Wednesday, November 7, 2012

St. Jerome on the fall of Rome


From Letter 127:

Rome had been besieged and its citizens had been forced to buy their lives with gold.  Then thus despoiled they had been besieged again so as to lose not their substance only but their lives.  My voice sticks in my throat; and, as I dictate, sobs choke my utterance.  The City which had taken the whole world was itself taken; nay more famine was beforehand with the sword and but few citizens were left to be made captives.  In their frenzy the starving people had recourse to hideous food; and tore each other limb from limb that they might have flesh to eat.  Even the mother did not spare the babe at her breast.  In the night was Moab taken, in the night did her wall fall down. (Isaiah 15:1)  “O God, the heathen have come into your inheritance; your holy temple have they defiled; they have made Jerusalem an orchard. The dead bodies of your servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of your saints unto the beasts of the earth.  Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem; and there was none to bury them”

Who can set forth the carnage of that night?
What tears are equal to its agony?
Of ancient date a sovran city falls;
And lifeless in its streets and houses lie
Unnumbered bodies of its citizens.
In many a ghastly shape does death appear.
 
Meantime, as was natural in a scene of such confusion, one of the bloodstained victors found his way into Marcella's house.  Now be it mine to say what I have heard, to relate what holy men have seen; for there were some such present and they say that you too were with her in the hour of danger.  When the soldiers entered she is said to have received them without any look of alarm; and when they asked her for gold she pointed to her coarse dress to show them that she had no buried treasure.  However they would not believe in her self-chosen poverty, but scourged her and beat her with cudgels.  She is said to have felt no pain but to have thrown herself at their feet and to have pleaded with tears for you, that you might not be taken from her, or owing to your youth have to endure what she as an old woman had no occasion to fear.  Christ softened their hard hearts and even among bloodstained swords natural affection asserted its rights.  The barbarians conveyed both you and her to the basilica of the apostle Paul, that you might find there either a place of safety or, if not that, at least a tomb.  Hereupon Marcella is said to have burst into great joy and to have thanked God for having kept you unharmed in answer to her prayer.  She said she was thankful too that the taking of the city had found her poor, not made her so, that she was now in want of daily bread, that Christ satisfied her needs so that she no longer felt hunger, that she was able to say in word and in deed: “naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there: the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.“

After a few days she fell asleep in the Lord; but to the last her powers remained unimpaired.  You she made the heir of her poverty, or rather the poor through you.  When she closed her eyes, it was in your arms; when she breathed her last breath, your lips received it; you shed tears but she smiled conscious of having led a good life and hoping for her reward hereafter.

115 comments:

Guy Tennenbaum said...

I take it this is your way endorsing of climate change legislation.

rank sophist said...

It's still bizarre to me that a member of the Mormon heresy got such an upswell of support from Christians.

Anonymous said...

St. Jerome is indeed one of the best saints to write on politics: "Every rich person is either a thief or the heir of a thief.

Crude said...

It's still bizarre to me that a member of the Mormon heresy got such an upswell of support from Christians.

As opposed to, what - Obama's dedicated protestant-calvinist faith and Biden's FSSP-style Catholicism?

Crude said...

"I cannot bring myself to speak of the many virgins who daily fall and are lost to the bosom of the Church, their mother...Some go so far as to take potions, that they may insure barrenness, and thus murder human beings almost before their conception. Some, when they find themselves with child through their sin, use drugs to procure abortion, and when, as often happens, they die with their offspring, they enter the lower world laden with the guilt not only of adultery against Christ but also of suicide and child murder."

More St Jerome.

I agree. He really IS one of the best saints to write on politics.

rank sophist said...

As opposed to, what - Obama's dedicated protestant-calvinist faith and Biden's FSSP-style Catholicism?

All I'm saying is that Mormonism is a cult with some pretty absurd beliefs. It's a bit like voting for a Scientologist. In my personal opinion, even a straight-forward atheist would be more appealing. Whether or not you think that Obama or Biden is a strong man of faith (up for debate) is unrelated to my point, which is that it's strange for a cult to get a lot of support from both traditional and evangelical Christians. I'm not even suggesting that they should have voted otherwise--I'm just commenting on an odd turn of events.

Crude said...

All I'm saying is that Mormonism is a cult with some pretty absurd beliefs.

Sure, absurd by Catholic and especially Thomist standards. But also some pretty reasonable ones too.

You know what I find absurd? Defense of partial birth abortion on the grounds that even a restriction on that may one day lead to a restriction on other forms of abortion, which is sacrosanct, short of a health exemption so broad that in practice it would forbid no PBs. I find it absurd when an administration attempts to force Catholic employers to provide birth control via insurance policies, and then argue it's not a violation of religious beliefs on the grounds that religion is a thing people can only do in a Church on Sunday for an hour, and otherwise should have nothing to do with how they live their life.

What's more absurd: Mitt Romney believing Joseph Smith was a prophet, or Joe Biden believing that Transgender Discrimination is "the great civil rights issue of our time"? Believing the angel Moroni provided golden plates, or materialism with regards to minds?

In my personal opinion, even a straight-forward atheist would be more appealing.

Okay - on what grounds? Assuming we're talking atheist-materialist here, how are their beliefs any less absurd other than either "well, at least they tend to be inconsistent, thank God" or "more wannabe intellectuals adhere to them" standards?

Romney was a nice man personally, but I didn't have much faith in his politics. 'Less bad than the alternative, maybe' with an accent on the maybe. Still, the idea that he should have been exceptionally repugnant to orthodox Christians beyond Obama and Biden is quite a thing to sell. The sad fact is, politically, socially, and to a degree even intellectually, an orthodox Christian probably has more in common with an orthodox Mormon thank they do a 'straight up atheist'.

rank sophist said...

It speaks volumes about what's considered "normal" that I have to defend the idea that Mormonism is an especially ridiculous set of beliefs. If I told you that God is an extremely large physical being who lived on a planet in outer space, and that he (as I understand) was once a human who ascended to this position, then I'd only guess that you would call me crazy. It would get worse when I explained that regular people could become just like God and rule planets and/or universes of their own (fuzzy on this part), and that, following the Second Coming, Jesus will rule from Jerusalem and Missouri. Then I bring in the various curiosities like the "temple garment", the vaguely blasphemous baptism of the dead and so on.

Compare this to an honest atheist who, thanks to modernism, thinks that everything is physical. Perhaps he's a New Mysterian regarding the mind--like so many of us in the past, he's never been introduced to ancient metaphysics. Now assume that this man does his best to do what he thinks is right, even though he doesn't think that there's a deeper basis for it than custom and his own gut instinct. Who's more appealing to a Christian voter: this guy, or the cultist who essentially thinks that the moon is made out of cheese? A lot of atheists--probably most of them--are just regular people, and not angry, demented sociopaths like the Gnus. But Mormons? I honestly feel bad for the kids who grow up in that cult. It's brainwashing. No amount of positive spin by the LDS church can disguise that.

I agree with you that abortion and the violations of religious freedom in the HHS mandate are appalling. No argument there--I'm a firm believer in natural law, the Bible and the US constitution. I was making a minor point about the irony of this election. I apologize that it got so out of control.

rank sophist said...

Pardon: "who lives on a planet".

alexi de sadesky said...

rank,

The world is probably a lot stranger than we can imagine. How it actually works is still a mystery. While mormonism is a bad interpretation of the goings ons of the world it is not nearly as evil as denying the existence of God entirely.

Crude said...

If I told you that God is an extremely large physical being who lived on a planet in outer space, and that he (as I understand) was once a human who ascended to this position, then I'd only guess that you would call me crazy.

I'm not sure how accurate you are on 'extremely large' (What, like Paul Bunyan?), but actually I'd call you 'pagan'. It's not exactly a radical, novel idea - in fact, I believe Ed would call the beliefs, ironically enough, 'naturalistic'.

Compare this to an honest atheist who, thanks to modernism, thinks that everything is physical. Perhaps he's a New Mysterian regarding the mind--like so many of us in the past, he's never been introduced to ancient metaphysics. Now assume that this man does his best to do what he thinks is right, even though he doesn't think that there's a deeper basis for it than custom and his own gut instinct.

Right away with 'mysterianism' you are qualifying atheist-materialist in a heavy way. More than that, putting aside mind, you just described an open nihilist. No, mormons may be wrong, but whatever craziness can be ascribed to them, it's not markably more crazy than what you get with materialist-atheism.

More than that, even the gods thing isn't foreign ground to atheists. The transhumanist/simulationist contingent among atheists are pretty damn close to the mormons - they just drop the 'god' language, but keep pretty much all of the concepts. Scratch a lot of atheists, find what would be called a deist/pagan in any other age.

I apologize that it got so out of control.

There's no apology necessary. I just have heard this before, and I honestly find it to be ridiculous to claim that mormons are further away from Christians in terms of belief than atheist materialists are. Maybe if you meant merely irreligious, or deist, or even some kind of a-metaphysical agnostic, I could start to see some of the reasoning.

alexi de sadesky said...

Bruce Charlton has recently written a lot about the topic of mormonism and its importance in the western world today.

http://charltonteaching.blogspot.com/

Zeb said...

I agree with rank sophist, the lack of scrutiny toward Romney's Mormonism was strange. Mormonism to me seems more like a hybrid of atheism, polytheism, and Satanism than Christianity. Atheism because their 'gods' are not gods in the true sense, polytheism because they believe the three members of the Trinity are each separate gods and that all men can become separate gods in their own right, and Satanic because it teaches the lie of Satan that we can become equal with God. It seems to me Christians have a lot more in common with Muslims than with Mormons, and we saw how the Christian right freaked out over the rumors that Obama was a Muslim. A straight up atheist naturalist at least holds a reasonable and sensible epistemology and belief set even if it is in error.

Crude said...

I agree with rank sophist, the lack of scrutiny toward Romney's Mormonism was strange.

In what way was there a 'lack of scrutiny'? Was it when Romney was, in essence, the absolute last pick to come out of the GOP field, after candidate after candidate became a frontrunner and imploded, save for Santorum, who was cheated?

Or was it the very long debate over whether Christians could support a mormon, with the ultimate consensus basically being "It's problematic, but considering what we're up against, it's the lesser of two evils by far"?

The suggestion that Romney's religion was some kind of airy non-issue to GOP Christians is just bizarre. The acceptance was a matter of sucking it up and making do with the "best", most realistic candidate.

A straight up atheist naturalist at least holds a reasonable and sensible epistemology and belief set even if it is in error.

Reasonable and sensible? You should probably read The Last Superstition, because my impression was that a major theme of the book was no, it's neither reasonable nor sensible. It involves a sacrifice of reason and sense.

You may be mistaking 'reasonable and sensible' for 'popular, in some quarters'. Hey, I can name quite a lot of very highly regarded intellectuals who consider legalized partial birth abortion as quite a dandy and reasonable position to hold. It's still monstrous.

