Category Archives: Uncategorized
Well, yes they are, you idiot:
“It depended on how much Planned Parenthood was getting per research participant. For our fetal tissue study, we got paid about $200 per baby that we sent. If I recall correctly, I think the compensation to the staff was about $20 per enrollment. If it was a minor study … one time we did a study where they were testing different kinds of pap brushes … we got about $5 for each patient.”
I suppose the only logical conclusion to all of this must be that Abbey is a mysogynist who hates women and wants to refuse them mammograms and stuff. Hmm? Either that or this interview had been highly edited — I think, Donald Trump is involved.
In my other post on this, I made a mistake, actually. I likened abortionists to Nazis. But I should probably apologize as that is highly unfair to the members of the German National Socialist Party.
A well-meaning white knight belatedly realizes that the last thing professional victims want is help (emphasis added):
“I started advocating for women in engineering in 2006 when my dean at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering, Kristina Johnson, made me aware of the declining numbers of women entering the field. As a former tech entrepreneur, I found the situation alarming. I had spent the last few years researching how education, immigration, and entrepreneurship drive innovation. The fact that half of our population was being left out of the fields most important to our future seemed deeply wrong to me.[..]
Over the past few weeks, I have been accused of financial impropriety, arrogance and insensitivity, and sexual harassment. You expect these types of insults from bloggers, but I was quite surprised to find them coming from a National Public Radio affiliate, WNYC..[..] WNYC published a podcast titled “Quiet, Wadhwa.” It criticized me for “taking the oxygen out of the room” by “speaking for women.” There were more than 11 minutes of inaccuracies and innuendo made against me without even an attempt at fact-checking — despite the serious nature of the charges. The vast majority of allegations would not have passed a simple Google search.[..] WNYC completely disregarded the fact that I routinely share my media platform with women and regularly refer journalists to women in tech….
I was accused of profiting from the pain and suffering of women.
I may have made the mistake of fighting the battles of women in technology for too long. And I may have taken the accusations too personally. Today there is a chorus of very powerful, intelligent, voices who are speaking from personal experience. The women who I have written about, who have lived the discrimination and abuse, as well as others, deserve the air time. So I am going to bow out of this debate.”
Well. How unsurprising.
Clearly, some feminists were able to adequately project onto this poor white knight their own psychological motivations for doing what they do.
The lesson, of course, is that no matter how much one sympathizes with one or more of their pet social-justice causes, one aids a feminist at his own eventual peril. Since it’s not actual help they want, rather, what they want is attention — that they be seen as somehow morally superior — and an excuse for their own shortcomings. Both of which they expressly attain by playing the role of the oppressed victim.
Because feminism is now often merely a word used as a ticket to the oppression olympics, where the more oppressed one is perceived to be, the more morally superior one becomes, and the more one gets to excuse their failures on the amorphous concept of male privilege and the patriarchy.
Only an idiot wouldn’t want equal rights for women. Conversely, only an idiot would think that “equal rights” are what today’s feminists are about.
Just saw some guy at the combox of some obscure blog arguing that religion is more dangerous than atheism because — get this! — nobody kills in the name of atheism! The guy thusly proceeded to commit intellectual seppuku then and there by claiming that if anything, Stallin’s mass murder had more of a religious tonality to it, since Stallin was seen by everyone around him to be godlike! So it’s actually an example of religion doing evil! Funny that. Echoing, of course, an argument from the Hitch — although I heard the Hitch say it of Kim Jong Ill not Stallin, but tomeyto tomahto.
If we needed any more evidence that gnu-atheists will readily eschew reason in favor of their own ideological dogmas, this argument from the Hitch, and by extension, the mid-wits that have been smugly bandying it about, will be as good as any. It’s even demonstrably true that the knowledge these people have of that which they expend great effort to criticize (Christianity) barely even rises to the level of Narnia.
Stallin’s drenching of the Russian landscape with the blood of millions can only be because he wanted power, an end he happily worked towards by exploiting the fact that he was seen by everyone as some god-figure — therefore, checkmate, religion! Checkmate I say!
..is what they keep saying. The silly, silly fools.
While the premise is true, the conclusion is not, and is in fact silly, if not outright stupid.
Stallin (Mao, or even Hitler) purged religion because he knew he could only be seen as a god to everyone else if there was none other that existed. Because the first step to becoming god is to get rid of him — Stallin, Hitler and Mao, were cognizant of this. So his atheism can hardly be said to be incidental.
