I know I am going to get dumped upon but I will take the chance that enough people will at least think about it. I want to make a distinction between clinical and common delusions. In this post, will not be talking about "clinical delusion" which is associated with mental disease. I am writing about a different and even more devastating delusion which is "mass delusion."
I have written about delusional people before and I have written that religion is, itself, a delusion. The comments that I have received have rejected the assertion that religion is a delusion and point to the absurdity of such an assertion by noting that the majority of the world's population would be mentally ill (or, at least, deluded) if religion was found to be a delusion. I am not saying that most people in the world are clinical delusional, but I am saying that we have inherited a tendency to accept delusions because we have a capacity to imagine anything as illustrated by the imaginative creations of Superman and Harry Potter. When these imaginations are believed to be real, they become delusions.
The strength of delusion-beliefs (DB)vary from person to person, from skeptics to ultra-believers, distributed on a bell-curve which is similar to the intelligence bell-curve but not correlated to it. A person with a very high intelligence quotient (IQ) can be anywhere on the DB curve. Here we have the juxtaposition of delusion and intelligence. What I always wondered at is how very intelligent persons, high on the IQ curve, leaders in biology, for example, defend creation stories over evolution. Does it depend on their inherited positions on the delusion-belief bell-curve?
So we are all subject to delusional-beliefs and everyone fits somewhere on the bell-curve. Many conspiracies theories, as examples of delusions, have a great deal of support in the population. Most conspiracy theories have little effect but some can cost lives. You only have to look at the millions who think that President D. Trump, no matter what he does, is doing a great job. Trump has called COVID-19 a plot by Democrats to........... well, here it is not clear at all what the strategy or intentions of Democrats might be. What might be the actual end-game for the Democrats to introduce a global pandemic? Can Democrats also be blamed for the emergence of COVID-19 in China? If so, then is this what is intended by the Texas County GOP Chair who recently incited a gathering to take off masks and hug each other. If Democrats have a plot to kill millions with a virus, then are the Republicans complicit in the plot by instructing adherents to remove their masks, thus promoting the spread of the Democrat's deadly plague? It is difficult to see which of them, Democrats or Republicans, are to blame for COVID-19. Or was it a joint effort: Democrats introduced COVID-19 after consultations with a secret laboratory in China and have co-opted Republicans to help them spread COVID-19 by getting ordinary citizens to remove their face masks at Republican Trump-promoting rallies? Asserting a political rationale to the spread of COVID-19 is a double-edged sword. Is it possible to see any positive, well-intended and well-considered plot by one party or another to kill thousands of Americans or, alternatively, is it possible to suggest that both Republican and Democrats wish to promote COVID-19 to kill fellow citizens? If so, why? Or is this yet another example of the illogical delusion-beliefs carelessly promoted by individuals who have abandoned all vestiges of critical thinking?
So it is obvious that many millions of people are susceptible to delusions and since delusions are very persistent and hard to overcome, we will have to be resolute to fight this inherited tribal instinct, as we fight other ones which are obsolete in the modern world, such as rape and tribal genocide, because we are the only tribe left in the world.
We survived the Neanderthals and Denisovans. Now we will have to adapt to survive.