Wake Up, Sheeple! – Civil War Edition

It is a cliche, at this point, to point out that in the conservative blogosphere you will find a strong, fairly vocal contingent of people absolutely convinced that not only was the South right during the American Civil War, they were obviously right and the North was an evil force led by a tyrant who went by the name of Lincoln. I’d say the view is widespread enough that it probably reaches something like a fifty-fifty split in this particular circle.

If you want my off the cuff opinion I’ll say that I am sympathetic to the Southern viewpoint but tentatively would have to side with the North. Southern justification for secession strikes me as too similar to no-fault divorce, and political power shouldn’t work that way. Also, you know, South Carolina really did fire first.

Not the point though. I just wanted to express my utter loathing for comments like this one, from “What’s Wrong With the World”. From commenter Goodenough:

“the right role of a national leader like Lincoln…”

What a joke. I have never – and will never – understand how a conservative of any stripe can find in that man “rightness” of any stripe. And Jaffa was a revisionist fool, celebrating what has ultimately led to the office of president as one whose power has overwhelmingly outstripped its original designs.

I have neither the time nor the inclination to enter into an extended discussion over this fact (and yes, a fact it is). So I’ll be content – as a constant reader of this blog – to be labeled a troll and read what remains of the comments here, undoubtedly ones which roll over in incessant praise of a man whose lack of principle was almost as appalling as was his striving for power…at the expense of the citizenry, no less.

But please rehearse for me – as someone surely will – the morality-play that was the War of Northern Aggression. Please. And please try – just try – to convince me that Burke would have held Lincoln in anything but disrepute and disgust.

I’ll repeat my response from the original blog comments section:

Here’s the translation: I have no argument, and am blowing smoke, and have just saved myself the trouble of proving otherwise.

See, Goodenough has structured his comment so that no matter how we answer he can always spin it in a way that makes us look bad, because he’s given no argument. Therefore whatever we say he can always claim we’re missing some important fact or proof he has not given, and does not need to give because we’re all sheeple Yankees who were too taken in by the Man to understand the REAL story.

And, if we get annoyed at him, well we’re just proving his point! We’re labeling him a troll! Wake up sheeple!

I have no patience for craven folks like him, who carefully structure their comments in such a way that they can say whatever they want and content themselves that any response – any at all – proves their point.

To quote the “Sherlock” episode “The Recihenbach Fall”: You repel me.

To expand – this is a form of “disqualify”, and it is a cowardly SJW tactic. I don’t care how much of a die-hard conservative, more conservative than the evilly-evil Yankees, Goodenough claims to be. When you make strongly controversial drive-by claims then consistently frame your comment in such a way to make argument impossible, you are acting like a liberal. I have no patience for fools like that. Put up or shut up.

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34 Responses to Wake Up, Sheeple! – Civil War Edition

  1. It is a cliche, at this point, to point out that in the conservative blogosphere you will find a strong, fairly vocal contingent of people absolutely convinced that not only was the South right during the American Civil War, they were obviously right and the North was an evil force led by a tyrant who went by the name of Lincoln. I’d say the view is widespread enough that it probably reaches something like a fifty-fifty split in this particular circle.

    Back when David Wong of cracked.com actually wrote good articles (no really, i remember when it happened, it was two days after I saw bigfoot) he said once…
    (hang on, I think I can find the donotlink)
    If you’re like me, there’s this weird process that happens when you encounter somebody who believes the opposite as you, especially when they’re really pushy about it. You actually go the other direction. I secretly think the Yankees are good enough to win 80 games this year and maybe make the playoffs, the other guy snorts in my face and tells me they’ll be lucky to finish last. I roar back that they’re going to win 100 and take home the title.

    It’s like that other guy is so irritating, I want to position myself further away. Or maybe it’s like haggling over the price of a used car, you start low so that once the compromise happens, you’ll be closer to your end than his.
    I need to find or invent a term for this but that seems to sum up a lot. Especially in this case, as everyone starts retreating to either “Lincoln is a saint/monster” because of the disagreement.

    Hence Godwin’s law because “Hitler was bad” is pretty much the only thing anybody can agree on so as discussions go on, eventually that is brought up because it’s the only common ground left where nobody will really try and retreat to the exact opposite.

    Southern justification for secession strikes me as too similar to no-fault divorce, and political power shouldn’t work that way.

    See, I totally don’t get that, but I’ll admit it’s probably a philosophical blind spot on my part (maybe because I’m such a loner that hates, HATES it when people try and block me in/keep me somewhere).

