Kategoria(t): Literary thoughts, Other thoughts, Scholarly thoughts

Those damn Zionists again

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‘[W]e are supposed to be awed by Israel’s greatness and horrified by the Palestinians’ innate backwardness and inexplicable hatred of Jews. We are not supposed to be able to comprehend how Palestinians would wish for an end to Israel’s rule over them.’ (Page 75)

Some time ago, I happened to have a free copy of a Palestine-related book, and as an Orient-enthusiast I obviously read it. It was worth my time, and no doubt it is worth yours. You can buy the book here.

I have heard several times from Israel fans that those who support the Palestinian cause should take a look into the facts, but never have I met any Israel fan who has actually meant that. For everyone who genuinely wants to understand and educate themselves on the history and situation of Palestine, I recommend Jeremy R. Hammond’s book Exposing a Zionist Hoax: How Elan Journo’s “What Justice Demands” Deceives Readers About the Palestine Conflict (Worldview Publications 2018). It is a response to Elan Journo’s book that claims to offer a ‘fresh’ and ‘original’ take on the Palestine conflict, but, as Hammond shows, only manages to offer a pile of old and overused Zionist falsehoods, omissions, and distortions.

I warmly recommend Hammond’s book even for those who have not read, and are not planning to read, Journo’s book. From Exposing a Zionist Hoax, you will find lots of information on the history of Palestine, the establishment of Israel, the ethnic cleansing, occupation, censorship, the economy of Palestine, the ‘peace process’, and so on. Hammond argues convincingly for his moral stand and offers lots of credible sources for his readers to back up his claims.

After reading all of this, I wonder does Journo genuinely believe in what he says in his own book.

Even though Hammond has written his book as a response to another, it is written so that it can have value even years after everyone has forgotten that Elan Journo ever existed: Its responsive nature just guarantees that Hammond is not fighting against his own straw men, but he is engaging in a dialogue with authentic and significant Zionist views, claims, and arguments. His thorough investigation and evaluation of this wide range of claims and wide use of sources, in a quite small number of pages, make Exposing a Zionist Hoax a useful handbook for anyone who wants to take a look into the facts.

‘But setting aside Journo’s fiction and considering the actual nature of the occupation regime, the Palestinians’ desire for freedom is the simplest thing to understand. Their yearning for liberty, to be able to have a say in how they are governed, to determine their own fate and live up to their full potential, is a trait shared by all human beings.’ (Ibid.)

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Kategoria(t): Kirjallisuuspohteet

Kirjallisuuspohde II: Kokeilu

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Kuvan otin täältä.

En tapaa kirjoittaa kirja-arvioita. Jos sellaista tekisin, pyrkisin luultavasti kirjoittamaan arvion jokaisesta lukemastani kirjasta, ja jos sen tekisin, lukiessa koko ajan vituttaisi, että tästäkin pitää joku kritiikinsaatana kirjoittaa. Ja jos kaikista sellaiset riemumielin ja auvoa täynnä tekisin, saisivat ihmiset ja reptiliaanit tietää, millaisia kirjoja ja kuinka paljon luen. Ja sitähän käytettäisiin sumeilematta minua vastaan, kun Uusi Maailmanjärjestys koittaa. Ehkä joku käyttäisi sumeillenkin — ei voi tietää.

Mutta tällä kertaa koetan laatia kirja-arvion viimeisimmästä lukemastani romaanista. Myös tietokirjat mukaan lukien (lukien — haa, kuinka osuvaa) se on viimeisin lukemani kirja. Tämä teos, josta nyt sanoja laadin, on Catrine Tollströmin trilleri Kokeilu, jonka on julkituonut HarperCollins. Psykologiseksi trilleriksi sitä väittävät, ja sitähän se aivan eittämättä on ainakin enemmän kuin on malakologinen tai eksegeettinen trilleri.

Kirjaa en ostanut enkä lainannut. Löysin sen tuosta, ihan tuosta noin, jonne asukkaat jättävät tavaraansa toisten otettavaksi. Kerran sain siitä hyvän kaapin ja lampun.

Kirjassa oli henkilöinä ihmisiä. Olivat lähinnä ruotsalaisia. Siinä oli hulluja, jotka tekivät negatiivisia asioita siviileille. En kerro, keitä ne hullut olivat, sillä jos sen kertoisin, olisi vailla mieltä teidän tätä kirjaa lukea. Ja siinä oli myös ihan tavan ihmisiä, jotka olivat joko brutaliteettien uhreina, hullujen vastustajia tai molempia. Siinä kuoleekin väkeä, joten ei ole lukijalla syytä huoleen, että olisi kirjan välissä liian paljon yksilöitä.

Kokeilussa minua viehättivät monet sanat kuten ”vene” ja ”ja”. Sellaisten setvimisessä onkin ollut kääntäjällä työtä! Luvut oli muodostettu sanoista, joita kirjassa olikin sangen monta. En niitä laskenut, mutta jännästi ne oli laadittu kirjaimista. Suosittelen lämpimästi käymään ne järjestyksessä läpi. En tosin niin lämpimästi kuin on vaikkapa Auringon pinta, mutta vaikkapa sillä tavalla lämpimästi kuin on kupillinen kaakaota sen jälkeen, kun olet juuri iloisin mielin hiihtänyt kuusitoista kilometriä.

Jos olet tosin metrinkin hiihtänyt ja siitä vielä iloisella mielellä, voisit mennä juoksemaan miinakentälle siitä. Iljettävä sika.

