William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

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Al Sharpton: Republicans Has Climate Change

(Direct link to video.)

God bless Al Sharpton. I mean this. God bless him. This video—this service Sharpton has done us—is final proof, it seals all deals, dissolves all doubt, that global warming is purely political.

In the race for prominence in American political buffoonery, Sharpton lopes neck-and-neck with Joe “The Groper” Biden. Here’s Sharpton saying he’s no scientist, there’s Biden giving the pinch to the Secretary of Defense’s wife. There’s Big Al chanting Indiana’s religious freedom law is akin to slavery, here’s Little Joe saying Obama’s economic solution is “a three-letter word. Jobs. J–O–B–S. Jobs.”

These gentlemen are of great utility. Everybody knows that whatever they say about any political matter, the opposite is true. They are perfect negative barometers—and terrific comic relief. If either man announces his presidential candidacy, I’ll be there, supporting him. Can you imagine four years of “President Biden”? I can.

But then I have a refined and sophisticated sense of humor, married to a sense of inevitable doom over this country’s fate. I say, if you’re going to flame out as a nation, you may as well do it gloriously. No spectacle would be more sublime than Al Sharpton strutting down the White House steps to a chorus of Hail to the Chief.

There’s no chance for Sharpton, of course. Nor for Biden. Since our politics are now purely quota based, we need to fill the Leader-of-the-(not so)-free-world slot with a female. Insisting on a woman because (they claim) women are the same as men is one of the more delicious hilarities we’re about to hear repeated at daily intervals.

Clinton redux is therefore as near a guarantee as one can have in politics, and only to be lamented because regular stories of President Biden failing to corner female reporters in the Oval Office will be denied to us. We still have hopes with Bill, of course, but it won’t be the same.

Anyway, Sharpton. Is there anything worthy saying about the video? Not really. It would be like explaining a joke—well, it would be explaining a joke—which would have the effect of crushing the life out of the punch line.

So let it pass unmolested. Just know that there is now no reason, none whatsoever, to bother explaining climate science. Trying to show a progressive real science about failed climate models is like trying to explain to a progressive that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” means that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

Either way, the words just bounce off his impenetrable Armor of Ideology.

Frustrating. Your only hope for sanity, therefore, is to enjoy the absurdity the best you can. So sit back, relax, grab a bucket of popcorn and know that, with politics, Al Sharpton has it down to a science. “We got you.”


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Summary Against Modern Thought: God’s Intelligence Is His Essence

This may be proved in three ways. The first...

This may be proved in three ways. The first…

See the first post in this series for an explanation and guide of our tour of Summa Contra Gentiles. All posts are under the category SAMT.

Previous post.

He is risen! If you doubt that, see this.

Chapter 45 That God’s Act of Intelligence is His Essence (alternate link)

[1] FROM the fact that God is intelligent it follows that His act of intelligence is His essence.

[2] For intelligence is the act of an intelligent being, existing within that being and not passing on to something outside of it, as heating passes into the thing heated: for the intelligible suffers nothing through being understood, but the one who understands is perfected. Now whatever is in God is the divine essence.[1] Therefore God’s act of intelligence is the divine essence, the divine existence, and God Himself: since God is His essence and His existence.[2]

Note The obvious joke, understood by teachers everywhere, suggested by the first sentence, must be resisted. But another way to say it is that my teaching you gives you something while taking nothing from me. I don’t grow dumber while you gain smarts. We already know that God’s essence and existence are equivalent, and that God is intelligent, therefore intelligence is part of, or is, this essence.

[3] Further. The act of intelligence is compared to the intellect as existence to essence. But God’s existence is His essence, as proved above.[3] Therefore God’s act of intelligence is His intellect. Now the divine intellect is God’s essence, otherwise it would be accidental to God.[4] Therefore the divine act of intelligence must needs be His essence.

Note Don’t forget an accident need not be there. I can wear a hat or not, but either state is accidental to my humanity. Etc.

[4] Moreover. Second act is more perfect than first act, even as consideration is more perfect than knowledge. Now God’s knowledge or intellect is His very essence, if He is intelligent as shown above:[5] since no perfection belongs to Him by participation, but by essence, as already proved.[6] If, therefore, His act of consideration be not His essence, something will be more noble and perfect than His essence. And thus He will not be in the summit of perfection and goodness:[7] and consequently He will not be first.

