Mammon and Lynx and Japan

JesusClearsChangers520x545-56a145753df78cf772690ada

“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

Would you rather live in a fine expensive house, with the very best of comforts, never having to worry about paying your bills, eating whatever foods you want whenever you want, surrounded by strangers, or would you rather live in an old shack, rough, uncomfortable, always struggling, sometimes hungry, surrounded with your own people? What is more important, fellowship with those you connect with, those whom you love, or having the very best of material comforts and pleasures. If this were the choice given to you, which would you choose?

It is often stated that population growth is necessary for economic growth. This is used to then explain why immigrants are needed when the native population is not reproducing fast enough. I am not going to dispute the correlation between population growth and economic growth, what I am going to dispute is the belief that economic growth is always the proper goal, that economic growth should be put before all other things.

Japan is often given as an example of this issue. Japans birthrate is less than 1.5, which is to say, their population is shrinking. This is often brought up as to why the Japanese economy has stagnated (or is in decline). I do not deny that the two are connected, but I would ask those who call for immigration into Japan a question. How many people should be in Japan? What is the maximum number? At what point would they say Japan is full? One of the many problems at the core of the population growth fallacy is that there is no ceiling in their calculations. Those who push population growth (especially through immigration) only see that more people equals more money, so more people must always be good.

There are naturally occurring population cycles among several species on this planet. There has been extensive study of this phenomena. Some of these species experience periodic cycles of very fast, very large population growth, followed by a steep decline in population. During these times of large population growths, people who benefit economically from that population also increase their benefits. The graph below shows the number of pelts taken from the Canada lynx over a number of years.

lynx

http://www.bio.fsu.edu/~james/krebs.pdf

The men selling these pelts benefited from large populations. Now imagine if during a period of population decline, one of the trappers had the bright idea of bringing in thousands of a foreign species. In their mind, all they would see was the fact that they made more money, the more rabbits, or lynxs, or whatever there were. Perhaps this new species they brought in had diseases, or hunting methods, or a diet, that were different from the Canada lynx. Perhaps the Canada lynx could not compete, perhaps the entire ecosystem was changed to a point where the Canada lynx, and the new species, went extinct, and other species dependent upon the lynx went extinct.

Often times in our desire for material wealth, we are blind to other things, more lasting, more sacred things. We often get wrapped up in our current situation, only seeing a very small part of a very large trend, blinded by greed. The world is a complicated place, much larger, much older, much wiser than ourselves. This blind desire for an increase in material wealth can be disastrous. Take a look at the graph below.

pauseclimatedepot18years7months

Looking at only a small part of this graph may cause you to jump to conclusions that could be disastrous. Looking at any one small section really doesn’t tell you much, and could cause you to make decisions that could negatively impact millions of lives.

The Japanese people, just like the Canada Lynx are wonderful. They should be preserved. They should be protected. The same with the peoples of Europe, the French, the English, the German. Let us not jump to conclusions, let us not make bad decisions for material gain. If those populations are shrinking, it is wrong, it is evil, to increase the population of their countries by immigration, just so that the GDP will increase. It would be a disgusting travesty to see the great and wonderful peoples and cultures of Europe and Japan disappear all for the sake of mammon.

Advertisements

Don’t let the Perfect be the Enemy of the Good.

crooked

There is much in this life that will never be right, will never be perfect. That wise preacher said “That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.” If you go out in search of perfection, you will come back with nothing. If you wait to do something, or say something, until all the conditions or words are perfect, it will never happen.

I have a brother who is a skilled carpenter, I am not. I once built a little piece of furniture that my kids could play on when they were little. It was a kind of little fort built above one of their beds. I made it from some old wood that I had lying around. When my brother saw it one day, he started to critique it, rightfully so, for it wasn’t done very well. He was saying how he would have done it, better joints, better wood, better finish, better design, and I believe that he would have too, but I had built it, it existed. If I had waited to save and buy the best wood, and taken more time in the construction (taking time away from other things by the way), and even before beginning had put more time and energy into designing it, it would have no doubt been better, but would my kids still be little enough to use it. Maybe, maybe not.

