Conversation: Identifying Moral Facts

A twitter conversation recently based around this poll.
View on Twitter.

DF = Dark Futures (Me)
VVG= Vaelin van Gogh

DF: Anyone picking “Reason and evidence” is either grossly naive or doesn’t know what morals are.

VVG: If you can agree that unnecessary suffering of conscious creatures is immoral, then reason and evidence can guide your morals from there.

DF: Reason and evidence doesn’t let you identify the axioms of morality. That’s what I’m answering. Reason does let you refine it though.

VVG: That’s why I stated my premise.

DF: But we’re talking about identifying moral facts/axioms here. Evidence has no bearing on them, because evidence only tells us what is.

VVG: Not denying Hume’s is/ought problem completely, but if you discard superstition and accept my basic premise then many moral axioms follow.

DF: But there’s no reason to accept your premise.

VVG: Really? Not easy to construct any moral framework without it. All arguments must begin with fundamental unproven premises.

DF: All arguments must begin with fundamentals, true. What you proposed is not a fundamental.

VVG: Well it’s not Descartes, but it’s quite basic to any moral framework.

DF: Depends where you look, it certainly wasn’t the case for much of history. Of course, tribes/groups tended to define only themselves as human. So no, saying it’s ‘quite basic’ to any moral framework is not true.

VVG: Exactly. Even tribes with superstition-based morality (mostly) were guided by that premise relative to their understanding of reality.

DF: Are you intentionally misunderstanding me? They defined themselves as human, but it was obvious that others were human too, just not worthy.

VVG: No, just pointing out that even religious morality is based on avoiding unnecessary suffering of conscious creatures, as they understand it.

DF: I think you’re generalising those terms into meaninglessness.

VVG: No, how to best avoid unnecessary suffering depends on your understanding of the way reality works.

DF: Yes. It all depends on what unnecessary means. And even then. No. Also, like I said before: “We can’t even get secular academics to agree whether people are moral agents or not.”

Polina Posts XXVIII: The View Of The Modern Period

Source. Note: Emphasis mine.

-Rather than democracy and individualization, the contemporary modern period was represented as bureaucratic and repressive. Rather than a free market or contractual society, modern America became ‘capitalist,’ no longer rational, interdependent, modern, and liberating, but backward, greedy, anarchic, and impoverishing.-

-In American Pastoral,he describes the trajectory of the Levov family as if it were representative of a quintessentially American experience “Three generations. All of them growing. The working. The saving. The success. Three generations in raptures over America. Three generations of becoming one with a people. And now with the fourth it had all come to nothing. The total vandalization of their world” –

– As Alexander so glibly puts it, at various moments between President Kennedy’s assassination and the summer of love, “serious ‘reality problems’ began to intrude on modernization theory in a major way”-

-When Merry Levov, the Swede’s teenaged daughter, blows up the post office in Old Rimrock, she becomes a personification of those changes, exploding the Swede’s imagined utopia and thrusting him, along with the rest of America, “into the fury, the violence, and the desperation of the counterpastoral—into the indigenous American berserk” –

-The first rifts in the postwar consensus became apparent as early as the late-1950s, when the burgeoning Civil Rights movement began to question publicly the hypocrisy of America’s liberal ideology by pressuring Washington to address racial inequality at home or risk sacrificing its self-appointed “moral authority” on the global stage.-

-In The Rise and Decline of Western Liberalism, Anthony Arblaster argues that Vietnam was, in fact, the inevitable result of America’s romantic liberalism, the natural byproduct of President Truman’s announcement in 1947 that “The free peoples of the world look to us for support in maintaining their freedoms.”-

-What Alexander describes as modernization’s move from the sacred to the profane side of historical time is enacted with tragic pathos throughout American Pastoral. When, in the closing sentence of the novel, Zuckerman asks, “What on earth is less reprehensible than the life of the Levovs?” his question laments the destructions of both a family and the American dreams they had appeared to personify.-

-As the embodiment of modernization’s promise, Swede Levov is transformed through the gaze of antimodernization from a hard-working, well-intentioned hero into a “shitty little capitalist,” as Rita Cohen calls him Dawn Levov is likewise metamorphosed from Miss America into a “frivolous, trivial beauty-queen”.-

-In the face of the New Left’s fiery rhetoric and revolutionary behavior, the Swede’s tolerant liberalism makes him an anachronism—as naive and impotent as the Gittelmans had once appeared in the glow of postwar consensus. Roth’s description of the Swede seems to echo the opening paragraphs of “Benito Cereno,” in which Melville famously calls Amasa Delano “a person of a singularly undistrustful good nature”. “How to penetrate to the interior of people was some skill or capacity he did not possess,” Zuckerman says.-

