What about beliefs that have been “proven”?
That is a tricky and difficult question. According to Neurotheologians like Andrew Newberg, MD, even what constitutes a “proof” about something is itself a form of belief—because human brains craft experiments that are designed to “prove” something. Beliefs can be extremely powerful. Those within a culture or political party or religious organization that espouses specific or unique beliefs, especially in the presence of authoritarian pressure, and may find it extremely difficult to go against prevailing beliefs. Some of these include beliefs around: the practice of snake-handling; polygamy; female circumcision; celibacy of the clergy; ordination of women; sexual orientation; male supremacy—especially white male supremacy, and so on.
How does a belief turn into oppression and what do you mean by authoritarian pressure? (more to come)