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Dear Bert and List, You said this very well - and made me think again. I am glad to know that you are not angry. Sometimes explanations make things worse. You mentioned your opposition to "institutionalised injustices". This may be the reason that I am sceptical of religion as an institution. And I am reluctant to accept wholesale the prescribed value system. So I consider myself 'not religious', stopping short of agnostic. An Israeli refusenik came up with his own definition of God. It appeals to me very much. He of course was forced to examine his views on morals more closely than a war opponent. I think what he means is that our conscience is God. Anyway that's how he put it: "We believe in the moral code generally known as God (and my atheist friends who also signed this letter would have to forgive me - we all believe in God, the true one, not that of the Rabbis and the Ayatollahs)." (If you like to read Asaf Oron's full statement): http://www.shalomctr.org/html/peace84.html So if more people, like Oron, followed their conscience (God?) and refused to violate other human beings, we might be off to a good start - if not perfection. Regards, Elga Sutter P.S. Oron mentions _The Yellow Wind_ by David Grossman. Published in the 80s but still worth reading. -------------Original Message------------- Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 13:34:39 +0000 From: Bert Gedin <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Cc: email@example.com Subject: Re: [casi] cyber war & the Penguin's Dinner. Dear Elga & List, Your thoughts on religion/morality etc. brought these issues home to us. In fact, whether we exchange views amongst a few friends, or work together in anti-war coalitions, I believe it to be absolutely essential that we should all learn to respect each other's religious/ political views, even though we may not, neccessarily, always agree with everything. We should remember, too, that we are all more than a repetitive propaganda machine, and that truth is all-important, in it's multi-faceted guises. For instance, although I am not a Roman Catholic, I completely accept much of his words & spirit, when the Pope speaks out about the Middle East/Iraq. Personally, I was born into a Jewish family. But I am utterly opposed to the institutionalised injustices perpetuated by the State of Israel, which are destructive to victims & perpetrators. Leading to physical destruction and also moral corruption. Without condoning wrongs from either of the parties, the occupier bears the main responsiblility for acting honourably and adopting constructive, fair & just policies. Sincerely, meaningfully & honestly. "Just War"? Waging some wars may be, measured in degrees, less dishonourable than others. But all wars, surely, involve horrors on such an apocalyptic scale that one has to ask whether such a "cure" is worthwhile. And what measures might, instead, be taken in order to avoid war. Also, the real motivating factors & the official ones - is there a discrepancy? - I like your image of Albert Schweitzer feeding his pelican. Will we ever reach perfection, in this world? Has the fish less value than the pelican, who's gullet it disappears down? We may never, satisfactory resolve such questions. But we do require some kind of quality in our lives. Probably, I've only addressed about half of your, and our, concerns.You ask me not to be angry. On the contrary, however, I do hope that you don't make a habit of staying by your computer until 3 a.m.! Greetings, Bert Gedin (Birmingham, U.K.). _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk