An atheist finally groks Nietzsche

The Barefoot Bum gives up:

The world, I now believe, does not want to be saved. Whether the ordinary people close their eyes to the precipice towards which we are rushing headlong, or whether they see and simply do not care, or believe God or science or truth will magically rescue the chosen few, I do not know.

I’m not discouraged by the vitriol of the religious, of the libertarians, of the laissez-faire capitalists. I am, however, discouraged by the vitriol (and worse, the often blithe dismissal) of atheists, philosophers, progressives, socialists and communists, always (to my eyes) for daring to disagree with some item of cherished dogma. Perhaps I’m equally guilty of my own vitriol, but I have always done my best to at least avoid dogmatism, to substantiate my anger with facts and arguments. I have received no such consideration from my detractors. Perhaps I am wrong; I don’t think I’m stupid, but who does?

Perhaps I am myself no better than the ordinary person or my detractors; how can I know what I am blind to? Either way: what use is my work? Even the mostly sensible intelligentsia, from Marx to Myers, attract little more than hordes of ass-kissing sycophants: such is the most I could aspire to. Hell with that….

The world cannot be saved, does not deserve to be saved, does not want to be saved.

It would take the proverbial heart of stone to read this heartfelt cry of godless despair without smiling. There is nothing new under the sun; if the Barefoot Bum had ever truly read the Bible he would realize that he hasn’t figured out anything that wasn’t already explained in Ecclesiastes. And yes, if one’s idea of “intelligentsia”, let alone “mostly sensible intelligentsia”, encompasses both Karl Marx and PZ Myers, I’m afraid the question of stupidity must be conclusively affirmed.

It is not news that the world is damned of its own accord, that it is doomed by its own desires. The Good News is the same today as it was two thousand years ago. You are not forced to follow the way of the world. There is another Way on offer.

You’re done, he explained

Robert Samuelson sums up the consequences:

For the past half-century, federal spending has averaged about 20 percent of GDP, federal taxes about 18 percent of GDP and the budget deficit 2 percent of GDP. The CBO’s projection for 2020 — which assumes the economy has returned to “full employment” — puts spending at 26 percent of GDP, taxes at a bit less than 19 percent of GDP and a deficit above 7 percent of GDP. Future spending and deficit figures continue to grow. What this means is that balancing the budget in 2020 would require a tax increase of almost 50 percent from the last half-century’s average.

It’s amazing that it’s still necessary to explain that increased spending and higher taxes is not the magic formula to increase societal wealth, the mad visions of neo-Keynesian economists notwithstanding. Obama/Soetoro’s decision to attempt taxing foreign profits at the second-highest corporate tax rate in the OECD will absolutely cause large corporations to abandon the USA. There’s no question about it. I drove through Switzerland recently and saw the billboards that McDonalds had put up throughout the country. The pictures of fries and sesame seeds in the shape of Switzerland effectively raised a middle finger to the UK, since the advertisements were announcing the relocation of McDonalds’s European headquarters that had formerly been based in London. And McDonalds is far from the only multinational fleeing the insane British tax regime for more reasonable quarters.

Scientists are functionally stupid

Pew documents some of the differences between scientists and the public:

87% of scientists—but just 32% of Americans in general—say that humans and other living things have evolved over time and that evolution is the result of natural processes such as natural selection. A large gap also exists on the issue of climate change; 84% of scientists—but just 49% of the public—say that the earth is getting warmer because of human activity….

When something is run by gov’t it is usually inefficient and wasteful:
Public Agree: 57%
Scientists Agree: 40%

Ideological self-rating:
Public: 38% moderate, 37% conservative, 20% liberal,
Scientists: 52% liberal, 35% moderate, 9% conservative

It’s a real pity that Pew didn’t subject scientists to the same “science knowledge” test they gave the public; I bet the “shockingly” low results would surprise everyone. Scientists not only know very little outside their professional fields, but they tend to be given to falsely assuming that their very specific expertise and education is somehow magically applicable to the broad spectrum of human knowledge as well. Remember, as a group they were convinced that totalitarianism was the desirable future… many of them still are. Nor should you forget that the mainstream economists’ consensus was that the second stimulus package, Obama’s $787 billion plan, would work too.

No doubt people will interpret these results as proving that scientists are smarter and more educated, and therefore the public should follow their lead. This is absurd, as the results actually show that unlike the public, most scientists are incapable of producing sufficient value to society to financially support themselves; they’re welfare queens living off the reputation of their forebears and eager to keep the taxpayer money flowing. What makes them stupid isn’t their misplaced faith in evolution or AGW/CC, although both will eventually prove embarrassing, but rather their enthusiastic embrace of the very government support that is rendering them largely useless.

Science is far less important to society than business and the ideological freedom that most scientists oppose. Recall that the Soviet Union was devoted to science and spent a higher percentage of its resources on scientists than any nation in the West. The observable historical reality is that science depends on society, society doesn’t depend on science. And yet, as the survey shows, many scientists harbor contempt for the very society that makes their existence possible.

I suspect the main reason scientists tend to be liberal is not because scientific reasoning inclines one towards liberal politics, (five minutes of conversation with any liberal scientist is enough to disprove that notion), but because liberals are inclined to stay in school as long as possible and eventually pursue occupations where they don’t have to earn their living on merit, but receive a guaranteed income handed to them by someone else.