Evil and the empty soul

The author Dr. Theodore Dalrymple (the pen name of Anthony Daniels), who worked for many years in Britain as a prison doctor and psychiatrist, talks to Wall Street Journal about the mass murderer, Anders Behring Breivik, the mystery of evil, and the spiritual emptiness of modern culture:

“Most people,” Dr. Dalrymple says, “now have a belief in the inner core of themselves as being good. So that whatever they’ve done, they’ll say, ‘That’s not the real me.'” He recalls an inmate he once encountered: “I remember one particular chap who’d thrown ammonia at his girlfriend’s face because he was jealous. He denied he’d done it. And the evidence was overwhelming that he had done it. So I said, ‘Why did you say you didn’t do it?'”

He delivers the convict’s response in a convincing working-class English accent quite different from his own, more refined, speech: “Well, I’m not like that,” the man told him. “I don’t do them things.” Dr. Dalrymple explains that “for him, his core was more real than what he’d actually done.” It turned out that the man had been to prison before—”and it was for throwing acid in his girlfriend’s face.”

Dr. Dalrymple suggests that a similar self-detachment could have been at work in the mind of Anders Breivik. As the world now knows, courtesy of his 1,500-page manifesto, Breivik “did actually have, perverse as it was, a political purpose.” He had a worldview and a vision, however deranged, of what was needed to achieve it. And, says Dr. Dalrymple, “I assume that when he was shooting all those people, what was in his mind was the higher good that he thought he was doing. And that was more real to him than the horror that he was creating around him.”

In itself, having a worldview that shapes our attention, informs even what we believe to be real, is perfectly normal. It may even be essential. “After all,” Dr. Dalrymple says, “having a very consistent worldview, particularly if it gives you a transcendent purpose, answers the most difficult question: What is the purpose of life?”

Having a purpose is usually a good thing. “One of the problems of our society,” Dr. Dalrymple says, “is that many people don’t have a transcendent purpose. Now it can come from various things. It can come from religion of course. But religion in Europe is dead.”

Dr. Dalrymple argues that the welfare state, Europe’s form of civic religion, deprives its citizens even of the “struggle for existence” as a possible purpose in life. One alternative, then, is “transcendent political purpose—and that’s where what [Breivik’s] done comes in.” Such a political purpose doesn’t lead inexorably to fanaticism, violence and murder. “But my guess,” Dr. Dalrymple offers, “is that this man, who was extremely ambitious, didn’t have the talent” to realize his ambitions, whether in politics or other fields. “So while he’s intelligent he didn’t have that ability or that determination to mark himself out in a way that might be more—constructive, shall we say.”

As Dalrymple further notes, our scientistic, technology-obsessed culture tends to think that we can, using a “kind of neuroscientific investigation combined with Darwinism”, fully understand and comprehend human nature. But, he insists, “the idea that we have finally plucked out the heart of the mystery of existence is drivel”, and it is a conviction, “in the worst case, … could lead to a kind of scientific dictatorship.”

Another term could be “materialist dictatorship”, of which there were so many in the 20th century. Why? Because, as Jean Danielou wrote in The Salvation of the Nations (Sheed and Ward, 1950), during the zenth of Communist power, “The Marxists conceive of history as a development through which man progressively transforms himself by transforming the material conditions of his life. … Here again we find the idea of transforming man, but depending entirely upon the transformation of material conditions” (p. 67). In a real sense, the economic theories of a nation are not as important, of course, as the underlying metaphysical/philosophical assumptions (modern-day China, which practices a form of capitalism, is a good example of this). “By material means”, Danielou noted, “man is to attain a certain liberation with respect to the cosmic forces or the social forces that overwhelm him, and thus acheive a kind of earthly paradise.”

