Submitted 2nd June 2014
Dear Letters Editor,
Why do we continue to step delicately around the taboo of religion? Ali Clarke concedes to this outdated prohibition by choosing instead to be tagged racist for rightly condemning the brutal murder of a young Pakistani women (“Honour killings. Is there a more perverse term?, The Advertiser yesterday).
Religion, all religion, is merely a latent “by product” of our earliest evolutionary mechanisms for survival and social interaction. Neuroscience can clearly demonstrate that religion hijacks these basic systems, such as decoupled cognition, attachment, counterintuitive intelligence, and a dozen more, simply to foster belief in supernatural gods.
When religions then imprint primitive punishment rituals it becomes perverse. For hundreds of years the Catholic church dealt our cruel and sadistic torture, and repulsive execution techniques, to the innocent who merely rejected their particular god. And while much of this physical abuse has leached out of Christianity we still look at all the evangelical schools in Australia that blatantly teach children the entire Bible is, literally, the inerrant Word of God.
Our community needs to understand the psychology of all religion. Dr Anderson Thomson is one the easiest to understand with his clear and concise book, Why We Believe in God(s) — just one of many that state what neuroscience can now tell us about supernatural belief. Only through better education can communities free themselves from the perverse aspects of all religion.
Director, Plain Reason