Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Six Day War – 40 years on

According to The Economist, the 1967 Arab-Israeli conflict heralded ‘Six days of war followed by 40 years of misery’. It was, they assert, a ‘wasted victory’, ‘hubristic folly’, ‘in defiance of law, demography and common sense’, and ‘a calamity for the Jewish state’.


It seems patronising to state the blindingly obvious, but if this victory was ‘a calamity for the Jewish state’, what would defeat have meant? It would certainly have heralded another holocaust. Recently de-classified documents have shown that Egypt, Jordan and Syria were planning to cut Israel in half, and Jordan was planning to systematically slaughter the populations of entire Israeli towns and villages. Plans for genocide and the elimination of Israel had been laid in minute detail.

Yet The Economist is considered so close to holy writ by many of the world’s intelligentsia that Cranmer is bemused by its fatuous assertions. The Six Day War quite obviously ensured Israel's existence, and was responsible for persuading Arab nations to simply come to terms with it. As Israel’s neighbours signed peace treaties one by one, so their demands for Israel’s elimination were relinquished, and stability began to balance instability. The UN Security Council also passed a resolution which called for a ‘just and lasting peace’ between Arabs and Jews. While Israel endorsed it immediately, it took Egypt a decade to sign up to it, Jordan 30 years, and Syria indicated a willingness only as recently as 2000. There is here an undeniable fact: the Six Day War was responsible for the legitimisation of Israel as the ‘Jewish State’ – it was thereafter entitled to exist within peaceful borders upon land that had hitherto been deemed to be ‘occupied’.

The number forty in scripture often illustrates a time of trial or testing. The Lord tried and tested Israel in the wilderness (Deut 8:2) to humble them, to establish what was in their hearts, and to see if they would honour his commandments. Moses was up Mount Sinai for forty days and the Children of Israel were tried, and they failed the test as they resorted to idolatry. Jesus was tried and tested of Satan for forty days in the wilderness (Mk 1:13). There are many scriptures which indicate the spiritual significance of this number. So this is not an anniversary offering yet another opportunity for the condemnation of Israel, but a time for reflection; a time for Israel to examine its heart - to assess whether it is honouring the Lord with all its heart, and fulfilling its call to righteousness.

Cranmer is not blind to the justifiable criticisms regarding Israel's acts of annexation and settlement since 1967. And many Jews in Israel (and of the diaspora) share these concerns. The oppression of Palestinian rights and their second-class status in many parts of the country represent an unacceptable subjugation of their humanity to the interests of an Israeli ruling class. But resolution will not come from constant demands for Israel to be eliminated, as President Ahmadinejad perpetually intones. It can only emanate from the elimination of the religio-political ideology that propagates offensive acts of terrorism and condones the slaughter of innocent civilians in the name of God.

Yet this war, and the resulting ‘occupation’, are almost universally acclaimed by much of the media as the root of Islamism, and blamed for the emergence of al Qaeda. The assertion is not merely negated by the well-documented conduct of pre-1967 Islam, but also by the Iranian revolution of 1979 which was all about Islamism and ayatollahs claiming to be the voice of God. And it is noteworthy that Iran had played no part in the conflict at all.

War is always an intolerable tragedy. It represents a failure of humanity, and is the cause of untold suffering. But all things may work together for good… The Six Day War kept a little flame burning, and that light prevented the greater tragedy – that of a second holocaust. The cause was therefore righteous, and it is a righteousness which demands recognition, and for which the world should be profoundly grateful.

May Israel be redeemed through Yeshua her Messiah, and may Zion be restored in our day.


Anonymous eric said...


I would consider it a privilege if you would add my blog www.blacktygrrrr.wordpress.com to your list of linked sites if you feel the quality of it is high.

Happy June.


5 June 2007 at 08:17  
Anonymous Voyager said...

The Economist is no longer a serious magazine and ceased to have that staus 20 years ago. It is too much in the hands of a clique seeking to influence US policy and really peddles its lines far too assiduously.

The 1967 War was a war of annihilation waged by more populous countries surrounding Israel. Through good fortune and good tactics Israel was able to copenhagen the Egyptian Air Force.

Israel survived in the only way it could survive such an attack, by outpacing Blitzkrieg.

The fact that its enemies smarted from failure to destroy their enemy should hardly motivate Israel to give them cause to feel good about themselves.

The Arab world is a hot-bed of seething hatreds which can only be abated by finding an outsider - Christian or Jew - to hate even more viciously and until that mentality changes no progress is possible.....the scorpion and the frog is warning enough

5 June 2007 at 09:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quite right, your grace. I too have been perplexed by the Economist's stance on this issue. According to world opinion, Israel seems to have to apologise for having won a war in which the consequences of defeat would have been annihilation. Praise the Lord that victory was achieved, as in 1973.

5 June 2007 at 10:26  
Anonymous Observer said...

Sales inside North America were 54% of the total, with sales in the UK making up 14% of the total and continental Europe 19%.

over 80% of its readership is from outside the UK, its country of publication.

The Economist Newspaper Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Economist Group. One half of The Economist Group is owned by private shareholders, including members of the Rothschild banking family of England (Sir Evelyn de Rothschild was Chairman of the company from 1972 to 1989), and the other half by the Financial Times,

5 June 2007 at 11:46  
Blogger Taxcutter said...

Thank Allah! Someone talking sense for once. The 6 Day War should be held up as a great example of what a capitalist, democratic state, that bothers keeping decent armed forces, can do when attacked by bigots.

Despite my better sentiments my gentile self remains concerned about the latent anti-semitism emanating from some parts of the media about this conflict.

