Gay Patriot Header Image

Cheer up, for the worst is yet to come

The title is Jonah Goldberg’s. Apologies for forgetting who/what tipped me off to his recent speech. It wanders, but covers much interesting ground.

  • On the 2012 election: Romney is a good man, but was a poor candidate from a poor field. His consultants’ disdain for ideas and making conservative arguments led to Romney often sounding like nothing more than a right-wing greeting card. This let Obama paint him (however wrongly) as a rich, greedy prude and to win voters on the basis of “who cares more about people like me”.
  • On the 2016 election: It’s rare for a party to win a third term, and we can be sure the Democrats won’t do it with Vice President Biden. Meanwhile, the Republicans will have a stronger field.
  • On the GOP’s long-term prospects: The GOP has the right ideas, the ideas that work, but a huge ‘persuasion problem’. Democrats are better at deploying the language of community – such as “government is the one thing we all belong to”, or Clinton’s remark on the politics of “you’re on your own” vs. the politics of “we’re all in it together”. This is a pity, because in real life, conservatives tend to be better involved in their families, communities and causes larger than themselves.
  • All political fights ultimately are Locke vs. Rousseau. Locke is the idea that we are captains of ourselves, our rights precede government, the fruits of your labor belong to you (not the collective), society should be organized to maximize individual freedom, civilization is a process of recognizing these things. Rousseau – the opposite: civilization messes us up, rights are granted by the collective, the collective is all.
  • As followers of Rousseau, leftists make a basic error, over and over: Fantasizing that government will make them feel loved and bring meaning to their lives. It never works, because government can’t provide those things. [Jeff adds: Not for real. It can provide a fake - a simulation, a temporary illusion of them.]
  • With Obama, leftists have successfully ‘scored’ for the idea called ‘positive liberty’, which says that liberty consists of government granting you benefits and entitlements to enable you to do things, e.g., “free” birth control (Sandra Fluke). [Jeff adds: We know the idea is wrong, and is in fact the opposite of liberty, because it means enslaving people or stealing their property, in order to pay for said entitlements.]
  • With Obama having years more to run, the worst is yet to come. Conservatives / libertarians will be fighting the bad effects of Obama’s mistakes for the rest of our lives.
  • BUT, we will be fighting the good fight: for human liberty and prosperity, the Lockean revolution which is the best thing to happen to humanity in the last 1000 years.
  • TS Eliot: there is no such thing as a truly lost cause, because there is no such thing as a truly won cause. The cause can still be won, as long as there are people willing to fight for it.

On a personal level, Goldberg’s speech is a reminder of my limitations. There are many people on this Earth whom I won’t be able to persuade.

As one example: I object to the idea (as voiced by Democrats) that “we are all in it together.” Good people – prudent/productive people who love human freedom – are “in it together” for causes such as natural rights, and the Rule of Law. But when a parasite comes to me saying “Come on, we’re all in it together”, I know I’m about to be looted, and I say “No we’re not, so get lost!” So if Goldberg is looking for someone who is able to win over the mushy American middle by using the language of community, well, it won’t be me.

Share

68 Comments

  1. Unfortunately for America, I fear that the GOP will still be unable to create a governing-collation of electable politicians in 2016. More-likely it will take ’til 2020 before internal Party change…and a sea-change in public will…affect a turnaround from arcane Democratic policies that failed in the past, are failing now, and will continue to fail for the next 6 or 7 years.

    If you can’t actually win primaries AND general elections…good intentions don’t count for much with a Nation so damaged.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — March 8, 2013 @ 7:44 pm - March 8, 2013

  2. The GOP (well, America period) will endure some major hits and growing pains before a really electable Republican candidate emerges. And as I was going to say before a closeted Obamaite interrupted me in a previous article, fifty years after the Civil Rights Act, different groups of people ultimately only deal with each other if they feel like it. No law can change that.

    Comment by Douglas — March 8, 2013 @ 8:42 pm - March 8, 2013

  3. One problem that I see is that it is hard for many Republicans to come forward.

    Decent folks who care about their familes and are Republican have to look at what the media has done to Palin, and later Romney, and many most likely will decide that their familes are more important to them than running for office.

    Anyone who really cares about their families will not put them through the crap that Palin’s family and Romney’s family went through.

    Democrats don’t have this problem – the media was all over Bush’s daughters and their underage drinking; but, very little was mentioned about Al Gore’s pot-smoking son.

    It is just a matter of time before we start hearing stories about Chris Cristie’s kids (and very little about Chelsea Clinton) come the next round of Presidential politics.

    Comment by Charles — March 9, 2013 @ 9:16 am - March 9, 2013

  4. Considering the “ethics” hoops anyone interested in public-service now has to go through here in NJ…or in almost any state or community…it’s a wonder anyone not already on a government payroll gets involved. A close friend on mine, a recently-retired successful manufacturing-business owner, was asked to serve on his local K-8 school board. They desperately needed someone who could speak “lawyer” and “union contract” with the experts on a board made-up of otherwise well-meaning but inexperienced-in-business housewives and mothers.

    His personal compliance-costs to file all the conflict-of-interest and financial and personal background REQUIRED by the State of NJ was $25k-a-year for his lawyers’ and accountants’ fees. For a non-compensated school board position in 400-student district that just operates an elementary school and a jr-high school, the students have to go to an adjacent district’s high school. For an evening-job that required a lot if his time…and paid NOTHING! Twenty-five-thousand dollars….a-year out of his pocket…for school board!

    After 6-years and $150k+, his business partners and family talked him into standing-down because the filings…which are public record and available to anyone who requests a copy…were revealing just too-much proprietary information on his business and their investments…and the extended family’s finances.

    Is it any wonder that public-officials are promoted and appointed out of the ranks of the (liberal) civil-service ranks and the public-workers unions? Worked in private industry (other that Wall Street) and you’re just out of luck.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — March 9, 2013 @ 10:08 am - March 9, 2013

  5. Come, Jeff, to the dark side. Don’t resist. We are doomed.

    I am getting well past my sell-by date so have some feeling for the recent past. I’ve been paying attention to politics since the 60s – I was a Nixon volunteer at age 11.

    The one thing that has changed, IMHO, is the size of the disconnect between the ruling class and the rest of us. Even though I disagreed with much of the leftist agenda, I could see their point most of the time; ditto for disagreements with the right. I could see the point of, say, affirmative action; I understood the opposition to the war in Vietnam. Urban renewal appeared to make sense and the labor unions had some legitimate grievances.

    Now, from both sides, comes positions I cannot understand. Immigration reform to displace millions of US workers, depress wages, and further divide the country on ethnic lines; explosive growth in the police state; crony capitalism… all with bipartisan support. And a population that appears sanguine about our current course. We have unsustainable spending, demanded by the people, with the left believing that the rich can be stuck with the cost and the right allowing people to think that they’ve nothing to do with it.

    As Mark Steyn has pointed out many times, we’re a nation unwilling to make the needed course corrections. Costa Concordia, meet rocks.

    Comment by SoCalRobert — March 9, 2013 @ 11:04 am - March 9, 2013

  6. No matter how popular liberalism may be electorally or politically; it is fiscally and economically unsustainable. Sooner or later, probably sooner, the Big Government model is doomed to collapse.

    Comment by V the K — March 9, 2013 @ 11:14 am - March 9, 2013

  7. The Democrat Party is the party of hate.

    To be successful “social engineers” and to establish and control “social justice” and to “organize” healthcare, minimum income, “standards of living” and “equality” the government must be ruthless with those who resist.

    Therefore, the Democrats demean and seek to punish the resisters through controlling thought (political correctness) and branding resisters as “haters” and then unleashing hate on the “haters.”

    Go back to 1958 and review the list of Communist goals which Cleon Skousen laid out in The Naked Communist.

    Click on the link and read through the items, not with the Communists in mind, but looking at how liberals and Democrats have progressed since 1958. You may draw your own conclusions concerning the overlay aspects of the template.

    What you can not escape is the constant drive for controlling power. The Democrats do not want their seat on the bus. They want to drive the bus, determine its direction and screen the passengers.

    It is one thing to have a voice at the table and join the debate and quite another thing to ram Obamacare past the Constitution. Somehow, most Americans still do not see the forces at play.

    It is very hard to fight the party of hate with acts of kindness and deferential treatment.

    This may be esoteric, but it is critical. Philosophers have always established the division between good and evil and not between good and bad.

    Good is the minimum that is expected. You can do better and you can reach for best, but good is the minimum standard for morality, ethics, a compatible society.

    If you drop below good you hit evil (not bad) because all evil is unethical, immoral and dangerous to society.

    What democrats, Communists and all haters do is to attempt to put a vast grey zone (a slippery slope) beneath the line of demarkation that separates good from evil. It is much like our Mexican border where illegal immigrants are really just undocumented and therefore are due some sort of special accommodation and understanding and blah, blah, blah.

    It is very important that when a society confuses itself over evil it is already on the slippery slope toboggan to the land of moral relativism where the ends justify the means and the exercise of power is the devil’s playground.

    When Rand Paul stood up against the Obamanauts obfuscating the use of drones in America on American citizens, it should have had the loud, cheering backing of every Progressive. But nearly every Progressive sat on his hands. Don’t you imagine that they would rather protect the unbridled power of Obama and Holder than to stand on principle? That is the heart and soul of how the slippery slope works. That is why philosophers have never given equal time to bad, worse and worst, unless they are nihilists.

    Democrats can not articulate their principles or even their morality and ethics, because when the ends justify the means, they do not know what means they will have to employ to reach their goals.

    Now, campaigning by the Marquis of Queensbury rules against no-holds-barred ultimate fighters who will corrupt the contest by any means possible is a little silly.

    The Ten Core Beliefs of the Tea Party are a startling and sober contrast to the link I provided above. It should help to put the battle in perspective.

    Comment by heliotrope — March 9, 2013 @ 11:22 am - March 9, 2013

  8. I always chuckle when Establishment Republicans use the word “electable.” Let’s run down a list of the “Electable” Republican politicians the Establishment selected in 2012:

    - Mitt Romney
    - Scott Brown
    - Tommy Thompson
    - George Allen
    - Connie Mack
    - Pete Hoekstra
    - Rick Berg
    - Denny Rehberg
    - Heather Wilson

    Apparently, they weren’t as ‘electable’ as the establishment thought.

    Let us remember, too, the Republican establishment and Karl Rove opposed Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz in the primaries.

    Because they weren’t ‘electable.’

    Comment by V the K — March 9, 2013 @ 12:13 pm - March 9, 2013

  9. The worse will be watching establishment Republicans do it all over again. It’s time for a new generation of Republicans. I think Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are a good start. While I hope for a different outcome, I think it more likely that old guard Republicans will have still have controlling influence in 2016 and the Party will suffer significant defeats because of that to Democrats at the national level.

    Comment by David — March 9, 2013 @ 12:33 pm - March 9, 2013

  10. we can be sure the Democrats won’t do it with Vice President Biden.

    I wouldn’t be so sure about that… I mean, if Obama can win after 4 disastrous years, why can’t Biden? Especially if another feckless “electable” Republican is nominated. Speaking of which, I’m sure many people have noticed how “electable” Chris Christie has become lately. The media will still be there to cover up Biden’s mis-statements and demonize the Republican, whoever it is (and if it is someone who is “electable,” they won’t fight back).

    We know the idea is wrong, and is in fact the opposite of liberty, because it means enslaving people or stealing their property

    It also means that government has the power to arbitrarily take any “rights” away from people.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — March 9, 2013 @ 2:47 pm - March 9, 2013

  11. Rattlesnake,

    The Dems don’t got no magic negro in 2016. Obama could take a third term because his constituency will elect him forever. But “his” constituency is not transferable.

