Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Why is Peace so Elusive?

I don't wish to sound like a sap here, but I have to wonder and I decided to wonder on a page, Why is peace so elusive? What is it about the Jews and the Palestinians, and the Sunnis and the Shiites, and the crap in Darfur? Is it a religious difference? What is the difference? 2000 years ago when these religions took hold it was a better way to control people and hold on to resources.

Religion was and is the new mythology. I can't be convinced that it is now or has ever been a good thing. How can something that is supposed to be so beneficial to the people be used so blatantly to kill and maim someone else? Once in our history there was actually some sense to the violent side of the religion, because you wanted an army that would follow it's leaders into the the face of the raging enemy. They needed to protect their vital resources, their crops and their people. There was a need to tell the troops that they would end up in a better place when they died for "the cause" and it gave them a reason to fight without the fear of dying. It was also a way for leaders with limited resources to keep their populations under control. I know it sounds callous, but think about the tyrants of old, what better way to have enough grain stores to get through the winter than to get a chunk of the population killed? Especially after a particulary lean harvest. That was one of the reasons for the caste system, the royals and ruling classes were taught to see the lower classes, and serfs as no more than chattel, pawns to be used for their own amusement and benefit. You wish to gain something from the neighboring kingdom? Send in an army of the lower classes as cannon fodder to get the attention of the neighboring king and maybe even have a victory and get what you were wanting. Now it's not so clear cut.

Today the world is smaller and the resources much more mobile and easier to distribute. Why is it that a country as large as Russia feels the need to argue over the resources that they have to sell? They have enough oil in their fields to give OPEC a run for their money, yet they are quibbling with over prices with half of Europe and the former Soviet Republics. I understand National pride, but not the need to control more land and more resources. What is it about human greed for Control! "If you don't believe as I believe then you must die as it is the only form of control that I can exert!" The thought process eludes me on this one. There are cat lovers in this world who understand that not everything is easily within our control. Dog lovers on the other hand wish for instant obedience and gleeful worship from their subjects.

Why is it that there is so many people who believe that, "it's my way or the highway( to hell)?" So much of the world lives with self imposed blinders on, never willing to look beyond their narrow view for whatever reason. Usually the reason is ideological, they are taught not to question authority, be it religious or governmental. The Pope imposes his will upon the devout Catholics around the world, no birth control, you must breed! No meat on Friday, No wait that's not the rule any more... Oh I know , give the Church 10% 0f your gross pay, or you will not get into Heaven! No sex Before Marriage, Says the Celibate priest! Muslims claim to have the peaceful religion yet the radical among them find in their Koran the words to inflame passions to the point that their youth will die in a fiery explosion with bombs strapped to their bodies in hopes of getting into Paradise. The world here sucks so bad that they take the easy way out! Sure it sucks here, their woman are treated like so many goats or horses and they aren't allowed to even look at them until they're married. They have to stop and pray how many times a day, and kiss the ground wherever they happen to be. Yuck, I would be willing to blow myself up to get out of living like that too! But why is it this constant drive to make the others live as you live? Why must there be a conversion? If I live my life without causing you harm, and I can do business with you honestly and openly, why must I believe the same mythology that you believe? What difference does it make to me or you? If I don't insist that you live like I do, why must you insist that I live like you do?

Some of the death and destruction is no more than a hillbilly feud that has carried on since time immemorial. The Jews killed a Palestinian and then the Palestinians killed a Jew to retaliate and it has since gone on as ever, and ever escalating. Yet there are Jewish kids and Palestinian kids who play soccer against and with each other in the streets of Jerusalem, they know no malice, simply the face of a friend and a fellow player. There is so much focus on the differences by the adults that they forget what it was like to be a child and only know your friends, and the things that you shared. Children don't know prejudice, it is taught to them and that is a shame. It takes no more effort to teach a child tolerance and understanding than it does to indoctrinate them with hatred and a narrow minded world view. I could never understand the need to pass such destrcutive teaching from one generation to the next. Did your Grandfather's grandfather's grandfather die so that you could send your son to his death? No, of course not, he died hoping that his children would be able to live in peace.

The Human race is quite unique on the plant Earth, as we have both the means to destroy ourselves completely, or the means to elevate ourselves into the stars and to truly find the secrets of the universe. Sadly the former is the most likely scenario, because in order to elevate, we must first have a peaceful society that can co-operate within all of the relms of science and technology, and rather than use the knowledge to try and destroy one another, use it to expand the horizons of human knowledge. In every field of human endevour we could advance, simply by eliminating the need to dominate each other, and pool our resources and knowledge for the good of all. We could feed the hungry and shelter the homeless. We could send our species into the solar system beyond the Moon, and beyond Mars and out into the limitless Universe. We could gain so much from simply shedding the old prejudices and learning from our children, how to focus on the good stuff, and to not bother about the differences.

I want to believe that there is a future where the need for weapons of mass destruction no longer exsists. I want to believe that Humanity will opens it's eyes one morning and realize that the answer to all of our problems is to stop the killing and to start the healing. Political lines and religious lines become meaningless and useless because there is not a need for division, when we will all work towards the next step for the entire species, and not just for our own greed, but the future of our children and their children's children.

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