Bishop Berkeley’s strange world may be the one we live in

 

Ever since I heard of Bishop George Berkeley‘s (1685-1753) strange immaterialist doctrines about reality, I have had an affection for them. Unfortunately  have not yet been able to find a book explaining them. It was by means of an anecdote in Boswell’s Life of Johnson that a first heard of his views. Boswell and Johnson were walking the streets of London, when Boswell explained  that Bishop Berkeley had argued that it was easier to prove the existence of God than of the material world. Johnson replied, as he kicked a stone down the street, “I refute him thus”. Nevertheless, Berkeley was a few centuries ahead of his time. His thesis was that  something does not exist unless observed by a conscious mind, and second, that the conscious mind that perceives things absolutely when we are not around is God, the Absolute Observer.

From Wikipedia:

The next publication to appear was the Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge in 1710, which had great success and gave him a lasting reputation, though few accepted his theory that nothing exists outside the mind. This was followed in 1713 by Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous, in which he propounded his system of philosophy, the leading principle of which is that the world, as represented by our senses, depends for its existence on being perceived.

A useful exposition of Berkeley’s views is found in this month’s New English Review, written by Kenneth Francis.

I block and copy Francis’ article as follows:

According to Berkeley, Rock’s visible, tangible pint is caused by God. For Berkeley, God or religion is the basis for improving one’s life, not damaging it, and a common-sense view of life is the best path to achieving such a goal. Berkeley was unique and quite happy in his philosophical world view, while he thought other philosophers throughout history were usually frustrated and complicated matters by analysing everything beyond the reach of human reasoning. Being reasonable for Berkeley is being anti-sceptical and acknowledging that the only ‘real’ things that exist in the world are spirits who are created by an infinite Spirit, God. Put simply, the whole of reality is mental (certainly in the 21st century, in more ways than one).

Now at this point, one might argue that this so-called ‘real world’ does not deserve the title of reality. But for Berkeley it is, to a degree, in that it is a kind of second-class reality always one step in the shadows of God’s Mind and the minds of finite beings. What we perceive as matter plays second fiddle to Spirit. This philosophical theory was developed as an answer to scepticism and atheism that had crept into contemporary philosophy.

Berkeley hated atheism and wanted to put God centre stage, acknowledging that an Absolute Observer must reign supreme over perceiving reality. Such a supernatural eternal Absolute Entity would not require the multiplication of causes of beyond what is necessary to explain itself.
However, human ideas/consciousness require an explanation for its meaning as the alternative of solipsism (the belief that only oneself exits and everything else is an illusion) is less credible for explaining one’s existence.  So, we are left with the ultimate question: is consciousness/ideas connected to and part of God’s Mind?
Are the words that you are now reading on this page, including the backdrop to wherever you are reading, part of the conceptualized reality of a Supreme Entity, of which our collective consciousness is a manifestation? Berkeley believes that every-day objects are such a manifestation with multiple visual aspects that can change depending upon the circumstances. This also brings into play the problem of appearance and reality.
Wikipedia relates:
He remained at Cloyne until 1752, when he retired. With his wife and daughter Julia he went to Oxford to live with his son George and supervise his education.[12] He died soon afterward and was buried in Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. His affectionate disposition and genial manners made him much loved and held in warm regard by many of his contemporaries. Anne outlived her husband by many years, and died in 1786.

The SPLC worries me

 

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is a left wing organization doing its best to suppress opinions that it does not like. The equivalent of the Roman Church’s Index of prohibited books is the SPLC’s hate groups list. By the way, the SPLC is a multi-million dollar organization.

Quoting the SPLC itself on Islamic “hate” groups:

These groups also typically hold conspiratorial views regarding the inherent danger to America posed by its Muslim-American community. Muslims are viewed as a fifth column intent on undermining and eventually replacing American democracy and Western civilization with Islamic despotism, a conspiracy theory known as “civilization jihad.” Anti-Muslim hate groups allege that Muslims are trying to subvert the rule of law by imposing on Americans their own Islamic legal system, Shariah law. The threat of the Muslim Brotherhood is also cited, with anti-Muslim groups constantly attacking Muslim civil rights groups and American Muslim leaders for their supposed connections to the Brotherhood. Many of these groups have pushed for the Brotherhood to be designated a foreign terrorist organization.

Anti-Muslim hate groups also broadly defame Islam, which they tend to treat as a monolithic and evil religion. These groups generally hold that Islam has no values in common with other cultures, is inferior to the West and is a violent political ideology rather than a religion.

