What if instead of exclusively dropping bombs in the Middle East, we dropped books? Not just any book, but books filled with dangerous ideas that challenge the revealed religion of their people. We wouldn't stop. We'd drop so many that it became impossible to get rid of them all. People will pick them up, hide them and read them.
What books would you like to see dropped? Which ones do you think would have the greatest impact?
While there are many I would choose, Lucretius's On the Nature of Things and Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species come to mind as having great potential.
Let the sun be eclipsed by a sea of floating books.
"You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink."
The operant problem remains: is your audience open to new ideas or aren't they? Are they thoughtful about what they believe or knee-jerk or indoctrinated? Would the words of a friend or fellow traveler who came to a different conclusion make them thing or revolt them?
In the final analysis, yeah, we can put the information in front of them ... and they will either at least have a look or not.
This idea does start with the premise that human beings are curious by nature. All it will really take is the right individual with the right resources to turn a spark into a flame.
One thing to keep in mind in the midst of that is: when and how these belief systems are introduced, especially that they are aimed at CHILDREN most times, before an age when they can competently examine and analyze said beliefs for themselves. Religion frequently wants to mute curiosity while simultaneously insisting that theirs is the only truth necessary for life. To see some Muslims insisting that they do not value freedom of speech but put all their eggs in the quran basket is truly frightening.
This is one reason why I came to the conclusion that Faith Is Not Curious.
Strangely, James, I think this is a wonderful idea. The only drawback is that the "dropped upon" nations would know it was us and they might threaten to nuke us if we did not quit. Another drawback is that this being America, someone would turn the book dropping idea into ways of converting others to Christianity. If we keep the book dropping secular I'm back to thinking it is a wonderful idea again.
A good idea ... but does anyone listen to the radio anymore? [grin!]
It's a nice idea, but it wouldn't do anything. Response to books (assuming one can read) does not generally appear in a vacuum. A culture that has been innoculated against outside ideas will not start suddenly thinking deeply.
Consider how misguided both Bush and Obama were about the 'Arab spring'. Surely, they felt, the combination of social media and new ideas would promote liberal democracy. Yeah, right.
"Books are like seeds. They can lie dormant for centuries and then flower in the most unpromising soil." Carl Sagan