These were simply examples of diverging opinions
demonstrating that Nin's opinion is not unique.
>God doesn't "institute" anything. God may not even exist.
>Or is this some sort of "metaphoric", symbolic God of which
>the author speaks?
I haven't read the book, so I've no clue what the author meant. When I agree with the statement, I mean "God" metaphorically. Make it Nature if you want. "The Way". The Great Unknown. Whatever causes stuff to be, and then move around, sorta thing.
>I don't see how, say, attacking weaker nations is
>necessarily "demanding", in the sense you claim, however.
It depends on specifics of every particular case, I think. It's hard to imagine an undemanding attack though ('course it may be more demanding on the defenders in that case... though not necessarily: defense is advantageous militarily.)
>And war is not a "permanent human obligation" in my view.
>This just seems like a preposterous statement to make,
>devoid of any solid logic underneath it, although, as you
>point out, its context isn't known.
OK, so we can't say till we've checked. And it's not that the phrase is meaningless, it's ambiguous rather.
>It seems to me that free will trumps any purported
>"obligation" to wage war. Don't you think?
In what sense? It takes two to tango, but only one to start a war. How's your will gonna help when there's a whole world outside that's not you. And in fact, once you think of it, even you are largely not you but this external world.