Thursday, December 16, 2010

A failed experiment

There was an article in The Age this morning about the attempt to recruit two Aboriginal boys back in 1849 to become missionaries.

The story is interesting because it highlights how varied the attitude to Aborigines was in colonial times. In this case, there was too high an expectation placed on the two Aboriginal boys:

On January 8, 1849, filled with hope and eager expectation, Francis Xavier Conaci, 7, and John Baptist Dirimera, 11, left Perth with Rosendo Salvado, the energetic abbot of the Benedictine monastery at New Norcia, 160 kilometres north of Perth.

This extraordinary journey was part of Salvado's great mission, conducted over more than 50 years, to enculturate the Aborigines into Christianity. He lived and camped with them, wrote dictionaries of their language and lobbied for them with colonial authorities.

Conaci and Dirimera were from the Yuat tribe, and had begged Salvado to take them to Rome. The Benedictines hoped to train the boys in European ways and send them as missionaries to the Aborigines of Western Australia.
In Europe, the Aboriginal boys were lionised:

In Rome, they met Pope Pius IX, who presented them with their distinctive black woollen Benedictine habits, and told Conaci: ''Australia needs a second Francis Xavier; may the Lord bless this boy, and make him into one!''

Salvado presented them to the king and queen of the Two Sicilies, and then to meet the king and queen of Naples at the palace in Gaeta outside the city...

Both boys were granted patents of nobility by the king and admitted to the College of Nobles.

Things went well at first, with the boys doing well at their studies. But as with so many attempts at assimilation, the experiment ultimately failed:

But in March 1853, the abbot at La Cava warned the Vatican about the poor health of the Aboriginal novices. Doctors, including the Pope's physician - believing that the boys' illnesses were exacerbated by homesickness - advised that they should be sent back to Australia.

Conaci spent two months in a Naples hospital, then moved to the abbey at St Paul's Outside the Walls to recuperate. But his condition worsened and he died on October 10, 1853. Dirimera arrived back in Australia in May 1855 a broken boy. Salvado had a hut built for him in the bush and visited him regularly, but Dirimera died in August. ''They pined away,'' Hayes says.

The Benedictines were demoralised by the deaths and never again sought to recruit Aborigines to the order. "It may be that Salvado lost all hope or got depressed by the whole idea," says Peter Hocking, archivist at the New Norcia monastery.

The problem was not a lack of idealism but an underestimation of how difficult assimilation would be.

73 comments:

  1. Yet Christianity still took off across the world.

    In Australia just recently an asylum seeker boat sank and a number of the people on it have been drowned. This is a matter of supreme indifference to me, it registers very little either negatively or positively, certainly I'm not doing the left wing hand wringing. Does this make me a bad person or Christian? If the boat was full of Australian's my attitude would be quite different. If I was in a position to help the asylum seekers obviously I would but because they're foreigners I feel little responsibility or concern for them.

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  2. I don't feel responsible for what happened but I am saddened by it.

    Andrew Bolt has been proven correct on this one. He's warned for many months that the Government was tempting people to risk the journey by dismantling the Pacific solution.

    There needs to be a better refugee solution, one which places refugees in like countries (with the financial support of wealthier countries), so that there is no longer an incentive for economic migration.

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  3. They certainly don't belong here. We are not a neighbouring country or even close.

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  4. The Age article is just more of the same historical revisionism to discredit Western Christian Civilisation.

    The tragic episode of the 2 aboriginal novices who pined away in Italy should be placed in the background of what Mons Salvado found of Indigenous Culture in W.A in 1846 :

    *routine infanticide of 3rd daughter
    *routine infanticide of mentally handicapped
    *sporadic cannibalism during times of hunger - again it was supernumerary female children who were victims
    *tribal warfare
    *killing of any male who was found outside circumscribed tribal boundaries.

    Within 3 years of the establishment of the mission this was all but completely turned around.


    Bear in mind the 2 aboriginal novices had only a few months experience of white contact when they left for Italy - Salvado's memoirs state that they thought the large ships in Fremantle were a type of fish !


    [ ref-www.amazon.com/Storiche-Dellaustralia-Particolarmente-Missione-Benedettina/dp/1142809390/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1292542283&sr=1-6 ]



    The New Norcia Mission ( really a monastic town ) was actually a success, especially in the 2nd half of the 19th century.

    Its real failure did not happen until it took part in the post Vatican II implosion - with the amalgamation of its schools in the 1970's and final closure in 1991, leaving a handful of remnant monks in possession of a magnificent collection of huge Spanish style buildings now completely empty and purposeless .

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  5. Who is my "neighbor"? I feel my countrymen or people from the West are my neighbor. I feel if people embrace Western concepts or become allies, such as Japan today, then they become my neighbor too. I would say I feel sympathetic to the people of the world but I feel my obligation is first to my own. If helping them brings credit to my country, or gives greater influence to us in the world, I am certainly willing to do it.

    Asylum seekers today are seen as victims because we don't want them. How dare we not want to accept these people? Why should we? Because its a nice thing to do? Ok then you can ask nicely and not expect or demand to be given residence. Like I said these people are not our geographical neighbors but come from the other side of the world.

    I mentioned “entitlement culture” recently and I think that there is more than individualism or wanting others to give you things, at play. There is an element of force there. If I’m entitled to something then you will give it to me or watch out. We don’t ask nicely for things we’re entitled to, you’ll give it to me or else we’ll fight.

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  6. The aboriginal practices might be barbaric but they were probably suited to their environment. You can hardly expect Western standards from nomadic peoples. Part of the success of the mission would also have been in improving health care and food supply for the natives. Many natives were willing converts and today in many developing countries Christianity is stronger than in the West.

    There are many examples were indigenous people were taken out of their native environments only to pine away and the aboriginals like many other primitive societies are famous for their strong "community" ties.

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  7. I'm confused. Are these boat people economic migrants or asylum seekers? The are two distinct groups who should be treated differently.

    The Catholic Catechism states:

    “The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.”

    But it also states:

    “Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.”

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  8. In other words, there are limits to the amount of immigrants a country can take in before it is negatively impacted, so countries have a duty to limit and control immigration. Furthermore, the new arrivals are obliged to integrate with the locals and respect the local culture.

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  9. Alte the majority of these boat people are ultimately assesed as legitimate refugees (asylum seekers). Very few are considered to be economic refugees..

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  10. They're both. They're asylum seekers but they seek asylum in Australia, when they come from places like Iraq, Iran or Sri Lanka. So that makes them economic refugees because there are any number of other countries and refugee camps that they could have gone to first. Assessing them as seeking asylum doesn't make them legitimate refugees. They chose to come here because it is known they will likely be accepted and because we are a more desirable destination.

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  11. "Desperate people seeking to exercise their fundamental human right to asylum take whatever options are available to them. For some people that option is Australia. Only a handful of countries in the Asia Pacific region have signed the Refugee Convention, and of those countries, only Australia and New Zealand properly respect the rights of refugees, and offer long term protection and resettlement."

    http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/australia-really-has-a-tiny-number-of-asylum-seekers/

    They are not economic refugees, Jesse.

