Monday, 19 December 2022

Always Be Suspicious of Anything that Ends in '-ism'

 William James Tychonievich has a good "Look, the Emperor has no clothes" post on his From The Narrow Desert blog pointing out that racism is a fake sin. He makes the obvious but we cannot say it point that "noticing racial differences and the actions of racial interest groups is smart. Acting in accordance with that information -- "discrimination" -- is rational and good. Stereotypes and generalizations are useful, necessary, and unavoidable. Preferring the company of one's own people is natural. Love and loyalty for one's own people is praiseworthy. Agree? Congratulations, you're a racist!". Evils may come from that, hatred, injustice, cruelty, exploitation of the weak by the strong, but then jealousy can come from love. Does that make love a sin? If I prefer to be with my wife rather than another woman does that make me a bad person? According to the current ideology which puts racism at the top of the pile of evil (or the bottom, both make sense) that would seem a logical corollary.

No spiritual tradition condemns racism as a sin. As far as I know, it's hardly ever discussed. You might say that the races didn't mix much in the days when these traditions evolved but they certainly did in 1st century Palestine. The neither Jew nor Greek, neither bond nor free, neither male nor female quote of St Paul's does not mean that Jews and Greeks and men and women do not exist but that all differences are transcended in Christ for he comes to all. I mean, that's obvious, isn't it, especially as elsewhere this same St Paul tells servants to obey their masters?

If racism means hating others it is wicked because hatred is a sin. But if it means recognising there are different types of human groups and they are different in many ways, it is entirely rational. In fact, it is crazy not to see this. It is normal and natural to prefer one's own sort and to want a homeland where one's own sort can live and grow and express themselves and their culture in a way which accords with their preferences and traditions and without outside intervention. This certainly does not mean you reject others or do not find interest and instruction in other cultures but you want to maintain your own. If that is racism then so is protecting your family.

Always be suspicious of anything that ends in '-ism'. It's an ideology not a truth.


dave b said...

"because hatred is a sin"

Is it though? I would say rather its a sin to NOT hate atheists.

"Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies." Psalm 139:21-22

William Wildblood said...

Yes, hatred is a sin that scars the soul. Atheists are erring souls, to quote someone. You only hate them because you think they have power but in fact they have none even though I agree that in this world at this time their influence is baleful. But really in the long term and with the wider view they are mostly to be pitied.

William James Tychonievich said...


You may have heard that Jesus updated a few Old Testament principles.

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:43-48).

I was an atheist for years. Hating me wouldn’t have done any good.

Lady Mermaid said...

Very well said. Fundamentally leftism is about destruction of creation. Every form of ism whether it is racism, sexism, classism, etc. is about creating envy and resentment among different groups of people. Since equal outcomes can never be achieved, leftism will forever be angry at "injustices".

One of the greatest challenges facing modern man is how to accept differences among different groups of people while avoiding falling into the trap of cruelty and exploitation. For example, the Taliban's return to Afghanistan has led to elimination of education for women. No doubt the Afghan people were rightfully disgusted at the modern feminism the US tried to shove down their throats. However, treating women as enemies of civilization is the wrong answer to feminism.

William Wildblood said...

Absolutely. You might say that Western feminism is one distorted extreme and Muslim suppression of women is another. Both are equally wrong from the spiritual perspective.