Darwinian Blithering

Posted October 14, 2014 By John C Wright

One Mr. David P Barash wrote a bit of typical Hitchens-style Christ-bashing, but without the stylistic wit of Hitchens. Also without the manly courage: Unlike Hitchens, Mr. Barash never actually finds the fortitude to come out and say what he means to say. This affords him wide avenues of retreat, as well as a mask of objectivity. Because he is a professor.

He has the startling news that science exiles faith! Because Darwin!

It is astonishing that some parents somewhere are paying this inarticulate or uneducated windbag good money to ruin the minds and souls of their impressionable schoolchildren. Simply the errors in straightforward logic are appalling, not to mention the lack of structure in his column: he seems to drift from topic to topic without any rhyme or reason.

Let us fisk this bit of blather.

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Othering the Cis

Posted October 13, 2014 By John C Wright

CPE Gabler asks:

Aren’t those vile depths generally reached from a starting point of wanting to be more loving than God, and to be compassionate to the outcasts and disenfranchised? I believe you’ve said similar things in the past.

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Beyond Binary Sanity — and a call to arms by Hoyt

Posted October 9, 2014 By John C Wright

Back when I was a Libertarian, we would ask each other when it was time to stop talking and to shoot the bastards.

Myself, I would like to have conservatives ask each other when it was time to stop apologizing to the Left, being nice to the Left, petting the Left, and bending over and clutching our ankles to allow the Left once again to kick us in the butt, or, given their sexual proclivities, perform an unnatural act which they regard as equal to marriage.

Here is yet one more example the Left buggering civil society:

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/389862/school-told-call-kids-purple-penguins-because-boys-and-girls-not-inclusive

This is not a parody.

A Nebraska school district has instructed its teachers to stop referring to students by “gendered [sic] expressions” such as “boys and girls,” and use “gender [sic] inclusive” ones such as “purple penguins” instead.

“Don’t use phrases such as ‘boys and girls,’ ‘you guys,’ ‘ladies and gentlemen,’ and similarly gendered [sic] expressions to get kids’ attention,” instructs a training document given to middle-school teachers at the Lincoln Public Schools.

“Create classroom names and then ask all of the ‘purple penguins’ to meet on the rug,” it advises.

The document also warns against asking students to “line up as boys or girls,” and suggests asking them to line up by whether they prefer “skateboards or bikes/milk or juice/dogs or cats/summer or winter/talking or listening.”

“Always ask yourself . . . ‘Will this configuration create a gendered [sic] space?’” the document says.

The instructions were part of a list called “12 steps on the way to gender inclusiveness” developed by Gender Spectrum, an organization that “provides education, training and support to help create a gender [sic] sensitive and inclusive environment for children of all ages.”

Other items on the list include asking all students about their preferred pronouns and decorating the classroom with “all genders [sic] welcome” door hangers.

If teachers still find it “necessary” to mention that genders [sic] exist at all, the document states, they must list them as “boy, girl, both or neither.”

Furthermore, it instructs teachers to interfere and interrupt if they ever hear a student talking about gender [sic] in terms of “boys and girls” so the student can learn that this is wrong.

“Point out and inquire when you hear others referencing gender [sic] in a binary manner,” it states. “Ask things like . . . ‘What makes you say that? I think of it a little differently.’ Provide counter-narratives that challenge students to think more expansively about their notions of gender [sic] .”

The teachers were also given a handout created by the Center for Gender Sanity, which explains to them that “Gender [sic] identity . . . can’t be observed or measured, only reported by the individual,” and an infographic called “The Genderbred Person,” which was produced by www.ItsPronouncedMetroSexual.com.

Despite controversy, Lincoln Superintendent Steve Joel has declared that he is “happy” and “pleased” with the training documents.

“We don’t get involved with politics,” he told KLIN Radio’s Drive Time Lincoln radio show.

These people are mentally ill.

This mental illness is why some turd-scented Morlock on Tor.com called for an end to binary gender [sic] in SFF, and why Larry Correia was subjected to the Two Minute Hate.

Mr Correia pointed out that people who buy stories about libertarian gunnuts shooting monsters want a monster story, not a finger-wagging lecture on the alleged moral superiority of unnatural sexual acts.

The Morlock, like the Puritans before him, wanted an end to all entertainment that did not serve the zealous moralizing of the fanatics. Like the Puritans, for the Morlocks, there is nothing beyond the orbit of the theocratic leaders, nothing aside from the ideal, everything for the ideal.

