October 2, 2017

"The Gospel of John reminds us that there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for a friend."



"The memory of those who displayed the ultimate expression of love against an unimagined act of hate will never fade. Their examples will serve as an eternal reminder that the American spirit cannot and will not ever be broken."

136 comments:

Achilles said...

"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making some other poor dumb bastard die for his country."

TreeJoe said...

Good for the WH - promote the heroism, downplay the attention of the villain.

This type of thing is ultimately bad for all of us the more attention it brings to the madman who committed the atrocity.

Ann Althouse said...

Some high quality religious expression coming out of the White House today.

Big Mike said...

There was a picture of a man atop a woman on the ground at the concert venue. The caption said he was trying to comfort her but more likely he was trying to use his body to shield her. A number of men died in the Aurora theater shielding their girlfriends with their own bodies. I'd be surprised if we don't see more men, not just Sonny Melton, give up their lives to save their wives and girlfriends in this incident.

Sebastian said...

Unfortunately, the "American spirit" has already been broken. But DJT is trying to bolster what is left of it.

William Chadwick said...

I've always wondered about such statements. All other things being equal, if Smith lays down his life for Jones, why is Jones' life more worthy than Smith's?

It reminds me of the discussion in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN when the Tom Hanks character is explaining the nature of the mission, and mentions they are trying to spare Ryan's mother from further grief. The Edward Burns character asks, "What about us? Don't we have mothers, too?"

Michael K said...

"if Smith lays down his life for Jones, why is Jones' life more worthy than Smith's? "

There was one example in which the protector said he had had a good life and was quite a bit older than the man he shielded.

Dennis Prager had a discussion a couple of years ago about a survey that showed more people would risk their life for a pet than for another human.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Achilles said...
"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making some other poor dumb bastard die for his country."

Right. But the Gospel quote is not incompatible.

How many men on the battlefield have endangered their own lives by trying to save a wounded buddy?

A man died in Vegas using his own body to shield his wife from the bullets.


traditionalguy said...

Remember the spiritual momentum change that started around midnight November 8, 2016. All my friends sensed it that morning. And it has picked up speed today. We all sensed a big pressure release the night Trump drove ole Hillary down, followed by a year of intense war of Donald Trump against the Powers of the airways. Don't bet against him to finish what Sarah Palin started.

Susan said...

Who amount us would have bet money two years ago that a Donald Trump administration would be fearlessly quoting scripture during times of tragedy?

I know the Lord's works in mysterious ways but... Really?!


Big Mike said...

Regarding people risking, and sometimes losing, their lives for a stranger, I give you Robert Heinlein's presentation to the Naval Academy. He spoke in 1973, but as befits a noted writer of science fiction, he could have been speaking to all of us today. I especially love this line: "Let me stipulate that, if the human race managed its affairs sensibly, we could do without war. Yes - and if pigs had wings, they could fly."

And his closing:

"They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old;
age shall not wither them nor the years condemn;
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we shall remember them."

As we remember Sonny Melton, and as we will remember other last night who died trying to protect other people.

AllenS said...

Good men don't question, they just do.

Susan said...

Among* geeze

Achilles said...

Ann Althouse said...
Some high quality religious expression coming out of the White House today.

When one of ours dies the next morning we pray.

It is what happens after the praying that I am thinking about.

traditionalguy said...

As for Our President quoting scripture, that is usually avoided because variations often divides us .But in a moment when a deep truth is needed, the scripture is what is always there to remind us who we are.and why we are valuable. Scripture is the best weapon against confusion and despair, and Trump is not afraid of winning weapons.

Sebastian said...

OT prediction: This is gonna let the NFL off the hook. Gotta stand up and honor the flag now. Show unity in times of trouble. For the victims, you know.

J. Farmer said...

I have to say that, as an atheist, one of the things that tended to bother me about other atheists (and about the so called "atheist movement," a phrase that should never be uttered by anyone if they can help it) was the incessant ridicule of religious faith. Now, Ih have done some of this myself. A portion of me simply cannot help it. But on the other hand, humans are obviously full of some kind of existential dread about their impending doom and the doom of everyone they care about. Humans simply must find some way to address this, and religion is a good choice. I remember reading Roger Ebert's review of Larry Clark's incredible Kids, and he wrote:

"You watch this movie, and you realize why everybody needs whatever mixture of art, education, religion, philosophy, politics and poetry that works for them: Because without something to open our windows to the higher possibilities of life, we might all be Tellys, and more amputated than the half-man on his skateboard."

That we are all organic brains walking around in a complex system of biochemistry that a definite beginning and will have a definite end (like every other brain wrapped up in a giant chemical sac walking around on this planet) might very well be true, but it's also, on a certain level, unacceptable to the human mind.

Kevin said...

There was a picture of a man atop a woman on the ground at the concert venue. The caption said he was trying to comfort her but more likely he was trying to use his body to shield her. A number of men died in the Aurora theater shielding their girlfriends with their own bodies. I'd be surprised if we don't see more men, not just Sonny Melton, give up their lives to save their wives and girlfriends in this incident.

You forgot #MalePrivilege at the end.

gg6 said...

Blogger William Chadwick said...
I've always wondered about such statements. All other things being equal, if Smith lays down his life for Jones, why is Jones' life more worthy than Smith's?
William, I'm so sorry but you are - here at least - an Exhibit #1 in any number of intelligent musings on any number of intelligent subjects - a perfect exemplar of the concept that Life is AWAYS chock full of chatty, happy stupids. You simply don't get it, and maybe never will - the most simple, basic point of the 'greater love' concept is that it's NOT, I say again, NOT, about 'comparative merits' AT ALL, it's a about a purely unselfish, non-judgmental, and blessed act of Love by one human for another. Is that a hard measure of performance? Damn right, it is, that's where the word "greater" is all about. Duh.
I'm sorry, William, but current events have about done in my patience with fatuous talk.

Kevin said...

This is gonna let the NFL off the hook. Gotta stand up and honor the flag now. Show unity in times of trouble. For the victims, you know.

How are they all supposed to do that when it's been turned into a venue for individual expression?

And if they all stand up this week without raising their fists in the air as a show of solidarity and respect, how can they kneel and raise their fists the following week as a "call for unity"?

#TheNFLisFucked

wildswan said...

