Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Models of Self Love …

CCCP Vega Probe Engineering Model

CCCP Vega Probe Engineering Model

Still thinking about Models. Thinking about what all Models seem to have in common.

It appears to me that Hard Models, those Engineering Models and Physics Models, which keep literally everything we depend on to stay alive and more or less healthy running smoothly, are based on a tangible reality, a measurable reality.

All those Grey Tribe models which the majority of folks take totally for granted and never think about, are mostly based on provable facts, and, or, theories based on facts.

Systems Engineering Models

Systems Engineering Models

Striking similarities between all Hard Models are that they can be used predictively, in fact their utility increases if they are found to be highly predictive and they are all replicable by any number of independent engineers and scientists.

One of the striking aspects of Soft Models, Pink Tribe Models, is the striking lack of anything real or absolutely quantifiable shown in those models. The fudge-factor in Soft Models is huge.

A good site to have a quick look at what I am talking about here is the Semantic Scholar site and the article here.  All the Soft Models have this in common, that they exclusively model “ideas”, they are rooted in “Ideology”. Soft Models may make use of real world objects or observed phenomena but only in the sense that they “need” some reference to reality by analogy to give a patina of reality to their ideology.

An Engineering Model that works

A Hard Model rooted in empirical facts about real world parameters of the modeler

In the world of Soft Models, Pink Tribe models, are all about how we would like things to line up with the “desirable” outcome.

Even in the Soft Model world of pseudo-science like political “science” and social “science”, even there, they at least give lip service to these characteristics of predicative value and replication of models.

Of interest, aside from my purpose here, on the same site are several articles like “3 Secrets to Outsmarting a Narcissist“, and “It Takes Just One Question to Identify Narcissism“, and  “14 Thought-Control Tactics Narcissists Use to Confuse and Dominate You“.

Just remembered something, back in 2014 when I started blogging, what tipped me over the edge into writing about my experiences was the reality of dealing with Narcissists. Wow, I am coming up to four years blogging. That’s over a million words since 2014, self centered words flowing from my own model. My own Narcissism. This change of focus is what I was aiming for when I started writing.

Freud' Commitee, Ideological Models

Freud’ Committee, Ideological Models

I was pretty angry at the time and started writing about things, here, and here, and here, and here, as a kind of self help therapy. I wanted to have some sort of narrative available to which I could refer back when the reality of my experience was re-written by others.

After all, it is not only history which is re-written to cover up the past. Individuals do it every day in their thinking about what happened and how it reflects on their conduct. Freud probably would have had something to say about my hidden motives.

Anyway, the point of this is to illustrate the degree of self love apparent in the kinds of models we make use of to interact with our world, our “reality. Hard Models tend to have more “real” stuff and significantly lower “self-love” factors. Soft Models tend to have significantly less “real” stuff, and significantly higher levels of the “self-love” factor.

The Mind is not an iceberg

The Mind is not an iceberg. The Ideology is that the Mind is “sort of” like an iceberg in “some ways”

Models rooted in empirical facts and measurable hard data tend to be less about the brilliance of the modeler and more about the real world item being modeled.

Models rooted in Ideology and self referenced opinion of individuals or groups tend to be more about the brilliance of the modeler(s) and less about reality on the ground.

At the foundational level, all this is really about metaphysics and spiritual truths.

Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the essence of a thing. This includes questions of being, becoming, existence, and reality. The word “metaphysics” comes from the Greek words that literally mean “beyond nature”.

“Nature” in this sense refers to the nature of a thing, such as its cause and purpose. Metaphysics then studies questions of a thing beyond or above questions of its nature, in particular its essence or its qualities of being.

The Value of Metaphysics

“The Value of Metaphysics”, as communicated in a Beautiful Artsy Media Graphic meant to “simplify” the “idea” of metaphysics for the simple man-in-the-street.

Now, we “Brights” of our sophisticated modern age, have a way of cluttering up the landscape of thought with ever finer divisions and subdivisions and categories of things.

We do this until the origins of whatever we are discussing are completely obscured in generations worth of Erudite Academic Bafflegab.

For example, we have philosophical periods, thus Ancient, Medieval, Modern, and Contemporary.