    What is wrong with refugees seeking a safe and secure haven like Australia, for their families to settle in.

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  12. The majority of refugees come to Australia via refugee camps or legally via other countries. Why can't these refugees?

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  13. I wait out for your answer and I sincerely hope its forthcoming. If they're not really genuine refugees then they have no right stuffing our country around and requiring us to deploy all those resources to our coasts. You'd better know what you're talking about or else you're a bloody apologist for the worst kind of sympathy mongers.

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  14. Kathy Farrelly,

    You wrote:

    What is wrong with refugees seeking a safe and secure haven like Australia, for their families to settle in.

    That's an odd question. Surely you've thought things through and recognised the negatives of such a policy.

    What about the impact on the existing mainstream identity in Australia? How will that survive open borders?

    Haven't you ever thought about the bigger picture? Have you noticed that it's the Western countries which are being transformed by open borders, with the consequence that the entire Western tradition isn't going to survive current policies?

    I don't know how you can ask "what is wrong" with a policy when that policy will lead over time to one of the major human traditions being rubbed out.

    Is it really true that you've never thought about this? Have you no sense of loss if the ethnic Irish, or Swedish, or English, or French were no longer to exist?

    Look, there do exist some genuine refugees. The genuine ones would be willing to settle in a "like" country: a country with similar living standards and a similar tradition. So that's what should be offered to them. If they reject the option, they're not genuine.

    And that refugee policy would not be destructive to the communal traditions which are so important to human life.

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  15. In other words, there are limits to the amount of immigrants a country can take in before it is negatively impacted, so countries have a duty to limit and control immigration.

    Would it be acceptable under those teachings to turn away all immigrants, regardless of status?

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  16. These people have to go somewhere Mark.. And the truth is, there are not too many places for them to go where they will be accepted..

    If it were you wouldn't you want to do the best for your family?

    You are reading far to much into my response.(Which was to Jesse.. Never said anything about questioning policy)

    Australia takes fewer refugees than many other countries.

    I don't see it as such a big problem here. If these people are fleeing from oppression, and have had their bona fide's confirmed, then they should stay.

    I don't give a toss whether they are Afghans, Vietnamese or Calathumpians!

    " Is it really true that you've never thought about this? Have you no sense of loss if the ethnic Irish, or Swedish, or English, or French were no longer to exist?"

    You can't be serious?

    No.... I have never thought about this. It's hypothetical anyway..

    I tend not to get my knickers in a twist over such stuff.

    There are more important things to concern oneself with..

    Extending compassion and a helping hand to fellow human beings who have been displaced through wars and persecution from their countries of origin should be our first priority..

    Australia has had an influx of migrants from many nations over the years. English.. Greeks, Italians Croations,(My father is Italian my mother Croation) Macedonians, etc.. and more recently Vietnamese, for example.

    All have assimilated well in this country.. In fact if it were not for the many Vietnamese priests here there would be a much greater shortage than there already is in the (Catholic)priesthood in Australia.

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  17. No, I don't think so. Perhaps if you were at war. The situation with Mexico is moving in that direction, I'm afraid.

    I dug up the Catholic teachings on the subject here. Please note that the Catholic Church does not support the concept of "open borders", as a regulated border and national defence are among the obligations the state has to its citizens. I suppose each nation-state has to examine the exact situation in each case.

    Mark's suggestions are sound, according to Catholic teaching. We are supposed to care for our neighbors, but that does not necessarily mean that they have to live in our house.

    Kathy,

    There's nothing wrong with them seeking refuge, that's just natural. The question is: Where to put them so that they can be safe and can prosper, without damaging social cohesion in their destination country? Those are two morally-legitimate issues that must be carefully balanced.

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  18. My first comment was directed at Van Wijk.

    Kathy,

    I think the relative ease and willingness a person has in assimilating should be taken into account when constructing immigration policy. That's just sound government, as you don't want riots breaking out or the natives being driven out of their homes. Taking in a large number of people from a very different culture usually leads to enclaves and segregation (the immigrants trying to recreate their homeland in their new land).

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  19. Huh? My first comment just disappeared.

    Van Wijk,
    Probably not unless there were a war, or some other national emergency. The border situation with Mexico might soon qualify, for instance.

    More info on Catholic immigration teachings here. Open borders is not Catholic policy, as regulating borders is a basic service that the state has to supply to its citizens.

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  20. You are making a generalization Alte. I am talking about specifics here.

    Asylum seekers arriving by boat Make up less than 2 percent of Australia's yearly immigration intake.
    ..

    We need to get some perspective, here..Sigh. Fear mongering is rife.. People are worried about terrorists coming by boat(unfounded) as well.


    The Vietnamese, Chinese, and African people that I know have all settled well in this country.

    Facts.. not hystrionics..(displayed by some here)

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  21. That would be histrionics!

    It's late.. I'm off to bed..

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  22. Asylum seekers arriving by boat Make up less than 2 percent of Australia's yearly immigration intake.

    That is an important fact to be mentioned. I don't really know the specifics of Australian immigration, I can only speak generally on the topic.

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  23. If it were you wouldn't you want to do the best for your family?

    What the prospective immigrant or refugee wants for his family isn't relevant. Most of the Mexicans streaming across the American border want to do the best for their families, but that doesn't mitigate the fact that their presence in large numbers is a threat to American sovereignty.

    The desires of the sovereign nation trump those of the prospective immigrant, as they must. If that desire is a long moratorium on all immigration, so be it.

    I don't give a toss whether they are Afghans, Vietnamese or Calathumpians!

    That's nice. Unfortunately, these people (especially Moslems) have a very clear idea of the sort of country they want to live in, and I don't think you would want to live in such a country. They've already begun to remake your country in that image, so anyone who doesn't give a toss about who is coming in is a fool.

    Extending compassion and a helping hand to fellow human beings who have been displaced through wars and persecution from their countries of origin should be our first priority..

    So Australia's first priority is the open-ended acceptance of any refugee who wishes to come to the country. Apparently Australia no longer exists to protect and preserve the Australian people; it is now a proposition nation based on acceptance and tolerance. No such country is long for the world.

    Australia has had an influx of migrants from many nations over the years. English.. Greeks, Italians Croations,(My father is Italian my mother Croation) Macedonians, etc..

    European, European, European, European, and European. Seeing a pattern here?

    People are worried about terrorists coming by boat(unfounded) as well.

    Now you're making a generalization. I'd suggest you brush up on some of Mark's archives. Terrorism is not the primary concern when it comes to immigration. This is not a neocon blog.

    My first comment was directed at Van Wijk.

    If you posted something to me after the catechism, it didn't get through.

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  24. Kathy Farrelly said,

    "No.... I have never thought about this. It's hypothetical anyway..

