Religion and reaction.

Fosetti criticizes Bruce Charlton’s claim that

there are only three sides: Christianity, Islam and secular Leftism

Obviously most Christians are secular leftists, in that they have chucked the Gospel overboard because of all those horribly reactionary bits commanding patriarchy and commanding toleration of all sorts of things that progressives are not supposed to tolerate, and in the process they have demoted Christ the redeemer to Jesus the community organizer.

See Dalrock’s wonderful blog for its magnificent condemnation of actually existent Christianity.  By and large, if we consider the actually existent mainstream churches to be Christian, Christians are leftists.  Not only are today’s militantly atheistic progressives the ideological descendents of the 1940s Christian left, today’s Churches are being frog marched along the same path the progressives have already walked.  They are just lagging a little, and on the issues that matter most to progressives, such as the destruction the family and fatherhood, they are not lagging in the slightest.  Dalrock reports that you will get the same demolition of fathers and fatherhood in the sermons as you get on prime time television.

If we define Christianity by its willingness to socially enforce the politically unacceptable parts of the Gospels, which is most of what Christians were supposed to socially enforce, then Christianity is dead except for a remnant, and heavily outnumbered by Randians, anarcho capitalists, atheistic monarchists in the mold of Moldbug, and the rest.

It is simply ridiculous for churches to oppose abortion and gay marriage, when they have already abandoned fatherhood and traditional heterosexual marriage.  Having conceded everything that matters, they will concede on the rest soon enough.

60 Responses to “Religion and reaction.”

  1. Samson J. says:

    they have chucked the Gospel overboard because of all those horribly reactionary bits commanding patriarchy

    What, Jim? Patriarchy ain’t part of the gospel. Every evangelical church I know of preaches the gospel – that is: we need forgiveness of sins, and it’s available through Jesus.

    See Dalrock’s wonderful blog for its magnificent condemnation of actually existent Christianity.

    Dalrock is, to me, one of the most unimpressive figures in the Christian manosphere. The way he exaggerates, distorts, and emotes rivals any female performance.

    • jim says:

      What, Jim? Patriarchy ain’t part of the gospel.

      1 Timothy 2

      1. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
      2. But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
      3. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
      4. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
      5. For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

      1 Corinthians 11

      1. But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
      2. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.
      3. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
      4. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
      5. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
      6. For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.
      7. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

      Titus 2

      1. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
      2. That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
      3. To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

      Ephesians 5

      1. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
      2. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
      3. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
      4. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
      5. That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
      6. That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
      7. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
      8. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
      9. For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
      10. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

      Paul also argues that consent to sex is given once and forever, by both parties equally, not from moment to moment, thus, no such thing as marital rape. A wife is obliged to pleasure her husband, and a husband his wife, whether they are in the mood or not.
      1 Corinthians 7:

      1. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
      2. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
      3. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.
      4. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
      • Simon says:

        Why are you using the usual Leftist tactic of quoting verses from the Bible, without having any idea of what Christianity actually is and entails, and thinking you’ve scored some devastating point?

        Oh wait, it makes sense, never mind…

        • jim says:

          For nearly two thousand years, until around 1960 or so, everyone, every single Christian, thought that those verses meant what they said. And now that progressives have commanded that the churches teach progressivism, now you discover new meanings for them.

        • Nomis says:

          Simon,

          You declare it’s not in the gospel. He then quotes from the gospel. You whine about how it’s unfair that he’s quoting from the gospel.

          You sound like a woman.

          • Simon says:

            Dyslexic,

            Where did I say it was not in the gospel? Where did I whine?

            I was commenting on the idiotic tendency of Leftists to quote from the Bible in order to prove it means this or that.

            Christianity is not about patriarchy or intolerance or any other atheistic reductionist nonsense. First, understand what Christianity is, then quote and comment from the Bible.

          • jim says:

            Where did I say it was not in the gospel?

            You said:

            What, Jim? Patriarchy ain’t part of the gospel

            One of the things Christianity used to do is solemnize marriage as a pact between a man and a woman before God and the congregation, thus socially enforcing marriage. Now it does not. The vows have been fixed to implicitly include an escape clause.

            Now you may well argue that is an inessential part of the gospel, but if any part of the gospel that gets up progressive noses is inessential, you are not preaching Christianity, but progressivism, walking the same path from left wing protestantism to militantly atheistic progressivism that today’s leftists have already walked.

