I love Gregorian chant, and I very much like the hurdy-gurdy, but I had never thought of them together until now. Very nice indeed!
Admittedly, I suppose, it is possible to mistake the word “God” for the name of some discrete object that might or might not be found within the fold of nature, if one just happens to be more or less ignorant of the entire history of theistic belief. But, really, the distinction between “God” – meaning the one God who is the transcendent source of all things – and any particular “god” – meaning one or another of a plurality of divine beings who inhabit the cosmos – is one that, in Western tradition, goes back at least as far as Xenophanes.
Some very interesting reflections on polytheism, monotheism, and the qualitative, not merely quantitative, difference between them – not to mention the effect this has on philosophy and metaphysics, and (in recent years) a fair amount of social discourse.
I have long asserted that atheists and fundamentalists share the same basic misconception: their view of God is far too small!
The majority of the histrionic reactions to the now-famous Google memo completely misrepresented not only what the memo says but its purpose.
“In reality, the problem is that a senior software engineer, perhaps unwittingly, admitted to pondering three of the most scandalous thought-crimes of contemporary American society.
“The first was to propose that a meritocracy might be heathier for a company than bean-counting race, ethnicity, and sex. The second is pointing [out] that ideological diversity matters. The third, and most grievous of all the wrongthinks, is suggesting that men and women are, in general, physiologically and psychologically different from each other, and thus they tend to excel at different things…
“One of the problems with this kerfuffle was that the vast majority of the histrionic reactions on social media and elsewhere have misrepresented not only what the memo says but also its purpose. The memo was neither a screed nor anti-diversity. It was the kind of unvarnished, dispassionate, and meticulous case that I imagine many engineers offer. It’s difficult to believe anyone who read through it with an open mind could interpret the author’s notions as an attempt to consolidate the patriarchy or to make life less diverse in his field.
“The other, bigger problem is that the reaction to it demonstrates that the author is completely right about the lack of ideological diversity and its consequences.“
“Diversity,” in what passes for discourse today, is allowable only within certain strictly-defined parameters. “We must be diverse. Furthermore, we must be diverse in, and only in, certain specific ways.” The irony of this seems to be entirely lost on those on the socio-political Left…
Young men and women, mostly from German-speaking countries, spend years traveling and working in exchange for room and board, following the customs of a centuries-old practice.
An interesting survival / revival of a very old tradition!
A picture has surfaced of the New York City skyline back in 1956, which shows three buildings decorated with window crosses for Easter. Featured in a newspaper article, [the photograph] shows the buildings lit up with huge crosses.
Source: Man Snaps Photo Of NYC In 1956
The article accompanying the picture (warning: extremely add-heavy and slow-loading page) comments,
“Things were a lot different 60 years ago. For one, public displays of Christianity were something that, regardless of your political affiliation, could be appreciated and admired by all. This is not the case anymore…
“Whoever took this photo probably would never have guessed that over 60 years later, this country would have morphed into a society that would erase any display of Christian faith from the public square under the guise of tolerance, multiculturalism, and secularism.
“Even our holidays, which have been a tradition in this country for generations, are under threat. No longer is it appropriate to say ‘Merry Christmas.’ We are supposed to say ‘Happy Holidays’ to be respectful of other spiritual faiths. Of course, this is less about being multicultural and more about being anti-Christian and anti-tradition.
“This picture shows a world that makes progressive-secularists furious. It was a world where free speech actually included freedom for Christians to express their faith, without fear of censorship, mockery, or even lawsuits being leveled against them.”
As Archie Bunker would have said, “those were the days!”
“The nation state has taken the place of God. Responsibilities for education, healing and public welfare which had formerly rested with the Church devolved more and more upon the nation state … National governments are widely assumed to be responsible for and capable of providing those things which former generations thought only God could provide – freedom from fear, hunger, disease and want – in a word: “happiness”.”
― Lesslie Newbigin, The Other Side of 1984
There is, I think, a great deal of truth to this!
The problem is magnified still further now, though, by the fact that nation-states are under attack by stateless globalism which seeks to supersede them, and that claims to be driven by “progressive values” – but in fact is driven largely by economics (the progressives who have allied themselves with globalism are among the “useful idiots” of whom Stalin spoke, back in Soviet days).
Nation-states at least are / were somewhat organic, in most cases relatively local, with their own identity and cohesion. They share(d) ties of language, culture, ethnicity, and often, religion. Globalism promotes – ostensibly in the name of “equality,” but actually because it makes people easier to manipulate – a stateless, rootless, amorphous mass of humanity, entirely lacking in cohesion, identity, and therefore the ability to successfully resist the strings of the puppeteers.
Now, the globalists may one day learn that a tool sometimes turns in the hand of its wielder; that amorphous mob may one day turn on them! But the result seems unlikely to be a return to “normalcy” as it used to be understood – depending, of course, on how far things have degenerated by then – but rather a further descent into a newer and truer Dark Age. I fear for the future of humanity…
I have to confess, I had not even heard of Douglas Murray, that I can recall, until literally a few days ago. But in my opinion, he’s brilliant. Very, very well said, Sir!
Heck, you want to talk colonialism? It’s not just the Ottoman Empire – although he is completely right to point to them as a prime example. It’s the whole sweep of Islam across the Middle East, North Africa, and southern Europe, including the Iberian Peninsula in the 7th and early 8th centuries, and far beyond later on, all the way to India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines… If that’s not colonialism, I don’t know what is!
I like what one Indian commentator had to say on the subject (ellipses are in the original):
Bravo. As an Indian, I’ve noticed everyone loves to blame the British, while conveniently forgetting Muslims (Turkish mainly) that have destroyed and robbed India. The British used India as a business to generate their wealth and in turn ended up building functional infrastructures still in use.
What the Muslims did was erect f_cking monuments of oppression… and mosques over desecrated Temples and completely eradicate our history in many places. British only tried to enslave us while empowering some locals.. but Muslims not only enslaved us but killed us and very strongly tried to change our identities. British came here and learnt from India.. but Muslims came and robbed our knowledge to claim it as their own and burnt the rest.
People need to stop thinking every f_cking thing against Muslims is Islamophobia…. In the new age, you are able to stand freely against colonialism / anything else really when it comes to the “West” … but if it were still Islamic, you’d be silenced swiftly like an animal (as the Muslims boast in their taunts towards free speech activists).
Indeed. The double-standard is strong in the Left! Especially ironic, since they’d be among the first against the wall, tossed from tall buildings, or beheaded, if Islam ever actually did come to power in the West…
And yes, the “alt-right” is correct: as promoted and practiced by many (most) Left-wing activists today, “diversity” and “multi-culturalism” are indeed code words for being anti-white, anti-European – for rejecting and seeking to overthrow the West, both culturally and demographically. That may not be a popular view in many quarters, but it is a fact, and readily apparent if you’re paying attention.