Saturday, February 11, 2017

Racism & Religion: Biology vs Beliefs

"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession"
1 Pet 2:9.

Racism is a religion based on a belief in the superiority of one's race over all other races, even though there is no such thing, biologically speaking, of "race." As such, racism is perhaps the perfect means of illustrating the difference between how the world is and how we "believe" it to be.

There has always been forces that, like a heart, contract and expand both our mind and our biology. We huddle together with those who look like us, and think like us, out of fear of those we often fail to understand and see as 'different'. To feel more secure, but also to exploit our differences for economic gain by the powerful few, we were all divided into races and ethnicities, so we could all be ranked in accord with our particular differences for performing different tasks. 

And as economic times become more desperate, our tendency to cling more and more to those who think and look like us, and believe such oversimplified narratives more and more. And the difference between racism and the human race helps to explain why this is not only our biggest problem, but why our "beliefs" are actually responsible for killing us all.

The difference between biology and our beliefs is that we know, for a fact, that we are improved by the diversity of our biological make up over the long term, in the same way we know that all creativity and genius necessarily depends on, and comes from, a greater diversity of ideas and understandings, while our "beliefs" about religion and racism both teach us to seek "salvation" through the homogenization of both our body and our mind.

For our "beliefs" to be pure, in other words, we should guard agaisnt all other ideas that we may perceive to challenge our beliefs, which is why the Church has long held onto ideas of blasphemy and heresy, for example. So to, racism seeks to "purify" a particular "race" by excluding diversity. And both do so out of a desire to reach the pinnacle of  biological and spiritual "perfection," which was of course (for many anyway) culminated in the man called Jesus Christ, who was the "perfect" human as well as spiritually perfect (ie. beliefs) because he was also God.
In this way, religion actually builds and capitalizes on fears by always promoting the idea that "diversity" is the ultimate "evil," and homogenization is the ultimate "good", even though all research shows that both our ability to empathize and to survive depend exclusively on our ability to overcome the fear that leads to homogenization so that our diversity will can save us by making us stronger biologically and more creative in solving the growing numbers of problems we face intellectually.

At the bottom of everything is a contest between empathy and survival, only the religion of economics has succeeded in convincing us that these two things are opposites, and indeed enemies of each other,  when in fact they are the same thing, and that without the one, we cannot hope to achieve the other.

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