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Messages - BillHopkins

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Interzone / Re: Post-Modernism
« on: May 24, 2012, 05:33:12 AM »
If you really need the exact details:

Wallace committed suicide by hanging himself on September 12, 2008.[15] In an interview with The New York Times, Wallace's father reported that Wallace had suffered from depression for more than 20 years and that antidepressant medication had allowed him to be productive.[12] When he experienced severe side effects from the medication, Wallace attempted to wean himself from his primary antidepressant, phenelzine.[13] On his doctor's advice, Wallace stopped taking the medication in June 2007,[12] and the depression returned. Wallace received other treatments, including electroconvulsive therapy. When he returned to phenelzine, he found it had lost its effectiveness.[13] In the months before his death, his depression became severe.[12]

Interzone / Post-Modernism
« on: May 21, 2012, 09:21:28 PM »
...sometimes touches on 'perennial' truths. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

David Foster Wallace, author of 'Infinite Jest' which was huge in the 90's and propelled Wallace to literary fame. He hung himself due to clinical depression in 2008. In this clip he gives quite a powerful address to his old univserity about the value of learninig to think out of 'default mode' so as to, basically, quite literally transcend the tedium and boredom of modern life in order to survive. He obviously failed, but the sentiments possess some element of profoundity. This is basically a brand of active nihilism, presented at a graduation speech. They audience sounded a little shocked at points.


Interzone / Re: Jonathan Bowden: Dead
« on: May 21, 2012, 09:13:34 PM »
What is superficial about his ideas concerning religion, TheWaters?

Bowden orating on Evola: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSzqDVPVKyE

Interzone / Re: Jonathan Bowden: Dead
« on: May 20, 2012, 06:14:02 AM »
I can't believe no one here gives a shit about this.

Branch out. This guy is the most powerful orator on  you will ever hear and his death is the biggest blow to conservatives/traditionalists/neitzscheans/nationalists alike since the advent of liberalism!

Interzone / Re: Illusion: capitalism versus marxism
« on: April 29, 2012, 06:58:39 AM »
Sure, Marxism clashes with capitalism over fairness toward wage slaves in an argument over proportion of the share of production between owner and laborer. But since on the capitalist side there are companies ranging from Asian sweat shops to adult day care with free internet all day and Friday lunch break cookouts, this isn't even a critical division.

What each share:

  • universal equality
  • exhaustion or diversion of said equals from having future-altering political and cultural involvement
  • censure and erasure of the story of human history past and future
  • central control as public party or private oligarchy respectively

Another idea they both share is that all or most issues can be solved via economics and wealth levels. This is the worst kind of materialism. A less decadent materialism would recognise the importance of values and other 'intangible' factors that are not in fact intangible but relate to environment, genetics, psychology and human culture.

I think capitalism in it's early stages (Libertarian capitalism) evaded many of the items on your list. The soft marxist capitalism (Keynesian capitalism) that replaced libertarianism in response to the depression changed this:

Advocates of Keynesian economics argue that private sector decisions sometimes lead to inefficient macroeconomic outcomes which require active policy responses by the public sector, particularly monetary policy actions by the central bank and fiscal policy actions by the government to stabilize output over the business cycle.[1] The theories forming the basis of Keynesian economics were first presented in The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, published in 1936. The interpretations of Keynes are contentious and several schools of thought claim his legacy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keynesian_economics

Interzone / Re: Nihilism and Atheism
« on: April 29, 2012, 06:46:35 AM »
At the heart of this great argument lies the assumption on the part of the anti-religion camp that this is a battle between reason and obscurantism, between rationality on the one hand and knuckle-dragging ignorance and prejudice on the other. And of course, that anti-religion camp is on the side of reason, and thus of intelligence, science, progress and freedom; whereas religious believers would undo the Enlightenment and take us all back to the dark ages of credulity, superstition and the shackling of the mind.

This assumption is based on a further given: that in the West this is the age of reason. And we think this, in large measure, because we have put religion, or faith, in a box labelled in very large letters, "Un-reason". Faith and reason, religion and science are supposedly inimical to each other. There is no overlap. They knock each other out.

