Sunday, November 15, 2020

"The Death Of Epistemology": Update

The Holocaust was legal. Slavery was legal. Segregation was legal. Legality is not a guide to morality. | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

In 2020 Obama Rightly Identified "An Epistemological Crisis" As America's Central Toxin. Here's How I Identified This Toxin In 2012 (This Post Has Been Updated)

"The Death Of Epistemology"

"Tyranny's Best Kept Secret: It's All About Epistemology"

"Obama Just Identified Our Biggest Problem Of All"
"It's Like These Guys Take Pride In Being Ignorant." Barack Obama | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

Alan: In the end, the human conundrum centers on the conflict between legalists and lovers.

Note well. 

The "good German" looking at corpses in the photograph above will soon revert to the law-and-order legalism that persuades him - without even thinking... especially without thinking -- that "those people," those "bad OTHER people," those "people who are not like me" -- "had it coming."

Just desserts for the n'er-do-wells and "undeserving poor."

"We Know To The Extent That We Love": St. Augustine Goes To The Heart Of Epistemology

To be clear, everyone who supports a president who forcibly separates families, and in the process loses track of where separated children end up, is guilty - no matter what the law says - of inflicting serious and lasting damage on family members who have been forcibly separated. In legal parlance Trump is guilty of  "Aggravated Assault Causing Serious Injury"

Pax on both houses: "The Story Of A Coward And A Commander" The ... 
If those who aid and abet Trump in crimes against humanity weren't so self-righteously heartless - so determined to apotheosize Trump and themselves - they would realize that if this same calamity had happened to their families, they would be the first to denounce family separation as unspeakably evil.

Pax on both houses: Cartoon: Family Separation 

Tragically, inflicting the grievous pain of family separation on any human being self-imposes spiritual blindness that results in the loss of one's soul, whether your definition of "soul" be sacred or secular.

Pax on both houses: Fran Lebowitz On Trump: His Stupidity And His ...

Fran Lebowitz: "People Love Their Hatred More Than They Care About Their Own Actual Lives"

Now, You Can Be Hateful And Feel Good About It | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

White "Christian" "conservatives" have signed a pact with Satan -- whether you define "Satan" in a sacred or secular sense -- by virtue of disregarding intellectual rigor as set forth by Science and "the rules of evidence," and as exhibited by Thomas Aquinas, the signal figure in Christendom's quest for Truth.

When white, "Christian" "conservatives" realized that if Trump failed to win the presidency in 2016, their cause would be lost forever, they decided (often unconsciously) that all they needed to do to secure Divine Authorization to win-at-any-cost was to redefine falsehood-as-truth as one more tool in the electoral dirty tricks kit.

"Dirty Trickster Lee Atwater: The GOP SOB At The Heart Of Republican Barbarism (Hidden Mic)"

Here is an itemization of how white, "Christian" "conservatives" (who are neither) went about the business of re-fashioning themselves as people who -- above all -- prize the political advantage of non-stop falsehood.

1.) Whenever a fact proves politically inconvenient, deny it and double down on your denial.

Enlist the help of friends on Facebook to create such clamor in endlessly ramifying "email chains" that the sheer weight of "Big Lies continually repeated" creates the impression (among the intellectually and ideologically crippled) that Truth is determined by decibelage.

Sound Thinking Is A Learned Skill
That Trump Supporters Seldom Possess | made w/ Imgflip meme maker
These folks despise intellectual rigor.
For them, Truth is an existential threat.
Their goal is to replace truth with opinion and to feel giddy that this replacement can now be justified in their minds, no matter how manifestly false, delusional or unhinged their opinions may be.

Is Ortega Y Gasset The Most Important Modern Philosopher? The Most Discerning Prophet?

Why Is It That We Automatically Know 
This Guy's Political Affiliation? | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

2.) Whenever a fact proves politically inconvenient, deny its factuality by alleging it is "Fake News." Never mind that the Founding Fathers would have deemed it a "self-evident truth" that Fox News has been the epicenter of bullshit-in-America for decades. Remember, we are not dealing with the brightest bulbs in the closet, and so their ill-informed and structurally-embedded gullibility makes them "buy into" nonsense because there is one and only one political rubric built into their middle school psyches:  "There is strength and (apparent) safety in numbers".

