Friday, March 11, 2005

The Divine Rita Fowler and the decadent Agent

conversation on the propagandization of jesus de christo with the ever-darling Rita. Rita is in italics, i am the respondent...

One of the things i decry is the over-commercialization of christmass.

what about St. Patrick's day?

The whole glorious birth of Jesus has been bastardized beyond the asinine.

it was pretty asinine to begin with, to read the bible literally one would have to assume Yahweh is a big old drama-queen with the Milky Way as a feather boa trailing behind his swishing prance. (by the way, "bastardization" is a good choice of words!)

The presence or absence of Elves is not what i am truly bothered about, because that in many ways represent the fusion of 'pagan' mythology(nordic) with judeo-christian tradition--a new synthesis. You see this too in literature: the literature of any culture is the thermometer measuring its cultural temperature.

i'm not so sure aout that. i used to agree with that assertion. literature, especially as cliquish and focused as it is, is incapable of being a cultural thermometer. it can be a barometer, if you will, in that it will illustrate an undercurrent of pressure where the facade 'appears' to be seamless and perfect(for instance, one of the reasons i deeply desired Kerry to win was a steadfast nausea when i think of all the "political" books that are going to be coming out of this country). but even with today's fast-print POD lit-scene sitting down to write a book, to say "something" is an act of exerted will, this act in itself removes the author from any viable form of "mainstream" analysis(yes, thom wolfe is a fucking joke). literature is elitism even if the writer is as pungent and broke as Bukowski.

The question now becomes, what is its melting point?

more like oil and water, a melting point seems to infer that at some point entities that were once seperate lose their individual identity and eventually mesh into a new individual entity. this just doesn't happen, for instance, if you know anyone who is phillipino by lineage, it is very common for them to have a "spanish" last name, probably speak at least a little spanish, as well as practice catholicism. these things are very engrained, at times to a point that it appears they are one, but a short time spent in their company will remind you that there is nothing spanish about a native of the phillipines.

You look at some of the effect of the paganization of christianity and you see the decline of purity in christianity, then, you look at the christianization of paganism and you see a revival of the Right Force in American politics. Host/predator -- Predator/host.

paganism was christianized first, a purging process, the move from polytheistic/pantheistic ideology to a new and decidely narrower(no negative connotation implied) concept like monotheism(and of course, not to forget that judaism, before it became law obsessed was a very mystical religion as well. god is in everything, we must dtrive to see his light through every rock, wave, and human heart...sounds a lot like Siddhartha). the political and sociological basis for transfer helped coalesce and solidify concepts of unified authoritarian rule(and on a larger scale, solidify concepts such as personal ownership through law). when it comes to "pure" christianity, pure is a bit of a misnomer. unless i misunderstand your syntax, "pure" would refer to christianity that is post Septuagint/Vulgate, or are you driving more at post-Luther christianity? the ancient texts prior to the biblical canon, as is thankfully still kept alive by the study of gnosticism, very much resembled mysticism. Catholicism kept the feel of mysticism alive in christianity(barely) which, in my opinion is why it was able to justify the "paganization" of it's saint-ocracy in order to smoothe into a political atmosphere of colonization. this willful morphing of political and religious purpose was definitely early fleshing out of 'Right Force'; it was the blank-check for treating "savages" like...savages. in america the rearing of fundamentalist heads is a new concept(as it is in judaism, islam, hinduism, all over the world), when the country was established the push from government architects was one of a secular approach to government, but they were very wary of disenfrachising the non-secular so they walked a tightrope hoping to keep both beasts at bay and make them live in harmony. christian fundamentalism(in america) is a backlash reaction against what was seen as a steady push toward a wholly secular society. this backlash revitalized in the late 1800s in the form of evengelism, and the rest is history.

