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August 29th 2016 print

Peter Smith

The Road to Earthly Perdition

The 'stolen generations’ myth is a small clue to puzzle, but a vital piece it is. The Left's game is to erode the foundations of our civilisation until it crumbles, which explains why false and destructive narratives emerge. The bigger question is why we allow them to attain such purchase?

god weepsIn the minds of most people the story of ‘the stolen generations’ evokes images of large numbers of part-Aboriginal children being systematically and unjustifiably taken from their families and put in institutions or fostered out. At the same time, in a separate and distinct compartment of their minds, these same people will agree that at some extreme point of parental neglect, or abandonment, children, whatever their ethnicity, have to be removed for their safety and wellbeing.

South Australian Bishop Chris McLeod was a visiting preacher at my Anglican church a short time ago. In his sermon he explained that his mother had been part of ‘the stolen generations’. She had been taken from her family and cared for in an Anglican orphanage and, subsequently, in an Anglican household. He did not elaborate further.

I don’t want to comment on the Bishop’s position. I knew nothing about him until hearing his Sunday sermon and know very little now. I know nothing about the feelings of his mother.

What I want to comment on is the likely reception of the Bishop’s remarks by the congregation. I might be wrong but I doubt anybody besides me would have read Keith Windschuttle’s Fabrication of Aboriginal History (Volume III). To a man and woman they would have slotted the Bishop’s remarks into what they ‘know’ to be a cruel and racist part of Australia’s past; ditto for almost any group of Australians.

All Australians are aware of Kevin Rudd’s apology. Why apologise for something that didn’t happen? The story of ‘the stolen generations’ has become an historical fact or, more correctly, a factoid.

In different circumstances I might have been like the rest of the congregation and the bishop’s story would have slotted neatly into a mindset captured by the received wisdom. I went so far the other day over coffee to say that those who had not read Windschuttle’s work were not entitled to have a view on ‘the stolen generations’. As neither of my two companions had done the requisite reading I am not sure how they took this comment. If it came across as arrogant, so be it. I think it is true.

It is also true that the received wisdom will prevail. The story of ‘the stolen generations’ represents yet more damning evidence of Australia’s racist history. It will not be widely questioned because that itself would be racist. Ergo, its verisimilitude will increase with time.

One of the principal building blocks of our civilisation is the primacy of reason — to think, to understand and form logical judgments on the basis of experience, evidence and facts. Twist experience, evidence and facts to suit a political narrative and reason fails, sophistries prevail. We now have many such sophistries plaguing and undermining our values and culture.

Marriage as commonly understood since the dawn of time has suddenly become a discriminatory institution; children, we are told, do just as well with same-sex couples. Life is sacrosanct, but unborn babies are disposable. All cultures are equally worthy, but our Judeo-Christian heritage is dispensable. A religion whose text preaches violence is peaceful. Speech should be free provided it doesn’t offend. The economic system responsible for lifting countless millions out of poverty oppresses the poor. Opening borders to all-comers is sustainable … and so on it goes.

The ‘stolen generations’ is just a small piece of the puzzle; but a piece it is. The end game is to chip away at the foundations of our civilisation until it is rubble. The question is not why false and destructive narratives emerge; they always have. The question is why they have now attained such purchase that,  for example, Q&A audiences cheer every sanctimonious barb directed at our history, values and way of life. I don’t know the answer.

Yes, it might be explained by the march of the left through the media and educational institutions. But that simply puts the question back to an earlier stage in the process. How come that happened? After all we are talking about attacks on the greatest civilisation that mankind has known and in circumstances where no half-pleasant alternative is on offer.

My shot in the dark is that those undermining our civilisation have Nirvana in their sights. Now there is a nirvana. It’s called the after-life. But just suppose you disavow the possibility of an after-life but still have the longing? We see the result. It is apropos. The godless are leading us to hell on earth.

Peter Smith, a frequent Quadrant Online contributor, is the author of Bad Economics

Comments [51]

  1. ianl says:

    Peter

    I’m a “godless” person – I find that evolutionary concepts fit the empirical data far more accurately than various superstitions. I’m also not a spear carrier for the leftoids (quite the reverse).

