Quotable (#153)

There a lot of excitable feedback circuits to be discovered on the way down the slope. This looks like one:

Analyzing data from a large, worldwide sample, two Chinese psychologists report people whose countries are more involved with wars and similar conflicts experience higher levels of existential fear, which drive them to greater religiosity. […] Previous surveys have found highly religious Americans tend to be more supportive of war, as well as of torturing one’s opponents. This raises a profound and troubling question: Could it be that armed conflict and intense religiosity are in a mutually reinforcing relationship? […] “The relationship between war and religiousness may be bidirectional,” write Hongfei Du and Peilian Chi of the University of Macau. “War strengthens individuals’ religiousness (due to) their worries about war, while fundamental religious beliefs result in violent conflicts and war.”

The Du and Chi paper is here.

3 thoughts on “Quotable (#153)

  1. “wars and similar conflicts experience higher levels of existential fear, which drive them to greater religiosity” there is no way they did some sort of before and after comparison for this non-science but in the general spirit of the post I would assume that in general being predisposed to states of participation-mystique/group-identification (sports fan, nationalist, etc) makes one more likely to support such efforts.

  2. While this is appetizing, 20th C. history makes it impossible to swallow uncooked.

    “War intensifies religion” can only possibly be correct if we broaden conventional notions of religion.

    (Which, of course, we should.)

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