Thursday, December 02, 2004

The philosophy major leaks out...

I'm posting the following cuz an "Uncle" (not genetically linked, but in my family we have many folks considered and effectively part of the family) liked what I wrote.

I wrote in response to some spam. On any given day, I'd have deleted the following without incident, but I really think one has to draw the line and speak up. Silence implies assent.

The spam was basically a "Stop, and take a moment to pray for our troops" message.

This was my response:

--- (sender: made anonymous for post) wrote:Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. --- end of quote ---

Where to begin?

Do we really think our prayers can change God's mind?

"In my divine and perfect wisdom, I've chosen a path for the universe that involves Johnny Marine, 18, taking a bullet in the head in Fallujah. But Wait! I've been convinced by pleas from the imperfect beings I myself created to move the laws of time and space to save the kid, cuz, heck, that'd make me more popular."

If we hold that God's omniscient and actively involved in the universe, then it takes a special kind of arrogance to think we can change his mind. That would mean our plan is better than his. Kinda violates the whole omniscience thing. Unless God's an egomaniacal cosmic dictator. Then you can grovel and ask for favors, but then he doesn't seem too worship-worthy in my book. Or maybe God wants to help, but just can't. Not worth praying to in that case, either.

I don't believe "God" is going to cheer for the USA, even if you ask him to. Do you think he loves some of his children more than others? Is he more willing to listen to prayers in English than to prayers in Arabic? Last time I checked, War was a zero sum game. When someone lives, someone else dies. So praying for the protection of one side (OUR troops) is praying for the defeat of the other.

If you're going to pray for anybody, pray for the people who live in Fallujah and didn't ask to have this mess thrust upon them. The US 100% volunteer armed forces already have the best killing and defensive technology that money can buy. Pray for the folks who are there, unarmed, and trying not to come 'round the wrong corner at the wrong time and take a face full of RPG, IED or M-16. Pray for, or better yet, vote for leadership with the patience, wisdom and grasp of complexity to find solutions that don't involve getting young people killed.

The worst wars in history are those in which both sides thought the other was some kind of "infidel"-- out of favor with God.

It strikes me that the most Christian thing to do is to pray for everyone on Earth with a gun in his hand and the willingness and intent to use it against another human being.

But I'm just a heretical infidel, and God's probably not on my side.