What do Objectivists think about manipulating irrational beliefs to defend themselves from irrational adversaries?

Posted by Poplicola 5 years, 1 month ago to Ask the Gulch
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I was recently re-reading part of Isaac Asimov's "Foundation" and wondered what Objectivists thought about how Asimov had his fictional society of scientists essentially rely on psychological warfare in the form of an artificial religion to defend itself against an irrational but numerically superior enemy.

At a less extreme level, would it be tolerable to Objectivists to acquiess in the preservation of a "Civic Religion" with respect to those who can not be convince to embrace Objectivism, if that belief system would, despite its lack of an Objective basis, result in society fostering an environment in which Objectivism could safely be practiced and expanded?
SOURCE URL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientism_(Foundation)


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    Posted by conscious1978 5 years, 1 month ago
    'Gaming' anyone's belief system could not result in an environment, or society, favorable to Objectivism. Deal with others fairly. Your actions under duress are a different issue.
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    • Posted by craigerb 5 years, 1 month ago
      "'Gaming' anyone's belief system could not result in an environment, or society, favorable to Objectivism." I don't think this can be known. Not 'gaming' someone's belief system could result in an environment, or society, unfavorable to Objectivism.
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      • Posted by conscious1978 5 years, 1 month ago
        There is no need for 'gaming' a particular subset of a civil society. It's dishonest in a civil context.

        Actions taken when threatened are a different matter, and those threats are contrary to a civil society.
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    • Posted by 5 years, 1 month ago
      I think mildly 'gaming' their beliefs in the 'civic religion' model could reasonably get them to the point of their conceding to let you coexist with them, whereas the more extreme Psy Ops strategies would only come into play under 'duress' circumstances if a rival culture were to get it into its head that Objectivists and Objectivism were existential threats that needed to be eliminated.
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  • Posted by Zenphamy 5 years, 1 month ago
    You're describing the antithesis of Objectivism. A 'Civic Religion' has a belief system that is still based on 'wishes, wants, fairy dust, and unicorns', that engenders not facing or dealing with reality as it is. How could that possibly be in any human's best interest.An Objectivist world would still have a percentage of people that would rather live in fantasy than live in reality, no different than today. It would simply be a world where such people would have to face their failure rather than be able to profit from it by having society and government steal from the producers to give to them.

    Objectivism can be safely lived today and is expanding. You don't practice Objectivism. It's not a religion or theology.
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    • Posted by 5 years, 1 month ago
      Okay, let me take a bite at this. I'm not positing the question from the perspective of a person living in an Objectivist world, but rather from that of an Objectivist Society or social sub-set confronting mystically motivated external threats (e.g. the advance of a totalitarian religious state like we are seeing in the middle east.)


      Thus I think we agree that In a hierarchy of preferences an Objectivist Society that doesn't initiate force to make non-objectivists profess adherence to Objectivism would be an Objectivists' first choice.


      Likewise, I think we would agree that an Arbitrary Totalitarian Theocracy bent on exterminating Objectivism would be the worst of worlds.


      Now if we find ourselves in a mixed society with percentages of Objectivists, Well Meaning Tolerant People of Multiple Varying Faiths, and Foaming at the Mouth Fanatics Hell Bent on Achieving Numerical Superiority with a view to eventually Exterminating All Apostates, the Objectivist is presented with some choices.


      1) Try to talk the crazies down to no avail.
      2) Try to compete on numbers through rational dialog and high birth rates.
      3) Do nothing until forced to take up arms when the crazies take over the government and start killing people
      4) Try to form an alliance with the non-crazy non-objectivists to hold the crazies in check while there is still time.
      5) Try to use Psy Ops to undermine the crazies.


      It is with respect to Option 4 that a 'civic religion', (i.e. value set appealing to a generic creator notion) that motivates the various non-objectivists factions to unite against the crazies to preserve freedom of though could in that context be in an Objectivist's "best interest" until such time as the crazies were purged and a majority of society agreed to employ Objectivist reasoning in the Public Sphere.


      In short, I'm arguing that it would be irrational to forsake employing workable non-objectivist approaches to warding off existential threats.


      This brings to mind the exchange from Ghostbusters:
      "Are you a God?"
      "No."
      "Then Die."
      "The next time someone asks you if you are a God, say 'yes'."
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      • Posted by Zenphamy 5 years, 1 month ago
        You're attempting to edge me towards a cliff of compromise and I won't go there. You're arguing that Objectivist either accept good religionist or formulate some other mystical explanation for believers to feel comfortable in, and I won't go there either. You're arguing for pragmatism and relativism. Those just don't fit with Objectivism and any Objectivist that accepts that, isn't an Objectivist.

