Fundamental Need for Human Sacrifice by Abrahamic Religions
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 21 May 2018
Vital Prerequisite for Sustainable Global Civilization?
21 May 2018 – This exploration is triggered by Gaza border protests, variously framed as a “massacre” by Israel against Palestinian protestors (How the Gaza massacre exposed international cowardice, Al Jazeera, 16 May 2018; It’s a ‘Massacre’: World Decries High Death Toll in Gaza Protests, Haaretz, 14 May 2018; Israel Kills Dozens at Gaza Border as U.S. Embassy Opens in Jerusalem, The New York Times, 14 May 2018; ‘Terrible massacre’: Israel kills 59, injures 2,771 Gaza protesters as US embassy opens in Jerusalem, RT, 14 May 2018; Gaza events haunt conscience of international community, Xinhua, 18 May 2018).
Calls have been made for an inquiry (Arab League calls for international probe against Israeli crimes in Gaza massacre, The New Arab, 17 May 2018; Gaza border protests resume as UN calls for inquiry, The Washington Post, 18 May 2018; UN sets up human rights probe into Gaza killings, to Israel’s fury, Reuters, 18 May 2018). As a consequence of protests at the United Nations, this framing has been called into question (Liberman: Israel, U.S. must leave UNHRC over its Gaza support, Jerusalem Post, 17 May 2018; As World Condemns ‘Appalling’ Crimes, US Defends Israeli Massacre in Gaza and Blocks Call for UN Probe, Common Dreams, 15 May 2018; US blocks UN call to probe Israeli killings of Palestinians, TruePublica, 17 May 2018).
The focus here is not however on the questionable initiative of one Abrahamic religion rather than another, namely not on Judaism, Islam or Christianity in particular. The concern is with how all the Abrahamic religions have long engaged in forms of human sacrifice, variously framed and blamed to justify the fundamental innocence of the perpetrators.
The same period is witness, for example, to the systematic bombing of Syria, both by Israel, and by NATO countries considering themselves to be of primarily Christian inspiration (World reacts to overnight strikes on Syria by US, UK and French forces, The Guardian, 14 April 2018; Western strikes on Syria ‘painful reminder’ of NATO’s Yugoslavia bombing — Serbian president, RT, 24 April 2018).
The period is also witness to the massive sale of arms by permanent members of the UN Security Council of primarily Christian persuasion. This exacerbates conflict in a range of countries — directly provoking an uncontrollable flow of refugees from the latter, as separately discussed (Refugees Per Kiloton (RPK) as a missing indicator? 2016). States fundamentally informed by one or other Abrahamic religion happily engage in armaments deals with one another, indifferent to the human sacrifice this may ensure.
Blame-game: Given the level of bloody violence now variously sanctioned by the Abrahamic religions, or in which they are variously complicit, there is a need to reconsider their fundamental dependence on human sacrifice. Each example of such violence that can be cited is always skillfully reframed by those complicit as being instigated by another Abrahamic religion — or enabled by it in some way. This can now be recognized as game-playing of the highest order through which each establishes its fundamental innocence to the satisfaction of its adherents and in justification presented to others.
While each may express the deepest regrets at the violence and the fatalities, this never seems to constitute a constraint on further righteous indulgence in such violence or its exacerbation. Given the nature of the game played by the Abrahamic religions, such expressions of regret can in turn be considered to be hypocrisy of the highest order.
Unquestionable justification: A feature of the blame-game is that those on whom violence is inflicted — with unquestionable justification — is the manner in which the fault is held to lie fundamentally with the other (Collective Mea Culpa? You Must be Joking ! Them is to blame, Not us! 2015).
This follows from the failure of the other to adhere to the set of principles and values propounded by each. Such principles are necessarily unquestionable, typically considered to have been framed by deity in some way. The total inability of the Abrahamic religions to reconcile these seemingly contrasting principles is reinforced by their complete unwillingness to do so — except according to their own lights — sacred scriptures rendering any such effort to be meaningless, if not blasphemous in its own right. Each necessarily does the absolute minimum to explore other ways of framing the theological differences by which it is confronted.
The justification for any genocidal levels of violence tends to be compounded and reinforced by covert aspirations and agendas articulated by some in each such religion. These seek the total eradication of the other — justified by particular interpretations of the sacred writings, which ironically they may share to some degree (Toward comprehending the paradoxical eradication dilemma of the Abrahamic religions, 2014) . Those of each religion who do not confess to such ultimate objectives — readily assumed to be the majority — tend nevertheless to be subtly or covertly complicit in the activities of those who actively pursue them. A typical ploy is to frame those articulating such “extremist” aspirations as being not-in-conformity with the real meaning of the particular Abrahamic religion — to little effect.
Engagement in sacrifice: The following is an exercise in summarizing the engagement of the various Abrahamic religions in human sacrifice. It follows from an earlier exercise (Systemic Reliance of World Religions on Human Sacrifice: covert use of fatal conflict to ensure vital resource management, 2014). This followed for an exploration of how many of the so-called wicked problems derive from deliberate avoidance of a process which aggravates them to the highest degree (Root Irresponsibility for Major World Problems: the unexamined role of Abrahamic faiths in sustaining unrestrained population growth, 2007).
The point to be emphasized with respect to the latter argument is that deliberately encouraging unconstrained increase in the population, in the absence of appropriate governance of resources, is fundamentally irresponsible. The Abrahamic religions skillfully (and naively) lay the blame for inadequate governance on all those who variously fail to agree to their propounded values and principles.
Need to sacrifice others: What then is the fundamental need to sacrifice others beyond any question of self-criticism? How is this human perversion disguised by feel-good tokenism and the expression of the best of intentions — purportedly in accord with the highest human values? How is it possible that any accusation of inadequacy is so readily framed as deniable, if not ridiculous? How is the current practice of human sacrifice to be compared with that of previous empires — notably Imperial Rome and the Aztec Empire? How is it to be compared with that practiced by empires with a purportedly secular “religion”, such the Nazi Third Reich, or various Communist regimes?
Is NATO comparable to such empires, as a coalition of primarily Christian countries, given the modern forms of human sacrifice in which it engages? Will the human sacrifices enabled by other belief systems — such as science — come to be recognized as being of the same irresponsible form as those of conventional religions? Will their actions, claimed to be in defence of their belief system, come to be recognized as similarly dubious (Guidelines for Critical Dialogue between Worldviews as exemplified by the need for non-antisemitic dialogue with Israelis? 2006)
Essential ambiguity: The title of this document is of course ambiguous — and deliberately so. This is done to evoke reflection on the equally ambiguous question posed by the subtitle. Is human sacrifice by the Abrahamic religions indeed a vital prerequisite for sustainable global civilization? However, rather than the sacrifice of those in other Abrahamic religions, is it rather the nature of the self-sacrifice required of each such religion? Is it indeed “blood sacrifice” that is required, or some surrogate thereof?
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