Today I ask for your indulgence. Not for the contents of the podcast which are every bit as retrograde, obscurantist and bigoted as my recent A few disjointed thoughts on the events in Cologne, but for the fact that the topic I tackled today would have deserved a carefully prepared presentation and not just an off the cuff “car discussion”. As always, I did the best I could, and I ask you to consider this only as a basis for discussion, maybe food for thought, nothing more.
A couple of technical issues now:
- I am discontinuing the use of the Saker Podcasts download page. From now on, the podcasts will be uploaded only to YouTube and the Internet Archive and the video/audio links embedded here, on the podcast page.
- This podcast has not two, but three parts. I added a small post-scriptum at the end of part two.
Please find the the video and the audio here below and please feel free to use the comments section to share your opinion/criticisms/reactions with the rest of us.
Many thanks and kind regards, enjoy!
Looting by the recent immigrants in Germany. I hope Mrs. Merkel will like this organized performance
This is nothing just the prove of the rape of all of the Europeans
Yes, I live in Europe and we are being raped on all fronts. Worst of all is we are being deprived of our right to speak up. This sometimes extends to the blogosphere.
What these immigrants are doing to Europe is a gentle and meek brush of the hand compared to the multi-orifice rape of Europe by the USA; especially if you realize who organized the immigration wave…
Saker, you would never say that if it happened to your daughter/daughters. “A gentle and meek brush”? I would go get a gun and I guess so would you.
You are trying to shift focus. We are talking about life with strangers, you are talking about Europes dependency on the US. Typical political talk.
I am very disappointed with you. You are a good military analyst, but you have no idea about the reality in Europe. Come here, see what has changed, pay the taxes, watch your pension decline – and love all those foreigners.
What he is telling you “is” ,your country’s kneeling to the US is the main cause of your problems. If you are content to just blame the immigrants, without fixing the problem then there is no hope for you. Do you really think those immigrants just all woke up one morning and thought “Gee,you know, I’ve never lived in Europe before. So how about I leave my family,my country,my life in my homeland and everything I value in life. And walk ,or get on an unsafe boat, with maybe a couple of millions of my friends and go to Europe”. Is that how you people think. Wake up,whining about problems your regime helps to cause isn’t going to solve your problems. Forcing that regime to stop meddling in the MENA and taking orders from the US “will” help you solve them.So either do that,or learn to live with those problems.That is your one and only real choice.
No, the US is the main problem. Look at the woes of Russia and ask yourself if any westeuropean country would dare disobey. Do you think we the people can change anything? What planet are you from? I am only a small individual and you want me to change world history? Ok, Uncle, are you Canadian or American? When do you plan to topple your government? Show us the way.
If you had grown up in a European national state like mine, you would understand why we don’t want to be a minority in some parts of our own country. We don’t blame the immigrants, we just want them to leave. By, by and never come back.
And so you think posting on a thread will accomplish that for you? Like I’ve said over and over. Only by changing your regimes can you get what you want . And yes,the same goes for my country. Though being the actual center of it all,that is a harder chore than you would have. Give it a while though,and we may end with an “American Spring” someday. What I’m telling you though,is you need a “European Spring” if you hope to change anything.
I lived in Europe for over 30 years, I worked in European security and I just came back from Europe. You can disagree with me all you want, but when you accuse me of not knowing Europe you are, frankly, only showing the weakness of your arguments.
As for the “gentle meek brush” – it was a figure of speech making a comparison, not a characterization of rape. Please don’t make me say what I did not.
Finally, if the German police and pulled a gun and shot all these thugs I would have given them a standing ovation. My point was precisely that they did not. In fact, what I was trying to show is that Europeans did many things which made all these events possible.
As for me shifting focus: do you really believe that what happened in Cologne would have been possible in the Europe of, say, de Gaulle? If you don’t see how being a US protectorate makes Europe unable to formulate a national security policy then you are truly hopeless.
Of course, I know you have lived in Europe and I know you had a sad reason to visit lately. What I am saying is that you have no idea about our daily life nowadays. So much has changed in only a decade and a half. The Europe you knew has partly disappeared. I know how it is for you. I used to live in another European country for a couple of years. Today I do not dare visit. Everything has changed and I don’t want my good memories destroyed. You think of Europe as it was when you lived here, but I and others live in the present reality.
You certainly know Europe, but you do not know Europe of today.
Ok, you say you want the police to shoot the rapists. Good, that was not clear before.
No, this would not have been possible under Charles de Gaulle, one of Europes last statesmen. Of course, I know the elite makes our lives miserable, What I am pointing out to you is that we live in this mess and we don’t like it. Do not confuse us with our rulers. We are unable to unseat the colonial masters in Brussels and their US handlers. What you hear from me is the voice of ordinary people. That voice must not be confused with the voice of our masters. so, yes, you are shifting focus.
“Today I do not dare visit.” that is a real pity, but it is nevertheless true what you write; but only in a certain sense, or respect.
Saker, please visit England (I think it is a European country, it is an island, and we are rather insular in our thinking) anyways, visit England and you will see how beautiful the hills and valleys are still, and that despite everything evil, people smile, and are kind.
Young people are not reduced to automatons by the worlds worst educational systems, and smartphones, but talk and laugh together, and have trust in their world, and in the future.
We will welcome you, I promise.
The problem is the English visit other countries are the very worst of humanity…
I don’t need to be anonymous.. and I have visited UK on many occasions.. Always in a hurry to leave though..
“What you hear from me is the voice of ordinary people. That voice must not be confused with the voice of our masters. so, yes, you are shifting focus.”
Ubob, please read 100 times before another:
“Is that how you people think. Wake up,whining about problems your regime helps to cause isn’t going to solve your problems.”
We already live in an Orwellian big brother state – so do you want to explain, exactly, what else we (who understand the problwem) can do?
Remember – most do not even realise the true source of the problem but only observe and comment on the symptoms.
Well you could start by copying some of the US’s actions. You could form “social networks” that would gather people to demonstrate at quick notice. If the police attack you,fight back like we saw in Ukraine.If they order you out refuse and occupy your positions.If you can gather enough supporters take over some regime buildings. And stand out (if you can’t get in) in front of Parliaments and the Government Palace and shout endlessly “resign”. Thousands of people shouting at one time the same thing “packs” a propaganda punch.Paper the city with leaflets and graffiti with anti-regime messages like “resign,Merkel,Cameron,Hollande,etc “out”.Don’t spread your strength in “tiny” scattered protests. Make them massive protests of thousands. And make them memorable. Also,mostly make them in spring and summer at public events. People will protest more readily in good weather than bad freezing weather (yes Ukraine was different.Maidan was mostly cold weather. But those people were getting paid. You won’t be.) In Europe each country is different to some extent. So depending on the country, you’d have to decide which party would be closest to what you want. And support that party. In Britain as an example. You “know” the Tories will “never” give you what you want. In France,Hollande’s party will never give you what you want. In Spain,the conservatives won’t give you what you want.In Germany the CDU won’t give you what you want. So the main task should be to unseat all those parties.Their successors might not give you what you want either. But by getting rid of the ruling parties you open up the system for change. And make it easier to then attach yourselves to,or form other parties. Which might give you what you want. The successor parties will have seen your “people power”. And will have to think they need to give attention to your concerns. And also important,in your demands,have an agenda. Don’t just be “against” something. But be “for” something. Being against something can gain you supporters. But can not gain you power alone. You need to show people that “you” would be different “and better” than those you want to replace. So those are a very few ideas on what you might do. In Greece,Syriza had the right idea on how to gain power. The failure there was that the leaders were stooges. Make sure the leaders you pick aren’t owned by the US.
