Jul 11, 2010

pair pressure

From 'Dangerous Idea': emphasis added

Loftus [an active internet skeptic - A.Z.] attributes religious belief to sociological conditioning. The elephant in the room is the culture of disbelief that is perpetuated, not by argumentation, but by intellectual intimidation and bullying, which anybody can find at most secular institutions of higher learning. I'm talking about the sort of "nobody believes that anymore" chronological snobbery that makes you feel as if some overwhelming argument was given on the day you were absent. It's the sort of attitude that makes an adolescent feel like a truly independent thinker because he has learned to be critical of his parents' attitudes and has adopted, instead, the attitudes of his peers. The idea that becoming a religious skeptic means transcending sociological pressures strikes me as ludicrous.

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