Archives For science

In his latest fireside chat, Dennis Prager addressed the politicisation of hydroxychloroquine.

The founder of PragerU said he was “disturbed by the mockery of Doctors who believe hydroxychloroquine and zinc can help people in the very earliest stages of covid.” He also stressed the importance of zinc, in its use alongside HCQ, noting a series of interviews with at least one Doctor talking about his experience working with COVID-19 patients.

The opposition to HCQ, “which is overwhelmingly on the Left, is political,” he said. Powered almost entirely by an hysterical hatred of Donald Trump, who recommended it early on.

According to Prager, “we’re going from hysteria to hysteria all based on a lie.”  He pointed to Russian Collusion, which turned out to be a hoax, and the contradiction between the message and practice of apocalyptic climate change advocates, who claim the sky is going to fall if we don’t revert back to stone age existence within twelve years.

Calling the hysteria over HCQ “phony”, he said “I believe this, because I’ve been taking hydroxychloroquine and zinc as a preventative.” He added, that HCQ has been around for fifty years, and there’s people who’ve been taking it for decades. For instance, “when anybody who goes to a place where there’s Malaria. It’s side-affects, such as heart arrhythmia, are rare occurrences.”

Highlighting the irony of the “Left, who hate Big pharmaceutical companies” being in agreement with big pharmaceutical companies over HCQ, Prager illustrated that Left’s position was hypocritical. The hatred for Trump, seems to have trumped the hatred for Big Pharma. Since it’s “big pharma who’s really against HCQ, because it’s unbelievably inexpensive.”

This unholy alliance appears to based on a mutual hatred of the president. Trump has said that Big Pharma ads against him are retribution for lowering the price of drugs, and being the first president to do so. Trump tweeted, “Big Pharma is taking ads against me because I am MASSIVELY lowering your drug prices, which is obviously not good for them; Medicare premiums will also be going down.”

Fox news reported that the PhRMA trade association said it was willing to talk to the Trump administration about lowering the cost of drugs, but refused to sign on to policies that “allowed foreign governments to set drug prices.”

‘This refers to a component of one of the president’s executive orders, known as the “favored nations” policy, which would require Medicare to purchase drugs at the same prices paid by foreign countries, which the president said would prevent the U.S. from continuing to subsidize the cost of research and development for the entire world.’ Fox added.

This supports Prager’s point, not just about the weaponisation of medicine, but also the “corruption of science.” In a bold follow up he stated that the Left’s “hatred of Trump has perverted their ability to see reality. I believe that there is blood on the hands of all the doctors, all the media people, who are keeping people, who are in the early stages of COVID-19 from taking HCQ”

The fireside chat recalled how doctors have been removed from their posts, and had posts removed from social media for advocating a second medical opinion on HCQ. It recounted how those doctors are being ridiculed unprofessionally, by professional colleagues.

Echoing the sentiments of anyone up to date on the HCQ saga, Prager said, “I’m angry. I’m angry because people are dying because of the Left; people are dying because of the New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN. People are dying because of doctors who’ve decided to politicise science. I’m not for HCQ becuase Donald Trump recommended it. I’m for it, because it works.”

As for evidence, Prager cited the Times of India, saying “the second largest country in the world in terms of population, more than 5,000 Indian police officers in Mumbai were given a prophylaxis drug meant to prevent COVID-19. They’re giving it to health workers. All the people on the front line in India are being given hydroxychloroquine. India doesn’t care about Donald Trump. India doesn’t care about Left and Right, it cares about saving lives.”

Prager then outlines magazines who’ve been pressured into publishing negative studies of HCQ, and questions the long term affects of precedents involved in using science as a veil to censor anything that challenges Leftist ideology.

His 30 minute fireside chat can be viewed here.

He’s right and he inadvertently backs everything I’ve written on this subject in the past two weeks.

In case you missed those – (and it’s likely you have, because Social Media platforms are shadow banning Caldron Pool’s HCQ content) – here are the links:

1. Big Tech Spin Doctors Ban Viral Video of Real Doctors Offering a Second Opinion on COVID-19

2. Using the COVID-19 Crisis For Political Gain Has Precedent

3. Australia Increases Funding of Research Into ‘Controversial’ Anti-COVID-19 Drug

If November produces a Democrat president, don’t be surprised if COVID-19, the Marxist Black Lives Matter political party rallies, and Antifa thugs showboating for the media – as they tear up Democrat run cites – completely disappear from view.

Lives are riding on the research into hydroxychloroquine. The suppression of any data that could help speed up this research betrays a catastrophic contempt for human life.


© Rod Lampard, 2020

Gilbert_with_Wife_FrancesHere is the final sum of highlights mined from Heretics.

This is by no means definitive. What it does, though, is outline the tone, momentum and edge. From which Chesterton engraved an unmistakable mark into the hard surface of arrogance and happy ignorance.

What is presented here are, in my opinion, some of the most pointed aspects of Heretics.

