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This is a prophecy about the future fates of two ethinic groups, but not about the individual fates of specific people. The Jewish tradition holds that the fate of individual Arabs and Jews is not predestined in any way. I wonder if you are using the word "predestinaion" in a way that other English speakers do not use it? It seems to me that you are using this word as a general description of any form of visions of the future. However, I have only seen this word used to describe it when God is said to predetermine an individuals' fate before they are born, which is a different concept. RK

I hope that all of these rhetorical questions aren't irritating. I'm struggling to understand. These are decisions concerning divine intentions toward people not yet born, which are then carried through. It appears to me that prophecy also involves predestination: not necessarily in the sense of a future after death, but surely in the sense of Israel's status and the promise that the blessing of God for the other families of the earth is destined to come through Israel.
None of these fascinating questions are bothersome in the slightest! RK

It's in order to make room for ideas such as this, that I think that the article on predestination needs to be made more inclusive and not focus, to the exclusion of comparable ideas, on a small segment of the Protestant Reformation. I do not think that it is factual to imply that only the Calvinists have an idea of a God capable of infallibly declaring the future lot of anyone: particularly since the Calvinists derive this notion from the Jewish Scriptures. To escape that erroneous idea, I think that the entry would be improved by including Judaism in the fuller explanation of what is meant by predestination: either as the very thing, or at the very least a comparable idea -- mkmcconn 9/17/2002, Tuesday 10:44 AM

Hi RK, I looked at Holocaust Theology briefly -- this week is very busy for me -- and it looks good. Personally I'd like to see more detail on people like Rubinstein and Fackenheim. I may try to contribute although my knowledge of these areas is way way out of date. I remmeber a French theologian writing something about silence, I do not know if I am able to retreive his name.

I do think there is a larger issue: to what extent people see the Holocaust as unique or not. My sense is that a lot of Jewish "Holocaust" theology does not claim the Shoah is unique, and in fact do not call for a specifically (or unique) "Holocaust" theology, but rather use the Holocaust to recover earlier Jewish responses to suffering, such as Kabbalah, the notion of Tikun Olam, and Zionism -- all these things existed prior to the Holocaust but were able to claim greater significance after. I do not know, I hope I am not babbling, I gotta run but will go over the page more carefully later. Good work, though! Slrubenstein PS can you work on the COnservative section of "segments of Judaism" -- I really don't like it, and your comments on the now archived talk page seem much better, Slrubenstein

RK, please take it easy, dude. This is not a murder trial. Also, I would appreciate you did not remove comments you made after others have answered them. It makes other people's replies to you seem out context and is, as far as I am concerned, a demonstration of lack of integrity. I appreciate your contributions to wikipedia, and I encourage you to be respectful of others, and stand behind your words. Oh, and another thing. When there is a paragraph break in my comments, it's because I meant for a paragraph break to be in my comments ;) Christopher Mahan

I left you a query on the Messiah talk page, about the source/date/copyright status of what you added. Mostly, it needs cross-refs outside Wikipedia sorted out, and spelling and abbreviations identified and modernized. Thanks. Vicki Rosenzweig

You wrote the following in talk:Israel:

You are merely inserting a biased anti-Israeli polemic into an article which has nothing at all to do with that particular topic. This is inappropriate behaviour in the Wikipedia community.

Where do you get off lecturing others about "inappropriate behavior"? Do you know how many complaints I've gotten about you? If you think a POV is not neutral -- or worse, is simply incorrect -- you don't need to launch a demeaning diatribe. Just slip in one of the standard POV markers, such as Many Palestinians believe that or According to an official statement by Mr. X of the Arab League (or Mr. F of the PA) I hate to take you task, but I really must insist that you stop driving away newcomers with your abrasive comments. --Ed Poor