I also built a pig pen for my daughter, and planned on buying her a pig for Four H. By the time I got it all finished and found a place to buy the pig and researched the fair stuff, my daughter was graduating high school. There is a finite amount of resources in your life, and a finite amount of time. If you wait for everything to be just right, you will always be waiting. Now of course you can go to the other side of things, and take no time, or have no pride in anything you do, but at least in that scenario you are doing something. What I have witnessed in my life is that we have a bigger problem with waiting for things to be just right, than rushing into things, sometimes rushing into things is not all bad.

I talk to people about going to church and they often say things like, “I haven’t found one I like” and believe me I can sympathize with that. But I have seen people use that excuse for years and years, all the while missing out on much fellowship that they could be having. Wives are also one of those things that if you are waiting for the perfect one, you may be waiting forever. I have talked to men who have left a woman because she wasn’t this or that, but later in life, when they are alone, or with someone worse, they see that maybe she wasn’t so bad after all. Having children. This is a big one. “We want to wait until everything is right, until we have enough money, until blah blah blah” This is the way peoples go extinct.

I am not saying that we shouldn’t plan, we shouldn’t be patient, we shouldn’t think our choices through, we absolutely should. What I am saying is that do not let your planning go for too long, and don’t let the fact that something isn’t perfect stop you. This life does not last forever, windows often close. This life will never be perfect. This life will never go just the way you planned, but don’t let that stop you.

What is a Nation.

melting-usa-flag-6008398

We have been told a great many lies. One of the big ones is that a Nation is just a group of people with shared core beliefs. We are told that if you come to America and follow our laws, and love the constitution, and wave an American flag, then you are American. Well as Ben Franklin said “Half the Truth is often a great Lie”. It is true that a Nation has a shared core belief system, but the fact that a Nation has a shared belief system is not proof that separate peoples holding a shared belief system makes a Nation. The trick is in the last part of the previous sentence, we contradict ourselves (we assume too much) when we say that separate peoples, once they have a shared belief system, are now a Nation. Does not one have to then immediately ask, “well what makes them separate then?” We all agree that there are separate peoples, who have separate cultures, separate religions, separate tastes. If those separate peoples all agree on some core beliefs, does that mean that they all belong to the same Nation?

Let us think about the United Nations. All of the Nations that join must, if not overtly, tacitly subscribe to the beliefs of the UN, namely it’s charter, but none of us would say that the United Nations is a Nation. We all know, that although they all have a common core belief, they are still separate. So, separate peoples can have some of the same core beliefs (I may even venture to say all of the same beliefs), and yet still should not be considered one Nation. Separate people do not simply cease being separate once they have the same beliefs.

I think at this point I have to declare that what I am trying to say is that a Nation is more than just it’s beliefs. Let me explain it in a personal way. There is something that we are, that you are, as individual people, something at our core, that remains throughout our lives. In fact, this thing which we are, was there even before we were born, and will be there after we are gone (it exists within our Nation), irregardless of what we do or think. If we take all of our personal beliefs, they do not add up to make the complete picture of who we are. A man may believe all kind of crazy liberal ideas when he is young, and end his life as the most staunch conservative, but all his life he never ceased being who he was. Just because he changed his ideas, does not mean he changed who he is. The wind may blow across the sea, the storm rage, or the sun may shine on a perfectly calm day, either way, the sea is still the sea. What I am trying to say is that there is something deeper, something permanent inside of us, and especially inside of Nations, and although our views and beliefs may change, although our systems of government may change, that does not change (or to be more precise, changes on a much longer time scale), and those people that share a similarity in this sense, in this more permanent sense, are more our brothers than the men whom we share beliefs, beliefs which are passing.

Below is an exchange between Margaret Thatcher And Enoch Powell.

Powell: ‘No, we do not fight for values. I would fight for this country even if it had a communist government.’

Thatcher (it was just before the Argentinian invasion of the Falklands): ‘Nonsense, Enoch. If I send British troops abroad, it will be to defend our values.’

Powell: ‘No, Prime Minister, values exist in a transcendental realm, beyond space and time. They can neither be fought for, nor destroyed.’