    Just to state my view of it (so we can establish an agree to disagree):
    *If I was trying to leave my parents house, there are plenty of situations and justifications where it would be in their interest and rights to prevent me from leaving, even by violence if necessary.
    *If, however, I was at a party, I cannot think of any situation or justification for them to keep me from leaving except in some situations so wild they’re pretty much fantasy (i.e. Jason Vorhees is going to murder me). While there might be some cases for my METHOD of vacating (i.e. if I’m drunk, I shouldn’t drive), there is not a dearth of options (i.e. I can still take a cab) that would conceivably give the partygoers the right and justification to prevent me from leaving, even if by violence.
    * Therefore, I do not see the point at which scaling the example up, it suddenly shifts where the group of strangers gain the right and justification to keep me from leaving, even if by violence.
    From this, 2 other conclusions follow.
    1) Does a nation have the right & justification to keep me from leaving its borders, even if a wall or armed guards are necessary?
    2) If no, at what point during the scale up does the nation gain the right & justification to keep people from leaving? (i.e. if it has no right to stop 2 people from leaving, what about 2 million?)
    3) Finally, where and how does the addition of land change the calculus? I mean if we agree that a nation has no right to prevent a single person from leaving, does it have the right to keep that person from taking his property? If a person can bring all of his things when he leaves (even his house if it’s on wheels), why can’t the property of a person’s land leave the nation? Does the answer really depend on the physical movement of people and things?

    I won’t deny that there’s probably answers to all of the above, they just seem to be at a pitch my brain doesn’t pick up.

  2. I’m about to leave my house, so quickly I’ll say that the difference is that you’ve entered into a free and legal agreement to run a country by taking a majority vote and electing representatives based on that vote. The fact that you can take half of your crap and just go because elections haven’t been going your way seems more similar to a wife being unhappy with the decisions being made and taking half of the marital assets then a child leaving his father’s house.

    • Ilíon says:

      Does the US have the *right* to leave the UN?

      I didn’t ask, “Should we leave the UN”, I asked, “Do we have the right to leave the UN without begging for permission for the other members?”

      The US — when properly operating by the Constitution — is much like the UN; specifically, it is a federation of *sovereign* states. This is one reason the first generation always referred to the US in the plural, rather than in the singular, as we do in these debased times.

      • The thing is, the very first precedent we have for this (the Whiskey Rebellion) involved Washington going in and crushing the secessionists.

        We tried a U.N. type system, the Articles of Confederation. It failed.

      • Ilíon says:

        I didn’t ask who has the military power to impose his will and rule upon those who do not wish to be so ruled.

        I asked, does the community which does not wish to be ruled by X have the moral right to decline to be ruled by X.

        Or, to put it another way, were the Founding Father just blowing smoke?

        Or, to put it yet another way, is the very existence of the State of West Virginia illegal and/or immoral? Must the State of West Virginia be dismantled and the sovereignty over that land returned to the regime that rules Virginia?

      • There’s no straightforward answer to that though. The problem the founders had was specifically taxation without representation – “without representation” being the key word.

        The South had had Southern Presidents in office several elections in a row, and seceded because they lost a valid election. They did have representation. We haven’t yet established that the situation in Virginia was in was analogous to the situation the colonies were in, and I’m not sure that was the case.

        In other words – I’m not convinced as of now the justifications they offered for secession worked.

  3. Ok, so you’re saying the difference is the structure and nature of the government. So in the case where the nation was imposed by force (Ireland a good example?) then it would be entirely legitimate to secede?

    Ok, that I can at least understand. Of course it’s all more complicated, but now I can at least get where it’s coming from.

  4. “Southern justification for secession strikes me as too similar to no-fault divorce, and political power shouldn’t work that way. Also, you know, South Carolina really did fire first.”

    On the other hand, though, there is that bit in the Declaration of Independence about how it is the right of the people to alter or abolish their government and to institute a new one in its place. Now, granted, it doesn’t specifically say that people have the right to secede and form a new government, but that seems clearly to be implied, especially since it was written in the context of a document justifying the Thirteen Colonies’ decision to secede from the British Empire and form a new government.

    (Of course, I still think that Southern Secession was wrong, because it’s difficult to argue that a nation built on maintaining chattel slavery will help to promote the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of its citizens. But arguing that unilateral secession is/was per se illegal and wrong just strikes me as rather odd, given than the USA was basically founded by a bunch of colonies unilaterally seceding from their mother country.)

