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Sunday, April 02, 2017

Fictional is not a synonym for false

National Catholic Register interviews John C. Wright:
What do you think is the place of such elements in science fiction?

Hmm. Good question. Science fiction is by and large based on a naturalistic view of the universe. When penning adventures about space princesses being rescued from space pirates by space marines, religion does not come up, except as local background and local color, in which case, the role of religion is to provide the radioactive altar to the Snake God of Mars to which our shapely by half-clad space princess is chained, that our stalwart hero can fight the monster.

Now, any story of any form can be used as a parable or as an example of a religious truth: indeed, my latest six-book trilogy is actually about faith, although it is portrayed in figures as being about a man's love for his bride.

Fantasy stories, on the other hand, once any element of magic or the supernatural is introduced either declare for the Church or declare for witchcraft, depending on whether or not occultism is glamorized.

Note that I speak of occultism, not magic itself. Merlin the magician is a figure from King Arthur tales, of which no more obviously Christian stories can be found, outside of Dante and Milton, but no portrayal in olden days of Merlin glamorized the occult. Again, the way characters like Gandalf in Tolkien's Middle-Earth, Coriakin in C.S. Lewis's Narnia, or Harry Potter, even those they are called wizards, are clearly portrayed either as commanding a divine power, or, in Potter's case, controlling what is basically an alternate technology or psychic force. There is no bargaining with unclean spirits, no rituals, not even a pack of tarot cards. These are like the witches in Halloween decorations, who fly brooms and wave magic wands, and nothing like the real practices of real wiccans, neopagans or other fools who call themselves witches.

Fools, because, as I did when I challenged God, they meddle with forces of which they have no understanding. I meddled with bright forces, and was spared. They meddle with dark, and they think they can escape the price.

Fantasy stories generally are hostile to Christianity, some intentionally and some negligently. The negligent hostility springs from the commonplace American desire for syncretism, that is, for all religions to be equal. Even some fairly Christian-themed fantasy stories yield weakmindedly to this temptation, as in Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising or A Wrinkle in Time is a science fantasy novel by American writer Madeleine L'Engle, where the forces of light are portrayed as ones where Christ is merely one teacher among many, each equally as bright and good, but makes no special nor exclusive claim. Or tales where the crucifix will drive back a vampire, but so will any other sign or symbol of any religion, from Asatru to Zoroastrianism, because all religions are equal, dontchaknow.

Such syncretic fantasy stories are perhaps more dangerous that those which are openly hostile to religion in general and Catholicism in particular, because such stories as are openly hostile can be read with pleasure and enjoyment the way one would read the Iliad by Homer or the Aeneid of Virgil, as pagan works where the reader suffers no temptation to bow to the stupid gods the writer evidently favors. In this category I place the work of Philip Pullman and Michael Moorcock. Socialist anarchist materialists are so autistic when it comes to spiritual matters, their worlds portrayed in their make believe has little or no power to sway real faith in anything real. Their ideas, when they venture into spiritual themes, are like listening to colorblind men discussing how they would make a better rainbow.

More dangerous are writers of real skill and talent whose spiritual vision is awake, but whose loyalty is in the enemy camp: I put the remarkably talented Ursula K LeGuin in this category, for she can capture the spiritual look, feel, and flavor of Taoism without ever once revealing her own spiritual preferences; and likewise Mr. John Crowley, who is a gnostic, and peppers his work with themes that make the heresy seem quite inviting and new.

In my fantasy stories, magic is always portrayed as unlawful for humans, dangerous, and innately corruptive; elves are beautiful but dangerous; the Church is a mighty fortress bold as an army with spears and trumpets. Because that is the way it really is.

Stories and fairy tales are fictional. That does not mean they are false.

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94 Comments:

Blogger Gapeseed April 02, 2017 4:00 PM  

Terrific stuff. Thanks for posting.

Blogger Eric Slate April 02, 2017 4:03 PM  

This is why Hollywood so studiously ignores themes to do with Christian religious themes. They can't afford the masses understanding the religion they are fighting against.

Anonymous VFM #6306 April 02, 2017 4:10 PM  

L'Engle's error is different from Cooper's in this way: L'Engle was a universalist, and Wrinkle reflects that view accurately.

Cooper's story is less universalist and more reliant on the unknown God - that those who earnestly seek God will find that the benevolent acts that they thought were from a false god were in fact the handiwork of Christ all along.

It is a subtle difference.

