Saturday, October 29, 2005

Are We All Heretics?

Heretic - "A person who holds controversial opinions, especially one who publicly dissents from the officially accepted dogma..." - American Heritage Dictionary

While going to College I noticed that I would often disagree with my Professor. I would ask questions posed as nicely as I could put them, but I found that if I disagreed with the textbook or the Professor, my grades were not going to be as good as they otherwise would be.

Now, don't get me wrong, I wound up with a 3.84 GPA with over 200 Credits when I graduated from College, but it was a struggle to keep my mouth shut on many occasion.

When I took Biology Class, I would ask questions about the origin of the species and the proverbial missing link and would find my question was responded to with anger, so I soon found that if I approached the professor after class things would go much smoother.

Witness the following from the Preface in the Book "Icons of Evolution":

" During my years as a physical science undergraduate and biology graduate student as University of California, Berkeley, I believed almost everything I read in my textbooks, I knew that the books contained a few misprints and minor factual errors, and I was skeptical of philosophical claims that went beyond the evidence, but I thought that most of what I was being taught was substantially true.

As I was finishing my Ph.D. in cell and developmental biology, however, I noticed that all of my textbooks dealing with evolutionary biology contained a blatant misrepresentation: Drawings of vertebrate embryos showing similarities that were supposed to be evidence for descent from a common ancestor. But as an embryologist I knew the drawings were false. Not only did they distort the embryos they purported to show, but they also omitted earlier stages in which the embryos look very different from each other."

I wonder if he ran into the same bias that I had found and that is...we should not challenge the established worldview unless we wanted to be labeled a heretic. The holy alliance of the "High Priests of Higher Education" will pound you into submission if you dare challenge their ego during classroom time where you might actually be able to stir some freethinking by your peers.

No wonder there is few, if any, other "Theories" being taught about evolution.

Thank God when I took Political Science my professor actually was teaching from a book that pointed out that since the definition of government was force, that it follows to reason that the true left-right political line should be drawn with "Force" being the correct axis and not the new definitions of Communistic thought on the Left and Fascism thought on the right.

He pointed out that all Authoritarian forms of government belonged on the left and only a Republic form of government belonged on the right since the amount of “Force” was the key to understanding governments and political thought.

He told me at the time there were forces in Academia at work to confuse the political landscape to inject Orwellian ideas of double speak into the arena. Things like “Right-wing Dictatorship” he correctly pointed out are an oxymoron when using the “Force” definition of government since a Dictatorship is a strong Authoritarian form of government.


It is amazing how I run into people who have graduate degrees and miss this simple important fact. Oh well, even the very elect are caught up in the lies propagated by the Godless Socialist thought that has taken a strong foot hold in Academia.

Sad, but there are huge difficulties to overcome to gain a truly free exchange of ideas in our Holy alliance of the "High Priests of Higher Education."

16 Comments:

At 7:43 PM, Blogger Roseville Conservative said...

Good God!

I could not have written this better myself...

 
At 6:33 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Thanks RC!

See ya Saturday :)


FAR

 
At 6:41 AM, Blogger mrsleep said...

Godless Socialists? FAR. The majority of those supposed Socialists are Christians as well.

Your consistent effort to paint Republicans and Democrats from a Black and White perspective speaks volumes.

You said you strive for clarity and not agreement.

So be it.

 
At 6:42 AM, Blogger mrsleep said...

RC/FAR.

On a side note, I wish to commend you both, for selecting topics that generate lot's of debate.

 
At 8:57 AM, Blogger Reign of Reason said...

Forgive the 'repost', but I wanted you to note that I replied to some of your thoughts on the 'Intellectual Insurgents' web-site...

Since it doesn't cost anything but space, I'll include them here:

FAR: Interesting...

I'm trying to catch up so I only skimmed the last few comments, but here are some of my thoughts:

I don’t believe a lot of serious analysis went into the case for War… Particularly, I don’t believe that the administration honestly believed “Wahabists would get nukes from Saddam.” There were many dissenting voices as to the existence and ‘threat’ posed by Saddam’s supposed pursuit of WMD: this administration simply chose to ignore the voices it didn’t agree with.

As we know from Paul O’Neil and Richard Clarke, the administration was talking about taking out Saddam before 9/11… And was trying to find a link between 9/11 and Saddam the very next day.

