Archive for the ‘Freethinking’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Ants & Gods

The subject of Artificial Intelligence and the future of mankind arose in discussions on the previous post. Here is an excellent TED talk on subject, by Sam Harris last year:

 

 

…pretty sobering and thought provoking, no? The analogy comparing ourselves to ants works rather well. His last line about constructing a new god was incredibly profound! Any discussion?

PS: Especially for Chris… be paying close attention to the visual at 4:08; but try not to lose your train of thought.  😉 ◄Dave►

PostHeaderIcon Classical Liberalism

Politics managed to sneak back into the previous thread’s ribald attempt to evade such. Chris eventually explained why he thinks of ‘liberals’ as left-wing ideologues, and how outdated it is of me to omit the qualifier ‘classic,’ while employing the term outside of the modern Left/Right political paradigm. While composing a response, it occurred to me that this discussion probably deserves its own post. So, I fleshed it out as a more fulsome reply. The block quotes below are from his referenced comment

The dictionary is awash in Orwellian distortions of the English language. The venerable term ‘liberal,’ like ‘Liberty,’ is derived from ‘Liber,’ meaning ‘free’ in Latin. Liberal political philosophy was developed by 17th & 18th century philosophers during the enlightenment, known as the Age of Reason. Thinkers like Adam Smith, David Hume, Voltaire, John Locke, et al, and all manner of Liberty loving, anti-tyranny, radicals like America’s founders, would have proudly worn the label ‘liberal’ in their day. Thus, I had always assumed that the Left had deliberately co-opted and inverted the term, as typical Orwellian Newspeak. That is, until I finally took the time to look up the word.

As is not at all unusual, the muddled definition I had been carrying in my head for decades, I had originally surmised from context and common usage, rather than consulting a dictionary. I suppose this is how and why language evolves over time. I would bet that most Americans have only a vague notion that ‘liberal’ means one or more of: left-wing; altruist; collectivist; socialist; communist; Marxist; atheist; Democrat; or simply the opposite of ‘conservative.’ The way it is used so often as an expletive by conservatives, suggests as much. Yet, none of those terms are used to define it, by any dictionary I have checked.

The term is used differently in American politics as I’m sure you know. Liberal and conservative now pretty much refer to attitude regarding adherence to the meaning and intent to the constitution and rule of law.

I reckon Chris’ attempt to define it by one’s attitude toward the U.S. Constitution, is much too parochial. That would only further confuse anyone trying to make sense of politics in other countries, which have conservative political parties called, “Liberal.”

Currently, the Oxford dictionary definition of liberal is simply: “open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values.” I really like the simplicity of that, and it describes me.

The Free dictionary offers: “Favoring reform, open to new ideas, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; not bound by traditional thinking; broad-minded.” That sure doesn’t sound tyrannical to me; quite the opposite.

My thesaurus suggests as synonyms for liberal: open-minded; broad-minded; moderate; freethinking; tolerant; laissez-faire; and noninterventionist. These are all positive values to my mind. Wouldn’t it require a rather staid dogmatist to reject them?

It turns out that all of these current definitions and synonyms, fairly describe my own attitudes and outlook on life. So, the only reason I ever need qualify my liberal bent with the prefix ‘classic,’ is to disavow the collectivist and altruistic nature of most Leftist social justice warriors, who are routinely labeled and disparaged as simply ‘liberals,’ by cultural warriors on the Right. Surprisingly, nowhere have I found the bugaboos of altruism and/or collectivism, mentioned under the heading of liberalism. This would suggest that in this case, the corruption of the English language was likely done by the Right, rather than the Left. They are the ones misusing the term.

More tutoring from Chris:

“I know it’s hard to accept but there will always be government. Always has been. Human nature doesn’t change like that.”

