Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker said Thursday that the push for reopening society from lockdowns comes from Christianity’s “malignant delusion” of belief in an afterlife.
Atheists who believe in this life alone are more concerned with health and safety, Professor Pinker suggested in a Tweet, while Christians tend to devalue “actual lives” and live a riskier existence.
Belief in an afterlife is a malignant delusion, since it devalues actual lives and discourages action that would make them longer, safer, and happier. Exhibit A: What’s really behind Republicans wanting a swift reopening? Evangelicals. https://t.co/ppo2bwiVGn
— Steven Pinker (@sapinker) May 21, 2020
Pinker was responding to an article this week in the Washington Post, which examined findings that Democrats take the virus “more seriously” than Republicans and are more willing to support restrictive government edicts in response to the pandemic.
In that article, contributing columnist Gary Abernathy declares that a “literal belief in eternal salvation — eternal life — helps explain the different reactions to life-threatening events like a coronavirus outbreak.”