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Saturday, July 19, 2014

The ideas, they circulate

It's uncredited, as always, but it's always satisfying to see the memes I create spread throughout the intellectual community. This particular one has now gone from TIA to Wikipedia to Nature to the New York Times:
It’s not true that all wars are fought in the name of religion, as some atheists assert. Of 1,723 armed conflicts documented in the three-volume “Encyclopedia of Wars,” only 123, or less than 7 percent, involved a religious cause. Hitler’s genocide, Stalin’s bloody purges and Pol Pot’s mass murders certainly make the case that state-sanctioned killings do not need the invocation of a higher power to succeed.
It's been very interesting to see over time how Approved Intellects are declared brilliant and influential and elevated in the media while disapproved badthinkers are swept under the carpet even as their thoughts are mined, cited, quoted, and otherwise utilized, most often in complete ignorance of the original source.

TIA hasn't sold one percent as many copies as THE END OF FAITH. Everyone knows who Sam Harris is, I'm mostly known, to the extent that I am known at all, as a minor league blogger. And yet, the battle between Sam's ideas concerning the causal connection between religion and war and my own disproof of his ideas based on military history has observably been a complete rout in my favor.

This doesn't mean the war is completely over. Timothy Egan's article is a Fighting Withdrawal, seeking to blame "faith-based fanatics" for the violence in 2014 despite his acknowledgment of the historical evidence. Never mind that the two big events in the headlines, the invasion of Gaza and the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner, obviously have nothing whatsoever to do with religion of any kind.

126 Comments:

OpenID bc64a9f8-765e-11e3-8683-000bcdcb2996 July 19, 2014 1:22 PM  

Where's the part where armed conflict over real estate, using the GUISE of "because religion" to enthuse the troops to abandon their fields and family, is re-wikied?
CaptDMO

Anonymous bob k. mando July 19, 2014 1:23 PM  

the invasion of Gaza ... obviously have nothing whatsoever to do with religion of any kind.


Hamas constantly lobbing missiles into Israel ( even during 'cease fires' ) has no religious component?

Anonymous VD July 19, 2014 1:39 PM  

Hamas constantly lobbing missiles into Israel ( even during 'cease fires' ) has no religious component?

None whatsoever. The Israelis took their land away from them. Do you think the Iroquois and the Cherokee and the Comanche and the Sioux fought because they didn't like the White Man's religion?

Do you think Hamas would be launching rockets at Uganda if the Jews had set up their homeland there instead of Israel?

Anonymous bob k. mando July 19, 2014 1:51 PM  

weeeeelllll, except for that whole "Islam must subdue all of Dar al Harb and subdue it to Allah" thing, you've got a point.

Anonymous VD July 19, 2014 1:58 PM  

weeeeelllll, except for that whole "Islam must subdue all of Dar al Harb and subdue it to Allah" thing, you've got a point.

And if Hamas were attacking Iceland, that would be relevant. I'm not arguing that Islam never starts wars; it is a religion of the sword and has, in fact, been involved in more than half of all religious wars in recorded human history. But there were Christians and atheist Communists in the PLO; it is a battle over land.

Moreover, Israel is secular, it is an ethnic state, not a religious one.

Blogger Will Brown July 19, 2014 1:58 PM  

Just to be clear.

Hamas (you remember them, the elected political leadership of Gaza who imposes Shari'a as a matter of policy?), whose founding organizational charter includes the explicit intent to kill all Jews. The same people who, having spent the previous months/years launching attacks into Israel (you remember them, the self-identified "Jewish state"?), now find themselves on the receiving end of armed invasion from Israel.

Hmmm ... two political entities whose unique mutual claim to specific territory is a "historical" mandate from God, and you conclude their mutual hostility (I'm going to go out on a limb here and unilaterally declare it a war) has "nothing whatsoever to do with religion"?

I don't doubt you are convinced of your beliefs, nor do I doubt your rhetorical talent to defend your position; I simply disagree and look forward to your analysis of the next World Cup.

Anonymous Feelings, Nothing More Than Feelings July 19, 2014 2:15 PM  

I once put the argument above to a socialist atheist I knew. He replied that Stalinism, Maoism, etc. was a religion, because Marxism was just warmed over Christianity with "the march of history" and the state as a substitute for God. His socialism was more of the Swedish "third way" sort, and he claimed that his humanism derived from that. It was basically a "be nice" form.

I really wanted to get him into a meeting with some campus parlor pinks I knew but never succeeded. Pity.

Anonymous liljoe July 19, 2014 2:16 PM  

The Israelis took their land away from them. Do you think the Iroquois and the Cherokee and the Comanche and the Sioux fought because they didn't like the White Man's religion?

Ok who are you and what did you do with the real Vox Day. Holy false equivalence, batman!

Blogger K July 19, 2014 2:18 PM  

Communism / Socialism is a "faith". A faith in "no G*d", no immortal soul to perfect and the efficacy of the righteousness of the collective.

Blogger napari July 19, 2014 2:29 PM  

History as I read it has the Palestinians declaring war on the Jews. Against all odds the Jews won and the Palestinians lost. In the time honored tradition of to the victors go the spoils of war, the Palestinians gave up thier rights and now own nothing but what Israel generously grants them.

Anonymous VD July 19, 2014 2:31 PM  

Ok who are you and what did you do with the real Vox Day. Holy false equivalence, batman!

That's not a false equivalence at all. You can substitute any war of conquest you like. Israel didn't originally own the land. It conquered it from the Canaanites. Then it lost it to the Romans. Then it reconquered it from the British and the Arabs. The British don't care. The Arabs, obviously, do.

Hmmm ... two political entities whose unique mutual claim to specific territory is a "historical" mandate from God, and you conclude their mutual hostility (I'm going to go out on a limb here and unilaterally declare it a war) has "nothing whatsoever to do with religion".

Yes. The various justifications of the claim are totally irrelevant. Both sides also appeal to the Balfour Declaration and the United Nations, respectively, and no one is dumb enough to claim it is a war over contrasting beliefs in diplomacy. Convert all the secular Jews to Islam and Hamas will still want to drive them out of Palestine. Convert Hamas and the PLO to Judaism and they will still want that land back.

The people of Palestine didn't really give a damn about the Jews when they lived in Germany and Russia. Just as the Germans don't really give a damn about the Jews anymore now. But go settle Bavaria with five million Canadians and suddenly you'll be trying to concoct an equally stupid explanation for why Germans hate Canadians.

Anonymous Mudz July 19, 2014 2:33 PM  

Everyone knows who Sam Harris is

You'd be surprised at the ignorance of the average man. I'd never even heard of Dawkins until a few dickens back.

I think atheists are generally just barely relevant to the general consciousness unless they make an effort to be noticed. As ideologies go, they're very weak sauce compared to the controversy just between Christian denominations.
Arguing about the Trinity is of far more proximate interest and meaningful controversy to your typical Christian than the guys waving their hands in the air moaning about religion in general with vague adolescent inspecificities about what they watched on Cosmos last night.
(I could be wrong though. Culture in America is probably much different from what I'm used to. Less media interaction where I'm at.)

In my youth, the "big issues" were America and Catholics, as dictated by social consciousness. Atheists were just those occasional pretentious fat momma's boys that you rolled your eyes at. Funny how perspective can change.

I hear they come in "skinny" and "hates-their-mother" now.

Blogger djolds 1 July 19, 2014 2:35 PM  

The Proto-Israeli state accepted the UN's partition plan of '47. The Arabs rejected it, chose war, and lost.

Actions have consequences.

Israel is as much "Palestinian land" as Kaliningrad is German - i.e only if they can take it. No valid claim attaches.

Anonymous kh123 July 19, 2014 2:35 PM  

A part rarely makes the whole. A portion can be primary, which is all the more imperative to identify it correctly.

Though some accepted it, Christianity was loathed and hated by many Indian tribes. But, think about it: Why?

Answer that and you have your primary, as also in the case of Israel/Philistines.

Anonymous dw July 19, 2014 2:36 PM  

The Palestinians dont own that land unless they elect to become part of Israel. Sucks for them but thats the rules. Israel belongs to Israel.

Anonymous Stephen J. July 19, 2014 2:36 PM  

Speaking as a Canadian, I have no doubt the Germans would hate us if five million of us showed up one day, but they wouldn't exterminate us. We're too bland for that level of antipathy.

Anonymous liljoe July 19, 2014 2:37 PM  

Doesn't the fact that the Arabs "care" about the reconquest of their Holy Land imply some religious component, whereas the Native American conquest was more about acquisition of territory?

