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How Bad Things Might Have Been

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Posted on Aug 13, 2009

By Eugene Robinson

    We’re told the economy is on the mend, but we still see six-figure job losses every month. The health care debate has become so polarized that even if it ends in breakthrough legislation, chances are that opponents will still be irate and supporters more exhausted than overjoyed. The deficit is gargantuan, bipartisanship is nonexistent, the prison at Guantanamo is still open and the war in Afghanistan looks like a potential quagmire. The summer has become a bummer.

    But anyone sliding into a slough of despond should keep things in perspective. Almost every day, there’s some reminder of how far we’ve come since President Obama’s inauguration—and how much worse things could be.

    This week, there were two such aide-memoires. The first was a report in The Washington Post that Dick Cheney, in his upcoming book, plans to detail his behind-closed-doors clashes with George W. Bush. The story, by Post reporter Barton Gellman—whose book “Angler” is the definitive account of how Cheney, as vice president, basically tried to rule the world—quotes a source as saying that Cheney believes Bush went all soft on him during the second term.

    That was when Bush ordered a halt to the waterboarding of terrorism suspects, closed the secret overseas CIA prisons, made diplomatic overtures to hostile states such as North Korea and Iran, and generally started to behave in ways that Cheney apparently deemed entirely too reasonable.

    Gellman reported that Cheney, in the book, will also deal with what Time magazine has reported was an aggressive, in-the-president’s-face campaign to persuade Bush to grant a full pardon to Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Cheney’s former chief of staff, who was convicted on perjury charges. Bush refused, and Cheney is said to be still steamed about it. It’s useful to be reminded that for eight years, until Jan. 20, we had a vice president who thought his proper title should have been Caesar.

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    The other lesson on perspective we got this week came from The New York Times, which offered new details about the kind of America our would-be Caesar wanted to create. In a story by Times reporters David Johnston and Mark Mazzetti, Kyle “Dusty” Foggo, the CIA official who set up those secret CIA prisons, tells how he did it. Foggo is now serving a three-year prison sentence for his role in a contracting scandal that was not directly related to the “black site” detention centers, which owed their existence to his logistical skills.

    Foggo marshaled the materiel to build three secret prisons—one in Bucharest, Romania; one in another, unnamed former Eastern Bloc city; and one in Morocco, according to the Times account. They were designed to be identical so that detainees would be disoriented when moved from one prison to another. Among the amenities Foggo provided were plywood-covered walls that would be less likely to cause serious injury when detainees were slammed into them.

    Yes, until recently we had an administration that didn’t believe in niceties such as due process and rule of law. Our nation asserted the right not just to detain suspects indefinitely, but also to abuse them, to torture them, to make them “disappear” like victims of some banana-republic junta.

    I know I’m not alone in wishing that Obama were moving more quickly to erase the stain that the Bush-Cheney excesses left on our national honor. I wish Guantanamo were already closed—but Obama did set a date certain for shutting the place down and pledges to follow through. I’m troubled that he hasn’t flatly rejected the concept of indefinite detention—but he at least recognizes that some kind of due process needs to be involved.

    I’m most troubled by Obama’s resistance to a full-bore investigation of the Bush-Cheney transgressions. I can only hope that the president sees the error of his ways—or at least that the probe of CIA interrogation abuses that Attorney General Eric Holder may launch is allowed to follow the evidentiary trail to whatever crimes it may reveal.

    But that was then and this is now, you say. Bush and Cheney are history. They were going to leave office in January anyway, no matter who replaced them.

    That’s true. But witness Sarah Palin’s weird near-daily eruptions—about imaginary death panels and the like—and reflect on what the summer would be like if she was serving as vice president of the United States.

    I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling much better about everything.
   
    Eugene Robinson’s e-mail address is eugenerobinson(at)washpost.com.
   
    © 2009, Washington Post Writers Group


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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, September 2, 2009 at 8:23 pm Link to this comment

The problem with suffering is that things aren’t right, in balance. If you suffer long enough you either die early from physical and mental exhaustion or you become toughened and hardened. Which runs the risk of leaving one callous and callused. Both emotionally/spiritually and physically. So if there comes a time when things become less stressful and hard you would be out of place and out of touch.

Nature is balance and it can be a model, but beware it has many models and some of them are horrible and extreme. [See the Gaul Midge and its two life cycles. The severe condition one is right out of where “Alien” came from.]

We need a certain amount of tempering but we should work to maintain our connexions to each other and ourselves. Not let a tempering become a hardening. I would put MarthaA in the hardened part. Hard, shiny and not very deep. I am sorry to say. It can be changed. We can learn in many ways and change ourselves. I have not by any means reached any Nirvana or enlightenment. I wish to be the fullest of human beings as can be done by our species. I wish we all could. What would that be I wonder? Full integration of ourselves both as a massed group but retaining our individuality in a seamless machine of cooperation and invention. A synergy of the entire species and maybe others too like the cetacea and elephant.  Do we have the capacity? I might explore that in some of my writings. I already have many ideas on that. But can we survive the trials we have collectively imposed on ourselves with the other natural problems out there? Only time will tell.

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By Shenonymous, September 2, 2009 at 7:21 pm Link to this comment

Yes, MarthaA ho hum, yawn, snore.

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By MarthaA, September 2, 2009 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

I taped my eye lids open to get through your post, but in the end, it was not worth the effort. 

As you are by YOUR OWN admission someone that is in support of Adolph Hitler’s political tactics, I really don’t have anything to say to you and find your drivel tiresome.

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By KDelphi, September 2, 2009 at 4:10 pm Link to this comment

Night Guant—Awkwardness , that you may think that you have, is quickly seen through by those who have a heart. I’m sure you condolences are appreciated as sincere. Thats what matters. You might say that you are pretty good with people as I always find your posts express intelligence and decent spirit.

She—thank you for saying so. Iam certain that Sepharad appreciates your response, too.

MarthaA—New verions of heartless everyday. I am not brain dead yet. You can disagree with someone without being so hard-hearted, if you have a heart at all. Have you ever lost anyone you love? I am not going to go on—this just goes beyond what I would ever expect from someone on this website. Shame on you….

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By Shenonymous, September 2, 2009 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

Thank you MarthaA for the opportunity to repeat my earlier post about the Four Noble Truths.  In your usual practice to reassemble what I said to cherry pick for your own aggressive justification, this will make doubly clear what I indeed said, which is okay since double posts seems to be the soup du jour.  M’thinks you have not read the Four Noble Truths for understanding.  A surface reading does not do it.  It takes years of meditation to understand.  But you take a defensive posture while attacking.  This would be a contradictory understanding of the Four Noble Truths.  From your comments I can see how much you suffer.  For that I am sorry.

A reprinting with some modification.

If there is any suffering, or misery, MarthaA, misery and suffering of the mind which is the kind you are talking about, it is only that which is seen by salvation religionists like the Christians, Islamists, Hindus, or the salvation non-religionists like the Buddhists, who use suffering to justify their proselytizing deliverance from their perception of the struggle humans experience in a hostile world, either from nature or from other human beings.

If there is a universal purpose, we do not know it.  We speculate. All the religions of the world, all the philosophies of the world speculate.  Thinking and knowing are two different things and there are those who are drunk with the idea of power who insist on forcing others either physically or psychologically to believe their personal beliefs.  That is the intolerance, the forcing others who have not come to understand on their own what someone else believes.  That is the essence of all freedoms.  What it means to be a human is to understand the capacity of one’s own mind to find meaning.  Education should be only for the purpose of helping people use their minds to find meaning.  Their own minds.  Not some mumbo jumbo someone else has intuited.

Do read about suffering in the Four Noble Truths and read about the way to end suffering in the Eight Fold Path, then do read the Bhagavad Gita, do read the Tao Te Ching , do read the Republic, do read Zarathustra, and read and read and at the end do not try to understand, at the end do understand.  How will you test yourself for understanding?

Human mortality is the fact of existence.  Birth and death.  We enter alone and we leave alone.  When that is profoundly understood, when a mind fully comprehends its mortality, then and only then is a human free.  Fear is programmed in humans from birth and that makes them acquiesce to any outrageous remedy. They become prostrate only because they have been conformed to become so. In your case it is the ORGANIZED Culture of Critical Discourse reflexive obfuscation and the ORGANIZED use of Hitleresque EXTREME sophist propaganda.

Once an epiphany that on the universal level humans have no more value than the dot at the end of the last sentence, it should call forth consciousness.  Before that, they are somnambulistic.

The knowledge of our mortality is devastating.  Or, a human can through a self-discipline of thought analysis, come to a balanced judgment about one’s fate.  There are those who like the Buddhist archetype, Ho Tai, come to be Happy Wanderers.  They accept their fate.  They find happiness in knowing it.  I am not miserable, MarthaA, nor fearful.  But it seems you are.  Again for that I am sorry.

No, I am not afraid of the RIGHT-WING CONSERVATIVE EXTREMIST REPUBLICANS (RWCERs)who engage in ORGANIZED SUBVERSIVE activity that advocates OVERTHROW of the U. S. Government.  Just as I am not afraid of the LEFT-WING SOCIALIST EXTREMISTS (LWSEs) WHO ENGAGE IN ORGANIZED ACTIVITY TO SHOOT THE RWCERs UNTIL THEY NO LONGER WIGGLE.  To me that is a murderous statement, and according to your logic, it should be made illegal and you put in jail.  For my logic, you have a right to say it until you act on it.

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By ardee, September 2, 2009 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, September 2 at 10:13 am

I wish I had your ability to refrain from expressing the loathing all decent folks must feel at the interrogation of a person who had just lost a child, and in such a heartless and callous fashion.

I accept that there are such in this world, obvious when just reading headlines. I cannot let such pass though….

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By MarthaA, September 2, 2009 at 10:46 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

What is there left to say to you, Shenonymous, who is one who responds to ‘The Four Noble Truths’ with “I am not a miserable person”?????——nothing at all——because one who responds with “I am not a miserable person” to the ‘Four Noble Truths’ has responded as a self-centered emotional worldling and is not sufficiently awake to actually understand.

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By MarthaA, September 2, 2009 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

What is there left to say to you, Shenonymous, who is one who responds to ‘The Four Noble Truths’ with “I am not a miserable person”?????——nothing at all——because one who responds with “I am not a miserable person” to the ‘Four Noble Truths’ has responded as a self-centered emotional worldling and is not sufficiently awake to actually understand anything.

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By Night-Gaunt, September 2, 2009 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

I am sorry Sheparda for you loss. If it was unexpected then the emotional blow will be that much worse. My condolences on that loss. It is sad too that it took two days for them to tell you for whatever reason.

I don’t do well with people and don’t connect well so if it seems cold or superficial this is the best I can do. I know it will leave an emptiness that can never be filled, like a puzzle piece. Nothing else will fit that particular area again. We are all human yet our individuality is marked to the point where we are the largest minority—-even twins have some difference however minor between them.

Till you return to us, good by.

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By Rontruth, September 2, 2009 at 7:22 am Link to this comment

Sepharad, Shalom aleichem. I came back to this story and the posts here only on a whim. It was because I saw your name as having posted here. I am deeply saddened by your terrible loss. I know that the God of Israel will be with you and your family. My wife and I will pray for you that God will gird up your spirit and give you peace at this difficult time.

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By Shenonymous, September 2, 2009 at 7:13 am Link to this comment

Quite frankly I am appalled.  But astonishment knows no bounds.

Sometimes expressed sorrow rings hollow.  Your Christian Compassion, MarthaA, has a boundary of zero.  Why anyone would care whether electronic ghosts know about their personal sorrow is completely and subjectively personal, but perhaps also because she knows there are real, subjective people at the end of objective electrons that fly through the objective air or over objective cables into objective computers on its objective screen to give extraordinarily subjective words, who might subjectively care and the comfort of others caring in the face of heartbreak helps assuage the pain to some however small degree.  Interrogation of those suffering the emotional anguish of a child’s death is crass and vulgar. The objectivity of mourning can easily be explained.  I recommend a book, “The Impossible Mourning of Jacques Derrida,” especially page 33.  But mourning is a subjective state of mind, mind being the origination of the subjective.

KDelphi’s world does not stop because of a physical calamity.  There are countless reasons why anyone would be connected to the world through the aether.  She has elicited my sympathy and respect for her continuous questioning mind displayed on these forums.  It is absolute personal regard that distinguishes humans from other “uncaring” animals.

Judge not lest ye be judged.  Try reading your bible MarthaA, Matthew 7:1-5

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By MarthaA, September 2, 2009 at 4:40 am Link to this comment

Sepharad,

Sorry to hear your daughter passed away.  How come it took two whole complete days before you heard?  You say she died Sun. night 8/30—Mon. 8/31 completely passed and you still had not heard and didn’t find out until Tues. night 9/1; being distraught you didn’t forget the blog at 3:36am 9/2. I think I would have forgot the blog.  Notification and funeral service arrangements would have been 1st on my mind along with why wasn’t I told sooner, since the sooner those responsible know the better the funeral service will be for one’s loved one, which helps with the grief, it takes time to prepare.  Did she live alone or something?

KDelphi, You reported on the blog that you have a brain tumor and I see you have elected to keep blogging.

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By ardee, September 2, 2009 at 2:16 am Link to this comment

Sepharad, September 2 at 3:36 am

Please allow me to express my great sorrow for your loss of a child. No words are adequate so I will say only that my thoughts are with your family at this time of grave loss.

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By KDelphi, September 2, 2009 at 12:50 am Link to this comment

Sepharad your daughter died? I an really sorry to hear this. How old was she?..I hope things are just as peaceful and calmimg as they can be for you…

I was just imterested in what was going on on the thread now,so I was rereading a couple and saw Sepharad’s post, so I wanted to respond.