Do you mean like the “US” actions proposed from 17min 15secs of this video?
If so, receiving a faceful of pepper spray may be admirable – but it won’t fix the problem. Any more workable advice from the “good” exceptional Americans?
From 17min 15secs:
“…To attempt to break the hold of the American Myth will be a titanic, daunting challenge. To even begin to openly rebel against the might of the National Security State will require the courage to face much more than official disapproval and denunciation. Imperial America will not respond to even the most peaceful and orderly protest with anything less than hard police repression and the level of punishment will rise in relation to the scope and seriousness of the action undertaken.
Small protests will have no effect and will be meaningless. Organized mass events, when they occur, will draw the whole fiercely and brutally motivated National Security State apparatus down upon themselves. Americans, excepting those of our underclass who have felt it, have no experience with violent police or military repression. Those who commit peaceful civil disobedience, a first and innocent tactic of serious protest, will swiftly find out to their cost how it works. In a National Security State that has excised and eradicated all defensive laws and regulations intended to prevent abuse of the public, whatever the State does is legal. To such a pass have we in America come as a result of our long historic indoctrination in serving our financial elite, our Ruling Class.”
The discussion isn’t on how change comes to the US,that is plain. Change (when there is change) always comes from violence. The discussion was how to bring change to a multi-party and multi-nation EU.So since you are eager to criticize. How about you being eager to give ideas as well. If not,I’ll have to figure you have no ideas. But instead are only good at criticizing other peoples ideas.
Uncle Bob advises mass protests to bring change to Europe. I haven’t been in Europe lately and don’t know the capacity or effectiveness for mass change. We must all try to effectuate change where we actgually are. I live now in the USA. I have given up on the idea of protests and demonstrations. I saw in the run-up to the Iraq invasion that no meaningful protest or demonstration would be “allowed” in teh USA. I marched twice on Washington and went to the demo in NYC, when millions around the world demonstrated for peace. In all of those instances I learned that the number of participants would be suppressed in the media, photos of protest participants would be chosen for printing in the newspaper etc. only if they showed relatively freakish-looking people—not normal families with Grandma and Grandpa in tow, none of the high-profile speakers would be shown etc. etc. etc. Now it is known and almost “accepted” (predicted) that protesters will be relegated to “free speech zones” where no one can see them, or they are squashed together dangerously. The streets are no longer effective public space for protesting or demonstrating. So, very few people are going to bother to exercise their right of free speech when there is no potential for packing a media punch. And with police armed and ready to shoot, media talking heads distorting and trivializing any kind of genuine political challenge, the hazards to participants are very real for no gains.
These conditions have cast a real pall on the idea of protesting or demonstrating anything in the USA.
Maybe things are different in Europe and mass protests can still communicate something. And perhaps the numbers of people who are listening to Marine Le Pen (and here, to Trump) also send a meaningful message.
There were massive protests in France in 2013, 1 million 4 in one mere demonstration in Paris, the then minister of internal affairs (now prime minister) made police send lacrymogen gas to infants in their prams, and after the end of the demo, made enter (several witnesses) professional breakers. Then, they ruthlessly pursued, discriminate… all the participants and their families, and demonize them among the population via the mass media, though before this demonization they enjoyed great popularity. Now there is nothing left of it.
”Gentle brush” is what Europe has suffered so far compared to Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Yogoslavia, Somalia; not to mention more ancient evils such as Korea and Vietnam. In every instance with support from the UK and various other European nations.
I’d say Europe is overdue some blowback.
It’s our own fault. If we had gone out in the streets and stopped our governments supporting the u/s, the u/s would not have acted unilaterally.
I am not going to listen. I am very disappointed with your article about Köln (Cologne). You have been away from Europe far too long. You have no idea about the present situation in some European countries.
@ Anonymous 11:37 UTC
What was wrong with Saker’s article? It sparked a lot of terrific discussion. Including by numerous people whose point of view differed from Saker’s and contradicted his article on various points. And I have to say I agreed with many of them!
But you give no real specifics for your discontent which stand up to the Saker’s answer, just after Uncle Bob’s. Nor do you answer Uncle Bob’s precise, productive points. All I get is that maybe the weight of all of this is oppressive to you, so you wish to bow out, because solutions are offered, but not commiseration.. How, pray tell, could that sort of limp reaction possibly contribute to freeing Europe from the death embrace of the Empire’s raping grasp???
Dear Saker–In reference to Podcast 11, I wish you had been able to see the essay “Living in a multi-religious world” by Seyyed Hussein Nasr. There he remarks, with much simplicity and elegance, that “the first duty of man, according to every religion, is to save his soul. We are really only responsible to God for our soul at the moment of death. We are not responsible to Him for solving the problems arising from the multiplicity of religions.” And earlier he had remarked that “It is better to cling to a particular form of the Truth while negating or neglecting other forms of the Truth than to deny Truth altogether.”
I feel that your discussion, well-meaning though it was, was flawed for the reason that a discussion of religion cannot and should not be carried on in the terms appropriate to natural science or even philosophy. The Truth that is religion is a response to love, a response to a call, a fulfilling of an imperative or of a promise or the result of a deep sense of gratitude or of conscience: it is personal, moral, participant, urgent, timely. Therefore it is appropriate to a different form of the verb and of grammar, a language of urgency rather than of facts, statistics, data, objects. The truth of religion is not an object. It is subject, the primary Subject which reaches us across many times.
But thank you for everything and most especially your loving soul. God bless.
I feel that your discussion, well-meaning though it was, was flawed for the reason that a discussion of religion cannot and should not be carried on in the terms appropriate to natural science or even philosophy
I fully agree with this criticism. But my point was not to “discuss religion” but only to contrast the present prevailing attitude towards the notion of an objective Truth with the one which was prevailing in the past. And that, by itself, raises an important, crucial, question: should a modern Christian seek to acquire the mindset of the Christians of 2000 years ago, or should he/she find a way to adapt Christianity to the modern notions of relativism and subjectivism?
…”objective Truth” …every green blade of grass is different, and every countless one, a reflection of divinity, of objective truth. As Solon writes, we can love our way to Truth.
Your point about the existence of objective reality is valid, but in my opinion your discussions of organized religions in support of that point are not valid. Organized religion has nothing to do with finding objective Truth, but is based on belief and unquestioning adherence to dogma – in a sense, the opposite of searching for truth.
I respect you and your community, but this problem of discussing religion is a really sticky issue and mostly goes around in circles. There is a difference between faith and belief. As you were probing around these ideas in your podcast, but mixing up issues that didn’t clarify how any of it relates to each other.
