Similarly in religion, we see the rise of fundamentalist religions offering escapism, magical solutions and the promise of otherworldly salvation.
“There’s a sucker born every minute!” – PT Barnum
At worst it is also a means of enrichment for its leaders, who offer salvation in exchange for cash – our age’s version of the ancient sin of simony. When it further sets up a model of the ‘saved’ (us) versus the ‘damned’ (them) it creates a subtle mentality of xenophobia that feeds into the dominant public mentality.
During the 18th Century the great philosopher Immanuel Kant proclaimed “Sapere aude!” Literally “dare to think”. Daring to think is difficult – as soon as we do we find ourselves questioning deeply-held, but often poorly-formulated beliefs about politics, economics and religion. The more we actually think, the more we realise we have to think again. And again. The more we act on our thinking, the more we realise we have to act again. And again. SA