Monday, October 28, 2013

Do you really Think you Think?

Cogito ergo Sum: Oh yeah?  It is not often that people go from dismissive guffaw to tears in half an hour, passing through deeply confronting insight on the way.  But here is your chance.

Do not watch the video below if you are scared of yourself.
That would be the ONLY reason to not watch it.
There are some fascinating lessons in it, especially how to get people to look at what they think and say. But I will get to what to look for below, just before the  video. 

The guffaws occurred within a few minutes of  a chap giving us a talk in the Spirit Bar last night. Ray Comfort is his name. He raised the hoary old Nazi argument. You know....

 'if you mention Hitler in an argument,  
you have lost it already'.

Except of course there are far too many who do not want to remember Hitler and even more people who have no idea who he is or was.  And that was his opening point.

And it wasn't just about Hitler or Nazis or Jews (even though he had to bring them in) it was about ..

YOU, and ME and our Reluctance to actually THINK.
It starts by asking quite a few American young people if they knew who Hitler was. Hardly any knew. But is wasn't about Hitler. It wasn't even about American young people.
It was (almost) about ignorance. But that wasn't the point either.
It developed. The early opening set a scene very different from the landscape of our own minds; a place rarely visited with open eyes. The questions turned 180 degrees.

The tears were not for the victims of that genocide.

It was for ourselves; for our young people; for our continual stupidity that damages ourselves, makes fools of ourselves and steals our Humanity.  Our civilisation is committing slow suicide.

It was (almost) about who we vote for and the total lack of thought we give to the stupid people that we elect.

Almost, but not quite. That was just a side issue.

It was (almost) about our moral choices and how we make them glibly and on the basis of what everyone else does.

Almost, but not quite. That was a side issue too.

Neither of those brought the tears.

What caused the Tavern Keeper to turn around and wipe the hanging bottles was self-recognition of the many times I have just not thought.

I look in the mirror quite often and it is not because I am a pretty face. Indeed, I am a damned handsome fellow. I also look into the mirror of me, my mind. I rarely allow a thought to get out without being 'subjected' to some further thought. But do I go far enough?

Do I turn away too quickly?

Do I 'rationalise' as easily as the people in the video? Excuse? Switch logical 'form' from one matter to another to avoid a Truth?

Of course, not many people want to look in a mirror. Not many want to really think about what they think about. Many do not even know what questions to ask, let alone how to ask them.

Someone has to ask the questions when we are too lazy to ask them ourselves; to ask them OF ourselves.

But this chap did and he did a fairly decent job of it too.

My side column says that you should ask old men questions. I put it there. It says that there are Fundamental Questions you have to ask. It does not tell you what they are. Just the Big One. There are many others along the road before you get to even understand what that one is. You have to find them and ask them. Some will show the way to the Grail.

Many answers do not.

When asking people to 'think' it can get their backs up. Most people do a rough and ready job of questioning and even their face gives away 'judgement'. People responding do not like that.

But here is a history lesson and a 'Logic' lesson too. Ray asks his questions in the manner of Socrates. He gets his respondents -quite a few 'ordinary and one or two extraordinary people to state their views. The 'Major Premiss'. He 'works them toward minor premises and conclusions with each respondent creating their own syllogisms from their own statements. Their view of matters and their ways of thinking.

Having established the logical 'form' he takes them to other premises. It is instructive to watch them baulk and squirm when confronted with their own thinking.

You, watching, can easily be misled by the subject matter. You have your own views of course. You have a view of him, and of them too.

But what is your view of yourself and your thinking?

Can you hear yourself in their words? Can you hear the mantras we use that prevent us really thinking of what we profess?

Note also that he does not criticise, but eventually gives each person a critique based on their own views. He does not condemn them for having outrageous views - and some do have outrageous views as you will see. He does not 'judge' them. He lets them judge themselves.

Have a drink. Don't let 'hoary old subject matter' distract you from what is going on here. Sit back and watch for half an hour.

If you dare.

Oh, my tears? Yes, well you may weep too in sympathy with the people who suddenly realize the implications of their thinking. They are all genuine in their shock and often sorrow. Their realizations. 
Some, of course, are beyond saving.
"180" Movie
There are so many questions you can ask of yourselves in light of this very hard-hitting video. It does hit hard; not deliberately; not with any intent to hurt.
Questions such as
Who is screwing up the minds of Western Civilisation?
Ask MORE of your own.
Like: Who are my politicians? What have I said to them about this? Why on Earth did I vote for this 'ordinary' person who thinks as badly and carelessly as I do?
Because, just as our lives and those of others are the
Consequences of our choices,
WE are accountable for our choices.
So copy the Link to this post and send it to them.
Ray makes the case better than I do, and probably better than you, too.
Get your pins against those thought balloons. Make some noise.
Are you seeing the blasted landscapes yet?
Pax Dei Vobiscum


  1. Half an hour?
    That doesn't exactly fit in with my usual schedule for daily time allotted to the internet.
    Attention span of a knat? Um, well...yeah.

    In the US we recently had a relatively unliked Congresscritter "interviewed" by a relatively
    unliked (by me) talking head, apparently bestowed professional asylum from Jolly Old.

    The congresscritter was using the same tried and true rhetoric (let's call it blood liable)
    favored by political operatives of the NAZI political party.

    I have no problem pointing that out to "critics" that confuse "Goodwin's Law" with QED.

    (If anyone REALLY cares look up Grayson/Morgan-MSNBC.)


  2. Good one Captain. I have a seat reserved for you are the bar and a full glass always ready for you. There's bitter and Bitter !

  3. The Bouncer has been busy. Someone has been here intent on piddling on the carpets.

    I do not mind criticism. I do not mind people having a quite different view of things. One gets all sorts of views in a Tavern. But simple denigration - particularly of the Tavern Keeper - is not polite.

    Please stick to an argument. State your opinion - that being something quite different from an ill-thought prejudice. Remember this is a private Tavern. I own it.

    If you cannot be civil, "go forth and multiply".

  4. Attention span weakens in the evening.


Ne meias in stragulo aut pueros circummittam.

Our Bouncer is a gentleman of muscle and guile. His patience has limits. He will check you at the door.

The Tavern gets rowdy visitors from time to time. Some are brain dead and some soul dead. They attack customers and the bar staff and piss on the carpets. Those people will not be allowed in anymore. So... Be Nice..