The Prophet was insulted: what does it mean?

Every monolithic / monistic system of thought has similar characteristics:
1. All reality is one; nothing, not even the smallest piece, may not fit
2. Anything that doesn’t fit must be eliminated either by annihilation or by synthesis; otherwise the one is not perfect
3. Only one explanation of that reality is allowed
4. Reality is necessarily ultimate, therefore sacred; it becomes a religious question even in a so-called atheistic county such as Russia or China
5. To say anything about the sacred ultimate other than the party line is not just criticism or satire, but can be interpreted as insult (calumny, defamation, libel–derived from insulting the gods) and usually is punishable by death (elimination); many nations still have this law on their books, including many Western nations such as Italy.

Usually societies that try to break with tradition (by this they mean from superstitious tradition) such as France, Holland, Britain and the U.S., hold up satire and insult as the right of free people. However, they naively do not understand the vehemence with which believers in monistic systems will defend (look at sources such as Harvard professor Robert Putnam’s Making democracy work).

It must also be understood that so-called moderates or even unbelievers and other fringe people from such monolithic systems (they usually must move in order to be so openly) are by in large still bound by the assumptions of their upbringing. So there will always be the draw, the tendency back towards the one. What alternatives does such a person have, where will they turn in a crisis? The tendency for most would be back to their roots.

Other well known examples of monolithic systems: Hellenism, European ancien regime, Nazism, Communism, McCarthyism, Progressivism (e.g., the way global warming has been handled on both sides of the question), Islam, Roman Catholic and Protestant fundamentalism, and so on.

About dbporter

Dan Porter, living in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Married to Bonnie, an artist. We have three grown sons, all married to wonderful women, and in turn have eight children.
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