Readers of Who Hates Whom might recall the conclusion, which reviewed various conflicts worldwide and found only one thing in common: certainty. Certainty that one god, culture, language, political or economic system, or miscellaneous dogma is right and best allows believers to see everyone else as other, and therefore lesser. And that seems to be a fairly necessary threshold for megaviolence to begin. In short, “you’re either with us or against us” is one of the single most dangerous ideas a human can hold, in any culture, anywhere, any time.
I, um, think, anyway. Let’s say that.
Unfortunately, certainty is emotionally rewarding. Which is kind of a problem, if we want the species to survive.
Scientific American has an article up on what it calls the certainty bias. Worth a read. Certainly.