Friday, April 02, 2010

It's Easter, which means ... [update 3]

IT'S EASTER. GOOD FRIDAY. A day off. A day out. A day to sing hymns, sit in traffic and eat hot cross buns and Easter eggs, and--whatever else you do--a day not to go out shopping. Because today is one day the religionists still have control over us. A day when flunkies carrying clipboards fan out around the country hoping to fine someone for the crime of selling someone else a pot plant, or a pint of milk. Seeking to sacrifice shop-owners to the God of zealotry.

Meanwhile, the Christians who still insist on this sacrifice of shop-owners to the gods of unionism and bureaucracy celebrate the sacrifice of their ideal man two-thousand years ago.

Any way you look at it, as a story to celebrate it’s hardly a happy one.

Every religion has its own myths that go to the very heart of their beliefs. The pagan Greeks told stories of their gods consuming Ambrosia and gambolling on Olympus.  The Norse heroes told stories of gods carousing lustily on Valhalla while waiting for Ragnarok.  The Christians? They tell about the time when the head God sent his son down to be nailed up to a piece of wood.

As a myth, it’s hardly something to celebrate.

The Easter Myth is central to Christianity, and all too revealing of the ethic at Christianity's heart.  And art reveals their core.

Look at that painting above, by Salvador Dali. A great, powerful, awe-inspiring, revealing piece of art.  What does it represent? It represents man-worship -- the presentation of an ideal.  Note how the main figure is larger than life and seemingly immune to pain or destruction; a figure, incongruously in this context, that appears without pain or fear or guilt. The figure at left is Dali's wife Gala, who looks up at the Christ figure with a look of literal man-worship. If we have a question here, it should be this: "How can you worship the torture and destruction of that which you revere above all?" Fair question.

Bach's St Matthew Passion musically and beautifully dramatises the same Myth, while revealing the very nature of it. The Passion’s thematic centre occurs when Jesus appears before Pilate and the mob.

    “When Pilate asks the crowd who should be freed, Barbaras or Jesus. The crowd replies, "Barabbas!" and Pilate asks, "When what should I do with Jesus, who is called the Christ?" The crowd shouts, "Let him be Crucified!" This final shout is musically rendered in such an awful way that the hearer is almost struck dumb. One can feel the terrible doom being called down. Pilate then asks (in Part 56), "Why, what has this man done?" His question is answered by what is probably the loneliest Soprano ever, who says, "He has done good to us all, He gave sight to the blind, The lame he made to walk; He told us his father's word, He drove the devils forth; The wretched he has raised up; He received and sheltered sinners, Nothing else has my Jesus done."
    “Following this is an even more poignant aria that begins, "Out of love my Savior is willing to die." After that the chorus repeats the sentence, which is made worse by what we have just heard.”

Just think, Christians revere Christ as their ideal, and Bach has his chorus and soloists praise him, worship him, and eulogise Him – this, above all, was their hero (Bach tells us), the man they believe their god sent to earth as an example of the highest possible on this earth -- and then they and that god went and had him killed. Tortured, Crucified.

That's the story. This, says Bach in the true honesty that great art reveals, is what Christians revere: The murder of their ideal man.  

It’s an astonishing ethic to celebrate, isn’t it: the sacrifice of the ideal man just to appease and placate the mob.

Hans Holbein’s ‘Christ After Crucifixion’ lays bare the reality of the sacrifice.

It’s not a pretty painting, as this detail makes plain:

 

A good subtitle for this 1521 painting might be ‘A Christian Confronts Reality.’  That, at least, was how the Russian novelist Dostoyevsky felt when confronted with this naturalistic depiction of the battered Christian corpse in 1867: confronted with the horrific reality of crucifixion and its results, Dostoyevsky was struck by the importance of this confrontation for his faith, and inspired to dramatise in his next novel what that confrontation meant. Said his wife, “The figure of Christ taken from the cross, whose body already showed signs of decomposition, haunted him like a horrible nightmare.  In his notes to [his novel] The Idiot and in the novel itself he returns again and again to his theme.”

Holbein confronts the Christian viewer with a powerful choice: One must either believe that God raised this ravaged body from the dead, and that the Christian myth, therefore, “offers hope for humanity beyond this life”; or else accept that the dead stay dead, that such an event did not and could not occur, that reality is what it is – with all that follows therefrom. As Dostoyevsky has a character in The Idiot explain it,

    His body on the cross was therefore fully and entirely subject to the laws of nature. In the picture the face is terribly smashed with blows, swollen, covered with terrible, swollen, and bloodstained bruises, the eyes open and squinting; the large, open whites of the eyes have a sort of dead and glassy glint. . . .
   Looking at that picture, you get the impression of nature as some enormous, implacable, and dumb beast, or, to put it more correctly, much more correctly, though it may seem strange, as some huge engine of the latest design, which has senselessly seized, cut to pieces, and swallowed up–impassively and unfeelingly–a great and priceless Being, a Being worth the whole of nature and all its laws, worth the entire earth, which was perhaps created solely for the coming of that Being!

Good art need not be a thing of beauty, but it must have something to say.  This certainly does that. If you believe the Creation myth and all that goes with it, the idea that all this was designed by something supernatural and omnipotent, then you must believe this torture too was designed. That it was intended.  That the God who once insisted that Abraham sacrifice his own son now makes the mob insist on the sacrifice of their ideal.

Let me ask you again, Don’t you think it astonishing to celebrate this barbarity?

IT WOULD BE EVEN MORE astonishing if that were what Easter really meant.  Thankfully, it’s not.

In Pagan times you see, Easter was the time in the Northern calendar when the coming of spring was celebrated -- the celebration of new life, of coming fecundity.  Hence the eggs and rabbits and celebrations of fertility. Indeed, the very word "Easter" comes from Eos, the Greek goddess of the dawn, and means, symbolically, the festival celebrating the rebirth of light after the darkness of winter. 

But with the coming of Christianity, the celebration was hijacked to become this veneration of torture and sacrifice.

Such is the nature of the Christians’ Easter Myth which was supplanted over the pagan celebration--and of the ethic at the very heart of Christianity. Not peace, not love, not understanding, but sacrifice -- the murder and torture of tall poppies -- the sacrifice of the Christian's highest possible for the sake of the meanest most rotten 'sinner,' whose redemption Christ's murder was supposed to buy.

