Suppose we have a religion whose central tenets are paradoxical, verging on the contradictory. What would we expect? We might predict that the religion would be unsuccessful. But that would be too quick. The religion could be successful by adopting strategies like the following:
- Hiding the central tenets from the bulk of the members.
- Obscuring the paradoxical nature of the central tenets from the bulk of the members.
- Downplaying the central tenets as unimportant.
- Appealing almost only to the uneducated and ignorant.
- Denigrating reason, and thus appealing to anti-intellectual impulses among uneducated and anti-rational impulses among the educated.
- Having true central tenets and having God work in the hearts and minds of members and nonmembers.