5 June 2007 at 13:39  
Blogger Tony said...

Your Grace, the Economist PR spin machine that repeats the mantra that it is THE paper for serious people and serious issues is on a par with the mantra that Gordon Brown is a brilliant Chancellor. Both assertions are plainly fatuous.

5 June 2007 at 14:51  
Anonymous John Hayward, The Difference said...

His Grace is correct, as ever, about the holocaust that we would now be reading about in our history books had Israel not won the 1967 Six Day War. However, the irony is that their victory did water the seeds of the political Islam that now constitutes part of the "realities of modern Islam in multi-cultural Britain" (to quote the Department of Education and Skills review, "Islamic studies to become a 'strategic' subject in Higher Education" by Ataullah Siddiqui). What happened in Iran in 1979 was as much about the British-engineered 1953 coup as anything else, so I don't see how this negates any argument about how Arab nationalists were left disillusioned and in need of a new ideology following their defeat at the hands of Israel in 1967.

5 June 2007 at 18:04  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

'The cause was therefore righteous, and it is a righteousness which demands recognition, and for which the world should be profoundly grateful.'

Surely His Grace wishes to deal with realistic demands? The WORLD should be profoundly grateful? You expect Britain and other western nations to be grateful for the founding of a Jewish state? Why? Because it is right that they should have one? Because of the persecution they have faced over the centuries?

I wonder whether His Grace is lost in a dream. Why ever would a powerful nation be grateful because a weaker nation had gained power?

They will never be grateful. They will only look for ways to use such a nation to their advantage. And that's exactly what they are doing.

5 June 2007 at 19:18  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Eric,

His Grace wishes you a 'happy June' as well, though he confesses to being a little unfamiliar with this particular American greeting.

Your desire for an addition to His Grace's linked sites would indeed be an honour for you, and even moreso since you have no pre-existing link to His Grace. He is therefore rather inclined to consider your request to be a bit of a cheek, if not a presumptuous abuse of his devotion to acts of Christian charity.

5 June 2007 at 19:32  
Anonymous Alexandrian said...

The Economist's reputation for wisdom was left in tatters by its stance on Bosnia.

(See, for example, "Unfinest Hour" by Brendan Simms)

5 June 2007 at 21:24  
Anonymous Colin said...

Voyager wrote,

"The Arab world is a hot-bed of seething hatreds"

There is evidence that this results from cousin marriages practised in Islamic countries according to the analysis by Czech anthropologist Ladislav Holy published in "Kinship, Honour, and Solidarity: Cousin Marriage in the Middle East": Holy showed how cousin marriage serves as a fail-safe protective device to secure collective family honor, and linked the honor-based function of cousin marriage to a broader appreciation of super-charged, in-group solidarity as a social strategy. No society can do without some form of in-group solidarity. But once you understand how Muslims construct society as a collection of counterbalanced, sometimes allied, sometimes feuding, closed-off, and self-sufficient family cells,he problem of Muslim cultural persistence begins to make sense. Holy also allows us to appreciate that the Muslim seclusion of women (another critical barrier to modernization and assimilation) is part and parcel of a larger complex of practices, at the center of which is parallel-cousin marriage...Muslim society’s leading theme is set and reinforced by the preference for parallel-cousin marriage — that theme being the creation of closed-off, secluded, and intensely loyal “solidarities,” and harsh dealing with any insider who would endanger or desert the charmed circle...all of these kinship mechanisms are much at work in Europe today. Muslim immigrants in Europe use cousin marriage to keep wealth within already tight family lines, and to prevent girls from entering “shameful” marriages with cultural outsiders. All this serves to reinforce family “solidarity,” thereby blocking the assimilation of Muslim immigrants into society at large...Islam itself functions as a kind of closed in-group on a grand scale, welcoming converts, yet punishing apostasy with death. Explaining this Muslim practice, D’Souza says that, “Apostasy in Islam is less a matter of ‘wrong beliefs’ or heresy and more a matter of treason, of betraying the Muslim community.”

And Voyager finished his sentence by stating, "which can only be abated by finding an outsider - Christian or Jew - to hate even more viciously"

This claim seems to be supported by the experiences of Brigitte Gabriel, a Christian Arab from Lebanon. She gave a lecture at the Heritage Foundation and told among other things that the Islamic Arabs in Lebanon have a saying: First comes Saturday than Sunday. And everybody knows according to her that they mean, first we kill the Jews and then the Christians. I don't know if it is true but what she is telling sounds plausible to me. Here the streaming video of her talk.

5 June 2007 at 21:55  
Anonymous Voyager said...

They will only look for ways to use such a nation to their advantage.

and vice-versa

5 June 2007 at 22:51  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Indeed Voyager. But the point is that this habit of insisting that those who criticise Israel are anti-semitic and those who defend it are the great saviours of the Jews who understand the righteousness of Israel's existence is to misunderstand the reasons why some support the existence of Israel. Mark my words, should Israel ever stop being useful to the West, the anti-semitism that has existed for centuries and has seemingly disappeared, will rear its head once again.

6 June 2007 at 19:12  
Anonymous Colin said...

Miss Snuffleupagus wrote "should Israel ever stop being useful to the West, the anti-semitism that has existed for centuries and has seemingly disappeared, will rear its head once again."

Miss Snuffleupagus is certainly correct. BTW, she explains why anti-semitism is rearing its ugly head again in Europe and the endless propaganda of the BBC and other European MSM against Israel. Obviously, the ruling class considers the oil-rich countries more useful than the existence of Israel.

6 June 2007 at 19:35  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

"those who criticise Israel are anti-semitic"

Hmmm, I don't quite agree with the use of terminology here. If an Arab is anti-israel, would he consequently be labelled anti-semitic? But then one might wonder, Arabs themselves are semites, so how can they be anti-themselves? I realise that Anti semitism is mainly associated with 'anti-Jew' but I don't feel this is authentic terminology.

