One God Less (continued)

Posted July 18, 2024 By John C Wright

Part of an ongoing conversation:

The “One God Less” argument says that Christians, by not worshipping the 4,000 other gods worshipped by pagans of East and West, are atheists toward all gods but one. Atheists merely worship one fewer god out of all the unworshipped gods than Christians.

A wry reply would be to say all men are theists, and that monotheists merely worship one god more than an atheist.

A sharper argument would be to note the false equivalence being assumed. The reasons for worshipping or not worshipping one of more of the these pagan gods is not necessarily the same the reason to worship or not worship the God of Abraham, whose prophets and apologists make a unique claim.

None of those 4,000 gods nor their prophets, priests, nor their visionaries who speak for them, have ever claimed any such god to be the eternal transcendental creator, or made any claim even remotely like that. No other God calls himself I Am Who Am.

There are religions based on Christian and Jewish thought, various spin-off groups or heresies who copied this idea later, but no none aside from the God of Abraham makes such a claim.

The god of Zoroaster comes close, but he is only one of two gods, twin to an evil God of equal dignity to himself.

Brahma did not make the Hindu universe, for the Hindu universe is an eternal wheel always existing.

The Chinese gods did not make the universe. The Japanese gods made the Japanese Islands but not the universe. The Greek gods came from the Titans who came from Earth and Heaven who came from chaos. The Norse gods came from a primordial man who was licked out of a salt lick by a Divine cow. And so on.

Please note the odd parallel between this and arguments about Christ as opposed to Buddha, Mohammed, Zoroaster, Confucius, Abraham, Vyasa, Homer. Buddha did not claim to be Brahma, nor Mohammed to be Allah, nor Confucius to be the Jade Emperor of Heaven, nor Abraham to be Jehovah, nor Vyasa to be Indra, nor Homer to be Apollo. Jesus Christ, by claiming to be divine, makes an outrageously different claim, different in kind and not in degree, from any prophet or sage or poet speaking of the gods or on behalf of the gods.

Likewise again, the Roman Catholic Church makes a claim that is rare, if not unique, among all denominations: that she is one, true, universal, and apostolic. Lutheranism, Calvinism, Wesleyans, and other Protestant denominations, or Christian Science, or Mormonism, can name their founder and list the date of their founding, usually in the Sixteenth or Eighteenth Century.

(However, note the Eastern Orthodox Churches can make a similar claim to the Roman Church, and have an apostolic succession as ancient; but also note this is more a schism than a heresy. Agreement on major points of doctrine is overwhelming; disagreement is only over form of government. In this one sense, it is the same Church.)

This does not detract from the main point, which is, when dealing with the claims of the Christian religion among pagan polytheisms or Eastern mysticism, we are dealing with a unique claim; likewise when comparing Jesus of Nazareth with prophets and sages; likewise when comparing the Roman and Byzantine Church to the various denominations breaking away from them.

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Review OLIVER & COMPANY by Disney

Posted July 18, 2024 By John C Wright

I have been watching or rewatching all the Disney full-length animated features in chronological order, which provides the prospective of seeing each work in the context of its film history. In this case, we have reached what is widely regarded either as the last film of the Dry Spell (a long period of uncreative and inferior works following Walt Disney’s passing) or the first of the Disney Renaissance (a welcome return to their old strengths and new inspirations.)

As with all Disney films, no criticism can touch a childhood favorite, regardless of merit, but, contrariwise, the mission of the critic is to review even beloved works by standards as dispassionate as the passionate nature of the subject matter admits.

For myself, this film came too late in my life to be a childhood favorite, for it premiered during my college years. I was unimpressed with it then, largely forgot it, and am unimpressed now, and found it largely forgettable, but not flawed.

OLIVER AND COMPANY (1988) is very loosely based on Charles Dickens’ OLIVER TWIST, but taking place in modern New York, and with cats and dogs instead of orphans.

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Our Lady of Fatima at Butler Farm Show Grounds

Posted July 17, 2024 By John C Wright

Interesting. Sometimes seeming coincidences are just that. But sometimes not.

From Father Z’s Blog.

The Catholic Church that is across the street from the Butler fairgrounds has an outdoor grotto to Our Lady of Fatima and the visionaries. The statue of Our Lady faces in the direction of the fairgrounds.

