Kant, and the Mind of Man Shaping Reality

(This is a modified version of my sci-fi blog post. Just stripping out the sci-fi parts.)

Preamble

In this blog article, I go about reframing some of Immanuel Kant’s work, as conveyed in Gary North’s Christian Economics: Scholar’s Edition.

Why? Because I can.

Consider it an educational exercise for my fellow believers, who are even more unaware of Kant’s importance among academics than they are of Keynes’ importance. Time to understand the foundations of modern secular culture!

“Umm… why, exactly, are you so interested in uncovering the foundations of modern secular culture?”

<Puts the call to Foundation Breakup and Removal, Inc. on hold.>

“Oh. Well, like every Responsible Citizen, I only seek to Earn the Approval of Our Expert Leadership. How can you love what you don’t understand? How can you appreciate what you aren’t even aware of?”

“Well then. Carry on.”

Who the Hell is Kant? And Why Should I Care?

As Kant has been the dominant philosopher of the West for two centuries, this post can serve as a quickie introduction to his work.

Immanuel Kant has been the dominant philosopher in the West for over two centuries. His intellectual categories shape social philosophy, including economic theory. He was a cosmic evolutionist. He wrote Universal Natural History and Theory of the Heavens in 1755. He wrote it anonymously. In the Preface, he declared: “I accept the matter of the whole world at the beginning as in a state of general dispersion, and make of it a complete chaos. I see this matter forming itself in accordance with the established laws of attraction, and modifying its movement by repulsion.” Out of chaos comes order through unbreakable laws. The universe is self-created. It is autonomous. Man is therefore autonomous. Modern Big Bang cosmology is essentially Kant’s with equations.

Gary North in Christian Economics: Scholar’s Edition

“Chaos first, then order rising from the chaos.” The view of the origin of the universe for all beliefs that don’t subscribe to the cyclical universe or eternal universe view point… but still prefer to avoid the “ex nihilo” position of the Bible.

How does predictable order arise from complete chaos? Unknown.

For chaos to exist, it has to exist on something. If you see a chaotic pile of rocks, that pile of rocks has to come from somewhere. Where did it come from? Unknown.

How does something create itself? Impossible.

Few social theorists understand the extent to which they are Kant’s disciples. Nonexistent is the textbook and rare is the treatise that discusses the author’s assumptions regarding epistemology, which is the question of what men can know and how they can know it. The treatise by Ludwig von Mises, Human Action (1949), is an exception. Mises devoted the first hundred pages to epistemology. He did not discuss the fundamental issue of epistemology, namely, the relation of external reality to the minds of men. What is the nature of the connection? He did not bring up this topic. He did not discuss his reliance upon the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. He did not cite Kant in his books. He did not attempt to defend Kant’s epistemology or even explain it.

Gary North in Christian Economics: Scholar’s Edition

Compared to the vast majority of (almost universally atheistic) economists, von Mises was one of the good guys, defending human freedom by grounding his economics in the action of free individuals (“Human Action“), rather than something like “the Will of the Collective” or “Efficient distribution of Resources”… as determined by the Right Sort, as usual.

But von Mises, a convinced Kantian, did not touch on the core issue of epistemology, “What can man know? How can they know what they know?”

Other related questions: “Why can the non-physical mind of a man know about the physical universe, and even create useful laws regarding the outer universe? How is this possible?”

Most atheistic scholars — a redundancy, so far as Modern Academia is concerned — don’t bother worry about such difficult questions, assuming that someone else has already answered them.

But no one has. There is no resolution: at least, not until Van Til showed up. But his answers are not appreciated by the Right Sort.

Natural Law: A Long-Rotting Corpse

[Cornelius Van Til made] a revolutionary defense of the faith. He broke with almost two millennia of Christian philosophical tradition. He refused to invoke a common logical ground between covenant-breakers and covenant-keepers.

[…]

Despite the philosophical weakness of anti-Christian critics, Christians have become victims of an epistemological inferiority complex. This has been going on for almost 2,000 years. They take seriously the claims of their critics. They feel compelled to defend the Bible, but they do not defend it on the basis of its own self-revelation and self-testimony. They attempt to defend its teachings by adopting arguments that were developed by some philosopher prior to Kant. For example, they invoke natural law theory. First, they are completely unaware that natural law theory was developed by Roman philosophers who were attempting to justify the rule of the Roman Empire: a judicially unified empire ruling over the local gods, laws, and customs of formerly autonomous subject cultures. They invented a supposedly common logic for political purposes. Second, they are unaware that virtually no one in the modern world accepts natural law theory. Kant refuted it decisively. Christians are attempting to resurrect a dead horse in a world of tanks.

Gary North in Christian Economics: Scholar’s Edition

Why are Christians focused on some dead Roman corpse, while pointedly ignoring the Law-Word of the Resurrected Christ, I will never know.