To put it bluntly, the Easter myth that Bach dramatises so well is one of suffering and sacrifice and murder, and the collusion of a supposedly omnipotent and omniscient god in the murder of his own son -- and if you subscribe to the whole sick fantasy then that is what you are required to believe—to believe in every rotten, blood-dripping detail. For in the name of religion Bach shows us that the good (by Christian standards) must be sacrificed to the rotten; the constant to the inconstant; the talented and inspirational to the lumpen dross -- the ideal to the worthless.

For Christians, then, Easter is a time to revere that sacrifice and to remind themselves (and us) of the centrality of sacrifice to their fantasy. Oh yes, there's a 'rebirth' of sorts in their fantasy, but not one on this earth realm, and not before a celebration of intense pain and suffering that supposedly bought redemption and virtue for those who possessed neither.  

As Robert Tracinski says so bluntly, "Easter's Mixture of the Benevolent and the Horrific Reveals Religion's Antagonism to Human Life." And so it does.

THERE IS ANOTHER STORY that stands in complete contrast to this one, that is in all senses its polar opposite. Unlike the anti-heroes of Bach's Passion--who murder their hero in a vain attempt to save their desiccated souls—or Dostoyevsky’s—who torture themselves with thoughts of a “malevolent universe” in which they are “trapped”--the heroes of Ayn Rand's novel The Fountainhead shun sacrifice and venerate their own human powers on this earth. 

The hero of that novel, Howard Roark, appears in court in a similar position dramatically in which Bach has his own hero. Thrown to the mob and fighting for his life in court, rather than acquiesce as Bach’s hero does, Roark states instead—as clearly and categorically as he knows how—his own terms.

    “I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone's right to one minute of my life. Nor to any part of my energy. Nor to any achievement of mine. No matter who makes the claim, how large their number or how great their need.
    "I wished to come here and say that I am a man who does not exist for others.
    "It had to be said. The world is perishing from an orgy of self-sacrificing.
    "I wished to come here and say that the integrity of a man's creative work is of greater importance than any charitable endeavor. Those of you who do not understand this are the men who're destroying the world.
    "I wished to come here and state my terms. I do not care to exist on any others.
    "I recognize no obligations toward men except one: to respect their freedom and to take no part in a slave society.”

This time, the hero says, the sacrifice demanded by the mob is rejected.

The contrast to the other story is stark,wouldn’t you say?

The ethic of The Fountainhead, one for which each of the leading characters fights in their own way, is one in which genius has the right to live for its own sake.  The contrast with the demand of Christianity that The Good inheres in the act of suffering and dying for the expiation of others could not be stronger, or the question more important!  Rather than demanding and worshipping the sacrifice of the highest to the lowest -- or as Nietzsche did, retaining the ethic but reversing the beneficiary of the sacrifice by demanding the sacrifice of the lowest to the highest -- the ethic of The Fountainhead insists that The Good is not to suffer and to die, but to enjoy yourself and live -- without any sacrifice at all of anyone to anyone else.

In my book, that really is an ethic worthy of reverence.

NOW, I'M ALL TOO aware that if you believe the Easter Myth, then anything I say here is going to pass right by you.  So if you do insist on venerating sacrifice this weekend, and especially if you're intending a bit of crucifixion yourself, or even just a bit of mildly flogging or self-torture, then here are a few simple Easter Safety Tips for you from the Church, which are not unfortunately intended as satire.

And now, for all the bureaucrats who are working today while they insist that others don’t, here's that Nick Kim cartoon again ...

Easter_Trading

Have a happy holiday!

UPDATE 1:  PZ Myers takes aim at the Easter Story at Pharyngula:

    “It's Easter. Once again, the masses will gawp in awe at a bizarre and unbelievable story…because it is such a good example of how religion will piggy-back on our cognitive biases.
    “You all know the Easter story: a god turns into a man, gets tortured and killed, rises from the dead, and somehow this act makes us all better. It's a tale best left unexamined, because it makes no sense. We are supposed to wallow in an emotional thrill that taps deep into our social consciousness, not think about what the story actually says.
    “The part of the story that works for us is the idea of self-sacrifice.”

See, that’s the part that doesn’t work for me.  Doesn’t work at all, because the nobility of sacrifice is something I utterly reject.

    “ ‘Sacrifice’ [says Rand] does not mean the rejection of the worthless, but of the precious. ‘Sacrifice’ does not mean the rejection of the evil for the sake of the good, but of the good for the sake of the evil. ‘Sacrifice’ is the surrender of that which you value in favor of that which you don’t.

That’s why of itself it is barbaric. It is, to quote Nietzsche, a revolt of everything that crawls against everything that’s high.  That’s why the barbarity of the Christian sacrifice is so stark.

If it were true.

And if it were, there’s a few other beefs a rational individual might have with the god who set it up. 

“Because, unfortunately [points out Myers], Jesus isn't saving us from anything real, and he made no change in the world with his death.”

Read Sunday Sacrilege: The silliest story ever told.

UPDATE 2:   Said Thomas Paine “Outrageous claims require outrageous proof.”  And there are few claims more outrageous than the one on which the Christian church rests.

Former Pastor Dan Barker offers An Easter Challenge For ChristiansWho’s up for it?

UPDATE 3: By the way, did you know that Jesus was God's 111th Killing?

    “It's hard to imagine something worse than a father planning to kill his own son. Except maybe a father killing his son in order to keep himself from torturing billions of others forever.
    " ‘He that spared not his own son’ shouldn't be trusted by anyone.”

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49 Comments:

Anonymous Falafulu Fisi said...

Here is one of my favourite hymns by Welsh classical-pop singer, Katherine Jenkins, which I think it is familiar to most UK sports lovers; because you usually see the fans on TV sing it during game time.

Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer

I would rather listen to this hymn and sing it many times a day, than going to a Wagner concert only to fall asleep there in the concert hall (reason? too slow).

I prefer the Tongan version of this hymn, because I can sing in a baritone voice in harmony with others.

4/02/2010 01:57:00 pm  
Anonymous Falafulu Fisi said...

One can hear the men's baritone tune from this Welsh Church, singing Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer.

4/02/2010 02:10:00 pm  
Blogger KG said...

Great link FF. Thanks. :)

4/02/2010 05:31:00 pm  
Anonymous KJA said...

@Babylon and On, why not give an objective retort rather than resorting to unsubstantiated insults? Your comments make YOU sound like an uneducated and desperate religious-cultist. You could write your own response in defense of your views rather than appearing as a brainwashed pleb.

