nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

Very hypothetical route to peace for Israel and Palestine

I got the impression [1] from Karen Armstrong's The Great Transformation that major religions occasionally get started when people are faced with huge social problems that they don't know how to solve, perhaps especially if systems that used to work have stopped working.

Nothing we have now is enough to solve the war between Israel and Palestine (or the Palestinians, if you prefer). Nothing even looks promising. The three major western religions can't do it. Nor any smaller or less involved religion. Atheism, agnosticism, nationalism, and humanism aren't doing the job either.

Major new religions are very rare, but the middle east is where they happen for the western world. I don't know if it's ley lines or just that being in a place that keeping getting conquered supplies enough of the right kind of problems.

The great advantage of a new religion (preferably a benevolent one) is that it supplies a reset button that can eliminate old grudges and fears. If the religion is emotionally and ethically powerful, then you can and will trust your fellow converts.

I expect that if such a religion happens, there will be martyrs. I also expect that it will have narrative content, and probably miracles-- quickly debunked, but with the debunking ignored.

Could a new religion just make things worse? Yes, but I also think a new religion is as likely a way out as anything else available.

[1] I didn't finish reading the book, and it's back at the library.

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