Recent comments

  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 5 years 4 weeks ago Web link Mike Powers
    One of Robert Higgs' shorter essays; but, like Jim Davies, Higgs has the ability to "stir up the troops", which is a good thing. I would perhaps still be a bored, depressed "mini-statist" had not the Higgs', Davies', you (Paul), and quite a number of others stirred me up and forced me to think along more than one plane -- to not remain invested in the sort of dogma that kept me treading h2o for a lot of years, getting nowhere intellectually ("spiritually" -- which means about the same thing, but tends to incite the ire of certain anti-religionists who may suspect proselytizing around every corner). With this essay I think reading the comments is as enlightening as the article itself (especially Robert Higgs' comment to the comments). Many of us will have to admit getting our backs up when the idea of religion and/or religious faith creeps into the spectrum. I submit that the reason for that is religion, not faith; but many simply cannot (or refuse to) see the dichotomy. In history religious leaders ("religion") and state agents ("the government" or "the reich") have formed concordats that have given rise to rape, torchery and slaughter of millions upon millions. At the same time within those religious and government organizations were people of faith (priests, nuns, lay men and women) who risked excommunication and execution to rescue thousands of children slated for extermination and take them to freedom. Ask me about that some day. I have no way of accurately reporting to what extent "faith" bolsters risky action for good. I suspect, Dr. Higgs, at times it might. Sam
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 4 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    Like!
  • DennisLeeWilson's picture
    DennisLeeWilson 5 years 4 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    Jim, I understand the "shock" of "being wrong". I thought *I* was wrong once, but luckily I quickly realized that I was in error to think such.... >>"But still, why does it matter?" >>"It matters because the prime task of those wishing to bring a free society about is to move our statist neighbors away from their belief in the need for, and efficacy of, government;..." It DOES NOT matter to me because MY prime task is BEING FREE. [ http://tinyurl.com/Individual-Sovereignty ] I don't need a "free society" in order to be free. What you are describing is at best, a SECONDARY task for me. I would NEVER reverse the priority of the tasks. MY secondary tasks can never be sacrificed to MY primary task. It is actually not even a secondary task to me, nor a "huge" task. It is an UNnecessary task. See below. >>"This can only happen when our statist friend begins to think straight; ..." >>"It is of paramount importance that people _begin to think straight_. Otherwise, they will never, en masse, ditch their absurd, superstitious belief in government." But THIS (understanding that government is a myth) is ALREADY happening! And it is happening without statists (not MY friend) changing their thinking "en masse". It is happening partly because of other things that YOU have written. >>"We have to change their _mode of thought._" Arrrgghhh. The "WE" thing again. NO! WE do NOT have to change their mode of thought. "Billions of humans making trillions of decisions could never be harnessed or thoroughly theorized by even the most brilliant voluntaryist thinkers or free market economists." Chris Dates [ http://tinyurl.com/There-is-NO-WE ] And, as I point out below, it doesn't matter to me what a man thinks or how straight or convoluted his thinking, as long as he respects MY right to exist as per the five Precepts by which I deal with other humans. I have NO desire whatsoever to meddle with the way most other people think. It is like wrestling with pigs. You ALWAYS get dirty and it only annoys the pig. I spent many hours as a youth attempting just what you recommend--and learning about "pigs". To paraphrase your own statement in Help Wanted, It is futile and a thankless waste of my time "...to try to impose ["MY version of what *I* consider to be rationality"] on people who do not want it and who made their preference lethally clear.". I look for those INDIVIDUALS ONLY who have already indicated by word and especially be deed that they are thinking and acting in a manner I can admire and possibly help or support with what I have learned. Minimum requirements for living peacefully amongst other people do not require a person to be "fully rational". Education levels vary enormously as do levels of rationality! The basic or minimum requirement is understanding and adhering to the Non Aggression Principle (NAP), a very simple MORAL/ethical concept that is even readily apparent to children. But sometimes moral statements are not sufficiently explicit or not easily applied to particular situations. Because of varying education levels, understanding the full consequences of moral statements and/or applying them consistently can become problematic. Enter from stage right: The Covenant of Unanimous Consent. [ http://tinyurl.com/Index-to-Covenant-Articles ] The Covenant of Unanimous Consent is a Political statement [ http://tinyurl.com/Political-Statement ] explicitly derived from the Non Aggression Principle, which is a Moral statement. A characteristic of political statements--and a reason why they exist--is that they are more explicit and do not depend as heavily on education level as do moral statements and they are less subject to "interpretations". Education is a wider, more encompassing thing than is religion (i.e. religion is a subset of a person's education). And education continues throughout an individual's life and is a primary cause of behavior changes during that lifespan. Free State/county/town movements are examples of people with varying levels of education--and varying religious views--agreeing to conduct their interpersonal relationships by the simple principle of live and let live. Personally, I am disappointed that NONE of the "popular" movements has adopted some EXPLICIT political pledge such as the Covenant provides. The closest thing to a pledge of personal conduct has been the Shire Society which needlessly plagiarized the Covenant and then REMOVED what I consider the most important part for a Free State/county/town movement, the Supersedure section! You, me, Paul Bonneau, Darkcrusade and many (most?) of the contributors to this site--without resolving ANY of our differences--COULD conceivably agree to the entire Covenant and live in close proximity to each other in a "Supersedure Zone" and even trade with each other, without engaging in physical conflict. This is possible because the contents of the Covenant are the COMMON ROOT of everything that each of us considers to be important with regard to interpersonal relationships. AND, as I pointed out in my article [ http://tinyurl.com/Objectivism-to-Agorism ], people who--for whatever reason--refuse to sign the Covenant, could still live amongst us and trade with us, knowing full well what to expect should THEY (the non-signatories or "dissenters") violate our Covenant's Precepts in their dealings with us. Dennis Lee Wilson Signatory: The Covenant of Unanimous Consent.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 5 years 4 weeks ago
    Help Wanted
    Page Jim Davies
    Well, I become pretty doubtful when I hear extravagant statements such as "Nothing less will do". Actually, a lot less will do. Government employees are the people who still get to eat, when things get bad. As such, and given the human capacity for rationalization (which appears infinite at times), I don't hold a lot of hope for persuading government employees to do the right thing and quit - particularly when things look to be getting pretty bad pretty soon. However, that is not saying we should ignore them entirely. Gene Sharp, the doyenne of nonviolent resistance, considers it key to work with government employees including police, getting at least some help from that quarter. There are some decent people in government who can affect outcomes in our favor even if they don't take that final step of quitting.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 5 years 4 weeks ago Web link Mike Powers
    Not one of Higg's better articles. "Divide and Rule", folks. Never forget it.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 4 weeks ago Web link strike
    Unless they are gonna use slingshots, I'd guess you are probably right. lol And, "For what purpose?" Why, to protect the "homeland", of course. I mean, what other purpose could they possibly have in mind?
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 4 weeks ago
    Help Wanted
    Page Jim Davies
    Oh-h-h-h, anything but that, JD!! lol I think that if you believe that you, (and your TOLFA followers), are going to "persuade all [government workers] to quit", you should get your other oar in the water. You have about as much chance as the proverbial "snowball in hell" of doing that. Nothing any of us will do will bring about a "free society in tolerably short order", JD. Even if the present Lewyathan were to collapse under its own weight, a "free society" is hardly the inevitable replacement, as you correctly pointed out to Mark Davis. Most individuals, IMO, don't want personal responsibility; they want rulers to protect them and to tell them what to do. "...we will have a king over us; that we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles." JD: So again, where exactly do you stand? Go read my reply posted on March 31, 2012. The short answer is, we, individually, must BE the change we wish to see in the world. At the risk of harming his good name, I am pretty much in agreement with this, from Paul Bonneau. Your sales program to the statists is, "Be just like me, rational," although you will not be able to say it in any such straightforward manner (which itself is a hint it is lacking). My sales program to statists is, "Be like you want to be, have exactly the kind government you want. Just leave me alone." Seriously, is there any question which has the better chance of success? Not in my mind, Paul Bonneau.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 5 years 4 weeks ago Web link strike
    Well, I think they are buying 450 million cartridges rather than bullets.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 5 years 4 weeks ago
    Help Wanted
    Page Jim Davies
    No, S2, perhaps it's "obvious" to some "regulars" but it's not to me. On March 30 I asked you some specific questions regarding your position relative to the article I wrote, and upon which you were as usual quick to comment, but you have not answered a single one of them. Until and unless you do, I will not pay attention or respond to any further posts you may make.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 4 weeks ago
    Help Wanted
    Page Jim Davies