This exchange is very interesting. When Powell essentially says he would fight for his country no matter it’s beliefs, he is saying that it is the people, it is his countrymen that he would be fighting for, after all, that is really all we are ever fighting for.

Let’s look at something else. What makes a family a family? Is it a shared belief system? Well it is and it isn’t. Often times a family may have the same belief systems, but sometimes they don’t. Sometimes a man may have a friend with whom he shares more beliefs than his own brother, but there is still something between the man and his brother, that isn’t there between the man and his friend. A family may adopt a child, a child who is raised just as the natural born children are raised, but, however uncomfortable it is to say, there is still something different with the adopted child. What is that thing? What is that bond? I bring up family, because it seems to me that a Nation, properly defined, is simply your extended family.

Think of it another way, if you could somehow magically remove all the Chinese from China except for a very small percentage. Then you import millions of Cherokee babies, then you allow those babies to be raised by the remaining Chinese. Do you think that China would be exactly the same as if you had just left all the Chinese, or do you think that those Cherokee babies would bring something specifically Cherokee? Not Cherokee beliefs, for they would have been raised by the Chinese, but something still Cherokee?

The parable of the Cottonwood and the Oak.

 

 

images

Once, along a gentle stream landed not fifty feet from one another a cottonwood seed and an acorn. They both fell on damp and fertile ground, protected from the harsh north wind by a low ridge. The stream ensured that their future roots would have more water than they could drink. Both were quick to sprout in such a place, and as their heads poked above ground, they cheerfully nodded to one another. They began to grow, years went by, each adding height and mass to the little trees. They both grew proud and straight, but as more years passed the oak had to bend it’s head back to look up to the top of the cottonwood. The rain fell, the sun shone, the snow piled around them, flowers sprouted in their shade, the wind blew, birds began to nest in their branches. The cottonwood was now several times taller than the oak, he looked down upon the oak and thought much of himself. More years passed, the cottonwood, still taller, still bigger, began to feel an ache in his arms, the oak, although shorter, and somewhat frustrated by this fact, felt as if he were still just beginning to grow. At first it was one branch, it was the weight of a heavy snow that caused it, one of the cottonwoods arms fell to the ground. Then it became regular, and the branches formed a pile around the trunk of the cottonwood. Through this trial, the cottonwood was still taller, but their was something about the oak, something stronger, something deeper. They grew and grew, years passed, lovers etched their names in their trunks, owls slept in them, children climbed them, great stags scrapped them with their racks. Then one night as the wind was blowing terribly, some people still remember it, the great cottonwood could hold on no longer, he was brought low with a terrible crash. For many years the oak lived on, but no longer looking up to his neighbor, only looking up to the stars.

Great Literature of Our People.10

HCA

Hans Christian Andersen (2 April 1805 – 4 August 1875)

THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES

Many years ago there was an Emperor so exceedingly fond of new clothes that he spent all his money on being well dressed. He cared nothing about reviewing his soldiers, going to the theatre, or going for a ride in his carriage, except to show off his new clothes. He had a coat for every hour of the day, and instead of saying, as one might, about any other ruler, “The King’s in council,” here they always said. “The Emperor’s in his dressing room.”

In the great city where he lived, life was always gay. Every day many strangers came to town, and among them one day came two swindlers. They let it be known they were weavers, and they said they could weave the most magnificent fabrics imaginable. Not only were their colors and patterns uncommonly fine, but clothes made of this cloth had a wonderful way of becoming invisible to anyone who was unfit for his office, or who was unusually stupid.

“Those would be just the clothes for me,” thought the Emperor. “If I wore them I would be able to discover which men in my empire are unfit for their posts. And I could tell the wise men from the fools. Yes, I certainly must get some of the stuff woven for me right away.” He paid the two swindlers a large sum of money to start work at once.

They set up two looms and pretended to weave, though there was nothing on the looms. All the finest silk and the purest old thread which they demanded went into their traveling bags, while they worked the empty looms far into the night.

