Tag Archives: John Locke

So-called own sacred values under threat

The last few years we have seen populist politicians becoming more popular and getting a stronger following who wanted to cause a fuss here and there. Often they want to have their people believe their nation was great but got damaged by the many immigrants. They say the immigrant population weakens the country and brings democracy in danger.

On the other side there is also a contemporary myth that European societies used to be homogenous. Europe has always been a blanket of a lot of diversity. Always it has been a mixture of all sorts of people and cultures. Throughout the ages we could find a battlefield in the Low Countries. Lots of pieces of land changed hands many times, once belonging to the Romans, than to the Germans, the Austrians, the French, the Dutch. Even the languages and religion changed more than once.

Threat to the security and stability of the nation

Today we can find lots of people who say the land belongs to them and others bring their Judaeo-Christian values in danger. Though many of those crying about their values, do not have any of such juedo christian values at all. The 2016 Islamist fundamentalist attacks showed clearly how far countries as France wanted to go putting liberty of thought, freedom of expression and clothing at the side. France and Belgium so secularised took measures which went totally against real democratic rules and humanitarian freedom.

Big problem in Europe today is that lots of people do not worship God any more and do not keep to the essential commandments of God and as such do not mind not telling the truth, not loving the other, not taking care of others their goods or of nature, they even enjoy being better than the other wanting to have more than they have. For many, hatred and envy are the order of the day. We notice that hatred under Christians is nothing new any more. In the previously Chrisitan countries, we also come to see more hatred against religions in general, many thinking religion is the cause of all the problems. In West Europe we find many that much-vaunted bastions of multiculturalism have become No God Zones.

The last few years we also could see that several countries did not mind to take up again very discriminatory laws.  We could see that even in the so-called most free country of Europe: France; and also in the so-called most progressive liberal country Denmark where they even went so far to go for Nazi-laws.

Too many people do forget our world evolved to a world where lots of people go from one place to another and influence each other. There are already many influencers on the net who cross many country borders and bring people to change their normal and consumption habits, plus eating and clothing customs.

Best examples which show how it is going wrong at the moment, are the United States of America, Brazil, Hungary and Hong Kong. The States takes the cake by having a president who goes in against everything the founders of that State stood for. That country was built on the aspiring hopes of people who came from all sorts of countries, all sorts of cultures and different religious denominations. The land is created or grown by a mixture of peoples. In the few years the 45th president of the U.S.A. ruled he managed to destroy a lot what was build up in the previous decades and created a lot of division between the inhabitants of those states which should be unified.

Instead of all trying to come to one unified Europe we do find more and more people going against the tendency for unification. Several politicians want to create such hammock in the country people get fed up with politics and start wanting to do their own thing in the way they want to do it.

A few years ago there was the beginning of fear created by Islamist fundamentalists. Now an other fear was added. This time it is not the clash between Islam and the West, but the power of a virus, which destroys our free way of life as well. Religious conflict was the norm in the old so-called homogenous Europe. Often the Roman Catholics were the killers to be afraid of. They had a terror regime that forced everyone to Catholicism. The people having most to fear then were the ones who worshipped the Only One True God and not Christ. Many brethren and sisters in the faith had to hide their faith or even had to hide in less easy to reach regions.

The English philosopher John Locke put it, ‘to a foreign prince’, the Pope, whose values were incompatible with those of liberal democracies, and who posed a threat to the security and stability of the nation.

At one point in European history we have two centuries where Jews were seen even more of a threat to European identity, values and ways of being, so much so that they became victims of the world’s greatest genocide. Today many forget that the treatment of Jews as the ‘Other’ was not confined to Germany. It was a central theme in most European nations, from the Dreyfus affair in France to Britain’s first immigration law, the 1905 Aliens Act, designed principally to stem the flow into the country of European Jews. And up in the North lots of Jews got burned in their homes by Russian attacks against them.

In all cases we see that governments and people want to find a victim, someone or some people to point with the finger, to cast them as the cause of all misery.

In the previous centuries high society also looked downwards to the working class. The working class and the rural poor were seen by many as racial distinct.
The French aristocratic anti-egalitarian diplomat, writer, ethnologist, and social thinker Arthur de Gobineau, in his Essai sur l’inégalité des races humaines, 4 vol. (1853–55; Essay on the Inequality of Human Races), remarked already that

‘Every social order represents a racial variety’.

Joseph-Arthur, comte de Gobineau.

Arthur de Gobineau, French diplomat, writer, ethnologist, and social thinker whose theory of racial determinism had an enormous influence upon the subsequent development of racist theories and practices in western Europe.

