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August 08, 2005

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On the other hand...
There's still much to be done.

"The attacker's advantage." Militant moderation is a hard stance by contrast.

WHAT'S THE BLOG ABOUT ?

What is this present blog about ? A lot of the statements here seem tinged with the weird attitude of ambivalence/tolerance of ambiguity, that is characteristic of the relativist/post-modernist crowd (and the ANTI-intellectuals, like Richard Rorty, that are their leaders) .

Unless I have misunderstood the intention of the message posters here, there seems to be a disdain here for the pro-life movement .

As a NON-postmodernist progressive and extreme enviromentalist I find it highly incongruous that so many people who go under the banner of being socially progressive support abortion on demand . There is NOTHING whatsoever inherently compassionate or nurturing about abortion on demand (especially not when it is requested by these spoiled, yuppie hot- to- trot , vapid conformists ---who are apparently wealthy enough to care for a child's various expenses were they decent enough to instead of killing it for the sake of maintaining some metrosexual "lifestyle") . If progressives or "liberals" ----of the *postmodernist version* truly care about promoting a nurturing civilization and a politics of meaning then they should abandon such a wholesale defense of abortion on demand .

Of course it is incongruous at large that many of those who claim to support a progressive agenda would also support (or even partially support)relativism/ambivalent thinking when such an wishy washy outlook undermines the nobler ideals they give lip service to in the first place .

And incidently by 'nobler ideals' I do NOT mean supporting the sexual lifestyle of some person . How sexual lifestyles have been mystified into posing as being somehow a so-called "identity" is weird in the first place. Marx was wrong , Religion is NOT the opiate of the masses. Sex is the opiate of the masses !

Nice to meet you, Jason. Would you be upset if I called you a sanctimonious, vituperative and hysterically absolutist blue nose whose creepy obsession with other people's sexual habits, tolerance for murderers and moral relativism make him unfit to participate in any dialogue?

He might not be, but I am, Harry. Jason hasn't yet proved himself unfitm ahd he should get the benefit of the doubt. Don't we all get a secong or third chance to say stupid things here before we get the chance to buy a round on our way out ?

JJ, it struck me as truly odd that someone could read this blog and find support for Rorty, relativism and anti-intellectualism, and then use that as a spingboard for a rant against metrosexuals. "Pro-life" in this country is usually anything but, and they embrace relativism with a vengeance.

I've gotten a better idea of what galls the Tutor so much about post modernism recently. The biggest issue is hypersubjectivity, which, ironically for a PoMo foe, Jason indulges liberally.

Starting a comment with the caps lock on is almost invariably a declaration of intolerance and anger.

That said, I could be way off base and misjudged Jason's ability to participate in two way communication. You're certainly right about the second and third chances. I'd be lost without them.

To be fair, Harry didn't call him a name (and a long involved one at that), but asked him what he thought of it. I too am puzzled about how Jason comes to his critique since the subjects he rails against are rare here.

I for one will take my stand with Absolute Relativism, no wait, that was Relative Absolutism. Whatever, the idea is that there are absolutes, things that are facts of existance, but we have rather limited access to them. Relative to where I stand, the Absolute is distant and receding.

Gerry, JJ saw right through me. When I was a kid, everyone called questions like the one I asked "ball grabbing". It undoubtedly rubbed him the wrong from seeing similar in the corporate world, where that rhetorical device is used to belittle and bully.

Jason, I suspect, won't be coming back here to follow up. Angry screeds hurled at strangers at 3 in the morning are usually one offs.

I had the impression it might be boilerplate, something he could drop on sites that stained his PoMo MoFo litmus. But if I take 100 of my impressions and create a loose mosaic, it could be said they form an ambivalent, tolerant, ambiguous...picture of Jesus Lord our Savior feeding the homeless. Especially those homeless with tourettes. Considering abortions. On Sunday. (Outch, my penis hurts.)

Jesus kept getting called out for lifting up the scorned, the institutionally-designated scorn-worthy, the biblically-sanctioned scorn-worthy.
Jesus became even more infamous when he prevented the stoning, the biblically-sanctioned stoning, of the woman taken in adultery.
2000 years later his name is invoked by contemporary stone-throwers who follow the very dogma - eye for an eye!, death to the blasphemers! - he was executed for transgressing.
You tell me, Jason, how is that become the way things are?
Whine about it all you want, but the truth is Jesus didn't follow the party line, and it got him in a world of trouble.

Ambiguity failed
when Jesus got nailed.
But the Holy Ghost
was a big hit at the Friar's Roast,
and a still point made unreal
anchored Satan's spinning wheel,
with bible bloopers and bawdy flubs:
he killed in seven hundred clubs.

