Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Anti-semitism, real and imagined


A couple of weeks ago I joined about a thousand other Aucklanders on a march down Queen Street to protest Israel's attacks on Gaza. A day or so later, I did a google search to see how the media had covered the event, and discovered a post at NZ Conservative, a blog maintained by a group of Catholics with views firmly on the right of the political spectrum.

According to NZ Conservative's source, a mysterious group called 'Kiwi Friends of Israel', the march down Queen Street was characterised by wild anti-semitism, calls for terrorist attacks, Islamic fundamentalism, and conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks.

It was rather hard for me to reconcile the account of the march on NZ Conservative with my experience of the event. The claims that the march was an exercise in verbal Jew-bashing are particularly risible, because protesters repeatedly and loudly repudiated such attitudes. When protest MC John Minto condemned anti-semitism and noted that ten thousand Israelis, many of them Jewish, had recently marched through Jerusalem against the attacks on Gaza, he was loudly applauded by his fellow protesters. Another speaker, an Islamic scholar from Egypt, echoed Minto's remarks, and also attracted loud applause. The chant 'Allah Akbar' was heard from some marchers, but NZ Conservative's claim that the words are ipso facto an endorsement of terrorism was nonsense - usually they are simply an affirmation of faith and solidarity with fellow believers.

Large protests will always attract the odd crank, but it's wrong to generalise the odd crank into the official message of a protest. I did notice a fool wandering down Queen Street with a T shirt that read '9/11 Was an Inside Job', but I saw no evidence that anybody supported his opinion.

Many of the people I saw on the demonstration would be very hard to reconcile with the stereotypes thrown around on NZ Conservative. I noticed CK Stead, a man many would consider New Zealand's most distinguished living writer, making his way carefully down the street. I haven't hitherto considered Stead either a jihadi or a loony lefty. His oft-expressed views on subjects like Maori nationalism and the education system would seem to put him on the right of the political spectrum.

If the bloggers at NZ Conservative want to find anti-semitism, then they should train their guns on Bishop Richard Williamson, the leader of the ultra-conservative splinter group which has just been welcomed back into the Catholic communion by Pope Benedict XVI. Williamson, who is based in Britain and commands the following of around 150,000 souls, has been for decades been one of the most tireless and high-profile promoters of Holocaust denial and Jewish conspiracy theories. He regards the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as a work of non-fiction, maintains that only a couple of hundred thousand Jews died during World War Two, and blames Hitler's enemies for the 1995 Oklahoma bombing as well as the 9/11 attacks and the 'myth' of Auschwitz. Wiliamson's propaganda has enthusiastically disseminated by the sort of neo-Nazi groups that love to turn anti-semitic theory into murderous practice.

The decision to welcome Williamson into the Catholic communion has outraged Jewish groups and liberal Catholics, who suspect that the Pope wants to use Williamson's flock to strengthen the extreme right of the church. NZ Conservative does not appear to share those misgivings: instead of decrying the latest addition to their church, they have been focusing their attention on the evil Friar Burns of Wellington, who splattered a mixture of paint and blood on a memorial to Yitzhak Rabin during an anti-war protest. I would have thought Burns has less blood on his hands than Williamson.

According to one of the bloggers at NZ Conservative, the outcry against Williamson is the work of people who 'hate the Catholic church'. As far as I am aware, the issue has appeared on the media radar because of a press release by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, which was set up to try to bring Nazi war criminals to justice and to expose instances of contemporary anti-semitism. I don't mean to suggest that this group is always correct (it was wrong, for instance, when it characterised Hugo Chavez as an anti-semite) but I am not aware of any evidence that it has an anti-Catholic agenda.

In a new statement, the Catholic church has defended its wooing of Williamson with the claim that Holocaust denial and anti-semitism are not 'doctrinal issues', and are therefore, apparently, of secondary importance. I find this a very strange view, because it seems to imply some Chinese Wall between religious and political views - a division which the church seems happy to deny at other times (for instance, when it enters political debate around the issue of abortion).

And how exactly can a sincere commitment to Christian theology be squared with a commitment to anti-semitism? I admit I'm rather ignorant of the finer points of the New Testament, but I was under the impression that Jesus himself was a Jew. Perhaps, though, the good Bishop Williamson will drop by in the comments box and correct me on that score.

52 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

After your death you may know the truth and might of the doctrine you mock.

4:57 pm  
Blogger Giovanni said...

Classy comment, Anonymous!

In a new statement, the Catholic church has defended its wooing of Williamson with the claim that Holocaust denial and anti-semitism are not 'doctrinal issues'

Yes, that brought a smile to the lips. I remember expressing a certain degree of alarm when the new Pope made the news, during his first summer in office (as it were), with such advice as "drive carefully" and "drink plenty of water during these hot months". I figured it was a presage of more unsolicited advice of a less benign nature. And sure enough, the episcopalian conference pretty much writes public policy in Italy as of right now. Because we let it, I suppose, but still...

6:38 pm  
Blogger Richard Taylor said...

Maps - why a 'fool' to ask whether 9/11 was an insider - it could well have been? ...the question is o.k. at least. I think it is a big possibility.

There ARE conspiracies - always have been - and some work - some don't. I don't believe* them all - e.g that Kennedy was killed by anyone else than Oswald - he may have been aided or assisted indirectly - but I think he did it on his own that and remember that happened when I was 15 and I have studied the Warren Commission (I mean I watched the extensive documentary based on the findings)and in the end I plumped for Oswald did it and Ruby was just who he seemed and so on.

But 9/11 was different. There are many discrepancies - many unexplained factors there.

Israel is involved in a lot of preemtive strikes and have a very well organised army and secret service etc they are determined to survive - no more Holocausts for them...they need the US and vica versa.

But the Arabs are not angels either.

Unfortunately also, many Jews are pro Israel - most in fact - and the extreme right wing and even some of the apparent "moderates" are pro the slaughter of Arabs - keep things in perspective. They call themselves "the chosen people" as the Nazis did...

And many Arabs - with good reason - hate the Israelis. Because of Israel's history they thus don't distinguish now between Jew and Israeli - to them it is synonymous with "murderers" - I myself struggle with this ... I know a Moroccan - nice person - well educated - he hates Jews.

Not all of them. But if your family is wiped out whoever you are - by some other group - the tendency is not to feel too warm toward that group.

