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Messages - BillHopkins

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Interzone / Re: Liberalism causes terrorism
« on: April 23, 2013, 07:40:29 AM »
Every 'modern' i know (i.e. someone who is not, essentially, a common variety religious-conservative) has plenty of values. Maybe they're not the values you like, but they are values, i.e. a differentiation of the 'good' and the 'bad'.

Absolutely, and this is a partial statement of the problem. What you are referring to is what I called atomization. Every individual has their values, but they are not shared, so the societal consensus position must be close to no-values for different people to exist together.

No doubt modern liberalism is extremely efficient at providing material wealth in the relative short term.

Again, no way. There is great social consensus. Poverty is bad, homophodia is bad, liberalism is good, (overt) state interference in matters of politics and religion are bad, state interference in economic matters is good, a quasi mix of free market and state market regulation is good, traditional religion is outdated etc etc.  And one area of consensus is that religious values should not be promoted at a collective level. Or do you think liberalism is being imposed on us from above by a 'hidden-hand'? There are arguments for this, but on the whole I think they are wrong.

Interzone / Re: Liberalism causes terrorism
« on: April 23, 2013, 07:10:24 AM »
The elder brother, despite a decade in the US, could by his own admission not relate to Americans. Now is this a reflection of essential incompatibility with an alien culture? Absolutely, yes, but this is secondary to the slow breakdown of mores and values which the modern world is afflicted of (and many US cities are perhaps the leading examples). The elder brother at least probably has more in common with a mass shooter than he does with a member of Al-Qaeda.

Every 'modern' i know (i.e. someone who is not, essentially, a common variety religious-conservative) has plenty of values. Maybe they're not the values you like, but they are values, i.e. a differentiation of the 'good' and the 'bad'.

This constant glee and masturbation over the odd mass shootings or other sign of obvious discontent with modern culture that some people around here fall upon with glee is so one-eyed it's rediculous. It's like pointing out the loser at a party and claiming that the party will come crashing down because it doesn't meet the needs of a mere .01 per cent of it's participants. This is not to say there are not discordant aspects of modern liberalism, it's to say that overall, it is meeting people's needs to a degree unprecedented by any other cultural-economic system in human history. Please read my last post for a better argument for this.

Interzone / Re: Liberalism causes terrorism
« on: April 21, 2013, 10:46:27 PM »

Artificial. Does that suggest anything to you?
That's the whole nature of the beast we face.
Leftism is artificial and all its adherents, too.
I am not artificial.
I become annoyed at artificials holding forth about their supposed superiority.
There is nothing superior about anything artificial.
Because it is artificial.
And that, in a nutshell, is beyond the capability of anything artificial, to understand.

This whole site, as I see it, is about witless beings seeking to become uber-men.
Is that the case?
Or is it really about becoming artificial copies of uber-men?

I'm not sure if you're responding to me, or the article I posted, or what. The article provides the tools for anyone wanting to know whether indeed logic is necessary for 'understanding' or something more is.

Just some food for thought, though Crow. You generally sound like the most self-righteous person on these forums. Like you know something other people don't (your 'tao'), and like you are 'above' rationally examining various aspects of reality with objective, orthodox tools (reason, logic).

Interzone / Re: Liberalism causes terrorism
« on: April 21, 2013, 09:54:19 PM »
What you call logic is no such thing.
And even if it was, so what?
Logic is for computers.
Logic is incapable of thought, only binary processing.
Reason is different, and requires the ability to think.
I use neither, if I can avoid it, because I have discovered them to be pedestrian.
That is why I can't be bothered conversing with you very often, let alone caring about killing you.
You do nobody any favors here, you know, now that your two main fans have been canned.
So settle down.


Interzone / Re: Liberalism causes terrorism
« on: April 21, 2013, 08:18:22 PM »
Winding-back is automatic when the resources run out.
Leftism = unable to understand that simple fact.

Well, then the historical process will start again after the 'collapse' you think will happen. (Unless science is lost in the process).

As long as you have the scientific method, and the two aspects of human nature suggested above, The Process kick starts again.

Interzone / Re: Liberalism causes terrorism
« on: April 21, 2013, 07:22:11 PM »
Liberalism -> equality -> utopian idealism -> multiculturalism -> disaffection, social isolation -> blame, hatred, terror

Good, at least Scourge is trying to identify the social aspect of it. Crow: just because you recongise the reason behind someone's actions doesn't mean you condone it. I'm sorry if it's not 'conservative' to look for social reasons behind crime: but there is a large penis one can place in their mouth if this is a problem for them.

However the above picture is too simplistic: and begs the question: from whence liberalism?

Also, too 'Hegelian' (not in method in ontology): Not rooted in material/economic factors enough (come on, nihilists, you can't get rid of that pesky marx!)

