Saturday, February 26, 2011

Narrative World

Wanting to be right so bad that you come to actually believe that you are right, is not the same thing as actually being right. If you can't tell the difference, you're hopelessly lost, and no one can help you anymore.
-StBtG

Beliefs are thoughts that the ego fell in love with.
-StBtG


***


This is an article about the two worlds we live in on this planet.

What two worlds?

Well, there is the consensual reality that we mostly tend to agree upon, with attendant facts and data that can be used to prove or disprove our theories.

And then there's Narrative World.

Narrative World is a world where the narrative rules over the facts. The love of the narrative is too intense for mere facts to be allowed in to interfere.

In Narrative World God is real. (In fact, only in Narrative World is God real)
God is so real in fact, that to even doubt in Him is considered wrongheaded, a 'sin.' To suggest that the facts do not support His existence, is to be ostracised and scorned. Facts and data have no power in Narrative World, you see. All that matters is the story. Facts are heresy; logic is a crime. Only the story is real.

Religious people are married to their story. They just fucking love it, more than they even love themselves, and that's an awful lot. You cannot even assail it without intense personal scorn being directed back at you. You can't suggest that they might be in error... what's wrong with you? Literally, they equate belief in their narrative with being 'good' as opposed to 'evil' and in their minds it's an eternal war between the two. No gray areas allowed. So if you're a skeptic, in their minds you are personally evil. Case closed. As are their minds.

Some narratives are childishly simple. 'Believe in God or else go to hell, period.' Fear is the ruling factor here. Of course egotism enters into it as well, the 'I'm right and you're wrong and I'm special and you're not and I'm going to heaven and you're going to hell' mentality. Schadenfreude abounds in Narrative World. All the petty emotions thrive there as well. After all, even God is petty and small and oh-so-humanly flawed, admitting personal jealousy and wrath openly, even gambling with people's lives on a whim. Indeed it would seem that 'Tis all a checkerboard of nights and days, where God with men for pieces plays...' And apparently, that's okay. No amount of overt examples of raw Biblical evil are enough for them to see their God in a bad light. He's always good, even when killing little innocent children. Somehow that must be good too. It's a mystery, and it's all God's plan for us and we're just not meant to understand it.

(One wonders how these people hold their shit in, since the functionality of even a simple sphincter muscle must surely be beyond them.)

(Oh right, it comes out their mouths, I forgot...)

However some narratives are ridiculously complicated. (For good reason!)
Thomas Aquinas (God's official liar and archetypal ass-smoke-blower-upper extraordinaire) for instance constructed huge and impressive edifices of logic upon the shifting sands of faith to 'inexorably' lead us to belief in God, and did so in such a seamless manner that later generations of christians are completely incapable of seeing that all those pretty words and logical-sounding sentences aren't ultimately based on hard fact as they sound like they must surely be, but are instead based upon what amounts to nothing more than childish wishful thinking. Their love of the narrative utterly clouds their perceptions of reality, and the more complex, more logical-sounding narrative in this case allows even relatively intelligent people to be caught like flies in amber.

We are human, fallible emotional animals at best. So at what point is the lure of the narrative so great that we are willing to forgive it for not meeting the test of facts and data?

At the point where it provides more meaning to our lives than just living them in consensual reality does. The fact that it's empty meaning based on wishes and dreams matters little if at all. The religious just don't know the difference. They do not want to know. They are (have been kept) far too ignorant of reality to glean any real deeper meanings out of it, and are far too lazy to learn to now, nor do they see any need to, so they crave the simple, children's fairy-tale version. It's like a nice, warm bottle of milk, lulling them to a comfortable sleep. Forever.

And they want everybody to join them in their slumber. In fact, they *insist.*

***

A part of the religious narrative is of course that all other narratives are false, including consensual reality's 'narrative.' This can become quite comical when religion's beloved narrative meets reality in a head-on collision. Heliocentrism comes to mind. Hell, all of the findings of modern science come to mind, for that matter. Religion has been dragged into the modern world kicking and screaming all the way, like the retarded child it is. It never agreed with science or even basic observations of the world, it always had it's own ass-backward ideas instead, and it has always, always been wrong. Pathetically wrong. And it's still trying with no better results. This is because, by nature, religion is viciously stupid. It ignores reality in favor of fantasy; what better definition of 'stupid' does one need? Today's religious people even go so far as to vilify learning and knowledge itself, to scorn them as effete and effeminate somehow. The 'real Christian man's' way is apparently to kill and fuck (and fuck over) one's way through life whilst blaming one's 'sinful nature' for one's flaws and still maintaining the belief that somehow they're still 'going to heaven' because after all, they do still believe in God and they do ask to be forgiven their many sins, which are then magically erased from their souls and from their consciences. Convenient. After a while, they even forget to ask. They assume forgiveness for whatever they might do, since hey, they're *christian* and that's how it works, that's what Jesus does. It's magic, no doubt. Magic, plus a heavily flawed system of pseudomorality that is ultimately coercion-based with heavy appeal to egotism, and therefore can produce no good thing in the world without an evil taint to it.

When one 'absolutely knows' that one is 'good' with no doubt left in one's mind, it frees one up to do considerable evil in the world. This is the boon of religion. Sure you're an evil fuck but you believe that you poop Ben and Jerry's, and that's all that matters. You get to sleep at night, guilt-free, no matter what heinousness you've comitted or contemplate comitting. You'll even eventually get to the point where you're *proud* of it.

That's because religion is Purina Ego Chow.

I am always amused at the christians who vehemently deny (irrationally) that Hitler was a christian. I mean, he certainly acted like one. He definitely *believed* in his own righteousness completely, and manipulated his people through their christian faith. He thought he was an instrument of God in fact. Pretty typical, actually. He just got more power than most do; it's not that many other christians alive today wouldn't do the same thing if they had the opportunity. So why then, can he not be a 'real christian?' Because nobody that evil could be? That's what they'd like to believe, but I know differently because I do not live in Narrative World. It's easier to be evil if you're also religious. Look around.

***

You see my droogies, being right, as in being correct more often than one is not correct, as it turns out requires living in consensual reality enough to observe it dispassionately and draw conclusions from it. However, merely believing that one is right (and good, and just, and holy, and so on...) is more than good enough for those who are lost in the psychosis of their religion. Sure, they're wrong about just about everything, but they're ignorant of that fact too, so it's okay. Ignorance is indeed bliss to them, and a nightmare to everyone else. Because, they vote like they see the world. Ass-backwards.

I find myself wishing that the religious folk come to an agreement to ignore *all* science. Got diabetes? Pray it away! Go ahead... surely you have enough *faith* for that to work. No? Aww, too bad, so sad.

Hey, I can dream... And at least, I don't mix up my dreams with reality. That would be religiously stupid of me.

455 comments:

  1. You had me about damn stunned at first. I thought you were going to roll with a post-modern take.

    The two worlds idea is "false" in the sense that the they mix and inform each other. We are talking about people's creations. Evolution didn't directly bring about science, mankind did, and it brought about religion too.

    Both world views believe reality is revelatory. It is the acknowledgment of man's involvement in reality, in uncovering "truths," that differentiates the two. Religion is apathetic or degrading toward man's acknowledgment of the material world, and science is not.

    Also, you know narratives aren't necessarily religious. Communism and capitalism are totalizing narratives based on economics (not that they intend to be), and for the record they both suck. I find them no more helpful than Islam, and within their respective milieus just as dangerous.

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  2. Evolution didn't directly bring about science, mankind did, and it brought about religion too.
    -------------
    Mankind looked around, and science was born from what they saw. Religion was born from what they did NOT see.

    So, a huge difference, no?

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  3. And yes of course, there are many narrative worlds, one for each narrative that denies reality. Communism is one such.

    I don't see it as the problem that religion is in the world, though.

    So I talk about that.

    ;-)

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  4. Plus, when communism rises to the level of a religion in the blind belief of it's followers, it becomes a religion in fact, no?

    Aren't all blind beliefs a religion of a sort?

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  5. Incidentally Harry, you caught me a bit early on... I've added more to the post so you might want to re-read it. I tend to do this, post up a bare-bones version and then edit and add to it.

    I said the "H" word. I just had to 'go there.'

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  6. Here's one of the biggest nails in thr coffin of religion:

    That science looks the same to everyone regardless of religious beliefs.

    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” Philip K. Dick

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  7. Yeah, I guess to me it's just a constant source of amazement. It's just so incredibly obviously risibly silly. It's Monty Python silly. How sad that people can take it seriously for even a minute.

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  8. My favorite PKD novel: "Time Out Of Joint."

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  9. I'm gonna have to go read some Dick now...

    As weird as that sounds...

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  10. "Time Out Of Joint."

    I guess time could've come from a joint.

    "It never agreed with science or even basic observations of the world, it always had it's own ass-backward ideas instead, and it has always, always been wrong. Pathetically wrong."

    I don't see how you can possibly prove this, even if science strictly started with the Baconian method.

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  11. "I'm gonna have to go read some Dick now...

    As weird as that sounds..."

    You mean you're going to curl up with some good Dick?

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  12. "What's the 'post-modern take?'"

    It would see metaphysical legitimacy in the narrative since science is a narrative of sorts as well.

    But ultimately it takes an apathetic stance concerning narratives.

    I swear. It comes down to, "Who gives a shit?"

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  13. Well, Harry, I've never read any Dick before, so I don't know if it's good yet...

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  14. "But ultimately it takes an apathetic stance concerning narratives.

    I swear. It comes down to, 'Who gives a shit?'"

    Sorry Bri, this is unclear.

    Since they believe everything is narrative and reality is more or less socially constructed...

    Concerning judgments about someone else's worldview being correct or incorrect, it then comes down to *who gives a shit* because regardless of a particular narrative's correctness it helps to construct our "reality."

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  15. I tend to think of this as a struggle between lore and objective narratives. lore has dominated human history for thousands of years. I suppose you could think we are doing pretty well to have so many people willing to accept factual explanations that fly in the face of established lore.

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  16. Concerning judgments about someone else's worldview being correct or incorrect, it then comes down to *who gives a shit* because regardless of a particular narrative's correctness it helps to construct our "reality."
    ------------
    Not getting you at all here. Concerning judgements about someone else's worldview being incorrect or correct, all one has to ask is 'is it based on reality or not?' to determine the correctness/viability of it. This is self-evident, no?

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  17. Pliny calls it 'lore' and 'objective worldviews' but that's the exact same thing. One is 'lore' i.e.: incorrect, not reality-based' and the other one is 'objective' i.e: it 'pays attention' to reality, to 'what is' rather than being based in a *mere story* with little factual basis.
    One is right, one is wrong. Easy-peasy. It's not like you can't tell which is which.

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  18. If you don't want to be black and white about it, one can also make the statement that 'the more a worldview is objectively-based, the more 'correct' it will be. Thus we can have a spectrum of 'correctness' depending on how much of actual reality is reflected in the philosophy of a given worldview. This still leaves most of christianity with a completely untenable and wrongheaded worldview, though. It would however rank certain other religious worldviews as 'significantly more correct' than christianity, such as say the bah'ai faith or certain types of buddhism.

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  19. it then comes down to *who gives a shit* because regardless of a particular narrative's correctness it helps to construct our "reality."
    ------------
    Not if we don't even agree on what constitutes said reality, harry. Then we're just a psychotic world. We have to be able to agree on it, and the religious just refuse to. Ironically the fact that they can't even agree amongst themselves is invisible to them, too. If they could just see *that* they'd have at least a clue to how wrong they *must be.* But in their minds it doesn't matter. They're just magically *right* no matter what data comes along to indicate otherwise.
    When I was a kid, the adults all said 'our god is the real god' and I believed them. Then I met different adults with different gods, and they all said 'no, OUR god is the real god!' and then I *saw* the truth. I mean, how easy is it to see? But these people are as blind as if they'd gouged their own eyes out.

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  20. "..read some Dick.."

    Sounds like something Bobcat Goldthwaite would do.

    Tattoo some Phillip K. quote on this penis.

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  21. When in Doubt, Shout!
    Paradoxical Influences of Doubt on Proselytizing

    This link says that the more one doubts, the louder thay argue they are right. strange.

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  22. Bri,

    I was giving you a summary. I'm not espousing all of post-modernism, I was shocked because I thought you were for two shakes.

    I like Pliny's take the best, "I suppose you could think we are doing pretty well to have so many people willing to accept factual explanations that fly in the face of established lore."

    For me the usefulness in thinking of reality as partly socially constructed is it gets to the roots of our bullshit, and it doesn't try to explain away physical laws.

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  23. I thought you were for two shakes.
    -----------
    ???

    ...of a lamb's tail?

    ...Chocolate and Vanilla?

    Maybe I'm dense tonight.

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  24. In the Phillip K. Dick novel 'Valis' the main character's name is 'Horselover Fat.'

    Phillip- Phillippus- PhiloHippus- Lover-of-horses (latin)

    Dick- Fat (german)

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  25. When in Doubt, Shout!
    Paradoxical Influences of Doubt on Proselytizing

    Is a link although I do not know how to make it a regular link. You will have to cut and paste this and then the first one on the page.

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  26. I think it often does. To bad they do not understand how to follow the truth, and admit they have doubts.

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  27. They are programmed to believe that having doubts is equatable to 'being evil' as in, it's a sin. They're programmed to think less of themselves, to even despise themselves, if they doubt. Self-questioning is not encouraged in religion. Not honest self-questioning. Too risky. Too easy to lose a tithe. Can't be having that now...
    So it makes perfect sense that the hardest proseletyzers are those with their own doubts, because they're not capable of dealing with it, so they shouut out their supposed faith from the rooftops as it were, more to convince themselves than to convert others.

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  28. It's more a denial of their own doubts. They don't admit it to themselves, and to prove it, they act even 'more christian' as they see it. By constantly telling others about their faith, they hope to acheive it finally. They're 'faking it till they make it' so to speak.

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  29. "...the more one doubts, the louder thay argue they are right. strange."

    Since all "belief" is based upon fear of the unknown/hereafter/will the sun rise tomorrow?/etc., it follows that the only way in which said "believers" can affirm the correctness of that world view is by getting as many other people as possible to agree with them. Proselytizing (at least the Christian variety) has the added advantage that one simultaneously "lays up treasures in Heaven" and can gloat over the Hell to which all people who don't get the message will be condemned for all eternity.

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  30. I think it has something to do with the normal socializing of everyone.

    Geeks and nerds are put through hell in school, there always being bullies, volunteer social policemen, who may go so far as to 'righteously' beat up the oddballs.

    It doesn't matter to the crowd if the self appointed police are years older and actually hurt the victims, apparently it 'serves 'em right'.

    Now Christians, put in the position of the oppressors are 'lovin' it', but are prone to squawk loudly if they find themselves in the victim position.

    Sadly, 'poorest', is a 'victim' category too! So we are socialized to not be the atheist, not be the poorest and gawd-forbid, not be the poorest atheist!

    This seems to explain why Christians want to be on the side of the wealthy too!

    They have think-tanks, politicians and media all collaborating to come up with the appropriate response to sneer at the left, which is synonymous with 'poor' or at least working class.

    What is amazing to me is that non-religious people are confused by bullying Christians trying to ram their pro-life(for example) home by egging on anyone willing to be a self appointed social(moral) policeman to execute the 'hated abortionist'.

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  31. Seems to me that there are multiple narratives concerned with socialization.

    I noticed that young girls dress sexy not so much for the boys, but for each other!

    The chubbiest of the girls will wear thongs to coordinate their look with their girlfriends which, it seems to me more fitting in with their group than even pretending to be looking sexy for the guys.

    Sadly the boys seem to be living in the moment, much like dogs, when left to their own devices(i.e. no over-riding authority) and are prone to sort each other out by who can physically intimidate who, by means of who is the least 'normal'(socially successful) being picked on.

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  32. There's a vaguely interesting cat fight regarding how gritty and realistic fantasy/sci-fi writing is indicative of the decline of western culture going on between this blog and this blog.

    The first one is a misogynist christian douchebag and failed fantasy author, the later is a philosophy professor and author of this very highly recommended fantasy epic.

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  33. Vaguely interesting?

    sounds like a waste of time...

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  34. http://www.history.com/shows/the-real-face-of-jesus



    OK, this is the special I mentioned last year about this time. I realize that it did not replay in time for anyone to watch.

    So -

    This is just a heads-up for any interested persons.

    It's an update on Scientific thoughts on the subject.

    Hope everyone's doing well.

    MI ;~)

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  35. Ryan, I read Scot Bakker's three recent posts and he is one helluva writer.

    I like him, and I may forgive him for that one day.


    MI, doot-duh-DOO!

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  36. Hey, Floyd, whatcha givin' up for Lent?

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  37. btw: the show will be airing in the next few weeks and probably a one-time event just like last year....

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  38. Ian, Lent is the season in the ecumenical calendar that precedes Easter. It lasts about seven weeks. Characrterized by folks making vows to "give something up" as a sign of devotion/penance.

    When I was a teenager and used to go to church, one year I gave up religion for Lent.








    That's the end of the story.

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  39. @MI:

    I saw that History Channel thing last year.

    Totally not convincing.

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  40. Yeah Ed, it’s just ok. I was committed to following it just because I regularly read the douchey Christian guy’s blog for “irritanment” value, and I really did find the other guy’s epic fantasy trilogy to be one of the best I’ve read in years.

    MI: the shroud is a medieval fake. See this, this and this.

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  41. MI. Do you just defer to people who you imagine are smart, or do you think about what it is you believe?

    I was thinking about the IDers and the way they think about 'information' as if that is a clue to their Intelligent Designer.

    They'll go on about 'information' being contained in genetic code and such as if this leads us to the conclusion that there must be an ultimate designer.

    But the word 'information' implies 'someone' thinking about it, so it is circular reasoning, and it is bad reasoning.

    Example. If you want to make us omlettes for breakfast, but you're not sure how many eggs we have in the fridge. You ask me, "How many eggs are in the fridge darling?"

    I say, "Quit calling me 'darling', you silly woman!", I look in the egg cartons in the fridge and find that there are a total of nine eggs and report, as requested, "There are a total of nine eggs in here."

    Now it may well be that this is 'information' to both of us now, but it doesn't imply that 'someone' knew the answer to that trivial knowledge beforehand.

    I mean, you have to imagine that there is some mysterious 'being' who cares or would bother to give a crap about absolutely trivial stuff like this, to imagine that the universe was designed to be a universe with nine eggs in our fridge at this particular time, right?

    There wouldn't be nine eggs in the fridge because God 'knows' it, of God designed it like that, more like there's nine eggs because we bought a dozen or whatnot and we have only thrown three of them at the neighbours car(we hate the neighbour, he's Atheist, ya know).

    Let's say that you agree with me on the above. Now what?

    Do you temporarilly put the idea of 'information' being evidence of a Designer, 'on hold', and imagine, "But there's all the other reasons that I love to believe too! Throwing eggs at the Atheist neighbour's car is so much fun!"

    But then, maybe after a while simply forget, or shrug off this comment and go back to imagining that since there's information out there, there must be God, kind of being the care-taker of it all???

    And don't call me darling!

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  42. We should have a vote on how MI might answer that if she has the nerve to answer.

    Press 1 and the pound sign if you vote MI would somehow say, "No, that's certainly not how I think I think about these things, but actually it really is!"

    Press 2 and the pound sign if you think MI would say, "I have faith that these I.D. people are spreading the faith with their message which is simply a matter of opinion!"

    Press 3 etc. if it's the same as above, but she believes it's a matter of having the right opinion and that a circular argument is just as good as a good argument and that the goodness of an argument also depends on whether the argument supports the idea that there is an ultimate Designer, who is, of course God, who, we are told by the Scriptures, is the designer of the universe, which makes it true, and circles are, not only somehow 'complete', buth may also be spheres!

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  43. On the political front, how easy is it for the right to blame government for everything?

    Corporate shills, bought and paid for by the corporations, who, if we are going to be honest, is 'big' Christianity too, continually 'message' the public that all would be rosy with the World if only Gubmint would get out of the way!

    If only Gubmint would stop stopping good American corporations from drilling just everywhere on the North American continent, we'd all be swimming in cheap, cheap oil!

    But that's just a lie. American corporations are Global corporations who pander, not to the American public, but to their share-holders, and sell their oil to the highest bidder!

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  44. I know. "Drill, baby, drill" is like saying 'please just rape our lands and sea bed and we'll even pay you to rape it, and you can just sell any oil you find on the world market instead of back to us, and by the way, keep the profits.' You want to fuck our daughter too? Sure...

    Tax breaks and subsidies for big oil is criminal. It's giving the farm away from any angle that you look at it. How the people can be so stupid as to allow their politicans to do that, to fool them so easily into voting against their own principles and wellbeing, is a good question. The answer I think, is religion.

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  45. It's too easy to stoke the fears of the ignorant religious masses.

    Why, it's as if the religion were designed for it!

