Read this cartoon (click to enlarge) based off of an old experiment with monkeys and then ask yourself what the parallels are with religion:
David Stockin summarizes it well and asks the obvious questions:
The group knowledge, or paradigm, that climbing the ladder to reach the banana would result in group punishment, stayed with the population even though none of the monkeys had ever experienced the punishment.
It has been shown that the monkey’s belief that the group will be punished if they climb the ladder for the banana will last for generations, even without anyone ever actually being punished.
Is this one of the reasons why our society shy’s away from criticizing religious belief systems? Are we living in a society full of trained monkeys? Were our ancestors punished to the point that our whole society won’t climb the ladder of religion and question its purpose?
We’re the monkeys willing to take a risk and expose the superstition.
Be proud of that!
(Thanks to Pete for the link)
***Update***: Commenters point out the study may not be credible, so take it with a grain of salt. Even if it’s not true, I think there’s still a useful moral to this story.