For example, the arithmetic example you used doesn’t really illustrate your point when discussing religious belief because if one is sincere and has even a bit of intelligence (and is more or less sane), then they can be shown the validity of 2 + 2 equaling 4. For example, you can put 2 apples on a table, add 2 more apples and show someone that the total apples they count are 4.
How do you do that with religious belief? There’s no way to give that kind of evidence that what is claimed is actually true.
The 2 + 2 = 4 example reminds me of what Gurdjieff had said about prayer. When asked by his students if prayer can give any results, in his typical fashion he replied “Yes, as in everything else, if one knows how to pray.” He continued, “If, as usual with people’s prayers, your prayer amounts to ‘please God, make it so that 2 + 2 does not equal 4,’ then of course this can give no results.”
There is so much contained in Gurdjieff’s answer that volumes can and have been written about it all. For one thing, it also implies that even if “God” wanted to, he could not break the laws upon which the universe was created (which also casts doubt on the omnipotence that believers are made to accept).
The problems you were probing in the podcast and I’m attempting to highlight are equally present in pseudo-science (i.e. official science/establishment science). The “church of scientism”, so to speak, is as dogmatic and unscientific as organized religion is distant from true spiritual pursuits, from my view.
Science, in essence, boils down to a method of arriving at verifiable truths – it is nothing more or less than that method, and established standards of “proofs”. Anything that is unable to be falsified (i.e. a theory that cannot under any circumstance be shown to be false) is not scientific – it is outside the “jurisdiction” of science, so to speak. Well, many of the accepted theories currently are exactly that: impossible to be falsified. Big Bang, Darwinian (and neo-Darwinism) evolutionary theory, etc. among them. The only acceptable approach in this pseudo-science is to a priori reject any possibility of anything other than physical reality existing. Basically, any of the scientific method being used to examine anything beyond materialist beliefs is the equivalent to heresy in organized religions.
How could any true science prohibit the study/examination of anything and remain legitimate? For example, the scientific study of consciousness. Any scientist that brings any claims of consciousness not being a byproduct of the physical brain will be in danger of being “excommunicated” by the high-priests of the “church of scientism”, aka pseudo science.
Well, there have been several well-documented cases, just as an example, where people had most of their brains missing (there was just mostly cerebro-spinal fluid in their skulls), but no one knew until a coincidental medical exam. One of those cases was a top-of-his-class math student. So much for consciousness arising as a byproduct of the physical brain (which came about from an astronomically improbable amount of accidents according to materialist “science”).
The investigation of the UFO phenomenon, accepted dietary guideline, and a million other things – important to humans – are totally full of lies, twists, manipulations, and noise to drown out the signal of truth.
Mainstream science, as organized religion, is used for control – control of information, social control, etc. Real science cannot reject anything without proper examination, which is not allowed in the establishment structures of the “scientific community.” One of the ways in which this is done is not funding, publishing, or publicizing any findings that go against the interests of those who control same.
Anyway, my point is that objective reality exists (as you seemed to be pointing to, and contrary to the postmodern nonsense) – it is the universe as it really is and the way it really works. It’s the way it sees itself/the state it is in at any given instant. My way of understanding “God” is that “the creator” is immanent – it is in everything in existence. But I don’t believe anything without enough evidence and basis for that belief, whether it is claimed to be scientific or religious truth. I do have faith that the universe “knows what it’s doing”, and everything is provided with just what is needed, so to say.
“Belief is hanging on to a rock. Faith is learning how to swim….”
Hi Saker–many thanks for your reply! I don’t know how you manage to do all that you do, while also replying to little persons such as myself.
No, we can’t go back 2,000 years to a previous idea of Truth. Nor can we remain mired in the relativistic subjectivism that spells death to society. One of the big problems is that in the modern age we only frame Truth in natural scientific terms, i.e. 2+2=4. But this is inadequate for raising a child, creating a work of art, or embedding a historical memory in a generational story. We actually have access to other forms of grammar: not just the “it” of science, but the intimacy of “thou” and “you” and the honoring of “we.” In other words, human speech, human grammar, holds the key to our coming out of this spell in which we have imprisoned ourselves. I recommend the study of the books of Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy and a indication into the path of the future. He believed that speech, grammar, should become the basis for a new sociology.
Another interesting angle to shed on this religion business is to consider the dynamic-static polarity of Robert Pirsig’s Search for Quality. he says that Western thought is focused on Truth. But we need to consider Quality as well. Dynamic Quality is that which fosters growth; Static Quality is that which prevents social and personal disintegration. Religion has Static Quality to keep society functioning at a humane level, and ideally it should have means of incorporating Dynamic Quality as well and as needed. I am afraid our modern complacency regarding Progress has blinded us to the fact that Progress is never guaranteed. My blog about Robert Pirsig is here–http://www.meta-q.blogspot.com/
But I am now working mostly on Rosenstock’s ideas about speech-thinking.
Best wishes and thanks again.
Truth is objective when studied, relative when lived, elusive when contemplated.
Very interesting, Saker, that, for whatever reason, you mention this topic in relation to Cologne mass molestation and rape.
The Muslim males doing the flash mob rapes and violent molestations performed their crimes in the shadow of the Cathedral of Cologne, adding a spice to the sexual deviance for them, consciously or unconsciously.
Regardless of whether these thousands of men (it happened in five cities, and has been ongoing in many European nations that welcomed and nurtured and sheltered these people and others) are victims of some US scheme or not, the belief system that inspires them bears a close inspection. Could their God condone such behavior? Should we all take time to review 2100 years of Truth Seeking to see if some of us have it right and some have it wrong?
While we seek the nature of God or if he exists or if he left us the Rules of the Road, before civilization left the caves and savannas, simple mankind had rules about flash mob rape and molestation. There were no excuses for it.
So whether God exists and generously encourages our higher spirits, there is a lesser truth that is quite easy to grasp. Humanity should treat other humans with decency. From that simplicity we can construct the Rules of the lower road of civil, national and international life, not the high spiritual, religious pathway. All our laws generate from that notion. And our outrage at the terrorism of the ISIS freaks and the outrage at the Hegemon’s terrorism is equal. Barbarity is action generally taken against innocents.
In the case of Cologne we have both the Hegemon’s terror of herding a million refugees across the continent with millions more to come behind them, and the terror of marauding males assaulting their good samaritan hosts.
This time we see that the Truth is– God does not intervene. We are on this island together and have to “own” our humanity. It does not include God in the packaging. He abounds, he resonates within, he is and is not. It is for us to accept our own nature and those rules that come packaged with it. That decency toward the other humans sharing the island is best expressed as love. And then, from that springs forth God, the Truth of Truths.
You cannot kill your way to Truth, nor can you rape and molest your way to Truth.
But we can love our way to Truth.
“In the case of Cologne we have both the Hegemon’s terror of herding a million refugees across the continent with millions more to come behind them, and the terror of marauding males assaulting their good samaritan hosts. ”
… and both, my dear Watson, are orchestrated by the Intelligence services. It is called divide-and-conquer and it works every time.
