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NYT: "What ‘Snowflakes’ Get Right About Free Speech"
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From the NYT op-ed page:

What ‘Snowflakes’ Get Right About Free Speech
Ulrich Baer
THE STONE APRIL 24, 2017

… During the 1980s and ’90s, a shift occurred in American culture; personal experience and testimony, especially of suffering and oppression, began to challenge the primacy of argument. Freedom of expression became a flash point in this shift. Then as now, both liberals and conservatives were wary of the privileging of personal experience, with its powerful emotional impact, over reason and argument, which some fear will bring an end to civilization, or at least to freedom of speech.

We should resist the temptation to rehash these debates. Doing so would overlook the fact that a thorough generational shift has occurred. Widespread caricatures of students as overly sensitive, vulnerable and entitled “snowflakes” fail to acknowledge the philosophical work that was carried out, especially in the 1980s and ’90s, to legitimate experience — especially traumatic experience — which had been dismissed for decades as unreliable, untrustworthy and inaccessible to understanding. …

… We would do better to focus on a more sophisticated understanding, such as the one provided by Lyotard, of the necessary conditions for speech to be a common, public good. This requires the realization that in politics, the parameters of public speech must be continually redrawn to accommodate those who previously had no standing. …

The average undergraduate today was eleven when Barack Obama was elected President. But Charles Murray deserves to get punched in the head and Ta-Nehisi Coates deserves to get a thousand dollars per minute of speech on campus because, uh, TNC’s great-grandfather got redlined by FDR.

The idea of freedom of speech does not mean a blanket permission to say anything anybody thinks. It means balancing the inherent value of a given view with the obligation to ensure that other members of a given community can participate in discourse as fully recognized members of that community. Free-speech protections — not only but especially in universities, which aim to educate students in how to belong to various communities — should not mean that someone’s humanity, or their right to participate in political speech as political agents, can be freely attacked, demeaned or questioned.

But these subhuman rightwingers should be punched in the head because what’s more fun than a boot stamping on a human face (as long as it’s your boot and your enemy’s face)?

…We should recognize that the current generation of students, roundly ridiculed by an unholy alliance of so-called alt-right demagogues and campus liberals as coddled snowflakes, realized something important about this country before the pundits and professors figured it out.

What is under severe attack, in the name of an absolute notion of free speech, are the rights, both legal and cultural, of minorities to participate in public discourse. The snowflakes sensed, a good year before the election of President Trump, that insults and direct threats could once again become sanctioned by the most powerful office in the land.

Occam’s Razor, however, might suggest that the arrow of cause and effect ran in the same direction as time did: the rise of campus snowflake bullying helped get Trump elected.

… We should thank the student protestors, the activists in Black Lives Matter and other “overly sensitive” souls for keeping watch over the soul of our republic.

They are the Who and you, deservedly, are the Whom.

 
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  1. There’s no debating these people. Ignore them until it’s time to fight them.

    • Replies: @Zoodles
    That time has come
    , @PhysicistDave
    MBlac46 wrote:

    There’s no debating these people. Ignore them until it’s time to fight them.
     
    But, what if they manage to get eighty percent of the population on their side? Who then will win the fight when "it's time to fight"?

    Of course, the funny thing is that they are giving Milo, Coulter, Murray et al. publicity that you couldn't buy. I don't think Murray really wants this, but it is manna from heaven for Milo and Coulter.

    Dave
  2. Foucault’s stench is all over everything.

    • Replies: @The White Muslim Traditionalist
    Foucault's influence in post-modernism is overstated, maybe that's because he came off as such a memorably awful person. Watch his famous debate with Noam Chomsky from the late '70s, afterwards Chomsky said in disbelief that he'd never encountered anyone so "totally amoral."


    Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes and Maurice Merleau-Ponty were a lot more influential when it comes to body of work, Alexandre Kojéve as well, but less so.
    , @Clyde

    Foucault’s stench is all over everything.
     
    So true! Foucault is laughing from his early (via AIDs) grave. Dead at age 57.
  3. They’re slowly losing the cultural battle over boasian blank slate vs genetics so they desperately need to shut down free speech before the dam breaks completely.

    • Replies: @Stebbing Heuer
    Yes, I think you're right.

    After having enjoyed equal treatment for many years now, and having found themselves unable to compete on the equal playing field, they now want to tilt the field further in their favour. Key to this is to silence anyone who disagrees with their agenda.
  4. Stand up whiteboy !!!

  5. anon • Disclaimer says:

    What is under severe attack, in the name of an absolute notion of free speech, are the rights, both legal and cultural, of minorities to participate in public discourse.

    The great thing about writing for the New York Times is that you can just say things like this and not have to back them up with anything at all.

    The best thing about actually being the New York Times is that you can let someone write something like that and ask, with a straight face, why people don’t trust you anymore.

    Then again, there is that whole Beyonce Grammy thing, so maybe he has a point.

    • Agree: jimbojones
    • Replies: @Neil Templeton
    These art contests got to be settled in a public showdown. Last year's performance gets you in the final heat. No intermediaries. Best talent + Ancillaries wins.
  6. It seems that the Nazi agents of repression, the Brown Shirts, have been replaced in “our republic” by the Black Hoods, this being, of course, a description of the clothing item they wear to disguise their identity. (Wasn’t there a prominent reactionary organization in US history whose members wore white hoods when they intimidated people?)

    Great to see that the ACLU pays lip service to stopping leftist violence and repression on campus. Let’s see if they back it up with lawyers, lawsuits, and money. Manifestly, the civil rights of conservative and Republican students are being trampled at Berkeley and other campuses. Such universities fail to provide for them a physically safe environment. The machinery for mass lawsuits is already in place.

    Maybe not. The long list of distinctions for which the Federal Government forbids “discrimination” includes many physical attributes (age, skin color, etc.) but does not include ideology. Maybe the creators of that legislation foolishly believed free speech was already covered by Federal law.

    So this is the early 1960’s, and it’s time for a new Free Speech movement? Another note here talks about fighting the leftists who commit violence. Necessary (I’m afraid) but not sufficient: One must also have powerful media connections. In the 1960’s, I watched my parents watching, on television, a line of Chicago cops attack and beat up protestors. That sight changed a lot of attitudes quickly-

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    Jim Given wrote:

    In the 1960′s, I watched my parents watching, on television, a line of Chicago cops attack and beat up protestors. That sight changed a lot of attitudes quickly-
     
    In fact, the studies I remember showed that most Americans sided with the cops.

    That was certainly true among almost everyone I knew, both adults and fellow students: I was a freshman in a Midwestern lower-middle-class suburban high school at the time -- reactions may have been different among the elite and among college students. Certainly, the media tried to play the story as police malfeasance.

    In any case, Nixon did win that fall on a law-and-order platform. If you add in the numbers that went for George Wallace, it is pretty clear that a majority of the country in 1968 was "law and order."

    Dave Miller in Sacramento
  7. universities, which aim to educate students in how to belong to various communities

    Isn’t that what parents are for?

  8. This guy is a totalitarian.

    • Replies: @International Jew
    He's that and more:

    Ulrich Baer is vice provost for faculty, arts, humanities, and diversity, and professor of comparative literature at New York University
     
    It's jarring to see diversity on the same level as arts and humanities. If this madness spreads, we'll see courses like "electricity & magnetism & diversity".
  9. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Okay, if Baer wants to debate issues, fine. But he’s trying to shut down voices that oppose globalist imperialism that is destroying the world. What he calls ‘nazis’ are nationalists who’ve had enough of globalism, demographic imperialism, oligarchic rule, plutocracy, and collusion of privileged elites around the world to destroy all national identity and sovereignty. The elites of each nation no longer identify with and defend/represent their own people. They see the people as just rabble to be deracinated of identity and drugged on pop culture that promotes nothing but degeneracy.
    Also, people like Baer misread history. The evil of Nazism was not nationalism but imperialism, or the violation of the nationalism of other nations. Hitler violated the national sovereignty of Czechoslovakia, Poland, Norway, Greece, Russia, etc. The forces that resisted Nazism were nationalist. French Resistance was patriotic. Polish nationalists battled the Nazis. Russians fought for the motherland. And in the great anti-imperialist struggles of post-WWII era, the Third World peoples were fired up by nationalism as they drove out the globalist-imperialists: British from India, Kenya, Uganda, etc. The French from Vietnam, Algeria. The Americans from Cuba and Vietnam. There was a time when the Western Left sided with nationalists vs the imperialists. Now, the so-called ‘left’ collude with Wall Street, Pentagon, Hollywood, Ivy League, Las Vegas, Silicon Valley, and etc to take over the world and turn all nations into some generic globo-Disneyland McWorld.

    People like Baer are academic thugs. They attack free speech in the name of fighting ‘nazis’ but resort to nazi-like tactics. Why can’t his ilk fight fair in an open forum? Because they can’t win free debates. In Nazi Germany, Jewish voices were banned. In globalist US, we have useless stooges like Baer trying to ban dissident voices as ‘nazi’ when he is the speech-nazi.

    His views are not unlike those of Wellesley elitist brats. Notice that it’s always the privileged brats who are trying to monopolize speech for themselves. Though ostensibly they claim to preotect the helpless, they are trying to protect the governing ideology of globalism. They are trying to guard the ideology of diversity which is all about imperialism.

    Wellesley brats believe in speech monopoly. As speech aristocrats, they want to hog free speech for their own kind. The rest of us better just listen and speak up ONLY when we agree with the official dogma. Baer is for speech-elitism, but he masks this elitism with bullshit about protecting the powerless from ‘hate’. In truth, all this stuff about ‘hate speech’ is to protect the Power. What is the greatest power in the world? It is Globalist Power. The reason why Baer hates and fears people like Richard Spencer is because they oppose globalist-imperialism. Alt Right guys are for national independence and sovereignty for each nation. That is why Alt Right opposed Trump’s war-mongering while globalist shills like Brian Williams were fawning about those ‘beautiful’ missiles. (Beautiful missiles? What do they teach in journalism schools these days? What would Williams have during WWII? Oh, that beautiful fires in Dresden and Tokyo.) Isn’t it funny that ‘Nazi’ Richard Spencer opposes globalist war-mongering whereas ‘anti-Nazi’ Liberal media are cheering on Trump to heighten tensions with Russia and China. The vile Freak Thomas Friedman even says US should let ISIS run amok in Syria to hurt Assad.
    Just never mind Assad is a secular leader who protects Christians.

    http://fair.org/home/thomas-friedmans-perverse-love-affair-with-isis/

    Baer would be happier working for the stasi.

    One thing for sure, journalism guys are Stasi agents and commissars. They push the globalist imperialist line. They are goons, not champions of free inquiry and defender of dissident voices. They serve Globalist imperialism

    The reason why the globalist elites push the notion of ‘hate speech’ is not to protect the powerless. It is to protect the POWERFUL. Globalist elites don’t want to be challenged and called out for their imperialist mass murder around the world. This cabal of globalists are truly sick. They claim to love ‘Syrian refugees’, but they are the ones who pushed the very foreign policy that led to destruction of Muslim nations and set off the refugee crisis. So, we have the US and its allies destroying a nation, reducing people into refugees, and then feigning compassion for refugees to justify their imperialist project. It’s like burning down a house and then pretending to be rescuers of those running out of the house. Vile.

    • Replies: @Clyde
    Keep using the word imperialism because this is what it is. Veering off course, what is the world's most successful and enduring Imperialism? Islamic Jihad wars and Islamic Hegira which is the softer-longer Jihad. 1400 years and counting. The start of the Islamic calendar is not Muhammad's birth or death. It is Muhammad's Hegira from Mecca to Medina, because this is when he began to be a successful preacher and conqueror.
  10. @MBlanc46
    There's no debating these people. Ignore them until it's time to fight them.

    That time has come

  11. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    “The idea of freedom of speech does not mean a blanket permission to say anything anybody thinks. It means balancing the inherent value of a given view with the obligation to ensure that other members of a given community can participate in discourse as fully recognized members of that community.”

    Okay, that sounds very nice. But who gets to decide?

    The Power. Whoever has the Power gets to decide what is ‘hateful’ and ‘unacceptable’.
    What is the chance that colleges will ban Zionist speech to protect the sensitivities of Palestinian-American students? Who has more power? Zionists or Palestinians?

    Ideals mean little in the end. Power decides. Those with power over academia, media, law, and government.

    US has aided Neo-Nazis in Ukraine to topple a democratically elected government.
    US has aided rebranded Alqaeda in Syria. These should be illegal under US law.
    Aiding neo-nazi and jihadi terrorist elements!

    But the Power says it’s okay.

    This is why Controlled Speech is problematic. If God existed, we can let Him decide. But humans will always control the laws, and the laws will be skewed to serve the power.
    Sure, the Power will invoke defense-of-the-powerless to justify their repression, but it’s really to serve the Power.

    From an ethnic angle, why did Jews go from free speech advocates to speech control advocates?
    At one time, they didn’t have the ultimate power. They needed free speech to attack Wasp establishment. Now, they got the Power, and they don’t any nationalist challenge to their globalist imperialist networks around the world with Saudis, Chinese, Euro-globo elites, etc.

    • Agree: Alden
    • Replies: @Guildofcannonballs
    "Ideals mean little in the end. Power decides. Those with power over academia, media, law, and government."

    Power as the ideal means a whole Hell of a lot, especially in or at the end. When your ideal of Justice meets power's ideal, among humans especially non-Christian, it confirms this a fallen country and planet which everyone but the most blinkered of optimists must concede, if only so as to arouse the fight needed to keep the mega-powerful merely broad oligopolies from becoming the fearful all-encompassing ridiculous.
  12. ‘Nazi’ Spencer protests globalist war-mongering.

    Antifa and ‘Liberal’ Media cheer Trump’s war mania.

    Strange world.

    • Replies: @anon
    Jeez. In the thumbnail of that video, Richard Spencer looks like the high-class actor hired to play Richard Spencer in the Richard Spencer biopic.

    Granted, if and when they actually make a Richard Spencer biopic, they'll probably hire the Kevin James of the future to play him or something, but still. That is a remarkably dramatic photo.
  13. both liberals and conservatives were wary of the privileging of personal experience, with its powerful emotional impact, over reason and argument, which some fear will bring an end to civilization, or at least to freedom of speech.

    This is it, right here, as far as I’m concerned.

    This fear is grounded and real. We see everywhere the legitimizing of lying and irrational feelings as a kind of “greater narrative”. Jackie Coakly lies, but nobody really apologizes, since it raised issues, started a conversation, gave voice to the voiceless. Hate hoaxes on campuses are trial runs for this. Gay Girl in Damascus was justified becuase the presumption is that there must be countless gay girls in Syria, so some eternal grad student chubster from Atlanta gets to be their voice. Whover is unfortunate to be on the downside of the lie is collateral damage.

    Nobody apoligizes when these hate hoaxes, political ideology shaming ,identity politics, and such are proven to be what they are. Finding sacrificial victims to maintain a cosmic worldview is the very touchtone of irrational tribal village culture. We used to pride ourselves in our millenium-long journey out of superstition, lying, and seeking out heretics to keep the people in line. We didn’t coin the term “witch hunt” for nothing. We have a long literature about the Convinced seeking witches to burn and monsters to destroy because we thought we were moving into enligthenment. Legitimizing “feelings” over facts is decadent indulging in what we thought we had left behind.

  14. Part of something I posted on my blog the other day:
    “Barbarians at the Gate. Actually, they’re not at the gates. They’ve been inside for quite awhile and have wreaked a hell of a lot of havoc. Some folks point at the schools and think that’s the problem. But the simple truth is that probably most, if not all, of the kids have already been lost before starting first grade. And this is because parents have abdicated their responsibility to instill ethical values in their children. The city of Chicago is experiencing a horrendous wave of murders in some communities. Every now and then someone from one of these neighborhoods will show up on the news talking about the need for someone to do something. When I hear them I think, “You raised them. The responsibility is yours.” or “You didn’t raise them. You defaulted on your parental responsibility to correct and guide them and you’re surprised they’ve turned out to be murderers and criminals?”

    These black-clad thugs out West are the fruit of the Sixties assault on truth and ethics. They are the result of parents who “reasoned” with their children rather than instructing and disciplining them. They were begotten by whole language, situational ethics, new math, and the notion that their feelings were of supreme importance. They come from the belief that all ideas are equal, that reality is something we agree upon instead of holding to an objective reality we have in common with others in our space-time existence.

    If I were not a christian I would despair. My hope is not in man and his institutions or cleverness. My hope is in the Triune God of the scriptures who spoke all things into being and reigns over time, space, and history.

    • Replies: @Neil Templeton
    When I'm dead and down below, I'll interrogate these thugs and text you above regarding their true nature.
  15. On a related note, Sports Snowflake Sentral, aka ESPN, has lowered the boom on 100 of its talking heads and sportwriters.

    Among them: poor Jayson Stark, gone after 17 years of goofy but occasionally-amusing baseball commentary. I was already wondering about his fate a few weeks ago.

    Its seems his last-ditch effort to get with the Narrative earlier this month failed. He wrote an uncharacteristic and endless article about how baseball players need to project their personalities in the proper way, i.e. like NBA stars who mouth off about social issues, so MLB will be more cool and stuff.

    Sorry, Jayson: too late.

    • Replies: @Anonymous


    Jim McCarthy‏ @JMacNYC

    Yesterday, ESPN published an homage to cop-killer fugitive Asata Shakur. For real. Yesterday. @michellemalkin

    http://www.espn.com/espnw/voices/article/19201723/five-poets-new-feminism
     
  16. What a fraud – trying to pass off suppression of speech as legitimate . There’s the return of Steve’s ” lost ” Generation Gap . Not as cool as the first one – not by a mile .

  17. @Jim Given
    It seems that the Nazi agents of repression, the Brown Shirts, have been replaced in "our republic" by the Black Hoods, this being, of course, a description of the clothing item they wear to disguise their identity. (Wasn't there a prominent reactionary organization in US history whose members wore white hoods when they intimidated people?)

    Great to see that the ACLU pays lip service to stopping leftist violence and repression on campus. Let's see if they back it up with lawyers, lawsuits, and money. Manifestly, the civil rights of conservative and Republican students are being trampled at Berkeley and other campuses. Such universities fail to provide for them a physically safe environment. The machinery for mass lawsuits is already in place.

    Maybe not. The long list of distinctions for which the Federal Government forbids "discrimination" includes many physical attributes (age, skin color, etc.) but does not include ideology. Maybe the creators of that legislation foolishly believed free speech was already covered by Federal law.

    So this is the early 1960's, and it's time for a new Free Speech movement? Another note here talks about fighting the leftists who commit violence. Necessary (I'm afraid) but not sufficient: One must also have powerful media connections. In the 1960's, I watched my parents watching, on television, a line of Chicago cops attack and beat up protestors. That sight changed a lot of attitudes quickly-

    Jim Given wrote:

    In the 1960′s, I watched my parents watching, on television, a line of Chicago cops attack and beat up protestors. That sight changed a lot of attitudes quickly-

    In fact, the studies I remember showed that most Americans sided with the cops.

    That was certainly true among almost everyone I knew, both adults and fellow students: I was a freshman in a Midwestern lower-middle-class suburban high school at the time — reactions may have been different among the elite and among college students. Certainly, the media tried to play the story as police malfeasance.

    In any case, Nixon did win that fall on a law-and-order platform. If you add in the numbers that went for George Wallace, it is pretty clear that a majority of the country in 1968 was “law and order.”

    Dave Miller in Sacramento

  18. @El Gringo del Norte
    Foucault's stench is all over everything.

    Foucault’s influence in post-modernism is overstated, maybe that’s because he came off as such a memorably awful person. Watch his famous debate with Noam Chomsky from the late ’70s, afterwards Chomsky said in disbelief that he’d never encountered anyone so “totally amoral.”

    Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes and Maurice Merleau-Ponty were a lot more influential when it comes to body of work, Alexandre Kojéve as well, but less so.

    • Replies: @MBlanc46
    There is much to what you say. I work in scholarly publishing, so I have a pretty good idea of who is influential in the academy. Fifteen to twenty years ago, Foucault was everywhere. Making his methods (archaeology, genealogy, etc) the basis of your analysis was de rigeur in the humanities and social sciences. But his star has been eclipsed. He's still cited occasionally, but he's no longer the new big thing. Over the long haul, Barthes has had more influence, as has Gadamer. Derrida is too arcane to have had as much direct influence it seems to me.
    , @attilathehen
    "White Muslim Traditionalist, " just a funny name or are you the "real thing?"
  19. It’s no coincidence that the rise of the “snowflake” and SJW has accompanied the swift downfall of organized religion in the US. I’ve met some very sincere SJW types over the years, and they struck me as the kind of people who would have been devout Christians in another time. Their attraction to utopian fantasies, their need for community validation and their passionate embrace of ideals to the point of embarrassing irrationality (by my standards at least) suggest to me that some of them would have made stellar Jesuits or sisters a few hundred years ago, and perhaps more recently (early 20th century perhaps) most would have been committed churchgoing types dedicating themselves to serving the community and chasing out vice. I can definitely see today’s SJWs at the front of the temperance, anti “white slavery” (i.e. prostitution) and pro sanitation movements a century ago.

    Today the colleges have taken over the role of church, but there’s no cohesive philosophy – besides perhaps those offered by academic SJWs themselves – that offers a constructive outlet for these people’s religious instincts. What’s more, the patriarchy really has been smashed in universities where the most powerful faction may well be lesbian academics, and in institutions as in families, when mature men no longer take on the responsibility of guiding the community, the outcome is not typically good.

    I think, ultimately, that those of us who value reason ought to have a little humility and admit that it was in part our own hubris that brought us to this point. Our much cherished institutions did not spring out of secular, modern society, but rather were built my men who believed that the laws that govern the universe came from above, and set about trying to understand them with motives that were far from secular. If we were truly honest with ourselves, we’d admit that there never truly have been purely secular motives, and there never has been reason or objectivity completely detached from superrational ideals.

    You can’t resist a faith movement – and the SJW movement truly is faith based as much as its similar counterpart Maoism was – with appeals to reason, objectivity or rule of law. The problem is that we’ve outgrown traditional Christianity, although arguably not Christianity itself, and find ourselves in a spiritual wilderness without any creed to satisfy our religious needs, which are as great as ever. It’s high time that perceptive and knowledgeable men again started to bend their efforts toward an understanding of human faith and natural law, and took steps to create new institutions that take both into account. If we don’t, we’ll be crushed between the hammer of Islam and the anvil of nihilism.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    Bill P wrote:

    It’s high time that perceptive and knowledgeable men again started to bend their efforts toward an understanding of human faith and natural law, and took steps to create new institutions that take both into account.
     
    The problem is that the traditional religions are all pretty obviously false.

    Of course, the mere fact of their mutual inconsistency always showed that most of them had to be false, but the rise of modern science and critical scholarship killed the hope that my own particular religion might, after all, turn out to be the one single true religion.

    You just cannot put Humpty together again.

    Dave
    , @kaganovitch
    "I’ve met some very sincere SJW types over the years, and they struck me as the kind of people who would have been devout Christians in another time."


    If by "devout Christians" you mean people who saw Goody Brown and Goody Wilson communing with the Devil and are hurrying to tell the preacher to gather a lynch mob, than yes they would have been devout Christians in another time. If on the other hand, by devout Christians you mean people who practice Christian charity and such, not so much.
    , @Anonymous
    I think it would be quite interesting if some quasi-trained sociologist sort were to write a book about SJWism as religion. You'd need to have some genuine empathy for the participants/proponents, but also approach it objectively. It isn't really my thing to do this as an "academic", but on some level I have been there as a "participant". At one point in life I had a sharp recoil against secular agnosticism, and turned in a very SJWish direction, although I was never anything like a Maoist (although I can easily imagine alternative paths in which I become an antifa) . It was a sort of Christian/Buddhist SJWism, but SJWism nonetheless. (Maybe all SJWism is sort of Christian/Buddhist.) Even now I don't think it is all wrong, by any means. But some of it I do think is very misguided.

