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Monday, February 27, 2006

The Islamic bomb

(Cross-posted from Burkean Canuck).
The "Islamic bomb" is not nuclear, but totalitarian.

Even before the Islamic suicide terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon (the Pentagon!) on September 11, 2001, the U.S. Government was concerned at the prospect of a nuclear capability in the hands of the secularist, crypto-Marxist Ba'athist regime of Saddam's Iraq or the radical Shia regime of Iran.

Iraq's regime was Arab, dominated by Ba'athist Sunnis and a few Ba'athist Chaldean Christians, and appealed to Muslim sensibilities and anti-Americanism when it was politically convenient or advantageous. Iran's regime is Persian, and features Islamicization and anti-Americanism as core values. The Arab Shia Muslims of Iraq, however, have found the late, Persian version to be aberrant -- not true to the teaching of the Twelfth Imam.

Since Saddam's regime was overthrown, the minority Sunnis are no longer in charge of Iraq, and in a rep-by-pop regime, Iraq would be dominated by the majority population, the Twelfth-Imam Shia Muslims. The leading Arab Shia Imams of Iraq have consistently adopted a position both desirous of political peace and a speedy exit of the Western soldiers from Iraq. They have frequently countered the less measured pronouncements of the Persian Shia Mullahs. Meanwhile, the Wahabist Sunnis and, presumably, the secular Sunni Ba'athists appear to be doing everything they can to sabotage the institution of a stable regime in Iraq. They appear to be supported and supplied both by elements in the remaining Ba'athist regime in Syria and by the Persian Shias of Iran.

What the Persian Shias, the Wahabist Sunnis, the Ba'athist insurgents of Iraq, and the Ba'athist regime of Syria have in common is that they have all given in to what Jean-Francois Revel called "the totalitarian temptation." All want to defeat dissent and a plurality of institutions' exercising authority and power in society. All want to centralize control of public culture and discourse in the hands of the state. All want to defeat cultures which tolerate and defend dissenting discourse and which encourage a culture of plural institutions.

Increasingly, there is a "modernist, secular liberal bomb," too, as adherents to a version of this world view endeavour to enforce it and defeat dissenting Christian discourse in the public square and the authority and power of Christian institutions. This is a soft, and sometimes not so soft, totalitarianism.  It's pursued in attempting to silence Christian views in public discourse and in preventing Christian institutions -- schools, churches, and fraternal organizations -- from, say, holding events and renting facilities so as to be consistent with Christian teaching and conviction.

The push to universalize a certain, modernist, secular liberal world view is a distortion of the careful "modus vivendi" that was achieved by the West, building on some 1500 years of Christian political thought about "dual authority," "evangelical freedom," and others (see this thread). The constitutional consensus achieved in 17th and 18th-c. England and her colonies was remarkable, albeit not perfect. Its great achievements were to allow dissent, to not insist that all think alike, and to channel agonistic struggle away from violence and into discursive debate and peaceful protest.

But when certain modernist, secular liberals censor discursive debate by Christians and when they disqualify Christians from political institutions, they are upsetting the "modus vivendi." They are giving in to the totalitarian temptation.

That isn't a nuclear bomb, but it's no less a bomb than the Islamic bomb, and not different in kind from Islamic totalitarianism.

Posted by Russ Kuykendall on February 27, 2006 in International Affairs, Religion | Permalink


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Ref. to M. Steyn article above, I suggest the change in attitudes about homosexuality and polygamy comes from giving up the authority of the Bible.

If the authority of deciding is in the hands of society, it will translate into perversion sooner or later. In other words, what we see is a symptom, an effect of giving up the authority of the Word of God. It is in no way a progress or a cause of any kind. It could be likened to drilling a hole in a dam, then eventually the water will bring down the whole dam.

Another kind of hole is taking place in the foundations of our society. It is Muslim immigration. Before it's too late, it should be stopped.

Posted by: Rémi houle | 2006-02-27 9:26:04 AM

Well, I disagree. I don't think that a 'modernist secular liberal world view' censors discursive debate by anyone. To the contrary.

I'm, I hope, a 'modernist secular liberal', and in my view, the 'modus vivendi' of such is its openness to debate and analysis. (I'll add, for the Twits who sometimes visit this blog, that I refer only to reasoned, grounded debate, not juvenile ad hominem).

In my view, such an Open Society doesn't focus on any religion - and indeed - again, as an atheist - I reject the religious perspective within analysis. That is, in my view, religion is private not public. And - therefore, separate from the state. I don't think that any religion should have power in the state.

We've debated this before; you assert that the liberalism of the West has its origins in Christianity; I assert that it's based on both the Greeks and the support of reason - and- the ecological necessity for individualism.

No state should discriminate against religion, but, all states should, I feel, insist that religion has no role to play in political infrastructures.

Ethics and morality don't require religion to exist; they exist because we are human and have the capacity for reason.

Posted by: ET | 2006-02-27 9:31:57 AM

The problem with the separation of church and state is that the state still wants to control what the church used to.

