[H]ow can people who lack a spiritual nature nourished by God truly comprehend the murderous nature of those who believe they are the divine instruments of Allah? How can people who have no beliefs understand that there are fanatics who are consumed by their beliefs?To truly understand what's going on in the spiritual areas of life, one must be plugged into those areas in one's own existence. It's similar to the 'inside/outside' problem in sociological approaches to religion. An observer from the 'outside' cannot fully grasp or understand what is happening on the 'inside.' As a result, any response made by those who don't have that spiritual connection (or who don't respond to it) will be (naturally) uninformed.
Equally true is the fact that those who acknowledge their own spiritual natures are capable of recognizing the spiritual nature of others as it manifests in the others' religions. However much Americans are mocked because we have retained our religious sensibilities, the existence of those sensibilities enables us to truly respect Muslims rather than patronize them.
People like Cherie Blair react to suicide bombers in buses with a patronizing, condescending sympathy. Such things can only be caused by some kind of grievance, a reaction against unjust colonialist legacies. Rejection of Kyoto or inadequate foreign aid. Rigged WTO rules. There just has to be something. It is a patronizing view where people are less than fully human and they just can't be blamed for how they react to western countries.This point can be roughly reduced to the conflict between the 'personal responsibility' and 'group responsibility' worldviews - who do we hold accountable? The idea has been elaborated upon at length by the incredible Bill Whittle, and his essay is a must-read primer for the subject.
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