Recent comments

  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 5 years 28 weeks ago Web link Robert Kaercher
    I don't know much about Britain, but I am going to assume that just as here in South Africa, cigarettes are heavily taxed, ostensibly to help pay for the costs of treating patients with smoking-related diseases. Can we assume that if such patients will no longer receive treatment, that the state will also cease the taxation of tobacco? Yes, it's a rhetorical question... :-)
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 5 years 28 weeks ago Web link Robert Kaercher
    From the article: "The Taliban said it was in response to Obama's visit and to the strategic partnership deal he signed with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, a pact that sets out a long-term U.S. role after most foreign combat troops leave by the end of 2014." --It is rather unlikely that Karzai will manage to hang on to power after the American troops leave. Surely Obama knows this? Then what is all this blather about signing long-term deals? A bit of early electioneering perhaps?
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 5 years 28 weeks ago Page Jim Davies
    Yes there are in Michigan, and the laws are so screwed up. Any pocket knife with a blade over 3 inches can get one a term up to fifteen years if the prosecutor can prove intent to harm, also the same for a steletto, dirk, or dager or any double edged knife. Fortunately at this time there is a bill in the House of Representatives to gut this 1927 law, but there will still be stipulations I am sure. When my son was arrested he had no idea the knife was in the car. There is a whole whorle of information surrounding this event I'll not get into, but my son still had to plead guilt to the charge and got probation for 6 months and loss of hunting privilages for 3 years. This was when he was 17. The prosecutor according to the attorney we hired said he wanted him for the full 15 years, but with the information I was able to provide proof he knew nothing about the knife and the rational behind it, the judge informed the prosecutor that he was being overly zelous in his attempt at 15 years. Thanks for your concern, Glock 27
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 5 years 28 weeks ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Well, let me ask you this: have YOU successfully seceded individually? If so, how did you go about it? Perhaps you should put an e-book about it online. As for The Matrix, it was indeed a wonderfully perceptive film, with stacks of highly quotable quotes. Pity about the two dreadful sequels. :-)
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 5 years 28 weeks ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Spencer may well be right, but I see little in the way of practical advice there. I cannot go to the South African department of internal affairs and announce that I wish to renounce citizenship. At least, I don't think it would work. And if it did? I would then no longer be on the radar, to some extent. I'd still be required to pay taxes, as resident, though it may be easier to dodge them if my name is no longer on their records. However, I would also no longer be able to get a job, or open a bank account, or get a driver's license, or study at a university, or travel out of the country, etc. etc. etc. We regularly have such cases here: our department of internal affairs is one of the most corrupt and incompetent of the entire government, and simply through mess-ups with paper work, every now and then someone becomes a non-person who cannot get hold of an ID document or birth certificate. Such people have their entire lives destroyed, sometimes for months or years on end, as they struggle to get hold of the necessary documents. Some years ago, there was a big brouhaha over it when one man got so desperate that he threatened the bureaucrats with a gun. They then very quickly produced his papers, and he is now finally a legal citizen - in prison. I'm getting too cynical here; lemme stop. :-)
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 28 weeks ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    What are you smoking, JD?
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 28 weeks ago Page Jim Davies
    G'day Glock27, "When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves." ~ Victor Frankl
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 28 weeks ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    G'day eugenedw, I used to converse with a few men "down under", and they ignored the law and didn't go to the polls at all. It's not that people are stupid, i.e. mentally incapable of learning; they are, in every culture, subjected to indoctrination[1], virtually from the time of their nativity, that makes them appear unable to learn. "You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inert, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it." ~ Morpheus (The Matrix) Truer words were never spoken[2]. This is indoctrination is so complete that when "individual secession" is brought up for discussion they immediately start denying that it is possible, (at least for them); it is their way of fighting to protect the system, and they don't even realize it. _____________________________________ [1] indoctrination▸ noun: teaching someone to accept doctrines uncritically ~ WordNet [Emphasis added] [2] "You say Truer words were never spoken when you strongly agree with what the other person has just said."
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 28 weeks ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    G'day eugenedw, Giving up membership in the government (citizenship) is the easy part, giving up the benefits, privileges and protection is the difficult part. If you would like to know more, start by reading this by Herbert Spencer, because what Herbert wrote in 1851 is just as true today. Then contact me via private messenger here at strike the root.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 5 years 28 weeks ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    In contrast, Eugene, I do see a lot of hope of getting rid of government, rather soon. But you're right about its reaction to a shrinking work force: raise the pay. That's the first tactic. _Provided resignations increase exponentially_, it won't work; the race will be on. It may react next by prohibiting resignations (after which those thereby enslaved will go-slow and work to rule) and then perhaps by importing foreign labor... it's all in my "Transition to Liberty." The key, always, is that exponential growth.
