Saturday, September 23, 2006

Thank God For Radical Islam!

I know this is wrong on so many levels I cannot even begin to count them, but yes, as a Post Post-Modern Baby Boomer American philosopher, fed up with the lisping sighing prattle of delicate liberals and equally nauseated by the strident delusions of hell-fire Buchananites and his perpetually pissed off puritanical brethren all waiting to gloat when the rapture comes, I am oddly glad we are being forced to awaken from our cushy American delusions. Screw the rapture and screw the abortionists. This is tectonic. Fantasies about Wal-Mart, the glass ceiling, flat tax and gay pride, are not really much of a problem when you take a slightly broader view. Radical Islam has been pounding at the door for awhile, and we all really should have awakened from our dogmatic slumbers. Ladies and Gentlemen, Disney Land, and Harvard, will now be closing. Please return to the starry heavens above and the moral law within. This is the time for authentic philosophers and theologians to put down their otiose academic games and take gainful employment saving Western rights-based democracies. Liberals and Conservatives need not apply; you can keep on dreaming of social workers and heaven.

Yes, the radical Islamists really do want to kill us, and the moderate Muslims, much like the Catholics, think our consumer culture is perverse which is why neither opposes too forcefully the violent Islamists, so long as they only blow up the icons, residents and proselytizers of the Protestant consumer cultures of America and Europe. And all our fulsome hand wringing and progressive sensibilities will not help us a jot until we actually decide who we are, morally that is. Yes, the big armies of the centuries have finally come out again; it’s the Imams vs. the Popes. The Muslims and the Catholics, who together speak for nearly 4 billion people (more people than ten USA’s), are now getting ready to go head to head again. And this time it is not at all about terrorists killing consumerists. The Muslims, it seems, have also been killing Catholics as Catholics. And these guys each know exactly who they are. They each really have moral clarity, and have had moral clarity for around one-thousand-five-hundred years. We spoiled puritanical Americans are merely their arrogant children; we are the small fry in the big one that is coming. After all, there is not much a few smart bombs or other fancy military toys can do to change the minds of the waves of billions and billions people who are intent on overthrowing Western Culture as their protesting children have recently conceived it. We Americans may have the best guns in the battle but they have the divisions that count. The blunt reality is we really are not the dominant world power we imagine ourselves to be. Their divisions are fully composed of self-guided smart bombs, billions of humans guided by God in heaven above and crystal clear morality within. Our little bombs are only guided by littler satellites. And our nukes have no clear targets. All we really have is Madonna, Fifty Cent and Viacom.

So yes, this certainly is a world war, and do not delude yourself for even a second, this is a world war like no other, this world war is the “World Moral War,” the war for moral clarity on earth. The Pope’s divisions beat the communist military handily, but it is not so clear they will beat the Muslim divisions so easily. And the side with the toughest morality will win this war. And we in the land of complaining Protestants, Busch Gardens and imminent rapture have not got much of a horse in this race, yet. As a consequence, I fear that unless America is willing to define the moral core of liberal democracies we whiners of the Mayflower will be entering a time that will be known as the twilight of liberal democracies. Hume is speaking my fellow philosophers. Muttering in your academic beds, prostrating yourselves for professorship will only leave your children dead. Philosophy is again relevant; the question is whether we philosophers are up to our duty to define a moral order of liberal democracy that can protect us in the moral wars ahead. Be sure, the frame of “warfare” is infinitely more apt than the politically correct frame of “nurturing families” sticky with cotton candy at the amusement park. There is no cotton candy in Mogadishu.


Anonymous William said...

It's funny what you find at the bottom of web pages. Here you are leaving your remarks. And so here am I leaving mine. Now that I come to think about it it's kind of like a massive super-sophisticated public convenience where graffiti conversations are left on the walls....
You are right - you Liberal Americans are the offspring. But the Pope got there before you there in Regensberg. I'll let you draw in the arrows because you are clever and can see where it all fits in but it goes something like this: First the weft: Duns Scotus, William of Occam, Gabriel Biel, Martin Luther, Jean Calvin, Adam Smith, Hume, Kant. Then the weave: Nominalism, Free choice, the good, Faith and Reason, Protestantism, Capitalism, Globalism.
You are right.
The Liberals, and the rabid protestant Fundamentalists (you know, the ones who think Rome is the whore of Babylon and the anti-Christ) have to decide like, yesterday, whether they REALLY hate Catholicism more than Islam.
THAT'S what Pope Benedict was saying at Regensberg - in saying - you rejected the Church in the name of reason and you have ended up losing your post-modern minds.
THAT'S also what you are going on about in all of your posts. You just don't can't bring yourself to admit it.
But as you say, Radical Islam focusses the mind wonderfully. And you are also quite right to say that it's not a forgone conclusion that Catholicism will pull through on this way. It will take a miracle. And lots and lots of reason. Grace, afterall, doesn't replace nature. It perfects it.
You are a closet essentialist working with an unstated aristotelian notion of the good as a metaphysical transcendental, interchangeable with being.
I'm not saying that you should become a Catholic - but that's the only place where you are going to find those things in the years ahead. Prof Macintyre was right all those years ago in After Virtue - the new dark ages have begun. But I admire your tenacity in holding to the Enlightenment project....
Oriana Fallaci was a mad atheist as well. Benedict XVI said to her simply, "well - act as if there is a God."
That probably won't work for you - you have studied too much philosophy and you see clearly too much. What might he say to you, this brilliant Pope theologian?
Let's see. Hmm....
Perhaps this?
Give alms."

