Male Warrior Syndrome: Religion, Persecution and Wars

Male Warrior

Are men more prone to violence? The fact is that men commit 90% of the world’s homicides and have started all the wars. In an interesting article in the latest issue of “Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society”, three authors – Melissa McDonald, Carlos Navarrete and Mark Van Vugt have discussed the interesting concept of male warrior.

Here is abstract from their paper:

The social science literature contains numerous examples of human tribalism and parochialism—the tendency to categorize individuals on the basis of their group membership, and treat ingroup members benevolently and outgroup members malevolently. We hypothesize that this tribal inclination is an adaptive response to the threat of coalitional aggression and intergroup conflict perpetrated by ‘warrior males’ in both ancestral and modern human environments. Here, we describe how male coalitional aggression could have affected the social psychologies of men and women differently and present preliminary evidence from experimental social psychological studies testing various predictions from the ‘male warrior’ hypothesis.

They seem to suggest that the men’s warrior inclination may have shaped the entire context of parochial societal groups – where the groups is inclined positively towards the members and negatively to the outgroup members. Religions have used this very effectively and to great harm for humanity by using a two pronged approach:

  • Convert those from the other group to your ideological by deception, reward, or by force
  • Introduce them to elaborate group mechanisms and rituals to establish the newly converted in your group on your terms
  • Brainwash them to hate their group of origin. This establishes them in the new group and reinforces the “ingroup-outgroup” dichotomous behavior

Human Tribalism and Parochialism is deeply connected. Religion is most prominent version of parochialism. That is why, at Drishtikone, we have always argued that Religion and the attendant conversion rituals / mechanisms are the product and work of Tribal minds. Because for a Tribal mind established in an “Male Warrior” mentality, including (read converting) larger numbers to your group is part and parcel of its Battle goals.

The article seems to argue the following:

  • Men are more xenophobic than women, because they are wired to wage war.
  • As opposed to women, men prefer social dominance hierarchies. This is because of their inherently competitive nature.
  • Men cooperate more when they are under threat than otherwise. This is because of their insticnt to form armies – as it gives them advantage in a war. [Conversions to increase believers]
  • While citing a study, the article states that men endorse war after “being primed” with a picture of an attractive woman. So, violence also has a sexual motive.
  • Authors also suggest that Male Warrior syndrome is linked to racism. As per the authors, White men fear Black men more than the White women do.

When you look at the two largest religions – Islam and Christianity – you will find that Armies and Conversions along with elaborate and very parochial rituals of assimilation have been part and parcel of their progress. Hordes of Mohammad Ghori for example were accompanied by the famous Sufi of Ajmer – Khwaja Chishti, who was instrumental in many conversions. The colonial powers – Spanish, British and French – all used missionaries to expand their empires.

At some point the character of Islam and Christianity were decided authoritatively by aggressive warriors who ruled with an iron hand and decided on the “inclusion principles” for their groups. For Islam, it was the founder Mohammad. For Christianity, it was the Emperor Constantine of Rome. Constantine create the Roman Catholic Church in 325AD when he held the First Council of Nicaea. It was during this Council that the “Character” of Jesus – Son of God et al – was crafted and established as a creed.

It was from here onwards that the Orthodox or Pistic Christians took over the reigns of Christianity and Gnostic mysticism was persecuted. The current day Christian Churches are direct off-shoots of the Pistic Christians. Contrary to Gnostics, who held that Spirit of God had partial feminine or creative force of the creation; Pistics Orthodox ideologues held most of the current beliefs of Church – where hierarchies and the primacy of the organization over personal experience mattered most. Pistics burned the texts of Gnostics and also termed them as Heretics.

In the earlier times, when Christianity started, Christians (with Gnostic leanings) were pacifists and never part of any Army. But by the time of Constantine, most of the soldiers were aligned to the Catholic Church. This was the militarization of Jesus’ legacy.

From here onwards, Christianity and Islam (started by a military strategist and warrior) – took the same trajectory for growth. Killing where needed, converting where possible, and ever increasing their numbers. Even today, pride in one’s religion by Islamists and Christians are discussed in terms of “number of converts” or “growth of the religion”.

Both the military organizations camoflaging under a flag of divinty persecuted with impunity and have had a particular aversion for a Feminine Divinity. Very systematically, Feminine Divine has been eliminated from Arabia, Persia, Greece, Germany (rest of Europe), Latin America (entirely) and many parts of Asia.

In absence of religious ideal of the Divine being Feminine, it was the Male Warrior creed which ruled and continues to do so even today. No wonder that attitudes towards women and puritanical views were male dominated. Women not just became the “bounty of war” but also a reason for many wars.

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