The Above Video Description:
“In America what conservatives are trying to preserve is liberty. And there’s nothing fascist about that” ~ Andrew Klavan, PJ Media (via Libertarian Republican)
Saw this before seeing it on Powerline, but had to add PL’s post on it:
In the video below, we catch a glimpse of Hitler’s reaction to the Grubergate videos. I’d love to see Obama’s reaction. It can’t be too far off from what is depicted here.
I can’t help myself; I think the video is funny as hell. The thing is full of quotable quotes, but I’m picking this one: “Even Ron Fournier knows we think he’s stupid.”
I believe Hitler would approve… that is, heating buildings with a renewable energy source while ridding ourselves of unwanted persons (eugenics). The Telegraph notes (and I will add the video as it appears on the web later).
It’s a “win-win” for our leftist eco-fascists who surely view this as “saving the planet” in multiple ways —
- reducing the population of the planet;
- and not using fossil fuels.
Here is the story:
When life — the innocent unborn — are considered fuel for heat… how can compassion be in the equation? How can it be expected? Dumb.
The stronger must dominate and not mate with the weaker, which would signify the sacrifice of its own higher nature. Only the born weakling can look upon this principle as cruel, and if he does so it is merely because he is of a feebler nature and narrower mind; for if such a law [natural selection] did not direct the process of evolution then the higher development of organic life would not be conceivable at all…. If Nature does not wish that weaker individuals should mate with the stronger, she wishes even less that a superior race should intermingle with an inferior one; because in such a case all her efforts, throughout hundreds of thousands of years, to establish an evolutionary higher stage of being, may thus be rendered futile.
Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, translator/annotator, James Murphy [New York: Hurst and Blackett, 1942], pp. 161-162.
If what he says is true, he says it merely as the result of his heredity and environment, and nothing else. He does not hold his determinist views because they are true, but because he has such-and-such stimuli; that is, not because the structure of the structure of the universe is such-and-such but only because the configuration of only part of the universe, together with the structure of the determinist’s brain, is such as to produce that result…. They [determinists – I would posit any philosophical naturalist] want to be considered as rational agents arguing with other rational agents; they want their beliefs to be construed as beliefs, and subjected to rational assessment; and they want to secure the rational assent of those they argue with, not a brainwashed repetition of acquiescent pattern. Consistent determinists should regard it as all one whether they induce conformity to their doctrines by auditory stimuli or a suitable injection of hallucinogens: but in practice they show a welcome reluctance to get out their syringes, which does equal credit to their humanity and discredit to their views. Determinism, therefore, cannot be true, because if it was, we should not take the determinists’ arguments as being really arguments, but as being only conditioned reflexes. Their statements should not be regarded as really claiming to be true, but only as seeking to cause us to respond in some way desired by them.
J. R. Lucas, The Freedom of the Will (New York: NY: Oxford University Press, 1970), 114, 115.
One of the most intriguing aspects mentioned by Ravi Zacharias of a lecture he attended entitled Determinism – Is Man a Slave or the Master of His Fate, given by Stephen Hawking, who is the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge, Isaac Newton’s chair, was this admission by Dr. Hawking’s, was Hawking’s admission that if “we are the random products of chance, and hence, not free, or whether God had designed these laws within which we are free.” In other words, do we have the ability to make choices, or do we simply follow a chemical reaction induced by millions of mutational collisions of free atoms? Michael Polyni mentions that this “reduction of the world to its atomic elements acting blindly in terms of equilibrations of forces,” a belief that has prevailed “since the birth of modern science, has made any sort of teleological view of the cosmos seem unscientific…. [to] the contemporary mind.”
 Ravi Zacharias, The Real Face of Atheism (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2004), 118, 119.
 My summation.
 Michael Polanyi and Harry Prosch, Meaning (Chicago, IL: Chicago university Press, 1977), 162.
What merit would attach to moral virtue if the acts that form such habitual tendencies and dispositions were not acts of free choice on the part of the individual who was in the process of acquiring moral virtue? Persons of vicious moral character would have their characters formed in a manner no different from the way in which the character of a morally virtuous person was formed—by acts entirely determined, and that could not have been otherwise by freedom of choice.
Mortimer J. Adler, Ten Philosophical Mistakes (New York, NY: Touchstone, 1985), 154.
If we were free persons, with faculties which we might carelessly use or wilfully misuse, the fact might be explained; but the pre-established harmony excludes this supposition. And since our faculties lead us into error, when shall we trust them? Which of the many opinions they have produced is really true? By hypothesis, they all ought to be true, but, as they contradict one another, all cannot be true. How, then, distinguish between the true and the false? By taking a vote? That cannot be, for, as determined, we have not the power to take a vote. Shall we reach the truth by reasoning? This we might do, if reasoning were a self-poised, self verifying process; but this it cannot be in a deterministic system. Reasoning implies the power to control one’s thoughts, to resist the processes of association, to suspend judgment until the transparent order of reason has been readied. It implies freedom, therefore. In a mind which is controlled by its states, instead of controlling them, there is no reasoning, but only a succession of one state upon another. There is no deduction from grounds, but only production by causes. No belief has any logical advantage over any other, for logic is no longer possible.
Borden P Bowne, Metaphysics: A Study In First Principles (originally published in 1882; London: Sampson Low, Searle & Rivington, 2005), 105.
This is a topic I know a bit about, as, it is a common feature required to make distinctions in philosophy and science (and the philosophy of science) regarding naturalism and its influence on epistemology and if we can know truth, moral truth or otherwise. As we read the article we come to a small paragraph that shows me John is traipsing into territory he knows nothing about but makes sweeping statements as if he does. We read:
- Acceptance of an assumption that there is no free will would remove everyone’s responsibility for his or her behavior, and nobody could be condemned to jail or death. Such a thesis also would deny the influence of DNA and of experience in life.
Firstly, popular culture weighs in on this idea that somehow DNA influences free-will?
