Looming over the world stage of today is a shaky alliance of groups who not only appear to have little in common, but whose goals appear to be directly antithetical to each other. There is, however, a unifying tenet within this group of people: that order is inherently bad. In other words, they are chaos worshippers.
On the surface of things, it’s not obvious what a homosexual rights activist might have in common with a Muslim. Homosexuals are hated by Muslims; the Koran and hadith make it clear that homosexual acts are sins deserving of punishment.
Indeed, in all of Afghanistan, Brunei, Iran, Iraq, Mauritania, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen, homosexual activity carries the death penalty.
Nor is it obvious what either of these groups have in common with communists. Both Islam and homosexuality were heavily suppressed by the Soviet Union, with adherents of either practice regularly shipped off to the gulags.
So what is the basis of this modern alliance of homosexuals, Muslims and communists?
The answer lies in what Nietzsche called slave morality. In particular, it is the resentment of the weaklings towards the strong that have seen those weaklings put their differences aside (or at least pretend to) and unite against The Man.
A similar phenomenon can be observed in chimpanzee troops, where weaker males sometimes come together in order to take out an individual stronger male.
Essentially what many individuals in these groups have in common is a grudge against the current order of things.
Homosexuals want to be treated with the same respect as heterosexuals, but they never will be because their sexual orientation does not maintain the existence of the human species.
Muslims want to be treated with the same respect as non-Muslims, but they never will be because the moral principles at the foundation of their religion lead inevitably to segregation, mistrust and violence.
Communists want to be treated with the same respect as those of other political orientations, but they never will be because their philosophy expresses a contempt for individual human life that the majority of people consider abhorrent.
Because all three of these groups have found themselves in a position of weakness, on account of that all three of them have been shunned for expounding a way of life that is detrimental to the human survival project, they have found cause to unite around their common resentment of the current order.
Their resentment is so great (this being the outwards projection of their immense self-hatred) that they have no interest in modifying or refining this order.
What they want is simply to destroy it. Whether or not a better order will arise after this act of destruction is not important. The overall goal is to destroy the current order.
In other words, many individuals in these groups are chaos worshippers.
Chaos worshippers don’t believe in correct order. To a worshipper of chaos, all order is bad because it is all oppressive. Thus, any individual or group serving to maintain that order is the enemy, no matter who they are or for what reason they maintain order.
Sometimes the chaos worshipper goes as far as to disbelieve in concept of order at all. This can manifest as a refusal to believe in the march of history.
Some chaos worshippers believe that the laws of human psychology that have led to the march of history no longer apply, or that things will be different this time. As a result they refuse to learn anything from history, mindlessly insisting that the world can be made into a paradise merely through sufficient adherence to an ideology.
One disastrous consequence of this attitude has been the European decision to let in tens of millions of Muslim immigrants in the belief that they would all decide to fit in to the local culture and essentially become Europeans with slightly swarthier skin.
The reality is that mass immigration of anyone to a foreign locale almost never benefits the locals, as is plainly obvious to anyone who has studied any amount of history.
This is irrelevant to the chaos worshipper, for whom mass immigration has the benefit of destroying existing social bonds at all of the local, national and super-regional levels.
In other words, mass immigration of obviously incompatible cultures is great because it spreads chaos. This is why chaos worshippers universally support it.
After all, if you are a pathetic loser at the bottom of society, then all order is bad. All order is oppressive. All order is necessarily immoral. All order is “keeping you down”.
So for these losers, enslaved not by chains of iron but by chains of silver and gold, destruction for destruction’s sake has become its own imperative.
This is the form that slave morality has taken in the 21st century.
Free speech is the foundation of civilisation. Without it, it’s not possible for a person to express their discontent with the way things are, and without an outlet for discontent it will inevitably turn into violence. As John F Kennedy told us, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
There are powerful political movements in the world today who have calculated that criminalising free speech benefits their agenda, despite this risk. These movements usually have a kind of feminine logic at their core, in that they consider themselves to be righteously resisting masculine excesses like discrimination.
Most are predicated on the moral assumption that, in any conflict between two forces, the weakest force must automatically be the morally correct one, on the grounds that the weaker side would not start a conflict that they would lose.
After some decades of percolating away in sick heads disconnected from reality, this assumption has led the social justice warriors to now believe in the moral imperative of destroying all hierarchy on the grounds that it is necessarily masculine and therefore inherently evil.
