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The Role of Religiosity in Explaining Extreme Beliefs – Lecture Finlay Malcolm VU Amsterdam 16-09-22
Lecture by Finlay Malcolm, for the Explaining Extreme Beliefs and Extreme Behavior Workshop, at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam on 16-09-22, titled: The Role of Religiosity in Explaining Extreme Beliefs.
This paper will explore the role of religiosity in explaining extreme beliefs concerning climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. We will argue for two claims from findings arising out of our recent survey work: (1) religiosity is a clear factor associated with some people holding extreme beliefs about climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic; (2) religious people who hold these beliefs seem to adhere to in-group/out-group trust dynamics, which can be explained by some accounts of echo chambers. In sum, we will explain the connection between extreme beliefs and religious identity in terms of recent work on echo chambers, drawing inferences from results from our recent survey on trust in science, and in particular, the evaluative beliefs of the respondents.
Dr Finlay Malcolm is a Research Associate at King’s College London. He is currently researching the attitudes of people in several European countries towards scientific expertise, using survey methods combined with philosophical analysis. His background is in philosophy, and he has published on trust, faith and belief; fundamentalism; freedom of speech; democratic accountability; and alternative systems of government.