We know that socio-economic factors explain most violence in societies.
This is true, but religion fuelled tribalism and bigotry should not be excused in its entirety. Consider the jihadist movement, how many more architects and engineers must hit the wall at four hundred miles an hour before we admit to ourselves that violence is not merely a matter of education, poverty, or politics?
Good point. The exploitation of secular values, the demand for tolerance of misogyny and religious hatred, are not merely the result of broad socio-economic factors. Nor are forced marriages, honour killings, punitive gang rapes, or the homicidal loathing of homosexuals.
It seems to me that the truth, astonishingly enough, is this: in the year 2006, a person can have sufficient intellectual and material resources to build a nuclear bomb and still believe that he will get seventy two virgins in Paradise. Western secularists, liberals, and moderates have been very slow to understand this. The cause of their confusion is simple: they don’t know what it is like to really believe in God.
Is that not a little simplistic?
Maybe a little, I would argue political correctness and the fear of racism have made many Europeans reluctant to oppose the terrifying religious commitments of the extremists in their midst. And worse still, with a few exceptions, the only public figures who have had the courage to speak honestly about the threat that Islam now poses to European society seem to be fascists.
This does not bode well for the future of civilization.
(Based on: Harris. S. 2006. Letter To A Christian Nation p. 26-27)
See other: Philosophical Conversations
Why among all religions only Islam seems to be a threat to the civilization? If religion in general is harmful, other religions should be as dangerous as Islam. Yet, the fascists oppose Muslim women covering their bodies but seem to tolerate Catholic nuns doing the same. Where is consistency?
Very good point!