Do Not Do What Judas Just Did! What “Love One Another” Means.

‘So I would say yes, to love one another – as Jesus said – get vaccinated, get boosted.”

Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury (December 2021)

The command to “love thy neighbor” is not, as many nowadays suppose, a command to give thy neighbor’s house and chattel to total strangers.  Nor is the command to “love one another” a command to sacrifice oneself to the Moloch of social utility and the Beelzebub of collective hedonism.  Jesus was not playing John the Baptist to Jeremy Bentham, and, with all due respect to the Archbishop of Canterbury, his doctrine of love is not Bentham’s doctrine of “effective benevolence.” Continue reading

The Religious Instinct: Plato vs Dutton

Anamnesis is a key feature of Platonic philosophy. It means “to remember.” Plato thought that eternal truths concerning justice, truth, and beauty were present in the human soul and that we had experienced these Form/Ideas in some previous spiritual and heavenly existence. This contains the pleasing idea that we come from the divine and we return to a transcendent realm upon death, as Wordsworth’s poem “Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood” also implies. Plato thought that imperfect versions of justice, truth, and beauty could be experienced in the course of earthly existence and they could remind us of the true archetypes that exist in the mind of God, to interpolate Christianity into the description.

1

Edward Dutton points out that there is a ubiquitous human instinct to believe in spirits, the gods, and God. Every single human society has proved as much. It can be anticipated with certainty that when the next hitherto undiscovered Amazonian tribe is encountered, they will believe in God or the gods. Belief in a moral God who is collectively worshiped is tremendously adaptive for a society, as is ethnocentrism; a preference for members of your own community and thus a willingness to fight to expel invaders and to defend yourself and your brethren. Multiculturalism is by that measure, nonadaptive. And then, ethnomasochism and xenophilia would be the ultimate maladaptation. Belief in a moral God is associated with mental health, physical health, good looks, and fertility. Atheism is correlated with mental illness, poor health, and infertility; voluntary or otherwise. Atheism is maladaptive. God or nihilism. Dutton argues that if you are unfortunate enough to be an atheist, you should keep your beliefs to yourself and avoid spreading your nihilism and existential despair to the rest of us, something that I have argued for years concerning nihilist professors. Depression is contagious – even for the otherwise mentally healthy. Continue reading

Why all Wise Men are Sad: The Roots of Reactionary Pessimism

“Generally speaking, everybody is reactionary on subjects he knows about” 

Robert Conquest quoted in Kingsley Amis, Memoirs (1991)

“Reflecting on what has been said, we see how quickly men’s eyes may be opened, if knowing that they deceive themselves in generalities, we can find a way to make them pass to particulars . . .”

Niccolo Machiavelli, Discourses on the First Decade of Titus Livy (1531)

My first epigraph is the first of Conquest’s three laws of conservatism, now perhaps better known in John Derbyshire’s paraphrase: “everyone is conservative about what he knows best.”  What this means is that it requires ignorance to believe that ameliorative social “progress” is easy, efficacious, or even possibility.  Making the world a better place appears simple only so long as one has very little idea how the world works.  The more one knows about some thing, the more one understands why it is done the way it is, why alternative ways of doing it are not done, and why optimistic reformers do not, “generally speaking,” have any idea what they are talking about.
Continue reading

Wintery Knight (Probably) Spiked This Pro-Calvinistic-Predestination Comment of Mine at His Blog

Prolific Christian blogger Wintery Knight has a recent post commenting on a discussion-format debate featuring William Lane Craig and Paul Helm on Calvinism vs Molinism as rival ways to understand what the Bible teaches about predestination. Calvinism takes at face value biblical statements on God predestining; Molinism (at least as interpreted by Craig) speculates that God knows how each person would voluntarily behave in all possible situations and then God chose to create the unique world that maximizes the good that results from free choices. God solved, as it were, the Mother of All Optimization Problems.

Paul Helm supported the Calvinistic understanding of predestination

Wintery Knight is evidently an anti-Calvinist; replying to a reader comment he wrote

Yes I think it’s important for people to understand what Calvinism teaches. I’m sure there are nice Calvinists, but it’s gotta lot of trouble with the plain meaning of the Bible.

That phrase “the plain meaning of the Bible” inspired me to attempt to post the below comment. But it never went through. Possibly there was an electronic malfunction. Or else WK did not want to get into a discussion on the plain meaning of the Bible.

William Lane Craig claims to believe in predestination and to support Molinism because he believes it is the best way to affirm the biblical texts on predestination while acquitting God of the charge of causing evil. But most non-Cavinists simply reject predestination. What Wintery Knight’s exact position on predestination is, I don’t know. I just know he’s anti-Calvinist and he has no objection to Craig’s Molinism. For that reason my comment dealt not with Molinism (which is highly technical), but with the “plain meaning of the Bible” regarding predestination.