    Sure Hillary is a woman and we still have that barrier to break, but she is vastly different from mystical, magical Mr. Mobamoffelees. She is a well known, well worn political hag. For Obama you have “Oh! Well I never! Was there ever A cat so clever as magical Mr. Mobamoffelees!” For Hillary the tune changes to Grizabellahillary and you get “Memory. All alone in the moonlight – I can smile at the old days – I was beautiful then -I remember The time I knew what happiness was – Let the memory live again.”

    When Obama departs, the charisma train will leave the building with him. He has sucked all of the oxygen out of the heirs apparent. Geriatric hippies won’t save the day.

    However, the Establishment Republicans can manage to screw up a one car funeral procession. Maybe they will run Karl Rove.

    Comment by heliotrope — March 9, 2013 @ 4:27 pm - March 9, 2013

  12. Heliotrope, you are more optimistic than I am. I mark November 6, 2012 as the day Idiocracy arrived in America — the day the voters rejected an accomplished, intelligent businessman in favor of a Stuttering Clusterf-ck of a Miserable failure, because they believed it when the SCOAMF told them the businessman wanted to outlaw tampons and gave women cancer.

    There will be an even dumber pool of low-information voters in 2016; especially if Republicans are stupid enough to grant citizenship to 11M uneducated, Government-dependent third-world peasants.

    Comment by V the K — March 9, 2013 @ 7:46 pm - March 9, 2013

  13. I doubt the GOP can get its act together by 2016, but we’ll see. I have no intention of voting for them again if they continue “business as usual” or doubling down on stupid. What I would like to see, without my voting for them however, is the Dems in charge when it all hits the fan. That Day of Financial Reckoning will come if we continue down this same path. I suppose that’s a silver lining in all of this when you think about it…

    Comment by JohnAGJ — March 9, 2013 @ 8:46 pm - March 9, 2013

  14. I guess it’s my relentlessly optimistic nature, but I think something REALLY BIG happened Wednesday with Rand Paul’s fillibuster. I think it will turn out to be a BIG. F*CKING. DEAL. in the immortal words of our dumb as an ashtray Vice President.

    Comment by Bastiat Fan — March 10, 2013 @ 3:14 am - March 10, 2013

  15. [...] Gay Patriot has your “cheer up, the worst is yet to come” downer of the day [...]

    Pingback by Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup » Pirate's Cove — March 10, 2013 @ 8:43 am - March 10, 2013

  16. Funny Saturday Night Live Opening Monologue. Justin Timberlake hosted SNL for the prestigious 5th time which enters him into an elite group. Watch as Timberlake is joined by Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, Paul Simon, Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin, Dan Aykroid and Candice Bergen. Funny Stuff

    http://commoncts.blogspot.com/2013/03/saturday-night-live-hilarious-5-timers.html

    Comment by Steve — March 10, 2013 @ 9:14 am - March 10, 2013

  17. 2016 is the last election. There is a much better (worse?) than even chance that the Republicans will load another non-starter on us and the “idiocracy” (as V the K identifies them) will go gaga over Mochelle or whoever the Demonrats release on us.

    The Demonrats win by excelling in lies of omission, half-truths, distortions, character assassination, seduction and vilification.

    The general Establishment Republican candidate believes that mud doesn’t stick, rising above the fray is noble, honor trumps abuse and good guys finish first.

    I do not believe that any Ted Cruz type is a shoe-in. But I would sure rather crash and burn in 2016 knowing that the idiocracy has chosen the death of the Republic over rock solid Constitutional principles than to have a Jeb Bush type run and lose. Any Establishment Republican is merely a place holder for the next tax and burn Demonrat regime.

    Circa 1850:

    “The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended.”
    ― Frédéric Bastiat

    Establishment Republicans want big government, big taxation, big spending, and big intrusion, but on their “better idea” terms. So, expect them to come out swinging with their “reformed” version of the welfare state as a viable pathway to entice Black, Hispanic, middle class votes and maybe even win over some of the unions.

    Back to Bastiat:

    “The person who profits from this law will complain bitterly, defending his acquired rights. He will claim that the state is obligated to protected and encourage his particular industry; that this procedure enriches the state because the protected industry is thus able to spend more and to pay higher wages to the poor workingmen.

    Do not listen to this sophistry by vested interests. The acceptance of these arguments will build legal plunder into a whole system. In fact, this has already occurred. The present-day delusion is an attempt to enrich everyone at the expense of everyone else; to make plunder universal under the pretense of organizing it.”

    “Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state lives at the expense of everyone.”

    ― Frédéric Bastiat, The Law

    I dread 2016.

    Comment by heliotrope — March 10, 2013 @ 10:29 am - March 10, 2013

  18. All that I could add to this list of democrat election strategies:

    “The Demonrats win by excelling in lies of omission, half-truths, distortions, character assassination, seduction and vilification.”
    -Heliotrope, 3/10/2013

    Is CORRUPTION – corruption of the polling place, corruption of the enrollment process, corruption of the counting system, corruption in the court challenging process, corruption at the state leadership levels, and finally, corruption of the reporting machine.

    How does any conservative candidate overcome all that he/she faces when competing with a democrat on the national scene?

    Comment by mixitup — March 10, 2013 @ 2:23 pm - March 10, 2013

  19. I love the ego of the Republican party. Why is it every time the Republicans lose, they come up with the “we have great ideas, we’re just not getting them across to people right” response.

    No, I think the people heard Romney loud and clear. It seems that he and the ever-charming Anne seemed to think that he was simply going to be anointed president. Now, they will probably act like children for years to come with their responses.

    Also, corruption of the polling place? What a bunch of BS. Put together all the proposed and passed legislation dealing with suppressing voters across the country. proposed and passed by Republicans, without even a shred of evidence of the supposed fraud they were trying to stop. More like trying to stop those voting who would more likely vote for Democrats.

    Is that conservatives forever “freedom” flame still burning outside DC?

    Comment by Kevin — March 11, 2013 @ 3:32 am - March 11, 2013

  20. Ah poor poor Kevin,

    Supposed voter fraud? Try districts in Ohio and PA that went 100% Obama. Yet no such districts went 100% for Romney?

    No proof? Two convictions in Ohio alone, one from a poll worker who voted six times.

    Facts to liberals, are like sunlight to vampires.

    Comment by The_Livewire — March 11, 2013 @ 8:44 am - March 11, 2013

  21. 19.I love the ego of the Republican party. Why is it every time the Republicans lose, they come up with the “we have great ideas, we’re just not getting them across to people right” response.

    Comment by Kevin — March 11, 2013 @ 3:32 am – March 11, 2013

    Now watch how quickly Kevin flip-flops into how saying that is humble and not at all egotistical.

    Meanwhile, when you see how desperately the Obama press had to edit videos to make Romney look bad, it makes it pretty obvious how frightened they were of people actually seeing the real Romney.

    Once you figure out that Kevin is a blind bigot and racist who attacks Republicans for the same things for which he praises Obama, you learn to stop taking him seriously and see him as the comic relief he is.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 11, 2013 @ 11:19 am - March 11, 2013

  22. “Philosophers have always established the division between good and evil and not between good and bad.”

    I don’t think that is true.

    Good is the minimum that is expected. You can do better and you can reach for best, but good is the minimum standard for morality, ethics, a compatible society.”

    So, what is your definition of “bad”? And is your use of the term “good” synonymous with the philosophical use of the term “the good”?

    “If you drop below good you hit evil (not bad) because all evil is unethical, immoral and dangerous to society.” And again, what is your definition of “bad”?

    Comment by Passing By — March 11, 2013 @ 12:03 pm - March 11, 2013

  23. The Dems dont got no magic negro in 2016. Obama could take a third term because his constituency will elect him forever. But his constituency is not transferable.

    [...]

    When Obama departs, the charisma train will leave the building with him.

    This will be the saving grace for the Democratic opposition in 2016. The way the Messiah slid into a second term was via a masterful ground game, which included getting people to vote who have never voted beforeor at least before 2008. But that won’t happen when the Magic Negro is gone. Who can replace him? Well, there’s Boooooker…but he has the nasty little mess that is Newark following him.

    Besides that, there are already comments about how Hillary looks like a drag king version of Ben Franklin now; imagine how she’ll look in a couple more years. Meanwhile, the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW is getting gray, but that makes him look “distinguished” (instead of an anorexic version of Uncle Remus).

    On a psychological note, another trait of narcissists is that when put in positions of authority, they feel no need to mentor others or pave the way for the next-in-line. So Hillary (or whomever) will truly have to go it alone. Even when BO gives stump speeches for her in 2016, they really won’t be about her, but about him.

    Comment by RSG — March 12, 2013 @ 12:01 am - March 12, 2013

  24. And again, what is your definition of “bad”?

    It doesn’t matter what “my definition” of bad is, because I am not the moral relativist here.

    Silly. Just silly.

    If you touch a hot burner, you have any number of degrees of burn. It depends on how hot the burner is and how long the touch lingered and other factors. So, the burn doctor looks at your “boo-boo” and puts a little ointment on it or plans for tissue grafts or chops the sucker off. In all cases, you burned your finger by putting it on a hot burner. In all cases, you have a problem whether by accident because you tripped or because you are a sadomasochist out for pleasure or whatever.

    When you cross the bright line that divides good from evil you are in outlaw, sin and guilty territory. You park and don’t feed the meter, you are committing evil and, if caught, you will pay. You can elevate the problem by stiffing the fine and becoming a scofflaw. Eventually, you may get your car impounded. At some point, you will have the chance to be a regular Kardashian and drag your case and loony story before the court. That is where the determination over bad or rotton or flat out terrible evil will be determined.

    As a non-Christian who is above it all, you cross the bright line between good and evil with impunity and hardly a care. You dumb evil down by permitting yourself to accept justifications for evil and scoffing at the “prudes” who are “up-tight-obsessed” with the bright line and get all “paranoid” over staying on the good side of it and who repent their sins and seek the support of the community which “feels their pain” and “hears their prayers” and understands the battle.

    Is it ever possible to lie and not commit evil? There is a long history of discourse on this simple question. The more you delve into the question, the more you uncertain you become about “exceptions to the rule.” As in all matters, the more thoughtful and introspective you train yourself to be, the less arrogant and flippant you become. It also messed mightily with the convenience of moral relativity.

    Read away at this and see if you can stand the pressure of being intellectually challenged on the weightiness of evil.

    You will also realize that grading evil by bad evil, worse evil and worst evil is an activity best suited for some sort of clown school bull session where everyone gets an “A” and a gold star whether they attend or not.

    Comment by heliotrope — March 12, 2013 @ 9:38 am - March 12, 2013

  25. “It doesn’t matter what “my definition” of bad is, because I am not the moral relativist here. Silly. Just silly.”

    I agree, you are being silly. You use a term–and when asked to define it, get all bent out of shape. You are being defensive, and it detracts from what might otherwise be an interesting position, if we could nail down what you mean by some things.

    “Philosophers have always established the division between good and evil and not between good and bad.”

    It will surprise you to know that there are philosophers who actually do make distinctions between “good” and “bad,” though I grant you they are not philosophers you like (being a fan of St. Augustine, though I suspect that you share a sympathy for Kant).

    “Good is the minimum that is expected. You can do better and you can reach for best, but good is the minimum standard for morality, ethics, a compatible society. [and] If you drop below good you hit evil (not bad) because all evil is unethical, immoral and dangerous to society.”

