The blog where I rant about things that should be obvious to everyone

As a man with a 4 year degree in computer science, and a mediocre job doing web development I'm not really qualified to comment on politics, religion, or anything else, but I'll be damned if that stops me.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What is a Christian

With the man vs god seiries over at In Mala Fide, the conversation over at Vox Day's about whether or not a lesbian couple of 20 years can be Christian or not, and Dalrock's posts about the church being co-opted by feminist dogma, I've be revisiting some old ideas on what it actually means to be a Christian.

When I was in college, there was a time where I really had to sort out a lot of things as far as drawing dividing lines between the groups that I would identify with. Many of my ideas of what people believed were challenged as I met a wider group of students all of above average intelligence and all proclaiming to be Christians. In my Christian high school everyone was specifically a conservative Christian. I thought that those two just went together and anyone who was liberal and Christian was nothing more than the go to church on Easter because their parents did kind of Christian. But at college I met Christians who believed in theistic evolution, that the earth was more than thousands of years old, worked as advocates for global warming, supported wealth redistribution, were openly feminist, and in general supported all kinds of evil things that I would not have dreamed of being capable of existing in the Christian community. And yet, they also read their Bible's, prayed, went to chapel in the morning to worship and when worshiping would raise their hands, and talked about how the Lord would speak to them. They genuinely seemed to have relationships with Jesus Christ. So what was I to make of it?

In the end what I concluded that anyone who has a relationship with Jesus Christ and submits themselves to his lordship is my brother in Christ. And what I also had to conclude was that God will enter into a relationship with anyone where they are at, without requiring change from them first, nor would their conversion result in instant change in all areas. My case here is anecdotal but as I've read the Bible sense, my belief in this view has only grown.

So in the end I find it almost impossible to tell if a person is a Christian based solely on their beliefs, as long as they do believe that Jesus is God in the flesh and rose from the dead and is Lord of their life. Everything else can be in very deep states of confusion, and often is. Among things not required for being a Christian are: believing that the Bible is God's word, that going to church is good, any sort of cosmological beliefs, being a Catholic, being a Protestant, and a whole host of other things that we commonly assume one must believe or do to be part of the body of Christ.

Over the years I've also seen how some of my closely held beliefs, beliefs that I've identified with and even reveled in, have been wrong. Young earth theory would be one example. And this is despite the fact that my deep, intimate, personal relationship with Jesus Christ goes back to at least when I was 7 years old, probably further.

But now I know that basically belief does not matter. Christianity is not about beliefs, it is about relationship. And in that relationship God is both generous and patient with us when it comes to us changing ourselves to become more like Him.

As far as telling whether someone else is a Christian, its not where they are at right now, its where are they going. Are they getting more and more like Jesus? If so then they are not faking it. And as in acknowledging this, I cannot discount the idea that a woman who is currently engaged in a lesbian relationship that has gone on for 20 years is not a Christian. Nor that a church that supports some feminist ideas is not Christian.

On the other hand, there is a large segment of society that thinks of itself as Christian but clearly is not. For them Christianity is about rules and a specific moral code. Relationship does not factor in. These are the false Christians that Christ spoke of in Matthew 7:22-23
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The heart of game part 1

A while ago I wrote two post on what game is. At the time I included a lot of PUA concepts and game techniques. But now as I've been thinking and studying more about it I believe that there are basically three main principles from which all other game ideas come from. I'm going to break it up into three posts so stay tuned for the next two.

The first and most important principle is state control. State is your internal mood or mind set. Your state could be described as happy, sad, angry, contemplative, distracted, etc. State control refers to how well you manage your state in the context of social interactions. That is if you are in one state how easy is it for someone else to change your state. If it is very easy, then your place in the social pecking order is going to be low. People will often change your state just for fun. They do this because ultimately changing your state gives them a kind of social power. Kids have an intuitive sense about this, and this is why they tease. If a kid who is getting teased does not change their state then the teaser will either have to escalate until they do get a state change or stop because they are not getting any power from the interaction, in fact by failing to get a state change they will eventually have to change their state and therefore lose power.

The key is not to just have an immovable state, but to recognize where the changes are coming from, and not let those changes come from the prompting of other people. For example if some one comes up to you and informs you that your friend just died, they would not be taking any social power from you if you changed your state to sad or even distressed. They did not change you state, the information that they relayed to you changed your state. If on the other hand they followed up by saying “Ha got you, your friend is fine” then it is an attempt to take power from you. You can change this situation to your advantage by in turn changing their state. So if you tell them “That's not cool” and then don't let them leave until they have apologized (changed their state), then the situation changed from them taking power from you to you taking power from them.