Its really late and am tired or would comemt more..Hope youre ok , sep

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By Shenonymous, September 2, 2009 at 12:45 am Link to this comment

Sepharad My heart goes out to you and your husband.  I am saddened by the report of your daughter’s death.  There is no greater loss than that of one’s child.

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By Sepharad, September 2, 2009 at 12:36 am Link to this comment

Shenon, have been enjoying your exchanges with Night Gaunt, whose posts are always honest. Our daughter died unexpectedly Sunday night, we just found out last night, so I won’t be around for awhile. Something insidee feels irreparably broken and I’m not clear-minded. See you all later.

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By Shenonymous, September 1, 2009 at 6:12 pm Link to this comment

Impressive post Night-Gaunt.  You know how I love definitions.  A little bit off though on the Scientific Method = scientism. Unlike the use of the scientific method as only one mode of reaching knowledge, scientism claims that science alone can render truth about the world and reality. Scientism’s single-minded attachment to only the empirical, or testable, makes it a strictly scientific worldview, in much the same way that a Protestant fundamentalism that rejects science can be seen as a strictly religious worldview. But a scientific worldview is not the same thing as the Scientific Method.  Scientism sees it necessary to do away with most, if not all, metaphysical, philosophical, and religious claims, as the truths they proclaim cannot be apprehended by the scientific method. While I might concur that these claims are questionable in terms of truth, in essence, scientism sees science as the absolute and only justifiable access to the truth. 

The larger problem is that “the truth” of anything is not attainable. It is either a paradigm, an abstract model against which experience is measured, or in experience, it is a nexus of many things that also have a nexus that justifies those.  The Scientific Method always leaves the door ajar for new and more reliable information.

The rest of your comment are scintillating and I enjoy the way you put them.  You ask What will we do?  I ask in return:  “What can we do?”  Let us assume you are right and that danger exists of our losing our republic.  You must admit it would not be a simple danger, but very complex and just as complex to stop (solve).  I agree that presently the sophisticated weapons and communications that have evolved exponentially increased the possibility of killing an incalculable number of people.  Suspicion that information control is happening is a common fear.  It recalls your particular fear of Dominionism.  What can we do?  I suppose if there is any extant or concrete evidence it can be sent to Homeland Security, or at least the Wall Street Journal or New York Times or whatever major news organization would take it seriously. Without it being a major news service, it would only be of interest to cabalistic individuals.

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By Night-Gaunt, September 1, 2009 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

Yes, cogito not cognate, sorry. We all have our roads to go down but their intersect enough that we can have a civilization and mutual communication to even exist beyond the bare necessities. Also have those opposing thumbs among other advantages that compensate for our many deficiencies for survival.

Yes we think therefor we are. Even if many believe that it was some other thing that thought us up. The battle between ontology and epistemology.

Ontology: <metaphysics> The study the nature of existence or being as such from material existence and spiritual existence etc.

Epistemology: A branch of that investigates the origin, nature, methods, & limits of human knowledge.

Scientific Method: Also called “scientism” where the hypothesis is tested in the real world to see if it is viable or not. Trial and error are part of it. Most people have no use for it.

The two tend to be blended in casual conversation by the general public. Which is fine but it helps to understand of which they speak. Religion and theosophy are certainly part of Eschatology and that goes back to ontology. I won’t begin to try to detail it. No need really. Science too is involved in moving from ignosis to gnosis. Or occult to knowledge as time goes on and humans continue to search for the answers to all there is which is epistemology and its relative, pantology. For some the lines are blurred if non-existent on that. Some of the areas of physics are as arcane as alchemy of the earlier time in humans groping for knowledge. The need to know is still strong with us. But so is the urge by a few to rule the many.

Until things are fixed we are still in danger of losing our republic. Gnosis of what is going on is part of solving that human made problem. The question is will enough people recognize it then work to solve it and in the end be able to solve it? Such is the zeitgeist of our times. Fully as bad as in the 1930’s but with many more people, communications and weapons to kill many more people. Information control a behavior modification on a large scale are also in play.

What will we do? Good day Shenonymous and all other posters on this forum. I may be back later tonight.

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By Shenonymous, September 1, 2009 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

Afternoon greetings, Night-Gaunt.
Surely you mean Cogito ergo sum.  I think, therefore I am, as Descartes proposed.

It is through a long and arduous engagement in introspection that Descartes came to his conclusions.  There is an obvious problem in relying on introspection, or experience of consciousness, and that is there is no way of concluding the existence of any third-person fact, some objective judge that is, that could verify and provide any evidence of Descartes’ own consciousness, or whoever else’s consciousness is being tested.

Shall we go down this road?  If so, how shall we determine if there is a road to go down?

Cartesian humor:
Descartes is sitting in a bar, having a drink. The bartender asks him if he would like another. “I think not,” he says, and vanishes in a puff of logic.

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By Night-Gaunt, September 1, 2009 at 8:48 am Link to this comment

Cognate ergo sum? Without it we are insensate of ourselves and therefor part of Nature without effort. We need to balance the two or we will be lost. A two edged sword and the wrong edge is cutting our collective throats.

We are aware of our surroundings and we can selectively ignore them too.

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By Shenonymous, September 1, 2009 at 4:10 am Link to this comment

Yes, Night-Gaunt Know thyself.  The Ghost of Socrates haunts us as long as man takes a breath.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 31, 2009 at 11:31 pm Link to this comment

Gnothi seaton then we can move on to more things.

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By Shenonymous, August 31, 2009 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

1st part for ardee
Good evening ardee.  So it was you!  hahahaha.  I’m glad to find at least one person with a sense of humor on TD!  So what are you going to do about it? 

Perhaps a little more clarification of the word might help, since one resident is using it copiously, and I do not think it is being used correctly.  Of course, anyone may redefine words as they see fit, but that doesn’t mean anyone else must understand them.  If we are not here to understand, either objectively or subjectively then we all might as well go for pizza and beer?  Permanently. No?

The Dissoi Logoi is a kind of manual and is considered the work of a sophist, perhaps and most likely the most famous sophist, the leader of the sophists in Greece, Protagoras. It describes sophistic thought which mainly focuses on moral relativism and the concept of kairos, which is knowing exactly what is needed in a particular social structure. In other words, knowledge of kairos is knowledge of one’s audience.  Doesn’t this sound too much like a politician?  Shudder shudder. It was really the occupation of rhetoricians. 

Sophists in Greece were iterant, traveling, teachers of morals, and they charged a fee for their teaching.  Since they traveled around they naturally ran across many different cultures and the different standards in each, which in turn led to the awareness that there is no one way to approach morality. 

Both Plato and Aristotle vigorously vilified the sophists suggesting their own method was the only way to teach and live.  Plato’s Academy and Aristotle’s Lyceum were schools established to teach their philosophy and part of that philosophy taught about morals.  They believed that words can become corrupt and can encourage people to do evil things.  While Plato and Harry Stotle may have had a point, the sophists were more practical and to teach moral flexibility (moral relativism) was not really to teach immorality.  Words themselves, are neither good nor evil.  The irony is that in spite of the attacks on Protagoras’s sophistic teachings, it is now believed that the Socratic method of dialogue evolved from schools formed by yes, you guessed it, Protagoras, the guy himself!  Stylized speech such as we have been seeing on these forums was part of the sophists bag of rhetorical tricks.

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By Shenonymous, August 31, 2009 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment

2nd part for ardee
While we need not go through the method, a few more words about it might also be helpful.  The Socratic Method acknowledges that belief in anything beyond a shadow of a doubt can be dangerous, and that clinging to what we thought we knew can trap us, keep us from truly knowing anything. By acknowledging these basic principles, the method opens the door for a dialogue that seeks to uncover the true meaning of ideas and beliefs. 

However, when all preconceived notions are removed, people can feel scared, anxious, defensive, especially defensive; emotion run amuck can turn an equal dialogue into an argument, one side against another.  It can be War of the Words.

The true purpose of the Socratic Method is not to define complex subjects, or ideologies, but rather to improve human beings by increasing their understanding.  Demanding that one understands cannot do it.  Or calling one names is only being a bully and that does not lead to either amity or at least a truce.  One must take little tiny steps towards that understanding and not through any shouting or any other grinding kind of argument. 

It seems to me that MarthaA has herself fallen into sophistry but she is defensive and refuses to cognize it.  She denies it and plows ahead as if she is a “knower.”  I am not saying she is right or wrong.  If she were to convince anyone of her ideas and opinions, she would have to climb Mount Everest and concede that absolute knowledge of what she proposes is impossible but that through a dialogue of questions and answers both would find that their thinking is improved on the topics by increasing understanding.  One of the important feature of the Socratic method is first for the opponents to agree to the dialogue, then to make sure to make incremental important steps and that at each step each in the argument agrees to a certain amount of understanding. There cannot be great soliloquies arguing their own points.  Too much water passes through the Ganges and only a stalemate occurs.  Without these agreements, nothing advances.  But if there is agreement, the prize is that the minds become in a mannerof speaking, forced to be opened to various possibilities and dogma is thrown “to the dogs.” 

Does this make sense to you, ardee?  You may have already known all of this, if so, I ask your pardon, but maybe there are others who might be interested in what could come of the great cosmic conflict.  If not, then I have clarified it for myself then.

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By ardee, August 31, 2009 at 4:09 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, August 31 at 4:53 pm #

Methinks I have created a monster….as did KDelphi when she used, in all naivety, that oft repeated and much maligned word, sophistry…..

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By Shenonymous, August 31, 2009 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment

The bolding the bolding its the bolding.  Let’s try that again, maybe I can fix it at least from here on.  If this doesn’t do it, you might have to suffer my objective self doing it again.


What is doing the laughing MarthaA, your subjective self or some objective idea of MarthaA?

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By Shenonymous, August 31, 2009 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment

What is doing the laughing MarthaA[B], your subjective self or some objective idea of MarthaA?

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By MarthaA, August 31, 2009 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

You make me laugh.  Yeah, yeah, sure, sure.

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By Shenonymous, August 31, 2009 at 2:59 am Link to this comment

MarthaA
Overcoming the personal does not mean abandoning the subjective.  It means to understand the objective and integrate it within oneself.  That is what it means to become a whole person.

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By MarthaA, August 30, 2009 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

Shenonymous said:  “For without the personal, there is no real meaning.”

MarthaA’s answer:  There is no real understanding unless one can overcome the personal; this is why continued conversation on anything personal is inconsequential.

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By Shenonymous, August 30, 2009 at 11:31 am Link to this comment

Oops, I meant to post part of my last post on the other forum, Hitler’s Delusion. So you will see part of it again there.  Sorry.  Hunger will do weird things to TD commenters.  Gotta go get some lunch.

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By Shenonymous, August 30, 2009 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

Isaiah 32:16-18
“16. Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness abide in the fruitful field.
17. And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust for ever. 
18. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.
19. And the forest will utterly go down, and the city will be utterly laid low.”

Of course my favorite is the Beatitude: 
Matthew 5:9
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” 

Except I would revise it to say “sons and daughters” as I would hope if there is a God, nekeiwe would not be left out!  It is a matter of translation, I’m sure the word is there.  Women are better peacemakers anyway.  Right?  Well…this is Judaism (you recall that Jesus was a Jew), and look what happened to Eve and Lilith.  Oh oh.  I’m sure to have stepped in it this time.  Got ta watch m’step.

Yes, I know MarthaA you want to keep it impersonal and I, I want to make it personal.  For without the personal, there is no real meaning.  So yes, most likely further discussion between us on this subject is inconsequential.

You are quite correct when you say there is no way to parse understanding, by the way, parsing refers to grammar, description by explaining parts of speech, inflections, function, etc.  To parse is to investigate syntactically.  So parsing has nothing to do in what we are engaged.  We really seem to be arguing semantics.  So it is not quite coherent what you are saying precisely.  If you are saying understanding cannot be attained unless the subject is kept on an impersonal basis, I would argue exactly the opposite.  I would say understanding can only be attained only if personal experience overlays the subject.  Keeping the topic in the realm of abstraction yields no real understanding.  The only thing one gets from staying with abstraction are other abstractions.  Then we are talking meta-understanding.  Understanding about understanding.

Thank you Clash.

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By Clash, August 30, 2009 at 10:36 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous; A very excellent post (8-30-09) 8:51 am

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By MarthaA, August 30, 2009 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt,

Nothing of misery was meant to be personal, perhaps I should have used one and one’s instead of you and your, etc., my fault, never the less further discussing this subject is inconsequential.

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By MarthaA, August 30, 2009 at 9:55 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

There is no way to parse understanding, you are insistent upon making statements not intended to be personal, personal; therefore, we must agree to disagree, further conversation on this subject is inconsequential.

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By Shenonymous, August 30, 2009 at 5:51 am Link to this comment

1.
Sometimes I groan but I do not agonize,  At least to the degree you insist I do. 

If there is any suffering, or misery, MarthaA, misery and suffering of the mind which is the kind you are talking about, it is only that which is seen by salvation religionists like the Christians, Islamists, Hindus, or the salvation non-religionists like the Buddhists, who use suffering to justify their proselytizing deliverance from their perception of the struggle humans experience in a hostile world, either from nature or from other human beings.

If there is a universal purpose, we do not know it.  We speculate. All the religions of the world, all the philosophies of the world speculate.  Thinking and knowing are two different things and there are those who are drunk with the idea of power who insist on forcing others either physically or psychologically to believe their personal beliefs.  That is the intolerance, the forcing others who have not come to understand on their own what someone else believes.  That is the essence of all freedoms.  That is what it means to be a human is to understand the capacity of their own mind to find meaning.  Education should be only for the purpose of helping people use their minds to find meaning.  Their own minds.  Not some mumbo jumbo someone else has intuited.

