TED Conversations

Roger Farinha

Founder, New American Spring

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Should Israel go all out?

Israel clearly exists as a nation on the basis of its claim to have been given its traditional land borders by the revelation of the one true God. Compromise therefore doesn't make sense. "In for a penny, in for a pound." Should Israel just chuck in its tiptoeing around the various international and Arab demands, take its original borders, and let its very existence rest on the promise of God? To me, this is the only rational option, given the very identity of the Jewish people. What say you?


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  • Nov 25 2012: Who says anything has to be "logical"? Men organise themselves into tribes. They always have and they always will. Then they peddle themselves fairy-tales about why their tribe is superior to another tribe. Then they embelish their fairy-tales by invoking the endorsement of a supreme being. Then they train themselves to believe their cause is divine. Then they decide it follows that the other tribe is evil. Then they become afraid of the other tribe. Then they hate the other tribe. Then they kill the other tribe. Then they call it the Will of God.
    The history of warfare in a nut-shell. It has always been this way and probably always will. But we better learn some new tricks pretty damned quick ! The period of our history we've had the means to make ourselves extinct is only a fraction of a percent of the total history of the human race. Where to go from here ? Only time will tell. Human folly coupled with such incalculable fire-power ? It doesn't make for a good night's sleep !
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      Nov 25 2012: Funny thing. I have always aspired to logic and reason. I have always wanted to think that there is a truly objective "Truth," something both impersonal and universal. By its measure, all men can then fall into line, not necessarily oppressively, but harmoniously.

      But what if Truth is not a standard or ruler, but a Person? What if Truth is, let's say, Jesus Christ? He did say "I am the Truth, the Way, and the Life." I have a Bachelors in the history of modern philosophy, and a masters of interdisciplinary liberal arts, and a long history of studying human nature. I was brought to deep tears at the site of genocide accounts when I was a teenager. I embarked on a long process of searching for the truth. But encountering the impotence of philosophy and the natural limitations of human nature-- I realize that Truth is maybe something radically different than we might at first imagine.

      Merely proposing that Truth might be a person, coming from such a history of truth-searching on my part, will nevertheless inspire mockery and even inner disdain from many. They might label me a fruitcake, a nut, a fanatic. Why? Because human nature is NOT rational, NOT logical. We are creatures of FAITH. Our fundamental paradigms (way we see life) are all acts of our WILL, an act that originates there only, not in some objective truth.

      For maybe indeed, Truth is not but a PERSON.
      • Nov 25 2012: Roger, I don't attempt to belittle anyone's faith. I'm a man of faith myself, though my faith is tested each and every day by premeditated acts of barbaric cruelty and environmental vandalism. Both constitute blasphemy, as far as I'm concerned. This blue-green ball we call home is, as far as we know, the only place in all Creation that can sustain us. We've known that for a long time, yet we continue to defile it. God (or, if any reader prefers, the Architect of the Universe) gave us this Garden of Eden, and His patience must be wearing thin at the way we treat it and each other.
        Regarding Jesus, it matters less whether He actually walked the Earth than the fact that He has had more influence on more people's lives than any other. I'm trying to say we should ask less of the Almighty and demand a great deal more of ourselves, given the priceless bounty bestowed on us. We need, urgently, to become better ancestors. Better custodians of our beautiful planet, for the sake of all who will come after us. We have geniuses among us, who strive earnestly to undo the damage. We need to raise such people up, put them front and centre ! Then get behind them with whatever resources they need. I digress, a character trait of mine. Israel and Palestine ?
        God alone knows ! But remember, "Blessed are the peace-makers."
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          Nov 25 2012: Let me say officially, that for the sake of REASONING in a forum like TED which will necessarily have all sorts of people-- people of faith, people who hate faith, and everywhere in between-- I will never disclose whether I am a believer in this or that, personally. But I will not take anything off the table either, for this is the paramount rule of reason-- all things must be considered.

          Please don't label me if I don't label myself. My bringing up Jesus Christ is an act of providing additional fodder for REASON.

          If anyone wishes to learn what I personally believe, I recommend that they personally contact me and I'll tell them. Otherwise, ANYTHING I SAY IN TED'S PUBLIC FORUM IS FODDER FOR IMPARTIAL REASONERS...
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        Nov 26 2012: It is probably true that a human called Jesus probably existed. Even more likely a chap called Saul/Paul took some of his teachings, deified him and started a cult that grew into a popular religion. Most religions seem to be started by men. Humans, and males.

        You seem to be mixing in all sorts of unsubstantiated Christian dogma calling this person The Truth.

        There seems to be an objective reality, but we only perceive it through our human senses and technologies.

        The conflicting religious beliefs in gods and goddesses and associated dogma seem to be cultural technologies that key into our group behaviours and cognitive mechanisms such as assuming agency.

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