The Quintessence of the Reasoned Response of the Left to Dobbs

The egregor of the Left is in full control of this gal. I tell you, she’ll go down in history. This photo could be right up there with the shot of the Marines raising the flag on Mount Suribachi. Look at it closely, blow it up if you dare. You will never be able to unsee it; the quivering glossy uvula of existential protest! Man, I tell you, this is who we are, as Americans. It is the core of our democratic society.

HT to our long time friend and respected adversary, a.morphous, who sent us a link to a Washington Post article where this iconic and deeply moving photo appears. Oh, the humanity!

ROTFLOL! Tears rolling. It’s like a million right wing memes, realized in life to a degree of perfection that nobody who enjoys such memes could have imagined might be possible. She’s the apotheosis of the infantile Leftist rant against reality. I’ll be laughing at it for days. Oh, the delicious schadenfreude! Lord, forgive me. I can’t stop laughing.

Remember, boys, this is the stern stuff of which our adversaries are made. Fell, dour, lethal stuff. Gird your loins for a stiff contest. Or maybe not so stiff, or hard, come to think of it, but rather just … difficult; like a supernaturally bad blind date, or a bitter divorce from a newly lesbian wife: apparently endless, massively tiresome and acutely irritating.

And pass me a hanky for these tears, which will not stop. And the snot, which is getting pretty bad too by now.

Seriously, though: one of the sad adverse consequences of Dobbs is that this … woman (sic! as if anyone knew what they are!), and all her (his? their? its?) ilk, will be forced – forced I say! – to have lots and lots of kids, thus greatly increasing the future ranks of the Enemy.

Not! The Force is weak in this one. Life will find a way. But not, likely, through her. Good teeth, though. Too bad.

++++++

Post Script: This photo is of a maenad. Take heed. When I said, ‘gird your loins,’ I meant it. Good teeth, indeed.

Determinists Strike Back, Part 4

8

I would like to thank Robot Philosopher for providing this mental work out and for keeping me honest by pushing back on various assertions. The argument continues with a quotation from me:

“What on earth would “a good life” mean for a mindless automaton with no free will? Or, if it has a mind, a mind that is trapped within the automaton with no ability to alter a single thing about its life?”

Again, experience matters. Whether or not we make actual choices, we still experience good or bad. We didn’t decide what we experience as good or bad, but we still DO experience. With me so far? Not complicated. Continue reading

Determinists Strike Back, Part 3

1The following arguments should be prefaced with the fact that arguing for determinism, and thus about determinism, is irrational, in the same way that it is pointless to argue with someone who will not follow the law of noncontradiction.  This should be admitted up front in case this is not immediately clear and readers later come to feel like they have been led up the garden path. They are being led up that path. Thomas F. Bertonneau pithily described determinism as the denial of consciousness. Not having as much exposure to academic philosophy, he left it at that. In what follows, Robot Philosopher disconcertingly does write that he believes in “experience,” a concept that depends on consciousness, but it is a nightmare version with no substance to it, since there is no “I,” doing the experiencing, and the experiencer has no ability to alter anything. “His” reactions to that experience have nothing to do with “him” either. Experience in this context seems a little like a bare recording device existing in a giant stream of causation. Without agency, it can be a passive observer only. Better never to be born. There could be some interest in viewing someone else’s life, one that you had no control over, except this vicarious experience would be meaningless because the life one is observing has no conscious mediation either, just grains of sand being blown by the wind. Continue reading

The Fury of the Harridans (and Other Spiteful Mutants)

“Scholastic harridans that thrash,
Should tarred and feathered be!
And ride face-tailward on an ass,
For all the world to see!”

J. B. McCaul, “The School Girl’s Dream” (1880)

When William Congreve wrote that “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” he meant no fury like a woman who has been, as we nowadays say, “dumped” and before perchance “pumped.” The modern word “dumped” has the merit of expressing the subjective experience of being used and discarded; but the old word “scorned” takes us closer to the cause of female fury.  The word scorn comes from the old German skern, which means mockery, jest and sport, so that a woman scorned is a woman aware that that fate, or folly, or perfidy has made her look like a fool.

As I yesterday scanned the photographs of women outdoing Hell in their fury against the annulment of the Roe v. Wade diktat, I was powerfully impressed by the thought that these harridans were in several ways ridiculous, and in several ways worthy of scorn. Continue reading

Moloch Will Want His Regular Meals: Cave!

The recent decisions of the Supreme Court cheat Moloch of his accustomed cheap comestibles. He’ll have to make do with less. But, as with all natural systems under the orbit of the moon, this is a case of pushing the envelope in one way only to see it bulge out in another. Moloch will be served, adequately, or there’ll be hell to pay, and no pitch hot.

There will be deaths. Not of children in the womb, but of others. Moloch must be fed, by his slaves. Now that he’ll be denied the food of babies from so many “trigger” states, he’ll need to be fed in some other way. His vassals will try to figure out how  to immolate some high profile victims, to sate his hunger and avert his wrath. I suspect they’ll offer up some from among their own company.

It can’t work. It can’t suffice. His wrath shall inevitably consume all his worshippers. There are not victims enough to sate his lust. His servants then are doomed.

Reject him! Serve the Lord of Life! Only thereby might you prevent your own ingestion, and dissolution, in the insatiable maw of Moloch.

