Wednesday, August 27, 2008


From comments here, I rewrote and refined just a few things in this story so I'll repost it here:

The Art of Knowledge,
Once upon a time there was an Artist who could draw other artists into his pictures, some to draw some things for him and even some who could draw things for themselves too. So he drew an apprentice in his own image and his new student asked him about a piece of art that he was working on, “What is it going to be?”

“It’s a picture about good and evil, right and wrong.”

“But how can you draw a picture about wrong that is right?”

“Whatever I draw is right, even that which I let look wrong to those I draw to observe it so. It’s something in the lighting and my drawing, you see. Keep observing, I will not explain further until the picture is complete…. Come close little one, so that I may ask you a question. Now, why do you suppose I would draw you here to ask me annoying questions when I’m trying to work?”

“Well, I suppose…I, uh, eh, I don’t know why! Well it seems to me that you must know all about your own art. Say, why don’t you just draw me to stop it? Huh?”

The Artist turned to look at the little fellow staring up at him from his side, sighed, then said, “What you’re drawing me to do is going to hurt you more than it hurts me.”

“Uh, wait a minute…” the little fellow looked back at the painting, “I suppose I can wait until the picture is complete.”

“Very well, and besides the answer does not exist yet in any form that you can understand. You see, I’ve not drawn you to understand it yet. But perhaps you can think of it in this way as I work for now… making a picture about good and evil consists of drawing the line someplace.” As the artist spoke he drew a line and as he did some of the little forms that he had drawn into his picture murmured among themselves, “Why are things this way, rather than that? I can think of things my way and want them to be so, so why should they not be my way? Why?!”

This caused the student to comment, “Say, they are a little like me in that way! A rather likable likeness if I do say so myself… So I suppose their next question about what will be, will be why don’t you just take their will away?”

“Only I know, as I know all of my own art. Yet I would think that some of the answers about the will would be rather obvious, if you will.”

“It seems an odd decision to me.”

“Yes, I knew you would say that.”

“Ah, but what if I knew you knew? See how my knowledge increases to approach your own!”

The Master Artist just glanced at the little fellow and kept working on the picture. So his student asked, “Well…can you draw me to have some of your knowledge?” and the Artist answered, “For now you do not even have the symbols, imagery in your head or the forms of thought necessary to think many of my thoughts, so some of the best truths about my art and this picture will remain ineffable and paradoxical to you. That is my will. If you are willing to learn how my will must be done in all of my pictures then I will naturally draw you to have more knowledge of my nature.”

“Naturally….yes, that seems logical to me.”

“Yes, of course, I knew it would. After all, I just drew you to think so.” The little fellow just sighed at that, and thought that he might have heard the Artist chuckle as he did.


I don’t believe I was “demonizing” anyone.

One ought to focus on civility which can only be grounded in language/civilization designed to unfold providentially in all those created in the "imago dei" unless that is non longer possible based on reason.

Note that there is little difference between the concept of demoniac or maniac, in fact history shows that one was simply reclassified into the other based on a shift in worldview towards naturalism with little to no actual empirical evidence. There is still little evidence that brain lesions or a manifestly physical "illness" can cause highly complex actions which mimic intelligent agency. There is still just as little reason for the judgment "Not guilty by 'reason' of insanity." as "Not guilty by reason of the Devil made me do it." (Note the irony typical to both claims, at any rate.)

The only ground we have for doing away with both concepts is by admitting intelligent design and focusing on it in a systematic way. As David Stove notes of "puppetry theories":
...just as Calvin divides created things into potent demons and causally impotent everything else, so Dawkins divides the organic world into potent genes and causally impotent everything else. According to Calvinism, we are pawns in a game, in which the only real players are the demons and God. According to The Selfish Gene, we are pawns in a game in which the only real players are genes.
I do not believe that humans are the helpless puppets of their genes, and cannot even take that proposition seriously. Why? Because I have heard far too many stories like that one before, and because it is obvious what is wrong with all of them.
"Our stars rule us," says the astrologer. "Man is what he eats," said Feuerbach. "We are what our infantile sexual experiences made us," says the Freudian. "The individual counts for nothing, his class situation for everything," says the Marxist. "We are what our socioeconomic circumstances make us," says the social worker. "We are what the Almighty God created us," says the Christian theologian. There is simply no end to this kind of stuff.
What is wrong with all such theories is this: That they deny, at least by implication, that human intentions, decisions, and efforts are among the causal agencies which are at work in the world.
This denial is so obviously false that no rational person, who paused to consider it coolly and in itself, would ever entertain it for one minute.
The falsity of all these theories of human helplessness is so very obvious, in fact, that the puppetry theorists themselves cannot help admitting it, and thus are never able to adhere consistently to their puppetry theories. Feurerbach, though he said that man is what he eats, was also obliged to admit that meals to not eat meals. The Calvinistic theologian, after saying that the omnipotent Creator is everything and his creatures nothing, will often then go on to reproach himself and other creatures with disobeying this Creator. The Freudian therapist believes in the overpowering influence of infantile sexual experiences, but he makes an excellent living by encouraging his patients to believe that, with his help, this overpowering influence can be itself overpowered. And so on.
In this inevitable and tiresomely familiar way, Dawkins contradicts his puppetry theory...
(Darwinian Fairytales: Selfish Genes, Errors of Heredity and Other Fables of Evolution
by David Stove :176-184)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Eugenics and Other Evils....

