genes, just an animal with no conceivable claim on truth, justice, or liberty.

Obviously, our founding creed would have been equally inconceivable, i.e., that all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. Or, I suppose a Darwinist could mouth such words, but he would be lying, because the formulation is strict nonsense on any Darwinian grounds. Clearly, unless you are very stupid, you must realize that Darwinism does not permit the existence of permanent truths or natural law accessible to man's reason. The very idea is absurd, and the Darwinist should come right out and admit it.

So don't tell me that Darwinism has no political implications, because it is not only directly at odds with America's founding principles, but renders them absurd and impossible. Furthermore, it provides the principles and the framework for contemporary leftist statism, or "progressivism." Make no mistake: in order for progressivism to even be "legal" -- that is, constitutional -- it must first carry out an attack on the existing Constitution. Most of what progressives have done and wish to do cannot be done unless they first reframe the Constitution in Darwinian terms as an evolving document.

At present, I'm reading an outstanding book that touches on this subject, Living Constitution, Dying Faith: Progressivism and the New Science of Jurisprudence, and I'd like to spend at least a couple of posts discussing it.

As Watson explains, it never occurred to America's founders that they were simply affirming convenient or time-bound principles subject to later revocation by pettifogging mediocrities with law degrees, who are more "evolved" than they. Rather, their "understanding of law was structured around the idea of a knowable, unchanging moral order, to which human law and the Constitution -- and therefore constitutional interpretation -- were subservient." They would have fully endorsed the Socratic/Platonic principle that "law aims to be a discovery of what is," and that human law "cannot contradict the natural law that reflects the divine reason."

In other words, the metaphysics of the Founders is precisely the opposite of the contemporary Darwinist, in that they start at the top of the cosmos, with the One, the Absolute, the Divine Reason, not the bottom, i.e., matter and the random accidents of nature. A political philosophy derived from the latter is going to look very, very different, and will be irreconcilable with America's.

As misguided as they may or may not be, I am quite sure that the people who promote "intelligent design" are much more concerned with this aspect of Darwinism: that it is absurdly presented as a truth that renders everything else we know to be true -- everything above the plane of biology -- a lie or a fantasy. It is not the science that is troublesome, at least for me. It is the deceptive intrusion into higher planes about which it must remain silent.

Now interestingly, the Founders regarded evolution in precisely the manner I do, as movement toward a nonlocal attractor, i.e., a "permanent truth," thus reconciling time (or history) and eternity (more on which tomorrow). Remember, the idea of evolution was common currency for a century or more before Darwin's theory of natural selection, which was merely his attempt to account for evolution. He was hardly the first to notice that things evolve, but he was the first to imagine that it could be explained in a fully naturalistic manner, with no recourse to any principle beyond random mutations.

Watson does a fine job of describing the intellectual milieu in which Darwin flourished, and which then allowed the elites of the day to seize upon his theory as a kind of master key to legitimize progressivism. In other words, just as today, Darwinists do not actually arrive at their Darwinism through "logic," because that would be impossible. Rather, they have first internalized a certain implicit view of the cosmos that then permits them to seize upon Darwinism as an adequate theory. Without the underlying metaphysic, Darwinism is completely illogical.

To cite one obvious example, if one realizes that there are permanent truths or moral absolutes that are not strictly timebound, and that they are accessible to man's intellect, then one cannot possibly believe in reductionistic Darwinism, irrespective of what the science does or doesn't show. It's like when scientists try to tell you that free will doesn't exist. Right. Whatever. They are simply wrong, because they are wrong in principle, a principle that is a priori true and cannot not be true on pain of the very abolition of truth. (In other words, only a free being may know truth.)

Note that progressivism takes its cue from Darwinism, in that it "is characterized by a set of ideas that have at their core a marked historicism -- which is to say, a belief that truth is always and everywhere relative to its time and place" (Watson). Under Darwinism, the intellect cannot be a faculty that adequates itself to truth and therefore reality, but rather, is merely "a method of dealing with adaptation and change." In such a myopic view, our "minds" are adapted to the environment, not to truth. And "truth" would simply be a good fit between mind and environment. And a good fit means that it promotes survival and reproduction, or babes and power.

Thus, we hold these truths to be self-evident. That all men are intrinsically unequal; and that they are endowed by nature with very different gifts and abilities; that among these are strength, intelligence, and the will to dominate; that to nurture these gifts, governments are are instituted by the vanguard of evolution, deriving their just powers from nature's iron will and from the New York Times editorial board; that whenever any government, constitution, or religion undermines these powers, it is the right of nature's elites to alter, abolish, or deconstruct it, and to institute a new government rooted in a Living Constitution, as to them shall seem most likely to effect the perpetual rule of the better sort.

To be continued...

Monday, October 05, 2009

Israel and the Defense of Civilization

If Israel is quelled or destroyed, we will be succumbing to forces targeting capitalism and freedom everywhere. We will allow a fatal triumph of the barbarian masses that may well end up demoralizing and destroying the United States as well. --George Gilder

(Readers may want to warm up with the prequel to this post from two days ago, Israel Has No Right to Exist.)

I remember Dennis Prager making a point about how throughout history, the best humanity has to offer always suffers at the hands of the worst. Unfortunately, this is axiomatic, since bad people want to hurt others, while good people don't want to hurt anybody. So every time an American soldier is killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, it is a case of the worst killing the best. Every time a Palestinian monster blows himself up in Israel, the worst have murdered the best. Likewise, only God knows how much human greatness was denied the world due to the Nazi genocide of an earlier era.

So what do we do about it? We give the Palestinians another billion dollars to further cultivate their depravity. And tell Israel to close their settlements, since we don't want the good people to irritate the bad people.

The very existence of Israel -- which embodies the best humanity has to offer -- is now under imminent threat by the most evil regime on the planet, Iran. Once again, the worst wishes to annihilate the best. And if and when Israel does respond, you can be sure that she will be vilified by millions if not billions of enablers who allow evil to thrive. Iran has nothing to fear from "the world community." Nor is she fearful of good and courageous people, unless those people are prepared to unleash hell upon evil.

In The Israel Test, Gilder discusses how game theory explains why even (or especially) good people end up encouraging evil. This is especially true of the left, since in implementing policies, they only consult their good intentions, never the system of incentives -- the rules of the game -- they are putting in place. This is why they can never see that the long term results of those incentives usually aggravate the problem the policy was designed to address.

This is also true of the moral simpletons who imagine that wanting peace is the only barrier to having it. In reality, the more one communicates the desire to have peace with evildoers, the more power one gives them.

In the case of Israel, "by relentlessly seeking Peace Now," they have "predictably communicated to the Arabs that terror and aggression work. By repeatedly informing the Arabs that it wants peace more than victory, Israel evinces a short-term strategy that powerfully and consistently rewards bad behavior. As a result, Israel gets neither peace nor victory, and the Palestinians get neither economic growth nor political progress" (Gilder). By appeasing evil, only the good suffer, both in Israel and in the Palestinian territories (which, due to their proximity to Israel, had by far the highest standard of living in the Arab world before declaring the most recent intifada in 2000).

According to game theory, a long-term player will be penalized for doing business with a short-term player. Imagine if every business transaction were with someone you were never going to do business with again. This would encourage predatory and dishonest behavior on the part of the seller. We would live under the economic law of the jungle.

Note that this is not a result of anyone's intentions, just the rules of the game: "In a single exchange, the rational policy is predatory. If predatory action brings success, a player is never induced to extend the time horizon. By accommodating aggression, a nation invites it. Peace requires the imposition of penalties on aggression."

Oddly, the left understands how this principle applies to illegal and predatory activity on Wall Street, but does not apply that lesson to the world.

As Gilder explains, "the single greatest domestic threat to the United States is not the jihad but the peace movement." Just last week, Obama voiced his desire to rid the world of nuclear weapons, which makes him the most powerful ally and abettor of evil in the world. Again, his intention is "peace," but the result would be an unprecedented escalation of violence and aggression.

Obama simply wishes to change the rules of the game, so that it is less costly for evil regimes to compete. If we have overwhelming military superiority, criminal regimes can never catch up, so it's not even worth it to try. But imagine if the police were to announce to criminals that from now on, in order to reduce crime, they are only going to use knives. In reducing the potential cost of crime, it would increase both criminal behavior and the pool of criminals. The risks associated with criminality would plunge.