This is a clear case of a policy in search of a justification.

Take General Anthony Zinni’s testimony before the Senate. If you don’t know, the 4-star was in charge of central command immediately before Tommy Franks (the general who prosecuted the war). He has since said said:

“We bombed him almost at will. No one in the region felt threatened by Saddam. No one in the region denied us our ability to conduct sanctions. Many countries joined us in sanctions enforcement, in the no-fly zones, and in the maritime intercept operations where we attempted to intercept his oil and gas smuggling…
And I think that will be the first mistake that will be recorded in history, the belief that containment as a policy doesn't work. It certainly worked against the Soviet Union, has worked with North Korea and others. It's not a pleasant thing to have to administer, it requires troops full-time, there are moments when there ... there are periods of violence, but containment is a lot cheaper than the alternative, as we're finding out now.”

We know the experts at the DOE said the aluminum tubes were unsuitable for use in a centrifuge…

We know that Saddam was NOT seeking Uranium from Africa.

Etc. etc.

To say that Iraq and Saddam didn’t “suffer consequences” is also wrong. He country was wrought with sanctions. His military was a shell of it’s former self (it used to be the 4th or 5th largest in the world). So, I do not agree with that analysis at all.

Addiction to oil: I agree – we need to build more nuclear plants. I’m a “liberal” – and who built the last nuclear plant in this country: Carter.

Regime change: Sure, that’s a great policy. But all policies have cost. The way in which this administration has administered that policy has cost 2000+ Iraqi, $250 billion, 10 or THOSANDS of Iraqi civilian lives, etc.

After we were told (by the VP) that we should expect to be greeted as ‘liberators’ … The scenario that has unfolded belies terrible decision making, a lack of planning and understanding and extremely flawed execution.

So even if I was to agree that ‘forced regime change via military force’ was a good idea, the execution of that policy has been carried out ineptly at every phase…

I won’t waste my or your time on your premise: “we’re fighting them there so we don’t have to fight them here…” Every study on the conflict done by both government and private groups demonstrates that 90% of the insurgents are nationalist Iraqi’s … supported by a small number of foreign fighters (jihadists). We threw out a bunch of Baathists – not violent fundamentalist Islamists!

On to Free Markets:

They are wonderful things, but anything close to a free market economy will NECESSARILY create winners’ and losers’ – in the economic sense. The system encourages risk taking – for the greater good. Ok, what does society do with those who loose?

Capitalism also supposes a “level playing field” where the merits of ideas are the basis of rewards. Do you really think we have anything close to a level playing field? Is the kid born to a single mother in the inner cities presented with opportunities to learn, excel, innovate on a level anywhere near that of a upper-middle class family? Assume otherwise comparable kids: one from a poor inner city being raised in the project by a single mom … the other raised in upper-middle class suburbia. Say both have the ‘innate smarts’ (given a decent education, etc.) to be the next Bill Gates… Do you think capitalism in the form you expose will provide the opportunities for both to excel?

Of course not…

The founding fathers pointed out that a thriving middle class is essential not only to democracy, but to the welfare of the citizenry. Under Clinton’s policies poverty DECREASED every year he was in office, while the economy grew at a steady rate.

Poverty has INCREASE every year under Bush’s tenure… And the gap between “have’s” and “have not’s” is again accelerating at an alarming rate.

I simply do not want to live in a society where we do not try to lift people up – simply because it “sounds like communism” …

Ok – I’ve typed enough.

 
At 11:24 AM, Blogger Reign of Reason said...

Onto this post...

"Godless Socialists" says all I need to know about this supposed honest-broker Political Science teacher. He/she is coming from a position of "faith" in some higher power/god not from a neutral position of honest investigation. More left-right dogma...

Well, once you admit that you accepts ideas such as this “on faith” all bets are off with regard to reason. Why not except Hinduism? Judaism, Islam or any of a host of ideas that all claim to be ‘revealed truth’? For that matter which bible do you believe? The Catholic, Protestant or Mormon? Which translation?

With regard to evolution: Every professional education association and every national scientific foundation endorses evolution as the best and most complete explanation of not only our species, but of all those on this planet. A theory by its very nature is incomplete, but that doesn’t mean you jump to ‘god’ to fill in the gaps.