You can see this on Google maps:  HERE

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The Phoenix Exultant Ep. 17: The Restoration Chamber

Posted July 17, 2024 By John C Wright

From THE PHOENIX EXULTANT, vol. II of my debut trilogy. 

In the far future, where men are as gods, living lives of perfect peace and prosperity, Phaethon of Rhadamanthus discovers all memory of his lifework has been hidden from him. For he is the engineer of the sole starship his civilization has ever produced: the mighty, majestic, and immense Phoenix Exultant. She is a ship to conquer the stars.

But such ambition is outlawed in utopia. Phaethon is a pariah, exiled mentally and physically, denuded of possessions, and cast down among outcasts. His life is sought by sinister agents of the Silent Oecumene: an apocalyptic menace none but he dares see. For in a world where mind or memory can be edited at will, what is truth?

The Phoenix Exultant Ep. 17: The Restoration Chamber

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One God Less

Posted July 16, 2024 By John C Wright

We have all heard the argument of One God Less.

It takes a form something like this:

You Christians do not believe in Zeus or Odin or Osiris, neither do you believe in the gods of the Hindus, nor the Aztecs, nor the gods of Shinto. Indeed, there are a thousand gods in which you do not believe.

Whatever your reason is for you not to believe in those thousand gods, that reason is sufficient for me not to believe in your one.

You are just as much an atheist as I am when it comes to Zeus or Odin or Osiris. I am merely an atheist toward one God more than you.

It is an argument that is too clever for its own good. It sounds tricky as elfin glamor, but falls to pieces at the slightest touch of the cold iron of logic.

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Predetermined to Reject Predeterminism

Posted July 15, 2024 By John C Wright

I am the last person on earth to contribute a wise comment to the discussion of freewill vs determinism (or predestination, or any variant thereof) for the simple reason that I do not think the two incompatible.

I do not think the paradox everyone else sees in the question actually exists. I am what is called a “Compatibilist.”

Free will is a legal category: namely, whether or not a man is liable for his own actions. Dogs and children do not have free will, nor to madmen, as they are not fit to stand trial.

Determinism is a ontological category, or, rather, a categorical error: namely, Determinism mistakes the ontological category of might-have-been (i.e. an event which could have come about, but did not) with the category of is-not (an event which never could have come about).

The legal category and the ontological category have nothing to do with each other.

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Not Tired of Winning Yet CLXXI

Posted July 15, 2024 By John C Wright

Trump’s Classified Documents Case Dismissed

From a Fox News Affiliate (by: ):

Judge Aileen Cannon on Monday tossed former President Trump’s case over his alleged mishandling of classified information, ruling that special counsel Jack Smith was not lawfully appointed.

The ruling hands a major victory to Trump, marking the first time one of his four criminal cases has been dismissed entirely.

“The Superseding Indictment is dismissed because Special Counsel Smith’s appointment violates the Appointments Clause of the United States Constitution,” Cannon wrote in a 93-page ruling.

The judge said that her determination is “confined to this proceeding.”

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Types and Stereotypes

Posted July 13, 2024 By John C Wright

Men from earliest times like to pigeonhole other men.

The Gnostics of ancient times divided men into three kinds: those ruled entirely by desires of the flesh (hylics); those ruled by the mind (psychics) who are confused but questioning; and finally those ruled by the spirit (pneumatics) who have achieved enlightenment. The carnal men were born damned with no hope of salvation; the mental men were Catholics and mainstream Christian, who have hope of being enlightened if they foreswear ancient teachings and convert to Gnosticism; and the Gnostics were enlightened and elect, and could not lose salvation, which was certain and sure.

The Calvinists, if I understand that odd heresy, were akin to Gnostics, but having only two types: the reprobate, born to inevitable damnation, and the elect, born to inevitable salvation.

Me, I have never liked categorizing men into such easy categories. Such activities always seems presumptuous. How odd to think one knows one’s brother better than he knows himself. The idea that we know where personality traits come from is an idea that any father who has raised children should regard with suspicion.

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Vote Fraud 2020

Posted July 9, 2024 By John C Wright

In case anyone forgot:

This is not the complete tally.