-He just did not have the combination to that lock. Everybody who flashed the signs of goodness he took to be good. Everybody who flashed the signs of loyalty he took to be loyal. Everybody who flashed the signs of intelligence he took to be intelligent. And so he had failed to see into his daughter, failed to see into his wife, failed to see into his one and only mistress—probably had never even begun to see into himself. What was he, stripped of all the signs he flashed? –

-Like Delano, the Swede is undone by his inability to recognize the “malign evil in man,” particularly the failings of his own daughter, whose outrage and anger—like that displayed by Don Cox in Leonard Bernstein’s well-heeled duplex—he greets with apologies and sympathy and (mis)understanding.-

-By the end of the novel, Merry, like her father, is dead, as are the radically divergent dreams of America’s future that each held dear. Merry’s stated objective echoes the Marxist goals of the Weathermen (who she joins), the Panthers, and the other revolutionary arms of the New Left: “To change the system and give power to the 90 percent of the people who have no economic or political control now”. Instead of helping to usher in a new era of political, economic, and social equality, however Merry’s passion seems only to have ended three innocent lives, destroyed her family, and led her toward a life of Jainism, making her the most self-sacrificial of Roth’s many ascetics.-

-The Swede’s final encounters with Merry mirror the young Zuckerman’s with O’Day and Glucksman, though they are all the more tragic for being filtered through a father’s loving desire for his daughter. Reduced to a life of isolation amid a decrepit apartment in which her only possession is the stained pallet on which she sleeps, Merry, the precious daughter of All-American Swede Levov, is “disgusting. His daughter is a human mess stinking of human waste. Her smell is the smell of everything organic breaking down. It is the smell of no coherence. It is the smell of all she’s become”. –

-With the energies of the radical social movements waning by the end of the 1970s, so went the optimism and enthusiasm of many American intellectuals. “Parallels with the 1950s were evident,” Alexander argues. “The collective and heroic narrative of socialism once again had died, and the end of ideology seemed once again to be at hand”. Instead of engaging in struggle toward a better world, social theorists were forced to confrontthe possibility of historical retrogression, which would, of course, signal the final defeat of the Enlightenment project and undermine the very foundations of contemporary intellectual life.-

-Postmodern theorists responded by welcoming this defeat as “an immanent one, a necessity of historical development itself. The heroic ‘grand narratives’ of the left had been made irrelevant by history; they were not actually defeated. Myth could still function. Meaning was preserved”.-

-This problematic relationship between history, meaning, and power has dominated much of postmodern discourse articularly since Jean Lyotard’s proclamation of the “end of meta-narratives” in The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. Another problem of history for the American left, then, is that, like all grand makers of meaning Christianity, Marxism, and empiricism, to name but a few), history is reduced by postmodernization to a multiplicity of texts, each equally incapable of accurately documenting the whole truth.-

-Like antimodernization theory, postmodernism takes as its binary opposition “the modern,” though in slightly different terms Instead of emphasizing the moral and political consequences of modern capitalism, as had the radical social movements before it, postmodernization offers “privacy, diminished expectations, subjectivism, individuality, particularity, and localism” as alternatives to the modern’s stability and universalism.-

-Alexander writes: “While postmodernism, then, is indeed a deflationary narrative vis-a-vis heroic radicalism, the specificity of its historical position means that it must place both heroic (radical) and romantic (liberal) versions of the modern onto the same negative side”. The end result is a near debilitating fatalism regarding the impossibility of totalizing change. Alexander characterizes the condition as “comically agnostic,” an apt description, I think, of much of Roth’s later work.-

-With all of history suddenly exposed as fictional constructs, artists were freed to interrogate it with impunity, making it the stuff of parodic play. In their freedom, however, they also sacrificed recourse to effective political means, making parody easy (and fun), but change difficult.

Continuation here

Thomas Wictor: Obama’s Damage

Source is Thomas Wictor.
Reproduced here for easier reading, go follow him on twitter.

Boy oh boy. Remember we said that after Obama left office, we’d find out the damage he did? It’s much worse than I imagined. Under Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, the Department of Justice pushed the states to pass new laws. The goal was to make it impossible to hold repeat offenders in jail before trial. Continue reading “Thomas Wictor: Obama’s Damage”

Eve Keneinan: Atheists, IQ, and the Burden of Proof

This is a tweet chain I have gathered here for easy reading, because it’s just too good not to and Eve Keneinan has not put it on her blog. (Source).

