Tag Archives: Nihilism

Compassion

Here I sit, listening to Bruce Springsteen… yeah… ok, on with the thought.

A while ago I wrote for Independence Day that we do not live in a Christian nation, and neither do we really live in the free country that we dream of: all that is left is the dream. I said that I  was afraid that we have already slipped so far down the slope into despotism that the options to clamber back out as a nation are grim and few. We are passing, what the Tocqueville critical mass… In that same post I shared a poem (a just ok sort of poem) where I wrote this:

O Lord I know not if to pray
For justice swift and soon today,
Or if like Abraham, to plead
For yet more time and grace indeed!

I put a lot of weight to the songs that people listen to, and to what they say. And while listening to ‘The River’ I put words to a long held thought.

With the key verse being:

“I got a job working construction for the Johnstown Company
But lately there ain’t been much work on account of the economy
Now all them things that seemed so important
Well mister they vanished right into the air
Now I just act like I don’t remember
Mary acts like she don’t care”

And suddenly, it was clear that many (or most) Republicans have given up on Republicans… the voters don’t trust any of the people running for office, and there are so very many tired people: people who have slid the most of the way into the final nihilism of Godlessness that they are like the monopoly player against whom the rules now feel stacked, who cannot win no matter what, and they flip the table. At least Trump doesn’t pretend to be truthful… at least he doesn’t pretend to be moral. He is the candidate for the guy in ‘The River’. These people who vote for Trump, who support Trump, deserve… compassion.  They do not need or deserve condescension or hatred or bitterness for their support of the ‘kick the table over’ candidate. Any opportunists jumping on the Trump-train for their own benefit deserve excoriated… but the normal Trump voter has been abandoned by the education system (Almost no one is well educated, even with a Bachelor’s degree) and trapped into unproductive lives, and have largely abandoned Christ. They believe that if they are good, God will give them good things, and therefore: since they are miserable, they prefer to not think about God at all rather than follow the logic to its end.

They need, like most people in this sick and wicked world, compassion, and the preaching of the Law out of compassion, so that their ears are ready for the Gospel.

(And, perhaps the hardest thing to accept is that, despite the stink of nihilism and despair, perhaps they are right about one thing – perhaps America has past the point of no return on the path to despotism, and that a reformer (Cruz) wont be able to do any good, and that the only option left is to kick over the table and draw the steel at ones side. … In which case the proper response is probably to buy ammo… and step into the storm with with the ‘joy of Giants, the joy without a cause’)

 

((You should really click through and read that last link… Kurt Schlichter appears to be one of the last sane people on the Internet… so click through and read the other stuff he writes too.))

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PS… if Kasich doesn’t do well in IN today, and Cruz wins… I predict that Kasich will drop out and endorse Trump within a week…. 

god is Dead

I have a theory, maybe I found it in a book somewhere, maybe I just agglomerated it from a series of books I’ve read, I certainly don’t know. So in the style of the old school writers, I will just write out the idea and not bother with citation; and if any of my readers can place the idea in its whole form, I will amend the post to give credit where it is due. Very likely this has been discussed before since there is really no such thing as a new idea. The idea is that all gods of all beliefs, other than the True belief, follow a predictable course. The gods have a birth, a life and a death, and to these events the human worshipers, the believers follow a sad and broken path, the same path every time: whether the god is Oden or whether it is a more abstract idea of social utopia in communism. The reaction of the believers is the same in each stage of the god’s ‘life’.

At birth the god is new: and the human culture that made him is vigorous and strong. They burst upon the world with power and the might of high birth rates and a society that does not question its purpose or leadership. Its sort of like the Assyrians, who as far as anyone can tell started out farmers in a mountainous region of the middle east. Then one day (from a long historical point a view –it was perhaps a generation or two.) They broke upon the world, conquering and slaughtering and ruling. Take another example: before the time of Muhammad, the Arabian peninsula and the Arabs were considered of no real threat or importance, then within a few generations, they ruled the southern half of what had been the Roman world. Or one final example: global communism. With Russia, China, Korea, Vietnam, half of Europe (with the other half nearly going as well) the ideology was young, the god was new: and its people credited their successes to their god.

And here, of course, I bring up the Ballad of the White Horse again. That poem is a fundamentally philosophical document. In the book where Alfred is singing to Gunthram, the earls of the northmen and Gunthram all sing, and they sing in the order of the cycle of life of false gods. First sings Young Harold:

‘For Rome was given to rule the world,
And gat of it little joy—
But we, but we shall enjoy the world,
The whole huge world a toy.

Great wine like blood from Burgundy,
Cloaks like the clouds from Tyre,
And marble like solid moonlight,
And gold like frozen fire.

