Sunday, September 23, 2012


We’ve had a few religious squabbles here recently, and it was my fault.  I started the fire.

I probably came off condescending and self-righteous, and for that I apologize. My purpose was to defend orthodoxy and preserve it from smirch. If one wants to depart from Orthodoxy and Tradition, as found in The Bible and the writings of the early Church Fathers, great. Just don’t claim that what you are doing falls within the pale of Orthodox Christianity as it has been understood for all of its history.

But here I go preaching again.  I guess I just can't help myself.

To their credit, Jack Camwell and FreeThinke ended up acknowledging that they had indeed departed from orthodoxy, and they both gave spirited defense of their ideas.  I don't agree with them, but I respect their right to hold their beliefs, and what fun is a discussion when everyone agrees?

Anyway, while Googling Soren Kierkegaard, I came across a quote from Emmanuel Kant, and I wondered if this is where Jack Camwell and FreeThinke were coming from. When I say I strive to understand those I debate with, especially when I disagree with them, I mean it!

So, my Blogistani buddies, here is a little peace offering, from Wikipedia:
In 1784 Immanuel Kant challenged the thinkers of Europe to think for themselves.[173]
"Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why so great a proportion of men, long after nature has released them from alien guidance (naturaliter maiorennes), nonetheless gladly remain in lifelong immaturity, and why it is so easy for others to establish themselves as their guardians. It is so easy to be immature.
If I have a book to serve as my understanding, a pastor to serve as my conscience, a physician to determine my diet for me, and so on, I need not exert myself at all. I need not think, if only I can pay: others will readily undertake the irksome work for me.
The guardians who have so benevolently taken over the supervision of men have carefully seen to it that the far greatest part of them (including the entire fair sex) regard taking the step to maturity as very dangerous, not to mention difficult.
Having first made their domestic livestock dumb, and having carefully made sure that these docile creatures will not take a single step without the go-cart to which they are harnessed, these guardians then show them the danger that threatens them, should they attempt to walk alone. Now this danger is not actually so great, for after falling a few times they would in the end certainly learn to walk; but an example of this kind makes men timid and usually frightens them out of all further attempts." (Wikipedia)
See also: 
Introduction to Kant
Kant and Religion
Catholic Encyclopedia:  Kant


Anonymous said...

Wow! I had never heard of Kant; but his words of wisdom hold as true today as they did those many years ago.

Sam Huntington said...

With a few modifications in wording, Kant could be describing socialism: If I have the liberal press to serve as my understanding, Jeremiah Wright to serve as my conscience, Michelle Obama to determine my diet for me, and so on, I need not exert myself at all. I need not think, if only I can pay more in taxes for all of these state run services, bureaucrats will readily undertake the irksome work for me.

Ducky's here said...

Now Sam, you know as well as anyone (or maybe you don't) that you can substitute conservative icons and institutions in your post and arrive at the same conclusion.

Why in the previous thread we have an example of yu following ultra conservative hate mongers and having your head handed to you as a result.

Conservative orthodoxy also limits free will and inquiry. Surely you have time left to understand that.
True believers come in all forms. The true believer is just as likely to be conservative as leftist.

A free man must find his own epiphanies.

Steve said...

You have to apologize frequently.
Sign of a trash blog written by a guy who has no clue.
No wonder since you have told us you never watch a news, or political program.
Just the BS from an uneducated mind.

KP said...

Great pull, Kurt. Thanks.

Silverfiddle said...

Thanks KP.

Looks like Stevie is PMS'ing again.

Steve said...

Seems both of you are apologizing (pulling back) from your statements
Glad I could set you straight
Just keeping you honest
A hard task

Red Herring said...

It's all about ME.

Silverfiddle said...

Well, you've embarrassed yourself again, Stevie.

If you were as smart as you think you are, you would know that the Latin "Apologia" does not mean apology; it means explanation or defense.

And as I say in the post (since you obviously didn't read it), I stand by what I said but nonetheless regret riling up my fellow Right Blogistanis.

As your your fantasies of setting me straight, like always, we have no idea what you are talking about.

You're a time waster. The next off topic comment and you are gone.

Constitutional Insurgent said...

@Steve - "Sign of a trash blog written by a guy who has no clue."

And yet you seem to spend an inordinate amount of time on this blog getting kicked around like a government mule.

Your statement says more about you than it does about Silverfiddle.

Steve said...

SF said,

"and for that I apologize"

Silverfiddle said...

probably came off condescending and self-righteous, and for that I apologize.

Stevie, you're a dull crayon in a calligraphy world.

Steve said...

"does not mean apology"

SF speaking out of both sides of his mouth (ass)

Finntann said...