What are your thoughts upon this, Mrs Snuffleupagus?

6 June 2007 at 20:45  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Miss Jelly Bean - I understand the term anti-semitic to mean anti-Jewish. Antisemitism is prejudice towards Jewish people. Islamaphobia is prejudice against or fear of Muslim people. I am not sure whether there is a term for the Arabs, perhaps just anti-Arab?

But your point about the brotherhood that ought to exist between these 2 peoples, (and in some respects does), makes the current situation in the Middle East even more disappointing.

Colin - I'm not sure I was saying what you suggest. I am criticising the constant assumption that you seem to make here. Antisemitism is more complicated than the current debate suggests.

6 June 2007 at 21:40  
Anonymous Colin said...

Miss Snuffleupagus,

"I'm not sure I was saying what you suggest. "

I simply demonstrated the logical consequences of your thesis that "should Israel ever stop being useful to the West, the anti-semitism ... will rear its head once again."

Hence, you said that anti-semitism will increase if the usefullness of Israel decreases. Since we are witnessing an increase in anti-semitism or anti-Israelism in Europe, the logical consequence derived from your postulated cause-effect relationship is that this effect must be caused by a reduction in usefullness.

"I am criticising the constant assumption that you seem to make here."

You have the right to criticise whatever you like. However, please permit me to point out that I didn't make any assumptions here. I showed the logical consequences of YOUR assumptions.

"Antisemitism is more complicated than the current debate suggests."

That line of argumentation isn't new. Every politican appearing in talk shows has been instructed by his spin doctors to claim that things are more complicated and have to be differentiated when they don't know what to say. Such an argument is suitable for any debate not matter what the topic. Could you be more specific where exactly your disagree with whom?

Apparently, Miss Jelly Bean is unable or unwilling to answer my question in one of the previous threads how far she wants to turn the wheel of history back in time. She seems to have adopted Granmer's style to employ ironic comments instead of clearly stated arguments which can be refuted. That's rather disappointing.

6 June 2007 at 22:52  
Anonymous Voyager said...

But the point is that this habit of insisting that those who criticise Israel are anti-semitic and those who defend it are the great saviours of the Jews who understand the righteousness of Israel's existence is to misunderstand the reasons why some support the existence of Israel.

I should think from the point of view of a Jew the sense of friend or foe is an apt one., and that from that perspective those who attack Israel wish no good to Jews and those that support it are "righteous". From a Jewish perpspective that would appear valid.

We should recall that the USSR first recognised Israel as a state to inflict difficulty on Great Britain; the USA followed; the Czechs supplied the arms. That is the politics.

The use of terms such as "islamophobia" or "Anti-Semitism" or "racism" or any other the other slogans is not really the essence. They are all political terms.

Do you support the existence of Great Britain ?

7 June 2007 at 06:36  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Voyager - I am not sure I understand. Do I support the existence of Great Britain? Of course! In fact I revel in it, love much about it, and am grateful to it.

You are right to point out that it is 'from the point of view of a Jew' that this misrepresentation (I believe) of the nature of antisemitism (how is moves, resides, develops etc) contitues to flourish.

I believe the Jews misinterpret antisemitism in a very similar way to Blacks who misinterpret racism. They mark it out in the wrong places and they miss it where it exists in others.

Racism and antisemitism are simply far more complicated than both debates suggest. Their perspective may be 'valid' to them but I believe it to be a misrepresentation of the truth.

7 June 2007 at 07:36  
Anonymous ismail said...

Miss Jelly bean said...
"those who criticise Israel are anti-semitic"

Arabs themselves are semites, so how can they be anti-themselves? "

I'd have to agree with jelly bean here and therefore find myself anti semitic, unless it is a Jewsh semite.

7 June 2007 at 09:23  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

Oh, I'm so sorry Colin! Looks like I missed you out. Well, I've seen your question on the previous article about turning the wheel of time back in history right? I would be delighted to answer it.

Well, Colin, now that I am far more calm then I was that day (I can be quite an emotional person), I would like to make a correction to my views on the Israelis. Honestly, I agree that Jews have the right to live in the middle east and I don't think the issue is with the Jews living there. If you look back in history, the Muslim Ottoman empire often served as a refuge for the Jews in exile,and during the time of Mehmed II many Jews were invited to settle in Ottoman territory. We also know that it's quite natural for a state to have immigrants who live there and eventually may become citizens of that state. Jews living in the middle east is not my problem, I just think that the land should maintain it's identity of being Arab Muslim palestinian land.

Now of course your point is that how back in time am I willing to go and why, because it was originally Jewish promised land right? Well, I tell you Colin, I'm not the one whose going back thousands of years in time like the Jews. I only want to go back about 60 years in time and the reason for that is because I feel we should see this from the perspective of contemporary issues that took place in our time, not something that took place thousands of years ago when non of us were even alive. I think it's absurd to state that 'this land is mine because it belnged to me thousand years ago'. I'm arguing for that which was the Palestinians 60 years ago, which seems to me a more realistic argument.

I'm sure you'll disagree with me and call me a bigot, but that's how I see it.

Sorry for answering your question so late!

Snuffy, you missed my point. Arabs are semites also, not just Jews. If an Arab doesn't agree with the state of Israel, how can you label him anti-semetic? It doesn't make sense! All I'm saying is that this is wrong terminology, but I guess my saying this won't make much of a difference so, never mind.