- “Infidelity – It May Be In Our Genes” ~ Time, August 15, 1994;
- “20th Century Blues” – Stress, anxiety, depression: the new science of evolutionary psychology finds the roots of modern maladies in our genes ~ Time, August 28, 1995;
- “Born Happy (Or Not)” – Happiness is more than just a state of mind… It is in the genes too;
- “Born To Be Gay?” ~ New Zealand Herald, August 8, 1996;
- “What Makes Them Do It?” – People who crave thrills, new evidence indicates, may be prompted at least partly by their genes ~ New Scientist, September 28, 1996, p. 32;
- “Your Genes May Be Forcing You To Eat Too Much” ~ Time, January 15, 1996;
- “Infanticide/neonaticide is caused by an evolutionary imperative” ~ New York Times, November 2, 1997.
In a lecture from Stephen Hawkings (who holds the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, Einstein’s chair) at a lecture given to a university crowd in England entitled “Determinism – Is Man a Slave or the Master of His Fate.” He discussed whether we are the random products of chance, and hence, not free, or whether God had designed these laws within which we are free. In other words: do we have the ability to make choices, or do we simply follow a chemical reaction induced by millions of mutational collisions of free atoms?
Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s maxim rings just as true today as it did in his day,“If there is no God, all things are permissible.” Without an absolute ethical norm, morality is reduced to mere preference and the world is a jungle where might makes right. This same strain of thought caused Mussolini to comment,
Which brings me to the finishing statement from John, “I cannot see how any society could function without assuming we do have free will.” On this we agree, even an atheistic society must borrow from the theistic worldview. In a previous response to My Huizum, I noted Sam Harris’ thinking on ultimate ethics:
- evolutionary psychology (for instance, atheist defender Sam Harris makes the Darwinian psychological statement that “…there’s nothing more natural than rape. Human beings rape, chimpanzees rape, orangutans rape, rape clearly is part of an evolutionary strategy to get your genes into the next generation if you’re a male.”)
So, let us see some popular positions taken by “evangelical” atheists:
(h/t: TrueFreeThinker) – A Statement Made by an atheist at the Atheist and Agnostic Society:
[side note] You may also be aware that Richard Dawkins stated,
- “What’s to prevent us from saying Hitler wasn’t right? I mean, that is a genuinely difficult question.”*
* Stated during an interview with Larry Taunton, “Richard Dawkins: The Atheist Evangelist,” by Faith Magazine, Issue Number 18, December 2007 (copyright; 2007-2008)
Take note also that leaders in atheistic thinking and philosophers of good standing deal with the determinism found in neo-Darwinian/naturalistic philosophies and evolutionary thinking. For instance, from a debate I was in many years ago, Stan said the following:
- “The brain works by firing electric charges that then release chemicals that make others fire electric charges.”
Robots and Cosmic Puppetry: The Scientific Challenge to Freedom
Which brings C.S. Lewis to mention how he was not able to connect the idea of “evil” to the world as an atheist:
William Lane Craig, who debated Sam Harris, works through this in his post, “Navigating Sam Harris’ The Moral Landscape.” One can see from Sam Harris that ethics is not something that “ought” to be adhered to. In an article and from a debate between theist William Lane Craig and Same Harris, we can zero in on what naturalism says
William Lane Craig Discusses Sam Harris’ book, “The Moral Landscape”
So we can see that even the person mentioned in John Van Huizum’s article, Sam Harris, in reality rejects his premise that free will exists. John does say though, that we must (we meaning any society, secular or not) must assume it to be true. Thus, John is borrowing from the Judeo-Christian worldview and really arguing for the coherence of it (and the incoherence of the opposite), and not of atheism… unbeknownst to him! John neglects to tell us “the rest of the story” (Paul Harvey), or more likely doesn’t know the story to begin with.
- Simple enough… as above. REMEMBER, Dr. Provine is an evolutionist… a neo-Darwinian proponent following his worldview to its logical ends/consequences.
I wanted to share my back-to-back experiences after being invited to two conversations by my Son on FaceBook. Almost the same attacks were used against Mitt Romeny, and almost the exact same information was used in my response. Yet, you had two different outcomes. The youngsters in the first example unfriended my son. The person in the second example admitted to hearing new information/positions he had not previously thought of, and as a result he said he will step-back and re-evaluate his own positions. Mind-you, he did not acquiesce fully, and I do not expect anyone to immediately change a long held belief about a position. All I can expect is that when new information is presented, these previously held positions are re-examined… and often times as one aligns oneself to new ideas that are true or closer to truth, they will overtime reject these previously held positions via reflection and introducing new ideals to one’s viewpoint. This is not how people work — immediate changes of thinking — even when accepting the free gift offered by God we still go through a maturing process and evolution of thought, as B.B. Warfield so aptly points out:
Below I will recreate both conversations and may even add to it as the second continues… if it goes in a congenial manner. This first conversation is the one that went sour (the graphics are enlargeable just a bit if you click them):
I was recently — today in fact, called by extension to a posting of one of my blog-posts, a “racist” and “homophobic.” So I wanted to know why and politely explained my thinking on the matter. Here is the first set of responses after my son linked to my blog:
So this is my response to the above:
(Papa Giorgio here… I will always put “(PG)” do designate my post.)
I just wanted to point out how easy it is for people to label (what is called S.I.X.H.I.R.B. ~ sexist, intolerant, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic, racist, and bigoted), rather that engage in dialogue. A really good documentary made on this in academia is uploaded on my MRCTV account.
However, I do wish to ask you thoughtfully read my post and tell me your thoughts. Okay, so are you aware that monogamous/long-term homosexual couples would consider same-sex marriage a travesty for America. They stand either institution it, or want to be done on the state level, like almost every conservative I know. For instance, just today Well-known gay actor, Rupert Everett (“My Best Friend’s Wedding” and “Shakespeare in Love”), says he “can’t think of anything worse than being brought up by two gay dads.” Is his opinion racist? Homophobic?
