My Photo

The Out Campaign

Atheist Blogroll

Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 05/2005

« Ingrid Update/ Continued Blog Semi-Break | Main | All Boy-Boy Action »



There are two problems with this notion.

First, if someone believes in a God who created not just this universe, but also a vastly superior and more interesting universe, which they expect to go to when they die, and spend an eternity in, it is perfectly natural for the human brain, with its finite resources, to conclude the superior universe, where they will spend far more time, is more important, and more worthy of study.

Second, the more important a belief is to someone, the more the brain will seek to protect that belief from inquiry, in all sorts of subtle and not-so subtle ways. If one's goal is to understand ideas, it is logical to scientifically examine important ideas, but the human brain often doesn't see that as the most important goal. Instead we tend to view some ideas, particularly religious ideas, as social tools, where belief in these ideas makes us part of an important social group - and strong belief makes us respected members of said social group. The human brain naturally views the social gains from strong belief in such an idea as much more important than the gains in understanding that might come from understanding the idea. To make matters worse, our social decisions are strongly driven by parts of the brain whose inner workings are not accessible to the conscious mind - so we often don't know we are making that calculus, and following it. (And probably, the parts of the brain that make most of our social decisions for us can't access the inner workings of the conscious part of the brain, and thus can't know that gains in knowledge would come from questioning an idea.)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Subscribe/ Donate to This Blog!

Books of mine

Greta on SSA Speakers Bureau

  • Greta Christina is on the Speakers Bureau of the Secular Students Alliance. Invite her to speak to your group!

Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz

Powered by Rollyo

Some Favorite Posts and Conversations: Atheism

Some Favorite Posts and Conversations: Sex

Some Favorite Posts: Art, Politics, Other Stuff