Thursday, January 08, 2015

Are Islamic Terrorists Crazy, Evil, or Developmentally Arrested?

I know. Why pick one?

But is there a specific psychological mode or mechanism that provokes a man to murder because the victim drew a picture that offended the murderer? Yes, but psychological causation is complex and systemic, rarely linear, one-way, or fully intentional. When I say "intentional," I mean we often (thankfully!) do things without really knowing why, nor do we (or could we) calculate each and every consequence.

Many people correctly observe that yesterday's terror has something to do with Islam. Certainly the terrorists think so. It is only liberals who deny the connection, in a way that varies with their ignorance of the subject. For example, Howard Dean has obviously never q'racked a Q'ran:

"I stopped calling these people Muslim terrorists. They’re about as Muslim as I am. I mean, they have no respect for anybody else’s life, that’s not what the Koran says.... I think ISIS is a cult. Not an Islamic cult. I think it’s a cult."

Or Ezra Klein: the murders "can only be explained by the madness of the perpetrators, who did something horrible and evil that almost no human beings anywhere ever do, and the condemnation doesn’t need to be any more complex than saying unprovoked mass slaughter is wrong." Could his ignorance of man's bloody history be more complete?

Perhaps you've noticed that leftists either make an issue more simple or more tendentiously convoluted than it actually is. In this case, they take the simplistic path: Islamic terror has nothing to do with Islam. These men are cultists, Donny.

I think we can agree that Islam is not a sufficient cause of the terror, but nor is it a necessary cause. That is, there are obviously Muslims who are not terrorists, and terrorists who are not Muslim. But most terrorists at this time do happen to be Muslim, and the Koran contains ample justification for their crimes. Does that make the Koran a cause, or just a pretext?

Here I think we need to widen our lens and take into consideration the sorts of cultures that have been shaped by Islam. There are what, 49 Muslim majority countries, each one a shithole to varying degrees. Starting with the As, there are Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, and Azerbaijan, followed by Bangladesh, Brunei, and Burkina Faso. Given the choice, no one would freely choose to live in these places unless they already have no idea what freedom is. In other words, in order to choose those cultures, one has to have already assimilated the repressive culture and its illiberal values.

This subject is very much relevant to our discussion of Inventing the Individual, because the whole point of the book is that something occurred in the Christian west that did not occur anywhere else in the world. We can argue whether it was a good or a bad thing, but we cannot argue that it is a Muslim or Buddhist or American Indian thing. Rather, that is the essence of the nub of the gist: a "clash of civilizations" with entirely different value systems.

But "civilization" is an abstraction that tells us little about the individuals of which it is constituted. And since human beings develop in time, some civilizations are more developed than others. This is an example of a simple truth that the left has attempted to convolute over the past century, to the point that they can no longer see the obvious (or are not permitted to see it).

Howard Dean and Ezra Klein are far from the only ones who are auto-blinded by ideology. Here is a tweet yesterday from a NY Times bureau chief: "Some call for an extreme use of force to respond to Paris attacks, but school shootings in US have killed more and US leaders do nothing." This guy equates the Paris attacks with Jerry Falwell suing Hustler magazine for libel. Yes, those two things would be exactly the same if the terrorists had sued the magazine and Falwell had murdered Larry Flynt.

I have seen some Charlie Hedbo material that has all the refined taste and sparkling wit of Hustler. There's nothing wrong with being offensive, so long as you are actually funny. Otherwise, it's just ignorant and boorish, like this sub-juvenile rendering:

However, it would never occur to anyone in the Christianized west that an absence of taste merits the death penalty. But the post-Christian west is indeed coming back around to the pre-Christian point of view. They don't necessarily murder, but political correctness has destroyed innumerable lives, careers, and reputations.

The world into which Christianity inserted itself was every bit as violent as the one inhabited by contemporary terrorists: after the fall of Rome, "Habits of violence, lack of foresight and the ingrained pleasure of leading an unregulated life meant that betrayal and murder were commonplace in the ruling families of the new kingdoms" (Siedentop). But ever so slowly, "Christian insistence on the equality of souls" began to nurture "a new image of reality."