Crude said...

But let's talk about something really bizarre: the idea, prominent in some quarters, that Obama is the clear winner for the vote of the practicing orthodox Catholic or Christian, on the grounds that, while he's a long-standing defender of abortion to an extreme, 'evolved' on gay marriage to being an open supporter of it, and just this year made a play to make actual orthodox Catholics to either sacrifice their principles or get out of business, well... at least he's in favor of a massive expansion of government and the welfare state, which as we all know was endorsed by no less than Christ Himself, and no reasonable person could ever find to be a bad idea. Because governments - unlike individuals - can never actually run out of money, and what's going on in parts of Europe right now is just a bunch of play-acting. The principle of subsidiarity is a crazy sham.

Really, I can understand the need to pre-emptively justify voting for a pro-abortion, pro-gay-marriage, anti-Catholics atheist - hey, just a matter of time until that's what's topping the ticket The Party throws your way - but pardon me if I maintain some amount of skepticism that it is, really, all that sensible. Pardon me still if I refuse to hop onboard the bandwagon of 'Sure, Alex Rosenberg is reasonable after all, metaphysically speaking', lest I have to question my political affiliations.

Josh said...

"Every rich person is either a thief or the heir of a thief."

Whenever someone tries to put a person's entire philosophy of a topic into a single quote, I get suspicious and demand context (not just the full text from which the quote originated but also the cultural conditions of the time). Call me overly suspicious.

Anonymous said...

Hi Josh, this is the Anon returning

The quote is from Jerome's letter to Hedibia, which can be found here (thief in that translation has been replaced with "swindlers"). I'm afraid I can't provide much sociocultural or political context; someone else will have to step in.

Brian said...

It's over, guys. The question now becomes what are YOU doing to help change the situation? Many Catholics do not know their faith, and are not spiritually and intellectually formed by the Catholic philosophical tradition, the Catholic moral tradition, the Catholic social tradition or the Catholic theological tradition. Why aren't you volunteering your time at the local parish to help change that? The first step is get your own house in order.

BenYachov said...

Brian is right.

As to the Mormon issue I never understood why that mattered?

Every President with the exception of Kennedy belonged to a heretical religion.

Only Catholics are orthodox.

But Obama is an anti-Catholic bigot and he is too us what the late Govener Wallace was to blacks.

I am hopeful the HHS mandate will be stuck down in the Supreme Court.

The last time Obama tried to interfere in a religion he lost 9-0. Even his own liberal and or leftist appointees had enough civil libertarian sense to go against him.

But I am fearful of the future.

God protect your Holy Church & your people you bought with a great price.

Anonymous said...

I respect most you of here a great deal and I enjoy reading your thoughts on philosophy but what I am reading here today I certainly cannot relate to.

I think Obama was the better candidate without a doubt and deservedly won. Putting aside the core cultural issue that drives much of the narrative of the elections (abortion) the nation made the right choice on all fronts (economy, foreign policy, social policy, healthcare etc.) in choosing Obama.

At this point, instead of demonizing the president and proclaiming that he has some anti-religious agenda (which is essentially a load of nonsense) let's instead support him in trying to take this nation forward. And for heaven's sake let's put all the denomination rhetoric and bickering aside. Protestants, Calvininst, Catholics, Orthodox etc, are all part of the Christian family. It's adherence to the divisiveness of denominations that lead to the religious wars in Europe that have gradually pushed it over time into its current secular phase. Learn from history and do not repeat the same mistakes.

I say this as someone who is neither Democrat nor Republican. I am also European, not American but I've lived here for about a decade now and enjoy the country and treat it as my own.

Seeker said...

What does this mean?

"Rome had been besieged and its citizens had been forced to buy their lives with gold. Then thus despoiled they had been besieged again so as to lose not their substance only but their lives."

The citizen had to buy their lives with gold.... but then the barbarians killed them anyway?
Is that what St. Jerome is saying?

BenYachov said...

@Anon Euro
>At this point, instead of demonizing the president and proclaiming that he has some anti-religious agenda (which is essentially a load of nonsense)....

WRONG!

The HHS mandate punishes Catholic employers with fines up too $3500 who do not provide insurance policies that cover birth control or abortion educing drugs.

Never mind you can buy a rider to your existing insurance with your own money for under $10 bucks for your own birth control. No, Catholics have to be forced to pay for it & choose between following their religion or submitting too the tyranny of the state against their conscious.

What makes it even more sickening is during the Civil Rights Movement principled Catholic Bishops excommunicated "catholic" politicians who voted for racial segregation & this is how Obama repays us!

>I say this as someone who is neither Democrat nor Republican. I am also European, not American but I've lived here for about a decade now and enjoy the country and treat it as my own.

You live in a society that has no respect whatsoever for religious liberty like we do.

Among you Euros you either had Communist Soviet Block countries that brutally suppressed religion or you have politically correct soft tyrannies that fine or jail clergy who call homosexuality a sin from the pulpit of their own churches.

http://chalcedon.edu/Research/Articles/Swedish-Pastor-Faces-Jail-For-Preaching-Against-Homosexuality/

(Note the guy above was no Fred Phelps).

You are a happy slave buddy but in spite of Obama this is still the land of the free & we will fight for our freedom too the last breath.

BenYachov said...

The high taxes I could stomach & survive(I'm a public sector employee) the loss of freedom OTOH is a bitter pill to swallow.

Anonymous said...

Ben,

You are typically a poster that makes me laugh with your caustic critique of the GNUs and materialists but now you're coming off as boredeline juvenile with your blanket generalizations, your anti-Euro attitude and the myth of American exceptionalism.

You live in a society that has no respect whatsoever for religious liberty like we do.

I already said that I live in the US for the last decade. Are you even listening to what I am saying or are you just going off because I said something you don't like?

Incidentally, in Europe, I lived in a country that is 95% Christian. That would imply that the 95% does not respect their own liberties, which is nonsensical.

The notion that other countries, namely European, are in the business of crude religious suppression, while the US is the bastion of religious tolerance is a myth. Sure we can talk about Muslims in France (burka incident) and the Swiss banning mosquée minarets (which I certainly am critical of) but claiming that Europe is comprised of soft tyrannies and ridden with religious persecution is simply ridiculous.

You are a happy slave buddy but in spite of Obama this is still the land of the free & we will fight for our freedom too the last breath.

I am no more free living in the US than I was living in Europe, so again you are wrong. America is no more the land of the free than many European nations are. This is the type of foolish rhetoric that has no place in serious discourse. There are pros and cons in living on both continents. It's not, they're bad and we're good or they're slaves and we're free. It's a mixture of issues. It's really sad seeing you resort to this because if I were to take what you're saying seriously it would be quite offensive.

I'm not taking it seriously though and honestly mate, there is no need for such talk.

Anonymous said...

Re: healthcare.

Anyone ever been to the VA, or know someone who's been there? That's socialized medicine for you.

BenYachov said...

@Anon Euro

>but claiming that Europe is comprised of soft tyrannies and ridden with religious persecution is simply ridiculous.

Funny how on the one hand you concede various tyrannies ((burka incident), ignore others (the swiss pastor) and make an emotive plea that my claim is merely "ridiculous".

So what you are really saying is "Why trust your own eyes of course we are free".

Plus you didn't read the article.

Yeh that is convincing.

Not!

Plus I notice you didn't address the issue of the HHS mandate.

Typical Euro.

Anonymous said...

The point, Ben, which you are completely missing, is that of course there are incidences of religious intolerance around the world, some of which are in Europe others in the US (as well as Africa, Asia etc.), That however does not constitute the general picture and appealing to it is mere cherry picking. Sorry.

There are of course cases where the opposite is the case. UK is one example where Muslim rights have been protected much to the dismay of the nationalist locals. So again, it's a mixture of things.

What I am saying, I will say again. I have lived on both continents (so I don't need an article to tell me what's it's like to live in Europe) and not once did I feel I had more liberties in the US than in Europe. I enjoy living in both places just as much, for both similar and different reasons.

As far as the HHS is concerned I already said I have little interest in the cultural wars surrounding abortion (the politicizing of abortion is very much a US phenomenon by the way). In addition, in the overall context of the severity of issues facing the nation and the world in general, whether an employer is mandated to offer health insurance that happens to include birth control is a minor issue. If that's what drives your vote in elections then I fundamentally disagree with the way you practice politics.

Typical Euro.

Subtle ad hominems? Is that what you've regressed to?

Can you just stop with that crap, please?

BenYachov said...

@Anon Euro

First you complain about QUOTE "demonizing the president and proclaiming that he has some anti-religious agenda (which is essentially a load of nonsense)"END QUOTE and I show you how that is not true with his HHS mandate and I show you how religious liberty in your typical Euro "Democracy" is soft tyranny & all you have to give me is backpedaling & excuses.

>In addition, in the overall context of the severity of issues facing the nation and the world in general, whether an employer is mandated to offer health insurance that happens to include birth control is a minor issue.

No it is not. If the government can force me to buy birth control then any government can force any Atheist to buy & set up a Christmas Creche. Or force any Jewish Deli to sell pork products.

Your Euro apathy towards the concept of freedom and basic civil liberty is noted.

You are content to be a mere "subject" and not a citizen.

>I have lived on both continents (so I don't need an article to tell me what's it's like to live in Europe) and not once did I feel I had more liberties in the US than in Europe. I enjoy living in both places just as much, for both similar and different reasons.

I could experience the same "freedom" you claim to experience if I went to Saudi Arabia or Communist China and kept my head down and didn't make waves.

Bid deal.

Anonymous said...

Hm, there was also a case in Great Britain recently in which a couple was legally denied the ability to adopt a child simply on the grounds of them possessing the beliefs that homosexual inclinations are aberrations and homosexual marriage is wrong.

Anonymous said...

@Anon Euro.
You've just had your ass handed to you by Ben Yachov and you don't even know it. Plus, I have to take issue with your farcical claim that we made "the right choice on all fronts (economy, foreign policy, social policy, healthcare etc.) in choosing Obama." Obama's foreign policy has been a nightmare from the start, culminating in lies and
a cover-up over the deaths of our fellow citizens in Libya. Our economy has been in recession or tepid growth for his entire term. His social policies are far left, esp. as it concerns abortion etc.
The worst part is, you are so content with your bread and circuses you don't even know you are walking the road to tyrrany.

rank sophist said...

I'm not sure how accurate you are on 'extremely large' (What, like Paul Bunyan?), but actually I'd call you 'pagan'. It's not exactly a radical, novel idea - in fact, I believe Ed would call the beliefs, ironically enough, 'naturalistic'.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/16/why-i-love-mormonism/

Quote: Speaking directly of the Trinity, Smith remarked, “I say that is a strange God,” and goes on, in a line that must have got big laughs back in 1844, “It would make the biggest God in the world. He would be a wonderfully big God — he would be a giant or a monster”.