    I realize some people here are secular agnostics, but I don't think that actually works in the long run, at least on the societal level.
    , @Desiderius
    Gold box worthy.
    , @Daniel Chieh
    Well said. Most earnest SJWs are extremely religious types, just for the new Religion of Progress.
  20. • Replies: @anon
    You know, the great thing about that article is that it actually says that he shot them while a bunch of black people were chasing him down.

    From what I can see in the article, the only reason his self-defense claim was denied was because of "racist texts".

    So it seems as though, if you're white, having the wrong opinions means you aren't allowed to defend yourself from a bunch of people that nobody denies were chasing you down.

    That sure is some privilege us white folks have got there, sport.

    (Plus, for what it's worth, none of the brothers died.)

    , @Clyde
    No bruthas were killed. Five were were winged by this white assailant/gunman at a Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis. And you have been here long enough to know what the real, truthful statistics are on interracial-black v white assaults, rapes and murders. Truth indeed!
    , @Clyde
    And as far as 100% random, crazy ass black violence, murder in this case, against an 80 year old white woman out for a 6AM walk, check this out http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4450172/Police-Woman-86-beat-death-random-California-attack.html

    Man beats 86-year-old woman to death as she was walking round a high school track in a savage, random attack
    Two women were on a daily morning walk on a track at a California high school
    At 6am, a witness saw a man savagely attack them with his hands and feet Police are searching for the suspect - a 5-foot-6-inch black man
     
  21. These people are positively Orwellian.

    “The idea of freedom of speech does not mean a blanket permission to say anything anybody thinks.”

    No, but that’s just because you can’t write a simple sentence worth a damn. It should be “The idea of freedom of speech does not mean one has blanket permission to say anything one thinks”. That’s wrong, but at least it’s good English, not Newspeak.

    Steve, I remember your writing a month ago that these NY Times writers put some actually truthful stuff buried in the latter paragraphs of their articles. What about this one? (No, I’m NOT gonna read the NY Times – that’s what we pay expect from you. ;-} ) Anyway, even if these guys write total lies, it’d be better if one could at least make out what they’re trying to say. The first blockquote of yours contains complete gibberish:

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    B.A. Harvard, Ph.D. Yale. In English lit.
  22. @MBlanc46
    There's no debating these people. Ignore them until it's time to fight them.

    MBlac46 wrote:

    There’s no debating these people. Ignore them until it’s time to fight them.

    But, what if they manage to get eighty percent of the population on their side? Who then will win the fight when “it’s time to fight”?

    Of course, the funny thing is that they are giving Milo, Coulter, Murray et al. publicity that you couldn’t buy. I don’t think Murray really wants this, but it is manna from heaven for Milo and Coulter.

    Dave

    • Replies: @MBlanc46
    I don't mean that we shouldn't argue our case with the bulk of the population. We certainly should. But there's nothing to be gained by engaging with committed Leftists other than by meeting their violent attacks with physical force.
    , @attilathehen
    The "snowflakes" will not get 80% of anybody on their side. Many colleges and universities are cutting back on courses. People are figuring out that unless you get a STEM degree, you don't need to go to college and get into student debt. Law schools are closing down. Milo is a degenerate. Murray's first wife was Asian and has Asian kids. I have no interest in these people. The snowflakes, Milo, Murray are flip sides of the same coin. Milo is 1/2 Jewish but was baptized a Catholic. I saw a youtube of him defending the RCC. When people like him are defending the RCC, the collapse is coming very soon. New schools will be started. The times really are a changing.
    , @NOTA
    Murray wants to have an adult conversation about stuff that's wrecking our society, and probably figures that screaming protesters, fire alarms, and rioters aren't conducive to that kind of conversation.
  23. Make sure to read the comments. They are heartening (including the NYT Picks for a change).

  24. @Bill P
    It's no coincidence that the rise of the "snowflake" and SJW has accompanied the swift downfall of organized religion in the US. I've met some very sincere SJW types over the years, and they struck me as the kind of people who would have been devout Christians in another time. Their attraction to utopian fantasies, their need for community validation and their passionate embrace of ideals to the point of embarrassing irrationality (by my standards at least) suggest to me that some of them would have made stellar Jesuits or sisters a few hundred years ago, and perhaps more recently (early 20th century perhaps) most would have been committed churchgoing types dedicating themselves to serving the community and chasing out vice. I can definitely see today's SJWs at the front of the temperance, anti "white slavery" (i.e. prostitution) and pro sanitation movements a century ago.

    Today the colleges have taken over the role of church, but there's no cohesive philosophy - besides perhaps those offered by academic SJWs themselves - that offers a constructive outlet for these people's religious instincts. What's more, the patriarchy really has been smashed in universities where the most powerful faction may well be lesbian academics, and in institutions as in families, when mature men no longer take on the responsibility of guiding the community, the outcome is not typically good.

    I think, ultimately, that those of us who value reason ought to have a little humility and admit that it was in part our own hubris that brought us to this point. Our much cherished institutions did not spring out of secular, modern society, but rather were built my men who believed that the laws that govern the universe came from above, and set about trying to understand them with motives that were far from secular. If we were truly honest with ourselves, we'd admit that there never truly have been purely secular motives, and there never has been reason or objectivity completely detached from superrational ideals.

    You can't resist a faith movement - and the SJW movement truly is faith based as much as its similar counterpart Maoism was - with appeals to reason, objectivity or rule of law. The problem is that we've outgrown traditional Christianity, although arguably not Christianity itself, and find ourselves in a spiritual wilderness without any creed to satisfy our religious needs, which are as great as ever. It's high time that perceptive and knowledgeable men again started to bend their efforts toward an understanding of human faith and natural law, and took steps to create new institutions that take both into account. If we don't, we'll be crushed between the hammer of Islam and the anvil of nihilism.

    Bill P wrote:

    It’s high time that perceptive and knowledgeable men again started to bend their efforts toward an understanding of human faith and natural law, and took steps to create new institutions that take both into account.

    The problem is that the traditional religions are all pretty obviously false.

    Of course, the mere fact of their mutual inconsistency always showed that most of them had to be false, but the rise of modern science and critical scholarship killed the hope that my own particular religion might, after all, turn out to be the one single true religion.

    You just cannot put Humpty together again.

    Dave

    • Agree: Kevin C.
    • Replies: @anon
    The problem is that the traditional religions are all pretty obviously false.

    That's less of a problem than you probably think. I mean, you can say that it's pretty obviously false that Jesus rose from the grave, but how do you know? Were you there?

    The modern religion of equality is much more obviously false, but people still believe in it, don't they? It's not like, every day, I am confronted with Jesus's corpse lying there dead. Most people in our multicultural society are confronted, each and every day, with evidence that not all human populations are of equal average intelligence, but the majority of them still believe that they really are.

    You would be surprised at what people can make themselves believe.
    , @guest
    Why would it have required modern science? Common sense logic tells us three cannot be one, for instance. But people believe in the trinity anyway, because screw you, logic.

    Problem is not and never will be that religions are false.
    , @Bill P

    The problem is that the traditional religions are all pretty obviously false.
     
    I think you're looking at them the wrong way, as though they are an equation in which one mistake invalidates the entire thing.

    Traditional religions that have withstood the test of time contain a great deal more truth than falsehood. If they didn't have great insight into humanity and the world they never would have lasted. And my overarching point is that without this insight the societies that nourished and created the institutions that uphold our civilization - and still sustain them today - would not have advanced past the barbarism that characterized them a mere 1500 years ago. Instead of a physicist you'd probably be a wheelwright or smith or something along those lines. Not that there's anything wrong with those jobs, but let's just say they don't have as much potential.

    The danger today is that we could well lose a great deal of what we've created, and if you look around it's becoming apparent that we're already losing some of it. It could be partly because of the conflict between traditional religion and modern society, but mostly it's because of our neglect when it comes to the big questions and the matter of human faith, which is pretty clearly an instinct, and an important one at that. These things take work, and brains, and can't just be left to the wrong people without serious consequences.
    , @Escher
    Then why do we see so many directionless western youth (white and other races) embracing Islam? It gives them a black and white worldview, brings structure to their lives and gives them a sense of belonging.
    These are all things that the traditional family and church used to provide in the past.
  25. Ulrich Baer’s hatred of free speech and exchange of ideas is truly UGLY.

    Associate everything associated with PC with ‘ugly’.

  26. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Truth
    Y'all "white privilege" be KILLIN' brothers!

    https://www.mail.com/news/us/5146710-white-man-15-years-shooting-5-black-men-protest.html#.7518-stage-hero1-10

    You know, the great thing about that article is that it actually says that he shot them while a bunch of black people were chasing him down.

    From what I can see in the article, the only reason his self-defense claim was denied was because of “racist texts”.

    So it seems as though, if you’re white, having the wrong opinions means you aren’t allowed to defend yourself from a bunch of people that nobody denies were chasing you down.

    That sure is some privilege us white folks have got there, sport.

    (Plus, for what it’s worth, none of the brothers died.)

  27. Well said. I noticed some time ago that leftists worldwide dislike free speech intensely.

    They ban it when they can. Chances for a ban in the US look slim, but trust some NYT idiot to try anyway.

    NYT’s editors are living in a delusional dream world. They are trying to start “the revolution.”

  28. The ACLU weighs in (and only at the last moment) on Ann Coulter’s speech at Berkeley:

    Following news that Ann Coulter cancelled her appearance at the University of California, Berkeley, American Civil Liberties Union National Legal Director David Cole had this reaction:

    “The unacceptable threats of violence that have led to the ‘hecklers’ veto’ of Ann Coulter’s speech at Berkeley are inconsistent with free speech principles that protect us all from government overreach. Hateful speech has consequences, particularly for people of color, LGBTQ people, immigrants, and others who have been historically marginalized. But if the government gets to decide which speech counts as hate speech, the powers that be may later feel free to censor any speech they don’t like.

    “For the future of our democracy, we must protect bigoted speech from government censorship. On college campuses, that means that the best way to combat hateful speech is through counter-speech, vigorous and creative protest, and debate, not threats of violence or censorship.”

    https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-statement-ann-coulter-speech

    Gee, thanks a lot, ACLU, for smearing Ann Coulter’s speech before you even know what she’s going to say.

    With friends of free speech like the ACLU, calling everything they don’t like “hate speech”, who needs enemies?

    These people are so much worse than useless.

    • Agree: Old fogey, Forbes
  29. Anonymous [AKA "Da kine"] says:
  30. @PhysicistDave
    MBlac46 wrote:

    There’s no debating these people. Ignore them until it’s time to fight them.
     
    But, what if they manage to get eighty percent of the population on their side? Who then will win the fight when "it's time to fight"?

    Of course, the funny thing is that they are giving Milo, Coulter, Murray et al. publicity that you couldn't buy. I don't think Murray really wants this, but it is manna from heaven for Milo and Coulter.

    Dave

    I don’t mean that we shouldn’t argue our case with the bulk of the population. We certainly should. But there’s nothing to be gained by engaging with committed Leftists other than by meeting their violent attacks with physical force.

  31. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @PhysicistDave
    Bill P wrote:

    It’s high time that perceptive and knowledgeable men again started to bend their efforts toward an understanding of human faith and natural law, and took steps to create new institutions that take both into account.
     
    The problem is that the traditional religions are all pretty obviously false.

    Of course, the mere fact of their mutual inconsistency always showed that most of them had to be false, but the rise of modern science and critical scholarship killed the hope that my own particular religion might, after all, turn out to be the one single true religion.

    You just cannot put Humpty together again.

    Dave

    The problem is that the traditional religions are all pretty obviously false.

    That’s less of a problem than you probably think. I mean, you can say that it’s pretty obviously false that Jesus rose from the grave, but how do you know? Were you there?

    The modern religion of equality is much more obviously false, but people still believe in it, don’t they? It’s not like, every day, I am confronted with Jesus’s corpse lying there dead. Most people in our multicultural society are confronted, each and every day, with evidence that not all human populations are of equal average intelligence, but the majority of them still believe that they really are.

    You would be surprised at what people can make themselves believe.

    • Agree: International Jew
    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    anon wrote to me:

    That’s less of a problem than you probably think. I mean, you can say that it’s pretty obviously false that Jesus rose from the grave, but how do you know? Were you there?
     
    Well... I realize this is a rhetorical question leading up to a different point, but, there has been a lot of scholarly study going back a couple of centuries that does show a lot about how the Christian myths evolved. There is good reason to doubt Jesus rose from the grave. Aside, of course, from the obvious Humean point that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

    I'll concede though that the decline of Christian belief probably owes less to this (pretty solid) Biblical scholarship than to broader changes in the Zeitgeist. Some of those changes are legit, such as a spread in the world-view due to science (the earth is really, really old; there is no Heaven just above the sky; etc.). But I admit that some of those changes in the Zeitgeist have nothing to do with science but rather with changes in daily living arrangements, pop culture, political cults, etc.

    Dave

  32. @The White Muslim Traditionalist
    Foucault's influence in post-modernism is overstated, maybe that's because he came off as such a memorably awful person. Watch his famous debate with Noam Chomsky from the late '70s, afterwards Chomsky said in disbelief that he'd never encountered anyone so "totally amoral."


    Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes and Maurice Merleau-Ponty were a lot more influential when it comes to body of work, Alexandre Kojéve as well, but less so.

    There is much to what you say. I work in scholarly publishing, so I have a pretty good idea of who is influential in the academy. Fifteen to twenty years ago, Foucault was everywhere. Making his methods (archaeology, genealogy, etc) the basis of your analysis was de rigeur in the humanities and social sciences. But his star has been eclipsed. He’s still cited occasionally, but he’s no longer the new big thing. Over the long haul, Barthes has had more influence, as has Gadamer. Derrida is too arcane to have had as much direct influence it seems to me.

    • Replies: @MBlanc46
    Adorno needs to be added to the list. He's still everywhere in the current literature.
  33. @The Last Real Calvinist
    On a related note, Sports Snowflake Sentral, aka ESPN, has lowered the boom on 100 of its talking heads and sportwriters.

    Among them: poor Jayson Stark, gone after 17 years of goofy but occasionally-amusing baseball commentary. I was already wondering about his fate a few weeks ago.

    Its seems his last-ditch effort to get with the Narrative earlier this month failed. He wrote an uncharacteristic and endless article about how baseball players need to project their personalities in the proper way, i.e. like NBA stars who mouth off about social issues, so MLB will be more cool and stuff.

    Sorry, Jayson: too late.

    Jim McCarthy‏ @JMacNYC

    Yesterday, ESPN published an homage to cop-killer fugitive Asata Shakur. For real. Yesterday. @michellemalkin

    http://www.espn.com/espnw/voices/article/19201723/five-poets-new-feminism

    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist
    Gah, that's awful.

    Although I noticed the 'poet' [sic] didn't even manage to spell Assata Shakur's [sic] 'name' correctly.

  34. Bill P is correct that this is organized religion, but it is also manifestly true throughout human history that the only thing power respects is other power. The Right must as a matter of sheer White ordinary joe survival, be FEARED.

    This does NOT mean violence. Lets be clear, violence favors the left and always will — THEY have the courts, lawyers, government, media, NGOs, police, and non-Whites 100% on their side. No anti-fa will ever face any real punishment for anything they do — while Richard Spencer, Ann Coulter, and Steve Sailer (and myself) are likely just a few years out of being jailed for being bad-persons and BadWhites. [Oh, Derbyshire too.]

    Let us also be clear, that the Sociologist who wrote that book about how sexy and awesome “muscular young Black thugs” to quote Steve Sailer are and how they should NOT be locked up where its harder for relatively younger and hotter sociologists to have sex with them — are pretty typical on a spectrum of most White women. Expecting White women to vote for Le Pen over the hard masculine presence akin to Barry Manilow or Paul Lynde of Macron is ridiculous. Of course they’ll vote for the Pretty Boy with the Hollywood Squares fabulousness.

    Rather, since politics is a failure, we need a White Social Movement. Providing jobs, patronage, protection, and fellowship for fellow Whites, celebrating our culture, and pushing back through all social action means against anti-White actions to the point where Judges, College Administrators, and the President of the United States and his spoiled children and in-Laws all FEAR us. That means disrupting the NYT for what amounts to anti-White speech, with protests, civic action, lawsuits, protests at the editor’s kid’s schools designed to humiliate and embarrass said kids, spouses at their workplace, the whole gamut. With bikers, vets, and various other people who can show the full gamut of working to upper class Whites acting in concert to make themselves FEARED while avoiding violence that is the Left’s game.

    Steve should not have to rattle his tip jar, there should be a regular infrastructure to support him, Derb, and others who form the intellectual basis for White Identity Self-Defense. [Citizenism is as dead as Trump’s Wall and industrial protectionism — and always was going to be — who would Trump hire to run his admin? Pat Buchanon? Ann Coulter? Not it will be SJW appeasing men like Tillerson with daughters who are reliably cucked by just having daughters — women have mutually hostile cultural and social goals to White men and always will.]

  35. @Flip
    This guy is a totalitarian.

    He’s that and more:

    Ulrich Baer is vice provost for faculty, arts, humanities, and diversity, and professor of comparative literature at New York University

    It’s jarring to see diversity on the same level as arts and humanities. If this madness spreads, we’ll see courses like “electricity & magnetism & diversity”.

  36. Jewish intellectualism is stagnating.

  37. @The White Muslim Traditionalist
    Foucault's influence in post-modernism is overstated, maybe that's because he came off as such a memorably awful person. Watch his famous debate with Noam Chomsky from the late '70s, afterwards Chomsky said in disbelief that he'd never encountered anyone so "totally amoral."


    Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes and Maurice Merleau-Ponty were a lot more influential when it comes to body of work, Alexandre Kojéve as well, but less so.

    “White Muslim Traditionalist, ” just a funny name or are you the “real thing?”

    • Replies: @The White Muslim Traditionalist
    I'm the real thing.

    White ✔️

    Muslim ✔️ (3 years now, ex-Catholic alhamduillah)

    Traditionalist ✔️


    Islam is the true religion, its logical and rational if you actually read and research it. It is opposed to western values as they currently are, but western values as they are, are incredibly damaging. I'm into tradition, order, rationality and faith.
  38. … We should thank the student protestors, the activists in Black Lives Matter and other “overly sensitive” souls for keeping watch over the soul of our republic.

    Would it not be appropriate to call these ‘protesters’ Flurries rather than Snowflakes?

  39. @PhysicistDave
    MBlac46 wrote:

    There’s no debating these people. Ignore them until it’s time to fight them.
     
    But, what if they manage to get eighty percent of the population on their side? Who then will win the fight when "it's time to fight"?

    Of course, the funny thing is that they are giving Milo, Coulter, Murray et al. publicity that you couldn't buy. I don't think Murray really wants this, but it is manna from heaven for Milo and Coulter.

    Dave

    The “snowflakes” will not get 80% of anybody on their side. Many colleges and universities are cutting back on courses. People are figuring out that unless you get a STEM degree, you don’t need to go to college and get into student debt. Law schools are closing down. Milo is a degenerate. Murray’s first wife was Asian and has Asian kids. I have no interest in these people. The snowflakes, Milo, Murray are flip sides of the same coin. Milo is 1/2 Jewish but was baptized a Catholic. I saw a youtube of him defending the RCC. When people like him are defending the RCC, the collapse is coming very soon. New schools will be started. The times really are a changing.

  40. OT: A guest on Bill Nye the “Science” Guy’s Netflix show makes a compelling environmental case for halting all immigration from the Third World to the lands of Magic Dirt. Of course, his proposed fix has nothing to do with immigration…

    • Replies: @anon
    I think all of us are awaiting, with bated breath, the episode of Bill Nye (The Children's Entertainer Guy)'s new show dealing with the heritability of intelligence.
    , @SWVirginian
    Isn't it amazing that Nye and others - Sierra Club, etc - will not agree that bringing 3rd-world people to 1st-world countries where they increase their carbon footprint dramatically harms the environment? This used to be understood very well.
  41. Never mind hate speech, what about hate facts? “MURDERS IN US VERY CONCENTRATED: 54% OF US COUNTIES IN 2014 HAD ZERO MURDERS, 2% OF COUNTIES HAVE 51% OF THE MURDERS”

    http://crimeresearch.org/2017/04/number-murders-county-54-us-counties-2014-zero-murders-69-1-murder/

  42. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon
    'Nazi' Spencer protests globalist war-mongering.

    Antifa and 'Liberal' Media cheer Trump's war mania.

    Strange world.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFdgPzKTJgI

    Jeez. In the thumbnail of that video, Richard Spencer looks like the high-class actor hired to play Richard Spencer in the Richard Spencer biopic.

    Granted, if and when they actually make a Richard Spencer biopic, they’ll probably hire the Kevin James of the future to play him or something, but still. That is a remarkably dramatic photo.

  43. @Jenner Ickham Errican
    OT: A guest on Bill Nye the “Science” Guy’s Netflix show makes a compelling environmental case for halting all immigration from the Third World to the lands of Magic Dirt. Of course, his proposed fix has nothing to do with immigration…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHmtn6gAioQ

    I think all of us are awaiting, with bated breath, the episode of Bill Nye (The Children’s Entertainer Guy)’s new show dealing with the heritability of intelligence.

  44. The cultural shift of the 80s and 90s did not consist of personal experience of oppression challenging the primacy of argument, whatever that means. Rather, it was the victory of the New Left, after their Long March through the institutions, foisting PC upon us.

  45. Yes, thank you BLM, for your terror and mayhem, which helped elect Trump.

  46. @Anonymous


    Jim McCarthy‏ @JMacNYC

    Yesterday, ESPN published an homage to cop-killer fugitive Asata Shakur. For real. Yesterday. @michellemalkin

    http://www.espn.com/espnw/voices/article/19201723/five-poets-new-feminism
     

    Gah, that’s awful.

    Although I noticed the ‘poet’ [sic] didn’t even manage to spell Assata Shakur‘s [sic] ‘name’ correctly.

  47. @anon

    What is under severe attack, in the name of an absolute notion of free speech, are the rights, both legal and cultural, of minorities to participate in public discourse.
     
    The great thing about writing for the New York Times is that you can just say things like this and not have to back them up with anything at all.

    The best thing about actually being the New York Times is that you can let someone write something like that and ask, with a straight face, why people don't trust you anymore.

    Then again, there is that whole Beyonce Grammy thing, so maybe he has a point.

    These art contests got to be settled in a public showdown. Last year’s performance gets you in the final heat. No intermediaries. Best talent + Ancillaries wins.

  48. @enemy of earth
    Part of something I posted on my blog the other day:
    "Barbarians at the Gate. Actually, they're not at the gates. They've been inside for quite awhile and have wreaked a hell of a lot of havoc. Some folks point at the schools and think that's the problem. But the simple truth is that probably most, if not all, of the kids have already been lost before starting first grade. And this is because parents have abdicated their responsibility to instill ethical values in their children. The city of Chicago is experiencing a horrendous wave of murders in some communities. Every now and then someone from one of these neighborhoods will show up on the news talking about the need for someone to do something. When I hear them I think, "You raised them. The responsibility is yours." or "You didn't raise them. You defaulted on your parental responsibility to correct and guide them and you're surprised they've turned out to be murderers and criminals?"

