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Roedy's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by Roedy

Years ago I read a story which I think was called "The Lottery". Perhaps someone here will remember the details. The basic plot was every year a village held a lottery, and the winner was murdered by the townspeople. Nobody liked this, but they kept doing it anyway because it was a tradition going back centuries.

I wonder how a nutty idea like female circumcision could have ever got started, then carried on as tradition.

This is a metaphor for the insanity of religion.

Very young children are programmed to believe whatever their parents tell them. They are not sophisticated enough to safely reason things out for themselves. My younger sister on hearing the earth was a sphere assumed people lived on the inside of hollow sphere. She just accepted this without question. This gullibility keeps them safe when they are young. The problem is, any nutty idea inserted at that crucial time will be passed down from generation to generation. There is no mechanism to get rid of nutty ideas. Such ideas are extremely burned in. To make things worse, parents deliberately tell children lies to get them to behave -- there are bogey men in the woods, there is a mean old man in the sky who will burn you alive if you sass me.

In our cave days the traditional wisdom was probably the best bet, but no longer.

At some point we will have to make it a crime to traumatise children with religious ideas or by any other means. Perhaps we will find some way of curing childhood trauma, including religious indoctrination. It is the common cold of mental illnesses. We have not even begun to look for a cure.

Mon, 11 Oct 2010 18:17:02 UTC | #532148