During some of the darkest days of Trump's campaign he went to Detroit and spoke in a black church. Afterwards he talked a bit about the impression made on him by the clergy he met there. It could be that he felt the power of religion there for the first time and hasn't forgotten it as he works to be President in one of America's dark hours. The SWAMP has worked for years to damage all of us and Trump faces a big job putting it right. He can't be just a coastie celebrity with appropriately shallow reactions anymore. There's no reason to think that the man trying to guide America past Harvey, Irma, Jose and a huge mass shooting is insincere when he brings up religion. Maybe he found out that he doesn't have to be perfect and completely unlike the Donald Trump of the days before November 2016 to hope for God's guidance and assistance.

J. Farmer said...

@Kevin:

#TheNFLisFucked

Is it, though? I come from a large family of football nuts, and while everyone is talking about the issue, it still feels like everyone is still tuning in. They all seem united in their belief that (a) standing and looking at the flag is a "respect thing"; and (b) Trump should not have wade into the issue. I'm largely in agreement with both. I don't have any particular hangups about the anthem, but I am much more turned off by cheap political theatre. Not to mention BLM is a sham. But I also think Trump's ham-handed Tweeting on the issue was superbly unhelpful. It's dismaying how many people (reminiscent of the Bush years), whose default mode seems to be, "how can I defend Trump in this instance?" I don't give a fuck about Trump. Never did. But I care a lot about Trumpism. If Trump can't get Trumpism done, then I'm all far replacing him with someone who can.

Amadeus 48 said...

The NFL is trying hard to get out of that hole that they dug for themselves. Their present policy will make it easy to set up franchises in China when they break through on the other side.
This horrific crime gives the NFL a chance to do a big reset, but the management has lost control of their players, many of whom, when you get right down to it, have grievances that they want to showcase on national TV, and they are natural showboats.
The idiots will continue to self-identify. The NFL and the owners made their own bed; let them lie in it.

gg6 said...

j.farmer said:
"That we are all organic brains walking around ...and will have a definite end ....but it's .....unacceptable to the human mind.

Yes, Mr. Farmer. But 'Duh!'and 'Double Duh!'
I definitely think you owe attribution if not royalties to Shakespeare and his spokesperson soliloquy from Hamlet (not to mention NUMEROUS others over the millennia including the Bible etc).
Nothing totally new under the sun, I suppose, but I think we all have a responsibility to give some credit when due when we speak? Or at least be a little shy of pronouncing Olympian judgements as if somehow original insights - as every damn typist in the world seems to do on the internet these days?

J. Farmer said...

@wildswan:

It could be that he felt the power of religion there for the first time and hasn't forgotten it as he works to be President in one of America's dark hours.

With all due respect (and I do respect your opinion), I think this is optimism bordering on childish naiveté. I mean, of course, it "could be," but I don't think there is any reason to believe that.

There's no reason to think that the man trying to guide America past Harvey, Irma, Jose and a huge mass shooting is insincere when he brings up religion.

You forgot Maria. Sorry, that's a dig; nobody's perfect. But I agree with you that there is no reason to believe he is insincere. Trump is, in all likelihood, a cultural Christian. That is, he is vaguely familiar with major Biblical stories, has some belief in Jesus and God and heaven and hell, and thinks that there is a powerful loving being in the cosmos who is behind everything. I grant you all of that. But that is not Christian in any way that would be familiar to a truly practicing Christian.

Maybe he found out that he doesn't have to be perfect and completely unlike the Donald Trump of the days before November 2016 to hope for God's guidance and assistance.

I'm going to sound like an asshole, but why the hell should "God's guidance and assistance" be dependent upon Donald Trump's self-perception? If God has the power to guide and assist in a time of massive human suffering, isn't it rather cruel to deny that guidance and assistance because of Donald Trump's vanity? I am not trying to be sarcastic here; I honestly want to know how you respond to these questions.

J. Farmer said...

@gg6:

Nothing totally new under the sun, I suppose, but I think we all have a responsibility to give some credit when due when we speak?

If you have something specific in mind, please share where you think I owe "credit." The idea I was talking about was so broad as to owe "credit" to an innumerable list of thinkers.

Or at least be a little shy of pronouncing Olympian judgements as if somehow original insights - as every damn typist in the world seems to do on the internet these days?

Never once presumed that anything I was said were "original insights." I was talking about what I was thinking when I read Ann's post for the first time.

Kevin said...

Is it, though?

I love movies, television, and comedy. I no longer watch the Oscars, Emmies, SNL or late night talk shows.

When the owner of the NYG is more upset about OBJ's touchdown celebrations than his players respect for the flag, it tells you where the priorities are. When players can use the black power salute but can't wear the wrong socks on the field, it tells you where the priorities are. When the Cowboys were prohibited from honoring the five slain officers in Dallas but not for protesting people killed by the police, it tells you where the priorities are.

I have added the NFL to the list. I'm not watching. Like the other items listed above, it will feel odd at first and then I'll forget why I used to tune in.

My girls will not grow up sitting by their dad watching football. They won't have fond memories of the game from their childhood. They will not only not watch when they're adults, they won't see why their kids should play or why they should attend a game.

This isn't about one week's TV ratings. It's about the long-term health of the league, the networks, and their advertisers. And it's about whether we're going to turn every event into someone's platform to preach to us.

If they want to kneel, try it on third and short. See how much the NFL likes their right to "expression" then.

Jim at said...

"This is gonna let the NFL off the hook."

Maybe for some who are willing to let them off the hook.

The rest of us? Nope. Never.

Haven't watched a minute of a game in two seasons now, and there is zero chance I will again.

Kevin said...

in summation, the Gospel of John also reminds us that there is no second greater love than to lay down one's lifelong football team to honor the flag and for what it stands.

J. Farmer said...

@Kevin:

I no longer watch the Oscars, Emmies, SNL or late night talk shows.

Same.

When the owner of the NYG is more upset about OBJ's touchdown celebrations than his players respect for the flag, it tells you where the priorities are. When players can use the black power salute but can't wear the wrong socks on the field, it tells you where the priorities are. When the Cowboys were prohibited from honoring the five slain officers in Dallas but not for protesting people killed by the police, it tells you where the priorities are.

Agree with all of this. I've expressed the same sentiment over and over again as: America is doomed.

I have added the NFL to the list. I'm not watching. Like the other items listed above, it will feel odd at first and then I'll forget why I used to tune in.

Don't deny that. Just wonder how big the likeminded crowd will be. I am thinking not very much.

If they want to kneel, try it on third and short. See how much the NFL likes their right to "expression" then.

Also don't disagree. Football players have enough hours in the week to engage in political activism. When they are on the clock and on somebody else's dime, it's not the place.

J. Farmer said...

@Kevin:

in summation, the Gospel of John also reminds us that there is no second greater love than to lay down one's lifelong football team to honor the flag and for what it stands.