Still, how much is lost when Christianity attempts to use these techniques to spread their presence?

if you are asking my opinon(as opposed to simply asking rhetorically), i'd say they lose everything. any time a mystical venture alters itself to conform to the stringent restraints of a political movement it loses everything. logic and faith are not the same thing, they're not supposed to be, when ideology forces them to co-exist the "new" entity is neither logical nor faithful and fails to fulfill both requirements, rendering it useless.

Essentially, to what extent is the valuable elements lost because of propagandization? Or if i may rephrase, can propaganda still be art?

is religion art? can propaganda be art? sure, i guess, i don't subscribe to a running definition of art. for me, personally, i think any current or future reconsideration of traditional ideas is relevant and only enhances the "valuable elements". the rigidity of resovle for the sole purpose of dogma is propagandization under the guise of "purity".

(conversation on the propagandization of jesus de christo round two)
rita is enclosed in italics, i'm the respondent...just in case, i know it's hard to follow:

RF(On a purely personal level. A communion between you and God. A consensus might be reached by the elders of the organization, but still, it is between you and God in the final end. The works and life of Martin Luther against the established Church of Rome is an illustrating example.)

okay, but as someone not directly involved in the transaction, how do you validate someone's communion? i completely understand what you mean, but that is a subjective frame of reference, how do you, from an objective standpoint validate whether it is inspired of god, or a false prophet? for instance, do you consider joseph smith a false-prophet, or legitimate?

RF(If you want me to refrain because that's your wish, i can understand. But i can't refrain because you will exhibit an EXTREMELY HOSTILE allergic reaction: The religious devotion and growth in the Lord is made even more abundant by the innumerable violence she or he had to endure patiently. I will bear it all with humility by God's grace, I am more than happy to take pains for the LORD. Thank you.)

i would never be hostile toward you Rita my dear. i'm not allergic to it i just expect the same level of respect for my lack of belief in god as i have for your belief in god. allergic? awesome, how much more potent would joan d'arc's position been if she broke out in divine hives when the Spirit moved?

>>thieves are borrowers, they do not possess, thus they steal. "saying something" is the act of a subjective mind and is as such fallible as a respresentation of an objective concept.

RF(To steal: to take without permission. To borrow: to receive temporarily with intent to return. Well, thieves are not borrowers. It is possible to 'say something' that was stolen:plagiarism.)

you picked THAT to harp on? i'll re-phrase: thieves steal, they do not possess, thus they steal. "saying something" is the act of a subjective mind and is as such fallible as a respresentation of an objective concept.

RF(It depends, cultures do mix:ideas do mix.)

en passe, then.

RF(Not necessarily, influence can be the fingerprints of these forces.)

"can" but that's based on the premise that there is an identifiable force, and that it is identifiable as seperate from the influenced.

RF(This question can only be best answered by observing a completely alien civilization. really?

yes, you cannot objectively observe something that you are a part of.

If we view the human species as one single unit and this question pertains to literatures of this one single unit. Can we advance by isolating a particular culture of human beings, as one single unit, and then study the evolution of their literature(essentially, philology)and draw a sensible generalisation from there perhaps. Scientists do this a lot:study one neuron, then extrapolate to other other neurons.)

yes, but the key is 'generalization'. if you are satisfied with that then mission accomplished(minus the aircraft carrier of course).

RF(Mathematical statements are logical attempts to explain nature. We've known over time that all of them are theories--they are limitedly applicable. To put it bluntly:they are all intelligent GUESSES. You wanted to account for the religious, as such, you came up with an intelligent guess as to what it is. This goes to what i was saying about PERFECT. Generally, i just sigh when i look at both sides trying to defend or rip apart the religious. The arguments for the religious are just guesses as to explain the religious; the arguments against the religious are just guesses to explain the religious too. The difference is that the latter is trying to explain it away, while the former is trying to explain it in. I am too imperfect to PERFECTLY defend the ONE that is PERFECT: How then can i rest my head on *my small arguments* for God? I can't. I can only intelligently guess as much as possible. The mathematics, science, philosophies too are also an attempt to intelligently guess things out, whether it is why apple falls from trees or the existence of God. The best i can do is keep striving for the sublime.)

and why do you strive for it? what convinved you that the sublime is something viable to strive for? to have faith in a god is to have a bias(no negative connotation to the word) toward believing in its existence. is your faith based on internal drives that you can see reflected in part by "small arguments for god" or is there something more solid and tangible that convinces you of a instead of b?

