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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Finally!

Al will be taking over the guest editor spot Monday, I am told, and like the devil, I know I have a little time left. Now I get to shoot and snipe!

James, the PT editor, has suggested a post that I find rather attractive for this last one. James sent me two quotes:

"America is like a healthy body, and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within"
__Joseph Stalin

"To achieve world government, it is necessary to remove from the minds of men their individualism, loyalty to family traditions, national patriotism and religious dogma"
__Brock Chisholm, Former Director, World health Organization

And James concludes with a statement of his own:

"It seems this is a fence i wish not to climb over and escape from. Loyalty is the undermining concept of these(above) two quotes. They are reinforced by religion; religion that demands just that: traditional values".

My basic thrust in the past humongous number of essays is to point out that all forms of human government ultimately breaks down to algorithms, or decision procedures by which we function.

The US Constitution was not designed as a system of algorithms by which people would be governed, but was actually designed as a limitation of the federal government, so that people could be reasonably free to live by their own decisions. James Madison well understood the difficulty in relating any set of laws to "God":

"When the Almighty himself condescends to address mankind in their own language, his meaning, luminous as it must be, is rendered dim and doubtful by the cloudy medium through which it is communicated".

Madison hit on an interesting concept here, because a man named Claude Shannon would develop a mathematical process known as information theory. The basic idea of information theory is that the more probable a message is, the less information it contains. We could state it another way: the more a message is repeated, the less information it contains.

Based on Madison's observation, if God actually DID speak to men, his message would have a high information content, so much so that it could never be reduced to a fixed set of principles recognized as law. If God did speak to men, "His" language would have to be translated into the medium of their language, and that, said Madison, would render it dim and doubtful. We "see through a glass darkly".

I presented a parallel to that earlier, by pointing out that we cannot program a computer such that it represents God. If it could, it would have to also represent the various differences we would perceive between a physical "brain" like a computer, and what we recognize as God.

If we have over 38,000 versions of God within Christianity alone, and another uncountable number of versions outside Christianity, it is most likely we will never have a computer that can even come close to representation of God, and therefore we can have no human government that will come any closer, either church or state, and that is summed up convincingly in Godel's theorem.

So what is religion for, in terms of James' assessment, above? It can obviously have only one purpose, and that is to block the efforts described by both Stalin and Chisholm, in the above quotes. In short, humans cannot ever find the "answers" within themselves. Does that prove God's existence? No, but it does show that there is always "something" that will forever lie just outside of and representing a completeness just beyond human understanding.

How do I know this? Godel's theorem: In any consistent axiomatic formulation of number theory(or any formal theory of sufficient complexity) there exists an infinity of undecidable propositions.

How does this break down to Constitutional theory? The founders, especially the "Anti-Federalists", argued repeatedly that no system of laws could ever be answerable only to itself. If the Supreme Court was the final arbiter of all law, the natural tendency would be for the Supreme Court to decide all cases in a light that extended the power of its own decisions, or as one Supreme Court Justice put it, "We do not have the last word because we are infallible. We are infallible because we have the last word".

In fact, that is one aspect of Godel's theorem. There exists no such system that prove its own consistency from within itself. It must look "outside" itself to determine truth and justice. That, basically, is why the founders decided on a confederacy of states.

Karl Marx, in his earlier writings, however, realized that if you can change the economic system of any government, you can change the government itself. It is not necessary to attack the content of people's beliefs, but to by-pass those beliefs by establishing a decision procedure or algorithm that rendered their beliefs and traditions unenforceable.

Marx, conclusions were basically simple: If you can establish a form of currency that is a "universal equivalent" of all value, then everyone is ultimately forced to operate completely within the power of that "universal equivalent" no matter what their beliefs or opinions.

If money becomes the universal equivalent, said Marx, then everything is ultimately exchangeable for money. But a thing can only be exchanged for money, said Marx, if the owner has divested himself of its intrinsic worth, or if the owner has been "alienated" from that thing.
The so-called inalienable rights, and the fixed property relationships corresponding to them, said Marx, break down before money.