        Mystical thinking is why we have the enemies you're describing. Had we as a country maintained the ideas and principles of the majority of the Framers, we would have stayed out of the rest of the world's problems, traded fairly with all as individuals and businesses, and left our religions where they belong, in the churches, in the homes, and out of the public discourse and squares, we wouldn't now be having to deal with such people as you're describing and I seriously doubt that they would be attempting to draw us into an all out World War. Particularly had we maintained a solid defense against invasion only as intended.

        So for myself, I'm an Objectivist and I intend to live the rest of my life as I've managed for several decades now, with reason and rational thought and I'll end my life with my principles in tact. The next time someone asks me if I'm a god, I'll simply walk away and leave them to their nonsense. And if the US get's too dangerous because of the idiocy, I'll simply go Galt. I owe nothing to the irrational man.
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      • Posted by $ blarman 5 years, 1 month ago
        I like your approach and reason.

        The FMFHBANS's are outside the realm of logical appeal to a large degree. So taking any such approach with them is going to result in predictable non-results. They are already engaging in psychological warfare with their own approaches: the are willing to lie, cheat, kill, etc. to further their cause. So to me, they have to be jarred out of their comfort zone by something they are not expecting or that gets their attention.

        Yes, one can consider psychological warfare an attempt at coercion to a degree. However, if it is being employed in a defensive posture against one who has already openly declared their intention to kill you, I'm pretty comfortable with such actions as being responsive rather than initiatory. Once they are in a position to consider the reality of their position, they may come into a state less ruled by zealotry and hatred and one ruled more by self-preservation and introspection. It would be at that point that they may be willing to countenance change. At that point, psychological warfare must then shift to evangelism.

        I would also note, however, that it is unlikely that these techniques will work on groups. Intellectual endeavors are ultimately individual, so part of the strategy must be to separate them from sources of conformative pressure that would prevent them from considering alternative viewpoints or prevent the seed of a new idea from taking hold. Because of prohibitions inherent in the FMFHBANS's code of conduct, however, against abandoning their religion, the threshold for conversion may be unreasonably high for most - especially when coupled with the intellectual demands of thought.
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  • Posted by tdechaine 5 years, 1 month ago
    So compromise your principles so you can get more people to live by your principles? Really?

    Understand that Obj.ism is first most a philosophy for the individual. Given the frustration of dealing with so many "anti-Obj.ists" (in various forms), we simply have to better educate others re Obj. principles and applications. But part of the problem is "Objectivists" not understanding the philosophy well enough to educate with clarity in order to eliminate all the misunderstandings others have.
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  • Posted by woodlema 5 years, 1 month ago
    Good question but an easy one from my perspective.

    First you can never and will never be able to have a reasonable conversation when you are using logic and the other is using emotion. ALL irrational beliefs are based on emotion and nothing else.

    In order to get a person to the point of "rational" thought it is first imperative to destroy their belief system which in itself requires using their own irrational arguments against them, hence why Saul Ilinski's "Rules For Radicals" is so effective.

    Once you successfully destroy their belief system using any means, even manipulating and "gaming" their beliefs, then and only then will their mind be open to replacing that belief vacuum with something. Logic and Reason.


    Once they are open to logic and reason THEN and only then can you have productive conversations.

    I guess the real question is this.
    How important is it to YOU personally to "convert" someone? And do you really care at all whether they stay ignorant or not?

    Biblical quote:
    "...do not throw your pearls before the swine..."
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  • Posted by VetteGuy 5 years, 1 month ago
    Interesting question. I'm an Asimov fan as well, and always found his use of religion/mystics in Foundation interesting.

    Where we who argue for reason and facts have an ethical problem with intentionally lying to people, apparently many of our "opponents" in the public sphere of influence seem to have no problem with it whatsoever. (thus "Hands Up Don't Shoot").

    People who can think rather than "feel", and reason instead of react seem to be in very short supply outside of the Gulch. Telling the truth and reasoning with people does not seem to make much of an impact.

    But if we abandon that, what DO we represent.