What is the justification for state involvment in marriage at all? It's none of the governments damn business what my domestic arrangements may be. I shouldn't have to grovel to some state minion to get their permission (ie. license) to get married in the manner of my chosing. If religion is separated from government, social institutions should be separated from government, too.

Posted by: Warwick | 2006-02-27 9:39:23 AM

ET: And by rejecting religion as public, you engage in a squelching of dissent and at least a soft totalitarianism if you insist that the religious must do the same. That's my point. Not all modernist, secular liberals do. But the Canadian courts have and do, and that is a form of totalitarianism, by definition.

Posted by: Russ Kuykendall | 2006-02-27 9:39:50 AM

If you keep the stuff that religions do to the churches and out of the government, you don't have to crush anything. The government shouldn't have anything at all to say on the matter. Period.

The government is there to pave our streets, not police our private lives. That is best left to the individual and the old-school version of "community." I don't want the government involved in making social decisions. It's none of their business.

Marrage should be between those involved and their religious intitution if any. It need not be condoned or recognized by government because government shouldn't be in the business of marrage - of any sort. It also shouldn't be in the business of promoting values. That's what parents are for.

Posted by: Warwick | 2006-02-27 9:46:17 AM

Muslim immigration should be stopped? I don't even know where to begin with that type of extremism. Absurdities aside, religion should not be tossed into any political forums. Christianity is just as "crazy" as Islam when you compare the extremists of either religion.

Our goal as a society should be to educate ourselves away from religion and rely instead of an understanding of the world based on facts and observation, not the blind acceptance of ancient texts and mythological explanations of the physical world.

Posted by: Jarvis | 2006-02-27 9:48:01 AM

Secular 'liberals' today are often the greatest supporters of fascism in Western countries - there isn't a law or regulation they don't like and these 'liberals' figure we can achieve some sort of wonderful society by forcing people to do this or that.

A few examples include the environmentalist movement - stamp a green label on something and all of a sudden it's a holy grail, untouchable. Hate speech laws are another example, sure they can be used to shut up some ignorant jerks, but their existence is testament to people who don't believe in founding Western principles and want to control thought. Immigration in Canada - if you don't applaud the status quo you're in for a rough ride - it's not up for debate, more of the same is the only politically correct choice - up until a critical mass of people with different cultural ideas decides to change the status quo, like perhaps enforcing Sharia practices for example.

Posted by: simpleton | 2006-02-27 9:55:04 AM


Wake up. There haven't been large numbers of Christians acting like terrorists since the Hapsburgs rules Spain and encouraged the inquisition.

The people that are slagged as Christian Extremists now are people who non-violently call on laws banning abortion. Not in the same ballpark as straping a bomb to yourself and blowing up school girls in pizza parlours.

Your point hasn't been valid in a few hundred years.

Posted by: Warwick | 2006-02-27 9:59:26 AM

Jarvis, You are terribly misinformed or you simply don't understand the difference between Muslim and christian extremism in the present day.

Further: When the population learns that government create far more problems than they can solve that will be a start. Whether we can ever have true altruistic govenment determined to actually do what is best for society is likely a dream. We have all come to know that it's more often than not, the dregs who have the skin to run for office.

So longs as government largesse is part of your financial protfolio, we will have a contintually failing society.

Strong independant men and women can build a great society, weak collectivist men and women chew it to death like termites in a wooden house.

Finally, stop all muslim immigration to Canada before we become victims of these murderous automatons.

We may not have a cearly definable Canadian culture, but I can live with that. What cannot live with is a wishy washy multicultural society waiting for Islam to remake and redefine it for us.

That is all they do!

Posted by: Duke | 2006-02-27 10:07:10 AM

I presume I'm one of the Twits (I like the proper name) to which you refer.
Just to make your life more difficult, I'm afraid I agree with every last word you've written on this point.
Sorry to put you in this awkward position. I'll go now.

Posted by: truewest | 2006-02-27 10:16:45 AM

Good post, Russ.

Make no mistake - Modern secular liberalism is a religion with a distinct set of beliefs. In fact it views itself as superior to other religions but it's adherents operate under the 'illusion of neutrality'. But it is not neutral, and has a specific agenda to assert its superiority by weakening other religions, but usually Christianity is the main target, since other religions fly under the multicultural guise.

Christianity is tolerant of other beliefs - by definition to tolerate something means that you don't agree with it but you put up with it gracefully - after all it was Christians who introduced the concept of freedom of religion to Western society. But that is not good enough for the modern secularist creed. They redefine tolerance (as they so often redefine words to suit their agenda) to mean that you can't say anything bad about someone else's religion as that would be 'intolerant'.

The outcome is a squashing of freedom of speech for Christians and the totalitarian impulses that Russ refers to.

Posted by: timmyz | 2006-02-27 10:22:38 AM


Now THAT was a good post as well. I totally agree.

Posted by: deepblue | 2006-02-27 10:26:16 AM

The problem with modern secular liberals is that they aren't modern, secular, or liberal.

They are old-style authoritarian/totalitarian statists who put themselves at the centre of their version of a godless religion and rather illiberally, persecute heretics (ie. the human rights commissions which has substituted for the inquisition.)

