Insights with Rene Girard

Insights with Rene Girard

Peter Robinson: Uncommon Knowledge. I am Peter
Robinson. Be sure to follow us on Twitter at Born in Avignon on Christmas Day 1923, Rene
Girard is the author of works that have been published in more than two dozen languages
including The Scapegoat and Things Hidden since the Foundation of the World. His latest
book, Achever Clausewitz, will be published in the United States in 2010 as battling to
the end politics, war and apocalypse. In 2005, Professor Girard received the highest honor
in France, induction as one of the 40 members of the Academie Francaise. One source of Rene
Girard’s thinking, a close reading of The Golden Bough, Sir James Frazier’s classic
study of ancient myths. Published in 1890, The Golden Bough explained that myths throughout
the ancient world contained a central element, the periodic sacrifice of a sacred king dying
and then resurrected. Christianity, The Golden Bough suggested, represented nothing but one
more such myth…a point to which we will return. Rene Girard? “Bienvenue.”. Rene Girard: Thank you. I am very happy to
be here. Peter Robinson: Segment one – insights, mimetic
desire. To quote one of your interpreters, Gil Baillie, “Desire as distinguished from
animal appetite is always aroused by the desire of another.” Explain. Rene Girard: Well, if in order to invent desire,
because desire is not natural. Desire is not animal. Is it human? We do not know. If sometimes
it is human, and sometimes it seems very inhuman. But How is it born? I think desire usually
is born out of the contemplation of someone else who is desiring and who designates to
you the object he is desiring as desirable. Peter Robinson: So every college student who
wants to be an investment banker, obvious, they want to fly around in their own jet and
drive a MaSarati. How does this apply to the ancient world? Rene Girard: Well, to the ancient world it
has to apply in the same fashion. The objects are different but the structure of desire,
the triangular relationship of desire – object, model and subject – are the same. Peter Robinson: Serpent, Eve and apple. Rene Girard: Serpent in the mimetic theory
of desire is a symbol, an image, of the mediator. In other words, the one who directs the subject
towards the bad desire. There are churches who know what they are talking about much
better than most people think. Know that example is the key to bad as well as good behavior,
and this is nothing but what I call mimetic desire. Peter Robinson: So that is why the church
uses the phrase, the occasion of sin? Rene Girard: Yes. Peter Robinson: Okay. Now, Gil Baillie once
again, “The imitative nature of desire leads to conflict.” Rene Girard: It leads to conflict, and this
is both something very obvious and which is a paradox for most people when they first
realize it. If you imitate the desire of someone else, you admire that someone else or that
someone else may be your best friend. BUT As soon as you both desire the same object,
and the object is really desirable and exists only in one copy. Peter Robinson: In ones? Rene Girard: So I should not say copy because
it is not a copy, it is the original. Peter Robinson: There is only one Helen of
Troy. Rene Girard: Yes, there is only one original.
Therefore they have to fight. Therefore the real the theatrical situation par excellence,
is a situation of two people desiring the same object, because they designate that object
to each other. Once the imitated subject realizes he is imitated, this reinforces his desire.
He said I am certain I selected the right object. As soon as this man saw her he fell
in love with her, like I did. Therefore we are right. Therefore I am more convinced than
ever that I should desire her. Therefore he is my enemy. Peter Robinson: I am chuckling, because as
the audience will learn, as simple as it sounds it explains everything in a way. Let me quote
you yourself Rene, your second basic insight, the violence and the sacred, “If there is
a normal order in societies, it must be the fruit of an anterior crisis.” Explain. Rene Girard: It must be the result of an anterior
crisis because people polarize around objects of desire. This can be regarded as true even
for food, for shelter, for places where you can live, and so forth. So you can be sure
that the human population pre-historical time gathered around the same places because they
were desirable, because there was water there and so forth. They were united by that same
desire, and they were separated because very often there was not enough of whatever was
needed, water, shelter, food, and they started to fight. That is why I do not think we should
say man is so bad. You know that he will always fight with his fellow man even when the people
he associates most closely with are the people he fights most often with. They do because
they are both moving towards the same thing. These things are never in sufficient number.
Even if they are, you tend to trust your model because you admire him. He has seen in the
object something more than I saw, and therefore I must follow him more than ever. This works
both ways. As the one who desires first is imitated in his desire, he is confirmed in
that desire. The conflictual situation is all over the place and is coming from everywhere. Peter Robinson: All right. Segment two –