Anonymous VD July 19, 2014 2:37 PM  

History as I read it has the Palestinians declaring war on the Jews.

Don't be naive. The Ashkenazi invaded their land from Europe; that was the whole point of Zionism. To establish a homeland somewhere they were not. I have said, unequivocally, that the modern Israelis hold the land by the same right of conquest that the ancient Israelis did. They won their right to it. But don't pretend that they didn't start it by invading in the first place.

As did the founders who won the USA by the same right of conquest. Don't sanitize history. Yes, the Ashkenazi made the desert bloom and enhanced its value and so on. So did the Americans on the American content. But both parties took the land by invasion, settlement, and conquest.

They have a right to defend it. But anyone else has a right to try and take it, if they can.

Anonymous zen0 July 19, 2014 2:39 PM  

Gentlemen, please.

The business between Israel and Hamas is not a "war". It is a peace negotiation.

Anonymous bob k. mando July 19, 2014 2:39 PM  

VD July 19, 2014 1:58 PM
And if Hamas were attacking Iceland ...But there were Christians and atheist Communists in the PLO;



let's not have the bait-and-switch. we get too much of that from the Catholics.

Hamas is not the PLO and the PLO is not Hamas.

the fact that Hamas defeated the PLO / Fatah in the 2006 democratic elections and that they have fought a long civil war against each other is proof of this.

i will note that one of the conditions in the recent 2011 joining of Hamas/PLO is this:
"Khaled Meshaal agreed to discontinue the "armed struggle" against Israel and accept Palestinian statehood within the 1967 borders, alongside Israel."

Hamas is currently a technical subsidiary of the PLO ... however, they are explicitly violating the conditions by which they were allowed to join.

but the PLO does not administer Gaza, Hamas does. and even after they signed the deal, Hamas was still arresting Fatah/PLO people.

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/04/01/204611.html


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatah%E2%80%93Hamas_conflict

Anonymous VD July 19, 2014 2:42 PM  

Israel is as much "Palestinian land" as Kaliningrad is German - i.e only if they can take it. No valid claim attaches.

The Palestinian claim is more historically valid than the Ashkenazi claim ever was. What you're really saying is that no claims are valid, the only claims that matter are those that can be established by force. Which is observably true.

All the appeals to law, authority, and religion are nothing but PR. The modern Israelis made the same mistake that the US did in Korea and the first Gulf War. They didn't finish the war. That's why it is still an issue.

Anonymous VD July 19, 2014 2:47 PM  

Hamas is not the PLO and the PLO is not Hamas.

vs

Hamas is currently a technical subsidiary of the PLO ... however, they are explicitly violating the conditions by which they were allowed to join.

They're all Arabs, Bob. And they're all motivated by the same cause: the non-Arab state of Israel. Even now, 30 percent of Israeli Jews are immigrants from elsewhere. You cannot possibly claim they are not LITERAL invaders. To pretend anything else is dishonest.

Anonymous zen0 July 19, 2014 2:52 PM  

As did the founders who won the USA by the same right of conquest. Don't sanitize history. Yes, the Ashkenazi made the desert bloom and enhanced its value and so on. So did the Americans on the American continent. But both parties took the land by invasion, settlement, and conquest.

This analogy would be more accurate to the Palestine-Southern Syria situation if Americans had kept a continuous presence in America for many centuries before the invasion by European immigration, like the Jews did in Palestine. When they were conquered by the Romans, they lost sovereignty, but not every Jew was dispersed.

Blogger Shimshon July 19, 2014 2:54 PM  

You have interest realpolitik view on the conflict here.

Blogger Shimshon July 19, 2014 2:56 PM  

"The Palestinian claim is more historically valid than the Ashkenazi claim ever was."

Care to elaborate on this?

Anonymous VD July 19, 2014 3:00 PM  

Here are the population figures from a British census of 1918: 700,000 Arabs and 56,000 Jews. In percentage terms, there were fewer Jews in Palestine than there were Mexicans in the USA 100 years later.

Anyhow, there is a very easy answer to who has the most valid legal claim on the land and if you want to play the game that way, the answer is obvious: Turkey, as the legitimate heir to the Ottoman empire. Fortunately, Turkey doesn't want it.

You have interest realpolitik view on the conflict here.

If you look back at my old WND columns, I think you'll see my opinion has been consistent. I think a massive injustice was done to the Arabs there, but I also think a massive injustice was done to the blacks dragged over from Africa. But those to whom the injustice was done are long dead. The situation is what it is now, the war is over, and pretending otherwise serves no positive purpose.

Anonymous Stephen J. July 19, 2014 3:02 PM  

Vox, clarification on terminology requested: under what circumstances could a person born in one region, of one ethnicity, relocate to dwell indefinitely in another region dominated by another ethnicity and *not* be an "invader"?

If the answer is "none," that's at least consistent, but I suggest it may be too broad a definition to be useful.

Anonymous Sigh July 19, 2014 3:02 PM  

They're all Arabs, Bob. And they're all motivated by the same cause: the non-Arab state of Israel. Even now, 30 percent of Israeli Jews are immigrants from elsewhere. You cannot possibly claim they are not LITERAL invaders. To pretend anything else is dishonest.

And the Arabs, including the ones in Palestine, are also invaders from elsewhere.

http://api.ning.com/files/oNm7OM1Dt6Wn*WKCJjam9jv35k8jptgzBcGE*4fiXRcI0rCawnjrkDLCWNVJKkaq/6327503WavesofArabConquest.jpg

Anonymous VD July 19, 2014 3:09 PM  

Care to elaborate on this?

The Ashkenazi are genetically as Italian as they are Jewish. In fact, since Judaism is matrilineal, they aren't even properly Jewish except by conversion. Their historical claim on the land is nonexistent; there were virtually zero Jews of any kind there around the time of the Crusades. The modern Palestinians are the direct descendants of the 700,000 Arabs whose land was stolen by the British after the breakup of the Ottoman empire.

The Jews have a perfectly legitimate claim by conquest, first by the British, then an expanded one by the modern Israeli state. But appeals to history or the Bible are risible from them. I mean, appealing to a historical CONQUEST rather than a more recent one? It's almost as ridiculous as a secular state appealing to the Bible.

Of course, I don't subscribe to the myth of "international law", so I feel no need to dance around the obvious by concocting nonsensical justifications. And I have no bias one way or the other.

OpenID trunthepaige July 19, 2014 3:11 PM  

When you brought those facts to public attention, it swept through the internet like a wildfire. And you were always uncredited. I ran that story myself and received about 30,000 hits, 200 comments and set off untold other blog entries on my old Xanga. Fact checking that info is where I found your site. And so much more info. Sorry I did not give you credit, but I did not know you had done that research until after I wrote my blog entry.

Anonymous VD July 19, 2014 3:17 PM  

Vox, clarification on terminology requested: under what circumstances could a person born in one region, of one ethnicity, relocate to dwell indefinitely in another region dominated by another ethnicity and *not* be an "invader"?

When they immigrate and integrate completely, in every way, including language, religion, nationality, and local traditions.

For example, my children are not American. They retain some American traditions, to be sure, but they do not identify as Americans, they do not think of themselves as Americans, and it didn't even occur to them to watch Team USA in the World Cup. They speak the local language, keep the local customs, and wholly identify with the place where they were born and raised. They are not seen as invaders, and, in my opinion, rightly so.

Anonymous VD July 19, 2014 3:19 PM  

Sorry I did not give you credit, but I did not know you had done that research until after I wrote my blog entry.

No worries. Very few people did. It's a bit ironic that according to Wikipedia, I'm supposedly best known for my "feud" with John Scalzi, but not for original ideas that have all but settled one of the major issues of religious debate for the last however many years.

Anonymous bob k. mando July 19, 2014 3:20 PM  

VD July 19, 2014 2:47 PM
You cannot possibly claim they are not LITERAL invaders. To pretend anything else is dishonest.



ah, ah, ah, you're conflating opponents and moving the point of debate on me.

i have NEVER asserted that the Jews didn't "invade". as per our mutual takedown of that Sarah bimbo, the post WW2 incursion of Jews into the Levant certainly qualifies as invasion every bit as much as Hondurans crossing the southern border of the US does.

what i'm pointing out is that no muslim on the planet will willingly cede authority of any territory that was EVER held by muslim authorities, no matter how deep into the mists of the past that you have to go to find it or how flimsy that pretext is.

that's why we've got muslim lunatics today running around mouthing off about how ... someday ... they're going to take back Al Andalus and the Moghul empire.

ONCE territory has joined the Dar al Islam THEN it can never "legitimately" rejoin the Dar al Harb, Islamically speaking.