Or another pro-choice/lesbian (and one of my favorite authors/columnists), Tammy Bruce is against same-sex marriage being rammed down our throats by the judiciary. She would agree with well respected gay sociologist and scholar, Paul Nathanson, who says this:
[Paul Nathanson] writes that there are at least five functions that marriage serves–things that every culture must do in order to survive and thrive. They are:
- Foster the bonding between men and women
- Foster the birth and rearing of children
- Foster the bonding between men and children
- Foster some form of healthy masculine identity
- Foster the transformation of adolescents into sexually responsible adults
Note that Nathanson considers these points critical to the continued survival of any culture. He continues “Because heterosexuality is directly related to both reproduction and survival, … every human societ[y] has had to promote it actively . … Heterosexuality is always fostered by a cultural norm” that limits marriage to unions of men and women. He adds that people “are wrong in assuming that any society can do without it.” Going further he stated that “same sex marriage is a bad idea” …[he] only opposed “gay marriage, not gay relationships.”
Again, Tammy Bruce understands that rights do not come from government, but from something Bigger, and government only protects these rights. If government produces rights, then it can take them away. She says:
★ Even if one does not necessarily accept the institutional structure of “organized religion,” the “Judeo-Christian ethic and the personal standards it encourages do not impinge on the quality of life, but enhance it. They also give one a basic moral template that is not relative,” which is why the legal positivists of the Left are so threatened by the Natural Law aspect of the Judeo-Christian ethic. (Tammy Bruce, The Death of Right and Wrong: Exposing the Left’s Assault on Our Culture and Values, 35.)
Why would she posit such a thing. She is a student of history, that is one reason. For instance, people think fascism lived in Germany… it did not. It did however live in Italy, and Mussolini wrote what fascism was/is:
★ “Everything I have said and done in these last years is relativism by intuition…. If relativism signifies contempt for fixed categories and men who claim to be bearers of an objective, immortal truth… then there is nothing more relativistic than fascistic attitudes and activity…. From the fact that all ideologies are of equal value, that all ideologies are mere fictions, the modern relativist infers that everybody has the right to create for himself his own ideology and to attempt to enforce it with all the energy of which he is capable.” (Mussolini, Diuturna pp. 374-77, quoted in A Refutation of Moral Relativism: Interviews with an Absolutist, by Peter Kreeft, p. 18.)
Some sort of ethic is needed to counter relativism, otherwise it is very easy for government to usurp rights that theism (the ethos that founded our countries documents). Here Hitler makes the point that “I freed Germany from the stupid and degrading fallacies of conscience and morality…. We will train young people before whom the world will tremble. I want young people capable of violence — imperious, relentless and cruel” (Hitler, hung on the wall at Auschwitz; Ravi Zacharias, Can Man Live Without God, p. 23). So this is known well to many homosexuals… because as the government gets bigger, people’s rights get smaller.
I am curious, have you ever heard of gay people who stand against same-sex marriage? If not, the next question is, why not? Do you insulate your thinking/opinions to like minded people, books, and the like? Have you gone out of your way to ask yourself, “I believe “a” — a lot! Have I ever gone out and found a cogent, well-thought out book or person to discuss these deeper thoughts with… or should I just label them?” Granted, the latter is easier, but the former is worth it, even if the travel is a couple of years.
Take note as well that not only would the label “racist” and “homophobic” apply to a large portion of the gay community, but this type of tolerant thinking that infects the left would also apply to Buddha, Muhammad, Zoroaster, Confucius, Moses, Jesus, Plato, Socrates (i.e. the major religious founders and great secular and moral thinkers throughout time) are all wrong and bigoted. Only this generation is benighted to rise above the rest in a meta-narrative and judge absolutely the rest of history and their fellow compatriots. Just an after-thought.
These are the follow-up comments. Facts, reason, and humor got the best of them and they unfriended my son. Without an apology to me, or realizing that great dialogue/conversation could have taken place. What did happen however, is ingrained thinking that prefers “mini-me’s” surrounding themselves (with themselves) instead of being open-minded and tolerant. Here is the last posts:
(An “unfriend” soon followed that last posting.) Now, in the second conversation a young man intimated that Romney was a bigot. Not as harsh a use of language as “racist,” but, still part of the S.I.X.H.I.R.B. ~ sexist, intolerant, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic, racist, and bigoted ~ that Dennis Prager so rightly talks about. Now, I used the above main response after Connor posted the following, with additional thoughts on his particular points. Which are that he is writing in on his ballot in November — Ron Paul — undermines his claim. Here is part of Connors post:
[T]he point being argued, is that I said [R]omney is a bigot. the retort was an example of the bigotry of other people, irrelevant to the topic, and a very good documentary about academia (which [I] agree with, mostly). [I] see [R]omney as a bigot because he opposes a woman’s right to choose, he opposes gay marriage, he wants to blend church and state, and he has stated that he is not concerned with the poor….
To which I responded with a translation, trying to stay on one topic rather than the many that followed his above except:
And much to the young man’s credit he responded thusly, and I will clarify a bit for him offering sincerity in my benefit of doubt:
WOW! I was floored. This simple response showed a level of maturity I was getting use to not seeing in the younger generation. Here is my response to Connor:
To his credit, he has already read my chapter. And although this is my busy season, I hope to share some coffee and conversation with this young man.
Changing Subjects a Bit In the Same Strain of Conversation
Continuing on in conversation with another gentleman in regards to the Ron Paul issue, Brett stepped into the end of the conversation and said this:
- staying out of this one, go ron paul (waves flag)
To which I responded in my Religio-Political fashion:
Take note that Brett’s response is low on substance and high in ad hominem attacks, name calling, non-sequiturs, and the like. Not only this, but many people will talk differently on line than they would with meeting a stranger, say, in a check-out line at a store, or in a bar… it is as if politeness and reasonable thinking is “checked” at the keyboard. Its the split-personality of the 21st century:
you have your views on his policy’s and i have mine – obviously they conflict; in parting, this is what’s going to happen – Romney is going to lose because he’s too far right wing and no Mormon has ever been president, Obama will win again and then everyone will complain for about 3 months afterwards and say they’re moving to Canada which is a crock of shit because no one ever does. Then people will forget about Romney and move on and just wait it out as the country slips further down the shitter. What should have happen is Collin Pall should have ran but he didn’t want – this election is all wrong – people are too vested in themselves and not the greater good of the country and are looking too much into what they can get out of their candidate; i.e. legalize marijuana, abortion, gay rights, and health care – while that shouldn’t be the focus of the election at all. it should be the current economic status of america – which isn’t really getting better and the fed is just printing money and creating inflation that is screwing us down to nothing. but our media is too good at distracting us with smaller minded issues such as the ones i stated before; those issues in due time will come to terms and i’m not worried about them – nor do i feel anyone else should be at this point in time either. R-money is another douche fag and Obezy is just pretty preempted puppet for everyone to look at.