*There is no way of really knowing of course as there is no way to fulfill basic truth conditions so it remains - philosophically at least - who did the towers - no one knows for sure. The truth of it cant be verified. The massive forensics was not done (it seems) and the normal investigative procedures, it seems (key term here), were not followed by the FBI etc (I am thinking of the set of truth criteria sued normally in philosophy and logic)

8:18 pm  
Blogger Richard Taylor said...

Anonymous - which doctrine are you talking about? Maps is mocking no one.
If you want to comment give your real name

Actually Maps, I think you should only allow comments of people who give their real names on here. (Or at least their "name" on Blogger with some reference -


Anyone can sign up to Blogger - it is free.

8:24 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

Hi Maps. I think you may have the wrong end of the stick on just a few points, although I appreciate the sentiment you expressed.

I am a member of NZ Conservative, but I'll speak for myself here.

Firstly, I think "Bishop" Williamson is mad as a cut snake (I have never met him, the media may exaggerate etc, but if the reports are only half true, I stand by this comment).

I think he is wrong about the holocaust and he has also referred to the Holy See as the tool of Satan or some such nonesense.

On the other hand, I think Fr Burns has every right to protest and make a statement on his personally held convictions BUT I do believe his form of protest was inappropriate for a Catholic Priest, and he should apologise a little more strongly than "hope no-one took offense".

Now the critical point we are discussing here has nothing to do with my opinion on Fr Williamson, because this move by the Pope was part of an attempt to bring the SSPX back into the fold, as it were.

SSPX are around 500 priests in over 80 countries, with thousands of members. That is who the Pope is trying to reach.

As for SSPX Bishop Williamson, I think he will take care of the issue himself. Having called the Pope a servant of Satan, and spouted nonsense about Jews and the holocaust, it is widely expected that he will in turn break from the SSPX and take his loyal followers with him.

How many people that is, remains to be seen, but the remainders will be most welcome in the Church and the Pope has held out an olive branch, offering forgiveness and love to not only the SSPX members, but to a wayward priest that would call him a servant of Satan.

Thus my comments on the other thread at NZC.

Given the other comments also on that thread, I trust you see some difference as to what you have outlined above.

BTW, although Williamson is British, I think he has actually fled to Argentina (2006) and is based there.

Also, he has declared himself a Bishop and I understand that this is not approved by the Pope, and that he remains "suspended a divinas" and cannot claim to actually be a Bishop.

This lends support to my hunch he will lead a breakaway group, because ultimately, he will not accept the authority of the Pope.

He has had the excommunication lifted, because it was successfully argued that his actions did not support excommunication as per cannon law. All the other issues remain unresolved and unforgiven.

9:15 pm  
Blogger Giovanni said...

I cannot find the article in English, but do look for Hans Küng's analysis. He notes among other things that the four bishops in question haven't signed the documents on freedom on religion and on the Jews, and inscribes the move into what he calls a push towards "restoration" by Ratzinger. I can report that the reaction in Italy and Germany has been of consternation.

9:33 pm  
Blogger Richard Taylor said...

I'm not sure the priest was wrong to protest as he did - passions are naturally strong on this issue.

It would be good to see a reasonably extensive history of the development of Israel - it started in the 19th century really (Zionism - formed by Herzl etc) ...and at one stage the place was to be jointly run by Palestinians and Israelis or Jews...
The Israelis either aggressively pushed out the Palestinians or reacted to attacks (by more hostile Arabs) and the Palestinians retreated - now they have lost almost all of their land and in their own land are treated as second rate citizens.

Israel was formed quite peremptorily in 1948 against the wishes of most Palestinians. Now the US - a big ally gives Israel huge military support (Apache helicopters, F16 jet Fighters, guns, tanks, missiles phosphorous bombs etc etc and probably supported Israel's development of nuclear missiles.)

What I find bizarre is a nation whose whole bent is that they are a "race" - almost as if they had swallowed Hitler's racial ideas (indeed also the ideas of Old Europe and old Russia etc very prevalent in former times and perhaps not quite so now) - but in fact the Jewish people - if they are a race - derive from Palestine and are closest in kind to the Arabs - in fact a Semite (Arab, Jew, others) was originally someone from that area (generally The Levant) - and the language of Hebrew is related to Arabic etc - also there the same basic religion - or stem of - Christianity, Judaism and the Moslem religion have common roots - the Moslem religion being the most recent of the religions. But we don't really find Moslems claiming to be a race. (Perhaps in some Jungian sense they feel they are as the Jews might also) The implication of Israel is that Jews are a race - that is somehow mystically and genetically different...destined.

But (say) a Polish Jew prior to WW2 would find the idea of moving to join with a French Jew quite - well probably not appealing - Jews in Germany were Germans who practiced Judaism. Yes the Christians (and others) in Europe and elsewhere had persecuted them terribly - but that didn't make them a race.

This raises questions of race - culture versus genetics - as far as
molecular biologists etc are concerned - the difference between say the peoples of Europe and those of Africa take as whole are smaller than the difference INSIDE these groups - this in genetic terms (I write from memory of a book co written by the great German scientist Walter Bodmer.)


There is danger of ascribing a view that all Catholics are anti-Semitic - anti-Semitism is evil - it has however been around for a long time and is/has been very wide spread. I couldn't find a link to anything said by Williamson - are there anymore direct links to what he has said - what I was was rather ambiguous.

11:46 pm  
Blogger stephen said...

"What I find bizarre is a nation whose whole bent is that they are a "race""

You may be confused by the fact that for a very long time, Judaism has not proselytised. Therefore for practical purposes, the ethnic group and the religion have almost entirely overlapped for about 2000 years, and indeed we predate Western concepts of religion and race anyway.

I find your comments too disconnected to form a coherent view on them, but your notions of how Jews think about themselves seem to be pulled out of your arse.

8:06 am  
Blogger Giovanni said...

I'm not sure the priest was wrong to protest as he did - passions are naturally strong on this issue.

It's never very hard to locate an idiot at a demonstration. I was struck by the fact that so many people participated in that little piece of theatre - judging from the pictures at Aotearoa Indymedia.

I couldn't find a link to anything said by Williamson

Couldn't tell you where to find online Williamson's greatest hits (150k Jews killed in WWII, no such things as gas chambers, etc.). I know the guy has a blog, but I refuse to visit it. At any rate Bernard Fellay today apologised for Williamson's position in a letter to the Pope and ordered him to shut up for a wee while.

8:49 am  
Blogger maps said...

Very interesting, Giovanni - are you in Italy? I'd like to hear the details of how the Pope 'writes public policy'.

