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One of Boghossian’s hoaxers started the Woke on the 2 plus 2 equals five drive?

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Readers may recall Peter Boghossian’s hilarious Sokal hoax against Woke journals and the subsequent efforts in academia to fix him good.

He had two co-hoaxers, Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay, who have a book, Cynical Theories, coming out, featuring the Woke dumpster fire engulfing universities.

Meanwhile, Lindsay has a blog keeping track of Woke folk and other unfunny crazies, where he says he himself might have started off the 2 + 2 = 5 crazy, intending only to explain to someone how the Woke think:

“Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4. If that is granted, all else follows” -George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-four

Occasionally in the course of human events it becomes necessary to have explain something no one would ever have expected to have to defend. In the present moment, we find that circumstance to be the case and that thing to be that two and two do, in fact, make four. Further, it must be reasserted, against all reasonable expectation, that this claim about the sum of two and two being four is not merely some subjective determination or, more insidiously, an assertion of hegemonic power. So it is that such a need might arise in such a time in which irrational subjectivity becomes so desperate to defend and assert itself that no truth, no matter how simple or basic, can be considered safe from the ravages of people who have a vested ideological interest in its being wrong.

I have to confess responsibility for this bizarre moment, which in some sense might be one of the greater achievements of my life thus far. There’s an excellent case to be made that I have led a significant number of professionals who definitely should know otherwise—as effectively every six-year-old in a community with a school does—to dig deeply into tortured defenses of the proposition that two and two do not make four.

James Lindsay, “2+2 Never Equals 5” at New Discourses

It started out as a private text dialogue about why postmodernist can’t stand the idea that 2+2=4.

Anyway, to get back to the story, I proceeded to take this thought from my messages to the public in the form of a “Woke Mini,” a line of satirical quips roughly imitating dictionary entries with the goal of exposing and highlighting the inanity of the Critical Social Justice worldview. One of them is for the entry “2+2=4,” and it reads:

“2+2=4: A perspective in white, Western mathematics that marginalizes other possible values.”

I tweeted that particular card for the first time on June 8 of this year, and, hopefully, you get the joke. It seemed humorous enough and made my point, so I was content with it, as were many of my followers. What I underestimated, however, was the fact that in cutting far too close to the bone, I had inadvertently introduced a conceptual virus into the Woke Matrix. What happened next is what led us to the present moment in the course of human history.

James Lindsay, “2+2 Never Equals 5” at New Discourses

And, he says, the Woke bought it! Then things got really nuts:

From here, the entire “2+2=5 discourse” really started to get silly. Activists desperate to satisfy Shraddha Shirude’s demand to find a way to make “2+2=5” into “a true statement” employed a number of positively stupid tricks and manipulations.

To quote a few examples:

“There are two factories. Each factory has 2 fully operational machines, as well as half the parts to build another one. If the two factories were joined into one and the two halves of parts were built together, there would be 5 total machines. A case where 2+2=5.”

No, a case where 2.5+2.5=5, which everyone knows is true for the exact same reason that 2+2=4.

James Lindsay, “2+2 Never Equals 5” at New Discourses

Red the whole thing but not while drinking coffee.

But remember, Lindsay might be having fun. But the Woke are coming for the disadvantaged kids in school, denying them the right to learn real math.

See also: And then they came for 2 + 2 = 4

and

What to do when the Woke come for you

34 Replies to “One of Boghossian’s hoaxers started the Woke on the 2 plus 2 equals five drive?

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    First we have to get the disadvantaged kids BACK INTO SCHOOL. Then we can resume worrying about what they learn.

  2. 2
    Barry Arrington says:

    None of this should surprise long time readers of UD. We have had defend 2+2=5 from barbarians on these very pages.

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    Polistra, parallel priorities, KF

  4. 4
    john_a_designer says:

    So-called wokeness grows out of moral subjectivism and relativism.

    Underpinning all kinds of moral subjectivism is epistemological subjectivism. That is, all we can know about anything is subjective and therefore the only claim to “truth” that anyone has are subjective opinions. (Notice however this position is self-refuting. It is making an objective truth claim about truth.)

    I have no real objection if someone decides to be a moral subjectivist. That’s one of the costs we pay living in a democratic society. People have the right to believe some nutty things. The problems, however, begin when the moral subjectivist starts treating his own moral opinions or group think as if they are absolute and morally binding on everyone else. How am I or anyone else obligated to accept your moral opinions and beliefs? However this all gets really dangerous when “wokeness” becomes coercive and turns violent. That is what we are seeing now in the U.S.

  5. 5
    Seversky says:

    This sounds like a warmed-over philosophical storm-in-a-teacup spun into a conspiracy theory that sells books and articles. Academia is falling unresistingly to a vast Marxist/postmodernist/deconstructionist insurgency which will inevitably bring down the whole of Western civilization in its wake. It’s a paranoid, apocalyptic conspiracy theorist’s dream come true. Except that this is not a new issue.

    In 1992, the University of Cambridge proposed the award of an honorary doctorate to Jacques Derrida. The university faculty eventually voted in favor of the proposal but it was strongly opposed by the philosophy department and distinguished philosophers from around the world. It was noted that the nomination and the majority of votes in favor of the award came from non-philosophical faculty.

    In 1994, Paul Gross and Norman Leavitt published Higher Superstition:
    The Academic Left and its Quarrels with Science
    which skewered the abuse of scientific concepts by this coterie of left-wing philosophers.

    The book was an inspiration for the 1996 Sokal Hoax of which we are all aware, I suspect.

    The point is that postmodernism, deconstructionism, literary criticism and all the other associated “isms” have been around for a long time and neither academia nor Western civilization have come crashing down, nor are they ever likely to. The irony is that, for a school of thought that quite properly examines the subtleties of our use of language, they express themselves in a jargon that is virtually impenetrable to anyone outside of their small academic circle. You are not going to convince others that you have a good case if they can’t make head-or-tail of what you’re saying.

    What is truly pernicious about these attacks on “wokeness” is that, like attempts to stereotype BLM protestors as “Red Guard” stooges of some mythical global Marxist insurgency, it is a blatant Alinskyite tactic of diverting attention from the legitimate outrage being expressed about being the victims of centuries of racism that is deeply ingrained in society. By pretending the racism does not exist, you can avoid having to face it and do something about it.

  6. 6
    News says:

    Seversky at 5, what legitimate outrage fuels the war on math?Why should we assume that underserved children will not be harmed?

  7. 7
    Seversky says:

    Based on the pain and humiliation I experienced at the hands of my math teachers, the children are probably better off without it. That said, I doubt that the opinions of one ethnic studies educator are going to undermine the mathematics that has served us so well for centuries, no matter how “woke” they might be.

