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What is the most dangerous irrational belief?

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I think many of us think religion is the most dangerous irrational belief but not all might agree on this point. So in your opinion what is the #1 and #2 most dangerous irrational belief? I think religion is my #1 because of Islam and anti-vaccination is my #2. 

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#1 Fundamental Religious belief. (Lets face it the we love Jesus types are not dangerous- frustrating but not dangerous. )

 

#2 Not sure, I'm going to have to think about this. I think the regressive left and its counter part on the right are dangerous movements - not sure if they are beliefs? I suppose I think white patriarchy and white privilege, and sub conscious bias are irrational beliefs.

 

 

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The most dangerous of all is the idea that those who believe differently than you deserve mortal punishment simply for the non-crime of wrongthink.

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To me the most dangerous belief is that there is any authority that is beyond questioning, that is always and automatically right and good. That goes for religion (jebus and moohamit talibans), economics (if your economy is in trouble austerity will help), politics (capitalism is good because the winners of capitalism say so), et cetera, et cetera. Question everything, if it's good it will survive the questioning intact and stronger than before.

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I have another one: The belief that curbing some persons speech because you don't like it is good, or necessary. This is dangerous because of the path to authoritarian dictates that it leads to, which I think is part of my beef with the regressive left. They believe that telling you what you can and cannot say is a good thing . I guess its not irrational, but its dangerous.

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American exceptionalism. It has caused us to think we can sanction, bomb, drone, influence elections, overthrow leaders we don't like, subjugate,  exploit and dictate our will to the rest of the world. 

And, we're not exceptional. We don't have more freedom than others. Unless we're comparing African dictatorships, we have much less than just about everyone else. 

 

We have a broken healthcare system that lets people die in the streets if it doesn't bankrupt them first. 

 

We have decaying infrastructure, a sky-rocketing poverty line and a distribution of wealth on par with a banana republic. 

 

We spend more on the military than the rest of the world combined and then some, yet we have planes that can't fly, we have ships that are new, yet obsolete and we can't even win a war, even though we have been bombing and invading non-stop, literally for the past 15 years (really, much longer than that, but we really ramped things up since the millennium). We bombed Syria for years with no progress and then Russia came in and turned ISIS into a shell of its former self in a matter of weeks. 

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Religion in and of itself is not any more dangerous than anything else the human mind can come up with. Secular ideologies can (and do) serve the same sociological and psychological needs as religion for some individuals. The same mechanisms that underlie religious fanaticism exists elsewhere.

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53 minutes ago, Vigile said:

American exceptionalism. It has caused us to think we can sanction, bomb, drone, influence elections, overthrow leaders we don't like, subjugate,  exploit and dictate our will to the rest of the world. 

And, we're not exceptional. We don't have more freedom than others. Unless we're comparing African dictatorships, we have much less than just about everyone else. 

 

We have a broken healthcare system that lets people die in the streets if it doesn't bankrupt them first. 

 

We have decaying infrastructure, a sky-rocketing poverty line and a distribution of wealth on par with a banana republic. 

 

We spend more on the military than the rest of the world combined and then some, yet we have planes that can't fly, we have ships that are new, yet obsolete and we can't even win a war, even though we have been bombing and invading non-stop, literally for the past 15 years (really, much longer than that, but we really ramped things up since the millennium). We bombed Syria for years with no progress and then Russia came in and turned ISIS into a shell of its former self in a matter of weeks. 

I have to agree with this. America started losing its mojo shortly after the warning we got from Eisenhower. The military industrial complex has taken over America and is working on the rest of the world. We are in no position to school other countries and claim moral superiority as we manipulate governments and economies. We have designs on everything these days but most Americans still believe we are the world's peace keeper. As George Carlin said so many years ago, "America is an oil company with an army."

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Dangerous to whom?

 

If we're talking about humanity as a whole, then I can think of a few. Islam is definitely one. Christianity is another. I agree with Vig about american exceptionalism. I'm also increasingly concerned by anti-intellectualism and all its offshoots (anti-vax, climate change denial, flat earthers, etc). But one that flies under the radar for a lot of people is the idea that we can have limitless economic growth on a finite planet. Think about it. Most people agree that we are living unsustainably, but nobody seems willing to admit that when things are unsustainable, they stop. This is a principle of nature; there is no way around it. And yet, we are absolutely addicted to growth. Nobody ever has enough, we always need more. And sooner or later, there is going to be nothing left.

 

But if we're talking about danger to individuals, then clearly the person who believes that he can fly and therefore proceeds to jump off a cliff holds the most dangerous irrational belief.

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Thought of another:

 

Trust in authority. Not questioning. Lack of critical thinking skills or failure to apply them. 

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1 hour ago, disillusioned said:

Dangerous to whom?

 

If we're talking about humanity as a whole, then I can think of a few. Islam is definitely one. Christianity is another. I agree with Vig about american exceptionalism. I'm also increasingly concerned by anti-intellectualism and all its offshoots (anti-vax, climate change denial, flat earthers, etc). But one that flies under the radar for a lot of people is the idea that we can have limitless economic growth on a finite planet. Think about it. Most people agree that we are living unsustainably, but nobody seems willing to admit that when things are unsustainable, they stop. This is a principle of nature; there is no way around it. And yet, we are absolutely addicted to growth. Nobody ever has enough, we always need more. And sooner or later, there is going to be nothing left.

 

But if we're talking about danger to individuals, then clearly the person who believes that he can fly and therefore proceeds to jump off a cliff holds the most dangerous irrational belief.

