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Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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Selwyn Duke
August 5, 2019


In the El Paso shooting’s wake, evident is same wash-rinse-repeat pattern. There are the inevitable calls for gun control by demagogues concerned only about people control, those who put the onus on whites when most mass shooters are non-white, and propagandists who blame the “Right” when most violence originates with the “Left.” It’s quite tiresome, really. In truth, the main underlying cause of increased mass-murder events -- and so much evil in general -- is a severe philosophical/spiritual malaise besetting our nation.

Were gun control the remedy here, mass shootings would be rare. Not only were there fewer firearm laws many decades ago, but in 1940s and ‘50s New York City, boys would often take guns on the subway because they had rifle clubs at school. So is access to firearms really the problem’s root cause?

As for the El Paso shooter’s motivation -- our immigrationism combined withleft-wing environmental concerns -- there are people who will do evil in a cause’s name regardless of its nobility or ignobility. The real question here is, boiled down: Why are we seeing so much more evil in America now than in bygone days?

Many people find it ironic that the El Paso shooter’s father is a mental-health therapist. I find it unsurprising. I used to work with children, and “social scientists” often had horribly behaved kids (in fact, a psychologist’s young son was involved in the theft of $300 at the business where I worked).

These anecdotes absolutely relate to a much wider phenomenon. Psychologists have done much to shape modern parenting habits -- and thinking in general -- in today's society, and, of course, they tend to epitomize what they peddle.

“Psychology” is a Greek word meaning “study of the soul,” ironic since today the field is soulless. While once part of philosophy, psychology was divorced from it in the 19th century in an effort to make it a science. This was a grave mistake.

Science confines its study to the material world, to what can be observed and measured within it. This means that, from a scientific standpoint, man can only be a physical being, an organic robot comprising chemicals and water.

In this vein and very much to the point, morality -- properly understood as something transcending man -- cannot exist, by science’s lights. Can you see a principle in a Petri dish or a moral under a microscope?

This idea was reflected in a man I know of who once said, “Murder’s not wrong; it’s just that society says it is.” How can the wholly scientific -- that is to say, the wholly atheistic -- argue with him?

A person of faith could say, “No, that’s not true because God exists, and divine law dictates homicide’s wrongness.” Of course, that murder-winking man could dispute this theist’s “data” (i.e., that God and His law exist), but he cannot dispute his logic; it’s airtight.

(Note here that logic is not an answer, but simply a method by which answers are found. Thus, the answers will only be as good as the data fed into the system.)

But what can the atheist say? His data is exactly the same as the murder-winking man’s. Under his worldview, society is all there is to say that murder is wrong -- because society is all there is to say anything. It then all boils down to Greek philosopher Protagoras’ belief, “Man is the measure of all things.”

This engenders what’s often called moral relativism, the notion that what we call morality changes with the time, place and people. In reality, though, it essentially is moral nihilism. For if man’s “values,” which really are just people’s preferences, are all there is, then morality doesn’t actually exist.

This idea has swept society, as evidenced by a Barna Group research company study I often cite. It found that, in 2002 already, a minority of Americans andonly six percent of teens believed in Truth (absolute by definition), with a majority saying, quite oxymoronically, “Truth is relative.”

Forget Protagoras, the problem with this is that it also boils down to occultist Aleister Crowley’s maxim, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.” Moral relativism/nihilism is the ultimate justification. Rape, kill, steal -- commit mass murder? Who’s to say it’s wrong? Don’t impose your values on me, dude.

This moral relativism/nihilism -- along, of course, with the godlessness of which it’s a corollary -- is our deep cultural malaise. It has been encouraged by modern psychology and so many other things; it is why, while we once viewed misbehavior and criminality as moral problems, we now consider thempsychological problems. In other words, the organic robot is malfunctioning, a result of a defect in its hardware (genetics) or software (programming).

Translation: Forget that mythical thing called morality; we need to find out what kind of chemical intervention or programming alteration (or future gene therapy) can correct the machine’s operation.

This cultural malaise is devastating. Stop believing in something (i.e., morality) and you’ll cease learning about it; this is why most today can’t explain what virtues (“good moral habits”) are, let alone enumerate any great number of them (charity, diligence, chastity, honesty, prudence, etc.).

Moreover, if you neither believe in nor understand something, it follows that you’ll have neither the inclination nor capacity to teach it. Is it any surprise, then, that moderns are doing such a poor job imparting morality to children?

Returning for a moment to the El Paso shooter, do you want to bet that he and his father aren’t part of the morally relativistic/nihilistic majority? How likely is it that dad provided old-fashioned discipline and inculcated his son with virtue?