Lir is accussing the Jews in Israel of being mass-murdering racists She is filling this encyclopedia with anti-Semitic hatespeech...and you defend this?! I take great offense at your behaviour. You have crossed the line on this issue. For shame. RK
See my rejoinder a few paragraphs below... --Ed Poor 15:19 Nov 20, 2002 (UTC)
RK, although she may have couched her words improperly, Lir merely pointed out that the Israeli government's policy toward the residents of the territories conquered in 1967 was considered by some around the world as genocidal in spirit if not in practice. I personally think this is not correct, yet this is a widely held opinion by millions of people and so deserves to be aired. She pointed out that she is Jewish by ancestry (at least) and that should be enough for you to consider that she hersel or members of her family may have lost loved ones or suffered a great deal during the second world war.
Besides, many IDF soldiers are openly criticising the israeli military's practices in the occupied territories, and many newspaper articles and television newscasts are reporting on this, so she does have a solid basis for saying what she is saying. Christopher Mahan
You are talking about criticism. Lir is talking about branding all of Israel's Jews as mass-murderers out to exterminate the Arabs in the same way that the Nazis murdered the Jews. Just as I am not offended by your analysis, I am offended by hers. You are pointing out criticisms; that is not anti-Semitic. Lir is merely venting rage at Jews. In other words, it seems to me that you are not describing Lir's beliefs or actions. You are describing what you wish she had written. RK

Hey, RK. Like you, I don't think Lir is Jewish, nor do I think she is a little girl, or a woman for that matter. I do think it is someone who is trying to see how far they can push the buttons of the people working here. Like you, I reject the remark that was inserted, though I am willing to have Ed's compromise--in fact, I stopped removing the remark once that compromise was inserted, even though I still contend while such a comment, while possibly valid, is certainly in the wrong place on the page. Still, I am very hesistant about condemning people as anti-Semitic, even though I have seen the occasional example of that here too. In this particular instance, I think the correct phrasing would be "misinformed," particularly with regard to what genocide really means. It's a term that's bandied about far too often, diminishing from the potency of what real genocide is, whether it is committed against Armenians, Jews, Cambodians, Bosnians, or Hutus. Nor do I think this is intentionally an act of evil. Just today in New York's Holocaust Museum, I I heard the attack on the Twin Towers described as "genocide." I thought then that the remark was ill-informed, and I think Lir's use of it now is too. Personally, I think it is more the result of the hyperbole and sensationalism of the popular press. I would therefore argue that using the term here is inappropriate since we should rise above those standards at Wikipedia. I certainly think a valid argument can be made for Israel's policies being racist (a valid argument is not one you necessarily agree with, but one based on facts rather than hype). I certainly think that should be brought up in the article. The question is, as I said above, more one of how and where. Other than that, please be careful of using the term anti-Semitism. Wen used to loosely it loses it effectiveness in real instances of anti-Semitic rhetoric. Danny

accusing the Jews in Israel of being mass-murdering racists She is filling this encyclopedia with anti-Semitic hatespeech...and you defend this?! I take great offense at your behaviour. You have crossed the line on this issue.

As I tried to explain elsewhere, there is a big problem with the term genocide. Two major changes, which many people (including me) object to are:

  1. excluding politically motivated mass-murder, e.g., if Mao kills 20 million Chinese it's not "genocide" any more; ditto for Stalin's Ukranians & Pol Pot's Cambodians;
  2. including non-lethal meanings, like forced re-settlement

The suffix -cide is supposed to mean killing, specifically, murder -- but partisans like to change words around for partisan advantage. I think Lir is innocently using the changed meaning of genocide and will continue to think so until proven wrong (benefit of the doubt).

Also, let's not confuse "opposition to Israel's military or political policies" with anti-Semitism, okay? I bristle at the thought that you might be branding me as "anti-Semitic". --Ed Poor

RK, you wrote this unfriendly message on Mirsa's talk page, and I think it looks better here than there.

Mirsa, the Israel, Palestinian and Middle-east entries are complex issues that needs to be discussed in a calm and neutral point of view (NPOV) fashion. Instead, you currently are inserting an anti-Israeli polemic into an entry. This is inappropriate behaviour in the Wikipedia community. You need to read up more on the entries on NPOV, and you absolutely must read the already extant articles on this issue: You appear unaware that your claims and related isues are already are discussed in great detail, both in Wikipedia entries on Israel, Palestine, and in their associated Talk pages. There is no need to start a flame war by starting the entire thing all over again in yet another article. This topic already is discussed in more than place. When I see someone trying to start shoving this into yet more articles, I can only wonder at their purpose; nothing good can come of this. Please stop your current attempts, and try to work on the academics in the same way that other contributors here do. Work on the topic in the appropriate article, as we already are doing, and please try to remove any traces of anti-Israeli polemics, Ok? RK

  • Telling a newbie "there is no need to start a flame war" sounds like the first volley in a flame war, in my humble opinion. Let's try not to scare away another contributor before we've had a change to introduce NPOV.
  • I thought a lot about this yesterday, and even this morning while commuting. We need to find a way to accommodate the views of those who consider Israel illegitmate, without endorsing or condemning those views.

