So, while watching You Don’t Know Jack, I pondered about how the religious are almost always on the wrong side of every issue. Over time, the people figure this out, but they always slow down the growth of humanity.

Naturally the religious are on the wrong side of assisted suicide – abortion – gay marriage – whether the earth orbits the sun or vice versa, even.

My natural tendency is to blame religion but I’m starting to contemplate whether I’m looking at this backwards. Perhaps religion is not the cause but rather the symptom, and the cause is a neural network that resonates with wrong ideas. (in some cases just wrong in that they’re inherently internally inconsistent, wrong in some cases in that they discard empathy and throw fellow humans under the bus, and wrong in some cases in that they are demonstrably factually incorrect)

This clearly is conservativism – how many times have they tried the Laffer curve in the hopes that maybe this time Lucy won’t pull away the football? How many times do they insist the problem is the immigrants when in fact the immigrants add enormous value to the society and have a much lower rate of crime than native citizens?

One question is whether that structure is something that can change. I tend to think it’s probably not.. it’s probably compiled in via neural structures on a level below that which most people can access. Conservatives can’t see that they’re wrong, any more than religious can see the inherent contradictions in their religion. I’m sure I have similar blindness lurking somewhere, but of course I can’t know where it is either.

One Response to “..”

  1. Firesong Says:

    Well, I think that a lot of this can change. It just has a time limit. Before people are 5-6, a lot about their brains, structure included, can change. Their brains are at peak neuroplasticity. After that, we’re a lot more settled, and things become hard-wired. After 25, it’s pretty much useless. We can change our opinions and our outlooks, with concentrated effort or in the wake of trauma, but the brain structure is basically just there. There is of course variance in that, but it’s a good general assumption. The trouble is that the longer we’re under one assumption, the more effort it takes on our parts to change. And most people don’t see the point of putting in said effort.

    I don’t want to be too pessimistic here. People can and do change all the time. But they’re people with sufficient *reason* to change and willpower to put into the effort. It doesn’t come easy or without sacrifice. It takes a lot of fortitude to change your idea of who you are/ *hugs* Another thought-provoking article here.

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