the scapegoating mechanism. Let us say we are in the pre-historic world. You are describing
the most basic sources of conflict, and now the most basic means of resolving conflict. Rene Girard: Yeah, because your question is
how such conflict is resolved. They have to be resolved at least part of the time for
groups of human beings to gather permanently together and so forth. Peter Robinson: So the question is how do
societies manage to exist? Rene Girard: People imitate each other. People
imitate each other in their desire. They also imitate each other in their dislikes, I just
said. Therefore, when you have a conflict which is particularly visible and obvious
and so forth, there will be a tendency for the neighbors of the people concerned to move
with the stronger of the two, the more convincing of the two, and be on his side against the
other one. When you have a second one, you have a third one, a fourth one, and it becomes
easier and easier because all of this is always mimetic. That is the thing you have to see.
There real motor is imitation each time; imitation of friendship, imitation of desire, and imitation
of conflict. If it is so there should not be any human society. It should be impossible. Peter Robinson: Total conflict all of the
time. Rene Girard: Total conflict all of the time.
If you have a total conflict, you also have a way in which this conflict is automatically
cancelled and replaced. Peter Robinson: Resolved? Rene Girard: Resolved. It is when people imitate
no longer the choice of the opponent, but also what they feel about everything. They
are all going to gather against the same opponent. If one really feels convinced that one of
the people there is guiltier than the other one, the notion of guilt will appear in the
collective interplay of these people. As soon as this happens, it gathers speed and ultimately
one victim must be killed or driven out or otherwise gotten rid of. This is what I call,
not I but everybody, calls the scapegoat. The word scapegoat comes from the Bible, the
Tyndale translation of the Bible in English. In most European languages, they say emissary
goat, emissary victim, the victim who is sent out of the community or who is killed. That
is when everybody agrees that there must be one who is more of a culprit than the others.
Therefore they unite against that one. Peter Robinson: And this mechanism is what
underlies these myths that Frazier catalogued? Not just Western, not just Greek and Roman
myths, although that of course is where he concentrates. Rene Girard: That is what he does not see.
because He excludes the West. The West is too high, too intelligent, and too superior
to the rest of humanity. In part, Frazier discovers only archaic or primitive society’s
scapegoats, African scapegoats. Peter Robinson: It is your belief that the
pattern that underlies myths around the world of the dying and resurrected king reflects
actual events in pre-historic society? Rene Girard: Sure. Peter Robinson: We have to establish the scope
of time we are discussing here. You are actually talking about early homo-sapiens, half a million
years? So this goes on for hundreds of thousands of years and becomes ritualized in myth. Rene Girard: Then finding out the exact time,
it is not my business. I am a pure theoretician. I say at some point people must have been
reconciled in order to create communities, permanent communities, against not a leader
directly, but a scapegoat that they all kill together and it united them. If you look at
myths, they all have the same shape. It is always the story of a man who was killed by
an entire community. Peter Robinson: Oedipus, mythical kind of
Thebes. The plague comes to Thebes and Oedipus discovers that years before, unwittingly,
he had killed his father and mother. He is horrified. He blinds himself. Rene Girard: It is the community that discovers
that. Peter Robinson: All right, that is what I
wanted. So we know the Oedipus myth. Explain how that? Rene Girard: Oedipus is killed, therefore
the community gathers around Oedipus because Oedipus has solved the problem. This unity
of the community by dying, after the death of Oedipus people find that they have no more
enemies. They had a moment where they say, this man divided us but in order to reconcile
us, therefore he is a god. Therefore he is the one who is moving us toward some kind
of new form of unity, not against him but we should be afraid of him. He is fundamentally
good. He is a god. Peter Robinson: All right. Segment three
– the myth that happened; the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. Luke chapter 23 – now
when the Centurion saw what was done, he glorified God saying certainly this was a righteous
man. The people smote their breasts. Rene Girard: You hit the right spot there,
because you mentioned immediately what myth cannot say. Myth never sees that the victim
is innocent. Peter Robinson: Oedipus really did kill his
father and mother. He really did bear guilt. Rene Girard: That is right. The first interpreters
of the myth took it quite seriously because they saw violence as the main business of
myth, and therefore they believed it was a real murderer who had been killed. In reality