Interestingly -- and this goes to the question asked in the second paragraph of this post -- it took quite a while for a more abstract understanding of Christianity to emerge from the concrete. This is a critically important idea, because this "entry" into a more abstract world is a stage in human psychological development. Nowadays we take it for granted, but for most of human history man has been more like a child in the concrete operational stage of cognitive development.

I look at it from a slightly different theoretical perspective than Piaget. I've discussed in the past the difference between the paranoid-schizoid and depressive positions, the latter being more mature than the former. Back to the news of the day, what happens if a Muslim person in the paranoid-schizoid (PS) position is confronted with a cartoon that offends him?

First, let's discuss some of the characteristics of the PS position, courtesy psychoanalyst Thomas Ogden. These ideas are quite relevant to the Invention of the Individual; for example, chapter three is called The Depressive Position and the Birth of the Historical Subject.

In short, it seems to me that Ogden is discussing on a personal/individual basis what once occurred on a historical/collective basis. Without a change in the culture, there would have been no network of developmental support -- no matrix -- for the development of the individual. This is an idea I have been unable to eliminate from my head for at least 25 years, but for some reason no one else puts these two together, i.e., the individual and the historical.

Some of this is a little technical, but consider the following: PS "is a phase of development wherein the self exists primarily as object." Such a person is concretely "lived by his experience" in such a way that "thoughts and feelings happen" rather than "being thought or felt."

It's a subtle difference, and no one is entirely free from PS thinking. Rather, in the healthy person there is a dialectic between PS and D, through which we are able to reflect on the content of experience and distance ourselves from it, and thus live in a "freer" space -- free, for example, of simply acting on our impulses or emotions without insight or reflection.

A key point in living this way (in PS) is that it creates historical discontinuity. Or, to be more precise, the attainment of historical continuity is a developmental achievement that is impossible in PS. It is impossible because there is no autonomous "self" (or a very weak one) above the impulses and emotions. What we are really talking about is two different ways of organizing the content of experience, one more passive (which goes to modern victimology as well), the other more active and volitional.

I recall that Theodore Dalyrmple describes the identical pattern in his Life at the Bottom. For the developmentally stunted people he encountered in prisons, experience simply happened to them. It is as if they are bystanders to their own lives, like "I don't know what happened, Doc. The gun just went off and then she had a hole in her chest."

Likewise, Ogden writes of how, in the PS state of being, "things simply happen." Which, when you think about it, goes directly to Muslim theology, doesn't it? For occasionalism is a theory whereby Allah is the direct and unmediated cause of everything, to which we are simply passive witnesses. Which is why Islam means surrender. Might as well, since you have no choice anyway.

And as to why someone would commit murder over a cartoon, consider the following: "In the PS position, the predominant mode of symbolization is one in which the symbol and symbolized are emotionally indistinguishable since there is no interpreting self to mediate between symbol and symbolized. There is no sense that one attributes meaning to one's perception; events are what they are, and interpretation and perception are treated as identical processes."

In such a situation, a person who experiences rage upon exposure to a cartoon is unable to distinguish the rage from the object or its author. And this experience will be equated with "truth." Then, "the present is projected backward and forward, thus creating a static, eternal, nonreflective present." Which might go to why the Islamic world has been in a kind of static and unevolving present for the past 800 years or so. Which only makes them angrier.

70 Comments:

Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

This is apparently a NEWS story, not an editorial:

"The bodies haven’t been buried and the killers are on the loose, but that didn’t prevent anti-Islam politicians across Europe from seizing on yesterday’s massacre in Paris.

"The rhetoric varied in intensity across the European Union’s 28 countries, each with its own religious and social phobias, many gripped by an economic recession that makes convenient scapegoats out of immigrants -- especially those with veils, turbans and non-white skin."

This liberal impulse to defend the agents of our destruction is indeed a weird post-Christian phenomenon.

1/08/2015 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Some of this is a little technical, but consider the following: PS "is a phase of development wherein the self exists primarily as object." Such a person is concretely "lived by his experience" in such a way that "thoughts and feelings happen" rather than "being thought or felt.""

Hence the shared similarities between the left and Islam.
Islam uses the left while the left defends Islam like the useful idiots they are.
Because if Islam prevails it will, at best enslave the left, if they convert to Islam and at worst behead them.

1/08/2015 12:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Howard Dean said...