  5. To all – I want to emphasize that my statements are not meant to be dogmatic by any stretch. I have no set in stone views on this issue, and I’m willing to be talked into and out of things provided your argument’s good enough.

  6. OFF TOPIC ALERT!

    Well looks I’m banned at Zippy’s so here you go, malcolm, the section of my reply to you (with maybe some ADDENDUMs that came to me overnight):

    This is a complex subject. There is no “rule of thumb”, and instead of just ask Zippy, you could try asking Aquinas. Or Google.

    See, that’s where I have a problem philosophically because…

    Ok let’s put it this way: Computers are invented! (yay!) We have something kind of new: software! Aquinas isn’t around, Zippy ain’t born yet (at least I’m placing him as that young, take the compliment, Zippy), so how do we tell whether software development is usury or not?

    DON’T ANSWER THAT QUESTION. It’s rhetorical to prove a point. Things change and new things are made all the time. Aquainas isn’t around to ask, Zippy probably has better things to do with his time than constantly answer questions and some day he won’t be around to ask either. A rule of thumb to help people judge and adapt will be needed otherwise… what’s the point? Is this supposed to be a mere intellectual curiosity or something to really guide and help people in understanding and living rightly?

    I like you Nate, but it’s pretty clear that Zippy has been using Aquinas’s definitions of words for the entirety of his usury series, and frankly I think your conduct has been worse than his. If you want to criticize his usury posts then look up what Aquinas means when he says things.

    Assuming my posts haven’t been edited, some of this is carry over from another blog discussion.

    Plus people who reply with “you’re just too dumb to get me” rather than admit they might need some adjustment bugs the tar out of me.

    ADDENDUM: Also as a protestant, this is something I’ve seen way too often. (in fact I’m beginning to suspect it is step 1 in forming a cult) Basically someone gets an idea about life, they have a dream about angels telling them, or maybe they read a verse or writing by someone and something “clicks” in their mind. They start spreading it around. People try to point out flaws in the idea, and the person replies by directing the criticism at something “higher” than themselves. So for example, if it’s a bible verse, and anybody tries to say, “I don’t think that’s a correct reading of the scripture” the person replies along the lines of “who are you to criticize God!” Indeed one might say that’s how protestantism began (and maybe Catholicism if you ask the Orthodox). Not saying Zippy is doing or is going to do any of that, but he’s on the road to it at the moment and I’ve seen it often enough it wouldn’t be right of me not to warn him.

    If you want Zippy to explain his words, say so instead of challenging him and doubling down when he’s demonstrated that you’re misunderstanding him.

    I’m not doubling down, I’m explaining and documenting how the misunderstanding arose so he can better edit in order to correct it.

    At least I assumed that would be more useful than “you’re off on ___” and nothing else.

    • Ok let’s put it this way: Computers are invented! (yay!) We have something kind of new: software! Aquinas isn’t around, Zippy ain’t born yet (at least I’m placing him as that young, take the compliment, Zippy), so how do we tell whether software development is usury or not?

      Usury is easily defined, but accounting for *every single example* it is used is obviously going to be a matter of some difficulty, especially if we’re getting rid of our best sources. It’s like natural law – easily defined and necessary to live, but applying it to specific circumstances can be complex. At its most simple, usury is charging interest on a loan. Everything else is derived from that.

      Plus people who reply with “you’re just too dumb to get me” rather than admit they might need some adjustment bugs the tar out of me.

      But that’s not what he wrote. He pointed out you weren’t addressing what he said because you were using the wrong definition of words. He was correct, and instead of just admitting it you really did double down, despite assertions to the contrary, and criticized points you didn’t grasp.

      I’m not doubling down, I’m explaining and documenting how the misunderstanding arose so he can better edit in order to correct it.

      Here’s the thing about Zippy: Of all the people I read, he very well might be the smartest, and that includes men like John C. Wright and Vox Day, even though we probably don’t agree on all issues. If he’s done this much thinking on something for such a long time and has explained his points and re-explained them many times, an error in understanding is probably on the person reading, not Zippy.

      • Fair enough on part 1. There’s problems with it but that seems like a simple enough rule of thumb that I asked for the first time.

        But that’s not what he wrote. He pointed out you weren’t addressing what he said because you were using the wrong definition of words. He was correct, and instead of just admitting it you really did double down, despite assertions to the contrary, and criticized points you didn’t grasp.

