Free Republic 3rd Quarter Fundraising Target: $85,000 Receipts & Pledges to-date: $52,930
62%  
Woo hoo!! And we're now over 62%!! Thank you all very much!!

Posts by betty boop

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • Daily Reflections with Oswald Chambers [August 13, 2014]

    08/14/2014 1:01:27 PM PDT · 7 of 14
    betty boop to Alamo-Girl; GOP Poet; hosepipe; xzins; TXnMA; marron; metmom
    My reading is that to avoid quenching the Spirit Who indwells us we must have restraint in a crisis and trust Him.

    Indeed, especially in times of crisis, it is best to put our full trust in Him. That means not to trust ourselves too much, but to listen to the Spirit Who indwells us. There are times when it is simply best to kneel in prayer, then to stand up and "let go and let God" ....

    I do believe we are living in such times. The current crises are personal, sociocultural, and geopolitical in nature. The best thing to do under the circumstances is to live in God's Truth, in openness to His Holy Spirit.

    This sort of thing really does require self-restraint.... Plus you have to learn how to listen....

    Then start, and keep praying.

    May our Lord ever bless the United States of America, and you and all your dear ones.

    Thank you ever so much for your splendid insight, dearest sister in Christ!

  • Was Adam a Historical Person?

    08/10/2014 11:16:08 AM PDT · 13 of 15
    betty boop to RIghtwardHo; Yossarian; TXnMA; Alamo-Girl; marron; hosepipe; metmom; xzins
    Actually, there are several theories of time (the Rainbow universe being one) that posit that time has no beginning so there would be no first.

    Indeed you are right about that, RIghtwardHo.

    But if there is no "first" in time, then "how can anything be what it is, and not some other way?" Or even, how explain that "anything is at all, why not nothing at all?"

    These are Leibniz's two great questions. To ask them has become unfashionable in our progressive times.

    The "eternal universe" model has many supporters across many intellectual disciplines, philosophic, scientific, and theological. Yet ultimately, as an accurate description of the real universe, it seems to suffer from profound logical defects.

    The first of which should be obvious: There is no human being on the face of this planet, now or ever, who has ever had the power of perspective that would enable him to see the universe in its temporal totality. [Only God sees that way.]

    I assert that "temporality" is a condition into which a human being is born, in midstream, or "in the middle" of an historical process, as it were. As such, he is part and participant of the very process which he purports to observe. Therefore, he is no "sovereign" observer, occupying some Archimedean point outside the universe, for he is already wholly captured by it. The logic of his "position" breaks down entirely right there.

    Not only does does this "observer" not see the "before" and the "after" of his personal existence; but there is no logical way for him to claim any privileged insight into the workings of the All of which he is a mere part and participant in time.

    One cannot evade such questions by simply proclaiming the Eternal Universe model. Which I daresay is what the various "progressive" enthusiasts are proposing....

    But finally, such a conclusion flies in the face of common sense, and human experience. So there must be something "wrong" with it....

  • Smarter than Thou: Neil deGrasse Tyson and Americaís nerd problem

    08/05/2014 12:57:06 PM PDT · 50 of 54
    betty boop to hosepipe
    A man, MUST, know his limitations" — Dirty Harry

    Qualification of this statement: Only a sane man is capable of recognizing that he has limitations.

    This qualification would definitely put our "sitting president" beyond the pale of sanity....

    And NOBODY seems to know what to do about it.

  • Smarter than Thou: Neil deGrasse Tyson and Americaís nerd problem

    08/05/2014 10:28:39 AM PDT · 47 of 54
    betty boop to hosepipe; Alamo-Girl; TXnMA; MHGinTN; xzins; metmom; lefty-lie-spy; 2ndDivisionVet
    Science has become political.. and has political officers.. Ideology enforcers... Concept hitmen.. Mental figment Goons..

    Oh, I have no doubt that is true. The treatment a friend of mine received at The Journal of Theoretical Biology has removed all doubt. Among other things, the main "juror" evaluating my friend's submission was a "hired gun," a non-acedemic popular science writer who specializes in the promulgation of neo-Darwinst doctrine (arguably, as does this journal itself). On his recommendation, the submission was denied. [I actually got to read the rejection letter, which struck me as inane: The sender admitted he hadn't even read the work. Sigh....]

    As if that were not bad enough, when my friend's rejected paper was eventually published elsewhere, this juror followed him. The format in which the paper appeared allowed for follow-up "dialogue" in order to accommodate dissent. So the "juror" appeared, to show that my friend's ideas were incompatible with the findings of current, state-of-the-art science. [The paper in question was about a mathematical issue, assessing the algorithmic complexity of biological systems. I don't know why such a question should be regarded as irrelevant to biological questions, straight out of the gate....]

    An actual dialogue between the two of them ensued, and made the pages of the final book.

    In the end, I thought my friend whupped the other guy. Much to my gratification....

    HUGS dear 'pipe!

  • Smarter than Thou: Neil deGrasse Tyson and Americaís nerd problem

    08/05/2014 8:22:00 AM PDT · 44 of 54
    betty boop to lefty-lie-spy; Alamo-Girl; hosepipe; marron; TXnMA; xzins; MHGinTN; YHAOS; metmom
    Neil is a good dude, but he does support anthropogenic global warming bullshit for some reason.

    If he did otherwise, his professional career would be over. That's the miserable point: How corrupt "peer-reviewed science" has become. And obtaining money — research grants, etc. — is the compulsive cause.

  • Smarter than Thou: Neil deGrasse Tyson and Americaís nerd problem

    08/01/2014 12:25:53 PM PDT · 42 of 54
    betty boop to 2ndDivisionVet; Alamo-Girl; TXnMA; marron; hosepipe; metmom; MHGinTN; xzins; YHAOS
    One part insecure hipsterism, one part unwarranted condescension, the two defining characteristics of self-professed nerds are (a) the belief that one can discover all of the secrets of human experience through differential equations and (b) the unlovely tendency to presume themselves to be smarter than everybody else in the world….

    Ironically enough, what Tyson and his acolytes have ended up doing is blurring the lines between politics, scholarship, and culture — thereby damaging all three…. Politics pretending to be science … is current, and it is chic….

    Perhaps the greatest trick the Left ever managed to play was to successfully sell the ancient and ubiquitous ideas of collectivism, lightly checked political power, and a permanent technocratic class as being “new,” and the radical notions of individual liberty, limited government, and distributed power as being “reactionary.” A century ago, Woodrow Wilson complained that the checks and balances instituted by the Founders were outdated because they had been contrived before the telephone was invented.

    Thank you so very much, 2ndDivisionVet, for posting this article by Charles C. W. Cooke. I read it last week in NR’s print edition, and thought it splendid.

    Some thoughts, FWTW:

    It ought to be completely obvious to all reasonable persons that not every human problem can be solved by differential equations, let alone the scientific method. (Which nowadays is still mainly on the Newtonian model, despite the revolutionary breakthroughs of General Relativity and Quantum physics, regarding which exactly nothing in Newtonian mechanics, based as it is on presuppositions of causal locality and direct observation, can comprehend or deal with.)

    As a student of history, what impresses me most is how little the universal questions regarding human nature and experience change over the millennia. The Neo-Darwinist account of “the evolution of species” neither anticipates, nor can answer, the following type of universally persistent human problems:

    … [I]t is evident that the primarily nonsensory modes of experience address dimensions of human experience superior in rank and worth to those sensory perception does: experiences of the good, beautiful, and just, of love, friendship, and truth, or all human virtue and vice, and of divine reality…. Experience of “things” is modeled on the subject–object dichotomy of perception in which the consciousness intends the object of cognition. But such a model of experience and knowing is ultimately insufficient to explain the operations of consciousness with respect to the nonphenomenal reality that men approach in moral, aesthetic, and religious experiences. [Which happen to have phenomenal consequences, or effects.] Inasmuch as such nonsensory experiences are constitutive of what is distinctive about human existence itself — and of what is most precious to mankind — a purported science of man unable to take account of them is egregiously defective. — Ellis Sandoz

    It should be obvious that the “nonphemonenal reality that men approach in moral, aesthetic, and religious experiences” is entirely beyond the reach of methodological science — whose reach extends only to phenomenal reality. What immediately comes to mind: (1) We have seven millennia [at least] of recorded human history that attest to the FACT that historical human beings, cross-culturally, that is to say universally, have ALWAYS been preoccupied by such questions. They happen to be the core questions of universal human experience/existence, in all cultures, at all times. [C.S. Lewis, in The Abolition of Man, referred to this more-or-less permanent configuration of human interest and experience as the Tao.] (2) It should also be clear that such understandings of human nature and the human condition cannot be reduced to the methods of scientific investigation, which depend on direct observation of objects selected/intended by a subjective consciousness. [See: the observer problem in quantum physics.] (3) WRT selective consciousness, Einstein remarked that, although the “inertial frames” of observers inevitably differ, ALL inertial frames are ultimately subject to the universal laws of physics.

    Which leads to the core question: Is there such a thing as “human nature?” Or are the Darwinists right, that nothing in biological nature is fixed, but all is in a process of random, purposeless change. Yet that purposeless change is usually supposed to be “progressive” change; that is to say, Nature, and the Natural Selection “she” imposes — though it operates by purely random means — is always wise enough to see to it that things are always just getting “better.” Therefore, man does not have a given nature (let alone a divinely-endowed one), but is always just a “work-in-progress,” leading to — WHAT???

    At this point I ask about this perplexing “WHAT”: Does it lead to devolution of the human to the level of beasts? Or to machines? Or to — perhaps — self-divinization?

    The Tysons of this world are very coy in answering such questions: It’s beyond the scope of science, don’t you know….

    But that doesn’t mean such questions go away. If you want them to go away, you have to kill, not only God, but all of human history first. (For the reason that human history is always and quite characteristically full of questions relating to man's relationship with the Divine.)

    So the strategy of the “science-y types” — who Charles Cooke points out probably could not tell you the temperature at which water boils — somehow become ersatz “experts” in science because they believe what such folks as Neil deGrasse Tyson, or Richard Dawkins, or Richard Lewontin, et al., are spewing as “experts” in the scientific field. Such ignoramuses can just join up with the “nerd herd” and be just as fashionable and “hip” in their own way as Jay Z and Beyonce are in theirs….

    And dontcha know, but “fashion” seems to be everything these days. Truth be damned if it gets in the way of “fashionable” points of view.

    And that is the key insight that lies at the very heart of Left Progressivism: Finally, it is a cataclysmic revulsion against human nature and experience (history both personal and social).