#BeheadMeLast

1/08/2015 12:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Most lefties have Muslimhausen Sindrome.

1/08/2015 12:17:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"A key point in living this way (in PS) is that it creates historical discontinuity. Or, to be more precise, the attainment of historical continuity is a developmental achievement that is impossible in PS. It is impossible because there is no autonomous "self" (or a very weak one) above the impulses and emotions. What we are really talking about is two different ways of organizing the content of experience, one more passive (which goes to modern victimology as well), the other more active and volitional."

This is why leftists and muslims must rewrite history to reflect their vollective beliefs, otherwise it makes no sense to them as history is an assault on their PS way of life.
Can't have the truth, or past mistakes making them actually think about it, or learn from those mistakes.

They have absolutized their cult and truth is blasphemy to their cults, thus it must be changed to reflect their PS "truths."

1/08/2015 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Leftist revisionist history creates gaping discontinuities, the difference being that they start with the continuity and tear it to shreds, whereas Muslims have never been able to write a continuous and critical history of themselves. When someone does, like Bernard Lewis, they attack the messenger.

1/08/2015 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"In short, it seems to me that Ogden is discussing on a personal/individual basis what once occurred on a historical/collective basis. Without a change in the culture, there would have been no network of developmental support -- no matrix -- for the development of the individual. This is an idea I have been unable to eliminate from my head for at least 25 years, but for some reason no one else puts these two together, i.e., the individual and the historical."

Aye, this is indeed a largely unexplored idea. Which makes Siedentop and, of course your book and posts, Bob so revelationy.

1/08/2015 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

One of the things that struck me about the news coverage yesterday is that the same people who essentially blamed the people behind Charlie Hebdo for their own slaughter would go into an apoplectic fit if, say, a bunch of slut walk protesters were actually raped during a slut walk.

Of course, the difference is that women go on slut walks because they know the people they are tarring as rapists are actually no such things, whereas Muslim terrorists really will kill people for calling them violent. Thus sluts out walking don't deserve to be raped, but offensive cartoonists deserve to be killed.

For the sake of clarity (because some people need these things spelled out), I believe both the slut walkers and the offensive cartoonists should be able to do their thing without fear of violence, though neither should expect that their free expression won't generate a negative response.

1/08/2015 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

OT:

"My God, it's full of stars!"

1/08/2015 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger John Lien said...

Ok, so we have developed the concept of the individual over last couple thousand years. But, how is it that the old stories, Biblical mostly, seem to hold timeless truths about the worth of the individual? They struck a chord back then to the listeners did they not? (I'm at a loss for an OT reference. Mush, little help?)

Is it that we have always had a sense of the individual and the value of the individual has been brought to the forefront via Christianity?

On the other hand, maybe the chord struck in the ancient mind was not the same one we hear.

Let me try with this question. Does Christ's incarnation initiate a quantum shift in the concept of the individual or did he just add MiracleGrow to a conceptual seedling?

1/08/2015 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

That's part of the miracle of revelation: that it is both timeless and multi-dimensional, anticipating developments that hadn't yet happened (and largely happened because of the revelation).

As to whether the incarnation initiates a quantum shift in the concept of the individual, I would say either it did or it didn't. But if God did indeed incarnate, then it is difficult to see how that wouldn't represent a quantum leap, no less dramatic than the quantum leap from non-existence to existence or matter to life.

1/08/2015 03:55:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Note also how Biblical exegetes early on began talking about the multi-dimensional nature of revelation, with literal, moral, allegorical, mystical, and other potential meanings.

1/08/2015 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

John, good questions.

Working through the Mosaic texts, it seems to me as though the seedling was really planted with the Israelites, particularly as the law was set down. For the growth of the individual to be possible, there first had to be a framework whereby the rights of individuals were made sacred - particularly the rights to life and liberty. Part of what set Israel apart from their neighbors was how they were instructed to treat each other, their neighbors, and even the strangers in their midst. "Eye for an eye" was harsh, it's true, but it must have served to force them to develop a sense of empathy for the Other which clearly wasn't a concern of the neighboring communities who, again, thought it was dandy to throw their own children into fires.

I may be wrong, but that's what comes across to me.