          • Simon says:

            jim, I did not say:

            “What, Jim? Patriarchy ain’t part of the gospel”.

          • jim says:

            I stand corrected. That was Sampson.

            Rather, you argued that patriarchy was inessential to Christianity – that Christians are authorized to pick and choose from the New Testament, as they are authorized to pick and choose from the old.

            The trouble with that policy is that it enables the Church to bend under pressure, as, for example, politically correct marriage vows that cannot lead to an actually workable marriage (since politically correct marriages do not in practice work). And the trouble with bending under pressure is that you wind up preaching progressivism instead of Christianity, walking the same path as today’s militantly atheist progressives have already walked.

            Unitarianism is pretty much militant atheist progressivism, and Episcopalianism is most of the way to the same place. Various churches are to a greater or lesser extent completing the same transition.

  2. Simon says:

    How about we define Christianity how it was defined for the first 1500 years of its existence.

    The funny thing is, Christianity is true, coherent, and workable (obviously so). Your hedonistic atheism is false, incoherent, and unworkable. Yet you do not, and obviously can not see this.

    Your problems:

    1. You have no coherent concept of truth (which makes a mockery of everything you and your blog attempt to achieve).
    2. You have not evaluated the existent, credible revelations.

    They are exactly the same problems leftists have. You are, quite obviously, a leftist, your obsessions with “patriarchy” and “intolerance” notwithstanding.

    • jim says:

      The funny thing is, Christianity is true, coherent, and workable.

      Supposing the pre 1960 version is true and workable, the post 1960 (feminist) version cannot be, and vice versa.

      If the new marriage vows are workable, the old ones were sinful. If the old ones rightly prescribed how a man and a woman should come together for sex and reproduction, then the new ones are unworkable, for the reasons explained by both Roissy and Dalrock.

  3. jim says:

    How about we define Christianity how it was defined for the first 1500 years of its existence.

    Then it has been dead for some time, at least in all the major mainstream western churches. Christianity has been officially patriarchal until 1960. Even when the progressives still thought themselves Christian, back in 1950 or so, they theoretically pretended to support patriarchy, requiring the wife to promise to “honor, and obey”, while the husband promised to “cherish”

    After over a thousand years of “honor and obey”, suddenly “Christians” discover a new bunch of wedding vows, wherein the wife promises to put up with the husband until she does not feel like it any more, whereupon she takes his children, his home, and his income.

    And, simultaneously with the new bunch of wedding vows, a wholesale rework of the Gospels.

  4. Bruce Charlton says:

    Certainly I agree that real Christianity in The West is small and weak and – even where it exists – partial and much less satisfactory than it could or should be.

    This was prophesied, and is a results of millions of people’s bad decisions, and the increased domination of the forces of purposive evil, and reflects that we are in a *terrible* situation.

    But IF you are a Christian, it is not rational to treat ‘Christianity’ (i.e. The Church – the institution) as if it was the same kind of thing as Universities, The Legal Profession or The Military – because it is of the essence of Christianity that it is not primarily a social system.

    I saw it well put the other day (from memory) that The Church is a mystery with an institution – and not an institution that contains a mystery.

    (I mean, of course, a mystery in the Christian sense.)

    This is simply not debatable – The Church is of its essence a mystery. The institution must grow from this – it is essential, sometimes useful and anyway inevitable, but it is not the essence. And of course the mystery of the Church is not amenable to measurement etc.

    Nobody would disagree that it is possible, has happened, that the Christian ‘church’ may be huge and powerful but without the mystery – a hollow shell. And something like the opposite could be true, as in the Soviet Union when an intense and surprisingly large Christianity apparently survived in the catacomb church. There were many martyrs for the faith.

    Also, numbers and percentages are not the essence of the Church. Important in a way, but not the essence. Plain example: a Saint has a much much greater impact than large numbers of lower level Christians – let’s say someone like Fr Seraphim Rose with a hand worked printing press in a two man skete in rural North California.

    I would say (echoing Peter Kreeft) the biggest problem of modern Western Christianity is the lack of Saints – not the lack of numbers (although the two are not completely unrelated). The US has been the centre of world Christianity for more than a century – but hasn’t produced many figures of the stature of Saints; indeed, some Christian denominations are reluctant to allow the reality of qualitatively higher levels of Holiness in some people, which could be a big problem if it prevents people even trying.

    In sum, the institution of Christianity is in its essence about Salvation, Holiness… it is about Christian goals, and it is this which *must* be the focus, and where lie the problems that must be ‘fixed’.