    G'day Mark Davis, I think of "the system" as a merry-go-round; I can choose to stay on or get off. When there are too few "riders" it will have to shut down. "...all experience hath shown, that men are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by Withdrawing from the governments to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to Secede from such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of this Man; and such is now the necessity that constrains this Man to Secede from this Government. The history of the United States Government, rather than securing, has a record of repeated injuries to, and usurpation of, Man’s Inalienable Rights, all having as their direct objective the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over men."[1] I have chosen to "get off", that is to say, I have withdrawn from membership in the government, I do not accept member-only benefits and/or privileges, I do not use any of their Taxpayer Identification Numbers, and I do not seek their permission (license) to do anything. I am not lawless, nor am I a law unto myself. I do my best to obey the Supreme Law of the Land, which is the Law of Nature.[2] ____________________________________________________________________ [1] Excerpted from my own Declaration of Independence, Notice of Secession [2] The law of nature is superior in obligation to any other. It is binding in all countries and at all times. No human laws are valid if opposed to this, and all which are binding derive their authority either directly or indirectly from it. ~ Institutes of American Law by John Bouvier, 1851, Part I, Title II, No. 9
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 4 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Some of you may be interested in reading this, regarding genetically modified food. So what's wrong with GMOs? ~ Dr. Mae-Wan Ho - The Independent Science Panel
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 5 years 4 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    I'm still pondering your good argument about time, Dennis, but meanwhile must reject the shocking accusation that I am "wrong." Don't you know that I'm _never_ wrong? Just ask my wife. I will accept though that here, there is a hair to be split, albeit an important hair. Paul is right in one sense; provided a theist does nothing to impose his belief or standards on others, there is no need to convert him to rationality in a free society. They normally don't fit that profile (Santorum, and any Islamist on the street) but if we find one, yes - leave him be, to enjoy his freedom. The burden of my article, however, was that it matters a whole lot in the process of _getting_ a free society in the first place. If I may ask, please re-read its fifth para, under "But still, why does it matter?" It is of paramount importance that people _begin to think straight_. Otherwise, they will never, en masse, ditch their absurd, superstitious belief in government. We have to change their _mode of thought._ Huge task, I know. I don't see any short cut.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 4 weeks ago
    Help Wanted
    Page Jim Davies
    JD, it should be obvious, to the regulars here, where I stand. "Government is an organization that consists not only of those who are "given the mandate" to assume authority, but also of all the "citizens" who support the imaginary enterprise. The citizen is just as integral a part of the definition of government as is the King, President, Parliament, or whatever other fancy label some of the participating humans choose to affix to themselves. All governments must have citizens in order to exist. ~ A Theory of Natural Hierarchy and Government by tzo Therefore, "those wishing to enjoy life without government in practice as well as in theory need do only one thing: persuade all [CITIZENS] to quit. Nothing less will do..." Do you agree with that, or disagree? If you agree, are YOU the change you wish to see in the world? That is to say, have YOU withdrawn from membership in the government, or do you still accept member-only benefits and/or privileges? Do you still use one of their Taxpayer Identification Numbers? Do you still seek permission (license) to perform acts which are not in violation of the non-aggression principle, i.e. the natural law? "Do as I say, not as I do", will never work with men, women and children who are able to think for themselves, and they are the only ones we will ever reach. The rest will just follow the herd...whether it be to greener pastures or over a cliff.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 5 years 4 weeks ago
    Help Wanted
    Page Jim Davies
    Hi Mark. Yes, when the checks stop flowing - or rather, when the "money" they convey won't buy anything - then they will stampede out into the White Market. However I don't see that happening until the White Market has developed into a very significant part of the economy. Note also that the outcome in the USSR was not a free society, but one comparable to our own. That's the kind of thing that will take place if the economy just collapses on its own, instead of as a result of action by us to prepare everyone for life in a free society. Unless they are taught, nobody will understand how to live by voluntary exchange alone. The new site at TinyURL.com/QuitGov is not a panacea; I hope it will serve mainly to soften up the resistance among the old guys - and only the soldiers among them, not the godfathers and capos. If you've spent some time in it you'll see it offers quite a respectable set of motives to quit on _moral_ grounds, but the tangible benefits are less obvious. Nonetheless, I hope it will make it a little easier for TOLFA grads to meet the modest target of one new student each, per year - which is the key.