"For what is stands" is the whole problem. There used to be a time when there was overwhelming consensus. That's what a nation is all about. We no longer have such a thing. We now have identity-determined political enclaves. The anthem issue may get a lot of people fired up, but it's really just a minor symptom of a much larger problem.

rhhardin said...

I don't think it's no greater love. I think it's typical. Just what guys do.

The whole thing is being milked by the people in charge though. They're not the good people.

rhhardin said...

Hannah Arendt: goodness that goes public turns into the worst sort of evil.

Kevin said...

Don't deny that. Just wonder how big the likeminded crowd will be. I am thinking not very much.

People on the left are abandoning football because of CTE. They may momentarily delay that due to the protests, but they are moving their kids away from football into soccer.

When you add that to the people on the right who've had enough, it doesn't paint a pretty picture for the league. They have TV contracts which will protect them in the short-term, but when people who don't have season tickets stop filling the second and third levels of the stadium, the damage will become apparent to the vendors and parking lot attendants before it reaches the owner's box.

As for the advertisers, middle America drinks Bud Light. Blue state America drinks local microbrews.

The owners should have fixed this during the offseason. They thought it would die out without them having to do anything. That's why they're so mad at Trump for throwing gasoline on the fire.

I think they'll likely continue to hope it blows over. That is again shortsighted. The new black power salutes adopted by the standing players was not what the owners expected or needed.

J. Farmer said...

@rhhardin:

I am curious. Do you agree with the argument that concern over terrorism is wildly overblown since terrorism has only ever killed a tiny fraction of Americans? Orders of magnitude less than, say, car accidents. I am not unsympathetic to that line of argument. I'm just curious as to your take.

rhhardin said...

Love isn't a feeling.

If you don't take your kid to the dentist they'll say you don't love them. They're not talking about a feeling.

Some danger comes up and your wife needs protection. It's your responsibility, not a feeling.

Kevin said...

"For what is stands" is the whole problem.

It stands for something larger than yourself. It used to stand for the idea that although we may have different races, colors or creeds, we are all still Americans.

It used to stand for unity.

Then the players didn't feel unified. Now they want us all to adopt their new symbols of unity.

We're all supposed to stand and link arms because Aaron Rodgers tells us its more unifying than what we've been doing all our lives?

Sure. And New Coke is better than Classic Coke, so we're all supposed to drink New Coke now.

J. Farmer said...

@Kevin:

People on the left are abandoning football because of CTE.

Not trying to be flippant, but is there any actual hard data on this? I know it's a talking a point, but a lot of "people on the left" tend to be the 0.1% living in Charles Murray's super zips. That's to say, why they may play an outsized role in the establishment, they are an infinitisemal amount of the US population. I think my upper middle class conservative family are much more representative (and of course I'd never confuse anecdotal with hard evidence) of the US population than a tiny super elite.

As for the advertisers, middle America drinks Bud Light. Blue state America drinks local microbrews.

"Middle America" is still their lifeblood. "Blue state America" doesn't subscribe to ESPN and prefer streaming sites. Most of my family have said they would follow suite "except for football."

That's why they're so mad at Trump for throwing gasoline on the fire.

I'm mad at him, too. They're not necessarily wrong in this regard.

I think they'll likely continue to hope it blows over. That is again shortsighted. The new black power salutes adopted by the standing players was not what the owners expected or needed.

True, but I still think the owners are mostly right. I think this will "blow over." But of course, I could be totally wrong. Let's revisit this conversation in a year's time.

rhhardin said...

I am curious. Do you agree with the argument that concern over terrorism is wildly overblown since terrorism has only ever killed a tiny fraction of Americans? Orders of magnitude less than, say, car accidents. I am not unsympathetic to that line of argument. I'm just curious as to your take.

Terrorism exists because the concern can be sold to advertisers. It's a business arrangement. You blow stuff up and we'll make it important. Both sides win, media and terrorists.

Otherwise, as you point out, the numbers don't make it worthwhile.

So I'd hammer the media, and try to immunize the audience to being played.

If we start losing cities to dirty bombs, that's a different matter, for which see Belmont Club's Three Conjectures, wherein it's explained why Islam had better reform and hope we win the war on terror or they'll all be nuked.

Encouraging reformation ought to be a high priority.

Kevin said...

Love isn't a feeling.

Love is what some people feel while wearing a black mask and beating a black man who's a white supremacist because he's at a free speech rally.

At least Big Brother told them that feeling was love. And frankly, they do love it.

Unknown said...

Love IS a feeling. Love motivates people to act responsibly toward those they love. Love is more than simply duty. How sad it must be to be so cynical or to be so unable to feel.

J. Farmer said...

@Kevin:

It stands for something larger than yourself. It used to stand for the idea that although we may have different races, colors or creeds, we are all still Americans.

Agree 100%. The national anthem is a classic example of "nation building." It's part of how you take a disparate people and make them feel parter of a greater whole. Everyone loves to talk about us as a "nation of immigrants" but conveniently leave out the brutal methods we used to assimilate people. Those methods were effective. They have been systematically torn down. You are no longer supposed to assimilate but assert and celebrate your foreign culture. It's death to a nation. And we are in the death throes.

MaxedOutMama said...

J. Farmer - I am answering the question you asked Wildswan. The issue is that God mostly leaves us alone unless we ask for assistance, and ask it in a way in which God can give it. God guards human freedom vigilantly - we have the choice to exist in this life without any interference from Him.

It is the consciousness of being unworthy that bars many from asking for it. It is the consciousness of being unsure that God exists. It is that to which Wildswan is referring.

A lot of things may be misinterpreted when written, especially in the context of a day of suffering such as this and in a prolonged back and forth between commenters which may be received by the readers entangled with other previous exchanges. So please don't misinterpret what I am writing here as in any way a personal critique. I thought your question was rational and deserved an answer.

In Christian thought, tradition, revelation and personal experience, the life of prayer and faith often begins with a "Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief".
http://biblehub.com/bsb/mark/9.htm

I don't think Donald Trump has been a personally religious individual; I think Melania is the one who has a strong faith. And I think he is to some extent guided by her in this. But the experience of utter helplessness so many of us are having today must be compounded by being president, and being mostly helpless. Under this stress, he does seem to be having a moment in which he is sincerely asking for help from God to aid those he cannot, and according to our tradition, is on strong ground there. And so are we.

We are not going to be able to bring the dead back to life. We are not going to be able to fill the hole their deaths leave in so many hearts and lives. We may never even know the explanation for their deaths. We can only do what we can do, and ask for help for the suffering. I do think Trump was sincere in this and it surprised me quite a bit.

gspencer said...