7 June 2007 at 09:41  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I only want to go back about 60 years in time and the reason for that is because I feel we should see this from the perspective of contemporary issues that took place in our time

That is very arbitrary but let us do so and go back to early 1947 as the British Government made ready to leave India after 300 years.

How did India become host to East and West Pakistan ? How did the land of India become a sovereign state for the Muslim invaders of India ?

By what right was an Islamic Republic created on Indian Territory by the Westminster Parliament ? The longest-running peace mission of the UN is there on the Pakistan-Indian Border and how many wars have there been ?

Surely if Pakistan had never existed none of these wars and the race to gain nuclear weapons would have existed ?

7 June 2007 at 12:35  
Anonymous Colin said...

Miss Jelly Bean,

"I can be quite an emotional person". :-)

"now that I am far more calm then I was that day" Don't take things too seriously. Whether in sports, in religion or in intellectual debates, people enjoy being entertained by battles of one’s own group against another group. His Grace's blog is an excellent demonstration for this principle.

Thanks for finally letting me know your view on how far you would like to turn back the wheel of time in history.

"I think it's absurd to state that 'this land is mine because it belnged to me thousand years ago'."

I agree.

"I only want to go back about 60 years in time"

OK, let's assume God has granted your wish to turn time back for 60 years. Now, we are all in the year 1947. India, Pakistan and large parts of Africa and the Middle East are still occupied by the UK and France. Is this situation better?

You certainly wouldn't like that either, would you. If you think carefully about it, you will discover that all demands of returning land is based on loyalities with one's own group. There was a famous saying during the world wars: "Right or wrong, it's my country." The same principle applies here: Right or wrong it's my religion, my country, my soccer team or my family. If we accept such a principle for changing the present world situation by violence, humankind will be submitted to never ending cycles of war. I know you disagree but that's how I see it.

Thank you for kindly answering my question. It's always a pleasure to discuss with you.

7 June 2007 at 12:51  
Anonymous Colin said...

Miss Jelly Bean,

You might remember that I predicted a reaction of the native population in Europe against people who openly proclaim that they want to conquer their land.

Today an interview of "Le Figaro" with the French president Nicolas Sarkozy was published. He said: "la Turquie n'a pas sa place en Europe... J'ai engagé des discussions avec le premier ministre turc, M. Erdogan, pour lui faire comprendre que ma position n'était en rien dirigée contre les Turcs mais qu'elle concernait la question essentielle des frontières de l'Europe. Après le Conseil européen de juin, je proposerai une stratégie qui permettra de trouver une voie pour ne pas casser l'Europe et, en même temps, ne plus continuer sur la stratégie de l'adhésion."

Briefly: Turkey doesn't have a place in Europe. I will have discussions with the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan to make him understand that this is not directed against the Turkish people but that it has to do with the essential question of European borders. After the European counsel in June, I will present a strategy for avoiding to distroy Europe and at the same time for not continuing the strategy of accession.

7 June 2007 at 13:08  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

Muslim invaders of India?

Ummm Voyager, most those Muslims were converts from Hinduism so the land was rightly theirs (they've been living their along side the Hindus). The Jews in Palestine arn't converts from Islam now are they. The Muslims in India shared the same culture as the Hindus, only a difference of Religion (which I guess is a big difference), but my point is that the Muslims didn't come from outside and form an Islamic Republic, they were from the Hindus who decided to convert.

But, then again, I do realise why you would disagree with me and Colin is right, I can't help being biased towards the Jews. It's not because I don't like them, but I would naturally side the Muslims (being one myself), and I'm sure the Jews would do the same (side the Jews). So honestly, I don't see any way of making peace between Israel and Palestine, since both Muslims and Jews are so passionate about their own rights and views.

We'll just have to wait and see.

7 June 2007 at 13:18  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

When I say I would side the Muslims, that doesn't mean that I would side any unjust activity carried out by Muslims like terrorist attacks or suicide bombings. I don't believe the Quran and Sunnah allow such activities, no matter how others may like to interpret verses from the Quran.

7 June 2007 at 13:30  
Anonymous Colin said...

"not because I don't like them, but I would naturally side the Muslims (being one myself)"

I don't blame you for this. It would be unnatural if it were otherwise.

You are right in demanding "peace!" Because peace and peaceful coexistence in two separate states is the solution for this conflict. Recent human history demonstrates that it is possibe. Several countries such as Spain, Britain, France, Germany, USA, Japan, Russia and China were at war with each other but are now collaborating peacefully by exchanging goods. It's in the interest of the people of these countries. If the Palestinian people and Israel would do the same, especially the Palestinians would peacefully achieve a high living standard. Each family could own a nice house if they would have used the billions of Euros and Dollars they have received for that purpose instead of investing it in numerous wars against Israel. Their behaviour is understandable but not wise.

"Peace is the origin of all human things, not—as the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus said—war."

7 June 2007 at 15:38  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Ummm Voyager, most those Muslims were converts from Hinduism

Do we really have to go into Muslim conversion and how it took place - or what Hindu Kush means ?

Do you expect that any Hindu would accept the fiction you have just regaled us with ?
The simple fact is that Britain imposed a partitiuon on Indian territory to satisy the vanities of one man who had to have an Islamic Republic on Indian soil.

It was probably the greatest mistake made anywhere during Britain's colonial era, and reflected the Labour Government's hasty retreat from India

7 June 2007 at 17:37  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Miss Jelly Bean - I understood what you meant. I responded by saying that the term 'antisemitism' means by definition 'anti-Jew'. That is what the term has come to mean. It might seem strange, given, as you say that the term semite should include Arabs. But that's how language operates. It develops over the years. I am guessing, but maybe this is because Jews have historically been persecuted by most, including the Arabs, and therefore the term has regularly been used to refer to them only?

