Posts Tagged ‘Peter Hitchens’

GOD IS WATCHING YOU

29. August 2017

This isn’t going to be one of those atheists tracts against Christians I promise. There is no point in beating a dead horse(1). I know that Orwell himself viewed the Anglican church in a positive light although he had a visceral hatred towards the Catholic church (2), both of these opinions are justified but that is a topic for another time. Orwell’s novel itself presents a pro-Christian view –  in a godless dark world where the past has been rewritten to paint the English clergy as an oppressor, as a force for evil that the Party and the state has now ridden of and freed England from, the portrayal of Christianity in Animal Farm, that is to say in Soviet Russia is less flattering although a counter-point to that would be that Orwell set Animal Farm in England so that its analogy would not exempt the English.

However all that said, as Orwell himself pointed out in ‘Shakespeare, Tosloy and The Fool’,  a text has often got an implied meaning as well, a counter argument to this claim of course would be that that ‘implied’ meaning is actually an ‘extracted meaning’ that the critic/reviewer conjurs from the text so that he(3) can use the work of fiction to catapult to push forward whatever agenda passes through his mind. With that preamble out of the way let me begin by pointing out that the Devil is an Emanuel Goldstein. A scapegoat for all the evil and pointless suffering which could not of course be caused by the Party nor God but could not be prevented because of Goldstein and his imp.  Even more straightforward, and often pointed out is the obvious parallel between how Big Brother is watching us and looking out for us and punishing us for thought-crime just like God. The miraculous statistics are akin to the miracles that Catholic propagandists point towards as evidence to have fate in the Party, I mean the Church.

Another parallel that could be extrapolated is that since Big Brother is sort of meant to represent Stalin and Emanuel Goldstein represents Trotsky, then Trotsky is The Devil and God is a Stalin/ist (or if I am being a bit cheeky ‘God is Stalin’ or ‘Stalin is God’, the latter being the worse).

Basically:

God = Stalin/Napoleon

Goldstein= The Devil/Satan/Trotsky/The Jews (Goldstein sounds Jewish both because of the ‘Gold-’ and because of the ‘-stein’ and the Jews killed Christ aka God(4) i.e. betrayed the revolution, the Jews have often been thought of as treacherous.)

Room 101= Heaven/Hell. The torture in Room 101 is hellish that is to say on point, but the brainwashing leads to Winston loving Big Brother just like in heaven one has to love and worship God forever. Ofcourse from Winston’s perspective he is happier than he has ever been now that he loves his God who has given him everything and who always looks out for him like a loving father/Big Brother that never goes away. This corruption of familial ties by the state and religion has always been very disturbing to me, to be honest more by the state as the church has a more limited reach to the private lives of church goers (unless of course it is one of those charismatic exclusive-club-like cult-like churches that do more harm to the standing of Christianity than ‘militant’ atheists could ever do) than the state has access to the lives of its citizens.

The Party and Party members= The Church and the Clergy (I admit this part of the analogy is weak). The Party’s obsession with the evisceration of sexual love is more of a direct parallel to some feminist thought that Orwell objected to. After all even the Catholic church is okay with sexual love within the married family – I mean between the parents of course. The point is that if you are a Christian you can still have more of an allegiance to your family more than to God and the church you belong to. Then again the bible, well Jesus, does say to abandon (and so betray) your family and loved ones for Big Brother(5). Muslims with their ‘regulations’ regarding the number of spouses one man might have and the shameless take a more practical approach in that context which is to be expected coming from some war lord more concerned with placating the pent-up frustrations of his men. I don’t think that The Party applies at all to them as they lack a central authority like say the Catholics do, well perhaps this is different within several Muslim nations like Iran and our noble ally and friend East Asia, I mean Saudi Arabia(6).

The Proles = Christians? Catholics? Once again, it is tempting to cast off one’s opposition as sheeple unless that is how they self-ascribe, I mean I wouldn’t want to offend them by telling them that they are not. All jokes aside, no, an unthinking group like the proles can only exist in a society with no free speech and where the past has been completely erased. I cannot find a parallel – in fact Christianity is part of the past that has survived into the present. As for group thinking – in which the proles do not take part in as they do not think at all either because their stomachs are full or empty – this is an entirely different phenomenon. And besides atheists can and do just as well turn into ‘a herd of independent minds’ e.g. ‘Oh I am independent minded, oh you agree with me, so you are independent minded as well, that person/group does not agree with us, how close-minded, right?’ Yeah, right.

Winston Smith= An atheist? No that would be a bit much. Well, perhaps an atheist in many a Muslim country might feel like he was Winston Smith.

