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January 09, 2014


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Philip France


Thank you for this most magnificent essay. More and more I look up to you as a prophet in our time. This may sound egregious to some so please allow me to explain: Most people assume that the Biblical prophets were considered such because they foretold of future events. That is not the entire truth. Some prophets were such because they forthtold. Take the prophet Amos for example. Show me one instance whereby he foretold anything and I will eat the book.

Getting back to your essay, I was particularly pleased with the following passage:

“The problem that Plato recognized and sought to remedy was summarized nicely by C.S. Lewis in The Abolition of Man when he wrote, “No justification of virtue will enable a man to be virtuous. Without the aid of trained emotions the intellect is powerless against the animal organism.” Lewis was likely, of course, thinking primarily of personal temptation, but there is another time this phenomenon becomes apparent. If you’ve engaged in political debates, you’ve no doubt encountered people who operate based on feelings and are so resistant to reason’s dictates that your intellect is powerless against them. This is especially typical of a certain type of political partisan in our time, one I won’t call by name here (though I can tell you what I’d like to call him), but with whom, let’s just say, conversations can’t exactly progress. But whatever you call such a person in a given time and place, what you’re witnessing is always the same: an individual with a corrupted emotional framework that engenders attachment to misguided ideas.”
Here you accurately describe our resident troll, one Robert Berger.
This brings to me a reminder of a song that I enjoyed during my youth. The song was “Back Seat of My Car” by Paul and Linda McCartney (from their album, “Ram”). During the song’s coda, they repeat the following refrain: “Oh, oh, we believe that we can’t be wrong,” I consider such a mind-set dangerously sociopathic.

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