  8. 8
    Truthfreedom says:

    @7 Seversky
    “Based on the pain and humiliation I experienced at the hands of my math teachers, the children are probably better off without it.”

    Lol. You are pathetic. Typical leftist whimper.

  9. 9
    john_a_designer says:

    Just because someone doesn’t agree with (or take a knee to) BLM’s agenda doesn’t make them racist. In fact, BLM doesn’t want to resolve racism; it wants to use it as a wedge issue to gain social, political and cultural dominance. It working now because there has been some fifty years of postmodern PC nonsense which has taken root in American universities, among politicians and the mainstream media.

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    If you are a Darwinian materialist, (and if you are honest with yourself), you are forced into believing that, “Math is a human construct.,,, Mathematics is not discovered, it is invented. This is the non-Platonist position.”

    Is Mathematics Invented or Discovered?
    Excerpt: 2) Math is a human construct. The only reason mathematics is admirably suited describing the physical world is that we invented it to do just that. It is a product of the human mind and we make mathematics up as we go along to suit our purposes. If the universe disappeared, there would be no mathematics in the same way that there would be no football, tennis, chess or any other set of rules with relational structures that we contrived. Mathematics is not discovered, it is invented. This is the non-Platonist position.
    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/is-mathematics-invented-o_b_3895622

    And if math is truly invented and not discovered, as must be held in the Darwinian worldview, then, of course, 2 + 2 can equal any damn thing you want and does not necessarily have to equal four.

    The trouble for Darwinian Materialists is that, as the author made brilliantly clear in his article, everyone intuitively knows that 2 + 2 = 4 and that it never equals 5 nor does it, nor will it ever, equal any other number than the number 4.

    Darwinian Materialists simply have no explanation for why we intuitively know this to be true,

    “Why should a limited and finite organ such as the human brain have the power to see into the heart of matter or mathematics? These are subjects that have nothing to do with the Darwinian business of scrabbling up the greasy pole of life. It is as if the liver, in addition to producing bile, were to demonstrate a unexpected ability to play the violin. This is a question that Darwinian biology has not yet answered.”
    – David Berlinski – The Devil’s Delusion – page 16

    The reason Darwinian Materialists can never give a coherent explanation for our mathematical intuition is because mathematics, and logic, are both profoundly immaterial in their foundational nature,

    Naturalism and Self-Refutation – Michael Egnor – January 31, 2018
    Excerpt: Mathematics is certainly something we do. Is mathematics “included in the space-time continuum [with] basic elements … described by physics”?,,, What is the physics behind the Pythagorean theorem? After all, no actual triangle is perfect, and thus no actual triangle in nature has sides such that the Pythagorean theorem holds. There is no real triangle in which the sum of the squares of the sides exactly equals the square of the hypotenuse. That holds true for all of geometry. Geometry is about concepts, not about anything in the natural world or about anything that can be described by physics. What is the “physics” of the fact that the area of a circle is pi multiplied by the square of the radius? And of course what is natural and physical about imaginary numbers, infinite series, irrational numbers, and the mathematics of more than three spatial dimensions? Mathematics is entirely about concepts, which have no precise instantiation in nature,,,
    Furthermore, the very framework of Clark’s argument — logic — is neither material nor natural. Logic, after all, doesn’t exist “in the space-time continuum” and isn’t described by physics. What is the location of modus ponens? How much does Gödel’s incompleteness theorem weigh? What is the physics of non-contradiction? How many millimeters long is Clark’s argument for naturalism? Ironically the very logic that Clark employs to argue for naturalism is outside of any naturalistic frame.
    The strength of Clark’s defense of naturalism is that it is an attempt to present naturalism’s tenets clearly and logically. That is its weakness as well, because it exposes naturalism to scrutiny, and naturalism cannot withstand even minimal scrutiny. Even to define naturalism is to refute it.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/01/naturalism-and-self-refutation/

    And as Dr. Egnor further explains, “Contemplation of universals cannot have material instantiation, because universals themselves are not material and cannot be instantiated in matter.,,,
    It is a radical difference — an immeasurable qualitative difference, not a quantitative difference.
    We are more different from apes than apes are from viruses.,,, ”

    The Fundamental Difference Between Humans and Nonhuman Animals – Michael Egnor – November 5, 2015
    Excerpt: Human beings have mental powers that include the material mental powers of animals but in addition entail a profoundly different kind of thinking. Human beings think abstractly, and nonhuman animals do not. Human beings have the power to contemplate universals, which are concepts that have no material instantiation. Human beings think about mathematics, literature, art, language, justice, mercy, and an endless library of abstract concepts. Human beings are rational animals.
    Human rationality is not merely a highly evolved kind of animal perception. Human rationality is qualitatively different — ontologically different — from animal perception. Human rationality is different because it is immaterial. Contemplation of universals cannot have material instantiation, because universals themselves are not material and cannot be instantiated in matter.,,,
    It is a radical difference — an immeasurable qualitative difference, not a quantitative difference.
    We are more different from apes than apes are from viruses.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....00661.html

    And as Alfred Wallace, co-discover of Natural Selection, explained,

    “Nothing in evolution can account for the soul of man. The difference between man and the other animals is unbridgeable. Mathematics is alone sufficient to prove in man the possession of a faculty unexistent in other creatures. Then you have music and the artistic faculty. No, the soul was a separate creation.
    – Alfred Wallace

    Even atheistic Platonist who believe in a immaterial ‘Platonic realm’, and who, unlike Darwinian Materialists, at least admit that ‘mathematics is discovered’ by man instead of being ‘invented’ by man, but who still deny the reality of God, were brought into check by Godel’s incompleteness theorem.

    That is to say, even atheistic Platonist who admit the reality of a immaterial mathematical,. ‘Platonic’, realm, but who deny the reality of God, still, (because of Godel’s incompleteness theorem), cannot provide a coherent explanation for why they intuitively ‘know’ that 2 + 2 = 4.

    As Dr. Vern Poythress stated, “anti-theistic philosophy of mathematics is condemned to oscillate, much as we have done in our argument, between the poles of a priori knowledge and a posteriori knowledge. Why? It will not acknowledge the true God, wise Creator of both the human mind with its mathematical intuition and the external world with its mathematical properties. In sections 22-23 we shall see how the Biblical view furnishes us with a real solution to the problem of “knowing” that 2 + 2 = 4 and knowing that S is true.”