“I’d like to know how those weavers are getting on with the cloth,” the Emperor thought, but he felt slightly uncomfortable when he remembered that those who were unfit for their position would not be able to see the fabric. It couldn’t have been that he doubted himself, yet he thought he’d rather send someone else to see how things were going. The whole town knew about the cloth’s peculiar power, and all were impatient to find out how stupid their neighbors were.

“I’ll send my honest old minister to the weavers,” the Emperor decided. “He’ll be the best one to tell me how the material looks, for he’s a sensible man and no one does his duty better.”

So the honest old minister went to the room where the two swindlers sat working away at their empty looms.

“Heaven help me,” he thought as his eyes flew wide open, “I can’t see anything at all”. But he did not say so.

Both the swindlers begged him to be so kind as to come near to approve the excellent pattern, the beautiful colors. They pointed to the empty looms, and the poor old minister stared as hard as he dared. He couldn’t see anything, because there was nothing to see. “Heaven have mercy,” he thought. “Can it be that I’m a fool? I’d have never guessed it, and not a soul must know. Am I unfit to be the minister? It would never do to let on that I can’t see the cloth.”

“Don’t hesitate to tell us what you think of it,” said one of the weavers.

“Oh, it’s beautiful -it’s enchanting.” The old minister peered through his spectacles. “Such a pattern, what colors!” I’ll be sure to tell the Emperor how delighted I am with it.”

“We’re pleased to hear that,” the swindlers said. They proceeded to name all the colors and to explain the intricate pattern. The old minister paid the closest attention, so that he could tell it all to the Emperor. And so he did.

The swindlers at once asked for more money, more silk and gold thread, to get on with the weaving. But it all went into their pockets. Not a thread went into the looms, though they worked at their weaving as hard as ever.

The Emperor presently sent another trustworthy official to see how the work progressed and how soon it would be ready. The same thing happened to him that had happened to the minister. He looked and he looked, but as there was nothing to see in the looms he couldn’t see anything.

“Isn’t it a beautiful piece of goods?” the swindlers asked him, as they displayed and described their imaginary pattern.

“I know I’m not stupid,” the man thought, “so it must be that I’m unworthy of my good office. That’s strange. I mustn’t let anyone find it out, though.” So he praised the material he did not see. He declared he was delighted with the beautiful colors and the exquisite pattern. To the Emperor he said, “It held me spellbound.”

All the town was talking of this splendid cloth, and the Emperor wanted to see it for himself while it was still in the looms. Attended by a band of chosen men, among whom were his two old trusted officials-the ones who had been to the weavers-he set out to see the two swindlers. He found them weaving with might and main, but without a thread in their looms.

“Magnificent,” said the two officials already duped. “Just look, Your Majesty, what colors! What a design!” They pointed to the empty looms, each supposing that the others could see the stuff.

“What’s this?” thought the Emperor. “I can’t see anything. This is terrible!

Am I a fool? Am I unfit to be the Emperor? What a thing to happen to me of all people! – Oh! It’s very pretty,” he said. “It has my highest approval.” And he nodded approbation at the empty loom. Nothing could make him say that he couldn’t see anything.

His whole retinue stared and stared. One saw no more than another, but they all joined the Emperor in exclaiming, “Oh! It’s very pretty,” and they advised him to wear clothes made of this wonderful cloth especially for the great procession he was soon to lead. “Magnificent! Excellent! Unsurpassed!” were bandied from mouth to mouth, and everyone did his best to seem well pleased. The Emperor gave each of the swindlers a cross to wear in his buttonhole, and the title of “Sir Weaver.”

Before the procession the swindlers sat up all night and burned more than six candles, to show how busy they were finishing the Emperor’s new clothes. They pretended to take the cloth off the loom. They made cuts in the air with huge scissors. And at last they said, “Now the Emperor’s new clothes are ready for him.”

Then the Emperor himself came with his noblest noblemen, and the swindlers each raised an arm as if they were holding something. They said, “These are the trousers, here’s the coat, and this is the mantle,” naming each garment. “All of them are as light as a spider web. One would almost think he had nothing on, but that’s what makes them so fine.”