Smells that a man might swill in a cup,
Stones that a man might eat,
And the great smooth women like ivory
That the Turks sell in the street.’

He sang the song of the thief of the world,
And the gods that love the thief;
And he yelled aloud at the cloister-yards,
Where men go gathering grief.

The next stage is perhaps ‘adulthood’ This is where none of the people in charge really believe anymore, but the system is working in their favor and they use it. They doubt their gods. This is the time I suppose I have least to say, so here is what Elf the minstrel sings about in the Ballad, singing about Baldir:

“There is always a thing forgotten
When all the world goes well;
A thing forgotten, as long ago,
When the gods forgot the mistletoe,
And soundless as an arrow of snow
The arrow of anguish fell.

“The thing on the blind side of the heart,
On the wrong side of the door,
The green plant groweth, menacing
Almighty lovers in the spring;
There is always a forgotten thing,
And love is not secure.”

And finally, the gods die. This, I think is the sign. When people actually believe their god is alive, they work hard, they conquer, they bear children. When the god dies, when the idol smashes, people become obsessed with death: they pour out the blood of human sacrifices upon the idol to try and bring their god back to life. Because anything and everything is more bearable than to be alone, to have no purpose, no god, no belief: to be nothing more than an accident. And so, children are slaughtered on alters, people do their best to kill and slaughter, because as the old earl says in the Ballad:

“There lives one moment for a man
When the door at his shoulder shakes,
When the taut rope parts under the pull,
And the barest branch is beautiful
One moment, while it breaks.
….
“And you that sit by the fire are young,
And true love waits for you;
But the king and I grow old, grow old,
And hate alone is true.”

God is dead: and hate and death is all that remains. This is the world around us today. Everyone has awoken and realized inside their soul that their god is dead. They currently are trying to bring their respective gods back to life with slaughter and death. Every false belief, every false god, ends in nihilism. The suicide bomber and abortion are both ultimate expressions of nihilism, both are sacrifices upon the alter of a god who has died. Abortion is nothing more than infant sacrifice to the gods of the secular west. The god is nameless and elusive, but it is a mixture of humanism, of hedonism. Perhaps it is really the worship of Ashtoreth, the goddess of sex and war. And on her alter are sacrificed millions of unborn and born children. Witness Gosnell, and read this about the birth control pill (I know I linked it before, but go read it again anyway, it is good to be reminded of these things.) I would write more about Gosnell, but his actions are so horrific I’d rather not, and the worst part is, that every single thing he did is legal (and by many evil people encouraged) as long as it is done inside a woman rather than outside. That distinction is actually meaningless of course, either abortion is evil or Gosnell should go free. This is the result of the culture of suicide and death that comes of the god dying. What happens next? Well, the people who’s God has died and then risen again answer with Arthur.

“When God put man in a garden
He girt him with a sword,
And sent him forth a free knight
That might betray his lord;

“He brake Him and betrayed Him,
And fast and far he fell,
Till you and I may stretch our necks
And burn our beards in hell.

“But though I lie on the floor of the world,
With the seven sins for rods,
I would rather fall with Adam
Than rise with all your gods.

“What have the strong gods given?
Where have the glad gods led?
When Guthrum sits on a hero’s throne
And asks if he is dead?
……
“That on you is fallen the shadow,
And not upon the Name;
That though we scatter and though we fly,
And you hang over us like the sky,
You are more tired of victory,
Than we are tired of shame.
……
“Nor shall all iron dooms make dumb
Men wondering ceaselessly,
If it be not better to fast for joy
Than feast for misery.
……
“For our God hath blessed creation,
Calling it good. I know
What spirit with whom you blindly band
Hath blessed destruction with his hand;
Yet by God’s death the stars shall stand
And the small apples grow.”

Eliot and Moral Decay

Where to lay the blame for moral decay? Over at Penllyn Studio there is an excellent article, Fidelity and the Cultural Shift, but I wanted to disagree a bit on the location of the blame 🙂  Whenever people have desired to have consequence free sex, they have found a way. And (at least according to my new favorite exposition on culture: How Civilizations Die: (And Why Islam Is Dying Too)) People desire to have sex and no kids when their culture has arrived at despair. This feeling is really evinced in T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land. Here is a portion: (long portion… but worth reading and thinking about.)