    I tend not to get my knickers in a twist over such stuff.

    There are more important things to concern oneself with.."

    There will be no shortage of people wishing to comment on that.

    "Asylum seekers arriving by boat Make up less than 2 percent of Australia's yearly immigration intake"

    That is why we don't usually comment too heavily on the issue. We are concerned about Australia's population mix and we are aware that refugee's make up a small number. However if you had your way they would make up a larger number.

    You haven't replied as to why they had to come by boat, or commented sufficiently on why other alternatives weren't available to them. Your call is that of compassion, we should care about people and why can't we help them. Well there are many millions and millions of people in the world, we don't invite them all into our home though. If you had your way there would be many more. For every refugee who comes here by boat a refugee who is waiting in a refugee camp legally has to wait longer. Additionally I don't see why refugees have to be given permanent status. If they're escaping war they should then return to their home countries when the war is over. "Oh but why not let them stay?" I've answered that.

    To say that migrants of late have "assimilated well" into our country is to be extremely, extremely generous. Can I ask what not assimilating well looks like?

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  25. You can't be serious?

    No.... I have never thought about this. It's hypothetical anyway..

    I tend not to get my knickers in a twist over such stuff.


    Well, thanks for the honest answer. It's the one I expected. Liberalism only works if you don't think about the long-term consequences. It requires a "prefer not to think about that" attitude on a mass scale.

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  26. In fact if it were not for the many Vietnamese priests here there would be a much greater shortage than there already is in the (Catholic) priesthood in Australia.

    That too is short-sighted. Christianity has historically been the established religion in Australia. That has meant that whatever religious culture there was in this country was Christian.

    But those Afghani and Iraqi refugees are mostly not Christian. They are going to be part of the transformation of the religious landscape. There will increasingly be parts of Australia in which Christianity will become a minority, marginal faith. There will be areas of Australia in which formerly Christian populations will feel a pressure to convert to other religions in order to be part of the culture of those places.

    Instead of driving into Australian towns and being greeted by church spires, there will be mosques and temples. Instead of celebrations on TV or in shopping centres or schools of Christmas and Easter, there will either be neutrality (Happy summer festival!) or else celebrations of other religious festivals.

    There are Western countries which are already facing this situation. Take Avignon in France, once the seat of the papacy, and therefore significant in Catholic history.

    This is how the current Archbishop of Avignon sees the situation of the Catholic Church in that city:

    For his part, the Archbishop of Avignon, Jean-Pierre Cattenoz reveals that he too has encountered youth like those described above. "My pectoral cross is often the object of mockery by young French persons of North African origin. When I tell them that it was given to me by Pope Benedict XVI, they say: 'Who's he?'"

    With his frankness, he wonders about the conditions of "living-together" in the France of tomorrow. "We are at a turning point in the religious history of our country," continues the archbishop. A former math teacher, he has done his calculations: "Gallic families, traditionally Christian, are having on average two children. Muslim families living in France have closer to four, five, even six children. Based on that, it is easy to imagine that France will be majority Muslim in twenty or thirty years," predicts the bishop. He adds with a touch of provocation: "For fifteen years I lived in a land of Islam. I am therefore prepared to live in a France that has a Muslim majority. It's just that I wonder what the conditions of our cohabitation will be like."

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  27. If it were you wouldn't you want to do the best for your family?

    So doing what's best for your family is a virtue? Then why do we Westerners disregard the interests of our own children? Why do we deprive them of a tradition of their own to grow up in? Why do we allow overseas students to buy their way into the professional courses at university, thereby limiting the places available for our own children? Why do we allow overseas investors to buy up real estate pushing up prices and the mortgage levels for our own children?

    Again, liberalism can only work if it's tacitly accepted that we will sacrifice our own for the other. Liberalism requires a break in generational loyalties. It requires fathers who accept a decline because they think it won't really start to kick in until after they die.

    If we were to think seriously about the interests of our own children then we would not give away their patrimony for a momentary feeling of benevolence.

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  28. But Mark momentary feelings of benevolence make me feel good. And if it feels good then that's good right?

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  29. ... especially when you can force someone else to pay the various biils (monetary and social) when they come due. What's not to like about getting a self-righteous-on for free?

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  30. Sounds like they would have been ok if they'd stayed in Oz.

    The modern Oz approach seems to be to apply a US-style One Drop rule and treated anyone with any aboriginal ancestry as being Aborigine, which allows for a class of smart and capable 'Aborigine' leaders/social justice activists to emerge.

    I was once at a lecture by an Australian academic with an Anglo name, who looked white, but we Brits were all supposed to accept her self-designation as an Aborigine. I found it weird.

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  31. On the refugees:

    1. Real Iraqi refugees flee to Syria, which is an Alawite/secular Ba'athist dictatorsip and the closest thing to a nice place in the MME.

    2. My reaction to the asylum-seekers depends on their religion, because as a practical matter I know that the Lebanese Christians assimilated while the Shia are wreaking havoc. If these refugees are Muslim they will wreak havoc. If they are Christian (or Parsee) they probably will be much less of a problem for Oz.

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  32. I have not replied to you Jesse because you are rude, belligerant, and make unsubstantiated assumptions, about me.

    In short, you are spoiling for a fight,and I ain't gonna be the one to give it to you.

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  33. Mark, my own father has told me stories about how his family were discriminated against because they were Italians..
    He was called wop and dago on many occasions when he was a kid.

    Even had a Christian brother throw a blackboard duster at him once.. Know what my Dad did?.. Threw it right back at him.

    That same brother said to my Dad that he would never ever amount to anything...

    Years later when my Dad had a family and a thriving business, he happened to spot this brother at a function.. Dad was really tempted to go up to him and tell him how wrong that he had been..Then decided against it.. What was the point he thought.. He didn't need to prove anything to this brother..

    My Dad is an awesome guy..

    Dad overcame discrimination worked hard treated people as he himself would like to be treated.
    He is a well known and respected businessman who is involved in the community.. and is a compassionate caring man who donates to many charities..

    People back then were suspicious of the Greeks, Italians, and Slavic immigrants...But those people worked hard and earned kudos and respect..

    Getting back to this comment of yours Mark:

    "Is it really true that you've never thought about this? Have you no sense of loss if the ethnic Irish, or Swedish, or English, or French were no longer to exist?"

    Specifically, we are talking about integration and assimilation in Australia...

    As I have previously stated, my background is Italian Croatian.. My husband's father was Irish, his mother is English...
    What does that make my kids.. and who cares anyway?


    I have an autistic son, who goes out on outings with African(Zambian) carers.

    These guys are the best.. I have met their families, socialized with them. I cannot speak highly enough of them..
    One guy in particular has a great rapport with my son..

    He is married to an Australian woman. Recently they had their first child..

    My husband and I were invited to the celebrations heralding the babies arrival..

    I have nothing but admiration for these wonderful caring human beings..