“Exactly,” all the noblemen agreed, though they could see nothing, for there was nothing to see.

“If Your Imperial Majesty will condescend to take your clothes off,” said the swindlers, “we will help you on with your new ones here in front of the long mirror.”

The Emperor undressed, and the swindlers pretended to put his new clothes on him, one garment after another. They took him around the waist and seemed to be fastening something – that was his train-as the Emperor turned round and round before the looking glass.

“How well Your Majesty’s new clothes look. Aren’t they becoming!” He heard on all sides, “That pattern, so perfect! Those colors, so suitable! It is a magnificent outfit.”

Then the minister of public processions announced: “Your Majesty’s canopy is waiting outside.”

“Well, I’m supposed to be ready,” the Emperor said, and turned again for one last look in the mirror. “It is a remarkable fit, isn’t it?” He seemed to regard his costume with the greatest interest.

The noblemen who were to carry his train stooped low and reached for the floor as if they were picking up his mantle. Then they pretended to lift and hold it high. They didn’t dare admit they had nothing to hold.

So off went the Emperor in procession under his splendid canopy. Everyone in the streets and the windows said, “Oh, how fine are the Emperor’s new clothes! Don’t they fit him to perfection? And see his long train!” Nobody would confess that he couldn’t see anything, for that would prove him either unfit for his position, or a fool. No costume the Emperor had worn before was ever such a complete success.

“But he hasn’t got anything on,” a little child said.

“Did you ever hear such innocent prattle?” said its father. And one person whispered to another what the child had said, “He hasn’t anything on. A child says he hasn’t anything on.”

“But he hasn’t got anything on!” the whole town cried out at last.

The Emperor shivered, for he suspected they were right. But he thought, “This procession has got to go on.” So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn’t there at all.

Externalities

externality

I went to Italy when I was in college, and when I got home I had a bunch of people ask me about it. I found it hard to explain. What I found myself doing was making comparisons to things that we both knew, it’s like this place, but a little different, it’s like that thing, but different. I tried to explain the countryside, the cities, the weather, the people, but all I could really do is say, it’s like America, but different. Even when I got down into the detail about a particular fountain or town, all I could do is try to compare it to something in America, or give up and say, “You just have to see it.” Now maybe some of this is my lack of descriptive powers, but I think the real issue is something more, something about externalities. Italy has food, and apartments, and roads, and movies, and restaurants, and women, and forests, and beaches, and cities, and birthdays, and work, and sleep, and clouds, and rain, but it’s all different. I mean it’s ALL different. It is hard to point to one major thing and say, “There, that’s Italy”, what you would have to do is point to everything and say, “There, that’s Italy”. It is the million little things that make a country a country, it is the millions of little things. (I have never been to China, or to Nigeria, maybe it would be easier to find big differences in those countries from ours, but what I am more concerned about is how many minor changes, changes that are often difficult to quantify, can completely transform a place, without you even really noticing.)

Now let’s talk about London. What is London? How do you describe it to someone who has never been there? Obviously you would talk about the architecture, the Thames, you would say it’s expensive, but you would have the same issues that I had with explaining Italy. London is a collection of a million little things all working together, change any one of those things, and you hardly notice, but when you start changing more and more, the place is still London, but it’s different, and you would even have a hard time explaining how and why. (We must remember that sometimes different is good, and sometimes different is very very bad.)

Now to get to the point. When a terrorist attack happens in a major city, you will often hear people saying that we should not freak out, after all, more people get killed from lightning or drunk driving than from terrorism, and that is true. (In fact, 66 pedestrians were killed in London in 2015) After a terrorist attack these people will say, “We are London/Paris/NYC/Boston and we will not be afraid/Je suis/we will pray/we are strong/we will keep calm and drink tea.” This is a nice idea but it is ignoring something. Something does change after a terrorist attack, some of those million little things that made London, London, will change (the fact that a terrorist attack even occurs is proof that some things have already changed). After the 3/22/2017 attack, is London still London, yes and no.  After a pedestrian is killed by a random car on a random street in London, is London still London, yes and yes.

