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Graybeard

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...Now there's new research on this front--and once again, it's bad news for those who hope that we'll someday elevate ourselves into an Enlightenment state where critical thinking becomes a default tendency. In a new study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, a team of scientists at Boston University find that even professional physicists are susceptible to one of the key mental defaults associated with religion--namely, teleological or purpose-oriented thinking.
Read more at http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-brain-politics/201210/the-religious-brain-default-setting.

I suppose, all that it is saying is "I will stop thinking about it now, because it's easier than working everything out." - this echoes a quote from a Christian, "I believe in God because it's easy."

It is true that you don't have to know how a radio works to recognise a radio or enjoy a broadcast, but "It works by waves" is not too far removed from "I turn it on" and both are ultimately inaccurate.

I don't suppose that this whole line of thought is much removed from saying that our default setting is to be well-fed, warm, fit, sitting down and having a chance of breeding - yet we do more than that, because we may have to think beyond that default to achieve the goal.

It seems therefore that the default setting has to be overcome for mankind to progress. Once we are taught that "Trees do not make oxygen for animals to breathe but because it is a byproduct of photosynthesis.", we understand more. Fortunately, there is an incentive for some to think a little further.

However, I am afraid the problem may run deeper; even if some religions die because of various reasons, people simply replace them. E.g. they replace Christianity with horoscopes, numerology or homeopathy.

We're wired to take the easy road when trying to explain things and getting people to switch to critical thinking instead is a challenge.
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screwtape good link October 26, 2012, 08:38:14 AM