In the Essai Gobineau asserted the superiority of the white race over others and labeled the “Aryans”—i.e., the Germanic peoples—as representing the summit of civilization. That idea is not killed yet. Also today in Europe as well as in the United States we do find people who cling to that idea, that the fate of civilizations is determined by racial composition, that white and in particular Aryan societies flourish as long as they remain free of black, brown and yellow strains, and that the more a civilization’s racial character is diluted through miscegenation, the more likely it is to lose its vitality and creativity and sink into corruption and immorality.Donald Trump does find this enough reason to make sure everyone comes to understand that, and that it are the white federal troops which are the ones who can and should have everything in control.

Gobineau insisted that

‘We imagine that we are one nation, but we are two nations on the same land’,

each a distinctive race with

‘perpetually contradictory spirits’.

The Christian socialist Phillipe Buchez, giving a talk to the Medico-Psychological Society of Paris in 1857, wondered how it could happen that

 ‘within a population such as ours, races may form – not merely one but several races – so miserable, inferior and bastardised that they may be classed below the most inferior savage races, for their inferiority is sometimes beyond cure.’

The races that he was talking of were not, of course, from Africa or Asia, but the working class and the rural poor. In this century some reflect similar words now also referring to those who work on the fields (seasonal workers) and those who do the jobs the ‘nationals’ do not want to do.

Gobineau’s writings were quickly praised by white supremacist, pro-slavery Americans like surgeon, anthropologis and slaveowner Josiah C. Nott and the Swiss American propagandist for the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War, Henry Hotze, who translated his book into English. They omitted around 1,000 pages of the original book, including those parts that negatively described Americans as a racially mixed population.

In the 19th century in many countries, the poor were

‘a race of whom we know nothing, whose lives are of quite different complexion from ours, persons with whom we have no point of contact.’

explained an article on working-class life in East London in The Saturday Review, a well-read liberal magazine of the era.

‘Distinctions and separations, like those of English classes’,

the article concluded,

‘which always endure, which last from the cradle to the grave, which prevent anything like association or companionship… offer a very fair parallel to the separation of the slaves from the whites.’

Just before the pandemic struck our regions there were already enough signs we were evolving back to a segregation position of modern slaves, the working class.

With the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, we will have to be very careful that politicians and CEOs do not take advantage of this situation in order to corner the workers and exploit them even more because of the emerging economic crisis.

In the States, we see already how the president got so many people to believe that we should ignore this virus or Chinese disease and should all go back at work making our economy great again. For him, the economy comes first. Human lives are not so important and when they are black or brown they are even less important. For him as for some in Europe as well there should not be Corona restrictions, because they go against our liberty. All such matters to protect the health of people undermine the economy and therefore (according to them) should be annulled. Inc ase there are people dying from Covid-19 they should be considered as just ‘accidents de parcours’.

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Preceding

Tribes Redux

Trans-ability and Identity and Political correctness

Seeds from the world creating division and separation from God

Denmark votes in favour for a Discriminatory Nazi law

American Christians have to think twice before going to vote

Tolerance Ends When There Is No Tolerance Shown Towards Us

Francis Fukuyama and ‘The End of History?’

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Additional reading

  1. Belgium, Belgicae and the fertile floodland
  2. Disturbing language inbalance
  3. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  4. Morality, values and Developing right choices
  5. Subcutaneous power for humanity 2 1950-2010 Post war generations
  6. 2014 Religion
  7. Europe and much-vaunted bastions of multiculturalism becoming No God Zones
  8. 2016 in review Politics #1 Year of dissonance
  9. Negative views of immigrants, Muslims and Jews
  10. Migrants to the West #5
  11. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #1 Christian Reform
  12. President Trump shall have to recognise that Immigrant Workers Are Vital to the U.S.A.
  13. Secularism in France becoming dangerous for freedom of religion
  14. Christians, secularism, morals and values
  15. Being Christian in Western Europe at the beginning of the 21st century #2
  16. Need to Embrace People Where They Are
  17. 500 Years of Reformation Divisions Have Lost Much of Their Potency
  18. American Christianity no longer resembles its Founder
  19. What Steve Bannon really wants
  20. Is Europe going to become a dictatorial bastion
  21. Challenges of the Post-Pandemic period

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Cosmina Craciunescu looks on Positivism

Positivism and its developments in Europe

Positivism is a philosophy of science based on the view that information derived from sensory experience, logical and mathematical treatments, being the exclusive source of all authoritative knowledge, stating that only in science there is a valid knowledge or truth.

Positivism is an older quarrel between philosophy and poetry later being described as a middle way between the humanities and the sciences. It was laid out by Plato , and it states that the only authentic knowledge is the one that allows for positive verification and assumes that valid knowledge exists only in science.