Babur's autobiography is amusing in this regard.

Anonymous VD July 19, 2014 3:21 PM  

what i'm pointing out is that no muslim on the planet will willingly cede authority of any territory that was EVER held by muslim authorities, no matter how deep into the mists of the past that you have to go to find it or how flimsy that pretext is.

I don't disagree with that.

Anonymous jack July 19, 2014 3:33 PM  

Ultimate right to a place? In the middle east I suppose you could say it really belongs to the Neanderthals or maybe the Nephilim. In modern times, it's owned by whomever can hold it. Might makes right, I guess, whether one likes that or not. Fairness usually takes a back seat. A hard, sad world, all to often.

Anonymous 204 July 19, 2014 3:41 PM  

I wouldn't say the invasion of gaza has nothing whatsoever to do with religion. Isn't the purpose of the invasion to fight the elements shooting rockets into Israel? Which in turn has at least little to do with the turbulent history between the Muslim and the Jew.

Anonymous Rolf July 19, 2014 3:43 PM  

Of all the peoples that have claimed the land that now comprises the state of Israel, and there have been a lot of them, the Jews have by far the strongest claim, historical and right of conquest.

Let me see: Canaanite, Philistines, Hitites, Egyptian, Assyrian, Israelite, Babylonian, Macedonian/Greek, Ptolemaic, Seleucid, Maccabees, Roman, Byzantine, Arab Caliphs and Crusaders (alternating), Mamluks, Ottomans, Arabs, British, Palestinians, Jews, and likely a few I'm forgetting.

One way to look at it: This land is mine

They were there early, and returned to power several times, and rule it now. Nobody else with a strong historical claim. In more recent history, they have tried to settle the situation peaceably, but were rebuffed each time by people seeking their destruction. They may be a people of faith, but for many in power religion is just the excuse to inflame the people in a fight over land, as well as a convenient excuse for failure ("it's all their fault!"), because in typical envious fashion, people with little can excuse personal failing if they can blame someone else for taking "their" stuff.

Rulers in a failed culture will always seek to deflect blame for problems within by blaming others. Always have, always will.

Blogger djolds 1 July 19, 2014 3:44 PM  

The West is too soft to countenance such finality today. Tho that may change within this decade, as the planet is rapidly slouching toward WW3.

Anonymous Anti-Democracy Activist July 19, 2014 3:45 PM  

The radical atheists have an answer to this:

Any time any two people or groups of people go to war with each other over any reason, it's a religious war, you see? They're religious, they had a war, and thus it's a religious war.

As for atheists and atheist states on the other hand, if they commit horrors, it isn't *because* they're atheists - even when they do things like drowning whole villages of Vendee Catholics, blowing up centuries-old Russian churches or Tibetan monasteries, or throwing Falun Gong members into labor camps.

See? All very simple.

Anonymous Will Best July 19, 2014 3:47 PM  

For some reason "We are here now and we can hold it, so tough shit" isn't seen as a legitimate claim anymore. I think that has something to do with first worlders being several generations removed from any sort of lawlessness.



Anonymous bob k. mando July 19, 2014 3:49 PM  

VD July 19, 2014 3:21 PM
I don't disagree with that.



well, the direct implication of that statement is that no serious muslim will ever permit Israel in any form to hold any amount of territory in the Levant. ever.

THAT is why Hamas is a serious problem for the Israelis while the PLO is fairly tame. the PLO is less violent because it's national socialist ( heeee, it's fun to say that ) rather than muslim.

the surface objection is the taking of land. the deeper philosophical objection is religious.

Anonymous Anti-Democracy Activist July 19, 2014 4:09 PM  

"I once put the argument above to a socialist atheist I knew. He replied that Stalinism, Maoism, etc. was a religion, because Marxism was just warmed over Christianity with "the march of history" and the state as a substitute for God. His socialism was more of the Swedish "third way" sort, and he claimed that his humanism derived from that. It was basically a "be nice" form."

If a system that explicitly rejects any belief in God or the supernatural can be a "religion", and do all the bad things that atheists contend that religions do, then logically, the problem with religion cannot be belief in God and the supernatural.

So, essentially, your atheist friend has just made your point for you.

What he means to say, then, is that human beings have a nasty tendency to hurt each other over virtually anything that they feel very strongly about. This includes, but is by no means limited to, belief in God and the supernatural. Which, of course, is perfectly true.

Anonymous johnc July 19, 2014 4:10 PM  

I think my IQ dropped off the planet after reading that NYT piece.

And now not paying for somebody else's contraception is being compared to religious violence? Is this just all a ruse or can people truly be this stupid?

Anonymous Anti-Democracy Activist July 19, 2014 4:11 PM  

"For some reason "We are here now and we can hold it, so tough shit" isn't seen as a legitimate claim anymore. I think that has something to do with first worlders being several generations removed from any sort of lawlessness."

Something tells me that you may, a couple of decades hence, find yourself trying very hard to explain that to your local representative of La Raza.

"La Raza"... what does that mean in Spanish again?

Anonymous Sigyn July 19, 2014 4:16 PM  

That article could've come right off the presses of the Devil. This is how the "reasoning" runs:

- Muslims do bad things in the name of Allah.
- Nominal Christians also did bad things in the name of God.
- Therefore fanaticism = bad, regardless of the content of the religion.

Then he takes a breath, forgets everything he just wrote, and then adds:

- The Founders didn't specifically say "God" in the Constitution.
- Therefore, Hobby Lobby should not be exempt from buying its employees abortions and bakers should have to make cakes for gay weddings.
- And Democrats are just as Christian as Republicans, yo.

Predictable as always...

Anonymous Sigyn July 19, 2014 4:17 PM  

And now not paying for somebody else's contraception is being compared to religious violence?

It's a WAR ON WOMEN.

Blogger Hermit July 19, 2014 4:21 PM  

As I always say when I heard that "religion wars" mantra from atheist the problem is power not religion.

If religion is used to legitimaze power then it may be used to kill people but it's because of power not because of religion.
The power (the state) can use anything to justify wars, we are currently using democracy.
A state legitimized by pacifism can use pacifism itself to justify his imperial wars.

Religion and spirituality legitimized power in traditional society for all the history of man and yet they caused only so few religion wars. I would say that democracy and egualitarianism are much more bloodthirsty.

Anonymous Dexter Dude July 19, 2014 4:27 PM  

I think Sam has some good ideas about "religion and war" but he defines "religion" too narrowly.

I would include Marxism, Leninism, nationalism, Nazism, Obama/Hillary/Bush/Wilson democratism, Progressivism and Zionism as the major warmongering religions of today. With homosexualism, feminism and transsexualism coming in a close second. Or perhaps they should be considered more as aggravating sects or heresies.

Anonymous Dexter Dude July 19, 2014 4:30 PM  

Yes Hamas has a religious component, just like Zionism and all the other "isms".

Anonymous VD July 19, 2014 4:34 PM  

the surface objection is the taking of land. the deeper philosophical objection is religious.

You have it backwards. They were Muslim back when there were 700,000 of them and less than one-tenth that many Jews and they obviously didn't seek to destroy them. Now, they do. What has changed? Obviously not the religion.

And seriously, who gives a flying fuck about who controls a small piece of land in the Middle East except the people who live there. It's so bloody typical. I write a post about how I'm not given credit for a meme that has gone everywhere from science journals to the most hallowed ground of mainstream liberalism, and the mere mention of Gaza suddenly means WE MUST LEAP TO THE DEFENSE OF THE JEWISH RIGHT TO ISRAEL!

Do you want to make people dislike Jews? Then talk about them ALL THE FUCKING TIME. I was sick of the Middle East editorials on the op/ed page when I was still in high school. It's more than 25 years later and I still have to listen to people yammering on about it? And saying the same damn things! You could run a column from 1977, change the names, and no one would even notice.

Anonymous VD July 19, 2014 4:36 PM  

I think Sam has some good ideas about "religion and war" but he defines "religion" too narrowly.

You're absolutely and utterly wrong. He's an absolute moron AND an ignoramus on the issue. I mean that literally. He knows NOTHING about military history.

Anonymous FreedMind22 July 19, 2014 4:39 PM  

[b]As did the founders who won the USA by the same right of conquest.[/b]

Are there really that many nations that don't exist today in some form or fashion by right of conquest? That's always been my argument; that pretty much every nation worth mentioning beat out everyone else who wanted that land to stay there.

Anonymous bob k. mando July 19, 2014 4:42 PM  

even better he includes Buddhists in his list of fanatical, murderous God worshipers.

