[ExI] are all cultures equivalent?

spike spike66 at att.net
Sun Apr 12 20:51:55 UTC 2009


> ...On Behalf Of Eschatoon Magic
> Subject: Re: [ExI] are all cultures equivalent?
> As it is probably evident, I am more in the relativist camp....
> >> ...On Behalf Of Eschatoon Magic
> > ...
> >> I just want to prove that we are not better than them...
> > ...

> > Esch, ... Why do you want to prove that yours is not better? ... 
> >
> > spike

This discussion reminds me of a kind of a subtheme found in the old
testament.  Several of the writers are puzzled by the fact that the
surrounding nations, which are pure evil by the standards of the bible
writers, seem to be doing just fine.  Another subtheme is that the Israelis
drifted in and out of strict obedience to their religion over the centuries.
When they were obedient, things went fine.  When they drifted, stuff went
way wrong.  They lost battles specifically.  

So how could they explain the surrounding nations?  These reprehensible
heatherns don't do ANYTHING right, they do NONE of the commandments of god,
but look at them, they prosper!  How can this be?  Major cognitive
dissonance, ja?  Here's a few examples I could think of, but there are
plenty more in there:

Jeremiah 12:1  Righteous art thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let
me talk with thee of thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked
prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously?

Job 21:7  Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in

Psalms 37:1,2    Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou
envious against the workers of iniquity.  For they shall soon be cut down
like the grass, and wither as the green herb. 

Psalms 73:3  For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of
the wicked.

Malachi 3:15	But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly the
evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape.

So the silly boneheads never realize the obvious, that their neighbors are
capitalists, while the Israelis are socialist at best, bordering on
communist.  So of course the evildoers are richer.

Chaim Potok wrote an excellent book called I Am the Clay, derived from his
own life experiences.  Potok was an army chaplain during the Korean war.  In
IAtC, Potok writes about a chaplain who grows up in the New York yeshivas
for a traditional jewish education, then is sent to Korea.  He is constantly
puzzled by the inconguous fact that here is a society that knows nothing of
his god, yet they are ethical.  They know nothing of the scriptures that say
that joy comes from being an obedient jew, and yet they seem so happy.
Loving, kind, good, upstanding citizens are they.  The chaplain has no
explanation for these things, any more than the guys that wrote Jeremiah,
Job, Psalms and Malachi.


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