    ;-)

    They're so easily controlled. It's like they have a jesus-shaped handle on their heads. Just grab it, and you can turn them this way and that... If you're in the right position of authority, why you could talk them into sacrificing their own children. Heck, after all, 'it's in the bible!' So talking them into voting against their own interests, why, that's child's play.

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  46. In the news they're snickering about how Mitt Romney can't do one thing in Mass. and claim that that's good for Mass. then claim that Obama was wrong to do it nationwide.

    I don't understand this because that is exactly what they do all the time!

    Bush goes to war, that's great!

    Obama's war, terrible.

    Bush signs a bill for seniors entitlements, great!

    Now, every single entitlement is 'bad', ruining the country.

    They even say one thing and do the opposite themselves, and none of their supporters call them on it.

    Republicans are the 'free enterprise', 'free market' party, we hear.

    But they take their lead from corporations to fix the market and take bribes to support corporations which get their money from public funds.

    Private universities enticing underqualified people to get student loans.

    No bid defense contracts.

    Price fixing, subsidies, mobilizing the 'defence' forces, deregulating banking practices and on and on.

    Cue Observant, "You're just jealous 'cos you're not in on it!"

    What a simpleton.

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  47. They took some polls to find out what 'the American people' really want and it turns out that they really want to tax the rich to get your country out of this jam. After all it was the rich who got the country into this mess, shipping jobs overseas and lending unqualified people money at usurous rates, dumping the debt around the world with the 'derivatives'.

    Cenk Uygur asked an economist what he thought of these polls and the solution offered, put the taxes back on the very wealthy.

    This 'economist' gave the standard narrative that the people of America were right of Obama but left of the Republicans in the face of the evidence that most American people are FAR LEFT of Obama, never mind Republicans!!!

    When did the science of economics become this blatant right-wing-ideology-shoving-of-down-our-throats?

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  48. On a roll here.

    Seems to me that the wealthy are in control of the media, the government and the corporations and they play the games with public as described by the author of, "I'm OK, you're OK."

    The game is called, "Let's you and him fight!"

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  49. Brian, before you had some type of awaking, that you mention long ago, did you have what would be considered free choice concerning what you thought or believed in?

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  50. I don't even get into 'free choice' arguments anymore, Jerry. It's just anouther standard, tired old way that christians try to prove the existence of their god, and it is senseless to me.
    A paramecium has free choice, Jerry. It can only choose what it's capable of choosing as a mere paramecium, but it's free to so choose. And the same can be said dof us.
    In fact, to me, if we indeed can be said to HAVE free choice, it DISPROVES god. So I don't even get it when they talk about it. It's like 'god gave you that free choice when he didn't have to' when of course the truth is that it's just natural for all beings to not be restricted in their choices. I mean, what exists to so restrict them? Nothing.

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  51. My 'awakening' if you want to call it that, was more of a realization, that all is thought, plus a realization of the senseless of the ego. It 'feels' right to me. But that doesn't make it true, does it? And I'm hardly a bodhisattva, am I Jerry? So I hesitate to call it an awakening.

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  52. I tried salvia divinorum recently. Amazing. I 'tripped' and saw an infinite number of realities all flipping by me like flat two-dimensional pages in a book. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to find my 'own' one and get back!
    It's used in mexico to train shamen. I can see why.
    Oh, it's legal, btw.

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  53. Incidentally, salvia plus weed equals a real mind-bender.

    I obviously smoke weed, and you all know this so I'm hardly revealing anything new here...

    When I add a small amount of salvia to the bowl, it takes about one or two hits to get to la la land... and I mean wasted. The other night I went to bed finally, and reality was blinking on and off like a switch as I did so. I'd move a foot, all would go black, then come back 'on,' then I'd move again, in smallish increments, to get to bed.
    This stuff is frankly amazing. It even leaves you fefeling healthy and helps chronic back pain and digestion problems! Quite the substance... not for everyone though, because it can be terrifying.

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  54. I was not asking to deal with the free choice issue. I was curious about how you thought before whatever experience you had in relationship to after. My experience was, while I thought I was making the decisions before the experience, I became aware that I was on auto pilot before, and after I became aware of new found freedom in my choice making. It left me with the knowing of what happened to me could be happening to some or all others.

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  55. I have been curious about salvia. Am glad to hear a first hand report. I have enjoyed smoking weed for over 40 years, off and on.

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  56. I should do an entire post on salvia, actually.

    I have two plants growing in my house now, that's how much I love it. (50 bucks a plant!)

    My wife noticed a story a few months back about Miley Cyrus trying salvia in a bong, and said to me 'I wonder what that is?' and then she researched it. Then we decided to purchase a small amount to try out. We got in some 20x concentrate (20 times stronger than just the plain leaf) and that night I smoked some of it. In the instructions it said to 'have a sitter' as in, have someone there in case you lose consciousness! We laughed at that... I mean, it's a legal substance, how bad can it be? Lol... we totally didn't take it seriously at all. So that night, laughingly, I smoked my one deep hit, and had the time to say 'oh my god' and I was GONE for a half-hour. I mean totally unconscious from the outside. My wife panicked, since we didn't expect anything like that... she said she knew I wasn't kidding when I started to drool.
    From my point of view I got to see wht it is like to die. I felt myself detached from my body and even dissolving, and saw infinite moving colors in all directions. I was imbedded, for lack of a better term, in something like a mass or something, but a mass of consciousness, stuck in it's surface like I was grown into it. It was a very scary trip indeed. The far wall came at me (in the beginning) at about eighty miles an hour and I went into it, and that was it... I was terrified when I came out of it... then I got to thinking, and my fear of it went mostly away. Tried a REALLY small additional hit, and went right back to la la land again! Another trip! WOW, this is powerful stuff! NOw I generally use the regular leaf, unenhanced. BUt I still have the 20x and some 30x and one envelope of 50x, if I really wanna trip out...
    However if you just use the leaf you can totally control it, and get as high as you want to right up to the point of tripping out, and still avoid it. You get an incredible high out of it.

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  57. I tald my 'dealer' about salvia a couple of times and all he did was laugh, as if I were being silly. This dude is 22 years old and uses a lot of substances, even coke. So one day I brought over a small envelope of just the plain crushed leaf and told him to try it.
    Later on that night he called me. He had just srpinkled it into a blunt along with some weed and smoked it. Apparently he was SO HIGH he couldn't walk, and was falling down and stuff... he told me that he hadn't believed what I'd said at all, but now he's always asking ME to get salvia for HIM... pretty funny. I trade it for weed. (He doesn't have a computer so he can't order it himself)
    If you wanna try it, go to salviamart.com. Best prices on best product. Get the plain, crushed leaf, which is only about 30 dollars an OUNCE. One quarter-ounce LASTS like two weeks if you use it regularly along with your weed. If you really wanna trip out, also buy one gram or so of the 20x or 30x. One hit of that is all you'll ever need.
    Oh, and yes, have a sitter. It really is necessary.
    Incidentally, salvia, as I've found out, is this worlds MOST POWERFUL naturally-occurring hallucinogen. Almost as powerful as the synthetics like LSD.
    It'll wow you, that's for sure.

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  58. Incidentally, best to smoke in a water pipe, because it burns really hot, hotter than weed. That's how I did my first trip. You get more out of it that way, too. But it works just fine in a blunt or a regular bowl, sprinkled on top of the weed or mixed in with it in the case of the blunt. (Not alone with no weed though, because of the heat!)

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  59. Oh, and incidentally, it's amlost as safe as weed. The plain leaf IS as safe as weed, and even has health benefits!
    The concentrates, especially the stronger ones like 100x, can theoretically be dangerous in large amounts... but who would take a large amount of that? You'd be in a wheelchair... No addiction, either. Zero. It hits a receptor in your brain that no other drug hits, a different one than opiates and other drugs. It's really, really safe.

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  60. As to choice Jerry, when you expands your consciousness, you discover new choices available and you also discover that your old choices show up in a new light. Often you can see that they were wrong, or that you actually had other options that weren't apparent before. So I guess I agree.

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  61. Come to think of it, even if 100x is dangerous in large amounts, smoking a large amount would be impossible. You'd smoke one hit, trip for a half hour or more, smoke another hit, trip again for probably even longer, and so on.... you'd never actually be able to smoke two hits in a row. No way.

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  62. I've also recently tried several other 'entheogens.'

    Amanita Muscaria for instance. I made tea, and also smoked it. Got a small buzz from the smoke, nothing from the tea. Plus it makes you nauseaus.
    Tried kratom, a 'natural opiate' and also addictive. Illegal in thailand. Got a nice opiate buzz, but puked a lot. Not good.
    Tried blue lotus. Slight buzz, then nothing.
    I have an ayahuasca 'kit.' I can make it, but I don't want to try it yet. Very powerful hallucinogen used by santo daime religion in south america, lets you see your 'spirit amimal' etc... but you puke every time, so I've been putting it off...
    Nope, salvia beats them all, in my book. No nausea, none. Plus it's stronger than a rocket ship.

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  63. I should mention that salvia is not for everyone. My wife found the experience too strong for her, and she never evevn came close to tripping out. Just the beginning of the buzz bothered her. It's a very strong experience.
    After my first time I told her, and it still holds true, that weed is kindergarten and salvia is grad school. That's how much stronger it feels.
    I wanted to tell botts about it because of his back pain. It may help. It certainly has helped mine, and also some digestive problems that I had are gone. Pretty impressive.
    It's the closest thing to magic that you can find in this world. Tell the christians.

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  64. Just tellin' you what Prettyboy Floyd thinks.

    heh

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  65. Oh, forgot to mention...
    In sub-tripping doses of the plain leaf, you get tremendous synergistic effects with other substances. Everything feels a lot stronger, especially the weed. I get, for example, super-munchies. Heck, I haven't even had the munchies in years, and now they're baaaaack... but the soporific effects of the weed are a lot stronger, too. Alcohol also is magnified. So you can have one or two drinks, one bowl of weed, and a hit of salvia, and feel about like you've had six drinks and four bowls. Pretty economical. My weed budget was more then halved when I started using the salvia. Saves a lot of coin.

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  66. Watch TV on salvia and weed and see the colors come right out of the screen at you. People on tv can look three-dimensional and real and in the room with you.



    So it's also great for porn. lol.

    Oh also, high aphrodisiac effect in sub-tripping doses of the plain leaf plus weed, like you wouldn't imagine. You feel everything very intensely. Way more than weed. Super-weed. My wife highly approves, in other words.

    I'm thinkin' this is more than you wanted to know, but hey, whatever. This is one fun substance.

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  67. Yea, Brian, any more detail and we'd be thinking that you're stoned on it now!!!

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  68. Is this a plant you grow? Are seeds available?