 

Yeah I agree. I almost put down global warning denial which among many other things can cause food shortages and other unsustainable practices that might cause irreparable damage to having sustainable sources of clean water. Funny enough you can still blame religion for some of this. So many American Christians believe in the rapture which means they don't have to think about sustainability. The Dominionists believe god has given them authority over the earth so they have a god given right to use natural resources as they see fit. Denial is also promulgated through the scripture in Genesis that states that as long as the earth remains cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

 

The reason I put Religious Belief as number 1 initially is because irrational global players getting nuclear weapons could be catastrophic. That being said those aren't the only groups we have to worry about in the age of nuclear proliferation. 

 

I also agree that Idealistic forms of capitalism and socialism can be very very dangerous if history has taught us anything. I think most pragmatic thinking people know there has to be some sort of balance. 

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Historically it has been religion at the root of most deadly conflict. These days it seems that political ideology may have surpassed religion (or IS the new religion).

 

 

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3 minutes ago, florduh said:

Historically it has been religion at the root of most deadly conflict. These days it seems that political ideology may have surpassed religion (or IS the new religion).

 

 

 

I think they have always gone together. The only reason xianity survived and became the force that it is today is the concept of divine right of kings. This lasted until the enlightenment as a justification for political rule by a single person or family. I'm far less familiar with the history of Islam, but I imagine there was also a commingling between religion and political leadership. That certainly seems to be the case in places like Saudi Arabia, which is still led by a royal family, which justifies its position of authority using religion. 

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The most dangerous irrational belief:

  1. The environment is not sick (to include climate change)
  2. Nuclear weapons proliferation is nothing to worry about because no sane leader would push the button.

These rankings are subject to change if...

  1. Some wild-eyed fanatic, of any type, obtains a nuclear device. (Not a head of state but a religious nutter or the like)
  2. The two man children (the pudgy one and the one with the orange comb-over) decide that they BOTH want to save face.
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Unshakable belief that you are right.

 

This can be dangerous at any level - personal, familial, community-wide, national, international or global.

 

 

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The most dangerous non rational belief is that everything happens to you, and around you, for some unknown good reason.  

 

This is the most life limiting delusion ever invented.  Failure to accept random events as just that, random, leads to all sorts of weird cognitive thinking and mental defense mechanisms, most all of which detract and limited the well being and potential of life.   Ditto for not correctly recognizing the source and cause of non random events.

 

 

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17 hours ago, ConsiderTheSource said:

The most dangerous non rational belief is that everything happens to you, and around you, for some unknown good reason.  

 

This is the most life limiting delusion ever invented.  Failure to accept random events as just that, random, leads to all sorts of weird cognitive thinking and mental defense mechanisms, most all of which detract and limited the well being and potential of life.   Ditto for not correctly recognizing the source and cause of non random events.

 

 

 

Straight frigg'n UP, @ConsiderTheSource!

 

That's exactly why I am so uncomfortable with Mrs. MOHO reading virtually nothing but the bable and those little booklets that tell you what to read and how to interpret it. When she sees the rolling eyes she'll state "you are not walking with the lard!" "No. I'm just wondering what irrational decision you will make next that will negatively impact the family and, perhaps, our financial bottom line."

 

Yep. That's it. So I'm justified in being uncomfortable with the overtly religious "God is in charge of the entire world" attitude. Thanx for clearing that up.

 

And with that I think I just took Blammy's' OP in another direction. Sorry. :49:

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41 minutes ago, MOHO said:

 

Straight frigg'n UP, @ConsiderTheSource!

 

That's exactly why I am so uncomfortable with Mrs. MOHO reading virtually nothing but the bable and those little booklets that tell you what to read and how to interpret it. When she sees the rolling eyes she'll state "you are not walking with the lard!" "No. I'm just wondering what irrational decision you will make next that will negatively impact the family and, perhaps, our financial bottom line."

 

Yep. That's it. So I'm justified in being uncomfortable with the overtly religious "God is in charge of the entire world" attitude. Thanx for clearing that up.

 

And with that I think I just took Blammy's' OP in another direction. Sorry. :49:

 

For what it's worth it does seem like humans are really good at compartmentalization. A person can be loving and rational in just about every other area of life but was simply raised with a religious box that they don't like touched. This is why many intelligent people can believe crazy things.

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The belief that I can fly ... without wings. :)

 

The belief that cops won't break my car window if I tell em they have no authority over me. :)

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I'd say hedonistic belief that you are entitled to anything and others are either in your way or against you. The lack of human empathy is horrifying. You hear of people crushed at black Friday shopping or old people being knocked down cos they were too slow.  This modern idea that the world owes you and therefore you deserve free everything and enough welfare so you don't have to work. As soon as you say "whats best for me?" You aren't considering the effect on everyone else.

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1. That Billions of people believe their sacred scriptures were supernaturally created by an invisible deity and the laws, rules, and commands in those scriptures are superior to all other secular laws and all other sacred writings laws, rules, and commands.

2. That some of these same people believe their deity commands them to kill anyone who doesn't believe in their deity and that does not adhere to their sacred scriptures.

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I'm not sure there is one that is the most dangerous. Religion leads people to disregard their own safety, forego medical help because "Jesus will save them," kill others so they can get special status in heaven. Anti-vaccination is harmful for obvious reasons. Social prejudice creates in-group cliques, even violence. At the end of the day, stupidity hurts people. There is no hierarchy of which is worst.

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