    A BIBLICAL VIEW OF MATHEMATICS
    Vern Poythress – Doctorate in theology, PhD in Mathematics (Harvard)
    15. Implications of Gödel’s proof
    B. Metaphysical problems of anti-theistic mathematics: unity and plurality
    Excerpt: Because of the above difficulties, anti-theistic philosophy of mathematics is condemned to oscillate, much as we have done in our argument, between the poles of a priori knowledge and a posteriori knowledge. Why? It will not acknowledge the true God, wise Creator of both the human mind with its mathematical intuition and the external world with its mathematical properties. In sections 22-23 we shall see how the Biblical view furnishes us with a real solution to the problem of “knowing” that 2 + 2 = 4 and knowing that S is true.
    http://www.frame-poythress.org.....thematics/

    In short, the reason that we intuitively know that 2 + 2 = 4 is because we are made in the image of God.

    As Johannes Kepler stated,

    “Geometry is one and eternal shining in the mind of God. That share in it accorded to men is one of the reasons that Man is the image of God.”
    – Johannes Kepler – from an open letter to Galileo Galilei – Dissertatio cum Nuncio Sidereo (1610)

    Thus in conclusion, if you are absolutely certain that 2 + 2 = 4 then you can also be absolutely certain that God exists (and also absolutely certain that you have an immaterial mind and a eternal soul).

    Supplemental quote

    DB: “Mathematicians are capable of grasping a world of objects that lies beyond space and time ….”

    … Come again …

    DB: “No need to come again: I got to where I was going the first time. The number four, after all, did not come into existence at a particular time, and it is not going to go out of existence at another time. It is neither here nor there. Nonetheless we are in some sense able to grasp the number by a faculty of our minds. Mathematical intuition is utterly mysterious. So for that matter is the fact that mathematical objects such as a Lie Group or a differentiable manifold have the power to interact with elementary particles or accelerating forces. But these are precisely the claims that theologians have always made as well – that human beings are capable by an exercise of their devotional abilities to come to some understanding of the deity; and the deity, although beyond space and time, is capable of interacting with material objects.”
    – David Berlinski

    Verse:

    Romans 1: 19-22
    For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools,

  11. 11
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: If you are a Darwinian materialist, (and if you are honest with yourself), you are forced into believing that, “Math is a human construct.,,, Mathematics is not discovered, it is invented. This is the non-Platonist position.”

    Well, you’d categorise me as a Darwinian materialist (not saying I agree with that) and I would strongly disagree with the notion that mathematics is invented. Not the underlying structure of mathematics. As far as 2 + 2 = 5 . . . there is a common expression that sometimes the sum is greater than the parts but, aside from that (or using something like modular arithmetic) such notions are just dumb.

    I think mathematics has to be consistent everywhere and for all times. Otherwise we wouldn’t have theorems, i.e. mathematical statements which have been proved.

    Darwinian Materialists simply have no explanation for why we intuitively know this to be true,

    I’m not sure we do ‘know’ this. Okay, maybe, every person in every cultural accepts 2 + 2 = 4 but there are other, more complex results in mathematics that take quite a bit of study and practice and testing for most people to be convinced they are true.

    The reason Darwinian Materialists can never give a coherent explanation for our mathematical intuition is because mathematics, and logic, are both profoundly immaterial in their foundational nature,

    I guess so. I just consider mathematics to be foundational.

    Even atheistic Platonist who believe in a immaterial ‘Platonic realm’, and who, unlike Darwinian Materialists, at least admit that ‘mathematics is discovered’ by man instead of being ‘invented’ by man, but who still deny the reality of God, were brought into check by Godel’s incompleteness theorem.

    That I do disagree with. Godel’s work exists outside of theological considerations. I do not see how it can be applied to the question of the existence of God(s).

    That is to say, even atheistic Platonist who admit the reality of a immaterial mathematical,. ‘Platonic’, realm, but who deny the reality of God, still, (because of Godel’s incompleteness theorem), cannot provide a coherent explanation for why they intuitively ‘know’ that 2 + 2 = 4.

    I don’t think there is anything to explain! if you have two things and you combine them with two more things you then have four things. What’s to explain?

    As Dr. Vern Poythress stated, “anti-theistic philosophy of mathematics is condemned to oscillate, much as we have done in our argument, between the poles of a priori knowledge and a posteriori knowledge. Why? It will not acknowledge the true God, wise Creator of both the human mind with its mathematical intuition and the external world with its mathematical properties. In sections 22-23 we shall see how the Biblical view furnishes us with a real solution to the problem of “knowing” that 2 + 2 = 4 and knowing that S is true.”

    I don’t see what mathematics has to do with theology. I’ve known quite a few professional mathematicians, some theistic, some radically not. But they all ‘did’ mathematics.

    In short, the reason that we intuitively know that 2 + 2 = 4 is because we are made in the image of God.

    I don’t see that at all.

    Thus in conclusion, if you are absolutely certain that 2 + 2 = 4 then you can also be absolutely certain that God exists (and also absolutely certain that you have an immaterial mind and a eternal soul).

    Again, what does mathematics have to do with theology?

  12. 12
    Seversky says:

    John_a_designer @ 9

    Just because someone doesn’t agree with (or take a knee to) BLM’s agenda doesn’t make them racist.

    No, it doesn’t necessarily.

    In fact, BLM doesn’t want to resolve racism; it wants to use it as a wedge issue to gain social, political and cultural dominance.

    But denying that the BLM movement is based on legitimate grievances potentially is. If there is any doubt, I refer you to the Tuskegee syphilis experiment which kf has been citing. It is highly unlikely that would have happened to white males of that period. I also suspect that all those who conducted that atrocity would have identified themselves as Christian given the times again.

    It working now because there has been some fifty years of postmodern PC nonsense which has taken root in American universities, among politicians and the mainstream media.

    It has nothing to do with postmodernism. I doubt that many here and now or fifty years ago could even define the term.

    In any case it’s a red herring. The real backlash against BLM is inspired by the fears of the white (male) majority that they might actually have to share the wealth, political power and “social, political and cultural dominance” they have enjoyed since the country was founded. Minor European schools of philosophy have nothing to do with it.

  13. 13
    vividbleau says:

    “What is truly pernicious about these attacks on “wokeness” is that, like attempts to stereotype BLM protestors as “Red Guard” stooges of some mythical global Marxist insurgency”

    Nothing to see here says Sev, just ignore the fact that BLM was started by two avowed Marxists. Just ignore their official web page on what they believe.

    Vivid

  14. 14
    vividbleau says:

    “The point is that postmodernism, deconstructionism, literary criticism and all the other associated “isms” have been around for a long time and neither academia nor Western civilization have come crashing down, nor are they ever likely to.”

    Sev says nothing to see here just move along ignoring the fact that what was non mainstream in 1992 is now full throated dominate thought adhered to by the left and all our major cultural institutions . How dominate? One only needs only to read Sev, re last paragraph in number 12, who parrots the very philosophy he insists we have nothing to worry about and is not mainstream LOL

    Vivid

  15. 15
    Truthfreedom says:

    UD, your captcha is ‘sexist’.
    6×2=54
    But you forced me to write, against my will, that 6×9=54
    You are a bunch of ‘white opressors’.

