“Look, kid, you can prattle on with your silly idealistic notions about a world without human sacrifice, but the only reason you haven’t been smited by angry, bloodthirsty gods is the proud men and women who go up on the pyramids and rip the still beating hearts out of helpless victims and offer them up in supplication. And I hope you aren’t cornered by an angry god some day without a human-sacrificing priest to protect you, because all your no-ripped-out-and-bleeding-heart liberal ideals aren’t going to stop that angry god from cursing you with boils and carbuncles, blighting your crops, slaying your children, and making your wife barren.
“So talk all you want, but the only reason you can even say those disrespectful, foolish things, is the hard work of our proud sacrificial priesthood, who have convinced the gods not to make your tongue cleave to the roof of your mouth.”
That’s what you hear (mutatis mutandis) if you question the necessity of war and violence on the Internet.
UPDATE/CLARIFICATION: Clearly this isn’t an argument or anything like that. There are some holes in the analogy, as with any analogy. It’s just meant as a kind of look inside my head, at how it sounds to me when people say certain things. I’ve been in some discussions about violence on various blogs lately and more than once I’ve gotten this kind of talk back at me. The metaphor to human sacrifice hit me this morning so I thought I’d write it up.
So it’s not meant as an argument to show people why they ought to think like me, far from it, it’s meant more as picture to show people how someone could think this way, and how certain kinds of arguments against it (“you’re insulting the very soldiers who fight for your freedom to say these things!”) come across.