I've never been a student of Catholicism, but I suppose the new Pope interests me because he is on the one hand an extremely sophisticated intellectual, who can write long, nuanced essays on subjects like Marx and the Enlightenement (essays that would perhaps leave some of his more enthusiastic proponents in the blogosphere baffled!), and on the other hand a very hardline, doctrinaire conservative.

In New Zealand, at least, we don't really have a tradition of a conservative intelligentsia - the right has always been quite philistine, and intellectuals have tended to be liberal, which is one of the reasons why CK Stead's apostasy on issues like the Treaty of Waitangi caused such a ruckus amongst his peers in the '80s and
'90s.

We do have a long and interesting tradition of Catholic writers and intellectuals in both New Zealand and Australia, but they have tended to be lefties - in fact, one can make the argument that Friar Burns sits much more comfortably with Catholic tradition in this part of the world than his critics on the right of the church do.

It was the Catholic church which saved tens of thousands of lives by spearheading the opposition to compulsory conscription in Australia during World War One, and Catholics have been strongly involved in anti-war, anti-apartheid and anti-colonial movements on this side of the ditch. The Irish origins of many church members may have given them sympathy for peoples who have suffered from invasion and foreign rule - that's what Bill Direen tells me, anyway.

Richard - you are plain wrong about 9/11, old chum. Belief that Bush dunnit is as culpable as belief that the Jews made up the Holocaust in a beiege room in Tel Aviv. You fall back into radical scepticism - who can know what truth is ultimately? etc etc - as a way of avoiding the weight of evidence. The notion of absolute certainty is a Cartesian myth - we make decisions about what is right and wrong in concrete historical situations, based on the evidence we have and the necessity of acting. We have to make a decision on whether 9/11 was an inside job or not, given the centrality of the event to contemporary history, and the decision is not hard to make, given the weight of evidence that the act was the work of Al Qaeda.

10:08 am  
Blogger Giovanni said...

Very interesting, Giovanni - are you in Italy? I'd like to hear the details of how the Pope 'writes public policy'.

I'm not in Italy, no, although I visit regularly and keep in touch with people of varying degrees of dismay. Including my mum who - and I'm not kidding - has decided she wants to be unbaptised before she carks it.

But it's not something that we can entirely blame the current Pope for, actually. It started in the early nineties when the corruption scandals led to the dissolution of the Christian Democrats - who had ruled uninterruptedly since 1946 - and the gradual formation of two blocks, centre-right and centre-left, both essentially ruled by the respective minoritarian centrists who were, you guessed it, old Christian Democrats. In so mamy areas it became effectively one party rule without opposition of any kind, so in all matters that involved some sort of ethical consideration - a pretty hard thing to come by, when you're in the business of writing laws, you understand - the episcopal conference was always reliably on the phone, and in the papers, giving directions. Whatever was left of the separation of church and state mandated by that notorious progressive politician, Mussolini, gave way and we started among other things to heavily fund catholic schools, something that the Christian Democrats had never managed/dared to do.

You could say that Cardinal Ruini, who led the episcopal conference during the twilight years of JP II and was a key ally of Ratzinger come election time, was a if not the foremost Italian politician for fifteen or so years (he's retired now, and Cardinal Bagnasco is following faithfully in his footsteps).

I've never been a student of Catholicism, but I suppose the new Pope interests me because he is on the one hand an extremely sophisticated intellectual... and on the other hand a very hardline, doctrinaire conservative.

He was a progressive, all right, and a key figure during the second vatican council. But he had a major change of heart some time during the seventies - he blamed it in one of his interviews (and again I'm not kidding) on a meeting with scary student protesters in Rome. Now he's undoing the council's reforms one by one.

Mass in Latin, yipeeeeee!

11:36 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Fundy Post has commented on the subject:
http://fundypost.blogspot.com/2009/01/death-and-trousers.html

11:36 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are clearly some very evil people here.

12:06 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A German Pope allowing a holocaust denier back into the fold, just three days before Holocaust Memorial Day?

You could not make this up!

1:39 pm  
Blogger Giovanni said...

You could not make this up!

Yup. Plus Auschwitz is falling apart.

4:29 pm  
Blogger maps said...

I read this remark in the comments box of another blog, and it really just sums up my attitude to the Williamson question:

'Here are some questions for the papal defenders: As a condition for his readmission to the Church, Williamson has agreed to abide by Church teachings. Does this not include John Paul II’s teaching that antisemitism is a sin? Are there other sins which would have prevented his readmission? If so, does this mean antisemitism is a minor sin?'

Simple questions, but it seems nobody at the Vatican wants to answer them.

4:57 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No-one really believes the theory of evolution. Well, maybe a few isolated extreme sociopaths do. But for the rest of mankind, evolution is profoundly disbelieved.

Yet, it has a very useful function, nonetheless. Its utility is akin to Locke's concept of the Social Contract. Locke was trying to justify the existence of limited and proscribed civil government. The original state of mankind—the state of nature—he argued, was one of no laws, no governments, no restrictions upon anyone's rights. However, this proved to be unworkable, so mankind entered a Social Contract, whereby man voluntarily surrendered some rights in order to establish protections of property and life.

The Social Contract was a formal warranting concept—a philosophical notion—that gave legitimacy to civil government and its laws. No-one really believed, including Locke, that there was an actual time in the history of mankind where a universal human convocation was held and men decided to cede some of their rights to a civil government.

Evolutionism functions in our society in exactly the same way. No-one really believes it, but it is a useful fiction, because it places man at the top of the tree of being (which is rather nice) and it removes the idea of sin and judgment in the hands of an angry God (which is even nicer). It also justifies just about every libertinistic moral impulse or action imaginable (which is nicer still).

But no-one really believes it. Even the academic and scientific propagators and defenders of evolutionism are just going through the motions. They don't really believe it either—except as a formal warranting philosophical concept.

We know that no-one really believes the theory, because no-one is prepared to stand up and advocate, much less live out, evolutionism as an ethic. No-one is prepared to be evolutionistic. At first glance this may seem rather strange. If someone were to say that they believed in Islam, one would expect that they would endeavour to live out their lives as an Islamic—in a manner consistent with the teachings of Islam. If they failed to do so, or disregarded the teachings of the Koran and Islamic traditions, we would quickly conclude that they were hypocritical, or they were really infidels (to use an Islamic category).

But for some reason, similar assessments are not made over evolutionism, its belief, and its practice. All of which leads to the conclusion that evolutionism is a myth of convenience.

