Monday, April 28, 2008

The Real War

I present for your perusal the above link in the hopes that it will bring to your attention the nature of the real war against terrorism and what it implies for our future. It is evident that as terrorism becomes increasingly decentralized, that it will become increasingly difficult, if not impossible to stamp out. More than military action, more than headhunting the leaders of these organizations, we need to consider what it is that is driving this seemingly endless supply of suicidal mass murderers.

I think Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens have been particularly eloquent on this issue and I highly recommend their books. Despite what flaws I see in their arguments when it comes around to supposing what ethics should replace those offered by religion, or in stating that ethics are evolutionarily determined (as though we didn't ultimately choose what we believe), I think it is undeniable that religious thought is and has been the fundamental cause of the greater share of all the war, atrocity, suppression and misery in this world.

We need to cut away the institutionalized harbors of religious zealotry. We need to get religion out of schools, off our money, out of the pledge to allegiance. We need to elect atheist politicians, who will select atheist judges, who will uphold people's rights to not participate in this organized hysteria. We need to criticize the very fundamental roots of these misguided philosophies. And as Dawkins as said many times, we need to take off the kid gloves when we're talking about religion.

Religion does not deserve respect. It deserves ridicule. And those who would blindly march to undo scientific learning and replace it with fatwahs and Hallelujahs need to be exposed for what they are. Purely and objectively evil. We tend to give religious people the benefit of the doubt as to their motivations, but in light of the scientific achievements of the last hundred years, there is simply very little doubt to be left to them. There is no God. There never was. Objections to the teaching of scientific thought based on superstitious lullabies should be laughed out of every school board in the nation rather than worryingly coddled and nurtured. Religious themed schools should receive absolutely no money from public sources, let them earn it themselves from the zealots who support them. Why encourage its proliferation?

What does this have to do with terrorism? Well, the way I see it, Islamic fundamentalism is not that far removed from Christian fundamentalism. It just so happens that a brilliant man by the name of Thomas Jefferson thought it was a good idea to keep religion out of politics. That combined with the massive success of the American experiment, helped to influence Western culture so as to follow suit for the most part in practice if not in theory. Unfortunately we have, as of late, been quick to regret our declarations of human rights, the fundamentals which made America strong in the first place. No, we would much rather have security at home, while we get medieval abroad. We would much rather convince ourselves that while religion breeds fanatics, that religion is not in itself fanatical. We would much rather partition our brains to insulate ourselves from a constant stream of contradicting and irrational conflicts in our hypotheses rather than admit the lie and remove the contradictions. In Islamic nations religion IS politics and politics is religion. There is no separation and brutal dictatorships, death worship, and terrorism is what this has bred.

We will never win the war on terror as long as we submit to religion ourselves. As long as we allow the followers of Islam, or Christianity, or Judaism to convince themselves that this belief is compatible with life in the modern world, then we are feeding the very sickness which threatens to wipe us all out. We will never be able to secure rights for all human beings until we recognize that our society is merely the sum of all the contributions of the individuals in that society.

Of course, those individuals must be free to believe what they wish and say what they wish and do what they wish (within limits obviously). But that does not give them license to speak without rebuttal or to act without consequence. They must be debated and defeated in debate, over and over and over again. They must be challenged in the newspapers, on TV, in the movie theaters, in books, in blogs, on the street, in your neighborhood...anywhere and everywhere they are. Whenever they make a decision based on some mouldy tome of ancient myth. The Real war is a war of ideas. And if we do not confront them, or grant too much benefit for too little doubt, or defer to a false sense of mutual respect, then we may find that confrontation comes too late, that there is no more doubt and that that sense of respect was used against us and to the advantage of those too barbaric to ever countenance such a thing as rights.

Could you imagine a Muslim tolerating your right to free speech? Ridiculous, they have riots over cartoons....CARTOONS!!?? You've gotta be kidding me! Well, go take a look at the list of books your local church group wants to ban, and give up the lie that there's all that much keeping Christians from raising swords steeped in the blood of infidels.

The real war is in our heads and in our hearts. We have to win it there or we'll never have a hope of winning the military one. We need to undo God as a concept worthy of respect and awe. We need to place humanity in it's rightful place at the fount of all creation.

Get busy living or get busy dying. It really is that simple.

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