The hardcore right-wingers in the Merkel administration are jostling for positions. They want a police state, and the time seems right.
What better way to have German population begging the government for
more surveillance cameras,
more Orwellian enslavement
than by instigating and orchestrating a global media shit storm claiming mass rape of German women by Arabs?
Where are the arrests? Zero. Where are the convictions? Zero.
Mainstream media runs with it. And the alternative media falls for it. Win-win for the Mafia!
Couldn’t have said it better myself, zweistein. Unfortunately, as you said, it works every time. Hopefully, it will backfire at the most inopportune moment for the legalized mafia.
First, to come back to yesterday thoughts about Cologne, no, I don’t find you “retrograde, obscurantist and bigoted”. Just, you have the typical (normal!) attitude of the male man who has not really had time to think about rape. Men seeing women tend to be troubled, and it is some sexual trouble, even for a happy, faithful husband. The more so, if they show a lot — this is why women who beg for attention, and who are not necessarily “tramps”, do show a lot, thus lacking of respect to men whom they may feel unquiet, and I think it should be told (only in Russia it has been so, about the link with prostate cancer).
But think twice. Of course rape has something to do with sex. But do YOU happen anything to do with rape? Are you even considering the rape of the uncovered girls? Certainly not, because you are neither a psychopathic criminal, nor a man educated to consider women as potential preys for rape.
Clothes really have NOTHING to do with rape, which is a crime. A rapist will always find a “good reason” to rape his victim, he can fancy an non-existent smile for instance. But he will be careful to appeal to normal men and to make them believe they were indeed “irrepressively moved” by a “luscious attitude” of their victim. This is what Islamic culture does.
So, while shocked by my compatriots clothes (the unconscious attention-beggars as well as the prudish — and offensive — islamic attire), I feel the need to defend them.
Second, about Truth. You are perfectly right in many things (and, about recent papal declarations, I wish to precise they were very careful not to voice such statements “ex-cathedra”, which would dismiss them as popes because they would be proved to be heretics, while they informal and semi-formal heretic declarations are not sufficient, except for a council which would not come, to qualify their heresy), except that it seems to me you are confusing intransigence and intolerance. In fact, this is a confusion voluntarily instilled by “the World” to deprecate us.
We ARE intransigent because we believe what IS and are NOT AT ALL ready to mingle it with fake beliefs as we are told to do, or to assert all beliefs are equal, because “transigence” is an offence to God. Denying us the “right to intransigence” is against the freedom of belief they pretend to carry as a standard.
While tolerance may very well be a good thing. Catholic faith (I suppose Orthodox too) teaches us religious tolerance for instance, by stating that belief is a natural virtue, which can be supernatural only in Catholic (or Orthodox!) faith. So, believers of other religions have a virtue in being so. A natural virtue. except of course, in case of voluntary ignorance or reject. And we can respect them, and it is normal to allow them to worship in their belief, and our ancestors did it very often.
Yet it is TOLERANCE, and tolerance, implies we know the other is wrong (or unpleasant : it is not necessarily a matter of values), utterly wrong, and we have to inform him/her if it is a religious matter. We must not harass people! But we must inform them. Which “the World” is forbidding.
(I write this having heard your podcast until minute 24, afterwards I am sure there would be other comments, but I know it is nearly impossible to speak about how the Orthodox and the Catholic — I mean, the traditional ones — have the same faith, and we were artificially separated for political reasons with very little theological difference, and this, only for political reasons too; so little, that the Catholic Church has always considered valid the Orthodox sacraments).
“Fools rush in where angels fear to tread”. You are brave doing more “crime-think”. Gotta love you for it. It always amazes me how people who are so insightful in one area as you are in geo-political and military analysis can be so wrong in other areas like religion and philosophy. It’s like you have two separate brains. As soon as you accept anything on faith, then you turn your brain off and accept things that have no evidence in reality. God gave you a brain for reason, so why not use it? Would you accept the goodness of the Anglo-Zionist Empire on faith? Then why do you accept religion on faith?
Yes, if there is a god there is an objective truth about what it is, but it is inherently unknowable by human beings. Anyone who says otherwise, and believes they have the objective truth about god is delusional, even dangerous. Intolerant religions often murder other people. Didn’t you get the memo?
Case in point. I listened to the entire video of Sheikh Imran Hosein, including the part about supporting hand-chopping and the death penalty because that is what it says in the Koran. The key point in the whole video is when he explains how he knows that the Koran is the word of god. He states it is because the Koran says so. And I’m the King of Siam because I say so. Is there a weaker argument? All religions say the same thing about their “revealed truth”, except Buddhism, which you rightly pointed out is not theistic and has no god.
Religions like Bahai or I think it’s Vedanta preach the unity of world religions. Do a thought experiment. Which belief system leads to a peaceful world? Intolerant religions who think they have the objective truth unlike all others, or religions that believe in the unity of world religions? Good luck escaping your own intolerant belief system.
Faith is not exclusive of reason, far the contrary. We Catholics consider them the two legs on which our minds walk. Although we believe a person with limited intellectual capacity can reach God as well as an intellectual genius, we do find it good to examine everything with our reason.
It is the atheistic modern world, that forbids any reasoning by destroying all the elementary school preparation to critical reading, for instance, and overwhelms us with irrational emotions all the time.
If faith is not exclusive of reason, please explain how the communion wafer and the sacramental wine are the body and blood of Christ, how parthenogenesis happened to the virgin Mary, how the trinity is monotheistic, how Adam and Eve’s two sons had any children unless they had sex with their mother, and other irrational beliefs of Catholics and other Christians. Faith is not exclusive of ALL reason”, might be closer to the truth. That is not to condemn spirituality, just religion.
It was the Catholic Church, not the atheistic modern world, that condemned Galileo for heresy for saying that the earth revolves around the sun. To the credit of the modern Catholic Church the Vatican astronomer now says that the bible preceded the age of science, and should not be used to evaluate science. Hallelujah. (I saw this in Bill Maher’s movie “Religulous”).
As for the atheistic modern world “forbidding any reasoning by destroying all the elementary school preparation to critical reading, for instance”, if that is true I share your concern. I suggest the explanation can be found in the analysis of the Saker, in the desire of the minions of the Empire to prevent any dissent by dumbing down education.
As for the atheistic modern world “overwhelming us with irrational emotions all the time”, I don’t know what you mean.
I am afraid you are meaning you believe anything which cannot be explained referring to already formulated laws referring to material things, does not exist?
Are you of those who will pretend to dismiss the “Sun Dance” in Fatima as “phosphenism” while this does not correspond to the descriptions of the event, and while phosphenism for 70.000 people at once would be, maybe an even greater miracle?
Are you of those who believe observations cannot be true if they harm their own beliefs?
We believe consecrated species are the body and blood of Jesus Christ because he told it us, and he helped our faith with many miracles to prove it further, if necessary. Voltaire himself witnessed one of them.