"That's what the Gospel of John says. But we here at the DNC follow the Gospel of FDR, especially "Thou shall tax and spend and deprive citizens of their rights."

rhhardin said...

It used to stand for unity.

The only American unity is agreeing to the same rules.

Respect for property and civil inattention to each other.

Anything that enables gains from trade without leaving somebody else worse off.

Variously violated by the left, unions, interest groups.

J. Farmer said...

@rhhardin:

So I'd hammer the media, and try to immunize the audience to being played.

Still very confused as to your position. What role did "the media" play in the actions of either Leon Czolgosz or Gavrilo Princip?

rhhardin said...

Love IS a feeling. Love motivates people to act responsibly toward those they love. Love is more than simply duty. How sad it must be to be so cynical or to be so unable to feel.

For you love is pretty unreliable then.

Unknown said...

Rhhardin, whether you're a believer or not....

1 Corinthians 13:4-5: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs."

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13

rhhardin said...

Still very confused as to your position. What role did "the media" play in the actions of either Leon Czolgosz or Gavrilo Princip?

I don't know. The crowd reaction is what the media plays. The actors can be insignificant or not depending on what the media make of it. Is it a good narrative, will it sell for us.

Were these guys counting on it or not. Maybe they'd seen or heard of others and thought yeah let's do this and there will be a big stink like this other time.

Unknown said...

Rhhardin,

People are imperfect creatures, but what would life be without striving?

Kevin said...

Not trying to be flippant, but is there any actual hard data on this?

Here is what I know. In my neighborhood I've talked to lots of moms during soccer games. They really didn't want their kids playing football because they don't want them hurt. Period.

CTE gave them a concrete reason to say "no" without having to justify their fears.

The next question becomes, "How can you watch football when you know the players are suffering brain damage?" These are people who don't watch boxing or MMA because it's "too violent". These are people who get physically ill if their kids make "finger guns".

It's a very short putt until they, as "responsible parents" don't let their kids watch football for the same reasons they currently aren't allowed to play Call of Duty.

buwaya said...

"For you love is pretty unreliable then."

Love IS pretty unreliable. Famously so.

La donna è mobile
Qual piuma al vento,
Muta d'accento — e di pensier.

rhhardin said...

On religion, the good ones (Judaism, Christianity) are poeticizations of ethics.

So it's not literal belief that matters.

Literal belief takes the symbol for the thing. Dogmatizes it.

rhhardin said...

Love IS pretty unreliable. Famously so.

You've got to choose the right man.

Mountain Maven said...

I thank God for President Trump. I pray for him regularly. And Sarah Sanders is marvelous. She reminds me of Tony Snow.

gg6 said...

J Farmer said:..."Never once presumed that anything I was said were "original insights." I was talking about what I was thinking when I read Ann's post for the first time...."
Pls, get serious, J Farmer, EVERYTHING you post is posited (pun alert!) - AT GREAT LENGTH - as if somehow awesomely 'original''. I simply wish you might say it more briefly, at least? And maybe even have not so much to say about so much - as brilliant and insightful as you are, your target audience has just so much patience and time, yes??

rhhardin said...

People are imperfect creatures, but what would life be without striving?

They're more imperfect when the media offer them substitutes.

Kevin said...

Variously violated by the left, unions, interest groups.

They have been told by the politicians they are victims and deserve compensation. They either get it and thank the politicians for giving it to them, or don't and blame the opposing party.

It's a neat trick to destroy the unity it took 200 years and a Civil War to build.

It will end in the next Civil War.

Kevin said...

"The Gospel of John reminds us that there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for a friend."

I remember the good old days when there was no greater love than to pick up a new TV for oneself for the beating of Rodney King.

Kevin said...

Dogmatizes it.

And we're back to the Guggenheim.

J. Farmer said...

@MaxedOutMama:

The issue is that God mostly leaves us alone unless we ask for assistance, and ask it in a way in which God can give it. God guards human freedom vigilantly - we have the choice to exist in this life without any interference from Him.

Let's take Trump out of the equation for a minute. Puerto Ricans, as a whole, are much more religiously observant than Americans as a whole. Nearly 90% of Puerto Ricans identity as either Catholic or Protestant Christian. Are there not thousands of devout, God-loving Christians in Puerto Rico begging for God's assistance, and getting nothing in return? If God has the power to intervene in the physical world and chooses not to, the religious have something to answer for there. Either God does not have the ability to do so or chooses not to. The answer to the latter is usually some variant of "God works in mysterious ways." We can't understand it, so there's no point in asking it.

In Christian thought, tradition, revelation and personal experience, the life of prayer and faith often begins with a "Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief".

I completely agree with that. I remember when private correspondences of Mother Teresa's were published, and they included confessions of her doubt in the existence of God. The mainstream press acted as if this were some kind of bombshell, but it was absolutely standard devote that would have been known to the typical Catholic conservative.

"Under this stress, he does seem to be having a moment in which he is sincerely asking for help from God to aid those he cannot, and according to our tradition, is on strong ground there. And so are we."

I have worked in the criminal justice field for a decade and a half, and i have seen this phenomenon repeated over and over again. People who have committed heinous acts against other human beings beg for the mercy and guidance of God when faced with the consequences of their actions. I could describe human behavior against small children whose direct aftermath (which I have witnessed personally) would disturb your sleep for weeks to come. I have listened endlessly to people express their faith and mercy at the hands of a mighty God who have committed acts of brutality against other people that are almost unfathomable. Not just aggression but torture; suffering for its own sake. I simply cannot, to every fiber of my being, believe that there is a powerful being who loves us and is capable of intervening in the physical world.

J. Farmer said...

@gg6:

And maybe even have not so much to say about so much - as brilliant and insightful as you are, your target audience has just so much patience and time, yes??

That's interesting, because for the majority of Ann's post, I say nothing at all. Because they are things I either know very little about or care very little about. Or often both. There are a few things I do care about and feel (rightly or wrongly) that I know a little bit about. They are: immigration, SJW-type issues (racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, etc.), foreign policy, and (to a certain degree) pop culture. Climate change is a frequent topic on this blog, and I almost never post a comment. Ann's Dylan obsession means nothing to me, because I've never gotten him. I've never been into (and never had much to say about) the talk radio/Fox News aspect of partisan politics that animates a lot of people here.

J. Farmer said...

p.s. Oh shit. I should have written less. But then again, you have a simple recourse. Don't read it.

madAsHell said...

Some high quality religious expression coming out of the White House today.

