Thursday, March 15, 2007

Dag is for Cheap.

I'll write idiot spritiual tripe for a mere $750,00.00. Pleae make cheques or money orders to me personally. Then meet me at the bank so I can scoop the cash and scram. Whoo-hoo!

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'spiritual thinking' earns Canadian $1.5m
Philosopher wins Templeton Prize
Steven Edwards, CanWest News Service
Published: Thursday, March 15, 2007

NEW YORK - Philosopher Charles Taylor has become the first Canadian to win the Templeton Prize, the world's most lucrative academic honour.

"What's necessary in the Western world to avoid this outcome, he advised, is for people to "fight back against a creeping Islamophobia," which he said was "growing in our societies."

He added there was a need in both the Western and Islamic worlds for each to learn more about the another, and about the diversity of each other's respective civilization."

'spiritual thinking' earns Canadian $1.5m National Post

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Charles Ghankay Taylor (born January 28, 1948) is a Liberian leader who served as President of Liberia from 1997 to 2003. He was a prominent warlord in the Liberian Civil War in the early 1990s, was elected president, was forced into exile, and now faces trial. Following the recent election of a new President in Liberia, the Nigerian government stated on March 25, 2006, that Liberia was free to collect Taylor so that he may face war crimes charges in Liberian courts. [....] On March 30, the Special Court requested permission to use the premises of the International Criminal Court in The Hague to carry out the trial of Charles Taylor, although the Special Court will still conduct the proceedings of the trial. The trial is provisionally scheduled to begin on 2 April 2007.

In June 2003, a United Nations justice tribunal issued a warrant for Taylor's arrest, charging him with war crimes. The UN asserts that Taylor created and backed the RUF rebels in Sierra Leone, which are accused of a range of atrocities, including the use of child soldiers. The prosecutor also said Taylor's administration had harbored members of Al-Qaeda sought in connection with the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_G._Taylor
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Everybody needs a hobby. Now, if you can't make it as an African warlord, then why not be a spiritual philosopher in Canada? Hey, I love everybody.

About that $750 grand... I'd like that in U.S, and preferably in small bills.

4 comments:

truepeers said...

Well, if Charles Taylor, while rightfully pointing out the diversity of Islamic societies, could point to even one that had both a healthy regard for non-Muslim minorities, and for its own people and their needs to join modernity, perhaps we wouldn't have to be Islamophobic, would we? Even Turkey continues to deny the Armenian genocide and punishes the Kurds.

I attended a series of lectures that Taylor gave at UBC a few years ago. It was a discussion of the limits of the philosophical tradition, an argument that reason cannot tell us how to live and that it must be buttressed by a strong religious faith. Taylor discussed his own Catholicism in this regard. During one of the question and answer sessions, a deeply resentful and angry man at the start of middle age got up and accused Taylor of pushing religion as an opiate to the masses. He said religion was all self-serving clerical bunk; but interestingly, he noted that he had read various holy texts and the only one he thought truly "beautiful" (that was the word he used!) was the Koran.

Taylor responded with some defense of religion I can't remember and added, without questioning the beauty remark (presumably Taylor has read the book?) that if the Koran touched this young man, he should "start there". Taylor didn't suggest where the man should end up, but as a committed Christian surely he must believe in the truth of his particular faith. Thus, he cannot be entirely relativistic about Islam. He didn't say anything more about Islam at that time, but I guess he gets off the hook from being too critical because Vatican II embraced Islam as a brother faith. Maybe Benedict will make him sweat yet; Ratzinger is probably not a candidate for kissing the Koran like his predecessor.

Anyway, the argument that we get closer to all out conflict by talking up conflict is a dubious anthropological claim. It may be sometimes right, sometimes wrong. In any case, we can only transcend a conflict if we push the issue and the need to recognize and transcend the conflict. When people need to be treated with respect they must demand it and earn it. If we talk up one-world utopias, and engage diplomatic processes without clear political demands that we wil clearly defend, we don't save ourselves from conflict; we only make it more likely to get out of hand in the forgetting of our need for boundaries and political compacts guarded by guns, respect, and honour.

And i'm available for only 250 grand, with a ten percent discount for Muslim audiences.

dag said...

The most unkindest cut of all is being undercut!

Taylor is a dangerous creature when he'ss on a rrampage in Africa, but he's more dangerous in a lecture hall in the West where he dupes and soothes the people into foregoing real examination of our predicament vis Islam and Left dhimmi fascism. This geriatric fool is a Death Hippie without a clue how horrible he is.

We need radical Ratzingers by the basketful, more and morer of them. I'd even consider becoming a nominal Catholic for that cause.

OK, my final offer is $100.00.00 or else I keep writing that Islam is a primitive fascist poligion.

truepeers said...