No consideration is given to the concept of correct hierarchy that leads to good order – such a thing is simply axiomatically defined as impossible. All order is bad, therefore all must be destroyed.
Such a morality naturally leads to the idea that all weakness is inherently good – hence the resurgence of what Nietzsche would have called “slave morality” in the West.
This explains why so many are bleating the catchphrase of the modern moron: “Hate speech is not free speech” – where hate speech is defined as the promulgation of facts that, despite being true, are politically inconvenient to those who are anti-hierarchy.
In particular, any fact which suggests that a particular hierarchy might be natural and inevitable has to be the most strenuously opposed. As Nietzsche pointed out, the reason for this is the resentment that these weaklings have towards those strong enough to impose good order upon themselves, for it is good order imposed upon oneself that leads to rising in worldly hierarchies.
For instance, the proposition that the text of the Koran will lead inevitably to violence is vociferously opposed by those who want to propagate the impression that the wars in the Middle East are caused primarily by Western interference.
Likewise, the proposition that Islamic terrorism in Europe is a natural consequence of the text of the Koran is opposed by those who want to propagate the impression that the terrorism is blowback for Western interference.
Unsurprisingly, such propositions – entirely independent of any historical or logical validity they might have – are increasingly lumped under the general rubric of “Islamophobia.”
They join propositions such as statements about racial differences in intelligence, or about gender differences in propensity towards certain patterns of behaviour, as politically incorrect ones.
The latest frontier in the war on free speech is attempts to criminalise the free expression of such propositions.
Already there is a concerted movement that means to make it illegal to point out the obvious connection between Koranic verses calling for violence and Islamic expressions of violence, or the obvious connection between the belief that a paedophile was the perfect man and culturally lax attitudes to paedophilia.
The tragedy is, the only reason why the West is no longer an oppressive shithole like the Islamic World is that we have spent the last four centuries using our freedom of speech and expression to destroy the evil of Abrahamism in its manifestation of Christianity.
And, in much the same way that the West was an oppressive, miserable shithole when it was illegal to criticise Christianity, so too will it be an oppressive, miserable shithole when it is illegal to criticise Islam.
What has to happen is a cultural shift where screaming “Racist!” or “Bigot!” at someone is no longer socially sanctioned as legitimate discourse. There needs to be a mass awakening to the fact that this strategy of political manipulation has the overall effect of suppressing honest discussion, and therefore is detrimental to everyone in society, and to society as a whole.
This will require sane people uniting around the spirit of genuine inquiry into the nature of reality, and in opposition to the egomaniacs who are trying to remake the world in their image by force.
And that means uniting around a shared appreciation that free speech keeps us safe from all kinds of excesses, even politically correct ones.
After all, it’s not a coincidence that the Anglosphere, with the strongest cultural appreciation of the value of free speech, has kept itself safe from totalitarianism for the longest time.
The New Zealand Parliament will soon get another chance to bring our cannabis laws into the 21st century, with Julie Anne Genter’s Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis and Other Matters) Amendment Bill drawn from the Member’s Bill Ballot this week. This ought to herald the long-awaited national conversation on the subject.
The Bill allows for any Kiwi suffering from “any debilitating condition” to use cannabis or a cannabis product if they have approval from a doctor. It also allows for such patients to cultivate cannabis themselves or to nominate someone to do it for them.
This latter point is extremely important and often underappreciated. One of Peter Dunne’s strategies to keep cannabis illegal by boondoggle has been to restrict supply to extremely expensive overseas sources, such as Sativex (which costs over $1,000 per month), instead of simply allowing people who need it to cultivate it themselves. This Bill would remove this deliberately-placed hurdle.
As Genter points out, the decision to make cannabis illegal was not based on evidence in the first place. Doctors in the 1930s were prescribing medicinal cannabis to patients in New Zealand, as they were all across the world.
The decision to stop doctors from prescribing cannabis was pushed on us by moronic do-gooders forcing their Puritan ideology on the rest of the world.
There was never any science involved, nor any common sense, foresight, empathy, compassion or concern for good order.
From the beginning, cannabis prohibition was based on nothing but a sadistic need to control the masses through causing them suffering, and on the gullibility of legions of morons willing to bleat whatever they heard from an authority figure as if it was the Word of God.
