One reason you pick out and blame a scapegoat for the sins of the whole people is so that you can be sure you yourself are not among the number of the evil ones who pollute the City, and thus yourself in no danger of ostracism or banishment. This you can do without ever troubling with the beam in your own eye, provided you go along with the mob’s condemnation of the chosen scapegoat. It’s an easy “fix” for your own anxiety about your wickedness.
But it’s not a true fix; it doesn’t remove your inward knowledge of your own impurity, or your awareness that your impurity might be soon found out, so that you were then yourself ostracized. It doesn’t permanently salve your anxiety. All it does is ensure that you are not going to be singled out for punishment this time. It is a temporary reprieve, and no more: so that you remain as it were a condemned man, whose sentence of death has been deferred for one more day.
Easy to take that day, to be sure, for what it is worth. What condemned man turns down another 24 hours? Who wouldn’t?
So ostracist societies are stable, albeit autophagic at the margin (and thus at a reproductive disadvantage in competition with societies that have transcended ostracism). In an ostracist society, everyone but one – the scapegoat – is safe (for the time being, at least). So they are in equilibrium, at least until the routine course of sacrifices – even, in extremis, the sacrifice of the King, or of his spotless child – don’t seem to work to ameliorate social crises, and the number of the holocausts therefore compounds until it explodes in a frenzied pogrom of some sort.
When the sacrifices of the oppressed victim class grow too numerous, you get the oppressed classes inviting Pizarro Cortés in and succoring his attack on their Aztec oppressors.
Christianity forecloses the easy ostracist way out of the sinner’s immediate guilt. On Christianity, ritual impurity vests strictly and absolutely in the sinner himself, vis-à-vis his personal relation to his Saviour, and depending only on his fulfillment of his personal obligations to his God. It should then, to the extent that the people take Christianity seriously, and therefore seriously engage in a lifelong project of personal moral reformation, lead to a higher general standard of holiness: of moral, prudent conduct, and so of general prosperity and peace.
Society works better when everyone in it feels as though he ought to be trying to be saintly, and then goes ahead and does try. In no other way might it work quite well. The more sin, the more noise, poverty and strife; the less, the more peace and plenty.
So the Christian society is bound to crush its ostracist competitors, ceteris paribus.
A pretty clear cut gedanken policy test result, by God.
Not too surprising, then, that the Christians conquered the globe; or that, as they have lately waffled in their Christianity, and so abandoned their former characteristic pursuit of virtue, and have rather sunk into relativism, nihilism, and vice, so their global predominance has withered.