Thanks PC for such a well-written piece (as usual).

4/03/2010 01:23:00 am  
Blogger Francis W. Porretto said...

You have quite a lot of unresolved rage in you. I can't imagine what might have been done to you to germinate such fury at Christians.

From your article, I infer that New Zealand stores are closed by law on Easter Sunday. Frankly, I'd oppose that too, if it were the law here in the United States; no religion should be permitted to wield political power of any sort. But that seems a rather small intrusion on your freedom, to justify so venomous a rant.

Concerning the Christian story: At this time, it cannot be proved that it actually occurred. No witnesses to the event survive. But it's the most magnificent story of sacrifice for a principle that's ever been told, a fact a professing libertarian should appreciate: Jesus of Nazareth was crucified for preaching without a police permit. He did not resist when arrested. He refused to retract one word. He suffered and died the most excruciating death -- you might want to look up the etymology of that word -- for His message, and for the cause of freedom from the religious totalitarianism overseen by Caiaphas and the high priests of Judea.

You don't have to be a Christian believer to grasp the power of that story.

Alone among all the religions of the world, Christianity:
-- Is entirely non-racial and non-tribal;
-- Refrains from denigrating the followers of other religions;
-- Asks only that you accede to the laws of nature, particularly human nature, as they're summarized in the Ten Commandments of Mount Sinai and the two Great Commandments promulgated by Christ Himself.

Let it pass that you disbelieve in the divinity of Christ. What aspects of the above do you find injurious or objectionable?

Yours,
Francis W. Porretto
Professing libertarian and professing Christian,
Eternity Road

4/03/2010 02:35:00 am  
Anonymous David S. said...

"-- Refrains from denigrating the followers of other religions;"

Oh of course not, it just tells them they're going to hell to be tortured for all eternity, all for not believing something without proof.

Indoctrinating children with stories about the end of the world has to be one of the sickest things a parent could possibly do.

"-- Asks only that you accede to the laws of nature"

These laws you speak of were invented by men.

4/03/2010 12:31:00 pm  
Blogger Diamond Mair said...

I disagree with your premise {as a (lapsed) 'cultural Catholic}, but would defend to the death your RIGHT to believe as you will .................... THAT said, I became a little confused when reading the comments - seems some hijacked your comments thread for sales pitches - rather pathetic ...................

Semper Fi'
DM

4/03/2010 12:39:00 pm  
Blogger Francis W. Porretto said...

Oh, David S.? Where did you get those ideas?

As it happens, no non-fringe branch of Christianity claims that non-Christians are damned for being non-Christians. Pope Benedict XVI, one of the foremost public intellectuals of our time, actually wrote a book on the subject: Deus Caritas Est. That's "God Is Love" for those who don't read Latin -- and yes, it's available in English.

As for the Ten Commandments being "laws invented by men," you appear not to have noticed that killing, stealing, bearing false witness, breaking a solemn promise, and so forth -- the prohibitions of the Ten Commandments -- both cause harm to others and elicit terrible secondary consequences for society at large if tolerated. These prohibitions arise from human nature; if not respected, individuals suffer and society crumbles.

Here are Christ's exact words on the subject:

--- Now a man came up to him and said, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to gain eternal life?” He said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” “Which ones?” he asked. Jesus replied, “You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false witness, honor your father and mother and love your neighbor as yourself.” [The Gospel According To Matthew, 19:16-19] ---

Got any problems with that?

But one who's so quick to condemn the only religion fit for human consumption -- the only religion whose Founder came to liberate a people from religious totalitarianism and assure them that eternal life is available for the price of merely being decent toward others -- clearly has some other issues lingering in the back of his head. Planning to share them?

4/03/2010 01:45:00 pm  
Anonymous David S. said...

"As it happens, no non-fringe branch of Christianity claims that non-Christians are damned for being non-Christians."

Oh, you're one of THOSE Christians. The type who is completely ignorant of the many, many different interpretations of the bible. Many Catholics still teach what you say only "fringe" branches of Christianity teach

As for your other point, you didn't actually rebuttal me at all. I never said I had a problem with the idea that people should be decent to each other. I'm just wary of attributing this to a deity. You don't need religion to do what's right, in fact I think it gets in the way of it.

4/03/2010 03:02:00 pm  
Anonymous James said...

"In fact, I'd say many of the principal contributors seem particularly bereft of any kind of moral base at all."

Ok Red....please state once and for all exactly what IS moral according to you and why.

Im intrested in where you are coming from and just where you have issues with Libs defence of the rights of the individual.You are not an overt God botherer so please enlighten me.

4/03/2010 03:59:00 pm  
Blogger Francis W. Porretto said...

David S.: What's this "one of those Christians" bit? Am I to be the next target of your contempt? I, whom you don't even know?

I pride myself on being highly intelligent, well read and well informed. I rather doubt that you've ever seen a privately-owned library the size of mine. Tell me, please: Are you so dedicated to certain propositions that evidence to the contrary won't register with you? Are you so willing to believe the slanders against Christianity that the words of the actual Source are irrelevant?

Imagine three persons, Smith, Jones, and Davis. Let's say you're personally acquainted with Smith and Jones, and know Davis only by name. If Smith were to falsely attribute objectionable convictions or behavior to Jones, and you were aware of their falsity, wouldn't you contradict him, out of simple justice? If Smith were to attribute objectionable convictions or behavior to Davis, about whom you know very little, wouldn't you reserve judgment until you'd acquired confirmation -- again out of simple justice?

While it is true that certain sects have taught, and still teach, doctrines antithetical to true Christianity, Christianity is not what any man teaches; it's what Christ taught. A sect which contradicts His statements, or departs radically from them, is not Christian, no matter what it styles itself. At any rate, you can always recur to the source: the Gospels. Christ was most explicit about its tolerant, nonviolent, nonpolitical nature. See Mark 12:13-17 for confirmation.

M. Stanton Evans, in his marvelous book The Theme Is Freedom, traced the development of our modern ideas of freedom, including capitalism and the wrongness of slavery, directly through Christianity. So for supposed libertarians, most of whom haven't an earthly about Christianity or its history, to condemn, slander, or dismiss it is particularly daft.