        To me that’s the essence of what he’s saying but fair enough, I’ll grant I misspoke somewhere (apparently we’re thinking of two different passages).

        Here’s the thing about Zippy: Of all the people I read, he very well might be the smartest, and that includes men like John C. Wright and Vox Day, even though we probably don’t agree on all issues. If he’s done this much thinking on something for such a long time and has explained his points and re-explained them many times, an error in understanding is probably on the person reading, not Zippy.

        1) There is a reason the saying goes, “An idea so silly only an intellectual could believe it.” As CS Lewis pointed out, the greater something is, the worse it can fall and be twisted. Likewise intellect is no guarantee against error, it just means you’ll make different (and even worse) errors than the simple.

        2) I’ll admit it’s fresh in my mind because I’ve been reading it lately, but how is that any different from the feminists which McCain has been reporting on in his sex trouble series? I’ve just read the first half dozen articles or so and you know what? “an error of understanding is on your end” is pretty much a frequent statement of the feminists when anyone tries pointing out the flaws of their logic (like “PiV is always rape” or “heteronormativy is a patriarchal conspiracy” – and no, I don’t respect their terms enough to check spelling). I’ve seen Zippy pimp this “FAQ” (technically, it is not one) across several boards and the same questions keep popping up over and over. Now if Zippy & his “FAQ” keep resulting in the same repetition of dialog across internet locations and regardless of the participants… what’s the common factor there? Which is more likely? Someone’s not adequately conveying their idea? Or that there’s a vast corruption of modernist philosophy corrupting people’s minds? (hmm… kind of like the corruption of patriarchy that feminist say corrupt people…) Maybe he’s right, but so far he’s acting more like a cult leader than an intellectual trying to persuade people. Even God Himself (as Jesus) spoke in parables the people could understand. You can see more examples of this done badly in the explaining academia series at rotten chestnuts.

        3) Look, I’m trying to invent a game right now. Part of the challenge is trying to get rules and concepts developed in my head down onto paper so other people can play this game as I see it in my head. One of the first things I do? Establish definitions, terms, and contexts and overexplain them if necessary.

        Yes, writers have an upper limit, there is a point and some people where nothing you do can make them understand. However nobody starts at that point, and if you’re writing and enough people “aren’t getting it,” then the problem is on your writing, not the readers. Example: If you’re writing about a blue pen, but then everyone that reads what you wrote talks about a green pen, at some point instead of going “you’re not understanding” one should think “hmm… did I write green when I meant blue?”

      • He’s talking about politics but Jonah Goldberg makes an excellent point that applies to a lot of things in this part of the lecture (it’s at the 33:48 mark in case the link doesn’t work) and the importance of persuasion and telling stories.

  7. Nate, let me put it to you this way: You said “fair enough on number one”. Okay. The thing is, Zippy has clearly and repeatedly explained that definition. Over and over. That’s how I knew it. But you didn’t, and blamed Zippy for it.

    I’ll admit it’s fresh in my mind because I’ve been reading it lately, but how is that any different from the feminists which McCain has been reporting on in his sex trouble series?

    They are not only wrong, but incredibly obviously so to anybody with half a brain. We can pretend otherwise, but we’re not going to fool anybody.

    • (but it still doesn’t answer the bid riddle)

      Exactly, and someone pointed that out in the crisis debate. While the logic is sound (just like it can be with feminists), the premises may be flawed. Like the old programming acronym: GIGO.

      • I’ll put it another way too then: If you’re comparing Zippy’s usury arguments to the arguments of raving feminist lunatics, you can understand why people are having trouble taking your objections seriously. You’re so totally off base with that comparison that I don’t even know where to begin going into why you’re wrong.

        Just to start off with, Zippy’s point of view is exactly the same as Thomas Aquinas’s. Are you seriously saying that telling somebody they’re making an error of understanding about Aquinas’s views is the same as saying that they’re making an error of understanding the views of some nutcase who claims all sex is rape? One of those two views doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously, and it’s not Aquinas.

        You point out that a ton of people are having trouble understanding Zippy. That’s a shame and all, but those same people were missing extremely obvious points that Zippy made (like yourself), almost always ended up attacking his character, and are probably in the minority. At the very least there are quite a few people out there who have little trouble with him. A straight question and answer FAQ is about as clear as you can get.