For a person to still not know that cannabis is medicinal they have to be willfully stupid.
The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party first stood in a General Election in 1996. Already in 1996 the party platform had the need for medicinal cannabis as one of its core tenets.
In 1996 it got 1.66% of the vote, so even twenty years ago it was true that one in sixty Kiwis considered cannabis law reform a major issue. After all, California legalised medicinal cannabis that year, so the medicinal properties of cannabis were already known and accepted by experts even then.
Since then, twenty-eight US states have made medicinal cannabis legal and eight have made recreational cannabis legal – and none of them have gone back to prohibition after making the change.
So to deny that cannabis law reform is inevitable is like denying that a heavyweight boxer who has won forty consecutive knockout victories is a title contender.
For a person to continue to believe that the prohibition of medicinal cannabis helps New Zealanders, they have to possess a willful ignorance that borders on malice.
They would have to continue to ignore all the stories from hundreds of medicinal cannabis users, over twenty years, in which they detailed the reduction in suffering that cannabis gave them.
They would have to think nothing of the fact that supporters of medicinal cannabis are winning a victory every month either in New Zealand or in another Western jurisdiction.
They would have to believe that it was fair that any of Martin Crowe, Paul Holmes and Helen Kelly could have been prosecuted and sent to prison for using medicinal cannabis to alleviate pain caused from dying of cancer.
And a person cannot think like that unless they purposefully deny reality for the sake of bringing cruelty into the world.
When the debate about medicinal cannabis does, finally, after over twenty years of campaigning, happen in Parliament, the MPs who oppose it will mark themselves out as particularly sadistic old dinosaurs who need getting rid of.
There was some excitement in the New Zealand cannabis community this week after the news that the Government would remove restrictions on doctors who wanted to prescribe cannabidiol (CBD) in the form of an oil. It was the first admission from the Government, ever, that cannabis actually had medicinal value, and for this reason it was significant.
Those of us who are not enamoured of politicians are naturally eager to point out that, after twenty years of sick Kiwis being completely ignored when it came to the cannabis question, progress is only now being made in the foreshadow of a general election.
Neither are we surprised to see hordes of Green Party hacks swarm the battlefields of social media to play down the magnitude of this change. The consensus tactic appears to be describing the changes as “not medicinal cannabis”, despite the fact that CBD is the component of cannabis that has shown by far the greatest medicinal promise.
After all, it’s important for the Green Party – now that the will of Kiwis for some cannabis law reform is undeniably clear – to craft a narrative of having been at the forefront of cannabis law reform all along.
Politicians being what they are, the Greens will deny at all costs the truth: that they sucked up cannabis law reform votes from 1999 and gave back nothing but contempt, until a few months before Peter Dunne (of all people) changed the law himself, without Green Party input.
All of this shitfighting distracts, and is intended to distract, from the fact that if the Greens do get into Government and change the cannabis laws to something intelligent and reasonable, they will, at the same time, make some other aspect of legislation stupid and unreasonable – and this is the necessary flipside of the deal.
The Government giveth; the Government taketh away. This is the nature of politics. The Government never simply gives freedoms back to the people it manages.
We are losing rights now, and will continue to lose them into the future, because the Government and all parties running for Government are in agreement about taking away our rights to use tobacco.
Many people have been able to predict that we will get legal cannabis at the same time as we lose legal tobacco. The rhetoric from the Government is for a “Smokefree New Zealand” by 2025, and we know that they will pursue this futile goal (previously described by this column as a sadistic idea dreamed up by morons) with the same mindless zealotry that they did the goal of making New Zealand cannabis-free.
And it will be equally as futile. Tobacco may be less fun to smoke than cannabis, but people still do it – not because they are “addicted”, as our moronic mental health establishment would have it, but because tobacco has a strong medicinal effect to people suffering from a wide range of mental problems, in particular psychosis and/or excess anxiety brought about from complications of trauma.
Statists and control freaks everywhere are mewling: “But we used to think tobacco was medicinal, but now science has advanced and now we know better.”
But this was exactly what they said when they made cannabis illegal.
Cannabis has been widely used by humans for centuries, and the propaganda against it early this century was all based on a two-pronged attack: first, deny any and all benefits of the substance, no matter how obvious; and second, attribute any and all detriments to the substance, no matter how peripherally related.