It’s somewhat tangential to the issue, but it’s also quite amusing how easily gnus are able to channel Sherlock when it comes to someone like Breivik, connecting in the most inane and acrobatic way possible his Christianity to his mass-murder. Yet, like what happened recently, when it’s an atheist who does the murdering, suddenly they’re all unable and/or unwilling to either connect the dots or acknowledge there are any dots to connect in the first place.
Of course atheism by itself isn’t sufficient to drive someone to murder, which is why the often-used canard is that nobody kills in the name of atheism. And this is true — for who could kill in the name of a belief that god doesn’t exist? I submit nobody can. However, the belief on which someone’s atheism might be predicated could, as it were, lead someone to think human life to be worth bupkis. And that this is so unfathomable for gnu-atheists is what is so mind-boggling. Philosophically reflective atheists of the past like Nietzsche, Camus and Voltaire knew, and often wrote about, the dark implications of denying that objective moral standards exist, which can only be had on some form of theism. But the intellectual feather-weights of today, who annoyingly (and ironically) refer to themselves as ‘brights’, believe removing religion will turn the world into a land of bunnies and candy.
And they call us superstitious!
Picture, if you will, someone who believes, as Richard Dawkins does, that there is no good, and there is no evil, and that we are all merely bags of flesh who, in Dick’s own words, ‘dance to it’s [DNA’s] music.’
Now, do you think that someone who literally believes all that can somehow manage to believe human life to be worth more than jackshit?!
Unfortunately, it is not the God of classical theism but a demiurge that we find modern atheists most concerned with. A demiurge would not be the source of all existence, but merely a cosmic craftsman, or, as it’s more conventionally understood, a being — an intelligent designer — simply endowed with superhuman powers not unlike the characters inhabiting comicbooks and theaters.
The analogies skeptics use give them away. This god, to them, is no different from the tooth fairy, father christmas, zeus, or any of the other thousands of gods now in the dustbin of history. None of them seem to understand, much less have written about, the God as understood from the scholastic age to Aquinas. And writers like Dawkins, Sam Harris and the Hitch, can only reasonably claim to have laid out arguments against a demiurge, a cosmic and malevolent despot, who has not a whit in common to the God of Aristotle.
Intelligent people rightly find illogical the proposition that such a being (or beings) exists. And the problem is that both the religious and the skeptic have little time to parse through the metaphysical obscurities — or, as Dennet would say, “deepities” — of theology in order to get a better conceptual framework with which to view God. Unsurprisingly they are left ill-prepared to see Him as nothing more than a divine tinkerer, or, more famously, as Paley’s watchmaker. This is why we often see a theology that is more akin to that of Pat Robertson and Kirk Cameron than to that of Alvin Plantinga or Edward Feser; this is why we see intelligent design theorists claiming that irreducible complexity points to divine handiwork; this is why we see Christians and skeptics alike who think Darwin’s theory to be theism’s coup de grace.
The ill-informed religious laymen will keep providing the skeptics with strawmen to burn down, it seems.
I fear it will take a lot to upset this cycle of attack and defense of these army of strawmen. Especially in this age of twitter and facebook, where information must be bite-sized, and therefore almost always ephemeral and useless, to be worth listening to. Scarcely anyone has the time, nor even the aptitude or desire, to read theological treatises on religion that expound on the God of the old scolastics. While much of the abled seem content to resigning themselves to their ivory towers.
I have no doubt that we Christians are at the losing end of a cultural war. And I fear that in a post-Christian era, once the illogic of humanism becomes apparent (since a humanism predicated on naturalism needs to eschew the annoyingly amorphous concept of objective morality, without which the whole humanistic enterprise can be said to be floating on thin air) morality will be Nietzschean in its manifestations.
Which is to say the shit will hit the fan.
Can we, as Christians, really even doubt this? — it has all been written.
But hope springs anew, since it has also been written that every knee shall bow. So perhaps even the most Dawkinsian will, at some point — and whether he desired it or not — bend.
So, perhaps, a less charitable, smug, seemingly juvenile yet inarguably fitting response to the skeptic would be to say, in the words of Vox Day:
‘You can do it now, or you can do it later. But bow, you will.’
Avoid humans. In the show, man is the worst monster. That much is clear. Zombies are frightening, of course. But if there’s anything to take from this series, it’s that humans are scarier, so that last hollow-point will be better spent in your next and likely fortuitous encounter with a non-dead human being. It’s funny because you’d think that in a post-apocalyptic zombie-infested world, people would be delighted to see other survivors. But, no, they wouldn’t — or at least, they wouldn’t once they’ve been sufficiently educated through experience in just how much more monstrous, compared to the undead, humans can be. In fact, in the show, our group of protagonists can often be seen stoically hacking away at advancing hordes of zombies as though it were just another day at the office, while other humans are, with good reason, almost always met with fear and suspicion, as though the mere sight of them does little more than herald the arrival of circumstances profoundly unpleasant.