    So, you appear to be saying that “evil” is an ABSOLUTE distinction–which can be independent of moral intention (e.g., a physical evil– brute materiality of accidentally burning a pinky is an evil act, correct? ). It can also be a moral evil, such as willful lying (though you apparently leave open the question of whether “exceptions to the rule” lying is an “evil” or not. You seem pretty clear about burning yourself accidentally being “evil”, but not here in the moral arena. It is at odds with the confident tenor of you initial remarks. If you allow for exceptions, how do you avoid the tag of moral relativism?).

    And yet, “good” as you define it is a “minimum expectations” threshold REQUIRED for a “compatible society.” There is a “best” beyond it. OK, what does that mean? We know that “good” can refer to using an efficient means to get a desired end–and an end we all agree that is good. A pragmatic approach, if you will. Yet, in pretty much the next breath, you say that those who have a means-end mentality are on the path to damnation. Are you denying that notion of “good”? If so, what notion do you have in mind? So, when I ask you–are you referring to “the good”–the end in itself–is this concept behind your notion of “minimum expectations”?

    Following on: Is there an absolute code of conduct in a society that determines that threshold of “good” and which is required for a compatible society, or is that relative to the folks who live in that society? If so, what is it? Would an actively practicing homosexual cross that boundary? Why or why not? Would gay marriage cross this threshold for “minimum expectations” in a “compatible society”? Why or why not?

    Comment by Passing By — March 12, 2013 @ 2:30 pm - March 12, 2013

  26. I have not defined anything. I am not a moral relativist. It is meaningless to you or anyone else for me to babble about what my impression of the “meaning” of a term is when the world of great minds has wrestled out the definition which encompasses the nature, scope, or meaning of the word.

    I can open the window, but I can not make you look through it.

    In the Judeo-Christian ethic, good is everything above the bright line of demarcation which separates the good from the pit where evil dwells. Our job as members of society is to recognize evil and to consciously seek the good and to shun evil.

    Vices are in the pit of evil. Vices are moral failings, acts of depravity, corruption, and so forth. Dante is a great go-to source for the classic Christian vices: lust, gluttony, avarice, sloth, wrath, envy and vanity.

    Telemachus, the son of Odysseus and Penelope: “I know all things, the good and the evil.” (Homer’s The Odyssey 20:309-10). Islam, Christianity, Judaism all have the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” at their core. Stemming from these ancient sources are the concepts of enlightenment, the fall of man, forbidden fruit, original sin, the vices and the virtues. And, as Telemachus, we seek to learn what our fathers have learned.

    Pilgrim’s Progress, The Divine Comedy, Paradise Lost, are among the many works of literature that have spurred generations over the centuries to contemplate the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

    It should as least challenge your curiosity as to why it has always been a contrast of “good and evil” and not “good and not really good stuff.”

    Moral relevancy is not concerned with grades of good. It is only focused on the obfuscation of evil by justifying some aspects over others. In the game of moral relevancy, if you are fat, it is because a bunch of righteous fools would not permit Mayor Bloomberg to ban 16 ounce sodas. In short, you can fix blame on your condition on forces outside of personal responsibility.

    If you receive welfare, you are justified in not trying to rid yourself of the dependency on other people’s efforts and money by blaming the system for your own failure to overcome your lethargy and take on the hard work of self sufficiency.

    Naturally, the moral relativist favors statist rules which take from some to give to others.

    In the past, you have identified yourself as a taker of statist welfare. You favor socialized medical care. You argue for greater state socialism. Therefore, you must reject the tree of knowledge of good and evil because you lust for the support of others and have an insatiable vanity in arguing your own, personal right to envy, avarice and wrath when it comes to what the state can do for you at the expense of others.

    In your closed world, this all boils down to whether Passing Gas dwells in good or evil. The answer is that Passing Gas stands logic on its head to justify the evil that Passing Gas accepts as some sort of virtue. Sorry, but that dog won’t hunt and I am not going to play the game of “let’s pretend” with you.

    Time to grow up.

    Comment by heliotrope — March 12, 2013 @ 10:56 pm - March 12, 2013

  27. You know Heliotrope, I had a reply that actually treated your bullshit seriously. But what a waste of time. One thing: “”good is everything above the bright line of demarcation which separates the good from the pit where evil dwells. ” You don’t even seem to realize that you fail to even notice that your definition of “good” uses evil as the standard to judge good. Wow.

    Comment by Passing By — March 13, 2013 @ 12:14 am - March 13, 2013

  28. I had a reply that actually treated [your bullshit]* seriously.

    (*) “your bullshit”= the foundations of all religions in the world and the struggle to identify good from evil and to keep vigilant to do good and avoid evil.

    The works of philosophers, theologians, writers, poets and ruminators deal more with the tension between good and evil than any other theme. And you, poor lamb, see this as “your bullshit.”

    Way back in the 1880′s, Ambrose Bierce skewered you in his Devil’s Dictionary word play:

    ESOTERIC, adj.

    Very particularly abstruse and consummately occult. The ancient philosophies were of two kinds, — exoteric, those that the philosophers themselves could partly understand, and esoteric, those that nobody could understand. It is the latter that have most profoundly affected modern thought and found greatest acceptance in our time.

    You argue, in essence, that the core collections of the Bodleian Library, the British Library, Chetham’s Library, Codrington Library, Hereford Cathedral Chained Library, John Rylands Library, Queen’s College Library, Wren Library, Bibliotheque Alencon, Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Sorbonne Library, Kremsmuenster Abbey Library, Melk Monastery Library, Stiftsbibliothek Klosterneuburg, Klementium Library, Strahov Philosophical and Theological Hall, Bad Schussenreied Bibliothekssaalm, Saxon State Library, Waldsassen Abbey Library, Wiblingen Monestary Library, Kalsocsa Cathedral Library, Trinity College Library, Biblioteca Angelica, Biblioteca Medicea-Laurenziana, Vatican Library, St. Walburga Library, Joanina Library Coimbra, Russian National Library, El Escorial Library, Salamanca Library, Abbey Library St. Gallen, St. Deiniol’s Library, Llyfgell Genedlaethol Cymru, Biblioteca Palafoxiana, etc. —– are just a bunch of “your bullshit” repositories.

    It is typical, Passing Gas, that when you step into your pomposity up to and exceeding your own eyebrows that you claim the basis of Western Civilization is just all “bullshit.”

    Have a wonderful esoteric day and go find someone who is dazzled by your brilliance.

    You might drop off at a fine library and argue with the janitor about his definition of “bad” and then reach into your vast reservoir of ignorance and set him straight.

    Such shameless Bards we have; and yet ’tis true,
    There are as mad, abandon’d Criticks too.
    The Bookful Blockhead, ignorantly read,
    With Loads of Learned Lumber in his Head,
    With his own Tongue still edifies his Ears,
    And always List’ning to Himself appears.
    All Books he reads, and all he reads assails,
    From Dryden’s Fables down to Durfey’s Tales.
    With him, most Authors steal their Works, or buy;
    Garth did not write his own Dispensary.
    Name a new Play, and he’s the Poet’s Friend,
    Nay show’d his Faults – but when wou’d Poets mend?
    No Place so Sacred from such Fops is barr’d,
    Nor is Paul’s Church more safe than Paul’s Church-yard:
    Nay, fly to Altars; there they’ll talk you dead;
    For Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread.

    —Alexander Pope, 1709

    Translation: The rash or inexperienced will attempt things that wiser people are more cautious of.

    You, Passing Gas, are just peddling Nietzsche and his “supreme will to power” fetish.

    “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!”

    — Prologue, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

    Too bad Nietzsche didn’t have a user’s guide to Antichrist, because you need one. You think you are asking the “bold questions” that miserable philosophers, theologians, adherents to religion are too meek to ask.

    Your Nietzsche ace in the hole is that “badness” is whatever the human weakling says it is and it is bolstered by morality and compassion which keep the weak person enslaved to his fears. Blah, blah, blah and Freud and Social Darwinism and eugenics and George Bernard Shaw and the mule they rode in on.

    You will not find your need for your bullshit enabled by me. Perhaps you might try the International Humanist and Ethical Union. They have just your form of babble in their “Minimum Statement on Humanism: “Humanism is a democratic and ethical life stance, which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. It stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethic based on human and other natural values in the spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities. It is not theistic, and it does not accept supernatural views of reality.”

    Whew! Based on human and other natural values in the spirit of reason and free inquiry is sure definitive. You can argue and scrap over what undergirds that for sixty-three and a half eternities. Nothing plus nothing equals ….. ?

    Have a terrific search for the real reality and let us know where “there” is when you get there. Don’t bother to send postcards along the way. Save it all for a full report on Nirvana in Utopia.

    Comment by heliotrope — March 13, 2013 @ 11:20 am - March 13, 2013

  29. Let me give you three reasons why I think your comments to me have been mostly “bullshit” up to now.

    1. When asked to define your terms, you hide behind the claim that you are not a “moral relativist.” Well, good for you. To you, these are self-evident concepts free of the need for rational explanation. Does this mean that you are a moral absolutist? If so, why do you feel so shy about lying–what must be a morally reprehensible thing in all cases–according to St. Augustine (your main squeeze). In any case, absolute or relativist, why be so shy about defining terms that you want everyone else to accept for the basis of discussion. I guess “bad” is like obscenity for you–we all know what it looks like when we see it, so why bother defining it? “Are “evil” and “bad” the same in your book and what relationship if any do they have if they are not the same? Why so reticent about answering it? Evil” is enough for you–but why that is so, you do not explain. And as to the difference between “good” and “the good” you continue to shy away from explaining how what you believe fits within a distinction that most, if not all those authors you cited had some sense as to be able to differentiate.

    2. When asked to explore some of the implications of your position–you know, through questions–you resort to ad hominem attacks and arguments to authority; and just down-right non sequiters. How very quaint and irrationally argued of you. I guess your unwillingness to engage on these issues suggests that there are some points of fracture in your thinking, and you desire to avoid engagement on those issues. Yes, you have the right to not engage–but the irrational attacks you otherwise engage in suggest that you don’t want to cede the field with points “unanswered,” even if it is ineffectual, so any crap will do. Example: rather than address what looks to be using evil (the cesspool we cannot fall into) as a standard for good (the minimum required), you give me a rant about Nietzsche.I don’t think I am the only one to notice you avoided rationally addressing the claim I made.Are you worried in part about your ability to defend your claims–part of which has the strong whiff of moral relativism/ends-means you seek to criticize as being “humanist/progressive/godless heathen/ add whatever tag you want”?

    3. Most interesting to me–if you do hold somehow that your claims of “good” and “evil” are absolute (though you equivocate on this), or timeless truths, or mostly absolute except for carefully defined cases, whatever, I still want to know how what you think leaves a large number of people situated within your moral universe. Is being “actively homosexual” “evil” and not compatible with a functional society in your opinion? Is gay marriage “evil”? Again, I don’t think I am the only one to notice you avoided rationally addressing these questions. On what side of the “minimum expectations” threshold REQUIRED for a “compatible society” do these issues fall under in your view, professor emeritus?

    A challenge to you. Take our comment exchange and give it to your class of university students. See what they think. Maybe they will think your point of view is wonderfully self-evident, even as I do not. Or, perhaps they might notice some/all of the same things I have shared here. You could also do that with the MLK exchange back in January for that matter.

    Comment by Passing By — March 13, 2013 @ 8:23 pm - March 13, 2013

  30. Those things you must do, ought to do or are essentially neutral in terms of doing or ignoring are in the realm of the “good.” Those things you are not to do are in the realm of evil.

