Thursday, January 17, 2008

Covenant, or just Shut Up about my religion!

This is a time when even the Pope in Rome has to decline an invitation to speak at a university because a rabble of scientists can't bear to hear free speech on fundamental questions of human existence from a man who surely knows more about the anthropology that requires us to balance reason and faith, than do the dull-headed materialists whom, I find generally, don't give a moment's thought to why or how every word we speak transcends the merely material existence of grouped sounds or letters. So, I feel it is yet again our duty at this week's Covenant Zone meeting to discuss the secular left's current erosion of free speech in all Western countries. I hope some leftists will some day join us, since there is nothing more important at present, it seems to me, than that the left renew itself and its committment to productive debate and dialogue by covenanting with those whom, at present, the left only writes off as "reactionaries" and "fascists", ignoring entirely what conservatives are really about. No one's freedom can be preserved when rational debate and discussion has collapsed before a pervasive desire to appear the victimized group.

We meet every Thursday in the atrium of the Vancouver Public Library, central branch, in front of Blenz Coffee, wearing blue scarves. Please join us if you can.

In any case, there are a host of items in the blogosphere in regard to free speech fights. Here are a few that have come to my attention. Once again, I feel I must highlight Ezra Levant's fight. If you haven't seen his closing statement to the "Human Rights"/Wrongs Commission of Alberta, please don't miss his call for the Commission to find him guilty, that he may engage real courts in the need to reign in the abuses of our fundamental freedoms in these "Human Rights" Star Chambers.


Will the victim-baiting bureaucrats have the nerve to find Levant guilty, after he has professed his desire to be as offensive as possible to them, to assert a Canadian's right to be offensive in public speech? Will they risk a higher court, public opinion, and hopefully Canadian legislators, reigning them in, or will they admit Levant has a right to be offensive? Ezra has some advice for us on how to get more involved in the fight to protect each other's freedom, the responsibility of every covenanter.

At the least, consider signing this petition against the HRCs.
. The petition was initiated by John Pacheco whose blog is keeping abreast of our free speech fights.

Another good web site for material on the present fight that all Canadians need to engage is Free Mark Steyn!

Rex Murphy showed that he is one of the few journalists in the country who understands that the "Human Rights" Tribunals are not just a threat against those nasty conservatives, but against every and anyone who likes to open his mouth. The relative silence in the Main Stream Media on what is going on in this country's "Human Rights" Tribunals, their unwillingness to discuss the issue pro or con, shows that they have largely conceded any moral authority they once claimed to be free-minded informers of the Canadian public. They are cowards unwilling to fight for a right which while fundamental to everyone, arguably impacts more on their line of work, and the health of their business, than anyone's.

David Warren is one of the few other mainstream journalists who is committed to the fight for our shared freedom. Muslims Against Sharia is also taking a lead in defending Levant. I see their comments throughout the blogosphere.

If we don't all get involved in defending each other's freedom, fighting for the covenant that will make us complete human beings, we will be left with self-righteous busy - bodies to tell us what is and is not permissible speech

12 comments:

Muslims Against Sharia said...

Islamofascist-Dhimmi Axis Assault on Free Speech

Muslims Against Sharia are proud to be the first Muslim group to publicly support Ezra Levant and denounce HRC inquisition.

Proceedings against Ezra Levant are nothing short of ridiculous. HRC legitimizes radicals' claims that Islam cannot be criticized and Freedom of Speech only applies to radical Muslims.

But Ezra Levant is not alone. The latest casualties of Islamofascist-Dhimmi Axis Assault on Free Speech include Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, Fouad al-Farhan, Joe Kaufman, and Mark Steyn. Are you going to be next? http://muslimsagainstsharia.blogspot.com/2008/01/islamofascist-dhimmi-axis-assault-on.html

Rob Misek said...

Religion is about society as well as spirituality.

In physical matters the truth of any question is determined through honesty, intelligence, science and logic.

I can't think of a single human conflict that requires God's truth (divine intervention) to resolve, can you? If not, every one of todays conflicts can be resolved with the truth discerned by man.

When problem solving, it is impossible to answer ambiguous questions with a single truth. This is the reason why humanity has typically failed to achieve peace. We argue over irrelevant ambiguities like how the universe was created.

We see religious leaders building walls around their perception of God's intent, bickering endlessly and denying good people of other faiths peace of mind.

Radical is relative.

When you refuse to accept alternative conclusions at the outset you have chosen not to argue in good faith. Then it becomes apparent to everyone (but you) that it is you who are without faith.

The more religious leaders that take this stubborn, fundamentalist, literal approach to religion, the more honest and intelligent people will dismiss them as hypocrites.

Religious leaders do have a choice to make. To participate in our physical society accepting how the dynamic truth is discerned here or separate themselves from society in search of timeless spiritual truth.

truepeers said...

Rob,

The more religious leaders that take this stubborn, fundamentalist, literal approach to religion, the more honest and intelligent people will dismiss them as hypocrites.

First, this characterization doesn't describe Benedict/Ratzinger who is a very sophisticated thinker.

I can't think of a single human conflict that requires God's truth (divine intervention) to resolve, can you? If not, every one of todays conflicts can be resolved with the truth discerned by man.

Second, every human conflict is transcended in ways that always retain some mystery regarding how innovations on the shared scenes of human consciousness come about. Every human conflict is transcended by invoking or performing truths that transcend our individual material existence and appeal to the eternal consciousness of a universal humanity.

The question, really, is not whether "God"'s truth is necessary to resolve conflicts, but what is it exactly that human beings are referring to when they invoke "God's truth"? What is it that human beings are aware of when they talk about God?