The sick and tragic irony is that the more man attempts to use purely material, scientific (or scientistic) means to “liberate” himself from (take your pick) poverty, hunger, oppression, illness, bigotry, death, the more he distorts and destroys his true nature as a creature created for good and for God. Put another way, he merely furthers the Fall by falling even further, if that is possible. While materialism and scientism seek to explain and control the mystery of evil through technology, psychology, and other such “ologies”, Catholicism recognizes that, first, evil is indeed a mystery—that is, it is at root a spiritual deprivation and corruption that cannot be explained by materialist philosophies—and, secondly, it can only be really addressed through faith and grace:

God is infinitely good and all his works are good. Yet no one can escape the experience of suffering or the evils in nature which seem to be linked to the limitations proper to creatures: and above all to the question of moral evil. Where does evil come from? “I sought whence evil comes and there was no solution”, said St. Augustine,  and his own painful quest would only be resolved by his conversion to the living God. For “the mystery of lawlessness” is clarified only in the light of the “mystery of our religion”.  The revelation of divine love in Christ manifested at the same time the extent of evil and the superabundance of grace.  We must therefore approach the question of the origin of evil by fixing the eyes of our faith on him who alone is its conqueror. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, par 385)

This entry was posted in World Affairs and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

50 Responses to Evil and the empty soul

  1. Mr Badger says:

    Modernity, secularism, the spiritual emptiness of modern culture, our scientistic, technology-obsessed culture, Europe’s form of civic religion etc etc.

    It’s quite a catalogue of well-worn phrases.

    I’m rather old fashioned — I blame what the man did on Anders Behring Breivik.

    It is ironic that this post with its mirror image of left-wing “societal causes” is guilty of the very fudging and “explaining” that is enedmic in modern culture.

    Like

  2. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Dalrymple’s assertion is ridiculous – that today we live in spiritual emptiness, implying that in the past things were better. What manipulative nonsense.

    He also asserts that the welfare state is a form of civic religion and deprives its citizens of the chance to struggle for existence. What an utterly impoverished viewpoint. Attacks on the welfare state are usually made by those who are comfortable enough never to have needed it. He chooses to forget that it is paid for by the wealth producers of a nation, who have always had to “struggle for existence” – and sought a civilised way out of such barbarism. Dalrymple’s apology for unchecked capitalism cuts no ice with me. He goes on to dismiss technology in some crazed fantasy implying that without it, we’d be better off. That same technology and the contemptible welfare state enabled me and my class to live longer and healthier lives and have an education. The attacks on a social wage never cease, but merely take a different form. Mr D would fit well with, the neocons of the USA and the UK rightwing, who want to plunge us all into darkness.

    There were plenty of killers in the dreamy eyed golden past of Mr D. I won’t insult CPS readers by listing them.

    Mr D refers to a “sick and tragic irony” – and he should know. He has contempt for Darwin, yet is himself a social Darwinist, in his ‘devil take the hindmost’ philosophy.

    Like

  3. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    And I’ve just remembered – Dalrymple writes for a right wing magazine, where he disguises his unpleasant views with humour.

    Like

  4. Mr Badger says:

    Good points Mr W, he is indeed an apologist for hard-line capitalism. There are many layers of nonsense in that article waiting to be unpacked

    Like

  5. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Yes Mr B, and I had a rummage around after my impassioned outburst – or my bodice ripper for the day. It seems Mr D has been linked to eugenics, tho’ I must say I haven’t seen the evidence for this, and am unusually cautious.

    And yes, there is much to have a go at. I suspect that this was the intention in it being posted here in the first place, and I have no complaints about that. It’s great to have a good soapbox shout now and again, I find. Keeps me off the streets.

    Like

  6. manus says:

    I can’t see that either of you have scored points here.

    Badger, I’m sure you recognise it is perfectly legitimate to use the concepts of a particular frame of reference to argue that it is incomplete or inconsistent. For example, to argue that materialism undermines rationality. That’s what he’s doing here in his ‘echo’ isn’t he? “He was a bad man” is perfectly true, but there is an interesting discussion to be had about how to make it easier for people to be good.

    Wally, what can I say? If you think throwing the term “right wing” about constitutes a persuasive argument, you may have misjudged the readership here. Sorry to be pedantic, but I don’t recognise several of your allegations in the piece above, whether or not he has expressed neo-con views elsewhere.

    To suggest that the welfare state can demotivate people is not of itself to argue for its abolition. Bemoaning the adverse influences of science and technology is hardly radical, and surely it is the eco/left who are most enthusiastic about leading us backwards into some sort of agrarian rhapsody. The right tend to be techno-enthusiastic, don’t they?

    You are hardly being unusually cautious if you actually mention a rumoured link to eugenics without substantiating it.

    Like

  7. toadspittle says:

    .

    We are, of course, all aware that Dalrymple is a well-known sceptic and atheist, are we not? Normally, that would not be germane to the issue, as we are open and welcoming to opinions from every quarter, but this is CP&S, after all.