As the first Baron Rothschild is alleged to have said, "Give me control of the issuance of money, and I care not who makes the laws".

The decision procedures, the algorithms once driven by the de-centralist values of human traditions, are now completely subject to the algorithms controlled by the ones who control money issuance, or to put it in more ancient terms, "The love of money is the root of all evil".

Not money itself, but the love of money, that is, the use and control of issuance of money, to determine how a society must live. Money itself becomes the centralized "information" that completely controls a society, regardless of what they believe!

In contradiction to that idea, people will seek for a truth that allows them personal freedom, but in seeking that personal freedom, they will likely seek also to establish a "higher" authority which they will refer to as God.

One problem: you can't prove the existence of God. There is no way that God can ever be represented in any single human system of government or religion.

BINGO!

That is what our founding fathers referred to as "inalienable human rights". There exists NO collective human system, by any name, that can ever rise above the rights of a single human being!

How can a central government ever recognize and define the rights belonging to humans? It can't! That's why we have this little thing in the US Constitution called the Ninth Amendment.
The rights enumerated in the Constitution cannot be construed to deny or disparage other rights retained by the people.

First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

In fact, congress cannot authoritatively make such a law, since it has no ability to define "God".

The fact that there is no proof of a defined God is the best insurance of freedom that we can ever know. If there were such proof, imagine one world government, one neck ready for one leash. The freedom of a single mind reduced to a collective. Shades of Ayn Rand!

Just as Chaos science seems to show that chaos is necessary for order, it seems that an uncontrollable power called "God" is supremely necessary to offset the absolute power of law.

The "inalienable rights of man" demands always that there exists something beyond the range of human thought, human conceptions, and collective human power.

I choose to call that "something" God.

35 comments:

Cosmopot said...

Another excellent essay.

"The fact that there is no proof of a defined God is the best insurance of freedom that we can ever know."

One could say that God, in His wisdom, has ordained it to be so!
:)

Ralph said...

There ya go, Cosmo! proof by non-proof!

Byker Bob said...

Ralph,

While this is not directly related to your most recent post, it may be the last opportunity to thank you for your good work! I appreciate the time and thought which you put into the past month's postings. Good quality stuff, and thought provoking, too!

Best 2 U
BB

PT Reader said...

I'm drawn to the comment of James
where he advocates the religion of "traditional values."

Jeez, James, does that mean we'll be getting more sermons like those Ralph delivered? Another Bible quoter is coming in?

Please tell me you're joking. You are, right? Huh?

Are we headed for the Church of the Painful Truth? It's goddam scary.

Ralph said...

Pt reader, you got anything better, put up or shut up. Any moron can talk about the flaws in any argument. I can point out the flaws in Einstein's thought experiments. I bet you're not even capable of it.

You are little more than a coward.
I'm still waiting for the first proof of my so called "muddled thinking". As I said, wimp, put up or shut up.

Ralph said...

BB, thanks. I appreciate your balanced response. I also appreciate the responses of Corky and Questeruk and even Ex-Android.

But I already knew what Ex-Android was going to say, since I'm quite familiar with Ayn Rand.

For the next editor, let's make it even better!

Fact Checker said...

Please site the source for these two questionable quotations James provided. I did find the first one on a right-wing Christian blog. There was no source there.

I ask because the Xtians are quite adept at lying with manufactured quotes. One could write a book on the manufactured quotes concerning how "Christian" the Founders were.

Ralph said...

A worthy point, Fact Checker, and well deserved. Since I merely quote from James' contribution, I can only assume that in general he is correct.

Ralph said...

Fact Checker, I do hasten to add that the logic of my article is not dependent on the truthfulness or falsehood of either quote provided by James. The argument is quite simple. Religion, however, confused and wrongheaded it may be(and it is), provides people with an outlet to explore. That outlet, however, will produce exactly the kind of splintering of religions we see around us today. But such is the nature of all human knowledge that pursues truth in any "absolute" form.

