Friday, March 15, 2013

There is No God but Godlessness, and Obama is His Prophet

Truth is hierarchical and symphonic, which implies both One (i.e., one symphony) and many (i.e., a multitude of instruments and individual parts -- motifs, melodies, counter-melodies, etc.).

In contrast -- to paraphrase one of my favorite aphorisms of Don Colacho -- leveling is the barbarian's substitute for order. Which is why -- to paraphrase another aphorism -- in order to understand leftism, a vocabulary of ten words is sufficient.

In other words, relativism is another word for leveling, which is why leftist is another word for barbarian, and barbarism the end result of leftism.

What is the uni-versity? Or rather, what was the university? For starters, it was a way to cure our barbarism by elevating the intellect and perfecting the soul.

"The university," writes Schall, "grew out of the structure of the medieval Church." Thus, for example -- and it is not my intention to induce vomiting -- the dean of a university is analogous to the pope, while the professors represent a priesthood of knowledge and truth, for the purpose of both forming and saving young souls.

This is still the case, except that when one's first principle is relativism, then one's pope is actually an anti-pope whose main task is to enforce leveling so as to ensure barbarism. Which is why universities are secular seminaries whose tenured apes churn out so many well-programmed chimps.

Best popetweet I've heard so far: Francis has been linked to an anti-Marxist organization -- the Catholic Church.

"Unless some objective criterion of truth is available and acknowledged, unless some reality in fact exists, freedom means little" (Schall). Why is that? Because to insist that "my freedom" consists of "my truth" (and vice versa) is to again collapse the hierarchical space in which truth is sought. In other words, it eliminates any meaningful vector to our cognitive and psychospiritual lives, so there is no direction om.

It is no different than if we could somehow eliminate desire from the soul. If there is nothing to desire, then there is no reason to so much as move. This is typical of Major Depression, a central feature of which is anhedonia, or loss of pleasure. In the absence of a sense of pleasure, the world goes "flat," and the person literally doesn't know which way to turn, since it doesn't matter. Since nothing induces pleasure, why bother?

The resultant apathy and withdrawal can culminate in a kind of interior implosion analogous to a black hole. All because the psychic hierarchy has collapsed in on itself.

I am not being polemical when I say that the identical thing occurs in various cognitive pathologies of the left. The left talks about "academic freedom," but in the absence of transcendent truth this is just whistling past the slaveyard. In reality it is quite literally academic slavery, for one is beholden to something less than truth -- whims, inclinations, intellectual fashions, career advancement, political correctness, etc.

What is the point of knowing if it is not to know truth? If we don't know truth, then what is knowledge? Freedom unbound from its proper object reduces to mere will -- just as, say, sex unbound from its proper object is nothing but a selfish impulse.

Indeed, a good wanking definition of "perversion" is any impulse detached from its proper object, whether we are talking about sex, intelligence, art, religion, politics, etc. Just as there are sexual perversions, there are artistic perversions, perversions of justice, perversions of philosophy, etc.

Among other things, God is Logos-Word-Reason, which is why he is intelligible (not in total, of course, but within the forms of our sensibility), and indeed why there is both intelligence and intelligibility in the cosmos, the one mirroring the other. Schall (actually, Benedict, on whose lecture he is commenting) contrasts this with Islam, which has no such conception.

Rather, the latter "implies a Godhead whose power is not in principle limited even by the principle of contradiction, the principle that governs reason.... Any such restriction would be seen as a denial of the omnipotence of God" (and you will have noticed that this is the same aberration that afflicts certain Christian fundamentalists).

It seems that normative Islam (not, say, the esoteric Sufism of Schuon) is not addressed to our reason, but rather, to our will: "This position affirms God is not Himself bound by His own truth. It would limit His glory to impose any restrictions, even of contradiction. The effect of this view is to eliminate any secondary causality which would attribute to non-divine things an inherent order" (ibid., emphasis mine).

Now, what is this beautiful order of secondary causes but the cosmic hierarchy? Yes, God is at the top, but this doesn't negate all of the intermediate levels, any more than our own free will negates the relative autonomy of the atoms, molecules, cells, and organs that constitute us. The One doesn't negate the many, any more than the One reduces to the many. Or, just say transcendence and immanence, the latter a consequence of the former.

But Islam eliminates secondary causes, and insists that everything that happens is directly caused by God. Therefore, there is no reason to study the world, because God does what he wills, with no guarantee of reason, law, predictability, or consistency: "His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality."

Things couldn't have developed more differently in Christendom, as the logos wended its way through history, resulting in such benefits as science, natural law, and the preciousness of the individual. As such, Allah, "in the Christian view, cannot be reasonable. Indeed, he cannot be God.... Not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God's name." No offense, but simple as. The two positions are irreconcilable.

(And this is not to imply that God never does things we cannot comprehend, nor that everything in God is comprehensible in human terms; rather, we're just refracting the mirroraculous analogy between macrocosmos-God and microcosmos-man.)

So: "if God is understood to be only power or a will that transcends reason, then reason is subservient to will." That's right: fascism by another name.

And now you understand the alliance between Islamists and the Left, because their ways of thinking are so similar. In his lecture, Benedict discusses the three stages of what he calls the "dehellenization" of the West, which, as you have no doubt noticed, results in a creeping hellification of culture, hell being defined as any place where Reason is impotent. You know, like the New York Times editorial board, or the womyn's studies department of a major university.

More on the deep connection between Islam and the Left as we continue....


River Cocytus said...

It is interesting, because the normative state of a fallen human being is that the will is the 'source' of everything. This is the 'inverted snowman' as one Orthodox thinker put it.

However, there seems to be a distinction between your use of will, which might be categorized more as 'desire' and what is sometimes called the 'natural will', which corresponds more with the heart.