How should an evolutionist be expected to live? We would expect him to hold up and seek to live out the ethic that lies at the heart of evolutionism—that the survival of the fittest is not only the greatest engine of progress, but that only by the outworking of this ethic, will life and existence be maintained. This would be a consistent and entirely reasonable position for an evolutionist. Now, of course, evolutionism is meaningless because the “survival of the fittest” is a tautology—something that is true by definition. But let's not get side tracked on technicalities.

Evolutionists at the very least should be expected to ensure the survival of the species by destroying all threats, including threats from other creatures. Evolutionists should also, not only advocate, but be actively involved in the killing off of the weak to ensure that the strong are made stronger. If food is short, solve the problem by exterminating the overly-numerous mouths—that is what evolutionists should be advocating. The elderly should be terminated, or exposed so that they die off. This very act makes the living stronger. They are no longer distracted and dissipated by worthless concerns. For the true evolutionist, these things would be amoral—except that the process of terminating the weak both ensures the survival of the species, and ensures the progress of being from lower to higher life forms.

We are aware, of course, that some fundamentalist evolutionists have danced a merry jig trying to avoid these implications, which for some reason they find unpalatable. They have suggested that the evolution of mankind has reached such an advanced stage and man is such a higher life form that he has been able to turn away from the raw brute fight to survive by killing and destroying others. Man is so advanced on the chain of being that he has evolved into co-operative activity. Yes, the jig for these die-hard fundamentalist evolutionists is very lively and frenetically danced. Mankind is so advanced that he has been able to banish evolution. The doctrine that the survival of the fittest is necessary to enable a species, well, to survive has been retired.

But these fundamentalists surely could not object in principle if other human beings disagreed and were successful in terminating them. Such road kill would help ensure the survival of the species.

No-one really thinks and acts like this—which is to say that no-one really believes in the theory of evolutionism. The most die-hard fundamentalist evolutionists spend most of their time arguing that the process has actually stopped now—which is deeply and richly ironic. They can be dismissed as fatuous idiots. But what of the rest of the population?

Just as Locke and all the Contract theorists did not actually believe in the historicity of the Social Contract, so the vast majority of people today could not care at all whether evolutionism is actually literally true or not, or whether it actually occurred. Its value lies in what the theory justifies or warrants.

That makes evolutionism a pearl of great price for the Unbeliever. He will sell all that he owns to possess it, even, especially, and literally, his own soul.

5:15 pm  
Blogger Giovanni said...

Heh... priceless! I also believe in gravity because it fits into my atheist beliefs. And, as a believer in gravity, I destroy all things that are excessively light and am a hater of helium.

5:30 pm  
Blogger Richard Taylor said...

"I find your comments too disconnected to form a coherent view on them, but your notions of how Jews think about themselves seem to be pulled out of your arse."

You are too kind.

9:54 pm  
Blogger Edward said...

Anonymous...

Where did you get your 'knowledge' of evolution from exactly? Evolution for fundamentalists?

1) "No-one really believes the theory of evolution. Well, maybe a few isolated extreme sociopaths do. But for the rest of mankind, evolution is profoundly disbelieved."

- Wrong. the 'theory' of evolution is central to the sciences which you yourself enjoy including natural and human sciences. Think genetics for example.

2) "Evolutionism functions in our society in exactly the same way. No-one really believes it, but it is a useful fiction, because it places man at the top of the tree of being..."

- Wrong. Evolution does not place 'man' at the top of anything. It is not unilinear or 'directed'.

3) "But no-one really believes it. Even the academic and scientific propagators and defenders of evolutionism are just going through the motions. They don't really believe it either—except as a formal warranting philosophical concept."

- Wrong. As previously stated it is central to the sciences. It is an observable phenomena which has been proven time and again and in different disciplines over the last century and a half using the scientific method. Take for example the fossil record.

4) "We know that no-one really believes the theory, because no-one is prepared to stand up and advocate, much less live out, evolutionism as an ethic. No-one is prepared to be evolutionistic."

- Wrong. Have you never heard of secular humanism, scientific rationalism, or a naturalistic world view (i.e. free of superstition) such as promoted by the Brights movement? Also there are many people who advocate these views. Richard Dawkins is perhaps one of the better known but there are a growing number.

5) "How should an evolutionist be expected to live? We would expect him to hold up and seek to live out the ethic that lies at the heart of evolutionism—that the survival of the fittest is not only the greatest engine of progress, but that only by the outworking of this ethic, will life and existence be maintained."

- Wrong. A common misconception which is propagated by fundamentalists. Evolution involves variation, replication, and mutation. 'Fitness' in an evolutionary sense is ability to pass on genes, not kill other things which are different. The 'brutality' which fundamentalists ascribe to evolution is misplaced and the result of a lack of understanding.

6) "Evolutionists at the very least should be expected to ensure the survival of the species by destroying all threats, including threats from other creatures. Evolutionists should also, not only advocate, but be actively involved in the killing off of the weak to ensure that the strong are made stronger."

- Wrong. As stated above, this is not how evolution works...read a book sometime.

7) "The elderly should be terminated, or exposed so that they die off. This very act makes the living stronger. They are no longer distracted and dissipated by worthless concerns. For the true evolutionist, these things would be amoral—except that the process of terminating the weak both ensures the survival of the species, and ensures the progress of being from lower to higher life forms."

- Wrong. Killing off the elderly and weak would do nothing to improve fitness from an evolutionary perspective. In fact it is more likely to damage fitness. Remember it is the ability to pass on genes, not 'kill the weak'. Also these scenarios are not 'amoral', as we are driven by our evolutionary psychology to hold a practically universal set of human morals (common morals are found in all religions as well as amounst non-religious). Also ethics - derived at through reasoning are what makes morals (religious or otherwise) change over time...you wouldn't kill someone because they were gay or an adulterer or a non-Jew now days now would you?

8) "They have suggested that the evolution of mankind has reached such an advanced stage and man is such a higher life form that he has been able to turn away from the raw brute fight to survive by killing and destroying others."

- Wrong. Name one respected scientific scholar who has advertised this view (and please, a recent one rather than the same old Victorian era thinking). As previously stated, evolution is not linear and does not work to produce 'the highest lifeform" possible.

9) "No-one really thinks and acts like this—which is to say that no-one really believes in the theory of evolutionism. The most die-hard fundamentalist evolutionists spend most of their time arguing that the process has actually stopped now—which is deeply and richly ironic."