it is an imaginary murderer, a scapegoat. Peter Robinson: But the community believed
in his guilt? Rene Girard: The community believed in his
guilt. That is why the community wanted to repeat the same thought that the god was teaching
them to repeat a new, more victims. That is why they invented sacrifice. Peter Robinson: All right. So when in The
Golden Bough Frazier suggests that Christianity, and he has as much of a shock on late 19th
century the West as did Darwin that it is still that Christianity is nothing but one
more myth that takes the pattern of the dying and resurrected god. Frazier believed it and
intellectuals to this day believe it. You answer how? Rene Girard: I answer very simply that Frazier
was perfectly right to point to the similarities between myth and Christianity. In both instances
you have a victim who is killed by an entire community and who becomes who he is and who
has always been, the Christ of the community. What Frazier did not see which is the simplest
thing of all and should convince everybody immediately if they were honest that Christianity
is very different from mythology while being the same. It is exactly the same situation.
Christianity tells you that Christ was innocent, whereas all myths tell you the victim is guilty.
The victim is a god, but gods have guilty character. They are dangerous characters.
They can be good to you through strange circumstances that are not very easy to understand, but
they can also do all sorts of bad things, which is not the case of Christ. Simply, Christianity
tells you Christ is innocent. People do not see that it is the first time in the history
of mankind that a myth occurs which is read not falsely with the victim guilty, but with
the victim innocent sent by God Himself. If God allows scapegoating to happen, it is because
He wants humanity to exist and so forth. Of course Christ is very different from any other
scapegoat. He is the son of God and He is misunderstood. When people see him, it is
exactly the same thing as mythical heroes. He is a mythical hero, but He is innocent. Peter Robinson: Rene, this is the question
of soteriology, if I am pronouncing it correctly, the theologians, and the theology of the cross.
What changes when this innocent God-man dies on the cross? How does that affect human understanding?
Why is that a saving event? Rene Girard: Because if you read the mythical
situation the way I just did, you can see there is something which is not purely human
about it. We are offered all these victims and we take them for culprits, and so forth.
In the case of Christianity there are a few disciples who say no, no, He is not guilty;
who maintain to the end that He is innocent whatever people may say about it. Therefore
they say the truth simply. They say the truth which is anthropological before being religious,
which is the same thing. Peter Robinson: And so Christ’s death on the
cross frees humankind from this deep, profound, inescapable, and largely hidden cycle of the
scapegoating impulse? Rene Girard: Yes. Potentially it does, and
Christianity assures certainly that it does that it is the only true religion. It says
the truth about man and about God. Very few people take this statement seriously, as you
well know. You should take that literally. Peter Robinson: Why? You have said at several
points that it is obvious once you see it. It is as simple as Christianity is different,
and yet they do not see it. They do not want it. Rene Girard: They do not want it. You know
as much about that as I do. We just have to see the fact that they do not see. The Christians
do not dare see the similarity, because they are too committed. Peter Robinson: They are afraid that Christianity
may be one of the myths? Rene Girard: It might be a myth; therefore
they refuse to say the situation is the mythical one. They say the truth about it and there
is no more myth. Christianity destroys mythology. Peter Robinson: All right. Segment four –
Rene Girard and the modern world. From your most recent book, Achever Clausewitz, to be
published in this country under the title, Battling to the End, “History, you might say,
is a test for mankind. We know very well that mankind is failing that test.” Explain that. Rene Girard: Mankind is failing that test
because mankind has the truth and the reality of Christianity, which is there. This truth
has been there for 2000 years, and instead of moving ahead and becoming more widespread,
today it is becoming more restricted. Christianity is less and less popular everyday and is accused
of all sorts of things which smell very much like a scapegoating process. Peter Robinson: Well, all right. In the contemporary
setting we have Christopher Hitchens saying that Christianity is responsible for all kinds
of evil. It is the usual catalogue. I do not mean to demean Christopher’s argument as he
is a man of integrity. This is religious warfare on and on. You say no; that is not Christianity,
it is what? Rene Girard: It is an effort to restore if
you want a mythical world, which does not perceive itself as it should. Peter Robinson: To unite by way of a common
antagonism and then to do violence to the other. What we see in the religious warfare,
what we see in communism is a re-emergence of the ancient patterns. Rene Girard: Yes. What we see in human society