It is not a coincidence that QAnon's slogan is: "Where we go one, we go all," a line from the 1996 Jeff Bridges sailing adventure "White Squall" that they misattribute to President Kennedy."

Pax on both houses: "Most Stupid People Are Conservative," John ...

3.) Whenever a fact proves politically inconvenient, deny its factuality by alleging it's a product of The Deep State. 

But first, let's be clear:

Pax on both houses: Memes For My Correspondents On A Trumpista ...

At bottom, "The Deep State" is a jaundiced term for "The Technocratically Competent State."

Lamentably, self-pithed "Christian" "conservatives" (and their dimwitted allies on the secular side of the aisle) believe that technical competence is neither necessary, not desirable. "God will provide - like a miracle!"

Compendium Of Best Pax Posts: What I Think About Christianity

Here is the upshot of technical incompetence:

"Did Trump's Coronavirus Action, Inaction And Ineptitude Kill 91,724 People Needlessly?"

"Trump World's" Refusal To Take COVID Seriously Has Killed Nearly 100 Times More Americans Than 9/11

Instead of trusting technical competence on its merits (unless a spot appears on a Trumpista's lung in which case they immediately want a medical team comprised of Harvard-trained physicians and Nobel Laureates) they are convinced that "virtuous believers" are so blessed by God that governance is best left in the hands of televangelists like Pat Robertson, Jim Bakker, Jerry Falwell Jr., Franklin Graham, Kenneth Copeland and Joel Osteen and all the "True Believers" who subscribe to their anodyne and exploitive views. (There is even a scam artist televangelist resident in the White House: Rev. White is as blonde and pretty as the cupie doll anchors at Faux News. "I report. You decide." Or, more to the point: "Shit in, shit out.")

Televangelist Jim Bakker Resurrected: If This Doesn't Scare The Bejesus Out Of You, Repent For Your End Is Near!

"Has America Lost Its Mind?" 1A's Brilliant Interview With "Fantasyland's" Kurt Andersen

Many Christians Live In An Unbreakable Bubble Of Biblical And Theological Dunderheadedness

4.) Whenever a fact proves politically inconvenient, deny its factuality by alleging that -- whatever its provenance -- it is now superceded by a new, "Alternative Fact." 

I would love to digress into an "Alternative Fact" analysis of "The Good Book." 

But for now, I will direct your attention to just one source: 

Biblical "Literalism" And The Cultivation Of Hatred

5.) Whenever a fact proves politically inconvenient, deny its factuality by tracking down "exceptions-to-rules," and then assume that the identification of statistically invalid "exceptions-to-rules" are all that's needed to establish "New Rules." (Right-wing passion for exceptional, even miraculous, "anecdotes" is cheek-by-jowl with this passion for "exceptions-to-rules.")

These anti-statistical, ideological-driven cheats assume, without question, that one single bit of countervailing evidence vitiates substantive arguments supported by thousands, if not millions, of data points.

That one exception-to-the-rule makes them beat their chests like the intellectually compromised simians they are.

Thump! Thump! Thump!

Trump! Trump! Trump!


It is true that these benighted evaluative norms have some measure of applicability in criminal courts.

But politics is not a criminal court.

The most apt legal parallel to politics is a civil court where there is NO need to "prove beyond reasonable doubt," but rather to demonstrate a "preponderance of evidence."

An illustration...

In 1986, Donald Trump saved New York City's Wollman Skating Rink. There is no question that this was a good work and that Donald Trump made it happen "singlehandedly."

Saving Wollman Rink Made Trump A New York City Hero

On the other side of this same token, there are now 25,000 lies-and massive misrepresentations from President Trump's own mouth and neve-ending fondness for conspiracy theories the two of which combine to create a tsunami of epistemological sludge, resulting in the destruction of Trumpistas' moral compass.

The degradation goes like this:

There are two ways of lying, as there are two ways of deceiving customers. If the scale registers 15 ounces, you can say: "It's a pound." Your lie will remain relative to an invariable measure of the true. If customers check it, they can see that they are being robbed, and you know by how much you are robbing them: a truth remains as a judge between you. But if the demon induces you to tamper with the scale itself, it is the criterion of the true which is denatured, there is no longer any possible control. And little by little you will forget that you are cheating.    