[Notices a broad fascination with Classical Rome. Even to the extent of transporting the Roman style of governance into a far-future, interstellar setting.]

Ah… now I see: the Love of Roman Power and Roman Law is the key.

Which really means: the Power of Man, and the Law-Word of Powerful Men.

Isn’t it forbidden for Christians to worship idols, including the Idol of Power?

The Two Realms, Falling Apart

Van Til emphasized throughout his long career that modern thought is plagued by an epistemological dualism that can be traced back to Kant. Kant divided reason into two radically separate realms, the phenomenal and the noumenal. The phenomenal realm is the realm of scientific calculation, of measurable cause and effect. Effects have specific causes. In this sense, effects are determined by their causes. It is this determinism of the phenomenal realm that is the basis of all scientific investigations (except in the subatomic world of quantum mechanics, where there are crucially important effects which have no known or knowable causes—in fact, which are believed by scientists to have no physical causes).

Gary North in Christian Economics: Scholar’s Edition

Newtonian Mechanics (“up here”) is the normal world, and Quantum Mechanics (“down there”) is where Things Get Weird.

With respect to subatomic physics, there really are no known answers to these questions. There is no causation such as Newtonian physics postulates. There are only statistical patterns. Physicists find that cause and effect (unity over time) does not operate at the subatomic level in the same way that it does “up here.” Causes can produce effects over distance simultaneously in the subatomic world. Physicists have known this since the mid- 1960s: Bell’s theorem. You and I do not spend time thinking about Bell’s theorem, but physicists do. The stable world of Newtonian physics has not been with us for many decades. We may think that it is with us, but only because we operate up here. But down there, it is long gone.

Why does Newtonian physics operate up here? Why do we think of our world in terms of the metaphor of the machine? Is the world more like a machine or like an organism? Or is it really like neither one? These are not trick questions.

Gary North in Christian Economics: Scholar’s Edition

The materialists got fooled into locking himself into the mechanical metaphor: “Humans are nothing but meat machines! Our brains are nothing but meat computers! Ethics are nothing but a way to increase population size!”

(Our Betters do love dehumanizing everyone and despising every law outside the Chosen Circle, don’t they? I wonder why….)

Such reductionism is useful when lying to (and beating down) the rubes, but doesn’t cut it with people in the know.

In the phenomenal realm there is no choice. There is no responsibility. Everything is determined. Yet Kant proclaimed the legitimacy of ethics. He did so by affirming another realm, which he called the noumenal. But he could not show how the two realms were related. They were autonomous. Van Til called this the science/personality dualism and the nature/freedom dualism. If nature’s causation is governed by unbreakable law, then so is man. Man is the product of nature. But if man is determined by scientific cause and effect, he does not possess freedom. Kant put the problem this way in The Critique of Pure Reason: “We have, therefore, nothing but nature to which we must look for connection and order in cosmical events. Freedom—independence of the laws of nature—is certainly a deliverance from restraint, but it is also a relinquishing of the guidance of law and rule. For it cannot be alleged that, instead of the laws of nature, laws of freedom may be introduced into the causality of the course of nature. For, if freedom were determined according to laws, it would be no longer freedom, but merely nature.”

[…]

The crucial intellectual problem for the humanist is this: neither Kant nor any philosopher, neither the psychologist nor the social theorist, has been able to describe or explain the link between these two realms. To the extent that the noumenal can be classified, defined, and described rationally in terms of phenomenal realm’s logic, it loses its character as a realm of pure indeterminism. Yet Kant said that this pure indeterminism must be present in order for there to be a realm of human choice, of human action as distinguished from determined human response. For all post-Kantian thought, man without the noumenal becomes an automaton. He does not act. He merely responds to stimuli.

[…]

The key unanswered problem is this: “How is the life of man’s spirit related to his visible walk?” Humanist thought has no solution.

Gary North in Christian Economics: Scholar’s Edition

Our Betters have attempted to create a strictly materialistic universe, to successfully elude all limits to their power: but such mental constructs collapse in a mass of self-contradictions.

How can a pile of atoms create a theory of anything? Why should any theory be of value? How can a meaningless universe convey useful information? Why should information even exist in a world where we are all automations? How could it exist? And on what basis should an automation, a meat-computer, be held responsible for anything it does?

A crisis in general epistemology produces crises in specific epistemologies. Ultimately, of course, it is a crisis in ethics, for ethics in the Kantian worldview is governed (yet somehow not determined) by the noumenal.

