Thoughtful and cogent stuff from Scott Atran, as usual. (At Huffington Post) I wonder what he has to say about William James’ reflections on the “Moral Equivalent of War.” As I recall, the upshot of that famous article gets at the importance of feeling “owned by” an anchoring concept greater than oneself, and that concept is typically the charter myth (or charter Truth) of a group.
My own take on this is that the most passionately governing ur-rule for humans is the desire to be aligned with “Truth.” For the rationalists among us, that rule would seem to motivate a strong interest in the pursuit of dispassionate reasoning. But instead we see the opposite… people go to war in defense of received truths, and put very little effort into questioning and unpacking the received assumptions.
A commenter on the thread cited Jung to the effect that our intellect has evolved faster than our psyche. How true.