Possibly we need different, or a combined approach to gaining independence from religion. A social experiment from the 1950’s done by Solomon Asch, illustrates and corroborates other findings of humans needing to fit in to whatever particular group they are in, and in many cases even complete strangers or people they disagree with. Students in the study were instructed to choose the line on card 2 that matched the single line card.
All but one member of each test group were instructed through random phases to choose the wrong answer. 36% of students willingly went along with the groups wrong answer. 35% absolutely held their ground in the correct choice, while the remaining others argued the choice, then cautiously went along with the wrong answer. Sound about right? The findings were within one percentage point of Eric Hoffers’ findings at 35% of what he calls “true believers”. Those that need a group or something bigger than themselves to cling to and feel validated.
What is it about us that drives us to acceptance? Psychology Today has some insight. Joanna Cannon says,
“Perhaps it would be empowering to embrace our differences, rather than fear them. Instead of living our lives in monochrome, it might be more fulfilling to search for the color, and the variance, in those around us, and we can then allow ourselves to be accepted for who we really are”. Joanna Cannon is a psychiatrist from Leicester Medical School, England
The divisive nature of piety automatically puts one at odds with the rest of the world. Finding yourself can lead you to intellectual freedom, independent thought, and self acceptance can instill confidence to break the faith trap and call out the BS without staying in it due to peer pressure to fit in. Meanwhile, we’ll just keep at it.
Photo “wild turkey” TheCommonAtheist 2018