    On your "civic religion" question, it's hard to imagine establishing a "Church of Objectivism" so that we can claim religious persecution. From what I've seen lately, you'd have better luck mixing matter and anti-matter. ;-)
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    • Posted by 5 years, 1 month ago
      I think Asimov touched on the ethical dilemma in that while the Foundation's deceit was directed toward the irrational outsiders, any of them who started to see through the mumbo jumbo would be level with and recruited into the Foundation's fold. (This sort of approach was also echoed in "The Matrix" with its notion of not freeing any minds until they were ready to face reality.)

      On your last point, by 'civic religion', I was think more of the strand of Deism practiced by some of The Founders that embraced Capitalism, the Protestant Work Ethic, and gave rise to the notion of inalienable rights as inviolable constraints on Governments' power to meddle with private property and voluntary economic transactions.

      To have an actual "Church of Objectivism" you'd have to perhaps argue that it was your religious belief that God created Ayn Rand to be his Avatar on Earth so she could lead the irrational to rationality without revealing to her that he really existed since that would have defeated his goal of using her a vehicle to bring about the ultimate triumph of rationality.
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      • Posted by strugatsky 5 years, 1 month ago
        I see the benefits of your argument and I also see the very real danger of this entire process being "hijacked" by humans with slightly lesser morals. The recovery will be impossible - your moral high ground will be stollen by people with power and you will have nothing to offer to fight back. Human nature is to find any avenue, any crack through which one can acquire what others have. If a system exists which gives an individual or a group power over others, they will grab it and use it to others' disadvantage. Giving someone a religion will only enslave you, unless you climb over others' to the priesthood.
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        • Posted by $ blarman 5 years, 1 month ago
          And this is the conundrum of every religion and political philosophy ever invented: that individual people will attempt to turn it to their own lust for power.
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        • Posted by 5 years, 1 month ago
          Maybe you could avoid having it 'hijacked' by baking into the theology the notions that the divine revelation was limited the original document calling for rationality, that it wasn't subject to subsequent revision, that no human was any more qualified than any other to opine on spiritual matters, and that God explicit disapproves of priesthoods since the "revelation" that he wants us to act as rational individuals tending to our own self-interest belongs to everyone equally.
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          • Posted by $ blarman 5 years, 1 month ago
            While it is an interesting idea, what you end up with there is intellectual stagnation and an inability to change with the times - exactly what we see in present-day Islam. The problem comes back to the fact that in the end you are dealing with men and all their irrationalities. If you rule out coercion, there is simply no way to guarantee compliance - all one can do is ensconce the ideal principles and trust that generations later those ideas will still hold enough value and be worth enough to individuals for them to hold to despite opposition. If the example of the Constitution is of any note, I would hazard to say that the lust of men for power over time is enough to corrupt even the best of intentions.
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    • Posted by ProfChuck 5 years, 1 month ago
      This poses a fundamental problem. Religion, by definition, is a belief structure and as such is founded on faithful and unquestioning acceptance of "official" dogma. (This is one of the reasons that Socialism, Communism, and liberal-progressivism can be considered religions)
      Objectivism, on the other hand, is based (or at least tries to be based) on a quest for understanding and logical analysis of available observable facts. It is not clear how these two very different world views can coexist.
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    • Posted by craigerb 5 years, 1 month ago
      "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." In WWII we allied with monarchies (UK) and totalitarians (USSR).
      However, "The ends don't justify the means."
      There needs to be a balanced approach.
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  • Posted by $ Technocracy 5 years, 1 month ago
    Define your terms a little better please.

    Using logic to convince someone their belief is irrational and/or incorrect is manipulating their belief because you are changing their mind.

    Did you mean something like this or something else entirely?

    Such as "gaming" their belief system to get the outcome you want.
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    • Posted by 5 years, 1 month ago
      Thanks for asking for a clarification!

      I intended your last interpretation of "gaming" their belief system to get a favorable outcome, as we are assuming at that point that appeals to logic have failed. (i.e. that we are dealing with people who are zealots, who refuse to employ logic, or whose reasoning facilities are so under developed that they cannot yet recognize logically spurious arguments and as a result are only amenable to emotional and/or mystical argumentation.)


      This might encompass arguing with them for a favorable interpretation of their existing beliefs or introducing them to a more appealing artificial belief system perhaps by creating the illusion that it is a "real" lost or underground sect that already exists within their own religion.


