Parasitic ideas need to be helpful, or at least not too harmful, to the idea-organism in which they reside, but they can be very harmful to individual human beings. So long as they help (or do not badly harm) the idea-organism’s chances for survival and reproduction, they can cause all sorts of pain and death to their hosts. Since pain and death can be good motivators for people to believe things, this can be exactly the way they are helpful to the idea-organism in reproducing itself.
- God Wants You Dead
by Sean Hastings and Paul Rosenberg
Consider: Why don’t you eat insects? They’re a great source of protein and far less likely to confer lethal pathogens than the flesh of other mammals… is it because they’re icky?