What's the Reason?
“This is where two philosophies clash. The one says yes, these are equivalent "beliefs" which have been equally scorned. There is no difference between factual truth and professed faith; the conviction that the [Nazi] genocide took place and the certitude that Muhammad was illuminated by Archangel Gabriel are on a par. The others say no, the reality of the death camps is a matter of historical fact, whereas the sacredness of the prophets is a matter of personal belief. This distinction between fact and belief is at the heart of Western thought. …” (Hat tip Pastorious.)Thinking back to the Cold War, the threat of communism made it imperative that we define the essential difference between the free world and the collectivist world. Today, the resurgence of Islam, and its threat to the West, prompts a similar comparison. What makes us different?
Why has human achievement been the exception during most of human history with an occasional spark amidst the smothering oppression of authority while during the last three hundred years a compounding of knowledge from generation to generation has created an exponential cascade of human innovations in the West and everywhere in the world that has welcomed Western culture? What makes oil-poor South Korea, Japan, Israel and India more hopeful than Egypt or Iran?
In the morass of multi-cultural moral equivalency, these questions are forbidden. They should, however, be center stage.