Imagine a society which is deeply religious. It is believed in this society that the fortunate will experience physical manifestations of the supernatural. The many apparitions of Mary the Mother of God will serve as an example.
Some of these claims are no doubt out and out frauds. But consider the ease with which relatively sincere and honest people could delude themselves into a vision or two. Is that sound the wind whispering in the trees, or a diety calling to you? Is that ghostly apparition an angel? Or just a person in the fog? You believe in the miracle at Lake Placid; why can’t Mary appear to us in a toasted sandwich?
Also consider how difficult it would be to conduct a rational examination of candidate miracles. I’m free to smirk about Our Lady of Sandwich, but would fear for my safety if I were to ask the good people of rural Portugal a century ago whether children frequently made up stories to get out of animal tending.
A miasma of superstition is what we would expect to encounter in an Iberian hamlet in a bygone era. But today?
So … I work in a major internet software company that you have heard of / use as a verb.
And with alarming frequency I am subjected to the 21st century version of Marian apparitions — the feminist martyr apparition. Women claim to have been denigrated, discriminated against, discounted, denied their due.
Specific evidence is rarely if ever provided. In the digital age it is not hard to link to mailing lists or social media posts; it is trivial to cut and paste text. Yet this is never done. There is a “shaggy dog story” quality to the martyrista’s bleats. A man took me less seriously because I wore a dress! I was the target of microaggressions! (“Micro” being an admission that nothing meaningful happened.) Someone assumed I was a customer support rep!
It is exceedingly unlikely that any of these events occurred as claimed. In fact many of them were probably attempts by the alleged sexist to be ironic or sarcastic. Feminists famously lack a sense of humor — due not to their sex but to their religious fervor. Ever known a religious nut who appreciated a joke?