Reasonings Archive

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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Tolerance and Intolerance

Posted May 7, 2024 By John C Wright

We hear much ado about tolerance and intolerance these days, as if the first were an unalloyed good, regardless of degree or context, and the second an unalloyed evil.

In fact, treating tolerance as an unalloyed good, since it allows alike harmless as well as harmful differences of thought, word and deed to coexist in society, encourages the harmful, and destines the harmless to dismissal, perhaps destruction, is itself an unalloyed evil. There is no good side to it.

The main effort of the Cult of Toleration is to legalize sexual immorality, then to normalize, then to celebrate it, then to mandate it.

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Eautology

Posted April 19, 2024 By John C Wright

Allow me to propose that there is something more fundamental than psychology, more fundamental than philosophy, which underpins one’s thought. Something more fundamental than psychology or philosophy influences or determines which worldview, one adopts, and to which one adapts oneself.

This most fundamental of foundations is one’s selfhood and one’s sense of self. It defines the basic anthropology and cosmogony of one’s sense of what man is and what is man’s place in the cosmos.

It is the study of “himselfhood.”

I propose the term eautology (from the Greek εαυτός ) to refer to the study of man’s sense of self, sense of life, sense of the world.

Other terms, such as “meta-psychophilosophy”, would be awkward, and the term “anthropology,” outside of theological discussions, has taken on another meaning.

Why is such a term needed?

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On Chastity

Posted April 2, 2024 By John C Wright

Here is a topic which is always timely.

We are all weary hearing the claim that opposition to the widespread normalization of sodomy, pederasty, transvestitism, castration, is bigotry akin to fascism; and we are likewise weary of the claim that tolerance toward perversion will usher in the paradise of endless worldwide orgies, like some mad vision of hordes of houri from an Arabic afterlife.

Let me set out the basic conservative argument, so that we need hear no more extraneous comments about utopia or Nazi Germany or how liberating to women divorce and sexual perversion are, or how happy it makes virgins to fornicate.

All of that, true or false, is irrelevant to the basic argument.

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Extinctionism

Posted February 20, 2024 By John C Wright

An explanation of Extinctionism is in order. It is the worldview that supports the misery and death for all mankind, and seeks the end of the human race.

An explanation of the origin and purpose of this worldview will be a very brief essay. The matter is stark and simple, and can be said simply.

There is only one thing in life where the choice is ultimate and final and eternal: we are either for God or against.

Going against God, whether we like it or not, whether we know it or not, means going against the image and likeness of God, that is, Man.

Those against Man wish Man not to prosper, not to be happy, not to live at all.

Those against Man hate man. They hate human life. They hate what makes human life endure and flourish. They eventually side with whatever smothers laughter, encourages joy, grants peace, creates prosperity. They hate virginity, motherhood, and babies. They hate Jews. They hate the conscience. They hate virtue, truth, beauty. They hate themselves. They hate, hate, hate.

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About What are You Optimistic?

Posted February 9, 2024 By John C Wright

Sometime circa A.D. 2007, an unsolicited question was sent to me with the mildly ungrammatical title of WHAT ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC ABOUT? WHY? I did not recognize the man’s name, nor did he say for what publication, if any, he wished my response.

His somewhat leading question read:

As an activity, as a state of mind, science is fundamentally optimistic. Science figures out how things work and thus can make them work better. Much of the news is either good news or news that can be made good, thanks to ever deepening knowledge and ever more efficient and powerful tools and techniques. Science, on its frontiers, poses more and ever better questions, ever better put.

What are you optimistic about? Why? Surprise us!

Since this view of science, much less the scientific community, could not be further from the truth, I was at somewhat of a loss.

I wonder if the ever-better questions, ever-better put, now being asked by the ever more powerful tools and techniques of science now include “How Ungoodthink a Shirt was the First Scientist Who Landed a Probe on a Comet-head Wearing?”

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Faith and Works in a Science Fictional Universe

Posted February 6, 2024 By John C Wright

From  2014, but perhaps of current interest:

I have been asked to write a brief essay about how my faith informs my work, and what is the general relation of Catholicism to Science Fiction.

Unfortunately, I cannot.

This is not because I have no opinions on the topic, but rather because they cannot be told briefly.

I must give something of my background story to explain how I came by my answers, in order to give the answers fully. I beg the indulgence of the patient reader:

Few men have ever hated as much as Christ as I have, before turning to love him. Before I was a Catholic, I was an atheist, and not an atheist who kept his opinions to himself, but, rather, a vituperative, proselytizing, aggressive, evangelist of atheism, who sought at every opportunity to spread the Bad News that God Was Dead and Christians were Fools.

But there was one area sacrosanct from my proselytizing effort. I did not use my science fiction stories to preach nor promote my worldview.

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Of Mannikins and Men

Posted February 3, 2024 By John C Wright

In his 1962 book  PROFILES OF THE FUTURE Arthur C. Clarke posits the dictum that Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

I answer is that Clarke’s Dictum is true only if the man who fails to make the distinction steadfastly ignores what distinguishes technology from magic in the first place, as Clarke, a crass materialist, blatantly does.

