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Thursday, November 01, 2012

Mailvox: the ideas, they spread

CG sounds a little offended upon my behalf:
Did you read this article? It's a pretty blatant TIA rip-off. Sorry you don't receive any credit. 
Despite being taken directly from TIA, this may actually be less of a "rip-off" than another article I saw recently in a mainstream news article that read as if had come right out of a recent WND column.  But this doesn't bother me in the slightest, in fact, I regard it as in some ways being the ultimate compliment.

What such citations mean is that it the ideas rather than the personality are making their way into the mainstream.  We're seeing this with Roissy and Game, and we're also seeing this in a lesser way with various concepts that I've been banging on for years now.  Since I'm not pursuing a career as a talking head, it doesn't really matter if I get the ego boost from seeing my name in print or not, and let's face it, of all the egos in the world, mine must be among the least in need of boosting.

It's a good thing that the ideas are able to be transmitted in places where their attachment to my identity may handicap them.  The most influential thinkers are not always those whose names are most recognizable; Paris Hilton and Richard Dawkins are both famous, which examples I trust underline the complete lack of intellectual significance of fame.

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87 Comments:

Anonymous Difranco November 01, 2012 3:09 AM  

Sometimes the original author polarizes information making the audience less receptive to the information.

People are more likely to attack reject Vox Day, not the Encyclopedia of War. Attacking inanimate books is rarely done especially when it is reference shelf material.

Anonymous VryeDenker November 01, 2012 4:00 AM  

I had a slight hand in this. I was the one who introduced the author to TIA around 7 days ago.

Anonymous VryeDenker November 01, 2012 4:02 AM  

BTW, I go by the handle Vaaldonkie Visagie on that site. It loses quite a lot in translation, unfortunately.

Anonymous Koanic November 01, 2012 4:10 AM  

That monosyllabic consonant-heavy dyad strikes instinctive terror into atrophied amygdalas everywhere.

Like a hawk silhoette, it keeps the stunned midgets panting in the comments to a minimum.

Anonymous Outlaw X November 01, 2012 4:39 AM  

"It's a good thing that the ideas are able to be transmitted in places where their attachment to my identity may handicap them. The most influential thinkers are not always those whose names are most recognizable'

That is probably one of the best things you ever said, God bless Joe Sobran

Anonymous Bohm November 01, 2012 4:52 AM  

I'm sure I can't be the only one who finds this whole Christianity v atheism debate on the interweb a crushing bore (he says, embarking on his own little rant).

The amount of people who have converted either way as a result must be miniscule compared to the verbiage emitted.

I once wasted two hours of my life watch Youtube christians and atheists swinging at each other and I found everyone to be as disagreeable as the last.

Anonymous Outlaw X November 01, 2012 4:58 AM  

"I once wasted two hours of my life watch Youtube christians ( Um that would be (C)hristians no matter the hate) and atheists swinging at each other and I found everyone to be as disagreeable as the last."

Really? damn waste of time I guess, what is it you do believe, Nothing?

Blogger Tyronehster November 01, 2012 5:11 AM  

Hi, I did acknowledge you in the comments section, and apologise for not having done so in the actual article. I'm halfway through reading 'The Irrational Atheist' and finds myself both enthralled at whay you're doing and amused at the ramblings of the Three Stooges.

Anonymous Bobo November 01, 2012 5:13 AM  

Tyronehster, I'd also recommend Ed Feser's "THE LAST SUPERSTITION".
edwardfeser.blogspot.com

Anonymous Bohm November 01, 2012 5:16 AM  

Outlaw X
No hate intended, I assure you, just a simple typo.

As it happens, I'm atheist. I don't think it's possible to believe in "Nothing". But I'm embarrassed by some of the arguments put forth by atheists, even so.

Anonymous Bobo November 01, 2012 5:23 AM  

Most News24 atheists are white English speaking left wing closet racists who blame apartheid on the Afrikaans (Dutch) speaking whites. Meanwhile the blacks seem to respect the latter more than the former and recognise the chest thumping as false.

Anonymous Idle Spectator November 01, 2012 5:29 AM  

I've had my ideas spread as well, even while participating as a mere spectator in this tridecagonal Arena of Faux Pas.

That's alright though, they are not copyrighted, and once I post them anyone can use them as they see fit. Muse to the world. I know it's hard to resist my delicate gleaming jewels, too shiny to passed by without pawing upon them. "Is that real? Could it be? ...Zirconium Dioxide instead?" Those gleaming jewel-terrors that sprout forth from the ultraintelligence. Craddle them to your bosom as you would your small child. Then discard them like an old homeless man's shoe.

For another is coming shortly.

