High levels of Dopamine in the brain often cause the loss of contact with reality. The individual begins to have bizarre ideas.
When people’s confidence in their beliefs is shaken, they become stronger advocates for those beliefs. The book When Prophecy Fails, an American cult leader, Dorothy Martin, convinced her followers that flying saucers would rescue them from an apocalyptic flood. Many believed her, giving up their livelihoods, possessions and loved ones in anticipation of their alien saviors. When the prophecy failed and nothing came to pass, the group decided that their dedication had spared the Earth from the apocalypse. Far from shattering their faith, the absent UFOs had turned them into zealous evangelists.
Without altering their belief system, people will go to great lengths to reduce the internal conflict caused by their cognitive dissonance. They will hunker down and attempt to still this conflict by trying to convince others that their views are correct. This is re-writing the brains neural processes.
“People may use religious agents as a moral compass, forming impressions and making decisions based on what they presume God as the ultimate moral authority would believe or want. The central feature of a compass, however, is that it points north no matter what direction a person is facing. This research suggests that, unlike an actual compass, inferences about God’s beliefs may instead point people further in whatever direction they are already facing.”
University of Chicago.
"Armstrong was a man utterly without honor, without principles, without a shred of genuine decency or patriotism. He was the ultimate exterminator of religious life for thousands, and the grand compelling creator of a vast army of atheists."
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