Thursday, March 29, 2007
God Is on Our Side. Does That Mean War?
This isn't the surprise: Religious people are more prone to violence when they think it's rationalized in scripture. But stop the presses: sociologist Brad Bushman's study also demonstrates that scripture has the same effect on agnostics/atheists:
"...What we found is that people who believed the passage was from the Bible were more aggressive [than those who did not know it came from the Bible], and when God said it is OK to retaliate they were even more aggressive," Bushman said. "We found that both at Brigham Young, which is a religious school, and at Amsterdam, where only half believe in God...Even among nonbelievers, if God says it's OK to retaliate, they are more aggressive. And that's the worry here. When God sanctions aggression, when God says it's OK to retaliate, people use that as justification for their own violent and aggressive behavior."
Why am I not surprised that the non-religious among us are just as susceptible to manipulation as anyone else? People don't need religion to be cruel and inhuman. Just about any excuse will due.