General discussion

Why do men become suicide bombers?

Jul 12, 2007 12:18PM PDT

I was intrigued by this rather blatantly politically incorrect article from Psychology Today:
Psychology Today: Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature
Why most suicide bombers are Muslim, beautiful people have more daughters, humans are naturally polygamous, sexual harassment isn't sexist, and blonds are more attractive.
I can't really assess the validity of any of the pop psychology arguments in the article. I suspect that some of the claims are rather laughably simplistic. Still, it made for an interesting read.

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now i know why they blow themselves up
Jul 12, 2007 12:48PM PDT

"if you ain't getting any here, the here-after will provide for you"

some interesting points are raised, although a pinch of salt is mandatory Wink

jonah "still looking for a big breasted blond in a position of power" jones


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RE: Why do men become suicide bombers?
Jul 12, 2007 12:54PM PDT

Have you seen their women?

Neither have they.

That's why.

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Sex and marriage are strong motivators, it's true.
Jul 12, 2007 4:20PM PDT

I believe, as the author implies he does, that the other end of the proposition has to be in place for this "system" to work. Mohammed's posited Paradise furnishes that. I have a perspective that shows me a broader application, though.

Every society has its downtrodden, some hopelessly so. Almost all religions, and all the mainstream ones, teach some sort of [immediate] life after death. Therefore the pieces are in place for either of these two conversations:
"If you [become a bomber; become a GI] you will go to [Paradise to be with virgins; Heaven to be with Jesus] when you die. If you refuse [either], you will burn in [Jehannum; Hell] when you die." And, in the case of radical Muslims, the opportunity for the latter sentence may begin upon refusal.
Likewise, Buddhists have inexpressible peace on the one hand and a church-like Hell on the other. Hindus have Nirvana and reincarnation to 'Hell on earth'.

Is the stretch from bomber to GI too far? Not if history is a guide. Gott mit uns is the well-known belt buckle phrase, but each country (most nominally Christian) in both World Wars had those preaching the same idea. And, if we substitute "become a Crusader" for "become a GI" we have a fact of history that goes far to explain many bad things.
If these ideas prove permanent, and if no priest or dictator comes up with a practical, worldwide solution for badness, expect more 'holy killings'.

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As I have read, this is not without historical precedent
Jul 12, 2007 8:38PM PDT

as it's been said that many recruits in the earlier crusades were offered the promise of "redemption" for their past sins. I cannot say how true this is but it sounds plausible. Of course that church didn't promise the same heavenly "bliss" that might attract a young man with raging hormones. Unfortunately for many who joined the crusades for such purpose, too many committed far worse crimes in that endeavor than what they probably did beforehand. My thinking is the same goes today for suicide bombers but what puzzles me is how can anyone fall for such (what I consider is) baloney.

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Just "many" recruits? Research will
Jul 14, 2007 2:51PM PDT

show you first job of the leader of a proposed Crusade: To obtain a blanket remission of sins for any of his recruits who died; often similar for those merely setting out. Barbara Tuchman, a secular Jew of impeccable reputation, is a good place to start. (A Distant Mirror, for one.)

"Heavenly bliss" contrasted with unending tortures are the bookends of most religions, and all the mainstream ones. Not necessary to consider the "accuracy" of the beliefs, just necessary to show that many believe them strongly enough to have their behavior altered. History has already rendered judgment on that. Sad

The "72 virgins" (and hot babes all, don't forget) seems like baloney to you and me, from nominally Christian backgrounds. But step over here to the other side with me, please:
We've seen and desired actual hot babes, and we can count as high as 72, and the other parts of Muslim Paradise also have the ring of human reality. But Heaven? We've never been there, very little of what we're told relates to anything on the earth we've lived on, and we're told we'll 'see God', whom 'No man hath seen at any time'. How much baloney do these young Muslim men see on our side, and how much likely promise on theirs?
Kaboom! That was the sound of a "Christian" engineer under the walls of old Jerusalem, and is the sound of a Datsun in Basra.

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Nothing stood out as obviously false
Jul 12, 2007 11:33PM PDT

but some of the reasoning came straight from my undergrad Evolutionary Bio and Animal Behavior courses. That being said, the article may be lackng a more detailed complexity, but the overall generalizations seem correct.
I've seen the suicide bombing explanation many times before... it's why after the initial invasion of Iraq I suggested that we open Hooters and strip clubs all over Iraq right here in SE.

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Maybe the answer simpler
Jul 13, 2007 4:11AM PDT

Why can't this be solved with science. Genetic engineering or a drug that changes the gender ratio. I heard this was done in California already?? at least according to Jan and Dean

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Two girls for every boy

I bought a '30 Ford wagon and we call it a woodie (Surf City, here we come)
You know it's not very cherry, it's an oldie but a goodie (Surf City, here we come)
Well, it ain't got a back set or a rear window
But it still gets me where I wanna go

And we're goin' to Surf City, 'cause it's two to one
You know we're goin' to Surf City, gonna have some fun
You know we're goin' to Surf City, 'cause it's two to one
You know we're goin' to Surf City, gonna have some fun, now
Two girls for every boy

You know they never roll the streets up 'cause there's always somethin' goin' (Surf City, here we come)
You know they're either out surfin' or they got a party growin' (Surf City, here we come)
Yeah, and there's two swingin' honeys for every guy
And all you gotta do is just wink your eye

And we're goin' to Surf City, 'cause it's two to one
You know we're goin' to Surf City, gonna have some fun
You know we're goin' to Surf City, 'cause it's two to one
You know we're goin' to Surf City, gonna have some fun, now
Two girls for every boy

And if my woody breaks down on me somewhere on the surf route (Surf City, here we come)
I'll strap my board to my back and hitch a ride in my wetsuit (Surf City, here we come)
And when I get to Surf City I'll be shootin' the curl
And checkin' out the parties for a surfer girl

And we're goin' to Surf City, 'cause it's two to one
You know we're goin' to Surf City, gonna have some fun
You know we're goin' to Surf City, 'cause it's two to one
You know we're goin' to Surf City, gonna have some fun, now
Two girls for every boy Happy

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Your undergrad courses:
Jul 14, 2007 2:17PM PDT

Aren't Desmond Morris and Konrad Lorenz still considered readable at the grad level? Same ideas.

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(NT) Because of their beliefs :(
Jul 13, 2007 4:57AM PDT
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(NT) Human nature moreso :(
Jul 13, 2007 6:00AM PDT

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