In the most common case, a libertarian who dislikes Christianity has sexual issues: he's promiscuous, or a homosexual. Sometimes he upholds politically unrestricted abortion. What's fascinating about these folks is that they, too, are reacting specifically to the words of men and taking them for the words of Christ. Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. You could infer that, in freeing the Jews from the Levitical Covenant, He freed them from its condemnation of homosexual acts. Concerning sexual libertinism, the Commandments forbid adultery, which is the violation of the marital vow of fidelity. They say nothing about sex between the unmarried. The last sticking point, abortion, is a political matter, and there are legitimate arguments in every direction about it.

Claiming the authority to decree what God approves and disapproves -- i.e., what is and is not Christianity -- is how church hierarchies have amassed power over the centuries. Granted that it's a common fault, and was overwhelmingly common in the eras prior to our own, a supposed libertarian ought to be smart enough to see through that trick. If you give credence to the words of men without recurring to the words of Christ, you do yourself a disservice, and you do Christ a worse one.

Now, as for the laws of nature being or not being the will of a deity, you're free to believe as you please. But as any Objectivist would tell you, reality is indifferent to your beliefs. Whether or not God exists, your disbelief in Him won't change a thing. Neither will my belief, but then, I don't slather atheists with contempt for not having received the gift of faith. The atheists I call friends take pride in knowing what they're talking about -- particularly the critical distinctions among varieties of conviction:

What can be proved or disproved: mathematics.
What can only be disproved: science.
What can neither be proved nor disproved: faith or religion.

I hope that helps you with your as-yet-undisclosed issues.

4/04/2010 12:19:00 am  
Anonymous Fraser D said...

NZ Conservative : Mr. >Mr. Cresswell and his acolytes are apparently intent on taking the party down with them, and ironically, about the only thing that might prevent that sad result is divine intervention.

Amen to that brilliant comment. Where are those silent Libzs' out there who read and don't make a comment about this attack on Christianity? One single person can drag down the whole lot of you. It doesn't matter how excellent your policies are. It is the people's perceptions of who you are. Racism and religious intolerance is not what libertarians are about. Act now (perhaps break off), or you continue to whinge from the sideline for then next 1000 years.

4/04/2010 09:50:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peter Cresswell's contempt for Christianity is driven by narcissism. Its a self indulgence that allows him to comfortably vent his spleen but does considerable damage to the fortunes of the Libertarian party. Anybody really interested in advancing liberty would put the fortunes of the party above such shallow personal bigotry.

Cresswell's intolerance for religion is a foolish vanity, and his constant indulgence in this vanity has created a damaging public image of the Libertarian Party. Not the kind of image the Libertarians should present if they ever seek to be recognised as anything more than a small and shrinking cult controlled by homosexual political activists.

The Libertarians in the US have not experienced the same shrinkage of membership that the NZ group has. Because the US leadership does not suffer from the same self focused leadership and resulting unhealthy preoccupation with Christianity. Ron Paul and Sarah Palin for example have often shared podiums.

The US Libertarians recognise that religion is cancelled out by means of the fact that it is practised at both ends of the political spectrum. Harry Reid, one of the biggest threats to freedom in a long time, is a Seventh Day Adventist. Glenn Beck, who played a large part in the establishment of the Tea Party movement, is a Mormon.

If indeed religion is per se any real threat to freedom, it must be almost zero point zero one (on a scale of one to ten) when compared to socialism and the Progressives (10).

In fact, IMHO Not PC reeks of the same narrow ignorant intolerance that characterizes the Progressives, and disrespect for religion is only one small part of it. This I think actually earns the group a higher threat (to freedom) rating than Christians.

The fortunes of the NZ Libs will I believe continue to sink as long as it is so dominated by intolerant homosexuals and objectivists. It is now a sad tiny cult of tyrannical narcissists supported by an ever shrinking collective of weak easily impressed fools and sycophants. Group think if ever there was an example of group think.

The Party urgently needs a good clean out (especially at the leadership level) and to return to its focus on the simple objective of small government. Not likely to happen, as another characteristics of narcissists is their unwillingness to accept criticism or turn about.

Mr. Cresswell and his acolytes are apparently intent on taking the party down with them, and ironically, about the only thing that might prevent that sad result is divine intervention.

http://nzconservative.blogspot.com/2010/04/notpc-and-his-easter-rant.html?showComment=1270284665381#c3217185277938019706

4/04/2010 09:52:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peter Cresswell's contempt for Christianity is driven by narcissism. Its a self indulgence that allows him to comfortably vent his spleen but does considerable damage to the fortunes of the Libertarian party. Anybody really interested in advancing liberty would put the fortunes of the party above such shallow personal bigotry.

Cresswell's intolerance for religion is a foolish vanity, and his constant indulgence in this vanity has created a damaging public image of the Libertarian Party. Not the kind of image the Libertarians should present if they ever seek to be recognised as anything more than a small and shrinking cult controlled by homosexual political activists.

The Libertarians in the US have not experienced the same shrinkage of membership that the NZ group has. Because the US leadership does not suffer from the same self focused leadership and resulting unhealthy preoccupation with Christianity. Ron Paul and Sarah Palin for example have often shared podiums.

The US Libertarians recognise that religion is cancelled out by means of the fact that it is practised at both ends of the political spectrum. Harry Reid, one of the biggest threats to freedom in a long time, is a Seventh Day Adventist. Glenn Beck, who played a large part in the establishment of the Tea Party movement, is a Mormon.

If indeed religion is per se any real threat to freedom, it must be almost zero point zero one (on a scale of one to ten) when compared to socialism and the Progressives (10).

In fact, IMHO Not PC reeks of the same narrow ignorant intolerance that characterizes the Progressives, and disrespect for religion is only one small part of it. This I think actually earns the group a higher threat (to freedom) rating than Christians.

The fortunes of the NZ Libs will I believe continue to sink as long as it is so dominated by intolerant homosexuals and objectivists. It is now a sad tiny cult of tyrannical narcissists supported by an ever shrinking collective of weak easily impressed fools and sycophants. Group think if ever there was an example of group think.

The Party urgently needs a good clean out (especially at the leadership level) and to return to its focus on the simple objective of small government. Not likely to happen, as another characteristics of narcissists is their unwillingness to accept criticism or turn about.

Mr. Cresswell and his acolytes are apparently intent on taking the party down with them, and ironically, about the only thing that might prevent that sad result is divine intervention.

http://nzconservative.blogspot.com/2010/04/notpc-and-his-easter-rant.html?showComment=1270284665381#c3217185277938019706

4/04/2010 09:52:00 am  
Anonymous National Supporter said...