7 June 2007 at 18:48  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Colin and Miss Jelly Bean - You are both so very wrong in saying that people side with their own. History has shown time and time again that some people follow ideals and principles even when it means to seem as if one does not support one's own people or oneself.

What of the Whites in South Africa who fought for their Black brothers and died for them? What of the Israelis now who fight for the Palestinians and demand that their government change their policies? What of those who lobby for climate care in view of their future brothers and sisters?

Everyone is not selfish. You aren't. That is clear from the things you write. People are more humane than you think.

7 June 2007 at 19:07  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

"You are both so very wrong in saying that people side with their own."

You're right, I never said that I would completely side with all Muslims at any cost. Like I said, I don't agree with terrorists and suicide bombers. Why? because I 'follow ideals and principles' just like other people do.

7 June 2007 at 19:41  
Anonymous Colin said...

Miss Snuffleupagus and Miss Jelly Bean,

Thanks for pointing out an anomaly of the selfish hypothesis presented here by me. You are correct that I see myself as a rather unselfish individual. BTW, that's the reason why I like to discuss with you. On the other hand, if I think more carefully about the matter, I realize that my and your unselfishness might be an illusion. Why?

Humans live in groups. Since they hardly can survive outside a group, they instinctually attempt to join a group in order to feel safe. Within a group, the human desire is to improve one's position in the hierarchy.

"people follow ideals and principles even when it means to seem as if one does not support one's own people or oneself."

It depends on how one's own group is defined. They might view themselves as a member of another group, a group consisting of unbiased humanitarians, a group which they might value more highly than the ideological narrowness of one's race, religion, or country. Furthermore, they might simply feel superior, i.e. higher in the hierarchy of their own group, because of their higher moral standard or adherence to a superior knowledge. However, I checked the literature on altruism and found that you are at least partially right, Miss Snuffleupagus.

An experimental study "Altruistic punishing and helping differ in sensitivity to relatedness, friendship, and future interactions" published by Rick O’Gorman et al. in Evolution and Human Behavior 26 (2005) 375–387 is most instructive in this regard. They wrote "Altruism is behaviorally defined as an act that benefits others at the expense of the actor. Altruism is usually associated with helping others in need, but it can also take place in the context of punishment. People who help to maintain cooperation by punishing cheaters are benefiting others at their own expense as surely as if they performed acts of overt helping. The proximate psychological mechanisms that motivate altruistic helping and altruistic punishment are almost certainly different from each other (e.g., empathy vs. moralistic anger)." They found "a remarkable difference between altruistic helping and altruistic punishment in their sensitivity to information regarding genetic relatedness, friendship, and potential for future interactions" indicating that altruistic punishment which might be viewed as an inborn instinct for justice is not influenced by genetic relatedness (i.e. family, ethnicity), friendship or hope for reciprocity. Thus, people are willing to punish others at their own cost if treat others unfairly because they feel that justice should be done.

Congratulations, Miss Snuffleupagus, you were right and I was wrong.

BTW, the feeling of justice was the reason why I defended the woman on Cranmer's blog against the attacks by Mr. Mission impossible and Miss Jelly Bean when sent away by His Grace, Archbishop Cranmer. And I believe that was the reason why you defended me against my old friend Mr. Mission impossible. Thanks again.

7 June 2007 at 21:12  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Exactly Colin. Humanity. Now let's just squeeze that idea into your world view where everything is part of a bargain - goods or services in exchange for money. Take a look at my response to you on my blog. Where does humanity reside in that?

7 June 2007 at 21:25  
Anonymous Observer said...

But Colin has a different paradigm and has read Dawkins Selfish Gene so he has religion....not one many others subscribe to....but one he feels suits his temperament

7 June 2007 at 21:57  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Observer - How do you know Colin's 'religion' suits his temperament?

7 June 2007 at 22:55  
Anonymous Colin said...

Miss Snuffleupagus,

"Exactly Colin. Humanity. Now let's just squeeze that idea into your world view where everything is part of a bargain - goods or services in exchange for money."

Here you are wrong, Miss Snuffleupagus. There are only two sorts of relationships between people. They treat each other as equal or they attempt to dominate each other. The former is morally superior and the road to a peaceful society and the latter is the road to tyranny and exploitation. The former is founded and voluntary interaction, the latter on coercion and compulsion. The former is the free market and the latter the state.

The truth is that "On the free market, everyone earns according to his productive value in satisfying consumer desires. Under statist distribution, everyone earns in proportion to the amount he can plunder from the producers."

“For centuries, the State (or more strictly, individuals acting in their roles as "members of the government") has cloaked its criminal activity in high-sounding rhetoric. For centuries the State has committed mass murder and called it "war"; then ennobled the mass slaughter that "war" involves. For centuries the State has enslaved people into its armed battalions and called it "conscription" in the "national service." For centuries the State has robbed people at bayonet point and called it "taxation."
Murray N. Rothbard

Psychopaths are overrepresented among politicians. Psychopaths "view others as fodder for manipulation and exploitation."

Voyager expressed it well: "I do not understand why it so hard for people to comprehend that many persons in positions of authority have attained the position through duping the gullible and the trusting."

Obviously, you are trusting and gullible, Miss Snuffleupagus, but do you like to be duped?

