The public has a genius seldom matched by human individuals whether they be Shakespeare or Newton or Prigogine. Try on some of these oxymora for example, Jesus Christ, funeral home, fair trial … In every case the second term contradicts the first across the board.
Geniuses like St. Augustine, St. Paul contributed to the richness of a religion like Christianity, but nevertheless Christianity is a group composition, the group composing over time, continuously revising, first dozens, then hundreds, then millions of individual revisers: just like the myriad experience of existence revising every detail of the evolving species.
Anyway, Christianity tells of oxymoronic Jesus Christ getting a Roman version of a trial, with the emphgasis on its patent unfairness. The humans speak, the God remains silent (after one sarcasm), the humans impose ritual after ritual on their murder, the God endures it … The Bible says that only God can judge; the humans swarm on every opportunity to take over, to impose their own judgments; then to scream their innocence when exposed: “I didn’t know”: the ultimate excuse: so long as God can’t get a word in edgewise.
Actually we form groups to do our lethal judging: so that Bill, Sam, and Betty are never responsible. These groups we call Congress, the Supreme Court … TIME, IBM …
Humans will never learn. Thank goodness. We won’t be around fucking over the world for much longer. We perpetually take ourselves to be the exception. Oh, the French were wrong to destroy deSade’s body before God could judge it, but we wouldn’t do that. The Nazis were wrong to mass-execute Jews, gypsies, fags, but we’re liberal now: we just defrock Ivan Illich, arrest and censor Paul Knatz …
We’ll just kill these terrorists, then we’ll never have to kill again.
It works as long as we do all the talking: silence God, science, intelligence.
Moron humans really believe that the public, brainwashed by state-controlled schools, and state-licensed universities, and by profit-governed media … is competent to judge who’s a god, who’s good, who’s a terrorist …
I’ll agree: after God has confirmed some of our assumptions; on condition that God has proved his identity to a universe full of AIs. Till then the idea that faculties, experts, judges, nobles, elected representatives can establish a single fact objectively makes me puke.
If I stumble into the Neanderthal’s camp and they decide to kill me, I’ll try to get away, but I have no quarrel with them on political theory: so long as they don’t accompany my murder with a ritual and call it a trial.
The Teutons had trials, the Romans had trials; but only we miserable moderns add injury to the insult by calling our rituals a fair trial.
There, that’s the first draft of what I wrote to launch this post. But here’s the note it was supposed to express!
A Jesus can’t get a fair trial from a temple with money tabes restored, an atheist can’t get a fair hearing among believers, an analyst who sees that what the future needs is a severaly-reduced present human population will never be heard by the blind human population growers, an anarchist can’t get one point understood by kleptocrats. And the boy who’s been molested by the priests can’t establish a single unflattering fact in the priests’ church.
So: there’s more than one metaphor being expressed, more than one stance being taken.
2011 06 24 I referred to deSade above: the French buried him in lime so the corpse would disintegrate rapidly. Christians had believed that God would judge people’s resurrected bodies. If there was no body there could be no judgment. The French didn’t want God to get a turn, they wanted their judgment to trump his!
I just read of a parallel. Today’s Straight Dope newsletter deals with the Chinese torture of 1000 cuts. Cecil Adams reports that it was a method of public execution. Dismemberment horrified the Chinese who believed that someone without breasts, dick & balls, arms, legs, head … would make a poor appearance in the after life. So the Chinese weren’t just murdering the accused, they were also murdering the accused’s reincarnation! Just like the French: except that the French sabotage of deSade’s potential resurrection was blasphemous: I see no blasphemy in the Chinese torture. (Oh, and Cecil reports that the Chinese executioners actually murdered the victim fairly rapidly, then used the corpse for a show of cruelty for the edification of the public. So, the government was cruel, but not quite as cruel as it looked.
2016 01 13 Laws are composed and revised by one class (or coalition of classes) exploiting another class (or punching bag of classes). The ruling class files some of the rough edges off a law, but open your eyes, the law serves the ruling class(es). Roman law was written to benefit Rome, not to be fair to God or to Jesus or to the Jews. Jewish law ditto: except that the Jews pretend that God wrote the laws: and Christians duplicate the pretense.
more in a sec, first I gotta jot some stuff on law as ritual.
Law & Ritual