Now, this is where the conversation currently ends, and I will only continue it if need be. But I think my response is adequate to all the “paulistinians” out there and instructive to Libertarians considering making their vote count:
I do beg to differ on Romney losing. You should be aware of the media bias and how this is working towards a narrative that fits the worldview of this same media. For instance, I deal with this a bit in my post on why Republicans should be optimistic.
Brett still hasn’t clicked yet with how he is tearing down his own arguments. Since he is a Ron Paul fan I presumed that he might be into the conspiratorial take on history and a secret cabal of financiers running the world. So I shared a bit on my past thinking on this matter:
…and my affinity to such theories even going as far as involving myself with the John Birch Society in the mid to late 90′s. Continuing, I explained three “events” that caused me to question these beliefs and spurred me to really investigate these claims, references, and quotes so often used with these theories. My eventual shidt in thinking were spurred by an article in the New American article (the magazine of the John Birch Society) blaming the Oklahoma bombing on the U.S. Government; the failure of predictions made about Y2K from many I listened to; and listening to radio talk show host Michael Medved’s “Conspiracy Show” where for one day each month he takes calls only from those who believe in conspiracies. These three things caused me to compare and contrast the positions previously accepted as fact. After a couple of years of wrestling with position after position, I eventually gave up my thinking on the NWO and embraced true history….
To which Brett replied:
- …you are a fucking nut-job for believing that
To which I pointed out his flaw in saying this:
A recent story by the Blaze brings to mind some older posts that I will partially import from my old blog to this newer post… combining it with the newer information. The Blaze (video and more at their site) bullet points some of Rev. Wrights new rants, which causes me to import some older posts to this site:
♆ Rev. Jeremiah Wright delivered three fiery sermons about faith, race and politics at Metropolitan Baptist Church in S.C.
♆ Wright said Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas worships “some other God” outside of “Allah and Yahweh” (who are the “same” he says)
♆ Obama’s former pastor called Thomas Jefferson “a pedophile”
♆ He sees “white supremacy” driving “world policy”
♆ Wright condemned the U.S. military, saying, “fighting for peace is like raping for virginity.”
Obama’s Pastor went to Libya with Farrakhan to meet Islamisists! Yet, other are the extremist, not his view of theology and God. Hannity and Colmes years ago had the Reverend Jeremiah Wright on their show, and this is how the reverend defended himself:
“How many books of Cones have you read!?”
(Money quote from the interview above with Obama’s pastor.)
Take note the Rev. Wright camps out on the point of reading James Cone’s books, books that were sold in his churches book store the entirety of Obama’s time at Trinity United Church of Christ.
(This section was updated 12-4-2014, see below the links for the update)
❂ Link to Africentric Theology at Trinity United Church of Christ;
❂ Also the Akiba Bookstore main page.
The churches bookstore has been sanitized since this was written. I managed to grab a couple of cached pages. Not nearly what it was, but the few I could find are here: Page 1, page 2, page 3. On page three for instance there are some resources for women, one of the books, “Feminist Theologies: Legacy and Prospect” ~ by Rosemary Radford Ruether, has this review: “it is a collection of academic papers and perspectives from a feminist conference…. Some essays are clearly stronger than others – particularly on Islam.” Strong on Islam? This author has written books on Gaia and God, pro Palestinian (anti-Israel) books, and books on “Goddesses and the Divine,” as well as radically left leaning feminist theology.
E.g., not a Christian book or author at all. More Marxist and Islamic in reality.
So got on Trinities website and bought Dr. Cones’ books, and read them. This lead me to make an early “documentary” (Sept of 2008) called Obama-Con. In it I mention some of the following ideas that Obama’s church paralleled:
But remember, the reverend says “I’m not divisive, the media is divisive,” which merely redefines anti-Semitic/racist statements as non-divisive:
While reading these books cover-to-cover and doing some looking around, I also noted that Louise Farrakhan was given a lifetime achievement award at Obama’s church. Not only that though, but Farrakhan was given three cover spreads on the church’s magazine, the Trumpet. One of those his face shot put alongside Obama as well as Elijah Muhammad, the second leader of the Nation of Islam. His [Elijah Muhammad’s] many books are sold by the Nation of Islam not Old Testament mention being taught by Louise Farrakhan as theological doctrine. Since Obama’s church gave such a prestigious award to the current leader of the Nation of Islam, whom Obama’s pastor was a part of in his younger years, let us see what some of these books they tout say as well:
According to Elijah Muhammad, Jesus was a black African and only a mortal man like the Prophet Muhammad of Islam. He also taught that Jesus was the product of sexual intercourse between Mary and Allah (who is a black man). Louis Farrakhan said this of the second leader of the Nation of Islam:
- “The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, I am here to declare, is risen. The Jesus you have been seeking and waiting for His return has been in your midst for 40 years, but you knew not who He was. A Holy One was working among us, and It is only now, after He is gone, that we realize who He was.” ~ Louis Farrakhan
Again, for clarity:
- “If you understand the Bible right, you will agree with me that the whole caucasion race is a race of devils. They have proved to be devils in the Garden of Paradise and were condemned … by Jesus.” ~ Elijah Muhammad, Message to the Blackman In America, p. 23-24.
- “Christianity is the Devil’s religion created to mislead black people.” ~ Elijah Muhammad, Message to the Blackman In America, p. 11.
Louis Farrakhan, the guy who was given an award by Wright, knew personally that Elijah Muhammad had risen because…
So you can see that there are some very occultic beliefs tied to Rev. Wright. Which may explain why the Reverend Wright believes Allah and YHWH are the same God, something you would never hear a Christian minister say. One reason is the Rev. Wright use to be a part of the Nation of Islam, and often times Black Panthers and Nation of Islam adherents would sit in on these “Christian” services. But remember, it isn’t the Rev. Wright that is divisive, it is the media:
An Apologetic “Aside”
What are some of the differences between Yahweh and Allah?