      • I will address more of this after I’ve turned over things in my mind. There is one point I wanted to address to give you time to formulate answers:

        That’s a shame and all, but those same people were missing extremely obvious points that Zippy made (like yourself), almost always ended up attacking his character, and are probably in the minority.

        What do you base this on? I’ve seen the debate on at least 4 websites. Of those that disagreed with him, the ones that attack his character are in the minority. It certainly doesn’t help that Zip’s left himself vulnerable on several character points.

        For one (of many) examples:
        End of the FAQ he says: “There are three main pillars of evidence which are cited:” Really? Based on what? Who says? Let’s see here… looking for quotes…
        Huh, all the quotes are entirely in support of his position, there’s no quote by anyone advocating the claims he says they do. Well maybe there’s a link to someone…
        No wait, all links go back to his own site with 1 exception: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10534d.htm.

        Well ok, that’s just one question. I mean if he is right, and Aquanias can demolish all comers, then surely there is somewhere in the FAQ where he quotes a disagreement and points out the fault in it in detail (I mean McCain did that in his sex trouble series and feminist writing).
        Search for… Adam Smith? No.
        Keynes? No.
        Sowell? (guy is still alive, Zip could even host a live debate if he wanted!) No.
        Ok, how about we just search for “economist”? Umm… no, that doesn’t pop up until the end in the comments and even then, no details.

        Citations? Oh both of them link back to him…

        So who’s asking the questions? Who’s making the points he’s disagreeing with? Who’s asking questions like: “Traditionalist scholastics claimed that you can’t sell time; progressive scholastics asserted that the worker’s wages are a counterexample. Weren’t the progressives right?” Where are their words and contexts to compare against his claims about what they said? He asks for people to understand him, but I see no evidence that he understands his opponents (and I mean that as EVIDENCE, maybe he does, but I have no way of testing or checking). Certainly question 8 makes it questionable.

        Isn’t it the least bit ironic that for someone who goes on and on about what’s real and actual, never has any real people or actual quotes listed in the FAQ beyond those few that agree with him?

        At the very least there are quite a few people out there who have little trouble with him. A straight question and answer FAQ is about as clear as you can get.

        Do they really? Or are they just nodding along? Agreement is no guarantee that the person has understood the point any better than someone who disagrees. (you want me to provide examples?)

      • Look, your objections didn’t address what he said, Nate. They just didn’t. You can blame him for this, but ultimately that one’s on you.

  8. As an example, you wrote this:

    A quick word search of the FAQ seems to show no “rule of thumb” for whether something is “actual” or not (or at least it’s buried somewhere and not a readily identifiable question). So again, why are you complaining about others failing to grasp your point when you’re not providing free telepath hats?

    Well, here’s Zippy’s FAQ:

    38) But you’ve said that intangible or only partly tangible things like patents and operating businesses can be ‘objects’, and thus can be property. So how do I tell the difference between what can be ontologically real property and what can’t?

    Ontologically real property consists of objects. (Property in general refers to a relation between owners, subjects, and objects; but what we ordinarily call ‘property’ as a noun are the objects in this relation).

    Modern economics is very anti-realist: it is under the delusion that economic value is purely subjective, that is, a function of human preferences whatever they happen to be. But economic value is not purely subjective: it has an ineliminable objectivity. (Modernity in general is characterized by anti-realist materialism).

    Objects, very generally speaking, are things which have an existence that is independent of particular persons (subjects). The contrary of object is subject, so objects are things that exist in their own right: things which are not persons and which are capable of being exchanged independent of particular persons.

    Non recourse loans represent ownership claims in objects: the specified assets to which the lender has recourse (under the terms of the contract) to recover principal and interest. Full recourse loans attempt to assert an ownership interest in persons, as opposed to (or in addition to) objects.

    Notice that when Bob dies, the ‘value’ of his full recourse debt (qua full recourse) dies with him. The value of any non recourse debt contracts does not die with any particular person, precisely because that value is tied up in the specific objects not in a particular subject (person). Everything that a non recourse lender is entitled to under the contract can always by definition be recovered (absent theft, fraud, vandalism, or other criminal acts) from objective reality. Even if the value of the collateral goes to zero, it was specified in the contract that that specific collateral is all the non recourse lender is entitled to recover. That is what the lender agreed to, by the definition of a non recourse contract.

    Full recourse lenders frequently fail to fully recover their contractual entitlements precisely because those entitlements are to ‘things’ which are not real.

