Author Archive

First Presidential Debate

Posted September 27, 2016 By John C Wright

My opinion, in case anyone should ask, is that Donald Trump won the debate against Lester Holt on points, but that on overall appearance and comportment, Trump did not win.

That is, everything Trump said was correct, but how he said it seemed undignified and unbecoming of someone running for high office.

I believe Secretary Clinton was also present to aid Mr. Holt in his debate with Mr. Trump, but her contribution was minimal. Read the remainder of this entry »

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Here is a Book I want to Read

Posted September 26, 2016 By John C Wright

Tom Simon has announced his next book: https://bondwine.com/2016/09/25/superversive-coming-soon/

 

superversive-cover

I must say I am looking forward to this eagerly. His last two books of essays were memorable and worthy of many rereads.

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The Most Difficult Fifty Bucks I Ever Earned

Posted September 26, 2016 By John C Wright

A reader asked me to view the following two hour lecture on geocentrism. He promised me fifty bucks if I was not convinced. I wished I had asked for more. This was painful to sit through.

The man involved, Robert Sungenis, is, to put the matter kindly, a smug and dishonest crackpot without even the zealous honesty the other crackpots, flatearthers and theosophists, tend to radiate.

I was trying to count the number of scientific errors he made, and gave up counting when I realized every statement contained a scientific error but one. (He is correct that the microwave background radiation in space is not symmetrical).

The argument was grossly illogical, merely an assertion that there is a conspiracy theory among scientists to discredit the Bible, and that scientists falsify results and ignore contrary experiments due to personal prejudice.

It haunts and horrifies me that any educated person could be deceived by this man. Robert Sungenis is an uncharismatic version of Professor Harold Hill, the Music Man. Only not as amusing, and without the song and dance.

Here is the lecture.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rwx7bYEUIF4&ab_channel=LoneStar1776

Fairness requires me to at least list to the points I found unpersausive.

Professor Harold Hill (as I shall call him hereafter) begins with a fifteen minute explanation of his purpose, which is to show that the Earth is the center of the universe in order to undermine the atheist view that the Earth is in an insignificant area of a vast cosmos.

He repeats this several times, and the argument is never made more logically than this: he rejects anything other than a flatly literal interpretation of the Bible as discrediting the whole of the Bible, so that if an ancient writer speaks of the sun rising or the moon setting, this is support for geocentrism.

The problem with Biblical literalism is that it requires a firmament of water above the atmosphere, plants older than the sun, and the presence of unicorns in the wilderness, leviathans in the sea, and God having hands and feet and wings and so on.

As  Roman Catholic, I am not bound to affirm that every non-scholarly flatfooted literal reading in translation of every passage of the Bible, taken out of context, means what the non-scholar says. So, to me, the idea that even one Christian lost his faith due to the Copernican theory is absurd (or, rather, that only absurd Christians would find this a challenge to their faith) much less that the orbit of the Earth around the sun is the main reason for loss of Christian faith in the modern day. The Copernican theory was not an issue for Christians until the Evengelical movement springing from the Protestant movement, some hundreds of years after the entire Christian world saw no conflict between astronomy and theology. It is a make believe problem believed neither by honest scientists nor by orthodox Christians.

The fight between faith and reason exists only the narrow minds of atheists who worship science without understanding it and heretics who worship the Bible without understanding it: two brands of idolaters, each a mirror reflection of the other.

As an ex-atheist, I solemnly assure you that not a single atheist, no, not one, would give a flying fig over whether geocentrism were proven true. Earth being in the center of the cosmos does not prove God exists, or even hint as much. How many atheist of your acquaintance fell down and worshiped God when the Big Bang became the standard model?

Lucretius the Roman philosopher and poet was an atheist (or, at least, a man who believed the serene gods never interfered in human affairs) and he believed the geocentric model.

Astronomy is not what makes atheist doubt the witness of the Christians. (More likely, it is our lack of charity and godliness that makes them doubt.)

The medieval writers who put Earth in the center of gravity, where are all the heavy, mundane, mortal, and un-divine material fell, regarded the center of the universe as the bottom, where hell was. The Earth’s surface was the roof of hell. The stars were the palaces of the saints and angels, the important part of the universe. We were the sewer.

And, as writers from Chesterton to Lewis have pointed out, in no sober man does the size of the universe show man to be too small for the concern of God, rather than stand in mute witness to His glory.

Man is indeed small in relation to the universe. For that matter, he is small in relation to the nearest tree.