Even if Steve believes you're apologizing, his attitude simply illustrates how crass he really is, for only an ill mannered bore would respond to an apology in such a fashion. I often wonder why you tolerate such trite inanities.

@you know as well as anyone (or maybe you don't) that you can substitute conservative icons and institutions in your post and arrive at the same conclusion.

Coming around to the libertarian point of view Ducky? I had the same immediate response as both you and Sam... the greatest failure in education today is we fail to teach people to think. Anyone who regurgitates either party line in toto should be immediately suspect.


-FJ said...

You've never read Plato's "Apology", have you Stevie?

I didn't think so.

Anonymous said...

Well I must say this was a nice thing to read on a fine Sunday morning.

You don't sound condescending, at least I don't think you're trying to condescend to me anyway.

The quote from Kant pretty much sums up the entire point of my own blog, and I think it demonstrates that you are, indeed, thoughtful and understand where I am coming from.

I don't care that we disagree. Like you said, life is incredibly boring if we all simply agree with each other.

As for your remarks about Orthodox Christianity, I would argue that the Orthodox churches are the only ones that are still following "orthodox" Christianity as it has been understood from Christianity's humble beginnings. I mean, there's a reason that the West and East split, and it's precisely because of orthodoxy.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that Protestantism as a whole goes against "orthodoxy." Since I'm Catholic (and I buy in to a good portion of Catholic teachings), I would contend that I am more "orthodox" than you.

But if you claim that orthodoxy simply means "the right way" of practicing a religion, and if you then claim that YOU are orthodox, then that would pretty much mean that just about anyone can determine what it means to be "orthodox" since Protestantism (with the exception of maybe Lutheranism) is a departure from orthodoxy.

But even then, that's my point. I don't care about practicing Christianity the way my ancestors and me have been told to practice it for two thousand years.

Now, if we replace the word "orthodoxy" with "mainstream" then you're right. I have no way of claiming that I am in any way, shape, or form, a mainstream Christian.

Anyhow, if you really want to fully understand where I'm coming from, a few simple words from Albert Camus should sum it up succinctly. From Letters to a German Friend, Camus mentions the "crazy insistence of ours to rationalize everything we love."

When you embark on that journey, justifying your ideas and beliefs to other people, you lose the sense that you're always on the right track.

Anonymous said...

And thanks for the bump!

OD357 said...


And where is your finely crafted tomb of wisdom? I looked at your profile to locate it. But it seems you cower behind anonymity.

viburnum said...

Stevie only has Blogger profile because so many grew so sick of his ill mannered, poorly expressed, and pitifully reasoned diatribes posted 'anonymously' that they blocked anonymous comments.

It's a pity Blogger doesn't have an ignore function.

Ducky's here said...

@Finntann We fail to teach people to think

Yes, I think the classical education is pretty much dead. I don't know if Libertarian enters the issue but if it does, so be it, I'm comfortable with that.

I wonder if any of you folks listened to last week's This American Life. It was dedicated to the topic of education in inner city Chicago. The focus is on the research of James Heckman and his findings on the role of stress in learning and non cognitive skills in future success.

Makes a good case that the testing movement which focuses on strictly cognitive development is an absolute dead end. The Michelle Rhee approach is a disaster.

So I don't know if I'm from the Libertarian or the Democratic Socialist school. I'm more concerned with my view of a decent society. Right now, a strictly market approach to everything from education to the arts is the road to a terrible bland homogeneity that offers satisfaction to very few.

Red Herring said...

The Michelle Rhee approach fails for one reason ONLY.

Teachers unions.

FreeThinke said...

To me matters of moral right and wrong may be determined very simply.

Whenever we are about to do something that affects the lives of others, however minutely, we should pause and ask ourselves this question:

Is what we are about to do in accord with The Golden Rule?

If we cannot honestly answer in the affirmative, then it would most probably be better if we did NOT pursue that particular plan of action.



And wouldn't the world be a much better place if we agreed to operate on that premise?

Frankly, all the dithering and "philosophizing" that attempts to circumvent The Golden Rule and justify selfishness and aggression is naught but elaborate rationalization, which is a polite word for balderdash, taradiddle, stuff and nonsense, tommyrot, fanfarinade, etc. which may all be translated into the modern vernacular -- aka Gutter English -- and defined as BULLSHIT. };-)>

~ FreeThinke

Silverfiddle said...

Is what we are about to do in accord with The Golden Rule?

That is a good start, but what if you're a masochist?

sharon Feingold said...

Steve, It’s a pity that your Mother didn't believe in abortions.

sharon Feingold said...

What's especially troubling to me is that Obama will bend over backwards to appease the Muslims i while Obama and company tramples on the Catholics in America.
Where's the apologies to the Catholics, and to the Jews for that matter?

