Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Can you hear the tears hitting the keyboard?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-01-06

The Australian Intercultural Society newsletter hit my intray today.  The AIS does things like organize inter-religious celebrations (like open days at mosques, churches and synagogues), and though an atheist, I certainly support the objectives of the AIS.

Those putting the letter together must be tearing their hair out over the current conflict in the Middle East, so I’ll quote some of it supportively over the fold (even though I’m atheist).

You can keep up with AIS events through the website or even the Facebok page.

You can almost hear the tears of the authors of the newsletter as you read it, but I’ll give you just a part, one that is secular (my bolding).

It is an act of injustice and tyranny to punish the family members of a criminal for the crimes they have not committed.  With the same token, it is unjust to punish a race, culture or religion for the crimes that have been committed by a small, ignorant minority of its members.

Humanity have suffered enough at the hands of wars, genocides, racial, religious and ideological conflicts.  Fighting evil and challenging injustice starts within our own soul and mind.  It is about time that we question ourselves, what has been taught to us and what the media has led us to believe.  Am I being pushed into senseless phobias?  Are my phobias pushing me into unjust behaviour?  How much empathy do I have towards my fellow human beings?  As a human being, what are my responsibilities towards other human beings and what role do I have in bringing peace to the world?

The full text is also available as a media release here, although I doubt you’ll be able to see it there when the next release comes out.

I know I’m far from perfect, especially when I ponder the questions put by the article.  But at least I ask myself those questions, and any discomfort from them is necessary.

More from the newsletter:

It is imperative that the dialogue between religions and cultures move into a new phase where cultures and faiths work cooperatively and produce partnered, long-lasting projects.  We must establish mutual platforms to fight famine, poverty, injustice, ignorance and vilification. Hatred between cultures should transform into understanding and empathy.  In order to achieve this we need to give great importance to social and humanitarian projects.

I don’t believe in any of the faiths (mainly Abrahamic) of members of this organization, but I do believe such work is absolutely necessary.

How many members of similar organizations across the world must be looking at the conflict in Gaza, weeping, and wondering about the "Problem of Evil", and the hypocrisy of so many of their fellow believers, and the concentration of power among the hypocrites rather than those striving for peace?

Of course, as one who admires Epikouros/Epicurus, I’ll quote him to the believers:

Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; or he can, but does not want to.  If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent.  If he can, but does not want to, he is wicked.  If God can abolish evil, and God really wants to do it, why is there evil in the world?

I’d add: Empirically, organized belief in the Abrahamic deity has caused more death and destruction than any other theology, and despite the best efforts of organizations like the AIS, there is little reason to think that this will change – one sect might become more moderate, only to be replaced by another even more vile.  If you believe the Abhrahamic deity exists and wants peace on Earth, the best way to serve your private belief is to organize unbelief.

Heaven on Earth cannot exist while those on Earth believe in Heaven.

Again to Epicurus, as quoted in Marx’s forward to his doctoral thesis:

Not the man who denies the gods worshipped by the multitude, but he who affirms of the gods what the multitude believes about them, is truly impious.


One Response to “Can you hear the tears hitting the keyboard?”

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