Buddhists being functionally atheist ...
"Since the time of the Buddha, the refutation of the existence of a creator deity has been seen as a key point in distinguishing Buddhist from non-Buddhist views."

Anonymous Sigyn July 19, 2014 4:42 PM  

Do you want to make people dislike Jews? Then talk about them ALL THE FUCKING TIME.

Israel solipsism!

...What?

Anonymous Mr. Rational July 19, 2014 5:01 PM  

None whatsoever. The Israelis took their land away from them.

Hogwash.  Most of Israel was uninhabited deserts and swamps before the Jews started reclaiming it in the late 19th century (read Clemens' description of the area).  The Arabs (Muslims) moved in because the Jews created jobs... ironically, jobs that Arabs could immigrate to take, but Jews (excluded by the British post-Mandate) could not.

Anonymous bob k. mando July 19, 2014 5:01 PM  

VD July 19, 2014 4:34 PM
What has changed?



what has changed is that the Jews no longer have a Muslim hand that they must lick and they no longer pay the jizya because ...

they no longer live under the muslim heel.

let us not play games. you know this full well.

or are you going to tell me that Islamist lunatics murdering their way through Mumbai and the attempts by muslims to subdue a much larger Hindu population have "no religious component"?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumbai_terror



VD July 19, 2014 4:34 PM
and the mere mention of Gaza suddenly means WE MUST LEAP TO THE DEFENSE OF THE JEWISH RIGHT TO ISRAEL!




no, it was because you asserted that Gaza "obviously [has] nothing whatsoever to do with religion of any kind".

this same argument would apply anywhere else in the world where the muslims are involved. because, as i noted before, serious muslims are called to jihad until ALL THE WORLD is Dar al Islam. you could have chosen the Philippines, India, most of Africa, etc.

Israel gets a triple portion of violence because:
1 - they are Dar al Harb
2 - they have "usurped" former Dar al Islam
3 - Jerusalem is one of the three holy cities of Islam, where Muhammed ascended to heaven

the Islamists will never rest until they regain possession of Jerusalem. you will note that one of their current conditions is that East Jerusalem is to be their capital ...

the fact that you're flying off the handle about Israel is because YOU CHOSE to make Israel your example. we're only replying to the 'facts' you chose to bolster your case.

it's always dangerous to choose muslim wars as an example of 'non-religious conflict' for this reason.

Anonymous bob k. mando July 19, 2014 5:04 PM  

by the way, this is an example of Vox Popoli being an echo chamber and nobody every disagreeing with Vox.

just in case any of you Leftards out there couldn't figure this out.

Blogger automatthew July 19, 2014 5:09 PM  

"Do you want to make people dislike Jews? Then talk about them ALL THE FUCKING TIME."

Anthony Jeselnik has a great joke on this topic. YouTube, predictably, is of no help finding it.

Anonymous Mudz July 19, 2014 5:16 PM  

'Using religion to justify your war', or incarnations thereof, is like 'using the law to justify your prosecution'. Of course people will appeal to the highest authority they can, or else they have no case. It's about as meaningless as saying 'military precepts and presidential authority causes wars!'

You can have terrible laws (and terrible governments and regimes), but saying that the solution is to give up all notions of law and order would be profoundly stupid. It's also in this case, tantamount to saying 'those people were wrong, so let's forbid people trying to be right'.

I've always thought that at least the "Will of God" would be a significantly better justification than "I like your dirt".

I guess since Stalin had atheist justifications for his atrocities and war on religion, we should outlaw atheism.

Blogger Glen Filthie July 19, 2014 5:17 PM  

All wars are about money and power. Sometimes, but very rarely sex. The libertarians and peaceniks think this makes them not worth fighting for...but those children don't understand that it is much better to have some leaders than others wielding the power and money. That is why they couldn't properly assess the threat posed by Saddam Hussein and Iraq the way George Bush did.

Anonymous Salt July 19, 2014 5:19 PM  

by the way, this is an example of Vox Popoli being an echo chamber and nobody every disagreeing with Vox

What is there to disagree with? What is historically and observably true?

Anonymous bob k. mando July 19, 2014 5:23 PM  

Salt July 19, 2014 5:19 PM
What is historically and observably true?



what is historically and observably true?

heeee.

you go and try to explain to Shetterly or Brust how Marxism is the most murderous ideology ever seen on the face of the planet, more murderous by far than anything any people of 'faith' have done.

good luck with that.

Anonymous Mudz July 19, 2014 5:25 PM  

+
Hell, even atheists try to appeal to Jesus and Christianity when they realise they're losing the argument. I refuse to be held accountable for people who don't actually share my ethics.

Anonymous Anon July 19, 2014 5:27 PM  

it's always satisfying to see the memes I create spread throughout the intellectual community

This is he only meme that has any legs. Correct?

Anonymous VD July 19, 2014 5:32 PM  

the fact that you're flying off the handle about Israel is because YOU CHOSE to make Israel your example. we're only replying to the 'facts' you chose to bolster your case.

No, Bob, you completely hijacked the thread and I'm not in the mood for your OH NOES SOMEBODY SAID SOMETHING ABOUT GAZA I DISAGREE WITH. ISRAEL MUST BE DEFENDED! It's called a fucking tangent and you're the one responsible. Granted, I should have shut your bullshit down immediately; next time I'll be sure to do it.

Nor do I appreciate your bullshit rhetoric. But congratulations. Now you've irritated me to the point that I'm going to prove to you that Israel does not have the moral high ground here.

""We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets for our air force. Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: 'Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.' I consider it all hopeless at this point. We shall have to try to prevent things from coming to that, if at all possible. Our armed forces, however, are not the thirtieth strongest in the world, but rather the second or third. We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under."
- Israeli military strategist Martin van Creveld, interviewed by David Hirst in 2003

You've defended six million people invading a piece of land and claiming it for their own, and blamed the conquered people for trying, however stupidly, to get their land back. I'll be interested to see you try to blame this "we will take down the world" threat on the Arabs too.

Anonymous 11B July 19, 2014 5:43 PM  

Getting get to the topic of the post, Dinesh D'Sousa successfully debated Christopher Hitchens in 2010, I believe, where he corrected Hitches who was telling the audience that more people have died in the name of religion than anything else. Dinesh pointed out the mass killings under Stalin, Mao, etc. I never heard him attribute this to VD. But the interesting thing is that Hitchens did not use that argument again.

Anonymous VD July 19, 2014 5:44 PM  

Dinesh pointed out the mass killings under Stalin, Mao, etc. I never heard him attribute this to VD. But the interesting thing is that Hitchens did not use that argument again.

That argument is not original to me. It's well-known to anyone familiar with the Black Book of Communism. Harris even anticipated it, and addressed it unsuccessfully in The End of Faith.

Anonymous Salt July 19, 2014 5:51 PM  

@Bob

Shetterly or Brust's understanding is not determinative as whether something is true or not.

Anonymous zen0 July 19, 2014 5:51 PM  

Do you want to make people dislike Jews? Then talk about them ALL THE FUCKING TIME.



My mom, for most of her life, was a Holocaust denier. And it was terrible for the entire family to have to deal with until, finally, a couple years ago, we had an intervention. And we had a rabbi come into the home, had him walk her through the history of the Jewish people, and then he made her watch “Schindler’s List.” And after that, my mom did a complete 180. Now she can’t believe it only happened once.

- Anthony Jeselnik

Anonymous Mudz July 19, 2014 5:58 PM  

It's called a fucking tangent and you're the one responsible.

I don't intend to aggravate the subject, but I'll take a risk. Diplomacy's boring anyway, and you'll forgive me eventually.

It's a tangent, but so is a lot of what gets posted. If you put something up, it's fair game for interested parties, even if you're tired of it and are frustrated with having to retread it again. It was one of the two significant points making up your rhetorical finisher. Your OP would have worked fine without it, anyway. It was obviously a giant big bit of bait waiting to be snapped at.

There's really not much to say about the primary point of your post except, 'woot, good job! Love those memes!'

And that's not very interesting discussion. Speaking strictly as a reader. I find these arguments informative, since I know hardly anything about the subject. It's a cold morning, and I wanna see the sparks fly.

Blogger Doom July 19, 2014 6:01 PM  

As with great poets, authors quite often, painters, and the like... the ones who were truly good... they receive very little in their time. Actually, some scientists, such as Mendel, were forgotten for a time. Enjoy the seeming anonymity. But more, enjoy being the shooter who's shot was heard around the world. Ignore the putzes who ignore the truth. Unless you find a piece of their fetid soul to scorch. Learning isn't easy, some make it difficult. A tongue of fire bearing truth works. Better here than there.