Right away with 'mysterianism' you are qualifying atheist-materialist in a heavy way. More than that, putting aside mind, you just described an open nihilist. No, mormons may be wrong, but whatever craziness can be ascribed to them, it's not markably more crazy than what you get with materialist-atheism.

I agree with David Bentley Hart that modern atheism--a reaction against atrocious theology of early modern Christianity--is more Christian than the alternative. The theology (you see it in Banez, Molina, Calvin and others) I'm talking about is a worship of pure power, and Hart correctly says that it's essentially Satanism. Mormonism is a worship of power in which God is an essentially finite substance who can be equalled by any man. The whole point is becoming a pure, arbitrary power who can rule its own planet (or universe). It's just a twisted, even evil set of beliefs--it's pure nihilism, as any order structured on power must be. It's far more nihilistic than the belief that moral actions aren't rationally justifiable. If you honestly think of this as being more appealing than atheism, then I don't know what to say.

I just have heard this before, and I honestly find it to be ridiculous to claim that mormons are further away from Christians in terms of belief than atheist materialists are. Maybe if you meant merely irreligious, or deist, or even some kind of a-metaphysical agnostic, I could start to see some of the reasoning.

Atheists in general are perfectly normal people. They try to do what they can with what they've got. Many--particularly the post-modernists--want to subvert unjust regimes of power (whether political, ideological or ontological), as wrong-headed as their attempts might be. Mormons are power-worshippers who seek to become world-ruling gods. I'll take the atheist.

save for Santorum, who was cheated?

For what it's worth, Santorum is a despicable racist (here and here) whose association with the Catholic church is a travesty.

Crude said...

Quote: Speaking directly of the Trinity, Smith remarked, “I say that is a strange God,” and goes on, in a line that must have got big laughs back in 1844, “It would make the biggest God in the world. He would be a wonderfully big God — he would be a giant or a monster”.

Yes, but what Smith seems to be doing there is criticizing the orthodox trinity. Not claiming that God is, literally, a giant.

The whole point is becoming a pure, arbitrary power who can rule its own planet (or universe). It's just a twisted, even evil set of beliefs--it's pure nihilism, as any order structured on power must be. It's far more nihilistic than the belief that moral actions aren't rationally justifiable. If you honestly think of this as being more appealing than atheism, then I don't know what to say.

If you can't see how, in its worst interpretation, that differs shockingly little from modern atheism, then I suggest the problem is on your end, not mine. Modern atheism is not marked by mysterianism towards the mind and the mere belief that morality is not rationally justified (which sounds as if it would open the door to it being mystically justified).

I point out again: transhumanism. Simulationists. The exact things that you criticize mormonism for are present in atheist materialism in spades anyway. At most you lose the god language in the transition. You also pick up an incoherent picture of the mind and nature and science that requires a heavy helping of inconsistency.

Really, you're going to tell me that the worship of pure power is some kind of alien thought on atheism?

Atheists in general are perfectly normal people. They try to do what they can with what they've got. Many--particularly the post-modernists--want to subvert unjust regimes of power (whether political, ideological or ontological), as wrong-headed as their attempts might be.

And you can't say this exact same thing of mormons? You don't think that 'subverting the unjust regimes of power' half the time is just language paving the path FOR the pursuit of power? What exactly is 'justice' on materialist atheism again?

You're comparing a caricature of mormons to a sterilized, prettied up conception of atheists.

For what it's worth, Santorum is a despicable racist (here and here) whose association with the Catholic church is a travesty.

What, "I'm sure Santorum was going to say nigger! He didn't, but man, I bet he would have!" and Santorum saying he doesn't think the route to helping black people is taxing others and throwing benefits at them? This is the huge racism charge?

By the way - Harry Reid's a mormon. We have, in your view, a satanist as senate majority leader, chosen by his party. So I suppose we should say the senate democrats are in league with Satan, right? Or we should vote for Republicans and note vote for senate democrats until this pox is lifted?

Or is dealing with Satan a necessary evil at times, all of the sudden?

rank sophist said...

Yes, but what Smith seems to be doing there is criticizing the orthodox trinity. Not claiming that God is, literally, a giant.

I actually figured that out after making this post. I clarified that in a short post afterwards, but it took quite awhile for my first post to show up--I thought it had been lost. So I deleted the second post. Oops.

If you can't see how, in its worst interpretation, that differs shockingly little from modern atheism, then I suggest the problem is on your end, not mine. Modern atheism is not marked by mysterianism towards the mind and the mere belief that morality is not rationally justified (which sounds as if it would open the door to it being mystically justified).

I point out again: transhumanism. Simulationists. The exact things that you criticize mormonism for are present in atheist materialism in spades anyway. At most you lose the god language in the transition. You also pick up an incoherent picture of the mind and nature and science that requires a heavy helping of inconsistency.

Really, you're going to tell me that the worship of pure power is some kind of alien thought on atheism?


Transhumanists and so forth represent a vanishingly small portion of the world. The Gnus are also a small, if loud, minority. Most atheists are ignorant about religion, sure--but they're usually fine people. There's nothing in the tenants of atheism that entails the kind of power-worship in Mormonism. If you're a Mormon, your goal in life is to essentially become an all-powerful god.

And you can't say this exact same thing of mormons? You don't think that 'subverting the unjust regimes of power' half the time is just language paving the path FOR the pursuit of power? What exactly is 'justice' on materialist atheism again?

The philosophy behind it is too complex to get into here--and, yes, as with most non-Christian projects it becomes focused on power--, but I'm talking about their intentions. They want to make the world a better and freer place. Even Nietzsche wanted that. It's essentially the opposite of Mormonism.

You're comparing a caricature of mormons to a sterilized, prettied up conception of atheists.

I'm not caricaturing Mormonism--that's just what it is. And I acknowledge that atheism is ultimately an empty worldview, and that it can lead people to do horrible things. My point remains.

What, "I'm sure Santorum was going to say nigger! He didn't, but man, I bet he would have!" and Santorum saying he doesn't think the route to helping black people is taxing others and throwing benefits at them? This is the huge racism charge?

You've got to be kidding.

By the way - Harry Reid's a mormon. We have, in your view, a satanist as senate majority leader, chosen by his party. So I suppose we should say the senate democrats are in league with Satan, right? Or we should vote for Republicans and note vote for senate democrats until this pox is lifted?

Or is dealing with Satan a necessary evil at times, all of the sudden?


I'm not a Democrat, despite what you seem to think. I'm also not a fan of Reid's--and I became less of one after I found out that he was a Mormon a few months ago. I think that the Democratic platform on issues like abortion, gay marriage and climate change, among other things, is completely off. But I'm not a Republican, either, because I think they've gone insane. I'm an independent. So, I'm not sure what you were trying to suggest above, but I still stand by my statement that it's absurd that Christians supported a Mormon. Should they have supported Obama? I can completely understand why they wouldn't, particularly given the HHS mandate. But the alternative was so bad that I'm surprised they didn't just stay home.

Crude said...

Most atheists are ignorant about religion, sure--but they're usually fine people. There's nothing in the tenants of atheism that entails the kind of power-worship in Mormonism. If you're a Mormon, your goal in life is to essentially become an all-powerful god.

Once you subtract the gnus and the aggressively anti-religious, you're talking less about atheists and more about the merely irreligious and agnostic. Certainly not a materialist atheist. That's a whole other ballgame.

They want to make the world a better and freer place. Even Nietzsche wanted that. It's essentially the opposite of Mormonism.

Most mormons want to make the world a better place too. In fact, if the metric is as unhinged as 'whatever one believes is superior to the current position they find themselves in', it's practically tautological that atheists and mormons both want to make the world a better place. Nihilists too.

And that's the problem. There's no shortage of people who say they want to make the world a better place. But when 'making the world a better place' reduces to some personal, subjective standard - even if that standard is popular - it's still nihilism.

You're trying to argue that there's some kind of major gulf between the mormon view that, ultimately, life is about creating the world you personally think is best, and the materialist atheist view that, ultimately, life is about creating the world you personally think is best. And it turns almost entirely on a difference in what sort of power they expect to have someday.

I'm telling you, there's very little difference here.

I'm not caricaturing Mormonism--that's just what it is. And I acknowledge that atheism is ultimately an empty worldview, and that it can lead people to do horrible things. My point remains.

No, you're doing what I said. You're acting as if there's some big fundamental difference between materialist atheists and mormons, but you're accomplishing that by appealing to a description of mormon beliefs in the abstract, and a generalized on-the-street example of someone who's less materialist atheist than merely irreligious. You're comparing the ends atheists say they want (justice, meaning, what they personally like) with the means mormons pursue to attain what they want (power, meaning, the ability to implement what they like).

Try comparing the two on their own terms. It's remarkably similar. The main difference would be that mormons just think they'll be able to attain far more power and freedom than some - *some* - atheists do.

You've got to be kidding.

No, I adequately summed up what your links were precisely. I happen to think that the welfare state has done incredible damage to the black population, and fostered a culture of dependence. I think a tremendous amount of damage done to the black population is, at this point, self-inflicted. To top it off, I oppose affirmative action. Am I a racist too?

But the alternative was so bad that I'm surprised they didn't just stay home.

Because, what - he's a mormon? Even that would at least be in the direction of something that could be reasonably affirmed from a Christian point of view, if you didn't go for the bonus round of insisting an atheist, even an atheist materialist, would be preferable.

But once you take that step, no, you're off in a ridiculously hard to defend direction, particularly with regards to moral motivation. You'd be in a stronger position if you said that mormons and atheists are very similar in a lot of ways in terms of ultimate belief, grounding of morality, etc. But when you're trying to say something like 'atheists tend to like justice and freedom, unlike mormons', no, that's going to shatter into a million pieces upon inspection.

Mike said...

Anon 9:57 said:

"At this point, instead of demonizing the president and proclaiming that he has some anti-religious agenda (which is essentially a load of nonsense) let's instead support him in trying to take this nation forward."


The only load of nonsense I see here is the attempt to deny that the highly anti-religious Obama is in fact anti-religious.


On many points (abortion, sodomitical "marriage," contraception, etc.) Obama's beliefs and policies are indistinguishable from those of Soviet Communism, as is laid out and extensively documented in two articles at this link: http://obamaandcommunism.blogspot.com/


Anon, the second point is that Obama's agenda, which consists of stirring up class warfare, decimating the economy, trying to legitimize sodomy as "marriage," free contraception for all, and ripping the arms and legs off of millions of babies' bodies...all of this is not an agenda which will "take the nation forward," but which will ultimately result in its devastating and catastrophic collapse. Those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. The history of all nations which sported demagogic monsters as their heads are ample proof of where an Obama-like agenda leads: it leads "forward" to the abyss.