    @Vivid:
    Do not bother with Seversky. He is an indoctrinated commie. A person that says ‘he does not exist’. Seriously. He uses his existence to deny his existence. And ‘evil’ does not exist, but being ‘racist’ is bad. Because Seversky says so. Because his brain chemicals have ‘informed’ him.

    Mental illness is really serious, and atheists are a weird example. We should not have closed the asylums.

    BLM =
    Burning
    Looting
    Marxists

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL in responce to,

    Bornagain77: If you are a Darwinian materialist, (and if you are honest with yourself), you are forced into believing that, “Math is a human construct.,,, Mathematics is not discovered, it is invented. This is the non-Platonist position.”

    ,,, states,,

    JVL: Well, you’d categorise me as a Darwinian materialist (not saying I agree with that) and I would strongly disagree with the notion that mathematics is invented.

    Well, I didn’t categorize you as anything. It is up to you to decide what you believe.

    Yet, if you believe that the life and mind are ’emergent’ from a material basis then you are, by default, a Darwinian materialist.

    Myself, I personally agree with Thomas Nagel, and “I find this view antecedently unbelievable—a heroic triumph of ideological theory over common sense”.?

    “I have argued patiently against the prevailing form of naturalism, a reductive materialism that purports to capture life and mind through its neo-Darwinian extension.” “…, I find this view antecedently unbelievable—a heroic triumph of ideological theory over common sense”.
    – Thomas Nagel – “Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False” – pg.128

    JVL, in response to

    BA77: The reason Darwinian Materialists can never give a coherent explanation for our mathematical intuition is because mathematics, and logic, are both profoundly immaterial in their foundational nature,

    ,,, states,,,

    I guess so. I just consider mathematics to be foundational.

    So ‘I guess’ JVL agrees that the reductive materialism of Darwinian evolution cannot give an adequate account for why we can grasp ‘immaterial’ mathematics.

    JVL also said that he considers “mathematics to be foundational.” Yet, saying that mathematics is “foundational” does not even begin to answer the question for Darwinian Materialists.

    Namely, if life and mind are somehow ’emergent’ from a material basis, as Darwinian materialists resolutely hold, then how in blue blazes are our supposedly purely material minds able to even begin understanding this immaterial realm of mathematics? And why only us and not some other creatures?

    To repeat, in regards to abstract thought such as mathematics, “We are more different from apes than apes are from viruses.,,,”

    The Fundamental Difference Between Humans and Nonhuman Animals – Michael Egnor – November 5, 2015
    Excerpt: Human beings have mental powers that include the material mental powers of animals but in addition entail a profoundly different kind of thinking. Human beings think abstractly, and nonhuman animals do not. Human beings have the power to contemplate universals, which are concepts that have no material instantiation. Human beings think about mathematics, literature, art, language, justice, mercy, and an endless library of abstract concepts. Human beings are rational animals.
    Human rationality is not merely a highly evolved kind of animal perception. Human rationality is qualitatively different — ontologically different — from animal perception. Human rationality is different because it is immaterial. Contemplation of universals cannot have material instantiation, because universals themselves are not material and cannot be instantiated in matter.,,,
    It is a radical difference — an immeasurable qualitative difference, not a quantitative difference.
    We are more different from apes than apes are from viruses.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....00661.html

    For JVL to just brush off this irresolvable dilemma for Darwinian evolution with the comment that he considers “mathematics to be foundational” is, to put it mildly, disingenuous.

    If he were honest, JVL would honestly admit that the ability of man to even begin understanding this immaterial realm of mathematics, at the very least, strongly suggests, that man himself must possess an immaterial mind and/or soul. To repeat,

    “Nothing in evolution can account for the soul of man. The difference between man and the other animals is unbridgeable. Mathematics is alone sufficient to prove in man the possession of a faculty unexistent in other creatures. Then you have music and the artistic faculty. No, the soul was a separate creation.
    – Alfred Wallace

    Having ignored the irresolvable dilemma facing Darwinian materialists, (i.e. the irresolvable dilemma of supposedly purely material minds contemplating a immaterial realm of mathematics), JVL feels no qualms about jumping onto the atheistic ‘Platonic’ bandwagon. But disagrees with me that Godel’s incompleteness theorem has anything to say about his atheistic Platonism:

    BA77: Even atheistic Platonist who believe in a immaterial ‘Platonic realm’, and who, unlike Darwinian Materialists, at least admit that ‘mathematics is discovered’ by man instead of being ‘invented’ by man, but who still deny the reality of God, were brought into check by Godel’s incompleteness theorem.

    JVL: That I do disagree with. Godel’s work exists outside of theological considerations. I do not see how it can be applied to the question of the existence of God(s).

    Well actually, Gödel, a Christian, was “reportedly concerned that he might have inadvertently proved the existence of God, a faux pas in his Viennese and Princeton circle. It was one of the famously paranoid Gödel’s more reasonable fears.”

    “In an elegant mathematical proof, introduced to the world by the great mathematician and computer scientist John von Neumann in September 1930, Gödel demonstrated that mathematics was intrinsically incomplete. Gödel was reportedly concerned that he might have inadvertently proved the existence of God, a faux pas in his Viennese and Princeton circle. It was one of the famously paranoid Gödel’s more reasonable fears.”
    – George Gilder, in Knowledge and Power : The Information Theory of Capitalism and How it is Revolutionizing our World (2013), Ch. 10: Romer’s Recipes and Their Limits

    Moreover, for atheistic Platonist, “the mathematical realm is a rival to God rather than a path to him.”

    KEEP IT SIMPLE by Edward Feser – April 2020
    Excerpt: How can the mathematical realm be so apparently godlike? The traditional answer, originating in Neoplatonic philosophy and Augustinian theology, is that our knowledge of the mathematical realm is precisely knowledge, albeit inchoate, of the divine mind. Mathematical truths exhibit infinity, necessity, eternity, immutability, perfection, and immateriality because they are God’s thoughts, and they have such explanatory power in scientific theorizing because they are part of the blueprint implemented by God in creating the world. For some thinkers in this tradition, mathematics thus provides the starting point for an argument for the existence of God qua supreme intellect.
    There is also a very different answer, in which the mathematical realm is a rival to God rather than a path to him. According to this view, mathematical objects such as numbers and geometrical figures exist not only independently of the ­material world, but also independently of any mind, including the divine mind.
    https://www.firstthings.com/article/2020/04/keep-it-simple

    Thus for Gödel to prove that “Math could not play the role of God as infinite and autonomous” is, in effect, for Gödel to implicitly make a theological argument for God:

