The term dialogue stems from the Greek διάλογος (dialogos, conversation); its roots are διά (dia: through) and λόγος (logos: speech, reason). The first extant author who uses the term is Plato, in whose works it is closely associated with the art of dialectic. Latin took over the word as dialogus.
A wonderful conversation between Jonathan Pageau and John Vervaeke. They cover much ground, especially regarding the recent events of the reaction to the virus and the tremendous uprising of protests and riots. I will point to what I found as highlights. Feel free, however, to listen to the entire discussion.
Vervaeke begins by walking through his thought process while reflecting on the situation of George Floyd, the riots, racism, the riots, etc. He comes to understand that he is once again being traumatized in the same way he was traumatized as a child in his fundamentalist church – by a puritanical form of Protestantism. Regarding the current accusation of racism and white guilt:
7:04: “I am being told that I have an original sin, not because of any act I have committed, but because of how I was born; there is an aspect of this that is unforgiveable; whatever I do to try an overcome this makes it that much worse; I need to be contrite until some external, obscure authority pronounces me saved.”
17:06: Vervaeke asks Pageau if the version of original sin that he was brought up with – whether or not it is the right version – is what’s at play in this movement right now. Pageau’s answer touches on the dangers of bringing this idea of original sin into biology; this has been done before, and it doesn’t end well.
The only way out for those who are deemed guilty of today’s original sin is to self-flagellate or to scapegoat – find someone guiltier than me and yell at them (and worse). It seems to me that even this isn’t sufficient, as it does not bring forgiveness.
22:35: Pageau offers his “alternative” way of understanding original sin. I won’t do justice to his answer by summarizing it. If this is of interest, take a listen.
39:10: Vervaeke has an interesting observation. There is an exclusive focus on one virtue in this race guilt, justice (in a very truncated view of justice), at the exclusion of all of the other virtues – both the Cardinal and Theological. “We should at least be talking about the other virtues, all seven.” Talking about justice without talking about wisdom is oxymoronic and very dangerous.
Pageau then relates this demand for justice to another complicated term – equality. The problem is, there is no such thing as equality. The desire for equality is a desire for power.
46:29: Pageau discusses the focus of Christianity on the poor. The focus is on those who have, to give; it is not for those who don’t have to take. Why can’t they just take it? It is a self-defeating pattern, because there is always someone with less than you. From Pageau:
I don’t excuse the peasants for killing the king, but it is still, kind of, the king’s fault. He didn’t take care of the peasants.
53:15: listen to the next four or five minutes from this point. If these few minutes are of interest, just listen to the rest of the discussion. I will just touch on highlights:
Our current events are akin to the French and Russian Revolutions; the new atheists who made fun of Jordan Peterson talking about this just need to look around: it is happening right now; a meaningful discussion of the shortcomings of reason: there is an aspect of reality that cannot be accounted for.
We call murder immoral, yet we don’t create an eradication strategy for it. It would result in a totalitarian state. Which is exactly what is happening with covid…and, also, the current discussion of racism. To eradicate these will require a totalitarian state (yet, as with murder, none of these will ever be eradicated).
Covid has awakened in us the desire to eradicate; this opportunistically flowed right into the discussion of racism: the desire to eradicate thoughts and feelings. We know where that road leads. We will find scapegoats and have public beatings. Pageau then brings up René Girard and a quote from him from around 2007. Girard saw this coming, something about bringing up the machine of antichrist: infinite victimhood looking for infinite scapegoat.
We are facing the same problem now that we faced during the twentieth century. Pageau warns: when the Nazis came to power in Germany, they were faced with a communist revolution. The pendulum doesn’t just swing one way.
Most Americans are more distressed of the opposite party than they are of a foreign threat. What does that mean?
The burning of the forest (as is occurring right now) includes the seeds for the next growth. Unfortunately, there is destruction. And we have kids.