Believers views on God uniquely egocentric

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Believers views on God uniquely egocentric

#1  Postby cpt_pineapple » Aug 28, 2010 1:54 am

So I came across this study:

http://www.pnas.org/content/106/51/21533.full.pdf+html


In which Christian's views were psychologically manipulated and God's views followed suite and conformed to the person's beliefs.

In other words, people use their own beliefs and values to determine what God's beliefs and values are.

So what do you think this says about the motivation of religious people? Does the evil that comes from religion really come from the evil of the person? Does the good that comes from religion really come from the good of the person?
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Re: Believers views on God uniquely egocentric

#2  Postby Darwinsbulldog » Aug 28, 2010 5:30 am

cpt_pineapple wrote:So I came across this study:

http://www.pnas.org/content/106/51/21533.full.pdf+html


In which Christian's views were psychologically manipulated and God's views followed suite and conformed to the person's beliefs.

In other words, people use their own beliefs and values to determine what God's beliefs and values are.

So what do you think this says about the motivation of religious people? Does the evil that comes from religion really come from the evil of the person? Does the good that comes from religion really come from the good of the person?


Interesting, thanks Pineapple! :clap: :clap: :cheers: :cheers:

Good and evil are fuzzy concepts, though I don't subscribe to moral relativism. Nor absolute morality. Ethical decisions must always be context based...like "choosing the lesser of two evils".

I subscribe to Susan Blackmore's concept of the meme. It is a mental virus or replicator. Religious memes are random, because fitness of the idea is not based on logic or evidence, but faith, which randomizes "choice". People don't [or at least hardly ever] make a rational choice to become a member of Religion X or Y, they inherit it from their parents and community. If there is any selection, it is on inane simplicity. Simple stories are more easily replicated that complex ones. The simplest [but not most parsimonious] stories are absolutist. eg Abortion is wrong. Thus to the absolutist, a twelve year old who gets raped should not get an abortion. The particular circumstances are irrelevant to the absolutist.

Parsimonious explanations [such as found in science] take account of all known factors and subtleties. Thus no absolutism. Whether talking about nature or ethics, the absolutist ignores or denies details that are inconvenient to their dogma. Thus confirmation bias.

Because absolutism requires little or even no thinking [believe, do not think, is the catch cry in faiths] this means no effort is expended, and so the religious meme is more easily replicated in minds than say-an understanding of mathematics or scientific theory. Mathematical/scientific memes are only replicated with great effort-the effort required to memorize facts and to understand what may often be counter-intuitive.

Although some "rational theists" may use science, methodological naturalism, evidence, logic and the formulation and testing of hypotheses, there comes a tipping point where "a leap of faith" is required for [apparently] truculent problems. Thus biologist and Catholic Kenneth B. Miller will enthusiastically debunk creationist creotards with great skill, and then present a god of the gaps argument at the quantum level. The hypothesis that god acts at Planck length, energies or distances is untestable, and hence the "leap of faith". So the differences in credulity between creationists and Miller's position is more a case of degree rather than kind.
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Re: Believers views on God uniquely egocentric

#3  Postby cpt_pineapple » Aug 29, 2010 2:49 am

Yeah, I found it interesting too and thought I'd share.
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