Monthly Archives: January 2017

So many Christians refuse to engage with a person’s arguments seriously on their own grounds without saying, “Mark Twain was agnostic and he railed against God because he became bitter when his daughter died.” Or, “Your kid turned atheist? He is just rebelling and he will pass through that phase.”

You hear it in politics too. “You’re a socialist? That’s because you’re young and brainwashed by the prevalent liberal education at universities nowadays. You wouldn’t think that way if you held a job for 20 years and saw the government stealing the money you worked for. I bet you’re on welfare and want more benefits without working.”

It is annoying to have to defend your character whenever you throw out any kind of statement. When they do this it is reductionist, if not outright incorrect to focus on another person’s psychology or life circumstances, and make that the dominant factor for understanding their views. Many of us can absorb facts and coolly come to conclusions analytically. I guess they mainly jump to conclusions on emotion and in response to events their life, and when dealing with others they imagine others must have come to conclusions by the same processes? Example:

“Something bad happened to him/someone in the family died? Well it’s no wonder he turned atheist, and let’s forget about what he is saying because that is the real reason. How pitiful.”

They like labels, and you can’t defend “child rape suspects” on any issue around those people without the nagging implication that you yourself must be a rapist! If they could run the government freely they’d have you tick a label for every little form you do.

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Respecting Dying Wishes

How much consideration should we devote toward a person’s dying wishes? One story that has stuck with me is the story of Aaeru, the deceased founder of fuwanovel. Although I can’t verify parts of it, the story goes that Aaeeu watched Clannad and it made her decide not to kill herself. She then decided to start a website devoted to sharing visual novels and their translations. Whether or not her arguments were sound, she was openly defiant of copyright on an ethical basis, perhaps because she had nothing to lose.

However, Aaeeu was always vanishing and going in and out of a Taiwanese hospital with a terminal disease. A few years ago she vanished in her early 20’s, and has been presumed dead. Another admin took over her site and dismantled her legacy. All file sharing was removed, and all file hosting. Officially the site would only exist to promote official legal translations now, presumably for profit as a marketing affiliate. Clearly Aaeeu would not have wanted this.

So then, how much consideration should we put towards dying wishes? Aaeru’s entire legacy was destroyed by a traitor who waited until she was no more to take action. Isn’t that highly disrespectful of the one thing she accomplished, and the one thing that gave her life meaning?

Likewise, when my grandmother was literally dying she wanted me to promise to get along well with my mother. You’re holding her hand and so you have to at least lie and say yes so they relax, even if you think they’re being manipulative and disrespectful of your wishes.

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P.S. in the first case the problem is of the inheritor not respecting the direction, conditions, and expectations of the deceased.

In the second case, problem comes from the dying not respecting the rights of the living to behave as they please when they’re gone.

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I was also just talking to someone who was complaining about living with a genetic disease that confines him to a posh prison called a hospital for months at a time due to dialysis. I’ve come to see death as a misunderstood friend. There will be a time when you are sick and suffering, and death will bring us peace.

Death too is an instrument of change and renewal. With death evolution is possible, and the old don’t remain to try and force themselves on the lives of the young. It’s natural to want to leave a legacy when you’re about to die, and many go so far as to exert themselves even after death forcibly with “dying wishes”, guilt trips or contracts, but at least their influence has been greatly weakened!

I can’t say I would want it any other way.

Dialectics and Hitchens

What do you think of dialectical thinking? I have heard atheists say it is not logical, but I feel they are dismissively missing the point . (The idea that considering recursive opposites yield a new truth can sound like the fallacy of the middle, and a lot of atheists on the right are prejudiced against Marx or Hegel. I think they’re misapplying the method. )

The thinking of Hegel or Marx is a recursive fractal. Every new thought doesn’t just build off the old ones, but it contains them too, as you reach for total knowledge.

Supposing it’s false, it’s still a promising way of brainstorming insight. Hitchens also mentioned he considers dialectical marxism valid, but few of his followers care.

Moving on to Hitchens,  here are some good Hitchslaps.

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