X-Message-Number: 19871
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 09:27:05 -0500
From: Jeff Dee <>
Subject: Re: Religion and Terrorism
References: <>

Mike Perry <> wrote:
> 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 differences.

John Grigg said, "There is a big difference", and he was referring to their 
relative tendencies toward terrorist acts. Of course there are other 
differences, but they are irrelevant to the subject at hand.
>>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

Of course not. But religious movements ARE irrational in a way which directly 
facilitates horrible acts, and that was my point.

> 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.

Timothy McVeigh was a lone nut, with a couple pals. Osama Bin Laden is a 
religious leader, with thousands of followers. Of course there is a lunatic 
fringe to any movement, but the size (and power) of that fringe MATTERS - as 
does the influence of the movement's core teachings on the formation of that 

-Jeff Dee

"It is as morally bad not to care whether a thing is true
or not, so long as it makes you feel good, as it is not to
care how you got your money as long as you have got it."
-Edmund Way Teale, "Circle of the Seasons", 1950

 * http://www.io.com/unigames/index.html
* * * AA #1355 - Knight of the BAAWA since 10/26/99 * * *

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=19871