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 5 years 28 weeks ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    I just remembered another thing about this voting business, that I read a year or two ago in some book that I can't remember the title of. It concerned a study that was done in Switzerland on voting patterns. They tried to encourage higher voter turnout by arranging a system whereby people could vote electronically, from the comfort of their own homes. They thought this would induce a larger voting percentage because they assumed that low voter turnout happens simply because going to vote is a bit of an inconvenience. To their surprise, the voter percentage in fact dropped significantly. A possible explanation for this is that people consider it something of a civic duty to vote. When voting happens completely invisibly, you are not under any peer pressure to vote, so you may decide not to bother. Perhaps there are some lessons to be learned in that for us.
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 5 years 28 weeks ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Paul: You may well be right. I have not read up on what percentage of Australian voters spoil the ballot; perhaps many do. The thing is, people tend to get used to a system and then begin to follow it somewhat mindlessly, and I am not just talking about the "sheeple." Virtually all of us do it that way - it takes a lot of energy to reinvent one's life every second week and is likely on average not a good survival strategy, hence I am going to guess that humans actually have an instinctive preference for stability and predictability. The result is that once a thing has been law for long enough, people accept it as the correct way to go about things. An instructive example is, for example, the death penalty in Germany. From what I read, when they created their new constitution after WWII, a large majority of Germans were in favour of the death penalty. It was nevertheless abolished. Nowadays, six decades later, the vast majority of Germans are opposed to the death penalty. And this happened quite possibly simply because absence of the death penalty is what most of them grew up with. If they now re-instituted it, it would be against the wishes of almost everyone, but I suspect in another fifty years most Germans would once again be in favour of it! Perhaps it works this way with compulsory voting? If you grow up in such a system, it is what you are used to so you don't question it as much as you should. It is almost always easier to go with the flow, and on average perhaps indeed even the most likely way to have moderate success too. You nevertheless make a very good point that we should not get too cynical and sneering about "sheeple." People are not always quite as stupid as one thinks.
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 5 years 28 weeks ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Jim: I fear you may well be right. But as you point out, the NOTA idea is indeed likely to remain nothing more than a thought experiment. I don't see any hope of getting rid of government any time soon. As they lose workers, they'll offer ever more attractive remuneration packages, and institute laws to ensure enough poverty that there will always be enough people willing to sell their souls. It's easy to take to the moral high ground when you are fairly well off; it's another thing when your kids are starving. But I'm sure you are well aware of all of this anyway; we just have to keep on trying. :-) In the meantime, lovers of liberty have proven to be very creative when it comes to finding ways to live below the government's radar.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 5 years 28 weeks ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    "But of course, if voting became compulsory, most people would likely vote." I don't know about that... Americans tend to be a bit on the ornery side (witness all the buying of guns happening at the moment). It's likely they would simply deface their ballot. I suspect a popular write-in candidate would be "Fuck the Government". In fact I think they are ornery enough that it would actually be a plus for freedom if the government overreached with mandatory voting. How obvious can government illegitimacy get? We have to get over this sneering at "sheeple". It does not serve our ends.
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 5 years 29 weeks ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    My question is "Do you really believe anyone will really care?", and "Do you honestly believe enough Americans will stay away from the polls to vote to make a difference?" I really do not like the selection we have this year and I was affraid that would happen. The Republicans can't seem to get their heads out of their butts long enough to see something more than s***. I also believe more people stay away from the polls because they believe that it is not going to make any difference at all who is elected in. They know democrats will go for more taxes and spending and that republicans will go for big business. Last month NRA-ILA reorted that it was the heaviest month for the sale of guns and ammunition and the Ruger manufacturing had to shut down taking orders so they could catch up with the current orders. This signifies that the American people are affraid of something and I will wager we will see more people at the polls this year than any other year before. People are looking for solutions now and many are becoming preper to get themselves ready for the collaps of the government and the economy; yet our divine elected officials are so f*&%ing blind as to what's hapening or they really don;t give a damned. Not going to vote dosen't prove much because that is already a fact that is well known. Why do you think they do this dumb stuff like "Get out the vote" Solutions that are workable are not being provided and if they are no one is listening because it is going against party philosophy. I will vote this year as my protest vote against Odumba while seriously doubting Mint Rummy can do anything to change things.
