COUPLED WITH THESE PSYCHOLOGICAL LIMITATIONS IS A GENERAL INCOMPREHENSION OF CASUALITY [sic]. ISLAM, WITH ITS EMPHASIS ON THE OMNIPOTENCE OF GOD, APPEARS TO ACCOUNT AT LEAST IN MAJOR PART FOR THIS PHENOMENON. SOMEWHAT SURPRISINGLY, EVEN THOSE IRANIANS EDUCATED IN THE WESTERN STYLE AND PERHAPS WITH LONG EXPERIENCE OUTSIDE IRAN ITSELF FREQUENTLY HAVE DIFFICULTY GRASPING THE INTER-RELATIONSHIP OF EVENTS. WITNESS A YAZDI RESISTING THE IDEA THAT IRANIAN BEHAVIOR HAS CONSEQUENCES ON THE PERCEPTION OF IRAN IN THE U.S. OR THAT THIS PERCEPTION IS SOMEHOW RELATED TO AMERICAN POLICIES REGARDING IRAN. THIS SAME QUALITY ALSO HELPS EXPLAIN PERSIAN AVERSION TO ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY FOR ONE’S OWN ACTIONS. THE DEUS EX MACHINA IS ALWAYS AT WORK.
This is a general problem for anyone who subscribes to the belief that the neologian Vox Day calls “omniderigence,” as well as any other form of determinism. Although I admire some qualities of Calvinists, I think this position is unsustainable. The basic problem is quite the same as it is presented by the atheists: omniderigence is too often just an excuse for laziness or cowardice. One must make distinctions between the cause of an event and the responsibility for an event; between the proximate cause and the cause-in-fact; between the entelechial cause and the material cause; and between the deterministic cause and a contributing factor. Basically, the projects to bundle everything into God’s hands or to acquire every possible datapoint in the universe (in order to “know” everything) are corrupt and pointless.
The rest of this particular item is interesting as a sociological analysis. As others have said, this batch of released documents increases my estimation of State Department officials.