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The Prophet Chesterton on the Faith of Atheists December 12, 2008

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Atheism is, I suppose, the supreme example of a simple faith. The man says there is no God; if he really says it in his heart, he is a certain sort of man so designated in Scripture. But, anyhow, when he has said it, he has said it; and there seems to be no more to be said. The conversation seems likely to languish.

The truth is that the atmosphere of excitement, by which the atheist lived, was an atmosphere of thrilled and shuddering theism, and not of atheism at all; it was an atmosphere of defiance and not of denial. Irreverence is a very servile parasite of reverence; and has starved with its starving lord. After this first fuss about the merely aesthetic effect of blasphemy, the whole thing vanishes into its own void. If there were not God, there would be no atheists.

-G.K. Chesterton, Where All Roads Lead

Been saying all along that the Myers/Dennett/Harris/Dawkins Hydra is faith-based.  Seems that ol’ Gilbert Keith was -as usual- way ahead of the curve on this topic.

Mark Shea’s Blasts on PZ UPDATED July 16, 2008

Posted by Administrator in atheism, Blogging, Catholicism, Creepiness, Cultural Pessimism, Idiots, Liberal Hypocrisy, Liberal self-loathing, Pharyngulism, Smart People.
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Oh my. Lovely.

You get the feeling that they are genuinely surprised to find that Catholics are attaching far more importance to the descration of the Eucharist than, say, the desecration of a Rosary. They seem to have reeled a bit at the volcanic response. Now they are getting their footing and realizing this *really* ticks off Catholics and so, like eight year olds, they are enjoying being in (they think) the position of saying, “Take one step closer and I’ll torture your cat!”

I won’t mince words. Myers is an evil man. (I won’t go that far, but he is an asshat of the first water and engaging in evil acts.-ed) And as evil men, particularly evil intellectuals, tend to be, he is also a mad man as are most of his acolytes and followers. One need only read Pharyngula to know this. Not all atheists are driven mad by their atheism. Many are quite respectable human beings. But those who make it their raison d’etre tend to be made crazy by it. That’s the tragedy of sins of the intellect. They don’t just make you stupid. If you persist in them, and particularly if you persist in them to this degree, they make you crazy.

(snip)

The hatred breeds lies like, “I’m just exercising freedom of expression”.

No. You are committing theft, vandalism, and incitement.

Or else you lie and say, “Unless Catholics can prove the Eucharist is actually the Body and Blood of Christ and not a worthless cracker, I’m just guilty of being rude.”

No. Catholics are under no obligation to prove that in order to show that you are guilty of theft, vandalism and incitement.

(snip)
Yet another demented lie to cover up your naked act of aggression is to play the victim:

It’s just so darned weird that they’re demanding that I offer this respect to a symbol that means nothing to me.

The answer to this lie is that *nobody* is demanding Myers offer respect to the Eucharist. He’s blasphemed the Eucharist on his blog off and on since forever. Catholics are free to disagree with him, just has he is free to disagree with them. That’s the first amendment in action and I, for one, am glad to live in the land that is not Canada where even demented professors whose careers are stuck in Wilbur Weed Boxtop Diploma Mill can have a voice in the public square, if only to serve as a warning to normal people of what hatred of God can do to the human mind.

(snip)

Myers’ logic is that of Kristallnacht, punish all Catholics everywhere with theft, vandalism and incitement because of the (alleged) actions of a couple.

OoohWEE!! Read it all. Wonderful.

ALSO, a a great round-up at The Daily Kraken.

Kevin Jones also thinks PZ is an asshat and deserves reprimand, at least.

UPDATE: Somewhat interesting combox exchange at Mark’s with some of the more lucid Pharyngulites.

It is instructive to note that even these calmer people toss out “challenging” questions -as if no one has ever thought of them before- and are then directed to consult proper Gospel commentaries.  And guess what?  All they do is re-phrase the question, and suggest that our lack of actual response indicates sure evidence that the Church is bogus.

The Rumble I would pay to see. . . April 7, 2008

Posted by Administrator in Blogging, Pandamansanity, Pro-Life, Smart People.
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. . .would have the generally awesome Rachel Lucas in one corner and the pestiferous, pathological Amanda Marcotte in the other.  I really think Lucas would -in some combination- beat the living physical shit out of Marcotte and destroy Marcotte’s arguments.

Couldn’t say which would come first, though.

