What attracts people

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Nyarlathotep
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What attracts people

Postby Nyarlathotep » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:23 pm

I was reading something about the harsh life of people who lived under ISIS rule and it got me wondering, while lots of people were forced to live by their harsh interpretation of Sharia, there were lots of people who volunteered to live that way. It's why groups like ISIS or The Taliban even exist in the first place. Some people see a life where you are pretty much forbidden from most of life's pleasures, where you can be beaten for listening to the wrong kind of music or deciding to shave off one's beard and think "YEAH! THAT'S THE LIFE FOR ME!"

And Fundy Islam is just the most extreme modern example. Monks (Xtian and Buddhist both), Nuns, Amish, Mennonites, Fundy LDS, Various assorted nutso cults, etc. All attract people who seem to think a life of being told, every day, what to do, what to wear, where to go, what you can and can't say, etc is just fucking peachy. Yet these people presumably wouldn't volunteer for a life sentence in prison, even though the life they choose for themselves is distinguishable only by the lack of orange jumpsuits and slightly less involuntary buggery. Most of these other groups might not kill you for breaking the rules, but people choose to live with the rule entirely voluntarily and that's the part that baffle me.

I can't fathom why people do it. Anyone have any thoughts on why people choose those sorts of lives and don't run for the hills at the first opportunity when those lives are forced on them?
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Re: What attracts people

Postby Anaxagoras » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:18 am

It's a good question. I'm like you though. I think all of us here are pretty allergic to that sort of thing.

But there are definitely people who are like that, who actually want an authority figure to tell them what to do. Maybe it's because it absolves them from thinking for themselves.
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Re: What attracts people

Postby Anaxagoras » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:41 am

The interesting question is which comes first: the belief or the desire to believe? I suspect it's the latter. People believe this stuff because they want it to be true. It's hard to imagine a rational person with no particular predisposition to believe this stuff would look at these myths and say, yeah, I think that's true.

Another reason: people are social animals and they want to be part of a group, to be accepted as a member. Organized religion is one way to do that. It's a way not to be lonely. I'm actually just fine being alone. If I honestly ask myself would I rather spend a day at home with my family or a day at home by myself with them all off somewhere doing something else, I really generally prefer to be alone. Not all the time of course. I like having a family, or at least the idea of having a family, but I can't wait for my kids to grow up and finally go live somewhere else.
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Re: What attracts people

Postby gnome » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:42 am

I think I have a clue, actually. There are some people (I've met one perfect example in the form of my old roommate) who just can't handle being responsible for their own lives. The idea of having to figure out what they want in life and how to get it without being told what to do just totally freaks them out. In the case of my old roommate it's compounded by a defeatist attitude about what choices are available to him, even though he's got most of the advantages of America stacked in his favor. His favorite game is "Why don't you... Yeah But..." if you know what I mean.

In any case, I'm certain for some people like that (and possibly him also if he had the chance), taking away choice is a relief. He'd get to enjoy a sense of belonging and a sense of approval from like minded individuals, and people who want to challenge the status quo are frowned upon instead of admired. For that, I believe he could doublethink himself into any ideology and lifestyle as long as it was orderly.
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Re: What attracts people

Postby ed » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:47 am

"choose" is a funny word.

I think the overwhelming majority of adherents are born to it. Those that go to it voluntarily have other issues, I suspect. But there are those that want to have limits and have their behavior ordered by others. Stability maybe.

I never understood what the attraction was for large companies. Yeah, stability, not having to think a lot, not having to roll the dice. But highly dangerous. You don't even know that you are on the chopping block.

Think about the traditional woman. She chooses to get hitched, turn out kids, raise them and basically lead an infantilized existence until the kids are out of the house. Maybe a bit of an exaggeration but just a bit.

Yet the people in those existence might look at you or me and say "that's fucking crazy".

People are different is all.
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Re: What attracts people

Postby Abdul Alhazred » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:57 am

Amish and Mennonites are mostly born to it and have a very large fraction of people who fall away from it. They only keep up by massive reproduction rather people joining. This is also true of Chassidic Jewish sects (only the Lubavitchers go around trying to get other Jews and the occasional Gentile to join).
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