following the consequences of his religious beliefs

NewAmerica

Senior Member
Mandarin
What are "the consequences"? It appears to me that when a suicide bomber wrecks havoc, the consequences are great damage both to property and people. Is the damage "the consequences"? Looks not to me. Some nuance is there that I don't get it.

Thanks in advance

*************************
Given the vicissitudes of Muslim history, however, I suspect that the starting point I have chosen for this book—that of a single suicide bomber following the consequences of his religious beliefs—is bound to exasperate many readers, since it ignores most of what commentators on the Middle East have said about the roots of Muslim violence. It ignores the painful history of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

-Sam Harris' The End of Faith
 
  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    He has religious beliefs - one of the consequences of holding those beliefs is the act of suicide bombing. Harris is not referring to the damage the bomb causes.
     

    NewAmerica

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    It becomes clearer.

    Thank you.

    Yet it is not crystal clear.

    My guess:

    Among the consequences are the activation of suicide bombing action - following the activation leads to a tragedy.

    Sorry, the nuance is still a bit elusive to me.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    The suicide bomb is the consequence of the religious belief. That is what the sentence in the OP means.

    The damage is the consequence of the bomb. That is not what the sentence means, athough one does lead to the other.
     

    NewAmerica

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    I think I've got it:

    suicide bomb = suicide bomber.

    Religious beliefs produce such bombs/bombers.
     
    Last edited:

    NewAmerica

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Yes. As he says in your quote, the concept is Harris’s “starting point” for his attack on “faith” and its consequences.
    The analysis is accurate and crystal clear.

    But there is a minor question:

    The grammar "...a single suicide bomber following the suicide bombs (the consequences) of his religious beliefs" looks puzzling to me.

    Why not simply "...a single suicide bomber following his religious beliefs"?
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Because Harris wants to emphasize that faith/beliefs can have serious consequences and he disapproves of some of them, and this example is the one he wants to start his book with.

    You wrote:
    The grammar "...a single suicide bomber following the suicide bombs (the consequences) of his religious beliefs" looks puzzling to me.
    That is not what the original sentence says :(

    The consequence is the belief that making and use of the bomb is justified by their faith - you erroneously just substituted “suicide bombs” for consequences.
     
    Last edited:
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