The Painful Truth said...

PT Reader said...

I'm drawn to the comment of James where he advocates the religion of "traditional values."


Family values are political and social beliefs that hold the family to be the essential ethical and moral unit of society. It seems Stalin recognized this to have made such a statement.

Retaining the family as a unit is important to any nation as the glue that holds a civil society together. This is one of the conservative traditional values. Can anyone find fault with this value? Is this religion?

Each religious denominations has its own values. Religion and the values attached will always be here with us. You can fight it, curse it, post one thousand articles against it. But it is not going away.

The bible did indeed have a role in the formation of this nation. Religious believe is a variable element of human nature, expressed to one degree or more in every individual and in every society. Keep in mind that the founding fathers were 73% Christian and 27% non believers.

So with this in mind what can we conclude? That religion whether of the conservative or liberal side of the spectrum, is here to stay. At least until the human mind evolves. The prudent action would be to tolerate those who hold such believes.

From Wiki: A less common use of the phrase "family values" is by some liberals, who have used the phrase to support such values as family planning, affordable health care, and maternity leave. For example, groups such as People For the American Way, Planned Parenthood, and Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays have attempted to define the concept in a way that promotes the acceptance of single-parent families, same-sex monogamous relationships and marriage. This understanding of family values does not promote conservative morality, instead focusing on encouraging and supporting alternative family structures, access to contraception, abortion, increasing the minimum wage, sex education, childcare, and parent-friendly employment laws, which provide for maternity leave and leave for medical emergencies involving children.

The above is another example of “family values” from the liberal slant.
Notice the difference between the conservative views and the liberal views below. One side advocates personal responsibility and the other a father figure type of government. Pay attention PT Reader.

Conservatives - believe in personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, individual liberty, traditional American values and a strong national defense. Believe the role of government should be to provide people the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals. Conservative policies generally emphasize empowerment of the individual to solve problems. Not necessary to be religious.

Liberals - believe in governmental action to achieve equal opportunity and equality for all, and that it is the duty of the State to alleviate social ills and to protect civil liberties and individual and human rights. Believe the role of the government should be to guarantee that no one is in need. Believe that people are basically good. Liberal policies generally emphasize the need for the government to solve people's problems. In essence the government becomes god over the masses. A new religion.

Patriotism, Morality, Spiritual life, Individualism, Loyalty to family traditions.
Is there something wrong with these values? Anyone?
Now tell me PT Reader, what do these five values have in common and why would under-minding them cause America will collapse from within? Your answer please.

The Painful Truth said...

Fact Checker,

The quotes I used are from the PT Quote Corner.

"I ask because the Xtians are quite adept at lying with manufactured quotes."

I spent the time to make sure the quotes came from their source and not from another. I believe the sources are reliable. If you chose not to believe me that is not my problem. Prove me wrong.

PT Reader said...

I find myself now invited to become engaged in a long debate about "Family Values." Whole books have been written arguing both sides of the debate. Anyone interested can pursue them. This isn't the place. I merely saw the PT Editor provide Ralph with two questionable quotes to work with.
The ever-assuming Ralph was unquestioning.

Then the PT editor provided his written opinion to be discussed. As a freethinker I could see the ugly specter of religion rearing it's ugly head again here on the PT site. And we've just had an agonizing month of it with the guest editor.

I suspected the two quotes were of Christian manufacture. The design of them is to quote alleged statements of disliked people in order to buttress the stated argument which stands in sharp contrast. It's a classic logical error--the ad populum argument.

At that point we have two questionable quotations being given with no primary source. Ralph accepted them. That leads to muddled thinking.

Then the PT editor goes on to more questionable figures:

"Keep in mind that the founding fathers were 73% Christian and 27%non-believers."

What is your primary source? More right-wing manufacturing?