So maybe it is true what some Islamists say, that children are born into Islam. That is to say, the disordered state which we all invariably grow up in is Islam of this sort; the naked desire controlling all things, including the heart and the reason.

Magister said...

Overheard at Al Azhar University

Student: O Professor, the Yahoodis have discovered the Higgs boson!

Professor: (smoking hookah and nodding sagely)

Student: Yes, the blasphemous so-called God Particle! It explains the origin of mass in the universe!

Professor: This is another Zionist plot to destroy Islam.

Student: Yes, Professor! What are we going to do?

Professor: The Higgs boson appears and disappears at random, yes?

Student: Well ... its location is probabilistic, yes.

Professor: Then it is clearly the inscrutable Will of Allah, not the satanic sophistries of the Zionists, which lies beneath reality. It is Allah who controls the Higgs boson.

Student: Insh'allah! Insh'allah!

Professor: Anyone who believes otherwise is the son of apes and Higgs.

Student: Death to Israel!


Gagdad Bob said...

Someone needs to ask the mullahs why they're relying on Jewish Physics to develop a bomb. Seems intellectually dishonest.

Gagdad Bob said...

Then again, that's the bad thing about genocide: it can lead to intellectual dishonesty.

River Cocytus said...

At least the early Marxists were proud of their genocides. These guys just prevaricate and prevaricate...

Where is the certainty?

So much for supposed strength.

They fail even at their own test of the almighty will.

mushroom said...

There are some Christian fundamentalists and -- as best I can tell -- some extreme Calvinists with positions that seem incompatible with the existence of free will.

I think there are times where we are well-served in looking beyond second causes, while not denying them. The sovereignty of God set the boundaries. Life and freedom are one.

Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, vertical causation is prior to horizontal causation, as interior is prior to exterior.

Matteo said...

Off topic, but Bob, have you listened to the Lightin' Hopkins anthology entitled "Mojo Hand"? There is no question whatsoever that Hopkins is a Racoon.

If God the Father played crunchin' Blues Guitar and improv'd the lyrics (and you know he does) this is what it would sound like.

ge said...

Sat'd'y Funnies:

"NKorea fires missiles into Sea of Japan..."
-Japan puts thumb on nose and wiggles fingers, says "Nyah-nyah ya missed!"

ge said...

--Speaking of killer guee-tahr i am enjoying this album of the same name as the song:
Joe Walsh - Analog Man
great classic rock writing/chops, & how does a band work without more'n 1 drummer??

Not liberal said...

Thread jack. If you haven't seen this, take a look. Thomas Nolan Mind and Cosmos

Gagdad Bob said...

Not really off topic, because his heresy has made him a prime target for persecution by the godless inquisition.

Gagdad Bob said...

Zombies & Democrats.

ge said...

Cool, there's Hope for ['gainst] Hollywood

Not liberal said...

Bob, re: your 8:41:00 reply linking The Weekly Standard.

Do I understand that the reductionists reject all qualities or values? If morals, or colors, or good or evil don't exist does smart or stupid exist? Can reductionists even reject Thomas Nolan without using arguments that cannot exist in a reductionist scheme?

Frankly does language even exist in a reductionist worldview?

Gagdad Bob said...

The whole thing is instantaneously self-refuting with even a dab of philosophy. Not to mention the fact that it renders civilization impossible.

Gagdad Bob said...

Their whole philosophy, such as it is, is just a reaction against that which they hate. It has no positive content that can have any plausible basis. Similar in that regard to leftism.

Van Harvey said...

It's not meant to explain anything, it's more a tool to justify or excuse everything. More of an Alibisophy or an Excusophy, than a Philosophy, and that being the case, Reason and Truth are not to be found, or suffered, within earshot of its pronouncements.

Jack said...

"The whole thing is instantaneously self-refuting with even a dab of philosophy."

Which is why Dennett must attempt to destroy "armchair philosophy" aka Philosophy.

True philosophy is his enemy. I would imagine he is very clear on that.

Gagdad Bob said...

That's a good point. Just as they're not a-theist but anti-theist, it follows that they aren't just a-philosophical but anti-philosophical, AKA sophists. Socrates knew all about them.

Van Harvey said...

Yep. I did one of my lonnng posts on them a few years back, with Dehumanism: The Mystical World of the New Atheists:

"The anti-talking snake story atheists, such as Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens, are at turns annoying and amusing yet manage not too infrequently to have something useful to say, though far more often they take their shallow literalist interpretations of religion and go prattling on about how its irrational to believe these stories of talking snakes and the sun standing still, and how you can’t be rational if you believe this, and blah, blah, blah. As I’ve mentioned before, I just categorize them right along with the literalist fundamentalists they rail against, as two sides of the same coin. However misguided and ignorant their rants, they believe they are agitating for rationality, for what they claim to be a truer conception of reality…and as such they leave people able to make up their own minds, and so truth will out; good luck to ‘em.

The deHumanizing atheists however, such as the figureheads Dennett and Dawkins, spread corruption with their every seemingly sensible statement, and are even more odious by virtue of their apparent calm rationality – like philosophical Hanibal Lechters. If unaware, your every attempt to understand them, works their poison deeper into your mind. Whatever their conscious intent, their nature is to attack the very concept of being Human, attack the very existence of an individual Soul (whether mortal or immortal is immaterial in this context), they claim consciousness to be a trick, they attack our ability to perceive reality – and as such these people are fundamentally opposed to the science they claim to promote. Quite literally, they damage, disintegrate and even destroy the minds of those who believe their words, and they plague the rest of us who have to put up with the idiocies they foist upon the public in the name of their ignorance."

that was four years ago... I don't know that I'd still put Harris in the first group.