Refreshing isn't it.

After Sandy Hook, I believe Obama suggested a national conversation on gun control. You know.....never waste a good crisis.

Angel-Dyne said...

rhhardin:

The only American unity is agreeing to the same rules.

Respect for property and civil inattention to each other.

Anything that enables gains from trade without leaving somebody else worse off.


Spergitarians are free riders on the human beings who do all the other things that go into making stable decent societies.

J. Farmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

"After Sandy Hook, I believe Obama suggested a national conversation on gun control."

No, no need for gun control, none whatsoever. We should celebrate the Cult of the Gun.

J. Farmer said...

@madAsHell:

Scripture tells us: "...do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away...inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands."

"And with time, and God's grace, that love will see you through."

"And even when we're trying to do the right thing, we know that much of our time will be spent groping through the darkness, so often unable to discern God's heavenly plans."

"That's how you've inspired us. You remind us what matters. And that's what should drive us forward in everything we do, for as long as God sees fit to keep us on this Earth."

God has called them all home. For those of us who remain, let us find the strength to carry on, and make our country worthy of their memory.

May God bless and keep those we've lost in His heavenly place. May He grace those we still have with His holy comfort. And may He bless and watch over this community, and the United States of America.

Guess who?

Molly said...

Eaglebeak

1. Hannah Arendt? Not a fan. And don't think she is the standard of goodness I want to turn to, not after she worked so hard to rehabilitate her former teacher and lover, Martin Heidegger, who was a full-blown Nazi (the real kind, the Hitler kind), for heaven's sake, and because of whose ideology Arendt and all Heidegger's other Jewish students had to flee Germany for their lives...

2. The idea that good becomes evil when it becomes public is absurd. Take Abraham Lincoln for an example; take his speeches. Shows that Arendt wasn't thinking straight.

3. I think it's entirely possible that Trump has gotten a bit of religion. Go back and look at his speeches for the past nine months--God keeps showing up in them. Funny things happen to people who become President, or so I've been given to understand. And (in my view at least) the Bible is a strong, strong persuader.

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

"Scripture tells us: "...do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away...inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands."

"And with time, and God's grace, that love will see you through."

"And even when we're trying to do the right thing, we know that much of our time will be spent groping through the darkness, so often unable to discern God's heavenly plans."

"That's how you've inspired us. You remind us what matters. And that's what should drive us forward in everything we do, for as long as God sees fit to keep us on this Earth."

"God has called them all home. For those of us who remain, let us find the strength to carry on, and make our country worthy of their memory."

"May God bless and keep those we've lost in His heavenly place. May He grace those we still have with His holy comfort. And may He bless and watch over this community, and the United States of America."

Guess who?"

Eloquent words by President Obama.

Unknown said...

Trump doesn't have what it takes to be a natural and sympathetic comforter unlike President Obama. He tried his best today, I'll give him credit for that.

J. Farmer said...

@Molly:

Funny things happen to people who become President, or so I've been given to understand. And (in my view at least) the Bible is a strong, strong persuader.

Please do not take this flippantly, but this is true of any national leader in any remotely religiously serious country. Ahmadinejad was a religiously conservative figure devout in his belief in the Quran. Rouhani is a decidedly different character, but the flavor is still the same. Prayut Chan-o-cha, the current military dictator of Thailand, is known to deliver long lectures on national Thai television about Buddhist doctrine. Does this say anything about the veracity of Buddhist doctrine?

buwaya said...

"Are there not thousands of devout, God-loving Christians in Puerto Rico begging for God's assistance, and getting nothing in return? "

There is a huge lot of literature on this very point. The Book of Job, the problem of evil, etc. Libraries full.

" I remember when private correspondences of Mother Teresa's were published, and they included confessions of her doubt in the existence of God. "

There are an awful lot of saints that have had similar doubts. This is not unusual, as you say.

buwaya said...

"Does this say anything about the veracity of Buddhist doctrine?"

It says its valuable to the dictator of Thailand. It may do him, and them, some good.

TwoAndAHalfCents said...

Don't let the red state - blue state beer division fool you. People are still drinking far more Macros (Bud, Miller, Coors) than craft beer in all the states, even in craft beer havens like Portland, Oregon.

J. Farmer said...

@buwaya:

There is a huge lot of literature on this very point. The Book of Job, the problem of evil, etc. Libraries full.

Agreed. And they are all equally wanting, From my perspective.

buwaya said...

On the problem of evil, and much else, I always liked Unamuno's take, or summary/analysis of the question. Unamuno's is a rather unique mix, where the Bible and Catholic dogma share billing with Cervantes/Don Quixote.

YMMV

Free online in a reasonably good English translation, but there are several others in print.

https://www.archive.org/stream/tragicsenseoflif14636gut/14636.txt

"And there is one figure, a comically tragic figure, a figure in which
is revealed all that is profoundly tragic in the human comedy, the
figure of Our Lord Don Quixote, the Spanish Christ, who resumes and
includes in himself the immortal soul of my people. Perhaps the passion
and death of the Knight of the Sorrowful Countenance is the passion and
death of the Spanish people, its death and resurrection. And there is a
Quixotesque philosophy and even a Quixotesque metaphysic, there is a
Quixotesque logic, and also a Quixotesque ethic and a Quixotesque
religious sense--the religious sense of Spanish Catholicism. This is the
philosophy, this is the logic, this is the ethic, this is the religious
sense, that I have endeavoured to outline, to suggest rather than to
develop, in this work. To develop it rationally, no; the Quixotesque
madness does not submit to scientific logic."

madAsHell said...

Eloquent words by President Obama.

Readings from the teleprompter.

Unknown said...


"Eloquent words by President Obama."

"Readings from the teleprompter."

Trump used a teleprompter in his comment today, thankfully.

Original Mike said...

I think the NFL has been handed their diversion. Are thry smart enough to take it?

J. Farmer said...

@buwaya:

To develop it rationally, no; the Quixotesque
madness does not submit to scientific logic


In other words, as I said earlier, "some variant of 'God works in mysterious ways.' We can't understand it, so there's no point in asking it."

Original Mike said...

Only one KC player not standing for the anthem (according to the announcer).

harrogate said...

It sucks that we have to say "today's" mass shooting in America, at any rate.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Unknown said...
Trump doesn't have what it takes to be a natural and sympathetic comforter unlike President Obama.

