THE CORNER linked to an article in the NYTIMES - actually an interview with an "intellectual" who'd just published a book - PETER WATSON, (Ideas: A History of Thought and Invention, from Fire to Freud ). Here's a snippet:
[NYTIMES:] What do you think is the single worst idea in history?
[WATSON:] Without question, ethical monotheism. The idea of one true god. The idea that our life and ethical conduct on earth determines how we will go in the next world. This has been responsible for most of the wars and bigotry in history.
FACT: Marxist-Leninism; Stalinism (in Russia and North Korea and elsewhere); Nazism (which was a sub-sect of socialism, an anti-Marxist form); Maoism; Pol-Potism - and other assorted genocidal socialists, from Castro to Mugabe - killed at least 120 MILLION people, and tortured and wrongfully imprisoned (in gulags and concentration camps and "re-education camps") MILLIONS AND MILLIONS MORE! AND IMPOVERISHED AND STOLE FROM STILL EVEN MORE THAN THAT!
It's one of the GREAT BIG LIES of the Leftist dominated academy that religion has been the world's major source of war-mongering and death. In fact, it's been THE LEFT.
BUT IT GETS WORSE: THE LEFT IS EVEN MORE HYPOCRITICAL, BECAUSE THESE VERY SAME LEFTIST ACADEMICIANS WOULD BE THE LAST TO ARGUE THAT WE ARE NOW ENGAGED IN A RELIGIOUS WAR.
And they would NEVER EVER DARE to criticize the jihadoterrorists, or say that Islam has a problem (even though this was recently admitted to by King Abdullah II of Jordan). The Leftist academicians deny this fact - and castigate and berate as simpletons the few scholars who ARE BRAVE ENOUGH to argue this point -- scholars like Bernard Lewis and Samuel Huntington, who point out that nearly ALL the world's hot-spots are where Islam meets the non-Islam, or Sunni Islam meets the non-Sunni Islam.
In fact, these Leftist academicians are quicker to condemn Christians counter-attacking islamofascism and jihadoterrorism than they are to criticize ANY Islamic sects, (ESTEEMED academicians like Susan Sontag and Noam Chomsky and Edward Said). They do this because they are post-modernist multiculturalists who basically believe that Western Civilization is, and has always been, a scourge on the world. And one MAJOR way they claim the West had despoiled and ravaged and raped and pillaged the world is through its religious fervor - or with the "blessings" of religion. BAH HUMBUG. As I said: atheistic Lefties killed more people and committed more genocide in the last century than religion did in the previous 20!
Then again: many argue that Leftism is a religious CULT in ways: its adherents believe in it as a matter of faith, despite the fact that it has failed everywhere and everytime it has ever been employed anywhere in the world. NOW THAT'S FAITH! SURE: Most were slaugtered in the name of their chief prophet Marx (founder of internationalist communist socialism), but many in the name of their anti-christ Hitler (founder of nationalist/racist socialism and anti-Marxist). More HERE and HERE and HERE.
ADDENDUM: It must also be noted that some forms of POLYTHEISM - which the esteemed academician PETER WATSON seemingly let's off the hook, entirely - committed HUMAN SACRIFICE FOR EONS ALL OVER THE WORLD. In the New World, Aztecs slaughtered tens of thousands each year for their gods (PLURAL!), and one year reportedly murdered 80,000 to commemorate their capital Tenochtitlan, a city of 250,000 (and at the time THE BIGGEST CITY IN THE WORLD). WHAT'S MORE: The Aztecs often ATE THE REMAINS OF THEIR HUMAN SACRIFICES. YES: THEY WERE POLYTHEISTIC CANNIBALS! When the Conquistadors CONQUERED the Aztecs (with the help of many of the impoverished and ravaged tribes who were previously subjugated, and genocidally sacrificed, and ritually cannibalized by the Aztecs), they LIBERATED these "Mexicans" from an insasnely superstitious polytheistic genocidal creed, and embraced them into the RC Church. They were literally and figuratively "saved."
ALSO: This is a BLATANTLY anti-Western and simultaneoulsy thoroughly "Western-centric" opinon: It IGNORES the fact that many MANY wars were fought ENTIRELY OUTSIDE the West (within Asia, or within Africa, or within South America) and also by the East upon the West. These wars had NOTHING to do with either religion or monotheism. When Genghis Khan attacked the West he did not do it in the name of religion or monotheism. When Aztecs attacked other Meso-Amecian nations it was NOT due to monotheism. When Rwandan Hutsis and Tutsis warred, it was NOT because of monotheism - or monotheistic bigotry.
THEREFORE, Watson's charge is WRONG on this basis too - that it over-emphasizes intra-Western wars over all wars, and it wrongly assigns monotheism a central role in wars when in most wars - throughout history and across cultural boundaries - it was of no import at all.
[ONLY if you include socialism as a religion can his claim be made to seem true, and he clearly doesnt see socilaism as a religion, and even if he did, would it be monotheistic or polytheistic? After all Marxist-Leninism seems polytheistic to me, as does Marx-Engels worship and Marx-Trotsky worship and Marx-Mao worship!]
IN CONCLUSION: This Peter Watson guy is either a misinformed and gullible JERK, or deliberately lying to slander monotheists, or BRAINWASHED BY LEFTISM. The third option is the most logical.