Everyone gets a medal in the motte

July 23, 2017 § 19 Comments

Any concept of political freedom capable of invalidating monarchical authority is rationally incoherent.

Any concept of equal rights capable of invalidating inherited privilege is rationally incoherent.

Any concept of sola scriptura capable of invalidating the distinctive claims of Roman Catholicism is rationally incoherent.

Any concept of mercy capable of invalidating the need to cease choosing objectively immoral behaviors is rationally incoherent.

The list can continue, but take note of the pattern. Modernity is all about selectively invalidating whatever parts of reality moderns happen to subjectively find inconvenient in the Current Year.

Now suppose you are someone who finds this critique of modernity in general, or one of the particular critiques, outrageous. You are convinced (say) that your non-nominalist concept of political freedom is perfectly coherent and unequivocal. You declare victory and plant your flag in triumph.

Have you noticed anything missing in your counter-argument?

Ignoble savage

July 9, 2017 § 358 Comments

J. C. Wright asks (via Malcolm):

Do those who yearn for inequality wish to be placed in the political order above me, to give me orders from an unearned position of authority; or do they wish to be placed below me, to take orders in an undeserved posture of submission?

In rejecting the very idea of nobility, Wright abdicates any natural nobility he might have possessed and chooses his own ranking as that of savage or rebel.

A commoner who accepts nobility stands above the savage, in the natural hierarchy of nobility.

So it is not that Wright’s nobility-friendly interlocutors wish to be placed above him in the natural hierarchy of nobility.  It is that they simply are in fact above him in the hierarchy of nobility, since Wright has chosen for himself the way of the savage.

They hate us for our unicorns

July 8, 2017 § 89 Comments

Define “unicorns” to be certain things we like about the politics of Country A, and only those things.

Define “not unicorns” to be certain things we don’t like about the politics of Country B, and only those things.

Declare that because “unicorns” as we have defined the term is perfectly coherent, a philosophy of government which pursues unicorns is perfectly coherent.

Declare that mass murder committed in Country A is not the result of pursuit of unicorns, even though the people committing the mass murder explicitly rationalize it by appealing to the pursuit-of-unicorns principle.

Have a good cry when Zippy points out that there are no unicorns.

Isn’t nominalism fun?

Means and ends for kindergartners

May 17, 2017 § 113 Comments

There has been a bit of ‘reactosphere’ discussion of means and ends lately.

Unsurprisingly, the aphorism ‘the end doesn’t justify the means’ is ridiculed in its strawman form: basically ‘No means is ever justified by any end.’

I’m always here to help though, and Miss Suzy asked me to visit on Talk To A Grownup Day.  So get out your crayons and let me rephrase the aphorism for the class.

The non-strawman version goes like this:

“Good ends don’t justify evil means.”

That’s a lot to take in, I know, so that is probably enough for one day.

Amazons bearing power shovels

April 17, 2017 § 6 Comments

Individual hard copies of the Third Edition of the Usury FAQ are available on Amazon.   Feel free to order copies for your friends and enemies, and to post reviews.  This is a project of The Typesetter (a.k.a. commenter TomD), who did all the hard work: I just provided the content.  In addition to our thanks for his hard work we also owe him well-wishes and joyous prayers for his rumored upcoming nuptials.

The e-book downloads in my sidebar are still the Second Edition.  I’ll update all y’all when that changes – and about bulk orders, hardcover version, and possible conspiratorial distribution plans to various target groups – as things actually happen, as I find/figure things out myself, and as anything relevant takes place.

Countdown to launch

April 6, 2017 § 28 Comments

At the suggestion of reader MMPeregrine, in preparation for the print version/3rd Edition of the Usury FAQ, I added a couple of questions and answers:

57) This all sounds so complicated, and use of the terms “loan” and “interest” to mean so many different things is confusing. Is there a straightforward way to tell if a simple loan for interest is usury?

58) Is there something that the government can do about usury without creating a whole bunch of complicated regulations?

UPDATE:  The Typesetter has made the current revision available in PDF here.  If you are interested in proofreading the manuscript feel free to post any errors you find in the combox here, or send email to usurybook@gmail.com.

A moment on the couch with Dr. Z

March 31, 2017 § 17 Comments

I’m a pretty plainspoken guy who just honestly says what is on my mind.  

No, really.

I’m not much interested in psychoanalyzing   individuals over the Internet.  In fact it is something I very much discourage both in myself and others, with varying degrees of success.

But it is probably true that certain modes of   rhetoric have a tendency to follow along with certain psychologies: that, for example, psychologically passive-aggressive people tend to see their own motte-and-bailey approach to argument as virtuous rather than vicious.

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