Monday, January 12, 2009

Free pass from god

PZ already commented on this, but I think something else about it needs some attention.

One of the most prominent rabbis in Israel, if not the most prominent, Mordechai Eliyahu has just sent a letter to Prime Minister Olmert explaining that "All civilians living in Gaza are collectively guilty for Kassam attacks on Sderot."

He also explained that "there was absolutely no moral prohibition against the indiscriminate killing of civilians during a potential massive military offensive on Gaza."

And the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Eliyahu's son, himself a high-profile religious figure, "said his father opposed a ground troop incursion into Gaza that would endanger IDF soldiers. Rather, he advocated carpet bombing the general area from which the Kassams were launched, regardless of the price in Palestinian life."

There's one step for the justification: they attacked us without regard for the price of innocent life on our side of the fence! And since we just abhor the destruction of innocent life, there only seems to be one sane, logical reaction (and thank god that the almighty was around to give it to us before our humanity got in the way): we have to carpet bomb the innocents in their country! Thanks for the green-light, god.

But where is the line? How many heathen childrens' souls must we send to hell in this conflict?

"If they don't stop after we kill 100, then we must kill a thousand," said Shmuel Eliyahu. "And if they do not stop after 1,000 then we must kill 10,000. If they still don't stop we must kill 100,000, even a million. Whatever it takes to make them stop."

Yes, "whatever it takes to make them stop," as if innocent people should get to be clumped up with "them". It's a pity that god couldn't be bothered to send this maniac a memo explaining that the people responsible for shooting missiles at their country and the common people who just happened to be born in Palestine are different groups (this will be lost on the war hawks who think all Americans endorsed the "shock and awe" assault on's kind of the same thing).

And now for the second part of the justification. Speaking of "shock and awe," you'll never believe this:

In the letter, Eliyahu quoted from Psalms. "I will pursue my enemies and apprehend them and I will not desist until I have eradicated them."

Yup, the bible. Where to even begin? For starters, the bible is a muddled piece of incoherent trash. Unlike any academic piece produced by mere mortal scholars in the modern world, the bible is so convoluted that you can evince any stance from its needlessly lengthy pages of crummy poetry and prose. Still, trusting your gut without regard for tempering your opinions with, y'know, logic and evidence is much easier than actually learning, and the notion of faith with an assist from the Bronze Age allows people to be lazy thinkers. Any problems that arise from this can easily be attributed to the lack of faith or any sinful non-conformity to their creed (since scrutiny has already been thrown out the window in favor of whatever they feel). And hence, the circle perpetuates.

And now this pious yutz in Israel is dredging the ignorance of the past into the 21st century, which explains his inability to discern his "enemies" that he wishes to be pursued and destroyed from normal fucking people who didn't have shit to do with it!

Eliyahu wrote that "This is a message to all leaders of the Jewish people not to be compassionate with those who shoot [rockets] at civilians in their houses."

Yes, because Sally P. Gaza-Housewife was the one who pulled the trigger.

We live in a world where somebody can have the intelligence and the resources to construct a nuclear weapon, yet still believe he will receive paradise for detonating it. We live in a world where children die consistently because people have faith in the power of prayer, yet find the skepticism to scrutinize doctors and the tangible results of medicine. To any sane human being, it is horrifyingly clear that this type of holy stupidity is dangerous and unnecessary.

There are a lot of things that people will say about this. They will say that he interprets the bible wrong, even though they will lack a single good reason to believe that their faith is even slightly more likely to be correct. If they disagree with Eliyahu, they will ascribe his error to any number of factors with the exception of one: few people, if any, will point out that this man has been divorced from compassion and sundered from reason by faith. It is the fault of the same disconnection from reality that most people on this planet embrace as noble or necessary that this type of horror could be considered possible. This man wants to cull millions of people he knows had no hand in assaulting his country because he believes, without reason, that god said they were guilty.

And all god's people said, "Amen".

You want sanity to return to this world? Then start making sure that insanity gets pointed out and scrutinized unapologetically.

And now, let's try and get a laugh out of it:

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