1. The witch cast a pain-inducing spell on the boy, or
2. The witch cast a spell to make the boy THINK he has stomach pain, or
3. The witch cast a spell to make the boy eat that suspiciously smelly burrito out of the fridge, or
4. Is the witch an employee of McDonalds?
We are left to decide for ourselves just how the evil, anonymous witch perpetrated the deed, but make no mistake; it's witchcraft. Thank you Mr. Robertson for steering us away from the path of reality and sanity.
I grudgingly admire David because I suspect that underneath a startlingly effective disguise, there lurks a shrewd businessman who believes none of the poo that comes out of his mouth or his word processor (boy, does that phrase make me sound old...it's OK, I am) and is quietly raking in the money (his net worth is reputed to be in the eight figure mark). Why would I like that? Well mainly because he is benefitting from the tendency of a significant proportion of the heaving masses to believe complete rubbish, and frankly, if one is prepared to hang one's hat upon bullshit such as alien lizards running the world, well then I think a bit of exploitation of your mindless stupidity is due!
Which brings me to the issue at hand: why do significant numbers of people choose to believe what amounts to utter nonsense?
Both of the above men have made themselves very well known by their outspoken ideas (genuine or otherwise), which always seem to provoke a lot of publicity for their respective services and/or products. Their motivation for being controversial can be understood in that light - or indeed, if either of them actually does believe the garbage that comes out of their mouths (which would probably mean that they're low down on the rationality spectrum). However, what motivates someone to believe in either a) witchcraft or b) alien lizards ruling the world is probably something I could apply for a large research grant to study. Of course, if I apply to the wrong lizard (they're everywhere, apparently) for the grant, or if that lizard is secretly a witch, then I might have a problem.
I used to have a similar belief system: I used to believe in an allegedly benevolent but threatening god who smote the human race at will, controlled everything but let us do stupid, sinful shit, and then punished us (i.e., worked in 'mysterious ways'). The god was so mean, he (yes, it was a 'he') had constructed the universe in such a way as to grant us either everlasting life in heaven where we were indescribably happy, or everlasting hell, where the suffering would simply never, ever stop.
The list of things that I was expected to do and not do to garner enough favour to avoid everlasting torture seemed endless, unreasonable, and much of it made little sense. I believed it all, for a long time...because my parents told me as an impressionable child that this was absolutely the truth. I trusted my parents, I trusted the people whom they trusted and whom they assured me were telling me the truth. It was only as an adult, and when I finally - FINALLY shook my head clear and began challenging the things that I had blindly believed, that I began to accept how much I had been told was either false or unknowable, even though it had been presented as known.
One of my reactions was annoyance with myself - the truth had been there for many years for me to embrace, and I'd avoided taking the rational step despite peeking through the keyhole at it once or twice.
Why? In my case, my religious belief - indoctrinated though it was - had become a part of my life. I thought that it had become a part of ME. I was scared about leaving it behind; firstly in case I was wrong, and this god whom I was supposed to love, would punish me somehow, and secondly in case by doing so I changed ME for the worse. In retrospect, however, what forced me to wake up was the constant barrage of reality which contradicted the bronze age superstitions that I had been taught to follow. Being constantly faced with facts and reality forced me to think rationally and hence I became religion-free and much, much happier. Rather than being something which I had been forced to somehow retrospectively earn the right to, life became something to enjoy.
My personal experience - of reality forcing its way into my thick head - leaves me wondering what stops other people with functioning neurons from realising the same kind of thing - about religion in general, and about people such as these two outstanding arseholes in particular. Reality is all around us - facts, solid evidence - ALL around us. Perhaps the question is not why we believe in superstitious nonsense, but why we do not believe in what our senses tell us is real?