Re: Belief has nothing to do with it: The fundamental difference between religion and science
When a scientist finds that new facts contradict his/her theories, he/she concludes that the theories are wrong.
When a priest finds that new facts contradicts his (priests are almost always "he") beliefs, he concludes that the facts are wrong.
You can pretty much apply that statement about religion to any ideology. Marxism, Chicago-school economics, psychiatry, whatever. Both religions and ideologies are constructed by men (it's almost always men, rather than women), the only difference is that religions claim their sacred writings were handed to them by God rather than being derived from their own (allegedly) superior thought processes.
The reason religions/ideologies are such malign forces is that they do not allow facts to sway their beliefs. As in the last financial meltdown, where the Chicago school economists claimed that the problem wasn't deregulating banks (which sane observers concluded was the problem because it let the banks get away with all sorts of shenanigans) but that we didn't deregulate the banks enough.
Reality. It would be nice if the ideologues visited it occasionally.