O’Brien = Rene Descartes. This is an odd pairing, I admit, however there is a similarity in their arguments. The similarity is that they both believed that there is no objective reality outside of the mind.

Notes:

(1) As Orwell puts it so long as people are more afraid of death than of hell then Christianity at any rate in England and by extension most of the former Christiandom is dead. When it comes to Islam it is another story as thousands are willing to kill, rape and be killed for God and for nothing else. I think that the current wave of ‘anti-theism’ is a direct result of 9/11 and Islamic population growth(mainly due to higher birth rates and immigration not because the death of Christianity has caused some vacuum for superstition that needs to be filled as Peter Hitchens and Freud seem to suggest).

(2) Going as far as to suggest that the Famiglia Sagrada INSERT NAME OF THAT BEAUTIFUL CHURCH IN SPAIN should have been burned down by the Republican side before they retreated. I suspect this was also because he could see a link from Catholicism to fascism, at any rate I can see one, no I am not saying that the Catholic church is fascist because it is isn’t but the transparent catholic propaganda, conjuring tricks and popishness are not that far from the histrionics of fascism (and communism for that matter, sometimes the differences between fascism and communism are in effect paper-thin, they are both collectivist anti-individualist ideologies) and the popism of its leaders.

(3) With all due respect none of which is due, it is immaterial which gender pronoun I use, use ‘she’ or ‘they’ if you like to make your text unreadable for the sake of virtue-signalling, I couldn’t care less but don’t ask me to.

(4) Interestingly many figures linked to the decline of Christianity in the Europe (aka ‘The Death of God’) are also Jews, for example Karl Marx, Freud, Albert Einstein(I know Einstein was a Pantheist but that too is a step away from God and what matters is the effec), Darwin etc… perhaps the Anti-Semites(well the Christian Anti-Semites anyway there as many types of Anti-Semites on earth as there are Jews) may be onto something… even a broken clock… Yes I shamelessly poached this footnote from Christopher Hitchen’s memoir. ‘SHAME… SHAME… SHAME…’ like that RC meme goes.

(5) Christians keep your sophistry of being able to serve your family and God at the same time to yourself, a man can’t serve two masters at once. As Orwell said the choice is always between this world and the next. Just repent for loving your family more than God and hope you will not end up in hell with the all atheists and people from other religions who rejected Christ.

(6) We have got to accept our friends warts and all, right? Especially if we can’t afford any better. East Asia is an evil oppressive dictatorship that we must erase off the surface of the earth of course.

Writer’s note: Did this article turn into an anti-Christian tract after-all? Oh well, old habits die hard (tips fedora) and I am not bothered to write it again, not that that could change anything.

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The Political Motive: Imposition

25. June 2017

Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live. And unselfishness is letting other people’s lives alone, not interfering with them. – Oscar Wilde

But what if living as one wishes to affects other people? What if it compels others to act in a different manner in effect imposing one’s will on to others,  well this may be because their will is weak enough to be affected by someone else, but if “no man is an island” and if the ‘bell tolls for thee’ then can we really allow people to have personal autonomy regardless of how it will affect others? I am not talking about clear cut cases such as whether we should allow murder, of course we should not but what about something more subtle than that such as say a drug addict who is negatively affecting the life of his family,  a sexually liberal individual who is once again affecting his family negatively, someone who wants to divorce herself even if it will harm her children, someone who wants to have a late-term abortion or a racist or homophobic person, or a mysoginist who has an unpopular bigoted opinion which will negatively affect those to whom it is directed towards by spreading harmful stereotypes? The question is if society and more pressingly the state should impose limits on behaviour then how far should they go? Should these limitations stop at any point in any part of people’s lives at all? Should personal autonomy be banned entirely if possible? Is someone’s liberty always an imposition on someone else’s freedom? Well, Peter Hitchens and Karl Marx seem to believe that that is the case. And if that is the case why have any respect for liberty at all and why not treat it as none other than a temporary compromise because it is impossible to impose one’s will on every other ideological group in the country? Couldn’t Erdogan’s analogy of democracy being a bus ride that one gets on and then gets off once one has reached one’s destination, also be applied to ALL liberties?

Let’s say you are a part of ideological group A and you hate ideological group B and what they stand for. Now let’s say that group B gets into power, tell me, is there any reason that B should not impose its will unilaterally on  if B has the power to do so effectively? Why should liberty not be discarded in favour of whatever right-wing or left-wing ideology you may hold to be true?