How do the Democrats let this type of stuff slide… year after year? One reason is that the Democratic party has become more-and-more leftist every year:
What are the numbers today of those Democrats calling themselves, voluntarily, anti-American?
Radical does as radical is! Some quotes from James Cone’s book, A Black Theology of Liberation (A book sold in Obama’s church the entire 20-years he attended).
I love to go to Starbucks, grab a cup of coffee, and read/study my favorite topics in book form. Once and a while I will bump into people well known in pop-culture. Michael Berryman was recently one of those people. Of course, he is best known to me from an 80’s classic, Weird Science. But he has been in many others, as his bio shows, another being a favorite of mine, The One Who Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. Mistaking him for an officer that served in the SCV that looks — believe it or not — very similar, my mistake was quickly corrected and small chit-chat began. Michael is an amiable enough guy and I had planned on letting him go on his way after he very nicely allowed a photo to be taken. However, during this small talk that was very general, Michael mentioned news, and then interjected into his own point that one shouldn’t watch Fox News because it is not news, far from fair and balanced, he said.
Well, this is where the brakes on the rest of my plans happened. Wanting to engage the level of this man’s reasoning towards truth vs. merely spewing bumper-sticker thinking as fact [ad hoc] became the goal for the rest of my scheduled reading time. (This led to a 40-minute conversation.) After Michael drove deeper into the political abyss of commentary common from the Left, I slowed the conversation down a bit by mentioning he had touched on many topics in just a few sentences. …(con’t)…
(A tactic seemingly used by those who wish to just be “right.” They obfuscate the issue by interjecting many topics and points in the hope — apparently — of showing the person listening they have a handle on this topic. Granted, many do not realize they are doing this… they have just never had anyone around them that disagree with them. They live in sound rooms surrounded by only those who think like them.)
Before continuing with the encounter, due to the length of the post I feel the nee to update it with a “contents” section as well as headings. This will make it easier for the “topical” reader to find a response to a challenge he or she is interested in. So the following contents are based on responding to comments made during conversation:
Enjoy the conversation, I did.
1. Fox News Is Biased
…(from con’t)… I mentioned to Michael that “just a short while back he mentioned something that needed revisiting to exemplify a correlation between what many people say is true in general conversation compared to what is actually the case.” So bringing him back to the Fox News statement I asked if three reasons could be offered as to why maybe his statement might be wrong.
The first reason I gave was that “during the 2010 election Fox News had NPR, The Baltimore Sun, The Times, U.S. News and World Report, and Politico, all said [in some form or fashion] the coverage by Fox was the best in breadth (most in-depth guests) and most fair in their political stance (equal number of liberal/conservative guests, interviews and opinions). Whereas they all bemoaned MSNBC for their far-left commentary and CNN for their lack of depth.”
The second reason given was that “according to a Pew Research poll, and separately a university poll, found that between the party splits of Democrat, Republican, and Independents, there is about an equal mix of viewers of Fox. Whereas — in Contradistinction to MSNBC and CNN — there is a much larger demographic of Democrats versus Republicans that watch those channels.” Pointing out that more Democrats watch Fox than watch CNN or MSNBC (and that stat may even be combined[?]) segwayed nicely to exemplify that “if someone is saying that Fox news is not News or unfair, they may be out of the mainstream… since the stats show a much more balanced viewing audience.” This fair mix of people from differing political views is what has made Fox (posted in March of this year) the most-watched news channel in total viewers for both Total Day and Primetime for the 110th straight month.
Before making my third reason known, Michael interjected and started to again make multiple points which included anecdotal stories which surely he thought would prove his position. But they were just non-sequitur stories from his past… emotionally laden. Interjecting politely I steered him back to the topic and to my third point, which was Fox’s reporting on the 2008 election. “Fox News offered a fair mix of positive/negative stories on Obama and McCain when they reported on the two candidates than MSNBC or CNN.” Continuing I mentioned “that George Mason University’s (during the conversation I merely mentioned “a university,” here I am including the actual studies or some referring links) non-partisan Center for Media and Public Affairs concurred as well as another media watch org, The Project for Excellence in Journalism.” Not letting up I pointed out that maybe, just maybe what he was saying did not fit with the facts. This is a hard thing to admit — pride gets in the way.
2. I Like Ron Paul
Then came more anecdotal tales, many of which were personal references to his meeting famous people or his mother meeting famous people. All stories that only he has access to, nothing offered by Michael could be taken and used by another party to make an informed decision from these facts that lay outside him and myself — like the information given in the Fox News discussion. He asked me if I liked Ron Paul. Reservedly I responded that Ron Paul had some positions I liked, others I did not. He responded to this by merely stating that he liked him. A short while later in his ramblings he intimated that he hated Ronald Reagan. Which brought us back to his previous statement about Ron Paul. “Mentioning that I hear a lot of people from the left say they like Ron Paul without actually knowing what Ron Paul stands for,” continuing, “Much like Reagan, Ron Paul would like to shut down many Federal Departments, like the Dept. of Education, of Agriculture, the EPA, and the like.” Granted, I already knew this is something Michael would not agree with, and he didn’t. My implicit point had been made, there was a disconnect between something said (in this case the liking of a particular candidate) and said facts easily known (in this case, many of Ron Paul’s positions). Of course the conversation steered towards drugs, most conversations about Ron Paul do. I mentioned I was for the legalization of marijuana if there were someway, much like with alcohol, for law enforcement to tell if someone is under the influence of the drug. But Ron Paul would legalize (or at the least stop Federal enforcement of) heroine, speed, and the like. Later in the conversation Michael challenged my libertarian side by asking derisively if I would want to get rid of the national parks. I said no, but I pointed out that Ron Paul would… another thing he wasn’t aware of in regards to Ron Paul.
