Monday, July 9, 2018

Amy Coney Barrett - The Nightmare Dotard SC Pick That Could Send Women's Rights Back A Century

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Tonight, (p)Resident Donnie J. Dotard is set to announce perhaps the most critical Supreme Court pick in a generation.   It is not exaggeration or hyperbole to say that liberal America will be holding its collective breath - and experience no small degree of trepidation - when he announces it at around 9 p.m. EDT.  Knowing Dotard's perverse nature, I will bet that he will want to rub his malignant narcissism in our faces and pick Amy Coney  Barrett.  His degenerate base will also love it, because their primary entertainment these days is to watch liberal America freak out over each and every Dotard insult, especially if it impacts the (mostly)  silent sane majority.

Amy Coney Barrett may well be quite a nice person, as well as being a dutiful, devoted Catholic mom of 7 kids. As nice as she may well be, we cannot afford to have her as a Supreme Court Justice, which I suspect Dotard the pussy grabber will seek to impose on us tonight. And as you process that, also process the absolute irony of a self-described pussy grabber appointing a religious zealot like Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

At issue here is whether Barrett can deliver honest,  well reasoned judgments in critical cases such as to do with abortion, and lower case rulings re: Rose v. Wade.  At root is the extent to which the group to which she belongs, called People of Praise, which has roughly 1,700 members,  will be dictating her brain dynamics as she considers any abortion or contraception cases (the latter say, as regards contraception provided via the ACA for employees of religious outfits.)

A critical aspect of the group is their belief that they can receive divine or other esoteric, spiritual  messages via "speaking in tongues".   An old saw I recall from my brief foray into charismatic Catholicism  in the early 70s went like this: "It's okay and fine when you talk to God, as when speaking in tongues....but the time to worry is when God starts talking back!" Indeed. And the issue here becomes how does one distinguish an internal "voice" issuing from a brain center, from an external "God"?

Put another way: When Amy Barrett issues judgments how can we be certain these are forged by her innate intellect and not products of  "spiritual" voices she may "hear"?  This question is not frivolous at all, nor should it be construed as an attack on religion. Given its massive impact on human lives and life quality,  religion can never be exempt from serious scrutiny - or even criticism where and when appropriate.

In an earlier (June 18)  post on my response to the religionist  Tom McLeish,  I referred to  brain research done by Andrew Newberg, M.D. and his associate Eugene Daquill M.D.. Their main findings were published in their book, ‘Why God Won’t Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief’.   Specific attention was directed at the brain region known as the OAA or orientation association area. Most pertinent is the authors’ portrayal of how a subject's OAA (orientation and activation area) translates images, sounds into religious reality, described in detail on pages 121-22.

Within minutes of holding a fixed image or religious ideation, neurological measurements, i.e. from PET and SPECT scans,  showed electrical discharges spiraling down from the right attention area (right OAA) to the limbic system and hypothalamus “triggering the arousal section of the structure”. The authors’ test results and measurements revealed the activation of both the left and right association regions amplified as the ideation or image was sustained.  As assorted cortical thresholds were crossed, a maximal stimulation (given by spikes in the SPECT scans) produced a neural “flood” that generated feedback to the attention association area. 

To make a long story short, the visual attention area of the OAA was seen to begin to deprive the right orientation area (responsible for balance)  of all neural input not originating with the contemplation or religious ideation.  In order to compensate, and thereby preserve the neuro-spatial matrix (in which the self could still exist) the right orientation area had to default to the attention area, and surrender to the supremacy of the ideation.  In the words of the authors (pp. 121-22):  "it is perceived by the mind as the whole depth and breadth of reality.

Based on this, I argued in my response that "we simply cannot trust the rational expressions of believers, or those like McLeish who defend religious accommodation. Their brains are likely hijacked in the service of the OAA."

Now, if Coney Barrett belongs to a group that gives prominence and unquestioned validity  to  speaking in "tongues" then these will play the same role as a fixed religious ideation or imagery in the OAA experiments.  In effect, the recipients will firmly believe they are in a special communication loop and privy to information and knowledge - say from the divine- that no one else is.  This is clearly going to cause them to also be convinced they possess superior judgment.

