Friday, November 24, 2017

Immortality While You Wait

Just some highlighted passages from The Immortal in You: How Human Nature is More than Science Can Say, before moving on to the next subject.

Actually, my mind is already deep into the next subject -- the subject of real and diabolical liberty -- but I hate to just move on as if the previous book never happened. If only for myself, I want to remumble some points worth mumbling. We call this process "assimilating truths into our psychic substance," AKA, plundering the book for purposes of anticipatory plagiarism.

Then again, I often highlight passages I already know and understand, because it's nice to know I'm not alone in understanding them. When someone else independently discovers what you have, it might just be reality. (I emphasize "independently," in order to distinguish the process from group hysterias and other collective delusions such as Trump Derangement.)

For example,

"[W]e must think that the human mind differs from the animal mind in some way as the infinite does from the finite."

That is just a soph-evident fact for which it is up to us to ponder the consequences. Remarkably, many people do not see this fact, for which reason they cannot draw the implications. Nevertheless, it is a critical Fact of Life.

Speaking of which, "Philosophy is like thinking and breathing: not something that we can either do or not do if we like, but that we must do, and must do either badly or well, so long as we live."

Therefore, our first foray into philosophy should simply be an inquiry into what we already believe, both explicitly but especially implicitly. Suffice it to say that most people deeply believe in things they don't believe they believe, most especially some god by another name. True, it is often a false god, all the more reason to get to the bottom of one's implicit philosophy.

"Precision or exactness is not the same thing as certainty. I am absolutely sure that I am taller than my wife." However, "That is not an exact statement." Analogously, perhaps science will some day "prove" with quantitative precision that God doesn't exist. Nevertheless, he most certainly does, for metaphysics is more certain than science, even if less precise.

"[S]eeing the things in a relationship is not the same as seeing the relationship itself." For example, male and female are obviously related. But is that the same as knowing how they are related?

Just ask a feminist: she has an absurd idea of how the sexes are related, and yet calls this absurdity knowledge. This only demonstrates -- as if such demonstration is necessary -- how a leftist education doesn't relieve stupidity but weaponizes it. And the first casualty is oneself.

"Behold the marvelous power of your intellect: it enables you to know (and not merely guess) the truth about all kinds of things you have never specifically checked."

This goes to the metaphysical truths to which man is, yes, entitled. Why entitled? Because to be ignorant of them is to be denied the possibility of actualizing man qua man. It is no different than saying a cow is entitled to grass or a fish to water. It would be pretty stupid, not to mention cruel, to create a cow with nothing to eat. It would be crueler still to create rational beings with nothing to know -- i.e., intellects without truth.

"It could never be true that 'there is no truth,' since that statement itself would then be true." Nevertheless. What did Orwell say? "Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious." But the implications of this obvious truth are (literally) infinite.

Two sentences, each containing exactly 100 characters: "The bomb will detonate in ten seconds unless you cut the wires in the right order, so be sure to cut the first wire labeled P." Or, "The bomb will detonate in ten seconds unless you cut the wires in the right order, so be sure to cut the first wire labeled R."

So, a 1% difference in finite content makes a rather large -- even infinite, i.e., life and death -- difference in meaning. The next time some clever chimp tries to tell you his DNA is 99% the same as yours, pull out this gag and see how he responds. He will no doubt fling poo, and defend the practice by insisting it is "protected speech." But the deeper principle is that semantics cannot be reduced to syntax, or meaning to grammar.

Not only is it OK to be white. Contrary to animal rights activists and global warming enthusiasts, it is also okay to be human.

"There are no saints among the beasts, but neither are there any Hitlers or Stalins." Hitler's DNA is no doubt 99.9% (or whatever) the same as ours. So, where is the difference? It's all about the verticality, which is not reducible to syntax or quantity.

Excellent observation from biologist T. Dobzhansky, that if Homo sapiens were classified based upon "psychological instead of mainly morphological traits, man would have to be considered a separate phylum or even kingdom" (emphasis mine).