    Society decides how to deal with evil. One might be “naughty” without stirring the society to react. One might be felonious and catch the stern attention of society. One might murder in cold blood and find the wrath of society.

    Societies in general are not restricted by Biblical measures because their laws are temporal and not theocratic. However, Western societies are informed by the traditions of Christianity and Judaism as handed down from 2000 years of interaction between the state and the church.

    Moral relativism falls flat on its face because it has no system of morals and therefore cannot arbitrate disagreements.

    For a definition of “good” and “bad” and “evil” you should go to the dictionary. To learn about and become an informed participant in the great, never-ending struggle to try to understand “good” and “bad” and “evil” you must leave the realm of solipsism and accept the relative merits of the thousands of great minds before the advent of your own mind which have devoted lifetimes to this most basic of all concerns in the human condition.

    Never have I encountered such moral nihilism and incoherence as the pap you insinuate here. But your methods are nothing particularly new. At the base of moral relativism: Nothing is right or wrong. Moral judgements are not truth. Moral judgements fail because they are subjective due to a lack of precise definition. Consequently, all morality fails. Ditto ethics.

    So, what is there to discuss?

    Comment by heliotrope — March 13, 2013 @ 11:55 pm - March 13, 2013

  31. It’s actually even simpler than that, Heliotrope.

    Passing Gas is playing a simple, childish game: everything you say is wrong/evil/bad, and everything it says is correct/perfect/good.

    It is incapable of understanding what you are saying because there is no such thing as an objective truth, a standard definition, or an unchanging fact in its universe. Not does it have any interest in actually producing one because it sees those as being nothing more than an impediment to it doing whatever it wants whenever it wants to get what it wants.

    You correctly stated matters above. Morality to Passing Gas is whatever at the moment it can use to force you to turn over your earnings, yield the floor, silence yourself, etc. It is all about power, of asserting control over you, of demeaning you and your accomplishments.

    Because it has none. Notice how it sneers at, belittles, attempts to tear you down, attacks your life and accomplishments — while refusing to present its own.

    Again, because it has none. Like its Obama, it cannot do, cannot create, cannot build: it can only attack and demean those who do.

    It is a failure. And all it has done is demean itself in the eyes of others here.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 14, 2013 @ 2:19 am - March 14, 2013

  32. “Those things you must do, ought to do or are essentially neutral in terms of doing or ignoring are in the realm of the “good.” Those things you are not to do are in the realm of evil.” I don’t understand how something that is “neutral” resides in the realm of moral “goodness(?).” That seems to suggest that it is there because it is NOT evil. Evil is still the standard. One could delve deeper by considering prudential judgements, I suspect.

    “So, what is there to discuss?”

    You made claims. You get suddenly VERY shy about what you believe, when I turned a spotlight on it. OK, can you screw your courage to the sticking place and answer some simple questions, based on your moral understanding of the world? -Is being “actively homosexual” “evil” and incompatible with a “non-evil” society in your opinion, whether society does anything about it or not?? Is gay marriage “evil”? Or is it “good/neutral”? whether or not society does anything about it?

    “Societies in general are not restricted by Biblical measures because their laws are temporal and not theocratic. However, Western societies are informed by the traditions of Christianity and Judaism as handed down from 2000 years of interaction between the state and the church.”

    So, what are you arguing for here? Would a society based on biblical precepts (Old? New? Both? How to prioritize which precepts to use?) be one that was “good” in your opinion? Or, is a Biblical influenced society necessarily a “good” society, even if it is secular?

    “To learn about and become an informed participant in the great, never-ending struggle to try to understand “good” and “bad” and “evil” you must leave the realm of solipsism and accept the relative merits of the thousands of great minds before the advent of your own mind which have devoted lifetimes to this most basic of all concerns in the human condition.”

    This is the third time you raise this in various guises–but to what purpose? Working out moral implications is hard? Looking to previous thinkers is helpful? OK. I agree with you about that. But what is so interesting about this approach of yours, is that you offer little if any evidence that you actually understand what these authors actually hold. No nuanced view of “good” and “the good”, no awareness of the debates that have engaged these great minds as they talked to each other through the history of philosophy (and literature) concerning “good,” “bad,” and “evil”–just a listing of authors that you cite approvingly, as if this alone proves your case. I don’t know what college you teach (or taught at), but I find it hard to believe that your students would accept this level of argument from a fellow student, let alone their teacher.

    Re: dictionary for definitions. It may have escaped your notice but it is YOU who is using these words, not a DICTIONARY, so it would appear obvious to ask you what you mean when you use them. Which dictionary definitions of “evil” and “bad” do you hold, then?

    Given your stubborn refusal to engage in rational argument, I have to conclude that you do in fact hold an incoherent position with regards to moral imperatives–holding on the one hand that there are moral absolutes and thus that moral relativism is a flawed approach, but then also allowing for the possibility of critical “exceptions to the rules.” Another name for that is “situational ethics” which has a nice welcoming slope into moral relativism valley. You appear to embrace in a back-handed way the thing you say you loathe. Or, would you be willing to hold out for a third possibility–that there are a number of ethical “systems” (those great thinkers you keep mentioning) that might not align themselves with your apparent command ethics, but that are also not “moral relativism.” Just saying. It might be a way to help you out of the box canyon you currently find yourself in.

    Solipsism. Yes. That IS a mighty fine mirror you are looking at Heliotrope. I hope you can drag yourself away from it one day.

    Comment by Passing By — March 14, 2013 @ 2:34 am - March 14, 2013

  33. “It’s actually even simpler than that, Heliotrope.

    [North Malice Dirty] is playing a simple, childish game: everything [Passing By] says is wrong/evil/bad, and everything [Heliotrope] says is correct/perfect/good.”

    I am hoping to get a “straight” answer out of Heliotrope, North Malice Dirty, to a simple question or two about Heliotrope’s views, given what he has suggested concerning ethical behaviour, i.e., “good” and “evil” behaviour–on whether practising homosexuality is “evil” or not; and whether gay marriage is also evil or not. Once I have that cleared up, I would like to respond to you. Otherwise, if that is not forthcoming, c’est la vie…

    Comment by Passing By — March 14, 2013 @ 2:47 am - March 14, 2013

  34. No you’re not, Passing Gas.

    What you are doing is the typical Obama Party/”progressive” application of Alinsky Rule 4, which is to attempt to attack someone with their own book of rules.

    What Heliotrope is doing is skillfully reversing that back onto you by pointing out the hypocrisy of a moral relativist such as yourself who insists that there is no such thing as an objective standard of “bad” or “evil” when applied to your own behavior trying to demand that others produce and live by one. He has clearly demonstrated to all of us here that your standards for good and bad behavior consist of your screaming that whatever you do is right and whatever he does is wrong — which is both theoretically impossible and empirically false. The more you scream and cry and namecall him, the more you make obvious that you don’t care about logic, rationality, or intellectual argument: you only care about hurting and attacking people you don’t like.

    And I shall take your refusal to answer as a sign that you realize the irrationality of your argument and in fact hold an incoherent position. Just as you are attempting to apply to Heliotrope above, which now either forces you to answer or demonstrates the hypocrisy of your attack on Heliotrope.

    You are playing a game, child, and both Heliotrope and I are more than willing and capable to outmaneuver you and humiliate you at it. When you decide to argue like an intelligent adult, you will be treated as one.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 14, 2013 @ 9:03 am - March 14, 2013

  35. Happily, I am about to embark on three week adventure and my access to wi-fi will be limited. I say “happily” because Passing Gas would play this endless game of having me spell out all of the creation and traditions of our Western concepts which undergird our belief system of morality and ethics.

    I now find that Passing Gas has been totally intent upon prying out of me how I, alone, use our common system of morality and ethics when it comes to homosexuality. Not a problem. Homosexual acts are in the jaywalking level of evil. Homosexual acts are lust. They are gratification without the reward of pregnancy which is the basic, primal reason for sex and sex organs.

    I oppose gay marriage because it “rewards” shooting blanks as a societal good. I suggest civil unions to keep the state in ethical balance and out of the business of arbitrarily deciding moral trends by judicial fiat. If, however, each state decided the issue for gay marriage at the ballot box, I will accept the cultural shift.

    But, enough about me. Passing Gas has demonstrated an revulsion for dealing with the concept of evil. Passing Gas must have a computer print out of every jot and twiddle when it comes to “defending” the moral code and ethic of the Western world.

    Passing Gas does not see her reflection in the mirror Pope held up to her:

    Such shameless Bards we have; and yet ’tis true,
    There are as mad, abandon’d Criticks too.
    The Bookful Blockhead, ignorantly read,
    With Loads of Learned Lumber in his Head,
    With his own Tongue still edifies his Ears,
    And always List’ning to Himself appears.

    All Books he reads, and all he reads assails,
    From Dryden’s Fables down to Durfey’s Tales.
    With him, most Authors steal their Works, or buy;
    Garth did not write his own Dispensary.
    Name a new Play, and he’s the Poet’s Friend,
    Nay show’d his Faults – but when wou’d Poets mend?
    No Place so Sacred from such Fops is barr’d,
    Nor is Paul’s Church more safe than Paul’s Church-yard:
    Nay, fly to Altars; there they’ll talk you dead;
    For Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread.

    Passing Gas religiously ignores the wisdom of the ages and plays the game of bon vivant, diagnostic and pseudo gnostic critic whose role it is to nitpick, hair split, niggle, exact, assess, censor, and rule the whole thing out of order for failure of the judged to thread her needle in the wind of her own hot air.

    Thus it is always the case with moral relativism. It is nothing more or less than manipulation and its rules are the same as those for nailing Jello to the wall using a piece of wet spaghetti for the nail and a fresh caught eel for a hammer.

    Passing Gas has not courage for morality or ethics. No surprise. The only test for Passing Gas is a simple “what’s in it for me?” amoral assessment. This is always the course of outlaws who live by their own rules on the slippery slopes of existentialism.

    Comment by heliotrope — March 14, 2013 @ 9:56 am - March 14, 2013

  36. Dear moral relativist,

    “Not a problem.”
    Getting a clear statement from you has been a problem! So you are willing to accept a little evil, if that is society’s cultural preference. A big evil–as determined by society’s cultural preferences(?)–is not acceptable. OK.

    As for revulsion–no, I am just trying to get an understanding of the difference (if any) you believe exists between “evil” and “bad.” I still have no idea–and you are the guy who claims that these terms have “precise definitions.” How you get “revulsion” from my request for clarity is rather disingenuous.

    And as for ignoring “the wisdom of the ages”–one would have to make clear what was “the wisdom of the ages” that you were referring to–since that wisdom has an awful lot to say about these terms, as well as “good” and “the good,” and their differences and similarities. I note that the person who appears to be ignoring that particular history of thought is you, sport. And if I am looking into the mirror, you are right there starring back at me, you endearing narcissist!

    North Malice Dirty,
    [PB] “insists that there is no such thing as an objective standard of “bad” or “evil” when applied to your own behavior trying to demand that others produce and live by one.”

    Feel free to point out in this thread where you find evidence to support this claim, you Alinsky handbook user, you.

    “I shall take your refusal to answer…”
    Chill your jets, sport. As for an answer to your posts, I would just say that I find it rather sad, that you feel the need to defend–in a manner consistent with how you defend your economic and other views in other threads and posts–a commentator’s moral “vision” who has made it quite clear that you are leading a morally inferior, and even “evil” life (in at least in one part of it). I get your desire to defend his economic vision–but to lend active support here (as best you are able to in this case) is an act of and evidence for a level of self-loathing that I find difficult to get my head around, North Dallas Thirty. I am sorry.