You used a 70% figure awhile back concerning the religious leanings of the Founding Fathers. I let that go unchallenged. Now I want to know your source for that earlier figure. If one myth goes unchallenged bigger ones will manifest themselves as we see right here in this blog with reference to the alleged quotation from Stalin.

Just what was the purpose of dragging in the two quotations anyways? Couldn't the subject of "traditional values" stand alone
on its own merits? Of course not! Even your guest side-stepped it.

Ralph said...

PT reader, muddled thinking? You're the one providing it. Show me ONE damn place where I advocated the joining of ANY religion whatever.

Quit your damn vague accusations and show me SPECIFICALLY, where I have ever advocated even the POSSIBILITY of correctly choosing even ONE Religion.

You can't. All you can do is run your mouth and accuse, and then accuse others of doing what you're doing. Take me on, any time, point for point, and I will kick your literary butt all over the web page. Give me a specific, PT. PROVE ME WRONG

Fact Checker said...

The quotes from the "Quote Corner" appear to be secondary. Alleged quotes from historical personages need verifying. After all, even quotes from the Bible cannot stand by themselves without readers being brainwashed to assume them to be true.

"I spent the time to make sure the quotes came from their source."

And it was too difficult after verifying the source to give it to the readers?

"Prove me wrong."

Sorry, that's not the way debate works. No, it's your responsibility to prove you are right. You are trying to bolster your argument with manufactured quotes. That isn't proof.

You've been reading too much of Ralphie's propaganda.

Ralph said...

Ah, PT reader, you show me an opening. Quotes from the bible needing to be proven true.

Let's see: Matthew 24:23:"Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there, believe it not".

What part of "brainwahsing does it make to demonstrate that statement as truth?"

Would yopu like to point me to any religion whatever saying here is Christ and prove to me it is the correct one?
or maybe the "brainwahsing" is that we believe that Jesus made the statement? Fine, let's say it was only stated by some bum that happened to get some really good strong drink. Does it make the statement any less true?

If any man said to you, "Here is Christ", would YOU follow that person? And if not, then by your actions you are agreeing that the statement is correct.

How about the natural(carnal mind is enmity against God? Would you like to prove that opne is being brainwhased by that statement? If the natural mind is NOT enmity agqainst God, we would have to assume that it IS subject to the will of God, nature of God, word of God, some aspect of Gd such that it could be proven that the mind can demonstrate some essence of God.

Obviously you would agree that there exists no such ability, so we have the proof of the statement.
Does the statement say God exists? NO, nor does it have to. It only has to point out that no natural mind can be subject to God, thetrefore resulting in EXACTLY THE SAME RESULT as if there is no God at al.

Would you like to prove the existence of God? I doubt it. Therefore, the statement is true by its correspondence with reality as far as we can prove it.

PT, you still haven;t pointed me to any statement showing any flaw in logic or muddled thinking. You continue to talk "about" my writing but show no specific examples.

Bring it, slick. I want to see it.

Byker Bob said...

PT Reader, most non-WCG atheists whom I've met are somewhat neutral regarding religion. They consider it to be somewhat as Paul considers idols (nothing).

You seem angry about religion, and are very much on the defensive. It's as if you want to stamp belief out to the extent that you are against others' rights to freedom of expression. What are you so afraid of, or threatened by?

BB

Corky said...

I have searched for the source of the Stalin quote and the ony places it is found is on right wing republican and anti-ACLU websites and they don't provide a source for the quote either.

I conclude that it's an invention. No source for the quote means that it is made up, invented, a meme.

It could be said that Stalin was the source but then, that hasn't been shown to be the case or proven to be true. I believe it is just an invention by some Christian right wingnut.

Ralph said...

I think even James would agree that the problem with such quotes is that we're often given a choice between which collective group gets to own our soul, as Ayn Rand points out. Give it up to a council, give it up to a group but give it up, give it up, give it up!

If the "spirit" of the quotes was to establish a religious counterpower to offset a fictional government power, I denounce it, as I think James would, as well.

