The sunk cost fallacy is the tendency to continue investing in a
failing project or relationship because of the resources that
have already been invested. In the context of religion, this
fallacy can lead people to stay in a religious tradition even if
they no longer believe in it because they have already invested
so much time, money, and emotional energy into it.
For example, someone who has been raised in a particular religion may continue to attend church, participate in religious activities, and donate money to the church even if they no longer believe in the religion's teachings. This is because they may feel like they have to "make up" for all the time and money they have already invested in the religion.
The sunk cost fallacy can also lead people to stay in abusive or unhealthy relationships. For example, someone who has been in a relationship for many years may stay in the relationship even if they are unhappy because they feel like they have already invested so much time and energy into it.
The sunk cost fallacy is a powerful cognitive bias that can be difficult to overcome. However, it is important to remember that the past is the past, and we cannot change it. What we can do is choose to invest our time, money, and energy in things that are truly meaningful to us.
Here are some tips for avoiding the sunk cost fallacy in religion:
If you are struggling with the sunk cost fallacy in religion, please know that you are not alone. There are many resources available to help you. Please reach out to a trusted friend, family member, or therapist for support.
The thing about being stuck in a sunken cost fallacy is that to admit you were wrong and/or doing harm can be unbearable to realize and accept if you were tricked into funding a scaming criminal organization with incalculable blood and human suffering on their hands, with promises of being a good person, of being charitable and of rewards or punishments in one or another afterlife.
Even worse, a sunken cost fallacy can even make an otherwise sensible person even sacrifice the safety and wellbeing of their own children to the cause out of false promises and the delusion of doing good. Parents stuck in a sunken cost fallacy are more likely to refuse to admit to themselves or anyone else that a priest has abused their own children. They have sacrificed so much time and money and energy into a cult that it simply must be true and the false promises made by con artists must be true, because they have regularly reinforced their own views by investing time and money into their own delusions. It's easier to blame the child for being abused by a priest than it is to turn against the priest and the cult and the community that places the priests and cult at its core. Parents that refuse to admit that they were wrong about their cult and its hierarchy because their monetary and community/social investments would be made worthless by breaking the delusion are not stupid or insane, they are just closed-minded cowards.
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