Plus c’a change, plus c’e la meme chose May 24, 2012Posted by Administrator in Catholicism, Cultural Pessimism, Faith, Idiots, Liberal Hypocrisy, Liberal self-loathing, MSM, Politics.
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Liberty junkies everywhere ought to be celebrating the fact that the Roman Catholic Church here in the US is sticking it to the GodKing and his fawning sycophant, Kathleen Sebelius, in suing over the HHS mandate. 12 separate lawsuits by over 40 different Catholic identities. Awesome. And more awesome, Notre Dame (NOTRE DAME!!!!) is on the list of litigants. That same Notre Dame that invited the GodKing to be commencement speaker in the recent past. The Democratic Party, I am sure, is muttering in its lattes about this, reassuring themselves that there is no way these suits can succeed; but also knowing deep down that such rationalizations are just that.
But, despite the fact that this represents the largest religious lawsuit in the history of the nation, there is much outrage in the Catholic Blogosphere that the MSM, in its Full Metal Tankage for its anointed GodKing, has said virtually nothing on the subject. (See here for an initial look at this as well as links to outside sources).
Really, is anyone truly surprised?
Facebook is such a. . .place. Some wonderful stuff happens, and some dreadful stuff. But what is at once delightful and utterly maddening are the peeks one gets into the minds of others, and the stunning lack of thought and insight that often may be found there.
The Facebook status of a woman about my age, who also happens to be a church-going Catholic, also like me:
Just because someone has a different opinion than yours doesn’t mean they’re ignorant or stupid. Moral issues are a matter of personal choice, and we are all entitled to our beliefs. Respect mine, and I will respect yours. Just sayin’.
This status then proceeds to be “liked” by 20 other people (a rather high number for the circles we keep on FB), including 2 other “faithful” Catholics.
Many of you, especially anyone out Plonk mining, will say that the surface nonsense posited by the status above is either harmless, or a fine summation of what passes for critical thought in regard to social interaction and the origins of moral strictures. And if you’re one of the 225 million lemmings with the cortical capacity of an artichoke here in the US, I guess that at least represents a form of consistency. And if it came from the postings of a callow, 17 year-old idealist, I at least could then be patient. To quote Churchill: “To be 17 and a conservative is to have no heart. To be 37 and a liberal is to have no brain.”
But dammit all, the woman who posted this (who’s past 37) and the two other deadheads (also past 37) who endorse this are Catholics, and they know better. But, much to my rage -as I teach a class on Christian Morality- they wimp out and go for the flabby, internally inconsistent and flat-out wrong, default-current-vogue belief that morality is entirely relative.
Look at what she said: “Morality is a matter of personal choice.” That is utter bullshit that won’t stand 45 seconds of real scrutiny. Don’t think so? Try stealing her stereo. She’ll then claim that I can’t do that.
“But I can. My personal morals state that all property is public property. What is yours is mine, so I can use it anytime I want. You just said that morality is a personal choice. OK. I choose to believe all property is public. AND you have to respect that. You said so yourself.”
At which point, she’ll make an appeal to higher authority, if for no other reason than our “moralties” are in conflict. (And we aren’t really talking about moralities, but incredible vague and effectively meaningless ethical structures) Which is fine. I can then point out that morality is not personal, but stems from something higher than just me and you, as you are now making an appeal outside of us for what is right and wrong. What that thing is leads to further debate, true enough, though it is undeniable that her position is utterly untenable and meaningless. So, for God’s sake, can we please get away from such flabby, useless pablum? That statement is pathetic, and all the more so in that it came from a Catholic woman, college educated, who for-the-love-of-Christ OUGHT TO KNOW BETTER!!
Obama announces endorsement of gay marriage; religious conservatives outraged ocean is wet May 10, 2012Posted by Administrator in Cultural Pessimism, Family, Idiots, Liberal Hypocrisy, Liberal self-loathing, Politics.
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I mean, honestly. Is anyone surprised about GodKing’s announcement? Anyone?
Oh God King, Thy Name is Irony May 9, 2012Posted by Administrator in Humor, Idiots, Liberal Hypocrisy, Liberal self-loathing, Politics.
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Just read it. Do-it-yourself irony.
Dogs v. Wolves May 7, 2012Posted by Administrator in Education, Mechanistic Relativism, Science.
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The Scientific American examines a study on the social adaptation differences between dogs and wolves. The question being asked is this: Are social adaptations made by the species a function of genetics (nature) or environmental learning (nurture).
Researchers took two cohorts of dogs and wolves at four to six days after birth, and had them hand-raised by humans. The human “parents” had a protocol to follow that insured the subject animals were fed, carried and cared for by “parents”, and were regularly exposed to new humans to acclimate them to the presence of them.
Then at six weeks, a series of experiments were run to determine if, given a situation where interaction with a human were advantageous to the subject animals:
In one simple task, a plate of food was presented to the wolf pups (at 9 weeks) or to the dog puppies (both at 5 weeks and at 9 weeks). However, the food was inaccessible to the animals; human help would be required to access it. The trick to getting the food was simple: all the animals had to do was make eye contact with the experimenter, and he or she would reward the dog with the food from the plate. Initially, all the animals attempted in vain to reach the food. However, by the second minute of testing, dogs began to look towards the humans. This increased over time and by the fourth minute there was a statistical difference. Dogs were more likely to initiate eye contact with the human experimenter than the wolves were. This is no small feat; initiating eye contact with the experimenter requires that the animal refocus its attention from the food to the human. Not only did the wolf pups not spontaneously initiate eye contact with the human experimenter, but they also failed to learn that eye contact was the key to solving their problem.
(The table in the original article shows quite clearly the difference. This was not a mere statistical significance. There is no question there is a difference between species.)
