dilemmanade
Thursday, May 12, 2005
 
Yalta...Posted by C

The Yalta comment had multiple purposes.

First it was an inexpensive bone to toss to wingnuttery. There are still enough people around to whom that would be ingratiating.

But, more importantly, it was also a set up for his next sentence, re-casting of the age old question of "freedom versus security" as "freedom versus stability."

One reason for this re-casting is that "security versus freedom" is a legitimate trade-off: left and right may chose different amounts of the two, but both agree that you have to give up some of one to have more of the other, and that it's okay, a necessary evil.

Freedom versus stability, though? Not so compelling a balancing act. "Stability" at the cost of freedom sounds more like unfairly protecting entrenched political interests, yes? Not fair to those yearning for freedom.

This brings us to Bush's foreign policy. What has it wrought? Instability. And this is more and more clearly the only thing that it has wrought. Reasoning backwards from effect to intention-- perhaps Bush's real foreign policy goal is, in fact, instability.

Why instability as a foreign policy goal? Because it creates the conditions under which ruthless corporatists can expropriate resources. Or because it will hasten Armageddon. Take your pick.

But instability as a foreign policy goal cannot be spoken. It needs a cover. Now we have it: the U.S. must support freedom, even at the cost of stability. It justifies the war on Iraq at a time when the previous justifications are being proved lies, and it justifies future acts of war against the targets of Bush's choice.

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Friday, May 06, 2005
 
Jocular Design...Posted by C

I am sympathetic to those members of the Kansas School Board who think that the theory of Intelligent Design should be taught to their children.

Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory, that's true. Scientific theories can be proven false. The theory that God (or even Satan) created the world cannot be proven false. To wit: God could have put those fossils there to fool us, or to test our faith.

But to me that is not a problem.

I like theories that are not scientific, as long as they are entertaining. And Intelligent Design is an entertaining theory. You can bring an evolutionary scientist to tears by replying over and over again, "God made it that way" to whatever piece of evidence or train of logic he tries to present. It's good, clean fun.

As an aside, it's also fun to argue that unregulated free market capitalism would bring about the greatest good for the greatest number. It's utterly unscientific, since it can't be disproven. And even though it's absurd on its face (like saying that a free-for-all saloon brawl would bring about the greatest good for the greatest number) you can argue it all day long saying, "But things would eventually work out for the best," and "It's only because the markets are not sufficiently unregulated that x or y bad thing has happened." You can do this until your liberal opponent lies whimpering in a pool of spittle.

Now, back to Intelligent Design. I'd like to go one step further: the theory of Jocular Design.

If you accept that there must be a creator, you must also accept that the creator had a sense of humor. (Either that or you'd have to accept that he didn't think things through, or that he's positively evil-- and I don't think we want to go there.) Why? Two words: nose hairs.

That's right, nose hairs. Why would an intelligent creator give men nose hairs if not for the entertainment value? Being omniscient, He is able to watch every man on the planet, every time he trims his nose hairs, and laugh heartily at the inadverdent stabs followed by stamps and screams and watering eyes.

And He probably gets an even greater laugh at the expense of those guys who don't trim their nose hairs. Is there anything more repulsive?

And, of course, there's more evidence of Jocular Design: Who but a practical joker would make men and women so utterly incompatible, yet desperately desirious of each other? Who but a practical joker would give us boundless energy when we're young and stupid, only to leave us frail and weak by the time we've gained any wisdom? Who else would locate plumbing facilities so close to recreation areas? And so on.

The theory of Jocular Design has the advantage of Intelligent Design-- inassailability-- but explains more.

Now for the campaign. I propose the formation of a Jocular Design Network to campaign fo our theory to be taught in the public schools, side by side with
Intelligent Design and Evolution. Who is with me?

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When life gives you dilemmas, make dilemmanade.

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