If you want to "believe" in god and the disproved arguments of the nay-sayers of evolution you have that right -- just please keep this stuff away from our kids. I don’t want them to have anything to do with the evil bible and its teaching about god.

 
At 8:24 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Rick

Said: I simply do not want to live in a society where we do not try to lift people up – simply because it “sounds like communism”

Problem is life is not fair. Nobody said it was supposed to be fair.

We have all seen people who have come from China or Japan or other countries....work two jobs like Burger King, etc, save their money and eventually own a Burger King or some other Business.

This is the land of Opportunity for anyone willing to work. It presents the best opportunity for anyone from any background to be upward mobile.

The problem with your statement is that it transfers your obligation to help others to the government. It is shirking your duty and my duty to help others. Millions of people in this country don't feel the need to help the poor because they feel like it is the government’s job and/or the poor are already being taken care of by the government.

Taxes for the proper role of government are just and moral, taxes for subsidies and transfer payments are immoral and unjust. Never can anyone argue that taking from one who has earned it and giving to one who hasn't isn’t stealing, plain and simple.

Now most liberals will not let their brain go there, because it is too painful. They will ignore this fact or they will change the subject. Non-the-less they believe in stealing. They rationalize that stealing is OK if it is for a good cause like helping the poor.

Charity comes from the heart of the individuals, not from the vote of the police powers of the government. Those who believe this are not for freedom; they want to “force” us to do the right thing. Force is Force, and nobody wants to be pushed around.

Those who were against the war from the beginning have my respect and have legitimate arguments; those who now fight against the mission are fighting against the professionals who are trying to do their job the best that they can do.

Most want to re-enlist and return to help those in such a backward country that was ruled by a man who would regularly rape any mans wife who happened by and thought nothing of mass murdering tens of thousands of his subjects.

It is no wonder France and Russia were against invading Iraq, they were making a frotune on the oil for food scam.

I cannot support those who say "bring back the troops now." They are naive in that they fail to think through the consequences of that act.

FAR.

 
At 12:26 PM, Blogger Reign of Reason said...

"Problem is life is not fair. Nobody said it was supposed to be fair."

Very, very true. But the premise of capitalism is that everyone starts on a level playing field... The idea being that good ideas, products and services will be judged in the "blind" marketplace and the best will be rewarded.

Well, that premise simply isn't true. In all areas: from access to education to marketing the latest widget, those with a-priori advantage use that advantage to squash competition.

Look at the latest Microsoft faux paux: They tried to coerce ever company that sells portable media players (except iPod) into bundling Windows Media Player with the tool. (Don't have the link to the news story handy, but you can google it.)

This is one of many cases of a successful company using market leverage unfairly... This is why capitalism MUST be regulated.

Look at the airline industry: It wasn't long ago that United Airlines was selling seats on popular west coast routes -- at a LOSS -- for the expressed purpose of squashing up-coming competition.

The point is "opportunity" is not there for everyone... The playing field is not level. Hence government. What we need is GOOD government - not necessarily less government.

On to another subject: what are the consequences of 'bringing the troops home' now? And what benefit do we accrue by keeping them in Iraq?

 
At 1:01 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Rick,

Said "Very, very true. But the premise of capitalism is that everyone starts on a level playing field"

Who says it must start on a level playing field? Who says it has to?

In my three terms of Econ in College and my 8 years of intense study around that same time frame, I learned that the only true way the playing field is upset is because government steps in an allows a "favor" to an industry.

In other words the only reason we have problems is because of government interference not the lack of interference.

I was in Vietnam and saw what happened when we left there a year too soon. The two star general that I talked to, one of several I had access to, said..."If we leave too soon, it will cause a slaughter of any professionals and anyone who dared to show independence."

If you saw the movie "The Killing Fields", you saw exactly what he said would happen, happen.

The Communists killed over 3 million people when we left.

The same thing will happen if we pull out before the new government is prepared to take over their own security.

All poles in Iraq make two things clear:

1. They want us to leave.
2. They don't want us to leave too soon.

Of those two items, number 2 is the most concern. This was by an overwhelming majority, about 70% if my memory serves me.