Karl Marx, the promoter of socialist utopia, was a psychopath. His rich father complained about his lazyness as a student and endless demands for more money. During his entire lifetime, he never worked and constantly demanded money from his supporters. His annual income has been calculated from the available evidence. In Britain, his income was among the top 10% of the population but in his letters he always claimed to be poor and in need of financial support. He was also a racist. "In a July 1862 letter to Engels, in reference to his socialist political competitor, Ferdinand Lassalle, Marx wrote, "... it is now completely clear to me that he, as is proved by his cranial formation and his hair, descends from the Negroes from Egypt, assuming that his mother or grandmother had not interbred with a nigger. Now this union of Judaism and Germanism with a basic Negro substance must produce a peculiar product. The obtrusiveness of the fellow is also nigger-like."

It's your problem if you are unable to see that "the very nature of government creates two unequal and inherently conflicting classes in society: those who, on net, pay the taxes (the "tax-payers"), and those who, on net, live off taxes (the "tax-consumers").” (Murray N. Rothbard in For a New Liberty)

If you like to be duped by psychopaths, you are free to believe in the superior "humanity" of tax-consumers.

7 June 2007 at 22:58  
Anonymous Colin said...

Miss Snuffleupagus,

"Observer - How do you know Colin's 'religion' suits his temperament? "

Observer knows that I defended Dawkins Selfish Gene theory and that I am an atheist. He wants to imply that my religion is selfishness and I must have a selfish temperament. It's the well-known tendency to use ad hominem attacks against people who do not share one's own belief. You did the same on your blog when you accused me of heartlessness because I favoured private schools instead of compulsory state schools.


I beg your pardon for being an atheist. But it is hard for me to believe when some Popes were atheists themselves. It has been reported that Pope Leo X has said "What profit has not that fable of Christ brought us!" I don't know if this is true. Maybe others have a better knowledge about this alleged statement.

7 June 2007 at 23:09  
Anonymous Colin said...

Sorry Miss Snuffleupagus,

I forgot to give you an English reference for Marx's racism. Here it is.

7 June 2007 at 23:12  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Colin - I agree with what you say about Marx. I also agree with the Rothbard quote and indeed with what Voyager said.

I would even agree that I am somewhat trusting and gullible because I like to believe in people's inner goodness.

BUT I don't believe that the state is inherently evil. Are the tax-consumers not the same as the tax-payers? Can we not have a state that is less of a nanny one? Is there no type of state in your Utopia that could exist?

7 June 2007 at 23:16  
Anonymous Colin said...

Miss Snuffleupagus,

"Are the tax-consumers not the same as the tax-payers?"

If the tax-consumers were the same as the tax-payers, why would anyone want to take their money from the left pocket just for putting it in their right pocket? Wouldn't that be completely useless? That's this old progaganda trick: We govern ourselves. Why would we be so stupid to pay millions of bureaucrats for transfering our money from the left pocket to the right pocket?

You might want to read the 1848 essay of the French economist Frederic Bastiat Government: "I have not the pleasure of knowing my reader but I would stake ten to one that for six months he has been making Utopias, and if so, that he is looking to Government for the realization of them. And should the reader happen to be a lady: I have no doubt that she is sincerely desirous of seeing all the evils of suffering humanity remedied, and that she thinks this might easily be done, if Government would only undertake it...I will venture to say that I fear we are, in this respect, the dupes of one of the strangest illusions which have ever taken possession of the human mind...Man recoils from trouble - from suffering; and yet he is condemned by nature to the suffering of privation, if he does not take the trouble to work. He has to choose, then, between these two evils. What means can he adopt to avoid both? There remains now, and there will remain, only one way, which is, to enjoy the labor of others. Such a course of conduct prevents the trouble and the satisfaction from preserving their natural proportion, and causes all the trouble to become the lot of one set of persons, and all the satisfaction that of another. This is the origin of slavery and of plunder, whatever its form may be - whether that of wars, imposition, violence, restrictions, frauds, &c. - monstrous abuses, but consistent with the thought which has given them birth. Oppression should be detested and resisted - it can hardly be called absurd.

Slavery is disappearing, thank heaven! and, on the other hand, our disposition to defend our property prevents direct and open plunder from being easy.

One thing, however, remains - it is the original inclination which exists in all men to divide the lot of life into two parts, throwing the trouble upon others, and keeping the satisfaction for themselves. It remains to be shown under what new form this sad tendency is manifesting itself.

The oppressor no longer acts directly and with his own powers upon his victim. No, our conscience has become too sensitive for that. The tyrant and his victim are still present, but there is an intermediate person between them, which is the Government - that is, the Law itself. What can be better calculated to silence our scruples, and, which is perhaps better appreciated, to overcome all resistance? We all therefore, put in our claim, under some pretext or other, and apply to Government. We say to it, " I am dissatisfied at the proportion between my labor and my enjoyments. I should like, for the sake of restoring the desired equilibrium, to take a part of the possessions of others. But this would be dangerous. Could not you facilitate the thing for me? Could you not find me a good place? or check the industry of my competitors? or, perhaps, lend me gratuitously some capital which, you may take from its possessor? Could you not bring up my children at the public expense? or grant me some prizes? or secure me a competence when I have attained my fiftieth year? By this mean I shall gain my end with an easy conscience, for the law will have acted for me, and I shall have all the advantages of plunder, without its risk or its disgrace!" As it is certain, on the one hand, that we are all making some similar request to the Government; and as, on the other, it is proved that Government cannot satisfy one party without adding to the labor of the others, until I can obtain another definition of the word Government I feel authorized to give it my own. Who knows but it may obtain the prize? Here it is:

"Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."

You asked "Can we not have a state that is less of a nanny one?" We should because "“The proliferation of bureaucrats and its invariable accompaniment, much heavier tax levies on the productive part of the population, are the recognizable signs, not of a great, but of a decaying society. Historians know that both phenomena were especially marked in the declining eras of the Roman Empire in the West and of its successor state, the Eastern or Byzantine Empire.” (Historian William Henry Chamberlin, 1897-1969). Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933), 30th President of the United States, predicted “The property of the people belongs to the people. To take it from them by taxation cannot be justified except by urgent public necessity. Unless this principle be recognized our country is no longer secure, our people no longer free.” And they certainly are less free now than they were at his time.