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  69. There are no seeds apparently, or they're very rare and almost neer germinate. The plant is completely 'artificial,' being the result of primitivebreeding between strains down through thousands of years.
    You can buy a small plant, which is what I did, for about $50. I have two now, and they were about four inches tall when I got them a couple of months ago... now they're about ten inches to a foot tall. They grow huge. And you can literally pick a leaf or two and just chew them and get wasted. Or of course, the much faster method, smoking the dried leaf. We got the plants from Sagewisdom.com. If you live in a cold area, they'll even pack it in with a heat-pack.
    Pretty plant. Large emerald green leaves, and a square stem (cross-section.)
    No pboy, I was not high on salvia when I wrote that post or it would have been incomprehensible I think. It's not a daytime drug. Too darn strong for that. I mean, I can smoke two bowls of weed and drive to town and hardly notice it... I tried this once with one hit of salvia and almost killed myself. It was like my view of the highway was wrap-around fisheye lens... Not gonna ever do that again.

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  70. They grow almost exclusively from cuttings. In the wild they grow to like three or four feet tall and then break, and if the stem hits moist ground it takes root. But that's not super-likely.
    They really need man to survive.

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  71. Does Harry even smoke weed?

    I'd recommend it for anyone who takes it seriously. It requires more thinking than weed, or you trip out. Unless that's what you want of course, but I find the sub-tripping levels very interesting. When you trip you don't really have control; you're really along for the ride.
    Sometimes I like to just trip a little, like a twilight-trip. Last night for instance this happened and everything in the world seemed to have dissolved into chaos and was like, spinning around me, and the only single point of stillness anywhere, was at my core if you will, right between my eyes, like in the third-eye area. Everywhere else was chaos, even my body. So I could look around at it.

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  72. One other thing about salvia. I don't think it can be smoked very well in a joint, even with weed. It burns too fast. I'm told that in a blunt (tobacco wrap) with weed, it causes it to burn better and stay alight, so that's okay. Bowl is better for this; water pipe is best, and you can just smoke the salvia in it without weed.
    I feel like such a dealer talking about it, but it's completely legal. It really shouldn't be if weed is illegal, since to me it's way, way stronger an effect, but on the other hand I guess it tends to incapacitate you unless you're careful, so it's not as much of a social, party drug. Unless you like laughing at your drolling insensate friend.

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  73. There are a lot of interesting visual effects too. I mean, before you even trip out. Walls looking a bit like the surface of water, lots of seeming 'blind-spots' in your peripheral vision, increased color sensitivity, increased capacity for visualization, and also sensory effects like cold feelings on your hands and face, sometimes a feeling of weight bearing down on you...
    It doesn't seem to effect the heartbeat at all. You remain totally calm-feeling inside, mostly.

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  74. Another effect I've talked about with my wife:

    You know how normally in your head, if it were say a bus, it feels like you're driving with your face right up there against the window? With salvia it feels like you've taken a couple of steps back from that window. You're a lot more 'in your head.'

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  75. Salvia artwork

    This gives you an idea of the general type of visions you get when you really trip.

    Also note a few pics of the plant itself in this group.

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  76. Allright, this video is way funny.

    This is how NOT to do salvia. With friends who you'll be embarassed in front of, and no experience, and you've done too much. And you're apparently not too bright to begin with. Too funny.

    The plumber's ass syndrome doesn't help.

    However, it does show what the drug is capable of. So, caveat trip-or.

    Serious stuff.

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  77. Snotty kid is owned by salvia

    He's so sure of himself. Then, WHAM.

    It's really not a party drug. You have to take it seriously.
    Also, in these videos I must assume they're doing the concentrate. It's a lot more of a 'one-hit kill' than the plain leaf.

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  78. I do not know if it is the same stuff, but Burpee gardening has the seeds for Salvia under flower seeds. They also sell the plants.

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  79. Seems to me, Brian, that you're implying that you're trying to 'break on through to the other side', here.

    Judging by those two videos, smoking that stuff is not a good idea at all.

    Seems to me that if you're looking for something 'profound', salvia is being touted as an 'easy button' and just the way you describe it, with the 'third eye' reference, very New-agey.

    Want some 'insight' into yourself? Drink a small bottle of cough syrup with dextromethorphan.

    When you get fed up analysing yourself and the world around you, you can just relax and be the 'man behind the curtain' doing what you do 'til it wears off.

    What 'great insight' is it to 'realise' that you are the centre of the Universe?

    Of course you are. Of course you are the centre of YOUR Universe.

    Want some sparkly changing colours?

    It's called a kaleidoscope.

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  80. OMG leave for a week and you come back to a Hookah bar...

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  81. It seems it isn't a good idea? Well, it most definitely isn't, for some young snotty kid or some moron with plumber-butt. For someome that is careful and not stupid about it, it's quite pleasurable. I don't roll around on the floor or scream out loud when I smoke it. IN fact, I generally remain ambulatory, unless I feel like taking a trip.
    And have I said that it's for my spirituality? To be honest, I like it because it extends the weed out a lot. I love the inner exploration aspect, too.
    It's not cough syrup. It's not like anything else, actually. Even chemically, it's unique. It doesn't FEEL like anything else.
    I posted those vids to show you what happens if you don't respect it, and how powerful it is. I didn't expect you to get all scaredey-cat when you saw them.
    Geeze. Are you my mom?

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  82. Seems to me, Brian, that you're implying that you're trying to 'break on through to the other side', here
    -----------
    Where'd I say that?

    just the way you describe it, with the 'third eye' reference, very New-agey.
    -------------
    I described it that way, because that was the effect, not because I wanted that to be the effect. It centered on the area of my eyes, generally, or slightly behind them. That's where the point of stability FELT like it was. So I called it that. What's your problem? Gas?

    You're kind-of a pain in the ass, aren't you?

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  83. Et tu, pliny?

    What, is it offensive to everybody's 'christian sensibilities?'

    I don't get it.

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  84. Jerry, no. Not in Burpee. That'd be some regular salvia variety, not salvia divinorum. Regular salvia is a fairly common decorative annual flower with a red spathe of blossoms usually, and no drug effect whatsoever. My dad used to have them in the garden.

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  85. Judging by those two videos
    -----------
    ...which I selected to show you all what CAN happen when one isn't prepared and is stupid about it. So you 'judging by them' is invalidated because they were selected for maximum negative impact. It's like I show you two vids of two guys shitfaced falling down drunk and you swear off cocktails forever or something.
    I can't show you a vid of a good trip, because all that is is someone sitting there smiling. Pretty boring.

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  86. I wanted to keep it a secret Brian, but you've all but guessed, so, yes, I'm your mom.

    Now don't get all snarky. Perhaps you felt like I was being a bit rough on you?

    Well, let me try to tone that down a bit.

    I meant to say, I was meaning to say, that this 'profound' high implies, to me at least, a 'profound' answer or possible answer to 'what it is that you are looking for'.

    But you seem to want to take both sides of the 'argument' here, warning us that it is not for recreation, not for 'fun', not to be taken 'lightly' AND/BUT/EVEN THOUGH you personally use it to extend the effects of one of your usual recreational drugs of choice!

    I can only speak from my own experiences and I know that when I took hallucinogenic drugs, it was mostly 'to party', "Bring on the dancing cartoon clowns!!", but of course that was mixed with a feeling that I might have a profound 'explanation' or 'catharsis' or insight into a spiritual realm or at least spirituality in me.

    What can I say, Brian, other than what my experience is?

    I'm really not trying to scoff at you and I'm NOT scoffing at you.

    Listen to your mom(me).

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  87. But you seem to want to take both sides of the 'argument' here, warning us that it is not for recreation, not for 'fun', not to be taken 'lightly' AND/BUT/EVEN THOUGH you personally use it to extend the effects of one of your usual recreational drugs of choice!
    -------
    That's because it is both NOT a recreational drug when taken casually (see videos!) AND an excellent recreational drug *once you understand it.*
    My first trip was terrifying. Really. I felt myself die. And yet, it was so interesting that I had to try it again, and eventually I found the right dosage and way to take it. Now I have a lot more control.
    The effects are so profound that I guess they sound spiritual. However, I don't think that this is the path to enlightenment. At best I might get a few insights into my own psyche.

    Come on though... wasn't that kid funny? Soooo cocky, so sure of himself. He needed a slap, if you will, and Lady Salvia gave him a hard one. You could tell by the way he smoked it that he is very used to smoking weed. He was a little like me; couldn't believe that it would do that much. Well, it patently does 'do that much.' Talk about a humbling experience.

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  88. You've always been very understanding, mom.

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  89. Don't forget to put on clean underwear when you go out.

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  90. Incidentally after I started using salvia I noticed (the very next day, and ever since) a reduction in my back pain and a distinct lessening of my digestive issues. So then, and only then, I looked it up and found that it was used for generations as everything from headache medicine to stomach medicine by the natives of oxaca. They even gave it medicinally to children. So it wasn't like I took it already knowing it's history as medicine. In my mind this makes it more likely that it really is helping me and it's not in my head. But either way I feel better, so maybe I shouldn't look too closely... gift horse and all that.

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  91. Don't forget to put on clean underwear when you go out.
    --------
    Cleanliness is next to godliness, and my naughty bits.

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  92. I should stop joking about anything relating to 'naughty bits' et al.

    It will attract MI like chum in the ocean.

    I kinda was hopeful though, that one of the christians would stop in and tell me how morally degraded I am for using drugs. I just don't feel right anymore if I'm not pissing off a christian.

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  93. Et tu, pliny?

    What, is it offensive to everybody's 'christian sensibilities?'
    -------------------------------
    Naw - Christian sensibilities have nothing to do with it since I am neither sensible nor christian. I was just commenting that the thread did seem to diverge - almost as if the thread itself crewed some Salvia.

    hey, if you want to take a complex unregulated hallucinogen that short circuits portions of your brain that evolution has long separated for presumably good reasons - who am I to judge - Harry is the judge here, not I ;)

    However, it has always struck me as ironic that we spend money on recreationally achieving mental states that we judiciously attempt to eradicate in schizophrenics...

    Me, I already have such a thin grasp of reality that I cling to it with whitened knuckles. So I pretty much avoid mind altering drugs including EtOH. Plus since I'm defined by my angst I don't want to risk mellowing out in any way.

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  94. Watching a commercial here. Turns out that KFC is even better in Canada than in the USA 'cos they use Canadian chickens here!

    Turns out that KFC might be happy to use chickens full of hormones across the border but are quite happy to brag about using chickens sans hormones here.

    I'm usually quite skeptical when it comes to such claims, but I'm willing to believe KFC when they say their company is serving better chickens to us Canadians than they are serving their own countrymen, women and children.