The only change I have made is to replace Eve’s allcaps words and phrases with bold for easier emphasis reading. All emphasis is Eve’s own.

Atheists love to dwell on the fact that unintelligent people with little education tend to be religious. They aren’t so fond of noting that the smartest and wisest men with the best and deepest education also tend to be religious. Atheism appeals to the slightly above average mind with a mediocre education. his is one of the reasons Pope (among others) warns against little education:

It was this class of people in Vietnam who were most likely to turn traitor. They are the most easily led by the nose class of persons. Vice Admiral James Stockade wrote about this, in a very interesting essay, “The World of Epictetus

Stockdale spent 8 years in the infamous Hoa Lo prison, the “Hanoi Hilton,” and observed many things about the human condition. One was the varying effects of Vietnamese communist propaganda on various types of men. Rough, uneducated soldiers were largely immune. A sargeant from Tennessee met every attempt to break his loyalty with one word: “BULLSHIT!”

Stockdale, highly educated (having studied philosophy) was also largely immune. He could show his captors how they were misreading Marx. The men who turned coat were the moderately smart, moderately educated. These are the class that are most susceptible to propaganda. It is highly significant that this is also the class that makes up the ranks of atheists.

They are a bit above average, but not greatly so, so they are constantly in need of reassurance of how smart they are. They also tend to vastly overestimate their own modest abilities, it being a mark of true wisdom to achieve an understanding of one’s limits. If one is smarter than average, but not by much, one tends to be very conceited about said superiority, but not smart enough to be humble. And one also tends to invest one’s identity in this “being smart,” and so be very insecure at things one doesn’t understand—to dismiss them. Do you think it is an accident that the most ridiculous sorts of beliefs and ideologies proliferate among academics? Of course not.

Professors are, by and large, smarter than average—it is almost a requirement to be one. But they are not typically very smart—though some are. Here I speak as one having spent roughly three decades associating with professors. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that atheists show as being statistically slightly more intelligent than theists (they average 103 IQ). Religiosity increases the lower you go on IQ … and beyond a certain point, the higher you go. Atheism is a middlebrow phenomenon.

I am reminded of the famous Taoist parable that distinguishes the common man, the sophisticated man, and the wise man:

The sophists (whence “sophisticated”) almost always call Socrates “simple” or “simpleminded”: because he agreed with the common people. What the sophists never could understand was that Socrates’ conclusions may have been common, but his reasoning was anything but. Socrates had already thought about all the “sophisticated” ideas of the sophists and thought through them to the point of wisdom. Simplicity is a sign both of never having worked through complexity and having fully worked through it.

That is to say, one can be “simple” by virtue of never thinking much, or by thinking very much indeed, and achieving wisdom. Not that the achievement of wisdom is ever total—again, Socrates’ basic insight was that he was not wise—which made him so.)

So you have three classes of people:

  1. Ordinary = theistic
  2. Sophisticated = atheistic
  3. Wise = theistic

Obviously, the sophisticated class loves to preen about how, well, sophisticated they are—and so better than ordinary people. This is the force of Bacon’s dictum:

Sure, study of philosophy can shatter a simpleminded and uneducated faith to bits. It will do so. But that isn’t the end of the story. The problem is not in losing one’s childish, simpleminded faith. The problem is in stopping or being arrested at that point. Most “skeptics” never reach the level of learning to become skeptical of skepticism—that is, they never learn to think self-reflectively.

This is again why so many people propound “bright ideas” that, if taken serious and applied to themselves, would be self-destructive. E.g. the way middlebrow atheists misunderstand Popper’s “falsificationism” and say “Anything that can’t be falsified can’t be known!” A statement which, of course, cannot be falsified, and therefore, by its own logic, self-destructs. Since I’ve been on Twitter, I’ve replied to every atheist who claims “the burden of proof is on the one who makes claim” to prove his claim.

None ever have. In fact, they get offended at being held accountable to their own proffered principle. But not only have I never gotten a proof of this “principle,” I’ve never gotten more than special pleading that I should just accept it. want to say: the ability to test one’s beliefs via retortion or self-application is one of the marks of wisdom.  Not doing this is why so many intellectuals are hypocrites, or have recourse to ad-hoc justifications.

