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Fundamentalism (a Religious Issue)


Introduction

When Religious Faith is extremely strong, it can turn into fundamentalism. This is where people believe that their interpretation of their religion is infallible. Having strong beliefs is neither inherently good nor inherently bad. Faith can help some people weather the bad times and make the good times more enjoyable. The stronger the faith, the better their lives may be. On the other hand, it can lead to intolerance and hate.

Intolerance

A problem arises when a committed fundamentalist feels that everyone else should believe as he or she does and that something must be done to fix things. These fundamentalists may have a prejudice against or intolerance of other people who have a different faith. If one of these fundamentalists is in a position of authority or power, then this person is able to cause harm to the “nonbelievers”. This harm may amount to giving bad or no service at some establishment, not giving a deserved promotion, or not hiring the individual. When one of these fundamentalists does not have enough authority or power, he or she may resort to vandalizing the other’s property or to murder.

When there is a large enough group of these committed fundamentalists, things can get really bad for those who do not have the “proper” beliefs. In some societies, it can be very difficult to practice any religious beliefs that are different from the majority. A great deal of intimidation or pressure may be applied to get everyone to adhere to or to convert to the “proper” religious beliefs. If someone strays or does not convert, he or she may suffer persecution, torture or even death. In addition, some individuals may suffer in a different way. They may feel that they have to convert or to pretend to believe in order to avoid punishment.

Terrorism

Intimidation is a form of terror. Faith cannot be forced upon someone. Someone may go through the motions of religious observance, but it will be based on fear and not on faith. Unfortunately, there are people who do not understand this or who do not care. These people will attempt to use terror in order to control other people’s lives or to scare off those who cannot be controlled.

Terrorists like to kidnap, to torture and to kill people who do not believe as they do. Their goal is to create enough fear so that others will do what they want. They claim that they are doing this in the name of their god. Interestingly, in all major religions, it is a sin to murder someone. If a person's life is being threatened by someone, then killing that someone is self defense. On the other hand, purposefully killing someone just because they do not have the same beliefs or simply happens to be in a certain place at the wrong time is murder. Since a terrorist’s bomb just kills and maims whoever happens to be in a given location at a given time, then that is murder and attempted murder. In addition, terrorists may even end up harming some of the people who do believe as they do.

Since murder is a sin, it seems unlikely that someone’s god would tell him or her to commit murder. Therefore, a terrorist cannot be doing the bidding of their god. On the other hand, a devil, or some similar evil being, may very well want people to commit murder. Therefore, it could very well be that terrorists are listening to a devil. Of course, it may be more likely that a terrorist is murdering people for his or her own personal reasons. In either case, these fundamentalists who say they are fighting evil are in fact spreading evil.

Anti-Terrorism

The one thing that terrorists never seem to understand is that terror begets terror. If terror seems to work for group “A”, then group “B” may decide to use terror. If group “B” is opposed to group “A”, then group “A” will now be the target. As long as one or both sides believe that terror is working, then it will continue and the innocent will end up suffering the most.

By the time someone has turned to terror, it may be too late convince them of the futility of terror. Terrorists are like compulsive gamblers. The odds say they cannot win in the end, but every time it looks like they have some small victory, they become more firmly hooked on terror.

The only way to truly eliminate terror is through a two pronged approach. First, eliminate the terrorist breading grounds through education and the establishment of truly democratic societies in all countries of the world, where everyone has the freedom to create a life where they are happy. This can be accomplished through the appropriate Political and Economic changes.

Second, track down, and capture or kill any terrorist who will not denounce terror. This may need to be an ongoing effort while the first approach is being implemented. Once the first approach is accomplished, this should only rarely be needed.

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Intelligent Design - The inherent problems with the notion of Intelligent Design.

Last Updated:
Sunday, November 26, 2017
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