The religious that convert others through threats of eternal damnation are fascinating to me. The psychopath is loathed for her willingness to gain benefit by any means necessary, but if the “pious” do the same, it is considered acceptable and noble. They engage in blackmail of the highest order. They offer you a deal too good to pass up: conversion or eternal damnation.
This inanity is what drove me away from religion in the first place. I had been raised in a conservative Christian family and community. At one time, I even wished to become involved in the church as an adult. My confirmation address focused on my love for the Christian god and a willingness to set aside a good part of my life in order to ensure that others received His love.
However, by the time I reached my late adolescent years, I realized that such religious blackmail did not make sense. How can the “love” of one be conditional on a threat? The logic, for enabling crowd-control, made sense, but the benefit did not. Why on earth would I want to sacrifice my individuality and free-will because of the, potentially idle, threat of eternal destruction? I could appreciate the process, having been adept at emotional blackmail in my teens, but I would not submit to the yield of one that I could not meet in life and, possibly, not even in death.
It was around this time that the great panic over Islam was manifesting. The 9/11/2001 terrorist actions had just taken place and the message of the pulpit was transparent: you are either with God or you are not. If you are not, your eternal destruction awaits.
This was over a decade before I was diagnosed as a psychopath, but I realized that my thought processes were different. I realized that I could evaluate the individual for their own worth and not a membership to a larger group. I was not concerned about the morality of their actions so long as they were attentive to my needs and gave me benefit. Western religion was at odds with this. Christianity had nothing to offer me, only desires to take away by enforcing an arbitrary moral code through threats of damnation. I may have been a master of blackmail, but I did not appreciate that others would attempt to hold my “soul” hostage in exchange for a benefit that was not guaranteed.
Their model is genius, but I will never again be in their flock.