And within these periods we, as a culture, classify Philosophers somewhat along these lines: Aestheticians, Epistemologists, Ethicists, Logicians, Metaphysicians, and then there are the Social and Political philosophers, the “Johnny-Come-Latelies” of philosophical history, riding on the authoritative coat-tails of the giants who went before, mostly wrapped up in debating and implementing various Pink Tribe Models for government, that serve various sociological agendas and programs amongst various elites in our Progressive polite society.

The Worship Pool

The Worship Pool, O see how bright and beautiful I am … Practically Perfect in Every way.

And to further obfuscate Truth, all these philosophers toil away within an array of “Traditions”. We have split up philosophy into many, sometimes rather arbitrary “Traditions”, such as African, Analytic, Aristotelian, Buddhist, Chinese, Christian, Continental, Existentialism, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Pragmatism, Eastern, Islamic, Platonic, and Western.

BUT … Its really a LOT simpler than all that.

The reality of all these “traditions”, this detailed taxonomy of thought, comes down to only four basic “Models”. Those models are worldviews at their most basic level. The Four Models, the four major global worldviews are Material Naturalism, Secular humanism, Pantheism and Monotheism, represented by Judeo-Christianity.

Now this is all about our Models, and about whether our Models best reflect reality or something else. I am going to quote from a book by Mary Poplin, “Is Reality Secular” because she does such a good job of setting this all out clearly and concisely. Here is her explanation of the four Models:

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Mary Poplin

Mary Poplin

“Material naturalism is the belief that all that exists in the world is ultimately reducible to material phenomena. From this perspective, Mother Teresa was just a unique bundle of brain chemistry with particular psychoneural processes acting predictably, prompting her to do what she did.

Secular humanism is the belief that human beings are alone in the world and must act responsibly by forming their ethics solely from their human experience, human reason and science. From this perspective, Mother Teresa simply decided who she wanted to be and what she wanted to do and garnered the fortitude, determination and self-discipline necessary to do good works.

Pantheism is the belief that everything in the universe is a manifestation of a universal spirit. From the perspective of this nonsecular worldview, Mother Teresa might be interpreted as a more highly enlightened or reincarnated soul who had a strong spiritual connection to the divine spirit inside all of nature, including human nature.

And then there is Monotheism, (and as some of us might know,) this is the belief that there is a transcendent personal God, external to us, living and acting in the world, as well as in and through us.

In this worldview, the fact that Jesus appeared to Mother Teresa in three visions and asked her to do precisely what she did when she left the safe cloister of the Loreto convent, is an admissible fact. Within the orthodox principles of the Judeo-Christian worldview her visions of Christ and obedience to his request are wholly credible.

For the other three world views, the other three Models, the visions and interactions experienced by Mother Teresa simply cannot be considered an admissible fact. It isn’t plausible through the lenses of the secular worldviews. It isn’t part of the Western secular plausibility structure (the set of meanings in a culture that qualify as being possible).

Even Westernized Christians often find her visions incredible, acceptable only if interpreted as a personal psychological state, not as a reality. Now there are five characteristics of all four worldviews.

First and most consequential, all worldviews begin with faith, a metaphysical belief that cannot be verified using scientific methods. Robert Bellah points out that the Latin word for faith, “fides”, is more akin to the English term for trust rather than belief.

Though these faith statements can be argued philosophically, and from evidence we can inductively and deductively hypothesize, none can be proven empirically through scientific methods, including material naturalism. Every worldview begins with faith in something empirically or scientifically unknowable.

Second, every non-Christian worldview holds within it some principles of the Judeo-Christian worldview. Thus there is an overlap between principles of Judeo-Christianity and those of material naturalism, secular humanism and pantheism.

Third, there are also principles held by each of these three worldviews that lie outside of the Judeo-Christian worldview, such as the material-naturalist belief that everything that exists is ultimately a material or natural phenomenon. From a Judeo-Christian standpoint, these principles would be considered errors of commission.

Fourth, there are principles of Judeo-Christianity that lie outside the purview of believers in these other three worldviews. The absence of these principles in other worldviews would be considered by Christians as errors of omission.