OpenID whoresoftheinternet July 19, 2014 6:10 PM  

There is the strong argument to be made that many "religious" conflicts in the world aare merely window-dressing for ethnic conflicts.

A good example is Ireland. The Irish church long had different practices/quasi-pagan from Rome, while Henry VIII of England was declared "Defender of the Faith" by the pope.

But England when planted Scot-English colonists on Irish land, and then went full protestant. The Irish suddenly started cleaving very greatly to the papacy. The religions became rally cries/symbols for like-blooded ethnicists to rally to---it was a good test of blood/loyalty in the days before DNA testing.

The current Troubles are not Catholic v. Protestant, but pre-Plantation Irish v. Plantation Scots and English.

Similarly, we can point to the Balkans where Muslim v. Orthodox is based on ethnic lines, nor religious dogma. Not even the Boy Harvest of the Ottomons could stop the divide.

It's all a question of whose blood gets to own and run the land, and who gets to be pushed off/made into serfs. God is largely irrelevant--which is why relgious leaders can never just order a stop to the bloodshed and have it be obeyed.

Rape!

Anonymous bob k. mando July 19, 2014 6:18 PM  

VD July 19, 2014 5:32 PM
Now you've irritated me to the point that I'm going to prove to you that Israel does not have the moral high ground here.



that's interesting and all.

now maybe you can quote where i said that "Israel is in the right"? frankly, i didn't even realize this was a discussion about who was 'right' in the Levant.

i thought this was a discussion about whether or not there was a religious component.

hint:
"Hamas constantly lobbing missiles into Israel ( even during 'cease fires' ) has no religious component?"

when Russia ( atheist ) puts down violent muslim uprisings ( religious ) in their south, is there no "religious component" in this conflict?



are you denying that Hamas is significantly more violent than the PLO?

if you acquiesce to "Hamas more violent" how do you account for it, if not by religion?



frankly, you're the one who stated that Israel is in the right here:
VD July 19, 2014 3:09 PM
The Jews have a perfectly legitimate claim by conquest,




if what this is going to come down to is you insisting that i decouple Hamas/Gaza rocketing Israel ( partly religious ) from Israel invading Gaza ( purely secular ) ...

okay?


Our armed forces, however, are not the thirtieth strongest in the world, but rather the second or third."
- Israeli military strategist Martin van Creveld



really? Martin ranks Israel *ahead* of Russia and China? if this is the kind of crackpot they've got for a 'strategist' it sounds like they're dangerous to have as a friend.

regardless, i'd be fine with cutting off all federal aid to Israel, Egypt and the PLO.

Anonymous Tom July 19, 2014 6:24 PM  

"Most of Israel was uninhabited deserts and swamps before the Jews started reclaiming it in the late 19th century (read Clemens' description of the area). The Arabs (Muslims) moved in because the Jews created jobs."

Switch out Jews with whites and arabs with blacks and you have the history of South Africa. Funny how I don't hear calls to end apartheid in Israel though

Blogger Tommy Hass July 19, 2014 6:42 PM  

"ONCE territory has joined the Dar al Islam THEN it can never "legitimately" rejoin the Dar al Harb, Islamically speaking."

I obviously speak for no one but myself, however, I merely mourn the Caliphates inability to keep Al Andalus, I am not interested in expanding anything trhough conquest, if anything, conversion.

"But those to whom the injustice was done are long dead. The situation is what it is now, the war is over, and pretending otherwise serves no positive purpose."

Come on. It's a bit above half a century. The UN, the so called peace organization has comitted this crime. This was after it was established that right by conquest isn't accepted. (Nazis.) The UN didn't exist during the time of slave trade.

Maybe removing the Jews from those lands isn't going to work, but an admission of guilt would go a long way. You don't even need to allow muslims to live with Jews. A Switzerland style solution would work. The jews would dominate the arabs economically, but who cares.

Blogger Tommy Hass July 19, 2014 6:52 PM  

OT: Is this Scalzi's theme song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnQ9pPW4Bsg

I mean, he isn't anorexic, nor obviously gay, but the weightlifting and the crossdressing is spot on, as are the lyrics.

Anonymous VD July 19, 2014 7:00 PM  

It was obviously a giant big bit of bait waiting to be snapped at.

I honestly didn't realize that so many people here were so obsessed with Israel. I mean, not even the Israelis here felt the need to snap at it. I note that no one felt a similar need to snap at the other front page story.

The Arabs (Muslims) moved in because the Jews created jobs.

56,000 Jews created 700,000 jobs for Muslims? That seems unlikely. And I have read Twain's account.

when Russia ( atheist ) puts down violent muslim uprisings ( religious ) in their south, is there no "religious component" in this conflict?

It depends. There is no religious component in Chechnya. They just want their independence back and they would want it no matter what religion is dominant in Russia. They're not Russian. Your argument is so stupid. Was it religious war when the Israelis were attacking the British?

The mere fact that the two opposing sides are different religions does not make it a religious conflict. The Crusades were a religious war. The war over Gaza is about Israelis not wanting to have rockets dropped on their heads.

are you denying that Hamas is significantly more violent than the PLO? if you acquiesce to "Hamas more violent" how do you account for it, if not by religion?

I don't know, I've never seen a body count for Hamas vs PLO. But Hamas is more violent because the PLO had gotten older and more corrupt, the young Palestinian men were disenchanted with their increased willingness to accommodate Israel, and they have more military support from other Arab nations than the PLO ever did.

if what this is going to come down to is you insisting that i decouple Hamas/Gaza rocketing Israel ( partly religious ) from Israel invading Gaza

Why would I do that. The point is that Hamas is not attacking Israel because Israel is not Islamic. Hamas is attacking Israel because of, and here I quote the Hamas charter: "the struggle against the Zionist invaders."

You have it backwards. Hamas is attempting to convince the Islamic world that it is a religious issue when everyone knows it isn't. That's why Muslims around the world aren't involved. "Article 9 adapts Muslim Brotherhood's vision to connect the Palestinian crisis with the Islamic solution." And Article 15 "states the history of crusades into Muslim lands and says the "Palestinian problem is a religious problem"."

Ironically enough, you're taking the Hamas position. You're literally helping their PR objectives. But it's all spin and propaganda. Israel isn't trying to convert Hamas to Judaism. Hamas isn't trying to convert the Jews to Islam. They both just want the same land.

really? Martin ranks Israel *ahead* of Russia and China? if this is the kind of crackpot they've got for a 'strategist' it sounds like they're dangerous to have as a friend.

I suggest you look up who van Creveld is. He is extremely influential in American military circles. I wasn't looking him up with regards to anything in the Middle East when I stumbled across that, but some strategic theory. That being said, I suspect at least some level of hyperbole. I certainly HOPE there is some level of hyperbole there.

Anonymous VD July 19, 2014 7:04 PM  

This was after it was established that right by conquest isn't accepted.

That's more than a little amusing coming from a Turk. So, you're just going to let Kurdistan go? Anyhow, nothing has been "established". The UN can establish that permanent borders are created by defecating unicorns, but that's not going to change anything.

Outlawing war is like outlawing oxygen. You can vote on it all you like, but it's still going to be there.

Blogger dw July 19, 2014 7:07 PM  

"I'll be interested to see you try to blame this "we will take down the world" threat on the Arabs too."

Well that's one way to make sure you have an army that surrounds Israel, intent on destroying it. I can't say I'd feel sorry if they did that, should Israel successfully exercise the Samson Option. Take the world down with them? How typical of their thinking. "If we don't get our way then fuck everyone!"

That's the thought process of either a Gamma or an Omega, I can't decide which.

Anonymous VD July 19, 2014 7:14 PM  

Here is the thing. Islam is a religion of the sword. It has caused more than half of all the religious wars in history. When the 21st century wars break out in Europe, I suspect those wars will be religious in nature.

But when you settle six million people right in the middle of someone else's land, regardless of their historical claims dating back 2,000 years, the people who live there are going to be pissed. And they are going to try to kill you.

If it had been six million Iranians, Hamas and the PLO would try to kill them. If it had been six million Chinese Uighurs, likewise. And no one would be tempted to claim it was a religious war because it would be Muslims vs Muslims. But because Jews are not Muslims, but a mix of secular Jews and, ah, Judaic Jews, suddenly an invasion and land grab becomes "a religious conflict".

Right. And if a Buddhist steals my wallet and I punch him, it's not because I want it back, only because he's a Buddhist, right? This really isn't that hard.