Here is my comment:

1 Timothy 2:3-4 “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

versus

Romans 9:18  “So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.”

and

Ephesians 1:11 “In Him we also have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things in accordance with the plan of His will…”

So which is it? Does God want everyone to be saved, or does he plan it all in advance?

The Bible says both. So is the Bible contradicting itself, or is there a deeper meaning?

The Bible does not contradict itself. There is a deeper meaning. Or rather, more work is needed in order to understand what the Bible teaches on this topic. Continue reading

The Hope that Lives when all Other Hopes Die

“Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Man never is, but always to be blest.”

Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1734)

“Every failure teaches a man something.  For example, that he will probably fail again next time.” 

H.L Mencken, A Little Book in C Major (1916).

Hope is the power to rise from defeat and suck courage from the bitter fruit of failure.   In its mundane application, hope is a conviction that the past is not a guide to the future, that one hundred setbacks are just a setup for a big and glorious win. Continue reading

What is the Patriarchy and What is the Alternative?

There are R strategists and K strategists. R strategists are fast life strategists – live fast, die young. Don’t worry about the future. Follow your impulses. If it feels good, do it. That applies to sex, drugs, everything. If the climate is warm and life is not too difficult, people might as well be fast life strategists. People coming from warmer climates follow this modus operandi more than Northern Europeans for historical and geographical reasons. People living through chaotic times where the future is highly uncertain due to political facts, or imagined environmental catastrophe, are also more likely to pursue this way of life.

K strategists have to have higher impulse control. They are future oriented – sometimes planning very far into the future. Food and shelter cannot be taken for granted. Given a tough climate, men, women, and perhaps extended families will have to work in concert towards a common goal. They will need to be prosocial; agreeable, so they can get along with each other, and conscientious; applying themselves steadily to their work. Higher intelligence helps quell native impulses and instincts so that will be selected for. East Asians excel in all these regards. Continue reading

Women and Evolution

Clytemnestra

Men have evolved to be disposable protectors of women. Little boys will instinctively pick up sticks and use them as swords and rifles. They will even practice dying. Aaarrrgggh! The fact that women are significantly weaker than men and are less aggressive is not the only reason women make lousy warriors. Dying for your country can seem like a strange concept for a modern liberal-influenced person. But, historically, men knew that in some circumstances, if they were defeated by the enemy, then they would be killed. Maori intertribal wars of conquest, for instance, typically involved killing the men and enslaving the women, though some of them were killed too and some men were enslaved. An Alexander the Great, however, would defeat a region’s army and then merely subjugate everyone as a vassal state. In other cases, people like the Dorians would subordinate the local Ionians via killing, settling, and ousting. Muslims would enslave men and women, white and black, and castrate the men, turning them into eunuchs, and breed with the women. From a genetic and evolutionary perspective, either way, it would make sense for men to fight for the survival of the tribe, and to fight sometimes even to the death since they have nothing much to lose in terms of natural selection. Women, on the other hand, are a valuable commodity. A community’s ability to survive depends on having fertile women with relatively few men needed to impregnate them. Most women will breed with members of the same tribe, or with a neighboring tribe through some exchange program. But, even if their region is invaded and subjugated, and even if the men are killed, they will be generally left alive and still have children. In England, large numbers of people have a Celtic matrilineal line, but Anglo-Saxon or Viking patrilineal line. Celtic women were either forced to mate with the invaders, or they chose the higher status and more successful interlopers voluntarily in the manner of hypergamy. Women’s genes will live on. The subjugated or killed man’s, not so much. Continue reading

Modernist Elite Belief is a Reliable Contraindicator

Apart from the obviously incontrovertible stuff like sunrise, whatever the Modern Elite believe is true is almost certainly in fact false. Whatever they think is good is almost certainly in fact bad. This has been true since about a decade after the dawn of the television age.

When this realization first struck me, my first interpretation was to treat it as generational: whatever the Boomers thought was true and good back in 1972 was actually false or bad or both. But then I realized that the Boomers were right about a few things, like organic food, fitness, diversity of seed stock, and traditional buildings and neighbourhoods. And Early Music.

It wasn’t the Boomers. It was the elites, whether of the Boomer generation, or earlier generations, or later. Whatever the elites have ever advocated via the Establishment Propaganda Machine: it’s all been fake. And none of the really absurd stuff they’ve been pushing at us would have been entertained for a moment by almost anyone prior to the television. People had back then too much contact with real reality – as opposed to the artificial stuff the elites broadcast.

The toxic brew seems to consist of modernism and electronic media: crank nominalist insouciance about stubborn truth through an electronic media economy that is desperate to attract eyeballs, and you get all sorts of crazy stuff pumped out of the screens. That suffices to generate fads and fashions at odds with reality: with health, and sanity, and life.