    Taking God Out of the Equation – Biblical Worldview – by Ron Tagliapietra – January 1, 2012
    Excerpt: Kurt Gödel (1906–1978) proved that no logical systems (if they include the counting numbers) can have all three of the following properties.
    1. Validity … all conclusions are reached by valid reasoning.
    2. Consistency … no conclusions contradict any other conclusions.
    3. Completeness … all statements made in the system are either true or false.
    The details filled a book, but the basic concept was simple and elegant. He (Godel) summed it up this way: “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove.” For this reason, his proof is also called the Incompleteness Theorem.
    Kurt Gödel had dropped a bomb on the foundations of mathematics. Math could not play the role of God as infinite and autonomous. It was shocking, though, that logic could prove that mathematics could not be its own ultimate foundation.
    Christians should not have been surprised. The first two conditions are true about math: it is valid and consistent. But only God fulfills the third condition. Only He is complete and therefore self-dependent (autonomous). God alone is “all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28), “the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13). God is the ultimate authority (Hebrews 6:13), and in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3).
    http://www.answersingenesis.or...../equation#

    And please note, that modern science itself was born out of the Christian presupposition that mathematics, especially any mathematics that might describe this universe, was the product of the mind of God.

    As Johannes Kepler stated shortly after discovering the laws of planetary motion,’

    “O, Almighty God, I am thinking Thy thoughts after Thee!”
    – Johannes Kepler – The Harmonies of the World (1619),

    And as Sir Isaac Newton stated in Principia,

    “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. And if the fixed stars are the centres of other like systems, these, being formed by the like wise counsel, must be all subject to the dominion of One; especially since the light of the fixed stars is of the same nature with the light of the sun, and from every system light passes into all the other systems: and lest the systems of the fixed stars should, by their gravity, fall on each other mutually, he hath placed those systems at immense distances one from another. This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called Lord God pantokrator, or Universal Ruler;,,, The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect;,,, from his true dominion it follows that the true God is a living, intelligent, and powerful Being; and, from his other perfections, that he is supreme, or most perfect. He is eternal and infinite, omnipotent and omniscient; that is, his duration reaches from eternity to eternity; his presence from infinity to infinity; he governs all things, and knows all things that are or can be done. He is not eternity or infinity, but eternal and infinite; he is not duration or space, but he endures and is present. He endures for ever, and is every where present”:
    – Sir Isaac Newton – Principia; 1687, GENERAL SCHOLIUM.
    http://gravitee.tripod.com/genschol.htm

    But hey, you don’t have to take Kepler’s and Newton’s word for it, both Einstein and Wigner are also on record as to regarding the applicability of mathematics to the universe to be a ‘miracle’.

    Shoot, Einstein even went so far as to castigate ‘professional atheists’ in the process of calling it a miracle:

    On the Rational Order of the World: a Letter to Maurice Solovine – Albert Einstein – March 30, 1952
    Excerpt: “You find it strange that I consider the comprehensibility of the world (to the extent that we are authorized to speak of such a comprehensibility) as a miracle or as an eternal mystery. Well, a priori, one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way .. the kind of order created by Newton’s theory of gravitation, for example, is wholly different. Even if a man proposes the axioms of the theory, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the ‘miracle’ which is constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.
    There lies the weakness of positivists and professional atheists who are elated because they feel that they have not only successfully rid the world of gods but “bared the miracles.”
    -Albert Einstein
    http://inters.org/Einstein-Letter-Solovine

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960 ?Excerpt: ,,certainly it is hard to believe that our reasoning power was brought, by Darwin’s process of natural selection, to the perfection which it seems to possess.,,,?It is difficult to avoid the impression that a miracle confronts us here, quite comparable in its striking nature to the miracle that the human mind can string a thousand arguments together without getting itself into contradictions, or to the two miracles of the existence of laws of nature and of the human mind’s capacity to divine them.,,,?The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning.
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc.....igner.html

    Thus JVL may claim that mathematics has nothing to do with theology, but there are many famous, and unrivaled, scientists who would strongly disagree with him.

    In short, JVL has nothing but his own personal opinion to back up his argument that mathematics has nothing to do with God, whereas I can appeal the Godel, as well as to modern science itself, to back up my claim that mathematics has a lot to say about Theology. Indeed, I hold, to repeat, math to be ‘a path to God rather than being a rival to God’ as the atheistic Platonist erroneously holds.

    Supplemental note:

    God by the Numbers – Connecting the constants?
    Excerpt: The final number comes from theoretical mathematics. It is Euler’s (pronounced “Oiler’s”) number: e^pi*i. This number is equal to -1, so when the formula is written e^pi*i+1 = 0, it connects the five most important constants in mathematics (e, pi, i, 0, and 1) along with three of the most important mathematical operations (addition, multiplication, and exponentiation). These five constants symbolize the four major branches of classical mathematics: arithmetic, represented by 1 and 0; algebra, by i; geometry, by pi; and analysis, by e, the base of the natural log. e^pi*i+1 = 0 has been called “the most famous of all formulas,” because, as one textbook says, “It appeals equally to the mystic, the scientist, the philosopher, and the mathematician.”,,,
    The discovery of this number gave mathematicians the same sense of delight and wonder that would come from the discovery that three broken pieces of pottery, each made in different countries, could be fitted together to make a perfect sphere. It seemed to argue that there was a plan where no plan should be.,,,
    Today, numbers from astronomy, biology, and theoretical mathematics point to a rational mind behind the universe.,,,
    The apostle John prepared the way for this conclusion when he used the word for logic, reason, and rationality—logos—to describe Christ at the beginning of his Gospel: “In the beginning was the logos, and the logos was with God, and the logos was God.” When we think logically, which is the goal of mathematics, we are led to think of God.
    http://www.christianitytoday.c.....ml?start=3

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev,

    I came by almost by accident, noted your dismissiveness (as per usual) and Vivid’s apt response.

    Let me note what Wikipedia admits:

    Red Guards (simplified Chinese: ???; traditional Chinese: ???; pinyin: Hóng Wèib?ng) was a mass student-led paramilitary social movement mobilized and guided by Chairman Mao Zedong in 1966 through 1967, during the first phase of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, which he had instituted.[1] According to a Red Guard leader, the movement’s aims were as follows:

    Chairman Mao has defined our future as an armed revolutionary youth organization…. So if Chairman Mao is our Red-Commander-in-Chief and we are his Red Guards, who can stop us? First we will make China Maoist from inside out and then we will help the working people of other countries make the world red…and then the whole universe.[2]

    Despite being met with resistance early on, the Red Guards received personal support from Mao, and the movement rapidly grew. Mao made use of the group as propaganda and to accomplish goals such as destroying symbols of China’s pre-communist past, including ancient artifacts and gravesites of notable Chinese figures. Moreover, the government was very permissive of the Red Guards, and even allowed the Red Guards to inflict bodily harm on people viewed as dissidents. The movement quickly grew out of control, frequently coming into conflict with authority and threatening public security until the government made efforts to rein the youths in.