Arguing that heliocentrism moves man from the central position of God’s love to a forgotten corner of the cosmos is as illogical as arguing that Caesar must be a god but Christ cannot be god, because Caesar was in Rome, adorned in purple, whereas Christ was born in a stinking stable in an obscure frontier of the Empire.

Only someone unfamiliar with (or perhaps an enemy of) both Christian humility and scientific honesty could make such a stupid argument as to claim heliocentrism erodes faith and geocentrism will restore it.

Therefore when Professor Hill says at the outset that his purpose is not to learn science, but to use science to teach about God, salvation and the eternity of the soul, he attempting gross malfeasance, first by identifying a wrong cause of atheism (it is not caused by heliocentrism) and second by identifying a wrong method of Biblical exegesis (expecting science to match tin-eared literalism of those heretics who worship the Bible, not Christ.)

So the introduction gave me the intellectual measure  of the man: the question he approaches are above his mental pay grade.

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An Universal Apologia for the Universal Church

Posted September 25, 2016 By John C Wright

With some reluctance, I surrender to a reader’s request to place, in one spot easily opened, my series of essays explaining my reasoning that compelled me to accept the Catholic Church as being one, true, apostolic and catholic in nature, and rejecting respectfully the claims of the others.

My reluctance is for the obvious reason that in this late hour of history, when the lamps of the faith are being extinguished one by one, and the whole is rotted and stinking with the open corruption of venal secularists and their perversions combining with heretical and apostate Mohammedans to form a single and insanely violent death cult bent on the destruction of the West and the enslavement of all her children, is the worse moment to stir up old wounds between brothers.

I wish enmity to none of my brethren in Christ, and, as I hope we will meet in heaven, we can lay to rest our petty and odious theological disputes there, when the light of truth shall abolish them. Whoever turns out to have been wrong will laugh and weep, and whoever turns out to be right will be ashamed at his lack of charity, if he failed to love the mislead brother all the more, as he ought to have done.

Nonetheless, truth has its own claim, and I must speak it as best I may, if I may do so without pride:

http://www.scifiwright.com/apologetics/

This long essay is also available by clicking the APOLOGETICS button on the front page of this journal.

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Wright Stuff

Posted September 24, 2016 By John C Wright

We now have a shop at Zazzle. There are collections there with items from the Books of Unexpected Enlightenment, the Prospero’s Children (Daughter) series, Tales of Moth and Cobweb, and the general writings of John C. Wright.

http://www.zazzle.com/wright_stuff_shop

So if you need a nousepad of Mab, a cheerweasel bag, or a clock adorned with the Dark Tower from SOMEWHITHER, here is the place to sate your needs.

Please note that the black and white drawings were penned by yours truly, so if you have ever dreamed of seeing what a sardonic sheep named Gaius or mad English warlock boy named Sigfried or the ever-popular Mephistopheles Prospero (a name far more ominous than he is) look like on mug or mousepad, pillow or T-shirt, now your dreams come true.  Read the remainder of this entry »

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Occam’s Razor and the Beard of the Philosopher

Posted September 24, 2016 By John C Wright

This is the too-long did not read version of a previous column. I write in in hopes that the many people who have misunderstood my point will understand if earnestly asked.

In the following argument, no claim is being made that inexplicable things are explicable. No claim is being made that the atheist model is wrong. The single claim being made is that the atheist model is inelegant, that is, it is a model that is less parsimonious and less robust than the Christian model.

I said it at least four times in a prior column article, but the concept that a lawyer is only arguing the one point he says he is arguing is confusing to many, so I will repeat it:

I am asking the reader to compare the two models of the universe. I make no arguments as to which is true. I am only talking about (1) what they claim and (2) whether the model requires ad hoc after-the-fact rationalizations to save the appearances. I called these ad hoc ‘epicycles.’

The atheist model either claims that the origin of the universe is a mystery beyond human power to know, or claims it is beyond present human knowledge, or claims that various speculations (spontaneous creation, multiverse, or endless cycles) are the most satisfactory speculations currently available.

The Christian model claims the origin of the universe is known because the originator made it known. The model neatly avoids the logical fallacy of an infinite regression of causes, and the unscientific claims about reverse-entropy, the paradox of multiple universes, or causes arising spontaneously.

And likewise for various other claims about the origin and nature of morality, the origin and nature of aesthetics, of free will, and for historical claims of the causes of the triumph of the Christian Church and of Western Civilization. The atheist explanation of why Christians act as they do does not fit in with the atheist model of human nature, motivation, and behavior, or says it is beyond knowing.

