Stockholm Syndrome - I have difficulty understanding how any reasonably thinking person can have the faith of Islamic Jihadist extremists who have a goal to maim and kill "unbelievers." I agree with Francis Bacon that the deeper and more absurd the faith, the deeper it appears to be engrained. Once a faith is embedded in one's solipsistic reality it is extremely difficult to change. No wonder so many horrific things are done as an auto-da-fe (act of faith). Harris stated that, “central to most religious practice is a child acceptance of authoritarian dogma as an act of faith." (1969) Faith amounts to the Stockholm Syndrome of kidnapping young hostages (against their will) and through indoctrination solicit their brains and bring them into compliance and alliance with religious beliefs. Faith is a blatant master-minded and single-minded exercise in capturing young minds. Faith is Limbic Brain imprintation of religious viewpoints and prejudices. Once early 0-7 age indoctrination has been implanted and encased in young brains, this stubborn organ is unreceptive to new contradictory information. Religious implantation is a dire radicalizing dogmatism that leads to discriminatory practices towards anyone who dares to question their faith. Religious dogma becomes a defensive unthinking captivity and reactivity of closed-mindedness.
What remedies counteract blind faith, erroneous beliefs, authoritarian dogma, indoctrination, prejudices, defensive unthinking, and closed-mindedness?
Belief and faith in religion is the desire to be in right relation with a super-human power which reveals itself in the universe. Different temperaments reveals vast variation of contact in this attempt.
Looking for ways to correct what is false and recognizing and encouraging what is right requires information based on observation, experimentation, exploration, doubt, cynicism, and curiosity. A universal inquiry is, ”Show me the evidence!”
What is the evidence of a super-human power?
What is the source of the evidence?
Is the evidence testable, refutable, and falsifiable?
Is the evidence possible, probable, and contingent on data?
Am I open to the idea that my beliefs might be false?
How do you know there is or is not god?
This syndrome is why the law should treat childhood religious indoctrination as child abuse.
My Methodist mother may have persuaded my Catholic father to send their children to a public school. After Kindergarten I started first grade in the public school. In the Spring my dad took my older sister and me from that public school to send us to a Catholic school, who made me start first grade again.
I finished twelve years in RC schools, served two years in the Navy, and was in my third year of college studying accounting when my mother (who had converted to Catholicism) told me I was going to college because I was too lazy to get a job.
Her saying that really hurt. I threw my parents and their Catholicism out of my life.
Ten years later—recovered, with a degree in math and economics and graduate study in math and physics, and happily employed—I realized that without that trauma I would have been unable to free myself first from Catholicism and then from religion.
The Stockholm Syndrome is real, and studying science helped me repair my mind.
However, childhood religious indroctrination is still lawful. DAMMIT!
"my mother told me I was going to college because I was too lazy to get a job."
That is what my parents told me, especially when I already earned a BA in psychology, a "useless" endeavor, and the shit hit the fan when I began my doctorate in education leadership and community development.
I was 37 years old, I had three children who were ten years old, and I worked at minimum wage jobs to support us. It was more than a year before I began to receive child support. My initial question when enrolling in college for an undergraduate degree was, "How does one define a healthy family?" My question when I enrolled for my master's degree was, "How does one create a healthy family?" When I enrolled for my doctoral degree, my question was, "What role does religion play in maintaining and perpetuating family violence?"
I learned about "attitudes, beliefs, customs, traditions, and values" during these educational opportunities. My thesis for my graduate degree was, "Toward a Theory of Family Violence, its Antecedents, Treatment, Prevention." My doctoral dissertation was, "A Splendid Heresy," which was defined as "biased" by my doctoral committee who were priests. I did not get my Ph.D., however, that was part of my education. The priests who evaluated my work denied their sexuality, wore dresses, and paraded around as if they were gods.
You are talking about the larger scale of it. I see it on a smaller scale also in talking to my religious friend that I grew up with. When we talk abortion, for example, he sees it my way that men should not have control over a woman's body. Later on and because of his preacher, he tends to see abortion as "birth control." Since abortion is not totally free even at a women's clinic, I ask him to weigh that cost against a pack of birth control pills before he comes to that conclusion.
Then we get into ideas of America being a "Christian Nation" and I explain this to him in depth. He agrees with me and sees all the problems if church and state do not remain separated. At a later time he reverses his position and says it really doesn't matter anyway. Again I am telling him why it does matter.
This is an otherwise intelligent man who goes to church and listens to his preacher. On a smaller scale his preacher is filling the role that an extremist would have in turning others on a large scale. In my mind his preacher is just as dangerous as any member of ISIS or other such groups.