as a whole in the way people are always united around victims, but in order to unite solidly
they must keep believing that these victims are guilty and they are not. In other words,
Christianity is the myth that reads all myths; the myth which is read and reads all myth.
People say are you doing apology or you are doing mythology? I answer no, I am showing
that to read mythology right and to have a true anthropology are one and the same thing. Peter Robinson: From Battling to the End again,
modern world, “Personally I have the impression that Islam has used the Bible that is incorporated
elements of the Bible as a support to rebuild an archaic religion. While Christianity eliminates
sacrifice wherever it gains a foothold, Islam seems to situate itself prior to that rejection. Rene Girard: Yeah, Islam is a big problem
for Christianity because it comes after Christianity. It is intelligent enough and religious enough
in a certain sense to use aspects of Christianity that make it more credible than archaic religion.
Therefore, but I think it is very important to realize that it is not the same message
really. It seems to be, but it is not the same message. Because the peace and the refusal
of violence of Christianity is not there. Peter Robinson: Yet you also argue in Battling
to the End, that terrorism is something new and alien to the classical Islamic tradition. Rene Girard: Yes. Peter Robinson: Where does it come from and
what is the correct way for us to think about it? Rene Girard: I do not know. Peter Robinson: This is television. Make up
an answer! Rene Girard: No, I do not want to make up
an answer. Peter Robinson: No, of course not. Rene Girard: It is too serious a question.
You are talking about millions and millions of people. Peter Robinson: Of course. Rene Girard: These people are not honest.
As a Christian I would say they are potential Christians. We want to convert each other,
and it is a normal thing to do. We want all the Muslims to become Christians, just as
the Muslims want all the Christians to become Muslim. Peter Robinson: Now in Battling to the End,
you argue that the modern world finds itself in a peculiar predicament. The archaic pattern
no longer works because it has been exposed. It is impossible to be a genuine pagan. After
the Christian event, you just cannot go back. It has happened, so it no longer works. This
is to say it no longer is genuinely unifying. It no longer is ritualized in myths that people
at least half believe. At the same time we have the march of technology making the scapegoating
mechanism more and more dangerous. Rene Girard: Yes, we might simply say that
man has become capable of destroying his own world for good to make it unable to support
life. We destroy the atmosphere too. I take very seriously. Today we live in a very strange
period because the great apocalyptic texts for me are not the texts which are entitled
Apocalypse of John. They are the texts which are at the end of the synoptic gospels, especially
Luke. Peter Robinson: The reading last Sunday? The
end of the world will come, but it is not for you to know the time. Rene Girard: That is right. In the old days,
I remember before the invention of the atom bomb priests in church always talked about
these apocalyptic texts. On the last day of the year, of the liturgical year which was
the last day of the time after Pentecost, which was a week ago, and the first day of
the Advent which was an apocalyptic day too. These texts were read and I remember the time
when they were the only thing that impressed me very much in the readings at church. In
a way, the inspiration of my whole work is there. I have been talking about these texts
all the time. Peter Robinson: Well, final quotation from
Battling to the End. “In some way the gospels and scriptures are predicting that mankind
will fail the test of history since they end with an eschatological theme, literally the
end of the world.” How do you think about the present age? Is this a time of testing?
Is it a time of ultimate doom? Rene Girard: Well, Luke had the apocalyptic
texts in the gospel. One thing which is very characteristic is the mixture of the human
and the natural. That is the reason why people consider that they are not serious scientifically,
and so forth and so forth. Look at the times we are living today. If there is a new hurricane
in New Orleans, is it nature alone or is it nature helped by man? To be in apocalyptic
times, it means precisely that in my view. The time when you no longer know if it is
nature which is hurting you, or if it man himself who is helping the apocalyptic forces. Peter Robinson: Rene, segment five – your
personal story. You have been quoted as saying that you have undergone two conversions. The
first was intellectual. The intellectual conversion occurred, I am assuming, when reading The
Golden Bough you recognized that Christianity was different. Am I correct about that? Rene Girard: Yes, but this is not necessarily
Christian. It is the encounter of this text with the gospels which convinced me. Then
when I realized, which I say that it is this mixture, you know there will be the sea and
the roaring of the waves and so forth. Man will fight man and city against city and so
forth. It is always symmetrical, like what I call the doubles. The basic conflictual