Auguste Comte

Auguste Comte (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Among the most important Enlightenment thinkers, we can refer to Auguste Comte, who was a French philosopher and sociologist. He followed the creation of a positivist philosophy, and embraced the concept of the evolution of the modern society and of the people through time. The idea of progress was central to Comte’s new science, called sociology, which will eventually lead to the historical consideration of every science.

The positivist phase requires a complete understanding of the universe and the world around us and states that the society should never know if it is in this positivist phase.

As for scientific positivism, it was considered one of the most influential ideologies of progress in the early modern period and had a powerful impact in Europe during the course of 19th Century. It took form in France and had a great impact over other European movements.
The contemporary positivism actually meant the use of scientific methods to uncover the laws according to which both physical and human events occur, while sociology would tend to synthesize all knowledge in order to make a better society.
Positivism is a way of understanding based on science, (Auguste Comte) in which people do not rely on the faith in God, rather on the science behind humanity.

Moritz Schlick, the founding father of logical...

Moritz Schlick, the founding father of logical positivism and the Vienna Circle. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Logical positivism, later called logical empiricism, is a school of philosophy that combines empiricism, the idea that the observational evidence is indispensable for the knowledge of the world, along with a version of rationalism, being the idea that our knowledge includes a component that is not derived from observation.
Logical positivism developed in a group of discussions called the First Vienna Circle that was organized after the end of the First World War. Some of the important names that tried to support this movement were Hans Reichenbach, Otto Neurath and Rudolph Carnap. The main idea that was supported by them was called synthetic a priori propositions – meaning that the rejection of metaphysics had no meaning, without actually being wrong. In the end, this project did not seem to last for too long.

Stephen Hawking is a recent high profile advocate of positivism, regarding the physical sciences. In his work, called The Universe in a Nutshell , –

English: NASA StarChild image of Stephen Hawking.

English: NASA StarChild image of Stephen Hawking. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

– “…a scientific theory is a mathematical model that describes and codifies the observations we make. A good theory should describe a large range of phenomena on the basis of a few simple postulates and will make definite predictions that can be tested…if one takes the positivist position, as I do, one cannot say what time actually is. All one can do is to describe what has been found to be a very good mathematical model for time and say what predictions it makes…”

Through the Vienna Circle, the positivist movement emerged in Europe in the late 1920s. The members of the Vienna Circle had a great antipathy toward the German speculative philosophy and toward sweeping metaphysical theories that had flourished on the continent all throughout the 20th Century.
An interesting aspect of the positivist movement was that the positivists regarded women as being superior to men. Comte praised women as being the vehicles of feelings over reason, of morality over politics .

 Positivism in the Frame of International Relations

In international relations, positivism has been the dominant epistemological point of view. In the theory of the International Relations, positivism tends to create knowledge that is being supported by four foundational assumptions.
The first one is that methodologies that apply in the scientific world can be assumed to perform the same in the non-scientific world. This is referred to as the unity of science .
The second assumption would constitute the fact that there is a clear delineation between values and facts , as well as the belief that facts remain neutral between various theories.
The third assumption is that both the natural and the social environments have regularities that can be uncovered by theories, being the same kind of process that is used when a scientist approaches the natural world, also being used in the context of the social research.
Positivism has a major role to play in international relations theory. It is considered to be one of the explicit alternatives among many, but rather as the implicit Gold Standard which stands against all values that were known before this particular time, along with all of the approaches that were evaluated in the past decades.
International theory underpins and informs international practice even if there is a lengthy lag between the major theories all the way to their absorption in the social, political and economic life.
In the context of international relations, positivism is regarded by scientists in different manners. Based on the works of John Locke and David Hume , the central premise of positivism is that science must be based on a Phenomenalist Nominalism expressing the notion that only statements about a particular phenomena which can be directly experiences can count as knowledge, and that any statements that do not refer to independent atomized objects cannot be granted the status of justified knowledge.

 – Cosmina Craciunescu

  Continue reading: Social Constructivism and Positivism in the Context of International Relations

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    Logical Positivism is an outdated, radical idea that started in the Vienna Circle as far back as the early 1800s. The main view that logical positivists held is that no statement is legitimate or meaningful until it can be proven true or false. In the minds of logical positivists, personal opinions and values only warps science, and it can only be objective through the scientific method. During or class discussion, with the help of a spectrum of ideologies such as instrumentalism and postmodernism, the majority of the class came to the conclusion that science is not objective. This agreement was based on the idea that science is about the process of which we come to a conclusion, rather than the conclusion itself. Logical positivists would disagree with this analogy, as they believe that science is about coming to a proven legitimate conclusion rather than the process.
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