What is especially odd is that both Iran and the Palestinians have explicitly communicated their desire and intention to destroy Israel. Why don't we believe them? Why don't we take them at their word, and respond accordingly? If my neighbor communicates a desire to kill me and my family, I don't say to him, "would you settle for just taking a corner of my lawn?" What if I give him the lawn and he still wants to kill me? Then what?

What if my neighbor says to me that he wants my lawn because to him the lawn is "holy." Well, if you are a leftist, it's not a problem, since for you, nothing is holy, especially private property. But you can see where this attitude will lead, for if nothing is holy, there is nothing worth defending.

In truth, Israel is under no moral, legal, or political obligation to give land to people who explicitly wish to use that land for purposes of genocide. No one is morally obligated to participate in their own destruction.

Again, for us -- and for all decent people on earth -- Israel's moral obligation is to go on existing, given the staggeringly disproportionate contribution they make to the betterment of the world. This is not just Israel vs. Iran or the Palestinians. Rather, this is the leading edge of freedom, democracy, liberty, and capitalism vs. the atavistic forces that fundamentally oppose them. It is progress vs. misery, civilization vs. barbarism, light vs. darkness. If we don't wake up to the fact that Israel is the canary in the Islamist ghoul mind, we'll all be sitting ducks.

For as Gilder writes, "our loyalty to Israel arises, not from a cold calculus of survival, but from a sense of the holy. What Americans must fathom with both heart and mind is that this instinct is true -- and vital to our survival -- that if we would live, we must defend the Holy Land."

Sunday, October 04, 2009

It Is On: Moses vs. Queeg

Slept too late to write a new post. I decided to repost one on Israel, and this is the first one I pulled out. It has been edited, revised, and fortified with new insultainment. Bear in mind that Queeg is just a convenient prop for a more general class of philosophical knucklehead.

As we know, many on the left love Jews. It's Israel they hate. Which, as Dennis Prager points out, is about as logical as saying that you love Italians, but that Italy has no right to exist. However, in the case of Charles the Queeg, there's a slight variation (unless he's done a 180 on this issue as well). That is, he loves Israel. It's Judaism he hates. Is hate too strong a word? I don't think so, not if he's remotely intellectually consistent.

Now, I don't think too many people will accuse Queeg of intellectual consistency, so I guess we'll have to draw out the implications of his stated beliefs for him.

First, it is strictly impossible for one to simultaneously be a reductionistic Darwinist and a religious believer. Please bear in mind that, as always, when I use the word "Darwinist" or "Darwinism," I am referring to natural selection in the scientistic sense, as a broad philosophy with materialist metaphysical assumptions. In this sense, to say that one is a Darwinian is to say that one believes that natural selection alone is man's sufficient reason.

As I have explained many times, belief in evolution is not problematic for the religious believer. In fact, a moment's thought informs you that evolution is a necessary consequence of God's existence, being that the Creator is outside time, whereas creatures are within it. Therefore, anything within time can develop or decay, but can never be unchanging or "eternal." To the extent that things evolve toward their nonlocal archetype -- and human beings are quintessential in this regard -- then that is only because God exists. It cannot be explained on any Darwinist basis. (And it is indeed interesting that the recent discovery of a more ancient human furbear suggests that some present day primates may have devolved from man, so to speak.)

All we ask is that the metaphysical Darwinist draw out the moral and epistemological consequences of his materialist assumptions. Thus, to the extent that everything may be reduced to natural selection, then there is no "point" to human life -- there can be no "true self," let alone a "higher self" and a "lower self" (or inner and outer self), a conception which which is at the basis of all orthodox traditions. Obviously, in the Darwinist paradigm there can be no teleology, no transcendent normality, no culminating point of development, no essence, and no perfection. I would think this would be an uncontroversial statement, something with which we can all agree, even a shrill and spiritually purblind Lizard living in his reinforced bunker beneath the Reino del Ciego errport.