    Toad thinks Dalrymple is a bit off the mark here with Breivik, who seems perfectly well aware that what he did was not ‘good’ but horrific. Just needed to be done, though, unpleasant though it was, he tells us.

    Like Nazi Jew killing, Stalinist purges, or religious persecutions of those with different opinions.

    All extreme opinions are bad, thinks Toad. When someone is convinced they have the “truth”, best to run and hide. If one can.

    Like

  8. toadspittle says:

    .

    “While materialism and scientism seek to explain and control the mystery of evil through technology, psychology, and other such “ologies”, Catholicism recognizes that, first, evil is indeed a mystery—that is, it is at root a spiritual deprivation and corruption that cannot be explained by materialist philosophies…”

    What Catholicism does, in fact, could be considered by many as yet another one of the ‘ologies’ namely Theology. But that one is kosher, it seems.

    Is, say, typhoid, an evil? It is certainly a mystery. Is it then, “a spiritual deprivation and corruption”? Or merely a physical one?

    Is bodily illness – as was the universally accepted opinion in the Middle Ages – a direct result of sin?
    Because that’s what whoever wrote the quote above here seems to be saying…

    Like

  9. manus says:

    Ah, now Toad:

    Firstly, no, I didn’t know anything about Dalrymple other than what was offered above; thanks for the micro-CV. And while the epithet “right-wing” may or may not induce a chorus of hissing, you’ve a better chance around these parts with “atheist”, I suppose. But then again, perhaps not.

    Whether natural evil has spiritual causes on the local or cosmic scale remains a serious topic of debate, at least in some circles, I understand. I’m not sure we’ll solve it on this thread, however, and I doubt Dalrymple is offering any astounding new insight. Especially if he is a sceptic AND an atheist, poor chap.

    Like

  10. Mr Badger says:

    Badger, I’m sure you recognise it is perfectly legitimate to use the concepts of a particular frame of reference to argue that it is incomplete or inconsistent.

    I do recognise that Manus. Maybe materialism does undermine rationality. Maybe C.S. Lewis didn’t go bald. I am not worried either way.

    The post presented to us in the wake of this freely chosen act of murder, does not impress me at all. It was, as I said, a perfect mirror image of the left-wing drivel we shall surely read that will put this act of murder “in context”.

    The litany of conservative objections to modern culture that we were subjected to; (see my first comment for a wee sample) were so hackneyed that one wonders (if it wasn’t by the fool Dalrymple) what any conservative would make of such a paint by numbers parody

    Like

  11. manus says:

    P.S. Sounds like he might be a fan of that Ayn Rand woman. Maybe we’ll get a hiss this time.

    Like

  12. manus says:

    Hi Badger,

    Ouch. I don’t see any particular merit in the article – rather bland, to be honest – but it seems fairly typical of the commentaries going around in the light of the atrocity.

    Besides, if I don’t defend the right of people to be right-wing from time to time, then who will defend me when they come to lock up all the lefty, sandal-toed guitar-playing liturgists? And they will, you know, they will.

    Like

  13. toadspittle says:

    .

    “Whether natural evil has spiritual causes on the local or cosmic scale remains a serious topic of debate, at least in some circles, I understand. I’m not sure we’ll solve it on this thread..”

    Says Manus. So we will likely not ever figure out on here whether Herod’s Evil is merely an unhappy accident, or God’s revenge for moral transgressions.
    Toad agrees. Far safer to stick with pedophile priests.

    Like

  14. toadspittle says:

    .
    God is infinitely good and all his works are good.”

    Oh, really? Bubonic plague? The Christchurch earthquake? Elvis Presley’s Greatest Hits? Malaria?

    Like

  15. Mr Badger says:

    Manus, my irritation was not directed at you of course. Any “bite” in my remarks was intended to refer back to Dalrymple himself.

    Like

  16. manus says:

    Badger – no worries, my friend.

    Toad – there’s a theologian called David Bentley Hart who is highly regarded – he wrote a great book on Dawkins et al – you can catch him on the First Things website. He has written a book on the Tsunami of 2004, which I believe it an expanded version of this article, which you may find interesting (perhaps I’ve given you this link before, if so, apologies):

    http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2010/01/tsunami-and-theodicy/david-b-hart

    I now have the book sitting in the ‘to be read’ pile. I’ll keep you posted. But again, this one will run and run, to the end of time probably.