>> the dynamic of > placing all things in the hands of the 'other' is the > basis for authoritarian rule.

RF(Yeah, this goes to the issue of personal responsibility.)

does it though? to truly posit a belief in god, especially in a christian way speaks of immense personal responsibility. if nothing else, to what you think god wants. i think it is the use of religion to wipe away personal responsibility that is the bane of religiosity.

RF(They do not care, they were like the romans:we don't care as long as you pay your taxes. That's why they allowed the Hebrews to worship as long as they pay taxes.)

true, a human-symptom, again. but what else does one care about? another's eternal salvation? then again one must ask why someone cares, is it compassion or is it a desire on the believer's part to fulfill the warped interpretation of god's will?

>> this drive to cut-out > gods that were not suitable to the ideas of certain > leaders or social groupings eventually resulted in the > mono-theistic cry that there was only one true god and > all others were heretical.

RF(Most ancient civilizations are polytheistic, even though they are authoritarian.)

so, the ancient cultures simply had it wrong?

>>>>>>in broader sweeps of> psychological warfare, the stories of sodom&gomorrah,> as well as the great flood, are specifically written > to introduce a collective punishment for social wickedness.

RF(Noah's ark, too? The garden of eden, too? The reincarnation themes? Analets of Confuscianism, too? Check my response below.)

all of it. everything or nothing at all remember ;-)

RF(Look at the rules and regulations of any society. It follows precisely what you just stated above. Let me quote you to illustrate my point "a direct destruction at cancer's hand or viral outbreak's hand or (fill in the blanks)'s hand, because humans were not obeying nature's rule, this is the mindset of scientist's, writer's, politician's, (fill in the blanks) use to force those around them to conform to their beliefs about the events of nature, "i am able to prevent nature's(or whatever) wrath, and therefore i should, if you insist on being ignorant or stupid or wicked, i will force you to change your ways." You see my point? People will make argument against the religious for these things and then these very people will turn around and support any social or political system at all.)

sure, i definitely see your point, it's a point of much contention throughout time. in order for societies to function there must be a level of order. we're not getting off the planet any time soon, so we HAVE to get along on some basic levels. but why attribute this logical need to co-habitate to a god instead of calling it what it is...necessary.

RF(God directs event, and yes, we also have free will. It is just that we do not know where the line is drawn. And humans that we are-- we hate taking responsibility, we have the tendency to blame it on the 'other'. Parents, God, the weather, or whatever. As such, as a rule of the thumb, to counter-balance the human tendency to blame the 'other', i prefer to look into myself first and not rushly point the finger at the 'other'.)

but you do. when you call on god's blessing who are you pointing the finger at? when you give a dissertation on what is and is not proper human behavior, who are you pointing the finger at? do you consider it impossible for humanity to arrive at the same moral and spiritual conclusions about life without the guidance of 'god'? okay, that may be begging the question and entering into the 'chicken or the egg' question since if you posit faith in a creator you necessarily posit that none of this is possible without "It".

RF(these are salient questions

excellent word(i'm not mocking you, i'm a word-junky)

>> i have asked repeatedly myself. Sometimes, my professors and classmates do not know what to make of me. This is why i think a lot of the people that i have met, either for or against, do not really understand these things. The more i read both sides of the argument, the more i am convinced they are both talking about something that they do not even know but are absolutely convinced that they do know. I think somethings can be 'black and white' while not being 'black and white' even though they are 'black and white'.)

i respect that whole heartedly, i'm sure you've detected an undercurrent of non-commitment in my words. but isn't the statment "god exists" pretty black and white? moreover, aren't statements like "there is only one god" "christ died for our sins" and "god's message is divined through human vessels" pretty black and white as well?