    It is not just missing the point to focus on specific doctrines, but a deadly snare.

    Yes, most people who call themselves Christians are wrong about the sexual revolution, yes this does block them from progress and keeps them trapped in Leftism (I believe that many or most modern Western Christian ‘churches’ are overwhelmingly anti-Christian in their net effect) – but while I am horrified and angry about this subversion, ultimately it is a symptom not a cause.

    Indeed the sexual revolution is a symptom of a fixation upon worldly and secular matters and a rejection of the transcendental – it is a symptom of hedonism replacing salvation as the ultimate goal of human life.

    Secular arguments against Leftism that are based on this-worldly hedonism (i.e. the secular Right) will further damage, not help, Christianity.

    So although they should certainly stop being Leftists, rejection of Leftism must not be the focus of Christian life, nor even a prerequisite.

    IF someone becomes a real Christian, and deepens their faith, THEN they WILL shed their Leftism incrementally, a piece at a time.

    But shedding their Leftism a piece at a time will NOT in and of itself do anything at all towards them becoming a Christian.

    • red says:

      “IF someone becomes a real Christian, and deepens their faith, THEN they WILL shed their Leftism incrementally, a piece at a time. ”

      My siblings are deeply devoted christens. They are becoming more leftist over time while I become less leftist over time. And I’m the agnostic who doesn’t attend church while they attend a very conservative church every week. It’s almost like the church not only doesn’t keep leftism out, but instead teaches them how to compromise and become more leftist while continuing to be officially Christan.

      • bgc says:

        Clearly I am not going to retract my comment and change my beliefs on the basis of a pseudonymous comment whose veracity I have no way of evaluating.

        As I said, if someone becomes a REAL Christian…

    • jim says:

      Secular arguments against Leftism that are based on this-worldly hedonism (i.e. the secular Right) will further damage, not help, Christianity.

      Possibly, but equally, Christianity is not doing any good against leftism.

      The assertion

      there are only three sides: Christianity, Islam and secular Leftism

      Seems to imply or presuppose that Christianity is the only important or effectual adversary to leftism.

      Roissy (atheist materialist libertine) and Steve Sailer (neo Nazi atheist) are doing a great job against leftism in their very different ways by making it look ridiculous and insane, while Mencius Moldbug (psychohistorical atheist) made it look sinister and corrupt. You are great in your own way, making it look Satanic, but by and large, Roissy, Sailer, and Moldbug have more influence and effect that you do.

      Even though I don’t believe in demons outside humans, there is a plentiful supply of demons inside humans, so I accept that interpreting leftism as demonic is true in a sense, indeed quite obviously true, though not quite in the sense that you intend it.

      • bgc says:

        Forget about influence, let’s think about truth.

        BTW I understand that Steve Sailer (great guy) is a Roman Catholic (I may be wrong), although he doesn’t bring it into his writing – but the failure to do this (presumably in pursuit of greater influence), and therefore his exclusive use of secular materialist arguments, does indeed make him appear something of a n-Na – but of course THIS IS EXACTLY HOW YOU APPEAR. (Sorry for shouting…)

        ‘Roissy’ is a servant of evil; and quite honestly if you can’t perceive that, then you are in a bad way, and I have been misjudging you. It is a no brainer, a gut feeling of revulsion, a matter of the heart and soul. Think Caligula, think Nero. Nothing to discuss.

        MM is a Christian seeker en route to the SSPX.

        Belief in demons is silly or dumb or insane in modern society, of course… so much the worse for modern society, because much greater men than any alive today believed in them – Tolkien, CS Lewis in Fr Seraphim Rose to mention three of the most recent; but also most of the greatest scientists, writers, mathematicians, musician etc.

        Of course every sophomore whose greatest intellectual achievement is to have read Malcolm Gladwell now knows better then them, and the ridiculousness of demons is so obvious that a snigger and a roll of the eyes disposes of the whole argument.

        ” Christianity is the only important or effectual adversary to leftism.” I have never said that and I deny it – Islam is OBVIOUSLY the most powerful and effectual adversary to Leftism, if that is your priority. It has grown from about 4 percent to nearly a quarter of the world’s population in just over a century, it now covers almost the whole world, it is becoming more devout and radical by the year, it is displacing the remains Christianity from the Middle East by the week, the number of Moslem nations has gone from two to something in the forties. All the trends are positive. If you want to back a winner against Leftism, as you seem to imply you do, then how much more evidence do you need?

