Beyond the Cusp

May 19, 2019

Will World War III be Unavoidable?

 

The easiest answer is, of course it is unavoidable, it is simply a matter of time. Well, perhaps we should rephrase the question to read, will World War III be unavoidable in the near future? Social scientists actually differ widely on this question from those claiming it might come by year’s end while others have claimed that the human species has grown beyond such levels of conflagration. Then there are many falling between these two extremes. We fall within the group who fear that there will be at least one more conflagration which will rank as being another World War. It is even possible that Professor Einstein got the answer wrong when he reputedly stated, “I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” World War III may not result in a full-blown nuclear exchange and sufficient amounts of the world will survive with their institutions remaining intact. Eventually, if the human race continues to have philosophies, cultures, religious beliefs, political theories and alliances, then the possibility of a world conflagration destroying all of human societies will continue to exist. Perhaps, what we need to understand is why is it that the world has already experienced two World Wars on Earth and why the probability of at least one more such conflagrations is still in our future. The reason behind the last two World Wars and any number of similar conflagrations throughout human history regardless of locations boils down to one simple theory which has appeared to be nearly universally, the belief that their concepts which are the base defining principles underlying their societies are superior and require universal application. What these wars all had in common was the desire to spread their civilization across all of the world in order to bring their perfection to those less advanced or sophisticated as their civilization. World conquest has driven some of the most destructive wars and still there are those who claim to have the secrets to the world which they feel must be spread until they become the rulers of the planet. This is the disease which infects those who believe theirs is the only truth which all the people of the planet must adopt as their guiding principles in place of any and all others. In reality, it is unfortunate, but there are as many people, if not more, who have such driving ideas as there are different ideas upon which to base civilization. So, our question boils down to which belief system will be the driving force behind the coming World War III.

 

All forms of governance, be they rooted under religious philosophy or political philosophy, hold a belief that they should be the universal model. The difference comes down to whether their system requires all to be under a single hierarchal system or they can be independently ruled coexisting with one another peaceably sharing similar basic core beliefs. One can tie all of these entities together by simply considering them all under their philosophical underpinnings. Throughout history there has been one consistency shared by all those entities which began world conquest which led to what would be considered a world-wide war of their period, this was the concept that their system of beliefs were the most advanced and admirable and their leaders divinely chosen and thus intended to rule all of their world. These beliefs originally were almost always religious where their gods and godly systems were the pinnacle of human endeavors. Eventually these driving philosophies also became purely political without the necessity of gods to ratify their beliefs, these beliefs were simply inherently superior. Some have reached points where their claims are so humanly oriented that they claim that there are no gods thus this belief adds to their belief that their political system is superior to any other system which is so primitive as to believe in a deity of any sort. Others claim to have the approval of the only real set of deities, the final rules which present that your religious beliefs replace all previous teachings as it is the most advanced to valid because it came later after the deity or deities decided to provide a corrected version of prophecy. Some even have two separate set of prophesies which can even contradict each other such that those who interpret the religion could potentially decide to completely alter the faith and that which is presumed to be the more important beliefs. Such interpretations can even alter the interaction of such a group from adversarial to accommodating. The basis which will often determine whether a group will be likely to initiate the conditions which lead to a broader conflagration is their ability to accept those who disagree with their own operating philosophy. Those collections of people sharing a similar overriding ruling philosophy who feel threatened by another separate overriding ruling philosophy, then the possibility for conflict between the two greatly increase. That is an unfair way to understand the differences between overriding ruling philosophies. What one need do is to measure the potential for violence by any overriding ruling philosophy without any threat from the outside. The more stable any overriding ruling philosophy within their own borders showing no desire to force their system or rulers upon any other group replacing their overriding ruling philosophy, the less likely such a group is of initiating a war without provocations.