It looks like that idiot Angus, who had spammed this Blog previously by repetitively asking about the money donated to Bernard Darnton's court case against Helen Clark, is here spamming this blog again by pasting comments from NZ Conservative, just to make it look like Redbaiter. I doubt that it is Redbaiter who is doing this spamming.

4/04/2010 10:07:00 am  
Blogger Greig McGill said...

I dunno, it sure sounded like the infamous 'baiter.

Anyway, I was just amused by:

I pride myself on being highly intelligent, well read and well informed. I rather doubt that you've ever seen a privately-owned library the size of mine.

THE MIGHTY E-PENIS!

I kid, I mean no ill will to any participant in this debate, it just tickled my funnybone.

4/04/2010 10:55:00 am  
Blogger Greig McGill said...

While being loathe to give baiter any "food" in any form, I do get a bit tired of the people who continually say that PC is doing harm to the Libz.

What he *is* doing is being totally and 100% consistent. Reality denies religion. PC advocates the philosophy of Objectivism - nothing more than recognition of reality, and not attempting to water it down by building anything on a basis which reality doesn't support. It's not exactly a terrible thing. I don't get the antipathy to it. The only people who should have an issue with this are those who rely on non-reality for a living or their mental wellbeing.

If you want to claim god/gods/demons/dragons/fairies are real, and should be respected, simply deomstrate the reality. Don't turn that desire for the non real to be real to become hate for PC.

I guess that makes me a sycophant now. :(

4/04/2010 11:00:00 am  
Anonymous Julian said...

There are, it appears, commentators here who seem to forget that this is PC’s blog on which he posts on issues that are of interest to him including art, politics, ethics, vegetarianism and of course Aussie Rules football. His posts on religion, such as this one are not, and cannot be taken to be directly related to politics. They deal with ethics and the philosophy that underlies religion. This is not something that Libertarianz should, or do, concern themselves with. Show us one policy or statement by the Libertarianz which critiques religion (other than the usual argument for separation of church and state). You will find none since it has nothing to do with the libertarian argument.

Just to be clear:
PC argues for the style of art that promotes a certain sense of life such as Wagner: This has nothing to do with Libz.

PC argues for the metaphysics and epitemology advocated by Ayn Rand: This has nothing to do with Libz.

PC argues for an ethical framework (rational selfishness): This has nothing to do with Libz.

PC argues that people should watch and support Aussie Rules (and not rugby). This has nothing to do with Libz (although he will argue it is the world's most libertarian sport).

Etc etc

Why do the commentators here not seem to understand this?

Julian

4/04/2010 11:02:00 am  
Anonymous Julian said...

Further, PC has asked that we do not feed the troll. The troll continues to post against the wishes of the blog owner. The least that everyone can do is to ignore him. His posts always get deleted.

Julian

4/04/2010 11:06:00 am  
Anonymous Redbaiter said...

" His posts always get deleted. "

Not because of trolling but because they are damaging to the fragile ego of the narcissist who runs the place. (and posts fake messages on a fake blog and presents them as the words of Redbaiter)

How can you support and remain silent about such arrant cowardly deceit??

Unless you're a sycophant.

4/04/2010 12:14:00 pm  
Blogger KG said...

The issue of Redbaiter trolling (or not) can be easily resolved by checking the IP addy of the comments and proving that the addy is not spoofed by a malignant shit-stirrer.
Otherwise--given what I know about the man--I'll take allegations of trolling with the proverbial pinch of salt.
Yup, trolling is a crappy act and any blog owner has a perfect right to decide who posts there, but casting aspersions on a person's character based on less than reliable evidence is no better.

4/04/2010 12:15:00 pm  
Anonymous David S. said...

"Christianity is not what any man teaches; it's what Christ taught."

And what Christ taught is where exactly? In the bible, nowhere else. We can't call him out, point to a passage and say, "So JC, what did you actually mean by this?"

I've had this conversation with many people, all professing to have an objective interpretation of that book. It gets tiresome, especially when you consider how many different sects of Christianity there are, and how "justified" they all seem in believing that their interpretation is correct.

Oh, and BTW, you never actually responded one of my biggest concerns... that children are taught that the world will end. Or is that just something else that only "fringe" sects of Christianity teach?

4/04/2010 01:00:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Libz position on religion is simple. Freedom to believe whatever you wish, as long as you do not inflict your ideas on others by force.
P C's is not religious, and as owner of this blog, can determine its editorial style. Christian libertarians, [and they exist] are free to do likewise.

Religion lost the argument of superstition v science, in explaining the physical world, although elements of mystic nonsense remain, and science has much yet to reveal.

Promoting a rational view of the more abstract concepts of morality, threatens whats left to any claim to the legitimacy of religion.
Hence the anger this engenders.

The current debacle re the long history of abuse within the catholic church, which I first read about at least 10 years ago, is now getting attention in mainstream media. It is going to be interesting as the moral hippocracy of these charlatans is exposed.
This is good news for humanity.

Ken.

4/04/2010 01:23:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

1. There's been much pschologising by my Christian opponents of my motivations for attacking their much-cherished but too-little-challenged ethical beliefs (e.g. "Peter Cresswell's contempt for Christianity is driven by narcissism" "[Peter cresswell has] quite a lot of unresolved rage in [him]," "Libertarianz ... are politically active homosexuals who hate the Christian religion") which are no doubt fascinating insights fromm people I've never met and never hope to--and, perhaps, fascinating insights into their own little worlds, but of cogent argument of my central thesis I can find very little.

In fact, there's none at all here on this page, sadly.

Frankly, most of the points raised in opposition so far amount to little more than saying "I don't like it" or "I really don't like it"--and what you all might take time to consider is that "I don't like it" is not an argument, and the only appropriate response is to say "So fucking what."

And let's not go down the tedious my-library-is-bigger-than-your-library boast-a-thon childishness so beloved of those who would substitute reading for thinking.

Let's instead maybe wonder why the central thesis has escaped my opponents here.

So what is the central thesis? Well, only a blind man could miss it: it's the evil of sacrificing a higher value to a lower value.

It's of no avail whether in the Christ myth we hear that he was arrested for preaching without a police permit, or that he came to replace one stone-age form of witch-doctory for another. It's of no avail because neither of those points are central to the Easter Myth, or of the central Christian ethic portrayed therein.

In the Easter Myth that gives voice to that ethics, we are invited to praise the willing sacrifice, of the man they hold up as their ideal, to a mob of the most vile sinners--sacrificed as a point of ethical and religious necessity.