And so, in much the same way that we just had nearly a century of hearing that cannabis causes psychosis and schizophrenia and brain tumours and amotivational syndrome and blah blah blah, and how all of the positive effects that people had noticed from cannabis use were really just delusions brought about by the psychotogenic effects of the plant, now we’re going to hear all the same rubbish about tobacco.
Mental health patients will continue to tell politicians and doctors that tobacco use significantly alleviates their suffering, as it has done for mentally ill people for centuries, and they will increasingly be ignored as the devotion to the righteousness of the crusade against tobacco overrides all logic and reason.
We’re sure we banned the right thing this time!
Of course, at some point in the future we’ll get legal tobacco back, because the suppressed mental health benefits of its use will at some point be rediscovered, and then another campaign of spending decades trying to talk basic commonsense to goat-stubborn morons and brainwashed doctors will begin.
And when that process ends, we will lose legal alcohol, probably on the grounds that it causes too much violence and brain damage. At this point, the massive social and emotional benefits of alcohol will be suppressed and forgotten.
The Government giveth; the Government taketh away.
Feminazis and cucks are always screaming about toxic masculinity. The concept, according to Wikipedia, “describes standards of behavior among men in contemporary American and European society that encourage domination and control of others while being opposed to intellectualism and emotional sensitivity.”
It’s apparent to any reasonable person who reads this that the concept is fundamentally dishonest, because nothing about the behaviours described above are exclusive to either men or to Westerners.
The concept is fundamentally dishonest because it is not intended to describe any part of reality in a scientific sense. The intent of the concept is to advance the political goals of the person advocating it, not to contribute to the sum total of human knowledge through intellectual inquiry.
However, as above, so below: the concept of toxic masculinity, valid or otherwise, has a mirror image in toxic femininity.
The nature of the masculine is to go outwards and into the material world. Naturally this manifests as a desire to put the material world to order. This is not the same thing as trying to control the outside world, although the two do overlap.
The characteristic emotion of masculinity, then, is anger, and this manifests as physical violence, which basically everyone recognises as bad.
The nature of the feminine is to go inwards and into the mental world. The characteristic emotion of femininity, then, is fear, and this manifests as emotional violence, which very few recognise as bad.
Where a man is more likely to hit someone in order to control them, a woman is more likely to psychologically abuse someone in order to control them.
This emotional abuse takes different forms to physical abuse. The emotional abuser prefers to lay a guilt or shame trip on their victim, coercing them into the desired behaviour by stoking fears of social rejection. The abuser will detail disappointment, shame or embarrassment that they attribute not to their desire to control, but on the actions of their victim.
Another source of emotional violence is dishonesty. After all, to lie to someone is to do them a psychological violence (this is routinely denied by the liars themselves).
The major source of dishonesty in the world is politics, or, more precisely, the desire of certain humans to remake the entire world in their own image (which is all politics is). Because this desire naturally brings egotistical people into direct conflict with others who want to remake the world in their image, a lot of lying about it has sprung up.
For example, the feminazis who shriek about things like toxic masculinity will never admit that they are doing so for political reasons. In particular, they are trying to shift the balance of the culture towards the feminine, for the sake of their own gratification, not that of the wider society.
Claiming that being “opposed to emotional sensitivity” is necessarily “toxic” is a value judgment, not a scientific description of reality. It is a political statement, not a psychological or sociological one.
After all, there are plenty of reasons why emotional sensitivity might be discouraged. It’s not just a simple matter of hardening up for the rigours of a battlefield. Emotional sensitivity is the opposite of emotional stability, and emotional stability is desired by all because it keeps things in good order.
It is not a coincidence that being emotionally sensitive will also leave a person more vulnerable to strategies of emotional coercion and abuse.
This tendency to conflate emotional stability with patriarchal oppressive male domination brings us close to a definition of toxic femininity.
Some have described the pattern of toxic femininity, perhaps without being aware that they had done so, as “feels over reals”. Extrapolating this with what we know about the association between femininity and dishonesty, we can define toxic femininity thusly:
“A specific model of womanhood, geared towards dominance and control. It’s a womanhood that views men and boys as inferior, sees conversation not as an act not of affection but domination, and which valorises emotional violence as the way to set the world to order.”
In other words, females are equally capable of being toxic as males, and for the same reasons. The only difference is that females tend to use indirect methods.
As described above, toxic females are more than happy to use emotional abuse as a method to impose control and to remake the world in their image.
