In a "cause and effect" world detached from logical fallacy we probably would have an enormous drop in fanatical thinking and behavior.
But, we don't.
Some of us fall prey to fallacious thinking. We fail to sort out the facts. We group our "cause" and our "effects" out of synch with actual data.
The next thing you know, we think we have "PROOF" that something is true when it actually is NOT.
When I was being "courted" by Jehovah's Witnesses certain presumed facts were presented to me in a certain order.
Other facts were downplayed, distorted or ignored.
A "story" was told with a beginning, middle and end. A conclusion was called for.
It all--eventually--seemed "reasonable".
Once that was accepted my road to FANATICISM was well paved!
I'd like to think I had no tendency toward fanatical thinking. And yet, I became a fanatic!
How do you explain that crossover?
Emotional people aren't bad people, but, they are likely to be more demonstrative.
Powerful feelings can be trailer-hitched up to faulty reasoning and hauled off on a trip to Looney Town.
Once we have a profound attachment to strong values we are likely to defend those values beyond what is ordinarlly reasonable.
If we trick ourselves into thinking LIFE or DEATH we defend ferociously.
If we see only GOOD or EVIL we become dangerous when that view is dead wrong.
Without necessarily being inclined toward harm our unwitting emotional attachment to crazy-thinking can put us there anyway!
This is what Cult religion can do to us: use our own Values against ourselves, our family and loved ones. Maybe even mankind itself!!
It all starts with forming emotional attachments.
If GOD is our number one value we are already in grave danger.
GOD isn't tangible, measurable, definable or demonstrable in an everyday sense...THEREFORE...we can be manipulated.
If we accept some arbitrary definition backed up by seemingly righteous scriptures in contrived contexts, then, one foot is on the banana peel of fanatical thinking.
If our number two value is the BIBLE we are in grave danger.
The Bible can represent an ABSOLUTE. We humans are knocked senseless by absolute thinking. It shuts down reason. It stifles logic. It becomes a drug.
Simple words can take on enormously powerful black and white pomposity.
Bible absolutes can be represented to support truly terrible behaviors.
Slavery, domination of women, exploitation of other cultures, denunciations, shunning, loyalty tests, righteous wars, megalomania.....the list is practically daunting!
If our number three value is LOYALTY we are in grave danger.
Once we become part of a group-think we are shut off from the world. Life becomes US vs THEM. What we do to demonstrate loyalty can turn us against our children, our family and any who think or speak differently.
The above list of ordinarily POSITIVE VALUES is twisted into destructive thinking and behavior and that is true FANATICISM.