I know many intelligent people who continue to believe these falsehoods. Why?
Showing my ignorance here, but what in the world is a "pre-Christian Witch cult"? Paganism?
Margaret Murray, the late anthropologist, hypothesized the existence of a (pre-Christian) pagan religion that survived into modern times. This is -- non-derisively -- referred to as the Witch-cult hypothesis. It was widely embraced by the early Wiccan community, though support for it has diminished in recent years.
There are quite a few pagans on HP, as well as witches. These religious views most definitely pre-date Christianity and have survived the test of time - why would you classify them as false? I'm not very familiar with either, but they both seem to have at least as much claim to truth as Christianity.
Neither seem to have any marks of being a cult, either, unlike many Christian sects. Why are you labeling these religions as cults? Am I missing some obvious signs, such as secret financial information, requiring adherents to wear special clothing to set them apart or perform special actions that other people don't? Do they require believers to fund the "church" or give up "worldly" possessions to the "church's" benefit?
I am sure the concentration of believers in the supernatural that is evident on Hub Pages is greater than the general public, yet I still allow myself (stupidly) to get frustrated with the lack of not just reason but basic pragmatism.
What the hell difference does it make which unvalidatable metaphysical supposition one supports when faced with these realities:
1) According to the most recent estimate that Hunger Notes could find, malnutrition, as measured by stunting, affects 32.5 percent of children in developing countries--one of three (de Onis 2000).
2) Geographically, more than 70 percent of malnourished children live in Asia, 26 percent in Africa and 4 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean.
3) The world produces enough food to feed everyone. World agriculture produces 17 percent more calories per person today than it did 30 years ago, despite a 70 percent population increase. This is enough to provide everyone in the world with at least 2,720 kilocalories (kcal) per person per day....
As long as we as humans expect difficult problems to be resolved by belief in the correct supernatural superpower, we will continue to ignore real resolutions and continue to starve unnecessarily the needy and poor of the world - in which case I hope there really is a hell and we all burn for our stupidity and arrogance in arguing about fantasies.
End of rant.
Do you think that the concentration of "believers" is greater on HubPages than in daily life? I'm not so sure.
You write, "As long as we as humans expect difficult problems to be resolved by belief in the correct supernatural superpower..."
Exactly. I think that the problem lies in critical thinking, and in the inability of most humans to do it. This inability comes from lack of practice. After all, why should they practice? It isn't human nature to commit to something onerous and unnecessary without a compelling reason, and most humans consider critical thinking onerous and unnecessary.
I've just depressed myself.
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