In many respects related to alleged "esoteric" communications, one finds parallels to the brain activity of ancient humans, say at the beginning of the Bronze Age. Much of this was already expounded in the 1976 book  authored by Julian Jaynes,  'The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind.

Jaynes, a Princeton psychologist (who'd also been in communication with Dr. Pat Bannister in the early 70s while she worked with schizophrenics at the Jenkins Mental Institution in Barbados) argued that ancient  human brains - prior to any evidence of higher consciousness (say as exemplified in use of  logic, reason and ethics) would have resembled the brain dynamics of modern schizophrenics.  

Jaynes maintained that, like schizophrenics, ancient humans would have initiated conversations with unseen deities as well as inanimate objects. And this is most important: even be the beneficiaries of their conversations with them! Jaynes argued that this showed there existed a constancy and wholeness of reality for these early Bronze Age humans. 

In line with this, one of the most startling finds by Daquill and Newberg was that the focus mandate of the OAA leads to a total de-afferentation of the orientation region. This then gives rise to the state known as Absolute Unitary Being, otherwise described as "one Mind linking all minds".  In other words, the OAA experiments showed the potential to attain states not unlike the ancient Bronze Age humans, or modern day schizophrenics. 

 By logical extension, one can conclude the potential for achieving these unitary (or schizophrenic)  states is also  possible for those who engage in speaking in tongues - such as Amy Coney Barrett's People of Praise. Again, in itself there's nothing wrong with pursuing such activities, but it does lead one to ask whether such practitioners can also serve as rational Justices.

Attainment of such exalted brain states may well be worthy of celebration and acclaim, but do we really want a Supreme Court Justice whose head is already filled with dogma subject to them?  Can we be absolutely certain when Ms. Barrett is rendering an opinion those hidden OAA "voices" aren't providing input - which we won't know and she certainly won't tell us?  Or, to be sure, her fellow Justices.

 The imperative for People of Praise  to seek meaning in esoteric communications  is understandable given the Scientism which is now ubiquitous in our modern world. Scientism insists the cosmos is purposeless and is the product of a long. purposeless evolution which also produced our material brains. Take that purposeless evolution away and these brains no longer exist.   The primary evidence for  the brain being a product of purposeless evolution as opposed to being a divine masterwork is the hodge podge way it is thrown together. That is, the more recent neocortex -  which embodies human intellectual achievement and creativity, sitting just 'above' more ancient ape and reptile brain regions. See, e.g.

 Faced with this verdict on their brain limits by materialist evolution it is no wonder the ardent religionists, say like Tom McLeish or Amy Coney Barrett, seek a reality beyond those limits. That is their right to do, of course, and that defines the extent of religious liberty: the liberty of the religiously inclined to seek and perhaps find what they are looking for, even if only in secret rituals. Whether that be accommodation with modern science (McLeish) or being a beneficiary of supposed divine messages and guidance via "tongues" (Amy  Barrett). 

However, religious liberty does not include imposing these  aspirations (or their claimed 'results') on the secular side, or imposing one's beliefs to the extent of making the latter surrender its control over its own reproductive decisions.  That is especially the worry with Barrett, given we cannot be sure her  presumed divine messages will not dictate more severe controls, not only on abortion but the use of artificial contraception.  Such decisions could well wreck those parts of the ACA allowing it, and even hurl women's reproductive rights back a century or more. 

If Coney Barrett is indeed named to the highest court compliments of  the nation's pussy grabber-in-chief, it is the signal for all out resistance on a massive, national scale.  In other words, this nomination cannot be allowed to materialize or proceed. (I am invoking a variant of Dick Cheney's "1 percent" doctrine here, i.e. if there is only a 1 percent chance Barrett will be influenced by esoteric, "spiritual" communications, she can't be allowed to move forward.)

If one were to ask me what the least offensive SC pick might be, I would have to respond, Brett M. Kavanaugh - mainly because he appears to be able to question his past decisions. But that pick would require the Dotard to be in a sane and sober state, which I doubt we can expect.  Maybe I will be wrong, we will see.

See also:

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