Because magic and science are as different as soul and body, as different as as word and meaning, as different as mechanism and aim, Clarke’s Dictum must be rejected as fallacious, if not risible.

As if saying any sufficiently advanced mannikin is indistinguishable from a man. The thing can be said only by someone who refuses to see what makes a man a man and not a mannikin.

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Collectivism and Objectivism

Posted January 27, 2024 By John C Wright

I am a fan and admirer of Ayn Rand, as much an admirer as one can be who thinks the object of his admiration is wrong and evil. I feel the same way about Thomas Hobbes, proponent of absolute government. He is wrong and evil, but he uses admirably precise logic to reach his wrong and evil conclusions.

Ayn Rand was an atheist, and rejected God with disgust. She was, however, a passionate adversary of all offshoots of Marxism and irrationalism. Hence, she was able to diagnose the disease of secular collectivism perfectly, but not see the related disease secular individualism infecting her.

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God’s Passions and Man’s Reason

Posted December 18, 2023 By John C Wright

A reader writes in with deep questions that I attempt, at least in part, to address. I thought my readers might be interested in the exchange.

His first question was whether God experiences emotions sequentially in response to human events?

My answer was that no one knows, and I doubt anyone can imagine, what it might be in eternity to look in on events in time, while knowing the beginning and ending of those events, seeing them all at once.

A helpful analogy for me (since I am an author) is to look at the inspiration for a story.

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Faith and Blind Faith

Posted November 27, 2023 By John C Wright

Part of an ongoing discussion:

Atheists routinely accuse Christians of blind faith, that is a faith not open to revision when contrary evidence arises: as when a cult member continues to believe every utterance of a prophet once proved false.

This is a human failing, and atheists are hardly immune.

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The Anti-Cassandra of Overpopulation

Posted November 22, 2023 By John C Wright

Regarding the eco-scaremongering which has been a constant force and clamor in modern life since at least 1950, a reader with the leviathanic yet flatulential name of KrakenFartz observes:

Thomas Sowell coined the term “Teflon Prophet” to describe the scientaster, Paul Ehrlich, because even though his predictions have turned out to be wrong every single time, nothing sticks to his reputation.

My comment:

First, I salute the use of the term scientaster as a clever play on the underused word poetaster — referring to an overly self-important versifier with underwhelming skills.

Second, I suspect nothing sticks to Ehrlich’s reputation as a prophet simply because those who believe him do so for unadmitted emotional reasons related to earth-worship, to discontent with freedom and prosperity, and to the Gnostic world-view that inverts moral values. He tickles their ears with what they want to hear.

You would think folks would not want to hear that they are doomed, and more doomed, and most doomed. To the contrary, prophecies of Armageddon and Ragnarok quell quotidian worries, open a vision of life’s larger issues, and firm the resolve to heed and follow one’s prophet of choice. Such prophecies set the stage with a large picture of the war between Heaven and Hell, and the battle for the soul of the nation.

The only problem is that the false prophets are on the wrong side. Those who follow heaven obey the command to be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it. The opposition wants to subdue man, cull the population like cattle, and worship the earth as an idol, a Carthaginian idol that demands human sacrifice.

Paul Ehrlich is a false prophet. It  has not eroded his support one iota.

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Believing is Seeing

Posted November 15, 2023 By John C Wright

Jordan Peterson’s roundtable discussion on Exodus, has much to recommend it, not the least of which is a digression which addressed an error I have often made in my godless youth, which many Americans, also godless, also make.

  1. The  Vantage from Nowhere

The Idolatry of Reason — one unwelcome legacy of the Enlightenment Era — involves the idea that one stands apart from the laws and customs, mores and ideals into which one was born, and judges them as if from an objective standpoint: the vantage from nowhere, so to speak.

Right Reason, let us hasten to add, disapproves of the Idolatry of Reason as unreasonable.

Right Reason is humble, and rightly so. Idolatry seeks to dethrone the Most High in favor of an usurper. Whether that usurper is the faculty of reason, or the pride of man, or the vanity of some high-sounding ideal, is no matter.

Putting the lesser good above the higher good makes it bad. Even the brightest angel seating himself above heaven’s highmost throne becomes a devil.

In reality, reason only operates when grounded on first things themselves not open to reason.

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Fourfold Path of Hypocrisy

Posted August 24, 2023 By John C Wright

Some observe the works and hear the words of the men serving the Enemy on Earth, and opine the Left have no principles or goals, but merely want power for its own sake. The source and summit of Leftism, its telos, is powerlust.

It is a reasonable argument, but I respectfully disagree.

If the Left wanted power in America, they would drop Critical Transgender Ideology, as this alone is unpopular enough to provoke hostile and prolonged resentment — see the Bud Lite debacle for an example. If the Left wanted power, they would stick to the Global Warming Hoax, which is an effective excuse to centralize invasive and arbitrary control over all aspects of human life, with no discernable drawbacks.

I respectfully suggest that the Left, like us, wish for the basic things all men wish for. The basic needs of Man can be seen in the seven petitions of the Lord’s Prayer: (1) daily bread, that is, subsistence (2) forgiveness (3) salvation. All these follow from a petition for (4) glorification.

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