    If that does not sound all too familiar (with 50 years of tech update) it should, and will to those who really seek understanding. The Red Guards of 1966 were foot soldiers in Mao’s push to retake power he lost after the disastrous great leap forward and created a decade of chaos in China.

    In other threads, we have explored how the template was updated in E Europe, the Maghreb and Levant. The pattern is highly recognisable.

    Beyond a certain point, we have a right of prudence to act in our defence regardless of bland denials and demands for absolute proof. Namely, the long train of abuses and usurpations standard.

    And this weekend we are seeing householders — ill advisedly — coming to their front doors when swarmed by the mob being targetted in the eyes with the same lasers that have already blinded police officers.

    The message of mob hate and assault to cause grievous bodily harm cannot be clearer.

    Last week, it was burning Bibles in front of Police stations.

    I repeat, in any reasonably functional lawful state rioting has no excuse, much less functioning democracies. And the ever broadening pattern of targets speaks for itself.

    It looks like you have chosen a side, unwisely.

    KF

  18. 18
    Truthfreedom says:

    @Kairosfocus
    Seversky has ‘chosen’ nothing, since ‘he’ does not exist. You are speaking to a ‘meat-robot’. Lol. And here is where we are now. The West has bred 2-3 generations of raving lunatics.

    When the war starts, will ‘non-existent people’ (atheists/darwinists/materialists) occupy any space? Will they need food and clothing and shelter and healing?
    After all, they ‘do not exist’…

  19. 19
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: So ‘I guess’ JVL agrees that the reductive materialism of Darwinian evolution cannot give an adequate account for why we can grasp ‘immaterial’ mathematics.

    You seem to be wanting to create an issue when I don’t think there is one. Why do you think it’s so amazing that we can grasp mathematics? I certainly don’t see our species mathematical striving over the last 5000 years or so to be any indication of divine intervention. It seems to me that it’s the result of pure empirical observation and after that sheer hard work.

    Namely, if life and mind are somehow ’emergent’ from a material basis, as Darwinian materialists resolutely hold, then how in blue blazes are our supposedly purely material minds able to even begin understanding this immaterial realm of mathematics? And why only us and not some other creatures?

    Well, I think there is research that shows that other species can grasp some basic mathematical concepts. I don’t think it is just us and I don’t think you’ve established that our understanding is necessarily divinely influenced. You make the assertion but what is the evidence?

    For JVL to just brush off this irresolvable dilemma for Darwinian evolution with the comment that he considers “mathematics to be foundational” is, to put it mildly, disingenuous.

    You are conflating two issues. I consider mathematics to be fundamental and invariable across the known universe. My opinion. I think human beings have learned how to discover some really complicated mathematical ‘truths’ through hard work and curiosity. AND accepting a kind of peer review which tells you when you’ve got it wrong. Nothing magical, nothing theological.

    Well actually, Gödel, a Christian, was “reportedly concerned that he might have inadvertently proved the existence of God, a faux pas in his Viennese and Princeton circle. It was one of the famously paranoid Gödel’s more reasonable fears.”

    Have you actually read Godel’s work or just interpretations of it? I don’t think you can actually point to anything in his work that can be clearly applied to theology.

    Moreover, for atheistic Platonist, “the mathematical realm is a rival to God rather than a path to him.”

    hahahahahahahah. That’s just silly.

    Thus for Gödel to prove that “Math could not play the role of God as infinite and autonomous” is, in effect, for Gödel to implicitly make a theological argument for God:

    But, Godel’s mathematical work says nothing about theology whatsoever!! That’s just silly. Show me where in his actual mathematical works theology is addressed at all.

    And please note, that modern science itself was born out of the Christian presupposition that mathematics, especially any mathematics that might describe this universe, was the product of the mind of God.

    Mathematics started long before modern science had even been conceived! Euclid’s elements, the Pythagorean theorem, the irrationality of root 2 . . . all that and more was done before the time of Christ! You cannot apply your argument to mathematics, it doesn’t wash.

    Thus JVL may claim that mathematics has nothing to do with theology, but there are many famous, and unrivaled, scientists who would strongly disagree with him.

    That discussion is definitely worth a whole thread if someone wants to start one.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL, I’ll let unbiased readers judge for themselves who is being forthright and who is just hand-waving.

  22. 22
    Mac McTavish says:

    BA77

    JVL, I’ll let unbiased readers judge for themselves who is being forthright and who is just hand-waving.

    Isn’t that how it always works? I don’t think it is necessary to point out the obvious.

  23. 23
    bornagain77 says:

    Mac McTavish states,

    “I don’t think it is necessary to point out the obvious.”

    Apparently the irony of saying such a thing on a thread in which the OP highlights a article entitled “2-plus-2-never-equals-5” is lost on Mac McTavish. 🙂

    “Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4. If that is granted, all else follows”
    -George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-four

    “Occasionally in the course of human events it becomes necessary to have (to) explain something no one would ever have expected to have to defend.”,,,
    – James Lindsay – An American-born author, mathematician, and political commentator,
    https://newdiscourses.com/2020/08/2-plus-2-never-equals-5/

  24. 24
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL,

    actually, blind chance and/or mechanical necessity is simply overwhelmed by the functionally specific complex functional organisation of the living cell (which uses alphanumeric coded algorithms in the heart of its operations thus language and goal directed processes). Language and goal-orientation are already signs of intelligence and design antecedent to the only actually observed biological life, that in our close surroundings.

    This extends to complex body plans and sub systems, including brains. Then, again, to the origin of human language using symbols to represent concrete or abstract entities.

    Further to this, the brain/CNS is a computational substrate but it is readily seen that such a substrate is itself a dynamic-stochastic entity, utterly unable to account for the genuine freedom to rise beyond GIGO-limited computation to actual, credibly free rationality. If choice boils down to programmed and/or mechanically and stochastically driven causal chains of events, it is not genuinely free, it is a dynamic stochastic effect. Ground and consequent reasoning is and must be categorically different from GIGO-constrained cause-effect dynamic-stochastic computation. (Which is also why compatibilism fails.)

    So, the issue is not whether a computational substrate somehow labelled JVL is programmed somehow to form loops of operations confused with genuinely, frely on warranted inference perceiving that ” I certainly don’t see our species mathematical striving over the last 5000 years or so to be any indication of divine intervention. It seems to me that it’s the result of pure empirical observation and after that sheer hard work.”

    The point is, either reason is free or it is not reason. And that freedom does not arise from GIGO limited computation on a substrate. It is not in the gift of dynamic-stochastic entities to be responsibly and rationally significantly free.

