Objectivism Revisited…Sort of…

Early Sunday morning wandering around on the internet waiting for the wife to wake up. I suddenly think to myself, “Hey, let’s go visit that Objectivist forum I used to post to years and years ago.”

So I did. There are still some of the same people there having the same discussions. That’s not surprising, nor does that in itself say anything. I still comment on Mr. Wright’s blog and have been for nine years.

I ran across a discussion topic Is It Proper to Address a Priest as “Father?”

Except for one, the responses are drivel. The question itself is drivel. Who cares about an address? I was always astounded at the questions Objectivists could ask. One question at a Peikoff lecture was, “is it ok to say good morning to a priest?” Another was: “Is being a mother anti-life?” This last the lecturer, Peikoff, had the good sense to respond that you could make a very good case for the opposite.

I had forgotten the ignorance, the haughty pride, and dupability of the Objectivist mind. That was my mind.

Here is some choice cuts from the discussion.

-I would feel that I was degrading myself by calling him “father.”

-I’m 15 so I’d run as fast as I can from them. (IT is witty though.)

-Expecting me to call someone I don’t care for Father (and agreeing to be called “son”, back) is a bit more than expecting me to be polite.

-The term Father is intended to be more than titular. It is intended to capitalize on the respect most people hold for their own fathers. In my opinion that is nothing more than a dirty trick.

-Maybe you should change the question to: “Is it proper to address a catholic priest?” :dough:

-Seriously though, I personally would eat shit before willingly calling a priest “father”. I find the term insulting TO ME.

Note most of these people likely have no idea what a priest does, their education, their duties. No idea of Church history except for common misconceptions and half truths.

The third comment is telling. “Someone I don’t care for…” You don’t care for someone based on what they do? I get if they are a hitman or something, a no good bum. But you do not care for a person because they are a Catholic priest? I submit I never had this allergic aversion when I was an atheist and I was as ignorant as these poor folks. After listening the likes of Fr. Pachwa, Bishop Barron and others, I have nothing but respect for them. Consider also one of the great philosophers, Aquinas was a priest. Consider the foundations of modern science were all made by men of the cloth, genetics, the big band, etc, etc.

Anyway. Going back and looking, I do not even recognize myself among them. Their words and thoughts are foreign and illogical to me. I know at one time they were not.

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The Great Adventure Catholic Bible – Review

I received this over a week ago and am going to give one of my dine and dash reviews.

We’ll start from the outside and work our way in.

The cover is a nice, dark blue, faux leather that is pleasing to the touch, durable and nicely “floppy” for holding open and maneuvering through the chapters. The text is of a good, readable font and is large enough that an aging fuddy duddy as myself can read it without too much trouble. I have a pocket Douay-Rheims that I cannot read comfortably at all. This new one is of a perfect size and readability.

The books of the Bible are color-coded with planed tabs at the fore edge of their pages according to which type of book they are. So the Psalms and Proverbs, Songs, Ecclesiastes are not only next to each other in the overall book, but share the same color. Judges and Joshua are the same color (green). These colors also correspond with a timeline table in the Bible itself. Although some are not timeline-able like Genesis (except for the fact that it is first) and Proverbs and and others like it. But certainly other books of the Bible are timeline-able. I haven’t really got into that part of it yet, but the tabs are great, so far, for navigation.

There are some seventy key events highlighted through out the Bible, with brief descriptions or explanations, as sign posts of…well, key events. I did chuckle a little when number one was Creation. Yeah, thanks, that is a pretty important one!

The articles are pretty good as far as I have read them (which is only the first ones at the very beginning).

The good thing about the articles (so far) is their aim. It is not a modern, historical criticism dirge, but seeks to lay out salvation history in broad strokes, in periods. The articles also trace the covenants through time.
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It is NOT a study Bible which I have become disillusioned with anyway. It is also not a commentary. There are only 19 articles in the whole thing and they are only about seven pages apiece. What is attempted is the over-arching story of salvation and the covenants. It focuses on the story. If you are looking for a Bible that helps you with Psalms, this is not it. But if that is what you are looking for, best to get a commentary.

Jesus’ words are in read in this one. I like that. The way the Bible is set, it is confusing if you do not have it memorized.

There are sixteen maps included. They are glossy and nicely done and are organized according to various points in Jewish history basically from Abraham to Rome.

I am finding it rather comfortable reading RSV-CE 2nd edition. I only read Catholic Bibles because only they have the correct number of books in it!

It is a little pricey – $60. But, if I had found it in a store even without all the extras, I probably still would have bought it.

Very pleased so far.

Suspicious?

I have no idea how the traffic on WordPress (or blogs or anything else on the web) is determined. I have no idea what makes one day a 55 hit traffic day and the next a 15 hit traffic day. I haven’t been able to see any correlation between subject and traffic or anything else. The only sure fire truth is: the less you post, the less your traffic in general.

But this is a brave new world where Youtube demonetizes those not “woke” Google is biased to the Left and Twitter lets Leftist say and do whatever they want, but routinely suspends those not following the narrative.