    …Now the exact word “Actual” is not in there. But it still seems like a pretty direct answer to your objection, with a full explanation including specific definitions of words. That you’re complaining Zippy hasn’t gotten ever more detailed is starting to sound a bit ridiculous. It’s an FAQ blog post.

  9. Ilíon says:

    In my experience, the WordPress software blocks any reference to Blogger/BlogSpot, so I can’t link to this directly —

    Usury! (http:// iliocentrism. blogspot. com/2015/02/usury.html — remove the spaces)

    • In the effort of fairness, I’ll point out here as well that you’ll notice, Malcolm, the linked post is also heavily “jargon’d” (regardless of agreement or disagreement).

  10. Andrew says:

    Given a comment like the one in the OP, my inclination would be to reply as follows:

    “I have neither the time nor the inclination to enter into an extended discussion over this …. So I’ll be content … to be labeled a troll”.
    Works for me, too. Done.

    Basically, if someone uses “I’ll hold my breath until I turn blue” as an arguing technique, the best response is to say “be my guest!” and walk away. It likely won’t win *them* over, but it will certainly dissuade others from making fools of themselves also.

    • That’s a good way to go. I like pulling back the curtain, though. If you do that, you’ve robbed them of the purpose of the gambit. It’s hard for a magician to look smart when his trick is revealed.

  11. DIFFERENT OFF TOPIC ALERT!

    Hey Malcolm, you going to go join the LSFFWA? (you’ve earned the right of “professional” I think)

    • They would have to define professional. As a matter of fact the SFWA considers me semi-pro, because as of now I’ve always been paid below 6 cents a word, their official professional rate. Mrs. Hoyt would need to give her definition of professional.

      My response to that is “Look, money!”

      • lol Given her context, I don’t think she’s going to be as strict as SFWA. Unless she was just joking about an organization. 😄 For all we know, taking her up on the offer would shock her.

        Still think maybe she should have named it “The liberty league of evil”

      • (Actually, according to updated rules I can be considered an associate member because I got 250 dollars for “Take Up Your Cross”.)

  12. I don’t know where to put this, so I’ll start a new thread.

    Ok, calmed down enough (and less busy enough), let me see if I can try this again. Not saying you have to agree with me, just wanting you to understand where I’m coming from.

    I’ll put it another way too then: If you’re comparing Zippy’s usury arguments to the arguments of raving feminist lunatics, you can understand why people are having trouble taking your objections seriously. You’re so totally off base with that comparison that I don’t even know where to begin going into why you’re wrong.

    Ok, my fault because I grew up in a medical household and work on computers now so when I speak of symptoms, it’s not a strict “A is B” comparison. Two different sources can end up displaying similar symptoms. Then that’s not getting into whether a problem has stages or not. If one has to go through stages 1-5 to get A, then it’s not saying B is A to note B has the same stage 1 as A.

    Just to start off with, Zippy’s point of view is exactly the same as Thomas Aquinas’s. Are you seriously saying that telling somebody they’re making an error of understanding about Aquinas’s views is the same as saying that they’re making an error of understanding the views of some nutcase who claims all sex is rape? One of those two views doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously, and it’s not Aquinas.

    Let’s back up for a second.

    How do cults etc form?

    That’s not a rhetorical or leading question or anything, I’m legitimately curious. Do you think a girl wakes up one day and just decides, “I want to hate men!” Or did Luthor just flip and coin and once he saw the result go, “Well time to split the church!”

    In my opinion from observation, while turning to good is often a dramatic and fateful act in people’s lives, turning to evil never is (at least I’ve never noticed anything of it outside of fiction). The devil never seems to get people by convincing them to just start kicking puppies, instead he does a long game of getting a person to make tiny mistakes and steps closer to Hell.

    What did feminists do but claim that the long experience of billions of men & women over thousands and thousands of years were wrong? And some “original woman” was right.
    Have you seen the new movement about how agriculture was the greatest mistake humans ever made? Some “original hunter gatherers” were right.
    What is the argument of many protestants? That the experience and thousands of years of learning by the church and civilizations are wrong, the “original text” is right.
    And now Zippy, what is he doing? But saying that experience of thousands of people, and learning from centuries past are wrong, and it is an “original thinker” that is right.

    He may not be as crazy as many others are. But he’s demonstrating a lot of early symptoms that they do, no? Sure, my alarm bells trip a lot earlier and sooner than yours, that’s fair, but can you at least tell me is there any point before sheer lunacy that your alarms would be tripped?