        • Simon says:

          I find it hard to believe jim cares about truth at all. If he does, I have clearly misjudged him, but it’s hard to find evidence to the contrary.

          He is a blogger I find hard to get a clear read on. His analyses are sometimes insightful but even when they are, lead to…nothing. There is nothing there; a void.

          • Bill says:

            Jim should do a biographical post. When I first started reading him, back in the 90s on Usenet, he was a scarily smart and committed anarcho-capitalist of a vaguely Randian and overtly natural law bent. Here is his old Usenet sig:

            We have the right to defend ourselves and our property, because
            of the kind of animals that we are. True law derives from this
            right, not from the arbitrary power of the omnipotent state.

            He liked David Friedman a lot back then. Prior to being an anarcho-capitalist, he was some kind of Trotskyite. He is not especially clear at present about his politics or worldview. It’s different from what it was in the 90s, but I’m not clear on how far, exactly, he has moved or, exactly, where to.

            The idea that he doesn’t care about the truth is very wrong. He is practically obsessed with it. In fact, his movement from Trotskyite to anarcho-cap to whatever-he-is-now is palpably about tossing aside things he has come to view as false or dishonest.

            Go and find the arguments he used to have on Usenet about Noam Chomsky, for example. A small sample of his Chomsky oeuvre is here, though it does not do justice to the Usenet discussions. To watch him, patiently, day after day, exposing Chomsky and Chomsky’s demented fans for the pathological liars they are is to lose any ability to say he doesn’t care about truth. Why did he expend all that energy? Try to find the arguments he used to have with David Graeber (yes, this one), (shudder) Scot Erb (who, incredibly, has a blog which people actually read) and others on talk.politics.libertarian and alt.politics.libertarian.

            More generally, look at the way he reacts when someone proves him wrong, which happens occasionally. He reacts by retracting, apologizing as necessary, and saying thank you. This is not what people who lack a truth orientation do. Unfortunately, you have to search through a lot of Usenet messages to see this happening.

            Jim’s method of analysis is very heavy on theory, on anecdote, on his own deductions, and on his own inferences. This has strengths, eg that he comes up with stuff that others don’t. It also has weaknesses, eg that some of the stuff he comes up with is wrong. But this is very far from not caring about truth.

            Anyway, there is not a void. He is a natural lawyer and lover of truth.

            If he lives long enough, he will die a Thomist.

          • jim says:

            Still an anarcho capitalist.

            We have a society in collapse. I am analyzing the collapse.

            In the recent events, we saw that a handful of rentacops could deal and did deal with a large occupy rentamob with ridiculous ease, not only preventing them from occupying various symbols of capitalism, but preventing them in a manner so absolutely one sided as to deny them a dramatic confrontation, sometimes leaving weeping occupy mobs crying for police intervention, without however rentacops being caught on Youtube doing anything that looked bad.

            We also saw a number of events where rentacops acted with outstanding heroism. Most famously the Southern Poverty Law Center encouraged murderous attacks on the Family Research Council, leading Floyd Lee Corkins to attempt to massacre as many Family Research Council members as possible, intending to leave a Chic-Fil-A sandwich beside each corpse to send a message that dissent on gay marriage was unwelcome. Floyd shot the unarmed security guard Leonardo Reno Johnson, but the unarmed and injured Leonardo took him down anyway. When push comes to shove, heroes will matter.

            The time for heroes approaches.

            It is therefore possible that in the coming collapse we will wind up with something somewhat like anarcho capitalism, for in a sufficiently deep collapse, those competent in protecting property, and who have the job of protecting property, are apt to wind up protecting property, anarcho capitalism being approximately a system where the rentacops, heroes, militias, and those that employ rentacops are the authority, where the system of justice is the system for ensuring that the people you deal with are of good character – and therefore you don’t care much when they do something bad to those of bad character, because it is not an indicator that they will do something bad to you. For example in an anarcho capitalist society, Walmart shoplifters, instead of being handed over to government police, are apt to suffer something very unpleasant from Walmart, but Walmart shoppers would not care, because Walmart would have some system for ensuring that they only did bad things to shoplifters rather than customers, and ensuring they are seen to only do bad things to shoplifters, not customers.