    Must close, but not before noting two additional things: (1) I am definitely a "reactionary." (2) There's nothing "new" about Left Progressivism. Models of this sort of thing date back at least to 500 B.C. — that's what's actually OLD. That model's been tried repeatedly in human history, and it has never worked.

    Which brings me to Einstein's definition of insanity: To keep repeating what has been (unsuccessfully) done before on numerous occasions, expecting a new and different outcome from "the same old same old," THIS time....

    Thanks again for posting this great article, 2ndDivisionVet.

  • Weekend Must-Read: Ten Reasons Why I Am No Longer a Leftist

    07/23/2014 3:16:12 PM PDT · 48 of 49
    betty boop to hosepipe; Graewoulf; Alamo-Girl; TXnMA; marron; metmom; xzins; twyn1
    It’s a disgusting thing to witness..

    And I can't say you've "misreported" anything in what you observed, or wrote.

    There is an ancient Chinese proverb: "May you live in interesting times." Chinese who say this sort of thing are not wishing you well....

    Indeed, on the Chinese definition here, we Americans are all living in "interesting times." They are "interesting" because they seem to play out from forces beyond our control.

    But then, the Chinese, neither philosophically nor politically, have never set great store by the concept of the sacrosanct human individual....

    They have no truck with the imago Dei....

    Hugs, dear brother in Christ!

  • Weekend Must-Read: Ten Reasons Why I Am No Longer a Leftist

    07/23/2014 2:46:03 PM PDT · 46 of 49
    betty boop to Graewoulf; Alamo-Girl; TXnMA; hosepipe; marron; metmom; xzins; twyn1
    Without the Boehner Blank Checks, the Impeachment of Obama can continue, in Regular Order.

    I'm with you there, dear Graewoulf. Boehner seems allergic by nature to any concept of "regular order." Which, by the way in his line of work, is fully specified by the U.S. Constitution as a duty imposed on him as the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

    This document turns out to be so perspicacious in its line of thinking, so anticipatory of current breaking events, on matters re: the body politic. And yet, the Framers could not possibly have anticipated such developments in their own time. Notwithstanding it is amazing to me how well their vision anticipates and "mirrors" Truth as it unfolds in the human historical experience that we call America.

    And because they realized there were limits to their wisdom, the Framers put into the Constitution itself the very mode of its correction, should correction be needful under the pressure of evolving human events. It is called the Fifth Amendment....

    But to me, more important is the reach of Article II. It seems exactly nobody wants to impeach this president (for failure to execute his constitutional oath of office in every respect). Simply put, he will not sign legislation drafted by his soi-dissant political enemies, who merely seek to redress the fundamental disturbances of American order that have increasingly become visible under his tenancy in the Oval Office....

    In short, We the People have put the Consummate Thug in charge of the American future that our children and grandchildren will have to live in, and PAY for.....

    But it has been said that the Framers did not write for their time alone, but for the ages.

    If We the People can live with their wisdom, and propagate it, possibly all might work out "well" in the long run.

    But let's give the hard-core Progressive Left its final say here in the matter, as expressed so eloquently by that amazing, notable economist of gay persuasion, John Maynard Keynes: "In the long run, we are all dead."

    I gather this means Keynes suggested, in this profound statement, a really good excuse to hold a great, big party. Some sort of human mass bacchanalia, as it were.

    This puts him in the party of those who believe the universe will finally expunge itself, destroy itself, in a "BANG," not a in a "WHIMPER."

    I leave Keynes up to God.... HE will judge him, not me.

    Must run for now. Thank you so very much for writing, dear Graewoulf!

  • Weekend Must-Read: Ten Reasons Why I Am No Longer a Leftist

    07/23/2014 12:21:22 PM PDT · 44 of 49
    betty boop to Graewoulf; Alamo-Girl; TXnMA; hosepipe; marron; metmom; xzins; twyn1
    ...it is rumored that Oligarch Obama has a bid on a 4.7 Million Dollar House in California. If this is true, then that house should be known as “The House that Oligarch Boehner Built for Oligarch Obama.”

    I share your angst, Graewoulf. I can see what has happened, and what is still happening, under the administration of this pro forma, ersatz president.

    He's like a black hole, that inexorably draws the entire "universe" into its ego-maniacal maw....

    We can agree to acknowledge this. But the burning question remains: What are We the People going to do about it? We supposedly are sovereign under our constitutional system. So why are we seemingly so willing to trade our sovereignty for a mess of pottage?

    I have no clue what the explanation may be (other than my "bright, shiny object" theory); but this I know for sure: Culture precedes politics.

    If the culture is destroyed, do not expect "good government," let alone constitutional government, American-style.

    Which is why the progressive Left has devoted so much of its energy to undermining, to wrecking American culture over the past fifty years and more — through the mass media, the public schools and institutions of higher learning, the so-called "charities," and what passes for "the arts" these days....

    The American people must have been sleepwalking through all of this....

    I don't see any easy answers. What might work would be a restoration of the American public culture. But the elite movers-and-shakers would fight this tooth and nail, down to the last breath.

    So, what to do? I figure that all I can personally manage is to (1) Stand on firm ground; and (2) Tell the truth.

    If the problem is in the culture, then it almost doesn't matter what party you vote for, what candidates you elect. A deracinated, despiritualized popular culture cannot be expected to produce any kind of good political order.

    Plato noticed this problem, roughly five hundred years before the birth of Christ. He was right then, and he's still right now.

    Thank you so much for sharing your insights, Graewoulf!

  • Weekend Must-Read: Ten Reasons Why I Am No Longer a Leftist

    07/23/2014 11:23:53 AM PDT · 40 of 49
    betty boop to Alamo-Girl; TXnMA; hosepipe; marron; metmom; xzins; twyn1
    "All shine and no spine"

    Thank you, dearest sister in Christ, for your kind words.

    Indeed, I'm convinced that Obama is best understood as a "bright, shiny object" whose purpose is to distract and divert attention from the pressing needs of our national polity. He is "the Venus eye that fascinates...."

    Some thoughts re: assessing the president's character.

    On that subject, Michael Goodwin, in last Sunday's New York Post (July 20, 2014), cites David Resnick, Obama's biographer, from his interview with Valerie Jarrett — perhaps the most influential advisor this president has. Quoting Ms. Jarrett:

    “I think Barack knew that he had God-given talents that were extraordinary. He knows exactly how smart he is…. He knows how perceptive he is. He knows what a good reader of people he is…. He’s been bored to death his whole life. He’s just too talented to do what ordinary people do.”

    Yikes. Do other people feel as creeped out by these remarks as I do?

    Among other things, it seems Jarrett is suggesting that the Office of the President of the United States is actually beneath Obama's dignity.

    Jarrett is a very long-time aide to the president. It seems her job is to stoke 0's narcissism full-time. As if he needed any encouragement along such lines. So if he is a no-show on vital public affairs, it's just because he feels he has better things to do. Do not question the genius!!! He's smarter than you!!!

    Then I wonder how a man like this could ever obtain the presidency. Especially when his qualifications to hold the office are dubious, still suspect, in the first place.

    The legend has it Obama was born in Hawaii. Certain relatives in Kenya say he was born in Kenya — and claim they were present at the birth. The "Long-Form Birth Certificate" ultimately was produced, so to end the controversy. Somehow I suspect that Obama's political operators actually welcomed this controversy [and very likely may have fabricated the LFBC] — as a side show, a misdirection, a smoke screen, a way to "stir up the muck" — for it distracted all attention away from the question: Who was Obama's father? Plus the additional question: Who was Obama's mother? Can we find clues into Obama's' worldview and intentions by asking such questions?

    The question about the father is particularly relevant. Historically, traditionally, citizenship has been regarded as descending from the father, not the mother, regardless of the geographical location of the birth. [This would be the Jus sanguis theory of citizenship in international law.]

    On the basis of public records, it can reasonably be inferred: Barack Obama Senior was: A Kenyan national; a revolutionary anti-Colonialist; and devoted Marxist. He was also a fundamentalist Muslim.

    Stanley Ann Dunham Obama Soetoro evidently was a lady who had a penchant for third-world men of color who held radical/revolutionary political views. She married two of them — Obama and Soetoro. And like Obama, Soetoro was a fundamentalist Muslim. It seems fairly likely that Stanley Ann was herself a child of socialist parents.

    All of which is to suggest that a young boy growing up in this milieu during his most formative years would have had no inkling about American society and culture — I do not believe that is a subject taught in an Indonesian madrassa. And it appears his mother didn't have much sympathy for American order and values, so did not teach her son about such things.

    Yet this "boy" has been elected president by the majority of the American people not once, but twice. Despite the objective fact that his presidency has worked tirelessly — though overt actions, inactions, or covert ones — to undermine the historical liberties, institutions, and interests, both domestic and foreign, of the American people.

    Go figure!!! This result must have something to do with our fixation on the "bright, shiny object" — such as the watch a hypnotizing magician might use — whose sole purpose is to get us to suspend Reality in our consciences, to lull us out of any concerns we may have about the state of actual Reality in which we are totally rooted.... "The Venus Eye That Fascinates" stands before us.

    Or rather, is sitting in the Oval Office.

    Time to stop for now. Now, I shall just sit back and await the onslaught of screaming meemies coming out of the wordwork, to excoriate me for my "racist views," and to trivialize public discourse down to the level of complete insensibility and incomprehensibility.

    But that's okay. Such people never grasp the main point anyway. Indeed, they are the mob deployed to ensure that the main point cannot be engaged in any kind of rational manner. Yet I, as a Christian, have to put up with these people — with as good a grace as I can muster, God willing.

    Thank you ever so much for writing, dearest sister in Christ!

  • Weekend Must-Read: Ten Reasons Why I Am No Longer a Leftist

    07/21/2014 1:20:11 PM PDT · 33 of 49
    betty boop to servo1969; Alamo-Girl; TXnMA; marron; hosepipe; metmom
    Read Marx and discover a mythology that is irreconcilable with any other narrative, including the Bible. Hang out in leftist internet environments, and you will discover a toxic bath of irrational hatred for the Judeo-Christian tradition. You will discover an alternate vocabulary in which Jesus is a “dead Jew on a stick” or a “zombie” and any belief is an arbitrary sham, the equivalent of a recently invented “flying spaghetti monster.” You will discover historical revisionism that posits Nazism as a Christian denomination. You will discover a rejection of the Judeo-Christian foundation of Western Civilization and American concepts of individual rights and law. You will discover a nihilist void, the kind of vacuum of meaning that nature abhors and that, all too often, history fills with the worst totalitarian nightmares, the rough beast that slouches toward Bethlehem.

