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“World politics and religion: more than Weapons human nature” By Andrea Celeste Gutierrez Godina

“All opinions are that of the author and not necessarily those of the website that it is published under.”

Human nature is considered as imperfect and weak. One of the hard complications that we are facing are the conflicts that emerge between ideologies; The West versus East, Christians versus Muslims, the governments versus its own people. Kenneth N. Waltz, an American political scientist in his book Man, State and War, Explaining War: The Level of Analysis, argue on its first level, that the causes of War are found in the human nature and its behavior.

Kenneth Waltz, uses a neorealist perspective on politics where what is matter is behavior, nature and language. From his perspective, Wars results from aggressive impulses, stupidity. Though he goes beyond mentioning that in every cooperative action, meaning when we encounter others and deal with them even tough we could have the same aim on a project, one cannot relay in others. To explain this behavior, he supported it with the work of philosophers like Spinoza, Montesquieu and Rousseau. Spinoza, writer of Ethics Demonstrated in Geometrical Order, linked the conflict to man’s imperfection while Rousseau and Montesquieu propone that the core is in the nature of social activity.

Moreover, Rousseau, cited on Waltz work, empathizes that if we knew how to receive the true justice that comes from God, we would not need governments and laws, linked this Spinoza says that men in as much as they live in obedience to reason will always live in harmony with others. However, it is imperfection on human nature that is complicated to deal with and the lack of possibility of perfection. Waltz, once again relies on Rousseau mentioning his following statement ‘that among particularities accidents will occur is not accidental but necessary’ to give a brief insight of how we could deal with this human imperfection.

The difficult is verbal and what is needed, says Kenneth Waltz in the same book ‘if these are the primary causes of War, then the elimination of it must come through uplifting and enlightening men or security their physic-social readjustment’. Though in a hole, what it is important here to highlight is the association that Waltz makes between God, language and the human condition, and how they are inter-connected. The core of this conflicts we could argue, are intrinsic on nature and its imperfection, and perhaps what could lead us to a better understanding of it, is the study of language and God, being so important its connection one to another that we might be have left behind concentrating in other aspects like the improvements of technology, weapons capabilities and institutions without a real sense on language.

Talk about religion is always a broaden field, and it could encompass a lot of aspects. Though, it is on the meaning of Jihad in Islam, that we could find a clear sight of a religion that deals with the central issue on conflicts. Briefly, it is on the book Jihad, The Origins of Holy War by Reuven Fireston, one; The meaning of Jihad, that we could find that the concept does not have any relation to holy War or conflict in general. It drives from the root j.h.d which means according to the book to strive, exert oneself, or take extraordinary pains. Is a noun from the root jahada, which is commonly define as ‘exerting one’s utmost power, efforts, endeavors, or ability in contending with an object of disapprobation’

Therefore, the book highlight that there are different kinds of Jihad like that ‘Jihad of the heart’ and when you realized struggle against one’s own sinful inclinations, ‘Jihad of the tongue’ which requires a properly and good speaking. Jihad, comments Fireston, it could be done by simply striving to behave ethically and by speaking without causing harm to others or by actively defending Islam and propagating its values. Fireston goes beyond and explain that the term cannot be related only to War because it has a more expanded meaning.

Islam, argue Fireston, in general represent an elaborate system of values. And his books compound, the origins of the concept Jihad throughout history from the pre-Islamic Arabia focusing on conflicts and War. However, the book can guide us to a concept that might be misunderstanding recently. And it’s the origins of the word Jihad, that can lead us to its real sense that could be perceive as the contention of that human imperfections and aggressive impulses that philosophers and politicians argue.

Taking seriously the study of religions along side with the world of politics, never have been so essential in a world that might be loosing some principal human values. Michael N. Barnett, a major constructivism scholar, remarks that the world is defined by material and ideational forces; social ideas like mental maps shaped by knowledge, language, symbols and rules, and it well known as Fireston says also, religions are multifaceted providing a diversity of response to the question and complexity of the human conditions. However, is still remaining how we, as scholars we could find the right scope in the relation of it and how we are dealing with a new globalized world, and all aspects that these relations involve.

Sources:

Waltz, K. N. (2001). Explaining War: The Levels of Analysis. In K. N. Waltz, Man, the State and War . New York: Columbia University Press.

Firestone, Reuven. Jihad The Origins of Holy War in Islam. New York, New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Barnett, Michael. “Social Constructivism .” Reader’s Guide

“All opinions are that of the author and not necessarily those of the website that it is published under.”

1 commentaire ““World politics and religion: more than Weapons human nature” By Andrea Celeste Gutierrez Godina”

  1. Correction paragraph 2 line 1: *Kenneth Waltz, uses a “neorealist” perspective on

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