    Comment by Passing By — March 14, 2013 @ 1:01 pm - March 14, 2013

  37. As for an answer to your posts, I would just say that I find it rather sad, that you feel the need to defend–in a manner consistent with how you defend your economic and other views in other threads and posts–a commentator’s moral “vision” who has made it quite clear that you are leading a morally inferior, and even “evil” life (in at least in one part of it). I get your desire to defend his economic vision–but to lend active support here (as best you are able to in this case) is an act of and evidence for a level of self-loathing that I find difficult to get my head around, North Dallas Thirty. I am sorry.

    Comment by Passing By — March 14, 2013 @ 1:01 pm – March 14, 2013

    But of course.

    As I noted above, your standards for good and bad behavior consist of your screaming that whatever you do is right and whatever Heliotrope, or anyone else with whom you hold differing views, is wrong.

    And since it is your goal in life to destroy, suppress, and kill anything with which you disagree, you assume it is Heliotrope’s.

    Slowly, I think, people are coming to the realization that to “progressives” and liberals such as yourself, life is truly a zero-sum game. You cannot win unless I lose. You cannot succeed unless I fail. You cannot ascend until I am knocked off the ladder. You cannot advance your career until you destroy Heliotrope’s.

    You may be familiar with the aphorism, “I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” That too is incomprehensible to you, because you truly do not believe any opposing view, any different opinion, anything other than what you have determined to be true has the right to exist. It must be suppressed, quashed, and destroyed lest the children be led into Error and away from the One True Light given to only You, the Lightworker.

    That really is the problem, Passing Gas. You are not interested in Heliotrope’s opinion; you are only interested in punishing and destroying him for expressing it. You demonstrate beautifully why so-called “scientific” regimes and revolutions such as the French, the Chinese, and the Russian devolve quickly into the Lavosier execution, Great Leap Forward, and Lysenkoism.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 14, 2013 @ 3:03 pm - March 14, 2013

  38. “You may be familiar with the aphorism, “I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.””

    Yes, I am. The Heliocentric one can say what he likes and express his opinion, provided it follows some ““minimum expectations” threshold REQUIRED for a “compatible society.”” He hasn’t fallen outside those bounds. You can disagree with someone and still accept that they have the right to their opinion. And I will also defend his right to say what he does, even if he gets unnecessarily coy at times about just what it is he actually means. I just have issues with his content which I express in the same manner as he does; i.e., in a not so respectful back and forth. You on the other hand, apparently do not have issues with his speech’s content. I find that sad, because you appear to accept his argument that you are acting in a morally inferior (even “evil”) manner because of the expression of your sexuality, and/or because of a possible desire to get married to someone of the same sex, even if it isn’t biologically procreative. And I disagree with those claims that he makes.

    “That really is the problem, [North Malice Dirty]. You are not interested in [Passing By’]s opinion; you are only interested in [well, the rest is a bit too histrionic for my tastes, but you get the drift...].”

    Comment by Passing By — March 14, 2013 @ 4:00 pm - March 14, 2013

  39. So you are willing to accept a little evil, if that is society’s cultural preference.

    Fool.

    I do not accept evil. Those are your terms. You are attempting to set me up as some sort of watchdog who shoots down any miscreant, no matter how small the infraction. How very authoritarian and Pol Pot-like of you.

    I am a sinner. Everyone I know is a sinner. Most of us who follow the teachings of Christ, recognize our transgressions and attempt to walk in the paths of righteousness. We do not damn others. We understand and feel deeply about the price Christ paid for mankind in His example of the perfect life. We are blessed to have His example and to have the intelligence to examine our vices and gain a perspective for atonement and ask for redemption.

    All of this goes right past your existential, amoral self. When you address me as a “moral relativist” it is proof positive that you have no idea of your own foolishness.

    You are a sinking ship with no lifeboats, no freight to throw overboard, no hope for yourself except at the mercy of the kindness of strangers.

    I am now hopping on a 22 hour flight and sadly welcome to be rid of your childish and half-witted attempt to manipulate me for your amusement.

    You can not stand the confidence and comfort that derives from a belief system. That is your burden to bear and not mine. Lucky for you, the vices and virtues provide no guidance, no substance, only nothingness.

    You have made your bed. Now get in power and start pushing us around.

    Comment by heliotrope — March 14, 2013 @ 4:52 pm - March 14, 2013

  40. Ah, the hilarity.

    The Heliocentric one can say what he likes and express his opinion,

    This becomes entirely too easy.

    Article 50. In accordance with the interests of the people and in order to strengthen and develop the socialist system, citizens of the USSR are guaranteed freedom of speech, of the press, and of assembly, meetings, street processions and demonstrations.

    Article 51. In accordance with the aims of building communism, citizens of the USSR have the right to associate in public organisations that promote their political activity and initiative and satisfaction of their various interests.

    Article 52. Citizens of the USSR are guaranteed freedom of conscience, that is, the right to profess or not to profess any religion, and to conduct religious worship or atheistic propaganda. Incitement of hostility or hatred on religious grounds is prohibited.

    Except for this one little sentence up in Article 39:

    Enjoyment by citizens of their rights and freedoms must not be to the detriment of the interests of society or the state, or infringe the rights of other citizens.

    And where have we seen that before?

    provided it follows some ““minimum expectations” threshold REQUIRED for a “compatible society.”

    So as before, we see the childish pattern emerge: you are free to do whatever you want and express whatever opinion you want as long as it’s the one with which I agree – and if not, you have no rights.

    Contrast that with a much more elegant document:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Notice the key difference: the USSR Constitution expressly limits the rights of citizens to those granted by the government, while the US Constitution expressly limits the power of government over citizens.

    And so it is with Passing Gas. The child is interested only in the accrual of power and the ability to control the speech and actions of others. The concept of the First Amendment – that the exercise of citizens’ rights is guaranteed by the restraining of the government — is anathema to those like Passing Gas and its owner Obama who intend to use the government to punish and control the beliefs and speech of others.

    And that leads us to this:

    You on the other hand, apparently do not have issues with his speech’s content. I find that sad, because you appear to accept his argument that you are acting in a morally inferior (even “evil”) manner because of the expression of your sexuality, and/or because of a possible desire to get married to someone of the same sex, even if it isn’t biologically procreative.

    Of course you find it sad.

    After all, your outright antireligious hatred and attempts to use the power of government to quash speech and beliefs with which you disagree look much worse when you can’t claim you’re doing it “for the children black people women gays”.

    Moreover, you make one point clear: I have “rights” only insofar as I agree with you, and if I dare to buck you, you will strip me of those rights.

    Put bluntly, it would be ludicrous to depend on the permanency of whatever “right” you conjure up out of penumbras and emanations and twisting of the Fourteenth Amendment when you blatantly disregard, ignore, and violate the first ten amendments for people you dislike. You cannot seriously argue that you support my marriage “rights” when you and your fellow screaming Obama pigs are blatantly arguing that I have none to bear arms.

    In short, you and your fellow leftists are like Stalin with less competency and regard for the rule of law. I am fully aware of that, which is why I would much rather side with a just and objective individual like Heliotrope with whom I can disagree in a respectful fashion than with a power-obsessed megalomaniac like yourself who offers pity in exchange for ideological and literal slavery.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 14, 2013 @ 10:10 pm - March 14, 2013

  41. “Fool.”
    Mayhaps you are right. After all, who but a fool would continue to engage with you as you hurl ad hominems, non sequiters, and appeals to authority, all in the clearly vain hope that you might grace this thread with a rational argument.

    “I do not accept evil. Those are your terms.”
    Actually, they are your terms. To whit: ” If, however, each state decided the issue for gay marriage at the ballot box, I will accept the cultural shift.” If homosexuality is evil, and by implication, gay marriage is evil, then to “accept the cultural shift” is to accept that this is the way of society. You could protest with the Rev Phelps and others of the Westboro Church who make no compromise with the evil they see. You choose not to, and accommodate yourself to this “naughty level of evil.”

    “We do not damn others.” Of course you don’t. But it does not stop you from making a judgement that those who are actively gay are in a state of sin.

    “When you address me as a “moral relativist” it is proof positive that” [I do not accept the non-arguments you present that leave unreconciled your love of command ethics with the desire to have "special exceptions" to those very commands.]

    “I am now hopping on a 22 hour flight.” Have a safe and reflective flight and vacation.

    And,
    ” “provided it follows some ““minimum expectations” threshold REQUIRED for a “compatible society.” So as before, we see the childish pattern emerge: you are free to do whatever you want and express whatever opinion you want as long as it’s the one with which I agree – and if not, you have no rights.”

    What is so funny about this is that if you had bothered to read Heliotrope’s comment preceding this claim, you will see that this is what he believes. Well done, sport, you just made my point for me. If you dislike the implications, take it up with Heliotrope, not me. Heliotrope’s position has some serious fracture points and internal contradictions. I am sorry.

    “Of course you find it sad.”
    You bet I do. The fact that you support Heliotrope’s views as to the sinfulness of being gay is sad, in my opinion, and for the reasons I have already expressed.

    ” I have “rights” only insofar as I agree with you, and if I dare to buck you, you will strip me of those rights.” No–in a fantasy world of your own construction maybe. I made that clear above, and why you confuse “content” with “right” is beyond me. What is it you don’t get about that distinction? Further, as an actual example, I disagree with you in this thread; you still speak and share your opinion as per the 1st Amendment–quite freely and forcefully, I might add. Your claim makes no sense given your own actions.

    And as for siding with Heliotrope, good luck to you. It doesn’t change the fact that you side with a “just and objective individual” who may have great compassion for you, but who also thinks you are morally inferior–and not just in the manner of all “us” sinners (what a quaint dodge Heliotrope gives us!)-wherein we are all morally inferior–committing sin out of accidental temptation in free will. But more acutely, as in the committing of sin (a “jaywalking level of evil”) out of biological compulsion, on the level of the deepest sense of self–as transgressing the will of God at its most profound level of necessity. That is a pretty big distinction, Dirty North Malice, whether you want to grok it or not.

    Comment by Passing By — March 15, 2013 @ 12:11 am - March 15, 2013

  42. Good to know that Passing Cas would support slavery, and opposes any form of SSM. In fact surely Passing Cas would have chided Rosa Parks for sitting in front. Since none of those “provided it follows some ““minimum expectations” threshold REQUIRED for a “compatible society.”

    Shorter Passing Cas, “You have a right to speak, as long as I agree with it.”

    Comment by The_Livewire — March 15, 2013 @ 12:05 pm - March 15, 2013

  43. Passing Gas rejects the great library collections which hold the thoughts of theologians of the ages.

    Passing Gas insists that to be true to religion, one must brook no evil and go out of his way to punish evil doers. For reference, see: Islamic fundamentalists.

    Passing gas rejects the teachings of the Buddah, Taoism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Sikhism, Zoroastrainism, Deism and more which seek to a brotherhood of understanding and seeking the good and triumphing over evil.

    Passing gas rejects the vices and virtues.

    Passing Gas must keep the door open for hedonism, nihilism, amorality and acts of unrestrained impulse.

    Most sadly, Passing gas has zero comprehension of hating the sin but loving the sinner.

    I am particularly amused that Passing Gas can not justify gay marriage on any terms other than a faddish impulse.

    All Passing Gas has is to play the game of how do you know that color is blue and not red?

    From what has been presented here, Passing Gas is just leaking to foul the air.

    No moral relativist yet has come forward with the roadmap and guardrails of how their secret code of ethics and morality operates. And Passing Gas is far too weak an intellect to be the one to do it.

