We live in strange times. Times where the availability of space-age weapons can be debated among people who hold bronze-age beliefs in witchcraft, magic underwear, flying donkeys and horoscopes.
Despite all accusations singling out the Muslim faith as the source of violence, there’s no lack of dangerously delusional people out there in all walks of faith (and non-faith).
Would you blame the Harry Potter books if someone decided to jump off their roof on a broom? If such a thing happened would it be fair to say that all Harry Potter fans are dangerously delusional?
The same kind of bad thinking that would enable someone to believe in flying brooms, might be behind the belief of a martyr paradise.
Fanatical religious beliefs can be dismissed when one has a skeptic mindset, so maybe the issue is that so many of us lack the scientific training to question our beliefs.
People are not supposed to believe in everything they read, if I start telling you about my flying pet piglet I fully hope to not be taken seriously.
Since I’m the one claiming that pigs can fly I hope that you ask me to provide evidence for it, instead of believing me when I say that you’re the one responsible for proving that pigs are incapable of flight.
Scientific skepticism is all about learning how to not be fooled. Those who understand how to use the scientific method to evaluate a claim aren’t easily convinced into becoming religious martyrs.
But why so many of us out there still believe in the mythologies of the dark ages?
The answer is as simple as it is shocking: Billions still live as if they were in the dark ages because they are in the dark ages!
According to the International Energy Agency there are about 1.3 billion people without access to electricity.
And according to the Internet World Status there are about 4 billion without access to the internet.
So in a world where ignorance and violent superstition have to be fought not with weapons, but with scientific knowledge, we as the technically able elite have to start thinking better ways to reach the technically excluded majority.
Until we manage to bring everyone into the present we are all in risk of not having a future.