Just after reading your comment about the culture we might pass on to the next generation – and some of us try – I was directed to this essay by VS Naipul, from almost 30 years ago. Long, but quietly powerful about what the Universal Culture, which we have grown up in, consists of. An interesting question, 75% of the way through:
Why, he asked, are certain societies or groups content to enjoy the fruits of progress, while affecting to despise the conditions that promote that progress?
I think this applies not only to other cultures, but subcultures within our own.
18 thoughts on “For Sgt Mom – Culture”
A fascinating read, AVI … especially the part about Islam colonizing, and abolishing all previous cultural memory. I’ll go back and read it again tomorrow.
Faith is a very poor substitute for understanding. Its possible the Muslim example, will end this god nonsense, in time. That would be a giant step forward.
Found the speech text most thought provoking. What an unlikely source, but such clear insights.
In our current intellectual and paradigm rift, the folks in possession of the academic, political, media and entertainment/arts heights are seemingly incapable of processing these observations. At some point tinted lenses become blind folds.
One wonders what can free those self imprisoned cultures.
As usual, someone trolls his confusing the source of the better with the cause of the self-destructive. Thanks for nothing, again.
Its possible the Muslim example, will end this god nonsense, in time. That would be a giant step forward.
Chesterton had you people figured out.
“When a man stops believing in God he doesn’t then believe in nothing, he believes anything.”
That’s where Gaia and environmentalism, and its bastard child, Global Warming, came from.
Leftism is a religion, ie, a belief based on no facts but only superstition or faith.
God is not even a useful theory of reality. Its a method used to control people and its very effective. Yup, god is an evil concept. ;)
@ PenGun – unless, as the rabbis used to say, the opposite is also true.
That was a great read. Am I wrong in thinking that this could not be published in the New York Times or Washington Post today? How tiresome it is that so much nuanced reflection on cultural matters is denounced as wrongthink.
“Come unto me, all ye that are weary and laden, and I will ease you. Take my yoke on you, and learn of me that I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
Well, that sure isn’t useful. Hope, promise, spiritual comfort, and soulful relief. Pffft, who needs that crap. I’ll take the Matrix any day over that.
I’ll take atheists seriously when they can come up with an “argument” that hasn’t already been written down and debated for 3000 years…
(Aquinas I believe boiled down all atheist arguments to either the problem of why evil exists, or that the world looks to run just fine without divine intervention, but fundamentally those two are just flavors of the one objection–if I were God, I wouldn’t have done it this way.)
“Among the Believers” was published in 1981, twenty years before 9/11. The essay linked to here is an excellent condensation of the book. It shows the reader, with specifics, of just how nasty the cultural imperialism of Islam is. Thanks for reminding us of what we have to face.
Naipaul had an eye for can’t, and the courage to call BS on it.
Stupid spell check never heard of cant.
I look forward to books which explain the transformation of one society into the other as America, and Europe moreso, despise progress.
God is a poor theory, among other things. Its not a good explanation for our universe or its origins for starters. The universe is some 14 billion years old and is one thing. The product of a singularity that has evolved to what we have now. That leaves no room for god, for one thing. There is no other!
As we know the wave function is real and as we know everything else is derived from that through 16 universal fields and the Schrodinger equation we understand the universe rather well. We can completely describe it with an equation since we nailed the Higgs Boson. That this is almost pure Buddhism make my chosen path very interesting indeed. Its almost as if the path of the Buddha is baked in. ;)
As to the evil. I give you history and current events.
Actually, the more we drill down into the quantum nature of wave functions such as what happens in 3D space and time, the more we come to realize that we don’t know very much about reality at all.
For a long time we used to think light only behaved like particles. Then the Age of Reason arrived, and we decided light acted like waves. Then the double slit experiment was devised, and we gradually came to the conclusion that light sometimes acts as particles and sometimes acts as waves. Now, we recently tweaked the experiment, and it’s looking like light doesn’t act like a wave or a particle. There are hidden variables that depend on the boundary conditions of the experiment, and it’s entirely likely the boundaries extend to include the whole universe.
We live in a reality that depends on conditions we will never see nor understand. Under these circumstances, God makes perfect sense.
And as to evil, God transcends the world we see and understand while also encompassing it. He even transcends existence itself. God created the world, and that makes it good because He is good. Evil occurs due to the negative consequences of the seen and unseen interactions of creation. This makes evil unfortunate but necessary. This also makes evil subordinate to good. Evil is certainly subordinate to God.
Our role in all this is not to curse the sky because there is evil. It is to challenge evil and overcome it in order to share in the fruits of the good creation and the promises of the good God.
A spirited defense. The problem is that we understand the universe is ‘one thing’. To go further its ‘one mind’. Anyone who has thought about reality at all, realizes that all there is, is mind. You have no other way to be aware of anything.
God is a human invention. Its a problem as it makes understanding yourself more difficult than it needs to be. That is my main problem with god.
I’ll take understanding myself as the creation of a good God instilled with some of His attributes, such as will, creativity, selflessness rather than as a product of a material, mechanistic unexplained cosmic singularity that some how jumped the chasm to self awareness and love. Making something that awesome simple, to the point of denying its attributes, is simple but insufficient. I can handle the issue of good and evil in a theistic context, but could not without His external reference. That is the faith that makes the most sense for me. It requires much more faith to reject belief in an infinite God who is both good and loving. That concept of God is exclusive to Judaism and Christianity among the world’s major religions and has had a much more beneficial effect than any of the others.
The Buddha was quite clear. Not two! ;)
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