Inga, you mean this guy? Remember the Fort Hood shootings (maybe not, because you don't give a shit about the military, your imaginary Marine daughter notwithstanding)

But instead of a somber chief executive offering reassuring words and expressions of sympathy and compassion, viewers saw a wildly disconnected and inappropriately light president making introductory remarks. At the event, a Tribal Nations Conference hosted by the Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian affairs, the president thanked various staffers and offered a "shout-out" to "Dr. Joe Medicine Crow -- that Congressional Medal of Honor winner." Three minutes in, the president spoke about the shooting, in measured and appropriate terms. Who is advising him?

Yep. Mr. Sensitivity.

http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/politics/A-Disconnected-President.html

buwaya said...

" We can't understand it"

We can't understand very much. Or rather, in nearly everything, we pretend to understand, and tell ourselves stories of understanding - "science". But these are at bottom just as irrational as religion.

Laslo Spatula said...

I'm partial to the video (one of the British tabloids) of the guy standing up while everyone else is on the ground, beer in hand and flipping off the shooter.

American Crazy works both ways.

Video here.

I am Laslo.

Ralph L said...

No one mentioned that Sanders' father Gov Huckabee was a Baptist minister before entering politics. Or it could be Melania adding some Christianity.

J. Farmer said...

@buwaya:

We can't understand very much. Or rather, in nearly everything, we pretend to understand, and tell ourselves stories of understanding - "science". But these are at bottom just as irrational as religion.

They are certainly irrational. As irrational as any human endeavor must fundamentally be. But I think they are certainly not "as irrational as religion." The medicine, engineering, biology, and chemistry is done about the same in Boston as in London as in Paris as in Berlin as in Moscow as in Beijing as in Islamabad as in New Delhi and as in Tokyo.

madAsHell said...

My wife has the news on the television. Apparently, the Vegas shooter had been gambling big money on the strip. It begs the question, was the room comped?

Fernandinande said...

J. Farmer said...
I have to say that, as an atheist, one of the things that tended to bother me about other atheists (and about the so called "atheist movement," a phrase that should never be uttered by anyone if they can help it) was the incessant ridicule of religious faith.


I think it's perfectly fine to ridicule superstition, just as people ridicule communism or other silly ideas. If people get comfort from their superstitions and rituals, that's perfectly fine, but there's nothing admirable or especially respectable about it.

How about the "if you don't believe my particular set of superstitions then you can't think straight" stuff posted here by superstitious people? Medieval 'n' primitive, sure, and apparently serious, which is fascinating.

buwaya said...

"medicine, engineering, biology, and chemistry "

These come far more from empirical growth - test, improve, test, improve a bit more, accept whatever works better - than theoretical hypothesizing. Engineers don't "understand". Almost everything we are talking about comes from what amounts to the engineering process, not the scientific process.

And if anything has come out of science, it is by accident.

But we tell ourselves stories of "science", in spite of its general inutility. I believe this comes from the ancient aristocratic nature of literature versus the plebian hands-on - some filthy blacksmith or others of that sort - that actually produced all of human civilization.

To illustrate -

I am liking this Youtube channel - the man is an Australian metalworking hobbyist, his latest project is making a working copy of the Anthykera device, a marvelous ancient analog computer for predicting celestial mechanics. It is actually more of a toy than instrument, like most such Greek mechanism it is more marvelous than practical, but so be it.

His real point was the technology that went into making it, the computation and cutting of gears, etc. This bit is about that most basic thing, the making of files -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOw9WqMOHjA

This humble tech is really quite fundamental. Not only can't you make an Anthykera device without one, you can't accurately make a medieval clock, or any other ancient-medieval-early modern precision instrument either. But making a file is not obvious. There is no scientific genius celebrated for this, but many users of the devices dependent on that are.
Something is way off here. The same thing is not only common, but is universally true.

Nobody celebrates Louis Pasteurs (a very engineering-minded fellow himself) microscope makers - E. Hartnack et Cie, Paris, among others.

YoungHegelian said...

@J Farmer,

The medicine, engineering, biology, and chemistry is done about the same in Boston as in London as in Paris as in Berlin as in Moscow as in Beijing as in Islamabad as in New Delhi and as in Tokyo.

And is not the Catholic liturgy the same in all of those cities, too?

What constitutes "competing" sciences? The modern view is that there hasn't been competing sciences since "empirical" Galilean science took over from causal based Aristotelian science. I think that's just successful PR. It seems to me that the Einstenian vs Heisenbergian models of atomic phenomena were competing "sciences". The same with Newtonian physics vs what would become the Relativistic model of Einstein & Lorentz after the "failed" Michaelson-Morley experiment.

Modern science has just learned how to occlude its often profound internal disagreements with a discourse of the inevitability of whomever comes out on top.

Bay Area Guy said...

It's a hard discussion - heroism and bravery. I did serve in the military, but it was during the Cold War, during the interregnum between Vietnam & Gulf War 1. Loved it, but saw no action. Was trained by those who shot and got shot in Vietnam and a few grizzly old-timers in Korea. Fascinating stories they each shared with us.

Here, we have radicalized, marginalized left-wingers like Hodgkinson and now this asshole, trying to destroy what we've built. They have a ton of enablers too.

What to do about it?

Grieve, maybe pray, then assess and then prepare to act. Not out of emotion, but out of protection. And I don't necessarily mean violent acts, but smart and savvy acts.

My 2 cents.





walter said...

Was curious how NPR was interpreting this. Tuned in just in time to hear Mara Liarson yapping about Trump simply doing what any other president would do..and not politicizing like he does every other tragedy...and continued along that line..politicizing it.
Bye Mara.

n.n said...

One of the great breakthroughs introduced by Judaism, other than religion or moral philosophy that acknowledges the faith-based principles of individual dignity (e.g. diversity, rather than color diversity) and intrinsic value (e.g. human evolution from conception), is the recognition and separation of logical domains. The scientific domain, in particular, which is defined as a open set where accuracy is inversely proportional to the product of time and space offsets in an established frame of reference. Today, we have barely observed the edge of our solar system, but we have inferred the universe and beyond with God-like perception and skill, where both are products of individual and collective models and ego. The myths handed down by our ancestors may be true, or they may be false; but, the pride of a quasi-secular society, that has proven prone to conflation of logical domains, is a truth founded on an absurdity. There are few people who will voluntarily acknowledge, let alone be bounded, by the narrow limits of the scientific logical domain.

Baby Lives Matter

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

The example of Trump politicizing a tragedy Mara pivoted to was Puerto Rico of all things.

In other so-called brains:

Colin Kaepernick Retweeted
Shaun King‏Verified account @ShaunKing 14h14 hours ago

Only in America can whiteness prevent the man who conducted the deadliest mass shooting in American history from being called a terrorist.

