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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Free Will And Tolerance

Pedro The Quietist has a superb post up about the Polly Toynbee brand of atheism. Just superb - he takes a scalpel of logic and starts carving away at what he calls the "religion of atheism":
The movie depicts Edmund's guilt very poignantly. This is like breaking the first commandment of the atheist religion -- nobody shall ever be made to feel guilty for their choices, no matter what the consequences of those choices are.
We must be tolerant; we must understand that everybody is weak, and nobody should be made to feel bad about their actions...

...except those who insist that people deal with the consequences of their actions. These people are the real evildoers. C.S. Lewis and Aslan and their ilk, who pretend like we are given "choices" in life, that we aren't just robotic/animalistic manifestations that have some degree of control over our lives and actions. The crime for turning on the lights on our comfortable little atheist party? Vehement condemnations by Polly Toynbee and investigation for "hate speech" by a university committee.
By shifting the moral discourse from issues of right and wrong to issues of tolerance and intolerance, evangelical atheists (by which I mean the antireligious types who have a very evangelical-like need to force everybody to agree with them and seek out arguments with religious points of view) have certainly not made us a more "tolerant" people and culture.
Ah, but first we must define the terms of the debate. To Pedro, tolerance means refraining from harassing or doing wrong to others with whom you disagree. To people such as Polly Toynbee, tolerance means acceptance, approval and endorsement. Tolerance means that you may not disagree with other people, because that is hurtful!

Such a vision of a just society is unfree and intolerant by Pedro's standards. What the likes of Polly Toynbee really seek to suppress is human freedom, because human freedom means that we will disagree with each other.

And that is why some "atheists" are in a fury with the concept of God. They are really angry with God for not saving them regardless of their actions. They do not want free will. They would approve of a God who waved a wand and announced that we would be saved, whether we liked it or not. They would approve of a God who did not permit the choice to suffer. They would approve of a God who let us injure ourselves but then removed the pain and the injury itself while requiring nothing of us.

They do not approve of a God who hands us the responsibility for our own destinies and for the destinies of others. They are angry with God not because of his laws, but because he allows consequences for breaking them. They want a nanny-God, a mother-God, and a tyrant God who is ruled by his own helpless love for us ans so rules us and preserves us. God the Father - who sets us on our feet and challenges us to walk on them - is anathema to them.

Pedro ends his post with a prophecy of sorts. I believe he is correct, but you'll have to go over there and read it.

Regarding the issue of personal responsibility, I guessed in my last post that Polly Toynbee would be advocating the destruction of Israel, and said I would google it later. I did so because people who take responsibility for what they do naturally look at Israel's situation and ask themselves what they would do. When people are raving and screaming that your entire people should be killed, no normal human being would open the doors and start throwing flowers. It is only people who are in headlong flight from the idea of moral consequences who can possibly insist that Israel must meekly hold out its own throat for the slaughter.

So I googled "Polly Toynbee Israel", and here's the first article I found:
Why was the Downing Street/ White House tea and sympathy with Muslim leaders of no avail? The crucial missing ingredient was turning on Sharon and Israeli extremists at the same time as the onslaught on the Taliban. What is needed at once is this world coalition to press Israel back inside internationally agreed borders, to shut down the settlements and to establish a permanent UN force along the border with a free Palestine. Then it is for Palestinians to create a non-corrupt government that will not waste the generous aid they need. No doubt horrific suicide bombings of Israelis would try to destroy any peace, but reprisal by Israeli tanks would be forbidden and prevented. The world would again guarantee in blood and money the rights of both the state of Israel and the state of Palestine.
Ah. The Palestinians would have the right to bomb Israel and the Israelis would have to sit there and take it? I rest my case. The woman's a freaking fascist guised in liberal clothing. Here's the second article I found (from September, 19, 2001):
This may be war - but the enemy is profoundly unsatisfactory. Osama bin Laden does not fit the bill.
Yes, the act was unequivocally wicked, but once you've said that, what then?
Yet sandwiched somewhere between anti-US ranting and William Shawcross's "We are all Americans now" (as if the only moral course were to park all brains at the US embassy), there is a reasoned position. Military intervention and cruise missiles are justified - but only with a high chance of doing good.
The only place the US can impose a just peace quickly is in Israel.
Fighting a crippling bout of anxious nausea spawned by Polly Toynbee's reasoning - (the US should blockade Israel, while guarding the Palestinians as they send their children off to explode themselves in order to get a pension paid for by the atheists of the west as a response to Muslim terrorism), I wandered over to Sigmund, Carl and Alfred for tea and sympathy. What I got was Polly Toynbee's pedigree - the anti-Semitism must have come along with the family silver.

