Manichean calibration

Renus

Member
Vietnamese
"It was a simplistic, Manichean calibration, and the positioning of the Mahathir government on the worldwide Islamic terrorist map was internationally transparent"

I got this quote from "Conversation with Mahathir Mohamad" of Tom Plate, and I did not know what "calibration" here means? And about Manichean, can you tell me short infos about this kind of religion. Many thanks.
 
  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Renus, why don't you link your source, so that we don't have to go looking for it?

    This is talking about the US government's assessment of the islamic orientation of states around the world after 9/11. That is the calibration, placing on a scale from non-islamist to extreme fundamentalist.

    Manichean means believing in equal and opposite forces of good and evil. So Mahathir Mohamad is evoking the religious idea of an active force of evil, countering the force of God and goodness, to draw his parallel, and suggest the polarized nature of US government thinking after the attacks.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    You an read about the Manichean religion by reading the Wiki article: Manichaeism.
    This is what the article says about the use of Manichaen in contexts such as this one:

    Figurative use:

    The terms "Manichaean" and "Manichaeism" are sometimes used figuratively as a synonym of the more general term "dualist" with respect to a philosophy or outlook.[48] They are often used to suggest with a somewhat disparaging undertone that the world view in question simplistically reduces the world to a struggle between Good and Evil.

    As for calibration, this too is a figurative use, but I can't say what it means because I don't have enough information. What does "it" refer to in the "It was a simplistic ... calibration ...."? Please tell us what this is about.

    The sentences before this one might help. You are allowed to quote 4 sentences total, including the one you have already given us.
     

    Renus

    Member
    Vietnamese
    @ Thomas Tompion: I take in about 70% of your ideas. Is this the way US gov used to calibrate- to measure good and evil of islamic countries. It's the same as Manichean philosophy, believing in good and evil. Am I true?
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    @ Thomas Tompion: I take in about 70% of your ideas. Is this the way US gov used to calibrate- to measure good and evil of islamic countries. It's the same as Manichean philosophy, believing in good and evil. Am I true?
    Not really, I'm afraid.

    To calibrate here means to put on a scale. At one end of the scale is George Bush Junior, at the other end is OBL. The government placed other governments on this scale - i.e. how dangerously islamist were they?

    This reflects - it's not the same as - what is seen as the manichaean tendency to polarize, to have two categories, good and evil.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top