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       Wednesday, August 16, 2006

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Suicide Cults?

Unfortunately suicide cults are not all that rare phenomena. We have had at least two or three American ones do their mass suicide things in recent years -- Jim Jones, the Waco nut, and one other, as I recall, which inspired hundreds of their followers to hasten to eternal oblivion.

During WW2 we Americans were appalled by the Kamikaze attacks on our warships -- young Japanese flyers bolted into 'flying bombs' with no hope of escape other than to crash themselves into an American warship -- few succeeded. We Americans were ok with killing, even mass killing of innocent civilians, but we blocked at not at least giving our bomber pilots some small chance to survive, even if a small one (they would bomb Tokyo without sufficient fuel to return to base and then fly on to China with hopes of survival there).

All of these cult things share one phenomenon in common -- a god tells them to do it -- some divinity!

Needless to say our major world religions do not sanction suicide -- if anything just the reverse. Those who have committed suicide were in the old days condemned to hell, their properties expropriated from their heirs.

The evidence of religious opposition to suicide is manifest in the nearly universal opposition even to mercy killing or euthanasia where allowing a suffering person to die would seem most reasonable -- or the Terri Schiavo case which caused such a stir:

The bottom line, then, so far as the Islamic or any other suicide/homicide bombings are concerned is that they should be condemned by all -- both outside and within their host religions as deviant anti-religious acts -- sins against mankind and any notion of a benevolent deity. Suicide bombers are either mad or they have been seduced into acts which lead them straight to the hell from whence their actions spring -- perhaps there is a Satan down there after all?
"A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope." (Livy cited by Machiavelli)
Ed Kent 718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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posted by Ed Kent at 11:38 AM  


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