Mikä tuossa kirjassa kaikkein sumeimmin hämärän peittoon jää, on se, mikä mahtoi olla Tobiaksen henkinen tila. Sitä peittoa ei liiemmälti nosteta sen jälkeen, kun on lukijan mielenkiinto hänen tasapainoonsa kohdistettu. Hieman myös on paranormaliteetin tuntua niissä alkupuolen visioissa, joita Åse kirjan alussa näki, vaikka ei noin muutoin semmoiseen mennä tässä kirjassa lainkaan. Toki hän saattoi olla hullu myös. Sitä ei kerrota. Sitäkään ei kerrota, oliko linnassa vampyyri. Kirjassa ei tosin ole linnaa eikä vampyyriä, mikä saattaa selittää sen, ettei asiaa kerrota. Hotelli siinä oli, ja oli kiva se osuus, jossa Åse kävi siellä. Jännää oli. Aivan neuroottisen jännää.

Kaiken kaikkiaan kirjasta voidaan sanoa, että se oli tehty paperista ja että musteella oli merkittävä rooli tarinan välittämisessä lukijalle. Pidän trillereistä — esimerkiksi käsin kiinni, kun niitä vuoteessa öisin luen. Kyllä minä tämmöistä enemmänkin.

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Kategoria(t): Other thoughts

Back to the Doric Order

Old Layout

I liked the previous layout I had in my blog. Its colours were aesthetically kitteneous. But my interest changes rapidly. For example, I have already found many more interesting research topics than the one of my doctoral thesis. So I decided to change the layout to a simpler one—at least for now.

During the Romantic Era, European intellectuals got fascinated by Ancient Greece. That of course meant the ruins of Magna Graecia in Italy. The simplicity of the Doric order, the oldest of the classical architectural orders, enchanted Johann Wolfgang von Goethe with its primordial beauty.

This view of the beauty of simplicity is often brought up in lists of advices that are given to writers: removing unnecessary words, using concise language, and writing simple sentences often make expression better. I have noticed—like I have stated earlier—that using foreign language helps.

Those who believe in the idea of philosophia perennis often prefer primordial forms of religion and philosophy over the modern ones. When a tradition grows, it usually creates lots of new branches and interpretations—often to the extent that the core is forgotten. Humans begin creating Geist instead of Geist manifesting itself through humans.

In the areas of art, religion, and philosophy it is occasionally necessary to go back ad fontes, so that we remember why those manifestations appeared among the humanity in the first place. Perhaps it has not happened because of lesser understanding and skill of mind, but because of human’s natural sense of beauty, wisdom, and wonder.

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Kategoria(t): Scholarly thoughts

Primordial Light

It is that universal and primordial human experience of simple wonder at the being of things to which all true philosophy is ultimately answerable.

— David Bentley Hart, The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss (2013, 129)

I have lately began to believe that ancient and medieval philosophies — virtue ethics, ontological idealism, and stuff — are very often better than modern philosophies. Like primordial people had just understood things more clearly. The thinkers of the modern age have buried all that revelation under their own thoughts — rather than accepting what the reality around them gives.

This was also the view of Frithjof Schuon, a founder of the Perennialist School, with whom I have at least indirectly disagreed in this one. But past weeks I have began to see the probable reason why he thought so, when I have read writings of an Eastern Orthodox scholar David Bentley Hart. For example, Hart’s defense of Aristotelian metaphysics is quite convincing.

Unfortunately, this does not help me at all with my doctoral thesis, which is very tied to analytic philosophy.

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Kategoria(t): Scholarly thoughts

Few words on Griffin’s theism

Europe_a_Prophecy,_copy_D,_object_1_(Bentley_1,_Erdman_i,_Keynes_i)_British_MuseumLately, I have read David Ray Griffin’s article on process panentheism. His article, titled ”Panentheism: A Postmodern Revelation”, is published in a book called In Whom We Live and Move and Have Our Being: Panentheistic Reflections on God’s Presence in a Scientific World, edited by Philip Clayton and Arthur Peacocke.

According to Griffin’s view, God is not the source of everything. There have been ”chaotic events” alongside God, and the act of creation is to organize these events as a universe. Griffin says that those events are metaphysically as necessary as God, although the universe created from them is contingent. God, he says, contains the metaphysical principles, causality, and the laws of mathematics and logic, that form and sustain the universe.

Griffin says that this was also a view of many classical Christian theologians, but it was abandoned when other theologians wanted to oppose the views of Marcion, a gnostic theologian. Marcion believed that matter is evil and the cause of all evil events of the universe. As a response to his theology, Christian theologians advocated creatio ex nihilo, creation from nothing, and a view that matter cannot be evil because it is created by the benevolent God. Hermogenes, a Christian Platonist, warned theologians from adopting this view, for it would open the doors for blaming God of the existence of evil.

I am unsure in what way the belief, that God has not created that primordial event stuff, would be an answer to the problem of evil. Perhaps the answer lies in closer analysis of the nature of those necessary events. The principles guiding the natural order of things are, according to Griffin, part of God, so the evil must be in the events, not in the principles.

But is this view necessary from the point of view of evil? There are other answers to that problem, compatible with the creatio ex nihilo doctrine. Assuming that there is something else metaphysically necessary than God, seems to be in itself much more problematic view, than the problem of evil — or any other problem of theism. Rather I would sympathize the view of David Bentley Hart, Russell Stannard and Seyyed Hossein Nasr, that God is the source of existence, and choose some other explanation for evil.

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