Equality & Secularism

Is it truly possible for a devout believer to treat outsiders with complete equality? If a person honestly believes that their god will forever torture anyone who doesn't follow their religion, then it seems unrealistic to expect that person to treat them with any more respect or fairness than the deity they worship. If a person honestly believes that their god has specially chosen their ethnic group to receive special favors, then it again seems unrealistic to expect them to treat members of other groups with the same level of compassion as their own.

Social animals always treat outsiders differently than members of their own group and humans have more criteria than other animal upon which to mark divisions. Religion is one of those criteria along with location, ethnicity, language and culture, but it's unique among these in that it's irrational and, to a certain extent, can be moderated by education and social security. In order to build a more egalitarian society, the influence of religion must be diminished through these two means.


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