Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

Patrick H
Gormley


HOW RELIGION AS A PLAUSIBILITY STRUCTURE GETS PEOPLE TO ACCEPT NONSENSE AS TRUE

 

Without a plausibility structure there would be less nonsense from groups in the world.  There would be fewer groups based around spouting and representing nonsense.  The plausibility structure is only needed for there is doubt about the principles the group has in the first place.  In its mildest form it is still ideological.

 

The expression came from Peter L Berger who admitted to being influenced by Marx and others.


According to Wikipedia, “Plausibility structures are the sociocultural contexts for systems of meaning within which these meanings make sense, or are made plausible. Beliefs and meanings held by individuals and groups are supported by, and embedded in, sociocultural institutions and processes.”


You have people who see each other as equals or as thinking the same way who form groups. They think everybody agrees on something so they agree themselves. That is how a plausibility structure works and is formed. It leads to irresponsible, half-baked, deranged, immature and extreme views being assumed to be true.

 

Christianity is an obvious plausibility structure as is Islam.

 

The plausibility structure is one thing but does it deserve its plausibility? Is it using tactics to make people lazy so that they don’t look to see if it is really plausible?

 

If plausibility is that important then though it may be true a good religion can have too many members doing bad things in its name and who are not even punished by it, plausibility says that the bad deeds make the religion implausible. Plausibility implies a method for evaluating.

 

And even more so when you read the next bit. As religion feeds on plausibility, forces a plausibility structure on children and the vulnerable and people’s laziness with assessing what is plausible, plausibility has the last word. It is not plausible for it to claim to be good when it abuses plausibility in the first place.

 

There has been so much death over religion in history. Christianity asks you to let yourself be murdered rather than renounce Christ. This has killed many.

 

What about human sacrifice? What about religious wars and faith based child abuse? There is so much abuse and that is murder in itself for the victim's quality of life is murdered. Religious persistence and particular persistence of the culture of religion is the reason the abuse goes on. If a religion would disband or vanish when it does too much evil or even a couple of extremely evil and intolerable deeds there would be no real problem with religion. The problem lies with parents passing the culture on to their children. This is key to how religion becomes a plausibility structure. The result is that schools and hospitals end up used to program religion into children and into society.


A purely nominal religion should not exist in the first place. That is why it is more culpable than one that makes an effort at sincerity. It amounts to people suffering and resources and money wasted on problems that it paves the way for.

 

Persistence invites attacks from those who worry about it.  Obstinacy or perceived obstinacy provokes people and social justice warriors. Persistence can be explained by conditioning. It is a problem that surfaces mostly in Christianity, Islam and Judaism. It is the reason why other religions tend to be seen as tolerant and open to truth.

The vast majority of abused children would rather tolerate the torture than be removed from their parents.  Being with the parent comes first with them even at the expense of their own safety and it is hardly safe to keep the parent in a position where they can abuse.  You would worry that the same thing is why religion and God are so persistent.

Religion needs to be persistent and perhaps look more persistent than it really is.  The persistence of religion as a structure is necessary to make critics feel there is not much point in trying to dismantle it. It fuels the fire if the religion is ridden with bad doctrine and degrading cultural practices etc. Thus the religion cynically asks to be a victim.

Politicians and tyrannies play up to the persistence of religion and use it to empower and embolden their own power.

Anyone who like some religions takes the impossible or the fantastical to be true such as that we are from one man and one woman or from aliens has a sanity or an honesty problem. Or a combination. Or maybe the person just won’t think. That is dishonest as well when it is a big basic issue.

 

Human nature is prone to being programmed or hypnotised. Or letting itself be. You are potentially and actually being used when you are in such a structure.

 

You are part of the machine that uses others particularly the unthinking and the children. As vile in principle and in consequences as a plausibility structure is, it is what the brain is programmed to seek and adopt. Any plausibility structure that is there will be latched on to.  The builders of the structure, clergy, teachers and whatever are taking advantage whether they know it or not.

 

The structure does not need its supporters to be sincere. They can pretend to agree with its doctrines so that they can seem to truly belong and reap community benefits and any benefits. Many believe that if they keep acting like they believe x they will end up believing it. Plausibility structures are not an argument for the glory of sincerity! No they are an argument for not caring about it!


Adherents might believe they believe in what you need to fit into the structure. If I believe I believe in God I could be wrong. Only my ungodly actions and lack of love for God can give me away and show I only think I believe. That is a prime reason why a religion that is supposed to be about God cannot say,

 

“We are about God not sin so whatever evil believers do even in our name as a religion CAN not and DOES not count against it.”

 


It is true that lies will find you out for the truth is bigger than you and cannot be changed. But having said that religion alone is able to make lies powerful. Empires come and go. Religion is able to persist for centuries even when facts are against it never mind evidence. That success can only be achieved by creating social pressure (I’m betraying my religious family or community if I drop out of the religion and be true to myself) or superstitious fear or love of hypocrisy. Once you depend on somebody else to give you information you are at risk of these things happening.

Lack of confidence in thinking powers and prowess can lead you to be in a plausibility structure – and especially one you are better out of. Here is an example. When every possibility for why God allows suffering is exhausted you disguise how there is no answer by saying there must be one. That is actually a self-doubt statement. And it implies you have doubts about others in the same situation as you. Self-doubt is not nice. The plausibility structure gives you inclusion and some kind of spirit and that makes it feel better or perhaps stops you noticing it.

 

Plausibility structures scheme to give you some kind of compensation for what it asks of you. That empowers them and emboldens them.


Plausibility structures need vigorous and educated criticism. They are harmful and harm breeds harm. The “harmless” Mormon plausibility structure in 1830 soon became persecutor in Utah some decades later.  Christianity is another notorious example of that transformation.

 

Religious plausibility structures pose as signs and signs don't walk in their own direction but point away from it.  That is why they need to invite severe investigation from outsiders and conduct internal evaluation more than any other plausibility structure.