“Over the line”

To commit an outrage is to overstep bounds, for the word comes to us from the French outré (meaning excessive) and the Latin ultra (meaning beyond). It is an accident of etymology that the word seems to indicate a feeling of rage, although raging against outrages is common enough, and convention permits us to say we are outraged by the outrageous. — Over the line by JMSmith

Three things some people hate

  • The law of identity: Everything is identical with itself.
  • The law of non-contradiction: No thing is both black and not black.
  • The law of the excluded middle: Every thing is either black or not black.

When one of these foundational principles of logic is pointed out to those people in a context in which they must respond (ignoring it being their preferred option), they respond with blather, denial, or force — of one kind or another and in combination. Maybe the blather takes the form of endless demands for dialogue; the denial might involve two activists making contradictory assertions while claiming to agree with each other; the force starts with name-calling and escalates to whatever it takes.

I’m not sure who those people are exactly. Maybe liberals, or progressives, or leftists; maybe elites, or politicians, or The Man; maybe simply anyone who begins by thinking “What should I say to get what I want?” Maybe it’s almost everyone at one time or another. Errors are easier to see in other people than in ourselves, and we’d rather not draw attention to the logical failures and sophistry of someone who is “on our side.” Anyway, it’s probably a mistake to put all human discourse into one of three categories.

Consumerism

“…we must discard the vanity of believing that Islamist movements are pre-Enlightenment movements driven by barbarians who will moderate as soon as they discover the splendors of consumerism. In truth, they are post-Enlightenment movements. They know the humanist utopias that had substituted for religious faith have collapsed.” — A Europe Without God or Mothers, quote by Fabrice Hadiadj tr. Rod Dreher