This came from a heated email exchange with a new 'friend' on Facebook:
As I said, the 'peace' thing, just makes me prickly all over. For starters, I believe man is territorial and aggressive by nature and fighting these instinctual impulses is futile and maddening, though I do believe one should choose 1's own battles w/care rather than enlist to fight someone else's and make them rich at your expense... But I do believe in fighting for one's country as well - too bad world leaders are just profiteers, fundamentalists, & fascists these days - makes it difficult to keep a strong army when you don't believe in your leaders' agendas.
But when you're having a really shitty day - say your cat just died and your walking around looking somber and some fool walks past and says "Smile" - it's just this kind of nonsensical logic, these 'smile nazis' that insist we should all be happy and peaceful all the time, regardless of circumstance. There's a time for frowning just as there's a time for war and aggression - there really is. As a fellow Jew, wouldn't you say that when someone's trying to exterminate yr peops, it's time to kick some ass?
So why say 'peace' as some catchall statement, good for anytime, anywhere?
I mock you b/c you seem like a super bright guy, so how I can sit idly by when I feel you are just sooo wrong about this 'PEACE' thing - unless you're trying to be ironic. And if the point is sort of a reminder to quell aggression whenever possible, saying 'peace' like that - well it just makes the idea more banal and meaningless. And the 'peace movement' is already bastardized with the notion that it's being backed by drug-addled niave hippies who don't have any clue about the real dangers out there - and that not everyone has a live and let live attitude and may want to hurt you just for being you - you Ari - well-intentioned person that you are. And by throwing the word around lightly like that, you further dismantle the validity of the movement.
I'm too tired to make this a coherent argument, but perhaps you won't just dismiss what I'm saying b/c I'm really quite serious about it.
Have a good week - H
a) I'm responding to your argument with sincerity
b) I may not be right, but it's how I feel
Enjoying our talks. I have had acquaintances that say they feel just like you seem to. I think I piss them off and they'd probably like to kill me. But so far, no one has tried -- at least, not b/c of my words for peace.
I studied martial arts for 10+ years, partially b/c I've gotten in a few fights in my life, and partially b/c it's better to desire PEACE from a position of strength and knowledge than from a position of ignorance or fear. Having been in a few fights, I say from my experience that fighting and killing eachother are not where humans show their best qualities, IMO.
> As a fellow Jew, wouldn't you say that when someone's trying to exterminate yr peops, it's time to kick some ass? So why say 'peace' as some catchall statement, good for anytime, anywhere?
Hmmmm, interesting. In the 10 Commandments, there's this really good commandment, "Don't Kill". To my knowledge, they never wrote, "Don't Kill -- except when ... " etc. (Although that does seem to be how it's interpreted by clergy and many people.)
When the NAZI's hauled off the Jews for slaughter, few people could conceive of the extent of mass murder being planned. I think most Jews thought it would be an imprisonment for a limited time. I do think that the 'Eye for an Eye' concept means that someone else attacks first, no? So that'd be at least one requirement for 'necessary violence', in my opinion -- it's a self-preservation imperative, and you are clearly being attacked by the person/thing you are counter-attacking.
I don't feel it's justified with USA in Iraq b/c I don't believe Iraq attacked USA. I think Bush allowed a so-called 'terrorist' attack to happen -- which the CIA financed by giving Bin Laden a few billion dollars to create Al Queada, that bombs were in the WTC placed by CIA groups, and that Bush & Cheney were ready to take over the USA in a military coup on 9/11 ... but they were incompetent and didn't fully succeed -- sorta. There was a simulatenous Anthrax attack on many left-wing Congress people and Abortion Clinics (remember those?).
Do you know what happened on 9/11 10yrs before the attack? Bush Sr gave a speech where he called for "A New World Order". Think it was a coincidence?
Back to PEACE ... Frankly, I don't believe the Bible/Torah, or anything on Earth, was written by God, but I do believe some stuff is channeled by people from something divine.
Humans are many things by nature -- emotional, frightened, aggressive, territorial, selfish, petty, etc -- but somehow we have made music, painting, computers, society, written language, space travel, and more -- so why would creating a peaceful world be such a 'leap'?
As a fellow Jew, perhaps you know the greeting Jews give to all people is Shalom, which means Peace. Even Jesus called out to people to turn swords to plowshares and love eachother -- I'm no Christian, but he was a major Rabbi, and he said some important messages for Jews. (Did you know there were no non-Jewish Christians until Apostle Paul (a Roman who never met Jesus) started 'spreading the gospel to non-Jews'?
Devout religious followers may miss core ideas of religions b/c they're buried in dogma. I'm not any brand of religion's follower, particularly, and I like the ideas espoused by certain people in the past: Buddha, Jesus (Jehoshua was supposedly his Hebrew name), Mahatma Gandhi, MLKing Jr, John Lennon, etc.
I like the idea of "Don't Kill" as a moral imperative coming from the collective human potential. This makes sense to me. I see all life as a gift to be cherished. When I look at nature, I don't see a battleground, but rather a shared world where certain creatures consume others when they need to, and groups of similar animals fight for hierarchical position inside their groups -- but not generally to the point of killing all competitors, bc the tribe needs them.
Only humans have really gone at it to genocide all 'enemies', period. We don't fuck around -- and instead, it seems humans have made a huge fuck up out of evolution, a billion-year old process designed to bring all kinds of varieties of life to the Earth that would have been perfectly suited to their environment. The backlash from this is just in it's early stages, I think.
Back to peace:
EVERY HUMAN BEING is unique, b/c of genetic code. Some people have a potential that, if realized, could impact the Earth in an incredibly positive way. Randomly killing people w/o giving them a chance to manifest their potential ... is stupid.
The concept of a hierarchy built on death is something I'd like to see vanish over time. It's an out-dated concept that is showing holes all over, particularly in the Green Revolution of Wise-Use Sustainability vs Domination and Over-Use without respect.
I think all humans realize the Earth is not a valueless servant to be raped at our whim, but a fertile forest that could be worshipped for providing life with abundance.
You see humans as killers and defilers. I see humans as farmers and nurturers. We have both parts, but I would like to see humanity consciously out-grow the limited role of killer -- until a real enemy is in our path, and then maybe it'll be a useful time to be warriors again, or maybe not.
Rather than wasting time and resources killing eachother (and everything), why can't humans do something smarter with this invaluable opportunity? It makes sense to me.
PEACE - R.E