Category Archives: Philosophy

Jewish Conservatism

Some thoughts from David Goldman.

[Saturday-afternoon update]

American Jewry’s moment of decision:

During the next two months, Obama will be focused on closing his deal with Iran, and Clinton will be avidly seeking to lock up the Democratic nomination for president by building an impregnable fortress of campaign funds. If the American Jewish community uses this critical period to leverage Clinton’s financial requirements to convince her to oppose Obama’s deal that paves the way for a nuclear armed Iran, then they will reassert their relevance in American politics and they will restore support for Israel to its pre-Obama position as a bipartisan position.

If they fail to do so, then Obama’s bid to transform Israel into a partisan issue will succeed. If a Republican wins the White House in 2016, he will face an anti-Israel Democratic opposition. And if Clinton wins the White House, she will have no reason to support Israel.

I’d still like to see the video of the Khalidi birthday party.

[Bumped]

[Sunday-morning update]

There is a storm coming:

In Syria there are real massacres of Palestinians. But where are the Muslim mobs and their European useful idiots? Where are the drones chanting in the streets of Paris? Where are the thousands of tweets we saw in 2014? They don’t exist because Israel was not involved, which reveals the utter hypocrisy and malevolence behind the execrable anti-Jewish and anti-Israel campaign.

Shelley Neese, who is Vice President of a Christian Zionist website called “The Jerusalem Connection”, has produced a remarkable music video “There is a Storm Coming”,about the rise of anti-Jewish prejudice and bigotry.

She compares it to the horrors of seventy years ago. She also warns the French Jewish community that time is short and their future lies in the ancestral and biblical Jewish homeland: Israel.

She was assisted by Andrew McKain, a talented musician and rapper whose hard-hitting lyrics should particularly appeal to young people who so desperately need to learn the past and what the present may foretell.

They should know how the totalitarian movements defeated in the 20th century have mutated and how the Islamo-Nazis and today’s far left are making common cause to the same end as their predecessors — the destruction of the Jews and of freedom worldwide.

When they said “Never again,” they had their fingers crossed behind their backs.

Tech Titans And Life Extension

Here’s a good overview of what Google, Thiel and others are doing. I wish they’d stop calling it “immortality,” though. That’s not the goal, and if it were, it would be unrealistic. It’s just indefinite lifespan. As I often notes, expansion into space and extended lifespan go hand in hand.

[Update a while later]

Sorry, link was missing. Fixed now.

Anti-Discrimination Laws

The libertarian position.

I’m amused/appalled at the people who cannot make a distinction of what is immoral/wrong and what should be illegal. Particularly when it comes from the same people who whine about how they oppose “legislating morality.” They’re not opposed to it at all, they just want to legislate their morality.

America And Christianity

Some thoughts from @Instapundit. I’m a non-theist who thinks that Christianity is worth fighting for.

[Update a few minutes later]

Of course, the war isn’t just against Christians: How “progressives” belittle violence against Jews.

They were obviously asking for it.

[Update a few more minutes later]

Christians must be made to bow:

Not “must be persuaded,” but “must be made.” Compelled. Forced. And not forced to change our behavior, but forced to change what we believe. Because You Must Approve.

And just how do Bruni and his militant Social Justice Warriors plan to force us to repudiate our beliefs? We are going to find out. Indiana and Arkansas showed that most Americans don’t much care about religious liberty — and in fact, people like Bruni and the newspaper he works for have contempt for it, at least when it is practiced by “conservative Christians.”

And not just The New York Times, but newspapers like The Forum, in, get this, Fargo, North Dakota, published a front page running the photographs of every member of the state legislature who voted against an LGBT equality bill. Of course I have no problem with a newspaper, or anybody, criticizing, and criticizing strongly, those who vote the way they don’t like. But the imagery and the format here is that of a witch hunt designed to hold Enemies Of The People up to public contempt.

Can you imagine the outcry if Ross Douthat, an orthodox Catholic colleague of Bruni’s, writing a piece endorsing as “worthy — and warranted” the idea that pro-LGBT Christians and others “must be made to put homosexuality back on the sin list”? I’m a conservative Christian who believes the traditional teaching, and I would find such a coercive statement appalling. But of course nobody on that side seems to have the slightest doubt about their cause, their motives, or their methods. None. In a holy war, there is no room for doubt.

Can you imagine the outcry if the Times published a column saying that Jews or Muslims must be “made” to quit believing a tenet of their religion? If socialists must be “made” to disavow any of their political convictions?

Well, actually, in the case of Jews, I can.