Virtually all modern humanistic scholarship relies on two foundations: the philosophy of Immanuel Kant and the evolutionary worldview of Charles Darwin. This fact is never discussed at the beginning of a college-level textbook in any academic discipline. There is no mention of philosophical foundations. There is no mention of the presuppositions undergirding these foundations. Students are introduced to the field on the assumption that there is no debate over the reliability of these philosophical foundations. I would not call this a self-conscious strategy on the part of the textbook authors. Rather, it is part of the ongoing comprehensive naïveté of modern scholars. They are never taught the basics of epistemology in their college careers. They are also not taught the connections between these foundations and the methodological assumptions of their academic discipline. They naïvely assume what they need first to prove. They are incapable of proving it, but they get away with this because no one calls their bluff.

I have introduced this material in order to strengthen your self-confidence in pursuing the field of economics is a Christian scholar. Humanistic economists are like Goliath facing David. They look invincible. But they have a weak point in their armor. Their reliance on the philosophy of Kant is this weak point.

Gary North in Christian Economics: Scholar’s Edition

Lots of folks are handling Darwin, at Uncommon Descent, Creation/Evolution Headlines, and Evolution News. Few are dealing with Kant: his name is mentioned here and there, but not many scholars care to dig into his work.

They should: once you get past the German over-complicated double-talk, you’ll find some serious flaws… and quite a number of flat-out delusions.

(And I have a suspicion that Kant’s complex verbiage is used in the same way that Keynes used obscuring language: to hide what is obviously ridiculous — “build debt to build wealth!” in Keynes’ case — from public view.)

“WE Create Reality!”

[…] if man is in some unstated and undefinable way distinct from nature, and therefore not completely determined by nature’s unbreakable laws of impersonal, purposeless causation, there is no way to explain logically how man can control any aspect of nature from outside of nature. There is no point of contact. There is therefore no lever of control. He loses power. On the other hand again, if he does somehow gain power over nature, then he is in principle subject to other men’s power over him, since they may be able to manipulate nature more efficiently than he can. It’s “damned if you do, damned if you don’t.” This is Kant’s legacy to modern man.

Gary North in Christian Economics: Scholar’s Edition

Thus, the Kantian-inspired drive to gain power over other men, as demonstrated by our Kantian-following academics. Call it “Power Worship: Flavour #8642”

Why this Kantian need to control men: not only what they own or what they do, but also what they say or — the final target of our Statist Overlords — what they think, via the schools, universities, mass media, and the Demands of Polite Society?

Let’s find out!

Kant offered no scientific or logical way to explain how the mind of man gains access to the external world’s laws of causation. It does, obviously, but Kant could not explain why or how. He did not believe that these laws exist independently of the mind of man. Michela Massimi, an expert on Kant, wrote “Kant and the Laws of Nature” for Oxford Bibliographies in 2016. His view is representative of most experts in Kant’s thought. “When it comes to theoretical philosophy (and in particular, to Kant’s philosophy of nature, which is our topic), the main question is how it is possible for us to come to know nature as ordered and lawful. Where does the lawfulness of nature come from? In the Critique of Pure Reason and in the Prolegomena, Kant held the view that our faculty of understanding is the primary source of nature’s lawfulness because the a priori categories of the understanding ‘prescribe laws to nature’—that is, they play the role of constitutive a priori principles for our experience of nature.”

Yes, you read that correctly. Strip out the academic jargon —“constitutive a priori principles”—and the paragraph really is as nutty as it sounds. Massimi is arguing that Kant believed that man’s mind (whose, exactly?) imputes coherence to nature. Man’s mental categories are the only source of nature’s coherence as far as we can ever know. Let me boil this down in three words: man is God. Man’s subjective imputation of coherence to nature is definitive and binding on nature. Whether the universe is inherently coherent or not, a question that Kant dismissed as unanswerable, man’s subjective imputation provides order to the universe. Kant’s lengthy and highly detailed arguments for this bizarre conclusion do not bother Kantian philosophers. They would bother anyone with a trace of common sense, assuming that people with common sense would bother to read Kant’s two unreadable major books: Critique of Pure Reason (1781) and Critique of Practical Reason (1788), which is as impractical a book as you will ever not read.

Gary North in Christian Economics: Scholar’s Edition

“Your mind makes it real.”

So, control over what people say and think actually helps to shape reality, so far as the Kantian crowd is concerned.

Wow.

Or, phrased differently: The power of the Creative Word, transferred from God, and given to Men, by command of the State, Our Only TRUE Lord and Master.

(And why this adoration of the State? Nothing to do with truth and justice, of course, and everything to do with the power to kill, to steal, to inflict harm and pain.)

Well, Kant, I serve a different God than you do — will you stop admiring yourself in the mirror for once! — so I choose to give the nod to the mind of Christ as the Shaper of Reality, rather than your mind… or the thinking of the majority (as directed by the media/academia complex)… or the mind of the politically powerful… or of certified academics.

But at least I can understand why there was a fascination with psionics — “the vast POWER of the MIND!” — throughout science fiction. Most definitely including the flareup in the 1970s, when the Traveller Science-Fiction Roleplaying Game was being written.