Finally, none of these worldviews is more progressive or modern than the other. They have all existed ever since recorded history. The only real question is, are one or more of these an adequate description of reality?”

Mary Poplin, “Is Reality Secular?: Testing the Assumptions of Four Global Worldviews” (Veritas Books) (pp. 28 – 31). InterVarsity Press.

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St. Mary Magdalen die Pazzi, (April 2, 1566 – May 25, 1607)

St. Mary Magdalen die Pazzi, (April 2, 1566 – May 25, 1607)

At the end of this it all comes down to personal spiritual values. and I am going to end this with a quote from a saint in my Monotheistic worldview, St. Mary Magdalen die Pazzi, (April 2, 1566 – May 25, 1607), a Carmelite Mystic, thus:

What then, O my God, deprives the soul of Your Spirit? It is perverse self-love, the source and origin of every sin. Alas, I well see that the world remains wholly submerged and drowned in self-love! Some persons are sunk in it by their intellect, some by their memory, some by their will, and some, with their whole soul, submerge themselves in it. What is most displeasing to You, O God, is that this perverse self-love dwells even in Your Priests and in Your (Religious). The disorder of our self-love, of our attachment to our own will is no small thing. It does not require mountains of enormous sins to block the course of this rapid stream, this ocean of love; the sands of our defects, which we think trivial, but which are not, suffice to do so.”  (St. Mary Magdalen die Pazzi,)

It really is all about our Models and Self-Love. When one gives it some thought it becomes clear that virtually every evil which we experience in these enlightened times is the direct result of self-love.

Cheers

Joe

The examination of conscience is a long dry march to contrition. Place in me Lord a humble and contrite heart.

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Logically Speaking … What If Everything The Progressives Assert Is True?

“Think Of Me”, Andrew Lloyd Webber, from the “Phantom Of The Opera” soundtrack album, (2004)

HotBathMonkey

HotBathMonkey

-8 degrees Celsius, sunny with cloudy periods, or cloudy with sunny periods. Sunday is a good day for thinking. I might even get dressed!  Or not! Sure wish I had a hot tub.

I’d guess that most of this is a personal gedanken experiment,  the meanderings of someone who has too much time to think and not enough experience of the reality of daily life given that I have retreated to the Shire and spend my time congratulating myself about how intelligent and fortunate I am.

So I am indulging  myself by contemplating my lack of charity, patience and humility, my default position (un-vocalized these days) that I know the answer, or at least I am on the right track, and anyone who doesn’t get that is an idiot, full of sound and fury but (fortunately) signifying nothing.

Why do I feel deeply offended by some of what I read over at (for example) Being Liberal (how convenient that there is an easily accessible site where the left can effusively wear their heart on their sleeve), and other sites, and by what I hear every day on most of the MSM both Canadian and American (thank God for satellite TV)? Polarized doesn’t even begin to describe the gulf between the views.

001-a-orcIs it uncharitably to imagine progressives in the image of Tolkien’s Orcs and Goblins? I am certain that in fact the orcs and goblins of “The Lord of The Rings” were in fact literary references to the progressives of Tolkien’s day. Was Tolkien uncharitable?

Is it because they and their opinions are truly wrong or is it simply because they don’t agree with me? Why do I strongly feel that they (Progressives) haven’t thought through the implications of their declarations about reality and desirable social engineering, and the concomitant ridiculing and vilification (Bulverism) of virtually any voice raised in disagreement (is this what I am doing?).

cs-lewis-tyrannyMany of these folks are manifestly intelligent and well intentioned. Many of them do a lot of “good” work, spending their lives helping the downtrodden and disenfranchised, the needy and destitute.

But equal or greater numbers seem to spend all their waking hours ridiculing their “enemy” and explaining in great depth and with great volume why anyone who disagrees with them, any religious who do not share their religion, are wrong and not to be credited with any reasonable points.

Any attempt to engage in any discussion is met with an immediate attack aimed at destroying the new opponent which their “sensors” have detected.

In a logically twisted sort of way it seems at times that if they ( Progressives) are right (as in “correct”) to castigate and vilify those whose views they don’t share, that is, if they are truly OK to be writing and broadcasting and posting what they “believe” is reality (because after all they are all “basically good people”), then it must be equally OK for me to do the same thing, right?