Please note that this list does not mention votes gathered in ways not permitted under the US Constitution.

Specifically, if the state legislature has not changed the voting method, but some officer of the executive branch, or a judge ruling from the bench, has changed voting methods (e.g. drop boxes allowed, mail-in ballot restrictions removed, voter ID restrictions removed) this is unconstitutional.
I have not followed the cases closely, but as best I know, no law cases concerning the 202 voter fraud have been heard on the merits. All were refused hearing on the grounds of standing, or some other facetious grounds. If anyone has heard otherwise, please tell me.

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Secular Reasons for Spiritual Success

Posted July 8, 2024 By John C Wright

The core secular reason for the success of Christianity can only be that Christianity portrays and accurate model, and accurate account, an accurate representation, of human life and its place in the universe.

The Gnostic model, like the Marxist model, portrays all life as a darwinian struggle between the enlightened and the benighted. There is nothing but a struggle for power. There’s no love between husband and wife, no mutual self-interest between employer and employee, no possibility of Amity between the races. There’s no justice between high and low, rich and poor. That’s not accurate.

Gnosticism says truth as a private matter, esoteric, not open to public debate or verification. That’s not accurate.

Marxism portrays man as collective. That’s not accurate.

Christianity says the first shall be last and the last shall be first. In other words the humble view is the wise and honest view. That is accurate. Read any history book.

Christianity says self-sacrificing love is more satisfying than selfishness. That is accurate. Read any primer on psychology.

Christianity says that what the world calls torture, death, defeat is glory and triumph. That is accurate. Read any dialogue of philosophy. And so on and so on.

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Posted July 7, 2024 By John C Wright

List taken from Darwin-to-Jesus, like myself, a recovering atheist. 

1. North Korea: Christians face extreme persecution, including imprisonment in labor camps, torture, and execution if discovered practicing their faith. The regime has intensified measures to prevent Christians from escaping to China.

2. Afghanistan: Christians must practice their faith in complete secrecy. Discovery can lead to execution by the Taliban, who view conversion from Islam as a betrayal.

3. Somalia: The small Christian community in Somalia faces severe persecution from al-Shabaab militants and societal pressure. Being a Christian is seen as a betrayal to family and community, often resulting in death.

4. Libya: Christians, particularly converts from Islam, face intense persecution from Islamic militant groups and are at risk of abduction, torture, and murder.

5. Pakistan: Blasphemy laws are often misused to target Christians, leading to imprisonment or mob violence. Christian communities face social discrimination and violence.

6. Nigeria: Islamist militant groups like Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen frequently attack Christian villages, resulting in mass killings, abductions, and the destruction of churches and homes.

7. India: Hindu nationalist groups frequently attack Christians, and new anti-conversion laws in several states have increased the persecution of Christians, leading to violence and harassment.

8. China: The government has intensified its crackdown on Christianity, including the demolition of churches, arrests of church leaders, and increased surveillance and control over religious activities.

9. Iran: Christians, especially converts from Islam, face harsh treatment, including arrest, imprisonment, and torture. House churches are frequently raided, and members are detained.

10. Eritrea: Christians face imprisonment in inhumane conditions, with many held indefinitely without trial. The government heavily restricts religious practice, targeting evangelical and Pentecostal communities.

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This is the most interesting and even moving interview this year.

Public figures speaking honestly in public is as rare as a two-tailed comet in Aquarius. Men willing to admit past wrongs, confess the sin of having been deceived, even moreso.

And to let a man speak without interruption? This is like something from long ago, from long lost Atlantis, when newsmen did things called interviews, or had shows that were not scripted and fake.

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Hating Uppity Serfs

Posted July 5, 2024 By John C Wright

Part of an ongoing discussion.

Rudolph Harrier remarks:

The left views the default state of affairs as being that dems will never be prosecuted for anything. There doesn’t need to be a decision to keep Hillary or Biden from being prosecuted for misuse of classified information, or to keep Biden from being impeached for his blatantly corrupt political dealings. They are on the left, so the law of the universe is that they will not be prosecuted. Therefore any decision that keeps someone from being punished can only benefit the Republicans, since laws are only meant to punish Republicans.