Let's face it, Israel's existence is controversial: most of the Arab world wants to delegitimize and destroy Israel. We can't ignore that.

Are you sure? I've travelled in the Arab world and, while I encountered a lot of hatred towards Israel, I never heard a call for the destruction of Israel (except by _really_ fundamentalist people who behaved almost crazy). I heard a lot of Israel denying fundamental human rights to the Palestinians and Israel ignoring international law and about the plight of the Palestinian refugees, though. But this is only my personal impression I got from talking to people, maybe you have better sources for your statement. --Elian
I believe your reports of the "man in the street" encounters you've had. Nonetheless, the 3 wars and the insistence on creating a 2nd Arab state in Palestine certainly look like a desire to destroy Israel. --Ed Poor

I hope we don't have to write something like "Israel's very existence is highly controversial, see X" at the beginning of every article relating to Israel. But if we have to, we will. It's better than harassing hapless newbies.

Please don't condemn new users, until and unless they've had a reasonable amount of time to learn NPOV. Say, a week? Or 3 warnings from a sysop? (I'd rather make it 7 :-) --Ed Poor

RK, thank you for amending your remarks to C. at the R.W. talk page. Such a magnanimous display of humility will go a long way toward engendering the collegial atmosphere we all strive for. --Ed Poor

--- RK, would you or others who watch your Talk page, who help you with the articles on Judaism, be able to help with my question on Talk:Torah about "dictation" theory? I had been under the impression that this theory was peculiar to some groups, not generally accepted either by modern or ancient Judaism. Am I mistaken about that? Thank you, and your collaborators, for the quality of your work which in my opinion is consistently informative and helpful. — Mkmcconn

Could you explain why you have removed the information that certain groups see the Saudi government as a puppet regime? Why have you made changes in the name of NPOV only to define certain definitions of terrorism as merely polemical? Vera Cruz 17:12 Dec 2, 2002 (UTC)

I don't follow you. No sane person seriously believes that disagreements about relationships are the same thing as mass-murdering civilians. I understand that many Arabs have a seething hatred of Saudi Arabia; many also have a seething hatred of the US. They thus hate the fact that these nations have a relationship based on common economic, military and political goals. For my own reasons I also am against this relatioship. But no sane person can say that the Saudi's (or the US) are committing "terrorism" because they disapprove of their choice of allies. Making such a ludicrous statement is a irrational, and makes words have no meaning at all. I happen to disagree with you on certain issues - so shall I now label you a "terrorist", and say that your postings I disagree with are acts of "terrorism"? Of course not; that would be a violently hateful thing to do. RK
It just so happens that I believe that Saudi Arabia is a terrorist nation, but not because of its alliance (on paper only) with the US. Rather, I accuse them of terrorism because they have funded Osama Bin Ladin's Al Qaeda terrorist group to the tune of nearly 300 million dollars, which has been used to mass-murder civilians in the United States, Israel, Africa and Yemen. The word terrorism should be reserved for crimes against humanity, not relationships that you happen to disagree with. RK
I believe the US is a terrorist nation. Not because of it's alliances, but because it actively commits acts of terrorism. I believe this is what the Arabs are referring to as well. Vera Cruz 18:22 Dec 5, 2002 (UTC)

RK, I'm not taking sides on the Palestinian article, even though I'm a bit upset to see my careful reworking, um, messed up by the new anonymous writer.

But I think you'll have better results if you make a series of small changes, rather than one large revision containing many changes. Let's try to work with [1] and see what happens. Okay? --Uncle Ed

RK, please stop using the material from Richard Wagner and anti-Semitism. As I noted in the Richard Wagner talk page, it contains some copyrighted material. I haven't updated that article because I think it shouldn't even exist, but I have reworded and expanded the material in a previous edit of Richard Wagner. That material is currently in limbo at . The best thing to do now is probably to resolve the Clutch problem first. -- CYD

Understood. Clutch is a vandal, plain and simple, and is riding roughshod over the consensus of everyone else. Unless he is banned, it appears as if the Wikipedia moderators approve of his vandalism. As I have told them before, Wikiepdia is doomed to failure as long as it is a forum for the most obnoxious people, who seem to have infinite amounts of time to waste on copy-editing wars. If the Wikipedia moderators refuse to be responsible in banning vandals and anti-Semites, then they only have themselves to blame for the mess they have gotten themselves into. RK

