How to ensure a better future – Part II

February 28, 2009 at 11:31 am 5 comments

We’ve got to stop lying to

 ourselves

By Ralph Dobrin

Future generations – if there are any – will have every right to condemn present-day humanity for stupidity and cravenness in the face of greed and evil. That’s if we continue our present course of allowing global warming and pollution to worsen, while failing to develop cleaner energy sources and adequately combat militant religious fundamentalism. At the moment, judging by attitudes and actions of world leaders and humanity in general, it seems that the best we can hope for in the not-too-distant future is the beginning of a grim Dark Age for humanity, far worse than the last. Another distinct possibility is a totally lifeless planet.

But there is still time to stop this steady slide towards catastrophe. A major player, of course, is the USA. But even if the newly-elected President Obama keeps all his noble-sounding election commitments, the threats to life on this planet as we know it will continue unless humanity as a whole learns a very important lesson – the meaning of truthfulness. This might sound like a glib yet naïve claim, but think about it. Rogues, tyrants and would-be-saviors have always fed on the inability of most people to recognize falsehood – which is the antithesis of truthfulness. (We are not talking about “Truth,” which though related to truthfulness, is too abstruce and controversial a subject for the purpose of this article.)

Any ten-year-old child can tell you that truthfulness means simply not to lie, nor exaggerate (too much), and not to hide facts and details that are relevant to any issue. Furthermore, everything has its opposite, and the opposite of truthfulness is falsehood. Falsehood means not only lie or exaggeration, but also the shrewd omission of relevant details (selective omission).

To be able to recognize falsehood we have to first ask ourselves: how we relate to what we hear, observe or read? Do we accept as a fact, everything that we read in black and white, if it happens to appeal to our personal mood or world view? Do we automatically believe everything we hear on the radio or see on TV, that tallies with what we want to hear? If we do, then we probably enable falsehood to flourish.

To trust everything we read, hear or see would indeed be fine if the world was inhabited only by benign, completely honest people, governed by wise, selfless, ethical leaders. But it isn’t. There are too many shysters posing as nice guys and too many shysters among the leaders. And they are all leading our world towards a grossly unhappy future.

We should always try to keep an open mind. For instance, when we first heard that the earth was heating up, we needed to take seriously the reports that substantiated this claim as well as those that refuted it. It’s easy to get relevant information. Just surf the internet. Relevant statistics and reports from dozens of official sources, as well as the palpable poundings from ever-worsening storms, increasingly numerous floodings and killer droughts – are very convincing that there are indeed critical changes in weather patterns. All this evidence begs the questions: What is causing all this? And what can be done to reverse the process?

MAKING VALUE JUDGEMENTS

While it seems that most scientists claim that ground, sea and river pollution, carbon gas emissions and rain forest depletion are the cause, there are those who say that global warming is part of a regular planetary cycle and they tend to downplay the urgent need to find alternative energy sources to fossil fuels. Granted, these detractors represent a small minority. But minority opinions have often been proven correct in the past. So, in the interests of truthfulness, I choose not to dismiss these claims outright.

As a concerned citizen I need to come to a personal conclusion on how to contend with the question. Yet how do I, an ordinary guy with very limited background in meteorology, chemistry, physics or other environmental sciences, make a value judgement?

The answer is to gather as much pro and con information from different sources. So, it’s back to the internet to collate material. I must use my common sense and be as objective as possible. The conclusions that I come to, whether scientifically proven or not, or whether based on a complete understanding on my part of all the scientific parameters, must lead to an uneducated conclusion that there is a very strong likelihood that gas emission pollution is the main cause of global heating and alarming weather patterns, as well as the rising incidence of many dreadful illnesses. Therefore I must do whatever possible on a personal basis to participate in overcoming the problem. So I check out what I can do, and again the internet can provide a wealth of information, that was totally unavailable to previous generations.

To combat falsehood we need to be able to recognize demagoguery and glib propaganda, and withstand the charm of smooth speakers. We must be wary of the pernicious comfort lurking in any wishful thinking that we ourselves might have. We must be critically honest with ourselves and recognize the difference between really knowing the truth about something and just believing it or wanting it. These guidelines are especially important for national leaders and parliamentarians.