1/08/2015 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And the resurrection may have literally been a quantum leap -- one researcher compares the marks on the Shroud of Turin to the shadow of a person left behind after a nuclear explosion. Here is what was left of one person after the blast.

1/08/2015 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Howard Dean says Mohammed was not muslim.

1/08/2015 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Re eye for eye justice, Prager points out that it was simply a metaphor for proportional punishment.

1/08/2015 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Also universal punishment, i.e., one standard for everyone.

1/08/2015 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Unlike King Barack, King David couldn't make an executive action exempting his cronies from the law.

1/08/2015 04:12:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Yes - that's sort of what I was getting at, I think. Inasmuch as proportional and universal justice strikes me as a requirement for the development of individuality as a cultural norm. If people are unlikely to see other humans, even within their own tribe, as having intrinsic worth, is it likely that they would see their own lives that way?

1/08/2015 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Tocqueville, by Siedentop just arrived in the mail today.
I'm gonna read it after I finish Inventing The Individual (fascinating read followed by fascinating posts by Bob), and will let you guys know how good it is.

1/08/2015 04:40:00 PM  
Anonymous The Dude said...

Rick dude,
What if they really are galaxies in that owl's eyes?

1/08/2015 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger katzxy said...

"Some of this is a little technical..."

Looking closely at things can illuminate new insights. If you have time, a big if indeed, perhaps you can elaborate the technical details for intelligent (I flatter myself) nonspecialists.

1/08/2015 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I second Katzxy's request. I find this to be very interesting and illuminating.

1/08/2015 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Just when I'm about to conclude that nobody gives two f*cks for Bob's cogitations, a personal request for more. You never know.

1/08/2015 05:26:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Shirley you jest, Bob. :)

1/08/2015 05:37:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Yet another feminini thing:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/01/manslamming-verb-gerund/384343/

Manslamming. They never stop adding to their list of micraggressive whining.
They are obsessed with their own illusions.

1/08/2015 05:41:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Off topic, our friend Mushroom's wife could use some serious prayers, for anyone of a mind to do so.

1/08/2015 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger annk said...

Bob, I have a Ph.D. In one of the social sciences, so I need a little extra hand-holding. What does D stand for?

1/08/2015 05:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Senor Coconut said...

Escuse me?

1/08/2015 05:54:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Pretty sure it's either Depressive,

or Democrat.

1/08/2015 06:06:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

I thought Depressive was the more mature position, so Democrat would be the opposite. No?

1/08/2015 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Fine. Step on my joke, Julie! ;)

*hrummpff!*

I can't complain. I stole your idea about slut walk and distilled it down to a tweet. Neener.

1/08/2015 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Awesome! And sorry for stepping on your joke. Sometimes I'm still a little too literal...

Back to this, But if God did indeed incarnate, then it is difficult to see how that wouldn't represent a quantum leap, no less dramatic than the quantum leap from non-existence to existence or matter to life.

Yes, just so. Another thing that strikes me is how precisely detailed all the religious laws were. Not only that, but making a mistake wasn't just a no-no, it was generally met with instant death. Kind of like handling a live lightning bolt. Everything had to be perfect. And then suddenly, after Christ, all of those observational sanctions were essentially lifted and the door had been opened for everyone. Made me wonder if part of the importance of the line of David was that maybe someone of his descendants in each generation managed to live pretty closely in line with the law, until one came along who was pure enough to give birth to the Immaculate.

1/08/2015 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Prager points out that those severe penalties were never really enforced and that they were more rhetorical in nature, understood to be emphasizing the seriousness of the infraction.

His next book is supposed to be a line by line analysis of the Torah.

1/08/2015 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

That would be really interesting. Just reading through without the Jewish traditions, it's difficult at times to get a sense of how to understand it all. As to the penalties, though, I'm thinking of the part where Aaron's sons were struck dead for using incense the wrong way during the dedication of the Tabernacle, and how Aaron was essentially told not to react at all. The impression I had - which may be way off - is of someone in the midst of a critical and dangerous operation, where any false move could bring disaster. Not as punishment, but simply because of their proximity to the Ultimate Reality.

1/08/2015 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

No idea on that one. It does seem to reflect a very different mentality, however.

