Religious Wars are Stupid

Operation Cast Lead

Israel and Hamas had a truce. It was set to expire on Dec 19.
On Dec 13, Israel said they’d like to continue the truce.
Hamas let the truce expire on the 19th.
On the 20th, Hamas announced that the truce was officially over, and started shelling an Israeli desert region called Negev.
In retaliation, Israel bombs the crap out of Gaza and kills over 200 people and injures 700 more.

Is this a surprise to anyone?

If you let a truce expire, announce that the truce is over, and then start attacking someone, they’re going to attack back. And if that someone is Israel, they don’t fool around, and a lot of your people are going to die.

All because of squatters rights over a piece of crap land that has significance to two different religions.

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25 thoughts on “Religious Wars are Stupid

    • It’d be nice, but the messed up fact is that their claim is just as solid in historical foundation as the Palestinian claim.

      The real issue is less the land and more the religious issues, which stem from a presumptive moment where one religion was founded by the usurpation divorce moment, where one wife’s power exiled another wife and her offspring, thus creating a schism foundation moment of a very flammable level.

      This stuff makes the Hatfield and McCoy’s look like amateurs, which, I guess, compared to this level of familial infighting..they are.

      • Yeah, it would have been a whole ton simplier, that’s for sure. I mean, seriously, not only would there be no real military issues, the climate is pretty damn nice, too. I mean, it’s not like they were being offered scrublands, or anything.

        We should have offered them Florida and Cuba, from back in those days, the world would have been better for it, on multiple fronts.

      • That’s exactly my point, Hyrum.

        To a rational person,

        beautiful country not surrounded and outnumbered by people who utterly hate you >> crap land with religious significance

      • I would say that these days while it’s couched in the language of religion (Holy Land) it has more to do with national and ethnic identity than anything else. Israel is home to the Jews (as well as the other 11 tribes, but that’s beside the point). It’s hard to say no to Home.

      • No, to a non-religious person, or even more specifically, a non-Israelite Jew/non-Palestinian Muslim, that statement is true. However, non-rational is, literally, “with no reason,” and that is simply not true. Their reasoning for their actions is not the reasoning that you (or I) find good, but it’s still a reasoning process that has a basis behind it.

        To write someone off as irrational is a stepping stone to writing someone off as subhuman and unworthy of consideration or compassion. (I am not saying that you have done so, of course, knowing what I know of you, Sean- but I am pointing out implications.)

        -E

      • I think it’s more an example of inductive logic, than deductive logic, in that both groups are more focused on their answer for the issue, as opposed to a unified answer to it all.

        It makes me wonder what would have happened if, in the beginning, the region was split into religious city-states, with various shared city-state districts, with a secular framework unifying them?

        Basically the Federation of Israeli and Palestinian City-States, with the “country” resources managed by secular bureaucracy and the faith-specific areas ran by their specific faiths, but knowing that they needed to respect their “cousins” access and rights, too. I mean, it roughly works in Jerusalem, for the most part.

        *shrugs*

      • I think this is the only place in the world where we desperately need the intervention of the Disney Corporation. Disneyworld – Holy Land? C’mon, everyone in the area would be millionaires.

        *sigh* Sadly I see no real solutions that don’t rely on the one thing that simple doesn’t seem to work: the two sides being willing to compromise with each other and see the other as human beings rather than just The Oppressor-Enemy. Until that happens… Who the hell knows.

      • *chuckles*

        Now that’d be a sight, maybe if we just replaced all explosives with confetti, wouldn’t that be nice?

        But, in all seriousness, I feel that there probably won’t be a solution within our lifetime, or if there is a solution it will probably be a large-scale interventionist model that will not bode well for the region.

      • {No, to a non-religious person, or even more specifically, a non-Israelite Jew/non-Palestinian Muslim, that statement is true. However, non-rational is, literally, “with no reason,” and that is simply not true. Their reasoning for their actions is not the reasoning that you (or I) find good, but it’s still a reasoning process that has a basis behind it.}

        Religion IS irrational.
        Irrational = not logical or reasonable.
        Rational = based on or in accordance with reason or logic.

