Why Do People Support Institutions?
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion Article from All-Creatures.org


Stephen Kaufman, M.D., Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

Why Do People Support Institutions?

Last week, I noted that people who receive little or no material benefit from institutions often voluntarily sacrifice their time, their money, and sometimes even their lives defending those institutions. Why does this happen?
Evidently, these institutions address other needs that people value highly. Often, it seems to me, institutions offer a sense of security. In a world filled with threats, people bound by common commitment to a religious or other institution promise to protect each other and to provide social support during difficult times.

Institutions themselves often provide promises that address natural human hopes and fears. A particularly potent fear, as I have discussed at length in prior essays, is fear of death, which appears to haunt the human psyche. Does addressing this fear incline institutions to do good, harm, or both? I will continue that exploration next essay.

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