From one Islamic preache I had heard that the hatred between Jews and Arabs does not necessarily involve religion and that they have been enemies ever since Abraham's children. Does it involve the process of evolution and natural selection? (competition amolnst those for the stronger to prosper) Secondly do Zionists actually beleive that their homeland is Israel or could it be anywhere in which they can live by their laws THANK YOU

Yes, there is an element of sociological evolution in the competition between many different religion; this would include Judaism and Islam. The same faiths compete for people's belief, and over time, in certain areas, one faith predominates. It is an intellectual form of natural selection. This does not mean, of course, that the more popular faith is true. It means that it was able to gather more adherents. As to your second point, throughout all of history Jews have tried to go back to their ancstral homeland in Israel alone. In the 1800s there was one brief point where a minority of Jews considered a homeland in other countries. The extreme Reform Jews taught that Germany would be their new Zion; and a tiny percent of the secular Zionists stated that they would accept a temporary Jewish homeland anywhere, even in Africa. However, both of these proposals were eventually rejected by the Jewish people. No Jewish community accepts these views today as valid. RK
An intellectual form of natural selection is often called memetics. Sorry for bothering you if you were already aware of that, but other readers may be able to benefit from the link. -- Alan Peakall 18:14 Jan 24, 2003 (UTC)
Wow, now we are really off-topic. But that only makes us -on-topic, for a different subject... :) Thank you for bringing this up; This concept is precisely what I was alluding to. I'm not well-read on memetics, but the basic idea seems both valid and compelling, and I have used this idea myself when studying the history of religion. RK

Please check out the article Semitism and my comment on the talk page, Slrubenstein

RK, please do not overuse the term vandalism and the ViP page. There are other pages such as Wikipedia:Votes for NPOV that can be used for fixing broken articles. But vandalism is stuff like the obvious page blanking, crapflooding or more subtle changes to articles that entirely change their meaning. --Eloquence 00:25 Feb 6, 2003 (UTC)

RK, I too considered deleting the Judeocentrism page. The reason I did not was I did a google search and came up with 25 hits -- not a lot, but people use the term.

You should also know for what it is worth that the anti-semitic elements were NOT written by Stevertigo, but by another contributor; in fact, they had an edit war with Sv deleting the anti-semitic content, and the other one restoring it.

I have a suggestion -- just think about it for a while. Keep the article, but contribute to it as an exploration of one particular anti-semitic claim. This is such a persistent claim that there might be real value to an article analyzing the way it is used (under what conditions, to what ends) and in what ways it distorts Jewish beliefs. Slrubenstein

Oh, I agree. And I don't have a problem with a discussion of Judeocentrism, within the greater context of ethnocentrism. (No greater example of which exists, perhaps, that Yehuda Halevi's "The Kuzari", which has a point of view that many people today would consider racist towards non-Jews.) Hundreds of different cultures and faiths exist, and various forms of ethnocentrism have existed within them, and this can and is a valid topic for a serious encyclopedia entry. It just the present contributors and their particular agenda that I find so odious...and transparent. I encourage scholarship. Just not the fiction-based hatchet job that was being pushed at the present. RK

Okay RK -- I still say you were unfair to Sv. Like him or not, he did not write the anti-semitic stuff on the Judeocentric page, and in fact he deleted clearly anti-semitic content when he saw it. Now, I do not want to give you apoplexy, but have you followed the recent work of Martha? I made a change to the Khazar page -- do some digging and you will se what she added which I deleted. I have checked some of her other recent contributions and I DO believe that in some cases she has made valuable, NPOV additions. So wield your axe strategically, haver, Slrubenstein

RK, I disagree with you on reverting Palestinian exodus. I don't think the current version is NPOV. -- Zoe

Disagreement is one thing. That is Ok by me. But Marth's wholesale censorship of pertinent facts, especially from the Arab point of view, seems irresponsible to me. Martha is pretending that the Arab views of the 1990s and 2000s are the same as the Arab views of the 1940s and 1950s. That is not only wrong, but I would hold deliberately deceptive. I don't mind of other people take a crack at NPOV that article at all. And it would be informative to see how the Arab POV changed. I just disagree with the inappropriate form of historical revisionism that Martha pushes. RK
Ah yes, ye presumes to speak, once again "from the Arab point of view." How... considerate. Though I note your tone is improving - perhaps approaching reasonability. I offer you an olive branch. "Dont let it fall..."-Stevert