How about this:

Science -> technological rationalism (steam engines, steel, roads, linking of huge new markets) + economic rationalism (division of labour) -> urbanisation of workforce + education of labour (both needed by the new industrial economic machine) -> industrial revolution -> severing of old rules of association (caste, family, tribe) -> creation of new associations (classes, labour unions) + bureaucratisation ('rational' as opposed to 'organic' construction of society) -> Liberalism --- (insert cold war) --- information economy, high technology -> manufacturing moves offshore -> increasing flexibility of labour market (two tiered: high skilled technocrats + low skilled service workers (nothing being 'made' anymore) -> post-industrial revolution  -> multiculturalism -> social atomism -> the end of history and the 'last man'.

Still in this process the average human being has been 'liberated' from arbitrary forms of association and allegiance. They have gained 'equality' via the above process, or, recognition as individuals: thymos, and also material-prosperity to boot! Just because 'liberalism' (or more accurately, the historical process that produces liberalism) produces a few murderers here and there means zero. The overall direction is solid in that most people are satisfied (liberalism wouldn't stick if this were not the case, and nearly every culture on earth would not either be a) liberal or b) on it's way to liberalism (economic and social)).

You are walking against the tide if you think this is all going to 'wind back' any time soon. There is a direction to modern history: the above dialectic is driven by two deep facets of human nature: 1) desire, and 2) recognition/status. People have gained much, you would HAVE TO recognise on an objective analysis. They also have lost ('traditional' forms of association), but the question is: what is the balance between factors gained and factors lost: Do you really think the direction of history will change. From where will the new contradiction arise?

Environmentalism? Maybe - but I think we NEED a high level of technology to escape environmental problems, so the post-industrial society won't vanish: and if it doesn't vanish, neither will the forms of association it promotes over older forms vanish. This is the key point.

Religious fundamentalism? - Maybe. Fukuyama pronounced that history had ended in the 90's, and then 9/11 happened! But I don't think it's likely that this will spread enough to challenge the direction of history (to post-industrial liberal societies). As Islamic societies go through the above economic revolutions (the material engine of history - as they will - because it is driven by 1) human desire and 2) human recognition or thymos), they will, necessarily, go through the associated social revolutions too.

Liberalism, or a particular 'modern' pattern of how human beings associate into groups, is caused by a complex economic-historical process. This process is in turn driven by 2 deep parts of human nature. Liberalism is not something we can simply throw off via cultural-criticism. It's driven by something more real than ideas: a huge economic-historical process.

We can read as much Evola as we like, but those parts of 'human nature' he is (really) talking about: stoicism, asceticism, etc, mean shit to an aspiring young man with a hungry family. He (and more importantly, his fellow countrymen in the thid world) is/are going to engage him/themself(s) in the above economic-historical process in order to achieve 1) material prosperity 2) reconigition as an individual with rights and freedom of association. Evola was a wealthy baron who never had to work a day in his fucking life.

And to bring it back to the subject of this thread: Liberalism does cause terrorism sure, but in 0.0000000000000001 per cent of the population. All stages in the process of history produce friction: the point is where the overall direction is headed, and whether liberalism will indeed represent the 'end of history' where no new fundamental contradictions will arise that will challenge the system.

Interzone / Re: Good books on the vedas?
« on: January 15, 2013, 02:24:46 AM »
Thanks Cargest.

Interzone / Re: Good books on the vedas?
« on: January 13, 2013, 07:25:00 PM »
Thanks 'Grim'!

I've read the Gita though. I'm looking for good sources on vedic philosophy (i'm assuming vedic philosophy is different from that expressed in the Upanishads - but I might be wrong, which is what you seem to be indicating).


Metal / Re: DLA/Deathmetal.org publication
« on: January 12, 2013, 08:49:22 PM »
Definetely. Would be great if a collection of writings could be published.

Interzone / Good books on the vedas?
« on: January 12, 2013, 07:28:49 PM »
Any suggestions? Also, what is the difference between vedic philosophy and the philosophy of the Upanishad period, and what is the place of the Gita in all this? I believe Evola might have touched on some of this, but i forget.

Metal / Re: Death metal is religious music in an atheist age
« on: January 04, 2013, 11:26:02 PM »
there is an order that exists prior to human subjectivity, which, because of it's exisential priorty, deserves reverence.

Rather it inspires reverence, hence the art of it.

Psychologically speaking I tend to think it's the other way round. BECAUSE it's prior, it inspires reverence. If Being, clarified by science, inspired reverence, then everyone whould be making death metal. They're not, so of those people making death metal some of them are probably people with the 'religious' urge, who are not theists: they are drawn to celebrate what is prior, inescapable, 'natural', essential, and at the root of all individual Being according to a non-theist view. Religiosity is a particular disposition: an essentialist one, or the disposition towards seeing existence as rooted in prior structures as opposed to being 'made up' as the left existentialists like Sartre thought.

