The Durability of Early Formed Beliefs
Some beliefs are easy come, easy go. Many children believe in Santa Claus, but most children are not devastated when they realize that Santa is a myth. However, other sorts of beliefs operate as basic, sometimes unspoken, assumptions about the nature of life that resist being penetrated by evidence that these assumptions might not be valid. For instance, some people in the Middle Ages were executed for arguing that the Earth was not the center of the universe. The purpose of this seminar is to investigate how this phenomenon operates in the context of soul and afterlife beliefs and come to a better understanding of how early-formed beliefs become so deeply internalized that people are willing to harm others to defend them.