Big Mike said...

A guy who sat close to me in homeroom risked his life in Vietnam to rescue three wounded members of his unit who would otherwise have to be left to the tender mercies of the Viet Cong. He survived, and won a Congressional Medal of Honor, but survival was not a high probability event when he stayed with his comrades. He didn't stop to think; he just did. As one would expect of a man. Toxic masculinity, you know.

Quaestor said...

Abby Someone wrote: Trump used a teleprompter in his comment today, thankfully.

Ergo Trump is at least no worse than Obama.

Anonymous said...

Achilles said...
"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making some other poor dumb bastard die for his country."

THIS is what sucks about the internet trolls. "Achilles" would not breath this crap in person to anyone in Las Vegas
who witnessed the courage of many under fire. But here it is as the first comment making as much sense as the golf tournament
yahoos who scream out "Mashed potatoes" as a ball is being hit off the tee.

Now, of course, needless death will not win wars but if one sacrifices to save others then presumably those
saved might make "some other poor dumb bastard die for his country"

Achilles, you were not only first but most crass.

mockturtle said...

Achilles' Patton quote was not really applicable to the LV situation.

narciso said...

Some thing to consider:

https://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2017/10/02/the-gambler/

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sy1492 said...

Football, as we know it, is a dead man walking. It's not because of the whole anthem thing, although this will speed it up. Its dead because virtually everyone they ever touched a football in the NFL, developed CTE. There are already signs that this will drastically affect the sport. Schools have already cancel their football programs because parents refuse to let their kids participate. If I had a son, I would not let him participate. Its simply not worth it.

Rusty said...

For buwaya.
"And with that file I can make anything."

I disagree. I think it is more than a toy. Not only is the humble file a marvel, but being able to accurately divide a circle into a given number of teeth so that they mesh smoothly with all the other teeth in all the other gears is truly amazing. Stop and consider that whomever determined the size of the gear and the number of teeth it would require to make a part move a fraction of another gear.

BTW That's my favorite Youtube channel.

AReasonableMan said...

This is inadvertently funny:

'Average, everyday Joe...no red flags': Two gun shop owners who sold Las Vegas gunman some of his deadly arsenal insist he seemed normal

As if the desire to own an arsenal of this power wasn't by itself a sign of mental illness.

Rusty said...

"As if the desire to own an arsenal of this power wasn't by itself a sign of mental illness."

I don't know about that but your constant harping is. Why not pick a subject that doesn't confirm your ignorance of the subject.

AReasonableMan said...

People so insecure/paranoid that they need arsenals of this nature are by definition mentally ill.

MadisonMan said...

According to your definition, yes.

Diagnosing a mental state based on commercial purchases is what you do when you're trying to justify an otherwise unfounded opinion.

I figure he's mentally ill because he just shot up a concert.

Bob Ellison said...

That would be an interesting definition. Maybe in the dictionary: "Mental illness requires acquisition of automatic weapons." Might make entire religions seem mentally ill, "by definition".

That was not a semi-automatic in Vegas. That was a full. Someone-- multiple someones-- done f'd up big-time along the way, and it's not a good cause for the gun-control movement.

AllenS said...

People so insecure/biased in their thought, that they need arsenals of insults are by definition mentally ill.

AReasonableMan said...

These are facts, not insults. There is something very very wrong with people who feel the need to accumulate arsenals of this nature.

Crazy Jane said...

J. Farmer said: You are no longer supposed to assimilate but assert and celebrate your foreign culture.

A man I know talks about the tension between the melting pot and the rainbow coalition. Where in the past the instruction was to "tolerate" people of different backgrounds, he now says we now are required "celebrate" them.

My alma mater has many separate departments for identity group studies, from racial to ethnic to sexual. The LGBT department now has 50 percent more professors than the classics department.

W.B. Yeats: Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

Bad Lieutenant said...

These are facts, not insults.

With respect, you have proven nothing of the sort. Or is this Accept ARM's Tendentious Assertions As Facts Day?


There is something very very wrong with people who feel the need to accumulate arsenals of this nature.

There sure is! They like things that you don't like or understand. It's rather like these horrid conservatives who are afraid of diversity, neh?

AllenS said...

AReasonableMan said...
There is something very very wrong with people who feel the need to accumulate arsenals of this nature.

It's not the arsenal of guns that he had, but what he did with them that matters.

I have a lot of guns, and I haven't done any mass killings (yet).

AReasonableMan said...

So, if I understand the arguments here correctly, everyone is fine with our laws allowing this maniac to accumulate an arsenal of this nature? To me, that belief would be evidence of mental derangement all by itself.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Leftists are correct guns are BAD. No Leftist should ever allow themselves near a gun nut, and anyone who ever thought about even touching a gun is a nut.

Disarmed and at your enemies' mercy is exactly what Leftists want and deserve.

Remember: Guns are bad.

Better, like Jews in 1938 Germany, to die without a fight assuming your fellow man has your back than to lower yourself to below the dignity of a hyena by buying or touching a damned gun, even a toy rubber gun.

Bruce Hayden said...

"Trump doesn't have what it takes to be a natural and sympathetic comforter unlike President Obama. He tried his best today, I'll give him credit for that."

Exact opposite of my own thoughts. My memory of your St Obama is that he couldn't make a unifying speech if his life depended o it, constantly dividing by race, sex, ethnicity, even when not appropriate. Just couldn't help it. I just don't remember a single speech of his where I felt that he was speaking to or for me. Always to the people on the other side. Never to me. And he always seemed a bit disconnected. There were a couple times that GW Bush brought the country together, most notably right after 9/11/01. I just didn't see that with Obama, and am thankful that we again have a President who can, and will be our consoled-in-chief when necessary again. And with Crooked Hillary immediately going political about the shooting, blaming it on the NRA, etc, before the bodies had all cooled, made me appreciate, again, how close of a bullet the American public dodged last Nov., in electing Trump and not her.

I do believe this message by Ms Huckabee was both comforting and unifying to much of the country. We were founded as a Christian nation, and there is still a lot of that lying around. Esp here in flyover country. It is in our blood. I am thankful that we have not gotten to the point where religion is completely eliminated from the public sector, though I do see many on the left squeezing like stuck pigs whenever anyone on the right lets their religion intrude. The problem though, for them, is that their religion, whether it be socialism, intersectionality, diversity, etc, just doesn't fill the holes in our souls when tragedy strikes.

Bruce Hayden said...

"Maybe in the dictionary: "Mental illness requires acquisition of automatic weapons." Might make entire religions seem mentally ill, "by definition"."

