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April 19, 2019 | 16 Comments

Realistic Female Hero Novel

Here is my new novel, in its entirety, a cynical attempt to cash in on the teen fiction phenomenon with its obligatory grrl power heroes, heroine being a dead word.

Qristol Vulva Manslayer hastily pondered the fork in the road, sweat causing the blue dye in her hair to leech onto her cool winged collar ($59.95, Sista Knitters, Etsy) which nicely framed her serious but cute face, knowing she had only moments to choose the right path to freedom before evil agents of Paytree Arc Corporation would be upon her to steal the long-awaited Proclamation Of Tolerance—which, when read to the People, would cause Paytree Arc to abandon its foul mission to forcibly enslave and impregnate the nation’s women—when she simultaneously spotted the longbow and a Paytree Arc Agent—six-foot-two at least, smokey eyes, bursting with muscles, an effortless stride and untamed beard, rugged, hard features, and a drawn sword—coming at her, a situation that ordinarily would not have defeated her, except she couldn’t pull back the bow (110 lb draw strength), a situation that led her to say, as her head separated from her shoulders, “What a man!

The End

I’m thinking of entering this in the 2019 Bulwer Lytton contest. What are your entries?

image source

April 18, 2019 | 7 Comments

Help Wanted — Christians Need Not Apply

So the University of Colorado posted a Help Wanted sign in its windows hoping to nab a new president. Fellow named Mark Kennedy applied.

Did well in the interviews, too. Story goes “the regents unanimously selected the outgoing University of North Dakota president as their only finalist for the position.”

But then some (we imagine) Studies graduate discovered Kennedy was a Christian. Worse, a believing Christian, a fact which Kennedy had failed to disclose.

“I really question whether or not he has the qualifications to lead as exemplary a university as the one in Colorado and whether he has the best interests of students at the forefront,” said this female.

This revelation led a trustee to waver. She tweeted, “Some information about Mark has come to light that is concerning; my colleagues and I will be exploring this further.” Mark? She must know the man well to call him by his first name while kicking him.

“While serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, Kennedy voted to restrict abortion rights, voted in support of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, and voted to restrict bankruptcy rules.”

The complainant said Kennedy’s consideration “sends a harmful message to the women on campus, and it also sends a harmful message to the gay students.” Even though Kennedy himself said gmarriage is a “settled issue”.

Another report says “Colorado residents bombarded regents with complaints that Kennedy voted against same-sex marriage and a woman’s right to choose.”

Right to choose to kill the lives inside them when those lives are a burden.

Evidence of Kennedy’s evilness was thin, which prompted some to create imaginary evidence, which, as all know, can be even more damaging than real evidence. “@CURegentKroll serious question, wld u be ‘excited 2 have a leader of Mark Kennedy’s caliber’ if he had supported a constitutional amendment 2 deny rights to an ethnic group?”

Kennedy hadn’t so voted, but imagine if he did!

The report also said “Regent Smith told the Boulder Daily Camera that Kennedy’s voting record never came up during a two-hour interview…’I imagine that will be a question when he goes to forums, and I want to see how he responds and in return how the community responds to his responses,’ Smith told the paper.”

This gives the regents a face-saving possibility of dumping Kennedy. “Sorry, old fellow, the screaming mob didn’t like you.”

We met Israel Folau before. Remember him? The Australian Christian rugby player who caused controversy by stating, in public, that he believed Christian teachings on human sexuality.

Folau posted online an image that read (I’m adding punctuation) “WARNING: Drunks, Homosexuals, Adulterers, Liars, Fornicators, Thieves, Atheists, Idolators. HELL AWAITS YOU. Repent! Only Jesus Saves.”

Now one would think this was cheering news. Sin can be forgiven! Isn’t that nice? (I sure think so, for I am a great sinner in need of much forgiveness.)

Make that ex-rugby player. For Foulau was finally canned for speaking in public about his beliefs. (Thanks again to K.A. Rodgers for the tip.)

One report says “The NRL appears to have ruled out any prospect of Israel Folau returning to the game after ARL Commission chairman Peter Beattie said the rugby star had no support from league officialdom.”

