Synopsis: Religion and Prejudice – Book 3
This book will contain as many chapters as necessary to demonstrate the values that religions provide humanity and the types of damages that have been and continue to be caused by prejudice. Although the ways in which current prejudices are developed and harvested differ from previous generations, centuries, and millenniums, they are just as damaging to mental health, people’s lives, and property.
The following represents the types of content the book will be addressing in a chapter-by-chapter format but is intended to only act as a guide for the authors to use. Most importantly is, the book will contain at least all this content somewhere.
Introduction: Level Set
The Introduction should contain clear definitions that differentiate bias and prejudice and contain the Tree of Prejudice illustration. The remaining “parts” of the introduction will contain the highlights of each chapter and how, together, these chapters can help the reader recognize their own levels of prejudice, potentially see the harm it is causing them and others, and provide paths for reconciliation for them and future generations.
The history of religions has been laced with righteousness, misunderstandings, or no tolerance for understanding. The strong have imposed upon the weak in the name of righteousness, rationalizing every act. Only through millenniums of physical and peaceful resistance have most conditions improved. Yet, there remains so much more room for understanding and change. Through a better understanding of the commonalities and differences of these beliefs, we will identify their evolution and discuss how, why, and where prejudice still plays a role. This book and its chapters will focus on the damage caused by prejudice in religions and provide paths of reconciliation for the reader and discuss the path for future generations.
Chapter 1: Some Insights into Religious History
This chapter will discuss the “history of religion” and show the many ways it has followed the migration of mankind. These two evolutions are shown in an illustration that also includes the evolution of languages. Furthermore, it is suggested that there should be some conversation mentioning why and how some religions are undergoing change and what happens when they don’t. Then, if we examine Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, (include illustration), we can begin to understand that, while mankind was moving out of the survival mode, it allowed him to become more reflective, enough to begin asking and answering questions as to why we are here and what is our purpose. Explain how this builds upon what we have attained, and then use these ingredients to show how we are aspiring toward self- actualization. This can help piece together the rationale behind our different religious beliefs in God, spitualism, or for many individuals, the belief that there is no God (i.e., atheists, agnostics, non-theists, etc.).
Chapter 2: Commonalities, Differences, and Proselytizing
The information in this chapter is open for creativity but needs to highlight the many commonalities within all these beliefs, emphasizing their closeness. It should also “Identify” all the main differences and clarify why these differences exist and why they can be seen as understandable, yet respected and tolerated. What and why is proselytizing an issue when encountering different beliefs? Show that, because of the enormity and continued evolvement of religious beliefs, there may never become one belief. But rather, because there is so much common ground among all beliefs, there are no healthy reasons to be impatient, disrespectful, intolerant, and uncompassionate with others’ beliefs. Continue with mitigation strategies or mention how it will be addressed in a later chapter.
Chapter 3: Damage Along the Way (Implicit and Explicit Costs)
So, what has been (and still is) causing so much damage and mistrust? Part of this chapter will discuss historical and current damages caused by religious beliefs and show why, in some cases, religion took the blame for destruction and chaos. Where possible, we think including metrics showing economic and human costs can be very telling.
Chapter 4: Measuring Our Degrees of Religious Prejudice
This chapter will include a quiz for the reader, and its purpose is twofold:
- Provide the reader with an assessment of their degree of prejudice so that, if they choose to address their issues, we will provide some mitigation tools in a later chapter.
- Potentially use the reader’s input as part of our future efforts to gather, integrate, and assimilate similar metrics for the purpose of designing and creating complementary or stop gap curriculums for our educational systems. So, optionally, we may encourage the reader to go to our website at prejudiceunfolded.org to take the quiz. In doing so, the reader’s information remains anonymous while we are able to capture the information for survey and educational purposes.
Chapter 5: Balancing Prejudicial Positions
This chapter will provide guidance and tools for the reader to become aware of the types of tools that are available for adjustments. Other people’s personal stories or your own life experience stories can be extremely helpful.
Chapter 6: Open Discussion
The intentions of this chapter are: to provide a forum for handling religious conversations in constructive ways: to include how to recognize conversations headed for destruction and demonstrate what can be done to turn them into something positive: and to have all parties leave the discussion with a better understanding, respect, and tolerance for each other’s beliefs.
Chapter 7: Conclusions:
We want to leave the reader with a comprehensive summary of what has been covered, create messages that instill hope using patience, respect, tolerance, and compassion, and then show the “why” and “how” to take the highroad. We may want to provide the reader with incentives and encourage them to take a survey from our website (needs to be established); the results will then be used as additional metrics to our survey report, which will be part of the foundation for creating curriculums in the later phases of the project.
Chapter 8: Survey and Feedback
We may want to encourage the reader to reference our website’s survey and/or provide us with some feedback so we can use it going forward to help educate and provide tools to our youth.