Some time ago Clay Naf (Defusing the Neuron Bomb) warned that modern extremist terrorists “the self-appointed ‘soldiers of God’ have a terrible new weapon in their hands: the neuron bomb.” Fridays suicide bombings in Pakistan, aimed at ex-premier Benazir Bhutto, are just the latest example of the use of neuron bombs.
Naff described the neuron bomb this way:
The Neuron Bomb: A schematic
Arming Device: Belief that God’s enemies must be defeated or destroyed
Concealment: Can be implanted in any human mind
Cost: Practically nothing
Explosive Materials: Anything at hand
Destructive Potential: Unlimited
Of course extremism and terrorism are not unique to religion and there are often economic and political factors at work in these conflicts. However, it’s undeniable that most modern-day terrorists use religious justification for their actions. What all extremists have in common is a blind faith in the correctness of their own beliefs and in the evil of their opponents. That is what is common to Al-Qaeda, the Taleban, the Christian Militias, Christian Identity Movement and other religious terrorist groups. They hold it in common with yesterday’s Red Army and Maoist Red Guards.
As Clay Naff said, what we need today “is nothing less than the transformation of religion. In particular the religions of the world must be persuaded to give up their supremacist pretensions and their apocalyptic nightmares.”
Doesn’t this mean religion must be persuaded to give up its blind faith?
Why do we believe?
Sources of evil?
Is religion the source of morality?
Religion and violence
The Enemies of Reason
The Trouble with Islam
Crimes of Communism and Christianity
Religion and morality
Faith and terrorism
Limits to respect and toleration