Psychology of Religious Hate

I would like to explore the psychological basis for the religious mind-set of those who used their belief as a means of hating others. What is it about a religious belief that may cause a person to become hateful?

Is it the exclusivitity of a religious group that leads to the peer pressure of the mass psychology? The religious doctrine itself that justifies acts of hate, pain, and violence to others? Is it a ramification of child abuse, neglect, or the absence of genuine love and compassion?

Notice how I am not singling out any religion, however, for the sake of keeping things organized… let’s keep it to Western religions.

black and white logic

you’re either good (godly like “us”) or you’re evil (ungodly like “them”)

the devil makes an easy target

kill 'em all


Religiously inspired hated is almost completely enculturation - ie - People are taught to hate. Imp has the us - devils issue covered. Part of the ability to hate has more to do with the incapacity to accept ambiguity, which is common in all social structures. Religion simply becomes a convenient “rallying point” that provides a closed system for it’s adherents. Almost all religions are structured around a closed sytem of thought. Inside a religion, one is comforted by knowing who they are, why they are here, what they are to do, and even assured that they will continue after death. In a sense, religion is retreating to the comfort of the womb where all is taken care of and one is ‘protected’ from those annoying questions that leaves one with ambiguous answers. Those who would believe differently are a threat to the psychological “security blanket”. Both personal and organizational psyches are exclusive, and teaching hatred becomes a method of protecting that exclusiveness. That hatred is useful in promoting power agendas and generating group cohesiveness only exacerbates the problem.

Pretty much what Imp and Tent said.

But I’d say that humans have a deep rooted need to seperate people into catagories that normally boil down to ‘us’ vs. ‘not-us’. Religion just provides a nice excuse. It’s an extension of culture, a non-phenotypic means for dividing groups, especially when it is within a language group.

Bosnian and Serbo-croat are very similar languages . . . and look at what happened to the Holy Roman Empire and England!

Along the same lines as others here - there is no religious hatred - there is politics, greed, conflict - and there are sources for “inspirational” rhetoric to move the masses.

It seems to me that religious hatred tends to stem from ones upbringing. If one is taught to hate(whoever) then hatred is part of ones psyche. they dont know WHY they hate, they only know that they do.

It’s not the religion that makes them feel hateful. The person was apt to feel hate prior to joining said religion and then their hate was channeled through religious zeal. Well idk im rambling but I hate to break godwins law and mention the Nazi’s… did they hate before they got fancy suits and helmets? I think maybe joinging the party may have bred that I’m not sure so maybe I would change my arguments and say that religion could breed hate. Or idk…