"Is there no type of state in your Utopia that could exist?"

It's not an Utopia. Such a state existed at the time of Richard Cobden. His policy of Laissez-Faire improved the life of poor Britons and made the UK the richest country in the world.

Socialism is an utopia. Its slower form, welfarism, is unable to survive forever. All the welfare states are already bankrupt, i.e. unable to pay their bills from their income (taxation). Currently, the excessive governmental expenditures are financed by credits and by printing worthless paper money. Money expansion is known to cause inflation which hurts the poor more than the rich. The populace is kept in a phantasy world.

"Is there no type of state in your Utopia that could exist?"

Since the state has the monopoly of violence, it's role is to protect its citizens from violence and to play the arbiter in the case of disputes. In other words, the state needs a department of defense, police and justice. If the state would limit its activities to these fields, you wouldn't have all these problems at school because children and their families would be motivated to properly educate the children so that they have a better chance to get a good job, earn a living, improve their situation, and are able to take care of their parents when they are old and unable to work. However, in the present situation, learning makes hardly any difference for them. Hence, many kids resent being forced to spend their time at school. You are now paying the price for this policy and the kids when the inevitable end of the welfare state has come. Ask the pensioners of Russia about the living conditions after the collaps of the Soviet Union, if you don't believe me and feel that the state is able to provide social security for the people.

8 June 2007 at 01:01  
Anonymous bob said...

Colin -

Pope Leo X (1513-1521): Some believe that he considered Jesus to be a mere legend.
- Barbara Walker in her Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, Page 471, quotes him as as having said "What profit has not that fable of Christ brought us!"
- Rev. Taylor, in The Diegesis, Page 35, has a slightly different quote "It was well known how profitable this fable of Christ has been to us."
- The Catholic Encyclopedia refers to a widely circulated remark: "How much we and our family have profited by the legend of Christ, is sufficiently evident to all ages."

These quotes appear fraudulent, and unrelated to any actual statement by Pope Leo X. They have the flavor of folktales. One reason is than they have appeared in so many different wordings. Their origin appears to be in a fictional work by John Bale. The Catholic Encyclopedia refers to him as an: "...apostate English Carmelite, the first to give currency to these words in the time of Queen Elizabeth" (1533 - 1603). 23 Even if Leo X said something like one of these "quotes" the meaning is not clear. He may have been referring to legends and fables arising about the life of Jesus which accumulated after his death.

from - http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_jcno.htm#leo

Regardless, however, of what Pope Leo X said or did not say, I never thought it best to judge the message by the quality of the messenger. I don't stop reading my mail merely because I don't like the postman.

8 June 2007 at 01:05  
Anonymous Colin said...

Thank you Bob for your comment. I appreciate that. I really was wondering whether he really made that statement and being unable to find its origins I hoped for some insights from the communicants of His Grace's blog. My feeling was that it might be propaganda disseminated by protestants or atheists. And since I don't like to be duped, I asked for help to judge its validity. I will copy your answer for my files. Thanks again!

8 June 2007 at 01:13  
Anonymous Bob said...

I don't know whether he said it or not, I just found that quote by way of offering the possibility that he didn't. I know, however, that there were many popes, especially in the Middle Ages, who failed to live up to the gospel of Christ, and that failure is a source of scandal. However, their failure does not devalue the message they should have been dedicating their lives to.

That being said, I'm sure you atheism is not a whim and that it is something you've given profound thought and consideration to, and you must follow as you conscience dictates.

8 June 2007 at 01:18  
Anonymous Observer said...

Observer knows that I defended Dawkins Selfish Gene theory and that I am an atheist. He wants to imply that my religion is selfishness

No. Observer does not make any more claims than the first sentence. He infers nothing further from that statement, he does not imply selfishness because he has read evidence contradicting that online.....besides which the substance of Dawkins is mechanical not cognitive so it could not be a moral choice since he contends all is genetic not cognitive

8 June 2007 at 06:31  
Anonymous Observer said...

. Are the tax-consumers not the same as the tax-payers?

No. Anyone earning less than £27.000 pa is apparently making no nett financial contribution to the funding of The State

8 June 2007 at 06:33  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I am at a loss to know why Colin would use a 1983 book of feminism to make this abstruse point and refer to one of those reviewers on Amazon.com

From a literary standpoint, the book is an obvious polemic. Ever evil under the sun can be traced to men, Christianity, and society run by men, (in about that order).

However, her book suffers many flaws. First, she makes some outrageous claims with absolutely no documentation. Second, she makes some outrageous claims with WRONGFUL documentation. That is, whenever one troubles themselves to find the book that she is referencing, it does not say what she says that it does.

Third, many of the books that she uses are outdated and also biased. Almost none of the theories espoused by her have any connection to any modern scholarship. For example, she says that the Arabian religion prior to Muhammad was based upon a group of female prophets who believed the Qur'an was inscribed upon the tablets of destiny much the same as the Goddess Tiamet has absolutely no verifiable reference. I've read many Islamic studies and many dissident scholars, but none of them say that. Wonder why? Same, she gives no reference for that quote.

Because she is worthless as a primary reference, each and every thing she says must be independently confirmed by someone less biased and more reliable. That means, once one goes through the trouble, two things. First, her book is worthless as a source unto itself. Second, whenever this trouble is undertaken, most of it is outdated or plain fabricated. Much the same as she accuses Christian authors.