        I’m not making a judgmental statement, I’m making a factual statement. Religion–faith–doesn’t require logic. In fact, it is the OPPOSITE of logic. You believe in it … because you believe in it. Faith doesn’t require proof.

        That doesn’t make it wrong, it just means you shouldn’t use it as if it were logical evidence. Heck, I believe in illogical stuff, like love, and I don’t deny it’s real. Or, to quote the movie Contact, where the religious character Palmer is talking to atheist character Ellie about why faith doesn’t need proof:

        Palmer: Did you love your father?
        Ellie: What?
        Palmer: Your dad. Did you love him?
        Ellie: Yes, very much.
        Palmer Joss: Prove it.

        So, to reiterate: a rational person realizes that a bountiful land far from your enemies is a better choice than desert land surrounded by enemies.

      • I always thought that one of the best examples of faith and love came in a Science Fiction movie, penned by Carl Sagan, and was attached to an atheist character’s moment of faith, even if not religious faith, was quite awesome.

        Although I like the novel more, the movie did an awesome job of showing a secular balance with the non-secular in the way Joss was presented, which was given a lot more power by the fact that McConaughey is a spiritual person with a modest set of convictions.

        Anyhow, back on track, with respect to rationalism and irrationalism, I always tell people that rational thought is known, while faith is felt, and while facts can be shown or proven, belief is just knowing or feeling that something is true.

        Sadly, I think a lot of words have emotional baggage, due to misuse or tactical negativity by some, thus when you say irrational, it is not always taken with the literal direct usage, but often the negative emotional/judgmental connotation. It is hard, too, as often the belittlement and insults of previous conversations or moments, which are only anecdotally related to the conversation at hand, taint the word usage and tone of the current conversation.

        There are times where I wish courses on logic and reason, or at the very least non-rhetoric debate classes, were part of fundamental K-12 learning, as it could, would make life so much easier. Fortunately, we’ve gone twenty or so good posts without too much of an issue, knock on wood, but I think we’re a rather good lot, not prone to over zealous reactions. :D

      • Atheism is just another religion, too, who has its own holy wars, often which border on the asinine, too. Fortunately, though, they’ve not been bloody wars, thus far.

        Back in Boise, where I use to live, there is this lighted cross up on Table Rock, on private land that was purchased for this specific reason. Now said cross has been protested, a lot, by Atheist groups, but what is asinine is that there is almost no local protest, it is all out of state folk, which annoys even the non-Christians in the area.

        Religion is fine, it is when it becomes state religion that issues start to arise, even Tibet had it’s issues, pre- and post-China intervention/occupation/what not.

        Anytime, in my view, any faith becomes dominant over another, via state sponsorship, you’re gonna have issues. Ireland was quasi-fine until the long term effects of British occupation and rule introduced a high amount of protestants into what was, modernly, a Catholic nation.

        Atheism would be no difference, hence why secular rule is better, as it protects all beliefs from one and other, while promoting the belief in whatever members of society will and wish.

        Eradication of religion, world wide, would be just another set of holy wars, with anti-religion folks on one side (to be honest, it’s gonna be mostly atheists, as agnostics and apathetic folk wouldn’t care) and every other religion on the Earth on the other side, thus the anti-religion folks lose.

        It’s not about replacing one idiocy with another, but proper representation, management, and civic responsibility in a secular framework that should fix the issue.

        Ain’t gonna happen, though, as both governments (Israel and Palestine) are non-secular, state-sponsored religion states, commonly known as Theocracies, which are always problematic, with rare exception.

      • I need to stop generalizing. Sheesh

        There is nothing wrong with religion, persay, so long as people keep it internal. It’s when people put their faith in some bullshit over facts and reality, and then use that as an excuse to dictate how other people live their lives that the line is crossed.

      • Eh, it’s all good, some conversations hold good for generalizations and others, well, don’t. No harm, no foul.

        Religion is opinion and everyone is allowed their own, regardless of the opinion of others, it is their belief and should be left alone. Now, in my view, the only exception to this is when their opinion takes on an aggressive/dominance paradigm where there can be only one (sorry, MacCleod) that problems arise.

