P_Decker

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Guardians of the Truth

Quite a discussion. There's much that was strung together that might better be sifted into piles.

Moses, for example. Moses was an educated man in charge of a host of ignorant, illiterate peasants who firmly believed in magical thinking. Golden idols, etc. So he knew he couldn't make any headway with them by saying, "I'm an educated gent, and I can tell you you're wrong." He couldn't say, "We're in the desert, you fool, and if you eat that pork that's been lying around for three days, you're gonna get trichinosis." Nope. He said, "GOD SAYS pork is UNCLEAN!" And then it's on to commandments given on the mountain, etc. But the jews were "people of the book," which was their salvation. They valued study of the Torah. Which translated to the value of study in general. And that--and prohibitions against their indulgence in other professions, plus Vatican usury laws--sent them into banking and scholarship and physics and other intellectual pursuits of value to all of us.

Now, as to truth. Most embrace a specific "truth" because it suits their disposition while giving their poor little egos some reason besides accomplishment to feel themselves superior to their neighbors. (Read your Hoffer. And, of course, your Thoreau: "If anything trouble a man, if he has a pain in his bowels even, he forthwith begins reforming the world.") The real question is why one can't be happy in his beliefs unless he can impose them on others. Why, for example--a simple one, admittedly--does someone claim to be allergic to perfumes. Of those who have been tested, the only ones to respond did so only at the threshold of smell. Very strange. Could the real issues be "victimization" and control.

But, of course, the worst of all truths is the current one. Beware, my friends, of the zeitgeist. The temper of times is no guide to rational thought.