Here again, this is a fact which is full of implications. Really, it is just another way of affirming that man is a Special Creation, a la Genesis. There is the rest of creation. And there is man. To not see the distinction is to not see; or, it is blindness masquerading as vision.

Another good line, this one by none other than Noam Chomsky: "It's about as likely that an ape will prove to have language ability as that there is an island somewhere with a species of flightless birds waiting for human beings to teach them to fly."

Ho! Great observation, but what prevents Chomsky from drawing the correct implications? Intellectually speaking, no one ever taught him to fly.

"Though all animals share one world, all may be said to live in different worlds, since each perceives best only that part of the environment essential to its success" (Tinbergen).

My note next to this says: Escape from Planet of the Apes. For what is humanness but an escape from a horizontal entrapment in subjectivity, into the wide open space of universals, essences, and disinterested objectivity? Hmmm?

Aquinas: "If the intellect were a part of the body," then "it would not understand universals but only particulars."

Yet another self-evident truth available to anyone, full of momentous implications. If your mind could only retain particulars, then like a computer you would soon run out of space in your hard drive.

To be continued... Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Chivalry and Other Forms of Female Oppression

An eye exam is not an intelligence test, for the most perfect vision can coexist in the most perfect idiot. And vice versa: the person with a high IQ can obviously have poor vision -- and not just the physical kind. Rather, he cannot see various nonlocal relationships that illuminate and extend the past, present, and future, within both the interior and exterior, or upper and lower vertical.

Example. Okay, I don't want to get sidetracked, but what's really going on with this epidemic of sexual predation and perversion in various bastions of the left, e.g., Hollywood and the Swamp Media (and surely academia cannot be far behind)?

Now, there are plenty of idiots on the left, but there are also some intelligent people. However, the vision of the smartest among them is so limited that they can scarcely see what is under their noses. They seem to think it is a problem of men, or of a culture insufficiently steeped in the ideology of feminism. That is what they see because that is all their vision will allow them to see. "Ideological blinders" is such a cliché, but I don't want to waste my time thinking up a better term.

Some conservatives have speculated that the left is the ideal shelter for these sexual predators, such that their political affiliation is just a calculated pose. I don't think that is the case, at least with the majority. There may be some pure sociopaths, but even sociopaths have principles. Hitler could murder human beings all day but would never harm a dog. Likewise, Charlie Rose might stalk women all day, but wouldn't be caught dead at a Tea Party rally, or reading Thomas Sowell. There are limits to his depravity!

So, what's really going on? Well, if ideas have consequences, metaphysics has... big ones. In other words, if your metaphysic is wrong, then everything else will follow. For ultimately, a metaphysic is your "map of the cosmos," and don't try to pretend you don't have one. If you don't have an explicit metaphysic, then it only means you have an implicit, unexamined, and undoubtedly stupid one.

Feminism is an idiotic ideology rooted in an even more idiotic metaphysic. To believe it is to believe what is false, right down to the ground of being. What could go wrong?

Now we're really in danger of a major side trip, because this touches on the central theme of a book I'm currently reading, Freedom from Reality: The Diabolical Character of Modern Liberty. I'm holding off on a recommendation, because it is very dense, difficult, and expensive, plus I'm only about a third of the way through. But you can get my drift from the title: the feminist ideal of liberty is indeed diabolical (literally), for it is a freedom from reality, which is (obviously) no freedom at all.

What is it then? In other words, if feminism doesn't entail freedom, then what does it entail? Er, slavery? That's a good start, for it implies that the person is bound more to the ideology than to the reality which the ideology is supposed to symbolize.

But leftism does not symbolize reality, except in a hollow and self-referential way. In this way it has the identical structure as p0rn: a completely empty symbol of what it is representing. If you conflate the two, then you are dragged down to the level of the empty symbol, and the entire cosmos vertically collapses in on itself.

In this light, what is scientism but scientific p0rn? You have to understand what I am saying literally. Science is not reality, obviously. Rather, it is a symbolic system that represents reality, but always in an open, dynamic, and incomplete way. It always points beyond itself to the reality it symbolizes.