Here are a few examples of how state control works.

In a recent In Mala Fide article the author describes an interaction between him and his wife. As recorded in the article it goes
By giving this angry response he is changing his state at her prompting from whatever it was to angry, and by doing so he is giving her power. The exception would be if she backed down after his response and was apologetic, but as you can imagine, that was not how it went down.

When I was in high school we had a tradition for birthdays. If they found out that it was your birthday, during lunch one of the other kids would turn out the lights, announce it, and then the whole cafeteria would sing happy birthday to you. There was a kid, lets call him Bert, who was very easy to illicit a state change from. So some other kids got the idea that it would be funny to announce his birthday and sing to him everyday. Throughout the song he would get up and scream at everyone that “It's not my birthday”. By doing this Bert was demonstrating 0 state control.  This went on for about a week, and it may have gone on even longer if the school officials had not stepped in. If Bert had had more state control he would have either done nothing, or may have tried to change their state by saying something like “Not today guys, my mom just died” and then in the ensuing sympathy “Ha gotcha, man you guys are easy.”

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Playing too much defense

I've always been an apologist by nature. And during the Bush administration from 2000-2008 I spent a lot of time and effort defending W and the republicans. Of course I didn't endorse everything that they did, but the criticisms that came from the left were so ridiculous that I felt compelled to speak out against them. For example when we first invaded Afghanistan, in my small christian high school full of neo-cons, there was only one teacher that was outspoken against the war. His reasons basically applied to every war as they were the same reasons that he opposed the death penalty. So I supported the war all throughout high school and most of the way through college. I supported the Iraq war too. It was easy because the opposition was saying things like that they are a peaceful country, or that there were no weapons of mass destruction there (fyi we pulled out something like 700 tons of yellow cake uranium). By defending against arguments like this, I felt solidarity with the Republican party and the current administration. All the accusations such as saying that the president was stupid because he used the word evil, or that he was poisoning us by reversing Clinton's arsenic in water standards that had not been implemented yet, or any number of the other things that were so off the wall as to be literally insane only served to deepen my devotion. I started thinking that all criticism of W or of republicans in general was just coming from useful idiots.

It took $700,000,000,000 to shake me to my senses.

And now that I've stepped outside of the two party system, I can see that all those things that I was so concerned about before was nothing but theater. And the show goes on. I can hardly read any news or listen to any talk radio without hearing comments on the show. The latest big distraction is that the allegations against Herman Cain are fairly transparently false, as the women accusing him have a history of crying sexual abuse and also seem to be really enjoying their 15 min of fame. Why is this nothing more than a distraction? Because with the exception of Ron Paul and perhaps Michele Bachmann, all that this election is determining is who will get the prestigious roll of presiding over the transfer of wealth from tax payers to bankers and Wall Street investors.

The problem with judges

Throughout human history in as far is it applies to the western world through Judaism and Christianity, the men who have been give the role of interpenetrating text have always had a common problem. They cannot help but insert themselves or their beliefs into the interpretation. This started with the Torah. At the end of the Torah in the book of Deuteronomy in chapter 4 and again in chapter 12 it explicitly says not to add anything or to remove anything from the law.

Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”

What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.”

But despite this, by the time Jesus was born, there was a massive code of oral laws that the Jews kept, and even held above the original written law. So the rabbis not only disobeyed the direct commandment not to add anything to the law that was received by Moses directly from God, but they held what they added in higher esteem than they did the Torah. Jesus with his ministry and death wiped away all of these oral traditions (for those that accepted Christianity anyway). The slate was clean, and there was even a new admonishment against adding to the word of God found at the end of the book of Revelation:  

"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."

Granted those verses were written in the context of a single book, and therefore can only reasonably be applied to the book of Revelations, but it still serves as a reminder that we are not to add to the word of God, no matter how good we think we are at interpreting His word.

Unfortunately the clean slate did not last long. The Catholic church did the same thing adding many doctrines that were considered divine interpretations that held (and hold) the same weight as the word of God. And from that you get some truly nutty ideas that simply are not in the Bible, such as the idea that Mary was born without a sin nature. I admit that I don't know the whole history of how the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception came about, but I have read all of the Gospels many times, and it ain't there.