    These black-clad thugs out West are the fruit of the Sixties assault on truth and ethics. They are the result of parents who "reasoned" with their children rather than instructing and disciplining them. They were begotten by whole language, situational ethics, new math, and the notion that their feelings were of supreme importance. They come from the belief that all ideas are equal, that reality is something we agree upon instead of holding to an objective reality we have in common with others in our space-time existence.

    If I were not a christian I would despair. My hope is not in man and his institutions or cleverness. My hope is in the Triune God of the scriptures who spoke all things into being and reigns over time, space, and history.

    When I’m dead and down below, I’ll interrogate these thugs and text you above regarding their true nature.

  49. This is a major problem of democracy: its endemic hypocrisy. If this were written by a courtier of King Louis XIV, he could come out and say that he doesn’t believe in free speech. That sone people are privileged, both in their right to be heard and their right not to he insulted (lese-majeste).

    But people are conditioned to believe in freedom, so they won’t accept that argument outright. It has to be cloaked in attractive outerwear. Therefore, those in power (or seeking power) lie.

    Marcuse had his “repressive tolerance,” which was blatantly intolerant. Why was it called “tolerance,” then? Because people think they’re supposed to like tolerance, even when they’re advocating for intolerance. Marcuse was unusually honest in calling it repressive, for which I’d like to commend him. Except he was just trying go be tricky and oxymoronic in the postmodern tradition, so screw him.

    Lying is necessary in all areas of life. But do we really need this much?

    • Replies: @ussr andy

    This is a major problem of democracy: its endemic hypocrisy. If this were written by a courtier of King Louis XIV, he could come out and say that he doesn’t believe in free speech. That sone people are privileged, both in their right to be heard and their right not to he insulted (lese-majeste).
     
    well. if you, as "the people", gonna give someone power, have them make a good intellectual case for why they deserve it shouldn't be too much to ask.

    That some cases are necessarily going to be sh**y doesn't mean that, ideally, discourse > proclamation.

    , @Almost Missouri
    I agree, except for your second-to-last sentence. Lying (hypocrisy) may be necessary in today's society, but it wasn't always thus. And that it has become thus is very close to the source of the problem.

    A society where you cannot say what you mean and mean what you say will not last. Rightly.

  50. @Bill P
    It's no coincidence that the rise of the "snowflake" and SJW has accompanied the swift downfall of organized religion in the US. I've met some very sincere SJW types over the years, and they struck me as the kind of people who would have been devout Christians in another time. Their attraction to utopian fantasies, their need for community validation and their passionate embrace of ideals to the point of embarrassing irrationality (by my standards at least) suggest to me that some of them would have made stellar Jesuits or sisters a few hundred years ago, and perhaps more recently (early 20th century perhaps) most would have been committed churchgoing types dedicating themselves to serving the community and chasing out vice. I can definitely see today's SJWs at the front of the temperance, anti "white slavery" (i.e. prostitution) and pro sanitation movements a century ago.

    Today the colleges have taken over the role of church, but there's no cohesive philosophy - besides perhaps those offered by academic SJWs themselves - that offers a constructive outlet for these people's religious instincts. What's more, the patriarchy really has been smashed in universities where the most powerful faction may well be lesbian academics, and in institutions as in families, when mature men no longer take on the responsibility of guiding the community, the outcome is not typically good.

    I think, ultimately, that those of us who value reason ought to have a little humility and admit that it was in part our own hubris that brought us to this point. Our much cherished institutions did not spring out of secular, modern society, but rather were built my men who believed that the laws that govern the universe came from above, and set about trying to understand them with motives that were far from secular. If we were truly honest with ourselves, we'd admit that there never truly have been purely secular motives, and there never has been reason or objectivity completely detached from superrational ideals.

    You can't resist a faith movement - and the SJW movement truly is faith based as much as its similar counterpart Maoism was - with appeals to reason, objectivity or rule of law. The problem is that we've outgrown traditional Christianity, although arguably not Christianity itself, and find ourselves in a spiritual wilderness without any creed to satisfy our religious needs, which are as great as ever. It's high time that perceptive and knowledgeable men again started to bend their efforts toward an understanding of human faith and natural law, and took steps to create new institutions that take both into account. If we don't, we'll be crushed between the hammer of Islam and the anvil of nihilism.

    “I’ve met some very sincere SJW types over the years, and they struck me as the kind of people who would have been devout Christians in another time.”

    If by “devout Christians” you mean people who saw Goody Brown and Goody Wilson communing with the Devil and are hurrying to tell the preacher to gather a lynch mob, than yes they would have been devout Christians in another time. If on the other hand, by devout Christians you mean people who practice Christian charity and such, not so much.

    • Replies: @wrd9
    Or the Spanish Inquisition. Perhaps we're all destined to become Marranos.
  51. “The idea of freedom of speech does not mean a blanket permission to say anything anybody thinks.”

    A freedom is not a “permission.”

    • Agree: Auntie Analogue
    • Replies: @guest
    Shush! You speak when spoken to, peasant!
  52. the inherent value of a given view with the obligation to ensure that other members of a given community can participate in discourse as fully recognized members of that community. Free-speech protections — not only but especially in universities, which aim to educate students in how to belong to various communities — should not mean that someone’s humanity, or their right to participate in political speech as political agents, can be freely attacked, demeaned or questioned.

    Milo, Gavin, Charles Murray, and Ann Coulter were all enthusiastically supportive of the rights of the entire campus community participate in discourse. For the most part, it was white progressives who deprived campus minorities of the right to participate in political speech as political agents with those visiting speakers.

  53. OT:

    To abolish the white race, the ultimate goal of anyone who wants to bring about genuinely democratic socialism, we need to get over Bernie Sanders.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/04/21/can-we-finally-get-over-bernie-sanders/

    Would Counterpunch have published that if Cockburn were still alive? I wonder.

    • Replies: @Lot
    Its archives are online, and the answer is a clear yes.
  54. Also, this sounds like yet another journo/blogger who doesn’t get the term “snowflake”…

  55. @2Mintzin1
    "The idea of freedom of speech does not mean a blanket permission to say anything anybody thinks."

    A freedom is not a "permission."

    Shush! You speak when spoken to, peasant!

  56. @PhysicistDave
    Bill P wrote:

    It’s high time that perceptive and knowledgeable men again started to bend their efforts toward an understanding of human faith and natural law, and took steps to create new institutions that take both into account.
     
    The problem is that the traditional religions are all pretty obviously false.

    Of course, the mere fact of their mutual inconsistency always showed that most of them had to be false, but the rise of modern science and critical scholarship killed the hope that my own particular religion might, after all, turn out to be the one single true religion.

    You just cannot put Humpty together again.

    Dave

    Why would it have required modern science? Common sense logic tells us three cannot be one, for instance. But people believe in the trinity anyway, because screw you, logic.

    Problem is not and never will be that religions are false.

  57. MB says: • Website

    Free-speech protections . . . should not mean that someone’s humanity, or their right to participate in political speech as political agents, can be freely attacked, demeaned or questioned.

    But on the other hand, if you want to freely attack those whom you disagree with physically, go for it. The Blac Bloc bullies and fascist Antifa have a deal for you, pal. Better run right down and sign up. They ought to be running advertising campaigns with slogans just like the Army used to do. Getting your college paid for would attract ’em like flies.

    It’s one thing to exercise your right of free speech to redefine the concept as it is constitutionally and commonly known, but how about making your case instead of just assuming it?

    But never fear our Social Justice Stormtroopers are on it. The progressive liberal white version of the Red Guard are mopping up after our Cultural Revolution in the ’60’s and the Long March through the institutions.

    And it is a bastard version of that aberrant pentecostal TV version of Christianity in which all you need to do is “Name it and claim it.” IOW anybody that Yvette Felarca says is a terrorist, ipso facto is Osama Bin in the flesh. Better whack him before he takes over the plane and hurts somebody’s feelings.

    What a bunch of smug and self righteous hypocrites. This is not about persuasion ala free speech classically considered. This is about power, whatever these posers claim to the contrary.

  58. @PhysicistDave
    Bill P wrote:

    It’s high time that perceptive and knowledgeable men again started to bend their efforts toward an understanding of human faith and natural law, and took steps to create new institutions that take both into account.
     
    The problem is that the traditional religions are all pretty obviously false.

    Of course, the mere fact of their mutual inconsistency always showed that most of them had to be false, but the rise of modern science and critical scholarship killed the hope that my own particular religion might, after all, turn out to be the one single true religion.

    You just cannot put Humpty together again.

    Dave

    The problem is that the traditional religions are all pretty obviously false.

    I think you’re looking at them the wrong way, as though they are an equation in which one mistake invalidates the entire thing.

    Traditional religions that have withstood the test of time contain a great deal more truth than falsehood. If they didn’t have great insight into humanity and the world they never would have lasted. And my overarching point is that without this insight the societies that nourished and created the institutions that uphold our civilization – and still sustain them today – would not have advanced past the barbarism that characterized them a mere 1500 years ago. Instead of a physicist you’d probably be a wheelwright or smith or something along those lines. Not that there’s anything wrong with those jobs, but let’s just say they don’t have as much potential.

    The danger today is that we could well lose a great deal of what we’ve created, and if you look around it’s becoming apparent that we’re already losing some of it. It could be partly because of the conflict between traditional religion and modern society, but mostly it’s because of our neglect when it comes to the big questions and the matter of human faith, which is pretty clearly an instinct, and an important one at that. These things take work, and brains, and can’t just be left to the wrong people without serious consequences.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    Bill P wrote to me:

    Traditional religions that have withstood the test of time contain a great deal more truth than falsehood. If they didn’t have great insight into humanity and the world they never would have lasted.
     
    Have you read The Abolition of Man by the famous Christian apologist C. S. Lewis? The book is a sincere and, I think, largely successful attempt to distill insights about human nature that are common to many world religions.

    I think that approach is worthwhile, but I think it is most likely to succeed if separated from the silly supernatural hocus-pocus.

    Of course, this does require recognizing intellectually that there actually is such a thing as human nature. Scientifically, that is no problem at all, but, as everyone here knows, it goes against the political-cultural drift of our time.

    Incidentally, I do not object in principle to honest speculation about God, an afterlife, etc., as long as it is clearly labeled as speculation -- "there are more things in Heaven and earth..." and all that. Most of us scientists do not claim to have solid proof that there is no God. But, the detailed stories that have been concocted about God, yes, there are good reasons to know that those stories were just made up.

    Dave
    , @Yak-15
    Cultural anthropologists love totemic religions and the ornate, symbolic rituals which characterize them. However, they genuinely understand that the most important aspects of religion are not spiritual - they are the establishment of rules and ideology that bind society together.

    I have recently attended mass in a church a thousand years old. It was humbling to be a part of a community, even for an hour, that traces itself back more than 40 generations. However, sitting inside was deeply saddening.

    There were many seats that were empty on that Sunday. We are witnessing the death and decline of an institution that has cradled western civilization for over two thousand years. Simultaneously, we have nothing to take its place except Islam and hollow, untested, demonstrably false "Equalism"

    The profound inplications of losing the most globally significant European cultural force are yet to be felt.
  59. Baer is German and something of a ‘snowflake’ himself:

    Baer befasst sich mit deutscher Literatur, mit Literaturtheorie und mit dem Thema Trauma.

    …the parameters of public speech must be continually redrawn to accommodate those who previously had no standing.

    Sounds like his Vorbild is Heiko Maas.

    https://twitter.com/occdissent/status/857436978647670786

    • Replies: @eah
    https://twitter.com/MusicMan220/status/857329806052118534
  60. @Anon
    "The idea of freedom of speech does not mean a blanket permission to say anything anybody thinks. It means balancing the inherent value of a given view with the obligation to ensure that other members of a given community can participate in discourse as fully recognized members of that community."

    Okay, that sounds very nice. But who gets to decide?

    The Power. Whoever has the Power gets to decide what is 'hateful' and 'unacceptable'.
    What is the chance that colleges will ban Zionist speech to protect the sensitivities of Palestinian-American students? Who has more power? Zionists or Palestinians?

    Ideals mean little in the end. Power decides. Those with power over academia, media, law, and government.

    US has aided Neo-Nazis in Ukraine to topple a democratically elected government.
    US has aided rebranded Alqaeda in Syria. These should be illegal under US law.
    Aiding neo-nazi and jihadi terrorist elements!

    But the Power says it's okay.

    This is why Controlled Speech is problematic. If God existed, we can let Him decide. But humans will always control the laws, and the laws will be skewed to serve the power.
    Sure, the Power will invoke defense-of-the-powerless to justify their repression, but it's really to serve the Power.

    From an ethnic angle, why did Jews go from free speech advocates to speech control advocates?
    At one time, they didn't have the ultimate power. They needed free speech to attack Wasp establishment. Now, they got the Power, and they don't any nationalist challenge to their globalist imperialist networks around the world with Saudis, Chinese, Euro-globo elites, etc.

    “Ideals mean little in the end. Power decides. Those with power over academia, media, law, and government.”

    Power as the ideal means a whole Hell of a lot, especially in or at the end. When your ideal of Justice meets power’s ideal, among humans especially non-Christian, it confirms this a fallen country and planet which everyone but the most blinkered of optimists must concede, if only so as to arouse the fight needed to keep the mega-powerful merely broad oligopolies from becoming the fearful all-encompassing ridiculous.

  61. @eah
    Baer is German and something of a 'snowflake' himself:

    Baer befasst sich mit deutscher Literatur, mit Literaturtheorie und mit dem Thema Trauma.

    ...the parameters of public speech must be continually redrawn to accommodate those who previously had no standing.

    Sounds like his Vorbild is Heiko Maas.

    https://twitter.com/occdissent/status/857436978647670786

  62. What do you call people who see Whites being legally denied opportunities and call them “privileged”, but say that idiots who get unearned opportunities based on false narratives of racial history “oppressed? The correct answer is STUPID.
    Is college really worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in debts that cannot be discharged by bankruptcy? NO. HELL NO.

  63. @El Gringo del Norte
    Foucault's stench is all over everything.

    Foucault’s stench is all over everything.

    So true! Foucault is laughing from his early (via AIDs) grave. Dead at age 57.

  64. What is under severe attack, in the name of an absolute notion of free speech, are the rights, both legal and cultural, of minorities to participate in public discourse.

    No, what’s under attack, by minorities, is the right to provide a counterargument, based on different assumptions.

  65. @Anon
    Okay, if Baer wants to debate issues, fine. But he's trying to shut down voices that oppose globalist imperialism that is destroying the world. What he calls 'nazis' are nationalists who've had enough of globalism, demographic imperialism, oligarchic rule, plutocracy, and collusion of privileged elites around the world to destroy all national identity and sovereignty. The elites of each nation no longer identify with and defend/represent their own people. They see the people as just rabble to be deracinated of identity and drugged on pop culture that promotes nothing but degeneracy.
    Also, people like Baer misread history. The evil of Nazism was not nationalism but imperialism, or the violation of the nationalism of other nations. Hitler violated the national sovereignty of Czechoslovakia, Poland, Norway, Greece, Russia, etc. The forces that resisted Nazism were nationalist. French Resistance was patriotic. Polish nationalists battled the Nazis. Russians fought for the motherland. And in the great anti-imperialist struggles of post-WWII era, the Third World peoples were fired up by nationalism as they drove out the globalist-imperialists: British from India, Kenya, Uganda, etc. The French from Vietnam, Algeria. The Americans from Cuba and Vietnam. There was a time when the Western Left sided with nationalists vs the imperialists. Now, the so-called 'left' collude with Wall Street, Pentagon, Hollywood, Ivy League, Las Vegas, Silicon Valley, and etc to take over the world and turn all nations into some generic globo-Disneyland McWorld.

    People like Baer are academic thugs. They attack free speech in the name of fighting 'nazis' but resort to nazi-like tactics. Why can't his ilk fight fair in an open forum? Because they can't win free debates. In Nazi Germany, Jewish voices were banned. In globalist US, we have useless stooges like Baer trying to ban dissident voices as 'nazi' when he is the speech-nazi.

    His views are not unlike those of Wellesley elitist brats. Notice that it's always the privileged brats who are trying to monopolize speech for themselves. Though ostensibly they claim to preotect the helpless, they are trying to protect the governing ideology of globalism. They are trying to guard the ideology of diversity which is all about imperialism.

    Wellesley brats believe in speech monopoly. As speech aristocrats, they want to hog free speech for their own kind. The rest of us better just listen and speak up ONLY when we agree with the official dogma. Baer is for speech-elitism, but he masks this elitism with bullshit about protecting the powerless from 'hate'. In truth, all this stuff about 'hate speech' is to protect the Power. What is the greatest power in the world? It is Globalist Power. The reason why Baer hates and fears people like Richard Spencer is because they oppose globalist-imperialism. Alt Right guys are for national independence and sovereignty for each nation. That is why Alt Right opposed Trump's war-mongering while globalist shills like Brian Williams were fawning about those 'beautiful' missiles. (Beautiful missiles? What do they teach in journalism schools these days? What would Williams have during WWII? Oh, that beautiful fires in Dresden and Tokyo.) Isn't it funny that 'Nazi' Richard Spencer opposes globalist war-mongering whereas 'anti-Nazi' Liberal media are cheering on Trump to heighten tensions with Russia and China. The vile Freak Thomas Friedman even says US should let ISIS run amok in Syria to hurt Assad.
    Just never mind Assad is a secular leader who protects Christians.

    http://fair.org/home/thomas-friedmans-perverse-love-affair-with-isis/

    Baer would be happier working for the stasi.

    One thing for sure, journalism guys are Stasi agents and commissars. They push the globalist imperialist line. They are goons, not champions of free inquiry and defender of dissident voices. They serve Globalist imperialism

    The reason why the globalist elites push the notion of 'hate speech' is not to protect the powerless. It is to protect the POWERFUL. Globalist elites don't want to be challenged and called out for their imperialist mass murder around the world. This cabal of globalists are truly sick. They claim to love 'Syrian refugees', but they are the ones who pushed the very foreign policy that led to destruction of Muslim nations and set off the refugee crisis. So, we have the US and its allies destroying a nation, reducing people into refugees, and then feigning compassion for refugees to justify their imperialist project. It's like burning down a house and then pretending to be rescuers of those running out of the house. Vile.

    Keep using the word imperialism because this is what it is. Veering off course, what is the world’s most successful and enduring Imperialism? Islamic Jihad wars and Islamic Hegira which is the softer-longer Jihad. 1400 years and counting. The start of the Islamic calendar is not Muhammad’s birth or death. It is Muhammad’s Hegira from Mecca to Medina, because this is when he began to be a successful preacher and conqueror.

    • Replies: @ussr andy
    It's globo-imperialism that puts them in the position to hijra their way into 1st world nations in the first place. The educated ones go to America, closer to the imperial center, to become cheerleaders for new interventions, and the riff-raff comes to Europe.
  66. Baer is one more example of an examplary mistake in nowadays Academia – to mix up two spheres, that are distinct for very good reasons: The realm of therapy and that of public discourse.

    All kinds of hermeneutic discourse in therapy are restricted: The therapist – for very good reasons, is expeted to be reluctant, in order to make sure, that the client’s feelings don’t get in the way, when he’s trying to understand better, what’s wrong with him.

    This scheme is totally ok for therapy, therapy by and large has to be that way (=an a-symmetric form of communication).

    But in the context of a pulic discourse, the rule is different: Public discoure by it’s very nature is open for counter-arguments, right from the start.

    If you, like Baer, don’t get this, you end up worshipping the snowflakes – in the name of Nazi-victims. Which is why call Baer a pervert.

    • Replies: @anon
    Good point.

    They have to decide on whether they are running a university or a mental hospital. The University of Chicago took a position on this. I don't know how far it goes vis a vis free speech. But the are certain that they aren't going to cater to student's feelings to the extent of censorship.

    Mental illness is simply not cool. 'Triggering' is a term popularized in a form of therapy called dialectical behavior therapy. Not as bad as it sounds, and sort of interesting history to it.

    However, some of the snowflake ethos is similar to what could be called 'good manners'. Or, not being an asshole. I can see a desire for civility and general decency -- especially to the extent that is seems absent -- to become transformed into a pseudo right to have your personal narrative affirmed.

    And further -- Baer's opening comment .. "privileging of personal experience, with its powerful emotional impact, over reason and argument". falls right into place. There is no need for a University to privilege personal experience -- it can be done anywhere. That is done in certain sorts of alcohol fueled bar room discussions. You listen to someone's version of telling it how it really is -- their story, etc. And vice versa. But the purely personal may be interesting or entertaining (or more likely annoying) but has almost nothing to do with knowledge or education or anything vaguely academic.

    But its the notion that a University should be therapeutic and students need to feel safe to think ... it's extremely unattractive. If the choice is between a mental hospital and the University of Phoenix, I'll take the later. I actually had a Dean at an Urban College without a residential campus argue that a campus is a 'total institution' and maybe went as far as comparing it to a minimum security prison. It was good for a laugh, but I think the correct approach is humor/satire. https://harpers.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/HarpersMagazine-1996-01-0007859.pdf
    , @guest
    The Therapeutic State, or somesuch term, was a big part of the writings of Paul Gottfried as I recall. Obviously it's out of place in our universities, because opposition to ruling ideologies in itself is not a symptom of illness. Listeners to unapproved speakers and don't get infected with pathologies.

    But it may be out if place in psychology, too, where I think psychiatrists lack the expertise which they claim, and it's impossible to tell where real treatment begins and play-acting ends. If there is a difference. I'm not convinced there even is such a thing as mental illness. (Obviously, there are things wrong with people, but treating mental problems as medical problems is at best metaphorical.)
  67. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Bill P
    It's no coincidence that the rise of the "snowflake" and SJW has accompanied the swift downfall of organized religion in the US. I've met some very sincere SJW types over the years, and they struck me as the kind of people who would have been devout Christians in another time. Their attraction to utopian fantasies, their need for community validation and their passionate embrace of ideals to the point of embarrassing irrationality (by my standards at least) suggest to me that some of them would have made stellar Jesuits or sisters a few hundred years ago, and perhaps more recently (early 20th century perhaps) most would have been committed churchgoing types dedicating themselves to serving the community and chasing out vice. I can definitely see today's SJWs at the front of the temperance, anti "white slavery" (i.e. prostitution) and pro sanitation movements a century ago.

    Today the colleges have taken over the role of church, but there's no cohesive philosophy - besides perhaps those offered by academic SJWs themselves - that offers a constructive outlet for these people's religious instincts. What's more, the patriarchy really has been smashed in universities where the most powerful faction may well be lesbian academics, and in institutions as in families, when mature men no longer take on the responsibility of guiding the community, the outcome is not typically good.

    I think, ultimately, that those of us who value reason ought to have a little humility and admit that it was in part our own hubris that brought us to this point. Our much cherished institutions did not spring out of secular, modern society, but rather were built my men who believed that the laws that govern the universe came from above, and set about trying to understand them with motives that were far from secular. If we were truly honest with ourselves, we'd admit that there never truly have been purely secular motives, and there never has been reason or objectivity completely detached from superrational ideals.

    You can't resist a faith movement - and the SJW movement truly is faith based as much as its similar counterpart Maoism was - with appeals to reason, objectivity or rule of law. The problem is that we've outgrown traditional Christianity, although arguably not Christianity itself, and find ourselves in a spiritual wilderness without any creed to satisfy our religious needs, which are as great as ever. It's high time that perceptive and knowledgeable men again started to bend their efforts toward an understanding of human faith and natural law, and took steps to create new institutions that take both into account. If we don't, we'll be crushed between the hammer of Islam and the anvil of nihilism.