Blogger Thurston Pilgrim April 02, 2017 4:17 PM  

@2 "This is why Hollywood so studiously ignores themes to do with Christian religious themes. They can't afford the masses understanding the religion they are fighting against."

I would have to disagree seeing as the "Messianic Hero" is pretty common. The Matrix is one example I can think of off the top of my head, and its Christian themes run pretty deeply, though I concede this may be inadvertent. Are Christian themes very blatant or labeled as such? No, but sometimes you get surprised. One surprise came in the form of a horror movie called "The Last Exorcism" which featured a pastor with waning faith in the spiritual come face to face with demonic events and he ends up having his faith restored and battling the beast.

Blogger kh123 April 02, 2017 4:18 PM  

Negligent hostility: That's an excellent way to put it. Very few aspies out there who actively shake the fist at God. A majority of creative folks - believers likely included - fall under the former.

Blogger kh123 April 02, 2017 4:20 PM  

...I think it was Markku sometime back who pointed out Dostoyevsky had the most ability to damage faith, because via his characters' dialog he painted an attractive and partially convincing picture of nihilism.

Anonymous Heywood April 02, 2017 4:21 PM  

"Fools, because, as I did when I challenged God, they meddle with forces of which they have no understanding. I meddled with bright forces, and was spared. They meddle with dark, and they think they can escape the price."

Does anybody know which "bright forces" JCW meddled with?

Anonymous Brick Hardslab April 02, 2017 4:23 PM  

Thurston, The Matrix is entirely Gnostic and antithetical to Christianity. It's like the da Vinci code versus The Passion.

Blogger Beau April 02, 2017 4:24 PM  

Does anybody know which "bright forces" JCW meddled with?

Yes. my master's servants.

Anonymous Alice De Goon April 02, 2017 4:24 PM  

I think it would be a great idea to create a story setting where magic is a stand-in for social justice and other inane social engineering. Our heroes are people who have to use their holy powers to stop witches whose goal is to use magic, not just for personal profit, but to "improve" humanity. Those who call forth eldritch dark powers to give them the ability to reshape the world to their liking.

It would probably have to be something akin to a Lovecraftian horror story - what would happen if a raging SJW suddenly got superpowers? I shudder to think of it.

Blogger kh123 April 02, 2017 4:31 PM  

"...its Christian themes run pretty deeply, though I concede this may be inadvertent."

Probably is. More likely though, like an artist who can sometimes get a face or technical aspect right without having mastered understructure, they're aping something they don't understand and hit upon it by luck without looking into it further; and if they did understand what all it entailed they'd likely reject it as requiring too much discipline or investment. Like socialism, cultural capital can keep things together at the beginning while progressively falling apart as the new freedom unfolds/unwinds.

Blogger tz April 02, 2017 4:31 PM  

@7 JCW should answer but we have a spiritual battle going on. There are Angels and saints. I suspect Ezekiel's wheels in the air is something like what he might have encountered, or read Perelandra where the archons make themselves perceivable.

There are the local battles here, but they are merely the tip of the "eternal" battle - it is not eternal, read Revelation. But there is something beyond the material world which is perceived by few, and I'm not sure if it is a grace or a curse. "White Magic" would be somewhere in there, but power corrupts and the power of spirit is stronger than anything temporal, either on the dark or light side.

Think of a toddler with a firearm.

Paul on the Damascus road. Also, Stefan Molyneux, given the number of Christians praying for him. Trump is also in the middle of the greater war.

Blogger Markku April 02, 2017 4:35 PM  

...I think it was Markku sometime back who pointed out Dostoyevsky had the most ability to damage faith

Wasn't me.

Blogger kh123 April 02, 2017 4:40 PM  

Pretty sure it was. You'd even asked the question of what potentially made his stories a bit of leaven to anyone not a Christian or who weren't necessarily strong in their faith. Several folks answered - I thought it was some of the Eastern Orthodox / mysticism he'd drop in character's dialog, like Father Zossima in Karamazov. This was a few years ago I think.

Blogger kh123 April 02, 2017 4:41 PM  

...Not leaven, but something along the lines of disturbingly convincing. Etc.

Blogger Markku April 02, 2017 4:45 PM  

I have never read Dostoyevsky.

Blogger tz April 02, 2017 4:46 PM  

@10 Magic is a way of man's dominance over nature, like technology. See Lewis: Abolition of Man. Contrast it to philosophy or religion that conformed man to nature.

But you are correct. Use democracy, if they vote wrong, use the judiciary. Break all the rules. Hillary cna be completely corrupt but no one cares because the end justifies the means.