Do read of suffering in the Four Noble Truths, the wat to end suffering in the Eight Fold Path, do read the Bhagavad Gita, do read the Tao Te Ching , do read the Republic, do read Zarathustra, and read and read and at the end do understand.

Human mortality is the fact of existence.  Birth and death.  We enter alone and we leave alone.  When that is truly understood, when a mind fully comprehends their mortality, for some, probably not most, then and only then is a human free.  But fear is instilled in humans from birth and that makes them acquiesce to any outrageous remedy. They become prostrate only because they have been conditioned to become so.  But, once one has an epiphany that on the universal level humans have no more value than the dot at the end of the last sentence, although most do not recognize this, it should sober one up. 

Because humans developed abstract reasoning, introspection, and language skills, we have come to know that the word mortal has a certain meaning. The knowledge of our mortality is devastating, or the human can through the skill of thinking things through, come to accept man’s fate.  There are those who like Ho Tai came to be the Happy Wanderer.  They accept their fate.  They find happiness in knowing it.  I am not miserable MarthaA.  I am relatively happy. I have my petty mundane annoyances but they do not control my life, or at least not for very long.  I may rail at what I see as injustice in the world, evil, and unrighteousness, iniquities, but that does not mean “I” am not happy.  I sometimes feel sad that others cannot be happy.  And I accept that as a reality.  I find my way sometimes by pointing out perceived foibles and self-deceptions others have.  I know “I” cannot change them, only they can change themselves if they can see into their neuroses.  I take the time to see into mine.  Neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga says “humans are ‘more’ than other animals: more playful, more moral, more intelligent, more deceptive,..... more self-deceptive.” Humans can apprehend their fate and be taught that is the Way of the Universe.  Buddha knew it, Lao Tze knew it, Plato knew it, Nietzsche knew it, Einstein knew it, and for me, Italo Calvino and Bob Dylan knew it (Levity is so uplifting).

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By Shenonymous, August 30, 2009 at 5:50 am Link to this comment

2.
The fact that we are mortal does not need to mean futility.  Man makes meaning for his own Self.  Cognizing one’s mortality does not have to mean eternal struggle.  Eternal struggle is at the cellular level.  At the species level.  But not at the individual level.  Even the fact that people suffer physically all kinds of ailments, hunger, damage by others, does not have to mean life is futile.  It does not have to mean futile.  Because within that self-cognition that is unique to humans, we learn to love beyond self, and while that is not unique to humans, humans can think about it.  Contemplate what it means.  For however long we live, we can do that.  It is to be able to do that freely is why we struggle against oppression, slavery of the body and slavery of the mind. 

You see, at the end, unlike Nietzsche who chooses to become insane, Zarathrustra ends up dancing and singing, which could be seen as an insanity of a type, a way to lull oneself from reality.  He came to realize after so many aborted attempts to phase into society, that his teaching was useless.  Nietzsche suffered that same affliction.  Problem is, Zarathustra confused teaching with preaching.  He was not teaching the people, he was preaching to them and they just weren’t learning the lessons.  I do not think Zarathustra finally realized what was the problem.  It was he himself.  So he gives up to the dancing and singing, Nietzsche ensconces himself in insanity.  It is very much akin to the Buddhists giving up the world.  At least in Plato’s cave, the prisoner through the “struggle” of climbing out of darkness through a treacherous tunnel, stands in the sun, stands in the light, understands.

What I think that kind of suffering ought not to do is not to reject the world and seek other worlds, i.e., heaven or nirvana, but one ought to face the reality of mortality and spend one’s time to assist the evolved human animal who has that unique cognition and powers of reasoning, to overcome the pain of mortality and to find an existence within the hostilities and to mediate it, diffuse it in order to find solace in their lives. That is the meaning of moral for me.  I have never felt the Buddhist dwelling on the suffering was the proper behavior for mankind.  Nor do I think the Christian way really “saves” humankind.  I do not believe it truly healthy for humans to renounce the world because it is corrupt, nor any salvation religion that has a figurehead stand in humanity’s place to do the suffering so that Redemption for All to ameliorate some ‘original sin” is available.  To die peacefully is the goal and having loved humanity for its humanity is the goal and having loved individuals for their individuality is the goal.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 30, 2009 at 12:09 am Link to this comment

Amazing I speak clearly and yet you miss the point again. I am just curious in what “misery” you say you see in what Shenonymous was saying. I said I saw none. So where is it? You are the one concerned with “misery” you see. I just don’t and wanted to find out through your eyes what it is you are seeing. Can I be any plainer? I see no misery in here speech, why do you? This is the last time and if you don’t want to answer it fine, just don’t go around what I ask to not answer a simple question.

Am I interested in perceived misery? No.

Can things get any worse? We can still fall into an economic abyss at any time.

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By MarthaA, August 29, 2009 at 6:51 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt,

If you want to understand shenonymous’s misery, talk to shenonymous.  If you want to understand your own misery try introspection.

Before you concern yourself with other peoples misery, determine your own misery and what part of that misery you are projecting on others.

http://www.thebigview.com/buddhism/fourtruths.html

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By Night-Gaunt, August 29, 2009 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment

You claimed that Shenonymous was “projecting her misery on others” and I wanted to know what misery you claimed to see in her. You did not see that in my question at all. I understood precisely what she said and it wasn’t what you allude to to me. Where is Shenonymous‘s “misery” for herself that she is “projecting on others” you said? Can I be more clear? I saw no “misery” so I wonder where you did.

Things can still become far worse than they are now and for more people. Then you will see misery of an external kind!

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By MarthaA, August 29, 2009 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt,

If you don’t see that “existence is full of misery, misery originates from within ourselves, that misery can be eliminated and that the way to eliminate the existence of misery is to follow the path”, you must not be on the way and under way and that is a problem that is within you and no one else.

We must all overcome ourselves before we try to overcome others.  If you really don’t see the “misery”, you may want to read this url about the four noble truths of Buddhism.  Noble truths are the process of enlightened thought, which works the same for all:  Christians, Buddhists, Jews, Hindus, Atheists or anyone else.  We are talking about enlightened thought, action and behavior that will make life better here on earth.

http://www.thebigview.com/buddhism/fourtruths.html

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By Night-Gaunt, August 29, 2009 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment

I don’t see any “misery” in what Shenonymous says in relation to Nietzsche, why do you MarthaA?

We have the ability to control ourselves if we dast. The question is can we and will we? It won’t be easy or everyone would be doing it. For the ubermenschen it will be easy if it ever happens. Which for it to happen there either has to be an reason for survival in a new environment (evolution) or we do it to ourselves (orthenogenisis) to become that way. Evolution is about survival and we can still fail that test. We are still in our species childhood. The unique aspect of having intelligence puts us and any other species in that particular area of development.

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By MarthaA, August 29, 2009 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

You have demonstrated a level of understanding; how does that understanding differ from “existence is full of misery, misery originates from within ourselves, misery can be eliminated and the way to eliminate misery is to follow the path, the way?——and——how do you parse that understanding?

Is it possible that the misery that you project upon others could be within you and that you are expecting others to do something to eliminate your misery, rather than you yourself in all earnestness striving to eliminate the misery that is within you that you are projecting upon others?

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By Shenonymous, August 28, 2009 at 10:51 pm Link to this comment

1.
No, I do not mean words on a page.  MarthaA, do you think you are the only one, the only monkey on the raft, who understands what Nietzsche meant by Zarathustra, a book for Everyone and No One?  It is simian hubris that contemptuously thinks no one else does.  Symbolically he intended to put perspective on the idea that Man is not a goal but a bridge, a trestle so to speak, over an abyss.  It is a book that is foremost about the limitations of speaking, of words in general, to communicate the essence of existence.  It is a book “for everyone yet no one.” Although everyone may read Thus Spake Zarathustra they may take their own meanings away from it, the meanings will say as much about the reader as might be intuited about Nietzsche.  The underlying themes of the book were uniquely personal and so complex that he had small hope that the work would ever be understood during his lifetime.  He had little faith in humankind.  Nietzsche had to pay for its production out of his own pocket because potential publishers were too confused by the book. The book is Nietzsche’s confession of his innermost imaginings.

If there is an overarching guidance to be found in its pages, it is that there is no single way to truth.  It is said there are many roads to Rome.  Everyone must find their own redemption, or choose to live in the passive world of metaphysical nihilism. The choice is up to you.

Nietzsche’s doctrine, and his alone, held truthfulness as the highest virtue; this means the opposite of the cowardice of the “idealist” who flees from reality, Nietzsche asks—“Am I understood?—The self-overcoming of morality, out of truthfulness; the self-overcoming of the moralist, into his opposite—into me—that is what the name of Zarathustra means in my mouth.”

Nietzsche was not above using biblical references, and not the least Jesus as a model for his writings.  Zarathustra recalls Jesus’s trek into the wilderness, his call for followers.

Nietzsche’s ideas still sends shuddering compression of the heart through the Christian community because so much of what he says is blatantly obvious and true. Most people dismiss Nietzsche’s slogan that “God is dead”, but in this work Nietzsche truly refines this statement and incorporates brilliant ideas about living for the Earth, striving to become Der Ubermensch and the path to release from Christianities chains.

Zarathustra has really a simple drama and plot, narrated unevenly throughout the text. It possesses a unique experimental style, one that is, for example, evident in newly invented “dithyrambs” narrated or sung by Zarathustra (again Nietzsche takes a cue from the Greeks). Likewise, the separate Dithyrambs of Dionysus was written in autumn 1888, and printed with the full volume in 1892, as the corollaries of Zarathustra’s “abundance”.  But also “hymnals,” a relgious tradition from Nietzsche’s past when he sung in the Catholic Church choir.

Some speculate that Nietzsche intended to write about final acts of creation and destruction brought about by Zarathustra. However, the story lacks a finale destroyed genesis; its actual ending aimed more on Zarathustra coming to terms with what his legacy is beginning to perpetuate, the inexorable consequences upon choosing to leave the higher men, the Ubermensch, the overman, the Superman, to their own devices in carrying his legacy forth.

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By Shenonymous, August 28, 2009 at 10:51 pm Link to this comment

2.
Another singular feature of Zarathustra, first presented in the prologue, is the designation of human beings as a transition between apes and the “Übermensch” (in English, either the “overman” or “superman”; or, superhuman or overhuman. English translators Thomas Common and R. J. Hollingdale use superman, while Kaufmann uses overman, and Parkes uses overhuman). The Übermensch is one of the many interconnecting, interdependent themes of the story, and is represented through several different metaphors. Examples include: the lightning that is portended by the silence and raindrops of a travelling storm cloud; or the sun’s rise and culmination at its midday zenith; or a man traversing a rope stationed above an abyss, moving away from his uncultivated animality and towards the Übermensch. Given Nietzsche’s somewhat rejection of Darwin, this aspect of his thinking is contradictory.  He sets up his own evolutonary missing link.  Food for thought and discussion.  In this sense he proposes enlightened man as the bridge to the best of worlds to the Time of the Superman.

The symbol of the Übermensch also insinuates Nietzsche’s notions of “self-mastery”, “self-cultivation”, “self-direction”, and “self-overcoming”. Remonstrating these concepts, Zarathustra declares:

“I teach you the overman. Man is something that shall be overcome. What have you done to overcome him?

“All beings so far have created something beyond themselves; and do you want to be the ebb of this great flood and even go back to the beasts rather than overcome man? What is the ape to man? A laughingstock or a painful embarrassment. And man shall be just that for the overman: a laughingstock or a painful embarrassment. You have made your way from worm to man, and much in you is still worm. Once you were apes, and even now, too, man is more ape than any ape.

“Whoever is the wisest among you is also a mere conflict and cross between plant and ghost. But do I bid you become ghosts or plants?

“Behold, I teach you the overman! The overman is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the overman shall be the meaning of the earth! I beseech you, my brothers, remain faithful to the earth, and do not believe those who speak to you of otherworldly hopes! Poison-mixers are they, whether they know it or not. Despisers of life are they, decaying and poisoned themselves, of whom the earth is weary: so let them go!”

– Thus Spoke Zarathustra”

In Ecco Homo Nietzsche says – “With [Thus Spoke Zarathustra] I have given mankind the greatest present that has ever been made to it so far. This book, with a voice bridging centuries, is not only the highest book there is, the book that is truly characterized by the air of the heights—the whole fact of man lies beneath it at a tremendous distance—it is also the deepest, born out of the innermost wealth of truth, an inexhaustible well to which no pail descends without coming up again filled with gold and goodness.”

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By MarthaA, August 28, 2009 at 9:42 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous said:  “What you said earlier about TSZ being a book for everyone and no one is nonsense.  Of course it lends itself to pedantic parsing.  There are over a thousand books catalogued in the Library of Congress about Nietzsche’s TSZ.  Many scholars, historians, philosophers, have pedantically parsed it.  It is probably one of the most parsed books in literature.”

MarthaA’s answer:  Understanding of “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” does not lend itself to pedantic parsing; any fool can pedantically parse the words in the book, but the result will be like a girl I know who told me one time, “I know what you say, and I can remember everything you tell me; the problem is that I do not know what the meaning is of what you say.”—the problem of this unfortunate girl with knowing what was said and not knowing the meaning is the problem of “Everyone and No One”—“None and All”—with “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”.

When I make reference to “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” not lending itself to pedantic parsing, I am talking about meaning and understanding of that meaning that does not lend itself to pedantic parsing, and you are talking about words on a page; there is a vast difference for those of us who are not trained like monkeys in the Culture of Critical Discourse, CCD.