Is God simply a human creation? Maybe, maybe not. But whatever the case, "God" is still something meaningful to humans, and that is something that the secular thinker needs to come to terms with if he is going to come up with any serious model for how human conflicts can be transcended.

This is a topic I think a lot about. I can engage it with you in purely secular, anthropological terms if you like. But a conversation along these lines will require that you be challenged on your assumption that all God talk is nonsense. It is anything but nonsense. An awful lot of it is good anthropology and fundamental to understanding how conflict can be deferred or transcended, but never forever eliminated.

Rob Misek said...

"Every human conflict is transcended by invoking or performing truths that transcend our individual material existence and appeal to the eternal consciousness of a universal humanity."

Please provide an example.

Rob Misek said...

"First, this characterization doesn't describe Benedict/Ratzinger who is a very sophisticated thinker."

I would hope that the Pope utilizes his sophisticated thinking to discern the truth with honesty, science and logic.

Does the Pope believe and state that people who don't accept Jesus Christ as their savior can still go to heaven?

If not, it would seem unsophisticated to me to preclude peace of mind and create conflict with people of other faiths, based on literal interpretation of ambiguous text.

truepeers said...

Rob,

"Every human conflict is transcended by invoking or performing truths that transcend our individual material existence and appeal to the eternal consciousness of a universal humanity."

-Well, how about any peace treaty, for an example. Or any work of art in which a tragic hero dies as a lesson to the rest of us. What transcends our material existence is every word we speak or write, and every work of art or religion. Words, for example, only have a material existence as collections of letters or sounds. Their meaning - that comes from the mental association of the letters, sounds, and memory of the word and its uses - is transcendent, existing in a non-material domain, and is part of a conversation that will go on long after we are dead.

-I have to admit the idea of "invoking or performing truths" is a bit ambiguous, since the thing about serious truth claims is that they are never the full truth and nothing but the truth. People in the future will have the possibility of knowing more of the truth than we know. So it might be better to say conflicts are transcended by invoking or performing truth claims that others pick up and run with, using the sign of truth in their own ways.

If I make a sign - say, for example, "America is a great nation that we should all emulate, especially its constitution that allows for republican self rule, making the country, among other things, a transparent and reliable agent in the international arena" - and you and others pick it up and use it in your own ways, then we can have an exchange of ideas and hopefully also material things that acts to defer our collapse back into violent conflict.

As for the Pope, I don't have time to do the research now, but I remember him saying something to the effect that all religions have some redeeming and saving quality; at the same time he naturally has to say that his Church claims a superior truth. Every believer should be able to say the same thing about the superior truth of his or her faith, or it isn't really belief and faith.

I quickly found this article reporting on a controversy where the Pope states other Christian churches don't have the full truth but they are nonetheless instruments of CHrist's salvation.

As for atheists, I'm sure they don't care whether the Pope things they are going to heaven.

Anyway, I generally have no problem with any religious leader proclaiming what will happen to non-believers after life in this world. I only have a problem with those religions whose members take violent action in this world to promote their truth claims and those leaders who don't publicly denounce co-religionists for such violence and actively work to marginalize them.

Rob Misek said...

People use their intelligence and imagination to broker peace and create art.

In that we can influence both, they do not transcend human existence. Whether they are material or not is irrelevant.

That you are indifferent when people preclude peace of mind and create conflict with people of other faiths, based on literal interpretation of ambiguous texts, speaks more to your antisocial values than theirs.

I'm believe your conviction to conflict is a self-fufilling prophecy.

truepeers said...

Rob,

Here you are arguing with me; and all I'm saying is that conflict is inevitable (not necessarily today, or tomorrow, but at some point free people will share desires - e.g. to have their voice heard - and come into conflict over them).

What you say may contradict me; but what you do is what I am saying we do: conflict.

My values aren't anti-social; they are realistic about society, to some degree. In that sense, they are pro-human. The greatness of humanity is in having the courage to admit to reality and doing something about it to defer our conflict and potential for violence. We live in peace when we are realistic about the need for peace treaties, not when we are dreaming of Utopia.

They do not transcend human existence. Whether they are material or not is irrelevant.

-Well works of art certainly transcend the individual life of any of us. And that's the point. The greatness of art grows out of real, inevitable, human conflicts. But it provides us with truths that transcend those conflicts and that allow us to fulfill our lives with meaning such that we are able to defer present and future conflicts, for a time. But nothing lasts forever. At some point we must become responsible men, responsible for renewing our culture, creating new ideas and arts. And we can only do that if we are honest about the human situation: we learn our desires from each other and these inevitably bring us into conflict over shared desires and centres of attention.

Respectfully,

Rob Misek said...

"The greatness of art grows out of real, inevitable, human conflicts. But it provides us with truths that transcend those conflicts and that allow us to fulfill our lives with meaning such that we are able to defer present and future conflicts, for a time."

Conflict exists when people are conflicted.

The truth is the only thing we can share without conflict. The fact that it is dynamic ensures the dynamic opportunity for conflict, but not conflict itself.

In my opinion this is the human experience.

Any artisan who doesn't search for the truth in his field doesn't contribute it to society.

truepeers said...

We may be able to share the truth without conflict, but only after truth has transcended a previous conflict, and only with the reality that no peace lasts forever, no truth is full and complete in this world.

So, we need to think of these things in terms of time and stages in a series of events, i.e. in history.

Rob Misek said...

Our capacity for perception cannot guarantee that anything is eternally static or perpetual. Agreed.

We have defined truth, to provide a (perhaps temporarily) stable platform upon which we can agree.

How we perceive/use this knowledge defines the human condition.

Civilization is built upon these truths.

Peace be with you.

truepeers said...

and with you...