8 June 2007 at 06:37  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Colin - I think Observer right to liken your argument to Dawkins' way of thinking. It isn't that people choose to be selfish, but that living things survive by looking after themselves and their own. It is only natural. And this is what you repeatedly say. And this is why I accuse your argument of not taking into account the element of humanity.

But you regularly understand me to be criticising YOU, as you thought Observer to be criticising YOU. I am merely pointing out what I believe to be a flaw in your argument. Observer, I think, was simply describing the starting point for your argument quite accurately.

And God really has nothing to do with it. While I know Dawkins to be a staunch atheist, could his selfish gene arguments not still be true in a world with a God, or at least in a world that believes in a God? (I mean that point for Observer really.)

8 June 2007 at 07:29  
Anonymous Colin said...

Miss Snuffleupagus,

"While I know Dawkins to be a staunch atheist, could his selfish gene arguments not still be true in a world with a God"

Naturally it could. Even the evolution of the universe and life on earth cannot disprove an argument that this might all have been planned that way by God.

"Colin - I think Observer right to liken your argument to Dawkins' way of thinking. It isn't that people choose to be selfish, but that living things survive by looking after themselves and their own. It is only natural."

I agree. What observer and other people don't understand is the fact that the moral behaviour of humans, unselfish altruism, a sense of justice, humanity serves the same purpose. Therefore, they tend to accuse biologists such as Richard Dawkins of being selfish themselves and reserve the high ground for their alleged superior ethics. Thete is a huge scientific literature on the game theory of human behaviour showing that reciprocal altruism, i.e. without any genetic relatedness, is the best strategy for survival. The terminology employed in game theory is cooperation versus conflict. And it has been clearly demonstrated that cooperation is superior to conflict. Cooperation benefits everyone, conflict does not. The accusation that atheists are selfish and immoral is plainly reticulous. On the contrary, most have become atheists for ethical reasons because they can't stand the needless killings elicited by many religions in human history.

"But you regularly understand me to be criticising YOU"

No, my impression is that you are defending your point of viewm from my criticism. It's a normal reaction.

"as you thought Observer to be criticising YOU."

Observer has every right to criticise me if he doesn't agree with me. I don't have any problems with that.

"I am merely pointing out what I believe to be a flaw in your argument."

That' fine and I am doing the same, pointing out what I believe to be a flaw in your argument. Let's recall where we started on your own blog. You proposed to close down private schools and force every boy and girl to attend public schools because you believe that would best serve the interests of the poor. Since I completely disagree with any proposal to treat human beings as slaves of "the state", i.e. the ruling class and its bureaucracy, I told you so. You defended your view by using anticapitalist rhetoric, which btw isn't unusual for teachers. This led us to a discussion about the two principle forces in human society: voluntary cooperation or conflict (i.e. capitalism or statism).

I don't feel that your are criticising me. Even if your would, I wouldn't mind. For me, the only interesting question is if your arguments are right or wrong. And your claim that state interventions (i.e. the use of coercion = conflict) are necessary to improve the life of the poor is clearly wrong. Humans cooperated peacefully ten thousands of years ago before any state has been established and are still doing so on the internet without state interference. People offer and sell their stuff on Ebay, make friends, find partners, husbands and spouses, discuss, accuse, love, hate and help each other on the internet. Human history and the virtual world of the internet demonstrates that life is good and well-organised without any interventions by the rulers and bureaucrats of the state.

You might want to educate yourself about the harmful effects of state interventionism by reading the book of the Nobel Prize winner Hayek Road to Serfdom: "Hayek contended, partly from first principles and partly from his analysis of British developments, that liberty is fragile, easily harmed but seldom extinguished in one fell swoop. Instead, over the years “the unforeseen but inevitable consequences of socialist planning create a state of affairs in which, if the policy is to be pursued, totalitarian forces will get the upper hand.”

Or you might want to read Lew Rockwell's recent article on Two Views on Social Order: Conflict or Cooperation? showing that both, the left and the neocons are propagating conflict instead of cooperative models of the social order. Both views are harmful as the experiences of socialist countries and Bush's war on Iraq has shown. Both, the left and the right, want more power for the state and less freedom for the people. I beg your pardon for feeling sick and tired by this endless stream of propaganda lies from the left and the right. We don’t have to choose between the fascism of the right or the left. There is a much better choice: liberty. Since you seem to be as much interested in the fate of Africa as I am, you might be interested in the harmful effects of European state interventionism in Africa: Here an interview with the Kenyan economics expert James Shikwati "For God's Sake, Please Stop the Aid!": ”If they really want to fight poverty, they should completely halt development aid and give Africa the opportunity to ensure its own survival. Currently, Africa is like a child that immediately cries for its babysitter when something goes wrong. Africa should stand on its own two feet.“ I still recall vividly the “Live Aid" concert for Africa in the Hyde Park organised by Bob Geldorf. They claimed that they wanted to help poor Africa but I couldn’t discover a single African group although African music is much better than most of contemporary rock and pop music. The concert had more to do with promoting their own CDs than with helping Africans. Obviously, the alleged humanitarian cause for the concert was as much a lie as is the anti-Israel rhetoric from the left. I would like to see how they would react if they were constantly bombarded by rockets. To get an idea about the likely reaction, we simply have to recall that they demanded and enjoyed the bombardment of Serbia.

8 June 2007 at 22:12  
Anonymous Observer said...

Therefore, they tend to accuse biologists such as Richard Dawkins of being selfish themselves and reserve the high ground for their alleged superior ethics

My criticism of Dawkins does not pertain to selfishness at all but narcissistic self-indulgence arising from his rather colonialist upbringing

9 June 2007 at 05:54  

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