>>>>>>but i guess my most pressing question is, > if god waited that long to show his "true" self to > humanity why didn't he care about the people who lived > before and do they litter the torture chambers of > hell?

RF(The perception of the religious could have existed before the advent of the written word to record it. (2) Take a neuroscience exam for example. The standards of neuroscience exams 100 years ago is different from modern times, for obvious reasons. I think the religious standard differs from ages to ages and peoples to peoples and individuals to individuals. This goes to my Luther reference and my suspicions of cannonization of saints, and also to the issue of seamless and uniformity in literature.)

sure, things are refined and perfected overtime, but nothing i have read concerning monotheistic teleology or cosmology allows for those who existed pre-[insert monotheistic faith here] to ALSO be 'right'. christianity writes a blank check for hebrews pre-christ, but what about pre-hebrew? what i'd love to hear is an argument that god, the one true god, in some way shape or form has embodied ALL religious/spiritual leanings to some degree throughout human existence. perhaps god is still working on his message, as much as humans are? i also have a problem with the black-and-white assertions of human religion. islam is the newest offender, they are as guilty of borrowing from christianity as christianity is of borrowing from judaism which in turn is guilty of borrowing from paganism. why assert that now, right here, right now, god has finally decided what he REALLY wants and will never change his mind or refine it, instead of trying to embrace all facets of the unknown and relishing in their struggle to describe the 'other'? talk about sublime ;-)

RF(I am for it in spirit. Bush is a politician,

this is admittedly a matter of personal opinion, but there are a multitude of actions perpetrated by george W. bush that are not indicative of a man VAGUELY in tune with the wishes of the judeo-christian god(we'll go ahead and slip dr. dobson and fallwell in here as well). his stance on homosexual marriage, abortion, and the separation of church and state are precisely what you say...politics. lip-service by a man using your inner-searching and your devotion to faith as his crutch to make his friends rich. as a christian, i would be devoutly against bush. remember, the false prophet is to bring the world together under the guise of god's banner, but his purpose is to decieve and mislead to the woe of all humanity. that lipservice, in my accounting does not counter-balance his anti-christ actions, not by a long shot.

>> do you trust Kerry? or Blair or Ceaser? or the Pope? I certainly don't.)

none of them. i voted for kerry because deep down the only thing that could be decided by this election that would be honest, true, and legitimate was an American denouncement/rejection of george bush's foreign policy. that's all, i don't really utilize the leeway of trust very often and when it comes to heads-of-state i patently reserve the right to remain visciously and unerringly cynical.

RF(So this is what you were refering to. Let me just add this:If newton's calculus was lost, that doesn't mean that calculus is not solid. If galileo was rejected, that doesn't mean galileo was not solid. Essentially:acceptance or rejection does not affect intrinsic veracity. The fact that those men decides on what to put or not put together as Koran or Bible or Baghadavita does not affect the intrinsic veracity of each one of them. God could also be guiding he process.)

it decides veracity if what they choose to include specifically shows no compare and contrast with what is considered dogma. does that make sense? i have a problem with the assertion that other texts can be fatally detrimental to the word of god. perhaps i am lending more power to god's divine influence, but it would be my assertion that the will of an omnipotent god would outweigh naysayers and detractive texts. i understand that god can be guiding the process, but specifically in reference to the canonization of the vulgate bible, i do not posit the slightest faith that the canon's motivation was purely and directly inspired by god. this again, is only opinion, but i want to know why you accept this? as far as the baghad, i've read it and i was not left with the impression of a divinely and purely divinely inspired text. the koran i am painfully more ignorant about, but i hope to rectify that as time passes.