Or with out-and-out witchcraft and astrology today. Or — for the politically devoted — with government laws proclaiming that men are women if that man merely says so. That hurting my feelings becomes an offense punishable by law.

Power-worship, indeed!

“But if we control the minds of the masses, we can actually shape REALITY!”

No, you can’t. That isn’t the way reality works.

Too bad for you, Kant.

And too bad for your accursed followers, too.

Unspoken Lies and Special Pleading

My main point in Part 1 is this: humanists have not been forthright in specifying their intellectual starting points, which are based on unproven and unprovable presuppositions. These presuppositions are not based on the rigorous logic that humanists insist is binding on scientists.

This is surely the case in economic science. I have used economists as illustrations of a universal trait among humanistic academics. They hide their presuppositions from their readers. I think most of them hide their presuppositions from themselves. They are not trained to think in terms of presuppositions. They presume what they need to prove, as self-proclaimed scientists, by means of their supposedly neutral logic. If they were more forthright about specifying their ultimately religious presuppositions, which are not shared by most citizens, they would reveal themselves as special pleaders for humanism. This would threaten their acceptance. This would in turn threaten their funding. They have zero self-interest in doing this. So, they remain mute. They do not discuss sovereignty, authority, law, sanctions, and time. They implicitly assume the humanist worldview’s presuppositions regarding these issues, but they do not mention them, let alone defend them.

It is intellectually mandatory that Christian scholars in every academic discipline begin their treatises with a detailed discussion of these five principles as they apply to their respective disciplines. Christian scholars should become self-conscious about their disciplines’ foundational principles. They should identify and then challenge the humanists’ versions of these five principles in their fields.

Gary North in Christian Economics: Scholar’s Edition

Odd, that no priest or monk, pastor or preacher, theologian or philosopher bothered to do the 30+ years of intellectual labour, to put muscle behind this demanding call for Christian action.

When a Christian society is rebuilt, it will owe nothing to fearful, submissive and studiously irrelevant Men of the Cloth.

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How Little Science Can Explain, and “Following where the evidence leads.”

It looks like we have hit a wall, when we can’t tell why, genetically, humans are different from flies, and we don’t know, neurologically, why we can recall a telephone number.

So, the scientific community has been compelled to acknowledge that the universe must have sprung into existence ab nihilo. It has subsequently emerged that the physical laws of the universe — e.g., gravity, electromagnetism, the strong and weak nuclear forces, the speed of light — are so finely tuned that the slightest alteration in their values would have rendered impossible the subsequent emergence of life on earth. It is very difficult to convey just how precise the values of those forces had to be, but physicist John Polkinghorne estimates their fine-tuning had to be accurate to within one part in a trillion trillion (and several trillion more), a figure greater by far than all the particles in the universe.4

As for the origins of life itself, the progressive delineation of the internal workings of its fundamental unit, the cell, over the past fifty years has revealed it to be “a world of supreme technology and bewildering complexity” in which many features of our most sophisticated machines have an analogue: memory banks for information storage and retrieval, elegant control systems regulating the assembly of parts, proofreading devices for quality control, and assembly processes utilizing the principles of modular construction.5 This “automated factory,” several thousand million times smaller than the smallest piece of functional man-made machinery, which in its various forms has the capacity to create every living organism that ever existed — from a giant redwood to the human brain — can replicate its entire structure within a matter of hours. The likelihood that the first cell’s many components might have arisen spontaneously from some prebiotic chemical soup is analogous to supposing, as the late astronomer Fred Hoyle observed in a memorable image, “a tornado sweeping through a junk-yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein.”6

How Little Science Can Explain

The most economical interpretation of these several instances of the inscrutable perplexities revealed by “refining and elaborating” on that overarching historical narrative would be that by illuminating how little science can truly explain, they have undermined (annihilated, even) the fundamental tenets of scientism. But there is more, for the findings of the two most recent and ambitious of scientific projects contradict, if inadvertently, any pretensions to an exclusively materialist account of the phenomena of life and ourselves.

These projects were predicated on two remarkable technical developments that promised to resolve the two major obstacles to a truly comprehensive account of our place in the universe: how it is that those genetic instructions strung along the double helix contribute to the multitudinous diversity of form and attributes of the living world; and how the electrical activity of the human brain “translates” into our subjective experiences, memories, and sense of self. Those developments were, first, the ability to spell out the full sequence of genes, or genomes, of diverse species — worm, fly, mouse, man, and many others — and, second, the sophisticated scanning techniques that permit neuroscientists for the first time to observe the brain “in action” from the inside — thinking, memorizing, and looking out on the world.