    So, how does such vicious claptrap manage to find buy-in with supposedly rational human beings? It would seem this sort of ideological palaver, ostensibly designed to shape behavior, supports the “thinking” of a zombie, not of a self-conscious, rational human being. It’s as if a huge swath of the American public has voluntarily submitted itself to pre-frontal-cortex lobotomy, under the auspices and funding of the regnant State and all its reinforcing mechanisms. The lobotomized are then fully enabled to admire, and thrill over, the bright shiny object of their delight — “the Venus eye,” the “magic of the extreme,” as Hegel put it, [that] is “the charm that works for us … that fascinates even our foes and blinds them”….

    This president is all shine, and no spine. If he says “A,” then by now you should realize that what he really means/intends is to actually do “B.” And he usually manages to get to “B” by doing as little himself as possible. That is to say, he not only lies, but uses lies as shields to protect him against the consequences of his acts, or non-acts as the case may be, in advance.

    So, why does he have so many friends, fans, supporters, donors?

    There’s a loaded question! I constantly ask myself that question, and have spent a lot of time thinking through possible answers. FWIW, just a couple of stray thoughts.

    In navigating such troubled waters, I find an indispensable guide in Friedrich Nietzsche, who most American conservative and libertarian thinkers regard as one of the most nefarious “philosophers” of all time: He is widely deplored as the announcer of the effective “Death of God” as an historical fact.

    As a conservative down to my bones, I do not regard Nietzsche as my “enemy.” I do not regard him so much as a philosopher, rather as a world-class literary artist and astute observer of the intellectual and moral trends of his age. I see him as a suffering soul, all his life. He was brilliant — but died in an insane asylum of complications of syphyllis. I think of him as “the canary in the coal mine” of his age, there to warn us of the future of men and societies, should his vision prove correct. [Which boils down to: If there is no God, there is only unfettered human Will to Power….]

    What Nietzsche detracters always seem to leave out, in quoting him, is immediately after his statement that “God is dead,” he adds, “for we have killed him.”

    Nobody bothers to ask whether Nietzsche himself thought or believed that human beings could actually “kill” God. I strongly doubt that. He may have been “crazy,” but he wasn’t that crazy. I think his point was, the act of “killing God” is a personal act that does not in the least affect the Being of God, but only the order of one’s own personal humanity, ultimately, the order of one’s own soul. It represents an adamant closure of the soul to all spiritual or divine influences. I take this to mean that the loss of God implicates the loss of our own personal humanity, by cutting it off from its Source and Ground in Truth.

    I very much admire Thomas S. Hibbs’ reflections on this question:

    …Friederich Nietzsche wrote that autonomy and morality are incompatible with each other. What he had in mind was that, while morality is about being bound by and to some standard other than one’s own will, autonomy as self-rule could easily slide into self-expression and authenticity, aspirations governed by aesthetic rather than moral criteria.

    Here liberalism faces a quandary. If choice itself is the highest value, a self-justifying one, then there is nothing in light of which — no independent standard on the basis of which — we can distinguish between good and evil, noble and base, or better and worse choices. And that, as Nietzsche saw, is an apt and succinct statement of nihilism. — Thomas S. Hibbs, “Happy-Go-Lucky Nihilism,” National Review, July 21, 2014.

    I imagine such distinctions are lost on the folks who find in “our” president a “bright and shiny object” worthy of their delectation and ultimately slavish worship. Indeed, he is a fine example of “the Venus eye that fascinates.”

    But the fact remains, there is NOTHING about this guy that any other human being could possibly reliably depend on. He’s all shine and no spine.

    Only a fool could love him. But evidently, there are fools aplenty out there in American society. They are the lobotomized ones, already alluded to above.

    Never forget the “classic” definition of “fool”: The fool is any man who says in his heart, “There is no God.”

    There’s nothing “funny” about a fool. Bottom-line, a fool is a nihilist. But he has free-speech rights as much as you do….

    And that is why We the People find ourselves in such a quandary nowadays. Our culture is divided, riven in two. The cultural divide, it seems to me, is driven by disputes as to whether the foundation of personal, cultural, and sociopolitical order is to be found in (1) a moral code; or (2) an aesthetic code. The first is ever “objective” to one; the second gives one a license to elevate personal, subjective experiences/preferences of one’s self above any and all other extra-subjective, that is to say, “objective” standards.

    Must put a wrap on it for now. Thank you ever so much, servo1969, for posting this outstanding article by Danusha V. Goska.

    P.S.: I don’t know why it is, but it seems to me that it is the immigrants to the U.S. over the past century or so who are the most passionate defenders of the idea of American exceptionalism, of America’s foundational ideals.

    Three of my grandparents were foreign born, but all became naturalized American citizens, and raised American children. Between the two sets of grandparents, four of their eight children served in World War II, including my own mother — a natural-born American citizen of Polish descent — who recently passed away (June 1). She was buried with full military honors as a United States Navy Nurse Lieutenant having served four years in the South Pacific during WWII, where she tended not only our own “boys” fallen on the battlefield, but Japanese POWs as well. She was an amazing woman. R.I.P.

    The current stream of [illegal] immigrants is “a horse of a different color.” Or so it seems to me.

  • Open thread: Obama to deliver statement at 6:45 ET feigning interest in border crisis

    07/11/2014 1:25:15 PM PDT · 145 of 158
    betty boop to xzins; Alamo-Girl; marron; hosepipe; TXnMA; metmom
    I estimated the cost to be about 400 million a year....based on operational and pay/benefits costs of a force that large. That is a huge expense for any state, and Texas is no exception.

    Indeed, dear brother in Christ. I am sure the president is well aware of that fact.

    Trying to gain some perspective on this situation, would it be admissible for me to record the following observations?:

    (1) We are told to regard the president as a former professor of constitutional law; meaning, he is some kind of "expert" on the American Constitution — which he swore in his Presidential Oath of Office to protect, uphold, and defend against all enemies foreign and domestic.

    (2) We had to wait for Obama himself to tell us that he personally regards the U.S. Constitution as a flawed document, in that it is only a charter of "negative liberties." Translating this rather Orwellian language, this means: The very foundation of American law, the Constitution, is "flawed" because it is a document that tells government what it can't do.

    Well jeepers, Mr. President. The entire point of the American Revolution was that government — the State of whatever form — had limits that it could not transgress because to do so would infringe on the natural — that is to say, unalienable — rights of American citizens.

    (3) The final target of the devil is always the destruction of the individual human soul. In this eternal battle, the soul's God-endowed inalienable rights are its greatest protector. But after that, protection comes from other structures in society; e.g., the family, local communities of faith and cooperation, the sovereign state of which one is a resident/citizen.

    When We the People ordained and established the United States of America, for the benefit of ourselves and our posterity, we conceded very few of our natural rights to the discretion/execution of the federal government. Indeed, "We" retained almost all personal rights unto ourselves. (See: the Ninth Amendment.)

    For further protection against the effects of Leviathan, the sovereign states themselves serve as mediating buffers between the individual and naked federal power. (See the Tenth Amendment.)

    So, if the several sovereign states should trash themselves via bad policy, this just plays into Obama's hands. The feds, you see, would just have to rush in to "fix" the "problem."

    And thereby make it ever so much worse....

    "The Other Side" is playing a very deep game here. And they have a very long time frame....

    Kinda reminds me of "someone"....

    Thanks so much for writing, dear brother in Christ!

  • Open thread: Obama to deliver statement at 6:45 ET feigning interest in border crisis

    07/11/2014 11:18:31 AM PDT · 143 of 158
    betty boop to xzins; Right_in_Virginia; Alamo-Girl; marron; hosepipe; metmom; TXnMA; MHGinTN; YHAOS
    Yes, a governor can call up his own national guard. But, when it isn’t a federal call up, then the Fed doesn’t pay their costs (pay, benefits, operational costs, etc)...the state pays. That gets expensive very fast.... And, if the president doesn’t like it, then he can call them up and use them as he sees fit instead of as intended by that governor ...(but he pays).

    Thank you for this well-informed, timely, and judicious observation, dear brother in Christ.

    Rick Perry is no fool. (JMHO FWIW) Notwithstanding, I think the president is trying to play him.

    Just listening to some FReepers talk over the past few days, it seems that some part of the local conversation here is devoted to the premise that Rick Perry is grandstanding on the immigration issue, so to burnish his presidential credentials. They seem to reason that, were that not the case, Perry would have already sent the Texas National Guard to the border. But since he didn't, he's just doing political grandstanding.

    Of course, I imagine Rick Perry is aware of the same fact that you drew attention to, that it all boils down to a matter of "who pays."

    A cynic might say that the president refuses to do anything about border security (unless Congress caves on amnesty first; but even then you couldn't trust him to follow the law on that legislation either, if passed.)

    One gathers the president reasons: "So if Texas is being overrun by illegals — essentially arriving on Texas soil at my behest — then if Texas doesn't like it, let Texas deal with it." [And I'll sic Eric Holder on them if they do.]

    I suspect the administration would love to see Perry call out the Texas Guard. That would make the citizens of Texas the main underwriter of the costs of the president's failure to enforce the border. As you have pointed out, dear xzins, such costs get "very expensive very fast."

    Texas would go bankrupt in short order. From the president's perspective, this would be just dandy. Texas, in his view, is a conservative state that will not cave to his megalomaniacal "presidential vision" of mass cultural transformation. So, he reasons, "if they oppose me, let them destroy themselves. Opposition will not be tolerated."

    But it seems to me Perry is not going to bankrupt the citizens of Texas just to burnish his credentials as a presidential candidate in 2016.

    This is the very trap the president (or his alter ego Valerie Jarrett) is trying to lure him into. Or so it seems to me.

    Perry won't play that game: I think and believe he is a man of character, who is willing to "lead from the knees." That is, from the position of prayer.... He is no friend to injustice, and I very strongly doubt he can be "bought."

    Thank you ever so much for your splendid observations, dear brother in Christ!

  • Boehner: Why we must now sue the President

    07/06/2014 2:11:36 PM PDT · 48 of 59
    betty boop to Dilbert San Diego; Alamo-Girl; marron; TXnMA; hosepipe
    I’ve always heard the only legal remedy is the impeachment process.

    I'm no expert on such matters. But it's pretty clear to me that "high crimes and misdemeanors" are political crimes. There is a special provision in the Constitution — Article II, Section 4 — that stipulates that such political crimes are to be tried in the Senate. Not in the federal courts. This process is called "impeachment."