I will give a personal antidote. After 9/11 the local dam that we used to drive on to go fishing was closed off.  You could still walk on it, and ride a bike, but you couldn’t drive on it. Some will say that’s no big deal, and it isn’t, but it is one of those little things that makes a place a place, and it was changed. Our countries, our societies are ours, they reflect who we are, what we like, when they are changed due to outside influence, we lose a piece of ourselves. It is true that more people die from lighting than terror in England, but lighting doesn’t change England, Islam does. And only a fool, or a Muslim (but I repeat myself) would say that it changes it for the better.

Universality

universality

There is a lot of confusion that arises when a non-universalist talks to a universalist. Let me give you an example so you get an idea of what exactly I mean when I say universalist/non-universalist. Imagine a man who travels to a strange land. He inevitably gets hungry and goes to a street merchant who is displaying, what look to him to be strange insects and some fruit. The visitor says to the vendor, “May I purchase some food”, so the vendor gives the guy some bugs, to which the visitor exclaims, “that’s not food”. The native had a more universalist definition of food, than the traveler. Now another example. Many Indian tribes in North America had a name for themselves, this name roughly translated, was “human”. So when a white man would discuss “humans”, the Indian had in his mind his tribe, while the white man had in his mind the entire population of the earth. Now this difference of outlooks can be reconciled with proper definitions, and an agreement on the definitions of words and terms, but without doing this, the universalist and the non-universalist will in actuality be speaking different languages.

Some religions are universalist and some are not. My main concern currently are the differences between Christianity and Islam from a universalist/non-universalist perspective. Christianity is a universalist religion, when Christians read, “Thou shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15) they apply that universally; they believe they shouldn’t steal anything from anybody at any time. Non-universalist religions (Islam and Judaism for example) are more nuanced. Here is the Koran “As to the thief, Male or female, cut off his or her hands: … (Koran 5:38). It seems that Muslims should not steal, but the Koran also says “So enjoy what you took as booty; the spoils are lawful and good” (Koran 8:69). It also appears that Muslims can take things without any punishment at all. So why the two seemingly contradictory verses? How these two verses are reconciled is through non-universalism, stealing from a Muslim is wrong, stealing (and killing by the way) from a non-Muslim is okay.

It has to be said that, like many things, doctrines exist on a spectrum, there probably doesn’t exist any true universalist doctrine, or any true non-universalist doctrine, but that doesn’t negate the fact that when two doctrines that exist on different ends of the spectrum come into contact there are problems.

Further reading:

Islam:

As for taking from unbelievers, perhaps the most illuminating example among many comes from the aftermath of the battle against the Khaybar, as recorded by Muhammad’s earliest biographer. The Khaybar were a peaceful community of Jewish farmers who did not even know they were at war until Muhammad led his men against their town one morning, taking them by surprise and handily defeating them.

Not only did Muhammad take much of the town’s possessions and land, but he actually had the tribe’s treasurer, a man named Kinana, tortured until he gave up the location of hidden treasure. Muhammad then beheaded the man and “married” his traumatized widow, Safiyya (who passed through the hands of one of his lieutenant’s first, due to the luck of the draw). (Ibn Ishaq (764) )

Christianity:

If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. (Romans 12:18)

 

Christians and Racism.

christ_canaanite_woman

How shall we justify ourselves if we permit even a little of the truth to be laid aside? Is that ours to do? When peace is injurious to truth, peace must give way, for peace with God is of greater value than peace with men.

Dr Abraham Kuyper

Can a Christian be a racist? When most people see that question they immediately laugh, or say, “of course not”. They may even say that those two things are antithetical to each other. Also, what many people are hearing is, “Can a Christian be EVIL”, for they believe that racism is one of the worst beliefs a person can have, but this is unjustly biased. First let’s define racism, Webster says:

Racism

a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.

(I would clarify this definition by saying race is just another word for a specific set of genetics, and that superiority is a subjective word. Dogs are superior to men at running, does that mean that dogs are superior to men?)