    I think it would be quite interesting if some quasi-trained sociologist sort were to write a book about SJWism as religion. You’d need to have some genuine empathy for the participants/proponents, but also approach it objectively. It isn’t really my thing to do this as an “academic”, but on some level I have been there as a “participant”. At one point in life I had a sharp recoil against secular agnosticism, and turned in a very SJWish direction, although I was never anything like a Maoist (although I can easily imagine alternative paths in which I become an antifa) . It was a sort of Christian/Buddhist SJWism, but SJWism nonetheless. (Maybe all SJWism is sort of Christian/Buddhist.) Even now I don’t think it is all wrong, by any means. But some of it I do think is very misguided.

    I realize some people here are secular agnostics, but I don’t think that actually works in the long run, at least on the societal level.

    • Replies: @Thea
    SJWism is a strain of Yankee Protestantism. It has a long history -err- tradition, if you will.

    I see shades of Buddism in it as well.
  68. @Truth
    Y'all "white privilege" be KILLIN' brothers!

    https://www.mail.com/news/us/5146710-white-man-15-years-shooting-5-black-men-protest.html#.7518-stage-hero1-10

    No bruthas were killed. Five were were winged by this white assailant/gunman at a Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis. And you have been here long enough to know what the real, truthful statistics are on interracial-black v white assaults, rapes and murders. Truth indeed!

  69. @Truth
    Y'all "white privilege" be KILLIN' brothers!

    https://www.mail.com/news/us/5146710-white-man-15-years-shooting-5-black-men-protest.html#.7518-stage-hero1-10

    And as far as 100% random, crazy ass black violence, murder in this case, against an 80 year old white woman out for a 6AM walk, check this out http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4450172/Police-Woman-86-beat-death-random-California-attack.html

    Man beats 86-year-old woman to death as she was walking round a high school track in a savage, random attack
    Two women were on a daily morning walk on a track at a California high school
    At 6am, a witness saw a man savagely attack them with his hands and feet Police are searching for the suspect – a 5-foot-6-inch black man

  70. @anon
    The problem is that the traditional religions are all pretty obviously false.

    That's less of a problem than you probably think. I mean, you can say that it's pretty obviously false that Jesus rose from the grave, but how do you know? Were you there?

    The modern religion of equality is much more obviously false, but people still believe in it, don't they? It's not like, every day, I am confronted with Jesus's corpse lying there dead. Most people in our multicultural society are confronted, each and every day, with evidence that not all human populations are of equal average intelligence, but the majority of them still believe that they really are.

    You would be surprised at what people can make themselves believe.

    anon wrote to me:

    That’s less of a problem than you probably think. I mean, you can say that it’s pretty obviously false that Jesus rose from the grave, but how do you know? Were you there?

    Well… I realize this is a rhetorical question leading up to a different point, but, there has been a lot of scholarly study going back a couple of centuries that does show a lot about how the Christian myths evolved. There is good reason to doubt Jesus rose from the grave. Aside, of course, from the obvious Humean point that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

    I’ll concede though that the decline of Christian belief probably owes less to this (pretty solid) Biblical scholarship than to broader changes in the Zeitgeist. Some of those changes are legit, such as a spread in the world-view due to science (the earth is really, really old; there is no Heaven just above the sky; etc.). But I admit that some of those changes in the Zeitgeist have nothing to do with science but rather with changes in daily living arrangements, pop culture, political cults, etc.

    Dave

    • Replies: @anon
    there has been a lot of scholarly study going back a couple of centuries that does show a lot about how the Christian myths evolved. There is good reason to doubt Jesus rose from the grave.

    Yes, yes. I'm not doubting that. But that only matters to the people who a) are inclined to believe the story of Jesus, and b) are actually aware of that fairly arcane scholarship.

    The intersection on that particular Venn diagram isn't especially large.

    And it still doesn't change the fact that people are perfectly capable of discounting mountains of evidence that they can see, with their own eyes, on a daily basis. If you can talk to large numbers of white people and large numbers of black people and come away believing that they are equally intelligent, on average, you can believe anything.

    , @Desiderius

    Aside, of course, from the obvious Humean point that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
     
    Hume's own claims haven't exactly aced that test.
  71. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @PhysicistDave
    anon wrote to me:

    That’s less of a problem than you probably think. I mean, you can say that it’s pretty obviously false that Jesus rose from the grave, but how do you know? Were you there?
     
    Well... I realize this is a rhetorical question leading up to a different point, but, there has been a lot of scholarly study going back a couple of centuries that does show a lot about how the Christian myths evolved. There is good reason to doubt Jesus rose from the grave. Aside, of course, from the obvious Humean point that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

    I'll concede though that the decline of Christian belief probably owes less to this (pretty solid) Biblical scholarship than to broader changes in the Zeitgeist. Some of those changes are legit, such as a spread in the world-view due to science (the earth is really, really old; there is no Heaven just above the sky; etc.). But I admit that some of those changes in the Zeitgeist have nothing to do with science but rather with changes in daily living arrangements, pop culture, political cults, etc.

    Dave

    there has been a lot of scholarly study going back a couple of centuries that does show a lot about how the Christian myths evolved. There is good reason to doubt Jesus rose from the grave.

    Yes, yes. I’m not doubting that. But that only matters to the people who a) are inclined to believe the story of Jesus, and b) are actually aware of that fairly arcane scholarship.

    The intersection on that particular Venn diagram isn’t especially large.

    And it still doesn’t change the fact that people are perfectly capable of discounting mountains of evidence that they can see, with their own eyes, on a daily basis. If you can talk to large numbers of white people and large numbers of black people and come away believing that they are equally intelligent, on average, you can believe anything.

  72. @Bill P

    The problem is that the traditional religions are all pretty obviously false.
     
    I think you're looking at them the wrong way, as though they are an equation in which one mistake invalidates the entire thing.

    Traditional religions that have withstood the test of time contain a great deal more truth than falsehood. If they didn't have great insight into humanity and the world they never would have lasted. And my overarching point is that without this insight the societies that nourished and created the institutions that uphold our civilization - and still sustain them today - would not have advanced past the barbarism that characterized them a mere 1500 years ago. Instead of a physicist you'd probably be a wheelwright or smith or something along those lines. Not that there's anything wrong with those jobs, but let's just say they don't have as much potential.

    The danger today is that we could well lose a great deal of what we've created, and if you look around it's becoming apparent that we're already losing some of it. It could be partly because of the conflict between traditional religion and modern society, but mostly it's because of our neglect when it comes to the big questions and the matter of human faith, which is pretty clearly an instinct, and an important one at that. These things take work, and brains, and can't just be left to the wrong people without serious consequences.

    Bill P wrote to me:

    Traditional religions that have withstood the test of time contain a great deal more truth than falsehood. If they didn’t have great insight into humanity and the world they never would have lasted.

    Have you read The Abolition of Man by the famous Christian apologist C. S. Lewis? The book is a sincere and, I think, largely successful attempt to distill insights about human nature that are common to many world religions.

    I think that approach is worthwhile, but I think it is most likely to succeed if separated from the silly supernatural hocus-pocus.

    Of course, this does require recognizing intellectually that there actually is such a thing as human nature. Scientifically, that is no problem at all, but, as everyone here knows, it goes against the political-cultural drift of our time.

    Incidentally, I do not object in principle to honest speculation about God, an afterlife, etc., as long as it is clearly labeled as speculation — “there are more things in Heaven and earth…” and all that. Most of us scientists do not claim to have solid proof that there is no God. But, the detailed stories that have been concocted about God, yes, there are good reasons to know that those stories were just made up.

    Dave

    • Replies: @Bill P

    Have you read The Abolition of Man by the famous Christian apologist C. S. Lewis? The book is a sincere and, I think, largely successful attempt to distill insights about human nature that are common to many world religions.

    I think that approach is worthwhile, but I think it is most likely to succeed if separated from the silly supernatural hocus-pocus.
     
    No, I haven't read it. Thanks for the suggestion. I think I'll go get it.

    Separating the supernatural hocus pocus would be more likely to succeed with you, but be objective here and look at humanity in general. Myth is important for a number of reasons, and it doesn't need to be taken literally by those who know better. However, even for those of us who are not so credulous, there are often lessons to be learned from these improbable tales when one takes a deeper look into them. Consider, for example, the role that fiction plays in the development of children's minds, and from there your own. Even if you have forgotten those silly stories from your childhood, you can't deny that they helped determine who you are today, and they must have served some purpose.

    Personally, I'm not a big fan of apologetics, because they seem to me to be a rearguard action covering a retreat. The people who wrote religious texts in the early Iron Age were on the cutting edge of contemporaneous thought, and innovating rather than conceding ground. They seem on close examination to be on the cusp of a scientific understanding of heritability. Although it's admittedly a pretty big leap from their intuition to Darwinism, they were closer than most Europeans in the 18th century.

    What bothers me most is that now that despite having so much more knowledge, there's a stagnation in religious innovation where this should be a time of great advancement given how much more there is to work with. And I happen to think it's a vitally important pursuit. Important even - and especially - to the hard sciences, as I suggested before. There are many examples of intellectual stagnation and regression due to religious backwardness (e.g. neo-Confucianism, Lysenkoism, etc.), and I see that happening in the West without spiritual innovation.
    , @Clark Westwood
    The thing is, you are viewing religion through the eyes of a smart person. Most smart people are able to get their acts together and be decent citizens without religion. But "do it yourself" morality is a disaster for people on the left-hand side of the bell curve.
  73. @Clyde
    Keep using the word imperialism because this is what it is. Veering off course, what is the world's most successful and enduring Imperialism? Islamic Jihad wars and Islamic Hegira which is the softer-longer Jihad. 1400 years and counting. The start of the Islamic calendar is not Muhammad's birth or death. It is Muhammad's Hegira from Mecca to Medina, because this is when he began to be a successful preacher and conqueror.

    It’s globo-imperialism that puts them in the position to hijra their way into 1st world nations in the first place. The educated ones go to America, closer to the imperial center, to become cheerleaders for new interventions, and the riff-raff comes to Europe.

  74. @Achmed E. Newman
    These people are positively Orwellian.

    "The idea of freedom of speech does not mean a blanket permission to say anything anybody thinks."
     
    No, but that's just because you can't write a simple sentence worth a damn. It should be "The idea of freedom of speech does not mean one has blanket permission to say anything one thinks". That's wrong, but at least it's good English, not Newspeak.

    Steve, I remember your writing a month ago that these NY Times writers put some actually truthful stuff buried in the latter paragraphs of their articles. What about this one? (No, I'm NOT gonna read the NY Times - that's what we pay expect from you. ;-} ) Anyway, even if these guys write total lies, it'd be better if one could at least make out what they're trying to say. The first blockquote of yours contains complete gibberish:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnrX5sn4CtU

    B.A. Harvard, Ph.D. Yale. In English lit.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    I guess the profs don't grade on grammar anymore; that might trigger the student snowflakes too much, and somebody pays a lot of money for them to be there.
  75. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Dieter Kief
    Baer is one more example of an examplary mistake in nowadays Academia - to mix up two spheres, that are distinct for very good reasons: The realm of therapy and that of public discourse.

    All kinds of hermeneutic discourse in therapy are restricted: The therapist - for very good reasons, is expeted to be reluctant, in order to make sure, that the client's feelings don't get in the way, when he's trying to understand better, what's wrong with him.

    This scheme is totally ok for therapy, therapy by and large has to be that way (=an a-symmetric form of communication).

    But in the context of a pulic discourse, the rule is different: Public discoure by it's very nature is open for counter-arguments, right from the start.

    If you, like Baer, don't get this, you end up worshipping the snowflakes - in the name of Nazi-victims. Which is why call Baer a pervert.

    Good point.

    They have to decide on whether they are running a university or a mental hospital. The University of Chicago took a position on this. I don’t know how far it goes vis a vis free speech. But the are certain that they aren’t going to cater to student’s feelings to the extent of censorship.

    Mental illness is simply not cool. ‘Triggering’ is a term popularized in a form of therapy called dialectical behavior therapy. Not as bad as it sounds, and sort of interesting history to it.

    However, some of the snowflake ethos is similar to what could be called ‘good manners’. Or, not being an asshole. I can see a desire for civility and general decency — especially to the extent that is seems absent — to become transformed into a pseudo right to have your personal narrative affirmed.

    And further — Baer’s opening comment .. “privileging of personal experience, with its powerful emotional impact, over reason and argument”. falls right into place. There is no need for a University to privilege personal experience — it can be done anywhere. That is done in certain sorts of alcohol fueled bar room discussions. You listen to someone’s version of telling it how it really is — their story, etc. And vice versa. But the purely personal may be interesting or entertaining (or more likely annoying) but has almost nothing to do with knowledge or education or anything vaguely academic.

    But its the notion that a University should be therapeutic and students need to feel safe to think … it’s extremely unattractive. If the choice is between a mental hospital and the University of Phoenix, I’ll take the later. I actually had a Dean at an Urban College without a residential campus argue that a campus is a ‘total institution’ and maybe went as far as comparing it to a minimum security prison. It was good for a laugh, but I think the correct approach is humor/satire. https://harpers.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/HarpersMagazine-1996-01-0007859.pdf

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The term "total institution" for a prison or mental asylum is often credited to Alice Goffman's dad Erving Goffman.
    , @Dieter Kief

    argue that a campus is a ‘total institution’ and maybe went as far as comparing it to a minimum security prison. It was good for a laugh, but I think the correct approach is humor/satire

     

    1

    I agree.

    As long as somebody refers to a college as a "total institution" and is doing it for a laugh - or ironically, or to make something clear, everything is fine.

    But the dead-serious version of this argument is false, and in a way false, that is comparable to Baer's flaws.

    Books like Goffman's are the late bloomings of a thought model, that's been brought to it's outer limits by quite a few thinkers. The most prominent now being Adorno and Foucault of European origin and maybe Goffman in the US.

    By and large, the Adorno/Foucault/Goffman approach was: There's something wrong with societal reality itself, and at this state of the affairs, the most important thing is: Opposition! - Give'em hell! Fight the established forces.

    Adorno, - I'm stil being just descriptive, - became so complicated after a while, that his "Negative Dialetics" tome for example can be treated as a Voynich-manuscript alike of super-complex deciphering problems (ok - now I've become a bit metaphorical). Alas - Adorno's late books especially provide pupils with work enough. In case somebody wants to prove mega-brightness, there's a simple solution too, she/he can specialise in the comparative reading of Derrida and Adorno. Case solved. Throw in Lacan, if you like, or - - - whatever (Benjamin, Böhme, the Baghavadgita, Gershom Scholem, the Greek Atomists, Heidegger, Edgar Wind,...ethno-psychoanalysis, brain-science, computer-lingusitics - etc.).

    All those books culminate in a meta-structure, that attacks reason itself (that's only implicitly true for Goffman, though, but explicitly for Adorno, Heidegger, Lacan, Deleuze/Guattari, Lyotard etc - and insofar, they all owe to Nietzsche).

    This kind of thinking has a binary structure: And that sure is not only an advantage. If you look at Goodmans example of the total institution: He could not cultivate a sense for the good things, institutions indeed represent. He just saw the social costs of the struggles, that led to the founding of mental institutions, for example. Foucault at this point did not hesitate, to even manipulate documents of the history of the famous Salpeterie in Paris, to bring his point across: Instuítuionalization is repression.

    Now the whole thing gets a little bit systematic: The above mentioned concepts are all - within the paradigm of the traditional western subject-philosophy. Which is by it's very nature, monological - (and therefor prone to be stuck in the self-centered manner of grown ups - what makes them the ideal college-fodder, as long as you don't want to educate grown-ups, really, and be rather "partners in crime" (Jagger/Richards)).

    I'm using shortcut after shortcut here - if unfolded, this all would add up to - well: There's one book, in which most of what I said here is unfolded (not all, mind you, but the basics for sure) and that book is already 1100 pages long. - So you might be willing to follow me through with my shortcuts. Oh - The books title: Theory of Communicative Action (=TKA)).

    Anyway - Habermas, who wrote the TKA, shows not only, that the subjective-philosophy's ways are a little limited and worn out already (he shows this especially for Hegel, Marx, G. H. Mead, T. Parsons and Adorno - most of the others of the above mentioned he takes on in his Philosophical Discourse of Modernity) - ah, Habermas too shows, what the solution to the specific troubles of subject-centered philosophy (and sociology...) is: The solution is not subject-centeredness anymore - it's intersubjectivity (the shortest way to describe this thing is, it yields oppression-free discourse (a counterfactual regulative idealisation): The pulic exchange of arguments based on sound reasons in a fair (=non-deceptive, honest) way).

    For Habermas, it's not: X is bad, because X is attached to the forces of the establishment (of the power-structure, of the military-industrial-complex, of the class-structure etc.). That would not be enough anymore.

    As would not be enough anymore to fight "the suppression in general" - as Enzensberger has it in a poem, in which he - who discovered too, somewhat independent of Habermas, that the subject-philosophical way is limited, and made fun of the snowflakes even before somebody had identified them: But he did: He indeed did make fun of people who thought, in the late 1970ies in the western world, that they should start to fight "oppression in general" or, in other words: The "ideological totality of oppressiveness in the capitalist (and "state-capitalist" = communist countries)" or some such, as - sigh, now I've finally come full circle: Baer for example, in all naivete, still seems to identify as the right thing to attack full frontal. No matter what. Intellectual sacrifices don't matter too, to him. Nothing can hold him back, not even the simple fact, that he confuses the realms of therapy and public dicourse, as I've shown above. If only he can save the world from the rise of Nazi-like discourse and therewith of kinda all kinds of oppresive power-structures, he is willing to pay any prize.

    That there are no real Nazis to be seen in his college at least anyways just goes to show, how strong he really is, see: Very strong indeed! Extremely strong. Strong nogh, to fight all suprrion to the n-th degree, even. With the help of the NYT!

    2

    Baer’s opening comment .. “privileging of personal experience, with its powerful emotional impact, over reason and argument”. falls right into place. There is no need for a University to privilege personal experience
     
    Yeah - one tendency that gets strengthened in the trendy snowflake-factories (=universities) is subjectivism. For the systematic aspects - see above, for the practical ones: See for example the case of Carolyn Rouse (Princeton Head of Anthropology Dpt. vs. Charles Murray as discussed on this blog in March). - Rouse doesn't even argue anymore and says: She does not have to, because she feels such a strong conviction, that Murray is wrong, that it would be kinda regressive, to find arguments against Murray's scientific work. Therefor: No need to know your opponent in any kind of factual way - know what he says or is after, as soon as you are sure, how badly he makes you feel!

    These people end up again and again on the subjective side of a discourse and are proud of that.


    The classical definition of regression is - drifting away into all too subjective realms - - and not beeing able to get out of this state of mind via - - rational arguments / dicourse.



    - Snowflakeries a r e the avoidance of intersubjectivity in the grown-up version of rational discourse and as such a major anti-modernist flaw.
  76. @anon
    Good point.

    They have to decide on whether they are running a university or a mental hospital. The University of Chicago took a position on this. I don't know how far it goes vis a vis free speech. But the are certain that they aren't going to cater to student's feelings to the extent of censorship.

    Mental illness is simply not cool. 'Triggering' is a term popularized in a form of therapy called dialectical behavior therapy. Not as bad as it sounds, and sort of interesting history to it.

    However, some of the snowflake ethos is similar to what could be called 'good manners'. Or, not being an asshole. I can see a desire for civility and general decency -- especially to the extent that is seems absent -- to become transformed into a pseudo right to have your personal narrative affirmed.

    And further -- Baer's opening comment .. "privileging of personal experience, with its powerful emotional impact, over reason and argument". falls right into place. There is no need for a University to privilege personal experience -- it can be done anywhere. That is done in certain sorts of alcohol fueled bar room discussions. You listen to someone's version of telling it how it really is -- their story, etc. And vice versa. But the purely personal may be interesting or entertaining (or more likely annoying) but has almost nothing to do with knowledge or education or anything vaguely academic.

    But its the notion that a University should be therapeutic and students need to feel safe to think ... it's extremely unattractive. If the choice is between a mental hospital and the University of Phoenix, I'll take the later. I actually had a Dean at an Urban College without a residential campus argue that a campus is a 'total institution' and maybe went as far as comparing it to a minimum security prison. It was good for a laugh, but I think the correct approach is humor/satire. https://harpers.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/HarpersMagazine-1996-01-0007859.pdf

    The term “total institution” for a prison or mental asylum is often credited to Alice Goffman’s dad Erving Goffman.

    • Replies: @anon
    Interesting. Didn't know it was Goffman. But since it was 50's Sociology, it reminded me of Parson's, 'the sick role'. Parsons considered it deviance, which became sanctioned by the following:

    "The general idea is that the individual who has fallen ill is not only physically sick, but now adheres to the specifically patterned social role of being sick. ‘Being Sick’ is not simply a ‘state of fact’ or ‘condition’, it contains within itself customary rights and obligations based on the social norms that surround it. The theory outlined two rights of a sick person and two obligations:

    Rights:
    The sick person is exempt from normal social roles
    The sick person is not responsible for their condition
    Obligations:
    The sick person should try to get well
    The sick person should seek technically competent help and cooperate with the medical professional
     
    This described the tendency of medicalizing deviance -- a good example which began at roughy that time was the transformation of the village drunk to an alcoholic. Alcoholism being a disease, and could be shoehorned into 'the sick role'. It never quite worked, but it became popular and a corporate employee, for example, was frequently given a exemption for whatever earned the label and a chance to go to rehab. The addict/rehab perspective maxed out with Tiger Woods and his 'Sex Addiction'.

    Even the New Yorker effectively rolled its eyes at Oberlin a year ago. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/05/30/the-new-activism-of-liberal-arts-colleges

    Prior to going bat shit crazy after the Trump election.

    I can live with the unfalsifiable, pseudo diagnostic labels like authoritarian personality. But fragility isn't attractive. It's a wedge. Pomona needs all these safe spaces. And conflating the need for emotional safety from triggering words with the need for safety from Antafa Black Bloc rioters works both ways. And even if the students are PoMo enough to deal with the contradiction, even progressive professors must cringe at their new role as emotional baby sitters.

    It has gotten harder to 'not notice' which has ramped up the efforts to rely on institutional authority to banish 'noticing'. Relying on French PoMo -- which was driven by the desperate need to reframe collaboration as a cultural construct -- is just too much work.

    Parson's 'sick role' is hardly deep thought, but describes the obvious. Snowflake is a great start. But arguing for free speech on rational grounds is less powerful then humiliating students on the grounds that they have labeled themselves as barely sane.
  77. @RudyM
    OT:

    To abolish the white race, the ultimate goal of anyone who wants to bring about genuinely democratic socialism, we need to get over Bernie Sanders.
     
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/04/21/can-we-finally-get-over-bernie-sanders/

    Would Counterpunch have published that if Cockburn were still alive? I wonder.

    Its archives are online, and the answer is a clear yes.

  78. @guest
    This is a major problem of democracy: its endemic hypocrisy. If this were written by a courtier of King Louis XIV, he could come out and say that he doesn't believe in free speech. That sone people are privileged, both in their right to be heard and their right not to he insulted (lese-majeste).

    But people are conditioned to believe in freedom, so they won't accept that argument outright. It has to be cloaked in attractive outerwear. Therefore, those in power (or seeking power) lie.

    Marcuse had his "repressive tolerance," which was blatantly intolerant. Why was it called "tolerance," then? Because people think they're supposed to like tolerance, even when they're advocating for intolerance. Marcuse was unusually honest in calling it repressive, for which I'd like to commend him. Except he was just trying go be tricky and oxymoronic in the postmodern tradition, so screw him.

