We recently had some discussion about the creationist mindset. Recently on Facebook, Ed Babinski reposted something that raises some rather interesting points with respect to their actual goals:
quote:Transcribed from images posted by Ed Babinski on Facebook Images taken from Quora
Why do people get angry when I try to share the word of God with them? I only do it because I care about them deeply and don't want them to end up in hell. I feel like some people avoid me because of this. Is there any way to get through to them?
by Doug Robertson, studied at University of Maine Updated Dec 11 2018
The entire process is not what you think it is.
It is specifically designed to be uncomfortable for the other person because it isn't about converting them to your religion. It is about manipulating you so you can't leave yours.
If this tactic was about converting people it would be considered a horrible failure. It recruits almost no one who isn't already willing to join. Bake sales are more effective recruiting tools.
On the other hand, it is extremely effective at creating a deep tribal feeling among its own members.
The rejection they receive is actually more important than the few people they convert. It causes them to feel a level of discomfort around the people they attempt to talk to. These become the "others". These uncomfortable feelings go away when they come back to their congregation, the "Tribe".
If you take a good look at the process it becomes fairly clear. In most cases, the religious person starts out from their own group, who is encouraging and supportive. They are then sent out into the harsh world where people repeatedly reject them. Mainly because they are trained to be so annoying.
These brave witnesses then return from the cruel world to their congregation where they are treated like returning heroes. They are now safe. They bond as they share their experiences of reaching out to the godless people to bring them the truth. They share the otherness they experience.
Once again they will learn that the only place they are accepted is with the people who think as they do. It isn't safe to leave the group. The world is your enemy, but we love you.
This is a pain reward cycle that is a common brainwashing technique. The participants become more and more reliant on the "Tribe" because they know that "others" reject them.
Mix in some ritualized chanting, possibly a bit of monotonous repetition of instructions, add a dash of fear of judgment by an unseen, but all-powerful entity who loves you if you do as you are told and you get a pretty powerful mix.
Sorry, I have absolutely no wish to participate in someones brainwashing ritual.
More specifically with creationists, their claims and arguments are not meant to convince non-creationists, but rather to convince the creationists themselves that they are right. Add to that the same mentality Robertson describes above and it's a potent mix for self-delusion.
I have to say that this sounds a lot like my mother in many ways. She doesn't try to convert people, but nearly every time I am around her she has a new story about Christians being persecuted by evil non-Christians, or by society in general. It's as if she needs to feel persecuted. I strongly suspect that most, if not all, of her stories are probably "fake news" that makes the rounds in Christian conservative circles which only adds to my strange fascination about the psychology of religious belief.
As with any generalization, there are probably going to be exceptions to the description in the opening post. My brother actually works in Campus Crusades, and he tends to be a pretty laid back dude. He doesn't annoy people, and prefers instead to advertise the existence of his ministry and let people come to him. I also never hear him talk about being persecuted, or telling the same stories I hear from my mother. He is also younger (30 years) and a bit more liberal in his views, so that may have something to do with it.