Posted by: Warwick | 2006-02-27 10:29:10 AM

Apologies up front, this is a bit long and rambling.

Russ, I’ve been a sympathetic follower for several months now of what you refer to as Modern Secular Liberals, MSLs. But many “normal” people would call themselves MSLs, therefore I’m going to wedge in the word “extreme” to capture the fact that like everything else, some push secular to the extreme, so Modern Secular-Extreme Liberals, MSELs.

Maybe MSEL is simply the raw politics of the left in their death rattle before passing into the abyss.

Possibly MSELs cling to political correctness and thus the ruling out of dissent as their last defense to protect their hollow souls and empty policies in a world that has moved past them.

Liberals have ruled for most of a century in Canada. In the last half of the century they clung to power by appeasing Quebec, which cleverly threatened to stay on the cusp of separation. As a result Liberals have been in a vacuum in terms of developing policy. All they knew how to do was to buy our votes with our own money; they didn’t know how to lead with a great vision for change. Ditters knew we needed change but he was too hollow to lead it.

To get to your MSEL point, Liberals hate competition. Conservatism had been in the penalty box after Mulroney. Therefore the only challenge for the hearts and minds of the public was coming from what the Liberals feared was the rise of the Religious Right. They saw it happening in the States and feared it would move up here. Hence the MSM and academia and all the propaganda machinery that the Liberals could muster, made it politically incorrect to even say God Bless Canada.

There are some MSELs that appear on this site and they are clearly struggling with the post 9/11 worldview. There are some atheists that appear here and I often totally agree with their worldview, e.g., 99% of the time in the case of ET. There are some Christian fundamentalists here that are frankly a little over the top. So we can’t generalize and as conservatives we need to find a way to accommodate each others’ idiosyncrasies if we are going to push the Liberals permanently into the abyss.

I think secular needs redefining from a 3rd world country like Iran and it’s Mullahs to a developed county like the US. I can work with what the Rev Martin Luther King said:
“ The Church should not be the master of the State or the servant of the State, it should be the conscience of the State." (Feel free to substitute Mosque or whatever you like for Church)

Anyway, now that the Liberals have been sent to purgatory, I’m less worried about this MSEL stuff. I’m a Christian, I’m out of the closet, my friends in Toronto no longer look agast at me when I say I go to church, I’m not deemed subversive just because I’m a Christian. My hope is that: this MSEL stuff too shall pass.

Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-02-27 10:46:12 AM

ET, by dismissing religious views (of any type) from the socio-political discourse of a nation you are in essence stating that 70% of the population should not have their views and beliefs represented. And yes state and church should be separate, state has no business telling church what, where and how it should do things. (and before you get up in arms the church should also not attempt to dictate to state --the voting public should dictate to state as in theory at least we are a western democratic nation. And the voting public’s beliefs should be reflected in that dictation)

I have to refute your point that ethics and morals do not require religion. Most faiths (excluding things like hedonism and Satanism) are in essence a codified method of morality. The alternative to a faith/religious approach to social morals is a legislative approach in which government dictates right and wrong. As we’ve seen historically this approach doesn’t work (Nazism/Stalinism etc), another human attribute you forgot to mention along with reason is self-interest, people will do what is “right” for themselves (perhaps not to the extreme of killing their neighbour because they want his car) rather than what is absolutely right (and yes there is such a thing as an absolute of that I am absolutely sure). Faith (read Christianity) teaches that your neighbour/family even ememy is at least as important as you are, where as human reason says “screw them, survival of the fittest man.” Now I’m not saying that anyone who professes faith will indeed put their neighbour’s needs and desires before theirs—it is incredibly hard to do—but I do believe that a society that has no religion will see much less of this and would be inclined towards a “good for me” attitude.

As for stopping immigration based on religion or ethnic background that's some of the worse type of fearmongering I've seen since the St. Louis sailed in 1939... Remi as a Christian you should celibrate the opportunity to be able to discuss your faith in Jesus with these immigrants in a country where you won't be beaten or beheaded for doing so.

Posted by: Daniel | 2006-02-27 10:54:43 AM

" There haven't been large numbers of Christians acting like terrorists since the Hapsburgs rules Spain and encouraged the inquisition."

Utter nonsense.

Just because your knowledge of history is lacking, doesn't mean your assertion is correct.

Check out WW2 and The Ustache, as well as the Diem period of South Viet Nam.

You will find plenty of "Christian Terrorism" there.

Posted by: Ian Scott | 2006-02-27 10:57:36 AM


Which came first, the morals or the religion.

Religion is based on man-made works written to reflect the spiritual and moral basis of those who wrote it. Were the morals not first?

Posted by: Warwick | 2006-02-27 10:58:27 AM

I agree with nomdenet - that you have to be careful of your labels. His extremist MSL, acronym of MSEL..is a postmodernist. Don't equate the two.

It is incorrect to define a 'modernist, secular liberal' as an amoral, relativist postmodernist. (as, for example, simpleton, timmyz - both of whom define it that way).
Postmodernism is, in my view, an empty, mechanical ideology (it most certainly isn't even a theory). Don't equate postmodernism with modernist liberalism.