    Lying is necessary in all areas of life. But do we really need this much?

    This is a major problem of democracy: its endemic hypocrisy. If this were written by a courtier of King Louis XIV, he could come out and say that he doesn’t believe in free speech. That sone people are privileged, both in their right to be heard and their right not to he insulted (lese-majeste).

    well. if you, as “the people”, gonna give someone power, have them make a good intellectual case for why they deserve it shouldn’t be too much to ask.

    That some cases are necessarily going to be sh**y doesn’t mean that, ideally, discourse > proclamation.

    • Replies: @guest
    It is too much to ask, because people aren't persuaded by good intellectual cases. Not even and maybe not especially intellectuals.
  79. @PiltdownMan
    B.A. Harvard, Ph.D. Yale. In English lit.

    I guess the profs don’t grade on grammar anymore; that might trigger the student snowflakes too much, and somebody pays a lot of money for them to be there.

  80. @PhysicistDave
    Bill P wrote to me:

    Traditional religions that have withstood the test of time contain a great deal more truth than falsehood. If they didn’t have great insight into humanity and the world they never would have lasted.
     
    Have you read The Abolition of Man by the famous Christian apologist C. S. Lewis? The book is a sincere and, I think, largely successful attempt to distill insights about human nature that are common to many world religions.

    I think that approach is worthwhile, but I think it is most likely to succeed if separated from the silly supernatural hocus-pocus.

    Of course, this does require recognizing intellectually that there actually is such a thing as human nature. Scientifically, that is no problem at all, but, as everyone here knows, it goes against the political-cultural drift of our time.

    Incidentally, I do not object in principle to honest speculation about God, an afterlife, etc., as long as it is clearly labeled as speculation -- "there are more things in Heaven and earth..." and all that. Most of us scientists do not claim to have solid proof that there is no God. But, the detailed stories that have been concocted about God, yes, there are good reasons to know that those stories were just made up.

    Dave

    Have you read The Abolition of Man by the famous Christian apologist C. S. Lewis? The book is a sincere and, I think, largely successful attempt to distill insights about human nature that are common to many world religions.

    I think that approach is worthwhile, but I think it is most likely to succeed if separated from the silly supernatural hocus-pocus.

    No, I haven’t read it. Thanks for the suggestion. I think I’ll go get it.

    Separating the supernatural hocus pocus would be more likely to succeed with you, but be objective here and look at humanity in general. Myth is important for a number of reasons, and it doesn’t need to be taken literally by those who know better. However, even for those of us who are not so credulous, there are often lessons to be learned from these improbable tales when one takes a deeper look into them. Consider, for example, the role that fiction plays in the development of children’s minds, and from there your own. Even if you have forgotten those silly stories from your childhood, you can’t deny that they helped determine who you are today, and they must have served some purpose.

    Personally, I’m not a big fan of apologetics, because they seem to me to be a rearguard action covering a retreat. The people who wrote religious texts in the early Iron Age were on the cutting edge of contemporaneous thought, and innovating rather than conceding ground. They seem on close examination to be on the cusp of a scientific understanding of heritability. Although it’s admittedly a pretty big leap from their intuition to Darwinism, they were closer than most Europeans in the 18th century.

    What bothers me most is that now that despite having so much more knowledge, there’s a stagnation in religious innovation where this should be a time of great advancement given how much more there is to work with. And I happen to think it’s a vitally important pursuit. Important even – and especially – to the hard sciences, as I suggested before. There are many examples of intellectual stagnation and regression due to religious backwardness (e.g. neo-Confucianism, Lysenkoism, etc.), and I see that happening in the West without spiritual innovation.

    • Replies: @Desiderius

    There are many examples of intellectual stagnation and regression due to religious backwardness (e.g. neo-Confucianism, Lysenkoism, etc.), and I see that happening in the West without spiritual innovation.
     
    You might start with looking at the damage done by using "religion" as an all-purpose pejorative. Surely you can't be surprised when a generation of PhysicistDaves show up who take you at your word.
    , @PhysicistDave
    Bill P wrote to me:

    Myth is important for a number of reasons, and it doesn’t need to be taken literally by those who know better. However, even for those of us who are not so credulous, there are often lessons to be learned from these improbable tales when one takes a deeper look into them.
     
    Well, I agree, but, you know, so does the rabidly outspoken British atheist Richard Dawkins! He argues that both Brits and Yanks should learn more about the Bible because of its historical and cultural significance.

    The people who think otherwise tend not to be motivated by a pro-science or anti-religion perspective but rather by an anti-Western perspective. I.e., they are fine with students studying the Ramayana or the Quran but not the Bible. To compound the silliness, people who think this way tend to be Westerners.

    Bill P also wrote:

    What bothers me most is that now that despite having so much more knowledge, there’s a stagnation in religious innovation where this should be a time of great advancement given how much more there is to work with.
     
    Well, it has been tried you know: Scientology, Deepak Chopra's quantum silliness, etc. I think it is fair to say the results are not encouraging. (N.B. I am not claiming that we physicists truly understand the quantum weirdness but merely that Chopra assuredly does not.)

    Or, maybe you just mean we need more attempts along the lines of the book I cited by C. S. Lewis, in which case we agree.

    Dave
  81. “Hate speech” laws: through the back door. Just like they did with illegal aliens (“undocumented workers”), making them somehow legal just by playing with words and relentlessly shaming the “racists,” they’re laying the groundwork for doing away with the first amendment by framing it as a moral issue and using guilt-by-association propaganda to destroy any opposition. Anyone who questions the insanity, anyone to the right of Mao Zedong is: “Racist,” “Neo-Nazi,” “White Supremacist,” “Alt-Right (Nazi Richard!!!).”

    And instead of calling out the BS, most Whites curl up in a ball at the invincible kryptonite of the (uber disingenuous) moral argument. They’re too cowardly and/or ignorant to take a principled stand.

    • Replies: @Desiderius

    And instead of calling out the BS, most Whites curl up in a ball at the invincible kryptonite of the (uber disingenuous) moral argument. They’re too cowardly and/or ignorant to take a principled stand.
     
    It's more vanity than cowardice or ignorance. We want to think of ourselves as above-it-all disinterested arbiters. Abstraction = higher status. SJWs are parasites on that vanity.
  82. @PhysicistDave
    MBlac46 wrote:

    There’s no debating these people. Ignore them until it’s time to fight them.
     
    But, what if they manage to get eighty percent of the population on their side? Who then will win the fight when "it's time to fight"?

    Of course, the funny thing is that they are giving Milo, Coulter, Murray et al. publicity that you couldn't buy. I don't think Murray really wants this, but it is manna from heaven for Milo and Coulter.

    Dave

    Murray wants to have an adult conversation about stuff that’s wrecking our society, and probably figures that screaming protesters, fire alarms, and rioters aren’t conducive to that kind of conversation.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    Coulter wants an adult conversation about what's wrecking society, too. She just realized early on that she would need a way to get around the censorship that inhibits such a conversation. And she's been pretty successful at it.

    I've never been sure what Milo's goal is, other than "Look at me!" Still, he annoys the Progs, so there's that.
  83. @Bill P

    The problem is that the traditional religions are all pretty obviously false.
     
    I think you're looking at them the wrong way, as though they are an equation in which one mistake invalidates the entire thing.

    Traditional religions that have withstood the test of time contain a great deal more truth than falsehood. If they didn't have great insight into humanity and the world they never would have lasted. And my overarching point is that without this insight the societies that nourished and created the institutions that uphold our civilization - and still sustain them today - would not have advanced past the barbarism that characterized them a mere 1500 years ago. Instead of a physicist you'd probably be a wheelwright or smith or something along those lines. Not that there's anything wrong with those jobs, but let's just say they don't have as much potential.

    The danger today is that we could well lose a great deal of what we've created, and if you look around it's becoming apparent that we're already losing some of it. It could be partly because of the conflict between traditional religion and modern society, but mostly it's because of our neglect when it comes to the big questions and the matter of human faith, which is pretty clearly an instinct, and an important one at that. These things take work, and brains, and can't just be left to the wrong people without serious consequences.

    Cultural anthropologists love totemic religions and the ornate, symbolic rituals which characterize them. However, they genuinely understand that the most important aspects of religion are not spiritual – they are the establishment of rules and ideology that bind society together.

    I have recently attended mass in a church a thousand years old. It was humbling to be a part of a community, even for an hour, that traces itself back more than 40 generations. However, sitting inside was deeply saddening.

    There were many seats that were empty on that Sunday. We are witnessing the death and decline of an institution that has cradled western civilization for over two thousand years. Simultaneously, we have nothing to take its place except Islam and hollow, untested, demonstrably false “Equalism”

    The profound inplications of losing the most globally significant European cultural force are yet to be felt.

  84. @guest
    This is a major problem of democracy: its endemic hypocrisy. If this were written by a courtier of King Louis XIV, he could come out and say that he doesn't believe in free speech. That sone people are privileged, both in their right to be heard and their right not to he insulted (lese-majeste).

    But people are conditioned to believe in freedom, so they won't accept that argument outright. It has to be cloaked in attractive outerwear. Therefore, those in power (or seeking power) lie.

    Marcuse had his "repressive tolerance," which was blatantly intolerant. Why was it called "tolerance," then? Because people think they're supposed to like tolerance, even when they're advocating for intolerance. Marcuse was unusually honest in calling it repressive, for which I'd like to commend him. Except he was just trying go be tricky and oxymoronic in the postmodern tradition, so screw him.

    Lying is necessary in all areas of life. But do we really need this much?

    I agree, except for your second-to-last sentence. Lying (hypocrisy) may be necessary in today’s society, but it wasn’t always thus. And that it has become thus is very close to the source of the problem.

    A society where you cannot say what you mean and mean what you say will not last. Rightly.

  85. @NOTA
    Murray wants to have an adult conversation about stuff that's wrecking our society, and probably figures that screaming protesters, fire alarms, and rioters aren't conducive to that kind of conversation.

    Coulter wants an adult conversation about what’s wrecking society, too. She just realized early on that she would need a way to get around the censorship that inhibits such a conversation. And she’s been pretty successful at it.

    I’ve never been sure what Milo’s goal is, other than “Look at me!” Still, he annoys the Progs, so there’s that.

  86. @Anonymous
    I think it would be quite interesting if some quasi-trained sociologist sort were to write a book about SJWism as religion. You'd need to have some genuine empathy for the participants/proponents, but also approach it objectively. It isn't really my thing to do this as an "academic", but on some level I have been there as a "participant". At one point in life I had a sharp recoil against secular agnosticism, and turned in a very SJWish direction, although I was never anything like a Maoist (although I can easily imagine alternative paths in which I become an antifa) . It was a sort of Christian/Buddhist SJWism, but SJWism nonetheless. (Maybe all SJWism is sort of Christian/Buddhist.) Even now I don't think it is all wrong, by any means. But some of it I do think is very misguided.

    I realize some people here are secular agnostics, but I don't think that actually works in the long run, at least on the societal level.

    SJWism is a strain of Yankee Protestantism. It has a long history -err- tradition, if you will.

    I see shades of Buddism in it as well.

    • Replies: @Desiderius

    SJWism is a strain of Yankee Protestantism.
     
    More like the weeds growing in the field where the meetinghouse of Yankee Protestantism once stood.
    , @celt darnell

    SJWism is a strain of Yankee Protestantism. It has a long history -err- tradition, if you will.

    I see shades of Buddism in it as well.
     
    Except that Yankee Protestantism celebrated traits such as hard work, thrift, honesty and moral courage -- all of which lead to socially desirable outcomes.

    What positive traits do these yahoos demonstrate? None, would be my answer.

    As for comparing their beliefs to Buddhism...well, maybe of the celebrity variety...
  87. I have been following this issue for some time, and with the election of Trump, my feelings have changed. No, I don’t think that the government should restrict speech and I also believe that universities should expose students to a variety of view points. However, I think that some of the commentators here miss the point entirely.

    I felt deeply ashamed when we elected a president who routinely espouses racist beliefs and policies and treats women like breeding stock – not just for my country as a whole, but for myself, because I have spent my whole like “respecting” others view points, simply ignoring the white supremacist on campus.

    I realized that am now in debt to my country, I failed to speak up, raise an alarm, do my civic duty to protest. Now, in my mid-30s, I am finally standing up for what is right.

    If you think that I am snowflake, so be it. I believe that I am stronger than I once was, because I am no longer will to do what is “easy” and “respectful.”

    I do think that universities should allow most speakers, but as private institutions, if they believe that an unsafe situation exists for a speaker or for their students, it is within their rights to cancel a speech, and there is nothing fascist about it.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    Looks like Tiny's new troll contract pays him by the word. It is most certainly not by the thought.
    , @celt darnell

    I felt deeply ashamed when we elected a president who routinely espouses racist beliefs and policies and treats women like breeding stock
     
    In other words, Trump is a combination of Obama and Bill Clinton. You've definitely got something to be ashamed about -- pity you can't see what it is.

    If you think that I am snowflake, so be it. I believe that I am stronger than I once was, because I am no longer will to do what is “easy” and “respectful.”
     
    Joining a lynch mob is not no longer doing "what is 'easy' and 'respectful'"; it is doing what is cowardly and wrong.

    I do think that universities should allow most speakers, but as private institutions, if they believe that an unsafe situation exists for a speaker or for their students, it is within their rights to cancel a speech, and there is nothing fascist about it.
     
    Yeah, but it's funny how only speakers on one side of the political divide face these "unsafe" situations, isn't it? Very convenient for you and your ilk.
    , @fish

    If you think that I am snowflake, so be it. I believe that I am stronger than I once was, because I am no longer will to do what is “easy” and “respectful.”
     
    Wow.....deep! You should read Leonard Pitts.
    , @black sea
    If you go to the comments thread on Ulrich Baer's op ed and scroll down to E. Pavlich, you will find this same comment, including the typo "I realized that am now in debt . . . "

    And no, this is not exposing the identity of Tiny Duck, because Tiny Duck isn't capable of writing anything this articulate, intellectually complex, and measured in tone. I'm not saying this comment is particulary noteworthy, it's just far superior to anything that our TD could whip up on his own, even with the help of a world-class thesaurus, a jar of nootropics, and his mom's editing advice.

    Sad, of course, but not surprising.

    ps: And he only went five comments deep into the thread. Now that's Tiny Duck!

  88. @PhysicistDave
    Bill P wrote to me:

    Traditional religions that have withstood the test of time contain a great deal more truth than falsehood. If they didn’t have great insight into humanity and the world they never would have lasted.
     
    Have you read The Abolition of Man by the famous Christian apologist C. S. Lewis? The book is a sincere and, I think, largely successful attempt to distill insights about human nature that are common to many world religions.

    I think that approach is worthwhile, but I think it is most likely to succeed if separated from the silly supernatural hocus-pocus.

    Of course, this does require recognizing intellectually that there actually is such a thing as human nature. Scientifically, that is no problem at all, but, as everyone here knows, it goes against the political-cultural drift of our time.

    Incidentally, I do not object in principle to honest speculation about God, an afterlife, etc., as long as it is clearly labeled as speculation -- "there are more things in Heaven and earth..." and all that. Most of us scientists do not claim to have solid proof that there is no God. But, the detailed stories that have been concocted about God, yes, there are good reasons to know that those stories were just made up.

    Dave

    The thing is, you are viewing religion through the eyes of a smart person. Most smart people are able to get their acts together and be decent citizens without religion. But “do it yourself” morality is a disaster for people on the left-hand side of the bell curve.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    Clark Westwood wrote to me:

    But “do it yourself” morality is a disaster for people on the left-hand side of the bell curve.
     
    Well, yeah. But "do-it-yourself" medicine or airplane building is also not a good idea for most people (I know there are exceptions). That is not a problem: we do not need religion to get people to (usually) use well-built airplanes or proven medicines. We have collectively a fair amount of knowledge about medicine and a great deal of knowledge about airplanes, we all know there are people who are highly trained in medicine and in airplane design, etc. No need for religion in those areas.

    And, we do actually know a lot about morality. Intelligent people may differ about whether it is moral to use alcohol or pot in moderation. But, it is not moral to become an alcoholic or a child molester or a common thief. No reason in principle we need religion to teach that to people.

    Of course, we have a very strange cultural history during the last hundred years that has caused the dominant faction among our intellectual elite to deny the obvious facts about morality. That is indeed a very serious problem, but I do not see why religion solves that problem.

    Dave
  89. @PhysicistDave
    Bill P wrote:

    It’s high time that perceptive and knowledgeable men again started to bend their efforts toward an understanding of human faith and natural law, and took steps to create new institutions that take both into account.
     
    The problem is that the traditional religions are all pretty obviously false.

    Of course, the mere fact of their mutual inconsistency always showed that most of them had to be false, but the rise of modern science and critical scholarship killed the hope that my own particular religion might, after all, turn out to be the one single true religion.

    You just cannot put Humpty together again.

    Dave

    Then why do we see so many directionless western youth (white and other races) embracing Islam? It gives them a black and white worldview, brings structure to their lives and gives them a sense of belonging.
    These are all things that the traditional family and church used to provide in the past.

    • Replies: @attilathehen
    It doesn't matter if blacks/Asians become Muslims. They come from the second and third racial classes, lower IQs. Islam is a degenerate (and Christian heresy) belief that no white can support. I don't have anything to do with black/Asian Christians. What is needed is a revival of a Christianity that is good for the West.
  90. Steve re-tweeted this:

    https://twitter.com/AudaciousEpigon/status/857414591650963457

    It used to be that college was a marker of being more intelligent. By now, it is a marker of being more stupid than the average.

    • Replies: @Clark Westwood
    I didn't think it was even possible to complete college with an IQ around 100.
  91. @MBlanc46
    There is much to what you say. I work in scholarly publishing, so I have a pretty good idea of who is influential in the academy. Fifteen to twenty years ago, Foucault was everywhere. Making his methods (archaeology, genealogy, etc) the basis of your analysis was de rigeur in the humanities and social sciences. But his star has been eclipsed. He's still cited occasionally, but he's no longer the new big thing. Over the long haul, Barthes has had more influence, as has Gadamer. Derrida is too arcane to have had as much direct influence it seems to me.

    Adorno needs to be added to the list. He’s still everywhere in the current literature.

  92. The idea of freedom of speech does not mean a blanket permission to say anything anybody thinks. It means balancing the inherent value of a given view with the obligation to ensure that other members of a given community can participate in discourse as fully recognized members of that community.

    What the heck does that even mean?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    It means:

    "You STFU."

    , @anon

    obligation to ensure that other members of a given community can participate in discourse as fully recognized members of that community.
     
    Discourse means that 'we need to have a conversation' and other members who disagree need to talk and you must listen. Like at Pomona where we were informed that truth is just part of Enlightenment honky death culture.
  93. From Jonathan Chait’s stirring and courageous defense of freedom of speech (“The ‘Shut It Down!’ Left and the War on the Liberal Mind”) in New York magazine (bold added):

    Charles Murray is a harder case. Murray was targeted by protesters because of his work two decades before defending scientific racism in The Bell Curve (a work I’ve never read except in abridged form, and which has been persuasively, to me, demolished by scholars). But the speech he attempted to deliver at Middlebury College before being shut down by a mob was not on that topic. Indeed, when some scholars distributed a copy of Murray’s speech to 70 college professors, omitting the name of the author, they deemed it quite moderate. Even assuming his Bell Curve work does not merit free-speech rights, should that subject any future speeches of his to suppression?

    • Replies: @Clark Westwood
    What a coward.
    , @Forbes
    Lying fabricator of misinformation. The Bell Curve is not about 'scientific racism.' And the only demolishing of it by scholars was by ad hominem directed at Murray. Chait is a silly man.
    , @academic gossip
    There's a link there to a previous article by Chait (before Trump, antifa and Murray) from 2015 in which he more directly mocks the PC left. For example,

    A theater group at Mount Holyoke College recently announced it would no longer put on The Vagina Monologues in part because the material excludes women without vaginas. These sorts of episodes now hardly even qualify as exceptional.
     
    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/01/not-a-very-pc-thing-to-say.html
  94. @TelfoedJohn
    Steve re-tweeted this:

    https://twitter.com/AudaciousEpigon/status/857414591650963457

    It used to be that college was a marker of being more intelligent. By now, it is a marker of being more stupid than the average.

    I didn’t think it was even possible to complete college with an IQ around 100.

    • Replies: @TelfoedJohn
    I'm a bit suspicious of the figures, since a steve post from a decade ago show no college subject scores below 100:
    http://isteve.blogspot.com/2007/08/graduate-record-exam-scores-by-graduate.html?m=1
  95. @for-the-record
    From Jonathan Chait's stirring and courageous defense of freedom of speech ("The ‘Shut It Down!’ Left and the War on the Liberal Mind") in New York magazine (bold added):

    Charles Murray is a harder case. Murray was targeted by protesters because of his work two decades before defending scientific racism in The Bell Curve (a work I’ve never read except in abridged form, and which has been persuasively, to me, demolished by scholars). But the speech he attempted to deliver at Middlebury College before being shut down by a mob was not on that topic. Indeed, when some scholars distributed a copy of Murray’s speech to 70 college professors, omitting the name of the author, they deemed it quite moderate. Even assuming his Bell Curve work does not merit free-speech rights, should that subject any future speeches of his to suppression?
     

    What a coward.

  96. The interesting thing is that the comments and the recent NYT article on illegal immigration have been largely condemnatory. It’s interesting, because throughout most of the 2016 electoral cycle the left managed to keep the right on the defensive by framing the discussion in terms of tolerance, diversity and cosmopolitanism (and who wants to be seen as narrow-minded and insular, especially from other people’a money?). Now they seem to be slipping up. Instead of trying to show that immigration hard-liners are hateful or that the speech of a given pundit or politician is sexist or racist, they’ve taken to suggesting the passage and enforcement of laws that differentiate the subjects of these laws versus the non-subjects and that speech which is actually or perceivedly hateful ought to be outlawed. The latter is much harder to convince the flock of.

  97. @Thea
    SJWism is a strain of Yankee Protestantism. It has a long history -err- tradition, if you will.

    I see shades of Buddism in it as well.

    SJWism is a strain of Yankee Protestantism.

    More like the weeds growing in the field where the meetinghouse of Yankee Protestantism once stood.

    • Replies: @Thea
    Perhaps the misfits and outcasts of that culture but that is where it began. It isn't Southern, Mormon or Catholic.

    The abolitionists and prohibitionists had a strong SJW streak to them.
  98. @Amasius
    "Hate speech" laws: through the back door. Just like they did with illegal aliens ("undocumented workers"), making them somehow legal just by playing with words and relentlessly shaming the "racists," they're laying the groundwork for doing away with the first amendment by framing it as a moral issue and using guilt-by-association propaganda to destroy any opposition. Anyone who questions the insanity, anyone to the right of Mao Zedong is: "Racist," "Neo-Nazi," "White Supremacist," "Alt-Right (Nazi Richard!!!)."

    And instead of calling out the BS, most Whites curl up in a ball at the invincible kryptonite of the (uber disingenuous) moral argument. They're too cowardly and/or ignorant to take a principled stand.

    And instead of calling out the BS, most Whites curl up in a ball at the invincible kryptonite of the (uber disingenuous) moral argument. They’re too cowardly and/or ignorant to take a principled stand.

    It’s more vanity than cowardice or ignorance. We want to think of ourselves as above-it-all disinterested arbiters. Abstraction = higher status. SJWs are parasites on that vanity.

  99. @Bill P

    Have you read The Abolition of Man by the famous Christian apologist C. S. Lewis? The book is a sincere and, I think, largely successful attempt to distill insights about human nature that are common to many world religions.