Atheists usually don’t come right out and say “this rule applies only to theists,” even though that is what they really mean. In this respect, SJWs and feminists are more honest than atheists: they simply say outright that the rule only applies to whites or to men. Of course, there is a price for SJW/feminist “honesty”: they reveal themselves as the bigots they are. Atheists will sometimes do this. The most obvious way an atheist can do this, since they don’t buy “privilege theory”, is with a biased “burden of proof” theory.

It’s a shabby, intellectually dishonest trick, and I do not let it pass. No matter how much I get accused of “dodging” or using a “cop out,” I won’t budge in requiring an atheist to live up to his own standard. And none of them ever will.

That’s the interesting thing to me. What do you make of?
B: “Okay, then you do it.”
A: “No, I don’t have to.”

There is something deeply incoherent there, and since it seems to be willful (they could if the chose), deeply intellectually dishonest. say: basic fairness is dialogue or discussion requires that you do not demand that I abide by any principle or rule that you will not. In any case, I will not abide or accept any rule or principle that my opponent or interlocutor will not also accept or abide by. And I won’t do it, even if my interlocutor keeps demanding that I accept his double standard.

The answer is always going to be “No.”

This thread is continued here when Eve replies to some commentators.

Polina Posts XXVII: Progressive Women’s Sufferage

-Progressives fought for women’s suffrage to purify the elections using supposedly purer female voters.-

Step back a bit.

The world would be more peaceful if it was run by women Diversity yes.

There you go. Not a fucking thing has changed. Any alterations are semantic.

What did Teddy love to do with Progressivism? Use the military to achieve American goals abroad.
Who keeps calling for fucking war with other countries governments? People think this has changed or that these people aren’t true progressives. All you need to do is dig past the surface bullshit and it’s all still there. At most the wording has changed. Everything else is still the same. All of this is also pretty much review. But I was back at the page and fuck you. Black labour, Green labour, Brown labour.

Tater Tot: Irish Baby

damn I love these things

Polina Posts XXVI: The Hubris of Pathological Charity


You have, through specialized and controlled breeding, created a wheat variant that can grow just about anywhere under almost any conditions.

“Finally”, the social scientist says through a sigh of relief, “Now that they do not need to spend every moment of every day stressed for basic needs, they can truly begin to blossom.”

No longer under the threat of having to live every day one moment at a time, the task is set to hand.

Ich bin der Geist der stets verneint!
Mephistopheles is ever present.

Everyone thinks they’re doing good when doing good.
No one in such…”charity”, ever stop and thinks, “What if I’m wrong?”.
For that reason hell is paved with their actions.

They did not blossom, they did not change. For you taught them that just beyond the waters lies a land so well progressed, it spent money like nothing and worked to take care of them and eliminated an entire daily stress.

The man who solves world hunger burns in unknown hells, for he sends the world down a path of genesis without God.

Without a rebirth.

By this man societies now question practicing self-extinction and unleash hordes from that land because everybody wants to talk about the moral crisis and the next great humanitarian need.

No one wants to talk about the consequences of eliminating hunger from the fastest reproducing place on the planet.

No one wants to talk about men’s folly when they gather the “international community” and command the nations of the world like they were God at the end times, directing all their blind morality and unthinking empathy. Rallying a force unthinking and unseeing. Pretending to know “that power which would do evil constantly and constantly does good.”

Seek to do good like you are God and you will do evil like you are the devil.

Not all good creates good. The necessary evil is greater than the unnecessary good. The man who forgets that burns in unknown hells.

The man who thinks Jesus speaks of physical pains, physical hunger and thirst and not a desire for faith wrapped in a metaphor.
Two men. One man.

P.S. This is why Catholics will burn in hell
Namer of the Papist Namer of the Jew, out.

GN’s notes: Bold emphasis in this is mine, I’m quite sure that’s an original quote by Polina and I think it’s perfect.

Polina boilerplate disclaimer as usual.

Polina Posts XXV: White People Made Research Too Hard


Some of the oldest, most terrible, yet ever present stereotypes it seems were always true. But everybody gets mad because no one can into Individual vs Group dynamics.

-Other conference-goers reportedly called the concept of intellectual diversity “white supremacist bullshit,” while another said “research” is a “colonial, white supremacist, elite process.”- (source)

There are, in fact, very good reasons some civilizations got farther than others. Very good reasons some never existed. You have to admit, if not always true, then turning everything into everything turned everyone into their worst stereotypes.

African: “Ya see, science is racist because white people made research too hard just to keep us colored folks down”.
Now do a favor and remove yourself from personal and emotional context for a moment and reread that. It sounds beyond insane or something a hobo said and probably never happened.
Now understand it is and has been happening.
Understand this is a popular current among the learned of societies.