Gosh - I've gone on longer than you normally do. But I am sure that no-one will read this post - you probably won't read it yourself. But let's put it down to practice for what lies ahead.
Hope all is well with mother and child that you right so amusingly about below.

3:42 PM  
Anonymous william said...

ouch - what a clanger -
that you write so amusingly about below.
Blogs are even less merciful than medieval manuscripts.

3:46 PM  
Blogger James D. Carmine PhD said...

William! Who are you? Yes I, like Fallaci, would be proud to be an atheist Catholic. Catholic theology is clearly sublime, the religion, not so much. As for nominalism + apophatic mysticicm that is my kind of atheism. Oh, that Oriana dies on the 15th and Benedict gives his lecture on the 12th to me is beyond precious. Did the atheist kick start the Holy See? Or did the Regensburg address allow her to die, finally a proud Italian again, in peace? Oh I think MacIntyre is wrong. We rarely kill each other over real absolutes like algebra and geometry, only over variable absolutes like moral gestalts. 2+2 is stable; The Good is not.

10:07 PM  
Anonymous William said...

hello there James.
I wrote a long post in reply.
Its zeros and ones disappeared somewhere.
Too bad.
So you are getting the gnomic version instead. You are going to have to do all the hard work yourself.
It makes for less entertaining reading but it will probably do you better in the long run. Ironically because Time is, as you observe, short.
And whilst a sense of humour is a very useful thing at such times (St Thomas More kept his on the scaffold)it IS time to get wake up and smell that coffee which was brewing several years ago and no sits cold and untouched in its pot.
Fiddling whilst Rome burns, you might say, to change temperatures.
No, dig up from somewhere, anywhere, André de Muralt's Kant le dernier occamien.
What do you mean you don't read heavy university level French? You have a PhD for heaven's sake!
Oh - as you might say -
liking the Catholic theology thing and not liking the religion thing -smells like angelism to me.
Think about it.
A bientôt!

4:45 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

I'm responding to a few posts & never having done this before....It may come up in a location different from where I started...(Also-the only reason I even came across this is because I'm looking for a conservative university comparable to West Point for a woman-anyone know of any?)
Anyway-About morality:
How do you know that there is no morality outside of human morality?
Yes, the scriptures appear to give you a variety of choices from which to formulate your bias-but in reality-it is all stemming from one source. Even what appears to be the difference between the Old & New Testament is not a difference.
(Justice with mercy is the ideal.) This theme is woven throughout "The Law" in Leviticus, Numbers & etc. It is then lived out in the Messiah in Matthew Mark Luke & John.
There is SOOOO much more to say about that & sooo much to validate it-but I want to move on...
There are only 2 directions for any life as we know it: Death or Life.
There are ultimately those 2 events (or States of being, Or not).
Every single decision, thought, activity no matter how small is going in one of these 2 directions. The Law & the Messiah both demonstrate this.
This is where the confusion sets in. How do Justice & Mercy combine with this Death/Life situation in which we live.
I have a huge thought on this but don't know if I'll be able to type it all out here on some anonymous blog. If so, I would finally have put on paper my own personal conclusions about this planet & our lives on it.
Ok I'm going to stop-I can't waste this time here today
Let me say though-that in case anyone reads this-I totally agree with the one who writes about one end chasing the rapture & one end chasing nothing but self gratification, while they run from entertainment source to church & back. And, this my fellow Charismatic, Protestant & Liberal friends & family just don't get when I try to talk to them about it...I may be back.
One more quick thing-I know I've been responding to a few comments...
I agree with this "psuedo-science" view-Women's Studies & Sociology classes are nothing more than someones (generally skewed) view of one area. Maybe more on that later, too.
OK I had to start my own blog to enter this-we'll see what develops there.

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I despair over mostly is that such intelligent person (i.e. the author of this blog) can befall the same conspiracy theory as the common right-wing conservative next door would fall head over heel as a result of low cognitive complexity. You describe a few uneducated, bare-foot loonies as the giants whose sphere of dominance exceeds even the super power such as USSR or Nazi Germany back in 30's. Even more so, attributing their "cause" to Islam as if the very "father" figure of the movement, OSB, has stated many times that the hegemonic influence of American over his home country has been the main reason for the birth of this conflict.

On top of that, you smear the whole issue by claiming "they" are in pursue of Islamification of the planet as if no other ideological or religious doctrine does not share the same motives. On top of that, branding these people, who comprises nothing more than a fraction of some extreme political sects who dabble on religion of their choice -- in this case Islam --, and as the torch carriers of that religion is a macabre joke. Such bickering of American imperialism would always be evident as long as the intend is to dominate rather than being a leading chariot of good will and promoter of fair commerce.

9:14 PM  

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