    You point out that a ton of people are having trouble understanding Zippy. That’s a shame and all, but those same people were missing extremely obvious points that Zippy made (like yourself), almost always ended up attacking his character, and are probably in the minority. At the very least there are quite a few people out there who have little trouble with him. A straight question and answer FAQ is about as clear as you can get.

    Except it’s NOT a straight question and answer. He doesn’t cite sources or even prerequisite reading (I see a picture of some books, but my eyes are too old to make them out). There are two big features to a FAQ: 1) You have context to what it’s speaking of (thus why game rulebooks have FAQ at the BACK of the book and not at the front – or put the entire rulebook in FAQ form) and 2) that it can be read in any order (“I have a question!” *skim* “Oh here is the answer!”).

    Not to mention that it doesn’t seem to answer questions that are actually asked quite frequently. Let’s use a metaphor. Others: “[Question]?” Zippy: “Blue!” Others: “Answer [question]!” Now, did Zip answer the question? In a technical sense yes, but to really settle that debate, we’d have to see the question. If it was “What’s your favorite color?” Then yes he did, and it’s understandable if him & supporters are frustrated by people repeating the question. If the question was “What’s the color of sand?” Then he’s objectively wrong and him & supporters start looking crazy insisting on it. If the question was “What’s the sum of 2 and 3?” then the answer is completely nonsensical, and it’s understandable why the questioners are frustrated by the repeated answer. A lot of the arguments seem to be on what the question is.

    Let me also ask something. I don’t read him that often, so maybe I’m wrong, but has Zip yet posted a link or a quote from somebody that disagreed with him, AND he said (or noted or implied, etc) that they understood the FAQ? Because you know another feature of the aforementioned groups? They don’t come out and say it but if you argue or read them often enough, you realize they often end up saying that if you disagree with them, then you don’t understand the doctrine. No matter what, to disagree with them at all is a sign you don’t understand. Again, I admit that I haven’t read Zip extensively, but just from a bit on his blog (and some commentators – hopefully not you) that seems to be his most common argument.

    Well, here’s Zippy’s FAQ:

    38) But you’ve said that intangible or only partly tangible things like patents and operating businesses can be ‘objects’, and thus can be property. So how do I tell the difference between what can be ontologically real property and what can’t?

    Ontologically real property consists of objects. (Property in general refers to a relation between owners, subjects, and objects; but what we ordinarily call ‘property’ as a noun are the objects in this relation).

    Modern economics is very anti-realist: it is under the delusion that economic value is purely subjective, that is, a function of human preferences whatever they happen to be. But economic value is not purely subjective: it has an ineliminable objectivity. (Modernity in general is characterized by anti-realist materialism).

    This is exactly what I mean when I say Catholics are to economics as Evangelicals are to evolution, and reading this imposition of philosophy onto economics is exactly as cringe-inducing as watching someone impose theology on biology (or imposing biology onto theology in the case of most atheists). Quite frankly that last paragraph is wrong, objectively wrong. I can prove it, but only if you ask as this reply is long as it is (as well as the other “bid” objection I’ve yet to see answered from Zippy).

    Objects, very generally speaking, are things which have an existence that is independent of particular persons (subjects). The contrary of object is subject, so objects are things that exist in their own right: things which are not persons and which are capable of being exchanged independent of particular persons.

    Ok, so software and writing and health care and many other services are not objects or property then. While I might be sympathetic to the idea that Microsoft and Google are just full on usury. Have you read John C Wright’s Chinese room debates? You only have to review them to see what’s the issue here.

    Non recourse loans represent ownership claims in objects: the specified assets to which the lender has recourse (under the terms of the contract) to recover principal and interest. Full recourse loans attempt to assert an ownership interest in persons, as opposed to (or in addition to) objects.

    Notice that when Bob dies, the ‘value’ of his full recourse debt (qua full recourse) dies with him. The value of any non recourse debt contracts does not die with any particular person, precisely because that value is tied up in the specific objects not in a particular subject (person). Everything that a non recourse lender is entitled to under the contract can always by definition be recovered (absent theft, fraud, vandalism, or other criminal acts) from objective reality. Even if the value of the collateral goes to zero, it was specified in the contract that that specific collateral is all the non recourse lender is entitled to recover. That is what the lender agreed to, by the definition of a non recourse contract.

    Full recourse lenders frequently fail to fully recover their contractual entitlements precisely because those entitlements are to ‘things’ which are not real.

