Apr 172024

Atheist Richard Dawkins recently sparked a controversy that challenges fundamental assumptions about both atheism and faith-based belief. Referring to himself as a “cultural Christian” he has been criticized by both atheists and religious believers alike.

Unfortunately, too many self-described atheists are being unfairly criticized and maligned by those who, on the one side, equate atheism with an absence of morality, while on the other equate the sharing of some religious beliefs with unprincipled atheism.

One dictionary we consulted incorrectly defines ‘atheism’ as “the belief that there is no god.” The problem with this definition is that atheism is not a ‘belief’ system at all. Nor is atheism a philosophy or code of morality. It is merely the non-acceptance or a rejection of the concept of a literal supernatural ‘deity’ – nothing else. Atheism does not require ‘belief’ as its base of justification. Atheism is primarily a response to theism, which does rely on ‘faith’ and ‘belief.’

The fact that many atheists abide by a moral code that mirrors that associated with Christianity is less about atheists borrowing from Christian values than it is about Christians and atheists alike borrowing values from other shared philosophical sources. This includes many writers and philosophers throughout history setting out the principles of Western culture over time – from the early Greeks through the Age of Enlightenment and to the present day.

Those who blame atheism as being the source of our current tyrannical zeitgeist – or who blame the Soviet Union’s past tyrannical history on its ‘officially atheist status’ are arguing a contradiction. One cannot judge any individual or national actions on what is ‘not’ believed and practiced but on what ‘is’ believed and practiced. In both cases, the cause of the tyranny was (and is) the ideology of collectivism.

Today’s WOKE ideology is merely the latest label given to yesterday’s Marxist ideology – and religious affiliation or lack thereof has little to do with the support of such ideologies. The same principle holds true for freedom.

Whether atheist or religious, if one accepts and respects the principles of individualism, individual rights and freedom, then it is possible for people of every belief and non-belief to share the ideals and blessings of a society that’s Just Right, with the understanding that freedom of religion also includes the right to be free from religion.

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Apr 102024

There has recently been a growing concern and much discussion about why so many people are still not awake, but just remain WOKE in the face of a pending civilizational collapse. “The WOKE mind virus is the greatest existential threat faced by humanity,” concludes Gad Saad, and Elon Musk apparently shares his alarm.

Among other causes cited for this sad state of affairs are the inability to have an inner monologue, the effect of the Covid spike protein, fear mongering, bacteria, chronic infection, the fake news media, intelligence guided by irrational bias, and of course the WOKE ideology, to name but a few.

Missing from most of the discussions is the ‘means’ by which people actually think: through the use of concepts and language. Because the human mind is essentially ‘programmable,’ and because words and concepts are the ‘software’ on which each mind functions, humans in the exercise of free will have the capacity and choice to think and behave either rationally or irrationally.

An irrational concept is one that does not conform to reality or reason. And significantly, irrational concepts can be held by highly intelligent people. How is this possible? Continue reading »

Apr 032024

“There will be no peace in Israel’s foreseeable future” predicts our guest Jacob Peretz.

His pessimism is based not only on current events or on the history of the region, but also on personal experience. His regret over saving the life of a wounded Egyptian soldier during the Yom Kippur war speaks to a growing sense of hopelessness regarding any prospects of peace or brotherhood between Jews and those who relentlessly disparage and attack them.

In speculating beyond the “foreseeable” future, Jacob notes that there are forty-eight Arab states in the United Nations, states that do not have any interest in pursuing peace with Israel. In making this observation, he has also identified the fundamental evil nature of the United Nations, which was described by Ayn Rand many decades ago (and not in reference to Israel):

“There is no margin of error about a monstrosity that was created for the alleged purpose of preventing wars by uniting the world against any aggressor, but proceeded to unite it against any victim of aggression.

“Who but a concrete-bound epistemological savage could have expected any other results from such an ‘experiment in collaboration’? What would you expect from a crime fighting committee whose board of directors included the leading gangsters of the community?”

What we need is not a “United Nations,” but an international organization of “United Democratic Nations,” suggests Jacob, and until such a body emerges, any organization with members opposed to freedom and democracy can only be a threat to peace, not a vehicle for peace.

Meanwhile, as the global debate continues to rage, Israel’s military efforts continue to escalate – demonstrating that predictions of “no peace in the foreseeable future” are proving to be Just Right, as tragic as that reality may be.

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Mar 292024

The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has sparked intense debate worldwide, especially now that Israel stands accused before the International Court of Justice on the charge of committing genocide. It is crucial to approach this issue with a well-informed perspective, considering the historical context, the motivations of the involved factions, and the underlying values that drive their actions.

While a comprehensive understanding of the history of the region is necessary to comprehend the current situation and the motivations behind the actions of the factions involved, history alone does not provide a moral compass. It is essential to consider the values that drive the actions of both Israel and Hamas. These values, whether they be peace, religious beliefs, or the pursuit of a promised afterlife, are crucial in understanding the conflict at a deeper level.