Their conceit is that this emotional abuse is either 1) not really abuse because it is non-physical, or, 2) causes categorically less suffering than the physical abuse preferred by males and is therefore categorically less blameworthy.
As any reasonable person will have concluded by now, this is utter bullshit.
Leaving aside the politics and related bullshit for a second, it’s possible that the concepts of toxic personality types have some use.
The important thing is to first and foremost learn to identify toxic individuals, because toxic individuals are capable of expressing their nature in either masculine or feminine ways, regardless of whether that person is male or female.
An understanding of toxic femininity might make this easier to do, because if only masculine behaviours are considered toxic a person leaves themselves wide open to abuse by feminine methods.
Premise 1: My religion represents the exclusive truth.
By way of an answer, consider this: which of the following scriptures have you devoted to rigorous and charitable study: The Koran, The Bible, The Torah, The Bhagavad Gita, The Upanishads, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, The Gnostic Gospels?
Consider approximately in hours, days, months, weeks or years your devoted study to each, and then review your assertion of Premise 1 from a space of honesty and integrity. You will review this yourself with no higher authority than your own to judge.
Premise 2: My religion is unique.
Every religion is unique in its own way. This by itself does not lend a measure of truthfulness. For example, only Buddhism holds that if a statement should not accord with your own sense of reason, then you need not accept it, even if is spoken by Buddha. This may make Buddhism unique, but it does not immediately qualify it as true.
Islam holds that Mohammed flew to heaven on a winged horse. Again, this qualifies Islam as unique, but it does not immediately qualify it as true. Even the belief that Jesus was the son of a virgin and died upon the cross for our sins is not unique to Christianity, as this mythology was already present in a much earlier religion called Mithraism.
I feel very strongly about my religion/
I have perfect faith in my religion/
I know in my heart that my religion is true/
I have special access to the truth/
I have had special spiritual experiences with this religion that confirm my belief
So does everyone else who adheres to a religion, even to the extent that they would sacrifice their own lives for their faith, Sikh, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Mayan. They each have heaven, miracles, saints and holy days. If their faith is as strong as your own, can it be possible that you are both correct? Are you both wrong? Is there another possibility? What are to be your standards for judging, given that you are the advocate of only your own religion?
Premise 4: When I am uncomfortable, something is wrong and I should therefore avoid it.
False. Something is not wrong when a dancing bear has the ring removed from its nose, and something is not wrong when a woman is in childbirth. When you question your convictions, you are stepping into your own authority and demanding that your assumptions meet the appropriate conditions – namely, that they reflect truth. The most wonderful and transformative change is often initially uncomfortable, this does not mean it is not worthwhile.
Premise 5: Those who encourage me to question my faith are agents of of evil or are otherwise trying to lead me astray.
To the extent that you believe this, you will remain in a spiritual cell. The only thing you have to lose by questioning your beliefs and convictions is illusion – you get to keep anything that is true. No one imprisons you but you, and by your own free choice. Are you worried about losing the illusory? Are you worried about losing what is false?
Recognise this responsibility to yourself and to those who depend upon you. There is no one to reply to, object to, or argue with in this situation, because the only person you need to answer to here is you.
Premise 6: The truth of my religion is established to the extent that we have faced persecution.
This is assumed by every religion. Every religion faces persecution from every other religion, and yet each religion assumes the role of passive victimhood. This is simply not true. All religions both persecute and are persecuted, and all have a history of violence.
Premise 7: My religious community shares love with each other and that is real.
It may very well be true, but so does every other community, religious or not. How do you treat those who choose to leave your community? Do you judge them? Often the love shared between members of a church or a religion is actually conditional. We are happy to give love, care and attention to others within our group just so long as they live up to our expectations by believing what we believe and behaving in ways acceptable to us.
If they leave, then what happens? If their religious commitments change, then what happens? If your religion teaches that they should be treated any different, does that resonate with you on the deepest level?
Premise 8: The holy scriptures that my religious beliefs are based on are very old, and can be proven authentic because within those scriptures is the promise that it is true.
Again, this is ‘true’ for every single scripture-based religious tradition. Each relies upon a circular argument. “God has divinely authored a book in which he promises he was the author, and God would not lie”. This is self-contradictory, and the absurdity of it is clearly seen when the same assumptions are championed by other religions with entirely different assumptions.
