Violence and the Death of Analytical Thinking

23 10 2006

In Darfur, rebels have broken the cease fire and have started attacking the country’s military.  Link to NYT article.

With the two sides apparently bent on all-out war, and millions of displaced people and refugees caught in the middle, the people of Darfur and the aid workers who have been trying to help them await the next, seemingly inevitable onslaught.

With the inevitable bloodshed that will likely result from this – it is comforting to know that there are still places in the world which show hope, where democracy has taken root and is flourishing, where diplomacy is favored over violence – like Iraq for example.  Oh, wait.

The United States and its allies have yet to find a conflict that it can step into and ‘fix’.  Those time when peace is temporarily declared, tensions are high between the two groups, and it is only a matter of time before hostilities begin anew. 

Is there anything you can say or do to dissuade people from killing each other, when they’re hell-bent on killing each other?  I don’t know if there is.  Like most religious people, you can’t win an argument with someone who has already thrown away reason.  This kind of emotional thinking – where one abandons logical reasoning in favor of some predetermined ‘truth’ is the greatest propagator of violence in the world. 

People are too easily swayed by emotional arguments.  Perhaps this is because religion isn’t held to the same standards of logical reasoning as most other ideas.  Because of this, people are less weary about emotional or spiritual arguments.  We’re already used to accepting them without checking the facts.

Now I’m not blaming religion for all the violence in the world (only most of it).  I’m saying that violence is perhaps sometimes a result of the same kind of sloppy thinking that religions encourage.

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