Great to see we are gaining the interest of a wider audience. As a moral relativist, I see no harm in absolutists. As Dick Minim always reminds me, "There is good and bad in all people; the main thing is not to make much of a bother."

Taking Jason's point seriously, how can those who espouse love, compassion, and life embrace abortion? The truth is that they can't and don't. Anyone with a conscience can only be filled with regret, sorrow, and pain at the thought of it.

Why, though, use the dreadfully difficult dilemas, the moral choices that cause anguish, to drive wedges among this group and that group? Who does that kind of dirty work and why?

I welcome conservatives here and wish more would come. While the "vehicle" of these satires is as obscene as old Roman Comedy, the "tenor," the points being made are most often Biblical.

In this case, you will note that I am dropping my drawers and turning the other cheek.

Taking Jason's point seriously, how can those who espouse love, compassion, and life embrace abortion?

How can we not? Unwilling pregnancy producing unwanted life is a great tragedy. It's not the sort of tragedy from which people can readily learn. More often than not, the same cycle that led to the dilemma in the first place is recapitulated. Pregnancy and parenting are hard enough without being dragooned into them. The talk of the "frivolous" abortions of "metrosexuals" is ugly misanthropy and often, I suspect, deliberately counterproductive -- a deliberate attempt to incite hostility, so that reasoning becomes more difficult and responses are made in anger. The regard for the sanctity of the potential for innocent life, which innocence is lost right after parturition, seldom endures long enough to ensure the rest of that life is sacred.

Life is not just a concept for mystics. Caring for life is hard work. It can't be encapsulated in the slogans of anti-abortion activists.

Tragedy, said Hegel, is a "splitting of the ethical substance." Abortion pro and con is a tragedy. "Terror and pity" seem a better response on both sides than polemic. What an awful choice for any woman to face. Those who judge either way with vehemence seem to have their heads and hearts around only part of the story. To make political hay of these divisive and painful issues seems so machiavellian. I am much more interested in what might unite us, like respect for human life, human dignity, liberty, privacy, and a sense of humility in the face of the spritual. Such commitments conflict in the nexus around the abortion issue. Hence its tragic dimension.

Terror and pity? It's nothing so dramatic, Tutor. For most people, an arbortion is dodging a disaster. The only terror comes from having to navigate heartless bullies waving jars with fetuses, their comrades with guns and bombs, and the fear of a medical procedure. Being forced to have an abortion is terrorizing.

No, Harry, this is wrong. Women who choose abortion for very good reasons often morn the loss. Not that they would make the decision differently, but still, it is a great loss.

Tutor, you have it right on about making political hay out of this on both side.

I knew one woman who in the 70's had multiple abortions, a sort of "month-after" birth-control device, and didn't seem to suffer much psychically for it. I know another who had one and still seems traumatized by the decision, experience, and loss. The former went on to marry and raise a family of several kids. The latter married late in life and remains childless.

Gerry, I phrased what I wrote carefully and mentioned nothing about mourning. There are undoubtedly people who do mourn. The terror is caused by one side only, many of whom adamantly oppose any policies or measures that would lessen the occurrences of abortion.

I pity people who find themselves feeling ambivalent about choosing abortion or who are forced, for whatever reason, to choose it.

As far as both sides making political hay, I find it hard to compare vocal, aggressive advocates to people who would eliminate the option -- frequently by any foul means they can find -- and not find the latter seriously wanting.

Ok, (setting the mole.ball on the tee) can you conceive, in the extreme, that the purged zygote/fetus is terrorized by the curettage, etc?

Mole, I can. Too much imagination or empathy maybe, but I can imagine it very well. The person who might have been, I can imagine that too, and certainly would imagine it if I were the father. On balance I come out on the side that says it is not our choice to make for another, but I do understand how it appals many people, particularly if it becomes commonplace as form of birth control. As one raised Catholic, I can't help wondering at what age the little creature has a soul. Gruesome - I really am reticent to talk about it at all, and find it disturbing that so many talk so much about it, and with such self-righteousness as if their's were the only side. The sacrality of human life, if you begin there it leads you places that cross party lines.

Pregnancies unwanted in a commodified landscape where any living thing gets its value from its price-tag and its current ranking on the exchange rate.
The context is more flawed than the unwanted pregnacy is.
Who says an 18 year old is too immature to give birth and raise a kid? Who says pregnancy should always be a rational choice?
The same people that force kids into schools and don't let them out until they're 18. How long has that been reality? 4 generations?
Since we all undergo that process, we all think it's the way things are. And consequently should be.
Horse potatoes.
Unwanted pregancies by people who want what otherwise?
Two SUV's and a house that will go for 700K in a year after they bought it at 500?
Because if the rest of their values aren't lined up what they want or don't want doesn't mean anything.
Start from whether or not the culture in which the pregnancy occurs is basically okay or at least fixable.
Keep in mind it's burning 380 million gallons of gasoline every day while the evidence of damage mounts.
That will set your priorities, and also expose the depth of your hypocrisy and the shallowness of your vision.
Abortion is a manufactured issue, like the pseudo-contest between "evolution" and "creationism" or "Darwinism" and "Intelligent Design", whose real purpose is to hide the more complex scientific and spiritual truths of existence and increase the polarity that's already dividing the common people.
Making them too weak to be any kind of threat to the real forces of darkness; leaving a core population of obedient and docile servants, and a marginal population of muddled but rebellious independents.
Both clearly marked by the flags of their polarized beliefs.