    So, we have the draw which every educated person knows is coming when Passing Gas starts pontificating.

    Comment by heliotrope — March 15, 2013 @ 1:00 pm - March 15, 2013

  44. @ #32:

    Would a society based on biblical precepts (Old? New? Both? How to prioritize which precepts to use?) be one that was “good” in your opinion?

    Huh? Societies based on Biblical precepts produced Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, etc. Societies have their own life cycles. How can anyone possibly rate a society? Really dumb concept and even dumber question. What were you thinking? Are you trapped in the fallacy that a society or the gay community or the black community or the Jews are monolithic? Whew!

    Or, is a Biblical influenced society necessarily a “good” society, even if it is secular?

    Ditto, above answer.

    It may have escaped your notice but it is YOU who is using these words, not a DICTIONARY, so it would appear obvious to ask you what you mean when you use them.

    You must work on your comprehension skills. Some words express abstract concepts, not rigid definitions. Justice, Equality, Racism, Privacy, Fairness, Love, Hate, Anger, Peace, Pride, Sympathy, Bravery, Loyalty, Honesty, Integrity, Compassion, Charity, Success, Courage, Deceit, Skill, Beauty, Brilliance, Pain, Misery, Beliefs, Truth, Faith, Liberty, Knowledge, Thought, Culture, Trust, Dedication Progress, Education, Hospitality, Leisure, Trouble, Friendships, Relaxation, morality, ethics, good, evil, democratic, and on and on and on.

    You want me to turn the abstract (which has puzzled minds for the ages and resulted in great libraries of wisdom to use as a foundation) and give you concrete definitions and absolute rules and deal with it all as some sort of calculus that can be expressed in formulaic scratchings.

    How silly can any silly goose get? How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? When are you going to come off your cloud and learn to deal with your uncertain concept of reality and to get a clue?

    You are a Kelvinist at heart and you should spend time learning how to worship him and to spread the word.

    Really, you undress yourself in great flourishes like any pseudo-intellectual on an ego trip. I would not put you or your meanderings in front of students. To do so would be to toy with the abstract concept of obscenity.

    One final observation: You progressives demagogue with abstract terms of blame (racism, inequality, social justice, feminism, fairness, etc.) with relish and impunity. But you sure do get prissy up-tight when you confront abstract concepts like morality, fidelity, ethics, evil, dishonesty and corruption that spoil your statist, totalitarian based pudding

    Spin on that in your ever dizzy spinning mind and then report back with the Authoritative Passing Gas Treatise on Common Sense and the Order of the Human Universe in the Ideal Society.

    We will keep the eternal flame lit for your convenience.

    They also serve who stand in line with their hands out to subsist on other people’s money. (And other such progressives maxims of the New Age tinkerers and Guardians of Entropy, decline, degradation, crumbling, collapse, and chaos.)

    Comment by heliotrope — March 15, 2013 @ 4:27 pm - March 15, 2013

  45. Ah, TL, “Since none of those “provided it follows some ““minimum expectations” threshold REQUIRED for a “compatible society.” ”

    I will just repeat what I said in the earlier comment. “What is so funny about this is that if you had bothered to read Heliotrope’s comment preceding this claim, you will see that this is what he believes. … you just made my point for me. If you dislike the implications, take it up with Heliotrope, not me. Heliotrope’s position has some serious fracture points and internal contradictions. I am sorry. ”

    And, as for Heliotrope–welcome back–and in less than your 22 hour flight time; and without wi-fi as well. You definitely have God on your side to pull that miracle off. Well done and Cool Bananas. I hope your vacation is going swimmingly. You said some things…

    “Huh? Societies based on Biblical precepts produced Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, etc. Societies have their own life cycles. How can anyone possibly rate a society? Really dumb concept and even dumber question. What were you thinking? Are you trapped in the fallacy that a society or the gay community or the black community or the Jews are monolithic? Whew!”
    I guess your answer is “it depends on more factors than I initially shared with you.” OK

    “zero comprehension of hating the sin but loving the sinner.” Since my point I made is based on a distinction in what kinds of sinners there are and the consequences therein, I don’t have much to add to your off the mark comment.

    “rejects” Oh, really–do present your evidence from this thread for your claim–I appear to reject an awful lot-; do you want to add more religions I turn my back on? Don’t worry about piling on. Oh, Taoism… really–what in particular? I didn’t realize I had to “justify” gay marriage, given that I asked for clarification of your understanding of your position, Heliotrope. Something that is difficult for you to do. There are places where your position doesn’t make a lot of sense, as far as I can tell–but then again, you are pretty reticent about sharing it any detail, so one has to piece it together.

    But this much I do know–you show no appetite for rational argument. You call out names (either as insults or as invocations to aid you)–and that would be okey dokey and amusing to wade through if you matched it with an argument–but instead, it is what it is. That is the FOURTH time you have made that argument to authority by the way–and nothing to show any actual understanding about those figures–except to say–”Some words express abstract concepts, not rigid definitions.” I wonder about what “rigid” means here. Honestly, I’d take a “flabby” definition, if I could get one from you/ Maybe even a “shy” one I also wonder if any philosophers of note (and not just those nihilist types you really dislike) have looked at those “abstract” concepts and have ever worked to define them with words; you know, offer “definitions” and “distinctions”. Hint–yes they have–who’d have guessed. Many philosophers do that kind of work–it comes with the territory.

    By the way, I still offer my suggestion in good faith. Give this thread discussion between you and I to your students, and ask them to figure out who has shown a desire or some evidence for arguing rationally and who doesn’t. They may agree that I am completely out of bounds–but then again, they might also point out the same things I have been pointing out as well.

    PS. I liked the Kelvin site–that was silly and fun. Thank you.

    Comment by Passing By — March 15, 2013 @ 10:51 pm - March 15, 2013

  46. But this much I do know–you show no appetite for rational argument.

    But of course.

    After all, Passing Gas, we’ve been over this before: you are a child, operating at the level of a child, insisting that you are always right and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    In that case, Heliotrope’s argument will NEVER be rational or logical to you, because you do not agree with the outcome. The concept that an argument can be rational and logical and reach a conclusion with which you disagree is quite frankly beyond both your educational and psychological capacity to understand.

    Which makes this particularly funny:

    By the way, I still offer my suggestion in good faith. Give this thread discussion between you and I to your students, and ask them to figure out who has shown a desire or some evidence for arguing rationally and who doesn’t. They may agree that I am completely out of bounds–but then again, they might also point out the same things I have been pointing out as well.

    And of course, when they point out the former and agree with Heliotrope that you are an ignorant bigot and gasbag, out will come the panoply of excuses as to why they are wrong.

    Which then leads to why I trust Heliotrope, as ironically displayed in this statement of sneering contempt from you:

    It doesn’t change the fact that you side with a “just and objective individual” who may have great compassion for you, but who also thinks you are morally inferior–and not just in the manner of all “us” sinners (what a quaint dodge Heliotrope gives us!)-wherein we are all morally inferior–committing sin out of accidental temptation in free will.

    Of course.

    Heliotrope indicates in this statement that he is a) conscious of his own fallibility and failures and b) more than willing to acknowledge and judge himself by the same standards to which he holds others.

    You are mentally and psychologically incapable of doing either. Indeed, your entire bloviation process is nothing more than an attempt to throw every component of the junk drawer at someone who demonstrates your wrongness and holds you to the standards you try to impose on others until they go away.

    Yours is the loan shark’s “agreement”, the duplicitous boyfriend’s “understanding”, and the Mephistophelean “bargain”; what’s mine is mine, what’s yours is mine, and it’s your fault for being stupid enough to sign.

    Heliotrope has morals, expresses them, lives by them, restrains his behavior by them — and, most importantly, recognizes that he has plenty of room for improvement. He exemplifies nicely the quote of Shakespeare: “The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”

    Which is why he does (and correctly) refer to you as a fool.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 15, 2013 @ 11:46 pm - March 15, 2013

  47. North Dallas Thirty,
    I know you just do this stuff for shits and giggles, but really–what rational argument are you making here?

    I know that “You are a poopy head, PB,” snort, snuffle, snort, snuffle, snort…repeat as needed, etc, etc, etc…” is your trusty fallback position. But, come on, dude–its so funny that I can’t even take this seriously. I’ll say this though, you make me laugh, North Dallas Thirty, you really do. Thank you.

    Oh, I just love this–thank you for the compliment, but you shouldn’t, really:
    ” “The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” Which is why he does (and correctly) refer to you as a fool.”

    Yes, and I I accepted his judgement at the time, and I’ll accept your judgement this time as well–for exactly the same reasons! “Mayhaps you are right. After all, who but a fool would continue to engage with you as you hurl ad hominems, non sequiters, and appeals to authority, all in the clearly vain hope that you might grace this thread with a rational argument.”

    So, thank you for once again using Heliotrope’s own word (and your own, North Dallas Thirty) to make my point.

    Be well.

    Comment by Passing By — March 16, 2013 @ 12:54 am - March 16, 2013

  48. God was on my side. My flight to South Africa was changed from one which went first to Amsterdam and then to Ethiopia and then to Johannesburg to one that went from Washington to Senegal and then to Johannesburg. Seven hours to Dakar, an hour on the tarmac for crew change, fueling and new passengers and then eight hours to Johannesburg. I was taken to a guesthouse which has wonderful wi-fi connections. As I go out today to Burgersfort in Mpumalanga, I may find a less accommodating situation for getting on the net.

    But, thank you for checking on my times, wi-fi connections and general veracity. My trip is a working one, but I will enjoy God’s creation and his children here as I do every day and everywhere I am.

    I guess your answer is “it depends on more factors than I initially shared with you.” OK

    It is to laugh. Now you blame me for not tediously revealing what is in all those great libraries and recapping all the great debates and giving you a free and thorough education. Not that you would take one, of course. In the words of the late, grating Levi, you would “have to be dragged kicking and screaming into” the enlightenment.

    You tried to make me take the role of absolutist so that you could cast me down as some sort of charlatan and totalitarian. I have never come to this site scolding and demeaning the hosts or the participants for being gay. I have always made it clear that I am not gay and that I do not believe that gays are monolithic or some sort of alien life form to be approached as a strange anomaly. It is you that insisted I am “shy” and revealingly cloying about lying. I responded, finally, to what you produced out of thin air as your hidden pressing concern: Does Heliotrope (who always faces the sun) think gays are evil? Then you decided I must be a moral relativist, because I “deem” gay lust to be in the misdemeanor category of evil. And you totally bypass (Passing By?) hating the sin while loving the sinner. You need me to be a Westboro Baptist.

    If is you who seek state totalitarianism so that through the force of political correctness and selective abstractions you and yours can destroy me and all of us who take a measured view of the road to utopia.

    I have re-labled you Passing Gas for obvious reasons and the pratfall comedy of it all. I will now switch to By-Passing as you have once again shown that you can not and will not and and no hope of dealing with the stink you stir up. Furthermore, you lake the humility and humanity to be reasonable. What a petulant, pus-filled personality you must have. And being scared of the truth or the aspects of unfolding wisdom must be a real bitch.

    Comment by heliotrope — March 16, 2013 @ 2:12 am - March 16, 2013

  49. NDT,

    Your comments are awesome. I love your loan shark’s agreement and quote from Shakespeare. By-Passing is the personification of the misery of the Merchant of Venice. A pound of flesh is such a lowly prize.

    Comment by heliotrope — March 16, 2013 @ 2:16 am - March 16, 2013

  50. Oh Heliotrope,
    Good to see that God is on your side. Again the non-sequiter(s), the appeals to authority, the ad hominems… at least you are consistent.

