Arthur Ashe Must Be Turning In His Grave

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Courage used to be about doing things one rather not do but for which a moral imperative exists. It’s about doing things that need to be done despite all the disincentive involved. So why they award someone who did what he did for no one else and nothing else other than his own vanity, and who then thusly encourages others to do the same, is what the outrage is all about.

Caitlyn — no, Bruce– Jenner, does not deserve an award. Neither does he deserve recognition for mutilating himself into being someone he isn’t, nor can he rationally be said to be a ‘hero’. There isn’t anything courageous about what he’s done. In fact he’s made more money off of these recent shenanigans than most people would make had they had a hundred lives to live.

Body dysmorphia is a mental disorder. Bruce Jenner’s condition is a form of it. But somehow when it involves the genitals, you’ll get a powerful interest group backing you up who has the power to bully everyone else into accepting their narrative, and then suddenly it not only becomes kosher, it becomes something for which you can be said to have courage and be a hero about.

Society isn’t going down the toilet. It’s been in that fecal stew of ‘progressive’ irrationality for a few decades now. It’s only now that people are noticing the stink and calling it for what it is. And now, more than ever, one must pay zero attention to those who bully others with words like “intolerant” and “bigot” into accepting that that stink is the sweet smell of ‘progress’. One must refuse to be bullied into calling this shit they feed us caviar, since we damn well know it isn’t.

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Ayn Rand..

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presciently foretold the coming of people like Bruce Jenner:

“The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow. They come to be accepted by degrees, by precedent, by implication, by erosion, by default, by dint of constant pressure on one side and constant retreat on the other—until the day when they are suddenly declared to be the country’s official ideology.” – Ayn Rand

For all her nauseating blowhardiness and philosophical ineptitude, she at least got a couple of things right. The tactic is really simple: defining yourself in terms of what you indulge in gives you warrant in taking any criticism of your behaviour as a personal affront. Anyone who disagrees with what you do can now be said to be an intolerant bigot. Because,  by spinning the narrative as progressives are wont to do, what you do, or rather what you like doing, has magically now become who you are. We are reliably informed by ‘progressives’, however, that the exception is religion, where it’s possible to mock the idea and not the person. Sounds familiar, does it not?

Murder is O.K.

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When we said abortion is infanticide, we were met with laughter and derision.

When we told them there’s no difference between an abortion and the killing of an infant, they called us stupid. We were said to be woefully misinformed.

They said it was all primitive religious foolery; we were said to be against science.

In wanting to remove a woman’s right to choose, we were told that we hate women.

We were labelled misogynists, and the women among us were said to have ‘internalized misogyny’.

But now, though, the sufficiently intelligent among them belatedly realize that WE WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG — that there is no ontologically significant difference between a newborn infant and a fetus — and so now we’ve gone from “abortion is not infanticide” to “yes it is, but infanticide is O.K!”:

“Parents should be allowed to have their newborn babies killed because they are “morally irrelevant” and ending their lives is no different to abortion, a group of medical ethicists linked to Oxford University has argued.

The article, published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, says newborn babies are not “actual persons” and do not have a “moral right to life”. The academics also argue that parents should be able to have their baby killed if it turns out to be disabled when it is born.”

The lesson here is that when dealing with people who are proven to be morally depraved, not an atom should be ceded–not a single one.

They will call you words like ‘bigot’ to scare you into submission and shut the conversation in their favor.

They will call for boycotts against anyone who’s insufficiently subordinate to their liberal ideology.

They will inflict all manner of wound.

However, now, more than ever, you must stand your ground.

Silly White Knights…

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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.

Bbb..but.. He Didn’t Do It In The Name Of Atheism!.. So No Count..

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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.’

Done?

Now, do you think that someone who literally believes all that can somehow manage to believe human life to be worth more than jackshit?!

Another Kraussian Gem.

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I am completely unaware of, and have little interest in finding out, who Eric Metaxas is. But penning this piece, which certainly reeks of an agenda, got him an apoplectic response from Lawrence–Mr. Bait and Switch–Krauss.

Lawrence Krauss though, as appears to be his wont, keeps missing the point. You’d think a renowned scientist like him would have little trouble understanding something that’s been expounded for him by the likes of William Craig ad nauseaum. But I suppose that would be asking too much from someone who, for a quick buck, piques our interest by claiming to have the solution to how the universe emerged from nothing, only to later admit that the nothing from which the universe emerged is actually a whole lot of something.