Another problem however is the less violent of imposition in society, for example if you have certain conservative views about homosexuality, race and gender you may be denied employment in certain sectors especially if you can affect public opinion, isn’t this a form of imposition? However how can one be against this if one is in favour of impositions onto the side such as that two people should remain married whether they want to or not? In both cases innocent people are being affected, in one case minorities are purported to be affected by the spreading of harmful self-fulfilling stereotypes and in the other children may be affected negatively by the lack of a parent. It doesn’t have to something as heated as that, what about the proposition that there must be a day of rest every week, what right does the state have to be allowed to impose such limits onto businesses other than the simple fact that it has got the power to impose such a thing? What about taxation to help the destitute? Isn’t that an imposition too? It almost seems like all political motives(and this includes those of the religious right) have a way of degenerating into the pursuit of the power to impose one’s ideals onto others.

There is no solution to this conundrum but a step in a right direction would be to promote(once again at what level of level of ‘promotion’ does it become ‘imposition’) a belief that the state is not there to solve everyone’s problems, it’s just there to maintain stability and freedom so that we can each solve our own problems. I don’t think it is possible not to interfere with others, which must mean that according to Wilde we are all selfish, but that doesn’t warrant us to be as selfish as we want to be by going out of our way to impose our ideals onto others, and if we do so we immediately open the gates for them to try to do the same to us, which I suppose we can’t help but do.

Re: ‘What’s wrong with ‘Libertarianism’?’ by Peter Hitchens, and some thoughts on the Manchester attack

2. June 2017

Karl Marx

“No man fights freedom; he fights at most the freedom of others.” – Karl Marx

Peter Hitchens, columnist for the Mail on Sunday criticizes liberty and equality on the basis that they are merely inadequate substitutes to Christianity.

“It is obvious to the slowest thinker that (as Karl Marx pointed out) the freedom of all is impossible, as it will lead to conflicts between groups who wish to be free to do something which tramples on the freedom of another.  ‘No man fights freedom’, wrote the sage of Trier,  ’He fights at most the freedom of others’.” writes Mr. Hitchens.

Though it is true that the markets have caused damage to people’s lives I believe that today we live in a much more economically stable society in Britain thanks to those sacricifes. As for Marx’s point, it is only true for the ‘freedom’ of groups/collectives over other groups/collectives but Libertarians argue for the freedom of individuals over that of groups/collectives.

Peter Hitchens claims that the values of equality and libery  “lack the universal power over all humanity(my emphasis) of the Sermon on the Mount and the Commandments, and that they are based on a desire for power, rather than on Christianity’s preference for love, and its central suspicion of power and the mob, as so graphically set out in the story of the Passion.”

First of all I would like to point out that Mr. Hitchens’ appeal to the ‘universal power’ of Christianity is nothing more than an appeal to consensus, to a consensus that is now gone and a mob is a group of people with a consensus. I doubt that Mr. Hitchens realizes this but his appeal to a consensus which is now gone just means that he is just dissatisfied that the mob is not his mob anymore. And secondly that desire for liberty and equality are based on a desire for power over oneself, whereas ‘Christianity’s preference for love’ nearly always in effect involves giving oneself to others with more power here on earth (usually some self-appointed moral arbitrers), speaking of which, Christinaty’s ‘suspiction of power’, is very dubious given the historical role that the clergy has played when Christianity had ‘universal power.’ Mr. Hitchens may have his own interpretation of ‘the story of the Passion’ but scripture does not supercede history. Sometimes I think a little light mockery is the best way to make people think. After all, one day they may realise that it is possible they are mistaken.


The youtuber called TheBritisher made a video called “In conclusion: About the Manchester attack  in which he argues that the freedom of the non-muslim British people might be prioritized over that of the Muslim people in Britain because the muslims are a security risk. In effect he suggests that (only) muslim faith schools must be closed and immigration from Islamic countries should be blocked. This is an instance of what Marx pointed out playing out in action. I don’t think that it is possible to do things always purely out of principle, the world is more complex than it appears on paper, however is that an excuse not to adhere to one’s principles in the name of ‘pragmatism’ and ‘realism’? When one looks far enough this realism is only concerned with the short term, Morality is or should be long term reason (if not it will become irrelevant and/or simply retard progress).

‘Progress’ is another interesting word, I have heard some relativists/post-modernists/(or whatever they are called) say that there is no such thing as progress, but if that is the case doesn’t that mean that in effect the only difference between ‘reaction’ and ‘progress’ is that they are opposed to each other? Of course this consequence does not mean that there is such a thing as progress.  I believe that there is progress on an individual level and a society in which people are free and equal, a delicate balance tilted towards free, to achieve whatever personal progress(i.e. socially acceptable ambition) is a step towards ‘progress’ in society. I still see why people would not like the word though, I don’t like it either, it just sounds like something exaggerated that could mean anything vaguely good that those who use it want it to mean, and in the hands of the wrong people in power it could be nothing more than a dull word in some communist/nationalist propaganda. I much prefer the word ‘ambition’, it sounds a lot more personal and real.

