Thursday, January 27, 2005

Translated enfin!

Mon Dieu! On avait traduit mon petit mot below into francais.
Religious roots of terrorism?

To fight, I must perceive a distinction between myself and my enemy. This distinction may be on that basis of any attribute I can think of - skin colour, dwelling place, economic status, or belief.

The reason that religious belief is such a strong determinant of conflict is that to believers, religion defines their existence not just in time, but for all eternity. This sometimes gives them superhuman courage, as when martyrs chose death by burning rather than to deny their beliefs.

It is the exclusivistic aspect of religious belief that fosters religious violence. If I believe God has chosen my group above all others, I can go and kill others with His blessing. If I believe that the same God is present in each and every human being that I meet, then I cannot abuse or kill them. So the question is, are there three warring gods, Allah, JHVH and God, or are these just three different names applied by three different cultures to one and the same great transcendent Entity?

Might it not be helpful if the leaders of the Abrahamic faiths met and meditated on this question in silence for a day or so before trying to answer it?

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