Ladies and Gentlemen, your "conservative" movement

Lest you wonder why the conservative leadership and commentariat has been so ideologically ineffective for so long:

The American Conservative Union asked FedEx for a check for $2 million to $3 million in return for the group’s endorsement in a bitter legislative dispute, then the group’s president flipped and sided with UPS after FedEx refused to pay.

For the $2 million plus, ACU offered a range of services that included: “Producing op-eds and articles written by ACU’s Chairman David Keene and/or other members of the ACU’s board of directors. (Note that Mr. Keene writes a weekly column that appears in The Hill.)”

The conservative commentariat, the conservative movement, and the Republican Party are full of tools who could not care less about political ideology. It’s all just Democratic and Republican laundry to them, so it shouldn’t be surprising that their purported efforts in the political arena are so reliably devoid of results. Most of them are for sale regardless of which side of the political spectrum they pretend to self-identify.

Mailvox: an attempt to prove God’s nonexistence

JB is a fan on certain issues, but he appears to have neglected to read TIA before sending in this attempt to disprove God’s existence through logic:

This applies to all gods, not only the Christian one. However, I will use the term “Christian” but that should not be taken to mean specifically Christians.

That which Christians call “God” must logically be one of the following two things:

1. The Totality, the sum total of the All, the Infinity of Existence, the totality of Nature.

or

2. Something less than the Totality.

There is logically no third alternative. It is one or the other. It is not possible to be more than the Totality, because the Totality, by definition, includes everything.

Now, the God that is identical with the Totality of all things may possibly be believed by some pantheists, but would not be believed in by many who would call themselves Christian. So, the God whose possible existence we need to examine is the second of the two alternatives – i.e., a God who is something less than the Totality.

Now is it possible for a “God” who is less than the Totality to be everything that Christians conceive him to be?

Christians conceive their God to be all-powerful – “omnipotent” – and all-knowing – “omniscient”. And Christians consider their God to be the creator of all things.

So is it possible for a being who is something less than the Totality of all things to be the creator of all things and have power over all things? No. It is not logically possible. A limited being cannot reach everything (by definition).

Is it possible for a being who is something less than the Totality of all things to be everywhere at once and to know all details about all things? No. It is not logically possible. A limited being cannot reach everything.

Thus the God of the common Christian is a logical impossibility and can never be more than a figment of the imagination. And just as a dream can be experienced, while having no logical coherence, and no reality beyond the imagination – so can the Christian experience his God.

I hope this leads you to re-consider your views on this issue.

The first point is correct. Either God is the Totality or God is something less than the Totality. The second point is also correct from both the Christian and other non-pantheistic perspectives; God is less than the Totality.

The third point is incorrect on two levels. 1) There is the usual confusion between capability and action. 2) Christian doctrine, as defined by either the Bible or the various theological doctrines of the major Christian churches, does not consider God to be omniscient in the sense it is used here. See TIA page 270 and “The Contradiction of Divine Characteristics”.

The fourth point – which is actually a series of related points – is incorrect. Completely incorrect. Not only can something which is less than the Totality be the Creator of all things, logic actually dictates that the Creator of all things MUST be less than the Totality for the obvious reason that otherwise there would be nothing to create. JB has gotten the logic entirely backward here. Furthermore, there is no intrinsic logical bar on a limited being reaching everywhere or knowing everything, as this entirely depends upon the way on the question of whether everything is finite or infinite, the nature of the being’s limits, and the ability of the limited being to extend its reach through other beings.

(I always find it amusing when omniderigistes or atheists insist that God must know and control absolutely everything at all times or He doesn’t exist. I mean, how would a God who doesn’t know everything and control absolutely everything interact with His creation. Most likely, one would imagine, through intermediaries He has also created. What a pity there’s nothing that might fit that description in any theological system….)

As is far too often the case, JB has attacked a childish strawgod; he is attempting to prove the nonexistence of the omniderigent “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” god of the Christian Sunday School. Let this be a lesson: if you are going to attempt a serious criticism, first master that which you intend to criticize. It also helps to know your audience, since presenting an omniscience-based proof of God’s nonexistence to me is rather like presenting a critique impossibility of socialist calculation based on the labor theory of value to an Austrian economist.

Everyone hates Goldman

And with very good reason. Even Paul Krugman is beginning to see the downside with “saving the financial system”:

The huge bonuses Goldman will soon hand out show that financial-industry highfliers are still operating under a system of heads they win, tails other people lose. If you’re a banker, and you generate big short-term profits, you get lavishly rewarded — and you don’t have to give the money back if and when those profits turn out to have been a mirage. You have every reason, then, to steer investors into taking risks they don’t understand. And the events of the past year have skewed those incentives even more, by putting taxpayers as well as investors on the hook if things go wrong…. What’s clear is that Wall Street in general, Goldman very much included, benefited hugely from the government’s provision of a financial backstop — an assurance that it will rescue major financial players whenever things go wrong.

You can argue that such rescues are necessary if we’re to avoid a replay of the Great Depression. In fact, I agree. But the result is that the financial system’s liabilities are now backed by an implicit government guarantee.

No, the rescues were not necessary and Goldman Sachs should have been allowed to fail with all the other bankrupt banks. Max Kreiser’s perspective is both more forthright and more accurate that Krugman’s: “Goldman Sachs are scum. That’s the bottom line. They basically have coopted the U.S. government, they have coopted the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve functionality. They’ve coopted the Obama administration, Barack Obama dances to Goldman Sachs’s tune.”

What does Chairman Ben Bernanke of the Federal Reserve have to say about all this?

““The public in many countries is understandably concerned by the commitment of substantial government resources to aid the financial industry when other industries receive little or no assistance. This disparate treatment, unappealing as it is, appears unavoidable. Our economic system is critically dependent on the free flow of credit, and the consequences for the broader economy of financial instability are thus powerful and quickly felt.”

It’s time for the American public to tell both Bernanke and Goldman Sachs to go to Hell. The idea that the economic system somehow depends upon Goldman Sachs employees receiving millions in bonuses has got to be one of the biggest lies ever told in the history of economics. This is actually the last frantic looting of the pirates before the ship they attacked and boarded finally sinks beneath the waves. And the way out is absolutely not to build a new global system, because all that amounts to is allowing the financial pirates to board a new and bigger ship.

First CA, then the USA

It would appear that bankruptcy looms:

“We’re going to go bankrupt as a nation,” Biden said. “Well, people when I say that look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’” Biden said. “The answer is yes, I’m telling you.”

Actually, the USA is going to go bankrupt no matter what it does now. It’s just a matter of time; although it’s impossible to say how much time, one can safely predict that it will be sudden and shocking whenever it does happen. It’s interesting that both Obama/Soetoro and Biden have come right out and told the country that the USA is out of money, but no one except Goldman Sachs appears to be taking them seriously.