Thanks for your civil and reasonable swing at my pitch, Chryssa!
Random thoughts, in the spirit of chewing the topic over in a friendly way:
I've always disliked the 'I sent a boat, etc' trope, for two reasons...
First, the 'seeing evidence of G's handiwork in everyday events'.
To me, this suggests the mindset of a medieval peasant!
A partridge flew widdershins round the watermill on St. Swithin's eve? It's a sign!
Perkin Thickett overturned his spelt-bucket, and the grain fell in the shape of a benedictio? It's a siiiiign!
This is looking for omens, pure and simple, much as the Greeks did in the entrails of sacrificed animals, the Romans in the patterns of smoke from burnt offerings, or the ancient Britons in the blood-spatter of human sacrifice.
Granted, you're looking for small moments of happiness and optimism in everyday life, but make no mistake, you're looking for omens.
The insidious thing is - those who choose to go looking for omens will always find them.
It says nothing about the supposed "cause" of these so-called omens, but it says a great deal about the person looking!
Also - have you noticed how geographically convenient omens tend to be?
Child pulled from floodwaters in Uttar Pradesh? It's a sign from Vishnu and the 330 million divine beings of Hinduism!
Child pulled from floodwaters in Louisiana? It's a sign from God!
A cynic might even say that these are everyday events being interpreted as confirmation of whatever belief system is locally prevalent anyway.
Second: here's how I see things from the perspective of the Guy With The Boat:
"I'm going to help.
My community is in trouble, and I identify as a part of that community.
My parents raised me with a sound set of values, and I know they'd want me to do the right thing.
I can see my neighbour on the roof of his flooded house - personal friendship and common humanity move me to help.
Normal, healthy psychology gives me the ability to empathise with others and being part of a functional society has shown me the benefits of altruistic action, and to be mindful of how my actions will be viewed by the rest of society.
And my culture is one in which personal bravery and selfless action is celebrated.
In short... pass us me wellies, Gladys; I'm going to get roof-guy off his roof."
BUT... the point of the story is: LOLno, none of that matters, free will is irrelevant, individual human morals and societal mores count for nothing, God sent you. By magic.
Wow. Seen from that POV, it's one depressing story.
On to "ignorance", "hatred", and "psychopaths" as reasons for flying planes into skyscrapers:
"Hatred"? Granted, but so what? Those engaged in any sort of conflict usually hate their perceived opponents.
"Ignorant"? I'd be careful with that label.
The average Middle-Eastern activist has a thorough knowledge of the sociopolitical situation in a region which the average American can't find on a map.
These guys learn to recite the Koran by heart, in Arabic - even if Arabic is not their first language.
If somebody had studied the Bible so thoroughly they could recite it by heart - in its original Greek/Latin/Hebrew - would you seriously describe them as 'ignorant'?
I'd consider the possibility that rather than being 'ignorant', they may be, y'know... religious.
The 9/11 hijackers included several university graduates including an architect, an Imam, the son of an Imam, several war veterans from the Bosnian and Chechnya wars, and men who were trained agents who'd operated successfully from the Phillipines to Malaysia.
And yes... one guy with a history of mental health problems.
Lastly, psychopathy: It's maybe a tad undiplomatic to ascribe so much of the world's problems to mental illness... on a Nursing Forum!
But since we're here, I think it boils down to this: holding a radically different view from you in the matter of religion is NOT a definition of mental illness.
But here's the thing: hatred, ignorance and psychopathy are equal-opportunity phenomena.
They occur right across the board, affecting the religious and irreligious, believers and non-believers alike.
That being the case...
Where are all the agnostic suicide bombers?
Where are the atheist mobs lynching albino children in Africa? Why don't the religiously uncommitted bomb abortion clinics? Why is Joseph Kony's organisation called the "Lord's Resistance Army" rather than the "Humanist Resistance Army"?
There are several irrefutable common threads which run through violent extremism, and one of the strongest and vilest is that of religious faith.
Okay, where are we? Red/green colour blindness? Taken "on faith"? Really, that's how you'd describe it?
I'll see you one better: There are some parts of the light spectrum that nobody can see.
X-rays, for example.
So... do you really think we "take it on faith" that there are such things as X-rays?
Or.... do we actually have plentiful, solid, verifiable evidence that they exist?
I'm going with option 2.
Lastly, the dog-whistle?
Now, I'm aware you're not being literal here, I do realise it's just a metaphor, but...
I would respectfully point out that you are employing the same argument you just refuted when applied to 'planes into buildings'!
You weren't willing to entertain the notion that violent extremists are 'receiving a signal which you cannot hear' when it comes to religion.
Anyway, enough of that.
Please give your dog a good rub behind the ears and a nose boop from me!