Yes, John Derbyshire is a Pagan. (Note to our Gnostic Overlords: John Derbyshire is a vile RACIST and I HATE him. *spits*) (Note to anyone else: Derb (may I call you “Derb?”) is one of my favorite writers, and, in IMAO, one of the best in the biznazz. The only reason I didn’t place him in Required Reading is that you can read him regularly by visiting with Virginia.) For those not familiar with Derb, he was a regular contributor at National Review until he was canned a few years ago by NR editor Rich Lowry *spits* for writing what the alt-right would call a a “race realist” article for another magazine (TakiMag). IOW, he committed the Gnostic sin of noticing, so Lowry and his cuck team of writers *spits* clutched their pearls because Salon.com went “wow, just wow I can’t even,” and we can’t weather that kind of firestorm, can we? NR denounced the article, calling it, among many other things, indefensible. Was it? Read the article for yourself. You may disagree, you may find it offensive, you may even clutch your own pearls, but you can’t honestly say it’s indefensible, due to the fact that Derb defended every single point he made. Debate him, explore his citations, look for weaknesses in his sources, but don’t act like he spewed out a bunch of unsupported opinions off the top of his head.
Derb, for his part, was and continues to be gracious toward NR. Me, not so much. *spits*
I’m getting dry-mouth.
More to the point about Derb: he’s a mathematician, an atheist, and a very science-y type. As a Christian, however, I was a little surprised to find that he has a fairly sympathetic and very open minded attitude towards religion and its effects on culture, especially Christianity. In short, he sees that it works.
So how is he a Pagan? To answer that, let’s look at the ancient Pagan (hereafter AP) cosmology so that we can see what a modern Pagan (MP) looks like.
To an AP, God is everything and everything is God. It was extremely difficult for an AP to even conceive of a transcendent God (for a wonderful article touching on this, see here). To an AP, God encompasses all, and is all, so He couldn’t stand outside Himself. God is Creation, or the Universe, or the Cosmos, or the SYSTEM (I like that term the best). Therefore, if God is the SYSTEM, the most rational way to engage Him is through knowledge and manipulation of the SYSTEM (as opposed to approaching Him on a moral basis, such as Judeo-Christianity and our transcendent, outside the SYSTEM God). So what would this cosmology encourage? Pragmatic, open minded inquiry in order to figure out how things tick, for starters.
One of the most astounding portions of Scripture is found in Exodus 7. To paraphrase, God sends Moses to Pharaoh to request a leave of absence on behalf of the Israelites. Pharaoh refuses, as expected, and challenges Israel’s God. Moses throws down his staff, which turns into a serpent. That’s a miracle, but not astounding, at least to a Christian. God Himself did it, and He’s easily capable. What’s astounding is that Pharaoh’s magicians then threw down their staffs, and those also turned into serpents.
Let that bake into your noodle for a while.
First of all, the magicians were obviously not the same as our magicians, who are really illusionists. They were magicians in the original, literal sense.They threw down a staff and it became a serpent. Think about that. For all of our progress, for all of our scientific advancement, for all our technical prowess, there’s not a single soul on earth right now that can turn a stick into a snake. If they knew how to do that, what else did they know? How much, and what kind of knowledge has been lost? Whether that knowledge was demonic, or whether it was scientific, it had to have been staggering.
Maybe they were Melon-Heads, I don’t know.
At any rate, these magicians knew how things ticked. Egyptians three thousand years ago were APs, and as such they were inclined toward pragmatism, curiosity, and open minded inquiry. They also believed that God was the SYSTEM and the System was God. IOW, they were closed-system people.
So how would this mindset be expressed in our age? In a general sense, just take the God part out of the equation, and it becomes apparent who fits in this cosmology. Derb, being a science’y type, and an atheist, believes that the SYSTEM is everything, everything is the system, and nothing stands outside the SYSTEM. He’s pragmatic, intellectually curious, and open minded. Like a lot of other science’y types, he’s an MP.
For another example of an MP, read Chateau Heartiste (note to our Gnostic Overlords: I think Roissy is a hateful hater who hates. *spits*). Obviously not a Christian site, but, like Derb, similar in the ways mentioned above, and also sympathetic and open minded towards Christianity and it’s many benefits to culture.
These are broad, general terms, but that’s what the three cosmologies are. Broad, general views about reality, which, yes, leaves room for gray areas and overlap. As the cosmology has been defined, however, I stand by my original statement.
John Derbyshire is a Pagan.