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  •  Western religions are mostly about (1+ / 0-)
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    exercising control by relying on persuasion and the fear of punishment in the after-life.  While there's always a temptation to resort to punishment in the here and now, in the long run it's not nearly as effective because physical aggression prompts retaliation and revenge (often by relatives acting much later).  If the threat of punishment can be actualized with a demonstration on a real live example that's disposable and whose relatives are impotent or non-existent (if you're going to tag a group as exemplars, it's best to round up the relatives, as well), there's still the risk that the example won't impress where there's a lack of empathy to begin with.  So, for example, the harassment of Hispanics has not sufficiently impressed the natives to make them content with their miserable wages.  
    Actually, the history of Germany would seem to teach us that the treatment of exemplars has to be really drastic to make an impression on their neighbors.  Most people come equipped with the preconceived notion, "it can't happen to me."  So, in the long run, the threat of eternal damnation works better, at least with people who can think ahead.  People who live for the day in the ineffable present are pretty hopeless as far as direction goes.

    by hannah on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 02:49:43 AM PDT

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