I find nowhere any assertion of parthenogenesis with the Virgin Mary, we do believe Christ’s Conception to be unique and not to have followed the laws of nature. There as many genetic possibilities, my take being Our Lord has half his genes from his mother, but it is nothing more than an impression, there is no dogma except that “He took flesh from the Virgin Mary” (my translation from French…)
Regarding Adam and Eve, reason show us the TWO Genesis relations came to us via a long oral chain (early protohistory, I should say) and were not written before Kings David and Solomon. They were given to pastors with very little scientific understanding, and transmitted probably in difficult conditions, thus resulting in the coexistence of two narrations of the Genesis — and proving with what care and respect they have been handled by David and Solomon. May I ask you to read these two relations, knowing what I have just written?
And about Galilei, the very comparison betwen his real history (if you understand what Copernic found tens of years before, chosen as the Catholic Church expert in astronomy for the fifth Latran concile which established the modern calendar; and what Galilei, who never invented anything, understood of his work, even better) and the tale we all hear nowadays, you will have a very good example of atheistic “objectivity”. Oh, this example is not irrational, it is perfectly well thought — the crowds believing it being the irrational people.
And upon the downing of children instruction, the social side exists, but it is one of the two motivations, the other being preventing people from “believing rationally”.
As an aside, thank you for the beautiful icons. They evoke reverence in even the most hardened “secularist” (I am not that). It’s not to the purpose, I know, but Andrei Rublev’s work I find especially beautiful.
Your analysis of the “modern” thinking of which only credential is (indeed) “derived opinions based on the individual” is the only honest one. I think the essential anti-religion sentiment in the West comes from the fact that they view religions (Islam, Christianity and Judaïsm) as a threat to their “religion”. Thus they are also ‘intolerant’ as the other religions, because they are deceived from our point of view (Muslims etc) in believing that what they have is the truth/best possibility. I have literally recognized (in the media, in public life) the fact that when you are truely supporting Islam/Christianity/Judaïsm then you are committing blasphemy, because then you say God is The Sovereign instead of ‘a group of people are The Sovereign’.
The only problem, for the sake of our planet, is that they are on the devil’s path. Hence the many problems which are augmenting in western society and the rest of the planet who is following them.
@reply to anonymous on January 12, 2016 at 4:51 am UTC
Well the dutch people are getting together a petition to force a referendum about immigraion-rebutting an eu missive…..so you could assist yourself by doing similarly……democratically
Will the current of our democratic, political, spiritual tide turn?
There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.
Julius Caesar Act 4, scene 3, 218–224
Oops, I sent this without signing it. Sorry.
Very thoughtful and highly entertaining; and while driving, too! – quite a a feat of lucid exposition.
You still duck the crucial question by insisting that it is a matter of faith and by using the form of words, “if you believe there is a God, then His commandments are…” (When I say “duck” I do intend criticism, but not disrespect – it’s merely for brevity.)
What reason is there for a “poor fork’d creature” to believe that there is a God and to believe that God has spoken to him?
Irrationality is not a virtue. Rationality is all we have in trying to work out what there is.
It was encouraging therefore to find you employing reason to persuade us, and at least engaging with philosophical theology, and not just retreating into silence (except at the crucial point).
(I may be wrong (!), but, although you make clear the distinction between the two meanings of “Truth” you are using, I think you do equivocate between them.)
For those interested in just how difficult it is to justify belief in God (and likewise to refute such belief), an American philosopher, John R. Shook, has produced a very fair primer, “The God Debates”, a patient ans scrupulous.survey of arguments for and against (including the argument from faith).
Re: Oops, I sent this without signing it. Sorry.
Sorry, but what “this” was it “that” you sent? If you meant the previous comment, that was mine, not yours, and I forgot to write my name in the box above.
No. I pontificated at length (the text you see) and hit send without identifying myself as the culprit. Sorry.
A complex set of ideas. But I think Saker is fundamentally wrong on these questions. If you say God is one, infinite, all encompassing and absolute, how can you then limit Him to one Truth. God transcends Truth. God can encompass many absolute Truths. Who says that there can only be one Truth? Maybe from our perspective, but certainly not from God’s perspective. God can create many Truths, each of equal validity, and apportion them to different peoples. To say this is not so is to deny the absolute nature of God envisioned in our definition of Him.
Therefore there can be many religions of equal Truth and validity from God’s perspective, even if not from our’s. This does not mean that every religion out there is True either from our perspective or from God’s. No doubt there are many false ones. But the problem of knowing whether a religion is True or not is different from the recognition/acceptance that there maybe other True religions beyond your own.
What we are left with is the injunction to follow the tenets of our own religion. And not bother so much with the others. This desire to claim Truth only for our own religion is a matter of human vanity and ego, that seeks to corral God, denying Him the ability to dispense many Truths. Thereby subjugating Him to human logic, pride and arrogance. It is an exercise in creating God in our image.
In Christianity we are told, “judge not lest you be judged”. This is not to say that you must accept the evil that men do. This is a very complex and difficult thing to come to grips with, mainly because modern civilisation is so materialistic and has abandoned spirituality. Virtually all religions are spiritual and virtually all religions are built on a foundation of love and faith. It is this technology of love and faith that is the means of understanding: “judge not lest you be judged”.
In the past when humans were more spiritual and more religious, they actively developed their faith (unfortunately not so much the love side of things). A child developed faith in the same way that they develop scientific, or mathematic ability today. In the same way that a school and a teacher supports a student’s development in math until the student is able to arrive at an independent understanding of mathematical principles, so too the society and religious institutions supported the individual’s development in faith until they achieved a personal conviction.
I do believe that most people arrived at a personal conviction in the Truth of their religion, based upon direct, subjective and faith based personal experience. Call it a revelation if you will.
It is the lack of such faith based, subjective and experiential, conviction in ones own religion that leads to people applying logic to the problem of determining which religion is True. It is the reason we compare religions and shop around for the True one. In essence this is a manifestation of a deep cultural crisis in modern society. A lack of culture.
Then finally there is the question of love. From a Christian perspective: “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:24 KJV. This is the basis for the ascent of materialism and the descent of spirituality in modern society. It is why Europe and its outreaches despise religion and love materialism. It is why they seek to confine God in the jail of materialism. To dominate God with physical material “laws” of His creation.
There remain mysteries, beyond our understanding!
In this discussion it seems like what God can do is more limited than what Santa Claus can do.
Santa can be everywhere at once and those who believe in him do not doubt. No matter how many times they see Santas in different malls or other venues, they understand that all of them are real and they, all of them, are ultimately that same Santa who ultimately flies through the air around the world on Christmas Eve, visiting EVERY child who believes.
Seeing multiple Santas does not weaken the believers’ belief in the One Santa.
So should it be for all believers of all gods of all religions.
One Santa for all, able to be in all places at once, able to provide for all simultaneously.
“Therefore there can be many religions of equal Truth and validity from God’s perspective, even if not from our’s.”
Unless God gave you explicit permission to talk on his behalf, you need to change that slightly, as follows:
cancould be many religions…”
Many can be the intricacies of a fairytale (or nightmare).