It depends on your definition of ‘government.’ By mine, in terms of systematic ‘rule,’ and ‘rulers’ employing armed enforcers to govern a population, there certainly has not always been. There have always been ungovernable frontiers on this planet, and there still are. E.g. the Pashtun tribal no-man’s-land, between Pakistan and Afghanistan. There are several others in that part of the world. Afghanistan itself is largely ungoverned, despite being considered a nation state.

You might not like the conditions extant in such frontiers; but there is nothing preventing those who choose to live there, from moving to the more ‘civilized’ areas of their countries, where they would be subject to the rule and rulers of the state. How many of us would move to a Galt’s Gulch in a heartbeat, to escape the tyranny of ubiquitous government rulers, tax collectors, and enforcers, if such a frontier still existed in America? I sure would.

“The single document in the world that comes closest to guaranteeing the liberalism you would desire is the constitution of the United States.”

Poppycock. Setting aside my rejection of your premise that a constitutional government is somehow required to maintain Liberty, the U.S. Constitution has obviously done no such thing, and never will. The only way such a document could ever hope to constrain a nation state’s tyrannical rulers, is if the citizenry were indefatigably ready, willing, and able to effectively revolt against their jackbooted thugs if necessary, and summarily hang the offenders without mercy, to strictly enforce it. With the passing of our generation, such will definitely no longer exist among the largely docile, dumbed-down, domesticated, sheeple that remain in America. More the pity… ◄Dave►

PostHeaderIcon True Talent

How about a remarkable diversion from politics and mayhem?

I always thought I had been born too late, and had missed out on the pleasures of the simpler life of our ancestors. It now occurs to me that the opposite may be true:

 

Just imagine what it must be like to be a modern Croatian teenager, watching such talent shows on his TV, rather than “Leave it to Beaver.” BTW… the older guy they keep showing cheering with his thumbs up, is her father. The world has truly changed in our lifetimes, and not always for the worse… no?  😉 ◄Dave►

PostHeaderIcon Cultural Suicide Redux

Pat Condell continues to rail against cultural suicide by virtue signaling:

It is somewhat surprising that Google/YouTube still allows him to get away with such delicious blasphemy.  😉 ◄Dave►

PostHeaderIcon Tribal Narratives

Furthering my jihad against all forms of collectivism, including careless use of collective pronouns, a TED talk offers some profound food for thought regarding origin myths and tribal narratives:

We all have origin stories and identity myths, our tribal narratives that give us a sense of security and belonging. But sometimes our small-group identities can keep us from connecting with humanity as a whole — and even keep us from seeing others as human. In a powerful talk about how we understand who we are, Chetan Bhatt challenges us to think creatively about each other and our future. As he puts it: it’s time to change the question from “Where are you from?” to “Where are you going?”

 

Be yourself. I am. All that is necessary is to stop caring a whit what other people might think of the authentic you. 😉  ◄Dave►

PostHeaderIcon West Wing Woo-Woo

Oh, good grief! I have been immensely entertained by all of the palace intrigue of late, and had been looking forward to more shenanigans as Trump moves to repopulate the White House with only loyal members of the “Let Trump be Trump” club…

** Whoa! See what I mean? Right in the middle of writing this, my Apple Watch just tapped me on the wrist to alert me that Kelly just took out Scaramucci! I can’t wait to get the buzz on that one! **

…but back to the woo-woo. This is all great fun; but a red headline on Drudge this morning had already spoiled my day:

Spiritual Awakening Underway at White House; Bible Studies Taking Place…

WASHINGTON – A spiritual awakening is underway at the White House.

Some of the most powerful people in America have been gathering weekly to learn more about God’s Word, and this Trump Cabinet Bible study is making history.

They’ve been called the most evangelical Cabinet in history – men and women who don’t mince words when it comes to where they stand on God and the Bible.

Ralph Drollinger of Capitol Ministries told CBN News, “These are godly individuals that God has risen to a position of prominence in our culture.”

They’re all hand-picked by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

“I don’t think Donald Trump has figured out that he chained himself to the Apostle Paul,” Drollinger laughed.