  • DennisLeeWilson's picture
    DennisLeeWilson 5 years 4 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    "No combination of logic or facts is effective against a deeply-held belief." --Chris Martenson THANK YOU, Darkcrusade, for providing PROOF that Paul Bonneau is right and Jim Davies is wrong regarding the ability--and the need--to convert religious people to rationality. There is NO NEED to convert religious people AS LONG AS they agree to forego the initiation of physical force. Once a person does actually initiate physical force, it matters not what their religion or their rationality. Dennis
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 5 years 4 weeks ago
    Help Wanted
    Page Jim Davies
    Jim, it might be possible to dissuade some young people from starting a "career in public service", but the old guys will hang on to their jobs as long as they get paid and have a cushy retirement to look forward too. The tight job market also makes this difficult. I think that will change when the Federal, State and local governments run out of money and the checks stop coming ala the USSR. Then the system will change overnight.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 5 years 4 weeks ago
    Help Wanted
    Page Jim Davies
    Indeed. In fact my article points out some of the difficulties, and if you followed through to the Q&A page on the referenced site http://TinyURL.com/QuitGov you'll have seen that particular one addressed at least once. Resistance to our good news about freedom is most intense among government people and they may well be among the last to jump ship. That's why I felt a little extra (to the freedom Academy) might be useful, as the article said. I wonder what your position is here, S2. In the first paragraph of "Help Wanted" I stated my premise: "those wishing to enjoy life without government in practice as well as in theory need do only one thing: persuade all [government workers] to quit. Nothing less will do..." Do you agree with that, or disagree? If you disagree, spell out please what method you do propose, for bringing about a free society in tolerably short order. If you agree with it, spell out please what alternative (or additional) work you see as necessary to overcome the difficulties, one of which Sinclair so perceptively identified. A third alternative exists, though I hope it applies to nobody here: that we give up, having judged the task impossible. So again, where exactly do you stand?
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 4 weeks ago
    Help Wanted
    Page Jim Davies
    "It is very difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on not understanding it." ~ Upton Sinclair
  • Darkcrusade's picture
    Darkcrusade 5 years 4 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    From The "First Cause" article> then on what grounds is it denied that the universe has existed eternally? It is called the second law of thermodynamics, or the law of entropy. Everything is going from order to disorder. Time is the perception of decay. Some 1,800 years before astronomers’ discovery of entropy, the apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote, “The whole creation groans…subject to its bondage to decay.” We operate in the everpresent now. But God is not constrained by his creation. He is not subject to gravity or time. He made them> Isa 57:15 ¶ For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name [is] Holy; I dwell in the high and holy [place], http://www.khouse.org/articles/1998/62/ Actually it is correct to call it space-time.Time does not pass at the same rate in all places in the universe.(remember the story of the twins one stays on earth and one travels near the speed of light to the nearest star and back?) We operate in 4d,that is 3 space dimensions and 1 time dimension. 3.1 dimensions would be correct as we can only move forward in time and not backwards.But for the universe to function the way it does requires ten dimensions. (10d) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mu5URbh-Lh0 If the universe had existed eternally it would be of uniform temperture. This is why the universe had a start. Maybe 13.7+ billion years ago. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsKhhIQJiaI http://www.reasons.org/articles/entropy-of-the-universe The Bible is the only Holy Book that tells how God creates everything from nothing.(space-time,matter.) While the other holy books design within the already made creation. http://www.reasons.org/about/i-disbelieve
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 4 weeks ago
    Who Owns What?
    Page Paul Hein
    Also, I would like to point out another important word in your article, "property". There are approximately twenty-one subcategories under the definition of "Property", each with its own peculiar legal meaning, but, for brevity, I will not enumerate them here; I only wish to point out two of them, for clarification. Intangible property. Property which cannot be touched because it has no physical existence such as claims, interests and rights. ~ Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 1217 Tangible property. All property which is touchable and has real existence (physical) whether it is real or personal. ~ Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 1218
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 4 weeks ago
    Who Owns What?