    That’s before we get into the logic of being of mathematical entities. Necessary, eternal and immaterial entities present in all possible worlds is a very suggestive reality.

    KF

  25. 25
    Seversky says:

    Truthfreedom @ 20

    10 Reasons Why Atheists are Delusional

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/11-reasons-why-atheists-are-delusional/

    Thank you William J. Murray!

    I think it’s very kind of you to march WJM’s squad of strawmen out for a bit of exercise.

  26. 26
    groovamos says:

    I’m going to toss something out there that might seem surprising since as a long career in electrical engineering, and given that all that I materially have now has depended on a grasp of some small measure of higher mathematics. Also possibly surprising given my hatred for critical theory and the destruction of academic scholarship in the West.

    When it comes to this •• + •• = •••• question, the critical theorists are by a certain measure correct in their skepticism, but how I get there is I’m sure not how they did and I can prove with some logical reasoning why they actually couldn’t have gotten there and are instead riding their egos on a wave of destruction.

    And it would be helpful to understand where I’m going if you have read Michael Pollan’s “How to Change your Mind”. So here goes.

    Some people who have experienced various modes of conscious evolution in meditation, yoga or any number of drastic consciousness altering activities such as aboriginal rites/dancing, middle eastern trance dancing, Christian mystical rites, or psychedelic therapy, have experienced “non-ordinary logics” in these non-ordinary states of consciousness.

    The problem is for these critical theorists, if they were to ever get to the place where they could actually experience •• + •• ? •••• , they would have had to have made sufficient spiritual progress to encounter the transpersonal realm of human experience, where these non-ordinary logics can be experienced. The transpersonal domain demonstrates the untethering of the mind from space and time, known in the popular press as “out-of-body” phenomena. And if these critical theorists had individually made such spiritual progress, they would have never embarked on the race/gender/power obsession they are on now which has almost destroyed the humanities and the arts. Like I’ve said a couple of weeks ago, advanced insights from non-ordinary states of consciousness establish for the individual the unavoidable need to contemplate the existence of good and evil in the universal scheme of things and related questions which have been brilliantly explored in classical literature, art and music in the Western canon, which has been under relentless attack by these deluded people. So the stupendous irony is that if these people were to have the actual experience of •• + •• ? •••• , having left delusion behind in their psychospiritual progress, they would not be attacking a major cultural and scholastic world tradition, and the philosophical materialists among them would be forced to abandon THAT religion, as would our friend Seversky.

    Must say I have never encountered the mental space where non-ordinary logics arise, but have experienced mind as independent of body, what is required to get there, and the concomitant psychospiritual benefits. So I have no reason to be skeptical of what I have read of those mental spaces. As Michael Pollan says in the referenced book, when he “smoked the Toad”: “I intrinsically knew this was no hallucination” (paraphrased)

  27. 27
    ET says:

    Earth to seversky- it isn’t enough for you to just claim a strawman exists. You actually have to support that claim.

  28. 28
    john_a_designer says:

    The late Cornell University professor, William Provine, made the following claim in his 1994 debate at Stanford University with Phillip Johnson:

    “Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear, and I must say that these are basically Darwin’s views. There are no gods, no purposeful forces of any kind, no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be completely dead. That’s just all—that’s gonna be the end of me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either.”

    He’s very clearly claiming that since science shows that there is no ultimate purpose and meaning in nature, human existence has no ultimate meaning and purpose either.

    What is the purpose of convincing anyone else that ultimately there is no purpose to anything, especially when you cannot give a logically valid argument as to why such a view is true? Is the universe, life and human existence purposeless simply because that is what you believe? Who are you to tell everyone else what to think and believe?

    How is it possible to find purpose in purposelessness?

    I have said this here before if I was an atheist I would leave other people alone. What is the point of trying to convince others that ultimately there is no purpose to their lives?

    If there is no purpose to the universe or life here on earth then there is no ultimate purpose for human existence. That’s what atheists say that science says. But if that’s true, how do they know it and what is the point of convincing everyone else it is true.

    Here is an argument I have given here before that none of our regular interlocutors have even tried to refute:

    Premise #1: If the universe is all that exists there is no ultimate purpose and meaning to human existence.

    Premise #2: The universe is all that exists.

    Conclusion: There is no ultimate purpose and meaning to human existence.

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/eric-holloway-no-materialist-theory-of-consciousness-is-plausible/#comment-681747

    If there is no ultimate purpose what the purpose of the secular progressive left’s agenda? And how am I morally obligated to accept their agenda?

  29. 29
    Truthfreedom says:

    JAD

    “What is the purpose of convincing anyone else that ultimately there is no purpose to anything, especially when you cannot give a logically valid argument as to why such a view is true?”

    Atheists are random assemblies of coward chemicals. They do not have the guts to end their purposeless lives, so they ‘robotically’ try to ruin other’s peoples lives by converting them to their ridiculous cult. Misery loves company.

    People that say they ‘are illusions’. Give me a break. What a bunch of retards has the West spawned.

    10 Reasons Why Atheists are Delusional
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/11-reasons-why-atheists-are-delusional/

  30. 30
    john_a_designer says:

    Mindlessness does not create mind. Purposelessness does not create purpose. Selfishness does not create selflessness or altruism. The burden of proof is on those who claim otherwise. But who in their right mind would actually claim such a thing? Apparently some people do. For some reason they keep showing up here a UD.

  31. 31
    Seversky says:

    John_a_designer @ 28

    The late Cornell University professor, William Provine, made the following claim in his 1994 debate at Stanford University with Phillip Johnson:

    “Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear, and I must say that these are basically Darwin’s views. There are no gods, no purposeful forces of any kind, no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be completely dead. That’s just all—that’s gonna be the end of me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either.”

    I don’t agree that Darwin necessarily held the views attributed to him by Provine but I certainly deny that those positions are necessarily entailed by the theory of evolution. An explanation of how living things on Earth may have changed and diversified over time tells us nothing about gods or ultimate purpose or the possibility of life after death.

    He’s very clearly claiming that since science shows that there is no ultimate purpose and meaning in nature, human existence has no ultimate meaning and purpose either.

    Science has not yet been able to adjudicate either way about the existence of ultimate meaning or purpose in this universe.

    The problem is that only a conscious intelligence is capable of assigning meaning or conceiving a purpose. We assume that because that is what we do and a rock or a tree does not, as far as we can tell. So, to that limited extent, we know there is already meaning and purpose of sorts in this universe. However, that is not enough for some. For some reason they feel that their existence is only validated if it conforms to the purpose in the mind of some other being, usually a deity of some sort. Any purpose they might come up with doesn’t count.