That may amuse the Piously Correct Rev. Drollinger; but it strikes me as far more dangerous than the Mooch’s revelations about Priebus’ mental state, or Bannon’s yoga feats. 😉

Health Secretary Tom Price, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Education Secretary Betsy Devos, Agriculture Secretary Sunny Perdue, and CIA Director Mike Pompeo are just a few of the regulars.

“It’s the best Bible study that I’ve ever taught in my life. They are so teachable; they’re so noble; they’re so learned,” Drollinger said.

It’s groundbreaking since he doesn’t think a formal Bible study among executive Cabinet members has been done in at least 100 years.

America’s top cop, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, also attends the study.

If these politicians need a guru, I recommend George Carlin:

…he had this BS figured out long ago. 😀 ◄Dave►

PostHeaderIcon Cultural Suicide

Isn’t it only a matter of time before this mindless cultural suicide begins in America? Read the rest of this entry »

PostHeaderIcon Where’s the Book?

Hey, Troy! I just had occasion to reread the 5-year-old post here, entitled: “Fairies, Witches, Fords, and Chevys .” In the amusing comment section, you mentioned you had just finished writing an interesting book, which was only awaiting final editing before publication. I never received the promised copy of it. Whatever happened to it?  ◄Dave►

PostHeaderIcon I Miss Hitch

Here is a good compilation, worth pondering:

Harris is brilliant; but so was Hitchens, and I always appreciated his attitude. 😀 ◄Dave►

 

PostHeaderIcon Sheeple Farming

This is very well done:

What would happen if everyone understood this? What would you do if you came to believe you didn’t need and/or want rulers controlling your life anymore? Read the rest of this entry »

PostHeaderIcon Faithful Jihadism

Although one of my favorite sites is The Objective Standard, I rarely share links to the excellent content there, because much of it is behind a pay wall. While I have been a subscriber for years, I can’t expect others to be. However, today’s article, “9/11 and America’s Failure to End the Jihad,” is openly available to all, and worth considering:

The anniversary of 9/11 is here, and another year has passed without America naming, much less eliminating, the cause of the attack.

The cause of the attack on 9/11 and, more broadly, of the jihad against the West is the fact that Islamic regimes—most notably those in Iran and Saudi Arabia—take Islam seriously and thus seek to convert or kill everyone who doesn’t. Toward that end, these regimes materially and spiritually support jihadist groups such as al-Qaeda and Islamic State, who, in turn, attack and murder Americans and others who refuse to submit.

That, in a nutshell, is why al-Qaeda attacked America on September 11, 2001. And it is why jihadists and their supporters are constantly planning or sponsoring more attacks. Everyone paying attention knows this. But the U.S. government refuses to acknowledge the cause and thus refuses to eliminate the source of the problem: the Islamic regimes that sponsor jihad.

Like he said, we all know this; but it is not considered Politically Correct to say so out loud. A very good question is why? Read the rest of this entry »

PostHeaderIcon Dogbert’s Death Scam

A particularly good Dilbert this week:

Dogbert_Scam

 

This is why I don’t just follow Scott Adams’ blog. 😀 ◄Dave►

 

PostHeaderIcon Related Posts

After reading a recent Jetpack blog post, I decided to try turning on the “Related Posts” feature. Now, at the bottom of every post, one finds three purportedly related previous posts, which is supposed to entice the casual reader to spend more time on the site getting to know us, and hopefully return for more.

In testing it, I wasn’t always in agreement with the algorithm making the choices; but at least the first one offered was usually pretty relevant. It can be entertaining, and often somewhat satisfying, to read old blog posts one has forgotten ever making. This will likely be a good way for me to stumble across them. One I just read from early 2012, I thought particularly insightful: ” Robin Hood vs. Good Samaritan,” which included: Read the rest of this entry »

PostHeaderIcon Importing War

Pat Condell continues to speak naked truth to power:

Well said… the insanity of importing war! Why in the name of Zeus, are America’s unhinged Progressives trying so hard to follow suit? Read the rest of this entry »

PostHeaderIcon WTF: Jones Too?

