So it occurred to me during the class on Sartre that race is a lot like religion. They share many things in common and both cause a lot of harm in the modern and ancient world.
How is race like religion? Well, this thought occurred to me when we were constantly saying that race has no basis in nature. Since race as we know it has no basis in nature, then we know it is not anything on which we can base our assumptions. Race is simply a social construct. Of course, this social construct has an impact on our lives and society because people ignorantly think that there is such a thing as race in nature. They base their assumptions on what they think is a fact in nature. The many racial stereotypes are based on genetics, for they claim that all persons of a race have inherited some trait such as laziness, stupidity, or ignorance. These claims have no basis in genetics or nature, of course, so we disclaim them on those grounds alone. We can find nothing in the genetic make-up of races that accounts for our differences.
So why do we insist on this point so fervently, while holding on to religion? There is absolutely no base for religion in science, yet people still cling to religion. Just as is the case with race, we can find zero evidence for religion in nature. Therefore, we should not believe in it. It is a silly leftover from past ages that were less informed about the nature of the world. It functioned primarily as a tool of power by those who were evil enough to exert it over others. Does this sound familiar? Just as people used race as some unfounded "scientific" fact to treat others like dirt, they also used religion to deny basic human rights to others who they deemed inferior simply on the basis that they were different.
I hope that in this post I have made one point clear: religion and race have the same unfounded basis, and that if you are to make the claim that there is no anthropological basis for race, then you are required to make the same claim for religion.