1/08/2015 07:04:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Re. the relevance to the development of individuality, though, setting aside literalistic interpretations of the law as originally written, the point made over and over and over is that they were to be a people "set apart." They were not to do as others did - pretty much all of which boiled down to disrespecting the personhood of other human beings, one way or another. No murder, no lying, no cheating, no stealing; no incest, no bestiality, no homosexuality. Treat even those you dislike with respect. Etc.

Anyway, the posts here lately have helped to add an extra dimension of meaning to what I've been reading, and it really seems to me that Mosaic law - that dealing with interpersonal relations - was instrumental in laying the groundwork for the Christian quantum leap.

With that I'll shut up, lest I be guilty of Deepaking the Chopra...

1/08/2015 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger John said...

Bob,
Wondering how you think the eastern Christian experience, particularly Russia, which has been Christian since 900 AD give or take, fits in to the leap to the individual. Obviously, some amazing sages and saints, but also, culturally speaking, much more of a tribal quality, it seems to me.
Incidentally, they don't give Islamic terrorists much quarter-witness Chechnya.

1/08/2015 10:43:00 PM  
Blogger annk said...

I would be very interested in your take on Russia as well, given speculation that Russia and China are Gog and Magog.

1/09/2015 06:01:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Just wanted to stop by to thank you all. We won't know anything for a couple more days.

1/09/2015 06:06:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

We'll keep praying for her and you as long as it takes, Mushroom.

1/09/2015 06:51:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It does seem to me that Russia is having to make the leap from a considerably more primitive condition, just as they are having to do in economics. Naturally this doesn't apply to every Russian, but as recently as the late 19th century most Russians were still serfs, whereas serfdom had long since died out in western Europe, plus the serf experience there was quite different. Remember too that communism was supposed to be a post-capitalist phase -- it was supposed to occur in Germany first, since it was the more advanced. However, many people have argued that Russia was more susceptible to communism because it was just modern serfdom under a new name.

I might add that socialism would be impossible in the US absent all the primitives. The vast majority of white males anyway vote Republican, hence the need to import people from South America with less personal development, and who find socialism more amenable.

Bottom line: who knows?

1/09/2015 07:01:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Hm. Reminds again of the recent cultural observation that in Russia, one does not smile at strangers; it makes them think one is plotting something nefarious. In other words, there is an essential lack of trust in a general sort of way. And all that implies.

1/09/2015 07:08:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Definitely a lack of trust, and trust is the grease of capitalism. Hard to know how much of the paranoia and distrust are a residue of communism, though. Then again, clannish people often give the stink-eye to outsiders, so it may be partly that as well. There's a classic book by Banfield called The Moral Development of a Backward People that goes to this subject. Maybe I should dig it out.

1/09/2015 07:18:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

Wojciech Kilar, Piano Concerto No. 2 (his last):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ro-qrKbyjJU

After the death knells of the first movement, the second movement (08:30) will raise the hair on your head.

Fast-moving events in the world, like high-speed crashes on the motorway.

1/09/2015 07:19:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Moral Basis of a Backward Society, I mean.

1/09/2015 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Magister - reminds me of Rites of Spring, the Fantasia version where the world was being formed and then ripped apart by volcanoes.

1/09/2015 07:37:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

Bob, there's so much to grok in this post of yours, and it ramifies in so many directions, that I sometimes find it difficult to comment.

"the attainment of historical continuity is a developmental achievement that is impossible in PS. It is impossible because there is no autonomous "self" (or a very weak one) above the impulses and emotions."

Yes, historical continuity is a function of understanding and management. The PS position does not achieve sufficient distance to make either of those things possible.

So it seems certain things are necessary, but they're not sufficient. There's plenty of "distance" in Critical Race Theory, for instance. What's also necessary is what Scruton calls oikophilia, the love for home. It's an inelegant word, but the alternatives either aren't clear or too freighted with disagreements.

Many millennials are children of broken homes. How do you foster a sense of oikophilia in people who have never experienced an oikos?

I fear that ship has long sailed. Our massive urban centers are chaotic, postmodern, quasi-totalitarian nightmares. That's the norm, not the exception.

1/09/2015 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

Julie

Contemporary Polish composers tend to be red pill types. The opening of the film KATYN (by Wajda) has similarly intense, nearly unbearable music by Penderecki. I'll never watch the film again -- it was devastating, so once was enough.

