This is an ignored post from me to Stu from an earlier thread. Yes, I'm brazenly reposting up here at the top of the room to get Stu's attention - an audacious maneuver I'm not fond of but I'm just very curious about what his response, if he would honor us with one, will be.
Just for a little background and context: Stoller was chastised pretty heavily for inferring that violent revolt, war, calamity,etc. would be good things for us right now. I think Stu came down on him the hardest and revealed a classic stuart-style paradox in the process. Here was my response to Stu:
:DDN: But "God" causes wars and calamity of the worst sort in the Holy Bible. You'd sound pretty silly asking "God" to "examine his root motivations".
:Stu: Are you equating Barry and God? Maybe you are but I am certainly not!
DDN: No. I’m just trying to encourage you to examine your premise about war and calamity. You’re closing statement was “War and calamity can't be good under any circumstances”. I’ve pointed out that “God” apparently thinks that war and calamity ARE good under MANY circumstances having created a great deal of it in the Old Testament and threatening (promising?) to bring more in Revelations. Since you are a worshipper of the “God” of the Holy Bible, clearly there’s a major incompatibility here between your sociology and your THEology. I don’t see that you have any choice at this point other than to confess one of the following:
1) That you believe “God” is WRONG for creating calamity and war or
2) That there ARE circumstances under which war and calamity are good
Take your pick. Which is it?
::DDN: Even Jesus said that he wasn't here to bring peace "but a sword" and to set people against one another. Sounds like war to ME. Are you set against Jesus now also? What happen to your religion?
:Stu: I went back and read Matthew 10:34 again and I see what you mean. Jesus seems only to be about setting in place an economic system to bring parity and equity back to the masses. How could I have possibly overlooked that all these years? By reading past verse 35, that's how!
DDN: Well, its very big of you to admit that this was at least ONE of the things that Jesus was here to do, but let’s get back to the point I made earlier; you know, the one that you are desperately trying to avoid because it exposes a fundamental flaw in your thinking? Did Jesus say these things or didn’t he? Can war and/or calamity be reasonably inferred from these statements or NOT? What did Jesus mean by “bring a sword”? Did he mean:
a) His father sent him down here to get his sword repaired by a blacksmith
b) He came here to trade his sword in for some really nice sandals he’d had his eye on
c) He came here to brandish the sword and kick some ass
What did Jesus mean by “I came here to set sons against their fathers, mothers against their daughters, etc. etc.”?
Did he mean:
a) He came here to prop them up against one another like sticks because they look real funny that way
b) He wanted families to play more bridge with each other
c) He came here to cause tension, dissention, and rebellion among us
If your answer is C to either one of these multiple choice questions then, again you have to believe that either these aspects of Christ’s mission were ill-conceived or that war and calamity are sometimes a GOOD thing.
:DDN: What about tornadoes, hurricanes, forest fires, earth quakes, and floods? Are you saying that the only function these phenomenon serve are to torment humanity? Better brush up on your earth sciences there Stu.
DDN: “No” what? “No”, these AREN’T the only function these calamitous events serve? Are you cautiously agreeing that they serve some GOOD function? Are you then saying that, calamity, in these cases, can be a GOOD thing thus contradicting your previous assertion that calamity is “never good under ANY circumstances”?
:DDN: What about suppressed people that have freed themselves from tyranny through wars and calamity? Wasn't war "good" for THEM?
:Stu: Necessary perhaps, but not good by any stretch.
DDN: You can’t see the concept of “good” inside of “necessary”? I think you’re smarter than that, Stu. If an event is necessary then isn’t it a GOOD thing when it finally occurs? Aren’t NECESSARY events at least DESIRABLE? Isn’t desirability inherent in necessity? Why wouldn’t you desire that which is ultimately NECESSARY? I understand that you might be afraid of it being painful and horrific, but if its really NECESSARY then isn’t it desirable that it occur? Would I be a “monster” for desiring something that is painful and horrific if I thought it was necessary?
:Stu: …..Just ask how good the war was for the surviving members of families who lost a husband, a father, or other family member. I know anecdotal accounts are anathema to revolutionaries but they are the face of humanity to me and never to be trivialized. The whole register of historical, hellish anecdotal occurrences during revolutions must be tabulated and emotionally registered before any revolutionary can rightfully suggest he has the moral imperative to revolt. You people are actually stupid to suggest there is any moral imperative to revolt in this country. The votes aren't there, people! In fact, there are far more votes for laizze fair capitalism and less government by the common man in this country than any collectivist system has a hope of garnering.
DDN: I’m not so sure about that, Stu. I’m very curious though as to why you think that’s the case. If there are far more people who want less government than there are who want any collectivist system then why do we have such a big damned government in the first place? Why do we all compliantly work until June to finance the government. Why do 1 out of every 5 of us work for the government. What about all the people that rely on welfare? You think they’d be anxious to abolish the welfare system in exchange for the promises of laizze fair capitalism?
I don’t know if this has been brought up recently or not, but I think that when people say they want “less government”, what they really mean is that they want less of THIS government that we have RIGHT NOW, not necessarily less government in general. For example, when people claim to want “less government”, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they want capitalists to have their hands untied. Quite often it simply means that they want government to get the f__k out of their bedrooms, their bodies, and their personal lives; they want to abolish things like victimless crime legislation that ties up hundreds of billions of dollars every year. I used to want this so bad that I would support ideologies like Libertarianism that want to turn the Evil Capitalists loose on us like rabid dogs, but at least promise to free our minds from the government’s nazi thought police. In this way, much of the support that laizze fair capitalism enjoys is only out of frustration with the dangerous socialist tendencies of our current government and not out of an understanding of what unrestricted capitalism would ential.
:Stu: ….I know! Let's have an election to prove it. I'll call my party the anti-socialism party and you guys call yourselves the anti-bourgeoisie party. We'll each print out out a clear platform, inform the public what our principles are, and see how it goes.
DDN: We already have that vote every four years. All it proves is that voters have really bad memories that can’t retain critical information for longer than one election cycle and that they haven’t figured out yet that there’s really only ONE party wearing two different hats. But, hey, it might be fun to do anyway. Maybe