Friday 28 May 2021

Secularizing Knowledge - The Unintended Reformation - The Sixth Chapter Review

Chapter Five: Manufacturing The Goods Life

This chapter is about how Universities and the sharing of knowledge changed because of the Reformation. Governments liked Universities because it gave them access to trained and educated men who they could use in their administrations. Men who were not tied to the church, but who could still operate at the same level as educated churchmen could. The Reformation threatened all of that, so the Universities were put under the governments protection and control. This was true in both Protestant and Catholic countries, but was more true in Protestant ones.

What continued was what was called the 'Republic of Letters', whereby scholars would correspond with other scholars regardless of where they lived or what they believed. Over time it became the custom to ignore religious writing and to concentrate upon everything else. The scholars became self censors. God had at the start of the 'Republic of Letters' been the most important topic, but he and religion were so fraught with difficulties that they were purposely dropped as acceptable topics. 

Between 1520 and the French Revolution, Theology was regarded as the most important subject at any University. Which meant that it needed to be protected the most. Catholics and Protestants both thought it too important to be subject to attack from the other side. Protestants also did not want to be attacked by other Protestants. So governments protected Theology departments and made sure that they could not be attacked. The best way to protect them was to stop people from having access to them. Gradually the subject went from something that every student had to study and it was the main source of study. To an elite that most students were not allowed access to unless they were devoting themselves fully to it. 

But what that did was it lead to mental atrophy, to the ivory tower. Theology had become a subject that was inward looking, it was not concerned with the real world or it's workings. This was true in both Catholic and Protestant countries. When it was required to fight against the secularizing of knowledge, it failed because it had no real arguments to defend itself with. Not because it was right or wrong, but because it had become an esoteric subject. 

What's amazing is that these arguments had been going on since the beginning of Christianity and it had developed answers. It had had to. So answers existed but they couldn't use them because they had not kept up with modern ways of doing things. Things had changed and the old arguments came across as old fashioned, as out of date. 

During the 1800's most Universities and governments stopped viewing Theology departments as needing special protection or having special status. Again it did not happen all at once but in time they all lost the protection and status that they had once had. In it's place they became professional schools who's job was to create ministers of religion. What they were no longer, were places were the mysteries of life were discussed. That place had gone to the newly created Philosophy departments.   

Protecting Theology had come at an great cost, another unintended consequence of the Reformation.

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Friday 21 May 2021

Choice, Sexuality, Race and Liberalism

 In my last article, The One-Armed Man And LiberalismDfordoom left the following comment.

and Liberalism always believes that that which is chosen is superior to anything natural or normal.

Except when it comes to sexuality. Modern liberalism exalts homosexuality and also insists that it is not chosen. It insists that homosexuals are born that way.

And in the case of the transgender ideology (which they also exalt) they insist (weirdly) that being transgender is not chosen. They insist that a man who "transitions" into a woman was born a woman and that that is unchangeable.

Modern liberalism certainly exalts the transgressive over the normal but when it comes to sexuality and "gender identity" they are rigid biological determinists.

Modern liberals also see race as something that is not chosen, hence the hostility towards Rachel Dolezal for daring to identify as black when she was born white.

Maybe what we're dealing with are two different models of liberalism that have nothing whatever in common. Old school liberals certainly believe that you can choose your destiny. The modern variety of liberal seems to believe the opposite.

Liberalism believes in choice, it believed in it yesterday, it believes it today and it will believe in it tomorrow. But life is complex, it doesn't always run in a straight line. Instead it takes detours and back roads, it even ends up in cul-de-sacs and has to retrace it's steps. Liberalism has this problem, it wants to run in a straight line but it must constantly change tac to deal with the things that oppose it. Homosexuality presented it with a problem.

Traditionally, it was viewed as unnatural, the problem for Liberalism was why would someone choose to be something that was unnatural? 

The answer was to show that it was not unnatural, instead that it was totally natural. Not only was it natural but it unchosen, it was genetic, until no genetic marker was found. Nothing to notice, nothing to be upset about or disgusted by, because it was natural.  That argument worked even better than they had hoped. But it also put them in a bind, how do you get rid of this argument and proceed to one were people choose their own sexuality?

For that is the position that Liberalism wants. The answer is transgenderism. Here are people who choose to be either male or female. However the enemies of Liberalism do not accept that these people choose. Instead we say that these people are mentally ill, because wanting to change from male to female or vice versa is unnatural. Which has put Liberalism into a bind. For the time being they are stuck, they cannot say that either homosexuality or transgenderism is a choice, because that leaves them open to the attack that these things are unnatural. 