“Israel Folau doesn’t pass our inclusiveness culture, which is a policy strongly supported by the ARLC,” Beattie said. Inclusive exclusive of Christian (and Islamic) beliefs, he meant.

Chief executive Todd Greenberg of Folau’s team said “There are young boys and girls who will read that (anti-homosexual posts) and find it hard to deal with because Israel has a large profile. That would not have been his intent, but it is very damaging to some people.”

Rather, it is damaging not to read and heed the advice Folau so generously gave.

The conservative publication Forbes said Rugby Australia has “shown leadership” by firing Folau for speaking about Christian teachings.

Well, this is true. For it takes a leader to “give the sack”.

Forbes said “had been warned a year ago about posting anti-LGBTIQ content and had signed a new contract with Rugby Australia which is thought to contain a clause that specifically prohibits him from expressing such beliefs.” (This turns out not to be true: Rugby Australia bungled Folau contract: report, “Rugby Australia bungled its contract negotiations with Israel Folau by failing to insert social media restraints, according to a Sydney media report.”)

Imagine that. God Himself is, of course, anti-LGBTIQ. God-Jesus-Holy Spirit was quoted as saying “Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind, because it is an abomination.” And that was only once instance of the Almighty’s “homophobic” stance.

Rugby Australia is doing its level best to make sure kiddies don’t hear that “prehistoric…hateful” message.

Finally(!), did you notice something important about these two stories? Nobody condemned Kennedy or Folau for being thievophobic, nor drunkophobic, adultererophobic, liarophobic, fornicatorophobic, atheistophobbic, nor idolatrophobic. Just “homophobic.” This isn’t because thieving is something you do and homosexual is something you are: there are no such things as homosexuals, for if there “are” homosexuals there are also necrophiliacs, pedophiles, and thieves.

Why the difference?

Bonus Late Doom Bulletin Folau a disservice to Christianity: NZ Catholic Church (Thanks again to K.A. Rogers)

The New Zealand Catholic Church has spoken out against controversial rugby star Israel Folau saying he has done a disservice to the church following his comments against homosexuals…

Following the fallout, New Zealand Catholic Church spokeswoman Dame Lyndsay Freer told the Herald she feels Folau’s words are damaging to the Christian faith and believes he portrays God’s messages in a negative light.

“I feel very sorry for what Israel Folau has done. I don’t think he’s done himself and I don’t think he’s done our Christian faith any great service by saying what he’s said and putting it the way he did,” she said in an exclusive interview with the Herald.

“Because that’s presenting God as a God of punishment and a God of vengeance, not a God of love, and mercy and compassion…

“Pope Francis is big on God being a God of love, not a God of judgement.”

One of the dangers of not reading the Bible is coming to views like this, views which are definite proof we are losing. Worth reminded us that no one spoke of Hell more than Jesus? Nah.

April 17, 2019 | 35 Comments

In Opposition To Scientism

Bo and Ben Winegard start their Quillette essay (thanks to K.A. Rodgers for the tip) “In Defense of Scientism” by saying “Truth is always provisional”.

Is that proposition true, or merely provisional?

They also say, “In science, the jury is always out. This is because science is a methodological approach to the world, not a set of inflexible principles or a catalog of indisputable facts.”

Not indisputable? Walk into a coven of biologists and say, “I dispute the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution.” You will very soon learn the meaning of indisputable.

Science flatters itself by saying its inflexible principle of the scientific method is somehow unique among intellectual endeavors. It is not. Every subject—theology, philosophy, mathematics (math is not science), history, even—adapts to new evidence. Science, too.

Science is always presented as Whig history. The world was dark and formless. On day two Francis Bacon said, “Let us have control!” And science was born. It never appears to occur to scidolators to consider that before the scientific revolution the reason for the absence of (much) science was because few thought it was needed. Men believed there were more important matters.

Incidentally, it follows, and I imagine the Winegard Two would agree, that if no scientific theory is true then all scientific theories should be doubted. Even in those sciences that are “settled”. We need more Uncertainty.

“Oh, so you’re going to be negative. Briggs, science has ‘conquered deadly diseases’.”

It did, too. Yet have the increased lifespans of men done them more, or less, spiritual good? All medicine has side effects, which can sometimes be worse than the disease.