Well if he's a death hippie, and I'm not so sure, he's a thinking man's death hippie. Interestingly, the term "gnostic" and "gnosticism" do not appear in the index to his magnum opus Sources of the Self. The Making of the Modern Identity (1989), though some gnostic individuals are discussed. I'm curious what you would make of a passage like this (pp. 427-9):

"Where subjectivism enters in is in the view of nature as a source, as I called it. For this involves the idea that an indispensable route of access to the world or nature or being we want to articulate is the impulse of nature or the intimations of the spirit within... "Inward goes the way full of mystery" [says Novalis]. This is what makes a clear distinction between writers like Schelling, Novalis, Baudelaire, on one hand, and the great thinkers of Renaissance neo-Platonism and magical thought like Bruno... despite all the debt which the first owed to the second. This debt was in fact considerable...

Bruno and Paracelsus, for instance, though they may have thought of their knowledge as esoteric, saw themselves as grasping the unmediated spiritual order of things. It may take secret and not widely available lore to uncover it, but it doesn't have to be revealed through an articulation of what is in us. It is in this sense a public order that it is available unmediated by our powers of creative articulation.

It is this kind of public order, a tableau of the spiritual significance of things, which is no longer possible for us. It is not only the rise of science and of disengaged reason which has taken it beyond reach. It is also our understanding of the role of the creative imagination. Moderns certainly can conceive of a spiritual order of correspondences: Baudelaire did, and Yeats did, and millions have read them and been moved by their poetry. But what we cannot conceive is such an order which we wouldn't have to accede to through an epiphany wrought by the creative imagination; which would be somehow available unrefracted through the medium of someone's artistic creation.
[...]
If Bruno and Parcelsus disagreed, at least one of them had to be wrong. But with the orders refracted in the imagination, these questions have no place. Does Byzantium "really" have the significance it takes on the Yeats's poems? Must a quite different invocation of it in the quite independent language of another poet be wrong? This sounds absurd....

Plainly we think some deeper, more revealing, truer than others. Just what these judgements are based on is very hard to say.
[...]
what we can't escape is the mediation through the imagination; we are always articulating a personal vision. And the connection of articulation with inwardness remains for this reason unsevered and unbreakable. Just because we have to conceive of our task as the articulation of a personal refraction, we cannot abandon radical reflexivity and turn our back on our own experience or on the resonance of things in us.
[...]
It is a caricature to present the Romantics as concerned only with self-expression; and it is an illusion to think one can bypass the imagination and hence the inwardness of personal vision. But just because of this, there is a point in striving to avoid the merely subjective. Indeed, this is in some ways the central issue of epiphanic art.
[...]
Subject-centredness is a much more insidious thing than the thematic penchant for self-expression. And because, for a host of reasons which I will discuss below, a lot in our modern culture pushes us towards it, overcoming it is a major task, both moral and aesthetic, of our time. But we make the task speciously easy for ourselves if we fail to see how in both the aspirations and the dangers there is a deep continuity between us and the Romantic era."

So you see Taylor is very skilled at seeing both or all sides of things, appearing open-minded and liberal, and yet with suitably forceful conclusions that bear the hallmark of a monotheistic, non-Gnostic faith. This is why he is a grand old man of the academy and winner of the Templeton prize, even as there are other thinkers working today who go deeper into the anthropology of the sacred and into the origins of, and our continuous re-creation of, language and religion.

dag said...

My concern about Charles Taylor in the guise of philosopher, not as African warlord, is that he, unlike former, causes harm by being less than forthright about the nature of the struggle. Taylor Sr. is uninformed about Islam, and yet he speaks to the masses as a significant member of the West's intelligentsia. Because of his positon as an important public intellectual he should remain silent on subjects he obviously knows little or nothing about. By being wrong he does immense harm, possibly leading to murder unstopped. I refer to him as an unwitting fool. Taylor Jr. at least has for us the benefit of being an obviously dangerous maniac.

Taylor's literary criticism is obviously interesting. The unfortunate aspect of it is that it's at all necessary to respond to the pomo Irrationalists in the first place.

Below are points I'll think over as time allows.

It may take secret and not widely available lore to uncover it, but it doesn't have to be revealed through an articulation of what is in us. It is in this sense a public order that it is available unmediated by our powers of creative articulation.


It is this kind of public order, a tableau of the spiritual significance of things, which is no longer possible for us. It is not only the rise of science and of disengaged reason which has taken it beyond reach. It is also our understanding of the role of the creative imagination. Moderns certainly can conceive of a spiritual order of correspondences: Baudelaire did, and Yeats did, and millions have read them and been moved by their poetry. But what we cannot conceive is such an order which we wouldn't have to accede to through an epiphany wrought by the creative imagination; which would be somehow available unrefracted through the medium of someone's artistic creation.

What we can't escape is the mediation through the imagination; we are always articulating a personal vision. And the connection of articulation with inwardness remains for this reason unsevered and unbreakable. Just because we have to conceive of our task as the articulation of a personal refraction, we cannot abandon radical reflexivity and turn our back on our own experience or on the resonance of things in us.

It is an illusion to think one can bypass the imagination and hence the inwardness of personal vision. But just because of this, there is a point in striving to avoid the merely subjective.

Subject-centredness is a much more insidious thing than the thematic penchant for self-expression. And because, for a host of reasons which I will discuss below, a lot in our modern culture pushes us towards it....
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I have a meeting to attend.