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  • Writer's pictureJoia

Today's rhaps is on ... Redactive Redoux

The Mueller Report, Volumes I & II, New York Times

Let's say you hire a hit man. I can't prove you hired a hit man, so I can't convict you. Further, your job right now precludes you being convicted, so I cannot haul you into court. However, a hit man did kill somebody—that fact is not in dispute. Evidence shows the murder was committed. But even though I can't prove you hired the hit man, I also cannot show you did not hire the hit man. In other words, I can't clear you.

You and your lawyers are thrilled. You’re free, you’re teflon, nothing sticks. You tell everyone you're not a crook, there’s no proof you were involved. Is that true?

No, it’s not true. There is evidence showing your participation and that evidence is now out in the open. Forever. So while your supporters proclaim that your guilt was not proven, the only thing that has actually been established is that your innocence was not proven.

That is what the Mueller Report does: it does not clear Trump of wrongdoing.

Here's another one: we're married and I think you're cheating on me. I have evidence, but not enough to prove that you are cheating on me. However, I'm still uncomfortable being married to you. The evidence makes it impossible for me to believe conclusively that you are not cheating on me. Your presence does not reassure me. In fact, you give me the creeps. So I divorce you.

I’m Congress in this example. You can’t be my spouse anymore. You have broken our vows and can no longer be married to me.

There’s a logical fallacy called Appeal to Ignorance, argumentum ad ignorantiam. I say no one has proven that Klingons exist on Mars, and you conclude therefore that Klingons do not exist on Mars. But no, that is not what I said! All I said is that we do not know this. You’re concluding that we do know something definitive. In other words, that something comes from nothing. How did you do that?

Remember Parmenides, that nothing comes from nothing? Ex nihilo nihil fit. You got nothing.

Remember Socrates? All I know is that I know nothing? Stop shrugging, get Atlas off your shoulders.

Knowledge evolves, mutates, grasps what is accessible at the time. However much we like to ascribe omniscience and omnipotence to the First Cause, the Unmoved Mover, the Atman-Brahman out there beyond the limits of our finite imaginations, we ourselves remain restricted by our human capacities to observe and understand. We do our best. We wander around like Francis Bacon naming things when we can, but the game is to modify the meanings and maybe the whole damn taxonomy once we get more information. We make mistakes, burn down the Cathedral, build it back up again. With Lao Tzu we say:

The Tao that can be told of Is not the Absolute Tao; The Names that can be given Are not Absolute Names.

The Nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth; The Named is the Mother of All Things.

One more story: a plane falls out of the sky. The plane-maker says there was no malfunction. So, nothing went wrong, oh, you mean other than the fact that the plane fell out of the sky? Other than that particular malfunction? I see.

Yes but King Cyrus is saving the unborn! Isaiah 45. And he is President 45. We can finally torture the mothers we rape, how dare they care about their health. And their children's health. A little chaos won't matter. Democracy can handle it! Susan Sarandon said so. It'll be good to shake things up, break a few eggs to make the omelet. Right, Stalin?

Imagine, even you can be forgiven.

Happy Easter.

19 APRIL 2019

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