The ancient Greeks looked up at the sky in search of first principles. In fact, this is the root of Western ontological thought. In the beginning, there are principles, what mathematics calls axioms. The Reflexive Axiom, for instance, states that every number is equal to itself. This is true at all times and all places since the beginning of time. A proof in math always rests upon at least one axiom.
The root of Jewish thought is looking into the silence of the Cosmos expecting to hear a voice, a revelation of something beyond the world. That revelation cannot be discovered with passive indifference. Silence must be broken as it was in the beginning, when God said “Let their be…” To grossly simplify things, silence, indifference and neutrality are the hell of a cosmos without the word of God.
This being a short blog post, the above is a grossly simplified bit of comparative philosophy, but the take away here is to understand the two different ways to confront the world. More specifically, the two different ways to confront the unpleasant parts of the world, namely other people. The Christian seeks to bring the immoral back into line with first principles. The Jew will present them with indifference.
The former has a history of running around looking for monsters to slay. Even today, when our rulers have abandoned anything resembling Christianity, they run around looking for sinners to torment. Having run out of sinners worth tormenting, they invented new sins so they could create new sinners. That’s why you suddenly find yourself in trouble because you think men should not wear dresses.
The Jewish approach is to exile those who cannot reconcile themselves to God and the faith. It’s not just a physical separation; it is an emotional and spiritual one. The Yiddish expression “meh” that is usually interpreted as a shoulder shrug is a very serious insult, or at least intended as one. To be indifferent to someone’s point of view, to not even be willing to speak to their arguments, is to relegate them to the hell of silence.
Reading this tantrum on National Review this morning, it occurred to me that the Jews have it right on this score. Ted Nugent is a fool, a horse’s ass, who makes a mockery of himself on TV for money. I don’t know if he is an anti-Semite, but my hunch is he is not because he is too stupid to know the meaning of the term. For the same reason we don’t condemn the retarded to the gallows, we should not call guys like Nugent anti-Semitic.
The writer of that piece is just a hipster dufus with a mullet and a British accent so he added nothing to my thoughts on the subject. His purpose is virtue signalling. “Look at me, I’m a good thinker. The proof is I’m hollering at a bad thinker. See?” This is popular on the Left, but increasingly so on the modern Right, thus proving that there is very little space between the two.
Regardless, the right answer here is to simply ignore people like Nugent, if you are striving for a more thoughtful dialogue about topics under public consideration. If you and a buddy are having beers, deciding on your next hat, maybe Nugent has something to offer on head gear. Anything else, the response should be “meh” and leave it at that. Idiots are the background noise of the cosmos. You’ll never hear the call if you spend all your time listening to idiots.