            They might outsource “being seen to only do bad things to shoplifters” to some independent business that specialized in such matters – Bob’s rentacourt, or they might just do it themselves. Or they might do it themselves to shoplifters they deemed disreputable, and outsource where the shoplifter seemed someone respectable.

            Households and smaller businesses would often outsource retribution and to some extent defense, much as drug dealers frequently do today. Larger businesses might be more likely to have specialists in house. They might have defense in house, as today, but outsource retribution. It would vary from business to business.

            That is the optimistic outcome. But, chances are, military rule, or worse, a party state like Stalin’s that stops getting worse, but does not get markedly better.

            I support all of those outcomes, even the Stalinist party state, all of them being a lesser evil in the long run to democracy. That represents a change in my previous view. I have been convinced by Mencius Moldbug that democracy is so unworkable in the long run that anything else is preferable, and, in the long run, something else is inevitable. And the long run is getting a lot closer.

            Military rule, preceded by some nasty warfare between army factions, seems, however the most likely outcome. I hope, however, for the anarcho capitalist outcome. I fear the party state outcome, but if we are going to have a party state, better sooner than later.

      • asdf says:

        Jim,

        I see no clear understanding of what leftism is here. It seems that your primarily concerned with some sort of status competition and you believe that some “non-leftist” system of rules would raise the status of yourself or institutions you like. Presumably you consider this “good” for reasons I don’t quite see.

        Faith as a means to an earthly end. Ain’t gonna end well. Given this and some really bad understanding of the financial crisis I have to assume your logic circuits are broken.

        • jim says:

          I see no clear understanding of what leftism is here

          Mencius Moldbug has addressed at great length what leftism is, and all or most of the participants in this thread take his analysis as more or less true.

          some really bad understanding of the financial crisis

          You say the banks were bailed out because they lost money on derivatives. If so, name a specific derivative on which a specific bank lost substantial amounts of money.

          Banks lost money by making bad loans, in large part loans that were politically motivated, loans whose political motivations were loudly trumpeted by the worst behaved banks in the days when the crisis could still be denied. They took out television ads saying how political their loans were.

          Non bank institutions lost money on derivatives because they were derivatives of bad mortgages made for political reasons, because the banks were using derivatives to unload their bad mortgages onto other people, in particular to unload them on Freddy, Fanny, and AIG.

    • jim says:

      IF someone becomes a real Christian, and deepens their faith, THEN they WILL shed their Leftism incrementally, a piece at a time.

      As with true scotsmen, real Christians are evidently uncommon.

      • Bruce G Charlton says:

        Yes – that is true. Obviously.

        • josh says:

          No true Scotsman is not from Scotland.

        • jim says:

          Islam is OBVIOUSLY the most powerful and effectual adversary to Leftism, if that is your priority

          Unfortunately Islamic theocracy has pretty much the same effects as progressive atheocracy: Economic, technological, and scientific stagnation, civilizational decay, and destructive social conflict. Plus, as Major Hasan and and Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf demonstrate, Progressivism and some forms of Islam are allied. I would summarize the deal as that if Muslims stop murdering their daughters, progressives will happily let Muslims murder all the Jews and Christians that they like. Recall Obama’s new mission for Nasa.

          ‘Roissy’ is a servant of evil;

          He would agree with you. Without patriarchal authority enforcing good behavior on both daughters and their suitors, love is war. But, more importantly, he is a servant of truth. Hence his blog title: “Where the pretty lies perish”.

          However, if you are are disturbed by Roissy’s sexual morals, tell me about the wedding vows your church applies when solemnizing matrimony.

          Equals require some distance between them, fences and walls. In a marriage therefore, someone has to be the head of household. Thus, absent agreement that the husband is the head of household, marriage has a life expectancy similar to that of one Roissy’s rotations. In practice, all stable long lasting successful marriages that I observe are pre victorian style relationships. The husband is the boss, and the wife picks up his socks and puts them in the laundry basket.

          So if your church is administering modern politically correct marriage vows, which I rather suspect it is, it is doing at least as much damage to people’s lives as Roissy is. To which you will probably argue, “well have to be realistic, have to accommodate the way things are”. To which I am sure Roissy would agree.

  5. [...] Foseti questions Bruce Charlton’s linkage of Christianity and reaction. Jim weighs in. [...]

  6. RS says:

    > Secular arguments against Leftism that are based on this-worldly hedonism (i.e. the secular Right) will further damage, not help, Christianity.