The nonwhite as a group, for this is the dynamic used, has said of the Whites sciences and progress beyond feudal agricultural society: “Science is a white myth, the scientific method and rationality are lies and ll of this is racist and not real and must be destroyed.”

Many have already been more than willing to make many such concessions. Point being.What you’re seeing is what South Africa went through and is still going through since we told them “Whitey go home”.

“Also you can’t go home. You’re barred. HAHAHA.”

Reminder, Rhodesia was right and warned us.

Reminder that what happened to Rhodesia was basically just a very accelerated affirmative action. Imagine the lesson of WWII in political terms, as is said to be, “Appeasement does not work as it simply enables further appeasement.” seemingly being forgotten and the total opposite being pursued for relations with the Arab and African nations.

Polina Posts: XXIV: Response to When The Nazis Come Marching In

When the Nazis Come Marching In

I never feared the First Amendment until white supremacists came to my hometown.

Also from Foreign Policy*. Do you understand what is going on yet?

For the Framers, the thinking went, free speech was just speech, nothing more and nothing less. The best way to deal with the most appalling speakers would be to ignore them, in the hope that they would go away or drown trying to be heard. That they wouldn’t survive the marketplace of ideas. It’s the same reason we tried to ignore Donald Trump for so long or at least failed to take him seriously. Or so I wrote in 2015. We tried to ignore Steve Bannon and Milo Yiannopoulos. We tried to ignore Ann Coulter and Richard Spencer. We ignored them for so long and for so hard that they now get to ignore us. And these days, people who used to feel free to shout and threaten are emboldened to punch, body-slam, and stab.

Imagine believing that these people were ignored. Imagine believing that ignoring them caused this. Don’t because she doesn’t either

That is what has become of free speech in this country. That is why I was contemplating breaking up with it. I don’t think I’m alone, either. There are a lot of people out there who feel that they ignored racist, xenophobic, sexist white supremacists at their own peril, for months and years, when they should have been punching back. And now, a lot of people in my town are not quite sure what to do.

“Punch a Nazi” apparently did not happen.

-Many progressives are sick and tired because they have found that their attempts to protect free speech-

Has not happens since the 60s.
She goes on to do exactly what many predicted they would do. Remember the self-referencing image? It never existed but someone said it did and now it references itself as proof of existence. Every time a news story that isn’t accurate has been posted by MSM only to be shyly corrected later, is this very concept.
Like the Bernie guy in portland.
He’s still a “White supremacist” but now they mention, without the full details, he attended Free Speech rallies.

I see the lines behind everything and it is driving me back into insanity.

*Why is it a slate link? Re-posted onto FP.


Polina Posts XXIII: Is it Moral to Have Kids In a World Beset

Polina’s response to: Is it moral to have kids in a world beset by overpopulation and global warming?


If this ends in “The people who have the ability to solve these issues must stop breeding” I’m going to look up their religion.

Key note in the article already: Iran began educating women when they wanted to lower fertility rates.
It worked.

  • Trick women into delaying child birth (older means more likely to suffer mental problems)/living without families.
  • Cut the upper crust birth rate
    Now the other person is bitching about patriarchy and instead that Men should be targeted and restricted instead. What men are we talking about?

-Poor women don’t have the luxury of controlling their reproduction.-

“- They’re the ones who are going to be held responsible, and they’re also the ones who are least in a position to live up to these norms.-
No, they really are fucking not this makes no god damned sense. Condoms not expensive, THEY’RE THE ONES HAVING 30 KIDS THAT GO NOWHERE

-Wealthy, white, normative, traditional-looking families are going to get more of a pass.-
You stupid fucking dyke looking bitch I’m looking
Oh gee who fucking guessed it you Jewish bitch

  •  Queer, gender fluid Jew who teaches gay feminist philosophy at a catholic university and openly loathes the religions teachings.


“I know you talking bout babies and shit, but really, like, fuck the patriarchy.”

This conversation has been completely derailed and anytime the other one in it tries to get it back on track the dumb jewish dyke interprets something as oppressing women when poverty somehow makes it impossible to pull out.

Even when he concedes to her to try and get this back on topic she immediately argues the opposite.

This is no longer about kids, the environment, and families. It’s all about in what ways she can find oppression in any statement. Her last statement is that the best solution is to build upwards in the Urban, THE URBAN, and this will be better for the environment.

-people who live in small, active city spaces with tons of possibilities just tend to have fewer children.-
I am surrounded by trillions of little Mexican babies you are full of shit.