No Blacklist

Posted January 11, 2017 By John C Wright

If any reader tries to logon to my site and gets a message like this…

Access denied. Your IP address […] is blacklisted. If you feel this is in error please contact your hosting providers abuse department.

…please ignore it and just try to log on again. It is not me getting mad at you. I can ban people from commenting, but I have no ability to block anyone from opening and looking at the site. Whoever is denying you access, it is not me.

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More Important than Real Life

Posted January 11, 2017 By John C Wright

The beautiful and talented Mrs.Wright has a guest column from the admirable and learned Bruce G Charlton . Mr Charlton maintains a blog inspired by Tolkien’s The Notion Club Papers, and has written some of the most stirring and striking observations about the modern world it has ever been my privilege to read, including THOUGHT PRISON and ADDICTED TO DISTRACTION.

Here he visits that most interesting of topics, fairy stories, reality, escapism, and the jailers of the imagination (who are our direst foes of all my honored readers, and men of good will everywhere).

http://www.ljagilamplighter.com/2017/01/10/on-fairy-stories-and-why-they-matter/

Fantasy Fiction Is More Important Than ‘Real Life’: completing the argument of JRR Tolkien’s essay On Fairy Stories

I believe that Tolkien’s argument can legitimately be extended to a stronger sense, which offers a ‘primary’ status to Fantasy fiction when understood in the context of the modern, mainstream world of public discourse.

More specifically, I believe that Tolkien’s argument about Recovery contains the seeds of a much more powerful explanation of Fantasy being (at its best) more real than (so-called) ‘real life’.

That Fantasy is (in some important respects) more real than real life I will take as an assumption rather than trying to argue; because it is something that all serious Fantasy readers already know to be true from personal experience (and it is, of course, why we continue to read Fantasy). But what is so-far lacking, and what Tolkien may be seen to imply, is an explanation for why and how it is true.

I think an explanation is valuable, and perhaps necessary, if fantasy, as a genre, is to be regarded (whether by ourselves, or more generally) as more than just a pleasing pastime – as something that is of potentially great cultural importance.

Read the whole thing.  I think this essay contains one of the most curt yet most trenchant criticism of modernity I have yet seen. Your time will be well rewarded.

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Watch This Space

Posted January 11, 2017 By John C Wright

An announcement of some significance will be made here on Inauguration Day, the 20th. It does not concern my books or even me personally. The day is auspicious for beginning a new era.

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A Question for Stefan Molyneux

Posted January 11, 2017 By John C Wright

The bold Stefan Molyneux tackles head-on one of the more nagging issues which acts as a sea anchor to atheism, namely, if there is no God, why be good.

I confess to being quite a fan of his. He has the skills and temper of a philosopher, and so in him I see a kindred spirit, if not a long lost brother.

Mr Molyneux is a thinker. His breed is rare, and we are sorely in need of more like him.

More than a thinker. In this podcast he utters the code by which he and I and all our brethren live: “I am a philosopher. I go where the truth leads.”

Pause a moment in wonder and admiration. It is because of words like this that Aquinas is given a crown by the archangels of the heaven of the Sun, and Socrates is given a cup by the man of the world.

The man who speaks thus thirsts for the nectar of truth and the wine of the gods, and no untruth or half-truth, howsoever pleasing or convenient or expeditious, will slake that thirst.

Let no one pretend that any disagreement with his conclusions are offered in anything other than as respectful tone, and from a man who honestly admires intellectual integrity wherever it is found.

He proposes, as all atheists of goodwill must, that there are sufficient reasons found in the rational self interest of men living in society to prompt conformity to certain basic standards of behavior.

He says he has written a book length treatment of the question which faithfully discharges his duty to address this question, and I place sufficient faith in his statement that I take him as this word.

An aside: My faith is not blind faith, of course. There is no such thing. Just as the phrase “blind justice” refers to an irrational injustice, the phrase “blind faith” refers to an irrational infidelity: putting trust in an authority experience has shown to be untrustworthy.

Whenever a man trusts a promise, or believes a statement about an event to which he himself is not an eyewitness, he makes an assessment of the character of the witness, looks at any supporting physical evidence, and judges the feasibility of the unseen event happening as described according to his model of how the world works and according to his assessment of what is how likely events in the same category as the described event happen to be.

For the record, “faith” is trusting in one’s the conclusions of one’s serene reason once one’s serenity has fled. End of aside.

