Is the proof in the pudding ? Rire est-il aussi difficile avec la science qu’avec la religion ?…

Si la religion s’éteint, Dieu meurt. Comme la religion, la science a vocation à définir le périmètre de l’hygiène mentale. L’observation scientifique se limite au sens visuel, ce qui dévoile son inspiration phallique. Le réel est le plus large éventail des possibles dans lequel se déploient science et religion. La science contemporaine, relience, est omnisciemment monothéiste. La religion est une fiction figée responsable de l’histoire qui se déroule. La suppression du hasard est la condition du bien-être humain et la responsabilité du scientifique dans un environnement déterministe. La démocratisation de la science et des connaissances desservent le progrès. La science est une fiction évolutive…

Vous êtes Denzel Washington. Votre job ? Rail Security Officer à la SNCB. Vous êtes en gare de Profondsart aujourd’hui. Vous voyez qu’un train s’apprête à renverser cinq ouvriers, Sam, Jean-Pierre, Kevin, Gontrand et Manuella, sur la voie, plus loin. Devant vous, un levier d’aiguillage. Vous pouvez dévier le train vers une voie technique. Le faites-vous, sachant qu’un sixième ouvrier, Keanu, occupe ladite voie ? Une troisième option s’offre à vous : pousser le gros passager Marc sous le train, avec l’espoir que cela immobilisera l’engin diabolique. Tout cela en tenant compte du fait que Keanu est sourd, qu’il se peut très bien que Jean-Pierre entende arriver le train et prévienne ses collègues à temps pour qu’ils puissent l’esquiver, à l’exception de Gontrand toutefois, dont le pantalon de travail jaune fluo sera resté attaché au rail, et de Manuella, qui a une phlébite, que Marc est le premier belge destiné à recevoir le prix Nobel de la Paix, à Oslo, la semaine qui suit, pour ses efforts inlassables en matière de pacification entre Flamands et Wallons, et que, somme toute, vous vous en foutez un peu vu que vous avez votre nouveau contrat SNCF en poche. Sacré dilemme…

***

(added October 29, 2014)

« My name is Sam »…

Sammy Boy-the-philosopher has a book to sell. It’s all about his latest experience with shrooms, and the transcendental meditations it brought about, on such delightful topics as war, nukes, religion and whether the Prophet was actually a repressed transsexual or not : one man’s bad trip is another man’s ecstasy…

Not that he needs the funds : he claims to be donating 50 % of his revenue to charities like the IDF. The exposure is rather motivated by glory, enlightenment of the masses, and the need to leave something behind to inspire generations to come, in this dark, dark world, where Reason – Alleluiaaa ! – is supposedly losing ground by the day.

Yet, what better way to sell his dope than to get the buzz going on every possible TV show or web podcast willing to invite him to rant and rave about his (not so) carefully conceived dogmas, often related to parts of the globe where the Sun don’t shine, but always in line with the Party’s views ?

Lately, it’s mostly been about Islam. But there are variants, for instance : “What would happen if we just killed the Dear Leader and created a democracy in North-Korea ? Who the hell knows ? These people might just not be ready for democracy in the next twenty years. There may be an argument for some kind of benevolent dictator-transition to democracy, with emphasis on ‘benevolent’. I mean : you put someone in charge. […] There [haven’t been] many benevolent dictators historically, but […].

After testing it on numerous audiences, the sorcerer knows his trick : he fills an odious, and usually completely nonsensical, proposition with conditionals, as in “one could argue that, it being part of our backyard, Chile deserved a lot better than Allende, because – some might say – the Chilean people were in all likelihood hoping for a betterment of their economy, and a rather smooth political transition was (probably) the best option to make that happen”. That way, he remains free to candidly picture himself as a true dove afterwards, should some sinister character à la Greenwald rebut his claim with all his might, and to deny he ever said what he actually suggested in the strongest possible terms. He only spe-cul-hated, ladies and gentlemen : “it’s not what you think, daddy, I simply had an O.O.B.E. Some friend of mine might even have suggested I might have been a prey for a dark-minded succubus with an English accent known, perhaps, for his a priori rather peculiar ideas, in the end. Who, me, a neocolonialist ? You know me better than that”…

Comes the next step : a 3-hour-long working-class interview with the other side of the force. Failing to remember what Billy HBO said about Muslims behaving like hysteric sissies, our Sam schedules an appointment with Cenk, the sometimes agitated Turkish hunk with a lovely Armenian foil, for the first extensive session of his long-delayed psychoanalysis and, prior to further ado, starts whining like a little egomaniacal whore for about ten minutes about how unashamedly evil and intellectually dishonest people, some of whom carry a name with a suspicious consonance, have been mistreating him as a person by misrepresenting his tortuous straight-forward philosophical opinions as if he had actually expressed them. Chapeau, l’artiste !

As old recipes have demonstrated their effectiveness, Islam would surface sooner or later in the discussion, as a matter of certainty : it would be sooner rather than later… World-jihad, stifled gayness, nukie nukie, genital mutilation : bon appétit !

