Subject: Re: Why War In article <17591@usc.edu> kriz@lesath.usc.edu (Dennis Kriz) writes:

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From: pusfoot@portia.Stanford.EDU (Aaron Cohen) Subject: Re: Why War In article <17591@usc.edu> kriz@lesath.usc.edu (Dennis Kriz) writes: > >Reducing Western culture and heritage to velcro, bikini underwear and >french fries is not only a gross over-simplification but also an insult. I'm sorry, western culture. :-------) >What is Western civilization was built on the foundation of the twin pillars >of Greek-Roman philosophy and Christianity. What have been their major >contributions: > >(1) The scientific method which descends from Aristotle and was modified into >it's powerful form by Galileo. The entire scientific-technological >revolution that our world has experienced since Galileo is its result. Whoopeee fucking do. The natives of south and north america, australia, africa, and most of asia would not call our scientific-technological civilization a "contribution" to theirs. After witnessing the extinction of their own culture by ours, they would definately use a different term. >(2) Our form of representative democracy ... which is copied (if nominally) >and envied around the world, is based on the founding works of the Greeks and >Romans. "Envied?" Travel sometime, and you'll find that it is most often resented rather then envied. Resented, that is, for its hypocricy and sanctimon- iosness. >(3) Christianity's greatest contribution to the West was its civilizing >influence on the barbarians following the fall of the Roman Empire. The >Church was the only institution to survive Rome's collapse. By over time >pursuading the barbarians that all individuals from King to serf were >subordinate to God and the moral teachings of Christ, the Church allowed >the rebirth of Western civilization to occur. Which rebirth was based on the following teachings of christ/christianity: 1) as christ did, one is required to submit ones entire being to Authority, even to the extent that your Authority orders you to get nailed to a tree, so that in your afterlife you can be rewarded for your submission. 2) if you don't do as you are told by Authority and behave like a good sheep, you will be eternally punished for your sins of disobedience by your Just God. This was added to the teachings of the God Jahweh: 1) God requires you to "utterly destroy" those peoples with religious and social practices different then yours. (ref. sodom, amel ekites, etc.) 2) God requires you to "utterly destroy" all cultures that occupy land that is rightfully yours. (ref. philistines et al.) The "civilizing influence" of these church teachings resulted in the western program of cultural genocide that "civilized" the whole world. With all western culture now dedicated to 1) obtaining the land all over the earth that is rightfully theirs (Jewish tradition), 2) anihilating all sinners who believed in other gods (Jewish tradition), 3) risking their lives for whatever their leaders told them was valued by God (Christian tradition), and 4) performing any atrocity they were ordered to commit for fear that disobedience would result in eternal damnation (Christian tradi- tion) the western man became a slave that was conditioned to vent his repressed frustrations by exterminating and enslaving whole other peoples. In South America, North America, Australia, and Africa every single native culture was either erradicated or enslaved. In S. America, between the years 1500 and 1600, c.80 million natives were killed by conquistadors (sp): the remaining 8 million became slaves on plantations; in N. America scores of cultures were deprived of their land and cultural identities and then imprisoned on "reservations;" in Africa, entire tribes were sold into slavery or oughtright exterminated; in Australia, literally hundreds of Aborigine tribes were wiped off the face of our earth, and the few remain- ing tribes are today faceing cultural extinction; in Asia, entire cultures were westernized, as were the few remaining cultures on the aforementioned continents. This is not a polemic against the evils of western culture (well, maybe a bit). I am trying to make a point that should be self evident; just as the most aggressive man dominates, so the most aggressive culture domin- ates. Western values do not hold sway over the world because of the goodness of Christ, the Enlightened state of our Philosophy of Reason, or other such nonsense: today our values rule the world because we play Hardball - we are the most aggressive culture (due to our history of religious, social, and political repression - ref Freud) in the world. >(4) To the world, Christianity presented an strong unambiguous call for social >concern and involvement. Often we don't realize just how Western social >involvement is. Certainly nothing of the like exists in either Hinduism >or Buddhism. Confusian philosophy hands out to each member of the society >responsibilities, but again issues no open-ended call for assistance for >the stranger. The Taoist could in-fact argue that such effort was in fact >counter-productive (the ultimate in the "trickle-down-do-nothing" approaches >to life). Only the three Western monotheistic religions (which all worship >the same God) have this call -- among the world's religious systems. I have a hard time not laughing when i read that. Your naivete transcends stupidity. All Christian "social concern and involvement" is set up so as to make the lot of the suffering easier to bear, rather than to change the status quo that created our fucked-up social conditions in the first place. Also, look at the whole Christian doctrine of original sin: "man is bad, and so therefore those of us who are good are responsible for taking care of those 'less well off' then us (as our God Takes Care of us). We must also therefore prevent this badness from coming out by restricting all freedoms that lead to badness." This doctrine is the basic tenet of Conservative Philosophy - understand it, and you'll understand the past 1500 years of political history. At this point i could get so pedantic, i'd lose all my audience, so i'll just make one final comment: the "call for social concern and involvement" of which you speak is a facade; it is rather a method to misdirect the efforts of the compassionate: as i said above, Christian Philanthropy is aimed at easing pain rather than bettering lifestyles. Look at the gospels, if you disagree. >Even though there is a tendency to denegrate religion among many in the West, >this call for social concern remains ingrained in the Western consciousness. >Movements as varied as the Red Cross, Amnesty International, and Green Peace >all originated in the West. Yes, and they were made necessary by the western racial insanity that created the problems they try to solve. (duh.) >And though again religion, is often putdown now, just look around... how many >hospitals, schools and universities to you still see in this country that are >run by the Catholics or a Protestant group? And it's not just here that >Christians are involved... though I have met easily 100+ Indian students in >my stay here at USC, I can't think of a single one who didn't get at least >part of his education in a Christian school and this is in a nation which is >only 1% Christian and in many respects is overtly prejudiced against Christians >(India). Similarly, most of the students coming from Hong Kong, Indonesia and >the like have similar backrounds. We may look down on the likes of >Swaggart, but their missionary work -- again constructing hospitals and >schools in the 3rd world -- is remarkable. And though most of the money >for homeless shelters in this country does come for the government, most are >in fact run from and by churches. Ok, so the church isn't entirely screwed up. I agree. However, be careful of your word choice: "education" ought to be replaced by "indoctrination." See my above comment that the conditions the church now tries to alleviate were originally church-created. >In fact it is kind of amusing that the most socially involved people in our >country are either quasi-Marxists or Christians (and a smaller but propor- >tionate number of Jews). That depends upon what you define social involvement to be. Also, before i can accept the truth of that statement, you'll have to give me some references - you could easilly have just made that up off the top of your head. >Anyway, the point is that the West has offered much more than hamburgers to >the world that the world can learn from and use... though it *may* feel hip >to think otherwise. Yes, it does feel hip to think otherwise, thanks all the same. You must remember that the world has little choice but to "learn from and use" what the west offers if it is ever to releive itself of western imperial- ism. "YED" "I think, therefore i'm fried" -aaron cohen

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