The Metaphysical Status of Preferences

14Robot Philosopher asks whether we choose our preferences. Since we do not, he thinks, free will must be an illusion. It seems possible to give a nuanced answer to the question of to what extent preferences are voluntary and to what degree they might not be.

Some preferences are not chosen. The preference not to starve is built into us by evolution. This is a fixed element in our behavior. However, what exactly we do in order to satisfy that preference, such as a choice of job to pay for the food, and which kind of food to eat, is what biologists call the orienting element. The latter requires flexibility and the ability to improvise which is what this mysterious thing called consciousness enables us to do. The fox is driven to the henhouse in order to eat (fixed) but he must figure out how to get in to satisfy this desire (orienting). Once in, he must chase the hens. The hens will run in unpredictable directions and the fox must alter his chasing on the fly. He cannot follow a rule, because no one knows how any particular hen will react at any given moment. So, the fox cannot be a mindless automaton following an algorithm since algorithms cannot be created for one-off events. At the most, a heuristic might be involved; a rule of thumb. Once the fox has caught the hen, in retrospect, an algorithm could be written to achieve the same result, but the algorithm would be useless because it would have no application for the next time. This could be compared with a recipe for wooing a woman. If successful and one becomes happily married, it will not work for someone to do exactly what the husband did to win the heart of his beloved. If they try, the wife will simply find it creepy. This was a plot element in The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Kate Winslet’s character, even though she has had the memory of a past relationship burned from the memory traces of her brain, reacts with disgust when a creepy Elijah Wood recapitulates major events and “dates” that won her over to Jim Carey’s character. Some vestigial memory remains to be reactivated, as with Plato’s conception of the River of Lethe, where people forget but can be reminded of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness by experiences on Earth, and she ends up running away from Wood. Continue reading

Determinists Strike Back Part 2

8Thank you, Robot Philosopher, for providing material with additional pro-determinism material with which to convince my students that I am not inventing strawman positions that no one believes. As will become quickly obvious, bullet point statements come from me. I hope it is clear from the context that I am often arguing against my own beliefs and just trying to get a determinist to follow his own logic.

  • “If determinism is true, there is no “you” to have preferences or not. Only agents have preferences.”

Says who? Human action, at its foundation, is no different than one of those small robots programmed to point its camera at the floor and follow the black line where it leads. Humans are simply much more complicated and have much more programming – the choices we make generally much more complex – but we follow the same sequence when determining our course. When the robot makes a “choice” to veer left to follow the line, it has done nothing but reference its programming and equations and variables to their inevitable conclusions. Humans do nothing except reference our programming (genetic, chemical, societal, etc) in order to come to also inevitable conclusions (at least, in the conscious decisions which you would claim we “freely” make).

[Robot Philosopher had claimed that there is nothing nihilistic about such a view.]

  • You pretty much make all my points and then some in your first paragraph. There is not much more to say. Utter nihilism. According to you, human beings are little robots following black lines on the floor. You literally write that we are “no different” from that. We make no choices. What appears to be choices is “nothing but” our programming. Little robots following black lines do not have “preferences.” They do what they are told. If it made any sense to refer to “preferences,” it would be the preferences of their programmers.
  • All of that follows directly from your assumptions about human beings. Iain McGilchrist calls it the philosophy of “nothing butterism.” Humans are nothing but…
  • You have no evidence for any of that and it seems a radically inadequate way of characterizing human consciousness and behavior. See https://voegelinview.com/the-chinese-room-thought-experiment-by-john-searle/

Continue reading

All the SWPL is White Supremacist, & So Must Be Stamped Out

We learn from Vice Magazine that interest in and enjoyment of the wilderness is characteristic of white supremacists. We had already learned that grammar, diction, logic, and math are white supremacist. Also science, ergo, and so then knowledge, and a fortiori wisdom; thus any notion of characterological merit, or excellence.

When truth as such is dethroned, nothing can survive. Thanks, you goddamned nominalists!

NB: that is not a curse, but a statement of fact.

A pattern emerges: everything that white people generally and particularly and so noticeably like, respect or enjoy is white supremacist, and must be wiped out.

Continue reading

The Democracy Disease

“Bad is the dominion of the multitude”

Homer, Illiad 2.204.

Robert Bisset (1759-1805) was a Scottish writer who abhorred democracy and earned his conservative chops as the first biographer of Edmund Burke.  My epigraph appears on the title page of Bisset’s Sketch of Democracy (1794), and it very neatly epitomizes the substance of that dour and didactic book.  Bisset’s Sketch describes the disastrous career of democracy in the ancient world, and tends to the general conclusion that popular government is a cancer to great nations.  In the course of his discussion of the democratic cancer that destroyed the Roman republic, for instance, Bisset sets down this sobering line. Continue reading

An Old Fashioned Juneteenth

As every American is now obliged to honor “Juneteenth” as a national holiday, I have made it my observance to annually write a post on the history of this secular feast.  As I have explained before (here and here), “Juneteenth” was much more commonly known as Emancipation Day, and it was historically celebrated by Texas blacks much like the Fourth of July.  I have this year copied the newspaper report of the Emancipation Day celebration in Brenham, seat of Washington County, Texas, in 1884.  This was nineteen years after emancipation and the celebration was typical of that time.  I have inserted what I hope are elucidating remarks. Continue reading