RK, you are still using the term vandalism in NPOV disputes. This is not acceptable. Please stop it. --Eloquence 15:21 Feb 11, 2003 (UTC)

Eloquence, you are wrong. This was not a NPOV dispute. This was a question of fraud. Someone cannot write deliberate lies, and pass them off as facts. That, by definition, is' vandalism. In this case, someone was unahppy with the historicla facts: Many Palestinian leaders have repeatedly andpublicly stated that the peace process with Israel is only a temporary measure, and that heir final goal is the elimination of Israel. Well, being unhappy with this mainstream Palestinian position does not give anyone the reason to lie about it, and state the precise opposite. That is fraud and deceit, and vandalism is the only word to describe it. How would Wikipedias feel if I rewrote the entries on George W. Bush, and falsely claimed that he has always been against having a war in Iraq? People would scream bloodly murder, and rightly point that out as vandalism. This isn't about NPOV. It is about substituting fantasy for history. RK
The problem is that you assume a malicious motivation -- I see little evidence that supports this assumption. Quite possibly, the person in question thinks that these statements are obsolete, only held by a small minority etc. This may be wrong, but before you assume deliberate distortion (and I agree with you that Clutch did this in several cases, but these changes were made by Tool), you should first assume that there is simply a different POV, talk to the user, ask for his reasons and try to cooperate with him. As Ed called it, "write for the enemy", understands what the "enemy" thinks, and help him get this view represented without violating NPOV.
The term vandalism should only used in the most extreme cases. It is a call for authority to step in and enforce consequences. I doubt that you really wanted this to happen in this case, so please acknowledge that you stepped over the line, and try to be a little more careful. This is a hot topic, and it's not very helpful to keep pouring fuel into the fire. --Eloquence 15:58 Feb 11, 2003 (UTC)

Robert, would you please cool it? I support your quest for NPOV, and I can appreciate that the situation often appears to be one of everyone ganging up against you. However, edit-comments like the one I'm quoting below have a tendency to drag the level of discourse down below the minimial standard of collegiality we need to work together. Even though the Bible does say, "An eye for an eye" try to imagine the consequences of carryout that law literally. :-(

Deleting this non-NPOV page. Any person who denies the existence of anti-Semitism is an anti-Semite themselves. Stop using Wikipedia to obsess about the Jews, and imply that they are all liars.)

For the next couple of years, at least, you can be sure that Wikipedians will continue to question the existence of anti-Semitism. Calling them names won't change their behavior, any more than calling Castro a "scruffy, two-bit dictator" will get him to respect human rights in Cuba. We need more light and less heat: "It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness." --Uncle Ed 15:40 Feb 11, 2003 (UTC)

It is true that anti-semites will continue to attack Jews, and simultaneously deny that anti-Semitism exists. But so what? It is also true that bigots will attacks blacks and hispanics in much the same way. Again, so what? Should we stop exposing such bigotry? I don't follow your point. And no one here is "cursing the darkness". Frankly, no one will ever light a candle unless they admit that they are in the dark. No one will fight anti-Semitism and bigotry until they admit it exists and confront it. RK
  • Martin| stated that anti-Semitism should only be used for intense anti-Jewish prejudice, "to the point of genocide", and that it shouldn't be used to refer to milder forms of prejudice. RK and Slrubenstein disagreed, feeling that it was entirely right to talk of non-genocidal prejudice as anti-Semitism as one might be similarly broad in using terms like racism. Martin later apologised for overstating the case, but maintains that it is an emotionally charged word that should be used sparingly.
Someone with more patience than I should take this up with Clutch, on Talk:Henry Ford. He seems to be under the impression that because Ford did not advocate killing Jews, he wasn't an anti-Semite, and that only weird, "academic" definitions of anti-Semitism allow us to consider him an anti-Semite. E.g.:
Yet, the commonly understood implication of the word anti-Semite is that the target of the epithet would have supported the gas chambers and death camps of Nazi Germany. (User:Clutch)
By calling Henry Ford an anti-Semite, you are violating NPOV by making a moral judgement about someone, instead of providing information so that the reader can make their own informed decision about the matter. But far worse, you are using a word in an academic way in a popular context where the words meaning has emotional baggage and innuendos that paint a dramatically false and misleading picture of the man under discussion.
If this were a scholarly publication in a field where anti-Semitic had a clear, well defined meaning, I would support your use of the word anti-Semite to describe Henry Ford. But it isn't. The Wikipedia is an international project to provide an encyclopedia to the public at large. That means using language that they can understand, instead of deceptive terms that only make sense to academics. (User:Clutch)

