Sunday, September 11, 2011

The lesson of 9/11

If you read nothing else on this anniversary of 9/11, please read this post by Sam Harris. It explains what made "a group of mostly educated and middle-class men" decide "to obliterate themselves, along with three thousand innocents": Religion.

Here are a couple of extracts:
"Ten years have now passed since many of us first felt the jolt of history—when the second plane crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center [above]. We knew from that moment that things can go terribly wrong in our world—not because life is unfair, or moral progress impossible, but because we have failed, generation after generation, to abolish the delusions of our ignorant ancestors."
"... we must decline to tell our children that human history began with magic and will end with bloody magic—perhaps soon, in a glorious war between the righteous and the rest. One must be religious to fail the young so abysmally—to derange them with fear, bigotry, and superstition even as their minds are forming—and one cannot be a serious Christian, Muslim, or Jew without doing so in some measure."
This lesson has not been learned in those ten years. How many more decades before it is?