 

World War III

World War III

 

This understanding can be used to decide how safe our world is and what are the leading opportunities to start the dreaded World War III. There have been numerous reports which claim that China has been arming to attempt to spread their form of Communism to the whole of the world. Their military build-up has been designed to counter the military abilities of the United States assuming that if they were able to defeat the United States in a quick war, an overwhelming attack, then the rest of the world would simply surrender. There are some who claim that the Chinese are and have been working with the Russians both as the Soviet Union and now as Russia, in their mutual desire to spread Communism. This has been the fear for initiating World War III over most of the past since World War II. Now there are those who claim that Iran might also be working toward initiating World War III and the current threat for hostilities between Iran and the United States or Israel if not both. Were we to take a quick trip back to the middle of last century, the main source for World War II was the United States and Russia with China and Iran not even on the horizon. As time moved closer to the present there was the increasing probability that China would be the threat. Along the way we were sold that Saddam Hussein was a potential threat for developing nuclear weapons and using them, that proved to be less accurate than was peddled. There is one means of minimizing the possibility for World War III, that would be to raise the level of the quality of life to meet the expectations which exist as they exist in each nation. This solution is not all that simple as different peoples under differing systems of governance, religious beliefs and the numerous of other influences upon each society would prove to make a disparate set of demands and desires which would lead to making the people content with their lives. The truth is decent healthcare, sufficient food, decent shelter and numerous personal needs which are universal would make a great start. This would be sufficient challenge that if the nations would work towards the ends of the betterment of humankind the world over, there would be little time or resources left for the making of war. If only the world would actually come together to provide for all humanity.

 

Well, enough for dreaming and back to reality. Where we may not know who will initiate World War III and may not even be assured as to what will be the full range of weapons which will be thrown between the adversaries, there are some things we can derive from history. One very disturbing truth is that there have been numerous weapons developed whose use was predicted would bring an end to warfare making it too costly for nations to engage. These were most often the weapons which were used by the very people who feared their destructive power in their next war. Greek fire was one of the oldest, the Maxim Machinegun was another and the latest are nuclear weapons. So, if we are to assume the teachings of human history, we can be assured, though we probably would rather not be so assured, that at some point in the not too distant future, nuclear weapons will be the initial weapon of choice, be they be used to generate a devastating EMP, used as a neutron bomb to leave the structures intact and remove the people and other living bodies, or simply used in their most devastating and destructive forms. None of these are very promising, but human nature is a hard teacher and it teaches that our leaders will opt to use the most definitive advantage possible. What this implies is that even if World War III does not resort to the use of nuclear weapons, there will be a war where they are the weapon of choice unless something even more destructive becomes available. The other reality is that humankind has never shied away from conflicts pitting belief against belief with both sides blaming the other for initiating the conflict. As history also teaches, the victor will decide which side was the evil side and decide that they, as the winners, must be the superior philosophy et al. Will we ever learn? Maybe, but we had best hurry and progress, all of us, before it is too late.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

January 13, 2014

Synagogue Desecration Draws Little Outrage

Adjacent synagogues in Ezer, a town located between Ashdod and Ashkelon, were broken into and vandalized. The damages included ripping the doors off of the ark which held the Torah Scrolls, tearing of Torah Scrolls, leaving uncovered Torah Scrolls on the floor, damaging other holy books tossing them strewn about on the floor and treating other holy objects in a destructive manner. This desecration comes only a week after a similar desecration of a synagogue in Tel Aviv where Nazi graffiti had been painted on the walls and floors along with “Death” spray painted on the front wall of the building, and a crude drawing of a devil painted on the floor. Other such crimes have occurred within the last year including the desecration of King David’s Tomb during the recent massive snowstorm. Newly donated religious holy books were stamped with the fictitious name “Academy – King David.” In all of these instances the response, if there was even a response, was muted and no official denunciation by high government or religious figures was released to the public or the press.

 

This is exactly the opposite as the reaction to a recent desecration of a Mosque in Israel coming from Prime Minister Netanyahu as well as the both Chief Rabbis all of whom echoed the original charge that the unholy act was perpetrated by Jews as a means to victimize the Muslims residing in the town. The subsequent intensive police investigation into the Mosque desecration revealed that the vandalism was most likely carried out by the Muslim Arabs residing in the same town as the Mosque in order to cast blame on Jews and rouse additional hatred towards the Jewish residents in the neighboring areas. The investigation into the Mosque incident was a full-force effort with nothing spared under the supervision of highly placed officials while the synagogue vandalisms are often not given similar efforts nor do they involve as wide an interest by politicians and high officials. Is this really the image the Israeli authorities wish to convey that Jewish holy sites and items are not as protected or whose desecration is of less importance than are Mosques, Churches and other religious holy sites. One would hope that any such desecration would garner equal importance and investigation and if any should raise more alarm, it should be Jewish holy sites, which is not to claim that Jewish sites are more holy, just that presumably as Israel is the home of the Jews, it would only stand to reason.