Right now it looks like he had one or more AR-15s illegally converted to full auto. Unregistered machine guns have been, of course, illegal in this country for better than 80 years now. I suppose that we could pass a law making them even doubly or triply illegal. Maybe add the death penalty. That would probably dissuade a lot of mass murderers - making it a capital offense to make or own an illegal machine gun, esp with the intent of using it for mass murder. That should work.

walter said...

"Maybe add the death penalty. That would probably dissuade a lot of mass murderers - making it a capital offense to make or own an illegal machine gun, esp with the intent of using it for mass murder. That should work."
--
Especially when planning to die at their own or cops' hand.

J. Farmer said...

@YoungHegelian:

And is not the Catholic liturgy the same in all of those cities, too?

Yes, but Protestantism and Catholicism and Orthodox and Islam and Hinduism and Buddhism and Taoism and Shintoism are not the same.

Modern science has just learned how to occlude its often profound internal disagreements with a discourse of the inevitability of whomever comes out on top.

I do not think they are occluded at all. They may seem that way to a layperson but that there are "profound internal disagreements" is obvious. It is why there is work for professional scientists to do. What matters is the method. Science relies on empiricism, while religion relies on revealed knowledge.

@buwaya:

Almost everything we are talking about comes from what amounts to the engineering process, not the scientific process.

What is the difference?

AReasonableMan said...

Clearly what this country needs is more old men with a arsenal of weapons to keep them warm as the settle into their encroaching dementia.

AllenS said...

Even if we outlawed guns, people would still sneak them into the country, by hiding them in a shipment of heroin.

Bruce Hayden said...

Here is the sexism. We didn't have wives stepping in front of bullets aimed at their husbands, or girlfriends stepping in front of bullets intended for their boyfriends. But, as is typical in this sort of situation, it is always the men taking the bullet for women. We hear a lot about male privilege, but never about how males earned it. And one of the ways that they earned it was that willingness to sacrifice their lives for others.

Bruce Hayden said...

@ARM - who, then, gets to decide when you have too many guns? You? A leftist living in a gated community, or secure building? Crooked Hillary with lifetime Secret Service protection whining about the evils of the NRA? Here in this part of flyover country, most everyone probably seems overly well armed, but we face having all the top American predators in this county, as well as a sheriff's dept. that may not be able to respond, late at night, for better than an hour. For many here, having multiple guns is little different from having multiple chain saws. (And the one are often traded for the other).

Bruce Hayden said...

"Even if we outlawed guns, people would still sneak them into the country, by hiding them in a shipment of heroin"

That was the funny part of the ATF gunrunning under Obama - semiautomatics were being smuggled south across our border, while fully automatics were being smuggled north across the same border - sometimes even by the same people.

buwaya said...

Farmer,

I thought I was clear.

Science seeks to explain, to offer a theory for some phenomena.

Engineering does not seek to explain, but optimize. Engineering requires no theory.

Or to make it concrete, take the Anthykera device.
Science is the design of the thing, a physical model of the motion of heavenly bodies. Engineering is the execution of the device. The execution of the device is the impressive thing.

Bad Lieutenant said...

AReasonableMan said...
So, if I understand the arguments here correctly, everyone is fine with our laws allowing this maniac to accumulate an arsenal of this nature? To me, that belief would be evidence of mental derangement all by itself.



Perhaps instead of gun control we could look at maniac control.

Rusty said...

Or as my friend Jeff Goldstein said, " It's like demanding, after I caught an STD from a woman, that all vaginas be sewn shut."

ARM is in his element. Capitalizing on the deaths of people he doesn't know.

J. Farmer said...

@buwaya:

Science seeks to explain, to offer a theory for some phenomena.

Engineering does not seek to explain, but optimize. Engineering requires no theory.


I understand that. I don't see how it has anything to do with what I said.

William Chadwick said...

"Blogger William Chadwick said...
I've always wondered about such statements. All other things being equal, if Smith lays down his life for Jones, why is Jones' life more worthy than Smith's?
William, I'm so sorry but you are - here at least - an Exhibit #1 in any number of intelligent musings on any number of intelligent subjects - a perfect exemplar of the concept that Life is AWAYS chock full of chatty, happy stupids. You simply don't get it, and maybe never will - the most simple, basic point of the 'greater love' concept is that it's NOT, I say again, NOT, about 'comparative merits' AT ALL, it's a about a purely unselfish, non-judgmental, and blessed act of Love by one human for another. Is that a hard measure of performance? Damn right, it is, that's where the word "greater" is all about. Duh.
I'm sorry, William, but current events have about done in my patience with fatuous talk."



Thanks for that logical response to the question I raised. See you in Bible Camp.

Bad Lieutenant said...

I've always wondered about such statements. All other things being equal, if Smith lays down his life for Jones, why is Jones' life more worthy than Smith's?

[...]
Thanks for that logical response to the question I raised. See you in Bible Camp.


Will, what, in turn, are you trying to get at here?

William Chadwick said...

Bad Lieutenant: Didn't think my post was that arcane or cryptic, but apparently it was. I'll repeat: "All other things being equal, if Smith lays down his life for Jones, why is Jones' life more worthy than Smith's?"

And expand: I've never understood the logic behind the enshrinement of self-sacrifice. If you think I should sacrifice my life for my neighbor, why is my life less important than my neighbor's? I've always wondered how one gets to be in the elite who get to be sacrificed to, instead of the lambs who get to be sacrificed.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Will, thanks for the followup.

"All other things being equal, if Smith lays down his life for Jones, why is Jones' life more worthy than Smith's?"

OK. Who said it was? Or had to be?

I could also say Non sequitur, but you would take that badly maybe.

I get that you are coming it the Randite/Objectivist and recalling sacrifice - I forget her phrasing - as the sacrifice of a value to a higher value. All I can say is that you seem to be looking at it narrowly and tendentiously.

Why should Bill Gates throw himself on top of his wife Miranda, you might say? Or on top of a playpen full of babies? I'm sure that by most standards Bill Gates would seem more valuable than his wife or the babies.

Loosely I would say it is a piece of human nature. Is it a piece of human nature you think should be stamped out? Or do you blame society?

I really think that trying to parse this out as an exercise in symbolic logic will avail you little.

Maybe you need to phrase it as "Why should Collective 16 sacrifice Smith instead of Jones?"

Bad Lieutenant said...

Or to answer you another way,

I'll repeat: "All other things being equal, if Smith lays down his life for Jones, why is Jones' life more worthy than Smith's?"

Because Smith says so. Maybe Smith loves Jones.