- Wrong. Your logic is fatally flawed. You have put forward an incorrect view of what evolution is in the first place, then gone on to construct a premise based on this fallacy. Secondly, no one in the scientific community would ever argue that evolution "has stopped". Its a continual process which operates everyday. Again, it isn't 'directed' in any way.


I have countered your uneducated rhetoric with a series of short answers which I sincerely hope you will digest. I do not have the time to counter every single point you have made or to extend the comments I have, but quite frankly I do not need to. There is mountains of data and evidence which is irrefutable. Genetics, the fossil record, biology, psychology etc. etc. etc.
What you have typed (or more likely copied and pasted) appears to be nothing but uneducated drivel propagated by fundamentalists to create anti-scientific propaganda. I suggest you actually READ a scientific book or journal and educate yourself rather than regurgitating the same old tiresome rhetoric based on little more than ignorance and fear of that which you do not understand.

10:47 am  
Blogger Giovanni said...

The 'brutality' which fundamentalists ascribe to evolution is misplaced and the result of a lack of understanding.

You spend a few centuries persecuting if not torturing if not murdering people who believe in a different God, or in a slightly different version of the same God, and that's bound to colour your outlook I guess.

11:27 am  
Blogger Edward said...

Exactly Giovanni,
Perhaps the author of that post should look at the brutality of other worldviews. People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones etc.

11:48 am  
Blogger Giovanni said...

There is something I find really interesting though: it's mostly protestants who can't deal with evolution, whereas growing up in a catholic country I never experienced anything like these rants. (Whereas Catholics obviously had a few, erm, problems with the whole "the earth is not the centre of the universe" thing.)

11:52 am  
Blogger Edward said...

Giovanni,
I know what you mean. My girlfriend grew up in England where she experienced both Anglican and Catholic religion. Neither apparently have any major problem with scientific evidence as it doesn't conflict with their theological grounds. Also, in the past (and I presume in the present) priests had to hold an undergraduate university degree as well as postgraduate qualifications in theology - a more critical and educated approach rather than the American style of evangelical fundamentalism which seems so prevalent here in NZ. I have spoken to theologians who have literally laughed their butts off the idea of taking every passage in the Bible as historical fact. These religious moderates also refuse to use pseudo-science and ignorance to 'counter' scientific claims in my experience.

12:07 pm  
Blogger Richard Taylor said...

Evolution - I believe in it. My first interest was biology and chess - and literature - then engineering then politics then poetry but I have always studied evolution and so on... (I wasn't much good at any of these things so I kept moving from one to the other!)

I recall Professor Morton who taught Zoology Uni in 1966 (he was/is? quite a funny fellow BTW) - he was also a Catholic I believe.

So - he believed in God AND evolution...

I have read some of Richard Dawkins stuff - he is very good - but I am not a "hard atheist" ... don't misread that!

He seems a bit too obsessed with proving there is no God - which seems an insane impossibility to me (Descartes failed in that act - while St Augustine (in The Confessions) brilliantly keeps showing how impossible it is that there could be a God! - but he then defaults to "faith" !!) - his (Dawkins's) very obsession for atheism argues that he is in fact "religious" in some complex way... "Methinks the lady protesteth too much" ..that said he has some very interesting ideas and explanations... as does (Walter?) Bodmer who won the Nobel prize...

I am like the US poet John Ashbery - I like the idea of not knowing...being in perpetual doubt about everything!!

"Do I contradict myself? Then I contradict myself." (Oscar Wilde - of course - via or courtesy of Joyce and Dorothy Parker)

1:56 am  
Blogger Edward said...

Richard,
I know what you mean, and its not a bad stance to have. I don't really classify myself as atheist either, though my world view is free of superstition/supernatural such as the tooth fairy or gods. I think Dawkins' work is great, though I do think it is an inane argument trying to disprove something you simply can't (Dawkins' does acknowledge this). That said I have no real problem with people who subscribe to a religion, only with fundamentalist extremists who use propaganda and pseudo-science (such as intelligent design) to try and create an anti-reason political platform. I find this kind of fundamentalism creeps into almost anything (i'm an archaeologist and you wouldn't believe how many times people have told me that 'they' have found Noah's arc). The anonymous post 'no one believes in "evolutionism" [sic]' was a prime example.

9:14 am  
Blogger Giovanni said...

Apparently they've succeeded in shutting up Williamson temporarily, but not all of the acolytes. Thus Floriano Abrahamowicz, prominent priest in the sect (he celebrated the marriage of secessionist leader and former Italian minister Umberto Bossi), in an interview yesterday said that gas chambers were certainly used for disinfecting, but that he can't tell whether they were also used for killing because he didn't study the problem.

(link)

9:24 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Edward,

Those who held to the theory of evolution sin against God. And it is a dirty lie that Catholics do not oppose evolution. NZ Conservative and the Being Frank website have posts which refute evolution totally.

9:52 am  
Blogger Giovanni said...

And it is a dirty lie that Catholics do not oppose evolution. NZ Conservative and the Being Frank website have posts which refute evolution totally.

John Paul II called it "more than a theory" and essentially bowed to the authorities of science - whilst rejecting of course the idea that it's all randomness and pointing to God as the prime engine of the whole thing.

But now that NZ Conservatice and Being Frank have spoken I'm sure the holy see will review its position.

10:06 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's easy to put lies into a dead man's mouth. The Holy Bible tells us that evolution is a bigger lie, though.

10:14 am  
Blogger Giovanni said...

It's easy to put lies into a dead man's mouth.

Ahem... it was the Pope, you know, speaking ex-cathedra. Therefore infallible, and over-rules the Bible. (Don't look at me, I didn't make the rules.)

10:19 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Pope would never say that. Why lie when no one believes you? You should read the Holy Bible, it has all the science we need.

10:35 am  
Blogger Edward said...

Anonymous,
Well then I stand corrected in the all consuming knowledge of the bloggers on NZ Conservative. I wonder, do most of the people 'refuting' evolution have a degree in any science? Have they actually taken the time to read a biology (or any other scientific) book or journal article? Or do they just talk rhetoric and draw conclusions from false premises? Hmmmm. As for a sin against god, firstly which god? And secondly I don't believe in gods so I don't think i'm sinning by supporting evolution. I'd also like to see where in the Bible it says "evolution is wrong and is a sin".

10:37 am  
Blogger Edward said...

