Editor: I’ve just read a particularly heated Eastertime opinion that “Religion has been the root cause of almost all of the misery that is human history, and the sooner we can get past it the better.”
I’d theorize, however, that rather than be the “root cause,” historical societal misery may typically coincide with mainstream religiosity due to common societal characteristics that breed some of the worst in collective human behaviour.
For example, mutual aspiration traits may have motivated a large quantity of western migration to North America—perhaps an insatiable drive for freedom from corrupt, bullish rulers and/or increasingly ‘Godless’ society — then also eventually resulted in societally dysfunctional conduct.
Indeed, instead of big religion playing the main role in humankind’s dysfunctional conduct, could it be that general human-nature flaw is making popular religion notably dysfunctional?
Is humankind’s predominantly religious nature via its high number of followers making mainstream religion superficially easier to blame for our great social woes?
Therefore, wouldn’t we see a reversed situation had we conversely lived in a predominantly atheist world, overwhelmed by the likes of the Khmer Rouge’s Cambodian Killing Fields and Russia’s often ruthless communist history?
Broad human nature may be to find and ardently follow some form of ‘faith’ or another, be its leader the Holy Pope or Pol Pot.
Perhaps the most worrisome universal human traits, amongst the atheist and religious alike, is anger—thus the reduced ability for rational thinking—which becomes noticeably even more prevalent in us men in later years due to cerebral changes.
I especially witnessed this in a man who’s always adamantly opposed to any liberal entity governing ‘the people’ — so much so, that on a couple occasions he became so blindly angry that he, with his fist tightened before him, uttered to me, “I’d vote for the devil himself if that’s what it took to keep those Godless socialists out of office!”
Frank Sterle Jr.,