NOT READ, BUT HEARD

By William Markiewicz

In a recent conversation among friends and acquaintances, two topics popped up. As my companions didn’t want to write, I’ll broadly present the gist. One topic was about God. One of the debaters considers himself an atheist and the other agnostic. The difference between them is that while the atheist has an unshakeable opinion about the non-existence of God, the agnostic is more subtle, meaning that the existence or non-existence of God is not his major preoccupation. He said that if God were interested in our belief in him, he would let us know more directly than through intermediaries like prophets, saints, religious teachers, etc. This matched one of my aphorisms in ‘Extracts of Existence’ in the chapter, ‘God’: “God, are you a craftsman or an artist? If you are a craftsman, I am your object. If you are an artist, I am, like all works of art, independent of my creator.” God doesn’t trumpet the news of his own existence and those who do it for him diminish the power of the message, particularly because they usually don’t agree among themselves and this disagreement culminates in atrocious genocides among believers of various creeds. The Darwinian universe in which the weaker has to die to sustain the powerful is the very negation of the charity of the merciful God presented in all those glorifications by believers and constitutes the antithesis of God’s good intentions and overall goodness.

The other topic was more political; the discussion started with the vicissitudes of Israeli politics. Zionism, which is the basis of Israel’s credo, presents some weak points. The main argument of Zionism is that the Jews are a continuation of the ancient Jewish people and Zionism is just a return to the source. To the non Zionists, this argument may be devoid of substance as it’s enough to compare the Israelis to the Arabs to see who really is historically linked with this land. It’s enough to compare DNA to conclude that the Jewish immigrants to Israel originate from all over the world rather than from the Holy Land. The antiquity of the region doesn’t prove the pedigree of the believers. They could have been converted and the descendents of converted. So their claim that they are more entitled to the land than the people who have lived there for thousands of years is not an argument. We know from the course of history that the inhabitants are the owners and to claim that ancient books have more weight than the living inhabitants with roots going back a millennium is not logical and not legally valid. The debater paradoxically concluded: “Even though I am not an ideological Zionist I am for Israel and if Israel were in danger I would defend it. Why? Because we live in a real and not a philosophical universe. More than having rights, we have to defend our rights to live and Israel is the only place where the Jews can defend themselves.” And this is the ultimate argument, not who has historical rights, predominates, but who has the strength to survive, predominates.

I am a reporter here of the successive points of view presented by each speaker. I try to remain The Vagabond: attached to nothing, aware of everything.

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