Does God reward stupidity?
by Chris Seidel

  October 2001    Saturday

      It's almost one month after the attack on the world trade center and the pentagon. People are being shipped letters containing Anthrax. And I still don't know precisely who the enemy is. I still don't know who I am considered the enemy of.

      While the press mentions Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network of terrorists, it's not clear that the enemy can truly be focused to one point, especially since no one has claimed responsibility. Much of the rhetoric in the press centers around Muslim fundamentalists wanting to destroy the infidels. Most muslims say the terrorists who want to destroy America are not really Muslims.

However, for a group of people willing to spend two years training to kill themselves in the act of killing 6,000 hapless individuals, I believe they must have a purpose, and an organization devoted to serving that purpose. If the orgnaization is centered around the Muslim religion, and if members of this group think they are serving their God and their religion, I have to ask whether they think God favors stupidity when it comes to solving problems and carrying out his will.

I don't understand how a deeply religious group can think that they are serving God by learning how to kill other people. In particular, I would think the way to serve God would be to use knowledge, and develop intelligence for the populace so that one could make one's nation into a powerful force capable of serving their god.

In particular, if people in one of the poorest nations on earth are so pissed off that Americans have invaded their homeland (the Arab nations) for the purpose of setting up governments to facilitate the export of cheap oil to America, I ask myself why don't they solve the problem using information and intelligence.

Someone, Osama bin Laden for instance, has fostered the resources to build terrorist training camps in the desert of a broken country. Men go out into the desert and spend their lives learning how to kill people in a great big powerful nation far, far away from them. The concept seems futile and simplistic to me, but this is what the press reports. These men are so devoted to their cause that they are willing to kill themselves in the process of attaining an irrational goal.

Where are the nerd camps?

Certainly there must be a group of people who want to solve problems similar to those addressed by the terrorists, but who want to do so in a non-violent way (I have a hard time figuring out exactly what problem the terrorists are trying to solve - although they seem extremely focused on religious profiling - i.e. death to infidels, praise be to Allah).

Death and destruction are easy targets for the mind to seize on. More complex solutions to problems require thought and work. And so I wonder, where are the nerd training camps? Where are the people who realize that the way to solve problems is to actually use your Allah given brain to figure out beneficial solutions for making the world a better place?

Why Isn't the middle East the industrial caplital of the world?

I don't understand why the middle east is not one of the richest areas of the earth. Oil is abundant, which means energy is abundant. Since they have what the industrialized nations want, they are capable themselves of using it to their advantage. Technology can be used for many purposes. There's no reason why it couldn't be guided and developed within a morale compass imposed on it by the cultral morays of the middle east. It's not simply a matter of not having access to technology. Many Arab people come to America for education and then return to their homeland - one of the largest stockpiles of chemical energy in existence. Why can't they imagine better things to do with it rather than sell it to other nations?