The ability to spell out the full sequence of genes should reveal, it was reasonable to assume, the distinctive genetic instructions that determine the diverse forms of the millions of species, so readily distinguishable one from the other. Biologists were thus understandably disconcerted to discover precisely the reverse to be the case. Contrary to all expectations, many DNA sequences involved in embryo development are remarkably similar across the vast spectrum of organismic complexity, from a millimeter-long worm to ourselves.7 There is, in short, nothing in the genomes of fly and man to explain why the fly should have six legs, a pair of wings, and a dot-sized brain and we should have two arms, two legs, and a mind capable of comprehending that overarching history of our universe.

So we have moved in the very recent past from supposing we might know the principles of genetic inheritance to recognizing we have no realistic conception of what they might be. As Phillip Gell, professor of genetics at the University of Birmingham, observed, “This gap in our knowledge is not merely unbridged, but in principle unbridgeable and our ignorance will remain ineluctable.”8

James Le Fanu, in Between Sapientia and Scientia — Michael Aeschliman’s Profound Interpretation

Unbridgeable.

Unknowable.

Not good news, for atheistic materialists. It is not possible explain, using nothing but physical material, energy, and time, either how or why galaxies and fruit flies and people and mathematical formula come to exist.

That’s a pretty big loss for the “universal acid” of Darwinian-fueled atheistic materialism, having no explanation for reality as it is.

Ineluctable Ignorance

It has been a similar story for neuroscientists with their sophisticated scans observing the brain “in action.” Right from the beginning, it was clear the brain must work in ways radically different from those supposed. Thus, the simplest of tasks, such as associating the noun “chair” with the verb “sit,” cause vast tracts of the brain to “light up” — prompting a sense of bafflement at what the most mundane conversation must entail.9 Then the sights and sounds of every transient moment, it emerged, are fragmented into a myriad of separate components without the slightest hint of the integrating mechanism that would create the personal experience of living at the center of a coherent, unified, ever-changing world.

Reflecting on this problem, Nobel Prize-winner David Hubel of Harvard University observes, “This abiding tendency for attributes such as form, color and movement to be handled by separate structures in the brain immediately raises the question how all the information is finally assembled, say, for perceiving a bouncing red ball. They obviously must be so assembled — but where and how, we have no idea.”10

Meanwhile, the great conundrum remains unresolved: how the electrical activities of the billions of neurons in the brain are related to the experiences of our everyday lives — where each fleeting moment has its own distinct, intangible feel: where the cadences of a Bach cantata are so utterly different from the taste of bourbon or the lingering memory of that first kiss. The implications are obvious enough. While it might be possible to know everything about the physical materiality of the brain down to its last atom, its “product,” the five cardinal mysteries of the non-material mind, remain unaccounted for: subjective awareness, free will, how memories are stored, the “higher” faculties of reason and imagination, and that unique sense of personal identity that changes and matures over time but remains resolutely the same.11

The Standard Response

The standard response to such imponderables is to acknowledge that perhaps things have turned out to be more complex than originally presumed, but to insist these are still “early days” to predict what might yet emerge. Now, biologists could, if they so wish, spell out the genomes of each of the millions of species with which we share the planet, but the interesting question of what determines the unique form and attributes of such diverse creatures would remain unresolved. And so too for observing the brain “in action,” where a million scans of subjects watching David Hubel’s bouncing red ball would not progress understanding any further as to how those neuronal circuits experience the ball as being round and red and bouncing.

The contrast with that supreme intellectual achievement of the post-war years is striking. At a time when cosmologists can infer what happened in the first few seconds of the birth of the universe, and geologists can measure the movements of continents to the nearest centimeter, it seems extraordinary that geneticists can’t tell us why humans are so different from flies, and neuroscientists are unable to clarify how we recall a telephone number.

James Le Fanu, in Between Sapientia and Scientia — Michael Aeschliman’s Profound Interpretation

So, it looks like the Western Faith in atheistic materialism is being increasingly found to be groundless.

Good. The ideology of atheism — “there is no law, no power, that stands above the will of politically powerful men” — has murdered enough people, stolen enough wealth, robbed us of enough time, and dignity, and liberty.

Not that this fact will change Western Academia an iota. They are committed to atheism for essentially religious/ideological reasons, and not because “that’s where the evidence leads.”

But that’s OK. Leave the dead to bury the dead.

The future calls to you, Christian. Time to pick up the phone.

The Restoration of Man, The Fall of the Nihilists

Uncommon Descent, pointed me to a revised version of the book, The Restoration of Man: C.S. Lewis and the Continuing Case Against Scientism.