Juke, I think you got it right. The point is to drive a wedge and get us all fighting among ourselves while the real game is played out behind the curtain. "Frame in/Frame out." Same mentality. We talk about what's on tv, but the whole stream is a gluttonous mass of advertising sewage on which little chips of entertainment float, speckled over with product placement. Dabbling in the sewage, tossing it here and there, changes nothing.

I don't know how helpful this would be, but have you considered some sort of spiritual and moral user fee for access to the right to somatic self-determination? Liberty vouchers, maybe, for people whose community standing best reflects the moral ideal?

The best way to judge that is by simple and objective standards. It's a given that an expressed vision may not be the best guide. Inarguably, self-determination is diminshed when too many people, or the wrong sort of people, use it. It's a zero sum game. When people misuse it, it's wasted and what's left is spoiled for everyone else. A simple pay to play scheme would ensure the tragedy of the commons isn't recapitulated. Ironically, possession of that SUV and a 700 K house are just the sort of standard for issuing liberty vouchers I had in mind. These people have a stake in maintaining liberty. The way I see it, abortion should only be an option for people who have demonstrated moral worthiness.

It's possible that I've misinterpreted or even misrepresented the nature of the discussion, and its participants, in offering this suggestion. If so, I am truly sorry.

Interesting, Tigg. You might also consider a special Platinum Liberty Voucher (licensing retroactive abortion) for those patriots who have demonstrated exceptional moral fiber. Never underestimate the suffering of those especially dedicated to maintaining liberty when they are disappointed by a child totally inappropriate to their station.

Liberty Vouchers seem pretty credible actually. We would all get them at birth in the exact same amount, since liberty is a guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. But each of us would also be free, or at liberty, to sell our vouchers. An abortion would cost x number of vouchers. Euthansia would cost a certain number. To start a business would have a price. You might also accrue liberty vouchers for time served in Wealth Bondage. Vouchers would allow us to harness the information embedded in the market, "the miracle of the pricing mechanism." The vouchers could be traded on a public exchange, along with options, puts and calls. They could also, presumably, be bequeathed free of tax.

Alternative currencies with some bite to them. Its a hot topic lately at O-net, but I fear it has been hijacked by some who don't really get what inclusion is all about. These Liberty vouchers have a similar feel to the Philo. Good thing nobody comes over here, or I would be accused of bad-mouthing important figures in the community.

Reducing quality to quantity is the first move of a Bethamite. "You can't manage what you can't measure." Everything has to be reduced to a number. The value of your holdings, the value of ideas, your class rank, the Omidyar point system, league tables in sports, strike out records. We have a hard time using other standards, like "bona fama," reputation based on taste, and the commentary of experts.

Sort of a dilemma from my perspective. The conflict between inclusion and quality. I like to think that if you get the balance right, and bring the crowd with you ... Well, maybe not the whole crowd, but a committed few who will lead whether from the point or in support.

Lately I've been wondering if the character of the site will change as larger and larger numbers join and become active. The recent rounds with an enthusiastic new user is very interesting, particularly how he recovered and how people whose extremely critical words are still there to read are now making nice and contributing to his cause.

The points leader board is likely to shift if more like that come and begin to feel welcome and/or find their own corners of the site to work and play. The language will likely shift too.

Is there a different way to measure a gift? I'm thinking of Hyde's descriptions of the potlatch rituals where the stories of previous gifts are told and the energy of the situation is to honor that history by not only matching, but going further.

What must be changed if we really want an alternative currency that functions more like a system of gifts that capital? Where the value of the currency is in spending it, not in holding it.

Good questions, Gerry. Maybe the points decay unless given away?

Interresting that you should mention that unprompted. The term demurrage is used to describe this. The Wikipedia entry is pretty interresting too as it gives an idea of where the term came from with this use as the third entry.