    However, I agree that a madness is stalking the lands. You say you don’t know why this has come about. So why did the ancient Roman Empire crumble ? The parameters of then and now have a number of similarities, but the most potent is the widespread, incessant growth of “feelings” being preferred to thinking. This allows any narrative a foothold and those narratives with the most “feeling” gain the most power. Homo sapiens is differentiated from other species by our ability to think, analyse and predict – these attributes include managing “feelings” … but most people much prefer feeling to thinking. The Renaissance is being reversed through this mechanism.

    How potent is it really ? Ask any advertising group.

    • pgang says:

      Ah yes, the theory of biological evolution. Physical existence without cause, information systems without intelligence, life from non life, meaning from meaninglessness, a self-creating universe….

      It is perhaps the greatest superstition of all time and mankind’s highest self-idolising achievement.

      • ianl says:

        Ho hum …

        So explain to us the reason for the advent of say, spina bifida.

        Oh, do …

        You won’t, of course, but merely bluster. Or else invent the devil, or some other silliness.

        • pgang says:

          Pretty simple actually. I don’t know much about the condition but I’m guessing it’s a genetic mutation of some sort which is either inherited or is part of the genome that is more prone to coding error. Absolutely nothing to do with so-called evolution. If anything it’s probably another tragic example of devolution – the downward spiral of life from mutation accumulation, similar to what happens as we age.

          You may have heard of a Christian doctrine called ‘The Fall’, which had consequences for the material creation, the main one being decay which is what we observe everywhere, even in the genome.

        • Lawrie Ayres says:

          I have spent a lifetime with animals, domestic and wild, and from time to time young were born with various deformities. Invariably nature took it’s course and they died so that any errant mutations would not be passed to the next generation. Nature is serious about ensuring that the fittest only survive and in turn mate with another fit example. You see ianl in nature as in many tribal groups those unable to care for themselves and provide for their tribe are of no use and indeed become a burden on the rest. Western civilisation is the first to care for the less fit and that because the West drew it’s guidance from the life of Jesus. Now He did exist and there are more writings about Him and His deeds than about Caesar who is well accepted as having lived.

          You can deny God because that is your right but do not expect much after your heart stops beating.

  2. Bran Dee says:

    “The godless are leading us to hell on earth” is a very appropriate line which could perhaps be restated, when one thinks of a certain wacky Gosford church priest, ‘The godless and some godfearing – - ‘.
    On this difficult matter of the safety removal of half-caste children the Howard government until its loss of office in 2007 was resistant to accepting guilt. The new Liberal Party leader Brendan Nelson initially wisely said that an apology would risk encouraging a “culture of guilt” in Australia. But other Liberals expressed support for an apology including not surprisingly: Malcolm Turnbull, and the former Liberal Minister Judi Moylan, and former PM Malcolm Fraser.
    Other supporters of the guilt message of the new government leader Kevin Rudd were: some churches, some musicians, and rock group Midnight Oil.
    I keep hearing in my head a mocking tune from a musical, ‘The countries in the very best of hands, – - – ‘

  3. Ian MacDougall says:

    Peter: Can you see the contradiction in these two statements?
    1. One of the principal building blocks of our civilisation is the primacy of reason — to think, to understand and form logical judgments on the basis of experience, evidence and facts. Twist experience, evidence and facts to suit a political narrative and reason fails, sophism prevails. We now have many such sophistries plaguing and undermining our values and culture.
    2. My shot in the dark is that those undermining our civilisation have Nirvana in their sights. Now there is a nirvana. It’s called the after-life. But just suppose you disavow the possibility of an after-life but still have the longing? We see the result. It is apropos. The godless are leading us to hell on earth.
    There have been many attempts to use reason and logic to prove the existence of a divine creator and of an afterlife. None to my knowledge have come within coo-ee of even a hope of a chance of a possibility of perhaps working. But by all means, please show me why I am wrong: not that I want to spend the rest of eternity as a member of a heavenly choir, on a completely different existential plane to this one, or even just somewhere out there in the high vacuum between the galaxies.