Our grandchildren (I hope) will understand who the real masters of ca. 2015 music really were. It stuns me that Haydn's last sane, pretty, rational music was written while cannons were bombarding his city.

1/09/2015 07:49:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

Bob

Banfield looks interesting, but I have to run. More clinical than Dalrymple on the same subject?

1/09/2015 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

More anthropological.

1/09/2015 08:06:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Re "Definitely a lack of trust, and trust is the grease of capitalism. Hard to know how much of the paranoia and distrust are a residue of communism, though. Then again, clannish people often give the stink-eye to outsiders, so it may be partly that as well."

Which recalls this book by Scruton, which I have but haven't reached in the stack yet:

Notes from Underground

1/09/2015 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

But that is a work of fiction; though Scruton lived in Czechoslovak during the period in the novel.

1/09/2015 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

I can imagine communism fostered both a serf mentality, but also, for those who opposed it, a very individual psychological type, as the difficulty in opposing it would be severe.
I've heard people say that to understand the Russian mind, one must read Solzenisten's Gulag Archipelago.
Has anyone here read 'Everyday Saints'? Really impressive stories and very hopeful in terms of Russian Orthodox spirituality.

1/09/2015 09:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me Google that for you.

1/09/2015 09:11:00 AM  
Anonymous The Velvet Cluebat said...

I can't tell - is that stank new troll smell, or is it just an old one that's been mouldering for a bit?

1/09/2015 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

I would say that the key difference, going forward, between Islamic and Christian terrorism, is that one searches in vain in the New Testament for justifications of violence. In the Koran, which is flawless, according to Muslims, you find several. In the Hadith, plenty more, from the perfect man.
Hopefully, as Christianity takes deeper root, we will see an end to the gratuitous state sponsored violence of Christians against Christians.

1/09/2015 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

Even if Islam were to magically moderate for 500 years, the invitation to violence will always be just below the surface. As also, the invitation to wed 9 year olds.

1/09/2015 09:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Mohammad said...

Not that there's anything wrong with it.

1/09/2015 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Julie said "...I'm thinking of the part where Aaron's sons were struck dead for using incense the wrong way during the dedication of the Tabernacle..."

Not to peg the wacko meter (sorry jawn), but I remember seeing a quote attributed to the electrical wiz Tesla, that when he read that section, he supposedly got very excited and looking at the materials and measurements, said that they'd been setting up a generator, something about the silks & such, and any error would electrocute the technician....

Of course it all died with him.
Or. ..did. ..it. ...
(Dum dum dommm!)

Ok jawn, back to you.

1/09/2015 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

Thanks for the queue, Van. Pretty sure it died with Elvis. And, there was nothing before Elvis.

1/09/2015 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Jules said...

"but making a mistake wasn't just a no-no, it was generally met with instant death. Kind of like handling a live lightning bolt. Everything had to be perfect."

Kind of like tbe new puritans/ theocratic crazies of the left - wear the wrong tshirt and you hate women, make a joke about a minority and you are a genocidal maniac.

NIce to see movies like "hunger games " and "divergent" where "perfect" societies are show to be not so perfect. Is this the sign that youth will begin to question their brainwashing and brain implants ?

Re smiling at strangers - the same is true in France. I think it's a legacy of having a long and bloody history of wars and such. The sign of being "old europe"... grumpy and always seing the other as a potential problem rather than the American way of seeing him as a potential partner in business or friendship.
(see Patrick Baudry "Francais Americains" which contrasts the 2 cuktures and says coutries such as France have major developmental hangups which prevent progress, economic and social)

in born again europe (czech republic etc) the young are changing this culture

1/10/2015 06:09:00 AM  
Blogger Jules said...

NY Times bureau chief: "Some call for an extreme use of force to respond to Paris attacks, but school shootings in US have killed more and US leaders do nothing."

Credentialled morons like this need to have rotten eggs thrown at them, literally.
DOes that mean that we need to go and round up single mothers, because a large number of crazed killers are from this background ? what are you saying mr NY times moron ?

DO school killers attend religious schools, hear sermons, surf websites, go to training camps and come from communities where their actions are applauded by a sizable minority (40% of UK Muslims wld like sharia law to be applied in the UK) , have a logistics network for training weapns etc ??
No they dont.