From Evolution News:

So, the scientific community has been compelled to acknowledge that the universe must have sprung into existence ab nihilo. It has subsequently emerged that the physical laws of the universe — e.g., gravity, electromagnetism, the strong and weak nuclear forces, the speed of light — are so finely tuned that the slightest alteration in their values would have rendered impossible the subsequent emergence of life on earth. It is very difficult to convey just how precise the values of those forces had to be, but physicist John Polkinghorne estimates their fine-tuning had to be accurate to within one part in a trillion trillion (and several trillion more), a figure greater by far than all the particles in the universe.4

Between Sapientia and Scientia — Michael Aeschliman’s Profound Interpretation by James Le Fanu

and

The first, obvious on reflection, is that “life” is immeasurably more complex than matter: Its fundamental unit, the cell, though billions of times smaller than the smallest piece of machinery constructed by man, has nonetheless, as noted, the capacity to create every organism that has ever lived. A fly is billions upon billions upon billions of times more complex than a pebble of comparable size and possesses properties that have no parallel in the inanimate world: the capacity to transform the nutrients on which it feeds into its own tissues, and to repair and reproduce itself. So, too, the laws of biology must be incommensurately more complex than the laws of physics and chemistry.

Between Sapientia and Scientia — Michael Aeschliman’s Profound Interpretation by James Le Fanu

Uncommon Descent, in its quote of the article, adds:

But isn’t science on a downward trajectory now anyway? Never mind the multiverse nonsense. What about the war on science and the war on math?

To fight God is to fight the Maker and Sustainer of Reality.

This is a really bad decision.


Establishment Science, just like the Establishment Clergy, are boiling down to just mushy worthlessness in its desperate need to curry favour fro the Powers That Be, and for the same reasons:

“There is no Unchanging Moral Law, and no Divine Judgement to Fear! You are free to rewrite reality as you please! The serpent was right: God said nothing, so Be Your Own God!

With the Big Brains — well, the big brains of atheistic materialists, and the little brains of the obedient and submissive religious echo chamber — all saying the same thing, the Right Sort are free to live in their dying fantasies, and free to punish all who pose an effective challenge to their lies…

…for now.

There will come a time when the Right Sort and their intellectual & spiritual whores will all be dumped on the trash heap of history, fit only for burning.

Out duty, as Christians, is to bring that time forward, to hasten the day when God’s enemies lose — in time and on earth — and God’s friends win, in time and on earth.

Darwinians: “Lie to the Stupid People”

Philip Kitcher, a philosopher of biology and a supporter of natural selection, chastises Darwin for “appeasing his critics,” writing that “If the presence of particular goals can interfere with the epistemic evaluation of a novel proposal, then it is epistemically desirable for the proposer to respond to those goals, even if it requires deception.”

In other words, you may have to lie to the stupid people to get them to take Darwinism as seriously as we smart people do.

A more elaborate argument in favor of deception is offered by philosopher Phillip L. Quinn, who says that sometimes, in public debate over Darwinism, the only arguments that have a chance of convincing policymakers are bad ones. He argues that presenting arguments one knows to be faulty is morally permissible, but only “provided we continue to have qualms of conscience about getting our hands soiled.” He does worry that after presenting effective but bad arguments has become easy and second nature, one’s hands “become dirty beyond all cleansing and one suffers from a thoroughgoing corruption of mind.” But perhaps scholars could “divide up the labor so that no one among us has to resort to the bad effective argument too frequently.” That way, “we can succeed in resisting effectively without paying too high a price in terms of moral corruption.”

In others words, if you feel bad about lying to the stupid people, that makes it okay, so long as you take turns with other liars so that the habit doesn’t become so well-entrenched that it spills over into the rest of your life. (Why, you might then begin lying to us smart people too.)

J. Budziszewski, “I’m with stupid” at MercatorNet

Hat tip to Uncommon Descent, where the writer continues:

Budziszewski is onto something here. In a Darwinian universe, there is no reason not to lie to achieve a survival goal. In the traditional universe, classically assumed to exist by most human civilizations, morality is intrinsic to the nature of the conscious entities of the universe. That is, whether one believes in God or in karma, lying separates one from reality. And the universe keeps score and it eventually catches up with you, as surely as physics will.

Not so in a Darwinian frame where consciousness is an evolved illusion and free will does not exist. And morality is an evolved illusion too so … happy are those who know nothing of morality.

Uncommon Descent, New: Another philosopher openly dumps Darwinism, cites its acceptance of deception

To the astonishment and fury of Our Betters, God defends the moral value and worth of stupid people. Killing them is wrong, stealing from them is wrong, lying to them is wrong.

And such demonic wickedness will be partly punished in this life, as well as fully paid for in the next.

(This gets really expensive when such evils are extended to children – born or preborn – the poor, and the weak.)

The Will To Resist

While reading North’s description of the easy Spanish conquests of the Aztec and Incan empires, one sentence stands out:

“The corporate will to resist
is the key to long-term victory.”

Numerous Christian pastors, priests and preachers have dedicated generations to undermining the will to resist intensely evil people and ideologies… so long as said evil comes with the stamp of approval of the secularist, pointedly anti-Christian Academic class.

(That is, all forms of evil except the Nazis… and the Nazi’s had the progressive stamp of approval before 1941, when they attacked the Soviet Union.)

