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Get over this whole Reason vs Faith thing

Reader comment on item: When Conservatives Argue about Islam
in response to reader comment: The nature of religion including Christianity and Islam

Submitted by Homefront (Australia), Jul 11, 2007 at 21:54

Dr Pipes,

I must respectfully disagree with the good Doctor. I have had this divergence of opinion with him on a previous occasion under a different call sign and here we find ourselves yet again. I hope that Dr Whaley views my critique amicably because I am most interested in his rejoinder.

There are a number of points which I wish to raise that will take some of the sheen off the idea that "reason" or "pure reason" as it is sometimes known is the only true pathway to enlightenment and world peace.

The first is one raised by Canadian intellectual John Ralston Saul in his substantial and ongoing roast of economic rationalism, modern corporate culture and the discipline of economics in general. He said that "reason is intrinsically amoral". In order to flesh out this particular assertion he added that "the decision to wipe out six million Jews is completely rational". How could he have reached this conclusion (I ask rhetorically)? He did not after all flesh out what he meant with any degree of detail. Taking the position of Adolph Hitler independently of his irrational anti sematic beliefs persecution and elimination of the German Jewish population serves a number of logical/rational purposes:

  • it provides the Nazi party with a ready supply of resources to fund its propaganda and activities in the form of seized assets (taken from Jews who have their citizenship invalidated)
  • it provides the governing body with an enemy within to direct the attention of its charges towards uniting them against a "soft target" which is easier to eliminate than "hard targets" like Britain or Russia
  • it provides the governing body with expendable additional slave labour (esp. for the later years of the war in which this was running scarce).

And so on and so forth. Other people with more time on their hands could probably think of more reasons why Hitler could logically do what to most is unthinkable. Compare this rationality with the similar mentality of the Islamists and their ongoing antagonisms against the Jews. They have similar expansionist totalitarian goals and so they require the same enemies within and without and they even have the same central antagonists to their hysterical narrative (the Jews). Immoral yes – Irrational no.

Sure some of the footsoldiers hold faith in their hearts but the Islamist agenda is very terrestrial and hence necessarily governed by rationality. The Islamic project is an imperial one and empires in the "spread one's seed as broadly as possible" sense at least is a perfectly rational one for a biological or political entity to pursue its' own self interest in this manner. Dividing the world into believers and nonbelievers is an extension of this political project and allows the former to steal land, women and wealth from the latter endlessly incentivising the project of empire.

Sex and empire are linked in the Muslim male psyche not without reason having the same "rational" underpinnings. This is because Mohammed felt that women were more readily open to coercive methods with respect to conversion and also to increase the Muslim population. On this point I quote heretical Indian historian K.S. Lal in his book "The Muslim Slave System in Medieval India" :

From the teachings of the Quran quoted above, it will be seen that while Muhammad restricted the number of lawful wives, he did not restrict the number of slave girls and concubines.5 All female slaves taken as plunder in war are the lawful property of their master, and the master has power to take to himself any female slave married or single. T.P. Hughes adds that "there is absolutely no limit to the number of slave girls with whom a Muhammadan may cohabit, and it is the consecration of this illimitable indulgence which so popularizes the Muhammadan religion amongst uncivilized nations, and so popularizes slavery in the Muslim religion".6

By the way Lal's excellent book can be found complete and unabridged at: http://voiceofdharma.com/books/mssmi/

The reemergence of slavery will of course be a lateral empire building incentiviser that we can look forward to seeing and perhaps if we are unlucky experiencing given Islam's seemingly unstoppable demographically driven rise to power in Europe and Africa.

I am beginning to digress a bit here though so I had best move on to my next and most significant point. Dr Whaley uses rationality as the basis of his response to radical Islam which is suitably extreme:

"By destroying their means to harm us and more importantly their will to harm us, totally devastating their governments, their factories, their water supplies, their communications systems, their power plants, their transportation systems, their mosques, in short demoralizing them till they surrender unconditionally their threat will be ended."

Given I am convinced of the threat I do not disagree with Dr Whaley's total war strategy. I am however game to point out that by resorting to reason here we are adopting a course that is ethically murky and once again illustrates that reason can be used to do harm as well as good. Reason can take us to a place where the rational pursuit of self interest causes us to embark on a crusade to annihilate an enemy utterly rightly or wrongly.

Like the philosopher Engle and Pope Benedict I find my moral and strategic centre in a combination of faith and reason.

I believe the good Doctor referred in an earlier post to the tension between the philosophies of Rosseau (faith) and Locke (reason) being the two major forces tearing western democracy in two different directions to a self destructive extent and allowing Islamists to fill in the vacuum. France for example being in the grip of Rosseau was getting overrun by an enemy of superior faith (the muslims). What the French needed was to be more like Locke and follow the superior path of reason. This could be seen as an unacceptably simplistic approach to the Eurabia question but I will be kind to it and try to explain my own take on the situation in the west.

The real tension between Europe and the Anglosphere and within all western nations (thus this tension is both inter and intra national) is more one of the tension between Rosseau and Hume than Rosseau and Locke. Hume for example drew his mortality from established sources and authority and proceeded with respect for organisations that had roots in the community such as the Church, Parliament the Magna Carta. Rosseau on the other hand sought liberation from the shackles of the past in a scathingly anti conventional authority and anti clerical revolutionary paradigm.

Those who see the American Revolution and the French Revolution as largely the same thing are unaware of the divergence of paradigms given France adopted a Rosseau Neuvo France framework which attacked its existing governing structures thus the clergy and the nobility found themselves under assault with many amongst the nobility winding up under the guillotine. In America however the minute men with their chant of "no taxation without representation!" merely sought to reestablish rights owed them under the principles of the Magna Carta that in accordance with British law were owed them. When it became apparent the British were not prepared to offer the colonists their rights under British law the colonists rebelled and established their own society with its own accountable executive (President).

I for one respect the Americans and their Hume based society more than the soon to be extinct/Islamised French and their Rosseau based travesty. But the tension between these two approaches is being played out once again within our societies. The left and the Social Democratic parties (ALP, Gordon Brown's British Labor and the American Democrats) like the Rosseau based approach to democracy with its weak property rights and anti clerical and Christian predilections. On many issues therefore natural allegiances can be formed between these people and Islamists. Perhaps this is another reason for the different approaches to lawful Islamism embraced by the Dems ...

It also illustrates an irony of Rosseau's approach to democracy that in attempting to break ties with the past he laid the philosophical foundation of just about all of the tyrannical anti Democratic regimes of the 20th and 21st Century (like similarly anticlerical philosophies of Nazism and Communism). In the Anglosphere Rosseau's philosophy Trojan horsed its way back into Australia and the U.S. on the back of Antiwar movements during the 1960s and has dominated Public education and University policy as well as introduced the vast multicultural Governmental policy nothingness that holds western freethinkers hostage. Opposing it can subject one to civil and even criminal sanction as well as ostracism.

Solving our collective problem in the west then will involved dismantling the vast political architecture that has been established by the totalitarian Rosseau based left and their Islamist allies through our governmental and educational structures. This may require a revolution in its own right and with the MSM and critical governmental structures working against our quite natural instincts to protect ourselves with postmodern platitudes of multiculturalism any such struggle will be uphill. So in the words of musician John Mayer I will "keep waiting for the world to change".



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