Oh - try this Toynbee article from 2003. Chopping out the clap-trap, Passionate Polly was deeply grieved that Blair had participated in deposing Saddam. She blamed Blair for Turkey's domestic unrest, while mourning that the nice little plan to blockade Israel and prevent it from defending itself was going nowhere:
So now Turkey has become another case of collateral damage in the spreading calamity of the Iraq war.
Turkey tried to protect itself from contamination with the war by denying US troops access through its land to northern Iraq. But it was a natural target for Al-Qaeda fundamentalists attempting to turn back the clock to an Islamic Dark Age. To them, Turkey’s ever strengthening democracy is a Western abomination.
No sign was given of serious intent to intervene in the Israel-Palestine conflict. The president leaves unabated alarm that the US will cut and run from Iraq to suit the presidential election timetable and not the needs of Iraqis.
Get that? When bombs explode in Turkey, it's a tragedy for which the west is responsible. The attacks against Turkey are because Al-Qaeda hates democracy. It's an unfortunate attempt to destroy peace when suicide bombers detonate themselves in the middle of Israel, and Israel is responsible for that, so the west should prevent Israel with armed force from defending its people.... The attacks against Israel are because Israel is bad. And let's not forget her prediction that George Bush was going to cut and run from Iraq. This woman's a pundit with a terrible record and she is not going to enjoy her first encounter with Aslan. He doesn't approve of abetting destruction.

If you still don't get who and what Polly Toynbee is (discard the liberal rhetoric and look at what she wants to do), try this Common Dreams article from 2001:
As the war progresses in Afghanistan, the quid pro quo must come for Palestine. It will not wait: Afghanistan may not be resolved unless Palestine gets justice at the same time.

When I wrote recently about the need for Israel to withdraw back to its 1967 borders and dismantle its aggressive settlements, a sea of email accusations of anti-semitism swept in from all the over the world.
Why care about Palestine now and not last year? Because it matters now, like the Taliban matters now. There is a right time for dealing with long-running oppressions - Serbia and Kosovo, or East Timor. Whatever the reason, when the chance comes it has to be seized and Tony Blair must urge the president to act loudly and decisively now, so all can see some good come of this.
A one-note mind that hopes that Israel will be destroyed as a response to 9/11. That's who she is.

This is GOOD- really, really good.

Bouquets- and yes, you just may have inspired another post.
Well - it's our dear Polly's navel-gazing that's really jerking our chains.

How do adults take this sort of thing seriously?

"A one-note mind that hopes that Israel will be destroyed as a response to 9/11. That's who she is."

Isn't that SPECIAL! The Left absolutely hyperventilates bleating that there was NO connection between Iraq and 9/11, but then here's a species of Leftie who insists that there was a link between Israel and 9/11...

Muslim Arabs commit terrorism in NooYawk and DeeCee, and America's response should be to punish Israel huh?

Hey...why not Guatemala...ain't they gettin' "uppity" as well?

Alice in Wonderland, anyone?

"Yes, the act was unequivocally wicked, but once you've said that, what then?"-Toynbee

A dame this stoopid is a published author? Really?

Must be a nepotistic "free pass", I s'pose.

Color me intolerant, but we go and punish them, make them suffer, and kill them. So that no one would WANT to do such a thing again, even if they were able to...

"The Left absolutely hyperventilates bleating that there was NO connection between Iraq and 9/11, but then here's a species of Leftie who insists that there was a link between Israel and 9/11..."

Yes. That's the gist of it. Mass murderers who fund terrorism bear no responsibility; the victims provoked it and bear the responsibility.

Yes, this is what is published in UK papers.
Very sharp insight MaxedOutMama. Congratulations and God bless you for your intelligence and your faith. :)
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