Interestingly, I’ve long pointed out that when people can no longer reference Truth when making moral decisions, the only yardstick they have left is emotion. Ergo, the modern credo, “If it feels good, do it.” Barna’s study vindicated this, mind you, finding that most Americans now “base their moral choices on feelings.”

Contributing Factors in Our Moral Decay

Given that emotion is holding sway, we should ask: What’s shaping feelings today? Entertainment is, largely, and it does much to stoke man’s animal nature. Just consider, for instance, the mindless, gratuitous violence; prurient sexuality; and morally nihilistic messages in modern movies and television programs.

Note something else also, and this is where I get pushback even from conservatives and (especially) libertarians, as it slaughters many people’s sacred entertainment cows and, they fear, may imply censorship’s necessity. Studies have shown that 15 years after television’s introduction -- and this is true the world over -- crime increased precipitously. (I explored this in-depth here.) Now consider that the Internet is TV10.

Video games are a factor as well (and this is where I really get pushback). Lt. Col. David Grossman, one of the world’s foremost experts on what he calls “killology,” contends that simulated video-game participatory violence (and the extreme violence on TV) amount to the kind of conditioning/desensitization used to inure soldiers to killing.

Then, of course, with mass shootings there’s also the psychotropic-medication factor and the copycat phenomenon. As to the latter, in a morally relativistic/nihilistic world where all is vanity, mass murder can be an alluring ticket to fame for those wallowing in meaninglessness.

Yet it all comes down to morality, or to a lack of morality -- or, even more precisely, to a lack of belief in it. Note here that the six percent of 2002 teens who believed in Truth simply reflect a pattern, as each succeeding generation is more relativistic/nihilistic than the last. This also corresponds to the generational increase in wickedness. It’s as strong a correlation as you’ll find anywhere.

Say what you will about TV, the Internet, video games, violence, or mass murder, it can’t be right or wrong if there is no right or wrong. It’s the ultimate self-evident reality: How can you build a moral society when its shades-of-gray people don’t even believe in morality?





https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/08/el_paso_the_real_root_causes_of_mass_shootings.html
 

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When I look.
They claim moral relativism has been relegated to history.
postmodernism they claim where they are now.

In order to understand postmodernism we first have to understand what modernism was reacting against. Modernism was a reaction to the perceived world view of the time and the condition of modern civilization.
However, many thinkers and philosophers felt that modernism itself had certain restrictions and that modernistic thought still relied on basic foundational concepts that were tied to the past.
For example, a central area of concern for many philosophers, like Jacques Derrida, was that modernistic thinking still took place in a linear and rational framework. In other words, people were changing the outer aspects but not the basic precepts and concepts that form the foundations of old thought.
Linear thinking is essentially thinking in a cause and effect way- in a straight line. Non-linear thinking, which began to be supported by science and in particular physics, started to gain academic respectability.
Theories like Curved Space and the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, all led to more questioning of the foundations of modern thinking.
Scientists began to question their belief in the possibility of pure objectivity and experiments were undertaken that proved that the experimenter had a direct physical effect on the experiment. In other words, there was no way in which subjectivity could be absolutely separated for objectivity.
One of the main characteristics of postmodern thinking is that the world is seen as a much more complex and uncertain place.
Reality is no longer fixed or determined. All truth within a postmodern context is relative to one's viewpoint or stance. The world is a representation. In other words, it is a fiction created from a specific point of view only, and not a final truth.
This is an uncomfortable viewpoint for many people and there is a much misunderstanding about this idea of postmodernism.
Postmodernism is essentially still in is infancy. It is an attempt to think beyond the confines of the past. Derrida, one of the chief exponents of post-structuralism, coined a term called "deconstruction" which means a philosophical method of looking for weak points in modern thinking and established ways of perception. The "master narratives' or established viewpoints are scrutinized for inconsistencies or "fissures" in the way western think takes place.

http://www.essortment.com/definition-postmodernism-20903.html

https://www.allaboutworldview.org/postmodern-theory.htm

 

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Then it becomes WHOSE morality decides what is moral and what is not
Remember, organized religion was also about total control of its believers

Do we really want to go back to the times of the Puritans? Burning folks at the stake because of rumored transgressions?
 

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"Causes" articles aren't useful. It's a complex issue and each article tries to herd "causes," into a controllable sphere.

Not present in them, ever, is addressing the word, "mass."

Loosely, "mass," describes a bunch of people killed or injured in a short period of time.

That's the problem.

The cause is irrelevant. Cause is not a controllable factor.
 

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You know, statistics tell me that my gun will never be used for anything other than range time.

Also, if I DO use it, it will probably be to kill myself. If not, then I will accidentally kill or injure someone close to me.

If not, then I will probably deliberately kill someone I know. If not, then I will be using it in a homicide related to another crime like robbery or drugs.