Welcome, RK - great entries on Judaism! The format is a little idiosyncratic (external links inserted in the body of the article). I understan why they fit there given the way the articles run right now, but external links are usually clearly (and physically) separated from wikipedia content. I linked up some things in Zohar, for instance. I don't know it there's an entry for Kabbala yet, but there ought to be, and Zohar should be linked to it. Again, welcome! --MichaelTinkler

RK, could I make a format suggestion? when you're responding to a single Talk segment (e.g., Palestine, your responses to SKissane), it's easier to follow if you go to the end of what you're responding to and do it in one segment (indented is best! that's really obvious - just start your first line with a colon and it'll indent) or indent a response after each of the other person's paragraphs. I personally practice the former, since it doesn't do as much violence to the flow of that person's written statement. I agree with you about the points of millenial-old variants of Judaism; we can CALL them Judaism, but the one that lasted is it. I have similar problems with people equating Gnostic sects and the Catholic church, myself. --MichaelTinkler

RK -- I am too tired to make the necessary changes myself with any confidence that I wouldn't be making things worse. BUT I have to point out one thing about your most recent (and I think very good) addition to the Arab Anti-Semitism page: Not all Arabs are Muslims (and not all Muslims are Arabs). No doubt, a good deal of Arab anti-Semitism is justified through the Koran, plus the Koran provides a very important historical source. But not only is it important to point out that this book will incite non-Arabs (I think Indonesia is the country with the largest Muslim population in the world, and few if any are Arabs, and alas anti-Semitism is a problem there) -- I think it is REALLY important not to suggest that you (or Wikipedia) thinks that "Arabs" and "Muslims" are the same. I do not know if the easiets thing is to have a separate entry, "Anti-Semitism in the Koran," or to rewrite your contribution so it is clear that the Koran is one source of anti-Semitism for many but not all Arabs... SR

I was just thinking the same thing. Many Arabs are Christians (2%, 5%, more?) , a tiny percent are are of the druze faith (though they rarely refer to themselves as Arabs). In the western world a small number of Arabs are likely Unitarians, deists, humanists and atheists. And as you point out, a large number of Muslims are not Arab. Perhaps the current title of the entry should be re-titled "Islamic anti-Semitism"? I will not change the name of the entry today, to see if any other useful name suggestions come up. RK

RK I appreciate your addition ((to the entry on Karl Marx)) but I modified it. First, I moved it to open the section on criticisms of Marx. But I also rewrote it. I think it is an improvement, and hope you don't think I am just being possessive of the article -- you make an important point. I hope that in changing it I did not violate your intention, or undermine it. SR

Its an improvement. I really know very little about Marxism; all I can say is that its proponents only really seem to make their case by attacking straw-men. They look at the worst possible abuses, and claim there are only two choices - an anarchized form of unregulated capitalism, or a Marxist paradise. Frankly, I think their absolute belief in the divine truth of their arguments, combined with fanaticism and straw-men arguments against other systems, reveals that they are not atheists, nor are they merely proposing an alternate economic model. Marx, in fact, is a new Buddha, if not a god, and Marxism is a geunine religion in every sense of the word. After all, he is judged by his most devout followers as being infallible, and his texts are treated much like religious texts. This is how Marxism is discussed in "The Concise Encyclopaedia of Living Faiths", Ed. R. C. Zaehner, Beacon Press, 1959. See the last chapter "A New Buddha and a new Tao". Jungian philosophy is also identified as becoming a religious, rather than a scientific, philosophy. If I understand correctly, many others also have pointed out that the followers of Marxism, in practice, took on the behavioural characterisitics of adherents to a faith system.
I am glad you think it is an improvement. FYI what you state above is one reason why many people, including myself, do not like the word "Marxist." I think you are right that there are some people who treat "marxism" like a religion -- in fact, this was encouraged in many ways by Stalin (both in and out of the USSR). I do not think Marx himself encouraged this. Moreover, there are a tremendous number of people todoy who have been influenced by Marx (theoretically or politically) but who are by no means dogmatic. A number of people reject some of what Marx wrote while appealing to other things that he wrote. Are they Marxists? Orthodox (i.e. dogmatic) marxists would say no. And I think that's just one reason that the word "marxism" is of little value. Few physicists today are strict Newtonians, yet most still rely on a good deal of what he did, and admire him. I think you can find plenty of similar examples with students of Marx. SR