Of course, as you point out the most important effects are beyond measure, so perhaps there is a still deeper question that gets to motivation, drive, passion. Instead of worrying so much whether our social investments are effective and efficient, we need to tell the story of each gift, to make it more than just the exchange value. A certain amount of forgetfullness about the currency measures, particularly in the largest aggregates would be useful.

http://napsterization.org/stories/archives/000513.html

Jeepers, Gerry, for an MIT engineer, you are amazingly sensitive to what really is missing. In small groups, on blogs, in families, in a liberal arts classroom, in a tribe, platoon, neighborhood, guild, sewing bee, or a small working unit in a business, so much is conveyed by stories, mememories of deeds good and bad. Our status and reputation is formed from a three dimensional living assessment, adjusted by gossip, closer to how critics assess poems than how chicken pluckers assess chicken carcasses. Taste, love, solidarity, group dynamics cannot be reduced to a single number, whether net worth, class rank, grade point average, position on a best seller list, or number of gold stars. We are driven to the univalent measures when large groups interact impersonally over long distances. But a place like O.net is a "campus quad," or coffee house, or hangout, it does not need a rating system - it is insulting and leads to bullying. The best minds come briefly see the setup and vanish; they have no intention of competing for frigging points with beginners who are trading points with one another for reading and admiring each other's drivel. They have seen that some of the high point mavens are well-intentioned and full of good will, but also detached from the real world work being done in these areas, whereas some of the low point people are acknowledged leaders with more to do than hang out shooting the breeze with random interlocutors. The key is how do we build working civic friendships, or social capital, so that we can readily trade favors, offer counsel, give encouragement, and find common purposes into which we fit our specific skills. O.net is a talk-fest for lonely people with time on their hands. Blogging too, no doubt, but blogging can be a way to gradually work out and think through a perspective, test it on others, and begin to rally resources. Points? I really don't want them. I want a few good friends and colleagues who have something to teach me, and who know me well enough to ding me when I need it, and who can give me from day to day as reading on whether we are "getting warmer," closer to something viable. Onet to me lacks interpersonal distance. The people seem packed together, jostling for status, and constantly stepping on each other's toes. And the presence of Onet money is a mixed blessing. It brings out all kinds of obsequious behavoir, and endless praises of the Omidyar's and defenses of their project. Even a King would weary of it.

Most of all I find the style very dull. The group has decided that the middle brow, middle class, deocrum of "being nice" though passive aggressive is the way to go. They don't get satire, wit, or irreverence. Too many geeks and literalists. They get genuinely upset when their assumptions are undermined. So the "let's be nice frame" is forced around the discussion. "People are nice; we exist to help you be nice; or we will beat the shit of of you." Add to that some who come are crooks and some are emotionally unstable or crackpots.

Ah well, a noble effort and I hope it works well. We certainly need online civic communities that go beyond blogs and are devoted to an ideal. I wish them well and will continue to participate from time to time.

"Even a King..."
Once you get that role fixed in the hologram, seen from the inside too, you realize how Shakespeare was given the keys to everything. How perfectly the feudal relationship mirrors all social hierarchies.
The best monarch serves his subjects literally, as a servant the domestic needs of the household, the body's comforts and demands - the good king attends the long-haul requisites of his people with that same devotion, the bigger, external environment of the kingdom like a house.
We were taught to scorn any and all monarchy, even though we came through that, and it wasn't always hell. A good king can move faster than any parliamentary body. A good king with a willing and noble court can get a lot more done a lot more quickly than any other form of governance we've known.
The risk is the bad king's tyranny. But the tyranny of a bred-down mob is no less fatal to the grace of human possibility.
Noblesse oblige has no pertinence now only because there is so little nobility here to be reminded of its obligations.

Rollo - you surprise me. A Royalist of the old school. I think a lot about "excellence" and "human flourishing" and democracy. TS Eliott suggested in Notes on Culture that you can have an elite culture with high culture, or you can have the demos with its execreble taste, manners, and petty morals. A noble culture has much to recommend it, as did the slave culture of the old South, but we are committed to to democracy. The follow through has to revolve around education, civic conversation, and awakening the swine Circe has enchanted, or Candidia. ("But they choose their swill- - of course every teacher knows that, and yet we don't teach comics just because kids like to consume them.)

In the American democracy the common man is king(gender-neutral-inclusive pronouns and nouns added per your request upon receipt).
It still works. We're looking at potential here.
There's no equating monarchies with slave-cultures except as derogatory recipients of scorn and rejection of the bad old days. Slavery, no matter how benign, will have its foundation in horror and inhumanity. Monarchy's high points get left out of the discussion.
The prospect of someone having the ability and power to have Bill O'Reilly's rectal-analog cabeza chopped off and stuck on a pike in the zocalo on a whim simply "Because We say it will be done" has an endearing lustre, a cathartic pleasing glow.
And getting all that definitional, parsing, hermeneutic static and noise out of the way would be a great relief.
It wasn't a defense of royal rule so much as a condemnation of the fatuous assumptions that prevail, currently.
Democracy having given us the Bush Administration, it has much to answer for.

