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  3. Standard memberSwissGambit
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    Is it*
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    No.
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    04 Oct '12 05:011 edit
    Originally posted by JS357
    So today RHP decided to burp on this one.

    There is my OP omitting my as usual, brilliant intro and recap, including rationalization on why this post is on this forum.

    So is it really their religion?

    excerpt:

    "Another point that Dawkins doesn’t consider is that the majority of suicide bombers have been secular atheists. Professor Robert Pape, author of Dying to Win: the The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism has spent his career collecting all instances of suicide killings back to 1980 and then statistically correlating it. To most people’s surprise, the majority of suicide bombing was done by secular atheists.

    Now if we were to fall into the same sort of bigotry Richard Dawkins falls into, we might add up the number of atheist suicide bombers in history and divide it by the number of atheists that have lived since 1980 and then do the same thing with believers. Because there have been far fewer atheists in the world than believers, the case looks grim for atheism and probably by an order of magnitude or more. Perhaps it’s actually atheism that causes suicide bombers, right?

    But Pape actually found that the real correlation between ideology memes and suicide bombers wasn’t religious views at all but, as Wikipedia quotes him “to compel democracies to withdraw military forces from the terrorists’ national homeland.” In fact, Pape found that suicide terrorism’s main personal motivation is actually personal altruism – a willingness to give up their life to exert pressure on the foreign occupiers of their homeland. If we were to assess what type of ‘ideological meme’ they were willing to die for, it would be simple ‘nationalism’ rather than religion. [1] "

    http://www.millennialstar.org/what-is-religion-part-1-are-religions-memes/
  6. Joined
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    04 Oct '12 11:061 edit
    Originally posted by JS357
    So today RHP decided to burp on this one.

    There is my OP omitting my as usual, brilliant intro and recap, including rationalization on why this post is on this forum.

    So is it really their religion?

    excerpt:

    "Another point that Dawkins doesn’t consider is that the majority of suicide bombers have been secular atheists. Professor Robert Pape, author ...[text shortened]... religion. [1] "

    http://www.millennialstar.org/what-is-religion-part-1-are-religions-memes/
    Whilst the organization is applying rational strategic value to the suicide bomber as a weapon, that does not really explain the readiness of the actual individual bomber to die for the cause, and what part religious belief plays in that decision.

    Even in the case of the 'Kamikaze' pilots the belief that the emperor was a God probably played a major part in the decision making process of the individual pilot, whilst the strategists in the Japanese high command may have simply identified what an effective weapon a piloted bomb would be against the US carrier fleets.

    By definition people who are prepared to die rather than deny their religious beliefs are religious martyrs rather than nationalistic martyrs.

    I have not read the study in question, however I would have serious doubts about the impartiality of Millennialstar as a commentator on either Pape's study or Dawkins theories.
  7. Joined
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    04 Oct '12 15:55
    Originally posted by kevcvs57
    Whilst the organization is applying rational strategic value to the suicide bomber as a weapon, that does not really explain the readiness of the actual individual bomber to die for the cause, and what part religious belief plays in that decision.

    Even in the case of the 'Kamikaze' pilots the belief that the emperor was a God probably played a major part ...[text shortened]... e impartiality of Millennialstar as a commentator on either Pape's study or Dawkins theories.
    Unfortunately my introductory comments were not in my re-post which corrected RHP's erroneous posting of my original.

    Theists of the Christian variety on this forum (which are the predominant theists on this forum) and some non-theists here, and Dasa, seem to be in lock step on the question of what motivates suicide bombers who are Muslims. I think you are correct to assume that the suicide bomber's aims are toward enabling a government that will indeed have strong Islamic (Sharia) content, fulfilling his own personal political dream, but the organizational aims are at bottom nationalistic, in that they seek to motivate the West to exit and discontinue what these people see as Western capitalistic colonialist exploitation, so that organization can exploit the resources they see the West as exploiting now.

    You hint at this when you say that the organization backing the bomber is applying rational strategic value to the suicide bomber as a weapon. I believe that policy makers do better to view suicide bombing, and for practical purposes, suicide bombers as motivated by nationalism. I think the focus on characterization of bombers as driven by religion is a strategic mistake if it controls policy, a mistake which I suspect the people on this forum, that I mention above, would make. And I think this mistake might be exploited by politicians on our side.
  8. Joined
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    04 Oct '12 16:19
    Originally posted by JS357
    Unfortunately my introductory comments were not in my re-post which corrected RHP's erroneous posting of my original.