  • Sometimes, the religious professionals bleat on about the need to understand and welcome and sympathies with corrupt and evil men.
  • Sometimes, they insist that the wearing of badges and uniforms automatically gives evil the stamp of Divine approval: “Power justifies!”
  • Sometimes, they insist that we shouldn’t waste our time expanding the Kingdom of God in the Here and Now. “This is really Satan’s world! All we can do is run away and hide, and pray for a Rapture Escape from reality!”

The fearful and faithless (at best) and the traitors (at worst) should be driven out of the pulpits. We need men and women who will lead and strengthen the Christian will to resist the wicked.

And not merely resist the wicked.

The Lord said to me, “You are my Son;
    today I have begotten you.
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
    and the ends of the earth your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron
    and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”

Psalm 2:7b-9, ESV

The Law of the Land is to reflect and uphold God’s Law: that is, the law given to Moses, and modified by Christ.

The Law of God is to be manifested in every nation, publicly, across the entire world. Wherever there is a community, there God’s Law should reign, publicly, in the law books.

It is the wicked that is to be publicly loathed and driven to dark places… everywhere.

It is the righteous that are to walk freely under the sun, doing exactly as God expects us to do and living as He commands us to live, fearing nothing and nobody except the Lord Most High.

There is no substitute for victory.

Give Respect to Children, to Get Respect

Some reasons why I like the Ron Paul Curriculum (see link above) is that it trains children to work on their own, to do research with source materials, and avoids textbooks.

It also helps train children to be entrepreneurs.

That is, it teaches children to be responsible and independent adults. (Assuming that the parents can do their part.)

I distrust the State and it’s ever-eager desire to replace parental authority with its own, so I won’t support a ban on spanking.

(And – in a culture that encourages abortions to just-before-birth, AND encourages the breakup of families by making ‘no-fault divorce’ as easy as possible, AND pushes for the destruction of little children’s sex organs because a 8-year-old says that he really wants to be a girl — don’t spout garbage about Our Master’s Deep Concern for The Children.)

That being said, parents should be aware that the goal is to have the children become self-governing children and then self-governing adults, not fearful or resentful adults living in dread of some lawless, unpredictable and unjust authority, backed up by raw power.

“A system suitable for a 5-year-old will not work when the child is 15.”

If the parents hasn’t earned a position of lawful, restricted, legitimate authority, worthy of respect, in his own household, he needs to either shape up or arrange a better guardian for the child.

Give respect, to get respect.

The religious shall inherit the earth. Therefore, their children should be taught to ignore/undermine/circumvent the arbitrary, power-based authority of the State, and uphold the just, compassionate, lawful, and predictable authority of God.

This starts with the parents understanding how God acts – as noted in His Laws, His actions, and His life on Earth in the flesh (a.k.a. Jesus Christ) — and doing likewise.

It’s hard to do better than grounding a love of reading, law, storytelling, history, and truth on a love of the Bible.

Public schools will never go this route.

But you can.

On the Free Market and Christian Liberty

No Equality of Outcome

First, a warning:

The case for the free market is basically the case for freedom. One benefit of the free market is long-term economic growth. But we should be careful about attempting to defend the free market on the basis that it creates greater levels of economic equality. There is no evidence that I am aware of that it does any such thing.

Gary North: Income: Are You a Winner?

God has so arranged liberty that different free men will have different outcomes in their lives, based on their skills, personality, self-discipline, and even their family history and inherited wealth.

None of these things can stop the wrath of God falling on those who despise Him. None of these things will stop the blessings of God falling on those who love Him.

But as Jesus’ parables of the talents spell out, liberty and freedom will not lead to equality of outcomes. Only equality under the Law is protected by the God of the Bible.

Stealing the Inheritance

The envy-driven dislikes entrepreneurial (first-time entrepreneurs make up about 80% of the wealthy in the U.S.), but they especially hate inherited wealth, wealth passed on to the children of the wealthy.

This wealthy not only includes money, but connections and (in the best families) training, education, modelling, mentorship, and ethics.

God commands us to leave an inheritance to our grandchildren. Assorted envy-driven people want this stolen from those who worked for it, and given to political elites — occasionally, military or tribal elites — instead.

(What? You though that there would be a culture without ruling elites? Don’t be delusional.)

God not only commands us to leave an inheritance for the future… He also prohibits theft.

Liberty is Hated… especially Economic Liberty

So long as Christians live in an economically free society, it is possible for them to use their elbow grease and buy back (i.e: redeem) the culture from those who stole it.

This fact is detested by assorted opinion-shapers, as described in the article How the World Views Libertarianism

(Note: The term “World” is here defined as “The Right Sort.” A definition that would surely please Our Masters, but doesn’t reflect the actual world, which largely has no idea what the term ‘libertarian’ means.)

