Driving Truck Bombs Through the Gaps in Leftist Logic
In our triangulated global war between Islam, the left, and classical American liberalism, it seems that we and the Islamists are fully aware of their alliance with the left. Only the clueless left are in the dark about this dynamic. Since they flatter themselves with the designation “progressive,” they literally cannot recognize their deep alliance with the most backward and regressive force on the planet, radical Islam. But the Islamists are a bit more sophisticated than the left -- just as the Palestinian PR machine has always been more sophisticated than the liberal media, and has been relying upon these useful MSM jihadiots to propagandize on their behalf for 30 years.
Dr. Sanity addresses this in her post today, Systematic Subversion and the Ultimate Triumph of Freedom, in reference to Ahmadinejad’s “Letter to my American Moonbat Brothers and Sisters.” Why shouldn’t those who are sworn to the destruction of America celebrate the electoral victory of the Democrats? It's not an insult. It just is. After all, as Vasko Kohlmayer writes (linked to Dr. Sanity’s piece), Democrats
-- have tried to prevent us from listening on terrorists' phone calls
-- have sought to stop us from properly interrogating captured terrorists
-- have tried to stop us from monitoring terrorists' financial transactions
-- have revealed the existence of secret national security programs
-- have opposed vital components of the Patriot Act
-- have sought to confer unmerited legal rights on terrorists
-- have opposed profiling to identify the terrorists in our midst
-- have impugned and demeaned our military
-- have insinuated that the president is a war criminal
-- have forced the resignation of a committed defense secretary
-- have repeatedly tried to delegitimize our war effort
-- want to quit the battlefield in the midst of war.
“To see just how bad things really are, ponder this question: If the terrorists were represented by a party in our political system, how would their foreign policy program substantially differ from that of the present-day Democrats? By effectively becoming a political arm of our sworn enemy, the Democratic Party has staked out a position that is unparalleled in our country's history” (Kohlmayer).
Now, I am the last person in the world to be surprised by this alliance between modern Islamist primitives and primitive postmodern progressives. Their interests are identical, in that both believe that the West is fundamentally flawed, and both call for a destruction of the contemporary order and its replacement with a fantasized utopia.
In both cases, their respective philosophies are deeply irrational, which represents another area of convergence. In any number of past posts, I have enunciated my own ontology and epistemology, demonstrating that in order to understand the whole of reality, we must recognize two realms that are not reducible to the other, the horizontal world of quantities, of asymmetrical logic, and linear causation, and a vertical realm of ascending qualities that can only be understood in light of the Absolute.
One of the reasons Islam is so irrational is that it denies the horizontal. Today at American Thinker there are a pair of excellent articles about this, one entitled What is Islamic Philosophy, the other entitled Islam and the Problem of Rationality. I don’t have a lot of time this morning, but if you read these articles, you will see that the fundamental problem with Islamic thinking is that it is wholly vertical and devalues or completely disregards the horizontal.
Poole cites their belief in "volunteerism,” which maintains “that rather than created objects having inherent existence, Allah [vertically] constantly recreates each atom anew at every moment according to his arbitrary will. This, of course, undermines the basis for what Westerners understand as natural laws.” Furthermore, there is the belief in “occasionalism,” a doctrine maintaining that “in the natural world, what is perceived as [horizontal] cause and effect between objects is mere appearance, not reality. Instead, only Allah truly acts with real effect; all seemingly natural observances of causation are merely manifestations of Allah's habits, for Allah simultaneously creates both the cause and the effect according to his arbitrary will.”
Carson notes what amounts to the same thing, that “[horizontal] causes and effects are inadmissible... because causes limit the absolute [vertical] freedom of Allah to bring about whatever events he wills. Effects are brought about, not by causes, but by the direct will of Allah.” Obviously, “Without a notion of cause and effect, science is impossible, and “If the true cause of events is the will of Allah, and if the will of Allah is inscrutable, then the causes of events are inscrutable and science a vain pursuit. The issue is ultimately whether the universe and its creator are in any way intelligible. The West, with its traditions of natural law and natural theology, agrees for the most part that the universe is astonishingly intelligible and God somewhat so. Islam, at least at its most rigorous, denies any intelligibility whatsoever to either.”