    People were afraid about the dagos and wops.. unnecessarily back then..
    It is no different now with the current crop of immigrants.

    As I said..Asylum seekers arriving by boat Make up less than 2 percent of Australia's yearly immigration intake..

    A drop in the ocean.

    The more things change the more they stay the same..
    ..

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  34. "The more things change the more they stay the same"

    You obviously don't take the Pakenham line train into the city each day, Kathy.

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  35. "I was once at a lecture by an Australian academic with an Anglo name, who looked white, but we Brits were all supposed to accept her self-designation as an Aborigine. I found it weird."

    It's probably similar to something which goes on here in the States with respect to having Indian ancestors. In the US -- because the "liberals" have been in control for so long -- even those who have done nothing to deserve status can engage in status-competition if they can position themselves as "victims," and in America, no "victim-card" trumps Indian descent.

    This is not to say that all persons of Indian descent try to play the victim card. Surely, only “liberals” do that; I’m sure that for most it’s just a mildly interesting part of their family history.

    ==
    At the same time, the fixation that some many self-identified traditionalists have with “white civilization” (and fixations on IQ differences between the races) really pisses me off -- as though civilization were a biological/genetic thing. Hell, I’m more civilized (and more intelligent!) -- and, most importantly, more dedicated to Christianity -- than most “pure whites.”

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  36. The last lot of asylum seekers - on the boat that crashed - were from Iran (no war) and Iraq (no war, just sporadic violence. MUCH MUCH abated - you can do a one year tour of duty in Iraq now without firing a shot). They utilised a notorious people smuggling operation - essentially they FLY from Iran/Iraq to Indonesia, then get ferried/bussed to port for departure- on unseaworthy boats (they know it's a one way trip), usually with no safety equipment and inexperienced crew. Now even coming in monsoon season. Some of of these people spend less time in Indonesia than most Aussies would on a Bali holiday. It would pay for some of you to get over your bleeding hearts and opt for a sober assessment of reality.

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  37. Another dose of reality
    (a) Australia now gets more asylum seekers (which are different from overstayers) by sea than they do by air
    (b) note the January 2010 UNHCR figures for registered refugees/asylum seekers RESIDING in Indonesia in the information box on this page. We have more asylum seekers in detention that are currently residing in Indonesia.
    As I said, if you think our arrivals this year a poor bastards stuck in Indonesia then you are mugs - which is exactly what the people smugglers think you are.

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  38. I completely concur with Jesse, I felt indifferent to what happened to the boat. These people knew the risks and they deliberately took them. By the way, there is a difference between an asylum seeker who comes illegally and a refugee who has been accepted by the country. As far as I am concerned, I would like my country (France) to withdraw from the UN convention on refugees. Western countries are always expected to take the toll and extend charity to everyone when we cannot even help our kin. I feel all Westerners are fellows, although we are separated by languages and borders and distinct customs, we ultimately all belong to a broader, Christian Western tradition. We are faced with the same issues, to different degrees. It is what Mark called, I believe, the "selfish gene" in one previous article. I do not feel it is our responsibility to help these people, I rather think it is a crime not to help our own folk while purporting to lend a hand to foreigners whose mores, religion and tradition we do not recognise as our own. Our fellow countrymen must take precedence. We are in a finite world characterised by scarcity, it is all about optimal allocation of resources. Let liberals call me selfish, ungenerous and all those names they especially relish. I could not care less. They cannot change it for all their screeches.

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  39. It is immoral to help the foreigner before you have helped your countryman; it is immoral to help your countryman before you have helped your neighbor; it is immoral to help your neighbor before you have helped your brother.

    And, it is doubly immoral to "help" anyone at all when that "help" is forcibly extracted from others rather than freely given from your own time or money. Theft “for a good cause” is still theft.

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  40. Kathy: I have not replied to you Jesse because you are rude, belligerant, and make unsubstantiated assumptions, about me.

    Well, you must have an awfully tender hide, but regardless, you have also carefully avoided actually addressing anyone else's points, particularly Mark's, and you certainly can't fault his tone or content. Instead, you reply with the standard lazy boilerplate of unthinking immigration sentimentalists everywhere.

    Believe me, Kathy, I've seen your replies, practically verbatim, probably a thousand times over, in conversations, town hall meetings, and comment sections re immigration from coast to coast in the U.S., and all over UK and European papers. I could have written your non-response for you, Kathy, from the "immigrants and the reactions to them are exactly exactly exactly the same now as they were in past eras", right down to the "wonderful caring human beings".

    For the former, I would think a few minutes serious thought would reveal, to any minimally informed person, important differences in immigration then and now, and possible serious negative consequences to current patterns. (It's telling that this sentimentalism can be so pernicious that it represses consideration even of utterly non-cultural issues, like carrying capacity.)

    But the latter makes no sense at all. The world is full of "wonderful caring human beings". They number in the millions upon millions - probably in the billions, and most of 'em probably live in places that are a lot less nice than Australia. How in the name of God is that supposed to be an argument for letting people migrate to Australia? You see why you are being accused of replacing rational consideration (your duty as a citizen, I would think) with childish feel-goodism?

    Or did you throw in the "wonderful caring" cliché because you're making the unwarranted assumption that anyone who thinks immigration needs to be restricted does so only because he thinks all foreigners are horrible rotten individuals? If so, you're in no position to be complaining about Jesse "mak[ing] unsubstantiated assumptions" about you.

    And for the life of me I can't figure out what the Christian Brother and the shoe episode is supposed to be an argument for. Yes, it is true that all immigrants everywhere and in every time tend to be discriminated against. It does not follow from that truth that any one from any place and in any time has some right to immigrate wheresoever he pleases (even if that anyone is the world's most awesome guy).

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  41. Kathy's argument is that people were worried about the post World War II immigrants, but that's turned out OK and so will the current waves of migrants, they're nice people and nothing will change.

    Kathy, the traditional Australian identity was an Anglo-Celtic one. This identity could have assimilated non-Anglo-Celts to a certain degree, depending on numbers and distance of separation.

    For instance, the Dutch and Germans are relatively closely related. So you could have had reasonably large numbers with little problem of assimilation.

    The southern Europeans are related but more distantly. So numbers would have had to have been smaller, but it could have been done over time.

    Non-Europeans are not related, so numbers would need to have been kept small.

    Has there been any consideration of this in the migration programme of the last 60 years? No, because there has been no intention of keeping to the existing Anglo-Celtic identity.

    I get the feeling that Kathy doesn't care much about this. This could be because her own background is not Anglo-Celtic, or because she is influenced by the mainstream liberal culture, or because she is one of those women who don't really grasp the concept of a communal identity.

    But I have to tell Kathy, that if you are ethnically an Anglo-Celtic Australian, or if you identify with this tradition, then what has happened has been destructive.

    And nor can the fact be dodged that what is happening in Australia is happening in other Western nations.

