Monday, March 20, 2006

How old is love?

How odd of God
To choose Hindus

Were the Hindus the first people to discover the nature of goodness and the nature of God?

In the 4th century BC the Hindus had the Bhagavad Gita which presents sophisticated ideas about God and the afterlife.


How odd of God
To choose the Jews

The Old Testament may also date back to the 4th century BC.

But, what if we go much further back than the 4th century BC?

It is quite possible that 150,000 years ago there were humans who believed in a spiritual world and who acted in an altruistic way.

And if we go much further back than 150,000 years?

Before we had humans we had chimpanzees.

There are Bonobo chimps and there are the Common chimps.

According to an article at Wikipedia ( ) :

Professor Frans de Waal, one of the world's leading primatologists, has found that the Bonobo is often capable of altruism, compassion, empathy, kindness, patience and sensitivity.

Recent observations in the wild have confirmed that the males among the Common Chimpanzee troops are extraordinarily hostile to males from outside of the troop.

Murder parties are organized to "patrol" for the unfortunate males who might be living nearby in a solitary state.

This does not appear to be the behavior of the Bonobo males or females, which both seem to prefer to "make love" with their group rather than seek "war" with outsiders.

So, the Bonobo love their neighbours but some of the common chimps act like Bush and Blair.

Not all of the Common chimps are badly brought-up and behave like bullies.

Henry Makow ( ) describes how some people follow a God of love and some follow a God who is a bully.

Makow writes:

Douglas Reed's book, "The Controversy of Zion" (completed in 1956 but published in 1978) has helped me to understand my ambivalent reaction to both Judaism and Israel.

During the 1930's, Reed was the "London Times" corespondent in Berlin, Vienna and Budapest. He accompanied Anthony Eden to Moscow in 1935.

When his warnings of Hitler's warlike intentions were spiked, he quit the newspaper in order to search for the hidden agenda.

The title of Reed's book refers to an age-old "controversy" between those Jews who believe in a loving God and those whose image of God is spiteful and tyrannical.

According to Reed, the "House of Joseph" believed the Divine Principle is love and universal brotherhood. These Jews were inclined to identify with their gentile neighbors and devote their energies to the common betterment of humanity.

On the other hand, the "Levites" championed a vision of a capricious vengeful God ("Moloch") that demanded his followers segregate themselves ("chosen people") and obey an arbitrary law.

Obeying the Lord and achieving hegemony over the gentiles were synonymous. If the Levites didn't obey, they would be persecuted. If they did, they would destroy the Gentiles and rule the earth. Persecution, revenge and destruction, was an integral part of their identity.

Reed cites Deuteronomy as an example: "This day will I begin to put the dread of thee, and the fear of thee upon the nations...And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee, thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them nor show mercy unto them; neither shall thou make marriages with them...For the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself above all people that are upon the face of the earth.."

According to Reed: "Thus, the itinerant priests [turned] one small, captive people away from the rising idea of a God of all men, to reinstate a bloodthirsty tribal deity and racial law, and to send the followers of this creed on their way through the centuries with a destructive mission...The end was to be the triumphant consummation in Jerusalem when world dominion was to be established on the ruins of the heathen and their kingdoms."

The Old Testament contains both the hateful and loving image of God, which is very confusing. Jesus championed the loving image and denounced the priests for making arbitrary laws in the name of the tyrannical god.

Humans may be descended from kindly Bonobos and well brought-up Common Chimps and badly brought-up Common Chimps?


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