Is this just a spoof of Beck, or is this fool serious? I just don’t get it. This is not my image of Alex Jones:

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! Can there actually be two conspiracy-minded, talk show host, religious nuts, who like to cry on camera?  Please, God, deliver us from your evil preachers! Sheesh… ◄Dave►

PostHeaderIcon Let Us Bray

According to today’s Drudge Report

The new Jesus walks among us. If there be a God, please help us now.

Troy

PostHeaderIcon Enough of Beck

As I have mentioned before, I was appalled by the ridiculous statement by Jerry Falwell explaining 9/11 to Pat Robertson. He stated that obviously God had removed his divine protection from our country, because of our increasing tolerance of homosexuals and the gay lifestyle. I was so disgusted that I swore I would never listen to another thing he ever said. From then on, every time I saw his pudgy face on TV, I immediately either turned it off or changed the channel, and kept my vow for the rest of his miserable life.

As long-time readers know, I was once was an avid Glenn Beck fan and supporter. I was an ‘Insider’ member of his radio program long before he ever got the gig on Fox News. I loved his TV program, which I must admit had a major impact on my thinking regarding Islam and Middle East politics. I bought and read all of his books. I was an early adopter of his ‘Blaze’ news site. I even subscribed to his new internet TV program, for the first couple of years after he left Fox.

I was as tolerant as I could be, of the increasing religious nature of his endeavors, until such insufferably became the primary focus of his existence. Now I only bother to visit the Blaze when following a link to a news item there, which has nothing to do with Beck himself. Several months ago, I even unsubscribed to his free newsletter, which I had received daily for many years.

Read the rest of this entry »

PostHeaderIcon Cruz Control

cruz-goldman-sachs

 

Seriously, How Can Ted Cruz Supporters Defend This?…“:

Earlier today Ted Cruz sent out a blitz of fundraising emails on the heels of his Iowa victory.  Here’s an example (screen grabbed), and pay attention to the two bullet points Cruz puts at the bottom of email:

<Snipped> Damning graphic evidence of baldfaced lies, with supporting links. Go see for yourself…

Read the rest of this entry »

PostHeaderIcon Europe’s Betrayal of Women

Pat Condell is on the mark as usual; but pay close attention starting at about 1:30, when he equates current Muslim barbarism with that of Europeans 500 years ago:

… I found that insight profound. Then, I’m afraid his conclusion is inescapable.  See also: “Dark Ages II“… ◄Dave►

 

 

PostHeaderIcon Letting My Imagination Run Free

In addition to the drivel I post here, my aging mind rambles in many other directions – none of them in the least productive, but, at least it helps keep the old gray matter a bit more pliable.

For instance, I was just thinking about another great paradox (doesn’t most of human life seem to be exactly that?). In this instance, it occurred to me that (IMHO) the greatest tool for the enhancement of individual liberty occurred in the latter half of my own life. I refer, of course, to the Internet. Yet, this great tool for enhancement of liberty, via unfettered communication, occurred at the same time that so many people have been dumbed down to the point where they really have nothing worth saying (or hearing). Your typical combined miracle and tragedy. So, the Internet is used, primarily, for useless drivel. Just think of it. At no other time in human history would it be likely that a small group of people, like the participants in this blog – people who will probably never know each other as physical human beings, nevertheless can come together to discuss whatever amuses us.

Then I think – what if the Internet had been invented in the late 18th century? Imagine Tom Paine distributing his pamphlets to the world, not just to a handful of revolutionaries? Imagine that Jefferson could have participated, real time, in the drafting of our Constitution even though he was on another continent and on another mission at the time. Myriad similar examples abound.

Read the rest of this entry »

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