The Shit Storm | made w/ Imgflip meme maker
Another day, another Shit Storm.

It is revealing that some monumental turd dropped from the Shit Storm day before yesterday, but you can't remember what it was.
And this inability to remember, has taken place EVERY SINGLE DAY going back to the beginning of Trump's "administration."

Image result for "pax on both houses", hey, conservative christians

The upshot of this degradation is that the never-ending shitstorm makes it impossible for tens of millions of Americans to make reasoned, accurate judgments, and so we witness the inexorable corrosion and erosion of democratic norms.

"Trump Is A Traitor By Virtue Of Normalizing Falsehood And Teaching Americans To Do The Same"

By the way...

Enjoy the skating rink.

"Americans are fucked. They've been bought off. And they come real cheap: a few million dirt bikes, camcorders, microwaves, cordless phones, digital watches, answering machines, jet skis and sneakers with lights in 'em. You say you want a few items back from the Bill of Rights? Just promise the doofuses new gizmos."  George Carlin

Pax on both houses: The Guardian: Donald Trump And The Erosion Of ...
It Can't Happen Here is a semi-satirical 1935 political novel by American author Sinclair Lewis[1] and a 1936 play by Lewis and John C. Moffitt[2] adapted from the novel.
The novel was published during the heyday of fascism in Europe, which was reported on by Dorothy Thompson, Lewis' wife.[3] The novel describes the rise of Berzelius "Buzz" Windrip, a demagogue who is elected President of the United States, after fomenting fear and promising drastic economic and social reforms while promoting a return to patriotism and "traditional" values. After his election, Windrip takes complete control of the government and imposes totalitarian rule with the help of a ruthless paramilitary force, in the manner of European fascists such as Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. The novel's plot centers on journalist Doremus Jessup's opposition to the new regime and his subsequent struggle against it as part of a liberal rebellion.
Reviewers at the time,[4] and historians and literary critics ever since, have emphasized the resemblance to Louisiana politician Huey Long, who used strong-arm political tactics and who was building a nationwide "Share Our Wealth" organization in preparing to run for president in the 1936 election. Long was assassinated in 1935 just prior to the novel's publication.[5][6][7][8] Historians and pundits have also pointed out similarities with the political rise of New York real estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump.[9][10]


It is characteristic of right-wingers --- who forgive their own partisans ANY crime while simultaneously insisting on impeccable perfection in their political adversaries -- that they "burn the candle at both ends," and always to their own advantage.

These ideological and epistemological cheats who have created "evaluative criteria" that satisfy their own political interests perfectly, are incapable of entertaining the notion that giving Donald Trump a mulligan whenever he needs one is like giving Larry Nassar a weekend passes to all girls' gymnastics camps.

6.) A key element of Trump's deceptiveness is his passion for conspiracy theories, including birtherism which was the cornerstone of Trump's presidential campaign.

Daniel Webster Prompts A Review Of Conspiracism And Its Destructive Role In American Politics

Dialogue With Fred Maske About "Conspiracy Theories That Have Changed The Course Of History"

Conspiracism was the beginning of the end of honorable epistemology and was the initial excavation-expansion of The Swamp that normalized the belief that:

Pax on both houses: Remember When Politics Attracted The Brightest ...

"We Know To The Extent That We Love": St. Augustine Goes To The Heart Of Epistemology

Thomas Merton: Our job is to love others – When did you last feel ...

Fr. Thomas Merton Explains -- In 16 Words -- Why "Christian" "Conservatives" Are Always Wrong

"The Death Of Epistemology"

7.) Atop the infrastructure of epistemology is the superstructure of data, facts, information and shared values that enable a society to be fundamentally social - to aspire after The Common Good and The General Welfare. Fundamental sociability no longer exists in the United States, in large part because absolutists prefer to see relativists dead, whereas relativists just want absolutists to "mind their own business." 