situation when you realize that these two things are one. Peter Robinson: I am looking to you for a
little cheer here. When I was a teenager, the apocalyptic texts impressed me as well.
They scared the wits out of me. In fact, I can remember hearing a country preacher talking
about he somehow or other had the hydrogen bomb predicted in the Book of Revelation.
That is not. Rene Girard: People want to be scared today
in all their films and so forth. Peter Robinson: Paranormal Activities is a
big hit. Rene Girard: The only fear they refuse is
a good one. The one that says there must be a God there who is in charge and who can reward
as well as punish. Peter Robinson: I have got a question here
from a viewer, Todd Jones. Does Rene Girard believe that there is any way to turn the
tide? Rene Girard: Yes. Behaving like Christians. Peter Robinson: All right. Rene, to conclude,
will you indulge me? In concluding this interview I would like to ask you to be my personal
guide here and demonstrate to me a close Girardian reading of a text. I will give you a couple
of passages and ask you to comment on it. Luke chapter one, “And the angel came unto
her and said, ‘Hail thou that art highly favored. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among
women.’ When she saw him she was troubled at his saying, and the angel said unto her,
‘Fear not Mary, for thou hast found favor with God.'” What is that woman doing in the
Christian myth? Rene Girard: That very important part is Mary,
and she is the mother of the child who is Christ, and who is the son of God who is the
presence of God on this earth. Therefore it is very important for Protestants and Catholics
to give various different importance to Mary. I do not think it is very important. Peter Robinson: The differences? Rene Girard: The importance is to see that
it justifies, in a way, history in a religious way. History is both human and divine, and
the consequences are always manifested by God for the right reasons. Peter Robinson: There is no stagecraft here.
There is no melodrama. Rene Girard: There is no melodrama. Peter Robinson: You have a simple girl who
is scared witless. Rene Girard: That is right. Peter Robinson: All right. Chapter two, “And
it came to pass in those days that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all
the world shall be taxed, and Joseph went up from Galilee unto Judea, into the city
of David which is called Bethlehem. So it was that while they were there that Mary brought
forth her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger,
because there was no room for them at the inn.” This is an odd appearance for the God,
the dying and resurrected God to be making. Rene Girard: True. Well, it is the proof in
the statement that what is really going on, on the historical PLANE, has very little to
do with a Roman Empire and what was going on in the world in the second century. Peter Robinson: So we begin with, in effect,
the front page of the New York Times. Caesar Augustus decree, and then the gospel immediately
shows us what is important is a secret, ordinary human truth here taking place in a little
out-of-the-way. Rene Girard: Yeah. They are taking place only
in one place being unique, being something which has to be discovered. We cannot afford
to say okay it is there, it is unimportant. No it is not unimportant. It is the destiny
and the duty of our life to look for the truth which is hidden from the point of view of
the Roman Empire. Peter Robinson: Final passage, Luke chapter
two. “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their
flock by night. Lo, the angel of the Lord cam upon them and the glory of the Lord shone
round about them. Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts
praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill
toward men.'” Rene, you remember the Second World War. You lived in occupied Paris. The
Second World War with 50 million dead, the Holocaust, the tens of millions killed by
the communists, all in your lifetime. How do you make sense of, “and on earth peace,
goodwill toward men”? Rene Girard: The first sense to make is that
most men, and especially the most powerful, were not full of peace and good intentions.
Human life is essentially drama. Maybe one thing the churches do not emphasize enough
is you notice that human beings like drama. They would like to be part of an immense fight
between good and evil, and so forth. What these texts say is that in their own way,
each one of them is part of that struggle, which I think is very important and very hopeful. Peter Robinson: No expectations? All right.
Now, the ordinary Christian is not going to read every word of the Girard Reader or every
word of your many books. Can you sum up? Rene Girard: It is really very unimportant.
He may have insights which are more profound than mine, and he should believe, and he should
trust that he is a very important man for God, and that his understanding of reality
as a religious history is an event that rejoices God. Peter Robinson: Rene Girard, thank you very
much. I should say Joyeux Noël .
Rene Girard: Joyeux Noël. Merry Christmas. Peter Robinson: I am Peter Robinson for Uncommon
Knowledge and the Hoover Institution. Thanks for joining us. Rene Girard_Dec 1 2009 – 1 –