    The House must bring the articles of impeachment, as a sort of grand jury; the Senate is where the case is tried. Only the Senate can convict.

    So, why on earth does Speaker Boehner seem to be evading the clear Constitutional language here? Rather it seems he is trying to prosecute the President in the federal criminal courts instead of following the constitutional provision for such matters.

    The federal courts are not constituted to handle "political crimes." Moreover, it is dubious that Boehner or Congress would be found to have "standing" in this matter under the rules of the federal criminal courts.

    I hate to say it, but the GOP seems to like to evade the Constitution as much as liberal Democrats do. At least every now and then.

    But I think Boehner is definitely barking up the wrong tree; and I'd like an explanation as to why.

  • Itís time for evangelicals to come out for evolution

    07/04/2014 9:24:17 AM PDT · 197 of 199
    betty boop to MHGinTN; Alamo-Girl; TXnMA; hosepipe
    There is deep dimensional reality, as hinted at by passages such as the fifth chapter of Daniel.

    I so agree, dear brother in Christ! Yet we humans tend to see only the surface of things. Searching for the Depth of Reality is something few people ever do.

    But those who are so led discover a whole lot to "wonder" about, and thus much "processing" to do....

    Happy Independence Day, dear brother!

  • Industry Group: IRS Lost Email Story ĎMakes No Sense,í Records Should Have Been Kept

    07/04/2014 9:10:59 AM PDT · 31 of 32
    betty boop to marron; Alamo-Girl; hosepipe; TXnMA; metmom; xzins
    I have rather lost interest in politics over the last few years, as I have watched it become completely unmoored from reason and morality.

    I so agree. And surely you are right in saying "politics must rest upon a deeper foundation, a moral and spiritual foundation, and that this is now where the battle must be fought."

    I think the so-called Tea Party — which isn't an organized party at all — is trying to "fight" precisely on moral and spiritual grounds. And for their pains, they are equally detested by the "Progressive" Left and the GOP Establishment Right. A pox on both their houses!

    So what to do? I simply conclude it's just best to "walk with God and pray." To me as for you, "God becomes more real and present with each passing year."

    Happy Independence Day, dear brother in Christ!

  • Itís time for evangelicals to come out for evolution

    07/03/2014 10:28:53 PM PDT · 195 of 199
    betty boop to Alamo-Girl; hosepipe; TXnMA
    Whereas I can readily agree that all is flux (including knowledge in the process of becoming) because flux is the consequence of a time dimension, or if one prefers particle physics, energy — there is indeed, one and only one invariant. And that of course is God Himself.

    Yes, indeed, dearest sister in Christ!

    Yet this "flux" is neither "random," nor "chaotic." Rather, it seems to me it is God's chosen process for realizing His creation, which He designed to unfold in space and time; that is, in a manner such that paltry intelligences such as we humans have could grasp, and hopefully appreciate and understand, what God hath wrought....

    If we could see as He sees, we probably wouldn't notice any "flux" at all. :^)

    But we don't, and we can't.

    God does not "vary." His Logos — His Word, Alpha to Omega — does not "vary." Thus the "rules of the road" He laid down in the Beginning are invariant. The forms they may take in the "flux" are capable of variation. But there is a natural limit that kicks in where such forms vary too much outside the divine pattern/parameters laid down in the Beginning....

    My suspicion is there is some very deep mathematics, especially of the geometrical kind, involved here....

    Or so it seems to me, FWIW.

    It's an intriguing subject.

    Thank you so very much, dearest sister in Christ, for your keen insights!

  • Itís time for evangelicals to come out for evolution

    07/03/2014 4:18:24 PM PDT · 191 of 199
    betty boop to hosepipe
    When the “coming up hither stops”.. the stretching stops..

    Thank you ever so much, dearest brother in Christ, for your heartfelt testimony! I see matters that way, too.

    May God ever bless you! (And me.)

  • Chimp DNA Mutation Study--Selective Yet Surprising

    07/03/2014 4:14:18 PM PDT · 84 of 85
    betty boop to TXnMA; Alamo-Girl; hosepipe; metmom; xzins; editor-surveyor
    When it reaches the point that another (self-claimed) believer questions one's very roots of belief, what is left for one to say in one's own defense?

    Exactly NOTHING, dear brother in Christ!

    IMHO, FWIW.

    Such folk are not just questioning you, they are judging you. And the criterion of judgment that they use is the "correctness" of your understanding of Holy Scripture, as they see it.

    IOW, what they are implicitly saying is that your salvation depends on your "correct" understanding of Scripture, and not so much about how you live your life.

    Yet to me, a Christian life is not so much defined by what one "knows"; it is defined by how one lives — following Christ.

    Christ tells us to love our neighbor as ourself; to be a mediator of His peace, love, light, forgiveness, kindness, understanding, in faith and hope, into this world of mortality. He does not authorize us to be the "judge" of anything, let alone of our neighbor.

    Judgment is His exclusive privilege — to be exercised when He comes the next time, with fire in His eyes, and a flaming sword in His hand....

    That being the case, my best recommendation to all is to cultivate humility, or poverty of spirit. This is what gains a reward in Heaven. What one knows — or thinks one knows — is completely irrelevant on Judgment Day.

    Just my humble thoughts on the matter, FWIW.

    May the love and peace and mercy and light of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be with you always — you, and all your dear ones!

  • Itís time for evangelicals to come out for evolution

    07/03/2014 2:55:28 PM PDT · 190 of 199
    betty boop to Alamo-Girl; TXnMA; hosepipe; metmom; MHGinTN; YHAOS; xzins
    I have always preferred quantum field theory over quantum mechanics, though they have the same result. Fields — wave forms, geometry, etc. — make sense to me.

    Me, too. And also to Schrödinger; evidently to Bohm as well.

    What is fascinating to me, even eerie, is that I cannot but think that what we nowadays refer to as quantum field theory had already been articulated in the ancient world — by two eminent pre-Socratic thinkers, Anaximander [c. 610 B.C. – 546 B.C.], and Heraclitus [c. 535 B.C. – 475 B.C.] — and also by Plato himself [c. 429 B.C. – 347 B.C.], who seems clearly familiar with the ideas of his pre-Socratic predecessors (see: Plato's creation myth in Timaeus).

    Bohm specifically references Heraclitus (p. 61ff), but not Anaximander — though one expects that the former's thinking was substantially influenced by the latter's.

    As Eric Voegelin put it [in Order and History, Vol. 4, p. 174],

    Reality was experienced by Anaximander ... as a cosmic process in which things emerge from, and disappear into, the non-existence of the Apeiron. Things do not exist out of themselves, all at once and forever; they exist out of the ground to which they return. Hence, to exist means to participate in two modes of reality: (1) In the Apeiron as the timeless arche [lawful origin] of things and (2) in the ordered succession of things as the manifestation of the Apeiron in time.

    And Kenneth Keulman elaborates on Voegelin's insight, thusly:

    Voegelin contends that the Anaximandrian Apeiron — which he calls the `Ionian truth of the process' — is 'present in the background of consciousness when the later thinkers explore specific structures for the case of societies in history.' ... The symbol of the Apeiron as the Boundless, the Depth, serves as a polarity both of the cosmos and the psyche. The opposite polarity, the One of Plato [a/k/a, the God "Beyond," or Epikeina], stands as the noetically discoverable antipode of the Apeiron. It is the height as the Apeiron is the depth."

    Anaximander's Apeiron is defined as "the unlimited, indefinite, unbounded; it is the 'unlimited' source of all particular things. Because it transcends all limits, it is in principle undefinable." (Sounds like a "quantum field" to me!)

    Evidently picking up from there, it seems Heraclitus recognized that the essential nature of all existents in the natural world, including humans, was that of participation in a holonomic "flow" — holonomic from the Greek roots, holos, meaning "whole," and nomos, meaning "lawful" — as participants in an eternal process.

    RE: Heraclitus, Bohm comments:

    The notion that reality is to be understood as process is an ancient one, going back at least to Heraclitus, who said that everything flows....

    I regard the essence of the notion of process as given by the statement: Not only is everything changing, but all is flux. That is to say, what is is the process of becoming itself, while all objects, events, entities, conditions, structures, etc., are forms that can be abstracted from this process.

    The best image of process is perhaps that of the flowing of a stream, whose substance [as Heraclitus averred] is never the same. On this stream, one may see an ever-changing pattern of vortices, ripples, waves, splashes, etc., which evidently have no independent existence as such. Rather, they are abstracted from the flowing movement, arising and vanishing in the total process of the flow. Such transitory subsistence as may be possessed by these abstracted forms implies only a relative independence or autonomy of behaviour, rather than absolutely independent existence as ultimate substances....

    Of course, modern physics states that actual streams (e.g., of water) are composed of atoms, which are in turn composed of 'elementary particles,' such as electrons, protons, neutrons, etc. For a long time it was thought that these latter are the 'ultimate substance' of the whole of reality, and that all flowing movement, such as those of streams, must reduce to forms abstracted from the motions through space of collections of interacting particles. However, it has been found that even the 'elementary particles' can be created, annihilated, and transformed, and this indicates that not even these can be ultimate substances but, rather, that they too are relatively constant forms, abstracted from some deeper level of movement.

    One may suppose that this deeper level of movement may be analysable into yet finer particles which will perhaps turn out to be the ultimate substance of the whole of reality. However, the notion that all is flux, into which we are inquiring here, denies such a supposition. Rather, it implies that any describable event, object, entity, etc., is an abstraction from an unknown and undefinable totality of flowing movement. This means that no matter how far our knowledge of the laws of physics may go, the content of these laws will still deal with such abstractions, having only a relative independence of existence and independence of behaviour. So one will not be led to suppose that all properties of collections of objects, events, etc., will have to be explainable in terms of some knowable set of ultimate substances. At any stage, further properties of such collections may arise, whose ultimate ground is to be regarded as the unknown totality of the universal flux.

    Having discussed what the notion of process implies concerning the nature of reality, let us now consider how this notion should bear on the nature of knowledge. Clearly, to be consistent, one has to say that knowledge, too, is a process, an abstraction from the one total flux, which latter is therefore the ground both of reality and of knowledge of this reality. Of course, one may fairly readily verbalize such a notion, but in actual fact it is very difficult not to fall into the almost universal tendency to treat our knowledge as a set of basically fixed truths, and thus not of the nature of process (e.g., one may admit that knowledge is always changing but say that it is accumulative, thus implying that its basic elements are permanent truths which we have to discover). Indeed, even to assert any absolutely invariant element of knowledge (such as 'all is flux') is to establish in the field of knowledge something that is permanent; but if all is flux, then every part of knowledge must have its being as an abstracted form in the process of becoming, so that there can be no absolutely invariant elements of knowledge.

