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Archive for October, 2010

All manner of truly reprehensible behaviors can be justified because backdoor access to your mind has been granted to priests, holy books, and a gut feeling you sometimes get when you pray. And if one can only twist these things to act as support for your own selfish or morbid desires then further reason isn’t really required.
Religion, and the social psychology attendant on it, offers people a powerful mechanism by which to justify a number of behaviors. They needn’t seek out the relevant values and arguments, which justify or rule out certain behavior. They need only find a verse of Scripture that say that behavior is okay.

Bridging the gap between judging a person to be inferior and deliberately harming them for it isn’t much of a stretch on a worldview that holds that such inferiors positively deserve an eternity of torment. More than that if certain values are permitted to take residence without proper evaluation a person might feel justified to act defensibly when those values are threatened.

If we lived in a world in which bad-reasoning didn’t come pre-packaged in books so many of us tote as sacred and infallible just imagine what that would be like. If we didn’t live in a world where some are chosen and the others are damned, imagine how we would perceive one another. Imagine if we didn’t live in a world in which most people believe in an afterlife and cosmic justice but, rather, accepted that we have one life to live and that we only have one shot to get it right.

If we didn’t live in a world in which so many abdicated their reason and swallowed whole the beliefs handed to them in pill form, imagine what things we might be compelled to discover. If we didn’t live in a world in which so many absconded from moral reasoning and did only as the more unlettered among us command after torturing a confession from a text poetically dictated from an imaginary being to one of our primitive ancestors.

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