That is the vile story we are invited to admire. What would Jesus do (WWJD)? Why, he would give his very life up to the mob, and his very body up to be tortured by it. Why? To save all you miserable sinners.

The sacrifice, you see, is the thing.

That a human sacrifice is offered up in the most vile, most bloodthirsty way possible--to "save" a mob who, according to those same Christians, are created as vile sinners--and to "appease" a bloodthirsty and omnipotent God who intended all this to happen, and (according to the story) sent this ideal man down to earth to make sure that it did.

Now if that's not a vile story, even if t'were true, then there's certainly nothing enlightening there on which to base an ethics.

And base an ethics on it the religionists certainly do.

No wonder the religionists see nothing to apologise for today when priests sacrifice young children in their droves to their own misbegotten lusts.

4/04/2010 01:36:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

2. MacDoctor is just one, who heroically misses this point, even though his response at least is otherwise more cogent than any that have appeared here. He counters my point by arguing:

"What Christians are celebrating is not the actual crucifixion of Jesus – that is, indeed, a deeply savage act – but they are celebrating the meaning behind that sacrifice. The meaning, of course, hinges on the fact of the resurrection, which is why it is unsurprising that atheists reject it. Easter is not about death, but about life."

Two points.

First, We're invited to admire the blood sacrifice because a) the system of ethics based on that blood sacrifice are supposed to be "sublime" instead of vile; and b) because (according to later story-tellers) the man who was crucified was suppose to "rise from the dead" and ascend to some place in the sky.

On the first, it's those blood-soaked ethics of sacrifice (sacrifice of a higher value to a lower value) that I abhor, and which I'm attacking.

I'm attacking them because a superstructure of ethical nastiness has been erected by theologians over the last two-thousand years on the basis of (amongst other things) the sacrifice depicted in the Easter Myth; a superstructure that has so infested the field of ethics that to this day when you say "ethics" most people immediately think "sacrifice," and "thou shalt not."

That to this day still sees people revere those who act because they have no self-interest in their actions (even, not to say especially, when that means the sacrifice of their own life); and damn those who do.

That to this day still sees sacrifice as the very place on which to start thinking about ethics.

It is that I say is vile, and it's this that I challenge here.

Strange that it's only MacDoctor who's noticed that.

Second, the Christian Easter Story is not about life. It's about how to live your life. (WWJD, eh?)

Sure, the myth erected by Paul on the back of some poor slaughtered Jewish prophet on which the Easter story is based tells a fairy story about resurrection. But there's a reason the early Christians stole the Pagan Easter festival (which really did celebrate rebirth and fertility and new life) and a tale about a murdered Jewish carpenter, and weaved the two together in this way--because they hoped to show that sacrifice really is life-affirming.

Sadly, however, all that their story shows is that unless you add a the supernatural to your fairy story, the result of sacrifice on this earth is not life and fertility and rebirth, but death, and destruction and torture.

In other words, if you want to erect a morality for life on this earth , then a good place to start is not one based upon sacrifice. Not unless you want to see the destruction of everything that you value.

4/04/2010 01:48:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

3. MacDoctor also says, "Easter is not a 'myth.' Regardless of how you feel about the religious nature of the easter story, the actual crucifixion of Jesus is one of the better attested events of history."

Well, that's hardly true, is it. The confusing, outlandish and contradictory story peddled by two apostles without any other independent corroboration can hardly be called "one of the better attested events of history." Quote the opposite, in fact. Consider for example: many people might disagree about who shot JFK, but as attested history few rational people could be found to say that he wasn't shot.

But we barely have even that much for this story.

What he have, in all sober reality, is a story of resurrection and ascension that were themselves only added to the mythology some time after that poor un-named carpenter met his end in ROman Jerusalem.

And it's not true. It is a myth. There was no ascension. There was no resurrection. There is no truth to it.

Sure, there was undoubtedly any number of Hebrew carpenters that were nailed up by the Romans to trees, to walls, and to pieces of wood--to suffer there an excruciating death. But as Mr Porretto concedes (he of the "big library") "it cannot be proved that it actually occurred" in the manner or in the detail that the subsequent stories of the two apostles tell us, and nor has it been.

But even in the unlikely event that it were proven, what would it prove for life here on this earth: It would still tell the story that the bloodthirsty Sky God who infliected that torture on his son requires of you unconditional fawning of him, and unconditional sacrifice of yourself to others.

AS I said, that's just vile in and of itself, let alone as a basis on which to construct an ethics

So it's an ethics based on a fairy story and founded in rottenness. But, unfortunately, it's captured a few of my commentators here so severely that they can't even countenance a challenge to it.

Tough.

4/04/2010 01:56:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

4. MacDoctor calls my own "world view" a "mechanistic one," which is odd because it's that view which is taken by Dostoyevksy in the passage I cite above (where he whines about being "trapped" in a malevolent "mechanistic universe"), and which I take some time to counter in the challenge I post at the end of my post.

IN brief, I do not hold that the universe is "mechanistic"; I say that it is knowable; I say that it is not causeless; I say, in short, that it is open to our manifest human powers--that the universe is essentially a beneviolent one in which we can both achieve our values, and keep them, with no sacrifice at all from anyone, by anyone or to anyone.

I would have thought any honest commentator would find that idea compelling--if, that is, he weren't already imbued with the fatuous corruption of ethics that upholds sacrifice as a "noble" moral ideal.

4/04/2010 02:07:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

5. Mr Porretto opines above that "Christianity is not what any man teaches; it's what Christ taught."

Well, that's just not so. It's not at all "what Christ taught." In fact, as every serioous historian knows (and as I've already said above) it's largely what Paul says he said.

The myth itself, as every historian knows, was made up by the likes of Paul to tell a tale that had very little to do with whatever any actual historical Jesus might or might not have existed, or might or might not have said. The story of someone's death by crucifixion--one of many inflicted by the Romans at that time and place--was used to tell a fairy tale of sacrifice and reincarnation that in any rational world would be thrown out as being too outlandish.

But that story was a mythy crafted by Paul to tell a tale he wanted to tell for his own purposes.

A scene in Martin SCorcese's 'Last Temptation of Christ' is instructive. In the film, Jesus has given in to temptation, and instead of acceding to crucifixion he has instead started a family and lived, not quite "happily ever after," but at least enjoyed his time on earth (that's the "Last Temptation," you see, enjoyment of this earth rather than ascension to some other one).

