Cliquian belief

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A tribal belief system is one that supports a belief-tribe's common, pre-existing beliefs – often in the face of rational, evidence-based criticism. Where tribal beliefs contradict evidence, the tribal belief system is necessarily antiepistemic, since otherwise it would have updated its beliefs in the face of said evidence.

As the scientific understanding of reality has grown to encompass many areas that were formerly a matter of opinion, belief-tribes have repeatedly faced a choice between adopting antiepistemic methods to preserve their existing beliefs or becoming more liberal (e.g. accepting non-literal interpretations of scripture, rejecting "infallibility" doctrines, and so forth).


  • Tribal belief systems usually include a moral code.
  • Tribal belief systems tend to be vulnerable to centralized control via mass media, since individuals are prone to adopting whatever beliefs they believe that the rest of the tribe believes (whether or not the rest of the tribe actually does believe those things), and strongly inhibited against questioning those beliefs.


  • 2017-12-26 Laurelai Bailey: end of an insightful tootstorm about the tribal mindset