    We might have a little more concrete taxonomy. Is this man in the photo a hedonist, nonhedonist, or partial hedonist (in the common sense)? The man is pretty on his own there… note the absence of equipage other than rubber shoes, common clothes, and a chalk bag — I know the image isn’t so detailed, but take it on my scholarship you would see nothing else that would be materially assistive. It would seem that the man is, so to speak, a pagan intent on contending with the very gods. We are really stretching predicates like ‘fun’ or ‘pleasure’. Rewarding, yes — the Nietzschean formulation would be that he is engaged in self-overcoming. This-worldly? — for sure, that’s pretty much exactly what is so great about it. Now I grant that a lot of people who do this kind of thing talk about god a whole lot, others are agnostic or atheist.

    This may seem to have nothing to do with commonplace life, but in fact the best argument against the welfare state is that it narcotizes life, saps what adventure and risk there are in life. It actually has everything to do with normal community life. It’s no different from people letting their cats turn to blubber, some tolerate it rather well but most lose much of the spirit of life.

    • RS says:

      That’s really the ‘soul’ aspect of the alt right, whereas Mencius has mostly written about the thousandfold appeal and allure of the lies, damned lies, and double-damned lies that result in social depravities like the universal franchise, decolonization of Africa, etc.

  7. Simon says:

    It appears your numerous opponents are not arguing in good faith, Bruce.

    They have you reacting to a comment, then shift ground and irrelevantly attack another part of your reply. It seems to be a theme, especially on this blog.

    I find it impossible to piece together jim’s world-view. He is an enigma.

    How can you win an argument with such an opponent?

    • RS says:

      Simon I at least accept your & Bruce’s point that Christianity cannot be reduced to a set of propositions, it has a mystery, it’s an organon with an elan vital, and this means there are certain special requirements if one wanted to revive it (I don’t really want to). As Bruce says it would have to be done in a certain way.

      These notions are familiar to me. Philosophic traditions of pure proposition and clarity, pure logic and iron consistency (Anglo or analytic philosophy), are of rather delimited interest to me though I do not disparage them, I am well disposed towards them in most ways though I can think of ways in which they probably exert harm.

      Will y’all ever convince me to pray for Christian illumination, probably not, but I understand a lot of your points. It’s you who are considerably disinterested in ‘the other side’ and whether it constitutes ‘hedonism’ — which is fine I guess, world’s still rotating and everything.

      • Simon says:

        I am disinterested in the other side because that is where I came from.

        During most of my thinking time since I converted I have attempted to analyse why and how I remained a hedonic atheist for so long into my life. Now I understand why people are atheists, and why they do not want to be Christians. And it has nothing to do with logic, or reason.

        If you are really interested in truth, you will eventually become a Christian, but that’s up to you.

      • Simon says:

        For example, if your analytic philosophers were worth a carrot, they would have concluded that to speak of truth of any sort necessarily entails the existence of God. This is really basic, childish stuff.

        But they concluded precisely the opposite. Speaks for itself.

        • jim says:

          Truth comes from the senses.

          • Simon says:

            Can you elaborate on this?

          • jim says:

            Knowledge is justified true belief. To take care of some nitpicking edge cases, one should perhaps define valid justification as the causal process wherein truth causes the belief in a tolerably reliable fashion. Of course, you can always be mistaken, justification is not certainty, but it is usually pretty good, and when it is not, you usually have a fair suspicion as to how good it is.

            It is knowledge when you believe something, you believe it on good grounds, your belief was caused by consequences flowing from the truth of the thing you believe. And the gold standard of justification is to go and look for your self. I don’t see how God gets into this story.

          • Simon says:

            I am not speaking of knowledge, jim, but truth, the metaphysical nature of truth.

            If there is no God, there is no such thing as truth. Without an objective standard, such as God, all is subjective. Truth would be non-existent.

            Without God as your objective standard of truth, you are pissing in the wind.

          • jim says:

            If there is no God, there is no such thing as truth

            The truth is what bangs your head when you walk around with your eyes closed. Without God, your head will still get banged.

          • Alrenous says:

            The justified true belief thing has issues. The Bayesians are correct in this instance – a belief’s justification raises the odds of it achieving the goal of controlling consequences through choosing the correct action. A belief can be somewhat justified, and therefore somewhat knowledge.

            For example, in the Gettier problem, they manage to get it right but their odds of doing so were low. That epistemic method is highly unreliable – but not entirely unreliable.