Back to Europe many people have died in various terrorist attacks, TheBritisher argues that the Muslim populations deserve to forfeit some of their liberty for the safety of society. Personally I believe that if the police paid more attention to the incitements to violence in mosques and faith schools that would suffice. There is such a thing as national interest, Peter Hitchens once (actually more than once) said that the nation-state is “the largest unit in which it is possible to effectively unselfish”, ofcourse ‘effectively unselfish’ is not the same as ‘selfless’ so that’s a good choice of words, he goes onto say that ‘loyalty to it permits sacrifice and generosity on a large scale, and is the foundation of tolerance.’ The ‘generocity on a large scale’ in most cases is taxation but in some cases it is more but that doesn’t say a damned thing about the rest of us, the ‘tolerance’ the nation provides is the narrow window that provides all the liberty and equality and therefore individual ambition, if that window is closed even a little you will find that people will become a lot less ‘generous’ very quickly.

Notes:

Peter Hitchens’ article on Libertearianism: Link

Why I don’t want to believe in God. A Reply to Peter Hitchens’ question: ‘Why don’t you want to believe in God?’

23. May 2017

To put it bluntly if there were an omnipotent God then I think He should burn forever in eternal hellfire in deepest depths of hell.

peter-hitchens

Peter Hitchens

Peter Hitchens, columnist for the Mail on Sunday has on several occasions asked the question ‘why don’t you want to believe in God?’ in his debates with atheists. He believes that as it is unknowable whether there is a creator to this universe arguments presenting evidence for and against the existence of God and the historical validity of scripture are irrelevant. He has also stated that the reason he wants to believe in God is because he wishes that there was some sort of universal justice or in other words it is highly implied that the reason that people don’t believe in God is because they don’t want to and the reason they don’t want to is because they don’t want there to be universal justice, they want injustice, they want to get away with their evil actions. Hitchens also brings up the fact that he wishes that his dead relatives and friends do not simply disappear and that this is also why he wants to believe in God. Hitchens also implies that as these were his motives for not believing in God in his youth they must be those of his opponents.

Let me start by addressing the last point, I admit that some people may wish not to believe in God because they don’t want to be held morally accountable for their actions however some religious people may want to believe in God for selfish reasons too, for example they may simply be faeces-licking cowardly opportunists with no regard for morality or truth or others but who are simply after a blissful afterlife(pure hedonists) not to mention the moralizing hypocrites and authoritarians who will like leaches latch on to anything  including but not limited to left-wing ideologies and Christianity. The point I am trying to make is that it is possible to believe or disbelieve in God for reasons that have got nothing to do with morality, truth or selflessness. I think it is only fair to mention both.

I don’t want to believe in God for moral reasons – given the level of injustice in this world throughout history which I am sure he is aware of, even if I did believe in God I would only hate him for all this cruelty and I don’t want to live constantly with that sort of hatred in me. This argument is commonly known as The Problem of Evil. To put it bluntly if there were a omnipotent God then I think He should burn forever in eternal hellfire in deepest depths of hell. Speaking of hell Mr. Hitchens fails to mention that to believe in the Christian version of an afterlife means that he must also want to believe that there is a possibility that his close relatives and friends may be burning in that hellfire. Just as the existence of God is unknowable the criteria to get into heaven and into are hell are unknowable, I don’t want to live under constant fear that I or my close relatives and friends may end up in hell for breaking unknowable rules, Hitchens assumes that the Christian rules he adheres to are the right ones but he can only ever assume, frankly this is Orwellian, I think it is Orwell who said that all totalitarian states are in effect theocracies, as it also opens holes for baseless moral authority to seep through and such baseless moral authority can only devalue moral authority as a whole by binding moral authority to superstition and then when the superstition is burned so will the moral authority be gone. I do not wish this to happen and this is why I don’t want to believe in God.

I would also not underestimate the desire for truth in itself as a motive to disbelieve in God. The distinction between agnostic and atheist is an illusive one, most agnostics tends in practice to assume that there is no god, that is to say that they do not believe in god and both insist on the need for evidence to explain phenomena and to brush off the lack of historical validity of the bible is disingenuous. I doubt that Mr. Hitchens would as a journalist given a source which makes ordinary falsifiable claims trust in the unprovable extraordinary claims which it makes simply because it affirmed his own biases.

Note: In the debates I have watched I have seen Peter Hitchens also equate theism with deism and yet provide no justification for this. I feel confused by this point. It would be nice if he could provide some further clarification. Not that I would expect him to read this little blog.
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