Because of these interpretations the church has split many times, making the East Orthodox church, and the Protestant denominations.

The reason that I bring this up when talking about judges in America today is because they do the same thing. They have set themselves up as priests with divine right to interpret the law, and their interpretations are considered to be on the same level as the law.

And we get the same sorts of problems, such as the decision of Roe v. Wade. For example, this is taken from the actual text of the decision.

The Constitution does not explicitly mention any right of privacy. In a line of decisions, however, going back perhaps as far as Union Pacific R. Co. v. Botsford, 141 U.S. 250, 251 (1891), the Court has recognized that a right of personal privacy, or a guarantee of certain areas or zones of privacy, does exist under the Constitution.” 

So there is no right to privacy and they know that there is no right to privacy in the law that they have been tasked with interpreting, but because other judges put it in there they will decide to act like it is there. Then you get this little dozy. 
This right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment's concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or, as the District Court determined, in the Ninth Amendment's reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy."
They actually take a right that they previously admit is not even in the law that they are interpreting, and then say that it is “broad enough” to cover whatever it is that they want to do. The rest of the decision comes straight from fantasy land with such excerpts as: “Although the results are divided, most of these courts have agreed that the right of privacy, however based, is broad enough to cover the abortion decision; that the right, nonetheless, is not absolute and is subject to some limitations; and that at some point the state interests as to protection of health, medical standards, and prenatal life, become dominant. We agree with this approach.” Translation: “There is a right to privacy. It comes from somewhere, we don't actually  where. But what we do somehow know is that this right is not absolute. Blah blah blah states rights blah blah blah I dead babies.”
And now this decision, which is complete madness, is precedent for new decisions.

The point is that Judges are going to interpret the law poorly. They just are. It seems to be one of the conditions of being human. But by knowing this you can recognize good law and bad law. Good law is exclusively taken straight from laws written by legislators, only appealing to legal president in cases where there is ambiguity in the language of what the legislators wrote.

The other take away is that judges, along with priests and rabbis should not be treated like divine avatars of the holy ones who can do no wrong when inserting themselves between the people and the law. They are humans, and unless they are remarkably different that other humans that have come before them, they are quit bad at their jobs. Mostly in the past when the slat gets so so very dirty, it is only going to be wiped clean through revolution and blood. It would be nice if in America we could figure out a way of doing this by simply removing precedent, and tossing out judges regularly on the basis of being extraordinarily bad at their jobs.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Why study game

For those interested, there is a debate going on over at about whether or not game theory or pickup artistry has any place in the men's rights movement.  I've thrown in my two cents, and I'll repeat what I wrote there here.

So let me tell you all how it is that I have ended up on this site, for those of you who don’t think that there is any connection between MRA and PUA. My background is conservative christian. I was raised by God fearing parents, went to a private christian high school, and then to a christian college, which I graduated from in 2008. As christian I opposed feminism, and supported traditional family values, the nuclear family, etc. But I was still definitely in the blue pill camp when in came to gender relations. I remember hearing a speaker at my college who told this long story about how he was in love with this girl all through high school, and she never gave him the time of day as she only had eyes for a football player that didn’t know that she existed. Well finally she gave up on the football player and started going out with the speaker. They got engaged. Then the football player noticed her, pumped and dumped her, and left the speaker to pick up the pieces. He then did (what I thought at the time was) the noble thing and married her, and I left the lecture hall thinking about what a good guy he was[for those Christians reading my blog who still see his act as noble, consider the situation with the genders reversed and see if you still think the same thing]. It was not till I stumbled onto first Vox Day’s blog, and then from there to Roissy’s blog, that I really had the scales removed from my eyes. Thanks to Roissy, I’m aware of all kinds of worship of all things feminine and hatred of all things masculine that before just went unnoticed. It’s the reason that I found In Mala Fide, and then by extension this blog. Without Roissy, I would not even be convinced that there is a reason for this blog. And it’s not just that Roissy also writes about MRA, its that through his writing on game theory, I’ve gained a much clearer understanding of what it means to be feminine and what it means to me masculine. As a Christian man, I don’t believe in per-marital sex and I have faithfully practiced that belief. So as far as going to clubs and picking up sluts, I don’t have any use for game. My use for it comes from being able to see the world more clearly, and with that increased clarity, I can see the need for MRA which I missed before.