3. Reagan Caused the Homeless Problem
Mentioning Reagan again as being one of the most evil men in his life time caused me to inquire why he thought this. He started to intimate why, but then stopped himself and asked if I knew what he was going to reference. I did. “Are you going to mention the insane asylums,” I said. Knowing this is a popular mantra of the Left in regards to Reagan which proved correct. He asked me what i thought of this situation to which I responded that the movement to release these “mentally ill” persons was not Reagan’s alone, that the Democratic Left was very much involved. Michael merely dismissed this position out of hand, almost laughing as he did. (An aside should be noted. The left thinks this event happened nation wide, however, this happened when Reagan was governor of California.) An interesting conversation on Snopes forums can help the reader, as well as myself, gain information so a well informed response to an emotional position. You can trust me when I say Michael was very animated in expressing his disgust of Reagan. Here are some of the conversations from the older Snopes forum:
Snopes started the conversation off:
Following are some thoughtful responses:
So we see that this issue, as encapsulated by the Left, is wrong. It is a straw-man, in other words, they define their proposition as a historical fact (wrongly), and then tear it down. The only problem is that they present an unhistorical case and feel like they are justified in their hatred for Reagan by making a fool out of themselves. The ACLU was the main catalyst behind fighting for the rights of these people to be free, even the freedom to live in alleyways and eat from trash cans. Anything but a conservative or Republican institution, they were one of the main thrusts behind both California and later a nationwide release of patients. They [the ACLU], have long held that involuntary institutionalization of an unwilling person, even if mentally or physically incapable, is the worst of two evils. Not to mention that many times since the 1970’s Democrats have controlled both houses and the governorship of California, the questions has been raised, why didn’t the Democrats re-institutionalize these people?
A question I suspect is entwined in the complexity of how these people were actually released, versus merely a politician waving his or her wand. in other words the Democrats hands were just as tied (actually more-so) as the Republicans hands because the genesis of the movement for patient rights was not political. Not to mention that this myth serves Democrats and Liberals well… they wouldn’t want to change this “silver bullet,” or what they wrongly presume is one.
4. Sarah Palin Kills…. Wolves
Before entering the odd conspiratorial and religious parts of the conversation, we should end the political aspect of this portion of the conversation with his hatred for Sarah Palin. The reason for this disdain, he said, is because he is an environmentalist and that “she shot 17 wolves.” Included in his reasoning was her policy on the matter of Alaska offering a bounty to cull the wolf population. His vitriol is very similar to this:
Again, Michael’s animated hatred was present when he talked of her, similar to when speaking of Reagan. Part of this is that the hunters were payed $150 bounty on the wolves. Partially true. For instance, this is implicitly referenced in a Slate article on the topic:
Take note also that the cost of helicopter hunting of wolves is very expensive, so this form of hunting (shooting from the chopper) was/is rare. Hunters typically drive in and-or hike to the hunting area. Some can afford to be helicoptered into and dropped off in an area. But the story of mass wolf shootings by helicopter is just a myth. Also note that I couldn’t find anywhere a number given for Sarah Palin hunting of wolves. In fact, if she did kill a wolf in a hunting trip, I cannot even find that. That being said, the Lefts opening up of Sarah Palin’s emails backfired in every account, even this wolf myth. The left like to say she “championed aerial hunting,” however, this is not the case. For instance, here is one email on the above topic from Sarah Palin… Stuff:
Again, the narrative received from Michael just did not stand up to the facts.
5. New World Order
Alright, let’s switch gears a bit and enter into Michael’s views on the New World Order (NWO) conspiracies, black helicopters (yes, he believes one was getting ready to come grab him, as you will see), and religion. In our previous conversation about reasons for disliking Ron Paul it was mentioned by myself that Ron Paul had some conspiratorial views, like the New World Order. He retorted that the NWO is a fact, and he knows a server at the Bilderbergers compound, therefore, he [Michael] knows the truth… end of story. Sharing with him a bit about my previously held beliefs and my affinity to such theories even going as far as involving myself with the John Birch Society in the mid to late 90’s. Continuing, I explained three “events” that caused me to question these beliefs and spurred me to really investigate these claims, references, and quotes so often used with these theories.
My eventual shift in thinking were spurred by an article in the New American article (the magazine of the John Birch Society) blaming the Oklahoma bombing on the U.S. Government; the failure of predictions made about Y2K from many I listened to; and listening to radio talk show host Michael Medved’s “Conspiracy Show” where for one day each month he takes calls only from those who believe in conspiracies. These three things caused me to compare and contrast the positions previously accepted as fact. After a couple of years of wrestling with position after position, I eventually gave up my thinking on the NWO and embraced true history.
6. Black Helicopters and FEMA Gulags
This talk led to Michael positing that gulags exist in America. How did he prove this to me? By an anecdotal story of course. He told me a story where he called some representatives/senators about why it is important to control the border. He says he talked to someone from Diane Feinstein’s office. After a fruitless conversation with someone from her office he said he ended the conversation with a retort that he didn’t mean, but that nonetheless caused a call from a local Sheriff to where he lived within minutes of ending his call with Diane Feinstein’s office. Being that this Sheriff was a fellow Freemason (more on this later), he told Michael to hold on after hearing his explanation. When this Sheriff got back on the line with him he said the pick up was called off. Michael said he inquired with his fellow Mason what he meant, to which he was told that a black helicopter was dispatched from Langley to come get him and take him to a gulag, but was now called off. Granted portions of this story may be true, like when the person from Feinstein’s office called him a racist for wanting to control the border, but I think he added much to it. This happens with many a person, they tell a story and twist the truth here and there, however, with some this form of embellishment becomes habitual. I could see that Michael lived a life unchecked by truth (John 8:32). That being said, he was merely offering unproved, personal information as an anecdote to jump into the larger point that gulags exist. He didn’t offer any information that anyone outside his head could take and use to make a choice with. It was all emotive.
The following topic I did not deal at the time, so I will here in the hoped Michael reads this at some point.