A good example of political gullibility is the story of Neville Chamberlain, Britain’s Prime Minister between 1937 and 1940, who faced a dreadful dilemma with Germany’s growing military power and the bellicose statements and demands of its leader Adolf Hitler. Hitler had made his aims clear in Mein Kampf, as well as in his rabble-rousing speeches. He had built up an unprecedently powerful army and his ruthlessness and brutality were obvious from the way he had annihilated all his political rivals and his savage treatment of the Jews, gypsies and other despised groups in Germany. Any child could have known that there was serious trouble ahead. Yet Neville Chamberlain, together with most of the leaders of the other powers in Europe and America, as well as the media, opted to downplay the obvious, imminent perils. It is, however, easy to understand the prevailing “let’s-hope-for-the-best” attitude because the terrible memories of the First World War were still painfully vivid. Nevertheless, wishful thinking won the day and led to the most dreadful slaughter and destruction in history.

 JIHADIST CANDOR

 One of the most serious current issues is the rising influence of global Jihad. It is quite probable that a Muslim who firmly believes the Koranic demand to spread Islam to all the peoples of the world, while fully accepting the more militaristic strictures in his holy book, might have no problem justifying the bombing attacks, causing mass slaughter of ordinary people in places like the Twin Towers in New York, London, Madrid, Bali, Mumbai and other places. Also the believer in this credo sees that the State of Israel must be dismantled – by any means possible, even by nuclear bombs, and even if in the process millions of innocent Muslims are killed.

 The Jihadist bases his belief on the Koran, which repeatedly promises delightful rewards in the hereafter to the believers who actively participate in spreading Islam, especially for those who die for the cause. But who is to say that the Koran is less valid as the authentic word of the Almighty, than the New Testament or the Torah? After all, it boils down to a question of belief and it’s hard to argue with belief because for most people, belief is too deeply-felt, visceral and personal to allow sufficient objectivity.

It is quite plausable that whenever a Jihadist has suddenly plunged a knife in the back of some placid Jew somewhere in Israel, while yelling “Allah hooa Akbar” (God is Great), he (or she) feels as certain of the absolute righteousness of this action in the eyes of God, as the religious Jew or devout Christian would be when donating a kidney to a stranger on dialysis.

This last paragraph, which might raise stern protest from many a good person, concerned about even-handedness or unfair racial profiling, is nevertheless based on reality. Think about the countless times Jews have been stabbed by devout Muslims, or blown to smithereens by a suicide bomber in an Israeli town. Then think about the number of times that the reverse has happened. Not often! Also think about the number of towns in Europe and Great Britain that have suffered suicide bombings in the name of holy jihad, or the countless suburbs being taken over by Muslims. Think about the violent demonstrations and riots staged by Muslims in what was once regarded as Christendom. Think about the Iranian quest for nuclear weapons.

A natural response to this might be to allude to Israel’s recent bombardment of Gaza. One could deduce from the devastating scenes appearing on our TV screens that this was utterly reprehensible and unforgiveable. But the pictures on our TV scenes omitted almost entirely the background to this episode in the Israel-Arab conflict. Failure to understand the background is really pandering to a gross distortion of history.  

Here’s a useful website on the subject: http://www.israelandtruth.org/peace_1.htm

PATTERNS REPEATED

Human events seem to follow a pattern. Today the disturbing signs of the nineteen thirties are in evidence again. Hitler wanted to rule over half the world, Jihad aims at the conquest of the entire world. Hitler used crude lies about the supposed evil of Jews as part of his campaign to gain the leadership of Germany. The Nazis taught that the Jews were responsible for most of the woes of mankind. The idea that Jews were vermin to be tramped upon (and at a later stage to be exterminated) resonated readily in the hearts of a large percentage of the people of Germany and elsewhere in Europe.

Chillingly, again the Jews are being used in this same harrowing role by the Jihadists. Again, the Jews are said to be responsible for the woes of humanity. But this time the censure is far more voluminous than ever before, swamping cyberspace, as well as in college forums all over the world, in parliaments, city councils, churches as well as in the mosques and Muslim religious schools. But this time the Jews are also represented by a very tangible entity – the State of Israel. In Hitler’s day, the Jews were a helpless entity, unable to defend themselves. Today, Israel can fight back against attacks on its people and its territory, albeit always suppressed by warning strictures of its purported friends among the more enlightened nations of the world.

