Because we no longer need to make much effort to stay alive and safe, we formulate beliefs not because they correspond to reality, nor even because they confer survival fitness, but because they provide us with pleasure.
“On Pleasurable Beliefs” by Thomas Harper
Quillette.com did have an interesting article by Thomas Harper on why people believe in crazy things. The underlying assumption is that beliefs should be tested by reality and people should be motivated — due to evolutional pressure — to get things right. But in today’s society, with our distance to immediate survival concerns, it’s more important that beliefs provide pleasure.
It’s an interesting perspective, and yeah, pleasure might explain why people operate on an insane manifestation of care ethic (to use my pet peeve, the author uses … other examples). But I also wonder whether “survival” today isn’t also dependent on believing crazy things. After all, if you go against some views — which can be seen as crazy — you do get ostracized. And ostracization is still deadly.
But still, an interesting perspective.