OK, Rollo, democracy does indeed have much to answer for. Could we say, then, with Leo Strauss, that what we need is the rule of the wise, who act either asphilosopher kings, or the teachers of benign tyrants? A seductive thought, one that has done its damage in neocon circles. The wise rule through the benign tyrant and via message discipline, branding, and the co-optation of charistmatic symbols, like the Bible and the Flag. We get the government, and the market, we deserve, but surely we can do better by means of open discussion and debate.

WB may yet surface as the gadfly, stinging the message discipline types into reply. We need to reconvene a real conversation of democracy, as rough and wild as speech can get, not decorous, for the decorous are often the doers of dirty deeds in secret. Their enforcement of polite decorum is for the purpose of shutting out the criticism that shames them. For that satire was invented thousands of years ago. The politest of figures dons the hair shirt of the goat and begins his dance. The King looks away, or smile patronizingly, but if the satirst does his job well, risking his own skin, the crowd forms a circle around satirist and tryant, and begin the slow clapping that precedes catharthis. Raised to the level of art this is the dance of life, the great tide of blood and tears that is history.

It may be that whatever solution we produce, that that thing over there will extract the template for it, and apply that map to its own end.
We sentimentalize, it sentimentalizes; we disavow the temporal, it embraces the eternal...etc.etc. ad infinitum.
When you place your own survival at the heart of moral distinguishing, lies told to gain advantage become truths.
There's the source of my lunge toward aesthetics above ethical reason - that thing can't compete in that particular arena, because it's ugly, its products are ugly, its presence creates an ugliness wherever it goes, its medium is constant ugly - ugliness is all it knows.
It needs rules, and it needs those rules to be revered, to circumvent the wrongness of its being, rules to bend and corrupt but rules that must be kept visible and securely in place, so they can be repurposed toward its triumph.
The moral vacuum of watching a pepsis wasp sting a caterpillar and lay her eggs within its living shell.
Where paralyzed it will be their grotesque and helpless nanny, until their growth subsumes its half-life completely.
From here it's all so what? on that.
From there it depends on your own conformation.
Wasp?
Worm?
What?
Lear's fool is my hero, but that can't be too firmly broadcast without imbalance - to be a fool and do his work he must be regarded with almost-scorn, praise-withheld just-in-case - and he needs a monarch there to be what he is, fool, heroic or not.
Lear I guess too, heroic, but the fool most of all. Love and tragic sorrow all bound up in the necessity of a move toward resolution.
The Straussian exigency is redirection of the human toward their own aesthetic. To assume the centrality of what it is to be human. Part of that scam was to elide the knowledge of malleable humanity, to create the illusion of immutable us. Cain and Abel, only we're all them, all Cain all Abel, the loss of one or the other meaning nothing in the long run. When in reality it changes the shape of what we are forever.
Pepsis wasps are simply going about their business. And the truth of the caterpillar's metamorphic lay-by, butterfly still to come, means nothing to her, or them, or it.
Just us.
The cry of the half-awake. The demand of the myopic. The assertion of the thing we are.
The knowledge that to be you have to be inside the boundaries of the play. And it's a very big stage we're on.

I think I actually get your drift, Rollo. The Fool is my hero and role model as well, a sorry Fool, who must to kennel, for truth is a bitch. As for the wasp, yes, isn't that the secret power of not only aesthetics but of philosophy too? The origial thinker, and I am reluctantly coming around to the belief that Strauss is one, lays his eggs inside the living tissue of a tradition, to make it the carrier of his own progreny. Nihilism was Strauss's dark double, in the end I don't see that he evades it successfully. He welcomes truth, beauty, and all the Gods that vacuum. He was clearly a vain and egotistical man, who considered himself better than the general run of humankind and prided himself in attracting around him "his puppies," now Bush's spaniels. Though he wrote about philosopical style, his own is an elephantine imitation of Heidegger, an influence he minimizes, while betraying it in his oracular manner. He was no friend of democracy. And was a subtle dancer with Tyranny, holding it so close it was hard to tell whether it was a battle or an embrace. What he offers is pride, spiritual pride, to those who are his designees. Quite despicable at the human level, very transparent as a technique of manipulation. I have known many another who had the same flaw. One can't help imagining the puppy of a real philosopher like Diogenes, who would have raised his hind leg on Strauss's flannel slacks.

Some of the stories of Diogenes make me think he would have pissed on those flanel slacks himself. If he were alive today, he might well do it. Would be quite the spectical for a day or three, but then the media machine would close around itself again with the Fool safely returned to the alylum. At least he would be welcome around the dumpster.

