Try this as an exercise: put yourself in a situation where you feel anxious. Then introspect. When you feel anxious do you suddenly find yourself wanting to fly an airplane into a skyscraper?
TORONTO, July 6, 2010 – Anxiety and uncertainty can cause us to become more idealistic and more radical in our religious beliefs, according to new findings by York University researchers, published in this month's issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
In a series of studies, more than 600 participants were placed in anxiety-provoking or neutral situations and then asked to describe their personal goals and rate their degree of conviction for their religious ideals. This included asking participants whether they would give their lives for their faith or support a war in its defence.
What do you think about when you struggle with difficult mathematical equations or proofs? Wiping out your enemies in an epic battle? Or the need for a couple of beers?
Across all studies, anxious conditions caused participants to become more eagerly engaged in their ideals and extreme in their religious convictions. In one study, mulling over a personal dilemma caused a general surge toward more idealistic personal goals. In another, struggling with a confusing mathematical passage caused a spike in radical religious extremes. In yet another, reflecting on relationship uncertainties caused the same religious zeal reaction.
I'm not remotely idealistic. So I'd go for the beer and think more about the potential for the beer silicon to make my bones stronger than the ability of a C4 vest to blow my bones and the bones of many others to bits. Some might fault me for my decadence.
Bottom line: Keep Muslims with bold personalities but low IQs out of Western math classes.
Researchers found that religious zeal reactions were most pronounced among participants with bold personalities (defined as having high self-esteem and being action-oriented, eager and tenacious), who were already vulnerable to anxiety, and felt most hopeless about their daily goals in life.
Bold guys need to be able to excel and dominate. It is an evolutionary imperative. Should they happen to believe a religion that leads them to see car bombs as the road to success then you've got a problem if they live near you. I would tend to want to keep them in smaller countries where they can achieve higher relative status. The desire for higher status causes all sorts of problems that capitalism does not solve.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2010 July 06 10:17 PM Brain Spirituality|