Metal / Re: Death metal is religious music in an atheist age
« on: January 04, 2013, 06:33:46 PM »
I've always thought of Death Metal as a higher form of art for its imitation of life, but not in any theistic way; in a way that, just like science, renders theism irrelevant. Over and over again, the religious worship of idols as the givers of life and creators of this world has lead to the ignoring of what the essence of life really is.

I thik the religious worship of idols was just a natural outgrowth of the particular understanding of reality that existed at different times in human intellectual history. I don't think it was a purposeful ignoring of what the essence of life really is. It's complicated because there are example of, for instance, the catholic church supressing new and more accurate representations of reality. I'm unsure.

Death metal, just like science, lays down the ugly truth of life's both inherent meaning and meaninglessness. I'm so over religion and philosophy. Neither could show the brilliant architecture of organs, cells, DNA, neurons, the human brain. Without science, we would still be ignorant to the phenomenon of programmed cell death, the very mechanism by which all living cells die, which is programmed into our DNA. Without science, we would have never had a way to concretely prove that death is an imperative function of life.

I have sympathy with this view point, and the elegant, powerful 'glasses' science gives which so quickly cut to the core and reduce other modes of explanation to lumbering, strained prostrations. When, finally, with a microscope you can see each individual chromosome in a chromosome pair in an individual living cell being dragged to opposide ends of the cell nucleus, and then replicating to become TWO chromosome pairs and see two cells where there was previously one, you can see with your own eyes the physical basis of biological development. When you see each pair of a chromosome in an individual cell being dragged to opposide ends of the cell nucleus without replicating and there being two gamete (sperm or egg) cells where there was previously only one, but with only one individual chromosome in each or half the amount of genetic material in each compared with each cells in the body, and you suddenly realise this could be the physical basis for inheritance, which, by virtue of the behaviour of the chromosomes conforms to mendel's laws and books and books on the outcomes of breeding experiments, other explanations become trivial.

However most individual humans need more than this. And whole societies should not exist without myths, art, and literature on what it all means. They can, but if they do they increasingly become characterised by two goods: sex and shopping. You can't have a society where death has no meaning. Religion has its place. Transcendence has it's place.   

Metal / Re: Death metal is religious music in an atheist age
« on: January 04, 2013, 06:13:33 PM »
Death metal is non-moral realism

I like your dichotomy between black metal and death metal. However I think there is some moral/normative (or romantic, whatever) component to even death metal, or it wouldn't be music i.e. abstract, but rather purely concrete and discriptive sounds: of people dying, or something, accompanied by pictures of human dissection. It isn't completely non-moral. It is concerned with making art out of the brutal non-moral realism that we have at this point revealed in our quest to understand our reality. So the reality that death metal is working in and being composed by human beings in is non-moral, but in the act of being created death-metal is necessarily transcending this because art 'creates' a moral, so to speak. I don't listen to morbid angel and think nihilistically. I feel that reality (spoken off through the riff, the structure, the poetic meaninig of the lyrics etc, the production etc) has been vindicated.

Death metal is religious music in an a-theist age precisely because it takes the religious attitude towards a typically 'non-religious' reality. It is the same essentialist attitude taken by pagans and christians: there is an order that exists prior to human subjectivity, which, because of it's exisential priorty, deserves reverence. However the particular order that exists prior to human subjectivity to the composer of death metal is a necessarily a 'godless' one.

A few days ago I wrote a post criticising a homily given by a local priest. The priest had argued that Mary was not favoured because she was special but because she was a poor confused peasant girl and that God favours the poor, broken down and marginalised. The equivalent of Mary in the modern world, continued the priest, are the likes of the Sri Lankan refugees and the Palestinians in the occupied territories.

I agreed with the priest that it is sometimes when we are at our lowest that the egoistic self gives way and we become more receptive to God. But I wrote too that:

I find it difficult to believe that we should automatically side with whoever seems to be most powerless, as if being powerless defines you as good.

In the comments I added some further thoughts, which several readers have urged me to include in a post. The gist of it is that focusing always on being weak or powerless can be one factor in alienating men from Christianity:

I know people whose fathers have died and it sometimes affects them very deeply. Not just in the sense of mourning a lost one, but in the sense of their existential stability. The father brought a sense of assurance and stability to their lives.

And this is an aspect of men attempting to be strong for the benefit of those around them, those they are responsible for.

The interpretation of Christianity made by my local priest suggests that a man who is successfully strong in this way is separating himself from the good. He should instead focus on and identify with being powerless, broken down, marginalised etc.