    Right so again, software, writing, health care, many services would count as usurious loans if they are ever NOT paid for up front. Again, only applying his logic consistently across the board.

    …Now the exact word “Actual” is not in there. But it still seems like a pretty direct answer to your objection, with a full explanation including specific definitions of words. That you’re complaining Zippy hasn’t gotten ever more detailed is starting to sound a bit ridiculous. It’s an FAQ blog post.

    Ok, maybe so, but then let me ask: what’s the point of it? To preach to the choir or to convert? Because in the former, hey it does a bang up job, fair enough I’ll drop the critique. In the case of the latter, it’s horrendous.

    Also, let me respond to something I saw you post elsewhere:

    In that case you are charging somebody for literally nothing. That you gave out money has nothing to do with whether or not you should get extra money back. There is no service being performed and no object being given.

    Ok, here’s kind of the root of the problem bold up there and what is brought up in the case of the security guard. Namely: If there is no service, then how is the money loaned? I’m not sure what exact terms you would use, but you’re saying essentially that the act of loaning money, isn’t an action. That if I give you money, I didn’t do anything.

    Do you at least start to see how that “A is not-A” kind of logic starts tripping people up? Or seeming completely arbitrary? If the security guard can stand there and do nothing all night yet still be considered as realizing an actual, how can doing the REAL act of passing money not also be considered as realizing an actual? I mean the argument is being made that if I pass a stack of bills from my hand to yours, if it’s for a job you did, that happened, but if it’s for a loan, that didn’t happen.

    Now… who’s the non-realist?

    • Here is what I read here: A very long rant where you compared Zippy writing a short tract defending Thomas Aquinas’s teachings on usury, which also happens to be the traditional historical teaching of the Catholic Church to this day, with the starting of a cult.

      Also, you keep bringing up a bunch of things that supposedly aren’t objects or property when, by the definition given, they are.

      I think this is a dead topic.

      • Here is what I read here: A very long rant where you compared Zippy writing a short tract defending Thomas Aquinas’s teachings on usury, which also happens to be the traditional historical teaching of the Catholic Church to this day, with the starting of a cult.

        ….Ok, you’ve said you read Vox so you should get this reference: Mal, other than the subject what, in any of the above, differentiates your reply to the usual rabbit method of “outrage – disqualify”? And do you really believe that the subject validates the method? (that it’s ok to act the rabbit when the church is involved) Also, did you just follow Correia’s checklist and “skim until offended”? Did you even notice I gored my own ox a couple of times and threw in Protestantism too? Or that in this you & Zippy act no different than many protestants do when rejecting Catholicism?

        Also, you keep bringing up a bunch of things that supposedly aren’t objects or property when, by the definition given, they are.

        HOW? Software CANNOT exist independently, it must always have a medium (disc, hard drive, person’s mind, etc). Likewise words and language cannot exist without persons, otherwise there’s no difference between say… the story you just got published, and a random collection of twigs in the forest. If I was to take the complete works of William Shakespeare and travel back in time to give them to Moses, how much should he pay me? NOTHING! (well, the book technology would be invaluable for him) Because he doesn’t speak English (English doesn’t even exist yet). The ink marks on the page are no different to him than if I was to blindfold myself and scribble wildly on the pages. How are words objects by the definition of “have an existence that is independent of particular persons”? (without people, they don’t exist) You’re arguing along the same lines Rolf did when he and JCW went over the chinese room thought experiment, or at least you’re not pointing out the divergence between you and him other than to go “no I’m not.”

      • ….Ok, you’ve said you read Vox so you should get this reference: Mal, other than the subject what, in any of the above, differentiates your reply to the usual rabbit method of “outrage – disqualify”?

        Because I read what you said. I’m not disqualifying it because I’m outraged, I’m disqualifying it because it’s ridiculous. Another word for that would be dismissing it, if you’d like.

        I don’t care that you’re Protestant in the context of this discussion. That wasn’t my point. The point was that you’re comparing positions held by institutions and men for thousands of years to cult beliefs. This makes no sense.

        I’m not in the mood to go discuss this with you EVEN MORE (you’ve already been over this, with multiple people, including me, a lot – so don’t act as if I’m just ignoring you) when you’re showing me that you’re so far beyond “getting” what anybody is saying.

        I’m not offended. It is very hard to offend me. Make me mad, yes,. Annoy me, yes. Offend me? I’m not even slightly offended. Or angry, for that matter. Even annoyed isn’t right. More like frustrated that you’re so far beyond track here.

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