Crude said...

And I want to point out, I'm not some major defender of Romney's. I think he was the better choice than Obama, slightly. I think the GOP has largely been a joke for a while. But I do have problems with what I think is a supremely unfair casting of mormons, and when the statement comes out that 'atheists are closer to Christians than mormons', we're off in the land of the utterly ridiculous. You have to be talking about quite a special variety of atheist, and quite a radical variety of mormon, to pull that off effectively.

The same goes for the 'atheism/materialism is reasonable - unlike mormonism!' line. Not once you start examining what ultimately falls out of a materialist/atheist view about nature, the mind, etc. The only way to pull off the saving grace of atheism there is 'well most atheists don't know a thing about it, and are either ignorant or inconsistent'. In which case, you've just provided a nice out for the mormons too.

Anonymous said...

Ben,

If you think what you said about the HHS issue is religious persecution and/or tyranny then you need to re-evaluate your perspective on things. Tht's just laughable.

There is no backpeddling or excuses here. It's just you whining about some minor issue that you've projected into this larger than-life delusional persecution. Sorry, try to sober up and stop crying.

You analogy actually proves just how much of a fear monger you actually are. Healthcare and setting up a Christmas tree are the same (/sarcasm). It's Invalid. Moving on.

You keep attacking Europeans because I happen disagree with you. This contrary to me asking several times to drop the idiotic and ignorant rhetoric. Have you lived in Europe by any chance or are you simply regurgitating nonsense you hear from the extreme right?

So basically we have someone who has lived extensively on both continents with a good understanding of the two systems and one angry anti-European biggot, who thinks that fear mongering is the equivalent of reality. Stop makiing yourself look like an idiot Ben.

Shall I assume that the anon praising you is a sock puppet of your or is he just another angry guy who is upset 'cause their guy, who lost is simply not good enough?

Ironically, your attitude vindicates the criticism that the liberals usually lay against conservatives. Well done of neatly folding yourself into a little box of being a stereotype.

From what you're saying, you wouldn't know the difference between being a citizen and subject even if it smacked you right in the face.

PS. Your nonsense is starting to remind me of the rugged individualism of the likes of nietzsche. Well done.

Anonymous said...

Mike,

Obama, a Christian, is anti-religious...

Makes perfect sense.

LOL.

Crude said...

The HHS mandate is religious persecution. No, it's not rounding up Christians and throwing them into re-education camps. But it's telling them "That thing you think is immoral? You have to support it and provide for it." That along with the attempts to redefine 'religion' as "that thing that's done for an hour on sunday in a church, and then should have absolutely no impact on your life anywhere else in the week, because everything from charity to how you raise your kids to elsewise is a Secular Activity" isn't encouraging.

Ben's animated, as usual, but the fact that you lived in Europe doesn't give you some stunning insight into world politics above and beyond most. It just means you've annoyed a greater diversity of people than your peers.

Anonymous said...

The worst part is, you are so content with your bread and circuses you don't even know you are walking the road to tyrrany.

You're just as delusional as Ben seems to be.

Obama inherited all his problems from W. And he has gradually helped bring America to a much better place than what it was. HE is respected practically universally by other nations, killed bin laden (under his leadership at least, while mitt said he would not strike unilaterally), is ending the war on Iraq, helped the auto industry and much more.

You are either too partisan to acknowledge this or are simply ignorant. The man is not perfect, but we are much better under him than W and mitt would have been a terrible choice. Those are pretty much the facts.

Anonymous said...

It just means you've annoyed a greater diversity of people than your peers.


Is that some snide, yet ineffective attempt at insult?

OR is there some substantive meaning behind that.

And no, healthcare provision is not the equivalent of religious persecution. Give it a rest already.

Anonymous said...

the fact that you lived in Europe doesn't give you some stunning insight into world politics above and beyond most

It gives me more insight than someone who hasn't and simply bases his beliefs about the world on second hand rhetoric, fear-mongering and dogmatism that has absolutely no place in the real world.

Mike said...

Anon,


What should rather make you laugh--or weep, as it were--is to assert, with a straight face, that a man who believes that it is morally acceptable to rip a baby's head open and vacuum his brains from his skull, who doesn't want his daughters "punished" with a baby, who thinks two sodomites can "marry" each other (cf. Romans 1:26-7), and who will approve the killing of born alive infants who escape the Hannibal-Lecter-like atrocities which Mr. Obama would have foisted upon them in utero...how such an assembly of perfectly Satanic beliefs can with a straight face be classified as "Christian." You "LOL" my statement, but well-informed readers pity you for your horse laughs.

NihilSubSole said...

I, too, have lived in both Europe and the United States, and the issues are not as clear as Euro Anon would like them to be.

To begin with, the European model is not working out very well for most Western European nations. I would rather live in the USA any day than France, PIIGS, or even England.

In countries where it does work, such as Scandanavian nations,the populations are both small and orders of magnitude more homogenous on all fronts than the population of America, and there is no equivalency between what would work there economically and what would work in the US.

Obama did inherit a bad economy (one that came about due to a housing bubble burst pushed by a central government "encouraging" the extension of credit to people who could not afford it- a pet project of leftists for decades), but he then proceeded to worsen it by adding on more debt than ALL previous Presidential administrations put together, from George Washington to George Bush. Right now an average American carries a higher per capita debt than a Greek, and almost all of it is due to Barack Obama.

As for religious freedom and social issues, other posters have tackled them with much more skill than I could. All I have to say is, in European nations where abortion is legal, if it is not a topic of political attention, that says much more about Europeans than it does Americans.

Crude said...

Is that some snide, yet ineffective attempt at insult?

I'm regarding you as kind of an angsty little weiner. This wasn't hard to suss out.

And no, healthcare provision is not the equivalent of religious persecution.

Yes, it is. It may not be guns in the mouth, but it's cultural warfare plain and simple. It's reprehensible. Deal with it.

It gives me more insight than someone who hasn't

No, it doesn't. Shh, you're making a fool of yourself. Be quiet, let your betters carry your water here. You're embarrassing yourself. ;)

Crude said...

NihilSubSole,

All I have to say is, in European nations where abortion is legal, if it is not a topic of political attention, that says much more about Europeans than it does Americans.

What also goes unsaid is that, from my understanding, abortion in Europe is vastly more regulated than abortion in the US. We have the most liberal abortion policies in the world, arguably.

If European style limits were allowable in the US, you'd probably hear far less about abortion even from pro-lifers who want all abortion to end. The pro-abortion lobby in the US is about as extreme as you can get.

Anonymous said...

I, too, have lived in both Europe and the United States, and the issues are not as clear as Euro Anon would like them to be.

When did I say that issues are clear?

I keep saying that both continents have their pros and cons. In fact I repeatedly said it's a mixed conclusion. Are you here simply to parrot the anti-Euro rhetoric?

The economy improved after Obama. The debt problem began after Clinton. The responsible party would be W. Let's keep to the facts and not the empty talking points.

You attack the European model, yet America was in shambles only a few years back.Both models works some places and have problems elsewhere. This is what I've been saying from the start. Try at least to follow what I am saying.

rank sophist said...

Once you subtract the gnus and the aggressively anti-religious, you're talking less about atheists and more about the merely irreligious and agnostic. Certainly not a materialist atheist. That's a whole other ballgame.

Depends entirely on how you define "materialist". Do you mean naturalist? Because most people--even some religious people, such as myself in the past--take naturalism for granted. They don't even think about it. They don't follow out all of its conclusions. As Prof. Feser says, most materialists aren't eliminative materialists because they haven't realized that it's their only option. They're what might be called "cultural materialists", just as many of us are cultural naturalists, and that's the way that a lot of atheists think. It's why so many people can be described as "irreligious" now--they just take certain things about philosophy for granted, like many of us have in the past. They're most definitely materialists and naturalists, but they couldn't define "functionalism" or explain what the "is-ought" problem is.

Most mormons want to make the world a better place too. In fact, if the metric is as unhinged as 'whatever one believes is superior to the current position they find themselves in', it's practically tautological that atheists and mormons both want to make the world a better place. Nihilists too.

By "better and freer" I meant something very specific--I apologize that I wasn't clear enough--, which is that they try to do something similar to what Christianity does: get outside of created power structures and let people be their true selves. This is why I specified the post-modernists, who hugely influenced the current liberal thought. It's why people are so obsessed with stuff like gay marriage--they want to let people be "themselves", without being trapped in someone else's controlling structure. Their goal is to liberate everyone from oppressive schemes, so that they're free to define themselves existentially. Does this work as planned? No--as with atheism generally, it falls apart after awhile. That didn't stop some of the most brilliant minds of the 20th century (mainly in continental philosophy) from trying to make it work.

rank sophist said...

No, you're doing what I said. You're acting as if there's some big fundamental difference between materialist atheists and mormons, but you're accomplishing that by appealing to a description of mormon beliefs in the abstract, and a generalized on-the-street example of someone who's less materialist atheist than merely irreligious. You're comparing the ends atheists say they want (justice, meaning, what they personally like) with the means mormons pursue to attain what they want (power, meaning, the ability to implement what they like).

In some respects, I agree. But there's a key difference. The average atheist is also a cultural materialist/naturalist, and nine times out of ten he's of a more liberal persuasion, which means he's also a cultural post-modernist. If you ask someone why gay marriage is right, you essentially hear what I said above: because it's wrong to control/define/constrict someone from expressing their "true self". They likely would not recognize the names "Foucault" or "Derrida" or "Sartre", but they'd be repeating their beliefs.

Now, take a Mormon. It is an absolutely fundamental belief of that religion that men become gods just like God himself. This was one of Smith's core incentives for his early supporters. They worship "God" because he's powerful, so that they too may become powerful. This isn't even Mormonism in the abstract--it's the man-on-the-street view. They're secretive, superstitious, incredibly repressed teetotalers (actually, more extreme than that) who try to win infinite power for themselves in the afterlife.

On one hand, you have someone who generally thinks people should be allowed to live freely; on the other, you have a slightly disturbed individual who wants ultimate power. I'm not saying that Mormons can't be nice people. I'm not saying that atheists can't be devils. I'm just saying that Christians have far more in common with the average atheist than they do with Mormons. It says a lot about the LDS church's recent advertising campaign that this point has become controversial.

No, I adequately summed up what your links were precisely. I happen to think that the welfare state has done incredible damage to the black population, and fostered a culture of dependence.

Santorum's audience was white as a sheet. He singled out blacks as being dependent on welfare--a racist stereotype--, as though there are no whites or Latinos or Asians on the program. It's clear race-baiting, and I'm sorry if you can't see it. Santorum himself later came out and denied that he even said "black" in that speech, which shows that even he understood that it was racially charged. As for the other remark, it is impossible to deny what he was about to say. He clearly says "nig-" and then stutters, trails off and says something that doesn't make any sense in context. The audience got the point. This is one of the big reasons I'm not a Republican--they're 90% white (actual figure) in a country that is increasingly diverse, and their agenda is completely disconnected from the non-white demographics in this country.