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 5 years 29 weeks ago Page Jim Davies
    I concur with your comments, however, what government employee is going to quit one of the highest paid positions? That is surely an Alice-in-wonderland-ideal. I certainly know if I had wife And kids and I had one of those jobs I wouldn't quit. I do not believe the human being is as moral as we would hope. Evil lurks in the heart of all men. Never in my life would I have believed a Catholic Priest would take advantage over young choir boys, never would I have believed all the sexual assaulats made against high school kids either,by heir teachers male and female, ergo I see the government no differently. It is a machine that grinds along and as you say voting only puts another zookeeper in, but my vote, each time, is in hope that we get a much better zookeeper than the one before. (the Glock 27 is a .40 caliber mid range pistol). In conclusion, I believe we all are merely spinning our wheels against to jolly green giant. The change has to come from the inside. I am in favor of a third party, that would create a mess. Good Luck!
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 5 years 29 weeks ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Eugen, your NOTA idea is very tempting, especially if it eventually led to a large majority in its favor. But don't you think that even to turn up in their voting booth and make a mark (or punching a chad) gives legitimacy to their system? Doesn't it imply "I don't like any of _these_ candidates, but if _better_ candidates were on offer, I might choose one to rule everybody"? Refusing to vote at all, on the other hand, repudiates that principle root and branch. In any case, it's not a big deal. There is no chance at all that government people will look at a large anarchist vote and say "Gosh, golly, it's time to dissolve ourselves." They will vanish when nobody will work for them; then, and no sooner.
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 5 years 29 weeks ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    They can't really force you to vote: they can only force you to show up at the polling booth and accept a ballot. They cannot force you to make a mark on it. But of course, if voting became compulsory, most people would likely vote. It has occurred to me though that there is one vote that a voluntaryist can meaningfully cast. As I said in a comment on another article: if the option "none of the above" appears explicitly on the ballot, then perhaps voluntaryists can vote with a clear conscience? And if the government begins to make noises about making voting compulsory, then perhaps voluntaryists could organize some sort of pressure group with the one purpose of getting that NOTA option on the ballot? Suverans2: You may be right, but how exactly does one give up citizenship?
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 29 weeks ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    G'day Alex R. Knight III, "The non-voter takes the moral high ground by not only refusing to consent to be governed..." Not true, except, perhaps, in his own mind. I believe you may be confusing participation with association. If he consents, either tacitly[1] or expressly, to be associated with the government, (i.e. consents to remain in the government office of 'citizen'), whether he participates, (i.e. votes), or not, he is consenting to be governed. He is only "refusing" to participate in choosing who, or what, will govern him. Only by "withdrawing from membership in [the] group"[2], i.e. opting out of the government office of 'citizen', does he refuse to consent to be governed. “How does it become a man to behave towards the American government today? I answer, that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it." ~ Henry David Thoreau _________________________________________________________________ [1] Tacit consent is synonymous with connivance, which is defined here as "tacit encouragement or assent (without participation) to wrongdoing by another." [2] Secession. The act of withdrawing from membership in a group. ~ Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, page 1351
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 29 weeks ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    "He or she also escapes the possibility of being compelled to “serve” on a jury in a government “court” (read star chamber) – or even being coercively forced to be screened by bureaucrats to possibly be compelled to be part of one." Really? "The details may vary among states and between the state and federal courts, but the basics are pretty much the same. A court selects potential jurors from a list of names that are often obtained from lists of people with drivers licenses in the state..." ~ http://tinyurl.com/ccf9aa6
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 29 weeks ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    The non-voter may be, in his own fashion, "...refusing willful endorsement of the arbitrary rule of others and their property."
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 5 years 29 weeks ago Page Jim Davies
    Jim wrote: "Elections are, of course, a complete waste of effort; they merely change the zookeepers from time to time." -Quite correct, but it has occurred to me that there is one type of election in which it may well be very meaningful for anarchists to vote, namely an election where the option "None of the above" is stated explicitly on the ballot. It may be very interesting to see the results of such an election. I would be interested to hear opinions on this, because it seems to me it may be meaningful for anarchists campaign for such ballots. Not that the government is likely to ever do it that way (imagine the horror when "None of the above" wins an election in a landslide!). But the campaign itself will raise awareness of how hollow a thing democracy is.