That is Magic - a way of getting something without paying anything. To change reality (or create a bubble). And that is its danger. Miracles happen, but within God's providence, though it does break the rules God established.

Magic is either an alternate technology, but is about power, or consorting with entities that have power but need to be invited in - demons. Your soul for whatever change to the natural order. The Faustian bargain.

Blogger kh123 April 02, 2017 4:47 PM  

Mandela in effect. Maybe it was Tolstoi. The conversation happened, I guarantee.

Blogger Markku April 02, 2017 4:48 PM  

I have never read Tolstoi.

Anonymous BBGKB April 02, 2017 4:49 PM  

In this category I place the work of Philip Pullman

When I read that I thought he meant the fictional work of Robert Putnam who at least came around at the end to accepting multicult is bad for those with high trust & low corruption.

Does anybody know which "bright forces" JCW meddled with?

Jewish kabbalists believe they command angels who beat up demons & force demons to do their bidding.

I think it would be a great idea to create a story setting where magic is a stand-in for social justice and other inane social engineering.

"Danny Savage ,high priest of the goddess of disease, strode from the bathhouse temple in DC after meeting with TheJewLawyersThatBe with his share of the profits for suing the Red Cross to make it accept gay blood donors."

"As the sun went down, Crooked Eye Clinton cast the Haitian Cheese that had gotten too old off the side of the yacht after slitting its throat hoping this time the tentacles of Cthulhu claimed her sacrifice instead of just another shark"

OT: It would be nice to know who downvoted you on gab, but I imagine todays downvote came from the grindr rabi

Blogger Markku April 02, 2017 4:49 PM  

I have heard COMMENTARY on Crime and Punishment, as far as its nihilism aspect goes, so it's possible that I have made a remark in the thread, and that has caused you to think I started the conversation.

Blogger tz April 02, 2017 4:50 PM  

Dotskyeveski created real characters. In the Brothers Karamazov, Ivan lost his faith and explains about a child who got cancer, and how could God do that, while Alyoska was the simply faithful one. Because the opposion was real and not straw men, he is powerful.

Like anything else, the best fiction or mythology is a mirror in which you see yourself.

Blogger Lazarus April 02, 2017 4:50 PM  

Heywood wrote:"Fools, because, as I did when I challenged God, they meddle with forces of which they have no understanding. I meddled with bright forces, and was spared. They meddle with dark, and they think they can escape the price."

Does anybody know which "bright forces" JCW meddled with?


Check this out:


http://strangenotions.com/wright-conversion/

Blogger Elocutioner April 02, 2017 4:50 PM  

Eric Slate wrote:They can't afford the masses understanding the religion they are fighting against.

Like how the media this week portrayed Pence's not dining alone with any woman but his wife as him being weak. It was a completely foreign concept to them. Very telling.

Blogger kh123 April 02, 2017 4:54 PM  

You're right.

Blogger frigger611 April 02, 2017 4:56 PM  

John C Wright is a brilliant and studious man.

Most of the crap put out by Hollywood is devoid of knowledge of history, philosophy, and religion frankly. The secularists believe those subjects are dusty old pursuits unworthy of modern thinkers.

When I lived in Los Angeles for 2 years I took a couple courses on screenwriting, just for something to do, maybe would help with my writing overall.

But I learned Hollywood is the most closed-minded, non-original, anti-creative place on planet Earth. The formula goes like this, and if you (as a budding screenwriter) deviate from it, your're toast, need not apply.

The story arc is : 1. Orphan (literally or figuratively) 2. Wanderer 3. Warrior and 4. Martyr.

That's why Hollywood is so utterly boring. Everything is Luke Skywalker and Star Wars.

I unlearned it all, best as I could.

Blogger tz April 02, 2017 5:03 PM  

Spirit Daily I'm not quire sure about since it tends to try to peek beyond the curtain, but it is the dangerous part of the light side

Blogger Ingemar April 02, 2017 5:26 PM  

I wonder how atheists dealt with the religious portions of Brothers Karamazov. Did they just skip them?

Blogger Al Smith April 02, 2017 5:29 PM  

The Illiad, The Odyssey, and The Aeneid just shouldn't be placed in any category with modern authors, since they are far superior works, artistically, as well as generally morally.

Pullman's work seems to be anti-family. Meanwhile, Aeneas carrying out his father from burning Troy is probably the single most significant and recognizable scene of filial piety in the history of art. What is the main theme of the Odyssey but patrimony? In The Illiad, even in death many of the minor characters are given dignity. The enemy is given humanity.