Because, what - he's a mormon?

Yes.

rank sophist said...

Clarification: "Because most people--even some religious people, such as myself in the past--take many tenets of naturalism for granted."

Anonymous said...

I'm regarding you as kind of an angsty little weiner. This wasn't hard to suss out.

That's funny coming from you crud. Someonw who cried like a little girl when dguller criticized you about your view on gay marriage.

I remember you throwing a temper tantrum telling him to fuck off like a 5 year-old.

No, it doesn't. Shh, you're making a fool of yourself. Be quiet, let your betters carry your water here. You're embarrassing yourself. ;)

That's precisely the kind of stuff someone with an inferiority complex would say. Over-project the little that you are into something you are not.

The only ones embarrassing themselves here the likes of you, who is defending the will to power like a proper nihilist and your friend ben who is too angry to throughway respond without the usual nonsensical anger-fueled rhetoric.

You really are pathetic after all. Your guy lost. Get over it and stop getting angry at other people on the internet because you're too incapable of pulling your head out of your own arse ;-)

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is. It may not be guns in the mouth, but it's cultural warfare plain and simple. It's reprehensible. Deal with it.

It's not. Try to calm down and stop being so afraid. No one is after you ;-)

Insight is something you have very little of it seems. Once you step outside your little box, maybe you wouldn't be so dogmatic about stuff.

Crude said...

Someonw who cried like a little girl when dguller criticized you about your view on gay marriage.

No, I told him to **** off, and I withdrew from the conversation. Because I considered being told that I think of my same-sex attracted friends and family as subhuman was a bridge too far. I was entirely happy to talk with him until that point.

But man, you are flailing now. It's amusing to see. ;)

That's precisely the kind of stuff someone with an inferiority complex would say

Shh, you're being a baby. No more projection, little one. Here's a pat on the head and a hug. You're a special little person, maybe someday you'll be able to talk just like a grownup! ;)

Your guy lost.

"My guy"? Romney was, at absolute best, merely *possibly* not nearly as bad as Obama. The only real saving grace he had in my eyes is that he seemed like a truly nice individual, in spite of his many flaws. I've said that from the start.

What I've been arguing here is that mormons are not worse than materialist atheists. It's not a new theme, specific to Romney - it's part of a long-standing argument I've made here repeatedly, before Romney was even the candidate, regarding modern instances of what are, basically, pagan religious beliefs.

But, clearly I've pushed your buttons too much. All it took was a little calling out, and you've freaked out. I suppose "your guy" winning doesn't do away with your insecurities, especially when they're pointed out.

Pity, that. You should work on it. Maybe another trip to Europe! That'll make you a super-DUPER expert on politics! ;)

Crude said...

Or, perhaps, a visit to... *gasp* Mexico, if you're still in Europe. Then you'll be an expert on South America too, especially if you go during Dia de Los Muertos.

Quick, better project a little more, anon. I made fun of something core to your identity - lashing out in a rage will make you seem super-smart!

NihilSubSole said...

Anon-

I'm sorry if I did not characterize your position correctly. I agree that what works in some places may not in others, and each side has its pros and cons.

That having been said, the primary drivers of debt in the United States are Medicare and, to a much lesser extent, Social Security, neither of which Bush implemented. In fact, Bush attempted to patch up Social Security but his attempts were defeated. He also attempted to, errm, fix Medicare, but I believe his cure may have been worse than the disease.

So yes, these debt problems appeared under Bush, but he did not cause them. What caused them were Depression era social welfare measures surviving unchanged into a very changed American landscape. All of this was laid bare with the housing bubble burst.

I will meet you halfway though and say that 2 completely failed exercises in nation building, which were all Bush's decisions, have not helped the situation.

Crude- Yes, I do know that abortion in most European nations has significantly more restrictions than in the US, I just have an aversion for long posts and thought I could cut that. Thanks for adding it though, I agree with you.

Crude said...

NihilSubSole,

I'd agree entirely that Bush was a rotten president. The wars were a mistake from the beginning, to say nothing of his other spending policies. You're not going to find me doing much Bush defense - when those wars started, I was with Pat Buchanan and, in whatever meager ways I could, opposing them. Back when even democrats were voting in favor of them.

BenYachov said...

Anon Euro

I don't do sock puppets. Perhaps now you will accuse me of being behind Crude's posts, Mike's or Nihisubsole's?

Next you are going to bore me with conspiracies of Bush causing 911 or Obama being born in Kenya.

Tedious.

>And no, healthcare provision is not the equivalent of religious persecution. Give it a rest already.

Yes we all realize that is what you feel but those of us who think know better.

Obama is using the power of the State to force Catholics to participate in an act that violates their beliefs. That is persecution. There is no difference between forcing an Atheist to say a prayer vs forcing me to buy contraception for some bimbo moche who can't be bothered to shell out her own Ten bucks.

Back in the day my liberal professors in College who taught me to love civil liberties would have balked at the POTUS giving himself such authority to ignore the Constitution.

But today's liberal isn't really a liberal. He is a petty fascist wannabe nothing more.

Sadly this view has dominated Europe and Canada.

I don't want it here. Not in my country.

BenYachov said...

Speaking of Sock puppets is it possible Anon Euro is really djindra?

Anonymous said...

No, I told him to **** off, and I withdrew from the conversation. Because I considered being told that I think of my same-sex attracted friends and family as subhuman was a bridge too far. I was entirely happy to talk with him until that point.

You cried like a little girl and thre a temper tantrum, much like you're doing now. Stop trying to backpeddle now. You couldn't handle and internet conversation and threw. How embarrassing... Talk about getting one's buttons pressed. Pathetic.

The only difference is that your are now sugar-coating it with the usual "internet lingo" in the style of... here's a hug, you're not on the level of us adults, you are a baby... LOL

You do realize that people who talk as such are people who simply are as such... which brings us to the next point...

projection

Man, the irony in you telling me that I am projecting is downright laughable. But hey, your delusions have not disappointed.

But, clearly I've pushed your buttons too much. All it took was a little calling out, and you've freaked out. I suppose "your guy" winning doesn't do away with your insecurities, especially when they're pointed out.

Delusions galore. Do you honest think that some guy on the internet has any effect on me? You see I am not you. I don't freak about internet talk. I don't tell people to fuck off and throw fits refusing then to engage because my feelings got hurt. You do. That's speaks volumes about your inferiority complex crude.

Finally, it's not I that started all this. If you go back I was very respectful with what I said and constantly asked your boyffriend to stop with the rhetoric. It's only after repeated warnings that I made him look ike the fool that he is and are consequently doing the same to you.

At this point you're just trolling and your trolling is comprised of nothing more than the usual textbook internet nerd talk of you pretending to be THE MAN and I'm someone you're going to lip off to.

Your juvenile attitude doesn't change one iota of what I have said either to you or ben. Being someone whose lived on both continents I am much more informed about the political climate and system than some ignorant internet warrior such as yourself.

But please do carry on with the textbook internet ineffective insults just little the little warrior that you are.

Oh and keep defending the underlying nihilims of your boy romney, crude... OR shall I call you fredrick? ;-)

Nihilsubsole said...

Crude-

I don't think I was then, or am now, as unhappy with Bush as you were/are, though I have moved closer to Buchanan's position in recent years.

I am not so much down on the Iraq and Afganistan wars, as I was on the aftermath. I think Islamic terrorism required and still requires a bit more than the police measures that were the norm until Bush's presidency (and 9/11). What I mainly object to is what happened after the wars. Namely, sticking around and trying to set up "Little Americas" in the Middle East and central Asia.

Possibly the only thing I think Obama could have done right is pull out of those messes as he promised, but he's not even managed to get that right.

Crude said...

Speaking of Sock puppets is it possible Anon Euro is really djindra?

Good question.

It's funny when people accuse you, of all people, of being a sock. Like you've ever felt the need to hide your name when you give your opinions. Not to mention, gotta be frank - usually the guys they're accusing you of being are more careful spellers. ;)

Hope you're doing good there, Ben. Been a while since I said hello to you.

Anonymous said...

That having been said, the primary drivers of debt in the United States are Medicare and, to a much lesser extent

You forget the wars.

rank sophist said...

What I've been arguing here is that mormons are not worse than materialist atheists. It's not a new theme, specific to Romney - it's part of a long-standing argument I've made here repeatedly, before Romney was even the candidate, regarding modern instances of what are, basically, pagan religious beliefs.

I'd like to highlight this point. Mormonism is a kind of paganism, and that's a (the?) big reason that it should be so objectionable to Christians. Paganism, as Hart loves to repeat, is based on the worship of power and the arbitrary commands of morally neutral entities, who control the world and cause various tragedies to befall man. As a result, it's utterly nihilistic and more-or-less evil. In The Beauty of the Infinite, The Doors of the Sea and many of his essays, in which he defends the traditional Christian viewpoint, he consistently argues that even atheism is preferable to pagan-style belief systems.

BenYachov said...

>Your guy lost.

My gal lost last time. Heck I didn't vote for McCain. I voted for Sarah Palin & old dude.

I loved her and tolerated him.

I wasn't thrilled with Obama's far left agenda but I had no idea he would disregard basic civil liberties.

Before the HHS mandate I merely strongly disliked his policies. I actually liked him as a person. He seemed like a nice guy.

But taking away my civil rights is a one way ticket to "I wouldn't stoop to scrap you off my shoevile".

Anonymous said...

Yes we all realize that is what you feel but those of us who think know better.

No, that's how you feel (along with your dogmatic little circle or fear mongering). Those of us that think know better.

Obama is using the power of the State to force Catholics to participate in an act that violates their beliefs. That is persecution.

You continue to sound like a fool. It's not persecution. Give it a rest already.

I don't want it here. Not in my country.

It's not your country. It's a country belonging to millions of people, the majority of which disagrees with you. Get over it.

Crude said...

Anon,

You cried like a little girl and thre a temper tantrum, much like you're doing now.

I was pretty damn offended, and I walked. You see, little boy, sometimes a conversation isn't worth engaging in - a person can prove themselves to be so insulting, ignorant, or just plain silly that they're not worthy of your time. Mine, unlike yours, is valuable.

But please, do keep freaking out about how you're extremely mature, because you are willing to spend *more time* than me on internet arguments. Like I said, you're exposing yourself as a genius here, truly!

Oh and keep defending the underlying nihilims of your boy romney, crude... OR shall I call you fredrick? ;-)

Fredrick? No idea what that's about. 'Your boy, Romney'? You can check my blog and find me saying exactly what I have here. The only way you could think I was a huge Romney supporter is if you're desperately hoping so because you're STILL upset about the election, or being incredibly stupid.