For dispatching Zombies, there’s more utility and fun to be had in a Samurai sword. Like what was implied a moment ago, save your bullets for humans, and find a Samurai sword, perhaps even make one if you can, to keep the undead at bay. Hacking off whole limbs of marauding zombies with every individual swing of the sword just seems like loads of fun. And for added fun: pretend to be a ninja and scream “ha-iya!” while you’re at it.
Avoid bridges, as they provide zero lateral escape routes. Whenever principal characters of the show cross a bridge, we almost immediately see them flanked from both ends by zombies who are closing in. The cliche also always commences at some point when our protagonists find themselves at the center of the bridge. Whatever your thoughts on the realism of that may be, what’s clear is that bridges — like a good number of places, actually — have the potential to be death traps.
Hundreds if not thousands of zombies always manage to appear in cities or relatively obscure towns that previously housed only a handful of people. It’s ridiculous. They’re everywhere. It’s either the producers of the show wantonly sacrificed believability for drama, or there must be unforseen causal forces at work, of which we’ll never know, that permits this odd phenomenon. Whatever the case may be, it’s clear that inordinate amounts of zombies can and will be found where you least expect them.
When the optimum number of people in your tribe has been reached, and unless you were masochistic enough to enjoy nannying the weak, take in no one else, because, like we learn from the show, the piggybacking of the untested on your survival expedition will be one of the leading causes of unintentional zombification.
Walking is better. Vehicles seem to be supernaturally predisposed to break down right smack in the middle of areas where big numbers of zombies lie in wait, ready to pounce. And people inside vehicles likewise seem supernaturally predisposed to not notice the undead closing in until such time that they are already banging at the windows in ridiculous numbers.
People who claim to be on some special mission, or who insist that there exists some sanctuary where survivors regularly gather around a campfire and sing auld lang syne, should, for the sake of the more impressionable, be met with not just dismissal, but outright derision. No such mission or sanctuary probably exists. And any effort to find out would likely be costly.
Lastly, law enforcement can scarcely be trusted, if they can even be said to be trustworthy under normal (read: zombie-less) circumstances at all. It’s a cynical generalization, I know, but that’s generally the case where I’m from, and the only time I see they can be trusted is when our interests happen to be alligned. Rick, one of the main characters, seems to be the exception here, but rationally, if someone is already used to taking advantage of people under nomal conditions, then they’ll be inordinately inclined to do so when the very possibility of being held accountable for anything flies out the window.
Taking offense at John Gray’s takedown of Richard Dawkins, Jerry Coyne, again, prattles on about matters of which he knows nothing:
“Even I, a lowly biologist, know that many of the “church fathers,” including Augustine and Aquinas, took the Genesis story literally (including Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden); only after you accepted the historicity of these events, they said, could you also read into them other meanings. And get your story straight, you faitheists! […] It’s time to dispel the trope that nobody took Genesis literally until recent times. For millennia, theologians and believers have seen it as historical truth, and you don’t have to do much research to find that out.”
Of course Coyne means to say that biblical literalism isn’t solely a fairly recent phenomenon within the church, and evidences this by implying Augustine and Aquinas, perhaps two of the most influential thinkers of classical Christian theism, are literalists. Coyne obviously wants to be able to shriek “look, 6-day creation, Adam and Eve, an apple and a talking snake! — what utter codswallop!”
Only, St. Augustine was not a literalist. Ditto Aquinas. He –they– definitely took some parts literally, but that’s mainly because they were men of their time, and those were the parts of the bible they, being men of their time, had no reason to read otherwise. Someone from 3rd century Palestine, say, who’s never encountered a whale, or any scientific literature showing that the anatomical structure of whales precluded the possibility of humans surviving in them for periods of time, may well be justified in taking that part of the story of Jonah literally. There is, after all, no reason for him, as far as he can see, to take it otherwise. That they (Augustine and Aquinas) aren’t literalists in the sense Coyne wants them to be should be obvious to anyone who’s had a moment to acquaint himself with their writings. So Coyne’s bandying about of Augustine’s or Aquinas’s literal reading of some parts of the bible as evidence that they were literalists only further demonstrates Coyne’s incompetence on the matter. In trying to refute John Gray, Coyne only succeeds in doing the opposite of what he intended, making John’s broader point, which is that Dawkins, and, by extension, Jerry Coyne, love to, and ought to desist from, pontificating on matters about which they know bupkis.