While endless local variations on the theme are possible, Eudaemonism or Stoicism are only two possible alternatives to a divine mandate for obedience to virtue. The first grounds virtue in enlightened self interest and the proportional pursuit of reasonable pleasures, the second in universal moral duty whose principles are self evident.

Morality exists because our reason tells us we should not behave merely according to our impulses, but it is so difficult to abide purely by reason and resist all temptation that there is no report of any human being ever having had done so.

Hence, only two logical alternatives exist if the moral law is not the deliberate legislative fiat of a divine creator: either we should act as reason dictates rather than as pleasure tempts us because in the long run, with delayed gratification, more pleasure and more wholesome pleasures are to be gained (Eudaemonism) or we should act as reason dictates whether it is pleasant or not (Stoicism). The option of obeying all impulses is illogical, since all that happens when one pursues pleasure for its own sake is that one trains oneself so that  unwholesome impulses replace wholesome ones.

Neither is difficult to defend on purely secular grounds, with no gods needed.

Ayn Rand wrote out a defense of Eudaemonism that is firmly in the tradition of Aristotle and the Enlightenment political thinkers; Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus of Stoicism, as well as Lucretius, and countless others. I myself wrote enough material to fill a book on exactly that point back when I was an atheist, so I know it can be done.

So I believe he can invent a sound secular justification for obedience to the moral laws of the cosmos which hypothesis no divine origin, authority, mandate, or enforcement of said laws. That is not my point of dispute.

I dispute when he says this:

“The purpose of religion is to give less intelligent people a reason to confine their behavior.”

One can hear the statement in context here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZckFu2txV0&ab_channel=StefanMolyneux) under the provocative title Why Atheists Suck.

I address the words below to him:

This is such an outrageous mis-statement of what we Christians say the purpose of religion is, my dear Mr. Molyneux, that I cannot tell from your delivery if you mean this line sarcastically or literally or what. Read the remainder of this entry »

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John Wright and Stefan Molyneux

Posted January 7, 2017 By John C Wright

Why Leftists are Violent.

As you might imagine, I was very excited to see this byline over at Freedomain Radio.  I eagerly clicked through the link, hoping that I had been interviewed Stefan Molyneux, and then simply forgot the event in a spasm of  alcohol induced  bipolar mania. But, alas, it was not to be. This is a different John Wright.

The topic is still fascinating, and the other John Wright still has many an interesting thing to say about his research.

I hope yet to be interviewed by Stefan Molyneux once I accomplish some noteworthy feat. Since he is friends with my idol, steely-eyed sky jockey Bill Whittle that makes him a hero in law according to the commutative property.

 

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My new novel is available in the following formats

Posted January 5, 2017 By John C Wright

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Quote for the Day

Posted January 5, 2017 By John C Wright

“When the press is gagged, liberty is besieged; but when the press assumes the liberty to lie, it discounts clemency, mocks morality, outrages humanity, breaks common law, gives impulse to violence, envy, and hate, and prolongs the reign of inordinate, unprincipled clans. At this period, 1888, those quill-drivers whose consciences are in their pockets hold high carnival. When news-dealers shout for class legislation, and decapitated reputations, headless trunks, and quivering hearts are held up before the rabble in exchange for money, place, and power, the vox populi is suffocated, individual rights are trodden under foot, and the car of the modern Inquisition rolls along the streets besmeared with blood.”

– Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings

This passage was written in A.D. 1888. Let every science fiction reader note the hard lesson: tools change, men do not.

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Thinking the Forbidden Thoughts

Posted January 4, 2017 By John C Wright

FORBIDDEN THOUGHTS FOR SALE!

You are not supposed to read this book.
You are not supposed to think about reading this book.
In fact, just plain thinking at all is unacceptable.
You have been warned…. Read the remainder of this entry »

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Superluminary, Episode 34 Second Earth

Posted January 4, 2017 By John C Wright

Superluminary, Episode 34 SECOND EARTH is posted on Patreon:

Episode 34 Second Earth

In this exciting episode, the fate of mankind is revealed.

Read the remainder of this entry »

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Posted December 28, 2016 By John C Wright

A Christmas message from the beautiful and talented Mrs. Wright

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

You readers here are the best possible fans. You have no idea what a blessing you have been to this family. May God reward you in the most miraculous ways!

For my part, I will do the one thing I can do to serve you all, I will continue to encourage John to write!

May the new year bring us all many enchanting stories!

To which I say amen. Her encouragement is basically the fuel my soul runs on. So I have nothing to add, except a catwoman picture:

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