Thursday, October 23, 2008

If you're mortal and you know it...

SOLOMON: A large body of evidence shows that momentarily making death salient, typically by asking people to think about themselves dying, intensifies people’s strivings to protect and bolster aspects of their worldviews, and to bolster their self-esteem. The most common finding is that MS increases positive reactions to those who share cherished aspects of one’s cultural worldview, and negative reactions toward those who violate cherished cultural values or are merely different.

Thus, invoking the fear of death can pander to people's bigotry, and arouse their hatred of the socially variant. This strategy has proved profitable for many groups; especially the reactionary religious ones. Further, by invoking the "death of culture" concept, this fear can be exploited even more adroitly.

By threatening the demise of concepts deemed irreplaceable to an individual's continued existence, the triggering of abhorrence occurs, and can be channeled into useful reservoirs of repugnance. Individuals that disagree with a cherished belief become life-threatening attackers; for which violence in kind is the only proper response.

Thus, the left-leaning morph into terrorist loving madmen; the gender variant mutate into horrific child molesters; and the poor distort into capitalistic crushing parasites; all inhuman creatures bent on cultural annihilation and requiring extermination.

Meanwhile, those espousing beloved viewpoints are canonized; their words and deeds a saintly inspiration by which to fashion life and livelihood. Absolved from the constraints of human ignorance and bias, the chosen ones don the mantel of omniscience; and thus are freed from the shackles of empathy or mercy.

A god adored becomes a comfort for mortals... and those aspiring to eternity through the elimination of the abominated adversaries.

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