    Theists of the Christian variety on this forum (which are the predominant theists on this forum) and some non-theists here, and Dasa, seem to be in lock step on the question of what motivates suicide bombers who are Muslims. I think you are ...[text shortened]... ve, would make. And I think this mistake might be exploited by politicians on our side.
    I agree for the most part, political leaders in the West should focus on their negotiations with the strategists rather than pointing at their weapons as a way of avoiding responsibility for the situation that gives rise to them.
  9. Cape Town
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    04 Oct '12 20:33
    Originally posted by JS357
    I think the focus on characterization of bombers as driven by religion is a strategic mistake if it controls policy, a mistake which I suspect the people on this forum, that I mention above, would make. And I think this mistake might be exploited by politicians on our side.
    I would say you are generally correct. It has always been politically incorrect in the US, but when 9/11 happened the rest of us immediately said "Americans should ask themselves what they have done to make people so angry with them as to be ready to die to express their anger."
    I think this was the general reaction when someone committed suicide in North Africa sparking off a revolution.
    But instead, the US has focused on the religious aspect, and instead of saying 'why do they hate us politically, what did we do wrong?', they say 'well they hate us because we are not Muslims and all Muslims just want to wipe us off the face of the earth, so we will fight back!'.
  10. Standard memberRJHinds
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    05 Oct '12 20:24
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I would say you are generally correct. It has always been politically incorrect in the US, but when 9/11 happened the rest of us immediately said "Americans should ask themselves what they have done to make people so angry with them as to be ready to die to express their anger."
    I think this was the general reaction when someone committed suicide in Nort ...[text shortened]... s and all Muslims just want to wipe us off the face of the earth, so we will fight back!'.
    The also hate us because we support Israel. So we must fight back. 😏
  11. Zugzwang
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    05 Oct '12 23:15
    Originally posted by kevcvs57
    Whilst the organization is applying rational strategic value to the suicide bomber as a weapon, that does not really explain the readiness of the actual individual bomber to die for the cause, and what part religious belief plays in that decision.

    Even in the case of the 'Kamikaze' pilots the belief that the emperor was a God probably played a major part ...[text shortened]... e impartiality of Millennialstar as a commentator on either Pape's study or Dawkins theories.
    "Even in the case of the Kamikaze pilots the belief that the emperor was a God
    probably played a major part in the decision making process of the individual
    pilot..."
    --Kevcvs57

    Many, perhaps most, Japanese Kamikaze pilots did not conform to the stereotype
    of a fanatical Shintoist who unquestionably believed in the Emperor's divinity.
    In fact, Kamikaze pilots came from rather diverse backgrounds and had different
    motives for volunteering (or for accepting being coerced) to perform their missions.
    A few Kamikaze pilots were Christians (one pilot wrote a moving last letter to his
    mother, saying that he had lived and soon would die 'in the spirit of Jesus Christ'😉.
    Some Kamikaze pilots were atheists. After the war, one Japanese naval officer
    wrote that Westerners should not be so naive as to assume that all Japanese
    were superstitious enough to believe in the possibility of life after death.
  12. Joined
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    07 Oct '12 00:56
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    "Even in the case of the Kamikaze pilots the belief that the emperor was a God
    probably played a major part in the decision making process of the individual
    pilot..."
    --Kevcvs57

    Many, perhaps most, Japanese Kamikaze pilots did not conform to the stereotype
    of a fanatical Shintoist who unquestionably believed in the Emperor's divinity.
    In fact, Kam ...[text shortened]... all Japanese
    were superstitious enough to believe in the possibility of life after death.
    So the 'vast majority' of Japanese people in 1940 did not believe that the Emperor was a living God?

    One Japanese Officer hardly constitutes a rebuttal of my naive stereotyping.

    Only hang on, I actually do not remember saying that " all Japanese
    were superstitious enough to believe in the possibility of life after death."

    My general point was that it is not a black or white situation and more likely to be a more subtle blend of Faith, Nationalism and doing whatever is required in a desperate struggle.
  13. Zugzwang
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    07 Oct '12 21:13
    Originally posted by kevcvs57
    So the 'vast majority' of Japanese people in 1940 did not believe that the Emperor was a living God?

    One Japanese Officer hardly constitutes a rebuttal of my naive stereotyping.

    Only hang on, I actually do not remember saying that " all Japanese
    were superstitious enough to believe in the possibility of life after death."

    My general point was that ...[text shortened]... e subtle blend of Faith, Nationalism and doing whatever is required in a desperate struggle.
    Contrary to what he has insinuated, I did *not* write that Kevcvs57 wrote:
    "all Japanese were superstitious enough to believe in the possibility of life after
    death."

    I made no assertion about what the 'vast majority' (Kevcvs57's words, not mine)
    of the Japanese people in 1940 *truly* believed about the Emperor's divinity.
    No scientific survey was done on this question, of course, because it would have
    been regarded as extremely 'un-Japanese' to question the Emperor's divinity.
    After the war, however, some Japanese memoirs appeared in which the writers
    claimed that they and many of their well-educated friends and acquaintances
    were sceptical of the Emperor's divinity but had not dared say so in public.

    "One Japanese Officer hardly constitutes a rebuttal of my naive stereotyping."
    --Kevcvs57

    As I recall, Okumiya Masatake (1909-2007) wrote (I don't have the book in
    front of me) something close (not an exact quote) to, "Our men did not lack
    scientific knowledge to the extent that they would believe in life after death."
    Evidently, he made it clear that he was speaking for many, though not
    necessarily all, other Japanese naval aviators, including Kamikaze pilots.

    There's also other anecdotal evidence (in Japanese memoirs that I have read
    and assume that Kevcvs57 has not read) that a significant proportion of Japanese
    kamikaze pilots did not really believe in the Emperor's divinity. Of course,
    no scientific survey was ever done on this question in wartime Japan.
    By the way, I know of a Japanese Christian Kamikaze pilot who apparently
    believed in life-after-death but presumably not in the Emperor's divinity.

    Based on what (far from all) posts of his that I have read, Kevcvs57 seems to
    'know' history at about the common levels of television documentaries or some
    popular historical books, which usually don't measure up to the levels of most
    academic history. Unfortunately, most laymen don't understand the differences.
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