A great deal of the SPLC’s description of anti-Muslim thought is in fact true, not of all Muslims, but of those  Muslims waging holy war against us. Even if these amount to 1 or 2% of Muslims living among us, that constitutes a significant internal threat. Talking about it is rational. Discussing its extent and seriousness is rational. As with the left in general, discussion must be suppressed to keep their world view from being challenged by anyone, anywhere.

As the repression intensifies, more votes will move to Trump. People are tired of this nonsense, and they will be heard.

Specifically to Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch, this is the SPLC’s commentary on what Spencer has written. Notice that SPLC never asks whether what Spencer has written is actually true, factual, or correct.

About Robert Spencer

He insists, despite his lack of academic training in Islam, that the religion is inherently violent and that radical jihadists who commit acts of terror are simply following its dictates. His writing was cited dozens of times in a manifesto written by the Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik. Spencer was banned from the United Kingdom as an extremist in July 2013.

In His Own Words:
“Osama [bin Laden]’s use of these and other [Koranic] passages in his messages is consistent … with traditional understanding of the Quran. When modern-day Jews and Christians read their Bibles, they simply don’t interpret the passages cited as exhorting them to violent actions against unbelievers. This is due to the influence of centuries of interpretative traditions that have moved them away from literalism regarding these passages. But in Islam, there is no comparable interpretative tradition.”
—   The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), 2005

“Of course, as I have pointed out many times, traditional Islam itself is not moderate or peaceful. It is the only major world religion with a developed doctrine and tradition of warfare against unbelievers.”
— Jihad Watch blog, Jan. 14, 2006

“Islam is not a religion of peace. It has an inherently political character that is being brought to the West by immigrants, and will cause more trouble in the future. The jihadists have not hijacked it. Peaceful Muslims should be encouraged but do not have a sufficiently influential voice in the Islamic world to allow them to be counted on. The jihadists will not be bought off by negotiations or concessions. This is the revival of a 1,400-year-old war, and we need to be prepared for the fact that it will not end anytime soon – and prepared to defend ourselves militarily and ideologically.”
— Interview with the Liberal Institute, September 2007

I think that what Spencer wrote is a reasonable interpretation of what we have observed. You probably do too.

Welcome to the the Thought Criminals.

“Open are the double doors of the horizon”

A significant part of my vacation is getting in touch with what is real, and that means less attention paid to blogs, even if I agree with them. Yes, the world is going to hell. Yes, the Muslims are taking over. Yes, Europe is going down the tubes. Yes, the threat of communism and leftism has never been more pervasive. Yes, anti white voodoo is everywhere, and people are losing their minds.

But I have picked out my campaign music for the restoration of cosmic order party (RECOP). I will have someone I know placed on the throne as Pharaoh, and the regime will be as iron. Social justice warriors will be enserfed and together with the criminal population, they will be sent to rebuild massive geometrical shapes, pyramids, spheres, octa- and dodecahedrons, in the middle of the deserts of the American south west. The average size of these monuments will be one mile high. David Warren will be made Grand Vizier, and will oversee the construction of these monuments. They will have no utility whatsoever, and will be celebrations of geometry. Government will be fully reactionary, as Warren explains.

Here is the campaign theme from Philip Glass’ Akhnaten.

We can dream, can’t we?

 

 

Parkman on New France and the French Canadians

With the Peace of Paris (1783) ended the checkered story of New France; a story which would have been a history if faults of constitution and the bigotry and folly of rulers had not dwarfed it to an episode. Yet it is a noteworthy one in both its lights and its shadows: in the disinterested zeal of the founder of Quebec [Champlain], the self-devotion of the early missionary-martyrs, and the daring enterprise of explorers; in the spiritual and temporal vassalage from which the only escape was to the savagery of the wilderness; and in the swarming corruptions which were the natural result  of an attempt to rule, by the absolute hand of a master beyond the Atlantic, a people bereft of every vestige of civil liberty. Civil liberty was given them by the British sword, but the conqueror left their religious system untouched, and through it they have imposed upon themselves a weight of ecclesiastical tutelage that finds few equals in the most Catholic countries of Europe. Such guardianship is not without certain advantages. When faithfully exercised it aids to uphold some of the tamer virtues, if that can be called a virtue which needs the constant presence of a sentinel to keep it from escaping: but it is fatal to mental robustness and moral courage; and if French Canada would fulfil its aspirations it must cease to be one of the most priest-ridden communities of the modern world.

Francis Parkman, writing in 1884, in Montcalm and Wolfe.