    Kathy, I wonder what your father would think about the mass migration of Africans and Asians to Italy. Would he approve the conversion of churches in Florence or Rome or Venice to mosques? (By the way, I doubt if your father was discriminated against by the Christian brothers. Everyone had dusters and/or chalk thrown at them in those days.)

    We have a situation in which the Western peoples are committing a kind of group suicide. If things continue as they are now, there won't be people of European descent on the planet anymore.

    Isn't that something to be regretted? Don't we Europeans make up part of the world's diversity? Haven't we contributed a great deal to the cultural and scientific progress of humanity?

    And doesn't our disappearance qualify, at the very least, as "change"? How can it be said that nothing will change, when we are waving good-bye to the European populations?

    Kathy, the task for conscientious people today is to work to put a stop to indiscriminate mass immigration and to then salvage what we can of our own distinctive traditions. One part of this task is to challenge the liberal political philosophy which is used to justify current policies.

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  42. Ilion:
    "as though civilization were a biological/genetic thing. Hell, I’m more civilized (and more intelligent!) -- and, most importantly, more dedicated to Christianity -- than most “pure whites.”"

    Partly, it is. Plenty of non-white ethnies are capable of civilisation though, and northern Europeans' experience of civilisation is pretty recent - which causes problems for us, eg we seem less well-adapted to city living than some other ethnies, both culturally and possibly genetically. Certainly not all populations are equally capable of civilisation, and I definitely don't think whites are the most naturally civilised of people. There are groups, such as the Australian aborigines, whose current genetic capacity for civilisation building I have to suspect would be low to non-existent. Of course a few thousand or tens of thousands of years under the appropriate selective pressures would change that, for them or for any other human group extant today.

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  43. Ilion:
    "I’m more civilized (and more intelligent!) -- and, most importantly, more dedicated to Christianity -- than most “pure whites.”"

    I'm technically an atheist, so you definitely have me beat. :)
    I'm also half Irish, so at least that half isn't very civilised, either. ;)

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  44. Mark:
    "If things continue as they are now, there won't be people of European descent on the planet anymore"

    There will be people with European ancestry, but eventually there will not be appreciable numbers of people with solely European ancestry.

    I guess the last European will be some Charlton Heston looking guy saying "I Am Legend". >:)

    Word verification: "Canan"

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  45. Kathy,

    I saw the film "Nine" recently with Daniel Day Lewis and an all star cast, its set in Italy in the 1960’s. As a boy he is given the advice by a seductress to improve his chances with the ladies by "being Italian". That is to look inside himself and find his Italian traits and bring them to the fore. Well of course that's a bit harder if people are from everywhere. The question was legitimately put how would your father feel about mass immigration to Italy. He is probably quite proud of his Italian heritage.

    People who are born in one culture and then migrate to another, have the advantage of having their formative and developing years in a distinctive culture. Those who are born from like parents in another country have a similar advantage. It gives you a bit more steel in your spine and when someone says "you'll never do it", you can dig a bit deeper into your roots and traditions and try again.

    The only way that a post cultural society can really work is if everyone embraces one overarching culture, total acceptance, multiculturalism (in the watered down sense). If you have "Italians" here and "Zambians" there, everyone sticking to their own, it will be a fragmented society and people will have limited loyalty to it. If we move beyond that though we still have to give people some sense of a self that is stronger than, "everyone is a unique snowflake".

    Those are just the practicalities. The people here, I'm sure, are proud of their heritage and don't want to give it up, or have it be merely another of the "cultural selection" in their own country of origin.

    Immigrants have no right to come here. Your father had no right to come here. Residency is a gift. He should keep that in mind whenever he has bad memories of dusters. Dusters were thrown at foreigners in Italy too.

    On the point of distinction with post war European migration, firstly they were specifically invited in, there was no assumption from them or us that they were entitled to come. There were stronger pressures back then to integrate (dusters were probably part of it too) and many immigrants took that very seriously. See Tom Tancredo in America speaking of his Italian parents (or grandparents) in America encouraging the family to “speak American” (English) rather than Italian. Was that a great cultural attack on them? I don’t think so. They were also European, they were also brought in with a clear understanding that it was for our national benefit etc etc etc.

    Your good immigrants, as was pointed out, are symptomatic of good people everywhere. They and we though are still part of cultures.

    I hope that isn't too rude a comment.

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  46. It's probably similar to something which goes on here in the States with respect to having Indian ancestors. In the US -- because the "liberals" have been in control for so long -- even those who have done nothing to deserve status can engage in status-competition if they can position themselves as "victims," and in America, no "victim-card" trumps Indian descent.

    Added to which is the fact that being white is, like, so not cool.

    At the same time, the fixation that some many self-identified traditionalists have with “white civilization” (and fixations on IQ differences between the races) really pisses me off -- as though civilization were a biological/genetic thing. Hell, I’m more civilized (and more intelligent!) -- and, most importantly, more dedicated to Christianity -- than most “pure whites.”

    A hearty congratulations on your intelligence. If traditionalists are too obsessed with race for you, what alternative do you provide?

    I completely concur with Jesse, I felt indifferent to what happened to the boat.

    As do I.

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  47. People were afraid about the dagos and wops.. unnecessarily back then..
    It is no different now with the current crop of immigrants.


    Apples and oranges. It has been proven that different ethnicities within the same race can assimilate into a country where that race is the majority. But if both the ethnicity and the race are different from that of the majority culture, assimilation is far more difficult.

    It should also be noted that the Italians did not come to Australia and begin remaking Australia in their own image, agitating for their own tribe at the expense of others. They became Australians. The same cannot be said of the "current crop."

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  48. Excellent comment by Rohan Swee.

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  49. "Excellent comment by Rohan Swee[t!]"

    Indeed.

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  50. Ilíon: "It's probably similar to something which goes on here in the States with respect to having Indian ancestors. In the US -- because the "liberals" have been in control for so long -- even those who have done nothing to deserve status can engage in status-competition if they can position themselves as "victims," and in America, no "victim-card" trumps Indian descent."

    Van Wijk: "Added to which is the fact that being white is, like, so not cool."

    As I said, the "liberals" -- the willing dupes for the murderous left -- have been in charge for far too long.

    Not all that long ago, in terms of the culture, and back before “Native Americans” were invented, having recent Indian ancestry was a big social no-no; it was worse than having black ancestry, it was worse that having visible black characteristics. At least, this was so among the elites.

    But, our elites have since progressed from an irrational white-chauvinism – and in which “whiteness” was a measure of the distance of one’s ancestors from Britain -- to an irrational white-hatred. But, at least, now “white” refers to a general European ancestry.

    I have both American Indian (coming from three of my grandparents, with the fourth being part-Irish) and Jewish ancestors … just think, if I were “liberal,” I could really play up the victim card, I could even play the old “no Irish need apply” card (which celebrates something that never actually happened).

