Eff's Rambles (Archive)


Homicide/Suicide Bombers and Rational Thinking.

An AP article I read in one of the local papers earlier yesterday went into the subject of why some people commit the act of blowing themselves up to kill others. The article sought to dispell, or at least lessen the presumption that they are the main reasons for said act, the idea that poverty, poor education and indoctrination into a radicalized religion are the main motivating reasons people commit the act. It showed nationalism and wanting liberation as some major reasons. It also showed that the backgrounds of at least some, if not most, of the people that have committed the act were not those of poor and ill educated people, but of productive members in their societies who were from middle class homes.

But what struck me about the article is that, if the education of these people has been under estimated, the rational thinking ability of them might not have been. For it seems that even with education, the human mind is still capable of justifying committing acts, for whatever reasons, that seem to be so wasteful and tragic, and that many outside observers see as unecessary and counter productive.

One could ask, as I am now, are these people any smarter with their education? And what are they being taught?


  • Well, someone can be "educated", but the extent of that education can have different meanings, depending on all sorts of factors.

    For example, in the boondocks of Tennessee, someone could have made it all the way to 8th grade and be considered "educated".

    Education in the Harry Potter books is limited to studying "wizarding" skills from the ages of 11 to 18.

    Who knows what makes up the "education" of these suicide bombers. Does learning all about Islam constitute calling someone educated? Depending on where these bombers are from, what is the level of education? Where/how, if at all, do they learn common sense? Are they simply being manipulated, "educated" to see that being a suicide bomber is an honorable cause that will allow for enlightenment of their people?

    I think anyone - from those who only made it as far as 8th grade to those who have PhD's, can be brainwashed to believe something that would otherwise seem contrary to their normally educated state of mind.

    To one extent, then, an education does not necessarily make us "smarter". It teaches us new things, new ideas. But it doesn't prevent us from being vulnerable.

    By Blogger melusina, at 10/01/2005 01:20:00 PM  

  • Knowledge which proves stupidity is an unfortunate irony; knowledge is power.

    By Blogger Eff, at 10/01/2005 01:33:00 PM  

  • I think the point is being missed here. Education has little or nothing to do with the current popularity of blowing one’s self up with the intent of murdering others. The people involved come from a wide variety of racial backgrounds and intellectual levels. The one common factor is a radical ideology that condones, nay, encourages the idea that it’s God's will for them to sacrifice themselves in his name and take out as many people with opposing ideals as possible. Simply put Islam. I recently saw an interview with an Islamic follower that excused his behavior thusly. He said that he did not like the idea of blowing up innocent people or other Muslims for that matter, but if he was told to do so by his superior he would without hesitation. He rationalized this by saying that he believed if he killed innocent people in the act of blowing himself up, on arrival in heaven God would sit down with his victims and argue his point with them, convincing them to forgive him. Fanatical religion has no intellectual boundaries. The missing element is common sense, not book learning.

    By Blogger Shot Baker, at 10/02/2005 03:49:00 PM  

  • Where do we clearly demonstrate ignorance of a lack of common sense as a factor?

    By Blogger Eff, at 10/02/2005 07:18:00 PM  

  • Common sense tells us that no God would want you to kill yourself or murder innocent people. You don't need to be an educated person to know that murdering the innocent is wrong. A child knows this.

    By Blogger Shot Baker, at 10/03/2005 12:56:00 PM  

  • Yes, which is kind of the point I was making. Even if some of them are better educated than some believe, they are still stupid in a big way.

    By Blogger Eff, at 10/03/2005 12:59:00 PM  

  • That makes a great tag line:

    Suicide bombers: they may be educated, but they are still stupid in a big way

    By Blogger melusina, at 10/03/2005 04:23:00 PM  

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