>Instead of attacking magical thinking, promote rationality. Instead of attacking extremist religious belief, promote its antidote, a thirst for knowledge.
Both are necessary. We must bring the fruits of the enlightenment, and the very real individual benefits thereof, to the people who would otherwise be ripe recruits for fundamentalism. To be blunt, however, we must also kill those who promote and carry out terrorist attacks against us.
>What would be really cool is if someone can figure out a way to trick the part of our brains that craves a Disney-style magical reality into contributing to its own demise. In other words, say to people, "Want a magical world? Join us in the use of science and technology to build it for ourselves."
While the second sentence seems suspect, I really like the first one. There would be a sort of cosmic beauty in using the vagaries of human consciousness that lead us to magical thinking to cure ourselves of same. Noe that would be a worthy hack.
To be blunt, however, we must also kill those who promote and carry out terrorist attacks against us.
I'm not yet convinced of this. Maybe there truly are some people beyond redemption (with current technology), but I question how large that set could be, and doubt it encompasses every single member of any group designated by various governments as a terrorist organization (like Wikipedia).
I'm past the editing time limit, so I'm responding to note that "Wikipedia" should be "Wikileaks". Firefox and my KDE color scheme interact badly, creating black-on-dark-gray input boxes. Custom user style sheets don't help.