So it follows that people who are intelligent can have no religious faith; those who are religious are either imbeciles or insane. Not only that, religious people are narrow, dogmatic, intolerant and unpleasant. Those with no religious faith are broad-minded, open, liberal and thoroughly splendid people whom you'd be delighted to meet at a dinner party. Little casts a chill over a fashionable table more than the disclosure that a guest believes in God.

I have a rather different take on this great division of our age. My view is that while we may be in a post-biblical — and post-moral — age, we have not disposed of belief. Far from it. We have just changed what we believe in. Our society may have junked the Judaeo-Christian foundations of the West for secularism. But this has given rise to a set of other religions. Secular religions. Anti-religion religions.  


More straw man worship. Did you even read the thread? Atheism doesn't necessarily imply anything you quoted/wrote(?). You can possess the belief that no god(s) exists, in the 'ontological sense', and this does not suddenly mean you join the ranks of the new atheist movement. This is a pretty basic idea, you need only the smallest amount of intellectual nuance to grasp it.

I wouldn't say that Christianity destroyed the older bases for morality, but that the "Enlightenment" did.

Did you read the argument?

It assumes that morality cannot be objective unless it is based upon a certian metaphysical conception of the self that is functional or teleological: i.e. the idea that man as he happens to be is different from man as he could be if he realised his purpose. Generally speaking, the word 'good' has no meaning when not applied to things possessing a function.

In it's emphais on the soul, Chrisitianity was pivotal in changing the metaphysical notion of the self that was found in the ancient world and that viewed man as having no essence prior to his social role. In the ancient world, there were no individuals prior to society and no individual subjectivity independent of 'the self's' embeddedness in society.

The assertion is that the enlightenment/liberal conception of the self as being fully individuated prior to everything (incl. god) would not have been possible without christianity's first assult on the essential embeddedness of the self in the social body. The beginning of 'individualism', basically.

Christianity maintained a type of telos, but a different one from that of the ancient world, and thus began the shift away from a fully functional/teleological metaphysical understanding of the self the effect of which was to render morality subjective.

1. The ethical concepts we use today we inherited from ancient times. They depend for their objectivity on a particular metaphysical understanding of the self that was unique to that historical period.
2. The modern metaphysical understanding of the self replaced that of the ancient world and thus removed the basis upon which ethics enjoyed any sense of objectivity.
3. The Enlightenment tried to give the fullest expression to this 'modern' understanding of the self, and attempted to provide a new rational basis for ethics on the back of this understanding, but was doomed to fail from the outset.


The moral scheme we use today originated with Aristotle and dominated the medieval period. The framework for that scheme consists of a vital distinction between man-as-he-happens-to-be and man-as-he-could-be-if-he-realized-his-essential-nature. Ethics was seen as the science that enabled humans to know how to travel from the former state to the latter state. This distinction is basically that between potentiality and its fulfilment. Ethics understood human nature as deficient, essentially, and so in need of transformation via the use of practical reason to fulfil its potential.

In order to make any sense, ethics presupposes two conceptions: (1) a conception of untutored human nature, and (2) a conception of the telos or end of that nature. Ethics is the knowledge which allows human beings to move from their present state to a new one.


The modern understanding of the self dispensed with the idea of a human telos, and thus any sense that human nature as it happens to be might be discordant with a more fulfilled state. Enlightenment philosophers (Kant, Hume, Smith) all agreed that morality’s key premises would capture some feature of human nature as it is and the rules of morality would be justified as those that a being possessing such a nature would be prepared to accept (i.e. Kant’s deontology – deriving morality from some aspect of 'how we are' (reasonable and thus autonomous) . However, since the ethical concepts they inherited and wanted to justify were originally intended to assist individuals in achieving some function (telos) rather than to fit with human nature in its untutored state, the enlightenment’s attempt to derive these ethical notions from features of present human nature was not possible. In fact, it is more likely that human nature in its untutored state would have a strong tendency to disobey the precepts of morality.

A notion of a human telos is essential to morality and ethics understood as a rationally justifiable or objective enterprise. It alone warrants deriving statements of value or obligation from statements of fact – ‘ought’ from ‘is’. We can move from the knowledge that a knife is blunt to the conclusion that it is a ‘bad’ knife because a knife is something with a telos (function/purpose). Only functional concepts are able to transform evaluative judgements into a type of factual statement.