A lot of this thinking revolves around crazy conspiracy stories pushed by people like Alex Jones in regards to FEMA Camps/gulags, coffin liners, and black helicopters. Popular Mechanics (PM) has a great article debunking this conspiracy story. And the video to the right is Glenn Beck talking about the debunking PM gave this theory. Likewise, there is a good short video debunking the supposed coffins that are part of this theory as well. What interested me was that he was a Freemason. In fact, in the photo of him and I you can see a pin of the Masonic symbol just over my left shoulder (click to enlarge). At one point during our conspiracy discussion he rejected the claim that the Masons are part of any conspiracy for “world domination.” Mind you he was just telling me that the Bilderbergers, the Council of Foreign Relations, and the like are out for world domination. “What justification do you have to make this distinction,” I asked. He moved on to other subjects.
Freemasonry is said to be a modern evolution of the Illuminati, and so, would be an older extension of this conspiracy thesis. His rejection of one aspect of the same conspiracy theory and acceptance of another portion of it, then, must be based on emotional reasons: he is a member of one and not of the other.
We did talk about religion[s], which led to a sub-extension of the conspiracy portion of the discussion. I explained to him that Freemasonry is really a modern form of gnosticism, I intimated — not too well — this post on the matter, which I have wanted to import here to RPT — why not now, at least in part:
7. What “is” Freemasonry?
(Original Post) Below is a scan from page 567 of my copy of Morals and Dogma. What you have here is an example of Gnostic thinking on spirit-material dualism; Freemasons are merely modern day Gnostics. Roles are reversed in comparison to how historic Christianity has viewed them since its inception. I will explain, but first look at page 567 (click on it to enlarge):
So let’s get into the meat of the matter. Gnostic thinking is a combination of Judaism, Platonism, Zoroastrianism, and Christianity. (By-the-by, the below is much to do with a professor’s input I had, Dr. Wayne House.)
Judaism – early Gnostics followed the thinking of Marcian, and Marcian taught that the God of the Old Testament was a demiurge. A demiurge would be what we would typically call the “devil.” Since anything 100% spirit is “good,” anything material is “bad.” So the God of the Old Testament created the world, which is material, and so this God is the Gnostic’s mortal enemy (pun intended). So Judaic thought and Judaism’s God is what Gnostics are “fighting” against. This is Judaism’s contribution.
Platonism – plutonic thought is basically the codifying of Hindu thinking into Grecian thought. He taught that innate ideas (that is: existing in one from birth; inborn; native) were the ideas the mind beheld in the world of pure Forms before birth. This world, then, is but a shadow of reality… pure spirit. This is Platonic contribution to Gnostic thinking.
An aside here for clarity of thought. Platonic thinking shares a point in common with Gnostic thinking, so you could be a Platonist and not a Gnostic. You couldn’t be, however, a Gnostic without being a Platonist. This is important because many “scholars” get this concept mixed up when describing the points of contact between Gnostic thinking and Christianity. Okay, on we go.
Zoroastrianism – Zoroastic thought has contributed what is called ethical dualism. It has said that there is a battle between good and evil, light and dark. Its addition to this is that anything material in nature is evil, and anything spiritual is good.
Christianity – Christian theology provided a “vehicle” in which to express the above. It is then, the “vehicle of expression” for Gnostics. Jesus becomes the way in which they Gnostics explain the working of impersonal deity in human existence and the offering of salvation through secret knowledge, or, Gnosis. Gnosis means knowledge of spiritual matters; mystical knowledge.
Gnostic’s, then, only have a complete “system of thought” when they combine all four of these major aspects into their thinking. If their thinking were to lack any one of these, they would cease to be Gnostic. The combining of the major aspects of these four lines thought, then, make up the Gnostic “worldview.” What do Gnostics believe then? I will explain a bit more in this crude drawing taken during notes from a class at seminary. one should note as well that “Eon” should be spelled “Aeon.”:
8. “Religion” Defined
He did ask me to define “religion,” not being able to recall a decent definition then, I do so here:
Webster’s New World Dictionary defines religion as “a specific system of belief, worship, often involving a code of ethics.” Faith is defined as “unquestioning belief… complete trust or confidence… loyalty.”
Funk and Wagnalls Standard Desk Dictionary has this to say about religion, “The beliefs, attitudes, emotions, behavior, etc., constituting man’s relationship with the powers and principles of the universe.” On the matter of faith it says, “Confidence in or dependence on a person, statement, or thing as trustworthy… Belief without need of certain proof.”
Atheism, Taoism, and other non-god beliefs, like Buddhism, fit into this definition. I explained my relational position with God was more personal than the cut n’ paste definition.
9. Priests Molesting Kids
Of course during the conversation Michael brought up all the deaths associated with Catholicism, and the molestations associated with the Catholic church. I responded quite well in conversation on this topic. First let me speak to the portion we discussed on molestation/rape.
Using his logic, dentistry, counseling, teaching, and the like are evil. They drive the person to do such acts. The N.E.A. (National Teachers Association) and school district/union even ship the guilty party from district to district, much like the priest. Does that mean education is evil? He thought religion was evil with this example. Having dealt with this in the past — this would be a perfect place to re-post a response to this charge:
(From a cataloged discussion)
Two Buddhist monks and eight other men were arrested on Wednesday, accused of sexually abusing 11 children orphaned by the island’s 19-year civil war, an official said.
Investigations revealed that the children, aged between nine and 13, had been sexually abused over a period of time at an orphanage where the men worked, said Prof. Harendra de Silva, head of the National Child Protection Authority….
2) Washington County Sheriff’s Office Media Information reported the following:
Mr. Tripp was arrested for sexually abusing a former 15-year-old foster care child.
The investigation started when the Oregon Department of Human Services was contacted by a school counselor who learned that there may be sexual abuse involving a student and Mr. Tripp. DHS workers then contacted Sheriff’s Detectives who took over the investigation.
Detectives learned that Mr. Tripp has been a foster parent since 1995 and has had at least 90 children placed in his home during that time. Sheriff’s Detectives are concerned that there may be more victims who have not yet reported sexual contact involving Mr. Tripp….
3) A therapist who worked at Booker T. Washington Middle School in Baltimore was arrested in Catonsville and charged with molesting a 13-year-old boy, Baltimore County police said yesterday.