In the 1970's they tried to square this circle by pushing the idea of bi-sexuality, that sex was on a spectrum and that whatever someone choose was the right choice. That's what the B in LGBT stands for, but when was the last time you heard someone talk about it? 

However that didn't work because both heterosexual and homosexual men rejected it. The aim is to find a way to make all sexuality about choice. 

When it comes to race Liberalism does not like people changing race. It's views are long term, not short term. People changing race upsets Liberalism, but that does not mean that it supports race. What it wants is a raceless human race. They want race mixing, they want coffee coloured people. One human race were there are no races. But they want people to willingly choose this!

Here is the inherent contradiction within Liberalism, it wants people to choose, but people keep making the wrong choices. That 'forces' Liberalism to make choices for people, to protect them from making the wrong choice, to protect them for themselves. 

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Tuesday 11 May 2021

The Ninety-Eighth Month

Well it has taken me eight years but I have now had over 300,000 views!

301,918 to be exact.

That works out around just under 105 views per day, sometimes I do much better than that, others I don't. My best day this month was the 3rd May when I had 1500 visitors (exactly) , like most of these big numbers no article is read and they remain a mystery to me. My worst day the the 17th April when I had 40 visitors.

My other big news is that I have decided that I will stop doing the podcast. I will still be putting up articles, but I will stop doing the 30 minutes shows. My numbers have gotten worse and worse and I'm just out of enthusiasm. This year I have had two podcasts that have had a total of 21 listeners each.  That's not even 10% of the first episode and a total of 11 episodes with less than 30 listeners. Bizarrely, sometimes I put up a recording of an old article and I will get more hits on that article that day then I will get people listening to it!

As it has already been written all I have to do is read it out loud and record it. While the podcast takes more effort, effort that I think is being wasted.

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Saturday 8 May 2021

The One-Armed Man and Liberalism

Humans are born with two arms, however sometimes nature or life mean that not every human has two arms. Most people, including myself, view this as sad, even tragic. We understand how useful it is to have two arms and how limiting it would be to only have one. You would think that this feeling would be universal, but it is not.

Liberalism has a real problem with things that are natural or normal. Because these things are not chosen and Liberalism always believes that that which is chosen is superior to anything natural or normal. It is simply happenstance for something or someone to be natural or normal. In fact if we are to be self made, if we are to be able to choose every aspect of our life, then the very idea that something is natural or normal is a great hinderance. These things are enemies and they must be shown to be unimportant, even non-existent. Here is where the one-armed man becomes important.

It doesn't matter how the arm was lost, at birth, from disease, accident, crime or war. What matters is that it is transformative, transgressive, or as they have started saying, nonnormative. It challenges the idea that it is natural or normal for people to have two arms. After all people having only one arm can still lead full and fulfilling lives. So if that is possible what does it matter if someone has one or two arms?

Liberalism uses this argument over and over again.

What does it matter if a children has one or two or three parents?

What does it matter if a man and a women or any combination of those get married?

What does it matter if people get married?

What does it matter if men become women or visa versa?

Note also how they turn the question around so that you are put on the defensive. You are asked to explain why something that is natural and normal should remain that way. They try to never be in that situation. To never have to explain why the crazy thing that they support is not crazy. Instead they say that the uncommon and bizarre is no different to the common and everyday. What does it matter if someone has one arm or two?

When the one-armed man becomes fashionable, we are supposed to celebrate people amputating their arm!

Instead of saying that the one armed man is an exception and that his life is hard because he has a handicap. They insist that his handicap is his strength. That it makes him a better person than those who have two arms, because he understands things that those with two arms can never understand. Of course it never matters whether that is true or not, it should matter but it doesn't. They insist that despite all of the evidence to the contrary, that having one parent, or arm, or some other handicap in life is no different to any other situation. While at the same time still insisting that they are better people because of it.

The worst case scenario is presented as the average experience. Which means that every argument is arguing against the wrong target.

We now live in a world were we can see the destruction that single parent households, divorce, transgenderism causes. We can see that real peoples lives are affected, even crushed. Yet we are always encouraged to view these things, things that we can see with our own eyes, as entirely positive. To do otherwise is to swim against the tide, but swim we must!   

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