The long and the short of this is that it seems there is a genetic difference in social interactions. Wolves will NOT interact with humans, while dogs will.
My one beef with this article is this: “In one sense, this is a remarkable example of tool use.” And of course, the title of the article refers to this as well, when in fact this study says NOTHING about tool use, but draws the distinction between social preferences in wolves and dogs. The term tool use is fraught with political intrigue. Goes against that idea, once again, that humans are unique. I cannot see dogs viewing us as “tools”. A tool is a passive object, capable of nothing on its own till activated by the user. (Think of ANY workshop tool, or the twigs chimps use to prize termites out of their mounds. Without the animated force of the tool user, the tool just sits there.). So, to view humans as tools for dogs to use is, in my mind, a gross misuse of the term.
This is damned funny. May 4, 2012Posted by Administrator in Education, Humor.
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What I am often wanting to say to my boss.
Screw it. Can’t figure out how to import a GIF. So, here’s the link to it.
A Pause in Global Warming Thought: May 4, 2012Posted by Administrator in Cultural Pessimism, Global Warming.
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Depiction of average Arctic temperature since 0 AD.
does give one cause for pause. That sudden spike at the end of the graph shows cause for concern IF: the “baseline” data are accurate. Now, I retain a bit of skepticism there, and consequently still maintain we cannot know for sure. But again, if that baseline data are correct, a moment of “hmmmmm. . ” is certainly called for.
A Minor Aside May 2, 2012Posted by Administrator in atheism, Idiots, Know Thine Enemy, Liberal Hypocrisy, Liberal self-loathing, Pharyngulism.
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It’s been such awhile since I’ve fiddled on here. I see that WordPress has expanded its stat cruncher, so I now can see where my page views have been coming from.
The all time winner? PZ Myers’ pestiferous Pharyngula!!!
Dear plonk miners: I gave up Herr Doktor Myers’ blog a long time ago. I hear second hand that he has not changed, and visited today very briefly to see if I’m still in the dungeon. Amazingly, I am, but only for daring to combat the Sycophantic Echo Chamber Horde with something different than the Party Line. I will not be taking on Herr Doktor here, so save your fingers and your limited intellects. Stick with what you know and listen to so well in Herr Doktor’s Echo Chamber.
On When a Liberal Media Bias Might be a Good Thing for the Church and Prove the Existence of God, to Boot. April 30, 2012Posted by Administrator in Apologetics, atheism, Catholicism, Cultural Pessimism, Idiots, Liberal Hypocrisy, Liberal self-loathing.
Perhaps you’ve heard about this story. I’ll freely confess, when I first saw it, I thought; “Damned liberal media. Taking it to the Church again.” And then I thought, “You’d not hear about this in terms of such high outrage if it had been a simple public figure. Heck, for most people, you would not hear about it at all. Stop picking on the Church, for heaven’s sake.” You simply cannot help yourself with that holier-than-thou mentality when it comes to priests.
And I also thought, “That priest is an idiot, and an incompetent one at that, if for no other reason than he didn’t actually proof his PowerPoint before his meeting.” I hold no brief for saying a man is condemned for porn, gay or otherwise. Just as I hold no brief for a man to be condemned for drunkenness, gambling or serial infidelity. We all have our shortcomings, yes even the priests. ALL of these things are bad, evil acts. They do not then translate the person into an evil person.
Love the sinner, hate the sin, you know.
But then I thought a bit more on that. That priest showed that material at a public meeting. For First Communicants. Second graders!! He deserves to be taken out to the shed for that.
And not just that. But also for being a priest.
I’ve often concurred with Mark Shea’s tongue-in-cheek assertion that if we allowed educators to marry, then abuse would not happen. Waitaminnit. . . And his point still holds. But I’ve used that as a larger cudgel, to object to the media using a double-standard with us. They hit educators on pedophilia, but they REALLY nail the Church on it.
And this time it hit me.
The media really should hit us harder. They really should.
Let me repeat that: The media is correct in hitting the Catholic Church harder on pedophilia than hitting other organizations. And here’s why:
We are the keepers of the guttering flame of Truth. We are the heirs to those Irish monks on the west coast of Britain who kept the flame of Antiquity’s wisdom while Europe was convulsed with pagan lawlessness. In short, WE KNOW BETTER. And the press knows this instinctively, so they beat us like a gong every time we veer from the path.
Are they delighting in our errors? Of course. Are they drooling, microcephalic hypocrites? Of course. BUT THEY ARE CORRECT.
But here’s the really wonderful thing: WHY does the press react as it does? We keep hearing the message that Christianity is outdated, passe, meaningless. We ought to pay it no mind.
But if it is really that meaningless, then the peccadilloes of erring priests such as the unfortunate mentioned above should be no cause for concern. “Pay that fool no mind, modern thinker. He’s going the way of the dodo.” If it’s that meaningless, why does the Dawkins/Harris/Dennett/Myers Kraken react so violently to our little turns? Why the vociferous, violent chortles of glee at yet another wayward priest? If we’re marginalized, why bother? If we’re meaningless, why does Dan Savage waste so much energy on us?
Deep down at the core, they know there is something to us. We have the truth, they know it, and they hate us for it. But in that moment comes proof of the Moral Argument.
If we’re protecting an outdated morality, then why the outrage when we violate it? We ought to be welcomed by the Saturnalians as finally agreeing with them. But they know; they grasp the Absolute. They help prove that Moral Realities exist, and from that rather easily comes the idea that a Creator of those Realities must therefore also exist.
3.5 year hiatus over? April 20, 2012Posted by Administrator in Personal.
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For numerous reasons, I may be getting back into this, due to the need to write, and to write in a forum that isn’t automatically public. Musings on Facebook and Twitter may be forthcoming, including one fascinating rant I received from an ex-student, whose hostility was surprising and upsetting.