Anonymous Kickass November 01, 2012 6:01 AM  

IS, your last gleaming jewel was more of a steaming pile. Tell me delicate one, are you still dreaming of tiptoeing up to a sleeping Vox and whispering into his ear?

Blogger Ryan Anderson November 01, 2012 6:34 AM  

Despite being taken directly from TIA, this may actually be less of a "rip-off" than another article

I wouldn't call this an "article" or take it as too much of a compliment...

"MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users"

Anonymous Anonymous November 01, 2012 6:44 AM  

I have learned that the root of the atheism/ Christianity debate is choice. No matter the logic, facts, or even science that you bring up they will all be ignored because at the end of the day faith is a choice. It is this root that gas also lead me to be opposed to legislated morality. You cannot force people to be moral. But like Vox, I continue to debate atheism wherever I find it so that the truth might be there for people who are weak faithed or on the border.

Mr. B.A.D.

Anonymous Logan November 01, 2012 6:44 AM  

"Victor" in the comments section really, really makes me laugh:

"...the 'war numbers' is a tired old argument punted many times by christians. Always referencing the 'Encyclopaedia of War'. Its a matter of opinion if the wars they claim are secular were really secular... Its a silly argument, the whole 'who killed the most' issue."

Everyone who bothers to read my comment, please, do me a favor, ask yourself the following question:

If the statistics of religious and secular wars in the Encyclopaedia of War were reversed - 93% religious and 7% secular -would Victor have left the same comments? Would he still be saying "Its a silly argument, the whole 'who killed the most' issue."? (Sorry, that's 2 questions.)

To think, I was once a little intimidated by these guys.

Anonymous VryeDenker November 01, 2012 6:49 AM  

Yeah the South African atheist is a regular logical and rhetorical genius.

Anonymous Bobo November 01, 2012 6:50 AM  

It's cute how so many internet atheists purposefully fail to capitalise Christian or God.

Anonymous VryeDenker November 01, 2012 6:53 AM  

Or refer to Jesus as Jebus. The irony being that Jebus is the old name for Jerusalem.

Anonymous Bobo November 01, 2012 7:01 AM  

"As an atheist, these arguments from both sides should not affect me because in the end I know the truth. Religion is based on belief(not facts), belief in historical writings - some of which are highly questionable in terms of who wrote them...."

Well, at least he tries to be reasonable.... and he's probably the smartest one there.

Anonymous VryeDenker November 01, 2012 7:05 AM  

Being the fastest at the special olympics doesn't make you any less special.

Anonymous Bobo November 01, 2012 7:08 AM  

Logan: "To think, I was once a little intimidated by these guys."

I've never been intimidated by an atheist. But I have been put off by their disingenuous behaviour, hypocrisy and use of foul language. S*it will simply stick to your shoe if you step in it, debating with most internet atheists is the same. There are of course some very intelligent and polite internet atheists, such as dguller on Ed Feser's blog.

Anonymous scoobius dubious November 01, 2012 7:19 AM  

"What such citations mean is that it's the ideas rather than the personality are making their way into the mainstream."

Then maybe you, Steve Sailer, and Don Van Vliet should start a club!

Well actually Don is no longer among us; but he would have made an outstanding member of such a club.

btw, off-topic, but thinking about your posts on economics, this little aphorism popped into my mind:

"Free trade is merely the economic nationalism of those who do not really have a nation."

If you agree feel free to throw it in the mix sans cite.





Anonymous The Great Martini November 01, 2012 7:46 AM  

What is the idea, anyway? Is it that certain atheists, in their critical exuberance, have overblown the lethality of religion and underestimated the killing power of science? That all fine, and probably to a point, but every time a suicide bomber goes off, we are reminded that nevertheless, religion can be rather lethal. Also, isn't it a little odd that you suddenly promote science to lethal status above technology when the killing starts, but then compare it rather impotently to technology when the conversation comes to praising it? The A-bomb that wiped out Hiroshima and Nagasaki might as well be cast in terms of technological achievement, and no doubt it would be if recounted as the alternative to a million American lives lost to a Japan invasion. In short, there always seems to be a way to portray science as the bad guy, technology and religion as saccharine sweetness. The real crux of the problem is whether religion is a net plus or minus to the world, and of course the same might be asked of science. As for science, I say a resounding "yes" and I'm undecided about religion. More than likely that question doesn't have a definitive answer.

Anonymous tdm November 01, 2012 7:58 AM  

"...,of all the egos in the world, mine must be among the least in need of boosting."

If VD has a flaw it is that he is honest to a fault.

Anonymous daddynichol November 01, 2012 8:04 AM  

"....and no doubt it would be if recounted as the alternative to a million American lives lost to a Japan invasion."