    Revolutionary words, these. They put the fundamental claim of science — that it is possible to have "certain" knowledge of anything, thus to give human beings effective instrumental control over nature — to the severest test....

    Anyhoot, I really like the book. :^) And hope you will too, dearest sister in Christ!

  • Itís time for evangelicals to come out for evolution

    07/03/2014 9:15:55 AM PDT · 187 of 199
    betty boop to Alamo-Girl; TXnMA; hosepipe; metmom; MHGinTN; YHAOS; xzins
    LOL dearest sister in Christ! The fact is, Bohm's Wholeness and the Implicate Order is one of the most challenging and difficult books I have ever read. :^)

    I was over half way through it, when I realized that I just wasn't "getting it." So....I went back to the beginning, and started all over again from square one.

    In my experience, if you can figure out what Bohm is doing with the "rheomode," then anything subsequent to that discussion is easier to grasp.

    Oh, the rheomode, and what it is: It is Bohm's reconceptualization of language in terms of flow. He notes that ordinary language tends to reinforce the idea of the independence and autonomy of the object intended. IOW, a word denotes an object in a fixed and consistent way, while the intended object really doesn't possess those characteristics in nature. To use an analogy from quantum mechanics, ordinary language is like the preference for observing particles rather than waveforms. The rheomode is an attempt to reconceive language in terms of flow, or waveform.

    To me, what Bohm has done is a tour de force that helps one to understand natural processes in a radically new way. Quoting from its back cover:

    David Bohm [1917–1992] was one of the foremost scientific thinkers and philosophers of our time. Although deeply influenced by Einstein, he was also, more unusually for a scientist, inspired by mysticism.... In both science and philosophy, Bohm's main concern was with understanding the nature of reality in general and of consciousness in particular. In this classic work he develops a theory of quantum physics which treats the totality of existence as an unbroken whole.... Renowned physicist and theorist [he] was one of the most original thinkers of the second half of the twentieth century.

    I found Rosen's work enormously influential. I consider Bohm another truly "BIG" thinker who helps one see the universe in a whole, new, fresh way.

    I do hope you'll enjoy the book, dearest sister in Christ!

  • Itís time for evangelicals to come out for evolution

    07/03/2014 8:36:45 AM PDT · 186 of 199
    betty boop to hosepipe
    Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. — Albert Einstein

    Another truly wise man....

    I agree with your assessment of the late Maya Angelou. It seems she was a master of counter-cultural jibberish.... Not a drop of wisdom there.

    Thanks so much for writing, dear brother in Christ!

  • Itís time for evangelicals to come out for evolution

    07/02/2014 7:52:23 AM PDT · 180 of 199
    betty boop to metmom; Alamo-Girl; TXnMA; hosepipe; MHGinTN; xzins; YHAOS
    There is also an inherent arrogance in the person who is making the statement that he is an objective observer and that he is stating a fact.... In doing so, he makes the unspoken claim that he knows everything, that what he knows is correct, and that he knows he is correct.

    "Only the fool, fixed in his folly, thinks he turns the wheel on which he himself turns." — T. S. Eliot

    Thanks, dear sister in Christ, for your spot-on observations.

  • Itís time for evangelicals to come out for evolution

    07/02/2014 7:44:43 AM PDT · 179 of 199
    betty boop to Alamo-Girl; metmom; MHGinTN; TXnMA; hosepipe; xzins
    I would strongly recommend Rosen's "Life Itself" to those who cannot accept these insights from the philosophical or theological experts. Perhaps Rosen's math would convince them?

    Perhaps! Anyhoot, Rosen's Life Itself was a real eye-opener for me....

    Also, if one is interested in the truly BIG picture, I strongly recommend David Bohm's Wholeness and the Implicate Order....

    On a personal note, Attila's birthday is July 4th. So I sent him a copy of Bohm's work. While I was at it, I also got one for you. It's headed your way! I hope you will enjoy it!

    Thank you so much for writing, dearest sister in Christ!

  • Industry Group: IRS Lost Email Story ĎMakes No Sense,í Records Should Have Been Kept

    07/01/2014 2:30:36 PM PDT · 28 of 32
    betty boop to marron; Alamo-Girl; hosepipe; TXnMA; xzins; metmom
    ...this isn't America anymore, its Guatemala with color television.

    True enough, dear brother in Christ, as far as it goes.

    And yet, I am not as despondent about these developments as much as you seem to be.

    I have not given up HOPE — which is unshakeable, since God's Word cannot fail but will be fulfilled in the world of His creation.

    Our common American culture — whose roots are to be found in classical philosophy as perfected by the Judeo-Christian tradition — is that which promulgates and sustains us, and our "exceptional" civil order. We are a nation "under God." He will not abandon those who love Him.

    Rather, I believe He asks us to defend the very principles upon which our personal and civil order depends. And so, that is what we God-"fearing" people must do.

    It isn't any more complicated than that.

    Rather than imagine yourself as some kind of victim of processes beyond human control, just stand up for what you believe, to the best of your ability. And speak truth to (human) power as often as possible. That's all God asks of us.

    And then, we just leave the rest of it, the details, up to Him.

    The Lord works all things to the benefit of those who love Him.

    Assuredly, that includes YOU.

    As Pope John Paul II put it, "Be not afraid!" Christ asks us to "cross the threshold of hope" so to stand with Him....

    He is our very Life. He is our very Truth. He is our very Salvation. He is our "mediator" who conveys our mortal selves unto eternal life....

    Be not afraid! Be not depressed, nor disconsolate in any way! The Lord made a glorious creation, and called us to be principal participants of it.

    We humans are called as stewards of what God has wrought. Not "owners"; only principled participants with responsibilities as agents of God's Will and Purpose, here "below".... That is to say, from the standpoint of our mortality....

    In Christ's love and peace and light, my dear brother in Him!

  • Itís time for evangelicals to come out for evolution

    07/01/2014 12:39:58 PM PDT · 171 of 199
    betty boop to Alamo-Girl; MHGinTN; TXnMA; hosepipe; marron; metmom; xzins; YHAOS
    In my experience, it is rare for a person to complete a sentence to his aspect as observer, e.g. "the universe is almost 14 billion years old from my present space/time coordinates."

    Thank you oh so much for your kind words re: my "take" on the "observer problem!"

    Linear thinking — instrumental reason — is "bean-counting" thinking that ever ignores the context in which events occur. It just wants to find out what happens between A and B; as if the context in which the relation of A and B occurs is irrelevant.

    Which most definitely is not the case. Without some larger context — without which events cannot occur — how can A and B be brought into relation in the first place? Without such relation, cause-and-effect processes do not occur. This seems clear enuf to me.

    And I expect, clear enuf to you, too, my dearest sister in Christ. [But please correct me if I'm wrong about this.]

    The method of my madness behind making such a statement is my reliance on Aristotle's laws of causation. I note that the currently regnant scientific method addresses only two of Aristotle's four causes, the material and the efficient. Most scientists (I gather) get a case of hives just thinking about first and final causes — and so they have been effectively abolished from the purview and practice of science....

    It seems the enormous prestige and influence of "scientific thinking" in our world today has infiltrated all modes of human thought. It is taken as the "best model" for discovering and analyzing the world and human existence.

    The problem with that is neither life nor consciousness is explicable on the basis of material (matter) and efficient (energetic exchange) causes only.

    Taken together, material and efficient causes by themselves can describe inorganic and mechanistic behavior in Nature very well. But they can explain nothing essential about those parts of Nature called biological organisms; for they only answer the question, "What does a thing look like?" They cannot answer the question "Why does this thing exist?" Which is to ask: "What caused it?" (its formal cause) and "What purpose does it seek to fulfill?" (its final cause).

    In Metaphysics, Aristotle famously said that the final cause — peras, "limit," or "goal" — is the cause "for which all the other causes exist." It is that purpose or goal towards which the formal cause was primed in the first place.

    I gather scientists routinely hate this sort of thing; for it suggests the operation of a cause "from the future" — which Newtonian mechanics absolutely forbids.

    This might strike a reader of these lines as an exercise in pure, abstract wool-gathering. But to any such person, I would reply: Aristotle's model of causation — Formal–Material–Efficient–Final — is fully realized in the most basic and necessary biological functions of living organisms.

    So, how come "orthodox" Neo-Darwinists routinely ditch the Formal and Final causes?

    You know me, dearest sister in Christ — an my detestation of the absurdly reductionist Darwinian evolutionary view of biology.

    Biology is supposed to about the "science" of Life. But Darwinists will not touch Life (or Mind) with a ten-foot pole. They are content to dwell on material and efficient causes only; and thus manage to produce a plausible account/description of the speciation of already existent organic life. Where that life "came from," its origin; and towards what end or purpose or goal it is was primed for, they consider not only inadmissible questions, but totally irrelevant ones.

    While I'm whacking the Darwinists, and contemporary biological science as it is generally practiced nowadays, let me add one more thing: Since Darwin's revolutionary On the Origin of Species [1859] was published, there have been not one, but two, world-transforming scientific revolutions: Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, and Niel's Bohr's [et al.] Quantum Theory.

    Has anybody out there noticed that the biological sciences have taken the stunning findings of these great thinkers into effect???

    Certainly, I haven't. And yet, if biological organisms have a material basis (which I do not dispute they have), then certainly, one would think that the observations of the quantum theorists have definite bearing on biological questions.

    WRT Relativity theory, I would argue it definitely has a direct bearing on biological issues as well. It is generally understood that relativistic effects only become "tangible" as a phenomenon approaches the speed of Light. Which seems remote enough to us for all practical purposes.

    But what is fascinating to me is increasingly, I've been reading scientists specializing in physics (not biology!) who have suggested that biological entities, ultimately, are "organized" by means of non-local causes.

    Which gets us back, not only to quantum theory, but also to relativity theory.

    If Darwinism as it is presently understood could be adjusted so to take into effect these stunning discoveries from physics, what would it look like?

    My best guess: We will never know, 'cause Darwinists — slaves to the observer problem — think that relativity and quantum theory are completely irrelevant to their problems.

    They will find only what they seek. Within an amazing constrained, reduced understanding of the natural world.

    Well, JMHO, FWIW.

    It is so good to hear from you again, my dearest sister in Christ!