That effort is what Diogenes lived for - the moment of truth - not the pursuit of truth. What he lived for was the moment when truth is hazarded in the streets, as the forces that be move in, and the Fool must live by his wits. He lived that way to a very old age. In one tale, as you know, he was sold into slavery and became his master's master. Not as a scholar, but purely on intuition, it seems to me that Jesus in the Temple, or trading lines with Pilate, to get himself crucified, has very much the sound of Diogenes and his pranks. I am not sure if it was in the air at that time or what, but Jesus too was Trickster who lived in the street, and who best lines were impromptu. No script. The Truth is made flesh in the moment of Truth and our bearing witness to it in many guises, including inspired foolery.

That Sheehan woman has something of Diogenes in her, and she may yet become her master's conqueror, defeating him by her mere stubborn presence and the riddle her presence poses.

Amidst the staged shows, some events we sense are real and embody their own deep truth. Whatever they do with Sheehan, she wins. That is how Diogenes played it.

PRELIMINARY REMARKS
(DEAR HARRY)

The Jesus of the Gospels was NOT ambivalent/ambiguous ----in short was NOWHERE near being any relativist, postmodernist . To suggest that Jesus was some ambivalent , "conflicted", ambiguous, opinion-respecting kind of guy is at best appallingly misinmformed, in a man- bites- dog fashion , and at its worst, blasphemy !

Jesus was very much a single-minded purist and a utopian . The stones that Jesus discouraged the mob from throwing at the adulteress were real actual stones. It is folly to take the dictum of "let him who is with out sin cast the first stone" and redefine it to falsely apply to those that *verbally* condemn opinions and lifestyles. Jesus was no conflicted postmodernist who withheld criticism from "lifestyles" and opinions. Instead, he was (and is) very much a vehement ,extremely zealous person who did NOT hesitate to denounce murky,superficial, crass lifestyles and opinions (such of those that oppressed the poor and/or engaged in status seeking) He was very much an ideologue (aka a person who believes consistently) .

So often people who are ambivalent and thus (wrongly) believe that values and/or truth is relative to so called "perspective" or opinion love to take the saying of Jesus, 'judge not that ye be not judged/condemn not that ye be not condemned'--- and misconstrue it by trying to apply it to that which it does NOT apply!!!!! Judging an opinion or a "lifestyle" is NOT in any way the same as judging the person that supports that opinion or lifestyle. Opinions and lifestyles are NOT part of the person that supports that opinion or lifestyle.

A person's fingers are part of the person; a person's appendix is part of a person. Intangibles like opinions and "lifestyles" are in NO way part of the person . If one thinks otherwise then one would have to come to the conclusion that if a person comes to disavow support for an opinion or lifestyle that they previously supported then they would be somehow less themselves ----or that part of their identity was missing---- which is absurd.

There is nothing un-compassionate about telling someone that the opinion and/or lifestyle they support is totally wrong . No-one ever died merely by being told that the opinion or lifestyle they support is totally wrong ! One can still be compassionate to a person and vehemently denounce the lifestyle they support as being totally wrong and worthless ! As much as I am obligated to hate the superficial conformity promoted by fashion designer Tommy Hillfigure (a man who has apparently not shown much dismay at people turning themselves into walking "advertisements" for brand name hype ) ---if he was ever broke , down on his luck , and in agonizing physical pain I would still if I had enough money or checks on me buy him some novacaine or asprin to ease the pain.

After all despite what the politically-correct , postmodernist weirdos may have claimed otherwise, it is people and NOT opinions & lifestyles that are the recipients of compassion !

Furthermore , there is nothing "self-righteous" nor "arrogant", nor "hubris" about being rigidly one sided and telling people some notion is totally wrong and totally without any merit or good points. It is another all so weird /all so bizarre misconception promoted by the relativist/postmodernist crowd that claims that one-sidedness is somehow supposedly the same as holding a high esteem of oneself. A person certainly can believe that the beliefs they support are superior to other contrary beliefs and yet NOT in any way believe that their personal self is superior . Such a person may believe that the role of their personal self is to be a mere instrument of the beliefs .

If a person states for example that the opinion espoused by someone which advocates racist genocide of some ethnic group because they look different is an ugly, evil, worthless, and totally wrong opinion (which it is) the person who thus denounces the opinion of the ultra-racist is NOT being self-righteous or arrogant by saying that the ultra-racist opinion is totally wrong, ugly ect. They are NOT guilty of any so-called "hubris" just because they don't take the ambivalent, "conflicted" ,pansy,pusillanimous MTV Generation/relativist approach of saying some inspid statement like , "well genocide is wrong to me, but the person who advocates genocide, that's right for them , but I just want them to look it from the other side and balance the way they feel with another perspective"--- or some similar monsterously insipid statement that respects opinions NO matter how unfounded !