    Ilíon: "At the same time, the fixation that some many self-identified traditionalists have with “white civilization” (and fixations on IQ differences between the races) really pisses me off -- as though civilization were a biological/genetic thing. Hell, I’m more civilized (and more intelligent!) -- and, most importantly, more dedicated to Christianity -- than most “pure whites.”"

    Van Wijk: "A hearty congratulations on your intelligence. If traditionalists are too obsessed with race for you, what alternative do you provide?"

    Culture, of course -- as is evident in what I wrote and you quoted. And a genuine Christian faith; for “cultural Christianity” won’t do the trick.

    IF you folk want to save “white civilization,” THEN you, yourself, must choose to become a genuine Christian.

    For example: Walter Williams, or Justice Clarence Thomas, both of whom are very visibly black men, share more in common with me than do vast numbers of American whites. For, they embrace the elevated culture which originated in Europe, whereas the present-day crop of American whites reject the very idea of there being an elevated culture. Despite the thousands of years of separation since those two and I shared a common ancestor, they are my kin, and most whites are not.

    ===
    Simon in London: "I'm also half Irish, so at least that half isn't very civilised, either. ;)"

    And Irish is about as “white” as it gets, isn’t it? My surname may or may not be Irish; I prefer to believe it’s English. All my European ancestors (except the Jewish part) were from the British Isles, and most have been in the States for well over three hundred years. Should I look down on whites whose ancestors are more recent immigrants?

    Simon in London: "I'm technically an atheist, so you definitely have me beat. :) "

    But, see, one of the great things about Christianity is that no one even can be born into it: everyone *chooses* (or refuses) to be a Christian. You’re still alive, so you have time to change your mind on this question.

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  51. Simon in London: "I'm also half Irish, so at least that half isn't very civilised, either. ;)"

    Ilion:
    "And Irish is about as “white” as it gets, isn’t it?"

    Actually, my mother's looks are "black Irish" -jet black hair, blue eyes and a complexion that tans easily. This is probably an expression of the original pre-Celtic racial stock of the British Isles, the people who moved up along the Atlantic coast from Iberia at the end of the last Ice Age while Britain was not yet an island. The look is more common in Wales (qv Catherine Zeta-Jones). Subsequent invaders have been mostly fair/red-haired types from the east and north-east, such as Celts and Germanics.

    My father is half Home Counties English (mostly Saxon), half Newcastle English (Saxon/Viking cross) so very Germanic in looks. He has blond hair and blue eyes. I have blue eyes and brown hair.

    IME the more stolid Germanics have a greater civilisational capacity than the wilder (pre-)Celts. Both less so than middle-Easterners and north-east Asians. In a Total Collapse situation such as the end of the Roman Empire, or speculative apocalypses such as the Mad Max movies, the natural reaction of white northern Europeans, is to abandon the cities. I don't think that's the case with several other groups.

    Ilion:
    "But, see, one of the great things about Christianity is that no one even can be born into it: everyone *chooses* (or refuses) to be a Christian. You’re still alive, so you have time to change your mind on this question"

    I don't have Faith, and I can't just choose to have Faith. Which is a problem since I think Christianity is both morally good and necessary for our civilisation and blood to survive.

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  52. I think that some of you guys need to walk a mile in another man's shoes.

    As for addressing the points of others here, nobody has acknowledged the fact(or commented on) that boat people make up less than 2% of our annual immigration intake.

    Your xenophobic fears are unfounded.


    I call things as I see them, and experience them.. I know many African, Chinese and Vietnamese people. They are hard workers, trying their hardest to fit in and make a life for themselves here.

    And, some of these people are my good friends..

    Thankyou for your hospitality Mark, we shall just have to agree to disagree.

    I see no point in thrashing a dead horse, here.

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  53. So you start by saying that illegal refugee's are treated unfairly. Then you move onto saying immigration is a good thing and there are more important things in life than heritage. Finally you say refugees are only 2%, but you don't address the fact that illegal boat arrivals force other refugees to wait longer for a place.

    You can dodge all you like on this issue but lets get this straight.

    1. Large scale immigration is not a "hypothetical" its a current reality.

    2. You cannot say that large scale immigration isn't happening and at the same time say that immigration is also good or that its not that big a deal.

    3. Refugee's are a small number but they are significant politically. Should we accept whoever decides to come here, legally or otherwise, on the basis of their escaping a conflict zone or other difficult regime, and on their way skipping many other countries, or not?

    I must confess I expected a higher level of debate than this. Your argument is weak.

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  54. Ilion wrote: “It is immoral to help the foreigner before you have helped your countryman; it is immoral to help your countryman before you have helped your neighbor; it is immoral to help your neighbor before you have helped your brother.”

    These are indeed the basics that have been so often spurned by liberals. Charity begins at home. We have our cohorts of homeless and starved people in Europe too, we must help our kin before we whine about the rest of the world. It is not as if poverty were found wanting here...

    Mark wrote: “The southern Europeans are related but more distantly. So numbers would have had to have been smaller, but it could have been done over time.”

    As you said, it is all about a close racial relationship. France absorbed hundreds of thousands of Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Polish people as of the end of the nineteenth century and after the Second World War. Apart from their family names (not always as they have often married French people), there is no telling they used to be Italians, Spaniards, Portuguese or Poles. I am myself three quarters Italian, one quarter French with some Austrian ancestry. I cannot speak a single Italian word (although I do speak German, a nice tribute to my Austrian forebears, no doubt they would roll in their graves if they could hear me maim their language). My loyalty is to France alone, although I am of Italian ancestry, I have no cultural bonds with Italy as my family has fully assimilated (my grand-grandparents immigrated in the 1920s, my grandfather fought in Algeria to be granted French citizenship). I suspect my Italian ancestors would even resent my Lutheran sympathies. And yet, there have been many grievances, my grandparents were not especially well treated by the natives when they arrived. However, they assimilated within two generations (I am fourth generation, my father is half French, half Italian, which means I am considered fully French, although I am often mistaken for a German due to my blonde hair and light complexion, and sometimes, I feel closer to Germanics and Anglo-Celts in terms of culture). When the first significant waves of Northern and Sub-Saharan Africans came in the 1960s, they initially kept a low profile as our official policy was still assimilation. As multi-cult theses gained prominence, and as they were emboldened by their swelling numbers, the third generation spoke out in favour of multi-cult, more often than not with unseemly vehemence or even violence (and they have not quit the habit). The new migrants are simply different. The four aforesaid ethnicities I mentioned were all Europeans, the first three were culturally close to France in languages and religion (Poland too was and is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic), and all with a common tradition of fighting the Turk (well, except for that relapse during Francis I’s reign). They came at a time were the welfare state was still inchoate. They had no choice but to assimilate, and most of them were willing to.>

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  55. < (continued) Today, the migrants you have and we have would like to perpetuate the same traditions and customs that are enforced in their countries and do not belong to Western culture. In fact, if you populate Europe with Third World migrants, it will turn into a Third World continent as they want to perpetuate their backward culture which is to be held accountable for their lagging behind in most fields, especially as to the frailty of their respective economies. Europe cannot be the same with different people, simples, really. However, that is up to them if they want to perpetuate it in their own countries, they are definitely entitled to do it, and welcome to it, as far as I am concerned. However, this is about the West, about Europe, North America and Australia. We are white Christian nations (accounting for different ethnicities, but we are still pretty close), and wish to remain so. Even atheists who brag about their alleged triumph will come to regret it as they will find they need substantial numbers of observant people to keep the whole thing going. We have a right and a duty to preserve our respective characters. This is the prerogative of every people on earth, and I mean to contribute toward keeping it that way.