    Page Paul Hein
    G'day Paul Hein, What a great subject to get to the "root" of!! One of my favorites! Let's start with this. You rightly brought up the word "dominion", several times. Black's Law Dictionary, (1991 edition, page 486), begins its definition of "dominion" with this, "Generally accepted definition of "dominion" is perfect control in right of ownership. The word implies both title and possession and appears to require a complete retention of control over disposition." Getting to the "root" of the problem, we should follow that with this, IMO. "Citizens" are members of a political* community who in their associated capacity, have established or submitted themselves to the dominion of a government..." Ibid. page 244 *Please note that this is not merely a member of the community, but rather a member of the POLITICAL community. So, according to the "Generally accepted definition of 'dominion'", and the definition of "Citizens", the government has "perfect control in right of ownership" of said "members of [the] political community". Now, this is not slavery, i.e. involuntary servitude, because, as we see by that definition of "citizen", they have "submitted themselves to the dominion of a government". Also, you may have noticed, when looking up the word "owner" in a law dictionary, that there are several different classes of owners, e.g. Beneficial owner, Equitable owner, General and beneficial owner, General owner, Joint owners, Legal owner, Part owners, Record owner, Reputed owner, Riparian owner, Sole and unconditional owner and Special owner, with each having its own peculiar definition. To those who have "dominion" over you, these are necessary in order to pull the wool over the eyes of those who have, (unknowingly in most cases), "submitted themselves to the dominion of [the] government". Now, when we put all that together with this maxim of law, "Quicpuid acquiritur servo, acquiritur domino. Whatever is acquired by the servant, is acquired for the master. 15 Bin. Ab. 327." it will go a long way toward shedding some light on the seemingly odd questions in your above article.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 5 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is." ~ Existential Willie
  • DennisLeeWilson's picture
    DennisLeeWilson 5 years 5 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    "...how would you answer the objection that time is not really a function of moving objects but occupies an independent dimension..." If you want to use your statement (quoted above) as a definition of the concept "time", perhaps you would explain the nature of this "independent dimension" and how it differs from the nature of time in Branden's article...: "Time is a measurement of motion. Motion presupposes entities that move." "Admittedly if no thing exists, it would be tricky to construct a clock." I think the word you want instead of "tricky" is the word "impossible". Keep in mind the closing statement in Branden's short article...: Existence is all that exists, the non-existent does not exist; there is nothing for existence to have come out of--and nothing means nothing. If you are tempted to ask: "What's outside the universe?"--recognize that you are asking: "What's outside of existence?" and that the idea of "something outside of existence" is a contradiction in terms; nothing is outside of existence, and "nothing" is not just another kind of "something"--it is nothing. Existence exists; you cannot go outside it, you cannot get under it, on top of it or behind it. Existence exists--and only existence exists: there is nowhere else to go.
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 5 years 5 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    Well, no argument from me, Suverans2. I was trying to parody a particular chart from one of the alphabet agencies and aiming for a similar, civics-class voice as a way of reminding typical Americans of what the government always CLAIMED to be doing, which is protecting our rights. You're quite right about that being a con game; if I'd been able to work on this thing for more than 2 minutes at a time without having an anxiety attack, I might have made better choices here -- changed the tone in the chart or deleted it entirely; "typical Americans" aren't the audience at STR. I've moved the chart to bottom of the column.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 5 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    "Insist that government employees follow the law and protect rather than violate your constitutional rights[1]." What an inauspicious start! First, self-governing individuals don't have "government employees", and second, if we did, we'd want them to "follow the law and protect rather than violate our natural rights". "...their true office is to declare and enforce only our natural rights . . . and to take none of them from us." ~ Thomas Jefferson _____________________________________________________________________ [1] "Most Americans hold a seventh grade civics notion that the Constitution gives us certain rights." Here is a prime example; look at the very first line.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 5 weeks ago
    Natural Law
    Web link Don Stacy
    Legibus sumptis disinentibus, lege naturae utendum est. When laws imposed by the state fail, we must act by the law of nature. 2 Roll. R. 298. [Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 899] "The law is the organization of the natural right of lawful defense. It is the substitution of a common force for individual forces. And this common force is to do only what the individual forces have a natural and lawful right to do: to protect individuals, liberties, and properties, to maintain the right of each, and to cause justice to reign over us all." ~ Excerpted from The Law by Frédéric Bastiat They have failed! "The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose, but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law has become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself is guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!" Ibid.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 5 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Thanks, Melinda L. Secor, for bringing this "overuse of antibiotics" to our attention. While we are busy 'playing politics', life on Earth is being endangered, perhaps irreversibly, with stuff like "overuse of antibiotics", man-made chemicals in our so-called food, and genetically engineered organisms. I shiver to think what kind of world we are leaving to our posterity.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 5 years 5 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    Thank you Dennis, and I apologize. I'd missed that. It's profound, certainly; that time is "in" the universe, and not vice versa, because time is a function of motion - which presupposes entities that move. You took a week to grasp it, and I may take longer. There may have been no Big Bang at all, but just a steady-state for ever, but suppose that the fairly well supported theory of a Big Bang is correct; that everything that exists was once the size of a pin-head, and exploded. Note that that might not have been a "beginning", because it might have been one of a(n infinite?) series of big bangs, in an oscillating universe. Or, it might. We just don't know. Yet. How in that case does this definition of "time" work? - and how would you answer the objection that time is not really a function of moving objects but occupies an independent dimension, with moving objects like clock pendula and planetary orbits merely _measuring_ its passage? And what do you make of Einstein's idea that time is relative to speed; presumably the exploding universe would start traveling at "c", so would time pick up only as the expansion proceeded? Or should we write off Einstein as a typical Princeton man, along with Bernanke and Rumsfeld? Admittedly if no thing exists, it would be tricky to construct a clock. Can a dimension exist, if it can't be measured? Do unobserved trees fall down?