    • Peter says:

      Ian my reply is that the primacy of reason owes most to Christianity. No other belief system could or would have created Western civilisation. Augustine said it long ago “reason is a thing of God”. Rodney Stark “The Victory of Reason” gives a great account of the role of Christianity in our progress. Some people these days think that we can dispense with the source of our freedom and enlightenment and lose nothing. The evidence is growing that this isn’t true. People will always search for something beyond themselves and without God, and particularly without the Christian God, their choices are likely to lead us to misery.

      • Ian MacDougall says:

        Peter:
        With all due respect. I asked you to show how God and an afterlife (presumably the Christian ones) can be established using reason. You come back with an historical note about the close relationship in time between Christianity and progress: presumably causal-effectual. Not quite the same thing.
        I think that you will find at every turn of the course, scientific (ie reasoned) progress being made in spite of the efforts of religious clerics and other such ideologically-based bureaucracies rather than because of them.

        • pgang says:

          No, science advanced based squarely on a Christian worldview: how can we find truth in our fallen state, and how can we uncover the mysteries of God’s design to restore the human condition? This was the debate that brought modern science to life. If anything the later adherence to naturalism has taken the scientific project backwards because of its dogmatic insistence on non-cause.

          • Ian MacDougall says:

            No, science advanced based squarely on a Christian worldview: how can we find truth in our fallen state, and how can we uncover the mysteries of God’s design to restore the human condition?

            Good luck with that. But don’t give up your day job.

      • pgang says:

        A mistake many people make regarding Christian doctrine is in thinking that the ‘after-life’ is in a ‘different existential plane’ (ie – heaven), whereas it will be a material life very similar to what we know it now, but without decay. Heaven comes to earth, we don’t go to heaven. The idea of heaven-after-death is actually gnostic.

        And while logic may not have proved the existence of God, (although it has argued powerfully for God), Godel certainly demonstrated that a closed system of axiomatic logic can’t prove itself.

        • Jody says:

          I don’t want to go to Heaven! Meet up with people I’ve actively avoided all my life? No way.

          Find heaven on earth. Might I suggest a small step to achieving this: it works for me.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQePkrQQyoo

          • Leone says:

            Thank you Jody for the link. This is indeed heaven on earth for me also, no need to be looking for any other kind.

          • Warty says:

            Now, there I’d fully agree with you, on both counts, Jody. My personal favourite is Bach’s Magnificat. As to heaven, then I like the Gospel of Thomas’s explanation: “If those who lead you say to you: ‘Look, the kingdom is in the sky!’ then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you: ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fishes will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you and outside of you.” No need to worry about those you’ve done the dirty on catching up with you.

        • Ian MacDougall says:

          Pgang:

          Traditionally, Heaven has always been portrayed as sitting above Earth. It has superior status. Hence the old ‘Doxology’ hymn of the Anglican Bishop Thomas Ken (1637–1711):

          Praise God from whom all blessings flow
          Praise Him all creatures here below,
          Praise Him aboveye Heavenly Host,
          Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

          Check out the Catholic version of the Second Coming from the Catholic Encyclopedia:
          http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08552a.htm
          At the Second Coming Christ will appear in the heavens, seated on a cloud and surrounded by the angelic hosts (Matthew 16:27; 24:30; 25:31) .
          The Mormon rendition of the Second Coming is at https://www.lds.org/manual/gospel-principles/chapter-44-the-second-coming-of-jesus-christ?lang=eng

          No doubt about it: according to Scripture, Christ rose into the sky after his resurrection, and will come down again from the same sky on Judgement Day.

          • Ian MacDougall says:

            Ian MacDougall
            Your comment is awaiting moderation.
            August 29, 2016 at 8:50 pm
            Pgang:

            Traditionally, Heaven has always been portrayed as sitting above Earth. It has superior status. Hence the old ‘Doxology’ hymn of the Anglican Bishop Thomas Ken (1637–1711):

            Praise God from whom all blessings flow
            Praise Him all creatures here below,
            Praise Him above ye Heavenly Host,
            Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

            Check out the Catholic version of the Second Coming from the Catholic Encyclopedia:
            http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08552a.htm
            At the Second Coming Christ will appear in the heavens, seated on a cloud and surrounded by the angelic hosts (Matthew 16:27; 24:30; 25:31) .
            The Mormon rendition of the Second Coming is at https://www.lds.org/manual/gospel-principles/chapter-44-the-second-coming-of-jesus-christ?lang=eng

            No doubt about it: according to Scripture, Christ rose into the sky after his resurrection, and will come down again from the same sky on Judgement Day.