There are so many other themes too, like the sinfulness of pride. The importance of fidelity, of gratitude. Ironically, I think they are some of the most Christian books one can find. The trick is remembering you are a Christian, which is easy enough because the Greco-Roman gods are petty.

Blogger Vikki Wilson April 02, 2017 5:39 PM  

Those interested in Christian fantasy may care to look up Charles Williams, one of the Inklings greatly admired by CS Lewis and Tolkien. His books contain some compelling passages describing his characters' mystical experiences.

Blogger Noah B The MacroAggressor April 02, 2017 5:39 PM  

@19 You might try Anna Karenina. It's a much more interesting book that I would have thought based on what I'd heard about it; she isn't really even the main character.

Blogger Markku April 02, 2017 5:41 PM  

I'm completely sure they're great books. But there's the same kind of threshold to reading a Russian book, as to reading Old Man's War.

Blogger Commenter April 02, 2017 5:41 PM  

26. Trigger 611: sounds like they're following Joseph Campbell's Hero With a Thousand Faces. It's an interesting literary criticism tool, but it puts the cart before the horse. The "myth" of Jesus follows the king sacrifice myth, not the other way around. Even in my doubting years I suspected Jesus was the truth rather than the myth. Hollywood still builds on that sterilized archetype. But I don't think they do so in faith. I think they're just trying to make a buck and find that the story sells reliably.

Blogger Noah B The MacroAggressor April 02, 2017 5:43 PM  

@32 I understand where you're coming from.

Anonymous BBGKB April 02, 2017 5:44 PM  

Like how the media this week portrayed Pence's not dining alone with any woman but his wife as him being weak. It was a completely foreign concept to them

You should have seen Bill Clinton's reaction when Pence said he doesn't sleep with any woman but his wife.

Blogger VD April 02, 2017 5:52 PM  

I have never read Tolstoi.

You should War and Peace is brilliant.

Blogger Joe Keenan April 02, 2017 6:03 PM  

Great post! JCW hit it out of the park when he wrote, "...syncretic fantasy stories are perhaps more dangerous that those which are openly hostile to religion in general and Catholicism in particular, because such stories as are openly hostile can be read with pleasure and enjoyment the way one would read the Iliad by Homer or the Aeneid of Virgil, as pagan works where the reader suffers no temptation to bow to the stupid gods the writer evidently favors. In this category I place the work of Philip Pullman and Michael Moorcock. Socialist anarchist materialists are so autistic when it comes to spiritual matters, their worlds portrayed in their make believe has little or no power to sway real faith in anything real. Their ideas, when they venture into spiritual themes, are like listening to colorblind men discussing how they would make a better rainbow." Well said! While I passed on Pullman (tried reading him, just could not do it), I've probably read everything Moorcock wrote and I always found his atheism juvenile and unconvincing. But as JCW says it was so poorly done it had no impact on you; I just rolled my eyes and skimmed over the village atheist tropes.

Blogger Commenter April 02, 2017 6:03 PM  

30. Vikki, I agree, Charles Williams is wonderful. He also shows the price of meddling in the occult, paid by those working against the Lord and those working for the Lord. Getting too close to those powers is deadly regardless of motivation.

Blogger Benjamin Kraft April 02, 2017 6:20 PM  

@10. Alice, witchcraft/sorcery could be very easily translated as anyone seeking any variety of power (either real or imagined) for the wrong reasons. By that metric, a heck of a lot of people practice witchcraft even today.

@17 tz, the Faustian bargain is particularly pertinent to science. In it, Faust makes a bargain with Satan for knowledge, but in the process loses his soul. Stick with me, this one kind of gets complex.

Carrying on the theme from C.S. Lewis' The Abolition of Man, science is, at its core, a system for efficiently giving man increasing degrees of power over nature. It does not and cannot determine truth. All knowledge due to science is, ultimately, really just the illusion of knowing things, all of it ultimately circuitously defined, rather relative, and entirely encompassed and defined by flawed human languages. Lewis goes at this from a different angle, but "ultimate power" over nature, due to science, ultimately includes complete power over one's descendants (or, really, the illusion of it), and complete freedom (or, really, the illusion of it) from the laws, ways, and training of one's ancestors. In addition, it also includes complete power (or, again, the illusion of it) over one's self. Science would tell you that man is a machine, even the man with ultimate power due to science, because science is limited, and human language is flawed. Thus, in "gaining the whole world" by the power of science, the scientist reduces himself to a deterministic machine with no free will, because free will is a miracle that science cannot encompass "losing his soul".