Way, way down the list is the probability that I will actually use it for self defense. Below that is the probability that I will use it in a mass shooting.

If we start at the beginning, causation for suicide alone fills books. No one's working that problem.

Suicide is not by assault weapon. Banning those kinds of large capacity rapid fire weapons won't do anything about the biggest problem.

Banning large capacity rapid fire rifles would go a long way for preventing 22 deaths or 9 deaths with wounded in the dozens in less than 90 seconds total, if the shooters would honour the ban.

Good luck with that.
 

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"Banning large capacity rapid fire rifles would go a long way for preventing 22 deaths or 9 deaths with wounded in the dozens in less than 90 seconds total, if the shooters would honour the ban."

And that is the problem with anti-guns laws, the law abiding citizen, the one who would NEVER use his weapon to commit a mass shooting, will obey the law, but the criminal and mentally deficient people would not care less to obey the law and will use such weapon, whatever is a gun, a knife, a hammer, a vehicle, etc. to commit the crime he/she has planed.
In other words, a law WILL NOT PREVENT a mass shooting or a crime, the law is only good to punish the perpetrator after the fact.
 

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"Banning large capacity rapid fire rifles would go a long way for preventing 22 deaths or 9 deaths with wounded in the dozens in less than 90 seconds total, if the shooters would honour the ban."

And that is the problem with anti-guns laws, the law abiding citizen, the one who would NEVER use his weapon to commit a mass shooting, will obey the law, but the criminal and mentally deficient people would not care less to obey the law and will use such weapon, whatever is a gun, a knife, a hammer, a vehicle, etc. to commit the crime he/she has planed.
In other words, a law WILL NOT PREVENT a mass shooting or a crime, the law is only good to punish the perpetrator after the fact.
In most cases, mass shooters legally purchased their weapons. That's one of the elements that keep them under the radar. Underground sellers and buyers of big guns are routinely rounded up in sting operations.

Obviously, a sting won't work on a legal sale. One of the objectives of declaring certain weapons illegal is to drive the market underground where LEO can make an arrest.

While I agree with you that BG don't play nice, the "feel good" aspect of a ban would do wonders in the hands of the right politicians. Short of a ban, conceding to red flag laws may be a good strategic move.

I'm predicting right now that Walmart will be pulling guns and ammo. Walmart is sending a mixed message what with training employees about active shooters (which worked well in El Paso), sending "thoughts and prayers" and selling guns.

Gun profit margins are razor thin and, like Dick's, Walmart could use this recent activity to put the shelf space to better use and gain the admiration of its customers.

*Sometimes my posts appear to advocate, but that's not my intent. I'm observing the moving parts and commenting. Thanks. :wink:
 

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"Gun profit margins are razor thin and, like Dick's, Walmart could use this recent activity to put the shelf space to better use and gain the admiration of its customers."

I purchase most of my ammo at the local Walmart because it is convenient and cheap, but, if Walmart decides to not to sell any more ammo, then I would not have ANY reason to go to Walmart ever again. I also be willing to bet that there are a lot of people who share my opinion on these subject.
 
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"Gun profit margins are razor thin and, like Dick's, Walmart could use this recent activity to put the shelf space to better use and gain the admiration of its customers."

I purchase most of my ammo at the local Walmart because it is convenient and cheap, but, if Walmart decides to not to sell any more ammo, then I would not have ANY reason to go to Walmart ever again. I also be willing to bet that there are a lot of people who share my opinion on these subject.
You have a 100% chance of winning that bet.

Another bet is the one Walmart is placing on quantifying "a lot of people" into a more specific number and making that the numerator over the total Walmart customer base as the denominator to determine if "a lot of people" is a significant number.

Also part of the calculus is the financial reward for pushing a narrative of "good neighbour" and "responsible corporatism."

Another pressure point is the opportunity to dump guns -- a move that would have had bad publicity just a few days ago.

Guns are not very profitable at this time. Note that guns are a volatile commodity, so what's true today may not be true tomorrow.

It's a steal right out of Dick's playbook.

*Appreciate that Walmart has not made the decision as of this writing to drop guns. I'm speculating.

If they do take action, I called it. If they don't, I have egg on my face. :crazy:

I do not give a rat's patoot if they do or don't. I don't buy guns or ammo at Walmart and there are a lot of LGS in my area that do a lot more for me than tell me to "take a number."
 

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The Real Root Causes of Mass Shootings
IMHO: The real root cause of mass shootings and so many of our other problems = CRAZY HAS BECOME THE NEW NORMAL! and there's nothing anyone can do to stop it from spreading until the crazies realize they're crazy and I firmly believe as probably do most of you ..... that ain't gonna happen... at least not in our life time
 
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