        • Ian MacDougall says:

          pgang:
          I have posted a full-screen reply to this, using just about all the theology I know and can muster. But both it and a re-post have been shunted into ‘awaiting moderation’ and will no doubt still be sitting there come Judgement Day.

      • Lawrie Ayres says:

        The Left are generally godless and therefore lack reason. Maybe that is why they believe in global warming when reason says it is totally natural or believe that they can somehow control the weather when reason says they have buckleys. They also believe that government can spend it’s way to prosperity when all of history shows that to be false.

        • Ian MacDougall says:

          Lawrie:
          Sorry, mate, but global warming (however caused) is based on observation of natural phenomena like sea-level rise, and deduction from there: ie the process of science, which in turn is based on reason.
          The ones running on faith alone (ie on empty) are the denialostriches – sorry, global warming ‘sceptics’.

          http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

    • dcburgos says:

      Actually, Theism is rational whilst A-Theism is not. Using pure reason and logic one can easily arrive at this conclusion…
      1. Causality as a universal principle – nothing in the universe happens ex-causa and as you state your belief in Evolution, then clearly you believe in causality.
      2. Either the universe has a beginning or it doesn’t
      2a. Has a beginning… implies causality
      2b. No beginning… i.e. has always existed — violates causality
      3. Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem… states (more or less) that no closed system is complete, means – there are propositions within the system that are unprovable from the system’s own tenets/axioms… meaning that external recourse is required… i.e. a causative factor… again back to this causality principle.

      The bottom line is that A-Theism requires an irrational belief… something akin to magic… the proposition that All existence arise from Nothing… which violates both principles as described above…
      The requirement for an external causative force is Theism – well grounded in logic and pure reason.
      The after-life is a different proposition and Theism does not require it for it to be valid.

      Note: It is possible to have this discussion without recourse to ad-hominem arguments, statements.

      • gardner.peter.d says:

        A system of logic that is valid in one universe of discourse is not necessarily valid in another. This is a principle of general systems theory. dcburgos’s exposition of human logic merely states that according to it something caused the universe (as far as it is known to humans) to come into existence. It makes no conclusion about what it was. Furthermore it assumes the universe is bounded by human knowledge. Theism supposes the initial cause is a god. But human logic is not capable of completely defining the nature of that god. We suppose or propose it by articles of faith derived from what we know of our universe, which is not necessarily complete, moral philosophy etc or simply by envisioning a perfect, omnipotent and infinitely wise being. The possibilities are infinite in human terms. Only God can tell you who he or she (! why does a god need a gender, what for?) is, what he is like and so on. But humans are unable to understand fully the language of god’s universe of discourse. Hence all theist religions rely on faith, not proof.
        A-Theism follows exactly the same limited logic but instead of naming the unknown cause of the existence of the universe ‘god’, it doesn’t call it anything. I am not sure but I don’t think atheists argue that there was nothing before the universe as we know it came into existence. they could only do that if they had complete knowledge of the universe – which no human has.

        • dcburgos says:

          Valid… to a point if I may… consider this: If both Theism and A-Theism rely on the causality principle to explain our universe, then they are logically equivalent statements – as both would need recourse to external agency regardless of what one chooses to call it… however, and here’s the critical point… in both cases such external agency is a Creative agency (force, energy, mind, whatever) which leads me to state that A-Theism is – if the definition is to be that of denying the existing of a God/gods/Creator, etc. – irrational as it fails its own logic… even if such logic – seen through the lens of GST – is limited to the discourse we are having… And I am not satisfied that the incompleteness of our knowledge of such a creative agency is in and of itself problematic… for instance we still don’t fully know the nature of some fundamental particles and yet we are quite capable of not only discussing them but we can even build devices to study them further…

  4. Mark Smith says:

    Thanks Peter, I’ll try to be the second person to read Ken’s book.
    Great summary of the sophisms permeating the nation’s thought life.
    I think you’re right about the godless and nirvana passage, though I’d refine the term godless to perhaps, ‘spirit of godlessness’ since it’s always trying to gain a foothold in the church. Hopefully we never see the church at the forefront of the left’s crusade.

