Wednesday, December 29, 2004

One God or three perpetually warring gods?

This is probably a mistake, putting this up. I only do it because it is an adaptation of a contribution to the Monbiot Forum I did this morning.

It cannot be denied* that the so-called War on Terror is in part a clash of monotheistic fundamentalisms. Unfortunately in the context of fundamentalism, debate is superfluous, as the protagonists already have an absolute answer to everything although their absolute answers differ absolutely from each other. So today's blog is a total waste of electrons.

Notwithstanding that this is a waste of time, we non-fundamentalists have a right to ask questions, since we are liable to die in the crossfire. The question I would put is this:

"God, YHVH and Allah, are they three words for the one and the same entity, or do they represent three different entities?"

Islamists would reply yes to the first option, but Jewish and Christian fundamentalists, although coy on the subject, seem to fall for the second option.

Truth is complex. Although Mohammed (blessed be his name) and Jesus (blessed be his name also) both made statements supporting war (Jesus is reported as saying "I am come not to bring peace but a sword", and there are several places in the Koran which support swordplay) the concept that offers hope of peace - the concept that the Singularity is worshipped by different cultures in different ways and under different monikers, is closer to the surface in Islam than in the Judaeo-Christian traditions.

I hope this helps, but it probably does not.

*This thing about the religious motive for the WoT is of course, not true. Plenty of people deny it, not least people who hold that since gods do not exist, they cannot couse wars. If only life were that simple.

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