Premise 9: If I did not maintain the beliefs, traditions and practices set out by my religion, then the world would collapse into moral anarchy.
The sad irony is that the world is already in a continually worsening state of moral collapse, largely due to interfaith conflict. Please read this last sentence more than once, because it is imperative that you understand. If multiple groups are being guided by inflexible moral rules that are in fact mutually exclusive, then conflict is the inevitable result. Period.
Premise 10: I would rather be wrong with my own religious group than right by supporting beliefs that I experience as heretical, distasteful or challenging.
This is very important to review for yourself, because herein lies the crux of the issue of personal moral and epistemic integrity. That which is true will not always conform to your expectations, preconceptions, and certainly not your comfort zone. Read this last sentence twice, please. It is imperative to understand. If you choose to be wrong with your own group, you are not in your integrity, because what you are in fact choosing is to be in your comfort zone rather than in respect to Truth.
Premise 11: Other religions and belief systems are immoral and misguided.
Now, if you are fundamentalist of any kind this has to appear to be true for you, because you have concluded that the rules set out by your own tradition are exclusively correct. You may be surprised to find with a little honest research that some traditions are very much aligned to your own. They may have an attitude of high respect and tolerance for their ingroup and an attitude of disapproval and even violence of their outgroup. They may even walk the talk better than your own tradition.
For example, the Islamic practice of stoning adulterers and homosexuals is frowned upon by moderate Christians, even though the moral law is expressly the same in the Koran as it is in the Old Testament. Fundamentalist Christians may not necessarily be so far off in disagreement with Radical Muslims.
There are also very loving and moderate religious traditions that may agree with your own teachings about expressing love to outsiders, forgiving wrongdoing and respectfully allowing others of different creeds to live in peace without imposing one’s own views and constraints upon them. Does that really sound so bad? If your teachings inspire you to anger and malign against others, can you honestly say that those beliefs are in the better interest of mankind?
Simon P. Murphy is a Nelson-based writer. He is the author of the short story collection His Master’s Wretched Organ and the forthcoming Lexicanum Luciferium (both by VJM Publishing). His fiction is heavily influenced by Gnosticism and Alchemy, placing a central focus upon the theme of our navigation of an occulted reality through the use of archetypal symbolism.
To honestly assess information, we need to fully inform ourselves.
We have all heard ‘honesty is the best policy’ and, ‘you shouldn’t lie’, but what is honesty at the deepest level, and why is it so important?
Honesty, at the deepest level, is a form of integrity.
Integrity asks you to be spiritually courageous, and involves using your wisdom and discernment even in the face of great pain. Being honest is not always easy. Sometimes being honest means moving away from the comfort of beliefs that we hold great stock in, beliefs which we have been taught over a lifetime, beliefs which inform our our daily lives, actions, decisions, and relationships to a profound degree.
The truth is, none of the comfort or emotional well-being derived from any belief is indicative of its truthfulness. There is simply no connection between what provides comfort and what is true.
Why is any of this important?
Believing things which are untrue can be very harmful, even though we may derive enormous personal comfort from the familiarity and promises of these beliefs.
If someone comes to your door and explains that they believe something without providing charitable counter-arguments, alternatives, or competing explanations, then this is a very strong indication that that person is not acting in their integrity, their honesty.
An evangelist will stand at your doorstep and faithfully show you everything that they believe, including why it makes sense to them, and the path they have taken to arrive at those conclusions. If they present you with any material that entertains a competing explanation, such as another very different religious system, it will always be used to show that other explanations are false.
This is a very, very important point, because this is how we discover whether someone is acting in their integrity or whether they are deluding themselves or others.
For example, a Jehovah’s Witness will not charitably discuss the merits of Catholicism or Islam, regardless of how many believers there are in these faiths worldwide. Other belief systems will only be referenced in passing in order to show that they are mistaken relative to the interpretation of the evangelists’ own religious commitments.
A missionary does not go into the jungle to deepen his understanding of tribal spirituality, at least, not intentionally. He goes in order to persuade others of his culture’s views which he assumes to be superior prior to any philosophical comparison.
Now, again imagine you are an Evangelical Christian and a Muslim comes to your door behaving in precisely the same way as you might. They offer you only an explanation of how Islam is exclusively true and holds spiritual superiority over other faiths. They will not hold competing faiths, including your own, in a favourable light, nor will they provide any charitable explanation of how these work, or the benefits they provide people with globally.