    Lastly, to throw it in, Q&A, the project, etc, remind me of year 10 Society & Environment class: “discuss” meant the kids most loudest, obnoxious, and quickest to speak were the centre of the conversation. The teacher never brought it back to any sane conclusion, so their voices just hung in the air like a smell you just can’t get rid of. I hope Ken’s work, and others’, will help to undo the lies eventually. Sigh…

  5. Bill Martin says:

    The following was prompted by Ian MacDougall’s comment above, but it is not inappropriate for the article, either.

    The greatest folly of mankind is the unrestrained conceit that the human intellect is the ultimate intelligence. Put another way, anything human intellect cannot comprehend is a myth. Richard Dawkins – an exceptionally intelligent man – is the best manifestation of this folly. People wedded to this debilitating handicap remain permanently incapable of contemplating the reality that is beyond the boundaries of the physical world.

  6. SJones says:

    My husband and I have read Keith Windschuttle’s Fabrication of Aboriginal History Vol 1 and 111 (mist check if he has finished Vol 11). Very comprehensive. If anybody is interested in knowing the facts as far as they can be known, these volumes are recommended. My husband and I have also lived and worked closely with remote WA and NT communities. This has expanded our interest and coalface experience.

    • Ian MacDougall says:

      Olihamcam:
      I have read Windschuttle’s The Killing of History, which is all about the wretched influence of postmodernism on writing and studies within that field. I rate that book as excellent.
      I have also read his
      The Fabrication of Aboriginal History Vol.1 Van Diemen’s Land: his attempt to bucket the idea that there was ever any serious white-on-Aboriginal homicide, and have found holes in it I could drive my diesel tipper-truck through.
      More at https://noahsarc.wordpress.com/kangaroos-thylacines-and-aborigines-1/

      • Ian MacDougall says:

        My apologies for the over-use of italics in the above.

      • Lawrie Ayres says:

        I have several part aboriginal acquaintances who were very pleased that they were taken from their dysfunctional black families and given a shot at life with some white folk. Many of the loudest voices in the Aboriginal Industry were also given their education and chances by white folk. The Tasmanian aborigines were persecuted by new arrivals from Asia and sought sanctuary in Tasmania. It is thought there were several waves of new arrivals who drove out or exterminated prior arrivals. The idea that all was rosy in the garden before white man came is as fanciful as Alice in Wonderland.

      • SJones says:

        We have also read Windschuttle’s The Killing of History and agree with you Ian. Will have a look at the link at some point but Windschuttle is extremely thorough and can’t imagine how his work would have holes. Have you brought this to his attention and given him a right of reply?

        • Ian MacDougall says:

          No. But I know him personally, from the good old days in the ’60s and ’70s when we were both on the same political side and organising street demonstrations in Sydney against the Vietnam War. He is a very capable and thorough scholar, and I would be surprised if he is not aware of my critique of his The Fabrication of Aboriginal History: Vol.1 Van Diemen’s Land at the abovementioned site, though I have never spoken to him personally about it. But though the Fabrication generated considerable controversy on its publication, and I doubt carries much weight in Aboriginal Studies, I have never read an unfavourable review or mention of The Killing of History, and it must have played a big part in the unlamentable decline and fall of pomo (Postmodernism) across academia world wide.

          Since our Moratorium days I understand that Keith has revised his view of all his earlier politics, and has moved solidly to the right, while I still have the same position on colonialism, neocolonialism and the war, but have moved to the centre on certain other (mainly economic) issues. I will be writing a piece on it all for ‘the Serpent’ shortly.