These points, more than any others, is why I’m  growing to be as much a fan of Heretics as I am of Orthodoxy. Heretics may not introduce Chesterton’s theology as brilliantly as Orthodoxy does, in the end though it doesn’t matter. The essence is there. It is in the poetic phrases and witty criticisms

Chesterton’s thoughts on humility, nations, family, pathos, science and faith, all signify the value of this work to a contemporary audience.

On Humility:

‘The whole secret of the practical success of Christendom lies in the Christian humility, however imperfectly fulfilled. For with the removal of all question of merit or payment, the soul is suddenly released for incredible voyages.’ (p.34)
‘Humility is not merely too good for this world; it is too practical for this world; I had almost said it is too worldly for this world.’ (p.35)
‘It is the humble man who does the big things. It is the humble man who does the bold things.’ (p.36)
‘The worship of [human] success ends in mere mediocrity; its followers are foredoomed to become slaves and cowards.’ (p.61)
‘To the humble person, and to that humble person alone, the sun is really a sun; the sea is really a sea.’ (p.87)
‘The ultimate psychological truth, the foundation of Christianity, is that no man or woman is a hero to himself. Oliver Cromwell, according to Carlyle, was a strong man. According to Cromwell, he was a weak one.’ (p.87)

On Nations and The Family:

‘Nationality exists, and has nothing in the world to do with race.’ (p.95)
‘A big society is a society for the promotion of narrowness. It is a machinery for the for the purpose of guarding the solitary and sensitive individual from all experience of the bitter and bracing human compromises. It is, in the most literal sense of the words, a society for the prevention of Christian knowledge. We can see this change, for instance, in the modern transformation of the thing called a club.’ (p.95)
‘The man or woman who lives in a small community lives in a much larger world. In a large community we can choose our companions. In a small community our companions are chosen for us […] It is a good thing for man or woman to live in a family in the same sense that it is a beautiful and delightful thing for a man or woman to be snowed up in a street. They are forced to realise that life is not a thing from outside, but a thing from inside.’ (p.99)

On Pathos:

‘The one genuinely dangerous and immoral way of drinking wine is to drink it as medicine…Drink because you are happy, never because you are miserable.’ (p.53)
‘Human emotions are never hard and never gem-like; they are always dangerous, like flames, to touch or even examine.’ (p.56)
‘For a hearty laugh it is necessary to have touched the heart. I do not know why touching the heart should always be connected with the idea of touching it to compassion or a sense of distress. The heart can be touched to joy and triumph and the heart can be touched to amusement.’ (p.110)
‘Were even the Puritans Stoics? The English Puritans repressed a good deal, but even they were too English to repress their feelings.’ (p.112)

On Science:

‘Take away the supernatural, and what remains is the unnatural.’ (p.50)
‘Science can analyse a pork-chop, and say how much of it is phosphorus and how much is protein; but science cannot analyse any man’s wish for a pork-chop, and say how much of it is hunger, how much custom, how much nervous fancy, how much a haunting love of the beautiful. The man’s desire for the pork-chop remains literally as mystical and ethereal as his desire for heaven.’ (p.76)
’Science in the modern world has many uses; its chief use, however, is to provide long words to cover the errors of the rich. The word “kleptomania” is a vulgar example of what I mean.’ (p.91)
‘Science is always by its nurture more solemn and austere than religion.’ (p.115)
‘To use a thing in vain means to use it without use.’ (p.117)
‘In the modern world solemnity [by way of grave and verbose writers (p.118)] is the direct enemy of sincerity.’ (p.119)
‘Science means specialism, and specialism means oligarchy […] the expert is more aristocratic than the aristocrat [and] if we look at the progress of our scientific civilization we see a gradual increase everywhere of the specialist.’ (p.121)

On Faith:

‘A man or woman who has faith must be prepared not to be a martyr, but to be a fool.’ (p.49)
‘Whatever may be the meaning of faith; it must always mean a certainty about something we cannot prove. Thus, for instance, we believe by faith in the existence of other people.’ (p.85)
‘Faith is unfashionable, and it is customary on every side to cast against it the fact that it is a paradox (p.83). [But] Paradoxes are true(p.120) […] a paradox is not a frivolous thing, but a very serious thing; it simply means a certain defiant joy which belongs to belief. I should regard any civilization which was without a universal habit of uproarious dancing as being, from the full human point of view, a defective civilization. And I should regard any mind which had not got the habit in one form or another of uproarious thinking as being, from the full human point of view, a defective mind.’ (p.123)

Some of his criticisms aren’t as cutting to a modern reader. Such as his rebuttal to H.G Wells, F. Nietzsche, or Rudyard Kipling and the Ex-Catholic Priest, Joseph McCabe. All seem overly wordy and lack absolute clarification about the context of Chesterton’s criticisms.The modern reader is then left a little shell-shocked, having to piece together fragments of Chesterton’s commentary in order to completely understand the significance of certain criticisms. In some respects it’s like wading through a fog with only Chesterton’s humour laced voice to guide the way – step here, tread there, no wait, go back, this way, not that.

