Terrorism is often defined as the use of force and violence to advance the political or religious cause against the state. However, such a definition is one-sided as there is also state-sponsored terrorism not only in our history but also in our contemporary society.
Nevertheless, the idea behind terrorism is violence that endangers the multitude. It is simply a terror act that is genocidal and brutal.
Whoever initiates and perpetuates terrorism, there is a deep reason behind it. It is not whimsical and capricious. Rather, it is deeply rooted in one’s philosophy and psychological state.
Since time immemorial, human beings believe that there exists an absolute truth that tells them what is right and what is wrong. The idea that there is a battle between the good and the evil has already existed even before the time of Zoroastrians who are said to have propagated such an idea.
People have come to believe that the good must prevail and that the evil must be crushed. However, almost everybody thinks he belongs to the good. Therefore, we all become paranoid about the people who we think are evil.
Such paranoia drives us to do everything at all costs in order to annihilate the supposed enemy even at the expense of the lives of other people. This paranoia teaches us to sacrifice something for the sake of victory.
It seems that virtue ethics and the belief in the knowledge of absolute truth are contributors to terrorist ideologies, but all these philosophies are mere expressions of humanity’s paranoia.
For instance, some people have an irrational fear of snakes while snakes are not really that evil as what they really believe. As a result, these poor animals become victims of violence and hate.
Irrational fear is the result of overthinking. We are used to assuming that something “is” even if it “is not.”
We fear death without realizing that life is more painful. This is why our belief that death is to be feared of makes us think that death is the right punishment for those who do evil. We kill because of fear. If such fear is unusually great, we kill in numbers.
On the other hand, our mind is capable of recognizing whether or not what we perceive is extremely dangerous. Take for instance our knowledge that fire can always burn us. We kill the fire if it becomes a threat to us.
However, we also suffer from incorrect perception if the reality is merely communicated to us. Reality is plain and unbiased while language has color and angles.
We can’t say a word without making a judgment about what a word is. When someone tells us that he saw a tree, we are forced to believe that it was really a tree without suspending our judgment to ascertain what a tree really is. Language is a force that makes us decide that we get exactly what is said even if the exactness is not appropriate.
In a nutshell, terrorism is a by-product of abusive communication that colors our perception and makes us perceive the world as black and white while in fact, it is colorless. This is why we can not radicalize every creature that does not understand us. They are free from paranoia; hence, they do not annihilate their own species the way we do to our own.