Humanist Thought for Today

From The Christian Delusion, by Valerie Tarico, PhD, in her essay Christian Belief Through the Lens of Cognitive Science:

The more we learn about the hardware and operating systems of the human brain – the more we understand about human information processing – the more we glean bits of insight into the religious mind.  For example:

  • We humans are not rational about anything, let alone religion.
  • Certainty is a feeling, not proof of knowing.  It can fail to materialize even when evidence is enormous, and can manifest itself independently of any real knowledge.
  • The structure of thought itself predisposes us to religious thinking.  Given how our minds work, certain kinds of religious beliefs are likely and others are impossible.
  • The”born again” experience is a natural phenomenon.  It is triggered by specific social and emotional factors, which can occur in both religious and secular settings.

Dogma is dangerous and we all need to realize how easily we can be fooled into believing anything.  Just watch the utter insanity of TV shows like Ghost Hunters or UFO Hunters and you can see perfect non-religious examples of this.  Dogma in the mind of a religionist can result in witch hunts, inquisitions, holy wars, bigotry and discrimination of which we see plenty of right here in our small town of West Bend.

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