The difference is that the Puritan moral code was actually moral, if excessive. They were trying to be holier than God, and to be meek, chaste, modest and humble. These modern Puritans express the same degree of zeal and mouth-foaming fervor by trying to kill more children than Moloch, screw more catamites than Asmodius, gnaw out their own guts with more envy than Leviathan, flatter themselves with more vainglory than Lucifer, and in general by trying to be more unholy than the wretched devils swarming in the smoldering sewers of Hell.

And now they have declared war on ‘he’ and ‘she’.

These people are mentally ill.

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So, You Want to be Superversive?

Posted October 8, 2014 By John C Wright

Are you sick of literature, especially what is fed to children in schools, that serves no purpose other than to subvert the current social order, rot civilization, introduce despair, and cast the phosgene gas of ironic detachment over all normal and healthy human emotion? Care to join the movement that stands for the opposite of all these things?

The beautiful and talented Mrs. Wright has the second of several planned posts on the topic of what to do to join the movement, and lend your strength to the cause?

So, you want to be Superversive? Eager to join the new movement but not sure how to tell if you have? This post will, God willing, help sort out a bit of the confusion.

So, without further ado: The Benchmarks of the Superversive:

First and foremost, a Superversive story has to have good storytelling.

By which I do not mean that it has to be well-written. Obviously, it would be great if every story was well-written. It is impossible, however, to define a genre or literary movement as “well-written”, as that would instantly remove the possibility of a beginner striving to join.

What I mean by good storytelling is that the story follows the principles of a good story. That, by the end, the good prosper, the bad stumble, that there is action, motion to the plot, and a reasonable about of sense to the overall structure.

Second, the characters must be heroic.

By this, I do not mean that they cannot have weaknesses. Technically, a character without weaknesses could not be heroic, because nothing would require effort upon his part.

Nor do I mean that a character must avoid despair. A hero is not defined by his inability to wander into the Valley of Despair, but by what he does when he finds himself knee deep in its quagmire. Does he throw in the towel and moan about the unfairness of life? Or does he pull his feet out of the mud with both hands and soldier onward?

Nor do I mean that every character has to be heroic, obviously some might not be. But in general, there should be characters with a heroic, positive attitude toward life.

However, many, many stories have good storytelling and heroic characters. Most decent fantasies are like that.

Are all decent fantasies Superversive?

No.

Because one element of Superversive literature is still missing.

Wonder.

Third, Superversive literature must have an element of wonder

But not ordinary wonder. (Take a moment to parse that out. Go ahead. I’ll still be here. )

Specifically, the kind of wonder that comes from suddenly realizing that there is something greater than yourself in the universe, that the world is a grander place than you had previously envisioned. The kind of wonder that comes from a sudden hint of a Higher Power, a more solid truth.

There might be another word for that kind of wonder: awe.

Read the whole thing: http://www.ljagilamplighter.com/2014/10/08/the-benchmarks-of-wonder-or-how-to-identify-a-superversive-story/

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Dog Latin

Posted October 8, 2014 By John C Wright

Okay, true believers, here is the scene as its stands.

Any Latin scholars out there, please correct any grammatical errors, except the one deliberate one.

The wolf speaking is actually a she-wolf, but the narrator, Ilya Muromets, does not yet know that.  So she should use the proper gender for any words referring to herself, but he should not. (NOTE: this is the only time you will hear this world ‘gender’ used correctly this year.)

A word of background: Ilya and Abby (a thin native girl in a monkey-faced breathing mask who rescued him) are traveling down the vertical highway system at the axis of the Tower of Babel. They are in a parallel timeline where construction was completed on the Tower, and it actually reaches to heaven, or, at least, geosynchronous orbit.  Astrology actually works in this universe, and correctly predicts the future. This scene takes place right after a melee fought clinging to the sheer vertical sides of freight-train sized elevator cars.

Since in Abby’s timeline the Tower builders were never scattered by the Confusion of tongues, she has the superpower of polyglossia, like Cypher of the X Men, and speaks and understands all languages.

Ilya is from Oregon on our version of Earth, but he has Wolverine power of regeneration, taken to the level of the Headless Horseman. He was dunked in the Ocean of Uncreation outside timespace,  and absorbed some of the unnatural pre-creation substance, ylem, into his cells. The chaos in his bloodstream reacts to his state of mind, and when he prays, he heals.

