It is good to hear an enthusiastic conversation about my book, The Myth of the Closed Mind. Also praised are David Ramsay Steele's books. Everyone should read his latest, Orwell Your Orwell. It is full of surprising insights about Orwell's intellectual shifts and reversals. Steele really knows his Orwell.
Thank you, Brian.
"Even then you had to take a guest to the bathroom to tell him a
joke. You turned on the water full force and then whispered the joke. You even laughed quietly, into your fist. This marvellous tradition did not die out."
Testimony: The Memoirs of Dmitri Shostakovich.
Are we really at this point in the West?
Like jokes, music is universally a victim of totalitarian tendencies. In 2020 the Chinese Communist Party banned multiple classical pieces of music, deeming them religious in background, among which was Ludwig van Beethoven's wonderful Symphony No. 9, "Ode to Joy".
The human mind can’t help seeing meaning everywhere. We hear voices in the wind, see faces in the clouds. As the human mind can make anything into a sign for anything else, even works of art without textual accompaniment can appear suspicious to the totalitarian mind. Too much dissonance or a hint of the avant-garde or, at the other end of the scale, the minutest use of traditional motifs or structures (indicating a longing for the past) that the new ...
International relations specialist Dr Roger Townshend, Poet and theologian Alex Brocklehurst, and philosopher Dr Ray Scott Percival take a deep dive into the Afghanistan crisis and place it in a broad historical and logistical perspective.
1. Leading by example and peaceful argument —methods compatible with the enlightenment.
2. The strategic logic of suicide terrorism.
3. Terrorists are rational (but highly immoral) actors.
4. The state-of-the-art thinking of Professor Robert Pape.
For an account of terrorism and fanaticism within the wider issue of human rationality/irrationality see my book The Myth of the Closed Mind.
International relations specialist Dr Roger Townshend, poet and theologian Alex Brocklehurst, and philosopher Dr Ray Scott Percival take a deep dive into the Afghanistan crisis and place it in a broad historical and logistical perspective.
What does this event look like when viewed through the spectacles of the enlightenment?
1. The USA was isolationist from its independence up until World War I.
2. National sovereignty may be built upon a universal value of freedom from interference.
3. The reciprocal influence between outside interlopers in foreign cultures and the interloping culture. The case of Matteo Ricci, the first European to enter the Forbidden City of Beijing in 1601 when invited by the Wanli Emperor, who sought his services in matters such as court astronomy and calendrical science.
4. Finding reciprocal benefits and values between cultures.
5. Perhaps Autonomy, one of the principles of the Enlightenment, is a universal value that could act as a bridge ...
The Roger Report on international relations. This episode is about the tense relations between China and Taiwan, the CCP's taunting or probing of Taiwan's airspace.
When a person dies, a world is lost; when your parents die, the universe itself seems adrift. It's a time to reset perceptions and get back on course. It is a time to build new worlds.
"The biggest gain in the control of error would be through the separation of science and the corrupting influences of politics (e.g. state funding, licensing etc.) and the chilling effect of political correctness on open discussion."
Defending the Enlightenment through animated philsophy.
"Animated" = Full of life or excitement; lively, vigorous.
"Philosophy" = Love of truth.
An autonomous life is one in which we can make a difference according to our own aims and plans. This is the personal aspect of the enlightenment. However, this is under threat from a perverted alliance of governments and the tech giants.
Enlightenment Defended will repel the dark nihilism of “post-truth”, woke culture, identity politics, and PC-Speak, which are feeding this rotten symbiosis of state and tech giants. To counter this backward step in our society, Enlightenment Defended will catalyse the bright flame of the enlightenment —liberty, reason and progress.
Enlightenment Defended will create a realm that frames our deepest thoughts about life through articles, documentary, animation, poetry, humour, music and myth and philosophical debate. People are many-sided in both apprehension and enjoyment.
Enlightenment Defended will ...