X-Message-Number: 19867
Date: Wed, 21 Aug 2002 23:49:52 -0700
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: Religion and Terrorism

Jeff Dee, #19849 wrote:

>John Grigg wrote:
>  >...there is a big
>  > difference between the Methodist denomination and the
>  > Taliban.
>Is there?
>Both believe that ...

Granted, there are similarities, but this does not prove there are not 

>And don't tell me that Methodism isn't capable of inspiring irrational
>acts, because ALL these religions are based upon the practice of
>indoctrinating their followers into irrationally believing unproven
>claims. That is why religions are a threat to humanity that we would all
>be better off without.

It seems to me, though, that a movement doesn't have to be "irrational" to 
inspire horrible acts, whether you consider the acts themselves irrational 
or not. (No doubt those who do these things would disagree with anyone 
calling the acts irrational.) As one case in point we can take 
libertarianism, which is perfectly "rational" in that it makes no claims of 
the paranormal or supernatural, does not indoctrinate its followers into 
believing unproven claims, and so on. Yet it is certainly not lacking its 
lunatic fringe--as in the case of Timothy McVeigh. Of course, the 
libertarian mainstream does not endorse McVeigh's murderous act but 
mainstream Muslims were quick to condemn the 9/11 attacks. Both terrorism 
and its opposite can express themselves through many different movements 
and philosophies, whether scientifically "rational" or not. It is worth 
noting too that in a religious tradition such as Jainism or Buddhism there 
is a strong emphasis on non-violence as well as benevolence; terrorism just 
doesn't cut it.

Mike Perry

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