    I think that approach is worthwhile, but I think it is most likely to succeed if separated from the silly supernatural hocus-pocus.
     
    No, I haven't read it. Thanks for the suggestion. I think I'll go get it.

    Separating the supernatural hocus pocus would be more likely to succeed with you, but be objective here and look at humanity in general. Myth is important for a number of reasons, and it doesn't need to be taken literally by those who know better. However, even for those of us who are not so credulous, there are often lessons to be learned from these improbable tales when one takes a deeper look into them. Consider, for example, the role that fiction plays in the development of children's minds, and from there your own. Even if you have forgotten those silly stories from your childhood, you can't deny that they helped determine who you are today, and they must have served some purpose.

    Personally, I'm not a big fan of apologetics, because they seem to me to be a rearguard action covering a retreat. The people who wrote religious texts in the early Iron Age were on the cutting edge of contemporaneous thought, and innovating rather than conceding ground. They seem on close examination to be on the cusp of a scientific understanding of heritability. Although it's admittedly a pretty big leap from their intuition to Darwinism, they were closer than most Europeans in the 18th century.

    What bothers me most is that now that despite having so much more knowledge, there's a stagnation in religious innovation where this should be a time of great advancement given how much more there is to work with. And I happen to think it's a vitally important pursuit. Important even - and especially - to the hard sciences, as I suggested before. There are many examples of intellectual stagnation and regression due to religious backwardness (e.g. neo-Confucianism, Lysenkoism, etc.), and I see that happening in the West without spiritual innovation.

    There are many examples of intellectual stagnation and regression due to religious backwardness (e.g. neo-Confucianism, Lysenkoism, etc.), and I see that happening in the West without spiritual innovation.

    You might start with looking at the damage done by using “religion” as an all-purpose pejorative. Surely you can’t be surprised when a generation of PhysicistDaves show up who take you at your word.

  100. @Bill P
    It's no coincidence that the rise of the "snowflake" and SJW has accompanied the swift downfall of organized religion in the US. I've met some very sincere SJW types over the years, and they struck me as the kind of people who would have been devout Christians in another time. Their attraction to utopian fantasies, their need for community validation and their passionate embrace of ideals to the point of embarrassing irrationality (by my standards at least) suggest to me that some of them would have made stellar Jesuits or sisters a few hundred years ago, and perhaps more recently (early 20th century perhaps) most would have been committed churchgoing types dedicating themselves to serving the community and chasing out vice. I can definitely see today's SJWs at the front of the temperance, anti "white slavery" (i.e. prostitution) and pro sanitation movements a century ago.

    Today the colleges have taken over the role of church, but there's no cohesive philosophy - besides perhaps those offered by academic SJWs themselves - that offers a constructive outlet for these people's religious instincts. What's more, the patriarchy really has been smashed in universities where the most powerful faction may well be lesbian academics, and in institutions as in families, when mature men no longer take on the responsibility of guiding the community, the outcome is not typically good.

    I think, ultimately, that those of us who value reason ought to have a little humility and admit that it was in part our own hubris that brought us to this point. Our much cherished institutions did not spring out of secular, modern society, but rather were built my men who believed that the laws that govern the universe came from above, and set about trying to understand them with motives that were far from secular. If we were truly honest with ourselves, we'd admit that there never truly have been purely secular motives, and there never has been reason or objectivity completely detached from superrational ideals.

    You can't resist a faith movement - and the SJW movement truly is faith based as much as its similar counterpart Maoism was - with appeals to reason, objectivity or rule of law. The problem is that we've outgrown traditional Christianity, although arguably not Christianity itself, and find ourselves in a spiritual wilderness without any creed to satisfy our religious needs, which are as great as ever. It's high time that perceptive and knowledgeable men again started to bend their efforts toward an understanding of human faith and natural law, and took steps to create new institutions that take both into account. If we don't, we'll be crushed between the hammer of Islam and the anvil of nihilism.

    Gold box worthy.

  101. @PhysicistDave
    anon wrote to me:

    That’s less of a problem than you probably think. I mean, you can say that it’s pretty obviously false that Jesus rose from the grave, but how do you know? Were you there?
     
    Well... I realize this is a rhetorical question leading up to a different point, but, there has been a lot of scholarly study going back a couple of centuries that does show a lot about how the Christian myths evolved. There is good reason to doubt Jesus rose from the grave. Aside, of course, from the obvious Humean point that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

    I'll concede though that the decline of Christian belief probably owes less to this (pretty solid) Biblical scholarship than to broader changes in the Zeitgeist. Some of those changes are legit, such as a spread in the world-view due to science (the earth is really, really old; there is no Heaven just above the sky; etc.). But I admit that some of those changes in the Zeitgeist have nothing to do with science but rather with changes in daily living arrangements, pop culture, political cults, etc.

    Dave

    Aside, of course, from the obvious Humean point that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

    Hume’s own claims haven’t exactly aced that test.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    Desiderius wrote to me:

    Hume’s own claims haven’t exactly aced that test.
     
    Which claims did you have in mind? I am mainly interested in his essay on miracles and on what he had to say on money.

    Of course, I have not read everything he wrote and would certainly not claim he was right on everything (I doubt Hume himself would have made that claim, given his general outlook).

    Dave
  102. @Clark Westwood
    I didn't think it was even possible to complete college with an IQ around 100.

    I’m a bit suspicious of the figures, since a steve post from a decade ago show no college subject scores below 100:
    http://isteve.blogspot.com/2007/08/graduate-record-exam-scores-by-graduate.html?m=1

  103. @Escher
    Then why do we see so many directionless western youth (white and other races) embracing Islam? It gives them a black and white worldview, brings structure to their lives and gives them a sense of belonging.
    These are all things that the traditional family and church used to provide in the past.

    It doesn’t matter if blacks/Asians become Muslims. They come from the second and third racial classes, lower IQs. Islam is a degenerate (and Christian heresy) belief that no white can support. I don’t have anything to do with black/Asian Christians. What is needed is a revival of a Christianity that is good for the West.

  104. @for-the-record
    From Jonathan Chait's stirring and courageous defense of freedom of speech ("The ‘Shut It Down!’ Left and the War on the Liberal Mind") in New York magazine (bold added):

    Charles Murray is a harder case. Murray was targeted by protesters because of his work two decades before defending scientific racism in The Bell Curve (a work I’ve never read except in abridged form, and which has been persuasively, to me, demolished by scholars). But the speech he attempted to deliver at Middlebury College before being shut down by a mob was not on that topic. Indeed, when some scholars distributed a copy of Murray’s speech to 70 college professors, omitting the name of the author, they deemed it quite moderate. Even assuming his Bell Curve work does not merit free-speech rights, should that subject any future speeches of his to suppression?
     

    Lying fabricator of misinformation. The Bell Curve is not about ‘scientific racism.’ And the only demolishing of it by scholars was by ad hominem directed at Murray. Chait is a silly man.

    • Replies: @celt darnell

    Lying fabricator of misinformation. The Bell Curve is not about ‘scientific racism.’ And the only demolishing of it by scholars was by ad hominem directed at Murray. Chait is a silly man.
     
    Chait, like Dr. Josef Goebbels, is not silly. Don't make that mistake.
  105. @for-the-record
    From Jonathan Chait's stirring and courageous defense of freedom of speech ("The ‘Shut It Down!’ Left and the War on the Liberal Mind") in New York magazine (bold added):

    Charles Murray is a harder case. Murray was targeted by protesters because of his work two decades before defending scientific racism in The Bell Curve (a work I’ve never read except in abridged form, and which has been persuasively, to me, demolished by scholars). But the speech he attempted to deliver at Middlebury College before being shut down by a mob was not on that topic. Indeed, when some scholars distributed a copy of Murray’s speech to 70 college professors, omitting the name of the author, they deemed it quite moderate. Even assuming his Bell Curve work does not merit free-speech rights, should that subject any future speeches of his to suppression?
     

    There’s a link there to a previous article by Chait (before Trump, antifa and Murray) from 2015 in which he more directly mocks the PC left. For example,

    A theater group at Mount Holyoke College recently announced it would no longer put on The Vagina Monologues in part because the material excludes women without vaginas. These sorts of episodes now hardly even qualify as exceptional.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/01/not-a-very-pc-thing-to-say.html

  106. @attilathehen
    "White Muslim Traditionalist, " just a funny name or are you the "real thing?"

    I’m the real thing.

    White ✔️

    Muslim ✔️ (3 years now, ex-Catholic alhamduillah)

    Traditionalist ✔️

    Islam is the true religion, its logical and rational if you actually read and research it. It is opposed to western values as they currently are, but western values as they are, are incredibly damaging. I’m into tradition, order, rationality and faith.

    • Replies: @attilathehen
    I'm a cradle Catholic. Islam is a Christian heresy. The Koran is a farrago, dog's breakfast of some Old Testament passages, New Testament hearsay, and Arab pagan beliefs. I know this because I've read it. I'm familiar with the hadith too.

    Islam is a hypocritical satanic, irrational belief system that leads to biological degeneracy and chaos. With it's introduction of polygamy, slavery (black slaves), first cousin-marriage, it led to an IQ catastrophe among the North African Caucasians.

    Did you marry a Muslim? Let me know because then I can point out your irrationality, illogic and degeneracy.

  107. @anon
    They're slowly losing the cultural battle over boasian blank slate vs genetics so they desperately need to shut down free speech before the dam breaks completely.

    Yes, I think you’re right.

    After having enjoyed equal treatment for many years now, and having found themselves unable to compete on the equal playing field, they now want to tilt the field further in their favour. Key to this is to silence anyone who disagrees with their agenda.

  108. @Bill P
    It's no coincidence that the rise of the "snowflake" and SJW has accompanied the swift downfall of organized religion in the US. I've met some very sincere SJW types over the years, and they struck me as the kind of people who would have been devout Christians in another time. Their attraction to utopian fantasies, their need for community validation and their passionate embrace of ideals to the point of embarrassing irrationality (by my standards at least) suggest to me that some of them would have made stellar Jesuits or sisters a few hundred years ago, and perhaps more recently (early 20th century perhaps) most would have been committed churchgoing types dedicating themselves to serving the community and chasing out vice. I can definitely see today's SJWs at the front of the temperance, anti "white slavery" (i.e. prostitution) and pro sanitation movements a century ago.

    Today the colleges have taken over the role of church, but there's no cohesive philosophy - besides perhaps those offered by academic SJWs themselves - that offers a constructive outlet for these people's religious instincts. What's more, the patriarchy really has been smashed in universities where the most powerful faction may well be lesbian academics, and in institutions as in families, when mature men no longer take on the responsibility of guiding the community, the outcome is not typically good.

    I think, ultimately, that those of us who value reason ought to have a little humility and admit that it was in part our own hubris that brought us to this point. Our much cherished institutions did not spring out of secular, modern society, but rather were built my men who believed that the laws that govern the universe came from above, and set about trying to understand them with motives that were far from secular. If we were truly honest with ourselves, we'd admit that there never truly have been purely secular motives, and there never has been reason or objectivity completely detached from superrational ideals.

    You can't resist a faith movement - and the SJW movement truly is faith based as much as its similar counterpart Maoism was - with appeals to reason, objectivity or rule of law. The problem is that we've outgrown traditional Christianity, although arguably not Christianity itself, and find ourselves in a spiritual wilderness without any creed to satisfy our religious needs, which are as great as ever. It's high time that perceptive and knowledgeable men again started to bend their efforts toward an understanding of human faith and natural law, and took steps to create new institutions that take both into account. If we don't, we'll be crushed between the hammer of Islam and the anvil of nihilism.

    Well said. Most earnest SJWs are extremely religious types, just for the new Religion of Progress.

  109. @Escher

    The idea of freedom of speech does not mean a blanket permission to say anything anybody thinks. It means balancing the inherent value of a given view with the obligation to ensure that other members of a given community can participate in discourse as fully recognized members of that community.
     
    What the heck does that even mean?

    It means:

    “You STFU.”

  110. @kaganovitch
    "I’ve met some very sincere SJW types over the years, and they struck me as the kind of people who would have been devout Christians in another time."


    If by "devout Christians" you mean people who saw Goody Brown and Goody Wilson communing with the Devil and are hurrying to tell the preacher to gather a lynch mob, than yes they would have been devout Christians in another time. If on the other hand, by devout Christians you mean people who practice Christian charity and such, not so much.

    Or the Spanish Inquisition. Perhaps we’re all destined to become Marranos.

  111. @Jenner Ickham Errican
    OT: A guest on Bill Nye the “Science” Guy’s Netflix show makes a compelling environmental case for halting all immigration from the Third World to the lands of Magic Dirt. Of course, his proposed fix has nothing to do with immigration…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHmtn6gAioQ

    Isn’t it amazing that Nye and others – Sierra Club, etc – will not agree that bringing 3rd-world people to 1st-world countries where they increase their carbon footprint dramatically harms the environment? This used to be understood very well.

  112. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Escher

    The idea of freedom of speech does not mean a blanket permission to say anything anybody thinks. It means balancing the inherent value of a given view with the obligation to ensure that other members of a given community can participate in discourse as fully recognized members of that community.
     
    What the heck does that even mean?

    obligation to ensure that other members of a given community can participate in discourse as fully recognized members of that community.

    Discourse means that ‘we need to have a conversation’ and other members who disagree need to talk and you must listen. Like at Pomona where we were informed that truth is just part of Enlightenment honky death culture.

  113. @Thea
    SJWism is a strain of Yankee Protestantism. It has a long history -err- tradition, if you will.

    I see shades of Buddism in it as well.

    SJWism is a strain of Yankee Protestantism. It has a long history -err- tradition, if you will.

    I see shades of Buddism in it as well.

    Except that Yankee Protestantism celebrated traits such as hard work, thrift, honesty and moral courage — all of which lead to socially desirable outcomes.

    What positive traits do these yahoos demonstrate? None, would be my answer.

    As for comparing their beliefs to Buddhism…well, maybe of the celebrity variety…

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    I would say that its mostly the frantic witchhunting that does seem very Puritan. There's a line of thought that Puritan thought has led heavily to liberal thought, which is why its so common in the Boston area and why Quakers featured so predominately along leftist organizations.

    The Cavalier society of the South certainly seems to have been on the opposite end of this for a very, very long time.
    , @Thea
    I'm thinking of the witch burners and the Oneida types. There was a strong Utopian streak in some Yankee Protestants that wasn't present in other groups. It's a perversion of for sure but that is were it germinated.
  114. @Tiny Duck
    I have been following this issue for some time, and with the election of Trump, my feelings have changed. No, I don't think that the government should restrict speech and I also believe that universities should expose students to a variety of view points. However, I think that some of the commentators here miss the point entirely.

    I felt deeply ashamed when we elected a president who routinely espouses racist beliefs and policies and treats women like breeding stock - not just for my country as a whole, but for myself, because I have spent my whole like "respecting" others view points, simply ignoring the white supremacist on campus.

    I realized that am now in debt to my country, I failed to speak up, raise an alarm, do my civic duty to protest. Now, in my mid-30s, I am finally standing up for what is right.

    If you think that I am snowflake, so be it. I believe that I am stronger than I once was, because I am no longer will to do what is "easy" and "respectful."

    I do think that universities should allow most speakers, but as private institutions, if they believe that an unsafe situation exists for a speaker or for their students, it is within their rights to cancel a speech, and there is nothing fascist about it.

    Looks like Tiny’s new troll contract pays him by the word. It is most certainly not by the thought.

  115. @ussr andy

    This is a major problem of democracy: its endemic hypocrisy. If this were written by a courtier of King Louis XIV, he could come out and say that he doesn’t believe in free speech. That sone people are privileged, both in their right to be heard and their right not to he insulted (lese-majeste).
     
    well. if you, as "the people", gonna give someone power, have them make a good intellectual case for why they deserve it shouldn't be too much to ask.

    That some cases are necessarily going to be sh**y doesn't mean that, ideally, discourse > proclamation.

    It is too much to ask, because people aren’t persuaded by good intellectual cases. Not even and maybe not especially intellectuals.

  116. @Forbes
    Lying fabricator of misinformation. The Bell Curve is not about 'scientific racism.' And the only demolishing of it by scholars was by ad hominem directed at Murray. Chait is a silly man.

    Lying fabricator of misinformation. The Bell Curve is not about ‘scientific racism.’ And the only demolishing of it by scholars was by ad hominem directed at Murray. Chait is a silly man.

    Chait, like Dr. Josef Goebbels, is not silly. Don’t make that mistake.

  117. @Dieter Kief
    Baer is one more example of an examplary mistake in nowadays Academia - to mix up two spheres, that are distinct for very good reasons: The realm of therapy and that of public discourse.

    All kinds of hermeneutic discourse in therapy are restricted: The therapist - for very good reasons, is expeted to be reluctant, in order to make sure, that the client's feelings don't get in the way, when he's trying to understand better, what's wrong with him.

    This scheme is totally ok for therapy, therapy by and large has to be that way (=an a-symmetric form of communication).

    But in the context of a pulic discourse, the rule is different: Public discoure by it's very nature is open for counter-arguments, right from the start.

    If you, like Baer, don't get this, you end up worshipping the snowflakes - in the name of Nazi-victims. Which is why call Baer a pervert.

    The Therapeutic State, or somesuch term, was a big part of the writings of Paul Gottfried as I recall. Obviously it’s out of place in our universities, because opposition to ruling ideologies in itself is not a symptom of illness. Listeners to unapproved speakers and don’t get infected with pathologies.

    But it may be out if place in psychology, too, where I think psychiatrists lack the expertise which they claim, and it’s impossible to tell where real treatment begins and play-acting ends. If there is a difference. I’m not convinced there even is such a thing as mental illness. (Obviously, there are things wrong with people, but treating mental problems as medical problems is at best metaphorical.)

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    There are all kinds of therapy which work - and that's true since ages. - See the scorceres and the whitch dcotors etc. - And of course it's important to understand, that all the kinds of therapy that are based on human interaction inherit this history of the sorcerer, the playwright, the actor, the priest. No wonder, Freud spoke of the importance of the "setting" of the therapeutic interaction. - and look, just how highly ritualised psychotherapies are.

    The one mistake that people love to make though is to think, that this is all old stuff and doesn't appeal to us anymore, or doesn't matter anymore, because - you know: Enlightenment: We have finally managed to get hold of the somewhat true light, pouring down on us now: Directly from the heavens above. - This kind of thinking is an illusion, and , as Nietzsche showed: will always be.
    As Paul Nelson once put it in a great essay, titeld "Bod Dylan": In the matters of the heart, we're all of us amateurs! - And, may I add, in the matters of therapy, we're all of us in debt to the long tradition of attempts, to get hold of at least a bit of sanity.

    There just is no other way: In this realm, each human being has to find his od her solution. And it never has been easy, not to end as the Imaginary Invalid, or the Imaginary Sane (or Saint...).

    If people doubt this statement (wich I love to make), I ask them to look at Molière's play about illnesses and treatment and play and therapy and acting - The Imaginary Invalid.

    Thanks for your hint at Paul Gottfried - I'll have a look, what he thinks about Molière at all!

  118. @Tiny Duck
    I have been following this issue for some time, and with the election of Trump, my feelings have changed. No, I don't think that the government should restrict speech and I also believe that universities should expose students to a variety of view points. However, I think that some of the commentators here miss the point entirely.

    I felt deeply ashamed when we elected a president who routinely espouses racist beliefs and policies and treats women like breeding stock - not just for my country as a whole, but for myself, because I have spent my whole like "respecting" others view points, simply ignoring the white supremacist on campus.

    I realized that am now in debt to my country, I failed to speak up, raise an alarm, do my civic duty to protest. Now, in my mid-30s, I am finally standing up for what is right.

    If you think that I am snowflake, so be it. I believe that I am stronger than I once was, because I am no longer will to do what is "easy" and "respectful."

    I do think that universities should allow most speakers, but as private institutions, if they believe that an unsafe situation exists for a speaker or for their students, it is within their rights to cancel a speech, and there is nothing fascist about it.

    I felt deeply ashamed when we elected a president who routinely espouses racist beliefs and policies and treats women like breeding stock

    In other words, Trump is a combination of Obama and Bill Clinton. You’ve definitely got something to be ashamed about — pity you can’t see what it is.

    If you think that I am snowflake, so be it. I believe that I am stronger than I once was, because I am no longer will to do what is “easy” and “respectful.”

    Joining a lynch mob is not no longer doing “what is ‘easy’ and ‘respectful’”; it is doing what is cowardly and wrong.

    I do think that universities should allow most speakers, but as private institutions, if they believe that an unsafe situation exists for a speaker or for their students, it is within their rights to cancel a speech, and there is nothing fascist about it.

    Yeah, but it’s funny how only speakers on one side of the political divide face these “unsafe” situations, isn’t it? Very convenient for you and your ilk.

  119. @celt darnell

    SJWism is a strain of Yankee Protestantism. It has a long history -err- tradition, if you will.

    I see shades of Buddism in it as well.
     
    Except that Yankee Protestantism celebrated traits such as hard work, thrift, honesty and moral courage -- all of which lead to socially desirable outcomes.

    What positive traits do these yahoos demonstrate? None, would be my answer.

    As for comparing their beliefs to Buddhism...well, maybe of the celebrity variety...

    I would say that its mostly the frantic witchhunting that does seem very Puritan. There’s a line of thought that Puritan thought has led heavily to liberal thought, which is why its so common in the Boston area and why Quakers featured so predominately along leftist organizations.

    The Cavalier society of the South certainly seems to have been on the opposite end of this for a very, very long time.

    • Replies: @Clark Westwood

    There’s a line of thought that Puritan thought has led heavily to liberal thought, which is why its so common in the Boston area and why Quakers featured so predominately along leftist organizations.
     
    A minor technical point that doesn't affect your argument in any significant way: Quakers were not Puritans. About the only thing they had in common was that they were* both non-Church of England sects. Quakers would say they also shared with Puritans a belief in the divinity of Christ, but Puritans probably would not have agreed that Quakers were Christians.

    *Quakers are still going strong, but Puritans per se are gone, unless you count the few strongly Calvinist modern sects, such as the Presbyterian Church of America.
  120. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    The term "total institution" for a prison or mental asylum is often credited to Alice Goffman's dad Erving Goffman.

    Interesting. Didn’t know it was Goffman. But since it was 50’s Sociology, it reminded me of Parson’s, ‘the sick role’. Parsons considered it deviance, which became sanctioned by the following:

    “The general idea is that the individual who has fallen ill is not only physically sick, but now adheres to the specifically patterned social role of being sick. ‘Being Sick’ is not simply a ‘state of fact’ or ‘condition’, it contains within itself customary rights and obligations based on the social norms that surround it. The theory outlined two rights of a sick person and two obligations:

    Rights:
    The sick person is exempt from normal social roles
    The sick person is not responsible for their condition
    Obligations:
    The sick person should try to get well
    The sick person should seek technically competent help and cooperate with the medical professional

    This described the tendency of medicalizing deviance — a good example which began at roughy that time was the transformation of the village drunk to an alcoholic. Alcoholism being a disease, and could be shoehorned into ‘the sick role’. It never quite worked, but it became popular and a corporate employee, for example, was frequently given a exemption for whatever earned the label and a chance to go to rehab. The addict/rehab perspective maxed out with Tiger Woods and his ‘Sex Addiction’.

    Even the New Yorker effectively rolled its eyes at Oberlin a year ago. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/05/30/the-new-activism-of-liberal-arts-colleges

    Prior to going bat shit crazy after the Trump election.