Lucas on abortion:

But the second reason I see abortion as anathema to how I want to live my life shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s read this site for long: personal responsibility. To me, the vast majority of abortions (in the U.S., that’s all I’m talking about here) are a direct result of an utter failure to behave in a rational, responsible, thoughtful fashion.

If you don’t want to be pregnant, then don’t get pregnant.

(snip)

a whole LOT of abortions are done on grown women who are not in poverty, who weren’t raped, and who have no medical contraindications to pregnancy. They just don’t want to be pregnant.

(snip)

I had a college friend who told me that the reason she was having her SECOND abortion was because the pill was too much of a pain in the ass to take every day at the same time. So, abortions aren’t a pain in the ass? Is that a fact? Going to a doctor, getting sedated and anesthetized, getting up on a table, having that doctor put a vacuum into your uterus to suck out everything inside, and enduring physical pain for hours or days afterward, is easier than shoving a pill in your mouth every day at the same time? Easier than making your man wear a condom covered in spermicide while you use a diaphragm? A monkey could do it. I told her that. She said, “Actually, yes, I’d rather get an abortion once a year than take the pill every day.” There are people who simply don’t think abortion is any different from birth control.

And then. there’s this:

You have to give up the idea that anyone who’s opposed to abortion is just being an oppressive misogynist dickhead because that is patently untrue in most cases. Like I said about Planned Parenthood, only the most obnoxious assholes make the news. Most pro-lifers, when it comes down it, are simply horrified at the idea of destroying a baby, even if it is inside a woman who doesn’t want it. And yeah, you can say, “Well then they should be lining up to adopt those babies!” My answer to that is, bullshit. It’s not their fault the unwanted baby exists in the first place. Just because someone doesn’t want a baby to die, which is a perfectly acceptable way to feel, doesn’t mean they should feel obligated to raise that baby as their own.

Now, Rachel is a fan of Planned Parenthood -as far as contraception goes- and she and I would part ways in terms of agreement at that point.  But dammit, she’srational, so much moreso where Marcotte is just rigidly crazy in her berserk, mondo 3rd-wave feminism.

Lenten meditation February 21, 2008

Posted by Administrator in Blogging, Catholicism, Requiscat in Pacem, Smart People.
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via The Anchoress.

My wife is not of the blogging sort, but being a devoted Catholic, I have directed her to The Anchoress as she is one of the rare few on the Internet that has her head on straight with regards to almost everything (save her fondness for the Yankees).

Her meditation provided for today has two points that I wished to catalog here:  One is her quote from St. John of the Cross:

In order to arrive at having pleasure in everything, Desire to have pleasure in nothing.
In order to arrive at possessing everything, Desire to possess nothing.
In order to arrive at being everything, Desire to be nothing.
In order to arrive at knowing everything, Desire to know nothing.

– — St. John of the Cross, Ascent of Mount Carmel, book I chapter 13, section 11

The second is the video meditation upon graveyards that she attached to it.  The images are striking, but when combined with An Ending (Ascent) from Brian Eno’s seminal ambient work, Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks it makes for a breathtaking and vivid visual meditation.

I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Kraken, meet Mark Shea February 14, 2008

Posted by Administrator in atheism, Idiots, Smart People.
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The Myers/Dennett/Dawkins multi-headed, no-brained hydra has no answer for this:

Atheism loves to talk about how fearful Christianity is. In reality, the element of fear in Christianity is quite small in lived experience. Listen to the average prayer and it is not about pleading with God to spare the believer, but about thanking God for this and that blessing. The impulse to give thanks is the real undercurrent of human existence. That’s why the central act of the Christian faith is “eucharist” (thanksgiving). The atheist must, by force of his own inhuman philosophy, set himself dead against the impulse. And the stronger the impulse becomes, the more vociferous the atheist must be in emphasizing all his reasons for refusing to give thanks. He must talk endlessly about all the bad things that happen in the world. He must ridicule the impulse of gratitude. He must, in short, make a pain in the ass of himself, all while congratulating himself that he is being a “realist”. A realist who misses about 90% of reality because he cannot join in the common human activity of gratitude for the goodness of life.

Shea is so pithy and spot-on.  A great antidote for brainless, self-serving atheist idiocy.

The Final Word on the (supposed) Heterodoxy of Harry Potter September 13, 2007

Posted by Administrator in Apologetics, Blogging, Education, Smart People.
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I had considered at one point sounding off on this. Michael O’Brien -a writer whose fiction, most notably Father Elijah I’ve greatly admired- has written at length, for many years, about the evils purportedly found within the Harry Potter novels. Frankly, I always felt that he was straining at a gnat, or better yet, a ghost. Contemplated writing a rebuttal in my usual half-assed fashion. There is a problem, however.

