Critical thinking is still seen as necessary – without it the ability to discriminate withers - yet criticism itself has become a dirty word as has the word ‘discrimination’. I don’t accept that an overwhelming ‘tolerance’ should somehow have replaced critical thinking or criticism but that idea of ‘tolerance’ gains ascendency and mutes dissenting voices.
I’ve been quiet lately and it’s not because ‘all is well’ but because it isn’t. The quote below was a comment via a youtube brief discussion regarding the so called humanitarian aid that the U.S. was offering to Venezuela, aid with strings attached as the U.S. maneuvers for yet another regime change that it sees as important to U.S. interests.
“Hello again. It may surprise you but I am a huge critic of the U.S.. However, it's important to me to always keep things in perspective. Israel is an extremely unique situation. They are also a Western democratic nation with shared values in a threatening sea of despotic, often Islamic, dictators. The U.S. almost gives Egypt as much as Israel. The Palestinians have been recipients of aid from the U.S. and numerous other bodies. I think it is only recently that Trump ended U.S. aid. The U.S. certainly is motivated by its interests, but freedom is in its strategic and economic interests. They don't want another Russian favored Cuba on their doorstep. We seemed to have widened the discussion as my initial post was simply about refuting that the U.S. was motivated by Venezuelan oil. I will admit that they are probably happy about the fact that this might impede China's access to this oil. China has large financial positions in the nationalized Venezuelan oil company.”
My response was brief …. along the lines of … ‘You may be well meaning as am I. Those in power are not.’
What gave me pause for thought and an end to the discussion was the world view being expressed … that Israel is in an extremely unique situation, that they are a Western democratic nation with shared values in a threatening sea of despotic, often Islamic, dictators.
Hmm … try telling that to the Palestinians. Israel is no more unique than any other nation or people.
The idea expressed by the Nazi ideology of there being such a thing as a ‘Master Race’ is no different to the idea that there is such a thing as a ‘Chosen People.’ Both ideas, as they find expression in the real world, have led to utter misery for those on the receiving end. I don’t see how this can be disputed yet if I express this thought I’m somehow labelled as anti-Semitic when the truth is nothing of the sort.
I don’t describe myself as anything other than a human being, my gender, nationality, politics, religion or lack of it and the other various groupings and interests are very much a secondary issue far removed from the common humanity that all humans enjoy, suffer and endure.
They’re far removed unless I define myself primarily as belonging to a group identity rather than accept the responsibility of individual existence.
As for ‘shared values’ … what shared values? My values are based upon Christ’s injunction to love your neighbour as yourself and to do unto others as you’d have done to yourself. These values are not found in the Talmud which bears no resemblance to Christ’s injunctions nor to the Ten Commandments.
There is no such thing as Judeo/Christian heritage. Christ was a fraud and is treated as such by the Talmud which, of course, isn’t the only source of religious thought accepted by those who practice Judaism.
Just took a break and fed the varieties of birds which grace the garden, brilliant in their colour and song, made myself a coffee and kept a wary eye on the Sulphur Crested Cockatoos which threaten the relatively peaceful co-existence of the other birds by their bullying behaviour and are kept somewhat in check by a water pistol.
I’ve barely touched the guitar for months but reconnected last night to sing Leonard Cohen’s beautiful ‘Halleluiah’ … Velikovsky’s thoughts and lucid writings on humanity’s catastrophic past imbue my world view and I’ll probably take a walk later with my neighbour. All three are Jewish and none of them define themselves by that label.
Critical thinking allows me to question without resorting to hatred. It makes me wonder about the headlong rush towards an ‘internet of things’ and to see such an eventuality as yet another poisoned chalice being offered to an unsuspecting world for purposes which have little to do with the convenience being touted – do we really need a fridge to tell us that we need more milk? – but has everything to do with control.
Enough of one fingered typing and off to clear a bit of my ancient neighbour’s garden which has become a fire hazard. It’s self interest which motivates my actions there. Scorching and melting damage done by fire are no longer covered by my house insurance which is a recent and woeful but understandable action by insurance companies who recognise the extremes of climate here in Australia and the threat to their profit margins … not that they’d be so blunt in acknowledging that fact – they just hope none of us will notice the change.