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All wars waged against reality are lost wars

Reader comment on item: Not Stealing Palestine but Purchasing Israel
in response to reader comment: "Wars against Reality?"

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Jun 30, 2011 at 10:30

Dear Moshe ,

Thanks again for your polite response.

> I can't argue with you on that my dear Janus, but you must be aware that Plato didn't tell you whose worldview is wrong, or who is the victim of "wishful thinking".<

If you are interested in ancient Greek philosophy, you may well know that the criteria of truth are well defined there. In fact there are two such criteria - one is defined as concordance of sentences with reality and the other is consistency of sentences within a given system. A system that displays contradictions can't be true even though there is here a subtle reservation. Lack of contradictions is not sufficient in itself to declare a system true if this system is not self-referential , i.e. it says something about external reality, not about itself.

Now all religion systems have little or nothing to do with reality. Unlike scientific sentences their statements can't be verified or falsified by reality (experiment). If religion could be verified by reality, we wouldn't need any renegade Egyptian priest from Heliopolis Osarseph posing as a miraculously saved Jew aka Moses ( Egyptian historiography knows this man too, so we don't have to rely exclusively on the Bible to interpret him) and a prophet of a dubious mountain god but god/gods would themselves be here to tell us what they want and what they don't without all those infantile hide-and-seek games, man-made revelations, questionable scriptures, dubious witnesses ,wonders no one can ever verify, metaphysical statements that are in principle unprovable etc. etc. In other words it means that a religious statement can't pretend to describe reality. It is only science with its rational methods that satisfies this demanding criterion.

So what is left is coherence of religious statements among themselves and I must say that Judaism with its enormous casuistic and interpretative literature and intricate rituals is very coherent indeed. There are few if any contradictions within this hermetic system. The problem is though that if one doesn't admit the validity of its first premises (the fairy tale of Moses' chats with Yahwe e.g. ) one can't follow, let alone accept any deductions from them at all.

> You also must be aware that the Jewish People, in what you call" their naive belief that their religious utopia would win a war against the reality" in fact WON MORE THAN A SINGLE WAR AGAINST REALITY.<

I'd like to stress that we are speaking about the ancient times and not today's Israel whose admirer and supporter I am and whose mutiple military victories show that it is the Arabs with their madness called Islam who fight against reality, not the brave Jewish soldiers who so far have had reality and common sense on their side and I hope they will continue to do.

If by "won wars" you mean here e.g. the Macccabees' revolt , so bear in mind that behind this successful uprising were hidden the Romans and their power. The Romans had signed a formal treaty of alliance with Judas Macchabeus against the Seleucids. So on that occasion reality and realism was clearly on their side, not that of the Greeks.

Anyway, this is a remarkable story in itself. It shows that the Jews at that time were excellently well informed on the might and convinced about the invincibility of Rome and so what a wild contrast it is to what we meet some two centuries later where there seems to be collective amnesia, denial of reality and insanity to defy the same once friendly invincible world power in the name of a futile hope spread by the priestly caste that some nebulous Messiah would come and win this war against reality for the Jews! Let me quote one of the best paeans I know on the glory and power of Rome coming from a pen of a Jewish realist ( 1 Maccabees , ch. 8)

" Judas had heard of the the Romans, that they were mighty and valiant men, and such as would lovingly accept all that joined themselves unto them, and make a league of amity with all that came unto them; And that they were men of great valour. It was told him also of their wars and noble acts which they had done among the Galatians, and how they had conquered them, and brought them under tribute; And what they had done in the country of Spain, for the winning of the mines of the silver and gold which is there; And that by their policy and patience they had conquered all the place, though it were very far from them; and the kings also that came against them from the uttermost part of the earth, till they had discomfited them, and given them a great overthrow, so that the rest did give them tribute every year...How also Antiochus the great king of Asia, that came against them in battle, having an hundred and twenty elephants, with horsemen, and chariots, and a very great army, was discomfited by them; It was told him besides, how they destroyed and brought under their dominion all other kingdoms and isles that at any time resisted them; But with their friends and such as relied upon them they kept amity: and that they had conquered kingdoms both far and nigh, insomuch as all that heard of their name were afraid of them…Also that, whom they would help to a kingdom, those reign; and whom again they would, they displace: finally, that they were greatly exalted …. In consideration of these things, Judas chose Eupolemus the son of John, the son of Accos, and Jason the son of Eleazar, and sent them to Rome, to make a league of amity and confederacy with them "

There follows the text of the formal treaty of alliance between the Romans and the Jews where we read i.al. :

" if war come first upon the nation of the Jews, the Romans shall help them with all their heart, according as the time shall be appointed them… And as touching the evils that Demetrius doeth to the Jews, we have written unto him, saying, Wherefore thou made thy yoke heavy upon our friends and confederates the Jews?
If therefore they complain any more against thee, we will do them justice, and fight with thee by sea and by land."

> Regarding your lengthy and creative interpretation of the Scriptures, I'm sorry; I don't believe that debating it would lead us anywhere.<

Don't exaggerate, my friend. I am not so creative at all and the interpretation is not so new either. It's no merit of mine to just paraphrase it.

But I agree this not the right time and place to debate the issue even though conclusions it leads to seem to be quite interesting.

Kind regards

Ianus

Submitting....

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