Anonymous freedmind22 July 19, 2014 7:17 PM  

I would say it's more the thought process of a man who is likely to see the nation put to the sword to the last man, woman, and child. Say what you will about it but I think the alternative here is "not living," rather than "not getting his way."

Anonymous VD July 19, 2014 7:19 PM  

Well that's one way to make sure you have an army that surrounds Israel, intent on destroying it.

In fairness, one, shall we say, "serious military expert" I asked about it said that he does not believe that is the case, because any such threat would be met with catastrophic consequences readily visible in the media.

Blogger Tommy Hass July 19, 2014 7:20 PM  

"hat's more than a little amusing coming from a Turk. So, you're just going to let Kurdistan go?"

"Kurdistan" isn't even a country, Turks have been controlling those lands since about 1071 and the borders of the Turkish Republic have been drawn this way back in 1923, before the Nazi invasion of Europe. So all in all, not that hypocritical.

Also, when did I say war can be outlawed? I said that the injustice suffered by Arabs in Palestine is worse than that suffered by blacks (or natives, for that matter). What happened to blacks/indians was just par for the course in their time. The Palestinians however were subjected to something that was considered unacceptable when it happened to Poland or Kuwait. The Natives were not. People were invading each other for sport almost. This is no longer true, which is what makes this so disgraceful.

Anonymous Observably so July 19, 2014 7:22 PM  

This really isn't that hard.

Evidently, for some, it is.

Anonymous zen0 July 19, 2014 7:26 PM  

Right. And if a Buddhist steals my wallet and I punch him, it's not because I want it back, only because he's a Buddhist, right? This really isn't that hard.

I hope that is an example from real life, because if anyone needs a smack in the head, its a zenned-out Buddhist.

Anonymous 11B July 19, 2014 7:27 PM  

RE: the Van Creveld quote, if true that says a lot. Even the USSR went peacefully into the night and did not nuke the world in a fit of anger.

Re: the pro-Israeli commenters. I have no problem with you guys and realize your views are common in America. But would you please try to convince your fellow supporters of Israel that if muslims are such a sour group THERE, then it is probably not a good idea to keep importing them HERE. Oh, and also explain to them how dieversity is not a strength after all. You guys should be able to make the case that this whole mass immigration thing ain't a good idea.

Anonymous NorthernHamlet July 19, 2014 8:38 PM  

Vox,

while disapproved badthinkers are swept under the carpet even as their thoughts are mined, cited, quoted, and otherwise utilized, most often in complete ignorance of the original source.

Why doesn't this bother you more? We're not talking about a little random idea here. Freakish stoicism? Years of practice? Total alpha? Not a high priority task? Does it bother you even a little tiny bit?

Anonymous VD July 19, 2014 9:03 PM  

Why doesn't this bother you more?

Because I have lots of ideas.

Does it bother you even a little tiny bit?

I find it annoying. Not as annoying as the topic being hijacked to pointlessly rehash an old topic, but it is definitely annoying. But I also anticipate it, due to the determination of the Wikipedia editors to minimize those they hate and build up those they support.

It's not just me. Compare any two bios of a left-wing figure and a right-wing one. The left-wing "criticism" is mostly defenses of criticism directed at him. There will be no defenses of the criticism of the right-wing figure. Anything positive about the right-wing figure must be from the mainstream media, anything negative can be from anything, even a blog. The rules are resolutely applied in a one-way fashion.

And that's what irritates me more than the obvious and logical consequences of it. I mean, are these really the totality of my views?

"Beale has been described as a "fundamentalist Southern Baptist."[7] However, Beale denies the Christian doctrine of the Trinity.[21] In his book The Irrational Atheist Beale describes himself as "... a believer, a non-denominational evangelical Christian to be precise."

Beale is opposed to feminism[22] and female suffrage, writing that "I consider women’s rights to be a disease that should be eradicated."[23] Media Matters has described one of his WND columns as a "racially charged rant"[24] showing hostility to minorities. He has compared immigration by Mexicans and others to the US with a military invasion[25] and with the Nazi invasion of Europe,[26] specifically to Operation Barbarossa.[27]"


I mean, my views are being criticized in the section of my views! Look at one example of Sam Harris's "criticism" section:

"Harris repudiated his critics' characterization, stating they "have interpreted the second sentence of this passage to mean that I advocate simply killing religious people for their beliefs. . . . but such a reading remains a frank distortion of my views."[88] Harris goes on to argue that beliefs are only dangerous to the extent that they can influence a person's behavior, and to the extent that the behavior is violent. As Harris explains in the End of Faith, "Certain beliefs place their adherents beyond the reach of every peaceful means of persuasion, while inspiring them to commit acts of extraordinary violence against others. There is, in fact, no talking to some people." He believes that pre-emptively attacking known dangerous fanatics (e.g. Osama Bin Laden) is justified. Harris also claims, however, that "Whenever we can capture and imprison jihadists, we should. But in most cases this is impossible."[88]

I've written more books and probably written 20x more text than Harris, and yet there are more direct quotes from Harris in his CRITICISM section than there are from me in my VIEWS section. That's simply ludicrous. And there are Wikipedia editors sitting on every single page just waiting to slap down any change that doesn't fit their narrative.

Anonymous Stilicho July 19, 2014 9:03 PM  

Hama is not more violent than PLO, Hamas is simply using tactics and strategy similar to those pioneered by PLO. Where the PLO found that alternate methods helped it gain and consolidate power, Hamas is a "back to the basics" group that has effectively presented itself as an alternate to the PLO.

Anonymous johnc July 19, 2014 9:04 PM  

I think it's true to say that Islam is not just a religion but also a political system. It's not apparent that the two facets can be separated.

Anonymous zen0 July 19, 2014 9:11 PM  

@ Tommy Hass

and the borders of the Turkish Republic have been drawn this way back in 1923, before the Nazi invasion of Europe.

So, who set these boundaries, the Turks?

Anonymous TJ July 19, 2014 9:22 PM  

Congratulations... you are a muse.

I noted the more intelligent atheists in my sphere quit using that argument against religion not too long (maybe 1-2 years) after your book came out. And I have used your research and arguments against them more than once.

Anonymous true reactionary July 19, 2014 9:29 PM  

agree with Vox... fuck the jews.

Anonymous Global Thought Criminal July 19, 2014 9:29 PM  

But I also anticipate it, due to the determination of the Wikipedia editors to minimize those they hate and build up those they support.

Wikipedia is essentially worthless except in narrowly technical fields (eg, what is the formula for HTPB or ammonium perchlorate.)

Anonymous zen0 July 19, 2014 9:38 PM  

Just a point of clarification.

The State of Israel is not a religious organization. They do not argue that their cause is just based on biblical promises.

Hamas uses religion like every other Islamic government, as a motivator for useful idiots in the struggle to extort as much cash as possible from whomever they can.

Arafat absconded with billions, all the while claiming he was ready to be a shahid and die for islam. He knew all along that was not going to happen. Its the same scam Warlords have run for millenia.

"Follow the money" works as a tool of analysis for everything that happens under the sun.

Makes the world go round.

Islam, Christianity, Judaism. Anyone that goes to war for material purposes is not doing it to fulfill religious obligations.

The only period of time where a people were fufilling religious obligations in conquering land was the Hebrews after their exodus from Egypt.

Anonymous corvinus July 19, 2014 9:42 PM  

A good example is Ireland. The current Troubles are not Catholic v. Protestant, but pre-Plantation Irish v. Plantation Scots and English.

Ireland, when it became Christian, was always Latin Catholic. But otherwise, you make a fair point.

Still, there are in fact further complications. The English Pale around Dublin was settled back in the 1400s and 1500s, too early to be Protestantized, and when the Anglican schism happened, most of the English settlers in the Pale remained Catholic and were therefore treated as "Irish" when Anglicanism and Presbyterianism took over England and Scotland. The settlers in Northern Ireland were later ones who were already Protestant when the Brits shipped them in. This is why the English Pale is now part of the Republic, but Northern Ireland is not.

Similarly, we can point to the Balkans where Muslim v. Orthodox is based on ethnic lines, nor religious dogma. Not even the Boy Harvest of the Ottomons could stop the divide.

From what I have been able to gather, pre-Ottoman Bosnians were a mix of Catholics, Orthodox, and something called the "Bosnian Church" that was considered heretical by both sides. Then when the Turks came in, the Bosnian Church's members apparently converted to Islam en masse, and later on in the 1900s, the Bosnian Orthodox started calling themselves "Serbs" and the Bosnian Catholics "Croats", despite the fact that many lived in the Bosnian heartland far away from either Serbia or Croatia. This religious/ethnic identification pretty much became final with the 1990s Bosnian war.

