Friday, August 23, 2013

Camille Paglia: Ever Bracing to Read!

In Tracy Clark-Flory's recent Salon interview of Camille Paglia, the ever-bracing Paglia -- who seems to be channeling Samuel Huntington, at least in part -- had this to say about global threats faced now and in the future:
The escalating instability not just in Egypt but throughout the Mideast is very ominous. There is a clash of cultures brewing in the world that may take a century or more to resolve -- and there is no guarantee that the secular West will win . . . . The true mission of feminism today is not to carp about the woes of affluent Western career women but to turn the spotlight on life-and-death issues affecting women in the Third World, particularly in rural areas where they have little protection against exploitation and injustice.
These two statements come in response to different questions, but they deserve to be tied together, for Islamism -- though Paglia wasn't focusing solely on specifically this -- poses the greatest threat to the successful secularism of the West and to the rights of women around the world.

And to be frank, Islam itself hasn't done much in the world recently for either secularism or women's rights . . .

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At 12:12 PM, Blogger Kevin Kim said...

My favorite feminista, she is.

At 12:18 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Yeah, I noticed your own post on her -- we separately came across the same Salon article.

Hence, no hat tip . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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At 3:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Secularism and feminism have been disastrous for the West.

What Paglia and others don't understand is that Islam ultimately poses the greatest challenge precisely because its moral system appears increasingly less toxic than secularism and feminism.

At 6:47 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I prefer secularism and a free choice to take or leave religion, rather than having some theocratic fanatics forcing me to mouth their dogmas.

If Islamism is the core of Islam, then there are few ideologies more toxic, nor are secularism or feminism to be counted among them.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 6:59 PM, Blogger Kevin Kim said...

...we separately came across the same Salon article."

You, me, and John Pepple, apparently.

At 7:14 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I guess so . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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At 3:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The framers of the U.S. Constitution saw the danger of a state supported religion.
It's too bad that we have one now, called secular humanism, with the theory of evolution one of its primary tenets...the only scientific theory permitted in our institutions of education.


At 5:10 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Uncle Cran, I wouldn't call secular humanism a religion. More of a broad cultural development.

As for evolution, evidence seems to grow year by year in support of it. The strongest challenge to it in recent years was intelligent design, with its emphasis upon irreducible complexity . . . except that scientists have shown a talent for reducing the complexity . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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At 7:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Practically all of my library blew away in the 1982 tornado, but I do remember one quote from the Humanist Manifesto to the effect that "humanism is a non theistic religion, a way of life"

In regards to the proof of evolution, here is a quote from a British biologist:

"If so, it will present a parallel to the theory of evolution itself, a theory universally accepted not because it can be proved by logically coherent evidence to be true but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible."
D.M.S Watson, "Adaptation," Nature, Vol. 123 (1929). p. 233.

This was true in 1929, and is still true in 2013.

The apostle Paul wrote:
For the invsible things of him from the creation of the world aree clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so tht they are without excuse. (Romans 1:20).

I happen to believe the Bible, and am convinced that when I stand before the judgment, I will be vindicated.


At 8:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found the article on humanism in a booklet packed away in a box.

It quotes two articles in the Membership Brochure (San Jose, Salifornia: "What is Humanism?," Humanist Commuity of San Jose:

"Humanism is the belief that man shapes his own destiny. It is a constructive philosophy, a non-theistic religion, a way of life....The American Humanist Association is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization, incorporated in the early 1940's in Illinois for educational and religious purposes."

(Julian Huxley quotation)
"I use the word 'humanist to mean someone who believes that man is just as much a natural phenomenon as an animal or plant; that his body, mind and soul were not supernaturally created but are products of evolution, and that he is not under the control or guidance of any supernatural being or beings, but has to rely on himself and his own powers."

My source: SCIENTIFIC CREATIONISM, Henry M. Morris, Ph.D. CREATION-LIFE PUBLISHERS, San Diego, CA 92115, PP. 196, 197.

Sounds kind of religious, does it not, and a wedding of humanism and evolution?


At 8:18 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

There are such humanists as you cite, but they're not especially influential. Secularism and humanism are broad cultural developments and are not inconsistent with religious belief.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 8:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like Cran says, I view this as a battle between 2 theocracies, secularism and Islam, rather than between theocracy and non-theocracy.

Islam poses the greatest challenge because secularism has increasingly undermined and marginalized Christianity and other alternative viewpoints and folkways while Islam has been relatively immune. If people's options are increasingly restricted to these two theocracies, then Islam's moral system will appear increasingly less toxic than secularism's.

At 8:45 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

If Islamism is the core of Islam, then Islam is looking ever more toxic to more and more people.

Christianity still has a lot of life in it yet, and it doesn't impose theocracy, so I don't grant your view that there is only Islam as an alternative to nontheism.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 4:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the West? I don't know that Christianity has much life left in the West. Any serious manifestation of Christianity gets attacked and undermined by secularism.

Christianity and other religions still have a lot of life in the Third World, but even there secularism, via Western power, money, and institutions, intervenes in a way that tends to benefit Islam at the expense of the other creed or organizing principle. For example, recently Buddhists in Burma have been engaging in quite severe actions against the Muslim minority there, ranging from mob violence to boycotts and discrimination. Without endorsing such draconian measures, I will simply note that the history of Islam suggests that the Buddhists may be justified in fearing the Muslim minority and that only such measures appear effective at countering Islam. This conflict has attracted attention from secularists who, quite naturally, have been critical of the Buddhists. Any intervention by secularists into this conflict, whether economic, political, diplomatic, etc., will relatively aid the Muslims.

In effect you have a de facto alliance between secularism and Islam in many instances.

The point isn't that Islam isn't toxic. Ultimately relative toxicity, rather than absolute toxicity, is what matters. If secularism increasingly restricts the options available to itself and Islam, and if secularism increasingly advances values and lifestyles that erode more traditional "family values", then the demand for "family values" will inevitably be channeled into Islam.

This is a true dilemma.

At 6:06 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

You have a point, but I think the alliance is between the secular Left and Islamists.

I also think that Islamists will not easily persuade non-Muslims of Islam's family values, given radical Islam's history of polygamy, sex slavery, female genital mutilation, wife-beating, and other such things approved of in its orthodox texts.

Nor do Islamists offer a stamp of approval to traditional values. Rather, they uproot and replace them.

Jeffery Hodges

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