Why do humans latch on to bad ideas…

…and then stick with them, even harder, the more evidence shows the idea is insane?
I read of a young aristocrat army officer in 1914 whose parents were sincere atheists and raised the boy with home tutoring to have no knowledge of the entire story of Jesus, Christianity, Judaism, the lot. 

His fellow officers tried to explain why they had a padre in the army and what “God on our side” meant, and became a bit annoyed by his charming ignorance and slightly arrogant self confidence. So they hatched a plan and gave him a Bible to read, with the condition that he had to read it all to win a minor bet. Their hope was that he would understand where everyone else had got their sense of belief, and be transformed into someone a little more humble and easy to live with. 
     For two weeks he was seen with the Bible either in his hand or on a table being read… and the young man was laughing… laughing out loud whilst reading the Bible. Worse than that he would regale his new friends saying, (I paraphrase), “OH my, this is hilariously silly – who on earth could have written such weird fantasies and ideas? and you say people take this seriously? as some real series of events? what about the way this bit contradicts that whole other section?! amazing”.
    Their plan succeeded in introducing a fully formed adult to a set of rules, guidelines and stories that most had been drip fed since infancy. But unlike those “most people” who had accepted it, he was able to discern that it was, indeed, an impossible set of accounts of many impossible things, as recorded long after any such events by a selection of dubiously educated and gullible peasants who desired the horrific world they lived in to come to an end, with them ascending into a fantasy spirit world of their dreams. 

    We have no fewer similar wonders of confirmation bias causing more entrenched belief today – in Trump supporters, in Brexit fans, – just as it continues with religions, the great big fake news that dare not speak its name.  The USA seems to be unable to quite fathom that they really are looking funny, both ha-ha and peculiar, wondering if they should or shouldn’t try to impeach their current president, while at the same time being unable to find anyone more disgraceful and less qualified for the job in the entire population of the country. 
   The more the evidence piles up (most of it from his own mouth) that he is a disgusting, paedophilic, incest supporting, hypocritical, rapist, disablist, racist, ignorant, demented, sociopathic bigot, whose very breathing usually involves a narcissistic lie… the more his “fans” paint pictures like the above – both literally and in a fountain of unbelievably infantile verbiage.  The summary of their position appears to be that Trump is this humble inheritor of great wealth and has come to save the ordinary redneck racist from a fate worse than Hillary’s emails, and everything bad said about him is just proof that those who are against him are devils. 

    This is the very same stuff as the religious thrive on.
No wonder Pat Robertson and his ilk wrap themselves up in Trump Inc.’s comfy stars and stripes duvet and condemn the idea of Gay marriage whilst sneaking away from their fourth wife and getting balls deep in an anonymous rent boy in a Las Vegas toilet. The cognitive dissonance that should cause a mental collapse, in fact reinforces the entrenched insanity… and therein is a perfect marriage between the Trump believers and the followers of “Jesus lovers for Zionist Armageddon”. Climate catastrophe is hardly likely to bother people who sincerely believe that Jesus is finally returning to enact the rapture… but we should probably lend him a hand by nuking Iran to prompt world war.
    On this side of the Atlantic we are seeing that European Armageddon is worth it to those “hard” Brexiteers who want to wave a Union flag over the preserved white nation of “perfidious Albion”, (One elected MP, yes, an elected MP, even saw that phrase as a positive one to use) and be damned if we destroy a nation carefully developed over centuries amid the mocking, if sad, laughter of the world that will soon be overtaking us in every sense of the word. 
    I can do nothing to change anyone’s mind.
Those who hold these views and take this approach to life have usually inherited much of the behaviour, fear and intransigence from their parents. I feel like that army officer, puzzled as to why people cannot see the self contradictory insanity of what it is they are accepting as truth…
Apparently, he did survive both wars and had a wonderfully interesting life, but was killed in a bizarre accident in the 1960s. At least the sane among us can agree that there was, and is, no interfering God that would play such a trick on all those God fearing soldiers who died in the trenches…
eh? – can’t we? 

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