FreeThinke said...


This just in from the Netwits:


If you ever wondered which side of the fence you sit on, this is a great test:

1. If a Republican doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one.

If a Democrat doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed

2. If a Republican is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat.

If a Democrat is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

3. If a Republican is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.

If a Democrat is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

4. If a Republican is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.

A Democrat wonders who is going to take care of him.

5. If a Republican doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels.

Democrats demand that those they don't like be shut down.

6. If a Republican is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church.

A Democrat non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.

7. If a Republican decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.

A Democrat demands that the rest of us pay for his.

8. If a Republican reads this, he'll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh.

A Democrat will delete it, because he's "offended".

Well, I just passed it on to you. If you're offended, TOUGH! Learn to live with it.

~ FreeThinke

Arie said...

Spin it as a true obamaton spin. ALL Obama ever does when confronted with terrorism via Islam is obfuscate and apologize. Even during his appearance on TV yesterday - he REFUSED to term the Benghazi massacre an act of terrorism. FACT is it's ok when Jews are attacked violently by the Islamist, but posting facts about Islam is - by you and chairman Barack - inherently offensive. Keep drinking the halal kool aid. And you don't have to use the terms "I'm sorry" to be an apologist. chairman Barack routinely uses the terms "America is wrong" when speaking to Islamist audiences - as he did in Cairo. Apologies, by any other words, are still apologies. If the Islamist are so upset with US beliefs and our beloved FREEDOM OF SPEECH that they and the "g-d in his own mind" object to so strenuously, they should then - as a matter of conscience - refuse to accept the tens of billions of US TAXPAYER DOLLARS the chairman signs over so freely (and more promised when they kill Americans)

Ducky's here said...

A Republican bot spends a lot of time talking about Dems and R's.

Red Herring said...

A Democrat bot spends all his time talking about the evils of Rs.

FreeThinke said...

SilverFiddle asks, " ... but what if you're a masochist?"

Very clever and very funny, but also perverse.

Masochism is a form of insanity.

One would hope masochists -- like all victims of mental illness -- would not be included in any of the official decision-making processes. That many mental cases have been awarded positions in high places provides some explanation as to why everything appears to be going awry. Judgeships seem especially vulnerable to this poor policy.

At any rate, the persistent practice of Antitheticalism aka Oppositionism or more familiarly Antagonism-- possibly even Intellectual GLADIATORIALISM -- is absolutely antithetical to the spirit of The Golden Rule, and should be avoided whenever and wherever possible by those desirous of achieving virtue.

All we can do for those not eager to be virtuous is to pray earnestly for their recovery from waywardness and perversity.

~ FreeThinke

Silverfiddle said...

FT: I succumb to your wise barrage.

Of course, I was using hyperbole to demonstrate that the Golden Rule only works within a homogeneous society that has shared values and mores.

Constitutional Insurgent said...


If only things were that simple.....or that accurate.....

Ducky's here said...

FT the fallacy you suffer is assuming that individual action is always effective.

That's the pure stinky cheese.
We need thought not ineffective aphorisms.

For instance:
7. If a Republican decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.

A Democrat demands that the rest of us pay for his.

The ravings of a true believer loon.
First question: How do you shop for health insurance when health insurers have an antitrust exemption? Just curious. Better yet. Why don't we have you and the rest of the true believers try to cut it on Paul Ryan's $6500 health insurance voucher for seniors?
How far would someone in your condition get?

I won't comment on the Libertarian bullshit that you just pick another job that has the insurance you desire. That's so fucking stupid you should be ashamed to call yourself an educated man.

Pathetic. Libertarian are just pathetic. And they are the truly cowardly among us.

FreeThinke said...

We must work out our own salvation as individuals. No one -- and certainly no BUREAUCRACY can do it FOR us any more than another person could eat our dinner, and have that result in nourishing OUR body.

~ FT aka "Barraggio il magnifico" (<:)

Silverfiddle said...

Call it what you want Ducky, and I see your point about the antitrust exemptions, an anti-free market artifice put in place by your beloved big government.

And careful there with the criticism, FreeThinke is closer to the truth than you care to admit.

Try this one on for size:

7. If a Republican decides she needs birth control, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.

A Democrat demands that the rest of us pay for hers.

Ducky's here said...

I might be closer to agreement on that particular than you would expect, Silver.

However you miss the much larger and important point.

When people start publishing those "you suck and our shit never stinks" lists it's an indication you are dealing with a moron incapable of any granularity of thought. The only proper response is a string of invectives. Discourse with true believers is not possible.

Thersites said...

...but we talk with you, duckman... ;)

Silverfiddle said...

In this current spirit of comity, I'll agree back at you Ducky.

So, I assume then that you never watch MSNBC?

