[quote author=“Beth Kurtz”]Advanced, that article is an eye-opener, and it rings true. Why else would people incinerate themselves, but for the promise of 72 virgins in the next world?
A friend of mine has a solution. He suggests that people arrested for supporting terrorism be punished by being given 72 virgins in this world. He thinks that would cure them forever from wanting any virgins at all!
I don’t think that would work demographically.
Nonetheless, Prescott’s article provides empirical support for a long-held Humanist intuition about the competition between sexual expression and religiosity, while conversely it falsifies the christian equation of sexual “immorality” with violence. Hedonically satisfied people generally don’t feel the need to harm others or live in fear of dangerous gods, whereas the reverse is often true.
And it also explains why in the Abrahamic religions fundamentalist parents fear the emergence of their children’s sexuality, because they know on some level that sexual expression interferes with religious indoctrination. Hence we see all that nonsensical anti-sex propaganda coming from the Christian Right these days, because healthy adolescent sexual experimentation will interfere the parents’ efforts to rear good christian soldiers for the global war against the “evil doers.”