(Note: I’m trying to reformat a book about the Constitution and the Common Man, so I began rereading a lot of scientific literature about evolution, natural selection, territory and instincts, provocative things I’d read in the 70s, then laid aside as they had no immediate impact on me, since I was still in my 20s and predictably stupid back then.
(I now plan to “prove” that the thirst for Liberty is innate in Man and can be proved scientifically as well as through Morality, Reason and Logic, themes we dwell on all the time. I decided to make this the book’s hook, that Man’s desire and right to be free is agreed upon by both God and (some) Darwinists. And since God is much older, He still gets top billing.
(This article is only a synopsis of the lynchpin theme in my book, introducing this thesis, the chapter itself rather long. I think you’ll find this entertaining, and just a little intellectually challenging, especially for those of you who thought all evolutionists moved in lock step with all those creepy anti-religion, anti-liberty scientists who seem to do the Left’s bidding these days. They don’t.)
* * * * * * * * * *
In the 13th Century there was an interesting Franciscan friar named Ramon Llull (pronounced “yoohl”), who, like another philosopher 400 years later, was also a noted mathematician. So Llull understood both the immutable laws of logic and God’s laws. He was also something of a charismatic, which even in the days of the Crusades was rare, and rarer still, any day, for a mathematician.
Llull was born on Majorca, an island off the coast of Spain, so wanted to convert his people under the dominion of the Muslims in Spain. Now in those days the Arabs of Spain and North Africa were hardly the grimy camel drivers we see killing people in Syria, Iraq and Libya. This period was probably the height of Muslim arts, architecture and scholarship. Their philosophers matched the best in the West and Byzantium; great minds such as Averroes, Avicenna, and Ibn Khaldun. (I studied these men in college, so know how to spell their names.) Llull knew he could not simply march up to people like that and begin pointing to Christian scripture (called “Bible-thumping” today) knowing that these people had their own holy books. Instead, he engaged in a process called “disputation”, which for those of you who’ve followed Plato, Socrates and Aristotle, was a form of argument, involving step-by-step logic, thrust and parry, and which carried the argument to a certain conclusion. If you’ve followed the arguments of Richard Dawkins, the anti-Christian animal behaviorist and William Lane Craig, the defender of Creationism, or the more entertaining Dinesh D’Souza-Christopher Hitchens debates on the subject of atheism versus religion (you can find these on YouTube, and are well worth the 45-minutes of your time), you’ll get some idea how the “disputation” style of argument works. No matter which side you’re on, it’s very edifying for it leads up to a point, if the cards are played well, where one side simply cannot answer one final logical question. Thus is was with Richard Dawkins, who has refused to debate Craig any longer, since Craig posed just that sort of question.
Sadly, this happened to Llull as well, in Tunisia, where he’d forgotten all about the home field advantage, and the Muslims stoned him to death. At age 82.
Llull’s lesson for us today is that it really is of no purpose to thump the Bible to people who either have another book, or no book at all, and are proud of it…if your purpose is to bring them around to seeing your way of thinking. Being a mathematician Llull learned that there were logical flaws in the Muslim philosophy of the day, and drove those points home. He succeeded in his arguments because he explored the logic of the faith of his enemies. It’s that simple and is a lesson we must learn if we are to do battle with the Left successfully[…]
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