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 5 years 29 weeks ago Page Jim Davies
    I was about to express my astonishment that it is illegal in the first place to possess a knife, and especially the harsh punishment for it. Do people get those sort of sentences even for illegal possession of firearms? Anyway, it then occurred to me that my astonishment may be misplaced - I don't know whether there is such a law here in South Africa as well! I can't remember any cases where people have been prosecuted though. However, there probably soon will be such laws. Recently some brainless bureaucrat proposed a law that would make it illegal to even possess a pocket knife, and would also ban pepper spray for self-defense (this in a country with some of the highest rates of violent crime in the world, and a largely corrupt and incompetent police force!) They are of course shooting themselves in the foot: if I am no longer allowed to carry pepper spray, I may well decide to carry insect spray instead, which will kill instead of merely temporarily blind an assailant.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 29 weeks ago Page Jim Davies
    The government office with the largest number of people who "work for this utterly evil organization", is the office of "citizen". "The...system is our enemy. But when you're inside, you look around. What do you see. Business men, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system, and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inert, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it." ~ Morpheus
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 5 years 29 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    "If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers." Do You Own Yourself? by Butler Shaffer http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig/shaffer9.html Does anyone here also read the articles/blog at Lewrockwell.com? It is full of individuals--Catholics (Lew Rockwell, Jeffrey Tucker, William Grigg, Tom Woods), Christians (Gary North), atheists (Stephan Molyneux (Freedomain Radio), Doug Casey, Walter Block, Harry Browne) and Jews, Muslims and Taoists and even an ex-treasury secretary http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/ spreading the ideas of Liberty (not God and not religion). I don't know what religion Thomas DiLoenzo is and I don't care. I do know he IS the author of "The Real Lincoln"--a break thru for understanding history--and I know Butler Shaffer is no lover of Ayn Rand (although he gives her credit where due as does Stephan Kinsella who broke thru the monopoly of The Intellectual Property thicket). Every issue has been put to bed in our time regarding the need for government. I think Kinsella solved the last standing leg on the IP issue. http://c4sif.org/2012/02/history-of-copyright-part-1-black-death/ I can search for many of these authors when I tag them with my avatar pseudonym on strike-the-root.com or use the trackback feature as they pertain to issues I might have commented on such as: "Atlas Shrugged" is about spreading the ideas of Self Ownership and Liberty (It is not about God and not about religion) http://www.atlassociety.org/atlas-shrugged/rearden-metal-not-sale
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 5 years 29 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    Hello voluntaryist, That is good company to be in!! Wow! I imagine being with them when I listen to their students Stephan Molyneux at Freedomain Radio and Lew and Jeffrey Tucker or Thomas DiLorenzo's podcasts at Lewrockwell.com. Your points are well made. And I concur. I was discussing Tesla and Einstein with a friend recently... Jeffrey Tucker of Mises.org beautifully explains the importance of ideas and how ideas work (no mention of Tesla or Einstein here but certainly of Ludwig Von Mises). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vw_oDcRN3gI&feature=related I am perusing this, which I just found: http://www.atlassociety.org/atlas-shrugged/atlas-shrugged-plot-synopsis In Part III the heroes leave the world to those in Part I and II whose world has collapsed because of the contradictions they continue to hold. It was in that regard that I was using the burning issues trap. It took a few days to think this thru again, hence my non-timely reply. I just finished this ** Stateless but not Lawless: Myths of Violence in the Old American West ** Exclusive Interview with Dr Thomas DiLorenzo I will never be able to hear the words, 'Wild West' again without saying to myself "No, it was not!". *Law and Order did not (and does not) require a Government at all. *The Old West was mostly Peaceful UNTIL the US Government arrived and perpetrated the genocide of the American Indians. *Unlearning what we [I] have been taught through television and movies; a foundational show. Hosted by Michael McKay. I read Dr. DiLorenzo's scholarship Here http://www.independent.org/pdf/tir/tir_15_02_04_dilorenzo.pdf Or here http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?a=803 Or Listen http://www.radiofreemarket.com/archives/stateless-not-lawless-crucial-in...
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 5 years 29 weeks ago Page Jim Davies
    I'd sooner be a fool who tries, Paul, than a passenger who carps. No, I do not think that support staff are hopelessly intoxicated with power. Inebriated, yes, but they do their jobs mostly because they need a job. Quite likely, they don't give much thought to vital questions such as the article raises. They are human beings, and I do not share the dark Judeo-Christian view of mankind as Original Sinner. Albeit suppressed a lot, they have consciences. Better yet, they have a wish to respect themselves. Hence the appeal, in the article, to both. You're dead wrong in your third paragraph, too. Our liberty certainly does depend on persuading people not to work for this utterly evil organization; for if we don't, it will get inexorably larger and more oppressive, without known limit. The evidence of that is all around us; merely to review the monstrous progress of government in the US during the last 100 years should be sufficient proof. The ostrich option of pretending it's possible to live free while it continues its evil march will not last much longer. Niemoller, I recall, penned a few regrets when he came to understand that.