    I'm trying to imagine a KFC commercial over there.

    "Here in the good ol' USA, hormones are the key! We laugh at those Canadian pussies eating hormoneless chicken! We laugh 'til our man-titties jiggle!"

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  95. Me, I already have such a thin grasp of reality that I cling to it with whitened knuckles.
    -------
    I use drugs because I have too good a grasp on reality. Human nature depresses me. Vacations are expensive, but it's fairly affordable to take one only in the mind.

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  96. hey, if you want to take a complex unregulated hallucinogen that short circuits portions of your brain that evolution has long separated for presumably good reasons -
    ---------
    Why yes, yes I do.

    I don't see people that have non-short-circuited brains doing that well for their trouble, so why not? Maybe we're supposed to short-circuit it. Maybe that's what it needs more of.
    One thing for sure. If republucans smoked weed instead of drinking ETOH, the country would be a lot less up-tight and policy would be a lot more empathetic to the plight of the common person. Alcohol encourages apathy and anger whereas THC encourages empathy and good feelings.

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  97. "Here in the good ol' USA, hormones are the key! We laugh at those Canadian pussies eating hormoneless chicken! We laugh 'til our man-titties jiggle!"
    ---------
    Funny because it's so true.

    I think the reason the right wing does seem to think canadians are pussies (well, they do) is that canadians are nicer to each other. Of course by that yardstick Jesus was a raging faggot, but hey, whatever.

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  98. that evolution has long separated for presumably good reasons
    ----------
    Agoraphobia is for good evolutionary reasons. Not all evolutionary reasons make sense on the personal level anymore. For instance, what if the areas are separated so that the organism *isn't too aware of it's surroundings* and can only perceive them on some kind of surface level? This would make tons of sense from a biological perspective (less babies made if you realize life is just a dream) but not if your goal is to seek some truths that are otherwise inacessible in 'normal-mind.' I mean, it's at least possible, no? Just playing devil's advocate a la 'big brain.' I think shamanic-style trance states accessible through salvia and other ethnobotanicals are worthwhile exploring, myself. Since it's my pet theory and all.

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  99. I have understood that according to Christianity if I accept Jesus as my savior I will get eternal life in heaven. How does this square with Jesus saying heaven will pass away? Does that mean eternal is somewhat short of forever?

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  100. Plus of course, it's a fun substance with little ability to harm me. Very non-toxic.
    If one is adult about taking it, of course. As you can see in the videos, you can't take it lightly like weed.
    I guess that I am interested in the 'spiritual' aspects after all, but from the perspective of not being willing to discard the idea of an idealistic reality. I still like to 'research' that. I don't seek enlightenment, but I do seek additional data from all sources.

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  101. Things I haven't mentioned would lend support to a BB interpretation but unfortunately a more likely explanation is that I alread had pre-dispositions toward them...

    For instance, in my first few real trips I had a strong sense of nostalgia, for lack of a better term. As if my whole life were 'just a short dream' and now I'd awakened to the 'real reality.' Literally, I 'knew' at the time that my life on earth was entirely my creation, or at least, an illusion, and now it was utterly over. (Despair) One of the aspects of that 'feeling like I was dying' thingy. The nostalgia thing was more of a strong sense that I'd experienced 'this place' before and that some 'people' would shortly be along to collect me or something like that, like parents would come to pick up a child after a play date. 'Little Brian has finished his life-dream, time to go pick him up' or something.

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  102. Now the funny thing is, I've read about other people's trips online, and the nostalgia thing is a common experience. Interesting.

    Also they talk about some 'huge wheel' they see, or 'big wheel trips.' I senses *something* passing by me at a distance that seemed to 'bend space' around it like a singularity, more than once, and it seemed to be intelligent somehow, or rather occupied by intelligent beings (plural) as if it were like a ship with 'people' on it, perhaps those 'adults' that lived there...

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  103. How would you compare salvia with peyote? Or mushrooms?

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  104. I could sense it because along with bending space, it bent me. I felt the distortion effect physically as it passed.

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  105. I haven't done peyote. I'm told the trip on peyote and on mushrooms is more controllable, you're not as 'destroyed' by the experience. On salvia you can feel yourself come apart and re-assemble, that sort of thing. also the duration of salvia, when smoked, is rather short. Ten minutes to a half-hour or so.
    I know that salvia is very controllable once you learn how much affects you and how strong that effect is. You can get as high as you want to without really tripping out.

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  106. I believe that eating amanita muscaria is pretty strong, but when I tried the tea and smoking it, it was very small. As to the psilocybin mushrooms, again I've heard that it's more seeing things and less seeing distortion and colors and such. Although you can see things on salvia, too. Longer duration with eating the shrooms in general, too, several hours as opposed to minutes.

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  107. peyote is my favorite. I understand it was used for the same purpose as salvia in the spiritual idea. I have access to mushrooms but rarely take advantage, but the salvia has me curious to check it out.

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  108. Salvia has an odd effect.
    Take one hit, and there's a 'spike.' You feel a big rush. If it's a hit of concentrate you would trip out at this point. HOwever, let's say it's the leaf. So you 'spike' and then you come back down, but now you've got a nice salvia buzz that endures for like two hours. Nowhere near as strong as the 'spike' though. So you take another hit, you 'spike' again, and then you come down again, but the *level that you come down to now is stronger,* a more 'high' high if you will, and that endures too. And so on, with every additional hit. So you can really learn to gauge it. Toward the end you might slightly trip when you 'spike' but then you come down to a very high high indeed.

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  109. Funny you should mention peyote.

    Not to long ago when I was really getting interested in these things, I ordered peyote seeds from amsterdam. Thought I'd do a nice cactus garden. They take three to five years to mature though, but what the hey, I was more interested in just having them as curiosities.
    They arrived, five of them. Only cost me like eight bucks. Then I found out that even posessing the seeds is a felony in the US, so I just flushed them.

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  110. I kind of wondered where the Big Brain Theory was going to fit into this.

    Where does this ruler versus ruled paradigm that the right push on us fit in to that?

    I'm thinking that the ruled have always baulked against the rulers to the point of spreading out or fighting.

    Sure the rulers might like the Big Brain theory, especially if it's pointing towards them being right, and that is exactly how they're going to 'see it'.

    There's likely a very fine line between your theory and the wealthy/powerfuls' notion of 'destiny'.

    I'm sure it wouldn't take me long to 'get in the groove' that I am where I'm 'at' if I won 50 million in the lottery, and that it's 'destiny' that I am where I am.

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  111. Wonder what old Eric would have to say about Salvia Divinorum?

    I don't like these kinds of drugs because they are just more distraction.

    I think that we think more clearly when we are at peace, undistracted, time to see things for what they are, stuff like that.

    Not sure which show I saw this woman plugging her book called 'Crisis Politics' or something equivalent, but I couldn't help noticing that it was the same thing I've been thinking about, calling the right's strategy 'pandemonium'.

    Seems like these right-wing think-tanks have figured it out that the public will accept authority in times of crisis.

    What is the objective of right-wing government? To make the public simply accept their authority.

    "But the public are fickle and easily distracted and easily persuaded to look after their own interests as opposed to the 'right's' interest.", you say?

    Solution: Create constant crises.

    Blame the more liberal, progressive, left for the crisis du jour by using the left-wing legitimate 'talking points' against them.

    Seems to me that if 1% of the population of the USA(or any country, but I'm using the USA as an example) have most of the money, and their objective is to have more of it, their objective is to control the flow of it towards themselves they'll talk about fairness and the merit of 'hard work' and fiscal responsibility and so on, in order to frame their agenda in terms that a fair amount of the population can understand.

    contd.

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  112. Now how many people are we talking about here when we say that 1% of the population has most of the money?

    Let's say there are 300 million people in the country, this amounts to 3 million wealthy people.

    But, of course there are a lot of children of varying ages, we can't count them, and there must be other classes of people who don't really 'count', who are not really 'in on it' when it comes down to a right-wing agenda to create a continuous authoritative government which is geared to favour these few, albeit fair number of citizens.

    There a a fair amount of wealthy people who are happy when the public are being treated fairly, are mostly employed in good, decent paying jobs and so on, so they don't count.

    There are the wives or husbands of these 'driven' wealthy(they're driven to be MORE wealthy by fair means or foul), and so on.

    Point is that I wonder how far we could go discounting from that original 3 million number to get to the actual figure of 'oligarchs', the ones determined to control the flow of money towards themselves?

    Certainly the have insinuated themselves in positions of power as surely as pederasts will insinuate themselves into situations where they come in contact with children, no?

    You know these people. They're the ones who would say, "You care about the poor, you say, but you want to care for them with MY money!"

    Recall small b brian? Anything 'went' as far as promoting his agenda. He gave out gifts to deprived children. He 'argued' that the tolerant MUST tolerate the intolerant, therefore there really are no 'tolerant'? He'd scream 'rape' when he imagined 'them' having 'entitelments' but we know he would bat an eyelash cashing a government cheque made out to himself! He was proud to be in the insurance trade, which is in the business of talking people out of their money.

    They're quite happy to admit that there are a few 'bad eggs' but are unlikely to admit that their definition of a 'bad egg' is someone who gets caught in the act, not someone who is acting 'bad'.

    But I think that letting these people be the governors of the country is not sustainable.

    I think that people who see this are like Cassandra in the Greek myth, destined to see the real problem and never to be able to convince anyone.

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  113. I think that people who see this are like Cassandra in the Greek myth, destined to see the real problem and never to be able to convince anyone.
    ----------
    Absolutely.

    The book is 'The Shock Doctrine" by Naomi Klein.
    One thing she patently doesn't mention in the book, or at least I don't believe that she does, is Hitler. I mean, the Reichstag Fire is classic shock doctrine.
    I just always used to call it 'macchiavellian manipulation of the masses' but shock doctrine works fine I guess. Easier to say.
    Iraq was shock doctrine of course. 9/11 was convenient shock doctrine, taking advantage of a disaster. (If they didn't cause it, of course)

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  114. This union-busting is shock doctrine. First, give away the farm in tax breaks for corporations, then declare a fiscal CRISIS, then do whatever the fuck you want to.

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  115. I don't like these kinds of drugs because they are just more distraction.

    I think that we think more clearly when we are at peace, undistracted, time to see things for what they are, stuff like that.

    Not sure which show I saw this woman plugging her book called 'Crisis Politics' or something equivalent...
    ------------
    Hmm...

    Well, then by that definition my mind is clouded, and yet why is it then that I 'see it' so very clearly? I've smoked weed for decades, and only started to notice politics at all about six years ago. If that. Before that I was blissfully ignorant of any of this crap. Oh, I thought religion was bad, but not pure evil like I do now... I can see so much more now. It's literally painful to me.
    I see it too clearly, is the problem. I need the distraction.