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By Shenonymous, August 28, 2009 at 7:26 am Link to this comment

Good morning MarthaA
Squeezing my life into my life…into a busy schedule, but never too much to engage in excellent discussion.

We could call it a game, but since we were discussing Nietzsche’s Zarathustra, and you made the comment BTW, the 3 Wise Men in the New Testament were Zarathustrian that followed the star to find the baby Jesus, it was safe for me to assume you were making some connection.  If you weren’t then my apologies for misunderstanding, but then I’d have to ask why the disconnected comment?  If you were not making a comparison then you might have said so.

What you said earlier about TSZ being a book for everyone and no one is nonsense.  Of course it lends itself to pedantic parsing.  There are over a thousand books catalogued in the Library of Congress about Nietzsche’s TSZ.  Many scholars, historians, philosophers, have pedantically parsed it.  It is probably one of the most parsed books in literature.

Jews believe the messiah has not yet arrived.  So it is a subjective belief that anything Matthew may have said about the fulfillment of that prophesy found in Numbers is debatable.  How does one decide? For the Jews or for the Christians?  Matthew is one of the recorders of the nativity, Luke is the other.  Problem is that the two accounts contradict each other and inherently have chronology problems.  The story of the Magi is suspicious but becomes secondary if the gospels are wrong, or at best fabricated.  As such, it becomes irrelevant whether the gift bearing visitors are seen as Zarathustrian.  And if the gospels are wrong., or fictionalized mythology….only one conclusion follows?

To produce an accurate account of the Nativity story would be a formidable if not impossible assignment to undertake since the only two written sources for the story do not agree with each other.  The law of non-contradiction says one account or the other has to be false.  A choice has to be made.  Mythology is my choice.

Heidegger, the master of metaphor, and obscurity, also wanted to start anew, a new beginning, leaving metaphysics behind.  As a result he produced labyrinthine explanations to counter the other great thinkers who saw metaphysics as the locus of all other disciplines to examine.  Like Nietzsche, he wanted to radically transform the essential, the essence, of the nature of man “over” and beyond the reasoning that separates him form all other animals.  His metaphor was the helplessly vague concept Being.  With respect to and like Nietzsche both had a yearning, Heidegger used his metaphor to build a rainbow bridge of concepts back to the Greek world, that will prepare all Germans to assert themselves as modern-day Greeks both in mind (intellectual mind) and body (well, hardly body unless he meant the superman’s body), so I substitute ‘spirit’ (emotional mind)

Nietzsche’s work cannot be understood without reference to the intellectual habit of the social sphere in which he lived that urged him to vigorously spend the extraordinary amount intellectual energy attempting to refute it.  In the end it trapped him within the closed system of its rhetoric

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By MarthaA, August 27, 2009 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous said:  “I have read about the three Zarathustrians theory.  Matthew undoubtedly wrote the magi in to fasten his story to ancient Jewish traditions.  Even though the story is biblical, there is no proof that it happened in any event.”

MarthaA’s answer: “BTW, the 3 Wise Men in the New Testament were Zarathustrian that followed the star to find the baby Jesus.”  You acknowledged my reference to the 3 Wise men in Matthew 3:2.  My reference is in regard to Biblical doctrine that I believe as a matter of faith as a Christian, and has nothing at all to do with Nietzsche.

Since you know about Matthew 3:2, do you also know about the Old Testament Bibical doctrine in Numbers 24:17—“I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.” and Isaiah 60:3 “And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.”

The Magi were the priests of the ancient Medes and Persians.  After the rise of Zoroaster, the Magi became the priests of the Zoroastrian religion.  The ancient Greeks and Hebrews knew them as astrologers, interpreters of dreams,and givers of omens.  The Greek word “magic” originally meant the work of the Magi.  Later, the Magi became corrupt.  The “wise men from the East” who brought gifts to the baby Jesus are suppose to have been Magi.  According to one tradition, their names were Melchior, Balthasar, and Gaspar.

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By Shenonymous, August 27, 2009 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment

You don’t want to mix up the three wise Zarathustrians who were followers of the historical Zarathustra with Nietzsche’s autobiographical but fictional one MarthaA.  Nietzsche’s Zarathustra is his mouthpiece, to expose his own vision of humanity.  That Zarathustra is the one to be identified with Nietzsche.  There is an untold amount that can be discussed about Nietzsche and I am very willing to take this further.  Actually anxious to do so.  Contrary to what you believe, Nietzsche was a subject of much interest in my education.  Besides Nietzsche’s writings, Kaufmann is my main reference since he was the best translator and analyst, but I have an extensive library on the indeed relativist Nietzsche.

But what do you really believe of the alleged visitation, according to Matthew, of the not quite decided who or what they were, some thought them to be astrologers, others magi, kings, or even part of the Hebrew wisdom tradition, that brought gifts to the baby?  I have read about the three Zarathustrians theory.  Matthew undoubtedly wrote the magi in to fasten his story to ancient Jewish traditions.  Even though the story is biblical, there is no proof that it happened in any event. The birth stories of Jesus by the two scribblers of the Bible Matthew and Luke are mythology. Mythology in our literalistic time is denigrated because it is not reducible to scientific fact. Mythology is more poetry than prose, and we live in a prosaic period.  Funny that the other two gospellors, Mark and John, do not mention the nativity given that the birth of their Christ would seem to have been the most important event with the death of Christ as second.  Of course the theory is that those gospels were written earlier, but that does not make much sense.  [Critical scholars see the Gospel accounts as different, conflicting narratives, and they consider them to be pious fictions].

The nativity will forever have those who discount it as fairy tale and legend and those who call it gospel. Cold, hard, irrefutable fact has yet to be unearthed, though the faithful will tell you that is exactly what makes faith what it is. There are aspects of faith that you simply have to take as faith facts.  I call them trooths.  The idea that facts can even be said in the same breath as faith is strange.

I too believe there are two kinds of knowledge: objective and subjective. Objective knowledge has to do with facts that can be demonstrated, repeatedly.  Subjective knowledge has to do with values which are impossible to substantiate. The fact that objectively there never was a “first Christmas” - at least in the biblical sense - is of little importance really. Subjectively, however, for Christians, by absolute reason of their existence, it has to be the only truth regardless of whether it is or not.  Without the nativity, no Christianity.

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By MarthaA, August 27, 2009 at 11:38 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

August 27 1:03pm

Shenonymous said:  “Yes I can see why you would not consider anything of their personal lives as implicit in their respective philosophies.”

MarthaA’s answer:  This again is a subjective frame that is from within the box having all mirrored sides that disallows the merit and application of thought by subjectively changing the topic from CREATIVE INDEPENDENT CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE ACTUAL THOUGHT to an attack on the thinker, and those who value the thinker’s thoughts;  I do not expect you to see outside of your CCD box at the present time, but I know full well that your mind has been contaminated with thoughts that are outside of your CCD box, and in time you will have an epiphany that is contrary to your denial; when this happens, you won’t remember our conversations and your epiphany will be a “eureka moment” that you will credit as being original thought.

As long as you are reactive, there is no way out of the mirrored box and therefore, you will remain in the mirrored box until you have an epiphany. 


Shenonymous said:  “I did not attack Tergenev nor Nietzsche. Another of your attempt to negatively characterize my views.”

MarthaA’s answer:  You say “I didn’t do it” and that may work for Bart Simpson on the Fox Network, but “I didn’t do it” when in fact you did, does not work for me and does not work as an academic standard.

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By MarthaA, August 27, 2009 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

August 27 5:46am

Your post to Night-Gaunt is not in agreement with “Thus Spoke Zarathustra, A Book for None and All” by Friedrich Nietzsche. 

However, “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” being a book for everyone and no one is not a book that lends itself well to pedantic parsing of its content, independent of overall meaning.  All I can say in this respect is that you would have to read the book, and having done so, if you are on the way and under way, as Heiddegger says, as overman to cross over the rainbow bridge, you will understand what I am talking about.  If not, you will not understand at all and this is why Nietzsche’s book is for everyone and no one; if Nietzsche’s book is for you, you will understand, if not, youl will not understand. 

Might I suggest “sublimation”, it might help you with those raging emotions.

BTW, the 3 Wise Men in the New Testament were Zarathustrian that followed the star to find the baby Jesus.

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By Shenonymous, August 27, 2009 at 10:03 am Link to this comment

I did not deny the ‘existence’ of CCD, I deny the verity of its premises, and hence conclusions.  Two libraries full of books on the subject does not validate its observations.  But men and monkeys have a relationship that is true.  And just as monkeys are conditioned, so are men, that is also true.  But there comes a time in some people’s life when this is recognized and steps taken to eliminate the unhealthy conditioning while reserving the best.  Having some understanding of the Culture of Critical Discourse I am not within that milieu.  Out of obstinance to not see yourself, it seems to me you are inside your own mirrored box.  I am here sending a metaphorical hammer for you to smash the mirrors and then let yourself out.

I did not attack Tergenev nor Nietzsche. Another of your attempt to negatively characterize my views.  Yes I can see why you would not consider anything of their personal lives as implicit in their respective philosophies.  That is the way of Marxism vs Turgenev’s perspective.  To look only for grand ideology rather than human beings and the psychology of their lives.

I too believe only a mix of socialism and capitalism will work favorably for humankind.  Interesting that you and I come at it from different perspectives.  I am no longer interested in pursuing the line of discussion on this forum as it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere positive, but is descending into a level of name-calling, and even though I seen into much of the dynamics, I think your metaphor is too vague and arcane.  We will each continue with our own avenues of thought

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By MarthaA, August 27, 2009 at 9:50 am Link to this comment

Sepharad,

Thanks for your confirmation of the Culture of Critical Discourse and its harmful effects.

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By MarthaA, August 27, 2009 at 9:41 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

August 27, 5:45am

Shenonymous said:  “My posts are explicitly creative and original.  But you need a foil and recreate Shenonymous to be an archetype of what you need to further your own limited views.”

MarthaA’s answer:  You, with a limited Culture of Critical Discourse, CCD, view, say my view is limited;—- Which is more limited?—the limited view of the so called limited view?— or the limited view that subjectively, rather than objectively, asserts that it is creative and original?

I provided you information with an academic underpinning to substantiate my view of your CCD slanted posts on this blog, and you said you found more information on CCD in your university library than you could use.  If you want respect for your limited view, you won’t get respect by making subjective assertions, when you have already admitted having the information available.


Shenonymous said:  “Marx is your god, not Turgenev.”

MarthaA’s answer:  No way, neither Marx nor Turgenev is my God, Jesus is my Lord and my God which is OBJECTIVE based upon the testament of the Bible.  And, BTW, your assertion that “Marx is your god, not Turgenev” is a subjective assertion that you are railing against, why are you not railing against your own subjective assertions?  I am beginning to feel less convinced that you are an academic.

I am not interested in a false dichotomy between Marxism and Capitalism because I am not for either as a matter of dichotomous contention.  I am for socialist ownership of capital assets.  Capital is an asset that provides a revenue stream and can work just as well to provide a revenue stream for the MAJORITY as the minority.  China seems to be doing fairly well in this respect, don’t you think?


Shenonymous said:  “when you speak imperiously of the Standards of Discourse,  The Culture of Critical Discourse, parroting Gouldner.  You speak in generalities.  You do not identify anything individual.  Because you cannot.”

MarthaA’s answer:  Again, you have already admitted that you found more information on the Culture of Critical Discourse, CCD, in your university library than you can use; if you wish to deny CCD, it can only be because you don’t want to admit that you have been trained like a reflexive monkey, or you don’t want others to become aware of CCD.  From your perspective inside of a reflexive box with mirrored surfaces, I can understand how you would have difficulty perceiving reality outside of your box, but if you are sincere, you really do need to try.

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By MarthaA, August 27, 2009 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

August 26, 9:13pm & 9:14pm

Reflecting the personal life of Turgenev and Nietzsche around inside of a six-sided Culture of Critical Discourse, CCD, box of mirrors is not a substitute for directly addressing the merit of Turgenev and Nietzsche’s thoughts on Nihilism or anything else.  A personal attack by you on Turgenev and Nietzsche is no better than a personal attack made by someone else on you; rather than directly addressing the merit of creative and original thought.

The merit of creative and independent thought is what is at issue, not personal criticism of the “beggar with the bowl” that expressed creative and independent thought.

I perceive merit, in the creative and independent thought of Turgenev and Nietzsche, that is separate and apart from the goings on that constitute their personal lives.

If you do not want personal attacks made upon you, why do you engage in personal defamation of Turgenev and Nietzsche, rather than address the merit of what they say?

Does the quality and merit of creative and independent thought depend upon the personal life of the thinker?—- or should independent and creative thought of a thinker stand alone and be judged solely on the merit of the creative and independent thought?

As far as the differing definitions of Nihilism that have sprang up, since Turgenev originated the word, is it possible that Nihilism, like most other words, is subject to being used as a TROPE to impart differing meanings to differing people within a given audience of listeners?

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By Anarcissie, August 27, 2009 at 5:15 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous:
’“Anarchists have not usually been nihilists.” Anarcissie is that a dogmatic statement?  What do you mean by “usually?”  On what evidence do you base this somewhat doctrinaire statement?  Have you a great deal of
experience with anarchists? ...’

My statement is based on my reading and personal experience.  I’m using anarchism to mean the belief that peace, freedom and equality are valuable and that they can be best obtained in a social order which does not include permanent institutions of coercion, that is, the State, and nihilism to mean the denial, literal or effective, that there are any values which are not completely subjective.  A proper nihilist (under these definitions) could not be a proper anarchist, because she or he would regard anarchism as espousing nonsubjective values.  If one uses different definitions, of course, one can provide as much intersection as one likes.