          As for right of reply, he can always return fire via this site, which is far better known than mine. And he runs it.

  7. pgang says:

    As I understand it, the marriage between Aristotlean/Cartesian reason and Baconian experience started coming together in the 17th Century as modern science took off, more or less in the way you have described modern ‘reason’ above.

    This new method of epistemology came to a sort of self-awareness and decided that its Biblical foundations were no longer necessary to achieve knowledge. This was akin to hopping into a car to drive somewhere, forgetting where you were going, and just driving for the sake of it.

    Reason subsequently became subordinated to naturalism during the so-called Enlightenment and beyond, and the situation remains so today. Observe the AGW establishment – a branch of science that is steeped in naturalism but with scant regard for reason. Astronomy is also heavily saturated in naturalism at the price of reason (think imaginary, undetectable dark matter/energy).

    We are now awash with historic revision based on an over-arching post modern, progressive narrative which has little to do with reason. Why is this possible? Because the west is now a naturalistic society, not a society with Christian or modernist, causal reason as its worldview. Even most Christians are actually naturalists who bolt God-lite onto their worldview in an attempt to find some meaning, which is why the church has become so feeble.

  8. Jody says:

    Simple; the Left hates the Right more than it hates child disadvantage, violence and family dysfunction.

  9. [email protected] says:

    Very good article thank you Peter. However I must state that until somebody offers verifiable proof that God/Yahweh/Allah exists or that the ‘supernatural’ is possible, I will remain an atheist. This is not to in any way devalue or dismiss the contribution of Christianity to civilisation, without Christianity we would not have developed our semi-capitalist western culture. That is why the left hate Christianity, it is too closely aligned to Capitalism.
    I agree with your premise that as a rule the ‘left’ promote ideas/concepts that will break down our culture and with it most of civilisation. I suspect that many leftists consciously do so because it seems to me that many have a death wish of sorts. I have read some of the ‘literature’/propaganda put out on the net by many of the ‘would be revolutionary’ groups, and a lot of it is frightening. One group in the US – The Weathermen [of Saul Alinsky/Obama fame] – even stated openly that they opposed marriage because marriage implied ‘ownership’ and hence was ‘counter-revolutionary’. Males and females are/were encouraged to just sleep around indiscriminately and mothers weren’t encouraged to breast feed their own babies because that also led to bonding and hence implied ‘ownership’ of the infants. Hence mothers were encouraged/required to feed any nearby baby/infant who was hungry.
    I agree with your first correspondent in the replies section about the value of reason vs emotions/feelings. It is not by accident that many socialists are good advertising men – Phillip Adams – and that they incessantly play to the emotions and eschew reason.

    • Bryce M says:

      As someone who was a salaried and committed researcher in a major Commonwealth department, now retired and thus more able to comment, I have some contributions to make.

      Briefly, the contact of aboriginal communities with white resulted in a lot of mixed race babies. In aboriginal culture, rather than practice chastity the approach was to kill the outlander babies, a job that fell to the grandmothers. This was a convenient way to avoid bloody conflict with visitors who were allowed access to the young women. After they were gone, and a baby came along from the coupling, it was commonly taken into the bush and disposed of. The same happened to one if there were twins, but it frequently occurred to “ÿella fellas” or mixed black-white children, or aboriginal-Maccassan children in the northwest.

      They were in extreme peril in aboriginal communities, where violence was in any case common and endemic, and not all triggered by alcohol. There have even been recent recorded cases where babies were thrown into the campfire, by the intoxicated mother. It was the view of our recent ancestors that these mixed race children deserved not only protection from this brutality and abuse, but some sort of a future as well, in normal society, that they would never get even if they survived in the aboriginal communities.

      The behaviour of the hunter gatherer peoples has a lot in common. None to my knowledge have ever made a successful transition to the modern world. When the first Fleet arrived in New South Wales, it was to a continent that populated sparsely by the last remaining hunter gatherer societies in the world. These were inevitably demographically doomed, as the herders of stock and cultivators of soil could support a much larger population per unit of area than the hunters. This naturally gave them numerical and military superiority, and the hunters had to adapt or die out.