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  116. Guess that was leading up to the solution to this problem.

    We need a wealthy person to switch sides and write a few popular novels explaining over and over, 'til it sinks in, that the right are the bad eggs'.

    Someone who is willing to change from going with the narratives, explaining how the narrative works for them, what the think-tanks are all about and who is behind them and why.

    Just someone who is willing to get rid of the elephant in the room, explaining how we can simplify the law, improve our education and so on to become the people that the narrative is saying we are.

    Someone like George Walker Bush! Hey, it's only a matter of deciding to do it!

    Then, ol' Dubbya(with a boatload of ghost-writers) would become the great man that his narrative is telling him that he is.

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  117. Hey, I just realized something...

    The whole concept of hell, is shock doctrine.

    The people wouldn't accept authority so readily without the terror of hell as a goad. Fear of damnation is a damned convenient fear to disseminate if you happen to belong to the clergy, no?

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  118. Then, ol' Dubbya(with a boatload of ghost-writers) would become the great man that his narrative is telling him that he is.
    -------
    Yeah no. Ol' Dubbya hasn't got a jot of greatness in him. Too bad, but 'dems da berries.

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  119. We need a wealthy person to switch sides and write a few popular novels explaining over and over, 'til it sinks in, that the right are the bad eggs'.
    ------------
    Nope, we're just too stupid for that to work.

    There's this guy that appears on msnbc a lot who used to be an insurance company executive in charge of Official Public Rape or something and one day couldn't take the pangs of conscience (huge liability in that industry) so he turned, wrote a book (forget the title) and explained all the dirty horrific things they do strategically and pre-meditatedly, in that industry. I heard it. A lot of people heard it. Not nearly enough, though. Most people didn't give a shit. And that's what would happen if your scenario came to pass, pboy.

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  120. You see pboy, that'd be going up against a belief, with a fact.

    Does that ever work?

    ReplyDelete
  121. What we need, is for the right to be massively discredited somehow. A wikileaks email leak. That sort of thing. Horrific crimes exposed, on video preferably. Famous faces involved. People getting 'disappeared' or something. Bribery. Graft. All solidly proven. Throw in Michelle Bachman drinking blood from an infant's skull or something. Or maybe Sarah Palin giving head to a moose while defecating in Rick Santorum's mouth on top of a hog-tied Todd while Bristol and her baby watch... It's gotta be severe.
    I can dream. (sigh)

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  122. Yea, you're likely right Brian.

    It's poker they're playing, and losing a couple of hands is no big deal.

    It's a Hydra monster and if you cut off one, it'll just grow two.

    Still, not sure how you 'seeing this' plays into your Big Brain Theory.

    Is our 'sum total', what theists would call God, just a greedy cunt?

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  123. So, it's shock doctrine coupled with confusion technique.

    Kind of goes hand in hand. You create endless crises to confuse people about who is causing it and why.

    Christianity works like this too.

    God loves you and is all-good.

    But there is evil in this world.

    Therefore we make the evil.

    How can we do this if we are made by an all-good, all-powerful being?

    Free will.

    God gave us the gift of free will.

    God allows us, nay, practically insists that we be evil.

    But Jesus came to allow God to forgive us.

    Understood!?

    No, you don't 'get it', because (insert random scripture quote here).

    Bible not 'true', you say? (insert random religious philosophical authority here)

    Confused?

    Good, good.

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  124. I noticed that when I simplified the narrative when it came to religion over at the Matt and Maddy blog, Matt would invariably pitch in with the old, "That's just a caricature!"

    But isn't the entire Bible 'just caricatures' itself? Isn't this why we supposed need these endless apologies, the Bible(inspired by GOD) as written for everyone as opposed to the Bible(written by scribes who thought themselves inspired by GOD) written for those who feel inspired to read it and use the tool that it is.

    "God said, 'Let there be light!'"

    Jesus who was sitting at God's right hand said, "Hey, I've been here all along!"

    God said, "Just for that, think 'cross'."

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  125. Read the Old Testament and ask yourself, "What with the free will and that, how could God possibly know that his Chosen People would take all his help down through 100s of years, then completely fuck up!"

    God may be all knowing, but at the same time HE must be all unknowing too!

    This is what religious philosophers call a 'difficult' topic, which to be honest if your life comes to that part of the record album you either skip back, relying on the faith you have, or skip forward, ignoring it completely.

    Best thing to do is go to your wise pastor who likely will tell you that you should get drunk and feel better in the morning. Let him do the 'thinking', that's his job.

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  126. but not if your goal is to seek some truths that are otherwise inacessible in 'normal-mind.' I mean, it's at least possible, no?
    -----
    well, actually that would be no. As I've said, I really could care less about how people spend their free time as long as no one innocent is harmed.

    But there is no reason to think that you are going to encounter any more actual truth tripping on a plant than from a religious fugue state. Neurochemists can induce all of the experiences you describe in a repeatable fashion, including the sense of the user that they are having some metaphysical experience. If you break down the chemical barriers that normally create a sense of self it is not surprising that one feels disconnected or dis-embodied. Fugue states can be reproduced at will with stimulation of the right areas of the brain. All those feelings are neurochemistry and absolutely nothing more. These pathways exist normally to allow us to effectively process and act upon the vast amounts of sensory data we encounter each day. Short circuiting them chemically only introduces mixed sensory inputs which may feel profound and certainly are different from every day sensory experiences but don't take us anywhere that the brain's chemistry could anyway.

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  127. "..encounter any more actual truth tripping on a plant.."

    Here I pictured Brian out in his garden getting his foot caught in the underbrush, realising that life was simply a collection of coincidences.

    LOL

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  128. Is our 'sum total', what theists would call God, just a greedy cunt?
    ------
    That'd be a 'yep.'
    We're a work in progress.


    Pliny, the major buzz-kill.
    Damn you, science!!!

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  129. but not if your goal is to seek some truths that are otherwise inacessible in 'normal-mind.' I mean, it's at least possible, no?
    -----
    well, actually that would be no.
    ------------------
    So if I've already gleaned something from it that I'd never have found without it, I'm right and you're wrong, right?

    The feeling of dissolution, of loss of self, greatly reduced my fear of my eventual death.

    I win.

    See, you didn't count on feelings being the result, you were expecting it to be data!
    Logical side thinking doesn't see intuitive side sensing very well.

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  130. Oh! (slaps forehead)

    I can see where this is going. It's one of those, "Well, we have your money, and it's ours now. You don't get that pension that you paid into, negotiated for and such."

    :o)

    "You're fucked. Happy New Paradigm!!"

    "Oh, you're going to strike you say? Fill your boots!"

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  131. Oh! (slaps forehead)

    I can see where this is going. It's one of those, "Well, we have your money, and it's ours now. You don't get that pension that you paid into, negotiated for and such."

    :o)

    "You're fucked. Happy New Paradigm!!"

    "Oh, you're going to strike you say? Fill your boots!"

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  132. Ian said,

    "What is the objective of right-wing government? To make the public simply accept their authority.

    "But the public are fickle and easily distracted and easily persuaded to look after their own interests as opposed to the 'right's' interest.", you say?

    Solution: Create constant crises."

    Like I said before: There's a LOT more money to be made in treating a problem as opposed to CURING a problem.

    So much the better for them if the problem isn't real, but the hysteria IS.

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  133. Wheeze...cough...

    Judge...cough...you...

    Damn...cough...hippies

    I hate drugs, even the one I need in order to level out whatever chemical is not doing what it's supposed to.

    Así es la vida.

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  134. Ah but yes, I forget my hypocrisy... how fitting.

    Beer.

    There ya are Brian.

    I won't drink it too much or too often because it'll wreck my liver (my med is processed in the liver) and it'll send me spiraling into depression (days or weeks).

    And I should've written *hate*. I *hate* drugs because of my personal experiences and my biochemistry, including of course my dependence on one and how weak that makes me feel. The reality of what I know my illness does to me and family and friends vs. my belief in the real man, the John Wayne motherfucker who can only be taken down by bullets or cancer and not some pussy thing like mental illness.

    The whole, 'I know I need it but I'm weak for it,' guilt trip.

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  135. Hmm. A metastory about metaHarry.

    Kinda makes me sad, though I'm sure that's not what you were going for.

    ReplyDelete
  136. Should meta make one inadvertently sad? I don't see why so or not.

    I was just being *real*

    It's interesting to have pixelated codpieces that we take off from time to time to show each other how big are willies really are.

    :-)

    Cheers you heathen.

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  137. *our*

    Stupid mistake, I get a nice metaphor like 'pixelated codpieces' and then switch are and our.

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  138. I liked 'pixelated codpieces.'

    Pretty funny schtick there.

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  139. Buzzkill? hmmmm, I have always liked that term. Maybe I'll change the name of my blog to 'Pliny's daily Buzzkill'...

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  140. "Pretty funny schtick there."

    You're just saying that because I showed you what's under my codpiece!

    Badump bump.

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  141. Some guy with a heavy accent phoned up and told Emma that she was on the computer and that she should push the Start button.

    After much annoyed chatter she gave me the phone and he told me that my computer was running and he was with PC Doctor(or something) and I should press the Start button.

    Anyway, I'm way ahead of him and don't want to go through this routine of logging in to his anti-virus/computer checker site and being told that I need to fork over fifty bucks or whatnot, and hang up on him.

    This is a very disingenuous sales technique, taking advantage of unsophisticated computer users and their propensity to simply follow instructions.

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  142. Put up a bit of a post. Kind of echos Pliny's.

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  143. When I first read about the USA nurse who was going to be a speaker for the Pro-Life movement in New Zealand on the M&M blog I was sincerely disheartened by her story about aborted babies laying in the sink gasping out their last breaths.

    Of course it shouldn't be allowed.

    What the Pro-life movement is neglecting to tell us is that the doctors aren't performing these 'abortions'. The woman is having a late term(23wks~) miscarriage and doctors are not allowed to hasten the fetus' inevitable death because Pro-Life LAW will not permit them.

    The 'sink' is a nice touch though. What is supposed to happen? Maybe the mother should be 'presented' with her fetus to watch as it gasps it's last attempts at breathing?

    Perhaps the doctors ought to stand guard over the poor thing until it's final demise?

    This reframing of circumstances using the 'cold hard facts' and keeping quiet about facts which work against the Pro-Life movement is unforgivable.

    I'm sure it is just the few devious bastards who are happy to dupe their 'base', their 'useful tools', people who aren't likely to want to know the whole story, just the story that they'd rather believe.