So religion can be a contributing factor to underlying political causes of a conflict.

Anonymous zen0 July 19, 2014 9:44 PM  

true reactionary July 19, 2014 9:29 PM

agree with Vox... fuck the jews.


Are you that same idiot that thinks writing something people did not say is really clever because of course it will go viral or something?

Is that all you got? Can't make it in the virtual world, let alone the real one?

Anonymous zen0 July 19, 2014 9:50 PM  

@ corvinus

So religion can be a contributing factor to underlying political causes of a conflict.

Religious identification can be a contributing factor in recruiting combatants does not equal religion is a causus belli.

Anonymous kh123 July 19, 2014 10:10 PM  

"specifically to Operation Barbarossa.[27]""

I'm surprised they kept that in there. When I added the relevant quote to flesh out the concept - which went for two or three lines - in the footnotes, it was struck immediately. I pointed out that there are quotations 3x as long on other Wiki pages where the footnote section's practically as long as the article itself - I think I referenced Lenin's page. No surprise, they only let pass what's there now, so that the footnote basically says the exact same thing as the main section, full stop.

Now that's helpful encyclopedic knowledge.

Anonymous zen0 July 19, 2014 10:20 PM  

Stilicho July 19, 2014 9:03 PM

Hama is not more violent than PLO, Hamas is simply using tactics and strategy similar to those pioneered by PLO. Where the PLO found that alternate methods helped it gain and consolidate power, Hamas is a "back to the basics" group that has effectively presented itself as an alternate to the PLO.


Hamas is Iran's poodle. PLO is European and American leftists poodle. Abbas was trained in Russia. His thesis was a holocaust apology/denial.

Not that there is anything wrong with that. I am quite sure it would be difficult to prove that exactly six million jews were done away with, because it was basically a number that has the same pedigree as the US economic numbers.

Anonymous Stilicho July 19, 2014 11:35 PM  

Hamas is Iran's poodle. PLO is European and American leftists poodle.

Naturally. The Persians exploited a natural rift among the Palestinians. The PLO has also been a useful tool for everyone from Libya to Saudi Arabia, with the notable exception of their countrymen, the Jordanians. They managed to make themselves unwelcome in the one country that they might have called their own. Some people cannot but manufacture their own "bad luck." I've known a number of Palestinian Christians who hate the Israelis who took their land and homes only slightly more than they hate the Muslim neighbors who assisted the Israelis. The fact that those Muslim neighbors were also dispossessed is something of a comfort to the Christians, but only in a small way. The Five Houses would rather have Ramullah back.

OpenID luagha July 19, 2014 11:44 PM  

"I am quite sure it would be difficult to prove that exactly six million jews were done away with, because it was basically a number that has the same pedigree as the US economic numbers."

The Germans were meticulous in their record-taking as are many totalitarian regimes for reasons which could be discussed. They documented the killing of over four million Jews by name (plus many others). However, the population in Soviet lands were not sent to gas chambers, they were murdered in outdoor pits and they were not rigorously tracked by name. So while we dont have the names of these people, we have secondary evidence like number of suitcases taken from them, articles of clothing, and pairs of shoes which were documented.

It's from this that the admitted estimate of six million Jews (and many others) comes. If you wish to quibble, it can be quibbled down to about 4.5 million, but no further.

Sorry, tripped my trigger there.

Blogger automatthew July 20, 2014 12:19 AM  

"They documented the killing of over four million Jews by name (plus many others)."

Citation needed.

Anonymous bob k. mando July 20, 2014 12:20 AM  

VD July 19, 2014 7:00 PM
Your argument is so stupid. Was it religious war when the Israelis were attacking the British?



i would consider that primarily racialist, yes.

but then, the Jews often present that 'is it race or is it religion' question.

what does this have to do with non-palestinian muslims from all over the world calling for the destruction of Israel? what does that have to do with Egypt, Jordan and Syria regularly attacking Israel? what does that have to do with Turkey's provocations in the area?

are the muslims with the greatest interest in the destruction of Israel ethnic Palestinians? well, duh. they are the closest to the 'problem' and have the most to benefit should they succeed.



VD July 19, 2014 7:14 PM
And no one would be tempted to claim it was a religious war because it would be Muslims vs Muslims.



what? Sunni vs Shia is the very definition of religious conflict. the Sunni accept the spiritual authority of Abu Bakr while the Shia prefer Ali.

it's a particular fetish of the Wahhabi to murder both Sunni and Shia for being "insufficiently Islamic" as we see in Iraq even today.

Islam draws no distinction between the political and the religious. it would have been interesting to see what would have happened had al-Baghdadi's "New Caliphate" taken off. he doesn't seem to be attracting much in the way of adherents though.



VD July 19, 2014 7:00 PM
Israel isn't trying to convert Hamas to Judaism. Hamas isn't trying to convert the Jews to Islam.



[ Spockbrow ]

what does 'conversion' have to do with whether or not a war is religious?

when the Azteks go raiding other tribes for warm bodies they can pull the hearts out of on top of a pyramid, that's not "religious" because they aren't trying to "convert" the sacrifices?

the Jew practice of putting entire populations to the sword goes back to the OT. their restraint in this case is actually what is causing them their problem in Palestine. the Hebrew conquering of Jericho had no 'religious' component? i think Joshua would be rather surprised by that assertion.

Jews are notoriously averse to proselytizing whether by the sword or in peace. it's part of what was so unusual about the Christian sect.

the muslim practice of putting entire populations to the sword goes back to Mohammed, pbuhissorryass.

and, frankly, the Muslims don't have that much interest in conversion of Christians and Jews. without Christians and Jews living under their heel, they don't have any non-Muslims of whom they can charge exorbitant taxes.

sword conversion is primarily for infidels, not people of the Book. kaffirs just get put to death with the queers.


VD July 19, 2014 7:14 PM
When the 21st century wars break out in Europe, I suspect those wars will be religious in nature.


so ... when Islam creates war for territory in Europe it's cause is religious ... but when Hamas creates war for territory in the Levant it's not?

sorry, sounds kind of arbitrary to me.



VD July 19, 2014 7:00 PM
That being said, I suspect at least some level of hyperbole. I certainly HOPE there is some level of hyperbole there.



concur.

although i have no idea what propaganda purpose he would have been trying to achieve by 'pretending' to sound like a raving lunatic.

for reference, the Chinese have ~2 1/4 million active soldiers with 10 million reaching service age ANNUALLY. the entire Israeli ( Arabs included ) population is ~8 million.

i suppose he could just be displaying his Gideonite faith in Yahweh? although, he should then have asserted the mightiest military bar none.

Anonymous Equestrian025 July 20, 2014 12:29 AM  

No, Vox is right about Palestine. Both Israel and Palestine started as forms of Secular ideology of Nationalism. Both the Zionist movement and the founders of the start of Israel were largely of Secular Jews. The Arabs were at first Royal Nationalists, then Nasserites, both movements that were largely secular. By the late 60s, most of the Arab states were clients of the USSR, including the PLO. Heck, the PLO was largely composed of socialists groups, as both Fatah and PFLP understood their struggle as resisting western colonialism. Now, this did change. Israel became more religious as large numbers of Oriental Jews came seeking refuge, as well as out-breeding the founders. The Palestinians became more religious as Iranian influence strengthened the hand of the Islamic Jihad in both Lebanon and Palestine (not to mention the endless failure of the PLO to do anything.) So the idea that the Palestinian Question is primarily a matter of having different gods, is hokum. Secular ideologies created this mess.

Anonymous zen0 July 20, 2014 12:39 AM  

@ luaga

It's from this that the admitted estimate of six million Jews (and many others) comes. If you wish to quibble, it can be quibbled down to about 4.5 million, but no further.

Sorry, tripped my trigger there.


Quite alright.You've now been identified as a holocaust denier. You failed to adequately defend the official numbers as defined by the current mythology.

OpenID luagha July 20, 2014 12:41 AM  

Raul Hilberg's The Destruction of the European Jews, based almost entirely on German documentation and German documentation only.

Blogger Shimshon July 20, 2014 2:55 AM  

Vox, regarding Jewish status, one's Jewishness is indeed matrilineal, but one's tribal affiliation is patrilineal. There are kohens and even predominant markers for the group.

A friend's uncle (his father's brother) had the 23 and Me test done, and he said his patrilineal descent is from the Swiss Alps 5th century or before. Not far from Italy in any case, and he says it is likely he descends from mercenary or slave stock way back. So your point is valid from my own personal observation, as well as reading.

I am interested in doing the test myself. I think the results will be interesting.

