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It looks like the perpetrator of the attack in London this week was a convert to Islam.
It does seem to me that any convert to any religion does can take it a bit more seriously than someone who is born into the faith.
Is there some inherent need to show "their faith" by taking things a bit too seriously?
Life is short, paddle harder!!
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Could be, but not necessarily inherent as of conversion, but rather the mechanism of joining a new social group and proving one really belongs to it (so acceptance seeking). On top of it, if one grew up in a so-so family, poverty etc etc. this acceptance is something highly sought together with some solutions to change ones life to something perceived as better.
Still I think the dominating factor (across all the social groups) for this enhanced seriousness is that for many of the converts this was a fully conscious decision based on some rudimental principles only - thinking white and black. Being born into normal moderately religious environment provides gradual exposure to all shades of colors with no revelation factors (at least for the majority).
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Given how many people are not concerned with religion (this includes most religious followers, who are probably more interested in traditions and community, than in the concepts/precepts of their particular religion), perhaps adult/new converts tend to have factors in their lives that have driven them toward religion - toward an alternative understanding of life (unresolved childhood or adolescent trauma, for example).
I think it was New Scientist, that reported on a study linking religiosity with mental illness. I think a link between genes and religiosity has also been suggested. Perhaps it was all the same study, suggesting a link between a particular gene, and an increased likelihood of both schizophrenia and religiosity.
So people who are very religious, regardless of the age of their conversion, are perhaps genetically more susceptible to disorganised cognition, and an impaired capacity for decision making. Put simply, "God told me to do it" could be the same phenomenon as "The voices told me to do it." In that case, it has more to do with the mental health of the individual, than their interaction with religion.
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