    Still, I CAN believe MI tutting that, "Well, guess that cat is out of the bag! Another one will come along soon enough though."

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  144. What the Pro-life movement is neglecting to tell us is that the doctors aren't performing these 'abortions'. The woman is having a late term(23wks~) miscarriage and doctors are not allowed to hasten the fetus' inevitable death because Pro-Life LAW will not permit them.
    -----------
    What is it about christians that they don't seem to even think a lie in defense of their 'cause' is a lie. Somehow, they feel zero guilt.
    What a generally dishonorable lot.

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  145. "The woman is having a late term(23wks~) miscarriage and doctors are not allowed to hasten the fetus' inevitable death because Pro-Life LAW will not permit them."

    Where are your facts pb? I believe you about the law but the miscarriages? Putting it in the singular (the woman) just softens up your 'absolute.'

    On a related note...

    One end of the spectrum,

    the other

    Just to keep things in perspective.

    I'm an atheist, still pro-life, do not want to overturn Roe v. Wade and think the issue is so complex that I've had one and only one decent dialogue with a pro-choice person.

    There's no demons pb, stop looking for them, that's just religious thinking coming out in a political package.

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  146. No bees huh?

    "do not want to overturn Roe v. Wade"

    This is the only change from my previous position.

    If Roe v. Wade were overturned I think the results would be catastrophic for women.

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  147. "Where are your facts pb?"

    1)The woman..

    Every situation like this involves ONE woman.


    2).. is having a late term(23wks~) miscarriage...

    This is the circumstance I'm talking about. Abortionists don't simply induce birth, pro-life stories are rife with horrifying stories of how the abortionists remove the fetus in pieces!

    3) and doctors are not allowed to hasten the fetus' inevitable death because Pro-Life LAW will not permit them.

    This is in Nebraska, and it's the law.

    There's no 'spectrum' in your story, Harry. Surely if Christians can deny that Hitler was 'one of them', I can deny that that doctor isn't just at some far end of what the evil abortionist doctors are up to!

    This is akin to the Christians believing that we're all God-hating sociopath monsters, and if they found one then he/she would prove that there's a 'spectrum' of atheism.

    But no-one can claim that atheism causes God-hating or sociopathy, except the local pastor who is out to scare his flock.

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  148. A woman, cute. But no reply necessary because you're either being facetious or ignorant

    So, an abortion doctor 'never' having to induce labor? Do you know this? Is this against the law too? It sure as hell doesn't seem practical in some instances, especially when a partial birth abortion is going to be performed.

    The links are supposed to be examples of a spectrum of ethicality concerning the behaviors of different types of people involved in the issue. But it's probably over your head.

    ----

    The uninformed pro-life position is to not recognize that women/girls' well-being: physical, emotional etc. is indeed so important we kill non-social humans. PAS is a related matter, one in which I am for.

    The uninformed pro-choice position is to deny that abortion is killing a human at all, in kind of the same way neo-cons shrug off casualties.

    "Iraqis? Well... democracy will do great things!'"

    "Humans? Well... it's a woman's body!'"

    The more we recognize who or what we privilege and why, the better off we will be as social human beings.

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  149. The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. George Bernard Shaw "Man and Superman" 1903

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  150. The uninformed pro-choice position is to deny that abortion is killing a human at all, in kind of the same way neo-cons shrug off casualties.
    ---------
    Perhaps. However, the decision, even if it's a decision to take a life, is the mother's to make, not the government's. Any 'sin' accrued is just that, a sin, and like all sins, is between a person's god and themselves. Not the government. This is how it has to be, since the fetus is dependent on the mother and it's her fetus; her choice. Otherwise we'd be arresting women on murder charges for abortions, and doctors as well for performing them.

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  151. Plus, the neocon's love for the fetus and total apathy for the already-born, is a 'tell,' no? A revealing behavior. They couldn't care less for human life; it's all just a talking point that has gotten traction with them so politicians use the hell out of it.

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  152. Hang with me Brian,

    "Otherwise we'd be arresting women on murder charges for abortions, and doctors as well for performing them."

    Or the Iraqi government arresting soldiers for killing "terrorists," or our local governments arresting police officers in a genuine shooting etc.

    We do not own up to the fact that there are human lives we consider to be expendable.

    We argue about what makes an unborn child a fetus, or an unborn human just a collection of cells. It's indicative of the same line of reasoning we use when we're uncomfortable admitting that we act on utility: that killing a human indeed is necessary for a woman to have a productive, fulfilling life, that killing a fourteen year old kid because he happens to be living next to a Hamas operative's house we're blowing up, is necessary so that operative doesn't blow up a plane.

    It's untidy, it's grey, it fucking sucks, but it seems to be the only rational conclusion one can draw from how we act on our notions of a 'good life.'

    Human beings are expendable... legitimately.

    I think that blows, AND I am in accord with it. So I am pro-life. Not pro turning over Roe v. Wade, not pro letting Al-Qaida do what it does, not pro banning PAS.

    How does this then go beyond a nominal position? That's the million dollar question for me right now. I'm a semi-clueless evolved ape, the most I can hope for is an amelioration of what I consider to be the justifiable taking of human life.

    I keep coming back to education, education, education... and leaning heavily towards a socialized democracy.

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  153. "The more we recognize who or what we privilege and why, the better off we will be as social human beings."

    Well said Harry.

    "Thanks, I typed that myself."

    You're better at flinging poo.

    "There's no need to bring that up right now. Stop being a jerk."

    You're the one who's proud of his own typing.

    "I was being self-depricating."

    I don't even know what that means.

    "You wouldn't. Prick."

    Loser.

    "Jackass."

    Asshole.

    "Ok, ok, I'm sorry."

    Apology not accepted.

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  154. Given the situation described in Pharyngula, doctors not being allowed to 'help' an underdeveloped baby(born it was) towards it's inevitable demise, what difference is it if the doctors induced birth or not, Harry?

    I'm not 'getting' this insistence that there's all different kinds of abortions at all.

    Partial birth? Not the same thing at all. The procedure must be legal under certain circumstances and this is between the woman and her doctor(s).

    This is simply misdirection. I'm talking about one circumstance and your 'point' seems to be to say, "But there are many circumstances, and what can you PROVE?"

    Harry, you're sounding like a fundy Christian here.

    I cannot prove that the Earth isn't at the centre of the Universe either.

    I cannot prove that there isn't (insert something that you just made up) some place or even existing 'out of time', so what?

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  155. pb,

    I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume I didn't call you out on unfounded assertions, which for me is a separate issue from whatever's being debated.

    "I'm not 'getting' this insistence that there's all different kinds of abortions at all."

    I don't think there are different types of abortions. A human being is killed each time. Privileging a woman's *right to choose* is the same to me as accepting a soldier's right to kill. A woman just knows her situation better generally speaking.

    Once again, my links were to point out what I consider to be two ends of a spectrum of problematic ethical behaviors concerning abortion, just as I would have concerning ethics and war.

    Shit, maybe I'm being inconsistent or equivocating. Feel free to point it out, I promise I won't Eric you.

    And I know this is a tangent, but what is Canada's position on abortion? Do they give more freedom to the woman for the time period in which she can have an abortion? Less?

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  156. "I don't think there are different types of abortions. A human being is killed each time."

    Well, there are, and you do.

    We were discussing induced birth where the baby is born.

    You were discussing partial birth where the fetus is killed 'this side' of being born and alluding to others.

    You went on about 'proving my assertions' about what was going on mixed up with throwing different kinds of abortion around.

    I was saying that if the woman has a miscarriage that that is totally different from a woman getting an abortion procedure but it's still an abortion(the original meaning of the word) and it seems to me that pro-lifers can't have their cake, abortionists cut the fetus up, and eat it too, abortionists leave the baby to gasp for air!

    These would be two different things Harry.

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  157. "I was saying that if the woman has a miscarriage that that is totally different from a woman getting an abortion procedure but it's still an abortion(the original meaning of the word)..."

    The above is not clear from this:

    "What the Pro-life movement is neglecting to tell us is that the doctors aren't performing these 'abortions'. The woman is having a late term(23wks~) miscarriage and doctors are not allowed to hasten the fetus' inevitable death because Pro-Life LAW will not permit them."

    Your point here is that a law, presumably there to protect a born child, disallows a merciful death.

    The problem/misunderstanding was due to a blanket statement about some circumstance that is always happening. "The woman is having a late term(23wks~) miscarriage and doctors are not allowed to hasten the fetus' inevitable death because Pro-Life LAW will not permit them."

    2 plus 2 is 4. Is, is a temporal statement.

    But I don't see how this has anything to do with our ethical disagreement.

    Per there being different types of abortions. I didn't think you were being literal... oddly. I thought you were getting at whether I thought it was a human at 24 weeks vs. 9 weeks. Meaning abortion is differentiated then by its "moral" legitimacy. My mistake.

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  158. Seems to me Harry, that there is a giant difference, morally, between a woman going to the doctor to get rid of her fetus, and an abortionist giving her some drugs to induce abortion, when the fetus is around 23 weeks old, compared to a woman who is spontaneously going into miscarriage and going to the doctor for help and there is nothing the doctor can do.

    But the similarities are virtually one to one, and easily reframed by pro-life to their ends.

    Pro-lifers might start the story with a caring pro-life nurse cradling a premature baby(it WAS born) in a towel as it gasps for air with lungs which are too underdeveloped to process it.

    Add a few uncaring remarks by the doctor, who might be very angry at pro-lifers for forcing a law preventing them from 'assisting' it's demise.


    Now there MAY WELL be situations where the life of the woman is in jeopardy and a partial birth is the best solution to keep the woman alive!

    But that's a different scenario altogether too, isn't it?

    Given, basically, a choice between the woman and the fetus, which should doctors be allowed to choose? Should the decision be a result of legislation?

    Should Christians be allowed to paint every unique situation with a broad brush to demonize the doctors to the point where some of their members 'snap' and kill doctors who are willing to help these women in trouble?

    I think it's a disgrace and people need to be being sent to jail before they get someone killed.

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  159. Should Christians be allowed to paint every unique situation with a broad brush to demonize the doctors to the point where some of their members 'snap' and kill doctors who are willing to help these women in trouble?

    I think it's a disgrace and people need to be being sent to jail before they get someone killed.
    ------------
    Too bad Peter King didn't hold investigative hearings on OUR terrorists. The christians. All of them. Sure, investigate all of them.
    It'd be more appropriate to investigate ALL christians than it is to investigate all muslims. There's a lot of poison in US christianity. A lot of lies, a lot of evil.

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  160. But Brian, they're the most American of Americans in their 'Christian Nation' with their Second Amendment Rights and their institutionalized xenophobia and all, don't you know?