PS: ubob seemed to imply I was Katherine in another thread – I am not.
The Saker’s point is surely well taken: If someone truly believes in their God (God 1) and believes that He commands, Do x, then it would be inconsistent for that someone to backslide for whatever reason. In the same way, if someone else truly believes in their God (God 2) and believes that He commands, Do not-x, then it would be inconsistent for that someone to backslide. So someone has an absolute command to do x and someone else an equally absolute command to do not-x. This may not be a reductio, but it is a warning sign that this is not a good way for a community including believers in Gods 1 & 2 to decide what actions are justified. This is clear in such a community. But it also applies to a community that believes in only one of the possible Gods, unless their is a knock-down argument to believe in Him and His commandments however seemingly bizarre (and “have faith” is an argument nobody would accept in any other context) – otherwise justifying actions is a purely human activity and “believe in God” is only one ethical possibility among many (and in the absence of good reason to believe in God, no longer obviously the most effective).
…And have I misread, or did the Saker say that capital punishment is wrong, and also that he would approve if the German police shot and killed those committing sexual assault in Cologne (none of whom are reported to have been a clear and present threat to anyone’s life and could therefore have been taken into custody).
did the Saker say that capital punishment is wrong, and also that he would approve if the German police shot and killed those committing sexual assault in Cologne
Yes, absolutely. I am not opposed to the used of armed force, the military, the police or even of military tribunals in case of civil war. Capital punishment is not a form of defense, which all of the former are. Capital punishment is a form of punishment (sorry for the truism) – there is thus a huge difference in it.
I would have no problem shooting rapists to protect women, but I would not execute a convicted rapist. Do you see the difference now?
I think I said that the perpetrators could have been taken into custody. As I understand, they were not an imminent threat to life or limb. If indeed armed police warned them and they persisted in attacks that risked loss of life, by all means stop them. Do you see my concern with the consistency of what you have said? Extra-judicial killing is not self-evidently better than capital punishment.
The gendarmerie in Paris under Maurice Papon responded to what they saw as a threat to order by throwing Algerians into the Seine. Is that the sort of values we’re contemplating?
did I ever say that?
you are simply trolling (again)
You’re almost right – not trolling at all, but using your tabloid-headline-speak technique (which I concede is not a good way to go about things).
There is a serious question, which I first asked is a perfectly reasonable tone.
You think the rapists should have been shot – extra-judicial killing. Maurice Papon thought the Algerians should be disposed of – extra-judicial killing. Why does one represent values Europe would do well to rediscover, and the other not?
It does deserve clarification from you.
I saw a head line recently that india has instituted capital punishment for rape.. I think this was because of western pressure when some Japanese women got raped and the previous rape and violence of a student who then died and the main culprit was convicted as a minor and he was released after an year..
I don’t think even in Iran or Saudi Arabia they have capital punishment for rape although even the women gets jail time in Saudi Arabia but not Iran. So now even teens can be killed for rape. I can see laws such as this being abused. Like it is cheaper to get someone to assert they had sexual relations with a married woman than get a divorce.. The punishment for that death..
The easier you make it to punish the guilty, the easier it gets to punish’.’… There is no guarantee that this wont get abused. After all just look at the number of laws in the US that’s being abused now. I think the US police collected over $8 billion last year in civil asset forfeiture.. That law came about to get drug money when you did not have evidence to prosecute.
I can just see people getting the death penalty and the government being overly eager to show they are doing something to keep the west happy.. So there is no guarantee that a minority report killing is because someone actually is committing a crime.. I think only in the US would the police even kill someone to prevent a crime. But because of western values this is becoming more prevalent. The cops will always have the excuse sorry, but the guy slipped and penetrated and we had to kill him.
Saudi Arabia here we come… actually just Chicago cops kill more people than the Saudi’s do..
this aricle is worth reading from off guardian, it quotes saker’s table of west’s hegomony attributes as apposed to russia and the east’s attributes.
plus someone objects to ”anglo-zionist” label and there is a few comments back and forth about it.
saker is being quoted in more and more places.
this was sent to me by email from
The Ugly Truth ([email protected])
with a picture of putin and obama talking,
obama fiddling with his sock.
i’m computer illiterate when it comes to clickable links, too old now to learn.
empire watch, Iraq, latest, multipolar world, Russia, Syria, United States
Published on January 9, 2016
Western Hegemony Versus Russian Sanity
by Mark Taliano
One mistake in the Off-Guardian piece was that it characterised the Saker as a “self-styled” military analyst. Retired, maybe. But the genuine article.
i forgot, the title of the piece is
Western Hegemony vs Russian Sanity
Saker,what is the music played in the beginning of the cast?
It is the beginning of a song by the Iranian rapper Yas entitled “YAS – Be Ommide IRAN Ft. Rastin”. You can listen to the full thing here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJZtGHPXV9Y
This podcast hits something essential about the modern world. Existential cowardice as described int he podcast is the rot of modern society which is leading to existential extinction. It has accelerated exponentially since the beginning of the 20th century. Whether it was in the Roman empire of the past, or the British empire today, the toleration of evil under various guises has caused the castration of Western intellectuality in the last century, and inducing that toleration in Western culture has been a principal means of social and political control. While I believe in the Fileoque and the Orthodox creed does not, I am grateful for the intolerance of the Orthodox Christians which has in this modern context provided one of the key substrates for a resistance to the empire.
the saker was not sure if he wanted to speak about god or about religion..he mixed the two and proposed a lame premise: all religions are intolerant (open to political wedge insertions).. fair enough, if anyone is interested in discussing.
but there is no place for god in this mix.
Have you maybe “forgotten” that this is his blog. He gets to decide if, when, and what, he can talk about. I may not always agree with him (though I usually do). But I try to never forget “who’s” blog this is. You and I only get to “decide” if we want to read it,and in this case listen to it, or not.
uncle bob 1,
i know allright whos’ blog this is. i take it the saker is not speaking to himself, but meant the podcast to be heard and commented on..i don’t regret doing it.
no offence there and no need for thought police..thanks.
The Saker’s argument is sound and unexceptionable, not at all lame, quite the contrary: if you truly believe in God (say, the God the Saker believes in) and you truly believe that God has made clear His commandments to humankind, then any deviation from those commandments is heresy. The Saker is surely to be commended for making this argument so clearly.
let’s not get god into this narrative skers clothed in religion although it is purely ethics.
example (in very simple terms): if one comitts a murder, the offender is a criminal and it mattters not whether s/he may be christian, muslim, judaic, atheist ….
Again, if you believe in God, the whole narrative is God’s narrative.
no ewan. the narrative is saker’s.
Look, hang around here long enough and you will soon come to realize that although the Saker is a well meaning self described “Hell yeh” removed with an excellent capacity for conservative post-event geopolitical military analysis (in certain regions) he also does have many limitations in other areas.
This ‘religion’ area is one such, imo.
Yes, ok, he is an expert in the history and traditions of the Orthodox stream and has a fundamentally conservative and largely reactionary perspective on what might be loosely referred to as the Pope’s domain. And yes, he seems to attract and not counter a fair percentage of the free-thinking ‘Indian incense’ crowd mindset.
