Since 2003 and the emergence of the brain science of identity, Jim Wilder has been telling anyone who will listen that the most important missing element is the science of hate.
Emotional regulation is the mechanism of resilience but how does the brain grow cold to the humanity of others?
Recent social science has begun to say that racial prejudice is an outgrowth of the disgust emotion but, as Dr. Shore points out, disgust de-energizes the brain and body. Hate energizes people.
Social media and popular culture have taken a form of “politically correct” thinking view of hate and tied hate to certain views and opinions. However, social science is showing us that opinions are a way to gather people who hate rather than a way to creating “they are the enemy” in the brain itself. Long before views and opinions gather a group, it appears brains have concluded who the enemy is and begun the process of hating “them”.
Social media platforms, broadcast media, and internet “click bait” have proven very effective at polarizing opinions and reducing or eliminating dialogue. Families, friends, and churches are rapidly becoming alienated over vaccines, political views, human sexuality and identity.
How does the brain decide that someone is not on my side and begin an alienation process? How do we escape being dragged along?
The book Escaping Enemy Mode engages a much broader audience than the church. Why? Because lots of people are in some degree of enemy mode with the church. People are leaving church while others see Christian beliefs as the cause for social discord. On the other hand, there are about 2.3 billion people on earth who claim to be Christian. It is the world’s largest religion.
Ray Woolridge set out to see if loving enemies, as Jesus taught, fits with escaping enemy mode. Jim Wilder set out to discover how the brain gets alienated from others – from simply seeing others as transactions to the full depersonalization of hate and genocide.
Can escaping enemy mode provide better paths forward around race and other sources of alienation?
We are about to find out.