If this is true it sets up an irresolvable contradiction in the lives of men. Our worldly role would be to be strong; our religious role would be to be weak.

I don't think this is how Christianity was understood by previous generations of Christians. I think instead the idea that we should treat well "the least amongst you" meant that those who were strong should not abuse those less fortunate.

You can see this is in the ethos of the Christian knight; you can see it in Western literature (as when in a Jane Austen novel the heroine is chastised for mocking a poor widow).

Is it not true that men should be morally strong and self-disciplined? That men should be strong in wisdom and prudence? That men should be strong in discharging their duties to family and community? Whilst at the same time serving God in a spirit of humility? (i.e. not adopting a stance of arrogant, closed off self-sufficiency).

Cannot the Church sometimes encourage men to be strong? (For instance, in their role as husbands and fathers within a family?)

Maybe this is part of the reason why many men don't feel as connected to Christianity as they might. They know that they have to develop their masculine strengths as best they can, but when they sit in a church they hear a message that identifies the good with being broken down, weak and marginalised.

It's not that churches shouldn't challenge the way people ordinarily think, but in this case the churches are challenging genuine duties held by men. It makes the message heard by men in the churches feel alien to their deeper conscience.

I'd like to hear a sermon which praises men for a strength of perseverance in working to support their families. Or for a strength in maintaining composure when there is stress within their families. Or for exercising a masculine protectiveness in stepping in when their wives need support. And so on.

And rather than charity meaning supporting Palestinians against Israelis, maybe it could be an encouragement to do something practical and local, for instance, helping an elderly person maintain their home, or doing some maintenance work for the local kindergarten.

I wrote this several days ago, but the significance of it has been confirmed by the Christmas Day sermon of the next Archbishop of Canterbury, Bishop Justin Welby. In this sermon, you get the same theme that Christians should aim to be vulnerable and weak as this is what makes a man receptive to God's transforming love. I can't reproduce the whole sermon but here are some snippets:

This is the true triumph, of utter vulnerability that in weakness overthrows every apparent strength.

Glorifying God, leaking into the world the love that he leaks into us through the wounds and breaches and gaps of our own lives

we do in the world what God does in us. We receive His love where we are vulnerable and weak, and lose sight of it when we claim strength and power. Christians reach to the jagged edges of our society, and of the world in general.

we must begin with weakness and vulnerability

God comes to us through the breaches and wounds of our lives because He comes in utter vulnerability. We are to be those who allow Him to make us vulnerable, welcome the weakness we have

It's not that I think this is entirely false. There are people who on hearing this kind of message might let go of their egoistic defences and become more receptive to the Christian message.

But think of the logic of what is being proposed in Bishop Welby's sermon. If it's true that we receive God's love when we are vulnerable and weak, then presumably we are to aim at being vulnerable and weak (we are to welcome our weaknesses, rather than trying to overcome them). And mere powerlessness, rather than goodness or faithfulness, becomes the deciding factor in who is most blessed. The Palestinians get to be defined as the good guys not because their cause is deemed just or because their acts are deemed more moral, but simply because they don't as yet have the upper hand. And if they do get the upper hand, then they won't be the good guys anymore - they'll drop back in moral status.

Nor is it true, in my opinion, that we are only open to God "in extremity". It could be claimed equally that the religious experience is often a "peak experience" - one that comes to us most forcefully when we are physically and mentally at our best. And when this happens, we have a sense not of powerlessness but of our powers being held in their proper place. It is a feeling of being completed or fulfilled in who we are, and it is that feeling which brings us a sense of peace, of a natural sense of humility before God, of the Biblical virtue of "prautes" (a measured, deliberate, self-possessed response to things) and of a desire to serve God's will. But it is definitely not an experience of weakness or powerlessness.

Finally, I don't think it's true either that the only way for a church to encourage people to be open to the religious experience is by emphasising our weakness as a way of dissolving an excessive egoism. Churches might also encourage time for contemplation and prayer; inspiring forms of architecture, music and art; a form of the mass that imparts a sense of the sacred; and a striving toward moral virtue.

And many people are led toward a religious outlook by what they experience as beautiful, good and true and which then inspires their particular loves. They might be inspired in this way by an ideal of manhood or womanhood, by the love they feel for their spouse or children, by the higher forms of art and culture, by the beauty of nature or by the goodness they discern within a communal life and tradition.

Bishop Welby's Christianity doesn't and can't speak to any of this, as it defines the good narrowly in terms of weakness, vulnerability and powerlessness. I don't think this is a form of Christianity that is likely to stand in the longer term. It leaves too much out and, as I argued in my comment, it establishes a particular difficulty for men who are called on to be strong for the benefit of those around them.


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