Thursday, June 19, 2008

Doubting Dawkins

Yeah, you read right. But I'd like to make it clear up front that I'm not doubting him on anything to do with biology. Just ain't qualified for that.

Dawkins' approach towards religion is now fairly infamous for its... bluntness. I'm inclined to agree, though I favour the more tactful approach of slowly easing the religious into the reality and beauty of our godless universe, as opposed to telling them outright that they're delusional*.

Anyway, I was watching a documentary by Al Jazeera regarding the women of Hezbollah. They interviewed a mother and daughter whose husbands had both become martyrs. Long story short, yes, it was a terribly painful experience, the war is absurd, Hezbollah takes good care of the widows of martyrs and they draw great comfort that though they're widows, at least it's an honour to be widow to a martyr.

Martyr. I think it's a hideous word. Too few vowels, for one thing. But really, do you want to be the one to tell these grieving widows that their husbands blasted themselves (and quite likely a few innocents) to oblivion for a fictitious cause? That maybe there is no God/Allah/Jehovah who gave that land to anybody in particular? That he went from loving (if a bit naive) husband to blobs of jam with the push of a button, no coming back, no better place, no crowd of virgins waiting on the other side, no smiling down at you from on high? That because of a lie, you now weep at a stone bearing his name, reciting verses from a book he died for?

But, the perversity of martyrdom aside, let's not forget the conditions which arose which led to these poor fools strapping explosives onto themselves in the first place. That is, the illegal occupation of Arab lands by Israelis who, by God-given authority, have seen fit to use any and all means (that is, force of arms, mostly) to "persuade" Arabs to scooch over. This is something that would entail digging deep into the history of Israel and Palestine and is a bit beyond the scope of this blog, so I'm going to leave a link or two that might shed some light. And if you haven't already, read some Chomsky. It's your civic duty, and you will realise that after you've read him.

* Yes, I know they are. But denial is the most predictable response to being told that your worldview is bollocks, isn't it?

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