Monday, August 28, 2006

About Ayaan, the U.N. and what not

Yesterday watched the Nova documentary on my hero Ayaan Hirsi Ali. How bad can it be to swap the life under a Islamic dictatorship, for a country which is so ruthlessly egalitarian it makes your head spin? If you don't fit in (don't conform), your head gets snapped, simple as that. Still, it makes you wonder who the author was of that set-up, of stripping her of her Dutch nationality and kicking her out of parliament and the country. I am not easily moved nowadays, but I found myself weeping from time to time. How can a country treat so valuable a person as Ayaan, so badly? She is now rubbing shoulders in New York with George Bush, Condi, Angela Merkel, Salman Rushdie, old Mr Realpolitik Henry Kissenger himself and God knows who else I've seen from the real world, all of whom are singing Ayaan's praises!. An enormous honour (but try get the diminuative country to appreciate that!): she received the AJC prize for Moral Courage ... good for her and I hope she'll be very happy! Guess she was just one size (or a good many) too big for the country, the size of a postage stamp.

- The U.N. and Mr Wood's book: apparently Christianity/Catholicism can be credited as well with the groundrules of international law and universal human rights, stemming from the time of Spanish colonisation of the New World! However I have a problem: everything and everybody being of equal value (as discussed yesterday: cannibalism, Christianity, Islam, bushmen, intellectuals, Stalin, Mother Theresa) it now so happens that ruthless dictators and mass murderers can call elected governments to account. (No wonder Pope Benedict is worried about run away relativism.)

I call to mind an appearance of former Secretary of State Colin Powell in a UN forum held in Africa a few years back, during which this most respectable and upstanding man was booed by the participants, while Mr Mugabe of Zimbabwe was applauded as if he were Father Christmas himself. I mean: how can this be right, ever? But Mr Woods is also warning, it would be a careless assumption to conclude that a body like the UN would be advocated by the Scholastics. A body like the U.N. merely shifts the Hobbesian problem up one level and does not solve it. But sanctions apparently do, about which I would beg to differ, especially with the UN involved, judging how the Oil-for-Food scandal, ehh ... program worked out.
- Here I have a question for whoever is willing and qualified to answer it (not Tom, Dick and/or Harry please, as I know their parrot answer and I'm not interested to hear it for the umpteen millionth time, unless they have a theological grade of the Christian persuation): people under a dictatorship by definition haven't asked voluntarily for such a regime. Have Christian nations no obligation to liberate them, as the Allies have done during WWII? I have never heard my parents yet complain about "friendly fire", by which half a city was destroyed in the effort of getting rid of the Nazis...?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Sunday, 27th August 2006

I see that my last notes date back from more than a year ago and another life in another country. For now I am a lone seeker of Truth in the old Eastern Empire, caring no longer what the Low Countries may be up to.
I am planning to post my notes on a regular basis, no longer for dissemination of good ideas, but just for my own benefit and soul improvement.
Having realised some time ago when I read to my horror we are living in a "post-Christian" world, to what extent Christianity has contributed to our civilisation, indeed made it to what it is! And now we are "post"! Well it figures, but who still thinks this is to our advantage must be either mad or living on another planet.
Things are much better in Greece, but then Doxa to Theo this is still very much a Christian country and society (bless them).

So having this realisation I bought "How the Catholic Church built Western Civilisation" by Thomas E. Woods which is an excellent book and describes the time when Rational Thought, Religion and Science were one and the same, instead of divorsed from eachother and in opposition as is presently the case. Going through the book I am sure the author will tell me how that happened, but I feel it may have something to do with the increased hostility of Liberal thought towards religion in general. This has been going on since the time of Enlightenment, but more so lately in reaction to the increased dominance and assertivity of fundamentalist Islam and it's Sons of Peace. Much they have to answer for!

Then there is also the Liberal premise that all are created equal, so in the gutter philosophy of especially Holland (meaning empty (hol) land (land), or land of people with an empty head) this means that all and everything is equal, not just people but also civilisations and religions. Christianity is equal to animism and shamanism is equal to Islam. Western civilisation is equal to that of the East, is equal to cannibalism, etc., etc.
So it happened that Ayaan was chased out of the country, her being equal to a soccer player and any other person who lied under a certain set of circumstances. I mean, the stupidity, the mindless inability to interpret the law or analyse and weigh the situation: I cannot get my head around it and words fail me for once.
But that's not what I am here for, as I left all that behind in disgust!
- This is how the Scholastics got to the truth: 1. pose a question, 2. list the arguments from both sides (for and against), 3. view of the writer or researcher, 4. any objections thereto are answered. We all knew that already, but nobody's interested anymore in the truth, just their own political positions, which are usually somebody else's and opposed to George Bush in particular and/or the U.S. is general.

- Proof of present day stupidity of the discussion is in the fact that already in the Middle Ages the Scholastics (who were of course Roman Catholics) knew not to mix theology with natural philosophy (see above mentioned book by Th. Woods, pp. 56, 57): St Anselm (1033-1109) apparently did so, writing Cur Deus Homo, which exams from a rational point of view why it is appropriate and fitting for God to have become Man (no less!!!). He also came to a logic definition of God and proof of existance. How 's that for Rationality in Religion?

- Present lamentable lack of classical eduation also becomes apparent, when the following (p. 62) is considered: St Thomas of Aquinas (1225-1274) in Summa Theologiae raised and answered thousands of questions on theology and philosophy, f.i. whether all vices should be criminalised (which he thought not). Who in the Department of Justice or in political parties remembers that (or even cares, or knew it to begin with).

- Also in relation to present day discussion about Creationism versus Darwinism (apart from the point above) and Ann Coulter's hilarious new book Godless (see also above remarks about Liberalism's increased hostility towards religion): Darwinism doesn't explain First Cause (unless primordial soup or Big Bang qualifies, which it doesn't).

- Another note: the dominant religion in present day Holland is "Iets-ism" (loosely translated as "Something-ism", a vague intuitive mysticism (with no thought school, of course) that there must be a First Cause, but the refusal to accept that that "something" is called God (or even acceptance of Christianity (which was of Granny and cannot be right ... like George Bush).

- Gutter knowledge of The Enlightenment: before the advent of The Enlightenment (you know, Islam was passed by from it) there was total and utter darkness ... under the auspices of The Church, of course).

- Here's a fun one: Roger Bacon (13th cent.) identified several obstacles to The Truth, among them UNINSTRUCTED POPULAR OPINION and LONG-STANDING BUT ERRONEOUS CUSTOM. I say no more...