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By Shenonymous, August 27, 2009 at 2:46 am Link to this comment

Night-GauntIt is not really important if Nietzsche did not with Darwin.  Darwin is science, Nietzsche is affective psychology.  One is systematic, the other is romantically reactive and can lead to melancholy.  I do not see Nietzsche a nihilist, but as an illustrator of the effects of a nihilistic brain.

Nietzsche aimed for a return to nature (As in Zarathustra) and to belief in the goodness of humanity not any supernatural being; he aimed for a rediscovery of the human as the supremely individual creator; the self-creator; and the exaltation of the senses and emotions over reason and intellect. In a sense he revolted against rationalism.

Although Fathers and Sons can be considered a nihilistic premonition of what was to come in Russia, what did come was a half century of misery for most of the people in Russia and the rest of the world.  How many murdered in the name of Stalinism?  Ideologies are only intellectual games until applied to reality and many people are destroyed at the behest of an ideology.  The American Revolution can be thrown into the stew of human misery as well.  But some ideologies are better than others.  Extreme relativism represents an untruth.  Measures do exist by which values, beliefs, ideas and cultures may be judged and evaluated.

Sepharad’s husband recognized that and sharply identified the particular ideology, but he really said too little.  She matronly, and with a sigh of relief, says her intellectualizing children, “outgrew it.”  Perhaps if he had said ‘why’ acting like Maoists with tenure was a paucity of intelligence, they might not have had such a struggle fighting their way out of that miserable doctrine.  The case could be made that it was better and more indelible that they struggled, see how such creative thinkers they became.  They then are the fortunate ones.  The ones that went to the extreme and millions of people killed in Russia and China now they were the unlucky ones at the hands of a wrong ideology.  Why must we “hope” things will right themselves if the ideology can be stopped in its birth, abort it before it kills?  We now know that the communist ideology does not work, China is a great example of that. Fareed Zakaria’s recent interview with China’s Premier Wen Jiabao was a testimony to the shredding of communism and embracing a rational blend of capitalism and socialism.

Turgenev’s and Marx’s lives coincide precisely, born in 1818, died 1883.  And even though their lives corresponded in time, they viewed humanity irreconcilably very differently.  Human beings for Turgenev were individuals who had a consciousness, feelings, and moral strengths and weaknesses.  Whereas Marx only saw “instances of general forces,” undeveloped human beings utterly conditioned by their circumstances.  Turgenev saw individual men, Marx only classes of inchoate faces.  It is people versus The People.  Their differences are acutely seen in the way they treated their bastard children.  Each had a child by a servant, Turgenev acknowledged his daughter and paid for her rearing, Marx did not.  Shall we talk about morals again?

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By Shenonymous, August 27, 2009 at 2:45 am Link to this comment

Nor am I concerned with you MarthaA personally.  Your critique of my being “trained” to understand in terms of “the Culture of Critical Discourse,” is myopic at best.  My posts are explicitly creative and original.  But you need a foil and recreate Shenonymous to be an archetype of what you need to further your own limited views.  You do the same thing with OzarkMichael, the resident conservative.  You blanket humanity just as Marx did.  But it leaves the question that I posed in my last comments, where are you under this blanket of humanity?  Are you within the common population or are you an elite?  A communist elite?  You think you are immune but your thinking is as contained and hemmed in as much as Marxism was broadly general.

Turgenev’s championing the cast of the serf was surely an impassioned protest against the exercise of arbitrary power, of one person over another.  And that I completely embrace that idea.  Yet his philosophy was not diagrammatically political, that cruelty was not the province or privilege of landowners alone, that if only service to a lord were abolished, no attention against such cruelty would be necessary. If power is a permanent feature of human relationships—and surely only adolescents and certain kinds of intellectuals, Marx included, could imagine that it is not—Turgenev’s was a call to compassion, restraint, and justice in its exercise. If he illustrated nihilism it was not because he was a nihilist, but because he understood its consequences.  Marx is your god, not Turgenev.  It is wholly romantic of you to think differently.  I do not bow to any god, even the God of the Intellect.

Dalrymple said “The victory over cruelty is never final, but, like the maintenance of freedom, requires eternal vigilance. And it requires the exercise of the sympathetic imagination.”  I do not see one iota of sympathy in Marxism. 

The Marx/Engles Manifesto never mentions once individual human life, and only denies its possibility under present conditions.  Problem is there are always present conditions.  It is an eternal condition.  There are no “true humans.”  He only spoke in categories.  Which was a categorical mistake. 

You make the same mistake, MarthaA, when you speak imperiously of the Standards of Discourse,  The Culture of Critical Discourse, parroting Gouldner.  You speak in generalities.  You do not identify anything individual.  Because you cannot.

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By Sepharad, August 26, 2009 at 11:29 pm Link to this comment

Martha A.—re the discourse you noted in your family, we went through that too. Our son and soon-to-be daughter-in-law had “cohorts” rather than fellow students at UC-Santa Cruz in the History of Consciousness department. We had absorbed everything they were learning right along with them, being respectful sounding boards as long as we could. Finally my outspoken husband said—over a prolonged breakfast with them and much of their cohort—“Enough already! You guys are acting like Maoists with tenure!” Obviously that cooled relations for quite some time.

But our son and his lady-love outgrew it. Their own rational minds fought their way out of ideological doctrine, and today both are creative thinkers in their academic work as in the rest of their lives—not ideologues. There IS hope.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 26, 2009 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment

Once you realize that you can program yourself then you decide what you are here for, other than propagation of your half of the DNA transfer. Otherwise something else through someone else will do it for you. It is a burden at first. Nietzsche was fearful that nihilism then despair would envelope those who previously used a God and the followers of that God to guide him/her. So he went about solving that conundrum as best he could. Such is what the ubermenschen represent in his writings as the end product of his orthogenetic view of evolution. [He didn’t agree with Darwin on this.]

From my own research based partially on others original research that it is evolutionary itself. The majority of humanity are inclined to believe in God(s) and other things related. People like myself have no inclination or need to at all. Not superior, just different. Study evolution to understand why that is. It is one of the main reasons why we still exist and maybe for not much longer. Flexibility is what Darwin saw as the lynch pin to evolution. Not opposeable thumbs or big brains but instead flexibility to adapt to a continuing change in environment. Like we are creating right now.

Anyone who has that gene and it is expressed that have a “god shaped hole in them” cannot change. It would kill them. The same with people like myself. I would never do it. I may lie but I wouldn’t and couldn’t do it for real. It just isn’t in me.

Nihilism in its complete form is the discovery that there isn’t a creator that is a personage, just natural forces directed by the limits of physics. How ever they simply stop there and decide immorality is the next step because humans created it. As if that is nothing. When it is everything. They are incomplete and simply wish to destroy everything around them then eventually themselves. Sad. Dead ends, partial expression of DNA and failure.

With the power to choose how one acts, one has great responsibility to all others as well as our selves.

I may be melancholy but I am no nihilist.

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By Shenonymous, August 26, 2009 at 6:14 pm Link to this comment

1.  I disagree that everyone is subject to the Culture of Critical Discourse, if it indeed exists.  It exists as a hypothesis.  But let that stand for the moment, the question is then MarthaA are you of this world?  If so, then you are just as unavoidably steeped in the “Culture” as much as anyone else.  But if you think you are not, then give the protocol of how you escaped. 

Turgenev limited himself to fiction, novels and plays.  He would have been placed in your 10% crowd, the Nobles of Russia whose father had no morals when it came to fidelity to his wealthy heiress mamma Vavara, who was just the right victim for pappa Sergei.  Fortunately for Ivan, his father died when he was 16.  Even though his mother was it is said, abusive, that no doubt left the residual impression that the world sucks big time.  He was taken with the poetry of Kheraskov whose major work concerned Ivan the Terrible (a namesake for Turgenev, so we can see why a conceit could have occurred).  Ivan the Terrible however was an immoral man who went through wives as if they were pieces of popcorn chicken.  He had eight wives all of which died very soon after becoming his wife.  Velllie intarrrresting.  Turgenev preferred not to live in Russia nor did he, but he didn’t control his sexual urges and immorally impregnated a serf who had a daughter.  One contribution that was positive was his efforts to have serfdom abolished.  Slavery, however it is called, is an abomination.

How one wants to perceive Turgenev is a matter of choice and does not necessarily give an accurate picture of the man, the author, or his attitude toward existence.  Contradictory to nihilism, his incredibly high appreciation of music is antithetical to nihilism.  So was his life long infatuation with the Spanish mezzo-soprano Pauline Viardot-Garcia.  In one of his stories he has a young student speak for his own passion, “I loved music ever since I was a child, but at that time I still didn’t understand it particularly well; I hardly knew the works of the great master… Susanna’s playing astonished me in a way that defied description: I hadn’t expected such vigor, such fire, such bold sweeping of the notes. From the very first beats of the impetuous and passionate allegro, the opening of the sonata, I felt that frozenness, that sweet terror of enthusiasm which instantly takes hold of the soul when it is invaded without warning by Beauty. I didn’t stir a limb right until the very end of the sonata; all the time I wanted to, but didn’t dare to utter a sigh.”

It has to be asked how Turgenev, who didn’t play a single instrument and was hardly competent enough to read a musical score, acquired so fine a knowledge of the treasures of Western European music that allowed him to give such inspired descriptions of music in his novels and stories?  The answer is antinihilistic:  it was Pauline Viardot.

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By Shenonymous, August 26, 2009 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment

2.
In his seminal book on nihilism, Turgenev remarkably portrayed the eternal delusions of the young here.  Sons without variation rebel against their fathers (as do many daughters against their mothers), craving to rupture the world and recreate it.  This is a similar path Nietzsche takes in Thus Spake Zarathustra as well.  But both Turgenev and Nietzsche demonstrated the mindless nature of those desires and the impossibility of living a life according to such shrill nihilist standards.  Anti-climatically and ironically, Bazarov is easily distracted by romantic love, (a true nihilist would find that ‘drivelous’) but Bazarov ends up doing trivial scientific experiments rather than taking the bold actions that he champions and is in a sense abandoned by science and the very serfs for whom he claimed to speak.  It is no wonder that after writing this torturous portrait of young revolutionaries, Turgenev became a person not welcomed by Russia’s radicals.  Bazarov, the nihilist was both heralded and reviled either as an exalted one, deified… or a burlesque of the ‘New Man’ of the 19th century.  Many of the literary critics at the time did not take Turgenev seriously and the book was a miserable failure.  Disillusioned he wrote less and less.  And he is hardly remembered today except in literature classes.  He is certainly not the hero that Nietzsche became.

If the novel was prophetic it predicted much to well the reality of the impossibility of nihilism.  Nietzsche does not relent in that way.  But he does provide the way to recreate oneself that electrified the entire European culture at that time and continues in all of Western culture.

There were a few things you said MarthaA that are contentious but tomorrow is another day.  I will give them some thought.  I keep thinking others will chime in but it looks like we have here a dialogue in the true sense of the word.

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By MarthaA, August 26, 2009 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

(Part 1 of 2)

Shenonymous said:  ” I am a distant object to your view.”

MarthaA answered:  Personally, you are a distant object, but I am not concerned with you personally.  I am concerned with the Culture of Critical Discourse that was trained into you and forms the frame of your understanding that is reflected in your posts on this blog that is as close as my computer screen and that I can quite easily reach out and touch, and so can everyone else that participates on the blog.  I disagree vehemently with the Culture of Critical Discourse because it intentionally eliminates creative and original thought.

In our family we currently have two people in college and one in high school and this Culture of Critical Discourse has been and continues to be intentionally used as a part of the schools curriculum to eliminate original and creative thought in the school work of all three students.  This is something that must be eliminated rather than supported as an academic standard.

The world did not develop to the level of civilization that it is at currently by stifling creative and original thought and the world will stop developmentally and not progress, if the reflexivity of the Culture of Critical Discourse continues to be taught as a standard to discourage creative and original thought.

Politically we can already see this effect happening in the media, where the entire media echo-chamber bounces around the reflexivity of whatever is reported much like reflections inside of a box covered with mirrors; the reflections bounce back and forth and around about on all six sides inside the box, but nothing creative is added to the reflections and nothing original comes from the reflections.  This is an unacceptable standard for colleges, schools, political activity and all other academic activity.

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By MarthaA, August 26, 2009 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

(Part 2 of 2)

Shenonymous said:  “First of all I have no cohorts, I work alone, therefore I have no ideology.  No “body” of beliefs, no myths that guide me.  I have my own critical mind that is hardly surrounded by a culture, unless you want to call iconoclasm of the Leftists and Rightists a “culture.”

MarthaA’s answer:  You have said ‘I” numerous times, it is therefore my assumption from your use of “I” that you are taking a personal perspective.  I have no interest at all in a personal perspective.  You are an academic and as an academic you would have been taught to think in terms of the Culture of Critical Discourse, whether you know it or not since the Culture of Critical Discourse has been around for over fifty years.

Shenonymous said:  “Nietzsche is often read as the prototypical nihilist.  He put the god of history to death… in order to liberate mankind from those man-made institutions that kept him in deathly chains.”

MarthaA’s answer:  Nietzsche didn’t really put the God of history to death.  According to Nietzsche, first emerged man, man created gods, man grew beyond the gods they created, and the gods man created metaphorically died.  Nietzsche thought it was time for man to break this historical cycle and take responsibility for himself—- man—-  and if man would do so, that perhaps the Kingdom of Heaven could be brought about by man. 

 

Shenonymous said:  “We might as well use this spacetime to continue discussion on Nihilism, until the dog is beaten to death.”