What’s becoming abundantly clear is that neo atheists like Coyne are only competent inside the lab, if they can be said to be competent at anything at all. Outside it, they show a laughable ignorance of not only philosophy, but of history, by making assertions any competent historian, philosopher, or anyone else who has the time to take a cursory glance at wikipedia for that matter, can easily dispel.
Coyne is a prat who should seriously stick to cataloging fruit flies.
Not that I give a rodent’s posterior about Dawkins, of course. He’s a guy who’s made a living out of peddling strawmen. And it’s more than a little befuddling that he doesn’t see the irony in accusing his critics of bullying when he has gone on record as saying that mocking and ridiculing the religious is an expedient way of convincing others that religion is bull-plop. But I am slightly bemused by the fact that it was not just a bit more than a moment ago when this guy served as the low-rent atheist’s template for rationality. He was voted one of Britain’s top intellectuals and was part of Time’s most influential list. Now though, he has, according to one influential atheist blogger, “been eaten by the brain parasites..”
Why is the world’s most famous anti-theist now being abruptly purged from the godless left’s pantheon? Well, because, for them, Dicky Dawkins is being insufficiently subordinate to the feminist cause. And behaviour like that simply won’t fly. I mean, how dare he tweet his support for Christina Summers who’s been vocally against ‘victim feminism’!
If you want another illustration of how feminists infiltrate movements and interest groups then inject their ideas and attempt to eliminate those who don’t fall in line, this Dawkinsian affair will be as good as any. They’ve done it to hollywood; they’ve done it to the comic book industry; they’ve done it to the occupy movement; they’re now doing it to science fiction writing and the video game industry. See, nowadays, you can’t just make a video game or write a novel or do anything else for that matter that’s enjoyable or will turn a profit, you’ll have to incorporate strong female characters, avoid sexist tropes and do a score of other things first, nevermind whether any of them had an iota of contextual sense — because feminist feelings. You’ll be well-advised — well advised! — to consider these feelings, which will be tricky considering ‘feelings’ is one thing they have in abundance, and anyone who’s been careless enough to offend them is a horrible, horrible, evil, potential-rapist, misogynist bastard who needs to check his privilege. Attempting to safely navigate through the minefield that is the feminist brain is also a fool’s errand, because they, day in and day out, trip themselves over looking for things to be outraged about. It’s true.
Equal rights, sure, sign me up, why the hell not. That’s how it should be. But that’s unfortunately not what today’s social justice warrioring feminists are about, despite all the effort on display trying to couch it in those terms — like what we saw in the recent platitudinous speech of one famous feminist. Oh no, no, gone are the old-school, ‘first wave’, equity feminists of the past who, like Christina Summers, were genuinely against inequality. Now, they’re more about hypersensitivity and manufacturing outrage by blowing things out of proportion so that others won’t escape noticing how such special snowflakes they are. In fact, here’s an example of them doing just that.
About the Israel-Palestine conflict, whose side is right? On that score, I remain agnostic. However, Sam Harris, as seems to be his wont, gives us more reasons to doubt that he actually thinks things through:
“What would the Jews do to the Palestinians if they could do anything they wanted? Well, we know the answer to that question, because they can do more or less anything they want. The Israeli army could kill everyone in Gaza tomorrow. So what does that mean? Well, it means that, when they drop a bomb on a beach and kill four Palestinian children, as happened last week, this is almost certainly an accident. They’re not targeting children. They could target as many children as they want. Every time a Palestinian child dies, Israel edges ever closer to becoming an international pariah. So the Israelis take great pains not to kill children and other noncombatants”
“What do we know of the Palestinians? What would the Palestinians do to the Jews in Israel if the power imbalance were reversed? Well, they have told us what they would do. For some reason, Israel’s critics just don’t want to believe the worst about a group like Hamas, even when it declares the worst of itself. We’ve already had a Holocaust and several other genocides in the 20th century. People are capable of committing genocide. When they tell us they intend to commit genocide, we should listen. There is every reason to believe that the Palestinians would kill all the Jews in Israel if they could.”
— Sam Harris
End Quote. Well, Noam Chomsky will be blown away by such penetrating insight.
Of course Sam Harris here is suggesting that if the tables were turned and we had a flourishing, well-educated Palestinian state, who had the second strongest army in the world on the one hand, and an impoverished, disenfranchised and, one could — in fact, one should — say, subjugated bunch of Israelis on the other, we’d be seeing the Palestinians dining on the corpses of Israelis with wild abandon. Which is, needless to say, an overly-simplistic analysis of what is.