“We don’t care about your spiritual good. For science has ‘eradicated oppressive superstitions. ‘”

Except for its own superstitions. Funny, though, that those suffering under “oppressive superstitions” rarely thought themselves burdened. Just as we do not think we are suffering under the oppressive superstition that science has the answer to all or to the best questions. Which is scientism.

Winegard2‘s scientism definition at first sight appears different.

The version of scientism we will be defending here is the version advocated by Pinker, Harris, Dawkins, and [Neil DeGrasse] Tyson; the simple contention that we, as a society, should use the principles of science—skepticism, experimentation, falsification, and the search for basic explanatory principles—to determine, however clumsily and slowly, how the world works and what the best and most effective social policies are.

They advocate “‘science-based social policy’ (SBSP)”. There are two problems with this, one philosophical, one practical. (Three, if you include falsification, which is a philosophical dead end.)

The philosophical problem is this: science can never tell us what questions to ask, what subjects to investigate, nor can it rank questions in importance. This knowledge has to come from outside science. Once a subject has been identified as important, science can assist in answering questions about it—a practice to which no one anywhere objects.

The practical difficulty is what counts as evidence is itself only partly scientific, partly political, partly metaphysical. There would be no dispute about any subject to which all agreed on the importance and its consequences, but which was merely lacking measurements to best categorize uncertainty in the subject. Theories decide what facts to look for; facts which do not fit a theory aren’t seen. We have many disputes in many subjects in which we have massive amount of measurements, proving science cannot answer ultimate questions.

In short, science can only be a handmaiden to policy. It can never drive it.

Weingard Deux present and answer four objections to their version of scientism. Let’s take each in turn.

“1. Scientism Will Lead to an Unaccountable Tyranny of Scientists”

“Many intellectuals and pundits who have assailed scientism have argued that it would lead to a tyranny of bespectacled elites promoting a dangerous brand of bloodless rationalism. They associate SBSP with other failed experiments in top-down utopianism such as the French and Russian Revolutions.”

There is a large body count to back these fears. We now have (some) scientists and physicians telling us men can be women. We have others saying sodomy is “healthy”. To argue against these conclusions is to be a science denier. A tyranny of scientists is a live possibility.

To their credit, Weingard-Weingard are not blank-slaters. Yet they say “Today’s most preposterous policy proposals…usually come from those who are ignorant of or willfully deny the conclusions of modern evolutionary psychology.” This criticism is spot on in those theories which are based on Equality & Diversity.

It is easy to willfully deny the absurd, which applies to some conclusions of modern evolutionary psychology apart from Equality. That subject produces the absurd, when it does, in part because of its reliance on materialism, itself a form of scientism. If the material is not all there is, the science must be lacking.

In both cases the error arises from the metaphysics (philosophy), and not so much from measurement (though evolutionary psychologists are overly fond of Just-So stories).

“2. Scientism Has Been Responsible for Terrible Crimes in the Past and Scientists Are Often Wrong”

“Opponents of scientism …eugenics and white racial superiority…Social Darwinism, for example, wasn’t really a science, and it wasn’t based on the weight of the evidence; it was a social philosophy that incorporated a crude version of natural selection.”

Ahem. It certainly was a science, and was based on the weight of evidence. It was the theory that determined the evidence to look for. Here they are identifying the curse of scientism: that it cannot determine the importance of the consequences of any theory. And they are showing a philosophy must be behind any science; here, they do not like the philosophy, but not liking it does not make it not a philosophy.

“3. Scientism Cannot Determine Values and Therefore Is a Poor Guide to the Good Life”

The is/ought argument is almost exclusively scholastic [they mean academic], because in reality most people agree on an underlying value, and this helps us to bridge the gap between “is” and “ought.” As Sam Harris has argued in The Moral Landscape, the underlying value most people agree upon is that some form of human flourishing or satisfaction or well-being or happiness is an intrinsic good and ought to be promoted. That is, most modern people in the West agree, despite sometimes showy protestations to the contrary, that human well-being ought to be the goal of social policy and morality.

This is the Voting Fallacy, that because a (possibly weighted) majority agree that X is moral or good, therefore X is moral or good. Most people may now agree about “human flourishing” or, Lord help us, “satisfaction”, but this does not bridge the is-ought gap. That can only be done, and is done, via metaphysics, not science.