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 5 years 29 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    I will conceed that I believe in a "Divine Creator" I see the evidence of the Deitys existance everyday, but what does it have to do with the search for Liberty. Nothing. But I must agree that it is being awful nasty to be so perverse with someone who believes. To attack anothers belief system I believe negates that individuals honesty with Liberty. I get the feeling that someone who is so ardently hateful towards Christianity says there is a problem somewhere. Christian, atheist and Jew all die in a fox hole.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 5 years 29 weeks ago Page Jim Davies
    A nerve-wracking story about your son, and all too common in occurrence. I bet the episode got you questioning the legitimacy of the state, however. Look at the bright side of things. Every time these bastards do this sort of thing, they create more enemies. At some point, people will simply stop putting up with it.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 5 years 29 weeks ago Page Jim Davies
    A fool's errand, Jim. These people sold their souls long ago. There's no fixing them. Oh, and you don't think cops and people in a prosecutor's office are not also "hopelessly intoxicated with power"? Of course that is one of the main benefits of their job. Fortunately our liberty does not depend on convincing such corrupt people to do the right thing.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 5 years 29 weeks ago Page Jim Davies
    Thanks, Glock27 for your kind words. (Hmm, so Glock makes a 27mm? Some cannon...) Your son was very fortunate to escape so lightly from their clutches. Perhaps he has a very dedicated Dad. "How do we change it?" is _the_ #1 question, the only one that really matters, congrats on posing it. There is no magic wand to wave, but my answer begins at http://TakeLifeBack.com/oto/p1.htm Then more recently and as an adjunct to that school, I made the web site mentioned at the head of this article, http://TinyURL.com/QuitGov. The premise beneath each is that government will survive for as long as people are willing to work for it, but not a moment longer. Therefore, if we reckon humanity will be safer and richer without it, government employees must be persuaded to quit their jobs. All of them. Elections are, of course, a complete waste of effort; they merely change the zookeepers from time to time. I've little hope of persuading those who lead it - they are too hopelessly intoxicated with power. But they depend absolutely on those who work for them as supporters. Hence here, my remarks were addressed to those who "Work for a Prosecutor."
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 5 years 29 weeks ago Page Jim Davies
    (Re-posted as a Reply)
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 5 years 29 weeks ago Page Jim Davies
    Jim, You make some very interesting points. I have always been negative towards prosecutors since I personally faced one hell bent on prosecuting my then 17 year old son to 15 years in prison for the possession of a double edged knife of which he had no knowledge of as it was consealed in my vehicle of which I let him use on a date. It took a lot of effort to garner the evidence to shed any light on the truth that he had no knowledge of the knifes presence. The Prosecutor merely wanted a conviction, but when the evidence was reviewed by the judge he concured that the Prosecutors efforts were dishonest attempts to put someone in prison. My son was still charged, but it was probation and community service and loss of hunting privilages for three years. However, in our given society we are currently faced with how do we change it? I believe we as a people must come up with a solution, but what I fear is that our solution would amount to the suppression of someone elses natural right to believe as they do. I believe in carrying a concealed weapon and do (legally), but there are others who disagree with this and wish to abscound every hand gun and long gun because they have a natural belief that this is the true solution. It's not I know it and I believe they know it also. Any way I liked your thoughts and gives me something to ponder over for awhile.
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 5 years 29 weeks ago Page Jim Davies
    How are you proposing this one dollar was stolen,by actual theft by neighbor or political theft. Though they may be synonamous they are two entirely different things. Merely because you have Liberty here does not mean you have Liberty. This may work in a Utopic society, but is inoperable in reality. What is your solution to the problem and how would you implement it. Right now as I am viewing it what you propose is no different than what is occuring right now and has occurred since Wilson and Roosevelt, maybe even further back.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 29 weeks ago Page Jim Davies
    "...real justice is not about crime and punishment at all, but about restoring damaged rights--about restitution, not retribution..." With what is between these quotation marks, I couldn't agree more, JD. I would add to that, that if a man steals a dollar from someone, he is consenting, by that act, to have a dollar taken from him, thus the equivalent of two dollars would be given to the man whose natural right was violated. As the violation of natural rights increases, so does the "restitution". This would act as a deterrent, not only to him, but to any others who might be considering violating someone else's natural rights to life, liberty and justly acquired property.