Queeg fails to see that a nation of Darwinist flat-earthlings will not defend itself from the Islamists he once warned us about. Rather, with no transcendent principles animating us, we will eventually go the way of old Europe. For a Darwinist Lizard, anyone who puts his genes on the line to defend a transcendent principle would have to be an idiot. (This argument is forcefully made in Natan Sharansky's new book, Defending Identity; he says that liberty without a transcendent identity will not defend itself, while spiritual identity without liberty is fascism.)

My guess is that the vast majority of our men and women in uniform are animated by Judeo-Christian, not Darwinist, principles. This would be equally true of those who fought for our freedom in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and World War II. To be intellectually consistent, Queeg would have to say that these people were shills, phonies and frauds. They need to be as courageous as Queeg, and fight for the right to have no transcendent principles to fight for. Admit it: to fight for a God that cannot exist is just plain stupid. And if Darwinism is correct, then God either cannot exist or has nothing to do with our essential being. Indeed, a term like "essential being" is completely meaningless. We truly are just replicating machines, just as Richard Dawkins insists.

In order to be intellectually consistent, Queeg must express as much contempt for Judaism as he does for the Discovery institute, unless he is just ignorant of Jewish metaphysics, which seems likely. It's almost embarrassing to have to remind him of something so elementary, but Judaism teaches that human beings are in the image of the Creator. For the Darwinist, this is pernicious nonsense. Not only is it wrong , it's not even wrong. To the extent that people believe such nonsense, it's only because we have some sort of "religious" gene that makes us believe in sacred cow manure.

Judaism maintains that existence is holy -- or that it is our earthly task to make it so. For a Darwinist, there can be no real qualiity of "holiness" or "the sacred." Again, these are just illusions, tricks of the genes. They can have no basis in reality. In truth, nothing is sacred. Period.

Now, all awakened souls know that awareness of the sacred is one of the keys to comprehending God, as it is one of the "divine modalities" that shines through matter and lends it its metaphysical transparency. I remember when I was younger, camping in Yosemite and being overwhelmed by its majestic beauty. But for a Darwinist, there can be no such thing as transcendent beauty. Indeed, to waste one's time nurturing such illusions probably just compromises one's chances of survival, as a hungry bear might be just behind that tree.

For the Darwinist, thought is merely the meaningless byproduct of the physical brain. In can have no metaphysical certitude and no ultimate significance. But for the Jew, it is a link between man and Spirit, as is Man as such. For the Jew, human thought mirrors the creator's "metacosmic wisdom," on the one hand, and his "intracosmic intelligence" on the other. In other words, there is the "uncreated wisdom" of Torah, and the "word" as embodied in the book of creation itself. For the Lizard who crawls in his intellectual belly, the Torah is just a manmade book of fantasy, while the cosmos is just a random accident with no intrinsic meaning.

For Judaism, existence is a revelation; to a certain extent, it is an externalization of God's interior, which is why we find traces of divine beauty everywhere, and why we have access to Truth and to Virtue, the latter of which is "beauty of soul" and "truth of conduct," so to speak. For the Darwinist Lizard, truth can only be convention, while virtue can only be a social agreement.

Or, if Queeg does believe in absolute truth and morality, I invite him explain how. But you will have no doubt noticed that Queeg only trucks in sneering contempt, ad hominem, and argument from authority. He never fleshes out and explains the basis for his philosophical views. Which doesn't matter, for if he were to attempt to do so in any consistent manner, he would soon discover that he cannot, because it is impossible. He would just look silly trying. You can't just omnipotently delete those aspects of reality that do not fit your paradigm, and then call it "consistency." Well, I suppose you can, but as Gödel taught us, such consistency can only be purchased at the price of completeness.

Here is another example of a nonsense statement to the vertically challenged Lizard encased in matter: "All the light God has given to Israel is hidden in the Torah; the Torah is the crystallization and mysterious permanence of the Sinaitic revelation. On Sinai, the real presence of hokhmah, divine 'wisdom,' appeared before the 'Chosen People': 'Israel penetrated the mystery of hokhmah,' says the Zohar..." So if Queeg wishes to be intellectually consistent, he would again express just as much contempt for Israel as he does for the Discovery Institute, because this is a lie and a fraud perpetrated on generation after generation by rabbinical shills on gullible Jews -- who were indeed "chosen," but by natural selection, just like the rest of us.