        Secularism works nicely, so long as it stays truly secular (Gay Marriage bans are not secular thought, nor are most legislative morality moments like prohibition), and it allows for a nice governmental framework that allows people’s beliefs to be protected, without enforcing one thought over another.

        The key issue, I feel, is people’s need to be right, to have the only correct answer, as opposed to spiritualism, religion, or what not. It happens, in my view, way, way too often when you look at most conflicts. Look at the violence of the early union movements, it was a difference of opinion over business practices, the Union folk felt they were right, as did the business owners, and then all hell broke loose.

        Individuals can be fine, large groups, though, that’s when people can really start to go hinkey.

  1. Did you know that one of the calls that cops worry about the most are domestic calls, since you never know, for sure, how all sides in the conflict are going to react, because family squabbles are odd, yet it is still family.

    Why am I drawing this analogy?

    It is simple, really, and not exactly a secret, since the whole Middle East issue draws back to a family squabble of an insane level, as all sides of this stupidity are semitic peoples, thus they’re often involved in anti-semitic behavior toward the opposing sides. It is just insanely stupid, more so when you have people who are decedents of city-states trying to lay claim to whole tracts of land that were never claimed before.

    It is even worse, now, as it becomes a media war, where each side tries to play the sympathy card due to collateral fallout from their latest inability to act like civilized, intelligent folk.

    The move by Hamas is calculated, yet ignorant, and now they, as well as the people that they are supposedly representing, are paying the price for it. Worse still, it is gonna generate more youth to believe in Hamas’ stance on the whole thing, seeing Israel as a massive aggressor, and join various terrorist fringe groups who do nothing but insult the principles of Islam. Idiots.

    Israel is being idiotic, too, as they’re still practicing their concept of overwhelming forceful response, hoping to drive as much fear into those who support Hamas and thus cripple its support structure.

    As unrealistic as this statement is, I honestly think something of this magnitude is the only thing that will ever solve peace in the Middle East: An invasion by a group, or groups, who are attacking both sides of the conflict, with devastating efficiency, is pretty much the only thing that is likely to stop the conflict, be it an outside power, alien force, or some other level of “hates them all”, and that’s pretty much it.

    On a United States’ centric focus here, we’ve had every President since Carter put some focus and movement toward Middle East Peace, not to mention various declarations of said peace, and it still falls apart. We support, in one way, shape, or form, all side of the conflict, through various official and unofficial means, yet peace is never held for long.

    It is Abrahamic Religion infighting of the Nth degree and it is as ignorant as it is ancient and on my worst days I’m tend to feel we should isolate them and let them fight it out until no one is left standing and on my better days I feel we should still do that, but let those who want out, out. On my best day, I just wish for peace and hope that someone sane, on all sides, will be in charge at the same time the other sane folks are in charge, too.

    • I’ve often thought that the best hope for peace in the middle east is for a multi-nation force to just take over the entire Holy Land and enforce open access for any and all people.

      Nobody can own it. It’s like the moon. Visit it. Revere it. Wonder at it. And let others do so as well.

      • Remember that point where I said some big, dominant outside force could unify those two opposing groups?

        Yeah, an International Peacekeeper Force could definitely fix some aspect of the issue, so long as it remained unbiased and secular, but the moment any odd stuff started to happen…yeah, it’d be a scary moment for some folks, when Mossad and Hamas fire teams, working together, start to hit your ass.

        But, damn good idea, if it was put into place and worked. Goodness knows, they need something.

  2. It’s a terrible situation. Israel’s supporters call Hamas terrorists and give them no quarter, Palestine’s supporters criticize Israel for picking on a weaker side and argue that this attack on civilians only justifies further violence.

    If only they could take after Northern Ireland’s solution, which is to recognise that violence only works to justify further violence, and that conflict will never be settled in the long term without diplomacy and compromise.

  3. I’m confused…

    I missed the part where there was a link between Hamas and the Palestinians.

    Actually, there is a link. If Palestinians enjoyed the fruits of a truce then Hamas wouldn’t continue to get new members and support.

    Technically, Hamas needs unrest in order to maintain its power, right?

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