However, there are too many inconsistencies and ill-thought through gaps and implications for his views in this area to taken too seriously, imo.
Examples to mind:
1. It appears he does not embrace change unless it has a Biblical endorsement.
Therefore, Islam is dismissed — presumably assuming the ‘One’ mentioned briefly to come later and explain is not the Arabian prophet of Islam but rather some imaginary ‘speaking in tongues’ event post-disappearance of the claimed historical personage referred to as Jesus etc. (How that babbling event 2,000 years ago, perhaps purifying it may have been, ‘explains’ anything is unclear?).
2. And yet, the focus of Christian thinking (and their dogma) is a Jewish man referred to as Jesus who was not a Christian and lived as a law abiding Jew — aka, no pork etc. And yet eating pork (and such) is an acceptable innovation based on some ‘dreams’ by later follower-leaders (or some speaking in their voice) who condone eating pork and many other Roman customs. No problem there with inconsistency it seems. (Of course I don’t know the Saker’s personal eating habits, but the point is the silence on these matters of principle and difference etc).
3. He seems to happy to drift into uncritical romantic indulgence of ‘exotic’ eastern customs and traditions (Hindu chants) without considering the deeper implications of this real-life attraction to his bolt-upright females-not-wearing-pants Biblical G_d fundamentals.
4. He is silent (and therefore uncritical it seems) of blog comments espousing the “it’s all beautiful and one, man” — you know, these superficial non-statements about all powerful G_d and Reality which could be simply counted by sticking a fresh stinking dog turd in their yapping mouths.
5. He quickly skirts over the more obvious issues of whether there is ‘One God’ (Jew/Moslem style) or three (Christian style) or three thousand (Hindu) — or none (Buddhist / Atheist style). Ok, is it an epistemological or ontological distinction being referred too? Yep, ‘no comment’ on this learned blog. Just some trite ‘the 3 are 1, man’ and onto the next topic du jour. Very confusing to say the least and I doubt that the Saker’s Orthodoxy can explain to the non-believer what it means that 3 = 1?
6. And in spite of a number of opportunities to do so, the Saker seems unable to refer to possible interpretations of various statements of dogma such as “I am God” (or words to that effect) which tend to get the speaker in hot water with the authorities of the day. For example, the case of the renowned Sufi Mansur Al-Hallaj, who was indicted and killed on charges of .saying things like “I am God”. Echos of the “Father & Son are One”? [Of course, the ‘Holy 3rd Aspect” had clearly not danced in that duet otherwise, surely, it would have been ‘Hey, Daddyo, Laddio and Spooky are One Dude, Man!” — or was is it “… One Man, Dude?”].
7. And so the show goes on: on a quiet news day watch the Saker and his best efforts to break out of — and stay within — his Orthodox Traditions. Now, I’m not one to criticism this stance — each to his/her own — but in terms of public debate and publishing outside the ‘cult’ the onus is on the presenter to use simple clear language and address points of concern raised in the dialectic. Without this it is likely to seem as a form of entertainment, attraction and amusement rather than ‘Seeking’ per se etc. But only he knows his aim.
8. The Saker’s credibility, like his beard, is not in doubt. Just his capacity to draw any serious consideration on these ‘fringe’ topics for his eccentric geopolitical analysis blog,
9. For some, who have wrestled with these issues of “So What?” truths in domains, by definition beyond ethics and human capacities, there are answers to these questions — not of ontological realities of the supernatural realms — but rather of the nature of the human condition which in its entirety as individual body, or collectively as society, is best served by (a) a converging schema on a single wholeness; and (b) a primary focus on that wholeness (rather than its alleged constituent parts, even if any view of these parts is not in conflict with the notion of the whole).
10. What is an example of this use of language — that key distinguishing feature of humans from animals? Most people would use the word “car” to refer to a common means of transport. Perhaps an engineer or mechanic would say that “sacred and complex association of fuel, electric and mechanical subsystems which can be used to go pick up some milk”. “One God” is car; the “Trinity” is the complex associations; and the need to use the latter rather than the former in this modern scientific age is simply a signal that one is a mechanic or engineer talking ‘shop’.
11. I’ll finish this little ‘rant’ which the Saker has inspired me to write here. The “So What?” test.
Ok, let us conclude with a ‘relevance’ test and take the Saker’s Christian model of reality and use it to understand better our situation here and now in the geopolitical context.
I don’t know the Orthodox frame in any detail so I have little recourse other than use what I know of the character, George Gurdjieff, (a Greek Armenian Russian mixture) to suggest that what is useful in the Christian system is what came though ancient ‘pre-sands’ Egypt (and hence probably what offended the Jews). How many years did the character Jesus spend in Egypt?
Ok, one key feature of this Christian values-system is the 7 sins. Seven is useful and (plus or minus 2) seems to be a human capacity heuristic (e.g. see George A. Miller’s “The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information””)
Now let’s also consider Sam Harris’ “Blindsided” theory — any analyst or strategist worth their wage would be aware of this feature in our perceptual and cognitive functioning.
So, we can ask the question: does a values-system which considers 7 variables have more or less capacity to interpret data and facilitate understanding than one that only considers 5 variables? Seems reasonable, imo — variety (of variables) controls variety (of information). If so, then is it also reasonable to conclude that a values-system of 9 variables would have greater capacity than one based on 7 variables? Seems reasonable — assuming the human capacity is developed to the requisite levels — i.e. that cognitive capacity and thinking devices are at the maximum of the “plus 2” end of Miller’s scale.
So, to cut a very long story short, Christianity with its “7 Sins” model has, from a 9-variable system perspective, two possible blind spots. Is there a system of thinking which expands on this idea? Yes there is and it came into Western awareness in Russia around 1911 via Gurdjieff and eventually emerged into modern pop-psychology on the US West Coast as the Enneagram Personality movement around the 1970-80’s. (“Enna-” is Greek for 9).
Anyone can now easily research this topic online.
So, to the point. According to one way of thinking the two ‘missing’ sins in the 7-variable system view (from the 9-variable perspective) are understood to be “Fear” and “Deceit”. These are mapped on the diagram in some interpretations. Lack of awareness of these ‘cultural’ features suggests strategic weak points and unconscious controlling features (e.g. the lame leg controls the body).
In conclusion: if Einstein is correct, and we cannot solve the problems from the same level of thinking that created them, then problems of a 7-variable world view need to be considered from an 8- or 9-variable system view.
According to some lines of enneagram based thinking the contemporary US ‘Christian Zionist’ culture is typed as being centered on ‘deceit’ and ‘fear’ as its core hidden blindsiding features — i.e. the same two missing ‘sins’ in the Christian 7-sin system view.
Where did this enneagram ‘system’ and knowledge come from? It seems a combination of antiquity and historical repository within some schools of Islamic Sufism (like many of the ancient books and texts destroyed and lost to the West by some notorious the Christian Churches along the way) — and in more recent times the said Gurdjieff and his school of White Russian “Forest Philosophers” who escaped the Bolshevik revolution and ended up, via Turkey, in France and England and the Americas. AND, much more recently, the Catholic Church (namely the Jesuits) who were very much involved in its transplanting into the USA West Coast culture in the 1970’s — principally from Chile and surrounding regions.