Wait, wait. Possibly both. ;)

NihilSubSole,

I never viewed Bush as horrible as some people did - keep in mind that some people thought he was behind 9/11 and other weirdness - but I was opposed to the wars from the start. I thought they were rotten ideas, and I was hoping they would be rather like Obama's "wars" have been - bombing runs where we took out what we needed, then left. Alas, we tried to engage in nation building, so it was that much worse.

But it's weird to see Bush painted, after the fact, as some kind of arch-conservative. He was a maniac who really did help spend us into oblivion. Of course, as Obama quickly proved, nothing he did couldn't be outdone in the end on the spending front.

Crude said...

rank,

I'd like to highlight this point. Mormonism is a kind of paganism, and that's a (the?) big reason that it should be so objectionable to Christians. Paganism, as Hart loves to repeat, is based on the worship of power and the arbitrary commands of morally neutral entities, who control the world and cause various tragedies to befall man.

The problem is, that description puts pagans as extremely close to atheists to begin with.

No, I'm going to have to break with Hart if he thinks that 'atheists are preferable to pagans'. Pagans gave us Aristotle. Pagans were people who were capable of being fundamentally reasoned with in matters of theology and philosophy. For all their flaws - and there were many, many flaws - there was more common ground there, and there were ways to converse with them.

Compare St Paul's discourse with pagans with atheist-materialist discourse. Forget the Gnus - just put someone in the position of a Rosenberg, or even a Michael Ruse. You have to jig a particularly benign, less-atheist, more-irreligious version of atheists to get where you're trying to go.

Maybe you can agree that mormons are preferable to gnus and committed materialists.

Anonymous said...

Your guy lost.

My gal lost last time. Heck I didn't vote for McCain. I voted for Sarah Palin & old dude.


I loved her and tolerated him.



HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA

Sorry mate, but whatever little respect I had for you left after your shenanigans today, just disappeared.

I wonder if your boyfriend crude is a fan of sarah too, cause that would obviously explain a lot.

I honestly cannot believe what I am witnessing here today. It's both laughable and tragic, because like I said in my original post, I respect a lot of posters here but it seems like you and crude have mislead me into thinking you are intelligent and sensible individuals. What a shame.


But taking away my civil rights is a one way ticket to "I wouldn't stoop to scrap you off my shoevile".


You're fine. No one is taking your rights. Stop being afraid.

BenYachov said...

@Crude

>Hope you're doing good there, Ben. Been a while since I said hello to you.

Thanks bro! Cheers!

Also a shout out to Rank Sophist!

Hart's book is pretty cool. I must expand my love of Classic Theism to non-thomist CT's. Especially the Eastern Church.

They are so many levels of awesome.

BTW I do think this guy is djindra.

He fits his MO. No logical argument just emotive pleas.

Yeah he is djindra.

Crude said...

Ben,

He fits his MO. No logical argument just emotive pleas.

Yeah he is djindra.


No logical arguments, just emotive pleas? And you think you've narrowed it down? C'mon. ;)

But yeah, dj's possible.

As for rank, I disagree with him strongly here, but I'll happily endorse rank as a sharp thinker who I agree with 99% of the time. I simply cannot get behind this claim about mormons, and now pagans. Everything that's been said negatively about the pagan worldview has currency with the atheist worldview. If anything, the gods are merely smaller.

BenYachov said...

>Sorry mate, but whatever little respect I had for you left after your shenanigans today, just disappeared.

Who here wants your "respect"?

I might as well ask who here wants warts?

BenYachov said...

@Crude

>No logical arguments, just emotive pleas? And you think you've narrowed it down? C'mon. ;)

Cute.;-)

But what troll has posted here that is so butthurt over being kicked out more than djindra?

NihilSubSole said...

Euro Anon-

I did say that Bush's little adventures in the Ummah were not at all helpful for keeping the USA's fiscal house in order. Saying that they are primarily responsible for American debt is like saying the Caspian holds more water than the Pacific. If we can drain the Caspian, great, but we've got much bigger problems on our hands.

Err, sorry for that terrible simile.

Crude- I think we are in substantial agreement, then. Though, I wouldn't characterize him as a maniac, but it seems emotions are running a bit high in this thread tonight :).

Rank- I'm curious about what you think of Islam, Rank. My understanding is that orthodox Islam places a very heavy, even exclusive, emphasis on God's will. In my opinion this would put them in a similar category to Pagans of the sort you are talking about, or Mormons.

RD Miksa said...

Dear European Anon:

First—and since you seem to place some stock in this—let me make my travel credentials clear: my family is European, and I have lived in Europe, as well as visiting there fairly often. I have also often travelled in and briefly worked in the United States. Currently, I reside in Canada, which—being that Canada is, politically-speaking, a strange mix of European and American ideas—may potentially make my perspective unique. In addition, note that while I wanted to see Obama lose the election just to see the reactions on the faces of most of the mainstream American media (seriously!), if I could have voted, I would not have voted for either President Obama or Romney.

Now, to the substantial issue: the fact that you “laugh” at the idea that President Obama is anti-religious provides me with the reasonable grounds to believe that you truly are willfully ignoring the clear and obvious truth that he is indeed anti-religious. But let me qualify that statement, for I do not believe that President Obama is anti-“religious” per se. After all, pagans, liberal Christians, liberal Jews, etc. all appear to be more than welcome in President Obama’s camp (although it can be claimed that these latter groups are more “spiritual” than religious, and thus that President Obama is indeed anti-religious but not anti-spiritual, but this issue of definitions is ultimately a minor matter). Rather, what President Obama obviously and clearly is, is specifically anti-conservative Christian and anti-orthodox Catholic. And of this, there is no doubt. But how can he be labelled as such? Quite simply! When it is understood that to be “anti” something is to be forcefully against some position or other, and when it is understood that President Obama is not only clearly “anti” a number of positions that conservative Christians and orthodox Catholics hold as sacrosanct, but that he actively campaigns against these positions using his authority and power, and that he is willing to subordinate freedom of religion to see his own positions implemented, then he is indeed “anti” the positions that he opposes, thereby making him fit the label as anti-conservative Christian and anti-Catholic.

So, for example, take the issue of right to life, which conservative Christians and orthodox Catholics take to be fundamental. While Romney likely would have just been a lame duck concerning the issue and would not have touched it with a ten-foot pole, thus making him neutral but not necessarily “anti” the conservative Christian position, President Obama is essentially the most pro-baby-murder (let’s call it what it is, after all) President in history. Not only is he personally for baby-murder, but he is willing to use his political resources and power to support the baby-murder “cause” to the maximum extent possible, even actively fighting and campaigning against those that oppose it. And since conservative Christians and orthodox Catholics are primarily the ones vehemently opposed to baby-murder, that means that President Obama fights them actively and forcefully on this issue, thereby making him fit the definition—at least in part—of being anti-conservative Christian and anti-Catholic. And when it is understood that this is but one of many examples that could be easily provided, it becomes clear that President Obama readily fits the label of an anti-conservative Christian / anti-orthodox Catholic.

The fact that you cannot see that—or perhaps you see it but will simply not admit it—is startlingly given its obviousness.

Take care,

RD Miksa

BenYachov said...

I don't know if Mormons can be called "pagans"?

Heretical hyper-anthropomorphic polytheistic pseudo-Christians perhaps.

But I would need a definition of "pagan". Is it just any polytheist or is it something more and does it really apply to Mormons?

Now I have framed it Crude and RS can duke it out since Euro djindra is starting to get boring.

RD Miksa said...

PS - Hey Crude, a few weeks ago you said hello to me over on Vox Day's site and I did not respond. I apologize, but after my initial post I did not have internet connectivity for a few days, and by the time that I got back onto the thread, it was pretty much dead. So sorry....and hello!

RD Miksa

Anonymous said...



I was pretty damn offended,

Of course you were. You’re an immature weakling that gets offended about a few words on the internet. How pathetic is that!

Your insecurities and inferiority complex are the source of it and the evidence proves my point.

The very fact that you tried to insult me without any reason followed by the textbook internet posturing you’re engaging in is also evidence of your lack of character. Keep over-projecting, it’s almost believable…Heh

A word of advise: The more you continue the worse it is for you because you’re only vindicating my point.

You see, little boy, sometimes a conversation isn't worth engaging in - a person can prove themselves to be so insulting, ignorant, or just plain silly that they're not worthy of your time.

That’s ironic because that’s exactly how I feel about you right now. I love irony and a good laugh. Thanks ;-)

And keep calling me boy… I hope that if you do it long enough you will knock a few years off and I might get to look a little younger!


Mine, unlike yours, is valuable.

But please, do keep freaking out about how you're extremely mature, because you are willing to spend *more time* than me on internet arguments.

Valuable as in you like to start random arguments with people on the internet for no reason and pretend you are some hot shot? Yes, time put in good use. The only thing more pathetic than your delusions is your posturing. It’s almost entertaining. Almost…


you're STILL upset about the election, or being incredibly stupid.

Wait, wait. Possibly both. ;)

You’re upset and you know it. The guy I wanted to win actually won. It’s a beautiful day and I’m in a good mood. You on the other hand have a lot of issues to deal with both political and personal.

PS. The reference to Fredrick was a subtle way of calling you a nihilist since you seem to be defending ‘power’… So much for that pretentious “intelligence” you seem to be making claims to… Poor dear.

Crude said...

NihilSubSole,

Crude- I think we are in substantial agreement, then. Though, I wouldn't characterize him as a maniac, but it seems emotions are running a bit high in this thread tonight :).

When I say maniac, I'm embellishing a little. Here's another way to put it: "He was not committed to small government. He spent, and spent, and spent. He was willing to sign off on any big government proposal that landed on his desk, pretty much. He accomplished little by doing so, other than substantially increasing debt, and showing the world that small government was dead as an ideal."

There, I think that's properly modified.

BenYachov said...

@Anon djindra Euro

Tell us how you really feel?

NihilSubSole said...

Ben-

I believe the term that I've heard for Mormons that best describes them is quasi-Christian, which can also be used to describe Jehovah's Witnesses and Unitarians. I think this is accurate since they retain many of the externals of Christianity, but reject the core doctrines that define the faith settled on the first 4 Ecumenical councils.

Not that that definition is without problem, as Coptic Christians reject Chalcedon, but they are certainly within the fold of the label "Christian."

By the way, if you ever want to have a harmonious relationship with a Mormon, never talk about these things with them. They believe they are as Christian as the Evangelists.

Anonymous said...

Tell us how you really feel?

I feel really good actually. Thanks for asking.

It's always interesting to see the banality, anti-intellectualism and hatred come out of people... The same people who posture around to be Christians completely oblivious that they are instantiating the very thing they claim to detest. It seems that you and crude are masters of it.