What I'm trying to say here, is that in gaining all "knowledge", our "Fausts" annihilate themselves as human beings with either free will or souls (or at least they would believe that they had).

@22. tz, again to retreat to C.S. Lewis, he'd say that pain can only even potentially be perceived as a problem if you are operating from within an assumption-aspect of the Christian God and worldview in the first place. Pain is no problem in any other worldview, so people who try to ask "If God is all-good, all-powerful and all-knowing, how can pain/evil exist? This would mean that he's not one of the above." are trying to cut off the branch they are standing on. Even on top of that, saying that pain/evil can only exist if God doesn't (exist as defined by Christians) is entirely dependent on assuming that humans have no such thing as God-given free will.

As soon as someone admits that they believe in free will, they cannot rationally blame anything that happens to them due to themselves or other people upon God. Heck, they can't even blame seemingly "random" occurrences on God unless they have been utterly perfect their entire lives (and who are they kidding?)

This isn't even going into the whole subject of how incredibly subjective human perceptions of evil and the malefic nature of pain are.

Blogger Lazarus April 02, 2017 6:38 PM  

Such syncretic fantasy stories are perhaps more dangerous


And one of the most infamous authors of such stories is the 266th Pope.

Blogger praetorian April 02, 2017 6:44 PM  

For the love of God, read Dostoevsky. At least Notes from Underground.

But first, just in case you die in the next week or so, read Bulgakov.

Blogger praetorian April 02, 2017 6:52 PM  

OT: RIGHT WING DUCT-TAPE SQUADS

Blogger Lazarus April 02, 2017 7:17 PM  

@42

Hey! That guy that was duct taped looks like Scalzi....

Anonymous Alice De Goon April 02, 2017 7:51 PM  

@17 That is Magic - a way of getting something without paying anything. To change reality (or create a bubble). And that is its danger.

I think it would be even more dangerous if you had to make a sacrifice. Like if everytime you wanted to cast a spell, you had to let a little blood, or give up some of your life force, or sacrifice a loved one. In doing so, you would lose more and more of your humanity. Those who WOULD choose to do so, might have had very little humanity in them to begin with.

Blogger Dave April 02, 2017 7:59 PM  

Does anybody know which "bright forces" JCW meddled with?

I've heard and read Mr. Wright discuss this before. Even so I was quite entertained by his re-telling in response to Q2 of the interview.

http://m.ncregister.com/blog/astagnaro/an-interview-with-catholic-sci-fi-author-john-c.-wright

Blogger Noah B The MacroAggressor April 02, 2017 8:00 PM  

@42 At least the Duct Tape Squad was kind enough not to remove his dildo.

Anonymous Eric the Red April 02, 2017 8:23 PM  

James P. Blaylock is not steampunk, whatever the fuck that's supposed to be. In his case that categorization is a canard. He is an unsung Christian fantasist, and a great one at that.

Anonymous SciVo de Plorable April 02, 2017 8:26 PM  

Thank you. This helps my personal "NaNoWriMo In April", which was stymied yesterday by that precise difficulty.

Eric Slate wrote:This is why Hollywood so studiously ignores themes to do with Christian religious themes. They can't afford the masses understanding the religion they are fighting against.

I can't even describe how mad I am about a certain cartoon movie that I don't know the name of, but I was in a bar and Santa Claus was just one magic being among others while Jack Frost learned how to be powerful again or something like that.

I used to enjoy "The Nightmare Before Christmas" but not any more, because instead of being a subversion of Christmas movies, it has become a presaging of how Christmas movies would become an attack on Christianity with the "Christmas == Santa Claus == magic == peer" formula.

I have so much anger that I'm out of words.

Anonymous SciVo de Plorable April 02, 2017 8:44 PM  

frigger611 wrote:The story arc is : 1. Orphan (literally or figuratively) 2. Wanderer 3. Warrior and 4. Martyr.

It's just a metaphor for sex: disinterest, pursuit, the act and dénouement. LCD but it works for a mass market.

Anonymous SciVo de Plorable April 02, 2017 8:53 PM  

BBGKB wrote:Does anybody know which "bright forces" JCW meddled with?

Jewish kabbalists believe they command angels who beat up demons & force demons to do their bidding.


That's just weird. I mean, I have a guardian angel whose name I know, but he's at God's command. Not mine.

Blogger M Cephas April 02, 2017 9:09 PM  

"in Potter's case, controlling what is basically an alternate technology or psychic force. There is no bargaining with unclean spirits, no rituals, not even a pack of tarot cards."