In the scene I'm talking about, Scorcese's Jesus (now happily ensconced in home and hearth) meets Harry Dean Stanton's Paul, who has been stirring up a career preaching about Jesus and his teachings, on which Scorcese's Jesus corrects him, pointing out all Paul's various fictions and untruths.

But this Paul tells this Jesus that the actual truth of his -- ie., Jesus' -- life is irrelevant: "I created the truth out of what people needed and what they believed. If I have to crucify you to save the world, then I'll crucify you. And if I have to resurrect you, then I'll do that, too. ...You don't know how much people need God. You don't know how happy he can make them. Happy to do anything. He can make them happy to die and they'll die. All for the sake of Christ. Jesus Christ. Jesus of Nazareth. The Son of God. The Messiah. Not you. Not for your sake. You know, I'm glad I met you. Because now I can forget all about you. My Jesus is much more important and much more powerful."

I believe that touches perfectly upon the point in question here: the Jesus you think you know is not an historical Jesus, it is the Jesus created by Paul--for whatever purpose he chose to create him.

4/04/2010 02:17:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

6. Many of you have object that I shouldn't talk about religion on my blog. Perhaps they've overlooked two words in that sentence, i.e., "my blog."

I speak here for myself. These are my opinions. They are not necessarily those of LIbertaraianz or of Ayn Rand or of anyone else (because for some reason I can't fathom, neither Libz nor Ayn Rand follows AFL, which I find simply immoral).

But that I'm speaking here for myself, not for Liz, shouldn't be that difficult to understand.

If you don't like those opinions, you don't have to read them, but I'll thank you at least not to misrepresent them.

I speak here for myself. When you see the words "Libertarianz spokesman" after my name, then you'll know different.

So if you want to talk about Libertarianz, then wait until that discussion is the topic. Here, it's off-topic.

But there is a point to make about politics and religion, and it's this: It's not enough to hold your political convictions simply because you favourite Sky God says you should -- or, more accurately, that you feel your favourite Sky God says you should. If that's all you've got in the way of reasons for your convictions, then all you do is deliver the fields of reason and science to your enemies, by virtue of the fact that you've dropped them.

So in that sense it's not true to that say that religion "has nothing to do with the libertarian argument." It does, because if blank superstition is all you have to offer in the way of argument for your principles--if, for example, your only defence of individual rights amounts to saying "God says they're good"--or if your only argument against global warming is to say "God sent a rainbow"--then you give your opponents eveything they want; something they could not have achieved on their own: the mantle of reason.

Nothing could be mroe destructive of liberty. With friends like that, you need to always be checking your own feet for bullet holes.

4/04/2010 02:30:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

7. On this last point, may I invite readers to read (or re-read) my recent post on the number-one reason for the victory of the Democrats in passing ObamaCare. It's the link between
* the victory of ObamaCare;
* National’s tepid “welfare reforms”; and
* The Brownlee Plan for mining in parks.
It's the moral link I describe here.

May I invite all those who say that religion doesn't touch politics to read it, and to think again.

4/04/2010 02:37:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

8. Finally (to which many of you will be saying "Thank God") I can't finish up here without quoting Mr Porretto again. Amongst other errors he praises this conviction: "What can neither be proved nor disproved: faith or religion."

And I agree with that. Faith is knowledge without, or even instead of, real knowledge. (Which is whY Ayn Rand called it that "that alleged shortcut to knowledge, which is ...only a short circuit destroying the mind.")

"Faith' is a corruption, a very dangerous corruption, at the very heart of everything you think you know.

And the beliefs of religion can indeed not be proven. If they were, they wouldn't be religious beliefs, would they. What would be the point or religion without miracles? "I believe because it's all absurd" said Tertullian on behalf of generations of religionists of all stripes, including Dostoyevsky whom I cite above.

And of course the tenets can't be disproven either, since you can't disprove a negative.

Which makes the claims of religion no more than arbitrary claims, of equal semantic value as stories of spiders on mars, or tooth-fairies at the bottom om my toothbrush jar.

Religion can't be proven, you say? Very well, let's take those who say that at their word, and reject not only their superstructure of nonsense built on nothing but sand, but also the vile ethics that have oozed out of it to infect western culture for the last two-thousand years.

And let's erect something more sensible and more life-affirming--affirming life on this earth--in its place.

4/04/2010 02:53:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

PS: Please don't feed the troll. It's been banned.

If you want to read its ramblings then I suggest you head off to those places who (for whatever reason) either tolerate it or fawn over it.

In the meantime, I suggest you simply laugh at its protestations that it doesn't troll, and doesn't spam, while noting that since it's been banned here it's posted several hundred posts which have all been deleted, including some dozen trolling expeditions this morning--all the while saying that it respects property rights.

You may ascribe any motivation you like to the troll, but please do not encourage it.

And to those in the troll's camp who've said elsewhere that they find the trolling and spamming here "amusing," while not even lifting a finger to do anything to stop it, let me say that I can only wish your own troll upon you.

You deserve it.

4/04/2010 02:55:00 pm  
Blogger Ruth said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4/04/2010 03:09:00 pm  
Blogger Ruth said...

Nathaniel Branden writes in "The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem"...

When beliefs are arrived at not by a process of reason but by faith and alleged revelation -- when there are no objective criteria of knowledge to appeal to -- those who think differently are often perceived by believers as a threat, a danger, capable of spreading the disease of non-belief to others.

For example, consider the typical religious response to atheism. If one has arrived at belief in God through some authentic personal experience, one would imagine that an appropriate response to those not similarly advantaged would be compassion. Instead, more often than not, the response is hatred. Why? The answer can only be that the atheist is experience by the believer as a threat. Yet if the believer truly feels not only that God exists but that God is on his or her side, then it is the atheist, not the believer, who should receive kindness and sympathy, having lacked the good fortune to be touched by the experience of Divinity.

The religious folk who vilify Peter over this matter should perhaps think on those words. Emphasis mine.

4/04/2010 03:13:00 pm  
Anonymous Susan D said...

Julian, everybody knows/understands that this blog is for Peter to write what he wants because it is his.

It is unbelievable that you don't see the bigger picture here. You're obviously blind to the fact that Mr Creswell is somehow known to the NZ public as the face of the Libz party. Whatever his personal opinions here, people will perceive it as Libz policies such as attacking Christians, even though the Libz has no such policies.