Why "Absolutists" Prefer To See "Relativists" Dead... Whereas "Relativists" Prefer That "Absolutists" Just Mind Their Own Business

"Fear And Anxiety Drive Conservatives Political Attitudes": How The Values Of "Strict Father" -- Or "Nurturant Parent" -- Control Our Political Views

Conservatives And Liberals: "How We Ended Up In 2 Totally Divided Camps, Both Convinced They're Absolutely Right"

While this fateful - and fatal - conflict plays out, we are left with the unexpected questionability of factual truth, or at least a great many rudimentary truths we can agree upon: "The 9 o'clock train from New York to D.C. will leave pretty much at 9 o'clock." 

But then, there are dicier issues, formerly settled by science: "Wearing face masks in public during pandemic contagion lessens the likelihood of negligent homicide." 

And you will either cheer the eminent sensibility of this proposition, or you will rage that malevolent "others" working unseen (and often in Deep State "hiding") are trying to muzzle you, to take away your freedom, to play a sick joke since, as conspiracists "know," the pandemic has been a hoax from the get-go. 

"The Cult Of Selfishness Is Killing America," Paul Krugman

Trump's Rallies Define His Vision Of Liberty: The Right Not To Care About Other People

It is no longer enough to champion Reason, Intellectual Rigor and The Scientific Method. 

A full third of the population -- the same third that elected conspiracist Donald Trump (an unread, incurious dolt) - is excluded from the domains of Reason, Intellectual Rigor and The Scientific Method because - for whatever reason - they never learned how to think. 
Sound Thinking Is A Learned Skill
That Trump Supporters Seldom Possess | made w/ Imgflip meme maker
"A Confession: I'm Starting To Write Off Stupid People As Incorrigible"

Make no mistake. Thinking is a learned skill.

And the newly-revealed downside of "not knowing how to think" is the calamitous end-state of identity politics:

"Confirmation Bias And The Power Of Disconfirming Evidence"

8.) The inter-related issues of ignorance and education are fundamental to every problem we humans confront - just as they are fundamental to any meaningful solution to those problems. 

But it's complicated. 

Even before the possibility of education comes into play, Americans with more brawn than brains are routinely acculturated to rely on belligerence as a solution to life's social, political - and even interpersonal - problems.

In their view, the application of enough force will eventually solve any problem.e

And I suppose that if one belongs to Trump's COVID death cult, this may be true in a macabre, brutal - and brutalizing - way

The GOP's Passion For Violence As A Presumed Panacea: Microcosm And Macrocosm

American Conservatives Demand Violence To Keep Violence Alive. Otherwise, It Withers

Compendium Of Best Pax Posts On Organized Religion And The Everyday Validation Of Violence

"Vote Out Hate": Political Ad Focuses Trump's Hatred And Passion For Violence

A History Of Trump's Incitation Of Violence

John Lennon On The Trap Of Violence: How The Right Wing Seduces The Left Into Suicide

One Of The Many Ways Racism Works: Cop Beats Miles Davis Bloody For Being Black

Ostentatiously Devout Christianity And The Cold-Blooded Murder Of Black People

Alan: If my "Christian" "conservative" friends were not such compulsive liars, they would all agree with this woman's conclusion.

Pax on both houses: 60 Minutes: "Fake News"

Americans Are Getting Tired Of A Blowhard Who Force-Feeds Them Falsehood
Christian Ministers Have A Moral Obligation To Call Bullshit On Trump Cultists Spreading Lies

Pax on both houses: Understanding Ignorance - And Why You Don't Have The  Right To Believe Whatever You Want

Most people detest thinking, considering it both a burden and a threat.

Put bluntly:

Pax on both houses: “How to Grow Old” By Bertrand Russell

Although making a firm determination would require careful research, I venture that foremost among the reasons why people loath learning is because they sense the truth (that is ever clearer to me) as I move through the eighth decade of my life. 

Almost every substantial truth (which means any truths that is not a simple matter-of-fact like 2+2 = 4 or "the capital of New York is Albany") require rich contextualization.

Consequently, people (most of whom tend to be intellectually indolent) realize "somewhere in their psyche" that "sound bite truth" and "bumper sticker truth" are not really true.

