Wednesday, July 20, 2016
"Call me Ismael...And, doubtless, my going on this whaling voyage, formed part of the grand programme of Providence that was drawn up a long time ago.
"It came in as a sort of brief interlude and solo between more extensive performances. I take it that this part of the bill must have run something like this:
"Grand Contested Election for the Presidency of the United States.
"WHALING VOYAGE BY ONE ISHMAEL."
"BLOODY BATTLE IN AFFGHANISTAN."
"Though I cannot tell why it was exactly that those stage managers, the Fates, put me down for this shabby part of a whaling voyage, when others were set down for magnificent parts in high tragedies, and short and easy parts in genteel comedies, and jolly parts in farces—though I cannot tell why this was exactly...besides cajoling me into the delusion that it was a choice resulting from my own unbiased freewill and discriminating judgments."
from Chapter One: Loomings, Moby Dick by Herman Melville
What an irony of history and literature, an ironing of reality, that we come round similar events and similar actions and similar beliefs now, 165 years later, today in July, 2016.
The first 3 ironies and history-repeaters speak for themselves. Are in the news, have been in the news for days.
But what of fate, of determinism, of qadar, of predestination?
Yes, that Medusa,
of philosophy and religion is making a huge return of late, too--
#1 In the take-over by Augustinian Reformed leaders of much of American Christianity in the last 30 years.
#2 In the huge popularity around the globe of Islam and "qadar," (which, strangely, is even defended by many secular leftists and "liberals" in the United States and Britain).
#3 By the massive support for and by most atheist leaders of determinism and the denial of human choice.
Famous determinists include neuroscientist Sam Harris ("Tumors All the Way Down"), biologist Jerry Coyne (no "moral responsibility," murderers and rapists have no choice), and biologist Anthony Cashmore (humans have no more choice than a "bowl of sugar").
And there is daily in the news, the horrific attacks by modern Ismael of innocent civilians such as the stabbing death of the 13-year-old young girl by a Muslim Palestinian youth this month.
How deep is the abyss of darkness overwhelming humanity,