I think Sam’s completely disregarding what history shows us to be what usually happens in wars of this kind, where the one who has less bullets and tanks will tend to resort to, shall we say, terroristic means. I doubt that the Palestinians, if they were in Israel’s position, would choose to incur the wrath of the West or risk being “international pariahs” by wantonly killing Israeli children by the hundreds, if not thousands, like Sam suggests they would, because that would be, in the long-haul, detrimental to their ‘well-being’. I mean, Nato would be up their arses the moment they do. So they wouldn’t be much different from Israel if the tables were turned, me thinks. Although a persuasive argument can be made that their people would be less happy despite all the hypothetical progress –you know, Islamic laws being somewhat draconian and all.
The constant ‘OMG religion is a baddie!‘ theme is a recurring problem with Sam, it very much seems. He keeps putting a religious spin to everything because of the incentive he has in painting religion as the evil his books proclaim it to be. (And/or also because he really — really ignorantly — believes it to be evil) The Israel-Palestine conflict is a territorial and not a religious dispute, despite that both sides often use religion to justify their positions. The fact remains that if it wasn’t religion, it would be something else. Hitler used, among other things, an adulterated version of Darwin’s theory to justify much of the holocaust; Stallin and the extremist wing of the Russian Communist Party told themselves their strong hand policy was the only way to revive Russia; the Tamil Tigers largely have nationalistic rather than religious motivations for strapping explosives to their chests, etc. I could go on about this. The readily confirmable fact of the matter is that people will use all manner of justification for killing each other. It’s not like that will all suddenly stop the moment the Palestinians have themselves baptized in Sam’s brand of atheism.
Man is, for the most part, NOT a rational animal. He is a rationalizing one. And he will remain one with or without religion. And, granted the incentives are high enough, he’ll be able to rationalize his way into any position within a few minutes. Within a few minutes! That’s the real world.
Sam either doesn’t realize this, which makes him naive, or he refuses to acknowledge it because it’s easier to, or there’s more reward for him in, making religion out to be this bogeyman that keeps us immersed in a fecal stew of irrationality.
My agnostic friend Andy, whom I’ve informally debated recently regarding matters of religion, is a mensch.
Here’s a nice article of his that I’ve read where, I’m happy to say in small part because of our previous discussions, he seems to have more than slightly altered his view on Christians.
It’s definitely worth a read:
The camper is content to select one side and entrench himself there, but the true seeker does not allow himself to be trapped, and is willing to reconsider and doubt whatever is his current position. A true seeker is not attached to labels but is relentless in his pursuit of truth. In the end, I do not aim to be a staunch defender of theism, atheism, agnosticism or whatever. I only aim for the truth, whatever it is, and wherever it may bring me.
It’ll be a long-shot, but hopefully, in a few years time, Andy will be writing a testimony akin to that of sci-fi author John C Wright, below:
Rest assured, I take the logical process of philosophy very seriously, and I am impatient with anyone who is not a rigorous and trained thinker. Reason is the tool men use to determine if their statements about reality are valid: there is no other. Those who do not or cannot reason are little better than slaves, because their lives are controlled by the ideas of other men, ideas they have not examined.
To my surprise and alarm, I found that, step by step, logic drove me to conclusions no modern philosophy shared, but only this ancient and (as I saw it then) corrupt and superstitious foolery called the Church. Each time I followed the argument fearlessly where it lead, it kept leading me, one remorseless rational step at a time, to a position the Church had been maintaining for more than a thousand years. That haunted me.
Second, I began to notice how shallow, either simply optimistic or simply pessimistic, other philosophies and views of life were.
The public conduct of my fellow atheists was so lacking in sobriety and gravity that I began to wonder why, if we atheists had a hammerlock on truth, so much of what we said was pointless or naive. I remember listening to a fellow atheist telling me how wonderful the world would be once religion was swept into the dustbin of history, and I realized the chap knew nothing about history. If atheism solved all human woe, then the Soviet Union would have been an empire of joy and dancing bunnies, instead of the land of corpses.
I would listen to my fellow atheists, and they would sound as innocent of any notion of what real human life was like as the Man from Mars who has never met human beings or even heard clear rumors of them. Then I would read something written by Christian men of letters, Tolkien, Lewis, or G.K. Chesterton, and see a solid understanding of the joys and woes of human life. They were mature men.
I would look at the rigorous logic of St. Thomas Aquinas, the complexity and thoroughness of his reasoning, and compare that to the scattered and mentally incoherent sentimentality of some poseur like Nietzsche or Sartre. I can tell the difference between a rigorous argument and shrill psychological flatulence. I can see the difference between a dwarf and a giant. (bit.ly/1kXSEI6)