    “Now you blame me for not tediously revealing…” That made no sense at all. How exactly is that related to the quoted question above it? Seem like separate points, don’t you think?

    As for “tedious”–well, yes, it is tedious asking you to explain yourself or demonstrate instances in this thread where my godlessness is on display.

    “Does Heliotrope (who always faces the sun) think gays are evil?”
    You answered it. IYO, misdemeanour evil, but yes.
    “Then you decided I must be a moral relativist, because I “deem” gay lust to be in the misdemeanor category of evil.”
    No. I decided you are a moral relativist because you have a command ethics structure (follow the natural law/God’s will), but allow exceptions to the rules (or natural law/God’s will) that you say you follow (e.g., lying)

    “And you totally bypass (Passing By?) hating the sin while loving the sinner.”
    Nope–since we have no idea of how you construct your understanding of sin (and by golly isn’t that a topic all in itself), one is left with piecing it together from bits scattered here and there. It is quite possible to believe that while you may think of sin, as a sinner yourself in one way (an act of free will and/or a lot more besides?); that might not be how you see sin, in the context of folks who are gay (“act” of necessity and/or a lot more possibilities besides?). So how you relate to yourself as a sinner may not be how you relate to gay people as sinners. You might be loving different things, so to speak. Rather than offering a trite saying, it might require you to elucidate your views on the subject. But that is work, and its far easier to tell us that you know a lot and deign to leave it at that–and that poor PB does not have your awe-inspiring (gulp!!!) knowledge of these matters, and should just take your word for it all. You are total awesomely awesomeness personified. But a few possible questions to get at that trite little saying… Is sin a matter of free will? Or, does following the necessity of one’s nature preclude sin? Or is that all irrelevant to you? Is being gay a state of necessity or choice? Do you have a Catholic or Calvinist or Lutheran conception of sin? Or is your Christian (?) notion of sin one of your own magnificent construction, honed to a sharp edge from the Gospels & Deuteronomy, tossed together with wisdom gained from pouring over deep religious treatises of Taoist sages and Hindu mystics, with a soupcon of Sts. Augustine and Aquinas, as you interpret them, thrown in for seasoning? Buggered if I know.

    “Your comments are awesome.” I agree. They are totally awesomely awesome, as I have made clear in my replies to North Dallas Thirty.

    Comment by Passing By — March 16, 2013 @ 3:49 am - March 16, 2013

  51. Pffffffftttttt! Piffle.

    Now the fool demands the unification of the Christian sects and the creation of the unified doctrine. Shall we call it the Council of Nicea IIa through k? First we will do the one true Biblical Canon and either get the Jews with the program or just banish the suckers for good. Then we will establish one orthodoxy and force the Greeks and the Russians and the Copts and the splinter Constantine division to cut the crap and get on board. Then we will get the Christian soldiers all armed up and march everyone to Rome.

    Yeah, that’s the ticket. And the little meathead, By-Passing, shall lead them.

    It is to laugh.

    Saw a baboon today sitting in the middle of the road daring to get clocked by a passing lorry. Just saying……

    Comment by heliotrope — March 16, 2013 @ 1:07 pm - March 16, 2013

  52. “Now the fool demands the unification of the Christian sects and the creation of the unified doctrine. Shall we call it the Council of Nicea IIa through k? First we will do the one true Biblical Canon and either get the Jews with the program or just banish the suckers for good. Then we will establish one orthodoxy and force the Greeks and the Russians and the Copts and the splinter Constantine division to cut the crap and get on board. Then we will get the Christian soldiers all armed up and march everyone to Rome.”

    And don’t forget the Sedevacantalists, the Orientals, and the Assyrians. And that other mob who split as well a bit more recently, if you know what I mean–

    “It is to laugh.” I have to agree with you there–what a delightful message –cracked me right up. You are quite funny when you relax a little bit. Grab another My Tai.

    And as for baboons…, I thought you might like this, Mufasa.

    By the way, how are you finding South Africa? Are you in Pretoria? Are the jacaranda trees still in bloom?

    Be well, Christian Soldier.

    Comment by Passing By — March 16, 2013 @ 3:40 pm - March 16, 2013

  53. I know you just do this stuff for shits and giggles, but really–what rational argument are you making here?

    A simple and straightforward one: you are a child, operating at the level of a child, insisting that you are always right and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    I know that “You are a poopy head, PB,” snort, snuffle, snort, snuffle, snort…repeat as needed, etc, etc, etc…” is your trusty fallback position. But, come on, dude–its so funny that I can’t even take this seriously. I’ll say this though, you make me laugh, North Dallas Thirty, you really do. Thank you.

    As the quote goes: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

    Yes, and I I accepted his judgement at the time, and I’ll accept your judgement this time as well–for exactly the same reasons! “Mayhaps you are right. After all, who but a fool would continue to engage with you as you hurl ad hominems, non sequiters, and appeals to authority, all in the clearly vain hope that you might grace this thread with a rational argument.”

    Of course.

    As another famous quotation goes, “Only a fool knows everything. A wise man knows how little he knows.”

    And, as you have made clear to us, you know everything.

    LOL.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 16, 2013 @ 7:29 pm - March 16, 2013

  54. ““First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.””
    I just seem to be stuck at the laughing bit, sorry. And actually, our argumentative relationship is working in reverse, I think. Thanks for recognizing that you do use non-sequiters, ad hominems, and arguments to authority. You’ll keep using them I am sure, but its good that you know that that is your argumentative style.

    ““The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”” “As another famous quotation goes, “Only a fool knows everything. A wise man knows how little he knows.””

    So, the wise man is a fool, and he knows everything but he also knows that he knows very little, or…. OK, sport, you do realize that this is a contradictory set of beliefs–shared in the space of a few comments. Or, is it that the fool knows nothing but knows that he knows nothing, or something, but isn’t that the wise man, who is a fool, or a rabbit, or maybe its an early bird that catches a stitch in time…. danger Will RObinson, mind caught in logic loop, overload, warning, warning…!!!

    “lol.” Glad you can keep a sense of humor. Cheers.

    Comment by Passing By — March 17, 2013 @ 2:16 am - March 17, 2013

  55. By the way, how are you finding South Africa? Are you in Pretoria? Are the jacaranda trees still in bloom?

    Spring is the time for that sight. Try October.

    I have found South Africa the way I always find it. Thank you. Have you decided that I am in South Africa, or are you still in master sleuth and doubting dodger mode?

    Comment by heliotrope — March 17, 2013 @ 1:15 pm - March 17, 2013

  56. “Have you decided that I am in South Africa, or are you still in master sleuth and doubting dodger mode?”
    Or a better question–have you decided to become less defensive?

    Comment by Passing By — March 17, 2013 @ 3:44 pm - March 17, 2013

  57. And actually, our argumentative relationship is working in reverse, I think. Thanks for recognizing that you do use non-sequiters, ad hominems, and arguments to authority. You’ll keep using them I am sure, but its good that you know that that is your argumentative style.

    But of course.

    After all, Passing Gas, we’ve been over this before: you are a child, operating at the level of a child, insisting that you are always right and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    So, the wise man is a fool, and he knows everything but he also knows that he knows very little, or…. OK, sport, you do realize that this is a contradictory set of beliefs–shared in the space of a few comments. Or, is it that the fool knows nothing but knows that he knows nothing, or something, but isn’t that the wise man, who is a fool, or a rabbit, or maybe its an early bird that catches a stitch in time…. danger Will RObinson, mind caught in logic loop, overload, warning, warning…!!!

    But of course.

    As stated before, your worldview depends on the unshakable conviction that you know everything, that you are always right, and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    Hence you can’t understand how anyone truly intelligent could admit their limitations, since you equate intelligence with never admitting your own transgressions, limitations, or failings.

    And it is why you cannot and will not learn, because you do not believe that there is anything that anyone else could possibly teach you.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 17, 2013 @ 8:39 pm - March 17, 2013

  58. “But of course.”

    Yes. That is about it NDT. You find one avenue of attack closed off or shown to be off base (and some have been way off base), and rather than acknowledge it, you just ignore your boo-boo, and move on to another line of attack. Once, might be an accident. But that ignoring your boo-boos, and attacking anew, is your one of your signature moves. A simple question for you: When was the last time you told a liberal or progressive you were wrong (not facetiously, but in a genuine attempt to accept that a lib/prog voice had got it right, and you wrong) about something on this website’s threads? You know from your own experience that I have acknowledged when I got something wrong (no where near as often as you would like–that is for sure!), but I have done so, on occasion. I have never seen it with you. So, show me. Otherwise, I will let stand by your comment [amended]:

    “[In regards to liberals and/or progressives] your worldview depends on the unshakable conviction that you know everything, that you are always right, and that anyone [liberal and/or progressive] who disagrees with you is wrong…. And it is why you cannot and will not learn, because you do not believe that there is anything that anyone [liberal and/or progressive] could possibly teach you.”

    Comment by Passing By — March 18, 2013 @ 1:24 am - March 18, 2013

  59. But of course, Passing Gas.

    As stated before, your worldview depends on the unshakable conviction that you know everything, that you are always right, and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    And that’s why you’re screaming and crying now that I have never done something and demanding that I prove you wrong, while refusing to provide any links or support for your assertion that you have.

    Until you produce links, I shall not. I shall merely take your failure to do so as yet another admittance of your childish belief that you are always right and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    And that continues to brand you as a fool.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 18, 2013 @ 2:45 pm - March 18, 2013

  60. “Until you produce links, I shall not.”

    OK. Let us be clear–if I produce a link to a thread entry from Gay Patriot that shows that I acknowledge that I was wrong on a point my conservative/libertarian/etc opponent challenges or offers, you will offer a link that shows you doing so with a liberal/progressive opponent?

    Do you agree to do this?

    Comment by Passing By — March 18, 2013 @ 11:39 pm - March 18, 2013

  61. OK. Let us be clear–if I produce a link to a thread entry from Gay Patriot that shows that I acknowledge that I was wrong on a point my conservative/libertarian/etc opponent challenges or offers, you will offer a link that shows you doing so with a liberal/progressive opponent?

    Do you agree to do this?

    Comment by Passing By — March 18, 2013 @ 11:39 pm – March 18, 2013

    Of course not, fool.

    You made the claim. You back it up.

    Once again, you scream and cry and demand that I prove you wrong while refusing to provide any links or support for your assertion that you have.

    And by failing to do so, you demonstrate once again your childish belief that you are always right and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    Now pontificate and squirm and cry and make excuses and try to divert from the fact that you won’t hold yourself to the same standards you demand of others. It only demonstrates, again, your childish belief that you are always right that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 19, 2013 @ 9:44 pm - March 19, 2013

  62. You made the claim. You back it up, specifically comments #49-56.

    Proof of the pudding time, my little darling.

    Comment by Passing By — March 19, 2013 @ 11:58 pm - March 19, 2013

  63. Oh my….LOL.

    Really, Passing Gas?

    Your link is to someone named “Cas”, not to you.

    Granted, this “Cas” argues quite similarly and equally childishly, as we see in this comment here:

    ,blockquote>It is clear that I cannot support a counter-claim as regards “record tax receipts” as you have kindly showed me. However, in the course of our conversation, you have said a couple of things that warrant comment.

    So as we see, this Cas still desperately tries to spin and spin and spin that it isn’t wrong, that the persons who proved it wrong are in fact wrong, and that it in fact is correct.

    Again, the same childish pattern.