I reject religion as public and simply don't see how, Russ, you can conclude that such negates dissent and enables totalitarianism. I state that reason, logic, science, empiricism is the basis of a society. Please note - postmodernism, which is what, incorrectly, many of you see as 'modernist liberalism'...denies all these capacities (reason, logic, science, empiricism).

I also disagree that marriage should not be a state responsibility. Since a marriage is also an economic unit, and, the means of reproducing the material component of the society, the state MUST have a say in marriage. Otherwise, we end up with a situation where - if one uses Sharia ideology - a woman can be divorced 'like that'..and be cast out in the street. Or, there can be no economic support for the children, and the state is forced to use taxpayer money for that etc, etc.

That's a nice analysis by nomdenet - the Liberal Party does indeed reject competition of any type; it considers itself The Only Party. Interesting how, since it is no longer in power, it has become essentially invisible.

And..interesting analysis that they moved to reject Christianity, seeing in its members beliefs that would reject their relativism, their multicultural isolation of groups from each other..all to retain power.

After all, most of our academics are leftist postmodernists..which means they are relativists and reject dissent. All opinions are equally valid, which means that no opinion can be evaluated. It's called pure randomness).

But, I reject that the church should be the conscience of the state. I don't need a church to be ethical. I'm aware that some bloggers to this site have claimed that I am without morals and ethics - because I am an atheist, but - that's their opinion.

Since religion is a human construct..i.e., it doesn't come as a biological rule within our genes, and sorry- I can't accept a metaphysical a priori God..much as I like the image of Zeus and his whole gang...Then, religion is a human construct. Therefore, the notion of morality and ethics is a human characteristic of reason, logic and emotion. You don't need a religion to acquire such attributes.

Posted by: ET | 2006-02-27 11:20:40 AM

No, Daniel, I disagree. Ethics and morality, in my view, don't require religion.

There isn't a peoples/society in the world that is without morality and ethics of some sort. That includes all the modes of society that existed long before monotheistic religions, and before religion - understood as a belief in a, or numerous, deities. All peoples are aware of the fragility of biological reality and yet, the continuity of this same biological reality. Therefore, all peoples have come up with various explanations of this continuity.

And, I disagree that the 'natural state' of man is focused on the individual and selfishness (ahh, Hobbes..life is brute, nasty and short). This notion of individual self-interest simply doesn't, empirically, emerge in studies of societies. Instead - there is always the sense of communal identity, a sense of the importance of the community, and the continuity of the group.

Remember, that our species is unique in the world. We aren't born with a genetic-memory of 'how to live'. Our knowledge of 'how to live' is external; it is learned; it is held within the community. Therefore, our species cannot function with isolate individuals; we can only function within 'the social', within the collective. So, this community also develops rules of 'how to live'. And, a respect for the continuity of the community, which includes a respect for life, for sharing..is basic.

A key component, what enables the most 'primitive' societies to function - and they've been around for 40,000 years..longer than any other type of socioeconomic system..is sharing. And they don't have a religion as we understand it, though they certainly believe in spirits and non-material forces. But, in their society - Everything is shared. Therefore, your suggestion that humans are 'selfish individuals' isn't valid.

Also- I disagree with rejecting Muslims as immigrants. What has to be done, for all immigrants - is an open signed statement that their request for immigration includes an acknowledgment of our democratic political infrastructure and not seek to overthrow it. This is just basic sedition - and Canada ought to deport anyone who breaks this bond. Be more like Australia.

Posted by: ET | 2006-02-27 11:36:35 AM


Perhaps stating that religion is required for morals was a poor choice of wording. Faith or belief is perhaps a better choice of words. Religion in itself is not the source of the ethical standard, but is a human interpretation (and sometimes a very bad interpretation). But since it was the word that ET chose I followed suit. Religion in and of itself is dead, it is the faith that those who prescribe to the religion that makes it a necessary element in our societies. While I do not refute that the thought must come before the written word the question is/was would society function in a similar fashion without religion solely do to our ability to reason, solely based on our ability as humans to discern that stealing and killing is bad? I hold that the answer is no, we as a group and as individual prefer to have our own desires fulfilled and without faith in something higher (god, or idea if you will) we will act on those desires to the detriment of others.

Posted by: Daniel | 2006-02-27 11:38:15 AM

ET then, as I said you can substitute your own humanistic word for “church”. I wasn’t saying that what Martin Luther King said has to work for everybody. I know many atheists that practice the rules of Christianity better than a lot of people who say they are Christians.

On this subject of MSL or MSEL now PMSL (gosh no wonder the Liberals went to purgatory, they couldn’t handle this),
for those of you wondering why Toronto didn’t elect a single Conservative MP, this discussion is very relevant. Harper is going to have to get it right to get a majority government with the help of post-religious Toronto and Quebec.

That’s because atheists like ET give Conservatives the benefit of the doubt on this subject, for reasons ET can best explain, but a lot of otherwise conservative people that are agnostic or atheists often conclude, what they refer to as, “Reform-types” as getting their direction from God. They find that scary, i.e. that God’s driving the car. As a Christian who puts the power of reason at the top, I also find some of the Christian Right a bit of a worry but it doesn’t usually scare me.