  • Darkcrusade's picture
    Darkcrusade 5 years 29 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    The fool hath said in his heart, [There is] no God. Psa 14:1 For those who seem to have an interest> http://whomadegod.org/2011/08/god-science-and-evolution-part-2/ The divorce between science and religion is one of the most significant aspects of our modern philosophical scene. The unity of truth and knowledge, which has always been a prime objective of thinkers down the ages, has been all but aban­doned by our Western culture. It has been replaced by a schizophrenic world-view which divorces the ‘real’ pragmatic world of science (the material universe) from the insubstantial thought-world in which philosophy and religious belief are permitted to function, like birds imprisoned in a cage of sub­jectivity. This dichotomy between our inner and outward lives is bound to introduce serious tensions on both the per­sonal and social levels. The ‘real’ world of social intercourse and political decision is no longer regulated, as it once was, by considerations of a philosophical and religious character. Legislation and morality alike are guided by a doctrine of blind pragmatic convenience rather than by moral absolutes, however dimly perceived. We do not today mould our social and political institutions by reference to God’s moral laws, or even to the nature of man as a being created in the image of God. All is empirical and the only guiding principle we recognize is the law of cause and effect It is quite unfair, of course, to blame this state of affairs upon ‘science’. Rather, science has merely provided an excuse for the rejection of spiritual principles and a belief in the moral authority of God. The founders of modern science actually saw the new ‘natural philosophy’ as demonstrating the order and harmony of creation and thus the existence and power of God. Today these same scientific disciplines are used by many to urge the redundancy of the spiritual dimen­sion and banish God from His own universe. The god of evolution has replaced the God of creation and revelation. That this has been allowed to happen is the fault of religious leaders rather than of scientists. In our own ‘Christian’ society the churches have themselves largely rejected the concept of objective revelation and a belief in the authority of the Bible, in favour of pragmatism. They have tried to carry over the scientific method into theology, not realiz­ing that empiricism, which is a proper basis for physical science, is entirely inappropriate in our approach to God. This is not to say that Christianity is not experimental. In­deed, it is. But, unlike the physical world, God cannot be known by a humanistic methodology which begins with our­selves and our unaided senses. His transcendent nature together with our human blindness to spiritual truth require God to make Himself known, that is, they necessitate revelation, a concept both unknown and inappropriate to scientific endeavour. Other Christian leaders, while clinging to biblical authority, have erred by withdrawing from the real world of practical experience into subjectivism. By confining the gospel of Jesus Christ to the purely personal realm, they have inadver­tently underwritten the very dichotomy between the natural and spiritual worlds upon which materialism thrives. Admit­tedly, Christianity is a personal issue, involving the reconcili­ation of the individual sinner to God through the death and resurrection of Christ. But it is more than a personal matter since it involves a unified world-view in which man, nature, society and God are set in their proper relationships to one another. Starved of this philosophical unity, the Christian message becomes emaciated and the individual believer is forced, by default, to accept an essentially humanistic and even materialistic interpretation of the ‘real’ or natural world in which he has to function day by day. The tension between his inner beliefs and his practical life can become well nigh unbearable and may lead to demoralization and tacit with­drawal from the warfare of faith. Perhaps I have overdrawn the picture, but the problems described are undoubtedly genuine. It would seem, then, that those who are both scientists and Christians have a special responsibility to do all in their power to correct the mistakes that have been made in these matters. Negatively, they must expose and reject the misuse of science as a handmaid of materialistic philosophy. They must refute the claim that science demonstrates the irrelevance and subjectivity of religious faith. They must argue that materialistic and evo­lutionary world-views are just as much philosophies as are Christian and religious world-views, that science no more authenticates the one than the other. They must show that science of itself is incapable of providing a complete philo­sophy of life and being; indeed, that science can only be understood in terms of ultimately spiritual principles. Posi­tively, they must present an alternative biblical philosophy of nature and man that is true to both science and revelation and that will enable ordinary men to appreciate the essential unity of truth, both religious and scientific. They must offer a framework of thought in which the glories of God and man (as His special creation and the object of redeeming love) may be appreciated and in which also the individual, sinner though he be, may discover a dignity, liberty and purpose which materialistic humanism denies him absolutely. This book is offered as a modest contribution to the fulfil­ment of these responsibilities. A collection of lectures and essays is not, perhaps, the best means of doing this, since it runs the risk of being disjointed and incomplete. On the other hand, the lectures and writings reproduced here have proved helpful to the few who have received them and may therefore be of value to a wider audience. The chapters have been arranged to give a progression, from statements of broad principles and options, to much more detailed arguments on the nature of science and creation and the interpretation of miracles and providence in an age of science. Next the question of theistic evolution is considered and rejected as a means of reconciling biblical teaching with a scientific view of origins. The positive alternatives are then brought forward once again. Finally, almost as a postscript, there is an essay on the age of the earth, a subject fundamen­tal to the evolutionary world-view which is so totally inimical to the biblical outlook. What is nothing? Existence exists. The accuuracy of the declaration that God created the cosmos out of ''nothing'' depends on which definition of 'nothing' the statement implies. There are five. 1) Lack of matter. 2)Lack of matter and energy. 3)Lack of matter, energy and the four large expanding space-time dimensions of the universe. 4)Lack of matter, energy and all ten space-time dimensions of the universe. 5)Lack of any entity,being,existence,dimensionality,activity,or substance whatsoever. The bible says God created the universe, we detect and measure, from that which no human can detect or measure.In other words the universe came from nothing as defined in #4 above. A recent scientific discovery which is of great import is that the universe is finite!