One thing I happened to hear from an ex-satanist, was that Rowling admitted to studying actual occult spells as research for Harry Potter, and some of the incantations or spells used are actually taken directly from occult books.

He said that was not the case for Tolkien or C.S. Lewis, who may have had magic in their books, but not actual occult spells.

Anonymous SciVo de Plorable April 02, 2017 9:25 PM  

M Cephas wrote:One thing I happened to hear from an ex-satanist, was that Rowling admitted to studying actual occult spells as research for Harry Potter, and some of the incantations or spells used are actually taken directly from occult books.

That doesn't matter. What matters is the spirit.

You can take an actual Satanist ritual and if it's just mechanical -- peg A into slot B with chant C -- then that's hardly distinguishable from engineering.

Whereas the heretical Prosperity Gospel does the inverse, and Simonizes Christ into a magical name where you can make a "contract with the universe" and "cast your bread on the waters", then get money back by giving it away. I have so much hate.

Blogger tz April 02, 2017 9:27 PM  

@39 - Lewis at the end suggested a science that did not vivisect creation. I think this goes to Vox's divisions of sceientism, scientody, etc. To try to understand the creation based on evidence is an act of worship of the creator, not unlike trying to understand an author through his work.
@22 - also true, it is a problem for Christians.


Blogger tz April 02, 2017 9:28 PM  

As to the satanist rituals, have you seen what is outside the CERN particle labs, or what went on during the opening of the tunnel under the mountain under the alps?

Blogger Cail Corishev April 02, 2017 9:55 PM  

@54, Yes. That tunnel opening was either a satanic ritual, or LARPing a satanic ritual. I'm not sure the difference matters that much.

Blogger JaimeInTexas April 02, 2017 10:14 PM  

I tead Wrinkle many years ago. I thought it was well written, internally consistent, compelkt and dangerous. Like Lincoln, Scriptures were [miss]used in context to achieve an unscriptural worldview.

I followed Lazarus' posted link: "... the paradox of determinism and free will was resolved for me."

That! That is an astonishing claim.

Has he written on this, specificalky?

Blogger Benjamin Kraft April 02, 2017 10:21 PM  

@53. tz, yes. Science needs to be understood as a subservient product of people working in service to the Creator, who is himself the Truth. Trying to set up science as the sole arbiter of truth is literally setting science up as your graven image, your false god that you serve rather than the true one.

Anonymous SciVo de Plorable April 02, 2017 10:26 PM  

Cail Corishev wrote:@54, Yes. That tunnel opening was either a satanic ritual, or LARPing a satanic ritual. I'm not sure the difference matters that much.

The difference doesn't matter at all, because they never in a million years would have considered LARPing a Christian sanctification of the place, let alone doing the real thing.

Blogger Lazarus April 02, 2017 10:27 PM  

JaimeInTexas wrote:Has he written on this, specificalky?

I don't know, but he has a whole section on apologetics at his site

Anonymous StellarMeme April 02, 2017 10:45 PM  

"Fantasy stories, on the other hand, once any element of magic or the supernatural is introduced either declare for the Church or declare for witchcraft, depending on whether or not occultism is glamorized."

Actually, Occultism is glamorized when magic is introduced whether there is a declaration for the church or not.

Anonymous SciVo de Plorable April 02, 2017 10:48 PM  

Oh shoot, his conversion story is a reminder that I can't remember if I've done my annual reminder. Anyway, beware the Doxxening and get your life right, even to the private; because encryption only has a few more years left.

Blogger OneWingedShark April 02, 2017 11:00 PM  

Alice De Goon wrote:@17 That is Magic - a way of getting something without paying anything. To change reality (or create a bubble). And that is its danger.

I think it would be even more dangerous if you had to make a sacrifice. Like if everytime you wanted to cast a spell, you had to let a little blood, or give up some of your life force, or sacrifice a loved one. In doing so, you would lose more and more of your humanity. Those who WOULD choose to do so, might have had very little humanity in them to begin with.


If you flip that around you have something that'll get very dark, very quick -- every time you cast a spell, you sacrifice something of someone else's -- first you're seduced by power without effort, small things litk a bit of health or luck, until you find yourself sacrificing the people you love [rather literally].

Blogger Steve Moss April 02, 2017 11:09 PM  

John C Wright is a brilliant writer.

I prefer pro-Christian adventure stories which focus on God's subtlety. The Church can be, and usually is, a blunt instrument. God is infinitely more precise.