            I was going to write quite a bit more, but then I realized any reliable source of truth boils down to a justification. If I met God, then ‘God told me’ would be a reasonable justification and I’d be able to rely on that belief as knowledge.

            -

            Truth comes from the senses because you cannot control what the senses give you, and you care about what the senses give you.

            If you bang your head because you weren’t looking, you can change reality – by looking, and therefore not banging* – but you cannot change what you sense in a given reality. You cannot make banging not hurt. You cannot stop caring about being hurt.

            *(Or by wearing a helmet, and banging it instead of your head, etc…)

            You care about consequences, but can only control actions. Truth/reality is what enforces the relationship between actions and consequences.

          • jim says:

            I was going to write quite a bit more, but then I realized any reliable source of truth boils down to a justification.

            And no one can entirely explain, nor justify, what constitutes justification, because it is a hard problem, and imperfectly understood.

  8. red says:

    I have to say that given the total close mindless and unwillingness to listen and evaluate what others are saying displayed by this new group of “true” christens is pretty distasteful. I’ve spent a lot of time defending christens from the standard leftist: “Christians are unthinking Neanderthals who would burn you at the stake for not believing” if for no other reason that it never range true from history and the Christians I knew. I hope these guys are lefties playing the role of unthinking Christan.

    • anon says:

      They are, whether they know it or not. Can anyone even imagine a single timeline where protestant Christianity continues to exist and does not devolve into leftism?

      • jim says:

        Actually yes.

        Puritanism, or a major part of it, was rapidly evolving into modern leftism during the English civil war period – levellers and such. Then Monck purged the official Church and the universities, or Charles the second purged the official Church and the universities with Monck’s guns backing him, and lo and behold. From 1660 to 1830, one hundred and seventy years, protestantism did not evolve into leftism to any very obvious extent.

        My theory is that rule by priests, unrestrained by rule by soldiers, leads to the priests competing to be ever holier than thou, and focusing ever more intently on this worldly moral issues, issues where it is supposedly morally imperative that the state do something about some wrong, where holiness can be translated into power. With the restoration, the King was on top of the priests, removing the incentive to posture for power by striking moral poses on this worldly issues, such as slavery and female emancipation.

        • Bruce Charlton says:

          @Jim – yes but that is pure sociology, and begs the important questions.

          Insofar as a religion is true, then pure sociology cannot explain whatever is important about that religion, including how it evolves.

          • jim says:

            Irrespective of whether Christianity was true, the problem is that what is called Christianity is rapidly becoming untrue, turning into progressivism, for sociological reasons.

        • Bill says:

          From 1660 to 1830, one hundred and seventy years, protestantism did not evolve into leftism to any very obvious extent.

          Protestantism was evolving into leftism over that period. In the US, suffrage began to expand pretty much immediately after the Constitution was ratified. Established churches started to go away almost immediately. Abolitionism, the political movement, was not prominent, but abolitionism, the belief that slavery was wrong, was. Protestantism is swept by powerful fads — it changes revolutionarily rather than evolutionarily. The First Great Awakening in the 18th C was, in part, anti-slavery. The Quakers were anti-slavery even earlier.

          High Church Anglicanism is not really Protestant. It is an attempt to have Catholicism, replacing the Pope with the King of England and his delegate, the Archbishop of Canterbury. It decayed rapidly into Protestantism between Henry VIII and Oliver Cromwell. Then Charles II tried to undo the decay, making it more Catholic again.

          The problem is that High Church Anglicanism makes no sense. As a result, nobody smart believes in it for long. It becomes just a battleground for other forces. Catholics, who want to lead it back into the Church; Protestants, who want to destroy it; Royalists who want it to do nothing but support the authority of the King; and, later on, liberalism. Liberalism won, eventually.

          • red says:

            New England was made up of exiled Protestant leftists, IE puritans. They didn’t rule american until the Civil war. Things like the Great Awakenings were a New England only movement.

            The leftists never really went away during 1660 to 1830 period(As shown by the American revolution), but they never ruled during this period. 1660-1830 had the greatest outpouring of scientific advances in the history of the world. Even something like the High Church Anglicanism doesn’t last long, I’d love to have another one just to get tech rolling again even if it’s only for a short time.

          • jim says:

            Protestantism was evolving into leftism over that period. In the US, suffrage began to expand pretty much immediately after the Constitution was ratified. Established churches started to go away almost immediately.

