How about the notion of an insult as a first-order offence? “Don’t insult God/Our Nation/The People/etc.”. It is an explicit emotional fortress that reason cannot by definition scale. When it goes near there, all the ‘intelligence defeating itself’ mechanisms come into play. We take the fortress as our starting argument and start to think backwards until our agitated emotions are satisfied by our half-reasonable but beautiful explanation of why the fortress is safe and why what caused us to doubt it is either not so or can be explained some other way. Ergo, one step deeper into dark epistemology.