If a person says that it is totally wrong (and NOT merely wrong according to some so called "perspective") for some macho cretin to rape a woman than they are *not* guilty of being "self-righteous" to denounce such rape either.

The weird, goofy attitude of ambivalence/tolerance of ambiguity that is relativism/postmodernism is, in a key aspect, furthermore, frighteningly similar to the Nazi movement . I know that will seem counterintuitive to so many people who have been brainwashed by the weird ideology of relativism that has weirdly for so long ironically claimed the opposite. To do that particular topic justice will require a longer post . But here's a foretaste---- the Nazi ideology (being quasi-relativist) conceptualized truth and normativity in general as mere constructs ----political constructs . That is quite similar to the ideology of the arch-relativist Michel Foucalt who apparently espoused the notion that there was NO intrinsic truth i.e. that truth was a political construct also. Hitler discouraged abstract intellectual conceptions of truth. Apparently he exhorted followers to "think with your blood". Unlike a rational teacher such as Plato, Hitler and his felow advocates of nazzism did *not* apparently believe that there was any meta-political truth or any other normative or meta-normative value which transcended the political . This is a point that Naziism, postmodernism, and the ideology of commercialism (which is really a con-committent ideology that goes along with postmodernism) all have in common .

But the relativists and quasi-relativists are all wrong , there are intrinsic meta-political truths /truth is NOT a mere construct; and though some bad thoughts and actions are worse than others there are NO "shades of grey" when it comes to values . And thus contrary to popular opinion :there are NOT two or more sides to every issue!!!!!!!!!!

PRELIMINARY HARRY

The Jesus of the Gospels was NOT short relativist, postmodernist ambivalent, "conflicted", ambiguous, opinion-respecting appallingly misinmformed and blasphemy! a single-minded purist and a utopian.
It is folly to condemn opinions and lifestyles lifestyles and opinions murky, superficial, crass lifestyles and opinions ambivalent and thus (wrongly) relative to so called to take the saying of Jesus an opinion or a lifestyle opinion or lifestyle.
Opinions and lifestyles are opinion or lifestyle.
A person's fingers like opinions and lifestyles are in one thinks otherwise then one would have to come to disavow support for an opinion or lifestyle part of their identity was missing - which is absurd
There is nothing about someone that the opinion and/or lifestyle the opinion or lifestyle denounce the lifestyle wrong and worthless!
some novacaine or asprin to ease the politically-correct, postmodernist weirdos NOT opinions & lifestyles so weird /all so bizarre misconception promoted
A person certainly can believe that the beliefs and yet NOT in any way believe the role of their personal self is to be a mere instrument of the beliefs the opinion espoused by someone ugly, evil, worthless, and totally wrong opinion the opinion is NOT opinion is totally wrong, ugly the ambivalent, "conflicted", pansy, pusillanimous MTV Generation/relativist saying some inspid statement like well some similar monsterously insipid opinions NO matter how wrong
(and NOT merely wrong macho cretin to rape to denounce such weird, goofy ambivalence/tolerance of ambiguity that is relativism/postmodernism is furthermore, frighteningly counterintuitive weird ideology of relativism that has weirdly ironically conceptualized truth and normativity
in general Hitler discouraged abstract intellectual conceptions of Plato,
Hitler and his felow meta-normative transcended postmodernism, and the ideology con-committent
ideology postmodernism relativists and quasi-relativists are mere construct;
and though some bad thoughts and actions are worse there are NO "shades of grey" when it comes to sides to every issue!!!!!!!!!!

SOME ADDENTUM

In regard to the abortion issue in particular , yes , indeed, it is incongruous for people who are ostensibly progressive minded/countercultural and who one would expect to want a more nurturing , kind civilization to want to defend abortion on demand. Yes, fetuses and babies (and with late term abortion we're talking about babies) CAN experience pain : there is enough brain tissue and nerves to process pain sensations !

In the earlier article I indicated that though abortion on demand is wrong , *some* leniency should be expressed towards poor young woman even if they have abortions (although for the case of poor young women gentle counsel should discourage abortion for them) .

However in the earlier post , it was indicated that economically well to do persons are especially inexcusable if they get an abortion to protect some "lifestyle" . Some wealthy ,spoiled yuppie, bourgeous, sexually liberated (aka slutty) woman of the "sex and the city" variety, who does have ample disposable income to pay for the basic needs of a child such as food, shelter, medical care ectera ....and yet who decides to have the child killed instead via abortion is taking a very disgusting and contemptible path, indeed!

If she didn't want the child then guess what: she shouldn't be chasing after these soulless, mindless exciting romps in the bedroom and orgasms and such similar sexual excitement garbage ! After all what does she have to lose by giving up that lurid stuff ? Or she should at least make a resolution to put the child up for adoption once she discovers that she is pregnant . It is weirdly inconsistent of some individuals to affirm that they wouldn't want to put a child up for adoption if they carried it to term because they would be too attached to it emotionally to give it up and yet are willing to abort it before reaching the delivery period !