MarthaA’s answer:  The Nihilism dog is getting pretty well beaten, for sure, but with regard to Nihilism, it is within my frame to relate to Nihilism in the context of Turgenev and Nietzsche; others will do what they may that is beyond my control.

I think it is grossly wrong for creative and independent thought to bow down before the Culture of Critical Discourse, “whatever reverence that principle may be enshrined in,” as Turgenev said, and I feel fairly certain that Turgenev and Nietzsche, if they were alive at the present time would agree with me; I also feel the same way about the tropes of so called life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness with freedom and justice for all, that is of American myth, doctrine, and dogma, and the myth, doctrine, and dogma that an institutionalized Two-Party Political System in the United States represents all three separate and distinct Classes and Cultures that make up the United States, the 10% minority population of the American Aristocracy, the 20% minority population of the Professional Middle Class and the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION; I am not willing to “bow down” before any of these doctrinal “authorities” “whatever reverence” their doctrinal “principles may be enshrined in.”

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By Shenonymous, August 26, 2009 at 5:48 am Link to this comment

Nght-Gaunt a lofty insight, to caution yourself to keep room in the cup for more! Yes, let’s do explore more. 

As a cynic who reserves hope, even though I had high hopes for Obama, it is actually as you imply, a wait and see if he can pull all the rabbits out of all the hats.  If he pulls even one bastard rabbit, I will give him his honors as earned.  But it appears he needs more of the effervescent and sagacious dynamism of the Magus.

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By Shenonymous, August 26, 2009 at 5:29 am Link to this comment

MarthaA  Placing me within the milieu of the CCDs ill-judges my intentions and verbal action. Sometimes people are so affected and can see nearby objects clearly but distant objects appear blurred.  I am a distant object to your view.  This weakness is I believe a function of your fast adherence to certain doctrines.  Religion and a particular system of government where the state controls the economy and holds all the power have devotional aspects that are indistinguishable.  Having read even just a little, I quickly can see your orientation to the Culture of Critical Discourse from being steeped in the philosophy of Gouldner.  But I cannot be placed within the intellectual environment he describes.  First of all I have no cohorts, I work alone, therefore I have no ideology.  No “body” of beliefs, no myths that guide me.  I have my own critical mind that is hardly surrounded by a culture, unless you want to call iconoclasm of the Leftists and Rightists a “culture.”  I have colleagues at the institution, but I am quite the loner.  An outsider in the sense Colin Wilson describes.  Also, while I have religious background, Catholic, it cannot be said in the least I was ever supervised by a “churchly organization” and have been a secular person from an early age.  To be infused in secularism, means I am intellectually concerned with the world, not any religious, spiritual, or “sacred’”  I exist in time and have a limited existence between birth and death.  I would pursue this line of conversation if it would help the one that is going on at the moment.  I see it as a diversion and hence not helpful for the task at hand which involve the topics of the articles on Truthdig.  My task is only to expose sophistry wherever it is found, whether here on TD or anywhere else. As already declared before, I have made it my mission.  Ions are always afraid their

I am not interested in language as language that linguists would be and such as possibly Wittgenstein would have been, he had his unique and enlightened reasons but they are not mine.  I have found over the time I have participated on the TD forums, individuals, some regulars some who interlope every so often and all of which show a pattern of SpeakWrite without authority of their opinions. 

We might as well use this spacetime to continue discussion on Nihilism, until the dog is beaten to death.

Nihilism 1

Nihilism is a philosophy.  It is not an act or a process.  It states that human existence in the universe has no absolute purpose.  In addition it maintains there is no substantial proof for the existence of a creator that could have created everything, which means the universe.  Nihilism says there is no such thing called morality.  Nor does such a thing exist called objective secularism.  Nihilists are free from the strangulation of social, religious, and moral obligations. In spite of the novelist Turgenev, Nietzsche is often read as the prototypical nihilist.  He put the god of history to death… in order to liberate mankind from those man-made institutions that kept him in deathly chains.  However, in his positive nihilism, he really gave mankind a gift to create god all over again only this time to do it right. To see that god (if there is one) gave mankind the power within himself to be moral, to choose knowledge over belief (the myth of the Garden has been harmful to mankind for millennia), to be ethical because he, himself, determines ethics to be relevant, to make his own purpose which has the highest meaning rather than one imposed by dogmas of religion or society, he creates value and meaning.  This is the gift a real and benevolent god would give mankind.  He would not give fairytales that show up in religions or political theory.  And man can live happily in his own creation.  This is the significance of Nietzsche’s Superman.

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By Shenonymous, August 26, 2009 at 5:29 am Link to this comment

Nihilism 2
Some say that Extreme Liberalism can easily collapse into Negative Nihilism through the exultation of materialism or a false idealism.  Extreme Relativism is also fatal to the world.  But extreme relativism, extreme liberalism, nihilism are constructions taken to be reality. A conscious effort must be made by the truly free to see its raw primitive source and attraction, and what are the consequences.

Some who define themselves with utmost self-indulgence may be living an authentic way of life, but Fred Hutchinson, a Renew America Analyst, says “those who actually believe these ideas might be in danger of losing their intellectual grasp on reality and might be well on their way to neurosis and nihilism.”

I have intuited from my interaction on these forums,  “It is difficult to forgive those who knock over the most personal idol of all, the self.  Of all human hatreds, the most bitter hatred is reserved for those who cast down one’s false gods and one’s false world view, those especially held fast in the secrecy of the heart unbeknownst even to themselves. The Idol Smasher, the iconoclast actually does the idolater the favor of awakening, but the idolater often reacts with hatred as though the Idol Smasher killed his/her true love. Especially those truly loved unsubstantiated opinions.” (See Shenonymous’ frequent scattering to the winds of unsupported opinions that are not knowledge.)

Question:  Isn’t that why so many embittered Leftists and Rightists alike furiously attack the Scapegoats of Social Deliverance? Guess we have to decide exactly what is social deliverance.  This is where the consciously awake ought to offer informed opinions to counteract the incessant shouts of the uninformed.

Hutchinson’s Nihilisms (my comments in parenthesis):
Revolutionary nihilism, calls for the destruction of civilization, so that the survivors can build anew upon the ruins. This is the “Carrie” horror version of nihilism. (This is the extremism of salvation religions and socialism, communism.)

Philosophical nihilism, an extreme form of skepticism and cynicism involving the denial of all existence. This is the intellectual “sour grapes” version of nihilism.  (This is the Tao of the existentialist, the desperation of giving in to the absurdity that defines the reality of human life caused by his hubris.  Other animals do not have this problem.)

Psychological nihilism, the pathology of solipsism which involves the denial of the existence of the world outside of the self. (This is the Sex Pistols version of nihilism.)

Not relying on an objective truth or method to prove your claim, you too subjectively have tried to legitimize your brand of truths by reference to a story about the population divided into three constructed classes, which you have made inseparable from the age and system to which the stories belong, The Now.  You provide no evidence of your claims.  YOU ARE WHAT YOU CLAIM OTHERS TO BE:  A SOPHIST.

MarthaA says It would be difficult to make an ideology out of something you can’t define.

It is worse than difficult.  Nihilism makes it impossible for it to be an ideology and there are no really definable group of Nihilists.  It is like an oiled pig not easy to grab, not easy to maintain for very long to whichever type of nihilism one surrenders.  That is why the 1900 Russian revolutionary effort eventually died out.  There are not very many who can accept that nothing exists especially when they get papercuts.  Even Buddhists.  By comparison, there are few true Buddhist acolytes, atheists who actually renounce the world.  This is pathetically seen in those who needed a world and who then made a religion out of the philosophy and worship Metteyya.  Even if a quasi-renunciation takes place in the Buddhist perspective, there is a goal, there is another state, another world so to speak, called Nirvana.  Hence there is “something” for the Buddhist, not nothing.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 25, 2009 at 7:50 pm Link to this comment

Well Shenonymous at least you get more than a typed mumbled grunting response! More can be explored. My cup is empty and should remain so at all times. If it is full it will run over and I will lose what I have gained and not learn anymore.

Well it will be interesting to see if the fact finding mission of Obama‘s will actually look for facts and if found wanting will indite. But I doubt it.

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By MarthaA, August 25, 2009 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

Shenonymous said:  “I am so glad my drivel has spouted your way.”

Shenonymous said:  “I so enjoy the added name of driveler you have given me.”

MarthaA’s answer:  Sophistry is dialog intentionally made artificial.  It takes lots of practice to say nothing eloquently, which is sophistry intentionally used to misdirect people and lead them to a false conclusion.

I do not consider you a driveler.  I consider that you are trained by the Culture of Critical discourse to think within its parameters and consider those parameters superior.

To me, this does not make you a bad person or a good person, either.  I am sorry that you took what I said personally.  What I said was directed at the Culture of Critical Discourse, which is apart from you.  Personally, I like conversing with you and much of what you say I agree with, but that does not change the fact that your mind and thought are bound by the Culture of Critical Discourse in which you are thoroughly indoctrinated.

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By Shenonymous, August 25, 2009 at 8:39 am Link to this comment

Why thank you MarthaA, I am now been relegated to the larger group of those being criticize, uh name-called, bluntly by your limited understanding of sophistry and nihilism.  It’s all right, I don’t expect to find many who do outside of academia.  Sophistry is not an intentional act and those who reason sophistically are not aware they do (check out yourself).  They are self-deceiving pompous thinkers thinking they “know” when they are only pronouncing grandiloquent opinions.

Yes I acknowledged Turgenev’s invention of nihilism in literature, but that still doesn’t make him the end all authority.  You are incorrect that original thought cannot be an opinion.  It always is based on some observation.  Turgenev’s conclusions are not founded in any objective experimentation.  Seems like you bow to authorities of various persuasions, particularly the socialistly colored.  You might do more research on nihilism. 

I am so glad my drivel has spouted your way. If you stand in it long enough you might get annointed.  It really is a fountain of knowledge that you are unable to recognize due to your socialist blinders.

Sorry, I thought we could engage in a higher level of dialogue.  Apparently you cannot climb to that height.

I so enjoy the added name of driveler you have given me. I may add it to my lexicon of names called the Bounty Hunter of Sophistry, Shenonymous.

Here is to Volya Narodnaya– The Will of the People!
If you google for nihilists in the year 2009 you will find….none of any importance, and none of little importance!

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By MarthaA, August 25, 2009 at 8:01 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

Shenonymous said:  “The sophist to achieve the epitome of his learning, must purge him/herself of opinions and substitute it with truth.”

MarthaA answers: Sophistry is an intentional act, there is nothing to purge.

Shenonymous said:  “But there is no lack of unsupported opinions.”

As for Ivan Turgenev, nihilism was his original thought, and original thought is not an opinion, if it was, the original Greek philosophers would be unable to substantiate their original thought with prior opinion.  Bluntly put, you are spouting Culture of Critical Discourse drivel with regard to substantiation, and the drivel you are spouting definitely does not apply to original thought and discourages original thought.

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By Shenonymous, August 24, 2009 at 8:45 pm Link to this comment

Thanks to you MarthaA, I occasionally think about your 70/20/10
paradigm.  Your repetitive psychology is working to some degree, since it
comes to mind more often than I care for it to do so.  It is effective for
procedural knowledge, as in learning a language.  John J. Medina, (Brain Rules)
give Brain Rule #5, “repeat to remember, people usually forget first time
learnings within 30 days.  Repetition puts the learning into long-term memory. 
I tell my students that in order for information to become part of long term
memory it has to be repeated seven times.  But I’ll tell you a secret, that isn’t
really a secret, timed repetition works more effectively than simple
serendipitous repetition.  it looks like this is your strategy. But then humans are
unpredictable.  I have some pre-existing biases that interfere with the
repetitive learning you are presenting.  But it might work on others who have a
reception for repetition. 

I had focused on the words Noble, Nearly Noble and Common Majority that is
part of the historical background of your theory, and my having some
experience with Buddhism, an association came to mind that the common
population might attain their own sort of nobility by following the Eight-Fold
Noble Path.  I suppose that it might have only humor value.  However the first
factor on the path includes a caution I have been posting on almost every
forum in which I participate: “all is not what it seems.”

Right understanding on which the first step on the path is constructed
obviously is concerned with the “contents of the mind.”  To develop right
understanding one must put an end to mechanical thinking, and learn to
question your previous assumptions until all inaccurate views have been
replaced by views based on an understanding of things as they really are.

The sophist to achieve the epitome of his learning, must purge him/herself of
opinions and substitute it with truth. 

In response to your post earlier today.  I have a very strong sense of right and
wrong.  But it is developed from my own intellect not from any dogma.  You
need to read a little better MarthaA.  While I at first said quippily I was an
amoralist, and I am to some degree, not too long afterward I qualified that
when I said I was existentialist with amoralist leanings. Turgenev’s nihilism is
not the last word on this subject although he was obsessed with the notion. 
Dostoyevsky was most certainly affected with questions of morality, immorality,
and amorality, as well as with nihilism with his characters Raskolnikov in Crime
and Punishment (who could forget his murderous character and his
Extraordinary Man theory.  But since he understands morality I believe in his
immorality when he claims a right to kill innocent people.) Then there is Ivan’s
tortured conscience in the Brothers K and the truly conscienceless extremely
amoral murderous brother Smerdyakov.  At any rate, all my definitions come
from philosophical studies, classic philosophy books, and philosopher articles. 
It would be a waste of time to cite all of them (as a matter of fact, I have
already given Anarcissie a good list of philosophers to read, but there are an
untold number more).  I’ve provided plenty of examples of how on this forum,
and others, only opinions are offered and a lack of knowledge to back up the
opinions.  The search for knowledge is my main reason to participate.  I am
exultant when it is found, there is so little of it that finds its way to these
forums.  But there is no lack of unsupported opinions.