In short, they are not acting out of integrity.
Let’s go back to why honesty and integrity are important.
If you are not genuinely honest about your beliefs and why you believe them, then the relationship of those beliefs to reality will be muddy at best. If we do not allow our beliefs to conform to the best available reasoning and evidence, then our worldview is at risk of stagnating for lack of congruence with reality.
Just think what this would matter to divinity – I am not speaking of religion, but of divinity itself that people on earth should not act upon their integrity. This divinity may not take offense at having been wilfully misunderstood, but it would surely not condone people believing falsehoods without question and not honestly considering different answers, particularly if those false beliefs were harmful to others.
A Baptist who comes to your doorstep to preach about the bible has nothing glowing to say about the Koran, the Talmud, The Upanishads or the Bhagavad Gita, irrespective of how valuable these may have been to millions of other lives over thousands of years.
The reason for this is clear – once people believe they have found answers that suit them, they tend to stop considering the legitimacy of other explanations, and feel justified in confidently discounting the validity of those worldviews without feeling the need for further analysis. This is not a Christian problem or Jewish problem or a Muslim problem or an atheist problem – this is a human problem.
When a politician comes to you, whether on television or in person, he isn’t telling you why his competition are wonderful and can help you in your life. He comes to you because he wants your support, he wants your vote. Your belief in his policy is a kind of transaction to him. In fact, it usually does not even matter to him that his policy should make you or your children’s lives any better. All that matters to him is that you vote for him. It is the same with religion.
There are other important reasons that people once deciding upon a belief system do not carefully and charitably explore alternative explanations, and this is because of something called cognitive dissonance.
If you already believe something, particularly if you have believed it for a long time and/or these beliefs inform much of what your personal life is built around, then there will be very strong resistance to changing or even questioning those beliefs, even if those beliefs have been harmful or false.
If an animal in a zoo has been kept in captivity for its entire life, even though it may have been kept enclosed in cramped, uncomfortable conditions, then the world outside will seem terrifying, even the wild where it belongs. Its natural freedom will terrify it to the point where for the sake of its imagined comfort, it will choose to remain caged out of fear and the comfort of an abject yet familiar environment.
We even limit our own children in order to indoctrinate them into our own views. This can be done in many ways, by limiting the friendships they have, monitoring the books they read, the movies they watch, or even schooling them ourselves, bypassing the perceived problem of our children receiving and understanding alternative ideas and explanations.
Christians frown upon Muslims for doing this, and vice versa. If anyone was truly operating in their integrity, in respect for truth they would never limit their children in this way. Now, of course we all love our children, and of course we all do for them what we think is best.
However, if we truly believed what we say we do, then we would allow our children the freedom of education that would naturally lead them to seek the truth, and if what we believe to be true was indeed true, then they would reach the same conclusions as we have.
The fact that people force their own beliefs upon their children is a form of dishonesty. It is symptomatic of a lack of faith in one’s own beliefs and assumptions.
Many religious parents, although somewhat uncomfortable with the inherent dishonesty of indoctrination, reason in the following way: “Yes, I am limiting their beliefs and freedom because I love them and I do not want them to be affected by evil, whatever the cost, because in my doing so I spare them from sin and damnation”.
However, this is precisely the same reasoning that keeps other authoritarian religious traditions which you disagree with in business. If you are a Fundamentalist Christian, you disagree with Fundamentalist Muslim children not receiving a free education.
Yet their parents reason in the same way that you do, only they consider that beliefs in departure from Islam lead to damnation, while you believe the same regarding Christianity.
In honesty, you cannot have it both ways – either you agree that all religions should indoctrinate their children, or you believe that children should be allowed freedom to seek the truth.
Questioning beliefs and assumptions costs energy. If we re-evaluate what we believe and why, then the resulting change can be very difficult, which is sadly why people, particularly those with strong beliefs, have a strong resistance to this.
It is more important to most people to remain comfortable, in familiar territory, and amongst people who believe the same things than it is even to pursue the ultimate truth of reality, who they really are and why they are really here.
They are afraid that if they question their beliefs, then they will betray their family, friends, church, tradition, culture, God.