I've always been curious as to how that number was calculated. Perhaps the same formula was used to calculate the number of jobs saved by stimulus spending.

Anonymous The Great Martini November 01, 2012 8:11 AM  


I've always been curious as to how that number was calculated. Perhaps the same formula was used to calculate the number of jobs saved by stimulus spending.


LOL! So have I. I think someone in military intelligence just pulled it out of his ass. I'm pretty sure the figure was pure rationalization, but as a rhetorical point, whether it's total BS is irrelevant. Just substitute any trade-off involving science/technology and lives saved/lost.

Anonymous Rantor November 01, 2012 8:20 AM  

Regarding the nuking of Japan, I read an interesting essay recently, asserting, with quotes, that the military leadership (Including MacArthur, Eisenhower, King, etc.) was opposed and believed Japan would surrender and there was no need.

The author asserted that the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was more about deterring the Soviets than vanquishing the Japanese.

As someone who has spent over 30 years thinking that the bombings were the right thing to do, I must admit, I now have serious doubts.

Anonymous Bobo November 01, 2012 8:27 AM  

"Just substitute any trade-off involving science/technology and lives saved/lost."

Americans invading Japan would have to fight Japanese defending themselves using guns, bombs, knives and other scientific/technological advances. So it would be science vs science in both cases. Now, no science, and no Pearl Harbor, no Hiroshima no Nanjing, and no Auschwitz. Heck no Bolshevism, either.

Was science a net good? We have the threat of total annihilation. We have, what you will probably agree to, global warming. We have Chernobyls and Fukushimas. Science messed up warning us about the natural disasters in Indonesia, Japan and Italy. Thanks to science and technology people are becoming lazier and more obese. Thanks to mobile phones we work two hours longer on average. Does this make us happier and healthier?

But is life meaningful and worthwhile under atheism? I tend to think, NOT. I think atheists who think life is meaningful are deluded.

Anonymous Bobo November 01, 2012 8:31 AM  

Rantor: "As someone who has spent over 30 years thinking that the bombings were the right thing to do, I must admit, I now have serious doubts."

A Soviet invasion of Japan would probably result in a second, much larger and more determined North Korea. You may however argue that the Soviets would not have the capability to land so many soldiers in Japan and that a Communist 5th Column was not as well developed in Japan. In the long run, more Japanese would die from starvation, warfare and Communist persecution.

Anonymous realmatt November 01, 2012 8:38 AM  

Don't worry, Vox. WE remember who said it first.

Nevar 4get

Blogger Joshua_D November 01, 2012 8:43 AM  

Rantor November 01, 2012 8:20 AM

As someone who has spent over 30 years thinking that the bombings were the right thing to do, I must admit, I now have serious doubts.


Murdering innocent people/civilians is never the right thing to do.

It may seem like there is no alternative. It may even be understandable. But, it's never the right thing to do.

Anonymous HongKongCharlie November 01, 2012 8:45 AM  

daddynichol: I've always been curious as to how that number was calculated. Perhaps the same formula was used to calculate the number of jobs saved by stimulus spending.

You can't be serious! A student of history not! To cheapen the lives that were lost all across the Pacific by comparing it to the calculations from a slimeball Politician like the Dwon! You sir are a lightweight! Sometimes I sincerely regret the passing of the duel.

History has the answer if you are interested.

HKC

Anonymous HongKongCharlie November 01, 2012 8:53 AM  

"Murdering innocent people/civilians is never the right thing to do."

There were no innocent people/civilians in Japan at the time. Innocent/civilians is a mantra repeated all around the globe to promote ideologues and their agenda. Looks like you are close to drinking the kool-aid.

My question to you. How many more US fighting men should have been killed to subdue the island of Japan? Kill ratios being plainly established by the long murderous slog across the Pacific islands on the way to Japan. Remember a war we didn't start.

HKC

Anonymous The Great Martini November 01, 2012 9:12 AM  


Was science a net good? We have the threat of total annihilation.


Hypotheticals like that are the major reason questions like "is science a net good" is probably ultimately unanswerable, even though my opinion is that it is. It also takes only one instance of an existential threat averted to make the value and benefit of science go through the roof, like an asteroid impact theoretically avoided by nuclear missile or a global pandemic avoided by vaccination. What is the value of saving all of civilization? Priceless. These questions never have definite answers, and if you think you have a definite answer, you may be shown to be foolish by near future events. What if Iran gets a nuclear weapon and then starts WW III? The irony with that example is that Armageddon will have been started by a mixture of science and religion.

Anonymous Bohm November 01, 2012 9:15 AM  

"Innocent/civilians is a mantra repeated all around the globe to promote ideologues and their agenda. "

This strikes me as a particularly stupid remark. It's something a crazed ideologue would say. So, all the children and infants in Japan deserved to die, too?

