The explanation of evil: religion, resentment or sin?
I must confess I have a bizarre fascination with Richard Dawkins. If it weren't for that, I might not have been interested in the fact that 25% of the British have some sort of belief in astrology. Or even in the fact that this constitutes more believers than any other single established religion. I could guess what Dawkins would have to say on the matter, but this entry by Wired Science took me completely off guard. After summarizing Dawkins' stance on the issue and giving us a lesson on the history of philosophy comes this gem:
But in both cases [Girard and Nietzsche], a nuanced analysis of religion led to examination of that fundamental human characteristic, resentment--a characteristic that swelled to monstrous proportions during the 20th century genocides of Hitler and Lenin and Mao and Pol Pot, all of which were decidedly secular, and more recently during wars in Eastern Europe and Central America and assorted parts of Africa.

Studying religion in a sophisticated way could help us understand the human dynamics underlying such tragedies. It was a task worthy of many of the 20th century's greatest intellects, and could also be worthy of Dawkins. Too bad he's wasting his time making dowsers cry. Wired Science
It is so refreshing to not have religious beliefs looked upon as the root of all evil. And this is about the closest to the real roots of the world's conflict I have seen a secular source come: resentment. Indignation or ill will as the result of some perceived grievance. The belief that you deserve something that someone else has. Self-centeredness. Sin.

Dawkins, on the other hand, believes otherwise.
As a scientist, I don't think our indulgence of irrational superstition is harmless. I believe it profoundly undermines civilization. Reason and a respect for evidence are the source of our progress, our safeguard against fundamentalists and those who profit from obscuring the truth. The Enemies of Reason (YouTube)
Irrational superstition, be it astrology or Christianity, profoundly undermines civilization. Elsewhere, he has compared religion to a malignant virus of the mind, complete with an imaginary medical textbook to discuss the symptoms. While I don't believe he has ever made any statements remotely close to, "the infidel must die," he has laid the groundwork. The mind, the seat of reason and the source of our thoughts and feelings, cannot be so easily controlled. If the virus is to be treated so that civilization may be spared its debilitating effects, an adequate vaccine and treatment must be discovered.

I wonder what acts this philosophy's "resentment" is capable of. For me, it calls to mind images of reeducation camps. But maybe the public schools will suffice.

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