Sunday, August 26, 2007

If God Exists, Everything is Permitted Part II

In If God Exists, Everything is Permitted, I quoted Slavoj Zizek about how Dostoevsky had it backwards. Here's a real-life example:
Terrorists are turning more and more to crime to fund violence, according to a report from the Congressional Research Service... Oddly enough, religious groups may be more likely than political groups to turn to crime, since their sense of divine mission helps them convince themselves that any means is morally acceptable. (Islamic terrorists also find wiggle room by calling their depredations “economic jihad.”) Authorities suspect that profits from the sale of South American cocaine, Moroccan hashish, and Afghan opium support terror, but terrorist groups have also stooped to counterfeiting, bootlegging Viagra, sticking up jewelry stores, and heisting infant formula.

“Terrorist Precursor Crimes: Issues and Options for Congress,” Siobhan O’Neil, Congressional Research Service (PDF)

Emphasis added. Via The Atlantic Monthly.


Foilwoman said...

A nice reversal of "how do atheists have morals." Of course, if you believe in absolute truths and divine direction, if the divine tells you to kill or steal or whatever, by that standard you are justified. Ugh.

Mordechai said...

It really depends what type of religious person you are speaking about. I believe pious peace loving religious people outnumber religious extremists who turn to violence.

Profrock said...

I know there are a number of mainstream orthodox yeshivas in new york that were nabed for dirty money that came from who knows where - laundry.

jewish philosopher said...

The facts are as follows: Many people are by nature violent. They may find financial, religious, political, sexual or any other excuse for committing violence.

Convincing people that God will punish violence is the best means of curbing violence. Judaism, for example, does that.

I don't know why so few get that. Like "Duh".

Skeptodox said...

I think a bigger problem is the fundamentalist sense of removal from society. This is the attitude that allows lawlessness.

jewish philosopher said...

And what's that about "bootlegging Viagra"? Terrorism is bad enough, but now I'm really getting upset.

jewish philosopher said...

"bigger problem is the fundamentalist sense of removal from society"

I'm not sure that most killers have broad social networks.

DarkoV said...

I'm dovetailing here, specifically about Mr. Zizek.
Did you, by chance, rent the DVD "Children of Men"? The reason I'm asking is that in the extra features, there are two videos with Mr. Zizek. One entirely of just him commenting on the film, while the other incorporates his opinionating along with 3 other philosophers and some assorted scientists on the future of mankind. All very incisive, but specifically on target was that great Slovenian Zizek. If you haven;t seent he DVD, it's well worth it for the extras. And, hey, the movie itself is pretty damn good as well.

Anonymous said...

Jihad means internal struggle. When bashing islam one should get their basics straight.

For instance many people assume there is a concept of holy war in Islam. There isn't. And no its not jihad either.

Ironic that almost everywhere you see muslim fundamentalists, there is an outside element powering it. Remember Osama was trained by the US to fight the Soviets. Saddam was put in power by the US. Saudi was created by the British as a group of extremists to keep muslims forever divided. etc etc etc