Anonymous Athor Pel November 01, 2012 9:19 AM  

"HongKongCharlie November 01, 2012 8:53 AM
...
My question to you. How many more US fighting men should have been killed to subdue the island of Japan? Kill ratios being plainly established by the long murderous slog across the Pacific islands on the way to Japan. Remember a war we didn't start."



"...a war we didn't start."

He he he, that's funny, considering how much Roosevelt provoked Japan.

We may not have thrown the first punch but we certainly engaged in the foreign trade policy equivalent of provocation leading to assured response. It was the chicken dance on an international scale so the self-defense excuse could be trotted out in order to take the moral high ground.


Anonymous jSinSaTx November 01, 2012 9:22 AM  

While i can believe the bomb was not needed i am also not going to pretend that i care about the japanese people of that time. They were brutal assholes of the first order. Read the rape of nanking and books of that type. The japanese press and population celebrated the brutality.

You choose to fight a war and you only get one vote on when it ends.

History and war have been miserable for most. in 45 it was japans turn. Someday it will be ours.

Anonymous jSinSaTx November 01, 2012 9:26 AM  

We didnt force them to invade china or korea. The japanese wanted a war. Perhaps not with us, but they were not a bunch of hippies. Justice would have had china hammering them... Wound up being us. Either way, outside of good or ill to this nation why does anyone care.

Anonymous jSinSaTx November 01, 2012 9:27 AM  

"Deserves got nothin to do with it"

Blogger James Dixon November 01, 2012 9:31 AM  

> As it happens, I'm atheist. I don't think it's possible to believe in "Nothing".

Sounds more like you're an agnostic who believes proof is lacking then.

> It's cute how so many internet atheists purposefully fail to capitalise Christian or God.

Well, I've stopped capitalizing the political parties, congress, and the senate. They're not deserving of the respect, and haven't been for some time.

> ...but every time a suicide bomber goes off, we are reminded that nevertheless, religion can be rather lethal.

Do I really need to point out that most of the victims of suicide bombs over the past several years have had the same religion as the bombers?

> As someone who has spent over 30 years thinking that the bombings were the right thing to do, I must admit, I now have serious doubts.

There are no rules to war. Those who pretend there are are playing a game, not fighting a war. You fight wars to win, using any tools available. Any tool which kills the enemy while preserving the lives of your people is acceptable.

Would it have been possible to win the war against Japan without the bombs? Almost certainly. But at what cost?

> Murdering innocent people/civilians is never the right thing to do.

See above. There are no true civilians in war. They support, feed, and arm the armies. Whether they have any say in the matter or not, they are part of the process and must be dealt with accordingly. You might as equally well condemn Sherman, Lincoln, and the entire population of the north for their actions during the Civil War, and some do.

While your statement is true, fighting a war is never the right thing to do either. But sometimes you aren't given a choice in the matter.

> It may seem like there is no alternative.

Sometimes there isn't.

Anonymous jSinSaTx November 01, 2012 9:42 AM  

There are rules, but only the strong nd winners get to make them. It is why lemay was not a war criminal. We won and they lost. It is why it is cowardly now to attack in a way that targets civilians and 70 years ago it was viewed differently. Once we got precision munitions everyone else was wrong because they cant afford them. Winner writes the rules... Nothing new here.

Blogger Joshua_D November 01, 2012 9:56 AM  

James Dixon November 01, 2012 9:31 AM

> Murdering innocent people/civilians is never the right thing to do.

See above. There are no true civilians in war. They support, feed, and arm the armies. Whether they have any say in the matter or not, they are part of the process and must be dealt with accordingly. You might as equally well condemn Sherman, Lincoln, and the entire population of the north for their actions during the Civil War, and some do.

While your statement is true, fighting a war is never the right thing to do either. But sometimes you aren't given a choice in the matter.


What are you talking about? Most of those "no true civilians" are forced to fund the state military machine. It's not as if I voluntarily pay federal income tax to fund the USA War Machine.

"Whether they have any say in the matter or not, they are part of the process and must be dealt with accordingly." This is a ridiculous thing to say.

Blogger James Dixon November 01, 2012 9:58 AM  

> Winner writes the rules... Nothing new here.

Of course. Which is why you fight to win. If you do win, then you get to say that whatever methods you used were legitimate. And if you lose, what do you care?

Blogger James Dixon November 01, 2012 10:02 AM  

> What are you talking about? Most of those "no true civilians" are forced to fund the state military machine. It's not as if I voluntarily pay federal income tax to fund the USA War Machine.

I never said you did. But you pay them. You're as much a part of the war machine process as the soldier that's armed with the money they take, as am I. Whether we like the fact or not.