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  56. Shylock:
    I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands,
    organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same
    food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases,
    heal'd by the same means, warm'd and cool'd by the same winter
    and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If
    you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?
    And if you wrong us, do we not revenge? If we are like you in the
    rest, we will resemble you in that.


    The Merchant Of Venice Act 3, scene 1, 58–68

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  57. Simon in London: "I don't have Faith, and I can't just choose to have Faith."

    Why not? Faith isn't something that happens to you against your will -- any more than love is. Both are decisions; both should be rational and evidence-based decisions.

    Evaluate the claims of Christianity (*) and the evidence for those claims; if you decide that the claims are true, then you've made the first step of faith. The hard part -- the part that leads people to capitalize the word -- is sticking with the rational decision you have made when there is no rational reason to doubt (for instance, contrary evidence previously unknown to you) that you have chosen correctly to believe what your first believed.

    Certain Evangelical Atheists like to assert that Christianity is contrary to reason and to rationality. Such assertions have no relationship to reality; Christianity has always been about reason (and Reason); but it’s also about Love.

    (*) Starting with the first claim: “There a Creator-God.” Or, to put it another way, put your atheism to the rational test -- I assure you, it fails. Of course, you can’t take my word for that, you have to put in the work of working through it for yourself; I may be able to help you, if you wish, but you have to see for yourself and then decide to admit that atheism is irrational.

    To (hopefully) help you with getting started on understanding and evaluating the question of whether God is, may I offer I little something from my own blog: The First Question


    Simon in London: "Which is a problem since I think Christianity is both morally good and necessary for our civilisation and blood to survive."

    And, it *is* necessary. Of course, that in itself doesn’t establish that Christianity is true, but it is consistent with the thesis that Christianity is true. Or, to put it another way, if Christianity were detrimental to human flourishing and to the continuation of our societies (and the species), would that not be at least an indication that Christianity may be false?

    Does not the principle of that last question also apply to, oh, say, atheism and/or materialism?

    Should we not expect that a true metaphysic ought to contribute to human flourishing? Should we not expect that a metaphysic which is detrimental to human flourishing is false?

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  58. "I see no point in thrashing a dead horse, here."

    Good, 'cause you clearly have nothing to say except more of the same old "liberal" bullshit which is destroying the western societies and cultures.

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  59. "3. Refugee's [sic] are a small number but they are significant politically"

    Year after year after year, they add up. And then they have babies. And, if they have been resisting joining *your* culture, they start to demand that you accomodate them.

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  60. Simon in London: "I don't have Faith, and I can't just choose to have Faith."

    Why not? Faith isn't something that happens to you against your will -- any more than love is. Both are decisions; both should be rational and evidence-based decisions.

    Evaluate the claims of Christianity (*) and the evidence for those claims; if you decide that the claims are true, then you've made the first step of faith. The hard part -- the part that leads people to capitalize the word -- is sticking with the rational decision you have made when there is no rational reason to doubt (for instance, contrary evidence previously unknown to you) that you have chosen correctly to believe what your first believed.

    Certain Evangelical Atheists like to assert that Christianity is contrary to reason and to rationality. Such assertions have no relationship to reality; Christianity has always been about reason (and Reason); but it’s also about Love.

    (*) Starting with the first claim: “There a Creator-God.” Or, to put it another way, put your atheism to the rational test -- I assure you, it fails. Of course, you can’t take my word for that, you have to put in the work of working through it for yourself; I may be able to help you, if you wish, but you have to see for yourself and then decide to admit that atheism is irrational.

    To (hopefully) help you with getting started on understanding and evaluating the question of whether God is, may I offer I little something from my own blog: The First Question


    Simon in London: "Which is a problem since I think Christianity is both morally good and necessary for our civilisation and blood to survive."

    And, it *is* necessary. Of course, that in itself doesn’t establish that Christianity is true, but it is consistent with the thesis that Christianity is true. Or, to put it another way, if Christianity were detrimental to human flourishing and to the continuation of our societies (and the species), would that not be at least an indication that Christianity may be false?

    Does not the principle of that last question also apply to, oh, say, atheism and/or materialism?

    Should we not expect that a true metaphysic ought to contribute to human flourishing? Should we not expect that a metaphysic which is detrimental to human flourishing is false?

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  61. Simon in London: "[the “Irish” thing]"

    My grandmother made it a point that her people were “Scotch-Irish,” rather than Irish.


    Simon in London: "[speculative “civilizational capacity” of various peoples]"

    Just two centuries ago, some of my ancestors were wild (and frequently vicious) savages living in the forests, in near-perpetual warfare with their neighbors. And they chose to adopt the practices of “white” civilization -- one of them (speaking generally, I’m not descended from that man) even invented an alphabet (technically, a syllabary) for their language, based on nothing more than the knowledge that whites were somehow able to represent their language by marks on paper.

    Unfortunately for my ancestors, far too many of the whites lusting after their lands were neither civilized nor (more importantly) moral.

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  62. ... and the whites who were moral and honorable, such that they would have respected the solemn treaties they had made with my ancestors, were constantly letting themselves be used, via their own tribalism, as tools by the immoral and/or dishonorable whites.

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  63. Ilion:
    "if Christianity were detrimental to human flourishing and to the continuation of our societies (and the species), would that not be at least an indication that Christianity may be false?"

    No. Among religions I think Islam in particular is detrimental to human flourishing, but it clearly exists. And it's debatable whether Islam might be more conducive to the survival of the species than Christianity; eg Christianity arguably led to modern secularism and below-replacement fertility. Islam in Africa leads to much lower STD rates than Christianity due to circumcision and the sequestration of women.

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  64. Ilíon: "If Christianity were detrimental to human flourishing and to the continuation of our societies (and the species), would that not be at least an indication that Christianity may be false?"

    Simon in London: "No. Among religions I think Islam in particular is detrimental to human flourishing, but it clearly exists."

    I really don’t follow how ‘X exists’ negates or is contrary to ‘X is detrimental to human flourishing.’ And I really don’t see how that ‘Islamic societies haven’t wiped themselves out’ negates or is contrary to ‘Islam may be false’ -- did I not say “And, it [Christianity] *is* necessary [to our civilization's continuance]. Of course, that in itself doesn’t establish that Christianity is true, but it is consistent with the thesis that Christianity is true.

