I stumbled across an old post about The Need for Absurd Belief Among Fundamentalists on the Breaking Spells blog. It discusses, amongst other things, the fact that fundies are desperate to attack segments of scientific knowledge.
The final line of the post reads:
""Eventually, perhaps, the spell of religion will be broken.""
I decided to convert my response into a post.
Let’s hope! Religion continues to support damaging and outright dangerous cognitive and behavioural disorders.
I completely agree that fundies are terrified of knowledge — whether it’s science or the expert conclusions of biblical scholars. I also agree that this rigid thinking is the result of childhood indoctrination. Why else would IDiots be fighting to insinuate creationism into science curricula?
I think that the motivation is not merely habit — it is highly emotional. It is also deliberately anti-factual, and, most important, illogical. They are trained into illogic and this fallacious thinking is reinforced by Bible quotes.
Successful religions have set up clever reward and punishment systems. Community is the most mundane motivation, but is probably essential for many. An eternal afterlife with a loving SkyDaddy who punishes one’s enemies is an obvious incentive. The flip side is the prison door. They fear what they are instructed to fear.
However, based on long observation of how some fundies think, I conclude that much of the emotional appeal lies in certainty and the assurance that religious-rule-following renders one RIGHT and morally SUPERIOR. (Excuse the caps. They seemed appropriate.)
It always reminds me of prefects in a school playground. Not a highschool playground. Not a primary school playground in North America. No, a school playground for children up to age 11. That’s the moral level at which these authoritarianism-oriented folk function.
* and ** : not official terminology