"You should read the Holy Bible, it has all the science we need"

Umm, thats about the most ridiculous thing i've ever heard. Nothing in the bible is scientific. Its written in pre-scientific times and is a piece of theology, not history or science. I guess that answers my previous question about whether you hold any science degree or bother to read. Perhaps you should think about your assertion next time you need to visit the doctor or drive your car or turn on your television...these things were made by science, not the Bible. Duh.

10:43 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are youy saying Genesis isn't scientific? Do you know that tests have shown the earth is 6000 years old not hundreds of thousands like the wacked-out liberal scientists say. And Edward God believes in you, even if you don't believe in him. And I hope you will expand your education by reading NZ Conservative and Being Frank. You Marxists should read about your false God - Lucyna proves that Marx was actually a Satanist! Do you even know you are devil's claws?

10:51 am  
Blogger Giovanni said...

The Pope would never say that. Why lie when no one believes you?

The direct quotation is below. It starts by referring to Pius XII's famous declaration that the theory of evolution and the Catholic faith aren't in contradiction with each other - so it's not even as if JPII broke with tradition or anything.

«Nella sua Enciclica Humani Generis (1950) il mio predecessore Pio XII aveva già affermato che non vi era opposizione fra l’evoluzione e la dottrina della fede sull’uomo e sulla sua vocazione, purché non si perdessero di vista alcuni punti fermi (cf. AAS 42 [1950] 575-576). [...] L’enciclica Humani Generis considerava la dottrina dell’evoluzionismo un’ipotesi seria, degna di una ricerca e di una riflessione approfondite al pari dell’ipotesi opposta. Pio XII aggiungeva due condizioni d’ordine metodologico: che non si adottasse questa opinione come se si trattasse di una dottrina certa e dimostrata e come se ci si potesse completamente astrarre dalla Rivelazione riguardo alle questioni da essa sollevate. Enunciava anche la condizione affinché questa opinione fosse compatibile con la fede cristiana, punto sul quale ritornerò.
Oggi, circa mezzo secolo dopo la pubblicazione dell’Enciclica, nuove conoscenze conducono a non considerare più la teoria dell’evoluzione una mera ipotesi. [...] La convergenza, non ricercata né provocata, dei risultati dei lavori condotti indipendentemente gli uni dagli altri, costituisce di per sé un argomento significativo a favore di questa teoria. [...] A dire il vero, più che della teoria dell’evoluzione, conviene parlare delle teorie dell’evoluzione. [...] Esistono pertanto letture materialistiche e riduttive e letture spiritualistiche. Il giudizio è qui di competenza propria della filosofia e, ancora oltre, della teologia. Il Magistero della Chiesa è direttamente interessato alla questione dell’evoluzione, poiché questa concerne la concezione dell’uomo [...]. Pio XII aveva sottolineato questo punto essenziale: se il corpo umano ha la sua origine nella materia viva che esisteva prima di esso, l’anima spirituale è immediatamente creata da Dio (cf. Humani Generis, l. c., p. 575). [...] Con l’uomo ci troviamo dunque dinanzi ad una differenza d’ordine onto-logico, dinanzi ad un salto ontologico, potremmo dire. Tuttavia proporre una tale discontinuità ontologica non significa opporsi a quella continuità fisica che sembra essere il filo conduttore delle ricerche sull’evoluzione dal piano della fisica e della chimica? La considerazione del metodo utilizzato nei diversi ordini del sapere consente di conciliare due punti di vista apparentemente inconciliabili».

Giovanni Paolo II, Messaggio alla Pontificia Accademia delle Scienze, 22 ottobre 1996, in Traccia, vol. X (1996) 1250-1252.

11:15 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, Giovanni, because of people like you, the Holy father was often sick in his last years. I think what probably happened is that some people like you put words in his mouth. And I don't understand what language that other stuff is in.

I'll ask my priest about this. If you want you could come to my church and ask with me?

11:20 am  
Blogger Giovanni said...

I'll ask my priest about this. If you want you could come to my church and ask with me?

That'd be great! I love asking questions to priests. You name a time and a place.

11:22 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pS This is what Lucyna showed me on her blog NZ Conservative (which with Being Frank is the best Catholic blog for answers to questions about science and faith)

so...this shows it's a contradiction for Marxists to say your atheists. You just follow Satan! Admit it!

'Though not widely known, Marx was a Satanist. In his student years, Marx authored a little-known drama, Oulanen. Modern Communists and socialists have gone to great lengths to suppress this telling literary creation of the young Marx. Below are some revealing excerpts:

If there is a Something which devours,
I'll leap within it, though I bring the world to ruins -
The world which bulks between me and the abyss
I will smash to pieces with my enduring curses.
I'll throw my arms around its harsh reality,
Embracing me, the world will dumbly pass away,
And then sink down to utter nothingness,
Perished, with no existence – that would be really living.

Unfortunately, this was not just Marx's portrayal of a demonic character. As we shall see, it is the young man portraying himself. The Romanian expert on Marx, Rev. Richard Wurmbrand, comments:

'In Oulanem Marx... consigns the entire human race to damnation. Oulanem is probably the only drama in the world in which all the characters are aware of their own corruption, and flaunt it and celebrate it with conviction. In this drama there is no black and white... Here all are servants of darkness, all reveal aspects of Mephistopheles. All are Satanic, corrupt, doomed.'

Sound familiar?

Also:

'At an age when most well-off young men are filled with boundless enthusiasm for life, Marx painted a black picture in his poem Invocation of One in Despair:

So a god snatched from me my all,
In the curse and rack of destiny.
All his worlds are gone beyond recall.
Nothing but revenge is left to me.

In another poem, he [Marx] aptly demonstrated the... man-becomes-god doctrine:

Then I Will be able to walk triumphantly,
Like a god, through the ruins of their kingdom.
Every word of mine is fire and action.
My breast is equal to that of the Creator.

We may never know why Marx turned against Christianity, but what is blatantly obvious is that the young Karl Marx had been initiated into a Satanist cult. In his poem called The Player, which was later downplayed by both himself and his followers, he wrote:

The hellish vapors rise and fill the brain,
Till I go mad and my heart is utterly changed.
See the sword?
The prince of darkness
Sold it to me.
For me he beats the time and gives the signs.
Ever more boldly I play the dance of death.

According to Rev. Wurmbrand, the significance of the sword is that it is used in the initiation ceremony of Satanic cults. All this took place before Marx was nineteen. In a letter dated November 10, 1837, he wrote the following cryptic passage to his father, probably about his conversion from Christianity: “A curtain had fallen. My holy of holies was rent asunder and new gods had to be installed.” Marx's father lovingly answered his son... :

Your advancement, the dear hope of seeing your name someday of great repute, and your earthly well-being are not the only desires of my heart. These are illusions I had had a long time, but I assure you that their fulfillment would not have made me happy. Only if your heart remains pure and beats humanely and if no deamon is able to alienate your heart from better feelings, only then will I be happy.

