...But of these sophisms and elenchs of merchandise I skill not...
Milton, Areopagitica

Except he had found the
standing sea-rock that even this last
Temptation breaks on; quieter than death but lovelier; peace
that quiets the desire even of praising it.

Jeffers, Meditation On Saviors



Garner's Usage tip of the day 03.Nov.06:

"Fatalism" = (1) the philosophical view that the future is fixed regardless of human attempts to influence it; or (2) an attitude of submitting oneself to fate. Critics of this view -- in either sense - complain that "it encourages ignorance, sloth, and vice." Thomas Mautner, A Dictionary of Philosophy 147 (1996).

"Determinism" = (1) the view that every fact in the universe is guided by the law of causation -- i.e., that every effect derives from its causes; or (2) the idea that people do not exercise free will but are instead the product of their genetic, physical, and psychical conditions. In sense 2 - the rarer sense - determinism is a type of fatalism. But sense 1, known also as "necessitarianism" or "causal determinism," is distinct from "fatalism" because it "still leaves room for the possibility that human action may be causally effective in ensuring that this happens rather than that."
Anthony Flew, A Dictionary of Philosophy 119 (2d ed. 1984).
These are pretty important ideas for moral thinking generally, religious moral thinking especially. It's one of the places the solvent of desire for moral ambiguity and its shields and obfuscations operates. People use the difficult complexities of free will and causation and the closed set of the world and its substance to make morality and ethical choice a kind of illusion.
Which it is, an illusion, but that word should be a lot less pejorative to people raised on comedy and drama, people whose homes are saturated with theater for hours every day.
I'd also like to point out that the scientific/rational-positivist moral platform is about two feet wide by a foot and a half long, and two inches deep at its deepest. But that's a tangent.
The thing I really wanted to point out to everyone is that all you need to put the kibosh on determinism, in any of its forms, is the ability to move what we would call "backward in time". This completely undoes causation as a linear thing, a point from which proceedeth outcome, etc.
An actor or agency with the ability to move backward in time could be said to be subject to the same cause-and-effect as us regular temporals, but while technically accurate in a semantic diagram, that's blindness coupled with arrogance on the ground, where we really live our lives.
Because really what I'm saying is when you get all the way outside the bullshit one-way time thing, or into what we've been taught to call eternity, there is no linear aspect at all except in a kind of theoretical "oh, that's for those guys" sense.
The beauty of the swinishly obstinate insistence on the dominance of rational-positivism by those for whom it is an aid to the acquisition and maintenance of things and power, is that it leads right to these chasms of logical refutation, past which they cannot go.
What they're demanding is that the eternal, the divine, whatever you want to call it, fit into a vocabulary and geometry that is their proprietary outfit from the get.
But it won't.

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