I was on vacation with my family when the insanity went down in Boston. I have to say that I hoped that it would turn out that these guys weren't religious nutcases. Tragically it appears that they are.
I'm am an absolute advocate for the rule of law. This guy is an American citizen and should be tried in a court of law just like Timothy McVey was. Suspending our values to quench our thirst for justice makes us thugs.
Whether we like it or not, quite frankly we live in a world now that is just full of materials that can be used to cause harm to a great many others. Any moderately intelligent individual with malice in their heart could walk into a Home Depot and cause a hell of a lot of damage.
The bigger question that needs to be asked is this. What factors are needed for someone to jump the divide into fanaticism? To put it bluntly... How does a 19 year old kid get convinced that it's a great idea to plant bombs at the Boston Marathon? Where along the way did this kids internal moral compass get ideological magnets stuck to it in all the wrong places?
I'm reminded of the Steven Weinberg quote:
"With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."
Understanding how "normal" people get turned into terrorists seems like something we should be putting some serious mental energy towards and then short circuiting the whole process.
It appears that it isn't social or economic. There seems to be no correlation between poverty and terrorism. Nor does there seem to be any correlation between a lack of education and terrorism. Ironically it seems to the other direction. Why is that?
Part of me wants to lay the blame at the feet of religion. I feel that had these clowns not had their heads filled with unfounded bullshit and their moral compasses broken we'd be a hell of a lot better off than we are today. We should be grateful we aren't living in other parts of the world... There are parts of the world that people who espouse these bad ideas are a 100 deep. These are also some of the shittiest and least desirable places you'd ever want to find yourself... I suspect there is a correlation. It should be pointed out that these parts of the world also make it illegal to even question these bad ideologies. This is of little surprise. Even a minute of rational thought does irreparable damage to these ideologies.
Another part of me keeping asking "We in 2013 and we're still dealing with this bullshit?" What the fuck? I have young children and I think to myself what's it going to be like in 20 years if it keeps going this way?
I've gone out of my way to encourage that my children are critical thinkers. I hope the first time someone tries to pitch a dodgy ideology my kid doesn't feel compelled to give them a free pass because it's religion and instead asks them hard logical questions.
Ultimately if we're going to slay this ideology beast it has to be with the sword of reason. When people make extraordinary claims we should demand extraordinary evidence.