While the French Canadians may possibly have exchanged the rule of priests for that of sociologists, environmentalists and new-age gurus, they seem to have escaped the priestly regime that governed until 1960. Indeed so thoroughly have they fled the Church that formerly gave them their self-definition that attendance in Quebec hovers around 2 or 3% of the population.

The facts of life

 

A friend once said about Islam: “I don’t know what it is theologically, or religiously, but at the operational level it is hysteria about the facts of life.” He said this after being in Nigeria for a couple of years, and watching and comparing the behaviour of Muslims, Christians and pagans in a multi-religious society.

The Abrahamic idea of God is of an absolute, and with the Muslims, God is conceived in the most remote, all-powerful version. The Christian version postulates the same degree of power, but it is a vision of the Deity infused with love for His creatures, and a will to abide by His own laws. No such compunctions constrain the power of a willful Allah, who recognizes no laws to bind his immaculate will.

But this is not a sermon on the difference between Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

It is a brief meditation on the difference between all three of them and pagan thought and behaviour. We have the Jews to thank for the idea that the world is fundamentally divided into clean and unclean things. Sexual practices are especially unclean. In the words of the 39 Articles of Religion, number nine:

“And although there is no condemnation for them that believe and are baptized yet the Apostle doth confess, that concupiscence and lust of itself hath the nature of sin.”

Concupiscence refers to longing for what God has commanded us not to yearn for.

In case you are in any doubt the  word refers to the desire for any form of sex between people not lawfully married, and until a few years ago it referred especially to homosexual activities.

Pagans, by contrast, have never been told about sin, particularly the sins of the flesh. How can there even be sins of the flesh? For a pagan a sin of the flesh is an impossibility. Why would the body’s making mucus or bile be a matter of sin? The body has its needs and there’s an end to it. If you need sex, you get it. Man, boy, woman, girl: it is a matter of taste, occasion and society, but not of sin.

When the Japanese westernized in the latter part of the 19th century, they thought that they needed to adopt all of the Western penal codes. So they had to invent – I am serious –  a term for “homosexuality” because they had until then no separate term for the practice. It was just all undifferentiated sex to them, before their contact with legal systems founded in Abrahamic faith.

So when I read in the paper about a gay orgy in the Vatican being interrupted by police, I cannot help feeling that religions founded on a distrust of the body get themselves into huge and unnecessary trouble.

Blame it on St Augustine. I am with Pelagius. 

That is, while I accept the need for prevenient grace,  I do not think we are fundamentally engaged in sin for lusting and being subject to sexual desire, any more than when our bodies produce blood, mucus, sperm or bile.  Lust should be thought of as appropriate or inappropriate, as the case may be, but not as something that separates us from God more than, say, picking our noses or excreting.  Augustine never got over his original Manichaeism. But I am off-topic.

Gay orgies at the Vatican are nothing new. Nor is revulsion at the hypocrisy of a formally celibate priesthood behaving badly. A married priesthood would solve a number of problems. But more important would be a change of doctrine as regards the status of lust as the road to sin.

Now I can go to David Warren and find out why I am wrong. I shall be checking the Catholic blogs today for comments on the situation.

Jews in UK start to see the reality

Better late than never.

“There were massive swings to Labour recorded across North London,” Mendoza said. “That is, except for Harrow East, Chipping Barnet, Finchley and Golders Green, and Hendon.”

In all these constituencies, Mendoza observed, Labour came close to winning, only to fall at the final hurdle. The strong opposition toward Corbyn among Jewish voters – a May 30 poll conducted by the Jewish Chronicle put support for the Conservatives in the community at 77 percent – played a major part in “stopping a clean Labour sweep across the north part of London,” Mendoza said.

The battle in Finchley and Golders Green pitted the serving Conservative MP Mike Freer against Jeremy Newmark, a high profile Jewish community figure who is currently the chair of the Labour Party-affiliated Jewish Labour Movement. After a nail-biting contest, Freer won by a wafer thin 1,500 votes.

“Clearly Labour’s problem with antisemitism would have weighed heavily on (Jewish people’s) minds,” Freer told the Jewish Chronicle afterwards. “In terms of what we’re feeling the Jewish community have stuck with me and got us over the line.”

In nearby Hend0n, the defeated Labour candidate Mike Katz, who is Jewish, told the Jewish News that “it would be a folly” to ignore the fact that Jewish anxieties about Labour’s antisemitism assisted in his defeat….

