The Fourth Arab-Israeli War highlights the worst moral failure, not only of Western society, but also of nearly all others. Evil exists, and acknowledgment of evil implies two kinds of moral failure: by those who commit and/or take the side of evil, and those who fail to recognize it and stop it. In the present conflict, no person of good will can have any doubt who has committed evil. But the world now witnesses widespread failure to recognize evil, despite a promise not to fail in that way again.
A theory of evil
Any workable ethical, i.e. moral, philosophy requires a theory of good and evil. Fundamentally, one cannot define good or evil – any system starts with undefined terms. But one can state three axioms, or things worthy to assume:
- Good exists,
- Evil exists, and
- Good and evil are each the inverse of the other.
One can assume something else, that one can readily observe: evil has its appeal. All human beings, lacking proper ethical guidance, will tend toward evil. Paul of Tarsus laid this out in his Letter to the Romans (the Constitution of Christianity):
As it is written: there is no righteous person, not even one; there is no one who acts wisely, there is no one who seeks out God; they have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, there is not even one. Romans 3:10-12
And who wrote that, before Paul did? King David, of course:
They have all turned aside, together they are corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. Psalm 14:3
In another place in the great songbook modern churchmen call the Psalter, David returns to this theme:
Every one of them has turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. Psalm 53:3
That is not to say that none can do better. It’s that they won’t do better, without proper education – ultimately from a Divine Source – or Schoolmaster.
So if evil exists everywhere, what restrains it?The answer: people of good heart, having strength, willingness, and sometimes authority. Paul of Tarsus first tells us that governments exist for this purpose. (Romans 13:1-5.) Thomas Jefferson said it more explicitly:
To secure [the inalienable rights], governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Declaration of Independence
Universal justification to fight it
But to have one government to rule all mankind is not wise – unless it is a Divine government, which we don’t (yet) have. So who restrains evil in that event? Answer: whichever group comes under evil attack, that group – usually a nation-state – has the right to defend itself. Furthermore, the rest of the world must not let evil prevail. Evil that prevails against one group, threatens all others. For that reason, other groups have the right to fight against such an evil, before they themselves come under attack.
That was the moral justification for the Alliance that fought the Second World War. Adolf Hitler created and launched an evil the like of which no one had ever seen before. The catalog of his evil ideologies and programs is too numerous to list here. He used all the methods of that author of evil we call the Enemy of Mankind (Hebrew Satan), or the Slanderer (Greek Diaboulos, a slanderer, whence Devil). First and foremost was temptation, and specifically the temptation of paranoid ideas. These included allegations about Germany’s greatness before the First World War, and who worked against German national and popular interests. Every good student of history knows the results – and how it took a great military alliance to stop him. (One witness told your editor that Hitler had the greatest army since Alexander the Great. And we have good reason to believe that.)
Do we see a comparable evil today?
Yes, we do, and ironically its target is the same as Hitler’s target. We have also seen atrocious acts that rival or exceed anything Hitler’s armies did – or Hirohito’s, either. Aaron Poris at The Media Line has testimony and photographic evidence of these acts. Witnesses include the staff of the National Center for Forensic Medicine in Tel Aviv, plus some foreign volunteers. The material they had to examine included the remains of the dead. Some of these acts – binding, then burning the victims alive, binding parent and child together and burning both – took time. Certain people obviously were enjoying themselves. And the presence of foreign volunteers adds further credence to the story. The Israeli government did not make these accounts up.
Matt Gertz at the leftist Media Matters for America linked to the article:
Eric Levitz at the “Intelligencer” section of New York magazine, dropped this thread. The first post quotes Matt Gertz’ thread:
Reaction to his thread – including this angry Substack post from Erick-Woods Erickson – centered on Levitz’ apparent unwillingness to acknowledge evil. (Here’s another part of the reaction, from an accountholder who evidently didn’t want to give him a link.)
He who refuses to condemn it, condones it
So Levitz, probably concerned more about reaction from his fellow leftists, dropped another thread:
He began by linking to his “Intelligencer” piece decrying the refusal, by many on the left, to condemn these atrocities. Sadly, his piece betrays more of his own reluctance to lay the blame where it belongs. For after calling the Islamic Resistance Movement (Arabic Harakah al-Muqāwamah al-Islāmiyyah, abbreviated HAMAS) “a far-right Islamist group” (a categorization oxymoronic on its face), he condemns the Israeli government’s necessary and proper retaliation almost in the same breath. He still plumps for the two-State solution, or whatever “Palestinian liberation” means to him, in the face of these atrocities. The only redeeming feature of his piece is that he does call those atrocities for what they are. But at least CNAV can credit him with doing that much.
Lessons from history
Levitz makes one statement of which he probably doesn’t realize the full implications:
Virtually all land is “stolen land” if one rolls the tape back far enough.
Yes, but did he roll back the tape to the conquest of Jerusalem in 638 by Umar ibn Al-Kkattab, the second Rashidun Caliph? Or to the building, by Caliph Abd al-Malik, of a monument on a site he knew was sacred to Jews, in direct imitation of an apostate Hebrew king (Jeroboam I)? Probably not. In any case, no one is talking about forcible relocation of every Muslim Gazan. Israel is talking about erasing the perpetrators of an evil so great they could justly call it a Second Holocaust. Those perpetrators call themselves a “resistance movement.” The son of one of its founders gives the lie to that statement. He did so in an interview with Fox News, which Charlie Kirk excerpted here:
And let’s remember this bit of history from the 1948 War for Independence. As Israel’s armies approached Jaffa (Yafo), they offered to let its Arab residents stay in place. Instead they fled to the Arab League’s side of the line – after the League assured them the League would win. No doubt the IDF will make the same offer to non-HAMAS Gazans that they made to residence of Jaffa. (But this time the Gazans will have to accept, because no other Arab country wants them today.)
The right must also recognize evil
Still, we cannot ignore the refusal by some on the right to recognize evil when they see it. For instance, here Lauren Witzke shows her gross misunderstanding of events:
She cannot adduce evidence of either thing. And here:
CNAV begs leave to ask Lauren Witzke to re-read two important verses in the Bible:
I will bless them / Who bless thee, / And anyone who curseth theee / I will curse. Genesis 12:3
The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. Revelation 12:14
CNAV has already explained the validity of futurism, rather than preterism, in interpretation of the Revelation to John of Jerusalem. (And would further advise Ms. Witzke to stop rearranging the deck chairs aboard RMS Titanic.)
Then there’s this:
Evidently the debunking of the Gaza Hospital Incident – and the Gaza Church Incident – hasn’t impressed her. But worse than that, she prefers not to believe that anyone now against Israel has committed any atrocities.
Hers is not the worst example, however. Other examples, who do not bear mention here, are worse. Happily, many on the right definitely support of Israel, if only because they know evil when they see it. Herewith some examples:
These are examples worth following.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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