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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Man Plans & Thinks And God laughs

Being near the middle of December the press is full of predictions for the coming new year. Editorials abound that differ widely in their perspective and nuance. Editorialist's, think tanks, and politicians all have their own take and view on things. Nothing much changes. This is the world of media and articulation of thoughts.

The other day in the Jerusalem Post, an editorial appeared by Barry Rubin (Director of Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center).under the title: "The Region: Yogi Berra was right". In this editorial Mr. Rubin made his predictions for the year under the Yogi Berra adage, "It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future."

In it he said, among other things (and I suggest you read the article):

ANOTHER WHOLE set of fallacies has been the peace-is-at-hand prediction. This one has special strength because people want to believe it. Indeed, and this has really happened numerous times, those who explain why peace isn't going to happen are accused of being "against peace."
And among his predictions were:
Hamas is not going to moderate, stop terrorism against Israel, or make a compromise peace.

The Palestinians will not reach an internal political solution, turn toward economic development, or moderate their positions.

Hizbullah will not moderate its goals. Even if it adopts "political methods," these are merely at the service of its extremist goals. Anyway, at the same time Hizbullah - like other radical groups - sees no reason why it shouldn't use violence at the same time as it holds demonstrations or runs in elections.
In another article over at the Jerusalem Post, by Samuel Freedman, (Professor of journalism at Columbia University, is the author of six books) entitled: In the Diaspora: In-your-face atheism", he discussed the growing trend of how it is truly becoming a force to express the fact that God does not exist and that any religious thought is but a crutch. And again I quote from the article:
When I checked the best-seller list on Amazon.com on Monday afternoon, the No. 3 book out of the millions being ranked was The God Delusion, by the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. Coming in at No. 38 was Letter To A Christian Nation by Sam Harris, a neuroscientist building on the audience he first won with a preceding book, The End of Faith.

Those volumes do not settle for celebrating atheism while leaving poor, misguided theists alone. The new books are the literary equivalent of an intervention for a drug-addicted friend, a frontal assault on the very possibility that any intelligent human being could actually believe in God...

YOU HARDLY need to be a genius to understand the immediate causes of the atheist backlash. Across the globe, Islamic jihadists bomb, murder and behead in the name of Allah.

Though these two articles have nothing to do with one another, they do show trends, in the eyes of those that wrote them, as to where the world is headed in 2007. And these trends for obvious reasons relate to and effect the Jewish People and Israel to a great extent.

So the other day I asked my son who is twenty six, what he thought would happen in 2007. He smiled his smile and pretty much said, (this is a pretty accurate quote):
"I just want to finish my studies. Because we all know that in one maximum of two years, we are going to have a full scale war in Gaza and probably back in Lebanon again. We all know it, and I have to do that reserve duty and I have no desire to go back into that cesspool of Gaza. So in 2007 I guess, I will study, work and somewhere along the line, probably in the Spring and Summer the bombs and rockets will start falling again and this time it will be an all-out war."
He is right. Sad but true. Predict away folks. End result is Hezbullah is back up to its pre-war levels and even beyond in rockets and arms. Hamas is playing for time and is going to start another intifada and keep on sending rockets into Israel. The Palestinians are not going to release the prisoner, Gilad Shalit, and if they do we will pay dearly for it. Hezbullah certainly will not release their two prisoners. Depressing? You bet it is. Horrific? Yes.

And what about God?, I asked my son. And so he answered and said, "Man thinks and God laughs."

Is there a way out? Can it all be prevented? Some think it can be. Others believe it will go on until we all kill ourselves. Still others shrug and say "Whatever will be, Will be."

Does God exist? Will we have peace? Will we go to war? Will our POW's come back alive?

I wonder sometimes, truly and honestly wonder, how we manage to keep even an element of sanity in this insane world. As Pop always told me in Yiddish:

Man plans & thinks and God laughs

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1 comment:

Skylar said...

[The growing trend of how it is truly becoming a force to express the fact that God does not exist and that any religious thought is but a crutch]

I loved Herman Wouk's response to the common "crutch" comparison in This is My God:

"Now the belief in God...is not merely the comfort of the simple--though it is that too, much to its glory--it is a formidable intellectual position with which most of the first-class minds of the human race, century in and century out, have concurred, each in his own way . . . Freud can be a crutch, Marx can be a crutch, rationalism can be a crutch, and atheism can be two canes and a pair of iron braces. We none of us have all the answers, nor are we likely to have. But in the country of the halt, the man who is surest he has no limp may be the worst-crippled."


[YOU HARDLY need to be a genius to understand the immediate causes of the atheist backlash. Across the globe, Islamic jihadists bomb, murder and behead in the name of Allah.]


The odd thing is, the atheist backlash isn't directed at fanatical Islam. It's largely directed at Christianity. Western secularists have a tendency to act as though Christian fundamentalism and Islamic fundamentalism are equal threats to freedom and humanity and decency. It's as if annoying people by handing out pamphlets is equivalent to blowing up school buses. I think of propaganda pieces like The Handmaid's Tale. Christianity is the primary butt because it is a fashionable target. Well, that and Christians don't riot outside the Met and burn cars when it displays photos of crucifixes submerged in urine or Virgin Mary's plastered over with vaginas. They write editorials.

Judaism isn't directly attacked the way Christianity is, for fear of attackers being labeled anti-semites. (There's no frightening label to be affixed to anti-Christians.) Anti-semitic sentiment is usually masked among Western secularists by substituting the word "Israel" for "Jews." We oppose Israel and its "opression" of Palestinians and equate its actions with the actions of terroists, but not because we want to see the Jews driven into the sea by their enemies. Oh, no.