Friday, June 15, 2007

Exploding the logic

According to jihadi etiquette, suicide terrorism has a major advantage over, say, US airstrikes: collateral damage is completely impossible:

In the typical car bombing, some Islamists say, God will identify those who deserve to die — for example, anyone helping the enemy — and send them to hell. The other victims will go to paradise. “The innocent who is hurt, he won’t suffer,” Dr. [Mohammad al-]Massari says. “He becomes a martyr himself.”
…children receive special consideration in death. They are not held accountable for any sins until puberty, and if they are killed in a jihad operation they will go straight to heaven. There, they will instantly age to their late 20s, and enjoy the same access to virgins and other benefits as martyrs receive.

In fact, they’re probably doing these kids a favour in helping them to avoid the awkwardness of adolescence. But just make sure to kill 72 girls for every boy or there’ll be supply-side issues in heaven!

(I’ve never understood this bit. If I were a frustrated wannabe martyr, I wouldn’t want 72 virgins as the reward – surely just half a dozen girls or so who really knew what they were doing would be a much better bet? These morons can’t even get their misogynistic sexual fantasies right!)

Anyway, it looks as though the logic of this, that innocents are theologically guaranteed to benefit rather than suffer from indiscriminate bombings, leads to a positive answer to this question: if you had a bomb that could destroy the whole planet, should you use it?

It’s an (extremely) extreme version of the view that ‘the next life’ matters more than the one we actually definitely have.

(Hat tip to Mick Hartley.)

1 comment:

anticant said...

I've never been able to understand, logically, why the Religious who believe in a better next life don't want to hasten themselves and everyone else there as rapidly as possible.

As things are, it looks increasingly as if they are likely to do just that in the near future.