Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Theocracy + Nukes = Colorful Expletives

On Tuesday, January 12th, nuclear scientist Massoud Ali-Mohammadi was assassinated in Iran. Mainstream media reports from Iran claim that the U.S. and Israel instigated this tragic incident.

One could speculate that somebody within the Iranian leadership called for Ali-Mohammadi's assassination. After all, he openly supported the protests against the 2009 elections results where Mir Hossein Mousavi won lost against the current Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Now officials of Iran claim that the (alleged) terrorist act by the U.S. and Israel will only hasten the goal of turning Iran into a nuclear power.

We can all rest assured that their nuclear goals are totally peaceful, right?

I don't like the idea of a theocratic society having nuclear weapons.* At any given moment, someone in leadership can become convinced that the end of the age has finally come. I fear that someone will one day decide that nuclear weapons are a wonderful way to usher in the ultimate punishment, retribution, wrath, and final victory blow of their god.

Can this happen to a secular society? Well, the urge to press the button might be there, but hopefully the leadership of a secular society will at least pause and consider that fact that we cannot obliterate our adversaries with nuclear weapons without ourselves facing grave consequences. If one leader says that god wants the missiles to fly, other leaders (even religious ones) will undoubtedly require more evidence than that-- even if the extra evidence they demand happens to be falsified!

Perhaps this is not simply about religion, but about all radical ideologies. The extreme views of any ideology can become very dangerous very quickly. To me, religion often fuels extremist views because religious leaders tend to discourage openness of ideas (heresy) and open inquiry (the challenging religious authority).

Should two nations decide to retaliate by exchanging nuclear weapons, the whole sky will eventually turn black and the earth will turn cold. We will all suffer.


And our suffering will not come by the wrath of god, but by the wrath of our own stupidity as a human race.

When I consider the awesome, destructive power of nuclear weapons, I utter colorful expletives. When the wrong group of extremist leaders gain nuclear capabilities, all of our lives will be in their hands, not gods.

Holy expletive!

* Pakistan is not a theocracy to my understanding. But, that nation does seem quite unstable. One never knows what will happen there in the next few years. That alone is cause for colorful expletives!
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