On Religious War

כ״ח בניסן ה׳תשע״א (Monday 2 May 2011) · 6 comments

  • If two groups of people are fighting, and both groups deny that it is a religious war, it is not a religious war.
  • If two groups of people are fighting, and both groups agree that it is a religious war, it is a religious war.
  • But if two groups of people are fighting, and one group denies that it is a religious war, while the other group insists that it is a religious war, it is prima facie a religious war.

Practical advice: how do you know if you’re in a religious war? Ask your enemy if his religion says that you must be killed.

By extension: you can be completely secular and a total hedonist and still be caught in a religious war. In fact, if there is one religious death cult that seeks to destroy you for not being a member of it, you will be locked in a religious war with its members until they are incapacitated, or until you are.

My understanding of the above, during a conversation with friends at Columbia University on Sunday 23 September 2001, was the first main reason that I stopped being a libertarian.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Xamuel כ״ח בניסן ה׳תשע״א (Monday 2 May 2011) at 11:12:23 pm

Welcome back

2 Will S. ל׳ בניסן ה׳תשע״א (Wednesday 4 May 2011) at 5:56:03 pm

“My understanding of the above, during a conversation with friends at Columbia University on Sunday 23 September 2001, was the first main reason that I stopped being a libertarian.”

Really? Why / how did your newfound understanding about religious war cause you to cease being libertarian? And what do you describe yourself as, now?

3 Genius ל׳ בניסן ה׳תשע״א (Wednesday 4 May 2011) at 6:09:56 pm

Really? Why / how did your newfound understanding about religious war cause you to cease being libertarian?

If it’s not possible for a secular, atheist libertarian to avoid getting drawn into a religious war, then religion is clearly a whole lot more important than we’re led to believe. In fact, there might be nothing in the world that’s more important than religion.

And if, in general, people don’t get to choose their conflicts, then what do they actually get to choose?

And what do you describe yourself as, now?

Monarchist. Formalist.

4 Will S. ל׳ בניסן ה׳תשע״א (Wednesday 4 May 2011) at 6:45:43 pm

Ah yes, I recall our previous discussions about monarchy. But I’m not sure I understand the word ‘formalist’; could you elaborate?

5 Genius ל׳ בניסן ה׳תשע״א (Wednesday 4 May 2011) at 8:54:51 pm

I’m not sure I understand the word ‘formalist’; could you elaborate?

Devin did a really good job:

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