Now, bear in mind those last three sentences. What they clearly highlight is that the development of science in the West was characterized by a unique appreciation of both the horizontal and the vertical, which intersect in natural theology and in natural law -- in a greater (capital R) Reason. One could also say that they intersect in the whole Judeo-Christian worldview, which regards the world as intelligible to intelligence precisely because both are a reflection of the same divine logos that infuses all of reality, both vertical and horizontal. In Islam, Allah is so radically transcendent that he cannot be known, while in the West, one may know God in a multitude of ways both horizontal and vertical, for example, by mapping the human genome, by enunciating relativity theory, or by simply becoming more virtuous -- since humans, in their vertically ascended state, are a mirror and image of the divine.
Put it this way: the scientific revolution occurred just once, in just one civilization -- something like 99.98 percent of all scientific inventions and discoveries have occurred in Western Christendom. Everywhere else, science either never appeared, or it petered out after some initial advances -- for example, in China and the Islamic world. And the reason science could not be sustained in these civilizations is specifically religious.
Judeo-Christian metaphysics facilitated science in several unique ways. Remember, the practice of science is based on a number of a priori assumptions about the world that cannot be proven by science. Rather, they must be taken on faith -- indeed, it would not be going too far to say that science is based on a foundation of revelation.
In short, Christianity depicts God as a rational being who created the universe in a rational, predictable, and lawful way that is subject to human comprehension. In other words, science is based on the faith that the world is intelligible, that human beings may unlock its secrets, and that doing so actually brings one closer to God.
Now all forms of leftism, secularism, or materialism are every bit as logically incoherent as Islam, and will sooner or later lead to tyranny over the mind, spirit, and body (which history demonstrates time and again). Since these philosophies deny the vertical a priori, they actually run counter to that which makes us human: our access to the realm of vertical values that illuminate and give meaning to our human journey.
The philosopher Michael Polanyi pointed out that what distinguishes leftism in all its forms is the dangerous combination of a ruthless contempt for traditional moral values (the vertical) with an unbounded moral passion for utopian perfection (which amounts to a coerced “horizontal verticality”). The first step in this process is a complete skepticism that rejects traditional ideals of moral authority and transcendent moral obligation -- a complete materialistic skepticism combined with a boundless, utopian moral fervor to horizontally transform mankind.
However, being that the moral impulse remains in place, there is no longer any boundary or channel for it. One sees this, for example, in college students (and those permanent college students known as professors) who, in attempting to individuate from parental authority and define their own identities, turn their intense skepticism against existing society, denouncing it as morally shoddy, artificial, hypocritical, and a mere mask for oppression and exploitation. This is why, in their rhetoric, they sound so much like the Islamists -- why Noam Chomsky or Michael Moore or Dailykos sound no different than bin Laden.
For a while, civilization was able to withstand the skepticism unleashed by the enlightenment, by benefitting from the momentum of the traditional vertical-horizontal framework that gave rise to science to begin with (for example, the use of our God-given free will in pursuit of objective truth in a rational world made so by a beneficent creator who wished for us to know him through his works). But this could only go on for a few generations before it began detaching itself from the religious morality that underlie it. Since no society can ever live up to its ideals, it wasn’t difficult for the skeptics to begin the process of hammering away at the foundations of the vertical.
Unlike Europe, America has thus far managed to escape this destruction because it has a very different intellectual genealogy, having been much more influenced by the skeptical enlightenment of Britain and Scotland rather than the radical enlightenment of France. America never lost touch with its Judeo-Christian ideals, which inspired individuals to work to improve and humanize society without violent disruption of traditional ways or heavy-handed government intervention. Science and faith could not just co-exist, but thrive in their dynamism.
But at the foundation of the secular leftist revolt against the vertical is the attendant, deeply irrational idea that there is no such thing as absolute truth, for God, among other things, is the ground and possibility of Truth. The death of God brings with it the death of the living Word, or logos. The official name of this death of the Word is "deconstruction," although it is really more of a murder (or perhaps suicide), with murderous consequences. For if truth is relative and perception is reality, then no one’s ideas about the world are any better than anyone else’s -- including Islamists. And this creates a gaping cognitive and spiritual chasm big enough to drive a truck bomb through.