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Wednesday, April 11, 2007



Ley us not forget that this same Jane Smiley wrote in Salon third comment:

Gary Kamiya writes, "In a just world, Bush, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rice, Feith and their underlings would be standing before a Senate committee investigating their catastrophic failures, and Packer's book would be Exhibit A." No. In a just world, these people would be taken out and shot.

So I imagine the comparison of Smiley to Stalin is not too far off.

fr richard

Well thought, and well said, Carl.


Jane could use some Realist Philosophy 101. When she states, "To witness or testify is to enter into a social interaction. In most cases, both parties to a social interaction, such as a conversation, agree to it" she shows that any act of faith or trust is more than a subjective experience, it has some objective content in the form of the experince itself. When she enters into all the nonsense about a "private matter" she becomes a solipsist. If it is a private matter, then how can we make any knowledge claims about it such as she does?
Her own subjectivism is an appeal to force ("Someone who constantly witnesses to his or her subjective experience of faith is like a stalker in that he or she is imposing his or her emotions on others"), she tells us to believe her emotional appeal because those who witness to faith have ulterior motives so one is better off believing her post-Enlightenment drivel. Well dear Jane, your brand of "stalking" is a 2 way street.


*Faith is an entirely subjective experience. If I don't feel faith toward a particular doctrine or figure, then there is no way that I can be made to feel that faith. The strongest demonstration of this reality was the Protestant Reformation. Luther... and the others showed by all their activities that they could not be made to share the subjective experience of Catholic faith as described by the Church.*

I can just picture Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms:

"Unless I am convinced by warm fuzzies, I cannot and will not recant. I just don't feel like a Catholic. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me."


The real difference between Mr. Olsen and Mrs. Smiley is that Mr. Olsen believes in "objective" truths about God. I.e. the idea that there are certain things that "feel right," but are contrary to what we know the expressed will of God to be.

On the other hand, Mrs. Smiley believes that we cannot know the expressed will of God outside of our personal "feelings." Her God speaks to her through things that "feel right," and since man/institutions cannot to be trusted, those feelings are the only way she can "know" the will of God.

Personally, I'd have to side with Mr. Olsen on this one. Religion needs to be a search for truth, regardless of what that truth might mean. Religion is not "your truth" or "my truth," it is not assuming inauthenticity simply because it conflicts with your predetermined "morals," it’s a search for actual, objective facts about God. Otherwise, its just all make-believe.


I apologize, its Mr. Olson not “Mr. Olsen.”

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