  • DennisLeeWilson's picture
    DennisLeeWilson 5 years 5 weeks ago Page JGVibes
    Thank you, Sam.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 5 years 5 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    What are you calling "ad hominem"? I wouldn't want to hurt your feelings, Jim. If you mean my comment that you consider everything your business, I don't think that qualifies as an ad hominem. Read it right here: "This can only happen when our statist friend begins to think straight; to rid his mind of pre-judgments, of non-rational premises. To grow up, intellectually. Then of course, having understood the real nature of human beings and of government, to resolve never to work for the latter; only then will it disappear. So first and foremost, we have the task of changing our friend's mode of thought; to move him from faith to reason." You are literally talking about concerning yourself with EVERYTHING he thinks. You are making yourself judge of his rationality. Worse, you intend to modify everything in his mind you judge to be irrational. Can anything be more presumptuous? It reminds me of the phrase "consciousness raising" that leftists used to express back in the '70's, as if the objects of their condescension were unconscious, and they themselves were rational gods. Humans are perfectly capable of simultaneously holding both true and false opinions. Virtually all people are like that. Our heads do not explode. We should concern ourselves with those opinions that negatively affect us only. The rest is none of our business. Concerning ourselves with the rest will only reinforce the ruling class's Divide and Conquer technique. Concerning ourselves with everything they think will doom us to irrelevancy, since the success of such a technique must be vanishingly small. "Admiration and a wish to emulate, yes, but also extreme hostility on the part of those whose rule would be ended were it to spread. In short, one nuclear bomb would quite spoil its day." Hmmm, don't you think a nuke would tend to affect "legitimacy"? Anyway, the point is not to be one lone island of freedom in the middle of a vast tyranny. The point is to get everybody else, including statists, to look for localized government models that they prefer for themselves. They are just about as imposed on as anarchists are. Your sales program to the statists is, "Be just like me, rational," although you will not be able to say it in any such straightforward manner (which itself is a hint it is lacking). My sales program to statists is, "Be like you want to be, have exactly the kind government you want. Just leave me alone." Seriously, is there any question which has the better chance of success? You may need the help of someone you consider irrational some day - maybe in the middle of the coming revolution. You will get more concern from him if you haven't previously let him know you think him an idiot or a fool.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 5 years 5 weeks ago Web link Westernerd
    The author would be more convincing if he actually loved liberty unreservedly. His love is conditional, however. He thinks the state actually does some good.
  • DennisLeeWilson's picture
    DennisLeeWilson 5 years 5 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    "Existence exists" is NOT circular reasoning. It could be accurately called a "tautology" because it is a redundant use of words--as is ALL identification of reality! "I am me" and "I am a man" are identifications and, as such, they are also tautologies. But they are NOT circular reasoning. Existence exists and man's mind is CAPABLE of knowing it--even though there is overwhelming evidence that the capability is grossly underused. Dennis http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/tautology
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 5 years 5 weeks ago Web link strike
    http://www.dailypaul.com/222435/what-is-president-obama-so-afraid-of
  • DennisLeeWilson's picture
    DennisLeeWilson 5 years 5 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    Branden does indeed address whether or not the universe had a beginning. From Branden's article: Just as the concept of causality applies to events and entities within the universe, but not to the universe as a whole--so the concept of time applies to events and entities within the universe, but not to the universe as a whole. The universe did not "begin"--it did not, at some point in time, "spring into being." Time is a measurement of motion. Motion presupposes entities that move. If nothing existed, there could be no time. Time is "in" the universe; the universe is not "in" time. I admit that in 1962, it took me a week of reading and re-reading to fully grasp, understand and integrate the entirety of his short article and to abandon my agnosticism. But I found the above paragraph about "time" to be the cleanest and purest of logical constructs. If that is not so with you, then we are indeed NOT in sync. Dennis
  • David Calderwood's picture
    David Calderwood 5 years 5 weeks ago
    The Free Lunch
    Page Paul Hein
    Hi Jim, This is what occupies a lot of my thoughts. There are several posited paths ahead, and they are as different, preparation-wise, as different as Great Drought vs. Great Flood. Figuratively, do I build a cistern or an ark? I initially typed up a VERY long reply, but then decided to edit it, expand it slightly, and ask Rob to publish it as my second column for STR. We'll see if it makes the grade, and if not, I'll come back and try to explain my somewhat odd rationale on this subject.
