Right you are, martens. I view religion as a part of a larger cultural identity. Sometimes it’s a large part of that identity. Sometimes religion is more important, and sometimes it’s less important among the broader array of other factors that go into a cultural identity.
Cultural identities have evolved to make in-group collaboration a central feature of the hugely successful (to date) human evolutionary process. Demonstrably, collaborative behavior is the central a priori condition precedent to our evolutionary success. Competition between and among cultures fosters collaboration with a culture, but not among cultures where conflict is often more pronounced than collaboration.
[Side note- right now, our collaboration doesn’t extend as far as it must to address truly species-wide concerns such as climate change. That is, our collaboration doesn’t extend as far as it must to address truly species-wide concerns such as climate change. If we cannot create a universal human culture, we are likely to see our species go into an evolutionary decline. That is, we are likely to see a strong contraction in populations.]
The Hamas-Israel problem is just such a conflict. It took a huge amount of collaboration to dig the tunnels in Gaza. It takes a huge amount of collaboration to maintain the Israeli identity. But these cultures have been competing with each other and fighting, not collaborating. And one culture has been dominant for a bunch of reasons. Central among those reasons, in my view, is that collaboration among Jews has, in general, been stronger than collaboration among Palestinians, and that has been a difference maker because collaboration among members of our species has been the one sure way to evolutionary success for the collaborators.
But, make no mistake, religion is a large part of the cultural identities of both the Palestinians and the Israelis. And those cultures are currently in conflict as they compete for territory.
OK, I understand you feel strongly. But the fact of Israel remains.
Just as the fact of the US remains (so far) even after the genocide and the Trail of Tears.
You have to deal with the realities.
Why does Hamas build 400+ miles of tunnels in a territory only 25 miles long? How much money, and how many workers were involved with the tunnel construction? Why did Bibi fund Hamas? Why have the Palestinians rejected the various peace processes over the years? Why has Israel treated the Palestinians like dirt for decades? Why have the conservative Jewish religious nuts continued to settle the West Bank? Why have conservatives in Iran funded terrorism? Why do the Sunnis hate the Shia?
There is so much back and forth evil here that parsing through the facts and the history makes your head spin. I think the root of all this stuff is religion. Faith in things unseen, unheard, and spun out of revelations that turn into dogma.
It seems that violence and religion are intimately connected. As to territorial disputes, various species of hominids have been invading and seizing territory for tens of thousands of years. It’s only when the species became so successful that territorial claims have shrunk. There’s no region across the globe where territory can be held for long in the modern era without at least tacit consent from the inhabitants. America simply killed most of the North American aboriginal inhabitants, “solving” that problem. Other places like Ukraine will not go gently into the hands of Moscow, even if Putin somehow “wins” his war. Notably, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan have all reverted to their own inhabitants in control.
But the Israelis and Palestinians both inhabit the same territory, so separating them is like trying to separate cream from coffee.
Israel has to make a choice about how to live with its Palestinians and the Palestinians have to figure out how to live with the Jews. But that’s not bloody likely, is it?
There’s plenty of blame to go around, Ted. The parties are both at fault.
The US military is way, way, way better equipped and trained than any other nation. Our silly feckless politicians repeatedly send our troops on truly stupid missions (see, e.g. Vietnam and Iraq). But they are the best trained and best equipped military the world has ever seen.
The only problem with our military is the population it serves is not in favor of public investment in the underlying things that make us strong. We should be valuing education and more basic scientific inquiry than we have ever done in the past. Legislation that Congress passed during the Biden administration does just that.
Read what Ray Dalio has to say about the 14 elements that define how all known empires have historically risen and fallen. One significant point he makes is that public spending can be critical if it actually represents investment into the country. Because certain public expenditures have a soldi or even exceptional rate of return. That’s what education and science can do.
Instead, certain of our politicians “love the undereducated” and don’t understand even basic scientific concepts. Indeed, we have an entire political party that has no agenda except to underfund the country and give wealthy folks a tax break. Well that and their idiotic cultural obsessions with who puts what organ where.
Ours is a complex and ambiguous world that doesn’t yield to ignorance or Manichean black and white distinctions. But tell that to the undereducated.
Yikes, I haven’t been to GoComics in a long time. But it gave me a good idea of the heightened emotions involved in much of this commentary. I appreciated the honest back and forth we had.
The rancor of this discourse is why I stopped posting some time ago. Both the Palestinians’ and the Israelis’ positions are fraught with moral ambiguities and reducing them to sound bites simply displays ignorant, reactive behavior that shuts out any consideration of those ambiguities. This is the same behavior associated with American political discourse—except that ignorant, reactive behavior by the Democrats is displayed by a negligibly small number of politicians whereas the entire Republican party is driven by its hormonally-driven fear, anxiety, and craziness. I don’t blame the Republican politicians. They were put there by ignorant, fearful, anxious people who have no interest in attempting to solve problems. The Republican politicians have no ethics, no platform, no agenda other than power and money. And, at heart, these poor folks are simply performing monkeys for their ignorant, anxious, fearful constituents. The really disturbing thing is that most Americans agree on many, many issues way more than they disagree. But there’s no way to work through those issues when one party refuses to behave honestly and with integrity.
It is very interesting Chris Britt gets so few comments from regressive clowns. I think it’s because Britt is usually so spot on that the ignorant have little in the way of smarmy lies to offer. And so the poor deluded misfits are simply unable to offer comments other than the occasional nonsense coming from the likes if johnbaggett.
As with everything Trump gets involved in, the insurrection was incompetently led and executed. Anything and anyone Trump touches is worse for the experience. This is true even when the ignorant rubes soak up the lies and conspiratorial nonsense with foolish glee.
Incompetence does not diminish the treason or mitigate the lies. It only makes the crimes and the criminals look to be the fools that they are.
Your demonstrated ignorance and maladapted world view is the very wellspring of the foolish incompetence you rightfully scorn.
But you probably don’t have the capacity to comprehend the previous sentence, which is the real tragedy.
It’s hard to believe there are apologists like Lester for an armed insurrection that tried to overthrow our government. Those who broke into the Capitol, and those who support them are seditious traitors.
Mike, you are included in that label. Traitors don’t deserve the blessings of our democracy by trying to tear it down with lies and violence directly aimed at that democracy.
So just what rank are you in the well-regulated militia?