  • Chimp DNA Mutation Study--Selective Yet Surprising

    07/01/2014 11:00:55 AM PDT · 73 of 85
    betty boop to Alamo-Girl; TXnMA; BrandtMichaels; editor-surveyor; metmom; xzins
    From all that I know of you [TXnMA] and what you have done and are working on, I'm confident that you love God unreservedly and are following His leading in everything whether spiritual endeavors, family, science, archeology, community or whatever.

    I'll second that, dearest sister in Christ!!! Completely!!!

    Indeed, it seems to me that my dear brother in Christ, TXnMA's foundational premise (as a man, as a scientist, as a son of God) is:

    For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: — Romans 20.

    God's inerrant Word here, taken very much to heart by my physical chemist friend, TXnMA — who is Christian, right down to the ground.

    Why putative co-religionists are finding fault with him is, to me, inexplicable.

    JMHO, FWIW

  • Industry Group: IRS Lost Email Story ĎMakes No Sense,í Records Should Have Been Kept

    06/27/2014 4:16:00 PM PDT · 14 of 32
    betty boop to blam; Alamo-Girl; TXnMA; hosepipe; marron; metmom; xzins; MHGinTN
    The IRS, though, insists this was simply a case of a routine computer failure — one of thousands across the federal government.

    If so, two questions: (1) How come we taxpayers have to expend so much money, just to get such a poor report from what we are to expect is state-of-the-art equipment (already paid for by the U.S. taxpayer)? And (2), Are we taxpayers to believe the missing e-mails are irretrievably lost???

    Such a thing does not normally happen in the real world: E-mails never "die"; they just "melt" into the "cloud." But the "cloud" can be probed, and its contents recovered....

    So my proposal is that we retain the services of Edward Snowden to solve this problem. LOL!

    If anyone can do it, I imagine he can: Evidently, he knows how to "compile" metadata....

    Meanwhile, it's probably a sound idea "to put these criminals in jail." Or at least issue restraining subpoenas in light of their grotesque malfeasance against the public good....

    FWIW.

    Thanks for the great post, blam!

  • Itís time for evangelicals to come out for evolution

    06/25/2014 1:54:59 PM PDT · 169 of 199
    betty boop to MHGinTN; fishtank; Alamo-Girl; TXnMA; SeekAndFind; metmom; marron; hosepipe; xzins; YHAOS
    ...since Physics cannot find ANY known way that the observer is effecting the physical nature of the experiment and yet the observer has been proven to do so, well then, there has to be some ‘non-physical’ aspect unknown to these same Physicists yet they wish to use their magic thinking and dismiss what they have proven to be the facts. In essence, they have proven that the Universe is more than the mechanical in its operations.

    The very fact that such "Physicists" think they can "stand outside the physical" in order to observe (measure) the "physical" is a non-starter position. [And then they try to defend this absurd position by saying that "all things supervene on the physical".... Talk about a non sequitur! That particular "defense" must come at the sacrifice of their own evaluative minds, must cost them any possible understanding of their own being and thinking.]

    It should be obvious that this epistemological commitment requires that the "observing" or "measuring device" itself must be entirely outside the "physical" which it is attempting to "measure." Which is something quantum theory has already demonstrated with high credibility never happens.

    Nonetheless, you are correct to note these guys inadvertently, already, "have proven that the Universe is more than the mechanical in its operations." That is to say, whether they wanted to or not.

    The problem is: Somehow they have entirely excused themselves from the purely "physical" in order to make this determination. As if they, themselves, were wholly lacking in any physical component. [Which as mortal beings, they most assuredly do have.] Still, somehow, unaccountably, they persist in being oblivious to this quite obvious fact... about the very nature of themselves, and how human beings actually engage with their world.

    Which brings us to the "observer problem," or as you put it, the "observer effect."

    What quantum theory shows is that the presence of an observer and his measuring instruments are parts, already fully implicated, in the "whole" which is under investigation. It maintains that such presence has direct effect on possible outcomes of a given total experimental situation, in that the introduction of an observer with his instruments not only distorts the given physical situation [by introducing unforeseen additional elements at the physical level], but also specifies, or directs, what is looked for, or is anticipated, in the results of any given experimental situation.

    To put this "observer" issue into perspective, I'd like to cite the famous dispute between two excellent friends, Albert Einstein (relativity theory) and Niels Bohr (quantum mechanics theory).

    As their mutual biographer, Abraham Pais, put it, Einstein loved to twit his friend, by saying: For Niels, the moon does not exist at all, unless Niels has personally observed it.

    But I daresay, all "Niels" was saying, was that phenomena do not depend on human observation in order for them to be "real" phenomena; all "Niels" was saying was that if we have not directly observed, experienced, a phenomenon in Nature, then we have no right to speak about what we have not, in fact, directly seen.

    In other words, man's observation does not determine events in Nature, as Einstein seemed to conclude from Bohr's remarks on the subject. All Bohr was saying is that "observations" of nature must all eventually be cast into human language in order to be communicated successfully to other human beings. At the same time, Bohr seems painfully aware that one cannot legitimately speak with authority about things one has never seen directly.

    And nothing in the quantum world can be seen "directly." Its functioning ever goes on below the threshold of direct human awareness. If humans could be aware of this at all, it could only be at a sub- or un-conscious level. [And that problem is beyond the scope of the present writing.]

    Here's the "big picture" problem, as I see it: Absolutely everything at the physical level that exists in God's Creation obtains its material, physical basis out of the universal quantum field....

    I gather that it is the constant, on-going collaboration between this field and the Logos that creates and continuously maintains the Creation that God made in the Beginning.

    As Isaac Newton put it, God is not only Creator of everything that exists, but He also engages directly in the world of His making, "from time to time," as needed.

    Newton's model of the universe was a mechanical one. Because he knew that mechanical things, by their very nature, will accumulate "errors" over time that affect the performance of the machine, God would have to intervene, as needed, to set matters aright again....

    To Newton, God is eternally "the Lord of Life, with His creatures." His modus of communication with the Creation He made in the Beginning Newton designated as the sensorium Dei.... Which, to me, strikes as having a sort of universal "field-like" nature, all by itself....

    Just some musings, my dear brother in Christ. Thank you ever so much for inspiring them!

  • Itís time for evangelicals to come out for evolution

    06/25/2014 9:44:50 AM PDT · 166 of 199
    betty boop to TXnMA; Alamo-Girl; SeekAndFind; metmom; marron; hosepipe; xzins; YHAOS; MHGinTN
    I respectfully submit that, for our purposes (unless discussing Darwinism, per se) we restrict discussions of the progress of God's universe (both physical and biological) to the use of the term, "development", as opposed to "evolution"...

    I so agree — "evolution" has acquired so much foolish baggage by now that it's difficult to think of the term absent the presuppositions of a purely material or physical universe, which "mutates" randomly in space and time, with the help of "natural selection." [I wonder: What exactly is the definition of "natural selection?" I mean, exactly who or what is doing the "selecting?"]

    If the universe were so — purely physical and essentially mechanical in its operations — then "evolution" might make some sense. But it seems very plain to me that no merely physical description of the universe can possibly account for what is in the real world of human observation and experience. Though one cannot measure intangibles — e.g., life, mind, consciousness — this is no proof that they do not exist. Darwin's evolution is totally silent about such things.

    Dear brother in Christ, you propose "development" as the better word to describe the cosmic process, which has a Beginning in God's Word, and an Ending in His Final Judgment. That is, the Creation has a first cause and a final cause which science is largely blind to. You wrote:

    By "development", I mean orderly progression, controlled by Divine (largely mathematical) rules, and managed, as required, via direct intervention by our Creator.

    IOW, I view "evolution" as chaotically stumbling and bumbling "happenstance" — versus "development" — which is as precisely controlled as are the industrial processes....

    "Happenstance" vs. "development" — a most useful contrast! If everything's an "accident," then how can anything actually BE or MEAN anything? "Development," on the other hand, implies both mind and will at work in the achievement of purposes and goals. Human beings do this sort of thing all day long: This is both an epistemological and empirical fact. How can science leave this consideration out of its basic presuppositions about the fundamental character of the world without undermining its own fundamental logical position?

    And yet, seemingly, this is what many scientists do. Consciously, even aggressively: As Harvard's Richard Lewontin put it, "we cannot allow the Divine Foot inside the door [of science]." (I classify Lewontin as a metaphysical naturalist and determined atheist.)

    So, count me in on adapting the use of "development," rather than "evolution."

    Or maybe we could speak of "emergence?" The Logos is First to Last, the Alpha–Omega, specifying everything that happens in-between in space and time. From the Beginning it realizes its Purpose.

    And there does seem to be a good deal of mathematics involved in the development of that pattern!

    Thank you so very much, dear brother in Christ, for your illuminating essay/post!

  • Itís time for evangelicals to come out for evolution

    06/19/2014 5:37:48 PM PDT · 96 of 199
    betty boop to SeekAndFind; metmom; Alamo-Girl; marron; hosepipe; xzins; TXnMA; YHAOS; MHGinTN
    According to a recent survey by the Associated Press, 77 percent of people who claim to be born again or evangelical say they have little or no confidence that the universe began 13.8 billion years ago with a big bang. And 76 percent of evangelicals doubt that life on Earth, including human beings, evolved through a process of natural selection.

    But what does this show? That Chuck Queen reads public opinion polls, and is addled enough to believe that somehow they are revelatory of God's Truth? What other explanation of his motive could there be?

    Is he arguing that Christian ministers and priests have to "get hip" and conform their teaching to the current myth du jour, in order for their pews to be filled?

    Jeepers, that advice looks to me like it's completely "bass-ackwards."

    The Christian Church has not survived and thrived for over two thousand years by cutting itself to the size of the currently prevailing public frenzies, which ever pass away....

    Anyhoot, the evolution question is entirely at the root of the current confusion.

    As a Christian, I believe in evolution. But that is not to say I believe in Darwin's evolution theory.

    On the Genesis account, I see God's Creation as laid down "in the Beginning," according to His Word, the Logos, Son of God, as involving a process that unfolds in space and time. That is, a process that evolves — from a First, to a Last Cause.

    The First Cause is God's intention with respect to His Creation, as instantiated according to the Word of the Beginning. [An interesting question: What is the qualitative difference between "Let there be Light!" and the big bang from the singularity that the physical sciences seem to have noticed recently?]

    The Final Cause is God's purpose or goal for having created anything in the first place.

    What evolves in-between the First Cause (divine Creation) and Final Cause (Judgment Day) is human existence and experience, largely of the natural world. "In-between," an on-going implicit cause governs the world of men and nature, precisely in a temporal, that is to say, an "evolutionary" process.