About Eric’s piece, Lawrence–Mr. Bait and Switch–Krauss, rather smugly whines:

“To the editor:

I was rather surprised to read the unfortunate oped piece “Science Increasingly makes the case for God”, written not by a scientist but a religious writer with an agenda. The piece was rife with inappropriate scientific misrepresentations. For example:

1. We currently DO NOT know the factors that allow the evolution of life in the Universe. We know the many factors that were important here on Earth, but we do not know what set of other factors might allow a different evolutionary history elsewhere. The mistake made by the author is akin to saying that if one looks at all the factors in my life that led directly to my sitting at my computer to write this, one would obtain a probability so small as to conclude that it is impossible that anyone else could ever sit down to compose a letter to the WSJ.” [..]

The thing is.. we DO know the factors that WON’T allow the evolution of intelligent life, and we DO KNOW that playing around with the values of the universal constants produces a universe that is inhospitable to life — moreso to intelligent life.

So perhaps Lawrence is privy to some new scientific information that opens up the possibility of intelligent life emerging from a universe that consists of only Hydrogen or only Helium, or one where small stars and not a single planet exists, or even a universe where atoms don’t exist. Perhaps he’s figured out a way to circumvent the Pauli Exclusion Principle, a principle which makes it impossible for life to evolve out of non-complex structures (because evolution requires a sufficiently complex environment to get going). Perhaps Lawrence has, in recent yeas, been able to solve all that, because, certainly, fiddling with the values of the universe’s constants results in a universe that’s something like any one of that, which, as far as I know, makes it unlikely, if not impossible, to produce any kind of life, much less ‘intelligent’ life.

I have my doubts, however.

If Lawrence’s history of bait-and-switch is any indication, it’s likely he is yet again blowing smoke. But, hey, maybe Lawrence is able to imagine intelligent beings made solely out of Helium, so I suppose it’s possible — who knows?

Lawrence’s analogy is flawed because it addresses an argument that wasn’t made (assuming it’s the teleological argument that was being made). The teleological argument, which is what Eric Metaxas — whoever he is — is no doubt bandying about (something I cannot confirm because his artice is behind a pay wall), is not about the astounding improbability of intelligent life on earth, but the astounding improbability of intelligent life itself!

This can either be to only chance or design. Or, actually, maybe it’s a brute fact (it’s magic!).

Scientists take the anthropic principle more seriously than Lawrence would have us believe — which isn’t to say that they believe God exists, rather, that they believe the constants being so finely tuned requires an explanation, and not merely a waving away. That’s why we see all sorts of theories purporting to be able to solve it, like the various multiverse theories, or other theories where there are lesser and more fundamental universal constants that exist that determine what the values of the other constants will be. A lot of these theories, I would argue, have little going for them and are likely unfalsifiable, making them therefore border on the metaphysical, which is something we should perhaps overlook for now. But the salient point is that Lawrence Krauss.. well, he ought to know better than serve us up with more dialectical ploys.

Christmas Post

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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.’

Clowns..

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Aside from social justice warriors who blatantly co-opt other people’s right to be offended, the worst kind of person, whom I’d try to avoid like ebola, is the blusterer who unreservedly — and undeservedly — makes claims to distinction without a smidgeon of embarrassment. I’d rather be in the company of an absolute cretin.

I at one point found myself unfortunate enough to have had to listen to a pretentious blowhard who fancied herself a horological aficionado. The imbecile kept giddily bloviating about her new rolex, which now, looking back, seems to me to be of questionable authenticity. The thing scarcely needed adjusting, I was told, because “Rolex”, and so was accurate — as if accuracy was ever the point of a 5 thousand-dollar watch. I pointed out that a 10 dollar quartz watch at a flea market is more accurate, and was met by her with a look of utter befuddlement. Her jaw gaped with incredulity as though what I just said was so insanely outrageous. How can a watch, nay, a ‘timepiece’, worth thousands of dollars be in any way inferior to something worth little more than a wad of gum?! — I imagined she was thinking. Of course, it’s not like I was unravelling for her plebeian mind some mystery of the universe; one even needn’t have a thing for watches to know this piece of inconsequential tidbit; any sufficiently self-aware midwit knows that Casios, pound for pound, tell better time than Rolexes — the consequence of using a quartz mechanism over a more complicated mechanical one. She knew zero of any of this, despite her constant posturing as a horological enthusiast with cultivated tastes. The addled-brained git..

