Thursday, 6 December 2007

Don't do god

Our friend and ex Tony Blaire said a week or two ago that he was told by his advisers to hide his religious beliefs. According to Tony, religion plays an important role in his life; so important it even had a role in his decision to join his friend Bush in war . However, he was never allowed to expose his opinions, because - as he was told - "we [the British people] don't do god". Or, to put it another way, what goes well in the USA (where you're politically dead if you don't believe) will take you down in the UK.
Learning this about Blaire has certainly tarnished the image I have had of him as an intelligent politician. I have to say I agree with his advisers. Yet, sadly, hiding his opinions does not mean he doesn't have an opinion, which - as we know - led the world to a grossly unsuccessful war in Iraq.
People often ask me why I am so adamantly anti religion and this story adds up to provide yet another example why. If Blaire managed to drag 60 million people with him to a stupid war based on his religious beliefs - as opposed to anything substantial - then this is some very good evidence to the corrupt power religion has. What is the difference between waging war on Iraq due to religious convictions and, say, the imperialist adventures the British have had all over the world just a century ago? Worse, what is the difference between Blaire's argument for the war and Bin Laden's? The only difference seems to be the particular religion each of them goes for, which is merely the result of where they happened to be born in.
Especially in this globalised era, the world cannot afford being led by arguments from religion or any other tradition for that matter.

On that note, I am happy to say that the recent elections have pushed Australia in the right direction. The new Rudd government, just sworn in, had most of its members swear the secular oath (sadly, Rudd himself is a major Christian, so his oath had the redundant god bit in). The previous government, on the other hand, had almost all of its 40 members doing the god version. Then again, that was the government that sent Aussie troops to Iraq.


Uri E. said...

You are starting to lose it. Blair didn’t say God told him to go to war, he said that his religious beliefs influenced his decisions, including those concerning the war (and there’s not even a direct quote there).
If you really don’t see the difference between Blair and Bin-Laden… well, I don’t really have a strong enough way of finishing this sentence, but it probably means you should go back on your medication.
You’re getting to the point where it seems that sound as though you base your actions on anti-religion, which (as I’ve said before) is merely another religion, and not a very nice one (since it’s based on hate).
I won’t get into the question of whether the war in Iraq was justified or successful. Your views on the matter are clear. Do you really think Blair went into the war just because he’s a Christian? What has that got to do with it?

Moshe Reuveni said...

Am I losing it or are you putting words in my mouth?

When I read that religious beliefs influenced Blaire's decision to invade Iraq, I basically read that mambo-jumbo is a part of his thought process. How much mambo-jumbo is an open question, and you're right - in Blaire's case I will give him credit enough to suspect that not too much of it was involved.
But let's look at the facts for a minute: We (as in the USA, the UK, and Australia) were led to the war in Iraq using excuses that turned out to be lies. That is, mambo-jumbo. So from here and into arguing for the legitimacy of the coalition versus the legitimacy of Bin Laden's argument the road is not that long.
Let's look at another fact. If you count the number of people hurt, then Bin Laden comes out as the angel of the two.
Now I'm not even a remote fan of Bin Laden and what he stands for. My only argument is that with religion involved in the decision making process the distance between "our side" and "theirs" is getting shorter - a trend I wouldn't accept without protest.
And that is all I meant to say in my post.

As for your other argument about me creating an anti religion religion:
If that's what you think then so be it; I can't control your mind.
However, if you were to ask me, I would do the opposite classification: I would classify religion as a sub branch of my approach, which I would label the scientific approach, and I would also add that this sub branch is a faulty one because it doesn't comply with the rules of the scientific approach (as in, by definition its arguments cannot be founded). That is, religion is bad science.
Note I am far from being original here with this classification: I am merely quoting some philosophers with whom I agree. Often enough these philosophers are being referred to as "fundamentalists", usually by people of the clergy who can't come up with good enough arguments to counter them so they settle for exotic sounding slogans, but I obviously disagree. I also don't think this classification is based on hate; it's simply based on the grounds used to establish one's arguments.

And finally, to answer your last question - "Do you really think Blair went into the war just because he’s a Christian? What has that got to do with it?"
No, I don't think that this is the only reason he waged war on Iraq. I suspect oil and succumbing to the American influence had much more to do with the decision. I was only pointing at the door that Blaire himself has opened.

Moshe Reuveni said...

For the record, the thing that makes all the difference in the world between Bin Laden and Blaire is the test of intentions: Bin Laden's aim is to kill, fair and square; Blaire's one is much more complicated but I think it's safe to say he did not get up in the morning wishing to end people's lives.