    Evidently, Charles Darwin would have no truck with such ideas. His biological evolution theory has no concept of purposes or goals: There are no first or final causes. Evidently, there is only an "eternal universe" without beginning or end; it just rolls on forever; and everything that happens in it, in the biological realm especially, is merely serendipitous happenstance. Whatever "works" seems to be the criterion of "truth." (Assuming Darwinists care about such a thing.) But Darwin's theory does not address, let alone answer, the question: works for what "truth???" (Or even whose "truth?")

    According to Darwin's theory, everything in the biological world is an accident that, by happenstance, might work out "in a positive direction" for a while. Long enough to breed (with luck) a next generation; who then will face the same sheer pointlessness of existence that their progenitors did.

    "Natural Selection" by means of "Random Mutation" does not compass the identification of purpose in Nature. Yet every actual biological function is a cause seeking the completion of an effect necessary for the existence and maintenance of the total biological organism. This is purposive, goal-oriented behavior that screams of a final cause at work, mediated by at least some minimal form of intelligence.

    In short, to me Darwin's theory is rude, crude and socially unacceptable. But worse, it is totally mindless — both in its methods, and in its presuppositions.

    I would think it is the business of pastors especially to point out this sort of nonsense to their congregants, to remind them constantly that man's theories cannot be the measure of God or of what He wrought; if you want to understand what God wrought, best to start with Genesis.

    Instead, so many of our modern pastors are rolling over and playing dead in the face of "elite opinion."

    Such shepherds are unworthy of their flocks....

    Well I'll put a sock in it for now.

    Thanks for the great post, SeekandFind!

  • Pope Francis At It Again (Comrade Frank)

    06/18/2014 2:14:42 PM PDT · 121 of 146
    betty boop to Alamo-Girl
    Truly, Darwin's theory relies on mindlessness — no first cause, no final cause — serendipitous if the species survives. But in the absence of final cause, how that could be deemed 'progressive' boggles the mind. It's just happenstance.

    So very well put, dearest sister in Christ! Darwin's theory is literally "mindless."

    Thank you so very much for writing!

  • Pope Francis At It Again (Comrade Frank)

    06/17/2014 2:14:44 PM PDT · 59 of 146
    betty boop to xzins; Alamo-Girl; Gamecock; hosepipe; metmom; marron; TXnMA; YHAOS; MHGinTN
    Smith and his compatriots did not believe in the perfectibility of human nature and thought it foolish to build any human institution on the possibility of attaining such perfection. Neither did they believe that human nature was irredeemably corrupt and devoid of virtue.

    I imagine the reason Adam Smith and compatriots disbelieved in the perfectibility of human nature and thought is that they did believe in the constancy and persistence of human nature as an already "given" thing that does not change much, if at all, over time. Human nature represents a universal pattern repeated by every generation of human beings since Day One. As any fair reading of human history and culture readily attests.

    What is most striking to me about Darwinism is its fundamental and absolute denial of human nature as such. Evolution theory stipulates that man is an animal who is like all the other animals. That is, essentially man is "just" a biological entity; thus he does not have a "fixed" nature, but an "evolving" one, like any other other animal, from amoeba and bacteria on up "the food chain"....

    The great leap of faith that Darwin took was that evolution is necessarily "progressive"; that is to say, things are just progressing from a lesser state to a better one — measured according to the criteria of fitness for survival of the species to which man is categorically assigned, not according to any consideration of the natural (not to mention spiritual) requirements of any individual human being. Those main criteria: random mutation and natural selection, as they contribute to fitness for/success in breeding.

    It all seems pretty mindless to me....

    Talk about the grotesque reduction of actual Reality being performed in these mental maneuvers!!

    The cultural leap to Freud — and Marx — was a done deal from that point....

    Thank you so very much for writing, dear brother in Christ!

  • Libertarians Versus Conservatives

    06/16/2014 11:43:30 AM PDT · 196 of 207
    betty boop to hosepipe; Alamo-Girl; xzins; ConservingFreedom; TXnMA; marron; YHAOS; MHGinTN; metmom
    About 1997 or so I had a stoke.... Couldn’t talk for two years.... Actually I could talk BUT the WRONG words would come out. Amazing to me.... I was thinking “some thing?" and when I spoke to others the wrong words came out....

    You may have had a stroke, my dear brother in Christ. But obviously, the "central Knower" of your existence — your "you" — could still discriminate between what was normal, and what abnormal, for you.

    You mentioned that in communications with others, you had no problem communicating in writing. It was only in the speech department that you labored under a handicap, for a while.

    I hope and pray that you have fully recovered from that debility — as seems very clearly to be the case.

    You wrote that the "machine-part" of you was malfunctioning — but not your thoughts. How frustrating that must have been for you!

    Your experience lends credence to my case: There is a "central Knower," a Self, or Soul, which, during our mortal existence, is "in charge" of our thoughts and actions. Normally, a physical body in good health is in good correspondence with this wholly extra-physical principle.

    In poor health, this natural bond of the physical and spiritual might become compromised. What is striking to me is that the "central Knower" is actively aware of the discrepancy....

    Your testimony definitely "adds value" to this discussion, my very dear friend, my brother in Christ!

    with love and HUGS!!! — bb

  • Libertarians Versus Conservatives

    06/16/2014 11:21:30 AM PDT · 195 of 207
    betty boop to MHGinTN; Alamo-Girl; TXnMA; hosepipe; xzins; metmom
    Some folks like to ridicule as their means to avoid thinking outside their boxes.

    I am highly aware of that, dear brother in Christ.

    On the other hand, I never let this consideration stop me from testifying to God's Truth, from bearing Witness to Him.

    The Lord does not "live" in the same "boxes" that we do, being outside of space and time altogether.

    Oh, I so hope you will write again on this subject!

    And am looking forward to hearing from you again soon.

    Never worry about "ridicule." It never matters in the end.

  • Libertarians Versus Conservatives

    06/16/2014 11:15:25 AM PDT · 194 of 207
    betty boop to marron; Alamo-Girl; xzins; ConservingFreedom; TXnMA; hosepipe; YHAOS; MHGinTN; metmom
    Some people see the brain as a computer made of meat. I tend to see it as a wireless router made of meat.

    LOL! I hardly know what to make of a statement like that!

    Are you saying that there is some faculty in "meat" that is capable of exchanging signals with/from "the Cloud" of "wireless" transmissions, and which can act in response to such signals???

    If so, I think that is probably pretty likely....

    Thank you ever so much for writing, dear brother in Christ!

  • Libertarians Versus Conservatives

    06/16/2014 10:42:11 AM PDT · 192 of 207
    betty boop to Alamo-Girl; marron; hosepipe; TXnMA; YHAOS; metmom; xzins; MHGinTN; ConservingFreedom
    Memory is a pregnant part — because what is being accessed as memory may actually entail ethics, plans, principles and so on.

    Indeed! Yet each of these things is intangible, immaterial, non-phenomenal, and thus utterly beyond the reach of "instrumental reason" — the reason which knows "by a discursive process of moving from one thing to another," as Thomas Aquinas put it. This is the type of reason employed by the scientific method, which in its turn is based on direct observation and measurement.

    But one cannot "directly observe" or "measure" things which are intangible, immaterial, non-phenomenal.... This species of causes can be seen only in their effects, which are observable, and thus can legitimately be classified as "phenomenal." [The philosophical Pragmatist William James in particular drew this distinction.]

    Therefore, it seems to me that it is illegitimate to conclude that the sheer irreducibility of "ethics, plans, principles and so on" to the criteria of instrumental reason is proof of their non-existence. All this can tell me is that the scientific method is a tool that operates only within a limited domain of actual human experience.

    All of which might strike one as so much wool-gathering. But where the "rubber really hits the road" is in the field of artificial intelligence studies. [Not to mention artificial life studies, which are ongoing.]

    Folks engaged in the AI project believe they can fully implement the structures of human intelligence into a comprehensive model described ultimately in terms of mathematics. Such a model must faithfully mimic and reproduce all the elements of human thought in such a manner that any machine programmed with this information will become capable of autonomous reasoning ability.

    Such a model was famously tried in the early part of the Twentieth Century — when David Hilbert's project of "reducing" mathematical language to its syntactical component only crashed and burned.

    He, like Bertrand Russell, realized that human languages — especially the universal language of mathematics based in Number Theory — contained certain elements that seem to have an axiomatic character. That is to say, such items could not be separated into lesser parts, by which they in turn may be explained. Russell called these elements "impredicativities," and evidently detested them because they could not be analyzed into lesser parts that could be straightforwardly modeled in "digital" form — i.e., into simple "Yes/No," "True/False," "0/1" statements.

    What Hilbert was trying to do, it seems, was to show that the semantical aspect of mathematical language could be fully captured and recapitulated in terms of the operations of syntax alone.

    Hilbert's project utterly failed. And if there could be any doubt about that, along came the world-class mathematician Kurt Gödel — who articulated the Incompleteness Theorem — that finally dispositively laid the question to rest.

    So it seems the AI guys must struggle to get around the limitations that impose themselves anytime one is trying to translate an "analog" situation into a "digital" one — or at least a "digitally-friendly" one. Centrally, their models must somehow accommodate the idea of a knowing self; but they have no valid conceptual way or means to do that if they insist on seeing language only in terms of syntax alone....

    MEANING does not derive from syntax; syntax is just the "rules of the road" of any given language, especially including mathematics here. MEANING can only be conveyed in terms of semantics (or semiotics). To try to eradicate semantics from human language and discourse is to try to make the world of human experience and history absolutely senseless.

    Thank you so very much, dearest sister in Christ, for your as ever astute observations!

  • Libertarians Versus Conservatives

    06/14/2014 12:42:35 PM PDT · 187 of 207
    betty boop to xzins; ConservingFreedom; Alamo-Girl; TXnMA; hosepipe; marron; YHAOS; MHGinTN; metmom
    There is only one great "I AM", but each of us has an 'I am", a sense of self, a spirit. It is this which is eternal, along with the soul (life force), those two not being easily 'divided asunder'.

    So beautifully said, dear brother in Christ!

    Indeed, it stands to reason: As each unique individual human person is made imago Dei, in the image of God — I AM — we are the "lower-case version" of our Source, our Creator....

    And indeed, one cannot "divide asunder" what is eternal in us from what is the living force of our mortal, temporal existence; or as the Greeks might say, our "form" cannot be separated from the Ground of our mortal Existence, for both have the same Source: Pure, divine (meaning: having an extra-cosmic origin) Being. Our existence is a "participation" in that Being. Otherwise, we mortals would not exist.