Most of my posts have just been neutral, secular, tidbits of late. I average somewhere around 18 to 20 hits a day. Sometimes into the 30’s 40’s and, occasionally, 50’s and higher. But I noticed after two posts of a religious nature (including a lighthearted pot shot at atheists) my average immediately plunged to 2 or 3 hits for the last several days.

Do I get shuffled to the bottom of the deck? Should I post some anti-abortion post and see if I just get a complete black out?

Or am I just paranoid?

Religious Mathematics

I am rereading C.S. Lewis’ excellent Mere Christianity again. I read it five or six years ago as I was starting to have real doubts about my atheism. I thought I would revisit it to see if there was more cash in the drawer the second time around – so to speak.

In the chapter Rival Conceptions of God, he is talking about how other religions have some truths to them, but where they differ from Christianity, they are wrong. After all, in arithmetic there is only one correct answer to a sum, but, some answers are closer to the right answer than others.

So, I thought, if we take 2 + 2 = 4 and Judaism is 3 for an answer, Islam 7 (I really hate to say even that) Hinduism 6 and so on. Then, atheism would be (it is my belief these years later) the answer of -29,333.

Just a something that struck me as funny and true.

The Great Adventure Catholic Bible

A new acquisition on the way this week. It is a Bible that is organized (thought the books and all text are in same order) in a way that is to be more easily grasped in its broad outline.

I note it says it has an Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat through the Archdiocese of Saint Paul & Minneapolis. This means absolutely nothing nowadays (not saying anything about Saint Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese specifically but about the value of the Imprimatur and the Nihil Obstat). I learned this from the first Catholic study Bible I owned which, though stamped with those credentials, should have been declared anathema so demythologized, secularized and simply wrong it was. So much so that I, having little knowledge of the Bible, Christianity, or, even, Catholicism, at the time, knew it to be in error. But this isn’t specifically a study Bible as the link shows.

I liked the idea of collecting within the overall book itself. I think, following Bishop Barron, of the Bible as a library with books than simply a book itself as if it is just another book like Grapes of Wrath – a library of many genres. And, just like a library, this one seeks to have some system of classification that is part of the make-up of itself. A lot of times, if it is not simply a straight forward Bible, these points are only buried in addendum articles at the end of the Bible or at the beginning of each book within it.

It can be quite difficult to never be in the same book that you are studying.

It seems (and this is why I am taking a chance on it) like it follows a modern textbook approach to organization (when I say modern, that is probably 20 years ago or more) with a lot of shout outs and visual cues.

I’m going outside my usual translation confines here. I usually stick with Douay-Rheims or KJV (original not any new fangled). This one is Revised Standard Version – Second Catholic Edition. I tried some RSV-SCE at BibleGateway.com and it seems to read alright. I miss a little of the Shakespearean art but it at least it is not some gender-nuetral abomination! Sad thing is (outside of the abominations, that is) is most of us are ill equipped to really tell the advantage of one translation over the other on a verse by verse basis. I can judge that “the quick and the dead” is more lyrical than “the living and the dead” but I do not know Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, nor Latin (ok, a tad Latin, but nothing functional). I generally follow a form of the coherence theory of truth when judging texts. Does this mesh with what I know? Does it fit?

The BibleGateway, btw, rocks. Input a chapter and verse (or an entire chapter) and you can get it in any number of different languages and English translations – over a hundred it looks like at a glance.

Another reason I got this is I needed a functional everyday Bible.  I have my Biblica Sacra which is the the Clementine Vulgate Latin of Jerome in one column with the Douay-Rheims version in the other column, but that is a cumbersome hardback and I use it for the Latin. Then I have a pocket sized Douay Rheims leather edition, but my eyes are so bad I can’t see the print without an effort.

To digress, I do have several other Bibles, but they are mainly collectables (also several digital copies). I was in the need of a good, functional Bible. Hopefully, I have found it.

I’ll unpack it when it arrives and give a review!

Scattered Life

I have a particular problem that is getting worse and worse as I get older. I am one of those people (and I am sure everyone knows one) that starts many, many things – and finishes close to none of them. This problem is getting so bad for me that I have some six books that I am simultaneously reading and getting nowhere with. I have stories that are sitting around with anywhere from six sentences to sixty pages – all of them sitting around (with very few exceptions) in first draft form.

I just went on my Catechism Class.com site and see that the last quiz I took (for Institution of the Holy Eucharist) was from April of 2017, and I started the course in 2013!!!

My reading of the Bible will take probably until the year 2099.

I have no problem getting the daily stuff done, the chores. I never miss vacuuming, balancing the checkbook, etc, etc. But then – what happens? Now, even blog posts are something I can’t seem to get to.

And now my complete lack of discipline and time management has to compete with a 40 hour work week. Gone, oh gone, are the 23 or 25 hour work weeks (including the 16 hour work weeks, I will miss those most of all).

I can barely seem to muster up the discipline to write to my sponsored child!

I think what I will do is I will complete each and every one of these objectives. And perhaps I should write a to-do list everyday. I have had a free schedule today, for instance since 12 pm, it is now 3:30pm. I’ve been on the old internet.

