Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Nihilism and Progressivism

Bosch Fawstin illustrated my recent essay, "Navigating Past Nihilism," which is cross-posted to NewsReal Blog.

And now I'm re-reading Sean Kelly's original essay at New York Times, but this time in light of the left's response to my thoughts on Elizabeth Edwards' rejection of God. Citing Nietzsche, Kelly suggests that those who have abandoned God are living in "self-deceit." The deceit is to hold out the possibility of the good life. The solution, suggested by Kelly, is to adopt an alternative set of commitments, as Melville would say, in a smaller, more local set of values. I don't doubt many could find a pleasing and satisfying life. But it would be materialistic and autonomously derived, i.e., without a greater nobility found in the eternal. This is, then, an inferior substitute to God. People would find meaning not in self-denial, abstinence, and penitence, but in engorgement on worldly pleasures. Spiffing this up in fancy sounding language won't do (these "many new possible and incommensurate meanings," for example). It's a jumble of nothingness in the end. Nothing higher to seek, and hence little to be attained. It's metaphor for progressivism. Excellence and attainment are for the selfish and greedy. And the response to that alleged greed is redistribution of wealth and the organization of society into hierarchies of recrimination. Appropriate ways of thinking are enforced. Truth is deemed hate speech, and expressions of faith are excoriated as theological fascism. Hence the response to my commentary on Elizabeth Edwards. It took a day or two, but just to speak out boldly for a vision of God in full awesomeness, God at our moment of complete and utter vulnerability, was just too much for the progressive nihilists. It's a rare thing, but shock-proof demons of the leftist netherworld were indeed shocked. The attacks followed. I was "Donald Dick" for refusing to embrace Elizabeth Edwards' non-belief. Another gleefully exclaimed that someone needed "to take a shot at Donald Douglas." And of course SEK blew his wad before he'd even consummated the information I'd posted. And upon receiving my response (linked to LGM), SEK proceeded to swiftly threaten death. It's always that way with progressives:
The Donalde, I am absolutely serious here: try to drive traffic to your shit site one more time on this thread and I will end you. Remember, before I taught composition, I taught journalism, and some of my former students are very, very intrepid.

So I’m only going to say this once: diminish the experience of cancer to a cancer survivor again and you’ll learn exactly how great of a teacher I am. That’s the deal: you be a fucking human being and allow that scoring points by writing “trending” instead of “dying” is a cheap tactic that makes you a terrible person, and no one I’ve taught will prove you’re a terrible person. This is your first and only warning.
I allow nothing short of indicating SEK's Stalinism.

I'll have more later, in any case.


Niki said...

Elizabeth Edwards lost any scintilla of admiration from me when I learned that she discovered in 2006 that her stupid spouse was banging Rielle Hunter, the robo-skank coke fiend of the '80s Bonfire of the Vanities scene twenty years after her brief flirtation with fame and fortune crumbled.

And yet, this "highly-ethical atheist" showed what an oxymoron her personal beliefs had to do with anything when she continued to support her husband full throttle for a POTUS candidacy that would implode the moment his skank-princess was outed.

Just what, if anything, was Elizabeth thinking, except perhaps that she could beat her own cancer and jawbone/buffalo her morally-challenged spouse into some sort of secret arrangement by agreeing to keep the liaison secret---hoping he wouldn't get caught and she could disport herself as FLOTUS?

She is basically a run-of-the-mill ambitious virago of a sort often encountered in presidential politics. John Anderson's wife, when I worked in his '80 third-party campaign, was a bit like Elizabeth E, without the hypocrisy and preening self-righteousness.

BTW, my usual moniker is 'daveinboca.'