      I would also consider the possibility of using technological means to create physical effects what would demonstrably invalidate or leverage aspects of their belief system. (e.g. covertly tunneling under a "sacred" site and undermining its foundation if their belief system was that they could never be defeated as long as it was standing or arranging for them to "discover" a forged archeaological artifact that cast doubt on their current beliefs.)
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  • Posted by Watcher55 5 years, 1 month ago
    There is nothing inherently wrong in deceiving or even using force against the irrational - but it has to be proportional to their irrationality and their evil. Thus it is fine to lie to the Nazis about the Jews hiding in your attic. But you are speaking of a wholesale deception of people who, while many are irrational, are of a more innocent type. In that case I think you are crossing the line into deceit to gain an unearned value, and as others have said, that can only undermine what you are trying to achieve.
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  • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 5 years, 1 month ago
    Heinlein History and Moral Philosophy providing it's treated as a religion secular or not and the proponents control the historic examples and the stated values.

    If used properly causes or rather allows the individual to examine a personal belief system and evaluate it's worth - to the individual and having done his or her stance within any given society. Heinlein used the technique in any number of situations to show how an individual could cope with the group and retain personal morals, values and standards.

    You see that acted out here every day so here is a small aid. Three types of people in discussions. One the Righteous with one fixed viewpoint to constantly preach allowing no changes. Score zero. Two the Debater who works only to score points but cares not much for any solution much less acting to that end. Score Zero. The third says - This one screwed up mess. What can be done about it. Looks at suggested answers, checks premises and conclusions then now get's to it knowing the completed goal is the only accolade worth pursuing.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 5 years, 1 month ago
    And in the final analysis, how is that any different from "Big Brother" or State worship, or the raising of men into Gods with power of life and death? It is just about as anti Objectivism as you can get.
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  • Posted by teri-amborn 5 years, 1 month ago
    I am sorry that you are having so much difficulty with "the religious".
    The only religion that you have to fear is Islam.
    It is anti-life and NOTHING will get in their way.

    The only time you should fear anything is when your own life and livelihood are directly threatened.

    "Gaming" doesn't work on master manipulators.
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  • Posted by $ allosaur 5 years, 1 month ago
    I'm just a retired old dino who never heard of Ayn Rand until after the AS1 flick came out.
    But it appears to me that Objectivists should not be about "manipulating" anyone's anything.
    Manipulation is what the Progressive movement is all into. One could say that is true of all religions.
    Nevertheless, I refuse to let go of my own personal belief system of a hereafter.
    It's freedom of religion all mine and no one can take it. Nyah! Nyah!
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  • Posted by NorthernReason 5 years, 1 month ago
    Could you imagine if Hank Rearden was converted into some kind of "Civil Religion", or even worshiped some "money god", instead of embracing Galt's ideas?

    Those who you claim to be incapable of embracing Objectivism are not any serious threat to Objectivists; The James Taggarts of the world. It is only the productive individuals who have any capacity to be a threat, or to fuel individuals who otherwise would pose no threat.

    By directing your effort into creating a civil (or not so civil) religion, you are helping to destroy the minds of non-productive and productive individuals. In other words: you would do equal damage to the numerically superior enemy as to your self.

    If your enemy was truly that beyond any reason, then what threat would they truly pose without those otherwise rational individuals who aid them? Why would you direct any effort into helping them by creating a religion that would only feed them more minds to consume?
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  • Posted by $ TomB666 5 years, 1 month ago
    "Religion is man's attempt to live in the light of what he holds to be ultimately true and good."
    "To be religious is to is to effect in some way and in some measure a vital adjustment (however tentative and incomplete) to whatever is reacted to or regarded implicitly or explicitly as worthy of serious and ulterior concern."

