Ah, it just ended. I only heard the last part. About hope. And divine steering by sparks or whatever. [ADDED: The official text was "that spark of the divine that still stirs within each of our souls." So "stirs," not "steers."]
In the part I didn't hear, Obama acknowledged the awkwardness of accepting a peace prize while conducting 2 wars:
"Perhaps the most profound issue surrounding my receipt of this prize is the fact that I am the Commander-in-Chief of a nation in the midst of two wars... One of these wars is winding down. The other is a conflict that America did not seek; one in which we are joined by forty three other countries — including Norway — in an effort to defend ourselves and all nations from further attacks...."Presumably, the speechwriters brainstormed about all the peace-y things about war.
Urging his listeners to “think in new ways about the notions of a just war and the imperatives of a just peace,” he said the “instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace.” But, he said, the practice of war should be governed by “certain rules of conduct.”
The United States, he said, “must remain a standard bearer in the conduct of war.”
Peace, he went on, was “unstable where citizens are denied the right to speak freely or worship as they please; choose their own leaders or assemble without fear.”
ADDED: I'm looking for the religion-oriented things in the speech. Obama rejects "the way that religion is used to justify the murder of innocents by those who have distorted and defiled the great religion of Islam." He says "no Holy War can ever be a just war."
For if you truly believe that you are carrying out divine will, then there is no need for restraint — no need to spare the pregnant mother, or the medic, or even a person of ones own faith. Such a warped view of religion is not just incompatible with the concept of peace, but the purpose of faith — for the one rule that lies at the heart of every major religion is that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us.He's doing meta-religion, making assertions about what is in all the religions. All religions have this idea of treating outsiders to the religion the same as insiders to the religion? There's a logic loophole whereby he can deny the modifier "major" to any religion that doesn't hew to the principle. That's why the Islamic terrorists have "distorted and defiled" Islam: It's not really Islam because they weren't following the Golden Rule.
Adhering to this law of love has always been the core struggle of human nature.Always.
... [W]e do not have to think that human nature is perfect for us to still believe that the human condition can be perfected. We do not have to live in an idealized world to still reach for those ideals that will make it a better place....Although Obama acknowledges the immense evil spurred by ideas about God, he presents God as the source of our ability to find our shared humanity and to abandon unjust wars. Atheists can stew off in a corner somewhere, apparently.
So let us reach for the world that ought to be — that spark of the divine that still stirs within each of our souls....