His memetic theory is a universal true. We can see it clearly everywhere we go. Now, desires are boosted by our environment which are ultimately a result of our passions and necessities as well. I'd only point that our primitive needs are not fostered by this memetic desire, and in this sense these needs dispute with our desires the legitimacy of our actions.

@77scar It was in some circumstances. Read Josephus' accounts of Jewish nonviolent actions before or during the life of Jesus. Sometimes they succeeded, sometimes not. We might say that they had a better success rate than war.

@MsRedjay I'm confused, are you disappointed that critical thinking can lead to "appallingly conservative" (whatever that is) conclusions, or are you disappointed in your inability to be intellectually honest?

@ManACanadian But Islam gains converts through the sword. It is even a requirement of that religion, and thus, it is a step back towards violence. In fact, it blames non-believers for their ills, and makes scapegoats of the outsiders. Christianity morality is universal. It requires its adherents to treat non-Christians the same way that it treats Christians. Not true of either of the Judaism or Islam.

Thus, the way you feel about the USA. It gives unity to Moslems through scapegoating.

I missed something in my study of history. I never knew during WWII that 1000's were killed by 'the communists'. Why haven't I heard of this I wonder….

@michigan6443 YOU were in error when you said "He should of said ". You should have said "He should have said". 🙂

Jesus denies the charges. He is not against the Law and his kingdom is not of this world. He is DESIGNED as guilty by the romans and the sadducees, exactly as girardian theory says.

That is a "true" girardian" feeling. If we were only rid of those christians, everything would be well…

I enjoyed this very much.I am doing graduate work in theology and am very interested in Girard's work. Thank you.

En förnyelse av teologins tankeform genom antropologi? Ur kristen synpunkt bör ju antropologi och teologi flyta samman.