These are the type of windbags I find difficult to abide. And social media seems to be an enabler of this kind of windbaggery. Not too long ago, for instance, there was this chain-like activity thing on fb where people listed their favorite books and tagged others to share theirs. It was basically people sharing with one another their lists of favorite books. One chap listed books by Dostoyevsky, Hemingway, Proust, and other fancy-shmancy writers whom I’m betting he’s only just been made aware of after typing ‘greatest writers’ on google, something he likely did a moment before, explicitly for the purpose of drawing up a list that’ll impress people, and maybe showcase whatever hard-won education. Now, of course, for all I know, he may have really read all of that, and may in fact be the literary connoisseur he purports himself to be, but somehow, in no small part because of his previous unintelligible rantings, I’m more than a bit doubtful.

Another is the people I often see, again in and around social media, claiming they can’t help being grammar nazis, and then proceeding to correct people’s wrong spelling or grammar in a manner that can only be said to be grammatically incorrect. Well, funny that. Who even gives a marsupial’s behind whether someone used wrong grammar? It should suffice that you knew what he intended to say, you pompous bastard.

Or how about those self-righteous vegans, or vegetarians, or whatever the hell they call themselves these days, who think animals are humans’ equal. They’re not. I like my steak. And while it’s all good to advocate against the unneccessary torture of animals, your refusal to eat meat doesn’t make you better than me, or, for that matter, anyone else. What these people have in common, really, is that they’re all about advertising how awesome they are.

It’s trite stuff, I know. We all encounter people like these. Especially since social media gives them a platform to spread their inanity far and wide. The point is.. actually, there is no point.. I was waiting for a download and had zero to do. So this. But, yeah — thanks, Mark Zuckerberg.

Atheist Ex-Pastor Unsuccessfully Debunks God Experiences

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People often think that if someone — a scientist, perhaps — is able to adequately explain the manner by which particular mental states occur in the brain, then they’ve successfully called into question whether those mental states are objectively what we suppose them to be, if not outright proven they aren’t. They can’t be real, apparently, because they were the result of such and such neurons firing, or because of such and such materialistic explanations of how similar mental states occur. This is wrong-headed, of course, as it commits the genetic fallacy. Needless to say, what makes it doubly annoying is the fact that the people who make these logical fallacies claim to have lost their faith as a result of ‘rigorous thinking’.

So this atheist ex-pastor who wrote this blog post a friend of mine shared on fb is claiming, among other things, that the experience of the holy spirit — any ‘God experience,’ in fact — is merely a series of neurological  events in the brain that’s been set off by some manner of hypnosis. This makes him conclude that it’s all superstitious foolery. I mean, it can’t be real — how can it be? — since we’ve got an adequate, step-by-step, causal account (from the words spoken by the evangelist to the very experience itself of the audience member) of how the experience came to be.

The problem here is that I can use that same kind reductionism and tell this guy he doesn’t actually love anyone; “Look, you don’t really love your wife — those are just the neurons firing!”

“Also, no, you’re not hungry — that is, again, just these other set of neurons firing!”

And reductio ad absurdum.

Of course, the more reflective will say, ah, but those neurons firing just is what we call love. Or those other neurons firing just is what we call hunger. But so can the silly chap who says he just experienced the holy spirit; he can likewise say that those neurons firing just is what happens when you experience the holy spirit!

I don’t even for one nano-second doubt that most, if not the overwhelming majority, of these claims to have experienced the holy spirit are nothing but a result of some kind of group hypnosis. I myself am skeptical of a lot of these claims. I think evangelists like Benny Hinn are frauds, and the people epileptically flailing-about around his pulpit have been duped, pretty much in the covert manner this ex-pastor describes. But to claim to have ‘debunked’ all ‘God experiences’ because you were able to give an account of how other experiences that can be mistaken for the genuine one can occur is just shoddy reasoning. Nobody but the sufficiently unintelligent is of the mind that people aren’t capable of being misled. And that people can be misled is the trite conclusion of this ex-pastor’s kilometric blog post.

The Walking Dead Teaches Us How To Live Through A Post-Apocalyptic Zombie Infestation.

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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.