Religious Extremism

All throughout history there have been religious extremists who have committed heinous and inhuman acts intent on controlling humanity.  Their purpose is to create terror in the hearts and minds of those who would oppose their idealistic views.

As a behaviorist I am often in conflict with religion and its ideals.  What is the intent of religious extremism?  Is it to earn a ticket into eternal life?  Is it to make others idealize their way of life?  What is the quality of life?  What is the value of freedom?

One can’t simply look at cause and effect because this narrows one’s view to get the bigger picture.  But I can interpret events based on my four points – 2 psychological principles and 2 behavioral rules.

When you look up into the clear night sky what do you see, heavens or a bunch of stars?  Do you see galaxies with billions of stars in each of them?  Do you realize that our little solar system powered by our sun is only a small star?

First we live, and then we die.  Does your life and how you have lived make a difference to those left behind?  Do you enhance the quality of life or hurt others keeping them from their quality of life?

If you are a religious extremist, why do you care if I go to heaven or hell?  Hell, we’re all dead in give or take a hundred years.  Poof there ends your concern.  I’m going to be dead anyway.

Do you muffled and silence other’s voices and opinions trying to kill the value of freedom; freedom of the press, and human rights?

Besides the value of freedom what about human rights?  Would you stand idly by watching a terrorist kill your neighbor or brother?  What about women getting the right to their freedom, to vote, and make decisions in all cultures and societies?

I get that no one country can be the policeman to enforce these kinds of values on anyone or any culture.  That is for those who subscribe to that culture to make choices for their own welfare or live by the consequences.

These behaviors violate my two psychological principles: #1 “Anyone will go for pleasure and avoid pain,” and #2 “Anyone can rationalize their behavior to get what they want.”

No action will be taken until enough pain is inflicted and the motives to achieve pleasure in basic quality of life needs are peacefully restored.  And it’s easy to understand how radicals rationalize their message (in the name of their God) to get what they want.  But how many God’s are there?

In human behavior what we cannot understand like the spirit or the afterlife that a God must be created that has ultimate control over us.  It’s as if what happens to us is manifest destiny and we have no control over our own behaviors.  People will always rationalize their behaviors to suit their personal needs at the time with no concern for the long or short term effects of their decisions.

You are who you are because you choose to be who you are.  When bad things happen to you or others don’t subscribe to your ideology you can’t blame them for your bad behaviors, or lack or response.

These practices violate my behavioral rules #1 – “The more you do for people the less then learn to do for themselves,” and #2 – “You cannot build accountability in a micromanagement system.”

Live and Let Die.  If you screw up be prepared to suffer the consequences or forever hold your peace. You cannot be your brother’s keeper any more than you can get the humanity of the world to forego their culture and have one standard of human rights, freedom, religion, language, or even currency.

That kind of change must come from within the embodiment of the people and for the people who subscribe to that ideology and culture and cannot and should not be forced upon anyone any more than letting a terrorist or a political party dictate their values and ideology upon us (you).

So stand up for what you believe, but please don’t kill anybody if they disagree with your opinion or views.  Focus more on improving the quality of your own life and those around you instead.

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