What most people think of when they think of a racist is a guy burning stuff, and killing people just for the color of their skin. They think of murder, and men treating other men in terrible ways. They think of prideful men who do awful things to others for his own personal profit. They think of overly haughty men who persecute others who are in fact better than him, just because they are different from him. In fact, all of those things do not come from the definition of racism. In retort, many will say that those things are a definite result of racism, and cannot be avoided by racists, but they are mistaken. Let’s look at another definition.

Speciesism

discrimination in favor of one species, usually the human species, over another, especially in the exploitation or mistreatment of animals by humans.

I know what you are thinking, “but humans and animals are truly different, everybody knows this”, and I completely agree. My point is that one can be a speciesist and not treat animals cruelly. I am most certainly a speciesist, but I believe it immoral to mistreat animals. A great many people are speciesist, and treat their animals better than they treat their neighbors. Now that doesn’t mean speciesist treat animals and people the same, but it doesn’t automatically result in cruelty to animals either. The same is true of racism.

Let’s look at another category that really doesn’t have a word for what we are talking about ( Ableism and Geneticism are close but don’t really cut it) so I will invent one:

brainism

a belief that the brain function is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that brain function differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular brain function.

Almost everybody I know is a brainist. Almost everyone I know will acknowledge that they are smarter than some, and not as smart as others. Does this result in cruelty to others? Sometimes, but it does not explicitly follow that a brainist will be cruel to others based on their brain function. In fact we have a good case study, down syndrome people. Everybody agrees that down syndrome peoples brains do not function like the rest of us. The honest person will easily confess that down syndrome people are not as capable as the rest of us, that they are inferior in brain function, that they shouldn’t be flying airplanes, or designing bridges.

What we need to do is be honest, and decouple the idea of racism with evil. To be racist, or speciesist, or brainist is one thing, and to be evil is something else. If you acknowledge down syndrome people are not as smart as the rest of us, you are just being honest, if you say we should murder all down syndrome people, you are being evil. If you say that blacks are not as smart as whites, you are just being honest, if you say we should murder all blacks, you are being evil. What we should not be doing is attacking the wrong target. If a man uses a fact of nature as an excuse for evil, let us not attack the fact, but let us attack the evil.

The truth is that genetics are real, that race is real. That different races have different genetics. That the average IQ of the races is different. That the average time preference for the races is different. That an average white person is very much different from the average black person genetically, and that those differences cause them to behave differently. This is the truth, it is the duty of all Christians to speak the truth. So to answer my initial question, can Christians be racist, I say that they can, but what I really believe is this: Christians can, and should, acknowledge that there are indeed races, and that the differences among those races are not insignificant.

This is Fine

20170220_rinkeby2

France (or Sweden, or America) in 2017, if taken as a whole, is still a nice country. (We all know that nice is a subjective term, so let’s say it’s a first world country, which is a little less subjective term.) But an issue immediately arises when you stop taking France as a whole, and start looking at certain parts independently. Before I go further let me show you something visual.

mixture

When you mix the colors blue and yellow you get green. If you look at these two boxes as a whole, they both have the same amount of blue and yellow, but they are clearly not equal. This is why we say, “The devil is in the details”. So now back to France. France is obviously much more complicated than a box, but what you have in 2017 France is similar to what you have in box B. When you start getting down to street level, it very much matters what street you are on. You will get a different answer when asking the average guy on a Paris street how his city is doing, than you will if you ask a guy in Nantes. Even within Paris you will get different answers based on what part of the city you are in. So you really aren’t saying much when you say, “France as a whole is nice”. The fact is that parts of France are very nice, and other parts of France are very, not nice. (So now we are back to the definition of nice. That subject I will leave for another time.) By simply saying France as a whole is nice, you are overlooking a great many issues that will not solve themselves.

There is another factor in addition to location that must be addressed, and that is time. Another visual below.

mixture2

Looking at any one of these circles alone is very different than looking at them in series. It is clear from looking at any two of them, that changes are taking place; you can in no way gather that from looking at just one. When looking at France at any one moment in time, you are not seeing what is really going on. This is why we say, “You have your head in the sand” or, “You’re a f*^king idiot”. One more visual.

this-is-fine