As was said by bob k. mando, and which you assented to, is that the Land formerly known as Palestine is considered by Muslims to be be of the Wakf, with a religious obligation to reconquer it. Or maybe I stretched your words too far.

By the way, I wonder if the 1918 census which you refer to, includes both modern-day Israel and Jordan, as they were a single administrative unit at the time. Is there a breakdown of west vs east of the Jordan available? It might actually show a much greater proportion of Jews in the western part, as I believe the vast majority were there.

Blogger Shimshon July 20, 2014 3:05 AM  

"THAT is why Hamas is a serious problem for the Israelis while the PLO is fairly tame. the PLO is less violent because it's national socialist ( heeee, it's fun to say that ) rather than muslim."

Sorry bob, that's just wrong. The PLO has never had any intention of any sort of deal with Israel, now or ever. I don't know if "less violent" applies either. The PLO has quite the savage past. They played a large part in destroying Lebanon as a relatively free and prosperous country. They fomented rebellion in Jordan before they were expelled there.

Blogger Shimshon July 20, 2014 3:36 AM  

Having caught up in the comments...ascribing distinct political and/or religious motives to conflicts involving Muslims...regardless of stated objectives, is, I believe, incorrect.

Blogger AdognamedOp July 20, 2014 3:43 AM  

OT:
Just heard a special teams coach on the Vikings got a 3 game suspension for offending the sparkle punter. May effect the Vikes chances of sucking even more next season.

Anonymous kh123 July 20, 2014 4:16 AM  

...Actually, looking at the Wiki page now, is not as bad as I remembered. The quotations in the footnotes weren't completely sanitized from what I was able to put there after some finagling, albeit being shortened and fragmented - and as footnotes - seems the only way they were able to get in under the usual Wiki editorial radar.

Anonymous Eric Ashley July 20, 2014 5:46 AM  

I would say God gave the Jews the land. I know other people don't hold that arguement in high esteem, but, shrug, the Bible is true, and those who disagree have a right to their irrelevant opinion. But I don't need to pretend I care.

11B, I'd love to have the Jews finish the job, and close the borders. Unfortunately the GOP is controlled by Big Biz, and we have a lot of libertarians getting in the way of conservatives actually fixing things.

I would say the Soviets gave up because they were chess players.

As to Creveld's comment, I don't blame the Arabs for that. I blame the world for that.

The real cause of the Arab-Jew conflict is Ishmael. There can never be Middle East Peace until Christ comes. So give the Jews a chunk of change each year, and let them off the leash to do what they need to do. And get the offshore oil wells going so that we're not dependent on the %^%^*&( Saudis.

=============

As to meme's I think a time or two I may have started one, and knocked one aborning into a cocked hat, but its hard to say. I don't have the data, so I just have the intuition.

Anonymous Eric Ashley July 20, 2014 5:50 AM  

And meme forming is very much as the line at the bottom of the page has it. Its not neccessarily the greatest, or even that great, although it does have to have some quality, but its what resonates, what is easy to understand, or get enraged about that makes a meme be born and spread.

Blogger Shimshon July 20, 2014 8:25 AM  

I think this story, anecdotal it may be, is illustrative as to why I view the local conflict as religious.

http://www.jewishworldreview.com/jonathan/rosenblum083100.asp

Salah Tamari, a former Palestinian terrorist told Israeli journalist Aharon Barnea of the complete transformation he underwent in an Israeli prison. While in prison, he had completely despaired of any hope that the Palestinians would one day realize any of their territorial dreams, and so he was ready to renounce the struggle.

Then, one Passover, he witnessed his Jewish warder eating a pita sandwich.

Tamari was shocked, and asked his jailer how he could so unashamedly eat bread on Passover.

The Jew replied: "I feel no obligation to events that took place over 2,000 years ago. I have no connection to that."

That entire night Tamari could not sleep. He thought to himself: "A nation whose members have no connection to their past, and are capable of so openly transgressing their most important laws --- that nation has cut off all its roots to the Land."

He concluded that the Palestinians could, in fact, achieve all their goals. From that moment, he determined "to fight for everything -- not a percentage, not such crumbs as the Israelis might throw us -- but for everything. Because opposing us is a nation that has no connection to its roots, which are no longer of interest to it."
END

I was just talking about this story with a friend the other day. This unnamed jailer did unimaginable damage. He disdained his traditions and his enemy, my enemy, who was "ready to renounce the struggle," not only decided to resume the fight, but to be unyielding, and to pass that insight to all his brethren.

This is certainly more metaphysical than Vox is talking about. But I view it, and traditional Jewish sources view it, as "religious" in nature. A secular government is not relevant. It is still viewed worldwide, wrongly or rightly, as the government of the Jewish people. Regardless of whether it is indeed a religious war or not, seeking justification for Israel's side, or debating the same, is not really germane to the discussion.

In any case, when we Jews are united on being here, and that we point to Western notions of religious basis for remaining, and the Arabs accept our resolve, the fighting, I believe, will cease.

Blogger Some dude July 20, 2014 8:54 AM  

@Shimshon

We should hang out, are you in Jerusalem or TA?

Blogger Chris Mallory July 20, 2014 9:05 AM  

"So give the Jews a chunk of change each year,"

So, send them your change, not tax money or borrowed money that my kids and grand kids will have to pay back.

Honestly, I don't care about Israel or Palestine. They aren't in the Western Hemisphere, so they are none of my business. I do care about the billions in welfare that the US is sending to that cesspit. I do care that an alien culture on the other side of the world has so much power over the US government. America first and let the rest of the world burn.

Anonymous NorthernHamlet July 20, 2014 10:16 AM  

Vox,

Because I have lots of ideas.

You and I have a fair amount of overlap in personality style, and whilst I learned early on that there would always be more ideas flowing forward (which meant 1) I was the one really controlling the conversation 2) other people had a weakness but a need 3) at least the effectiveness of the approach was proven in a sense), I'd still be bugged with this one. Possibly some insecurity on my part, I'd imagine.

I hear you about the Wikipedia thing. For what it's worth, I've thought about editing your page to not be so sensational and off the mark, but not even I want to wade into the annoying arguments with the editors that would inevitably waste time.

Blogger Tommy Hass July 20, 2014 11:26 AM  

"I would say God gave the Jews the land. I know other people don't hold that arguement in high esteem, but, shrug, the Bible is true, and those who disagree have a right to their irrelevant opinion. But I don't need to pretend I care."

People like this ought to be forcibly institutionalized.

Do you handle snakes in your spare time as well?

Blogger Tommy Hass July 20, 2014 11:37 AM  

"So, who set these boundaries, the Turks?"

Look up the Treaty of Lausanne if you wish. It was Turks, Brits and other powers I think.

Anonymous VD July 20, 2014 11:50 AM  

This is certainly more metaphysical than Vox is talking about. But I view it, and traditional Jewish sources view it, as "religious" in nature. A secular government is not relevant. It is still viewed worldwide, wrongly or rightly, as the government of the Jewish people.

Do you think that Palestinian would still be intent on destroying the Jews if the entire Jewish population of Israel picked up and moved to Uganda?

Because THAT would be indicative of a religious war. Failing that, it's just two peoples fighting over one piece of land.

Anonymous JI July 20, 2014 12:35 PM  

Yup, I've noticed your ideas spreading, Vox, in places one would hardly expect. Even before you, I saw Steve Sailer's ideas doing the same.

Blogger Shimshon July 20, 2014 12:56 PM  

Some dude, Jerusalem area. I am in town nearly every day. You?

Anonymous Eric Ashley July 20, 2014 1:24 PM  

Chris, its important because I live in a country devoted to the worship of Moloch, and I want God's blessing, or at least His forbearance. That said, toss the rest of foreign aid out the window, bring back the troops from Germany, give Taiwan nukes and a good deal on some fighter jets, and a good bye. Israel is an exception to thaty
Tommy, Tommy, Tommy you done and gone hurt my feelings. Oh how shall I survive the agony? Get back to me when you have an actual arguement.

Blogger Shimshon July 20, 2014 1:28 PM  

"Do you think that Palestinian would still be intent on destroying the Jews if the entire Jewish population of Israel picked up and moved to Uganda?"

If you are going to assert that there is a distinct Palestinian nation to begin with, then your question would perhaps be answered in the negative, although I can't say for sure. I get your point.

Related to that, you mentioned the 30 Years War. What was the religious element(s) in it?

Blogger Some dude July 20, 2014 7:42 PM  

@Shimshon

The same, I live in the Baqa neighborhood, German Colony.

hmm. how to get in contact?

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