Blogger Billy April 02, 2017 11:17 PM  

oh shit, adrian peterson to visit the patriots on monday. http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2017/04/02/adrian-peterson-to-visit-the-patriots/

Anonymous Rambam April 02, 2017 11:32 PM  

John c wright and The one true church...yada yada yada.

Anonymous SciVo de Plorable April 02, 2017 11:39 PM  

OT: This is amazing:

In the next few days, the Senate will be taking a very important step — one that will protect the rule of law and democratic way of life that is absolutely a birthright of all Americans.

And it involves one of my most important actions as President. That was nominating Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the seat of the late, great Justice Antonin Scalia.


What that signals in an understanding of the fact that when judges rule on arbitrary authority, it violates democracy.

By definition, when a judge rules against an executive order that is based on written law, she is ruling against democracy and for Civil War II. But few seem to comprehend this plain and simple fact.

Sad to say, this statement is notable for recognizing the reality that is in front of our faces.

Blogger Noah B The MacroAggressor April 02, 2017 11:44 PM  

@66 By definition, when a judge rules against an executive order that is based on written law, she is ruling against democracy and for Civil War II.

Provided that law is itself constitutional, which of course it is in this case. Any claim that Congress doesn't have the lawful power to pass laws controlling the border is so absurd that it can only be considered an outright lie.

Blogger Casher O'Neill April 02, 2017 11:47 PM  

VD wrote:I have never read Tolstoi.

You should War and Peace is brilliant.


Seconded [or, given the context, hundredthed].

I established a hundred page rule after this book. I would give any book that I had been told (or otherwise heard) to read 100 paged before I abandoned it.

Anonymous Rambam April 02, 2017 11:51 PM  

Word on the street is that Gorsuch is not a stand up guy. Just saying what I heard.

Anonymous Rambam April 03, 2017 12:13 AM  

Every hour spent in a secular activity is an hour not spent in a religious activity, such as study or prayer.

Anonymous 5343 Kinds of Deplorable April 03, 2017 12:15 AM  

Every hour spent in a secular activity is an hour not spent in a religious activity, such as study or prayer.

And yet ... every secular activity can be a religious activity.

Anonymous Tipsy April 03, 2017 12:18 AM  

Read, too, The Drama of Atheist Humanism, by de Lubac. In it, Dostoevsky plays a prominent role in rescuing culture from the horrors of positivism and socialism.

Blogger John Williams April 03, 2017 12:19 AM  

Next people who don't know Finnish history will be telling Markku he should start drinking vodka & dating a babushka. Is this trolling intentional?

Anonymous CoolHand April 03, 2017 12:20 AM  

OT, but Cernovich is reporting that Susan Rice is the top level person responsible for unmasking the incoming Trump people in the NSA wiretapping case.

https://medium.com/@Cernovich/susan-rice-requested-unmasking-of-incoming-trump-administration-officials-30085b5cff16

I hope Mike has good security and situational awareness, 'cause if he's able to link JugEars™ directly with the Trump spying like this, he's gonna be a target like none other.

Godspeed, my lispy friend, may you and your family remain safe while you strike at these assholes.

Anonymous 5343 Kinds of Deplorable April 03, 2017 12:22 AM  

Next people who don't know Finnish history will be telling Markku he should start drinking vodka & dating a babushka.

Markku is not looking for a date, so far as I know. I can't speak to the vodka.

Anonymous Mr. Rational April 03, 2017 12:25 AM  

kh123 wrote:Very few aspies out there who actively shake the fist at God.
Precisely what people do when they don't believe there's a God to shake a fist at.  Do you shake your fist at Kali, or Odin?  I rest my case.

Benjamin Kraft wrote:As soon as someone admits that they believe in free will, they cannot rationally blame anything that happens to them due to themselves or other people upon God.
Which is also entirely consistent with believing that there's no God to blame.

Alice De Goon wrote:I think it would be a great idea to create a story setting where magic is a stand-in for social justice and other inane social engineering.
How about something like "They Live", where the social engineering works to get people to fail to see reality but doesn't actually alter it?  The sunglasses are the Red Pill.

Anonymous Rambam April 03, 2017 12:33 AM  

And yet ... every secular activity can be a religious activity.

More J.C. Wright and less Isaiah.

Blogger Markku April 03, 2017 12:39 AM  

They're not out of the question, of course, it's just that there's always so much you could potentially read, so the Russky has some difficulty in reaching the top of the list.

Blogger John Wright April 03, 2017 12:41 AM  

@56
" Has he written on this, specificalky?"

