Saturday, January 31, 2015

I burn your books, you burn mine

BAGHDAD (AP) — When Islamic State group militants invaded the Central Library of Mosul earlier this month, they were on a mission to destroy a familiar enemy: other people's ideas.
Residents say the extremists smashed the locks that had protected the biggest repository of learning in the northern Iraq town, and loaded around 2,000 books — including children's stories, poetry, philosophy and tomes on sports, health, culture and science — into six pickup trucks. They left only Islamic texts.
There are those who adore books as if they were talismans of greatness and virtue and such people are horrified that a book burning took place. For them, book burnings are an apostasy.

But worse than that, in my mind, is the concrete fragility of the world view that indulges its feeding-frenzy fires: Are someone else's ideas so threatening to my philosophy and if so, what does that say about my philosophy? How convincing and practical, to say nothing of kind, are ideas that excoriate a world that does not share them?

This might all be hypothetical hand-wringing, if the feeding frenzy wrought by group-think agreement (good, bad and indifferent) did not end up spilling others' blood.

The mad dogs of group-think -- a spinoff of what may be elevated and inspiring and genuinely nourishing starting points -- are ... well they scare the shit out of me.

And what is socially true is a capacity that is singular and personal as well. I burn your books and you burn mine from time to time.

Lord, do not save me from the utter thoughtlessness of others. Instead, save me from the mad-dog and subtlely shaped stupidity within!

Let's just agree to be infidels, OK?

1 comment:

  1. It's as if their love of god requires a hatred of humanity.