  • PeaceRequiresAnarchy's picture
    PeaceRequiresAnarchy 5 years 5 weeks ago Page Roderick Long
    "A consistent peace activist must be an anarchist." -Roderick Long
  • Allen's picture
    Allen 5 years 5 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    S2,I find this formulation somewhat humorous, too, especially when people take it far too seriously and become agitated over it. Taken apart etymologically, it becomes even more funny: "setting-out, sets out," or "standing-out, stands out" (depending on how far back you go). People tend to forget that the rest of reality doesn't care squat about the structure of our language, our inability to communicate "it" (reality), language's inherently metaphorical nature, and that logic depends on regulative beliefs, fictions as well as reification. Note I'm not accusing anyone here of taking "existence" too seriously.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 5 years 5 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    Thanks Dennis, I'm very gratified that you have found only this single subject hard to digest. Let me push my luck, remarkable though it is: might you perhaps have mis-read what it says? - for Nathanael Branden wrote that article well and discusses the first cause argument, not whether or not the universe had a beginning. I fully agree with him; the first-cause argument is circular and powerless. But "beginning" as I was using it refers to _time_, not cause. I meant that nobody really knows, yet, whether or not the universe had a start date. It might have existed for ever, or it might be oscillating (a big bang every thirty billion years or so, perhaps with the laws of physics changing each time...) or something else. If Tzo is right, we will never know that; I like to hope that eventually, reason will lead humanity to an understanding. But so far, the evidence is not in. That's all I meant. So are we yet still in sync?
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 5 weeks ago Web link Westernerd
    "Are Americans Subjects Or Citizens?" If, by "Americans", this author means "United States citizens", the answer to that question is, "yes". Subject. Constitutional law. ...Men in free governments are subjects as well as citizens; as citizens they enjoy the [civil/political] rights and franchises; as subjects they are bound to obey the laws. The term is little used, in this sense, in countries enjoying a republican form of government. Swiss Nat. Ins. Co. v.Miller, 267 U.S. 42, 45 S.Ct. 213, 214, 69 L.Ed. 504 ~ Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 1425 [Bracketed information added.] Unfortunately, United States citizens no longer enjoy a "republican form of government", a government whose sole purpose for existence is to secure, to each of its voluntary members, their un-alien-able rights, i.e. their natural rights, and nothing more. "Our legislators are not sufficiently apprized of the rightful limits of their power; that their true office is to declare and enforce only our natural rights . . . and to take none of them from us. No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another; and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him . . . and the idea is quite unfounded, that on entering into society we give up any natural right." ~ Thomas Jefferson [in a letter to Francis Gilmer (c.1816)]
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 5 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    "Existence exists"???????????? So now "existence" is a being instead of the state of being? Circular Reasoning?
  • Iceman's picture
    Iceman 5 years 5 weeks ago Web link strike
    Yes I got the 404 error as well. I'd also like to know if anyone else has the source site, if not the page.
  • ReverendDraco's picture
    ReverendDraco 5 years 5 weeks ago Web link strike
    Is anyone else getting an unable to connect error? No matter what I do, I can't hit the site where the article is posted.
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 5 years 5 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    "So was there really a reason to stay stuck?" I wouldn't say I was looking for excuses to stay religious. The history of my church, the extraordinary claims made by its founder, the way those claims are presented to the world by the leaders of the church, all worked together in my mind to establish tall tales as truth. It wasn't a matter of wanting to move on without religion (although that was a desire to a certain extent); it was a matter of the truth of those claims being incontrovertible in my mind. I thought I had done all the necessary research. What was really necessary was for me to see, from the work of legitimate historians outside the church, that the history of the church is quite a bit different than what I thought. Now religion is history for me. And I must confess to not using a mentor. [Insert sheepish grin.]