 

The problem that is exhibited by not rising to the same level of pique and concern over the desecration against synagogues as officials demonstrate for those other than Jewish holy sites is that Jewish holy sites are less holy and of less value than those of other religions. It reflects that the Jewish leadership of the Jewish State of Israel care more for other religions than they care to give to their own. This has been further reflected in many recent comments from some of the Jewish leadership from within the government including the State Prosecutor’s Office and the Knesset. Recently Finance Minister Yair Lapid came out on Facebook calling for the Chief Rabbis to be dismissed from their jobs. His postings included, “It is insolent and a national scandal, and we will act to have them dismissed, both in the Knesset and in the government and even in the legal sphere if need be.” Further he wrote, “These civil servants who are employed by the State of Israel and receive a very lovely salary are sitting in their comfortable offices with their state-provided vehicles and announce that they do not agree that women should serve in the mud and cold as fighters, in aviation courses, in the Border Police.” Yair Lapid continued, “Does this mean that the female commander of the Eitam combat battalion should resign? And what about Orna Barbivai (the head of the IDF’s Manpower Division)? Or all the female teacher soldiers? And what about the female intelligence soldiers I met two weeks ago in the Northern Command, who prevent the infiltration of terrorists through the fence? Should they also not serve?” He summed his tirade stating, “David Lau and Yitzchak Yosef no longer deserve to serve as Chief Rabbis in Israel.” Like many secular Jews, Minister Lapid honestly believes that Rabbis are supposed to obey the decisions made by the political leadership above and over the teachings and commandments of Torah and related holy works. As a secular Jew, Lapid considers the machinations of men in pursuit of making the secular governmental laws of the land to be superior to Torah and traditions and that in any case of a conflict between the secular and the religious that the Rabbis must bend and satisfy the secular leadership over G0d and Torah and interpreting the commandments as written. He is like so many who hold that science and the presumed maturing of humankind has rendered Torah obsolete. Such a view is also indicative of those who have not studied Torah and the Jewish faith deeply and are unable to possess an appreciation for Torah and its wisdom. As such one would hope that as a secular Jew he would refrain from the pretense of judging the Halachic decisions using secular eyes.

 

Then there are comments made by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni who was quoted claiming, “I want to take another approach, an approach that opens Israel to the rest of the world, cracking the glass ceiling and bringing more opportunities, and economic, scientific, and academic cooperation. I want to see a liberal, Zionist Israel, not a conservative, nationalistic one.” Where her comment did not specifically call for a secularly based Israel over a religiously based Israel, one can easily see in her words and from previous statements and actions that Minister Livni desires that Israel embrace secular pluralism over following Torah and Jewish traditions. Minister Livni has also revealed her disdain for traditionalists and the religious Zionists in Israel through what has been learned through leaks and other news which paint a picture of Livni’s willingness to sacrifice Jerusalem, the Old City, Temple Mount, and Mount of Olives and the Mount of Olives Cemetery along with all of Judea and Samaria and other disregards for the positions of the religious Zionists. Tzipi sees Israel as a “modern” secular pluralistic nation which is based upon scientific facts and those proven truths which are the basics of a secular humanist socialist philosophy that idolized the teachings of Darwin, Freud, and the progressive leaders of the Twentieth Century over the Torah, Talmud and three thousand years of Jewish teachings and history.

 

It is looking at the world through secular filters which disregard faith and in place relies upon scientific postulates and proven theories and the sciences of biology, physics, chemistry, sociology, and psychology and dismissing virtually anything predating the eighteenth century as irrelevant and simply erroneous as it does not pass the visions defined by the secular progressives of the past two millennia that leads to the total reliance on science and basically ignoring the depth of wisdom from the beginnings of recorded human history and their expressions at the wonderment of the human soul and the awe of the world and the mysteries hidden from mere human understandings and the commandments rising from sources beyond scientific definitions. That is not to advise that one ignore the entirety of scientific discovery but a call to supplement the science with a reverence that includes the teachings of Torah and related studies. Wisdom comes from more than the test-tube, calculator, protractor, compass and the provable. Much of what is most precious to a full understanding of the self almost demands that one include the understandings of human nature which, in opposition to modernist views, has not changed very much over the millennia since the beginning of recorded human history. There has even been a relatively new trend within the scientific circles which has found renewed importance and appreciation for faith, wisdom and the beliefs from the Bible and Torah. Perhaps it is through the tempering of both approaches which serves mankind best.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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