Hitting the news today was research using data from around the word which showed that children from non-religious families were more altruistic and empathetic than their religious counterparts. This is interesting because it fits into a wider picture as to how religion works in tandem with identity, psychology and religion.
Tag in-group / out-group psychology
There are many posts presently here at SIN written, or in the pipeline, on our series concerning moral panic, and nothing promotes moral panic quite as much as immigration. Immigration is a hot topic, particularly in the UK, where I live, but also within the wider context of Europe (and pretty much anywhere). There are literally boat loads of people from Africa and the eastern end of the Mediterranean who are hitting the shores of Italy and Spain in waves of thousand upon thousand. Often, the end destination is seen as the UK with its perceived soft touch welfare system.
The longer I have been pursuing philosophy, the more liberal I have become and the less nationalistic. By this i/ mean that I have recognised that my nationality if a mixture of several components over which I have no control:
So a British soldier was stabbed to death in public, the atrocity being caught and shared on social media. They stayed around to be arrested, not afraid of the consequences, and this is the scary thing. Now there is a widespread Muslim backlash. To make matters worse, the government has admitted that “thousands are at risk of radicalisation” in the UK.
So what do we do to unite society? What do we do to make it more inclusive and less exclusive? How do we break the in-group / out-group psychology which fuels the fires of societal discontent and fear? How to we pull down the walls of separation of ‘us’ and ‘them’?