RK thanks for the invite to work on what will surely be an immportant article. For the moment, I would be happy if you wanted to cut and past things I wrote in the talk section of other articles. I am a little too tired right now to think of how to begin such an article, especially out of context. I think it raises huge issues beyond specifically religious tolerism, and I hope it goes in those directions. In the matter of polltiics and civil-rights, how would the US government protect the rigths of people who do not believe in civil rights, for example. I know Stanley Fish has written on this and I am sure many other socila nd political theorists of whom i am ignorant; I really hope so poplitical theorists -- political scientists/philosophers/lawyers also contribute to this. I look forward to watching it grow, and contributing when I know I have something valuable to add, SR

RK, I have embedded my responses to your responses to my initial comments on the pluralism article inthe Talk section of that article. I hope you find what I wrote useful -- and I have to apologize, because although I am expressing some strong opinions I still don't feewl ready actually to make changes in the article. I am sorry that this puts something of a burden on you, but I do appreciate what you have been doing, SR

Hi RK, I don't want to clutter up or involute the religious pluralism talk page more, so let me just reply to your most recent comments with a couple of quick points: You ask, "SR, You write "What I mean is this: to me, this account of Judaism makes Judaism (at least according to some people at one time) non-pluralistic." In what way do you mean this? Judaism in many eras didn't grant other religions the same respect that it gave itself (and I think often for good reason)." I guess this goes to my point that we need to distinguish between a variety of pluralisms. To me, the strongest pluralism is entirely relativist (there is no absolute truth, all truth-claims are relative). I think this is different from people who claim "my system is better than yours, but yours still has some validity (especially when if converges with what I think!). And I think this second position is different from those like the one I was responding to, like "only Judaism was true." This seems to me to be inherently non-pluralist, but I will now admit that one could perhaps come up with a kind of pluralism that will make room for this statement and competing statments like "only Christianity was true" or "only Islam was true." I think it would take more work than the first kind of pluralism! Again, I am asking you to do more work, but I wish you could explore these three (or are there more?) kinds of pluralism, both abstractly, and as they may or may not be found in different varieties of Judaism.

One other point I want to make -- I am no Wittgenstein expert, but I do not think he backed down from his position. But I do think a lot of people misinterpreted his position, thinking that the word "game" necessarily means it is trivial. The Roman gladiators played games in which they died, and today people make and lose fortunes over games. I think Wittgenstein meant something else by "game," I think he meant it in the sense that there were rules that determined what constituted an intelligible (let alone effective) action. Thus, the rules for football and soccer are different -- in soccer you just cannot hold the ball and run with it, if you did you would be penalized and some people would think you were just nuts. But I think LW understood that different language games could have very very serious consequences.

Yes, very much so. See Talk:Knowledge for a few good exmples. EofT

I do think you and I agree on a lot of things; I hope you take most of my comments not as criticisms (I don't think you do) but as suggestions about things you could clarify or expand on in the article. Perhaps you think some of the things you have written in response to me on the talk page is evident in the article itself. A main point of my comments is that I think some points are in the article, but could be made more explictly or developed. Anyway, good job! SR

RK, I appreciate the position you have taken on anti-semitism and anti-zionism, but would like to make two suggestions (I hope you don't mind -- since you know more about this topic than I, and have done much of the work on it, I'd prefer to let you decide how to work this in, if you think my suggestions are reasonable).

First, I think it is important whenever introducing the anti-zionism=anti-semitism issue to define zionism clearly and succinctly. I know this risks over-simplifying, but I have recently discovered that many people really do not know what "zionism" means, at least to Zionists (i.e. the Jerusalem Program). My sense is, it means that there should be a Jewish state, and that the Jewish state should be a center for the Jewish community as a whole and not just Israeli Jews. Many people believe, on the other hand, that zionism is a rabid form of nationalism that considers non-Jews to be inferior (I think). I realize that you could argue that this itself is a sign of anti-semitism or the result of anti-zionist propaganda. My point is simply that in introducing the word in any new context, it is worth providing a brief definition.

