This is going to be a hodge podge of different things
Sunday's NYT had an excellent editorial by Yuval Noah Harari about WHY humans want to believe falsehoods. I would recommend reading it.
Power is a big factor. The author talks about the power to affect the physical world vs the power to affect people. I remember being totally confused as a teenager reading 1984. The society had a whole major branch of the government set up to create fake news. (Maybe where Trump got his idea for government?) The constant war was a MAJOR drain on resources. The protagonist & the government leader got into a debate on the nature of their society. The protagonist points out that the wars and system result in a lower standard of living for everyone - INCLUDING the leaders. The leader doesn't care. This system means that he has the power to torture the protagonist. It made absolutely no sense to me until the dubias explained it to me.
It also briefly touches on my mantra - The engineering is EASY. Getting people to play nice together is the hard part. Leaders need the 'power' to manipulate the people in order to get them to coordinate to build things.
"And large-scale cooperation depends on believing common stories. But these stories need not be true. You can unite millions (really billions) of people by making them believe in completely fictional stories about God, about race or about economics."
A read a book this weekend - "A Life Everlasting" by Sarah Gray - The author's Scottish husband is freaked by a visit to an American soccer game. THE FANS ARE ALL MIXED TOGETHER!!!? In Scotland, they are separated on opposite sides of the field by ARMED police wearing stab proof vests to keep them from literally trying to kill each other.
"When it comes to uniting people around a common story, fiction actually enjoys three inherent advantages over the truth. First, whereas the truth is universal, fictions tend to be local. Consequently, if we want to distinguish our tribe from foreigners, a fictional story will serve as a far better identity marker than a true story." The sun rises in the east & sets in the west is an awful tribal marker. "The sun is the eye of a giant frog that leaps across the sky" is much better to identify members of 'your group.
'Second is must be costly It is a test of loyalty to inconvenience the follower.
Third - the truth is painful & confusing. Nobody wants it. They'd rather believe the story. - Make America Great Again - It is all those furriners causing all the problems.
"The most powerful scholarly establishments in history - whether of Christian priests, Confucian mandarins or Communist ideologues - placed unity above truth. That's why they were so powerful."
This forum has been complaining about the symptom, not the disease. Religion isn't inherently evil. It has too often been hijacked by sadists looking to create as much damage as possible.
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