If we’re serious about stopping the epidemic of religious fanaticism, we have to stop looking at it in obsolete conventions of enemy warfare, clash of civilizations, or even religious/scriptural ideological differences, and start approaching the solution epidemiologically, psychologically and neuroscientifically.
The terrifying reality is that ideas (good and bad) spread through the human community like viruses ( See Gladwell’s The Tipping Point). Obsessive beliefs (religious, political, sexual) act on the brain like a parasitic fungus, sapping normal cognitive functions, distorting and assigning an encoded behavioral pattern in lieu of traditional social imprints.
The infected individual no longer cogitates, reasons, emotes, or relates in the way they use to, but as the viral belief system dictates. As Larry Gelbart said about George W. Bush, “he doesn’t think, he believes”, or, as yet another great screenwriter, Robert Bolt, said so poignantly, ” A belief is not an idea the mind possesses, but an idea that possesses the mind.”
That’s why I’ve devised my handy Posterior Medial Frontal Cortex Navigator. By measuring fluxes within the Limbic Amygdalae it can determine whether the original human being has been completely infected with the religious fanatic virus, or, if they can still be restored to normalcy through transcranial magnetic stimulation. (Any resemblance to the Voight-Kampff machine of Bladerunner is purely coincidental)