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 5 years 29 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Paul: Quite correct. Had I been a ship owner, I would have put armed guards on my ships, illegal or not.
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 5 years 29 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    If you are tempted to ask: "What's outside the *universe*?"--recognize that you are asking: "What's outside of *existence*?" I do think that was the complete sentence provided in the above excerpt from the article I also linked in my prior post... *Existence* http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/existence.html
  • DennisLeeWilson's picture
    DennisLeeWilson 5 years 29 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    WONDERFUL. People will now have incentive to go off-grid while living in the city! Las Cruces government shot itself in one foot by ignoring the voters' rejection of the cameras (in Albuquerque and around the country[1]) and now it may shoot itself in the other foot by forcing people off of the municipal utilities. Don't ya just love the way government thinks? Dennis [1] http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/36/3604.asp
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 29 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    There is no such thing as "the universe", anymore than there is such a thing as "the people", they are both made up of INDIVIDUAL ENTITIES.
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 5 years 29 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    Again another poster (Dennis) addressed this issue: "No combination of logic or facts is effective against a deeply-held belief." --Chris Martenson THANK YOU, Darkcrusade AND Suverans2, 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. On the other hand: The following 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. 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? ...
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 5 years 29 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    First sentence: "It’s perfectly understandable why commercial shipping vessels are prohibited from carrying arms in international waters." No it's not. It's perfectly stupid. Why huge ships should be vulnerable to idiots in small boats is beyond me. One man with a sniper rifle should easily stop any boarding attempt.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 5 years 29 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Government makes laws for the "mundanes", yet is itself essentially lawless. Go to bestvpnservice.com or vpnreviews.com to find a vpn provider that will get around this government attack on privacy. They can read all the encrypted traffic they want to, it won't get them anything. This post was made from my European server.
  • rita's picture
    rita 5 years 29 weeks ago
    Wrong Guy
    Web link Melinda L. Secor
    "The unsettling implication lurking beneath this story is that if Halstead had been spraying graffiti, this sort of treatment would have been perfectly appropriate." My sentiments exactly. As long as Americans tolerate the abuse of those later found guilty, the abuse of those later found innocent will continue.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 29 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    "A vain Emperor who cares for nothing but his appearance and attire hires two tailors who are really swindlers that promise him the finest, best suit of clothes from a fabric invisible to anyone who is unfit for his position or "just hopelessly stupid". The Emperor cannot see the cloth himself, but pretends that he can for fear of appearing unfit for his position; his ministers do the same. When the swindlers report that the suit is finished, they mime dressing him and the Emperor then marches in procession before his subjects, who play along with the pretense. Suddenly, a child in the crowd, too young to understand the desirability of keeping up the pretense, blurts out that the Emperor is wearing nothing at all and the cry is taken up by others. The Emperor cringes, suspecting the assertion is true, but holds himself up proudly and continues the procession." ~ The Emperor's New Clothes - Wikipedia I refuse to "play along with the pretense" that that makes sense, though some may think me "just hopelessly stupid". So be it.
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 5 years 29 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    It seems to me the issue here is not about whether anarchists should believe in God or not. It is a simple issue of tactics. If we are going to bring down the government, we'll need the support of a very substantial majority of people. Most of them are religious. The vast majority of the religious ones are going to remain religious irrespective of what arguments you throw at them. Thus, it will be necessary to convince huge numbers of religious folks that they should turn to political anarchism. I know this from personal experience: with many of them, if they even suspect that you are an atheist, they no longer listen to a word you say. Make atheism an indispensable part of anarchism, or even just word your arguments in such a way that they think that is what you are saying, and the vast majority of people will never accept anarchism. Therefore, however silly we may think religion is, in my opinion it is imperative that we stay clear of that subject, or risk alienating literally millions upon millions of potential supporters. Religious folks will never in a million years support a political theory that advertises itself as atheist. It seems to me that anarchism in fact holds many advantages for religious believers, simply because it quite explicitly allows you to think and believe as you wish. Large number of religious folks specifically want to the government out of their lives, e.g. in America lots of parents who home school do so in order to keep their kids away from the godless teachings of public schools. The complete dissolution of public schools will suit them just fine, and perhaps it is a good idea to point this out to them instead of trying to turn them away from religion. Here's another example: the Amish is a profoundly religious community. What do you think: do they want more or less government interference in their lives? It seems to me they are already in some respects an anarchist society, despite their religion. Consider that in most of western Europe, home schooling is illegal, as are private schools. I can well imagine that in those nations, religious people will be far more open to anarchism than the socialist majority. It is of course true that there are grouping of religious fundamentalists who very much want a powerful state to ram their religion down everyone else's throats. But they also tend to be the least likely to abandon their religion; it will once again be a far better idea to simply convince them of the desirability of separation between church and state than to try to get them to abandon their religion. I spent a good fifteen years on a mailing list where they debated creationism versus evolution. The evolutionists made absolutely watertight arguments. In all that time, perhaps two hundred creationists joined the list and participated in the debate. Two of them eventually abandoned their religion. The others ended up believing even more firmly (because the attacks on their beliefs made them feel like martyrs!) Trying to get religious believers to abandon their religion is for the most part a pointless waste of time, and from a tactical viewpoint extremely misguided, if you ask me. If we really have to turn everyone into atheists before we can get rid of government, then I fear we will all remain governed for the rest of eternity. Do not alienate potential supporters simply because they hold eccentric personal beliefs. Anarchism = individualism: we will never all believe exactly the same things, and that is kind of the whole point. If we first have to make everyone into perfect clones of one another before we can be free, then what kind of freedom do we get?