II. A Game of Chess

The Chair she sat in, like a burnished throne, 77
Glowed on the marble, where the glass
Held up by standards wrought with fruited vines
From which a golden Cupidon peeped out
(Another hid his eyes behind his wing)
Doubled the flames of sevenbranched candelabra
Reflecting light upon the table as
The glitter of her jewels rose to meet it,
From satin cases poured in rich profusion.
In vials of ivory and coloured glass
Unstoppered, lurked her strange synthetic perfumes,
Unguent, powdered, or liquid – troubled, confused
And drowned the sense in odours; stirred by the air
That freshened from the window, these ascended
In fattening the prolonged candle-flames,
Flung their smoke into the laquearia, 92
Stirring the pattern on the coffered ceiling.
Huge sea-wood fed with copper
Burned green and orange, framed by the coloured stone,
In which sad light a carvèd dolphin swam.
Above the antique mantel was displayed
As though a window gave upon the sylvan scene 98
The change of Philomel, by the barbarous king 99
So rudely forced; yet there the nightingale 100
Filled all the desert with inviolable voice
And still she cried, and still the world pursues,
‘Jug Jug’ to dirty ears.
And other withered stumps of time
Were told upon the walls; staring forms
Leaned out, leaning, hushing the room enclosed.
Footsteps shuffled on the stair.
Under the firelight, under the brush, her hair
Spread out in fiery points
Glowed into words, then would be savagely still.
‘My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me.
‘Speak to me. Why do you never speak. Speak.
‘What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?
‘I never know what you are thinking. Think.’
I think we are in rats’ alley 115
Where the dead men lost their bones.
‘What it that noise?’
The wind under the door. 118
‘What is that noise now? What is the wind doing?’
Nothing again nothing.
‘Do
‘You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember
‘Nothing?’
I remember
Those are pearls that were his eyes.
‘Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head?’ 126
But
O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag – 128
It’s so elegant
So intelligent
‘What shall I do now? What shall I do?’
‘I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street
‘With my hair down, so. What shall we do tomorrow?
‘What shall we ever do?’
The hot water at ten.
And if it rains, a closed car at four.
And we shall play a game of chess, 138
Pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door.
When Lil’s husband got demobbed, I said –
I didn’t mince my words, I said to her myself,
HURRY UP PLEASE IT’S TIME
Now Albert’s coming back, make yourself a bit smart.
He’ll want to know what you done with that money he gave you
To get herself some teeth. He did, I was there.
You have them all out, Lil, and get a nice set,
He said, I swear, I can’t bear to look at you.
And no more can’t I, I said, and think of poor Albert,
He’s been in the army for four years, he wants a good time,
And if you don’t give it him, there’s others will, I said.
Oh is there, she said. Something o’ that, I said.
Then I’ll know who to thank, she said, and give me a straight look.
HURRY UP PLEASE IT’S TIME
If you don’t like it you can get on with it, I said.
Others can pick and choose if you can’t.
But if Albert makes off, it won’t be for a lack of telling.
You ought to be ashamed, I said, to look so antique.
(And her only thirty-one.)
I can’t help it, she said, pulling a long face,
It’s them pills I took, to bring it off, she said.
(She’s had five already, and nearly died of young George.)
The chemist said it would be all right, but I’ve never been the same.
You are a proper fool, I said.
Well, if Albert won’t leave you alone, there it is, I said,
What you get married for if you don’t want children?
HURRY UP PLEASE IT’S TIME
Well, that Sunday Albert was home, they had a hot gammon,
And they asked me in to dinner, to get the beauty of it hot –
HURRY UP PLEASE IT’S TIME
HURRY UP PLEASE IT’S TIME
Goonight Bill. Goonight Lou. Goonight May. Goonight.
Ta ta. Goonight. Goonight.
Good night, ladies, good night, sweet ladies, good night, good night.

From: http://eliotswasteland.tripod.com/

Now that was a lot of quote, but the direction of the current is clear, even though the poetry is dense and often intentionally inscrutable. From the opulence of the room to the woman who has withered herself in order to avoid having more children to the ADHD-like interruptions at the end; whenever a culture makes the Ecclesiastes discovery – that everything is meaningless, a chasing after the wind – they throw out their morals and they discard their hope for the future, the latter of which is most visible in childbearing. Without God, as I touched upon last post about the Higgs Boson, everything is meaningless, hopeless and nothing: so why have to deal with children just to experience a few years of sexual activity? So I think that the Pill, the laws, the media: it all sells a nihilistic culture what it wants.

Update: When you go over to read the Penllyn Studio article, do look at the artwork for sale: a fantastic example of artwork as a physical visual presentation of wholesome and true philosophy (and it is quite beautiful too…).

Higgs Boson

This brief article over at NRO discusses why most people are uninterested in the potential discovery of the Higgs Boson (e.g. why everything has mass). (Read it here.)

They found the “God particle.”

That was the headline splashed all over America’s news media. It turns out that the name actually derives from substituting “God particle” for “goddamn particle,” the original name some scientists had given the elusive particle. But the media adopted the former nomenclature.