Robert J. Stoever, 54, of the 1500 block of Park Ave. was arrested Sunday night after a county police officer saw him and the boy in a car in a parking lot at Edmondson Avenue and Academy Road, said Cpl. Michael Hill, a police spokesman.
Stoever was charged with a second-degree sex offense and perverted practice, according to court documents. He was sent to the Baltimore County Detention Center, Hill said….
4) A Bronx dentist was arrested yesterday on charges that he twice raped a 16-year-old patient whom he had placed under anesthesia during an office visit on Thursday, police said.
The girl, a patient of the dentist for several years, was hired for a summer job as his receptionist on Thursday, and had an appointment with him for treatment that afternoon, said Lieut. Hazel Stewart, commander of the Bronx Special Victims Squad.
“She went in and she changed into a little uniform that he gave to her, and he gave her some files to work on,” the lieutenant said. “Then he said that it was time to take a look at her teeth.”
At that point, Lieutenant Stewart said, “he used some type of anesthesia on her and he allegedly raped her.”
The young woman told officers that she was never fully anesthetized, Lieutenant Stewart said, but that “the effects of the anesthesia were strong enough to render her helpless to such a degree that he was able to rape her again.”
These folks that commit these crimes are atheists, Christians, Buddhists (which are epistemologically speaking, atheists), and every other ideology and from every stripe of life and culture in the world. Thus, the argument is as strong as this:
There have been many cases of dentists molesting and raping children, therefore, dentists cannot take moral positions on secular society.
The conclusion just doesn’t follow the premise.
There have been many cases of priests molesting and raping children, therefore, the Pope (insert Catholic here) cannot take moral positions on secular society.
In the case of religious comparisons, you would have to isolate the founders and their lives in order to properly judge a belief, not the followers. I would engender the reader to consider well this quote by Robert Hume:
The nine founders among the eleven living religions in the world had characters which attracted many devoted followers during their own lifetime, and still larger numbers during the centuries of subsequent history. They were humble in certain respects, yet they were also confident of a great religious mission. Two of the nine, Mahavira and Buddha, were men so strong-minded and self-reliant that, according to the records, they displayed no need of any divine help, though they both taught the inexorable cosmic law of Karma. They are not reported as having possessed any consciousness of a supreme personal deity. Yet they have been strangely deified by their followers. Indeed, they themselves have been worshipped, even with multitudinous idols.
Also see: “Love”
10. What About the Crusades?
[See my new post on the Crusades]
Michael’s bad thinking just isn’t him, it is a large portion of society that base important positions on emotion (they want to believe it), on hearsay (hear it from somebody), or bias, or: all of the above! Michael is merely living out societal ignorance. I can’t blame him, but I was surprised at how many of these mantras and myths he could back into a few short sentences. The other issue we talked about was violence done in the name of the Church. I intimated that according to the World Book Encyclopedia and the Encyclopedia Britannica that the total historically known deaths from the Crusades (all 7), was about 40,000. It may have been horrible and wrong I told him, but the Christ doesn’t teach this. In contradistinction, when Nietzsche prophesied that the death of God would produce a bloody 20th century, he was right. Non-God movements in the 20th century alone killed over 166-million people. I continued the discussion using two books for examples: Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence, and, A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion. I contrasted religious views of violence and those of evolutionary standards. The Church had a reference point to return to, the non-religious person as well has a point to return to. I explained to Michael that Hitler in Mein Kampf explained this “point” well:
In fact, current day biologist, Richard Dawkins agrees:
“What’s to prevent us from saying Hitler wasn’t right? I mean, that is a genuinely difficult question.” (Stated during an interview with Larry Taunton, “Richard Dawkins: The Atheist Evangelist,” by Faith Magazine, Issue Number 18, December 2007)
If evolution is true in its natural philosophical sense, then the highest moral plain (if you can call it that) would be survival of the fittest. At some point in our evolutionary past it may have been necessary for the stronger male species to forcibly dominate the weaker female species in order for our “kind” to survive. Rape is said to not be a pathology but an evolutionary adaptation – a strategy for maximizing reproductive success (The Natural History of Rape, p.p., 71, 163; referenced on page 7 of my chapter on natural law and homosexuality.) At some point in our evolutionary future it may become again the only way for our species to survive (since without the theistic God rape is only currently taboo, socially speaking). This was the only time I became animated, and I did so knowingly to try and drive my point home, and the point is simple:
In other words, if one rejects Christianity for the violence it has committed against its principles, how much more should you reject non-faith for living up to its?
11. Was There a Reason for the Crusades?
Of course even this response doesn’t explain the reasoning behind why the Church went to battle to begin with. The Crusades were a mandatory action, and since the church was the only real organization in that day to see the threat and to sound the alarm bells, the net good caused by the Church’s actions — even if wrong decisions and actions took place during this conflict — is commendable. For instance, I critiqued geneticist Francis Collins position (in his book) on religion and evil for a college paper, which a portion of is below:
One can see that the narrative that Mr. Berryman was speaking from is even flawed from its foundation. The liberal thinks the “big, bad corporate church” went over and started slaughtering people minding their own business. Nope. So the net good that came out of those actions is why Michael is not forced to his knees five times a day. I bet you Mr. Berryman would be floored to realize that only 2,000 or so people were killed directly because of the Spanish Inquisition! This is not an anecdotal story, but referenced in one of the leading historians of Spain and the Inquisition’s book, The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision.
We talked about other issues and I can respond to them as well, but these are the main topics I touched on with him and expanded a bit here for the reader to use as examples of some responses to the many straw man statements we often hear. If Michael contacts me after the “beating” he took above, this means he is a man’s man. Sometimes we have to swallow our pride and admit that maybe, just maybe, there is room to learn — and life offers opportunities in the people we meet to do so. Michael met one such opportunity. I would ask that if Michael read this that he consider reading my book. It answers some other issues he mentioned. For instance when I mentioned the Bible, he said “which Bible, there are many.” Or when I presented a few positive aspects of the Christian worldview verses the non-believers. All that can be found in my book: Worldviews: A Click Away from Binary Collisions (Religio-Political Apologetics) The whole encounter was congenial for the most part. We left on good terms and I would be more than happy to sit down with him and have a beer.