And each time Israel defends herself against its attackers, the forces of Jihad gain ever-more international support – ironically from the very people in Dar el Harb (the non-Muslim world) that the Jihadists aim eventually to subdue and conquer. And as always, the use of falsehood to condemn the Jewish state abound – the lies, half-truths, distortions and selection omission characterize most of the anti-Israel censure.

If you think that all this is paranoid, I suggest you go straight to real sources. Find out what the Jihadists themselves are saying. Just access a search engine and type out words such as “hamas” or “hizbollah” and enter their own websites. They will inform you exactly how they feel about their quest to conquer the world as well as your future as an “infidel.” In less than 20 minutes any average person caring about his or her freedom will be able to understand just how precarious that freedom really is, and stop taking it for granted. Other readily available information can be found by typing keywords such as El Khaida, Taliban and Iran.

While the Jihadists are all candid about their intentions regarding the destruction of Israel and the conquest of the entire world, their censure regarding Jews, Israel and the USA, as well as other western countries and ideals, is based largely on myth, mendacious hyberbole, selective omission and outright lies. Therefore the dire need of the moment is for people all over the world to recognize falsehood in all its various guises. This applies not only to religious fundamentalism, but also to the other imminent perils such as pollution, climatic changes, the need for cleaner energy sources, over-population and starvation in many parts of the world.

All these perils have been allowed to remain and get worse by shrewd, self-serving people in politics, international power struggles and big business. The apathy and frivolousness of too many ordinary people all over the world are equally to blame. The keywords to combatting all this are truthfulness, the perception of falsehood and appropriate action.

For more on falsehood click: http://www.israelandtruth.org/truth_1.htm

For part 1 of this series click: https://truthandsurvival.wordpress.com/2009/02/10/things-used-to-be-really-bad/

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Entry filed under: dangeous lies and halftruths, In order to survive. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , .

THINGS USED TO BE REALLY BAD The call for Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria …

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. emet51  |  March 1, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Please don’t confuse ignorance and racism with reality.

    It’s your reality and it’s no more attractive when it comes from a Jew than anyone else

    Reply
  • 2. truthandsurvival  |  March 2, 2009 at 6:50 am

    Ralph Dobrin responds: Since this article is a call for understanding truthfulness and recognizing falsehood, I always appreciate getting every viewpoint, so that I can get to understand the subject more fully. What do you mean when you write: “Please don’t confuse ignorance and racism with reality?” Don’t you think that Jews have really been stabbed countless times by devout Muslims, for instance? Or blown to smithereens by suicide bombers? And haven’t there been bombings in many towns in other parts of the world, or any of the other Islamist developments?
    It’s not just my reality. It’s reality!!! And that’s the point of my article. We’ve got to face phenomena whether we like them or not; we have to question if they are really as we perceive them and then act appropriately. And it doesn’t matter if one is a Jew or not. Please comment if what I say doesn’t tally with your understanding of truthfulness and falsehood. R.D.

    Reply
  • 3. Rylee  |  March 3, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    First blog I read after wakeup from sleep today!

    —————————-
    Are you tension? panic?

    Reply
  • 4. Asher Eder  |  March 4, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    It should be made known to the Muslims as well as to the rest of the world that violent Jihad (as practiced now-a-days) as well as hostility against Israel are in plain contradiction to the very Koran these Jihadists pretend to adgere to. – See my relevant articles.
    Asher Eder

    Reply
  • 5. Asher Eder  |  March 4, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    How can people – individuals; political parties; or governments – delude themselves that trustworthy peace could be achieved by making concessions to the fanatics. Mind: as Hitler could not be appeased by letting him have first the “Sudetic Territories”; and then the rest of Czechoslowakia – likewise, the Jihadis cannot be appeased by amputating Israel. There are no moderate Jihadis, not in the garb of the PLO (or: PA); and not in the garb of Saudi Arab “Peace Plans” which are nothing else but a kind of rehearsel of the ancient “Sirenes” who tried to delude Odysseus.
    An indispensable pre-condition for peace worthy that name, is a returning to the true message of the Koran (which stresses to be in line with the Tanakh!); and consequently am official banning of all kind of Jihad against Israel by responsible Muslim clerics.
    A.Eder

    Reply

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