Anyway, I think this is why Russ’ post is very relevant.

Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-02-27 11:42:40 AM

ET, even as you stated even the most "primative" societies has some belief in spiritual or non-material forces. I never once (although I personally believe it to be so) stated that the God of Christianity is the source of all morality. I stated that some faith structure is a key component. I also never said that society would cease to function without faith, but all those "primative" societies are family based tribal societies and if you look into them you will find that most of them fight constantly with their neighbours (granted not on the level that nations inflict upon one another) sharing is not a natural state for these cultures. I think ET that if you were to look at anthropology more and philosophy less you'd notice that these "noble savages" aren't all that noble, and that all societies have some fairly structured rules of behaviour which comes out of their beliefs.

Posted by: Daniel | 2006-02-27 11:57:39 AM

What basically all of the Muslims even with their Islamic religion are lacking.

I think we are all basically born with a "DR Jeckle", an evil nature, our personal carnal, sinful nature that surfaces even in some persons more than the others. Beside using the Law, and our own free will to suppress this nature, Christianity is unique in that Chrsitainity the only religion that offers both direct forgiveness now here on earth for all thw acts of this evil nature, but itt also offerns now the present born from above real power to overcome this evil nature, and this is provided by Jesus Christ and by His Holy Spirit. There is no doubt now about it as well.

And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. (John 1:33 KJV)

This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. (Titus 3:8 KJV)

And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. (1 John 5:20 KJV)

Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. (1 John 5:21 KJV)

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? (Mat 7:15,16 KJV)

No need for anyone now to neglect this great solution. http://www.greatcom.org/spirit/languages.html

Posted by: Phill | 2006-02-27 12:04:30 PM

"even as you stated even the most "primative" societies has some belief in spiritual or non-material forces."

Correct. In lieu of science, these beliefs were formed to explain things such as lightning storms and natural events.

"I never once (although I personally believe it to be so) stated that the God of Christianity is the source of all morality."

Your belief is your belief. It is correct to recognize belief for what it is. Belief and knowing are not the same.

"I stated that some faith structure is a key component."

Faith is required for all belief.

"I also never said that society would cease to function without faith, but all those "primative" societies are family based tribal societies and if you look into them you will find that most of them fight constantly with their neighbours (granted not on the level that nations inflict upon one another)"

And you've looked into them all?

"sharing is not a natural state for these cultures."

Semantics. Sharing is not a "natural state" for anyone. Each individual does what he believes to be in his/her best interests, at the time. Christians do what they believe to be in their best interests, at the time, based on a desire to "please God."

"I think ET that if you were to look at anthropology more and philosophy less you'd notice that these "noble savages" aren't all that noble,"

Projection. Define "noble."

"and that all societies have some fairly structured rules of behaviour which comes out of their beliefs."

Societies are made up of individuals. Societies don't have anything. Individuals however, have ideas and notions.

Posted by: Ian Scott | 2006-02-27 12:06:57 PM

>>Increasingly, there is a "modernist, secular liberal bomb," too, as adherents to a version of this world view endeavour to enforce it and defeat dissenting Christian discourse in the public square and the authority and power of Christian institutions. This is a soft, and sometimes not so soft, totalitarianism. It's pursued in attempting to silence Christian views in public discourse and in preventing Christian institutions -- schools, churches, and fraternal organizations -- from, say, holding events and renting facilities so as to be consistent with Christian teaching and conviction.

Yes someone had mentioned this already elsewhere here, the liberals and the Muslims are in cahoots together, are only in a temporary true, sleep to together often cause, they do have this in common they both do hate Jesus Christ, the sole person who can forgive them for all of their sins done here on earth. Exposed.

Posted by: Coleen | 2006-02-27 12:08:43 PM

Ian: my history must be weak, what did Christianity have to do with WWII ? Also, what was the Ustache ? Diem ?

Posted by: MarkAlta | 2006-02-27 12:13:50 PM

Where it's a form of cultural schizophrenia or rather the secular MLS Left who try to say they are normal and the others are not they also do have this real big fear of death, a big fear of dying, of next going to meet the Maker. The root issue really now still rather they are even scared to die now because they do knew his past, present sins had not been dealt with, they had not been forgiven yet, and thus are also afraid of any war where their life could be put into danger and they might next die. The do need Jesus love andd forgibess now too. This is the Normal life.


Posted by: Hello | 2006-02-27 12:17:59 PM


You, ET, Warwick, even snowrunner are the reason I love this blog.

While I haven't looked into ALL these cultures, I was an Anthropology major in University (til I found out there wasn't any money to be made) and not once did we study a culture that's defining principle was pacifism.

Absolutely, as I have stated before sharing is certainly not a natural state. And yes we (Christians) do what we do to please God. Not once did I refute this, nor is it hypocritical to do so as not once have I stated that Christians magically start being wonderful people once they accept Christ as their savior—being nice is HARD work, I know because I don’t as a rule like people.