    From The Encyclopedia of Religion, edited by Vergilious Ferm, Ph. D., copyright 1945 by
    Philosophilical Library, Inc., Published by Popular Books, Secaucus, N.J., ISBN 0-89009-746-1
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  • Posted by blackswan 5 years, 1 month ago
    Let's go back to the past. Imagine that Atlantis actually existed, and they were surrounded by primitive barbarian tribes (like in Asimov's story), with technology equivalent to what we have today. How would the Atlanteans have done technology transfer, especially if they needed for those tribes to advance? Given that the entire globe has a religious tradition, did that actually happen in our own history?
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  • Posted by BenFrank 5 years, 1 month ago
    Philosophercat thanks for your clarification. It sounds objective rather than superior. Trying to "convert" or "manipulate" others is a waste of time. If you are inclined to be a leader, lead by example. Otherwise subscribe to Albert Camus..."Do not follow me I may not lead. Do not walk in front of me, I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend."
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  • Posted by philosophercat 5 years, 1 month ago
    Objectivism is a logically complete system of thought which has as one of its political principles "individual sovereignty". Now what part of a logical system and what part of your sovereignty are you willing to give up to make an alliance with craziea? The only answer is none, but you can trade with people whose values you don't know or make political alliances for short term conflicts recognizing that you will turn on each other on doctrinal issues when the event is over. Christians and communists cannot be reasoned with. They have abandoned reason. They should be allowed to die out naturally in ignorance while principle wins out by being successful in making individuals lives better. As a two time reader of the Foundation series I can tell you the secret is no matter what the plan, there is a mule, but its the connection between observation and philosophy that drives the system forward.
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  • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 5 years, 1 month ago
    Sounds like what the New World Order hopes to do to us...except their aim is not objective, it's subjective and it is not for Our benefit or survival.
    That aside, I could not embrace anything that is not based in profound honesty. After all, aren't we all looking and reaching for 'Ethics' across the board? I do think that our intentions should match the means to our ends. That would be my hope anyway.
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  • Posted by BenFrank 5 years, 1 month ago
    Perhaps someone can clarify to me how it is that being an Objectivist puts one in a superior position to other human beings? I am not clear on the labeling. By labeling yourself as reasonable or rational and those who do not share your observations as unreasonable or irrational aren't you in essence indicating that those people are inferior? How does that make you any different than the people to whom you object that consider you inferior for not sharing their point of view?
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    • Posted by philosophercat 5 years, 1 month ago
      Objectivism is an integrated system of hierarchical ideas based on how he world is which applies equally to all people and holds all individuals equal in principle as free to act for their benefit. Some people will be better at acting than others and will be more successful: run faster, think quicker, better taste salt etc. But individual sovereignty makes all equal in principle in ethics and politics so there are no classes of superior ones in principle. Some as Aristotle said will earn by their hard work honors and other by shirking reason and work will deserve scorn. Each person observes each other person and judges them as equal in sovereignty and different in performance and rewards them accordingly.
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  • Posted by minorwork 5 years, 1 month ago
    The rest pay their taxes, earn their own way in life, and leave me the hell alone to practice objectivism and ignosticism, and yes sure, be objectionable to the Tea Party until they throw me out, then I'll speak in tongues once in a while if it allows me to wedge in some reasoned benefits of objectivism to a verbal exchange and perhaps sway someone such that I DON'T have to feign speaking in tongues someday.

    Presently, in the land of the blind, this objectivist king is not of the inclination to rule as a despot, but more as a student of the blind in the way that my first wife taught me more about myself in our four years of marriage than I had learned in the 32 yeas prior.
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 5 years, 1 month ago
    No--no--no. What we need is acceptance of the
    truth. Of course, if Objectivism became the philos-
    ophy of the majority of the country, the other people
    would still be left free to believe what they wanted,
    including sending their children to (privately-funded) religious schools; the government would
    not prescribe the ideas which people must believe in; but this would not be a Civic Religion.
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  • Posted by johnpe1 5 years, 1 month ago
    the palliative of the masses? . for those who just can't make the leap?

    maybe, as long as "we objectivists" didn't look down at "the religionists"
    and create a caste society, don't you think? . is that possible? -- j
    .
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  • Posted by WilliamRThomas 5 years, 1 month ago
    Another way to look at Poplicola's question is to ask: what should Objectivists think of religious groups who mostly promote Objectivist ideas: reason for practical life, personal happiness in this world, hard work, and freedom, for example.

    I'm an Objectivist, and I would view the growth of such sects as a generally good sign. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4ouQ...

    But I wouldn't want to promote the creation of such a sect, because the appeal to the supernatural opens the door wide to unreason of all sorts and is dangerous to promote.

    Plus, we can promote a rational view of life through a "Church of Life" or some such that would promote basic Objectivist ideas mostly through parable and practical counsel. That could appeal to people who don't handle abstraction well, without deceiving or manipulating them.
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    • Posted by conscious1978 5 years, 1 month ago
      I don't see how promoting the idea of getting people to accept Objectivist concepts in a church (or anywhere) like an implied religious belief does anything but contradict the nature of Objectivist concepts.

      edit: Have I missed something, here?
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      • Posted by WilliamRThomas 5 years, 1 month ago
        Were you replying to me, @conscious1978?

