Sorcery!

Ahmadi-nejad doesn’t like the clerics, and they, apparently, feel the same way about him.

Apparently Mahmoud Ahmadi-nejad is growing restive about clerical domination, as represented by Ali Khameini. (And yes, it’s possible to be an anti-clerical religious fanatic: ask Jan Hus or Martin Luther.)

As a result, Khameini’s folks are talking about “apostasy” (that’s a capital crime) on Ahmadi-nejad’s part and “sorcery” among his followers.

Ayandeh, an Iranian news website, described one of the arrested men, Abbas Ghaffari, as “a man with special skills in metaphysics and connections with the unknown worlds.”

That’s scary, of course, but at least he’s not accused of skills in epistemology.

Perhaps if the lunatics fall out, the sane folks will get their chance.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

2 thoughts on “Sorcery!”

  1. it’s possible to be an anti-clerical religious fanatic: ask Jan Hus or Martin Luther

    Themselves clerics both, of course. And not really anti-clerical; simply anti- the wrong sort of cleric. (Poor old Hus probably wasn’t even that, as there were none of the wrong sort in his day. He was anti- clerics being wrong, which is not the same thing.) Anti-popery and anti-prelatry != anticlericalism.

    Mind you, you’re correct on the broader question; those just aren’t good examples. Possibly something like the less-nice sort of early radical anabaptists would be.

    As a result, Khameini’s folks are talking about “apostasy” (that’s a capital crime) on Ahmadi-nejad’s part and “sorcery” among his followers.

    You wrote something recently, I don’t remember it verbatim, but something along the lines of putting two people in a room with one knife, and having somebody with a gun waiting outside for whichever of the two emerged. For some reason I am thinking of that now.

    Ayandeh … described one of the arrested men … as “a man with special skills in metaphysics and connections with the unknown worlds.”

    Awesome.

  2. I like the idea of metaphysics as a branch of engineering rather than philosophy. If we’re going to have metamaterials (and we do) who better to work on them than a metaphysician?

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