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Create your own religion.

Values can be changed only by experience, not through reason. When we feel hopeless, it signifies that our values have failed us. We start looking for new ones to replace them. We must find value somewhere. That’s how we find hope. We interpret the significance of our experience through values—facts don’t matter. The belief that this one thing, the God Value, will produce the best future reality gives people hope. Religion is all about emotional attachment. The best way to build it is to make people stop thinking critically, to cut off reasoning, and end discussion. The common enemy who don’t share the same values, “them,” helps to unite the followers and maintains the hope. Rituals make our values tangible. They connect us with the past, attach us to our values, and affirm who we are. Over time, rituals modify and reinforce the Feeling Brain’s value hierarchy. Religion reinforces itself in a cycle: the more you promise salvation, world peace, and happiness, the more the followers fail to live up to that promise, the more guilt they feel, the more they’ll do to make up for it. More effective religions have more disciplined followers. More disciplined followers make a religion more likely to be spread among people and to give those people a sense of self-control and a feeling of hope. Religions compete in the world for resources, and the religions that tend to win are those whose value hierarchies make the most efficient use of labor and capital.

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