I have written on this quite extensively. It is not like a duel to the death, but it is like a duel, as the dread pirate, Roberts, might say, to the pain:

http://www.scifiwright.com/on-materialism/

Blogger Zarathustra's Bastard April 03, 2017 12:42 AM  

That last bit about Magic and Church immediately brought Amor to mind. I've Gabbed it, but I'll post it here too: Vox, Throne of Bones was brilliant. I never expected to be so taken by a fantasy novel again. Compelling portrayals of faith, war, and love; really looking forward to reading Arts of Dark and Light to my kids when they're old enough.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash April 03, 2017 12:56 AM  

M Cephas wrote:One thing I happened to hear from an ex-satanist, was that Rowling admitted to studying actual occult spells as research for Harry Potter, and some of the incantations or spells used are actually taken directly from occult books.


Since the spells in Harry Potter are almost all one-word and two-word corrupted mediaeval Latin phases, I would hope Satanists are not using them. Satanists need something a LOT more showy and mysterioso.

Anonymous two crows April 03, 2017 1:17 AM  

@onewingedshark

Offering other people's lives is what they do. Disturbing (to me) story linked.

https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/former-satanist-i-performed-satanic-rituals-inside-abortion-clinics

Anonymous VFM #6306 April 03, 2017 1:17 AM  

You won't be reading Sea of Skulls to your kids. Ever. By the time they are old enough for the content, they won't survive the embarrassment of listening to their parent reciting orc rape poems.

Blogger Casher O'Neill April 03, 2017 1:33 AM  

VFM #6306 wrote:You won't be reading Sea of Skulls to your kids. Ever. By the time they are old enough for the content, they won't survive the embarrassment of listening to their parent reciting orc rape poems.

TFW its not worth going through the rest of the comments to find out what that comment means.

Anonymous SciVo de Plorable April 03, 2017 1:43 AM  

OT: I honestly think that "Why has Milo gone radio-silent?" is literally the biggest uncovered story today.

Blogger kh123 April 03, 2017 2:44 AM  

@76 "Precisely what people do when they don't believe there's a God to shake a fist at."

Tell that to Ian Brady on the Moors.

Blogger Zarathustra's Bastard April 03, 2017 4:21 AM  

VFM #6306 wrote:You won't be reading Sea of Skulls to your kids. Ever. By the time they are old enough for the content, they won't survive the embarrassment of listening to their parent reciting orc rape poems.

I'll defer judgement as I haven't read it yet (waiting for the complete edition to be released.) But they might just have to live with the embarrassment. I'd rather them learn about evil from Vox etc' literature. than from Disney etc's.

Blogger Tupla-J April 03, 2017 5:15 AM  

@73 I'm a Finn as well and consider Dostoyevsky - at least Brothers Karamazov - a part of every civilized man's book collection. If his books were more popular within certain elements than Marx, we'd never have gotten invaded by Russkies.

Then again, of those certain elements (((a significant part))) would never read such an obviously Christian book.

Blogger M Cephas April 03, 2017 5:37 AM  

@52.

He did say that in order for a spell to work, one needs both intent, as well as a demon present. Just saying the words won't do anything.

Anonymous Cheshirych April 03, 2017 7:17 AM  

Whoever says that good old Dosty is antichristian is being a poor idiot. I do not know a more pro-christian writer of similar caliber at all in the last 200 years.

Blogger Rick67 April 03, 2017 10:37 AM  

I had to look up Crowley. Had honestly not heard of him. I am tempted to wonder how he is qualified to teach at Yale, but recognize that the risk of credentialism. People who lack the usual academic credentials might be very fine teachers, and I know people with credentials can sometimes be awful.

Blogger JaimeInTexas April 03, 2017 10:49 AM  

@79

I will take a look at these:

http://www.scifiwright.com/2010/07/free-will-as-a-category-of-final-causation/

http://www.scifiwright.com/2010/07/free-will-and-physics-no-conflict/

Blogger CM April 03, 2017 12:35 PM  

I must get his children fantasy novels for my son.

I have a few I trust - C.S. Lewis, Lloyd Alexander, classic Arthur, and the Trophy Chase Trilogy...

Anonymous A.B. Prosper April 03, 2017 5:41 PM  

Outstanding article. A minor quibble in that the turning vampires thing,

its about personal faith and power projected from a symbol not the equality of religious power from outside or the symbol being inherently powerful from association as in some vampire films

Its a pre Christian POV of course discussion of which is another issue entirety.



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