Why?

Because otherwise the bulk of humanity would not pay attention.

It obliquely strikes a sore nerve for science, especially science done without any belief in God, science done by hard-bitten atheists for hard-bitten atheists.

The discovery of the Higgs boson brings us no closer to understanding why there is a universe, not to mention whether life has meaning.

That, I think is the problem. Physics (in the Aristotelian sense) today has lost its metaphysics, and the scientists try to make up the metaphysics as they go. Frequently they are horribly bad at it too… They also seem to not be aware of how amateurish their attempts are since they suffer from impressive feelings of self-worth and educatedness… but in a lot of ways a scientist attempting philosophy today is much like a philosopher attempting science. That this is the case is a terrible shame. Science needs philosophy in order to provide a reason to do science, and philosophy needs science to winnow theories down to those plausible in the world we live in (rather than hypothetical worlds in their heads.)

But people are taught to expect everyone to be scientific or philosophical, to be artistic or mathematics. The one is supposedly the antithesis of the other. This division is poison for every discipline. When you observe how a violinist practices, read about how artists like van Eyck painted, and look at the tedious research of a Noble Laureate in Chemistry, the focus the discipline and the occasional flashes of pure genius are the same. Even the mindset is the same. Science and art and philosophy have so much in common, and they support each other. Obviously not everyone can do all arts, philosophies, and sciences well, true genius in each one of these is almost a monomania. However, I think artists should at least dabble in science and mathematics, and absolutely know philosophy (another discussion for another time, but I think art is visible philosophy), scientists should learn philosophy and music or art, and philosophers… well I guess it would be a start if any existed. Real philosophy is almost extinct, rather what we mostly have is the study of philosophy, not philosophy itself.

‘Settled’ Science

In these days of constant discussion of global warming (or ‘climate change’) or whatever is the fancy new term used to misdirect, I thought it would be good to discuss a little the very notion of ‘settled science’ and question why, when anyone wishes to discuss or hypothesize against these assumed cornerstones of modern thought they are instantly, and ruthlessly, labeled a Neanderthal, and immediately presumed irrelevant.

Now, I actually have no intention of discussing the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory. Instead, let us look at another, much more deeply rooted theory that even a whisper against gets one labeled an unscientific, backwater idiot. Let us think for now about the theory of evolution. Not the theory of natural selection, which is commonly and purposefully conflated with the idea of macro-evolution. Natural selection, namely the theory that certain genetic traits can be more favorable to certain environments, and this leads over time to different subspeicies, is actually observable. However, the idea to discuss, the idea I will call evolution from now on, is the idea that this process can yield a gain in genetic information, and ultimately lead from some initial ‘life’ to everything form of life if given enough time.

This theory, expounded by nearly every academic and scientist, is treated as settled science. Every single new discovery is forced into the evolution mold, every single scientific thought is forced, by academics, by editors, by the international mockery machine, to comply with and never question the theory of evolution.

This is preposterous. The very nature of science is sold out entirely when scientists are not allowed to ever propose different theories, competing ideas, and exert their full scientific abilities to try and prove or disprove any theories they like. As soon as a theory becomes ‘settled’ and embedded with no dissent allowed, it is effectively, religion. Any scientist who tries to silence anyone with an opposing idea of the origin of life immediately surrenders his right to call himself a scientist. Instead, he is become a priest of the modern religion.

As for the theory of evolution itself, no one can accurately gage its merits for one simple reason. No one has either had the motivation, the money or the ability to actually inspect it with skepticism and modern scientific technology. Since everything affected by the theory (biology, anthropology, biochemistry etc.) is forced to start with a 19th century theory based on 19th century technology, the theory itself has not been tested.

Aha, one might say. (Indeed, aha!) The idea of God creating life is even older, and certainly impossible to study. But this is a pointless argument, since religion is not bound by the rules of science. Science cannot, must not, make pronouncements on what cannot be observed with the eye (or some awesome instrument) or deduced from those observations. Religion by its very nature, discusses what cannot be seen or observed. So for now, let’s focus on the claims made by those who pretend to be discussing what is observed and incontrovertible, but in reality has never been tested or tried, especially not with modern scientific techniques.

So, settled though the world might want to believe evolution is, all the persistence in forcing every scientist, every public person, into going along with the theory, only perverts the true aim of science, to test every idea that is testable with skepticism, and makes it into a pseudo-religion that oppresses the thoughts and actions of its adherents without so much as a whisper of a benefit. Congratulations evolutionists, you have made the ultimate nihilistic religion out of a scientific theory without even testing it.

Update:  Read Darwin’s Black Box for more about the biochemical challenges to evolution.