Let’s be honest, though : as explicitly stated in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, the Koran does show some contempt for the slide-and-glide-in-the-unholy-bride. Ironically, though, if the rope is the perpetrators’ horizon, it will at least make the juices flow one more time, albeit through a martyrized loveshaft : God is merciful. Yet, the covenant is not to be taken lightly, brothers and sisters : as Ron Jeremy and Seymore Butts once put it, right before a DP, “you can’t imagine what we Jews must go through from our early childhood on”… As far as he was concerned, the impenitent young Turk / young European of Turkish descent with bullish looks didn’t feel in any way concerned : go figure… (1)

He gained some weight since then : quasi-divine interventions in one’s neck can do that to a man… Who knows, he might even have turned RadIsl (catch the Orwellian reference ?) under the bad influence of some local recruiter (2) and contemplated partaking in the Western Syria-fighters’ inglorious Grand Design : to be parked in a luxurious villa on the Turkish border, playing video games in-between automatic gun shootings (as a redeemed teen who got back to his homeland in the meantime recently testified), all in accordance with traditional Muslim values, as depicted in the IS group’s Grand Theft Auto-like new-wave propaganda videos, which, without a doubt, are to the Koran what the Talmud is to the Torah…

This Talmudic dissertation is scrupulously turning its back on at least one of the recommendations revealed to the Prophet, however : “and who are more unjust than those who prevent the name of Allah from being mentioned in His mosques and strive toward their destruction. It is not for them to enter them except in fear. For them in this world is disgrace, and they will have in the Hereafter a great punishment” (2:114). Sam’s words exactly : the inspiration for their gruesome acts and the large-scale destruction of mosques and other holy places of Islam in Mesopotamia and the Levant, these barbaric Viking-crusaders draw directly from the Book despised…

But what on God’s green Earth could have propelled a renewed Shia – Sunni sectarianism ? Certainly not the purge carried out by the 2003-invader, Sam tells us. « You sure, because we thought for a second… ? » « I’m sure : it’s got as little to do with the uprising of fanaticism in the region as the Israeli occupation with Palestinian spleen, believe me… Reformation is what they all need, and we’re going to impose it to them from the outside : that’s the way it’s always been done… »

Twice, Sammy’s contradictor invokes the chilling ghost of the Holocaust : didn’t Hitler, after all, claim he was acting in the name of Christianity ? But the nuance Sam won’t grant the IS-patchwork, he is willing to concede to the mash-up of paganism, rationalistic scientism… and, of course, Christian beliefs with regard to the genesis of murder that irrigated European fields with impure red fluid, some 75 years ago. And how bravely honest that is, indeed, almost as honest as his claim about contraception…

If, you see, the Holy See has always seemed so reluctant to allow the use of condoms, including on a massively stain-blooded African continent, it is because rubber (and avoided pregnancies in general) is strictly prohibited by the scriptures, which, in the author’s opinion, are equal to the latter’s Talmudic translation by the Vatican, as of the first half of the XXth century.

As far as separation between Church and State is concerned, it came not as a result of bitter political fights, but because that principle too was enacted in the Bible, so much so the Temple Mount lunatics have agreed to drop all their childish demands instantly with this poignant yell : « Ave Caesar » ! What a Sam Harris-speech can do…

Schuiten - Peeters, les murailles de Samaris

Harris is a man of polls, far less of statistics and sociological studies : numerous polls show this, countless polls indicate that… He abhors faith, as do I, but the absence of faith doesn’t seal God’s fate : at this stage, nothing can prove God’s (in)existence, under his various plausible forms, as envisioned by Plato, Descartes or Spinoza for instance, whose respective philosophies may well circumscribe the spectrum of the great metaphysical misunderstanding in Western civilization. Therefore, all a rational mind can do, in my opinion, is throw away its pseudo-certainties, reminiscent of a religiosity that is incompatible with science seen as a very secular, hence ever evolving, perspective, and prepare for all eventualities, including the illusion of free will. Then again, if God exists and if s-he is perfection indeed, why should we per se assume his-her word is immutably limited to the horrifying cage of absolute determinism ? And should his-her (in)existence influence our behavior towards our fellow human beings (or, in a broader picture, towards most life forms) in any way ?

Never would one dare come up with the utterly disrespectful misconception consisting in thinking the liberal-conservative advocate of tireless foreign military interventionism Harris is is struggling, like many French intellectual frauds (“intellectuels faussaires”), with a few obsessions around which he spins a web of carefully selected examples and interpretations that seem to support his thesis, equally dismissing or willfully ignoring all those who might shed a different light on things : scientific method at its best !

His ideologically-tainted standpoints question the role and goals of an intellectual in modern societies : even supposing the Truth is what Harris is really after, shouldn’t he nevertheless take the principle of reality into account, notably regarding the Middle Eastern issue ? If so, doesn’t this principle require acknowledging, on the one hand, the deleterious influence of monstrous US-backed dictatorships on local religious practice as well as on dogmatic (religious and/or ethnocentric) education patterns, and, on the other hand, some basic figures ?