            You are quite right: I should have said that in England where the established church was still on top, puritanism did not evolve into leftism for one hundred and seventy years – in part because proto leftists departed to America, or were sent there.

            The problem is that High Church Anglicanism makes no sense. As a result, nobody smart believes in it for long. It becomes just a battleground for other forces. Catholics, who want to lead it back into the Church; Protestants, who want to destroy it; Royalists who want it to do nothing but support the authority of the King; and, later on, liberalism. Liberalism won, eventually.

            My interpretation of events in England is that Liberalism won through the state – that “Evangelists” got the franchise expanded, the Anglican Church disestablished, got into parliament, and then through parliament had “Evangelists” appointed to be in charge of the Anglican Church, rather than infiltrating through the Anglican Church itself.

            During that one hundred and seventy years in England we got British colonialists conquering much of the world, science, technology, and the industrial revolution. So they were doing something right.

            Perhaps an official religion that nobody believes in is less damaging. Perhaps it protects you against official religions that people actually do believe in.

            The Byzantine arrangements that Bruce is such a fan of were institutionally the same (King in charge of the official priests) yet the resulting civilization was stagnant. Maybe the advantage of the Church of England is that no one believed in it.

            On the other hand, reading the book of common prayer, seems obvious that those who wrote these words, and those who repeated them, did believe them. So perhaps there is something important about those words that made the difference between Byzantium and restoration England.

  9. Smash the ZOG says:

    Not only is there another side, but the aforementioned three are all the inventions of Zionist Jewry. (Christianity teaches that Jews will rule the world under Jesus. Marxism’s greatest heroes, from Marx himself to Trotsky-Bronstein to Stalin’s puppetteer Lazar Kaganovich who felt the need to murder 10 million Ukrainians in the Holodmor in but one instance of sadism to Jewish bankers Rothschild, Warburg, Schiff, et al who bankrolled these and other abominations. The connections between Islam and Judaism are admittedly slightly doubtful, although they both share the same ethos of violent world subjugation on behalf of their god whilst Islam claims to worship the Jewish deity)

    • jim says:

      It is not a Jewish conspiracy. The progressives hate the Jews, and progressive Jews hate Jews more than anyone. Observe the reaction to the Crown Heights pogrom. The Bolsheviks were overwhelmingly Jewish, but the Jewish Bolsheviks proceeded to send each other to the Gulag. Lazar Kaganovich did not kill the Ukrainians, he killed or imprisoned other Jews. By the time Stalin had all power, the party was pretty much judenrein.

      Affirmative action started long before the progressive ruling elite allowed Jews to join it, for example Marie Curie getting two Nobel prizes for work that no one would remember if a man did it. The discovery of Radon was far more important than the discovery of Radium, and happened at about the same time. Do you remember who discovered Radon? They were putting token blacks into business suits and putting them in prominent places before they let Jews in.

    • josh says:

      If Christianity was part of the evil “ZOG” master plan, kudos to the ZOG; they came up with the greatest thing anyone has ever made up, and they are responsible for this:

      http://toryardvaark.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/mt-st-michel.jpg

  10. Thales says:

    I really do wonder if much of the sectarian hate isn’t motivated by eschatology – the sooner Jesus returns, the better, thus let everything go to pot ASAP and screw those atheist “reactionaries.”

  11. RS says:

    Jim, if the world is actually being damaged by atmospheric carbon, then why is lying about inconvenient data

    (a) irrational
    (b) indicative that such damage is unreal?

    It’s probably really short-sighted and dumb, especially in a protracted effort. That sort of lie would be more sensible in the case of something like total warfare. But I don’t conclude (a) or (b).

    Also, there could be any number of intelligent vacuous honchos working in the field — yet at the same time there could be earnest people, normal people (read: abnormal people) who are also largely reaching the orthodox conclusion.

    • jim says:

      RS wrote:

      Jim, if the world is actually being damaged by atmospheric carbon, then why is lying about inconvenient data

      (a) irrational
      (b) indicative that such damage is unreal?

      If you have real data, you don’t improve on it, or manufacture convenient data, because such “improved” and “corrected” data would discredit the real data that you have.

      If the truth serves your purpose, you don’t deliberately lie, and if you get carried away and improve on the truth a bit, as the best of people are apt to do, you will quickly back down and correct yourself when called on it. If the truth serves your purpose, lies will not.

      If some of the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming data is cherry picked, improved, corrected, or manufactured, all of it is cherry picked, improved, corrected, or manufactured.

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