PS. It's when the likes of you start preaching with such hate and anger that atheists get alarmed giving them fuel for their own respective hate. You complement each other well... In fact I'd say you're not that different. ;-)

Crude said...

Anon,

Of course you were. You’re an immature weakling that gets offended about a few words on the internet. How pathetic is that!

Sure, because if there's one thing I have a reputation for, it's quickly ending arguments when things get offensive. ;)

I have little care when someone insults me. When they insult my friends and family, and when I otherwise respect them? Yep, that's when I walk. You've got me dead to rights, anon - when someone told me that my philosophy branded people I love as sub-human just because they were gay, and when they knew it didn't but were saying so for rhetorical effect, I decided to walk. You got me dead to rights, Anon. If you consider it immature to cut off conversation with someone when they call your friends subhuman just because they have same-sex attraction, I say the problem's on your end, not mine.

Valuable as in you like to start random arguments with people on the internet for no reason and pretend you are some hot shot?

"Hot shot"? Again, check my past responses. I've said, repeatedly, that conversations like these are small potatoes. Minor little arguments in the comments section of not-supremely-traffic-heavy blogs. But yes, I draw the line at insults to my friends and family. Sometimes, I think it's better to walk.

You apparently don't. Arguing anonymously on the internet, you see, is *supremely* important. You can't have standards! It's the most important thing ever! You know, you lived in America for a little! ;)

You’re upset and you know it. The guy I wanted to win actually won.

Nah, you're hoping desperately I'm upset, because I offended you by laughing at your 'I'm an expert on politics, because I had a vacation abroad!' line, which is apparently core to your being. So you're swinging wildly, hoping to say something, anything, that has me as torn up and teary-eyed as you are right now.

Pity you're failing. ;)

The reference to Fredrick was a subtle way of calling you a nihilist

Oh lawdy lawdy, I was called a nihilist by someone throwing a tantrum! How will I survive?

Easily and happily, as it turns out. ;)

Crude said...

RD Miksa,

PS - Hey Crude, a few weeks ago you said hello to me over on Vox Day's site and I did not respond. I apologize, but after my initial post I did not have internet connectivity for a few days, and by the time that I got back onto the thread, it was pretty much dead. So sorry....and hello!

Not a problem at all, man. All I was doing was giving you a heads up about one of their more obscure policies over there. Hope everything's well with you, great to see you around.

BenYachov said...

@NihilSubSole

I would tell a Mormon he is a Christian by the standards of the Mormon religion. Not by Catholic ones.

Maybe Mormons believe Catholics are Christian according to their view even thought we can't technically return the favor.

Thought at one time we might have since one Pope in the 5th century and another in the 7th ruled an ex-Arian Heretic's baptism was valid when said ex-Arian wanted to join the Church.

Mormons use the correct baptismal formula so they might have been Christians via the Holy Sacrament.

This was an up in the air question. Mormon converts to Catholicism where conditionally Baptized & annuments involving Mormon/Catholic mixed marriages where treated as Sacraments.

Till finally the Congregation For the Doctrine of the Faith ruled with the Pope's backing Mormon Baptisms are invalid.

One reason is Mormons believe what they call Baptism was given to Adam & not originating with Christ at the beginning of the NT Church.

So they have defective intent. Thus they can't have a valid sacrament.

RD Miksa said...

Dear European Anon:

You said:

“You continue to sound like a fool. It's not persecution. Give it a rest already.”

Seeing as the common definition of “persecute” is to “to pursue with harassing or oppressive treatment, especially because of religion, race, or beliefs”, and seeing as the HHS Mandate does indeed harass Catholics and oppress their consciences, then it is indeed persecution. Now it may be admitted that it is a mild form of persecution, but it is persecution nonetheless. And it should be added that there is a clear and direct line from the state forcing a religious individual to contravene his own religious beliefs in something as minor as being forced to supply birth control, to the state forcing a religious individual to contravene his own religious beliefs in something as major as being forced to have an abortion of a second-child because the state does not permit a family to have two children. This does not mean that such a line has to be travelled, or that it will be travelled, but there is a direct connection between the two acts. Once the State gives itself the power to over-ride religious freedoms in cases where the protection of citizens is not at stake, then the State can, in principle, extend this power as far as it wants.

Take care,

RD Miksa

Anonymous said...

Rather, what President Obama obviously and clearly is, is specifically anti-conservative Christian and anti-orthodox Catholic

No he is not. Someone's view on abortion does not make them anti-religious. You say I am willfully ignoring something, yet there is no substance here. Sorry.

I already said I have no interest in talking about abortion since it's such a huge topic. Abortino to me is very problematic but I am certainly open-minded enough to listen to the arguments on both sides and also take the practical necessities of life into consideration (rape, life of mother etc). In addition, the abortion issue is a US issue and you don't see this surface in Europe almost at all. There it is treated more as a personal problem than a political talking point that get people, nay, morons like crude and ben fired up.

Anyway, to call him anti-religious is not only a stretch it's simply ridiculous, but since you have tried to qualify your claims I certainly feel a lot more sympathetic to your approach that the nonsense spouted by the others. However, I still do not think there is grounds for the use of the term. In other words, I respectfully disagree.

BenYachov said...

@anon djindra Euro

>I feel really good actually. Thanks for asking.

I sense you are holding back.

Come on how do you really feel?

Crude said...

Actually, Ben, I think I know of a way to test if this is djindra, or dj-lite at least.

Anon, I'll tell you what. I think a lot of what I said here was completely fair, especially in light of the bull you spewed. But I'm going to offer an olive branch. You responded to RD Miksa rather even-handedly, so I'll tell you what. How would you like a reset? I'll apologize for my part in throwing this thread down the toilet if you do the same. We start over, we talk rationally, we holster the insults.

Ball's in your court.

BenYachov said...

>Once the State gives itself the power to over-ride religious freedoms in cases where the protection of citizens is not at stake, then the State can, in principle, extend this power as far as it wants.

Sadly Anon djindra Euro doesn't get that plain truth.

But it is fun to watch him melt down.

BenYachov said...

@Crude

That test should be interesting.

Anonymous said...

If you consider it immature to cut off conversation with someone when they call your friends subhuman just because they have same-sex attraction, I say the problem's on your end, not mine.

I consider it immature to get angry over some internet comment period. That is testament of your lack of character. You didn’t just stop the convo, you had a rage fit and blurred all sorts of obscenities at him like a little 5 year old on a rampage. You embarrassed yourself then and you are embarrassing yourself now. You need to stop it… And forming a little circle-jerk with a couple of friends to collective attack me for disagreeing with your other angry friend and his blanket insults at the entirety of European people is even more pathetic and embarrassing.

The mother of irony is after acting like an immature fool, you come around for no reason trying to brand me as such… The irony is endless ;-)


You apparently don't. Arguing anonymously on the internet, you see, is *supremely* important. You can't have standards! It's the most important thing ever! You know, you lived in America for a little! ;)

This sentence’s incoherence rivals that of materialism. You are entering into the realm of the ridiculous. Sorry. (You’re trying too hard btw)


'I'm an expert on politics, because I had a vacation abroad!'

Show me where I said that? LOL now you’re lying trying to cover up your foolishness. Amusing.

Wht I said was that I was in a better position to evaluate freedom in Europe and America having lived extensively in both places. I have also said that I enjoyed living in both just as much. Finally, I said that one is no more free in the US than in Europe, contrary to the fear-mongering stupidities (if you believe them you are equally as stupid and ignorant) of you angry friend ben. So yes, having lived in both I am in a much better place to evaluate than your ignorant-boxed-of a delusional friend (as well as you).

Also remember, how he attacked European vahemetly… Is that the American you want to be? Angry and biggotted? Can I feel more pity for you right now? Possibly not.


line, which is apparently core to your being.

Oh so now you have insight into people’s souls over the internet? You try-hard little internet warrior, you! ;-)

So you're swinging wildly, hoping to say something, anything, that has me as torn up and teary-eyed as you are right now.

You’re still projecting. Projecting hard! Amusing.


h lawdy lawdy, I was called a nihilist by someone throwing a tantrum! How will I survive?

Keep wishfully thinking that you can ever do to me what dguller did to you… And what I possibly am doing to you

NihilSubSole said...

- Ben

Huh, I was not aware of that specific ruling. I had thought their baptisms would be invalid for intent, as you said, but because of their . . . unique understanding of the Trinity (or, in their case, Quadrinity).

May I ask which Pope made that ruling?

Anonymous said...



Good grief...

Nothing you said was fair. You came into an already derailed argument (thanks to the hate-fueled garbage you boy is spewing) and tried to be a smart-ass, so of course I'm not going to tolerate it. I stand by what I said, and remember that I prefaced everything by stating explicitly how much I respect posters here.

The catalyst of all this was ben, who continued the insults after being repeatedly asked not to, so if anything, if you were indeed a rational and sensible person you would have at least intervened (if intervention was your purpose here) and tried to calm him down.

If you want to drop this and apologize that's fine with me. I'm not worried about it either way... But to be honest, I am getting rather bored. I come here to enrich my thoughts on metaphysics, not to argue politics. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Above post directed at crude

Crude said...

Ben,

Till finally the Congregation For the Doctrine of the Faith ruled with the Pope's backing Mormon Baptisms are invalid.

One reason is Mormons believe what they call Baptism was given to Adam & not originating with Christ at the beginning of the NT Church.


I'm actually not too surprised at this. While I don't think it's right to call mormons somehow worse than atheists, I'll up front admit that calling them Christian is a whole other, dicey kind of affair. The baptism is only one thing where I think they go pretty far afield - the only other group I can think that comes close to this would be Jehovah's Witnesses, and they're another sect that gets into 'not even protestant, this is actually something else' territory.

BenYachov said...

@Nihilsubsole

I am citing this from memory. I may have possibly read it in the past in a copy of THIS ROCK magazine. One of the Q&A sections. I think it was done under Pope John Paul II?

>had thought their baptisms would be invalid for intent, as you said, but because of their . . . unique understanding of the Trinity (or, in their case, Quadrinity).

I seem to recall their unique view of the Trinity might have also been cited as well but of course the Arians denied the Trinity and yet their Baptizes where valid.

Crude said...

The catalyst of all this was ben, who continued the insults after being repeatedly asked not to, so if anything, if you were indeed a rational and sensible person you would have at least intervened (if intervention was your purpose here) and tried to calm him down.

I saw you both sniping at each other, and yes, I thought what I said was entirely fair. I'm offering a chance to drop it and start over. If you'd rather skip the apologies and simply drop and reset, fine by me.

Calm Ben down? I weigh in when I think Ben's wrong or right. But frankly, he's his own man. I focus more on handling my own arguments, which is precisely what I'm trying to do right now.