“Once we have identified a desirable end—human flourishing—we can and should use science to discover and promote the policies that encourage it. Put another way, science can and absolutely should tell people how to live.”

Put it this way, scientism has just been proven false by Twice Weingard. For agreeing—or rather deciding, and therefore avoiding the Voting Fallacy—on a desirable end is admitted not to be a scientific question. And nobody has ever disagreed with finding proper measures once the end has been decided.

“4. Scientism Attempts to Cannibalize Other Fields and is Disrespectful of Other ‘Ways of Knowing.'”

Critics of scientism frequently express the fear that science is encroaching on the turf of the humanities, devaluing once noble human endeavors such as music, painting, and literature. But this is simply a category error. Humans don’t value art because it provides empirical knowledge about the world; they value it because it offers an enjoyable and often thought-provoking experience.

If there were ever a passage more indicative of scientism, I’d like to see it. Of course we value art, music, literature, philosophy because they provide empirical knowledge about the world! Forget the dreadful images conveyed by the desire for “experience”, and look to their “thought-provoking”, which makes their contention self-refuting.

They insert a joke about poetry failing to tell us of “the relation between calories and weight gain”, which as regular readers know is Type I scientism, which is the bombast by which scientists inform people of what the people have always known; here, that eating too much makes you fat. And then it isn’t true poetry is silent on this subject.

One word more, I beseech you: if you be not too
much cloyed with fat meat, our humble author will
continue the story, with Sir John in it, and make
you merry with fair Katherine of France, where, for
anything I know, Falstaff shall die of a sweat, unless
already he be killed with your hard opinions; for
Oldcastle died a martyr, and this is not the man.

–Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2, Epilogue

Would you like fries with your scientism?

“So then what about philosophy? Many of those accused of promoting scientism, such as Dawkins and Harris, have written or said dismissive things about philosophy…But it’s clear, if one is charitable when interpreting these thinkers, that they don’t dislike or disparage philosophy per se, but rather a kind of esoteric and self-referential philosophy that has been mocked and belittled by many.”

Rot. The claim from some of these men is that science can replace philosophy. As above, it cannot: science relies on philosophy. They have the causal arrow turned upside down.

However, “adherents [of scientism] are admittedly impatient with some of the logic-chopping, yawn-inducing, and obscurantist varieties [of philosophy] practiced at elite institutions.” That such philosophy exists is true, much of the result of publish-or-perish; i.e., academics who have nothing to say but who are forced to say something and then say it at great length.

If all Weingard+Weingard mean by scientism is that, when it can, science should be used to assist answering certain questions, then you will not find one sober man who disagrees. They place science is too high a regard for such humble tasks, though. That’s where their scientism becomes false.

April 16, 2019 | 11 Comments

What Is White Supremacy? Let’s Ask The Experts!

The Senate, under the wise directorship of Jerry “The Whale” Nadler, last week debuted its new play Its White Supremacy!. Reviews were mixed.

They would have perhaps done better if they had first informed the audience what “white supremacy” was. How can you be interested in a topic in which you are ignorant?

I too did not know what “white supremacy” was, so I decided to check with the experts. None have more expertise than our Blue Cheka (or many-followers) leaders on Twitter and national press. Let’s see what the intelligentsia has to say; maybe we’ll pin down the elusive definition of “white supremacy.”

Kelly Wickham Hurst

“Unpopular opinion, English teacher edition: Worship of the written word is a tenet of white supremacy.”

One wonder whether Hurst knew she wrote her tweet using words? Never mind. White supremacy is worship of the written word.

Marco20

“Apparently white supremacists and other racists are starting to use the Thumbs up emoji as a symbol of hatred. Please be aware when using a Thumbs up Emoji since it refers to the #Racist #whitesupremacy ’14 words’. Time to stop hating and give the world more #love.”

Roger Ebert was a white supremacist.

Michael Gerson

“Most whites do not feel personally guilty for the United States’ long history of imposed white supremacy.”

Gerson, who appears white, has lots of guilt, and to spare. White supremacy is something imposed by the USA.

Senthorun Raj

“White supremacists can be academics, too. Eloquence and elaborate sentences don’t make white supremacy less violent. Just saying.”