"Les idees directrices," Page 266 du Fu Man Chu; and by that I mean the Dao de Dung, otherwise known as the false Granet, i.e. that which Albin Michel purports to put out with a Leon Vandermeersch preface:

"Rien qui penche! Rien oblique!
Suivez l'Eauite (Yi) Royale!
Nulle affection particuliere!
Suivez le Tao Royal!
Nulle haine particuliere!
Suivez le Chemin (lou) Royal!
Rien qui penche! Rien de factieux!
Le Tao Royal, qu'il est large!
Rien de factieux! Rien qui penche!
Le Tao Royal, qu'il est uni!
Rien qui se tourne vers l'arriere! Rien qui s'incline de cote!
Le Tao Royal est tout droit!
Unissez-voux a celui qui possede le Ki!
Accourez pres de qui possede le Ki ([footnote]488!"
That would be Michel Serres's/Serre's/Sarazen disease, would it not?
It also belongs to Rene Girard and to Robert Greer Cohen.
After all, especially as for the latter, anyone who says that
baroque as a genre is just a banana split, should join in with
Robert Pogue Harrison, now chair at Stanford University of
Italian and French and KZSU, and by that I mean Canada's left
tit as not tat but the new "Northern Exposure," and without a New York
Jew for a doctor who needs to pay his loans off in Alaska along with a
faux native named Marilyn, in calling Serres "oracular." Oracular?
Or "I'll rack your King Lear"? Or "All Iraqs are just Orestia on bad left
cleft palates"? You get my drift. 

Brilliant this affirms what i say in debates, the religion and gods are created by the culture , there purely the imagination of the intellect; but Christianity is different it makes the community and culture guilty and goes against it.

Jesus had to die because is the message that must survive not the preacher. If the preacher remains, its message will be subject to criticism trough questions made directly to him, and so never able to live by itself. You just need to see the last Episode of The Walking Dead "Here's Not Here" to realize that:

The rulers have found their scapegoats once again, only this time it's different because it's on a massive planetary scale. First scapegoat is "terrorism"". This isn't a country, it isn't an ideology, it can't be personified. Second scapegoat is "climate change". This cannot be vilified, it's a common responsibility, it has no intention. These two scapegoats work wonderfully as tools to unite the world in the new globalized order.

Christianity has nothing to do with Catholicism, Protestantism or Orthodox. Christ's message has been distorted so much through history that it has lost most of its original meaning. Augustine of Hippo was the first to distort the message. It went downhill from there.

Modern Christianity is a dogma, a religion and it no longer brings truth to the common interests of men. It is no longer a way (i.e. tropos) of living, but a set of reward-centered rules promoting self-interest (i.e. saving one's own soul).

Rene Girard is in my mind was one of the most influential humans the world has not seen yet. like Peter,Paul, a Prophet or one of those who where present at the Nicene Creed, ect. . If you were draw to something he said, check out the professors who studied him.and their protege' (Baxter Kruger,Andre Rabe are a couple I enjoy how Rene has influenced them. Be Blessed and continue to be enlightened y'all!

What about Buddhism? Is it also does work as Christianity into braking up violence and sacrifices?
too bad Gené never saying anything about Buddhism. ….

Ok what am I missing here.. there's an object (of potential desire) a subject (another person) who desires it, and us. If we are simply mimicking their desire, where does their desire come from? How can they desire independently for us to mimic?

i am surprised by how many interviewers simply demand an explanation of a quote, i.e., "you said this…, now explain!" in my opinion, this is not proper technique in an interview. the question should be a question, not a demand.

As Peter Thiel said, in the 22nd century humans will look back to Girard as one of the great intellectuals of our time.

All this erudition and discourse to persuade themselves and the world that Christianity is the one and only true religion.

I dont get it. Can this not just be summed up as 'people desire what other people desire and look for scapegoats'. What am I missing? So much biblical talk

Does he believe Jesus walked on water? and resurrected from a tomb? if so, why did he do it at that particular point in time? and what is the point in life if it is only for humans to be judged, almost like a game?