Note First and second act? Here, para 10:

There are two types of acts in creatures, first act and second act. First act is the form and the act of existence that a form gives. Form is called the primarily first act, existence, the secondarily first act. Second act, however, is operation. Now, the first act of corporeal things comes directly from God. Therefore, their second acts are also caused directly by God. But the only way in which one thing governs another is by being in some manner the cause of its operations…

[5] Again. Intelligence is the act of the intelligent. If then God being intelligent is not His act of intelligence, He must be compared to it as potentiality to act: and so there will be potentiality and act in God; which is impossible, as we have proved above.[8]

[6] Again. Every substance is for the sake of its operation. If therefore God’s operation is other than the divine substance, His end will be other than Himself. And thus God will not be His own goodness, since the good of a thing is its end.[9]

[7] If, however, God’s act of intelligence is His existence, His act of intelligence must be simple, eternal, unchangeable, existing only in act, and all those things which have been proved about the divine existence. Wherefore God is not in potentiality to intelligence, nor does He begin to understand a thing anew, nor is His act of intelligence subject to any change or composition whatsoever.

Note A word about God’s unchanging nature. God acts, which appears to us who are stuck in time, to be changes in time. But God is outside time, and all is available to him. Therefore His acts are not potentialities becoming actualities, as they are with us. The analogy that God has already acted, and we’re just living out the consequences of these acts, must fail. There is no way for us to understand, truly comprehend, what it means to be outside time. God is simple (in the technical meaning of that term): He exists. I Am that I Am: I Will Be What I Will Be. We’ll come back to this subject in time (get it? get it?).

—————————————————-

[1] Ch. xxiii.
[2] Chs. xxi., xxii.
[3] Ch. xxii.
[4] Cf. ch. xxiii.
[5] Ch. xliv.
[6] Ch. xxiii.
[7] Cf. ch. xxviii.
[8] Ch. xvi.
[9] Cf. Chs. xxxvii., xxxviii.


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This Week In Doom: All Things Gay & Equality

Equality for all!

Equality for all!

I wasn’t planning on another of these so quickly, but since our slide into Doom accelerated this week, there is no choice. But since we already covered the news side (here and here), today an explanation.

Egalitarianism has been with us roughly two-and-a-half centuries. Plenty of time for it to have gnawed away at the foundations of sanity. It grew, or rather mutated from, Christianity, which holds (what is true) that God loves all. From God loves all, it morphed to God loves all equally, a subtle distinction, and one which has less claim to truth.

God loves all equally quickly degraded to all are equal before the law, which everybody understands can’t be true exactly—exceptions can be thought of; and note the first absence of the Almighty—though it has a pleasing ring to it. We’re still in the Eighteenth century.

Over the course of next century, all equal before the law became all are equal, a shocking falsity, a proposition nobody believes, especially by those who wield it (they believe themselves superior, i.e. unequal, in enlightenment). So it is false and not believed, but it it still insisted upon in the hopes that it will become true. We’ve reached 1968, or thereabouts.

The pace quickened. All are equal became all must be equal. Equality became a weapon. The real differences which everybody sees and acknowledges and which are necessary for the perpetuation of the species are said not to exist, though everybody knows they do. Again, the hope is that by forceful repetition of the phrase what is false will become true.

Egalitarianism proponents are now increasingly turning to the State to enforce the equality. When any inequality is discovered, and since equality is holy, departures from it are evil. I mean they are caused by evil. And therefore should be unlawful and punishable.

That, say, among top mathematicians many more men than women will be discovered is the result of prejudice, or sexism, or “institutional discrimination”, or possibly all three, with a little hate mixed in. It is now unacceptable utterly, a blasphemy, to claim that is part of men’s nature to exhibit superior quantitative reasoning. Even though everybody knows it is true.

A theorem of egalitarianism is that anybody can say they are what they are not, and since all must be equal, their claim must be believed. Thus a man can insist he was “born gay”, which used to mean he (at times and perhaps not exclusively) suffered from same sex attraction, but under egalitarianism it means he is a different creature. He is no longer a man, but a gay-man, something different, an organism apart from the rest of humanity, yet somehow (don’t ask how) still part of it.

Those who refuse to acknowledge the existence of gay-men, say by pointing out all scientific evidence is against it, are evil. The evidence is that identical twins suffer from same sex attraction at rates only slightly higher than other men, an observation which proves people aren’t “born that way”, and that many men report leaving their suffering behind, which proves the condition is not always (and probably never, except by choice) permanent.

That evidence is anathema. Put it before any enlightened person to see how quickly it is denied or how fast the conversation is changed and you are condemned. It is a dismal, useless exercise because the evidence is meaningless. Don’t forget everybody always knew that our differences are real and formed by our natures. Egalitarianism only must publicly insist on the absence of differences: it need not hold privately that they do not exist. As before, every enlightened person believes himself superior and unequal. Equality is a goal, not a fact.