> This is a ridiculous thing to say.

You may think so. Reality disagrees with you. And when/if war comes, reality will make it clear that what you think doesn't matter.

Anonymous scoobius dubious November 01, 2012 10:03 AM  

"Murdering innocent people/civilians is never the right thing to do."

Proposition: All draftees are in fact innocent people/civilians, more or less by definition. And yet they still get shot and blown up and burned alive and so forth, just like "innocents" do.




Blogger Spacebunny November 01, 2012 10:12 AM  

Well, I've stopped capitalizing the political parties, congress, and the senate. They're not deserving of the respect, and haven't been for some time.


Capitalization is not about respect, it is about grammatical rules and education, or perhaps lack thereof in your case. For example, I have zero respect for Abraham Lincoln and yet, look at that, I capitalized his name.

Blogger Joshua_D November 01, 2012 10:16 AM  

James Dixon November 01, 2012 10:02 AM

> What are you talking about? Most of those "no true civilians" are forced to fund the state military machine. It's not as if I voluntarily pay federal income tax to fund the USA War Machine.

I never said you did. But you pay them. You're as much a part of the war machine process as the soldier that's armed with the money they take, as am I. Whether we like the fact or not.

> This is a ridiculous thing to say.

You may think so. Reality disagrees with you. And when/if war comes, reality will make it clear that what you think doesn't matter.


Reality doesn't go around dropping nuclear bombs and smart bombs on innocent civilians. Men do that. Let's not go blaming Reality for the sins of men. Just because men have in fact murdered innocent people since Cain murdered Able, that doesn't mean murdering innocent people is ever the right thing to do, even in war.

Life is not fair. Bad things happen to innocent people, but there is no need to defend those actions or to ever think they are "right." In the end, we'll all be held to account for our actions.

Anonymous zen0 November 01, 2012 11:18 AM  

That all fine, and probably to a point, but every time a suicide bomber goes off, we are reminded that nevertheless, religion can be rather lethal. Great Martini 7:46 AM.

You use the blanket term "religion" when you mean "ideology". This is a common technique used to blur the distinction between them and confuse the issues.

Anonymous Mountain Man November 01, 2012 11:26 AM  

"Well, I've stopped capitalizing the political parties, congress, and the senate. They're not deserving of the respect, and haven't been for some time.
"Capitalization is not about respect, it is about grammatical rules and education, or perhaps lack thereof in your case. For example, I have zero respect for Abraham Lincoln and yet, look at that, I capitalized his name."

Well, he did capitalize "I." Gotta respect yo' self.

Blogger James Dixon November 01, 2012 11:28 AM  

> Capitalization is not about respect, it is about grammatical rules and education...

While true, in my case it's a deliberate breaking of said rules to show my lack of respect. I don't really expect anyone else to agree or follow suit.

> Reality doesn't go around dropping nuclear bombs and smart bombs on innocent civilians.

The citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki might have a few words about that.

> Let's not go blaming Reality for the sins of men.

Who's blaming? The sins of mean are part of reality.

> ...that doesn't mean murdering innocent people is ever the right thing to do, even in war.

As I've tried to point out, there are no "innocent people" in a war. You may not like that, but it's still true.

> ...but there is no need to defend those actions or to ever think they are "right."

I've never said they're right. War is not right. But it exists, it's nature is what it is, and we have to deal with it.

> In the end, we'll all be held to account for our actions.

Of course.

Blogger Spacebunny November 01, 2012 11:34 AM  

While true, in my case it's a deliberate breaking of said rules to show my lack of respect. I don't really expect anyone else to agree or follow suit.

Except it doesn't convey disrespect, it conveys lack of education and acting like a petulant little girl, but hey, if that's the message you're happy conveying, more power to you.

Anonymous Tallen November 01, 2012 11:35 AM  

I posed the "innocent people" question to another ROTC cadet at field training a number of years ago. "If people fund, feed, and otherwise supply the war effort, are they really innocent?" He got visibly upset and responded with an affirmative but with no explanation as to why. I didn't really have an agenda with the question and I still don't have an answer for it. As mentioned above there are caveats to it too - if the people "supporting" the war effort but not part of the military per se are forced to do so (taxes), is the answer different?

Blogger Spacebunny November 01, 2012 11:36 AM  

As I've tried to point out, there are no "innocent people" in a war. You may not like that, but it's still true.

You mean as you've nakedly asserted. And the dictionary and reality disagree with you. So no, it is not true.

Anonymous Josh November 01, 2012 11:52 AM  

That all fine, and probably to a point, but every time a suicide bomber goes off, we are reminded that nevertheless, religion can be rather lethal.