(See Alisdair MacIntyre's beyond virtue for the whole story)

In the Ancient world, ethics derived its functional aspect, or telos, from the social roles the individual found himself in. The self was essentially characterised by its social aspect. The ethics attached to being a solder, for example, facilitated the movement of human nature as it happens to be to human nature as it should be to carry out the function of a soldier. In the modern world, on the other hand, the self is seen as antecedently individuated in that the essential element of the self apparently exists prior to any social, political or communal setting it finds itself in. Any social role the individual occupies is not constitutive of his person, on the modern view (because the essential metaphysical element of the self is characterised by freedom, autonomy and choice).

In the medieval world, ethics derived its function aspect from the Christian idea of original sin. Ethics facilitated the movement of human nature as it happens to be (in sin) to human nature as it should be, not in order to carry out some social role, but to fulfil the more universal idea of a Christian human being attaining the image of God.

While Christianity maintained a form of human telos that enabled the enterprise of objective ethics to go ahead, it could be argued that it contributed to the modern erosion of ethics via its universalist metaphysical conception of the self, as being actecedently individuated prior to social roles (the essential element of the self is the soul, in possession of the divine logos which transcends embeddedness in a particular culture or point of view)). In terms of the political-metaphysical understand of the self, Christianity represents a transitional stage that began with an Ancient, communitarian, understanding of the self as deriving its subjectivity from the social body, and ended in a modern, liberal, understanding of the self as antecedently individuated prior to all social roles and possessing all its goals, desires and outlook ‘before society’.

Interzone / Re: Religion and science are not opposites
« on: April 18, 2012, 06:44:50 PM »
And so it seems to me that religion and science are not complementary after all, but two forces fighting for space. Because some things are holy, and some are not.

This idea that anything science touches becomes 'unholy' is truly perplexing:



Interzone / Re: Religion and science are not opposites
« on: April 18, 2012, 06:42:36 PM »
+ If you don't think God made the world, science explains religion.
+ If you think God made the world, religion explains science and religion.

I don't agree that this covers all possibilities. Even if 'God' (whatever you mean by that) made the world, science may still explain religion and everything else. Evolution is the most sexy process i've ever come across. Why shouldn't it be God's work (especially if it leads to belief in Him!)?

Interzone / Re: Leftist elitists exposed
« on: April 18, 2012, 12:18:41 AM »
Anti - cake = stupid. Never thought I'd see the evils of leftism associated with a common food item. Gimme some of that red velvet goodness all day.

Is it any surprise that this woman is totally contradicting herself? Isn't that typical of modern politicians? I wonder how she'll respond (more likely she won't though).

She will say she is feeding the poor Africans after all (ironically this politican is symbolically handing Africans their own genitalia and essence to consume. Liberal pluralism in action.)

Interzone / Re: Educators
« on: April 18, 2012, 12:13:33 AM »

There has always been a tension on this board, going back to its earliest days: between the "leadership" types and the "educators."

The leadership types see a problem, and want to use power for the solution. They are opposed by neocons and liberals, who talk about personal importance, validity, rights, etc.

There needs to be a lot more of a new, third type: the "pragmatic leadership" type.

The pragmatic leader sees a problem, wants to use power for the solution, but his solutions are such that they will have more than zero chance of infiltrating any modern society.

Interzone / Re: Emo realism
« on: April 18, 2012, 12:06:45 AM »
1. Send the under-120s to Africa. Why Africa? It's big and has low population density. We'll give each one the cash equivalent of 40 acres and a mule, and package them away. The US population will plunge to 80 million. However, over half of the federal budget obligations will disappear, pollution will be reduced, land use will be reduced, nature can recover, etc.

But then who will fill all the university placements accross the west?

Interzone / Re: Divorce and abortion
« on: April 17, 2012, 11:59:20 PM »
Why be anti-abortion?

Abortion is the only route through which  eugenics will have any chance of entering society from. It starts with aborting children with down syndrome, extreme autism, etc.

I could only begin to imagine the horror I would feel at having a retarted child. Love for it's own sake in these kinds of incidences invokes the opposite in me, and in this society you are as good as prosecuted if you do not love the child.

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