Now everybody also knows that to be religious it to be discriminating, that religion is discrimination. The greater the religion of a person, the less he is under the spell of egalitarianism. (Non-religious can be against egalitarianism, too, of course.) At the very least, the religious person will believe he is lesser, i.e. not equal, with his gods.

Christians, for instance, must be anti-egalitarian. They know their talents are not distributed equally. Whereas to an enlightened person “inequality” is a hateful, negative word describing the state of secular sin, a Christian must acknowledge, openly, our different natures. Inequality is a positive word to Christians. (If you are unable to see this, you are, like many, saturated with egalitarianism.)

Egalitarianism, a perverted form of Christianity, and Christianity itself are now incompatible. It is therefore obvious the war between them can only become more brutal and pervasive. Doom awaits.

Update See this from Ed Feser on stages of the battle.


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Status Of Christianity (And Pizza Parlours)

Crucifixion

On this day of ultimate sacrifice it’s well to ponder the state of our ancient religion. We’ll come to no firm conclusions—not in 750 words—but we have to start somewhere.

Muslims yesterday in Kenya ventured south into a school and asked students whether they were Christian. Those that affirmed were murdered, those that were Muslim were unmolested. Maybe 147 dead, more wounded. The Islamic State, claiming to be true Muslims, have been slaughtering (in the best Halal fashion), crucifying (a pun?), enslaving, torturing, and raping Christians throughout the Mideast and Nigeria. Nigeria? Boko Haram threw their lot in with ISIS a couple of weeks back.

When Western commentators can bring themselves to speak of these Muslims at all, they lean towards brief, sanitized recapitulations of the latest horrors, mostly leaving out religion, and by only sometimes calling the Muslims terrorists. Curiously, when one Western reporter discovers another has leaned on the Muslim trope too heavily, that first reporter will label the second “Islamaphobic.”

Kenyan security forces chased yesterday’s Muslim murderers and caught and killed a few. Soldiers from Chad and Niger shot a handful of Boko Haramites. ISIS is moving from triumph to triumph, though they’re meeting resistance here and there.

The Pope no longer commanding soldiers, and all of the world now citizens of States (excepting these new Muslim groups), and subject to strict control of these entities, Christians cannot fight as a group against its enemies. There will be no new Crusade. And the West, comprised of States which are rapidly becoming post-Christian, has decided there is no higher god than the State. They will not fight.

There is more. John Allen, not known for panicking, wrote the book The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution:

Underlying the global war on Christians is the demographic reality that more than two-thirds of the world’s 2.3 billion Christians now live outside the West, often as a beleaguered minority up against a hostile majority– whether it’s Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East and parts of Africa and Asia, Hindu radicalism in India, or state-imposed atheism in China and North Korea. In Europe and North America, Christians face political and legal challenges to religious freedom.

Forcing Christians to participate in pretend same-sex “marriages” is the latest consuming cause. Post-Christians in the West have convinced themselves that if a private individual refuses to make pizzas for a same-sex gmarriage, the world would end. That sounds preposterous, but how else to explain the explosive unhinged insane reaction to Indiana?

In the name of Tolerance, progressives, like pea-brained sharks in a feeding frenzy, descended on a Christian-owned pizzeria threatening death—death—fire bombs, financial ruin, and more. These progressives pretend that if these four Christians were allowed their freedom, then the State would start writing laws that allowed “discrimination”. Elite progressives kept silent about these attacks, making them complicit.

Incidentally, the happy ending to Memories Pizza is that Christians have donated nearly half a million (and rising) to its owners.

The problem is the State. It is all there is to progressives. The State decides not only what is legal and illegal, but also right and wrong. It is the State which grants “rights”, not individuals who are endowed with freedom. The State is mother, the State is father. For post-Christians, there is no higher entity than the State. Individuals cannot be allowed to settle questions among themselves. That power belongs only to the State. The State is a religion, a god. And this must be so in the absence of any real god. The State is filling the seats vacated by Christianity.

The State is a jealous god. In Indiana, it looked as though the State would not get to decide what a pizzeria could or couldn’t do. That kind of freedom—autonomy from the State—is anathema to progressives, an affront against their religion. That is why progressives launched their offensive: carpet screech-bombing.

Yes, Screech Bombs. Whenever something happens which displeases progressives, or better, whenever something which they believe happens but actually doesn’t, out come the screech bombs. These are nothing but temper tantrums, which is to say, events of no force. Yet they are strangely effective. Explode a screen bomb in the face of a Republican and his reaction will be more comical than a cheerleader sighting a mouse.

Authentic Christianity, by design and by force and by the welcoming of sin, is withering in the West, while its warped simulacrum (progressivism) grows. Authentic Christianity is thriving in southern Africa and other areas in which there is more to pay for belief than money.


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