Tuesday, February 19, 2008

"The Suicide Bomber and the Leap of Faith"

My piece on Kierkegaard and humans who detonate themselves around other people is available at the Council for Secular Humanism web site. I'd be interest in people's opinions.

The Suicide Bomber and the Leap of Faith

opening para:

Suicide bombing is the targeted use of self-destructing human beings against noncombatants (“soft targets”), most often with the ostensible purpose of effecting geopolitical change. It is a psychological weapon, aimed not so much at a given bombing’s immediate victims but rather at the larger audience made to witness it. This deep understanding of the need to force others to witness makes the suicide bomber, by definition, a modern protagonist.

There are other levels of this modernity that bear close investigation. Why? Because to explain suicide bombings with reference to any single, overt “cause”—poverty, the Palestine question, or a reaction to Islamic eclipse—is to miss their essential nature. There are other things going on here.

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