IMMORTALITY VEHICLES

Everyone has an immortality vehicle;

A WORLDVIEW THAT KEEPS YOU ON LIFE’S HIGHWAY.

To summarize Becker and the concept of the Immortality Vehicle:

First on the personal level, by ignoring our mortality and vulnerability we build up an unreal sense of self, and we act out of a false sense of who and what we are. Second, as members of society, we tend to identify with one or another “immortality” system (as Becker called it). That is we identify with a religious group, or a political group, or engage in some kind of cultural activity, or adopt a certain culturally sanctioned viewpoint, that we invest with ultimate meaning, and to which we ascribe absolute and permanent truth. This inflates us with a sense of invulnerable righteousness. And then, we have to protect ourselves against exposure of our absolute truth being just one more mortality-denying system among others, which we can only do by insisting that all other absolute truths are false. So we attach and degrade—preferably kill—the adherents of different mortality denying absolute-truth systems. So the Protestants kill the Catholic; the Muslims vilify the Christians and vice-versa; upholders of the America way of life denounce Communists; the Khmer Rouge slaughters all intellectuals in Cambodia; the Spanish Inquisition tortures heretics; and all good students of the Enlightenment demonize religion as the source of all evil.”

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