And if they are wrong about what they believe and post, etc., then is it not equally wrong for me to indulge myself , so where do we go from this impasse? How do we move from this “preferential option for confrontation” to a place where we can discuss methods and directions “with good will”?

Maybe the answer can be found in looking dispassionately at the declarations and the methods and examining the points, assumptions and observed results, all the while striving not to take anything personally. I think “Not taking anything personally”, even when is is obviously intended to be both personal and as hurtful as possible, is how we get out of this conflict.

That requires a boatload of Charity and Humility, which I find to be in short supply these days. That’s what I’m working on, and I am making progress, albeit glacially at times.

So methods and declarations, the slings and arrows of outrageous fate … I find these days, having arrived at a political position closely akin to “A Pox On All your Houses“, that politics simply no longer provokes anything beyond sadness, but Faith, Logical argument, unreasoned Theological or Philosophical opinions still field barbs I cannot resist. No lack of Pride there, eh?

“The Music Of the Night”, Andrew Lloyd Webber, from the “Phantom Of The Opera” soundtrack album, (2004)

For example, “God can create anything so can he create a weight too heavy for him to lift? (or some other rhetorical impossibility)”.  This is a rhetorical question of the sort I have had thrown at me when I respond or comment on egregious declarations about Catholicism.

In the past, unfortunately, I had great difficulty letting them pass (still a struggle) and my naturally provocative nature makes non-believers uncomfortable.

Which sort of discussions frequently came up (before I learned to keep my damned mouth shut) when being accosted by unbelieving family members (or other acquaintances who are also unbelievers) who in their cleverness and self worship imagine themselves astute. ( AHA!  I’ve got ya now Joe). Let’s discredit Truth and by proxy discredit guilt and responsibility.

Another variation goes like this “If god can do anything, can he create a 4 sided triangle or a square circle?” (Now I’ve really gotcha, eh?). The argument might be termed “Reductio ad absurdum” but is actually “Ad hominum”.  Always looking for a way to put down and belittle believers, insecure in their unbelieving, and unaware of their logical error since logic has been conspicuous by it’s absence for most of their 50 or 60 years on this earth.

Of course God CAN create anything, and God CAN do anything … except self contradiction is not a thing. God is THE absolute almighty being and imagining a weight which The Almighty can’t lift is is to imagine a contradiction in terms. A four sided triangle or a square circle are glib but utterly meaningless constructs.

001-eskimo-inuit-sunglassesThese geometric and physical fantasies are all nonsense, all nothing, rather like approaching the real world with nothing but theories about how things “should” operate and more theories about why the world doesn’t conform to the first theories. And if the world fails to conform to one’s narrow view, well, I have a theory about that…

If one is accustomed to believing one’s theories about the world and people no matter how incongruent with observed facts and events, when the world diverges from the theories, then it is a small leap to believing that things like square circles are logical.

By way of illustrating the prevalence of illogic in daily life let’s look at the canard of “Pro Choice”. Very popular with my sisters – Pro-Choice – interesting place to build your house of cards.

Imagine us entering a restaurant and being shown to our table by a helpful Maitre d’. The waiter approaches with your drinks and menus and everyone quietly peruses their menu. The waiter returns after the drinks are almost gone to take our order “Ladies and Gentlemen, may I take your order, what are your choices?”.

001-a-vulnerable-the-deception-2

Vulnerable … the Deception

I order Prime Rib Au Jus, rare with all the trimmings and veggies, my partner chooses the Baked Atlantic Salmon with Roast Potatoes and a Spinach Salad, the rest of the guests reply “Yes!”

The waiter, a little confused, repeats “What are your choices, folks?” and the rest of the guests reply again “Yes!, we are pro-choice, therefore Yes!, our choice is “choice”!

“I am very sorry folks but we cannot serve “choice” here, we are unable to create “choice” here, we need you folks to make a choice between the various items which you have on the menu.

Then and only then can we move forward here, you have to MAKE a choice, “choice” is not a choice.  The waiter is faced with an insoluble problem both logical and grammatical.