    Plato defined this Being as the God Beyond. The "Beyond" part Plato attributed at least in part to a profound limitation of the human nous — reason, intelligence, mind — in comparison with eternally divine Nous, who, through persuasion, manages to form a single living, splendidly articulated Cosmos. Populated by men — the microCosmos.

    Christ had not yet come during Plato's lifetime. It seems definite to me that, with the Incarnation and Sacrifice, Plato's "God Beyond the Cosmos" was drawn into the spheres of human history, of human knowledge, of human salvation.

    With the Coming of Christ, God was no longer "Beyond" — He was Emmanuel — "God with us."

    All thanks and glory be to God!

    Thank you so very much for sharing your splendid observations, xzins, my dear brother in Christ!

  • Libertarians Versus Conservatives

    06/14/2014 11:49:01 AM PDT · 185 of 207
    betty boop to Alamo-Girl; TXnMA; xzins; hosepipe; ConservingFreedom; marron; metmom; YHAOS; MHGinTN
    It is disturbing that so many people actually see the mind as no more than the physical brain.

    Indeed, dearest sister in Christ.

    But this attitude is nuts. For if the mind is nothing more than the physical brain, the obvious next question is: Who says so? This would appear to be an opinion. If it is, then whose opinion is it? [Not to mention how would he defend it?]

    Plus there is the attendant physical problem of how one orients a non-physical, immaterial, self-conscious "I" into the paradigm of material Nature, in this case expressing as a human brain, a physical entity.

    Probably such observations seem pretty nutz.

    Still, I wonder how many people of Reason actually take the time to think about thinking itself.

    That is, to discover what are the basic elements of thought itself, and how do they interrelate? What is involved in an analytical process? And what involved in a contemplative one?

    On this question, I got some really good clues from a couple of sources who could not be more unalike in their personal dispositions: the great American psychologist and Pragmatist philosopher, William James (1842–1910); and Antonio Rosmini, S.J., recently beatified by the Church [November 2011 IIRC].

    Regarding Rosmini, the Stanford Encyclopedia relates the following:

    Antonio Rosmini (1797–1855), Italian priest, philosopher, theologian and patriot, and founder of a religious congregation, aimed principally in his philosophical work at re-addressing the balance between reason and religion which had largely been lost as a result of the Enlightenment.

    Whats is fascinating to me is that, on my reading, the two men came up with more-or-less the same findings, regarding what might be called the structure of the mind, of human intellection.

    Both came up with the same three ingredients (so to speak): (1) the self-conscious "I", which orchestrates and mediates the thought process; (2) sensory perception (and its concomitant non-sensory apperception, as reflected at the "I" level; and (3) memory (oh my, such a pregnant topic!).

    Neither man has yet spoken of a "brain" here.

    And I have no reason to believe either man doubted that the mind "uses" a brain to effect its purposes.

    Then again, this sort of "stuff" isn't everybody's "cup of tea." I expect cricket conditions will soon obtain ( :^) )....

    Thank you so very much for writing, dearest sister in Christ!

  • Libertarians Versus Conservatives

    06/12/2014 2:03:51 PM PDT · 180 of 207
    betty boop to ConservingFreedom
    Whether one's reasoning brain is one's core or not, stopping it working upon reading a certain word seems like a bad policy.

    But nobody suggested that reading a certain word in a certain way kicks off uncontrollable Pavlovian ( or magical) responses in some/all human beings. [Certainly not I — that was your implication it seems.]

    Otherwise what am I to make of your reference to "bad policy?" To the contrary, "good policy," I suppose, would consist of pacifying the people, who are systematically to be "encouraged" to conform with the "policy" preferences of whatever riff-raff the people were duped into electing in the fist place.

    Anyhoot, to me it seems that "stopping [the brain's] working upon reading a certain word" is more like "machine thinking" — the execution of a program — than it is like how human beings actually think. There is autonomy there that no program could ever capture....

    Or so it seems to me. FWIW

    Thanks ever so much for your reply!

  • Libertarians Versus Conservatives

    06/12/2014 1:40:15 PM PDT · 178 of 207
    betty boop to ConservingFreedom
    Nope — nor as a libertarian.

    Thank you for your helpful (?) response/reply.

    Got anything to add???

  • Why the tea party should favor immigration

    06/12/2014 12:12:30 PM PDT · 141 of 142
    betty boop to marron
    Immigration policy should always serve the interests of citizens first and foremost.

    If this isn't obvious to people, then we might just as well have a "fire sale" of the United States of America....

    Has common sense lost its influence on people?

    Thank you for your trenchant remarks, dear marron!

  • Libertarians Versus Conservatives

    06/12/2014 12:09:34 PM PDT · 171 of 207
    betty boop to ConservingFreedom; Alamo-Girl; TXnMA; hosepipe; marron; YHAOS; MHGinTN; metmom; xzins
    There's a good reason to stop your brain working?

    Yep. If all it's doing is processing a program, you aren't even thinking at all anymore. So your brain is just spinning its wheels ... so give it a rest....

    My description probably strikes you as being "as clear as mud." To try for perspective, so to gain clarity, let me quote from Thomas Aquinas:

    Intellect and reason are different according to their different ways of knowing; because the intellect knows by simple intuition, while reason knows by a discursive process of moving from one thing to another. — Summa Theologiae 1:1.

    Dear ConservingFreedom, you might ask: What is this "simple intuition," which Thomas Aquinas clearly distinguishes as separate and/or separable from "reason?"

    Which leads me to another question: What is the seat, or essential core, of the human person? Is it to be found in his brain? Or in his heart?

    Such a silly question — in an age that increasingly is inclined to regard the heart as a "pump," and the brain as a "computer."

    And the human being as a "meat machine" — yet a meat machine that somehow progressively evolves into an "ever-better" meat machine....

    According to what standard or criterion of truth this "progress" can be judged, we are never told.

    I sense you may self-describe as a Libertarian. The great British Empiricist philosopher, John Locke, is probably the spiritual father of Libertarianism. He is widely credited as having been the prime motivating spirit behind the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Then there is Thomas Paine, whose Common Sense rocked the Colonies in the run-up to the Revolution. (Unfortunately later works suggested the guy was mentally unbalanced, and had Marxist proclivities....) And then, of course, there was Ayn Rand.

    For many years I have been trying to forgive Ayn Rand for her meretricious, grotesque treatment of certain great classical philosophers. WRT Plato and Aristotle, I daresay the woman never understood a word that either man ever wrote.

    I'm still working on it....

    Much more to say. But must run (and give you a break) for now. Thank you so much for writing, ConservingFreedom!

  • Libertarians Versus Conservatives

    06/11/2014 3:52:26 PM PDT · 163 of 207
    betty boop to DManA
    Or not.

    That doesn't tell me much.

  • Libertarians Versus Conservatives

    06/11/2014 2:24:46 PM PDT · 160 of 207
    betty boop to DManA
    For half of Freepers, the word “libertarian” goes in eyeballs, the brain stops working.

    With good reason.

    Libertarians ever go so "by the book," that they are forever stuck working at one remove from actual reality....

  • Why the tea party should favor immigration

    06/11/2014 2:18:23 PM PDT · 118 of 142
    betty boop to illiac; Alamo-Girl; xzins; TXnMA; hosepipe; metmom; YHAOS; MHGinTN; marron
    Putting lipstick on a pig doesn't make it smell any better....

    No thank you very much.

  • Pope: Half-hearted Catholics aren't really Catholics at all

    06/07/2014 9:27:49 AM PDT · 125 of 335
    betty boop to xzins; YHAOS; NYer; Alamo-Girl; TXnMA; hosepipe; marron; metmom; MHGinTN; Jacquerie; CottShop
    The Spirit's lesson is that a loveless church, no matter how rightly they can enunciate their doctrine, is not a church that even needs a candlestick. Candlesticks are used to lift up the light to spread more light. If there is no light, then what's the use of the candlestick? Moreover, if there's no light possible there, then it is as the pope says, not really Christian at all.

    LOLOL re: the "church's Mary Kay Representative!" (Or maybe I should weep instead. Sigh....)

    I am reminded of Eric Voegelin's characterization of the German Church in the run-up to Hitler's near total co-optation of it: The churches had become "social clubs for like-minded families." Read: Utterly abandoned by the Holy Spirit, by the Light and Grace of God.

    Dear brother in Christ, what a marvelous essay/post you have written here! So beautiful, so just!

    Thank you!

  • Pope: Half-hearted Catholics aren't really Catholics at all

    06/07/2014 8:22:40 AM PDT · 120 of 335
    betty boop to YHAOS; NYer; Alamo-Girl; TXnMA; hosepipe; marron; metmom; MHGinTN; Jacquerie; CottShop; xzins; ...
    ...Pope Francis described these Christians as “rigid”, because “they don’t have the freedom that the Holy Spirit bestows."

    Yes, that blessed freedom, truly a gift of the Holy Spirit....

    A robot like Nancy Pelosi just doesn't get it.

    Thank you dear NYer for posting this splendid article. And thank you, dear YHAOS for the ping.

  • A Christian without the Church is purely idealistic, Pope says

    05/30/2014 1:59:45 PM PDT · 263 of 270
    betty boop to hosepipe; Alamo-Girl
    Thank you oh so very much, dear brother 'pipe, for sending me a link that worked!

    Jackie Evancho is simply amazing. I notice she is using more vibrato than she did when she was younger. What a lovely, pure sound! And whatta vocal range!!! Plus such sensitivity to and deep empathy with her "subject matter." She seems wise beyond her years.

    Her rendition of the Our Father is a veritable blessing from God, conferred upon His Beloved....

    May God ever bless Jackie Evancho!!! — and you, dear brother in Christ!

  • A Christian without the Church is purely idealistic, Pope says

    05/30/2014 1:45:15 PM PDT · 262 of 270
    betty boop to TXnMA; Alamo-Girl; spirited irish; hosepipe; marron; metmom
    Without anisotropy we would not exist.
    Without
    isotropy we could not survive...

    What a wonderful insight, dear brother in Christ!

    You wrote:

    All four [Revelations], since they are of God, have always been in agreement. Rather, it is our understanding that has finally reached the point where we can see, with clarity, their convergence into harmony.

    Another wonderful insight, dear brother in Christ!

    I daresay the Holy Spirit has been at work with you.

    Thank you ever so much, TXnMA, for your outstanding essay/post!