When we look out on the domain of those truths that are social, political or interpersonal, Truth is ALWAYS brought to light -- brought to fullness -- by context.

Indeed, the deliberate decontextualization of truth that typifies the "sound bites" and "bumper stickers" of simple-minded ideologues (and other "deliberately thoughtless" people) is the most effective way that plausible lies get told. 

Unless Truth Is Richly Contextualized, It Is Likely That Uneducated, Ideologically-Driven People (Who Never Learned How To Think In Context), Will Use Fragmented Shards Of Truths To Tell Colossal Lies

In effect, decontextualized (or non-contextualized) "truth" is not truth at all but a superficial appearance whose ideological and/or theological purpose is to squelch truth - and preferably strangle it - for the sole purpose of promoting the fundamental (and over-arching) lie whereby ideologues -- who are only interested in winning -- make political and theological headway by deception and duplicity, actual truth be damned.

Pat Buchanan, The Republican Presidential Candidate And Living American Who Has Served Longest As Senior White House Official, Says Republicans Are In It For "Power Only" And "To Hell With Principles"

9.) The Redefinition of Lunacy as Sanity... with QAnon leading the charge.

Without getting lost in the weeds, I will cut to the chase.

(A double dose of dramamine is advised before proceeding...)

Trump’s presidency - coupled with his cult following - have led me to reluctant realizations.
One of these realizations is that ONLY outrageous-opposition-to-Truth is capable of proving that a true believer embodies the kind of faith that is worthy of “salvation.“

During my 1950s' childhood, an eccentric relative living in an in-law apartment would have become a candidate for insane asylum committal if they started spewing the comprehensively lunatic ideation that characterizes Trump Cult, a coven of crazies who subscribe to QAnon, a new secular religion with its own messiah (Donald Trump) and its own resurrection (John Kennedy Jr. is not dead).

And as bizarre as these core beliefs are, they're just the beginning.

Tom Hanks, Oprah Winfrey and Hillary Clinton are members of a vast Hollywood (and Democratic Party) cabal who operate a massive sex slave trade that also kills children to cannibalize them in Satanic blood rituals.  

(A subset of "redefining lunacy as sanity" is the Trump's administration is the non-stop torrent of sludge gushing from Malignant Messiah and all his spokespeople. Whole cloth falsehood, "what-about-ism," "could-be-ism," "people-are-telling-me-ism," rumor, gossip, innuendo and social media trolls

Image result for hitler "the big lie" "pax on both houses"

A Former Conservative Blogger On The Failures Of Right-Wing Media - A Brilliant Matthew Sheffield Interview With "On The Media" (Likely To Be The Best Broadcast You'll Hear This Month)

Trump Lies Shamelessly, Compulsively, Continuously... And His Followers Suck The Sludge

10.) And finally, The Ace In The Hole: Abortion 

American "conservatives" harbor a bedrock conviction (and cling to it as a self-evident truth) that anyone who would promote - or even allow - legal abortion is a BABY KILLER. 

Never mind the vast body of evidence, and widespread agreements that societies with legal abortion, thorough sex education and shameless, affordable access to contraception often have lower abortion rates than societies where abortion is illegal. 

Abortion Rates Often Go Down When Countries Make It Legal Whereas Countries With Stricter Abortion Laws Can Have Higher Abortion Rates

Never mind that the U.S. abortion rate is lower right now than it was prior to Rowe v. Wade. 

Never mind that abortion-prohibition will not prevent abortion any more than alcohol prohibition stopped people from drinking.

American "conservatives" cannot even look at the data and say, "You know... There are strong arguments on both sides. So, let's call it a tie and leave it alone - at least as a political hot potato. Instead, let's do our very best to minimize abortion by implementing those policies which will, in fact, minimize it."

To Minimize Abortion, Here Are 4 Reasons We Should Focus on Poverty Instead of Abortion 

The perceived principles of American "conservatives" -- particularly their "defense of the defenseless against baby killers" is so inviolable that they much prefer to protect-and-defend the principles on which their identity depends (whether their premises are true or false) than to protect-and-defend Truth itself. 

