One Man’s Meat is Another Man’s Poison

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True. We do live in a world of good and evil. The problem is that one guy’s good is the other guy’s evil.

In the world of values- everything is indeed relative. But such incompatibility of values will spell the downfall of the human species. If we cannot somehow soon agree on a global ethical code, we are doomed, since we are now no longer clobbering up on each other with swords and spears but with nukes. Even a marginal guy like Kim Jong Un has the capability to start a nuclear war.

Yet, we cannot hope to agree on anything as long as each group of people firmly and unshakably believes that what it believes is the exclusive truth and that everybody else is just a bunch of offensive non-believers. It is this mindset, the mindset of the faithful believer come hell or high water, that makes finding common ground so difficult.

The philosopher Immanuel Kant called a-priori concepts “transcendental” – “a priori” meaning “not based on experience”. I think it was the historian Oswald Spengler who coined the concept of the “transcendental mind”. He meant a mindset that puts faith before reality, believing before thinking, irrational bias before critical rationality.

I remember a situation many years back, when Gore Vidal appeared in Germany at the publishing company owned by my girlfriend’s father. They had to evaluate whether to publish his gay book “Mira Breckinridge” and dumped Vidal on me for two days. Marching orders were “keep him busy”.

I took him on a tour of medieval churches and castles. Vidal talked about his “convictions” without interruption. We were standing in front of the St. Gereon’s church in Cologne when he lectured me about his firm conviction that there was no God.

“Oh,” I said, “so you are a true believer, just like the other true believers.” – “What nonsense are you talking there?” he replied angrily. “I am an atheist. I don’t believe in God.” – “I understand that.” I said, “But if you are an atheist, you obviously believe that there is not God, right?” – “Of course.” he said “Or I would not be an atheist.” – “Well, then you are a believer, just like all the rest of them.” He grew all red in his face. “Look” I said, “From a point of view of logical thinking the deists all believe in ‘A’ and the atheists believe in ‘non-A’. There is no cognitive difference between believing that God exists and believing that God does not exist. You are a believer, except that what you believe is the contradictory contrary of what other believers believe.” Vidal was unable to process that. He became rather aggressive and abusive, and I took him back to his hotel.

I see the transcendental mentality as the root cause why humans do not seem to be able to agree on anything reasonable. It’s preconceived ideas everywhere.

Communists “believe” in materialism and atheism.

Muslims “believe” in their brutal and infantile Quran and Hadiths. Kill the Jews. Treat women no worse than you treat your camel.

Catholics “believe” that Mary conceived as a virgin, that Jesus was God and Man, and that the Pope is infallible when speaking ex cathedra.

Marxists “believe” in the pseudo-scientific ideology of dialectic and historic materialism and classless society as the end of history.

Many scientists “believe” in the nonsensical and illogical Big Bang theory.

And lately, the believers of the MMGW religion “believe” that CO2 will destroy the earth.

And they all believe, of course, that what all the others believe is misguided heresy or pure evil.

As I see it, what humankind needs most is not faith but reason. If we cannot stop thinking in terms of “I am absolutely right and everybody else is absolutely wrong”, we will not be able to find a globally acceptable platform for a globally acceptable ethical code of behavior or a global constitution.

The Iranian Mullahs e.g., seem to be prepared to let the world go to smithereens rather than conceding that Shiism is only one way to interpret the existence of the universe and to organize society.

Dyed-in-the-wool Communists will rather destroy millions (and did so) than admitting that Marx got his entire Mehrwerttheorie (value added theory) wrong, because he really did not understand how a capitalist business operates.

True believers of the MMGW Religion would rather destroy our technical civilization and billions of people than to admit that their so-called climate science is the biggest fraud ever committed in human history.

If we fail to change this mind set very soon, we will be marching off the cliff like the lemmings.

Once I had a friend who contracted lung cancer. I met him when he had just left the doctor’s office where they had told him that he would only have 2-3 months to live. I could not think of a smarter question than to ask him, how it felt to know that he had only a few months left to live.  “Well,” he said, “as long as you live you have to consider that you may continue to live.”

That was almost as good as what Martin Luther said, when some dude asked him what he would do if he knew that tomorrow the world would end. “I would still plant my apple tree today.” he replied. 

I am 83 and I will hopefully be dead before it all goes down the drain. So, I am flying the Israeli flag on my property. And I have stocked up on 000 Buckshot just in case. Because while I am still around, and everybody violently disagrees, I might as well stand up for what I believe in. True?

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