    The other question, which is usually dodged, is where did this Ultimate Purposer get its purpose? Was it its own creation, in which case why is one being’s purpose any more valid than another’s? If not, was there an Ultimate Ultimate Purposer behind it, which obviously invites the sort of infinite regress which no one likes?

    What is the purpose of convincing anyone else that ultimately there is no purpose to anything, especially when you cannot give a logically valid argument as to why such a view is true?

    To persuade them that the truth is that we just do not know? That uncertainty engenders a degree of humility whereas absolute certainty (in the minds of some) can have unfortunate consequences for those who do not share that certainty?

    If there is no ultimate purpose what the purpose of the secular progressive left’s agenda? And how am I morally obligated to accept their agenda?

    I’m not sure who you mean by the “secular progressive left” but you are no more morally obliged to accept their agenda than they are to accept yours. But, if there is no ultimate purpose doesn’t that leave us free to create and pursue purposes of our own?

  32. 32
    john_a_designer says:

    Ben Shapiro, who is an orthodox Jew relates an incident that occurred recently to some female members of the synagogue he attends.

    a transgender woman — a biological male who suffers from gender dysphoria — came to the gym. This man, who retains his male biological characteristics, then entered the locker room and proceeded to disrobe. When told by management that he could use a private dressing room, he refused, announcing that he was a woman and could disrobe in front of all the other women.

    The predictable result: Many of the actual biological women began cancelling their memberships. When the management asked people higher in the chain, they were simply told that to require the man to use a private dressing room or to reject his membership would subject the company to litigation and possible boycott.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/11/transgender-politics-sympathy-cannot-trump-reality/

    It appears to me that the secular progressive left over the past couple of decades has invented a new right, the right of affirmation and approval. For example, society as a whole needs to affirm and approve of transgender people because society has been guilty of oppressing them, or so the theory goes. However, how can this be considered a right unless everyone has that right? Aren’t rights supposed to be equal rights? Don’t the women attending the health club have any rights anymore? Or have their rights been trumped by a single transgender person?

    Civil rights leader Martin Luther King famously said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Tragically the secular progressive left has gone in the opposite direction. There is a pretension of being opposed to racism which is at itself racist. For example, on college campuses certain groups, blacks and Hispanics, are presented as victims while whites are presented as oppressors. Indeed, according to the left’s racial doctrine, there is no such thing as anti-white racism. Instead you have the “myth of white privilege,” which allows them vilify and demonize people based on the color of their skin. That’s no longer the mindset of a few radical professors and students, it’s the policy of the bureaucrats and it’s written into curriculum. However, it’s not actually a curriculum which students are taught, it’s an ideology into which they are indoctrinated.

    Here’s a recent interview with Manhattan Institute scholar Heather MacDonald that should alarm anyone who believes that there truly is a freedom of thought, conscience and belief, which is absolutely essential for a free and open democratic society to exist.

    LEVIN: What have our universities and colleges become? And when did this happen? I mean, they were always kind of liberal in the last several decades, but in some ways, they are not my phrase. They are almost sort of a Soviet-style system where there really isn’t free speech, you’re not allowed to challenge the so-called norms in the universities, where race and gender, seem to have a priority over other things and that sort of thing. When did all of this happen?

    MAC DONALD: Well, the 80s was when it started in my view. That is when you got radical multiculturalism that hit. I was in college in 70s, I am grateful for because I was allowed to read John Milton, William Wordsworth and Shakespeare without anyone thinking to complain about the gonads and melanin of those authors. I got to lose myself in beauty, in greatness and sublimity.

    Come the 80s, and students were given a license for ignorance. They were taught that the only thing they needed to know about book was the race and gender of author to know whether it was thoroughly dismissible without even being read and they could go to instead wallow in their own delusional oppression, and it has only gotten worse since then, and what we are doing is breeding the grounds for I fear, Civil War because students are being taught to hate, to hate the greatest works of western civilization, and frankly to hate east each other.

    From the moment a student steps on a college campus today as a freshman or a fresh person, I should probably say, the bureaucracy is determined to drum in to that student’s head, identity politics, which says, he is either a victim or an oppressor. Oppressors are obviously most famously white males, heterosexual white males. The only way they can get out to of their oppressor category is to become an ally – an ally of the oppressed.

    The most preposterous delusion of all of this is student actually believe that they are at risk of their lives from circumambient racism and sexism on a college campus. This is an environment that in traditional liberal terms is the most tolerant environment in human history for society’s traditionally marginalized groups.

    Yet, there is a massive bureaucracy dedicated to cultivating in students this delusional sense of their own oppression, which then they carry with them, it’s a chip on their shoulder that prevents them from seizing the magnificent opportunities to learn, to read every book that is ever been written, and they carry this chip, this delusional victimology into world at large, and they are going around blaming American institutions of endemic racism and sexism, when that no longer is true.

    https://www.manhattan-institute.org/video/heather-mac-donald-warns-colleges-breeding-hate-levin

    The entire interview is well worth watching.

  33. 33
    ET says:

    seversky:

    The other question, which is usually dodged, is where did this Ultimate Purposer get its purpose?

    It isn’t dodged. It’s laughed at. Where did the designers of Stonehenge get their purpose? And why does it matter?

    Blind and mindless processes are incapable of producing what we observe. that is the truth.

  34. 34
    john_a_designer says:

    PS When it comes to academia, according to Heather Mac Donald, “identity politics is everywhere…

    “But the thing that worries me worries the most,” she said in a recent interview, “is what this is doing to our scientific advantage in the so-called STEM fields.”

    This is the science, technology, engineering and math. For a while, people who were optimist, thought, “Well, okay, you’ve got the gender studies here, you’ve got the women studies there, you’ve got the Chicano studies there,” it’s all going to stay put.

    Science will be the one realm that remains committed to meritocracy because we all understand, of course, that there no such thing as female physics. There is no such thing as Iranian physics. There is physics. There is math. This is the accomplishment of human reason that is open to everybody. Well, that was a false hope. (emphasis added.)

    Anybody that knew anything about university would have known, it is not safe, and now, you have nothing less than the National Science Foundation, a Federal agency that is the premier funder of basic research on college campuses that has itself been columnized by this poisonous identity politics.

    The National Science Foundation is spending billions of our taxpayer dollars funding gender theorists on college campuses to study so-called intersectionality and micro-aggressions in the STEM fields on the assumption that the only possible explanation for why we do not have 50/50 gender parity in our engineering departments and math departments must be by definition the result of sexism, that is the diversity delusion. That is the fundamental lie that we’ve been fed that any disparity in a representation whether it’s a gender disparity or race disparity must be the result of discrimination, and so our STEM fields now are obsessed with gender equity and race equity.

    https://www.foxnews.com/transcript/heather-macdonald-warns-us-colleges-are-breeding-hate

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