You have no idea what you're taking about. Suicide bombings are a response to an occupation, not religion. Before the first and second intifadas, the most prominent suicide bombers were secular groups, usually atheist or marxist, like the Tamil tigers.

Blogger James Dixon November 01, 2012 12:26 PM  

> ...it conveys lack of education and acting like a petulant little girl, but hey, if that's the message you're happy conveying, more power to you.

SB, I think I've posted here long enough to make my education level, age, etc., pretty clear to all the regulars (my typing on the other hand, is only slightly better than Nate's). IMO, that contrast, and the fact that these are comments in political posts, should be enough to give the intent away.

However, if that's the message people want to think I'm conveying, I don't really have a problem with it.

Blogger James Dixon November 01, 2012 12:37 PM  

> You mean as you've nakedly asserted.

Actually, you are correct SB. It is an assertion, and I'm at a loss as to how it could be proven one way or the other. So I retract the statement as to it being true. It's a considered opinion as to what is true, but I've been wrong before and undoubtedly will be again.

And while the dictionary probably doesn't agree with me, I'll have to disagree as to reality doing so. But again, that's an opinion.

> He got visibly upset and responded with an affirmative but with no explanation as to why.

Cognitive dissonance tends to have that effect.

The concept that the civilian population not taking part in a war is innocent is an attractive one. It even has a degree of truth. That doesn't change the fact that they're enabling the war, and that winning the war may require that they be stopped from doing so.

Blogger Joshua_D November 01, 2012 12:42 PM  

James Dixon November 01, 2012 12:37 PM

> You mean as you've nakedly asserted.

And while the dictionary probably doesn't agree with me, I'll have to disagree as to reality doing so. But again, that's an opinion.


The dictionary disagrees with you because "Reality" simply is. Reality is simply a description our understanding of what exists and what happens. So, when you say "Reality dropped a bomb," you aren't saying anything. And what's worse, when you personify existence into an acting "Reality" you try to obfuscate who is truly accountable for the murdering of innocent people.

I'm sure many Japanese know exactly who dropped the bomb on their country.

Anonymous Josh November 01, 2012 12:50 PM  

The concept that the civilian population not taking part in a war is innocent is an attractive one. It even has a degree of truth. That doesn't change the fact that they're enabling the war, and that winning the war may require that they be stopped from doing so.

If that's the case, then just nuke every city at the onset of hostilities.

Blogger Joshua_D November 01, 2012 12:58 PM  

Josh November 01, 2012 12:50 PM

> The concept that the civilian population not taking part in a war is innocent is an attractive one. It even has a degree of truth. That doesn't change the fact that they're enabling the war, and that winning the war may require that they be stopped from doing so.

If that's the case, then just nuke every city at the onset of hostilities.


Right, and why didn't the USA just nuke the entire island to finish off the job? If we're in it to win it, then win it for good.

Anonymous Loki of Asgard November 01, 2012 1:04 PM  

There are no true civilians in war. They support, feed, and arm the armies. Whether they have any say in the matter or not, they are part of the process and must be dealt with accordingly.

Exactly. Yet no sooner do you unleash a conquering army upon the bleating masses, than they start calling you names like "villain" or "war criminal" or "scrawny little crybaby trying to compensate for something".

Truly, they get all out of shape over something so small as their families being vaporised, and they call me a crybaby. Tsk.

Anonymous Stickwick November 01, 2012 1:19 PM  

The amount of people who have converted either way as a result must be miniscule compared to the verbiage emitted.

Count me as one of the people who was converted (to Christianity), but, yes, the overall number is probably small.

I engage in a fair amount of debate and biblical apologetics from a scientific POV, but it is not with the purpose of converting anyone. Rather, it serves to bolster people's faith and help them deal with doubts and unresolved dilemmas. I work at a large, liberal university, and have talked to several students over the years about this stuff, and they find it helpful in dealing with hostile challenges to their faith. They're also usually quite delighted to find that there is far more support for their faith than they realize.

Anonymous Bohm November 01, 2012 1:23 PM  

Slaughtering millions of civilians may be the only way to win a modern war, but that doesn't make them any less innocent. It only makes modern warfare all the more horrific.

James Dixon,
"Sounds more like you're an agnostic who believes proof is lacking then."

As far as Christianity is concerned, I'm an atheist, to be sure. But I will concede the highly remote possibility that some kind of Almighty Being could reveal itself, which would technically class me as agnostic. I regard such a possibility as so infinitesimally remote even so, that for all intents and purposes I am atheist. Moreover, supposing such a being did exist, I would be doubly surprised if it then demanded to be adored and obeyed on pain of everlasting damnation. If that was the agenda, the said Being would have revealed itself already -and taken great pains to ensure there was no mistaking or doubting its existence/purpose.