      This had been going on in Africa for example, since the introduction of corn and potatoes from South America from the European trading stations along the coast. The slash and burn farming, plus cattle herding societies of the African negroid race progressively wiped out the hunter Bushmen/Hottentots all the way down Africa, till by the time the first Whites moved inland from the Cape, the Hottentots had been reduced to the fringes of the Kalahari, and the pygmies to the depths of the Congo rainforests. They were frequently the victims of cannibalism by the negroid peoples.

      Europe was, about 3000 BC the home of neolithic hunter gatherer peoples, but these were wiped out and replaced by natural catastrophe and herder/farming peoples from further east, thousands of years ago.

      Spending time wailing and gnashing our teeth over the somewhat more humane process, in comparative terms, of the displacement of the utterly inefficient hunters and gatherers in Australia is as illogical as bewailing the inundation of the tides. Ugly though it often is, it a natural result of human progress, and the achievement of the greater good for the greater number. We tend to romanticise the hunter gatherers abut they were commonly as brutal as any other group and not infrequently, cannibals.

      There is a great deal of denial about this but the early history of Australian settlement has numerous documented records of the active practice of cannibalism especially north of Brisbane to PNG, extreme cruelty by the aboriginals and especially the Torres Strait Islanders who were probably the most blood thirsty cannibals and head hunters in the world at the time.

      • Jack Brown says:

        And down to modern times in PNG, as per Michael Rockefeller’s fate in 1961.

      • Patrick McCauley says:

        I too have read and re- read Windschuttle’s ‘Fabrication of Aboriginal History Vol III – The Stolen Generations’ and ‘Whitewash’ and ‘Washout” and most of the rest of the public intellectual ‘debate’ around this outrageous lie that the Leftist Intellectuals have perpetrated against the Australian people. The Stolen Generations is a fabrication helped on by films like ‘Rabbit Proof Fence’ to accuse Australian people of genocide at the United Nations and on the world stage. As Bryce M’s expert analysis indicates – there were many multi racial, fatherless aboriginal children in existential need of care. Many , if not most of the children taken into care between 1899 and 1969 were fathered by whitefellas … and thus our Christian Society considered it had a responsibility to ‘take care’ of these children. It is also rarely mentioned – that without a ‘father’ in most of the ‘patri-lineal’ Aboriginal language groups – a child could have no ‘skin name’ and no ‘dreaming’ and therefore such children were often ostracised from the Aboriginal language group itself.

  10. Bran Dee says:

    These last two comments by Bryce M and Jack Brown support the theme of the Peter Smith article on the ‘stolen generation’ and are a refreshing relevance compared to the numerous comments that addressed religious issues to no benefit.

    • Rob Brighton says:

      Which I why I ask myself why look at such clearly corporeal matters thru the lens of religious belief. I concur with the viewpoint the article offers right up until it is suggested (in my view without merit) that as a godless person I am in some way responsible.

      The conflation of Conservativism with Christianity is a mistake that costs conservative politics support and is one of the myriads of reasons why the left have marched unopposed into our institutions to our very great detriment.

    • Ian MacDougall says:

      Except that the “religious issues” were introduced in the threadstarter by Peter Smith. Himself.
      And as the old saying goes, silence is consent.

  11. Peter says:

    It’s the natural end of this commentary thread but I thought I would add an end note. Many good thinking conservatives are atheists. My question is whether they are living on their heritage of Christianity. If Christianity were to wither and die as a central part of our civilisation I wonder how long its legacy would last. Not long I think. If people think that common decency, fairness, tolerance and freedom come out of thin air they have another think coming. The good and (Christian)godless are living on borrowed time.

  12. [email protected] says:

    Why would the New Testament be made up ? If it were not true then there would be no reason to write it. There was more than one writer. Did they get in a huddle and write something they knew no one would believe ? They wrote it because they realised it was beyond understanding and belief and therefore it had better be recorded. They were right. Clever people have endless difficulty accepting it. That does not make untrue.

    • Rob Brighton says:

      If it is as you say then logically Harry Potter is true.