    I can live with the unfalsifiable, pseudo diagnostic labels like authoritarian personality. But fragility isn’t attractive. It’s a wedge. Pomona needs all these safe spaces. And conflating the need for emotional safety from triggering words with the need for safety from Antafa Black Bloc rioters works both ways. And even if the students are PoMo enough to deal with the contradiction, even progressive professors must cringe at their new role as emotional baby sitters.

    It has gotten harder to ‘not notice’ which has ramped up the efforts to rely on institutional authority to banish ‘noticing’. Relying on French PoMo — which was driven by the desperate need to reframe collaboration as a cultural construct — is just too much work.

    Parson’s ‘sick role’ is hardly deep thought, but describes the obvious. Snowflake is a great start. But arguing for free speech on rational grounds is less powerful then humiliating students on the grounds that they have labeled themselves as barely sane.

  121. @Tiny Duck
    I have been following this issue for some time, and with the election of Trump, my feelings have changed. No, I don't think that the government should restrict speech and I also believe that universities should expose students to a variety of view points. However, I think that some of the commentators here miss the point entirely.

    I felt deeply ashamed when we elected a president who routinely espouses racist beliefs and policies and treats women like breeding stock - not just for my country as a whole, but for myself, because I have spent my whole like "respecting" others view points, simply ignoring the white supremacist on campus.

    I realized that am now in debt to my country, I failed to speak up, raise an alarm, do my civic duty to protest. Now, in my mid-30s, I am finally standing up for what is right.

    If you think that I am snowflake, so be it. I believe that I am stronger than I once was, because I am no longer will to do what is "easy" and "respectful."

    I do think that universities should allow most speakers, but as private institutions, if they believe that an unsafe situation exists for a speaker or for their students, it is within their rights to cancel a speech, and there is nothing fascist about it.

    If you think that I am snowflake, so be it. I believe that I am stronger than I once was, because I am no longer will to do what is “easy” and “respectful.”

    Wow…..deep! You should read Leonard Pitts.

  122. @Daniel Chieh
    I would say that its mostly the frantic witchhunting that does seem very Puritan. There's a line of thought that Puritan thought has led heavily to liberal thought, which is why its so common in the Boston area and why Quakers featured so predominately along leftist organizations.

    The Cavalier society of the South certainly seems to have been on the opposite end of this for a very, very long time.

    There’s a line of thought that Puritan thought has led heavily to liberal thought, which is why its so common in the Boston area and why Quakers featured so predominately along leftist organizations.

    A minor technical point that doesn’t affect your argument in any significant way: Quakers were not Puritans. About the only thing they had in common was that they were* both non-Church of England sects. Quakers would say they also shared with Puritans a belief in the divinity of Christ, but Puritans probably would not have agreed that Quakers were Christians.

    *Quakers are still going strong, but Puritans per se are gone, unless you count the few strongly Calvinist modern sects, such as the Presbyterian Church of America.

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
  123. @The White Muslim Traditionalist
    I'm the real thing.

    White ✔️

    Muslim ✔️ (3 years now, ex-Catholic alhamduillah)

    Traditionalist ✔️


    Islam is the true religion, its logical and rational if you actually read and research it. It is opposed to western values as they currently are, but western values as they are, are incredibly damaging. I'm into tradition, order, rationality and faith.

    I’m a cradle Catholic. Islam is a Christian heresy. The Koran is a farrago, dog’s breakfast of some Old Testament passages, New Testament hearsay, and Arab pagan beliefs. I know this because I’ve read it. I’m familiar with the hadith too.

    Islam is a hypocritical satanic, irrational belief system that leads to biological degeneracy and chaos. With it’s introduction of polygamy, slavery (black slaves), first cousin-marriage, it led to an IQ catastrophe among the North African Caucasians.

    Did you marry a Muslim? Let me know because then I can point out your irrationality, illogic and degeneracy.

    • Replies: @The White Muslim Traditionalist
    Blaaaah blaaah.


    Christianity is a Christian heresy if that makes sense, it's obscurantist nonsense that has more to do with the shyster ramblings of Paul of Tarsus than the One God who revealed himself to Abraham, Moses, Jesus (peace be upon them) etc.


    You don't think I've heard the same nonsense about how Islam isn't "nice" because polygamy and slavery? The Old Testament has plenty of that, but Christians are more worried about being nice and worshipping men and figures than worshiping God.

    I'm amused at how stale and desperate the attempts at 'de-conversions' by members of the polytheistic Christ creed have become. I've studied this for years, it wasn't a marriage conversion. I was raised in a somewhat religious, Dutch Catholic family, well-catechized and everything. Christianity is a state religion, it doesn't work without state backing. Left alone and laid bare one sees how illogical, pagan and frankly weak it is.
  124. @celt darnell

    SJWism is a strain of Yankee Protestantism. It has a long history -err- tradition, if you will.

    I see shades of Buddism in it as well.
     
    Except that Yankee Protestantism celebrated traits such as hard work, thrift, honesty and moral courage -- all of which lead to socially desirable outcomes.

    What positive traits do these yahoos demonstrate? None, would be my answer.

    As for comparing their beliefs to Buddhism...well, maybe of the celebrity variety...

    I’m thinking of the witch burners and the Oneida types. There was a strong Utopian streak in some Yankee Protestants that wasn’t present in other groups. It’s a perversion of for sure but that is were it germinated.

  125. @Desiderius

    SJWism is a strain of Yankee Protestantism.
     
    More like the weeds growing in the field where the meetinghouse of Yankee Protestantism once stood.

    Perhaps the misfits and outcasts of that culture but that is where it began. It isn’t Southern, Mormon or Catholic.

    The abolitionists and prohibitionists had a strong SJW streak to them.

  126. @Tiny Duck
    I have been following this issue for some time, and with the election of Trump, my feelings have changed. No, I don't think that the government should restrict speech and I also believe that universities should expose students to a variety of view points. However, I think that some of the commentators here miss the point entirely.

    I felt deeply ashamed when we elected a president who routinely espouses racist beliefs and policies and treats women like breeding stock - not just for my country as a whole, but for myself, because I have spent my whole like "respecting" others view points, simply ignoring the white supremacist on campus.

    I realized that am now in debt to my country, I failed to speak up, raise an alarm, do my civic duty to protest. Now, in my mid-30s, I am finally standing up for what is right.

    If you think that I am snowflake, so be it. I believe that I am stronger than I once was, because I am no longer will to do what is "easy" and "respectful."

    I do think that universities should allow most speakers, but as private institutions, if they believe that an unsafe situation exists for a speaker or for their students, it is within their rights to cancel a speech, and there is nothing fascist about it.

    If you go to the comments thread on Ulrich Baer’s op ed and scroll down to E. Pavlich, you will find this same comment, including the typo “I realized that am now in debt . . . ”

    And no, this is not exposing the identity of Tiny Duck, because Tiny Duck isn’t capable of writing anything this articulate, intellectually complex, and measured in tone. I’m not saying this comment is particulary noteworthy, it’s just far superior to anything that our TD could whip up on his own, even with the help of a world-class thesaurus, a jar of nootropics, and his mom’s editing advice.

    Sad, of course, but not surprising.

    ps: And he only went five comments deep into the thread. Now that’s Tiny Duck!

  127. @Bill P

    Have you read The Abolition of Man by the famous Christian apologist C. S. Lewis? The book is a sincere and, I think, largely successful attempt to distill insights about human nature that are common to many world religions.

    I think that approach is worthwhile, but I think it is most likely to succeed if separated from the silly supernatural hocus-pocus.
     
    No, I haven't read it. Thanks for the suggestion. I think I'll go get it.

    Separating the supernatural hocus pocus would be more likely to succeed with you, but be objective here and look at humanity in general. Myth is important for a number of reasons, and it doesn't need to be taken literally by those who know better. However, even for those of us who are not so credulous, there are often lessons to be learned from these improbable tales when one takes a deeper look into them. Consider, for example, the role that fiction plays in the development of children's minds, and from there your own. Even if you have forgotten those silly stories from your childhood, you can't deny that they helped determine who you are today, and they must have served some purpose.

    Personally, I'm not a big fan of apologetics, because they seem to me to be a rearguard action covering a retreat. The people who wrote religious texts in the early Iron Age were on the cutting edge of contemporaneous thought, and innovating rather than conceding ground. They seem on close examination to be on the cusp of a scientific understanding of heritability. Although it's admittedly a pretty big leap from their intuition to Darwinism, they were closer than most Europeans in the 18th century.

    What bothers me most is that now that despite having so much more knowledge, there's a stagnation in religious innovation where this should be a time of great advancement given how much more there is to work with. And I happen to think it's a vitally important pursuit. Important even - and especially - to the hard sciences, as I suggested before. There are many examples of intellectual stagnation and regression due to religious backwardness (e.g. neo-Confucianism, Lysenkoism, etc.), and I see that happening in the West without spiritual innovation.

    Bill P wrote to me:

    Myth is important for a number of reasons, and it doesn’t need to be taken literally by those who know better. However, even for those of us who are not so credulous, there are often lessons to be learned from these improbable tales when one takes a deeper look into them.

    Well, I agree, but, you know, so does the rabidly outspoken British atheist Richard Dawkins! He argues that both Brits and Yanks should learn more about the Bible because of its historical and cultural significance.

    The people who think otherwise tend not to be motivated by a pro-science or anti-religion perspective but rather by an anti-Western perspective. I.e., they are fine with students studying the Ramayana or the Quran but not the Bible. To compound the silliness, people who think this way tend to be Westerners.

    Bill P also wrote:

    What bothers me most is that now that despite having so much more knowledge, there’s a stagnation in religious innovation where this should be a time of great advancement given how much more there is to work with.

    Well, it has been tried you know: Scientology, Deepak Chopra’s quantum silliness, etc. I think it is fair to say the results are not encouraging. (N.B. I am not claiming that we physicists truly understand the quantum weirdness but merely that Chopra assuredly does not.)

    Or, maybe you just mean we need more attempts along the lines of the book I cited by C. S. Lewis, in which case we agree.

    Dave

  128. @Clark Westwood
    The thing is, you are viewing religion through the eyes of a smart person. Most smart people are able to get their acts together and be decent citizens without religion. But "do it yourself" morality is a disaster for people on the left-hand side of the bell curve.

    Clark Westwood wrote to me:

    But “do it yourself” morality is a disaster for people on the left-hand side of the bell curve.

    Well, yeah. But “do-it-yourself” medicine or airplane building is also not a good idea for most people (I know there are exceptions). That is not a problem: we do not need religion to get people to (usually) use well-built airplanes or proven medicines. We have collectively a fair amount of knowledge about medicine and a great deal of knowledge about airplanes, we all know there are people who are highly trained in medicine and in airplane design, etc. No need for religion in those areas.

    And, we do actually know a lot about morality. Intelligent people may differ about whether it is moral to use alcohol or pot in moderation. But, it is not moral to become an alcoholic or a child molester or a common thief. No reason in principle we need religion to teach that to people.

    Of course, we have a very strange cultural history during the last hundred years that has caused the dominant faction among our intellectual elite to deny the obvious facts about morality. That is indeed a very serious problem, but I do not see why religion solves that problem.

    Dave

  129. @Desiderius

    Aside, of course, from the obvious Humean point that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
     
    Hume's own claims haven't exactly aced that test.

    Desiderius wrote to me:

    Hume’s own claims haven’t exactly aced that test.

    Which claims did you have in mind? I am mainly interested in his essay on miracles and on what he had to say on money.

    Of course, I have not read everything he wrote and would certainly not claim he was right on everything (I doubt Hume himself would have made that claim, given his general outlook).

    Dave

  130. @anon
    Good point.

    They have to decide on whether they are running a university or a mental hospital. The University of Chicago took a position on this. I don't know how far it goes vis a vis free speech. But the are certain that they aren't going to cater to student's feelings to the extent of censorship.

    Mental illness is simply not cool. 'Triggering' is a term popularized in a form of therapy called dialectical behavior therapy. Not as bad as it sounds, and sort of interesting history to it.

    However, some of the snowflake ethos is similar to what could be called 'good manners'. Or, not being an asshole. I can see a desire for civility and general decency -- especially to the extent that is seems absent -- to become transformed into a pseudo right to have your personal narrative affirmed.

    And further -- Baer's opening comment .. "privileging of personal experience, with its powerful emotional impact, over reason and argument". falls right into place. There is no need for a University to privilege personal experience -- it can be done anywhere. That is done in certain sorts of alcohol fueled bar room discussions. You listen to someone's version of telling it how it really is -- their story, etc. And vice versa. But the purely personal may be interesting or entertaining (or more likely annoying) but has almost nothing to do with knowledge or education or anything vaguely academic.

    But its the notion that a University should be therapeutic and students need to feel safe to think ... it's extremely unattractive. If the choice is between a mental hospital and the University of Phoenix, I'll take the later. I actually had a Dean at an Urban College without a residential campus argue that a campus is a 'total institution' and maybe went as far as comparing it to a minimum security prison. It was good for a laugh, but I think the correct approach is humor/satire. https://harpers.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/HarpersMagazine-1996-01-0007859.pdf

    argue that a campus is a ‘total institution’ and maybe went as far as comparing it to a minimum security prison. It was good for a laugh, but I think the correct approach is humor/satire

    1

    I agree.

    As long as somebody refers to a college as a “total institution” and is doing it for a laugh – or ironically, or to make something clear, everything is fine.

    But the dead-serious version of this argument is false, and in a way false, that is comparable to Baer’s flaws.

    Books like Goffman’s are the late bloomings of a thought model, that’s been brought to it’s outer limits by quite a few thinkers. The most prominent now being Adorno and Foucault of European origin and maybe Goffman in the US.

    By and large, the Adorno/Foucault/Goffman approach was: There’s something wrong with societal reality itself, and at this state of the affairs, the most important thing is: Opposition! – Give’em hell! Fight the established forces.

    Adorno, – I’m stil being just descriptive, – became so complicated after a while, that his “Negative Dialetics” tome for example can be treated as a Voynich-manuscript alike of super-complex deciphering problems (ok – now I’ve become a bit metaphorical). Alas – Adorno’s late books especially provide pupils with work enough. In case somebody wants to prove mega-brightness, there’s a simple solution too, she/he can specialise in the comparative reading of Derrida and Adorno. Case solved. Throw in Lacan, if you like, or – – – whatever (Benjamin, Böhme, the Baghavadgita, Gershom Scholem, the Greek Atomists, Heidegger, Edgar Wind,…ethno-psychoanalysis, brain-science, computer-lingusitics – etc.).

    All those books culminate in a meta-structure, that attacks reason itself (that’s only implicitly true for Goffman, though, but explicitly for Adorno, Heidegger, Lacan, Deleuze/Guattari, Lyotard etc – and insofar, they all owe to Nietzsche).

    [MORE]

    This kind of thinking has a binary structure: And that sure is not only an advantage. If you look at Goodmans example of the total institution: He could not cultivate a sense for the good things, institutions indeed represent. He just saw the social costs of the struggles, that led to the founding of mental institutions, for example. Foucault at this point did not hesitate, to even manipulate documents of the history of the famous Salpeterie in Paris, to bring his point across: Instuítuionalization is repression.

    Now the whole thing gets a little bit systematic: The above mentioned concepts are all – within the paradigm of the traditional western subject-philosophy. Which is by it’s very nature, monological – (and therefor prone to be stuck in the self-centered manner of grown ups – what makes them the ideal college-fodder, as long as you don’t want to educate grown-ups, really, and be rather “partners in crime” (Jagger/Richards)).

    I’m using shortcut after shortcut here – if unfolded, this all would add up to – well: There’s one book, in which most of what I said here is unfolded (not all, mind you, but the basics for sure) and that book is already 1100 pages long. – So you might be willing to follow me through with my shortcuts. Oh – The books title: Theory of Communicative Action (=TKA)).

    Anyway – Habermas, who wrote the TKA, shows not only, that the subjective-philosophy’s ways are a little limited and worn out already (he shows this especially for Hegel, Marx, G. H. Mead, T. Parsons and Adorno – most of the others of the above mentioned he takes on in his Philosophical Discourse of Modernity) – ah, Habermas too shows, what the solution to the specific troubles of subject-centered philosophy (and sociology…) is: The solution is not subject-centeredness anymore – it’s intersubjectivity (the shortest way to describe this thing is, it yields oppression-free discourse (a counterfactual regulative idealisation): The pulic exchange of arguments based on sound reasons in a fair (=non-deceptive, honest) way).

    For Habermas, it’s not: X is bad, because X is attached to the forces of the establishment (of the power-structure, of the military-industrial-complex, of the class-structure etc.). That would not be enough anymore.

    As would not be enough anymore to fight “the suppression in general” – as Enzensberger has it in a poem, in which he – who discovered too, somewhat independent of Habermas, that the subject-philosophical way is limited, and made fun of the snowflakes even before somebody had identified them: But he did: He indeed did make fun of people who thought, in the late 1970ies in the western world, that they should start to fight “oppression in general” or, in other words: The “ideological totality of oppressiveness in the capitalist (and “state-capitalist” = communist countries)” or some such, as – sigh, now I’ve finally come full circle: Baer for example, in all naivete, still seems to identify as the right thing to attack full frontal. No matter what. Intellectual sacrifices don’t matter too, to him. Nothing can hold him back, not even the simple fact, that he confuses the realms of therapy and public dicourse, as I’ve shown above. If only he can save the world from the rise of Nazi-like discourse and therewith of kinda all kinds of oppresive power-structures, he is willing to pay any prize.

    That there are no real Nazis to be seen in his college at least anyways just goes to show, how strong he really is, see: Very strong indeed! Extremely strong. Strong nogh, to fight all suprrion to the n-th degree, even. With the help of the NYT!

    2

    Baer’s opening comment .. “privileging of personal experience, with its powerful emotional impact, over reason and argument”. falls right into place. There is no need for a University to privilege personal experience

    Yeah – one tendency that gets strengthened in the trendy snowflake-factories (=universities) is subjectivism. For the systematic aspects – see above, for the practical ones: See for example the case of Carolyn Rouse (Princeton Head of Anthropology Dpt. vs. Charles Murray as discussed on this blog in March). – Rouse doesn’t even argue anymore and says: She does not have to, because she feels such a strong conviction, that Murray is wrong, that it would be kinda regressive, to find arguments against Murray’s scientific work. Therefor: No need to know your opponent in any kind of factual way – know what he says or is after, as soon as you are sure, how badly he makes you feel!

    These people end up again and again on the subjective side of a discourse and are proud of that.

    The classical definition of regression is – drifting away into all too subjective realms – – and not beeing able to get out of this state of mind via – – rational arguments / dicourse.

    – Snowflakeries a r e the avoidance of intersubjectivity in the grown-up version of rational discourse and as such a major anti-modernist flaw.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    Dieter Kief wrote:

    Books like Goffman’s are the late bloomings of a thought model, that’s been brought to it’s outer limits by quite a few thinkers. The most prominent now being Adorno and Foucault of European origin and maybe Goffman in the US.
     
    It's a mistake to group Erving Goffman in with Adorno and Foucault.

    I've read a number of Goffman's books, and I do not recall any attempt at all to prescribe some new pseudo-utopia, to vent politically correct views, etc.

    Goffman was interested in the details of how people interact at a concrete face-to-face level, how we control the face we present to the external world, how we strategize our relationships, etc. Old fashioned sociology/social psychology.

    Was he a left-winger? Well... an academic in the social sciences, it is a reasonable guess. But, I did not see it in his books.

    Indeed, the current po-mo cultists could reasonably accuse Goffman of advancing the "Enlightenment narrative": i.e., he thought reality could be understood through rational thought, analysis, and discussion.

    A number of his books are also fun to read: he knew how to write without losing himself in academic gobbledygook.

    Dave

  131. @attilathehen
    I'm a cradle Catholic. Islam is a Christian heresy. The Koran is a farrago, dog's breakfast of some Old Testament passages, New Testament hearsay, and Arab pagan beliefs. I know this because I've read it. I'm familiar with the hadith too.

    Islam is a hypocritical satanic, irrational belief system that leads to biological degeneracy and chaos. With it's introduction of polygamy, slavery (black slaves), first cousin-marriage, it led to an IQ catastrophe among the North African Caucasians.

    Did you marry a Muslim? Let me know because then I can point out your irrationality, illogic and degeneracy.

    Blaaaah blaaah.

    Christianity is a Christian heresy if that makes sense, it’s obscurantist nonsense that has more to do with the shyster ramblings of Paul of Tarsus than the One God who revealed himself to Abraham, Moses, Jesus (peace be upon them) etc.

    You don’t think I’ve heard the same nonsense about how Islam isn’t “nice” because polygamy and slavery? The Old Testament has plenty of that, but Christians are more worried about being nice and worshipping men and figures than worshiping God.

    I’m amused at how stale and desperate the attempts at ‘de-conversions’ by members of the polytheistic Christ creed have become. I’ve studied this for years, it wasn’t a marriage conversion. I was raised in a somewhat religious, Dutch Catholic family, well-catechized and everything. Christianity is a state religion, it doesn’t work without state backing. Left alone and laid bare one sees how illogical, pagan and frankly weak it is.

    • Replies: @attilathehen
    If the ramblings of an obscurantist like Paul were proven false, then Jesus did not exist. If Jesus did not exist, the Koran is wrong because it mentions Jesus in it.

    The Old Testament has polygamy, slavery because that shows the fallen world filled with sin. In the New Testament, Jesus came to straighten out mankind's sinfulness. That's why Christianity (of the Western world) got rid of slavery and polygamy.

    Mohammed, a paedophile and child rapist, took the polygamy and slavery of the Old Testament to justify his sexual perversions.

    Islam is a religion of blacks/Asians, IQ deficient populations.

    Even though I am a Christian, I left the RCC because I do not accept black/Asian priests-popes.
    If non-whites want to be Christian, they must have their own churches. Islam is a universalist belief system, so that's a big problem.

    Racially, you are kosher. Religiously, you are a heretic, a "kuffar." Psychologically, you are someone who is looking for a belief system to justify things you are doing in your life. The devilish Islam is perfect for this.

  132. @Dieter Kief

    argue that a campus is a ‘total institution’ and maybe went as far as comparing it to a minimum security prison. It was good for a laugh, but I think the correct approach is humor/satire

     

    1

    I agree.

    As long as somebody refers to a college as a "total institution" and is doing it for a laugh - or ironically, or to make something clear, everything is fine.

    But the dead-serious version of this argument is false, and in a way false, that is comparable to Baer's flaws.

    Books like Goffman's are the late bloomings of a thought model, that's been brought to it's outer limits by quite a few thinkers. The most prominent now being Adorno and Foucault of European origin and maybe Goffman in the US.

    By and large, the Adorno/Foucault/Goffman approach was: There's something wrong with societal reality itself, and at this state of the affairs, the most important thing is: Opposition! - Give'em hell! Fight the established forces.

    Adorno, - I'm stil being just descriptive, - became so complicated after a while, that his "Negative Dialetics" tome for example can be treated as a Voynich-manuscript alike of super-complex deciphering problems (ok - now I've become a bit metaphorical). Alas - Adorno's late books especially provide pupils with work enough. In case somebody wants to prove mega-brightness, there's a simple solution too, she/he can specialise in the comparative reading of Derrida and Adorno. Case solved. Throw in Lacan, if you like, or - - - whatever (Benjamin, Böhme, the Baghavadgita, Gershom Scholem, the Greek Atomists, Heidegger, Edgar Wind,...ethno-psychoanalysis, brain-science, computer-lingusitics - etc.).