I define noble as Rousseau defined “noble savage” it was a philosophical belief that earlier primitive peoples were immune from things such as betrayal, infighting etc… Essentially it was a European escapist philosophy. I was not stating that these cultures were/are noble as we (European/North American) define the term, but was for irony using a title from one of ET’s holy philosophies.

Yes society is made of individuals, however societal norms come from those individuals and are taught to those individuals thus becoming social beliefs. You cannot tell me that you learned nothing of how to behave from your parents or that you determined right from wrong all by yourself without influence from the culture around you…

Posted by: Daniel | 2006-02-27 12:24:14 PM

>> Finally, stop all muslim immigration to Canada before we become victims of these murderous automatons. We may not have a cearly definable Canadian culture, but I can live with that. What cannot live with is a wishy washy multicultural society waiting for Islam to remake and redefine it for us.

There is no doubt about it this was one of the Liberals biggest mistake and still is even in the province of Ontario. Jean Chretien himself took the credit openly for letting in too many of these trouble makers in Canada now.

The problem also with the suppsoedly separation of church and state is that the state itself not only does the state still wants to control what the church can even preach, say which is another form unacceptable of Comunoistic , Mulsim totarliiams too. But this atc itself becoames a New State Relgion beign practised, enforced.

Leave it all alone , the right of freedom of religion, and right of freedom of speech to all, the Christians now included.

Posted by: Belinda | 2006-02-27 12:25:40 PM

In reality there are still all of the war Mongers, Strife, on the Internet, at home as well and elsewhere

(Heb 11:4 KJV) By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. (1 John 3:12 KJV) Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous. (Jude 1:11 KJV) Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.

The Liberal mainstream news media, and many women now as well, world wide are often anti having a real physical war, but they the news media really are not anti war, for they often still now in Canada do start, provokes even the many little wars, they do now provokes fights with all kinds of persons, groups especially they do try to provoke the Christians. So do many men and women wrongfully provoke fights on the Internet, at home, elsewhere.

JAS 4:1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. 1PE 2:11 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.

"The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which begins: "Whereas Canada is founded upon the principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law." Immediately, the Charter proceeds to list our fundamental freedoms. The first one is the freedom of conscience and religion. The second is freedom of thought, belief, opinion, and expression. In the Supreme Court case, known as Big M Drug Mart case, Chief Justice Dickson established the nature of religious freedom in broad terms: "The essence of the concept of freedom of religion is the right to entertain such religious beliefs as a person chooses, the right to declare beliefs openly and without fear of hindrance or reprisal, and the right to manifest belief by worship and practice or by teaching and dissemination ..." Regrettably, it's mostly been downhill ever since. " Calgary Bishop Fred Henry

While freedom of religion is first, this right as well as the right of freedom of expression, speech is subverted not only by the many self centered, immoral, bad political leaders, who only tend to allow you to be heard at election time in part, they are is often subverted by the news media itself, and by some of the secular non religious folks. But our personal freedom of religion, freedom of speech it also is often subverted by the bad religious folks, the Protestant, evangelicals, the Catholics included . Some people the still cannot register the fact that while there are different types of religious folks, there are still the real bad religious folks and not just the good ones. These days too often if you dare to say something that is not politically correct or say a negative truth in the public, you will likely and wrongfully next be shouted down, insulted, personally attacked, abused equally by all persons, the ostriches even in Canada. Forget even now about trying to have a religious discussions with any hardship with the religious or the non religious folks, for someone will immediately object to it and just as much ironically in the Church too as elsewhere. In fact if you do not agree with what the too often dictatorial leaders agenda it is they too will likely get rid of you, kick you even out of the church. http://pbulow.tripod.com/strife.htm

Posted by: Paul | 2006-02-27 12:29:02 PM

>>> The problem also with the supposedly separation of church and state is that the state itself not only does the state still wants to control what the church can even preach, say which is another form unacceptable of Communistic or Muslim Dictatorship too. But this act of the suppsoed seperation itself becomes a New State Religion being practiced, enforced. Leave it all alone , the right of freedom of religion, and right of freedom of speech to all, the Christians now included.



Posted by: paul | 2006-02-27 12:37:10 PM

Hey Daniel,

I resent the implication that I'm a pacifist. I'm as red-meat warmonger as the next Steyn-o-phile.

My point wasn't about some pygmy culture some place cause I don't care. My point is that morality is at least as much about culture (and its history and roots) and parenting as it ever was about religion. It's all about how you were raised (those people without consciences notwithstanding - a psycho can't be raised right.) Our culture has been influenced by religion. But having no religion doesn't mean you are immoral or amoral.

How this makes me a pacifist is beyond me.

Posted by: Warwick | 2006-02-27 12:37:40 PM

Daniel- I was a university professor - of anthropology - for many, many years.

Sorry about my spelling twitch - primitive not primative..

No, Ian, societies are not aggregates of individuals. That's a nominalist definition, i.e., a mechanical definition. A society, ie. a collective, is an 'entity', albeit an abstract one, that functions as a shared collection of normative rules of behaviour. This set of 'generalities' is very real. It's developed over a long period of time by the people in the society, it's held within the community as general rules, which are then interpreted by each individual.