    Like

  17. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Manny, I am not here to score points; that is your projection, I fear. And I don’t intend in a few lines to “make a persuasive argument”. I make a post, not a manifesto. I am here to blow my own trumpet, as you are.

    You take me to task when I rail against right wingers, and imply that I won’t find much support here. What has that got to do with what I think? If you mean I should tailor my views to suit an imagined reader, or your good self, then it’s not. going. to. happen.

    IMO, to be rightwing is to be unchristian.

    Like

  18. kathleen says:

    “God is infinitely good and all his works are good.”

    Yes Toad, they certainly are. You forgot to quote the following sentence: “Yet no one can escape the experience of suffering or the evils in nature etc” that tries to make sense of why evil exists. It isthe great mystery of life that even the great saints have not been able to fully comprehend. But the very fact that God, Who is infinitely good, allows such evil as that of the mass murders in Norway, can only go to prove that the Devil and sin are very much alive in the world!

    Like

  19. Mr Badger says:

    IMO, to be rightwing is to be unchristian.

    Might be a tad sweeping, no? 🙂

    Like

  20. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    More than a tad, Mr B, as you have spotted.
    It’s not the absolute truth, of course.

    No doubt Manus will berate the hell out of me.
    Maybe even ‘show me the instruments’.

    Like

  21. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Kathleen, your last words say that God is powerless against the devil.

    Like

  22. kathleen says:

    No they don’t. They infer that God allows evil to exist.

    Evil originated with the free will of the angels. The fallen angels (who made that choice to disobey God) used their powers to tempt man away from goodness, ie. Original Sin.

    Like

  23. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Thank you K; but if angels choose to disobey God, then doesn’t that say God is not all powerful?

    And doesn’t this allowing of evil (if it is the case) seem like an unnecessary way of going about things? If so, 77 have died in Norway because of this; and 1 million in Iraq, 4 million in Vietnam? Surely they didn’t all die because of some angels being stroppy?

    I don’t think you really believe this.

    Like

  24. toadspittle says:

    .“Yet no one can escape the experience of suffering or the evils in nature etc”

    Kathleen points out. Indeed. But why are there “evils” in nature anyway? No need to go on. (The answer, thinks Toad, is that there aren’t, really.)
    Manus is right – we’ve all been here before, to little avail.
    Safer to stick to pedophile priests and noble masterpieces of art.

    Like

  25. Robert John Bennett says:

    Aquinas, in the Summa Theologica, also quotes St. Augustine:

    “As Augustine says (Enchiridion xi): ‘Almighty God would not allow any evil to exist in His works, unless His omnipotence and goodness were such as to bring good even out of evil.’

    (Unde dicit Augustinus in Enchirid.: Deus omnipotens nullo modo sineret malum aliquod esse in operibus suis, nisi usque adeo esset omnipotens et bonus, ut bene faceret etiam de malo.)

    Like

  26. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    RJB, where’s the “good out of evil” in ( just for example) 6 million murdered in the Nazi concentration camps?

    Pray tell…I may have missed something…

    Like

  27. Robert John Bennett says:

    I’m afraid you have missed something.

    Like

  28. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Don’t be afraid, don’t tease – do tell.

    Unless there’s nothing
    to tell……

    Like

  29. manus says:

    “IMO, to be rightwing is to be unchristian” – priceless, just priceless. Although to be fair, I’m not sure I’ve ever read anything from you rating Christianity much. You seem to be more of a knocker, if you see what I mean. So maybe the right aren’t so bad in your scheme of things? Anyway, it’ll get terribly confusing on Judgement Day: “Attention: only stand on the right if you’re of the Left!”

    Meanwhile, to instruments. One should be sufficient, six strings, amplified.

    Like

  30. toadspittle says:

    .

    “As Augustine says (Enchiridion xi): ‘Almighty God would not allow any evil to exist in His works, unless His omnipotence and goodness were such as to bring good even out of evil.’

    Says Mr. Bennett. (Shades of Jane Austen!)

    Well, Augustine doubtless did say it – saying stuff like that was his job, wasn’t it? But what evidence does he offer that we should believe such a preposterouis paradox?