But consider, for example, global warming enthusiasts: they aren't even troubled that their models do not conform to the reality they are supposed to represent! As such, they are just like feminists for whom feminism is infinitely more important than what it is supposed to map, i.e., reality.

Back to our main peripheral point, what is going on in the Swamp. Let's put it this way: how do you stop rape, or any other bad human behavior, for that matter? With violence, or at least the threat of it. Can feminism stop this violence? For example, can a feminized president bring peace to the Middle East, or stop Korea from acquiring nukes, just by being extra-womanly? How did that work out? Didn't it just provoke the malefactors?

Here's a little paradoxical secret for feminists: men devalue women, and that is a big reason why they value them. Sounds paradoxical, but it is thoroughly orthopardoxical, and the basis of chivalry.

Let's just consider the plain, unadorned reality: everyone who has not been poisoned by ideology knows women are weaker than men. Thus, they need to be protected by men -- or better, by maleness. For related reasons, men don't want to do what a woman can do. Rather, they want to do what a woman can't do. If a woman can do anything a man can do, then to hell with manhood.

But what does feminism teach? That a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. That there are no essential differences between male and female. This is a deeply untrue doctrine, but the depth of its falsehood is even deeper than you might think. It is ultimately false because reality does not consist of atoms in the void -- not at any level, from the subatomic to the human and beyond, all the way up and into God.

Rather, ultimate reality is relationship, and there is not a thing you can rightly understand unless you first understand this principle. Thus, for example, to say a woman "needs" a man (and vice versa) is not nearly adequate to the case. Rather, woman refers to man, and vice versa. Man and Woman are symbolic realities that point beyond themselves to the Other that completes them on that level.

Another and even more primordial relationship is Man and God. Man refers to God, as God refers to Man, the latter going to the doctrine of incarnation. To understand that man is created in the image and likeness of God is one way to "see" this reality.

I think we can agree with feminists that a lot of catastrophes in the world are caused by men, indeed, probably the vast majority. Who commits all the violent crime? Who starts all the wars? Who's in charge of ESPN? Not women.

Perhaps the central purpose of culture is to shepherd merely biological males into psycho-spiritual manhood. Men commit rape and other abuses, obviously. But such crimes are unthinkable for the mature man. Now, the critical question is, how does one create such a man? Can feminism do it?

Ha! Remember what was said above about men having a kind of in-built devaluation of the feminine sphere. If it's only Mom telling me "No," then that amounts to a green light to go ahead and do it. Feminism is like a parchment barrier: "Peace (between the sexes) in our time!"

But if Dad says No? That's a different story, isn't it? I read somewhere that Brad Pitt confronted Dirty Harvey at a party and warned him in no uncertain terms that if he tried anything again with his girlfriend, then violence would be visited upon his fat, disgusting person.

Imagine an alternate reality, in which a Pajama Boy or Girl warns him that if his behavior continues, then he may well have to attend sensitivity training and learn how his maleness is really a disease that can only be cured by a psychic castration. I wonder if this is what he's learning in "rehab?"

The bottom line is that Manhood is the only solution to the problems unleashed by men; there is no "downward" solution, a la feminism, but only an upward one into the telos of proper psycho-spiritual manhood. But again, that cosmos -- the real one -- does not exist for the left.

I'm confident my son will never abuse women. He will, however, open doors and give up his seat for them, so I guess that makes him a hopeless oppressor. Again, chivalry is a function of seeing the underlying differences between the sexes.

Well, our little sidetrack hijacked the post. We'll just leave off with a few timelessly timely gags courtesy of the Aphorist:

Modern man inverts problems' ranks. When it comes to sex education, for example, everyone pontificates, but who worries about the education of the sentiments?

Ideologies are fictitious nautical charts, but on them, in the end, depends against which reef one is shipwrecked. If interests move us, stupidities guide us.

In society just as in the soul, when hierarchies abdicate, the appetites rule.

A modern man is a man who forgets what man knows about man.

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