        I don't advocate promoting Objectivism via religion. I agree it would be a contradiction. But I'm happy to see Enlightenment ideals (i.e. essential Objectivist ideals) embraced wherever that takes place. I prefer success-oriented Mormons like Mitt Romney and Orson Scott Card, who mostly live by American values, to the Taliban and ISIL.
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        • Posted by conscious1978 5 years, 1 month ago
          Yes, William; your comment, below, seemed contradictory to Objectivism:

          "Plus, we can promote a rational view of life through a "Church of Life" or some such that would promote basic Objectivist ideas mostly through parable and practical counsel. That could appeal to people who don't handle abstraction well, without deceiving or manipulating them."
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          • Posted by WilliamRThomas 5 years, 1 month ago
            @conscious1978, why would creating a "Church of Life" be contradictory to Objectivism? Would it be due to the use of the word "Church?"

            If so, I'm happy to use "Temple," or "Shrine," or "Fellowship."

            The point would be to have a secular chain of meeting houses where a rational, life-focused philosophy would be celebrated and taught. Contrast that with the academic, abstract lecture style of typical Objectivist conventions like Rand's Ford Hall Forum lectures or the conference I run, The Atlas Summit. http://atlassociety.org/objectivism/a...
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            • Posted by conscious1978 5 years, 1 month ago
              Because of the hundreds of years of implied belief and packaged ideas associated with "church", "temple", or "shrine"!

              There are plenty of secular venues for conventions, lectures, courses, and discussions of Objectivism and its rational, life-focused application without the contradictory implications of it being another place to accept beliefs. Of the many misconceptions 'out there' already is that Objectivism is just another faith of parroting followers with Ayn Rand as its deity. I think your suggestion runs counter to the principles you want to teach.
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              • Posted by WilliamRThomas 5 years, 1 month ago
                I didn't call it "The Church of Rand," and for good reason.

                Your points are well taken. The "Life Workshop" or whatever you call it would need many intellectual heroes other than Rand.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 5 years, 1 month ago
    This reminds me of the near-rant by Captain Picard in Who Watches the Watchers. Primitive people see advanced technology and believe it is a religious sign. Someone suggests giving them a fake religious sign tell them what god wants. Picard responds with righteous indignation, and says they'll find another way.
    https://youtu.be/n6NPq_kPSUM

    They do find another way, so it's a pat happy ending.

    But suppose it turned out there were no other way? Suppose the people were determined to believe in a god and that he wanted them to murder those they suspect displeased god, and Captain Picard could make it stop by telling them god wanted them to respect one another's rights and to solve their problems using reasoning based on observation?

    In this situation I would feel an ugly utilitarian temptation to give them the Objectivist commandments, even though I think it's wrong. I think I would get out of the predicament by questioning the premise that the made-up religion solution isn't guaranteed to work and the truth isn't guaranteed to fail.

    (BTW, I do not agree with the YouTube video title saying the clip is about religion. It's actually about the question of knowingly creating a false religion for a benevolent purpose.)
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    • Posted by 5 years, 1 month ago
      First of all, I think the Prime Directive would be moot since at that point cultural contamination already occurred and the civilization wouldn't be on its original track. So I wouldn't feel guilty over trying to minimize the damage. I'd just phaser the Objectivists commandments on a few stone tablets, leave out any explicit claims of being God and just let them assume it for the time, and then I would leave behind some bread crumbs. Maybe I'd orbit some automatic radio beacons or bury a few artifacts that wouldn't reveal any tech before they learned it on their own, and then they can use those clues to figure out the truth once they advanced a bit more. Sure it might go horribly wrong, but the odds would be in its favor.
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    • Posted by DrZarkov99 5 years, 1 month ago
      Wasn't religion substitution what the priests who accompanied the conquistadors practiced? The tribes under the Aztec rule were subject to a powerful religious autarchy, and the introduction of Christianity presented a less violent form of belief. It didn't hurt, of course, that the legend of the great white savior, Quetzalcoatl, was an institution of the existing mesoAmerican belief system.
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      • Posted by $ blarman 5 years, 1 month ago
        Yes. They leveraged/co-opted the Aztecs existing belief system (which holds a legend of remarkable similarity to Jesus Christ) into a usurpation of authority. In the end, the Aztecs as a people were almost completely wiped out as the Spanish Conquistadores with superior arms and armor sought for gold and riches.
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