Manchesterian bravery disappears a week later in London

Manchester – May 27, 2017

London – June 3, 2017

According to Sky News, based on an interview with a participant, the Londoners did this voluntarily after seeing others do the same.

Can we just stop with this nonsense post-attack theatre? Of course being afraid is a sane and normal reaction. Can we also stop with nonsense like this?

London’s Muslim Mayor: Terror Attacks ‘Part And Parcel Of Life In A Big City’

We could also do without this.

Whittaker Chambers

 

Whittaker Chambers (1901-1961) was, from his mid twenties until his late thirties, a Communist and a spy for Soviet military intelligence (the GRU), who departed the Communist Party and his spying, and became a senior editor of Time magazine. He was a very gifted writer, and wrote a truly great book, Witness. His insights into what Communism was, why it nearly succeeded, and the enormous difficulty many Americans had in believing that there was anything the matter with the Soviet Union, are relevant to this day.

Books I read compete for my attention. I keep three or four on the go and more ready to to take up the slack at any time. At the moment, Witness has blown past the other respectable contestants by a furlong and is heading down the track to claim the prize.

People of a certain age will be forgiven for not understanding how much the 20th century was shaped by the Communist promise. It fell like Sauron’s Barad-Dür in 1989, contrary to every respectable opinion leader in western society, except the true hardened east European anti-Communists, to whom no one paid much attention.

Whittaker Chambers remarks that the driving force of Western intellectuals supporting the Party was not a belief in the economic doctrines of Marx, which hardly anyone read, but the promise of an egalitarian society and the end of material want. The age old and senseless suffering of man could at last come to an end, and if it took a few crimes to achieve it, then it was worth it. They had the Plan. No one else did.

It must be recalled that the Soviet Union, betrayed in its alliance with Hitler, took most of the casualties of World War 2. There was deep-rooted appreciation for the Soviet Union and its wartime sacrifices across most sectors of enlightened liberal opinion until at least 1948 and longer. The desirability of central planning of the economy was an assumed truth in almost every quarter of literate opinion. I recall George Orwell reviewing a book by Hayek, the Road to Serfdom. Orwell was aghast at Hayek’s bold denunciation of central planning of the economy. Says Orwell:

Professor Hayek denies that free capitalism necessarily leads to monopoly, but in practice that is where it has led, and since the vast majority of people would far rather have State regimentation than slumps and unemployment, the drift towards collectivism is bound to continue if popular opinion has any say in the matter.

But the vogue for central planning was underlain by a deep seated belief that Communism had the correct blueprint to understanding and acting in history.

Chambers’ view of Communism was that one could serve it for many years, and still not penetrate to its essence. Then, sooner or later, one would hear screams in the night.

Whittaker Chambers wrote:

What Communist has not heard those screams? Execution, says the Communist code, is the highest measure of social protection. What man can call himself a Communist who has not accepted the fact that Terror  is an instrument of policy, right if the vision is right, justified by history, enjoined by the balance of forces in the social wars of this century? Tose screams have reached every Communist’s mind. Usually they stop there. What judge willingly dwells upon the man the laws compel him to condemn to death – the laws of nations or the laws of history? (page xliv)

What provoked my interest was a passage much further along in the book concerning why the vast mass of American bien-pensants  revolted at the notion that Chambers was right in denouncing well-born native Americans who were part of his spy apparatus. Readers of this blog may be expected to have heard names like Alger Hiss or Harry Dexter White but may have forgotten the enormous brouhaha that erupted across the United states when in 1948 Chambers was summoned to publish his  accusations by a Congressional committee. Quite simply, he said these people were part of his spy ring. He knew so because he picked up documents from them weekly for years for the purpose of microfilming and passing on to Colonel Bykov, his GRU controller. Chambers was not believed by many liberals, and was sued by Alger Hiss for slander twice.  Hiss eventually went to prison for espionage. His guilt has been more than adequately proven by subsequent decrypts of Soviet signals traffic.

Chambers had to deal with the enmity of those who believed that Communism was basically a force for good in the world, and that he was wrong or mentally unbalanced for believing otherwise. Speaking of these “liberals”, Chambers wrote:

They were people who believed a number of things. Foremost among them was a belief that peace could be preserved, World War III could be averted only by conciliating the Soviet union. For this no p[rice was too high to pay, including the price of wilful historical self delusion. Yet they had just fiercely supported a war in which one of their ululant outcries had been against appeasement; and they were much too intelligent really to believe that Russia was a democracy or most of the other upside-down things they said in defense of it. Hence like most people who have substituted the habit of delusion for reality, they became hysterical whenever the root of their delusion was touched, and reacted with a violence that completely belied the openness of mind which they prescribed for others. Let me call their peculiar condition… the Popular Front mind.