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By MarthaA, August 24, 2009 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie and Shenonymous,

Anarcissie said:  “If you make an ideology out of being amoral, isn’t that nihilism?”  NO, nihilism is the act, process or result of not believing in any doctrine, without proof, an ideology is a doctrine.

Shenonymous said:  “….I am an amoralist.”  Are you saying you lack a sense of right and wrong, if so, what are the standards of right and wrong that you are using to determine that you are an amoralist?  From reading what you write, I doubt seriously that you are an amoralist.

Examination:

moral:  right   (subjective)

immoral:  wrong (subjective)

right:  moral (subjective)

wrong:  immoral (subjective)

amoral:  lacking a sense of right and wrong (subjective)

All of the above words are SUBJECTIVE and mean nothing without a STANDARD to OBJECTIVELY define what each of the words mean.  This is a subjective conundrum undoubtedly from the Right-Wing EXTREME.

nihilism - From the horse’s mouth—author, Ivan Turgenev, originated and defined nihilism in his book “Fathers and Sons” between pages 25 and 26 in the following google book when he explains why Dr. Bazarov is a nihilist:

“....; a nihilist is a man who bows before no authority, who accepts no principle without examination no matter what credit the principle has.”

Somewhat different from my dictionary’s definition, so I go with Ivan Turgenev, since he invented the word.

http://books.google.com/books?id=yyUVAAAAYAAJ&dq=Ivan+Turgenev+Fathers+Sons+Bazarov+nihilism&printsec=frontcover&source=bn&hl=en&ei=bt2SSprdJJT2sgPMrf0M&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4#v=onepage&q=&f=false

It is my understanding that Nihilism is the act, process or result of not believing in any doctrine without proof and that moral, immoral and amoral are SUBJECTIVE CONCEPTS without meaning; unless moral as right is defined, immoral as wrong is defined, and the defined meanings of moral and immoral are used to define amoral as lacking a sense of right and wrong.

It would be difficult to make an ideology out of something you can’t define.  You have to define what the OBJECTIVE definition of MORAL is and what the OBJECTIVE definition of IMMORAL is before you can use MORAL and IMMORAL to define the ideals, the doctrine, of an ideology.

If MORAL was defined, would moral be defined as the the ideology of the Aztec’s that defined moral as cutting out your heart on the altar while you were still alive in religious services, or would moral be the the 10 Commandments of Judaism, or would moral be life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness with freedom and justice for all; MORAL defined SUBJECTIVELY as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness with freedom and justice for all, still has to be further defined to give an OBJECTIVE definition of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness with freedom and justice for all as MORAL STANDARDS, this results in a conundrum with regard to STANDARDS OF DEFINITION, not only of moral and immoral, but of the SUBJECTIVE DEFINITIONS of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness with freedom and justice for all; when you start trying to define what moral and immoral is by way of SUBJECTIVE DEFINITION; i.e., life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness with freedom and justice for all.

Moral and immoral, with SUBJECTIVE DEFINITION and with mixed definition that is both SUBJECTIVE and OBJECTIVE, works really well for PROPAGANDA, binary emotional rhetoric, because both moral and immoral does not commit the propagandist to strict OBJECTIVE DEFINITION and can therefore be defined by the SUBJECTIVE nature of the propaganda, which is, has been, and continues to be used today by Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, Glen Beck, Bill O’Reilly, George Will, Pat Buchanan. Karl Rove, Richard Pearl, the entire FOX News Team, Ann Coulter, and the rest of the Right-Wing EXTREMIST ilk.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 24, 2009 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

At http://www.talk2action.org/ is a five part series by Chip Berlet analyzing the Dominionist theosophies. The percentages I gleaned from the core base of the Replublican party. There could actually be more there if you include the Democrats and Independents but I don’t have the facilities to locate a more stable number. I read the literature and am a bellitrix researcher.

I wish I was making it up. But then truth can be stranger than fiction. Remember Sara Palin? She is in that realm of Dominionists, just look at the video and some of her pronouncements.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 24, 2009 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

At http://www.talk2action.org/ is a five part series by Chip Berlet analyzing the Dominionist theosophies. The percentages I gleaned from the core base of the Replublican party. There could actually be more there if you incude the Democrats and Independents but I don’t have the facilities to locate a more stable number. I read the literature and am a bellitrix researcher.

I wish I was making it up. But then truth can be stranger than fiction. Remember Sara Palin? She is in that realm of Dominionists, just look at the video and some of her pronouncements.

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By ardee, August 24, 2009 at 10:56 am Link to this comment

One never knows until the post shows
up!
....................

One may always use ‘preview’....

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By Shenonymous, August 24, 2009 at 8:28 am Link to this comment

An italics oops.  Haste makes everything italicized or bolded.  Seems to be an
affliction of mine.  May this apology be a permanent one so I won’t have to
apologize in the future.  I hope this works.  One never knows until the post shows
up!

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By Shenonymous, August 24, 2009 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

In browsing the comments to catch up on who is saying what, I find I have to
take issue with N-G over his sophistry.  He said ” Those of the
Dominionist kind of Christianity and Capitalism (25%-32%) believe their
God will come and remake the earth so what they do to it now is irrelevant to
them. They also believe in a god that will fix all things in time. They also
cannot be reasoned with which is the danger from them.”
  Where do you
get those percentages?  And where do you get these Dominionist
beliefs?  I am not saying they are wrong… or right.  You are making dogmatic
statements.  You may be vexed with my interrogation, so be it.

“Anarchists have not usually been nihilists.” Anarcissie is that a
dogmatic statement?  What do you mean by “usually?”  On what evidence do
you base this somewhat doctrinaire statement?  Have you a great deal of
experience with anarchists?  I realize your ID contains some elemental
reference to anarchism, but that does not mean that is what you are.  You
could have referenced the Wikipedia article or a particular philosopher.  I too
have browsed Wiki but I also have an extensive library.  The Wiki article does
have have a credible list of references.  I suggest you read Jacobi, Kierkegaard,
Nietzsche, Heidegger, Rosen (excellent by the way), Connor Cunningham, just
to name a few. There is even a humorous link to ANUS, an acronym for
American Nihilist Underground Society, that talks about nihilism.  Seems an
appropriate name for such a society, since nihilists in my experience have their
heads up there.

You will pardon me if I do not reply quickly to any posts since I have work to
do.  But I will check the forum this evening.  I want to say this has developed
into a much better conversation, more cultivated, than has been on the forum
this past week!  I know I am partially responsible for that, and I will blame it on
a sanguine personality (probably a result of quarreling with brothers as I grew
up).  We all have our excuses don’t we?

I have one really silly question?  Why is your name printed in red on the forums
Anarcissie?  Some others show up that way too and I find it a curiosity.

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By Anarcissie, August 24, 2009 at 8:01 am Link to this comment

Abbreviation… well, I could have posted the whole Wikipedia article on nihilism here after I looked it up.  There is also at least one web site totally devoted to nihilism, many, many pages.  All for nothing (heh).

Anarchists have not usually been nihilists.

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By Shenonymous, August 24, 2009 at 7:22 am Link to this comment

First I apologize for typos made out of haste, when I’ve made posts.  If there is
any argument with what I’ve said I’m certain it will emerge.

Anarcissis you tend to abbreviate, which is a no no in Philosophy.  It
indicates an abbreviated mind.  Nihilism is the philosophy of total negation. 
The Amoralist chooses to create positive morals giving oneself logical reasons,
not accept an invented morality given by a religion or a moralizing secular
society.

However there are variations of nihilism within the philosophy if one wishes to
be “word perfect.” If not, then do just give a sophistic definition, one deficient
in completeness.

Even Nietzsche gave nihilism two species: pessimistic and joyous.

Nihilism in philosophy are also subdefined as the following:

    * epistemological nihilism which denies the possibility of knowledge
and truth; this form of nihilism is identified with postmodernism. One famous
example of epistemological nihilism is the words Socrates said before his
death: “I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know
nothing.”
  * Political Nihilism is the belief that the destruction of all existing
political, social, and religious order is a prerequisite for any future
improvement; this form of nihilism is identified with anarchism.
  * Moral nihilism rejects all moral or ethical values; this form of nihilism
is identified with moral relativism.[Citation Needed]
  * Existential nihilism is the notion that life has no meaning or
purpose.  Human existence in the universe does not really have a purpose.
  * Mereological nihilism is the view that objects with parts do not exist,
it’s a human illusion; it is this view that has been identified with some aspects
of Buddhist philosophy and Immanuel Kant’s transcendental idealism.

In philosophy, distinctions are made and terms are not blurred together.  The
whole reason for its existence, to examine and clarify.

A Short e-dialogue:

Empiricist: Can’t you see the truth?
Person: No, I’m blind. (Berkeley)

Rationalist: I think, therefore I am.
Person: You used speech to make that proclamation; One must use sight or
hearing to interpret. (Descartes)

Nihilist: Nothing can be certain.
Person: You can’t prove that.
Nihilist: You’re catching on. (Nietzsche)

Amoralist:  I choose to be moral (Shenonymous)
Person:  Oh, okay.

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By Anarcissie, August 24, 2009 at 6:43 am Link to this comment

Nihilism, in philosophy, is usually used to mean the denial that there are objective values.  People are said to be “amoral” when they do not exhibit concern for moral values in their words or actions.  The former seems like a philosophical expression or justification of the latter—although of course a nihilist couldn’t consistently justify anything.  (Nihilism is also given some other meanings, such as the Buddhist belief that the world is an illusion.)

Of course one might decline to moralize while still maintaining moral values.  Not much danger of that around here, I suppose.

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By Shenonymous, August 24, 2009 at 6:25 am Link to this comment

Good Monday morning,

Originating from religion, morality is the set of moral values used to measure
the degree of right or wrong conduct of events and people’s behavior in
general.  It refers to the way people try to universally categorize human
conduct as good or bad.

As multiple religions arose within the same society, societies were no longer
able use a single religion as its guiding law and value system. Consequently,
society developed secular laws and values that applied independent of any
given person’s religion.

Created by and hence representing all societies morals come to exist by general
agreement.  The morals of a society become the accepted custom of behavior
among all the members.  He first describes those classically understood
morals,  he essentially goes on to concisely describe a ‘universal’ code of
morals that Night-Gaunt as one that is chosen over any other code by
rational people.  It is a prescriptive sense of morality.  He also lists other
behaviors that may have irules attached and these are relative when he says
“[They are important] to the people involved.” 

It is not as simple as Anarcissie woud have us believe.  Nihilism is the
philosophy position that a theory exists about how people positively and
negatively value things does not exist but rather is artificially invented.  Some
are too quick to equate amorality with nihilism.  It is the same kind of
quickness that causes blurring of edges where it is important to keep them
sharp and hence derogatory names too easily assigned through ignorance. The
tendency to be glib, to “moralize” with panache does not clarity important
issues but throws a sheet over the mind.  It is called jumping the conclusion. 
There is a difference. 

Amoralism is unique in the regard that it has basically no active belief.  Unlike
moral nihilism which inclusively has an emphasis on the nature of morality
within its perspective and whether or not it has credibility. Amoralism does not
make such judgments, as a different psychology it leaves these decisions to the
human to decide.

To paraphrase MarthaA’s thesis, morals and immorality are meaningless
with a “standard” and she goes so far as to say that without a defined
“legislated standard” all talk about the moral and immoral is propaganda and
therefore meaningless.  There seems a kernel of truth in that idea.  She further
says that rhetoric is used to influence choices which are binary, right or wrong. 
This also seems to have an aura of truth.  It seems, however, that a standard is
also irrelevant when there is no algorithm to develop such a standard.  She then
accuses the Right-Wing politicians of using rhetoric against the Left without
any standards that define right or wrong.  She might be right, and we might
want her to be, but unfortunately, she has not given any substance for her
charges.  No examples.  She has given an opinion and not knowledge.  We are
behooved to either bow down to an opinion, which could also be considered
rhetoric of a different stripe, or we could request evidence.  I make that
request on behalf of the “everybody.”

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By Night-Gaunt, August 23, 2009 at 8:22 pm Link to this comment

MarthaA I just gave you the universal standard in the first list. The rest is up for whose prejudices are ruling at the time over individual choices. Like sexuality. So what was you problem with it? Your posit ignored what I had written.

Humans have the capacity to ignore the outcomes of what they do even though they have the ability to figure out cause and effect and not do it at all. Those of the Dominionist kind of Christianity and Capitalism (25%-32%) believe their God will come and remake the earth so what they do to it now is irrelevant to them. They also believe in a god that will fix all things in time. They also cannot be reasoned with which is the danger from them.

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By MarthaA, August 23, 2009 at 7:34 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie,

nihilism n. 1. entire rejection of the usual beliefs in religion, morals, government, laws, etc. 2. Philosophy: the denial of all existence; rejection of objective reality or of the possibility for objective basis for morality.

It seems to me the Right-Wing EXTREME is into the no. 2 definition a great deal.

Propagandizing morals without STANDARDS is not nihilism as you can see, but for the legislature to argue morals in Congress without specifying STANDARDS is ludicrous, therefore CONGRESS arguing morals without ponying up the STANDARD as a basis is strictly sophist propaganda.

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By Anarcissie, August 23, 2009 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment

If you make an ideology out of being amoral, isn’t that nihilism?

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By MarthaA, August 23, 2009 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt,

Morality and immorality are irrelevant terms without a STANDARD that is set to define what is moral and immoral.