Second, I think it is important to distinguish between anti-Zionism as such, and any specific criticism of the Israeli government or Israeli society. One can oppose the occupation of the West Bank without being an anti-zionist. I think it is important that readers know that the equation "anti-zionism = anti-semitism" does not mean that "any criticism of Israel = anti-semitism."

granted, these fine points will not matter much to anti-semites. But I really do believe that there are many out there who do not want to be anti-semitic, but are very critical of certain Israeli policies, and are confused. I think these two suggestions will help them, at least. SR

Wow. Every one of these points is a good one. I have therefore (hopefully, with your approval!) "stolen" your ideas here and worked them into the main article on Anti-Semitism. Take a look when you get a chance, and see what you think. These clarifications are most important, and I thank you for pointing them out; this will help illuminate the issue to Wikipedia readers. RK
RK, I just looked at your recent changes to the Anti-Semitism page, and they seem to be very clear and I hope helpful. We'll see -- anyway, I like the changes you just made, SR

Hello RK, I don't know if you have followed the recent discussion about the Arab-Israeli conflict on the mailinglist. I see many of the pages as biased, as most others do, too. Therefore I started a Wikipedia:Arab-Israeli conflict editing project (currently participating Uriyan, Ed Poor and me). There's much need for a general discussion how these pages need to be modified, so I invite you to state your views on this and help to work this out. greetings, --Elian

I just saw that you did some modifications to the article on Israeli settlements, where you removed a lot of essential qualifiers. I'd ask you to reflect on this change. It brings in a lot of POV. --Elian

I presume you do know that Dietary Fiber is rumoured to be the latest in the long line of Lir/Vera Cruz/Susan Mason personas. I'll still deciding should we call them the Children of Lir after an Irish fable or Adam's family after the original father of this master race of trolls. In any case, after being helpful and polite (mostly) for three or four days, Dietary has returned to the bad ways of his Lir, Vera and Susan days. *sigh* Oh well. I suppose we'll have to ban this one too and wait for the next installment. STÓD/ÉÍRE 01:40 Apr 9, 2003 (UTC)

Susan is being her usual irritating self while surprise, surprise Dietary Fiber has now gone to ground. At this stage, I think we have to request that both Susan and Dietary Fiber be banned. They are the same page and their on idolatry was outragous. And that was just one page. I'm really fed up of this Adam clan and their behaviour. I am thinking of suggesting on the wiki-list that they be banned. Any views? STÓD/ÉÍRE 23:08 Apr 11, 2003 (UTC)~

Good news, RK, your old pal Susan Mason/Dietary Fiber is back. Well there is a very strong suspicion based on the edits of a 'new' user, their behaviour and in particular a comment put on 172's take which was pure SM/DF (an attempt to stoke up a dying row by picking up on something that even the original proposer had abandoned and insisting it was correct in a sentence written in the first person singular, using almost identical words, tone, attitude as SM/DF when they were trying to stir up trouble.) The user is called Shino Baku. So far this person kept 172 under siege on one page he wrote (SM had a particular 'thing' about 172's work). But I would not be at all surprised if the 'new' user visits some of SM/DF's other 'haunts', the pages you do a lot of work on. So beware and be warned. ÉÍREman 02:37 Apr 26, 2003 (UTC)

I hate to keep dragging you into this, but after I posted additional comments to J, Eloquence made some comments and restored much of the article Supernaturalization -- could you look it over and see if you agree or disagree with Eloquence? Thanks, Slrubenstein 17:35 May 8, 2003 (UTC)

Hmm. It seems clear from the above that you have general problems discerning racism and colonialism in other contexts. Likely being an American makes you also prone to scientism. You should reflect on this cultural bias of yours. It is now fairly clear why you wish to establish knowledge as something which derives either from authority or scientific method, and why other ways to approach knowledge are degraded by you, as part of your other beliefs in a hierarchy specific to "your people" (Jews, Americans, scientists, "settlers"). You will not be permitted to hijack articles with these views. It is time for you to reconsider your attempt to do so. EofT

Thanks for the note. I think that the debate between scientists and their critics from social science and the humanities is pretty complex -- in that there are in fact different distinct critiques, and there are also political differences (left/right) which really do not and should not have anything to do with the matter at hand, and they often all get jumbled up. I shink Eclecticology is right that it might merit an article of its own -- although I think there already is an article on the Sokal Affair. Perhaps the way to proceed is to work on seperate articles (focusing on specific controversies, like the Sokal Affair), and then have a short article introducing them and providing links... Slrubenstein™ MEMZAT10 (talk) 12:33, 1 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]