FreeThinke said...

Stinky cheese?

It can be marvelous -- a true gourmet treat.

What kind were you referring to, Herr Merganser, Liederkranz? -- Limburger? -- or possibly Smegmakaeser? The last I'm sure would be more to your taste than mine, but we libertarians believe "to each his own," isn't that white of us?

By the way, except for my eyes, I happen to be in remarkably fine condition for my age. To reach 70 without ever having had a heart attack, a stroke or a bout with cancer is a great -- and increasingly rare -- accomplishment in modern society.

The actuarial tables by which all of you statiscophiles set so much store indicate that i will probably live into my nineties. I believe it's probably true. After all "only the good die young" or so they say.

A for the rest of your aberrant, crypto-Marxist thoughts, remember please that the human race existed and evolved, and keep reaching greater and greater heights of remarkable accomplishment for tens-probably-hundreds-of thousands of years before the advent of the thoroughly mixed blessing we call "Modern Medicine." Medicine, as we know it, is less than than a century old.

Advancements in materia medica, impressive though they be, have hardly brought in The Millennium, have they?

The last time I remember anyone feeling that dancing in the streets might break out was when the Salk Vaccine made its debut.

Litigiousness and the dispiriting cynicism of Marxian Dialectics in all its hydra-headed forms that now pervades public consciousness has had a deleterious effect on FAITH.

I'm not talking about Christianity , but rather the ability to trust and believe wholeheartedly in ANYTHING anymore. Without Faith and Trust, Hope dies, and everything goes downhill very quickly.

The current trend is to treat us like machines - or products fashioned and refashioned BY machines. Modern medicine regards us as so much meat to be "processed" in a butchering plant.

Sorry. We have SOULS and PERSONALITIES and EMOTIONS, and we can still THINK. All of that fails to respond well to too much Standardization and Mechanization. That is why we're losing heart and fading fast -- and why too many of our supposed brightest and best do NOT want to have CHILDREN anymore.

A soul-deadening existence is one that encourages disease and death. Look at the high mortality rates of young men in the former Soviet Union -- and the epidemic of alcohol abuse among their number, if you don't believe me.

Collectivism engenders depression, despair, dysfunction, drunkenness and death.

~ FreeThinke

Ducky's here said...

So, I assume then that you never watch MSNBC?

I don't have cable.

Silverfiddle said...

Good for you. TV rots the brain.

beamish said...

I have a problem with your continuous confusing Catholicism with Christianity as if they were the same thing, but I will say it is refreshing to see a blogger at least entertain alternative views.

Silverfiddle said...

Beamish: Catholicism is not mentioned here. Sounds like the confusion you're having problems with resides in your own head.

Ducky's here said...

Beamish will now begin speaking in tongues while he does a little snake handling.

KP said...

@FT << Advancements in materia medica, impressive though they be, have hardly brought in The Millennium, have they? >>

If you live to be 90, as some suggest, you will see things in medicine that will blow your mind. We are on the doorstep of genetic breakthroughs that will allow new organs, repair of most disease (dis-ease) and the like. You may yet have the hands of a 30 year old before you reach 85! I can see you now, ripping through the toughest, most demanding pieces you have ever played. Hold out, mate! What we just did in technology is about to happen in medicine.

Rational Nation USA said...

Not a fan of Emmanuel Kant or Soren Kierkegaard. But the reading does expand ones insight.

Along the lines of Sam Huntington's comment, no?

beamish said...

Catholicism is not mentioned here.

Thank you, Captain Obvious. Surely you haven't forgotten our past discussions of the stark, irreconcilable differences between Catholicism and Christianity.

Beamish will now begin speaking in tongues while he does a little snake handling.

No, but I was wondering if I could get the Catholic Church to determine if this stain in the side of my toilet bowl is a holy apparition of Mary or just a mildew smudge.

beamish said...

...That is, if the Catholic Church can dispatch anyone to my home that is safe to be around children...

Silverfiddle said...

Sounds like a personal problem, Beamish. Please take your toilet smudges somewhere else.

Maybe you and Steve can start a blog together?

FreeThinke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FreeThinke said...



~ FT aka Barraggio the Magnificent

beamish said...

Maybe you and Steve can start a blog together?

Nah, he's too much of a Romney supporter for my tastes.

And I prefer cats over dogs.

beamish said...

...but, I did remove the Mary-shaped toilet smudge. The need for hygiene far outweighed my desire to not offend Catholics.

FreeThinke said...

The Brain, within its Groove
Runs evenly — and true —
But let a Splinter swerve —
'Twere easier for You —

To put a Current back —
When Floods have slit the Hills —
And scooped a Turnpike for Themselves —
And trodden out the Mills —

~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)