For a Darwinist, the Torah cannot be what Judaism says it is, the "static letter" which "serves as the unchanging point of departure for spiritual contemplation of revealed truth." The traditional interpretation, or oral dictrine, "is like a hammer which shatters the stone, thus freeing from it spiritual 'sparks' of hokhmah which dwells within it."

Now, I'm not even Jewish, but I have enough experience of Torah study to know the above statement to be 100% true. But if it is true, then Darwinism can't be. I mean, really. "Sparks of holiness" hidden in a book? Striking a book with a hammer of esoteric doctrine to make the spiritual sparks fly? What utter nonsense. There is no "light" in any book, much less a collection of pre-scientific fairy tales.

What is Man? For the Darwinist, nothing special, just an accident of the genes. This view is obviously 100% at odds with Judaism, for which the mystery of man is central to the Divine-Cosmic drama. In Judaism, Man is both revelation and symbol, which "links the lowest world with the supreme 'self' of all things." Within us, we contain the "superintelligble principle," which breaks out into "ontological wisdom" on the one hand (hokhmah), and "onto-cosmological intelligence" (binah) on the other. This is why we may know the truth of God on the spiritual plane, the truth of man on the psychic plane, and the truth of the cosmos on the material plane. But ultimately it is all One integral -- and simple -- Truth; for it is all a reflection of the Absolute One.

For the Darwinist, there can be no "One," only the many. As such, there can only be a chaotic babel of opinions and tastes, a path from nowhere leading to nothing. While existence is a mystery, it is an "empty mystery," unlike the "full and divinely overflowing" mystery it is for the observant Jew.

Our primary home is the vertical world, and it is strictly impossible to derive it from any purely horizontal world without doing great violence to man -- in fact, annihilating Man as such. It is quite literally a kind of genocide, which is again what is so disturbing about the darkness of LGF. For the first principle of conservatism is that there is a real transcendent order to which man owes his primary allegiance. This is another way of saying that man lives in a vertical world which is the real and enduring world, in contrast to the horizontal world of ceaseless change and mutation. No enduring principles can be derived from that world, at least none that apply to the human station per se.

This downward spiral into scientistic anti-humanism cannot continue indefinitely without eventually hitting bottom and then crashing through to the other side (recall my graph of spiritual space from a few weeks back), thus completing the cosmic inversion, i.e., the Fall. But the very essence of Jewish spiritual practice is the "inversion of the cosmic inversion," so it is again 100% at odds with the foolish beliefs of Liztards.

Inquiring minds want to know: from whence comes the reptilian certainty of the Liztard on matters that far transcend his cramped and earthbound intellect? It comes from the transcendent absolute, only dissipated and "frozen" within the confines of a quasi-animal ego, the latter of which is only the exterior internalized.

For when someone asks if you "believe in Darwinism," let's be honest. They aren't asking if you believe in whatever the theory has been demonstrated to prove -- like a bacterium that learns a new trick. Rather, they are asking if you believe that it provides an all-encompassing explanation for human existence, and ultimately whether or not you are a theist. And to the extent that God exists, then Darwinism quite obviously cannot embody any kind of "total explanation." Not even close. Indeed, it can only be a kind of elaborate lie when it exceeds its rightful bounds, for it becomes a Tree of Death -- death to the intellect, death to objective morality, and death to the very environment in which man's soul flourishes.

When the Darwinist protests that "you don't have to be religious to be moral," know that he is mouthing a pure absurdity, for he is presupposing eternal principles that cannot be explained on any Darwinian basis -- again, because Darwinism only accounts for change of outward form, not the permanence of what not only transcends form but in-forms it to begin with, i.e., transcendent interiority.

Reductionistic Lizards would have us believe that merely "having morals" is somehow synonymous with knowing the Good and acting in conformity with it. All people have morals. The question is, are they Good? And for the last time, it is a strict impossibility that one could ever arrive at the Good through natural selection alone. Frankly, it is an absurd argument that no remotely sophisticated person could take seriously. Again, in this struggle for survival between rabbi and reptile, we only ask that the latter be intellectually consistent in following their first principles to their meshuginna consequences.

(Quoted material taken from The Universal Meaning of the Kabbalah by Leo Schaya.)

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