Daniel - if you had been in my intro and my second year class of anthro..you would have learned about Hunters/Gatherers and the fact that the basic economic infrastructure was sharing (surely you are aware of the !Kung and Lee's book, as well as other works on this type of society). That small band doesn't have the manpower for warfare..and you only get warfare when you get ownership of animals/land...andn that only happens in a different biome.

Even among slightly larger population societies than H&G, you don't get warfare - you get public displays of anger and 'show warfare'; they can't afford the loss of manpower. You only get warfare in larger population societies..and ones in biomes that are economically stressed.

Rousseau's Noble Savage is pure garbage. Romantic blather.

All human beings have psychological, ie indivdiual conflicts - anger, emotions etc. That's not the same as warfare..

Sorry- what is one of my 'holy philosophies' that contains the term 'noble'???

Daniel - you've missed the point. Since we are not born with knowledge, that means we LEARN how to behave. Learning. OK? I said it wasn't genetic.

Posted by: ET | 2006-02-27 12:40:06 PM


I don't recall calling you a pacifist...And I agree not having a religion doesn't make you immoral or amoral. However as you stated our culture has been influenced by our religions and you have been influenced by our culture thus your idea of right and wrong is at least in part due to religion (again using a generic term please don't flame me for it)

Posted by: Daniel | 2006-02-27 12:41:22 PM

"There now exists a time of heightened tension on the University of Toronto campus in Canada of all places too after the Jewish student activist group Betar-Tagar and the Arab Students Collective held rival week-long events titled "Know Radical Islam" and "Israeli Apartheid week.". There have been similar unrest now in other Canadian Universities such as Montreal's Concordia now too. But there was a the gold old days time In Canada when the Jews in Canada had found respect and peace in Montreal, Toronto as well. I do now really blame the Liberals who let in all of these too many clearly trouble making Muslims, Arabs into the country of Canada, who too often bought their way in too, and now we find real unneeded Muslim conflicts for the Jews, Christians too and the rest of Canada. "

I trust that the Immigration ministers will see the error of their ways and shut the door to any further Muslim immigrations for we already do know that in Europe, Denmark these Muslims refuse to integrate to the mainstream society, to be peaceful as well, but as trouble makers work hard at disturbing the peace, chasing their non peaceful religion down other people's throats too. "There is no doubt about it this was one of the Liberals biggest mistake and still is even in the province of Ontario. Jean Chretien himself took the credit openly for letting in too many of these trouble makers in Canada now."

Now me telling the whole truth does not make me a hater, a racists but a peace loving person still too. Canada was known as a peacemaker before the last Liberals wrecked it.


Posted by: Paul | 2006-02-27 12:49:43 PM

We need to start a petition to present the federal government with our desire to stop Muslim immigration. Anyone? If I had the time, I would do it myself.

Fox news is a great place to keep up with the antics of the religion of peace and what it is doing to our peaceful society.

Posted by: Duke | 2006-02-27 12:59:04 PM

Sorry ET,

I was essentually projecting my faith and your belief in humanistic philosophy as the same coin on differing sides. Yes Rousseau was trash, but your expressed belief that small hunter gatherer societies emphasize sharing, without noting that those same societies raid one another for resources that they aren't willing to share (which includes women, cattle etc) smacked a little of Rousseau. I didn't mean to insult you with the holy comment.

I agree all behaviour is learned. I don't think I ever said it was genetic. However what behaviours you learn are based on the beliefs of the group to which you belong. But I think we are getting a little off topic, we moved from whether or not religious/spiritual beliefs were a needed component in a culture to whether primitive cultures committed warfare with one another. I believe that such beliefs are an inherent part of any culture, whether you consider them a primitive attempt to explain the world around them or a divine set of behavioural norms you will find some level of such beliefs in every culture in the world.

Posted by: Daniel | 2006-02-27 1:00:06 PM

Daniel- a hunting and gathering society does NOT have cattle. They don't own anything. You did state that you were an anthro major??? Wow - what kind of garbage did they teach you???

An H&G society is an economy that uses surface extraction; they don't own anything - they don't plant anything. They eat what's there. No ownership of the animals..which are NOT domesticated and only hunted. No domesticated plants - simply eat what's there. Then, when they have eaten their way out of an area, they migrate elsewhere. Obviously, this only supports a minimal population and requires a large land base.

What you refer to, completely incorrectly as hunting and gathering..when you refer to raids for women and cattle..are pastoral nomadic societies. Completely different social organization and economy. Not based around sharing within the whole collective, but within the kin-group. Raids are found when the env't gets troublesome (drought in particular, overgrazing)...I won't go into the whole social organization (it was Type 3 in my list of ten that we went through)..

Yes, all peoples have 'spiritual beliefs'. And these were not, as someone on this blog suggested, just to explain about thunderstorms and lightning. All peoples have to come to grips with the reality of birth and death - with causality for things that are beyond the capacity of the human - and therefore, all peoples have spiritual beliefs, i.e., some belief that not everything in the world can be controlled by them.