Harvard must be a hotbed of white supremacy.

Bishop Talbert Swan

“Evangelical Christianity is white supremacy in drag.”

White supremacists can play dress up?

Kamala Harris

“The threat of white supremacist violence is real. That’s why we need to hire more civil rights litigators and commit to full enforcement of federal hate crime laws.”

White supremacy will cause an increase in lawyers.

CNN Tonight

“‘Silence is complicity,’ says Rev. Robert W. Lee, descendant of General Robert E. Lee, and author of ‘A Sin by Any Other Name’. ‘It is time to stand up and speak up in a world that’s filled with evil and hate and white supremacy,’ Lee said.”

The world is filled with white supremacy, so it should be easy to spot. Those who are not speaking of it are white supremacists.

Jesse Singal

“If you let your kids watch YouTube unsupervised, the site’s feckless algorithms could lead them to radical voices which could, in turn, cause them to believe in white supremacy or, worse, that ‘Crash’ deserved its Oscars”

YouTube is white supremacy.

Camilla Turner

“University students demand philosophers such as Plato and Kant are removed from syllabus because they are white”

Plato and Kant were white supremacists.

Giovanni Tiso

“Counterpoint: it’s only white people who need to be constantly reminded that white supremacy exists. Also, letting super-racists swan around the country makes local racism seem less bad. It has nothing to do with the sacred principles of a free society.”

Do super-racists wear capes? Remind every white person you meet that they are a white supremacist.

Jared Yates Sexton

“This and Trump’s ‘shithole countries’ debacle are just two of many instances where bald faced white supremacy is ever more obvious and undeniable in discourse. The fact that white supremacy isn’t one of the largest discussions everyday in this country is a terrible indictment.”

No one is talking about white supremacy.

Noname

“White supremacy created a system that got Nipsey shot, and countless others. Seems like white supremacy at its finest to me ?”

One black man shooting another black man is white supremacy.

Dr Fish Philosopher

“Academia — and I can’t stress this enough — has never been good. It’s always been a structure of white supremacy, colonialism, capital and privilege. I am grateful for the folks enacting harm reduction within it, but there is certainly no ‘golden era’ of academe to harken back to”

Universities are white supremacist.

PDX Selina

“Here’s a handy definition of white supremacy fr same site. It’s no longer ‘literal skinheads & klansmen.’ It’s the violent system. Which is why the system must be dismantled. Because it’s white supremacist. Because that’s how they’re now defining white supremacy. #tautology”

Everything is white supremacy.

AISA_Sayz

“There was a time I hated it my nose, lips and hair. White supremacy and Eurocentric beauty standards are a disease #selfAppreciationSunday”

Beauty is white supremacy.

ScottMGreer

“ADL’s Eileen Hershenov defines white nationalism as a ‘euphemism’ for white supremacy and says it’s motivated by the fear of being genocided by foreign invaders”

White nationalism, unlike Jewish nationalism for Israel or Black nationalism for Zimbabwe or Japanese nationalism for Japan etc., is white supremacy.

elisabeth

“If your anti-racism work prioritizes the ‘growth’ and ‘enlightenment’ of white America over the safety, dignity and humanity of people of color — it’s not anti-racism work. It’s white supremacy.”

White births and white education is white supremacy.

Emily G

“I don’t care about any candidate unless they have a clear vision of the problem of white supremacy and a comprehensive plan to address it, including but not limited to reparations, as well as a plan for the climate, including but not limited to seizing corporate assets.”

White supremacy is like global warming.

Chama Woydak

“White privilege is not only killing black and brown bodies it’s killing white bodies also. No one thrives under white supremacy! #getuncomfortable”

White supremacy is the killing of whites.

Tomi T Ahonen

“On a BLACK woman NAZI SYMPATHIZER Republican Candace Owens. I am speechess…Candace Owens is a black white supremacist. Stephen Miller is a Jewish Nazi…MAKE. IT. STOP.”

Scientists have succeeded in creating the first black white supremacist?

————

There you have it, friends. We’ll have to admit our research is inconclusive. Thus far, it appears that everything is white supremacy. This may even be the correct conclusion. Further work is needed. Readers can assist by entering in the comments evidence they have discovered.