    Particularly as it doesn’t make any sense. Thinks Toad. The grateful dead, killed by typhoid and earthquakes, get pie in the sky in the end, we suppose. So, that’s all right, then.

    Like

  31. Robert John Bennett says:

    There are situations where I remember that E.M. Forster once wrote: you can’t tell a man anything, if he’s not ready to hear it.

    “The grateful dead, killed by typhoid and earthquakes, get pie in the sky in the end, we suppose. So, that’s all right, then.”

    That is a really good Christian, Catholic attitude. I commend you.

    Like

  32. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Manus, your generosity is unbounded. I praise Christianity, and you grump that I don’t praise it much . Perhaps I do that more than you, “to be fair”.

    Yes, to be rightwing is to be unchristian. I’ve yet to read a rightwing quote from Christ.
    But don’t let that hold you back.

    Like

  33. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Thanks RJB, and I often say, “You can’t tell a man anything, if you don’t tell him”.

    But that’s fine, let’s draw the cloak of mystery over your thoughts.

    Some other time
    maybe?

    Like

  34. Robert John Bennett says:

    Maybe.

    Like

  35. toadspittle says:

    .

    Toad supposes Mr. Bennett was being ironic at 15.36. Why should Toad have either a Christian or Catholic attitude to the musings of Augustine, when he (Toad that is, not Augustine) is neither of those things?

    But then Mr. Bennett is probably not ready to hear that question.

    Like

  36. Mr Badger says:

    to be rightwing is to be unchristian

    It is safe to say, I believe, that orthodox Christianity simply doesn’t fit on the current left/right political spectrum.

    Like

  37. Mr Badger says:

    There are situations where I remember that E.M. Forster once wrote: you can’t tell a man anything, if he’s not ready to hear it.

    People on both sides of the debate about the ‘problem of evil’ can emerge from their foxholes and lob that old chestnut at each other with equal smugness.

    Like

  38. Robert John Bennett says:

    Not smugness, surely.

    Like

  39. Mr Badger says:

    Good point RJB, read; enthusiasm instead 🙂

    Like

  40. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Thanks Mr B,
    You raise an interesting point about orthodox christianity etc. I’d say that the socialist left spectrum has much more to do with Christianity than rightwing ideologies. It is ideally about, if you like, loving your neighbour as yourself, about Good Samaritanism and so on. This is no manifesto as Manus demands, so I’ll keep it brief.

    Rightwing ideology is characterised by selfishness and greed, privilege and hanging on to more of other people’s wealth for a few. IMO

    If Christianity doesn’t fit on the left which I describe, then it fits nowhere. It cannot sit on the fence, pretending to be apart from right and left.
    All vastly oversimplified here.

    RJB, you quoted Aquinas quoting Augustine. Nice, but how about what you think? Unless you’ve come round to the ways of reason, but are shy about admitting it. Come on in, the water’s lovely!

    Like

  41. joyfulpapist says:

    Some left wing political opinions seem to be superficially in tune with the commandment to love your neighbour as yourself. As do some right wing political opinions. It all depends on how you define the term ‘your neighbour’ and how you define the verb ‘love’. Is giving welfare or relying on trickle down more loving? My answer? Both are cop outs. Both set the haves and the have nots in different universes. You can’t have ‘hands off’ love. There is no such thing.

    Christianity doesn’t pretend to be apart from right and left; it is apart from right and left. No political philosophy is Christian, because politics deals with society as a whole, and Christianity is about people as individuals. But distributism comes closer than most – and distributism is neither right nor left.

    Like

  42. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Lenin said “You may not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in you”. Whatever is thought of Mr Lenin, his point is excellent. When the chips are down, no-one is apart from politics.

    The Catholic church doesn’t agree with you – for example, it took a clear political stance against communism.

    Like

  43. joyfulpapist says:

    As members of society, we need to be interested in politics.

    I didn’t say I was apart from politics. I am passionate about people being involved in politics. I was, for five years, a publisher of civil rights educational information. I’ve raised all of my children to understand how to influence their local and national government – not just by voting, but by engaging in other ways. They span the spectrum in their political opinions. In fact, if you insist on a bare left-right continuum, I span the spectrum all on my own, depending on the particular policy being discussed!

    What I said was that Christianity is apart from politics.