Values are a fundamental aspect of human existence, shaping our actions and beliefs. Understanding the values held by Israel and Arab Palestinians is essential to understanding their motivations and aspirations. By examining the values that drive these factions, we can gain insight into their perspectives and potentially find common ground for a resolution, if such a resolution is even possible.

To further explore the values and motivations behind the conflict, we have invited Jacob Peretz, an Israeli-Canadian businessman and veteran of the 1973 Yom Kippur War (or Ramadan War from the Arab perspective), to give us the benefit of his experience. As a firsthand witness to the decades-old conflict, Mr. Peretz can provide significant insights into the values that drove him to risk his life and the broader motivations of the Israeli people.

► Robert’s Substack robertvaughan.substack.com

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Mar 272024

In his March 4 essay entitled Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus* – The Chronicle of Zionist lies and their implosion foreseen, Salim Mansur concludes that the Balfour Declaration which created the state of Israel has no legal standing.

Given Israel’s current military actions in Palestine and the recent International Court of Justice‘s (ICJ) provisional judgement finding it “plausible” that Israel is violating the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, events suggest that Israel’s “false history” is rapidly catching up with its present.

That history includes the publication of Theodor Herzl‘s book, ‘The Jewish State’ with its “plan” for Zionism, how the Balfour Declaration was implemented, the suppression of the King-Crane Commission report, the Alfred Dreyfus case and the controversial opinions of figures like Edwin Montagu.

When Salim suggests that “a settlement will come within the context of a false history,” he is not solely referring to any possible ‘court’ settlements regarding the state of Israel, but to the inevitable continuum of history. Although various historical narratives are often shown to be false, actual historical events themselves nevertheless unfold on the reality of the past, not on the political fictions. “It’s karma.”

Even when not recognized as such, the reality of truth exerts its own deterministic force against intentions and efforts to hide truths that, given enough time, eventually surface. Since the study of history is a discipline dealing with related events through passages of time, an accurate history becomes an indispensable necessity in establishing any understanding of the present.

Global pressures and public opinion against Israel continue to build, and now even include Donald Trump‘s cautionary warning to wrap up its mission in Palestine. Whether or not Israel maintains (or perhaps improves) its status and international respect as a state is unpredictable. But a “settlement will come” and it will be interesting to see if that settlement proves to be one that is Just Right – irrespective of any false histories.

* Latin “False in one, false in all.”

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Mar 202024

“In politics, perception is reality, the truth doesn’t matter.”

Given the broad acceptance of this view of politics, it should not be surprising that so many good people see politics as an evil. They thus avoid getting involved in a process that affects everyone’s life whether they are interested in politics or not.

But this viewpoint is itself a form of political propaganda because in reality the truth does indeed matter in politics, so much so that political interests which are not aligned with truth go to such great lengths to hide and/or misrepresent the truth. Those political views are broadly identified as coming from the Left, which represents many variants of collectivism.

For those on the Right (which represents individualism, freedom, and capitalism), the current state of politics has become so irrational and beyond understanding that it is almost impossible to accept that the tyranny we are experiencing is real. “Everything is upside down or totally backwards,” has become a familiar refrain expressing this frustration and disbelief.

To understand the madness of the political Left, it is necessary to know how those on the Left think. One of the most difficult concepts to grasp is that those on the Left are strictly ideological, not philosophical. Ideology originates strictly in the mind, unconcerned with the facts of reality. A working philosophy on the other hand, is disciplined by the facts of reality.

In philosophy, these two opposing ways of thinking are contrasted as the ‘primacy of consciousness’ (in which reality is not perceived by consciousness but is created by consciousness) and the ‘primacy of existence’ (in which reality exists irrespective of anyone’s consciousness).

In politics, it is the Left that relies on ideology, while the Right relies on philosophical principles.

Consequently, this conflict between Left and Right manifests itself in a battle of definitions and concepts, ranging from the definition of freedom to the definition of democracy. While those on the Left are obsessed with “defending democracy,” many on the Right insist that freedom is the primary value to be defended.

While freedom is indeed the primary value, the surprising truth is that freedom and democracy go hand-in-hand.

Unfortunately, even when the truth is told, most people cannot recognize it or distinguish it from all of the false perceptions about politics. To be understood in a light that is Just Right, truth must be discerned; it requires a process of thought and discipline that too few understand: philosophy.

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Israel—Beyond the pale

 Governance, Latest, Law, Politics, Video  Comments Off on Israel—Beyond the pale
Mar 182024

From the 19th-century Pale of Settlement, to the writings of Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, to the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip, Professor Salim Mansur and Robert Vaughan delve into the significance of Zionism’s history and the establishment of Israel in comprehending contemporary events in the Middle East.

► Salim’s Substack salimmansur.substack.com
► Robert’s Substack robertvaughan.substack.com

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