You have to make a choice!  You can’t choose “Life” because that would make you “Pro-Life”, and unfortunately the only other “choice” is “Death”. Death for the children, death for the elderly, death for the handicapped, death for the ugly, “eugenics” that’s the game, and we are well on our way to the Great Society. Newspeak presents “Pro-Choice” as a euphemism for “Kill everyone who you find inconvenient”.  Pro-Choice is the biggest, most cowardly, cop-out of our modern society.

USHMM 89063 Men with an unidentified unit execute a group of Soviet civilians kneeling by the side of a mass graveWhat’s the moral difference between killing folks in a clinic, and killing folks in a ditch?

The logic of “Pro-Choice” can apply to any behaviour in the entire range of human behaviors, and the language of Progressive Newspeak will give you a get out of jail free card for any perversion or inhuman crime imaginable. Just vote the right way and you can do anything you like, because you are basically a nice person, right?

There is no such thing as sin, “I’m OK, You’re OK” that’s what Progressive Social Theory teaches the voting public. And this social theory leads to some unbelievable practices. But the problem is that “denial” is not the same as “proof”, and material reality in every aspect requires “proof”. Of course, “outside” the material is also part of reality but no proof regarding extra-material things is possible for humans.

Any cursory observation of modern life and the memes dispensed by the talking heads on MSM outlets make it manifestly obvious, that for the Secular Progressive Humanist, the Theory is more important than facts, logic or anything else, especially any part of daily reality that seems to go against the Theory!

Unfortunately, if one is completely immersed in the sea of illogicality it is impossible to understand that God cannot do or create anything that is a self contradiction. All self contradiction, is nonsense, is “Nothing”. There is no such thing as a “Triangle which has three sides, but on some occasions it might have four, maybe.” This is a “nothing”.

Self contradiction is a place reserved for Modern Humanist “Thinkers”.  Self contradiction is a “nothing” and as some of us know “nothing is impossible to God”.

Back before there were “Progressives”, and “Wiccans, and Gia,  and “Atheists”, and “Secular Humanists”, and “National Socialists”, aka Modern Progressive Humanists of all stripes, the folks (and philosophers and scientists for that matter) understood that you needed both “Theories” and “Practice”.

Learn To Be Lonely”, Andrew Lloyd Webber, from the “Phantom Of The Opera” soundtrack album, (2004)

001-a-philo_mediev

Queen of The Sciences

So, our medieval ancestors understood Theology as the “Queen of the Sciences”. Her twin sister Sophia (the Greek word for “wisdom”) was also venerated in the discipline of Philosophy. It was hard to tell the two beauties apart, but together they once ruled the many domains of human knowledge. This was the domain of “Theory”. Theories fell into the disciplines of Theology (The Queen of the Sciences) and Philosophy (Wisdom).

Practice was how you did things in the material world while taking into account the dictates of the Queen and the Handmaid. The practice was guided by the theory, but the theory was proven out by the practical experience of daily life. Theory and Practice are equal partners. Theory without Practice is like a wagon without wheels, a hard load to pull. Equally, Practice without Theory, is like riding swiftly down the road in your wheeled wagon while stone cold blind, a sure recipe for utter disaster!

001-a-star-trek-motivational-posters-captToday we find that Philosophy and Theology are increasingly irrelevant backwaters in the modern university, ridiculed for engaging in seemingly endless “solipsistic” debates. Not surprisingly,  we find the modern view is theoretical, Godless, and endlessly self referential.

Gee! That sure sounds like the actual definition of solipsism! Solipsism is the idea that a person’s mind is the only thing that actually exists. It is a philosophical argument that maintains reality is based on the perceptions of one’s mind, and therefore nothing really exists except for that perceptual reality of one’s mind.

So how do they come off accusing the disciplines of Philosophy and Theology of “solipsism” when the foundation of  both sciences is fundamentally outward looking in search of answers that man cannot find on his own – nothing even slightly self referential there. I’d guess this skull twister would be explained buy the modern concepts of “attribution” and “transference”, but that discussion has to be for another day.

Cheers

Joe

coptic-desertPatience, Charity, Humility. Patience, Charity, Humility. Patience, Charity, Humility. Patience, Charity, Humility. It’s like climbing Everest!

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