The dog-headed baboonish wolf-things (who can cling like Spiderman to sheer surfaces) are nigh invulnerable, like the Tick. (You can see where, as a serious and high-class writer, where I get my themes and ideas.) They are from a timeline where Romulus and Remus actually were suckled by a she-wolf, and fathered a werewolf race in Latium. (And, as a comic book fan, I also throw in these classical references, which people who, you know, read the dreary stuff assigned them in school rather than SANDMAN or THOR or Frank Miller’s 700 funnybooks will not catch.)

I could see above and behind me the glint of his nocturnal eyes like two coppery mirrors, or two burning matches, approaching.

He slid smoothly down the golden hullsurface toward me. I had some half-baked notion of grabbing the crossbow from him if he got closer, but he halted.

Twenty yards away. Fifteen. Ten. I tried to urge him within arm’s reach by radiating hypnotic waves from my brain, but that was not one of the superpowers I was given.

He stopped.

Does swearing count as blasphemy if you do it silently in your heart? I decided to ask Father Flannery next time I went to confession. If I were so lucky.

I sat there, playing possum and watched him hang head-downward and cock another bolt with three hands.

Cripes, but I wished I had something to throw at him during the moment when there was only one leg holding him to the surface.

This time, I heard the string go thwang before the bolt entered my back. He struck some major vein. I could see the blood pumping from my back. Even with my childhood acting skills of pretending to be a bear, I could not convincingly impersonate a man whose heart had stopped beating.

Lon Chaney spoke in a sonorous, delicate language, in the lofty accents of an aristocrat. I swear he sounded like a guy who would introduce Masterpiece Theatre on public TV.

Immortalis videtur.” He said, with a slight lilt of laughter to his voice. “Rationalis creatura sum: noli te versari in me fallendo. Si lubet.

Latin. It was one of the languages I had studied. I could translate it … that is, while sitting with my Lewis & Short Lexicon open at my elbow, or Harden’s Vulgate, a pencil with a good eraser for erasing plenty of mistakes, a bright lamp, a clean desk, and loads of time: hanging sideways over a sickening abyss while bloodied in combat while panicking about underfed little girls dressed in monkey-masks was a different matter. But I knew some of the words.

Deathless, you seem. I am a rational creature: do not busy yourself in deceiving me. If you please.
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Any Latin scholars out there?

Posted October 7, 2014 By John C Wright

I have several phrases in my current manuscript that are written in Greek, spoken by a werewolf. Originally, my idea was that werewolves are the Kallikanzaro of Greek legend, the critters busily chopping down the world tree every Christmas eve. But I changed my mind, and decided to make them Roman, sons of Romulus and Remus, and to speak Dog Latin.

I am fair hand at Greek, which I’ve studied, but not Latin, which I have not. Can any of my learned readers help me? Here are the phrases I need in Latin, and medieval or Ciceronian Latin is better, the older the better:

  • Immortal, you seem. I am a rational creature: be not occupied in deceiving me. Please.
  • speech without reason
  • if you please
  • Carrion-eater

Here is the surrounding text in the scene, along with the machine translation that I do not trust:

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Book Bomb! CHAPLAIN’S WAR by Brad Torgersen

Posted October 7, 2014 By John C Wright

I want to help out my fellow Legionnaire of the Evil League of Evil by spreading the word. This is from Larry Correia:

Today we are Book Bombing Brad Torgersen’s debut novel, Chaplain’s War.

A chaplain serving in Earth’s space fleet is trapped behind enemy lines where he struggles for both personal survival and humanity’s future.

The mantis cyborgs: insectlike, cruel, and determined to wipe humanity from the face of the galaxy.

The Fleet is humanity’s last chance: a multi-world, multi-national task force assembled to hold the line against the aliens’ overwhelming technology and firepower. Enter Harrison Barlow, who like so many young men of wars past, simply wants to serve his people and partake of the grand adventure of military life. Only, Harrison is not a hot pilot, nor a crack shot with a rifle. What good is a Chaplain’s Assistant in the interstellar battles which will decide the fate of all?

