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The Vagaries of Religious Experience

Fitting right in with topics I’m often posting about, psychology, religion, and what makes us think the way that we do comes: THE VAGARIES OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE by Daniel Gilbert.

8 replies on “The Vagaries of Religious Experience”

This author in an attempt to convince you there is no God, draws an outline of a box. Inside the box is a blue dot . But if you study the box for a moment the box changes and the dot is suddenly on the outside of the box. Now if this doesn't convince you there is no God then what will.

Also the guy says that people have a tendancy to look on the bright side or the optimistic side of things. So if somthing good happens they think there must have been a reason. To him this proves there is no God. I wonder if looking at things darkly or pessimistically proves that there 'is' a God.

Ok, the author used the outline of a box for an analogy. The analogy shows that people who believe in God can be mistaken. I'm sure he wouldn't have used this analogy if people who "don't" believe in God were also fooled by the optical illusion,no sir. Smart guys like that just cannot be fooled by an optical illusion.

Bob said: this analogy shows that people who believe in God can be mistaken.

Not exactly. The analogy shows that people in general can be mistaken, but when they are rewarded for seeing things a certain way they are more likely to see things that way.

The author is just taking it one step further and giving a possible reason why people would believe in something when they might be mistaken. If your friends and family are giving you some kind of rewarding feelings for believing, then perhaps that's why you believe – there is something reassuring about believing the same thing as those around you.

The argument could easily be flipped around against the non-believers in that they might be fooled by the metaphorical optical illusion and are constantly rewarded with the reverse message in that they feel peace and happiness not worrying about beliefs that are not scientifically provable. Does that make sense?

It goes both ways.

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