Muslims represent between 3 and 7,5 % of Western societies (3). A huge majority of them are living peacefully and have learnt to transcend the discrepancies between a literal interpretation of the Koran and the Western way of life, which is precisely what any Westerner should hope for. Is it the intellectual’s role to antagonize and alienate these communities on an essentialist basis ? No one can ignore the threat posed by a few rotten apples, but it’s not a threat obfuscating tactics carry, rather a promise…

Asking all Muslims to recant a determining part of their culture (even if they’ve adapted to a secular environment), namely the Koran, is the best potion for radicalization, the best strategy to reach a violent clash, monolith against monolith (again). Which dangerous game are people like Sam Harris playing with the rushed-through and biased version of Hegelian dialectic they seek to impose, and are they playing it on command ? Is this game improving or worsening the condition of women and gays, both within and outside these communities ?

To Harris, the ‘civilized world’ is basically the one killing people with drone attacks. Nowhere in his software does he seem to integrate this elementary principle of physics : action/reaction. You can throw rocks at some people sometimes, but you can’t keep throwing rocks at the same people all the time without expecting a virulent reaction. Sometimes, it seems no matter what some people do, none of their actions or initiatives finds any favor in the eyes of those who observe them from their ivory watchtower, but what was the “not-in-my-name”-campaign if not a clear expression of the Western Muslim communities’ unequivocal refusal to endorse barbaric violence on behalf of their shared religion ?

Talking about barbaric violence, how else could one qualify a philosopher’s call for a preemptive use of nuclear firepower (somehow more hygienic to the author than traditional firebombings), if some conditions are met, one of these conditions being the absolute necessity to prevent dubious regimes (according to fluctuating Western standards) from acquiring this devastating sword of Damocles themselves. But supposing this is a valid reason, why would the West feel the need to resort to mass murder when conventional weaponry (with some depleted uranium, nonetheless) could do the job ? And what is supposed to make us believe highly educated officials either from Arab countries, or from countries within the Persian sphere of influence, would be foolish enough to greet the Great Satan with a nuclear ballistic missile ? Koresh-like tendencies inspired by the 72 virgins ?…

Sam says Shia Iran could be on the verge of providing the Sunni Taliban with the materials necessary for the apocalypse, as if the collapse of the USSR and the temporary chaos that ensued hadn’t been enough of an adjuvant to the proliferation of so-called dirty bombs. He also imagines the possibility the deep state within, for instance, the Ayatollah-led country or Pakistan might not be able to prevent some madmen’s ascension to power : even if it isn’t, wouldn’t US apathy in that case signal something to the world ?

Dear Sammy Boy, isn’t some intellectual seriousness recommended on such important matters ? Aren’t the awkwardly serene tone of your voice, close to that of a first communicant, and the apparently emotionless self-confidence of your posture, indicative of some kind of nearly-hermetic initiation, in stark contrast with the apocalyptic (if the word isn’t too connoted) repercussions your presuppositions involve, and the excrements of thought you are displaying ? Aren’t you actually once more demonstrating there is no need to be inspired by any traditional religion to join the list of abominable XXth century Big Brothers ? Are you a Bach-admirer ? Aren’t you, in fact, cremating care in your mind ?… And oughtn’t those in university circles who are still thinking about inviting this circus attraction to speak in their midst, think twice and leave the honor to cheap, formatted, TV talk shows ? Don’t get me wrong : it’s not a matter of censorship of opposite opinions; it’s merely one of lack of credibility and of intellectual incoherence hiding behind academic pretences…

Between a genuine thinker and an ideologue capitalizing on public fears, there is a ditch as wide as the Red Sea : one cannot possibly keep staring at the US military-industrial complex with blissfully stupid naivety or suppurating cynicism, what’s more certainly not after the WMD-lies about Iraq, as if the Empire’s political motivations were all guided by pristine virtue and certified neutrality. Before teaching lessons to distant parts of the world, isn’t it advisable for any intellectual to keep his own house in order with twice as much rigorousness, starting with an awfully misty attic ? Harris’ brief hint at his perhaps not being as naïve as one might think, in the last minutes of the interview, is insufficient to convince, after the truckload of insanities he professed throughout the show.

In that respect, he seems to have chosen to follow Kant’s pivotal ethic in Critique of Practical Reason : whatever the nature and form of the authority governing their nation or environment, every citizen is expected to submit to said authority, one of the many differences between these two being Kant was, by necessity, virginal as to the various atrocities the century of world disenchantment would perpetrate…

There is Reason, and there is common sense. These are not always the best of friends. During this debate, however, they were both on the same side… and it sure wasn’t the square-minded Islam-basher’s…


_____________
(1) American Tushy, Ultimate Video, New York, 1996, scene 5 (National Geographic documentary featuring Jim Steele’s unforgettable younger sister)
(2) Listen here to a first-hand testimony : http://deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws/videozone/nieuws/buitenland/1.2116430
(3) Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_by_country
______________
The full debate between Cenk Uygur and Mr. Harris, aired on Oct. 23, 2014 on TYT : can be watched here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVl3BJoEoAU

 

Catégories : Philo de comptoir, Politique / Société | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Poster un commentaire

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