    That a metaphysic or philosophy or religion, when it becomes the defining or foundational aspect of a civilization, doesn't result in the suicide of the civilization doesn't tell us much about whether it is true or false (but it is consistent with the thesis that it is true, or true in most of its claims). On the other hand, if a metaphysic or philosophy or religion *does* result in the suicide of the civilizations which adopt it, that's a pretty good indication that it's false.

    This is similar to the fact that scientific principles and methods cannot tell us whether any particular scientific theory is true, but can indicate to us when they're false.

    There are many more ways to be wrong (or false) than to be right (or true). It's possible to be almost right; but to be "almost wrong" seems an oxymoron (yet, an interesting phrase).


    Simon in London: "And it's debatable whether Islam might be more conducive to the survival of the species than Christianity; eg Christianity arguably led to modern secularism and below-replacement fertility."

    Damn those mathematicians! If it weren’t for them, teaching everyone that “2+2=4”, we’d not have those folks over there saying that “2+2=5”!

    One cannot have a heresy unless there is first an orthodoxy for it to be in revolt against.

    Does not the fact that "secularism" -- or to more properly identify it, the wide-spread societal repudiation of Christianity -- is leading to the self-elimination of all the formerly Christian societies which have turned their backs on Christianity indicate that "secularism" itself is the problem, and is false? Or, to put it another way, does not the result we're seeing in real-time of a "lived atheism" count as evidence against atheism?

    Now, don't misunderstand me: I am not trying to argue that this by itself -- the social consequences of atheism -- is proof that Christianity is true and that you should convert due to seeing the negative social consequences of atheism. Rather, I am saying that as you do see the negative social consequences of atheism, this ought to prompt you to begin critically examine your present belief that atheism is the truth about the nature of reality.

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  65. Simon in London: "And it's debatable whether Islam might be more conducive to the survival of the species than Christianity;"

    Those Islamic nut-jobs in Iran *want* to spark nuclear war, because they believe they can thereby hasten the arrival of the Mahdi, due to worldwide social upheaval.

    Christians know that Christ will return on God’s schedule, and that God cannot be forced. And, for that matter, while we pray for Christ to return, we simultaneously hope that it will be not yet … we have this cross-purposes attitude precisely because we believe that the event will be devastating and will close the door of opportunity for “the lost” to be rescued.


    Simon in London: "Islam in Africa leads to much lower STD rates than Christianity due to circumcision and the sequestration of women."

    And Christian morality lived leads to the total elimination of all venereal diseases. But, since Christianity is in part about freedom - unlike and contrary to Islam - and since not all persons choose to live fully moral lives, STDs will be with us until Christ returns. Still, Christianity leads to hospitals.

    Human freedom is a part of human flourishing, is it not? Because men are sinful and perverse, that freedom always produces some measure of negative personal and/or social impact.

    So, which is better, which is more conducive to human flourishing: freedom, with the possibility that some will abuse it? or slavery?

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  66. Ilion:
    "to put it another way, does not the result we're seeing in real-time of a "lived atheism" count as evidence against atheism?"

    There are plenty of strong indications that atheism cannot provide a viable moral foundation for any society. Societies where atheism is the guiding principle of the State seem to do very badly.

    I'd go so far as to say that (most) humans seem to need religion, in some sense, in order to flourish and to self-perpetuate.

    "Then the women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said 'The Wages of Sin is Death'"

    That doesn't make any particular religion, or any religion, true. It helps explain why we have religions, that religion of some kind is necessary for humans individually and for human society.

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  67. It's pointless to try to determine which, if any, specific religion is true (or, to be more precise, is the fullest known expression of truth) before one has recognized and admitted that atheism -- the denial that there is a Creator-God -- is false.

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  68. Simon,

    The modern Oz approach seems to be to apply a US-style One Drop rule and treated anyone with any aboriginal ancestry as being Aborigine

    Yeah, it's a bad long-term strategy for them, which is why black people (and Aboriginal people, I suppose) have decided to support it. Black people enforce the One Drop Rule now just as strictly as white people once did because it now works in their favor.

    It is not as if poverty were found wanting here...

    The problem with Western poverty is that it is so often self-inflicted. Most of the poor in America are Baby Mommas and their children. If you help them, it just encourages their destructive behavior. Whereas someone who was gang-raped and starved in a war zone will naturally receive more sympathy from would-be helpers.

    Isn't there a point where you have to say, "Okay, we've helped our own as much as we possibly can. All further help would be counter-productive. We can help someone else now." Otherwise, you would never help anyone else. It would just be an excuse for general indifference and selfishness, rather than a moral argument. That would be like someone cutting back on their charitable donations so that they could buy a new big-screen TV.

    I think we can afford to help other people out. I just think we should be careful about how we do it, and we shouldn't allow ourselves to be treated like Sugar Daddies, or brow-beaten into servitude.

    Today, the migrants you have and we have would like to perpetuate the same traditions and customs that are enforced in their countries and do not belong to Western culture.

    That's the problem I see, as well. The catechism makes it clear that assimilation is the obligation of the immigrant. They're not supposed to be forming enclaves, or trying to remake their adopted country into the place they fled.

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  69. "Well, thanks for the honest answer. It's the one I expected. Liberalism only works if you don't think about the long-term consequences. It requires a "prefer not to think about that" attitude on a mass scale."


    The funny thing is Mark, I AM NOT A LIBERAL.. Lol! Why must people be pigeonholed.

    For the record:

    I do not believe in abortion under any circumstances.(I put my money where my mouth is there. At 16 weeks I discovered that I was carrying a baby with a neural tube defect anencephaly- she would die at or soon after birth.I refused an abortion- my baby was stillborn. God Gives life- only he can take it away.)

    I do not believe in contraceptives.

    I do not believe in sex before marriage.

    I do not support feminism.
    My husband brings home the bacon and I stay at home looking after the kids.

    I am a practising Catholic who believes in the transubstantiation, prayer ( I say the rosary) and penance.

    I thank God everyday for all that he has given me despite my unworthiness.

    I am most certainly not perfect and have quite a temper..(just ask my husband)

    " There but for the grace of God go I"

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  70. "The funny thing is Mark, I AM NOT A LIBERAL.. Lol! Why must people be pigeonholed."

    Because "Why must people be pigeonholed?" is a reflection of the LIBERAL mindset.

    OK, so you're not a "liberal" ... but your thinking is still not free of the "liberal" indoctrination in which we all were marinated.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Alte:
    "Yeah, it's a bad long-term strategy for them, which is why black people (and Aboriginal people, I suppose) have decided to support it. Black people enforce the One Drop Rule now just as strictly as white people once did because it now works in their favor."

    This reminds me - my American father in law is an academic in the US, he told a class how a genetic ancestry test indicated he was 4% black, 5% east-Asian, 91% white.

    "Then you're black! You're one of us!" said his black students.

    ReplyDelete

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