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A Glimpse of SF History

Posted September 23, 2016 By John C Wright

After a fascinating discussion with Dave ‘Slayer-of-Snowflakes’ Truesdale (the first, but not the last, man to be expelled from a science fiction con for speaking truth to falsehoodlums) He shared a tidbit of history with me, that I would like to pass along.

Mr Truesdale says by way of background:

At the tender age of 24, in April of 1976 my third or fourth con ever was a Minicon. I interviewed a ton of the Giants at that con (and the previous Minicon in 1975) and published the interviews in the original Tangent, which was devoted to articles, book reviews, and interviews. Turns out that one of those interviews was with Leigh Brackett and husband Edmond Hamilton, said interview since verified as the very last one of them both together.

Within a year and a half both of them had passed away. With all
humility I observe that it is regarded as a classic by many. It is quite long but looking back on it now after 40 years it still holds up. The kid lucked out.

 

http://www.tangentonline.com/interviews-columnsmenu-166/1270
-classic-leigh-brackett-a-edmond-hamilton-interview

My comment: Leigh Brackett, although I never met her, never wrote her a fan letter, has always had a very special place in my heart. Her space-noir adventure stories stand out from the crowd of pulps, and her penning EMPIRE STRIKES BACK should confirm her fame to those who have forgotten that she wrote THE BIG SLEEP screenplay.

But, in my case, her imagination is the first one from which I stole a character and a situation for a RPG game of mine, a villain named Alandur, a vampire, not of blood, but of beauty.

Of Edmund ‘World-wrecker’ Hamilton, I fall mute in admiration. He is like a pagan god to me. A shrine to his work burns forever with votive candles in my imagination. He wrote CAPTAIN FUTURE, ferpetessake! You cannot get more scientifictionary than that.

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Superluminary, Episode 19, The Surrender of Saturn

Posted September 21, 2016 By John C Wright

Superluminary, Episode 19, THE SURRENDER OF SATURN, is posted on Patreon:

Episode 19 The Surrender of Saturn

In this exciting episode, Darius Tell, Lord Pluto, battles with his brother Lord Saturn. Aeneas forces the captured Lord Saturn to use his secret powers to reveal the long-hidden and primordial origins of earthly life that the missing, mad Emperor, Lord Tellus, kept from his family.

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Reviewer Praise for SOMEWHITHER

Posted September 21, 2016 By John C Wright

Mr. Peter Nealan, the author of the American Praetorians series has some kind words about my book. I think he and I are mutual fans of Larry Correia.

https://americanpraetorians.wordpress.com/2016/09/20/book-review-somewhither/

Somewhither is seriously one of the wildest mishmash pulp/sci-fi/fantasy/Christian fiction stories I’ve ever read.  (And in case anyone is worried about the “Christian fiction” part making it too tame, don’t worry.  There’s plenty of violence and bloodshed to satisfy the strictest action junkie.  Some of it’s almost more graphic than the stuff I write.)  Wright has thrown just about everything plus the kitchen sink into this universe (multiverse?).  There are magicians, vampires, werewolves, giant armored zeppelins, interdimensional gates, monsters of all shapes and sizes (many of which come from various medieval sources that are sadly underutilized when people start coming up with monsters for fantasy stories).  There’s adventure and superpowers and lots of combat.

In short, it’s a wild roller-coaster of a multiple universe swashbuckler, with some deeper metaphysical themes woven in between the blood and guts and derring-do.  If you have enjoyed the Jed Horn series, by all means, go read Somewhither.  You will not regret it.

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Occam and Atheism

Posted September 20, 2016 By John C Wright

On the Inadequacy of the Atheist Model

I have been asked to explain some of the ways in which the atheist model of the universe is either inadequate or inelegant, hence not the most rational approach to use to explain the facts of reality, nor to answer the deep questions of philosophy.

Now, I should say at the outset that a dogma shared by all atheists I’ve met or read to date (I include myself back when I was an atheist) is their unquestioned assumption that disbelief in Christ is a reasonable position, and belief unreasonable.

The firmness with which the atheist hold to the assertion of Christian irrationality is directly proportional to the strength of the argument supporting said assertion.

In reality, Christians believe in Christ for the same sort of reasons people believe in heliocentrism, Darwinism, bimetallism, monogamy or anything else: the unreflective man believes what he was taught by his parents and elders, and sees no reason to reexamine that belief; the reflective man believes because no other answer is as simple and yet suitable to the evidence and axioms.

In my case, I submit that Christianity is reasonable because atheism leaves so much either to be explained in an awkward, ad hoc, and unconvincing fashion, or not explained at all.

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