More than he thinks. Because while the mantis insectoids are determined to eliminate the human threat to mantis supremacy, they remember the errors of their past. Is there the slightest chance that humans might have value? Especially since humans seem to have the one thing the mantes explicitly do not: an innate ability to believe in what cannot be proven nor seen God. Captured and stranded behind enemy lines, Barlow must come to grips with the fact that he is not only bargaining for his own life, but the lives of everyone he knows and loves. And so he embarks upon an improbable gambit, determined to alter the course of the entire war.

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Mohammedanism and Science Fiction

Posted October 7, 2014 By John C Wright

Brother Paul writes and asks:

Wonderful talk – Christendom is a great place. You didn’t mention the influence of Islam. I’ve always been struck by the fascination of many sci-fi authors with Islamic culture, e.g. Dune, Riddick, Star Wars, etc. I’m sure with your encyclopedic knowledge you can think of more. I notice you mention but do not delve into it in the history of Count to a Trillion.

My pet theory as to why these writers are perfectly comfortable with the continuance of Islam (or its analog) into their sci-fi worlds is the “alien”. Allah is totally “other” and can’t be reduced to *any* human constructs, including reason. Pretty much the definition of alien. This philosophy provides a fertile ground not only for really cool aliens, but also for demolishing human ways of thinking (meaning rational Western ways). Existing human constructs, even if willed by Allah, are willed arbitrarily and are thus changeable, unbounded by a natural law knowable by reason. This justifies all sorts of things contrary to the natural law, from the hedonistic to the murderous to the experimental or “alternative”.

All of this relates well to Pope Benedict’s underappreciated Regensburg address. Left unaddressed by many of these authors is the stillbirth of science in Islamic cultures (a theory first proposed by Fr. Stanley Jaki, the great historian of science). In a nutshell, if Allah is not bound by reason, neither is the universe, thus no scientific enterprise as seen in the Christian West.

So, my question is: how do these Islam-“ish” cultures exist in these sci-fi futures? They have not (our history shows) advanced science, nor can they (my pet theory speculates). The answer, I suppose, is found by exploring how they continue to grow in today’s modern scientific age, as Herbert did in Dune. Nevertheless, my point about sci-fi: I don’t think many authors enamored of Islamic culture in their writings have thought through its consequences.

My comment:

I cannot answer the question because I do not accept the axiom on which it is based. DUNE arguably has a Mohammedan flavor to it, since it parallels the war between the Byzantines and the Mohammedans in the Seventh Century. Of course, Paul Muad-Dib is a false prophet, produced by eugenic witches who deceive the people with the ‘Missionaria Protectiva’.

And please note that Frank Herbert treats the Islam-flavored Fremen culture in the same role as history treats Islam during the Seventh Century: barbarian conquerors trampling an older, larger, corrupt ergo weaker culture. The Byzantine intrigues of Byzantium are even more Byzantine when portrayed as the intrigues of the Witches, the Padishah-Emperor and the Great Houses of the Landsraad, and so on.

However, there is nothing remotely Mohammedan in STAR WARS; the Force is not Allah, it is a vaguely Zen-flavored life energy as might have been imagined by Theosophists or Shavians.

And in Riddick there is one character, the Imam, who serves the same role as a preacherman in a Western. If his name had been changed, there would have been nothing Mohammedan about him.

The role of Islam in COUNT TO A TRILLION is mentioned more than once both in the text and in the Small Scale Timeline in the Appendix. The Jihad ignites a suitcase nuke in New York City, which is mentioned in the text as ‘The Burning of New York the Beautiful.’The Plague mentioned several times in the childhood of Menelaus Montrose, and the reason why he uses the names of diseases as swearwords, is because of a biological agent released by the Jihad in an attempt to wipe out the Jews. The Great Apes were infected by a mutation the disease, and went extinct: the statue of the final Great Ape is mentioned in the text. Islam ceases to be a player in history in the 22nd Century, when India becomes the world’s dominant superpower, and reacts to the Jihadist atrocities by atomic carpet-bombing of vast swathes of the Middle East in an event called The Kali Yugi, the Age of the Destroyer.

My assumption is that once Jihadists provokes a warlike culture that is not hindered by a Leftwing self-loathing, or chained by Christian notions of chivalry and charity, they will be hunted down and obliterated. The tactic of hiding behind your own children is serviceable only against a foe, like us, who cares more about your children than you do.

 

In all fairness, I have the Catholic Church swept off the world stage in 40th Century by the Simon Families, vulgarly called Witches, whose women have the secret of longevity: on the other hand, since most of the psychohistorians ruling history at this point are Spanish Catholics, I assume one of them attempts to maintain the continuity of the institution, perhaps with divine help, across the abyss of years.