Why was his father growing concerned about his son's spiritual welfare? Here are some examples of poetry Marx gave his father on the occasion of the latter's fifty-fifth birthday:

Because I discovered the highest,
And because I found the deepest through meditation,
I am great like a God;
I clothe myself in darkness like Him.

... According to Wurmbrand, Marx had become an avowed enemy of all gods – to “draw all mankind into the abyss and to follow them laughing.”'

And to conclude:

'... Marx was not the only Satanist of his day who professed Communism for political gain. In fact, many of his friends were of like mind. Mikhail Bakunin, the Russian anarchist, admitted the direct connection between Socialist revolutions and Satanism:

The Evil One is satanic revolt against divine authority, revolt in which we see the fecund germ of all human emancipation, the revolution. Satan [is] the eternal rebel, the first freethinker and the emancipator of worlds. He makes man ashamed of his bestial ignorance and obedience; he emancipates him, stamps upon his brow the seal of liberty and humanity, in urging him to disobey and eat of the fruit of knowledge.

Bakunin, who was also a member of Russian nobility, goes on to explain that the true nature of revolutions is not to free the poor from exploitation, but to “awaken the Devil in the people, to stir up the basest passions. Our mission is to destroy, not to edify.”' (Chapter Ten: Karl Marx and the Internationale; pages 129-134)

Truly, as Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus:

'We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.' (Ephesians 6:12)

11:22 am  
Blogger Richard Taylor said...

MPs - BTW - I still think that a (in fact many) question hangs over 9/11 but the debate has now (interestingly) veered onto evolution.

Edward - cheers - I am in agreement overall -

Anonymous - I don't think everyone here is or are Marxists...

You might be elevating science a bit much - science (the word in any case) comes from the Latin word 'scio scire scivi scitum' to know that is "to know" is 'scire', "scivi" is - 'I knew' and 'scientia' is ~ 'knowledge' and so on.

So in basic sense we all use science - even before Edwards examples - science and technology (flawed as they are or can be) were very important for human survival - it could be said that animals in fact use a kind of science...when they test food and so on ... when birds fly from a cold North to a warmer South etc

Examples of technology are everywhere - in fact when the Bible came into being (it actually evolved from previous myths and religions in fact) - the Bible was written Old Testament in Hebrew and the new basically in Greek - but for the Hebrews (and others of those times) survive they needed science (not the theology of the the Bible) - now science is, or can be seen as, the total culture of humans - it is not infallible but as method it has yielded many positive results - misused it is or can be very destructive, with almost as many negative results - hence the fashionable opposition to technology (by people who still drive cars or wear clothes, use power, go to shops of any kind, use any packaging of any kind, use computers! to write to Blogs, turn on taps to get water or even use wells or rain water) - for logic and "science" is needed to get water from wells ...one might diverge here and think of Archimedes, who invented a pump named after him - a screw system that brought water up...and much else - the Bible was got into paper or book form by science - the science of printing and paper making...and much much else!

But affirmation of science and so on doesn't necessarily put post modernism or other philosophies or even religion (or mythologies of many kinds) out of business...otherwise the Church would have gone out of business (or they would have ceased as Sacerdotal entities) long ago...

Nor is it wrong to critique (or even reject) science and scientists - some of them are crazy! And as we all know it is not certain humans are not inherently mad or in fact indeed doomed to some kind of apocalypse...


You may be right - I'm "half in love with easeful death", Wagner's Gotterdammerung, and some parts of Nietzsche (strange - he could be your ally here!!) myself ... but use some specific examples, a bit more subtlety... if we are going to burn eternally in hell well - so be it - but such a fact doesn't really impress your arguments as we or some of us - don't think (or at least we hope!) that will (wont?) happen ... BUT if there is a GOD who judges and the fundamental Christian concepts are right - and who can say it isn't so for sure? THEN - perhaps God would be averse to having his ministers preach that certain millions of our fellow beings be exterminated? (I can buy that we as humans fathoming eth Almighty we might not be able to understand why terrible war, (suffering and injustice) etc happens (and seems to never look like stopping) - but that he - your HE then allows lies and deceit? After all didn't HE say - "love one another"? And "Thou shalt not kill/"? and "turn the cheek" and so on? ... that is some what of the message of the New Testament in any case - unless you believe in Divine Grace.

I was more or less an agnostic way before I got interested in Marxism and I am not a "Marxist" per se - sure I think Marx (or his ideas) is/are very useful but I am not of the Church of Marx... others here also will probably not all be of that august religion either.

Nor are we group as such - Maps I do know - but we disagree on a lot as well as agree... the others I know only as they comment on here.

But Maps I would say is pretty "open to experience" to quote Smithyman.

8:24 pm  
Blogger bob said...

What an interesting discussion thread. Just some comments on some of the topics (NOT including evolution!)

1. On 9/11 and "truth", I strongly recommend this: Denial networks: on crisis and continuity in the 9/11 truth movement (from the excellent magazine Datacide).

2. On Jews as a 'race': I strongly believe that before long the idea of 'race' will be consigned to the dustbin of history, and exposed as a bizarre fantasy that gripped the West and its sphere of influence for a few brief decades before dying away.

Anyways, the "bent" of most Israelis and most Zionists is not that Jews are a "race", but that they are a people or a nation. This implies, for nationalists, that they have a common origin, a common destiny, and a common link to a land.

As someone opposed to all nationalisms, I reject that view. But it is more or less identical to any other nationalist view, including the view of most Germans, say, that Germans are a nation, with a common origin etc and an entitlement to a land, Germany. Or most Welsh people, say, who think the Welsh are a people and belong to the land of Wales. Or indeed many indigenous peoples, who talk about the Mohawk "nation" etc (the whole concept of "First Nations" fits into this same nationalist logic).

This nationalist logic is so globally pervasive now, since its export from Europe over the last couple of centuries, that it seems common sense, and most people wouldn't even see it as "nationalist". (Unless it's Jews who profess it, when it somehow becomes an indicator of Jewish exclusiveness, tribalism, ethnocentrism, etc.)