The Popular Front mind dominated American life, at least from 1938 to 1948….Particularly, it dominated all avenues of communication between the intellectuals and the nation. It told the nation what it should believe; it made up the nation’s mind for it. The Popular Fronters had made themselves the “experts”. They controlled the narrows of news and opinion. And though, to a practised ear, they never ceased to speak as the scribes, the nation heard in their fatal errors the voice of those having authority.  For the nation too, wanted peace above all things, and it meant it could not grasp or believe that a conspiracy on the scale of Communism was possible or that it had already made so deep a penetration into their lives.”

Does that remind you of something?

97% of scientists believe that ….?

Anthropogenic global warming?

Climate change?

I am waiting for the Whittaker Chambers of the anthropogenic global warming movement to write his book on the scale of the deception, the skullduggery and the extent of the conspiracy. It will be resisted to the same extent that Whittaker Chamber’s testimony was, and by the same sorts of people. The AGW thing has not arisen to totalitarian power anywhere yet, but not for want of trying.

In any case, for any number of reasons,  Witness makes for compelling reading, not least because it is a great story well told about the struggles of the 20th century, and of a man and his God.

 

Jews, Hindus and Anglicans

Explanations are sought. They can be racial, cultural, or selective on any basis whatever, such as recent immigration policy in the US.

_________________________________________________________

I got an immediate response from Arran Gold, from his mountain fortress.

His explanation for the rankings are:

1. Subterfuge

2. Affirmative action

3. White privilege

Tobermory responded:

Hilarious, Arran! And yet, Episcopalians are privileged beyond whiteness (like most “old money” in the US, the Bushes attend that church). For those who have had the pleasure of a visit to Maui and taken the 10,000-ft drive up to the top of dormant volcano Haleakala, you may have noticed that at sea level are store-front evangelical churches attended by native Hawaiians, at 1000 ft are Baptist churches, at 1500 foot elevation are Presbyterian, and at a balmy, eternal-spring 2500 ft are Episcopalian churches, surrounded by large Tudor-style homes with rose gardens, i.e. exactly mirroring their ranking in the chart 🙂

 

It has come to this

 

“Stop Islam”. No equivocation, no pussy-footing, no mincing words. “Stop Islam”. This in the country which produced Baruch Spinoza, gave rise to Amsterdam, and welcomed religious refugees from all over Europe even at the height of 17th century religious warfare.

The Daily Mail reports that the Turkish foreign minister has said that “Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders’ views were shared by all rival parties and were pushing Europe towards ‘wars of religion’.”

In short, all you Dutch white people are the same, social democrats, liberals, greenies, nationalists.
The outrage of the Left at Wilders (rightwing! extremist!) is well captured by Steve Sailer’s commentary in TakiMag this week.

Congressman Steve King (R-IA) has noticed just how extremist today’s respectable conventional wisdom has become. So King has been exercising a Trump-like knack for trolling the Establishment with blunt truths that enrage goodthinkers into revealing just how much their worldview is founded upon hatred of average Americans.

Over the weekend, King tweeted:

[Geert] Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.

Every time I try to think of myself as a moderate, along comes the frantic, hysterical reaction to obvious truths such Steve King just issued. I find myself asking, as I have occasion to do nearly every day, why is there is such anti-white animus from white people? I understand it coming from professional race grievors, even if it is the product of excessive tolerance by whites for subsidized attacks on ‘white’ civilization. But why is our civilization- yours and mine – so bent on self destruction?

Why is the statement, that “you cannot restore our civilization with someone else’s babies?” so electrifyingly horrid to the immense crowd of anti-white whites? I think these are the reasons.

First, because it is irrefutably true. Second, because it refers to the consequences of abortion, reduced fertility, and demographic collapse that feminism – for want of a better word – has engendered, but will not own up to. Third because it asserts that there might actually be such as thing as “our” civilization, which might have a racial or ethnic basis.

Touching three electrified rails at the same time!

I keep seeing this Thing, and I do not know what it is in essence, but in its effects, it is

  • anti-white
  • anti-male
  • anti-Christian

Yet I suspect that if this civilization had been founded by the female, the racially Mongol, and the Buddhist religion, then the Thing of which I speak would be equally anti-female, anti-racially Mongol, and anti-Buddhist. For myself it seems to be an inchoate rage of people who were never spanked, loved, restrained, and held to any standard of manners and comportment..