I will say, however, even though I am vehemently ANTI-abortion that I wish more of the pro-life organizations would be doing more to fund and/or promote the funding of social services to pay for the financial expenses of poor and middle income mothers who have children ----social services either by goverment or private charities, or a combination of the two .

Not only are so-called progressives who support wholesale abortion on demand guilty of that ugly trait known as inconsistency , so are conservative fruitcakes who have little charity for the poor and who expect the poor women and their families to magically pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and who want in Reaganesque/Rush Limbaugh dittohead fashion to cut financial aid to the poor . People with such a conservative , shaft-the-poor outlook are embarassment to the pro-life cause. They should either straighten up or get out of our movement because they give the pro-life cause a bad name !

By the way , let me reinterate just because I support the pro-life agenda does NOT mean I am a conservative. In truth, I vehemently hate much of the ideology that flies under the banner of conservative----especially the ideology of neoconservatism (which tends to be pro-corporate,commercialist, globalist aplogetics).

What is especially repulsive about the puerile ideology, that is often referred to as conservatism, is the ever so weird, Twilight- Zone , yuppie-like tendency to disparage moral idealism and the Idea of Utopia and speak of words like 'idealistic' and 'utopia' or 'utopian' AS IF those were dirty words.

It is words and phrases like 'selling-out' ,'acceptance' 'mainstream' , 'balance',
'moderate', 'realistic', 'respectable mediocrity', 'conflicted', "another perspective" ---that actually are the dirty words (and phrases) !

This present discussion, of course, calls to mind the perennial insight that sooner or later such discussions should return to. An intrinsic virtue should NEVER be balanced, nor tempered, with that which is contrary to that virtue. An inherent virtue should never be moderated even a little bit. There should *never* be any "give and take " between the expression of that which is intrinsically a virtue and that which is inherently contrary to that virtue .

The essence of mediocrity is the tendency to practice a virtue in moderation. Moderation is fine ONLY for physical things like food, alchohol, exercise and so forth---NEVER for inherent virtue .

The voice of *mellow mediocrity* whispers in our mental ears the message "don't be so single minded" . In contrast the voice of the love of virtue (if you'll pardon the figurative/rhetorical phrase) whispers the opposite . It whispers ---or perhaps shouts--- 'DO be single-minded. Always be !'

Consistency is never foolish. It is flexibility that is the hobgoblin of small minds .

Hi Jason, I am curious to know how many different topic/commentary threads you read before posting your initial comment to this thread, "WHAT'S THIS BLOG ABOUT?"

REPLY TO A. MOLE

Dear sir or ma'am, are you referring to topics and threads did I read at *this present website* that I did or didn't read at this website before I asked the question : WHAT'S THIS BLOG ABOUT ? ....or topics and threads on the Internet in general at many websites did I read ....WHICH ?

By the way, perhaps you can help with a question I might put to you , what the Sam Hill is that person named Juke Moran up to with that "Preliminary Harry" scrambled "fascsimile" of the post I made, where he takes a copy (for lack of a better word) of the text I posted and scrambles the order of the letters ? Is that the newest fad of on line sabotage ?

what the Sam Hill is that person named Juke Moran up to

Playing the Fool for a fool who knows not that he is.

Jason, this site. Can't speak for Juke (the impertinent rascal.)

DEAR a.mole ,

Thank's for the clarification . No. I read the other threads at this site later after I read 'The Religious and Spiritual Left' and posted the question . I guess I was so flustered by noticing the ambivalent , weirdly NON-linear thinking in the statements made by other people posting in the first thread that I was chafing at the bit to respond . It never ceases to amaze me the weird tendency of people who pay some homage to progressive cultural ideals (and by the way I do NOT include supporting the weird sexual "lifestyles" of some people among progressive ideals) ....and yet undermine the more geniune progressive ideals by espousing the sell-out ideology of relativism and the weird patterns of thought which tend to go along with relativism ---such as that weird, worthless sort of thinking known as :lateral thinking !

DEAR GERRY

Are you one of those people who believes that it is somehow "foolish" for someone (whether that someone be me or anyone else) to advocate that people should always try to be totally consistent in thinking ?

Remember, consistency (when coupled with other virtues) most definitely is a virtue !

DEAR JASON,

You have much more homework to do before you will cease to annoy the rest of the dumpster dwellers around here. A fooling consistency means you are not paying attention to local conditions. Be careful, it may get you killed one day.

Consistency in pursuit of creativity is bordom and stagnation, which is different than dedication, and even moreso that surrender.

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