My Comment:

The single most disorienting and disturbing interview I ever witnessed was one where Michael Knowles of DailyWire and Sen Ted Cruz interviewed podcaster Eric Weinstein.

I am not familiar with the man, but judging from the comments left in the comments box, Weinstein has impressive credentials, and a reputation for genius level intellect among Leftists.
See at about 27.10

During the discussion, genius Weinstein expressed the opinion that the Left could afford to allow democracy to operate, and let the right gain control over the congress and White House for short periods, as long as the Left retained control over the courts.

He described this as a “balance of power” and a “Mexican stand off.” The courts were to be an “upper class, cerebral thing, counter to our populist instincts.”

He then said the nasty personal attacks — to this day still called Borking — against conservative candidate for Justice were the Left’s reaction to this, and, from his tone, a rightful reaction.

I do not recall if he said so directly, but the gist of his comments was this, or, at least, this is what I took away from his comments:

There is an unwritten social contract between the enlightened elite and the unwashed masses in our democracy. The unwashed masses were allowed to vote for representatives and leaders, using their mob powers to seek out their own self interest, and maintain a social order that they were too unwise to see benefitted the rich.

The enlightened elite were to control the court system, especially the High Court, and use its constitutional authority to overrule representatives and leaders whenever the unwise mob ventured into areas that were self destructive or destructive of the rights of minorities.

He did not say so directly, but I assume here he means, for example, outlawing Jim Crow laws, enacting forced bussing, outlawing contraception, outlawing abortion, or outlawing traditional marriage (which does not allow sodomites to wed each other), all were said to be against Constitutional principles which the unwashed mob was not trustworthy to protect.

The genius further implied (or so I interpreted him) that the appointment of conservative justices by the GOP violated the unspoken agreement ruling the nation since FDR’s administration.

The compromise was broken: Trump, by carrying out the will of the people who elected him (some of which voted GOP solely and only in hope of having a conservative majority on the bench) had betrayed the agreement between Dem and GOP, and undid the harmony between elite and unwashed.

The genius explained the most smug and unfair idea imaginable: that the Supreme Court belonged to the Left as their exclusive and rightful possession and property, and the Trump was a trespasser and thief for daring to rob the Left of the justices to which the social contract entitled them.

Got that? The legal and constitutional process to which all parties were avowed to uphold and obey, and which the GOP follows religiously, the Left regards as not applying to them, not even remotely, not even as a hypothetical.

It literally would never occur to the Left that the laws which require the Right to treat Leftist candidates with respect, not to commit fraud and perjury to unseat them, do not apply to the Left.

When Knowles and Cruz ignored and dismissed this absurd argument, the man’s face grew haughty and sullen like a spoiled child. It was pathetic to see. He was not willing to admit that Borking only ever occurred on the Left. The GOP denial of hearings to confirm Garland, for example, involved no personal attacks.

I was truly aghast at the sullen pride sinking into the man’s pudgy features. It was the face of a slaveowner offended and an uppity slave.

He thought he owned us, owned our laws, and that we had no right to vote for leaders who would appoint justices to uphold the Constitution. He thought we have no right to rule ourselves. The elite are meant to rule us.

It was a sick thing to see, and I felt beslimed and disgusted to have seen it.

If you saw the same video, no doubt this man would not look any worse to you than Peter Strzok, Peter Strzok, or Nancy Pelosi. They clearly have demons behind their eyes.

But to me, he looked worse than they. They do not say aloud they thing they own us.

Weinstein did.

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America! F Yeah!

Posted July 4, 2024 By John C Wright

This was too crude and rude to download, but too funny not to link to.

Language warning. Bad language.  Southpark levels of TEAM AMERICA WORLD POLICE language.

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Required Reading from Larry Correia

Posted July 3, 2024 By John C Wright

Assuredly, everyone and his cousin wants to hear what legal scholar, failed lawyer, and intellectual bigwig John C Wright has to say about the constitutional and philosophical nuances of the recent Loper decision overturning Chevron Deference. 

Naw. No one want to hear that. We want to hear the profanity laced screed by the Mountain Who Writes, the Lord of Sad Puppies, the monster of Monster Hunter himself, Larry “International Lord of Hate” Corriea. 

(and leave thanks and comments at his site.) 

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