    The Church has the right and the responsibility to ‘take a clear political stance’ against policies, actions, and beliefs that breach human rights and natural law. It is clear Church policy, however, that the Church does not identify itself with any one political party. (And yes, I know this has frequently been breached by individuals in the name of the Church. That doesn’t change the policy.)

    Like

  44. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Sorry JP, I wasn’t clear. I meant not you personally, but the Church which is not and cannot be apart from politics.

    It may not identify with a particular party, but it does oppose certain parties. And as I say, the opposition to communist parties was clear – and preached from the pulpit in my hearing.

    That’s political involvement and making judgements on political ideologies, and rightly recognising that it cannot be apart. As you say, (and I agree) “a clear political stance”.

    Why, recently on this forum it was claimed (tho’ I couldn’t agree) that the Pope brought down communism.

    Enjoy your ham ‘n’ eggs – I’m off to bed.

    Like

  45. Rebrites says:

    Mr. Dalrymple evidently isn´t the only one blaming the Norwegian liberals for creating their own executioner. Check this out: http://www.politicususa.com/en/right-wing-christian-extremists-turn-truth-into-pornography. Remarkable stuff.

    Like

  46. manus says:

    Wally,

    To suggest that Christ can be contained within the political spectrum – or indeed just a part of it – is to deny the significance of the Incarnation, in the light of which any political ideology can only be a temporary, pragmatic means to facilitate the coming of the Kingdom.

    Right and Left politics are about different emphases – as much about what they leave out as what they prioritise – and they are subject to different sorts of weaknesses, which can lead to equally devestating consequences when they fail badly. I suppose it might be possible to have a “fully redeemed” right wing political perspective, as well as the equivalent of the left; and that they can both be fully integrated into the Kingdom of Heaven – perhaps they need not even occupy different rooms in our Father’s house. And there are other basic positions, as well – Green, for example. Thus, I suppose if one were to put on the brightest pair of red or blue sunglasses, one could claim practically all of Christ’s teaching was congruent to one’s political outlook, but that would only be possible by normalising your entire political outlook to Christ.

    Political fashions come and go, but according to most people’s understanding of the Left, here are aspects of Christ’s teaching that might seem more difficult to accommodate from a left-leaning perspective:

    1) The Kingdom of God. It is God’s kingdom, not human. He is an autocrat. There is no negotiation of the rules, terms and conditions. Take it or leave it. Thus, Philip Pulman offers the alternative of the Republic of Heaven, and want’s God’s tyranny dismembered.
    2) Christ’s authority. Christ, a man in some sense, is the sole Judge of the Last Judgement. Again, non-negotiable, and instinctively uncomfortable to those of the left.
    3) Christ’s sexual moral teachings. In dealing with the adulterous woman He brilliantly combines “I do not condemn you” (to the annoyance of the right) with “do not sin again” (to the annoyance of the left). Christ’s uncompromising statements on sexual morality – against divorce, for example – are clearly at odds with the left’s current emphasis on de-moralising sexuality, however well intentioned it may be.
    4) The parable of the talents. Straight out of a right wing text book, isn’t it? With the little twist at the end: the one wasted talent is given to the one who already has more than enough, scandalising the other servants.
    5) The miracles of abundance – Cana, the loaves and fishes. God’s reckless generosity overwhelms the calculations of those on the left who believe in zero-sum games, eco-zealotry and tractor production figures; the right’s faith in human ingenuity and market forces is by contrast more generally accurate, but often effectively dangerous idolatry.

    I’m sure others could be added.

    Personally, I do not have a coherent political viewpoint: partly I think the forces at play in the world right now are of such a magnitude and complexity that conventional political orthodoxies appear poorly suited to dealing with them.

    Like

  47. Mr Badger says:

    Manus, that comment you just posted is first class.

    Like

  48. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Thank you Manus for a sophisticated response. It’s of a standard I aspire to.

    One caveat I have is that I really spoke of Christianity, rather than Christ (tho’ I did speak of not finding a rightwing Christ). You also extrapolate on my words in your first paragraph, to a degree which is not justified by what I said. No matter.

    Among other things, I agree with your last paragraph, and also find that no world religion has anything effective to offer on our current woes.

    Two things are sure; the answer isn’t to be found in Soviet style communism, nor in the amoral capitalism we have now.

    Like

  49. joyfulpapist says:

    Mr Whippy, that’s for sure.

    Like

  50. manus says:

    Much obliged, all.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s