I’ve never actually read the series.

It has captivated my children, and I have heard my oldest son read portions aloud to his younger siblings; and I confess that the storyline as presented in his readings and the movies is intriguing.

But when I tried to read Sorcerer’s Stone at the height of the initial frenzy all these years ago, I simply couldn’t find my way past JK Rowling’s prose. It bored the hell out of me. Her plotting was fine, her characterizations adequate. But her sentence structure, paragraphing and overall pacing bored. Me. Stupid.

Which may say more about my shortcomings as a bibliophile than it does about her’s as an author.

All that said, I have been long a supporter of the phenomenon, and I applaud her work.

Fortunately, the proper apologia for Potter -and response to the naysayers like O’Brien- has been given by the inimitable Mark Shea, once again. (He claims -I think rightly- that O’Brien painted himself into a corner years ago and simply refuses to step back over the line and rejoin the party. Too bad for him).

Go read Mark’s work, and the link, right away.

Where Jan Bussey helps me to get that troll picture farther into the ether September 7, 2007

Posted by Administrator in Humor, Smart People.
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Never fails. I post a picture mocking PZ, and the damned thing ends up parking EXACTLY where I want to look at my blogroll for the links. Of course, if I’d WRITE something, I could push that picture down aways, but I’m too damned tired/overworked/distracted to actually WRITE something, so I end up putting up some type of pretty picture I’ve found somewhere else.

Jan Bussey is a photographer from the bucolic Northwest. She sometimes comments on this little site. She shoots pictures, too. Really excellent ones. I don’t.

Awfully nice, aren’t they? Check out her site, right there on my blogroll, “Cascade Exposures.”

And thank her for helping me push the troll back down to where he wishes to be.

Robert Heinlein on Environmentalism August 25, 2007

Posted by Administrator in Environmentalism, Smart People.
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There are hidden contradictions in the minds of people who “love Nature” while deploring the “artificialities” with which “Man has spoiled ‘Nature.'” The obvious contradiction lies in their choice of words, which imply that Man and his artifacts are not part of “Nature” — but beavers and their dams are. But the contradictions go deeper than this prima-facie absurdity. In declaring his love for a beaver dam (erected by beavers for beavers’ purposes) and his hatred for dams erected by men (for the purposes of men) the Naturist reveals his hatred for his own race — i.e., his own self-hatred.
In the case of “Naturists” such self-hatred is understandable; they are such a sorry lot. But hatred is too strong an emotion to feel toward them; pity and contempt are the most they rate.
As for me, willy-nilly I am a man, not a beaver, and H. sapiens is the only race I have or can have. Fortunately for me, I like being part of a race made up of men and women — it strikes me as a fine arrangement — and perfectly “natural” Believe it or not, there were “Naturists” who opposed the first flight to old Earth’s Moon as being “unnaturaI” and a “despoiling of Nature.

Well, I’ve been thinking this to some degree for years now. . .but I see that RAH had beaten me to it. What a brilliant iconoclast the man was.

Hugh Laurie, OBE May 23, 2007

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Congratulations, Dr. House!!

For future use in the refutation of the Kraken and other idiots May 3, 2007

Posted by Administrator in atheism, Catholicism, Cultural Pessimism, Idiots, Smart People.
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Ladies and gentlemen, the inimitable Mark Shea:

Shallow, Materialist, Consumerist Members of Generation Narcissus Pretend to Embrace Buddhism

I’ll bet the Dalai Lama is driven crazy by these people. This is the man who observed that the West will always be Christian. He didn’t mean “devout”. He meant that even in apostasy, it is *Christianity* from which the West apostasizes. The rankest atheist in the West owes almost all his basic thought categories–from the notion that being a self is good to the notion that freedom is real and good to the notion that desire and property and attachments to real Good is good–to the Christian tradition. The Christian philosophical and theological tradition affords him all the arms he uses in his revolt. And so, we find shallow Baby Boomers adopting Buddhism because it suits their individual preferences, oblivious to the fact that the whole point of Buddhism is the extinction of desire and of the self.

These people aren’t Buddhists. They’re just apostates who have chosen a particularly stupid way to try to hide from God.

I post this for my own future uses, esp. in the classroom. Mark, if you are offended by moe copying the whole post, drop a comment and I’ll find some other way.