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For the mental. October 20, 2010

Posted by Jordan in Books, Quotes.
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Excerpt from The End Of Faith, by Sam Harris – Chapter One, pages 11 and 12

The young man boards the bus as it leaves the terminal. He wears an overcoat. Beneath his overcoat, he is wearing a bomb. His pockets are filled with nails, ball bearings, and rat poison.

The bus is crowded and headed for the heart of the city. The young man takes his seat beside a middle-aged couple. He will wait for the bus to reach its next stop. The couple at his side appears to be shopping for a new refrigerator. The woman has decided on a model, but her husband worries that it will be too expensive. He indicates another one in a brochure that lies open on her lap. The next stop comes into view. The bus doors swing. The woman observes that the model her husband has selected will not fit in the space underneath their cabinets. New passengers have taken the last remaining seats and begun gathering in the aisle. The bus is now full. The young man smiles. With the press of a button he destroys himself, the couple at his side, and twenty others on the bus. The nails, ball bearings, and rat poison ensure further casualties on the street and in the surrounding cars. All has gone according to plan.

The young man’s parents soon learn of his fate. Although saddened to have lost a son, they feel tremendous pride at his accomplishment. They know that he has gone to heaven and prepared the way for them to follow. He has also sent his victims to hell for eternity. It is a double victory. The neighbors find the event a great cause for celebration and honor the young man’s parents by giving them gifts of food and money.

These are the facts. This is all we know for certain about the young man. Is there anything else that we can infer about him on the basis of his behavior? Was he popular in school? Was he rich or was he poor? Was he of low or high intelligence? His actions leave no clue at all. Did he have a college education? Did he have a bright future as a mechanical engineer? His behavior is simply mute on questions of this sort, and hundreds like them. Why is it so easy, then, so trivially easy — you-could-almost-bet-your-life-on-it-easy — to guess the young man’s religion?

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Comments»

1. Melissa - October 20, 2010

I’ve been watching countless documentaries on the 9/11 commission, 9/11 itself, and the families. I’ve also been watching other movies with facts based on Muslim/Hindi/Al Queda religions. I’d assume I know the religion of this man, without question. I don’t think that’s wrong of me to assume I know based on what I’ve learned from in depth watching and reading of all things (our government included) leading up to 9/11. I could be wrong, but if we’re just asking based on the facts and how the paragraph is written…that his religion is no secret to most, even those who have not read, watched and heard as much supporting evidence.

Good thought provoking post:)

2. Rachel - December 31, 2010

This entry peaked my interest the writing is undoubtfully truthful and pensive. I myself ponder the idea of the religion that somehow encourages the murder of oneself and others.


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