France shld use the Israeli approach : tanks surrounding mosques or in muslim neighbourhoods, targeted assasinations etc. Not going to happen. Hence why so many french jews are immigrating to Israel. Maybe native french will do the same as they become yellow star jews in their own country, with the complicity of the socialist scum in the govmt and elsewhere.

i Agree with this lady:
Claire Berlinski @ClaireBerlinski

Let me use the words I am not allowed to use on Ricochet. You motherfuckers. We will kill you. Every one of you. Believe it. #JeSuisCharlie

1/10/2015 06:32:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Hi Jules!

Actually, although there are a lot of sections indicating the death penalty to be administered by the priests, the part I was referencing was quite different. For context, this was during the consecration of the Tabernacle: they had been following the cloud of the Divine Presence - the same one that parted the Red Sea, and perched on the mountain so Moses could come up and have a chat. It was made quite clear earlier that anyone besides Moses getting too close would be fried. There was nothing personal or juridical in it, anymore than telling someone they shouldn't play with radioactive rocks.

In that context, then, Aaron was the high priest and he and his sons had been consecrated to the priesthood. The next step was to build and consecrate the Tabernacle, so that the Divine Presence could dwell in their midst when they weren't on the move. The two oldest sons, while consecrating the tabernacle, lit incense either at the wrong time or in the wrong way ("offered strange fire"), and the Divine Presence killed them (Leviticus 10). Because Aaron had been consecrated and they were in the middle of something very important, he was essentially told not to react, lest the entire congregation die in the same way.

So, not just a question of excess religious zeal, it was more like a question of doing the right sequence to avoid a nuclear meltdown.

1/10/2015 06:41:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

One little thing these liberal geniuses overlook in equating Muslim terror to "Christian terror" is that the world spends trillions of dollars trying to stop the former, but virtually nothing to stop the latter except for routine policing. Now, imagine if the situation were reversed, and we spent so much time and resources trying to stop the rare crazy who thinks he's a Christian, while letting Muslims do what they want. I think the world would last about a week.

1/10/2015 07:33:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

There are also those bonehead liberals -- such as our own anonymous -- who like to pull out Biblical passages condoning violence.

Along these lines, some people have said that Islam needs a reformation, but the real problem is that it needs a Church to interpret the revelation in its totality and place problematic passages in a larger context. But that horse has long since left the barn, since Islam is, as Chesterton wrote, just a Christian heresy -- like a very early and very deviant protestant rebellion in which each man is free to interpret scripture in his own way. Therefore, there is nothing whatsoever preventing a man from simply taking the Koran literally, since there has never been a higher centralized authority to tell him not to. Indeed, whereas the Church selected the books of the NT based on a traditional understanding that was already in place, a man produced the Koran. BIG difference.

1/10/2015 07:41:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I also read somewhere that the "superiority" of Islamic culture up to the 13th century or what ever it was, was because they hadn't yet killed, converted, or expelled all the Jews and Christians. In other words, it took awhile for Islam to exhaust the intellectual and moral capital it had inherited from its conquests, just as it is taking the left time to run the bank accounts dry.

1/10/2015 07:52:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

One thing that would surely assist in defending against Muslim nuts is for the U.S. to cease it's alliance with Saudi Arabia, and the covert use of their jihadis to fight other wars over the years. Let's make them enemies and see what happens.

1/10/2015 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

One more thing on the Muslim vs. Christian terror: This Anonymous found a link that mentioned ten events that could loosely be ascribed to nuts acting according to their interpretation of their faith over the past twenty years. Some of them very loosely. I'm sure if there were more that were more clearly Christian, we'd be hearing about it pretty much constantly.

Meanwhile, just in 2014, here's a list of Muslim attacks of record. According to Maggie's Farm, this list shows 3,000 events with a death toll of 32,004, or about 88 people per day. Most of which we don't hear about, because the MSM are so certain there's going to be a big anti-Muslim backlash, and gosh we wouldn't want any Muslims to get hurt or feel unwelcome because of their diverse religion.

But yeah, Christians are totally just as horrible.

1/10/2015 06:45:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Always hard to know whether liberals are lying, crazy, or just stupid.

1/10/2015 07:43:00 PM  

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