To the claim that “Most Americans Support Muslim Terrorists”, the first impression of most Americans would probably be something similar to: “That’s absurd!” But although first impressions may be “the most lasting”, they aren’t necessarily correct.
I’d agree that most Americans don’t support Islamic TERRORISM; in fact, data support the conclusion that not even most Muslim Americans support Islamic terrorism. Thus, a 2007 Pew Research Center survey found that “only” 13% of all American Muslims approve of suicide bombings, although that percentage is higher for younger American Muslims: approximately 25% of them “support suicide bombings to defend religious beliefs”. In any case, the data show that “only” approximately 300,000 Americans support suicide bombing.
So, if “only” about 300,000 support terrorism, why do I claim that “Most Americans Support Muslim Terrorists”? Well, first, notice that I claimed that the majority supports Muslim TERRORISTS not TERRORISM.
Of course, most Americans don’t support Muslim terrorists militarily or financially, but they do support them even more significantly: they support the terrorists' ideas – morally and philosophically.
Again and again it’s been found that, although “blood is thicker than water”, ideas are thicker still – and the thickest idea of all is belief in God.
And by claiming that MOST Americans support Muslim terrorists, I mean that somewhere in the range of 80 to 90% of all Americans do: that’s the usual estimate for the percentage of Americans who state that they believe in God. (The percentage is not firm, because the results depend sensitively on how the question is asked.)
Most Americans adopted belief in God, because it’s what they “want”. That’s consistent with one meaning of the word ‘belief’: with ‘lief’ the Anglo-Saxon root word for ‘wish’, they “believe” what they “wish to be.” As Julius Caesar said, “Men willingly believe what they want.”
Further, these same Americans are proud to express their belief in God, because they were brainwashed when they were children into believing that it’s “good” – that it’s a “virtue” – to believe in God.
Thereby, most Americans support Muslim terrorists, who have been similarly brainwashed when they were children that it’s “good” – that it’s a “virtue” – to believe in God. That is, most Americans support the terrorists in that they support the “virtue” of believing in God.
Of course, these same Americans (mostly Christians) would tell the Muslim terrorists that they’re “naughty”, because their understanding of God is wrong, or their prophet is wrong, or their “holy book” is wrong, but understandably, the terrorists respond that the Christians (and Jews and Hindus and…) are wrong – not about believing in God, of course, but in not believing in the Muslim’s God, prophet, “holy book”, and so on.
Well, people, sorry to be a party pooper, but you’re both wrong. There is another meaning for ‘belief’ – and it sure would help humanity if everyone learned what it is. This other meaning for ‘belief’ has nothing to do with “wish to be”; for example, if I have a picnic planned for today and say, “I believe it’s going to rain”, it means that in spite of what I “wish to be”, I think it’s gonna rain!
Thereby, you gotta be careful with the word ‘belief’. If someone says that he believes that the Patriots will win the game, it may mean that he wants them to win the game – or it may mean that he has estimated the probability that they will win and concluded that the odds are in the Patriot’s favor.
To illustrate the confusion, I could say: “Even I sometimes believe that God exists, but I’ve never believed that God exists” – by which I’d mean: “Even I sometimes wish that God existed (because it would be a relief to think that someone could clean up the mess we’ve made of this wonderful world), yet my best estimate of the probability that any god ever existed is zilch (more specifically, somewhere around 1 part in 10 to the 500th power).”
But meanwhile, most people (Americans or Muslims) who tell the pollsters that they “believe” in God, are NOT giving their best estimates of the probability of God’s existence, but expressing their “wish” that God exists. When they were kids, would that they had been taught – not that belief in God was “right” – but the wisdom that W.K. Clifford wrote in his essay The Ethics of Faith: “It is wrong always, everywhere and for everyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.”
Consequently, by continuing in their god delusion, most Americans thereby support the Muslim terrorists’ continued “faith” in their own god delusion. As the author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig, wrote: “When one person suffers from a delusion, it’s called insanity; when many people suffer from a delusion, it’s called religion.”
So, fellow Americans, to defeat the Muslim terrorists, we don’t need to send more of our brave youth to the battlefield near Baghdad, we don’t need to break the buck building new bombers and battleships; instead, what we need is a deafening battle cry, bellowed out from every bleacher in the land: “There are no gods!”
Maybe even a chant, led by cheerleaders:
There are no gods, but there’s no need to grieve;
Work out the odds: it was all make believe!
And on our currency, rather than “In God We Trust”, something similar to the above would be a great slogan – but maybe something shorter. How about a contest? Some obvious entries:
God is dead
God never existed
God was a delusion
Jesus is just a myth
Allah is all gone
Allah ain’t answerin’
Allah was all la-la-land
Muhammad was mad
The god game is over
Allah didn’t show