My point in presenting it was to show consistently that there really are no groups that can lead you to some collective freedom and absolute truth, government or religion.

As to "family values", well, I can argue against family values, and I can argue for them. My family was quite dysfunctional. Don't get me started.

Ex-Android said...

Biker Bob,

You haven't the will to understand me.

The Painful Truth said...

Corkey said..
"I have searched for the source of the Stalin quote and the ony places it is found is on right wing republican and anti-ACLU websites and they don't provide a source for the quote either."

You didn't look too hard did you? Google showed 2,830 hits when entering the quote.

And why would you be bothered if a right wing group quoted it, especially if it is true?

The quote was taken from the works of Stalin. The web address I cannot find. With that in mind, feel free to dismiss it as conservative propaganda.

You may remember that I stated on the forum, in my younger days I was a communist. Like a bible study in the church, we debated and spoke Lenin, Marx, Engles, Mao, and of course Stalin. With that in mind I ask you again to not affiliate me with any current political party in America. I don't belong to any.

The Painful Truth said...

PT Reader said...

"I find myself now invited to become engaged in a long debate about "Family Values."

No you are not invited. I was speaking to Ralph, not you. This was in response to his posts.

And yes, I am for traditional values. I am not for the progressive "traditional values" where I hand a man a fish and feed him for a day. I am for teaching the man to fish so he can feed himself and live his live as self efficient and free of government intervention as much as possible.
Got a problem with that??

You have issues where religion is mentioned. Perhaps you should go post over at the cpusa asshole.

The Painful Truth said...

Anonymous Fact Checker said...

The quotes from the "Quote Corner" appear to be secondary.

No shit? Did you think I sat down and had an interview with Josef Stalin???

Mario said...

Google showed 30,500 hits when entering the quote, "Unicorns are real."

I'm just sayin'.

Ralph said...

Ex-Android says to Byker Bob, "You haven't the will to understand me".

You gotta love that. Maybe I should use that one on Ex-Android: You haven't the will to understand me.

In the immortal words of Archie Bunker, "Whoopti do!"

So, now you revreal more of yourself. It boils down to the "will" to believe something, not the possible truth of the statement, but the will.

The question worth addressing here is, does the will provide anyone with truth? If I decide to believe something, can I prove it true simply because I decide to believe it? It was the will of millions of Goose-stepping Germas that brought about the holocaust. It was the will of Pope Innocent III who persecuted decent human beings under the inquisition.

What you have implied, Ex-Android, by your statement, is that you haven't the will to understand Byker Bob, or myself.

As I've stated from the outset, I have no fear of the challenge. I'm perfectly willing to debate the issue. What is the superiority of your atheism? Your will not to believe?

Ralph said...

Mario, you make a good point, which is exactly what i have stressed in all my so-caled sermons. "If any man says to you, Lo, here is Christ, or there, believe it not".

The essence of truth is not dependent on who said it, but, is it true? The essence of all religion is to get you to folloow a statement and by the number of followers, give authority to that statement.

Yet if you read a statement by a man, any man, that tells you NOT to follow such people, why would you assume otherwise. especially if you have no way of proving the statement one way or another?

That has been the thrust of all my "sermons" and the usual gang of idiots have yet to challenge it.

Corky said...

I've read lists of Stalin quotes at on-line encyclopedias and that quote is not among them. I even read a bunch of the speeches made by Stalin and did not find it.

I think it's made up and I'm going to keep on thinking that until someone provides the source speech where Stalin said that.

Fact Checker said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Painful Truth said...

Corkey says:I've read lists of Stalin quotes at on-line encyclopedias and that quote is not among them.

And what are the implications to you and your political stance if the quote is true?

Byker Bob said...

"Biker Bob: (sic) You haven't the will to understand me" ~Ex Android


Well, EA, making unusual, cryptic remarks such as the above certainly doesn't help your cause.

