At 22:04 20/04/99 -0500, you wrote:
>If history is any guide (and it usually is), then despite any wishes for it
>to be otherwise, Zloduska is certainly correct about what happens between
>different members of different religions no matter how slight the
>differences to be to outside observers.
I just picked up on this- sorry, I'm way behind, I've been busy placing heartfelt floral tributes outside the home of murdered TV golden girl Jill Dando. Everyone in the UK's now so sensitised to the tragic deaths of willowy blonde media ladies that you can tilt the entire country into televisual epilepsy and days of bitter national mourning by mounting a blonde wig on top of a broom, then publicly snapping the broom.
>Given the number of schisms over
>time, in every church I have heard of, I suspect that ultimately the
>divisive instinct predominates even within single religions.
A couple of days ago my dad reminded me that people are probably equipped to deal with groups of acquaintances not much bigger than a couple of hundred. He was wondering whether there are so many cultural divisions these days because if there weren't, people would interact with more other people than they could comfortably deal with and get vexed.
Given that people have argued themselves into factions based on religious differences, opinions on Busta Rhymes lyrics etc, you can factor out people in subcultures that your homies aren't down with because they wear their colours on their lapels/feet, or broadcast them out of their car windows. Part of the work of getting to know them and whether you should form social alliances with them has already been done.
I reckon this is probably close to what drives the "divisive instinct" thing that Hermit mentions...