[Late-morning update]

Indiana pizzeria owners go into hiding:

It’s not that the left and gay activists can’t see the distinction. It’s that they refuse to acknowledge the difference for political reasons. Since tolerating dissent would mean less than a total victory for their pet cause, we must all think alike — absolute domination or nothing.

The backlash isn’t fazing them a bit. If anything, their hate has become more exaggerated and more hysterical as commentators like Friedersdorf calmly, rationally point out their radical extremism. The army of Fascists who have attacked the O’Connors — and anyone who remotely agrees with them — won’t stop. Shaming them does little good, as they have no shame. Reasoning with them is useless because they lack the ability to reason.

The taste of power that this Fascist collective has gotten in recent years, destroying those who displease them for any reason, is like a drug. Soon, the pizzeria victims will fade from view and the leftist cadres will have to find another target. It hardly matters who is in the crosshairs, only that someone with an unpopular or politically incorrect thought is railroaded.

This is what totalitarianism looks like. All they need is the brown shirts.

[Update a few minutes later]

More thoughts from Rick Wilson:

At some point, the social-justice warrior crowd is going to incite their people into something more than Ferguson or Occupy or Internet harassment. At some point, their fanatic desire to erase God from the hearts and minds and actions of red America will cross a threshold. Someday, in some town, a Christian shopkeeper who becomes the focus of the 4chan or Reddit Rage Machine will be killed by some militant atheist or black bloc kid or some other flavor of crazy. That day, their rage won’t come from the click of a mouse, but from the barrel of a gun.

On that day, instead of reacting with horror and disgust, someone important enough in their social-justice-warrior universe–be it a political figure, a celebrity, or just a popular activist–will say something like, “I abhor violence, but…”

On the day that “but” becomes acceptable on the Left, it’s a ratchet that turns only one way. When political violence becomes mainstreamed, it infects a society quickly. It’s a short, quick slide into hell. The tolerance crowd will read that scenario and explode with denials. They’re never going to call for violence. Leftism is a peaceful religion. (Sound familiar?)

Sorry, kids. The twentieth century (really, every century) is replete with examples of the boundaries of civilization fraying when the cause of the day made religiously or ideologically driven violence acceptable. In almost every case, the owners of the dominant share of cultural and social power did let it happen there. I fear that even here, even now we’re not beyond it.

The Founders were profoundly aware of the Thirty Years War, and the wars in Britain over the Scottish Reformation and the Ernglish Civil War. They wrote the First Amendment, and made it first, for a reason.

[Update a few minutes later]


Polling indicates
that most Americans are sane (that is, they side with the pizzeria owners). That is, they can make the crucial distinction between simple public accommodation and being compelled to participate in a ceremony with which they morally disapprove.

[Update mid-afternoon]

The Church of the Left:

This distinction between individual and institutional religious freedom has actually been at the core of a lot of the religious freedom battles we’ve had in the Obama years. It has been more prominent in the HHS-mandate debates, but it’s very much a part of this argument about whether a florist shop or a pizza parlor can be Christian. In a country with a non-Christian state religion that it takes seriously, the answer is basically no. The florist can be Christian as an individual, but his store can’t be, because institutions, unlike individuals, are creatures of the law and our law already has a religion: progressive liberalism.

We who are appalled by the perverse reaction to the Indiana law are not exactly defending the free exercise right; we are in a sense opposing a violation of the prohibition on religious establishment. The point is not that running a flower shop is a way of practicing one’s religion. The point is that, if reasonably possible, people should not be compelled as the price of entry to the public square to honor as true what their understanding of their religious obligations compels them to judge false.

Everyone has a religion.

Immortality

No, Newsweek, that’s not what Silicon Valley billionaires are seeking. They’re seeking indefinite lifespan. Immortality, if achievable, could/would be a curse. People just want to live as long as they want to live.

[Update a few minutes later]

OK, read it all the way through. The last graf shows a huge failure of imagination:

Perhaps the most worrying question that arises with the prospect of having millions (and even billions) of multi-centenarians running around on Earth is whether the planet can support this kind of growth. Current projections suggest that the world’s population will rise from 7 billion today to about 9 billion in 2050—at which point it will more or less level out. And abundant concerns have already been raised about what all these billions of people will do for work, not to mention where they will get safe drinking water and the food necessary to live healthily. But those forecasts don’t consider the possibility that we’ll stop dying. If we do, the next generation of innovative health-tech entrepreneurs will face perhaps an even greater challenge: redesigning the planet to accommodate its massive population of Humans 2.0.

Planet? Where we’re going, we don’t need “planets.”