The Sacerdotal Order of later aeons claims, at least, to be one and the same with the Uniate (Catholic and Eastern Churches recombined) Church, but theologians might debate the legality of the claim.

I selected India rather than China as the seat of the next great world power in history because China was selected by other science fiction writers, including David Wingrove, Cordwainer Smith, and Philip Francis Nowlan.

However, to return to the question, while I doubt the axiom of the question, I agree with the conclusion: an Islamic Civilization could exist built on the backs of a conquered Christian civilization, as existed in Northern Africa, the Middle East, and Asia Minor, that is, on the backs of the Byzantine Empire. It cannot exist without a host to feed off of. The scientific world view cannot exist outside the orbit of Christendom and never has — what happens in pagan cultures which study and practice science, is that the science become politicized, controlled by the pagan ideology: look at the sudden lack of contributions to science after the Thirteenth Century from the Middle East, look at Lysenko in Russia, look at the so-called Race sciences in Nazi Germany, look at the role of Junk Science, Global Warming and so on, in modern America. None of these examples halted the progress of real science, but we can imagine the result if they were the majority and the dominant paradigm.

This is because the central idea of a rational universe is impossible without a rational creator. The postmodernists do not believe in reason, or any narratives, and the Muslims do not believe the creator is rational, as this would impose an unendurable restriction on the majesty of their lonely non-trinitarian god.

 

 

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Prayer Request

Posted October 6, 2014 By John C Wright

A reader writes and asks:

On October 15th the Supreme Court of Canada is set to hear the Carter vs Canada case that seeks to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia in Canada.

Christians around Canada will be praying this does not pass for the next week until the case begins. We could really use all the support we can get as Canada is not the country most acquainted with reason.

I would very much appreciate any spiritual support you can offer.

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Theology and Science Fiction — Conclusion

Posted October 6, 2014 By John C Wright

A reader named Stephen J added a conclusion to my essay on Theology and Science Fiction sufficiently insightful and lucid that I thought it deserved its own spotlight as a short guest column

THE SHATTERED AND THE UNSHATTERED:

Science fiction is about the shock experienced when a certitude is shattered, followed by the realization of new certainties or new possibilities based on the information gained in that shattering; about, in other words, both the loss and the wonder requisite to the growth of knowledge and understanding. The great temptation of this spirit is the desire to turn that shattering upon the certitudes that make acquiring knowledge at all possible or worthwhile in the first place:

– The certitude that there is a valid moral distinction between means and ends is shattered and replaced by the conviction that power to accomplish an end is its own justification (social Darwinism);
– The certitude that love and mutual benefit is the highest and most natural form of human relationship is shattered, and replaced by the conviction that all relationships, both personal and political, are to be truly understood only in terms of their power dynamics (Marxism);
– The certitude that reason and logic are the most reliable tools for deducing and perceiving truth is shattered, and replaced by the conviction that all conscious human thought and perception is inexorably biased by subconscious emotional urges, biological instincts and reflexes, or even causally determined events of physics, all of which reduce in the end to a hunger for power (Freudianism) and which mean that only intuitive assertions, poetic imagery, emotional reactions unfiltered by reason, passions untrammelled by craft or technique, and declarations of hatred against one’s own or one’s group’s self-interest can be considered “sincere” or “honest” (mysticism);
– The certitude that human existence has an objectively perceptible and comprehensible universal meaning and purpose is shattered, and replaced by the conviction that the closest one can achieve, given all the foregoing convictions, is a personally satisfactory self-delusion of such (nihilism).

This is why all SF stories that make this error are ultimately examples of the same tragic trope, which may be called the Magician’s Bargain, as seen in Dr. Faustus or O. Henry’s “Gift of the Magi”: a person pays a terrible price to accomplish some greatly desired good only to discover that paying that price has cost them the very thing that made that good desirable or worthwhile.

In science fiction, the terrible price of giving up our moral certainties is meant to endow us Gnostically with the power to be gods, but that very loss of moral certainty ultimately robs our godhood of any meaning and, as Lewis wrote in The Abolition of Man, reduces us to victims of the very Nature we gave up our morals to overcome.

Thus, if the spirit of science fiction is the wonder of shattering certainties through new discovery, the theology of science fiction involves knowing which certainties to leave unshattered.

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