Rambling on: Humanity tends to imagine its deities as one of themselves, only bearded or comfortably rotund -or any number of animals. This makes for some great art, but given what we now know about the universe, it seems a bit prosaic and parochial. I would have thought that a Supreme Being (please note the careful application of caps) would be more "likely" to be some kind of cosmological principle or perhaps a quantum intelligence ( see Star Trek for pointers).

And when I say "revealed" I mean to say that scientific inquiry by humans would be means of its revelation to us.

There, that's my stab at the atheist debate. Feel free to rip into it.


Anonymous Loki of Asgard November 01, 2012 1:42 PM  

I would have thought that a Supreme Being...would be more "likely" to be some kind of cosmological principle...

Yet another example of why you need to be ruled: You cannot differentiate between entities and mathematical equations.

Anonymous Bohm November 01, 2012 1:57 PM  

"You cannot differentiate between entities and mathematical equations."

That's just my poor choice of words. I mean to say that a Supreme Being would probably be more strange than we can imagine. It won't be a 'local' God and will probably not feel the need to rule us. You might wonder if that actually qualifies such a Being as a God, and I'd have to say probably not, in a religious sense. I suppose there is a qualitative difference between demanding submission and "merely' inspiring awe.

Anonymous HongKongCharlie November 01, 2012 2:23 PM  

We may not have thrown the first punch but we certainly engaged in the foreign trade policy equivalent of provocation leading to assured response. It was the chicken dance on an international scale so the self-defense excuse could be trotted out in order to take the moral high ground.

It didn't take long for the "it was our fault" to appear. I just knew it was our fault that the Japanese bombed pearl harbor. By the way anyone have a link to the innocent/civilians killed in that attack?

HKC

Anonymous Loki of Asgard November 01, 2012 2:29 PM  

It won't be a 'local' God and will probably not feel the need to rule us.

And you know this how, exactly? Through your intensive investigation using spectrometers and metric weights?

Perhaps because you heard the idea being preached by a group of people who were trying desperately to bolster a waning audience so that their corporate masters could sell a worthwhile volume of breaded cheese sticks?

Or is it, perhaps, an attempt to imagine a deity in a form that pleases you?

Of course a Supreme Being would be beyond your comprehension, as you are limited. His intentions, however, would also be beyond you, and it is not for you to decide from your position of ignorance whether He wishes to order your brief and frenzied life to your own direct benefit.

You close your eyes and wonder why you see nothing.

Anonymous Outlaw X November 01, 2012 2:40 PM  

"That's just my poor choice of words. I mean to say that a Supreme Being would probably be more strange than we can imagine. It won't be a 'local' God and will probably not feel the need to rule us. You might wonder if that actually qualifies such a Being as a God, and I'd have to say probably not, in a religious sense. I suppose there is a qualitative difference between demanding submission and "merely' inspiring awe."

You look into the heavens the sky above an tell me there is not a creator, and you can yell it as loud and long as you want. But one day you are going to die just like me, and you better well make peace with the creator. i don't care who you are or what you believe either death is final or everlasting, take your pick.

Anonymous Bohm November 01, 2012 2:49 PM  

"Or is it, perhaps, an attempt to imagine a deity in a form that pleases you?"

Precisely.

When I close my eyes, I see nothing because my eyelids are preventing most of the photons from hitting my retinas, or something.

Anonymous Loki of Asgard November 01, 2012 3:03 PM  

When I close my eyes, I see nothing because my eyelids are preventing most of the photons from hitting my retinas, or something.

I declare my point proven and command you to kneel.

Anonymous Bohm November 01, 2012 3:28 PM  

Outlaw X,
Your invitation to yell as loud and long as I want is welcome.

Loki,
Your command is duly noted and will be taken under advisement. Thanks.

Anonymous Mountain Man November 01, 2012 3:51 PM  

"Moreover, supposing such a being did exist, I would be doubly surprised if it then demanded to be adored and obeyed on pain of everlasting damnation."

Translation: I don't believe in God, and even if he exists, I don't like my version of what he is like.

Anonymous Outlaw X November 01, 2012 4:02 PM  

Outlaw X,
Your invitation to yell as loud and long as I want is welcome.

You don't understand, this is a warning, not an invitation. You go about your business.

Anonymous Logan November 01, 2012 5:44 PM  

Bobo, I read Ed Feser's blog regularly, and yes there are some intelligent, respectful atheists who frequent there like dguller. Likewise, not all books written from an atheist's perspective should be grouped together with The God Delusion. For example, Divine Hiddenness and Human Reason by Schellenberg is a fantastic book.