I come here to enrich my thoughts on metaphysics, not to argue politics. ;-)

Then, let's. I wasn't going after politics in this thread originally anyway - I am concerned with people having a wrong view of mormonism, especially a wrong view in contrast to a materialist atheism, than the political issues. Whether it's Romney or Reid, I don't think their views are either crazier than the materialist atheist view, or somehow more morally unhinged.

Whatever criticisms can be made of morality under mormonism are going to generally apply with equal force to a materialist atheism. If anything it may well be worse, since my understanding is that they have particular views about the godhead which may complicate matters and move things, at least in principle, in a more platonist direction.

BenYachov said...

@Anon djindra Euro

>The catalyst of all this was ben, who continued the insults after being repeatedly asked not to, so if anything, if you were indeed a rational and sensible person you would have at least intervened (if intervention was your purpose here) and tried to calm him down.

That's funny. At worst I called you a "subject" vs being a citizen and I criticized your claim Obama wasn't an anti-civil right extremist(which is what he is there can be no doubt). I also knocked European culture's contempt for civil liberty.

I stand by my words.

You OTOH acted like the typical fanatical leftist. That is you have been behaving like a Savage.

A Savage is one who howls in delight when he hits his victim in the head but screams in moral outrage when it is done to him.

That my friend is you.

Now that I have read my posts here I am surprised at my restraint?

Normally I am more vicious.

Must be losing testosterone in my middle age.

RD Miksa said...

Dear European Anon:

You said:

“No he is not. Someone's view on
abortion does not make them anti-religious. You say I am willfully ignoring something, yet there is no substance here. Sorry”

First, I specifically qualified the fact that I did not see President Obama as anti-religious, but rather anti-conservative Christian and anti-orthodox Catholic. Next, your above statement would be pertinent except for the fact that I specifically and clearly only used abortion as one example, and then stated that: “…when it is understood that this [abortion] is but one of many examples that could be easily provided, it becomes clear that President Obama readily fits the label of an anti-conservative Christian / anti-orthodox Catholic.”

Other examples can include:

1. Approval of same-sex marriage;
2. Redefining marriage;
3. Mandating the provision of birth control by Christian employers;
4. Placing political ideological desires over and above religious freedom;
5. Promoting the spread of false propaganda through Catholic puppets that specifically opposes what Catholic bishops teach.
Etc.

Again, it is thus clear that President Obama fits the bill of being anti-conservative Christian and anti-orthodox Catholic. This is just a fact.

Take care,

RD Miksa

Anonymous said...

I saw you both sniping at each other, and yes, I thought what I said was entirely fair. I'm offering a chance to drop it and start over. If you'd rather skip the apologies and simply drop and reset, fine by me.

I stated my opinion respectfully and ben went ape-shit. He tred to insult me and the entirety of Europe. So I responded firmly and simultaneously told him that I would like him to stop and addition to the fact that I thought he was a funny dude. It’s only after repeated provocation that I became more aggressive.

Then you came around with your smart-ass comment out of nowhere, followed by a hurl of insults. I was honestly surprised on how fast your flared up at that point. So no I’m having a hard time seeing how what you said was even remotely fair.

Anyway. I’m dropping it. No apologies necessary since I’m not offended. Think of it this way… We had a bit of a laugh smack-talking and now it’s over and done. I don’t care about it and you shouldn’t either. No big deal.
;-)

NihilSubSole said...

"3. Mandating the provision of birth control by Christian employers;
4. Placing political ideological desires over and above religious freedom;"

RD Miksa- I think what you wrote here is especially telling. Obama is certainly not opposed to the provisioning of new entitlements. He could have simply written into Obamacare a clause where the government would pay for contraceptives out of general taxes. He could have written a tax deduction or refund for those who purchase contraceptives. Instead, he chose this directly confrontational method.

There is no reason to intentionally provoke the Church on this issue, and I cannot believe that Obama did not know that that is exactly what he would do. This portion of Obamacare is am attempt to both test the Church's strength (with an eye toward further marginalizing it), as a stalking horse for openly taxpayer funded abortion, and to provide a few easy talking points to fire up his base and confuse "moderates" on the issue.

Anonymous said...

ben

it doesn't help your case when you try to attack me (again) while simultaneously calling me a savage. In fact, I think that term as you defined it is pretty fitting of your behavior in this entire discussion including this very post I am responding to. It also doesn't help your case when you define yourself as vicious as it's hardly a foreign attribute to what one would consider as savagery.

Right now you're a living contradiction, sorry mate.

Now if you want to drop it like crude does, no problem, I'm game. But I don't think I have much interest in continuing this so if you're not interested in putting an end to this, you're going to continue arguing on your own.

;-)

BenYachov said...

Interesting mythology Anon djindra Euro has there.

Crude said...

We had a bit of a laugh smack-talking and now it’s over and done. I don’t care about it and you shouldn’t either. No big deal.

Handled and done with. Glad to have this one actually defused.

BenYachov said...

>Now if you want to drop it like crude does, no problem, I'm game.

Somehow given your MO to date & your hysterical over reaction to moi I doubt you will.

But I am willing to be proven wrong.

Tragically I rarely am.

*Sigh*

Crude said...

There is no reason to intentionally provoke the Church on this issue, and I cannot believe that Obama did not know that that is exactly what he would do. This portion of Obamacare is am attempt to both test the Church's strength (with an eye toward further marginalizing it), as a stalking horse for openly taxpayer funded abortion, and to provide a few easy talking points to fire up his base and confuse "moderates" on the issue.

That, frankly, is a big part of it. It's hard to read the HHS mandate as anything more than some intentional attempt at provocation, and to me it comes across in part as having the attitude of 'well, political/social liberals weren't able to change things from the inside - let's change them through the government' with regards to the church.

It wasn't as if the Church was spoiling for a fight on Obamacare. Let's face it, the Church was institutionally rather supportive of it, especially when they thought they were going to be exempted from precisely these sorts of morally problematic (to put it mildly) situations.

To put some of this discussion in relief, have a look at this SCOTUS ruling on a related matter. If you have the time, I suggest bypassing the quick and biased summary (even if it's bias I'd like here, intellectually) and read the decision itself to understand just what went on here.

BenYachov said...

I made a reference to that ruling early on.

Obama's people wanted to give themselves the right to determine wither this woman was a minister or not and not her Church.


9-0 they smacked him down. Even the lefties he put on the court had too much good old American love of civil liberty to go along with him on that.

That is what we are counting on them to do with the HHS mandate.


Being a lefty or a liberal is one thing but being anti-first amendment....

That is un-American and Obama is an un-American President.

Anonymous said...

I'm really interested in this discussion on Mormonism. I have a few close friends that are Mormon and it has always bugged me just a little bit. I really don't know a lot about it. At least, I don't know as much as I think I should. It rarely gets attention in the philosophical world from my experience, though I could certainly be wrong. A Feser post on the subject would be spectacular.

Anonymous said...

@AnonEuro
Arrogance together with willful ignorance is the hallmark of the intolerant Left. You are a Leftist par excellence.

Tom Simon said...

‘You are a Leftist par excellence.’

I know we’re dealing with set idioms here, but this one bothers me. Excellence doesn’t seem the right word to apply to a textbook Leftist. Perhaps we should say that Anon Euro is a Leftist par médiocrité?

Syphax said...

As the (apparently) sole regular reader of this blog who is also an active (though heterodox) Mormon, I am amused actually that Mormonism seems to have any defenders at all here.

I don't have much to add to the conversation, however. I find myself drawn more and more to classical theism as time progresses and so I don't consider myself a worthy defender of Mormonism as such at this time (click my name for a new blog about my struggles with Mormonism, if you'll pardon the self-endorsement).

The only reason I'm commenting, however, is to correct what I see as a problematic view of Mormon "exaltation" and the relationship with God. The idea that Mormons are secretive, power-hungry worshipers of domination and planet-mongering, etc., is so alien to the Mormon experience that it is hard to understand how people actually think that. I think I can understand why they do, but in practice it's just simply not like that. It is true that Mormons believe that God differs from humans in degree and not kind, and that humans can progress to become like God. So there is an ontological difference between Mormonism and classical theism, which I'll admit up front is incorrect (to clarify, I think Mormonism's view is incorrect).

But in practice, Mormon views about exaltation are almost identical to Orthodox views of theosis. That humans don't progress by gaining power or prestige, or exalting themselves, but that in debasing themselves and working hard in love for others and humility they follow the example of Jesus and eventually attain the likeness of God.

Again, to be 100% clear, I do understand why Mormon exaltation and Catholic/Orthodox theosis are very different (and have written a ton on that subject in various blogs), but I just want to be clear that if you talk to a Mormon about what exaltation means to them, it will sound virtually identical to an Orthodox person talking about what theosis means to them. No power-mongering in my opinion at all.

In my opinion, if the classical theist really wants to make headway in "ministering" to a Mormon, they should show the classical arguments for theism and explain them clearly, rather than trying to tell the Mormon they're some kind of power-monger who wants his/her own planet, because the Mormon will likely laugh off the latter as a strange caricature that makes little sense, in the Mormon context.

Syphax said...

And in response to the "Anonymous" comment a few posts back, there is some philosophical back-and-forth between William Lane Craig and Mormonism (usually a very smart Mormon philosopher named Blake Ostler).

However, for *this* Mormon, Ed's posts on classical theism, consciousness, and metaphysics are all I needed to move away from Mormonism and toward classical theism. He hasn't had to use the word "Mormon" once. That should say something, I think. Or at least, it does to me.

Mr. Green said...

Syphax: That humans don't progress by gaining power or prestige, or exalting themselves, but that in debasing themselves and working hard in love for others and humility they follow the example of Jesus and eventually attain the likeness of God.

Thanks for that comment. That is pretty much how I thought Mormons viewed it, and I tend to agree with Crude's attitude on this. Anything this is not fully true could be said to be "more or less evil" to some degree, but that by itself hardly shows Mormonism to be worse than atheism. Clearly some Mormons are much better people than some atheists (and vice versa); to compare beliefs we would need some very detailed definition of what some certain person believed, and some metric for weighing it against another detailed description.
(I don't understand the charge of "nihilism". I guess in this context it's supposed to mean specifically moral nihilism? Very few people are actually nihilistic, even if it follows from what they claim.)

Anonymous said...

It is sort of interesting that once upon a time the ordinary supposedly sane people depicted in Norman Rockwell paintings, who were praised and promoted by conservatives as the presumed epitome of common sense are now effectively villified by the same conservatives because they individually and collectively voted for Obama and the Democrats.

Crude said...

It is sort of interesting that once upon a time the ordinary supposedly sane people depicted in Norman Rockwell paintings, who were praised and promoted by conservatives as the presumed epitome of common sense are now effectively villified by the same conservatives because they individually and collectively voted for Obama and the Democrats.

Obama got the sad clown vote?