Normally, I might attempt to understand you if we happened to work together, or if you were a family member, a close personal friend, or perhaps a lady in whom I was interested. If I sensed that you were wise, educated and had some knowledge which I needed, I might even seek your advice or counsel.

But, alas, your posts indicate that you are just some kind of heckler, or manure stirrer, who looks for different ways to trip up, or ridicule Christians. I still hope you eventually become philosophically fulfilled and have a wonderful, enjoyable life. Smile! Jesus loves you!


BB

The Painful Truth said...

From post: Sunday, February 28, 2010 9:04:00 AM PST" To the PT Reader...

Now tell me PT Reader, what do these five values have in common and why would under-minding them cause America will collapse from within? Your answer please."

Seeing as usual you never answer, but write drive-by postings instead, I will provide the answer.

Stalin, announcing his plans to undermine American culture by the destruction of its value system was nothing more than promoting his cult of personality for the consumption of the Soviet people.

You should have seen that coming long ago. It seems you never learned from your wcg experience. Spend some time studying about the "cult of personality" method. It will keep you from joining any sordid groups that do not have your best interest as a priority.

Corky said...

The Painful Truth said...
Corkey says:I've read lists of Stalin quotes at on-line encyclopedias and that quote is not among them.

And what are the implications to you and your political stance if the quote is true
?

It's "Corky" and I do not have a political "stance" at all. Kruschev said he would bury us but so far he hasn't and he's dead and I'm still alive.

In other words, it doesn't matter to me what Stalin said but the fact remains that the quote has not been proved to be Stalin's.

There are so many of these false quotes and misquotes going around these days that a person needs to be very careful about accepting them without proof.

It's not important to me whether the quote is for real or not but things like integrity and honesty matter.

Ralph said...

Corky, you have shown integrity and avoided the usual ad hominem.

Without attacking either you or James, my own political stance in the matter is what I quoted from Marx's early writings, which did come from a book called "The Essential Marx: The Non-Economic Writings by Saul K. Padover.

Apparently Padover worekd for the agency that later became the CIA, but he took pains to take the words of Marx in this regard and quote them without comment.

The issue I presented was not dependent on Stalin's quotes, but on Marx's conclusion that once money became what he called a "universal equivalent" of all value, it would effectively "alientate" the owner of property from that property, as he or she sought greater value in the form of exchange.

Because a person could be alientated from property, marx concluded that the "so-called inalienable rights and the fixed property relationships corresponding to them break down before money".

That, in fact, is what's happening in this country today.

Adam Smith, in "Wealth of Nations", advised against corporations or what he called "joint stock companies" in a free enterprise system for two basic reasons:
1.It caused people to seek profit over quality as they only wanted stock prices to increase by all possible means(look what happened recently with Toyota).
2.Allowing the CEO of a corporation to use other peoplee's money would tend toward corruption, since the CEO would not be as frugal with money that is not his, and as we see from the ENRON example, the directors will seek to avoid arrest by buying off the government whenever possible.

I'm not taking sides with your or James, but merely pointing out my conclusions as a result of my studies.

Questeruk said...

I have been a bit 'out of the loop' these last couple of weeks, so have not fully kept up with comments here.

Just to say thanks to Ralph for all the work you put in. Didn't agree with some things, and didn't always get your drift on other things, but that is the spice of debate is it not?

Hope you are back at some future point.

Anonymous said...

Ralph is a bit strange but I can understand somethings he placed on the table. If he could make less of the words and more on being simple it could help alot more.

Ralph said...

Thanks, Questeruk. my main point is that there are no "absolute" conclusions to be provided by human opinion. People get onto me for saying "You can't get there from here", but that is truly the case! If we could get "there", we would have already solved the puzzle, properly simulated God in some collective imagination, and we'd all be in agreement.

But that is exactly the thing, in order to adapt and survive, that we cannot do.

Anonymous, if you can give me some kind of specific example that you didn't get, I'll try to explain it as best as I can.