No body provides a STANDARD.  There is no legislated STANDARD.  The Bible’s the standard for Christians; but other than the Bible, there is NO LEGISLATED STANDARDS OF MORALITY.

Without a STANDARD moral and immoral mean NOTHING.

Talking about immoral and moral in the absence of a defined legislated STANDARD is meaningless propaganda.

Moral is used to infer RIGHT and immoral is used to infer WRONG, without setting a STANDARD for what RIGHT and WRONG is; this is a technique of propaganda, “binary emotional rhetoric.”

The choice of moral or immoral, RIGHT or WRONG is a binary choice.  The choice of RIGHT or WRONG is an emotional choice and those who would lead you to make the choice between moral and immoral do so by the use of rhetoric—- binary emotional rhetoric—- PROPAGANDA.

Propaganda that Right-Wing legislators uses all the time against the Left without ever defining in legislation the STANDARDS.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 23, 2009 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

As a further aside concerning morality and what it actually is. To me certain things are naturally moral because it is how you and I want to be treated in general and our persons as sacrosanct to our ownership of our bodies.

Murder
Rape
Torture
Robbery
Bunco

Covers most of the major things that the majority of humans would agree are immoral because they are assaults on our persons without permission.

After that it gets fuzzy and subjective to certain kinds of mutually agreed to by “immoral” acts that some have decried for others including;

Living arrangements
Sexuality (consenting adults)
Our personal beliefs on such
Other personal picadillos

As you can see not hard and fast. Some of my sexual and points of view are decidedly not considered moral from some points of view but aren’t intrinsically bad or evil. That is the problem here in the self named “Land of the Free” except where it isn’t free. Same sex marriage? Women controlling their reproduction? Are two major examples of the murky areas that aren’t fast and hard to some. It is to the people involved!

Religion is the general motivator for the “narrow” road to travel. But in Stalin‘s Russia and Mao‘s China they were just as prudish despite their artificial “atheism” with just a substitution of the state for church. Methadone for heroine.

So it is back to definitions first, once agreed upon then we can speak the same language. And yet we can see where once a point of view is established and it is decided that those who aren’t part of the group, the collective then anything can be done no matter how immoral and cruel they may be. Personal sovereignty established first then honoring it will be second. We don’t have that yet here.

Things are a little better in the short run but the problem hasn’t been alleviated just yet. Indeed what we have is a patient on life support and has been given a dose of drugs. You feel better and even one of the attending physicians (Bernake) say you are getting better but you are still strapped in and tubes and the respirator/ventilator still in. You haven’t recovered, you are just stabilized. You could still Code Blue and flatline. Such is our economic state.

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By Shenonymous, August 23, 2009 at 8:28 am Link to this comment

Good Morning.  You are right, Night-Gaunt, and I do recognize your
caveat.  This subject falls into an ocean of complexity.  Psychopaths generally
speaking are amoralists, whether anything is moral or not never even enters
their minds.  But not all amoralists are psychopaths.  If insisted, examples may
be given.

An existentialist perspective while to some degree are amoralistic avoids the
desperation of nihilism and for some like myself, holds that to choose to be
moral provides a selfless and fulfilling life.  Many existentialists in spite of their
cynicism do not question that human beings cannot live with lawlessness. 
Amoralists tend to be atheists, but not all atheists are amoralists, and in not all
amoralistas are atheists.  There are degrees of atheism, which those who do
not understand atheism are unable to make distinctions.  While I do not believe
in an afterlife or the immortality of a soul, as I believe the notion of a soul is a
human hypothetical construction useful for facilitating self-control or for
others to impose control, I do believe human beings because of their cognitive
powers are naturally assigned responsibility for their fellow humans, if only to
relieve the degree of fear that exists from confronting a hostile environment
the world presents to individuals.  As a complexity, many beliefs merge to
build my uniquely personal morality and I believe this is the case with each and
every conscious person. 

Despite my just previous response to N-G…to stem perennial petty
criticism
... and having slept on the animosity that erupted the last couple of
days between me and others, it is my wish to put an end to it.  I shall attempt to
minimize my often preachy, teachy comments, as I see not too many are able
to fathom the philosophical basis that is always at bottom, and the resentment
that accompanies it.  However, I intend to continue my quest to expose
sophistry and sophists (thanks to KDelphi for, apparently, first
introducing the words and MarthaA who then made the words most
poignant and biting for her own motives, for reminding me of that fatuous
practice).  That I judge and present when I see sophistry or who are the
sophists that express, it is intentionally done with your benefit, and mine, as
the only purpose. 

As a working definition, sophistry is the practice of giving what looks like on
the surface to be profound opinion without concern for truth and evidence. 
Signs of sophistry is the resort to name-calling and ambiguity.  It is in fact a
descent into an ignorant occultism.

With that as my self-appointed mission, and although that may be seen as an
arrogance, so be it, I perceive it to be a way I may be even more effective in
affecting society, within the scope of being a professional academic, one mind
at a time, if need be.

I am perfectly aware of some TD participants’ opinion of me and my usually
neutral but didactic fence sitting that has become the object of a species of
hatred.  There is no one perspective, Leftist or Rightist, that is exempt since
sophistry exists in both camps.  A refusal to use reason and evidence to
evaluate competing points of view is my self-appointed bull’s eye and what I
will point out.  Whether you like it or not, I will show up where I choose.  Don’t
be surprised to see Shenonymous turn up like a really bad, or mad,  penny on
“your” forum.

As time permits, since I am an employed individual, and have family
obligations, I admit to hunting for sophists.  Call me a Bounty Hunter for
Sophistry if you like.  I can just add that one to the lexicon of names already
bequeathed to the Potamus Toots Washing Machine Mind Concert Providing
Shenonymous
.  My advice is to self-reflect and rid yourself of sophistry.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 22, 2009 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment

For some amoralism would be essentially the psychopath’s way. I just wanted to be sure that everyone knew mine includes that caveat. I know you do to. Caveat emptor!

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By Shenonymous, August 22, 2009 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

truedigger3 you ought to know by now that I don’t take shit from
anybody.  See this thumb?  See this nose?  When I put them together, it means
“go to hell!”  I roam wherever I choose, if you don’t like my company, take a
hike. 

I know, I know.  You just want another Bob Dylan song.  nup nup nup not this
time. 

Far as publishing, I already have a publisher!  Alfred E. Newman and I nevah
nevah worry.

What does that mean, Night-Gaunt, “I would never do another harm to
do it?”  Does that include verbal abuse?  I wouldn’t do another harm because I
choose not to and because I believe all come into this world equally as human
beings with the inherent right to dignity, freedom, justice and peace.  But
should someone do me or my family harm, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to
prosecute them.  And if anyone does me verbal abuse, well there is plenty
specimens on this forum and others of what I do when that happens.  Havana
nice day.

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By truedigger3, August 22, 2009 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous wrote:
“And the fact that you traveled all over Europe getting different kinds of health care is kind of ludicrous itself since you have money to travel but not to pay for your own health care.”
_____________________________________________________

If a person has friends or relatives in Europe, then travelling to Europe will cost the plane ticket plus personal expenses.
Treating a serious illness like KDelphi has will cost tens of thousands of Dollars if not much much more.
Are you living in the US??!! You must have one of those golden policies provided to you where all your medical expenses are paid in full. It is obvious that you don’t have a clue. May be that explain your obvious ignorant postings in addition to your inherent stupidity and arrogance.

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By truedigger3, August 22, 2009 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous wrote:
“I have said many times on both TD and CD that I keep all the forums where I participate.  I am writing a book on bloggers.”
_____________________________________________________

Judging from your posts, I can emphatically declare that no publisher will touch your book. If you self publish then you will be left with most of the copies unless you make it as a text book and force your students to buy it.
Did a gene of a fly somehow mingled with your genes. You are becoming a really annoying like a persisting buzzing fly. Buzz off and get a life.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 22, 2009 at 1:06 pm Link to this comment

I might be too though I would never harm another to do it. Just dealing with consenting adults and my own person.

Harris County Hospital district has a Gold Card type system that when you are earning very little, you can apply and if you pass you must renew it every year. It takes care of most of the cost with just minimum payment of $5 per doctor visit except dental which is $10 and $100 for emergency room visit. It is very helpful to me. Keeps me alive.

States in this case are going for things in a way better than the Federal gov’t. Not all of them but many of them.

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By Shenonymous, August 22, 2009 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

Oh, one more thing….I am an amoralist.

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By Shenonymous, August 22, 2009 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

From article in a San Francisco online magazine (yeah, of Jewish News, so what?
), Aug. 22, Most all residents in San Francisco have affordable access to a
comprehensive health care delivery system through the Healthy San Francisco
program. Covered services include the use of a so-called “medical home” that
coordinates care at approved clinics and hospitals within San Francisco, with
both public and private facilities. Although not formally insurance, the program
is tantamount to a public option of comprehensive health insurance, with the
caveat that services are covered only in the city of San Francisco. Enrollees with
incomes under 300 percent of the federal poverty level have heavily subsidized
access, and those with higher incomes may buy into the public program at
rates substantially lower than what they would pay for an individual policy in
the private-insurance market.

To pay for this, San Francisco put into effect an employer-health-spending
requirement, akin to the “pay or play” employer insurance mandates being
considered in Congress. Businesses with 100 or more employees must spend
$1.85 an hour toward health care for each employee. Businesses with 20 to 99
employees pay $1.23 an hour, and businesses with 19 or fewer employees are
exempt. These are much higher spending levels than mandated in
Massachusetts, and more stringent than any of the plans currently under
consideration in Congress. Businesses can meet the requirement by paying for
private insurance, by paying into medical-reimbursement accounts or by
paying into the city’s Healthy San Francisco public option.

There has been great demand for this plan. Thus far, around 45,000 adults
have enrolled, compared to an estimated 60,000 who were previously
uninsured. Among covered businesses, roughly 20 percent have chosen to use
the city’s public option for at least some of their employees. But interestingly,
in a recent survey of the city’s businesses, very few (less than 5 percent)
of the employers who chose the public option are thinking about dropping
existing (private market) insurance coverage. The public option has been used
largely to cover previously uninsured workers and to supplement private-
coverage options.

Looks like Obama is a catalyst for health care action even though he dumped it
into the lap of Congress.  I think it is a wise move given the polarity in the two
houses and given he wanted a bi-partisan effort.  Looks like that was a
pipedream.  Nevertheless, his urgency is making things happen, this plan in
San Francisco while in place for awhile, ostensibly was pretty much unknown
prior to this article, except to the San Franciscans that is.

N-G was there something in what I said about the immoralist and the amoralist
that was wrong?  I can’t tell what more you are making clear.

We still have to see what comes out of Congress before we can make any
rational and fair judgment about Obama.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 22, 2009 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment

HOW BAD THINGS COULD STILL BE

Obama has yet to show his full mettle even if Glenn Beck has pegged him as an enemy of the state by being the state! [Even though he never mentions where Obama is continuing the Bush/Cheney world just substituting some names but carrying on the work. I will be interested to see if Obama will actually support opening up Medicare to all or at least a limp almost public offer for paying to the insurance companies for healthcare for people like my self that cannot afford it in the first place. I am not for Gingrich care as is in Massachucetts. It benefits the corporate death care system. Free to take their profits and socialistically bailed out with tax payer money. We could still get poor care and rationed as we have now and still die needlessly. Bill Moyers on Friday had the first part of looking at our medical system through the lives of 4 families. It is heart breaking. Next week another hours worth of the landscape of corporate care. Check http://www.pbs.org and locate his section and you can watch it. Worth the time and something Fark News will never run or address. 

The difference between someone who is immoral and a amoralist is who cares? Immoralist cares an enjoys the violations whereas an amoralist just lives their life and does not care to prove to anyone what he or she is doing bothers anyone or not.

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By KDelphi, August 22, 2009 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

Lets all watch she try to get back on the topic of “how bad things might have been”...lets watch her try to make a statement without invoking personal accusations towards anyone here…try to discuss others posts without being condescending.

There has never been a bad lay in my life. I’m picky that way, but last time was last night—he lives here.

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By Amon Drool, August 22, 2009 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

shenon: “Obviously you think Kdelphi isn’t capable of taking care of herself.”  nah…from her spirited posts, i KNOW she’s capable of taking care of herself

shenon: “You sneak attacked me in your first hail to Kdelphi.  And you lied doing it.”  yeah…i attacked u in my first post and i don’t even care if you characterise it as sneaky.  as to what i could have lied about in that first post, i’m completely befuddled.


But, u r right about one thing.  it’s best for both of us (and TD)to let this come to an end.

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By Shenonymous, August 22, 2009 at 11:06 am Link to this comment

QED, Amon.  You have made my point beautifully.  It has never been my
intention to be anyone’s friend nor for anyone on TD to be my friend.  I’ve had
to say that to a number here who seem to think that these forums were created
for social reasons.

Now that you have shown what a messy thinker you are everyone will be
watching to see how lame your comments really are.  You sneak attacked me in
your first hail to KDelphi.  And you lied doing it.  And you were caught! 
Obviously you think KDelphi isn’t capable of taking care herself (is she?
).

Here is a gift from the Shepotamus... a Dylan song for you Amon...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ighC8sx5xg
Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum

So cyrena saves forums too?  Great!  She is a scholar so it is no wonder.  I
know youse guys envy her for her knowledge.  You might take a lesson from
her thoroughness.  Course she is an adult.

Say any thing else that you want.  I intend to get back on topic here on out.

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By Amon Drool, August 22, 2009 at 9:48 am Link to this comment

kidelphi… the only other person who confessed to burning CD’s of all their interactions with others online was….................u guessed it..Cyrena!!  lol lol

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