This doesn't necessarily translate into a monotheistic religion or even into a belief into deities. It can simply be an acceptance of the complexity of the natural world. I, for one, and I'm hardly alone, reject completely any notion of deity, deities, spirits, metaphysical agencies etc. But I do accept the complexity of the natural world, and also, its logical nature, i.e., our world is ordered and not haphazard. An atom is a great example of this 'well-ordered' world.

Posted by: ET | 2006-02-27 1:11:07 PM


while I do not wish to continue arguing about whether HG societies raid one another, you'll note that societies like the Yanomamo in SA do indeed raid one another, while not for cattle (yes that is pastoral/agrarian societies, my bad) they do so for women (see Chagnon's book on the subject) and they ARE (I guess by this point in time were) a hunter gatherer society. The same can be said about our local aboriginal peoples, the west coast native peoples had very complex cultural structures for feasting, trading and raiding. I suppose the major difference between these peoples and the !kung is that resources food/water/shelter are/were plentiful in their environments. To point the !kung out as the norm is like calling the guy at the basketball game holding the John 3:16 sign the norm of Christianity.

Not once did I say that spiritual belief must translate into a monotheistic world view or belief in deity -- it does however translate into behavioural norms which is I believe what we were talking about.

Posted by: Daniel | 2006-02-27 1:28:57 PM

"A society, ie. a collective, is an 'entity', albeit an abstract one, that functions as a shared collection of normative rules of behaviour.'

If it's abstract, it's only a picture in your own mind. It is not real. Thank you for helping me point to reality.

Posted by: Ian Scott | 2006-02-27 1:42:27 PM

"I was an Anthropology major in University"

I don't really give a sh*t what you were. What you were doesn't make your assertions any more true.

Posted by: Ian Scott | 2006-02-27 1:44:19 PM

Daniel - Chagnon's book has been strongly discredited; they became a people-in-crisis after their env't had been destroyed. No comparison.

Actually, the !Kung are very much the norm for H&G; you'll find lots like them. Any society that lives in a biome that can increase its population beyond the basic subsistence - moves out of an H&G, because it is able to settle and this changes the infrastructure. That was the case with the NW Coast natives - eg Kwakiutl, Tsimshian, Bella Coola etc..where the biome was rich enough to enable settlements, recognized ownership of lands, fishing, hunting areas...and where this moved into a hereditary descent pattern and even 'levels of authority'. Very differrent.

No need for further debate - but, I'd bet that your instructors were postmodernists..and didn't know much about ecology, biomes or population.

Posted by: ET | 2006-02-27 1:51:50 PM

Amen, but it doesn't make them any less true. Opinions are like a**holes, everyone has one...

Posted by: Daniel | 2006-02-27 1:52:54 PM


probably, I gave up on Anthro and went into computer science anyways...More logic less trying to discern whether what you are being taugh is crap, and since I've been out of school for nearly ten years now I'm not really up on what is still being taught --other than c++ and c# :)

Posted by: Daniel | 2006-02-27 1:56:41 PM

Ian Scott - you haven't a clue what 'abstract' means. It most certainly doesn't mean a 'picture in your mind'. I suggest you do a bit of research on universals and generals, on formal realities, on the idea of a formal model. Those are abstracts; they are REALITIES and have nothing to do with a 'picture in your own mind'.

And, if I may, an individual's educational background can have relevance (I won't use your language) and should not be sneered at or denigrated - as you do. Again, check out the meaning of formal models..aka..abstracts.

Posted by: ET | 2006-02-27 1:58:13 PM

Daniel - an opinion is not 'true'. It is simply an opinion.

Good for you going into computer science; a lot more interesting, I think. I was appalled by the garbage being published and taught in a lot of anthropology. The only good area, I felt, was ecological - it's based on hard empirical evidence.

Posted by: ET | 2006-02-27 2:02:50 PM


True. :)

Posted by: Daniel | 2006-02-27 2:05:04 PM

ET, you must have a definition in your mind that is not commonly used:

Abstract \Ab"stract`\ (#; 277), a. [L. abstractus, p. p. of
abstrahere to draw from, separate; ab, abs + trahere to draw.
See Trace.]
1. Withdraw; separate. [Obs.]
[1913 Webster]

The more abstract . . . we are from the body.
[1913 Webster]

2. Considered apart from any application to a particular
object; separated from matter; existing in the mind only;
as, abstract truth, abstract number

See that? Existing in the mind only.

Do you have a different definition?

Posted by: Ian Scott | 2006-02-27 2:08:34 PM

"And, if I may, an individual's educational background can have relevance"

Relevance to what, exactly?

Posted by: Ian Scott | 2006-02-27 2:09:35 PM


I believe he meant that an individual's educational background (and thus knowledge of a subject) is relevant to the conversation that that individual is engaged in...AKA does this clown know what he's talking about or is he making stuff up as he goes along...While in a completely "theoretical" conversation BS is the norm, ET and I were getting into (read getting off on a tangent) a discussion as to whether AG/primitive societies morals were based on religion/faith, in this case our background knowledge of the subject is almost crucial (his just happens to be more current and more deeply invested than mine.)

Posted by: Daniel | 2006-02-27 2:16:25 PM

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