A comment on a post which reminded me of G.K. Chesteron's fight against Eugenics:

I do believe, however, that evolution was the source for the creation of eugenics and “Modern” eugenics.

Evolution is a term defined by hypothetical goo so I hesitate to use the word but Darwinism or modern theories of evolution were the source of an amoral (i.e. immoral) eugenics movement. An understanding of principles used in eugenics had been understood since ancient times because they are based on the rather trivial observations:
Since ancient times, man has understood the principles of breeding and the lasting quality of inherited traits. The Old Testament describes Jacob’s clever breeding of his and Labans flocks, as spotted and streaked goats were mated to create spotted and streaked offspring. Centuries later, Jesus sermonized, “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
Good stock and preferred traits were routinely propagated in the fields and the flocks. Bad stock and unwanted traits were culled. Breeding, whether in grapes or sheep, was considered a skill subject to luck and God’s grace.
But during the five years between 1863 and 1868, three great men of biology would all promulgate a theory of evolution dependent upon identifiable hereditary “units” within the cells. These units could actually be seen under a microscope. Biology entered a new age when its visionaries proclaimed that good and bad traits were not bestowed by God as an inscrutable divinity, but transmitted from generation to generation according to the laws of science.
(War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race
by Edwin Black :12-13)

The problem is not that the theory of natural selection is incorrect, it's that given Darwin's theological arguments and a Darwinian philosophy of naturalism the theory is extended far beyond its limited (and often trivial) scope and applied in immoral ways. Naturalism is a totalizing philosophy which has to apply to all that is, was or ever will be. Given the total arrogance that such a view of total knowledge/scientia breeds it is little wonder that history shows that totalitarianism is often the fruit of a philosophy of naturalism. As G.K. Chesterton noted:
The thing that really is trying to tyrannise through government is Science. The thing that really does use the secular arm is Science. And the creed that really is levying tithes and capturing schools, the creed that really is enforced by fine and imprisonment, the creed that really is proclaimed not in sermons but in statutes, and spread not by pilgrims but by policemen--that creed is the great but disputed system of thought which began with Evolution and has ended in Eugenics.
(Eugenics and Other Evils: An Argument Against the Scientifically Organized Society
by G.K. Chesterton
(With Additional Articles by his Eugenic and Birth Control Opponents, edited by Michael W. Perry)
In his book Edwin Black notes some of the historical victims of this arrogance with respect to science/"knowledge":
"Eventually, you knew your time would come," recalled Buck Smith about his Lynchberg experience. His name is not really Buck Smith. But he was too ashamed, nearly a half century later, to allow his real name to be used during an interview with a local Virginia reporter. ..... Buck...recounted the day he was sterilized at Lynchberg. He was fifteen years old. "The call came over the dormitory just like always, and I knew they were ready for me," he remembered. "There was no use fighting it. They gave me some pills that made me drowsy and then they wheeled me up to the operating room."
Poverty .... was scientifically held by many esteemed doctors and universities to be a genetic defect, transmitted from generation to generation. Buck Smith was hardly feebleminded, and he spoke with simple eloquence about his mentality. "I've worked for eleven years at the same job," he said, "and haven't missed more than three days of work. There's nothing wrong with me except my lack of education."
"I'll never understand why they sterilized me," Buck Smith disconsolately told the local reporter. "I'll never understand that. ....they took a lot of my life away from me. Having children is supposed to be a part of the human race."
The reporter noticed a small greeting card behind Buck Smith. The sterilized man had eventually married and formed a lasting bond with his stepchildren. The card was from those stepchildren and read: "Thinking of you, Daddy."
Through tears, Buck Smith acknowledged the card, "They call me Daddy."
Mary Donald was equally pained when she recalled her years of anguish following her sterilization....when she was only eleven. Several years later, she was "released" to her husband-to-be, and then enjoyed a good marriage for eighteen years. But "he loved kids," she remembered. "I lay in bed and cried because I couldn't give him a son," she recounted.... "... He said it didn't matter. But as years went by, he changed. We got divorced and he married someone else." With these words, Mary broke down and wept.
Like so many, Mary never understood what was happening.
.... Mary didn't learn she had been sterilized until five years after her operation.(War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race
by Edwin Black :5-6)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A few comments....


Nothing new, most of the time I link to my comments on this blog so that I can find them again and check for replies without having too many bookmarks.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


Here's an interesting video from his Illinois debates with Alan Keyes. His effete sniveling about being lectured to by someone who isn't his pastor seems ironic now given who his pastor was at the time.