Imagine John Key started writing in his own private blog and let’s say he attacks Christians, etc,... Remember, that he is entitled to do that, since it is his private blog and it doesn't belong to the National Party. Just think man!

What's the likely outcome of that if John Key did such an attack? I believe that he will be rolled by others in the National Party. His personal opinions & writings on his own blog are always going to be associated with the National party, because he is the face of the party. Do you get my point here or not? If Peter was some unknown low rank Libz, then no one would give a fuck of what he does in his own blog, because he is not the face of the party and he is not known by the public at all.

4/05/2010 01:59:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

Because today is one day the religionists still have control over us.

Rubbish. You are not required to go to church.

A day when flunkies carrying clipboards fan out around the country hoping to fine someone for the crime of selling someone else a pot plant, or a pint of milk.

Actually, it's legal to buy milk - the dairies and gas stations are open.

Also, these flunkies are not flunkies of religion, they are flunkies of the State. The secular state. The democratic State. Take up your complaints with them rather than blaming it on "religion". We've had the ability to end public holiday's for years now. The fact that people quite like them are the major hold up, not the secret machinations of the Exclusive Brethren.

You could add the campaign to end public holidays to your party policy list, if it isn't there already.

As for your blaming the death of Jesus on God, I really think your theory/guess/interpretation is way off mark on that score. I explain why here: Peter's Easter Rant for those that are interested.

I'm also interested to get your take on why Roark's act of destruction was justified (or even sensible). It looks like to me he is acting as if he is God, with absolute right over his creation, and does a bad job of it. He was surely just a paid lackey of some capitalist, who gave him money for his design. Just like he paid carpenters, builders, painters and electricians to build the place.

I read the book many years ago, and maybe I missed a key point in the way he justified his "property rights" you could explain to me?

4/05/2010 06:19:00 pm  
Anonymous Kurt said...

Redbaiter, how about you fuck off? You've been told many times to fuck off and you still come here to impose inconveniences on commenters here, since Peter may moderate the blog permanently because of your intrusion.

4/05/2010 07:29:00 pm  
Anonymous Kurt said...

Redbaiter, it is obvious that you're not going to respond to when you’re being requested politely many times to leave and don't intrude here?

How about if I ask you to share your wife with me as 3some swingers? Would that offend you or not? Are you keen? I am because my wife passed away 4 years ago.

So, fuck off as you've been told many times, motherfucker.

4/05/2010 08:14:00 pm  
Anonymous Peter said...

The nobility of sacrifice is something I utterly reject.

I've never read The Fountainhead so I may be completely off-base here but just consider this scenario for a minute.

Suppose that rather than destroy his building, Howard Roark did something else which undermined and discredited the idea of sacrifice, so that nobody else would ever end up in the situation he was in. Suppose further that this was at the cost of his own liberty - and that it was entirely of his own free will. In other words, imagine that Howard Roark sacrificed his own liberty for that of others, and by doing so advanced the cause of liberty.

Wouldn't a Libertarian be able to find at least something noble about that?

4/06/2010 02:28:00 pm  
Anonymous LGM said...

Peter

You are positing that he sacrifices his liberty to discredit the notion of sacrifice.

Kind of reminds me of something....


Oh yes.


We had to destroy the village in order to save it.


Won't work. Hence not noble.


LGM

4/06/2010 06:34:00 pm  
Anonymous Frank Ritchie said...

Hi Peter,

For what it's worth, I've put a response to this on my blog... it's a little late I know, but I only got around to writing it yesterday. I would have put it here, but it's a bit too long to leave as a comment.

Feel free to check it out and offer your thoughts if you have the time.

The Controversy of Easter. The Crucifixion & Freedom

Also - if I have misread you or misrepresented you in any way, please offer comment to correct any error.

4/07/2010 09:00:00 am  
Anonymous Peter said...

We had to destroy the village in order to save it.

Not really. If Howard Roark chooses to advance the cause of liberty by sacrificing his own liberty (don't ask me how, I've no idea how this might work in practise) then he is doing so of his own free will. He's not acting under any obligation, and he's not harming anybody else.

4/07/2010 10:22:00 am  
Anonymous Peter said...

You are positing that he sacrifices his liberty to discredit the notion of sacrifice.

Won't work. Hence not noble.


It may come across as impractical, but if it did work would you still deny there was anything noble?

Don't forget, sacrificing one's own liberty for that of others is not exactly uncommon in history. Whether or not we consider it noble, we've almost certainly benefited from people who did so.

4/07/2010 10:33:00 am  
Anonymous LGM said...

Peter

Regarding the village quote.

What I was getting at is that in order to attain a value, one does not act to destroy it.

Sacrificing liberty does not attain liberty, it eliminates it. Sacrifice, in this context, is the antithesis of liberty.

That's not moral and it certainly isn't noble either.

LGM

4/07/2010 01:12:00 pm  
Anonymous Peter said...

What I was getting at is that in order to attain a value, one does not act to destroy it.

If they are giving up a small portion of liberty (their own) to help secure the liberty of a greater number (others, or even only 1 special individual) then they aren't acting to destroy it. Even their own liberty is not destroyed, because in giving it up they are exercising their own free will and not acting under compulsion.

4/07/2010 03:58:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

@ Peter: Examine again what Howard means when he says (something like) "We are approaching a world in which I cannot permity myself to live." The point being that to attempt to arrest the destruction of everything you value is not a sacrifice (sacrifice being understood an exchange of a higher value for a lower value) since you refuse to live under any other terms.

In this sense, and in the appropriate context, saying "'Tis better to die on you feet than live on your knees" is not a sacrifice, but the only way in which reality allows you to live your highest values. As Roark says, "These are my terms. I do not care to live on any others."

@ZenTiger & Frank Ritchie: Very interesting responses. Thanks for taking the time. I will respond to both when I have more time.

4/07/2010 05:16:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

@ZenTiger & Frank Ritchie:

PS: Zen & Frank, Please feel free to harass me if you don't see a reply in a timely fashion.

I expect it will appear as a Sunday post, but not this Sunday.

Cheers,
PC

4/07/2010 05:22:00 pm  
Anonymous Frank Ritchie said...

PC,

No rush. Thanks for taking the time to read it... it wasn't short :)

4/07/2010 07:11:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

LGM, you don't seem to like the idea of Roark sacrificing his liberty - like burning down the village to save the village I think you said.

Surely, you mean as stupid as burning down the building to save the building?

Oh hang on... :-)

4/09/2010 10:15:00 pm  

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