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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Friday October 14 2005

Two jumps, to a blog I never knew existed.  Not a wildly amusing one, but one I never knew existed.  Harry Hutton links to a scornful piece about the daft semi-religious practices of the Blairs of Downing Street in the New Humanist, where they also, it turns out, have a blog.

Two things to say about this.  First, good, I have now done my blogging duties here today.  Any other stuff you get here this side of October 15th is beyond what you are promised.  Like: the rest of this posting, which I now know to have gone on a bit.

Second, more seriously, I think that one of the purposes of a personal and don’t-care-who-reads-it blog like this one is to enable me to feel my way into controversial topics, like this one about the daftness of Goddism.  You see?  I would never say anything like that in a public place, like Samizdata.  Well, sometimes I do, and the commenters erupt like a poked hornets’ nest.  And I know we are under orders to ignore the commenters, but sometimes it is hard.

Besides which, I am in a quandary.  A lot of the good things in the world just now are being done by Christians, i.e. people whose religious beliefs I find it hard not to go beyond total disagreement with, to contempt for.  I mean really.  God, infinitely all-knowing, infinitely nice, presiding over all the horrors of real life, no evidence except for daft ancient literary rumours.  But just now, apart from the odious Islamists of course, I can’t see this drivel doing - or even being much connected to - huge harm, certainly not compared to the atheist lunacies of Bolshevism.

But I agree with the lefties that it can’t be very good for the most powerful, as of now, country on earth to be ruled by people who profess the bizarre beliefs that they do.  I realise that Bush is being misquoted when he is said to have said that God told him to invade Iraq.  But so what?  The report may be inaccurate, but it is essentially true, in the sense that he does believe in God, very seriously, and he presumably must consult God before he does something like invade Iraq.  He certainly isn’t going to get embroiled in denying that God told him to invade Iraq, is he?  ("So Mr President, are you saying that God did not tell you to invade Iraq?  Did he perhaps warn you against invading Iraq?  What exactly did He say?")

My problem is that maybe God was – so to speak - right about invading Iraq.  Things in Iraq have not gone as smoothly as I hoped, but nor have they gone as badly as I feared, and I think things could yet turn out very well.  By the time the Goddist Bush is replaced by some other bloke who takes his unavoidable nods of respect towards Christianity less seriously, the USA’s Iraq policy may be impossible to reverse, and Iraq could be well on the way towards being a Middle Eastern Japan or South Korea, or even West Germany.  Things change in the Middle East, very fast.  Something good happens, like the original war being over in about a day, or that election earlier in the year followed by pro-democracy demonstrating elsewhere.  But then the lefties gradually get the bad news machine cranked up again, and everyone starts to believe, again, that it will all unravel, like Vietnam.  Then something else good happens, and the lefties regroup, temporarily confounded, and so it goes, until ten years later, the lefties give up and look elsewhere for anti-Western triumphs.

In general, some of the best things ever to have been done in the whole of human history (think: Quakers) have been done by Christians, and in a way that is extremely hard to separate from their religious beliefs.  And if some unhinged Christian blogger wants to make that his quote of the day, that’s fine by me, with or without this sentence.

Meanwhile, if you go with the New Humanist types, you find yourself (or such are my suspicions) being offered a package of soft or worse, not-so-soft, soft-in-the-head leftism (of the sort which lusts for catastrophe in the Middle East followed by a general collapse of the West in the face of Islamist barbarism) as the natural consequence of dumping God.  Which does not follow, to put it mildly.

So how and where do you start?

Well, I say, I start here, at this blog.  I may never get beyond a little sloganising and general pacing about the battlefield, as in this posting, but then again, here I have the chance to do better than that, whenever the spirit moves me, if you’ll pardon the expression.

So, new categories: “Religion”, and “Atheism”.  And I think I also need to have “USA” and “Middle East”.

By the way, I dislike the word “humanism”.  My atheism is negative, a statement of disbelief in a daft proposition.  It is not a positive statement in favour of anything else.  I don’t especially believe in humans, or “humanity” (very odd word that), other than believing in the obvious fact that human beings, unlike God, do actually exist.

Thank you, Brian. Much needed voice of reason, on the background of recent aggressive rants from the religious and -non alike.

Posted by Tatyana on 14 October 2005

Yeah. What Tatyana said.

Posted by Scott Wickstein on 15 October 2005

Also, about the word “humanism”.
When I was in 9th grade, questionniers were the latest, if short-lived, craze. You had to write honest answers, anonimously, to a bunch of stupidest questions your classmates could concieve of, and by reading resulting papers, all had to guess whom they belonged to.
Well, I was the only one in my collectivist-brainwashed class who answered negatively to the question “Do you love humanity ? Would you sacrifice your life for it?”.  I was found out immediately.

Posted by Tatyana on 16 October 2005
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