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In the vast world of animal-on-animal conflict-- cobra vs. mongoose, bear vs. salmon, sperm whale vs. giant squid -- fewer matchups evoke more passion than this one: cat vs. bird.

Anxiety and uncertainty can cause us to become more idealistic and more radical in our religious beliefs, according to new findings by York University researchers, published in this month's issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

That's nice, but is that unique to religious beliefs? It seems to me it would be equally likely when applied to political beliefs for example.


 

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re: "That's nice, but is that unique to religious beliefs? It seems to me it [Anxiety] would be equally likely when applied to political beliefs for example."

I think so too. Politics these days remind me of nothing quite so much as the 1960's and '70s. Then it was the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement. Now it's the 'war' on terror, and economic dislocations, with anxiety and extreme expressions magnified by the cacophony of media. I think the media does quite successfully increase anxiety. The article's suggestion about authoritarian religious views rising in anxious times does also seem to be true. Every time I think about what the War on Terror, Iraq, Afghanistan, Wall street gamblers and that oil still spewing in the gulf is doing to our Country, I almost wish for a belief in God, if only cuz that might mean there's a Hell somewhere where comeuppance might be expected.

Hitler and Stalin were nervous nellies.

It makes sense that when faces with stress the instinctive human response is to think quickly and pursue a percieved solution passionatly. A behavior that no doubt evolved so that early homminids wouldn't hesitate to think through the repercussions of smashing in a lions skull with a rock.

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