Sunday, May 1, 2016

Ultimate egoism

There is no myth of immortality supported by any major religion that is not utterly egoistic.

And what does that say about the human tragedy?

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Bah, humbug!

Back to substance dualism, or Berkelian idealism.

Or anyway the Augustinian/Platonic conception of the soul.

The immateriality of the self, the Ego, seems to me unnatural to deny.

No version of epiphenomenalism or event or property dualism seems credible to me.

Nor any Aristotelian/Thomist - or neo-Thomist - conception of the soul.

So, an atheist anti-physicalism, then.

And anti-nominalism.

Well, why not?

I could never give up appearances, propositions, properties, numbers, sets, or possibilia, anyway.

Given all those ontological commitments, why balk at souls?

Friday, April 29, 2016

Trump courts Bernie supporters

Donald Trump's new target: Bernie Sanders supporters

Trump said on MSNBC: "Bernie Sanders has a message that's interesting. I'm going to be taking a lot of the things Bernie said and using them."

Trump's advisers say these comments are a preview of more explicit overtures the campaign is ready to make to Sanders' supporters once the populist liberal exits the 2016 race. 

That strategy is based on the broad areas of overlap between voters attracted to Trump and those who have flocked to Sanders. 

Both have angrily denounced the political system as corrupt and expressed deep frustration that Washington is not helping ordinary people. 

They both oppose international trade deals, saying they hurt American jobs.

And, of course, targeting Sanders supporters could serve to undermine Clinton.

Anti-Trump canaille riot outside rally

Protests rage outside Trump rally in Orange County; 17 arrested, police car smashed

Rioting morons who will only give him more, and more loyal, voters.

One Trump supporter in a tee shirt was badly beaten by several of the "demonstrators," rescued by police, and taken to a hospital with a savagely smashed up face.

These journos describe these rioters as a "boisterous crowd" and "demonstrators."

The word "protests" in the title refers to what was in fact a riot by people who came to the scene of a giant Trump rally to do this.

Is he really this stupid?

Artificial Intelligence.


You are so fucked.

I will be dead, I hope.

Who cares what happens after machines replace people?

Bernie needs to quit

The Democratic Party is not a socialist party.

The Democratic Party does not regard capitalism or capitalist politics as inherently corrupt.

The Democratic Party is not the Independents Party.

The Democratic Party is not about making his or any "political revolution."

Progressivism is not and never was socialism of any type, and certainly not Bolshevism.

Listening to Jane Sanders, Bernie's wife and "senior advisor" on Rachel Maddow.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Current polling. Hillary beats Trump

Polling roundup

John Boehner on Ted Cruz

John Boehner talks election, time in office

I really don't see Cruz as a suitable ideological match for Carly Fiorina, but there it is.


Boehner also said Kasich is "high maintenance" and "needy," and that he supports Trump.

Anyway, Boehner at Stanford.

When specifically asked his opinions on Ted Cruz, Boehner made a face, drawing laughter from the crowd.

“Lucifer in the flesh,” the former speaker said. 

“I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”

Trump will pivot from race to sex

Steve M. on how Il Duce will run against Hillary.

I think he's forgetting that Trump has already dubbed her "Crooked Hillary" and attacked her for being weak, incompetent, tired, old, and yes, of course, female.

But by no means is he going to rely only on misogynist provocations that he will easily spin, with the help of quotes from single issue feminist supporters, into charges she only cares about "women's issues."

Obama never ran and never worked as "a race man" or "a race leader."

He ran to be president of all Americans and in his presidency, even when dealing with race issues, he has always been about all Americans and the good of the whole country.

Trump is going to go after her as a women's candidate in a sense in which Obama never was a black people's candidate - as mostly or principally though not entirely a women's candidate.

Anyway, this is Steve.

I don't think this is Trump simply refusing to adjust his tone even though he knows he has to make changes as a general-election candidate. 

I think he thinks he is making changes -- but in target rather than in tone. 

If I'm right, his idea of a "pivot to the general" involves a ratcheting up of sexism, directed particularly at Clinton. 

I think his belief is that establishment types are wrong to think this won't work -- after all, they're the ones who said he couldn't get away with describing Mexican immigrants as rapists or calling for a ban on Muslims. 

Trump, I suspect, thinks talk like this is taboo only because of "political correctness," not because it actually is politically counterproductive.

“I haven’t even started on [Clinton] yet," Trump told Jimmy Fallon back in January. 

In March, he said the same thing on Fox & Friends: "I haven't started on Hillary yet. That will be interesting." 

Last week on Fox & Friends, Trump's son Eric said of his father and Clinton, "He’s going to go after her in a way that no one has gone after her before.”

Trump thinks the vast majority of us hate Hillary Clinton, and hate her in a sexist way -- we just won't say in public that we think she's a hag and a shrew and has an annoying laugh and a shouty voice, at least until he breaks the taboo and says it all for us. 

(Also: Benghazi! Monica! Emails!) 

I don't know at what point he's going to realize that "political incorrectness" works best in all-Republican environments. 

I hope that doesn't dawn on him until the night of November 8, 2016.

I hope Steve is right that this will hurt him rather than help in the general.

Personally, I am by no means sure.

Never married ladies

Fielding regularly refers to Squire Western's never married sister as "Mrs. Western."

He and Tom refer to the young maiden Sophia as "Madam."


Reading Tom Jones.