Photo: Jonathan Borba / Unsplash

In my circle of friends, we think of Trump voters as blind to reality and driven by myth. For instance, the idea that COVID is no more harmful than the flu. This is a myth in the derogatory sense of the word: an assumption about reality that is divorced from reality.

Can we legitimately say that polarization has cleaved the country into roughly two halves, one of which is delusional? Is it fair to say that only Trump voters believe in myths, while we are impervious to them?

Myth and human societies

This kind of conclusion flies in the face…

What is it in us that makes it possible for us to heal based on our faith that healing will happen? We’re not just talking about religious belief, but more generally, faith in a positive outcome. It can be faith in medicine, as is the case with the placebo effect.

A ‘placebo’ is used during clinical trials as a benchmark to evaluate a promising treatment. Comparing the actual remedy to the placebo (an innocuous pill) allows the researcher to separate the new treatment’s real impact from ‘expectancy’— the healing power of people’s faith in medical science’s healing power.

The placebo is not a real treatment.

People are…

The other day, I saw a poster. It’s the iconic picture of Rambo with bulging muscles and a bazooka. But, instead of the head of Sylvester Stallone, it has the head of Donald Trump. The caption goes, “Trump. No Man. No Woman. No Commie Can Stump Him.”

My first reaction was to think of it as satire, making fun of Trump’s exaggerated opinion of himself. But, no, given the context, this was meant as a prideful statement by one of his followers.

Do his followers not know that he is obese and averse to exercise? Is it possible that they…

Photo: Nicholas Green / Unsplash

Calling democracy a myth might seem like a provocative idea. But I do not mean it as a derogatory term, implying fraud or delusion, far from it. I am inspired by Yuval Harari’s groundbreaking book, Sapiens. For Harari, myths are the glue that binds societies together, small tribes as well as countries or supranational entities.

We are accustomed to thinking in these terms when we talk about primitive societies, held together by their religious myths. But myths are not limited to the religious or spiritual realm. And they are not the exclusive property of primitive societies. …

This article is neither for nor against the traditional Christian meaning of Christmas. It stems from a desire to define a broader perspective: One that respects the conventional view, while also extending the significance of the holiday to those for whom this tradition is not meaningful.

For those of us who live in the Western world, Christmas is part of our society, whether the holiday has religious meaning to us or not. It’s a big part of our culture, in the broadest possible sense of the word culture. …


Social Myth & Collective Implicit

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