Cf. Roger Caillois: "[A]longside the instinct of self-preservation, which in some way orients the creature toward life, there is generally speaking a sort of instinct of renunciation that orients it toward a mode of reduced existence, which in the end would no longer know either consciousness or feeling–the inertia of the élan vital, so to speak. It is on this level that it can be gratifying to give a common root to phenomena of mimicry both biological and magical and to psychasthenic experience, since the facts seem so well to impose one on them: this attraction by space, as elementary and mechanical as are tropisms, and by the effect of which life seems to lose ground, blurring in its retreat the frontier between the organism and the milieu and expanding to the same degree the limits within which, according to Pythagoras, we are allowed to know, as we should, that nature is everywhere the same."

I dont think hes that profound or accurate…most of what hes doing is describing a section of humanity that does not think for themself and always look externally for confirmation of the correctness of their own decisions and desires…and then hes confusing it with memetics.

a. he seems to dodge the influence of power structures in the promotion of manufactured desire and percieved value and the minipulation that has always been there.

b. the scapegoat mechanism is largely due to power structures or individuals trying to control a population by way of identifying a scapegoat to abuse as a way for that authority to associate itself with the people in the peoples own mind. You cant discount the aspects of power and control from an outside source be it a dictator, government, leaders, religion, group etc from the scapegoat tactic that they employ.

c. if people live in a place because there is water, its not a magical effect that increases conflict, its that water is a finite resource and as population increases so does SCARCITY, it is the scarcity, real or perceived, that sometimes is the cause of conflict.

d. only childeren and insecure adults see that others desire something and desire it just because they do. If a person does desire that object its usually because they see something in thatbobject that may satisfy their own instrinsic need for certain values.

e. a living being IS NOT equatable to an intimate object and a finite natural resource although somewhat more equatable to the first is NOT equatable to the later.

f. if there is a girl you like and some other guys interest in her reaffirms to you that you were right to be interested in her…than you are an asshole!!! who does not love or think for himself and who never judged her off of her own value but by an external representation of value.

its of no surprise that religious people have a massive confusion about desire considering your innate sense of desire is something that religion fractures in order to place external desires within your and repetitively tell you that it is your desire and not theirs that is wrong. I think a large part of his memetic desire philosophy smells like an excuse to where the meme itself becomes another scapegoat for crypto religion so they can be excused of their purposeful ignorance

we dividing ourselves or being purposefully divided so others have power, and the deaths of Oedipus nor Jesus helped, Ceaser just told us that it did.

and also… technically in Leviticus they kill the pure spottless "sinless" goat and send the goat blamed for the sins of Israel (the scapegoat) out into the wilderness.

the scapegoat isnt actually the one that got harmed, it went away with the mistakes and sins of the people that were atoned, the perfect "lamb of god" is the one who got harmed and sacrificed.

Wonderful interview. Truly brilliant insights. Aquinas ' Unmoved Mover. Love is what moves us.. Love for things and the opinion of others and mimetic desire. Nice to see the counter to the mere myth claims of the jaded secularists.

What if Christ was guilty? If he were a Jewish partisan, part of the Persian Jews, and fought the Romans as part of the Persian Wall against Rome…

"It's impossible to be a genuine pagan." That was stated well by the interviewer. For neopagans to actually return to their archaic form they must revive animal and human sacrifices. But many of them have not the heart for it.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the rather OBVIOUS fact that Christians, Jews and Muslims, the three peas in the Abrahamic pod, all equally scapegoat women.

If you read the comments here praising Girard and start agreeing to them, you're already experiencing mimetic desire.

so essentially humans are in constant conflict because they want the same thing but both can't have it. The only way to turn this conflict into peace is through a scapegoat. I cant see how jesus fits into this. someone help

Christianity destroys mythology says René Girard. I would have loved to see his reaction to Jordan Peterson's Biblical lectures where mythology was front and centre.


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