3. On the idea of a chosen people. As one commenter above notes, the Jews are an ancient people. Most ancient peoples refer to themselves in ways which might seem ethnocentric by a modern Western universalist standard. The Navajo, for example, call themselves the Diné, which simply means "people" or "the people". (Implying everyone else is not...) I know less about your part of the world, but I understand that māori means something like natural or normal, and that the politically correct term tangata whenua means "people of the land"? "Chosen people" in ancient Judaism should be thought of in this sort of way.

(Of course, modern religious Jews, infected by the dominant Protestant/universalist mindset of today, preach that chosenness should not be seen as superiority, while some (the Reconstructionists) even renounce the whole idea. In any event, ordinary Jews, in their engagement with the world, do NOT go around thinking of themselves as "chosen" in any meaningful way.

3. Fr. Burns. Well, I suppose he does have the "right" to "express" his views by daubing paint and blood on a monument to a dead man. But what on earth was he thinking? Rabin was the man who did more than most to bring peace and justice to Israel/Palestine, and he was murdered for this by right-wing ultra-Zionists. To besmear his memorial does nothing for the people of Gaza. That a parish priest thinks such actions are appropriate boggles my mind. And that he cannot bring himself to recognise this is also shocking.

10:55 pm  
Blogger Richard Taylor said...

BOB

I agree - this is not only huge, important but long; and mostly people are relatively polite!

Interesting points you make - I want to consider them...later if time

I looked at your Blog & notes - do you know BTW of Bobby Fischer and - fr me at the last - the parallel (somewhat) beween him and Pound)

Fischer was perhaps the greatest chess player ever (of course this is debated endlessly by chess fiends) - I am a keen chess player also! And Pound one of the greatest poets - both were antisemitic and anti "The US" etc - the greater paradox with Fischer is that he was Jewish - he knew his mother was Jewish (but no one knows if he knew his father was actually not Fischer but a Jewish scientist working on the Manhatten Project) - another twist - his mother was political - a left wing activist who was watched by the FBI/CIA constantly and Fischer was also - for different reasons (initially because he associated with Soviet chess players when he was young....

Both were close to mad but Pound had vast learning and was indeed great poet - but his poetics were simplistic... (and I would say his science was shakey - unlike some poets (well e.g. his friend Williams Carlos Williams was a doctor - and while he was a friend - completely DIDNT share his views...

paradoxes

Fischer had a high intelligence but to took only an interest in chess and various strange religions etc and his growing (and unrelenting) hatred of Jews and the US!!

(Fischer - (ironically but understandably if you know more about him) had an inferiority complex and a thing about "fathers" (he didn't have one (in his life) when he was young - also he was very asocial - lacked good social skills...Pound was a (somewhat) warmer person - if irascible...more outgoing etc

I also read a psych profile of Hitler done by an analyst during the war by the OCC and it reminded me of Pound and Fischer...

2:33 am  
Blogger Giovanni said...

That'd be great! I love asking questions to priests. You name a time and a place.

Not even fundy trolls will go out with me. My life is sad.

3:45 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard Taylor: do you deny being a Satanist or at least having a strong interest in Satanism? If your not a Satanist why do you make Satanic talk here.

10:45 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/feb/01/evolution-darwin-survey-creationism

10:51 am  
Blogger Edward said...

Anonymous,
Yes I was saying exactly that: Genesis is not scientific. Only an imbecile would think that. Its a piece of theology.
Secondly: No i'm not a Satanist. I don't believe in Satan anymore than I do the tooth fairy or God. I'm also not a marxist, though I think you're pretty hard pressed to try and argue he was a Satanist. I think you need to stop believing everything some random person writes on a blog and start reading books. I really do feel embarrassed for you.

Giovanni,
"Not even fundy trolls will go out with me. My life is sad."

lol don't worry, I think you're better off. :)

12:05 pm  
Blogger Richard Taylor said...

"Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard Taylor: do you deny being a Satanist or at least having a strong interest in Satanism? If your not a Satanist why do you make Satanic talk here."

You got me! But I am more than that - am in fact - Beelzebub himself!!!

I eat babies and little tender Christian children (they are so delicious roasted - altho I REALLY love BLOOD - any blood... especially THE HOT HUMAN BLOOD OF WHITEYS) - he he he ha ha he hee!!

Haa haa ha ha ha ho ho he heee aaaahhh! eheeeaeeee!!

And I KNOW - thou, Anonymous, art for the fire!!!

3:05 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scripture is very clear that when God created the various animals and man that He did not create them from each other. The different groups were created on different days in different acts of creation. When God says that He took the dust of the earth and formed man and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being, there is simply no way that that can be interpreted as saying that God evolved man from some apelike ancestor.

5:13 pm  
Blogger Edward said...

Look. We're not interested. If your not interested in entering at least a half reasoned discussion (which I don't want anyway) than just go away. The blog is about Anti-semitism, real and imagined, not your sermonising rant.

11:36 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

I just skim read this thread, so I may have missed the good bits.

I did notice that some-one implied NZ Conservative authors don't believe in evolution.

I wont speak for my fellow authors (but there is no need to infer anything from that statement), but I have no problem with science, and no problem with working with the theories we hold with our current knowledge (such as evolution) as being reasonable theories that explain much.

I also don't see ID as a scientific theory, but I do enjoy reading the criticisms it brings against evolution (the serious ones, I admit there is a tonne of rubbish out there too). It helps an ignoramus like me to sort through the data, actually helps me understand it better.

There is no contradiction between science and God.

If science sticks to science (Dawkins is way off track) then scientists won't make fools of themselves discussing religion as if science proves or disproves the existence of God.

There are a few Catholic axioms that sum up our belief set. Being a fan of Aquinas, "faith and reason" work well for me.

9:12 am  
Blogger Giovanni said...

More on the Williamson and his cohorts and links to fascism, nazism. Don Giulio Tam, lefebvrian from Bergamo, seen here during a neofascist demonstration, donning black shirt (apparently - so the article claims, it's difficult to tell from the pictures) and making the fascist salute.

link.

11:02 am  
Anonymous Flavius said...

What a litany and farago of antisemitic horseshit.As for Karl Stead carefully picking his way through the crowd while according to you in cahoots with it, perhaps both before and after his stroke he manifests ambivalence about Jews.On the other hand, possibly senile and unsteady on his feet his little frog legs accidentally precipitated him into as assemblage of antisemitic fools notwithstanding The Secret History of Modernism.What did he or his reputation have to fear about not aligning himself with spectres of benign antisemitic chicanery.

Flavius

4:37 pm  

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