Religion, Atheism And Emotional Pain
A while ago I defined the most fundamental difference between humans and animals as the conscious ability to choose between either breeding or not breeding as an individual preference. This is of course also the case with the choice to override other instincts.
Animals are robots, whose behavior is driven primarily by recurrent instinctive urges to restore homeostasis and secondarily by the pleasure center. In this pursuit they are reactive to the environment by learning.
Human have the same robot built into their brain, but the conscious mind having rational control is superimposed. Impulses for homeostation and the appeals to the pleasure center are modified by checking with the memories of past experience and the expectation of long-term consequences before execution of the appropriate behavior.
The conscious mind experiences complex and abstract emotions, that can be very strong. Appreciation, confidence, pride, attachment, joy, elation, betrayal, humiliation, indignation, outrage, grief are a few examples of emotions, that only humans can feel, because such emotions are the result of knowledge conveyed and created by cognitive processes, which animals do not have.
Since the animal robot in the human brain has evolved earlier, it does not know these abstract emotions. The instinctive urge for homeostasis is independent of how the resulting behavior impacts or creates these emotions in the self and in the target. The conscious mind has the capacity to be aware of the emotional consequences of allowing to be determined by the instincts and it has the choice to resist as a result of emotional considerations. But the conscious mind has no control over perceiving instinctive urges towards behaviors, that would cause emotional devastation on others.
Promiscuity is a very good example.
When dogs copulate, two bodies as robots copulate with each other, they restore the homeostasis of their instinctive urges, and afterwards their brains are as unaffected as if it has never happened. They have no mind to recognize a unique personality in the other dog and therefore they cannot feel attachment.
There are many men - luckily not all - whose animal robot is so strong, that they are driven like dogs to use a female body for homeostasis, while the personality inside the female body is insignificant. Like the dogs, they copulate with a body without getting emotionally attached, the next day they are emotionally unaffected as if it has never happened.
But more often than not, the mind and personality inside the female body does get emotionally attached. The woman suffers emotional pain of grief, betrayal, outrage, humiliation, when she gets dumped and discarded after having been used, especially when the promiscuous male had manipulated her to consent by creating wrong expectations.
The male human and the male dog do the same driven by the same instinct. But while the female dog is not affected by emotions, of which her brain is void, the human female suffers strong emotional pain.
The man, who is driven to copulate like a dog, lacks empathy for the pain of the woman getting automatically attached. But in contrast to the dog, he knows in theory, that women get attached and have an emotional need for monogamy. He either knows of the emotional damage done or in the very least always risked by dog-like dumping and cheating, or else he is in denial of available knowledge.
Consciously he has a choice, how he can feel comfortable about himself and his behavior. He can either adapt his behavior to be considerate to women's emotional needs and avoid hurting them, or he can find reasons to justify his ruthless and cruel behavior.
The claim, that men cannot be monogamous, because animals are also promiscuous, serves as a sufficient excuse to accept themselves as being driven by instinct and not fight against it. But in addition they also need a justification for knowingly inflicting pain on women.
There is no rational reason to hurt others for personal benefits without the unfavorable own acceptance as and social reproach for being selfish and antisocial. Therefore the promiscuous men found a very successul solution:
They invented a god, who appreciates humans' sufferings as a devotion to him, and who compensates people in the afterlife. The more people submit to suffering on earth, the more they get rewarded later. Then the men made the women believe all this. They added monogamy as the alleged preference of the god to make the religion more appealing to the women. Soon women were manipulated to accept their emotional sufferings as unavoidable fate.
Promiscuity is just one example. The behaviors caused by the hierarchy instinct and the ingroup-outgroup instinct like exploitation, slavery and alike also cause extreme emotional pain and are backed up by the same excuse of the compensation by a god in an afterlife.
The consequence of this are tragic. Because once the social acceptance of suffering as an unavoidable collateral damage of human interaction had been established along with the religiion, this caused a subtle general desensitization towards a growing acceptance of inflicting emotional pain without feeling guilty. Emotionally hurting someone is not considered an outrage any more, but feeling hurt is instead considered a flaw of the victim.
Promiscuous religious men justified their emotional cruelty by their victims' hope of being rewarded in the afterlife. As atheists, men should be aware that there is only a short life until death, and that they are personally responsible for all the emotional pain inflicted by them, and that there is no god on to whom to shift the responsibility.
But instead of accepting monogamous attachment as the way of being considerate and responsible to women, many atheists wrongly interpret monogamy as a part of religion limiting men's freedom. While ridding themselves of the obsolete faith in the god, they allow themselves also the relief by getting rid of any moral obligation towards monogamy. As a consequence of the desensitization during millenia of religious indoctrination, atheistic men just as the religious ones consider feeling hurt as the women's flaw. They are void of feeling any need for a justification, instead they feel free to allow themselves ruthless promiscuity without feeling guilty for the collateral emotional damage.
Atheists should wake up to the full awareness, that due to the lack of compensation for pain in the afterlife, taking responsibility to avoid hurting others is of paramount importance.