> or, personally involved, striving to exert no outside > influence. influence will be pervasive because the > christian influnces through example, but exerting > political control and basing it on god is a high > crime.

RF(But then, God could possibly be involved in the human affairs we are talking about. Or may be not; we don't know. If God is involved, then it is not high crime. If God is not, it is high crime.)

we definitely disagree here. doing something for political means and attributing to god only to validate said political action is a high crime regardless of whether the politician is a vessel of god's will. god also influences those who are not "of him", god's involvement is not a blank check for action.

RF(Jonathan Edwards is an illustrative example of the Right Force. . He was at the forefront of it during the 'great awakening' period, let just say that he was kicked out of the evangelical movement for criticising the leader's hypocrisy(and stupidity), and for wanting greater status for non-whites.)

sounds like most people who question the authority on any given subject. do you agree that the great awakening was necessary, or do you feel it was a reactionary, and possibly slanted reaction to fear of secularization?

RF(It is possible to use physics for saving or destroying mankind. There is the 'means', existing as the 'means' without any ideological attachment. Any ideology can use that 'means' to achieve its objective.)

but this is a shirking of responsibility. on the high order of sussing out morality, is not the means just as important as the end? wouldn't that be the fundamental purpose of morality? to locate and differentiate the proper means to all human ends? i think the choice of means is extremely indicative of an ideology's purpose and is a direct reflection of their validity.

RF(Take a deductive scheme: All greeks are bald, Socrates is greek, ergo, Socrates is bald. Look at that pattern, it says this much: there needs to be a basis, a premise, a foundation for any subsequent step in logic. That foundation itself is not established by logic--as such--it is establish by faith. Even the pattern of logic itself: "Iff 'A' then 'B'" is an axiom. An axiom cannot be proven, it can only be taken for as granted--and that is faith. As such, logic requires faith, and faith requires pattern(logic) because of the inability(or imperfection) of human coping mechanism with regards to chaos or nondeterministic events.)

and it's a fine and completely logically sound argument, but the key here is that premise one and premise two can be refuted. i personally know of at least three greeks who are not bald, so aside from simply taking the premises on faith, i can actively assert that the above is a false argument. this is the difference i am speaking of, no one has to take "all greeks are bald" on faith. we are capable of actually ascertaining the truth-value of that premise and using that determine the final truth-value of the argument. however, simply stating that premise one and premise two must be accepted on faith is willful ignorance. at best, laziness, at worst willful ignorance. now if you want to get really funky let's put your argument into a four-dimensional perspective. one day, perhaps, all greeks will be bald, this would completely validate the argument even though right now it is verifiably false. the axiom cannot be proven that is correct, but that is why an axiom is not the entire 'argument', merely a part of it. it is the responsibility of the arguer, or the challenger to either validate all or part of the argument's premises until the truth-value of the argument can be attained. if the axiom is spurious, it can be verified by completeing the equation and verifying the realtionship of the premises and the final argument to pinpoint whether the relationship in the axiom is in fact valid.

p1: people are intelligent
p2: people have never completely erradicated themselves
argument: therefore people can be trusted to take carebof themselves

this is full of holes, but we can reasonably assert that premise one and premise two are true(at least for our purposes, premis one could use A LOT of verification), and because of this we can assert that that our argument contains truth. however, to use your analogy, the relationship between premise one and premise two is HIGHLY questionable. what do they have to do one another, are they a direct influence on one another, do they have ANYTHING to do with one another? maybe...maybe not. and all of this, this mind-numbing dissertation of mine, is to further illustrate that all of these questions come as a result of a refusal to accept on faith any of the assertions handed to us.

RF(He is at Yale, teaches there, one of their legends.)

think he could get me into an MFA program? i don't care where, i just happen to be grievously broke(and lacking my BA...nevermind, i'll ask when i have that squared away).

RF(An 'extremist' could be characterized as a religious fanatic, or vice versa.)

true, but not this one.

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