Not surprisingly, the protection of American "conservatives" own principles -- as they themselves define those principles, INDEPENDENT OF TRUTH -- is based on the unshakeable conviction that their principles, by divine ordination, coincide absolutely with TRUTH ITSELF, and consequently, there is no argument -- no matter how rational or fact-based -- capable of persuading them that their self-chosen principles may not align with God's Truth

A Former Conservative Blogger On The Failures Of Right-Wing Media - A Brilliant Matthew Sheffield Interview With "On The Media" (Likely To Be The Best Broadcast You'll Hear This Month)

The Enemy Is Inside The Gates | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

How You And I And Everyone Can Create REAL Damning Evidence To Justify Any Damn Thing - Divorce; One's Religious Faith As "The One, True Religion"; Donald Trump As A Godsend; The Advisability Of Provoking Armageddon, Hitler's Heinous Extermination Of Jews

Kentucky State House Whatever This Is, It Is Not Civilization. | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

QAnon Thinks Donald Trump Is God And Tom Hanks Is The Devil... And Oprah Is Part Of A Vast Hollywood Conspiracy That Kills - And Eats - Children. (I Am Not Kidding)

QAnon Is Nucking Futs: A Clearing House For Crazy People (Which Continually Tells Them THEY Are The Sane Ones)

Liberals And Conservatives: How "Projection" and "The Psychological Shadow" Work 

The following "odds and sods" document other facets of "conservative" "Christianity" - and secular Trump cultism - that have resulted in the collapse of epistemology:

Pax on both houses: Evangelicals' Satanic Surrender To Trump: Bend ...

The Monstrous Cruelty Of Family Separation, A Heinous "Crime Against Humanity"

Christians And "Christians" Choose Mercy, Love And Forgiveness, Or Retribution And Punishment

Compendium Of Trump Videos That Reveal His Arrogance, Inhumanity, Stupidity And Cruelty

Pax on both houses: Facebook Thread On Human Trafficking And ...

The Holocaust Was Legal. Slavery Was Legal. Segregation Was Legal. Genocidal Theft Of US.

"The Death Of Epistemology"

Mark Twain, Adolf Hitler And The Dunning-Kruger Effect

New York Times Interviews David Dunning, Co-Author Of The Dunning-Kruger Effect 

McArthur Wheeler: Patron Saint Of American "Conservatism"

Pax on both houses: The Core Cruelty Of Trump Cult: Malignant ...

Stupidity For Dummies: The Study Of Ignorance Helps Understand How Intelligence Works

"Are Highly Religious People Less Compassionate?"

Christianity: A Compendium Of "What Went Wrong" And Current Worship Of The Wrongness

"There Is Neither Nobility, Nor Kindness Nor Uplift In Trump's America"

A Critical Mass Of American "Conservatives" Are Stupid, Ignorant, Hateful And Cruel

"George Carlin Describes America's Dumbf*ck Quandary"

A portrait of white, "conservative," "Christian" America.

Pax on both houses: Trolls... And The End Of Civilization As We ...

Hey, QAnon! Prove Me Wrong; My "Deep State" Informant Tells Me 
That Trump Arranged His Brother's Death 
Before Robert Released His "Tell All" Book | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

Alan: During my 1950s' childhood, any weirdo-relative living in an in-law apartment would have become a candidate for "insane asylum committal" as soon as s/he started spewing the kind of lunatic ideation that consumes Trump Cult, a coven of crazies who subscribe to QAnon, a new secular religion with its own messiah (i.e., Donald Trump) and its own resurrection (i.e., John Kennedy Jr. is not dead). 

And that's just the beginning.

Tom Hanks, Oprah Winfrey and Hillary Clinton are members of a vast Hollywood (and Democratic Party) cabal who operate a massive sex slave trade that also kills children to cannibalize them in Satanic blood rituals.

If you've got the stomach, you can learn more about this epochal normalization-of-insanity at:  

At Bottom, The Swamp Is Epistemological And If The Left Ever Embraces Full-On Bullshit 
For Ideological Advantage, All Is Lost | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

Hey, QAnon! Prove Me Wrong; At Bottom, The Swamp Is Epistemological
And If The Left Ever Embraces Full-On Bullshit For Ideological Advantage,
All Is Lost | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

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