Now, some will say..."It would never happen", but history has a strange way of repeating. I for one would not want to be so obstinate as to try to have 3 million more lives prove history right.

P.S. Could you please give a reference to this statement..."Poverty has INCREASED every year under Bush’s tenure"

With 22 straight months of GNP increases, it seems the only way for that to happen is if the baseline was changed. That is to say that 30k was the poverty level under Clinton and now it is 40k or some other similar change.

Poor in this country is only having a Toyota Corolla, instead of a Camry.

My wife came from a very poor family. Part of the problem was her 10 sisters were all out of wedlock and all preferred to make 15k tax-free on welfare instead of making 20k and working all day long.

My mother in law said, "Why work when I don't have to? I can get almost as much by not working."

See a problem with that picture?


FAR.

 
At 11:50 AM, Blogger pappy said...

Like you my wife came from a poor family of 12, there was no level playing for them. But thay scrimped and saved, maintained there faith and morality and now I married into a family with several lawyers, Educators, RNs and a Phd in music. These two people are proof that if you want to succeed you can. And trying to legistrate a level playing field would never work because someone or some group has to hold the level.

 
At 12:30 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

ROR -

This is where I am with FAR. Even with the best of intentions, attempting to level the playing field will end up a corrupt competition to see who can pretend to be so far behind as to be worthy of an extra leg up. If you haven't read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, you should. Leveling the playing field is communism, plain and simple. The playing field is not level, never has been and never will be.

We, as individuals, should help those who need assistance to be better players on the field, but government should not do it. It is an inefficient bureaucracy.

If all the "liberals" who want to help the disadvantaged actually did something instead of coming up with ideas that they want others to implement, the world would be a better place. I am a mentor to a wonderful 14-year-old from Watts (no parents, being raised by grandma who is on welfare). I have managed to talk 8 of my girlfriends into becoming mentors, but it really amazes me that some of the most liberal of my friends, who complain about the state of affairs in this country, are the ones who tell me they are too busy to take on that responsibility.

My mentee has made me realize that, even with the best of resources, you can't always undo the damage that has been done by bad parenting or a lack thereof. My mentee is wonderful, but she is lazy and unmotivated. It is apparent that no one stimulated her sense of curiosity and wonder about the world (the things that make you succeed in education) when she was a child, and she doesn't have it now.

She gets average grades because no one in her household puts consequences to C's (I caught hell from my father if I came home with less than straight A's) and the consequences I impose make no difference. I used to be on the fence about affirmative action but, after dealing with her, I am firmly against it. You can't fix 18-years of substandard education and lack of motivation by putting someone in a place where they are completely unprepared.

In any event, she will be a wonderful medical assistant or e.r. tech one day and that is honorable. Not everyone can or should be a doctor or lawyer. Garbage collectors are needed for a fully-functioning society. If my mentee doesn't have babies before she graduates high school, I will feel like I made a huge difference in breaking the cycle of poverty in her family.

 
At 1:19 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

One more point -

An important corollary is that we should not give favors to help others maintain a lead they haven't earned and that is where I diverge from Republican philosophy. They are anti-affirmative action, but say nothing about legacy (you can't tell me Bush the retard deserved to be at Harvard or Yale). They are anti-welfare, but do nothing about pork projects, subsidies and "tax credits". Why is it that an individual must leap mountains to file bankruptcy, but corporations can screw you, file bankruptcy and show up with a new name a year later (can anyone say WorldCom, MCI)?

I am all for promoting business, but everyone must remember that corporations are nothing more than collections of people. They should not be above the laws that the citizenry must bear.

 
At 10:40 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

ii,

Wonderfully put and I don't disagree with any of what you said.

Also I admire you for being a
mentor. It is very commendable and admirable.

My respect for you just went up a few more notches, and I thought you were already too high so as I might be giving your ego too big of a boost. :)


FAR.

 
At 12:44 AM, Blogger pappy said...

Just wanted to say hi. where have you been? Hope you are doing ok

 
At 4:42 PM, Blogger Stalin the Shark said...

FAR,

I notice you're still peddling the discredited bill of goods. Sad, really, this lack of intellectual growth and inability to admit mistakes.

:-), StS

 
At 7:18 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

sts,

Arguing against something is not discrediting it.


:)

FAR.

 

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