All that is actually happening is that that person is no longer putting comfort and familiarity first, and is now stepping into the courage and integrity to hold all of their beliefs subject to a rigorous questioning. People do this out of a deep respect for themselves, for others, for truth, and for divinity. Unfortunately, many see it as easier to die for their convictions than to live questioning them.
To the extent that people do not do this, they choose to remain asleep. This is why we have traditions spanning thousands of years, and yet no peace to show for it. Violence, both physical and ideological, is rife, as is suffering, neurosis and fear of death, insanity and damnation, all despite the proclamation of great faith and righteousness. It is not loyalty that keeps you in chains, but fear.
To value and practice honest questioning and integrity is to value spiritual awareness, to be awake to the truth in whatever form it may take.
The time to remain asleep is over for those who choose to awaken and hold to question every assumption that separates us from our brothers and sisters.
Simon P. Murphy is a Nelson-based writer. He is the author of the short story collection His Master’s Wretched Organ and the forthcoming Lexicanum Luciferium (both by VJM Publishing). His fiction is heavily influenced by Gnosticism and Alchemy, placing a central focus upon the theme of our navigation of an occulted reality through the use of archetypal symbolism.
The New Zealand Government, in its limitless beneficence, has decided that we innocent Kiwis need to be protected from the insidious horror drug that is tobacco. The means they have chosen to protect us with is by taxing us more when we purchase cigarettes. Speaking honestly, this strategy could be rightly described as soft prohibition – and it’s just as stupid as hard prohibition.
The logic goes like this. A person’s willingness to buy a good such as tobacco is a function of the price of that good. Because tobacco is not considered medicinal, its use is considered to do nothing but cause disease. So, its use costs taxpayer money in the form of healthcare. Therefore, if you increase tobacco taxes, people will use it less and tax money will be saved on dealing with the effects of the diseases tobacco causes.
The fact that this had led to the absurdity of the Government claiming to impoverish tobacco users for their own benefit hasn’t stopped them from raising the taxes anyway.
The rise in tobacco tax has, predictably, led to a spate of robberies of dairies and other places selling tobacco. As Dan McGlashan has previously written for this newspaper, the majority of regular tobacco smokers were already doing it hard, even before the tax increases.
As this column has previously argued, tobacco ought to rightly be seen as a mental health medicine. The main reason it isn’t is because of the total dominance of materialist dogma in medical and scientific circles – the same materialist dogma that has created our prehistoric mental health system.
It doesn’t take a forensic psychology degree to be able to predict that making an expensive drug even more expensive, when many desperate people rely on it to cope with the stresses of the day, is going to lead to robberies and violence.
Ridiculously, if the Police were to apply the same logic to tobacco that they apply to cannabis, they would say that tobacco itself causes crime and that the dairy robberies are evidence that tobacco should be made illegal.
Obviously, alcohol prohibition failed and cannabis prohibition failed. Not only did they fail, but they did so at the cost of many billions of dollars, the destruction of many millions of lives, and the eradication of any faith that the younger generations may ever had had in the competence or good will of the Government or the Police.
So why on Earth would we want to repeat those two catastrophic errors with tobacco?
The most likely answer is that our politicians are as thick as pigshit and are either too stupid to learn anything from history or too arrogant to think that the laws of reality through which history unfolds apply to them.
Increasing the taxes on tobacco, with the intent of gradually making it prohibited, will increase the amount of violence and crime around the substance to a commensurate degree.
Just like prohibition did with alcohol. Just like prohibition does with cannabis. It will fail, just like prohibition always has done and always will do, because human nature will never concede that a bunch of old control freaks in Wellington have the right to prohibit the people from the free use of medicinal plants.
This won’t stop them from trying, of course. The politicians know that they are not affected by the consequences of the laws they pass. Thus, they know that it won’t be them getting robbed and slashed with machetes – they get their six-figure MP’s salary no matter what.
The real concern is what actions might be taken by those who are getting robbed. Already, dairy owners know that they are widely perceived as a soft target thanks to both not being armed and stocking large amounts of valuable tobacco.
The usual response to this degree of risk of violent robbery is for the dairy owners to start keeping firearms behind the counter.
Politicians in New Zealand don’t have the courage to admit that the Drug War they have conducted against the New Zealand people for 40 years has failed, so we know they will not have the courage to admit that their attempt to make tobacco illegal is also failing.
Probably they will keep raising the taxes until someone gets shot dead. After all, it’s neither them nor their families suffering.