Watching those with potential conflicts of interest
Pay extreme attention to potential conflicts of interest within key nations of those more powerful members of the Establishment who hold fundamentalist religious beliefs
Finally, it is very important that governments – and the media and the general public – pay extreme attention to potential conflicts of interest for those more powerful members of the Establishment in influential countries who hold fundamentalist religious beliefs. Government (and society as a whole) must apply Mirrored Tolerance to deeply-religious politicians, military leaders and other important members of the Establishment such as the judiciary. In an increasingly multi-faith, scientific and secular world, Spirituality is different from Faith. And ethics is not the sole province of religion.
The more that any faction preaches something different to that, the greater the risk to collective social order. Politicians, the military and the legal system are not immune to the undue influence of a particular religion or of religion as a whole. And politics linked with law combined with religion and couched in terms of patriotism is a corrosive combination. These days, the nationalist fervor it stirs can all-too-easily lead a country, and then the world, into danger – ironically, in direct contravention to the primary obligation of the State. The government, and the public, needs to hold such members of the Establishment in check.
A still-stronger reaction is needed against those officials of key nations who actually view international politics as an opportunity for ‘their’ religion to win over others. On the surface, their attitude merely appears a rather naive and arrogant assumption. But for two reasons, it is more dangerous than that. Firstly, trying to get one religion to win-out against rival religions (or, against the ‘ungodly’) completely misses the reality of current circumstances. Given the exponential trends impacting developments in artificial-intelligence, nanotechnology and life-sciences, the international community has about thirty years before, one way or another, things change out of all recognition. No religion has time to ‘win’ in only thirty years. But they – and everyone else – could all lose if religious fanaticism ultimately led, as an extreme example, to nuclear war.
The second reason that some fundamentalist officials are a threat is more worrying. As an example, there are some senior figures of some very-powerful bodies (including, in my own experience, certain individuals in upper-echelons of the Pentagon) for whom winning the religious battle does not mean that their religion dominates over the others because everyone converts. Winning to them means worshiping, in this case, the Christian god at the time of the Rapture, when because of their piety they get transported to heaven before everyone else and get to watch all those who backed the ‘wrong’ religions being destroyed.
The signal that this great event is imminent is, so some of them insist to me, growing global chaos leading to war in the Middle East. Unfortunately for those pursuing a more-diplomatic solution, international unrest to such believers is not necessarily something to avoid. Those religious fundamentalists (certainly including Christian fundamentalists) that hold positions of military or government authority – especially those who, for instance, openly look forward to the End of Days – need to be recognized as having conflicts of interest that pose direct potential threats to national (and global) security. They need to be tightly monitored.
Ironically, right at the opposite end of the spectrum of Beliefs About Existence, other developments also need to be tightly monitored. Here there are threats of equally-devastating backlashes as there are from Religion. Part of the irony in this is that those backlashes are building as a result of the very same supertrend that is destabilizing Religion and escalating the risks of its backlashes in the first place. I am referring, of course, to High-Tech itself.