    ReplyDelete
  161. "Seems to me Harry, that there is a giant difference, morally, between a woman going to the doctor to get rid of her fetus, and an abortionist giving her some drugs to induce abortion, when the fetus is around 23 weeks old, compared to a woman who is spontaneously going into miscarriage and going to the doctor for help and there is nothing the doctor can do."

    We must be debating past each other because I'm not understanding why you're bringing this up.

    I've stated that I consider human lives to be legitimately expendable dependent on circumstance, and this is something I would like to see change as we socially evolve, so I am pro-life.

    Depending on who you're referring to I would agree there is a big moral difference. If you're referring to the doctor and the child... then yes. For the woman I don't see how this makes a bit of moral difference.

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  162. For the woman I don't see how this makes a bit of moral difference.
    -------------
    One woman aborts her baby and another has a spontaneous miscarriage through no fault of their own, and there's no moral difference? I see one from where I sit. (Hint: One of these two things is not in the woman's control)

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  163. For the woman who doesn't want a baby, who miscarries, and the child isn't killed because of some law that disallows its killing once outside of the womb, seems directly related morally to the doctor and the child.

    The doctor isn't (presumably) allowed to kill the child in a merciful way, and the child who is suffering will continue to suffer because of the aforementioned law.

    The woman didn't want the baby, it is now out of her womb. Tell me how does this more directly apply to her than the doctor or child?

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  164. Who said she didn't want it? It's a miscarriage. Most of those, are wanted, no? I would think so at any rate.

    Even if she didn't want it, if she didn't do anything to abort it, expecting full well to eventually have it, and it miscarriages, it's not morally anything to do with her.

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  165. If it's a late-term miscarriage, it would seem likely that the mother intended to go to full term.

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  166. But, Brian, Harry is waiting for irrefutable proof that such a thing could happen!

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  167. We're like some frogs. When there are only a bunch of females or males without any of the opposite sex around, a few of them change sex so that procreation can still happen....
    So when we have no christians around to fight with, one of us changes 'orientation' on some issue and then we can still have our fun. Yay.

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  168. I think Harry is on the conservative side.

    Up 'til this point, the frame he is using is the pro-life frame.

    Woman, pregnant, goes to doctor, comes out not pregnant, without baby = abortion, or at least it can be framed that way.

    One instance of callous evil doctor is enough to convince a fair portion of nay-sayers to get with the program again, get back 'in the frame'.

    From my perspective, the nurse's story is flawed because it's up to HER to prove that the underdeveloped baby gasping in the sink was a callous disregard of this pitiful being by the mother and the doctor AND not up to me to prove that there wasn't a crime being committed!

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  169. Well, it is famously said that young people tend to be liberals and then when they get older tend to become conservative... This makes some sense, since by then in most cases all their ideals are gone and all they care about is themselves.

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  170. If I were a Christian I would wonder where is the empathy that the atheists are supposed to have an abundance of. If we are hooked into a nonsensical religious thought pattern that we cannot get free from it would seem we are a victim. Forced to life without our consent to be constantly confronted with a hostile environment, not really caring if we lived or died. Through this dismal outlook came the good news. If I accepted Jesus as my personal savior, life here would be greatly improved, and I would also receive eternal life. How would anyone expect me to walk away from that considering the alternative? Not the alternative you see, but the one that is my reality. After accepting Jesus my experience of everyday life was much better. Why pray tell would I want to accept atheism that has nothing, absolutely nothing to offer?

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  171. On the news, a new book by a Christian is about to be discussed.

    Before they start on this, the newsguy asks, "Is God powerful enough to prevent disasters such as the one in Japan and doesn't care, or does he care, but is not powerful enough to prevent these disasters?"(not an exact quote)

    After dodging the question the Christian author was asked again.

    He said that it was a paradox and we don't look into paradoxes.

    Are you seeing, Jerry, how this is not an answer?

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  172. Now I forget the wording that the Christian author used to dodge the question the first time he was asked, but it involved reframing Christianity itself to avoid there being a question of God's power and abilities.

    Basically, using words, he was telling the news guy that there is no question involving God's power vs. God's mercy here, in true Jedi Knight mind-influencing style.

    I'm sure he felt he was being honest as he first dodged the question completely then resorted to claiming that the question was a paradox.

    But the truth is that the question itself isn't paradoxical, every Christian knows that God is all-powerful and all-merciful, the creator of the universe and the absolute moral law giver.

    Atheists know that this is a lie.

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  173. If I were a Christian I would wonder where is the empathy that the atheists are supposed to have an abundance of. If we are hooked into a nonsensical religious thought pattern that we cannot get free from it would seem we are a victim.
    -----------
    The only thing it is just about impossible to have empathy for is people that insist on having their ignorance and then spreading it around, and believing that they're better than the rest of us for that, and then trying to change the laws of the land to suit their belief system.
    Fuck them. Because that's their attitude toward us. And 'turning the other cheek' to a christian just gives them another cheek to cheerfully slap.
    Being nice to them, is patently stupid. In their self-righteous minds it would only give them more licence to act as they do toward us.

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  174. You can't be nice to someone whose whole goal in life is to take away your freedom and limit you according to how they believe you should be, all according to some stupid old book and the self-righteous ego-based pseudomorality system contained therein. Someone that believes you to be much less than them, and is willing to treat you that way cheerfully. Someone with no heart, except for the belief that they have one. People like that are fucking dangerous, and being nice to them is idiocy.

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  175. I guess my point is Jerry, that you can love just about anything except hatred.
    Unless you don't mind being crucified for it, of course. And while I may be a saint, I'm not Jesus.
    No, hatred needs to be called out on the carpet as publically as you can manage.

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  176. I think MLK showed how to handle the people like you speak. He used turn the other cheek and changed the whole country. Gandhi did the same in India, so I do not think it is idiocy to think that way. In MLK's case he probably saved thousands of lives by using turn the other cheek method rather than let the pot boil over into a war.

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  177. Are you seeing, Jerry, how this is not an answer?

    It is evading the question simply because he has no answer. This is the point that he is not capable of thinking deep enough to understand that he does not know.
    That is why I think, at least to a large degree, he is a victim as are the majority of people that buy into organized religion. I am not advocating pity but to condemn people for non ability to understand is not very tolerant.

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  178. I don't think that you are seeing this guy for what he is.

    He has based his entire life on aviodance of that simple question.

    The ancients used the mysterious(to them) power of the weather, the Earth and the Cosmos to invoke God in the first place.

    Seems to me that it is fairly obvious to any reasonably educated person that they were wrong to do this which leaves us no good reason at all to believe that there are any gods for the reason that the ancients believed.

    Now, if we go to an area where there is little in the way of modern education, the locals will yet invoke God as the source of weather, geological upheaval and 'signs in the sky'.

    The Christian is avoiding the obvious. His religion is more important to him than reality.

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  179. The Christian is avoiding the obvious. His religion is more important to him than reality.

    But that is his reality, same as what you buy into is your reality, and what I buy into is mine. If an atheist does not look beyond this life that partially shapes his/her reality, same if a person believes there is something beyond this life shapes his/her life. When we take a look at each persons life, and see which one has a better experience would seem to be a fair judge of which way is best to go. Of course if a trip in faith is to scary to indulge in a large portion of life will be excluded.

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  180. But that is his reality, same as what you buy into is your reality, and what I buy into is mine.
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    Jerry, it's as if you do not believe that there is one, concensual reality.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but there is.

    And not agreeing on it, and voting, is just dangerous.

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  181. Brian said,

    "Well, it is famously said that young people tend to be liberals and then when they get older tend to become conservative... This makes some sense, since by then in most cases all their ideals are gone and all they care about is themselves."

    Again, I seem to be on the wrong end of things... I start out more conservative, but I'm becoming more liberal as I go...

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  182. Jerry said,

    "...After accepting Jesus my experience of everyday life was much better. Why pray tell would I want to accept atheism that has nothing, absolutely nothing to offer?"

    The atheist would say that you're fooling yourself, thinking that Jesus had anything to do with you feeling that your life experience was "better". You took steps. You took action. Is there not a causal chain to establish that what YOU did is the direct cause of what you're "feeling" here? And if you're fooling yourself, then Christianity likewise has nothing "to offer", except illusions of "feeling better".

    Just playing devil's advocate, Jerry. Don't take it personally...

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  183. Jerry, it's as if you do not believe that there is one, consensual reality.


    I can not find nor have I ever heard of any one who has found a reality that is undisputable the one and only realty. Hate to throw cold water on your belief but there is no one reality knew to man. I suspect there is a real one reality but man does not have the mental ability to know it at this time. Evolution may solve this problem in several thousand years

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  184. The real reality is where if you take poor people's money away from them to pay tax breaks to corporations, the poor people starve while the corporations prosper beyond imagination. Not the one where somehow it helps out the poor by some 'trickle-down' miracle.

    Hope that helped you out.

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  185. Ed,
    Fooling myself or not, what makes the best life. There is no way to prove Jesus, god or any of the supposed supernatural stuff, so if it be true or not becomes irrelevant. The important part is the results. If buying into god and/or Jesus produces good results for the individual, with either neutral or positive results for the society why not choose that route? Because someone does not believe in using faith to make a better life, that is their problem, why make it one's own?

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  186. The real reaity is the one that the scientific method is the very best way of investigating. Not the one that just happens to correspond to one's 'feelings.' If it 'just feels right' but it goes against science, one has to consider it fallacious. At the best, highly suspect.
    Reality is what you see. Fantasy is what you believe you see. Science is the only way to learn the difference. Religion is much more of a barrier to the truth, than it is a help.

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  187. It's not my belief that science is the one thing that we should 'cleave unto.'
    One has but to look at the *results* side of things. Compare religion, any religion, to science, looking only at beneficial results.
    The only 'positive' to religion is peace of mind, based on a lie. I'd rather toss and turn at night, thanks. Not that I do. I've come to terms with death rather well, I think. Much better than my mom or aunt or deceased father ever did, at any rate, and they're all catholics. My dad died terrified. My uncle, very religious, died terrified.
    Pfft. It's useless.

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  188. Hope that helped you out.

    Did not know I needed help. Sure that is real but what about the rest of life? Surly you do not think money is the most important part. There are scoundrels all over the world, but what has that to do with the results of thinking there is a god? If you are going by the idea that these con artist claim to be Christians as proof there is no god, won't fly.

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  189. Oh, another positive to religion. Gothic archecture.

    I do like it's creepiness.

    Come to think of it, it's creepiness reflects the overall creepiness of the faith that inspired it rather well.

    Only that kind, I don't like.

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