So, Saker, whether you are aware of this history or not, you are, imo, largely limiting yourself and your development of a useful ‘beyond-Christian’ perspective by looking backwards (towards those pillars of salt) rather than forwards and towards the more recent invitations from this unified “Whole Thing” — something which can only just touch us in our human condition if we exercise our capacities to receive it.
This does not mean one needs to be an expert on 9-variable systems. No, rather it means that to develop a fully mature and human adult understanding in our appreciation of the ‘God’ thing (within ourselves and within the greater world) — especially as a male (and not just remain only child-like believing in Santa) — then one must look beyond the 7-sins thing. And to be ‘free’ to act one must be aware of the systemic blindsiding which the Edward Bernays based PR industry (and various 3-letter Agencies) rely on to manipulate and govern us and the masses.
End of rant.
Your comments suggest that you didn’t listen as carefully as you could to the podcast. The Saker gave quite a precise formulation of the argument he was making and your criticisms are wide of the mark.
A very interesting take on the idea of tolerance and what it really means – a topic indeed rarely brought up, since the West generally takes the “scientific”, or should I say, technocratic definition of tolerance as the only one that is “reasonable”: that is, tolerance as in indifference towards other people’s opinions. But let’s not digress on that; suffice to say what some call the western technocracy has its own set of truths that brands anyone who disagrees with them as ‘unreasonable’, thus too foolish to even talk with, too foolish to participate in their version of democracy even.
On the other hand, ecumenical religious movements are tolerant in the sense they are open to discussion with a person; the very concept of dignity disallows to just flatly reject a whole person as unreasonable. Everyone is allowed to participate. Such a person is misguided, and should be taught; an unreasonable person, on the other hand, cannot be taught, they must conform. And heresy is something different altogether.
Heresy is a word which has bad press nowadays, but I think it could be summed up as “rejecting the objective reality in a socially hurtful manner”. Any society that wishes to survive must protect itself from universally hurtful behaviour. This goes beyond criminal code; it is based on some fundamental perceptions of truth and reality a society has. So, intolerance understood this way is an instrument of survival. It’s not surprising that the western tolerance – or indifference – is not far away from hedonism, solipsism and nihilism – schools of thought that generally reject human survival as important (or even, in extreme cases, as desired).
Going even more esoteric, this creates a division between what I will call the cult of life and the cult of death. Cult of death is not concerned with the survival of humanity, since it gravitates towards the notion of unbounded, predatory competition between people, which naturally favours “super-predators” which, in objective reality, means people with power and money.
Another topic I wanted to touch upon is the difference between Europe and US, and, specifically, one facet of it: it is often overlooked that, unlike Europe, the US society is strongly influenced by religious fanaticism; its roots are religious fanaticism (sectarianism), and this is in my opinion as strong an influence as the myth of the colonist. Not only a substantial portion of settlers was composed of various extreme sects, fleeing the Europe; happenings like what ISIL is doing nowadays were going on in the US as recently as late 19th century – example: massacres, kidnappings and all sorts of illicit behaviour by the Mormon sect. What’s more, those responsible were never punished; the sect was integrated into the statehood and allowed to go on. It might be therefore worthwhile, I think, to discuss what tolerance means in the US; it must be somehow based on an alliance between multitudes of extreme sects, a federation of sects of sorts. Therefore it must be based on partners-in-crime like pragmatism, not any dogma since no common dogma really exists. These are just my musings, not even a full fledged theory, though.
Saker I think your view of “truth” is a bit simplistic.
I am a believer of the Gospel, but consider this profound statement from the Koran:
“We have revealed the Torah, wherein is guidance and light. The submissive prophets ruled the Jews according to it, so did the rabbis and the scholars, as they were required to protect God’s Book, and were witnesses to it. So do not fear people, but fear Me. And do not sell My revelations for a cheap price. Those who do not rule according to what God revealed are the unbelievers.
45. And We wrote for them in it: a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and an equal wound for a wound; but whoever forgoes it in charity, it will serve as atonement for him. Those who do not rule according to what God revealed are the evildoers.
46. In their footsteps, We sent Jesus son of Mary, fulfilling the Torah that preceded him; and We gave him the Gospel, wherein is guidance and light, and confirming the Torah that preceded him, and guidance and counsel for the righteous.
47. So let the people of the Gospel rule according to what God revealed in it. Those who do not rule according to what God revealed are the sinners.
48. And We revealed to you the Book, with truth, confirming the Scripture that preceded it, and superseding it. So judge between them according to what God revealed, and do not follow their desires if they differ from the truth that has come to you. For each of you We have assigned a law and a method. Had God willed, He could have made you a single nation, but He tests you through what He has given you. So compete in righteousness. To God is your return, all of you; then He will inform you of what you had disputed.”
In other words, if we accept this statement, it means that God ‘lied’ by presenting ostensibly incompatible creeds to different groups of people at different times, knowing full well that it would cause (at the very least intellectual) conflict.
However what may appear to us lowly humans to be a lie or a contradiction may in fact be true in a larger, broader, permanent sense. Consider the below statement from the Bolshevik Christian Rakovsky:
“Marxism, before being a philosophical, economic and political system, is a conspiracy for the revolution. And as for us the revolution is the only absolute reality, it follows that philosophy, economics and politics are true only insofar as they lead to revolution. The fundamental truth (let us call it subjective) does not exist in economics, politics or even morals: in the light of scientific abstraction it is either truth or error, but for us, who are subject to revolutionary dialectic, it is only truth. And insofar as to us, who are subject to revolutionary dialectic, it is only truth, and therefore the sole truth, then it must be such for all that is revolutionary, and such it was to Marx.”
In accordance with this we must act. Remember the phrase of Lenin, in reply to someone who demonstrated by way of argument that, supposedly, his intention contradicted reality: ‘I feel it to be real’ was his answer. Do you not think that Lenin spoke nonsense? No, for him every reality; every truth was relative in the face of the sole and absolute one: the revolution.”
To translate what Rakovsky is saying here, which is purely Hegelian: something which may appear to be false if viewed in isolation and at one particular point in time, and with a limited understanding, may in fact be true when it is viewed in its proper context as part of a larger, complete, permanent whole.
For the Marxists who understood the doctrine at its highest philosophical levels, what appear to laymen to be errors when viewed tentatively (e.g. Lenin’s “defeatism”) were in fact necessary stepping stones when viewed in light of the true and indisputable end result which could not have been realized had the errors not been made and subsequently rectified–therefore the errors, appearing false to the shallow mind, as necessary parts of the final truth, were in fact true.
Is it not conceivable that God set into motion a number of contradictory faiths purposely so that they would clash, thus giving us the opportunity, the privilege even, as the Koran said, to demonstrate our righteousness, not by the sword, but by remaining ideologically firm in our own faith yet compassionate toward our brothers in other faiths at the same time?