Anonymous Outlaw X November 01, 2012 6:02 PM  

" Divine Hiddenness and Human Reason by Schellenberg is a fantastic book.'

Guess I will go read that one, when Hell freezes over. You dumb "f's" can't even see that which is so simple. I don't care; remain the same.

Anonymous Koanic November 01, 2012 6:11 PM  

Nobody seems to recognize that even in the movie, Loki's pre-invasion rule by mind control staff would've been superior to any other form of Earth government.

Anonymous Idle Spectator November 01, 2012 6:12 PM  

IS, your last gleaming jewel was more of a steaming pile. Tell me delicate one, are you still dreaming of tiptoeing up to a sleeping Vox and whispering into his ear?

Speaking of steaming piles? And yet, your name contains the word "ass" in it.

The irony, it stings there even when not sitting. Diaper time for you. No need to post those pictures though, I am not really into that, and already believed it happened.

Anonymous p-dawg November 01, 2012 6:21 PM  

@Joshua_D: "Murdering innocent people/civilians is never the right thing to do.

It may seem like there is no alternative. It may even be understandable. But, it's never the right thing to do."


Never? Deut. 2:23-24 "The LORD our God delivered him over to us and we struck him down, together with his sons and his whole army. At that time we took all his towns and completely destroyed them--men, women and children. We left no survivors."

Anonymous The Great Martini November 01, 2012 6:59 PM  


You have no idea what you're taking about. Suicide bombings are a response to an occupation, not religion. Before the first and second intifadas, the most prominent suicide bombers were secular groups, usually atheist or marxist, like the Tamil tigers.


Let's say I concede the point. In the case Muslim bombers, that still leaves the fact that religion is what greases the rails. If Islam didn't provide for paradise for martyrs, there would be, I would say much, less motivation to carry through with it. So religion is still a risk factor.

Blogger Joshua_D November 01, 2012 7:50 PM  

p-dawg November 01, 2012 6:21 PM
@Joshua_D: "Murdering innocent people/civilians is never the right thing to do.

It may seem like there is no alternative. It may even be understandable. But, it's never the right thing to do."

Never? Deut. 2:23-24 "The LORD our God delivered him over to us and we struck him down, together with his sons and his whole army. At that time we took all his towns and completely destroyed them--men, women and children. We left no survivors."


If God declares someone guilty and tells you to kill them then I suppose you should. My comment on innocence refers to innocence between men, not between you and God. Seeing as how we are all guilty before God, I don't know that we, mere men, should be using that metric to determine who we kill.

Blogger Duke of Earl November 01, 2012 9:05 PM  

Let's say I concede the point. In the case Muslim bombers, that still leaves the fact that religion is what greases the rails. If Islam didn't provide for paradise for martyrs, there would be, I would say much, less motivation to carry through with it. So religion is still a risk factor.

Fighting withdrawal?

Suicide bombing is a sign of asymmetric warfare, where a severely outgunned foe uses the very lives of its soldiers to attack the enemy. The Kamikaze of Japan were a similar example.

If they were not in such straits, they would not use such a form of warfare.

You are also using "religion" to cover all possible options. Clearly identify the religion you mean, because they're not all the same. Try as I might, I can't imagine a Quaker suicide bomber. Quakerism, or another of the pacifistic sects, would be a very low risk for violence. How about the Amish? Anyone want to calculate what it would take for one of them to become a bomber?

Islam is a militant religion, it has been so from its founding. Using "religion" when you mean "Islam" is just engaging in weasel words.

Anonymous Josh November 01, 2012 9:57 PM  

Fighting withdrawal?

Yeah, this is a textbook example.

Anonymous zen0 November 01, 2012 10:00 PM  

When I close my eyes, I see nothing because my eyelids are preventing most of the photons from hitting my retinas, or something. Bohm

When you sleep, are your eyelids closed? When you dream, can you see?

Blogger James Dixon November 01, 2012 10:09 PM  

> If that's the case, then just nuke every city at the onset of hostilities.

Do you really think that won't be considered?

> Right, and why didn't the USA just nuke the entire island to finish off the job?

We only had two bombs.

Anonymous Outlaw X November 02, 2012 1:24 AM  

"When you sleep, are your eyelids closed? When you dream, can you see?"

That is actually brilliant, but not how you think, but still brilliant, good job.

Anonymous Outlaw X November 02, 2012 1:33 AM  

You know, not my problem, not my crime, let it go, just let everything go. And feel the freedom of the love of God. Why do you enslave yourself?

Blogger The Aardvark November 02, 2012 4:07 AM  

Why do you enslave yourself? --Outlaw X

Because enslavement is what people know; it is like an old but unpleasant friend. To change would require effort. Even letting go requires an effort.

Inertia is part of spiritual physics, too.

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