  • DennisLeeWilson's picture
    DennisLeeWilson 5 years 5 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    comment has been moved to end of list. -dlw
  • DennisLeeWilson's picture
    DennisLeeWilson 5 years 5 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    Jim Davies: "The universe may or may not have had a beginning; the evidence (AFAIK) isn't in." Ah HA! A FIRST!! This is the very first time I have found ANYTHING written by Jim Davies with which I disagree! The following article is short and I would have copied it here except for the number of italics and the bother it would be to recreate them here. I date MY atheism from when the article arrived in my mailbox in 1962. In addition to correcting Jim's statement quoted above, it may be of value to others who are still mentally wrestling with the deliberate misdirections (i.e. lies) that the culture surrounding us has pounded into each of us since our birth. Dennis http://tinyurl.com/First-Cause-article Objectivist Newsletter-Vol 1, No 5, May 1962, page 19--The "First Cause" article Since everything in the universe requires a cause, must not the universe itself have a cause, which is God? ...
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 5 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    the·ism noun 1. the belief in one God as the creator and ruler of the universe, without rejection of revelation (distinguished from deism). 2. belief in the existence of a god or gods (opposed to atheism). ~ Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2012.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 5 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    DEIST, n. One who believes in the existence of a God, but denies revealed religion, but follows the light of nature and reason, as his only guides in doctrine and practice; a freethinker. ~ Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language DEISM, n. The doctrine or creed of a deist; the belief or system of religious opinions of those who acknowledge the existence of one God, but deny revelation: or deism is the belief in natural religion only, or those truths, in doctrine and practice, which man is to discover by the light of reason, independent and exclusive of any revelation from God. Hence deism implies infidelity or a disbelief in the divine origin of the scriptures. Ibid. deism noun belief in the existence of a God on purely rational grounds without reliance on revelation or authority; esp., the 17th- and 18th-cent. doctrine that God created the world and its natural laws, but takes no further part in its functioning ~ Webster's New World College Dictionary, 4th Ed
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 5 years 5 weeks ago
    The Free Lunch
    Page Paul Hein
    Very interesting perception, David! It is striking for sure that of the two-plus trillion so far printed since ought-eight, very little has caused price inflation. It's as if it just vanished into a black hole. Perhaps you're right, that money was destroyed when the housing bubble burst and the freshly minted money just restored bankers' assets. Why they aren't lending it out now remains, for me, a bit of a puzzle. Perhaps they are waiting for the second shoe to drop, in Europe. But how do you foresee the FedGov debt problem being solved, in the deflation scenario? I understand they owe about 100% of GDP, around $13T, and that won't go away. The math makes every option very hard. Even to maintain it, they have to roll it over, selling a trillion or so per year in fresh T-bills, but as their fundamental insolvency becomes more and more obvious, that will get increasingly harder. They would need to sweeten the deal with higher interest rates, and those will kill off any recovery and so choke off new tax revenues and add to the debt. To pay it down, as they should, would mean raising taxes and/or slashing "benefits" and while President Paul might do the latter, nobody else has shown he knows how; a tax hike would, as above, kill off any recovery and add to the debt as much as was being paid down. Third and final option: debase the currency, pay the debt off with cheaper dollars. This is what they have been doing already for several decades, so why not continue? - answer, lenders are now wise to it, and reckon their returns in depreciated dollars, and so may not buy enough T-bills to roll over the rest. It may be that none of the three will work, in which case the USA will follow the PIIGS into sovereign default, and I think that will mean hyperinflation. But of the three, the third looks to me the most likely to be chosen; if it works, it does mean continuing money creation and therefore inflation rather than the deflation you foresaw. Not hyper, but steep.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 5 weeks ago Web link strike
    Who controls Barry? That's who is afraid.
  • Allen's picture
    Allen 5 years 5 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    Perhaps, and only perhaps, the best way to describe me, as far as "God" is concerned, is "apatheistic." I simply don't care if God exists. In fact, I see the belief in God as a total lack of joy in what life is and can offer. I see belief in God as a weakness of character, temperament, strength and intelligence in that, in order that one considers oneself a "good" person, one must rely upon a fiction - God. In order to maintain that fiction, and hence, the sense of one's own "goodness" (morality), all kinds of arguments, logical justification, and outright exclusivity may be maintained.