I think I will make a goal first and foremost, since it seems to be the most delayed, to finish the catechism classes. Funny, I think there is a little procrastination in this. The classes are heavy in reading Aquinas’ arguments, and they can be quite tedious. I am pretty sure I have done enough outside reading in those five years since I started the course that I could just blaze through all the quizzes now.

My Southern Experience: Part Two

Before I go onto other aspects of my southern experience so far I should note that, like all things human, it is not 100% this way or that. There is a general level of what I consider rudeness here (apparently saying “bless you” after someone sneezes is out?). There are some nice people here as well.

I also am not used to people not liking me at first sight and for no good reason (that I can see) haven’t had that experience since grade school.

The surgeon general’s warning on the dangers of smoking never made it here. People smoke everywhere and throw their butts everywhere. The stairwell of my building is an ashtray – I do not exaggerate.

Southern cooking is to die for… if you do not die from it. I am pretty sure there is enough sodium and fat in a southern meal to bring down a moose.

LOTS of bugs. But the fireflies are totally cool. I had those as a child when I lived in Michigan.

One of the pluses (and it is a big plus) is the beauty of western North Carolina (from Asheville to the western edge). Just the sheer number of colors. Against the backdrop of green and brown is about every color you can come up with. I took a series of photos in my apartment complex of a stretch of ground covering perhaps fifteen feet. The vegetation in this space had great variation of colors – and this was only in a tiny bit of space. Not a manicured or landscaped space either, its downhill from the railroad tracks at the edge of the property.

My Southern Experience: Part One

Thought I would start writing a little about my southern experience so far.

It will start off a little negative (alright, largely negative). One big reason for that is I fell into a huge depression after arriving here triggered by – swallowed by – homesickness.

I spent twenty years in the Seattle area happily married. I worked at the same place for almost that whole time where everyone knew my name where I felt the most comfortable. Where my day started with hugs, high fives, yells, and cheers and usually finished with friends and beers.

I am still trying to get used to a few things here in the south. One is the weather. It is MUGGY, I mean what I imagine soldiers felt in the jungles of Vietnam. I spend most of my time indoors in the air conditioning. It is just sticky and gross. If I go outside after a shower, I may as well have not showered at all. Nobody else (except for my pug) seems to notice. I do enjoy the almost daily thunder clouds coming in. I have heard more thunder and lightning in Asheville over the last five months than in all the time I was in the Seattle area.

Although I do yearn for a few days of overcast and drizzle.

Another thing I am trying to get used to is the rudeness of the south. Sorry, but I have lived in Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, Oregon, and Washington. I have travelled through most of the United States missing only New England. The south so far has been the rudest place I have been to. This really shouldn’t be much of a surprise since the area consists of a large number of descendants of people who thought chattel slavery was a good idea and fought to the death to keep it. And then thought terrorizing and lynching people was a good idea, and Jim Crow was a hero, etc.

And while we in the Seattle area may have groaned inside when yet another arrival said howdy and further clogged up the roadway, we (at least not in my experience) never let the person know about it. And we welcomed them and asked questions about where they came from, etc. I have been told here by no less than eight people (and have had that many more express the opinion in my hearing knowing I to be new to the area) that outsiders are ruining their area.

The wife and I were not here two weeks before we were making a purchase at a store. The lady at the counter was ringing us up and we were talking and we mentioned we were from the Seattle area. She said she had a son there. She then went on to lament how the area is going to the pits because of people moving in that weren’t from there (as if you could move there when you were already there). She may as well said, “this area would still be good if it weren’t for you folks.”

Another replied shortly after I said I came from the west coast something to the effect that it isn’t good to have people coming in from such places cuz then you have more chances of importing homosexuals.

I am still not sure if that was a roundabout way of calling me a fag.

This last I found hilarious. I spent over twenty years in Seattle and never worked with a transgender (is that still the term?) person. My first job here I worked with one. Two newscasters on Saturday morning here are homosexuals if my name ain’t Bob. Three cars in my apartment complex have bumper stickers that say “Vaginatarian.” The cars are owned by females. And if you can’t parse the word it is someone that eats vagina. Never saw those in Seattle area. Downtown Asheville can look, at times, like a cross between Haight-Ashbury and the Dinah Shore Golf Classic – if you catch my drift. Which, you should, it is as obvious as Vaginatarian.

You shouldn’t be worrying about fags invading your precious town, child. You are quite gay enough already!

People have no interest in where you come from here, no curiosity about other places. Note the distance between London and Berlin is less than seven hundred miles and, yet, they are two different cultures. The distance between Seattle and Asheville, NC is over three thousand miles.

It should be noted that the migration is the opposite from what my wife and I have done. Way, way more people pick up from places like this and move to places like Seattle than the opposite. Someone may move from Atlanta to here, but they are still a southerner. The tourists here are surely from Atlanta or Raleigh and other such places mostly.

I have a suspicion southerners don’t like outsiders.

To Be Continued….