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Chit-Chat » What are you reading? » 12/14/2018 1:09 am

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The 10,000 Year Explosion, the most shocking and fascinating book about evolution I've read. Here Cochran comments on David Reich's new opus[color=#1c1c1c] on prehistoric DNA and how it confirms some of his speculations. I like Cochran because he doesn't spit in my face by telling me how stupid my religious views are and he doesn't have a PC bone in his body. Dawkins (& others) think they're philosopher kings. Not. Just tell me the current state of the theories and shut up.

Blueprint by Robert Plomin makes a great accompaniment to The Nurture Assumption by Judith Harris. Both are footnotes to Strawson. (This stuff starts me brooding on how we cling to the PSR and avoid determinism.)

Dharmakiirti's Refutation of Theism by Roger Jackson was featured in a great Feser post where Ed has Maimonides answer the Eastern skeptic. Definitely see the concluding remarks of Jackson's article:

"If we strip away the almost bewildering variety of arguments we have reviewed, we find at bottom two basic issues on which our two main antagonists the Nyaaya -Vai ‘sesikas and Buddhists have disagreed: (1) the existence of a permanent entity and its relation to the impermanent and (2) the requirement that c

Chit-Chat » Our Complicity in the Starvation of Yemen » 11/26/2018 9:09 am

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The War Nerd wrote:

There’ll be a time when the artificial famine in Yemen takes its place with other, similar horrors, like that in Ireland in the 1840s, Ukraine in the 1930s, and Bengal in the 1940s. And when revisionist scholars get around to counting the dead in this latest atrocity, they’ll note that there was a deadly silence from media outlets that should have known better—and DID know better, truth be told. Anglo-American Media Complicity in Yemen's Genocide 

An artificial famine? Wait, he forgot one. Only this one was worth it.

seigneur wrote:

I tend to liken USA to the Roman empire.

Fellini could have never made a movie this great about the US.

Chit-Chat » Our Complicity in the Starvation of Yemen » 11/24/2018 10:22 pm

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I used your point to further articulate my points.

Message boards aren't unlike jazz combos. We riff off each other.

Chit-Chat » Our Complicity in the Starvation of Yemen » 11/24/2018 1:26 pm

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nojoum wrote:

There is no God but self-interest (wealth and power),

 
No, the best argument for Classical Theism "works" as well as anything in philosophy. That's the problem. The perception that there's something WRONG about the war in Yemen is more than a hardwired kinship altruism response. Our moral intuitions may have been manufactured by an evolutionary process, but they were manufactured to intuit something Objective. The foundation of morality is non-contingent because its Source is non-contingent.

Both through Reason and Revelation all humans are prohibited from shedding the blood of innocents. This is part of Noachide Law. If there's any burden of proof it rests entirely on the shoulders of those supporting any aggression. (What, it's only prohibited for individuals, not groups larger than X acting in the name of Y? Defending wars of prevention requires greater philosophical chops than I possess.)

Getting our Theology & Ontology exactly perfect isn't expected of mankind. Refraining from idolatry, blasphemy, murder, theft, adultery, and cruelty to animals is. And we're supposed to establish courts to punish violators. There is no "right" to observe false religions, curse G-d, sleep with everyone, or engage in acts of collective slaughter. 

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The War Nerd is a national treasure, though not for the faint of heart. His multidimensional analyses are often illuminating.

Chit-Chat » Our Complicity in the Starvation of Yemen » 11/21/2018 12:28 pm

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There is no categorical imperative or law of physics committing the US to support everything Israel does. "Stability in the region" on behalf of "the only democracy" is invoked like abracadabra. The Yemen atrocities, however, seem to be part of a bigger pattern. This analysis is from 3 years ago, under a president not known for being pro-Israel:

Saudi Arabia’s relationship with the United States is primarily as a source of cash for weapons. Since October 2010 alone, the Obama administration has agreed to sell $90.4 billion in weapons to the Gulf kingdom, according to the Congressional Research Service. That President Obama would so enthusiastically endorse arming such a brutal authoritarian government is unsurprising, since the United States is by far the leading arms dealer (with 47 percent of the world total) to what an annual State Department report classifies as the world’s “least democratically governed states” CFR

Perhaps "christian conceit" isn't fair or accurate. The US seems intoxicated by the same peyote of hubris that inspired other interventions. Our self-righteousness has a religious vibe to it.

EDIT: Noam Chomsky from 2015.

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An interesting tangent is the anti-Zionist Orthodox. I've posted links to religious Zionists like Meir Kahane; it's only fair to mention other views. The Three Oaths of the Talmud are a cental issue. 

Chit-Chat » Our Complicity in the Starvation of Yemen » 11/21/2018 2:10 am

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This was one of my main criticisms of the last administration. The more things change … Watch CNN or Fox or MSNBC or any crappy channel. Why is no one reporting about this?!

American foreign policy is so bad I worry we could max-out our credit, Nineveh-style, Sodom & Gomorrah-style. We're not G-d's chosen nation. We weren't charged with a cosmic mission to spread democracy and American values [sic]. That's a weird and dangerous Christian conceit. And I have skeptical friends who believe something even more deranged: the US is on the Right Side of History, whatever that means. They deny the existence of objective goalposts and believe we're leading mankind toward these goalposts. Politics makes people insane. May G-d be more merciful to us than we deserve.

Saudi’s Exploding Christmas Gifts From Hillary Clinton

Saudia Arabia, Our Best Friend

Jewish Task Force

Religion » A religious urge » 11/20/2018 11:50 am

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Begin with the beginning. How to get close to G-d.

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