    All those books culminate in a meta-structure, that attacks reason itself (that's only implicitly true for Goffman, though, but explicitly for Adorno, Heidegger, Lacan, Deleuze/Guattari, Lyotard etc - and insofar, they all owe to Nietzsche).

    This kind of thinking has a binary structure: And that sure is not only an advantage. If you look at Goodmans example of the total institution: He could not cultivate a sense for the good things, institutions indeed represent. He just saw the social costs of the struggles, that led to the founding of mental institutions, for example. Foucault at this point did not hesitate, to even manipulate documents of the history of the famous Salpeterie in Paris, to bring his point across: Instuítuionalization is repression.

    Now the whole thing gets a little bit systematic: The above mentioned concepts are all - within the paradigm of the traditional western subject-philosophy. Which is by it's very nature, monological - (and therefor prone to be stuck in the self-centered manner of grown ups - what makes them the ideal college-fodder, as long as you don't want to educate grown-ups, really, and be rather "partners in crime" (Jagger/Richards)).

    I'm using shortcut after shortcut here - if unfolded, this all would add up to - well: There's one book, in which most of what I said here is unfolded (not all, mind you, but the basics for sure) and that book is already 1100 pages long. - So you might be willing to follow me through with my shortcuts. Oh - The books title: Theory of Communicative Action (=TKA)).

    Anyway - Habermas, who wrote the TKA, shows not only, that the subjective-philosophy's ways are a little limited and worn out already (he shows this especially for Hegel, Marx, G. H. Mead, T. Parsons and Adorno - most of the others of the above mentioned he takes on in his Philosophical Discourse of Modernity) - ah, Habermas too shows, what the solution to the specific troubles of subject-centered philosophy (and sociology...) is: The solution is not subject-centeredness anymore - it's intersubjectivity (the shortest way to describe this thing is, it yields oppression-free discourse (a counterfactual regulative idealisation): The pulic exchange of arguments based on sound reasons in a fair (=non-deceptive, honest) way).

    For Habermas, it's not: X is bad, because X is attached to the forces of the establishment (of the power-structure, of the military-industrial-complex, of the class-structure etc.). That would not be enough anymore.

    As would not be enough anymore to fight "the suppression in general" - as Enzensberger has it in a poem, in which he - who discovered too, somewhat independent of Habermas, that the subject-philosophical way is limited, and made fun of the snowflakes even before somebody had identified them: But he did: He indeed did make fun of people who thought, in the late 1970ies in the western world, that they should start to fight "oppression in general" or, in other words: The "ideological totality of oppressiveness in the capitalist (and "state-capitalist" = communist countries)" or some such, as - sigh, now I've finally come full circle: Baer for example, in all naivete, still seems to identify as the right thing to attack full frontal. No matter what. Intellectual sacrifices don't matter too, to him. Nothing can hold him back, not even the simple fact, that he confuses the realms of therapy and public dicourse, as I've shown above. If only he can save the world from the rise of Nazi-like discourse and therewith of kinda all kinds of oppresive power-structures, he is willing to pay any prize.

    That there are no real Nazis to be seen in his college at least anyways just goes to show, how strong he really is, see: Very strong indeed! Extremely strong. Strong nogh, to fight all suprrion to the n-th degree, even. With the help of the NYT!

    2

    Baer’s opening comment .. “privileging of personal experience, with its powerful emotional impact, over reason and argument”. falls right into place. There is no need for a University to privilege personal experience
     
    Yeah - one tendency that gets strengthened in the trendy snowflake-factories (=universities) is subjectivism. For the systematic aspects - see above, for the practical ones: See for example the case of Carolyn Rouse (Princeton Head of Anthropology Dpt. vs. Charles Murray as discussed on this blog in March). - Rouse doesn't even argue anymore and says: She does not have to, because she feels such a strong conviction, that Murray is wrong, that it would be kinda regressive, to find arguments against Murray's scientific work. Therefor: No need to know your opponent in any kind of factual way - know what he says or is after, as soon as you are sure, how badly he makes you feel!

    These people end up again and again on the subjective side of a discourse and are proud of that.


    The classical definition of regression is - drifting away into all too subjective realms - - and not beeing able to get out of this state of mind via - - rational arguments / dicourse.



    - Snowflakeries a r e the avoidance of intersubjectivity in the grown-up version of rational discourse and as such a major anti-modernist flaw.

    Dieter Kief wrote:

    Books like Goffman’s are the late bloomings of a thought model, that’s been brought to it’s outer limits by quite a few thinkers. The most prominent now being Adorno and Foucault of European origin and maybe Goffman in the US.

    It’s a mistake to group Erving Goffman in with Adorno and Foucault.

    I’ve read a number of Goffman’s books, and I do not recall any attempt at all to prescribe some new pseudo-utopia, to vent politically correct views, etc.

    Goffman was interested in the details of how people interact at a concrete face-to-face level, how we control the face we present to the external world, how we strategize our relationships, etc. Old fashioned sociology/social psychology.

    Was he a left-winger? Well… an academic in the social sciences, it is a reasonable guess. But, I did not see it in his books.

    Indeed, the current po-mo cultists could reasonably accuse Goffman of advancing the “Enlightenment narrative”: i.e., he thought reality could be understood through rational thought, analysis, and discussion.

    A number of his books are also fun to read: he knew how to write without losing himself in academic gobbledygook.

    Dave

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    I did draw a line between Adorno/Foucault and Goffman. But for reasons I want to deepen below, I'd hold, that Goffman too had his serious flaws:

    Goffman's liberal mistakes: In his descriptions of mental illness, the existential gets wiped out and the social takes place - and with it: Oppression takes a very dark hold over poor humans...

    His formula - over and over again, is: Suffering is - caused by social threats, not by individual hardships.

    Example:


    "(...) perception of losing one's mind is based on culturally derived and socially engrained stereotypes as to the significance of symptoms such as hearing voices (...).

    - see: It's the stereotype, that matters. It's all become social, as soon as he starts reflecting on illness and suffering.


    Another example:

    "The society's official view is that inmates of mental hospitals are there primarily because they are suffering from mental illness. However, in the degree that the mentally ill" outside hospitals numerically approach or surpass those inside hospitals, one could say that mental patients distinctively suffer not from mental illness, but from contingencies."

    The existential threat has evaporated (or got transformed, by shere evil force of society - into - societal, of course - - "contingencies".

    In hindsight, it's child's play really, to list the Goffman flaws. You could fill volumes with them.
    What you'll find over and over again: That if you approach his texts with the idea in the back of your head, that he often times writes like a blank slater would, you pretty soon get rewarded. Blank slate meaning in his case: Illness is societal. Being sane is human.

    All in all: A nice guy. And I would not call his writings useless. But, big but - I'd always approach them - as I do in many other cases as well, with Goethe:
    "Nothing does more damage to a new truth than an old error."

    .... the times, they are a-changing...

  133. @The White Muslim Traditionalist
    Blaaaah blaaah.


    Christianity is a Christian heresy if that makes sense, it's obscurantist nonsense that has more to do with the shyster ramblings of Paul of Tarsus than the One God who revealed himself to Abraham, Moses, Jesus (peace be upon them) etc.


    You don't think I've heard the same nonsense about how Islam isn't "nice" because polygamy and slavery? The Old Testament has plenty of that, but Christians are more worried about being nice and worshipping men and figures than worshiping God.

    I'm amused at how stale and desperate the attempts at 'de-conversions' by members of the polytheistic Christ creed have become. I've studied this for years, it wasn't a marriage conversion. I was raised in a somewhat religious, Dutch Catholic family, well-catechized and everything. Christianity is a state religion, it doesn't work without state backing. Left alone and laid bare one sees how illogical, pagan and frankly weak it is.

    If the ramblings of an obscurantist like Paul were proven false, then Jesus did not exist. If Jesus did not exist, the Koran is wrong because it mentions Jesus in it.

    The Old Testament has polygamy, slavery because that shows the fallen world filled with sin. In the New Testament, Jesus came to straighten out mankind’s sinfulness. That’s why Christianity (of the Western world) got rid of slavery and polygamy.

    Mohammed, a paedophile and child rapist, took the polygamy and slavery of the Old Testament to justify his sexual perversions.

    Islam is a religion of blacks/Asians, IQ deficient populations.

    Even though I am a Christian, I left the RCC because I do not accept black/Asian priests-popes.
    If non-whites want to be Christian, they must have their own churches. Islam is a universalist belief system, so that’s a big problem.

    Racially, you are kosher. Religiously, you are a heretic, a “kuffar.” Psychologically, you are someone who is looking for a belief system to justify things you are doing in your life. The devilish Islam is perfect for this.

  134. @PhysicistDave
    Dieter Kief wrote:

    Books like Goffman’s are the late bloomings of a thought model, that’s been brought to it’s outer limits by quite a few thinkers. The most prominent now being Adorno and Foucault of European origin and maybe Goffman in the US.
     
    It's a mistake to group Erving Goffman in with Adorno and Foucault.

    I've read a number of Goffman's books, and I do not recall any attempt at all to prescribe some new pseudo-utopia, to vent politically correct views, etc.

    Goffman was interested in the details of how people interact at a concrete face-to-face level, how we control the face we present to the external world, how we strategize our relationships, etc. Old fashioned sociology/social psychology.

    Was he a left-winger? Well... an academic in the social sciences, it is a reasonable guess. But, I did not see it in his books.

    Indeed, the current po-mo cultists could reasonably accuse Goffman of advancing the "Enlightenment narrative": i.e., he thought reality could be understood through rational thought, analysis, and discussion.

    A number of his books are also fun to read: he knew how to write without losing himself in academic gobbledygook.

    Dave

    I did draw a line between Adorno/Foucault and Goffman. But for reasons I want to deepen below, I’d hold, that Goffman too had his serious flaws:

    Goffman’s liberal mistakes: In his descriptions of mental illness, the existential gets wiped out and the social takes place – and with it: Oppression takes a very dark hold over poor humans…

    His formula – over and over again, is: Suffering is – caused by social threats, not by individual hardships.

    Example:

    “(…) perception of losing one’s mind is based on culturally derived and socially engrained stereotypes as to the significance of symptoms such as hearing voices (…).

    – see: It’s the stereotype, that matters. It’s all become social, as soon as he starts reflecting on illness and suffering.

    Another example:

    “The society’s official view is that inmates of mental hospitals are there primarily because they are suffering from mental illness. However, in the degree that the mentally ill” outside hospitals numerically approach or surpass those inside hospitals, one could say that mental patients distinctively suffer not from mental illness, but from contingencies.”

    The existential threat has evaporated (or got transformed, by shere evil force of society – into – societal, of course – – “contingencies”.

    In hindsight, it’s child’s play really, to list the Goffman flaws. You could fill volumes with them.
    What you’ll find over and over again: That if you approach his texts with the idea in the back of your head, that he often times writes like a blank slater would, you pretty soon get rewarded. Blank slate meaning in his case: Illness is societal. Being sane is human.

    All in all: A nice guy. And I would not call his writings useless. But, big but – I’d always approach them – as I do in many other cases as well, with Goethe:
    “Nothing does more damage to a new truth than an old error.”

    …. the times, they are a-changing…

  135. Dieter wrote:

    [Goffman]“(…) perception of losing one’s mind is based on culturally derived and socially engrained stereotypes as to the significance of symptoms such as hearing voices (…).

    [Dieter]- see: It’s the stereotype, that matters. It’s all become social, as soon as he starts reflecting on illness and suffering.

    Are you aware of the “Rsoenhan experiments” from the early ’70s? Quoting from Wikipedia, “The study concluded ‘it is clear that we cannot distinguish the sane from the insane in psychiatric hospitals’…”

    If you read the actual study, it seems pretty convincing.

    As a med student back around 1980, my wife had to take a course on psychiatry; let’s just say that her take on the course fit the Rosenhan results: when she would try to ask a simple question in class, the prof, instead of answering, would try to psychoanalyze her reasons for asking the question.

    No one doubts that some people suffer from physical ailments of the brain that degrade their mental functioning: Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, etc. Nor does anyone doubt that some people, with no apparent physical disease, manage to deal with the world in a way that shows a certain disconnect from reality.

    But, which disconnects from reality count as “mental illness”? That is indeed socially determined. I am old enough to remember when homosexuality was a “mental illness.” Now, anyone who does not enthusiastically celebrate homosexuality suffers from “homophobia.”

    The libertarian psychiatrist Thomas Szasz, certainly no leftist, surely had it right when he labeled “mental illness” a metaphor used to control other people. (Szasz pointed out that sometimes the “mentally ill” were the ones using the metaphor to manipulate others: e.g., alcoholism is an “illness.”)

    On this, I’ll side with Goffman and Szasz.

    Dave

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief

    Thomas Szasz, certainly no leftist, surely had it right when he labeled “mental illness” a metaphor used to control other people
     
    I agree with you about lots of the points you make. We're all (all!) on shaky ground here.

    If you don't mind,I go on now a little lightheaded: Being paranoid is not the perfect protection against persecution.

    And being partially right about something is something else as being right.

    As I said: Goffman and the like: Szasz, Cooper, Deleuze/Guattari etc. did have points in criticizing psychiatrists/ therapists etc. of their time.
    That's grounded in their Nietzschean/ and or Russeauan/ and or Freudian/ Lacanian even roots - as are their here and there really big flaws and theoretical blind spots.

    Shortest way, I can put it: Blank-Slate-ism of the Rousseauan kind is no cure for lots of the real problems of humans. Especially not for: overall failure, maladaption, criminality, dissocial behavior (etc.).

    Best non-trivial critic of Freud:
    Erich Fromm, see his book "Freuds mission" for example. But he wrote at length about pros and cons of Freud, and even though he was constantly belittled by Adorno for example: He is very insighful and worth being read up to this day.

    Best - how would I put this: Overall analysis of what therapy is about, as far as it's not concerned with somatic, but with - lets call them - existential - reasons: Jürgen Habermas in "Knowledge and Human Reason" (1968)

    Habermas criticized Freud for the theoretical inconsistency that lies at the basis of Freuds "Meta-Psychology" (Habermas). Habermas attacks Freud's misconception of his own achievements. He shows, that Freud was not, what he thought he should and would be: A natural scientist.
    What Freud really was, he was the founder of a hermeneutic practise called psychoanalysis, which is aimed at straightening out misconceptions of oneself with the help of a patient and attentive "other" - the psychoanalyst. (1972 english transl.) - Freud's misconception about himself as natural-scientist (my rough translation) is th echapter I that I referred to here, and it isn't long even, just a few pages. But tough ones. Dense.

    Great and at times very funny novel on this subject: David Guterson - Ed King - - about techies, too.

  136. @PhysicistDave
    Dieter wrote:

    [Goffman]“(…) perception of losing one’s mind is based on culturally derived and socially engrained stereotypes as to the significance of symptoms such as hearing voices (…).

    [Dieter]- see: It’s the stereotype, that matters. It’s all become social, as soon as he starts reflecting on illness and suffering.
     

    Are you aware of the "Rsoenhan experiments" from the early '70s? Quoting from Wikipedia, "The study concluded 'it is clear that we cannot distinguish the sane from the insane in psychiatric hospitals'..."

    If you read the actual study, it seems pretty convincing.

    As a med student back around 1980, my wife had to take a course on psychiatry; let's just say that her take on the course fit the Rosenhan results: when she would try to ask a simple question in class, the prof, instead of answering, would try to psychoanalyze her reasons for asking the question.

    No one doubts that some people suffer from physical ailments of the brain that degrade their mental functioning: Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, etc. Nor does anyone doubt that some people, with no apparent physical disease, manage to deal with the world in a way that shows a certain disconnect from reality.

    But, which disconnects from reality count as "mental illness"? That is indeed socially determined. I am old enough to remember when homosexuality was a "mental illness." Now, anyone who does not enthusiastically celebrate homosexuality suffers from "homophobia."

    The libertarian psychiatrist Thomas Szasz, certainly no leftist, surely had it right when he labeled "mental illness" a metaphor used to control other people. (Szasz pointed out that sometimes the "mentally ill" were the ones using the metaphor to manipulate others: e.g., alcoholism is an "illness.")

    On this, I'll side with Goffman and Szasz.

    Dave

    Thomas Szasz, certainly no leftist, surely had it right when he labeled “mental illness” a metaphor used to control other people

    I agree with you about lots of the points you make. We’re all (all!) on shaky ground here.

    If you don’t mind,I go on now a little lightheaded: Being paranoid is not the perfect protection against persecution.

    And being partially right about something is something else as being right.

    As I said: Goffman and the like: Szasz, Cooper, Deleuze/Guattari etc. did have points in criticizing psychiatrists/ therapists etc. of their time.
    That’s grounded in their Nietzschean/ and or Russeauan/ and or Freudian/ Lacanian even roots – as are their here and there really big flaws and theoretical blind spots.

    Shortest way, I can put it: Blank-Slate-ism of the Rousseauan kind is no cure for lots of the real problems of humans. Especially not for: overall failure, maladaption, criminality, dissocial behavior (etc.).

    Best non-trivial critic of Freud:
    Erich Fromm, see his book “Freuds mission” for example. But he wrote at length about pros and cons of Freud, and even though he was constantly belittled by Adorno for example: He is very insighful and worth being read up to this day.

    Best – how would I put this: Overall analysis of what therapy is about, as far as it’s not concerned with somatic, but with – lets call them – existential – reasons: Jürgen Habermas in “Knowledge and Human Reason” (1968)

    Habermas criticized Freud for the theoretical inconsistency that lies at the basis of Freuds “Meta-Psychology” (Habermas). Habermas attacks Freud’s misconception of his own achievements. He shows, that Freud was not, what he thought he should and would be: A natural scientist.
    What Freud really was, he was the founder of a hermeneutic practise called psychoanalysis, which is aimed at straightening out misconceptions of oneself with the help of a patient and attentive “other” – the psychoanalyst. (1972 english transl.) – Freud’s misconception about himself as natural-scientist (my rough translation) is th echapter I that I referred to here, and it isn’t long even, just a few pages. But tough ones. Dense.

    Great and at times very funny novel on this subject: David Guterson – Ed King – – about techies, too.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    Dieter wrote to me:

    Shortest way, I can put it: Blank-Slate-ism of the Rousseauan kind is no cure for lots of the real problems of humans. Especially not for: overall failure, maladaption, criminality, dissocial behavior (etc.).
     
    Indeed: I take it for granted that anyone who denies the fact of human nature is just an anti-scientific idiot (as well as lacking the basic common sense that, say, my great-grandmother had).

    Dieter also said:

    What Freud really was, he was the founder of a hermeneutic practise called psychoanalysis, which is aimed at straightening out misconceptions of oneself with the help of a patient and attentive “other” – the psychoanalyst. (1972 english transl.) – Freud’s misconception about himself as natural-scientist
     
    Yeah, I think Freud was a well-intentioned fellow who was reasonably sane compared to many of the intellectuals of the last two centuries. But, he was mistaken in thinking his work was science.

    Dave
  137. @Dieter Kief

    Thomas Szasz, certainly no leftist, surely had it right when he labeled “mental illness” a metaphor used to control other people
     
    I agree with you about lots of the points you make. We're all (all!) on shaky ground here.

    If you don't mind,I go on now a little lightheaded: Being paranoid is not the perfect protection against persecution.

    And being partially right about something is something else as being right.

    As I said: Goffman and the like: Szasz, Cooper, Deleuze/Guattari etc. did have points in criticizing psychiatrists/ therapists etc. of their time.
    That's grounded in their Nietzschean/ and or Russeauan/ and or Freudian/ Lacanian even roots - as are their here and there really big flaws and theoretical blind spots.

    Shortest way, I can put it: Blank-Slate-ism of the Rousseauan kind is no cure for lots of the real problems of humans. Especially not for: overall failure, maladaption, criminality, dissocial behavior (etc.).

    Best non-trivial critic of Freud:
    Erich Fromm, see his book "Freuds mission" for example. But he wrote at length about pros and cons of Freud, and even though he was constantly belittled by Adorno for example: He is very insighful and worth being read up to this day.

    Best - how would I put this: Overall analysis of what therapy is about, as far as it's not concerned with somatic, but with - lets call them - existential - reasons: Jürgen Habermas in "Knowledge and Human Reason" (1968)

    Habermas criticized Freud for the theoretical inconsistency that lies at the basis of Freuds "Meta-Psychology" (Habermas). Habermas attacks Freud's misconception of his own achievements. He shows, that Freud was not, what he thought he should and would be: A natural scientist.
    What Freud really was, he was the founder of a hermeneutic practise called psychoanalysis, which is aimed at straightening out misconceptions of oneself with the help of a patient and attentive "other" - the psychoanalyst. (1972 english transl.) - Freud's misconception about himself as natural-scientist (my rough translation) is th echapter I that I referred to here, and it isn't long even, just a few pages. But tough ones. Dense.

    Great and at times very funny novel on this subject: David Guterson - Ed King - - about techies, too.

    Dieter wrote to me:

    Shortest way, I can put it: Blank-Slate-ism of the Rousseauan kind is no cure for lots of the real problems of humans. Especially not for: overall failure, maladaption, criminality, dissocial behavior (etc.).

    Indeed: I take it for granted that anyone who denies the fact of human nature is just an anti-scientific idiot (as well as lacking the basic common sense that, say, my great-grandmother had).

    Dieter also said:

    What Freud really was, he was the founder of a hermeneutic practise called psychoanalysis, which is aimed at straightening out misconceptions of oneself with the help of a patient and attentive “other” – the psychoanalyst. (1972 english transl.) – Freud’s misconception about himself as natural-scientist

    Yeah, I think Freud was a well-intentioned fellow who was reasonably sane compared to many of the intellectuals of the last two centuries. But, he was mistaken in thinking his work was science.

    Dave

  138. @guest
    The Therapeutic State, or somesuch term, was a big part of the writings of Paul Gottfried as I recall. Obviously it's out of place in our universities, because opposition to ruling ideologies in itself is not a symptom of illness. Listeners to unapproved speakers and don't get infected with pathologies.

    But it may be out if place in psychology, too, where I think psychiatrists lack the expertise which they claim, and it's impossible to tell where real treatment begins and play-acting ends. If there is a difference. I'm not convinced there even is such a thing as mental illness. (Obviously, there are things wrong with people, but treating mental problems as medical problems is at best metaphorical.)

    There are all kinds of therapy which work – and that’s true since ages. – See the scorceres and the whitch dcotors etc. – And of course it’s important to understand, that all the kinds of therapy that are based on human interaction inherit this history of the sorcerer, the playwright, the actor, the priest. No wonder, Freud spoke of the importance of the “setting” of the therapeutic interaction. – and look, just how highly ritualised psychotherapies are.

    The one mistake that people love to make though is to think, that this is all old stuff and doesn’t appeal to us anymore, or doesn’t matter anymore, because – you know: Enlightenment: We have finally managed to get hold of the somewhat true light, pouring down on us now: Directly from the heavens above. – This kind of thinking is an illusion, and , as Nietzsche showed: will always be.
    As Paul Nelson once put it in a great essay, titeld “Bod Dylan”: In the matters of the heart, we’re all of us amateurs! – And, may I add, in the matters of therapy, we’re all of us in debt to the long tradition of attempts, to get hold of at least a bit of sanity.

    There just is no other way: In this realm, each human being has to find his od her solution. And it never has been easy, not to end as the Imaginary Invalid, or the Imaginary Sane (or Saint…).

    If people doubt this statement (wich I love to make), I ask them to look at Molière’s play about illnesses and treatment and play and therapy and acting – The Imaginary Invalid.

    Thanks for your hint at Paul Gottfried – I’ll have a look, what he thinks about Molière at all!

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