Sunday, July 29, 2012

Forgetting The Jewish Tradition

Commenter Joseph Hertzlinger comes up with the standard social conservative objection to my position on abortion. He thinks that the understanding that the fetus is a person is a brand new idea. Well brand new in terms of human history. Read the comments at the "Joseph Hertzlinger" link to get up to date on the Jewish position on abortion. Or read this: The Jewish Position On Abortion.

In any case, the claim that a child is not a person a moment before birth and is a person a moment after birth should be taken no more seriously than the claim that the universe is six thousand years old. If we can squeeze 19th-century paleontology into Judaism, we can squeeze 19th-century embryology into Judaism.
My reply to Joseph (revised and extended):


The idea that embryology creates a new fact contradicts what Hippocrates knew 2,500 years ago. And the long interaction between the Jews and the Greeks would indicate that the Jews got the message no more than 100 years after Hippocrates proclaimed it.

The Jewish idea stems from the fact that until the baby starts exiting from the mother that it is her property. The alternative is that the mother is the property of the State when she is pregnant. The Jews have a long libertarian tradition (mostly forgotten in practice) but you can read about it in Samuel.


In fact Jesus was in part a reaffirmation of Jewish libertarianism. Which was corrupted by the Council of Nicaea. Clever those Romans.


The Christians don't even know their own tradition. I think it is because they are ignorant of the Jewish tradition. It is why I often not so jokingly say. "Time to get back to the old time religion. If it was good enough for Jesus it is good enough for me."


There is no doubt that Jesus as a learned man knew of the Hippocratic Oath. And yet in the New Testament there is not one mention of abortion. You might want to ask yourself why. Might it be that he agreed with the Jewish position?

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Friday, July 27, 2012

Why Do Conservatives Misunderstand Libertarians

A gang of us over at Talk Polywell were discussing my recent post Emotional Decision Making.

One commenter left a link to Why Liberals Misunderstand Conservatives. Well that got me thinking, "Why do conservatives misunderstand libertarians?" Naturally I added a few words on the subject to the discussion.


For example, one of the leading approaches to the study of political attitudes states that political conservatism is a form of motivated social cognition: people embrace conservatism in part "because it serves to reduce fear, anxiety, and uncertainty;...


If you have been following along some of the other threads that is exactly the point I have been making about some of our conservative friends.

They hate that.

Politics is in the main a fear driven activity. To get meta to it you have to be mostly free of fears. i.e. you can't let your gut drive your thought. It leaves you without reason.

Carl Sagan looked at that in his "The Dragons of Eden" book.

When we live in fear we are little better than animals.

Which is why conservatives hate libertarians. "What? You are not afraid of X? What is wrong with you?" In fact just telling them they should be free of fear (it was at one time referred to as "Trust In God") drives them into a frenzy. Which gives a fine object lesson to the lurkers.


Then I added a comment to the "Why Liberals Misunderstand Conservatives" site. Reprized at Talk Polywell with a few prefatory remarks:

My attitude is: what ever comes up I will deal with it. What is the point of being afraid?

Here is a comment I left there:

You don't get libertarians. They are not morally impoverished. They are free of fear (mostly).

Which makes them a whole other animal compared to the left or the right.

In a different age it would have been said "They Trust in God". So important it is even printed on our money.


Which is to say we live in a godless age. An age full of fear. Which may be why the founders said that without God liberty can't survive. Those who printed "In God We Trust" on our money were trying to send us a message. It was not about Talmudic like scholarship and the "shalls" and "shall nots" - which vary according to place and time. It was being confident that what ever came up you would deal with it to the best of your ability. No nanny state required to prevent some things from coming up.

So let me repeat here something from some of my favorite girls. The Bene Gesserit Sisters.

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.


Cross Posted at Classical Values

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Government’s Greatest Trick


Making you a slave to your fears.


Cross Posted at Classical Values

Friday, July 13, 2012

Crime And Vice


When you make vice a crime, crime becomes merely a vice.


Cross Posted at Classical Values