When it comes to use of the term libertarian out “in the wild” among mainstream, non-libertarian pundits, the use of the term is surprisingly consistent. It nearly always refers to an ideology that pushes for greater economic freedom in the form of less regulation of economic life, lower taxes, and freedom in trade.

Most writers on political and public policy matters, however, are not friendly to this sort of ideology so the term “libertarian” is also often expressed with an air of disapproval.

Ryan McMaken, How the World Views Libertarianism

“Nothing outside the State! Nothing outside the State! All under the State!”

Yes, we have been living under a soft-core flavour of fascism for a long time now. While superficially milder than the hard-core stuff, it is still a thieving, murderous, oppressive ideology… and so, as an enemy of God, is doomed to failure and a mighty fall from power.

The title “libertarian” can also be used to encompass those who take an excessive view of the freedom to own firearms. For example, Georgetown historian Robert Curran writes “Our scandalous gun policy is the inevitable consequence of libertarian ideology.” Libertarian laissez-faire, we’re told, doesn’t just encourage oppression of hapless workers. It encourages murderers as well.

Other writers have claimed to be appalled by the callousness of libertarian ideology. For instance, consider David Masciotra’s confession about once being libertarian, but eventually coming to his senses. Masciotra describes libertarians as “individuals myopically pursuing their own interests have no solution to ecological catastrophe, thousands dying for lack of health insurance, lethal disparities in the public education system, and the unending terror and devastation of racism.”

The context makes it clear that these are problems government regulation and control could solve, but libertarians dogmatically insist on their idiosyncratic views of how government regulation and funding in areas such as health care and education are a bad thing.

[…]

For example, after Koch’s death, many of his defenders pointed to Koch’s left-leaning views on issues like prison reform, opposition to the drug war, and support for gay marriage.  It was thought these might score him some points with his detractors.

But few of Koch’s critics cared about his left-leaning social views. After all, from the critics’ point of view, those views hardly made Koch special. Any decent person, the thinking goes, supports gay marriage and prison reform anyway. Having views such as these are hardly enough to cancel out the cardinal sin of the libertarians, which is enthusiastic support for free markets.

Ryan McMaken, How the World Views Libertarianism

The Right Sort will never be pleased with anything less than total obedience, on all points, right now.

(And if they change their mind 180 degrees tomorrow, you had better shut up and change your mind 180 degrees too! So it is, under the Rule of Men rather than the Rule of God.

Me? I have no time for lawless societies and their arbitrary ‘legal codes’. It’s bad for justice, bad for prosperity, bad for liberty, and therefore bad for the Kingdom of God.)

Interesting, the right wing of the Enlightenment — including many Christian supporters, ever-willing to baptize the status quo — have their own problems with freedom:

At the same time, libertarians also get blamed from the right wing for any views rightists may deem insufficiently conservative. Although there is actually no consensus among libertarians on matters such as the morality of drug use or pornography, for instance, many religious conservatives blame libertarians for everything from low fertility rates to opioid addiction.

Yet, even among rightists, the economic views of libertarians dominate the debate. The socially conservative First Things magazine, for example, has run numerous anti-libertarian essays in recent years with titles like “Libertarian Delusions” and “Beyond Libertarianism.”

In these cases, to be sure, the authors devote a small portion of their articles to deriding libertarianism for being too non-prescriptive in terms of family life and personal morality. But even here, the heart of the objection lies in the fact libertarians allow for too much market freedom.

Too much freedom… too much change… too much progress…and too little profits for the major corporations that shape the laws, and too much hostility to the bureaucrats and politicians who love the feel of power.

I remain suspicious of Our Masters and their Deep Concern for The People: be they of the left or the right, wearing black or wearing red.

When Will Liberty Return?

People ask me: “When will we get our liberties back?” I always answer: “When checks from Washington D.C. no longer buy anything.”

An overnight collapse of the monetary system would be catastrophic. In contrast, the erosion of the dollar to zero over a decade or more would be liberating.

The government is going broke. All over the West, all national governments are going broke. This is the fundamental political fact of our age. This is the elephant in the living room.

Gary North, Non-Negotiable Political Demands

Christians should be working hard, leveraging the free markets to build and deliver value to grateful and paying customers, and using part of that profit to build up the Kingdom of God.

God, being more kinder and merciful than the Secularist State, is perfectly satisfied with 10% (after taxes).

More is welcome, but not necessary or required: He has no problem with you spending even 90% of your after-tax earning on yourself, your family, and your interests.

Life is a gift, and hard work should be rewarded.

As for the collectivists, black and red, the fall and shattering of their idol, the State — officially ruling in the name of their Most High God, The People (but actually and always ruling for the sake of Certain People!) — is coming.

And the day of Liberty, when the actual Kingdom of God flourishes, is coming too.

Get ready!