It’s this trail, however, that makes Heretics what it is: a tour of an era, high on the belle époque of pre-WW1 humanism. Chesterton isn’t out to impress anyone. This is the one endearing tone of Heretics that rises higher than the rest. Honest, sometimes humorous and broad thought encapsulates its real value. In spite of the limitations Chesterton looks towards the precipice ahead. Pointing, with pipe and pint in hand, he then resoundingly argues that the trajectory of human pride ends, not in victory, but in a tragic free-fall from a fast approaching ledge.


Source:

Chesterton, G.K. 1905 Heretics, Catholic Way Publishing

Related posts:

The Most Agreeable Elements Of Chesterton’s HeReTiCs: Numero Uno

G.K. Chesterton’s War & Parker J. Palmer’s Objection To Objectivity

You Don’t Have To Be A Progressive, To Be For Progress

G.K Chesterton’s Resolve (Or, Early Gastronomic Activism)

Image: Gilbert and Frances Chesterton Creative Commons

It is winter in Australia.

This is a time to  slow down, focus on staying fit, eating right and keeping warm.

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RL2013 Aussie winter morning #1

I only do one of those four things really well, although thanks to not eating potato, pasta or bread for the past six months, I have been able to manage the middle two a whole lot better.

Six months ago my father, who has type two diabetes, mentioned to me that his doctor had told him to move away from these “high-carb” foods. This is because his body has trouble processing them. Eating pasta, bread and potato were putting him at odds with any form of exercise that he was doing.

My conversation with my dad was brief and it included some mention of me watching out for those kinds of foods as well.

For context: I don’t have the world’s best relationship with my dad. If I was to describe what connects us as father and son, I would use the image of a fragile rope bridge which would only allow for cautious passage over an abyss, once or twice. So basically it is a cacophony of images inspired more by ‘Dante’s Inferno’,  than ‘Little house on the Prairie’. For the sake of respect for my father, simplicity and privacy, I will not go into the reasons for such boundaries.

I will say that, even though my relationship with my father is broken, problematic and in need of maintenance, I am thankful that I can communicate with him in a civil way.

Recently someone pointed out to me that the ability to talk in this way with my father, was an outworking of forgiveness that is only found in Jesus the Christ.

The more I process this theological assessment, the more I agree with them.

For instance: it is only because Christ forgives that I can be grateful for, and talk with my father. Please don’t misunderstand what I’m trying to say here. I HAVE to put in an effort which finds its ‘goal and basis in Christ’s effort’ (Barth, CD.IV.4). Ergo, it is only because I choose to be a follower of Christ that I can be led in this out working of Christ likeness.

Let me be even clearer – being led means alignment. It does not necessarily mean being controlled like a puppet. This view is inconsistent with what we know about God revealed in Jesus the Christ and His relationship with humanity as handed down to us in the Old Testament.

My relationship with my father is far from healed, but I admit that because of Jesus the Christ, the Holy Spirit empowers my ability to forgive, which consequently is promoting healing of that relationship.

A friend asked me last night – “where is Christ working in the world?”. It was a good question that made me think. So I answered that faith is not superstition, nor is God a genie who is at our beck and call.

Genie_Disney

Image credit: Disney “Genie” from ‘Aladdin’.

There is no formula, potion or mystical being that magically appears in order to do our bidding and meet our every want. This is a misleading, straw man argument. It’s origins can be sourced back to caricatures of God, promoted by militant atheists who hypocritically call for critical thinking, as long as it means not questioning them.

This idea of God is misleading. It is grounded in pride and a sense of false entitlement. This is because, as understood through theological enquiry, God does not have to do anything – BUT – HE does CHOOSE TO do something! Many things! They just never pop out of a bottle. So we cannot verify them and certify God’s qualifications as an able artist, scientist, Lord; in short, benevolent Creator.

Even if we are compelled to use this theologically false metaphor to hint at the nature of our relationship with God, it must be restated to reflect the biblical truth that ‘we do not summon God, rather it is God who lovingly summons us’ (Barth et.al)!

In the Christ event: the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, we see the divine act. This is real; it involves blood and water, heartbeat, pain, joy, fear, compassion, tears and broken flesh. As Karl Barth puts it Jesus the Christ ‘has come in the flesh, He comes, and He will come again, He is not from below but from above, He has come from God and is His Son’ (CD.IV.4:124).

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RL2013 Aussie winter morning #2

This is to say that the real work of Christ is generally only visible after-the-fact. Like Peter and Thomas we seek confirmation with the hope of finding the possible in the midst of the impossible. When we do discover the resurrected God-man, our response will necessarily, and must only be ‘MY LORD and MY GOD’. (Jn.20 ESV)

In the midst of murky dilemmas, we lack clarity of vision. This is natural, as anxiety and alarm can help us protect ourselves and others from threats. However, it should never be allowed to steel us away in panic, from the anchor of our souls. We are invited to grasp this eternal hope as the truth of it grasps us.

 ‘For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation.  So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

(Heb.6:16-19, ESV)

Like the response to an unexpected sonic boom, when encountered by His movement, our heads are lifted, our hearts directed and our minds aligned towards the very real origins of our identity and existence. There is no hype or deception here, just brutal other-centred forgiveness, informed by conviction, faithful confession and a hope filled anticipation, which is grounded in the promise of the one WHO WAS and IS and IS to come.