O Joy! Fulfillment of the prophecies of Revelation before I die!

The sign of the beast -  but which one?

The sign of the beast –
but which one?

What effect does a “government shutdown” have on an individual citizen trying to get through one more day as if her life meant something?

I forbid students to open an essay with a question (I don’t forbid any writing—I simply take off points from grades for elements of a writing assignment I think do not adhere to “academic” standards, whatever that is).

Every writing, composition, rhetoric (what we used to call “English”) student has heard the rule that an essay should begin with the “general” and move to the “specific.” Asking a question necessarily begins with a specific statement rather than a verifiable general truth.

Let me simplify. Students are instructed to write inductive reasoning (without using the term in teaching them) rather than deductive.

You know the difference because your high school English (writing, composition, rhetoric—whatever obfuscatory, jargony name your school used trying to help you figure out how to use academic English) teacher told you. Deductive reasoning “links premises with conclusions. If all premises are true, the terms are clear, and the rules of deductive logic are followed, then the conclusion reached is necessarily true.” In inductive reasoning “the premises seek to supply strong evidence for (not absolute proof of) the truth of the conclusion.” (Sorry. These definitions are from Wikipedia. I know. I’m exposing myself as non-academic.)

“While the conclusion of a deductive argument is supposed to be certain, the truth of an inductive argument is supposed to be probable, based upon the evidence given.”

In other words, if you are being deductive, you can say, “All Tea Partiers think in slogans and misapprehensions. My friend ‘Billy’ thinks in slogans and misapprehensions. Therefore, my friend ‘Billy’ is a Tea Partier.”  This is deductive because the conclusion is true. The first premise is absolutely true. The second is also absolutely true. However, the conclusion is not. “Billy” could have all sorts of things wrong with him besides being a Tea Partier. (The fact is that he is a Tea Partier, but that has nothing to do with my faulty deductive reasoning.)

One of the strangest bits of “deductive” reasoning against the Affordable Care Act is that the government is going to implant a computer chip each of our foreheads—that is, ALL of us, everyone—to keep track of our medical needs and expenditures. Here’s the deductive reasoning:

     And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17).

Barak Obama is the beast.

     Therefore, Barak Obama (that is, Obamacare) will cause each of us to receive a mark (that is, a computer chip) on our right hand or forehead (to buy or sell health services).

You think I’m making this up, don’t you? Apparently this came from a preliminary Affordable Care trial balloon (2009) that was never

The least good for the greatest number

The least good for the greatest number

passed which called for a registry of all implantable devices (titanium hips, pacemakers, etc.). This morphed to the requirement to implant a device in all of us in order to register us and was soon announced to be the fulfillment of the prophecies of Revelation (1).

I had heard of this bit of deduction, and last night “Real Time with Bill Maher” included a “person-on-the-street” segment asking random people on the streets of New York what they knew about Obamacare. Two of the randoms answered that we are all going to be implanted with chips. One of them said to the Maher interviewer, “I’m surprised you don’t know about this.” Of course, the entire sequence may have been staged. I doubt that.

Puts me in mind of the conversation (defeated-by-the-Tea-Party) Representative Bob Inglis (R-SC) had with a group of Tea Partiers (during the primary campaign in which they defeated him) who told him we each have a number on the back of our Social Security card that the government shares with our banks in order for our accounts to be collateral for loans they get from the Federal Reserve Bank, and they can take our money whenever they want. See the full story below at (2).  That may be a liberal Urban Legend, but I doubt it.

So this is the kind of inductive/deductive/nonsensical reasoning on which the Republicans base their assertion that a majority of Americans don’t like Obamacare?

Yesterday I had a conference with a student (a wealthy, white student from an affluent community in Texas) regarding her rough draft for her required essay on the short story “The Body Snatcher,” by Robert Louis Stevenson. Her ideas were confused to me at first, but through conversation I came to understand that she thought the grave-robbers in the story were engaged in some sort of “game.” Eventually, I got to the basis of her thinking. It came from a philosophy class she took as a first-year student in which the central “take-away” was the Utilitarian philosophy of John Stuart Mill.

All men are mortal.  Socrates is a man. Therefore, Socrates is a Tea Partier.

All men are mortal.
Socrates is a man.
Therefore, Socrates is a Tea Partier.

And, of course, that is as it’s played out in the bizarre anti-social ideas of Ayn Rand. Grave-robbing (even murder) in the story is not grotesque because it results in “the greatest happiness of the greatest number” (providing cadavers for medical students to dissect). And this incomprehensible (to me) philosophy morphed in the student’s mind into Rand’s “objectivism.” Robbing graves to sell the bodies is neither grotesque nor immoral because it provides the grave-robber with income to care for her family.

A little philosophy is a dangerous thing. And a few bizarre and unrelated “facts” are dangerous things in the hands of those who are determined to thwart the objectives of “the Beast.” Is President Obama the First Beast, arising from the sea and demanding allegiance, or the Second Beast, arising from the earth and seducing humanity to worship the First Beast.

Stay tuned. I’m sure the Republicans will clarify anon.

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(1) “Will Obamacare Require RFID Chips in Humans by March 23 2013?” wafflesatnoon.com. December 1, 2012. Web. 5 Oct. 2013. http://wafflesatnoon.com/2012/12/01/will-obamacare-require-rfid-chips-in-humans-by-march-23-2013/
(2) Corn, David. “Confessions of a Tea Party Casualty.” Mother Jones. Aug. 3, 2010. Web. 5 Oct. 2013. Inglis said, “I sat down, and they said on the back of your Social Security card, there’s a number. That number indicates the bank that bought you when you were born based on a projection of your life’s earnings, and you are collateral. We are all collateral for the banks. I have this look like, “What the heck are you talking about?” I’m trying to hide that look and look clueless. I figured clueless was better than argumentative. So they said, “You don’t know this?! You are a member of Congress, and you don’t know this?!”

One Response to O Joy! Fulfillment of the prophecies of Revelation before I die!

  1. Mary Kalen Romjue says:

    I feel that I am in a huge body of water and A VORTEX is sending out waves of horror, let me be strong enough to swim as far away from this insanity as possible. Let me seek to find friends and family who still live and work out their daily existence staying away from this “cancer” disguised as a form of ” Christianity”. I want to yell, “Will the real Christ please stand up and shout down this madness” ?

    Is there any wonder that I feel like a stranger in my own country???

    Thanks for your reflection, I am happy to have you as a friend.

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