    • Warty says:

      You might find it interesting reading Elaine Pagel’s Beyond Belief. She is a biblical scholar and historian, with a particular interest in early ‘Jesus followers’: they weren’t called Christians before the second century. It seems the writers were followers of the original disciples (before the gospels were written) i.e. each disciple had its own followers (including Peter, John, Mark etc, but also Thomas, Judas and Mary Magdalene). Some of the accounts differ with regards to what Jesus said and did (even within the canon, if one were to study them closely).

  13. [email protected] says:

    Sorry, last line should read: That does not make it untrue.

  14. Warty says:

    Pgang is perhaps on the right track, talking about ‘fallen state’. I prefer to talk about a drop in consciousness: the current condition of the Western world. Now, what the flamingo does that mean, or what might be meant by higher consciousness? Has it anything to do with the elect? Has it anything to do with elitism? Oh yeah, I can see that concept well and truly getting up people’s collective nostrils, so lets not get into Jehovah Witness stuff here, as we will well and truly lose the plot.
    I do believe there is a fundamental disconnect between those who have studied the scriptures, reflected on them, put aspects of what they have understood into practice and extended themselves to people beyond their own little world. Some might call that extending bit ‘service’ and service done without any expectation. I’m not very good at that, because deep down I sort of hope for some form of return, by way of recognition or gratitude, a little metaphorical slap on the back. But, in all honesty it’s because I have not fully crawled out of my own little world, and my devotional side beetles along in fits and starts (wrong verb: ought to be plods along).
    Do I experience the Infinite, well yes I do at times. I really ‘get off’ on studying the scriptures. I taught myself to read Hebrew, so that I could read the Old Testament in its original language. I learnt whole verses of Genesis Chapter I, in Hebrew, off by heart and much of Psalm 22, my favorite, to the point that I developed quite a different understanding as to what it means (as opposed to the BS I was told as a child, viz. it was the second time, and most critical time Christ manifested a loss faith: “My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me”, rather than an understanding of the Psalm as a whole, which was an entire journey from doubt and despair, to recollection as to who and what one truly is, then allowing doubt to set in again, before utterly, fully triumphing over self doubt, doubt in the existence of an all-knowing, benevolent being, or force that permeates every aspect of creation, including those who don’t believe and their dogs and their cats and goats. Psalm 22 is not unlike a synopsis of the Book of Job, which runs along similar lines. Wonderful. A story of my life, and maybe yours.
    But I ramble. The point is that having spent an hour or two closely studying a passage, writing notes, translating, reflecting . . . I feel ‘fed’, I mean deeply, fully fed in an inner, non belly sense. Now how can Peter meet the challenges some of you have set him, if you have not studied, prayed, reflected or served others without expectation of reward, and know how that is experienced? Well you can’t and it can’t be effectively explained, because it is like the ostridge trying to tell the hyena what it is like to lay one of its bum busting eggs. Can’t be done. No, I’m not deliberately trying to be rude: I’m just flailing around trying to explain the inexplicable.
    I confess I dislike the word ‘God’ as it conjures up primordial images of some juiced up Michael Angelo Being doing a pointy finger at a prone Adam, listlessly extending his own limp one (I apologise if any risque associations come to mind). I prefer to use the words Infinite or Absolute (in a relativist world that no longer believes in absolutes). But I though may have experienced the Absolute, those far wiser that I have led my to believe (and have faith) in the understanding that there is far more than mere experience, that experience, though deeply satisfying, is but a taste of that beyond experience: transcendence, which I won’t go into as it well and truly goes beyond the realms of belief. It also goes beyond my own mediocre levels of spiritual commitment.
    So that’s my effort at explanation, oh Ian MacDougal et al. Does it make sense, probably not, but if you were to ask further, I’d tell you a little story about Jonathan Sacks.
    No, indeed, may be not.

    • Warty says:

      The second paragraph ought to point to a fundamental disconnect between those who are engaged in some form of spiritual pursuit and those who have no such interest. It doesn’t fully make sense as it stands. And ‘their own little world’ is refer to those doing the extending, not those being extended to: the later understanding would be condescending in the extreme.