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 5 years 29 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    1. Some of this was addressed by another poster (Dennis) on this thread and I concur with him: "Existence exists" is NOT circular reasoning. [Nor sophistry....] 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. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/tautology 2. '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.' 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? ... 3. 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..
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 5 years 29 weeks ago Page Scott Lazarowitz
    You're welcome, Eugen, and it's a real challenge to the imagination, to visualize a free society. It will be radically different from what's familiar. Without government, for example, there would be no obstacle for a rival to enter the trade and undercut the plutocrat; as you say, he'd have no protection. Once competitors got weaving, wages would be bid up. Can there be "widespread unemployment" in a free society? - How? There _might_ be some during the transition, assuming it happens fast once it begins :-) I reckon that in the US about 40 million work directly or indirectly for government (around a third of all workers) and that's a huge number for any job market to absorb in a short time. There may also be an understandable reluctance among formerly overpaid bureau-rats to take a steep pay cut and do real work. But this will be a temporary problem at worst and the longer the period over which it can be spread, the easier it will be. To that end, recently I put up http://TinyURL.com/QuitGov to encourage an early start.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 29 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    V: You seem to have misunderstood the question. Doesn't this, "...the odds seem good that there are entities out there that are sufficiently advanced and powerful as to be 'as gods' to us humans..." merely beg the next question? Who or what created these entities, that perhaps created "us humans"? In fact, GeoffreyTransom's statement does "beg that next question", whether one believes in a First Cause, (a rational definition of god?), or not. What I find intriguing is that somewhere, some thing was a First Cause, that is to say, some thing apparently had no beginning, no matter which side of this issue one is on, and that thing, flies in the face of logic. Also, in my opinion, "existence exists" is sophistry, (in this sense); it, too, is "no answer at all". This deist, (because I cannot rightfully speak for other deists), interprets the world through "application of reason and observation of the natural world", not "superstition"; and, if, and when, the whole system of created things is proven to be merely an accident, i.e. having no intelligent source whatsoever behind it, I will be one of the first to acknowledge that fact. But until that day, as with your wife, I see this inconsequential difference of opinion not causing any "problem" with you and I living a compatible voluntaryist lifestyle...at least for the next "thirty years". ;) Oh, and, I know of no deists that "fall down on their knees and worship". Out of curiosity, if you don't mind my asking, does your wife?
  • voluntaryist's picture
    voluntaryist 5 years 29 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    AtlasAikido: I can respond to the burning issues of society, and live my life. I do both. The two are not mutually exclusive. You do the same. Your post here is an indirect approach. From it I assume you also take the direct approach, "making your life as meaningful, free exciting, and joyous as possible". I am self centered, so I prefer the direct approach. Looking back over the last 70 years I can see the social issues were certainly not incidental. Although, it is difficult to ascertain the full importance of living in an unfree world without doing it over in a free one, I can get some idea by considering past events. It has recently been revealed that the Cuban Missile Crisis almost killed over a hundred million. We dodged a bullet. Go to many parts of the world where the landscape is dotted with military cemeteries. They caught the bullet. Is the world the same without them? We will never know how many Teslas or Einsteins were lost. The dead don't complain. While most are civilized they support an uncivilized elite who kill and exploit until social collapse. Then a restart occurs with the same system. Do you think Rand or Rothbard sacrificed for social change? Or did they live their life fully? I knew them both. They lived fully.