    Now, compare this to a statement from an actual adult:

    58.Sonic, upon reading that again, I apologize; that was a very unfair and wrong statement to make about you. In all the time we’ve interacted, you’ve never behaved that way, and it was wrong for me to say that about you. I got upset and said something about you that wasn’t true, and for that I am very sorry.

    No “but”, no “however”, no attempt to blame the other person for their behavior; only a direct statement that they did something wrong and apologized for it.

    In direct contrast to this “Cas”, which NEVER acknowledges that it is wrong and continues to repeatedly try to twist and spin and break the discussion so that it can blame other people and claim THEY are wrong for its mistakes.

    Try again, fool.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 20, 2013 @ 1:29 pm - March 20, 2013

  64. I am glad you can admit you are wrong about a personal attack; I wonder if you can admit being wrong about a statement of fact? I would LOVE to have read the original thread to see the context for your retraction–must have been a doozy… but it apparently no longer exists.

    As for the rest-I don’t have to try again. I acknowledged I was wrong about an issue of fact. Apparently, you cannot grasp the idea that one can be wrong about something, whilst still hold that they are right about something else. You can argue irrationally as much as you please, NDT. I just disagree with you on going that far down the road, as you do.

    As for your quote, “An actual adult”: I have no idea if you are an actual adult. I think the jury is out on that one.

    Comment by Passing By — March 20, 2013 @ 6:18 pm - March 20, 2013

  65. But of course.

    As stated before, Passing Gas, your worldview depends on the unshakable conviction that you know everything, that you are always right, and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    To whit:

    I am glad you can admit you are wrong about a personal attack; I wonder if you can admit being wrong about a statement of fact?

    No, you’re not glad. That’s why your immediate next reaction was to demand that I admit being wrong.

    If you were to acknowledge my statement as is, your previous statement that I had never done such a thing would be wrong. Therefore it cannot be right, and you start spinning and adding qualifiers to make it wrong.

    Again: Your worldview depends on the unshakable conviction that you know everything, that you are always right, and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    Which leads us to this hilarious gem.

    Apparently, you cannot grasp the idea that one can be wrong about something, whilst still hold that they are right about something else.

    Which, from an argument standpoint, is analogous to screaming that your ability to add two and two correctly should get you an A in English.

    As usual, the other person is wrong. Not you. Never you. It’s their fault, their mistake, their failing, never yours — no matter how wild the accusation has to become.

    Again: Your worldview depends on the unshakable conviction that you know everything, that you are always right, and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    And lastly:

    As for the rest-I don’t have to try again. I acknowledged I was wrong about an issue of fact.

    You’ve acknowledged nothing of the sort. You linked to some individual named “Cas” and tried to pass its hilarious attempts to avoid at all cost its acknowledging it was wrong as relevant.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 20, 2013 @ 9:42 pm - March 20, 2013

  66. What a bullshitter you are! And one to be quietly admired.

    “As stated before, [NDT], your worldview depends on the unshakable conviction that you know everything, that you are always right, and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.” There, I can do that sort of nonsense as well. Its wrong, whether I say it or you do.

    “I wonder if you can admit being wrong about a statement of fact?” = “[this] reaction was to demand that I admit being wrong.”
    Only in an irrational universe are these two statements the same. Why you “cry and scream and demand” that I see them as the same is an act of aggressive bullshitting.

    “Which, from an argument standpoint, is analogous to screaming that your ability to add two and two correctly should get you an A in English.” And you think they are “analogous” arguments? Wow; again really funny! I’m sorry, but it is funny.

    “As usual, the other person is wrong. Not you. Never you. It’s their fault, their mistake, their failing, never yours — no matter how wild the accusation has to become.” Easy, sport; you are starting to froth at the mouth. You are getting a tad overwrought now.

    As for having used the handle, “Cas,” yes I have posted under that handle earlier on this site. Since “you screamed and cried and demanded” that I acknowledge being so in an earlier thread and have been reading threads where this was established, your surprise seems, well, disingenuous at best.

    As for being a “fool,” yes, I grant that. As I said–only a fool would continue a conversation with someone as committed as you are to being a bullshitter. I am an optimist by nature, and one has to be in order to keep the hope that you will give up your craptaular ways.

    Comment by Passing By — March 20, 2013 @ 11:34 pm - March 20, 2013

  67. What a bullshitter you are!

    But of course.

    As stated before, Passing Gas, your worldview depends on the unshakable conviction that you know everything, that you are always right, and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    Hence for you to criticize what I’m doing is a given. You really can’t do anything else.

    “As stated before, [NDT], your worldview depends on the unshakable conviction that you know everything, that you are always right, and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.” There, I can do that sort of nonsense as well. Its wrong, whether I say it or you do.

    Well, of course you can do it; after all, you are always right, regardless of what you do, and anyone else is always wrong.

    And we know that you believe your doing this is right, because if it were wrong and you genuinely believed it was wrong, you wouldn’t be doing it.

    “I wonder if you can admit being wrong about a statement of fact?” = “[this] reaction was to demand that I admit being wrong.”
    Only in an irrational universe are these two statements the same. Why you “cry and scream and demand” that I see them as the same is an act of aggressive bullshitting.

    But of course.

    After all, Passing Gas, we’ve been over this before: you are a child, operating at the level of a child, insisting that you are always right and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    In that case, my argument will NEVER be rational or logical to you, because you do not agree with the outcome. The concept that an argument can be rational and logical and reach a conclusion with which you disagree is quite frankly beyond both your educational and psychological capacity to understand.

    “Which, from an argument standpoint, is analogous to screaming that your ability to add two and two correctly should get you an A in English.” And you think they are “analogous” arguments? Wow; again really funny! I’m sorry, but it is funny.

    As the quote goes: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

    As for having used the handle, “Cas,” yes I have posted under that handle earlier on this site. Since “you screamed and cried and demanded” that I acknowledge being so in an earlier thread and have been reading threads where this was established, your surprise seems, well, disingenuous at best.

    But of course.

    After all, Passing Gas, we’ve been over this before: you are a child, operating at the level of a child, insisting that you are always right and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    This is why my pointing out your deception, my calling out the fact that you were deceiving people, and then my maneuvering you into acknowledging your deception by actually treating you as if I were going along with it makes me the bad person.

    We expect no better. It isn’t in your nature or capability to admit that you deliberately tried to deceive people by posting under a different screen name.

    “As usual, the other person is wrong. Not you. Never you. It’s their fault, their mistake, their failing, never yours — no matter how wild the accusation has to become.” Easy, sport; you are starting to froth at the mouth. You are getting a tad overwrought now.

    But of course.

    As stated before, Passing Gas, your worldview depends on the unshakable conviction that you know everything, that you are always right, and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    Thus you take the hilarious tack that facts and truth fluctuate in factual and truthful content depending on the emotions of the person stating them.

    This is, of course, a fallacy. But you are a desperate and malicious child, and a desperate and malicious child will say and do anything to get their way, even if they are clearly not in any position whatsoever to make the type of statements they are making.

    Which leads us finally to this.

    As for being a “fool,” yes, I grant that. As I said–only a fool would continue a conversation with someone as committed as you are to being a bullshitter. I am an optimist by nature, and one has to be in order to keep the hope that you will give up your craptaular ways.

    But of course.

    As stated before, Passing Gas, your worldview depends on the unshakable conviction that you know everything, that you are always right, and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

    Hence for you to criticize what I’m doing is a given. You really can’t do anything else.

    Furthermore, since I know you will make statements which you are in no position to judge factually, i.e, your “foaming at the mouth” statement, what that also indicates is that you will say or do anything to get what you want, regardless of how false it is.

    People, conservatives in particular, generally have the admirable traits of trust and self-correction; that is, when called a racist, most people will instinctively think that a) someone wouldn’t be saying that unless it was true and b) they ought to change their behavior accordingly.

    Naturally, liberals such as yourself exploit this, as you do every other worthwhile virtue of mankind, for your own self-interest.

    Fortunately, you have revealed yourself to be on numerous occasions a liar who will say and do anything, no matter how outrageous or non-factual, to attack and harm other people.

    Therefore your screaming about my being a “bullshitter”, “craptacular ways”, etc. is meaningless; since we already know you will lie to get your way, all we need do is consider this as yet another one of your lies.

    Furthermore, it betrays the desperation. You are a child, and a child wins by volume and persistence, not by superior argumentation. You literally are unable to disengage and leave this conversation because your doing so would be a tacit admission that you are wrong.

    And as an adult, I intend to exploit that to the fullest. I need only outlast you, and I will have won in your eyes — which is a psychological blow from which I doubt you will recover.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 21, 2013 @ 4:56 pm - March 21, 2013

  68. “You are a child, and a child wins by volume and persistence, not by superior argumentation.”

    But of course.

    Leaving aside the fact that this is a description of your modus operandi (by your own admission), you must live in a very loud place, NDT. Everyone who disagrees with you is “screaming.” Really? How do you know they are screaming? The usual Internet convention is to use block letters. As for me using “screaming, etc…” copying your words, you got me–but it is because I find your hyperbole about “screaming, etc” so funny to begin with. By the way, I never said “foaming” right? I said “froth”-ing. I will wait for you to acknowledge that you made a boo-boo of fact there (I’m just messing with you! :)). I am also fascinated by your need to cling to your mantra about my supposed all-knowingness. Its an unprovable axiom, but as a matter of faith, it is no worse than others you could have chosen, I guess. Its repetition has a nice rhythm to it which I can appreciate, but then poetry such as yours doesn’t have to be true, just aesthetically interesting. It doesn’t even have to make sense. So, I like your poetry.

    Since you claim things that can be objectively shown to be false, one could argue that you are a liar, knowingly peddling lies. But I don’t think so. That is why I prefer “bullshitter” or “bullshit artist” because it is not clear that you actually differentiate truth from fiction. so it is not clear that you can actually choose to lie. How much of these words you use, you actually believe, is an open question though.

    However, the most interesting thing you have said is this:

    “You literally are unable to disengage and leave this conversation because your doing so would be a tacit admission that you are wrong….I need only outlast you, and I will have won in your eyes — which is a psychological blow from which I doubt you will recover.”

    Would it be right to assume that you are prepared to stay here with me on this thread–to “outlast” me? Why would me leaving the thread be a tacit admission that I was wrong (and wrong about what, exactly)? I ask because the argument of this original thread is long gone, and if you are going to stay active on this thread, come hell or high water, this offers us an exciting possibility, NDT. I doubt anyone else is interested in this thread because we are “over the hill” so to speak. What do you want to do with this opportunity?

    I ask because even as I have made clear that there is plenty I do not admire about your approach, I can appreciate qualities that you show: Your doggedness and indomitable will to never give in or give an inch, your unrelenting desire to attack those views you disagree with, and your loyalty to those you consider friends.

    The one thing that is also clear is that you are thinking of this interaction between us as one between opponents/enemies. I don’t see it that way–my assumption set is different to yours. We have each other pegged a certain way–you see me as a liar and a fool; I see you as a bullshit artist and someone who doesn’t differentiate between what is true and what is fiction. Maybe we are right; maybe we are wrong–but, it leaves space for other things to do and ask, now we have established that set of beliefs.

    For instance, when you say: “People, conservatives in particular, generally have the admirable traits of trust and self-correction; that is, when called a racist, most people will instinctively think that a) someone wouldn’t be saying that unless it was true and b) they ought to change their behaviour accordingly.” I am assuming that this sort of thing happened to you–is that right? What did you do in these instances, and when did you realize you had to change your approach into the more muscular one you use today to resist these kinds of charges? How did your views evolve through time, or was it a sudden break with the past?

    Comment by Passing By — March 21, 2013 @ 9:54 pm - March 21, 2013

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.